Free Home Staging eBook by Christi Bond

Free Home Staging eBook by Christi Bond

Advice and Tips from Professional Home Stager Christi Bond of St. Paul, MNNeed information, tips and advice on Home Staging? Professional Home Stager Christi Bond has written an eBook to provide just the information you need on staging your home for a quick and profitable sale. The eBook, entitled “Lighting the Way to a Fast and Profitable Sale: Tips and Advice from a Professional Home Stager” is available for immediate download here. You can also share Christi Bond’s eBook from your website. Learn more here.

About the Author:

Christi Bond lives in St Paul, Minnesota and is a recognized leader in the field of home staging and room makeovers.  She has been providing value added services to homeowners, real estate investors, and real estate agents for nearly seven years.

If you live in the twin cities metro area I would welcome the opportunity to share my staging, organizing and design expertise with you. I can be reached  by phone at 651.587.5887 or contact me by email.

I provide Home Staging and Room Makeover services in the greater Twin Cities metro.  Including but not limited to: White Bear Lake, Mahtomedi, Oakdale, Maplewood, North Oaks, Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Hudson, Hastings, Hugo, Forest Lake, Columbia Heights, Highland Park, St Paul, Minneapolis, South St Paul, Apple Valley,  Minnesota

Staging Renovated Investment Property | Video

Staging Renovated Investment Property | Video

See for yourself how this newly renovated investment property was brought to life with staging. Warm, rich autumn colors will wrap around buyer’s as soon as they walk through the front door.

Daily Home Staging Checklist: Keep Your Staged Home Ready For Showings

Daily Home Staging Checklist: Keep Your Staged Home Ready For Showings

You have worked hard to get your home staged and in excellent repair. Now you need to make sure that your property stays in show condition. I know it is not an easy task, but keep in mind that the sooner you get it sold, the sooner you can relax and enjoy your home again.

Home Staging Daily Checklist

Keeping Your Property in Staged To Sell Condition

The days of scheduling showings days in advance are virtually gone.  Today, it is not unusual for you to receive a call at your office asking if it will be ok to show your property in an hour or two. Cell phones, electronic locks, and agent accessibility have transformed this process.  This is great if you are a buyer, but it can be a headache when you are the seller.

To maximize the number of showings at your staged property you will want to keep it in show condition.  If you follow these suggestions on a regular basis your property will be ready for a showing a moments notice.

Do yourself a favor and make sure you can confidently say, “Yes, a showing this afternoon will be fine.”  LET’S GET IT SOLD FAST!

Daily Checklist: Keep Your Staged Home Ready For Showings

 BEDROOMS

  • Make the beds
  • Make sure all clothing has been hung up, put in dresser, or placed in a hamper
  • Put all personal items put away.  Try to make the bedroom as impersonal as you might find in a nice hotel
  • Dressers and nightstands should be clear off except for items you chose to display when you were doing the home staging
  • If the room is dark and not adequately illuminated by a light switch at the door, leave lamps on, or plan on coming home to turn on lamps prior to the showing  (remember, your real estate agent is often not the showing agent)
  • Close closet doors
  • Open curtains and shades

KITCHEN

  • Make sure sink in is empty and cleaned out
  • Wipe down counters
  • Spot clean floor if necessary
  • Put away any items such as dish draining rack, dish soap, and any other items that may have been used but not put away
  • Make sure kitchen and dining room table is cleared of dishes and wiped down
  • If the centerpiece has been removed from the table, put it back so that table looks attractive
  • Close all cabinets and drawers so the kitchen has a neat profile
  • Take out trash
  • If you need to defrost something for dinner, leave it in the refrigerator if you can

BATHROOMS

  • Make sure wet bath towels have been placed in the dryer with a dryer sheet.  This has three benefits, your towels will not get mildew, the house smells nice from the dryer sheet, and buyers will not be uncomfortable being in a private space
  • Put out fresh towels
  • Wipe down the bathroom sink toilet and tub/shower (disposable cloths make short work of this)
  • Make sure all personal items are put away. This includes toothbrushes, toothpaste, hairbrushes, antiperspirants, makeup, creams and lotions.  You want the bathroom to look like a bathroom in a hotel.
  • Empty trash can

FOYER

  • Clear out all accumulated clutter such as yesterday’s mail, the morning newspaper, miscellaneous keys, cell phone chargers, etc
  • All shoes, boots, skates, slippers etc should be put away
  • Door locks set properly to allow access by real estate professionals and their clients

GENERAL

  • Open all blinds and curtains to let in as much natural light as possible
  • Spray a little air freshener if needed.  Don’t go overboard and choose a non-floral sent like spring rain, or use an unscented air freshener.
  • Make sure the property is left at a comfortable temperature
  • Leave on a radio with soft music playing.  A classic rock station is usually a good bet
  • Vacuum or sweep floors as necessary
  • Pick up toys, books, games, paperwork that accumulated from the previous day

PETS

  • Make sure pets are secured
  • Put away all unneeded pet bowls and toys
  • Make sure litter box has been cleaned and is as out of the way as possible

OTHER

Add items here that are specific to your home that you will need to remember to do to keep your property ready for a showing at a moments notice.

  •  __________________________
  •  __________________________

 

Prepared By Christi Bond, The Home Staging Coaches

www.homestagingcoaches.com

Homestaging: A Wise Investment for FSBO Listings

Homestaging: A Wise Investment for FSBO Listings

In today’s Staging a Home lesson we will turn our attention to the special needs of sellers pursuing a For Sale by Owner sales strategy.

If you will be selling your property yourself you will need to fill in some of the gaps that a real estate professional generally provides. Things you will need to purchase ala carte might include:

  • Legal assistance to understand local listing requirements and help you review purchase agreements when the time comes,
  • Advertising/Marketing
  • Advice about getting your property ready for sale

I can’t provide legal assistance or be much help with advertising or marketing but I would like to share a few ideas about getting the property ready for the market.

4 Good Reasons FSBO’s Need Professional Homestaging

In order for your property to appeal to buyers both on-line and in person you may need to make a few changes.  Deciding which changes are necessary can be a little tricky for a For Sale By Owner seller for the following reasons:

  1.  As a For Sale by Owner listing you will not be getting honest feedback from a real estate agent about the condition of your home.
  2. It is very difficult for sellers to critically evaluate their own homes.  I think it is a defense mechanism that we are born with.  We learn to not see every little flaw in our home while we are living there.  Maybe it’s Mother Nature’s way of ensuring that we can find a little peace and comfort in our homes.
  3. When you list with a real estate professional they often hold a Realtor Open House right before the property goes on the MLS.  The listing agent uses the realtor open house to collect feedback from his/her peers  on the condition of the property or the appropriateness of the asking price.  If real estate agents do come to your first open house, you can assume they are there to solicit your business. Telling you the nitty-gritty truth about the condition of your home or the appropriateness of your asking price is not likely to be forthcoming until you have a formal arrangement with them.
  4.  Relying on your friends and families to give you an honest assessment is risky too.  It is difficult for your friends and family to tell you that there is an off odor in your home, or that all your prized hunting trophies need to be removed and stored offsite.

Staging A Home is one of the best investments of time and money you can make when preparing your home for market. A small investment in professional home staging can make an amazing difference in the amount of traffic you get through your home.

Staging is also very affordable and can save you so much time.  How does it save you time? Your stager will help you zero in on the changes or fixes that will have the most impact on the sales process.  Sometimes people get bogged down doing things that really have little or no payback. A prioritized list will be a  huge time saver for you.

If you live in the Minneapolis St. Paul metro area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project. You can reach me at 651.587.5887 or contact me by email.

 

 

2011 Home Staging Statistics

2011 Home Staging Statistics

What do you think?  Is Home Staging an expense or an investment?

I think most home owners initially think of home staging as an expense.  I see staging as an investment,

I am a professional home stager in the Twin Cities so my viewpoint on the subject may be a bit slanted. But stay with me for a second and see if I can help you see that making a small investment in home staging can reap financial returns for you.

A respected organization recently surveyed 600 real estate agents to understand what types of things they recommend sellers  do to get their property ready for sale.

 The goal of the survey was to see:

  • The 10 actions Real Estate Agents suggested most often to their clients,
  • To figure out what the average cost of implementing the suggestion was,
  • To calculate what the expected Return on Investment for implementing the suggestion would be

Not surprisingly giving the home a deep and through cleaning came in as the number one thing Real Estate Agents recommended to their sellers.  The investment cost is very low and the return on the effort is very high.

home staging statisticsHome Staging was ranked as Number 3 on the list of 10.  With an average investment of $550 the realized gain was $2,194.   That means for every dollar invested in staging the property, the seller realized $3 in return.

Keep in mind that many people are able to stage their properties for well under the average of $550. In the Twin Cities a staging consultation will run you anywhere from $150 to $225.

Let’s say that during the staging consultation ($150) I  suggest that you replace a dated light fixture  ($65), swap out the vase of silk plants with a candle arrangement for ($30), give you specific suggestions on how to declutter and brighten the space ($0), and provide a game plan for rearranging your furniture and accessories to showcase the best feature in the room ($0).  Your investment is only $245.

If an investment of $245 would help you:

  1. Develop a hit list so you knew what to focus your energy on
  2. Made the house more appealing to buyers
  3. Encouraged more buyers to make an appointment to tour the property after looking at the MLS pictures, and
  4. Resulted in a property that sold faster than it would have if you had not invested the time and money into staging

I bet you would agree with me. Staging is a good investment!

If you live in the Minneapolis or St Paul metro area and would like the help of a professional home stager, contact me.  I’d be happy to help you with your project.  I’ll give you excellent service and work hard to make your investment in staging just that, An Investment!

Twin Cities Home Stager Has a Question For You

Twin Cities Home Stager Has a Question For You

Hi, I am Christi Bond and I have been providing Real Estate/Home Staging services and advice to homeowners in the Twin Cities, MN metro area for nearly seven years.  My home staging business is called The Home Staging Coaches.  I chose the name because I coach home sellers about the things they can do to  ensure that their property sells fast and  at the best possible price.

The terms property staging, real estate staging, and home staging all refer to the same thing. If you are not familiar with the term here is the definition:

Home Staging definition: (verb) The act of preparing a property to look visually appealing to the maximum number of buyers before placing it for sale.  The goal of home staging is to sell the property fast for the highest possible price.

One of the services that I offer is called a staging consultation.  During a home staging consultation I walk through your property with you and we talk about quick and budget friendly changes that you can do to make the property show well and appeal to the broadest spectrum of buyers possible.

Of course we start out the conversation with some small talk to get comfortable with one another.  One of the questions I will always ask is:

WHY ARE YOU MOVING?

Why are you moving? Now I could be asking this question just to make small talk, or because I am curious, but that isn’t my motivation.  I ask this question to see if it provides any insights that could be of interest as we tour the home.

Here is what I mean.  I ask the question; why are you moving?

You respond;

  • We have outgrown this house, or
  • We are moving to a newly constructed house that doesn’t require as much upkeep, or
  • We are downsizing and moving to a condo where we won’t have to worry about exterior maintenance, or
  • We don’t like the noise of being so close to the high school, or
  • We are being relocated by my employer, or
  • This house was built 13 years ago and it is starting to need a lot of updates.

Do you see how your response to the question provides me with some clues as to what we need to pay particular attention to as we tour the property?

For example, if you tell me that you have outgrown the property we will pay special attention to all storage areas.  It will be very important that the message “this house is too small” is not broadcast to prospective buyers.  Your goal as a seller will be to make it look like you have lived in the home for years and still haven’t been able to fill it up.

If you tell me you don’t like living so close to the high school we will want to make sure that the home appeals to families with children who would see the proximity to the high school as a plus not a minus.

The only response that doesn’t give me clues for things to look for during the home staging consultation is “we are being relocated”.  But I won’t stop there, I’ll ask the followup question. Do you wish you could take this property with you when you move?…and I’ll be listening closely to your response.

As you begin to develop a staging plan or checklist ask yourself, Why Are We Moving?  You may find it enlightening.

If you live in the Twin Cities, MN metro area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your
project. Please call me at 651.587.5887  or you may contact me by email.

Staging Your Laundry Room – Stand Out from the Competition

Staging Your Laundry Room – Stand Out from the Competition

How To Sell A House; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Stager (vol.3)

Today’s Topic:  Staging Your Laundry Room

In today’s How To Sell A House lesson we will turn our attention to staging the laundry room.

I bet you thought I made a mistake when I typed the title to this post. How can staging your laundry room help you stand out from the competition?  Stay with me.

I live in a neighborhood that went up in a hurry in the late 1950s to accommodate all the families that were quickly producing the baby boom generation.  Block… after block…after block…of the same home went up.  Well, I might be exaggerating a little.  They did put four different colors of siding on the properties! I am the third blue house on the right.

Ideas about organizing your laundry room from Woman's Day

Laundry Room Tips from Woman’s Day

When I moved into my home I had an itch to make a beautiful laundry room.  I envisioned a place where I would enjoy being while I washed, and folded and ironed my families mountains of dirty clothes; A place where I could catch a little of my favorite show on a small portable TV; a fabulous location for wrapping gifts.  All of this in eight by six foot room!

I worked hard on the space.  I added a table for wrapping gifts, hung wrapping paper and ribbons from dowels above the table.  I could find stain remover and wrapping tape with out a moment’s hesitation. My TV was mounted on the wall; a folding ironing board was installed. It was grand!

Shortly after finishing my laundry room project I had the neighbors over for a holiday open house. Without a doubt, the most talked about topic that night was the laundry room.  Why? Think about it. All my neighbors have the exact same house as I have…I stood out from the “competition” because I had the most amazing laundry room in a three block radius!  They all wanted my laundry lady lifestyle.

I wish I could show you a picture of it…but that was eight years ago and it isn’t so grand anymore.  BUT…if I was selling my house I would spend two hours and bring her back to her glory days.  Remember, how you live and how you present your property to sell are two different stories.

Think about how you can stage your property to stand out from the competition and you will sell your property fast and for the best possible price.

If you live in the St. Paul area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project.   If you have questions relating to this post, please drop me a comment and I will do my best to respond quickly. You may contact me by email or call me at 651.587.5887.

 

Home Staging and the story of Goldilocks and The 3 Bears

Home Staging and the story of Goldilocks and The 3 Bears

Do You Remember the Story of Goldilocks and The Three Bears?

  • Sometimes the porridge is too hot,
  • sometimes the porridge is too cold,
  • and sometimes the porridge is just right

The same is true with home staging. I have been staging vacant and owner occupied properties in the St. Paul, MN areas for many years and I see staging results that are:

  • too hot …busy and distracting
  • too cold…uninspired and leave you flat, and
  • just right…that’s where I like my projects to be!

busy decor in staged vacant property

TOO HOT!

Here is an example of the staging being too hot!

A buyer viewing this property on the MLS or in person would likely miss the great features the space has to offer because his or her eye is drawn to

  • the large green plant looming in the foreground,
  • the enormous vase of flowers on the sideboard and
  • even more flowers on the window treatment and the table.

Home staging is all about making the property appeal to the maximum number of buyers. A skilled stager will stage the property to appeal to the lifestyle and taste of the target buyer.

This property is in Highland Park, MN, a neighborhood in St. Paul, MN.  Highland Park appeals to young professional families. Most 30 somethings would not relate to this decorating style, it might even remind them of their grannies house. I bet that most would not make a listing appointment after viewing this on-line.

Home buyers in St Paul, Minnesota are discriminating and sophisticated.  This staged vacant home would not be on the top of their must see list.

I wonder if a buyer would even notice that updated light fixture, the beautiful hard wood floor and the generous size window that lets in lots of natural light?

stripped staged vacant

 TOO COLD

Then there is the other extreme.  A property that is stripped of all accessories and only has a piece of furniture placed under a light fixture to keep buyers from bumping their heads is also not going to capture positive attention either.

In this picture a buyer would be struck by how crowded the room is with the sideboard and the table completing for the space. The room is cold because there are no accessories on the table, or art work to soften the wall, or rug to anchor the table in the space.

I think most buyers would pass up this listing on line because their first impression would be that the dining room is too small to be really useful.

perfectly staged vacant dining room

JUST RIGHT

And now we have a room that is simple but lovely.  The sideboard has been moved out, accessories have been added to the table, art has been added to the walls, a small natural element has been placed in the corner to soften the angles in the room, and an area rug has been placed under the table.  Oh…and let’s not forget about the floral
from the window.  Too taste specific, it had to be removed.

Staging a vacant home in this crowded St. Paul, MN real estate market is critical.  But just as important is hiring the stager that will get it JUST RIGHT.  You can count on me to do just that!

Make It A Great One!

 

Home Staging with Fall Colors Transforms This Vacant St Paul, MN Home

Home Staging with Fall Colors Transforms This Vacant St Paul, MN Home

Do you like to change out your home decor with the seasons?  As a home stager specializing in vacant home staging in the St Paul Metro area I like to change out my staging accessories and props to fit the changing seasons too. Take a look at this investment property that was completely transformed into a warm and cozy get away.  Now the inside of the house matches the beautiful fall colors outside the house.  An Amazing Transformation!

Before this vacant home was staged by the Home Staging Coaches in Minneapolis.

Before  the vacant St Paul property was staged the walls are freshly painted, the carpets replaced, new counter tops and stainless steel appliances have been added….but somethings still missing.

Vacant home staged by the home staging coaches.

Look at the transformation that home staging caused for this investment property.  Staging is not just for McMansions any more. This is a tiny home…but staging helped to demonstrate that it had all the amenities a first time buyer could desire.  Even more important, staging helped to show a first time home buyer that they could realize the lifestyle they desire in this home.

 

 

Staging…It’s A Balancing Act

Staging…It’s A Balancing Act

There are two common mistake that I see frequently when I do home staging consultations in the St Paul and Minneapolis area .

The first is too much furniture and stuff…it needs to be pulled out because it is distracting to prospective buyers. Remember, many buyers are moving because they have run out of space. A cluttered property just reminds them that they will run into the same problem in this house. So what do they do? They keep looking until they find the home that appears to take care of itself!  (Hint..that would be the perfectly staged home!)

The second is the opposite extreme, everything has been packed away and the property comes off as cold and uninviting.

nicely edited living room

Take a look at the picture above. Here is why it works:
• the sofa complements the shape of the window and draws attention to it (the window is the best feature in the room)
• the lamps add softness to the seating area and offset the chilly feeling you can sometimes have in a room with very high ceilings
• the pillows and throws make the space cozy
• This is an open concept floor plan, The area rug helps to define a seating zone within a much larger space
• plants, photos, books, candles all add warmth without adding too much personality
The goal of home staging is to pull the clutter out of a property while keeping it warm and welcoming. It can be challenging to get just the right mix. Hiring a professional home stager is the best way to make sure that the perfect balance is achieved.
My staging consultation fee is only $150. “Well worth it,” is a comment I frequently hear from satisfied sellers.