Staging a Home; Let’s Talk Curb Appeal

Staging a Home; Let’s Talk Curb Appeal

Twin Cities Staging Professional Christi Bond answers seller’s question “What Is Homestaging?” with real life examples, tips, suggestions, and warnings…and she does it one room at a time.

In today’s House Staging lesson we will turn our attention to the importance of maximizing your properties curb appeal.

Curb appeal may seem like a funny topic for a St Paul, Minnesota house staging professional to write about at the beginning of February when we are blanketed in snow and whatever is in the yard is frozen in place.  Here’s the thing.  February is to the seasonal calendar as Wednesday is to the workweek.  On February 1st Minnesotans celebrate the survival of the first part of the torment (December and January), and get ready to welcome spring in just a few short months. February 1st is our hump day, the top of the bell curve, the promise of spring.  For those of us in the real estate field February is also the perfect time to start preparing for a vigorous spring market.

 “Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline” 

I think everyone understands that curb appeal is an important component in attracting buyers.  But I don’t think everyone understands that it is not something that you either have or don’t have.  Like the Maybelline slogan suggests, a little touch here, a little touch there, and you can have a different look all together.

A little paint and clean-up can make a big difference in curb appeal.

This is an excellent illustration of how a few simple changes can make an incredible impact on how the property looks.

 Ten Affordable Home Staging Tips for Creating Great Curb Appeal

  1. Update the light fixtures on the front of the house if they are worn or dated.  Sometimes all you need to do is take them down and give them a fresh coat of spray paint
  2. The front door is very important since buyers will be standing there waiting for the property to be opened.  Make sure the paint color is appropriate and in good condition.  How does the hardware look?  I have seen doors painted in Viking Purple and Gold…had to go, and I have seen doors completely transformed by adding a brass kick plate, fabulous!
  3. Add a planter of fresh flowers or evergreens/pinecones to the entry. Try to pick up the color of the front door or the color of the house in your arrangement
  4. Move the garbage bin and recycling bins inside the garage and keep the garage door down at all times.  Lots of buyers cruise neighborhoods looking for available properties. 
  5. Check for wear and tear.  Look at the paint on the window trim, the condition of the mail box, check the condition of the fence. 
  6. If your driveway is asphalt consider applying a sealant if the surface is faded
  7. Powerwash the property if it is dusty or grimy or the sidewalk or driveway is soiled.  Store trailers, RV’s, boats, motorcycles etc off-site.
  8. Pay special attention to the front stoop. Look up for cobwebs, add a fresh door mat, make sure everything you see says “this house has been well maintained.”  Don’t forget to check to make sure the doorbell works
  9. Make sure your house numbers are visible from the street
  10. Make sure your lawn and bedding areas are in great shape 

Home staging is one of the best investments of time and money you can make when preparing your home for market.

If you live in Minnesota’s Twin Cities 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, or about how to stage your home 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.

There are more articles about How to Sell a Vacant Home through Staging on Christi’s blog. You can also download my free eBook: “Lighting the Way to a Fast and Profitable Sale: Tips and Advice from a Professional Home Stager“.

 

 

Home Staging Tips for Your Master Bedroom

Home Staging Tips for Your Master Bedroom

Depersonalizing the Master Bedroom is Key When You are Trying to Sell A House

How To Sell A House … Fast; Musings from A Twin Cities, MN Professional Home Stager (vol.8)

Today’s Topic:  Home Staging Tips for Preparing Your Master Bedroom For Visitors

In today’s How to Sell a House … Fast lesson we will turn our attention to staging the Master Bedroom. 

One of the key goals of home staging is creating a property that buyers feel comfortable in.

Think about this.  When was the last time you invited your guests into your master bedroom?   I bet it was when you last redecorated and couldn’t wait to show your BFF or your Mom your new paint color and comforter.

The point is, Master Bedrooms are private.  And Master Bathrooms…well we will talk about that at another time.

What can you do to make buyers feel more comfortable in your Master Bedroom?  I have a few ideas.

Seven Tips for Staging your  Bedroom to Make Buyers Comfortable

  1. Pack away all the wedding photos.  If you have lots of photos of your kids in your room you should pack up most of them too
  2. Remove or downplay religious items
  3. Never leave makeup, clothing, or jams and jellies (as Candace Olson my favorite HGTV designer calls lotions and wrinkle creams!) out in public view.  Having items like this on display is a huge reminder to a buyer that they are in your private space.
  4. Edit the nightstands.  They don’t need to see the contraption you breathe into at night, or your pills for insomnia.  A lamp, a non controversial topic book, and an alarm clock should do it.
  5. Make sure your master closet appears spacious and big enough to hold two peoples clothing. I can’t even count the number of times I have seen HIS clothes in the guest closet because HER things take up the whole closet.
  6. Make sure that a buyer doesn’t have to come across lingerie, nighties, or bathrooms to gain access to the closet.
  7. If your comforter is dated or worn, get a new one.  It is a small investment with huge impact.  After all the bed often takes up 1/3rd of the floorspace, sometimes more.

So now you know how to sell a house… FAST…You Stage it to make people feel comfortable so they will linger longer!

Real estate staging is all about teaching you how to sell a house in the shortest amount of time, and at the most attractive price.

If you live in the Twin Cities metro 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.

There are more articles about How to Sell a Vacant Home through Staging on Christi’s blog.

 

 

 

 

To Sell Your Home Fast, Do This!

To Sell Your Home Fast, Do This!

Today’s Topic:  Home staging works best when the property is priced right and marketed by a professional.

When you saw the headline To Sell Your Home Fast, Do This!, I bet you thought I was going to say the most important thing you can do to sell your property fast  is STAGE IT!  Well, I am full of surprises.

Stage your home after doing these three important thingsReal estate staging is all about teaching you how to sell a house in the shortest amount of time, and at the most attractive price.  I do believe that staging  is critical, but it will be meaningless unless you do a couple other things first.

In today’s How To Sell A House Fast lesson we will turn our attention to the 3 most important things that you need to do before you call in the home stager.

  3 Things to do before you call in a professional Real Estate Stager

  1. Clean the whole house, and repair anything that is broken, missing, or in bad shape
  2. Hire a real estate professional that is an expert in your area and that can tell you with absolute assurance that he or she has a plan for marketing your property.  There are many great on-line resources available to educate you about how to select the real estate professional.
  3. Price the property right.  Listen to your real estate professional. The right price isn’t the price you WANT to get….it is the price that buyers are willing to spend for a property that is comparable to yours

So now you know how to sell your home FAST… You clean and repair it, you hire a professional to market it, you price it to reflect what a buyer will pay, and then You Stage it!

If you live in the St. Paul/Minneapolis (twin cities) 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.

There are more articles about How to Sell a Vacant Home through Staging on Christi’s blog.

Is my Twin Cities, MN property too small to stage?

Is my Twin Cities, MN property too small to stage?

How To Sell A House Fast; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Home Stager (vol.6)

Today’s Topic:  Is Staging Just for McMansions?

In today’s How–To-Sell-A-House Fast lesson we will talk about which properties will benefit from a small investment in Home Staging.  In my opinion whether a house is listed for $98,000 or $598,000 doesn’t matter.  It will benefit from staging.

I am biased. I admit it. As a professional home stager working in the Minnesota Twin Cities metro area I would love to see each and every home that hits the market get staged to sell.

Of course some of that is self interest.  I am a business woman, I sell staging services and my bottom line would greatly benefit from home staging becoming a norm and an expectation in the Twin Cities community.

But, it is also my deep felt belief that home buyers are customers, and they expect and deserve to be treated with high regard and respect.  As customers we are use to having things presented to us in the most satisfying way possible.   We are accustomed to being marketed to and we have come to expect it.

As you prepare your property for the market place keep in mind that you are out to attract customers. Then think about what your customer wants and needs.

3 Things Customers Want and Need

  1. To be drawn in.  Most buyers select the properties they want to tour from on-line listings.  Vacant rooms or messy/cluttered rooms don’t appeal. No problem, a click of the mouse will move the buyer on to the next property.  Tiny vacant homes are at an even greater disadvantage.
  2. Assurance. Buying a home is a huge commitment.  No one wants to end up with a lemon and a nicely maintained and thoughtfully presented home looks like a safer bet.
  3. Pizzazz. A home that reflects us and the lifestyle we aspire to.

Stage your home for your customers.Think about this for a second.  If you were selling your 8 year old Toyota would you spend a little time and a little money getting it cleaned up and polished before presenting it to prospective buyers.  I would.  If a cleaned up Toyota could net me a quick sale and a more attractive price than a similar Toyota that had fast food wrappers lining the floor of the back seat I’d invest a little time and effort into its presentation.  The point is, the asset doesn’t have to be the most expensive option in the marketplace to deserve a little TLC.

Another benefit of me investing a little time and money is that I know that buyers will automatically assume that my cleaned up Toyota was given better care over the course of its life than the messy Toyota my competitor is selling. Because it looks nice, buyers will assume that I had the oil changed regularly, that I invested time and money in its maintenance. People that come to see my car will feel much more confident making me an offer.

Some years ago it was assumed that only million dollar properties needed to be staged.  But times have changed.  Younger buyers are entering the market in droves right now to pick up value priced starter homes.  This generation has been exposed to slick marketing techniques since birth and put high value on first impression and how something reflects their desired lifestyle.  A vacant home will not talk to this audience.

Sometimes a really small homes
needs staging more than the McMansion does.
Without props a very small bedroom can be impossible for some buyers to visualize as large enough for their bed.

Consider staging it to meet your customer’s expectations and you will find that your property will sell fast and at the best possible price.

So now you know how to sell your small home FAST…You Stage it!

If you live in the Twin Cities metro 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.

There are more articles about How to Sell a Vacant Home through Staging on Christi’s blog.

Staging Your Vacant Property – Furniture Solutions

Staging Your Vacant Property – Furniture Solutions

How To Sell A House Fast; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Home Stager (vol.5)

Today’s Topic:  Staging Your Vacant Property

In today’s How To Sell A House Fast lesson we will turn our attention to staging your vacant property.

Sometimes selling and buying homes is as complicated as learning the tango.  Maybe you found your dream home and your sellers would not even consider allowing for a contingent on sale clause.  Or maybe you were relocated, or redeployed, and an address change was part of the package.

No matter how it happened you now have two homes and only enough furniture to completely furnish one property.  That makes staging your vacant home more of a challenge.

Furniture solutions for vacant home staging in St. Paul, MN

Here Are 5 Potential Solutions for Furnishing Your Vacant Property

You could move and take all your furniture and accessories to your new home. The issue is that vacant homes do not show well and can linger a long time on the market.  There is nothing to engage buyers and every single flaw seems to have a spotlight shining on it.

You could leave the furniture in your old place for staging and get by with just a couple things in your new home.  This could be an expensive option if you are moving out of the area, but possible if you are moving only a short distance away.  The issue of course is that you will sacrifice a lot of comfort while you wait for your old property to secure an offer.

Vacant Home Staging Furniture SolutionsYou could try moving part of your furniture to your new home and leave some behind.  If you have good space planning and design sense you can make this work. Truthfully, I have rarely seen this done well without the help of a professional home stager.  I ran across an article the other day about using outdoor furniture inside.  An interesting idea, but I am not sure most people could pull it off. 

You can rent furniture to stage your old home and go ahead and get yourself settled in your new place. You would still need to purchase art, rugs, and accessories to make the home feel inviting, so this could turn out to be an expensive option for you.

You could hire a professional home stager. Some professional Home Stagers will rent furniture for your home; others have a full inventory of furniture, accessories, art, lighting and everything else that is needed to stage a vacant property. I bet you think this is the most expensive option, but it is not. When you factor in the savings from not having to make multiple mortgage payments, and/or steeply reducing the selling price of the home because you left it vacant or badly decorated, the decision to hire a stager becomes pretty obvious.

So now you know how to sell your house FAST…You Stage it!

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.  I have a full line of furniture, art, accessories to perfectly stage your property. 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.

There are more articles about How to Sell a Vacant Home through Staging on Christi’s blog.

Kitchens Sell Homes…Or Not

Kitchens Sell Homes…Or Not

How To Sell A House Fast; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Stager (vol. 4)

Today’s Topic:  7 Tips for Staging Your Kitchen

In today’s How To Sell A House Fast lesson we will turn our attention to staging the heart of the home, the hub of the home, the most expensive room in your house for a buyer to renovate…the kitchen. 

how to sell your house fast by staging the kitchenKitchens are super important and weigh heavily on a prospective buyers decision to put in an offer on a piece of real estate or to pass it up.  It is a room that is used constantly and home owners also know that a renovation can be very expensive.

Even if your kitchen isn’t ever going to make the cover of House Beautiful you need to spend time getting it in the very best shape that you can. You may be asking; why should I bother staging this old kitchen? Sometimes the goal of staging is to show prospective buyers that they can live with the kitchen for a couple years while they get themselves finally settled into their new home.

Follow These 7 Tips To Get Your Kitchen Ready To Sell    

  1. Clean it top to bottom. Clean everything, the light fixtures, the inside of the oven, the refrigerator inside and out.  This step is super affordable and non-negotiable. If your home will be vacant while it is on the market this step becomes even more important.
  2. If your cabinets are in good shape, but the hardware is dated, change out the knobs to get a fresh new look.
  3. Clear the counters of almost everything.  You can leave a few things out such as a set of knives, a coffee maker, or a beautiful cookbook, but mostly you want counter tops cleared off.  Buyers want to see lots of prep space and desire very organized kitchens.
  4. Purge the cabinets and pantry of out of date food that you will not use and you will not move.
  5. Critically evaluate the number of pots and pans you really need on hand.  If your cabinets are crowded, weeding out the extras in this category is always a good place to begin.
  6. Check for unpleasant odors.  One of the biggest offenders is the cabinet where the giant bag of dog food is stored. You might want to move Fido’s food to a sealed container in the garage while your property is on the market.
  7. Check on the adequacy of lighting.  Buyers want bright light in the kitchen

So now you know how to sell your home FAST…You Stage it!

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.

Staging Closets and Cabinets – Stage to Impress

Staging Closets and Cabinets – Stage to Impress

How To Sell A House; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Stager (vol. 2)

Today’s Topic:  Staging Your Closets and Cabinets to Wow Buyers

In today’s How To Sell A House lesson we will turn our attention to staging the storage areas in your property.

Stage your closets and cabinetsOne of the secrets to successfully staging your property for sale is getting into the mind of your buyer.  It will be helpful for you to keep in mind that many people are looking for a new property because they have outgrown their current home.  You want to do everything in your power to show off every storage area in your property to its maximum potential.

If you want to master the art of real estate staging start with your closets and cabinets. Here is your goal.  Make it look like your family has lived in the property for many years and you still haven’t been able to fill it up! Buyers love model homes and touring staged vacant homes because they see vast open storage areas and it makes them feel peaceful and happy.  If you must live in your home during the time it is on the market you won’t be able to have empty closets…but you can have organized closets and that is the next best thing.

Organizing closets is the second most affordable, high impact, home staging technique that you can implement…I’ll teach you the absolute highest impact, lowest cost strategy in a later post.

Here is the thing.  In St Paul, Minnesota we all have at least 4 coats.  If you are a family of 5, that is 20 coats! I didn’t say this would be easy…I just said that it is critical!

5 Tips for Organizing Closets and Cabinets

Here are five easy tips and tricks to make clearing out and organizing closets and cabinets a cinch.  I teach my Home Staging clients in St Paul and surrounding areas these tricks all the time and always get feedback on how fast and easy the job became.

  1. Set a timer.  It is easy to get bogged down in all the stuff.  If you set a timer and only give yourself say 45 minutes to tackle the job you will make quick decisions and you will work hard to exceed your own expectations and get the job done
  2. Start with the most important closets and cabinets and work your way down the list.  For example, a master closet would get higher priority than an office closet.
  3. Pack away anything that you won’t need while your property is on the market.  If you are selling in the spring you might be able to send 15 of the 20 coats and all the winter boots over to grandma’s house for awhile
  4. Get a storage locker if you can’t bear to part permanently with the excess
  5. If your home is short on storage…add some. This inexpensive storage unit is made from low cost IKEA staples and has incredible function and style.

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.

There are more articles about How to Sell a Vacant Home through Staging on Christi’s blog.

Staging Your Bathroom on a Budget

Staging Your Bathroom on a Budget

How To Sell A House; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Stager (vol.1)

Today’s Topic:  Staging Your Bathroom

Wondering how to sell your home quickly and for top dollar?  STAGE IT!  Real estate staging is all about teaching you how to sell a house in the shortest amount of time, and at the most attractive price.

Home Staging definition: (verb) The act of making a home look visually appealing to buyers. 

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

Since buyers know that a bathroom remodel is both expensive and inconvenient, it is in your best interest to do everything you can, within your budget and time constraints, to stage your bath to appeal to the maximum number of buyers.

Bathrooms are very important to buyers.  At this stage of the game you probably can’t do anything about the number of bathrooms in your home, but the condition of the bathrooms you do have can be greatly improved with property staging.

Remodeling your bathroom for under $199.00If you need inspiration, or proof that a small investment of time and money can deliver amazing results you should check out Cathy’s  project where she details step-by-step how she completed a bathroom facelift in one weekend for under $199.  Fabulous!

Six Bathroom Staging Tips

I’m going to teach you how to sell a house one room at a time…today’s lesson is staging the bathroom

  1. Make sure that all the finishes in the bathroom match. If they don’t match you will want to replace the mismatched items.
  2. Put away personal items such as toothbrushes, brushes, makeup, razors.  Buyers don’t like to think about someone else using the bathroom.  You want them to be imaging themselves in the space, not you.
  3. Fresh towels and lots of them are always appealing.  If your shower curtain and rugs have seen better days replace them too.
  4. If your vanity is dated, or water has damaged the finish consider painting it.  A coat of paint and new knobs can completely transform the look of the room.
  5. Clean the bath until it sparkles.  I think Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are incredible.
  6. If the paint color is bold, dated or in bad condition take care of it.  The new neutrals aren’t cream and white.  You don’t have to go boring to go neutral.

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.