Home Staging: Did Your  Realtor Bring Up The Topic?

Home Staging: Did Your Realtor Bring Up The Topic?

Selecting the Right Real Estate Professional

The decision you make about who will help you to market your property is a critical one.   You need to know that you can trust the professional that is handling this important emotional, financial and legal transaction for you. You are looking for a professional that:

  • Presents you with a comprehensive marketing plan
  • Understands your neighborhood/market area
  • Responds to your inquiries quickly and completely
  • Tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear
  • Stays current and understands emerging trends such as the importance of staging your property for sale.

If your real estate professional has talked to you about the importance of  preparing your property for the market, that is a clear sign that he or she is in touch with a major trendthe importance of staging your property for the marketplace.

Setting the Right Price

From conversations I have had with many real estate professionals over the years I have learned that pricing the property correctly is the number one factor in getting a property sold quickly. You can stage a property to perfection…but if it isn’t priced correctly it will not sell. It is absolutely critical that you price the house appropriately for the market right from the start.  Why?  There are a couple reasons:

  1. Your property will draw the most attention in the first weeks of listing. If the property is priced too high you will not get as many requests for showings as you would have received if the property was priced correctly.
  2. Once a property is on the market for awhile, buyers will think you are anxious to sell, and their offer price will reflect that.

It is important that you select a real estate professional that you have trust in, and that you trust his or her recommendation for selling price.  Even if your home is staged perfectly and in excellent repair if you go in with a price higher than the market will support, you are likely to have your property linger for a long time.

I work with many excellent Real Estate Professionals that are very aware of the importance of staging a property to sell.  If you need a referral I am happy to help.

Christi Bond
Professional Home Staging and Redesign Services
The Home Staging Coaches
651.587.5887
Contact Me by Email

Lighting Your Way to a Quick Sale

Lighting Your Way to a Quick Sale

After nearly seven years as a professional home stager in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul, I have seen more than my share of out-of-date lighting fixtures.   I am no spring chicken either…so I likely grew up in homes that had some of the fixtures that I now see in clients homes. I am grateful that I have blocked out those memories.  No use taking up valuable real estate in my brain with visions like that!

The double swag light fixture is my least favorite of all of the styles that came in to vogue between 1960 – 2000.  It is so distracting to potential buyers that I beg my staging clients to remove it. (By the way, I found this one on ebay and  the bidding price  is currently at $99. Bonus,  you can pull it down, replace it with something that most  buyers will like and maybe even come out ahead!)

Here is what I have learned..  My staging clients don’t like the swag fixture either.  So why haven’t they changed it before now? They don’t know what to replace it with. This is where investing in the services of a professional home stager pays off.  It is easy to tell people to get rid of something… it takes a bit more expertise to be able to tell them what to replace it with.

I am a big believer in the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.  Often after I leave a staging consultation I sit down at my computer the minute I get home, open up a link to one of the big box stores, copy a picture of a light fixture that will appeal to buyers, and email it to my clients.

I find that clients are very happy to do the work and spend the money if I can get them on the right track.  Here is what I would recommend as a replacement for the swag fixture. 

In this case, we can see from the picture above that the walls have been painted a nice neutral sage green.  I am not able to see what the finish of the other fixtures in the room are, so I am going to make the assumption that they are chrome.  I also see that the energy source is on the wall (some are on the ceiling and that makes a big difference).

This light fixture  would be perfect.  It is affordable ($110 at Lowe’s), it matches the other hardware in the bathroom (chrome), it will give off great light (home buyers love bright spaces), and it is nondescript enough that it will appeal to almost everyone.

If I were asked to provide a list of what a home seller with a tight budget should invest their money in I would list the following:

  • Hire a professional house stager.  He or she will help you make the most of what is already available at the property and to help you most effectively spend your limited budget  on things that will bring the biggest payback.  A home staging consultation is very affordable.  I charge my twin cities clients $150 for the consultation
  • Replace dated light fixtures, paying special attention to the fixture on the porch, the foyer, the dining room and the bathrooms.  If you shop the big box stores and pay attention to sales you can get a lot of light fixtures for just a couple hundred dollars.
  • Clean and de-clutter the rooms of the house and wash the windows.
  • Paint any room that is either to0 taste specific or too banged up for a prospective buyer to get past.  If you are able to do the painting yourself the investment is really pretty small, and the payback can be pretty big.

If you would like more information about getting your property ready to sell you can download my free home staging e-book.  It is filled with good information about selecting the right real estate agent, high impact/low cost updates for your home, and guidance on pricing the property correctly from the get-go.

If you live in the Twin Cities and would like help with your property you can call me at 651.587.5887.

St Paul MN Property Goes From Staged To CLOSED in less than 5 weeks!

St Paul MN Property Goes From Staged To CLOSED in less than 5 weeks!

The real estate market in the St Paul/Minneapolis metroarea is heating up and this staged home took advantage of that uptick in buyer activity.  This house  sold just days after I staged it and it is going to CLOSE tomorrow.  From staged to closed in under 5 weeks!

Imagine…no more mortgage payment, no more utilities to pay, no more property tax, no more costly vacant property insurance.  The very reasonable staging cost was more than made up with the quick close.

Homeowners sometimes forget to factor in the cost of doing nothing when they look at staging costs.  Staging this house  saved these homeowners thousands of dollars and gave priceless peace of mind.

Loft space after homestaging photo.

Oh, now I see how to use the space..Love it!

This property has some spaces that would be hard for buyers to visualize if left un-staged.  For example, the 2nd floor loft is very long, and has sloping ceilings.  It also has dormers and a staircase that breakup the floor plan. Left un-staged buyers would likely have figured it was too choppy to be very useful.

 

Stage Homed sold in less than five weeks

Awkward spaces benefit greatly from home staging.

Look what staging did for the space! Buyers can easily see how a queen size bed and two night tables fit easily under the low sloped ceiling. They can visualize a nice comfortable seating area at the end of the space, and the area that is separated from the rest of the room due to the staircase makes a nice office space.   It must have worked.  Selling properties in Minnesota in February is not the easiest thing to accomplish…but we did it!

If your property has rooms that might baffle a buyer, consider having it staged.  Staging is remarkably affordable, and can be done in a matter of days.  If you live in the Twin Cities metro area I encourage you to give me call at 651.587.5887 to discuss your project or contact me by email

Staging an Occupied Home – Before and After Photos

Staging an Occupied Home – Before and After Photos

Staging is not always starting with an empty room or a vacant house. When staging the home you are living in, managing clutter becomes a challenge. It is also important to be objective and try to see your home through the eyes of a perspective buyer. Clear clutter and arrange furniture for a positive first impression.

Home staging tips for an occupied home.

Home staging an occupied home can start with organizing the cupboards.

Home staging an occupied home.

 Choose what furniture and accessories you need to create a positive first impression.

Home staging tips for an occupied home.

Ready to show!

I Have A Real Estate Agent; Do I Still Need a Home Stager?

I Have A Real Estate Agent; Do I Still Need a Home Stager?

Let me just say upfront, home staging is not rocket science, but by the same token not everyone has the skill to do it well.  I’ve heard staging skeptics make remarks such as, “Hey, if you want to pay me $150 to come over and tell you to turn the lights on for showings I will be right over.”

I will admit that some staging advice would fall into the category of common sense.  For example, a professional home stager will probably remind you to:

  • Take out the trash everyday so odors don’t build up in the property
  • Open the drapes (or remove them if out of style) to let in the light
  • Don’t let horizontal surfaces fill up with clutter
  • Turn on lights for showings

On my website I have a complete checklist of common sense things that a seller should do each and everyday to enable them to say yes to a showing at a moments notice.  I know it may seem like common sense to make your bed before leaving the house, but a gentle reminder in the form of a checklist can help make those new habits stick.

But what a good professional home stager will also do is look at your space objectively. He or she will be able to quickly identify the best feature in the room and determine if it is the first thing that catches a buyer’s attention when they walk into the room.  If it isn’t she will know what to do to remedy the situation.

She will have the ability to read the room quickly.  If there is too much furniture in the room she can quickly identify the pieces that should stay and what needs to go into storage.

A good home stager also keeps alerts to trends and design innovations.  Sometimes when you have been in a home for awhile you become numb to the décor.  I follow the trends so I know what will appeal to today’s buyers and what will turn them off.

Some Real Estate Agents have a very good idea of what needs to be done to make a property appeal to buyers.  The problem is that they want to keep you happy and keep your listing.  They might make a couple of recommendations, but then they stop.  Why? Because, you prefer to hear about what they like about your property rather than what they don’t like.

The Real Estate Agent wants to be your friend, and show their appreciation for your business.  They want to play the good cop. They call me in to be the bad cop!

Home staging is also referred to as real estate staging and property staging, and house staging.  No matter what you call it, it is a very good investment for anyone preparing their home for the market and it is a win, win, win scenario.

  •  You win by managing your time well. If you invest in home staging you will get specific advice about what changes will have the most impact on the saleability of your property. This will enable you to focus your limited time on the right things.
  •  The real estate agent wins because he or she has a quality product to take to the market,
  •  I win because I make a living doing work that I am passionate about and excel at.

If you live in the Twin Cities metro area please give me a call at 651.587.5887 to schedule a staging consultation today. You can also reach me by email.

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“.

 

 

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.

Guest Bedroom Home Staging Before and After Photos

Guest Bedroom Home Staging Before and After Photos

>>>View Bathroom Photos

Home Staging in St. Paul Minneapolis MN

Vacant Guest Bedroom

Vacant home staging in St. Paul, MN

Guest Bedroom after staging by the Home Staging Coaches

Watch the video or see the Bathroom photos

Bathroom Staging Before and After Photo

Bathroom Staging Before and After Photo

>>>See the Living Room Photos

Vacant house staging by the Home Staging Coaches

Bath Before Staging

Vacant home staging photos by the Home Staging Coaches

Master Bath after Home Staging

See the Living Room photos or watch the video.

Vacant Home Staging Before and After Video

>>>See the Before and After Photos

Vacant Home Staging Before and After Video of St. Paul Home Staging