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“.

 

 

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

7 Simple Steps to an Organized Closet

7 Simple Steps to an Organized Closet

I have a closet organizing system that I share with my home staging and room makeover clients. If you are interested in creating an organized living space for your home you might want to give it a try.  It has worked for many of my home staging clients and it will work for you too.

As a professional homestager and room makeover expert working in the St. Paul metro area I coach clients all the time on how to clear out their closets, cabinets and storage areas.

Why do homestagers make such a big deal about organizing closets, cabinets and storage areas?  Because, the goal of homestaging is to appeal to a buyer’s hopes and dreams. Most of us dream about living in an organized and attractive home.  The tips below can help you achieve the dream no matter if you are staying put or getting ready to sell.

Seven Closet Organizing Tips For Getting The Job Done FAST

  1.  Set a timer.  The idea here is that a timer sets the session up as a game.  If you only have 20 minutes allotted to the project you will
    Home Stagers Sample Organized Closet

    Organization Makes This Small Closet Work Hard

    want to exceed your own expectations and get the job done. That is the rule.  Once the timer goes off you are done.

  2. Take everything out.  Pushing everything around into neater piles without taking anything out often leads to a session of organizing clutter.  It will look nice for a day or so, but will not bring you long term results
  3. Have donation and trash bags right where you are working. If it is clearly trash or an item you want to donate drop into the appropriate bag the first time you touch it. If you are uncertain place in the “keep” pile. Move fast during this process.
  4. Look over the keep pile. Review the items that did not go in the trash or the donation bags. Look for themes.  Place like items together. If you have duplicates decide if you can donate the extra items, or perhaps store in a different location until you need the item.
  5. Group small items together in a larger container I call 25 bottles of nail polish visual clutter.  On the other hand a labeled container that says nail polish can be a simple pleasure.
  6. Put it back.  Keep like items together.  If you are selling you home place the most pleasing items at eye level, and make sure personal items are tucked away so that a buyer doesn’t need to confront them.  If you are not selling you can arrange by placing the most frequently used items in the most accessible location.
  7. Pat yourself on the back….or have a beer, or read a book.  Whatever your pleasure.  Celebrate a job well done.

I wish you a New Year filled with peace and joy. If you need to get your home organized home to allow peace and joy to enter your life, follow my posts.  I will share my secrets, large and small, to help you create the home of your dreams.

I’d love to hear from you about organizing tips and tricks that you have implemented that make your life easier.

________________________________________________________________________

About the Author: Christi Bond is a recognized leader in the field of homestaging and room makeovers.  She has been providing value added services to homeowners, real estate investors, and real estate agents for nearly seven years.

Are you are preparing to sell a home or property in the Twin Cities Metro? Maybe you are staying put but are looking for advice on how to make your home more visually pleasing and more organized. If so, I would welcome the opportunity to share my staging, organizing and design expertise. I can be reached via email by using my contact form or by phone at 651.587.5887.

I provide Home Staging and Room Makeover services in the greater Twin Cities metro.  Some of the areas that I have provided services in include: White Bear Lake, Mahtomedi, Oakdale, Maplewood, North Oaks, Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Hudson, Hastings, Hugo, Forest Lake, Columbia Heights, Highland Park, St Paul, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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.

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!

 

Video Sampler of Amazing Transformations

A video tour of before and after photos demonstrating how Home Staging can make an amazing transformation to your room.