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years as a professional home stager in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul, I have seen more than my share of out-of-date lighting fixtures.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.

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.