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HOME STAGING

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Home Staging ….we have all seen it on the TV shows and heard our realtor friends and family talk about home staging!

What is Home Staging and does it really work?

I’ve been staging homes for for about 10 years, and yes – it really does work!

The concept seems strange and I still have people ask for clarification….”So the furniture that was there is removed and then you move furniture back in?” In a nutshell, yes but there is much more involved than just furniture. Cleaning, de-cluttering, repairs, updates, de-personalizing and then the staging / styling – it’s all a part of the process!

 

Home Staging is all about the present the home in it’s best light and setting the scene to attract the buyer. Home staging involves a number of steps to get the property looking it’s best and every house has different needs. Many think that a vacant home allows buyers to see how big the space is, how they can use it and visualize how they want to paint, furnish etc…

 

 

When we stage homes, we also get some ideas from the realtor about the buying demographic and target group – this really help us find a focus for the decor style, colours and also staging the property with the lifestyle in mind.  A young newlywed couple would live differently that a busy family of 4 or 5! So we take that into consideration.

But that’s not the case – an empty home looks cold and uninviting plus it doesn’t present well in photographs, which is how most buyers will see their home for the first time.  Buying a home is an emotional experience – the buyers connect with the home and an empty one is just that, empty and you can’t connect with empty!

So this is what Home Staging does…

Home Staging is about setting the scene so buyers can visualize living in their dream home.  They can see how you can live in the space. The furniture and styling add warmth and help plant ideas of lifestyle and usability of the space and layout. The proper scale and amount of furniture balance out the room and allow buyers to ‘mentally move-in’. 

 

 

Can you believe this is the same room?

This before and after is incredible (photos above).  We did a few things to make this home look it’s best.  For starters, take a look at the drapery.  That heavy espresso brown panel drapery was replaced with some much lighter – look at the difference in the room – it looks open, bright and airy!  We also moved the fireplace (it was an electrical fireplace, so it could be moved). The original placement made the room look long and skinny (almost like a hallway). By moving the fireplace, we have created two spaces.  A living room with fireplace and potentially a wall mount TV and the other end of the room, we staged as a seating area for reading and a small work space.We were careful to pick furniture that was of the correct size and scale. We kept the tones light and airy (see that pop of yellow, a staging favourite).  We have some simple accessories that really complete the look and add warmth to the space.  The art, pillows, plant…they all make a difference in the presentation.

 

                        

 

Home staging sets you apart from the rest.

When your home looks good , buyers (and their agents) take notice! We had a recent property sell in under a week for more than asking (and they weren’t in a multiple offer situation).  The agent said to the buyers “give them an offer they can’t refuse, or you will lose this house”. So they did! Good looking properties look great in photos, these photos are seeing online, then the showings start to happen, lots of showing traffic means good (some times many) strong offers and next thing you know – your house is sold.

Home staging is a MUST – Home staging gets properties SOLD!

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“I’m in need of some Home Staging Advice. I know I need to stage my home but where do I start and what do I need to do?”

Home Staging Advice is our specialty! We love staging homes and we love helping sellers get their home ready for the resale market.  It’s amazing to hear everyone’s Home Staging success stories!

When it comes to home staging every property has different needs but the basics that you need to address are the same. Your relationship with your real estate agent (if you are using one) is also really important.  You want to make sure that your agent understands your competition in the market place and that your home is positioned in a competitive way.

 

Our Home Staging Advice is to address theses 7 basics:

  1. CLEAN AND DECLUTTER
  2. MAINTAIN
  3. REPAIR
  4. DE-PERSONALIZE
  5. NEUTRAL
  6. UPDATE
  7. STYLE

Start at the top of this list and work your way down.

Let’s start with Clean and Declutter –

Give the house a really good up and down thorough cleaning.  This is a good start.  A clean house feels amazing and everyone loves the feeling of a clean house.  You can do this yourself or hire a professional.  But this is a must! Go through all of your junk – old clothes, old boxes of random things, books and more….unload what you no longer need – this will lighten up the feeling in your space (and your mind, too – clutter is a source of stress), make moving easier and less expensive and the overall look of your home and storage spaces will improve (buyers are looking for storage so you don’t want the closets to be chaotic!)

 

Maintain

This is important because a maintained house is a house that has been cared for. When a house is cared for buyers sense that and they have some real peace of mind. So start with small things like leaky faucets, loose door knobs, burnt out light bulbs….Go through your house (or ask a close friend or a professional home stager) with a fine tooth comb and tackle those details!

Repair

So this falls under the same umbrella as ‘maintain’ but this is for larger issues like a broker appliance, a cracker floor tile, electrical outlets that don’t work.  A home in disrepair tells buyers that this home is a mess and needs attention (and if there is an offer, it won’t be a good one). So be sure to take on those repairs before hitting the real estate market!

De-personalize

By removing your personal items, memorabilia and style from the house – this really allows buyers to ‘mentally move in’.  You will be taking your personal items like family photos, religious pieces and collectables with you anyway…so think of this as a pre-pack. You don’t want buyers to feel like visitors during a private viewing or open house, you want them to feel at home.

Neutral

This is closely connected to De-personalizing the space.  when we move into our home we get creative with colours, wall paper and other decorative elements but when it comes to home staging you really need to tone that all down and go neutral. Especially on the walls! Paint makes a huge impact on the look (and feel of a house) so a fresh paint job in a neutral tone is a great idea (and a good investment).

 

Update

Please don’t be thrown off by this….update doesn’t mean renovate. Small updates can make a whole home feel fresh and new again. How many updates and what you update- well that’s a conversation to have with your real estate agent. Remember what we said about being competitive? Your real estate agent can let you know what your competition is offering in the price point, so certain updates may or may not being worth it. Changing up light fixtures can make a huge difference in a home, new hardware in the kitchen and bathrooms, new carpet (or professionally cleaned carpet), stone counter tops….be sure to have a chat with your agent so you are competitive!

Style

This is a the pretty part and it makes a huge difference it how the house present in your photos. A house without any style or decoration just looks sad. You want your buyers to feel happy when they are walking in the property. So proper scale and positioning of furniture is important and then add a little something.  For some of our favourite Home Staging props, Click HERE.  But add some accent pillows to the sofa (new ones that you can use at your new place!), a few decor items on coffee tables and/ or fireplace mantle, art and fresh flowers and/ or bowl of fruit.  And be sure to always make the bed.  You don’t need all new furniture or decorative accents to make your home look it’s best, just follow our home staging advice.

 

Remember that home buying is an emotional experience so make buyers feel at home and at ease. Let them mentally move-in … Home Staging shows off the potential of the home and helps your property stand out from the rest. A staged home never sits for long! 

Good luck,

 

 

 

 

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We love to work with the colour green and decorating the kitchen shouldn’t be over looked.  Green in the kitchen is easy, fresh and fun! Now that spring is here – we are starting to see green everywhere…the green grass is starting to turn, the green buds on the trees and green from the plants and flowers are starting to sprout. We love that green works is so many colour combinations and with so many styles.

 

Here are some of our favourite ways to use green in the kitchen:

A tea kettle is a great way to add a splash of colour in a kitchen.  This is one of our go-to pieces when we are staging a home.

Tea towels are a great (and functional) piece in any kitchen.  We love ones with a little colour!

A set of colourful chargers add a punch to your table setting- we love these simple green ones – great for spring and summer!

Practical items for the kitchen can also be colourful and fun – these spatulas, cutting board and scrub brush add some colour to boring kitchen tasks.

                                                           

 

 

Cute oven mitts in a fresh print with a splash of green add some brightness to the kitchen.  If you are working away in the kitchen you may as well look cute doing it!

Want to look like a pro in your home kitchen? Try a green chef’s coat – you won’t go unnoticed!

Spring is all about the leaves and leaves are green! This green leaf platter is a great serving piece for spring and summer events!

I love colourful mixing bowls and serving bowls!  Using my green one today to bake a lemon cake – the bright and fresh colours were amazing to look at! I also love mine because it is so easy to clean after use!

When it comes to baking and cooking we all know the importance of presentation – so why not prepare beautiful meals in beautiful stoneware? Like this French Oven or Baker

                                 

You can’t go wrong with a little green in the kitchen,

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Bad smells in a home do not help when selling a home. We stage home so agents can sell them but one obstacle that we come across often is ‘smells’.

 

We just completed a home staging consultation for a client who is selling her home.

This seller has worked very hard to remove the clutter and make the needed (and necessary) updates to her house like flooring and her property is looking great!  The house has a lot of potential and the seller is really doing her best but one thing we could not get past – was what we decided to blog about today…

SMELLS

The seller has 2 cats and 3 children and like any other busy house hold there’s a lot happening.  When it comes to selling your home – you can update as much as you like and follow the home staging steps but if that house comes with smells? Buyers will be turned off immediately.  It’s so important to figure out what is making your home smell and how to deal with that (or those) smells.

 

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO TACKLE THE SMELLS IN YOUR HOUSE?

Hopefully you have identified what the smell is (and don’t be embarrassed – all homes have smells).  There are different strategies to deal with each type of smell.

 

  • Stale air:

  • this can happen in a house that has been ‘closed up’ for the winter season or a vacant home.  It happens to most homes and it’s easy to deal with.  Open up the windows and let in that beautiful fresh air.  It is an instant refresh to the entire home and it doesn’t take long.  We suggest opening up all the windows and pulling the blinds up and the drapes back and let the air (and the light) in!

 

  • Regular garbage removal:

  • don’t let the garbage pile up! Be sure to take out the trash daily – kitchen garbage, bathroom garbage and baby nursery garbage (that Diaper genie can fill up fast) all add to the smells in a busy family home, daily removal will keep the smells down.  As an added step, spray the empty garbage cans with a disinfectant (that can help too).  If you waste bins has any food residue (or other residue) give them a good clean with soap and hot water (not daily but every so often – this helps keeps the odours at bay).

 

  • Cat litter clean up:

  • This is a smell that really turns off buyers, so clean that litter daily! The ‘cat’ smell is a strong one and can really take over a house.  If the cat litter is located in a very visible space and a room that buyers will frequent like the kitchen, bathroom or laundry …try relocating it to a more discreet location like the basement (if possible).  For dog smells, a good carpet cleaning really helps.  Pick up after your dog from the front and backyards.  Before you hit the market – getting your pets groomed can make a huge different in their odour but also excess pet hair that can get on everything!

 

 

  • Mold and Mildew:

  • this happens is wet areas like bathrooms and in the early stages – it is pretty easy to deal with.  A good scrubbing with a bleach cleaner will do wonders.  A professional cleaning can do a great job if you are pressed for time.  A mildew smell and musty smell in a bathroom just isn’t a great impression on buyers.  If the problem is really out of hand and can’t be handled with a good cleaning with the right products – consult a contractor as there could be bigger problems like a leak behind a wall – you will want to deal with that before you get on the market.

 

 

  • Add some natural scents to the home:

  • ones that are pleasing and not over whelming.  We recommend natural scents like baking (cinnamon in a pot of boiling water with a dash of vanilla is so easy and smells great), odour-eater sponges (have them out discreetly) can capture unpleasant smells. A lot of plug-ins and potpourris can be overkill and the smells can be a bit chemically.  But this is an easy and natural alternative – Lemon, Vanilla and Rosemary Stove-top Potpourri

 

We all have smells in our homes but when it comes to selling we need to be extra careful not to have our house smelling ‘funny’ or ‘off’ – it is a huge turn off for buyers.  Your home may look great but if it smells – that won’t matter. 

 

If you are selling – get the opinion from friends, family and your agent and tackle those smells before hitting the market! Honesty can be tough but selling a smelly house is tougher!

 

We hope these tips are helpful and you get that home SOLD fast!

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“We are selling our home and moving to a new city due to a job transfer.  I know home staging sets you apart from the competition.  We want to sell quickly and make the move to the new city easy.  We are on a tight budget, do you have any quick, easy and low budget home staging tips to share?”

 

You are absolutely right! Home staging sets you apart from the other homes on the market and you want to stand out in the crowd especially if you are in a market with lots of competition.  Every style of home can benefit from home staging.  Home staging can get you more money and help you sell faster, so the extra work to get the home prepared for the market will be worth it in the end.  Less time on the market means you can move forward with your new chapter in life without the extra stress and worry.

There are lots of quick and easy, low cost (and no-cost) staging tips. 

Here’s what we suggest:

Clean.

I’m sure your home is clean but is it spit shine clean? Really get in there and clean that house.  Give it a good scrub down.  Buyers will notice and the home will feel great.  There is nothing like a super clean home.  Having said that, pay attention to the scent of the home.  You don’t want it to smell like harsh chemicals of bleach – that can be a turn off. Stick with scents like clean laundry, vanilla or cotton.

–  Repair.

This may cost a bit, it depends on what needs to be repaired and how handy you are.  Any burnt out light bulbs? leaky faucets? cracked tiles? chipped paint? You need to spend a bit of money here to tend to these issues.   Has it been a while since you painted the house?  You might want to consider a paint job – a fresh paint job goes a long way and make a huge difference! Over look these repairs or just leave it? Buyers will think you maybe left other issues unresolved, bigger issues. If there are too many repairs to pay for and maybe you don’t have the time, consider that when pricing your home with your agent.

De-clutter.

We all have junk.  Since you are moving anyway this is a great opportunity to lose some weight.  Go through your stuff and get rid of what you don’t want/need you will be surprised how much you can accumulate in a short period of time.  Go through everything – drawers, closets, cabinets etc.  Don’t spend the time, money and energy moving to the new place to just to toss it – get rid of it now.  The house will feel lighter. Plus when buyers see clutter it is a stresser and it sends a message that there isn’t enough storage (one of the top things buyers are looking for is storage).  One area to really pay attention to is above the kitchen cabinets – don’t store anything up there, it’s distracting and looks messy (even decorative items) and bathroom counter tops, we tend to ‘collect’ soap, lotions and more. Clear off surface spaces – kitchen counters, your coffee table, end tables, kitchen table, desk etc…Clear out the clutter!

Pre-pack and depersonalize.

You know you are moving , so pre-pack certain items that you know are going to come with you.  For instance family photos and collections – we don’t want them in the space because they personalize the space – you don’t want buyers to feel like they are visiting, you want them to mentally move in – your memories will block that from happening.  Collectibles should also be packed up – again they are personal plus they can clutter up the space depending on the size of the collection.  Have a lot of art or books? A few are fine but if you have too many they can add bulk to the room making the space feel cramped, so pre-pack some of those pieces (at least the ones coming with you)

 

Let there be light!

Pull back the drapes, clean those windows and be sure to replace burnt out bulbs or up the wattage.  Light makes a huge difference in a space.  If you have a dark room, add some table or floor lamps. When it is time for your photos, be sure to have your lights on – over head, task lights all of your lights – it looks so much better in photos! Take a look at the two images below – image 1 has all of the lights on – even though they have beautiful natural light streaming in from the patio doors and window.  Look how bright the room is. Image 2 – no lights on at all.  The light from the window just isn’t enough.  Yes, it is a beautiful room but it looks a bit dull without the lights on.

 

              

Curb appeal.

Make sure the exterior is maintained, it’s your home’s first impression.  So trim the grass and hedges.  Make sure exterior lights are in working order.  Is the address plate visible and in good condition? Does the door bell work? Shovel or sweep the porch and walkway/driveway. These details are important.

 

Set the scene.

This is the fun part and the creative part. Use magazines as your inspiration -make the bed and make it look inviting like you would see in a chic hotel.  Have a great dining room space? Set the table to help buyers visualize entertaining in the space.  Add a touch of colour in the kitchen.  Some flowers or a fruit bowl on the island or kitchen table make the room look fresh. Take a look at your furniture or better yet get a friend to help – is there too much? Is there flow? You may need to re-arrange some pieces, so try to find a way to create a comfortable set up that encourages conversation but also shows off the space.

 

Be sure to keep the ‘creative’ stuff last and follow these steps in this order. Remember, home staging isn’t just about fluffing pillows  – it’s a step by step process to make the home look it’s best.  Buyers are looking for their new home not your old home, so follow these steps and your house will shine!

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We have some home staging tricks to share with you! Home staging is a MUST in nay real estate market! We have been staging homes for the resale (and new home market) for a number of years now and while styles and trends change there are definitely some tried and true home staging tricks that work every time!

Here are 5 Home Staging Tricks that work (every time)!

 

1. Inviting entry with potted plants or flowers –

This little trick makes everyone feel welcome, it adds a splash of colour and a ‘breath of fresh air’.  The front door is the first impression so you want to start off on the right foot! Be sure to maintain these plants/flowers and keep it seasonal for maximum effect.

 


Photo from entrop.com

2. Extra pillows on the bed and the sofa –

Fluffy pillows have a real warmth to them and they certainly add that element to a living room, family room and bedroom.  Throw pillows also allow you to add an extra design touch to a space – a pop of colour and some pattern make a space look instantly fresh and with a designer’s touch.

 


Photo from 2ladiesandachair.com

3.  Clean white towels –

Ever notice that in boutique and luxury hotels you always see these plush, clean white towels and robes? Well, take that cue and stage your bathroom with some fresh and clean pure white towels, buyers will immediately think of luxury, relaxation or a spa experience – play into that feeling and use it to your advantage. This simple addition will make buyers associate that feeling with your bathroom.

 


Photo from flickr.com

4. Setting the table –

Staging is all about presenting the home in it’s best light, but we want to be sure to make buyers feel like this is their next home not like they are just visiting. By setting the table you are ‘setting the scene’, buyers will be able to better picture themselves hosting a dinner party, entertaining for the holidays or having Sunday family dinner.  It’s another emotional connection made with staging that helps the buyers feel more at home.

 


Photo from rjkhomesolutions.com

5. Add a pop of colour in the kitchen –

The kitchen is one the hot spots when it comes to selling your home.  Buyers want a  clean and current looking kitchen, and they are willing to pay more for a home that has updated kitchens and bathrooms.  But even the most stunning kitchen can look a little flat in the listing photos – try adding a fresh pop of colour, we love a bowl of lemons, yellow always photographs well and it really attracts the eye.  But fresh flowers, fruit bowl, a tray with wine, a colourful tea kettle are all great ideas to add just a little accent to the kitchen without distracting or over powering the space.

 

Photo from ZDesign at Home

We all know that cleaning, decluttering and repairs are needed plus we know that updates in paint, flooring and lighting make great returns and great impressions on buyers.  Current finishes in bathrooms and kitchens are also a hot commodity but there are certain staging tricks that really connect with buyers.
 
I hope these tips help you sell that house quickly and for top dollar!
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“We are selling our home and our agents wants to book our photos.  Should we have them done before or after we decorate for Christmas? Our house looks so beautiful with the tree up and the stocking hung on the mantle. We love it and we think others will too!”

 

Christmas is right around the corner and it is such a wonderful time of year!  Decorating is one of our favourite parts of the season, too – it’s festive and fun! But when it comes to selling your home, holiday decor presents more negatives than positives….and there are definitely buyers out there looking for their new home during the Christmas season, so you don’t want to turn them off!

 

We love the welcoming exterior – it’s seasonal but not over done.  But be sure not to leave it up too long….

What are the negatives of  seasonal decorating (for any holiday) while selling your home:

 

1. Distracting.

Yes, Christmas and other holiday decor is beautiful but it can really distract buyers from seeing the beauty and features of your home as they will be focused on the tree, wreath, lights, stockings and more…..and not the windows, layout …

2. Clutter.

Although we never really view or consider holiday decor pieces to be clutter when they are out on display they do take up room and can make a space look and feel cluttered and over stuffed.  Think about how much smaller a room looks with a 7 – 8 ft tree in it – it takes up space!

The most beautiful Christmas trees aren’t necessarily the largest trees!  Consider a smaller tree – you still have a stunning Christmas tree to decorate but it visually (and physically) takes up less room.

 
3. Dating.

Holiday decor can really date your online photos and make your home look like it has been sitting on the market a lot longer than it has.  Let’s say you have your photography done in early Dec with all of your decorating done.  By mid January these photos will already look dated and it will send the message to buyers (and their agent) that your home has been sitting even though it has only been 30-40 days.

4. Personal.

When you decorate for Christmas or really any holiday, it can be a very personalized touch to the space especially if you have family heirlooms, religious items and handmade ornaments and other crafts made by your children or grandchildren.  It personalizes the space and that can make buyers feel uncomfortable (or like they are just visiting) as they are trying to picture their lives and building memories of their own in this house.

So definitely have your photos take BEFORE you decorate.

When it comes to seasonal decorating before showings and open houses – really try to eliminate or at least limit the decor – for the same reasons listed above. But if you must decorate for Christmas while your home is on the resale market – here’s what we suggest.

We love the simplicity of this room’s Christmas decor.  It celebrates the season, it has a consistent colour scheme and style and it doesn’t over power the room.

 
1.  Do NOT decorate BEFORE your photos.

2. Do keep it simple and tasteful with a consistent theme (for example: mixed metallics or traditional green, white and red; or country or modern).  This year keep it simple by only bringing out some decor – the house shouldn’t look like Christmas town!

3. Do NOT keep the decorations up too long or too late. Or decorate too early either. Aim to have the decor packed up by Jan 4 (approx)

4. Do NOT hang up or display really personal decor such as family photos, religious items, handmade ornaments and crafts by children or grandchildren

5. Do keep it welcoming and inviting with a small vignette by the front entry and then some decor in main living areas (try to limit to a room to two, for example the family room as the main Christmas decorating space and maybe a few items in the dining room and/or formal living room – stay consistent with that theme)

Celebrate the season without going totally over board. Remember in your new home (the next one), you can decorate as early as you want and keep it up as long as you like and you can go all out!

Remember, when it comes to selling your home you really don’t want to drag out the process so follow the steps to get it sold quickly and next Christmas you can really make up for the lack of decor!

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“My fiance and I are now living together, and we want to put my place up for sale. Is it worth it to stage the house? It is empty, so doesn’t that make it look bigger and that way a buyer can picture themselves in there? We just want to know what staging will do to help us sell.”

 

This is something we can definitely help you with.  We have staged lots of properties for clients to help get them sold.

 

Home staging is a great tool to help buyers visualize how to live in the space, it helps to highlight the features of your home and also show off the size of your home.  Home staging isn’t just about furniture that’s only one part of it. Selling an empty or vacant property is actually really tough.  Empty rooms are cold and emotionless – that means buyers aren’t connecting with the house.  Have you ever seen photos of an empty room? It’s really hard to tell if the room is large, small or just the right size…Many people do not have the ability to picture their things and their life when looking at a vacant property. There is no WOW factor with a vacant property so buyers don’t take notice.

 

A good home stager will come and view the vacant property (usually with you and often with your agent) and he/she will give suggestions on any repairs, cleaning, depersonalizing, decluttering and updates that are needed.  A home stager knows what buyers are looking for, your agent can also give you some insight as to what your competition is offering (renovated kitchen, counter tops…) but also what the buyer expectation is at your price point. Buying a home is an emotional connection – it is something the buyer feels when they walk in the door.  Home staging helps with setting the scene and connecting with buyers on an emotional level.

Plus buyers are looking to buy their NEW home, they don’t want your old one – so do the

prep work  to get it looking it’s best!

Your home stager will work with you and your budget to get the property up to par before moving in any furniture items.

Details are so important when selling:

– A new paint job in a current tone can do wonders for any property.

– Small updates like new cabinet hardware and a tile back splash can totally transform a kitchen

Brighter light bulbs in existing light fixtures can really help any room

-Fixing up any small repairs will give buyers a good feeling about ‘their new home’

-A good and thorough cleaning feels great! You want to make a fantastic first impression on your potential buyers.

When it comes to the final step of furnishing the home with staging furniture, your stager will have a plan.  He/She has figured out how to best show off this property by making it look clean and bright but also large and current.  The proper scale and placement of furniture make a big difference in flow plus using the right accents like colour and texture really give your photos a ‘pop’ and set the scene!

 

So why would staging help you?

Well, having your home professionally staged will set you apart from the competition. Having the right pieces, colours, updates and more will make you stand out from the crowd in any market.

1. Your staged property will always photograph better and in this day and age, your online photos are basically your first showing – when your photos look great, the phone starts ringing and the private viewings are booked!  Home staging will increase the amount of showings at your property.

2. Now that you have more showings, the agents start to take notice and that piques everyone’s interest  – your property is hot!

3. A hot property means offers – could be a quick offer early into the process because the buyer agent knows this one won’t last long or it could mean you have a number of interested buyers leading to multiple offers.

 

Home staging helps :

-make your property looks its best and present what buyers want

– by giving you the best online photos to be used in marketing materials and social media

– get more interest in your property and more viewings

– get the property sold for top dollar and quickly

Best wishes on the sale of your home and remember it’s really important for your own stress level and bottom line to work with true professionals who will help you feel good about the presentation and sale of your property.

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“Our home is on the resale market, the kids love Halloween and they love to decorate the house.  Should we decorate for Halloween while the house is up for sale or not?”

 

It’s fun to celebrate the holidays with decor and kids love it too but you need to keep in mind that holiday decor can be distracting for buyers.

 

We definitely recommend staying away from religious decor as it could offend or turn-off some buyers and you never know who is coming to look at your home.

 

We also recommend you don’t go ‘over the top’ when it comes to decor for the holidays.  Decor can add a lot of clutter into a space making it feel and look cramped which isn’t a positive for buyers.  Plus really over the top decor can be a huge distraction – buyers want and need to see the true features of the home like the room sizes, natural light, beautiful kitchens, bathrooms and floors .

 

 

If you MUST decorate for the holidays, consider this:

1.  Do NOT decorate for the holidays before photos.  This will date your photos and they won’t show off the actual features of your home.

 

2. Do keep it simple and tasteful.  For Halloween, put up some simple pieces on the exterior.  Nothing scary or gory – if you are in a family friendly area this will work for the buying clientele.

THIS IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF A ‘DON’T’ FOR HALLOWEEN DECOR (WHEN SELLING) – IT IS PRETTY GORY AND BLOODY AND SCARY.

 

3. Do NOT decorate too early and keep up the decor for a long time.  Think about decorating for the holidays just before and removing everything a day or two after the holiday – don’t decorate weeks early and keep it up for months.

 

4. Do decorate for the season.  So having some fall decor like pumpkins or fall wreath is neutral and welcoming but remember to keep it simple.

 

Remember once you are settled in your new home you can go all out for holiday decor so maybe this year just collect lots of great ideas!

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“My house is hitting the real estate market very soon.  I know we have a great house on the inside but right now in this early spring weather, it’s not looking great.  What can we do to increase our curb appeal when our gardens aren’t in bloom?”

 

You are so right!

Depending on where you live this time of year isn’t the prettiest.  The good news is there are simple things that you can do to show off your great outdoor space. But your home is on the market now and you don’t want to wait until the gardens are in full bloom.

 

The gardens aren’t quite in bloom yet and the garden centers are gearing up for the season but in some areas it is still a bit early for planting.  But the grass is green, so use what you have and make the best of it.  So start with giving your yards (front and back) a good raking.  There is always some dead leaves and branches on the ground – just getting those off the grass will give the exterior a clean look.  Depending on your area you grass might be a bit on the long side.  So give it a mow and you will notice how much neater everything looks.

 

Flowers are a great way to add a splash of colour but because you are selling you might not want to make a huge investment in flowers this spring season plus it is still a bit early for planting.  A great alternative is planters at the front of the house and if you have a great deck space, some planters at the back are a nice touch too. So in these early spring days which flowers can handle this fresher weather? Potted Pansies are a great option – they are sturdy and colourful and if you take care of them, they will last all summer.  A bit of height is a good idea when creating your planters – in the spring we love forsythia – the pop of yellow draws the eye in!

 

Remember these 3 words when creating a planter:

Spill, Fill and Thrill

 

– in other works, have some greenery or flowers that hang over the edge of the planter, have some plants and flowers that fill the majority of the pot (of medium height) and some height – the image below is a great example of a spring planter.

 

Create a welcoming vignette at the front door – this is the buyers first impression of the home so make it count! If you have a porch put out a bench with a pillow for a pop of colour.  Try a wreath on the front door.

Just because it isn’t summer yet doesn’t mean you can’t set the scene for buyers.  So pull out and dust off that patio furniture – maybe this is a bit early than usual but remember you are show casing your home for buyers so you want them to see how they would enjoy summer BBQs and get togethers outside.  So place the furniture like you would if you were entertaining so have a dining area and a seating area. Roll out the BBQ and take off the cover.  Now that the furniture is set up and clean, make it pretty with some outdoor pillows and maybe even an outdoor rug – it creates a welcoming scene for buyers.

 

 

Want to take it to the next level?

For the photos you can set the dining table or at the seating area, set up a tray with a pitcher  – this will help make that emotional connection with the potential buyers who are looking online.

If you have a pool, make sure to have it open and running.  A pool always looks better (and photographs better) when it is blue and beautiful!

If you have incredible gardens or a beautiful flowering tree look through your photos and see if you have some beautiful ‘full bloom’ summer photos to share with your agent – these would be great to show buyers as well.

Other curb appeal factors to look into:

– check all exterior lighting are the bulbs in working order ?
– brush away any cobwebs or other debris that may have collected over the winter
– check the mailbox, is it rusted or loosely affixed to the house?
– does your doorbell work?
– how is the paint on the front door?
– how is the roof?
– sweep the walkways, driveway, porch and decks

Buyers are looking to buy their new home not your old one – so take the time to set the scene and get it sold quickly!

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