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home selling

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It is now mid-September, soon we will have had frost warnings, the leaves on trees are turning colour and falling, and fireplaces will soon find themselves useful. While most of us are excited for this amazing season, people in the real estate are preparing themselves because once the cold sets in, the number of buyers out there will start to sink.

While you still have time to prepare for the cold season, don’t waste these days and take advantage before the winter season sets in. Remember that no one would want to go home shopping when it’s freezing cold and everything is covered in snow!

One of the essential strategies to get a sale before the holidays is home staging, regardless if you’re using the help of a real estate agent or selling the house by yourself.

Here are a few tips to make your home look perfect this fall –

 

Maintain your yard

Rake leaves, trim bushes, and use seasonal flowers -Keep the house looking fresh! Always remember that the curb appeal is as important as the interior. It’s the first thing that your potential buyers will see. This about an inviting front door vignette with a wreath and maybe some pumpkins or a bench with some pillows.

Control back to school clutter

Back to school season can create clutter in your entry. Make sure to have a place for your backpacks, shoes and other items the kids need to grab before catching the bus. This can even give the new homeowners some great ideas too!

 

Keep it neat and simple

While Halloween and Thanksgiving are not religious specific, too much decorating can distract buyers. Remember less is more. This can be tough with children so don’t eliminate it completely but keep it subtle and stay away from the gore,  keep it cute and have it is specific areas and not every square inch of the house.

 

Use home decor that takes a cue from nature

Rather than ghosts, scary monsters or turkeys display pumpkins, hay and flowers. Nothing can scare away potential buyers like handmade scarecrows or frighteningly realistic gory Halloween decorations. A simple bowl of fresh apples or mini pumpkins as a dining centerpiece is simple but effective.  An empty corner that looks odd can easily be filled with a tall glass vases filled with tall sticks.  A door looks more welcoming when it is dressed up a bit too

 

 

Turn your fireplace on for showings to set the mood

A little warmth emanating from the fireplace evokes a welcoming atmosphere. A crackling fire says “welcome home”, as well as well-placed candles to complete that warm, snug room.  And in cooler months a fireplace will be on the minds of buyers, so make sure they can’t help but notice it!

 

Add pillows

Use furry throws pillows and texture in your home decor to create a cozy feel. Or, think about adding a splash of colour with pillows in fall inspired colours, warm colours can make any space look and feel inviting. Pillows are inexpensive additions to your home and knowing how to use them will surely bring a big difference.

 

The cinnamon effect

Remember to use candles, incense and other oils to infuse fall scents, like vanilla or apple cinnamon. No, you don’t need to bake a bunch of sugar cookies before the showing, but investing in a tasteful, subtle scented autumn candle will do just fine in eliciting that cozy feeling buyers want to experience when they walk into their future house.

 

Some simple fall decor ideas to stage your home for the season:

This wreath from Wayfair is a lovely addition to a front door or a front entry vignette – adding some seasonal colour and texture but still very simple.

Add a simple sign with a big message to your kitchen or fireplace mantle – this handmade sign from Roman Valley Farm is perfect!

An instant fall refresh to your living room with a set of 4 orange pillows – add some the sofa and accent chair (maybe even one on your bed)

Adding a landscape art piece is one of our home staging recommendations – it is calm and soothing and adds decor to the space.  This framed country side print from Minted is perfect for a living room or bedroom.

 

The fall is a beautiful time of year and buyers are still out there looking so be sure to take advantage of nature’s beauty and the feeling of the season to help sell your home!

 

 

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A home buyer can be picky so when it comes to selling your home you always want to have your best foot forward and if it is a tough market you really cannot afford to be anything less than showcase perfect!

One of the secrets in catching the eye of potential buyers is to highlight the features of a home that are important to them. Showing buyers that you have what they need, will help sell your home fast and get the best price.

But of course, not every home is perfect. You might not have the best location, neighborhood, space and other factors that are important in choosing a home. But those imperfections, especially the ones you have control over, should not hinder you from having a great showing.

 

We listed 5 tips that will make your home appeal to a home buyer:

 

 

#1 Style according to location advantages:

There is little you can do about your property’s location. Instead of masking location disadvantages with adjectives in your listing, you can factor the location to your marketing plan. Is your address in a hip, urban location? You might want to stage your house in a way that it will appear attractive to young professionals. If your home is located near a high school, designing your home in a way that it will reflect the style that would appeal to a growing family is important. In short, visualize the needs and characteristics of a buyer and set up the property accordingly.

#2 Fix and repair before the showing

Before your first showing, make sure that everything is in working condition. Do you have leaking faucets or clogged pipes? Fix anything and everything that is broken because those become a major turn off. Prospective buyers wouldn’t want to figure out those repair needs on their own and they will just look at the listing down the road instead. If you are working with a realtor, ask them if they have a list of preferred professionals that they could recommend to fix those repairs around the home, or you can check out a recommendation website like Angie’s List

 

#3 Make scents!

First of all, if there’s unpleasant odor in the property, get to the root of the problem and fix it! No one wants to live in a smelly house. Secondly, don’t overdo it with air fresheners. Most people like the look and freshness of lemons, so a bowl of lemons pierced with a fork will do the trick. Lightly scented candles are good as well; scents like fresh linen or clean laundry are usually safe bets.  For cooler months, try baked cookies or even just a bowl of water with cinnamon and sugar in the oven at a low temperature

 

#4 Sufficient lighting for every room

 

Buyers find bright rooms really attractive. Draw back the curtains, open the shades, and make use of artificial lighting if you need to.

A tried-and-tested technique to achieve the most balanced room lighting is to place three lighting sources in a triangular configuration. For example: a floor lamp, table lamp and ceiling light fixture are three sources of light in a room. Another tip is to replace dated lighting fixtures; an inexpensive and quick upgrade that can have significant impact on the look of a property. Remember when you are preparing for an open house have all of your lights turned on – the house will look and feel bigger and brighter!

 

#5 Declutter

When home buyers tour your house, you don’t want them to focus on the clutter. If you have personal belongings on display, like family pictures or collection, or just anything that will distract potential buyers, tuck these away. Think of it as a ‘pre-pack’, you will want to have those items with you at your next home, won’t you? A second benefit to a properly decluttered space is that is makes the place look larger. Bigger is always better for buyers. A bigger space encourages them to imagine how they will add their own personal touch to the property and without your personal belongings; they can start to mentally move in with their things.

 

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to prepping your home for the resale market.  But we hope these 5 steps help you get it ready and sold!

 

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When it comes to a paint colour concept you really need to think about the whole home.  We just finished meeting with some clients earlier today to put together their paint colour concept – they have hired a painter to start later in the week and during our paint consultation we discussed the idea of a paint colour concept for the whole home – even though they aren’t thinking of paitning the entire home at this stage.

Photo credit : HomeBunch – This mudroom is painted in ‘Stonington Gray’ by Benjamin Moore

What is a paint colour concept?

Basically it is a plan with a series of colours for the whole home.  The colours all work together even though they may be different – there is a fluidity to the whole look, so as you walk through the home room by room the colours will work in a cohesive manner.

You may not be ready right now (for a variety of reasons) to paint the entire home now but if you have a plan you can focus on the rooms to paint now and still know what the overall look and feel of the space will be.  Be sure to record and file all of the paint info – so brand, name and code – you can refer to it when you are ready to paint the next set of rooms.

What to know when making your paint colour concept?

You really need to understand the lighting in your home.  Which rooms have a lot of light (natural or otherwise) and at what time of day.  Paint looks different in different lights – natural vs artificial, it also looks different depending on the amount of light and time of day.  So we always suggest to clients to paint test swatches on the wall and take a look at them at various points in the day.  Be sure you like the colour at all times of day before fully committing.

Our clients wanted a light and airy look with some ‘beachy’ inspiration without going too literal – their furniture is most neutral (think light warm grey sofas and coffee hardwood floors).  the home is an older home with original interior doors and baseboards, they wanted to maintain that character but give the home a fresher and more current feel.

Here is the paint colour concept we put together for our clients:

Benjamin Moore ‘Balboa Mist’ OC-27 is perfect for their hallways and guest bedroom – it is a soft and warm grey tone and it is one of our favourites to work with.

Benjamin Moore ‘Stonington Gray’ HC-170 is another favourite of ours – it is a true gray that adds some really pigmentation on the wall without being too deep and it has a great freshness about it too.  This is for the dining room (and will be paired with a farmhouse inspired table)

‘Silver Half Dollar’ 2121-40 by Benjamin Moore is a colour that’s really inspired by the beach (not just in name). We chose this for the living room – it is one of the brighter rooms in the house and they wanted a bit more colour in the room that they spend the most time in.

There master bedroom is on the top floor in an attic space – so the sloped ceilings add architectural detail to their master but the ceilings are also a bit lower – so we opted for a light and airy white.  This is a clean and calming tone for the room and offers with great contrast to the dark coffee floors plus this means they have a lot of options for accent colours in bedding and more  – We selected ‘White Heron’ OC-57 by Benjamin Moore.

The homeowners  are happy with some of the existing colours in the home – such as the kitchen and bathrooms (so previous owners must have really focused on where to spend their money when prepping the home for the resale market as the bathrooms and kitchens all had a fresh coat of paint). So we worked with those tones along with their own tastes to create a a whole home paint colour concept.

A paint colour conept is a great way to stay focused on your style and have a designer look in your home…

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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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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 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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“I have a small table in my front hall.  It’s great for mail and keys but it’s a bit messy!  I want my front entry to look welcoming and neat – any ideas how to make my entry table look stylish?”

 

An entry table in the front hall is a very functional piece.  You are right it is perfect for mail and keys but it can become a bit of a dumping ground.  A lot of that is habit  so you need to train yourself (and others) to put things like backpacks and other items elsewhere i.e a closet, office or bedroom.

 

But we also believe that if your space is beautiful (by your definition) than you will be more motivated to keep it that way.

 

The front entry table sets the tone for your home and can also be an inviting first impression for guests.

 

Styling your front entry table is all about using the space in a beautiful and practical way. 

Here are some musts:

 

1 – Light

– many front entries have an overhead light fixture but in our opinion you can never have too much light.  Plus having a table lamp on the entry table (assuming you have a wall outlet for it) is handy if you arrive home late or leave early and don’t want to wake the whole house with bright overhead lighting.  When it comes to table lamps you have some many choices – find one that suits and flows with the look of your home. How many lamps should you have? We say one is usually sufficient especially if it is a small space with a small table but if you have a long table in a large entry, 2 table lamps is a nice balance.

 

2- Mirrors

– we love mirrors at the front entry – they play two roles, 1: a great way to take a final look at hair, make up etc…before you head out to wherever you are off too; 2: it allows light to bounce around the room making a smaller and tighter space like an entry feel larger.  If you already have a mirrored surface, like mirrored closet bi-fold doors, opt for an art piece instead.

 

3 – Storage

– part of the front entry is storage, so make it pretty! A bowl on the table is perfect for keys or loose change, it keeps it all contained, easy to access but also hidden (so the surface looks neat).  We also love a basket for two under the entry table – this is ideal for mitts, hats in cooler weather but also summer gear like hats and sunscreen.  Have a dog? Hide their leashes etc. in a basket. Again easy access but neat!

 

4 – Seating

– this is a nice addition if you have the space.  Under the entry table is a great spot to tuck away a small bench, cube ottoman…  Pull it out when guests neat a spot to sit and put on their shoes.  This is also another way to add to your decor – you can have one with some print, colour and/or texture.

 

5 –  Decor

– we’ve covered the necessities of the front hall table and now it’s time to add your personal style! There are many decor items that you can add to the table to add your touch – framed photos, flowers or a plant, or just a decorative item.  Be sure to have room for the necessary pieces and then layer your decor.  The amount of decor depends on the amount of space you have.  We like to vary the heights and shapes and stick with odd numbers.  Keep in mind if your entry table is more functional or decorative (some people have a second entry that is more functional and keep the front entry more beautiful)

 

 

Also if you are selling your home, remember that your potential buyers will also be walking in the front door.  A styled front entry sends a great message and sets the tone.  So be sure to pay attention to your front entry!

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