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  • All Year Around Garden & Curb Appeal

    Just because it may be wet and cold outside, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have outside focal points and interest in your gardens.  Nor does it mean that you can’t achieve an attractive curb appeal. It’s easy to have a year round garden here in Northwest. There are many steps that you can take and there are an abundance of plants and shrubs that you can choose from to brighten up your winter gardens whether you are selling your home or staying put. 

    Here are a few simple and quick tips that can help to add interest to your winter gardens and liven up your curb appeal during these dark and cold months:

    • First of all and most importantly, don’t forget the power of mixing and layering different evergreen plants. I’ve applied this same approach for my own garden and the result is quite dynamic. These plants usually come in different shades of green and a collection of them are always refreshing and beautiful. Also, when you are buying plants, keep in mind how they look in the fall. Some bear beautiful berries or their leaves or bark may take on fall colors such as some Dogwood trees 

    winter gardens for homes for sale

    • Winter Daphne shrubs are some of my most favorite shrubs. They are evergreen and during the winter months they bloom and the scent is heavenly. Their leaves can be variegated and are beautiful year round.
    Tips on winter curb appeal for homes for sale
    Winter Daphne is not only beautiful but the scent is heavenly.
    • Hardy Cyclamen are wonderful perennials and so easy to take care of.  When all the flowers are dying out and little else is growing, these small precious flowers bloom and add soft colors that brighten up the garden. They love the cold and snow. I like the fact that they easily multiply. Plant them under trees, in the shade or on the banks. The flowers might be small but the impact is big.
    winter garden tips for homes for sale
    Hardy Cyclamen are one of my favorite winter flowers 
    • Annual Cyclamen are a cousin to Hardy Cyclamen. These flowers have larger blooms and the colors are much richer. They are a perfect plant choice for your pots.
    • Hellebore plants are just fantastic. Whether you put them in pots or in the ground, these flowers will surely create visual interest to any spot. Hellebore flowers come in different colors including deep purple, light purple and white.  

    There are many other plants and shrubs that you can add to your garden to create interest and color. You can find out more by visiting your local nurseries. The plants and flowers mentioned above are a good and easy way to start this project. 

    Create a year round garden and enhance your home’s curb appeal. This way, you’ll enjoy and get more out of your garden.
  • Why We LOVE Our Seattle Based Home Staging Business Model

    Not all homes are alike and this is why here at Seattle Staged To Sell, we design and stage each home uniquely and stay away from a formula design where house after house, the design basically remains the same with little or no variation. It is true that using such a formula would save a lot of time and labor, but we prefer to take our time and spend the additional labor costs to achieve the best design for each home.

    Seattle home staging                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We have an extensive inventory selection that we can choose from and this makes all of the difference. We might use the same set of a furniture pieces for different homes,  but how we use those pieces and what we pair them with is different every time.

    The non-refundable 50% deposit is required to reserve a date and inventory with the balance of the initial staging fee due prior to the start of staging installation.   Seattle Staged to Sell, LLC personnel will require total design discretion and full access to the home during the installation.  Homeowners, agents, sub-contractors, cleaners and/or painters should not be present at the time of staging.  A $500.00 rescheduling fee will be charged for a change of the installation date with less than a ten-day notice.

    This approach not only keeps our work more interesting, but by doing this, we serve our clients better by addressing challenges unique to each home. 

    When we began our company, we knew that we wanted to be a business in which the designs would stay fresh and true to the house. We also knew that we would have to identify the targeted buyers and stage homes for that particular audience. In other words, micro-targeting and staging. This approach has served our Staging success storiesclients well and has been the KEY to so many of our success stories.  This is a topic that we could go on and on about.

    We receive validations in different ways. As an example, one recent validation came when we staged a particular Mercer Island house which was sold in just one hour. My client who was the listing agent, Michael Ackerman, called and told me that all of my business cards and flyers were taken by the agents who visited the broker’s open house. This resulted in my receiving a tremendous number of calls from the various agents who had visited this house requesting that we stage their next listing.  

    This massive and positive response was so overwhelming and gratifying for us. As any creative person would say, appreciation of one’s work is sweeter than anything. When we asked these agents what they liked about our staging, without exception, they all said that they loved the uniqueness of our design, the perfect furniture selection for this particular house, the way the open spaces were identified, and our attention to detail. 

    After seven years, we have been able to establish ourselves as one of Seattle’s unique and premiere home staging companies. Our patience and our vision is bearing fruit now and all of the extra time, money and labor that we invested in each unique home staging design have been well worth it AND these choices have branded us. Our brand, is something that we are very proud of. 

    Our design work is what attracts new clients to our business and the way we take care of our clients and their needs is how we retain them. Home sellers and real estate agents trust and choose to work with us. As the founder of Seattle Staged To Sell, I’m mighty proud of our business model. This has sent us jumping for joy! 

     

  • Tips on Selling and Staging Your Home During the Fall Season

    staging tips for the fall season
    Fall is here. Is your home ready for the potential home buyers?

    Selling and staging your home during the fall season? Follow these simple tips to ensure a successful outcome.

    Usually, when the holiday season is near, the real estate market tends to slow down. Some people believe that not very many people are looking for homes during this time of the year and delay trying to sell their home. However, some home sellers need to put their homes on the market for a variety of reasons. Thank goodness for that too, because there are also those home buyers who are still looking for their new homes during the holiday season. I know, because this was my own scenario 10 years ago when we moved in the fall to Seattle from the UK and we needed to find a home fast.

    Fall home staging tips

    The good news for home sellers who have to sell their home during the fall is this: the home buyers who are looking for homes during this time are serious home buyers and this is the main reason for home sellers to do their best to create cozy and inviting spaces by following these tips:

    Curb appeal and more curb appeal

    1. Rake the leaves and make sure the path to your house is clear and open.
    2. Trim and cut back any dead shrubs and/or flowers.
    3. Add seasonal flowers like winter pansies and colorful mums.. You can also add some evergreen shrubs such as certain grasses. Visit local nurseries to get some ideas for your own climate.
    4. I like the idea of displaying some pumpkin by your front door if you have a porch or the space. Pumpkins add color and interest for the months of October and November. Avoid a Halloween theme.
    5. Don’t forget the power of beautifully potted plants.
    6. And don’t neglect the back garden.

    Carry outside fall colors inside

    1. It is always a good approach to bring outside inside. Fall colors are rich and beautiful. Who doesn’t like to look at a maple leaf with all those rust, orange and bright yellow leaves. Tips for fall home staging
    2. Bring these colors in with your candles, cushions and throws. A display of a bowl of nuts or ornamental small pumpkins is cheerful. 
    3. Potted mum are also wonderful for the inside of your home. They make wonderful centerpieces. 

     

    Show off your fireplace

    1. If you have a fireplace, make sure it is clean.
    2. It is easy and inexpensive to update the fireplace screens. By investing $50, you can pick up a new and attractive screen from Home Depot or Target.
    3. Place wood in your fireplace to suggest a warm image of sitting by the fire.
    4. Soft and cozy throws on a chair or sofa next to a fireplace add the element of comfort at this time of the year. 
    5. Never ever leave your home with the fireplace on. This is NOT safe. Your agent can turn on the fireplace during the open houses. 
    Fall season home staging tips

    Lighting

    1. Days are getting shorter and it is very important to add light for safety and for ambiance. 
    2. Keep the accent lights on for all of your showings. Remember that real estate agents don’t have time to turn on every bedside or floor lamp.
    3. Having some lights on makes it safer for the agents and home buyers to enter without tripping on anything.
    4. Use up-lighters to brighten up the dark corners.

    Scents:

    1. Stay away from scented candles. Even though their beautiful scents might seem tempting to add, remember that scents are very personal and not everyone will have the same reaction. In addition, there are some people who are allergic to certain scents. This is true for me. When I was looking for my own home, as soon as I walked into a home where the agent or the home sellers were burning scented candles, I would immediately leave the house, regardless of how much I wanted to see the inside.
    2. If you want to add some scent anyway, just add some vanilla drops to a pot of water on the stove over low heat or on the heating elements of your oven about two hours before your showing. But be sure to turn everything off and remove the pot before you leave the house.

    Keep in mind that home buyers tend not to stay inside cold homes for very long. Since the temperatures drop during the fall season, adjust your thermostat to a comfortable setting. Remember, a comfortable temperature and adequate lighting is essential when it comes to selling and staging your home during the fall season. 

    Photos Source: BHG

  • Cedar Park Neighborhood Contemporary Home Sitting On The Hill

    Cedar Park is one of those lush and quaint neighborhoods in Seattle, WA that everyone loves. This particular house in Cedar Park sits on the top of the hill overlooking Lake Washington and the Cascade mountains. 

    As you can see, this house is nestled among trees on the hill top. This means views of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains without ANY obstruction AND lots of privacy. Do you see these big windows? This translates into natural LIGHT and lots of it.  The large deck off the kitchen is a wonderful outdoor space for dining and entertaining. 

    Cedar Park house staged with the views of the lake
    This is what I mean about living in a lush neighborhood on top of the hill.

    Now look at the windows from the inside. The vaulted ceiling and the super large windows capture the amazing views from this home. In addition this allows the inside of the house to have a relationship with the outside and this creates a larger setting. 

    When we saw this house for the first time, we knew that our staging needs to be minimal, since the views were the main focal point of the house and we didn’t want anything to distract from that. 

    Cedar Park house for sale staged by seattle staged to sell
    Vaulted ceilings and giant windows bring in lots of natural light into this home.

    Another wonderful feature of this Cedar Park house were the two fireplaces. It is lucky for most home owners to just have one fireplace, but two fireplaces is just a very special treat. I could easily imagine myself sitting by the fire, enjoying the beautiful view, and sipping on my tea. Since Seattle has a milder temperature, this means that new home owners could do just this about 9 months out of the year. 

    Cedar Park House staged by Seattle Staged To Sell
    This house offers two fireplaces, one on each floor.

    Can you see the amazing views from this kitchen? The panoramic views makes washing dishes in this kitchen a pleasure and not a chore. This on its own is priceless. Unique features like this is what makes Cedar Park neighborhood homes so popular. 

    Staged Cedar Park House
    Views of the kitchen

    Who wouldn’t like to wake up every morning with the eastern light? This turns every day into a great day. It is easy to stay in the bed on Sundays with the newspaper and a cup of coffee when you have views of the mountains from your bedroom. 

    staged home in Cedar Park neighborhood of seattle
    Good Morning!

    As Seattle home stagers, we get to stage many wonderful homes in different neighborhoods. This Cedar Park home is a perfect example of this and we know that the next home owners will enjoy living in this home and entertaining their friends and families for the years and seasons to come. 

    This house is listed by Redfin and the MLS number is: 411677.

  • A “Hipster Vintage” Staging Design For This Seattle Mid-Century House

    I just love being a home stager.  And the best part is that as a Seattle home stager, I get to design and stage so many beautiful homes. This Mid-Century house in Seattle is a good example of this. To showcase the beautiful simple lines, the big windows, and that MCM feel of the house, we decided to create a hipster vintage modern staging design

    Seattle Staged mid century modern home
    Staged Seattle Mid Century Home In Shoreline Neighborhood

    We really enjoyed staging this lovely Seattle house. Being able to add some of our true Mid-Century Modern pieces and creating the feel of that era for the house was just super fun for us. We had fun pieces like a MCM ashtray, vintage matches, real MCM furniture pieces from the 50’s with low backs. We even carried this design in the kitchen with our selection of MCM items. 

    What we at Seattle Staged To Sell pride ourselves for creating individual and unique designs for each house has this principle has been our guiding light through all the years that we have been staging Seattle houses. For us, no two homes are the same and we stage each home differently. Even though it would be much cheaper and easier for us to just create cookie cutter designs, we choose to take the extra steps and create appealing and suitable designs for our staged houses.

    We have blogged about this concept and described, for example, how we even stage two different Seattle townhouses with very similar floor plans differently. Our staging approach is based on the targeted buyers and the style of the home. The price range of the house will be reflected through our inventory selection. Our focus is all about creating a right lifestyle for the home and the potential buyers. 

    It’s a pleasure for all of us to stage beautiful Seattle houses, such as this mid-centtury house.  Each house gives us a unique set of challenges as well as wonderful elements to work with and this truly drives our passion as Seattle home stagers.

  • SEVEN Reasons Why This Amazing Mid-Century House Was Not Selling

    This beautiful homeowner occupied Mid-Century house in Magnolia, which is one of the most charming neighborhoods in Seattle, was for sale for almost six months. It’s actually still on the market. Except this time, this home has gone through an amazing transformation and it is ready to greet the buyers.We decided that the BEFORE & AFTER photos can speak for themselves.

    Don’t forget that the before pictures of this Magnolia house shows the state of the house while it WAS on the market.

    • Confusing Master Bedroom – The master bedroom, despite it’s magnificent views, had some challenges. One wall housed all of the closets and the built-ins. The doors to the master bathroom and outside porch were situated on the third wall. The fourth wall was taken out by the previous owner and was replaced by French Doors leading to the next bedroom. Therefore, in reality, you could not put the bed against any wall. This bed placement was one of the main reasons that this home was not sold. The home is a view home and this is the main reason that the home buyers would buy this house. Having the bed face the closets vs. the views was problematic. We solved this problem by floating the bed and brought a dresser and used it as a headboard. The problem was solved!  
    Home staging transformation of a Magnolia house for sale STAGED BY SEATTLE STAGED TO SELL
    Master bedroom BEFORE & AFTER
    • Mismatched & Misplaced Furniture Pieces – The living room, which was the first room that buyers would walk into, was cluttered with many misplaced and wrong furniture pieces. This not only didn’t show the lifestyle for this house, but it also created a distraction from the main focal point of the house. The TV blocked the views and the dated and mismatched furniture created a feeling that this house was neglected and in need of extensive repairs. 
    Magnolia house before staging and after staging by seattle staged to sell
    Wrong and misplaced furniture pieces created distraction

    The kitchen, pictured below, looked dated, cluttered, and lost even though it was remodeled and had beautiful cabinets. By bringing in a modern dining table, creating a sitting space, and de-cluttering, this kitchen was transformed into an inviting and modern area. See how the windows with the amazing views have now become one of the main focal points of this space. 

     

    Home staging transformation by seattle staged to sell
    This kitchen was missing a seating space and elegance.
    • Clutter Here & Clutter There – There was clutter everywhere. The closets were filled with items that the home sellers told me later that they didn’t even use anymore. For example, the entry coat closet housed the garden tools, bags of different fertilizer and the vacuum cleaner. When selling homes, the house should be de-cluttered, the extra furniture pieces should be eliminated and the closets should be thinned out. An entry coat closet for example should be showcased as a coat closet and not a catch-all space for everything that doesn’t have a defined space.
    • Not Depersonalized – The house was still about the home sellers and not the buyers. All of their personal items were in display throughout the home. The bathrooms were filled with their personal hygiene products. Even the signs of their choice of presidential candidate were displayed. Political signs have NO place in the homes FOR SALE, especially during the election year. Home buyers who came through the house could not make an emotional connection with it.
    • Mildew, Dirty Windows, Plastic Grocery Bags In The Garbage Bins – Do I need even expand and explain why this is a a HUGE NO! NO!? This is definitely a wrong approach when you are trying to sell ANY house. But even more so for a high-end home like this one. 
    • Forgotten Spaces – When you are selling a house, there should be NO FORGOTTEN spaces. You are selling square footage, so show it off. This house has a huge finished basement, which had become a neglected space. We addressed the problem by replacing some of the homeowner’s furniture pieces and moving their massive TV from the living room to the basement to create an inviting media room. It is all about suggestions.
    • Deferred Repairs – This home clearly was in need of some obvious repairs. When it is obvious, YOU as home sellers should try to address the issues. It will get called out later anyway and will result in a price reduction. With the help of your agent, you should identify your MUST repairs and get them done. This house had failed windows, rotten exterior trim, and needed to be painted. 
    After all of these issues were addressed and the house was staged and transformed, NOW the home was ready for the market!  
     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Professional Home Stagers Stage Houses for the Home Buyers’ & Cameras’ Eyes

    Professional Home Stagers stage houses for the home buyer’s eyes and the eye’s of cameras. 

    The way we live in our homes and the way we show our homes when they go to market are two different concepts. When we are living in our homes, everything is about US – OUR likes and OUR comfort. Therefore, it is not surprising that homeowners end up with lots of “stuff” in their homes which turns into clutter. This is usually even more true for renters. 

    Frequently, the home sellers and even the real estate agents tell us “I’m not sure if you can figure out these rooms since they are cluttered and filled with boxes” because the homeowners are in the process of packing. But as professional home stagers, we have the skills to look beyond the clutter and chaos and see the house through the home buyers’ eyes. 

    Since we often hear these comments and since home sellers are often skeptical of us being able to see through all their “stuff”, we thought it would be fun to share some before and after pictures with you. This way you can see examples of what we see during our initial walkthrough visits and what the home buyers see after the houses have been staged.

    Before Staging photos
    Bathroom or a laundry room?
    •  This bathroom also housed the laundry appliances and when we saw it, it showed as a laundry room too. Do you notice all those laundry products by the bathtub? But we knew what this place could be turned into!

    Staged bathroom by seattle staged to sell
    This staged bathroom became inviting.
    • After staging, this bathroom was transformed into an inviting and well-defined space. The pop of the colors directed the eyes and the laundry appliances were not the focal point of this bathroom, the soaking tub was.

    Before staging photo

    • This room was off the bathroom pictured above and since it was the second bedroom of the house, it was important to showcase it as a possible bedroom.  We opted to define it as a multi-functional room. Even though the bathroom was connected to this room, it could not be staged and defined as a master bedroom because of it’s small size. We added a daybed and small desk to showcase both possible functions of second bedroom and a home office. 

    Staged House by Seattle staged to sell

    • Since this bedroom and the bathroom above were connected, we carried the same colors for continuity. As a home stager, I strongly recommend creating continuity whenever possible.

    before home staging photos

    • This room, even though it was not a bedroom, was being used as one. But we knew how it should defined and we envisioned the possibilities. 

    A house staged by Seattle Staged To Sell
    We always like to add the element of fun when it is appropriate. This was the case for this Seattle house
    • Previously a bedroom, this room was defined for the home buyers as a media room. Since we knew our targeted buyers were going to be a young professional couple, we wanted to keep the staged look colorful and fun for this house. 

    Home stagers can see through the clutter and chaos. Our trained eyes know how to stage and define spaces for the buyer’s eyes. If you are selling a home, put yourself into the buyer’s shoes. Which home would you likely come to see in the person and put an offer on?

    We were delighted to hear from the listing agent that this house got two offers within hours of going on the market and more offers were still coming in. 

    Selling your home in the Greater Seattle Area? We would love to help you. Please call us at 206-334-0266, to make your complimentary initial visit?