Blog

  • Home Staging Pays Off (Literally)

    The idea of home staging can make sellers anxious. Bringing someone new into their home to redesign it may seem like an intrusion to some home sellers who have trouble letting go. Homeowners of smaller properties wonder if staging is worth it for their home. Therefore, home sellers who have not sold a staged house before may find the prospect daunting. However, the staging fee should not be thought of as a cost, but rather as an investment.

    “After our open house we had five separate offers, the winning one was nearly 25% over the asking price and nearly one hundred thousand dollars more than a nearly identical unit in the same building that sold just a couple of months prior.”  -Katie Myers, home seller

    Summit Ave Condo

     
    The Summit Ave condo in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood proved to be no exception. Prior to staging, this condo looked uninspiring and cramped. With our design, we brought energy into its rooms adding greatly to the property’s appeal.

    Importance of Home Staging

    We brought in bright colors, layered different textures, and mixed geometric and tribal prints tastefully to achieve a unique, eclectic look perfect for Capitol Hill. To read more about our design for this condo, go to our blog post: Energize Your Design. Buyers loved our design, and the home sellers quickly got multiple offers. In the end, they accepted an offer well above their asking price. In fact, they sold it for almost $100,000 more than what a neighboring unit sold for just a few months earlier.

    Home Office Home Staging Seattle

    The home sellers for this Summit Ave condo wrote us a stellar five star review on Houzz that pinpoints the importance of staging:

    “At the recommendation of our realtor, we engaged Seattle Staged to Sell to help us with our very small condo on Capitol Hill. Since we are remote, we had to interact mostly through email. They worked with the realtor to view the condo and develop a plan that highlighted home for the ideal demographic. The design proposal was through and outlined specific pieces of furniture and the overall design aesthetic they would use. Once we saw photos of their work my husband said, “…even I want to live here now,” about the 700 square foot space (we live in a 2000 square foot home in the San Francisco Bay Area). The home looked inviting, spacious, and modern after their work. After our open house we had five separate offers, the winning one was nearly 25% over the asking price and nearly one hundred thousand dollars more than a nearly identical unit in the same building that sold just a couple of months prior. No small amount of credit goes to our realtor and his excellent marketing skills, but I doubt we would have done so well without the help of Seattle Staged to Sell.”

    In conclusion

     
    After almost $100,000 higher than the original asking price and over the price of a recently-sold and nearly identical neighboring unit, it’s easy to say that the several thousand dollar price tag proves a worthy investment. As professionals, we know the housing market intimately, and can design to target a specific group of buyers most likely to purchase the home. By soliciting our expertise, home sellers invest in their success.

     

    For more information about the condo unit go to its Redfin Page.

    To read another example of the payoff of home staging: The Importance of Investing in Staging

  • Energize Your Design

    Eclectic Style Living Room Home Staging Seattle

    Make a statement.

    While location is key, it does not contribute to the interior’s appeal. This condo is located in Seattle’s hip neighborhood, Capitol Hill. Despite the condo’s prime locale, the condo itself was bland and uninspiring. We made it our mission to stage the condo and make a statement. To do so, we used bold colors in an eclectic design to bring an energy that matched the neighborhood’s spirit.

    Eclectic Style Living Room Home Staging Seattle

    In the living room, we decided to use a blue sofa for a pop of color; we used green and yellow accents to compliment the intensity of the blue. We also added different geometric prints to catch the eyes of buyers. The placement of the mid century console table added further interest tying together a hip and funky living space.

    Eclectic Style Kitchen Table Home Staging Seattle

    For the dining area, we once again used bold mid century pieces to liven up the space. We chose these chairs because their slim structure enlarged the space. Their bold yellow color tied together the dining and living areas, echoing the yellow pillows on the sofa. We once again used prints to dress up the space by using woven tribal bowls and a patterned vase.

    Eclectic Style Home Office Home Staging Seattle

    We continued most of these design elements in the home office. In this room, we brought the black and white geometric prints to the focus, and we contrasted them with solid green accessories throughout the entire room. Mixing striped and zig-zagged patterns made the design daring, adding extra energy.

    Master Bedroom Home Staging Design

    We made the master bedroom more relaxing through tamer prints, but maintained the bright color palette to contrast against the soft neutrals. This created a balanced, soothing look.
    Colorful Outdoor Balcony Furniture

    We even continued the bold color palette outside of the condo and to the balcony.

    In Summary

    Whether you are putting a property on the market or you are designing your own home, it is important to create a cohesive sense of vivacity throughout your home. An easy way to achieve a hip and funky spirit is to mix bold prints and colors. Essentially, use synergy to create energy.

     

    You might also want to read:

    Soft Colors and Neutrals Update Craftsman Home

  • Soft Neutrals and Touches of Metallics Add Sophistication to This Hip Condo

    The Queen Anne neighborhood in Seattle is a happening place and a sought after location for living.

    Lumen Condo is one of the popular condominiums in the area. Since it is located close to Amazon and the B&G Foundation, we knew that our targeted buyers would be young professionals. To attract this group of buyers, we designed a hip urban modern design. We kept the walls white for a clean, fresh feel and used a blend of soft neutrals to create an air of sophistication.

    Lumen Condominium staged condo The view from Lumen Condo shows off its close proximity to Seattle’s downtown and Amazon’s headquarters.

     

    03

    With an open floor plan, it is essential to divide the rooms into different zones. Here, we created a living and a dining space. Having an area rug anchored the room and defined the living space while it kept the room open. The hanging carpet echoed the shag rug and added color, and the use of soft neutrals warmed up the room.

    Lumen Staged Condo

    In the bedroom, we used a patterned area rug and pillows to create a cohesive and fun look. The patterns in gold tones added urban elegance.

    05

    The seating area had a mixture of textures and fabrics to add interest and visual weight to this hip design.

    06

    We created the dining zone near the large windows to face the city view and added pops of color both on the table and the wall. The wall art brought the metallic details from other parts of the condo into the dining space creating a cohesive look.

    In this open floor plan condo, we defined different zones but kept the space connected through metallic accents. To make the metallics stand out, we mixed together soft neutrals. We also layered a variety of natural textures to add further interest to this design. This strategy kept the staging both sophisticated and hip for our youthful targeted buyers.

     

  • Beautiful Waterfront Views Inspired Our Staging Design

    Waterfront Home Exterior Lake Sammamish Bellevue

    This luxury Bellevue property, priced at $2.6 million, is located on the shores of Lake Sammamish. With this water front home, we wanted to incorporate its stunning views into our staging inspiration. We decided to bring a casual beach vibe into the design while keeping it classic. To accomplish this, we selected natural textures, used the views and landscaping to decide our color palette, and integrated nautical themes into our pieces.

    Living Room Waterfront Bellevue Property Lake View Water View Lake Sammamish Bellevue

    This living room brought the orange, green, and blue tones found outside into the home. This created a sense of cohesiveness that utilized the house’s natural setting as part of the design. By placing colorful pillows on neutral sofas, we tied in these colors in a balanced way. The dining room wall art and accessories echoed these colors, adding to the flow of the space. We used rustic woods for the coffee table and accessories, which alluded to beach driftwood.

    Traditional Home Office Bellevue Washington Luxury Home
     
    This home office had a traditional feel due to the dark wood window trim and built-in shelves. We catered to this style in our design through the desk, chair and accessories, however we also managed to bring natural textures into this room by placing the sisal area rug.

    Home Office Water View Lake Sammamish Bellevue Luxury Home

    With the desk facing Lake Sammamish, we managed to make this traditional piece to correspond to the scenery outside. We brought the colors from the deck into play through the desk chair and carved wood duck. The open book reflected the hues of the water and trees outside.

    Home Office Homework Space Lounge Area Coastal Style Bellevue Waterfront Home

    For this homework space, we brought in the nautical theme through accessories and color palette. The pillows and the wall art referenced the beach, and the bamboo tied into the texture of the shell illustration and, once again, referred to driftwood. The blue chair and desk accessories balanced out the room.

    Dining Room Waterfront Property Lake Sammamish Bellevue Water View

    With the dining table and floral arrangement, we, once again, drew the gorgeous view into the home.

    Master bedroom waterfront property Lake Sammamish Bellevue

    For the master bedroom, we mixed textures for added interest meanwhile we used pieces that tied into the rest of the house. The leather chair reincorporated the nailhead detail from the home office and the carving of the bed frame was similar to that of the desk. The area rug married the grays of the bedding with the mixture of blues and greens of Lake Sammamish to create the ultimate relaxing setting.

    boys-room
     
    Even though this kid’s room did not have a water view, it still embodied the coastal vibe throughout the house. We accomplished this through the sailboat, whale, and fish motifs throughout the room.

     

    By using this luxury house’s natural surroundings as our style inspiration, we created a cool and casual lifestyle that the homebuyers could easily envision themselves living in. SOLD!

     

     

     

  • 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!