Blog

  • Holiday Decorating Tips for Homes for Sale

    Holidays are about families, getting together, buying presents, and expressing our sense of style and merriment with our holiday decorating. Most importantly, we want to be having fun while doing all these things. However, such activities can be somewhat challenging, and perhaps even unpleasant, if trying to sell one’s home during the holidays.

    It’s true that the process of selling your home includes removing your personal touches and purging the clutter to create open and inviting spaces for the home buyers. However, by following these simple tips, you’ll be able to create a balance between preparing your home for the holidays and keeping it show ready for the buyers.

    Holiday decorating tips for homes for sale
    A monochromatic holiday decor with a tall and narrow Christmas tree creates an open and festive mood for your home. Picture Source: Southern Living

    Simple holiday decorating tips for homes that are for sale:

    • Less is ALWAYS better than more when it comes to selling your home, especially during the holiday season. Be selective and don’t overcrowd your home with lots of decorations. Put out the items that you really love and forgo the giant Santa and elf figurines in your garden. Keep in mind that home buyers are purchasing your home and not your Christmas decorations. 
    • Selling homesChoose a monochromatic color palate like silver, white or gold. These are festive colors and also echo winter colors.
    • Be mindful that although people celebrate holidays in different ways, everyone relates to the winter season. Create focal points and focus by bringing the outside in. Evergreen branches, ivy, and red berry branches are beautiful and seasonal. Nature is a universal language.
    • Instead of poinsettias and colored candles, consider using white potted hydrangea and ivory candles. 
    • Tips for holiday decorating when homes are on the market for saleNature is a universal language and everyone relates to it.
    • If you’re celebrating Christmas, choose a slender (tall and narrow) tree with ONLY a few nicely wrapped presents underneath. Remember, you are selling floor space and this choice will add height to your home without taking up too much square footage.
    • Consider removing one or two furniture pieces to make room for the Christmas tree. 
    • White Christmas lights are best suited for homes for sale, especially if you like to add additional ones around your windows. Remember that lights with white wires are more elegant than multicolored lights with traditional green wires. 
    • Add a 2-hour Duraflame log to the fireplace for all of your open houses. 
    • The potential buyers and the agents always appreciate festive cookies and this gives the buyers another sweet memory of your home.

     

  • Staging A Magnolia Neighborhood Contemporary Home

    Lately we, at Seattle Staged To Sell, have been busy staging lots of homes in one of Seattle’s favorite neighborhoods, Magnolia. 

     

    Our latest staging project in Magnolia was this contemporary home with the views of Ballard Canal. As residents of Seattle, we consider ourselves lucky that we have the choice of having so many different water view homes. For me personally, I love active water views like this one.

    Our own, Kimberlee Grosline, rolled up her sleeves and partially staged this beautiful Magnolia home. The homeowners of this house had two small children and in the midst of the move to California. We met with them, gave them a detailed to do list and to what they need to do to prepare their homes before the staging date and these motivated home sellers did it all. 

    We started this project with a pre-listing consultation , where we determined what pieces need to go and what pieces should be brought in. In addition we created a “To Do” list for the homeowners.

    We redesigned, defined, and staged all the spaces of this Magnolia home and showcased the full potential of this house for the targeted home buyers. For example, even though this home had two master bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, we decided to stage both rooms as masters, since we had identified the targeted buyers as young professionals with no kids or with a young child. 

    Kimberlee did her magic and prepared the house ready for the market. Who could anyone resist this home in Magnolia? From every room of this house, there was a view of the water. 

    Whether it is a vacant house or a lived in house, we help home owners to stage and transform their homes into beautiful products and ready for the market. 

    Staged Seattle Magnolia Home by Seattle staged to sell
    Home staging transformed this Magnolia home in Seattle, WA.

    This Magnolia house was sold in just few days to a targeted buyer as we had identified. We strive to help all home owners to meet their sales goals. This is what makes us happy and this satisfaction is what drives us as a Seattle based home staging company.  

     

  • Queen Anne Neighborhood Craftsman Home Staging – A Builder’s Own Home

    Queen Anne Neighborhood Craftsman Home Staging – A builder’s own home where every detail has been taken care of beautifully!

    The Queen Anne neighborhood, a sought after Seattle darling of areas, sits on a hill close to the downtown area with a lot of old charm of its own. An abundance of Craftsman Style homes is one the most charming aspects of this neighborhood. However, I have come to know that not all Craftsman homes are created equal. This particular house, being a builder’s own home, is an example of this.  The beauty and craftsmanship of this house is obvious from the curb before you even enter the house.

    Staged Craftsman Style home in QUeen Anne
    When you want to sell a home, this is the kind of curb appeal that you want to have. Immaculate garden, beautiful planted pots for added color, and freshly painted and stained porch and stairs.

    Our Staging Strategy for this Queen Anne Craftsman home located at 813 West Newell Street and listed at $1.3 million, was to keep everything elegant and simple. By doing this, we were able not only able to emphasize the luxurious life style of the home, but also we were able to allow the beautiful finishes and details to speak for themselves.

    • Carefully and thoughtfully selecting furniture pieces and accessories for every home, we are able to create the right life style for each home for the targeted buyers. This approach that we embrace at Seattle Staged To Sell takes time and dedication and our home staging statistics strongly supports this effort. 
    An elegant library/music room with all the details of a craftsman home
    •  This room was a perfect setting for a library and/or music room. By keeping the colors muted, we were able to  direct the home buyers eyes to the craftsmanship of the details.
    staged craftsman style family room
    Family room with beautiful Craftsman Style windows
    • We selected a petit sectional and added cream pillows along with the black and white wall art pieces to ensure that the beautiful windows were showcased.
    Craftsman style bathrooms
    Keeping the bathrooms simple was the best home staging decision for this Craftsman house in Queen Anne.
    • The bathrooms of this house were so beautiful and elegant and for this reason, less was more for this room. This approach is another reminder that home staging is not the same thing as home decorating.  Home staging is for the targeted buyer and this concept is, unfortunately, something lost with some home staging approaches. 
    Staged Craftsman home style master bedroom
    Beautiful Craftsman Style built-ins in the master bedroom
    • This master bedroom had beautiful built-ins and we wanted to showcase that. In addition, some of the shelves had electric plugs and we let the home buyers know by adding a small lamp inside one of the shelf units. Everything in this room is classic and simple. The bedding and the accessories repeat the wall colors.
    craftsman style kid's room staged
    Who said classic can’t be fun?
    • We kept this child’s room classic and added the element of fun to it by our colorful accessories and lanterns. This room was ready to welcome those young home buyers. 

    This is how the listing agents described this Queen Anne Craftsman home in their marketing:

    Picture perfect Craftsman on lovely street close to everything. Builder’s own home constructed in 2002 to exacting detail, w/ classic high-end finishes & ideal layout. Grand entry flanked by living rm & library, formal dining w/ built-ins, butler pantry & kitchen/bkfst/family rm span back of home, open to covered porch, patio & lush private yard. Upstairs are lg master, WIC & luxe bath & 2 addl BRs, bath & laundry. Daylight LL w/ lg office/media, guest suite, 2 car gar. An amazing pristine home!

    When you hire and team up with us to stage your home, you will get a detailed home staging design especially created for YOUR home and YOUR targeted buyers. We have the experience and the knowledge to know what it takes to sell your homes and our track record echos this statement. 

     

  • What Today’s Home Buyers Want

    Home buyers in this market generally tend to buy homes that are ready to be moved into right away. They don’t want to deal with any renovation projects before occupying their new home. staged homes by seattle staged to sell Moving into a new house is expensive and most home buyers prefer to save their money for bigger renovations later, like a basement remodel.

    Think about the condition of your home. Do you need to attend to some projects before putting your house on the market? Don’t know where to start or which project to tackle?  Here are some general areas to look at to help you determine which improvements will give you the best return. I’d like to emphasis again, that these are general areas and you should discuss this with your Realtor and home stager. This list is a great start to get you thinking and moving in the right direction.

    Landscaping & curb appeal – remember that first impressions are everything

    • Weed and remove any plant debris
    • Prune trees that block the house and the windows; natural light means $$$seattle's home stagers
    • Re-sod the grass if it is needed and keep it mowed as long as the house is on the market
    • Add flower pots at the front door
    • Add seasonal flowers; group the flowers for greater impact and stick with 1-3 colors only
    • Stay away from orange beauty bark and opt for rich dark brown mulch; this will make all the flowers and plants to pop out

    Flooring

    • Hardwood floors are all about condition, condition, condition 
    •  Home buyers LOVE perfect hardwood floors
    • Shampoo carpets and replace the worn out one
    • Choose warm neutral color carpets and low pile
    • Replace/repair worn out linoleum

    Painting – Interior

    • Touch-up trim, doors and ceiling as needed 
    • If the doors are painted shut, unstick them
    • Rich neutral colors are best choices for paint
    • Paint over old water stains
    • The walls should be painted if there are nail holes and marksA seattle home stagers tips

    Painting – exterior

    • Sand and repaint any cracks
    • Repaint or re-stain the front door
    • Repaint fence
    • Three colors for a house is best; one for the body, one for the door, and one for the trim
    • Remember:  it is not about you, so paint the house in a color that appeals to most home buyers

    Kitchen and baths

    • Replace old counter tops; there are companies now that will lay new surfaces right on top of the existing one which involves less labor and thus, saves money
    • If the budget allows, replace appliances that look old and change out the non-working ones;  check out your  local discount appliance stores as they often sell appliances with minor scratches or dents at greatly discounted prices
    • Paint kitchen cabinets and get new and updated hardware
    • No leaking faucets

    You might also find our previous blog about 2011 HomeGain stats about the best home improvements with the best ROI. Remember that during your consultation, your home stager will help you to determine what are the most important projects for YOUR house.

     

  • Is Your House Ready for the Market and for the Home Buyers?

    Before you put your home on the market, you should ask a professional home stager or your realtor, “is my house ready for the market and for the home buyers? What steps do I need to take to make my home ready for the prospective buyers?” 

    If you car is like mine, and I believe most cars are now being made this way, a light pops up letting me know it’s time to be serviced.

    I then call my dealer/mechanic to make an appointment for my vehicle.
    house staging tips by staged by seattle staged to sell
    All homes could use a TUNE UP warning sign too.
    This automatic warning helps me keep my car in tip-top shape. 
     
    Wouldn’t it be great if homes also had a tune up button? This way, we would be informed about what is wearing out and what needs to be repaired or replaced. Most homeowners, since they live in their home day in and day out, get used to all the wear and tear in their house and when the time comes to sell, they are not able to identify all that needs to be done before their house goes on the market.
     
    Yes, it would be wonderful if all homes came with this kind of warning system. But, I have good news for home sellers. A professional home stager can identify all that needs to be done to prepare your home for the market. She/he will create a complete To Do List tailored to the needs of your home. 

    Below is a general list of steps to get you geared up to tackle the projects in order to get your home ready for the market and the buyers.

    home staging tips and check list by seattle staged to sell
    • Exterior Paint – Take a closer look. Paint if the existing paint is tired or flaking off. Fresh paint is the best facelift for ALL homes.
    • Fence – Check the condition and make the necessary repairs.
    • Pathways and stairs – Power wash to remove moss and dirt.
    • House number – The house number should be visible for the homebuyers.
    • Garden – Fresh mulch and seasonal flowers make a HUGE impact; please don’t cut back here.
    • Replace all exterior and interior burned out light bulbs.
    • Running toilets and worn out toilet seats are not cool.
    • Re-grout tile and around the bathtubs and sinks.
    • Leaky faucets should be repaired or replaced.
    • Replace any missing outlet covers.
    • Tackle sticky drawers, squeaky doors and missing knobs and pulls.
    • Replace worn carpet and shampoo the dirty ones.
    • Fix holes in the interior and paint the walls and trim.
    • Replace any broken glass/windows.
    • Refinish the wood floors. Homebuyers LOVE wood floors in great condition.
    • Take down broken blinds or tired and saggy curtains.
    • Re-stain or paint cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms.
    • We love energy saving light bulbs, but for homes FOR SALE, we recommend regular light bulbs. Light sells homes.
    • Clean out your attic and discard any items no longer needed.
    • All appliances, including the garbage disposal, should be running and working well.
    • Ask your realtor or home stager if it is necessary for you to repair or replace the roof; if old, it may not pass the inspection. 
    • Fireplaces and chimneys should be cleaned. 

    Keep in mind that this is a general list and a good place to start getting your home ready for the market and home bueyrs. If home sellers take the time and address these projects before their homes go on the market, they will ensure that they get the most money for their homes. Homebuyers will use the inspection list to bargain down the price. 


    Give your home a proper tune up and make it ready for the homebuyers. The results will SHOUT OUT to the homebuyers that this home is loved and taken care of. Like cars, people want to purchase homes in great condition.