Creating a well-balanced flow on open shelving can be tricky. It is easy to accidentally create a cluttered look if you don’t follow a few rules while decorating. Here are five tips to help style your open shelving for an uncluttered and well-balanced look.
We were recently featured in a Houzz editorial on the importance of home staging!
In Karen Egly-Thompson’s editorial, Houzz guides home sellers on the investment of home staging. Egly-Thompson shares tips and explanations so you can get the most out of your investment:
Staged for Success: The Case for Hiring a Home Stager
“Before listing your home, tap into the talents of a home stager. You may sell your home faster and at a bigger profit. Home staging has become an increasingly formidable force in helping people sell their homes more quickly and for more money. Its overall goal is to help prospective home buyers emotionally connect with a space, hopefully leading to an offer to buy. Home staging isn’t limited to just high-end properties. It has become a norm for homes at all price points. While staging may seem like an additional hassle and expense, the investment can pay off. Here’s a guide to home staging, including the benefits, process and reasons to stage your home if you’re considering a move…”
This traditional home in the Denny Blaine community in Seattle is framed by gorgeous trees all around. Mesmerized by the trees, we decided to take the surrounding nature and incorporate it into our design by using different natural textures to compliment the hardwood wood flooring and trimming.
From time to time, I do come across home sellers, and yes, even some agents, who say that they are not sold in the benefits of home staging. Some even go further and give me a list of their own opinions of the downsides of staging homes. So, are there any downsides? Let’s examine this question.
I can think of a few downsides of staging homes:
During the up economy, staged homes sell faster and for more.
During the down economy, staged homes move faster and closer to the asking price.
When the homes are sold faster, it means that home sellers get more money for their homes AND they save money on the upkeep of the house like taxes, utility bills and mortgage.
Even though the price creates interest, staging brings the offers.
The home buyers might feel the downside of staging when they may end up paying more for the homes they have made an emotional connection to and fallen in love with. But I think, that the downside of staging is HUGE for the home sellers who are not serious about selling their homes and earning the best return on one of their biggest assets, their home.
Therefore, if you are not a serious home seller and you are just toying with the idea of selling your home, stay away from investing an average of $2500 to stage your home. Otherwise, you may have to deal with the mentioned downsides that will force you into packing and getting ready to move out and into your next home.
As a home stager, I come across more and more informed homeowners who want us to stage and prepare their homes for the market. These homeowners understand that the money they pay towards professional home staging is actually an investment with a high ROI (return on investment), rather than an expense.
The 2011 HomeGain stats reinforce what we, the home staging community, have been saying for a long time and what these homeowners knew already. According to their survey of the national sold homes in 2011, the homeowners who invested in home staging saw a 299% ROI. This is HUGE!
Still, there are times when I meet with homeowners who are not convinced that they need to spend the time to prepare their homes nor the money on staging. When I hear “I can’t afford to stage my house,” I tell them that they can’t afford NOT to.
The best thing you can do when you want to sell your home is to call a professional home stager first. A professional home stager can work with your budget and give you the best advice tailored to your home’s needs and this will help you with meeting your sales goals and even surpassing them. A 299% ROI is sweet!
We had so much fun staging this house for Michael Ackerman from CBBain. When it comes to staging, we like to save as much money as possible for the home sellers and this house was a perfect example of this.
The homeowner had moved to the east coast and wanted to sell her house and purchase a home in her new city. Since the home seller lived in another state, we managed all of the projects. Some floors were refinished, some walls were painted, and our team members loaded up the truck several times to take the extra pieces of furniture into the three storage units that were rented for this purpose. We brought in the missing items, redesigned and staged the entire house. We showcased the beautiful windows and the views of Capitol Hill.
Since this home didn’t have a proper family room, we turned this spacious basement, which was used as a catchall space into a media room. By defining this space as a media room and suggesting a function for home buyers we turned this forgotten space into a room with huge possibilities. When you are selling homes, you are selling square footage. Therefore all home sellers should and must showcase all of these “forgotten places” like the basements, mud rooms as well as laundry rooms.
Even though this part of Capitol Hill is more of a family neighborhood, this house was not very suitable for families with small children. We decided to target the staging toward young professional couples or couples with a teenager. This house ended up being sold within just a few weeks to a young professional couple.
Our philosophy at Seattle Staged To Sell is to stage homes for a specific demographic. Some homes must be staged for families with small children while others need to be staged toward a professional couple or a single person. This laser targetting approach has been proven successful. This Colonial Capitol Hill home is a successful example of this approach.
While back, I was viewing a house with a friend who was interested in finding a home in the range of $1.5 that offered stunning views of Puget Sound. Her agent called to let her know that he had found a property that seemed to possess all the features that my friend desired and the three of us me to view the house together.
The exterior of the house and the gardens were absolutely beautiful and the neighborhood was to die for! However, upon entering, our eyes were immediately drawn to numerous pictures displayed throughout the house. The photographs were of the home seller during her pregnancy. My friend, the potential buyer, right away became preoccupied with the pictures instead of being focused on the house.
As a home stager, one of the first things I tell my clients is to depersonalize their homes. I suggest that they pack up their personal pictures so that prospective buyers can more easily imagine themselves in the home. As I observed my friend’s reaction while she looked over the pregnancy photos, I became acutely aware of what a huge distraction they were and how they prevented my friend from seeing herself in the house.
I couldn’t help but wonder why the agent had not advised her client to do things like remove the photographs and store the toys in the child’s bedroom rather than in the living room next to the gorgeous Italian sofa. Why hadn’t there been more attention to creating the lifestyle for the potential home buyers? Did the agent perhaps feel uncomfortable and a bit fearful about offending her client? Or was he just uninformed when it came to home staging, or perhaps, too busy?
If this agent had brought in a home stager for an initial consultation, I have no doubts that the pictures would have come down and been replaced with some beautiful, yet generic, wall art. I am also certain that the home stager would have helped to create practical strategies for the home upkeep so that the home sellers could keep their home show ready for those times when they only have moments to prepare.
A $250 consultation fee (most are about $150-$250) is much less than a $17,000 price reduction and far less painful! I am confident that with the help of a home stager, this home would have been remembered for its amazing views rather than its pictures. The “pregnant lady picture house” never made it to the 2nd viewing list. As beautiful as the house was, my friend did not make an emotional connection with it. Would her experience have been different if it had been staged more effectively? Unfortunately, that is something we will never know.
To avoid stories like this, team up with trusted and experienced home stagers and let THEM do the talking. With their advise, your listings will be market ready from the first day and you will get that SOLD sign up.