So it has been a little while since I blogged…the end of the year snuck up on me in quite a hurry!  And I have been quite busy, so I don’t want to complain!  So happy new year everyone!  I hope 2013 is a great year for all!  Now is the time people start to look into the idea of selling their homes.  The holidays are over and the spring market is quickly approaching…so if you want a quick sale for the most money, consider staging.  It is proven to work!  And I would like to help anyone looking to sell their home…

Holidays and home selling

Here is your dilemma…your house is on the market and the holidays are quickly approaching.  So what do you do with your holiday decorations?  Simple answer…you can still decorate for the holidays while your house is on the market, but you must remember 1 thing…MODERATION!  Keep it simple and not go over the top.  You still want potential buyers to be able to navigate your home without running into holiday decorations or knocking items over.  You might have to scale back on some of your normal decorations, but keep this in mind…once you get into your new house, you can go wild with those decorations.  Scaling back on 1 holiday and getting your home sold is well worth the price of a few less decorations.   So keep this tidbit in mind when decorating your home for the holidays if you also have your home on the market!  Here is wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season!!

This political season

I know that this election in particular, has many people feeling very vocal about their support.  Signs in yards are abundant, and that is the wonderful thing about this country — freedom of speech.  However, when it comes to selling your house, the political signs, shrines and banners need to be put away.  Your political views could very easily prevent you from selling your home.  This is part of the “neutralize” that I so often talk about and preach.  I know this is not a popular way of thinking, but in my opinion, I would rather sell my house quickly and for more money, than to ensure everyone who rides by knows who I am voting for and the direction of my political affiliation!  Bigger picture people…think about it!

Quite possibly the last holdout…

So I have heard over and over from friends, colleagues…even strangers about Pinterest.  But I held out.  And those people kept saying “you have to try to it.  It is so addictive.”  And from what I understand, there are some people that need a Pintervention!  But I finally gave in last weekend and signed on to check it out.  I now get it!!  It is loaded with some very interesting, odd, unexpected things…that keeps you wanting to Pin everything!!  It’s great!  I have already found some great ideas to use when staging and redesigning…so I figure it is worth it for that alone.  So kudos to the creator of Pinterest!  I am converted!  And I suggest everyone else out there try it too.  Happy pinning!

Fall has started…unofficially that is!

The kids are back to school and vacation is over. They say spring is the time of renewal, but if you are like me…fall feels like that time of renewal for me. It’s a good time to get your house back together or start a new project. How about redesigning that room that you just never use. You know the room…the one you walk by everyday and think ” I have GOT to do SOMETHING with that room.” The room turns into a catch all…you plan on putting something there for just a short time but that item is still there a year later. Or maybe your office needs a redesign. Is your office not visually appealing? Is the feeling you get welcoming? Or is the feeling you get overwhelming?

Redesign…that is the word of the season!!

Curb appeal, curb appeal, curb appeal!

First of all…where did the month of April go?  I feel like I blinked and April was gone and May showed up.  But, now that May is here and Mother’s Day has come and gone, the flowers and trees will be in full bloom!  Take advantage of Mother Nature’s freebies to help make the outside of your home look camera ready.  Staging does not just mean the inside of the home.  If we stage the inside, and neglect the outside…potential buyers will never see the beautiful inside, because they won’t be able to get past the unappealing outside.  Curb appeal is so important!  We stage not only the inside, but the outside as well.  It is amazing what a little fresh mulch and some brightly colored potted plants will do to perk up a tired front porch.  You want buyers to imagine themselves enjoying a cup of coffee on the front porch or an after dinner drink on the back patio.  The key is to keep the outside camera ready.  It doesn’t have to look like it is going to be photographed in Southern Living, but it should be attractive and well kept.  So keep the plants watered, the trees trimmed and the weeds at bay!  Remember, you can’t sell it if they can’t see it!

New Year…New Idea…

So the new year is upon us…2012 is officially here!  Do you have a house that is just sitting on the market with no activity?  Or maybe you put your house on the market sometime in 2011, but took it off because there was little to no activity.  Then it is time to make a change…Stage your house!  Staging helps get your house sold faster and for more money.  Doesn’t that sound like something you might want to try?  If your current strategy for selling your house is not going according plan, then give me a call.  We can stage your house and get it sold!  Let’s make 2012 a productive year!

Vacant vs. Occupied Homes

The plan to stage a house depends completely upon each individual home.  There is no cookie cutter plan you can use and just slap onto any house.  Occupied homes need to be staged fully.  The worst thing is to have a couple of rooms staged and then leave other rooms un-staged.  It creates inconsistency…which becomes an obstacle!  An obstacle is a home buyers nemesis…we need to eliminate all obstacles so that the buyer focuses on the home and features and not on peripheral items – such as trying to figure out why part of the house looks great and part looks cluttered.  So when a homeowner asks if the entire house needs to be staged, the answer is a resounding YES!

However, for vacant homes the answer is not so clear.  Typically, again depending upon the house, we will stage only the key rooms — living room, kitchen, dining room, master suite, foyer, etc.  Buyers need to see how the main spaces can be utilized.  Invariably, as most realtors can attest, buyers will walk into a vacant home/empty room and the first thing they say is — “I don’t think our furniture will fit.”  OR  “How are we going to put our furniture in here.”  Again, obstacles.  My goal is to eliminate all obstacles to buyers.

Bottom line — you want buyers looking at the house and the features and not focusing on if their furniture will fit or why some rooms in the house look amazing and some look like a tornado touched down!

Don’t be afraid to dig for buried treasure…

The key to staging is to enhance those features in your home that will attract buyers.  Granite counter tops, hardwood floors, a beautiful view — whatever we can find.  A recent house I staged had very neutral carpet in the living room and hallway…sounds good right?  Not in this case.  The carpet was 20+ years old and was in dire need of replacement…not even a good cleaning was going to resurrect it.  The bedrooms off of the hallway had hardwood floors, so we took a chance and lifted the carpet in the living room.  EUREKA!  We found hardwood floors!  So we ripped up the carpet, used a good floor cleaner and polishing orange glow and uncovered wonderful hardwood floors.  Even though the floors needed a good refinishing, the hardwood was so much more appealing than old, dirty carpet.  We had found our buried treasure!

It is also possible to find buried treasure in plain sight.  For example…a house we staged this summer has relatively new silestone counter tops in the kitchen.  Music to potential buyers ears!  They were great!  Neutral, but interesting and helped to update a 15 year old kitchen.  However, when I walked into the kitchen, I couldn’t see the counter tops…there was clutter everywhere!  Small  applicances, cell phone chargers, cookbooks, dishes, crock of utensils, etc.  While this is normal in most lived in homes – we want everything within arms reach.  Convenience!  But when you are putting your home on the market, this needs to change.  So by just the simple act of de-cluttering the counter tops and finding homes for all of these items…we found our buried treasure!

So when you are ready to put your house on the market, think about your buried treasures…they are probably closer than you might think!!  Better yet, that buried treasure is going to get your house sold quicker and for more money!