Archive for the ‘Seaside Home Stagers Blog’ Category
As I continue my home staging in Pawleys Island, last week I had the privilege of presenting “Staging for Realtors” to the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors Nuts N Bolts session. A key topic of the presentation was the top five staging mistakes real estate agents make. They are:
1. Not using home staging as a marketing tool in your listing presentation.
- Most realtors believe staging works, but they don’t routinely use staging or a stager in their businesses.
- Make staging part of your listing service and get an edge over your competition.
2. Not using staging as part of the marketing mix.
- Include a basic staging consultation in your marketing plan.
- Work with your stager in co-branding and marketing activities that will generate more listing appointments.
3. Waiting until the last minute.
- Often agents ask for a staging consultation two to three days prior to the targeted listing date.
- Most sellers need two to three weeks to prepare their home.
4. Giving up too easily when the client is resistant.
- Many agents simply list the house if the client is resistant to staging and they end up with a “toxic listing” that just won’t sell.
- Your stager can help by providing you with a staging packet for your sellers or by accompanying you on your listing presentation.
5. Not fully understanding the scope and benefits of staging.
- Realtors who are not fully educated on the benefits of staging won’t be able to communicate them to sellers.
- If you understand the underlying concepts and benefits of properly packaging a home, you will be able to confidently explain to your seller why it is important to replace that tattered carpet, remove their personal photos or repaint the electric blue bedroom!
During the session, we talked a lot about how real estate agents and stagers could and should work together to the benefit of clients who want to sell their homes in this tough marketplace. Many of the agents present confirmed that it is difficult for them to “sell” staging to their clients. While they know that staging greatly improves the presentation of a home, they say they don’t feel fully equipped to explain the advantages of staging, what it really costs and what a professional stager can do.
So I am now in my office preparing a package of materials that will help them broach the subject of staging with their clients and help them understand how it can help sell that home. However, don’t forget, you can always take your stager with you to the listing presentation or the second visit with a newly signed client when you sit down to discuss actual marketing plans for the home.
Don’t forget, presentation is second only to price when it comes to selling a home. Take a look at the statistics elsewhere on my website and you can see how much home staging returns on its investment and how much more quickly staged homes sell versus their unstaged competition.
Before: The Challenge
The most challenging project to date for Seaside Home Stagers was this three-bedroom, three-bath Huntington Lake villa at The Reserve in Pawleys Island.
This home was specifically designed by the owners to reflect their own modern taste. But after two months on the market, the feedback from potential buyers and realtors was not that positive. So the owners realized they needed help to make some changes and they called us.
When Seaside Home Stagers first visited the home for our initial consultation, the first item on our “to-do” list of needed changes was the fireplace in the great room. It was simply a recess in the wall with no mantle, bordered by small shiny blue-silver tiles with no finished edges. Plus, the areas on either side of the fireplace were empty causing potential buyers to wonder what could be done with them. Instead of inviting potential buyers in, this great room at best distracted them and at worst, turned them off.
Seaside Home Stagers worked with the homeowner to re-design this space. The challenge was to complement the contemporary design of the home, but to add some traditional touches. We recommended replacing the existing tilework with a ceramic tile surround that matched the tile floor, added a tile base to the fireplace and framed it with a white mantle and trim. And to complete the look, we recommended installing glass shelving in both niches to create space that could be used for a variety of purposes.
At a recent brokers’ open house sponsored by Mitch Mims of the Litchfield Company in Pawleys Island, agents gave the transformation rave reviews. This villa is now truly a place to call home, situated on the edge of Huntington Lake, with plenty of space inside with two suites upstairs for guests and both a patio and screened porch to enjoy the out of doors.
And the best part is all the landscaping maintenance is taken care of. You can throw away your lawnmower forever!!!
Follow this link to see all the before and after photos http://picasaweb.google.com/lucindalong4/HuntingtonLakeCirclePortfolio?feat=directlink or simply go to my Portfolio (cont.) page of this website. You can find the listing for this lovely home at www.thelitchfieldcompany.com MLS Number: 1018209.
After: You Are Home!
Before Professional Staging
After Professional Staging
Debunking the Top Five Myths about Professional Home Staging
Myths abound about all aspects of professional home staging. There are so many that I thought it would be helpful to take a stab this month at busting the top five.
Myth 2: Professional home staging should only be used after I put my home on the market and it doesn’t sell right away. The best opportunity for a quick sale is to find the right combination of price and presentation at the outset. Obviously, price is the most important factor in getting that sale. But presentation is a close second. Professional home staging is all about making certain that the home makes its best presentation. So to maximize your selling opportunity, it is best to prepare a home before it enters the market. Does it pay to stage later in the process? If the house is priced right and hasn’t sold, it is smart to consult a professional about its presentation. A professional home stager will be happy to help at any point in the selling process.
Myth 3: Professional home stagers are very critical and will “put down” my style and my belongings. Professional home stagers are trained to quickly evaluate a home’s positives and negatives and make recommendations that will ensure a home makes its very best presentation once it hits the market. Successful professional home stagers are never critical of a homeowner or his or her style. Rather, they assume the role of partner with the homeowner, working with them to achieve a common goal—selling the home as quickly and for as much money as the market can provide.
Myth 4: Professional home staging will require me to make a lot of changes and spend a lot of money on a home I am ready to leave. The starting point for home staging is to use what you already have to make the best presentation. Usually that requires some changes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money. In fact, the most common problem is too much furniture and too much décor. Streamlining furniture and furnishings—and rearranging them to show off the best features of the home—doesn’t cost anything except the guidance of a home staging professional. When a change to the home is needed, a professional home stager is a great resource at getting a certain look for a bargain price. Most stagers are accomplished bargain hunters and they also have an inventory of great accessories that they rent by the month at a modest cost.
Myth 5: Professional home staging is expensive. There are home staging services to fit all budgets. A professional home stager will offer an initial consultation for a modest fee (about $100) that includes a one- to two-hour walk-through ending in a checklist of the top five or 10 steps to take to prepare a home for sale with a recommendation for staging services, if needed. A professional home stager usually will offer a “do-it-yourself” service, which provides a detailed plan that the homeowner can use to stage each room of the home (about $200-300). Of course, you can hire the stager to complete the staging of the home and that fee will depend upon how large the home and how much work needs to be done. A small, occupied home would probably require at least a half-day of staging (after a homeowner cleans and de-clutters) while a large home might require one to two days of staging. These services can range from about $500 to $2,000 for simple projects–not a lot of money when you consider the value of a home and its monthly carrying costs and time on the market today.
If you are selling your home or not, it’s time to spruce up that porch for summer with a little home staging. Often we forget about our porches. We let them languish either in the front or the back of our homes with barebones furniture and a container of flowers from the local plant store.
But this summer, let’s get it together and make the porch a special place. If you are selling your home, it is really important to show potential buyers some wonderfull outdoor spaces for dining or just reading a book.
Here are some simple steps to sprucing up your porch:
1. Clean the porch and furniture using a pressure washer if needed to remove cobwebs and pollen.
2. Bring out the colorful seat cushions and pillows (throw pillows like the blue ones here are easy to make).
3. Plant some impatiens in a coordinating ceramic pot. Impatiens are good if you have a shady porch. Use marigolds or some other sun lovers if you have a sunny spot.
4. Borrow some indoor decor, like your favorite glass vase and fill it some faux grasses.
5. Hang a metal sculpture.
6. Lay a cotton rug or two.
7. Grab and good book, fill up your iced tea glass and enjoy!!
Here are our top 10 home staging secrets for the townhome we just staged. Most of these apply to any home that you are planning to stage.
Remember, it’s not about you! If you are selling, your home is no longer a home, but a commodity that you are marketing to potential buyers! Be willing to make changes that may not be your cup of tea but will appeal to buyers. Most people find it difficult to see their home through a buyer’s eye. A professional home stager can help.
Use neutrals with splashes of color: Neutrals come in many colors these days–they are the usual ivories and beiges, but they are also light grays, greens and even blues and yellows. Adding splashes of color with accent walls, pillows and throws creates contrast, interest and a pleasing palette.
Create cozy, special spaces: Buyers want to envision themselves enjoying the features of your home. Create aa few special spaces–a charming reading nook or a breakfast tray on the master bed. If you can’t afford to stage every room, create a “vignette” in a room with a chair with a throw and a pillow, small table with a reading lamp and a book.
Less is more–always!! It’s not just about de-cluttering, although that is clearly the number one “must” when selling a home. But it also means streamlining everything else as well: furniture, décor and accessories. And with small spaces, use less, not more smaller-scaled furniture; that can make a room look even smaller.
This bed is an air mattress! Great for staging when you are selling and don’t want to buy a mattress and box springs you don’t want to use yourself. It’s light and easy to use and deflates into its own small carrying case.
Lighten up! Open curtains, raise or remove blinds, take down heavy drapes and swags, remove screens, light up all the rooms. Many homes don’t have enough light because the rooms aren’t used that way by those who live there. Bringing in extra lighting is a real plus.
Create curb appeal: Don’t forget the outside entry. Trim the shrubbery, plant flowers, paint the front door a bright color, add a chair or two with a pretty pillow.
Expand the living space into the outdoors: Spruce up that screened-in porch. Add a table and pretty tablecloth, some chairs, some plants and maybe a barbecue, will really show people how much more living space they have.
Even minor updates make a big difference: Updates that make your home “current” are worth every penny. Replace old light fixtures (especially fluorescent boxes!) and vertical blinds and remove wallpaper borders. Add a stone or glass tile backsplash in the kitchen.
Upgrade a bathroom mirror with a frame: We framed this a plain old mirror to give it a new look. Or you could replace it with two separate silver-colored framed mirrors (one over each sink) to give the bathroom a more trendy look.
Seaside Home Stagers staged a vacant three-bedroom, three-bathroom townhome in the Park West community of Murrells Inlet. Despite all the competition in Park West and elsewhere, this property sold in just two weeks.
We employed a three-pronged strategy:
1) install selected pieces of rental furniture,
2) paint the bedroom and an accent wall in a soft taupe and
3) add some updates in the kitchen.
Check out our before and after photos below:
Seaside Home Stagers can help you sell your property faster by staging to appeal to the broadest range of buyers–whether your home is vacant or occupied. We can take on any challenge!
Seaside Home Stagers LLC in Pawleys Island is hard at work on transforming a vacant townhome in Murrells Inlet’s Park West neighborhood. Fabulous tile has been selected for a backsplash upgrade, drapery panels and decorative metal rods, rental furniture for key rooms as well as just the right accessories. Stay tuned for the next installment.
Seaside Home Stagers just signed a contract to stage a vacant condominium in Murrells Inlet. It is a great unit with three bedrooms and three baths and a screened in porch. We are going to do some nice upgrades in the kitchen and master bathroom and then stage it with furniture from CORT and Seaside Home Stager accessories. It is going to look great. I will share the photos when we finish in early April!