Archive for July, 2010

Top 5 Home Staging Tips for DIY

Posted on July 19, 2010. Filed under: decorating, home staging |

I recently contributed my top  5 home staging tips for an article written for  homeowners who have been hit hard by the real estate bubble bursting and who owe significantly more than their homes are worth.  These sellers want to maximize and differentiate their homes from the hundreds of dismal bank-owned properties on the market that are priced well below their worth.  The journalist was looking for inexpensive tips on that homeowners could do themselves.

My top 5 home staging  tips for this kind of home seller would be: 

  1. Make it sparkle: Clean and deodorize every surface, remove carpet stains, polish light fixtures, touch up paint, etc. Do this on the outside of your home as well. Your front yard,  door and porch  is their first impression. Make it the right first impression. It only costs our time and every buyer will appreciate a sparkling clean home that also smells fresh. Paint over any strong colors with a warm, earth-toned, light, neutral color.

    Bedroom with strong colors before staging

    Bedroom with strong colors before staging.

    Bedroom painted in neutral color for home staging

    That same lime green bedroom, repainted and staged

     

  2.  Remove extra pieces of furniture: store it at a friend or family member’s house or rent a storage facility. Keep only the essential pieces. This will make every room look and feel larger.

    family room before home staging

    Family room before home staging.

    Family Room after Home Staging

    Family room with rug and cabinet removed for home staging. It looks larger and feels brighter

     

  3.  Open your curtains or blinds: Natural light is what buyers want. If you have heavy curtains, lots of sheers or dark-colored curtains, pack them up for your next home.
  4.  Start packing: pack your treasures, family photos and knick knacks, empty 75% of your bookcases. Having fewer things out will make your home feel fresh while also helping buyers imagine themselves living in your home. Also, remove any religious art or potentially objectionable art and décor items. You never know what may offend a buyer or just distract them.
  5. Ask a professional: Staging your home for sale does not have to cost a lot of money. If you have an awkward room or furniture layout, seek the opinion of your Realtor. If you still have doubts about what to do, ask a professional home stager. Most will offer a consultation for a flat fee. They will tell you what needs to be done and then you can execute the plan.
 

’til Next Time 

Make Yours A 

Welcome Home 

If you are interested in a home staging or decorating consultation, please e-mail me for rates and more information or go to www.interiordesignsolutionsmaryland.com I am available for on-site and virtual consultations.

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Home Staging with Renters

Posted on July 13, 2010. Filed under: decorating, home staging |

This can be a particularly sticky situation. They may not be happy about showing the property and they will be less motivated to help you get a quick sale. 

So how do you stage a home when it is occupied by renters? 

I recently completed a project like this near Columbia, Maryland and here is how I approached it: 

  • Ask them to do less: limit staging requests to those that are essential. By creating a short list of requests the staging process is less intimidating and you are more likely to get at least partial compliance.
den in staged condo

I asked them to remove this rug. It covered a beautiful floor and made the room feel smaller

 

  • Prepare the spaces for the photographer and then put the renter’s things back where they were: This way the potential buyer can see what the space would look like in it’s best condition even if it looks slightly different when people actually tour the property.
staged kitchen in rented condo

We removed the renters' things to reveal the gorgeous kitchen and then put it all back

 

  • Let the Realtor be the good cop: If there is bad or unwelcome news to share about the staging (ie: pack up your knick knacks and piles of stuff) the stager becomes the bad cop. When the stager is the messenger of unwelcome news, the Realtor is able to maintain a friendlier relationship with the renter. This may make the difference between a renter who feels resentful and a renter who is cooperative for showings.
  • Make a list of necessary repairs and ask the Realtor to present them to the property owner not the renter. The property owner can decide whether or not the renter is responsible for the repairs but I recommend that the property owner take care of them unless there are extraordinary problems.
  • If you are hosting an open house, get the Realtor or property owner offer to pay for a professional cleaning service. This takes the burden off of the renter while assuring that the property will sparkle.

Preparing a property for resale is always difficult regardless of whether it is vacant, owner-occupied or tenant-occupied.A good home stager should always be aware of the feelings of the people you are working with. I sometimes feel like I am part decorator, part therapist, and part organizer. 

“til Next Time 

Make Yours A 

Welcome Home 

If you are interested in a home staging or decorating consultation, please e-mail me for rates and more information or go to www.interiordesignsolutionsmaryland.com I am available for on-site and virtual consultations.

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My favorite July 4th Place to stay…

Posted on July 1, 2010. Filed under: decorating |

That would have to be my beach house in Delaware. It is only 2 hours from my home in Ellicott City, MD but it is a world away from stress. 

Delaware beach house with pool table

I will spend a lot of time practicing here...I am not very good yet.

 

We are going to be at our beach house for a few days and we have invited family and friends to join us. There will be 23 people staying here. To some that sounds like madness but to me it sounds perfect. Slow summer days to hang out with our friends while the kids play, group meals prepared in the full kitchen where everyone will lend a hand, quiet evenings (after the kids are asleep) to relax and play pool and of course lots of time on the beach. 

I will be working from there as will my husband. We have wireless internet.  He is very busy with work and I have had an increase in inquiries for home staging and interior decorating projects in Baltimore and Towson as well as closer to home. I am squeezing in my site visits this week and will write-up the reports and real estate brochures from here: 

screened in porch

The screened porch is my favorite spot in the house

 

The screened porch gets great breezes and has an uninterupted view of Primehook National Wildlife Refuge. I can also watch the kids playing at the playground…or just take a nap read a book. 

I hope all of you have a place where you can get away from your daily stress. It could be a serene spot in your home or yard or a favorite destination. Wherever it is, I hope you get to go there often. 

“til Next Time 

Make Yours A 

Welcome Home 

If you are interested in a home staging or decorating consultation, please e-mail me for rates and more information or go to www.interiordesignsolutionsmaryland.com I am available for on-site and virtual consultations.

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