In this post, I would like to talk about vacant home staging of high end properties. Ok, we don’t get to stage them every day, but when I receive a request to stage one, I know that it will not be an average home staging.
Why? First of all, high end properties require ‘high end look’, which is not always easy to achieve with the furniture and accessories available for rent. Also, chances are that room sizes are bigger than average and, therefore, require larger furniture and, possibly, more furniture than regular properties. These properties usually take longer to sell, so the furniture and accessories might be staying there for a while….Therefore, I have to manage the client’s and the broker’s expectations in terms of the look and in terms of the appropriate budget for the project.
Maybe you think that a high end property doesn’t require home staging, even if it’s vacant. The location, the view, the large spaces…everything is there. Is it enough to sell it, though?
The truthful answer is ‘It depends’. It is possible that the property’s assets will suffice.
But staging the property will bring out those assets even more. It will be easier to attract potential buyers when the photos show furnished rooms. The visitors will visualize the spaces better as well.
As I previously mentioned, special care has to be taken with the style and size of the furniture appropriate to the property. In a vacant home staging of a high end property, I always recommend to do the main rooms – at the minimum, the entrance, the living room, the dining room, the master bedroom and accessorizing the kitchen and a bathroom.
See all the photos of this magnificent condo, which we staged last week. Less than 24 hours after the listing was active, there are already visits to the condo.
Best home staging colors for this year? A lot of properties I visit need a bit of rejuvenation and a fresh coat of paint can do miracles! But, everyone asks me to help them select the most appropriate color for their home staging project. And I also get asked whether the home staging colors should follow the ‘trend’ of the year.
I thought that now is a perfect time to address this question, as we are starting a new year.
A lot of major Paint companies introduce new TRENDS in interior paint colors several months before the start of the new year. Here are 3 top paint companies in North America and their 2018 selection.
The ‘trends’, by definition, are new, temporary and always changing. What is trendy today, might look completely outdated in 3 years from now.
Do you remember the trendy EARTH colors of 1990s? Terracotta, earthy reds, putty, browns, dark greens, sage were all the rage back then, but how do they look to you now?
There are still many properties out there stuck in the 1990s (or even before) and the best advice I can give is – PAINT in neutral colors!
Neutral colors are always in style, trend or not. The palettes of 2018 colors exhibit some tones of white and grey, which will stand the test of time. And you will be delivering a turn-key property to your buyers.
I like the off whites (but NOT with yellow or red undertones), light greys and greige (which is between grey and beige and is very classy, in my opinion).
I often choose the colors in Benjamin Moore palette, but I tell clients to have them mixed in a cheaper brand (they need the BM color code).
Some suggestions: OC-17 White Dove, OC-38 Acadia White, OC-117 Simply White, OC-55 Paper White, BM 905 – Lily of the Valley, BM 97 – Cloud White
Greys and Greige colors have to be selected carefully, as they can sometime look dirty. Also, remember that the paint on a wall will always look a bit darker than on a sample, so if you are hesitating between 2 tones, I recommend going to a lighter one.
One of my all time favorites is Benjamin Moore CC-80 Grey Mist and it is a perfect blend of grey and beige.
There you go, now you know the best home staging colors for 2018.
This home stager is staging her own house in preparation for sale. Yes, the time has come for us to downsize and to move to a lower duplex apartment, which we are currently extending and renovating completely (but that will be another story).
Having raised my kids in this house, I am emotionally attached to it. But, I must remain objective and critical in order to stage it for sale. I feel your pain!
Let me share with you the process I went through:
I started by reviewing each room in the house for unnecessary stuff, noting whether any minor repairs or a coat of fresh paint was needed. I made a list of things to do for each room. And then the work begun! As this home stager dislikes clutter in her everyday life (convenient for her job), there was not that much stuff to de clutter, but it still took a few days and several garbage bags, as we all accumulate things as years go by.
Main challenges and how this home stager addressed them:
My youngest daughter’s room is quite small and I wanted to make it look bigger. I moved a desk and some bookshelves out of her room and re positioned them in different areas of the house.
One of the bedrooms was converted into a den with a fireplace by a previous owner. It has not been renovated since I bought the house (as I was always hoping it would be out next renovation project:)) and it did NOT look good. It was my office, as I love the view to the garden. As we were not going to renovate it now, the room was repainted in an off white color (including the brick fireplace and the wood paneling) and my office moved to the basement. The room was staged as a den.
Last, but not least, challenge was our basement, which was awful LOL and was never really used as a living space. We needed to do some renovations here. Out came the popcorn ceiling, the wood paneling was replaced by new drywall, new paint applied and new floating floor put down. Wow, what a difference! One final step – the basement was staged (could have been left empty, if your budget doesn’t allow for it, as long as it’s nice an clean).
The work continues slowly but surely. Closets are done, the garage – NOT!
As a home stager, my final word of advice is – prioritize, work room-by-room, don’t get discouraged. Even is the house will not be perfect, any improvements you do are better than none!
Let’s face it – not everyone (including myself) is a green thumb or enjoys playing in the earth. But, when you want to sell your house, exterior home staging needs to be considered and addressed.
So, let’s look at the minimal and easy steps which can be taken to get that Curb Appeal which will attract more visitors to your house. Remember, the first impression your potential buyers will get is from the outside!
Disclaimer: this is not my house but it is a house I recently staged. It was fully renovated and put back on the market.
The basics of Exterior Home Staging
Remove any garbage bins, toys, hoses and maintenance equipment from view
Inspect your front door – does it need a coat of paint or, at least, a good cleaning?
Look for cobwebs and remove them
Review the mail box, the address number and the exterior lighting. If they are rusted, old, non functional or generally unappealing, clean, paint or replace them
Pressure wash the exterior walls, stone, and concrete, if needed
Fix the lawn – pick up leaves, branches, pull up weeds and re seed to make it lush
Add a few plants or small bushes to your landscaping, if needed and annual flowers
Add a colorful flower pot or two in front of the entrance (if your climate allows)
Maintain the front and back yard – water, mow the grass regularly and pull the weeds out
The extras of Exterior Home Staging
No one wants to invest a lot of money into a house they are selling. But, sometime, it is necessary to do some bigger projects to help you sell.
Frequent questions I get on the topic are:
What to invest on and how much to invest on exterior look of the house?
It is obvious that the better the house looks, the easier it will be to sell. My take is always to go with the minimum amount of investment you can afford and which will make the biggest impact on the look of your house.
For example, an old and broken garage door is definitely an eye sore. See if it’s fixable and can be cleaned and repainted if you don’t want to replace it.
Another problem I see often is the walkway and/or steps in poor condition as well as foundation cracks. It is a tough one, as the replacement can cost several thousands of dollars. Remember, the buyers usually want as little work as possible when they buy, so if you don’t do it, they will have to and they will certainly negociate the price for it. Especially the foundation cracks need to be fixed and the foundation painted. Try to fix what you can (if it is possible and within your means).
As a personal example, we replaced our front steps and redid our walkway last year – a big and expensive cement job – in preparation of potential sale of our house. As my landscaping was damaged by the work, I purchased small and inexpensive bushes and planted them on each side of the walkway this spring to let them grow over the summer. I added a few annuals and the curb appeal of my house went up tremendously. I already got many compliments from family, friends and neigbours!
In conclusion, exterior home staging will probably NOT bring you a direct Return on Investment but it will help you find the right buyer quickly!
To stage house or not before putting it up for sale? If you are considering selling your property, then you should be looking into home staging.
The factors affecting the sale of your property, are:
Location, Market , Condition of your house and Presentation of your house. You can’t control the first two, but you can certainly put all odds in your favor; make sure the condition and the presentation of your property are the best they can be!
You are in the right place to get your questions answered on whether to stage house and how to best do it (at a minimal cost, of course :)).
I hope your house needs LESS staging than this one!
Home Staging is a science and an art of preparing your house to look its best and to highlight your home’s best features. It helps potential buyers connect with your property and want to make it their own.
Whether you are in the planning stage of the selling process or your house is already for sale but not selling, you can make simple improvements which will help you sell faster and better.
Question 1: Why are model homes staged? How do you feel when you visit them?
The builders are selling a lifestyle, and they stage their model unit to seduce the buyers. Most people will probably not be sipping champagne in front of a burning fireplace every evening and their beds will probably not be made impeccably and luxuriously every morning but when you walk in to a model unit, the created ambiance influences you to want that lifestyle!
And that is what proper home staging creates – a first impression, a desire of that lifestyle in that home. I call it the WOW factor. Marketing works!
Question 2: Are you able to be objective?
From the day you decide to put your house on the market, you have to emotionally detach yourself from it. I know it’s hard but it is KEY to be able to see your house objectively, if you are planning to stage it yourself. The reason many people hire a professional home stager is because they are unable to see it through ‘buyer’s eyes.
Question 3: How does your house look to an outsider?
Ask a few people (minimum 3) to give you their honest opinion about how your house looks to them. Let them walk through your house, pretending to be a potential buyer and let them critique it. Write their comments down.
Do NOT be offended! They are helping you to make extra money at the sale of your house.
Question 4: How does your house smell?
Every home has its own odor and it is VERY important to address the issue (if there is one).
As it might be difficult for you to smell your home’s odor (you are too used to it), the best way to assess the situation is to ask someone who doesn’t come to the house very often to conduct the ‘Smell test’. Ask them to be honest and tell you what they smell as soon as they walk in.
Question 5: When was the last time you painted and updated the look of your home?
Paint can have a dramatic effect on the look of the house. If the house hasn’t been painted in a few years or the colors you chose are outdated or not neutral, maybe it needs a fresh coat of paint. Colors follow trends and a color palette, which was the height of trend 15 years ago, might be completely wrong today.
Question 6: Is there too much stuff in the house?
People tend to accumulate things over the years. Overflowing closets, stacks of papers, knick knacks, too much furniture, things we never use but can’t get rid of…and they slowly take over your house.
Question 7: the most important one – Do you really want to sell?
If you do, then you need to stage house – a bit of effort, time and a small investment will generate you results you are looking for. Faster sale, bigger profit!