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After two successful stagings by Premiere Stagers & Realty (formerly Premiere Home Stagers) at Middleton Glen Retirement Community, there was one unit left to sell. This two-bedroom unit was quite large and, thus, was a little more expensive.  The director knew it was likely to sell faster if it was staged.  It is difficult for people to visualize the size and scale of a room–especially one with angles–if there is no furniture in it.

Living Area

The living room and dining room areas can be interchanged.  Both areas have ample spaces for TV viewing and for dining. It just depends how much light you might want for each area.  It also might depend upon which bedroom you choose for your master bedroom.

Guest Room/Office

The layout of this room is also flexible, depending upon your choice of a sofa bed, daybed, or full-scale office.  Since the room is large and has its own bathroom, it can be set up as the master bedroom also.

Kitchen

I liked the colors of this kitchen and chose to enhance it by using red as an accent color.  Two to four cabinet-height stools can accommodate breakfast or lunches.  Or the breakfast bar can serve as a buffet for dining room guests.

Master Bedroom

I staged the bedroom on the opposite end of the living room as a master bedroom due to the view out the window and because the living area is farther away.  The large master bedroom closet can accommodate even those with excess clothing.

Because Middleton Glen is situated near all the amenities one would need–grocery store, coffee shop, restaurants, library, and walking trails; plus the various activities for seniors within the community, this unit won’t be on the market long.

Contact Premiere Stagers & Realty for your staging and selling needs.  608-345-9396.

The post Retirement Community Staging appeared first on Premiere Stagers & Realty | Dane County.

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This is the view in my backyard this morning–mid-April in Wisconsin!  We are expecting another 2-4 inches tonight.  Where did spring go?

Does this affect the buying and selling season?  You bet! When the weather advisories tell you to stay inside due to slippery road conditions, people heed this advice, especially on the week-ends.

I have staged some beautiful houses lately, but since we haven’t seen spring yet, showings and Open Houses are lower than normal.

After a successful estate sale last week-end, it was time to clear out what was left and then remove the carpets to reveal the original oak hardwood floors.

Once carpeting was removed, each room looked larger.  With older homes, there are small fixes from previous ways the home was used.  For example, the heat registers used to be located on the floor itself, but years ago the HVAC system was updated. A floor contractor will need to remove the plywood and weave in narrow oak flooring, then refinish the floors.

With most homes, stairs creak over time.  The previous owner used caulk to seal any movement, then carpeted the stairs.  We will remove the caulk, tighten loose boards, then clean and polish them.  To prevent the treads from being slippery, one could put low-grit sand into the varnish or fasten those non-slip strips onto each tread front.

A Labor of Love

So, when is a good time to list a house?  Whenever it is ready.  You only have one chance at a first impression, so it should be a good one.

The Madison, WI housing market is booming. The problem is there aren’t as many listings as in previous years.  Some buyer’s agents are advising their clients not go above the appraised price, which sometimes mean they lose out on purchasing a house.  However, those agents are protecting their clients should they need to sell within a few years due to unforeseen circumstances.

Premiere Stagers and Realty is here to help you stage and/or list your house whenever you are ready.  Call 608-345-9396.

The post Spring Selling Season? appeared first on Premiere Stagers & Realty | Dane County.

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The first step is to contact a few reputable auction and estate sale companies.  Ask about their terms and how they run their business. Most will have a detailed contract that lists what they will do for you as well as their commission and minimum price to conduct a sale.

The second step is to gather others to help sort items into categories:  distribute to heirs, toss, donate, or keep for the sale.

The third step is to put like items together in a pleasing arrangement–exactly like home staging.

The fourth step is to do some research as to the value of certain items and then price accordingly.  The sales company can price out lesser value items.

Themed Rooms

The 4 upstairs bedrooms have a specific purpose–again, like home staging.

The Holiday Decoration Room holds numerous Christmas ornaments, decor, and folk art all having to do with either Christmas, Halloween, or Easter.

The Antique Room holds primitive antiques and collectibles, including hames, gas hurricane lamps, a Jenny Lind twin bed frame, iron works, and dressers.

The Linen Room holds quilts, wind socks, luggage, crocheted doilies, embroidered dish towels, a dresser, a double brass bed frame, and a double wood bed frame.

The fourth bedroom holds office equipment:  desk, chair, file cabinet, printer, office supplies, and mounted fish.

The enclosed front porch holds various kitchen items and accessories, plus those “hard-to-find” items of yesteryear.  Who uses a garlic press these days?  What about fondue pot?  Anyone for a decorative bird cage?

Both the basement and the two-car garage have items neatly displayed.  Come and get a bicycle car rack, a gas grill, lawn tools and lawn chairs, plastic food containers, a VCR, an exercise bike, a working console record player with albums,  an iron board, and a mobility chair.

Reflections

It is amazing how much stuff one collects throughout their lifetime.  Please do yourself and your heirs a huge favor by selecting items to keep that are most meaningful, significant, useful, or give you joy.  The rest of the items can be given away or sold to others who may find joy in them.  You do not come into this world with possessions, nor do you leave with them.

Call Premiere Home Stagers at 608-345-9396 to help you with your meaningful items.

The post How to Conduct an Estate Sale appeared first on Premiere Stagers & Realty | Dane County.

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Room with a View

Some houses have dual focal points.  In the case here, the house sits on top of a bluff overlooking a river.  But there is also a fireplace.  So how does one orient the furniture–toward the river or the fireplace?

Premiere Home Stagers did not ignore either focal point.  The furniture chosen was lower in height to see the river view, but the orientation was toward the fireplace.

Dining Area

The open concept layout allows for views of the river from all rooms, including the bedrooms.  I know I could linger for long periods sitting at the dining table watching the river flow downstream.

Since you sit near the tree tops, birds and squirrels are at eye level.

I positioned a bench near the window not only to fill this space, but to imagine one sitting here and embracing nature.

3-Season Porch

This would be my favorite spot 3 seasons of the year.  There is both heat and air conditioning and the glass windows slide to expose the screens.

Master Bedroom

Because the master bedroom and bath are on the main floor, there is also a beautiful view of the river.  The chair next to the window allows for a peaceful place to read.

The adjoining master is the perfect place to unwind in the spa tub.

Best of Both Worlds

This property sits on a double lot, ensuring no one will build right next door.  It is just out of town, close enough to a small city for convenience items and a larger city for more specialized shopping and dining.  There is no reason to invest in a lake cabin when your main home can serve as both a week-end vacation spot and week-day living all in one.

Premiere Home Stagers was delighted to stage this gorgeous property.  It’s doubtful it will stay on the market for long.  Call Premiere Home Stagers at 608-345-9396 for your next staging.

The post Staging with a River View appeared first on Premiere Stagers & Realty | Dane County.

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What is luxury?

–a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort

–something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary

— an indulgence in something that provides pleasure, satisfaction, or ease
Luxury can mean different things to different people, depending on your circumstances.  For example, luxury can mean a hot shower, 3 meals a day, or a penthouse condo.
In the case of luxury vacant staging, both the seller and the realtor expect an extra “je ne sais quoi”  (literally translated: “I don’t know what”)– meaning, they are not sure until they see it.
Premiere Home Stagers strives to give every vacant staging exactly what is needed, plus a little extra.  The furniture and accessories are carefully chosen or purchased with that property in mind–but not exclusively to that property.  Some sellers confuse decorating with staging.  The seller may not necessarily like a particular style for their property, but the goal is to appeal to the masses.
Luxury realtors may reason since the property is priced high, the staging must reflect that price. They may have issue with the amount of furniture, the quality of the wall art, or even the chosen foliage.  Stagers want prospective buyers to walk around the furniture and see the house and envision themselves living there. We evoke an emotional response no matter what the price point is.

For the niche, I chose an open screen for height and attached two black-framed geometric prints to it.  The buffet table complements the rest of the dining room furniture.  Perhaps a musical instrument would work here as well, e.g., harp, electric piano, or a sound system.

The dining area is quite large and can easily accommodate eight dinner guests.

Office
This flex room is off the living room.  It has its own attached bathroom, so it could be used as a guest room, a hobby room, or in this case, a home office.
Living Room

There is a plug for a TV behind the fireplace picture.  You can see the office doorway on the right side of the fireplace.  The door to the screen porch is on the right.

Master Bedroom

The master bedroom ensuite is luxurious.  There are three large windows for maximum natural light, plus an attached spa bathroom.

Whether or not your property is considered to be a “luxury listing,” Premiere Home Stagers will stage it with a unique, custom look to evoke an emotional response for your next buyer.  Call Premiere Home Stagers at 608-345-9396

The post Luxury Vacant Staging appeared first on Premiere Stagers & Realty | Dane County.

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Consultations

Home stagers will perform consultations on your house as to items that need to be removed, items that should be re-positioned elsewhere, and where to place items in each room.  The stager will also make recommendations as to repairs, updates and paint colors.  They either charge an hourly rate or give a straight fee depending upon the square footage or length of time.  No actual staging takes place during these consultations.

Occupied Stagings

After you have done what the consultation recommends, the home stager will return and actually stage your items.  This is another charge based upon the rooms to be staged.  All items used in the staging are the homeowners.  Most stagers will not bring in items from their inventory for an occupied staging because homeowners are still living in the house.  There have been many cases whereby stagers’ items are soiled, ruined, broken, or smells bad from pets, cooking odors, or smoking.

A Premiere Consultation

Premiere Home Stagers often melds a consultation into an occupied staging whenever feasible.

This lovely condo was on the market for about 6 months without selling.  It was nice, but not staged.  The realtor suggested staging might help give it a “fresh look.”  When I saw the “before,”  it didn’t quite feel right.  Sometimes the furniture angle isn’t right, some softness was needed, and some height.  This is the “after” photo.  It feels just right.

So, instead of telling the seller what to do, it is so much easier and so much more satisfying for the owner to actually move the items and see for herself how much of a difference it makes.  There are times when the seller isn’t sure I made the right decision in re-positioning her items because that’s the way it’s always been.  However, once items are moved and then staged, the affirmation comes.  Usually they say, “I never would have thought of it this way.”  The realtor shared that her seller was “thrilled.”  After new photos are taken, the online photos are more likely to enhance showings, a win-win for the seller and realtor.

Occupied Staging

In this house, the seller was in the process of down-sizing.  She had removed a lot of her belongings, leaving behind items needed for staging.  Luckily, the realtor was also there, so we were able to move items in different rooms, take down lots of wall art, and then stage it.

Before, there were two black chairs facing the sofa, with their backs to the fireplace.  Fireplaces are always a focal point.  You should orient the furniture in a conversational grouping,  while recognizing the importance of the fireplace.

The media (TV and stereo system) are located in this room also.

However, in this house, there are two focal points because this is lake property.

The focal point of this large room (below) is the spectacular views of the lake.  The sectional is oriented toward the windows, not in a conversational grouping.

Sitting in front of the pellet-burning fireplace is a nice way to keep warm during cold or rainy times while still enjoying the lake view.

Costs

Premiere Home Stagers charges the same whether for a consultation or for an occupied staging—on an hourly basis.  The first hour is $125 and any succeeding hour is charged at $80.  I can usually get most done within a 2-hour time period.  I leave a written report (done while I am there) that lists what else needs to be done—such as clean the windows, take down the draperies, or move heavy items.

In all cases, the seller understands what a big difference staging has made and then is motivated to finish the job.  The realtor is pleased that the house can be listed sooner.

Whether you wish a consult or an occupied staging, call Premiere Home Stagers at 608-345-9396.

The post Occupied Staging v. Consult appeared first on Premiere Stagers & Realty | Dane County.

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New Bathroom Addition

A client is working with Haver Design & Construction, Inc. to construct a bedroom/bathroom ensuite addition, with laundry in the master closet.  This is no small undertaking.  The rooms have been framed, mechanicals are roughed-in, and insulated.  After passing inspections, it is now time to drywall.  After the drywall is completed, the tile will be installed. Thus, the client needed to choose tile.

It is important to choose tile that is readily available. Some tile comes directly from other countries, so it might take 4-5 weeks to get.  Or, even if the tile is readily available, tile installers are not easy to schedule as the good ones are always busy.

So, where do you start?

You start by going over the plans and determining where each type of tile should go.

Layout

Every project should start with a plan or a layout, depending upon the scope of the project.

The client needed bathroom and closet flooring, a shower floor, shower walls, and decorative tile on the vanity backsplash.

Choosing Tile
  1.  Make an appointment with an in-house tile designer and bring your plans.
  2. Come with a few ideas in mind, such as color scheme or type of tile you might be interested in.
  3. Start by looking at the various tile vingnettes the store has on display.  You’ll quickly realize what you don’t like so you can hone in on what you do like.
  4. Choose tile that goes with the space.  For example, in a shower pan, you’ll need small tiles to make the subtle curve needed for the water to drain.
  5. Bathroom floor tile should not be slippery, so choosing a textured tile or a tile with more grout lines will have a little more friction.
  6. Decide whether you would like a feature wall in the shower.  You can add accent tiles to make a statement.  Put this accent tile inside a soap/shampoo niche and perhaps use this same accent tile as a vanity backsplash to tile the colors together.
  7. Choose how you want the tile to run–stacked, vertical, horizontal, diagonal, or in specific patterns.  Any deviation from standard tile laying will cost more to install.

Tile Choices

It only took an hour to choose the following tile pieces with the help of The Tile Shop’s in-house designer, Debi.

This is tile that has the texture of carpet.  It is absolutely perfect in the bathroom as well as the master bedroom closet floor–especially with a washer/dryer in the closet.

The small 2″x 2″ tiles will be the floor of the shower.  The vertical tile will be installed in this direction on the shower walls.  Both the bathroom floor and the shower walls will be in the same plane–vertically.

The accent tile in strips will be installed inside the niche as well as be the vanity backsplash.

The vanity top sample is on the left and coordinates well with the white cabinetry.  This countertop material will also be used inside the shower as a bench seat.

Premiere Home Stagers offers clients consulting and shopping services to help them navigate through their selections.  I love choosing tile, flooring, paint colors, plumbing fixtures, lighting, cabinetry or countertops, even furniture and accessories.  Help is only a phone call away:  608-345-9396.

The post Tips for Choosing Tile appeared first on Premiere Stagers & Realty | Dane County.

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Sale v. Auction

Average prices at an Estate Sale: 
About 30% plus everything marked with too low a price will be sold.
About 50% will be sold at discounted prices.
About 20% will need to be disposed of or given away.
0% will be sold for more than it is marked.

Average prices at an Estate Auction:

100% of the personal property will be sold at the end of the day.

Some items will sell at unbelievable prices and some items will sell at discounted value

Everything will have sold for its fair market value that day.

By being open to the public, an auction ensures a wide range of bids, and sometimes items at auction can fetch surprisingly high prices. The bidders, in turn, create a free competitive market, determining on an individual basis how much they want to pay for an item, rather than having either under or over prices dictated by the seller.

Some people find themselves in the demanding position as an estate representative for a family member or friend.  Usually, such a role is a thankless job and very demanding on your time, patience, and physical limits.

There must be a method to the madness in order to settle the estate.  Here is one way to handle the disbursal of personal items:

  1.  Have the significant heirs go through each room and tag items of interest to them.
  2.  Every item has some value, whether sentimental or monetary.  Thus, every item should have a “price”. Research the prices of certain valuable items such as antiques, china, figurines, art, or furniture.  Other items could be priced as to what you might pay at a garage sale. You only have to do this for items the heirs are interested in.
  3. Have the heir interested in a valuable item pay 2/3 of the researched price.  If another heir is also interested, each can bid until one drops out.  For a sentimental item, one offers what they might pay at a yard sale.
  4. Tally up what each significant heir has “spent,” and deduct that amount from the final estate. Thus the heir without choosing items is on par with the heir who does choose items.
  5. The next step is to divide the rest of the belongings as to donate, consign, sell, or dispose of.
  6. Assign a room or a task to each person to make the job go quicker.
My assignment

Mother was a quilter who belonged to two different quilting groups.  Each group had monthly assignments, which meant homework.   Sometimes the group took a field trip to various quilting stores in the area, or to other cities where quilts were on exhibition.  Mother never saw a fabric she didn’t like.

Only one person could accomplish clearing out this room because there was no room to move.  I volunteered, which meant I could be in one spot for the entire day instead of going up and down stairs.  Where does one start?  It doesn’t matter where, just start.  After five hours, the table top was cleared and two people could actually stand in this room.  I think I need another five hours before I’m finished.

Sorting and Packing

Items of interest were tagged and prices settled upon. It wasn’t difficult for people to choose items.  Some had just a few small boxes and some had a couple of furniture items.  The process was quite smooth, actually.

The next step, shown above, is packaging and labeling items to be donated, consigned, sold, or disposed of.   After that, cleaning and minor repairs will be done.  Premiere Home Stagers will stage each room and eXp Realty, LLC will list the house.  It will be the first time this house will be on the market in over 80 years.

Need Help?

While an auction might be a wonderful way to dispose of Mother’s belongings, there are few items that warrant this method.  She was rich in the abundance of friendships and family members rather than anything considered valuable.

There are organizations that help seniors down-size and also conduct your estate sale.  They might be your best option.

If you want more information, contact Premiere Home Stagers at 608-345-9396.

The post Estate Sale v. Estate Auction appeared first on Premiere Stagers & Realty | Dane County.

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What is a “Stagent?”

I came across the term “Stagent” from my Trade Association a few weeks back, which I thought was quite clever.  It is a home stager who is also a real estate agent.  Premiere Home Stagers is beginning its 11th year staging houses in the Madison, WI area.  However, just recently, I joined an online brokerage firm called eXp Realty, LLC.

My rationale was since I was already in a person’s home getting it ready to sell, I might as well continue that relationship as a listing agent.  I had already established a level of trust by going through the owners’ items and re-arranging them to better serve the online photos as well as preserve their home value.

I was not interested in joining just any realty company.  I already have a business I love, but wanted to provide extra service to my clients.  eXp Realty, LLC is an agent-owned cloud brokerage.  This means I am part owner and everything is digitally-based.  Most agents talk with home sellers in their homes rather than at an office.  However, I do have access to a leased office, should I need it.  Documents are generated and signed via Docusign.  My state broker approves the documents electronically.  The house gets listed on the MLS through the state broker.

So, why do I like this model?  Because it saves everyone time and money.  Instead of paying a high monthly rent for a brick-and-mortar building, I use these funds to pay for more advertising for you!

Days on the Market

I can now look on the MLS and see how many days on the market “before staging v. after staging” and get an accurate number for my yearly statistics, which is then uploaded to my Trade Association, The Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) for national reporting.

Sold or Expired Listing

I love it when I see an accepted offer shortly after staging.  I know they will be contacting me to de-stage the property after the inspection and appraisal, but before the closing.  I can then arrange my schedule better to accommodate this.

Referrals

I can also refer a property that I am staging to another agent with better expertise–such as in another MLS area, or a commercial property.

Better to Serve You

My objective is to serve your needs either as a home stager or a realtor.  All my listings include my staging expertise at no extra cost.  However, should you only need staging, I am happy to provide that and work with your realtor or yourself on a successful, quick sale.  Remember, a staged property sells faster than an un-staged property.

We are headed into the spring selling season, especially once the Wisconsin winter gives way to warmer weather.  I’m ready to meet your needs.  Call Premiere Home Stagers  or eXp Realty, LLC at 608-345-9396.

The post Are “Stagents” a Good Idea? appeared first on Premiere Stagers & Realty | Dane County.

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Once again, Premiere Home Stagers received a call to consult on a vacant condo that has been listed for almost 5 months.  Since realtor statistics show condos sell slower and staging statistics show staged properties sell faster, I wish I had had the opportunity to stage this a while ago.

I can see why prospective buyers might be confused on furniture layout.  First of all, a vacant property rarely shows well because there is nothing to look at except the flooring and the walls.  Any minor imperfections really stand out.  Secondly, there were three areas that even I had to put my thinking cap on.

The hallways leads to a rounded niche located in a corner of the dining room.  It should be considered a focal point, which means something enticing needs to be here.

So let’s brainstorm on what might be placed here.  I gleaned through my inventory, then went through photos at Houzz and Craig’s List looking for something interesting.  Because the niche has a round wall, wall art is not feasible.  I need something both tall and dining related.

Another small niche occurs immediately inside the front door.

This niche could be used as an umbrella stand, a coat tree, or foliage on a stand.

The room to the right of the fireplace is a flex room.  It was used as a guest room previously because it has an attached bathroom, as do the other two bedrooms.

Most people would prefer not to see a bed while watching TV in the living room.  Since this room has hardwood floors and lots of natural light, it is perfect as an office, a craft studio, hobby room, or playroom.

I hope I get an opportunity to stage this gorgeous property.  A stager’s goal is to help both the homeowner and realtor sell their property faster and for more money.  Why not do everything you can, even in a seller’s market, to get the most for your property.  Staging is ALWAYS less expensive than your first price reduction.  Please call Premiere Home Stagers at 608-345-9396

The post What Goes in the Niche? appeared first on Premiere Stagers & Realty | Dane County.

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