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Pricing a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom, 1117 square foot house is based upon the comparables of recently-sold or active properties within its subdivision.

Since the house next door is also for sale, it is definitely a comparable.  However, that house has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a family room.  Both houses are in a desirable neighborhood.

The house next door is vacant:  (listing photo by realty company)

This house’s listing realtor contacted Premiere Stagers & Realty to stage the property.  Why is this a good move?  Because staged houses sell faster and for more money than un-staged homes, even in desirable neighborhoods.

Family Room

One bedroom was turned into this family room, plus a formal dining area was created.  The question is what affect will that have on the listing price, if any.  According to most real estate agents,  in the great majority of cases, a 3-bedroom is easier to sell and has better resale value than a 2-bedroom.  However, some people might prefer a 2-bedroom house rather than a 2-bedroom condo if down-sizing.

Kitchen

People say that bathrooms and kitchen sell houses.  Well, this kitchen is updated with plenty of cabinet space, a dishwasher, plus the washer and dryer are located behind the built-in cabinets.

Next door’s kitchen is original:  (photo by realty company)

People choose houses for different reasons.  Perhaps the house next door is perfect for people who want to renovate and make it their own, or for people who love it just the way it is.  Same as for the staged house.  Someone may want to add a master bedroom ensuite to the back of the house since the yard is quite large.  Or, someone might say this is the perfect size to maintain.

Regardless of which house is chosen, it will be right for the next owner.  The difference is recognizing which house is more appealing when looking at the online photos.  The staged house most always “wins.”

The listing realtor’s testimonial:  “Thank you so much for all your help staging.  The house looks GREAT and we so appreciate everything.”

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

The post The Little House that Could appeared first on Premiere Stagers & Realty | Dane County.

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2018 Staging Statistics

A survey was done recently that showed home staging increased the value of the home by a minimum of 6% all the way up to 25%.  Also noted is that staged homes sell faster than non-staged homes.  Neither of these statements are new to home stagers.  We’ve known since the word “staging” was coined, that that is the case.  My statistics from Premiere Stagers & Realty bears this out as well.

Under Contract

This house was under contract in three days and for $26K over asking.  The home seller can confidently say they did everything they could to enhance their greatest asset, including vacant staging.  They hired a crew to fix any code issues, replaced some interior doors, refinished the wood floors, painted, and carpeted the lower level. They de-cluttered, cleaned, and donated items.  They trimmed bushes, placed flower pots around the entry and on the back deck.  They left the exterior front door light on at night. And, they hired an eXp Realtor.

Under Contract in a Week

This house had sat on the market for 6 weeks before the realtor called Premiere Stagers & Realty requesting an occupied staging.  The homeowners were skeptical, but thankfully on board with furniture re-positioning and removal.

Just one week later, the house was under contract.  From the homeowner:  “Wanted to let you know we have an accepted offer on the house.  Thanks for your help!”

Under Contract in Two Days

After one Open House, this house was under contract in two days.  The owners diligently de-cluttered, cleaned, and staged in order to get the most value possible.  It sold for $5K over asking.

Statistics

You are leaving money on the table by not staging your house before listing it.  You wouldn’t sell a car without cleaning and detailing it.  So why would you put your house on the market in less than ideal condition?

If you want to know where to start, perhaps a staging consultation is what you might need.  Take the first step and contact Premiere Stagers & Realty:  608-345-9396.

The post 2018 Staging Statistics appeared first on Premiere Stagers & Realty | Dane County.

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Can you tell which property sold and which one didn’t?  Neither can I.  The photo on the left is from an available unit in a retirement community and sold within a couple of weeks–well before the 60-day staging contract expired.  The photo on the right is from a river-side property that hasn’t sold after 90 days.  Those sellers wanted me to de-stage even though my monthly furniture rental cost is only $12/day.

The photo on the left has a nice balcony overlooking the trees and street.  The photo on the right has large windows overlooking a river.  The goal of staging is to highlight the natural features of each property and to allow prospective buyers to make an emotional connection.

The retirement community unit was staged with “creative comforts” in mind, such as soft textures and conversational groupings to accommodate visiting family members.  Whereas, the river-view property has a subtle nautical theme and a 3-season porch overlooking the river to help buyers relax in a peaceful natural setting.

So, why would a seller choose to de-stage their river-front property at the height of the boating season?  It could be a variety of reasons but whatever the case, this is only the second time in 11 years that a house staged by Premiere Stagers & Realty was de-staged before  being under contract.

Home staging statistics show staging often brings in a higher price.  According to the National Association of Realtors, for every $100 invested in staging, the potential return is $400 . … “A staged home will sell for 17% more on average than a non-staged home, and 95% of staged homes sell in 11 days or less. That is statistically 87% faster than non-staged homes.” Nov 4, 2015

So, I offer congratulations to the retirement community for their now-full facility. And I offer my best wishes to the river-view homeowners.

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

The post A Tale of Two De-Stagings appeared first on Premiere Stagers & Realty | Dane County.

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Should Every House be Staged?

Premiere Stagers & Realty get this question all the time.  My answer is that most houses should be staged before listing. Houses don’t need to be staged when they have little-to-no-value and you’re basically selling the property; or when you are selling to a relative or to a house flipper for cash.

Otherwise, you are leaving money on the table. The money you spend on vacant staging will almost certainly be recouped with a better list price, a higher offer, and a faster sale, therefore reducing your carrying costs.  Depending upon the tax laws in your area, moving expenses may be deductible.

Vacant staging is always less expensive than the loss you take on the first price reduction.  I mostly stage condos and single family homes usually under 3500 square feet.  I have yet to charge $5,000 for a vacant stage, yet that is the minimum first price reduction of the list price.  Most of my vacant stagings are between $1800-$2600 for one- to- 60 days, with a monthly furniture rental charge of $360, pro-rated thereafter.

So, what does that price range include?  Usually rooms on the main floor:  living, dining, kitchen, and/or master bedroom/bath.

Living Room

The owner wasn’t sure she wanted to stage her property because her house is in a desirable neighborhood.  However, since almost everyone starts their search online, she recognized the value vacant staging would bring to the online photos.

Family Room

The family room is a few stairs down from the main level.  It is a very large space that can be confusing to a buyer when deciding on furniture layout.  The fireplace is a focal point, but it is off-center. And, where does one put the TV?  This furniture layout gives homage to the focal point and allows for TV watching or gaming.

The other side of the large family room can accommodate a pool table, table hockey, or foosball.  The pub table near the backyard window is a great spot to watch local wildlife while playing a board game or plugging in a computer.  There is plenty of room for sleep-overs, movie night, or children’s playtime since the door to the family room can be closed for quiet time upstairs.

There are two more bedrooms on the lowest level, along with a full bathroom and laundry.  This is a perfect family home.

Dining/Kitchen

So, is it worth staging a vacant house?  Which would you rather see online, an empty room or a room that shows you the size and scale?  And when visiting an empty house, all you have to look at are the floors and walls.  You would focus on any minor imperfections because there is nothing else to look at.  However if staged, most people will choose to ignore those small imperfections.  You will make an emotional connection and see yourself living here.  And that is why you’ll put in an offer.

Contact Info

Call Premiere Stagers & Realty for a staging or listing consultation.  608-345-9396 or ginanewell@premierestagers.com

The post How Expensive is Vacant Home Staging? appeared first on Premiere Stagers & Realty | Dane County.

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 What is As Is?

I recently did a staging consultation for a customer who was to list her house soon.  The listing realtor suggested I pay a visit to help her decide what to keep, what to remove, and how to arrange the furniture.  I am always more than happy to do so.

When I arrived, she told me she was going to list the house “as is.”  I believe her thinking was she didn’t plan to do repairs, updates, or even much normal maintenance.  I was perplexed by this because there were just a few things she could do that would make a big difference in how the house was presented.

She had already cleaned out most of her personal belongings. It was just a matter of a new furniture layout in this living room.

By changing the position of the sofa with the easy chair (and vice versa), plus orient the rug parallel to the sofa, the room suddenly became more cohesive and pleasing.  I also removed the TV tray.

The office and second bedroom were in good condition, just needing some minor tweaks.  She had already cleared out the basement rooms.  So, all-in-all, just cleaning and removing the last of the personal items was all that remained.  Until we got to the master bedroom….

Master Bedroom

This is an example of where just minimal changes can make a big difference.  We turned the bed toward the window and moved the long dresser against the wall where the bed was.  I highly encouraged her to paint this room an off-white color and get a different bedspread with a little pattern in it.  So, for about $100 for paint and a double-sized bedspread, this room could look just fine.

Selling a house “as is,” however, does not relieve the seller of their obligation to disclose any “material adverse facts,” or to fill out a Real Estate Condition report.  A buyer might still decide to pay for a Home Inspection Report to ease their minds about what kinds of repairs might be needed.  If a seller has never lived in the house, i.e., a personal representative, are not required to fill out the Real Estate Condition report. The listing agent, therefore, must disclose any material adverse facts that they have knowledge of.

“As is” actually has a legal definition, and the buyer will probably have to sign paperwork indicating that he or she understands the exact terms of the transaction.  So, what does that mean in terms of the sale of the house?

  1. A buyer might think the house is worse than it actually is.
  2. The offer-to-purchase amount will probably be lower than the house is worth.
  3. The listing agent will need to dispel the negative connotations about the house’s value.
  4. You will attract fewer buyers than if in “good-to-turn key-condition

Investment companies or “flippers” usually pay cash and purchase “as-is” houses. The downside is these type of buyers will want to purchase your home for pennies on the dollar.

Home Inspection Report

Sellers who wish to sell their house “as is,” realize there might be a second round of negotiations after the buyer’s agent shows the listing agent the home inspection report.  The seller may decide they do not wish to cure, or the listing agent may write there will not be any secondary negotiations after the purchase price has been agreed upon.  A home that is properly prepared for the real estate market and is priced accordingly will usually have a relatively smooth home inspection process.

Disclosure:

Every home sale is unique, having specific needs, goals and limitations. You may really need to sell “as-is” due to financial distress or under stressful situations such as a severe illness.   The best way to determine what your options are is to speak to a licensed realtor or an attorney. He or she can look over your specific home and you can explain what you want/need. Then, your agent or attorney can help guide you through the steps of selling your home, on your terms.

The post Selling a Home “As Is” appeared first on Premiere Stagers & Realty | Dane County.

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Modern Farmhouse Style

Modern farmhouse combines the lines of contemporary design with cozy accents to create a modern, fresh take on the country-living inspired style. Modern farmhouse style is known for its neutral palette and characterized by natural textures such as puffy cotton or linens, and materials like wood or galvanized steel.

Apparently it is the new look in home styles.  Premiere Stagers & Realty was asked to stage a newly-built farmhouse style house.  I had to educate myself first on what the difference is between farmhouse and country.  If you have ever seen the HGTV show, “Fixer-Upper” with Chip and Joanna Gaines, you have seen the farmhouse style:  white shiplap, wood floors, black accents, metal roofs.  Whereas the country-style has muted colors, flannel, woolens, rustic, and primitive accents.

Kitchen

The trades were finishing up their respective punch list items and the cleaning people were cleaning just ahead of my staging.  Therefore, in my photos you can see the plastic on the windows and some cleaning supplies scattered about.  Professional photos were scheduled for the next day.

Office

The office is around the corner from the front door and visible to the great room.  The horizontal white ship lap is nailed tight together.  Since the builder did not want nail holes, we found a knot in the ship lap where I hung the large red star.

Master Bedroom

I just couldn’t leave without some kind of hanging wall art here in the master bedroom (and also in the powder room). I used various ideas on the main level such as shelving, a corner piece, and foliage to soften the hard surfaces.  But here in the upstairs master bedroom, I decided one piece of wall art was needed.

After doing some online research as to what other stagers do when asked not to hang wall art, I came across a product called “monkey hooks,” because the wire looks like a monkey’s tail.  The thin wire is pushed into the drywall and then turned so that the tail hits the inside of the drywall. When removing, you twist the hook to release the “tail” and pull out.  Click on the link HERE.

Because the wire is thin, it leaves just a tiny hole that can be left as is, or dabbed with just a bit of spackle.

They are available at the big box hardware stores, sometimes under a different trade name.

Mudroom

I love this feature when coming inside from the garage.  Every family needs a place to hang their backpack, their jacket, and store their dirty shoes underneath.  Baskets were placed into the upper cubbies, but since this area needed some touch-up paint, I wasn’t able to show you an “after” photo.

Dining Area

The formal dining room is no longer an option in most newly-built homes.  It is what millennials and gen-Xers say they can do without.  People want an “open concept” way of living which gives them options as to how they use the space.  This dining area is in between the kitchen and living area.  The table can be placed either horizontally or vertically within the area.  It can also be expanded when hosting holiday meals or larger gatherings.

Furniture Layout

The builder told me the potential buyers he had come through before staging could not visualize where the furniture should go.  People are used to having walls to place furniture against.  After the staging, the vacant house “suddenly” became cozy, comfortable, and warm.  An emotional connection could now be made due to the colors, textures, patterns, and furniture layout.  I am guessing this house won’t be long on the market.

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

The post Modern Farmhouse Home Staging appeared first on Premiere Stagers & Realty | Dane County.

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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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