Tag Archives: staging

Sapphire Homeowners Improve Staging through DIY Shortcuts

4-15-kitchenYou’re eager to get your home sold quickly with a minimum of fuss. You’ve been over the comparables with your Realtor®; and the listing looks and reads great. It’s getting close to showing time—and although you know that your Sapphire property is a great buy that any new owner would be proud to call home, you also know that this spring there is a lot of competition out there.

Producing a quick turnaround is about the marketing—which your agent is handling adroitly—but it’s also about presentation. That’s “staging”—an area you can definitely do something about!

According to the Room Solutions website, properly staging a home has been shown to reduce time on market by a factor of 5. Those comparison stats are notoriously hard to prove, but when a home has been stuck in the listings for months, undergoes professional staging, then sells in a fraction of the time, it is pretty convincing. But whether or not you decide to engage a full-on professional Sapphire staging service, there are plenty of small scale DIY home improvements that take 30 minutes or less—but which make a big staging difference.

  • Reinvigorate the bathroom and other tiled areas by doing some grout cleaning. That grout between tiles may have been pristine when you first moved in, but years of use will take a toll. Use plain water and a stiff brush (they’re easy to find at any home center) to get rid of build-up and residue. Stubborn areas may need a spray bottle with a 50% solution of white vinegar: spray, leave it on for 5 minutes or so, then brush off and rinse. It really makes a difference when you bring the grout back to its original uniform tone.
  • Many a Sapphire kitchen is burdened by an outmoded, timeworn backsplash. Replacing it may sound like a major project, but it is often possible to make quick work of it using one of the new peel-and-stick backsplash products. Instead of tearing up your kitchen and taking days to assemble a replacement, look into peel-and-stick tiling. These products come in many colors and styles—with installation processes that can have the entire project done in very short order.
  • Touchup. Repainting whole rooms is not something that can be accomplished in minutes, but some rooms don’t need all that. Taking care of small but unsightly wall dings and scuffs will bolster first impressions—and often, just a few minor touchups can do the trick. If you don’t have the original paint style notes, some stores have computerized color-matching systems that recreate sample hues. Wood trim scuffs and stains can often be banished with colored felt pens or crayon color packs; more obscure tones may require a color matching kit. In any case, the time requirement is minor compared with the resulting subliminal improvement.
  • Stain kitchen cabinets. If yours is one of Sapphire’s older home with original kitchen cabinets that remain dull no matter what you do, you can still avoid the time and expense of completely replacing them. Instead, renew the existing stain job or switch to a new tone that complements the kitchen.

Staging a Sapphire home is an important adjunct to the overall marketing effort your Realtor provides. If you are looking for some energetic help in that department, I’m here to answer your phone call!

Highlands Staging is a Home’s “Packaging”

3-25-stagingStaging is to a Highlands home what packaging is to a supermarket product: a vital element that can supersede all others. Product managers rely on advertising and marketing efforts to create awareness among consumers, just as homeowners use their Realtor’s marketing know-how (the listing, web page, signage and all their other advertising initiatives) to bring Highlands prospects to the door. Then, just as well-designed, attractive packaging is what finally moves a product off the shelf, it is first-class staging that can transform casual lookers into Highlands home buyers.

The goal of staging is to draw observers in; to help them picture whether the property’s spaces have all the nuances of what in their own mind’s eye constitutes a welcoming home. Bottom-line studies continue to verify that, staged correctly, homes sell more quickly. Although there are few absolute staging dos and don’ts, (after all, staging is an art); we can point to a number of probably don’ts. They’re relatively easy to avoid:

Failing to Incorporate the Outside

No matter how beautiful a home is once you open the door, prospective home buyers want to be proud of their new Highlands digs. Even if it will be marketed as a fixer-upper, a welcoming exterior is always a welcome surprise. If, on the other hand, dirty windows, dry grass, and cracks in the sidewalk greet buyers, that first impression can be counted on to drive offer numbers in the wrong direction. Staging efforts need to encompass the whole enchilada!

Neglecting the Little Things

When it comes to staging, nothing is completely unimportant. Light fixtures, cabinet knobs, faucets, drawer pulls—even electric outlet covers—all contribute to the cumulative impression a Highlands home conveys. It doesn’t mean that every tiny detail needs to be replaced; only those that are conspicuously damaged or dirty need to get attention.

Failing to Capitalize on Natural Light

As photographers know, “It’s always all about the light!” The fewer dim corners, the better. Staging a home to accentuate its rooms’ natural light is important, and where needed, boosting with lamps and overheads.

Forgetting the Nooks and Crannies

Assume that prospects see everything. Before a showing, a last quick walk-through of the whole home is a good idea. Check for stray items that are out of place, and be sure all is properly swept and neatened.

Opting Not to Use a Professional Stager

If the whole prospect of diligent staging isn’t appealing, it makes good business sense to hand it over to a Highlands staging professional. Pro stagers see every detail with a trained eye, and work to create a rich atmosphere—not just a collection of rooms.

From a buyer’s first glance at your listing to its ultimate sale, each step of the way is an opportunity to propel the process.

The first one of those steps is choosing the Highlands Realtor® who will add energy and expertise to the campaign: I hope you’ll consider me!

Lake Toxaway Homes for Sale Use Staging to Set the Mood

12-24-stagingWhen you think about the importance of staging when a Lake Toxaway home goes on the market, you might relate it to how department stores go about increasing sales during the holidays. You have only to stroll through the front door of any of the legendary department stores this time of year to experience what I mean: the most successful ones fairly assault your senses with the color, glitter, sounds (sometimes even the scents!) of the season. If you’ve ever strolled down 5th Avenue in Manhattan any time after Thanksgiving, you’ll have experienced a major jaw-dropping tourist attraction. It seems like the whole place is staged—and masterfully, at that!

Why so many veteran merchants put that kind of effort (and budget) into holiday decorating is proof of how cost-effective staging is for merchandising. It’s not that different when a home is being prepared to be offered to the public. Effective staging for a Lake Toxaway property performs the same function that Macy’s and Neiman Marcus hope to achieve: to indirectly alter their visitor’s mood to one more receptive to the designer’s goal. Department store holiday décor is more than just eye-candy created to instill a jolly mood. By transporting us into the spirit of the season, it gently cues us into recreating how we feel at the moment of gift-giving (i.e., generous gift giving!). Sometimes that might take 50 or more fully-decorated Christmas trees—all for the sole purpose of creating an atmosphere that Scrooge himself couldn’t resist!

In the same way, staging a Lake Toxaway home effectively can put prospective buyers into in a receptive frame of mind. The goal is to create an instant impression that does two things.

First, it immediately establishes trust. By presenting a well-designed and smartly maintained environment, it acts to dispel one major element of buyer resistance—the fear of the unknown, which in the case of a Lake Toxaway home sale translates into lurking suspicions about the condition of “somebody else’s” house. Good staging envelops visitors in spaces that just feel substantial.

Second (just as important), staging a Lake Toxaway home effectively creates a welcoming feeling. If visitors feel comfortable—at ease enough that they can easily picture themselves at home there—they are much more likely to consider the next steps. Not every home can appeal to every prospective buyer, of course, but good staging does away with idiosyncratic artifacts that would narrow the field.

National studies show time and again that, staged correctly, homes are more likely to garner higher offers—and more quickly. Of course, staging is only one step in the process of listing and selling a home, and it isn’t even the first: that one is giving me a call!