We are a home staging company serving Flower Mound, Lewisville, Highland Village, Southlake, Coppell, Carrollton, Denton, Argyle, Keller, Roanoke, Grapevine and other surrounding North Texas cities.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

North Texas Holiday Staging Tips

It must be tempting, if you are a homeseller, to pull your home from the market during the Holiday season. For some this may be a smart time to let the clock reset and take a break but before throwing in the towel you might want to consider the advantages of sticking it out.

There are fewer homes typically on the market over the holidays; this means you will have less competition (that is a big deal in a buyers market). Secondly, those buyers that are looking during this time are more likely to be serious, motivated buyers.

I have been asked already several times about how I suggest someone "stage" during the Holidays. Here is the honest answer to this question from a staging perspective. It is not a popular answer but it is an honest one. If your seller can stick to these guidelines they will have an edge over the competition and that is sometimes all it takes.

So here are my suggested guidelines...

Less is still more in November and December. If you add something large (Christmas Tree) you must remember to take something of equal size out of the room (loveseat or large chair). Square footage is what you are selling so remember that less is still more even during the Holidays.

Curb appeal is still critical! The first impression from the curb can include a Holiday Wreath and maybe some white lights....but that is really it. Frosty the blow up Snowman and all the plastic candycanes need to stay in the attic.

This is not the year to decorate all the rooms of your home. Buyers need to be able to focus on the house, not your decorations. So what is the magic formula? Think in terms of 3. Three areas is enough to keep you in the Holiday spirit and to celebrate family traditions but not overwhelm your buying guests. For most this will mean they will put up a tree, decorate a mantle and set the dining room table. That is all, just those three places.

Kitchens and Bathrooms sell houses. Keep these areas "holiday free". Buyers will be able to appreciate these rooms if they aren't distracted by your decorations.

While you shouldn't overwhelm buyers visually with the Holidays you can enhance the warm feeling of your home by baking some cookies and leaving some Holiday music playing softly in the background.

Being on the market during the Holidays is not without challenges so if you are going to stick it out....stay in the race!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dallas/Ft Worth Stager Shares a Trick

Sanity Saver for Homeowners

Imagine it is just past 8 in the morning. You are still wearing your pajamas and you are in the middle of feeding your toddler some breakfast. The phone rings. It is the service wanting to let you know that your home is scheduled for a showing within the hour.

It is really rare that you will get a showing that is truly convenient. Somehow the service that schedules those doesn’t ever schedule a showing when you are perfectly prepared, when your spouse is around to help or when the maid has just left. So how do you survive when you have less than an hour to prepare?


The Only Thing More Stressful Than Having Your Home On The Market, Is Having Your Home On The Market For A Long Time! 
To avoid this give us a call today because the Staging Matters.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Will Buyers Really Look in My Closets?

You can count on it.  Buyers do open closets.  Here are some quick tips to get your closets in the game.
1.  Almost without exception I tell my clients to pack up at least 1/2 of their closet before they even begin to organize it. 
2.  Use all the same hangers if possible.  I don't care if they are wire, plastic, flocked or wood.  Just get them uniform and hang them all in the same direction.
3.  Clear the floor.  Not most of the floor, really get everything off the floor.
4.  Use a system for clothes.  Hang the shirts, skirts, dresses, and pants together in groups.  Then organize in each group by color.
5. Have a shoe plan.  For most women this means you need to pack up most shoes and have a system for keeping what you must keep out until you move....and remember they can't be on the floor.  See rule number 2.
6.  Put odds and ends in baskets and store neatly on shelves.
7.  Keep dirty clothes out of sight (and smell) and covered up.  Wouldn't you just hate people looking at your dirty....socks?
8.  Vacuum the carpet inside the closet.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Top Ten Mistakes a Seller Can Make When Trying to Sell Their Home

This article was born after a particularly interesting day visiting Open Houses in Highland Village and Coppell.   It is a lot of work to have a home on the market.  Seek the advice of your Realtor or Stager when preparing for an Open House in North Texas.

number 10-  If you remove a light fixture put another one in its place.  Don't just put a metal cap on it.
number 9-  If you are going to leave the closets open when showing the house make sure the closets are not scary looking.
number 8- Don't hang signs up all over the house for buyers.  "This room could be a nursery"  just doesn't cut it. 
number 7-  Having dirty carpets but putting up a notice that you are willing to give a carpet allowance.  Deferred maintainance is a red flag for buyers.  Clean the carpets and if they still don't look great consult with your Realtor and Stager about whether replacing them makes good financial sense. 
number 6-  Leaving keys in any doors just isn't safe.  When you have an open house remove keys, medicines, bills, jewelry etc. 
number 5-  If you have a great backyard, with an awesome outdoor living space  it is not a good idea to leave your killer gaurd dog outside.  Buyers won't go outside if the dog looks menacing.  Take the dog with you so buyers will see all the great things your backyard has to offer. 
number 4- Don't hang out with your agent during an Open House thinking buyers won't figure out who you are.   Go away and let the agent concentrate on those visiting your home.  Everyone is more comfortable asking questions if you are not there.
number 3-Don't leave the answering machine volume up when you are showing your house.  Imagine getting a call from the bank or a repair person when someone is looking at your house. 
number 2-   Cooking broccoli and other strong smelling foods while your house is on the market could leave a lingering distraction for buyers.  Be in tune to the smells associated with your home...they can either really work for you (smell of cookies, fresh laundry, Pledge) or really work against you (smoke, broccoli, mold, cat).
and number 1- Never underestimate the possibilities when your  house gets a showing!  You have this one shot; be prepared so they see your property at its best.  Every showing could be your last if you play your cards right.

Practical Painting Tips

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Staging a Master Bathroom in Under an Hour

Master bathrooms are very important.  Follow this step by step process and you will be on your way in no time to designing a bathroom that is appealing to buyers!!
  1. Remove every item from every surface.  Completely empty the room of rugs, accessories, products, towels, dryers, plungers, toilet lid covers, trash cans, scales ....everything.  Start with a completely blank slate. 
  2. Clean, clean, clean. Kitchens and bathrooms must feel like no one ever really uses them. These 2 rooms must be over the top clean.... No one wants to buy a used bathroom.
  3.  Pick a contrasting color for towels and one bath mat.  If your bathroom is dark; pick white.  If your bathroom is white pick a gorgeous gold, green or black.  This is a good time to invest in some new "show towels and a rug".  
  4. Add a stack of folded towels to a surface (side of tub or countertop, etc).  Place towels like you imagine a 4 star hotel would.
  5. Add one nice piece of art.  Be sure it is reflected in the mirror. 
  6. Add a plant or greenery to either the tub area or the countertop.
  7. Replace any outdated fixtures and towel bars.
  8. Add one decorative element or grouping.  This could be candles, glass vases with cotton balls, a lovely tray or a loofah and sponge.
  9. Stop.  Make sure that the bathroom looks "spa like" and stop. 
  10. Create your system for adding and removing products daily.  Consider putting your shower products in a bucket and storing the bucket under a sink when you aren't actually in the shower. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Quick Checklist Before Any Showing

by Debra Rosser of Staging Matters

1. Beds are made neatly.
2. Clutter is removed and everything is in it’s place. Take a moment to gather any items that are out of place. Keep an empty laundry basket at all times. When a showing is coming sometimes it is easiest to just put anything out of place in the laundry basket (I’ve even known people who put dishes into the basket when they were in a hurry). Put the laundry basket in the car so the mess drives away from the house when you do.
3. Check the kitchen and quickly wipe down all counter tops and kitchen table.
4. Either let some fresh air in the house for a few minutes or spray a clean smelling fragrance. Remember that some people are very sensitive to smells so avoid flowery fragrances using ones that smell like vanilla or fresh laundry instead.
5. Turn on every light and open every blind. People buy bright, well lit houses.
6. Keep the yard free of children’s bikes and toys.
7. Wipe down sink areas so they sparkle.
8. Close every toilet lid, and remove any toothbrushes.
9. Turn on some soft music, classical or “elevator” type music is best.
10. Turn down the volume on your answering machine; your messages are private and you wouldn’t want someone looking at your house to hear them.
11. Remember to remove from the home anything of value.
12. It is a serious mistake to be home during a showing. Plan ahead of time where you will go when there is a showing (park, neighbor’s home, mall, grocery store, on a walk, etc). People viewing your house shouldn’t have any distractions!
13. When you leave if it is at all possible take the animals in the home with you. You only have this one shot to get people comfortable enough to seriously consider buying your home. If you can’t take a dog with you then at least confine them to a crate. Your animal could become a liability if left loose.
14. Any cat litter boxes should be covered, clean and out of the way.
15. Spend time each week looking at the front and back of the home. Keep yards mowed neatly, leaves raked up and weeds out of the garden!

Doing these things will help your house sell! Living in a house that is on the market is very inconvenient but doing these things consistently will increase your chances of a sale with every showing.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Realtors, Are you getting the most out of Staging?

by Debra Rosser, a North Texas stager with Staging Matters

1. Staging is not decluttering and cleaning. Doing these two things does improve how a home looks of course but it isn't "the staging magic" that sells a house quickly and for top dollar. Think about builders' homes. They are staged. They are not plain, neutral and empty looking. Their homes have a feeling; a warmth, some charm, a style, some color and accessories. This is not on accident. They are creating environments that ask a buyer to stay; look around; imagine what it would be like to live in this home. They are creating spaces that buyers will "aspire" to live in. It works; that is why they continue to do it. Less is more (until it looks boring)...let stagers find the right balance in each home.

2. Every home that is staged should not come out with the same look. A great stager will look at what a homeowner already has and will build from there. Some homes lend themselves to a formal look; others to a comfortable look. A good home stager will have looked at other homes in the same price range and either try to beat what she sees or create a different look so the home stands out amidst the competition. I recently staged a home with a casual/garden feel. All the other homes in that price range have a more formal feel. Strategically this will make this home easy to remember by buyers at the end of a long day of looking at houses. ( Fingers crossed.)

3. I am a homestager. I am a full time, serious stager. To borrow a thought from Donna Dazzo, a stager I admire, "I am not a real estate agent, a property manager, a staging trainer and a furniture rental company". I focus on two things, home staging and redesign. I do those two things well because they are my focus.

4. It not only takes vision and talent to stage a home but it takes time and energy. As an agent you may have the vision and talent but your time and energy are better spent getting listings and showing houses, this is where your profits lie. Use the time you would spend staging on getting another listing.

5. Ouch! This one is going to hurt a little but.... As I research who the "big dog Realtors" are in Flower Mound, Highland Village and beyond there is one thing they all do. Wait for it..... They stage every listing. They advertise that they stage every listing. They are committed to staging every listing. It makes them shiny. It is one of the secret weapons that helps win them listings and it is why their inventory is constantly changing. Staging is not their only secret but it is an obvious one to me. They pay for an initial staging consultation and for some actual hands-on staging. I'd estimate this costs them about three to four hundred dollars(for a 1/2 day of staging).  This investment in marketing pays off; they are the big dogs. You may not be able to pay for that yet (or you may feel that the client should pay for the stager just like they pay for the inspector and appraiser...this is a valid point) but find a stager that you like and work through a plan that will still deliver real results for your clients; even if you don't pay for it.  Taking the time to brainstorm solutions to your business needs with a stager is time well spent.

Part 2

6. Spending $75 on each house to have a stager run through in under an hour and tell the homeowner a few things to do isn't going to have a big payoff. If that is what you have tried, paying a stager a small fee for a quick visit....you owe it to yourself to try a different approach or save your money. If it was that easy then we really could create a checklist and homeowners could do it themselves.
(To be fair, if you are paying a small fee for a stager to meet with your client, go over the project and propose actual staging time then your cost is justified as long as a lot of your clients do actually book more staging time/advice).  For a homeowner to really get the most out of staging; they should spend some time actually working with the stager in their home getting some main living areas staged.  Staging is an art and it is hard to really get great results from reading a report or simply clearing all the counters.  Creating that "feeling" that buyers like takes skill...it is not something that happens in 1 hour.

7. Waiting until a house has been on the market for a long time and then calling in a stager...not the best choice.   I'd bet my left arm that you knew it wasn't going to sell quickly but you were so excited to get that listing that you didn't want to make any waves. The waves are coming if you don't change the condition of the house so why not pay a stager to "make the waves" from the beginning so you will have some smooth sailing later. Be proactive and stage them first whenever you can.  Staging pays very well and makes for happy clients.  Why?  Because they get to move on so much faster.

8. Isn't it time to develop some strong partnerships. We should be able to talk honestly about a listing, the challenges and goals. It takes 3 things to sell a house. Neither of us can affect the location but let me market and merchandise the inside of the house, you price it right and market it to the outside world and I bet the results will be remarkable.

9. I can afford to be bolder than you can be. In fact that is part of what makes me a good stager. I will tell the homeowner the truth (if I can't get them to tell me that same truth on their own). My relationship with them doesn't last as long as yours. Let me say what you are thinking. Trust that I will know what needs to get done and I will find a way to talk about it. My only real goal is to maximize a homeowner's profits and reduce their stress. This happens with a healthy offer and a quick sale. I am focused on correcting the things that will get in the way. If there is a way; I will find it.

 If you haven't seen results with staging then it may be time to try a new stager and develop a new staging plan. You should feel like the stager you are working with is bright, dedicated and invested. She should be helping you market your home in some new ways.

I love what I do. I am good at it. I can feel when a Realtor thinks they don't need help with staging and I am frustrated if I look at their listings and know that they could be getting different results. What if I am as good at marketing the inside of the home as you are about marketing to the outside world of buyers? That could make for a fabulous team!!!!  I'd love to brainstorm with you today....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Our New Website is Up

Please check out our new website.  It is now up and we will be adding lots of things to it in the coming weeks so come back often!!!
Let us know how you like it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

This is a new software program we are using to highlight the properties we stage.  When the show finishes you will have an opportunity to click on "other shows".  This home has a "before and after" you are welcome to watch.  It is a beautiful property.  Email me for more information.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Free Consultation

We offer a free phone consultation to new clients.  During this consultaion we will discuss your particular situation, any specific concerns you have, time frame for getting your home on the market and/or challenges you are facing if you are on the market already and aren't getting the results you were hoping for.  We will take this time to get to know you and help you find solutions that will begin to relieve some of the your stress.  We work with some great Realtors that are also willing to answer questions for clients that aren't working with a Realtor already.
Please email us with your name, phone number and MLS listing number (if you already have a listing).  Please put "free phone consultation" in the subject line of the email.  Email us today and we will help develop a strategy that sells.  We look forward to hearing from you.  debra@thestagingmatters.com

Question of the Week

by Debra of Staging Matters

Should I turn a bedroom into an office?

This is a question that I have gotten a few times lately.  In the North Texas area it is estimated that much of our workforce utilizes a home office.  Living and working in DFW has lots of perks but sitting in traffic on your way home to Southlake or Coppell is not one of them.  For this reason more and more professionals are starting to work at least some of the time at home. I think it is a good idea to stage an office if you have the room.  My rule of thumb in most family oriented communities is that if the home does not have a designated office and it has more than 3 bedrooms then yes I will stage an office.  When staging a bedroom as an office I will not go over board as I want the buyer to be able to imagine a 4th bedroom as well.  I will usually put in a leggy desk (takes up less visual space) and some sort of daybed or futon.  This helps people see all the possibilies for the room. 
In general if you are unsure about how to stage an area of your home ask a Professional Stager in your area what is most desired in your neighborhood.  We are trained at helping you get the best return on your investment (ROI).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

: Savvy Home Sellers Are Looking For REALTORS® That Offer Home Staging Consultations

by Cindy Bryant, a Stager in Houston

More and more homeowners understand that in any market, especially this one, a seller needs to do everything possible to get a home sold. That's why they are looking for real estate agents that offer this service, or know of a home stager they can recommend. A home staging consultation is the most cost effective service a seller can get before putting their house on the market.
Why do Home Sellers Want Professional Home Stagers?

•Home sellers don't want a generic list of "Things to Do"handed to them from their agent.

•They want personalized service from a professional stager that can pinpoint specifics about their home and make recommendations.

•They want an unbiased opinion from someones that's not involved with the commission.

•They want to know with confidence that their home will show better than their competition down the street.

•Real estate agents shouldn't be concerned with the buyer being insulted in suggesting the use of a home stager, quite the contrary, sellers are looking for this add-on service.

•They know staging is the hottest marketing and merchandising tool out there.

•It also gives the home seller satisfaction knowing that the agent is doing everything he or she can do to help sell their home.

•Don't have the time to do it themselves.

•Understands the concept, but doesn't know how to implement the process themselves.

•Lacks the decorating skills, and has better things to do.

•Sellers know it's a must in today's market and it's a win-win for all parties involved.

•Some real estate agents will pay for a home staging consultation as part of their marketing plan, but typically a home seller pays for costs associated with home staging.

•All REALTORS® should be able to recommend a professional home stager that can provide not only staging advice, but furnishings and accessories for a vacant home.

© Redesign Etc.,Inc. 2007-2010. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Home Staging Helps Real Estate Investors and Builders Maximize Profit

Author: Debra Gould
When selling your investment property, are you tempted to leave a room or the entire house empty? Decorating your house to sell, also called Home Staging or Real Estate Staging, will help you sell your investment in record time and get top dollar for your home.
If you have gone through the expensive and time-consuming job of renovating, don't decide to save money when it comes to furnishings and accessories.
When you've gone through expensive renovations, suffered with delays or extended beyond your budget, it's difficult to stay motivated to the bitter end. It can be tempting to say, "It's good enough. The paint's dry; let's put it on the market as is!"
This is short sighted and can cost you a bundle!
It's relatively inexpensive to rent anything you need, and these finishing touches help ensure you make the profit you deserve for all those costly repairs.
Imagine it's the Academy Awards. A big star is wearing a fabulous designer gown so she decides she doesn't need to get her hair done. Does everyone talk about the fabulous gown? Of course not, all they can remember is the terrible hair!
Or imagine a fine painting stuck in a dollar store frame. Does the painting have the same appeal as it would if it had been framed by a professional? Conversely, have you ever taken one of your child's paintings and had it framed? What a difference it makes compared to how it looked when it was stuck on the fridge with a magnet.

1. People don't buy houses, they buy homes.
2. It is difficult to understand how large a room is when there's nothing in it as a reference point.
3. People can't visualize how furniture will fit in an empty space, and if they're unsure, they don't buy.
4. When a room is empty prospective buyers focus on negative details instead of falling in love with the overall space.
Instead of looking at the flow of one room to another, prospective buyers get bogged down in questions like: Is the drywall smooth? Will those bumps in the carpet come out? Why doesn't the closet have a hanging bar? Why doesn't that molding fit perfectly? Why is the light switch in the middle of the wall?
5. When a house or even a few rooms are empty prospective buyers can get distracted from paying attention to the house and shift their focus to the home owners.
Instead of focusing on whether this is the home for them, they may be busy wondering: Is this a divorce? Have they left town? Are they selling because they have money problems? This train of thought can then prompt buyers to starting thinking, "maybe I can put in a low ball offer since the seller might be desperate." Definitely not the picture you are trying to paint.
Home staging is about packaging a home to show off its best features and downplay the flaws. You romance the buyer and entice them into making an emotional connection with your house. So, bring in some furnishings and accessories to add character and warmth to the home. Taking the time to do these final details will ultimately translate into a higher return on your investment.
Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_460193_80.html
Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is president of Six Elements and creator of The Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program with 1000+ Graduates worldwide. Debra is the author of two home staging guides and offers a Directory of Home Stagers to help homeowners and real estate agents locate home stagers who will decorate homes to sell quickly and for top dollar. To learn more visit http://www.stagingdiva.com

Friday, May 14, 2010

Truth or Dare

By Debra of Staging Matters

Being successful in the home staging business can come down to this. How easy is it for you to tell the truth in such a way that people are motivated to make some changes? A great home stager doesn't tell you what you want to hear, exactly. I tell people that they need to paint bright purple and stark     white walls different colors, that they need to remove country lacy curtains, that they need to put away all the sports memorabilia (even the Aggie stuff), that the litter box is stinky, that the weeds have to come out (even if they are blooming), and the real flowers have to go in. I tell people to clean their windows inside and out as many times as it takes to get sparkle happening.
When you are finished living in a home and you are ready to make some  serious money on this big investment, isn't maximizing the profits exciting? So hearing the truth doesn't hurt; it sells! I dare you to beg for the truth and follow through with all changes.   When you can really hear the truth, the Staging will Matter!  You can expect to sell faster and for a lot more money. 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tipsheet: Staging Tips That Can Help Sell a Home

By Mary Beth Breckenridge

Staging a home for sale can set it apart from the competition and make it inviting to the greatest number of buyers. Kiplinger's Personal Finance has these suggestions for staging your home for less than $1,000:

"Focus on a few rooms. Hire a stager to redo just the entryway, main living area, kitchen and master bedroom. Stagers usually charge $75 to $125 an hour. Ignore secondary rooms, or do them yourself once you've seen how the pro works.

Add some pizzazz. Sometimes a few decorative extras can update or neutralize a home's decor. You may be able to negotiate with a staging company for decor items such as wall art, area rugs, lamps or other accessories. One company Kiplinger's checked charges roughly $250 per month, with a three-month minimum, plus one month's fee for setup and breakdown.

Pay for a plan, but provide the muscle. Many stagers will work as consultants, touring your house and offering suggestions on presenting it. Barb Schwarz, founder of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, says the average fee for a consultation is $350.

Then it's up to you to do the cleaning, decluttering and rearranging. Kiplinger's suggests renting a portable storage unit if you have a lot of stuff to store. One company, PODS, will deliver the unit to your driveway, transport it to a secure facility and charge you a monthly storage fee."

By Mary Beth Breckenridge
Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal
Posted: 04/09/2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Updated: 04/09/2010 02:59:59 PM PDT

Staging Matters would love to help you stage your house.  Staging increases the profitability and decreases the time on the market.  We'd love to visit with you today.  469-322-9113

Targeting Your Probable Buyers

RISMedia recently put out a great article about how home staging should target buyers by group.  The article talks about how different groups are looking for different things in a house and how to attract your target market.  You can read the article by clicking here  http://rismedia.com/2010-04-13/home-staging-tips-that-focus-on-largest-customer-segments/

Attracting First Time Home Buyers

Click this link for a great article about attracting first time home buyers.  Staging your home to sell to a first-time buyer

Friday, April 16, 2010

Closet Makeover Tips

by Debra Rosser of Staging Matters
It is very likely that serious buyers will look in closets and open cabinet doors. The closets that look organized, clean and spacious make a great impression. Here are 6 things you should do to get a closet ready for viewers.
1. Remove about 1/2 of the clothes. If the closet is packed with clothes a buyer may think there isn't enough storage. Pack up clothes you don't need and get them to out of sight.
2. Clear the floors. The floor of your closet should be empty. Get things off the floor and then vacuum the carpet in the closet.
3. If possible use only one type of hanger. You can pick flocked, plastic, wood or wire but if you only use one kind it will add to the organized feel.
4. Get all dirty clothes out of sight. This isn't the time for people to see your dirty....socks. Get a basket with a lid and keep your hamper covered.
5. Keep the closet smelling fresh. Do laundry more frequently so dirty clothes don't give the closet a "smell". Add a box of baking soda to absorb odors, add some kind of room deodorizer and air out your closets.
6. Use baskets to store things on shelves and remember that the shelves shouldn't look "stuffed". Be sure about 1/3 of the shelves are empty.

Closets can convey to a buyer that a home is well maintained and cared for; that the owners are organized and therefore have probably taken care of the house. Getting the closets in order puts you closer to a sale and will make packing easier in the end.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Preferred Realtor Program

Staging Matters has a new Realtor Program for preferred Realtors.  To get more information about this program please contact us at 469-322-9113 or by emailing debra@thestagingmatters.com.  Join this list today!  The Staging Matters.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Carpet in the Bathroom???

Question of the Week - answered by Debra from Staging Matters

How do buyers feel about carpet in the bathroom? Does a seller really need to change this out before putting their house on the market?

Old carpet in the bathroom is not going to do you any favors when your home is on the market. Most buyers see a project like this and really overestimate what it will take to fix it. A buyer may deduct $5000 from the asking price just to fix this and you could easily change it out for about $2/square foot. So by spending no more than a few hundred you would essentially make $4800. It is also important to know that in this buyer's market getting your house as close to "move in ready" as possible will speed up the sale of your home. To maximize your profitability research your Realtor and your Home Stager. You won't have to upgrade everything to get the most money for your house but a good Home Stager can really find a lot of hidden money in your property and most of our suggestions won't cost you a thing. The investment in a Home Stager is small and following their suggestions can easily can make you $10,000 or more. Professional Home Staging is always much cheaper than your first price adjustment!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Preparing for a Stager's Visit

Do you clean before the housekeeper comes over? I do. I act like a crazy woman insisting that every tiny thing finds its place. This week was no exception. I gave out the orders and did the inspections. Now you should know that the young woman who cleans my house doesn't speak my language but always finds a way to communicate. She would laugh if she could see all of us running up and down the stairs getting everything just so. She is so important to me (and my sanity) though that I don't want to stress her out by making her "figure out" where things go.
It occurs to me that some of my clients must do this before I come over. In fact, once every couple of weeks someone postpones our meeting for a week or so because the "house isn't ready". When you really think about it

Staged Homes Sell 78% Faster According to RESA

The Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) just released the 2009 Staging Statistics Report. RESA found that last year staged homes spent 78% less time on the market. To a seller this means you save thousands for every month your house is not on the market, and it means the stress of living with a house on the market is much shorter. These are just a few of the benefits of staging and they can really add a lot of money to your bottom line.

Here is just some of the information contained in the report.

The study includes 87 vacant homes (not staged) previously on the market an average of 277 days unsold. Those homeowners had their properties staged. Those same homes sold in 63 days on average after staging. This is 78% less time on the market.
The study includes 39 occupied homes (not staged) previously on the market an average of 233 days unsold. Those homeowners had their properties staged. Those same homes sold in 53 days on average after staging. This is 78% less time on the market.The report goes on to talk about just how much money a homeowner actually saves by staging.

Our study shows 126 homeowners had their property on the market on average of 263 days before they decided to stage. 263 days = 9 months!!!
Our study also shows 284 homes that were staged before they went on the market and they sold on average in 40.5 days. This is approximately 223 days less time on the market.
223 days = 7 months
As an example, using this formula you can determine approximately how much money you will continue to spend while your home is on the market un-staged.
If your mortgage is : $1800.00
If your direct expenses are: $300.00                                     
Total carrying cost per month: $2,100.00
Our study shows home owners had their property on the market for an average of 9 months. $2,100.00 X 9 months = $18,900.00 in expenses.
Had those homeowners staged first, their time on market would have been cut by 223 days on average (7 months). $2,100.00 x 7 months= $14,700.00
Staging their homes first would have saved them $14,700.00.These numbers are all relative to individual mortgage and expenses. Use this simple formula to determine how much you will save by staging your home or listing before putting it on the market:
Mortgage + expenses (utilities etc.) = Monthly expenses
Monthly expenses X 9 months (avg. time un-staged) = Cost to list house un-staged
Savings: Expenses x 7 months (average time on market reduced) –staging fee =Savings if you stage your house first!
** If you have a price reduction you can also add that into the loss you are taking by listing a property un-staged

The report goes on then to talk about the Homegain study. You can read the full RESA report here.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Musings of an Open House Junkie: Part One

by Debra Rosser with Staging Matters

I visit Open Houses in Flower Mound, Coppell, Argyle, Highland Village, and other North Texas cities very regularly. I do this for several reasons. I need to be very clear about what my clients’ competition looks like; I need to know which Realtors are consistently presenting properly staged homes and identify those that could use some help, but most honestly I am just addicted to seeing how other people live. Sometimes I see something in pictures that I just feel like I need to see in person.
Recently I was looking at some homes in my area that were for sale in the $700,000 price range. The first house I looked at was obviously staged and I’d have to admit the Stager had done a great job …until I went upstairs.

Musings Continued: Part Two

The second home I looked at was occupied. The homeowners I suspect had followed their Realtor’s advice about decluttering and cleaning. The Realtor showing the house was very professional and sharp. The sellers had made a great decision in hiring her. The problem was that in this price range the competition is most often professionally staged. The competition is steep; the most beautiful and pristine house usually sells first. If this house was staged it wasn’t staged well or the homeowners hadn’t done everything the stager had suggested. Every closet door was ajar to encourage buyers to feel free to look…the problem was every closet was messy and crowded. They had stopped short and I felt the disappointment.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Top Ten Reasons You Should Professionally Stage Your Home

There are some important principles sellers need to understand in order to get the most out of staging. This article from a Philadelphia Real Estate source is right on track. Enjoy!


please check with a tax professional in your state to see how this would or would not apply to your situation

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Top 12 Do-It-Yourself Home Improvements for Sellers

HomeGain Press Release                                                                   
November 05, 2009

HomeGain Releases 2009 Home Improvement Survey Results
HomeGain reveals new survey findings of top 12 do-it-yourself home improvements for home sellers, based on responses from nearly 1,000 REALTORS®; cleaning and de-cluttering ranks as highest return on investment, followed by home stagingEmeryville, CA - November 5, 2009 - HomeGain.com, the first website to offer web-based free instant home values, today announced that it has released the results of its nationwide home improvement and home staging Home Sale Maximizer™ survey.

HomeGain received responses from nearly 1,000 Realtors® nationwide and configured a list of the top 12 do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvements that cost under $5,000 and benefit sellers most when they sell their homes.

According to the HomeGain survey, the top five home improvements that Realtors recommend to home sellers based on cost and return on investment (from highest to lowest ROI) are:
1.Cleaning and de-cluttering ($200 cost / $1,700 price increase / 872% ROI)2.Home staging ($300 cost / $1,780 price increase / 586% ROI)3.Lightening and brightening ($230 cost / $1,300 price increase / 572% ROI)
4.Landscaping ($320 cost / $1,500 price increase / 473% ROI)
5.Repairing plumbing ($385 cost / $1,250 price increase / 327% ROI)
Cleaning and de-cluttering continues to rank as the top suggested home improvement (since the survey was originally conducted in 2000), recommended by 98 percent of Realtors, costing less than $200 and returning a value of nearly $1,700 to the home's sale price, or an 872% return on investment.

"Many Realtors agree, especially in a buyer's market, that sellers who make these recommended home improvements often get their homes sold faster and at higher prices," stated Louis Cammarosano, General Manager at HomeGain. "We have customized our Home Sale Maximizer online home improvement tool to help identify and prioritize the projects that can increase the salability and selling price of a home."

Rounding out the top 12, the list of low cost, do-it-yourself home improvements includes: updating electrical, replacing or shampooing carpets, painting interior walls, repairing damaged floors, updating kitchen, painting outside of home, and updating bathroom/s.
The home improvement projects with the highest price increases to a home's resale value is Updating the Kitchen ($1,200 cost / $2,850 price increase), followed by Painting the Outside of the Home ($900 cost / $1,815 price increase) and Home Staging ($300 cost / $1,780 price increase)."Inexpensive cosmetic home improvements and basic improvements greatly enhance the value of the home," stated Carol Wilson of Carpenter Real Estate in Indianapolis, IN, HomeGain AgentEvaluator member since 1999.

To see the complete survey results, visit the HomeGain Real Estate Blog.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Check out this article about how staging helps sellers in this local community news spot for Roanoke and surrounding cities. http://ilivecommunity.com/2010/02/20/home-seller-sanity-saver-from-an-expert/

Friday, February 19, 2010

Home Staging Helps Sellers in a Buyer's Market

As the housing market struggles to regain its footing, more buyers are slowly beginning to enter the marketplace. But sellers continue to face special challenges. There are still a number of unsold homes on the market, which means:

• Buyers can be pickier about what they choose to buy

• Buyers have more room to negotiate price

• Sellers are frustrated because their homes aren’t selling as fast as they’d like

• Sellers are pressured by agents to drop their prices dramatically, since agents don’t get paid until the house sells

How can a home stand out from the competition when there are several homes for sale at similar prices in the neighborhood, or worse, on the same street? Rather than just slashing the selling price, home sellers should consider the less costly option of decorating the property to romance buyers and motivate them to make an offer.

In this market, it is going to take more than a fresh coat of paint and a new welcome mat. A buyer’s market raises the stakes, and sellers will need to do more work on the home to get the highest price possible. Home staging--the art of decorating a house to sell more quickly and for a higher price--is the perfect solution for sellers who are desperate to catch the attention of buyers.

Often we are so familiar with our own homes that we cannot see them through the eyes of a critical buyer. A professional home stager brings the objectivity needed to showcase the best features of each room. This is often achieved with cosmetic changes and rearranging and editing the furnishings that are already there. In the case of a vacant home, a professional home stager will bring in the items needed to add that homey touch.

Expert home stager Debra Gould shares a real-life example of the difference staging can make and how much cheaper it is than a dramatic price cut: A real estate agent wanted her client to drop his asking price by $50,000 after the house had sat on the market for 6 months without a single offer. She was desperate to attract interest since it was costing her money to carry the listing and she wasn’t making anything for her time and effort. Instead of listening to his agent’s advice, the client called in Gould to stage his house. She spent a day helping the client rearrange all the furniture and accessories in every room. Some things were moved to off-site storage, and she purchased a few new accessories, which the client could also use in his new home. The total cost for Gould’s staging advice, storage and the purchases came in at $1,500. The client didn’t have to cut his asking price by $50,000, and instead sold the following week for 98% of the original list price.

A professional home stager can help you draw buyers’ attention so you can sell your home faster. This reduces or even eliminates the need for price reductions, helping you hold on to the precious equity you’ve built up over the years.

Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is president of Six Elements and creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program with over 4,000 students worldwide. Gould is the author of three home staging guides and offers a Directory of Home Stagers to help homeowners and real estate agents locate home stagers who will decorate homes to sell quickly and for top dollar. To learn more, visit www.stagingdivadirectoryofhomestagers.com
Written by internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®, www.stagingdiva.com. © 2009, Six Elements Inc. Used with permission.

Debra Rosser, of Staging Matters, adds "The three things that effect how quickly a house will sell are location, condition and price. Sellers only have control over condition and price. Getting the price right is critical and an agent is the best person to advise you on that but overlooking how you can change the "condition" factor through staging is a mistake that is very costly. I see houses every week where the homeowners are leaving a lot of money on the table unnecessarily, or where they could have avoided a big price adjustment doing some easy/inexpensive updating or simple rearranging. Staging is an extremely affordable investment and the payoff can be huge."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Decorate in No Time Flat

By: Deidre Wengen

Sometimes the task of decorating our homes can feel like a daunting one. Arranging furniture, putting together collections, picking out paint colors and accents can be tough. And most of the time, getting your decor right seems like a long process.
But professional home stager Jill Vegas has some tips and tricks up her sleeve to making decorating fast and easy.
Her book "Speed Decorating" is packed with useful ideas and suggestions for getting your home looking fabulous in less than a week.
The book includes some advice on shopping, arranging, cleaning, organizing, etc. The book comes complete with tutorial-like instructions and gorgeous photographs to make the process as painless as possible.
So if you've been stuck in a decorating rut, check out this book for some inspiration and ideas that will fit in with your busy schedule. Whether you are decorating for yourself or looking to spruce up your home for a sale, Vegas' tips are sure to give you the help you need.
December 28, 2009 10:09 AM