Jean needed to sell her house quickly.

prep8She was being transferred, and the company wasn’t footing the bill. Instead, they offered her a higher salary. Now she had to sell quickly or risk paying two mortgages.

But Jean wasn’t sweating it. After all, her house was in a great neighborhood in one of the best parts of town. She hired a real estate agent, confident that once the “for sale” sign went up, the buyers would come knocking.

A couple of weeks went by, and there were zero offers. Jean had to move fairly soon and was getting nervous about those double mortgage payments….

Her real estate agent gives her a solution.. a PRICE REDUCTION. What did Jean do to get the offer of a price reduction so quickly….. Jean refused to make her house buyer-friendly, how did she do that?

Her Home didn’t Look Better Than Any Other House on Her Street

She was very emotionally “attached” to her possessions and took the idea of changing it personally.

Insisted Her Home Would Sell itself

Jean could not imagine her place looking any better than it already did.

She Didn’t Want to Spend Any Money on Updates

Jean thought that just putting up a sign was enough, she really didn’t believe that a coat of paint would make any difference

In the end Jean reduced the price of her home by $20,000 and received an offer, she took it because it was the only one she got.

*************

S0 why do sellers think that a price reduction is their ONLY option and refuse to make their houses more attractive to buyers? In Jeans case her refusal to invest in sprucing up her home cost her time and money, not to mention some serious stress. Buyers today want to back up their moving truck, unload their stuff, and put their toothbrush in a cup by the sink.

If you want a Price Reduction to be the reason you sell your home, then follow everything that Jean did… if you don’t…. then we need to talk!

More and more Canadians are finding themselves working from their homes, whether in full-time or part-time schedules, or other flexible scheduling options as needed. Homeowners are finding themselves setting aside a space or room in the house for their work desk, whether they run a business or enterprise from home, telecommute from time to time, or need a quiet, organized area to go through their mail, pay bills, and set up appointments.

Your home office should be one that is conducive to the kind of work that you do, but at the same time, give you free rein as far as creativity and personal preferences. One of the biggest advantages of telecommuting or working remotely from home is the flexibility that you have over the work environment that you will be occupying. You can move away from the often stifling or drab corporate environment or cramped cubicle, and design a more personalized, intimate, and enjoyable work station that inspires you and enables you to be productive while working at home.

Space and location

prep1If you run a business from your home and often meet with clients or customers, then your home office should have ample seating, as well as accessibility (as much as possible, you wouldn’t want clients to have to walk through the entire house before getting to your office). On the other hand, if the type of work you do requires lots of concentration and minimal noise, the location of the home office should be one with not too much foot traffic.

Your work area should also provide you with plenty of visual break or appeal to minimize monotony. When you look up from your computer, would you rather be looking at a great view outside the window, or a blank wall? Don’t sacrifice space as well, because you should also consider that this where you will be spending many hours of the day and a cramped, tight space likely will discourage rather than make you want to complete tasks.

Creative colors, textures and furniture

No need to get approval from a boss or design committee as far as décor or fixtures for your home office, so make sure it is a space that really inspires you and reflects your taste and personality. The walls can be painted with your favorite color, accents can be prep2various shades of the same color, and you have the freedom to either make the room a bright, cheerful splash of vibrant hues, or a calming, soothing oasis of solitude and concentration.

Even the furniture and fixtures in your home office can help you become more productive. Start with your office chair; invest in a very comfortable and ergonomic chair that fits you perfectly and is great for your body even after long hours of work. Your work desk, meanwhile, can be spruced up with desk organizers, a contemporary task or desk lamp, and innovative storage solutions such as cube storage or colorful boxes for documents.

Color combinations, palettes, and color schemes play a major part in complementing the indoor spaces of your home, adding to the overall design, and creating the ambiance or feel that you are going for in your house. Whether you are planning a major home makeover or redesign, or putting your home on the market and utilizing home staging efforts as part of the strategy, being aware of the power of color schemes will be an advantage to you as you set out to find the right balance and visual impact that your house needs.

Not just the paint

When you consider color combinations and schemes, this does not refer to just the paint on the walls (although paint is a major aspect of it). You will also factor in the furniture that will be installed in that area, fixtures, lighting, window treatments, accessories, décor, and other visual elements that also tie in with a room or area’s color scheme. In other words, be prepared for changes not only to the color of the walls, but also updates on the functional and decorative items you already have in that space.

Where to start

Figuring out where to start can be confusing. Don’t try to change everything all at once; this can be overwhelming, and different prep107areas of the home need different perspectives and blends in order to create the proper ambiance. You can start with the home’s formal areas, such as the entrance or foyer, dining room, and living room. Incidentally, these are also some of the most high-traffic rooms of the house where you will be spending a lot of time hanging out with family or entertaining company. You can pick a high-impact color combination for these formal areas, and then simply adopt a lighter shade for other areas around the home, creating a unified theme.

You can also anchor the color schemes to certain large patterns or décor in the room or space. If you have a large Oriental area rug in the living room, for example, you can use one of the major color shades of the rug as the base for your walls or ceiling. Or if you have a piece of artwork as the central focal point of your dining room, a couple of the colors and hues could be your inspiration for that room’s furniture. This creates a sense of harmony and is easier for the viewer to appreciate.

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Accessories, home décor items, window treatments, and furniture should be incorporated into the color combination for complete visual effect. Avoid using too much of the exact same shade, however, as this can look monotonous and uninspired. For instance, if green is the color scheme you have picked for your living room, pick a darker shade of green for your drapes or throw pillows, aquatic green hues for coffee table center piece or décor, and a hint of brown and other earth colors to complete a very nature-inspired theme.

Recent studies of the marriage and family structure in Canada have shown that divorce rates across the country are on the decline. Still, separation and divorce are parts of life that many of us will continue to deal with. About 40% of marriages end in divorce before the 30th year. This is a reality for many homeowners, and the effects of divorce extend beyond the emotional adjustment to both the physical and financial transitions as well.

The legal proceedings for divorce would involve a decision on which of the couple would get the home. In many cases, newly-divorced homeowners would find that revamping the space, doing major renovations and upgrades, or even moving to a completely new home would assist in one’s healing process, transitioning to a new life and adjusting to life post-marriage. Many elements of your current home could remind you of difficult or challenging memories from the relationship that just ended, and selling your home or a home makeover could be therapeutic and also be the much-needed breath of fresh air that your home needs after years of the same look and feel.

Take your time

After the divorce, you may be very eager to just throw everything out, buy new furniture altogether, and transform the entire home. Before you spend exorbitant amounts of money on things, however, you should also pause and make sure that you are thinking clearly and planning correctly for the future. Emotions could be running high and you might end up selling your home or making purchases based only on impulsive feelings but without a clear direction or purpose for the entire effort.

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Ease the family in

If you have children and they are living with you after the marriage ends, you also have to keep them in mind as you change up the home design and décor. In this difficult period, children are able to adjust better if there are elements of home that remain constant and familiar to them. If you are planning to move to a new house, try to bring some of the old furniture pieces with you, especially from their bedroom space. You can try to include your children in the planning and designing of their new bedroom as much as possible, so they also have a sense of control and security especially after the divorce, when feelings of overwhelming change and insecurity could be prevalent.

Express yourself

Treat this time of home refurbishing and upgrades as a way for you to regain control over decisions or choices you may not have had when you were still married. Those mementos from your childhood that your spouse did not want displayed? Now you can fish them out of the attic or storage and perhaps add them to your wall décor. Remember to also move forward and make your home a reminder to yourself that this is your step towards finding yourself and being whole again.

The question of darker wood versus painted cabinets is a common one these days. If your kitchen cabinets are solid but dated and dark, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way toward transforming the space without draining your bank account. However, depending on the overall design of your kitchen and the style of your home, the degree of popularity for painting wood kitchen cabinets ranges quite a bit. Here are a few things to ponder to help you along with your decision:

1. Cabinet Style –wood can be beautiful, but consider the style of your wood kitchen cabinets and if they complement the kitchen design, as well as the overall aesthetic of your home. Painting them may bring about a more cohesive design throughout the whole space, which would be more appealing to you and better in the long run especially if you plan on selling your home in the future.

2. Budget – if you move forward with painting the wood kitchen cabinets, will you be doing this yourself or will you hire a professional? If you really want to paint, you need to make sure the cabinets end up looking as good or better than the current cabinets.  It’s a lot of work to do them yourself, so make sure you’re ready for it. If not, consider your budget for hiring a professional so the job is done right.

3. Consult a realtor – in many parts of the country, wood cabinets are a selling point in homes. Look at listings of similar homes in your area and see how the kitchen description is worded. You can also reach out to a local realtor to get their

4. Choose color carefully – as important it is to have the cabinets painted properly, you want to make sure you choose the right color. There are literally hundreds of “white” paint options. Remember, lighting plays a strong role in how paint will look in the final space. Perhaps you should consider taping a paint swatch on the front of each cabinet and live with it for a couple of days.

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While all of these points should be taken into consideration, the most important question to ask really is “What is the kitchen’s role in your family’s life?”  Is it truly the heart of your home? Do you use this space to entertain? Are you one who cooks often? If you’re the one that will be spending a lot of time in this space, you should love it.

In staging any home, a balance must always be achieved between designing a space that is neat, professional and ready to sell yet without seeming too perfect, contrived, and immaculate to the potential home buyer. Some realtors feel that while home buyers do appreciate looking at properties that are clean and presentable, some of them are also intimidated or turned off by homes that look too much like model homes or something right of the pages of a magazine. So much so, that they cannot see themselves in the space.

Now, this doesn’t mean that home staging is no longer necessary! Keep in mind that staging is done not only to make the home presentable and marketable to potential buyers, but also to allow them to easily visualize their family living in your home. Home staging takes care of creating a neutral and appealing property to as many clients as possible. In this regard, various techniques for décor and visual appeal are utilized, but what home sellers need to be careful of is sometimes removing too much. This can leave the home looking cold and detached, instead of having a comfortable “lived-in” vibe.

Experiment with shapes, colors, arrangements

Contrast and the right oddities can instantly break the monotony of any area of your home and give it a touch of home comfort. For example, if you have a minimalist or modern ambiance, this can feel too unnatural or impersonal, but throw in a couple of brightly-colored pillows, a vintage table lamp, or a retro-inspired coffee table somewhere in the mix, and the contrast can set the viewer at ease.

Furniture doesn’t always have to line up perfectly. A chair that looks a little out of place, or a living room arrangement with just the right tinge of contrast in style and color, can change the tone and feel an interior. Instead of the usual stools for your kitchen counter area, how about bar stools in different designs and colors?

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Borrow from nature

There’s nothing like the elements of nature to bring warmth and comfort to your home staging plans. Aside from earth colors, incorporating actual wooden furniture selections make your home staging look more natural and appealing. Rattan, bamboo, wicker, and other types of wooden furniture items are trendy and very popular among modern home buyers. Welcome your home visitors with a fresh bouquet of flowers at the entrance, and strategically placed twigs, branches, seashells, and other nature elements at different corners of the home, and the home will feel more comfortable.

Hanging the right pictures, art, and posters on the walls can definitely add personality, character and charm to your home’s overall home staging look. While professional home stagers and interior designers would generally discourage you from displaying family portraits when staging the home (as the space needs to be depersonalized as much as possible), there are plenty of other décor you can hang on the walls for an added touch of class or comfort.prep103

Are you an aspiring photographer with several images or portraits you are particularly proud of? They may go well over the fireplace, on the dining room wall, or going up the staircase. Artwork you have bought or collected over the years are also excellent additions to wall décor selections. Whatever you decide to display on your walls, it is important not to overdo it or to cram the space with too much décor that it becomes distracting or looks hectic to the viewer.

Secure the wall décor

You wouldn’t want that painting or picture falling from the wall or hurting a potential home buyer when they tour your space. Make sure that it is hanging properly and securely. You can opt for nails and wall studs for strength; on the other hand, picture hanging-hooks and fasteners are usual options for mid-sized frames. For pictures and paintings that are larger and heavier, screws would be safer and more securely hold the wall art in place.

Use wall art for color

Posters, photographs, and paintings can provide the much-needed splash of color you want in your indoor space. You want to paint your walls a bright red but your spouse and your realtor don’t approve? Look for wall art and images with bright red hues and colors, display them in groups on your walls, and watch the colors come to life.

Your wall art can also add contrast or accent to your space. If your walls are painted in bright colors and hues, paintings or posters that are pastel-based or with light colors would provide contrast and visual appeal.

Not just paintings and photographs

There are other types of wall décor that you can add for variety. For instance, hanging candle holders can be interspersed between frames. Crafts made of different materials can also be displayed to achieve a cozy ambiance. A colorful wall clock can be both functional and decorative. If you like to change up the wall art every once in a while, you can hang clipboards of various sizes and then use them as display frames for different images or quotes that you like.

Bathrooms say quite a lot about the character of the home as well as the homeowner. In your home staging plans, the bathroom can add to the overall charm and personality of the property. Perhaps you and your professional home staging team have discussed various aspects of upgrading the bathroom space, including flooring, lighting, and other details, but what about your bathroom towels?

Here are some of our favourite stylish and creative ways to display your bathroom towels. Simple ideas that can go a long way in making your bathroom stand out in the mind of your potential home buyers. Towels don’t necessarily have to all be stowed away in your bathroom linen closet; after all, many bathrooms these days have limited storage options, so you have to cook up innovative solutions for your bathroom towels, such as the ones here:

Maximize unused spaces. You can use contemporary magazine racks or colourful baskets to fold or roll up towels and store them under the sink. Woven baskets of different shapes and sizes are also great towel storage spaces that you can display at almost any corner of the bathroom; they can keep the towels neatly out of view if you prefer, or you can keep the lid off and show off your towel folding skills. They are also very functional, keeping towels within reach.

Creative towel hooks and racks. If you have the space for it, an unused ladder that fits your prep101bathroom’s look can be a creative towel bar; it would provide three or four towel bars without taking up too much space, and it looks really unique as well. You can also look at towel hooks and racks that look like trees or plants, or if you want a simple, minimalist effect, a metallic towel rack would be great.

Towel storage ideas for hotel chic effect. A relatively cost-efficient update that adds storage and also makes your bathroom more sophisticated in style would be a towel rack and bar above the toilet area. If you have a bathtub, setting up a stool next to it and then displaying a rolled up towel on it would also add a nice touch.

prep102Put that old wine rack to use. Do you have an unused wine rack lying around the house? Use that for towel storage; it’s easy to keep towels perfectly rolled up in a wine rack, and you also save money instead of buying a new one. You can also experiment with different color coordination and combinations as far as the towels displayed.

Staging is truly marketing and it’s a very critical piece of the entire marketing puzzle. Sellers today need to really ask themselves if the Agent they have chosen actually is doing all the things they can to market the house for them. Besides all the regular stuff that every other Agent does, are they offering Staging Consultations? Not a de-clutter plan, or 5 easy steps to stage your home that can easily be found on the internet but a customized STAGING MARKETING plan that is built for YOUR HOUSE? Anyone can de-clutter but again, that is not staging.

Think of the builder’s models you’ve seen.  Why have they consistently sold for a higher price than a vacant spec home?  It’s all about projecting a lifestyle.  This means that sellers have to create a vision for buyers, so they’re excited about a home.  It creates an urgency to buy.

Below are 4 reasons why Top Selling Realtors recommend Home Staging services to their clients…

1. Home staging makes it easier for them to market and sell your property because your MLS photos will be 100% more enticing, and once visiting a property, home buyers are more likely to make an offer on a home that shows well.

2. With 90% of Canadian home buyers searching online, that’s why it is critically important Home Sellers have the Kelowna Home Staging Soldstrongest marketing photos possible. Many home buyers pass up properties based solely on the photos they see online. Home sellers will attract more leads with a great looking property that has amazing photos.

3. Home stagers can address problems head on, taking over the responsibility of discussing sensitive subjects like odor and unattractive decor with home sellers Home stagers explain to clients that they are not there to judge their design choices or cleanliness; they just want to position their home to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers

4. Leaving a property in “as is” condition will only help sell the competition, especially when the competition is already using home staging as a marketing tool! Home staging services can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a consultation up to several thousand dollars to fully furnish a large or very high-end home. In every case, the cost to the home seller will be significantly less than the next step, hearing those dreaded words… price reduction.

Kitchen renovations can be quite expensive. If you have the cash for it, then you probably won’t think twice about going ahead with the upgrades anyway. But as part of your home staging efforts, a costly kitchen renovation project might not be the best idea considering that you would likely have many other staging-related expenses, not to mention the fact that there’s quite a risk involved with taking on an expensive project such as a kitchen style upgrade that may or may not be recouped later on with the home sale.

You don’t need to spend huge amounts of money in order to spruce up your kitchen, however. With some small details and finishing touches, and other inexpensive but highly effective decorating and styling techniques, you can transform the look and feel of your kitchen style and make it seem totally new without spending a lot.

Repaint and refresh your cabinets and countertops

prep98Paint is inexpensive but has much to offer as far as visual impact is concerned. If you have white or dark wood cabinets and shelves, a fresh coat of paint would make them look brand new all over again. Repainting countertops, meanwhile, hides any wear and tear they may have incurred.

Layer the lighting

The kitchen is the area of the home that needs a lot of lighting, but it doesn’t have to be just one kind of traditional, functional lighting source. Task lighting, accent lighting, and other layers can be added for form, function, and style. You can find lots prep99of inexpensive but classy lighting designs that change the character of your kitchen without leaving you broke.

Throw in some art

Wall art such as paintings are normally found in the dining area, but the kitchen can also benefit from the right print or poster. Choose paintings or even sculptures that match the theme of your kitchen staging, or you can experiment with contrast, for instance, a retro poster for a contemporary or minimalist kitchen.

Overhead pot rack

This is very trendy at the moment – making use of overhead space by hanging pots and pans on a rack suspended from the ceiling, usually right over the center island. It conserves space or gives you more shelves and cabinets to store your other kitchen accessories in. Done right, it’s also very classy and reminiscent of professional kitchens.

Change up the seating

If you use wooden dining chairs, thoughtful repainting dramatically changes their appeal, especially if the right colors or hues are used. Also, consider buying new dining chairs that are inexpensive but more in line with the effect you want to achieve.

Do you watch the TV Decorating shows and still don’t know where to start? Do you love the things you own? Do they feel “pulled together” or is there something missing and you can’t figure it out?

prep97Here are a few suggestions when it comes to adding artwork to your room. Like other accessories, artwork can either be disruptive and jarring to the eye or put the perfect touch on any room. You can find many books in stores today loaded with the “do’s and don’ts” of artwork. However, one author’s do is often another’s don’t, so it’s not surprising that decorating with artwork can be a source of confusion.

There are many aspects to choosing artwork to complement your room, but if you get the two basic considerations right, you should be on your way to creating a harmonious element that will enhance your room.

A formal portrait in oil can look very out of place in a casual family room. Likewise, those posters that graced your bedroom walls as a teenager probably aren’t right for the living room. So the first step in choosing artwork for any room is to make sure that the piece is in harmony with the mood and style of the room. Evaluate the artwork by asking the following questions:

Is the piece suitable for formal or casual rooms?

While the formality of a piece can be modified to some extent with the type of frame and mat used, there are pieces which just don’t make the transition well. Artwork should always enhance the mood of the room and, in fact, can play a major role in establishing the appropriate mood.

Is the subject matter of the artwork appropriate for the room?

While many advise restricting depictions of food or dining scenes to the dining room or kitchen, I think it is more a question of the piece’s style and that each piece should be evaluated based on its own character.

The second basic consideration in choosing artwork for your room is the shape and size of the area in which the artwork will hang. If you draw a mental box around the wall space available for the piece, its shape will become immediately apparent to you. As to size, be guided by the size of the wall space as well as the scale of the furnishings immediately surrounding it.

When decorating your home, choosing the right artwork for the right room can be the perfect way to put a great finishing touch on your interior design.

The foyer is an important part of the average Canadian home, as it is primarily an entryway or room adjacent to the entrance or front door. It is the welcoming area, theprep95 first thing that greets people when they step into your house. Initially, the foyer was designed to be an airlock that kept the cold air from coming in to the warmer areas of the home, as well as storage for outer garments, shoes, or umbrellas.

In your home staging efforts, the foyer can play a very important role in creating a lasting first impression in the minds of your potential home buyers. If your foyer looks welcoming or inviting to clients, it sets a good mood as they tour your property. On the other hand, if your foyer is unappealing or cluttered, it makes clients have a negative expectation of the rest of your home for sale.

Start with a table or shelf

The foyer will look more functional and lived-in with a table or shelf where keys, mail, or other items can be left upon entering the home. To make the foyer come alive, you can use bright-colored tablecoth or fabrics to decorate the table. Personal items such as family photos are not recommended to be decorated when you are staging the home, so substitute other pieces of art or sculpture.

Keep the foyer well-lighted

The foyer should be bright and well-lit to evoke a cheerful, bright disposition for the prep96rest of the home. Keep as much natural light entering the foyer as possible; otherwise, artificial lighting such as lamps or sconces would suffice.

A mirror wouldn’t hurt

Mirrors create an illusion of space, and this is particularly helpful if your foyer has limited space and you can’t really do much when it comes to extending or adding to it. You can also position the mirror so it captures and reflects more natural light onto the foyer. In any case, people like to look at mirrors and see how they look, so this is also a functional part of the foyer.

Chairs are awesome

If you already have a table in your foyer, a chair (or chairs) would create a cozier feel, and make it look more relaxed as people enter. It also provides a functional area that helps people when they take off their shoes before entering the house.

We all know that the ultimate dining experience isn’t all about just the food. The ambiance and feel of the dining area also does much to create a memorable moment with family and friends gathered to enjoy a meal. In home staging, the main goal is to create a space that allows potential home buyers to imagine themselves and their family enjoying the different rooms and areas of the house. When it comes to the dining room, your selection of dining chairs would be crucial to staging success.

Home buyers are looking for more than just a functional space to eat or share meals with the rest of the family. Just like the other parts of the home, buyers want form and function combined, and they are looking for a dining area that looks open and welcoming, and goes with the theme of the rest of the house, but also serves its main purpose which is to provide an area for the residents to eat. Dining chairs are not just furniture items for family members to sit during meals, but also complement the dining table and the rest of the dining area, and keep everyone comfortable while eating.

Style should match the overall home design

There are different styles of dining chairs, and what you choose should be in line with your dining area’s staging plan, as well as the rest of the home’s. For more formal dining areas, for instance, recommended dining chair would be velvet-padded or with satin covers and elegant patterns that add a touch of understated sophistication; anything too loud or brightly-colored would be distracting.

On the other hand, contemporary dining rooms would require chairs with thicker padding and covers such as leather, suede, or synthetic materials, as these chairs go well with dark wood or clear glass tables. Another option for contemporary dining chairs would be benches or booth-style seating.prep94

Meanwhile, for minimalist-styled dining areas, very simple chairs with simple lines and patterns and very little to no detail would blend well. There are also minimalist chairs with no padding, fabric, or backrests, depending on your dining table. Dark wood or metal are usual materials for a minimalist dining room chair, and usual colors for fabrics or seat covers would be white, black, or gray.

Experiment

On the other hand, mixing and matching various styles can also work for dining chairs if properly selected. For instance, if your very formal dining area needs just a little touch of casual flair to lighten up the mood, installing dining chairs with a unique color or design pattern, or perhaps even different-colored dining chairs for variety.

There is a growing awareness among today’s professionals regarding health and fitness, and the focus on staying physically fit is also compounded in media and the Internet. People are looking for various ways to stay fit and healthy despite their busy schedules and commitments. Gym memberships and home fitness equipment are even more popular with more individuals nowadays, and they are no longer just the territory of celebrities, athletes, or bodybuilding fanatics. As you get your home staging plans in order, a fitness-friendly living space is also a good idea.

If your identified target market for your property is a younger, more affluent clientele, it is very likely that they put a premium on personal health and fitness, and staging a home with simple and efficient fitness activities in mind would definitely appeal to your potential buyers. In fact, regardless of your target audience, a fitness-friendly home appeals to most contemporary home buyers, whether they are newly-married couples buying their first home, or parents with three children and busy careers, or perhaps just-retired buyers looking to stay healthy during their retirement years.

How do you stage a home that is fitness-friendly and appealing to health-conscious buyers?

Highlight outdoor spaces and activities. Fitness-conscious individuals like to be able to stay active whether it’s indoors or outdoors. If you have a backyard pool, or even a basketball ring or volleyball net, be sure to emphasize these to your clients. Also, health-conscious parents look for ways to share their interest with their kids, so they would especially like any swing sets or play areas you may have installed in your backyard.

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Be creative with the home gym. If you happen to already have a home gym, you can include this space in your home staging plans. Instead of just the usual fitness equipment, look into adding some creativity to the space, such as a flat-screen TV for entertainment while working out, or a juice bar where healthy drinks can be made post-workout.

Lighting and ventilation are especially important for a home gym area; if yours has a view, don’t block it with oversized furniture items or heavy curtains.

Fitness equipment can be strategically positioned around the home. If you don’t have a home gym, you can consider placing various exercise equipment around different rooms instead. Dumbbells, weights or hand grips, for instance, can be placed in the bedroom. A hula hoop, exercise ball, or WII Fit would be great for the family den or living room. If you have a treadmill or elliptical machine, these machines are often quite big and need to have a spacious corner or area of the home.

Don’t forget the yoga corner. Yoga has also become a popular wellness practice, so don’t forget to set up a yoga mat and other meditation tools in an opportune corner or area in your home. You don’t necessarily have to transform a whole room into a meditation area; half of a bedroom, or the unused section of the den or attic would be alright. Just make sure it is an area with the right lighting and noise control.

Safety should be at the top of your priority list when taking on some DIY home staging upgrades or renovations. Whether you are hiring a home staging firm or doing the project yourself, you will undoubtedly be involved with some of the upgrades and tasks yourself, so being safe and also keeping your family safe should not be neglected.

DIY home improvement projects are very popular among homeowners because of the savings on cost, particularly on paying for professional labor. If you are opting to do most or all of the home staging work yourself, then you should not scrimp or take shortcuts when it comes to safety procedures or the equipment and tools you will be using, because any cost-efficiency solutions should not result in undue hazards or risks as you go about improving your home.prep91

What safety precautions should you always take when working around the home?

  • Read the instructions first. Before operating any machinery or trying new equipment, read and understand the manual first. Don’t rely on intuition or guesswork. It’s much safer to read the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Gear up. Safety glasses are a good investment considering that most eye injuries occur in the home and during DIY home projects. Airborne particulates can come from anything and anywhere, and your eyes should be protected (sunglasses or prescription glasses are not recommended as replacements). Also, wear appropriate clothing to protect yourself, such as pants or shoes around hot materials. Avoid dangling or loose-fitting clothing around spinning tools.
  • Fashion not required. There’s really no need to be wearing excessive jewellery, watches, or other accessories when working on your home staging upgrades. They can be cumbersome, or worse, even cause accidents when stuck in machines. You should also remember to pull your hair up if it’s long.
  • Careful with electricity. Before plugging in any electric-powered tools, make sure the switch is turned off. Make sure that you are far from any pools of water or damp surfaces when operating electric tools, and that you are wearing rubber-soled footwear. Of course, never leave electric-powered equipment plugged in or running, even for a short time. They should be stored properly and away from children’s reach.
  • Use ladders properly. Check the ladder before using it, and make sure it is on a stable, level surface before getting on. A good rule of thumb is to remember the 4-to-1 in ladder placement: for every 4 feet of ladder height, the bottom of the ladder should correspond with one foot away from the wall or leaning object.

If your home for sale is located in a growing suburb or bedroom community with good schools, recreational opportunities, and lots of parks and playgrounds, it is very likely that a majority of your potential home buyers would be parents looking for a great home for their growing family to reside in. Knowing this, staging kids’ bedrooms should be done with the proper amount of planning and careful thought.

 

Just like any other area of the home, staging a child’s bedroom is not about showing your own taste, preferences, or personality, much less your kids’. It is about selling the space and making it complement the overall marketability of the home. The purpose of staging the children’s bedroom is to sell the space by allowing the buyers to see their children in that space, so the bedroom should be as neutral and broadly-appealing in design.

 

Some tips for staging a kid’s bedroom:

 

  • Start with what you already have. Limited budget? No worries, because you can probably start the bedroom staging effort by using accessories and fixtures you already have. Look at the walls and ceiling; what colors are used? If it’s green, blue, or pink, then you already have a color scheme to start with. A fresh coat of paint on the walls, a newly-cleaned area rug, and toys or furniture items from the garage or storage would spruce up the space without much cost.

  • Gender-neutral bedrooms are usually recommended. Try to decorate the bedroom as unisex as possible; one room may have more shades of one color than another, but try to downplay themes, cartoon characters, sports accessories, or other items and designs that are more identified with one gender. This makes it easier for potential buyers to imagine their children in the rooms.

  • Remove all personal identifiers without exception. Your kids’ photos, certificates, sports jerseys, school accessories, even clothing items with their names on it should be removed from the room and kept stored away or off-site. Aside from the staging rule of depersonalizing the home, you would not want to expose your kids’ identities to harmful people as well, so do not leave anything that would reveal their names or ages to clients.

  • Keep it bright and cheery with natural light. Choose window dressings and treatments that let in as much natural light as possible,. If the room has a great outside view, you would want to highlight that as well. The brighter the kid’s bedroom is, the more appealing it will look. If the room doesn’t have windows, make it look brighter with bright-colored paint, and turn up the artificial lighting (lamps, overhead lights).

There is nothing like coming home from a long day at work to sink into your sofa and put your feet up! I know as it is often the highlight of my day. Since it’s the piece of furniture you make a beeline for, why not give it a quick makeover with something simple as toss cushions.

Pale neutral designs are a classic choice as they can bring a suitable elegance to your sofa, plus they will go with any color scheme you may already have. Check out different textures and patterns and arrange in different tactile interesting layers.

Here are 3 of our favorite places for toss cushions:

1. Pier One Imports

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2. Urban Barn

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3. Target

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If you can you sew or know someone who can? If so, there are many fabulous online sources for fabric to make your own!

Professional home stagers usually caution homeowners against extravagant or excessive renovation costs as part of the home staging plans, especially for those with limited budgets or who are looking to downsize on their expenses by selling their larger home, in order to move to a smaller, more efficient residence. After all, with some smart choices and careful planning, along with the right renovation tips, you will be able to update the look and feel of your property without having to shell out insane amounts of money for renovations and upgrades.

Aside from the costs, renovations also generally take time to be completed, and not every one with a home being sold in today’s market has the time or the finances to sustain renovation plans. If you need to spruce up some areas of your home, or if certain fixtures and furniture accessories have run their course and need upgrading, you can opt for simple, budget-friendly renovation secrets that are cost-efficient but do their fair share in transforming your home from ordinary to extraordinary.

Below are some renovation tips that are easy on the wallet:

  • Raid the vintage/antique stores. When you visit local antique or vintage stores, you will be sure to find some charming furniture pieces or accent décor for various areas of your home. The unique designs also provide contrast or balance to your home staging plans. In particular, antique pieces of furniture or fixtures bring character to your home.
  • Little DIY updates go a long way. Instead of shopping for all-new sofas and chairs, simply using slip-on covers or new cushions and pillows on them will make them look fresh and contemporary. For dining tables, coffee tables, or desks, a fresh coat of paint or varnish could be all it takes to make them look prep85nice and new again.
  • Mirrors make the space bigger. Room extensions or expansions are not always feasible, so if you want to make a room or area of the house seem bigger, consider adding strategically located mirrors that add a sense of space or depth to the area. If they are positioned right and reflect light, they also make the room seem more alive.
  • Lighting can enhance your home’s ambiance. Lighting updates are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, so they should be maximized by homeowners looking for easy home updates. Table lamps, floor lamps, and wall lamps in the right corners and spaces can make a room look cozier or more prep86inviting, while also being functional.
  • Use creative storage. In home staging, you want your property to be as decluttered as possible, so keep as much as you can out of view. Use creative storage options for putting away stuff that you don’t necessarily want potential buyers to see, but still need on a daily basis. Options include elegant-looking ottomans or brightly-colored, modern cabinets and storage shelves.

For many homeowners and families, the kitchen is the center of activity in the home. This is where meals are prepared, where members of the family go to grab a drink or a snack at any time of the day. Aside from the meal preparation and food storage, the kitchen is also where many families gather to plan the day’s activities, or talk about how their day is going, or where parents help their kids with homework while making dinner.

More than just an area where meals are cooked, the kitchen has become, at least to many households, the converging point of the home. In fact, you will find many households where the kitchen countertops or bar area is where the family members usually hang out and talk to each other, more than the living room which is usually reserved for television viewing. In homes where there is a kitchen entrance, entertaining friends and family can also take place in the kitchen.

When preparing your home for sale, it is important to neutralize the kitchen as much as possible to allow the potential buyers to see themselves in the space. But at the same time, you also want to highlight the potential of your kitchen area, so you would want to have a thoughtful and creative way of organizing the kitchen, not only for the house showings, but also to assist you as you use the kitchen while the house is up for sale.

Here are some simple kitchen organization tips that may be able to assist you:

  • Hang responsibly. If you have a smaller kitchen area or limited storage space, make use of the overhead space by hanging pots, pans, and other kitchenware over the countertop or center island. Also, you can install hooks and bars in specific corners where you can hang potholders, washcloths, etc.
  • Group stuff according to use. Organize your kitchenware, cooking utensils, dishes, silverware, etc. by grouping those with a similar purpose. Not only will this look more organized, but it will also help you find things much easier when you need them. It also reduces the cluttered look in your kitchen area.
  • Maximize drawers and shelves. Label or group kitchen drawers and shelves, keeping tools, plastic containers, food prep84wrapping and sealing accessories, and other utensils grouped together. Try to keep utensils or tools as close as possible to the area where they are usually utilized, for instance, trash bags close to the trash bin, or baking tools next to the oven.
  • Consider shelf organizers. Different styles and designs of shelf organizers can be found in stores. You can find sliding or hanging organizers and dividers that make the shelves and other storage spaces look neater.
  • Use the right light. Lighting does a lot to make the kitchen look more comfortable and functional. Use the right lighting for work areas. If necessary, install additional lighting such as under shelves or inside cabinets; these are relatively inexpensive but add a lot of flair to your kitchen.
  • Consider colorful baskets and boxes. For kitchens with limited floor and storage space, creativity is necessary to keep things out of view. You can look for decorative boxes or baskets that can serve as storage spaces while doubling as accent pieces in your kitchen area. You can stash items that are not as frequently used in baskets, and stack them on top of each other to minimize space needed.

When potential home buyers are viewing the different rooms in your home for sale, they are trying to visualize in their minds what their family or loved ones would look like in the various spaces, what activities would be accommodated, and how their interests would fit in the home should they decide to purchase it. This is why home staging experts always recommend staging rooms as neutral and as broadly-appealing as possible in order to make them visually attractive to a larger audience.

Rooms are very important because they are not just partitions or segments within the home, but they are the living spaces in which the members of the family can rest, have privacy, or maintain their personal areas. It is not always necessary to create gender-specific or age-specific home staging plans for the bedrooms. After all, you do not know the specifics of every single client who will come to your home for viewings. What is advisable is to create aesthetically-pleasing rooms that allow the buyers to see themselves in the space.

What are some common mistakes in staging rooms that you should avoid?

  • Don’t match designs and colors too much. A room that is only decorated using one color or design will look bland, restrictive, and unimaginative. It can also make the room seem smaller, especially if the entire area is decorated in one dark shade such as black or dark blue. Use at least two or three different hues and patterns. For a cozy ambiance, avoid set beddings as well; mix and match for some creativity.
  • Stay away from chaotic combinations of patterns and colors. On the other hand, the extreme of too many unrelatedprep82 patterns and designs should also be avoided when staging a room. Polka dots, plaid or checkered prints, or contrasting colors don’t all have to be used in one space or area of the room. Choose a couple that stand out or go with the overall look of the room, and leave out the rest. As a general rule, you can utilize one print pattern for a mix of solid colors.
  • Don’t over accessorize. Decorating accents and fixtures create a lot of visual impact when used appropriately. But when overdone, they are distracting and do more harm than good in appealing to your potential clients. Besides, personal collections, trinkets, or knickknacks are often too personal and should not be used for home staging. One or two well-positioned accessories are generally okay, but don’t overwhelm your potential home buyers with too much.
  • prep83Get the right furniture. One common mistake is placing the wrong-sized furniture in a room. A bed that is too big for a bedroom will make the space look smaller than it is, and also restrict movement. On the other hand, if it’s too small, the room will look lonely and unfinished. Another usual mistake is placing furniture near doorways or hallways, making movement limited and becoming a distraction as well. Furniture should be functional and also complement the overall space.

Curtains are arguably among the most popular kinds of window treatments among homeowners. They are easy to install and maintain, and are not very difficult to interchange or blend with different home décor and designing plans. When preparing your property for sale, the right curtains can add to the overall ambiance of any area of your home, and can be easier and more effective rather than blinds or drapes.

The right color and fabric of curtains should be your priority in the selection process. Curtains can blend well with the general motif of the room or area of the home, or provide a contrast or visual balance. One reminder: sunlight will fade curtain fabrics over time. In rooms or areas of the home that get lots of sunlight, you may want to stick to lighter colors and fabrics which willnot fade as fast. Neutral shades would be the better option so they can easily blend into the room.

prep81Durability is also important, and curtains made of linen, silk, faux silk and velvet not only hang nicely, but are very durable as well. Another thing you can use to prolong the life span of the curtains you choose for your home would be interlining with thick, insulating felt or fabric material between the lining and the fabric.

As far as length and lining, the general rule designers follow is to hang the curtains at least six inches above the frame of the window. If you want a more dramatic look, or need to add a sense of height to the general area, you can hang the panels higher over the window. A traditional look is to have the curtains form a slight puddle on the floor; if you want a simpler, more modern look, the panel can just touch the floor.

Contemporary curtain settings are best displayed with eyelet headings. Eyelets go well with most curtain fabrics, and they produce a soft, wide fold that is minimalist but with impact. Pinch pleats are another popular curtain heading, and this goes well with more formal areas of the home such as the living room or dining room.

Just don’t forget to let the right amount of light in, or not to block a great outside view especially during house showings.

If you flip through any home design magazines, or browse through online resources or forums on home décor or staging trends, one of the ideas that will be sure to grab your attention is the rising popularity of reclaimed wood as an option for design. Because reclaimed wood is repurposed from previous use, it is considered as more environment-friendly and a much greener option than having to cut down new trees. With the emphasis on ecologically sustainable options for furniture and flooring, it is no wonder why reclaimed wood has seen a surge in popularity lately.

 

There are many advantages to the use of reclaimed wood, but you also have to be mindful of some of the downsides to using reclaimed wooden furniture and flooring. Some unscrupulous people have sought to cash in on this trend by deceptively marketing some of their products as “reclaimed”. Before purchasing anything reclaimed, ask for a certification from a reputable organization such as the Forest Stewardship Council or the Rainforest Alliance.

 

Depending on the source of the reclaimed lumber, there may be some toxins or chemicals in the original wood itself, or as it is treated and prepared for reuse by the manufacturer. Chemicals, paints, preservatives, adhesives, insecticides, lead, and other compounds can be a problem for you or someone in your household. Make sure to get full disclosure on what toxins may be present in the reclaimed wood, and have the necessary precautions applied.

 

prep80Generally, furniture or flooring options made from reclaimed wood command a higher price tag mainly because of the process that it has to undergo before it is ready for reuse. However, you may be able to offset this higher cost by doing the reclamation yourself if you are knowledgeable or have had some experience with it before.

 

When it comes to the strength and quality of the wood, reclaimed lumber is hard to beat. Reclaimed wood can be up to 40 points sturdier on the Janka hardness scale compared to virgin wood, mainly because it comes from old-growth trees rather than first-generation trees.  Some reclaimed wood is taken from old barns or structures that have stood the test of time.

 

Reclaimed wood also has a certain rustic, classic appeal to it. It goes well with antique designs and staging plans, but also blends in with modern, contemporary furnishings, making for a versatile option. You will find a wide variety of designs, colors, and textures that would suit the designing or staging plans you have in mind.

We often hear “I know how to prepare my home for sale, I read a book all about it!”. There are however some common home staging errors that should be discussed and put on the reminder list for homeowners who are trying to sell their home. There is a tendency for a lot of people to simply go with what they personally want to see in their property. It is very important to remember that staging your home is aimed at appealing to the widest number of potential buyers, instead of creating a space that you might personally enjoy.

What are some common home staging reminders that you should be aware of?

  • What doesn’t seem like clutter to you could very well be clutter to a potential buyer. It’s normal to fall into this thinking that how you arrange things around your home is neat and organized, but what we might neglect is the fact that this could be considered by someone else as cluttered and disorganized. Get the second opinion of a professional home stager, or a family member or friend and listen to their insights.
  • Major renovations may not be necessary. Usually, for home staging, much of the désigns and prep79updates can be achieved without necessarily having to fork out huge amounts of money for renovations. Unless your property is in very bad shape and could really use the facelift, simple, creative, and cost-efficient enhancements can usually do the trick.
  • Don’t block the light or the outside view. Let as much of the natural light in to your home for a pleasant, airy atmosphere. If the view outside your home is very appealing (especially if you put a lot of effort into the landscaping), you want to use that to add to the visual impact as potential buyers walk around your home. Avoid bulky furniture or heavy window treatments that prevent light and the outside views from adding their magic to your staging efforts.
  • Pets should not be around during house showings. Many people love pets and honestly wouldn’t mind one bit if your dog, cat, or other animal friends are around while they are touring the home. But what if you get a potential client who is not particularly fond of animals? There is also the possibility of your pet damaging or messing up the staging design on the day of the showing. Make arrangements for your pets to be off-site.
  • Don’t do too much. Too much accessories, too much décor, too much anything doesn’t make your home more sellable. Overdoing the accessories and personal touches can come off as fake or desperate. Find the right balance; choose décor and fixtures that highlight certain areas without causing too much strain on your clients’ vision.

Lighting fixtures have an interesting purpose and position in the hierarchy of home design and interior decoration. Their primary use is to provide ample lighting for various tasks and activities within the home. But properly selected lighting can also become decorative, add to the look and feel of the house, and leave a lasting impression on guests. Today’s design schemes and plans have fully incorporated the lighting selections into the process, with the vast array of designs available to homeowners.

For home staging, lighting is also a key factor in your goal of standing out from the rest of the properties being sold in the market. If your lighting choices are able to create visual and mental impact in your potential home buyers, they will remember your home and likely come back and make an offer even after they see other properties for sale. Great lighting is also a reflection of proper maintenance and positive appreciation of the house as a whole.

Choosing the type of lighting to update or enhance your home interiors with depends largely on your overall design scheme or plan for home staging purposes. It can also serve as the focal point or finishing touch of an area or room of your house, or provide much-needed contrast or respite from the general look of a certain space.

This year, these are lighting trends making waves among the experts:

  • Sculptural lighting with abstract designs. These lighting fixtures feature abstract art designs and shapes, but without straying too much from their primary purpose of providing lighting functions. You will see a wide range of colors, accents, and shapes that can fit any part of the home. They are both decorative and effective, adding personality and charm where they are prep78utilized.
  • Rustic and modern lighting. Refined rustic lighting fixtures are a hybrid of casual, country-inspired rustic designs with contemporary, urban touch of sophistication. They hark back to more traditional lighting designs but also give a nod to simplistic, minimalist designs that have become the popular choice in recent years.
  • Crystal lighting. Crystal lighting fixtures (or any other home accessories, for that matter) have always been associated with luxury and expensive home décor. Today, there are plenty of glamorous and sophisticated crystal light fixtures and designs in a wide range of prices, so you will be able to find selections for any budget.
  • Layered lighting. Homeowners are gravitating towards cost-effective and functional solutions for multipurpose utilization of indoor space. For instance, kitchens are no longer just meal preparation areas, but are also utilized for dining, entertaining, and working. Layered lighting makes it easier for homeowners to select settings that are appropriate for activities being performed.

The kitchen area is one of the most vital spaces of the home, and home buyers consider the state and design of the kitchen as one of the deciding factors in choosing a property. Busy modern lifestyles demand a kitchen and food preparation area that is comfortable, efficient, and flexible enough for both quick-fix meal preparations and gourmet-style cooking efforts. The design and fixtures utilized around the kitchen also do much to increase the overall impact of the home interiors.

When preparing to stage your home for sale, the kitchen should also complement the ambiance and emotional impact you would like to achieve in the property as a whole. Kitchen designs and décor trends are constantly changing, so it is a good idea to be aware of what your target clientele is and what they would be looking for in a home for sale, particularly when it comes to the kitchen layout and design.

Here are the hot trends in kitchen designs for 2013:

  • Brass is back. Brass fixtures, lamps, and other items around the home are back in style this year. In the kitchen, brass faucets are quite popular among homeowners and buyers, and they don’t have to cost you an armprep77 and a leg.
  • Experiment with colored cabinets. Cabinets and other storage spaces can be painted different hues and shades. Bright-colored cabinets against white or beige backgrounds are particularly attractive visually and popular in contemporary designs.
  • Shine bright. Modern kitchens are being equipped with oversized light fixtures, lamps, and plenty of accent and statement lighting, making for added depth and appeal to the area.
  • Spacious center island. Homeowners want a spacious food preparation area that would make them feel like a celebrity chef. Plus, it feels like less of a chore when you have a great workspace. Equip the center island with lots of space, lighting, and colors.
  • Colorful appliances are in. Although black, white, and stainless steel are still standard fare, contemporary home designs are making room for different colored appliances that combine fun and flair. Look for blue or red ovens, refrigerators, coffeemakers, and microwave ovens that are becoming very trendy among younger clients.
  • Casual dining. Changing lifestyles are constantly causing the evolution of dining habits and schedules. A modern kitchen with dining-ready countertops (read: spacious and clear of clutter) and bar stools gives off a casual, open appeal, and is particularly attractive to young professionals who like to combine meals with tasks or chatter.

Furniture trends come and go, just like any other home decor trends. Every year, new and rehashed designs, patterns, colors, and visual combinations are touted as the next big thing in home décor and interior design. Home staging, in this regard, is also impacted by the most recent trends in home decor because potential buyers would be likely to look for familiar elements or arrangements that they see in contemporary homes.

While home staging aims to depersonalize the space inside the house and make it as neutral as possible for a wide ranging clientele, it does benefit from an understanding of common home furniture trends. A staged house that features carefully selected furniture pieces that mirror current trends in home design will be able to compete with other listings that also aim to achieve that contemporary feel. This is especially important for homes in neighborhoods that tend to attract younger residents, or in urban, professional districts where apartments or condominiums are the norm.

So what are the furniture trends of 2013?

  • Patterns in couches and chairs are in. For sofas and living room chairs, prints and designs are popular again, especially against white backgrounds (i.e. walls). You can add solid-colored accent chairs to a sofa set with design patterns for a nice contrast.
  • Beds with storage spaces are popular. Contemporary bed designs with drawer boxes or underbed storage options are inprep75 style again, especially as many home buyers are downsizing from larger houses or are choosing to be more practical.
  • Antique and handcrafted furniture are trendy. What’s interesting about contemporary home furniture trends is the meshing of old and new designs and pieces. Antique furniture pieces or handcrafted artsy items from different cultures are becoming popular accent or functional additions to furniture arrangements.
  • Big and overpriced furniture is out. Consumers are now more practical and tend to go for furniture pieces that are smaller-scaled but practical, especially those that fulfill their function without taking up too much space or breaking one’s wallet.
  • White is hot. White is back in style, especially as background color or even for furniture finish. They are easy to arrange and prep76pair with other colored furniture items, and they give the area a bright, airy feel.
  • Home offices are in demand. Workplace trends are also changing, making it even more common for people to work part-time or full-time from the comfort of home. Desks, chairs, and workstations that combine function and comfort are appealing to contemporary home buyers.

It’s summertime once again. Many of us look forward to this time of the year because it means abundant sunlight, longer days and warmer weather. Families look forward to spending time outside or going on extended vacations and road trips, taking advantage of the great weather and enjoying activities that cannot otherwise be done during winter or when it gets colder outside.

If you are in the middle of selling your Kelowna home and preparing for house showings during the summer, there are quite a few advantages in your favor. The natural sunlight makes for excellent lighting both inside and outside your property. If used properly, prep74this can give your home added appeal and make it look more inviting to potential buyers. The longer daylight hours also mean that clients who visit even during the late afternoon or early evening will be treated to a great view of the exterior of your home, particularly the lawn and backyard, and any home staging efforts you have done to spruce up landscaping and curb appeal will be highly visible.

Maintaining your front lawn and backyard during the summer is always an essential part of home staging, but it is even more of a priority during the summer. The warmer weather and increased sunlight mean more maintenance for your lawn and backyard, especially because you want to keep it as attractive and appealing as possible for when visitors drop by and tour the property. Here are some reminders for yard maintenance during the summer:

  • Make sure plants are watered regularly. Keep plants and grass looking fresh and healthy through regular watering. Usually, morning is the most efficient time to water grass, as there is less evaporation and wind. Most lawns would need about 1 inch of water weekly. If you see signs of dehydration or wilting in grass and plants, such as curling grass blades, lingering footprints in the lawn, or a shade of blue-green in the plants and grass, that means they are not getting the right amount of water.
  • Watch out for pests, weeds, and diseases. Pests and weeds are usually more active during the summer, so extra vigilance is important to keep them from destroying your property. Some signs of pests or diseases include irregular color or patches of brown, or textural damage. If you suspect diseases or pests, contact pest control or lawn specialists for various solutions. (Tip: Ask about solutions for bugs and other insects as well, so they don’t bother potential buyers who visit your home.)
  • Keep the grass trimmed. Untrimmed grass is very unsightly, and makes people assume that the entire property is not being maintained properly. Grass must be trimmed properly especially around driveways, sidewalks, and garden areas. This also keeps termites away.

Homeowners are generally on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to wallpaper. Many homeowners remember the often tacky wallpaper designs and colors of the ’70’s and the ’80’s, and avoid it altogether. On the other hand, with more elegant and luxurious wallpaper designs being produced by manufacturers these days, other homeowners still prefer wallpapers for enhancing certain ambient feelings and moods in certain areas of the home.

The thing about wallpapers is, more often than not, they are reflective of personal tastes and preferences. Certain bedrooms can be decorated with wallpaper that goes with the hobbies or interests of the room’s occupants, for instance, sports-themed wallpaper for boys, or pink dollhouse wallpaper prints for girls. Wallpaper is much like paint in the decorative sense, as both can be tailored or customized to fit the homeowner’s preferences. But wallpaper takes it one step further with various designs and prints that further reflect personal taste.

For home staging purposes, wallpaper can be more of a distraction most of the time, and it is precisely because of this very personal reflection of the homeowner’s preferences. Keep in mind that home decorating is different from home staging in purpose and goals. Home decorating and interior design aims to reflect the ambiance that the homeowner would like to come home to; home staging, on the other hand, aims to present a home that is about as neutral and as broadly appealing to the widest range of potential home buyers as possible

Most home staging professionals would agree that wallpaper would be more detrimental than helpful when it comes to home staging, and would then recommend that it be removed or, if applicable, painted over. When potential home buyers see wallpaper installed in a home, they would assume that it would take a lot of effort and expense to remove the wallpaper, and this can hamper your selling success rather than contribute to it. No matter how trendy or nice you think that wallpaper is, it will really only appeal to a very limited number of potential clients, while alienating the rest of the people who tour your home and consider making an offer.

You may want to ask your professional home staging firm if they can refer any service providers who can take care of the wallpaper removal for you. If you have the time and the patience to do it, you can make the process more convenient by considering equipment such as a wallpaper steamer or chemical stripper. In some instances, you may be able to paint over the wallpaper, but the area would have to be checked first to see if this would work. Generally, removing the wallpaper and then painting the walls is a better idea.

 

Before

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A big part of your home staging plans should be house cleaning and maintenance. Whether you are doing the house cleaning yourself, or getting the services of professional cleaners, the house will have to be kept in a very clean and orderly state for the duration of the staging effort in order to always look presentable to potential buyers. Cleaning doesn’t end when the floors are spotless, the windows are immaculate, and the furniture items are dust-free. This state of cleanliness needs to be maintained until the home is vacated.

 

Using green or eco-friendly homemade cleaning solutions and  ingredients is becoming popular among homeowners, and this is something you should also consider as part of your home staging plans (if you haven’t made the switch to green cleaning products and ingredients yet. There are many benefits to making the switch to green cleaning solutions, the most significant of which is the savings. Unlike most commercially-produced cleaning products, the greener alternatives can be sourced from everyday household items you might already have, such as vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, etc.

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Another benefit to making the switch to green cleaning products is health-based. Many of today’s commercial household cleaners have chemicals and toxins that, over time, can have detrimental effects on people’s health. Many of the additives and chemicals are also allergens or cause indoor air pollution, and there is the possibility of a home visitor having an allergic reaction or discomfort when in contact with those chemicals. To be on the safe side, natural and organic homemade cleaning solutions and products are the better option.

 

What are some green cleaning products you can use?

 

  • Homemade disinfectant – You can concoct your own homemade disinfectant using 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap, and between 20-30 drops of tea tree oil. You can use this solution to disinfect tables, countertops, desks, staircases, doorknobs, and other surfaces. This is a great alternative to bleach (which, if you haven’t noticed, isn’t the best smelling cleaning solution out there).
  • Baking soda and water – This solution works great on grime and stains that stick on tiles, porcelain, and other floor types. You can also use baking soda and water to clean kitchen countertops and sinks, cutting boards, refrigerators, and oven tops.
  • Vinegar or lemon juice – Grease streaks, stains, mildew, and other common household stains do not stand a chance against vinegar or lemon juice, which you can spray or douse on the affected area and then scrub or brush after a few minutes. Vinegar and lemon juice are also excellent window cleaners.

Whether we are fully aware of it or not, much of the potential selling success of your home will hinge on its online presence and impact, aside from the actual home staging. Recent surveys among property buyers have indicated that a vast majority of them (upwards of 90%) used the Internet to search for possible listings that they would want to visit. If you think about it, this trend is not really that surprising. People today are so used to getting their information from Web sources, whether it is researching a certain subject in school, finding out reviews regarding a certain product they are thinking of purchasing, or even just getting recipes or home décor ideas.

As you sit down with your real estate broker and your home staging team, the impact of online presence and how it can add to the overall impact of your home for sale should be discussed and planned in line with your home staging and marketing efforts. Your online listing must be an excellent representation of your actual property, and complement the marketing plan and the home staging design you are trying to achieve.

The following are some techniques for firming up your property’s online presence and making it jump out and grab your potential client’s attention:

  • Top quality photography – Unless you are a professional photographer yourself, or you are extremely prep69confident of your photography skills, it would be best to leave this part to the experts. Professional photography combines aesthetic elements and visual techniques to produce the best possible captured images of your house for sale. Make sure you get your Realtor and Home Stager’s opinions regarding which photos should be selected for posting.
  • Lighting is key – Dark photos look bad, but they look extra worse when viewed on a desktop screen or a mobile device. Your home’s online photos will be one of the biggest factors for your clients to judge if your property is one they would like to visit in person or not, so the competition really starts here. Photos should be well-lit and prep70translate the home staging well in various screens.
  • Focal point is a must – A focal point becomes the center of interest in a room or area being photographed, and “anchors” the theme or ambiance, making it easier for the viewer to see what is being emphasized. The right color and drama embedded in a focal point creates impact that the viewers will remember.

Within the hierarchy of generational buyers, the Generation X buyers are likely to be the ones who are purchasing their very first home. In fact, this could be their biggest purchase or investment to date. People who are part of Generation X were born between 1965 to 1980; they are a major part of the general consumer market today, and a possibly substantial part of your potential home buyers. If your property is in a general location that is favorable to Gen-Xers, then gearing your home staging efforts toward appealing to the Gen-X market would make perfect sense.

Of course, the buying preferences and outlook of Gen-X clients are fundamentally different from those of their predecessors, the Baby Boomers. Gen-Xers, for the most part, were born into a period of relative wealth, privilege, and the rapid advance of technology. They are used to instant gratification, and value quick, efficient delivery of products and services. But they are also the generation born into evolving family structures and societal changes.

When it comes to home staging, how do you appeal to potential home buyers who are part of Generation X?

Gen-Xers want a move-in ready home. Generation X clients generally want a property that would require little upgrades or fixings on their part. This is because they are typically busy with their careers, family responsibilities, and other personal tasks and projects. These buyers would be attracted to a house that is already well-maintained and ready for new occupants.

A modern tech-savvy home is a hit with Gen-Xers. They grew up with video games, cellular phones, and remote-controlled everything. Gen-X home buyers would very likely look for it in when they look for a home too. If you have modern technological devices and systems installed around your property, make sure they are emphasized.prep68

Gen-Xers care about appearance. They are particularly drawn to home fixtures and enhancements that evoke wealth, class, and sophistication. Look for décor or finishing touches that reflect grandeur and posh style.

Web presence is very important to Gen-Xers. If you are reaching out to this target market, you have to be where they usually are, which is probably the Internet. Statistics show that the Internet is one of the first places where Gen-X home buyers look for listings, so your online presence should be an excellent representation of your property, with top quality photography and important details given so they can reach you conveniently.

When you read about home staging, or talk to different home staging professionals or firms, you will often hear the term “adding value to your home”. Interior designers and home stagers often emphasize the importance of value-added improvements and enhancements to your home or property in order to achieve selling success.

 

So what exactly does “adding value to your home” mean? Does this pertain to decorating your home in a way that appeals to the most number of potential home buyers? Partly, although in reality, decorating your home is very different from home staging. Decorating your house means showing your own personality and preferences in choosing paint colors, window treatments, furniture items, and other fixtures; home staging, meanwhile, keeps the property as depersonalized as possible because the primary focus is for the potential buyers to imagine themselves in your property.

 

Value-added enhancements to your home are those additions or ideas that make it just a little more inviting, a tad more appealing,prep67 and a whole lot more enticing to clients that come by and tour your home for sale. They make it much easier for people to envision themselves living in your home and having lots of good memories of their own. Value-added home staging convinces clients who are on the fence about your property to go for it and make an offer.

 

What are some ideas that add value to your property?

 

  • Ready-to-use storage spaces. Your cabinets, shelves, cupboards, and other storage areas around the home should look like they are ready for the buyer to just move in and put all their stuff in. This is achieved by lessening the contents of your storage spaces; cabinets should only be about half full, so pack away things you are not going to need for the remainder of your stay.
  • A functional, efficient, comfortable kitchen. Homeowners like to know that their food preparation area will be working and in optimum condition. If you stage a kitchen with ample floor space, storage areas, and great lighting, you will make your property much more marketable and edge out the competition.
  • Clean, refreshing and inviting bathrooms. For a lot of home buyers, bathrooms are deal breakers. They may be impressed with modern area rugs or coordinated furniture arrangements, but ultimately they look at the bathrooms as the real barometer of how well-kept and maintained a home really is. Make sure faucets, sinks, showerheads, and toilets are working properly and are updated for maximum visual appeal.

In order to have a more effective home staging strategy, it is important to have a good idea of who majority of your potential home buyers will be. Much of your home’s audience will be connected to your property’s general location or proximity to job opportunities, centers of commerce or business, and other factors. Gearing your home staging plans towards appealing to your target market can greatly increase your chances of achieving selling success within the least amount of time.

Today’s home buyers are grouped into three main kinds of generational buyers – the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. Baby Boomers refer to people born around the end of World War II up to the early 1960’s. The older Baby Boomers are mostly already retired or planning to retire shortly, so their home buying preferences will reflect this. The younger Baby Boomers, meanwhile, may still have children in college, and for the most part they are still actively employed or in business.

How do you market your home to Baby Boomers?

  • Baby Boomers value sturdy and high-quality construction. When you have Baby Boomers as potential home buyers, they will be very facetious about construction quality and craftsmanship. They will tend to inspect the soundness of the roofing, HVAC, septic systems, and other areas that, to them, are more important than any cosmetic upgrades or facelifts on the home.
  • Baby Boomers don’t usually need too much space. This is especially true for the older Baby Boomers,prep66 who are more likely to already be downsizing from a larger home to a smaller one because their children have moved away from home. While it is important to still showcase how much potential space your home has, emphasize those little things that make your property as homey and cozy as possible.
  • Baby Boomers are usually averse to overwhelming décor. This generation is more willing to put in the work needed to decorate the home to their own taste, so when they look at your property, they will likely be imagining already how to remodel, repaint, or redecorate to their liking. So when you stage your property, keep the area as neutral and depersonalized as possible, and allow them to see themselves easily in your property.
  • Baby Boomers respond to nostalgia. Find some items of art, music, film, books, and other elements from the past decades that would remind them of their younger years. This is a sure fire way to make your home memorable to them.

It is not a far-fetched idea to surmise that even before your potential home buyers have seen your property for sale, they have already seen several other houses in your neighborhood or elsewhere. They will most likely also be checking out other houses after they have been to yours. With so many choices available to home shoppers, it is very crucial for your home staging plans to be geared towards a dramatic, memorable visual impact.

The visual effect of a staged home actually goes beyond just appealing to the eyes. The goal of any home staging professional is to create an ambiance that evokes emotions, appeals to memories, or makes the potential buyer feel comfortable and right at home in a property that he or she is seeing for the first time. Dramatic impact is also important so that your property for sale will be memorable to the clients, making sure that they will remember your house long after they have seen other properties.

Start with the entrance

Your home should capture the attention and the imagination of the prospective buyers as they enter prep65your property. Curb appeal is achieved through strategic landscaping, cleaning sidewalks and windows, and clearing driveways and walkways to your house.

Bright entrances and doorways appear inviting and non-threatening to people. A fresh bouquet of flowers, or even strategically-planted flowers and plants by the doorways are some of the first and last things that guests see when they tour your home; the more visually dramatic they are, the more likely they will leave an impact on clients’ imaginations.

Create nostalgia

A lot of home buyers are not aware of it on the conscious level, but there are subliminal or memory triggers that make certain home designs, décor, and accessories more appealing to them because of past associations with great memories, family moments, or even the place where they grew up in. People’s idea of “home” is almost always shaped in some form by their memories of home growing up, wherever that may be.

It is, of course, difficult to achieve this for each and every client you will welcome to your home, but you can make general updates based on the target market that you and your professional home stager have discussed. For instance, if your home is geared more towards baby boomers or retirees who are flocking to your city and buying properties, simple additions such as music, sports, or film memorabilia from past decades can instantly make your buyer feel a connection to the home. Vintage or retro designs and furniture also evoke this nostalgic appeal.

The primary audience for home staging is, of course, your potential home buyers. These prospective buyers are interested in moving in to your neighborhood and finding their own slice of home in your location. It is important to remember, that while it is quite impossible to please everyone with your home staging efforts, you can create an ambiance or look that appeals to the broadest target market of buyers that your property is most likely to attract, and knowing hot trends in home design would be helpful in this regard.

Trends in home design and staging vary every year, and being aware of the latest innovations and trends can help you figure out a staging strategy that would be most effective for the type of clientele you are looking to communicate to. Here are some design trends that are currently hot among interior design experts and professional home stagers.

Smart, automated controls. The home of the future can be controlled, monitored, and systemized using technology and automated settings. High-tech automated systems for controlling electricity, lighting, temperature, security, and more have become more affordable for homeowners. If you have these systems in place at your home, make sure they are working properly and highlighted during open house.

prep63Outdoor kitchens, dining areas, and living rooms. Homeowners are looking for more spaces for outdoor entertaining and hanging out. Outdoor kitchen areas can be as simple as a BBQ grill or as complex as an actual cooking station with a sink, storage, oven, and countertops.

Entertainment centers. Families are choosing to travel less in order to save money, and are turning to staycations and home theaters to entertain themselves. Home theater systems, plush seating, state-of-the-art sound systems, and a comfortable, homey media center feel are particularly attractive to many home buyers. You do not have to splurge too much on a home entertainment system; just recreating the “look” or using props can send the idea effectively.

Multipurpose or double-duty furniture. Today’s consumers have placed more priority on cost-effective furnishings and home accessories. Furniture items that combine form and function are very popular and also save space, and they are particularly effective for staging smaller spaces such as apartments, townhouses, and condos.prep64

Sustainable and efficient. The focus on environment-friendly and energy-efficient home accessories and designs continues among home buyers. Choose toilets and sinks with low-water level use, or insulation and air conditioning systems that are more efficient and save energy. Even paint and flooring choices can be greener and more earth-friendly.

In your home staging efforts for bedrooms, the main focal point of the area should be the bed. It is not wrong to accessorize or deck out your bedroom with great window treatments, creative light fixtures, and other thoughtful touches and décor, but the central attraction of a bedroom is, of course, the bed. As such, it should be given the most attention and detail, as it has the most potential to either make or break the ambiance that you are going for in your bedroom.

Don’t hold backKelowna Home Staging

According to Alex Newman, the author of Hot Property: Easy Home Staging to Sell Your House for More Money in Any Market, a beautifully-made and decorated bed holds a lot of power. “The more beautiful and lavish, the more people will be stopped in their tracks,” she says. The perfect bed starts with clean, crisp linen and sheets that complement with the overall color scheme or theme of the bedroom.

A luxurious-looking bed does not have to cost you an arm and a leg to achieve. Online retailers offer great prices on linen, pillows, and other bed trimmings so you can achieve the look that you want for your bed without spending too much. Remember that any bed sheets, blankets, duvets and accessories that you purchase for your staging needs can be taken with you to your new home, so you are making an investment for the future as well.

Be generous with pillows

Fluffy, oversized pillows make the bed more inviting, relaxing, and enjoyable. You can use pillows of different sizes and shapes, and prop them up against the wall or headboard or laid flat across the bed. Avoid putting too many pillows however; too much can be distracting or make the bed look cluttered, so just make sure to put the right number and size of pillows suitable for your bed space.

Canopy beds, sleigh beds, adjustable beds

prep62If you have the budget for it, consider purchasing a new bed that would blend in with your staging plans. Canopy and sleigh beds are some of the more popular bed designs, and you can find both traditional and contemporary styles for both. If you have limited bedroom space, adjustable beds are also a popular option. A generally more costly, time-consuming, but striking option is loft beds; they are particularly suitable for small bedrooms as they maximize space while combining modern design trends.

In interior design, accessorizing is considered as the ‘icing on the cake’. It refers to the finishing touches, the items of color, shape, size, and texture that complete the look or enhance the feel of an area of the home. Accessories can make a big visual impact, or make Kelowna Home Stagingthe style you are going for very memorable to the viewer. In professional home staging, accessories play a very important role in appealing to the emotions and senses of potential home buyers, and if the right accessories are selected, home staging efforts can be additionally effective.

During the planning stages and discussions with your professional home stager, a specific budget and strategy for accessorizing would likely be determined and set aside. This is a good idea in order to avoid splurging too much money and effort on purchasing the main furniture pieces or fixtures of a room or area of the house, and then ending up with little to no resources for the finishing touches and accessories.

Here are some simple suggestions and tips for accessorizing around the home:

  • Shelves and display cases – Books are excellent accessories for shelves and display areas around the house. They also add personality and character to the space, and books and magazines can be selected to reflect regional or cultural flavors (i.e. historical books about your town).
  • Layering is the key – You can kind of think of accessorizing in the same way you complete a clothing ensemble with some layered clothing. The results will not be Kelowna Home Stagingsuccessful if the basic steps are not completed first. Renovations, repainting jobs, lighting replacements, and other things to be fixed or arranged should be in place first before you add the final touches of accessories.
  • Accessories are accents – Look around the home and zero in on those nooks, corners, and spaces that need a decorative finish. Keep in mind that accessories are usually not meant to take away the focus or attention from the main focal point of a room or area; if you install an accessory and it is getting all the attention, it becomes the main attraction rather than the complementary element.
  • Don’t do too much – As mentioned above, accessories are supposed to complement, so avoid accessorizing too much. Keep it simple and minimize the clutter, but make sure the décor of the area is completed by the accessories. Colors can be bright or bold, but they should still blend in or work with the overall style of the home.

How many coffee tables do you have in your home? If you are a typical North American homeowner, you probably have at least two or three lying around, right? While some coffee tables really do serve their purpose, over time these versatile pieces of furniture have evolved into multifunctional home accessories that can be repurposed and redesigned to blend into other uses.

In your home staging efforts, the coffee table can be utilized effectively to fit the ambiance or look that you would like to achieve in prep57the property. The great thing about coffee tables is they are generally very affordable; if you need to purchase an additional table or two for accent or effect, you are likely to find one that fits perfectly within your budget. With some creativity, you can even spruce up your current coffee and side tables, move them around the different areas of your house, and watch them transform into completely different furniture pieces altogether. Refurbishing used coffee tables is not expensive either; some do-it-yourself painting can do the trick.

The outdoor coffee table – Got a front porch or backyard? A table and some chairs can be set up and make your outdoor area extra inviting or look like a great place to hang out on sunny days.

The exhibit coffee table – Have a piece of sculpture or artwork you would like to showcase or use as a focal point for a bedroom or area of the home? An appropriate-sized table can help show it off. Use a cover if needed, and perhaps some accent lighting to complete the effect.

The workaholic coffee table – A coffee table can be repurposed as a more compact work desk that can house a laptop or tablet. Set up computer props, repaint the table a contemporary metallic paint, and it will look like a futuristic computer geek’s work station.

prep58The spa bathroom coffee table – Going for a luxurious spa-like bathroom? Use a compact coffee table in the corner for decorating with candles or potpourri, decorative hand towels, and an array of hand soaps, lotions, and toiletries.

The bookworm coffee table – A reading nook somewhere in your home will need a table for books and magazines. Avoid the reading glasses; that’s a tired cliché. Instead, focus on making it look very comfortable and a quiet place to immerse oneself in reading.

The television set is part and parcel of the contemporary home today, and as such should be considered in home staging. Unless you somehow decided to forego TV entertainment in your home because of personal reasons, or you have given up on pop culture altogether and think it is a waste of your time, then you probably have at least one TV set in your house. In fact, in most North American homes today, it is not uncommon to see several TV sets in a residence. Aside from the living room, there is usually a TV in the kitchen, the bedrooms, and for some, even the bathroom.

Professional home staging efforts would inevitably include your TV set in one way or another. The location and aesthetic appeal of prep56your TV would have to fit in somehow with the theme or ambiance being recreated by the rest of the staging efforts. The rule of thumb for most staging professionals seems to be to minimize the TV and avoid turning it into the focal point of a room or area of the house, unless that area is the living room or family den where the usual activity would be TV entertainment, of course.

If there is a TV in the bedroom, there are ways to minimize its presence if you decide you do not want to remove it altogether. Flat-screen TVs that are wall-mounted, for instance, conserve space and are minimalist in style; they also take up less space and are very contemporary in design, making them great accessories to a modern bedroom theme. However, they should not be too big or glaring as to divert attention away from the rest of the bedroom. Other decorating touches such as big, beautiful white linen curtains or fluffy pillows on the bed can be used to divert attention away from the TV.

Very large televisions in smaller areas or rooms may be problematic as they become the star of the show rather than the house itself. In addition, old TV sets or those clunky models that still take up a lot of space can also be distracting especially if you are trying to attain a contemporary staging look. If the homeowner is due for a television upgrade and can afford it, purchasing a new, stylish TV would be a good investment that would add to the home’s current style and can also be used once they move to the new residence.

Another option is renting fake TV props. Many cities now have companies that offer affordable rentals of fake furniture and appliances such as flat TVs and wall mounts. Rentals may be convenient for home sellers with limited cash and unwilling to invest in a top-of-the-line TV. Also to watch out for is the presence of too many wires, cables, antennas and other TV-related clutter sticking out and all over the floor. These are very distracting and make the area look busy and unkempt. Walls and cables should be kept as hidden from view or discreet as possible.

Despite the increasing popularity of professional home staging services in many areas today, you will still likely come across real estate agents and brokers who simply do not use home staging for their listings. Even within the industry itself, you will meet real estate agents who are either sceptical of the home staging process and how it can help the property sell faster, or those who are dead set with their own marketing techniques and are unwilling to try any new system such as staging.

The hesitation by some real estate agents to use the services of home staging professionals sometimes comes from less-than-stellar experiences they may have had in the past with other staging firms or specialists. There are home stagers who tend to overstage, doing too much with a property and end up distracting from the real purpose of the technique altogether. Staging cliches can sometimes come off as too bland or fake, and prospective home buyers might end up even thinking that something is being hidden if there is an excess of staging techniques utilized in a property.

prep55However, the entire staging profession should not be generalized based on the errors of some practitioners. As a whole, home staging is still a very effective tool in adding to the marketability of a property for sale and translating it to a quick sale in the process. The shorter average time in which staged properties are sold compared to the longer average time for non-staged houses is proof enough that this method does work, and it will work if used appropriately.

Some real estate agents are hesitant to bring up the subject of home staging to their clients because of the perceived cost. With many homeowners becoming more conservative about their expenditures and wanting to keep costs down, staging updates are often perceived as unnecessary or even too expensive. However, the average investment in home staging is easily affordable, if the home seller is willing to put in some time and sweat equity in getting their property into market ready shape.

In fact, home staging that is planned carefully and executed correctly can add value to the home listing and speed up the time that it sits on the market. It is a good investment return, and the homeowner would avoid losing money as the house sits longer in the market and loses its value. A well-presented house can command a good price and is easily marketable.

In many metropolitan areas, suburban subdivisions and developments attract much of the attention of home buyers, due to the respite they provide from the often crowded urban spaces. As more people moved to the suburbs, however, problems often became transient as well, with traffic congestion worsening and work commutes becoming a necessary evil for those who needed to get to their places of work in the city center.

Recently, with cities improving their livability and increasing opportunities for arts, entertainment, and other amenities, more and prep53more people are choosing to move back to the city. Recent economic realities have also made it impractical for home buyers to still buy the oversized McMansion in the suburbs which used to be the ideal. Rather, professionals, young couples, even growing families and retirees are seeing the advantages of living closer to their workplaces, as well as options for shopping, entertainment, sporting events, and other modern conveniences.

Generally, urban residential spaces, such as townhouses, apartments, condo units, or lofts tend to be more expensive than their counterparts in the suburbs. However, urban home buyers have shown more flexibility to paying more in order to cut the stress and time consuming complications of extended work commutes. After all, if a professional is able to cut fuel costs by simply walking to work or hopping on the train or bus for a quick commute, then the investment pays off after a while.

prep54If you are selling an urban home, then your home staging efforts should also be designed to appeal to the sensibilities and preferences of potential urban residents. In particular, urban home buyers are more likely to choose contemporary home designs and fixtures. The minimalist, functional and value-oriented nature of modern furniture design is much more suited to the limited spaces in urban lofts or condo units, so projecting a downsized, simplified living space would more attractive to your potential home buyers.

Showing a home that is a viable respite and place of refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city would increase your property’s marketability. While a potential buyer may be looking for a residence that is close to all that the city offers, the buyer would also want to minimize the often hectic realities of living in the city. Touches of comfort and relaxation such as a spa-inspired bathroom ambiance (complete with luxurious hand towels, modern showerheads, and fresh flowers), a comfortable reading corner, or an updated modern kitchen with a great view increase the value of the urban space.

Are you trying to sell a house that is smaller in size, or a home that is not as expensive or as high-value as other properties in the market? Some people have the misconception that if the house they are trying to sell is small and inexpensive, it does not need to be professionally staged. Perhaps this is because a small house has a very specific target clientele, or because the homeowners do not believe that their house can look or project much better than it currently does even with home staging.

Home staging, however, has much to offer the seller as far as presentation and marketability, and even a seemingly unattractive and limited property can be transformed into a cozy, comfortable, and liveable home with the right home staging techniques. After all, the goal of home staging is to work with the present space and make it as attractive as possible to possible buyers, and this has very little to do with the size of the home. Staging can be a successful venture whether your home is a spacious mansion or a smaller one-bedroom bungalow.

Keep in mind that staging does not aim to transform your house into something it is obviously not; instead, staging endeavours to prep50highlight your home’s strengths and emphasize possibilities in space utilization and decorating ideas, while minimizing potential turn-offs or areas of concern.

If you could sell your home for a little more than what you were expecting it to go for in the market, wouldn’t you do it? Effective home staging can add to the overall value of your property and allow your realtor to negotiate or ask for a better price for your home. Of course, if it looks very presentable, contemporary, and ready for moving in, which it will look like once staging efforts have been put in place, potential buyers would be more than likely to be ready to pay for its perceived cost.

One of the strongest arguments in favour of professional staging is how it helps to quickly get the property sold. The longer your house sits in the sellers’ market, the more it loses its value. A staged house immediately attracts the attention of home buyers because it stands out from other properties in the area that have not been staged. On the other hand, if staging is already the trend in your location, then you absolutely cannot afford to have any professional staging updates done to your home. Even if it is smaller in size and price tag, it will shine through and become a hot property with the right staging strategies.

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It is likely that you have heard some common misconceptions or myths regarding professional home staging, whether from relatives, acquaintances or even realtors who think it’s not a necessary part of the home selling process.  If you think about it, staging has been around for decades. We just never had a name for it. Anytime we sell anything we make sure it’s in the best possible condition.

The home staging myths listed below, should be looked at closely and analyzed for what they are really saying. You stand to benefit much from home staging, and myths or misconceptions should not hold you back from achieving home selling success using this technique.

  • Home staging is too expensive. On the contrary, the average cost of home staging is about 1% of the value of your property. Home staging does not have to cost you an arm and a leg; any home staging specialist will tell you that staging is more about achieving a look rather than purchasing it.
  • You should try selling the house first, without staging. This is an experiment that often causes damage to your listing that is very difficult to undo. If you list the house in not-so-ideal condition, it will be remembered as that property, even if you go ahead and have it staged later. First impressions really last, so your home should be in its best condition prior to the first listing in the market.
  • Staging is just a recent fad. Some people will tell you that professional home staging is just the latest home selling ploy and it will eventually fade away. Staging is not just a principle in home selling; any items being sold are kept in optimum condition, with their best features emphasized and shown off.
  • Home staging is just the same as decorating. There are similarities in principles and techniques, but staging and decorating are fundamentally different from each other in their primary purpose: decorating a home is for the benefit of the homeowner, while staging is intended for the potential buyer. In decorating a house, the homeowner may want to show his or her own styles, preferences, and interests. But in home staging, the focus is on showing off the space and the nature of the property itself.

Pictures do tell a thousand words, and in professional home staging, photography can help convey the message that you are trying to communicate to your potential home buyers and clients. Photos are used in home listings, advertising, as well as for websites, and these photos will be used to capture the attention of your target market and make them interested enough to visit your house in person and see if it is indeed the right home for their needs. Hence good photos are a MUST!

Most professional home staging companies provide photography services along with their staging efforts. Photographers either workKelowna Home Staging in-house or are independent contractors who partner with the staging company for specific projects.

In preparing your home for professional photography, the following reminders can help:

  • Personal stuff should be out of view. This includes family photos, refrigerator magnets, papers or bills on countertops. They can be distracting especially in a photograph; these personal belongings are usually cleared away during home staging, but make a quick check before photos are taken.
  • Entry ways and hallways should be clear. Make sure that nothing is blocking doors, such as shoes, coats, toys and other clutter. Hallways should be free of obstructions; even a spacious hallway will look crowded if there are things blocking it.
  • Bedroom and bathroom should look immaculate and organized. The beds should be made, and sheets smoothed out. Pillows and throws on beds and couches should be neatly stacked or lined up. Make sure no piles of laundry are on the bedroom floor, and no clothing items are hanging from closet doors. In the bathroom, the toilet lid should be down; toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other personal toiletries should not be seen. Towels should be freshly-pressed and hung or folded meticulously.
  • Clear the kitchen area. Dishes, silverware, pots and pans should be kept out of sight or neatly organized in their proper places. Any rags or towels should be removed.
  • Lighting is a crucial factor. Natural lighting should be allowed in as much as possible, so make sure your window fixtures and décor are easily adjustable. Some photographers and home staging professionals may want both daytime and night time photos of your property.

Remember, good photos posted on the internet or in print advertising are an important factor in selling your home and getting a good price for it!  Don’t be impatient or cut corners when it comes to photos. Which means, don’t expect great pictures out of a cell phone, or disposable camera, no matter what the commercial tells you!

A well placed piece of art can add the finishing touch to a space, or form the inspiration for the look and theme of a room. Artwork is an important part of staging your home and can really lift an otherwise bland wall or corner.

If you‘ve been in a book store lately, you can find all kinds of books loaded with the “do’s and don’ts” for the arrangement of artwork. However, one author’s do is often another’s don’t, so it’s not surprising that decorating with artwork can be a source of confusion.

There are many aspects to choosing artwork to complement your room, but if you get the two basic considerations right, you should be on your way to creating a harmonious element that will enhance any room.

The first step in choosing artwork for any room is to make sure that the piece is in harmony with the mood and style of theKelowna Home Staging room. A formal portrait in oil can look very out of place in a casual family room. Likewise, those posters that grace your teenager’s bedroom walls aren’t right for the living room.

The second basic consideration in choosing artwork for your room is the shape and size of the area in which the artwork will hang. If you draw a mental box around the wall space available for the piece, its shape will become immediately apparent to you. As to size, be guided by the size of the wall space as well as the scale of the furnishings immediately surrounding it.

When staging your home for sale, choosing the right artwork for the right room can be the perfect way to put a great finishing touches on your space….what ever your budget!  With a bit of creativity and well-thought out decision making, you can turn your space from drab to fab!

In most metropolitan and suburban areas today, there are companies that provide furniture rental services for various purposes, such as events, parties, as well as for professional home staging. Many homeowners looking to sell their houses are opting for furniture rental instead of buying new pieces for various reasons. For instance, their current home and the staging required for it may not match with the new home they are moving in to, so the homeowners are hesitant to invest money in furniture they likely won’t have use for in the future.

Whether it is advisable to buy furniture or rent them for staging purposes really depends on the homeowners’ current situation and whether the home is vacant or occupied. In general, renting furniture is a very temporary option that allows Kelowna Home Stagingthe homeowners and staging professionals to use the pieces they need without worrying about additional storage once the items are no longer needed. For homes that are being downsized, this is a great and convenient option.

Renting furniture often allows for more flexibility in creative ideas as well. There is only so much that can be done as far as updating current furniture pieces and accessories; if a more specific look is the goal, rented furniture may be better option for you. Every room of your home may not require changing out pieces for rental furniture, but it is important that the key areas of your home are showcased well.

While renting furniture pieces may be less expensive than buying them, keep in mind that the majority of furniture rental companies often have minimum rental periods (three months seems to be the standard). If you opt for furniture rental, be aware of the terms put down by the company.

As an alternative to furniture rental, you may be able to borrow some furniture pieces from family members, neighbours or friends. A lot of people these days have furniture items that they no longer need and are just sitting in the basement, garage, or a storage unit. If you find furniture you can borrow that fits with the home staging ideas for your home, you will be able to save money and use the savings for other important expenses.

For many homeowners wanting to sell their homes, the focus of home staging efforts is on maximizing space in order to make the area look more spacious. But for other homeowners, specifically with larger homes, they actually need to make the home feel warm and inviting through techniques for staging large homes.

Depending on your general location, there may be a stronger or lesser demand for oversized houses, but there will always be homeKelowna Home Staging buyers looking for a larger space for various reasons. They may have a growing family and are looking for a house that can accommodate their children, or they may just want a space that is big enough for events, parties, and get-togethers with family and friends.

Your large, spacious home will be more attractive and marketable to potential buyers if you apply home staging strategies that play to the home’s strengths and show off its many possible uses, while also keeping the rooms and areas cozy and intimate enough to make the clients feel right at home.

  • Furniture groupings are perfect for large rooms. A large living room will feel empty and cold if the entire space is decorated as one gigantic area. Instead, group furniture arrangements into smaller segments, creating two living rooms instead of one; better yet, a multi-purpose arrangement can be achieved, such as a living room and a home office space.
  • Create focal points throughout the home. A focal point helps the home buyer to feel a sense of direction when they tour the home, lessening the feeling of getting lost or overwhelmed especially in a particularly large house. For instance, if there is a fireplace in a sitting room, arrange furniture around it and make it the centre or anchor, drawing their attention and helping your potential buyers visualize the time they will spend with their family gathered around the fireplace.
  • Plants and unexpected home décor can add character to a large house. To make the home feel less overwhelming and more alive, use real plants and flower arrangements in selected places around the house. Vintage accessories such as table lamps, light fixtures, art, or vases can add touches of charm throughout the area.

In a typical Canadian home today, the garage has two functions: for parking (the intended purpose) and for storage (the secondary purpose). In less organized houses, the garage becomes chock full of old furniture, seasonal accessories, unused clothing, toys, pet stuff, and all sorts of clutter and junk so that homeowners now have to park on the street, negating the main function of the garage altogether.

This part of the house is not an area you can just hide and hope the potential home buyers do not check out; since they also have vehicles, they will also look at the garage and how it fits with their overall perspective of the property. All of your home updates and preparations will be wasted if the clients walk through the spacious and thoughtfully-designed living room, kitchen, and bedrooms, only to end their tour by walking into a messy, cramped, and junk-filled garage. The root of the problem is organization, so when staging the garage, the most important aspects are:

  • Get rid of everything you don’t need. Homes today are so full of things that people no longer need or did not even use. If you have never tried downsizing or adopting a minimalist approach when it comes to stuff, now is the best time. Identify a local charitable organization in your area that may have a need for your unused items; also, you can hold a garage sale and use the proceeds for your other home staging needs.
  • Make storage look natural and spacious. Now that you’ve removed all the unnecessary stuff, you can maximize the garage area so any items that have to be stored there are not getting in the way of car parking. The garage walls can be utilized by installing shelves and cupboards; you can also consider buying storage bins of the same size and colour where items can be kept, and stacked on top of each other to look organized.prep42
  • Update the garage ambiance. If your home has a contemporary feel to it, the garage will look very out-of-place if it still looks like an 80’s carport. Simple updates such as fresh paint (using neutral colours) and modern light fixtures make the garage more inviting and in line with the rest of the home. Clients should not feel like they are walking into a time tunnel or horror film set when touring your garage; while it is used for parking and storage, a garage with personality makes your home even more marketable.
  • Check for things that need fixing. Does the automatic garage door open without any problems? Loud squeaking and creaking can be distracting during showings, so make sure there is enough lubrication or that it is still functioning correctly. Garage door handles and knobs may need to be changed, and check that all lights are working.

The kind of furniture you have in your home can either complement or distract potential home buyers. A couch or table in the wrong area or that does not match the theme of a room or overall home staging, can look very out of place. Furniture items that are also too big or overstuffed will make an area look smaller than it actually is, and this is not attractive to home buyers looking for more space because they have outgrown their current residence.

Most professional home staging strategies include changes, upgrades or additions to your current home furniture selection. prep41Purchasing new furniture is not always necessary though, as there are options for renting furniture for home staging, or you can ask neighbours or extended family if they have any pieces they are not using which can be used to create a positive impression on buyers. In the property pictured here, the home seller did purchase newer pieces although they did so selectively in order to improve the impact the main living room area would have.

Some helpful tips in selecting your furniture for home staging:

  • Avoid too much furniture. As mentioned previously, space is the primary consideration of potential home buyers. The pieces you have in your living room, dining room, kitchen, or bedrooms should be there to add value and style to the space, not be the center piece. Remove any furniture that crowds the area or does not serve any real purpose and store them off-site.
  • Balance different textures and materials. When a potential buyer walks into a room full of wooden chairs, wooden desks, wood panels and wooden floors, it can be a bit overwhelming or worse, a turn-off for a person who does not particularly care for wood anyway. Balancing different materials makes it more neutral and appealing to more people with various preferences.
  • Visualize a path in your mind, and prioritize a smooth flow. During showings or open houses, potential buyers will be walking around your home, touring the different areas. Furniture should not get in the way or make it difficult for people to move around. If the potential buyers keep bumping into the backs of couches or table edges, they would conclude that the home itself lacks space.
  • Clean & Spotless. You might be surprised at how new and fresh your home furnishings would look if they are given a much-needed cleaning and maintenance process. Dusty shelves and soiled sofas are extremely distracting and signal poor maintenance; make sure everything is as clean and spotless as possible.

In a challenging rental market, property managers and landlords can’t afford a poor showing. Traditionally, Staging has been limited to the real estate and vacation rental market.  But today, more landlords are dressing up rental properties with basic furnishings to help convey that homey feel to potential tenants.

prep40Just as in staging for sale, creating that warm and inviting place to call home will give you an edge over your competition! Highlighting positive features of the rental property will go along way in helping you attract a tenant, getting you the best lease possible and renting the unit faster. It’s not rocket science; it’s marketing just like almost everything else!

Staging your rental property is well worth spending a little money upfront to fill it quickly. Why?

1. You set the precedent when you rent your property out.

2. You show renters you care about keeping your rental homes immaculate! The bonus… you’ll find that when you market a “staged” rental property, you’ll increase your pool of great potential renters and you’ll rent it much faster.

Psychology Behind Staging a Rental Property

  • Shows the renter how to use the space especially with an unusual floor plan
  • Proper sized furniture makes the rooms look larger even in units with small square footage
  • The addition of modern furnishings or a up to date paint colour can give a new lease on life to older units
  • Creates an atmosphere your tenant is drawn too and appeal to their emotions
  • Makes your unit stand out from other rental properties

If you can stage a rental for less than the cost of one month’s rent AND get a great tenant in there quickly – it certainly does start to make sense to stage your rentals. Remember, renters are looking for a home to live in, not an empty box.  The more you can convey a sense of home and show  how nice the unit looks furnished, the faster you may be able to rent your property.

In the process of home staging, much of the planning and preparations of homeowners and home staging professionals revolve around factors that are within control, such as décor, themes, space maximization, color combinations, and other essentials. Functional and space-saving home accessories can be selected, lighting fixtures can be upgraded, floors and rugs can be cleaned, and window treatments can be updated for natural lighting and air.

There are factors and circumstances,however that are not within our control, no matter how much we would like everything to be carefully planned and all details to fall into place. Weather conditions, for instance, are variables that we just have to deal with and adjust to. Depending on where you live, climate and weather conditions may be mild and temperate throughout the year, or it may be more volatile and subject to sudden changes at a moment’s notice. prep39

How you stage your home should be as resistant to weather conditions as possible, in order to maximize resources and to retain the look and ambience that you are going for, no matter what climate conditions may be. Temperatures may be higher or lower, and it may be a day of sunshine, or rain, perhaps even strong winds or thunderstorms, but if planned carefully, your home staging efforts would still hold up and make an impact if properly planned and managed.

Some ideas:

 

  • Weatherproof doors and weather-resistant windows go a long way. You would want to update to doors and windows that can withstand precipitation and winds. In fact, if you live in an area with frequent storms and windy conditions, this should be a staple from day one anyway. Potential home buyers will appreciate weatherproof doors and windows, and this can add value to your overall property.

 

  • Waterproof outdoor and indoor rugs, sturdy carpets and metal furniture last all year. Area rugs and doormats should be designed to withstand precipitation and mud; there are plenty of waterproof rugs and mats you can buy at local home improvement stores. For your deck or patio, meanwhile, you would want to set up metal tables and chairs, or waterproof outdoor furniture that would still look good regardless of the weather.

 

  • Check the air conditioning and heating system. Your home’s climate control, air conditioning or heating system should be working properly and efficiently. On the day of house showings or open house, set the temperature to be as comfortable as possible, depending on the outdoor climate conditions. Consider energy efficient options for home cooling and heating also.

 

  • Plan ahead for weather changes. During months of higher precipitation rates, it is not a good idea to leave windows open; this is alright during the summer, but if you are away from the home and it starts to rain, water will get in the house and potentially damage your staging efforts. Also, check for any tree branches, foliage, or shrubs that can be hazards during severe weather. Another thing to check is any clutter or outdoor installations that can be carried away by strong winds and damage property or injure people.

One of the main goals of professional home staging is to make the home fit the potential buyer’s idea of their new home as well as accommodating their lifestyle or family needs. So along with cleaning every inch of the house, updating furniture and fixtures, repairing any things around the house that are suffering from wear and tear, or sprucing up the whole house with a fresh coat of paint, homeowners should also stage their home as a property that is worth investing both financial resources and emotional attachment into.

No matter how large or small your home is, you will find empty spaces or corners that can potentially be maximized in the home staging process to create a look, complement a theme, or simply give potential home buyers an idea of what to do with that exact same area or room if they do decide to purchase the house. Neglected corners, rooms and areas in the house stand out as a waste of potentially valuable storage, entertaining, or simply a decorative addition to the property. During showings, an empty room in the midst of a completely staged and decorated home may give buyers a negative impression of that space, ie: it’s too small.

Having said this though we want to remember that it is unadvisable to crowd every nook and cranny of your home with bookshelves, chairs, tables, plants, and other accessories or décor pieces just for the sake of showcasing space; if anything, this will distract from the home staging advances made in the rest of the house. But carefully selected and strategically positioned updates to your unused corners and spaces can prove to be memorable and endearing home staging successes.

 

Here are some suggestions: 

Find use for that area under the stairs. That space under the stairs can be used as additional storage space, a small reading room, or to house a cupboard or cabinet. This space under the stairs should especially be utilized or maximized if it is very visible to people as they walk in through the front door or down a hallway.

prep39Spare rooms should not be completely empty. You can use a few contemporary furniture pieces to make a room look like it is being used, and not just a neglected area of the house. It does not necessarily have to be a guest bedroom; you can design a simple home office, a meditation room, or a small library. You can utilize items and fixtures from other areas of the house in order to save on costs.

Wall corners make great storage additions. The wall corners can be used to add additional cabinets or cupboards for extra storage. At the end of a hallway, you can consider adding bookshelves and then perhaps a small coffee table and chair to create a reading nook. Even a pleasant-looking house plant or sculpture can make the space look less lonely.

Close to half of small businesses in Canada nowadays are being managed, part-time or full-time, from home offices. Shifting trends in work productivity and cost-effective business solutions are paving the way for more and more professionals to telecommute or work remotely from home, giving rise to the need for a comfortable, functional home office space. Even employees and entrepreneurs who have a daytime workplace are finding themselves taking a lot of work at home, and therefore also need a workspace at home that can allow them to complete tasks.

 A home with a carefully-planned and thoughtfully-designed home office space becomes attractive and irresistible to potential buyers who have a specific need for an organized area in the home where they can work quietly. As you prepare your home for the market and plan your home staging strategies with your Kelowna home staging specialist, you should pay close attention to the home office and staging it for selling success.

 Here are some focus points in staging your home office area:

Remove personal stuff. Home staging aims to help potential buyers imagine themselves living in your home, so you want to make sure diplomas, and other personal mementos in your home office are stored away. Personal files, documents, and mail are especially sensitive material, and should definitely be removed from your home office during open house or showings.

Clean up and de-clutter.The desk and bookshelves in your home office can easily accumulate papers, wrappers, bills, and other things, so be sure to dispose of these. Any small repairs should be finished, such as handles or wobbly table legs. prep38

Update furniture and fixtures. You can invest in newer home office furniture and take the new stuff with you when you move, or include the cost of the updates in the negotiations. Either way, the furnishings in your home office should complement the overall theme of the rest of your house. If space is limited, do not overdo with too much or oversized desks or chairs, but what you do have should be functional and aesthetic.

Highlight sought-after details. A lot of people decide to work from home because of the flexibility and comfort associated with it, so make sure your home office area is in line with this perspective. Comfortable seating is a plus; if your home office area has a window view, maximize that by placing the desk or work area as close as possible to the window. Let as much natural light in with the right window treatments.

Storage and floor space win major points. Arrange the office space so that people can move around comfortably and accomplish tasks without much difficulty… If working with a small space, avoid area rugs or floor pillows as these make the floor area seem smaller. 

The kind of window treatments you currently have in your home may need some updating or making over when the rest of the house undergoes a professional home staging. Window treatments serve a lot of purposes aside from adding beauty… they provide privacy and control lighting inside the home. When it comes to home staging, however, window treatments are usually kept as simple and lightweight as possible, in order to allow as much natural light in.

What’s great about updating or investing in your window treatments during the home staging process is you can then take these curtains, drapes or other fixtures with you to your new home if they complement the décor or theme there. However, what home staging professionals would recommend is to keep the cost of window treatments as affordable as possible in order to minimize the risk of not getting your investments back.

Check out these home staging suggestions for your window treatments:

Go for light and airyChoose fabrics that are translucent, such as for shades or sprep37heers. They maintain some privacy, but don’t completely block out the natural light and the view from outside. If you have a great view of the backyard, or other excellent outdoor areas, you want to highlight that to potential buyers, so avoid opaque or dark curtains or blinds if possible.

Neutral and contemporary do the trick. In order to appeal to the widest tastes and preferences of potential home buyers, you want to select window treatments that are modern, fresh, and not distracting. Large thick curtain rods, or heavy cornices and valances are out; clean lines, minimalist designs are in. Loud designs and prints, such as animal type designs, zebra lines, polka dots, or floral prints are not ideal for staging the home because they only appeal to a very specific group of people while turning off or distracting everyone else.

Pre-packaged window treatments are your friendWhile it can be fun to sew or have your own DIY projects for curtains and panels, but you may not have a lot of time in between your daily tasks and other home staging and selling responsibilities. It would be more convenient to go to your local home décor and improvement stores. When you go to stores such as Pier 1, Target, Home Depot or Bed Bath & Beyond, they usually have packaged window treatments and décor in stock that you can just buy and install yourself in a very short time.

Complement the home décor.  The right selection of window treatments will blend into the general theme or décor of the rest of your house, instead of grabbing too much attention. If you are choosing subdued pastel hues for your living room, for example, window treatments should be light and quiet as well, as anything bright would be visually jarring and distract the viewer. Find a balance, and build on it.

Not all homes have a basement, but a house with a basement has the advantage of additional storage and entertaining space. The basement can house a guest room for visiting relatives, entertainment center or home theatre.  While yet others may utilize the space for a wine cellar or to showcase collections and crafts.

Of course, it is also true that in so many homes the basement is simply where old furniture and fixtures are dumped in order to make way for new ones in the other areas of the house. Basements are often used to keep old clothes and shoes, and over time can be so neglected that the occupants rarely ever venture down there because of the dust, cobwebs, and clutter.

If you are putting your home up for sale and staging your home, the basement is not an area of the house you can overlook! Potential buyers are sure to take a look at the basement, and if they see nothing but junk and clutter, it can have a negative effect on their overall assessment of the property. If staged properly, on the other hand, a functional and pleasant-looking basement will blend into the totality of the house and make your property a lot more marketable.

 

Where to start

Start with a general clean-up of your basement. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to cleanliness; start with the door and stairs leading to the basement, and move on down to the entire basement. Depending on how much non-maintenance your basement has endured over a period of time, this can take a whole day or even a week, but the results will be worth it. prep36

During the clean-up, get rid of things and furniture items that you no longer need. Furniture and other items that are still in good shape but have outgrown their use for you can be sold at a garage sale, and you can use the money for further basement staging projects. Or, you can opt to donate to a local charity; many charitable organizations take old furniture, restore them to a good condition, and then are able to use them again.

 

Get a theme going

Depending on the size and layout of your basement, you can showcase its strongest points and highlight how the next owners can maximize the space. Is it big enough for a pool table, a family den, or a home gym? If it is already being used by your family for recreation or entertainment, simply highlighting the potential would be enough to communicate to the potential buyer that it is an essential part of the rest of the house, and not just an unused area.

One thing most basements lack is natural lighting, so invest in contemporary, energy-efficient layers of lighting that can transform the basement into a warm, welcoming space. As much as possible, the flooring should also be in line with what the rest of the house has. For instance, if your living room is carpeted, area rugs for the basement add continuity while also providing warmth and insulation to the cold basement floor.

 

Touch-ups go a long way

Flowers and plants make your basement look more liveable and less “imposing”. Other little updates such as the right window treatments will make clients want to stay in the basement longer. Most likely, the basement does not have a view; if the only view outside the window is half of the street above or the pavement, add drapes or blinds that make the basement more homey. In addition, a few pieces of sculpture or art work add a dash of sophistication and luxury to the basement, so consider these decors as well.

One thing to keep in mind when staging your home and preparing it for your local market is to try stay one step ahead of your potential buyers. As the seller, you have to anticipate what could potentially make or break the sale of your home in terms of visual impact or emotional appeal.  Instead of being on the defensive and being caught unprepared, homeowners should be ready in all aspects and details.

Closets, cabinets, and other storage areas in the home being staged should never be neglected. A lot of people who are looking to buy a new home are doing so because they have already outgrown their current one. If your potential buyer is looking for a bigger house, guess what will be one of their priorities as they tour your property? Yes, it’s the storage space and how these blend into the home while being functional and accessible at the same time.

Buyers will inevitably peek into the closets, cabinets, drawers, cupboards, and other storage areas of your home. The last thing you would want to happen is for them to see a messy pile of accumulated knick-knacks and clutter; this can be very distracting, and a signal to the potential client that your home may not have enough storage space for their own stuff. This is why closets, cabinets and drawers should be included in your home staging plans, in order to show off their true value and add to your property’s overall marketability.

Here are some suggestions for staging your storage spaces:

  • Show off space, not stuff. A large bedroom closet full of coats, clothes, shoes, and bags will still look small because of all the stuff. Remove clothes you will not be needing while the house is on the market (think: off-season), as well as other accessories. Hang clothes so that there is space between them; this emphasizes the storage capacity and also allows the potential buyer to visualize his or her own stuff in your closet without being distracted.
  • Clean, repaint, repair. Dusty shelves and cabinets signal neglect and poor maintenance. Make sure cupboards, drawers, and cabinets are spotless. A fresh coat of paint on all your cabinets and closets is easy to accomplish and light on the budget. If there are handles or knobs that need to be replaced, make sure they are repaired and ready for showings.
  • Organize. Avoid piling kitchen utensils, chopping boards, pots, and pans on top of each other without any particular order. This is an eyesore and a major turn-off for buyers. Segregate stuff, have an area allocated for things and accessories that are related to each other, and you will instantly see how much more functional and pleasant the storage space looks when neatly organized.
  • Add storage if necessary. Inexpensive but functional storage spaces can be added around your home that fit with the overall theme. Stackable storage units are great for limited closet spaces; they instantly organize your stuff and are relatively affordable. Open spaces above the sink or stove can also be utilized for additional cupboards and cabinets.

The living room and dining room are areas of the home where a lot of activities occur, where we entertain guests and hold dinners or parties, and where the family gathers for meals and entertainment. But the bedroom is our private sanctuary, the place where we can retreat for privacy, and where we spend time resting and rejuvenating our tired bodies at night, making sure we are refreshed and ready to face the next day. This is why in home staging, it is also important to freshen up your bedroom and get it ready for buyers.

When showing your home to potential buyers, they will check out the bedroom in an attempt to imagine themselves spending a lot of personal time in that intimate space. If they have kids, they would also want the bedroom to be easily adaptable to their children’s interests and age-appropriate hobbies or activities.

Your bedroom staging plans would depend a lot on your budget as well as the time that can be allotted for major or minor redesigns of the bedroom spaces. It is important to note as well that any investments or purchases you make towards updating your bedroom can either be factored into the price during negotiations, or taken with you to your new home (window treatments, fixtures, furniture).

If you have limited resources and time, there are simple tips you can try to make your bedroom look newer, more contemporary, and inviting. Some suggestions include:

  • Bursts of colour. Paint is relatively inexpensive and easy to finish, whether you do it yourself or have a professional complete the job. This is especially helpful if some parts of the wall are already peeling or damaged. You can opt for more neutral, subdued hues and pastels if you plan to experiment with bright-collared furniture and window treatments.
  • Rehash the lighting. Bedroom lighting is ideally not too harsh, but not too dim that people cannot move around comfortably. Affordable light fixtures and dimmers instantly change the ambience and aura of your bedroom; cost-efficiency and environmental sustainability should also be considered. Meanwhile, the right drapes or shades can be installed in the windows to allow the right amount of light and air during the daytime.
  • Freshen up the bed. When was the last time you bought new beddings or pillows? New linens that fit the overall theme or décor of your bedroom will leave a very good impression in buyers’ minds. New pillows and decorative throw pillows add character to your bed; also, check if the headboard or bedposts need repairs or repainting.
  • Create space.Look around your bedroom and see if there are furniture items that do not need to be there. Should there be two dressers where one is enough? Are there too many lamps that are no longer necessary and just add to the clutter? Keep in mind that when potential buyers look at the bedroom, they are also imagining where their own stuff would go, and they may not be able to see just how much space is in your bedroom if there is too much furniture taking up the space.

Technology is an intrinsic part of modern homes, and home buyers consider how the house they are thinking of buying suits their technology needs and entertainment preferences. If you are staging your house to increase its marketability, you should also consider updating your electronics and appliances to make it more attractive to your target demographic as well as increas the home value.

Much like the usual options for furniture, you can decide to rent appliances and gadgets during the staging process of your home, or opt to purchase in preparation for your upcoming move after the property is sold. If you choose to go the latter route, your potential buyers should be made aware that the new appliances they see – LED TV, refrigerator, espresso machine – are not part of the purchase.

There are home sellers, however, who buy new gadgets and home appliances with the intention of including them in the negotiations and eventual deal. After all, carefully selected and modern, top-of-the-line home appliances not only add value to the whole home, but also make it more convenient for the new homeowners who will no longer have to go out and purchase these amenities themselves.

Whether you are renting or buying new tech gadgets and home appliances, here are 3 simple suggestions on how you can make technology complement your home’s overall look and feel:

  • Clean up and repair. Your current appliances can be made to look almost new again if you clean them with soap and water, removing dirt, grime and other stains that may have accumulated over time. There are special cleaning products you can use for different home appliances; be sure to use the appropriate product to avoid damage. Speaking of damage, if there are any dents or damages that need to be repaired, have them taken care of professionally or do it yourself. You can also consider appliance touch-up paint; this is a very cost-effective way to update the look of your home appliances and also cover up any dents or scratches.
  • Strike a balance. Many homeowners make the mistake of having way too many electronics displayed in their home. This can be quite jarring or contribute to technostress if done excessively. For instance, a small living room will look busy or crowded with a 50-inch LED television set on top of a home entertainment center with audio controls, speakers, and all the works.  A smaller TV with a wall mount, and speakers and subwoofers strategically positioned around the living room area will free up the space and provide entertainment without necessarily hogging all the attention. Any appliances or electronics you purchase or use should comfortably blend in with the space.
  • Update intelligently. Tech-savvy buyers will be more than likely to keep up with the latest trends in gadgets and home electronics, so make sure you are using contemporary, fresh-looking appliances for staging, especially if those appliances will be part of the deal once they decide to buy the house.  Avoid the cheaper model from last year; look for great deals on the most up-to-date electronics and appliances possible as this increases the perceived value of your property and makes it more appealing to your home buyers.

People treat bathrooms as a sanctuary within the home, a place to retreat and find some alone time, and as such will pay much attention to the bathroom design and layout of a home they are interested in buying. When potential buyers take a tour of your bathroom, they will look for the comfort and privacy of a personal space, or how functional and adaptable the bathroom is to their daily lives especially if there are many family members who will potentially be sharing the bathroom.

 

The “spa ambience” is something that is currently quite popular among homeowners. So it is important to create modern bathrooms that draw people in and make them feel so pampered and relaxed that they might not want to leave. Fixtures such as marble tiles, waterfall faucets, versatile showerheads, heated floors and even flat-screen TVs are popping up in ultra-chic bathrooms designed to make the user instantly feel refreshed and ready to wash away the stress of daily life.

 

Bathroom makeovers can run up a bill between $25,000-$40,000 modestly, and even go higher depending on the materials used and labor. But simple bathroom transformations can still be achieved without leaving you broke, as long as you remember to make the most of what you currently have and plan the most cost-effective but impacting additions or updates to your bathroom.

 

  • DIY savings – When planning your bathroom makeover, keep in mind that labor costs can take up to a third of your budget. You can save a lot by figuring out how much of the tasks you can do yourself. You can even think of ways to include the rest of the family in the project, turning it into quality time spent together.
  • Work with existing structure – If you are on a limited budget, improving instead of rehashing your bathroom would be your goal. The sink, tub, and shower or tub can stay where they are; if you have to move plumbing around, the cost significantly goes up too. Instead of having to move these around, updating them such as replacing showerheads, retiling the tub, or changing faucets are more affordable and within your budget.
  • Paint magic – Paint can instantly transform your bathroom from so-so to super, and it is relatively inexpensive. Redecorating your bathroom becomes much easier if you paint the walls in neutral, basic colors with bright accents, and then adding various decorative elements around the bathroom such as hand towels, paintings, or candles and potpourri.
  • Beauty in details – The small upgrades add to the overall value of your bathroom and make the house more marketable. Instead of one lighting fixture in the bathroom, adding different layers immediately give it that sophisticated feel of a luxury hotel suite. A small reading corner with a couch and table make the bathroom a place to relax, meditate, and recharge. Repainting cabinets and replacing the toilet top and bowl give the whole bathroom a brand-new feel all over for the fraction of the cost of renovating everything.

A homeowner who is looking for an easy and relatively affordable makeover when it comes to home flooring can consider carpet and its benefits. Carpet is easier to install compared to hardwood, tile or vinyl floors; and can also effectively and discreetly cover any floor imperfections or damage from normal wear and tear.

Carpets also give any area a sense of welcoming comfort and warmth, both in the literal and figurative sense. Carpets in particular add to the home’s insulation, so those who live in regions with long, bitter winter seasons can benefit from the additional heat and savings on energy costs. Carpets also absorb sound, giving you added privacy and keeping out noises from the neighbours as well.

With carpet the selection can be overwhelming if you do not know what you are looking for.

Some reminders to keep in mind are:

Quality – The materials used and the durability of the product should be tested out before making a final purchase. The padding should be made of foam or rubber materials; this padding acts as the foundation of the carpet, supporting it and preventing the fibers from coming apart easily

Styles – Designs and styles of carpets are quite plentiful, and you are sure to find one that best suits your home’s size, your usual activities, and other variables such as lighting and climate. Plush carpets, for example, are thicker, softer, and better suited for low-traffic areas of your home such as bedrooms, while more durable and flat carpet styles such as Berber carpeting would work best for hallways and other more-frequented areas.

Cost-Effective – More expensive carpets do not always mean they are also more durable in the long run; but at the same time, you do not want to sacrifice quality for a lower price. Wool carpets, for example, are generally the most expensive but also more durable, so they tend to last longer and thus lower costs in the long run. When purchasing, ask the retailer for lifetime replacement warranties or maintenance policies that can be good investments for your carpet.

Potential home buyers put a lot of importance on the kitchen area and how the current design or layout of the kitchen will fit with their own meal preparation needs. Additionally, contemporary lifestyles often demand that the kitchen area be more than just a place for cooking or whipping up a hearty dinner. Many families now utilize the kitchen for family hobbies such as arts and crafts, or homework sessions with the kids.

Simple and cost-effective redesign techniques or ideas for your kitchen can go a long way in adding to the overall marketability of your home. A kitchen makeover need not cost you an arm and a leg, but keep in mind that any investments you make in this area will be worth the eventual positive results. Some focus points you may want to start with are:

Storage solutions – People want to make sure that the kitchen has enough drawers, cabinets, cupboards and countertops for storing their kitchen stuff. Make sure to highlight your kitchen’s built-in storage spaces, as well as any additional pot racks or counters that you have installed for extra room. During house showings, potential buyers are imagining their own cookware and utensils in your kitchen already, assessing where their stuff will eventually go. Keep in mind that too much clutter and appliances can make even the roomiest closet space look jampacked; don’t try to stuff too much in one space.

 

Let there be light! – Lighting is one aspect that is missing in many kitchens, and when people walk into your kitchen area and notice that it is dark, dreary, and unwelcoming, they immediately think of themselves hunched over the stove while cooking, or sitting at the kitchen island and squinting to see the vegetables they are slicing. Take advantage of as much natural lighting as you can, especially if your kitchen windows have a great view of the backyard or other landscapes outside. Open the windows, change to light curtains or blinds, or add strategically-positioned task lighting in important areas such as counters and sinks.

Create space – Many kitchens look small and cramped not because of the size, but because existing furniture such as chairs and tables are too big or too many, or also because there is too much clutter and unnecessary fixtures and appliances crowding the kitchen space. Leave as much open space as possible, and figure out what elements in the kitchen can be removed or repositioned in order to create more space. Lighting, multipurpose furniture, and compact appliances are just some of many space-saving ideas for a functional but roomier kitchen area.

Clean and green – Potential buyers will get easily distracted by the smallest traces of food waste on surfaces and countertops, so make sure to clean as you go and double-check the area before a showing. Be especially mindful of odors from cooking; use air-fresheners, or scented candles to match the theme of your kitchen. Also, with environmental responsibility being foremost in most people’s minds today, making your kitchen area more eco-friendly will show people that your home is also suitable for sustainability and conservation efforts.

Painting your home before you list is the most cost effective updates you can do when preparing your home for sale.  When the house is clean and the walls are freshly painted, buyers will feel that they can move in and start enjoying your house right away.

Before starting any do-it-yourself home painting, make sure you have clearly defined goals of what you want to do. Whether you are repainting the entire exterior of your house, or just certain interior areas, you should already know how much paint will be needed, the right tools to be used, and colours that have been selected for each particular area.

Painting the house yourself can save you a lot of money over hiring someone else to do it, so don’t hesitate to invest in helpful DIY resources that can prepare you for the painting process, especially if this will be the first time you will be undertaking a project of this sort. Local paint stores such as Benjamin Moore can be a wealth of information when it comes to type of paint required for the best coverage or how much paint you will actually require.

Kelowna Home Staging

Did you know that the colours and hues we see around us can affect our creativity, peace of mind, appetite, and general mood?  Hence the reason Home Stagers often recommend that colours that you repaint be from a neutral palette… however neutral does not mean boring!  Using subtle colour can actually enhance the buyer’s experience, so repaint walls that have strong colours with rich neutral hues.

Cool colours such as blue, green, or pastel shades are easy on the eyes and can promote a relaxing ambience, which are great for bedrooms.

 

With the great primers and paints now available it is easy to update an outdated kitchen.  Don’t limit your creativity to the walls… rethink the colour of those kitchen cabinets. It will be much cheaper than re-facing them.  If you like to keep the kitchen simple and low-key, shades of grey or white are unobtrusive and also easy to match with different colours of kitchen appliances.

First impressions are everything, so make sure you do what you can to make your home appear bigger, brighter, cleaner, warmer and more welcoming to prospective buyers.

 

Potential home buyers put a lot of importance on the kitchen area and how the current design or layout of the kitchen will fit with their daily needs. Additionally, contemporary lifestyles often demand that the kitchen area be more than just a place for cooking or whipping up a hearty dinner. Many families now utilize the kitchen for family hobbies such as arts and crafts, or homework sessions with the kids. The kitchen has always been the heart of any home but now it really is the hub for everything!

Simple and cost-effective redesign techniques or ideas for your kitchen can go a long way in adding to the overall marketability of your home. A kitchen makeover doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, but keep in mind that any investments you make in this area will be worth the eventual positive results. The average return rate on kitchen updates is 92.9%. Some focus points you may want to start with are:

  • Storage solutions – People want to make sure that the kitchen has enough drawers, cabinets, cupboards and countertops for storing their kitchen stuff. Make sure to highlight your kitchen’s built-in storage spaces, as well as any additional pot racks or counters that you have installed for extra room. During house showings, potential buyers are imagining their own cookware and utensils in your kitchen already, assessing where their stuff will eventually go. Keep in mind that too much clutter and appliances can make even the roomiest closet space look jam packed; don’t try to stuff too much in one space.
  • Let there be light! – Lighting is one aspect that is missing in many kitchens, and when people walk into your kitchen area and notice that it is dark, dreary, and unwelcoming, they immediately think of themselves hunched over the stove while cooking, or sitting at the kitchen island and squinting to see the vegetables they are slicing. Take advantage of as much natural lighting as you can, especially if your kitchen windows have a great view of the backyard or other landscapes outside. Open the windows, change to light curtains or blinds, or add strategically-positioned task lighting in important areas such as counters and sinks.
  • Create space – Many kitchens look small and cramped not because of the size, but because existing furniture such as chairs and tables are too big or too many, or also because there is too much clutter and unnecessary fixtures and appliances crowding the kitchen space. Leave as much open space as possible, and figure out what elements in the kitchen can be removed or repositioned in order to create more space. Lighting, multipurpose furniture, and compact appliances are just some of many space-saving ideas for a functional but roomier kitchen area.
  • Clean and green – Potential buyers will get easily distracted by the smallest traces of food waste on surfaces and countertops, so make sure to clean as you go and double-check the area before a showing. Be especially mindful of odors from cooking; use air-fresheners, or scented candles to match the theme of your kitchen. Also, with environmental responsibility being foremost in most people’s minds today, making your kitchen area more eco-friendly will show people that your home is also suitable for sustainability and conservation efforts.

3-simple-reasons-why-your-home-is-not-selling

If you feel like you are about to take your home off the market because your home is not selling,  even though there has been many viewing your property, no one has brought an offer to the table… you are not alone.

Properties sitting on the market for too long are a common story in today’s very competitive real estate marketplace. We have heard countless of stories like those firsthand, and sometimes much worse.

Whenever we visit a client, whose property is already listed, the first thing they want to know is, “Why isn’t my home not selling?” “We’ve done everything! What’s the problem?”

These are just a sample of the questions that we often get asked. And we couldn’t blame them knowing that the longer a home stays on the market, the higher the chance its value depreciates. No one wants that.

Before we pitch our service to customers, we listen to them carefully and over the years we have summed up the 3 most probable causes why your home is not selling. Some of the reasons may seem obvious, yet some people ignore them and that’s what we want to stress in today’s post.

Your price is too high!

Price is the number one culprit.

Having said that we may have just broken your heart and crushed your dreams, but if prospects realized that your offer is unreasonable (even just a tad bit), your property risks being staying on the market for a considerably longer period of time. Don’t let greed get in the way. We all want the best value out of our hard-earned bucks, right?

Try to put yourself in your buyers’ shoes. Would you buy a house that is the price of a grand villa but is actually a run-down, two bedroom apartment? That example might be a little exaggerated, but the answer is obvious, isn’t?

You’ve got poor advertising

Ever heard of YouTube? [Image: question ever heard of YouTube]

You’ve got bad photos of your home posted online. With approximately 90% of buyers starting their home search online, its important that your photos be OUTSTANGING. Great MLS photos drive foot traffic to your door, increasing the chances of multiple bids

Always remember that a lone marketing tactic won’t get you a sale. You have to have a combination of marketing strategies to reach a wider audience and let the world know what you have to offer.

Our suggestions:

  • Hire a professional home stager to give your home a face lift.
  • Most, if not all, stagers have in house photographers, but in case you choose to hire a separate person, make sure the guy is experienced in shooting homes.
  • Ask your stager if they can feature your house on their social media profiles, blog, newsletters, or email campaigns for added exposure. They’ll be happy to do that for you.
  • Look for a good and trusted listing agent.
  • Hold Open Houses on weekends.
  • This is optional, but if you want to take your advertising a step further, hire a virtual tour company to shoot and upload videos.
  • But if virtual tour is out of the budget, YouTube is a “free” tool to get your prospects inside your house virtually. Highlight the best features of your home and tell them what you like about living there.

You’re not ready to move on

If anything in this list strikes you as outrageous, if your home is so much about you or if you have refused every suggestion your listing agent advised you, then the problem might be YOU.

Ask yourself this, “are you truly ready to let go and move on”?

It’s not wrong to feel attached to a place where you spent your childhood, lived with your parents and siblings, and made precious memories. It’s not wrong at all!

But…if this is the thing that keeps you from selling, then consider if you are emotionally prepared to sell. If you think you are not ready for this, then by all means remove your listing and put away that sign post!

But if you are, maybe it is time to change your mindset and go put on your businessman’s hat and think like a salesman.

Ready to take your home selling advertising a step further? Call us

Attic conversions are a great way for those who cannot afford to build a room extension due to logistical or financial reasons. Extending into the roof space is a growing option for an increasing number of home owners. Moreover, an attic conversion can be a wise investment for those who may wish to sell their home in years to come.

We’ve scoured the interwebs to give you fresh ideas on how you can transform a livable attic into a beautiful extra space.

#1 Craft room

This craft room is extremely cute that we want to step right in and do some scrap booking.

purple attic craft room

 #2 Cozy guest room

If you have guests coming over for a few days, you don’t have to give up your bedroom if you don’t have extra space. Your attic will do just fine.

cozy attic guest room

via pinterest.com

#3 Reading nook

If you love quiet afternoons and good books, your attic could be the perfect reading nook.

reading nook attic idea

via hookedonhouses.net

# 4 Family Room

You don’t have to build a new entertainment room for a growing family. Check if your attic has enough space to put some comfy furniture and a TV.

contemporary family attic guest room

via furnituredesigntrends.com

#5 Home office

Since the attic is the least visited part of the house, it can be an ideal study room. If you are working or running a business from home, transforming your attic into a vibrant home office is a good investment.

home office in the attic

via flourishdesignandstyle.blogspot.com

Do you need help converting vacant rooms into functional living spaces? Call us today or email us at info@prepthishouse.com.