Home Stage the Exterior

Should spring be just around the corner and you are getting ready to sell your home there are a few tasks for getting your yard into shape prior to home buyer visits.

By taking care to clean up your outside yard areas you expand your living space for outdoor play and entertaining of family and friends. Painting a picture of lifestyle benefits of wining and dining boosts a properties marketing appeal and with that the sales price.

Transcend the walls of your home to show your outdoor sitting areas where buyers can imagine taking a break from a busy schedule that is just steps outside the door.

Take a critical look at your yard around you, then get to work! Here is a list to get you started:

  • Remove burlap from trees and shrubs as the weather warms.
  • Remove winter killed dead or damaged branches
  • Prune away winter-killed branches to make room for new growth.
  • Cut back and divide spent perennials to 4-5 inches
  • Cut back ornamental grasses to a height of 2-3 inches
  • Thin crowded beds of daylilies or iris
  • Cut back rose canes that have winter kill to 1 inch below blacked are.
  • pull up old annuals
  • Clean around plants by raking up fallen leaves and dead foliage
  • Prep damaged grass areas for reseeding
  • Sweep hardscaped patio areas
  • Remove damaged pickets or fencing and paint peeling pickets
  • Clean up the bbq or reposition from view

Home staging shouldn’t be confined just to indoors. Home stage the exterior by cleaning up the exterior of your home it extends the feeling home to your exterior spaces. Cooking, relaxing or just hanging out reflects lifestyle benefits that home buyers enjoy, work to capture that feeling of home outside.

Painting When Selling a Home

Painting when selling a home provides a whooping 148 percent return on investment with dramatic results and little investment.

Repair any damaged interior walls by patching all chips, cracks, dents, dings and holes; then touch up or repaint interior walls with neutral color.  Wanna know the priority rooms?  Read on…

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Stage Your Home for Showings and Marketing Photos

Home staging if done correctly can provide a return on investment of 251%. Stage your home for showings and marketing photos by freshening a space, cleaning and de-cluttering, adding art, greenery, lighting and staging or renting furniture.

Remember the cost of home staging is always less than your first price reduction, which comes in the way of longer time on market and low offers.

Perception is everything when it comes to marketing a home for sale. The goal is to highlight strengths and to downplay home weaknesses. Dressing a house for success will appeal to a broader range of potential buyers.

Stage your home for showings and marketing photos by:

  • Decluttering and removing extra items by providing the illusion of more space. Too many items in marketing photos add a air of confusion, make it hard for the eye to see important details of a home. Unless someone wants a fixer upper, home buyers don’t want to purchase a home that appears cramped and lived in. Homebuyers want the feeling of new and fresh.

Dirty homes feel gloomy, are overwhelming and depressive. Cleaning a home of fingerprints, dirt, grime, stray hairs and personal care items will make those that view your property have a positive feelings. There is just something about the thought of taking a bath in another’s dirty tub, or sleeping in a room strewn with dirty clothes and cooking in a kitchen with grimy, greasy cabinets and appliances, yuk what a turn off.

Art is used in home staging to create visual interest. Staging artwork is different than personal art collections that are purchased to inspire memories and are personal in nature. Staging artwork entices home buyers, by creating style, adding color, distracting a view of negative features, highlighting architecture, focal points, providing the illusion of bigger, smaller, wider, taller and adding excitement to a space.

Home staging existing furniture or renting furniture and placing into pleasing arrangements and vignettes, help a home appear functional, spacious and welcoming.
Another part of proper placement of furniture is improving traffic flow, drawing the eye to architectural attributes, hiding flaws and creating balance within a room.

Although much of a buying decision is already predetermined like location, or size of home. Home staging can assist with curb appeal and homey characteristics of a home listing.

Studies have revealed that buyers first impressions of a home’s interior are:

Cleanliness, Clutter and Odor 35%
Decor 21%
Condition & Lighting 16%
Floor Plan 15%
Rooms 13%.

72% of home buyer’s first impressions and feelings can be controlled by the seller with the use of effective home staging.

Lighting Size, Placement and Trends

 

Lighting Size, Placement and Trends black drum crystal

 

 

Lighting size, placement and trends both inside and out when preparing your home for sale reaps one of the greatest returns on investments. Simple lighting improvements can be as easy as washing windows inside and out and replacing spent light bulbs.  Othertimes you will need to make updates to compete with new and model homes in the same price range.

Refreshing the look of a room can be done by replacing old, dated light fixtures and ornately decorated fixtures that may not appeal to the broadest range of buyers. I typically recommend when providing home staging consultations that home sellers keep it simple and select lighting in a transitional style, which is neither traditional nor contemporary.

The great thing about transitional style is that it will give you a great updated look in a contemporary setting or a traditional interior setting. As for finishes, transitional styles are flexible allowing you to mix finishes with existing hardware, but if you want to match your finishes to your faucets and hardward, go right ahead.

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association consumers are looking for contemporary spa like easy to clean bathrooms and kitchens with less clutter and clean simple lines, with LED lighting cited as an “in-demand” kitchen feature for its energy efficiency (which is another hot buyer preference).

Knowing what lighting size, placement and trends when you are updating your home for sale will help you obtain a greater return on investment. Keep these simple home staging tricks handy as a practical solution for any home interiors lighting updates and you won’t go wrong.

Lighting Trends

Consumers love out door living and revamping garden areas, patios and porches can make your curb appeal really “shine”.  This will be the first impression buyers will have of your home.

Lighting Size, Placement and Trends black sh

Pendant lighting in 2015 will take on the shapes of bowl pendants and drums (like the one above).

Chandeliers aren’t just for the dining room anymore and are making their way into spaces like studio apartments, attic bedrooms and small mother-in-law suites. The luxury market demands, dramatic, upscale and extravagant transitional crystal chandeliers.

Power in the shower continues its popularity as we head into 2015.

Silver, Chrome and Stainless steel have commonly been used in the kitchen but warm metals like gold, copper and bronze are the trend for 2015.

Lighting Size, Placement and Trends gold pendant

Image Courtesty Decor Pad

 

Lighting Size, Placement and Trends copper

Image Courtesy KitchenModel.org

Lighting Size, Placement and Trends bronze

Image Courtesy Houzz

Lighting Placement

Lighting placement, size and how high you hang your lighting play an important role in the over all look and feel of a space.

  • When hanging lighting above your kitchen island hang 24-34 inches above the counter top.
  • Lighting diameter in the center of a room should measure 1/12th the size of the room to maintain a balanced look. Measure your rooms length and width and divide by 12 to get the proper size of the light fixture.
  • When hanging lighting above a table the diameter of the fixture should be 12” less than the width of the table.
  • Hang your chandelier over the dining table 28” to 32” between the table top and the light fixture.
  • In a hallway a 7ft. clearance between the floor and light fixture is a good rule of thumb to keep lighting in line of sight.
    Lighting Size, Placement and Trend

    Image Courtesty EHow

     

  • In a stairwell clearance should be 18” to 24” above the tallest occupants head.
  • Hanging fixtures in the middle of a room demand a 7ft. clearance unless hung above a table or other piece of furniture to avoid bumped heads.
Lighting Size, Placement and Trends bedroom chandalier

Image Courtesty New England Home

  • Hanging lights in the bedroom and above the bed should be 7 feet or 6” above the head when kneeling on the bed.

    Lighting Size, Placement and Trends bath sconce

    Image Courtesty Crisp Architects

  • Sconces or pendants in the bath should be spaced 28’ apart and 60” off the floor.
  • Foyer light is placed 80-84” from the bottom of the chandelier to the floor. Center to the window and hang no lower than point of the second floor when the ceiling is really tall.
  • Table and bedside lamps should measure from the base of the shade and eye level from a seated position.

Lampshade Size

Sometimes your lampshade may be all that is needed to get an updated look. Follow these rules when updating your table lamp shades.

  • Shade length from top to bottom should be 65-80% of the base length. For example if your base length is 18”, the shade should measure 11”- 15”.
  • The diameter of the shade should be no more than 2” less that the base diameter. If you have an 18” base the width of the shade not be more than 16 inches.

 

 

Top 15 Features Homebuyers Want

I’m a little statistic nut at times and find that as a home stager it is important to know the studies and statistics available in the market to share with home sellers, who are preparing their home for sale.

Armed with this knowledge it allows me to provide the home seller with a better understanding of where they should place their budget and where they will receive greater return on investment when home staging.

In a nationwide study of new and potential homebuyers of various racial groups, more than 120 home features were rated to be essential, desirable, indifferent or do not want in the homes that homebuyers want to purchase.

Below are the top 15 features homebuyers want:

  1. 80 percent of buyers would choose a highly energy efficient home with lower utility bills rather than a home that costs 2-3 percent less without those features.
  2. Around 80 percent of buyers consider garage storage essential or desirable.
  3. 80% of homebuyers most wanted outdoor features that include exterior lighting and a patio.
  4. A full bath on the main level is the highest ranked for accessibility
  5. Wide hallways at least 4 feet wide claim the top spot among African-American and Asian buyers.
  6. A wireless home security system is the most wanted technology across all groups
  7. Three features desired in the master bathroom include, an exhaust fan, a linen closet, and both a shower stall and a tub.
  8. Top three essential and desirable features In the kitchen include table space for eating, a walk-in pantry, and a double sink.
  9. Neighborhood green areas are very important to buyers of all racial/ethnic backgrounds.
  10. When homebuyers rated windows, the top two features were an energy-star rating and triple-pane glass.
  11. 80% of homebuyers consider garage storage essential or desireable.
  12. A large majority of homebuyers want 2 ½ baths.
  13. Home buyers are willing to pay between $6774-$9146 upfront to save $1000 per year in energy savings
  14. A small percentage of homebuyers report being concerned for the environment, but not to the point of being willing to pay more for such a home.
  15. 83% of home buyers feel that contractors with specialized designations, “provide better quality work and craftsmanship. 64% of buyers agree specialized contractors are “worth paying a higher price for.” Suggesting providers want quality workmanship in their homes they want to purchase.

Home Staging for the Holidays

Home Staging for the Holidays

Tartan and cable knit is a timeless pattern associated with the holidays. Try bringing throw blankets and pillows into your living room and guest room for a festive touch.

Presentation is everything when it comes time to sell, no matter if a retail store merchandising a store front window or home staging for the holidays.  Why heck, we wrap our holiday gifts in pretty paper, ribbons and bows to elevate its appeal to make it feel special to the receiver.

Home Staging for the Holidays 2

Set the mantel’s tone with faux snow in vases and apothecary jars.
Take advantage of the glass jars’ interior spaces to create a tiny winter scene and to introduce sparkle with traditional mercury glass ornaments.

With that said, we should be marketing our homes for sale during the holidays using home staging tips that raise the value and marketing appeal to the broadest range of home buyers.  Take a simple approach, keeping in mind that less is more just as your would when selling during any other season.

Home Staging for the Holidays 3

Set the mood with candlelight and metallic accessories to create drama in your space.

Don’t take my word for it, check out the Realtor survey data reveals, the majority of realtors feel that when selling  your home during the holidays, home staging should be put in place to attract potential buyers to make a home feel cozy and inviting.

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Home Staging Winter Curb Appeal

Home staging winter curb appeal for our shorter, snowy or dreary days makes lighting important when selling a home – homebuyers don’t want to be surrounded by darkness when they arrive at your door.  Outdoor lighting will add to winter curb appeal with an air of welcome, warmth, and accent unique features of your home or landscape, which can add value to your property.  The exterior lighting will increase the safety around your home to avoid slip and falls from ice or missed step.

If selling a home during winter months it’s still important  to keep deck and patios lit.  Painting a picture for home buyers to envision the possibility of barbeques and entertaining family and friends in the sunnier months ahead is an important aspect of any outdoor setting and adds great value to your home.

Its easy to forget the exterior when we aren’t spending time outdoors, but our exteriors play an important role in home sales.  Checking the following exterior areas will help in gaining a greater return on investment when it comes time to sell.

Home Staging Winter Curb Appeal

Repair split or decaying wood on the deck and be sure the wood is still sound.

Railings and banisters should be clean and secure.

Clean away any leaves and debris from porch, deck and patio, since these can be slippery and promote mildew.

Grills, fire pits, chimneys create a warm and cozy deck atmosphere, but make sure they and the surrounding areas are clean and free of charred wood.

Be sure all spent light bulbs are replaced and working; clean any light covers to allow maximum light to shine through, and trim any plants or tree limbs that may be blocking light.

Remove cobweb and spider webs from entry way and overhangs.

Be sure to clean all outdoor furniture.

Ding, dong, don’t forget the doorbell, replace if broken or dated, clean if dirty.

If you have trees overhanging your deck, make certain there is no danger of decaying limbs breaking free and falling from trees surrounding the deck.

Now, the dreaded four letter word, you guessed it snow!  Make sure the driveway is shoveled or plowed, sidewalks and walkways are free from debris (my neck of the woods its tumbleweeds, ugh) and de-iced.

Your welcome mat if tattered and worn will need to be replaced with a new welcome mat to create friendly, welcoming visual interest. Not to mention grab snow, mud and other dirt off the feet of homebuyers who will be visiting your house.

Home staging winter curb appeal if decorating for the holidays with outdoor lighting, should be kept simple. Clear or white lights tastefully strung and a simple wreath on the door, will be all that you’ll need.  The architectural detail of the house should be the shining star when you are trying to appeal to the broadest range of potential homebuyers.

Home Staging vs Interior Design

home staging vs interior design red curtains

Image Courtesty Home Star Staging

Sometimes clients of my Realtors when home staging in Denver is recommended, hear, “I used an interior designer my home is beautiful the way it is and it will sell”. Partially true, eventually all homes sell.  The mantra in our neck of the woods from Real Estate pros is “home staging is always less than your first price reduction”.

Home Staging vs. Interior Design 2

Image Courtesty blog.ctnews.com/realestatewithjudy. Check out the fresh new look!

I have gone into many homes that from an interior design standpoint makes my heart skip a beat. However, when providing a home staging consultation I explain the differences of home staging vs. interior design.

The use of furniture, artwork, greenery and lighting are used in both home staging and interior design to create an attractive, stylish environment, but that is where the difference ends.

home staging vs interior design kitchen

We become blind to the little things in life. It’s the small things that take away from the newly updated kitchen as you will see below.

Interior design is used to create a highly personal space decorated to the tastes of the homeowner. Home staging does the opposite, its goal is to create an impersonal space that looks awesome in marketing photos to attract and appeal to a broad range of people who are looking to buy a home.

Home Staging vs. Interior Design 6

Removal of coats, wastecan, items on ledges, refinishing floors, turning on a light and adding art turned this space into an inviting room.

My job as a home stager is to provide unbiased, tactful recommendations, using what you have to impersonalize the space and transform the home into a fresh, welcoming, non-taste specific house that potential buyers like and want to live in. A staged home avoids price reductions from sitting on the market for long periods of time.

 

Home Staging vs. Interior Design 4

Although a lovely room by some standards, dated swags and traditional design create a dreary old feeling that won’t appeal to many.

 

Home Staging vs. Interior Design 3

Removng curtains, hanging a simple mirror and a rearrangment of furniture creates an updated look in this room.

If you hired an interior designer it was because you needed help in the design of your space and that’s ok, but if you aren’t aware of the differences between interior design when staging a house you may open yourself up to not selling as quickly and without the return on investment you were looking for.

Home Staging vs. Interior Design 5

Have at it! What’s wrong with this picture?

The goal for we home stagers is to create a welcoming, functional, peaceful and well-organized space. Getting rid of visual distractions that the camera will capture and perspective buyers will see. My job is to be strategic in capturing the positive architectural attributes and downplaying the not so positive.   It doesn’t mean that everything has to be plain Jane with no color and zero accessories, it just means we will be using it in smaller doses.

Home Staging vs. Interior Design 7

Curtains soften the hards lines of this basement bedroom. Re-arrangement of furniture highlights architectural selling points, making this room inherently more stylish.

Every home no matter the size or price range, if a condo, town home or country manor, even if beautifully decorated can benefit from staging services to create a mood that buyers emotionally respond to that is the difference between Home Staging vs Interior Design. A home stager will consult or do the work for you to update, re-arrange, edit and make changes to reflect current trends using low-cost solutions.

Flat Screen TV and Living Room Design

Flat Screen TV and Living Roo

Image Courtesty pinningaisha.posterous.com Stylish Black and White Gallery Wall

Merry Christmas to me, merry Christmas to me,  after three whooping years I bought a TV.  My 15 year old TV, a big, square, beast of a TV that measures front to back at least 2 feet and takes two to lift, is out — and my new 50″ flat screen, smart, lcd, led TV is in (see you Sunday Daryl Dixon).

Image Courtesy Houzz.com  Rustic Console and Contemporary Glass Lamps

Image Courtesy Houzz.com Rustic Console and Contemporary Glass Lamps

There isn’t a house that I go into when I am providing a home staging consultation that doesn’t have a TV, or two or three.  TV’s are in family rooms, bedrooms, basements and kitchens and even sometimes the bathroom, often creating a design challenge.

Flat Screen TV and Living Room Design 2

Crosley 60” corner TV Stand comfortably keep your television and its accessories in a neat and organized way.

With that said this post will cover optimal placement of your Flat Screen TV so that it looks great not only in your living room design, but for marketing photos if you are getting ready to sell.

Flat Screen TV and Living Room Design 3

This line will work great in your renovated farm house or a smaller beach cottage get-away.

Flat Screen TV and Living Room Design Viewing Angle

The best viewing angle for comfort is to place the TV when seated at eye level and your head even with the middle of the screen.  According to Architectural Graphic Standards, the sightline measurement of a seated adult is 44 inches (3′-8″) above the floor.

Flat Screen TV and Living Room Desi

Image Courtesty turquoise-la.com. Another great gallery wall

When I was selecting the size of the TV for the size of my room I had to take a few things into consideration.  The best size for the TV depended on my room size and how far away my furniture is placed and where I’d be sitting, and of course cost, too.

Flat Screen TV and Living Room D

Image Courtesty Houzz.com Ceiling Medallions let your eye rest other than the TV

Flat Screen TV and Living Room Design Screen Size and Distance

There are a few sources that discuss optimum distance for screen size and distances, heres a few to help you, when buying a flat screen while keeping room size in mind:

  • 26″ screen = 3 to 5.5 feet
  • 32″ screen = 4 to 6.5 feet
  • 37″ screen = 4.5 to 7.5 feet
  • 40″ screen = 5 to 8.5 feet
  • 46″ screen = 6 to 9.5 feet
  • 52″ screen = 6.5 to 11 feet
  • 58″ screen = 7 to 12 feet
  • 65″ screen = 8 to 13.5 feet
  • 70″ screen = 9 to 15 feet

Avoid eye strain by not placing the TV directly in front of a window or opposite a west facing window, to prevent glare.  Manufacturers recommend not putting the flat screen above the fireplace.

The television in many homes becomes the centerpiece and can take away the focus of design and architecture, if done improperly.  By installing the TV low on a wall directly at eye level it allows for the actual wall to remain the star.  

Flat Screen TV and Living Room Design 1

Mounting your TV, along with artwork in a gallery style will give your eye plenty to look at other than a big black screen.  If using a console that is wider than your TV, flank with tall lamps, objects of art or bookshelves, to incorporate the TV into your interior design.

When you have more than one focal point like a firelplace and windows your only alternative may be to tuck your TV into the corner on a wedge shaped cabinet.  Don’t let your TV compete with your focal points, let your focal points shine and your TV play second fiddle to your architetural focal points.