Home staging consultation – how does it work?

I get asked often how a home staging consultation works. First of all, I’m not going to judge you if your house is messy! 🙂 There’s nothing you have to do beforehand, or anything you need to prepare in advance of the consultation. How we live in our homes is quite different than the state it needs to be in when we’re selling. I’m going to help you by giving you recommendations to get your home in a show ready state.

As a home stager I have a fresh pair of trained eyes that will see things that you may have never noticed, or just fail to see now after living in your home for so long. Ideally the consult will be hands-on and we’ll make some changes during the two hour consult so you’ll begin to see the impact that some small changes can make.

We need to depersonalize the home. Take personal photos for example, they need to come down. There’s a few reasons, one, so buyers can’t identify you, and secondly so they picture themselves living in the house, rather than you living in the home.

During the consultation I will provide recommendations for updating certain aspects of the house, if required. Some may cost some money to implement, while others might not cost anything. You can choose what recommendations to implement. I will make recommendations on furniture placement, to allow for good flow and functionality of the home for potential buyers. Buyers want space and having too much furniture in a room can make the space feel smaller than it is, and having rooms vacant also has the same effect. Having just the right amount will maximize the space. If you require some furniture pieces I can help with rental pieces.

Working with what you have

As a professional home stager I’m easily able to access a room and its contents quickly, to see how to re-adjust, and/or de-clutter some of the contents to create a more show ready space. Often times there are pieces in a different room that can be utilized. The goal is always to use what you have in your home to maximize the space aesthetically.

Below is a great example of a transformation that a two hour consult can make.  During the consult we repositioned some of the furniture, and removed other pieces to make the room feel larger.  We also de-cluttered the room a bit, leaving windows clear of shades and trinkets, removing excess artwork that was taking away from the focus being the fireplace in the room. The client happened to have sheers packed away that complimented the room so we put those up. The old drapery was heavy and dark feeling. We found the throw and a couple of the decor pillows in a different room and pulled them into this room.  The client completed the rest of the work themselves, they painted based on a paint colour that was selected for them, and purchased the rug. You can see for yourself what a big transformation it made in this room. Small edits can make a huge impact!

before and after a home staging consult Haifax

Have you de-cluttered too much?

Sometimes clients have little to no décor in their home. De-cluttering is good, but you don’t want it to the point where the space is sparse and has no warmth or interest to it. Recommendations will be made as to what, if anything could be added to create a more cozy space.

Paint colours and wall conditions will be discussed. Neutral colours are best when selling and suggestions will be made for what, if anything requires touch up or complete painting during the consult.

The best thing to do is to have your home stager in early. I’ve had clients that just finished painting, and their choices really weren’t good for selling a home, and sometimes they have to repaint.

I have many clients that take the recommendations made during the consult and they apply the changes themselves. Many want some help, some are too busy, and others just know that it’s going to be much less stressful to have me help them. Should you have a lot of de-cluttering and packing to do, helpers can be sent in to give you a hand with this should you need the extra help.

DIY Home Staging or Hiring a Home Stager

Whether you choose to go the DIY route and make the changes yourself, or hire me to help you, the two hour consult can be invaluable. My passion is to help people prepare their homes for sale in order to get top dollar. I’m here to help…please call me or pass along my name and contact info to a friend or family member that is moving soon!

Finally a storage solution that works for clients!

I had to share this great storage solution with you. The company’s tag line is “A fresh idea in self storage™” and I have to agree!  If you haven’t heard of them, they’re called Saltbox Storage and they’re located in Burnside.

SaltBox_logo

When you’re selling a home it’s really important to show each room with just the right amount of furniture.  Too much furniture in a room will make it feel small and buyers are looking for maximum space. Space = money when you’re selling.  A home stager can give you recommendations on what pieces should be removed from your home to maximize space or create better flow through the home.  A home stager will also help you with furniture placement in each room. Or maybe a room is doubling as two functional (or not so functional) rooms.  I’ve seen office desks in master bedrooms.  If there is no other space in the home to set up the desk (or store it)…it’s important to get it out of the house!

9dollarsmonth-01So…what’s so great about Saltbox?  How about the fact that to store one piece of furniture it’s only $9/month!  Yes, you heard right, they will pick up one item at no charge, store it for $9 a month, and return it to you for $20! Of course, you can send more than one piece, and each additional piece will also be $9/month, with the same return cost.

There are some parameters around this…the furniture piece must be less than 50 lbs, and less than 6 ft long.

Oversized items:

So, what if it’s over 50 lbs or over 6ft?  This is considered an oversized item and will cost more:  $39/month

Saltbox will pick it up for free, store it for $39/month, and return it for $45 to you.  That’s still a pretty sweet deal to me!

 

Vaults:

So, what if you have enough excess furniture that you need your own storage space?  Saltbox also offer ‘vaults’, in two different sizes:

5x5x7  and 7x7x7 ft

Please note that the free pick up and free return is based on a 3 month minimum contract.

When you sign a contract for 3 months Saltbox will provide 1 free return per month for Vault 25 & 49. Nice!

If you don’t want to sign for a minimum of 3 months then there will be a charge of $90 to pick up the items, and a $90 return fee would also apply.  However, keep in mind their movers are also doing all the heavy lifting for you.

 

Additional awesomeness:

What else makes their service amazing?

  • They provide two professional movers to do all the moving.
  • They wrap all your furniture items

It’s a pretty sweet service if you ask me.  Click here to visit their website for full details.

Cleaning your home to sell it

When you get your home ready to list you need to clean like you’ve never cleaned before.  Cleaning your home to sell it can be more intensive than your usual spring cleaning. It needs to be immaculate so be prepared to clean every nook and cranny. This is best tackled after all the de-cluttering has taken place. Walls, baseboards, windows, trim, curtains, appliances such as the refrigerator, oven and range hood and dishwasher, frames on artwork and mirrors, carpets, cupboards…need I continue? Leave no surface untouched. Just like all the clutter and ‘things’ in our home, we often don’t see all the dirt that’s collecting on the baseboard, etc. A home stager can help you identify those areas needing cleaning.

Odours are another big one. Strive to make your home as odour neutral as possible. Strong odours can be a certain turn-off to many buyers, especially if they suffer with allergies, asthma or chronic sinus problems. Some people think adding pleasant smells is a good idea but no scents is not nonsense. Avoid cooking foods with strong smells like fish, garlic, curry or onions while your home is on the market. One of the best measures you can take is to open up all the windows and air out your house every day if possible. Running an air conditioner or dehumidifier is great for mitigating musty odours.

Remember that old adage about familiarity and contempt? You live in your house and may be ‘nose blind’ to possibly offensive smells. Invite a friend or neighbour in to do a sniff test and insist they be brutally honest. Tobacco smoke is another turn off for buyers so if you smoke do it outside during your listing period and make every attempt to eliminate any related residual odours.

Consider calling in a professional cleaning service for a one day blitz at the very least. As a home staging company, Staged for Upsell can provide cleaning services to you to ensure your home is not only picture perfect, but also squeaky clean for those important photos. And remember, the cleaning doesn’t stop after the photos – your home needs to be squeaky clean the entire time it’s listed!

Why less is more when selling your home

less is more when selling your home
Less is more is a phrase I use often when doing a home staging consultation. When a home is completely vacant besides buyers having a hard time visualizing the true size of the space, or how they would fit their furniture, they also see every flaw. There’s nothing else for them to look at or to distract their eye so they hone in on all the little flaws! On the other hand, if there’s too much clutter or a home is over decorated they don’t know where to look and can’t see past the clutter. If there is too much furniture the space will actually appear smaller.

Decorating to live is much different than staging to sell. When your home is on the market it’s important that potential buyers can see themselves living in the house – not you and your family living in the house. That means removing personal items, family photos, collectibles, trophies, etc.

Home owners tend to not notice their own homes any more. They’ve looked at everything so long they don’t see what other people see. A home stager can look at your home with a fresh pair of eyes and they’re trained to notice everything.

Storage areas and closets are important to buyers so make sure you purge these areas as well. Buyers are going to look everywhere in your house so don’t kid yourself that you don’t need to clean and de-clutter your closets. You also need to clean and de-clutter garages and sheds. Every inch of space is valuable when selling your home!

If you’re not listing your home for a few months use the time to start de-cluttering and sorting through those closets now rather than waiting until the last minute. You’ll be really glad you did! It will also give you time to sell any unwanted items, that’s always a great bonus.

On average a home owner should pack away approximately 30% of their belongings. Using a storage container such as PODS is a great solution for removing excess furniture, personal items and storage from your property. If you do use one make sure you have PODS store it for you off your property while your home is for sale. You don’t want to advertise to potential buyers that you don’t have sufficient storage or space in your home! The other benefit of using a POD container is that you’ve already got some of your packing done for when you move to your new home. You can have PODS deliver the POD container to your new home.

All this said, there is a fine line when it comes to staging a home for sale – you want to remove all the clutter, but you also need to add or keep a little bit of decor. For example, I hate when I see a kitchen table without something on it. Add floral or a beautiful decor piece that will accentuate the space, and add decor to a coffee table. Décor also adds softness to a room, a stark room is uninviting and cold. Adding the right décor and artwork to a fireplace mantle and arranging furniture the right way can create a beautiful focal point in the room. It’s knowing what to take away and what to add or leave that makes a space amazing and keeping in mind that less is more.