Read How the Same Chair Was Used in 3 Different Homes, For 3 Different LooksStyling a home for resale is at the heart of a home stager’s profession. It is our belief that when staging a home for sale, styling the home to appeal to the most likely buyer is critical. Below, we will demonstrate how a chair was styled in three different homes to achieve three completely different looks.We bought two of these chairs at HomeGoods - a fantastic place to find fun decor items and furniture for your home. Immediately we were drawn to them because of the fun chevron print and nail head trim.We purchased them for a condo we were staging in Jamaica Plain, a section of Boston. Jamaica Plain is a very attractive area for young professionals; it’s safe with a hip vibe and not as pricey as other areas of the city. The condo was a third floor walk-up in an older home. It needed a kitchen remodel, but the homeowner didn’t want to undertake a renovation. He hired us to stage it to show the potential to a young buyer, with the hope that they would overlook the outdated kitchen.
Look 1: Fun and Sophisticated for a Young Professional BuyerWe styled the two chairs to show them as a fun place to sit and have a cocktail. We added colorful pillows that coordinated with the artwork (not shown) and set up a round drum style table with a martini shaker, glasses, a jar of olives, a lemon, and a small grassy plant in an orange vase. The overall feeling was fun and young, yet sophisticated. It was easy for a young person to image themselves and a friend sitting there having a drink, discussing their upcoming plans.
Look 2: Rustic Chic for a Rural Home BuyerWe later styled a country home, when staging a home for sale in Douglas, MA, and used the chair again. This time we added a green pillow, made of the same natural muslin fabric as the chair. This coordinated with the green trim that ran throughout the home. We also added a round linen ottoman to give it a more traditional feel. Although the pattern of the upholstery was fun, the muslin fabric played a key role in the styling. The chair came across as an updated country, pseudo-wing back chair in this setting. We also added the metal art of trees and a fence to mimic the rural setting of the home.
Look 3: Cute Nursery for a Family Home BuyerWhile its match was in Douglas, we used the other chair when staging a home for sale in Canton, MA. Canton is about 20 minutes south of Boston, and home to many people who commute into Boston for work. The townhome we staged was quite large with 3 bedrooms and it was well suited to a young couple or family. In fact, the current owners were moving because they had two children, and wanted a single family home. We placed our chair in the baby’s room and added a fun orange pillow that went with the safari style art that we hung in the room. We also put the baby’s stuffed lamb on the chair to add to the “cute factor”. In this context, the chair came across as fun, modern, and sweet. It was easy to imagine a mother sitting in the chair reading a story to a young child.
When staging a home for sale, we approach the process a little differently than many stagers; we style a home to appeal to the most likely buyer based on our assessment of the buyer demographic. We do not design a home to appeal to the masses, because - really, what the heck is that, anyhow? It is our belief that if you try to satisfy everyone’s design tastes, you’ll end up with something rather bland for fear of offending someone. We style the homes we stage in a way that connects with the targeted buyer. Our statistics are better than the national staging average, which shows that this approach works. We believe that a targeted approach gives our clients the best results.Download our "What Buyers Desire" guide for more information. If you would like more information or free consultation, please give us a call at 781-489-8489. We'll be happy to meet with you.
Read the Woburn home staging success story below to find out how a family sold their home $35,100 over asking price at the first open house!The Consultation:We met with the homeowners on a recommendation from their real estate agent. When we came to the home we could immediately tell that this was a family home with pets. There were children's photos and drawings, and large cat climbing posts throughout the home. The owner explained that they had found their dream home and needed to sell their current home quickly to avoid carrying two mortgages.The Home:The 2250 square foot center hall colonial home has 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, with hardwood floors and granite counter tops. It also has a formal living room and a large family room with a fireplace. It is located on a cul-de-sac, which is a fantastic plus for a family with young children.Home Preparation:The home didn't need any repairs or painting prior to listing. However, it needed decluttering, depersonalization, and removal of wall decals and pet related items in order to aid in achieving a home staging success story.Woburn Home Staging Assessment of Buyer Demographic:Woburn is located about 20 minutes north of Boston, so it is likely that the buyers will be commuting to the city for work. The median income is slightly higher than that of the average Massachusetts resident; however the education level is slightly lower. There are fewer school age children in Woburn as compared to the rest of Massachusetts, and the school system is rated a 5 out of 10.Although the research showed that as a whole not many families look to buy in Woburn, this particular home is obviously a family home and we couldn't ignore that fact. Therefore, we staged the home to appeal to a young family with one or two children.Formal Living Room Transformation:The formal living room was being used as a children's play room, and didn't show the true function of the space. To help achieve a home staging success story we did the following:
- Asked the homeowners to clear the room, then move one of the two sofas they had in the family room into the formal living room.
- Staged the room to show its intended function by placing the sofa on the wall opposite the foyer to create a welcoming feel.
- Added a chair, colorful area rug and bright décor to appeal to the targeted buyer.
- Continued the theme of fresh, bright accents to appeal to a younger buyer, but kept it formal. The paintings we chose for the walls had mirrored frames, which felt young, and bright, yet sophisticated.
- Set the table with dishes in colors pulled from the artwork, and added a dramatic centerpiece to the center of the table.
- Set up a wine bottle in an ice bucket, along with a floral and some wine glasses on the buffet and added a mirror on the wall above.
- From the dining room the kitchen eating area is visible, which was left empty by the homeowners. We added a pub height table with four chairs to give purpose to the space.
Read the Boston home staging success story below to find out how a tiny condo sold $59,000 over the original targeted price in the North End of Boston!The Consultation:We usually meet with the homeowner at their home for a consultation, however, this was different. Our consultation happened over the phone on a Thursday morning in February. She had been researching Boston home staging companies online, found Buyers Desire Home Staging and read our online reviews. After reading them she felt comfortable enough with us to leave keys at a neighborhood dry cleaner's for us to pick up and let ourselves in to her condo. We drove that afternoon to see it and made a proposal that evening. The client called the next morning and wanted to know if we could stage it before the next blizzard came in on Monday. We had been planning to work in our warehouse that Friday, so we switched gears and designed the condo, packed it all up and drove into the North End and staged the condo that same day.The Home:The 350 square foot condo had hardwood floors, a loft sleeping space, granite counters, new cabinets and a luxurious bathroom. The homeowner had made very smart design choices and worked in lots of storage into the unit. However, when the condo was vacant, it felt tiny and impractical. We knew home staging could fix the perception that the unit might be too small for functional living.Home Preparation:The home was in good condition with an updated kitchen and beautiful bathroom. The walls could have used a fresh coat of paint - there were lots of scuffs from the previous tenant, and the bedroom was dark brown. However, the homeowner was in a hurry to put the condo on the market, and she didn't want to invest in painting.Boston Home Staging Assessment of Buyer Demographic:We have staged in the North End of Boston and had a good feel for the demographic. With the very tiny footprint of this fourth floor walk-up condo, we knew it would be a young single professional, or possibly a young professional couple. Boston home staging is one of our favorites because the designs can be more colorful and cool. This was a perfect time to bring in fun colors and accessories.Living Room:The small space had great light from three windows, but it was relatively narrow. We added a mirror and a narrow table across from the windows to reflect the light and help the space feel wider. We used two chairs from our inventory, instead of a small sofa, due to the time constraints. We added décor to the shelves and a faux TV to the built-in entertainment unit. The paint color in the kitchen was a brownish-pink shade, so we took it as our cue for our color scheme, and used coral/pink accents throughout the home. To read more about how to use pink as an accent color when staging, read our blog, Using the Color Pink when Staging a Home for Sale. Loft Bedroom-Office:The condo had a raised loft area for a bed over a fold down desk. The room was narrow but functional. Because the sleeping loft was over the desk area, there was very little headroom in both spaces. We knew we had to play up the functionality of the space while making it look cute and livable. Because the walls were dark brown, we continued the "pops" of coral and used white bedding in the sleeping area. Kitchen:The kitchen was in great shape with granite counter and lots of new cabinets. We highlighted these great features with artwork in pinks and corals, and a bowl of apples that had pink-coral tones. Mugs with coral colored napkins and dishes highlighted the bar dining area. We also set up a cookbook on a stand and a cutting board with a faux vegetable, which you can't see in the photo, to showcase the large cooking area. The Result:We spoke with Realtor who told us he was planning to list the condo at $326,000. After he saw it staged, he listed it at $349,000. Although there was a record breaking amount of snow falling, the condo had a packed open house. It received multiple offers and sold for $385,000! That's $59,000 over the original price the Realtor had planned to list at. Needless to say, the home owner was thrilled. She owns another condo in the same building, and hired us to stage that, too. That one also went under contract after the first open house. We'll write a follow-up story after it closes.If you'd like to know how much you could potentially make/save by home staging, download our Savings by Staging Guide. Interested in a Boston home staging company? Call us at 781-489-8489 and we can answer any questions you may have.
Home staging is the secret to getting the most profit out of selling your homeAre you planning on selling your home? Have you wondered about home staging and if the cost of staging is really worth the outlay? Our statistics show that our home staging service pays for itself many times over! See our blog post, Home Staging Statistics 2014 for details concerning our 2014 statistics.In the infographic below, based on our 2014 home staging statistics, you can see the amount of money that can be saved as a result of home staging a $500,000 home:The infographic shows that our professional home staging service will help sell homes 78% faster and for 12% more money on average than unstaged homes. These figures demonstrate that a staged home with a market value of $500,000 will sell at its asking price in 33 days.The cost of staging for our most popular home staging package is always less than 1% of the value of the home. In most cases, the cost of staging is a good deal less than 1%. We base our pricing on the amount of time we expect will go into choosing inventory, the amount of inventory, packing that inventory, staging and destaging the home. If rental furniture is needed, that cost is added in as well. If our cost to stage calculates to be more than 1% of the home, we will stage only the key parts of the home to keep the cost under 1% for our Get It Sold package. Assuming that this home has a monthly carrying cost of $2500 and home staging costs .99% of the market value ($4950) the infographic shows the same home when staged and unstaged.The staged home is under contract for full asking price, $500,000, in 33 days. The owner spent roughly $2,750 on carrying costs (mortgage, taxes, and utilities) for the time the home was on the market and the cost of staging was $4,950, which totaled $7,670. Excluding any fees the homeowner paid to a real estate agency, the homeowner had received a net profit of $492,550 before paying off any mortgage that is owed on the home.The unstaged home is under contract for 88% of asking price, $440,000, in 147 days. The owner spent roughly $2,500 on carrying costs (mortgage, taxes, and utilities) each month for the nearly five months the home was on the market, which totaled $12,250. Excluding any fees the homeowner paid to a real estate agency, the homeowner had received a net profit of $367,750 before paying off any mortgage that is owed on the home. Let's extend the example out farther, and assume the home owner is paying the real estate brokerage a 6% commission ($30,000 for the staged home and $26,400 for the unstaged home), and there is a mortgage of $350,000 owed on the home. The home owner who pays the cost of staging will net $112,330 while the homeowner who chooses not to stage will net $63,600.The emotional and financial stress of having your home on the market can be very difficult for some people. For example, the home owners may have already purchased their next home, and the financial burden of carrying two mortgages could be very nerve-racking. For some people, the strain of keeping the home neat and clean during the "showing phase" of the home being on the market is inconvenient and in many cases quite stressful, especially if the homeowner has children or pets.Staging your home for sale will help you sell it faster, and for more money than if you didn't stage. The cost of staging is an investment that will pay for itself many times over!Download our free Savings by Staging worksheet to learn how much money our home staging service can help you save. If you would you like to know what the cost of staging your home would be, call us at 781-489-8489 to schedule a FREE in home consultation to learn how we can help you maximize your biggest investment!
Clean and neutral is not enough to elicit an emotional response from potential buyersAs professional home stagers, we see all styles of homes in all conditions – from brand new builds to cluttered and outdated homes. Many times, Realtors® send us in to meet clients whose homes are in complete disarray. Of course we can help these clients, and the transformations are dramatic! But we have found that many people are under the impression that homes that are neat and clean do not need to be staged. However, there is one key reason professionally staged homes sell faster than clean and neutral homes that you don't want to overlook.At Buyers Desire Home Staging, Inc., we believe that home staging isn't just cleaning, updating, and decorating – although these are certainly components to home staging. Professionally staged homes will elicit strong, positive emotional reactions in potential buyers. A clean and neutral home will not emotionally engage the buyer.When we are contracted to stage, we look closely at the condition of the home and create a Home Preparation Plan that lists the items in need of repair, updates, and decluttering. Most homes need a fair amount of preparation. However, some homes need almost no preparation before we come in to stage. It is these homes, the homes that "look nice", that Realtors and homeowners may think don't need home staging. When a home is clean, decluttered, neutral, and has a good furniture layout, it does not mean it's ready to go on the market. Although this home was neat, decluttered, and clean, it still benefited from home staging. After staging it was more appealing to a younger buyer because of the brighter colors and updated artwork. You can see more of the transformation of this home by reading our blog post, Home Staging Success Story: Natick MA.So what do we do to set apart our professionally staged homes from clean and neutral homes?When we put our home staging plan together, we do it with the target buyer in mind. We research the buyer demographic of the location and determine how it applies to the particular property. Then we bring in our inventory items and décor geared towards the most likely buyer, so when they walk in they feel right at home. It is this "layer of beauty" that engages the buyer and starts them imagining a better life they could lead if they purchased the home. We combine this layer of beauty with a strong plan based on where we want the eye to go. We determine the best feature in each room and draw the buyers' eyes to that feature with beautiful décor. We create focal points with artwork, décor, and furniture placement. We then design the rest of the room to enhance the focal point and connect with the buyer. We also set up vignettes throughout the home that give the buyer a picture of how they can function in the home. If there is a breakfast bar, for example, we may set up a coffee press with two mugs and small breakfast plates. Most people can't imagine what isn't there, so we illustrate the function with décor. For example, we staged a home with a large kitchen that was open to the family room and dining room. We placed a bottle of wine, glasses, cheese board and some grapes on the island to plant the seed of entertaining in the buyer's mind. From these props, the buyer could easily imagine having family events and gatherings.As you can see, our professionally staged homes are uniquely customized to create emotion within the buyer. If a home is neat and clean, it may not be enough to excite them to make an offer. It takes a comprehensive home staging plan to ensure the home is designed to appeal to the right buyer. Our statistics from last year show that our professionally staged homes sold 78% faster than the homes we consulted on but didn't stage. (You can read more of our home staging statistics here.) We know how to trigger a positive emotional response within a buyer so they make offers!To download our What Buyers Desire guide, click the link below. To schedule a FREE home staging consultation, call us at 781-489-8489. We'll be happy to meet with you to show you how can help you sell your home faster and for more money.
When Applied in Moderation, Pink is an Elegant Design ChoiceRecently there was a trending story on Facebook about a man who purchased a home that hadn't been lived in since 1956, so the home went virtually untouched since then. You can see pictures of the kitchen by reading Country Living's article "This Retro Kitchen Is a Perfectly Pink Blast FromThe Past". The countertops, cabinets, and appliances are all pink. I could never understand why pink was ever a popular design color of choice. Although some people find it charming, I cringe when I see an all pink tiled bathroom and when my clients are staging their home for sale I always recommend they re-glaze the tiles white.I decided to look into this pink design trend from the 1950s and learned that it came from the first lady, Mamie Eisenhower. Mamie decorated the White House all in pink, and it was coined the "Pink Palace". Women wanted to be her and therefore started decorating their home the way Mamie did – everything in pink. The color pink also became a symbol of patriotism and idyllic lifestyle after World War II.I would not say that pink is a color of choice when staging a home for sale, unless we are talking about a young girl's room. Otherwise, it is rare that we choose to stage with the color pink. However, when done correctly, pink can be a very elegant accent color to use when staging a home for sale.When staging a home for sale we like to ensure that there is a consistent color story throughout the home to keep all the rooms feeling cohesive. This past year we were hired to stage a nice home in Dedham, MA. The family room had a vibrant red sectional that needed to stay in the home while it was on the market (on right). However, we didn't want to bring red accents throughout the house because that would have felt too strong and dramatic for this particular home and target buyer demographic. Therefore, we chose to use pink accents throughout the house to carry a color theme without having to use the color red.For the living room, we chose dramatic reddish pink cherry blossom art and pink pillows on the sofa. This color not only helped carry in the red tones from the room across the hallway, but also added a feminine touch to the dark leather sofa (see below).In the dining room we used coral colored dishware and a white dogwood floral centerpiece that had a touch of pink at the center of each flower. These pink tones added a pop of color to the dark brown walls (see below).In the bedroom, we added just a touch of pink with a bright colored pillow on the bed and artwork with peach and pink tones (see below).Not only did using pink accents look upscale and elegant in this home, but it made sense of the red sectional.Recently we were hired to stage a 450 square foot condo in Boston that had pink walls. Although usually we would recommend to repaint pink walls to a more neutral color, in this case it worked. The buyer demographic showed the most likely buyer would be a single person. Therefore, we played up the pink to make the condo look like a great single lady's pad (see below).While pink isn't always our color of choice when staging a home for sale, when done correctly it can look fun and bright and entice buyers to make offers!To find out how much you can save by staging a home for sale download our free guide, Savings by Staging guide. If you are planning on listing your home for sale we would love to meet with you and explain our home staging service. Call us at 781-489-8489 and we can set up a free consultation.
Read the success story below to find out why the seller had an offer before the home was listed!The Consultation:In September of last year we were called for a free home staging consultation in Shrewsbury, MA. Sadly this was an estate sale. The owner had passed away and his grown daughter was now selling the home. When we met her, she was in the middle of renovating the home and she was thrilled we could give her some advice about the renovations during the meeting.The Home:The small 3 bedroom, one bath ranch was virtually untouched since it was built in 1956. It had hardwood floors that had been covered with wall to wall carpet. The majority of the trim was natural wood, the only bathroom had a green tub and yellow tile, the kitchen cabinets were natural pine and the counter tops were pink Formica. The home owner knew she needed to make updates for the home to be desirable for today's buyer. Her agent estimated the renovated market value at $249,000.Assessment of Buyer Demographic:This was a single family home in a nice neighborhood with new construction. The residents of Shrewsbury are well educated and make about 5% more income than the average resident of Massachusetts. It was important to make this older home attractive to first time home owners, a young family, a single parent, or downsizing buyer.Home Preparation:At the initial free home staging consultation, we chose paint colors for the home. The homeowner had some granite samples, so we helped her choose granite for the kitchen. We also advised her to have the wall to wall carpet removed, have the bathroom tiles and tub reglazed white, purchase a new vanity, and paint all the trim in the home white.Staging DayThe Staging Day was scheduled for a few months after the initial consultation. When we arrived at the home, we were pleased to see that the owner had everything ready; the hardwood floors had been refinished, the walls, trim and kitchen cabinets had been painted, and granite had been installed. But we were surprised to learn that the homeowner was approached with an offer that morning! She wanted to go ahead with home staging, because she knew that a staged home was likely to attract many buyers to the open house and there was a good possibility for multiple offers.Living Room:Like most small homes, the living room was buyers' first impression from the front door. Therefore, it needed to make a statement. At the initial consultation we advised the client to repaint her front door a deep blue-gray color from Benjamin Moore called Knoxville Gray, shown on the right. We wanted to carry this color throughout the home to create a unified look.As buyers entered the home through the front door, they were greeted with a beautiful living room with blue accents, including a blue area rug. The artwork and accent pillows also carried the same blue color. Kitchen:The kitchen was "popped" with blue accents and we continued to carry the same blue color throughout the home. You can see how painting the trim white adds more light to the room and modernizes the home. Master Bedroom:Since ranch styled homes make great homes for downsizers, we wanted to create an elegant looking bedroom. To do this we added silky bedding, beautiful gold mirrors and a swooped arm accent chair. We carried the same blue color in with the Euro pillow shams, accent pillows, lamp shades, and artwork. In the end, the room would appeal to an older or middle aged buyer demographic. Secondary Bedroom:The home owner's father had a baseball lamp (not shown) that became the inspiration piece for this room. We continued the sports theme with the artwork and accent pillow. Fun bedding and a teddy bear completed the look. The buyer's son fell so in love with this room that he asked to keep the baseball lamp!You may notice that the blue color was not incorporated into this room. This is because children's bedrooms usually deviate from the overall style of a home. It is okay to introduce other colors and styles when staging childrens' rooms and this will not affect the overall flow of the home. Bathroom:Since there was only one bathroom in this home it was important it felt modern. Glazing the tiles and tub and adding a new vanity and light fixture were inexpensive and fast updates that made a dramatic difference.We, again, carried the blue color into the bathroom with the shower curtain, which popped against the fresh white tiles. The Result:The agent for the home was so impressed by the finished look of the home that he planned on listing the home $10,000 than his original assessed market value. Before the staging, the offer that came in was for $249,000. After seeing the home staged the woman who made the offer was willing to increase her offer above the increased price (now $259,000) by $3,000 to prevent the home from going on the market. She presented the home owner with an offer of $262,000. Our client agreed to the offer and the home was sold before even going on the market!To find out what buyers are looking for when house hunting, download our free guide, What Buyers Desire. If you are planning on listing your home for sale we would love to meet with you and explain our home staging service. Call us at 781-489-8489 and we can set up a free consultation.
Learn how to Home Stage Your Great Room and Make it Look Truly Great When Selling Your Home
Clearly define each "zone":Ensure that the different functions of the room each have a designated area. Do not let them overlap into each other because this can create some confusion for buyers. Defining each zone is critical when home staging a great room.
Declutter each space:Remove everything that doesn't add to the presentation of the room. Buyers want to see the function of the room without your clutter distracting them.
Create attractive storage solutions:If you have a zone designated for children to play, and it is not practical to take the toys away while your home is on the market, keep the toys to a bare minimum when home staging a great room. If you can purchase good looking storage to keep toys organized and hidden away, even better. However, please do not buy plastic bins. They just look messy and announce to the buyers that you do not have enough storage. A storage bench like this one from One Kings Lane is an example of a beautiful storage solution. If your children "need" more toys to play with than fit in your storage bench, keep a plastic tub of toys in the garage, attic, or closet that you can switch out once a week or so to keep them from being bored. When you rotate toys, children generally tend to be excited when the toys that were stored away come back.
Highlight the entertainment area:Most great rooms have an entertainment area. When home staging a great room, be sure it isn't cluttered by toys, laptops or evidence of eating meals in front of the TV. The entertainment area should be for entertainment only. Many of us use our laptops in front of the TV, but if a laptop is left out, a buyer will feel that there is no space for an office in the home. If a TV tray-table is out, or dishes are left on the coffee table, a buyer may feel that the home doesn't offer a practical dining solution.
Add colorful accents:If the accent pillows on your sectional or sofa are tired, invest in new ones. A key factor in home staging a great room is to choose colors that add interest. Repeat colors that you have accented throughout your home or choose a contrasting color if your home is relatively neutral. Be sure the color is not the same color as your sofa or sectional. The pillows should add a pop of color, not blend in.
Show a casual eating space:
If your home has a dining area in its great room, as many homes do, be sure it does not compete with your formal dining room, if you have one. The dining area in your great room should feel casual and relaxed. If you set the table, it should not be heavily done – no tapered candles, no overly large centerpieces, and no fancy chandeliers! Leave those items for the formal dining room. If this is the only dining area in your home, you can "up" the style in your great room dining area, but don't make it too fancy as it will feel out of place.
If you have a breakfast bar in your great room, this is a great place to add some color! You can pick up the color from the accent pillows on the sofa and find cloth napkins in that color and add them to a light place setting. When we say light place setting, we mean use placemats instead of chargers, and consider using coffee cups instead of stemmed glassware. The breakfast bar will show as a cozy place to enjoy morning coffee.Knowing how to home stage a great room and and taking the time to go through these steps will ensure that your great room shows as a truly great room!You may want to download our Moving Check List to help you plan your move.If you'd like to schedule a free home staging consultation, call us at 781-489-8489 to learn how to home stage your home to entice buyers to make offers.
Why Staging a Vacant Home is So ImportantWe have been staging homes for quite a few years now, and we are delighted to see an increase in the number of vacant homes that we've consulted on. In past years, 34% of the homes we staged were vacant. So far this year, 66% of the homes we've consulted on are vacant, and 85% of the homes we've staged this year have been vacant. As home staging grows in popularity due to TV channels like HGTV and DIY, home owners are realizing the importance of staging their homes, and now staging a vacant home is starting to become more popular. When we launched our home staging company in 2011, we found some resistance from owners to staging a vacant home. The owners typically felt that buyers would walk in and understand how to set up the home, and fall in love with it because of the character. The main reason we were called in to meet the owners was because the Realtors® wanted us to stage the property. Realtors know what sells homes, and almost all agree that home staging helps homes sell faster and for more money. You can read the latest report on home staging from the National Association of Realtors here. According to this report, "Thirty-two percent of buyers' agents believe staged homes increase the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by one percent to five percent."In our experience, new builds and remodels were rarely staged a few years ago because contractors felt their craftsmanship would be enough to engage the buyer. This is how it had always been – until recently. Nowadays, buyers are busy people working long hours, and they want to walk into a home and know exactly how they will be able to live there. Not only do they want to understand the furniture placement, but they want to feel it will work for their specific needs. This is why staging a vacant home is so important. Staging a vacant home shows buyers the lifestyle they can have if they buy the home. Eliciting a positive emotional response from a buyer is the key to making the sale. The condo featured in this blog had been on the market, vacant, in the North End of Boston for about 6 months. It is in a very desirable area, just a few blocks from Boston Harbor. It was very large by neighborhood standards, and priced well. However, it didn't sell until we staged it. Staging a vacant home is the key to engaging a buyer.When a home is vacant there is not much to hold a buyer's attention. They tend to focus on any flaws that may be present. Even a scuff on the paint can turn buyers off. Only 10% of people can envision the potential of a home, the other 90% will move on to the next house. According to a HomeGain survey, buyers stay in a vacant home for 5 minutes, but linger in a staged home for 40 minutes. The longer they stay in the home, the higher the probability they will make an offer. Can you imagine making an offer on a home you saw for 5 minutes? Neither can we!At Buyers Desire Home Staging, we research the buyer demographic for the cities and towns we stage in. We look at things like the average family size, education level, income level, and then interpret that data as it applies to the individual home we are staging. We then use that data to stage the home so it appeals to the most likely buyer. We do not believe in staging to the masses. This is the philosophy of some home stagers, but we don't agree with it. When staging a vacant home, it is critical to show the buyer a lifestyle that they aspire to live. Although a buyer is purchasing the building, it's the lifestyle portrayed through staging that makes them envision it as a home, and seals the deal.If you'd like to read more about our home staging process, read our blog: Anatomy of Staging a Home for Sale.If you'd like to learn more about home staging, download our free guide What Buyers Desire For more information on staging a vacant home, or to schedule a consultation for your home, either vacant or occupied, call us at 781-489-8489 for a FREE in-home consultation.
When Professional Home Staging is Executed Correctly, Buyers Make OffersAs a professional home staging company, whether or not home staging is an effective marketing tool is always front and center on our mind. If home staging isn't helping our clients sell faster and for more money, then home staging as a profession is pointless. Fortunately, countless statistics and our own personal experience have proven that home staging is indeed an effective marketing tool. Looking at the National Association of Realtors' recent statistics, it shows that professional home staging works. You can read our blog post, Home Staging Statistics 2014, for more information. While overall the NAR report shows positive results for staging, it does state that 1% of agents believed home staging could have a negative effect. Of course, 1% vs. 99% is negligible and not to be too concerned about. However, it did remind us of a conversation we had one day with a Dunkin Donuts worker.One time we were in Dunkin Donuts in Marlboro. We were wearing our matching Buyers Desire Home Staging polo shirts and the girl behind the counter asked what we did for a living. We told her we owned a professional home staging company and she looked a bit taken a back. She said she and her husband were currently house hunting and saw a staged home in Marlboro. Instead of being impressed by the home, they felt that something was wrong with the home and it was staged to distract them. In this case home staging prevented a sale rather than encouraged one.Optimizing the space planning of rooms, establishing focal points, and clearly defining the function of rooms would never negatively affect the sale of the home. So why did the Dunkin Donuts worker feel this way? We can't say for sure because we didn't see the property she was referring to. However, our guess is that the home was overstaged and to the wrong target buyer, creating confusion and distraction rather than enhancing the space.If you were staging a million dollar listing, it may make sense to stage a dining room by setting the table with an elaborate table setting, as you see on the picture above. which was in a dining room of a higher in home in Westford, MA. The type of buyer who can afford a higher end home in Westford is used to luxury, and displaying this in the house was appropriate. However, using this same dining room set up in Marlboro might feel unnatural and cause a negative reaction.
You don't want buyers to think you are trying too hard. If they feel that you staged out of an act of desperation, the staging is viewed negatively. No one wants to feel conned into buying a property. This is why baking cookies, a common selling tactic a few years ago, is now viewed negatively.To prevent overstaging you must know your target buyer. To ensure we are staging to the correct buyer, we conduct an extensive Assessment of Buyer Demographic when we stage a home for sale. This lets us know how to stage the home so the home will feel natural to potential buyers and will elicit a positive reaction.Let's take a look at an example. Below are two photos of office areas we have staged. Although both are clearly office areas, the research of the buyer demographic assisted us with making different style choices.In the photo to the left shows an office set up for the same Westwood home shown above. It was a higher end home with three bedrooms and had 2000 square feet. We identified the most likely buyer as someone between their late thirties to forties, married, and with children. The home needed to have a formal elegance appeal. To achieve this look we brought in a wooden desk, leather chair, and elevated looking lamp and accessories.The office shown on the right was in a small condo in Cambridge, which had two small bedrooms. To get to the unit you had to walk up three flights of stairs. We identified the most likely buyer as a single young adult or young couple. It also was likely this was a dorm alternative. To speak to this buyer we chose playful accessories, brightly colored artwork, and a laptop.How do you ensure that your home is properly staged to appeal to the correct buyer for your home? We would suggest hiring a professional home staging company who bases their staging design plan around the most likely buyer for the home. This way, the staging will feel natural and result in offers, instead of being off-putting.Not sure what to look for in a professional home staging company? Download our guide, Top 10 Most Important Questions to Ask Your Home Staging Company.Call us today at 781-498-8489 to schedule a free in-home home staging consultation.
Fifty Shades of Grey is a Hot New Movie, and the Hot Neutral in Home Staging Paint ColorsBeige is out, grey is in. Grey is the new trend for home staging paint colors. Grey can be light or dark, warm or cool. There are at least fifty shades of grey paint that can transform a lackluster home into a modern, updated, and dramatic space. Choosing the right shade from the more than fifty shades of grey paint colors available will make a beautiful canvas to build a room around.The high end home pictured here had mid-toned grey walls, charcoal grey tile on the fireplace wall, and a deep grey sectional. The black accents added drama to the space and the blue pillows and abstract art in the dining area brought in color. The geometric grey carpet was a beautiful compliment to the warm toned oak floors. This was a high end home, listed at over one million dollars, and after staging, sold more than $100,000 over asking price.Of course, not all homes we stage are at a high price point, like the home above. We also stage homes at the other end of the spectrum, and grey works well there, too. This condo pictured below was at a lower price point, and felt dark and dreary with the beige paint, although it had beautiful floors. Staging the home and using tried-and-true home staging paint colors in light grey blues, one of the many fifty variations of grey paint, throughout the unit made it much more appealing. The condo sold faster and for more money than any other unit in the building's history! This 4,000 s.f. traditional home pictured below also benefited from having some of its walls painted a light grey with warm undertones. This light warm grey color looked beautiful with the white moldings in the home, and fit with the traditional architecture. Using grey paint was a relatively inexpensive way to make this home feel updated. You can see from the "before" photo below, the ceiling had been painted dark blue and the walls a medium value of blue. Painting the ceiling white and the walls a warm grey freshened up the home. Before we staged this home, it had been on the market for almost 9 months without an offer. After painting and staging, it sold in a little more than 2 months. Warm, light grey is just another of the fifty shades of grey that are popular right now and is an excellent choice for home staging paint colors. Fifty shades of grey paint aren't just for your walls. You can also paint cabinets to freshen up the look of your home. We chose colors for the kitchen below. The homeowners didn't want to sell, but wanted to update the look of their kitchen. Grey paint isn't just an excellent choice for home staging paint colors, but for interior redesign as well! Painting the cabinets made the kitchen look brand now. The dark grey island was the stand out in this traditional home. The painter "beefed up" the island by adding corbels and trim, to make it look like custom cabinetry and then painted it a deep grey paint color. The deep grey paint makes the white cabinets look even brighter by comparison, and makes the kitchen feel fresh. It's hard to believe it's the same kitchen! You can read more about this kitchen remodel by reading our blog, Kitchen Remodel in Hopkinton, MA. As you can see, using grey paint can modernize your home. There are at least fifty shades of grey to bring your updating fantasies to life! Choosing the one that's right for your home may feel daunting, especially when choosing home staging paint colors. We offer color consultations to help you make the right decision. We will order large swatches at no additional cost for you to so you can be sure you are happy with the color choice before it's painted. If you are staging your home, we will choose the right grey from the more than fifty shades of grey as part of our home staging service.Need grey paint options in a hurry? Benjamin Moore has a list of 30 Shades of Gray for you to choose from.Download the helpful guide "Paint Finish and Color Guide" to learn more about paint.Call us at 781-489-8489 to schedule a color consultation or a FREE in-home staging consultation to get the right home staging paint colors!
Learn the Right Questions to Ask a Prospective RealtorSpring market is coming. There are lots of things you can be doing to prepare your home for market – which you can find in our recent post Prepare Now for Home Staging in the Spring Market. However, there is one important factor you may not have yet considered. Do you have a Realtor®? Don't wait until the last minute to choose the person who will be representing your largest investment. Start interviewing Realtors now. Read on to learn how to choose a Realtor. Realtor.com has a very informative article on this topic called, How to Choose Your Listing Agent. In the article it gives a list of important questions you should ask your prospective Realtor. The full article has many great points to consider.
Knowing how to choose a Realtor requires asking the right questions.Here are a few questions that we believe will help you choose the right Realtor.Will your Realtor hold a broker open house?A broker open house is when brokers and agents will tour your home when it first goes on the market, before the public open house. This increases the chance you will find the right buyer. As agents see your home, they may think of a buyer client they want to bring back to the house. A dynamic Realtor, home staging and professional photography got lots of buyers to this home, and it sold shortly after staging.Will your agent contribute to a portion of the home stagingMost agents realize that home staging helps sell homes faster and for more money. Therefore, they will contribute towards the cost. Many will reimburse the agreed upon portion at closing, instead of contributing up-front. Does your agent use a professional photographer?This can have a big impact on the attention your home will receive online. Most Realtors know that professional photos make a home look even more appealing online, so they will hire a professional photographer. How experienced is the agent?Many people think that only an agent with many years of experience can be trusted to sell their home. While we agree – in theory – there are some important things to consider about a younger agent:
- All newer agents we have encountered have a mentor: an experienced agent in their firm who takes the new agent under their wing and guides them through all aspects of the process. If this agent is new to real estate, ask if they have a mentor. How involved will the mentor be? Will the mentor assist with pricing and marketing of your home?
- Most younger agents may be more well versed in the use of social media and will use it to market your property. Does this potential agent use social media to promote their listings?
A look at the National Association of Realtors’® home staging statistics 2014Our Home Staging Statistics 2014 are in and they show that home staging works! We just completed our home staging statistics for 2014 and were amazed by the difference in the average time on market and sales-to-list price when comparing the homes we staged with the home we consulted on but the owners chose not to stage. You can see the results by viewing our Home Staging Statistics 2014.It isn't just our statistics that show that staging leads to favorable results. The National Association of Realtors® surveyed 2300 agents and came out with a 2015 Profile of Home Staging. Let's take a look at their key findings and how they relate to our home staging statistics 2014.Among REALTORS® who typically represent the buyer, 49 percent report most buyers are affected by home staging and 47 percent report some buyers are affected by home staging.
Buyers' agents know what buyers are looking for since they are with them for all the home viewings and hear their commentary. Only 4% of the 2300 agents asked thought that home staging didn't affect buyers' decision. That means 96% of agents felt that staging made a positive impact on buyers. This would explain why our home staging statistics 2014 showed that the clients who staged with us sold their homes 78% faster than the homes we consulted on but the owners chose not to stage.Among sellers' agents, 34 percent stage all homes, 13 percent stage difficult homes to sell, and four percent stage only high price bracket homes.
The number of agents who recommend staging is anticipated to increase as staging becomes more popular and expected. While it is very helpful to stage difficult homes, we have seen the biggest staging return-on-investment with home that are already desirable. One client of ours had a million+ home and his agent said there was no need to stage the home. However, the home owner strongly believed in home staging and hired us. His home ended up selling $95,000 over asking price and much higher than the agent anticipated.Thirty-two percent of buyers' agents believe home staging increases the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by one percent to five percent.
Our home staging statistics 2014 showed that the homes we staged sold for an average of 100% of their original sales price. The unstaged homes on average sold for 88% of their original asking price. Why is this? Home staging increases the perceived value of the home, thus making it worth more money in buyers' eyes. Market value simply means the price people would be willing to pay and what the market can bear. Because market value is always changing and is somewhat arbitrary, most homes have a range of market value. Once staged, the home can usually be priced towards the higher end of the market value range and buyers will be willing to pay that amount.Rooms most likely to be staged, ranked by importance, are living room, kitchen, master bedroom, dining room, bathroom, children's bedroom, and guest room.
When a home is occupied we stage all of the rooms, however, in a vacant home we usually only stage the main living areas, bathrooms, and master bedroom – leaving the secondary bedrooms empty. This saves the client money and we have found does not affect the buyer's decision.For buyers it is easier to visualize the property as a future home (81 percent), buyers are more willing to walk through a home they viewed online (46 percent), will positively impact the value of the home if it is decorated to the buyers' tastes (45 percent), and buyers are more willing to overlook other property faults (28 percent)
We strongly believe that homes must be staged for the most likely buyer of the home so that it reflects the design style they find appealing. A staged home works best when it feels like home to the buyer. Failing to identify the most likely buyer may have a detrimental effect. For example, staging a home in Sudbury, MA with a very contemporary flare may confuse the buyer who is used to a more transitional design aesthetic. This may make them dislike the home simply by how it is being portrayed.In conclusion, home staging will positively impact a buyer's decision to make an offer and how much they offer. If you are selling your home, don't you want to ensure you are doing everything possible to entice buyers to purchase your home?Based on our home staging statistics 2014 we have created a Savings by Staging guide to help you see how much you could make/save by staging with Buyers Desire Home Staging. Call us today at 781-489-8489 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free home staging consultation to learn how we can help you achieve your home selling goals.
Helpful Tips You Can Implement Now to Help You Get Ready for the Rush of Spring MarketAlthough "the weather outside is frightful", the spring market in real estate is just around the corner. While you may not be able to work on the curb appeal of your home right now, there are things you can do on the interior of your home to prepare for home staging in the spring market. At Buyers Desire Home Staging, we are happy to come out to see your home and give you an estimate for home staging. If you decide to hire us for home staging in the spring market, we can write you a Home Preparation Plan now so you can be working on items that are specific to your home. This ensures that when you are ready to list, your home is ready to stage.Below are some tips to help you get ready:1. Start packing now!Pack out of season clothes, and donate the clothing that you no longer want. The same goes for the clutter in the basement and garage. The more you have packed, the easier it will be to show your home and the easier it will be to move when the time comes. If you have "too much stuff", consider renting a storage unit right before you list. Investigate storage facilities now to find out pricing, and hours of operation. Some have limited hours of operation, which may interfere with your move. You will also want to find out what storage sizes are available. There's no better time to pack for your move than the present. You can read more on the subject in our blog, Staging to Sell Your Home? Closets Matter.2. Look around your home and think of the furniture flow.Is there too much furniture in the space? Be sure that doorways are clear and the furniture is set up for easy traffic flow. Buyers need to be able to walk comfortably through the home. A general rule of home staging is that the furniture used in a conversation area (sofa and two chairs, for example) should not be more than eight feet from each other. There should also be at least three feet of space around your dining table. If your buffet impedes the easy flow of movement, place it in storage.3. Assess your window treatments.Are they old, dark, or ornate? If they were custom made with cornices or swagged valences, they should most likely be taken down. Another rule of thumb is if they are more than five years old, they should probably be removed. If you aren't prepared to live without curtains, you can hang simple panels or sheers for privacy.4. Have a good look at your paint.Is it making your home feel dark? Is it marked up from the wear and tear of daily life? If there are scuffs, but the paint is a light neutral color and in good condition otherwise, you can wash off the scuffs with Magic Eraser. If you have us come in for a home staging consultation, we will pick paint colors for you, if needed.5. Review the lighting in your home.Outdated lighting makes buyers think that your entire electrical system is out of date. If you have updated fixtures and outlets, they will assume that the electrical service in the home has been updated, too. Updated light fixtures also make buyers feel that you take good care of the home. Update lighting now before home staging in the spring market, when electricians tend to be busier.6. Get a pre-sale home inspection.Address any issues found at inspection to prevent any potential problems that may impede your sale. Fixing problems now, before a potential buyer finds them, will make you money in the long run. If there are problems that you are not willing or can't afford to fix, have a contractor give you an estimate on the cost of the repair. You should disclose any issues to the buyer. That way you diffuse any hard feelings the buyer may have after the home is inspected and the issue is uncovered. You can also use the estimate you received from the contractor as a negotiation tool, because buyers generally over estimate the cost of repairs. You can read more in our blog, Reasons to Have a Home Inspection When Preparing to Sell Your Home.7. Interview Realtors® to see who is the best fit for you.Hiring a Realtor is different for everyone. Sometimes you "click" with the first agent you interview, and sometimes you have to look for a while to find the right agent. If you don't know any Realtors, we can recommend a great agent in your area.Getting the interior of your home prepared for home staging in the spring market now will save you stress later. Once the inside of your home is ready for staging, you'll only need to be concerned with the exterior of your home when the winter weather is over. Look for a post on curb appeal coming soon!Download our free guide Are You Ready to List Your Home for Sale to see if you are ready emotionally and financially to move forward with selling your home.Are you interested in home staging for the spring market? Call us for a free home staging consultation at 781-489-8489.
In 2014, on average the homes we staged sold 78% faster and for 12% more than homes we consulted on but the sellers chose not to stage with us. If you are selling a home worth $400,000 – that is an additional $48,000 in your pocket!
Of the home sellers who chose to stage with us:
- 53% received asking price or more
- $17,400 was the average amount over asking
- 89% were under agreement in 60 days or less
- 50% were under agreement in 30 days or less
- 40% were under agreement after the first open house
- 366% was the average return-on-investment for our service
When compared to homes that we consulted on but the sellers chose not to stage with us, our clients:
- Were 10 times more likely to receive asking price or more (all the unstaged homes sold for under asking price)
- Sold 78% faster -Were on the market an average of 33 days (staged) vs. 147 days (unstaged)
- Sold for 12% more - Made an average of 100% sales-to-list price (staged) vs. 88% (unstaged)
Example of a staged home vs. an unstaged home
In 2014, we staged a town house in Wakefield, MA. The owners had purchased the home one year earlier, but needed to relocate for a job transfer. When they purchased the home in 2013 it was unstaged but when they listed in 2014 they hired us to stage the home.
Below you can see the outcome of each sale – which occurred only a year apart.
|2013 (unstaged)||2014 (staged)|
|Difference from Sales to List Price||-9,900||+10,000|
|Days to Accepted Offer||25||3|
Because the home owners had purchased the home for $380,000, they were afraid to list the home higher, since it had undergone a price reduction before they purchased the home in 2013.
The home was staged and put on the market. They received three offers at the first open house and sold for $10,000 over asking! It also sold faster than it did the previous year. In 2013 the home only sold once it was reduced in price and it stayed on the market 22 days longer.
Below you can see MLS photo comparison of the home unstaged and staged.
|UNSTAGED MLS Photos from 2013||STAGED MLS Photos from 2014|
Bottom line: People are willing to pay more for homes that look bright, clean, and stylish. Staging is an investment in your home that has a high return-on-investment. The question isn't, "Can I afford to stage my home?" it is "Can I afford NOT to stage my home?"
Call us for a FREE consultation to learn how we can help you sell your home 78% faster and for 12% more!
Budget Friendly Home Staging Ideas for Maximum Impact!Home staging doesn't have to be expensive. If you are on a budget, there are things you can do to dramatically improve the look of your home without breaking the bank. In this blog we will look how home staging on a budget can transform a living room on a $20 budget, $100 budget, $200 budget, or $300 budget.Below is a picture I took straight from an MLS listing in Marlborough, MA. The listing price of the home is $249,900. With such a low price point, many sellers and agents might say it isn't worth investing in home staging. This is an unfortunate assumption because improving the look of the home could help the home sell at asking price or over, instead of having to take a price reduction and sell for much less than asking. Home staging can help any home at any price point.Let's imagine that you are planning on putting your home on the market and you are unfortunately under water in your home and need to sell. This is a situation where it might not make sense to spend a lot of money on home staging. However, that doesn't mean you should just list your home as is without any thought into how it is being presented. Making even minor adjustments can dramatically improve the look of the home, which you will see with the follow home staging on a budget solutions.The first step is to take a picture of your space. Seeing the space in picture form allows you to view it more objectively. It also gives you a glimpse of what potential buyers would see as an online representation of your home in the MLS photos.Right away from this picture you can see the room looks very dark and unwelcoming. This is the biggest issue of concern, but luckily it can be fixed pretty easily, even when home staging on a budget.
No cost/ $20 Solution: Lighten Up!To immediately transform the room the curtain panels must be opened, which will instantly let natural light in. This is the simplest home staging on a budget trick of all – just let in the light! Buyers love to see brightly lit rooms so wash your windows as well to let as much light in as possible. If you have a privacy or view issues, letting the light in is better than closing the curtains completely. However, if you can, change the curtain panels out for inexpensive white sheers that let light in but block the view. You can find panels for $5 at Christmas Tree Shop.The next thing to do is to remove the floral patterned pillows and blue throw from the sofas. If you have at least $20 to invest in home staging, purchase a 4 ft. floor plant and place it by the fireplace to brighten it up and add life to the space. You can purchase good looking floor plants at Lowes or Ikea. If you don't have a green thumb, try to keep the plant alive just long enough to sell the home. A fake plant is another great solution, but will cost about twice the price.With the curtain panels opened the room now feels much brighter and more welcoming. If you have to stop here that is okay, however, if you aren't under water with your home and have a bit more to spend, the room can be improved from here.
$100 Solution: ModernizeBecause the sofas are overstuffed dark leather, they feel heavy and overly masculine. Since we are home staging on a budget it would be too expensive in this case to remove the furniture and rent new lighter colored sofas. Therefore, the easiest thing to do would be to remove the black curtains for bright and modern curtain panels. You can find inexpensive curtain panels at Target for about $20/panel. It is also beneficial to raise the rods up about 6 inches above the top of the window molding. This instantly adds height and drama to the space.This room now feels a lot brighter as well as updated and the balance of masculine and feminine is better. However, the sofas still feel like black holes in the room, the picture on the wall feels outdated and the coffee table is lacking. If you have a bit more to spend it would be ideal to add some décor items.
$200 Solution: Add DécorWhile most people think to go to Home Goods when looking for décor, if you are home staging on a budget a great place to start looking is at Burlington Coat Factory. They have a large selection of décor that is often priced less than Home Goods!To break up the sofas, purchase some bright pillows that coordinate with the curtain panels. You should purchase two per sofa and one for the chair. These can be purchased for about $10/pillow at Burlington Coat Factory. The new artwork is better than what was originally there because it larger in scale and the white mat and light colored frame adds additional light to the space. Lastly, a fake orchid for the coffee table can be purchased for around $12 and adds some much needed interest.The room looks great now and it would be okay to stop here. However, if you had a bit more to spend the room could truly be transformed.
$300 Solution: Address the Floor and CeilingPeople often forget about the ceiling and the floor when decorating a room, but they are just as important to the overall look of the space. While it is a good idea to show off the hardwood floors since they are a great selling feature, this space would look much better and brighter with an ivory colored rug to reflect more light and ground the seating area. Again, a great place to look for a rug is at Burlington Coat Factory. A 5'x7' rug can be purchased for around $80, which is a great deal, especially when home staging on a budget.Replacing the light fixture with a modern semi-flush light fixture in brushed nickel would elevate the space but would cost about $120 more for the fixture and labor to install it. The most inexpensive solution would be to remove the fan blade and spray paint them in an espresso color. This would instantly update the light fixture and the entire room.There you have it - a completely transformed living room for only $300. This living room would look great in the MLS photos and in person, which is a winning combination to sell your home quickly and for more money!Remember, the money you put into home staging is an investment, not an expense. To find out what you could save/make from home staging, download our Savings by Staging guide.If you are home staging on a budget but need some help just let us know. We offer three home staging packages to accommodate every budget and need. Call us today at 781-489-8489.
Read the success story below to find out how sellers who didn't believe if home staging would make a difference, ended up making $10,000 over asking price!
The Consultation:In October of last year we were referred by a Redfin agent to meet with her seller clients who lived in Wakefield, MA for a free home staging consultation. Although they were skeptical that home staging was necessary for their home, they agreed to meet with us to learn more. At the consultation we learned that the couple and their small child were relocating to Chicago for a job transfer and to be closer to family. The home owners had only lived there a year before the new job opportunity became available, and they remembered that when they were looking for homes this one stood out as the best quality for their price point. Because of this, they were unsure it was necessary to invest money into staging when the home already had many desirable features.
The Home:The 1750 square foot, 3 bedroom and 3 bath townhome is on a quiet street in Wakefield, MA but close to transportation. The home was built in 2004 and had an open concept feel, hardwood floors throughout the first floor, large sized rooms, and modern finishes. Although it was a condominium, it didn't require a condo fee. All around it was a great single family alternative.After our walkthrough of the home, it was clear that the home had many amenities that buyers would be thrilled about. However, the home wasn't showing up to its full potential.
Assessment of Buyer Demographic:This home was a condominium but had the feeling of a single family home, which makes it a desirable property. Typically, young couples or people downsizing are looking for condominiums. Since the couple had a small child and needed the bedroom to stay a nursery, we could not change this. However, to appeal to young couple and people downsizing, it was clear all baby related items (aside from the nursery) needed to be hidden away. We also needed to add a modern, updated feel to the home to entice buyers.
Home Preparation:A seven page customized Home Preparation Plan was emailed to the homeowners that detailed all the items that needed to be completed prior to our Staging Day. It advised the homeowner to remove all the children's toys from the living room, a few issues to repair, and painting the master bedroom and bathroom.When we saw the home, the master bedroom was painted in a strong blue color, and the master bathroom was painted purple. Buyers are looking for a move-in ready home and we knew this might be a reservation buyers would have to making a full price offer. To save money, we chose paint colors that were similar to the existing colors, but just toned down and more neutral. This way the painter would only need to do one coat and save on labor cost.
Staging Day:The Staging Day was scheduled for a day before the professional photographer was to come to the home to take MLS photos. We brought in some furniture pieces, art, accessories, bedding, towels, greenery and florals. Keep reading to see how it all came together.
Living Room:The living room was buyer's first impression from the front door so it needed to show well. Since having a baby, the clients had been using their living room as a play room. The furniture was pushed up against the wall to create a play area in the middle of the room, and a large toy bookcase was in the room.To stage this room we moved the TV and stand to the middle of the wall (it was previously in the corner of the room). We pulled the sofa away from the wall by a foot or so, and placed two slipper chairs opposite the sofa. The clients brought up their coffee table that had been being stored in the basement. We brought in a new rug to bring more light into the room. Accessories, artwork, accent pillows, and a floor plant finished off the room.
Dining Room:Our clients had been using the dining room as an office and catch-all room. This would have confused buyers as to the true function of the room, and wasn't very attractive.To stage the room we brought in a dining room table and four chairs from our inventory. The table was set to add color and interest. A book case that was originally in the kitchen eating area was moved to this room to act as a buffet. Mirror and art (not shown) were added to the walls and the client's tall sticks softened the corner. Now there is a clear function to the room and the décor adds much needed style.
Kitchen:The home owner had placed baby proof latches on every cabinet in the kitchen to keep her small child away from any potentially dangerous chemicals or items. In the Home Prep Plan, we advised her to remove anything that might be dangerous and to remove the latches. We also advised her to remove everything from the countertops, except the coffee maker and toaster oven, and top and sides of refrigerator. This gave us a clean slate to work with.This kitchen was an easy transformation. We set up a cookbook by the oven and an orange orchid by the sink to carry a consistent color scheme throughout the first floor. Matching dishes to the dining room table were set up on the bar to make buyers notice this bonus eating space.
Master Bedroom:The home owners had beautiful furniture in their bedroom but the furniture arrangement was a bit awkward. We advised the clients to move the tall dresser on the opposite wall (not shown), which helped lighten up the room and make it feel more spacious. They also removed all the clutter and TV from the room. To stage the master bedroom, we added matching lamps on both night stands, dramatic blue art over the bed, coordinating accent pillows, and bright, white comforter. Accessories and florals on the night stand and dressers completed the look.
Guest Bedroom:This guest bedroom had all the makings of a guest bedroom – bed, night stands, dresser. However, it was being used as a catch-all room and was in a state of upheaval when we first saw it. We advised the home owners to remove all the laundry and oversized night stands. We brought in two smaller matching accent tables to act as nightstands, added bright bedding and pillows, and a mirror over the dresser. Matching lamps, florals, and artwork brought the room together. Now it looks like a fun guest bedroom or a stylish teenager's room.
The Result:The home owner was home while we were staging and was delighted while watching the transformation. During the staging she excitedly called her husband and said, "The staging looks so amazing we are going to make so much money!" Well, she was correct, the home was listed and received three offers at the first open house and made $10,000 over asking price!
Testimonial from this home seller:"Would it be overselling Buyers Desire Home Staging if I told you they were magicians capable of turning an ordinary home into nothing less than an extraordinary home that puts Martha Stewart's to shame? No, it wouldn't! First of all, Linda and Tiffany are both absolutely lovely people that are a joy to work with. Secondly, they are so gifted at what they do. They made our home look absolutely fantastic, so much so that we almost didn't want to sell it after they did their magic. But, a job halfway across the country close to family was too big of a pull, so we proceeded with the home selling process. We had an extraordinary amount of interest in our home. We received multiple offers and sold it immediately after it went on the market for over asking price! Buyers Desire Home Staging is completely worth the investment (which was extremely reasonable and affordable in my humble opinion) and you are very likely to make back the money you spend with them many times over. Highly, highly recommended!!!"You can see this review and more at: Redfin Open BookIf you'd like to know how much you could potentially make/save by home staging, download our Savings by Staging Guide. Interested in having your home staged? Call us at 781-489-8489 and we can answer any questions you may have.
Staging a Home for Sale May be More Involved Than You Think!Because we are professional home stagers who are always meeting homeowners and real estate agents, we are often asked many questions about staging a home for sale, such as:
- "How do you decide how to style the house?"
- "How do you decide which colors to use?"
- "Where do you get the inventory?"
1. ConsultationWhen we are first called to meet a potential client we schedule an appointment. Then meet with them to understand their needs and explain what home staging is and how we work as home stagers. We then tour the home and take measurements and photos. We also look for repair issues that might deter a sale.The consultation generally takes about an hour.
2. Writing the proposalWhen we write a proposal, the first step is to go over the photos we took at the home. We then discuss what furniture will be needed (if any), and we estimate the price of that furniture. We then estimate the time it will take us to research the buyer demographic for the area, pick the exact furniture pieces, plan which décor items to bring and then pack and load these items.Writing the proposal generally takes about hour.
3. Research of the Buyer DemographicWhen the proposal has been accepted, we begin researching the buyer demographic. We thoroughly believe in staging a home to appeal to the most likely buyer for your home. We research census data and other sites to find out the demographics of the people who live in the town. We look for answers to the following:
- Marital status
- Education level
- Median income
- Number of children
- Ages of children
- Commute time
- Do they work from home
- School ratings
4. Writing a Home Preparation PlanThere is much more to staging a home for sale than making it pretty. We look through the photos we took at the house and write a Home Preparation Plan for the homeowner that lists all the things we want removed, decluttered, repaired and updated before we come to stage the home. This comprehensive report also includes links to recommended purchases and a list of trusted vendors that can help them get the tasks completed.This report takes about 3 hours to write.
5. Formulating a Design PlanOnce we have determined who the most likely buyer is for your home, we discuss what style will most likely make them feel comfortable. We strive to show them a home that they will feel is a "step up" from the lifestyle they currently have – even if they may be downsizing.When staging a home for sale, it is critical to determine the most optimum furniture layout for each room, taking into consideration what the focal point of the room should be, the architecture, and traffic flow of each space. From this determination, coupled with the conclusion of the buyer demographic, we choose the furniture in the appropriate style and scale for the home. If there are colors in the home that can be highlighted, we will build our design scheme around those colors. In the first photo above, the room is neutral, but the front door is a beautiful Paprika color. So, we brought that color into the living room, and used it in smaller doses throughout the home, to unify the space.A large part of formulating our design plan is to choose items from our inventory, or shopping for items that we want for the home but do not have. We have a large warehouse of décor items, and an inventory system that lets us know exactly what is in stock. From our computers we will choose the décor items to incorporate into our home staging design plan. We go through photos of every room along with our furniture list to determine which accent pillows, décor items, faux plants, lamps, artwork, etc. should be brought into each room and where they should be placed. We consider every surface in the home to determine placement of décor. We ask questions like:
- What is the lighting situation in the room?
- Is there a fireplace with a mantle?
- What is the height between the mantle and the ceiling?
- What is the width between the windows, and do we need to place art or furniture there?
- What should go on the coffee table – are there side tables? If so, what is their purpose? Do they need lamps?
- How many towel bars are in the bathrooms?
6. Packing it upOnce décor is chosen, we drive to our warehouse in Acton, Massachusetts and pull it from our shelves and pack it up. We pack items by room, and the bins are labeled accordingly. This makes the staging day more efficient. Then we carefully load it in our van.This usually takes about 3 hours.
7. Home Staging DayOnce we arrive to the home we are staging, we unload our van and place our bins of décor in the appropriate room we get right down to business. In the case of a vacant home, we need to wait for the rental company's truck to arrive. Once the truck is at the home, we direct the workmen where to place the furniture. We then get to work arranging decorative pillows and décor, making beds, and hanging artwork. Setting up the home usually goes fairly quickly once the furniture is in place – about 6 hours – because we are so prepared. However, we spend lots of time placing everything so it feels "just right". In many instances, we will place things in a few different locations or arrangements to be sure we are maximizing the space. It is our thoroughness and attention to detail that makes our company special. We realize that just because we planned something doesn't mean that our plan can't be adjusted once we get to the home. We are constantly "tweaking" the design to make it perfect. We frequently get comments from our clients and their real estate agents expressing that they didn't think it would be done so quickly. Staging a home for sale seems to be a relatively quick process, but in actuality, there were many hours behind the scenes that the homeowner and agent don't see.Staging usually takes between 4-8 hours, depending on the size of the home.
8. DestagingDestaging your home after you've found a buyer is a relatively quick process. It can usually be done in about 2 hours. If we have to wait for furniture to be picked up, of course it can take longer. Once everything is packed up, we drive it back to our warehouse where we check every item back in to our inventory, steam clean all soft goods and put away all decor items. This takes about another 2 hours.Destaging, in total, takes about 4 hours.
In ConclusionSo you see, staging a home for sale is not as quick a process as you may think. We meet with our clients and tour the home, write a well thought out proposal, plan the design, select furniture and décor, and then stage the home. When the time comes, we destage the home, pack up the décor, and clean it and put it back into our warehouse. We put in about 25 hours on average into each home we stage – and that's with a minimum of 2 people – working on most facets of each project. So, in total, about 50 man-hours have gone in to staging your home (not including driving time). Phew! It's a good thing we love what we do, and get a thrill out of helping our clients sell quickly and for top dollar! Home staging is much more than a business to us. Home staging is our passion!Download our FREE guide "10 Most Important Questions to Ask a Home Staging Company" for more information about what to look for in a home staging company. Call us at 781-489-8489 for a FREE in-home consultation to learn how we can help you sell your home faster and for more money!
This Easy to Apply, Easy to Remove Wallpaper Adds Drama to Any Space!Wallpaper has made a comeback over the last few years. Many designers are using it, and it has been a big favorite on television shows such as Property Brothers, Flip or Flop, Income Property, and many others. In the new style of application for redesign and home staging, wallpaper is used as an accent. Use it to draw attention to interesting architectural features, such as a fireplace or dormer window. It is not used to cover the entire room, as in older applications.Wallpaper is not usually desired by home buyers. So, when using it for home staging purposes, trust your home stager to advise you on the proper usage. If your home stager advises the use of wallpaper, use the new, removable kind. Be sure you let your Realtor know the wallpaper is easily removable so they can alert potential buyers, and it won't hinder your sale.Removable wallpaper is a great alternative to traditional types of wallpaper. It comes off in seconds without any tools or chemicals, and it's much easier to apply. Removable wall paper can be more expensive than the old fashioned kind that is applied by soaking in water or using paste. The paper we chose was about $30 for 25 square feet. But the savings in time, prep and clean up out-weighs the cost. One $30 roll was just enough to cover the area above the fireplace.Removable wallpaper is especially good when:
- you plan to move in the not too distant future
- you don't want to deal with the expensive installation/removal of wallpaper
- you'd like to try adding an accent wall for redesign or home staging purposes