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Monday, December 27, 2010

Think 'Some' NOT 'None' re: Wall Art and Accessories

I invite you to take a look at my latest project, a semi-detached house located at 58 Fleetview off of Larry Uteck Blvd in Halifax Nova Scotia . I want to thank Christeen Chiasson of Royale Lepage Anchor Realty Al Chiasson Selling Team, for hiring me and for acting as my assistant when I did the hands on staging. While it is romanticized on television, Christeen saw first hand how physically demanding staging can be. I carried out a consult but the owners had not yet decided to move forward with the hands on work when later in the week, two hours before a showing, Christeen asked me if I could prepare the house for a viewing that very day. I raced around town, gathered up needed rentals and with Christeen's help got the job done. Christeen sees staging as an effective marketing tool and so not only paid for the consult but paid for a good portion of the hands on staging and rentals as well. Lucky are her clients for listing with an agent who has their best interest at heart and is marketing their property in the most effective way she can.

Some sellers have too much furniture crowding rooms, others don't have enough to create an inviting living space. The key word here is inviting living space. Buyers know within minutes of entering a property if this will be their chosen home. Without staging, a sterile blank walled vestibule darkened by heavy drapery covering the door and windows would have greeted buyers. Now, light pouring through the sheer covered windows and a piece of wall art allows the entryway to present itself as bright and airy.

This house had a sufficient amount of furniture but absolutely no wall art. Many sellers shy away from hanging wall art because of the holes left in the walls once it is removed. But.... barren walls result in cold uninviting living spaces. Today's buyers purchase homes based upon emotion. It's hard to fall in love with a living space that feels cold and unwelcoming. While I try my best to use a client's wall art, I do have an inventory that I rent to clients who have limited art work or art work that will not appeal to the target market. Alternatively, I can source out and purchase wall art for clients who will make use of it in their new homes.

Some sellers have an overabundance of nic nacs both large and small. Buyers can't help but see the 'stuff' that fills the living space and as a result fail to notice the features the home has to offer. Others have very few accessories. Homes devoid of accessories, like homes lacking in wall art, present themselves as sterile and uninviting. There is a fine balance between over and under accessorizing. This property had too many small accessories concentrated in certain areas of the house but had almost no accessories elsewhere. Decorative pillows, throws, greenery, vases with branches were needed to warm up the living space. Working within an alotted budget, and having less than an hour to quickly gather items from my inventory which is stored in two separate locations , almost all of the accessories in the photos are rentals I provided.

Before you view the following photos I would just like to say, in defense of the sellers, that the 'before pictures' which show a messy floor are not the manner in which they live. The day I arrived to do the consult and take the pictures, they were in the midst of gathering and packing belongings so as to declutter their house. The items on the ledge , however, were displayed this way by the home owners. Not a problem for personal living but when staging, too many items are distracting. The crowded line up of nic nacs draws the attention of buyers away from the room itself.

Without distractions it's spaciousness and brightness are what buyers will focus on.

The feedback has been very positive re:house presentation but over and over again a deterrent has been the condition of the walls. In my consult I recommended that certain areas of the house be painted but the owners chose not to do so. The house was staged in early December and after two weeks of comments by viewers regarding the poor condition of the walls , the owners decided to follow through with my recommendation. Unfortunately 3 weeks of viewings were impacted by walls in need of painting.

Most of todays' buyers not only want but are willing to pay more for move in ready homes. They don't have the time or inclination to improve their new homes. There are 3 main features that buyers look at to determine if a home is move in ready: current flooring, organized storage space and freshly painted walls. This home had current flooring throughout, a very good amount of storage space but did not have freshly painted walls.

Lesson learned: Listen to your stager when she suggests that you paint some or all of your home. Experience tells her this is what buyers are looking for.

You can count on Rave Re:view in Halifax Nova Scotia when you enlist our help to stage or redesign your living space.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

From House To Home

Some houses present themselves as 'houses' and not as homes. Such was the case with the house that I staged last week because it was used as a student rental property rather than as a home for the owner who lives out of country.

Houses are purchased when they invoke feelings of warmth and belonging. This vintage house, located at 2114 Windsor Street in Halifax Nova Scotia, with good sized rooms and architectural features that faded into the clutter and coldness of the space would not have enticed buyers looking for a nest of their own. The owners who had already begun the process of cleaning and repairing and painting their student rental property before contacting me, still had the foresight to call a professionally trained home stager to help them give their property an edge over the competition and to turn their 'house into a home'.

Unable to enter through the front vestibule which was blocked by a huge blue sofa and a giant sized TV, prospective buyers' first impression would have been the back mud/laundry room. Not a way to wow viewers! The extra large entry foyer with its cozy bay window alcove was masked by the over sized living room furniture that read crowded college dorm rather than I want to curl up with a good book and sip my morning tea.

Staging can turn a 'house into a home'.

The hallway made narrower by coats hanging on the wall will enable buyers to 'sale' right down now.

Staging can turn ' house into a home'.

Cluttered and lacking character

Now warm and welcoming

Staging can turn a ' house into a home'.

Open shelving full of food makes buyers feel a kitchen lacks storage space.

Staging can turn a 'house into a home'.

A fireplace in the kitchen-lost amidst the chaos

now beckons buyers.
Staging can turn a ' house into a home'.

Overcrowded with furniture

and a queen sized bed
and darkened by heavy drapery, prospective buyers would not have been able to envision this room's potential. BRIGHT, AIRY, SPACIOUS ROOMS WITH ARCHITECTURAL DETAILING-features that buyers seek out -went unnoticed before the house was staged.

Removing the drapes not only allowed the sunlight to pour in but exposed the once hidden bay windows.

The main floor living space was expanded when the bed was replaced with a sleek futon couch and a family room was created .

A fresh coat of white paint brightened the room and made it feel more spacious.

Staging can turn a 'house into a home'.

With a little editing

And with the addition of some BLING- the upstairs bathroom was transformed.

This house boasts a main floor bathroom- in vintage homes a rare find.

Now sparkling white and newly dressed - it was reborn.

Rave Re:view Home Staging & Redesign can turn any 'house into a home' .

Two days after this property was staged the owners received a conditional offer! Prospective buyers are still welcome to view it by contacting the owner.

You can count on Rave Re:view in Halifax Nova Scotia when you hire us to prepare your property for the real estate market or to help you create a living space that meets your design tastes and lifestyle needs.


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