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Saturday, December 3, 2011

RESA Finalist for Professional Home Stager of the Year

Great news! I'm a finalist for an award given to a Home Stager who has been in business for more than 2 years. RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) is a North American organization that works to strengthen the Home Staging industry. Every year RESA honours stagers with vaious awards. I'm a Canadian finalist for the Professional Stager of the Year award. The winner will be announced at the annual convention on February 1st in Las Vegas. Proud to be from Halifax Nova Scotia, I'm thrilled to have been selected by my peers in RESA, who hail from all over the continent, as a finalist for Professional Stager of the Year. Members choose finalists based upon annonymous photos of entrants' work. Now it's in the judge's hands.

You can count on Rave Re:view when you hire us to stage your property for the real estate market.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How Do I Know When To Stage A Room?

Here in Halifax Nova Scotia the vast majority of listed properties have not been staged. Because 90% of buyers search the net prior to contacting a real estate agent, enticing online photos are a must. I get soooooo frustrated when I view mls listings because I know how much better these homes can present themselves if a professionally trained stager is brought in to help prepare each and every one. Sometimes it is pretty obvious that a home requires staging. One need not be a trained stager to know that the room above is in dire need of help. Left as is, buyers aren't going to give it a second thought but believe it or not I have seen online photos that market rooms in this state of affairs.


In most cases, to the untrained eye, a room such as the one just above will look 'ok' when in fact a professionally trained home stager knows how to bring it to another level. This room is the family living space which is open to the kitchen. It lacks sofa seating and the fantastic built-in bench is functioning mainly as a place to display accessories.

Warmed up by the brown and rust colour palette and with the addition of pillows to let buyers know that the built-in can act as extra seating, the room is not only more functional after staging but has a higher end feel than it did in its original state.Today's buyers are a generation or two younger than the average seller. Many homes in Halifax / Dartmouth/ Bedford and surrounding areas present as does this next property. Today's buyers don't want to purchase homes that remind them of their parents' or grand parents' homes. No, they want current flooring and light fixtures and rooms that are spacious and airy feeling. Don't you?



The highly determined 70 plus year old home owner who was desperate to sell her house heeded my every word. She purchased an up to date fixture (sorry it's not visible in the photo) and a smaller dining room set which she planned to use in her new home. After the consult I returned to showcase the property. With some rentals, some furniture rearranging, some accessories added and some taken away there was an accepted offer less than 3 weeks after the house was listed.
With it's dated light fixture and an oversized table that dwarfed the dining room, had the photo on the mls site been that of the room before staging do you think the viewing traffic would have been high? Rooms appear to grow in size when they house furniture that allows a space to open up. Professionally trained home stagers know how to enhance the size of any room. That was my goal when I staged the tiny den below. My clients were told by their agent that the services of a home stager were not needed-that the house showed well .In a panic to sell, after the house was on the market with no offers, I was hired. The agent was right in that the house was move -in ready but staging isn't only about move-in ready. Staging is also about opening up spaces. By removing a couple of pieces of furniture - voila- this small room appears to be much more spacious both online and in person. The entry way ( below) was also made more spacious when furniture was removed. And much to the delight of my clients, they had an accepted offer 4 days after the staging took place.







I've seen countless rooms online that resemble the rooms I've presented in their 'before' states. They're 'o.k.' but 'o.k.' is NOT good enough for me. Is 'o.k.' good enough for you?


So the question is ....How Do I Know When To Stage A Room?


It's really hard for the untrained eye to see what a professionally trained stager can see. My advice ....hire an expert in the field to ensure that your home is not just 'o.k'....to ensure that it catches the attention of every potential buyer in your target market and keeps them wanting more once they enter the front door.
Ciao


































Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Modern Stone House Staged By Rave Re:view in Halifax

It's been quite some time since I last wrote a blog entry. My staging/redesign/decorating business Rave Re:view Home Staging & Redesign which is located in Halifax Nova Scotia has really taken off. I'd like to thank everyone who has entrusted me to stage or redesign their living spaces and for passing my name on to others. I was lucky to have been given the opportunity to stage one of Halifax's most architectually interesting properties this past week. Thanks to the listing agent Ethan Michaels of Bryant Realty Atlantic for hiring me to do the initial consult and to the owner who subsequently enlisted my help to project manage and carry out the Showcasing. When I first arrived on the scene the house, in spite of its incredible bones, presented as the minimalist bachelor pad that it was. While the owner has very current cool furniture, accessories and area rugs- more was needed to warm up the space. In today's blog I just want to show you the end result. In entries to come I'll share some of my staging strategies with before and after pictures. For now, enjoy the photos and if you're looking to live in an incredibly cool, one of a kind house both rustic and modern in character with a 30 foot massive exposed beam in its main living space; a cozy panelled den with built in book shelves surrounding a designer fireplace; a huge family room with a bed sized window seat and exposed stone walls; and a master suite hide away with an over sized walk in closet, multiple skylites , a balcony and an extra large outdoor deck; check out both the Bryant Realty Atlantic web site and the Mls listings. (#34o562). And remember you can count on Rave Re:view when you enlist our help to stage or redesign your living space.

902 440-4676 ravereview@eastinlk.ca

































































































Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Home Staging-an Investment NOT an Expense

I just destaged the home in Halifax Nova Scotia that was featured in my previous blog entry. The good news is that the owners accepted an offer the day before Christmas Eve. I'm thrilled as are the owners who had already offered conditionally on the home of their dreams prior to listing with Christeen Chiasson and so needed a quick sale to ensure they did not lose the house they so desperately wanted. While hesitant at first, their decision to paint based upon my recommendation paid off!! This spurred me on to write today's entry entitled `Home Staging- an Investment NOT an Expense'.

For the most part, when individuals first decide to sell their homes they have no desire to spend another penny on a property they have chosen to vacate. Many view home staging as a decorating service and home improvement as an expense they should not have to incur.




BUT.....the reality of today's real estate market is that most buyers are willing to pay more for
'move in ready' homes. They do not have the time nor the inclination to repair or update their new homes. They want freshly painted walls, current flooring and up to date light fixtures. They shy away from homes that have well worn walls and flooring, chipped sinks and stained counter tops, dated lighting, dripping faucets and dark crowded living spaces. They simply want to move in and get on with their lives.

Savvy real estate agents who have their clients' best interests at heart know the value of home staging. They know that staged properties draw in buyers who want turn key homes. They know that 90% of the buying public choose properties to view via the internet.




Because they know that the photos of their listings must portray their sellers' properties in the best light possible, they understand the advantages that professionally staged properties have over those that have not been prepared by a trained home stager.



They know that home staging is a marketing tool and not a decorating service. They know that staging is not just decluttering but is both an art and a science.



They know that a trained specialist such as myself is capable of opening up living spaces and highlighting the features a home has to offer by rearranging furnishings.



They know that I am able to brighten up dark spaces and make architectural features come alive through the recommendation of paint colours, window dressing or undressing, and lighting placement.



Like all services, there is a financial cost to the client. But .....the fee for a home stager's service should be viewed as an investment and not as an expense. Still skeptical??? Look at the results of the 2009 survey carried out by HomeGain, a website designed to both connect the
buying /selling public with agents and to disseminate real estate information to agents, buyers and sellers alike.



The HomeGain chart and bar graph I've included in this blog entry compare the average cost of each home improvement with the resulting average increase in selling price. A $300.00 to $400.00 investment in my professional Home Staging services can on average add $1500.00 to $2000.00 to the final selling price. That is a possible 586% return on the cost of the services I provide. If that is not a good investment, I don't know what is?????

When I carry out a preliminary consultation of a lived in property, the recommendations I make can include any one or all of the Home Improvements mentioned in the HomeGain survey. And while there is a cost incurred by the home owner for every improvement undertaken, the investment not only can bring in monetary gains but can result in a speedy sale as well.

Based on the recommendations I made during my initial 2 hour Home Staging Consult, the owners of this property had their main bathroom painted, changed a dated lighting fixture and replaced the nondescript mirrors with ones I purchased for them. After they carried out my recommendations I returned to 'ice the cake' so to speak. Their investment in home improvements and my hands on staging paid off........

Their house sold 4 days after it was staged for more than the asking price in a city where buyers traditionally offer less than the list price.



Yes........ Home Staging is AN INVESTMENT and not an expense.

You'll garner many a Rave Re:view when you invest in my services here in Halifax , Dartmouth and surrounding areas to prepare your property for the real estate market. My satisfied clients, both real estate agents and sellers will attest to that!

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