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Staging Tip

Free Staging Tips a Home Staging Pros Series


We here at Home Staging Pros would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation by offering you this free on-line series on staging tips. We are very pleased to be a part of the Real Estate community in the Central Florida area and proud to say we have partnered with some of the areas most successful Realtors while providing all of our clients with unsurpassed service that is on time, and within budget. Home Staging Design Pros is passionate when it comes to maximizing every home’s profit potential.

Tip #1: Positioning. The art of great marketing is in the ability to position your product in the mind of the buyer as a product that will fill their specific need and desires.  This well-known marketing concept is very powerful when it comes to home staging.  “Positioning” focuses on what you do to the mind of the buyer rather than what you do to the product.  In other words, a home seller does not need to make expensive renovations to have a profound influence on buyers. Small improvements can make a big impact.  For example: very thorough cleaning, removing unnecessary furniture, and de-cluttering.

After all, most homeowners forced to sell in this market environment know that it won’t be easy. Put them to task to expedite the sale of their home. The days of simply putting a house on the market without any preparation and selling it in a few hours or days is long gone. These days the Realtor, homeowners, and staging professionals have to work together to get a home from “For Sale” to “Sold”.

We offer a incredible "Bundled Services" package for occupied homes. For a small investment we can achieve great results and often the investment in staging services is tax deductable! Check out our website to learn how this service can help you and your clients.

We hope you found this first in our series of staging tips to be informative and beneficial. We look forward to sending you the next installment in our series. Happy Staging!

Tip #2

Welcome to our second in Home Staging Pros  Staging Tips. We will continue to expand on our original marketing concept known as “Positioning” which focuses on what you do to the mind of the buyer rather than what you do to the product. Positioning is vital in professional home staging and used throughout every staged home to gently influence the buyer and dramatically enhance every tour of the home for sale.

The Clock Starts Ticking at the Curb

Tip #2 Curb Appeal: Many times curb appeal is at the top of our list because it literally is the first impression.  This first impression is all-important because it sets the tone for the way the buyer will view the rest of the house. The clock starts ticking at the curb and within fifteen seconds the buyer will develop an attitude toward your house, either positive or negative. Then the buyer will be looking to reinforce their positive or negative initial impression throughout the rest of the home tour.  By making the first impression a positive one, the buyer will seek other positive aspects of the home to reinforce their initial impression.

A great exercise  is to stand in front of your home with critical “buyers eyes” and write down everything that comes to mind. It is always difficult for any home seller to see all the shortfalls of their own home yet it is critical in the success of the sale. To help you in this task ask trusted friends, neighbors, and family what they see when standing in front of your home. Ask them to be brutally honest, or invite them to write down their comments and put them in a hat to be pulled out only after everyone has commented.

Remember: Sometimes the small investments can yield the highest returns! In this turbulent real estate market a seller needs to give their home every advantage possible. Our "Bundled Staging Package" is the perfect example of how we can help you and your clients make the most of their home sale!

Be sure to read our next article in the series: “Here kitty kitty”

PS Did you know we were featured on CNN? If you haven't seen the story please visit our website here.


Tip # 3
“Here Kitty Kitty”

Who doesn’t love the sound of a cat purring in your ear? So soft, so SMELLY! Well, not always, but cat odors can be a big problem for home sellers. As cat owners ourselves (or “captors” as most felines would put it) we know just how stinky kitty can be sometime. For a home seller this issue can mean the difference between a buyer that stays and looks and one that runs for the door. So check out our 10 tips to make your home kitty friendly to buyers.

1.    On days that you know your home is going to be shown consider taking kitty for a car ride. Cats become well accustomed to being in the car and most actually will enjoy the ride. (Note: Do NOT leave your pet in the car unattended. Especially during warm to hot days. Cats can overheat and suffer brain damage or death if left in the car. Dogs too!)

2.    If possible on show day’s move the litter box to an out of the way area, or better yet, out of the home.

3.    Take up any wet food. Besides being unappetizing to look at it stinks to high heaven!

4.    Keep litter boxes scooped as often as possible and replace every couple of weeks with fresh litter. Your cat, and potential buyers, will thank you.

5.    Have you noticed that your cat produces an unimaginable amount of hair? We thought so. Keep it swept up. We know, it’s a never ending cycle but our job is to help you sell your home. Tufts of hair on the floor make buyer’s think “dirty house” and that is the last impression they need.

6.    Kitty go outside the litter box? If this is a new problem you should take them to the vet. Cats can get crystals in their urine, which can be deadly if left untreated.

7.    Help is on the way! Behold the “Stink finder”! This tool is a great way to spot just what kitty has been up to. Also known as a black light you can purchase one at your local pet supply store. Simply turn off the lights and walk around the walls of each room. If kitty has made a mess it will show up in the light. Also, move over every inch of carpet. (Keep blinds closed so your neighbors won’t think you’ve gone crazy as you crawl around on your hands and knees in the dark holding a black light.)

8.    If you find an area that is suspicious you will need to confirm with the good old fashion smell test. (For those of you not familiar with the unmistakable smell of cat urine, it can best be described as somewhere between ammonia and the worst smell imaginable. Consider yourself warned.)

9.    After your blood pressure has returned to normal it’s time to tackle the problem. Luckily today there are a number of good products on the market. First, pull up the carpet and seal the concrete to eliminate the smell. (Kilz is a good product) Cat urine does not lose its odor so it’s imperative that you seal off the smell from the source. Next, either have the carpet professionally cleaned or purchase an enzyme type cleaner from the store. If kitty has gone on the walls or baseboards repeat the first step above using Kilz and then repaint the wall. (Aren’t cats fun?!)

10.    Lastly, keep your home as clean as possible. Pet dander is a real problem for some people so clean, clean, and clean and replace your air filter often. A buyer having a sneezing attack upon walking in your front door is more than likely not going to be a buyer clamoring to purchase your home.

Well we hope that you found this to be informative and entertaining. Please take time to read our next e-mail: “It’s ok to point...focal point that is.”

See you soon and Happy Staging!

Tip #4

Welcome to our fourth in Home Staging Design Pros “Staging Tips”.

Focal points throughout a home are particularly important. They pull a buyer into a space, bring emotions into play, and tell the story of a home’s details. Every area has a focal point and every focal point must maximize the positive impact on a buyer touring a home.

It’s OK To Point...Focal Point That Is

As a seller ask yourself some tough questions concerning your home’s focal points. Write down the questions and answers, and then ask friends and family to answer the same questions. You might be surprised at some of the answers. It’s very hard for people to be impartial about their own home. That is why it is so important to use a neutral 3rd party like Home Staging Pros.

Use the questions below as a template:

1.    What is the first thing someone notices when they walk into this room?

2.    Is it positive or negative?  

3.    What is the focal point in this room?

4.    What should be the focal point of this room?

5.    Is it a positive or negative?

6.    Does it compete with another focal point?

7.    How can we complement the focal point?

8.    Is your seating reinforcing the focal point?

9.    Does the focal point pull you into the space?

10.    Is the focal point well lit, clean, and inviting?

Once you have identified every room’s focal point be sure to emphasize its positive attributes so it naturally draws the buyer’s eye and inspires a positive emotional reaction. A buyer’s attraction to a beautiful focal point is not just endearing, it also serves to downplay any negative elements a space might have.

Well we hope that you found this to be informative and entertaining. Please take time to read our next e-mail: “Skeletons in the Closet.”

Tip #5

Closets throughout a home are important, yet often overlooked by sellers. Buyers touring homes always look into closets, checking out the size, functionality and capacity of the space but that’s not all buyers are looking for. Buyers are also looking to see if there is a story to tell just under the surface. A well groomed closet says volumes about the seller, talking to a home’s maintenance and home’s unseen details.

Everything in a home and every space throughout a home, even the closets, must look their very best to maximize the positive impact on buyers touring a home.

Skeletons in the closet

Since you will be packing things away anyway tackle one closet at a time starting with the master closet.

1.    Pack away anything you have not used or worn in four months.  For most of us, it’s about 80% of our wardrobe.

2.    Group by item starting with shirts, blouses, jackets, skirts and lastly pants (If you have a walk-in closet, pants should be in the back.)  Separate the “His and Hers” sections.

3.    Make sure each item is facing the same direction (away from the door).

4.    Organize shoes preferably in a rack on the floor.

5.    Clear off and pack away anything on the top of the closet shelf.

6.    Organize any “loose” items, such as belts and scarves, in matching boxes or baskets
on the top of the closet.

7.    Purchase inexpensive hat boxes/nesting boxes for accessories to add a little drama.

8.    Purchase a closet organizer which can be very appealing to homebuyers.

9.    Finally, since closets usually don’t have any natural light, make sure your artificial light is extra bright by replacing the bulbs and cleaning the fixtures.

10.    Remember, preparing your home to sell is a process that takes time but staging to sell is very imporant!

Closets are an area that home buyers pry into, so it’s a good idea to appear spacious, neat and organized. The neater you appear to be, the more your homebuyer will view the house as well taken care of.

Well we hope that you found this to be informative and entertaining. Please take time to read the next e-mail in our series: Dogs Playing Poker

Tip #6

Welcome to our sixth in Home Staging Pros "Staging Tips".

Everything in a home must look its very best to maximize the positive impact on buyers touring a home.

Never knowing a buyer's taste it is wise to carefully consider your wall art. In the high stakes game of real estate you need to make sure your space appeals to the widest range of potential buyers.

Dog's Playing Poker

What is "art"? Webster's dictionary defines art as: the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

When it comes to selling a home it's best to leave the art critics in the galleries. In other words, the  "Dog's playing poker" or 5 foot tall velvet painting of Elvis is not what buyer's are looking for. Think simple, classic, and neutral (yes, art can be neutral). Landscapes, flowers, and abstracts are a great way to soften walls without detracting from what the space has to offer. We never know what a buyer's particular taste is going to be and in the high stakes game of real estate we need to make sure that your space feels like their space.

You can often find nice quality looking art pieces at places like Ross or Marshall's. If you don't have a lot to spend consider purchasing some inexpensive frames and making your own art by printing out non-copyrighted pictures on high gloss paper. Place in a frame and "Voila!" instant art.  Yard or estate sales are also a great way to find some bargains.

Remember, the key to a home that shows well is neutrality. You will have plenty of time to make a new home your own, so create a space that buyers will love.  It's a simple as that.

Know someone who needs some help de-personalizing their space? Our Bundled Staging Package is an effective and affordable way to make dramatic changes in a short amount of time. Priced at only $395.00 we guarantee you'll see results.

Check back next time for our article: "It's a jungle out there"

See you soon and Happy Staging!

Tip #7

“It’s a jungle out there”

This article will focus on one of the common problems that sellers often overlook: the front and backyard of a home.

Sellers need to keep in mind that when a potential buyer is looking at their home that they are not just looking at the interior, but the exterior as well. This article will help you prepare your exterior so that your home will be the best one on the block.

1.    A brown lawn does not enhance curb appeal. Add fresh sod to any brown or dying areas of your lawn. This small investment will make a huge difference.
2.    Take a walk around your neighborhood. Which houses look the best with regard to curb appeal? Ask yourself why?
3.    Take pictures of yards that you love. This way you can use them as a template for your own yard.
4.    Plant some fresh blooming annuals. They are inexpensive and will add a nice burst of color. Remember, curb appeal is very important and your home really needs to stand out.
5.    Make sure that weeds are pulled and any dead growth is trimmed. If a buyer sees this they will not only start a mental “To do” list but also feel that the home is not being kept up.
6.    A few bags of red mulch can have a huge impact and freshen up plant beds.
7.    Keep bushes and hedges trimmed down so that the exterior of the home can be seen easily.
8.    If you know that you are going to have a big open house weekend consider hiring a lawn service to come out the day before so that it is fresh looking.
9.    If you have a pool make sure that swept clean and looks inviting.
10.    Keep hoses coiled up and put away. Put away any unnecessary gardening tools.

Too often sellers only focus on the inside of the home and neglect the all important exterior. Don’t let this happen to you.

Taking care of these simple things can make all the difference in how your home shows to a buyer, and in this market you need all possible things in your favor.

Want to make a huge impact on your listing but don’t live in our immediate service area? How about using our E-staging services?

Simply send us interior and exterior pictures of the home and we will custom tailor a detailed report showing how to properly stage the home, de-clutter and enhance curb appeal.

This package also comes with our online slide show and flyer, all for only $195.00. A great value and we know your clients will appreciate you going the extra mile for them.

Join us again for the next in our series: “Is that take-out from two months ago? Yum!”

Tip #8

 Is that take-out from two months ago? Yum!

An often overlooked, but still very important, area of the home is your kitchen. Having shown potential homes to thousands of people during my years in leasing and marketing I can tell you that buyer’s will look in your refrigerator, kitchen cabinets, even the dishwasher!

Guess what? That take out container of...”What was that again?”...from two months ago is not appealing. A dirty refrigerator with spoiled food can literally ruin a home tour. Simply put, if a buyer sees that you aren’t willing to clean out your fridge then they start to wonder “What else has not been taken care of?”

Remember from our previous letters that the last thing we want during a home tour is a buyer to start a “To do” list in their head. This only reinforces negative opinions of the home.

Solution: Keep the refrigerator, cabinets, and the rest of the kitchen absolutely spotless at all times.

•    Throw out any expired food, take out containers and make sure the refrigerator is wiped down and spotless.

•    Keep a fresh box of baking soda in both the refrigerator and freezer to absorb any odors.

•    Finally, have all items lined up and labels facing out and in one direction.

Sound crazy? Nope, and here’s why: If a buyer opens your fridge or pantry and sees all the cans lined up and orderly then they immediately assume that the rest of the home sees the same attention to detail. It’s often the little things that can have a major impact on the way a buyer sees your home.

Selling a home is not just about the physical aspects and pricing. It’s also about a psychology with regard to the buyer. This is why staging is so important in how a home shows.

Are you busy marketing your listing?

Uncomfortable approaching your clients with some of the delicate issues when it comes to keeping a home clean and "show ready"?

Let us be the bad guys. We are experts at making a home look its absolute best. This often means more money for you and your clients!

We have a great package for only $395.00 and your sellers can write the investment off on their taxes!

Thanks for reading this latest article and be sure to check back for our next installment: “Fung shui is not the dinner special at your local Asian restaurant.”

Until then, have a great day and Happy Staging!