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*Home Staging in Edmonton, Alberta and surrounding Areas*

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This Week's Top 10 Items That NEED to be packed away When Your Home is being Shown for Sale

Posted on November 21, 2012 at 12:15 AM

This is the first installment of a weekly post revealing a week in the life of an Edmonton Home Stager.


We want to showcase actual inappropriate items we have found out in plain view in homes for sale in the Edmonton market during our various Home Staging services performed for our clients.


Our goal is to help our sellers see their properties SOLD. A buyer’s psyche is working in over-drive while viewing potential “New Homes”.


It can sometimes be a seemingly very small detail that deters them from making an offer on a property.


The items we list, if left out in plain view during a viewing of your property, absolutely HAVE to be packed away to ensure you are not offending, frightening, or disgusting a potential buyer.


Top 10 Offensive items we saw this week that ABSOLUTELY need to be packed away for showings:


1. The highchair, blankie, bottle, and key-ring toy all set up in the basement cold-storage room (that had an exterior lock installed) with the back of the chair facing the door.

2. The master bedroom en-suite bathroom’s sink full of sudsy water in which various sex-toys were soaking.

3. The large bulk box of Tampax sitting open on the floor beside the toilet in the main bathroom with the waste basket full of related refuse.

4. The sex-swing installed in the basement with one of the kids’ teddy-bears strapped into it.

5. The coffee table completely littered with Holocaust literature.

6. The kitchen island with the beautiful fruit bowl that was also doubling as a storage caddy for Preparation H, Vagasil, Denture Cream, and Senokot.

7. Large decorative urn as the only accessory on the fireplace mantle with Grandpa’s name engraved on the front in bold, obvious font.

8. Package of the seller’s Boudoir Photo Package prints spread out on the kitchen table.

9. Large amount of very intimate lingerie strewn out on the bed in the master bedroom as if seller had wanted to take stock and clearly see every single piece she owns all at once.

10. Open, and obviously sticky, Econo-sized bottle of KY Jelly sitting on the bed-side table in the teen-aged son’s bedroom.


As I typed this out, I realized that it may seem far-fetched that home-sellers actually leave these types of things out in the open. But, the truth is that if a property sits on the market for some time, the occupants become complacent and tend to forget that strangers may be traipsing through the house at some point that day. I always say, “The longer you can manage to live as if you are in a hotel, the faster your home will sell”.

We plan on documenting our strange finds every week, and will only list the Top 10 worst offences.

 

Putrid Properties do Not Sell!

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 3:05 AM

No matter how great a property is or how competitively priced it is, if it stinks, it will not sell....PERIOD!

This is an issue I tackle at least once a week with my clients. Bad smells in a property leave a bad taste in buyers' mouths (both figuratively and literally).

You may be asking, "But, wait, don't Professional Home Stagers just work with/deal with pretty surface things, and don't they just decorate homes? Why is she talking about the odor of  a property?"

The answer to that is a big fat, NO!

Home Stagers focus on all surface issues and underlying issues that could, in any way, affect the overall presentation of a property. We work with marketing a property in its best light. And because fould smells in a property have such a huge negative impact on buyers, we do run into this all the time.

 

Rather than discuss this VERY important issue to death, I thought I would share the exact email I had to send to a client yesterday.  

______________________________________________________________________

Hello ___________!

 

So the house was destaged yesterday, and I wanted to discuss a couple of things with you.

 

My ultimate goal as a home stager is to do everything in my power to create a successful sale for you.

 

So when staging and the right pricing don't work, I have to search for and find other reasons a property is not selling.

 

I mentioned this to you briefly in one of my last emails to you, but am unsure if you know the severity of the following issue. Your realtor, Marcia did convince me she had also spoken to you about it.

 

Way back on initial staging day, when we entered the house, we were all hit with a very strong fishy smell. Marcia then told us the story of you swapping fridges with your new home, and stated she had already discussed with you the fact that the smell from the fridge would be problematic.

 

Upon further investigation, we realized the fridge had no power going to it. For some reason, the outlet it was plugged in to had no power. So we ran the cord to another outlet and, voila, it started running. A fridge, in all of my experience, when sitting closed with no power, turns into a pool of harsh smell.

 

So we opened the door on it, and 3 of us literally were dry-heaving from the smell. We noticed there was baking soda in there, but it can only absorb so much before it is completely saturated and no longer effective.

 

By this time, this fridge smell had spread through and permeated the whole house. It has saturated your carpets and walls, and it only gets worse as the house is closed up.

 

I had not noticed any smell in the house at all on the evening of our first consultation, or I would have addressed this first and foremost. In the past when I have gone out to do a consultation, and there are fouls odors In a house, I always insist that this is remedied PRIOR to thinking about staging.

 

When a prospective buyer enters a property, no matter how it is furnished or how many great features/upgrades there are, if there is an unpleasant smell of any sort, they will likely not even entertain ever putting in an offer. The smell gives them the first, all important, impression that the whole house has to be filthy, and that it hasn't been maintained. A bad smell also tells a buyer there is work to do before they could even think about moving in.

 

And I have to tell you, for example purposes, now that we have removed the furnishings from the house, and the inventory is now sitting back in the warehouse, that smell has now permeated all of it. The smell has followed it back to the warehouse. This just goes to show how strong the smell is.

 

This is also, obviously, problematic, as we are now faced with having to do some pretty serious maintenance to the furniture before we can even dare to take it into the next property we stage.

 

So, again, great property, great price point, great staging, but that smell is killing any chance of a sale. The smell is the last detail, which, if not remedied, that is stopping buyers from making an offer.

 

When we entered the home yesterday to de-stage it, the smell was even stronger, but it is now heavily laced with the pungent smell of at least 5 differing heavy duty air fresheners.

 

When we entered yesterday, especially with the heat this summer, and the house being closed up, we could all literally taste the fish smell and the air fresheners. Very strong.

 

I knew, in my mind, immediately what the overall smell reminded me of, but wanted to hear it from the others. So I asked. My partner's first response was, "the inside of a camper porta-potty on a hot day". This alarmed me, as that was my initial impression as well.

 

I have collected all the air fresheners that I could find (they had all been placed out in plain view, and one could even be clearly seen from the front entry), and have placed them on the kitchen counter. I did this because these absolutely have to be removed from the house.

 

The air fresheners do not fix the issue. They simply add a new flavor layer to the already existing fish smell.

 

There are also many people with scent sensitivities out there who have allergic reactions to any scented product that is not 100% natural.

 

But most importantly, when a buyer enters the house, their first impression and automatic assumption is that the seller is trying to hide something, cover something up, and be deceitful with this product being marketed for sale.

 

So now that the staging is removed from the house, whether you decide to keep it on the market or rent it out, I have a couple of strong recommendations for you if you would like to see results.

 

First thing I strongly suggest is that you replace the fridge. The smell that has developed in there is now permanent.

 

But doing that alone will not solve the problem.

 

You will absolutely have to have all carpets professionally steam-cleaned.

 

I also suggest finding and renting a large fresh air exchanger unit and running it for at least 24 hours. This should be done after the carpets are cleaned.

 

The absolute first thing that should be done is that all air fresheners need to be removed from the house.

 

I apologize if any of the above sounds harsh at all. I just do sincerely care about your success here.

 

Thank you for reading this email in its entirety, and I wish you the best!

Take good care!

 

Sincerely,

Rhonda Wilson CSP™

Owner- Revealing Assets

Home Staging Services

780-913-5589

www.revealingassets.ca

 

REALTORS: Are you a Leader or a Follower?

Posted on August 6, 2012 at 2:55 AM

This post is for all Listing REALTORS out there. 

Do you go with the flow, do what is necessary, follow just the mandatory steps, and have a business model that simply stays static?

Or are you a REALTOR who thinks outside the box, goes the extra mile, explores all avenues out there to help your clients succeed, and who strives to be on the cutting edge?

What do you include in your listing packages for your sellers? 

What are you doing to stand out amongst the competition?

It is no secret that sellers these days will interview more than one REALTOR when deciding with whom to list. What is it about your listing package that gives you confidence that you will win most listings?

I have been a Professional Home Stager in  Edmonton, Alberta and surrounding areas for over three years now. And, I have some alarming news for you. 

I work alongside many different amazing REALTORS in the Edmonton area. These REALTORS have found immediate tangible value in including varying levels of Home Staging services within their listing packages for their clients.

Plain and simple: Professional Home Staging guarantees a litsting will shine among its competition, sell faster, and sell for more money.

Sellers are very savvy, and becoming more so every day. They KNOW that Home Staging creates successful sales and yields a High ROI (return on investment). 

So, guess what happens when you, as their REALTOR, offers the gift of Home Staging to them? 

You are right! They are enamoured, impressed, blown away, and excited!

Now, there are approximately 3000 REALTORS in Edmonton and surrounding areas. I am here to tell you that there is only a small handful of REALTORS who have caught on to this HUGE competitive advantage thus far. I mean, truthfully, all one has to do is take a look at most of the MLS listing photos out there to see that Home Staging is still not a rampant trend here.

The REALTORS I do work for have found such incredible value in Home Staging, and have seen such a monumental increase in their bottom line (income) as a result of hiring a Stager for each of their listings, that all of them have now changed their budget for each listing to include these services.

Think about this for a moment: If you had a tool-of-the-trade sitting right in front of you that is guaranteed to cause your career productivity and income to increase exponentially, are you really going to consciously ignore it?

You will, and do, of course, come across properties that will need absolutely no help in the Staging/Presentation department. There are simply people out there with a great talent and eye for what buyers in the market would like to see when viewing prospective new homes. 

And, in those cases, of course, you wouldn't mention an offer of Home Staging at all.


How do you benefit from employing the services of a Professional Home Stager for your listings?

You will:

* Secure a much higher percentage of listings due to demonstrating much larger value

* At least double your number of properties SOLD

* Cut the days-on-market (DOM) down to half for all of your listings

* Create much higher seller-satisfaction, which, in turn, creates magical and powerful word-of-mouth advertising that money cannot buy

* Save your valuable time/effort/resources on listings where you were normally feeling obligated to help get the property showing-worthy

* Save stress/headaches/awkwardness related to sensitive presentation issues (smoking, pets, smells, clutter, uncleanliness, personal effects, etc) - I get to be the "bad guy" for you!

* Be filled with confidence that your Home Stager has edcuated your seller to the point where they completely understand how their property HAS to look and feel for all showings

* MAKE WAY MORE MONEY!!!


There simply ARE NO negatives in enlisting the help of a Professional Home Stager for your listings. 

The truth of it all is that Home Staging is enroute to becoming the absolute norm here in Alberta. 

And, if you are not on this train, you do, absolutely risk falling off the back of it.

A Professional Home Stager who is successful at what they do has one paramount goal. This goal of mine is to do everything within my power (and expertise, and talent, and training) to ensure that EVERYONE wins. 

I want you, the REALTOR, to maximize your income potential. I want the seller to experience speedy and seamless success. And, by default, because I have made the above my sole aim, I have also created high client satisfaction. This means that my business continues to grow again and again.

Like I say, EVERYONE wins!

I have been told numerous times....not sure if you have heard....but I am quite the tool!!! LOL! Use Me!


How does Kids' Clutter fit into Staging your Home For Sale?

Posted on July 27, 2012 at 2:10 AM

Are you desperately trying to keep up with the every-day clutter that comes along with kids?

 

This post will offer solutions to speed up the sale of your home in just 4 Steps!

 

If you are thinking of listing your home for sale or have already, and can't seem to wrap your head around the idea of keeping things looking tidy and clutter free for showings, read on to find some easy and affordable ideas to speed up the sale of your home!


 

 



These pictures are of average, every day clutter that we all know and hate. It seems that the second you tidy up, the kids have hauled out a thousand more toys, arts and crafts items, and left a trail of dirty laundry all over the house. Don't be too hard on yourself though! We all combat the same problem. I do, however, have a few simple steps that will ease your mind and lighten your work load while making your house presentable and clutter free. Take a deep breath....and read on.

 

Step 1:

 

It is very important that the whole family is on board with this plan. Have a family meeting and explain that in order to sell the house, everyone will have a task to do. In addition to getting the kids and family to agree to help maintain the home once tidied up, you must also decide which items you use on a regular basis and what can be packed away. I recommend giving your children complete (well almost complete) control over this step.

 

The average amount of time that homes sit on the market before selling is currently, at the time this article was written, 51 days. In order to reduce clutter in your home, you must come up with an acceptable number of items that each individual will need to use over the 51 days after listing your home. Think of this assignment as packing for a vacation. Decide what the bare essentials are and choose a number that represents these items. This can be made into a fun game for the whole family. Find a laundry basket, plastic bin, or box for each family member. Item by item on the list below, ask each family member to gather the following: (you can increase or decrease the numbers I have suggested, but please keep in mind that this is an exercise in minimalism)

 

-Ask each individual to gather the essential toiletries they will need for the next two months, ie, hair brush, toothbrush, shower supplies, hair accessories, shaving items, tweezers...etc. Have each person put their essential toiletry items into a shoe box labelled with their name and store these boxes in a cabinet or drawer in the bathroom or linen closet. As each person readies oneself for the day, the items can be placed back in their own box and neatly stored away.


 

-Keeping the current season in mind, ask each family member to choose 7 entire outfits that they will rotate wearing over the next two months. Make sure that everyone keeps out a few items for different occasions and weather conditions. Remember socks and underwear too! Don't worry about outerwear at this point...that’s coming next! Have each person separate their chosen items into one drawer or area in the closet.

 

-Again, keeping in mind the current season and weather conditions, ask each family member to choose a few jackets or sweaters, three pairs of shoes, a hat, and whatever sports items are needed.

 

-Ask each child to choose 10 toys and 10 books that they can't live without for the next 51 days. This may be the most difficult task, but keep reminding the kids that it is only for a short amount of time and they will have all their possessions safely packed away and ready for them at the new house. If possible, encourage your children to choose smaller, less bulky toys to keep out.

 

-If you have an arts and crafts area set up for the kids, help them to decide on a few essential items to keep handy and set them aside.

 

-If you have a home office, decide what is essential to have on your desk and set those items aside.

 

Step 2:

 

Now that you have decided what your essential items are that you will need to survive the next 51 days, we can move on to step 2! In this step, all non-essential items will be packed away and stored neatly. If you are feeling overwhelmed with the idea of packing all the extra items, you may want to consider hiring Revealing Assets Home Staging And De-cluttering Services to do it for you. We offer our services, to come in and carefully pack up all non-essential items to be stored while your home is listed. All you will need to do is provide us with boxes or rubber maid type bins with lids, and some bubble wrap or packing paper, and we will take care of the rest.


 

Check out our "Services/Products/Rates" page on our website to read about all the packages we offer!

 

Once all of the non-essential items are packed up, the boxes can be neatly stacked in the garage or basement, or you may want to consider a short term rental of a storage facility to keep the home as clutter free as possible.

 

Step 3:

 

At this point, you should have all non-essential items packed away and all essential items left in the home. At this stage, you now need to organize the remaining items as neatly as possible. If you have hired Revealing Assets to help, this step will also be taken care of for you! The key here is that all surfaces should now be clear of clutter. All closets should only have very few items with the floor area completely clear. All cupboards in the kitchen and bathroom should be mostly bare except for the essential items. All of the children's toys should be put away neatly with floor space maximized. Revealing assets can also make suggestions about placement of your furniture for the best energy flow and appearance as well as placement of key accessories to highlight the best-selling features of your house.

 

Your home should now be ready to list to sell!!! 

 

 

Step 4:


One final step....maintaining the cleanliness! The key to successfully keeping your home looking neat and tidy is daily maintenance. With only the essentials left in the home, it should only take a matter of minutes a day to put everything away, out of sight. It may be helpful to have a small plastic bin, for each family member, labelled with names. Choose a time of day when everyone will take 10 minutes to gather their own items in their bin and put them away. Straighten cushions, fold throw blankets, a quick dust, and tidy throughout and you always be ready for a spur of the moment showing! The best part is, that when your house sells, you are done most of the packing already!!!

 

Submitted and Written by Guest Blogger and partner Home Stager: Toni Harris

Revealing Assets - Home Staging and Decluttering Services has been successfully Staging homes for Sale in Edmonton, Alberta and surrounding areas since 2009.

 

 

The True Motivation of a Professional Home Stager

Posted on July 16, 2012 at 2:40 AM

As a Professional Home Stager who owns her business, I get asked the following question all the time: “So, is there good money to be made in Staging?”

This question always ends up taking me off guard, as income is not how I measure the success of my business.

So what characteristics do successful Home Stagers possess?

• Practical/logical Problem Solving abilities

• Compassionate and intuitive people-skills

• Creative and abstract thinking

• Well versed in Real Estate Market conditions at all times

• Amazing spatial awareness

• A true passion for and knowledge of Décor and Design

• An strong aptitude for all aspects of business

People also often ask me what I lend my business success to. My answer now is this: I liken my profession to a big game that I am blessed enough to wake up every day to play. My game consists of doing everything within my power to ensure that my clients (home sellers, REALTORS, and Builders) sell their properties in the shortest amount of time possible and make the most money possible.

I am thrilled to wake up every morning and start my day. My profession is my only addiction. My clients’ successes are paramount to me. My sole goal every day is to ensure that I have done all that I can to assist in the speedy/successful sale of all of my clients’ properties.

What does Revealing Assets do, exactly?

We Reveal Assets.

Plain and simple.

We effectively accentuate and highlight the architectural features of a property so that buyers and owners see the full value in that asset.

Home Stagers are in the business of merchandising and detailing properties for sale.

We de-clutter, de-personalize, beautify, decorate, furnish, re-arrange, and optimize floor space in properties of all types, sizes, and price-points. We ensure that these properties (Assets) are fetching top-dollar in minimal time.

You ask why I compare my job to a game. This is because it IS about winning. I watch the competition (non-staged close comparable properties) like a hawk. When I have staged a client’s property and it sells faster, and for more money, we have WON! And my clients are ecstatic.

There are some certain “perks” in this profession. Because of how much manual labor is involved, I feel I have a year-round free gym membership. My undying thirst for exploring architecture is quenched day in, day out. And I am blessed with an outlet for my creative personality.

Any income made in my business is simply viewed by me as a side-effect or a bonus. This is because I have absolutely found my calling. I am doing what I LOVE to do.

So, what do I see due to doing what I do for all the right reasons? A business that has grown steadily since we started back in 2009 in Edmonton, Alberta and surrounding areas.

Is there a moral to this story?

When deciding on a new career, find what you love to do, do what you need to do to get started, ensure that your business provides something that will help others succeed greatly, and success will be yours.

 

A Professional Home Stager Prepares your Home for a Successful Sale!

Posted on June 4, 2012 at 1:20 AM


So, you have made the decision (or a change in life circumstances have forced the decision upon you) to put your house/condo/townhouse/mobile-home up for sale.

But between your working 45-60 hours per week, taking care of routine housework/yard-work, and getting the kids organized for all of their daily activities, you are overwhelmed by the thought of finding the time or energy to tackle the millions of all-important-details when it comes to marketing one’s property for sale.

Even if you don’t have children at home, life these days can still be hectic and tiring. So when you start to tune into the buzz coming from REALTORS and the HGTV shows, panic is a very normal reaction.

We have all heard that buyers these days are seeking an absolutely “Move-in-Ready” home to buy.

You have probably also heard the saying, “An un-Staged property simply helps the neighbor’s house to sell.”

Well, as you sit back and look around, you may find yourself asking, “Where do I start?”

There are many grey areas when it comes to Home Staging.

Yes, one should De-clutter their property, but it is very easy to go too far, leaving things too blank and stark.

Yes, one should De-personalize their property, but, again, it is simple to go too far, creating a cold and unwelcoming environment.

Yes, some decorative touches and additions of color in a property can be very helpful in drawing the buyers’ eyes to valuable assets in the structure of a property. BUT, if accessorizing is not properly done, or is not strategically carried out with the buyer’s psyche in mind, this can also go terribly wrong. For example, art that is hung too high on a wall makes ceilings feel a lot lower than they actually are. This gives a negative first impression.

Do not be embarrassed or ashamed if you feel that you don’t have a talent for any or some of the above. This just means that you hold expertise in areas we don’t.

So, rather than allowing additional stress to sit on your plate when you don’t deserve it, think about handing the reigns over to a Professional Home Stager.

Revealing Assets – Home Staging Services to the rescue! We have our finger on the pulse of the Real Estate Market at all times, and are experienced, educated/trained, and talented at taking any property and transforming it into a highly sought-after product that sells in half the time and for more money.

For your occupied property, we offer the following service:

“We Do It All For You” Home Staging Package

This is great for people who are really lacking the time/drive/energy/strength to complete all Property Presentation tasks on their own.

Starting with the Major Impact Areas of the property, we utilize the home-owner's current existing belongings for the most optimal presentation. We de-clutter, de-personalize, fine-tune/change furnishings arrangements to maximize floor space, re-purpose accessories/artwork/soft furnishings where necessary for positive impact, and do everything we can to ensure the property is absolutely showing and photo-ready for a successful sale.

The investment for these packages is only $395 plus GST for 4-hrs and $692 plus GST for 8-hrs.

Of course the time we spend in your home will be custom-tailored to your unique situation, but, in the end, we have always served to alleviate a huge chunk of the pressure in your life. Feel free to visit our website for more information, many success stories, Real Estate Statistics, Photos of our completed Home Staging projects, and much more! http://www.revealingassets.ca

Revealing Assets has been providing Professional Home Staging Services and creating success stories for sellers and REALTORS since 2009 in Edmonton, Alberta and surrounding areas.

 

 

Home Energy Cleansing for a Faster Sale

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 12:45 AM

There are many things to consider when preparing your home to sell. There is curb appeal, Decluttering, De-personalizing, upgrades, repairs, Staging, and Cleaning. 

One thing that most REALTORS and home-owners overlook is the energy of the home.

Negative energy in a home can leave prospective buyers feeling uneasy during the initial viewing of the home, but can also stick with them. You have heard people say, "Something about the property just didn't feel right. I can't put my finger on it, but I know it isn't for me."

This negative energy accumulates in the home over time as a result of many factors. Some of these factors can include traumatic events that have occured in the home such as; illness, death or suicide, arguments, failed marriages resulting in divorce, and any conflict.

Things may have happened in the home that the owner is not aware of. It is always a good idea to cleanse your home whether it be a place you've lived in for years or somewhere you've just moved into. You are then left with a positive clean slate within which you are ready to create your own happy memories.

During a Home Energy Cleansing Session, I will treat all areas of your home, yard, and land to remove any negative energy and protect the property against future negativity.

Over the span of your session, I will use my training in Usui Reiki to push out all of the bad energy and to fill your home with light and love. I utilize many tools to accomplish this such as sea salt and lemon, honeysuckle, sage and lavender smudge, and crystals. Your home's energy will be transformed from stale, stagnant, and unsettling, to a warm and welcoming space.

If you have a space that requires Energy Cleansing, please contact me, Toni Harris, through Revealing Assets, or call me directly at 587-986-0461.

Pricing starting at $80 for a 1 Hour session.

Home Energy Cleansing for a Faster Sale

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 12:45 AM

There are many things to consider when preparing your home to sell. There is curb appeal, Decluttering, De-personalizing, upgrades, repairs, Staging, and Cleaning. 

One thing that most REALTORS and home-owners overlook is the energy of the home.

Negative energy in a home can leave prospective buyers feeling uneasy during the initial viewing of the home, but can also stick with them. You have heard people say, "Something about the property just didn't feel right. I can't put my finger on it, but I know it isn't for me."

This negative energy accumulates in the home over time as a result of many factors. Some of these factors can include traumatic events that have occured in the home such as; illness, death or suicide, arguments, failed marriages resulting in divorce, and any conflict.

Things may have happened in the home that the owner is not aware of. It is always a good idea to cleanse your home whether it be a place you've lived in for years or somewhere you've just moved into. You are then left with a positive clean slate within which you are ready to create your own happy memories.

During a Home Energy Cleansing Session, I will treat all areas of your home, yard, and land to remove any negative energy and protect the property against future negativity.

Over the span of your session, I will use my training in Usui Reiki to push out all of the bad energy and to fill your home with light and love. I utilize many tools to accomplish this such as sea salt and lemon, honeysuckle, sage and lavender smudge, and crystals. Your home's energy will be transformed from stale, stagnant, and unsettling, to a warm and welcoming space.

If you have a space that requires Energy Cleansing, please contact me, Toni Harris, through Revealing Assets, or call me directly at 587-986-0461.

Pricing starting at $80 for a 1 Hour session.

Why is it optimal to have a Professional Home Stager help to create a Market-Ready Listing?

Posted on November 6, 2011 at 3:30 PM
Humans are habitual to a fault in most cases.

Even if we have lived in our current home for more than a few months, there are things that we do to make our lives more convenient. Our hectic daily routines dictate that we work on auto-pilot a lot of the time.

I am positive that at least one of the following occurs in your household:

• There is a spot on your kitchen counter, coffee table, entry table, entry bench, kitchen table or island, or dining room table where you habitually drop all items in your hands as you enter the house at the end of a long day. These items consist of mail, keys, phones, chargers, flyers, etc. This area is a mind-numbing toppling pile.

• The dining room table has been re-designated as the official crafting area of the house.

• Your dog’s beds are sitting in every living area of the house so that he/she can be comfy while they are close to you no matter which room you are in.

• You store your bagged bread products on your kitchen counter for ease of use.

• You have more than one “junk drawer” in your kitchen and opening/closing them is always a magic trick.

• Your entry closet is stuffed with piles of shoes, and all pairs are broken up. It is difficult to open and close this closet door, so you just leave it open.

• Because your entry closet is stuffed-full, you have purchased a large shoe rack and placed it by the door. This is also full, and there are a few pairs of shoes you regularly wear just sitting on the entry-floor.

• In your living room, you have just one curtain panel pulled up to the side and fastened with a twist tie or a hair clip because it allows just enough sunlight in for your fern in the corner.

• You leave your bag of toilet-paper rolls out on the half-bath floor in case of emergency re-fill needs.

• You leave your baby stroller on the front porch because it is simply easier.

• You leave your Christmas lights up on the exterior of your home all year round...again, because it is easier.

• ...This list could get much longer, but you get the point. We are all human.

A Professional Home Stager comes in with a fresh, objective, and outsider perspective. We are educated and experienced in what today’s buyers want and need to see in their new prospective home. We KNOW all of the seemingly small and trivial things that can and WILL kill any chance of an offer coming in on your property. 

Professional Home Stagers are also very talented at knowing all the small tweaks that can be made to a property’s presentation in order to inspire buyers to make an offer quickly.

Home Stagers see things in your home that you simply do not see. When we are in environment, day in, day out, surrounded by living conveniences we have created to simplify daily routine, we become blinded.

For instance, in my own home, I have a side table snuggled up to my favourite chair in my living room. I have it there so that I can do work on my laptop at night, AND have my tea sitting beside it. Now, because of the awkward layout of my living room, this side table encroaches on the entrance to the space. It certainly impedes traffic flow. But, I don’t necessarily notice this, as my shuffling movement to get into the living room has become habit. I am on auto-pilot when I enter my own living room.

Now, however, enter buyer. This layout is awkward, and the need to shuffle around this side table immediately upon entering the living room gives them the impression that the home is lacking floor-space.

Having a Professional Home Stager come in to your home prior to listing it for sale alleviates stress, eliminates wasted time/energy/money, streamlines your presentation adjustment process, and guarantees that your listing will appeal to every buyer in your specific target market(s).

 

 


Dogs....Man's best friends? Maybe, but...

Posted on October 6, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Okay, I have to start off by saying that I have not only owned dogs (and other pets) my entire life, but I also firmly believe that animals end up being the most loyal of companions throughout life.

Provided pets are adequately cared for, loved, regularly exercised, fed, and kept warm, I am a strong advocate for people having them.

 

But, there is a time and place for an animal to be present. And, when you are trying to sell a home, this is not an optimal time.

This is a delicate subject that is not being communicated to sellers.

This is more than evident when we browse through interior photos for listings. In fact, I just closed a Realty Office website, where I found photos of a beautiful home listed for sale. My browsing session was going wonderfully, until I clicked to enlarge the photo of the living room. I gasped to find a beautiful, big-eyed Bull Mastiff, dead-center in the photo, staring me down. He/she was the focal point of the photo. And, if you know Bull Mastiffs, you are fully aware that this is one of the largest dog breeds out there.

 

Although this dog is beautiful, and the owner is probably very proud of it, the buyer's psyche automatically starts its crazy, rampant processes.

8 out of 10 buyers automatically believe that there will be an odour, damage to the property throughout, stains that are impossible to get rid of, and even a build-up of animal hair and/or dander.

The true case may actually be that the owner takes immaculate care of the property. Maybe that dog was just visiting for the afternoon. Maybe there is actually no trace of a pet within the home.

 

We are talking about assumptions based on visualization and imagination. Including photos with pets in the frames is something we really should be avoiding, at all costs.

They are just acting as a trigger, sending the majority of initially interested buyers running away from the listing.

They will NOT call to schedule a showing. Remember, buyers are not at all interested in listings that make them feel that they will have to complete work on in order to move in. Pet damage/odours/stains translate into "work".

 

Best case scenario, the home-owner should enlist the help (pet-sitting) of an outside source right from the moment they decide to list their home, until the new home-owner takes possession. This, of course, is most important in the case of indoor pets.

At the very least, we should be ensuring that the photos used in marketing materials, on-line and off-line, do not include pets of any sort.

 

But, THE MOST important thing that we impress upon our clients, is that pets cannot be present on the property when the home is being viewed.

But, not only must the pet be absent, all signs of a pet must be removed or packed away as well. This means food dishes, beds, toys, treats, hair, and all stains must be out of sight, taken care of, thoroughly cleaned.

We also have to remember that there are many people out there who have pretty severe allergies to animals (hair/dander). If a potential buyer enters a property they are interested in, but starts to have an allergic reaction, this is an obvious deterrent. This buyer will promptly leave, and become discouraged with the property. Most likely, you won't hear from them again.

 

The main thing we tell our clients is that the process of purchasing a home is one of the most important decisions people make in life. Because it is so emotionally charged, and involves a large investment, the psyche of buyers works in mysterious ways, and creates lasting/concrete impressions in the brain that just may not make common sense to you and me.