Make a Good Impression

 In order to gain an edge in today’s real estate market when buyers/investors have so many options, a property must  be priced right and look better than the competition. One of the best, proven  methods to faster sales is a process known as “staging.” It is not a new concept for showing a home, but is relatively new to the New  York brokerage community. The term originated in California about 15 years ago  by Barbara Schwarz. She realized by prepping a home for sale, it sold faster and frequently for more  than the asking price.  

 Staging uses design and conceptualization techniques. The objective is to have  potential buyers walk in and envision the property as their home. They can see  themselves living and entertaining there. It’s all about creating a space that makes buyers connect emotionally to it. They  should feel as if they were the owner, not a guest. As a seller, In order to do  this effectively, you need to make your house as impersonal and attractive as  possible to stimulate the buyer’s visual acuity.  

 An initial discussion of the seller and the stager is important in order to  review the property’s weak and strong points, what changes need to be made, how much time it will  take, and what else is needed to stage it. Besides the basic cleaning and repairing, Staging has five basic elements: De-clutter, Pare down, Position furniture, Color, Lighting.  

 Home staging is effective because it emphasizes a property’s strengths and minimizes its weak points. It allows your home to be shown at  its maximum potential. Presenting a well-cared for home and creating a property that gives a positive  first impression. It attracts the attention and admiration of prospective  buyers, and encourages them to consider how your property fits their  requirements.  

 Home Staging is a smart investment and a cost-effective marketing tool for the  broker. It can be a deal-maker and sell a property for the best price in the shortest  amount of time.    


By: Barbara Brock; president of A Proper Place, a Manhattan-based home staging,  decorating and professional organizing company.

Set Yourself Apart By Staging

Staging Sells: Sell Your Home Like A Pro


The real estate market has undergone significant rebound in recent times. Just like many people whose houses have been in the market for months, you feel this is the right time to sell off your property. Well, your time might be right, but you will face stiff competition from thousands of home sellers.

Dedication and Hardwork

Selling your property in today’s tough real-estate market requires a lot of hard work and dedication. With the tough competition from thousands of other property sellers, you have to find a way to stand out from the competition. Anything that will give you an edge over the competition should be a plus to you when you are trying to sell your home.

Setting Yourself Apart

You should make your home look best to distinguish it from that of your competition. This is where staging can be very useful. Staging your home will enable your home to attract top dollars from homebuyers. So, what is staging?

Barb Schwarz, president of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, defined home staging as “the preparation of the home for sale so that buyers can mentally move in.” By staging your home, you will make it look appealing and attractive to buyers.

Top 4 Reasons to Stage Your Home

1. You Will Make More Money: A survey conducted by Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp. discovered that staged homes are usually sold 6% above the asking price and spent less time in the market when compared to unstaged homes.

2. Your House Will Sell Faster: Well, according to a survey conducted by the National Association Realtors (NAR), the longer a property stays in the market, the lower the price it will attract.

3. You Will Get a Good Return on Your Investment: Another NAR survey reveals that a 1 – 3% investment on home staging yields 8 – 10% return, which is a good deal.

4. Your Online Photos Will Stand Out: A recently conducted NAR poll found out that 90% of potential home buyers start their property search on the internet. Staging your home increase the visibility of your property to potential buyers.

Does Staging Really Works? The answer to this question can be found in the 2011 RESA survey. This survey discovered that on the average, a staged home sells faster than an unstaged home.

The 5 Keys to Staging Like a Pro

1. Color: Use warm and soothing colors to paint your home. Lighter shades are more attractive to the eyes and helps buyers to visualize their household items in the house.

2. Maintenance: Make your house look clean and smell nicely. In addition, try to complete any home improvement project you are carrying out on your property.

3. Depersonalization and De-cluttering: Take out your personal stuffs from your house. They distract home buyers during the inspection of your property.

4. Emotional Cues: Help buyers to emotionally connect with your home by decorating it with candles and flowers.

5. Furniture Placement: Place minimal furniture in your home in order to showcase the large space to potential buyers.

Free tips you can use to help your stager get your home sold!

10 Totally Free Tips For Getting Your Home Sold Quickly


Staging your home is a critical step in getting it sold, but Thankfully, there are tricks you can use to make your home look bigger, better, and brighter!

1. Fix up your floors

Don't want to pay to replace or refinish your floors? No prob. Grab a brown crayon to fill in divots. A one-to-one mix of olive oil and vinegar rubbed directly on scratched areas will also help make it look new. You can also use canola if you don't have olive, but then use a one-part vinegar, three-part oil mixture. Or, try this hack that uses walnuts to fix scratches. No, seriously.

Floors look great but don't sound so hot? "Fix creaky wood floors with a generous dusting of baby powder," said One Crazy House. "Work it into the cracks until the floor is no longer noisy."

2. Make it sparkle

Presumably, you already have cleaning supplies, sponges, and paper towels in the house. Now all you need is some elbow grease to make your home look shiny and new.

When selling your home, you need to take the cleaning beyond your typical weekly run-through. Think "Spring cleaning" turned up a notch or two. Remember that potential buyers will be looking everywhere, including inside drawers and cabinets. Make sure they're crumb-free and well organized. They may also open your refrigerator. While this can seem intrusive, you don't want to give them a reason to walk away, so make sure to tidy up the inside, wipe up any spills, throw away rotten food, and put a nice big box of Baking Soda in there to absorb any leftover smells.

3. Let the light in

Everyone is looking for "natural light," so show off what you've got by opening up those blinds and drapes. Did you just reveal a bunch of dirty windows and sills? Ewww. Grab that cleaning spray and make them shine. An old toothbrush is a great way to get gunk out of corners and in window tracks.

If your place isn't light and bright, even with all the blinds and drapes drawn, you'll need to depend on artificial lighting. This is no time to have lightbulbs out. Go hit that stash in your laundry room cabinet and switch out for fresh bulbs.

4. Declutter

Home stagers will tell you there is no more important step when preparing your home for sale. "If you are serious about staging your home, all clutter must go, end of story," said Houzz. "It's not easy, and it may even require utilizing offsite storage (or a nice relative's garage) temporarily, but it is well worth the trouble."

Do a walk-through with an outsider's eye, or ask a friend or family member to help since they'll be more objective. Anything that isn't used regularly or is taking away from the open feel of the house can be packed away. Small appliances and anything else hanging out on countertops can be put in a cabinet if you're not ready to stick it in a box. You want people to see the bones of the house, not your blender.


5. Depersonalize

While, you're decluttering, keep personalization in mind. Buyers want to be able to picture themselves living in the home, and they might not be able to do so if they can't take their eyes off your wall of taxidermy.

6. Create closet space

Even if you have the world's largest walk-in closet in the master bedroom, you can give buyers the impression that there isn't enough space by overfilling it. Stagers recommend taking half of your clothes and shoes out and packing them away to create some airiness. Does the idea of packing up your stuff freak you out? You're going to have to do it when you move, anyway. This is just giving you a head start.

7. Remove the stink

Does your home greet guests with a big whiff of cat box? Potential home buyers might just turn right back around and get in the car. You also want to make sure your animals aren't irritating those who are touring or impeding them from entering certain rooms. Don't want to board them? Surely you have a friend or family member who'd love to watch your pets during showings, right?

8. Pull those weeds

You really can't overestimate the importance of curb appeal today. Even if you don't want to spring for a few bags of mulch and some colorful flowers to frame your door, there are easy and free steps you can take to give buyers a great first impression. Dispose of any visible weeds, leaves, and other unwanted stuff hanging out in the yard. Give your bushes a trim and mow the yard. If you can't power wash your home, at least wash the outside of the exterior windows that are within eye level.

And don't forget about the area closest to your front door. Sweep that stoop and make sure your welcome mat is actually welcoming, instead of dusty and dirty.


9. Address your furniture

Some of the most common problems in homes when it comes to furniture: 1) It's ugly; 2) It's old; There's too much of it; The arrangement is uninviting. Ugly and old might be hard to overcome when you're trying not to spend money, but the rest you can do something about.

"Sometimes when sellers are trying to make a small room seem like it's more spacious, they have a tendency to push all of their furniture against the walls to leave a big open space in the middle. This type of arrangement may leave a lot of open space, but ultimately leaves the interior design looking unfinished -- a big turn off for buyers. In this situation, it's better to create furniture groupings. First, envision the way the space should be used," said Freshome. "Do you have a huge flatscreen TV that requires a lot of seating? Is there a corner in your living room that would serve perfectly as a reading nook? Group the furniture in ways that would make sense for the intended use. Then, make sure that there are clean and direct pathways through the room. You want potential buyers to be able to envision themselves living in your home and one of the quickest ways to do that is by creating a cozy seating area that's fit for conversation."

If the problem is that you've created a crowded space by using too much furniture, ditch a few pieces in a friend's garage for the time being (or, even better, donate them!) to create an intimate seating area. You can always bring those pieces back into your new home.

10. Borrow stuff

If, at the end of the day, your home still isn't looking show-ready, maybe it's time to raid a friend's house. Have a loved one who has an extra couch that's more neutral than yours or a couple of great accessories? It's time to test their love for you.


5 Tips for Spring Redecorating!

Spring is a time of rebirth. Flowers are in bloom, days are getting longer and brighter and the weather is warming up. Why not take this opportunity to breathe some life into your home as well? Now is the perfect time to redecorate and liven up your space. Give your home a sense of reinvention after a drab winter. Here are some quick fixes for changing up your decor without turning it into a major project.

1. Use Pictures
You don't have to scour stores for expensive paintings. All you need are some of your favorite photos and an eclectic array of frames to achieve the "gallery wall" look that's becoming increasingly popular.

The key to a perfectly arranged gallery wall is to experiment with different placements until you find the best one. However, it doesn't take a professional designer to know that hammering nails into walls and pulling them out with every failed arrangement is both damaging to the wall and a huge waste of energy. Instead, trace the outline of each frame onto a large sheet of paper, and cut them out accordingly. Then, tape them to the wall in different arrangements until you find a winning combination. 

Change the colors in your room for a total transformation.

2. Switch Up Your Color Scheme
One way to completely change the look of a room is to switch up the colors. However, repainting the walls is expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, there are many other ways to get a fresh new palette with minimal effort. To do this, focus on accent pieces. Look at your pillows, rugs and furniture, and swap out neutral shades for bold colors and patterns. 

If you're having difficulty choosing a color scheme, it may help to envision the atmosphere you're trying to create. Want a comfortable and cozy look? Go with warm colors, like browns, oranges and golds. Are you looking for something more inspiring? Try gem tones, like deep purples and blues, instead. The colors you choose for a room can transform it into a completely different space.

3. Create a Focal Point
Whether you're redecorating your bedroom, living room or kitchen, there's got to be some kind of focal point. It could be the bed, TV or table - whatever it is, be sure to design around it. Keep other decorations and furniture subtle so they don't compete with the main area of focus.

You should also arrange your furniture in a way that encourages guests to enjoy the predominant piece. If you're redesigning your living room and you want the fireplace to be the focal point, position your couch, chairs and coffee table in a semicircle around it. You may even choose to position the TV above it so guests are seated facing the same direction as both.

4. Choose the Right Rug
Even if your home is fully carpeted, a rug can be a great way to reinforce the carpeting and add some flair to a room. Choose a color and pattern that pops, and place appropriately, according to its size and the room's focal point. If the rug is too small to fit all of the furniture comfortably on top of it, place it either in the center of the furniture or off to the side for an interesting effect.

5. Make it Cozy
However you choose to decorate, make sure that the room feels like it's been lived in. Your home is supposed to be comforting and soothing - not necessarily an artistic display. Leave some magazines or books on the coffee table and place a decorative bucket or chest somewhere in the room to collect all loose materials that don't belong. On top of the couch or bed, drape a cozy blanket, like the Sunbeam® Full Velvet Plush Heated Blanket, that not only looks great, but also instantly warms you up and makes it truly feel like home.


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