EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: DANA WANG, PRESIDENT
Proper staging can help you sell your home faster, and possibly even for a higher price, and in recent years stagers have become even savvier at zeroing in on what buyers want. I spoke with three home staging professionals to find out what works these days, from the tried and true basics to fresh ideas for prepping a home for a quick and profitable sale. Whether you are planning to hire a pro or want to learn a few tricks to do it yourself, these tips will get you up to speed on the latest techniques in staging to sell.
1. Find the right pros to work with. "I feel the most important thing for homeowners to focus on is choosing a great Realtor to represent them and to properly showcase their property with professional photos and staging suggestions," says home stager Kelley Gardner in Madison, New Jersey. "I see too many poor photos, no floor plans and no staging. Most buyers are making their final selections using the tools of the Internet, so they will rule out the dated, ugly, messy homes that could actually be a gem if the homeowner had just taken the time to update the rooms with very little effort."
If you are finding it difficult to let go of personal items, hiring a staging pro can help, say Robin DeCapua and Rachel Moore of Madison Modern Home in Los Angeles: "They can look at your home with fresh eyes and see both the strengths and flaws that may be invisible to you as a homeowner."
2. Detach yourself from your house. The process of staging takes the focus of your home away from you and puts it on the potential new owners of your home. Shirin Sarikhani of Seattle Staged To Sell likes to show sellers photos of staged versus unstaged rooms to show what a striking difference staging makes.
"I also help them understand that empty rooms look smaller than staged rooms," she says. "I try to let the home sellers understand that home staging is an investment and not a cost. The first step a home seller can take to ensure a successful outcome is to get detached from their home; now it is all about the buyers."
3. Focus on the front.Wondering where to begin? Try sprucing up your home's curb appeal."Buyers make up their mind in the first 30 seconds as they approach the front door," says Gardner. "Clean it up, paint and update the old weathered light fixture. Trim foliage, take out dead plantings and mulch if you are in a growing season. When your home hits the MLS, light it up. Potential buyers tend to drive by before they actually get inside."
4. Say goodbye to ugly. There is really no nice way to say it: We all have a few ugly bits in our homes, and it's best to face the facts early on. The good news: There are plenty of quick fixes for your home's trouble spots.
"White towels and a white waffle-weave shower curtain can do wonders to a dated bath," says Gardner. "If you have oak kitchen cabinets, paint them white and add quartz or stone counters to help update. Remove dated wallpaper and paint. Take down dusty, dated window treatments. Inexpensive updates can include changing out light fixtures, throw pillows and bed linens. I like a white quilt or duvet for photos."
5. Know your buyer. This is the golden rule of staging. The new paradigm is a targeted approach capturing the likely buyer pool through specific design styles that will resonate, such as hipster, industrial or beachy modern style, say DeCapua and Moore.
Gardner adds that buyers in their mid-20s to mid-30s make up a large part of the market, so "that is the group to capture and market toward," she says. "They usually like the look of the big-box stores, like Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn, so I like to show the homeowners these catalogs to get the feel of this transitional style." If you are staging your home yourself, ask your real estate agent for help identifying your target market.
Read the original article on Houzz.com.
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(From Left to Right: Emily Taber-Moore, Claire Lam, Dana Wang, Jessica Liu, Edward Zheng, Katie Barton)
Thought process: [Emily] As a young professional living with a male roommate, I had to take gender neutrality into consideration, but also add some edge (I am a designer after all). No man caves or Barbie houses here! My favorite color is grey, so this was a somewhat easy task to compromise on. With an open Dining and Living Room floor plan, everything had to flow cohesively. My roommate and I are both transplants to the West Coast and like to travel, so my goal was to create a 'Cali vibe with a global influence' without breaking the bank.
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