‘Home Staging’ Category Archives
by Shar Sitter in Home Improvement, Home Staging
Be Careful With Those Home Improvements! Home Staging Minneapolis, MN
It’s Spring and it is the perfect time to hit that list of home improvements you have been thinking about.
Some home improvements can add value to your home, some can make your home more likely to sell quicker, and some home improvements are just plain bad.
Over the next few blog posts I am going to address types of home improvements that can be great and some that you may want to reconsider.
Before doing any home improvement you always need to do your homework and here are a few tips:
1) Look at how long you are going to be in your home. Some improvements are imperative to make to get your home in top selling condition. Other improvements should only be made if you plan on being in your home for a while.
2) Check out your Neighborhood. You never want to improve beyond the value of your neighborhood. Being the biggest or best house on the block is not the best thing for resale.
3) Check out your Market. What is the current housing market in your area? Who is the potential buyer of your home when you do go to sell?
4) Don’t design yourself into a corner by being too specific. You don’t want to limit who you can sell to. Personalize your home through paint and accessories that are easy to change rather than having to replace walls.
5) Balance your style and area. Again, keep in mind what will sell in the future rather than focusing on what you like and what you want to use the area for.
If you are planning to make improvements and potentially sell in a short period of time, check out the statistics listed on my website on the return on your investment for certain home improvements at www.RoomsWithStyle.com.
If you have made any mistakes in your home improvements that you would like to share with others so they don’t make the same mistakes, please do so. What is your horror story in home improvements? Or, what was your biggest success? I’d love to hear.
See you on the next post when I talk about more Home Improvement Do’s and Dont’s!
by Shar Sitter in Home Staging, Staging Tips, Vacant Home Staging
“The proof is in the pudding”. What the heck does that even mean?
Is it Blueberry Pudding?
Peach with mint on the bottom?
I don’t know, but pudding may not be the best idea when it comes to Home Staging.
I was brought in for a Home Staging Consultation on this 1890 Historical Home that is on the National Registry of Historical Places.
It had been on the market for six months without a single offer.
I gave some suggestions such as:
Paint the walls a more neutral color (even though the yellow was a historical color choice from Benjamin Moore it was too taste specific for selling). I also recommended taking down the drapes so the buyer could see the incredible windows and their magnificent height.
The Dining Room had an antique table in it but even though the home is historic not everyone likes antiques. I recommended the home be staged with more modern furnishings.
In the family room I recommended they remove the carpet as original hardwood floors were underneath.
The kitchen was getting negative feedback due to the long open wall area and lack of counter space. I recommended they purchase a portable island to create more counter space, put in pendant lights to create some drama and stage the area with an eat-in area.
Tiny bedroom? Let’s make it an office.
Master Bedroom…..let’s spice it up a little. (is there spice in pudding??)
So……here is how the flavors turned out.
The entryway is now a stunning start into the journey through this beautiful home.
The Lemon is now a mild Chocolate Latte enhanced with a touch of formal but still modern and casual.
The chocolate latte carries into the Dining Room and the old table is replaced with new but still classy.
The Family Room now has original wood floors and no more peach!
The kitchen…..now has more counter space, check out the cool pendant lights, and an eat-in area in the kitchen is so valuable!
It was best if they painted the bathroom but that wasn’t possible for a couple reasons so hey….sometimes you need to work with what you have and turn a negative into a positive.
And a little room becomes a great computer and study room.
And hey…..make them laugh while they are there.
Now the Master Bedroom looks more inviting…..
Within two days the buyer received two offers for almost full price.
So…..I guess the Proof Is In the
Pudding STAGING!! I definitely know what that means!
If you are dealing with any flavors of your own and need some advice, call 952-567-1124 and let a professionally trained certified Home Stager give you a hand. Or check out our website for more before and after photos.
by Shar Sitter in Home Staging, Vacant Home Staging
What is your buyer’s reaction really worth?
Home Staging – Cost versus Benefit
The price of Home Staging….is it worth it? That is always a question on the minds of home owners especially if their home is vacant.
It isn’t cheap to bring in furniture and have it staged. There is of course the rental fee for furniture but it is also all the labor. The movers, the truck, the staging time to pack everything, stage the home and then come back and pack it all up when it sells.
So is it really worth it?
I recently staged a 1904 three story home that sat vacant for many months. Let’s look at the cost versus the benefit of Home Staging for this architectural jewel in a classic neighborhood of St. Paul, MN
1) The old cliché is true….Home Staging almost always costs less than the first price reduction.
2) In addition, Home Staging is usually less than the carrying costs for one month. Let’s look at the costs involved in maintaining a vacant home:
Mortgage, interest, real estate taxes, insurance, water, heat, air conditioning, electricity, shoveling or lawn maintenance services, cleaning services, and maintenance upkeep.
Buyer after: “Wow, look at the vintage subway tile on the fireplace, check out those bay windows.”
Buyer Before: “What the heck am I going to do with this small room right off the Living Room?”
Buyer After: “What a great room for the kids to watch TV!”
Buyer Before: “This is kind of dark and dreary.”
Buyer After: “Look at this stunning wood and original lead glass windows. And that built-in hutch that is 109 years old – Incredible!”
Buyer Before: “The kitchen is nice.”
Buyer After: “I want this kitchen! The kids will love this bench for eating breakfast every morning.”
Buyer Before: “Huff…ah, ah…after climbing three flights of stairs it better be worth it. This is it?”
Buyer After: “I can’t wait to run up those stairs to get up here every night. I am heading off to soak in the tub and then curl up with a book on that window seat by the fire.”
“Oh….that’s right, give me the papers to sign and make it snappy.”
So…which statements are your buyers saying? What is their reaction worth?
If the difference is getting your home sold in days versus months, may the benefits of Home Staging outweigh the costs?
by Shar Sitter in Home Staging, Investment Properties, Staging Tips, Vacant Home Staging
Yes, sometimes it really is better if your renter moves out.
I see this alot. People have rental properties and when they decide to sell they put it on the market while the renter is living in the property. After six months or a year it is still for sale and they wonder why.
You may be one of the few landlords where your tenants have beautiful furniture, keep their home spotless, and are so willing to assist you with getting your property sold.
But….if you aren’t living in a fantasy world the norm is your tenant has nothing to gain and probably a lot to lose if your property is sold. There is no incentive for them to keep it clean as a minimal starting point much less everything else that goes with selling.
Luckily this Landlord knew that.
Having all the furniture centered around the TV isn’t optimal for selling besides the fact you should never walk into the back of furniture right inside the door.
And using the Dining Room as a place to have your speakers for a jam session may not bring top dollar.
A kitchen filled with clutter….aahhh..NO.
This space had so much potential but the renter’s furniture wasn’t showing what it could be.
A HUGE master bedroom with a sitting area is a huge selling feature but when the sitting area is used for storage is just feels gross.
And this Master Bedroom retreat wasn’t feeling very tranquil.
So….let’s see what the Landlord received when they had asked the advice of Rooms With Style Home Staging.
The renter moved out, a paint color was selected, then the property was staged with modern furnishings.
An open arrangement floor plan for the living room:
An actual Dining Room:
A kitchen that now shows all the counter tops, built-in bookshelves and a place for stools.
And how about this wonderful hearth area alongside the fireplace now? What a great place for people to sit and sip a cocktail while you are cooking during a dinner party.
The Master Bedroom Retreat and sitting area….now the buyer can see what the space can be.
This property sold in six days when units directly on each side of it had been for sale long before theirs.
Don’t gamble that your tenant will do what is best for you in showing your property in it’s best light. If at all possible, take the time to have them move out, freshen the space and do any necessary upgrades and have the property staged.
It will save you in the long run.
If you need advice on what to do with your rental property. Call:
by Shar Sitter in DIY - Do It Yourself Projects, Home Staging, Redesign Tips, Staging Tips
Bathrooms – Easy Updates, Fixing Awkward Builder’s Errors and A Room That Makes Them Smile!
Yup….you heard me. The bathroom is the perfect place to make the buyer smile.
But first, lets look at how Home Staging can assist with easy updates.
The Master Bath is more important than a guest bathroom. However, the buyer almost always comes to the guest bathroom first as they walk through a home. So don’t let it set a negative tone that your house is outdated.
Outdated immediately screams ‘MONEY NEEDED’ to the buyer and so many times there are easy and inexpensive fixes to update the space.
This guest bath has many negatives but take a look at the mirror.
A standard builder’s mirror can be made to look like an expensive framed mirror for less than $20. Easy as 1 – 2 – 3.
1) Purchase one piece of pre-finished white molding.
2) Measure and cut 4 mitered cuts.
3) Glue directly to the mirror.
A boring mirror now takes on the look of an expensive classy framed mirror. A new light fixture along with a neutral and modern paint color completes the total updated bath. A new light fixture is the easiest way to update your bathroom!
Second, Home Staging can fix awkward wasted spaces.
Some builders just don’t think things through and miss some details no matter how thorough they are. As a Home Stager it is my job to make the space seem natural.
In this luxurious Master Bathroom, the builder left a very awkward space next to the vanity right before the linen closet. It was too late to add more cabinets and fix the error. NEVER LEAVE AN AWKWARD SPACE FOR THE BUYER TO FIGURE OUT.
I decided this was a great space to add some glitz and glamour and actually get them to walk over to the space to take a look at the detailed touches!
What awkward space??
And last but not least……. make your buyer smile. And isn’t the bathroom the perfect place to do that.
This house had an outdated bathroom but with classic HIS and HER spaces!
Love it. Accent the positive I say….
HERS……. spa, tranquil, sparkle and feminine.
HIS….testoserone, shaving, and flexing his manly biceps!
Who wouldn’t remember this house! But no need…it sold at it’s first showing on Day 1.
Emotion will get them every-time. Every-time. Just make sure it’s a good emotion. LOL
BATHROOMS – they are the most important rooms in the house after the kitchen. So update them, fix awkward spaces and make the buyer remember your house over your competition’s by making them smile.
If you need some suggestions on how to update your bathrooms, call Rooms With Style to set an appointment today! 952-567-1124.
by Shar Sitter in Home Improvement, Home Staging, Recent Projects, Redesign, Redesign Tips
2012 – My Favorite Redesign Project. Home Staging & Redesign Minneapolis MN
At the end of each year I like to look back and think about the projects I have worked on. I had some that were great, some that were easy, some that were tough and of course I had my favorites or most memorable projects.
At the completion of each project I have had so much fun and gotten so involved that it feels like I have given birth to a child and it is my favorite. We really shouldn’t have favorite children but how can you not? For 2012 I had a few:
2) Favorite Redesign Project and,
3) Most Meaningful Project
So here is the second of my three ’2012 Year In Review’ posts: My Favorite Redesign Project!
This project was so much fun! First of all it was a lake home about an hour outside of Minneapolis so I got to spend the entire beautiful summer day at the lake!
Second, when working on Redesign projects the purpose is to use as much of the owners items as possible. You take what they have and ‘Redesign’. Well this client had the COOLEST items!
I had worked with this client before on her principal residence in the city so when she called me to come Redesign her lake home I couldn’t wait. I literally arrived on moving day with the movers taking out the past owners things and bringing in my clients things.
I had free rein to do what I wanted and put things where-ever I thought they should go.
Take a look:
Entryway Upon My Arrival:
Entryway Upon My Departure:
Living Room Upon My Arrival:
Living Room Upon My Departure:
Family Room Upon My Arrival:
And My FAVORITE AREA EVER!! Hip Urban Chic Meets the North Woods!!
Family Room Upon My Departure:
So….can you see why it made my Top Favorites List of 2012?
If you missed My first 2012 Year In Review Post check it out at: 2012 – My Favorite Home Staging for New Construction.
If you would like some assistance with your home contact Rooms With Style. 952-567-1124
by Shar Sitter in Home Staging, Recent Projects, Vacant Home Staging
2012 – My Favorite Home Staging for New Construction - Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis, MN
At the end of each year I like to look back and think about the projects I have worked on. I had some that were great, some that were easy, some that were tough and of course I had my favorite and memorable projects.
At the completion of each project I always have so much fun that I think it is my favorite project but upon reflection there are three that really stood out for me in 2012.
The three projects that stand out are:
1) Favorite Home Staging for New Construction.
2) Favorite Redesign Project and,
3) Most Meaningful Project
So here is the first of my three ’2012 Year In Review’ posts!
My ‘Favorite ‘Home Staging for New Construction’ was not your typical new construction in an all new development in the suburbs. This one was in the heart of the city in an area known for it’s great restaurants and shopping near the “50th and France” area of Minneapolis.
Here is what I saw on my visit to the property:
The house was done in white on white which I love. When I met with the owner he told me he had a vision while designing the home which was the lakes of MN. The blues of the water, the sand of the shores, the peace and calm of the scenery.
Although Home Staging is not decorating, I wanted to do what I could to incorporate his vision for the project as it was close to his heart.
I think the pictures will tell a thousand words of why this was my favorite new construction project.
An incredible entryway to greet you:
A living room for the adults to gather:
A kitchen to make you jump up and down:
A Dining Room of simplicity:
A cozy Family Room for entertaining:
I love working on Home Staging for New Construction projects but this one is at the top of my list. I think you can see why.
Stay tuned for my next post: Favorite Redesign of 2012!
by Shar Sitter in DIY - Do It Yourself Projects, Holiday Decorating Tips, Home Staging
“I don’t have time to decorate”.
“I’m starting to dread the holidays because it is so much work”.
“My house is for sale and I don’t have time to take everything out and bring in Christmas items. Plus I need to keep it simple”
“I love the holidays but there just isn’t time for everything”.
“The older I get the harder it is to get it all done”.
Have one of these quotes come from you? Maybe if you are like me it is all of them! Well, the selling part isn’t me but many of you are in the process of selling your home and decorating for the Holiday is a challenge.
I used to decorate for days….and I mean days of decorating for the holiday season. I have at least 25 bins filled with Christmas decor not to mention shelves filled with Christmas Snow Villages.
A few years ago I decided I couldn’t do it all and I needed to pick a few things to make my home feel festive but have it take me only an hour or two to pull together. You can do it too.
The key….keep as much as you can in place and just add a few holiday items to it. Save yourself all the time of carting things to the basement, packing them away only to have to dig them all out again in a few weeks.
Here are some suggestions for my “Easy As 1 – 2 – 3 Holiday Decorating Tips”. If your home is currently on the market these tips will save you a few gray hairs.
Holiday Decortating for Dining Room Center Piece
Don’t remove anything from your centerpiece, leave it as is. Before……
Just add a string of metallic garland and two metallic Christmas trees. That’s it. Now if your center piece doesn’t look exactly like this it’s okay. My point is take what you have and just add some glitz and glamour.
Holiday Decorating With Urns
It’s easy to take out whatever you have inside your urns. Before…..
Simply remove the candles and rocks and replace with Holiday Ornaments. Choose ornaments that you like. White satin is timeless and classic. Okay….move the urns to another table in the house and really mix it up! LOL
Holiday Decorating with Trays
We all have them and they are a great decorating tool. If you have a tray on a coffee table, side table or buffet it is so easy to change it up for the holidays. Before….
Add Christmas Ornaments, a string of garland and a couple funky sparklers. Use the same color ornaments that you used in the urns for a consistent look. In this example I stayed with white but I used gloss ornaments and silver metallic for more shine and a few tone on tone patterned in white.
Holiday Decorating the Tops of Accent Tables
If you have a large floral arrangement don’t struggle to take it away. Use it as a backdrop for your Holiday Scene. Before……
There is nothing better than lights at the holidays so adding something with a string of lights in front of your arrangement makes it new and fresh for the season without much work.
Holiday Decorating with Open Glass Candle Holders or Lamps
Any open glass item can be changed for the seasons. Candles and lamp bases are the most common. Before……
One $4 glitter filled branch cut into separate twigs and inserted into the base of glass objects changes it from everyday to holiday.
Holiday Decorating with A Special or Meaningful Piece
We all have special pieces that mean so much to us. A piece that has been handed down in the family or a piece that is the heart of the holiday for you. For me it is a Manger Scene.
Putting in a little thought in the first year to simplify the process will turn your “decorating day” into an hour or two process. But it will look like you spent all day.
Holiday Decorating really can be as Easy As 1 – 2 – 3!
An hour later…..
If you would like assistance with creating your easy holiday decorating plan contact Rooms With Style.
by Shar Sitter in Home Staging, Staging Tips, Vacant Home Staging
Do Buyers Think It Is Halloween When They Approach Your Home?
Home Staging Minneapolis, MN
What do buyers see as they are approaching your home?
Is it dark? Poor lighting or maybe even no lighting? Are they slowing their pace thinking they mistakenly are at the Halloween Haunted House?
Does it creep them out to walk up the sidewalk and approach your dark porch or overhang?
What about when they unlock the front door and step inside? Are they worried they are entering…………….
“The Twilight Zone”
Is the entryway cold…..cavernous and making them think the Halloween Monsters are going to pop out?
Are they wondering what in the world they would even do with the cold space?
Well, if the buyers are asking these questions, wondering if it is Halloween and looking for the Snack Size Snickers and the spooky music to start, let’s just say you have a problem.
Bring in color…..bring in warmth. Use the colors of the season.
Fall is a great time to bring in the brilliant oranges and rusts that are everywhere outside. Extend the warmth of green past the front door.
Highlight any focal point they see from the front door and draw them in. Make them want to keep coming in.
And don’t forget to keep the character of the home when staging your entry. If you have a beautiful stately mansion, then show it off in a beautiful stately manor.
IF YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE YOUR BUYERS ARE NOT THINKING IT IS HALLOWEEN EVERY DAY WHEN THEY ENTER YOUR HOME, THEN CONTACT “ROOMS WITH STYLE” FOR EXPERT HOME STAGING ADVICE.
by Shar Sitter in Home Staging, Recent Projects, Staging Tips, Vacant Home Staging
My Madmen House. Home Staging St. Paul, MN
Yup….I got to stage a Madmen house. Well…that’s what I called it anyway.
Do you watch the TV program “Madmen” set in the 50s and 60s?
Well I got to stage a Mid-Century Modern Home and had a blast!
The home was built by the home owner who was an Interior Designer. She raised her family in the home and died at age 93.
Everything was original and many things outdated so the children had to decide what to update and what to leave as is. Where was the best place to spend money to get it sold?
They decided staging the home was one of the best places to spend the money rather than on major updates.
Clean lines…..beautiful views…..but it was tired.
Below, do you see the swinging door on the right of the dining room going into the kitchen? When I was a kid I used to watch ‘Family Affair’ and every time Mr. French came through that door I thought “How Hip”! I wanted one.
Yes….the kitchen is dated.
Yes….the tile in the informal eating area and sun-room is dark and dated.
But oh what potential! Let’s show the buyer what it can look like! The fireplace is stunning and the dated washed paneling got a warm coat of paint.
Keeping true to the straight lines but making it warm and cozy were important. I incorporated one of the original mid-century console tables in the living room to keep the character.
Fresh paint in the Dining Room….but still loving the swinging door.
Again….just fresh lime green paint on the walls to brighten up the look of the original cabinets and refinishing of the original butcher block made a huge difference. (I am standing in the swinging door, ha….yes, I LOVE that door).
I don’t think the dated dark tile is as obvious now!
I staged the home on a Friday. It was ‘officially’ going to be on the market on Monday with a Realtor Open on Tuesday. But….someone came through the property on Sunday and made an offer. SOLD! IN ONE DAY!
If you don’t have Tens of Thousands of dollars to update your home make sure to ask an expert where you should spend the money to get the most bang for your buck.
These sellers knew where to spend their money to get the home sold. Make sure Home Staging is an important part of your budget when putting your home on the market!