Posts Tagged ‘Home Staging Minneapolis MN’
by Shar Sitter in Home Improvement, Staging Tips
We are making our way through the countdown of the Top 20 Home Improvements to increase the value of your home. In Part 1 of this series I gave you #20 – #16. So….let’s look at the next Five!
#15 Landscape your Yard – Not always the best return on your investment but definitely the best for curb appeal to get buyers into your home and it may make for a quicker sale. Not to mention the enjoyment you will get out of a perennial garden in the mean time.
#14 Major Kitchen Remodel – Kitchens are the heart of the home and definitely the most important room in the house. They can make or break a sale. Major kitchen remodels are great only if you are not selling immediately. Do the major remodel, enjoy it, then it is ready for the sale down the road.
#13 Add a bathroom – If you have fewer faucets than beds, adding a bathroom can not only add value but save family arguments.
#12 Make sure Additions Match the House – If you have a traditional home, don’t add on a contemporary addition just because that is more your taste. If your addition doesn’t match, change the look of the house at the same time.
#11 Replace Old Windows – There is nothing worse than old drafty window. By replacing them you will save energy and dollars now and reap rewards at selling time.
If you missed any of the posts in this series be sure to check them out!
Check back later for Part 3 in the Top 20 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home! We will be looking at #6 – #10!
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 Pay It Forward, Personal Notes from Shar
What Does Sex Trafficking and Home Staging Have in Common?
That isn’t a question just to get you wondering what this post is about. This post really is about sex trafficking and Home Staging.
They have a lot in common. Really.
Even more so, it has to do with using your God given talents to help others. I use mine to help women coming off the streets that have been caught in the horrific sex trafficking trade.
My latest was to volunteer my time to a Non-profit organization that provides apartments to women that were able to escape this horrible situation. This apartment was to be for a young 18 year old girl who had given birth 3 months prior while she was just 17.
These are not luxury apartments, they are not in nice apartment buildings and they are not in a great area of town. They are places that most of us wouldn’t want to enter.
But to them it is a palace.
This is pretty common what I see when I enter. One room…it is the kitchen, the bedroom, the dining room and the living room. But hey….I am a Home Stager. I see potential! Ha.
The bathrooms are usually disgusting.
These women coming off the streets have nothing. And I mean nothing. It takes very little to help.
Let’s create a dining room shall we?? A donated table and some cafe chairs from a flea market painted a fun color.
Dishes from the dollar store, artwork from ,my warehouse and a Dining Room fit for a Queen.
The only thing I make sure of is that the mattress, box spring and bedding is brand spanking new.
The bed has not been a safe place for them and now I want it to be a place of total comfort and peace.
A little touch of chocolates on the bed and fresh flowers on the dresser to make them smile.
A donated bedroom set and a chair and that really is all there is room for but it is so much more than she has had. Really….she has nothing.
Donated kettles in the cabinets, a few groceries to get her started.
A new shower curtain and towels from Kmart.
……….and now there is a home for a girl and her baby.
Do you agree? Does Sex Trafficking and Home Staging have a lot in common?
What are your talents that you can share with someone?
Good with numbers? Help a new widow reconcile a checkbook for the first time.
Good with organization? Help a single Mom organize her child’s toys.
Good with paperwork? Help an elderly person fill out medicare or social security forms.
***Interested in how and why I started donating my time? Check out my original post “Do You Have A Dream? Let Me Tell You a Story”
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 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 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!
by Shar Sitter in Home Staging, Staging Tips
How Do You Find the Home Stager That is Right For You??
You may live in an area with many Home Stagers to choose from and you just don’t know how to choose. What should you look for and how will you know if they will be a good fit for you to stage your home?
FIRST: Look at the Home Stager’s Qualifications and Experience.
Are they certified? I have been a Certified Home Stager for eight years and am also a Certified Home Stager Pro Trainer for APSD. Your Home Stager should not have received their training from watching HGTV.
Do they belong to Home Staging Organizations and Associations? I am a member of Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) and have a RESA Pro designation which is the highest degree of accountability for a Stager. We are required to pass an Ethics Exam, have certain business credentials and maintain ongoing Continuing Education.
SECOND: Do they have a website with a portfolio showing their work and services?
Rooms With Style’s Home Staging and Redesign website holds a complete portfolio as well as a listing of all the services provided. You will get to know more about me, how I work and what I can do for you.
THIRD: Do you like the person?
That is plain and simple. Many Home Stagers are great in what they do but you need to click with them, like them and trust them. So chat with them on the phone, read the testimonials on their website and ask for a reference.
One of the greatest compliments is when people tell me they loved working with me as I was easy going, gentle in my delivery and made the process fun.
Many people feel nervous having a Home Stager into their home as they feel they will be attacked for what they have done or not done. You should never feel that way! I will need to Stage my own home someday when I go to sell. We all live differently than when we sell. Find a Home Stager that understands that and what your needs are.
Fourth: Do You Need Furniture?
Rooms With Style has a 2500 square foot warehouse filled with furniture and accessories for those of you who have already moved and need to stage a vacant home; or for you Real Estate Investors with rehabbed properties that know vacant homes are difficult to sell. Get them staged with beautiful, cozy decor that will draw the buyer further into the home! Call 952-567-1124 for Furniture Rental Information.
You love your home and you should love your Home Stager.
Shar Sitter at Rooms With Style would love to work with you in getting your home showing to it’s full potential.