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Friday, February 25, 2011

Lowe's Home Improvement features ASP Home Staging and Barb Schwarz

Home Staging Tip of the Quarter from Lowe's Home Improvement Newsletter



Barb Schwarz, the Creator of Home Staging®, the ASP® Designation, and CEO of Stagedhomes.com and The International Association of Home Staging Professionals®, IAHSP.com shares her tips on how to Stage® a home to help your client's homes sell faster and/or for more money


"Try to look at your house "through a buyer's eyes," as though you've never seen it before. This exercise will help you see what needs to be done. Any time and money invested on these items will usually bring you the return of more money and a quicker sale."

http://ebm.email.lowes.com/c/tag/hBNZ-E4APSXh3B8ZUyPAAAAAA.AAAAAAdS/doc.html?RAF_TRACK=&email=Barb@stagedhomes.com&EMAILCODE=&t_params=EMAIL%3DBarb%2540stagedhomes.com%26FNAME%3DBarb%26LNAME%3DSchwarz&cm_mmc=email_newsletter-_-realtor_121310-_-num1-_-num

Wall Street Journal features ASP Home Staging & Barb Schwarz, The Creator of Home Staging

Check out this article from the Wall Street Journal - featuring Barb Schwarz, the Creator of Home Staging, and how she advise Sellers to prepare houses for sale using a professionally trained ASP Home Stager.

Home Staging

Depersonalizing as a Sales Tool
By Iyna Bort Caruso


"A picture may be worth a thousand words, but when you’re selling your home, that picture may cost you time and money.

Family photos, along with personal collections and even works of art, make a house a home, but they don’t necessarily make it more saleable, say real estate experts. Home staging ¬— the art of neutralizing and depersonalizing to allow a prospective buyer to mentally move in — does that.


Staging solves common design dilemmas, clutter among them, and employs tricks to maximize a home’s best assets. According to one report, staged homes sell up to five times faster than their non-staged counterparts.


In the 1970s, Barb Schwarz coined the word “staging” and developed it into a marketing concept. Using her background in interior design, theater and real estate, she’s since staged thousands of homes and founded the International Association of Home Staging Professionals.® “A house is like a theatrical set,” she says. “The audience is the buyers coming through.”


http://online.wsj.com/ad/article/sir-insights?WC=TABIns

Top Tasks for Staging your House for Sale



HomeGain recently surveyed nearly 600 real estate agents nationwide to determine the top 10 low cost*, do-it-yourself home improvements for people getting their home ready to sell.

As a professional Home Stager, all the categories included in the survey are about Staging a house for sale which is all about how to best present that property to the market.  The only category I don't discuss with clients is Electrical and Plumbing (although lighting, fixtures and updating I DO discuss) - ALL other categories would be addressed in a Staging Consultation and conversation with a Seller.

http://blog.homegain.com/category/home-improvement-and-staging/The top five nationwide home improvements that Realtors recommend to home sellers, based on average cost and return on investment (ROI) to sellers, are:



1.Cleaning and de-cluttering ($290 cost / $1,990 price increase / 586% ROI / 99% recommended)


2.Lightening and brightening ($375 cost / $1,550 price increase / 313% ROI / 97% recommended)


3.Home staging ($550 cost / $2,194 price increase / 299% ROI / 80% recommended)


4.Landscaping ($540 cost / $1,932 price increase / 258% ROI / 93% recommended)


5.Repair Electrical or Plumbing ($535 cost / $1,505 price increase / 181% ROI / 92% recommended)

Home Gain - Top Green Home Improvements for Selling your House

The top 5 GREEN home improvements that Realtors recommend to home sellers are:




1.Plant native trees and plants ($141 average cost / $399 average price increase / 284% average ROI / 65% of agents recommended)


2.Replace air filters ($76 cost / $201 price increase / 266% ROI / 63% recommended)


3.GREEN home staging ($223 cost / $445 price increase / 199% ROI / 47% recommended)


4.Weather strip and caulk doors and windows ($169 cost / $313 price increase / 185% ROI / 68% recommended)


5.Install programmable thermostats ($146 cost / $249 price increase / 170% ROI / 62% recommended)




Saturday, February 12, 2011

EMBRACE versus REPLACE? How to work with Color that is not leaving

CONSIDER THIS SCENARIO:


You have a bedroom with BLUE walls or carpeting

How do you Stage this for sale when the Seller says,
 "I am not going to paint or replace my carpet??"

Use the principle I like to call "EMBRACE versus REPLACE"

This principle that I developed saysWhen a seller is unwilling, unable or unreasonable even - about removing, repainting, or replacing in order to help a house Sell, we must engage our creativity to make the house work for Buyers despite the shortcomings we know these unpopular or dated colors, decorative choices may create.

In order to use this principle you need a COLOR WHEEL:  (they can be found online and in many art stores)
 STAGING: You need to neutralize - that is the goal of Staging - to make the house and each room in it feel Buyer friendly. The solution for Staging would be to address what we call the "moveable" color - bedding, pillows, artwork, accessories and bring in neutral tones or colors that help tone down the blue walls. The opposite of blue is . . . orange (purple and yellow, red and green - remember your Kindergarten days?) - so anything with orange-yellow and gold tones would work. Browns would be great even - but stay away from more blue as a prinary accent item in the moveable color group.

The idea with downplaying a dominant color is to go ACROSS the wheel and bring in the opposite color or what experts call "CONTRASTING" color. 

  • Adjacent colors are colors that are right next to each other and harmonize with one another. They work well together (usually). For example Green and Yellow or Purple and Magenta.
  • Complementary colors are colors separated by another color.
  • Contrasting colors are directly opposite each other on the color wheel.  Red and Green are contrasting colors.

TIP:  Colors that clash are not always a bad combination if used carefully. Blue and yellow or Green and Magenta are contrasting colors.

Within each color family you have some that are more saturated (darker) with undertones - most likely mixed with black - and those that are lighter, i.e. Powder blue versus royal blue


Staging Principle: When color is an issue on what we call "permanent" areas (walls and floors) bring in neutral tones and opposite (complementary) colors to help create an appealing look. Do NOT bring in lots of the same color. Can you bring in a pillow, artwor, or an accessory item that has the color in it - sure but it would be great if that item were mostly the contrast color with hints of the color you are balancing.


BALANCE is the key operative word here - less is still more with Staging and sometimes our role as a professional Stager is to help make sense of a wall color, flooring, or item in the house that is not leaving with the Seller or being updated prior to the house coming on the market.

Fact is, not every Buyer coming in has the budget to totally redo a house so when we are able to help them embrace the color in question, we are helping them to imagine themselves living there - and not just MOVE ON to the next house.


DECORATING: In our example scenario, those that decorate or design would say, "Bring in more blue!" (I heard this recently) because they are customizing the space and don't see a challenge with adding more of a color that is not universally appealing for buyers to begin with - and this is a concern. Bringing in more blue just calls attention to the fact that the walls are BLUE! Why would we want that for selling? We don't - it's that simple.


It's kind a concern of mine . . . this trend that seems to be trying to push Staging over into Decorating realm when they truly are two separate industries with two individual goals.


Decorating is personalizing - and you DO consider the likes and dislikes, color schemes, etc. of the homeowner. It may not be universally appealing but that's OK because it's not about selling a house - it's about customizing a home for the person or people that live there.

Staging is depersonalizing - this is not just about removing family pictures and personal collections and such . . . it's also about making the house work for all buyers - that is the ideal goal. When a Buyer walks through the door we don't want them commenting on stuff or remembering a house because of a color that was prevalent throughout. We want them to picture themselves living there.


And when a house has flooring or wall colors that have not been neutralized due to budget, time or just plain resistance on the part of the Seller, we can work with those colors by bringing in other colors to make those "work" even though they are not truly neutralized.


So the BEST way to reduce the chances of that happening in a house for sale - is to incorporate STAGING PRINCIPLES - not decorating ideas -when selling a house.


Please do not confuse the design-decorating world with Staging . . . they serve a totally different purpose.


When you are SELLING your house - work with a trained, professional Stager - not someone that has a flair for design or decorating or even a great decorating or design business.  ASK "what is your background relative to STAGING?" As talented as these people may be, if they don't understand and use the basic principle of universal appeal with Staging, you will be wasting your money on a service that is not going to help you SELL your house.


If you live in the Denver area let me help you get your house properly prepared for sale. If you live in another area, I'd be happy to locate a trained colleague that would be able to assist you in Staging and Selling your house.

Monday, February 7, 2011

How to Neutralize COLOR on walls and floors with Staging

CONSIDER THIS SCENARIO:

You have a bedroom with BLUE walls. 

How do you Stage this for sale when the Seller says, "I am not going to paint?"

STAGING:  You need to neutralize - that is the goal of Staging - to make the house and each room in it feel Buyer friendly.  The solution for Staging would be to address what we call the "moveable" color - bedding, pillows, artwork, accessories and bring in neutral tones or colors that help tone down the blue walls.  The opposite of blue is . . . orange (purple and yellow, red and green - remember your Kindergarten days?) - so anything with orange-yellow and gold tones would work - and even a pop of orange would be great.  Browns would be great even - but stay away from more blue as a prinary accent item in the moveable color group.

BALANCE is the key operative word here - less is still more with Staging and sometimes our role as a professional Stager is to help make sense of a wall color, flooring, or item in the house that is not leaving with the Seller or being updated prior to the house coming on the market.

DECORATING: People that decorate or design would say, "Bring in more blue!" - because they are customizing the space and don't see a challenge with adding more of a color that is not universally appealing for buyers to begin with - and this is a concern.  Bringing in more blue just calls attention to the fact that the walls are BLUE!  Why would we want that for selling?  We don't - it's that simple.

It's kind a concern of mine . . . this trend that seems to be trying to push Staging over into Decorating realm when they truly are two separate industries with two individual goals.

Decorating is personalizing - and you DO consider the likes and dislikes, color schemes, etc. of the homeowner.  It may not be universally appealing but that's OK because it's not about selling a house - it's about customizing a home for the person or people that live there.

Staging is depersonalizing - this is not just about removing family pictures and personal collections and such . . . it's also about making the house work for all buyers - that is the ideal goal.  When a Buyer walks through the door we don't want them commenting on stuff or remembering a house because of a color that was prevalent throughout.  We want them to picture themselves living there.

And when a house has flooring or wall colors that have not been neutralized due to budget, time or just plain resistance on the part of the Seller, we can work with those colors by bringing in other colors to make those "work" even though they are not truly neutralized.

So the BEST way to reduce the chances of that happening in a house for sale - is to incorporate STAGING PRINCIPLES - not decorating ideas -when selling a house.

Staging Principle:  When color is an issue on what we call "permanent" areas (walls and floors) bring in neutral tones and opposite (complementary) colors to help create an appealing look.  Do NOT bring in lots of the same color.  Can you bring in a pillow that has the color in it - sure but it would be great if that pillow were mostly the complementary color with hints of the color you are balancing.

Please do not confuse the design-decorating world with Staging . . . they serve a totally different purpose.

When you are SELLING your house - work with a trained, professional Stager - not someone that has a flair for design or decorating.  As talented as these people may be, if they don't understand and use the basic principle of universal appeal with Staging, you will be wasting your money on a service that is not going to help you SELL your house.

If you live in the Denver area let me help you get your house properly prepared for sale.  If you live in another area, I'd be happy to locate a trained colleague that would be able to assist you in Staging and Selling your house.