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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sensational Denver Bungalow Transformation

Check out the before and afters of this cute Denver bungalow - Staged and SOLD in less than 10 days!  Notice how the inclusion of furniture and decor not only adds needed color - it makes the rooms look larger than when they are empty.  Remember - people looking at photos online have no idea how large or small a room is - and so it's imperative that furniture is brought in to help define the room and size.  In person - a buyer also needs to emotionally connect with the house - and the furniture and decor does the job!!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Selling During the Holidays? How Much is Too Merry?

The holidays are just around the corner. If you have your house listed for sale or are going to put it on the market, here are some things to think about to ensure your house is "buyer friendly" during the holidays.

First, not everyone celebrates the holidays you do so minimizing what is put out for celebrating is key. Make every buyer feel welcome - even the ones that don't do much for the holidays or believe in celebrating the ones you do. There is nothing "wrong" with what you believe or celebrate and it's important to think like a buyer and create that welcome feeling for anyone viewing your house. Not putting out everything you own for decorating for a holiday will keep your house feeling spacious, neutral and inviting for any buyer.

The religious holidays that are coming are a source of remembrance, joy, and ritual for many. Not all buyers are going to know what your religious items signify and we don't want anyone feeling uncomfortable in the house they are potentially buying. If someone feels uncomfortable they will just get out and go look at the next house on their list.

I have seen some advice on various real estate sites about putting out the decor to make the house feel more "family friendly" - and yet as I have shared - that is a risk. We have to remember that we are selling your space - not your stuff.
I am going to address Christmas because that is what we celebrate in my house and if you celebrate another religious holiday in the November-December timeframe, apply the same guidelines to your house. Christmas decor is a lot of fun - I have lots of Nativity Scenes and Santas. I have a collection of over 40 Nutcrackers that are a family favorite and on display wherever I can fit them. They would surely be a conversation topic for any buyer coming to see the house if it were for sale.
Are you selling your decorations or are you selling your house? Also if you have some heirloom or precious things on display and they get broken or stolen, wouldn't you be upset? So this is the year to not put all those things out. Keep it to a minimum.

Even our tree has a special spot and it blocks the view to the back yard. So if we were selling, I would not put my Nutcrackers on display, I would relocate the tree to a better spot (or maybe not have one), and I would limit the number of decorative things to a few. Poinsettias are fine. A wreath on the door or on a wall is OK. But the abundance of decor some of us put out for our normal Christmas tradition would have to be left in the boxes for where we move next.

It might seem hard, but you are selling a house, not a home. If it is really a non-concession for you and you insist on having all your stuff out - then have no showings for the week before and after Christmas until you can get your personal holiday decor put away.

Know this: People DO buy houses at Christmas. There are people relocating from around the country and this can be a time when buyers are looking for a house, and must make an offer. Realtors will often say that the buyers that are out now are "serious buyers" - they are looking now because they either need to move or perhaps want to take advantage of year end tax breaks. Either way, don't discount the buyers that are out there and not make your house engaging, and a place THEY can make into THEIR home - not feel like they are invading YOUR home.

If you HAVE to sell now - then make some adjustments so that you house can remain on the market and be viewed as a product that any buyer would want to purchase.
Enjoy your scaled-back holiday and know that next year when you are in your new home you can go all out!!

Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP- Premier, SRS, REO, Owner & Principal Stager, Sensational Home Staging serving the Greater Denver region

•International Staging Expert, Blogger, and Media Personality

•Member of International Assoc of Home Staging Professionals since 2003

•Why Trust Your House or Listing to Anyone Else?

•Over 2,700 Houses Staged and Thousands of Satisfied Realtor and Seller Clients

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sensationally Staged - Englewood Condo - Inverness Area

Check out one of our latest Sensational Home Staging projects - listed for sale and under contract in only 4 days!  The seller wanted to price her condo aggressively - and needed it to look a certain way - so we obliged and got the job done quickly and professionally.  The results speak for themselves - and the price per square foot is one of the highest in the area! 

As I always say - and teach - do what it takes to SELL THE PROPERTY - Staging does not have to be overdone - it just needs to be done so that the buyer can appreciate the features of the house they are buying!

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For help getting your property or listing in the Denver area Staged and SOLD - contact Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP-Premier, ASP-REO, ASP-SRS.  Jennie is the most experienced Stager in the area - and has the experience, credentials and expertise to know what to do to properly Stage your house or listing.  Call her at 303-717-7918 or 888-93-STAGE.  "Why Trust Your House or Listing to Anyone Else?"

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

No Gimmicks – Just Staging - We are not a ME TOO industry

No Gimmicks – Just Staging - We are not a ME TOO industry

I was watching “What Women Want” recently - great movie from Mel Gibson’s heyday – and one of the slogans he and Helen Hunt come up with for Nike was, “No Games. Just Sports.” It got me thinking. With Staging – there are so many “sister” industries sticking a toe into what we do that I am concerned that the public may not be fully aware of what is really needed to sell their house.


Do we really want to be a “ME TOO” industry where
anyone can claim to be a specialist in Home Staging?

What industries am I talking about?
1. Decorating

2. Interior Design

3. Feng Shui

4. Professional Organizing

I have respect for people that are trained in these areas but they are not professional Home Stagers.

To me someone that is a professional has training and knowledge about the industry they serve – Real Estate – and knows where the lines are drawn between these stand-alone industries. This is not to say that someone that has a business in the areas above can’t Stage – I just believe wholeheartedly that they need to get educated about what Staging principles are so that they are providing true Staging – not applying the principles of their specialty industry without understanding what the goals are for Staging a house – because that does not serve the client in the best way and the outcome is not going to be what the client wants or deserves.

And they are NOT the same as Home Staging.

Just because they THINK they know what to do – does not mean they do – and I have seen enough “staged” houses by non-professional "stagers" to know it is becoming a major issue for our industry. If we don’t address it now – our industry will be watered down, we will lose money to these “ME TOO” people, and the purity of Staging will be lost.

Let’s take a look at how they differ from pure Home Staging.

Home Staging:

Definition:

a) Home staging is the act of preparing a private residence for sale in the real estate marketplace, regardless of location or condition. It is using the seller’s timeframe and budget to prepare their house for sale so it appeals to the most buyers, sells faster and at the best price.

The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money. Staging techniques focus on improving a property's appeal by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive product that anyone might want. Staging involves depersonalizing a home to make it a house that any buyer can envision themselves living in, and create a broad buyer appeal. It is also a method for protecting the Seller and their family as their house is being marketed to the mass public. The house can still have warmth and pizzazz with things that add color but the goal is to sell the house.

Now, as you read these definitions below – ask yourself, “Do any of the definitions (found online) say the words, ‘real estate’ or ‘prepare a house for sale’??”

1. Decorating:

Definition:

a)Make (something) look more attractive by adding ornament to it.

b).Provide (a room or building) with a color scheme, paint, wallpaper, etc.

Decorating is the service of dressing up a home – it is all about personalizing the home for the people that live there. When selecting paint colors or decorative treatments there is no thought to a buyer and what they would like to see in the home because these people are not selling. So, when a Decorator sticks a toe into Staging their focus is naturally going to be on the “stuff” versus the space.

2. Interior Design

Definition:

a)The art or process of designing the interior decoration of a room or building.

interior design - the trade of planning the layout and furnishings of an architectural interior that may include architectural layout, lighting, painting and furnishing a home or commercial building.

b) the branch of architecture dealing with the selection and organization of furnishings for an architectural interior

Interior Design is also about personalizing the interior of a home or building. Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants and are aesthetically attractive.

3. Feng Shui

Definition:

a) (in Chinese thought) A system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy (qi).

b) The Chinese art or practice of positioning objects, especially graves, buildings, and furniture, based on a belief in patterns of yin and yang and the flow of chi that have positive and negative effects.

According to feng shui websites by feng shui practitioners, The aim of feng shui is to create a living and working (and dying — feng shui is for graveyards, too) environment in harmony with nature and the flow of energy.

4. Professional Organizing

Definition:

a) Professional organizing is an industry that has been developed in order to help individuals and businesses design systems and processes using organizing principles and through transferring skills.

Professional organizers aim to help individuals and businesses take control of their surroundings, their time, their paper, and their systems for life. Professional organizers help redirect paradigms into more useful cross-applications that ensure properly co-sustainable futures for their clients' spaces and processes.

The definitions for ALL the sister industries are found online. Did you read the words, “REAL ESTATE, SELL A HOUSE, PREPARE HOUSE FOR SALE, OR SELLERS” IN ANY OF THE DEFINITIONS?

NO. Hmmmm.

How did this happen?

Well HGTV is in part to blame for the blurring of the lines between Home Staging and the sister industries. When you have shows called, “Design to Sell” and have an interior designer floating around the episodes doling out Staging advice – and in reality is remodeling the house and adding design elements – not Staging – it creates confusion within the industry and with the public.

Then I believe Professional Home Stagers that are successful are responsible too. Let me explain. Even though the industry was created in 1972, the late 90’s saw the birth of the launch of professional Stagers setting up businesses to serve Realtors and Sellers for the first time. Back then we were considered “the ugly stepchild” of the design world.

It has taken 12 years of professional Home Staging business owners educating the public and real estate industry about Home Staging to get where we are today. I believe that when the MONEY and SUCCESS part of Staging became known (because Staging can be lucrative) – these other industries realized that what WE do is a necessary part of Selling a house – and it is an industry that does not require a “mad money” mentality where a homeowner will only pay for it IF they have some extra money laying around, like the sister industries.

And they wanted a piece.

Because Staging increases the sellability of a house – Sellers realize it is mandatory and more than that, Realtors realize that it is now a mandatory part of Selling any house. Not only that, but Realtors that incorporate Staging as part of their business practices and listing services are more successful, and will be repeat clients for a professional Stager – versus the other industries that have to constantly be creating new clientele.

How do we “fix” this?

We all need to be sharing what Staging IS and what it is NOT – it is NOT decorating, interior design, feng shui or professional organizing. Staging is a service used in the Real Estate Industry – to prepare a house for sale. Period.

Can someone that is skilled in a sister industry also Stage – yes – BUT they need to understand that they are not using the same principles and the goals are not the same as their primary service area. I also believe they NEED TO GET TRAINING OR EDUCATION in Home Staging - whatever form that takes. The reverse is true too – I know many Home Stagers that are also talented in the sister industries. Usually they market that sister service as an off-shoot of what they do, and they have a background and education in that field.

Now before you get all fired up – if you are in one of the sister industries – I acknowledge that there are talented people in those industries that DO a great job with Staging – BUT those people understand the differences in the industries – and have been able to apply their talent and creativity to Staging – not try to make Staging fit design, decorating, feng shui or organizing.

Do you feel the way I do that it is disrespectful to those of us that invested a lot of time, dollars, and passion into our STAGING businesses to be LUMPED together with those that have done NONE of that?

The fact is any of us COULD market ourselves as a Feng Shui person, a Professional Organizer, or Decorator – because NONE of those industries are regulated. Anyone can set up shop in those fields.

I don’t do that – because I RESPECT those industries and the people serving them – and I UNDERSTAND that they are different than what I do – in process and goals. My passion is for Staging – I love what I do and the process behind it.

On behalf of all the talented Home Stagers serving the real estate industry, I respectfully ask for the SAME CONSIDERATION.

When I do a Staging to Live that is a home makeover I draw the line at where I know I am not qualified to help them – and bring in a re-designer, decorator, organizer, or design person to take over. I have NEVER been brought in to a project any of these sister industries are working on – with a homeowner that is selling – they just take the business. To me, that is wrong and does not show respect for professional Home Stagers everywhere.

My focus though will be on REALTORS and SELLERS – to make sure they know that those other industries are NOT Staging and should not be confused with what Home Staging is.  Hire the right person - the best person for the project - that knows what to do - and they will get the results they want.

Who’s with me?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Home Staging Marketing Made Simple - The Key To Succeeding in Business - NEW BOOK by Barb Schwarz and Jennie Norris

I am honored (and excited) to co-author this book with Barb Schwarz - and it's for any ASP or ASPM that wants to continue to succeed and capture market share or for someone that is just getting started and has no idea what to do for marketi...ng. Over 100 pages of useful info and specific ideas! These were unveiled at our ASP-IAHSP Conference and orders are being taken now. Only $29 (reg $39) through the end of the year - you can place an order with me, with Kirk (kirk@stagedhomes.com) or with any SHC Trainer. As the cover jacket says - we offer 70 years of collective marketing experience and know that the difference between an ASP that is super successful and one that flails - struggles (or fails) - is marketing. We can never stop marketing either - it's a book for ANYONE - whether new or a seasoned ASP.


Order your copy today:  https://picasaweb.google.com/108905468916034140102/MarketingMadeSimpleTheBESTBookOnHowToSuccessfullyMarketYourASPBusiness?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCO62_PGul7WpmgE&feat=directlink




Saturday, November 3, 2012

Habitat for Humanity ReStore beneficiary of Denver IAHSP Worldwide Staging Service Week Project

The Members of the Denver Chapter of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP) conducted their Worldwide Staging Service Week Project today in Littleton, CO.  Habitat for Humanity was the beneficiary of this year's project - and Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) Members of the Denver IAHSP Chapter created appealing vignettes to help draw buyers into the store - and show them what can be done with the donated items in the store.

Two teams created a living and dining area - using only what was found in the ReStore.  Members did bring in accessories to help add surface appeal.  Some of the creative things done were to add a "fireplace" to the Living Room set up - using tiles and glass blocks to create a foundation for the mobile fireplace.  In the Family Room, doors with window panels were set behind the couch to create a look of a "window" and wall.

Shoppers voted on their favorite rooms - and the winning team was given $50 gift cards for the Habitat ReStore.  It was a fun activity and benefits a great cause - helping build houses for those in need - and supporting Habitat For Humanity.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Wonderful Willow Creek home - Sensationally Staged for sale

This wonderful patio home is listed for sale by Derek Gilbert, KW DTC - (720)480-9877 and is located in a desirable part of Centennial close to shopping and schools.  This house won't last long!!


Jennie Norris earns IAHSP Premier Designation reflecting top business practices in Staging Industry

Jennie Norris - Accredited Staging Professional Master (ASPM), IAHSP, ASP, ASP-SRS, ASP-REO, has earned the prestigious IAHSP Premier Designation recognizing top business practices in the Staging Industry as given by the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP).  IAHSP has set the standards of excellence, ethics and education for the Home Staging industry since 1999.  IAHSP is the ONLY Home Staging association requiring education FIRST before accepting members.

IAHSP recognizes the need for a base of excellence and education in its membership and does not allow just anyone to join.  Members must demonstrate professionalism in their businesses and client interactions. They are accountable to an international board of peers, and must demonstrate professional standards in their business, online exposure, and client interactions to remain an active member of IAHSP.

The IAHSP-Premier recognizes among other things a business owner who has business insurance, professional policies, code of ethics adherence, merchant account, and active participation in both the international association and local chapters of IAHSP for ongoing education, learning, and support.


Jennie is excited to be able to serve her clients even better with the recognition of how she established and maintains her company and for her involvment in IAHSP.  Jennie served as the President of IAHSP International Board for 2009-2010 and currently serves on the International Board as Ethics and Special Projects Director. 

The ASP Designations (ASP, ASPM, ASP-SRS, ASP-REO) and IAHSP, IAHSP-Premier are the only nationally recognized designations in the world of Staging. The ASP Designation and Accreditation reflect the highest form of training in the Staging industry and are given by Stagedhomes.com, recognized as a school, to students in the Staging industry.


For help in preparing your vacant or occupied house for sale contact Jennie Norris, ASPM, ASP, ASP-SR, ASP-REO at 303-717-7918 or 888-93-STAGE. 

After Staging over 2,700 properties since 2002, Jennie has yet to meet a house she could not Stage.

Jennie Norris earns Designation for Distressed Properties and Investor Market

Jennie Norris - Accredited Staging Professional Master (ASPM), IAHSP, ASP, ASP-SR, ASP-REO, has earned the prestigious ASP-REO Designation to help serve clients in the Distressed Property (Short Sale and Foreclosure) and Investor Markets. This designation recongizes education and training specific for handling the needs of the REO market including Staging REO Properties and working with Asset Managers, Investors and Banks.


Jennie is excited to be able to serve her clients even better in this market segment, having already worked with REO Properties and Realtors that serve that market. Her knowledge has increased with specific techniques and abilities to handle concerns relative to the REO and Investor Markets. Jennie is networked with Asset Managers and Realtors that work the REO market, and Investors that purchase many of these properties, and provides the Staging services for those in this market niche. The REO Market represents a significant market segment with more foreclosure properties set to be released by banks at the end of 2012.  Jennie has positioned her business and services to reflect the increasing needs of Short Sale Sellers, REO Properties, and Investors.

The ASP Designations (ASP, ASPM, ASP-SR, ASP-REO) are the only nationally recognized designations in the world of real estate. The ASP Designation and Accreditation reflect the highest form of training in the Staging industry and are given by Stagedhomes.com, recognized as a school, to students in the Staging industry.



For help in preparing your vacant or occupied house for sale contact Jennie Norris, ASPM, ASP, ASP-SR, ASP-REO at 303-717-7918 or 888-93-STAGE.  After Staging over 2,700 properties since 2002, Jennie has yet to meet a house she could not Stage.

Jennie Norris earns Designation for Home Staging for Senior Industry

Jennie Norris - Accredited Staging Professional Master (ASPM), IAHSP, ASP, ASP-SRS, ASP-REO, has earned the prestigious ASP-SRS Designation to help serve clients in the Senior-Mature Adult Market.  This designation recongizes education and training specific for handling the needs of the Senior market including transitioning Seniors to assisted living.  

Jennie is excited to be able to serve her clients even better in this market segment, having already worked with many Seniors and Realtors over the past 10 years that serve that market.  Her knowledge has increased with specific techniques and abilities to handle concerns relative to the Senior Market.  Jennie is networked with Senior Transition Move specialists and provides the Staging services for those in this market niche.  The Senior Market represents the fastest growing segment of our population and Jennie has positioned her business and services to reflect the increasing needs and to serve them in ways that honor them.

The ASP Designations (ASP, ASPM, ASP-SRS, ASP-REO) are the only nationally recognized designations in the world of real estate. The ASP Designation and Accreditation reflect the highest form of training in the Staging industry and are given by Stagedhomes.com, recognized as a school, to students in the Staging industry. 




For help in preparing your vacant or occupied house for sale contact Jennie Norris, ASPM, ASP, ASP-SR, ASP-REO at 303-717-7918 or 888-93-STAGE.  After Staging over 2,700 properties since 2002, Jennie has yet to meet a house she could not Stage.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

IAHSP 2012 CONFERENCE

The wonderful IAHSP-ASP Conference - ASPs and IAHSP Members from ALL OVER THE WORLD joined us for a time of learning, and getting to meet new friends!  We earned 3 new prestigious designations to serve the REO-Investor Market, Senior-Mature Adult Market, and our clients in any market even better!


ASP Class - Herndon VA - Staged for Sale

Look at this fabulous transformation using only what the seller had in their house - to create an inviting feeling in each room.  ASP Students are the BEST - and these Sellers were THRILLED with how their house looked! 


Monday, October 15, 2012

Highlands Ranch - Sensational Home Staging success!

Staging helps this house that was stuffed with things - sellers had definitely outgrown the house - to show its best for buyers.  In this situation, the Sellers opted to move out - leaving the house vacant - and then The Sensational Home Staging TEAM stepped in and got the house Staged for sale. 


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Before & After Transformation - Centennial CO - Investor Flip and Sensationally Staged for Sale!

Staging makes a huge difference in turning a vacant house into a home for Buyers.  Before although updated with tasteful upgrades and amenities, the rooms were non-descipt and the size was not readily revealed.  After with the addition of Staging furnishings and decor - the house comes alive and is prepared for sale so that any buyer can envision themselves living there! 

Ken Caryl Beauty - Sensationally Staged and for sale now!

Check out the latest listing from Kellie Morrissey, Keller Williams Realty Success in Littleton CO - this beautiful 5 bed/5 bath, approx 6400 square ft. custom Tudor home in the Ken Caryl Valley North Ranch is for sale now!  Listed at $750,000.  Call Kellie at 303-877-2813 for information and to schedule a showing. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

White Plains NY - Staging transformation using ASP Time and Talent!

This is a class project from the recent White Plains, NY - Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) Course.  The students did an awesome job using what the homeowner had combined with their creativity and ideas!  The Seller was thrilled with even small changes that gave each room a refreshing update - as well as made them more appealing for buyers.  To find out how you can become an ASP go to www.Stagedhomes.com for information!



Sensational Transformation - SOLD with Staging!

This house was in desperate need of Staging help.  The Listing Agent met with them before they met with me to get their Staging Consultation with specifics of what to do to make their house sellable in today's market.  Knowing how much a project this house was - and the time it would take to hand-hold the Seller to make sure things got done - the Realtor wisely had me come in as part of his team.  The Staging consultation was specific room by room - and included updating, remodeling and Staging tips for each room. 

As you will see, the custom paint colors were too much and the house had 17 years of accumulation inside that needed to be purged.  Thankfully the Sellers were motivated and did most all of what was recommended for Staging.  The end result was when the house finally came on the market - it SOLD in a matter of weeks!  Job well done and ANOTHER Sensational Home Staging success story!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Top 5 Reasons to Stage in a HOT Market



As the real estate markets heat up and days on market shorten, one school of thought is that Staging is not needed as a tool to attract a buyer because, hey, the house will sell anyway – eventually. That is misdirected thinking because Staging is a key tool in BOTH a hot and soft market!  In a slow market Staging helps the house sell faster.  In a Hot Market - it will sell even faster - and possible for even more than list!


In many markets all over the U.S., sellers are experiencing swift sales as a result of depleted inventory. Prices are not back what they were prior to the market collapse so using Staging as a tool to get the BEST price for your house is necessary.


1. Staged houses engage the Senses. A Staged house looks, smells, and feels better than an un-staged product. No matter the market, that means it will sell faster – which means it gets the best price while the competition sits and is USED to sell the Staged houses. You don’t want to be in the “used” category.

2. Don’t Sell Yourselves Short. Staged houses will sell 2-5 times faster than the un-staged competition. As a market heats up – this may translate into selling the day or week it’s listed – which also means bidding wars. The Staged house will sell for EVEN MORE than list – which is exciting.

 

3. Don’t leave $$$ on the table. When a seller falsely believes they don’t need to Stage – or a Realtor does not advise the seller to invest time and dollars to make sure their house is Show Ready, they are leaving equity and profit on the table. You have to remember, people sell their houses for the MOST money possible – not just some money. If they can get another $5,000 to $50,000 out of the sale – they will want that.


4. Be the Market Leader. As the market improves, more houses will come up for sale which increases the competition. You want to lead the pack in the price and presentation categories, not be a follower – watching as the houses around you sell while you sit.


5. Staging is the KEY Marketing Tool. Don’t forget that Staging is the KEY Marketing tool that helps your photos, virtual tours, and in-person showings stand out from your competition. Without it – the 90% of buyers that preview houses online will not get excited about your property.


Staging is easy, it is a low-investment to get your house sold (versus a price reduction) and is necessary to ensure you benefit from the sale of your house – to get the MOST possible in the shortest time. Work with a Realtor that understands Staging is part of the process – and not an option – so they are using every marketing tool available to attract a buyer audience and get your house SOLD!

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If you live in the greater Denver area and are in need of professional Home Staging services for sale or for living, just call Jennie Norris, Sensational Home Staging. With over 10 years of experience and 2,700+ houses Staged - she has yet to meet a house she could not help! 888-93-STAGE or 303-717-7918. Go to http://www.SensationalHome.com to learn more about Sensational Home Staging.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Home Improvements that Yield the best ROI for the Homeowner


Home Improvements that Yield the Best ROI for a Homeowner

CAUTION!  As a professional Home Stager I am often asked about improvements that can/should be made prior to listing a house for sale.  Really it boils down to the house, market and the Seller's budget.  My experience is that when a Seller understands the ROI - they will find a way to make the necessary improvements - and the key is not to overimprove and to invest whatever budget they have wisely.  My philosophy is a seller needs to do whatever they can UP FRONT prior to listing the house for sale rather than start at a lower list price and/or lose money to price reductions.  It's much easier to come from a marketing standpoint of being able to say, "New carpet" versus giving a carpet allowance and trusting that a potential buyer will be able to look past your stained and worn out blue carpet.

But home improvements don't have to be done only when you are selling - why not invest in your property while you live there - and you enjoy the changes?

What if you are not selling?  Upgrading your home is exciting and can also provide a nice return on your investment when you sell. To maximize returns, it is important to know which improvements to focus on and to not over invest in your upgrades.




Check out the list of improvements and percentage of your investment that may be recouped at resale - provided by Remodeling Magazine: Remodeling Magazine’s Remodeling 2011-12 Cost vs. Value Report (http://www.costvsvalue.com).


88-92% Garage Door Replacement
A simple, updated garage door can take years off the look of an older home.


76-81% New Windows
New windows not only give your home a “fresh face,” but they can also improve energy efficiency and buyers appreciate those changes.


75-80% Deck
Outdoor living space is a desirable asset no matter where the locale. No maintenance decking material leaves lots more leisure time too.


67-91% Remodeled Kitchen
A kitchen remodel can reward a seller with a sizable payback. Remember that splurging on fancy finishing materials or sophisticated equipment may cut into profits. Keep it simple.


68% Family Room Addition
The key to maximizing your return is to avoid over-improving and keeping the improvement in line with other homes in the neighborhood.


65-75% Remodeled Bath
A master bath is on many buyer lists, so invest here. If you own only one bath, install two sinks or a double vanity to handle the morning crowd.

61% Bathroom Addition
It takes a simple 5 x 9 foot extra bath to make mornings more civilized for most families. Don’t count on a return on extras like a heat lamp or whirlpool tub.


57-64% Expanded Master Suite
To keep costs down, try to find extra space to create this wish-list item by combining existing rooms and spaces. Heavy structural work entailed by adding square feet diminishes returns.


50% Home Office Remodel
A home office adds to comfort, convenience, and salability, but isn’t among the top projects for adding home value.


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If you live in the greater Denver area and are in need of professional Home Staging services for sale or for living, just call Jennie Norris, Sensational Home Staging.  With over 10 years of experience and 2,700+ houses Staged - she has yet to meet a house she could not help!  888-93-STAGE or 303-717-7918.  Go to http://www.SensationalHome.com to learn more about Sensational Home Staging.





Friday, July 27, 2012

Stagers are not Salvage Companies - Stop Calling us to Get Your Old Stuff

I am going to rant a bit here – I got a call yesterday from some homeowner that has been storing their furniture and has decided it costs too much to do that so now wants to sell it off. In her words, “Our stuff is too good to just give away so I am hoping we can make a deal.”  In fact I have received this same type of call many times over the past 10 years.


As a Stager why is that people think that we are a repository for their rejected furniture items or things they feel are "too good" to “give away” or donate? I know that once in a while a Stager might acquire an inventory piece from a homeowner, but for the most part, what they are rejecting is not anything we could use. Is it the TV shows that are confusing people or just that they do not get our industry? Yes we can use what a homeowner has when Staging a house – and yet for vacant houses where we are in charge of the look, we are going to create a more modern look and color palette than using Grandma’s antique furniture and doilies as accents.


I had another person contact me because he had been an investor and had all this, in his words, “Wonderful furniture that is top of the line.” I took time to go check it out. I wanted to say, “Hey mister, 1980’s called and they want their chunky white wood with gold trim coffee and end tables back.” I did not – I was honest and said I could not use most of what he had – dated, dusty, heavy. But it annoyed me that I not only wasted my time, but that he thought I could use any of his stuff!


For all you homeowners that would like to unload your things and “get a good price” – here is a news flash: We don’t want your stuff! That may sound mean but even I have to sell my stuff at garage sales when I am done with it – and you know what? I don’t get the price I want for it either – but I am happy to be rid of it. Unless your stuff falls into the following categories, go ahead and put it on Craig’s List or post those neighborhood sale signs:


1. The style of whatever you are unloading is up to date – traditional - transitional to modern. Whatever the trends are for TODAY – not 20 years ago. Whatever I use for Staging must be able to be used in the houses I Stage for today’s buyers – clean lines, not fussy.


2. Your furniture is CLEAN and in new or like-condition. This means Fido cannot have chewed the legs or Fluffy cannot have used the side and back as a personal scratching pad. Forget kids stains and food stains. There is a reason we tell you to remove those pieces for Staging as buyers don’t want to look at that either. Telling me I can just put an accent pillow over the cigarette burn is not going to work for me.


3. Your furniture is a neutral color/fabric. Yes you loved the floral printed sofa but Stagers, not so much. Why do you think we invest in slip covers? There are exceptions but if I am going to use something with color it is not going to be your mauve sofa or hunter green lazy-boy recliner.


4. Your furniture is light-weight and easily moved from house to truck. You may have invested in that hide-a-bed to help create more space for guests but we don’t want to get a hernia moving your sofa around from house to house. If I cannot lift it with one other person, it’s off the list.


5. Your artwork is something I can use in any house for sale. You loved the print of Yoda from Star Wars and paid a lot of money for it – but guess what? It is not going to work in a house for sale today. That also goes for any Thomas Kincaid, Monet framed in brass, or other old wood framed “collectible” you’ve been toting around for years. Today’s art must reflect the style and colors buyers are looking for – and that is why most Stagers weed through their artwork annually and eliminate anything that has not gone to the show or is no longer useful.


6. Your accent d├ęcor has to be useful. I don’t want your dusty silk plants that you dragged off your cupboards. Or your old dusty silk tree with lights on it. Same can be said for your old roosters that you collected back when that was the fad. If you haven’t noticed, with Staging we have a saying, “Less is more” so I want less of your used items and more of what will “pop” for Staging and make a statement. I am constantly turning over my accessory stash because things get dated or damaged.


Do you get the point? It’s not that we don’t appreciate you thinking of us – but please be realistic about what we do. We are not the Sanford & Son's of Staging – salvaging your junk because we are desperate for something to stick in a house. Not only that – do you realize that if I have large pieces I have to pay to store and move those items – so I don’t want to be storing items that will be used once in a while – they have to be on rotation constantly.

I cannot speak for ALL Stagers and I am sure there are those that would be happy to acquire your things for “a good price” – but for me – I would rather invest in a piece that is going to pay me back many times over. That’s smart business strategy.


In the future, please spare me the calls to come rescue your furniture and decor that is “too good to give away” – just put your Craig’s List ad together,have a garage sale, and be happy that you are free from storing all that stuff – and use the money to buy some new things. I CAN help you with that – so call me when you are out with the old and ready to bring in the new – I would be happy to help you.

Monday, July 9, 2012

New Listing Coming soon! S. Pennvylania Street - Denver

Check out the upcoming listing by Monica Bennett, KW - 303-748-0295. Great house built originally in late 1800's - updated but still has that old charm found in Denver. Close to downtown, parks, and many activities.




Friday, June 29, 2012

2 Hours - Limited Budget - Cluttered House - What Would You Do?


Yesterday we had the opportunity to Stage a house in Denver - in SORE need of Staging. The Realtor called and wanted a consultation plan for Staging. In our conversation I discovered that the Seller was older, not physically able to do anything, and had no help. So Plan B emerged where we would do what we could with a hands-on Staging in the 2 hour time allotment we had for the consultation - to stick to the Budget.

Other challenges shared with me by the Realtor: The seller is from another country, does not speak English that well, and has a faith that requires daily rituals to icons and items.

Even though it is listed for sale, there were no interior shots of the house online. Strike 1: When there are no interior photos buyers KNOW it's a dog of a house and will PASS on an in-person visit.

Sight unseen we arrived at the house that was about 1200 square feet. The seller was a very nice woman and a little nervous to see us all pile out of the car. Not knowing what I was in for, I had another ASP Stager colleague, and my "Stage Crew" of 4 strong young men/boys to help with moving, packing, schlepping, etc.

I did a quick assessment of the house: Living Room crammed full of personal things, too many plants, and lots of religious things. Dining Room was not being properly used and had a console table full of junk. Kitchen had LARGE granite table in it that needed to be moved. "Family Room" was being used as a bedroom - racks of clothing, dressers, and other random furniture - no bed. 2 bookshelves blocked access to this room - and created a tiny passage way from the kitchen to the Family Room that you had to carefully navigate through. Bedrooms - dated bedding, beds slammed up against the walls. Basement - not worth Staging - mostly empty and could be used to store the boxes of things we would remove.

We had asked the seller to provide boxes -which thankfully she had in the garage so I set the Stage Crew on the task of taping up the boxes for us to use to remove things. Normally the Seller is NOT present while we Stage as it can be stressful so at one point we just had her relax on her front porch area while we zipped about the house.

We had 2 hours to transform the rooms we could - with the limitations of what the Seller was willing to have us put away. It is an art to negotiate with a Seller - let alone have the added challenge of a language and cultural barrier.

In the end, there was still more that needed to be done, but we worked hard and fast for 2 1/2 hours - moving heavy furniture, boxing, and thinning out areas that desperately needed help. At 2 hours we were ready to leave and then I decided I could not leave the bedrooms unattended. So, we rearranged the 2 rooms - one was simply pulling the bed off the wall and centering it in the room, and the other was totally rearranging a HEAVY dresser and hutch, bed, etc. Realtor kept saying, "That's what I thought needed to be done." In my head I was saying, "Well - what were you waiting for?" Oh yeah - ME!

The moral of the story: Sometimes when the budget is limited we do our best to help showcase the house. AND the Realtor needs the support of a Stager who can come in and make it happen when they have been met by resistance from their Seller.

The Realtor was happy with the results - and I found it amusing that he did not lift a finger to help us with any heavy moving or lifting. We were all sweating and dealing with moving things that were not necessarily clean. All the while being "observed" by the agent. He gets paid to sell. I get paid to Stage - and I am good at it. I considered yesterday a great workout!

We left the Seller and Realtor with a list of things "To-Do" to finish off the work we had started - and I believe they were more motivated to get it done because of the impact we had made in the time we were there.

Now there are at least interior photos that can be used to market the house!



Thursday, June 28, 2012

PUNCH UP THE VISUAL APPEAL - Color and Decor infusion to help make house SELLABLE!

Look at these photos to see how important it is to add COLOR and limited DECOR to help add visual appeal. Before the walls were bare - needed artwork to help add color and appeal. The Kitchen counters were bare - and needed some interesting decor to help punch up the appeal. See how pulling decor in to these rooms help make them more visually appealing - in photos and in person.


4711 Raven Run - Staged and Ready for SALE!

If you want to live in a new home community in Broomfield with a beautifully upgraded property you need to check out this listing! Listed by Monica Bennett, Keller Williams Realty - (303)748-0295.

Price: $310,000
Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 3
Property type: Multi-Family Home
Size: 2,467 sqft
Lot: Ask agent
Price/sqft: $126/sqft
Year built: 2008
MLS/ID: 1103506
Zip: 80023
Provided by: Keller Williams Executives Realty, LLC
This info was not provided by this listing source.
Ask an agent for more details about this home.

Listing agent: MONICA B BENNETT
Broker: Keller Williams


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Before-After Staging - Highlands Ranch, CO

Here is the latest Staging project - Sensational Home Staging - using homeowners things and our added artwork and decor to help add pizzazz and color.  Hoping sellers get the fast sale they want!



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wonderful Staging of Occupied House - Before & After Transformation

Check out this beautiful house transformed with Staging!  This is a great example of how Staging is NOT decorating - and minimizing the items left out when the house is for sale will help buyers appreciate the space, floor plan and square footage.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

76 S. Washington - FOR SALE NOW!

Check out this totally remodeled Victorian - near Wash Park and Pearl Street in Denver.  Listed by Darcy Bertles, KW Realty Success - 303-518-5775.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Sensationally Home Staging transformation . . . Denver rebuilt 1912 house

Check out the transformation of this 1912 house that was taken down to the foundation and rebuilt using modern amenities and features.  The builder did a great job opening up the floor plan, and the Staging helps set the scene room by room!  Enjoy! 



For help getting your house Staged and for sale contact Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP - Owner, Sensational Home Staging - Denver Region's Premier Home Staging Resource - 303-717-7918 or 888-93-STAGE.  http://www.sensationalhome.com/

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Finding Your Inner Super Hero

Finding Your Inner Super Hero - by Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP - Owner, Sensational Home Staging, Denver's Premier Home Staging Resource


Superman. Wonder Woman. Bat Man. Iron Man. Mighty Isis. Captain America. Cat Woman. Fairy. Mermaid. Hulk.


The release of “The Avengers” has put us Super Hero mode. I remember as a child – I wanted to be a fairy – to be able to fly. My sister and I would put on “capes” and run around pretending we had special powers. When Wonder Woman came out I am sure every young girl dreamed of flying in an invisible plane, having a magic lasso, and the ability to deflect bullets with special wristbands. Even as cheesy as the TV Show was, I remember repeating, “Oh Mighty Isis” and twirling in circles to transform into “Isis” – the heroine with super powers.  When we'd swim in the water, we'd pretend we were beautiful mermaids - and I wanted to have long flowing hair, and be able to swim like and live under the sea with dolphins.  I don’t know when it happened but at some age – probably just before I became a teenager – I stopped playing the imagination games. They were for "kids."  My fantasy of wishing I could fly was replaced with the reality of teen activities and knowing flying was only possible on a plane.


Recently I was riding on the train at the Denver airport and I was seated at the back of the train so I could see through to the next compartment. Looking at me through his window was a young boy – maybe 3 years old – and he had his Iron Man helmet and special arm piece on. He WAS iron man! And it got me thinking – maybe we all need to be that little boy - we need to embrace our inner Super Hero! We all have that person in us that inspires us to greatness – who can conquer our fears with strength and courage. In our business, when we have fear over cold-calling a prospect, we can channel our inner fearlessness and become “Awesome Action-taker.” When we have fear over marketing our business, we can become “Magic Marketer.” Forget the Caped Crusader – bring on “Super Stager!” We can leap tall houses in a single bound, we can defeat doubters with one conversation, we can create magic spaces with our Creativity! We are “Super Stager!” It’s about embracing our child-like faith that once had us believing we could fly if we could just jump high enough!


That child-like faith of believing things we cannot see is what propels a person forward when they have yet to see the results of fruits of their labor. It’s what keeps hope alive when “reality” is telling us “businesses fail, you can’t succeed, it’s too hard.” Without that faith – there is no magic! Running a business has to be fun – and we have to have times when we just dance around, act silly, have fun and just LAUGH. When was the last time you laughed with the delight of a child? If it’s been a while – do something about it. Go to a place where you can just REMEMBER – remember what it was like when you were younger and did not even know what stress was. Go to that place where you can be free to just “be” – and enjoy the moment without the worry of tomorrow. Recall a funny memory or create a new one that makes you laugh – and enjoy life.


I think we all need to get a cape we can run around the house – yard – heck – go outside and run around! I Dare You to RELEASE your Inner Super Hero!!  

I am Amazing Aquaeyes Super Stager!  My power is the ability to see what someone needs - and I use my laser vision to cut away clutter and to do everything in my powers to get results!  I have amazing powers of love for family and friends and see into their hearts to know what they need.  I can fly and have super strength to help me accomplish what I need every day!

Let’s Go! I can’t wait to see who is inside YOU! 


Saturday, May 19, 2012

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National Association of Professional Women - NAPW - Woman of the Year Award Recipient - Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP - Owner, Sensational Home Staging.

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Sensationally Staged for Sale - 1752 S. Ogden Street, Denver

Check out this totally remodeled and rebuilt interior 1912 house that is for sale now in Denver.  Desirable part of town - near Wash Park and easy access to freeway!  Listed for sale by The Murphy Team, Pat & Brett Murphy - ReMax Alliance  303-947-4569 or brettpatmurphy@gmail.com .



For help getting your house or listing Staged for Sale and looking Sensational - contact Jennie Norris, Sensational Home Staging (303)717-7918 or 888-93-STAGE.   www.SensationalHome.com

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sensational Transformation - Before & After Pictures - Denver Staging

Before and After Transformation of a vacant 1912 rebuilt house in Denver.  Staging helps highlight the rooms and defines the space.  Prior to Staging the seller shared that Buyers could not tell what to do with the 2 rooms when your first entered the house.  Staging clearly defines them as a Living Rooom and a Dining Room - no more confusion!  The rest of the house - with beautiful features, upgrades and amenities - is highlighted with furniture and decor to provide necessary buyer appeal!  Staging WORKS!! 

Sensational Home Staging - Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP - 303-717-7918 (cell) 888-93-STAGE (toll-free)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Smelly Hotels and Home Staging - What do they have in Common?



I had to take one of my numerous business trips recently and as usual had to find a hotel to stay in for 3 nights.  I usually book online and judge a hotel by star rating, photos and comments from other travelers, as well as price.

What I experienced on my most recent trip was really unpleasant.  I chose price over quality and paid the price - in a bad way.  I arrived late at night to a hotel in sore need of a facelift.  It was not in a great part of town and the foundation was cracking.  Since it was dark, I could not really see the condition of the place - and my first clue that I'd made a bad decision should have been the "reception" area of the hotel.  There was no lobby - just a small door that led to a desk - and a nice staff person there to greet me

The young man who transported me from the airport and then helped me with my luggage was apologetic about the condition of the place and shared that they were undergoing renovations that would be completed sometime this summer.  That should have been clue #2When the Staff of a hotel apologize for how it looks - you know it's a problem.

Since it was about 11:30 PM when I got to the hotel, I figured I'd just stay the night and reevaluate in the daytime.  When I got to my room, I got my 3rd Clue:  I was greeted by what smelled like pee.  It was not as bad as a pet stained carpet smell, but you could definitely tell that the carpets were old - maybe peed on - or maybe it was from the bathroom - I did not investigate.  I did not even want to walk on the carpet barefooted.  The bed was not bad but the linens were not crisp like better hotels, and I was just sort of cringing thinking about any critters that may reside in the room.

I decided to go to sleep only to find that I could hear every sound, step and toilet flush of the people around me and above meClue #4 . . . That is the worst.  It's not enough that you can hear things but to FEEL them also when they tromp across the floor - shaking your room with their heavy footed walk. 

That is when I cracked open my computer.  I searched online for ANY hotel that was better than this one - that had availability.  Unfortunately, since it was mid-week in a highly popular business area, there was nothing.  I lucked on to a hotels.com offer of a room in a better hotel closer to where I was teaching and grabbed the reservation.  It was more per night than what I was paying, but gladly coughed up the difference knowing I had peace of mind.

I took 2 sleeping pills and couldn't wait for morning.  I checked out of the first hotel, wrote a negative review for the manager letting him know they better do something - and fast - to spruce up the hotel.  He actually wrote back apologizing - and said they had recently purchased this hotel and were in process of fixing it up to the standards of business travelers. It's off my list until I see a major improvement!

This whole experience reminded me of Home Staging - and the important of first impressions.  

I was sold on the photos of the hotel I saw online - but realize anyone can take a good photo and the photos could be of an old set-up - we have no way of knowing.  That is why virtual staging does not work.

I was sold on the price - it was a good deal for the region - but I found out that the lower price meant poorer quality and condition.   Sometimes the "better deal" is not worth it with the amount of money you have to put in to the place to get it up to the standards of other properties!

Viewing the hotel in person was like an in person showing of a house - and the smells and poor condition were a huge turnoff.  I could not wait to get out of that hotel and go to a place that looked and felt clean, cared-for.  I was even willing to pay MORE for the 2nd hotel because of how it presented to me - the BUYER.

When I settled into bed the 2nd night, no noises coming from around me, comfy pillows and clean sheets, I was so relieved.  The price was worth it for me to know I was getting peace of mind.

Home Staging does the same thing for a Buyer. No one wants to really own a used, smelly, and worn-out "product" (house).  The houses that are clean, prepared visually for a Buyer and are in good condition can sell for MORE because Buyers feel better about the purchase - and experience.

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For help getting your house Staged and for Sale in the Denver region, call Jennie Norris, Sensational Home Staging - Your Premier Home Staging Resource.  888-93-STAGE.
http://www.sensationalhome.com/

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Beautiful Executive Home in Ken Caryl Valley - Staged and for Sale!

Check out the latest Staging success from Sensational Home Staging!  50 Lark Bunting is Staged and for sale!  Listed by Art Recek, KW Realty.  If you or someone you know wants a great home in the KC Valley's North Ranch - make sure to check this one out!  Great floorplan, nice yard, updated and upscale amenities. . .

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Woman's Day Magazine - May 2012 issue - Features Home Staging as part of 7 TIPS TO SELL YOUR HOUSE

I love this article from Woman's Day Magazine May 2012 issue - it is short and to the point and features some of the best minds in Real Estate - including Barb Schwarz, my personal mentor and friend.  Read and enjoy! 






WOMAN'S DAY MAGAZINE ARTICLE - MAY 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

Going Green - Tips to be more Eco-Friendly in Life and Business by Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP, Owner - Sensational Home Staging



This is a great link for multiple tips on how to "Go Green." 

http://living.msn.com/life-inspired/living-green/slideshow?cp-documentid=32873246


Home Staging has been "green" all along because our goal in truth is to "repurpose" or "re-use" items in a client's house.  There are those that are of the mind-set that things should be removed and brand-new items brought in - and to me that is not Staging.  That is decorating.  When a Seller has furniture and accessories, and things we can use in their home already, the challenge is one of creativity - not money.

People that sell their houses and want to bring in a Stager need to know that Staging is NOT decorating - and Stagers that recommend removal of ALL things are really doing a disservice to the client.  Even dated furniture can be repurposed with a coat of paint or a skillfully placed slip cover.  There are times when it is necessary to bring in more updated things or supplement the items a seller may have to achieve a look that will help best sell the house, but it should be the exception, not the rule.

Green or Eco-Friendly Staging can be as simple as reusing what is in the house - or making a headboard out of a fire place screen (rather than rent or buy one).  It can also be using eco-friendly materials such as bamboo, jute rugs, natural materials, real plants, cotton linens, and so forth - sustainable materials.  It can include the use of low VOC paints.  It can be the recommendation to replace lightbulbs with LED lights that are more energy saving.  So Eco-Friendly Staging can be just about the furnishings in a home or take it a step further to painting and lighting.

I have done projects for builders with green home staging - using natural materials when making choices for furniture and decor.  The goal is to showcase a sustainable and energy efficient home. 

The focus of the eco-friendly movement is about reusing things in our homes and going from a disposable society to a society that repurposes and reuses things in the home so that we reduce waste.  And that takes me back to my original premise - Home Staging - where we use what a homeowner has, repurpose, rearrange, revive - is GREEN - and has been all along!

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For help preparing your house for sale in the Denver area - call Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP - Owner, Sensational Home Staging 303-717-7918. www.SensationalHome.com
Over 2,500 houses Staged - licensed, insured, and Accredited

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Staging for Seniors - Senior Transition and Senior Market - by Jennie Norris, ASP Master, Owner Sensational Home Staging

Seniors - those people that are 55 or older - comprise the fastest growing segment of our population.  As a savvy business owner, it is wise to figure out how to market to and serve this demographic to ensure viability in an ever changing economy.

Staging for Seniors is not routine.  There are those that do not like working with this market segment.  I am not one of them.  I like working with Seniors.  Even when I was younger, I had a heart or affinity for seniors living in retirement homes.  I looked at these people as my grandmother or grandfather - they were someone's parent or grandparent . . . and even if they were in failing health or memory, they deserved to be treated respectfully and with compassion.  When I became a Mother - I would take my children to the retirement centers to visit with seniors living there -often learning they were neglected by their own family.  That broke my heart.

When I started my Staging company, I decided I wanted to serve this particular market segment and help Seniors with Staging and selling their houses.  There are others that have added services to help them transition into assisted living facilities and it's great that today an elderly person has a lot of helpful resources to help them make a transition that can be emotionally painful and physically draining.

When I work with Seniors, I do not conduct "business as usual."  I adjust my process depending on their timeframe, physical ability, needs, and situation.  Where I would normally write a Staging Consultation Plan, with seniors I often just do hands-on Staging because many of my senior clients are physically not able to implement the recommendations.  I do like to ask "Who is the buyer for this home?" because it makes a difference in what we do with Staging.  If the house is in a retirement community, I will cater the Staging to that buyer, and if the house is in a transitional neighborhood, I will cater the Staging to a first-time homebuyer or young family.  This makes a difference in painting and updating recommendations.

I like working with Realtors who specialize in the Senior market - they understand the needs of the elderly and how to handle them.  I often laughingly label my seniors "my resistors" because they do not like change.  A lot of the time they have been living in their house for 2 decades or longer - and they have an attachment to the house and their things that a younger seller does not.  When I suggest changes or physically Stage a house for an older person, I am mindful of their resistance to change - and therefore I always clearly explain my reasons and get their "buy in" of the needed change. 

When there is a limited Staging budget, my time is best used to do a hands-on Staging where I move through the house and either remove what is not needed or create piles of things that need to be packed so that the seller can see the impact right away. My moving things around saves them time and energy physically - and shortens the time it could take the get the house listed.




I just worked with an elderly couple that had been in their house for about 30 years.  They were amazed at what Staging was, and all the things they needed to do to not only prepare the house for sale, but also protect themselves as Sellers.  When they shared that, I laughed a little bit and said that the real estate industry has changed dramatically in the past decade.  Prior to the internet, we were not concerned about photos of homeowners going around the world.  Photos were used on flyers and handouts but now photos are put online - and are so important in order to get buyers to look at the house in person.  The whole identity theft issue was not really around 10-15 years ago, and even the issue of prescription drugs being swiped by people posing as "buyers" was not a concern more than 5 years ago.  The market has changed.  If it's been more than 10 years since an elderly person was involved in buying or selling a house, what we do is totally new to them.

The key is not to rush in and push them - rather we need to hand-hold and guide them with care and compassion.  With an added element of dementia that can be a concern, the other family members need to get involved with the sale, and often times are already stressed out dealing with the health of their parent.  As a professional Home Stager, my role is to be the coordinator, facilitator, and put the client at ease so they can focus on other more pressing issues.  I partner with the listing agent to get the Staging done in time to hit the market deadline - and then we both wait for the (hopefully) swift sale.

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If you live n the Denver area and want to get your house sold - call Jennie at 303-717-7918.
Top 5% of all Stagers nationwide - productivity, longevity and experience.