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! 


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."

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!

For help preparing your house for sale in the Denver area - call Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP - Owner, Sensational Home Staging 303-717-7918.
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.

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.

Denver Housing Market heats up - 2nd in Nation for sales!

Don't miss out on getting your house sold! In a hot market - houses that are Staged will sell even faster and are ripe for multiple offers! Don't leave money on the table - get your house Staged and priced right and you'll be experiencing the joy of a fast sale!


Friday, April 13, 2012

ASP Staging does it AGAIN! Check out the transformation of this house in BOSTON!

Check out the latest ASP Course Staging project where students are challenged to use ONLY what the homeowner has in the house combined with Staging techniques, instructions and ideas.  If we all believe what we see on HGTV then all Sellers would have to SPEND $2,000 or more to get their houses Staged and all houses would need a "design overhaul."  What if a Seller does not have $2,000 - or what if they have things to work with already?  Staging is NOT decorating or design - it is a tool use to present a house for sale to the Buying Audience.

Sometimes what a house needs is to have rooms opened up, large furniture removed and some pizazz added with decor - placement is key - and Sellers need to know to work with professionally TRAINED and ACCREDITED Stagers to get the right job for their situation.

Enjoy these photos!!  Spread the word that when it comes to Staging and Selling - ASPs are the go-to Stagers!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Staging Testimonial: Sensational Home Staging Saves the Day - AGAIN!

Check out the latest Client Testimonial from a seller I worked with last week . . . his condo has been on the market since November with NO OFFERS.

Enter my Staging expertise and recommendations to help make the house feel larger - as well as depersonalize the space - and look at the results straight from the Seller:

Hey Jennie,

Thanks again for all your help. Once we moved everything, the condo looks great!! We even just got an offer on Friday. I think moving everything really made the difference. . . . Jeremy E., Seller
Staging Investment:  $100 for a consultation report.
Potential Price Reduction:  $10,000 minimum.
I think the Sellers were very savvy to get the consultation - they did the work - and they got an offer!!  I am very happy for them as they need to sell and in this market, they were not getting the attention they needed from Buyers! 
I love this business!!