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!

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 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 (

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.

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 to learn more about Sensational Home Staging.