March 9th, 2012
What’s New In My Staging Kit?
We know that buyers typically know in less than a minute if a property is going to be on their short list or not.
And here in Westchester, there have been anywhere from 41 to 65 newly listed single-family homes each day this week. That’s a lot of homes to sort through and preview, for both agents and buyers.
Not ‘new’, but forgotten, or ignored; this week I want to share something with you that will shine in your listing photos, and boost both quality and quantity of traffic at your Open Houses this weekend.
That will set the tone as buyers drive up.
That will elevate their mood, and most oimportantly, embed this property firmly in their mind.
That will cost you $30.00, maybe less.
Are you ready??
Forget the insipid bunch of mixed flowers on the kitchen counter.
Little things can stand out in the eyes of a buyer. Finding fresh, memorable and reasonable ways to grab their attention and engage them is one of specialties of the refreshed home.
Here in the NE, most of us crave the change of seasons. Even though it’s been a very mild winter, this week, it’s all about yellow pansies.
Yellow is the color of change and optimism.
It also has fabulous visibility, especially against the brown, bare landscapes we see now.
Pansies are happy, vibrant, resilliant flowers-they survive snow!
Place a few in a pot where you want buyers’ eyes to linger, like on a deck, to encourage thoughts of summer BBQs.
Frame the front door, or walkway; a few in a pot at the edge of the driveway, out by the mailbox or plant them in a bowl on the kitchen table.
Be the first house on the block to have these spring beauties out, you won’t be disappointed.
November 24th, 2011
The value of my new find is marginal as far as buyers are concerned, it really speaks to sellers. And this holiday weekend, where many of us are visiting/sitting in/sleeping in different places, it’s a perfect time to share this.
Had seen this on TV in recent weeks, and while I didn’t think much of it, I was still curious.
On Tuesday, Doug had a small hernia repaired, and one of the things I had to think through was our living room upholstery. His favorite chair was a tufted, low-slung number, and our sofa-while it had a nice high seat-was squishy. Both comfortable under normal circumstances, but troublesome if you can’t use your abdominal muscles to get in and out of it.
SO-off to the As Seen On TV store at the mall I went. Still skeptical, but $15.00, with a store credit if I returned it seemed to be a reasonable experiment. After two weeks of having them in place, have to say it’s been a good value.
It’s a set of thin, hard flat plastic strips, each about 20″ long x 4″ wide, they look kind of like uncooked lasagna noodles. Along the sides are interlocking tubes, so you can connect as many as you want: One set will pretty much cover each singular ‘seat’ in an average-sized piece of upholstery, and you can stagger the strips if front to back measurement is deeper than average.
While I usually think of this kind of stuff as cheap, interim fixes (which , actually, in this case was exactly what I WAS looking for)-this product has several applications:
When you sit in upholstery, your body should largely be at right angles. But today, even the finest upholstery is made with cushions with a lot of squish to them. They return to their original shape, but compress easily when you sit on them. Even under the best of circumstances, if your butt is lower than your knees, you will always struggle to get in and out of it. Factor in any age or mobility issues-bad back, re-habbing from stroke, or any kind of surgery-it’s even harder.
Although I don’t have a sleeper sofa, would have to imagine it’d be help create a more even and supportive sleeping surface as well.
Don’t get me wrong-if you have upholstery with a low frame, or that is in need of repair, these will NOT help. Similarly, if your regular, every night mattress is causing you grief, replace it, that is not what these things are designed for. But be aware of people sitting in, then getting out of upholstery this weekend. If you see anyone struggling, this could be $15.00 well-spent.
They are available on line, and in all sorts of stores, but dig out those BBB coupons for the best deal.
August 24th, 2011
How to Clean Soot Off A Fireplace Surround
Sooty fireplaces are yucky.
If you are staying, at summer’s end, many homeowners find themselves looking at their home interiors with new eyes, as they make plans for spending more time indoors.
If you are selling, obvious, deferred maintenance will always set off alarm bells for buyers: ‘what else did they neglect that maybe I can’t see?’
Fireplaces are often a prominant feature in a front room, and a big selling point in almost all markets. A clean, sootless fireplace surround pays big dividends: Great listing photos to bring buyers in, and uninterrupted romantic reverie, once they are there.
HUGE BONUS-cleaning soot off a fireplace surround it is one of the easiest DIY projects you can possible imagine. REALLY.
Today’s post comes from channeling my one and only HGTV fav, Sabrina Sota, of Get It Sold…I always learn something from her shows.
You can use any generic spray cleaner (I just have a thing for the bubble creatures), and just so simple…cover the floor, then spray the brick or stone, and grout.
Let it sit for a minute or two, then distribute foam evenly by using one wet sponge, and after it’s foamed up for another minute or so, wipe off using another, clean sponge, and a clean bucket of water.
If build up is extensive, you may have to repeat. Only word of caution is if brick is painted, you may want to test out first on a small, innocuous area.
July 20th, 2011
What’s New In My Staging Kit This Week?
How about pets that hang out on the furniture?
Or rub up against your legs…or the drapes?
Get some of these.
Evercare Magik Brush. $4.00 at BBB, but available at all sorts of places.
A looped fabric cover
s pads on both sides of the brush. Simply brush in the direction of the arrow on the handle-loops pick up the offending material, then reverse direction to get the collected detritus off the brush.
Bella Blue, my shepard mix is in full shedding mode, it’s frankly a wonder she has any hair left on her body!-this lifted the hair off my microfiber car seats with one pass-through.
Reusable = green, and a heck of a lot easier, and less expensive than those adhesive paper rolls.
One for the office, one for the car, and at least one for the home-you can’t go wrong.
June 19th, 2011
B&A: Updating The Color Palette Got This Property SOLD
In my business seeing is believeing.
Here is a townhouse condo that was on the market I believe for 6 months.
Great location, right on the Hudson River, but few showings, no offers. Had done some work for the seller years earlier as a decorator, but it was her son and his wife-clients for nearly 30 years-who pushed to get me involved.
Everything was neat and the property had been maintained, but it was firmly stuck in the 80′s…pale pink and blue, mirrored walls, verticals, and lighting fixtures with smoked glass and bright yellow brass trim.
Thing is, when color and decor is outdated, it doesn’t feel like a move up, it feels like a move back. Also buyers draw conclusions about a lot of other things besides the seller’s taste. So-with an uncharacteristic minimum of comment, here’s what we did, and how it played out.
Pink walls were painted a more pleasing neutral-Benjamin Moore HC -45, Shaker Beige.
MOST of the wall to wall mirrors came down…
As did all of the verticals-replaced here by stationary navy panels to call attention to the windows (BBB, 5 panels + rods, about $200.00).
Rug in DR, little table and chair and other things that were just filling space were removed, and a chair someone would want to spend time sitting in was moved from upstairs, to in front of the fireplace.
Upstairs Master BR was an assortment of many small pieces of furniture, not enough lighting, and a flowered bedding ensemble.
Ice pink carpet was replaced with a warm pinky-beige, and again HC-45 on the walls. Stuff without a real purpose was removed, bedding was replaced (seller’s son owned this set, but $100.00 at BBB would have been all that was needed).
First day back on the market, at the Open House, a full-price offer was made, property closed about 2 months later.
Afters courtesy of Phyllis Lerner, Realtor/Owner-Broker of William Raveis Legends Group Realty in Sleepy Hollow.
March 3rd, 2011
In most any room, walls- all vertical surfaces, including windows-make up the largest surface area, followed by floors. Depending on the quality of the product and wear it’s received, 8 to 10 years is an expected life span for most broadloom.
WHYOHWHYOHWHY do sellers wring their hands, whine and gnash their teeth when the Realtor and Stager suggest replacing carpet from the last millenium?
Here are ten reasons there is no reason to keep old carpet:
-Old carpet-and old padding-retains odors and allergens from stains long dried, pets long gone, and former smokers.
-It can be so reasonable. Many carpet stores now stock rolls of nice, neutral carpet for just this purpose. This means qui
ck delivery and a better price.
-Old padding breaks down after a while, especially in high traffic spots-which makes that part of carpet wear faster.
-New padding of the the highest quality is a mere pittance (about $3.50 a square yard in our area). It is so luxurious, and provides sound-deadening benefits to the rest of the house.
-Buyers will often over-estimate what it will take to replace icked-out old carpet, which sets the stage to arm-wrestle about an allowance…just what you’re looking for.
-It is the quickest and easiest way to deal with flooring issues-no dust/fumes/drying time…you will also know for sure what condition the wood floors are in.
-The crud that blows out of HVAC vents just does not clean up, no matter what anyone tells you. Really. Trust me.
-If you are decluttering and moving furniture around, traffic patterns, stains and fading become more apparent with less to look at.
-Even if it’s in good shape, outdated colors or styles suggest to buyers that other things in the house are outdated as well…perhaps they need to look harder??
-In New York State, it’s allowed as a cost of selling the home, taken as a deduction against the profit when the house sells.
An 11 x 15 room will need about 20 square yards of carpet, even at a padded/measured/installed reasonable to generous price of $35.00 a yard, it’s less than $750.00 ..one fifth…of one percent…of the price of a $400K house. What part of that does not sound like a great idea??
February 8th, 2011
OK, we know closets aren’t really magical, but funny the power an attractively organized closet does have over us…we …just…want…them.
On the flip side, no matter how big they are, overflowing and unorganized closets tell buyers there is not enough closet space. It can also be taken as an indication of how the rest of the property has been maintained.
Buyers half-believe this power comes along with the property, and those that own these wondrous closets seem so gifted, and seem to have a lot of other things in life just to fall in place for them.
We’ve even lusted and laughed over them– remember the commercial where both men and women gasped and screeched at the beauty in their friends’ respective walk-in closets…hers was filled with finery, his with imported beer.
Selling or staying, having organized closets need not be thought of as an unattainable goal. Here are 5 easy ways to have the closets of your dreams.
1. Lest your home take on the atmosphere of a giant swap meet, do one closet at a time, and finish it completely before you start the next. You will keep perspective that way. Do something upbeat before starting-take a brisk walk, have a good breakfast.
2. Pack/Store out of season clothes. If you’re staying, you’ll be excited, all over again in a few months-NEW CLOTHES!! If you’re selling, think of it as a head start on your packing, because OF COURSE you will have your house sold, and be moved into your new home by the time you need them again!!
3. Make 3 piles of what remains: Gone, Negotiable, Staying. A recent study shows we only wear about 10% of what we own-ouch!
Anything that doesn’t fit, or you haven’t worn in a year goes into the first pile Negotiable needs repairs-or perhaps one more wearing to remember why you have not worn it in a while…ummm-perhaps orange isn’t your color after all? Staying is what you wear, and love-that 10% that you reach for all the time.
Be ruthless and quick; once something is in the gone pile, don’t re-think it. There are people and places that will gladly welcome and use what you have forgotten about, and is taking up valuable closet real estate.
4. Get good, matching hangers-your closet will feel so…civilized. Choose sturdy slimline hangers in a neutral color, with multi-features like built-in hooks and bars, or the ability to add on clips.
Some are covered in a flocked material; they’ll cut down on noise, and keep the slinky stuff from sliding off-but keep a few plastic ones around for anything damp (flocking can come off, onto wet clothes).
5. Put everything in color order, light to dark, even shoes. Seriously. Jest, even roll your eyes if you must, but then take a closer look at all the closets you’ve ogled…closets that gradually flow from one color to another are sleek and polished, and seem more spacious. Sometimes simple can be so effective!
January 23rd, 2011
Staging is the art of making someone’s space, and their stuff look their best. With more and more sellers needing to stay in their house til it sells, you are working with their things, that more often than not, need a little TLC.
Take a good look at the next few kitchen/dining sets you come across. Specifically, the legs and/or bases of wooden tables and chairs, especially if they are painted or finished in a light color.
In a home that’s really lived in, these really can get scuffed up. While there are lots of creative solutions and specialty products out there, I’m very fond of quick, easy and cheap…and of instant gratification.
On a very damp-but not dripping wet- sponge, or even paper towel, make a small amount of toothpaste into a watery paste, and rub GENTLY on the offending marks, along the legnth of the leg.
The dissolved abrasive will break up the mark, then just wipe and dry. Each chair might take just a few minutes, and when you’re done, they’ll not only be scuff-free, they’ll be minty fresh as well!
This is one of the projects I do, or assign to the homeowner, very early on. If they see how simple and easy it can be to make a difference, it’s a lot easier for them to get behind this big, mysterious thing we call ‘Staging’.
January 16th, 2011
Things in a home that show they need maintenance do not go over well with buyers.
Even things that are small and or easy to fix, it tells buyers that if the sellers can’t or don’t take care of it-well, what other horrors are there that they just haven’t found yet??
But when the details are taken care of, it’s part of the magic of finding ‘the’ house. SO-in the trunk of my car is a kit of things I have found to be helpful to indispensable when I am out and on a job to quickly and easily take care of such details.
While not always used for their intended purpose, it’s made of up things that are easy to find, inexpensive, and most importantly, WORK.
This week’s product I am absolutely over the moon about.
Kitchens are a big selling point in any home. Stainless steel is still very popular, and we all love the look of gleaming, well-kept appliances.
However-let’s be honest, it’s not the easiest look to maintain, especially when a house is being actively lived-in. Smudges, drips and fingerprints can come out of nowhere.
If you have stainless appliances, run out and buy these now. Available in spray, too (but I like the wipes) and in most supermarkets, less than $6.00 for a container of 30. One wipe will remove most of what’s on a major appliance and leave a smooth, polished-finish that seems to repel said detritus, at least for a few days, without any residue.
November 19th, 2010
Earlier this week I was in NYC at the Design and Decoration (D&D) building to straighten out a wallpaper dyelot and labeling “situation” (yes, that will definitely be food for another post).
Took the elevator up, but leaving I took the stairs…what a surprise it was to open that door and see this clever way of dressing up the regulation, ordinary poured concrete safety stairs.
Painted like a bordered installed carpet, it was a great way for the project to come in on budget, but it was lovely and well, whimsical.
Good design can make you smile, and details make all the difference. For a few hours of labor and a couple of rolls of painters’ tape, a utilitarian non-space was transformed into a delightful focal point. Well done, D&D!
October 24th, 2010
Reality Check: Listing Photos Westchester Buyers Are Seeing 10.24.10
Currently there are approximately 4300 single family homes on the market in Westchester, over 900 condos and close to 1600 co-ops.
This weekend there were over 150 Open Houses and who knows how many buyers and investors trolling local listings online, this is a sample of what they are seeing this week.
Appliance doubling as a message center, a household that really, really likes pink, and oh darn, photo UNAVAILABLE!
Additionally we have Springtime on the Hudson; trees, probably somewhere near the Hudson…
as well as some very busy people who apparently needed to leave the room in a hurry…
MLS give you 30 opportunities to showcase your listing. The should be seasonally correct, show the space-not the ‘stuff’-and give perspective that is unique to that property.
Do you really not have time to clear off the fridge, turn on lamps or move the storage bucket out of camera range??
I want to help agents and sellers be more successful, and you need to show a space that people want to see. My offer still stands: claim any of these photos as yours, and I will spend a 1/2 day Staging your property/photos for free. REALLY.
October 16th, 2010
These last two changes are unexpectedly satisfying-partially because they are so basic, and so simple.
4. Into the kitchen! Regular readers know I consider everyday cooking to be a real intrusion on the rest of my day, and faux-’easy’ recipes from hmm….rhymes with Meal Dimple…are insulting and annoying, so don’t get your apron stings all knotted up…
It’s known science that many spices promote good health-cinnamon helps lower high blood pressure, ginger aids digestion, hot spices fill you up with flavor (not calories), to name a few.
But they just LOOK so darn good, and with the weather changing and the holidays nipping at our heels, nothing exudes hominess, invites creativity and builds confidence in the kitchen and like an organized spice rack or shelf that you can just reach over to and sprinkle from.
Experts say dried spices lose their effectiveness after 6 months…I think that’s a pretty narrow window (probably researched by the sales arm of the National Spice Council), but it is a fact, their potency does diminish with thyme…ummm, I mean time :>
ANYWAY-toss out any container that is dusty on top, has no discernible scent, or you can’t remember using. Think about the upcoming cooking/eating season, look at some of your favorite cookbooks/recipes and make your list:
Ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice for baking; paprika, cumin, chili powder and curries for soups, stews and chili; dill, oregano, thyme and sage for meat, poultry, sauces and dips. Then go NOT to the supermarket (who knows how long those little jars and tins have been sitting there) but instead www.atlanticspice.com.
This gem of a business is hidden just off Route 6 (bayside) on the North Truro-Provincetown (MA) line. Wholesale, but open to the public, ships anywhere, and spices are just the beginning.
Inventory does not stay long, they do business by the barrel, and sell bottles of spices for about $2.25 each (maybe HALF of what they sell for in the supermarket) and in things you may use in bulk-their minced onion and mixed provance herbs are my favorite-maybe $6.00 a pound? Browse their online catalog, and this season, you will ROCK in the kitchen.
5. Let me tell you about the magical restorative powers of new linens…After the age of 25, the most affordable luxuries are a good night sleep, and a refreshing morning shower.
Because things like sheets, pillows and towels degrade very very gradually, we don’t really notice it…but take a look now. If your linen closet is looking like a patchwork quilt, you are due for an upgrade.
Best news, you can do it very well, and stick to a budget….. I mean, have you been to a Kohl’s lately??
Recently I bought a set of 400 count (the number of threads per square inch) pima cotton(longer threads = smoother, more lustrous product) king size sheets for a client. This season’s merchandise, in a classic color; inc. flat, fitted, and 2 king pillowcases-$120.00 regularly, on sale for $49.00, LESS 15% with my coupon $42.50 when all was said and done.
Pillows can be gotten for $10.00 or less, and if you hit it right, you can get a new set of very nice towels-4 bath, 4 hand, 4 wash for maybe $75.00-I got this same client got new Tommy Hillfiger towels for $6.00 each at Home Goods.
EXTRA FEEL-GOOD POINTS: Most animal shelters are very welcoming of your unwanted linens.
We all have busy days/weeks/etc…having a great front door/neat closets/healthy plants/fresh herbs and spices or even crisp, smooth matching sheets and soft, fluffy bath towels isn’t really going to change that, but you will feel a heck of a lot better about it all, and at the end of the day, in’t that what we really want?
October 13th, 2010
Fall usually arrives too soon, sneaking in the back door while you’re still on the porch kissing summer good-bye…all of a sudden you find yourself indoors again, and WHOA!!-what happened to my house?
Instead of seeing all you haven’t done/should do, or striving to achieve overall semi-perfection…again… and making yourself crazy/cranky/etc in the process, how about taking care of some oft-neglected corners of your home?
Here are the first few of my favorite high-impact, long-lasting, quick fall fix-its that are easy, cost you less than $50.00; I guarantee any of them will elevate your sense of personal well-being, and increase the enjoyment of your home.
1. Paint your front door Don’t remember how I stumbled upon this but am oh-so-glad I did! Susan Herin is an afficianado of all things house and home-oriented, living outside of Atlanta. Between Naps On The Porch is her blog, and whenever I read one of her posts, I am transported to a lovely, gracious world.
On it, Susan hosts 2 different blog parties, Metamorphsis Monday and Tablescape Thursdays, but here is link to an absolutely delightful blog post I found this summer about what the color of your front door says about you. http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/2010/02/what-color-is-your-front-door.html May we all aspire to red front doors, and thank you Susan for sharing!
2 Get your closets in order. Purge with abandon. Holding on to clothes-things-that don’t suit us anymore is really quite a burden. You’ll find a list of happy recipients for everything from kid’s clothes to old linens on the Good Turns page on my website.
Then, replace your hangers with new, matching hangers. Not going all Joan-Crawford on you here (remember, Mommie Dearest was not fond of wire hangers), but toss all those old and nasty hangers from department stores and dry-cleaners long gone.
Not saying you need new, hand-sewn silk paisley cushioned jobbies; but until you try it, you won’t believe the difference a few dozen decent hangers can make. BBB, Container Store, KMart all have very reasonably priced offerings.
Seal the deal by putting your clothes in color order, light to dark. Scoff if you want, but see how much more civilized you’ll feel.
3. Do some interior landscaping Cultivating indoor greenery was a novel thought in 1652, when Sir Hug Platt, an English country gentleman and horticulturist first wrote about it. Designing greenhouses and conservatories-bringing the outdoors in- quickly became a pursuit of the privileged. Happily, you need neither a staff or a trust fund to pursue this now.
Plants can scrub the air of certain harmful chemicals, as well as adding oxygen, now that our windows will be kept closed, it’s time to take care of our friends.
Replace plants that are not well, re-pot the overgrown, cut back the straggly, and fertilize them all. New dirt will add nutrients, and by supporting the base of the plant with a higher mound of dirt, you encourage new roots to form, and stregnthen existing roots.
Paperwhite bulbs should be available soon. Buy a bag-maybe $6.00 for 8?-place them in a bowl, supported by a layer of pebbles and add enough water to come to the top of the pebbles, and prepare to marvel. As the days get shorter, you’ll find new life unfolding-not to mention the wonderful scent-to be a wonderful boost.
NEXT: Viva la cucina, and sweet dreams!!
July 11th, 2010
We’re busy people, we live our lives; and human nature, when a space becomes familiar, we just don’t ‘see’ the things that we actually pass by every day. A a result, little things add up to big things and one day we wake up and wonder just what the heck happened
Sellers often rebel, those staying usually head to Home Goods. Neither is particularly productive.
A clean, maintained and detailed exterior does more than keep the in-laws happy, and provides more than curb appeal: Staying- it’s comfort and peace of mind; selling-it is your cheapest and most effective marketing tool: 24/7, it demonstrates to the rest of the world how you care for your entire property.
the refreshed home believes that when you are in charge of your space, you are in charge of your life. Also, that changing one’s circumstances often begins by changing one’s attitudes. Staying or selling, here are my favorite easy ways to show your house some love, in zero to $50.00.
Wash your windows, inside and out. Depending on the kind of detritus that is on your screens-vacuum or use the garden hose to clean out the cobwebs/dead bugs/etc out from the sill and screen.
Clean out the gutters. Sticks, seedlings, etc all need to go. Get a broom and walk around the house/garage and knock down all the cobwebs/etc.
Turn over the dirt in garden bed and make sure roots and base of plants are covered. Better than just weeding, it aerates the dirt and looks good, and offers better supprot for plants.
Clean all the exterior light fixtures, removing bugs and washing any glass. Make sure all bulbs work and are as bright as can be (creates ambiance for evening drive-bys)
$15.00 or Less
If you have a dog who has the run of the property, make the rounds with a pooper scooper every single day. Besides being unpleasant and unhealthy, acid from urine and feces can kill the grass. Hose down any ‘very favorite’ spots, and re-seed.
Give your older white porcelain tub a lift using Mr. Clean’s magic sponge. Freshen sink and tub drains by pouring 2/3 cup of baking soda down there, then follow with 2 cups of white vinegar…drains will run faster, too.
Using Qtips, detail your kitchen and bath. Around the faucets, around the drains, around the rubber gaskets in the fridge and dishwasher.
Buy a new Welcome mat. Simple and classic will elevate your home. If selling, stay away from images, as well as cute, political, or otherwise personal messages. Paint your front door.
$15.00 +, but Priceless
Color draws people in. Cheap annuals like marigolds, impatience, coleus, petunias and wax begonias are fairly low maintenance, produce a lot of look for the money, and will last til the first hard frost.
Hit the garden shop, buy and plant lavishly where you want to engage people-make a small grouping by the curb/walkway, a big pot by the front/back doors, corners of the deck or patio.
BONUS-July is considered past the peak of the planting season, you should see lots of SALE signs.
July 5th, 2010
Decorating is about making your space work better for you, while Staging your space is about making it work better for everyone else. In either case, re-evaluating your space/needs, and coming up with a plan can feel like a daunting prospect.
Current market conditions have created hybrid projects; in the last year more than half have had one goal, but keep an eye to the other.
Decisions that would shine the best light on a property and engage buyers-like new bed linens, lamps (pun semi-intended), or a new area rug, are totally transferable, can reflect a simpler/updated version of the homeowners’ taste, and are a good investment.
Saturated colors on walls have been hot for some time now. Many read as warm and light in person, and will, by contrast point up to architectural trim details, but in the end, will also add a vibrancy and interest to listing photos. (Trust me, off-white, looks old, and dirty white in photos-don’t go there).
To quote Oliver Wendall Holmes, ‘it’s not so much where we stand, but in what direction we are facing. This is the mindset of a successful project. Key is facing forward, take one step at a time, and just keep the conversation going-you’ll get to wherever you want to be.
May 19th, 2010
I’ve writen in legnth about my passion for doing window treatments before http://www.therefreshedhome.com/2010/05/02/yes-i-do-windows, that what an exponential change they make in the chemistry of a room, but seeing is believing…
We started out with existing blinds, and fleshed out an idea, using the kid’s flannel sheets
Then, 29 yards of fabric later….
Here is a lovely kitchen and eating area,
blinds on the window were a given.
Draw drapes over french doors provide privacy and sound-absorption (great for rooms with hard surfaces and households with young children), balance the line of the cabinetry, but also elevate the feeling of the space…comfortable for kids, great for casual dinners with grown-ups, too.
Almost impossible to discern, but fabric is a mini-mini check fabric. This let us add presence by doing a strong color, but kept it from reading hard, or too dark.
AND ohyes, here is the othe reason I love doing window treatments. Rich Kane is the “R” of “M and R Designs”. He and his wife Marilyn have been doing window treatments for almost 30 years, and they have been my exclusive workroom for the last 10.
This goofy shot belies the seriousness and dedication they put into every job. They “get” the aesthetics as well as the construction/fabrication so it goes from concept to reality, flawlessly, on time, and without you having a ton of fabric left over.
May 17th, 2010
Staging is about putting a property’s best foot forward, in a way that meets the sellers’ needs, expectations and circumstances.
Staging vacant co-ops and condos addressed earlier, in greater detail-
This property was Staged-or, updated, if you prefer. Old curtains taken down, carpet ripped up/floors finished, fixtures changed out and walls painted, approx $5000.00 worth of work, over 2 weeks.
Vacant for months, @$600.00 month maintenance.
4 offers in first 30 days.
Contracts signed for 3% less than asking, unit closing shortly.
Everyone is pleased, life is good.
Ask your Realtor-Staging works!!
May 7th, 2010
A quick perusal of some Real Estate sites shows that this weekend there will be at minimum, 500 Open Houses in Westchester.
Owners/occupants will tidy up and then (hopefully!!) disappear for a few hours, agents will get signs out, inflate balloons, make copies of listing sheets, buy doughnuts and fresh flowers.
Some prospective buyers may just drive around and follow the signs, or be invited by agents they’ve met previously, but an overwhelming majority will troll the online listings first. With so much to choose from, often buyers will look to eliminate choices; will your listing make the first cut?
Whether you are a seller, buyer, or agent for either-good photos where you can clearly see the best of the space works to everyone’s advantage and makes everything happen faster.
They engage the viewer, then are their most vivid memory they will have (via the listing sheet) after they do visit. Even just a simple digital camera, and some forthought can make all the difference. Here are some easy, no-cost ways to make sure you property shines:
CLEAN all glass surfaces-windows, mirrors, lamp globes, even exposed lightbulbs
TURN ON the lamps, OPEN the drapes -buyers can only buy what they see
Bathrooms Use your best matching towels, and fold them nicely. Clear the sink off, ditch the plunger and brush and ohyes-please-PUT THE SEAT DOWN
Kitchen Clear off the fridge totally…too much personal stuff is a turn-off, plus it can be a security issue; stuff on top sends the message-‘not enough storage’.
Bedrooms You’re not selling the bed, are you? Can you tell anything substantial about any of these rooms? Nope, me either.
Big, bouncy color/patterns on the bed become the center of attention-they distract the viewer and visually shrink the room, especially if the walls are light/off white.
Flip the bedspread over-the hem will probably read as contrast banding. Fluff the pillows, make sure bed is made neatly-no lumps, bumps…saw one pic today that looked like there was a body still in the bed.
Living Rooms Clear off tables of ‘stuff’, take the plastic off lampshades. Stow Nana’s crocheted afghan, get rid of sad, tired toss pillows, and dead/dying/out of season plants…no one wants to see this stuff, and poinsettias in May are just creepy.
Relevance: Why is this photo on the left taking up precious listing space? Any idea even what room it is??
Exterior Show current photos in season…this intimates the property has been on the market for a while, and it does not reflect well on the attention that agent has given to the listing.
Accurate and quality photos are taken at the most flattering time of the day, with adequate light, are in focus, and glare-free. Keep perspective in mind, show the room, not the stuff, and take lots of shots-different angles, heights, etc.
Last, before you post the photos, ask the opinion of a disinterested party. Often we can be just so darn familiar with something that we miss the simplest of things.