Why a Home Staging Consultation is the Best Investment

Many people seem to think home staging is just moving things around, fluffing up some pillows or getting in rental furniture. While that may be partially true, every home is different and everybody has different things to work with.

By calling ReImagine Interiors for an occupied Home Staging Consultation you’ll get expert advice on what what updates would bring the best return on investment(ROI) and how we can accomplish an effective “packaging” to bring the best out of your home, at an affordable price.

home staging return on investment

During a Home Staging Consultations we’ll go through your home, inside and out, and we’ll discuss what needs to be done to get your home in market ready condition. We will suggest the optimal furniture layout, discuss what items need to be pre-packed, and make paint color recommendations, if needed.

If you’re the do-it-yourself type then a Home Staging Consultation is the perfect choice for you! The goal of the Home Staging Consultation is to give you a solid plan for what needs to happen in every room of your house. At the end of your consultation you will know exactly what needs to happen in each room in order to sell your home for maximum profit.

Once you’ve completed all or part of the suggestions discussed in your Home Staging Consultation, ReImagine Interiors will do as much or as little work as you’d like.

The bottom line is that with an investment of only a few hours of your time and a couple hundred dollars for a Home Staging Consultation you will see at least 299% ROI (according to HomeGain Home Improvement National Survey Results). And having your home professionally staged always costs less than the first price reduction.

To schedule a Home Staging Consultation call (484)318-5629 or send me an email at info@reimagineinteriors.com

Home Staging Tip: How to Make a Small Room look Bigger

Staging a house for sale doesn’t have much to do with decorating, it is more about marketing. When staging a property for sale I may make the place look boring or spare to the home owner, but the way we live in a house is completely different from the way we’re selling it. When staging a home for sale I’m selling the property and it’s architecture, not a personal style.

As an expert home stager in Chester County I have 4 main goals and everything I do in staging is done to meet one of these goals.

One of my main goals, as well as a frequently asked question by homeowners and real estate agents is how to make their home or listing look bigger in order to appeal to more buyers.

Here are 9 tips for making a small home feel bigger. You can use these tips whether you are staging a home to sell or if you are planning to stay and just need some help dealing with smaller rooms.

  1. Remove clutter. Lots of smaller items eat up visual space and make a room look smaller. Only display a few items at a time and in odd numbers like 3 or 5. Try and follow the “cantaloupe rule”: items smaller than a cantaloupe just crowd a room.
  2. Use appropriately sized furniture and pare it down to essentials. Having a large sectional in a small family room will highlight how small the room is. If possible opt for sofas and armchairs with exposed legs, it will create a sense of light and space.
  3. Cooler colors recede while darker colors make a room seem cozy. Opt for lighter paint colors like gray, pale blue and light colored flooring as well to make the room feel airy. You can also make a room appear larger by painting the walls, trim, and detailing in different shades of one color, such as off-white.
  4. Pulling the furniture away from the wall will create the illusion of spaciousness.
  5. Show more hardwood. The larger the expanse of hardwood, the larger the room will look. Area rugs are good for defining spaces but you should try and see how it looks without a rug too.
  6. Strategically placed mirrors make a room feel larger.
  7. A well lit room feels larger. Use a few smaller lamps to spread the light around and draw the eye around the room.
  8. Use fewer and less busy patterns on upholstery. Extra tip: If you have a big sifa that has a busy patter you can always “break it up” with a solid color throw and throw pillows.
  9. Minimize or even remove window treatments if they’re dated. The simpler the better. Shutters, blinds or simple drapes take up less visual space, give a cleaner look.

If you need help figuring out how to make your home or listing feel larger or more appealing contact us for a home staging consultation. It’s a great investment in preparing your home or listing for sale, or making your home more livable if you are planning to stay.

Tips on How To Choose and Hang Artwork – part 2

6. If hanging a group of pictures of different sizes your best bet is to lay them down on the floor for the optimal arrangement. There no real rules here, but the arrangement should appear cohesive and balanced. You can also trace the arrangement on a large piece of paper and then hang the paper on the wall as your guide.

7. Try making art the inspiration point for a whole room’s color palette and material choices.

Take this bathroom for instance. It has a very tranquil feel to it and it doesn’t look like the art was an after thought but everything fits in just right.

8. If hanging art on a wall with busy wallpaper, make sure the art you choose has a simple pattern and/or lots of white.

9. Try to keep pictures in a room in the same style because art display in a room bring cohesiveness and a curated feel. As an example, mixing contemporary abstract paintings traditional and botanical prints would not be a good idea…

10. Placing art vertically can add the illusion of height to a room. Same with placing art horizontally: it add width to a room.

Tips on how to choose and hang artwork – part 1

Curb Appeal Matters

You have only one chance to make a first impression. And the first impression is usually a lasting one. If your home doesn’t look good from the outside, buyers are going to believe it is not well maintained and the inside doesn’t look good either. They will not click on your online listing to see the interior photos or they’ll just drive away.

1. Clear the clutter

  • Keep grass mowed and edges trimmed regularly
  • Remove and replace any dead or dying shrubs
  • Consider removing or trimming any excess large trees or shrubs, especially those blocking the windows
  • Weed yard and garden
  • Remove plant debris
  • Remove and store garden equipment, kids’ toys, etc
  • Hide trash cans out of view
  • Keep driveway clear of extra cars during showings. (park down the street)
  • Remove excess clutter from garage and neaten it up
  • Wrap up your hose or hide it altogether in a hose storage pot or wheel
  • Remove excess furnishings from front porches, decks and patios to create spaciousness

2. Clean

  • Remove mildew and cobwebs from eaves and lighting fixtures
  • Power wash any mildew off house, walkway, front door area, patio/deck, awnings, and driveway
  • Clean windows, front door glass, outdoor lights
  • Clean garage floor
  • Clean pool, hot tub, or any other water features
  • In fall, rake the leafs

3. Repair

  • Paint exterior if needed
  • Re-paint trim
  • Paint or stain the deck
  • Repair or repaint front door
  • Polish door fixtures, numbers, mailbox, light fixtures
  • Remove or replace unattractive awnings
  • Replace burned out bulbs
  • Repair or replace broken garage or shed doors
  • Align downspouts with gutters
  • Repair cracks in foundation, sidewalks
  • Repair or replace broken deck or fence slats
  • Repair or replace any other broken or worn items

4. Small changes that that bring the “WOW” factor

  • Paint the front door a contrasting color to the house such as red, black, etc. This is one place where it’s OK to use a bright color when selling your home.
  • Paint the garage door
  • Update mailbox, house numbers and front door lighting fixtures
  • If you have a porch consider adding a bench or chairs and a small table
  • Add or replace doormat
  • Update lighting fixtures on walkways, pool area, patios, decks
  • Update the planters
  • Add color using pots with flowers
  • Plant flowers in the front and back yards – flowers do wonders!
  • Add fresh mulch to the flower and shrub beds to provide contrast and a neat look
  • Add shutters or window flower boxes to accent windows
  • Tips on How to Choose and Hang Artwork – part 1

    Having beautiful artwork pieces or family pictures is something that most of us enjoy but many times we are worried about choosing the right art and where to hang it on the wall. And then there are those who have no idea their pictures are not hung properly.

    Here are some helpful tips to eliminate the second guessing on how high a picture should be hung.

    1. As a generally rule of thumb, pictures should be hung at eye level of an average person, and while is hard to get it right in every case it is a good guideline to keep in mind.

    If there’s a grouping of pictures always look at the grouping as a whole.

    2. Relate to the size of the wall.
    Choose smaller pictures for narrow walls and larger works for big wall spaces. A rule of thumb is to have the art fill two-thirds to three-quarters of the wall. For contemporary art, size matters: bigger is better to maximize impact.

    3. The height at which art has to be hung should relate to the height of the furniture and not be hung too high. One of the most common mistakes is hanging art too high and when there is grouping to far one from another. Keeping the bottom edge of the frame 6-12 inches above the furniture piece should do it.

    4. The width of a piece of art or group of pictures should be a at 3/5 the length of the piece of furniture it is hanging over, and should not be wider than the width of the furniture it is hanging over. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule but usually it looks like the art is overpowering the furniture and the whole room.

    If hanging two or more pictures next to each other, the ideal spacing is 3 to 4 inches between them but no more than 8 inches.

    5. To make it easier to hang a grouping of pictures side by side evenly you can use a laser level. A laser level will make things easier but it is also important to take in consideration the frames and where they have their hooks and/or wires.

    Home Staging Myths

    Even though they know the importance of Home Staging, a lot of Realtors have a difficult time bringing up the subject and when they do they find that clients are going to be skeptical and resistant for many reasons. Here are some of the most common myths:

    Myth 1: I Don’t Need to Stage:  My Realtor will sell my house anyhow 

    Maybe, but the question is how long are you willing to have your house on the market and how much is that going to cost? And the cost doesn’t include only the financial toll but also the emotional part. And always, the longer a house sits on the market the lower sale price will be.

    Myth 2: Staging is Decorating/Staging is a Critique About How You Decorate
    Staging is NOT decorating. Staging is a marketing tool.

    While decorating and home staging have elements in common, the way you decorate is to express yourself, and to fit the personalities of your family. When staging a home you will make it look more appealing but  one should not be able to to profile who lives there. The way you live in your home is different from the way you sell your home.

    Myth 3: Staging is Only for High End Houses

    You would think so…but regardless of the listing price of the home, home staging is always beneficial to the seller. The only difference between an “average” priced home and a high end home is the amount of staging that has to be done. In the average home, it just might be as simple as de-cluttering and re-working the existing furniture.

    According to a HomeGain study, the number one thing that added value to a house was de-cluttering which added an average return on investment of a ridiculous 403%!  
    The key is how to de-clutter, how to de-personalize and how to make emotional connections, and using a professional Home Stager can give you the direction that you need.

    Virtual Staging

    I feel that the “virtual staging” subject comes back every year and tends to be a “hot subject” in the industry. And since real estate season is about to peak, even more so. I see ads all over the place attempting to sell you virtual staging software.

    In my opinion there are two types of virtual staging:
    The first type of virtual staging is basically a “virtual” consultation because the home stager I won’t actually go into a client’s home but I give staging advice by email based on the images of the property they provided. It is an ideal situation but for some wors and it gives homeowners professional home staging advice.

    The other type of virtual staging is the one where no home stager goes to the home and no real furniture goes in the house. Sometimes the floors are refinished, carpet ripped off and hardwood installed, and the walls are repainted too!
    How does it work? Photos of the property are sent to “virtual” stagers who choose furnishings and accessories that are rendered into the photos so that buyers see the picture of an attractive room when browsing online, on a brochure, etc

    I can see how this type of software could be useful to show what you’re going to do in a home when working on an interior re-design project, but for home staging I think it kind of beats its purpose.
    Potential buyers are going to be quite disappointed and confused when they arrive at the house and see that the house looks nothing like the photos they viewed online.

    Using virtual staging to give an idea to potential buyers how they could arrange the place might work if you place photos of the “staged” place in the house and explain what they represent and their purpose. Everything else is misrepresentation if you ask me, and it may backfire.

    My job as your professional home stager is to make the buyer fall in love with your home, and while having great pictures online it’s very important, it is not everything – it is just the first step. Once the buyer walks in and doesn’t recognize the place the disappointment will settle in, and an unhappy buyer is not a buyer that will likely make an offer. Home staging is a 6th sense: in order for buyer to have an emotional connection and an actual feel of the space the ol’ traditional staging is what a home really needs.

    Why Home Staging Works

    Home staging works! But why you might wonder: the truth is that today’s typical home buyer wants either a great deal on a property or they will pay a premium to buy a home that is “move in condition”
    Most of the times the house hunters start their search thinking they can look over empty or cluttered rooms. In reality, less than 10% of buyers can actually do that. Home Buyers leave the house with a list of items they want to find in a house but end up buying based on emotion.

    Successful home builders know they need create a lifestyle that the potential buyers will aspire to and this is the reason we see te Model Homes in new developments. They don’t leave things to the buyers imagination.

    The same principle is applied in home staging/real estate styling to help you sell your home quickly and for top dollar.

    Home staging is about creating a great first impression of a well-maintained home. Done well, home staging should make your house look bigger, brighter, cleaner, and warmer. Home staging should give purpose to every square foot.
    Staging your home should help buyers make that emotional connection that makes them want to buy your house instead of the one down the street. Done well, a staged house should feel like home – your potential buyers home, not yours.

    Once a potential buyer can say, “I love it, this is it” they will be looking past some of the “must haves” they had on their checklist before they walked in the door. That’s why when staging a home to sell it is important to have a strategy and to pay attention to even the smallest detail.

    Simple things like rooms that are crowded with furniture, too many personal collections, squeaky doors or dripping faucets make the buyer think that maybe the house wasn’t maintained well, and they’ll going through the house finding small issue just to reinforce that first thought. All these little items should be fixed.

    To sell your home fast and for maximum profit you want buyers to fall in love. This is what motivates a potential buyer to actually make an offer and not continue their search to find the perfect home or “the great deal”. Once they start worrying that if they don’t take action someone else will, once they start thinking that if they don’t act now they might be sorry, the competition stands no chance!

    Bathroom Make-Over Without A Renovation

    Whether you’re looking to sell your home or just to improve it you’ve probably asked yourself if there are ways to make a bathroom show better without a complete renovation.

    While a complete renovation is not what I recommended when selling your house because the buyers would more likely want to renovate for their own tastes and preferences, we all know kitchens and bathrooms sell a house. So the objective becomes to remove the buyers turn off and to update the space enough so the potential home buyer will think they can move in and live with the way it looks until they’re ready to take on the renovation.

    Most important a bathroom should be CLEAN.

    • Get rid of mold. Almost every bathroom contains some form of mold, especially in corners.
    • If wallpaper is peeling, steam it off the walls and paint the walls with a light-colored semi-gloss. Even if it is not peeling I always recommend removing it. Home buyers see it as outdated and a lot of work!
    • Throw out worn, frayed, or outdated rugs and towels.

    Think hotel! Or spa – you get the picture! When showing the home the bathroom should be sparkling clean and free of any personal toiletries, shampoos, toys, etc.

    The biggest impact in updating a bathroom without spending a fortune is changing outdated or items in poor condition like

  • Lighting fixtures and cabinet door/drawer handles.
  • Fix leaky/dripping faucets or change them if they are really beaten up
  • You don’t have to go high-end on any of these items. You can find nice things at Home Depot, Lowe’s or even on Ebay I found nice cabinet hardware at really good prices
  • bathroom before staging
    Bathroom Before Updating

    bathroom after staging
    Bathroom After Updating

    On the list of biggest impact for less is to paint the walls and paint really freshens up any space. But if the tiles are white, don’t paint the wall white. There should be a little contrast otherwise it may look like a hospital.

    If you have one of those large, frameless mirrors that span the length of the vanity like in this example consider either removing it or adding a frame. These are screaming 80s! and if adding a frame/trim around it seems too much and you repaint anyhow adding smaller framed mirrors are more in fashion these days.

    If the tub is in poor condition, or of a dated color(think pink!), it can be re-glazed by a professional and it would  be much cheaper than removing and replacing the tub.

    If the grout between the tiles surrounding the tub is mildewed or crumbling (which is most of the times) keep in mind that a re-grouting can do wonders. If the grout is really not that bad but could use a face lift there are quite a few products on the market that can be used to paint and seal the grout and the end product will look like you just had new tile installed.
    bathroom after staging
    If you have an outdated oak vanity, like my clients did here painting it or staining it in a darker color with a semi-gloss finish, and adding new hardware will go really help to get an updated look. Or you can just choose a paint color that is going to tone down the oak and just tie everything in so it wont scream at you anymore :)

    bathroom after staging
    Then there comes the fun part, the finishing touches: new shower curtain, bath rug, and fluffy towels, accessories, and shampoo’s/oils placed in a tray or a basket with rolled up towels, but

    Keep it Simple! If you’re tempted to add a few too many cute touches resist it! and stay focused on your goal, a quick and profitable sale!

    Why stage your home?

    First and foremost You have only one chance to make a first impression and real estate staging is exactly that: giving the best first impression to potential buyers. A professional home stager will research the current trends in the market and the buyer demographics in the area. A professional stager will strive to provide emotional connections to buyers to your home and will provide furnishings and accessories that appeal to broadest range of your buyer demographic.

    2. Staging sells your home faster.
    You heard it thousand times but lets really think about it: the longer your home is on the market, the longer you are stuck and not able to move on with your life. No matter if the market is hot or not it is physically and emotionally draining be opening your home to buyers while having to keep it in show-ready condition. And then it comes down to the cost of “hanging” onto a home more than you want. Which is my next reason why staging your home works:

    3. Staging sells your home for more money.
    For most of us homeowners our home is our largest investment, so when time comes to sell we should treat it as just that: an investment. Staging studies show that staged homes sell for at least 8-10% more than their non-staged counterparts. Today’s buyer is more likely to pay more or have less objectives if the house is perceived as turn-key.

    4. Staging is a great listing tool.
    Having your home staged will make it look better in the marketing materials which results in more showing activity. Real estate agents will be more likely to bring their buyers to see a staged home as they see them as properties ready to sell. The result is a lot more EXPOSURE for your home and a product which will stand out from the COMPETITION.
    As a seller you might want to consider staging your house if it is ‘market-worn’ or at the end of the listing period. The house can then be re-introduced to the market as the “Hot New Property”!

    5.Staging always costs less than your first price reduction.
    The BEST time to stage is BEFORE you list your property. When a house first goes on the market, it usually receives a lot of interest from real estate agents and the buyers. That’s the time to strike. Once that first wave of interest passes, time can become an enemy for a seller.
    The next best time to stage is NOW. Consider staging before reducing your price – you wont believe how much impact staging your home can have!

    Contact ReImagine Interiors today for a consultation. Home staging services for Chester, Delaware, Montgomery Counties and the Main Line Philadelphia.