Friday, 1 July 2016

5 Most Common Suggestions I Make during a Consultation

Since the same recommendations come up on a regular basis, I thought I would make a blog post about them - to help people who are thinking about selling their home.

1.    Clean Windows
A really easy way to help make your home look more valuable is to clean your windows. If I were to go see a home that has been recently put on the market, I would expect the house to look its best. When windows aren’t even clean, it makes me wonder how much effort the homeowners have put into taking care of the rest of the home if they can’t simply clean the windows. Windows are a pricey investment to replace. Make yours look like a million dollars. I know that it’s very do-able because I remember my Dad and I cleaning the windows every summer at home when I was younger. While we cleaned the windows he taught me a very valuable lesson, as long as you clean the glass, screens and maintain the inner workings of the window, they will hold their value that much longer and they will look brand new for that much longer. The moral of the story is, the effort you put into looking after something, the longer it will last and the longer it will hold its value. I also want to point out that, if you don't have the time to clean windows or if you aren't able to, you can always hire someone to do it for you. 

2.    Make sure beds are clean and well put together. This goes without saying. When you enter a bedroom and the bed isn’t made then the entire room is put into chaos. Pillows are tossed around… this whole thing can easily make the room feel smaller. It is so important to show your home with a well-made bed because in a bedroom, the bed is the focal point of the room.

3.    Dealing with visual clutter
Visual clutter can be as simple as having too many products on the vanity in a bathroom, or too many books on a bookshelf. Less is more group items together on a surface whether it is a bedside table or bookshelf. Make groupings of 3 or 5 – always-odd number of items grouped together never even. It is also a good idea to vary the heights of the items that are grouped. This creates interest and depth of the grouping.

4.    A Clean Home is so Much Nicer to View than a Dirty Home
Before every viewing, make sure that the floors are vacuumed, no pet hair lying around, no dust bunnies, make sure the bathrooms are clean! This is a major room in the home – you want it to look it’s best!! Make sure the towels are hanging neatly on the towel bar, make sure they are the same colour, make sure the vanity counter is clean, no toothpaste or any other gummies on the surface, make sure the mirror is clean, no spit marks, and also (the biggest thing) to make sure it is clean is the toilet. This is a major thing! Also make sure the floor around the toilet is clean. Like I noted before, if certain areas of the home don’t appear to be taken care of then the potential clients will start to wonder how much money they will need to put in the home to update and replace things.

5.    Maintaining your Yard
When pulling up to your home, the first thing that people will notice is the yard and lawn. One way to make your property really pop is to cut the grass, trimming around trees, up the driveway, weed the flowerbeds, trim any perennials that have grown a little wild over the years and rake up any clumps of grass (if the grass was long) because these grass clippings will inevitably turn brown and won’t add anything to the value of the yard.

The bottom line…
If you were staying at a hotel, you wouldn’t expect the bed to unmade and messy, you wouldn’t expect the bathroom to be dirty; you wouldn’t expect to see someone else’s dirty clothes strewn about the room. All you expect when entering the room is it to be clean, without a funny smell and the bed all made up. Staging and showing your home is all about making the best first impression.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Designing my Office with a clean, simple design

When I was designing my office space, I had 3 things in mind that I wanted to keep in mind, a comfortable place to work at my desk, a place to draw and a place to sit and read.

Keeping those three things in mind, I designed a space that encompassed all of the above. I only have a 10’x10’ space, but that is big enough for me and my office wants and would likes! I also wanted to keep in mind that down the road, I would like to (possibly) be able to have clients in my office and have ample room to present ideas to them either on a board or on my drafting table.

            With already having two pieces of furniture in the space, my drafting table and a bookshelf, I had them to work into the design and after researching different styles of desks and various ideas for desk-like pieces I came up with this. I liked its simple design and the nice, white surface that added a simple, clean feeling to the space. I also loved the glass top that came with it.  And to keep pens, charging cables, earplugs, notebooks or any other desk stuff, it has a drawer that is the full width of the desk itself. The best part is, is that it isn’t a desk at all; it’s a dressing table!

            When I was checking out ideas for a desk, I didn’t want the typical roll out keyboard tray, or the roll out compartment to fit the printer. I just wanted a simple workspace to place and charge my laptop on and work at ie. Write articles for the blog, do consultations over the phone, just a simple spot to just work at that didn’t have holes for cables on the surface of the desk, or any other desk paraphernalia. I was looking for something different (out of the norm) that you wouldn’t consider being a desk. I didn’t need anything too deep, because it would take up valuable floor space in the room but I wanted enough room, but not too much room to be able to set my notebook aside while I work with my mouse or reference documents. I also didn’t want the piece to look too heavy and solid in the space because I didn’t want the room to feel closed in when you looked into the office while passing by the door.

            I chose the white finish for the desk and bookshelf (which has a similar design to the desk) because I was inspired by my Greece trip I took with my fiancé a year ago in April. The Greeks have a simple colour scheme over there that I really liked, simple, white and blues or other colours to accent, but it was mainly a lovely Mediterranean blue. So I took that inspiration and wanted it in my office. I wanted my office to feel light and simple, and then the glass top added a professional touch on the desk itself. I also purchased a chair that matches the desk and bookshelf, being that it is white as well with simple metal u-shaped legs.

            So far this is my plan and how I have arranged my office. Baby steps, I’ll slowly add accents like a reading chair (nothing too big or too bulky for the space) and a table to place a reading lamp on and other little accents to add colour and texture to the space.
            In the future, I will probably add some kind of window treatment and possibly an area rug and I would like to put a mural or something on the wall behind my chair. Work in progress, but as I updated I will add pictures to this post to keep you up-to-date!

What do you think? Let me know!

What to Expect during a Home Staging Consultation

When we come to your home, we will sit down and discuss with the homeowner what areas of the home the homeowners feel needs to be addressed. If there are certain areas that the homeowner just doesn’t feel right, whether it’s the layout of the furniture or the lighting or the colours of the room. We jot that down on our notes and then proceed to tour the home.

We’ll take notes as to what each room feels like, if there is too much furniture in a space, if a room needs be de-cluttered or if a closet should be better organized, etc.

We also assess the outside of the home for curb appeal. This means we will assess the home from the street to see how appealing it looks from the potential homebuyer’s point of view. This should be the most important part of the assessment because this is the first thing the viewers see before entering the home.  There are many things we look for when assessing the outside of the home; such as trimming shrubs, clean windows, if yard maintenance should be done (which it should be done on a regular basis) but paying special attention to certain areas.

After the home has been evaluated both inside and outside, we sit down with the homeowner and discuss what we jotted down during the evaluation.

It is amazing what strangers or visitors see in your home or outside of your home that you don’t normally see because we grow too used to things that we see on a regular basis.  This is why a Home Stager is so valuable, they come with a critical eye and assess the home both inside and out and they know what needs to be changed, added or taken away to make the home look it’s best.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

The Importance of a Home Stager

When you are meeting someone for the first time, you want to make sure that you are looking your very best, whether this be on a first date or for a job interview or meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time…. Bottom line is, when you are meeting someone for the first time, you want to make a good first impression.  You want to make sure you’re wearing nice, clean clothes, with your hair combed and looking your best, to impress.  You wouldn’t partake in any of these appointments with terrible hygiene and wrinkly clothes; bad breath and body odour would you? Of course you wouldn’t.

So for something that is worth so much to you, something that you’re hoping to get a greater return from when selling it, why wouldn’t you want to show off this major investment in the best possible light possible?

Home Staging isn’t a gimmick, Home Staging isn’t a quick, simple thing and Home Staging isn’t invaluable!

Home Staging is important when selling a home because you hire someone who has never seen the home before. For the Stager, it is a clean slate. A Home Stager will come in and assess the home, with an unbiased opinion and evaluate the home right away and make a list of what needs to be done to it, to make it more market ready to list it to sell.

Sometimes when you have lived in a home for a long period of time, its easy to become accustomed to what is in the home. Certain pieces of furniture being in certain spots, not changing a wall colour or flooring, growing comfortable with the accessories and pictures around the home, that make it your home. Except a Home Stager comes in and assess it from a homebuyer’s point of view.  The Home Stager knows right away what needs to be changed or moved around or updated to sell the home for the greatest market value that it can receive.

A Home Stager is extremely valuable because, to the Home Stager, the home that they are assessing isn’t their own personal space. The Home Stager doesn’t see the memories that took place within the home. So the Stager doesn’t have a personal connection to the home and has the ability to judge the space, without having an emotional connection.

I believe that is the biggest issue with homeowners and selling their home. They have an emotional connection to the homes that they are selling. Therefore it is hard to know what needs to be packed away, what needs to be moved around or what needs to be updated. Homeowners will tend to think “well it’s worked well enough for me to have the table and chairs there, it should work well enough for someone else” or “I’m not going to bother changing that or spending the money to change that when the next owners are just going to rip it down and build something better anyway”. But the reality is, you don’t know what the next owners are going to do to the space. Maybe the next owners don’t have a great deal of money and would be quite content with having things the way they are left in the space, because they don’t have the money to update it right away.  The bottom line is, if by making changes around the home would make the house sell better, make them. If it emphasizes the home and its features, make the change.

It’s amazing how such a little change can make a big difference to a home.

Investing in a Home Stager will be much less than a selling reduction and you will realize the greatest potential return on your investment in the smallest amount of time!

Home Stagers are valuable, don’t think that they aren’t!