Friday, March 27, 2009

Home Staging Tips for Selling Your Home

My home is now on the market. It has taken my husband and me weeks to get it ready. My family has been working every extra hour we have, to repair things a potential buyer and their home inspector might frown upon.
Home inspectors are a useful tool when buying and selling a home. They are the individuals who find hidden problem with a home. I would never purchase a home without a home inspection, in fact our inspection on our new home is today at 10:00 am. A good stager should be able to tell you some if not all of the issues that a home inspector might find. Then these issues can be repaired before an inspector finds them.
I am very fortunate to have a family member and a close friend that are inspector. I have called upon them with numerous questions for my clients. They seem to find issues and question situation that might arise for the new home owner. During an inspection if any issues are found, you as a buyer can request repairs be made before closing, in some cases this is your chance to back out of the purchase.
This is what brings me to another person I value my Agent. When you made your offer your agent should have put this type of request into your offer. Brokers and Agents are required by law to pass a State test and required to complete a certain number of CE (continue education) credits each year to maintain their license. A lot of brokers hold mandatory meetings during the months for their agent; since brokers are in general reliable for their agents it is beneficial to keep them up to date on any changes in the laws that might affect clients.
One of the first things I tell clients is start interviewing agents and brokers. Find an agent! Agents are a great resource for getting your house sold. I am a true believer in using an agent. Look at a few things when interviewing an agent. During the interview process ask the agent for his broker’s information. Call the broker and ask him or her questions about the agent and the brokerage. You will be amazed what information a broker will give you. Ask question such as what is the brokerage and agent going to do for you.
Agent should be utilizing every benefit the brokerage has to offer. Find out what benefits the brokerage offers? Compare it to other brokerages. Every brokerage offers different benefits, some offer staging or buyer/seller incentives (money back at closing). By asking the broker question you can find out what benefits the brokerage offers and them what the agent offers in addition. Shop around it’s FREE!! Interview 3-4 different agents and brokerages. Get a feel for both.
Selling and buying a new home can be stressful. A good agent will help remove some of the stress for you, but it is still up to you to prepare your home for sale. Currently it is a buyer’s market, but that does not mean you can’t sale you home, it’s just going to take some work from you to get your house ready. Good Luck on selling and buying and remember your agent is a great resource so use them. That is what he or she is getting paid for.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Serious Home Seller Tips

The fall market moved quickly upon us. The staging tips I have for you this week is directed to the serious home sellers.
The winter market (December and January) are the toughest selling times of the year. The good thing about this market is that only serious buyers are looking. I know that sound like an oxymoron and in a way it is, I’ll explain.
A typical thing happens every year and this year I don’t believe the economy will change it. During the next few months numerous homes will be taken off the market. Over the years the reasons I have been told are: moving during the holidays or homeowners don’t want to move in cold snowy weather. This leaves only the serious sellers on the market.
A serious buyer is one who wants or need a new house and is not letting holiday or cold stop them. A serious buyer is kind of like my sisters who brave the Friday after Thanksgiving to go shopping.
Let start with fall curb appeal. This time of year the leaves are falling into the flower beds so rake them onto your lawn then mow them up don’t forget to use the catcher. It’s as simple as that.
Once more great suggestion is to buy a few bags of mulch and spread around your flower beds. This defines the flower beds and makes the grass look awesome. Mulch is a seasonal item and might be hard to find at your local hardware store try a nursery.
Holiday decorating is a touchy subject, but one that must be touch on. Let’s start with curb appeal, to many lights can scare buyers away. Staging Rule: Less is best! Keep all décor at a minimum. This is one rule you can’t break when it comes to curb appeal. Christmas lights and objects are classified as personal items. The cute plastic Santa, reindeer and any other yard item are not to be put in your yard. I do allow a few exceptions but first I want to see it. You can e-mail me a picture of your Christmas décor and I will give you a simple yes or no. White lights can add a touch of class and highlight the house. If you do add any lights make it extremely easy to put up and take down. You might be doing it in the cold weather.

Inside décor is another place to Simplify. Yes, you can have your Christmas tree, but minimize all the other items. A simple center piece on your dining table and coffee table are fine. Remember your fireplace is a focal point. This year your stocking will count as décor. If your stocking don’t match don’t use. Rule of thumb for mantle is keep it simple. Decorate your mantle then send me a picture and I will let you know how you did.

Your fireplace is a focal point use it wisely. Items for your fireplace should be simple and elegant. Use a wreath or a mirror with a tall item such as a nutcracker on one side and staggering candle sticks up to 3 on the other side, use a silky scarf in neutral colors instead of garland. Same goes for your centerpieces use a silky scarf once again and no more than 3 candles with your centerpiece. You can also buy one yard of silky material from your local fabric store to use as a scarf. Pick a solid color that will enhance your space such as white, brown, bronze, gold, black, and silver. How to make great candle sticks. Find a three to four inch diameter log with bark, cut into staggering heights then place pillar candles upon them.

When you are living in a home that is on the market remember to keep it clean, decluttered and pack up your personal items. Buyers are more likely to buy your home if you can hide the fact that you are living in it. Make your house a model home.
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Vacant Home Staging
Finally word to serious sellers if you are selling a “vacant” home this is the best time to have your vacant home staged. My average staged vacant homes are receiving offers within the first 4 to 8 weeks. A vacant home sends a message to a buyer that the home is distress. By staging you take the distressed look away.
The average cost to stage a vacant home currently is about $1,500.00 for 3 months. That is a lot less than a price reduction. Also did you know hiring a professional stager can be used as a tax write off. Included in vacant staging: furniture and all the accessories needed to make your home feel like a model home.

Once again if you have questions please blog me I am more than happy to help.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Home Staging Tips

Currently on www. I have a new stager her name is Paisley. I have hired her to answer your staging question and staging tips. So send me your questions so Paisley Stager can stay employeed.
Tamie Ogden

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Assignment 2 House Staging for Home Sellers

Assignment 2
Now that we have Halloween out of the way I hope all sellers have started to stage. It is now November and Christmas is knocking at our doors, so are potential buyers. If you didn’t read or start assignment one you can find it on
In assignment two I am hoping that you got all your clutter cleaned up and put away. You have started your honey do list and ready to move on. Literally ready to move on to a new house, if you’re having second thought this is a great time to reflect on the reasons you are moving. It is believed in many cultures that a house will not sale until the owners have emotional detached themselves from the house. In English a seller must really want to "move" for the house to sell.
At this point in staging you’ve gone over your pros and cons list, looked at the pictures, cleaned the cob webs, decluttered, and have become somewhat organized. You’ve packed up those simple items in the kitchen and have started other areas of your home, such as the garage? Please don’t just fill up your garage with all the items removed from your home. Clean garages help sell houses.
Now is the time to set deadlines such as when your first open house will be? When you first want to start your advertising? Time to start a new List:
1. What is your staging budget?
2. If you have large repair you need to consider how long it will take the project to be complete? What it will cost? Maybe it is time to start getting bids from a handyman for those major repairs or even minor repairs. Most bids are free.
3. Carpets? Do we need to replace or have it “professionally cleaned?” How old are they? Do we have pet odor? What color are they?
4. Paint? Do we need to paint? Or can we touch up? How long has it been since we painted? What color are the walls?
5. How old is your kitchen? How old is your bathrooms? Do they have any problems such as a leaky faucet? Worn flooring, etc.
Go back and look at your pros and cons list and ask yourself these questions. Below are some simple guidelines to help you stage your home for sell:
· If carpet is more than 10 years and an odd color (example: red, green, yellow, blue, orange, rust or anything marbled in these colors) are good reasons why you need to replace your carpets. Bad idea to offer a carpet allowance. Most carpet retailers don’t charge to measure and will give you a free bid. You don’t have to use them, but it does give you a rough idea of a number for your budget.
· If it has been a few years since you last painted, it is probably time to paint. It is fairly inexpensive to paint. A five gallons bucket of paint costs about $100.00 and is enough to paint the average home, so evaluate your walls. Also stick with a paint that is a high hiding one coat. A uniform wall color throughout the home sells a home. Stick with a neutral such as light beige with white trim. You would be amazed at what a fresh coat of paint can do to a room. Did you know that some cupboard can be painted?
· Fixtures are like jewelry for a home. Styles change, brass is out!!!!!!! Start with light fixtures. You don’t have to buy the most expensive fixtures. A simple brush nickel fixture will change and update the look of a room.
· If your faucet and fixture are outdated replace them. If the toilet leaks fix it. Clean up any mold or mildew it just looks bad. This is one of many area’s that a home inspector can find issues.
· Kitchens are what makes or breaks a deal. If your kitchen is old and out dated there are a few things that you can do to give it a mini make over. As stated above some cupboard can be painted. New counter tops can really make an outdated kitchen look new. If your kitchen floors are tired and worn replace them. Do not use peel and stick tile flooring. Prefab counter tops and laminated flooring can be purchased through your local hard ware store. All of these task can be taken on by a do it yourselfer. Just give yourself some time.
Starting and complete one project at a time! By doing this you won’t become overwhelmed with projects. I always recommend start with an inexpensive project first, like painting. Another rule I have is if you can’t paint, then don’t try and be a do it yourselfer.
By preparing your home for sell, you are taking away a mental list that a potential buyer creates as he or she walks through a “Home for Sell.” A mental list also means no offer.
On a typical consultation with a client I spend an hour letting home owners know what is wrong with their home. Trust me a potential buyer will see everything that is “wrong” with your home before he or she the positive side of your home.
If you have questions please blog me. Yes I will use it on my blog as an example for others, but you will get the answers you need to sell your home.
Tamie Ogden
Owner / Paisley Home Staging

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Staging Tips for Home Sellers

Over my many years I have staged houses ranging from low end to high end. The majority of my homes are middle range. In this tough market it is important that your house stand out from your competition. So I am here to help you, the brave person who will become the seller.
It is hard for a seller to view their home as a potential buyer; the best way I have found is by having the seller look at the home thru a picture. So grab the camera and take “before” pictures. The first thing I look at when I pull up to a house is “curb appeal.” Start at your curb, then walk through the front door, take a close up of that also. Then proceed into the main living spaces, kitchen and master suite. Take lots of “before” pictures. Make a pros and cons list as you walk thru your home. Send the pictures to friends and family and ask them to make a pros and cons list also. After your walk through sit down and make a “Honey do list”.
Your Honey do list should have the major and minor repairs on down to simple stacks of paper, piles of laundry, shoes and every day clutter. Rank it in order of who is responsible for repairs down to cleaning up piles.
My best advice is to buy 5 laundry baskets and start collecting boxes, tape and several large black magic markers. Market each basket or box in the following order:
1. Important papers
2. Dirty Laundry (if your home is more than two levels get a basket for each level)
3. Donations
4. Upstairs
5. Downstairs
We all have a stack of important papers sitting on a counter or desk. By giving them a box you have given them a temporary home. Start by cleaning up any stacks of paper, pile of laundry, shoes and every day clutter by placing items in one of the baskets. Items that go to bedrooms get put in a basket to go up or down stairs to be put away by the items owner. I am a big one on the belief that kids at any age can help pick up after themselves, but since a lot of us know that teenagers are the worst offenders on leaving their clutter everywhere, it is recommended that he or she gets a basket all their own.
Laundry does not hide very well and a potential buyer will find it. I think the smell gives it away, so get your laundry caught up. I believe this is the hardest thing for a seller to do, but it is well worth it. Every night have someone take a basket and distribute the items in the basket to the proper room then put the basket back.
Everyday take a few minutes to go thru a cupboard or draw and clean it out. Keep only what you need then pack up or put it in the donate box.
Preparing to move is a joint venture on every person whom lives in the home make it a team effort and be prepared to start packing, cleaning, fixing and all the work that comes from preparing to put your house on the market.
Assignment two will follow in a few days and I hope you all have started getting ready to sell.
Tamie Ogden
Owner of Paisley Home Staging

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Utah Market

I have been told by many Economist that Utah is a unique market. Once again I see it with my own eyes. Did you know that last month Utah was one of the top ten for "new" home mortgages? What does this mean? It means that Utahns are out there taking advantage of our great market.
If you are in the market to sell or your home is currently on the market and you are not getting the response you would like, it might be time to contact a professional stager.
The best thing about even a consultation with a stager is the advice she or he will give you to get your house moving. Consultation on the average here in Utah start at $50.00 an hour. You would be amazed at what one hour of consultation can do.
A stager will view your home as a potential buyer will. Most people are afraid of what advice a stager will give them. Don't be scared of me I don't bite. A little bit of "Halloween Humor."
We are currently going into the "Winter" market, don't waste precious time wondering.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Benefits of Staging

Simply Chic Design is on the right track.
Don't believe what you hear from the media, homes are selling.
This past week 3 of my "Staged" homes "sold." Why did these homes sell compared to others, because this 3 home had been staged. The benefits of staging sold these home. 2 of the 3 homes were staged before begin put on the market. The 3rd had been on the market for "months." We staged it and the homeowner received an offer two weeks later.
Staging sells homes, give the girls at Simply Chic a call for your staging needs.

Tamie Ogden
Owner of Paisley Home Staging