Archive Monthly Archives: September 2019

Too Cheap to Stage?

A smart real estate agent buys a home that he wants to flip - a flip property - a fixer upper.  You know, whatever you want to call it.  Drab to Fab!   He spends a decent amount of money replacing the roof, flooring, hvac, and appliances. He updates the countertops to granite and installs trendy tile.  Nice paint and bedroom carpet take the house from a smoky cigarette stinch to a new-build aroma.  Nice barn doors even allow a flex space to be an office, dining room, or fourth bedroom.  Outside, new paint, some mulch, flowerbed landscaping, and a new wood deck improve the curb appeal and backyard.  Oh, did I mention the nasty hot tub was removed?  Yay!  Now, another big option...the decision to stage or not to stage?  

Can we just start at the entry??   A new door allows more light to flow in to an otherwise dark hallway. Cohesive laminate flooring, new wall, door, and trim paint provide a nice first impression. Notice the cool barn door that opens up to what we staged as an office.

And now for the rooms...

A closet was added to the mirror wall.  The small bump out just used a bit of the garage space without inhibiting parking inside.  This adds extra storage space in this buyer's flex-room.  The new lighting is definitely a hit, and now home-shoppers can visualize one way to use this room.  This room seems huge, and it's due to the furniture placement and the cowhide rug.

Oh my!  I can almost smell that smoke on the walls from here.  The living room had to show the buyers how one could use the space.  A large area rug grounds the furniture and the light furniture with pops of color help the room to appear even larger.  A glass coffee table also gives a spacious feel since light can flow through it.   

From this angle, a couple of emotional connection points in the kitchen was all that was needed to show off these freshly painted cabinets, new granite, tile, sink, and faucet.  What a difference!   Did you notice that the flooring is the same throughout?  That's a smart decision that brings flow to the house, making it seem bigger than it is.  Did you know that during staging consultations, we give sellers advice like this if it's in their budget to replace flooring? Explaining "why" is our specialty.

Okay, I admit this fresh bathroom could sell itself, but creating a spa-look with fluffy towels, natural plants and an organized tray of essentials say, "'re going to love living here."

And here's the tiny master bathroom.  Don't you love the clear glass door?  The vanity had to be switched to the other wall for the shower door to function, which still works!  We brought in this antique gold mirror to warm up the feel of the room.  What an improvement, right?

And now for the master and one of the secondary bedrooms.  Buyers can now visualize the roominess here.  A queen bed is in the master with room to spare, and the twin-sized bed in this cute kid's room is sure to attract a family with children.  Soooo much better than just empty rooms with four walls.

So now the big question...Is it worth less than $2000 to attract multiple buyers and have it under contract within a week?   This agent thinks it is.  When you're holding a property, every week on the market costs you more and more money.   Get it sold as soon as possible and look for another property. 

Do you have questions about staging?  We have answers, and we're here to help! 

Hope you enjoyed the pictures of this investment property.  Thanks for staying in touch.  What topics would you like me to include on this blog?  Do you enjoy the before and after stories?  Do you need more content to share with your sellers?   My goal is to add value to you and your sellers, so I'd love to hear your ideas.

Click here to read the article on "Candy's Dirt" highlighting this property that we staged.

Remember, we're here to help!

You relax.  We stage.

Shana     817-657-0760

6 Reno Projects to Add Value When Selling

You’ve decided to sell your house, but wonder how it’s going to compete with the others in your neighborhood.  You’re not desperate to sell fast, but would like to get top dollar.  Maybe you need to do some updates, but you want to make the wisest decision about where you spend your money.  Here’s are 6 recent average return on investment renovation statistics that can help you make that wise decision.

Cherished Bliss

#1 Minor Bathroom Remodel – 102% average return at sale

What’s minor?  New tub (or resurfacing) and tile surround, flooring, toilet, sink, vanity, and fixtures without changing the floorplan.  Choose styles that are on trend such as shaker cabinets, brushed nickel or brass hardward,subway or marble tile, framed mirrors, and open shelving.  Colors of the cabinets and walls matter too. Best choices for now are grays, whites, and blues.  For flooring, wood-look luxury vinyl plank or tile is great for these high moisture areas.  How do you know what’s popular?  Pick up a home decor magazine, check out the most recent pictures on Pinterest, or simply ask for help at a home improvement store.  Better yet…ask your stager or designer.

the creativity exchange

#2  Landscaping – 100% average return at sale

Green grass that is trimmed and free of weeds is a no-brainer here, but appropriately-sized shrubs, flower bed borders, and pops of color can make a huge difference.  Also, trees should be trimmed to a height in which average sized adults can walk under them.  When a buyer drives up, the curb appeal is critical to lure them inside to see the property.   

Blog Lovin

#3 Minor Kitchen Remodel – 98.5% average return at sale

So define minor:  Your kitchen needs a cosmetic change, but not a radically different floor plan.  Maybe your cabinets need re-facing such as new doors or just new paint and hardware.  Other new items may include a wall oven, cooktop, undermount sink with updated faucet, and a solid surface countertop.  Recessed lights and pendant lights are popular.  Also, under-cabinet lighting can make a huge difference in the “brightness” of your kitchen.

Demi and Dashton

#4  Exterior Improvements – 95.5% average return at sale

Possible improvements may include vinyl siding, paint for trim, brick, shutters and/or the front door, and creation or update of a front porch.  Thin posts or iron metal posts can be exchanged for chunkier beams.   Get inspiration for paint colors here or check with your local home improvement store.  Look for the large brochures that have coordinating paint colors for the exterior of your house.  Think about your neighborhood colors, because you want the property stand out, but not stand out in a bad way.  New porch lights and address numbers are a quick update.  Remember to grab a new door mat! 

#5 Attic Bedroom Conversion – 93.5% average return at sale

An average attic conversion is around $40,000 which would include a bathroom and a 15×15 foot bedroom.  Consider your HVAC system – is it powerful enough to handle this extra space?  If not, that could be an extra expense.  Also, talk with your real estate agent about the comparable homes in your neighborhood to weigh your options on this renovation.

#6 Deck, Patio, or Porch – 90.3% average return at sale

These spaces are increasingly popular as people use them as additional living areas.  Comfortable outdoor seating, lighting, and shade are important.  Durable finishes are key.  Outdoor fireplaces, built-in grills, and landscaping take it up a notch.  

Want to know even more about renovation return on investments?  Click here to read more about this on HGTV.

So you may be thinking that if you don’t receive a 100% or better return, why should you do anything to get your house ready? Well… Your property should sell faster if it’s updated and priced right.  A quicker sale saves you in holding costs – mortgage, tax, and insurance payments.   Other updates that weren’t mentioned above, but that could have great impact are new paint on the interior living spaces and bedrooms and new flooring – especially new carpet to replace stained or smelly old carpet.   Decluttering and staging also add great value to your home.  I can help you with that when you’re ready.  Be sure to talk to your agent about your plans before you begin spending big bucks.  He or she can advise you according to the price-point and location of your house. 

So you’ve decided to update your house in a few areas.  Remember that you are picking products that will appeal to the masses.  Just because you like yellow walls or green cabinets does not mean you should make investments like that.  Think “NEUTRAL”  and calming.  If you need help, I’m here!  

Happy renovating and selling!

-Shana 817-657-0760