Home Staging & Curb Appeal

3 Home Staging Tips for the Spring Real Estate Selling Season

It is almost the start of the spring selling season in Minnesota. The art of staging a home - the visual preparation of a residence for sale in the real estate marketplace - could be the key to helping your home sell. Whether your househas been on the Twin Cities real estate market for a year or is just being put up for sale for the first time, now is a good time to do some home staging for when potential buyers come to call.

1. Do your research. Take some time to evaluate the staging of other homes, whether its through photographs online or by attending open houses. This is a great way to get ideas if you're not sure what a staged home should look like.

2. Clean, declutter and depersonalize. Staging is more than just making your house look good. It is about creating situations where buyers can "mentally move in" or visualize living in your home. Ensure that all rooms are spotlessly clean before showings. Depersonalize as much as possible, including reducing the amount of knick-knacks and family photos displayed.

3. Don't stage the whole house. At the very least, stage the main living areas, like the living room, dining room and kitchen. Then stage at least one bedroom. If there is a room without purpose, stage it to show how it can be used.

Home sellers don’t necessarily have to home a home stager. They can many things on their own to contribute to the staging of their home at little or no cost. When staging a home, the most important thing to remember is that buyers want to be able to envision themselves in your home. Happy staging!


What Do Enchiladas Have To Do With Staging?

In today's busy world, time is at a premium for hardworking people. "Multi-tasking" has been engrained in our daily habits so much that it is almost second-nature. For example, at this moment I am writing a blog, updating my Facebook status, planning three vacant staging projects for next week, and cooking enchiladas for dinner (beef, not chicken).

Staging your house while juggling kids, work, and the dog may drive busy sellers over the edge. In situations like this, it is essential for these sellers to have a "plan of attack" when preparing their house for sale. It is the goal of home staging professional to give suggestions for color choices, furniture arrangement, and home accent placement. However, good staging consultations do not stop there. Realizing the importance of your time, stagers should prioritize your staging To-Do List.

So many times I find sellers cleaning out underneath the bed before cleaning the stain on the carpet that Fluffy left behind. (If you are taking notes... Pet stains on carpet take priority over the junk under your bed.)

Take me for example... although my Facebook status is long overdue for an update, it is not as important as planning my upcoming staging projects....

The Happiest Place on Earth?

Disney World is considered (by the Disney Corporation), the "Happiest Place on Earth." If you have ever been to the parks, you can reminisce how mouse ears, fairy princesses, and non-stop cheery music create a magical world that most children, young and old, cannot resist.

Over-zealous mouse fans can unintentionally turn Disney charm into a home staging nightmare when trying to imitate the Magic Kingdom in their own room...

Snow White, Bambi, and a myriad of characters turn this room into a cluttered sight. Notice there is no furniture, no decor, just walls full of a busy print. Therefore, when selling a house, it is essential to neutralize the space for buyers.

Neutralizing walls have positive effects:
  • Suits various decor styles and colors
  • Increases the visual size of the room
  • Reduces a cluttered atmosphere
  • Appeals to a larger segment of buyers

This room in the picture above has a happy ending... but you will need to check out future blogs to find out!

KFM Staging & Design is a Minnesota home staging company that creates "First Impressions that Sell" in the Twin Cites and Western Wisconsin. KFM specializes in vacant staging and staging consultations. Visit our website for staging tips or to schedule your in-home or...

Home Staging Precautions

Working as a Minnesota home stager, everyday I tell homeowners to "remove the clutter," "pack away personal photos," and "hide the dog." All these suggestions help to create a desirable atmosphere in the house. However, there may be other "desirable" items in your house that we do not necessarily want buyers to enjoy.

rxpic_1701) Move OTC ephedrine tablets and all prescription medications to a personal dresser.
2) Keep personal papers containing your financial information in a secure location.
3) Place kitchen knife blocks inside the cabinetry for Realtor safety.
4) Empty jewelry boxes or remove entirely.
5) Remove house and car keys from key hooks.

Now this blog post is not encouraging sellers to turn anthropophobic, agoraphobic, or harpaxophobic. Instead, homeowners should be empowered and secure their belongings by removing the temptations altogether. The probability of a theft occurring during a showing is quite minimal; however, we do not want to take the risk (no matter how slight it may be).

So, in the midst of packing your non-essential home decor (as directed by your friendly, home staging professional), keep mindful of the Top Five Home Staging Precautions to secure your personal safety.

KFM Staging & Design is a Minnesota home staging company that creates "First Impressions that Sell" in the Twin Cites and Western Wisconsin. KFM specializes in vacant staging and...

Falling in Love... with a House

After several blog postings of home staging tips, techniques, and examples, it was time to revisit WHY home staging helps houses to sell. So, put on your lab coats, we are dissecting the science behind the falling in love with a house.

THE HUMAN BODY: Several chemical and physical reactions occur in the body when it encounters something it loves - pupils dilate, heart rate increases, and endorphins (happy hormones) flood the blood stream. Now, this may all seem very "unromantic," but these reactions trigger an emotional response which creates a memorable experience for buyers who are visiting your house.

THE EMOTIONAL RESPONSE: Studies indicate that buyers decide within 5 seconds of seeing a house if they like it or not. I believe that the emotional response when purchasing is instantaneous. Whether buyers like, dislike, or are indifferent about the property they are viewing, they have drawn a conclusion about the house from their immediate emotional reaction. This is exactly why home staging is essential.

THE HOME STAGING FACTOR: The purpose of home staging in the process of selling a home is to create an environment in the house that buyers will (literally) love. Using stylish furnishing and design principles, home staging sets the scene for what life will be like when THIS house is purchased while re-enforcing the emotional connection for buyers.


A Closet Shopper

Staging a house during a recession may make sellers cringe at the thought of spending money just to "decorate" a house. Although some purchases may be beneficial, most homeowner can shop for free in their very own cupboards and closets. Take a look at some no-cost decorating/staging ideas below. BATHROOM COUNTER DECOR: -Rolled hand towels -Basket of mini soaps, lotions, or perfumes -Candles

The photo below displays two hand towels arranged on the counter for added color and softness to this area.

KITCHEN COUNTER DECOR: -Large pepper mill and salt shaker -Jars of flour, sugar, etc. -Glass vase with various color beans -Platters from China set -Cookbooks -Fresh fruit

This kitchen is staged using fruit and decorative dishes.

MASTER BEDROOM DECOR: -Neutral photo frames -Throw blankets -Guest pillows -Empty jewelry box.

This master bedroom was given an instant headboard using photo frames.

Hard times may call for drastic measures, but when sellers use their imagination, they may save themselves a lot of money when staging their home. ...

A Case for Good Balance

Home staging has been identified as a key component to preparing houses for sale. Professional stagers have been known to beautifully redesign a living room within minutes of stepping into the space, leaving home owners scratching their heads and muttering, "Why didn't I think of this before?" The truth is, there is a fine art (yes, art) to the act of rearranging furniture and setting home accents in "just the right place." More than having good taste in decorating, stagers follow proven design principles that show off the individual layout of a house and highlight the features of each room. To accomplish these tasks, stagers perform a "balancing act" that equally distributes visual weight around the room.

In the photo below, the buffet and glass cabinet AND art work AND lack of space on the opposite wall create an over-crowded and unbalanced room that weighs heavy to the right. Off-centered to the light fixture, the improper placement of the table adds to the uneven representation of this room.

Removing the buffet and cabinet allows the table to be centered under the light fixture and with the window. Eliminating the large furniture pieces also creates a "lighter feeling" on the right wall which results in balanced visual weight with the opposite wall.

Rearranging and/or eliminating furniture while staging serves a specific purpose...

Six Degrees of Home Staging - Wayne Newton

For die-hard home stagers and staging fanatics around the world, home staging is believed to be linked to any profession, celebrity, or life event with-in six degrees. For our first attempt, let's start with an easy one...

Wayne Newton and Home Staging

  1. Wayne Newton is known as Mr. Vegas
  2. Vegas's long-running top show was Siegfried and Roy
  3. Siegfried and Roy are famous magicians
  4. Magicians are known for their sleight-of-hand tricks
  5. Sleight-of-hand uses misdirection to bring attention to a desired area
  6. Attracting attention to desired areas is a key component in home staging
The master bedroom shown the photo below has several angles with low ceiling points. Having no other point-of-interest, the eye is immediately drawn to these low-set roof lines. Home buyers (especially those over 4'10") may view this master bedroom as a series of obstacles.

The staged photo below shows how staging redirects the eye from negative features by creating a visual display that captures buyers' attention. Instead of focusing on the negatives, staging allows buyers to see how to work around less desired areas of a home.

Some critics of home staging accuse stagers of "covering up" flaws in the house; however, that is a uneducated or misunderstood concept of the profession. Home staging shows us how to...

The Holidays Are Over... Now What?!

Once the presents have been opened and the guests have gone home, your house may need extra attention to return it to prime showing condition.

  • REMOVE HOLIDAY/SEASONAL DECOR: Pine garland, snowman decorations, and ornamental lights should be packed up no later than the second day in January.
  • CLEAN UP: Paper scraps, champagne bottles, and expired leftovers should be tossed to keep your house looking tidy.
  • REDUCE OLD INVENTORY: As your children collect new toys from Santa, pack away some older items to reduce the amount of clutter in their bedrooms. *This tip may be applied to the adult children of the house as well!
  • REMAIN POSITIVE: Even though the selling process can be quite stressful, retaining a positive attitude will help to decompress the pressure in your home. Instead of complaining about the showings or the lack thereof, use your energy to be proactive in the sale of your house.
Let the New Year bring in a fresh perspective on selling your house! When it comes to home staging, clean, reduce, and pack are the keys to post-holiday celebrations. KFM Staging & Design is a Minnesota home staging company that creates "First Impressions that Sell" in the Twin Cites and Western Wisconsin. KFM specializes in vacant staging and staging consultations. Visit our website for staging tips or to schedule your in-home or online consultation.

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Holiday Staging Tips

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa Tidings, and Festivus Greetings to all!

Selling a home? No matter what holiday you are celebrating, staging your home during this time of the year can be hassle-free by following these simple guidelines:
  • CURB APPEAL: Without going Clark Griswold on your roof, tastefully use exterior Christmas lights to stir up warm feelings in your buyers. Now that our days are shorter, it is important to use artificial lighting to set the mood.  Avoid using large outdoor displays.  Inflated snow globes may look neat, but buyers will have a hard time looking past it and may miss your landscaping and other exterior features.
  • USE MINIMAL SEASONAL DECOR: Keep seasonal decor to localized areas such as the fireplace mantle, table center pieces, and vanities. Having just a few pieces will give the "flavor" of the season without "overwhelming the taste buds."  Displaying too many decorations create unwanted effects on your home. 1) Buyers will not remember the house's features, 2) The house will appear small and cluttered, 3) Overwhelming religious holiday decor may be offensive to hardcore PC buyers.
  • KEEP DECOR TIMELY: Once your holiday is done, pack the decor ASAP. A house that retains holiday or seasonal decor past its due date has a neglected atmosphere.  Avoid using holiday or seasonal decor when photographing your listing
  • SEASONAL FRAGRANCES: Although tempting, using candles, potpourri, and room fresheners may irritate sensitive buyers. Instead, use natural...