Re-posted from http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/feature/article/2017/04/staging-for-cozy-minimalist-look Real estate agents often have to work with either barren rooms or sloppy, overstuffed spaces. But what’s truly attracting the most buyers right now is a deft balance of tidy austerity and a comfortable, lived-in feel. April 2017 by Barbara Ballinger While decluttering a listing before putting it on the market will help sellers keep their homes cleaner and get a head start on packing, this practice also helps the product that’s for sale shine through more clearly. “Staging isn’t about decorating, but putting a room and its architecture in the best light,” says Chicago-area designer and stager Paula Winter. But stagers also caution against stripping too much away, which can make a space feel stark and uninviting. The happy medium is instead a modern, minimalist look that permits buyers to imagine how their furnishings may fit in spatially while exuding warmth from some carefully added accessories. Staging, once mostly for vacant homes or high-priced listings, is now more widely used. Meridith Baer, who stages more than 140 properties a month through her eponymous California firm, says the practice can help increase the sales price and decrease the listing time for homes. The Real Estate Staging Association pegs the average time on the market for homes sold after staging at 21 days, an estimated 90 percent less time than unstaged properties. Bear in mind that different generations have slightly different design tastes and tolerance for clutter or spareness, as do buyers in different geographic markets and price points. “Many in the greater Los Angeles area have been asking for a more minimal look, but in Orange County and Northern California, high-end properties still reflect a rich layering that shows a well-lived, well-traveled life,” Baer says. Here are five recommendations to strike the right balance. 1. Set the stage. It’s called staging for a reason. The idea is to set the mood in the same way that a theatrical backdrop does. Think of how to use furnishings and accessories to tell a story about how a buyer may live there. You want the listing to look modern and gender-neutral to show a home’s bones, not to remind buyers of an antiseptic hospital or laboratory, says Winter. Certified stager Susan Batka of Aerie Interiors in suburban Atlanta suggests adding a few textured pillows, a rug, and maybe a large piece of modern, colorful artwork to give the space the necessary warmth so it looks alive but isn’t overwhelming or too personalized. 2. Declutter. This is still the number one mantra for stagers. “The key to the desired Zen feel is to pick interesting but fewer decorative items and keep upholstered pieces clean and lean,”...

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Re-posted from http://homestagingnewswire.com/four-excuses-sellers-make-and-how-to-handle-them/ July 7, 2017 by Christine Rae 1. I can’t afford to stage. A: In today’s market, you can’t afford not to stage! Every seller we talk to wants to get the most for the property when selling; not capitalizing on the opportunity to maximize your equity return is shortsighted. Buyers today want move-in ready and are willing to pay for it. They don’t want a list of deferred maintenance items without compromising what they are willing to pay. Before you say no to staging consider the cost of NOT staging. Additional mortgage payments, utilities, property taxes, and household expenses while your house sits waiting for a buyer who can’t see past your life. According to research by the National Association of Realtors® the longer a property sits, the lower the sale price will be. If you don’t have the money you need to get the house ready for sale, turn to another source. Perhaps borrow it from a friend, family member, or neighbor. Secure a home equity loan, use a credit card, have a garage sale, or sell something on eBay. PayPal offers a wonderful Bill Me Later service, which offers zero interest over six months. The world is full of money—you just have to find some. It is in your best interest to do so, and you can repay your debt when your house sells for more money. 2. Staging is JUST decluttering and cleaning. I can do that myself. A: This is one of the biggest myths about staging. Pre-packing personal belongings and cleaning are only part of the recipe for successful selling. Fully preparing property for sale involves commitment to three vital steps. The first step identifies areas throughout the property that might adversely affect offers and produces suggestions to maximize equity. Step two is the fulfillment of those recommendations, and step three is the truly amazing component we call showcasing. This step ensures fabulous photos, unforgettable open houses, and memorable first impressions. Many people think of this as decorating, but it isn’t. There is nothing personal about showcasing; it involves research of the targeted buyer demographic and a scientific approach to furniture placement and accessory arrangement, using a subtle color strategy. You might think it isn’t necessary, or you can do it alone; the question to ask is why would you potentially risk thousands of dollars in equity by not working with a professional? 3. I get complements all the time about how great my house looks. Why do I need to stage? A: Again, this is the myth that staging is about decorating; decorating is a personal expression of how we live. The...

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