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Home Staging Before and After Photos, Stories and News

7 Staging Tips for Difficult Spaces

staging tips

7 Staging Tips for Difficult Spaces

One of the critical reasons to stage a vacant home is to give perspective to buyers.  Empty rooms are lifeless question marks in buyer’s eyes, so merchandising the space becomes essential!  Here are seven staging tips I think you will find extremely helpful in your next staging project…

Donna Dazzo of Designed to Appeal, a New York City based staging company was given one of the toughest vacant staging assignments I’ve ever seen, so I just had to share it.  This 3-bedroom, 4,000 square foot loft in Tribeca was on the market three months without an acceptable offer.

The loft sold at FULL asking price 22 days after Donna staged it!

Check it out…

This was the loft space as you walked in the home and as you can see the large columns are distracting and overwhelming.  The space appears dark, lifeless, cold and definitely not easily able to arrange furniture around!

 

Entryway/Living Room Before

Staging Tip #1 – Create Groupings

Strategically using area rugs, Donna separated the large space into groupings.  A central living and seating area between the columns draws the eye to the seating area and away from the columns.


Entryway/Living Room After 

Staging Tip #2 –Use Reflective Surfaces

The large and well placed mirror brings the eye further into the room immediately while extending the more narrow space. Using a light palette, reflective surfaces and mirrors, the space appears more open, light and inviting.

Here is a view from another angle where you can see how open the space was and how difficult it would be to fit all the represented living spaces in this one great room.

Not only did she fit a living grouping but a dining area off the kitchen as well.

Staging Tip #3 –Use Furniture to Separate the Space

What do you do with a small, seemingly un-useful space off the living area when you’ve already established plenty of seating arrangements?

Separating the space with a bookcase, it becomes an office with a view!

Staging Tip #4 –Proper Scale Needs to Always be Considered

Filled with large, empty space this loft needs properly scaled furnishings to first “fit” between the beams in the living/entry area and now larger pieces to match this large space below.

The cabinets are artfully arranged to add color and symmetry.

Staging Tip #5 –Know Your Buyer Demographic

Staging for Families

Since the buyer demographic for this space was a family, Donna incorporated that lifestyle in her merchandising by turning this cold Den space into a bright, kids play area.

Notice how the brick wall in the vacant space appears to be a detraction while once it’s staged becomes an asset.

“Artful staging can turn even negative architectural elements into positive assets!”

Staging Tip #6 –Use Great Art to Elevate the Space

At this point you’ve probably noticed the amazing artwork that serves to elevate the space and give personality right?  Well Donna cleverly partnered with an art gallery to complete her staging vision.

This bedroom is tricky because all you notice is the long, unsightly heater under the windows.


Second Bedroom Before

Using a highly textured area rug, soft textiles and amazing artwork the space becomes a girls dream bedroom!


Second Bedroom After – Girl


Third Bedroom Before


Third Bedroom After – Boy or Guest Room

Staging Tip #7 –Never Leave Anything Up to the Buyer’s Imagination

Frankly, any kitchen unstaged with cleared countertops will look cold, sterile and bring the eye to the worst architectural feature (in this case the overhanging light on the island).  The “cleared counter top” look is NOT a staged kitchen!

Color was essential to move away from the hospital feel and the contemporary barstools draw the eye away from our light fixture while providing the sleek, cool feel associated with this space.

Empty bedrooms add nothing to a buyers decision.  They become quick “walk-on-bys”

Add the color, textiles and life…now the buyer lingers.

Another view of the master bedroom and incredible artwork!

Thank you Donna for sharing your talent!  Staging is essential for buyers to really “see” the value in a home…otherwise the seller is leaving cash on the table.

Not all professional stagers are equal!  Our HSR Certification training was the first and one of the only staging and redesign training programs that has been third-party, accredited by the Real Estate Staging Association, so invest in the best!

Ready to Become a Successful Home Stager and Redesigner?

Artist Becomes Home Stager – 3 Keys to Her Success

One of the things I talk about a lot in the training is the importance of branding yourself, knowing what you’re about and putting that personality into your website!  As you can see from Jenna’s website photo, she loves what she does, she loves her pup and she’s smiling about her business!  Just looking at her photos makes me smile too! 

 

http://spacestoinspire.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/DSC_62654.jpg

When I sat down and chatted with Jenna about her business and it’s immediate success, she had a lot to say, as well as a lot of helpful tips to share with other stagers…

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. I can’t tell you how much HSR has truly helped me achieve my dream in owning my own home staging and design business!  I started my business in the beginning of March 2012 in the Northern Virginia area. With the help of HSR, my business has been booming since a month after I started!!

Spaces to Inspire, before and after room

Spaces to Inspire, before and after room

1.  Networking is Essential

Through BNI (Business Networkers International), I have joined a chapter and am a part of a networking team of partners that I work with regularly. Through BNI and local business chamber events, I have met and partnered with many key people, which has helped my business soar exponentially. They key is to be able to meet people and sit down with them to discuss your business and what you stand for. By gaining these relationships, professionals WANT to refer you to people, instead of taking a shot in the dark with someone they don’t know much about. Once I joined BNI and started attending networking on a regular basis, I have gotten to a point where I am having trouble keeping up with all of the work that is coming in!

http://files.photosnack.net/albums/images/2cc0be0eeec71b2c2a8992i134934686/scale-750x750

Custom Painting by Jenna

2.  Expand Your Services

Another thing I think helped me in getting started, was offering a broader range of services. Since I have done custom paintings and faux finishing for years prior, I included that in my services. I also grew up very savvy with furniture finishing, and included that as well. By adding these values to my repertoire of home staging, design, and shopping services, I was able to give people additional reasons to “try me out”.

Jenna Galich of Spaces to Inspire - album

3.  Focus on What You Love To Do!

Now that I am so busy, I am able to refine the serves that I provide, and focus strictly on the ones that bring me the most profitability… and the ones I enjoy the most. 🙂
All in all, the beginning can be tough- but network, network, network! A familiarity with your face at these events will start to land you some great opportunities!

 

I’ve Just Got to Brag…

Creating a successful home staging business is not easy, so when I see stagers do great things in the industry…I just have to brag about it!

  • Congratulations to our long-time veteran, Carol Streeter of Model Perfect Staging who was featured in three episodes of Flip or Flop on HGTV!  All of her stagings sold quickly and in one of the homes, the buyers bought all the furnishings with the home.

A Staged Bedroom by Model Perfect Staging

 

  • Great job Paige Earles of Pearle Staging and Design who moved her business from Atlanta to Memphis and already has been featured in the Memphis Daily News for her wonderful work!

Click to view the article in the Memphis Daily News on Paige!

 

  • Look at the fantastic job Jeanne Ross of The Polished Home did in these wondrous staging before-and-after photos!  I also love how Jeanne created a website that really brands her beautifully!  Check it out…

gall2v2

gall5v2

  • Leslie Causey of LC Home Staging and Redesign  breathes new life into this space!  I personally love the koi fish canvas over the couch!

 

  • Theresa Wright of Designed to Show Off  gives perspective and vision to buyers in this vacant staging before and after series….

 

I could literally go on and on with fantastic before and after photos to show you what amazing work home stagers and redesigners can do in a home!  The success is in the photos!

 

XOXO – Happy Staging!

Audra Slinkey

Hope to hear from you!

1-888-563-9271


[email protected]

 

Expect the Unexpected!

I love hearing the stories from our members as to why they decided to take our Home Staging  and Redesign Certification course and where they’ve taken their business!  What I find almost always is that it’s never exactly how they expected it to be.  I recently got an email from Debbie O’Neill of Fine Design Home Staging (http://www.finedesignhomestaging.com) and laughed out loud…

Audra-

My apologies for the late response. When you see what I have to share, you will understand why. When I first decided to enroll in your program, my thought was it would be fun and a great “side” career. I already work full time but I wanted an outlet for my creativity and to challenge myself with new goals.

Since mid March, 2013, I have staged 8 homes. Four out of the 6 homes for sale sold within two days that they were on the market.  Two of the houses were model homes for a builder.  All but one of the 6 homes had been vacant and on the market for a long period of time. One home I did a consultation and put the owner to work on two rooms that needed “help”. The owner rolled up her sleeves and implemented everything that I suggested. She received an offer the next day. My first job in March was with a builder who was looking for a local stager in the HSR Directory. Thus, I have continuous work to either stage one of their inventory homes or to stage their model homes. In addition, the builder has requested that I help them with their inventory and get organized! Another activity I love to do!

It has been a whirlwind of projects and put my business into hyper drive. I have done no advertising except for about six SEO suggestions that you made in the training. Everyone that has found me has done so through their Google searching and commented on my professional looking website which HSR created. I received jobs before I even had a chance to update my website.

So that it is in a nutshell. I am learning as I go and am excited to learn more about the business.

Yep, sometimes the “unexpected” can happen but it’s obvious to see from Debbie’s work below that her talent is undeniable!

 

Great job Debbie!

XOXO – Happy Staging!

Audra Slinkey

Hope to hear from you!

1-888-563-9271


[email protected]

The Art of Great Staging

What makes staging essential and fantastic?  Some key tips and great photographs!

Anyone who has not had their head in the sand for the last few years understands that there is “no set price” for a home.  The real estate market is a roller coaster ride of highs and lows but one thing remains the same, buyers will always be looking for that “ideal vision” for their family AND will always be willing to pay top dollar for it!

You see, staging is NOT about de-cluttering and cleaning but at it’s essence, it’s an “art form” born from extreme expertise in merchandising and designing a “vision” that buyers will fall in love with!  Staging done correctly, provides the “props and vision” for the buyer to mentally “move-in” to each room while emotionally connecting them to the home as a whole!  Once connected, the offer is made and not usually broken.

Great staging starts with understanding first “the who” and merchandising for that particular vision.  Who is the buyer demographic for that home, what will they desire to see in each space?   HSR Certified stagers are trained to research six “cues” to determine the typical buyer demographic, as well as converse with the agents in the area.

Is this a “contemporary zen” home and lifestyle we are staging for?

Great work by Zealy Homes!

What will our buyers be “hoping” to find when they step through that door and how can we create the lifestyle they dream about in each room?

I would argue that many homes on the market today are what I call “half way there” homes because they have been stripped down but not “dolled up”.  They are like a cake with no frosting and will never get the best price for their home in that condition.

Essentially, these homes are leaving money on the table!

Room transformed by Home Retreat

An agent might argue, “who cares if they get the best price, so long as it’s sold quickly” but that’s short sighted.

I imagine most of us would not be too happy to see the competing agent down the street selling our neighbors house for $30,000 more than we got because they took the time to bring in a great professional home stager.  Agents build their reputations not only on quickly selling homes but on getting the BEST PRICE for their clients!

Based on the information we have for our buyer demographic, we are able to create a profile of what we are designing for and a plan for the seller.  The plan starts with taking the time to understand the benefits of staging and realizing that a little work today, saves you a lot of headache in the future.  For example, if my neighbor made $30,000 more than me on the sell of their home, how does that $30,000 translate to real earned dollars?  With capital gains it means that it’s pure cash, so I would probably have to make $50,000 to realize $30,000 cash realistically.

How many hours do you have to work to make $50,000?  Definitely more hours then the amount of time, energy and expense of correctly staging the home first!

Vacant room by Orchestrated Designs and Cassandra

Which brings me to another very critical aspect of staging and that is photos!  Correctly trained stagers know that it’s not only about the “walk-in” but very critically about the photo for online marketing!

If 95% of buyers are online first looking at photos before they decide to visit the home, how important do you think staging for the photo is in the sales process?  As an agent, how important do you think the photos are to your image and reputation?

Great staging involves the total package!  Starting with the research, creating the plan and communicating a vision that seller’s can understand financially, then finishing with marketing output that makes the buyers fall in love BEFORE entering into the home.

Linda plays to the integrity of the home and styles the room similarly!

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