13 Oct

The Power of Home Staging: A Newly Renovated Home Gets Staged, Gets Offers and Sells

 

Staging a renovated home gets you highers offers more quickly

There are many realtors who feel that staging a new construction home isn’t necessary. And then there are realtors who know that potential home buyers need to have an emotional connection to a home in order for them to make an offer. This was the case recently when we staged a lovingly renovated home in Roslyn Heights NY for realtor George Fiori of RealtyConnect USA.

Creating Different Zones in an Open Floor Plan

The layout was a little problematic – the living room was oddly L-shaped and it also contained a fireplace (that wasn’t in the center of this space either!) and it blended into a dining room space. Open Concept plans are all the rage right now…but guess what? No one knows how to decorate them! When buyers scratch their heads trying to figure out where to place their furniture in an Open Concept Plan – they usually don’t make an offer on the house.

Open Concept Living room, Fireplace and Dining Area

If you notice – the fireplace, which usually is a focal point in a space – is a bit far away from the living room area. By flanking two chairs on either side – I created a little reading and relaxing area.  Then I created the “Living Room/TV watching area” in the back of the house Each space has a separate function.

Dining area needed to show ample seating and some modern touches

The dining area needed to show ample seating. I used 6 chairs but there’s “breathing room” in the space, showing that more can be seated for holiday gatherings.

Highlighting the Key Assets in Your Home

One of the great features in this home, but one that needed some definition, was an extra Master Bedroom. The first floor Master had an adjoining bathroom – so this could be the Master but it also could be a guest room or a mother-in-law bedroom. Leaving it empty would not help a buyer to figure out what to do with this space. I made both bedrooms soft and inviting, so the buyer could make up their mind which one they wanted to make as the Master Bedroom. The en suite bath had a safety bar in the bathroom – so it made some sense to me that this should be an aging parent/ mother-in-law suite or even a “returning to the nest” young adult.

The 3 other bedrooms were upstairs…including the other Master Bedroom, below

Making a romantic, soft and inviting bedroom will invite offers

The 2nd Master Bedroom was upstairs and a very nice-sized bedroom. I kept it simple, yet romantic – with soft colors, plush white bedding, mirrored nightstands and white furnishings. It didn’t have a Master Bath – but the upstairs bath was lovely! See below…

Upstairs bath staged Peachtree Lane in Roslyn Heights NY

The other 2 bedrooms upstairs were quite small. As an expert stager on Long Island, I can tell you that even in small bedrooms… you want to show livability and function. Part of my job as a stager is to make smaller spaces seem more spacious and functional. You don’t want a potential buyer to come away wondering whether or not they can fit their children’s bed and furniture in a room. No matter how small – the function has to be there…and be visible!!! An empty room doesn’t tell them anything about that!

The smallest of rooms need staging – and it should appeal to the littlest person!

The other bedroom, below, was a bit bigger but it needed to show “larger,” more functional…and FUN! I staged it as an older girl’s bedroom – with teal accents.

small bedrooms need staging to show function + Roslyn Heights NY

 

The Kitchen: Every Detail…was a Buyer Magnet

Going back downstairs – the kitchen was done beautifully with white cabinetry and countertops, glass subway tile and stainless steel appliances (and a fabulous gas stove!!)

The first floor also had a bonus space – I staged it as an office. If it was left empty, perhaps buyers wouldn’t know how to use it. I know that many people work from home – or they need a space to pay bills and use their laptops, so it made sense to me to add an office. In fact, I used a large vertical piece of art that I created – with the Eiffel Tower – behind the desk. Who knew that the couple (who made the offer and have now signed the contract) met in Paris and they felt that this was an omen…a sign that they should make an offer on the house!  They were in love with the rest of the house…and the neighborhood – but this piece of art  prompted an offerl!!

a bonus room staged as an office in Roslyn Heights NY

I hope you enjoyed the little tour of this home.  If you’d like to get similar results for your home or listing, call me at 631 793-1315 or email me at LInda.Leyble@gmail.com

Staging can help overcome awkward floor plan, cold and vacant spaces, bad color choices and more – give it a try!!!

 

19 Jan

The Douglas Elliman Facebook Live Interview: My Best Home Staging and Selling Tips

Home Staging Tips and Advice Facebook Live Interview

 

Are you using (or watching) a lot of Facebook Lives? I love to do them and watch them.

Last year I was interviewed by realtors Orlando Frade and Matthew Korman of Douglas  Elliman.  I hope you will take a listen – I give a lot of advice for sellers in this little Facebook Live video. Click the link below!

Home Staging Tips and Advice Interview

Me being interviewed by Douglas Elliman Realtors

https://www.facebook.com/TheKormanFradeTeam/videos/625685537642362/

17 Dec

Why You Should Improve Your Fireplace Mantel When Selling

updated fireplace mantel in a newly staged Long Island home

I can’t tell you how many times I have recommended painting and updating fireplace mantels in homes when a client is selling. Especially red brick fireplaces – when I mention it should be painted or updated, I get this “We think you are crazy Linda” look on my clients’ faces.

A vacant investor property that I staged (above) had the ugliest red brick fireplace – and someone (the investor or the investor’s painter) had the ridiculous idea of painting it even redder – making it worse!

before pic of an ugly brick fireplace

It’s a little tough to tell in this pic – but the painter had painted over the red brick – and it wasn’t even a good job. Painting it white or off white would have been better! Adding the bluestone to it made it even more ridiculous and keeping the ugly brassy doors kept it looking too 70s.

Here’s an after shot, in the same angle. once the fireplace was redone and the furniture and accessories were placed in the room.

Adding the furniture, artwork and accessories really helped – but what an eyesore this fireplace would have been without adding the stacked stone!

NEWSFLASH – this home sold in a month!  Plus – it had several other less than wonderful attributes…

  • It was a little over-priced for the area
  • There was a concrete backyard…no grass
  • It wasn’t in the desirable school district (which was a block or two from it!)
  • Neighbors have two yappy dogs which they let out way too often

Plus…a few other little things that I could enumerate. If they had left the fireplace “as is,” heaven knows how long it would have taken to sell! A fireplace mantel is the focal point of most living rooms and great rooms – you have to make sure it’s given its due by making it a special feature.

Before the investor relented and changed the brick to stacked stone – I had suggested a less expensive alternative – painting.

Here’s a before and after of my blog friend, Leslie Stocker’s, red brick fireplace…

Via www.lesliestocker.com

What a huge difference!! By painting both the brick and the wooden mantel shelf – she updated her fireplace in a day. This is huge – not only for homeowners…but for home sellers on a budget. Notice she painted the brassy/gold parts of the fireplace door black, which updates it further. This needs to be done with heatproof paint. In my project, the door was spray painted with heatproof paint as well.

Another easy way to update your fireplace (when you don’t have a mantel!) is to just use a mantel shelf – and accessories.

Living room fireplace in Great Neck NY after home staging

Living Room Fireplace After Staging

This was another home staging project that I did over the summer – where the home seller had completely ignored having a fireplace at all. There was just a firebox in the wall – that’s it. So, I re-arranged her furniture, added a mantel shelf, art, accessories, an area rug, pillows etc – and now her living room looks like a wonderful place to sit down, relax and enjoy a cozy evening by the fire. You can see some before and afters and read more about that project here.

Home buyers are looking for their dream homes – you have to paint a picture for them. A fireplace is part of that dream for many prospective buyers, so if you have one…play it up…make it memorable. It will help you sell your house (even if you have some less desirable attributes!!

If you need help in making your fireplace look great, please contact me. I am a decorative artist also and have transformed many ugly features into beautiful designer pieces.

Happy selling!

26 Jun

The Stress Free Way to Sell (or List a Home)

Happy Summer to All. Hope you are having a wonderful season so far. I am for sure – I’m just about to go out sailing with my husband…but a blogpost first before the sail!

Today I wanted to talk about how to prevent a lot of stress when you are selling (or listing) a home for sale. Of course I will be talking about the benefits of staging your home first! Preparing your house the right way will absolutely take the stress out of this very stressful time.

Here are some reasons why…

When people put their homes up for sale, most times they showcase their “stuff” rather than highlighting the special features of their homes (the views, the architecture, the hardwood flooring, the fireplace mantel). Consequently, buyers may remember these homes as “the home with too many figurines” or “the home with the dated wallpaper.” When a stager comes in to help a seller prepare their home for market – they concentrate on making sure a potential buyer sees and remembers the special features of a home…and they help sellers downplay anything that may be a negative or a turnoff to a buyer.

Staging is not just a Service…

it’s really all about the underlying benefits you get that are the important points about staging.

Staging Benefit #1: Happy and More Confident Sellers

I love getting Thank You Notes like this!

I love getting Thank You Notes like this!

This lovely note I got from my Great Neck client tells me she is happy and she probably feels more secure about the look of her home as it goes on the market. I bet she is even more confident in her realtor too. And – a  happy, less stressed client won’t be calling their realtor every day wondering why their house hasn’t sold yet!

Staging Benefit #2: Saves Sellers Time and Will Probably Net Them a More Profitable Sale

Great Neck NY living room before

Living Room Before

 

Great Neck NY living room staged before going on the market

Living Room After Home Staging

Staging Benefit #3: Staging Brings out the Best Attributes of a Home and Shows Buyers How to Live in a Space

Great NeckNY living room fireplace before home staging

Living Room Fireplace Before

Living room fireplace in Great Neck NY after home staging

Living Room Fireplace After Staging

It was obvious to me that this client really didn’t have a decorating bone in her body.  She had really great furniture (Roche Bobois – that’s French for really darn expensive stuff!) and a beautiful baby grand piano. But, incorrectly placing these pieces and not establishing a focal point (ignoring it altogether actually) would not allow a buyer to see how to live in an open concept home like this.

I had my client purchase a mantel shelf, some pillows, artwork, area rugs (she bought the wrong size…but this is much better than “nothing”) and I brought in additional accessories to warm up the room and to give some emphasis to an otherwise over-looked fireplace. What I was able to do in a day – my client never accomplished in all the years she was living in the home!

For info on this home contact listing agent: Xiujing Zhang (JJ); Keller Williams. tel. (860) 266-4349

Staging Benefit #4: It Gives the Home Warmth, Personality and Shows Buyers How They Can Decorate

Vacant living room in the Mooring in East Islip NY

Vacant Living Room Before

Staging a beautiful but vacant waterfront home in East Islip NY

After Home Staging

Above, a large vacant home can feel cold and impersonal. Tall walls and mantels can feel imposing and difficult to decorate; Open floor plans may confound many buyers. This beautiful waterfront home in The Moorings in East Islip needed some furnishings and some love…some warmth.

Staging Benefit #5: Can Show Buyers the Function of a Room (i.e. how to use Bonus, Extra Rooms in a Large, Vacant Home)

how to stage a bonus vacant room

A Vacant Bonus Room

Staging a vacnt bonus room as an office

Bonus Room Staged as an Office

Bonus rooms not only confuse buyers but many sellers don’t know what to do with them either – so many times these spaces remain undecorated or they become “storage” rooms. Staging helps to give a reason – a function to these rooms. I wish that my own home office looked like this!

For information on this home, contact listing Agents: Joe Guiliani (tel. 631 774-6551) and Mike Watts (tel. 516 398-4845) of Michael J Watts and Associates. 

If you would like to feel more confident about your home for sale, please give me a call at 631 793-1315. I know that I can help you!

29 Nov

SOLD IN 2 WEEKS: A SUCCESSFUL STAGING ON LONG ISLAND

We staged this vacant home in Dix Hills in mid October of this year and it sold before the month was through.

The Story

Act 1: The homeseller was relocating and, at first, put the home on the market with his furnishings (very dated and the furniture arrangement left a lot to be desired). It didn’t sell.

entry-before

Before: The home seller used a bench that was too big and dwarfed the entryway

What you notice first is the huge bench (and not the space) – and then your eyes would go to the dingy carpet in the living room. (see pics below for the “after” of the entryway).

Here is a before pic of the family room…

Family-rm-before

Typical furniture lined up against the wall and ignoring the obvious focal point – the fireplace

And here’s our “after” pic – making two seating areas and utilizing the focal point

After: We created 2 separate seating areas in the family room and we placed a curved sectional in front of the fireplace – the focal point of the room

After: We created 2 separate seating areas in the family room and we placed a curved sectional in front of the fireplace – the focal point of the room

Act 2: He then tried to sell it vacant but all that did was call attention to the dingy carpets (and the need to remove them!) and the need to repaint. Even though the homeseller had the carpets cleaned – it didn’t help at all…they were very soiled and worn.

before

The vacant room called attention to the dingy carpets and the outdated verticals

The home looked the worse for wear without any furniture in it. The home had a great layout – and an incredible backyard – but all of those virtues were trumped by the dinginess and the home being vacant. Potential buyers could not “see” how they could live beautifully in this home.

Before: Dingy wall to wall carpet in a dining room? Not for today’s buyers

Before: Dingy wall to wall carpet in a dining room? Not for today’s buyers

Act 3: We staged it with beautiful furnishings and accessories – and we gave it a new lease on life. We convinced the homeseller that it was in his best interest to remove the dingy carpeting to show the hardwood flooring beneath. That brought more value to the home and gave it a lighter and cleaner appeal. It only took a day – what a difference.

After: Showing hardwood flooring in a dining room will attract buyers

After: Showing hardwood flooring in a dining room will attract buyers

We wanted the homeseller to repaint some of the rooms (the color on the first floor was a very, very pale violet) but that wasn’t in his budget. So – we avoided bringing in any yellow (which would have helped amplify the violet hued walls). When we were finished staging, the walls didn’t scream violet – they appeared more like a pale gray.

Living-rm-2

Removing the dingy carpet helped to brighten and modernize the living room

A few more pics…

Kitchen-1

The kitchen, although dated, looked bright, functional and move-in ready

Master-Bath-1

Double sinks are a key feature for buyers

a-master-bed-in-Dix-Hills

Another view of the kitchen

Another view of the kitchen

 

After Staging: Using a console table that fits the space.

After Staging: Using a console table that fits the space.

If you have a home (or a listing) on the market that’s vacant, please consider staging it first. According to the National Association of Realtors, it takes twice as long to sell a vacant home. Don’t wait it out (plus a probable price reduction…or 2 or 3!). Stage it before you list it. It will always cost way less than the first price reduction.

Today’s buyers are hypercritical – if they can’t figure out how to place their furnishings because a home is vacant – they will take your home off their list…and make an offer on another.

Staging works!

My thanks to Janet Manno, Associate Broker and Relocation Director of Douglas Elliman for bringing me in to help this home get sold…and to Catherine Lindstadt, Associate Real Estate Broker of Douglas Elliman for doing a great marketing job.

Call me if you would like to learn more about vacant staging, staging consultations…and how to sell your home or listing faster.

Thanks,

Linda

631 793-1315

PS – Want to see a vacant staging we did in Bohemia NY that sold in 1 Day? Another Douglas Elliman listing. To see the full listing go here

living-room-and-bar-area

Our latest vacant home staging in Bohemia NY