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/

14 Oct

7 Reasons Why Home Buyers Fall in Love

Why home buyers fall in love with a home

I’m writing this post for home sellers who are about to put their homes on the market…and for sellers who have been unsuccessful at getting their homes sold. If you know what buyers want and what makes their hearts beat faster – you have a really good shot at having a successful sale.

Great Location: If you’ve watched any HGTV home selling shows, one of the main considerations always seems to be LOCATION. If your home is in a prime area, you’ve already satisfied one of the main reasons for a buyer to buy. But what if your home isn’t in an ideal location – what do you do? It’s then up to you to really pump up the other main reasons I am listing below for a buyer to fall in love with your home!  In addition, you may need to communicate your home’s value in other ways. You’ll need to bolster any unique features of your home (large yard, great fireplace) and perhaps other potential uses your home may have (mother-daughter or two family with the right permits; separate home office, etc). Also consider great schools and close to transportation as benefits as well.

I have staged several properties that were in less-than-desirable areas – that sold very quickly not only because the staging and the photography looked great, but also because of other attributes the homes had that were brought out in the marketing materials and online descriptions.

Best Value for the Price: This is so important. Over-pricing a home only extends the time your home will be on the market. Price it correctly from the start – and you’ll be a happy home seller moving on to your next adventure very quickly.

the backyard is just as important as the front yard when selling your home

Backyard staging is as important as curb appeal…especially in the warmer months

Fantastic Curb Appeal: A home buyer makes up his/her mind on a buying decision very quickly (8 seconds), so make sure that first impression is a great one. Beautifully cared for lawns, mulched flower beds, a stunning front door painted in an attractive color – these are things you have total control over (with a little elbow grease or a great landscaper!) and they will get you closer to the closing table. A beautiful, well-cared for exterior gives the buyer the impression that the interior will also be well-maintained.

Airy and spacious, this home in Dix HIlls, NY sold very quickly

An Interior that is Spacious, Airy and Light-Filled:  If a potential home buyer enters a home and immediately feels a sense of serenity, warmth and comfort – most likely that feeling will really register and stay with them. A home that is not cluttered, has neutral, light colored wall paint and there’s light streaming through the windows – that’s what buyers are after. People buy with their hearts and if you feed them what they want – they’ll eat out of your hand.

I had a client this year that was complaining about having to paint some of his rooms a lighter color and he didn’t want to remove (or even paint) some dated paneling. He said it stressed him out just to think about painting or removing the paneling. I said to him “So – what do you think potential buyers will feel when they think about all the work that has to be done if they buy your home? If you feel stress…so do your buyers!”  Avoid this – do the work that you know buyers will want. Get out the paint brush!

via

The Wow Factors: Zillow Digs did a study last year designating certain words in a listing description that helped sell a home faster. Homes that had subway tile, barn doors, shaker cabinets, farmhouse sinks and quartz countertops all sold considerably faster than homes that lacked these items. You may have one of these features – and that’s great. But, don’t despair thinking you have to spend a lot of money installing one of these “Wow Factors” if you don’t have any! Other assets in your home can be Wow Factors – if you know enough to call attention to them.

Having beautiful light fixtures adds a wow factor! This home we staged in Dix Hills NY used to have a small builder’s light in the dining room before. Big difference! 

I did a staging consultation the other day for a realtor whose client’s home needed a lot of help.  As I was passing through the living room, the first thing that struck me was how badly arranged the furniture was. The living room was large – but there was only 1 sofa and 1 upholstered chair…and no coffee or end tables. There were a few other tables in the room (and one of the them was set up blocking the entrance to the dining room). Crazy? As we were going in to the kitchen, the realtor said to me “Doesn’t she have a great fireplace?” I said “What fireplace?” The furniture was not arranged around the focal point of the living room – the fireplace…so I didn’t even notice it. If I didn’t notice it – neither will potential buyers. A great fireplace and mantel is a Wow Factor and you need to play this up if you have one.

before pic of an ugly brick fireplace

Before…

staged living room with updated fireplace mantel

After: If you have a fireplace – make it a showpiece. Adding stacked stone made all the difference. This home we staged in Mineola NY sold quickly. 

What are other Wow Factors?  Beautiful, gleaming wood floors throughout the home. If you have hardwood floors covered up with wall-to-wall carpet – you’re hiding a potential star of your home. Built-ins are another feature that home buyers want. The client I was talking about above with the fireplace I missed – her home had several built-in bookcases but they were cluttered with little knickknacks and hadn’t been cleaned or painted in a while. These special features are things that buyers will love, so make sure they are standouts…and not hidden assets.

a white, light-filled updated kitchen

Beautiful new cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and marble countertops are buyer magnets. This home we staged in Dix Hills fit the bill and sold quickly

An Updated Home in Great Condition: When a home is clean and well-cared for and there are no deferred maintenance issues, a buyer will feel confident about making an offer. This is the biggest financial transaction in someone’s life – so, the more confident the buyer feels the better.  If a home seller has taken care of any potential problems, the home inspection probably won’t uncover things that could forfeit a smooth sales transaction.

When it comes to what updates you should do, take time to visit your competition in the area. If most homes in your price range have updated kitchens, you should think about doing some upgrades. Do you have to do a full renovation? No – but perhaps painting your older (but great condition) cabinets a lighter color and installing new hardware will give your kitchen a like-new look.

So, take care of any problems in your home. Fix the leaky faucet, upgrade what needs to be upgraded. Your buyers will appreciate it.  If you’re not sure of any issues, it’s a great idea to have a pre-inspection done, just to be on the safe side.

a portable bar in a living room

Adding lifestyle touches, like this portable bar in a living room we staged, helps give buyers a vision of how their lives will be if they buy your home

Beautiful Home Staging Captures a Buyer’s Heart: Of course, this is one of the main reasons why a buyer will buy! When a home is staged it’s designed to sell – not to be forgotten. We are not talking about decorating…we are talking about being strategic.   A professional stager like myself will zero in on what the target buyer in your area is looking for. Making your home memorable and appealing to that market is job #1. We use art, color and lifestyle touches to attract a buyer’s eye to the key features and assets of your home – to make sure that the buyer notices and remembers them. We help maximize the spaciousness and we bring out the intrinsic beauty of each room to create the perfect package.

adding lifestyle touches to a kitchen

Lifestyle touches: We staged this little vignette in a kitchen in Mineola NY

Staging, coupled with professional photography, can attract far more buyers to the home in those crucial first weeks that it’s on the market. More traffic = greater possibility of offers. There’s a reason why staged homes sell over 73% faster than non-staged homes.

Add to that a great realtor who is a savvy marketer and you have the formula for a very fast and profitable home sale.

Happy selling! If you need some advice and help on how to get your home staged and sold, give me a call at 631 793-1315.

 

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