The 3 Most Important Rooms to Stage in a House

The 3 Most Important Rooms to Stage in a House

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Staging not only results in a quicker sale but also tends to increase the home’s value too, according to the newly released 2019 Profile of Home Staging report conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®. One quarter of buyers’ agents say that staging a home increased the dollar value of a home between 1 to 5 percent compared to similar homes on the market that weren’t staged. Seventeen percent of agents said that staging increased the home’s dollar value between six to 10 percent.

Which rooms are the most important to focus on in the house?

Staging the living room was found to be the most important for buyers (47 percent), followed by staging the master bedroom (42 percent) and staging the kitchen (35 percent). For inspiration on sprucing up the master bedroom, view our slideshow: How I Staged It: The Makings of a Master Retreat

The least important area to stage? The guest bedroom, according to buyer agents. Only 8 percent of buyer agents said it was important to stage a guest bedroom in the home.

Using the Latest Decor Color and Trends to Attract Buyers

Using the Latest Decor Color and Trends to Attract Buyers

Guest Contributor: Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

The start of a new year in the real estate industry signals a prime opportunity for sellers to do what it takes to get their home noticed among the sea of listings soon to flood the spring market. After tackling the clutter, necessary repairs and updates, the key to making the best first impression for buyers is using on-trend styling touches to help them emotionally connect. Check out our suggestions below for ways of using some of the trends for 2019 to enhance a home’s features, engage buyers, and take your property from “For Sale” to “Sold” in no time.

A Neutral Gray Backdrop

We can’t say enough about the benefits of using gray or “greige” wall color when staging. This versatile neutral hue instantly brightens a space, enhances its unique features and can increase a property’s perceived size and value. We’re excited to try Benjamin Moore’s 2019 Color of The Year, Metropolitan, a soft, sophisticated, and calm gray that coordinates well with many on-trend palettes.

A Dash of Color

We love adding a little drama against a neutral backdrop of beautiful architectural elements by layering living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms with pops of bold color dispersed throughout a room. One of our favorite industry picks of the year is Pantone’s “Living Coral” for its energy, warmth, and cozy freshness. This color can also make a statement when paired with different shades of blues such as Behr’sColor of the Year pick “Blueprint,” as well as creams and different metallic accents.

Luxe Fabrics and Bold Patterns

We are seeing a lot of lush velvet fabrics and floral patterns in furniture and accents this year. A floral side chair or wall art, velvet pillows, and duvet covers, a patterned area rug, are just a few ways to add texture, depth, and the right amount of sophisticated style to complement a neutral space and grab buyers’ attention.

Mix Up Metals

A mixture of metal accents throughout a room will always be a timeless way to create balance and definition in a space. You can pair complementary finishes such as brass with chrome, copper with yellow gold, rose gold with stainless steel, or any combination of the above so your fixtures and decor create the “wow” factor that buyers will remember.

Elements from Nature

Using natural elements in the home is a trend that continues to gain popularity as people want to feel a connection to the outdoors. Plants in any size, shape or form such as potted succulents used as a dining table centerpiece, wall hangings, or floor plants in woven baskets have a naturally soothing quality that makes them well-suited for bedrooms and bathrooms in particular. Sustainable materials such as jute or seagrass rugs, natural woven pillows and throws, and pottery vases are also great accents for incorporating a welcoming, on-trend vibe into any space.

For more examples of interior decorating and home staging, visit www.pjstagingdecorating.com.

Patti

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern is principal, interior decorator, and professional stager of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating. She has been decorating and staging homes since 2005. She and her team provide turnkey, full-service home staging and interior decorating to clients across Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts. She also developed an award-winning staging program for the luxury homebuilder, Toll Brothers. Her company received the Houzz 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Awards for Customer Service.

Staged to Sell: A Fixer Upper to Show Stopper

Staged to Sell: A Fixer Upper to Show Stopper

Home stager: Justin M. Riordan, founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency, with offices in Portland, Ore., and Seattle The home: This Portland, Ore., home was a “complete and total fixer,” Riordan says. But it wasn’t anything that some savvy staging couldn’t fix. The 3,180-square-foot home was built in 1906 and features five bedrooms, 3.5 baths. It’s listed for $875,000. Riordan’s Staging Tips: 

Photo Credit: Justin Riordan, Spade and Archer Design Agency

  1. When staging a home, stick with neutral rugs with little to no pattern. This will keep the the rugs from distracting from the house itself.

Photo Credit: Justin Riordan, Spade and Archer Design Agency

2. Mix styles because not everybody loves modern or Victorian or vintage. By having an eclectic mix of styles in each room, the staging can appeal a little bit to each person.

Photo Credit: Justin Riordan, Spade and Archer Design Agency

3. Use color blocking. By assigning a single color to each room, buyers will have a way to discuss each room. This house has a green bedroom, a pink bedroom, a grey bedroom, and a brown bedroom. When the buyer say, “I think Sally should have the pink bedroom,” the other buyer will understand immediately which room they were talking about. Have a home you recently staged that you’d like to show off here at Styled Staged & Sold? Submit your staging photos for consideration, along with three to five of your best spruce-up tips. Contact Melissa Dittmann Tracey at mtracey@realtors.org.
How to Understand Home Staging Pricing and Proposals: Do’s and Don’ts

How to Understand Home Staging Pricing and Proposals: Do’s and Don’ts

By Audra Slinkey, Home Staging Resource

A lot of real estate agents are looking for a good, reliable home stager that can magically transform their listings into the price point their seller is hoping to achieve.  The trouble and confusion sometimes comes when the real estate professional asks a few home stagers to “bid” or present a proposal on their vacant home.

BEFORE

 

AFTER

Photo credit: HSR Certified Helen Bartlett of Refined Interior Staging Solutions in Kansas City

The vacant staging proposal price can range anywhere from $1,500 to $8,000 for a smaller home, so do you just pick the best priced stager?

I think we can all agree that there is a BIG difference between Walmart and Restoration Hardware when it comes to furnishings, so choosing a home stager on price alone is not a good idea … here’s why.

BEFORE

AFTER

Photo Credit: HSR Certified Corrine Kaas of Harmonizing Homes

The professionally certified and trained home stager ranks the home based on “luxury level” and places the most ideal furnishings that kind of buyer would “expect” in the home.  In each area across the country, there is a certain buyer “expectation” that corresponds to price point and location.

DO make sure the furnishings enhance and correspond with the buyer expectation for that home.

BEFORE

AFTER

Photo credit: HSR Certified Donna Dazzo of Designed to Appeal in New York City

It’s not a matter of simply choosing a couch/chair/coffee table/rug to go into the space … it’s an art form. Professional stagers tend to base their price on the VALUE of the furnishings that go into that home. This is how they calculate their return on investment (ROI) and cover their costs, so that their business will be around in a year. This is also how they are able to stay on trend, turn over older furnishings, and present the home in a fresh, modern way every time.

BEFORE

AFTER  

Photo credit: HSR Certified Leia Ward of LTW Design in Connecticut

DON’T choose on price alone. 

Going with the lowest priced staging proposal could mean you are getting low priced furnishings, which ultimately could hurt the sale of the home. Here are a couple questions to ask a home stager rather than base your choice on price:

BEFORE

 

AFTER

Photo credit: HSR Certified Glenda Evers of Elite Interiors

DO ask them what kind of “look” can I expect to go in this home?

This is their chance to show and talk you through their expertise and show you their work. If they fumble or choose a style that does not fit the style or luxury level of the home, then I would question their credibility and training.

BEFORE

AFTER

Photo credit: HSR Certified Jeff Johnson of the Home Staging Pros in Florida

DO ask them if they buy wholesale?

The certified stager knows how to buy wholesale and can get AMAZING prices on luxury furnishings (thus more bang for your buck!) But some home stagers are not certified or trained in this kind of advanced shopping.

I train on this extensively, and here’s an example of the kind of pricing you can get by going to the market. I love the look of layered rugs and this zebra hide rug costs only $99 at the market … what?!

 

DON’T base your choice on experience alone. 

Staging will always be an art form and some of the most talented stagers I’ve seen who do not sacrifice on quality of materials are brand new to the industry. Their heart and soul is placed into that home and it shows.  Take a chance and try someone new.

BEFORE

AFTER

Photo credit: HSR Grad Leslie Anderson of Leslie Anderson Interiors in Virginia

A good rule of thumb is to consider spending a little less or around 1 percent the value of the home on vacant staging in order for the staging to match the luxury level of the home. The million-plus dollar home needs to be staged like a million bucks …. buyers expect this.

BEFORE

AFTER

Photo credit: HSR Grad Birgit Anich of BA Staging and Interiors in Connecticut

If the seller’s furnishings are over 10 years old then DO have them consider “moving out” beforehand, so that they can make an extra 5 to 10 percent the value of the home in the sale.  According to recent staging statistics, the seller who spends close to 1 percent on staging usually sees over a 10 percent return on investment. There does appear to be a connection between spending more and getting more.

BEFORE

 

AFTER

Photo credit: HSR Grad Corrine McKendrick of Pacific Home Design

Photo credit: HSR Grad Corrine McKendrick of Pacific Home Design

DO educate the seller on how they can get the best price for their home by staging.

I’m seeing a lot of smart agents educating their sellers on this critical cost, sometimes even paying it up front (for the cash poor seller) and then charging it in closing as part of their fee. We all know that markets go up and down, but the real estate agent who consistently puts the best marketed and priced product on the market for the sellers, is the one that will be around forever.

To find home stagers that do the kind of work featured above, visit Directory of Certified Home Stagers and Designers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Audra Slinkey is president and founder of the Home Staging Resource, an advanced home staging and redesign certification training company.  Slinkey has been awarded the “Most Innovative Product of the Year Award” three times for her training and serves on the board of the Real Estate Staging Association. Slinkey is a published author and international speaker on staging, color, and design. She is proud and privileged to help create and mentor thousands of staging and design businesses across the globe.

Staged to Sell: This Staged Home Sold for 107% Above Asking Price

Staged to Sell: This Staged Home Sold for 107% Above Asking Price

Home stagers: Amy Burke & Katie Miedler, real estate pros and owners of Ambiance Decorators LLC

The home: A single-family home located in Upper Montclair in Essex County, N.J. The home was staged by Amy and Katie, and sold for 107 percent of the asking price at $1,073,575. Amy and Katie sought to stage the home with a “fresh, updated, classic, and timeless” look.

BEFORE

AFTER

Photo credit: Amy Burke & Katie Miedler, Ambiance Decorators LLC

 

Stagers’ tips:

  • Curtains: Sheer curtains are great for softening windows and letting the light in. They do not compete with the design and are not too “style specific” so they are often processed as calming.
  • Plants: Plants are so important in design for color and texture. They also add interest by bringing the outdoors in.
  • Colors:Soft colors present a calming affect allowing buyers to view the room as relaxing and peaceful.

BEFORE

AFTER

Photo credit: Amy Burke & Katie Miedler, Ambiance Decorators LLC

Stagers’ tips:

  • Furniture: It’s often best to leave out the chairs at the head of the dining table…this prevents the back of the chair from stopping your eye in a photograph.
  • Accessories: A beautiful runner, arrangement of flowers and a few candles create a classic centerpiece.
  • Art: Art is the last item added to the design. We often add neutral art to complete the look of the room but not distract buyers from focus on the space.

BEFORE

AFTER

Photo credit: Amy Burke & Katie Miedler, Ambiance Decorators LLC

Stagers’ tips:

  • Accessories: Just a few accessories on the bookshelf will highlight the space without feeling overwhelming or cluttered.
  • Lighting: It’s always best to compliment the furniture arrangement with lighting. If there’s not enough space for end tables, floor lamps are a great option.
  • Furniture: A padded bench is a great option for a coffee table to add a little something different.

 

Have a home you recently staged that you’d like to show off here at Styled Staged & Sold? Submit your staging photos for consideration, along with three to five of your best spruce-up tips. Contact Melissa Dittmann Tracey at mtracey@realtors.org.

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