Most of us are familiar with traditional staging; the act of decorating and furnishing a home for sale to appeal to potential buyers. A well staged home can produce stunning listing photos that will encourage buyers to tour the home. It can also help buyers envision themselves living in the house. In recent years, a new trend has emerged in home staging: virtual staging.
What is Virtual Staging?
Virtual staging takes photos of empty rooms and then uses photo-editing software to add in attractive furniture and decor (like mirrors, plants, rugs, etc). While it is possible to download a DIY staging software, typically, you will get the best results by having a professional company virtually stage the photos. It’s also important that the photos you use are high-quality, preferably taken by a professional photographer.
Why opt for Virtual Staging?
When compared to traditional staging, virtual staging is much less expensive and saves the hassle of moving lots of furniture into the house or painting several rooms. According to realtor.com, “the average cost for most stagers is $300 to $600 for an initial design consultation, and $500 to $600 per month per staged room.” By comparison, most virtual staging companies will charge between $50-$200 per room depending on how much redecoration the room requires. Virtual staging can even include decluttering or “painting” rooms. In addition to saving money, virtual staging can be done quite quickly. Most companies offer a 2 day turn around on your photos.
Keep in Mind:
Bad virtual staging can immediately turn buyers off from perusing your listing photos and make them write off visiting your home. Alternatively, when you use a professional company, you should have a disclaimer in the caption of the photo that it has been virtually staged so the buyer is aware that when they visit the house, it will not look the exact same as the photos. You may decide you want to include the original photos of the empty rooms with the staged photos for this purpose. Virtual staging is not intended to trick buyers; it is a tool sellers use to help showcase a property while providing depth to the rooms so buyers can envision the space better. Ultimately, you may still decide to physically stage your house or use a mix of virtually and traditionally stages rooms for your listing. As always, a realtor can offer great advice and guidance for your particular situation.
First impressions matter, and this is particularly true in real estate. Whether you’re looking for ways to increase the value of your home, or just looking for a fun home project, consider upgrading your landscaping.
Multiple sources attest to the draw that a beautifully landscaped yard has on potential home buyers. Martin Eiden, a top broker with Compass in New York City, claims that good landscaping can increase a home’s value by 10 to 15% at the most. Similarly, a study by Michigan State University found that potential home buyers perceived the value of a home with good landscaping to be 11% higher than a home without it. In addition, a survey done by the National Association of Landscape Professionals found that 84% of Americans said that landscaping would impact their decision to buy a home.
With spring weather here to stay, now is the perfect time to make an investment in your home by improving your landscaping. It may sound like an overwhelming project. Where do you start?
Here are some helpful tips to consider as you embark on this project.
1. Think Outside the Green Box
A green lawn has become a staple of the American yard, but there are many quick and easy ways to add on to that to create more interest. To add a pop of color here and there, use potted flowers. Refresh the look of your lawn with new mulch around bushes and in plant beds. Add some outdoor furniture or lawn ornaments
2. Match Your Yard to Your Home
Make sure the style of your landscaping matches the style of your home. If you have a classic style of home, choose landscaping that reflects that style, don’t go for a bold, contemporary statement.
3. Opt for Sophistication
A green rectangle is uninspired. Employing more sophisticated design elements like curved lines for plant beds and an island of plants in the middle of a lawn is much more interesting, and can even result in a higher sale price, according to a survey by Turf magazine. The same survey also found that yards with a mix of large trees and colorful annual plants also sold better.
4. Plan for Each Season
Plan your landscaping so that it will look good all year round. This is especially important for home-owners in a four-season climate. A blog post by HouseCall describes what plants to choose for each season, “blooming bulbs for spring, annual beds around the house during the summer, shrubs with brightly colored leaves in the fall, and evergreens for the winter”.
5. Trees are Awesome
Trees not only increase the value of your property, they also clean the air, provide fruit, provide privacy, and can reduce your heating and cooling bills. What a powerhouse plant! In addition, they are relatively inexpensive to plant.
A study by Landscape and Urban Planning found that homes with trees in the front yard in Portland, Oregon, sold for $8,870 more and also sold 1.7 days faster than those homes without them. A single hardwood tree can remove 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air in a year. The U.S. Department of Energy found that strategically planted trees can reduce a home’s energy use by 25%, since they can provide shade in the summer and block wind in the winter. The Tree Benefit Calculator can give homeowners an estimate of how much benefit a given tree can give the neighborhood.
While trees are generally awesome, if you are planting new ones, it’s important to choose their location carefully, making sure they aren’t too close to the driveway or home. Once matured, a badly placed tree can get in the way of power lines or septic system drain fields, a definite detractor for potential buyers.
6. Invest in an Automatic Irrigation System
If you are going to put the time, effort, and money into upgrading your yard, you may want to protect that investment, and reduce your daily time spent maintaining the landscaping, with an automatic irrigation system.
7. Keep it Low Maintenance
While a well-landscaped yard is a definite asset, for most homeowners it’s best to create a yard that is also relatively low-maintenance. Unless gardening is your passion, you’ll get the most economic benefit from a yard that’s easy to maintain.
If you live in an area that’s dry, like California or the southwestern states, consider water-smart landscaping, which features artfully placed rocks with bushes and shrubs that don’t require much water.
In general, plants that are native to the area you live in will be hardier and easier to maintain. They won’t need as much water, fertilizer, or hands on care to thrive in their native environment as something exotic would.
8. Create a welcoming pathway
Visitors and anyone interested in buying your home will encounter the front yard first and enter through the front door. Make a good first impression by designing a pathway to the front door that creates interest. “Ideally, have it winding with plants or a small hedge on each side,” says New York City broker Martin Eiden.
9. Install Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting not only shows off your beautiful landscaping at night, it also provides added safety for anyone coming and going at night, and can ward off burglars. Outdoor lights can now be LED or solar-powered, saving money and electricity. There are a wide range of outdoor lights available, so you can pick up a simple DIY kit at a hardware store, or invest in a professional to design and install a lighting scheme.
10. Edge the Lawn
Since you have put the time, effort, and finances into improving your landscaping, why not finish the job with a nice clean edge around your lawn? This is especially important for home sellers. It will add clean lines and a sense of organization to your yard, overall. This sends a signal to potential buyers that you have kept the property in tip-top condition. For tips on how to edge your lawn, click here.
If you are not familiar with the term Feng Shui, Wikipedia describes it as: "Feng shui is a Chinese metaphysical and quasi-philosophical system that seeks to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment."
The national association of Realtor's suggests you consider the following to make your home feel more inviting:
Chi flows in.
Pay special attention to the front door, which is considered the “mouth of chi” and one of the most powerful aspects of the entire property. Make sure the area is swept clean and free of cobwebs and clutter. Ensure all lighting is straight and properly hung. Consider lighting the path leading up to the front door to create an inviting atmosphere.
Chi can flow out, too.
Energy can be flushed away wherever there are drains in the home. To keep the good forces of a home inside, always keep the toilet seats down and close the doors to bathrooms.
Consider the bedroom carefully.
The master bed should be in a place of honor, power, and protection. Place it farthest from and facing toward the entryway of the room. The optimal placement is diagonal in the farthest corner of the room. Paint the room in colors that promote serenity, relaxation, and romance, such as soft tones of green, blue, and lavender.
Offer a formal dining space.
The dining room symbolizes the energy and power of family togetherness. Make sure the table is clear and uncluttered during showings. Use an attractive tablecloth to enhance the look of the table while also softening sharp corners.
Get a clear perspective.
Windows are considered to be the eyes of the home. Getting your windows professionally cleaned is a good idea anyway, but for buyers, your home will sparkle all the more brightly and your view will be optimally displayed.
Advertising your home by posting pictures online is one of the first and most important marketing steps you will take when selling your home. More and more people begin their search for a new home online and their first impression of your home will be shaped by the quality of your pictures. What many people don’t understand is the prep that the homeowner will need to complete before the photographer begins shooting the property. Below is a detailed checklist of the most common preparations one should do in order to be fully prepared for the professional photographer.
If you are doing preliminary research and want to see how you can further prepare your home for sale, it doesn't hurt to prepare your home for a home inspection. Check out the blog linked below.
Info obtained from:
You don't have to be ready to sell your home to be thinking about keeping your home resell friendly. If you are like us, most of the painting occurred when we first bought our house. I don't particularly love painting, so I wanted to land on some colors that would work well if/when we wanted to resell.
If you have been actively looking at houses on our market for a while. You will see that most houses that get flipped will go with a light grey interior with white trim. This is probably your most neutral and safest bet. That being said, not everyone wants only these colors. So what colors should you avoid?
Colors To Avoid
According to Realtor.com, you should avoid orange, black and violet. This doesn't mean you cant use these colors. They should just be kept as accents and avoided as all over wall colors.
Colors To Choose
We already discussed the popular use of light grey with white trim as favorite for flipping. Again, this is because it is very neutral and people can best imagine their lives and furniture in the house. If you want something other than neutral, natural colors are popular; particularly blue and then green.
If you want further decorating advice, contact me to set up a consultation with myself and/or an interior designer.
dOrganization of a closet can add great appeal because it maximizes the space. Write down your closet’s dimensions and head to a local hardware store to find some wire shelving organization systems.
The use of decorative boxes have been a fashionable way to organize closet space. These can be purchased at Ikea, Walmart, Target, or you can get creative and make your own.
To make your closet feel bigger, you’ll want to clear out about half of its contents. Begin by storing out of season clothing in other storage areas. If you have a month to prepare, hang all of your clothes hangers in the closet backwards. Each time you wear an article of clothing, replace it in your closet with the hanger facing the correct way. At the end of the month, go through the clothes you didn’t wear and donate them to a thrift store.
This blog is part 4 of series. Click here for the overview.
Most buyers know that it's the right one within the first few minutes of touring a house. This is why it is very important to get your house ready to sell.
A Realtor will help make specific suggestions about how to get your house ready for the market. Here is an overview of what helps prepare your house to be sold.
The first impression of the house can go along way. When you have a sign on the front lawn, people driving by will be evaluating your house's curb appeal. To help improve your curb appeal, there are few things you can do: landscaping and cosmetic improvements, including painting.
Your Realtor will make suggestions of what customers are looking for in your price range. This may mean making certain updates to your house.
A rule of thumb for showing a houses is keeping everything clean, bright, and decluttered. Keep rooms simple and open. It may be helpful to rent a storage unit to help store extra furniture and appliances.
Make Areas Neutral
Update the inside of your house to neutral colors such as grey and white. Think broad appeal when deciding what colors to use.