Staging Tips For Your Home

Staging your home can make a big difference in how you feel about the spaces – it isn’t about spending money, it is about, paying attention to these key staging concepts. It also makes a big difference in how much you can sell your home for since less than 10% of buyers can visualize changes to a home so the stats show that staging can help a home sell quicker and on average, for 10% more.

Consider how you want to use the room and how many people will be in there at any point in time, to determine the type of furnishings and amount of seating you will need. When you stage for living, a “bedroom” can be a bedroom, office, TV room, playroom, etc. When staging for sale we typically stage a room for what it was designed to be so you get full marketing value for each room.

Focal Point

Identify the room or area’s focal point – a fireplace, view, TV – and arrange the furniture accordingly. The ideal distance between the TV and your seating is three times the size of the screen (measured diagonally).  So, if you have a 40-inch TV, your couch should be 120 inches (10 feet) away.

Start with the largest pieces of your furniture and position it to face the focal point. In family or living rooms, establish conversation areas where a couch and a loveseat or two chairs face each other over a coffee table, keeping the space intimate. When staging for sale, we want to maximize the key selling features of a home and create memory triggers with the wow kitchen, cozy family room, fun playroom, etc.

Symmetry and Space

Symmetry

This affects the feel of a space – the more symmetrical it is the more formal it feels and asymmetrical spaces feel casual. Having the same bookshelves on either side of a fireplace, two of the same chair, lamp, or couches versus a variety of furniture, lamps, tables.

Rule of thirds

You want to fill two-thirds of the space, so for a bookshelf, you want one-third books, one-third accessories, and one-third empty space to keep things from feeling cluttered.

Left to Right

People read left to right so to encourage the movement of the eyes and flow in a room, for decorative items you want to place tall items on the left and shorter on the right.

Traffic Flow

Create a flow through a room by having a 30-48-inch path for the door to door traffic and 24 inches for movement around a room.  If possible, do not place furniture along the walls. Optimally you want an 18-24-inch perimeter around your living/family room conversation groupings so traffic flows around not through it.

Area Rugs

A 5-by-8 rug is the smallest you should use An 8-by-10 is optimal if the room size supports it. Smaller rugs make the home look and feel smaller. In a living/family room, you should have two legs of your couch and chairs on the rug and two off if space permits.  Bedroom rugs should extend at least 18-24 inches on both sides so that when you get out of bed you are fully on the rug.

Wall Art

In rooms where you are standing (like the foyer or hallway) you generally want to hang wall art at 60 inches. In rooms where you are generally sitting (like the dining or family rooms) you want to hang art at 54 inches.  Another good rule of thumb is to hang art 6-9 inches over an anchor – which might be a couch or console table – and the optimal width of the art is two-thirds of the anchor piece.

 

Variety and Contrast

A room is more visually pleasing if you have some variety and contrast. Having furniture pieces of different sizes throughout the room causes your eyes to move up and down as you scan the room and make it more interesting.  Avoid having two tall pieces next to each other. Another way to add variety is to combine straight and curved lines – whether it is the fabric pattern on a rug, upholstery or wallpaper – or the shape of each piece of furniture (curvy or angular).

 

Article Published in the Woodinville Weekly Real Estate Section. Since 2017 The Blue Team has written the bi-monthly Real Estate Column sharing their expertise in this community publications. Sharing their Tips for Home Buying, Tips for Home Selling, Tips for Investors, Buying & Selling Luxury Homes, Real Estate Transitions (Including Relocation & Senior Real Estate Tips), and Equestrian Real Estate.

Posted on May 28, 2020 at 12:23 am
Michelle Blue | Category: Home Maintenance, Remodeling for Resale, Tips for Home Selling | Tagged ,

Tips For Home Selling | Selling Homes With Pets

We love our pets so make sure you minimize the stress of the home sale process on them and, at the same time, maximize your home sale price by managing their impact on your sale.

  1. Prior to listing
    Repair any damage done by your pet & remove pet odors. This could be replacing or painting trim that has been scratched or chewed, replacing carpet that has been scratched or stained, or removing or replacing damaged window screens. Pay special attention to pet smells that permeate your home – you may need to clean carpets, upholstered furniture, area rugs or ducts.
  2.  

  3. Temporary relocation.
    If it is an option, ask a friend or relative to take care of your pet(s) while your home is on the market. At a minimum, this will be beneficial during the initial week marketing blitz, but it might be best if they can be hosted away from your home until they can move with you to their new home.
  4.  

  5. Remove during showings.
    If relocation isn’t an option, depending on the pet – it might be easiest to just pack up your pet and take them with you during showings & open houses. Have a “to go bag” with all of your pet’s essentials – food, water dish, toys, etc. so that when you get the call for a showing you can pack up with everything you might need quickly. Make sure pet bedding, litterboxes & cages are regularly cleaned and don’t smell.
  6.  

  7. Erase visual signs of your pets.
    Tuck the water & food dish into a cabinet, put away beds, litterboxes & toys (or at least put them in the garage during showings). Be vigilant about scooping & disposing of pet waste outside.
  8.  

  9. Pets who need to stay during showings.
    If you can’t relocate while on the market or remove for showings, then make sure you have a sign that explains the best way to interact with your pet. Warm them about barking in a kennel, doors to keep close, let people know if it is friendly or if you shouldn’t pet or touch it, let them know if it is ok to let your pet outside or if it might be hiding under a bed or in a closet. This really should be a last result as it is stressful on your pets, there is potential liability if a visitor gets hurt by a scared pet, and it distracts buyers & their agents from looking at your home.

Article Published in the Woodinville Weekly Real Estate Section. Since 2017 The Blue Team has written the bi-monthly Real Estate Column sharing their expertise in this community publications, sharing their Tips for Home Buying, Tips for Home Selling, Tips for Investors, Buying & Selling Luxury Homes, Real Estate Transitions (Including Relocation & Senior Real Estate Tips), and Equestrian Real Estate.

Posted on August 9, 2019 at 9:56 pm
Michelle Blue | Category: Tips for Home Selling | Tagged , ,

Tips for Home Selling | Outdoor Features That Attract Buyers

A well designed outdoor area can make your home feel larger by creating an outdoor living space to compliment your indoor space.  Take note of the homes listed on the MLS that are high-end or just feel high-end and many of them have twilight photos and/or photos of outdoor areas that help you imagine summers with family & friends.

  1. Outdoor Lighting.  There is something magical about outdoor lighting that makes spending evenings outside a little more special.  This can be as simple as quality outdoor string lights installed over your deck or patio or above a fire pit, directed landscape lighting, walkway lighting, or outdoor wall lanterns and overhead lighting.
  2.  

  3. Gathering Space. People like an area that is designed for gatherings – a gas fire table, a wood fire pit, a BBQ area, a pool or hot tub, an outdoor tiki bar, a patio table for meals, or even just a bistro table for an evening glass of wine or morning coffee for 2.  These spaces can be created with a mixture of permanent features and furniture & accessories.
  4.  

  5. Landscaping. Well maintained landscaping is important for curb appeal but it can also be designed to encourage people to want to be outside of your home.  Add color with plants & outdoor art, tranquility with fountains, privacy with well-placed screens or fences, and lifestyle with gardens (as simple as a container gardening with herbs to fruit trees and raised beds for veggies & cut flowers).
  6.  

  7. Outdoor Structures. Structures can help maximize the use and value of a home providing a place for active use, storage, or additional living space.  Structures for active use include a patio, deck, gazebo, shop, playhouse, sports court, swimming pool, and animal related buildings and structures.  Structures for storage include a shed, carport, detached garage, or RV covered area. Additional living space structures can include a studio, accessory living quarters (ALQ) with a place to sleep and a bathroom or an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) which includes sleeping area, bathroom and a kitchen area.
  8.  

  9. Covered Area.  In the Pacific Northwest a covered area can extend your ability to enjoy being outside to from Spring – Fall.  There are many ways to create this area – everything from a large patio umbrella, sun sail shades, fixed or retractable awnings, or a detached or attached roof.

 
Article Published in the Woodinville Weekly Real Estate Section. Since 2017 The Blue Team has written the bi-monthly Real Estate Column sharing their expertise in this community publications, sharing their Tips for Home Buying, Tips for Home Selling, Tips for Investors, Buying & Selling Luxury Homes,  Real Estate Transitions (Including Relocation & Senior Real Estate Tips), and Equestrian Real Estate.

 

Posted on July 9, 2019 at 9:37 pm
Michelle Blue | Category: Luxury Homes, Tips for Home Selling | Tagged , ,

Tips For Home Selling: 5 Marketing Tips for Selling Equestrian Properties

When you go to sell your home that has a unique selling feature – such as an equestrian property – make sure that your home is staged to sell this lifestyle feature and the marketing information is designed to sell to the buyers that want this feature.

  1. Lifestyle Marketing Literature & Feature Sheet
    You are selling a lifestyle so make sure the verbiage online & your marketing brochure paints a picture of what a buyer’s life could be like if they buy your property. Share the convenience of having your horses onsite instead of boarding, easy access to trails, the joy of drinking your morning coffee while watching your beloved animals out in the pasture, etc.  In addition, make sure you have a detailed marketing sheet that lists out all of the equestrian features and if possible the cost and/or value of those features. Help buyers compare the full value of what you have with another property they may be considering – especially those that say “equestrian potential”.  This will also help ensure that when you sell your home for maximum value it also appraises at that value.
  2.  

  3. Equestrian Curb Appeal & Feature Staging
    Make sure all of the equestrian features you have are staged so prospective buyers appreciate their value in addition to your home & property. For example, white vinyl fencing should be pressure washed so it sparkles, your barn should be organized & free of cobwebs as well as your tack room and other outbuildings, and your pastures should be cleaned and in good condition. Have laminated feature cards throughout your entire property providing the information when people are most curious.
  4.  

  5. Professional Photography with Aerials
    Aerial photography that shows your entire property is a must. You aren’t just selling your house – show your home as it relates to your pastures, barns, riding arenas, and driveways for hauling and trailer parking.  It is also a nice touch to take pictures of the barn with your horses in them – or goats, chickens, alpacas, donkeys or whatever you have!
  6.  

  7. Customized In-Home Marketing Materials
    Home books are created by your Broker to answer questions for agents & buyers so they don’t leave your home unsure as to the details.  Generally, they include things like the public schools relevant to your home, information about restaurants & parks, preliminary title, seller disclosure form, septic as built, well information, etc.  An Equestrian Home should have an additional section with local trails, riding clubs, local veterinarians & farriers, area feed stores, etc. so that they know the service providers they will care about are convenient.
  8.  

  9.  Work With An Equestrian Specialist
    Many brokers can sell your home but make sure you work with an equestrian property specialist to sell your “whole” property.  They can speak the language and know what buyers care about, they can answer questions, and can provide you with service provider recommendations to help you prepare your whole property.
  10.  

 

Article Published in the Woodinville Weekly Real Estate Section. Since 2017 The Blue Team has written the bi-monthly Real Estate Column sharing their expertise in this community publications, sharing their Tips for Home Buying, Tips for Home Selling, Tips for Investors, Buying & Selling Luxury Homes,  Real Estate Transitions (Including Relocation & Senior Real Estate Tips), and Equestrian Real Estate.

Posted on May 9, 2019 at 7:25 pm
Michelle Blue | Category: Equestrian Home Sales Tips, Tips for Home Selling | Tagged , , ,

Tips for Home Selling: 5 Staging Tips To Maximize Your Sales Price

National statistics show that staged homes sell for 7% higher than homes that aren’t staged.  This is because staged homes sell in less time and are more likely to have multiple offers. Here are 5 staging tips to maximize your sales price.

    1. Clean & Crisp.Whether your home is updated or not, people want to move into a home that has some basic move in ready features: windows that sparkle, professionally cleaned carpets, clean floors, bathrooms with fresh grout & caulk. Make sure your home smells clean too – the saying in real estate is You can’t sell it, if you can smell it! This applies to pet smells, lingering cooking smells, damp/musty smells – ask someone else to tell you honestly if your home smells.

 

    1. De-personalize.
      Remove family pictures, religious artifacts, trophies and persona memorabilia. There are 3 reasons to do this: (1) you want people to imagine themselves living in the house – all of your personal stuff makes it your house; (2) you want the home to appeal to every prospective buyer – they may have different religious or political views and you want to make them feel welcome; (3) protect your precious items from damage or theft by having it safely packed away.

 

    1. De-Clutter.
      In order for photos of your home to look their best – your home needs to lose some “visual weight” by removing all of the extra stuff in your home.  People need be able to see your home – the floors, the built-in shelving, the light fixtures, the counters – remember they aren’t purchasing your things.  If they like what they see in the pictures they will come tour your home and have the chance to really fall in love with it.

 

    1. Show off your home’s unique value.
      Staging and marketing a home is about making sure that prospective buyers see and know why your home is better than other homes on the market and why they should get their offer in quickly and for the highest price.  Draw attention to the view, the privacy, the 1-story accessibility, the peace & quiet, the walkability to shops & restaurants, the equestrian features, the fabulous flow for entertaining, the RV parking – whatever differentiates your home.

 

  1. First Impressions Matter.
    The market is moving quickly, buyers have to make quick decisions.  Don’t bring your home on the market until you are ready – because you often won’t get a second chance.  Right now, depending on the price point, if your home sits on the market more than 2 weeks, buyers wonder what’s wrong with it and that can really hurt your final sales price.

 

Article Published in the Woodinville Weekly Real Estate Section. Since 2017 The Blue Team has written the  Real Estate Column sharing their expertise in this bi-monthly community publications, sharing their Tips for Home Buying, Tips for Home Selling, Tips for Investors, Buying & Selling Luxury Homes,  Real Estate Transitions (Including Relocation & Senior Real Estate Tips), and Equestrian Real Estate.

Posted on April 9, 2019 at 6:27 pm
Michelle Blue | Category: Tips for Home Selling | Tagged ,

Tips for Home Selling: 3 Ways to Attract The Luxury Home Buyer

If you’d like to sell your home for a luxury price you need to market it to luxury home buyers.  Here are 3 strategies that will differentiate your home to luxury buyers and maximize your sales price.

1. Market Value & Lifestyle. Don’t market the features of your home such as the number of beds & baths, the best marketing sells the unique value and lifestyle benefits that your buyer can have if they purchase your home.   Tranquil. An Idyllic retreat where you can feel the stress of the day melt away as you relax by the firepit contemplating the sunset. Epicurean. Experience the joy of cooking with fresh organic vegetables from your own, carefully cultivated garden.

 

2. Luxury Presentation. All homes should be staged to help buyers visualize themselves living in the home.  Luxury homes should also be staged to emphasize the unique value and lifestyle proposition that this specific home offers.  Sales preparation is critical – Luxury buyers want move-in ready homes the do not want a project.  Where needed you should have fresh paint, refinished floors, updated carpeting, updated counters, crisp landscaping, etc. depending on the current state of your home. The home should be pre-inspected, substantive issues taken care of as well as most maintenance issues. All the buyer should have to do is move in and start enjoying their new lifestyle.

 

3. Advertise Regionally & Globally. Expand the pool of buyers that consider your home if you want maximize your sales price. If applicable, advertise in key regional publications that are read by luxury buyers such as the Puget Sound Business Journal, 425 Magazine, Pacific NW Magazine, Seattle Chinese Times, Alaska Airlines Beyond Magazine, etc.  We live in an area that attracts international buyers – so make sure your internet marketing plan has a global reach utilizing high-end real estate partner services such as the Real Estate Companies of the World, Luxury Portfolio International, and Juwai.com.

 

Real Estate Corner (Article published in the Woodinville Weekly 2/19/18 edition)

 

Need help selling your Luxury Marketing Home? The Blue Team are Certified Home Luxury Marketing Specialists and members and have achieved the designation of Million Dollar Guild members of the Institute For Luxury Home Marketing!

Posted on March 18, 2018 at 5:33 pm
Michelle Blue | Category: Luxury Homes, Tips for Home Selling | Tagged , ,

Tips For Home Selling: 5 Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays

Make sure you pay attention to these 5 tips to make sure your home sale during the holidays is a success. 

  1. Warm & Cozy. The holidays are about home & family so pay attention to your buyer’s experience when they arrive at your home. Help them feel welcome by having the heat up when they come in from the cold, greet them with holiday scents of fresh baked cookies and apple cider or cocoa, have your gas fireplace going and all of the lights on.
  2.  

  3. Move-in Ready. People moving during the holidays don’t want to have to do projects during Christmas break. Have your home pre-inspected, all major or health & safety items repaired, and make sure it is sparkling clean – so all they have to do is Move In!
  4.  

  5. Market What Buyers Can’t See. Do you have a beautiful garden – put out pictures that show how it looks in bloom in the summer. Do you have a great view when it isn’t raining – post a picture next to the window where you would see it. Do you live next to a great trail system, park, lake, etc. have a feature card that tells buyers about it.
  6.  

  7. Holiday Decorations – Go ahead and decorate – but focus on emphasizing the beauty of your home. Lights to show off the roof line or outdoor area, a tree in that perfect spot in the house with a super high ceiling, etc. Don’t go overboard with holiday decorations – they make it look cluttered and take attention away from your home. Don’t be political, limit or avoid personal or religious decorations, remember that you want your home to appeal to people of all backgrounds and beliefs and they need to be able to see themselves in your home – not you.
  8.  

  9. Safety – Make sure your driveway & walk ways a clear of snow, ice or debris and your outside lights are on. Do not display your holiday gifts – pack them away in a box or out of site.  Make sure all your windows & doors are locked after showings.
  10.  

Now be prepared to move to your new home and enjoy your holiday!

Real Estate Corner (Article published in the Woodinville Weekly 11/28/17 edition)

Posted on November 30, 2017 at 4:57 am
Michelle Blue | Category: Tips for Home Selling | Tagged , ,