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Kristen Heyen Noble's Blog

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  • Why Isn't My House Selling?

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Rochester, Agent2Agent in Rochester, Moving in Rochester  |  November 6, 2010 6:28 AM  |  231 views  |  No comments

    It amazes me how many people are selling their home vacant with absolutely no inexpensive cosmetic changes.  As a home staging professional and real estate salesperson, I see no reason to ever sell a home vacant.

    There is currently a study being conducted at Duke University on the psychological reasons homes are appealing to buyers.  Home staging professionals are being asked to participate in the study.  Keep in mind that if you still have the attitude that the new home owners will make changes to a house anyway, why should you make them now, is a mistake.  Most buyers do not want to have to make any changes to a house.  They want a house in move in condition.  As I’ve said repeatedly, HGTV has impacted buyer’s view on what to expect to see when viewing prospective houses. 

    If your house if vacant, it is difficult for buyers to imagine if their furniture will fit into a property.  They have difficulty looking past wallpaper, old lighting fixtures, and even hardware on kitchen cabinets.  Most recently I spoke with an agent whose clients walked into a beautiful lakefront property, saw wallpaper at the entrance of the home and walked out without viewing the rest of the house.

    Remember home staging is an available service. Home staging professionals can furnish and accessorize any property.  If you are too busy to oversee repairs and painting, or to do them yourself, have the staging professional handle that for you.  Have you heard of virtual home staging?  Virtual staging is when a photograph of an actual empty room in your house can have 3d images inserted into it.  This form of staging has to be clearly declared when your agent uses these images to advertise your home, but can be very effective.   

    A little extra time, and yes money, can increase the asking cost of your home.  It will definitely impact the feedback from agents showing your property.  It’s a lot less expensive to stage a house than it is to drop the asking price because a house isn’t selling.

  • Quick Tips for Selling Your Home Through Home Staging Kitchens & Bathrooms

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Rochester, Property Q&A in Rochester, Moving in Rochester  |  November 6, 2010 6:21 AM  |  168 views  |  No comments

    Home staging is not a trend, it’s a necessity.  National television has seen to that. 

    Unfortunately, the homes seen on popular home decorating and staging shows are going to be what many buyers expect to walk in to.  I always stress to my real estate clients that a lot can be done for very little money through professional home staging and a little bit of elbow grease. 

    Staging a house before it goes on the market is critical.  If you have already had your home on the market, you need to be objective and open minded to the feedback left from showings.  If you ever hear the words cluttered, dirty, small, or outdated, you need to either lower your asking price significantly or get to work.

    The philosophy that a buyer can purchase and then make a house their home, don’t believe it.  They need to be able to picture living in a house to give you a good purchase price.  Each time an uninformed buyer views a potential house; don’t count on them knowing the cost of cosmetic changes. 

    Today I am going to give some tips for kitchens and bathrooms.  The condition of these rooms can make or break a sale. 


    1.  Clear off all the countertops

    2. If you must have items on the countertops for day to day use, have a plan for last minute storage for these items.  A large plastic bin works great.  I had a client with a great idea!  If you have a camper, use it for storage!

    3. Do you have pleasant smelling cleaning products?  Dollar General and The Dollar Tree are a great place to go for these!

    4. Purchase new dish towels and pot holders for display purposes only

    5. Replace your burner dripping

    6. A bowl of fresh fruit is a great way to add a splash of color to your kitchen

    7. Wipe down all kitchen cabinets.

    8. Buyers will look inside your cupboards….how do yours look?

    9. Clean off your kitchen table.  If you have to use a tablecloth, don’t use a plastic one.

    10.      Boil a glass of water with 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla and a teaspoon of cinnamon.  Walk around the kitchen with it for a great inviting smell.

    11.      If your kitchen has any wallpaper or a distinct color, paint a new neutral color.  Wallpaper and borders are almost always a personal style that may not be a buyer’s taste. 


    I’m going to focus on two rooms in the house that can make or break a sale.   



    1.  Buy a new set of white towels for display purposes only.

    2. Take a bathroom wipe and squeeze it in a spot that isn’t readily seen.  After that takes place, hide the wipe under a towel.  Your bathroom will smell great.

    3. If your grout is not bright white, either clean it thoroughly or put on a new layer of grout.

    4. Remove everything from the inside of the shower/bath.

    5. Have an empty garbage can for every showing

    6. This room has to be spotless.

    7. The sink vanity has to be empty except for smelly bath products and a candle.

    8. Take a good look at your shower curtain.  If it is not updated buy a new one.  An inexpensive way to have a new shower curtain look is to purchase a single curtain panel for looks.  Have a new clear shower liner for daily use.  Push both the liner and the curtain to one side of the tub for showings.

    9. Paint a neutral color

  • Home Staging or Decorating A Master Bedroom

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Rochester, Design & Decor in Rochester, Moving in Rochester  |  November 6, 2010 6:16 AM  |  231 views  |  2 comments

    Bedrooms need extra attention when preparing your house for sale.  The larger they appear the better.  As difficult as it is to remove personal items that are important to your day to day comfort, you have to make the top priority getting your house sold FAST!

    Try and make all bedrooms gender neutral.  Cream/white will still match your child’s special things.  One trick I do frequently is to use the opposite side of a comforter if it is a solid color.  Purchasing new curtain sheers for $4.50 a panel is a great idea. This allows you to take some of the “personality” out of a room.  If you have a special comforter set ensemble taking down the window treatments now will save complications later when a buyer wants all window treatments.  

    Your master bedroom deserves even more attention.  Remove all visible items off of the dresser and night stands.  Pack clothes you won’t need  and use metal hangers for the ones remaining clothes in the closet so that closets  appear more spacious.  Every buyer would love a lavish master bedroom.  A fresh neutral paint job in a warm beige color with white trim is a huge, classic, and inexpensive way to improve the look of the room instantly.  Again, in this case the bigger the better.  If you have a king bed that monopolizes the room, consider borrowing a queen sized bed to help your room appear larger.    Buyers should see your bed as the focal point of the room.  Consider purchasing a new bedding ensemble or comforter that is (sorry to repeat myself) neutral.    Add at least one set of pillows to make the bed look extra comfortable.  Accent pillows can be made easily by taking a bed sheet or pillow case and wrapping it around any pillow.  Draping a soft throw on the end of the bed in a contrasting texture from the bedding with a breakfast tray is a lovely touch. Remember, you are staging the room, not decorating it.

     If you don’t have a bedroom set or a headboard above your bed create that look by adding a mirror with a couple of wall sconces with candles.  LED pillar candles are now available.  They are great to use so that you can turn them on before each showing and not have to worry about the potential of them being left on.  Metal garden fence borders make great “headboards” with a little spray paint.  You can also take a piece of cardboard, glue towels to it and then staple on a neutral fabric with large brass/wrought iron buttons or round drawer pulls for a headboard.  If there is a way to have a small seating area, even if for only one chair and a floor lamp, buyers love that potential. 

    As you’ve heard many times, a picture means 1000 words.  Most home buyers are stretching their budgets to purchase a home they plan to grow into or use as a starter home.  Taking a few extra steps preparing your house before putting it on the market will help sell it more quickly. 

    If you have more questions on home staging, let me know! www.stageitlistitsellit.com (585)733-1128.

    Kristen Heyen Noble, Real Estate Salesperson

    Danielle Windus-Cook Properties

    Stage It List It Sell It, co-owner

  • Home Staging in Rochester New York

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Rochester, Design & Decor in Rochester, Moving in Rochester  |  November 6, 2010 6:10 AM  |  208 views  |  No comments

    Home staging is gaining popularity in Rochester.  Not a day goes by that somebody comments  their interest on the home staging business to me.  Home staging is becoming a little more common in our area, but nothing like it is in other parts of the country.    

    As my business grew, I added a partner, Michelle Wiest.  We both agree that textbook home staging is not effective in our area if you don’t combine the staging with decorating.  There is a definite distinction between the two.  Re-arranging some furniture, removing clutter, and shifting items from room to room is not enough to make a strong first impression on a home buyer.  Our inventory makes this possible without adding additional expenses to the seller.

    There is no national certification, licensing, or accredited program for home staging.  There is a major difference between somebody claiming they are certified in home staging and actually being qualified to do an outstanding job.  I have received designations from different staging programs.  One program required a written exam, which took me 14 hours to complete, photographs from many rooms of my work, and testimonials from clients.  Another of my designations took me 2 hours on my home computer.  There is no way possible that two hours on a computer would have given me enough knowledge to do a quality job for my clients. 

    There are some very successful “home stagers” in Rochester that have run successful businesses for quite some time.  I have admired and learned from viewing their work on line and at home shows.  They are both “certified” and qualified and I’m certain have wonderful portfolios. 

    The public seems to know that right questions to ask when hiring a realtor associate, but what about a home staging professional.  Here are some questions:

    1.    What are your fees and what do they include?

    2.   May I see a portfolio of your work

    3.   Do you have a personal inventory to help accentuate my home?  If yes is that included in your fee?

    4.   How many rooms have you staged?

    5.   What did your training include?

    I have no doubt that home staging is effective in selling a home for a better price in a shorter time.  Your home is probably your biggest commodity. Make sure that whoever you hire is both certified and qualified for the best results!


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