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Monique Carrabba - The Carrabba Group's Blog

By Monique & Joe Carrabba | Agent in Los Angeles, CA
  • Staging: Do it right. Do it.

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Los Angeles, Design & Decor in Los Angeles, Property Q&A in Los Angeles  |  September 3, 2010 4:53 PM  |  745 views  |  No comments

    Many times I show homes and I have to laugh. If there is a desk in a bedroom the buyer will assume it’s an office. You put a bed in the bedroom and people will assume it’s a bedroom. I had the same problem when I sold my own home back in 2006. I tried for months to sell my 2nd bedroom as a bedroom but with a desk in the room I had no takers. As soon as I put a bed in the bedroom-boom, the house sold.

    Staging is important. So many homes are vacant. You don’t need to hire an expert to do it, but if you have a budget it really can pay off. There are three levels of staging a homeowner can do.

    The Light Fluff:

    When you’re listing your home, think about what the buyers want.
    Some tips:
    Put out fresh (preferably new) towels for showings/open houses (and don’t use them!)
    Purchase new bath rugs
    Pull all the weeds in the flowerbeds and replace or trim back any tired plants
    Fertilize the lawn
    Fresh flower and candles are a plus
    Replace burned out light bulbs
    New bed linens
    Make sure your doorbell works
    Replace old house numbers and mailboxes
    Replace any broken sprinkler heads.
    In your bathroom, get rid of unsightly toiletries and toothbrushes
    Remove personal photos or at least limit it to one or two a room
    Purchase indoor houseplants
    Paint where touch-ups are needed.
    Replace or remove worn window screens
    Make sure your closets look organized and not stuffed to the brim
    Keep pet toys and kid toys to a minimum and make sure what is left is neatly displayed in the areas the kids or pets play
    Have a fresh/new doormat at your front door to greet visitors

    Soft Staging for Vacant Homes:

    So you have moved out of your home and you’re not sure how to stage it without buying/renting furniture. If you can’t afford to stage it, follow the tips above that apply. Make sure even though the house is vacant you have some items that will make people feel warm and invited in your home.

    New doormat
    Towels and toilet paper in all bathrooms
    Make sure the home is as clean as a whistle
    Bath rugs in all bathrooms
    Candles in kitchen and bathrooms
    Orchids or fresh flowers in kitchen and bathrooms
    Throw rugs as needed
    If you have patio furniture that you can leave, that’s a plus
    Music sets the mood: Make sure that when your home is shown, lights are on, candles lit and music is played softly to set the mood
    Light a fireplace or run the A/C to make the environment inviting and comfortable
    Replace burned out light bulbs
    Flowers in the flowerbeds and weeds removed
    Make sure the mail is always picked up
    Update your house numbers and mailbox
    Make sure the doorbell works
    Leave utilities on
    Make sure you or your agent visit the home frequently to make sure it’s in tiptop shape.

    Professional Staging:

    If you have the budget, I highly recommend hiring a professional stager. Most stagers can do a partial staging (say you need to freshen up a few rooms) or a complete staging of a vacant home. It’s important the furniture matches the style of the house. I have seen stagers stage a house the right way and the wrong way. The photo that set me to write this blog is of a home I visited today that was professionally staged. The staging was awful. The piece a la resistance was the garage. They had a mannequin in a wedding dress and a table with a sketch of a wedding dress. I think they were trying to paint the picture that someone artistic might want the house. What it ended up looking like was a haunted garage with a corpse bride hidden in the garage! Tacky!!!! Let’s not get spooked by our stagers. Choose a stager by interviewing them and visiting some of the homes they have staged. Most stagers offer different levels of staging. See what they can offer you at the price and style that works for you. Don’t be afraid to get several bids. I also am a fan of people that mix old pieces with new. That way it feels more like a real home and not a Cort Furniture Rental showroom.

    It’s proven that houses sell quicker when staged, and at a higher price. Whatever level of staging you decide to do, as they say just do it!

    Monique Carrabba
    The Carrabba Group
    Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
    P: (323) 899-2900

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