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Inspiring Design Tips for Home Staging and Home Makeovers

By Helene Jattan 21 Dec, 2017
When deciding to sell your home, one of the key areas that buyers will look at are the bathrooms. Does your bathroom lack space, is it dated? Does it create a spa like feeling?  You want them to want to get naked here without them being scared.

Without breaking the bank, you can look at doing some upgrades to bring your bathroom out of the 90's, with a small budget. 

My first tip is to update your counter-top if it's chipped or a dated colour. You can get a nice piece of laminate for under $200 to give your bathroom a new updated look. Pick something neutral and not too crazy, a nice marble look is popular today.

The 2nd tip is to upgrade your faucets. If you are handy and can replace them yourself, make sure to pick one that is the same size and has the same type of connections, not to change anything, unless you want to hire a plumber for something different.

Tip # 3 is to make sure that all the caulking is replaced around sinks, tubs, showers and grout is cleaned or re- coated to give a fresh new look. Look at your sink, if you are in need of replacing it, get the same size and shape to keep your DIY 
easy, or hire a plumber. 

Tip #4 is to put a fresh coat of new paint on your cupboards and change up the hardware as well to refresh if in need of updating. Look at your walls for any dings, dents. maybe a fresh coat is needed as well. Look at the door as well, white doors tend to look yellow after years, re-coat with nice white paint for doors and trim.

If your bathroom is fairly new and no upgrades are in order, then you can skip the counter-top, faucets replacement, unless damaged.

Remove all personal items and store them in a basket under the sink if you can. The only things you should see on the counter-top are some simple decorative accessories that you can position in a corner. Remember to place where the photographer might take a snap shot. 

I don't have to remind you that you have to clean, clean the floors, around the toilets, etc....until your knuckles hurt.  Eliminate anything on the floor, wipe those baseboards and if need be, put a fresh touch up coat of baseboard paint to cover any scuff marks. Put the wastebasket under the sink unless you have a very stylish wastebasket that might tie into the design and make sure not to keep garbage in it. That includes your scale on the floor.  Make sure to eliminate every water spot off your faucet, make it so you can see yourself in it. 

Replace all hand towels with white fluffy new ones, white towels give a spa like hotel feel. Easy to pick, no fuss!
Remove floor mats and any mats that might be around the toilet, if you have those...

As well, if you have a shower curtain, replace it with a simple white linen one, keep it open so you can show off your shiny taps and clean re grouted and caulked bathroom.

Now, take a look at the lighting. Is it updated? Replace any dated light above the vanity, as well as the ceiling light. If you don't have a vanity light, consider having one installed as a bright bathroom is very important. People want to see themselves when getting ready. 

Make sure to have the blinds opened to bring in as much light as possible or remove any dark curtains. 









By Helene Jattan 17 Dec, 2017
Do you have a newly renovated home that you purchased for investment purposes? Are you a custom builder with a few homes to sell? Maybe you rent your space on Airbnb?  What do you find when you open the door? Or did they come through the door yet? 90% of Canadians look at listings on line and when they see an empty home, they most likely won't come by and visit.

It is a fact that homes that are empty sit on the market 39% longer. The reason this is that that people really have nothing to look at!  A large percentage of folks cannot see how their home can look. The space looks smaller.  They can't determine if their furniture will fit and how would it be laid out. 

When folks are looking for their new home to live in, they look for a home and not a house. A house is just a shell, really.  People need to feel, emotionally tie themselves to it and find a place where they can see themselves building their lives in.

It is difficult to see the space when there is nothing in it.  If they are not sure, then they will likely not buy or rent it! 

Another negative on empty spaces is that the potential buyer/renter will only have the build, the frame, the house to look at. They will most likely pick everything apart. I know I would! The only think they can look at is what is in front of them. Is the floor 100% level, is the wall corner angled properly? Why is the caulking missing? Why are the heat vents there?  An empty space, gives them the chance to find imperfections. 

With professional staging, we are creating a complete overall look.  Our job is to create a lived in space where they can see themselves living there. With the proper selection of furnishings and decor, we create a dream lifestyle for them. 

Partially furnishing a home has its negative effects as well. It is all too common to see a home partially staged.  Only the main floor was addressed however once you walk up the stairs, there is nothing to see. What does that tell you? Did they run out of money to finish the rest? Are there money issues, have they split up? This might be seen as desperation and once this happens, the buyer sees this as an opportunity to save some money and give a low ball offer.

You can make a difference by investing in some rental furniture. Your home stager should be able to assist with the planning of getting the right furniture delivered and displayed for you. 

There are carry costs as well  when your property is not sold or rent, which apply to those selling homes, new builds, rentals, etc. 

When renting your home, staging the space is important as well. You can portrait the type of renter you want and weed out the unwanted.

I don't recommend using your grandma's old furniture in the attic to stage your space unless you are going to sell to your grandma. But I am guessing if your grandma would want to move, she would not pick her things, she would gravitate to something new! 

Are you ready to move your listing? Contact me, it all starts with a consultation to get you sold or rented.

By Helene Jattan 13 Dec, 2017
Regularly, I scour the home listings for sale, this keeps me in the loop as to what is out there, without going out there! I always like to drop into open houses though to get a feel for homes on the market.

Because of the recent changes and past trend we experienced last spring, those who purchased homes for the intention of leasing them out, seem to be quite empty when I see them online. A few have furniture.

Yes, they updated the inside, put in a killer kitchen, but the homes are empty! You might think that this is a good strategy and it makes the house look bigger but in fact, it actually makes the house smaller. People can't envision their own things in the space.  Do you think that the home owner ran out of money and can't afford furniture, do you think that the family split up and they all took off? These are all negative emotions you don't want.

Adding furniture will add value, you want the buyer to fall in love with the home and not just the shell. Without this, its just a house and not a home.  Not only will they wonder what happened, they now have a chance to pick apart the house and its finishes.

The style of furniture is equally as important as well as the layout. You want to sell the dream so digging out the old furniture from the attic might not be the strategic thing to do.  You are not doing yourself a favor. 

As a home stager, I understand the flow, function and style are very important, as well as creating a "homey" feel. You don't want a feeling of emptiness, you want it to look like someone actually lives there! 

Some might furnish the main level and skip the bedrooms. I don't recommend this strategy. Imagine looking around and everything looks great. You then go to the 2nd floor. What is going on, why is it empty up here? Selling half a house?

I provide full staging, whether its one room that you have empty or an entire home. The furniture is rented on a monthly basis and sometimes you can get discounted rates too :)

Look at the the before and after images below!
By Helene Jattan, Creative Planner 25 Oct, 2017

When you think of staging your property for sale, how much thought do you put into it, or do you?

Not all real estate agents provide staging as a part of their marketing, some include it at no charge to the home owner as part of their service to help show your property at its best. Just like they would hire a professional photographer.  A very wise investment for those who are motivated to sell, whether your agent provides it or not and for a few hundred dollars, you can't afford not to, if selling price is a concern.

So, what do you look for in a home staging? I've heard comments from sellers about the staging services they received and they are not all positive. Were you presented with a couple of options or just one?  Did you do your research?  Ask your agent about who they use and do a bit of research. See what type of transformations they have completed and see if they are the right match for you.

What is important right out of the gate is to have an open discussion about your expectations. Let the home stager know what your thoughts are. Are you willing to leave it in their hands? Should I believe what they say? How much are you willing to do?  This is where personality comes in as well as how good in planning you both are.

So, what happens if the home stager tells you that you need to pack away all your personal photos, they mention to you that your furniture does not show well? Do you get all defensive, do you tell them that you are not going to put those things away? We get emotionally attached to our things. Remember, you are selling your house, you are not erasing your memories. All the things you have will be going with you to your new home so packing those memories are an important step.

Your home is no longer a home, its now a house for sale, it's a piece for sale, it's probably your biggest asset. It's a structure for someone else to build their own lives and memories in. Let's be honest, your future buyers don't care about you and your family.  If you can't get past this point, then you will risk leaving money on the table. If you can't understand this and accepting a lower offer showing your property "as-is" then that is your choice. Remember that you have competition.

What about if your house is dated? What if your carpets or floors are damaged? Are you willing to fix them? When people walk through your home and see this, right away they see it as an expense and will normally inflate the cost of what it actually cost to fix or replace. Don't give them the opportunity to start deducting this in their minds. As well, they see this as work. People today want move in ready.

Another thing to consider is what target market are you going for? Have you looked at all the on-line listings, what do others in your neighborhood offer. For example, all your competitors have updated kitchens and yours is dated. Do you settle for  a lower offer based on this or do you step up to the plate and build equity to get to that price point?  I suggest that you visit open houses to look around and get an idea as to what is out there. What are YOU competing against?

This is where planning in advance is important and needs to be done before you list with your agent. Agents are to be used to find buyers, get you the best offer and close the sale. It is up to you  to make the best first impression, not your agents responsibility.

When you look at home listings online, do you notice that the house looks like no one lives in it? Although there is furniture, it looks vacant and cold, it is not warm and inviting. This is what I called over-staged. Too much has been taken away. It does not invite people in, it does give you that feeling that you want to be there.  

As well, you may notice that sometimes there is too much decoration. Have you seen full place settings at the dinner table? Who sets the table just for the fun of it?  This is most likely that the homeowner did their own staging. They are not able to cut down on the items on display as each one is a love of theirs.  This as well can negative effect your sale.

Are you ready to start planning your exit? Yes, I call it the Exit Strategy. It's better to start planning early that too late.

Areas I service include Barrie, Angus, Springwater,  Wasaga Beach, Midland, Penetang, Orillia,  Innisfil and Bradford. If you are out of this area, please contact me to discuss your location. I have completed assignments in other cities as well.


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It all starts with determining budget, function, style, colours and proper layout.
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