5 Home Staging Tips for Front Entries to Make Buyers Fall in Love with Your House

DECLUTTERED THOUGHTS OF A HOME STAGER by Sue Proud, ASP®, IAHSP®, GCIRC

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“You had me at hello.” Dorothy uttered those five, simple words to Jerry in the movie, Jerry Maguire. She was hooked. She was connected. She was in love.

Do you think your house connects with prospective buyers at their first “hello”? Does your outside entry immediately hook buyers so they feel it is their home? From the minute they view the exterior, either on-line or in person, you want to make them fall in love with your house in Geneva, IL.

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To evaluate your entry, you need to be objective. You need to have a fresh perspective about the product you are trying to sell.  Most people rarely go through their own front entry, so take a photo of yours and view it as if you were seeing it for the first time. What do you notice? You can bet that prospective buyers will notice every detail and will decide within seconds whether to explore more of your property or move on.

There are 5 home staging tips for outside front entries that will make buyers fall in love with your Geneva, IL house:

1. Create a Focal Point with Color

125a4478cfc3893830Curb appeal with color

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  • Paint or re-stain your front door a color that compliments the architecture, exterior color(s) and location of your house. Select a color that reflects current exterior color palettes without being too trendy or personal. 

Need ideas? Look at Pinterest boards (Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, Curb Appeal, Inviting Front Doors, Exterior Paint Combos), paint websites or other homes in your neighborhood for color combinations with similar exterior colors. TIP: If your exterior has stone or brick that is multicolored, select one of those colors for your front door to give a pulled together look.

  • Use pots filled with colorful plants that repeat the same colors found in your yard or on your front door. Repeat no more than three colors or it will make your entry look busy and distracting. Select the number of pots needed to create balance for the entry without blocking the front door or making it seem like a jungle. You want to have plenty of room for buyers and Realtors to easliy get into your house.

Need ideas for winter? There are winter exterior home staging ideas on Pinterest.

2. Make Buyers Feel Welcome

  • Purchase a doormat that is, at a minimum, the width of your door frame, including any screen or storm doors.
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Select a doormat that compliments the architecture/color of your house and preferably one that says “Welcome.” Stay away from anything too personal, such as monograms, team affiliations and sayings.

Select a mat thickness that allows the screen or storm door to move freely across it when opened.

  • If space allows, add a bench, a couple of chairs or a bistro set and accent them with colorful outdoor pillows in one of the colors you’ve selected to repeat.

3. Update Your Entry Hardware

  • Your front door hardware should be the same color and finish as is found in the rest of your house and in excellent condition.
  • Does your doorbell work? Are your house numbers and mailbox worn or dated? Replace broken items and repaint worn hardware to instantly convey your house is a well maintained property.

4. Examine Your Light Fixtures

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  • Are your light fixtures the right scale? A good rule of thumb for the front door fixture is for it to be 1/3 the height of the door if there is only one and 1/4 the height of the door if there are two (one on each side of the door).  Fixtures that are too small make buyers wonder what else you have skimped on in your house. NO WIMPY LIGHT FIXTURES!
  • Do you have the correct bulbs? Use bulbs with a warm white light and the correct wattage for the fixture. Incandescent light, 60-75 watts total, is ideal for most decorative exterior wall fixtures and post lanterns. With that being said, make sure you have plenty of light to highlight your entry at night. Check the fixture label so the maximum safe wattage is not exceeded.

5. CLEAN EVERYTHING!

  • Windows, light fixtures and hardware need to sparkle. The door and trim need to be (or at least look) freshly painted or re-stained. Cobwebs and any insects need to be gone. Frequently sweep the entry to keep it looking spotless.

Are you ready to use these 5 home staging tips for front entries to make buyers fall in love with your house?

Related Resources:

The Smells that Sell: What Really Works – Home Staging in Elgin, IL

Home Staging in St. Charles, IL – 4 Easy Steps to Find the Money Hidden in Your Linen Closet

5 Tips to Help You Find a Home Stager in St. Charles, IL – “The Box of Chocolates Dilemma”

250X52I’m Sue Proud, Owner of PROUD HOME Staging, LLC and an Accredited Staging Professional® in St. Charles, IL. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post.

We would love to hear from you… please leave your comments and questions below or Contact Us directly about your Home Staging and Design needs.

The Smells that Sell: What REALLY Works – Home Staging in Elgin, IL

DECLUTTERED THOUGHTS OF A HOME STAGER by Sue Proud, ASP®, IAHSP®, GCIRC

Source: flicker, bradleygee

Source: flicker, bradleygee

What’s that smell?

Scents and odors are everywhere and all buyers are influenced by them, particularly when looking at houses to purchase. The sense of smell is the strongest of all the senses to connect (or disconnect) buyers to your house.

When preparing to stage a house, we recommend getting rid of the sources of bad odors by making a house super clean and dealing with pet issues, to name a few. But how about subtly layering a scent through a house that has no odors, but is clean and staged?… Infusing scents for the sole purpose of helping convince buyers that your house is “the one.”

With that being said, should you pull out scented candles for your next showing or prepare to bake chocolate chip cookies for your Open House?

Well, no you shouldn’t and here’s why…

We need to stop doing what we THINK works to attract buyers and rely on studies that tell us what DOES work. Research shows that while popular scents may trigger positive emotions, they can distract from our ability to make decisions.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Eric Spangenberg, Dean of the College of Business at Washington State University, has been studying the effect of scents on the buying habits of people for over 20 years.

He and his co-authors published the results of their recent study in the Journal of Retailing. They found that shoppers spent 31.8% more when a store was scented with a simple orange scent over a complex blend of scents.

Professor Spangenberg says the same principles apply to Open Houses, “because in both cases, the aromas may affect cognitive functions in the same areas of the brain involved in decision-making.” And what were their findings about stores with no scents? Buyers spent more in these stores than in the stores with complex blends, but less than in the stores with simple scents.

When buyers are confronted with a complex scent, even if it is pleasant, they are distracted by trying to figure out what the smell is instead on focusing on the house.

So, how do you know which scent to use? According to Professor Spangenberg,

 “You need to think, ‘What scent will buyers associate with this environment?’ It must be simple and positive and congruent.”

Simple: He recommends using simple scents, such as orange, lemon, basil, vanilla, green tea, pine and cedar. These scents are easier to sort out, less distracting and thus more conducive to spending.

Positive: Equally important is the strength and source of that scent. You don’t want buyers to be bowled over by a strong scent the minute they walk through the door. As the saying goes…”less is more.”

“You want scents to be on the edge of your perception — not centrally processed. This leaves the central part of your brain to do what it does best: process the task at hand” – Eric Spangenberg
Using natural, organic elements will help keep the scents subtle and also prevent turning off buyers who are sensitive or allergic to synthetic commercial products.
Congruent: You must select a scent that is in harmony with the location of your house. The scent of pine may be great if your house is on a wooded lot, but not if it’s beach front property.
So…you know simple, subtle scents are needed, but what are the best ways to accomplish this? My Pinterest board can provide a few suggestions, but I’d like to hear from you.
How do you infuse your home with simple, organic scents?
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I’m Sue Proud, Owner of PROUD HOME Staging, LLC and an Accredited Staging Professional® in St. Charles, IL. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post.
We would love to hear from you… please leave your comments and questions below or Contact Us directly about your Home Staging and Design needs.

Home Staging In St. Charles, IL – 4 Easy Steps to Find the Money Hidden in Your Linen Closet

DECLUTTERED THOUGHTS OF A HOME STAGER by Sue Proud, ASP®, IAHSP®, GCIRC

It’s Spring! Time for cleaning and if you’re thinking about home staging in St. Charles, IL, it’s also time to declutter! I hear you out there saying, “Ugh!!! What difference does it really make?”  But you need to be saying “Let’s get it done and get our house sold!” The effort you put into this task can make you money…big money, and may make or break the sale of your home.

The HomeGain 2012 Top 10 DIY Home Improvements for Sellers survey shows that for every $402 dollars spent on Cleaning and Decluttering, you will show a benefit of $2,024. A whopping 403% Return on Investment!

Need more convincing? According to Barbara Corcoran, Real Estate Mogul, Business Expert and “Shark Tank” TV Show Panelist, decluttering and organizing your house is key, particularly the linen closet.

“Buyers judge the inside of a house based on the impression of the linen closet. If you can clear your closet and make it meticulous, buyers will assume the very best of your house.” – Barbara Corcoran

MarthaStewart

Photo source: mediabistro.com

So, are you ready to embrace your “inner Martha?” Are you ready to attack the mountain of items in your linen closet?

Here are 4 easy steps to make your linen closet impress potential buyers:

  1. Clear out
  2. Categorize
  3. Organize
  4. Display

1. CLEAR OUT

Clear everything out of your linen closet to see what you are actually working with. Laying everything out on a bed or table is ideal.

2. CATEGORIZE

As you go through all you items, separate them into 4 piles: Keep, Relocate, Donate and Throw Out.

As you decide how many linens to keep, remember these guidelines:

  • 2 sets of sheets per bed (1 on the bed, 1 in the closet)
  • 2 sets of towels/wash cloths for each family member (1 set being used, 1 in the closet.)

Be tough on yourself. Your ultimate goal is to have just the bare minimum of what you’ll need for the next 2-3 months and nothing on the closet floor. Pack up everything else. The more you can remove from this closet, the more spacious it will look to buyers.

3. ORGANIZE

Do you have loose items sitting on the shelves? Do you have clear totes with all your medicines in them? Once you’ve gone through everything to clear out what has expired or what you no longer need, put your items in bins or baskets that you can’t see through. This will eliminate the visual clutter and give a sense of organization.

4. DISPLAY

Put everything back in the closet as you might see it displayed in a store. Group linens by type and color. Have them all neatly folded the same way.

Don’t know how to fold those dreaded fitted sheets? Watch this video to show you how: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHTyH2nuFAw .

Linen closet (4)

Photo Source: iheartorganizing.com

Bottom line…You want buyers open your linen closet and say, “WOW! I wish this were my closet!”

Paying attention to these details will pay off. It shows buyers that you’ve taken care of their future home.

Home Staging in St. Charles, IL will make your house stand out above all the others on the market. It’s the extra effort you put into decluttering and organizing that will help you sell your home quickly and for the best possible price.

Are you ready to find the money hidden in your linen closet?

Related Resources:

5 Tips to Help You Find a Home Stager in St. Charles, Illinois – “The Box of Chocolates Dilemma”

The Smells that Sell: What Really Works – Home Staging in Elgin, IL

Home Staging in Geneva, IL – 2 Secrets to Selling Your Home

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I’m Sue Proud, Owner of PROUD HOME Staging, LLC and an Accredited Staging Professional® in St. Charles, IL. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post.

We would love to hear from you… please leave your comments and questions below or Contact Us directly about your Home Staging and Design needs.

Home Staging in Geneva, IL – 2 Secrets to Selling Your Home

DECLUTTERED THOUGHTS OF A HOME STAGER by Sue Proud, ASP®, IAHSP®, GCIRC

Via Flickr Creative Commons, user kaibara87.

Are you thinking that you need to be lucky to sell your home in today’s market?

Believe it or not, luck has nothing to do with it (Well, maybe finding a four-leaf clover in the yard wouldn’t hurt.)

The 2 secrets to selling your home in Geneva, Ilinois are:

  1. finding an Accredited Staging Professional® (ASP®) to make it stand out above all the other properties on the market.
  2. pricing it correctly as a Staged home.

First, there’s finding an Accredited Staging Professional®.

Finding an Accredited Staging Professional® (ASP®) in Geneva, Illinois who you feel comfortable with is critical. After all, this person will be sorting your possessions and looking in your closets and cabinets. They’ll be handling your memories.

Elvis collection

Via Flickr Creative Commons, user State Farm.

As ASPs®, we commonly hear:

“I’ve been collecting Elvis memorabilia since I was in the 4th grade and I love to show it off.”; “My mother gave me this dish and I have to display it.”; “This was my daughter’s favorite toy. It reminds me so much of her and I want to keep it out.”; “My husband can’t part with his trophies.” And the list goes on…

This past week, I was fortunate to stage the home of a woman who is an empty nester. She shared some of her feelings about her upcoming move…

“You know this move is just so much more stressful than any of our others. I think it’s because the kids aren’t here any more. Before we had to consider school districts and accessibility to the kid’s activities when thinking about our move. Now we don’t have anything. This house has all our memories in it.”

Do you think you can be objective about the things in your home that represent your memories? Most people can’t. They’re too caught up in the significance of each item. So you need to find a Home Stager in the Fox Valley Area to help you.

As Accredited Staging Professionals®, we can not only be objective, but we have the knowledge to know what works to highlight the best features of your home. We create spaces that invite buyers in and make them want to linger. The longer they are in your house, the more emotionally connected they become. The more connected they become, the more likely they will make an offer.

Second, there’s pricing it correctly as a Staged home.

Staging your home elevates your property above 80-90% of the listings in Geneva, Illinois. Buyers will be comparing your staged property to all the other unstaged properties they see. The online photos of your staged property will also shine far above those that are not staged.Your staged house will be setting the standard as to how much value buyers feel they are getting for the price.

As a result, buyers will be willing to offer the best possible price for your premier property. This impacts your listing price.

Interviewing three Realtors and asking for a Competitive Marketing Analysis (CMA) is a good step toward listing your staged property for the right price.

Related Resources:

5 Tips to Help You Find a Home Stager in St. Charles, Illinois – “The Box of Chocolates Dilemma”

The Smells that Sell: What Really Works – Home Staging in Elgin, IL

Home Staging in St. Charles, IL – 4 Easy Steps to Find the Money Hidden in Your Linen Closet

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I’m Sue Proud, Owner of PROUD HOME Staging, LLC and an Accredited Staging Professional® in St. Charles, IL. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post.

We would love to hear from you… please leave your comments and questions below or Contact Us directly about your Home Staging and Design needs.

5 Tips to Help You Find a Home Stager in St. Charles, IL – “The Box of Chocolates” Dilemma

DECLUTTERED THOUGHTS OF A HOME STAGER by Sue Proud, ASP®, IAHSP®, GCIRC

Chocolates-VintageglamA1
Photo (Flickr): VintageglamA1

As Forrest Gump says, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” The same holds true for finding a Home Stager in St. Charles, Illinois.

Are you randomly searching for a Home Stager and hoping you’ll find the velvety, mousse filled one instead of the gummy, jelly filled one that sticks in your teeth? (sorry, you jelly lovers out there).

We want to Welcome you to our PROUD HOME Blog and begin by giving you 5 tips to help you find a Home Stager:

  1. Find someone who is an accredited Home Stager.
  2. Find someone who can identify your best return on investment items.
  3. Find someone who has experience in color selection.
  4. Find someone who has business liability insurance.
  5. Find someone who can show you her/his portfolio.

How do you find an accredited Home Stager? Staging is not a licensed industry, so anyone can call themselves a Home Stager. That is why it is critical that you find a professional who has been formally trained and accredited in Home Staging, not decorating. You don’t want your property to look like a trendy magazine! 

A good place to start is the ASP® Directory on StagedHomes.com. There you can enter your zip code to locate Accredited Staging Professionals® in your area.

Do you know what items you should be spending your money on to prepare your property for sale? Check out various Home Stager’s websites or interview them by phone to find out their knowledge as to which changes will result in the greatest return on your investment. Much of the time, the biggest impact on the sale of a property is knowing what to concentrate your efforts on versus large, costly improvements.

What about selecting colors? The Home Stager you choose should have experience in selecting paint colors based on their knowledge of color and undertones. Selecting colors with differing undertones can make or break the feel and flow of a house. This is true for all colors, including neutrals!

Are you protected against amateurs or part-timers? Your Home Stager should have business liability insurance to protect your property and possessions during the staging process.

Is a picture worth a thousand words? A portfolio of Before and After photos is the measure of your Home Stager’s talent. Are you impressed with the transformations and what they did to accomplish them?

So, how do you find a Home Stager in St. Charles, Illinois? Click to Contact Us. We’re your velvety, mousse filled piece of chocolate!

Related Resources:

The Smells that Sell: What Really Works – Home Staging in Elgin, IL

Home Staging in St. Charles, IL – 4 Easy Steps to Find the Money Hidden in Your Linen Closet

Home Staging in Geneva, IL – 2 Secrets to Selling Your Home

250X52

I am Sue Proud, Owner of PROUD HOME Staging, LLC and an Accredited Staging Professional® in St. Charles, IL. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post.

We would love to hear from you… please leave your comments and questions below or Contact Us directly about your Home Staging and Design needs.