The WORST Countertop Choice When Selling Your House

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

Now that grays are the new neutral in updating interiors, designers are looking for countertop materials that blend beautifully with these colors. Enter the latest star of the kitchen design world…marble.

Gird your loinsI have to admit, the first words that popped into my head about using marble for kitchen countertops were, “All right everyone, gird your loins!” (The Devil Wears Prada)

Devils…I mean trend-setting designers… are now specifying marble as the latest ‘must have’ countertop material. Check out Pinterest, Houzz, Better Homes. You’ll see what I mean.

But is it the BEST choice if you are preparing your house for sale?

Recently, one of my clients, who was updating her kitchen before listing, left me an excited voicemail saying,

“I’m soooooo lucky! I’ve just put their last two marble slabs on hold. According to the salesperson, they are selling out of it as soon as it arrives!”

Now keep in mind, my client went to this supplier to select granite options, but she got swept up in the current marble frenzy. After all, she loved it and everyone was ordering it. She knew it had to be the right choice!

It’s so easy to be seduced by the beauty of its soft, graceful veining and the fact that it is not seen everywhere, unlike granite. Almost every printed or internet design source indicates marble is the right choice for our on-trend, white kitchens. It is described as NEW and FRESH with a CLASSIC feel. But does classic mean good? Let’s face it. It’s an old material with some distinct maintenance issues.

 

Marble requires frequent sealing. It etches, stains, scratches and chips easily. According to some suppliers, all these traits give it character. Really? Aren’t these characteristics exactly what propelled the countertop industry to develop alternative materials?

 

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m the first to recommend classic choices and love the look of marble. Given the sealers and finishes available today, maintaining marble is a bit more manageable than it was years ago.

But if you are trying to attract BUYERS, your countertop choice also needs to fit the lifestyles of most people. The majority of people say they don’t have enough time as it is. Do you think they’ll want to buy your house if they believe maintaining it will take a lot of time and effort?

So, if you’re a seller getting your property ready to connect with buyers, DO NOT select marble countertops! DO. NOT. SELECT. MARBLE. COUNTERTOPS!

I guarantee that unless your prospective buyers understand and appreciate the inherent ‘character’ of marble created through daily living, the value of your brand new countertop investment will plummet. Buyers will not be willing to pay big dollars for a new countertop that looks worn, particularly if they aren’t the ones doing the wearing.

Instead you want choices that all buyers can identify as having value. Boring choices? Maybe. But choices immediately recognized by buyers as desirable, with little or no maintenance, will automatically create a connection with them.  Marble is not it.

So it comes down to this. How much do you want to gamble with your investment?

Do you want to spend thousands of dollars installing countertops that many buyers will not want once they find out how much maintenance and care they require? That’s strike 1 against the successful sale of your property. Beware…2 more strikes and you’re out!

What alternatives to marble have you used that give the same look? Would love for you to share your suggestions! 250X52 I’m Sue Proud, Owner of PROUD HOME Staging, LLC, an Accredited Staging Professional® and Kitchen Specialist 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 Most Important Measurement in Updating Your Kitchen

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

Kitchens. They sell houses. With the flood of HGTV shows, blogs and design magazines showing how ‘easy kitchen improvements are, buyers EXPECT updated kitchens.

When our clients ask us to come in to improve their kitchen, we often are able to make simple changes such as replacing appliances, lighting, countertops, back splashes and cabinet hardware.

However, sometimes the simple changes just don’t get it. If anything, adding updates to existing old, ugly cabinets makes them look worse. That’s just “putting lipstick on a pig!”

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“Lipstick on a pig!” New granite countertops installed on old cabinets.

Many times we are confronted with an older kitchen with classic cabinets that still look nice, but the layout does not make sense or it needs to be larger. Is this your situation?

What are your options? Gut the kitchen? That’s generally not in the budget. Add a few new cabinets and use as many of the old cabinets as possible? Yes!

Okay, now look down at your cabinets. Do you see that gap between the floor and the bottom of your cabinets? That’s the toe kick. The dimension of your toe kick is the most important measurement in your kitchen if you are thinking of incorporating new cabinets. It is the kicker (pun intended) to your successful redesign.

When we update kitchens, we are usually dealing with older cabinets in which the toe kicks are smaller than those on new cabinets produced today. Are you saying, “But what’s the big deal? If the new cabinet is too tall, just trim some off the bottom and if it’s too short, just elevate the cabinet or countertop.” Well, not so fast…

Take a look at the graphic. In either case, the doors and drawers won’t line up with your existing cabinets if you adjust the height up or down. If you elevate the countertop and try to cover the gap with trim, the trim pieces usually interfere with the doors or drawers when you extend the trim onto the cabinets without the gap.

Toe Kicks of Cabinets

Two Different Cabinet Toe Kicks

Instead, you’ll need to redesign the kitchen so the old base cabinets are in one area and new ones in another. You don’t want to have them side by side or the two different toe kick heights will be noticeable and will scream DIY. Not what you want a prospective buyer to think and a good way to have your investment dollars vanish before your eyes.

What has been your kitchen redesign experience? Would love to hear any helpful hints you would like to pass along!

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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.
Related Resources:

The NEW Bronze Faucets; Easy Money in Your Pocket?

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

What’s one of the newest trends for 2014? Faucets with warm finishes. They’re not the shiny brass of the 80’s, but instead have a warm, sophisticated, satin glow.

brass-kitchen-faucet

Source: Centsationl Girl

With the gray trend in fabrics and paint becoming so prevalent, the introduction of warm metals as a way to bring some noticeable bling to a room seems like a natural.

Trend setters have tried to get warm metals back into the mainstream time and again, but when kitchen faucet companies start to expand their options in a particular finish, you know it’s getting serious. They understand most consumers won’t spend hundreds on their products unless they have confidence that this new trend will last.


Take a look at this latest Delta commercial and see how many warm metal faucets you see.

To get consumers to embrace these new finishes, the smart marketers of faucets are not calling them brass; the fixture finish we’ve been trying to get rid of forever. Instead they are calling them (some sexy adjectives +) bronze.

faucet-delta champagne bronze

Source: Delta

For example, there’s Champagne Bronze from Delta and Vibrant Brushed Bronze from Kohler.

But what does this have to do with you getting your property ready to sell? Will installing the new bronze faucets put easy money in your pocket?

Imagine this scenario. You’re thinking you want to change your fixtures to make your house appealing and look updated. So, installing the latest and greatest in faucets is a sure winner. Right?

Armed with this savvy design knowledge, you go to the big box store and search for one of the new bronze faucets. You spy the perfect one and head to the register to make your purchase. Please hear me screaming, “STOP! DON’T DO IT!” This is a disastrous decision which could cost you thousands!

Installing the latest in kitchen faucets is risky if you are trying to sell your house, even if it will become popular in the near future. Instead, you want your house to feel comfortable to most buyers and not represent the front edge of design. How do you do this? By providing elements in your home that are familiar and mainstream now.

When many people won’t buy a house simply because they don’t like the paint colors, how do you think they will feel about buying a property with new fixture finishes that they may not believe are here to stay?


So, push away your inner Nate Berkus or Candice Olson. Reach for the brushed stainless, oiled rubbed bronze or chrome. These choices are safe, current and what prospective buyers are looking for. After all, we want to give them what they want!

What’s the take away here? If you love the new bronze faucets, purchase them for your new home. There you can love and admire them for years to come. Then let the rest of us catch up.

What do you think about the new warm metal faucets? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.

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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.

Related Resources:

How To Make Fearless Design Decisions – A Cheat Sheet for Home Decor

The Shocking Truth About Granite

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

I’ve Got a Fever and the Only Prescription is More…Furniture?

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

Yep. The fever has hit me again. I’m obsessing over mid-century modern furniture right now, so I thought I’d take you along on my quest to find my only prescription; a mid-century modern piece in need of a facelift.

I walked into Goodwill last week and this gem was just waiting for me. I could hardly contain myself when I looked at the tag and saw that it had been there a week. That meant an automatic 50% off. SCOOORE! I practically skipped to the register.

Mid-century dresser

Now that my treasure is home, I’m facing the same ‘ole dilemma. To paint or not to paint? That is the question.

Should I revitalize the stained wood to honor its mid-century roots, like this beauty from RetroLuxeHome?

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I’m so inspired by Christopher White’s gorgeous work …

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and this piece from Centsational Girl.

Centsational Girl Mid-century furniture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How about this painted and stained piece from Llave Designs?

Teal Mid-Century Modern

My dresser has some fairly deep scratches and gouges that are making me lean toward painting, or a paint and stain combo, but I’m still not 100% sure.

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In future posts, I’ll take you through my steps to give this piece new life. But before I get started, I’d love some suggestions. What would you do?

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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.

Related Resources:

How To Make Fearless Design Decisions – A Cheat Sheet for Home Decor

The Shocking Truth About Granite

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

A Gift from the “Land of Oz” – The Secret to Successful Home Staging and Redesign

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

Darkness. Loss. Lack of connection. Words you don’t normally associate with a blog on Home Staging and Redesign.

burning the candle at both ends-Patrick Feller

This is what I felt last week. I awoke in a hospital room not knowing where the last 8 hours had gone. According to my doctors, I had a rare case of temporary amnesia that was brought on by “burning the candle at both ends.” Luckily, I’ve been told this is probably a one time thing.

Oddly enough, the onset of my amnesia occurred when I was with my local group of Accredited Staging Professionals®. A group of professionals whose primary goal is to establish connections; connections between buyers and a property through home staging.

We were on a professional outing to see the latest in home design at a new model home. I was to give a presentation on the current trends in kitchen design. The last memory I have before visiting the “Land of Oz” was the supportive warmth I felt from my colleagues in this beautiful space.

Why am I sharing this? Because this event has changed my perspective; personally and professionally. I’ve been touched by how the feeling I had about that space and the people in it was what helped me regain my memory. It wasn’t anything I could put my finger on. It was simply the warmth of a memory that drew me back. I wanted to be in that space again.

Professionally, this experience has changed my definition of successful home staging and redesign. Did I previously know how important it is to create a connection with buyers and homeowners to a property? Yes. Did I know how primal this connection can be? No. Not really. Not until I had to struggle to piece together my memory of that day. I was given a gift.

Staging and Redesign must have depth to truly connect and be successful. People must want to stay in a space as the result of these professional efforts. Staging and Redesign must touch buyers and homeowners to their core so they KNOW this is the home for them. Otherwise, it’s just window dressing.

PROUD HOME Staging, LLC-Kitchen,BEFORE

BEFORE – Kitchen without interest or soul. A space in desperate need of an update.

PROUD HOME Staging, LLC-Kitchen, AFTER

AFTER – Kitchen with depth. New lighting, granite countertops, cabinet hardware, tile backspash, appliances, fixtures and paint. A space that connects with buyers.

So what is the take-away here? Find a professional home stager who can put soul into your property. Someone who can stage your property so it speaks to buyers and makes them want your house. Not by reflecting your personality as the homeowner, but by utilizing design principles and linking all the senses to make your house stand out.

If you’re redesigning your property, find a professional who can make your home reflect the essence of you. Someone willing to take the time to find out what gives your home soul and not just give you what is currently “on trend.”

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So, click your ruby-red slippers, Dorothy. It’s time to find a professional to help you find your way back home.

What reflects your home’s soul?

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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.

Related Resources:

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

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

How To Make Fearless Design Decisions – A Cheat Sheet for Home Decor

The Shocking Truth About Granite

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

Granite. It’s the word realtors and buyers love to see in the description of any house. It’s the current buzz word in real estate that is immediately associated with quality properties that are updated. It’s the material my design clients ask me to help them select time and again. After all, who wants to invest thousands in a countertop and not get it right?

The shocking truth is that if you choose granite as an upgrade to help sell your home, you might automatically turn off the very people you want to attract; home buyers. Why? Because a granite choice is extremely personal. As a home stager, granite can be an ugly word. No amount of staging can convince a buyer to purchase a home if it has very taste specific granite, unless that one in a million buyer loves it too.

Homeowners continue to install it though, because they’ve been told by professionals, design magazines and TV decorating shows that it is the right choice; the choice that will be a great return on investment. This is exactly why I installed it in my own home years ago. And because of all the hype the last 10-15 years, granite has been elevated to “king of the countertop mountain,” so to speak.

But the reality is, most prospective buyers aren’t aware of the advantages of various countertop materials, so they continue to ask for granite as a safe choice. They can walk into any property and easily identify this upgrade as a good investment. It’s costly and everybody wants it, so it must be good, right?

If we weren’t all drinking the Kool-Aid, would we still select granite if we truly wanted an investment that would attract buyers not only today, but in the future? I don’t think so.

Yes, granite is a natural product that has unique qualities; inherent beauty and depth of color that can only be generated through thousands of years of heat and compression within the earth’s crust. But it has drawbacks that make it less than perfect:

  1. Maintenance – Most granite needs to be periodically sealed due to the porosity of the stone. This porosity can also trap bacteria; not good for kitchens where the bacteria of raw meat can rear its ugly head.
  2. Durability – I’ve heard clients say, “I can cut right on my granite and take hot pots off the stove and put them directly on it.” Well, yes you can if you want to dull your knives and run the risk of having your granite crack. Since granite is a natural, igneous rock, it can have fissures within the slab. These weak areas can cause cracking if the expansion and contraction is too fast due to extreme temperature changes.
  3. Cost – since granite has been around for a while and new alternative materials are becoming available, the cost is starting to go down a bit, but it is still a hefty investment for most homeowners.
  4. Movement – This is the kicker; the characteristic of granite that makes it sooooo taste specific. Either you love all the movement created by the veining of each type of granite or you don’t. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground with most people. And because buyers are either in one camp or the other, home sellers automatically alienate a large group of buyers just by the granite selection they make.

So you can see, granite has issues. If we’re going to invest bookoo bucks in home improvement knowing that we want to attract buyers now or in the future, why aren’t we selecting products that have no maintenance and will appeal to most people?

Times are changing. We are starting to wake up. We are educating ourselves as to the benefits of alternative materials to create interiors that will stand the test of time and give us the biggest bang for our investment dollars.

Let’s make our selections as timeless as possible so a buyer doesn’t walk in a house and immediately know the year the home improvement took place.

Quartz countertops, anyone?

What do you think about granite?

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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.

 

Related Resources:

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

How To Make Fearless Design Decisions – A Cheat Sheet for Home Decor

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

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.

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.