Tag Archives: home staging

My Secret to Selling Homes Quickly

As a real estate agent in Austin, Texas, I am committed selling my clients’ homes quickly, in fact my track record is 39 times faster than the market average.  What’s my secret?  I stage homes using the principles of the eastern art of Feng Shui.  Using Feng Shui creates irresistible emotional appeal.  When buyers connect to a home on an emotional level they are more likely to buy it.

Feng Shui involves creating balance in one’s environment. Every aspect of a room affects the way you feel in the space.  Colors, shapes, lighting, and furniture arrangement work together to create a harmonious feeling or conflict with each other to create a feeling of unease.  When buyers feel comfortable and relaxed they connect to a space.  Feng Shui helps balance energy so the space not only looks appealing, but offers a sense of comfort.  I refer to it as the “Ahh! Factor.” 

My company, Balanced Living Properties has become successful by incorporating Feng Shui principles to create a unique model for the business of buying and selling property.

Before putting a client’s home on the market, I stage it.  I emphasize its attributes by arranging furniture, adding color, and creating  good flow.  I showcase the home’s potential, allowing buyers to envision their dream home.

Feng Shui  puts people at ease in their environment.

 Oprah Winfrey employs her own personal Feng Shui Consultant. Major corporations such as Microsoft, Citibank, Chase Manhattan, Hyatt Hotels, CNN, ABC, IBM, Boeing, ATT, Disney and Trump have also been finding the ancient Chinese theories about flow and aesthetics of space to bring them success.

In fact, Hong Kong Disneyland‘s main gate and entrance was positioned in a north/south direction for good luck based on the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui.

Donald Trump said, “I don’t have to believe in Feng Shui, I do it because it works.” 

Balanced Living Properties takes a heart-centered approach to working with buyers and sellers, creating win-win-win scenarios and transactions grounded on goodwill.  Find more information at www.balancedlivingproperties.com.

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Home Staging 101 – 10 Staging Mistakes when Selling Your Home

Home selling is a science these days. In order to navigate the process wisely, take note of the following home-selling “don’ts.”  Homes that look great and are priced right will sell quicker than other homes on the market.

 1- Don’t allow the furniture arrangement to block room flow. Awkward furniture placement can make a room feel smaller than it is. Remember that several people will be in your home at the same time when viewing it.

2- Don’t overlook the front door. It’s vitally important to make a great first impression. Clean or paint the door, polish the hardware, and illuminate the entry area. Make sure your house numbers are fresh and appealing.

 3- Don’t use highly scented room fresheners. Instead, move to an odorless home or use natural air fresheners like fresh flowers, cut-up fruit, cinnamon, or fresh-baked bread.  People wonder what heavy fresheners are covering up.  Don’t forget that you can bake refrigerated rolls or cinnamon buns minutes before a showing.

 4- Don’t assume all home stagers are the same. Every one brings their own personality and natural abilities into staging. Look at their portfolio.

 5- Don’t show the home when it’s not in tip-top showing condition. You only have one chance to make a great first impression.

6- Don’t paint walls sterile white. If you’re going to repaint, use a color that is more appealing to buyers.  Warmer whites and warm beiges add life to walls.

 7- Don’t use quick fixes that have the possibility of breaking when  buyers are in the home.  Buyers will take it as a signal that there may be other things that aren’t what they appear to be.

 8- Don’t remove all your personal photos. Leave two or three out. Buyers like to see happy faces of the owners of the house.

 9- Don’t forget that selling a home happens via two factors: Asking Price and Condition. You must lower your sales price to meet what the market dictates. Buyers aren’t concerned with how much money you spent on it if they feel like they’re not getting value.

10. Don’t wait to lower your sales price. It’s best to move on to your next home and get your new life started.  Trust that this is a benevolent universe and you will be okay financially even if you lose money on the home.  Stress builds up during the showing process. What price would you put on good health and serenity for your family?

10 Decorating Do’s when Selling Your Home

In today’s post “real estate bubble” housing market, attention to details sell a home. Homes that look great sell quicker. The fresher your home looks, the more it appeals to buyers.

10 Do’s

1- Purchase the best quality carpet pad which makes any grade of  carpeting “cushy.” Buyers will feel great when walking on it.

2- Take the time to paint walls, trim and ceilings that are dingy.  Keeping adjoining rooms in the same color palette makes your home feel larger and flow easier. Neutral colors like warm white or warm beige are the best to use. I always recommend Barely Beige by Benjamin Moore.

 3- Slipcover mismatched furniture in a room that isn’t unified. Remember, the items in a room should relate to each through color, style, proportion, and pattern. If a room feels uncomfortable to you or “off” it’s going to feel uncomfortable to buyers as well.

 4- Test all door and cabinet knobs. Replace mismatched or inexpensive hardware for a quick update.

 5- Let the sun shine in. Natural lighting is a huge selling point and can overcome other issues with the home. Heavy drapes are in the minority.

 6- Freshen up closets with closet organizers to maximize storage space. Make sure that buyers can see the back of closets and pantries.

 7- Consider the appropriate level for finishes in kitchens and bathrooms. Buyers in mid-priced neighborhoods aren’t looking for high-end finishes.

8-Clean every surface until it shines.  Windows are important- no streaks! Consider investing in a professional window cleaning service to get the best results.

 9- Edit furniture and accessories in each room. Less is more.  Buyers want to see the home’s bones and not so much of your decorating personality.

 10- Install new light switch-plates Worn or out-of-date covers lack attention to detail.

 Next time…10 Don’ts! when selling your home.

Home Staging 101- Creating an Appealing Atmosphere

Home Staging is marketing. Staging allows buyers to see your home in its best light.  The most effective staging allows buyers to emotionally connect with your house and most importantly, see themselves living there.  Creating an appealing atmosphere in each room and in the home as a whole is vital to leaving buyers with a great impression.

Create atmosphere by paying attention to the details.  Important details include lighting, furniture arrangement, colors, artwork, accessories, sound and smell.  The details in each room should induce buyers to want to linger in the room.  Make sure the room is well-lit and welcoming so buyers will be drawn in. The longer buyers spend in your house, the better the chances that they’ll feel comfortable in it which ultimately leads to a sale.

Three Home Staging Essentials:

I. Accentuate the positive. Ensure that you’ve done all you can to call attention to the areas in your home that are special. Positive features can include windows with views of nature, an outdoor deck, or a gorgeous master bathroom. Accentuating the positive also takes the focus off areas that aren’t so great and will keep buyers excited about what is.

II. Create atmosphere in each area. Use strategically placed, high quality, beautiful items to help buyers envision themselves in the space.  The things you use should be comparable to the sales price of the home. Add items that will spark buyer’s imagination.  Helping buyers see themselves in the home is the key to selling your home.  

If You Have A Great View or Lots of Windows:

1. Create a relaxed. contemplative atmosphere.

2. Make sure the windows are very clean.

3. Keep draperies or blinds open as much as practical.

4. Create a reading nook next to the windows or a window seat.

5. Put something whimsical or beautiful outside like a bird bath or wind chimes.

 If You Have an Appealing Outdoor Deck:

1. Create an atmosphere of fun and excitement.

2. Keep the deck swept and clean.

3. Ensure patio furniture looks fresh.

4. Add colorful cushions to furniture.

5. Add an outdoor area rug or two.

6. Create a conversation area.

7. Place new cooking utensils near the grill, hang a chef’s apron nearby.

If You Have a Spacious Master Bath:

1. Create a relaxing atmosphere.

2. Add luxurious towels to create a spa-like feeling.

3. Add candles around the tub.

4. Add a new container of bubble bath and moisturizer(s)- don’t use anything that’s half-used.

5. Add one or two high-quality soap bas and an orchid or two.

6. Place travel magazines around the tub or on a table if the space permits.

III. Don’t overdo it. Don’t take the focus off the wonderful attributes of each area with too much stuff.  Balance is the key!

I’d enjoy hearing your comments or feedback…..

Home Staging 101 – Fresh Staging Ideas that Work

If you’re selling your home you need tools to present the best product possible. Attention to every detail is crucial if you want to sell your home quickly and for potentially higher profit.  You need home staging that goes beyond cleaning windows and putting out a welcome mat.

Home Staging is marketing. It’s about detaching from your home so that buyers can see themselves living there. In order to appeal to the most home buyers, you’ve got to de-personalize your home and present it in an appealing manner.

Picture this: You need to buy an automobile. You found the model you liked but when you went to see the car it had bumper stickers on it that you didn’t agree with, baby’s toys in the backseat, and fast food wrappers (from a restaurant you disliked) on the floorboard. Would you be drawn to that auto? The same principle applies in selling a home. 

Ten Fresh Staging Ideas that Work

1 – Make sure there are no visible nicks on your furniture, especially in the living room, master bedroom, and entryway. Paint or replace it if so.

2 – Outdoor furniture should be as appealing as indoor furniture. Repaint, clean and/or replace worn-out cushions as needed.

3 – Remove all family photos except two or three. Buyers like to see who they’re buying the home from and if they see a happy photo of your family, they’ll feel more confident that they’ll be happy in the home.  But too many photos will make the home feel like “your” home and buyers won’t see themselves in it.

4 – Ensure the first thing a buyer sees when they open the front door is high-quality, in good repair, and colorful. Fresh flowers are good -droopy plants with brown edges aren’t.  Place your most appealing artwork, rug(s), and/or furniture here.

5 – A few potted plants around the house is good as long as they are trimmed – no unruly ivy! Plants must be healthy.  No plastic pots either – transplant them to ceramic pots.

6 – Remove all outdoor flags. Many of my clients have resistance to doing this. “It’s the American flag after all!”  Remember, you don’t want to cause a negative reaction in buyers. Some home buyers may have judgment about home owners that fly a flag outside. And some buyers may have a judgment about flying a particular flag outside.  Why risk it?

7 – Don’t display too much of one thing. If you love cats and have a lot of cat memorabilia remember that not all buyers will have a positive reaction when they look at cats. Limit memorabilia to one item in each room, three items total throughout the house.

8 – Ensure every bed in the house has lots of pillows on it. Ideally, each bed should have two rows of pillows and a decorative pillow in the middle.

9 – If your garage is the messiest area of the home, warn buyers by placing an attractive note card on the garage door saying “Please overlook the mess, we’re getting ready to move!” or something similar. Prepare them.  Avoid giving buyers any negative surprises.

10 – Place candy or sweet treats for buyers in large bowls and make sure to refill before buyers arrive. You want to create a feeling of abundance and comfort.

Need personalize help? I offer Long Distance Staging Consults which are remarkably effective!  Check my website at Feel Good Home Design.

Feng Shui 101- 10 Simple Ways to Create a Comfortable Bedroom

According to the ancient art and science of Feng Shui, your bedroom has a significant impact on your health and well-being.  It’s vital that you feel cozy and relaxed in the space so you can unwind from daily stress and sleep soundly.  When you invest in creating a comfortable bedroom you’ll reap the benefits of better health and a more balanced frame-of-mind.

10 Simple Ways To Create a Comfortable Bedroom

1- Quietness induces relaxation.  Sleep in a room that’s in a quiet area of your home.  It will usually be toward the back of the home, away from street noise. 

2- Connect to nature. A bedroom with windows allowing views of nature or a door leading outside helps you access nature which creates peacefulness.

3- Paint the bedroom with a warm tone rather than a cool tone unless you live in a hot climate.  The best colors for creating warmth are beige, yellow, and coral.  For hot climates blue, lilac, white and grey tones are preferable to create balance with the climate.

 4- Your bed is the most important area in the room. Make it as comfortable as possible. Choose a comfortable mattress.  If you’ve had your current mattress for more than seven years, it’s time to invest in a new one.  And add a down-filled mattress topper to make your bed irresistibly cozy.  If your budget doesn’t allow for a new mattress, a mattress topper is a great addition.

5- It’s important that you feel a sense of security in the space so you can relax. It’s best to choose a bed-frame with a headboard and a footboard so you’ll feel protected.  If your bed doesn’t have a footboard, you can place a bench at the foot of the bed as a substitute. If you don’t have a headboard, make sure your bed is located on a solid wall that doesn’t have plumbing behind it.

 6- Select the most sumptuous bed linens you can find within your budget. Mix and match them for fun.

7- Place extra pillows on the bed for comfort.  And a stuffed animal on the bed feels nurturing no matter what age you are.

8- Place a nightstand on either side of your bed. They don’t have to match, but they should be about equal in proportion.  If your room is small, placing one side of the bed 12-18 inches from the wall can replace a nightstand.

9- Make sure that what you look at while sitting in your bed uplifts your spirits.  This includes artwork, furniture, bookshelves, and wall color.

1o- Add a soft comfortable chair for reading or create an area with cushions for meditating if space permits.

Next time ~ 10 more simple solutions to create a comfortable bedroom.

Redecorating Your Home for the Holidays?

If you’re feeling like your home isn’t quite ready for the Holidays and house-guests, you’ll benefit from these 10 quick decorating tips. 

Thanksgiving is just a week away and Christmas is right behind it so time is of the essence.  You need time-tested interior decorating tips to use immediately so you’ll feel confident about entertaining.  The key is to accentuate the positive and keep your guests’ eyes away from design or repair issues.

1.  Painting makes an immediate impact and is affordable. Repaint a room to instantly give it new life.  Select a dependable neutral color like these from  Benjamin Moore ~ Barely Beige, Bleeker Beige, Happy Valley or Monterey White. 

2.  If there’s no time to paint an entire room, pick one wall and paint it with an accent color that relates to the rest of the walls.  Try a rich red like Benjamin Moore’s Moroccan Red, or Georgian Brick,  Hawthorn Yellow, Van Cortland Blue, or Georgian Green.

3.  To add a focal point, purchase a large floor rug at Lowe’s or Home Depot for under $300.  Pottery Barn‘s rugs work beautifully too but they’re priced higher.

4.  Have bare windows? Or have your drapes turned shabby but not chic?  Get new pre-made lined drapes that fit your budget from Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, JC Penney, or Pottery Barn.  Simply adding an area rug and changing drapes quickly refreshes a room.

5.  Add interesting fresh flower arrangements in different size vases throughout the  house.  Every try succulents? If you live in Austin, Texas, try http://www.succulentpots.com for colorful and unique arrangements that will sure to get people’s attention off the peeling paint or the water stain on the ceiling.  They’ll even deliver!

6.  Declutter.  It’s not sexy but it’s cheap and effective.

7.  Buy a large budget-friendly piece of artwork to give the space a new focal point.  Try Bed Bath and Beyond or Target for large-scale art work.

8.  Rearrange the furniture.  Try an arrangment you haven’t tried before.

9.  Add decorative pillows and a throw blanket in updated colors on couches or chairs.

10. And put up your Holiday decorations to add light, sparkle, and warmth.