Is It Expensive To Have Your House Staged?

(Welcome Community Continued)

This is a question that I’m often asked when I tell someone about my work. The answer is… No….Home Staging doesn’t have to be expensive. Below is a great example of staging a room to create an emotional connection for a buyer at a very low cost for the seller.

This charming ranch style home, located in the Welcome Community has been updated through-out the years. A few years before, the owner updated the bath with new light fixtures, vanity, toilet , spa tub/shower and new tile. In the before photo, the best features of the room were not highlighted.

By “shopping” the owners belongings and finding items that complement the character of the house (not the owner) we were able to create a warm inviting spa feeling in this bathroom. With the exception of the white shower curtain and silk flowers, this room was staged at no-cost to the seller. Look at what a difference it makes to the feel of the room, by adding just the right accessories to make a buyer linger longer in the space and imagine it being their bathroom.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…My Latest Project

In an effort to be “green”, I decided to give these old director chairs a new life. I’ve had them about 8 or more years and they have had any where from red to black replacement canvas seats & backs.
After giving them a good sanding, and 2 coats of black paint, they are ready for another set of replacement canvas seats.  Ordered them online from Lowe’s (only $3.73 each) and picked them up from the store the next day.  I could have picked them up the same day, but it’s a long way from my house.
Finished product with green canvas seats.  They look awesome.  These were so inexpensive, I ordered some tan ones too.  Only spent $31.93 for the 2 sets of replacement seats and about $3/can for paint (spray paint). WHO SAYS IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN?                                                   
Stay tuned to see where they will show up next! 

The Benefits Of Home Staging

Did you know that a home buyer will make a decision on a house within the first 10 seconds. In the blink of an eye, they will decide “This is the one” or “Let’s move on to the next one”.

There are so many houses on the market these days that not only must the house be attractive, cleaned and in excellent repair, it should be seductive. Buyers purchase houses based on emotions. Their buying a dream….a lifestyle. Most buyers can’t see past a sellers personal items or decor style. Helping a buyer out by setting the stage can impact how they will feel in the home… an atmosphere is created that makes them want to linger longer in the space and imagine themselves living there.

Home staging is the process of making a home “buyer ready” so that it will appeal to the largest amount of buyers. It’s not interior decorating but rather a process of de-cluttering, de-personalizing, utilizing a home sellers furnishings and accessories to highlight the best features of a room. It’s about creating emotional connection between the buyer and the property.

Professionally staged homes:

• Help increase showings – most buyer traffic will come through a home within the first two weeks it’s on the market than any other time period. This will be a sellers best audience and having the property ready to show and properly priced is key.

• Houses that have been professionally staged sell faster and for closer to asking price – according to surveyed Realtors, Home Staging is the second most valuable home improvement project to a seller when it comes to selling a home by return on investment.

• Doesn’t cost a dime – according to the 2009 Home Gain Report, home staging has 586% return on investment. ($300 cost = $1780 price increase)

• Helps reduce a property’s time on the market – according to the National Association of Realtors the longer a property sits on the market the lower the sales price will be.

• A well staged home suggest a home that has been cared for and most buyers will pay more for a move-in ready house. Condition of the property will directly affect a buyers offer on a house.

Still unsure about the benefits of home staging? Call us a call and find out more. Having your house professionally staged can mean the difference between a house sitting on the market or selling faster and for top dollar.

Nan Johnston – Professional Home Staging Consultant
Southern Staging & Redesign
770-251-0608 home/office.

10 Ways To Make A Buyer Hate Your House!

Did you know that a home buyer will make a decision on a house within the first 10 seconds?
Whether your house is on the market for sale or not, you’ll want to avoid these problems:
1. Odors
Number one on the no-no list…house odors. If you have pets or smoke, your house may smell and you won’t even notice it. Ask a friend or someone that will be brutally honest with you to give your house the ole sniff test. Don’t get defensive when they tell you the truth. You do want to sell your house, right?
Often buyers with allergies will react to air fresheners. Use them carefully. My advice is to use the Biocide Systems Room Shocker to help eradicate odors. Cleaning or replacing carpet may also be necessary.

2 . Eager Pets
Some people are frightened or irritated by dogs that are greeting them at the car or door. I speak from experience. My two are always “happy” to greet someone. Although they are harmless, new guest sometimes won’t get out of the car until we can get them under control. Of course they are “little angels” and obey all commands until we have quest, but when someone arrives, they lose their hearing. What’s that all about?

If it’s possible, remove pets from the house during a showing. If that’s not possible, contain them in a crate for their own safety and out of respect for the potential buyers. Placing pets in a room or garage and then asking buyers not to open the door to that area is a bad idea. Would you buy a house you can’t inspect?

3. Yucky Bathrooms
It’s amazing to me how sellers don’t see the grime in their own bathrooms. It’s an instant turn off, so scrub them, paint them, buy a new shower curtain, rugs and towels. Make them shine. You either want to sell your home or not. This extra work is a must.

4. Dark Rooms
Do anything that you can to brighten up your space. Increase the bulb wattage in your lamps/light fixtures, remove dark heavy window treatments, repaint with lighter colors, clean the ceiling fixture globes, trim any landscaping that blocks natural light coming in from the windows. Also, clean the windows inside and out to let in as much natural light possible.
5. Wallpaper
Wallpaper, no matter how beautiful to you, is very taste specific and most buyers (even if they like wallpaper) will rarely like what you’ve chosen. Since your goal is to appeal to the largest pool of buyers, then removing it and replacing with paint is in your favor. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but buyers know that and will deduct “points” in considering your house or even worse, may go to the next house that is move in ready. (This applies to borders as well)

6. Damp Basements
Damp basements have odors. It’s a huge red flag to a buyer and they will automatically think that the foundation leaks! Be sure to check that any underground drains are not clogged, that the rain gutters are working and that the downspouts are diverting the rainwater away from the house. Most of the time the dampness will be due to one of these problems.

7. Bugs
Get rid of them! Knock down the spider webs, exterminate for roaches, ants, etc. It’s that simple.

8. Bad Curb Appeal
You never have a second chance to make a great first impression. Heard that before? Well, it’s the truth! If you want to sell your house, you have to get the buyer through the door. If your yard is unkempt or you have peeling paint, they might refuse to even get out of the car.

9. Full Gutters (with plants growing in them)
Really? Do I even have to explain this one? Remember the drainage problems in # 6? If you have plants in your gutters, a buyer will wonder what else you haven’t maintained. Clean the gutters!

10. Sellers That Stay For Showings
Yes, your house is special. You’ve put a lot of special features in to it and want to be sure that the buyer knows all the fine points of your house. Leave the house when it’s being shown. A buyer needs to be comfortable opening your closets and cabinets. They need to be able to linger in the space long enough to imagine themselves living there. If your hanging around, they will feel uncomfortable making comments and feel rushed to leave. Not a good selling tactic.

If your selling by owner, give them some space and don’t hover around.

In Summary
Most of these issues can be corrected without a great expense. Before your house gains the reputation as the house with the loud wallpaper or the house that smells, these problems need to be solved. You want agents to show your house. There are a lot of houses out there for them to sell and you want yours on the buyers list, right?

Give us a call for a home staging consultation. It’s very affordable and you can DIY the work yourself or hire us to help you out.
Contact us at
770-251-0608 home/office
770-301-4786 cell

3 Great Products For Your Home

1. It’s that time of year again… the sun is out and the weather is warmer and that means…..CARPENTER BEES at my house. If you have ever had these attack your house every spring, you will know what I mean. If you ever go to someone’s house that has cedar siding, and they have a badminton bat or tennis racket sitting on their porch or by their back door, they have battled carpenter bees. I guess the thought process is that they can swat at them and they will go away….they don’t. A friend of mine has a house with cedar siding and there are stones, buttons, and no telling what else stuck all over the outside of the house. Sure sign that they have carpenter bees.
Other than buttons in the holes all over ones house, the signs of Carpenter Bee Infestations are half-inch, round holes and piles of sawdust underneath. If you are near a nest, you will likely be buzzed by the male carpenter bee, on guard. He is loud and aggressive, but he does not have the ability to sting you. The female can sting but she is normally very docile. A single pair (male and female) occupies each nest. It is not uncommon to find several pair of carpenter bees nesting in one structure. They frequently nest near each other and often in the same area year after year, causing extensive damage. You may find old holes near newer ones. Sometimes the female will renovate an old nest gallery and reuse it.

I have done extensive research on ridding our house of these pest and have found that there is not just one thing that will control them, but a process of several different treatments for the male, female and eggs in the nest. It’s the best thing that we have used yet. You may want to give it a try if you are plagued with these busy bees.
Check out this site for more information and to order the carpenter bee kit. It has worked for us and my husband recommends it to anyone….that will listen.

If you are having the exterior of your house painted, there is an additive that you can add that will also start the process, but you will still have to complete the rest of the steps to keep them at bay.

Caring for hardwood floors as never been simpler, however I find that everyone has a different way. Here’s a good site that explains the best way to care for your hardwood floors.
As for cleaning them, I prefer to use Bona Pro cleaning products. I learned about this product from the nice fellows at Kemps Dalton West Newnan. I’ve been dealing with this business for over 20 years and cannot say enough good things about them. We have used them for flooring for our rental properties to our own home and no matter how small or large the job, they always make me feel welcome and as if I’m the only customer that they have in the store at the time. They are always courteous, patient and extremely knowledgeable about flooring. Stop by and see them for your flooring needs. You can’t go wrong with their great service and products.

3. Removing Odors      

Nothing can be worse than lingering odors in the home. Whether it is from cooking, pets, or mildew and mold in the home, the smell can be very offensive to both you and your guests. Commercials and magazine ads will try to convince you that their candles, spray, or plug-in device will remove the offensive odors, but they do very little and mainly cover up the smell.

One of the best products that I have found in eliminating odors is a product called Room Shocker Quick Release from Biocides Systems.

Recently we had a rental property and discovered that tenant that had just vacated the house, was a smoker. Cleaning the house from top to bottom and a fresh coat of paint helped remove the smoke odor some, but as soon as it started raining, the damp air must have “revved it back up again” and you could smell it in the HVAC system. Even changing the filters and vacuuming out the vents didn’t help. The Room Shocker Quick Release was the only thing that worked.

They claim to wipe out stinky odors such as smoke, mold, pet, food and even skunk odors. Now I’ve never had a problem with skunks coming inside my home, but there is a first time for everything and now I know what I can use if this should ever occur.

They even offer a product to remove odors from your pets. I probably should by stock in this company, because I could keep them in business.

If you have an odor problem in your home, car, boat or camper, this may be the product for you.

Well, there you have it. If you should have any of these problems, give these products a try and let me know how they worked for you.

Southern Staging & Redesign
Professional Home Stager
Newnan, South Atlanta, Fayetteville, Fairburn, College Park, Tyrone, Peachtree City and LaGrange, Georgia
We Turn A Sellers House Into A Buyers Home

Before & After of Investment Property

Although this investment property had recently had the hardwood floors refinished and had been freshly painted throughout, it still needed some “fluffing” to make it more appealing.
By just adding a few furnishings and accessories, a potential tenant can judge the size of the rooms, and get an idea of how to place their belongings in the space.
Which room would you be more excited about moving into?
Southern Staging & Redesign
770-251-0608 home/office

Investing in Rental Property Staging

The past few months, I’ve been spending time re-vamping a rental house that I own. This is a cute little cottage that I purchased almost 30 years ago. I was single, had a Realtor Dad and Builder Mom and not only did they encourage me to purchase the house they also persuaded me to remodel it and boy did it need it. The walls were bright yellow, the floors covered in nasty carpet, the bathroom was 4/8 and the kitchen was sad. All of these things were updated and it was very comfortable place to live.

Since I’ve married, it has been investment property for me and I now find myself remodeling it again. I have become my own staging client and as my own client I need to follow the rules of staging in order to attract the best tenant.

Repaint interior walls to a neutral color.

Replace floor covering and light fixtures in bathroom.

Refinish hardwood floors.

Replace floor HVAC vents.

Clean existing ceiling and light fixtures.

Clean windows and replace blinds.

Pressure wash exterior and remove mildew.

Paint exterior trim.

Add furnishings and accessories for showings.

As a stager and former real estate agent, I believe that in order to attract a good tenant, I need to show a prospective tenant that I take pride in my investment properties and that I expect that same commitment from them. I want them to understand that I’m allowing them to move into my “portfolio” for a monthly fee and that I want them to show some pride in their surroundings and take care of my “retirement fund”. So far, it’s been a good marketing approach.

With the exception of painting the exterior trim, my check list is completed. The exterior painting will have to wait until the rain stops so that the trim can dry, and for the painter to get caught up on all of their other jobs that the rain has prevented them from completing.

If you have investment property, you may consider staging to rent. If you want to give it a try, call me. I’d love to help!

P.S. I’ll post before and after photos next….so come back soon!

5 Tips for Fall Yard Spruce Up

Summer is over and most homeowners are winding down the yard maintenance, however if your house is on the market for sale, your work has not ended.

Your front yard is the first impression a potential buyer has of your property and the following tips just might be the finishing (or should I say beginning) touch that you need.

1. Pressure wash your driveway and front walk. Pressure washing is a great way to remove years of grunge and grime that builds up on concrete, pathways and patios. It will eliminate ugly oil stains and the danger that someone will slip on slick yuck or mud. Sometimes, you will need a cleaner to remove extra difficult stains, but the effort is worth it.
2. Remove cobwebs from porch ceiling, light fixtures and patios. Fall is the mating season for spiders and cobwebs are abundant. Be sure to remove any that you find, inside or outside of house. It can suggest “differed maintenance” to a buyer, which tends to start a negative feeling in a buyers mind.
3. Place Fall Blooming Perennials at Front Entrance. Everyone gets the flower planting craze in the spring but don’t forget about the Chrysanthemum flowers, ornamental kales, flowering cabbages and dusty miller. These will provide the landscape with color well after frosty weather arrives. But don’t be afraid to mix in some tender annuals, too. Their contribution will be brief, but spectacular.

4. Rake or Blow Away Falling Leaves . Yes the sound of yard blowers can be extremely annoying and as soon as you finish and look back you can often feel like you need to do it again, but this job has to be done. If you are trying to cut back on your “carbon footprint”, then grab the rake and get to work. At our house, this is the final chore with the biggest pay off. We love to see the clean driveway and lawn and potential buyers will notice more if you DON’T remove the debris.
5. Mulch Your Flower Beds. Mulching is a job that makes other garden chores easier because, as well as making your beds look neat, it does a lot of other neat things. Keeping weeds at bay is one of the other advantages. It’s hard to think of another job that gives so much garden payback. But be aware that Cocoa Mulch smells like chocolate and contains theobromine, an ingredient used to make chocolate – which is toxic to dogs.
Hopefully the above 5 tips will get you started in making that Great First Impression to your potential buyers.

Beebo Goes To Disney

October is my birthday month and to celebrate my 50th, my sweet husband took us all to Disney World. You see, I’ve never been to Disney and I wanted my first visit to be with my Grandson, on his first visit to Disney.

We woke up early (4:30 am) on the 8th (my b-day) and jetted our way to the Magic Kingdom with out a hitch. We arrived at our hotel, The Polynesian Resort and there was a fountain as you walk into the building on both sides of the walkway. My Grandson wanted to throw a coin into the fountain and make a wish. Once we found some coins, we both did just that. He asked me w

hat my wish was and I told them that my wish had already come true…to be in Disney World with him. We checked into our rooms, took a little rest and then hit the pavement.

To see Disney World through a child’s eyes was indeed Magical. As we saw characters walking around, he would say “they are just suits”, but he eventually got caught up in the magic and started talking to them.

One of our favorite memories was at Epcot in The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion. There is an interactive show called The Turtle Talk with Crush Show. According to the attraction description, it is a live show where kids of all ages can have a conversation with the totally tubular turtle from Disney·Pixar’s Finding Nemo. Well, Crush singled out our Grandson and had a conversation with him. Once he found out it was my birthday, I was serenaded with a personal Happy Birthday song from the infamous Crush. We were ecstatic….you couldn’t have planned and paid for an experience like that.

We all had a great, magical and exhausting visit with Mickey and his friends. My mother is always saying “building memories, building memories” and this trip was a great experience in “building memories”.
Thanks Eggin!

Will Our Furniture Fit In This Room?

This past week I was asked by a home seller to stage a bedroom in a house that was purchased to improve and re-sale. The house is probably about 20 plus years old, and has been completely remodeled. The kitchen and the master bath alone are amazingly improved from what they were originally. The price is great and it’s located in our Country Club area. Why hasn’t it sold?
The master bedroom is located on the main floor, however with the house being vacant, it appeared to not be large enough to be a master bedroom. Without furniture it is incredibly difficult to tell the scale and size of a room. Now that the room has a bed and furniture, a buyer can see just how large this bedroom actually is and their furniture will fit inside this room.
Nine out of every ten buyers that walk into a vacant home have no imagination of the wonderful possibilities that a home has to offer them. They just can’t picture it.

Check out the before and after photos below and see the difference staging a house with furniture and accessories can make.

Let us help your potential buyer visualize your vacant space as their home, with vacant home staging. With a little inginuity, you would be surprized at how affordable it can be.

Give us a call.

Southern Staging & Redesign
770-251-0608 home/office