Staging Toolkit for Realtors

Real estate doesn’t stop because of a global pandemic. Clients need to sell regardless based on circumstances prior to the coronavirus outbreak. Whether it’s during this crazy time or just a normal day outside of coronavirus mania, we thought it might be handy to supply you with a basic staging toolkit for realtors that can help prepare a house for sell when professional staging is not an option. The finishing touches really do count when transforming a house to a home. The same is considered when staging a home to sell. There are little things you as realtors can keep on hand to assist in staging a property and making that buyer feel like that house is home. Door Mats First impressions are a must. Buyers on average make up their mind if they like a house within the first 15 seconds of entering a home. Why not make the most of those first few seconds by placing new clean mats at both the exterior and interior entrance? Towels Who doesn’t love a brand new towel?? White towels are a must. They scream crisp and clean and go with every type of decor. We like to place towels on every towel bar in every bathroom to soften it as most bathrooms come across as cold and empty. And don’t rule out a good gray towel if your bathroom has a lot of white in the hard surfaces. This will bring a pop of color to the bathroom but still keep it neutral.. Shower Curtains Shower curtains also add to the softening of a bathroom. White shower curtains, again, shout crisp and clean and they go with all decor. We’ve also recommended a fun ombre one as well to bring in that ever-so-popular gray. Bedding White bedding gives a bed that hotel feel. Are you sensing our crisp and clean theme?? It’s simple, neutral and creates a wonderful focal point for professional photos. Gray is also a great neutral backdrop if the room is light in color. Used together, you can fold one at bottom to create a nice layering of textiles that feel like luxury and comfort. And don’t forget that white bed skirt if needed! Lamps Lighting is key to showing a home....

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Simple COVID-19 kit for Stagers and Realtors

As realtors and stagers, your work doesn’t stop just because there is a global pandemic. People still need to sell/buy based on life situations prior to the coronavirus outbreak. However, because of this outbreak you need to make sure to practice proper cleaning and safety procedures when entering residences. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have come up with a simple COVID-19 toolkit for stagers and realtors to keep you and your clients safe . We have taken extra precaution to ensure safe and sanitized operation within our business. As we stage and de-stage vacant homes we are taking extra measures to clean and sanitize by wiping down surfaces and maintaining social distancing protocols. We also are asking that NO ONE be in the home except for our staff and/or our movers. If you are supplying goods to stage a client’s home, there are a few products we thought might help you as you meet with clients and/or remove staging inventory you have provided. Here’s Leigh with a little more about these products and our procedures. Latex Gloves https://amzn.to/2JDchYA We suggest at least 5ml of thickness for your gloves. Any thinner and they just seem to rip thus defeating their purpose. Silver Microbial Cleaning Cloths https://amzn.to/2xta8Mg These cloths can be used on any surface and only require water. The silver-based antimicrobial agent in these cloths allow you to disinfect surfaces without the use of chemicals. The fibers are so tiny they are able to remove 99 percent of bacteria effortlessly just by wiping the surface. Then you can wash and reuse for the same amount of effectiveness. Clear trash bags https://amzn.to/3aqWOX4 We use these trash bags from Costco for a variety of different jobs. They are affordable and hold a significant amount of volume. These have become particularly handy when destaging our properties. We take the trash bag and place it over soft goods such as pillows and bedding. Then we scoop them up in the bag and tie it. This prevents us from touching these items while packing them. Screen Safe Cleaning Wipes https://amzn.to/39nsLhK How many times have we used our phones and/or laptops with our gloves on? This only transports the germs from the gloves to our screens. Touch screens can...

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Introducing a new service: Online Consultations

INTRODUCING……online virtual consultations! The effects of the coronavirus epidemic have affected all of us. As we all practice social distancing, we here at Staged by Design® will continue to offer our services utilizing online virtual consultations. We know some our clients still have a need to sell homes regardless of what’s going on in the world. Here’s owner, Leigh Newport, with more on this new service: If you would like to learn more about our consultation process, please refer to our blog post on Home Consultations: Friend or Foe.We do our best to provide recommendations that will increase your return on investment and we have a proven track record to prove it. To setup your online virtual consultation, visit our website and schedule today. We would love to partner with you and shine a spotlight on your...

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Home Staging Consultations – Friend or Foe?

Why is it that most of us feel the need to apologize for the condition of our home? Our homes are meant to be lived in – it’s ok. However, living in your home is MUCH different than selling your home. Are home staging consultations meant to scare you or help you? They are most definitely there to help you maximize your home’s return on investment. Home staging consultations are a two hour visit that allows you to see your home through the eyes of the buyer. The goal of our consultation visit is to provide you with recommendations that are all geared towards maximizing your return on investment for selling your home. It is also target marketing. We want your house to visually look good online so that it will attract buyers to come visit. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that 44% of buyers start their home search online and 98% of buyers frequently use the web to search for homes. In this internet age, real estate agents are suggesting home staging as a strategy to “wow” virtual viewers from the very first picture. Our consultations provide you with an exhaustive list that covers each room of the home. No matter how overwhelming it may seem, we break it down into bits and pieces to provide you with a priority list. Ultimately, it’s your money and your budget and you may not be able to do all of our suggestions. Having a priority list will let you know where you will get the most return if updates are made. Our two hour consultations come with a detailed report before our departure and cover areas such as: curb appeal specific de-cluttering advice furniture placement accessorizing using existing furnishings recommendations and/or options for furniture, artwork or accessories needed, but not present in the home deferred maintenance issues specific paint color recommendations as needed updating and/or upgrading suggestions such as countertops, cabinets, lighting, carpet, etc. specific lighting suggestions complete with links to local shopping venues So the next question is, what do you need to do before we come for a consultation? Absolutely nothing! Take a look at Leigh’s video to hear her explain. Are you a real estate agent or homeowner selling a...

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#MustRead – Our Favorite Top 10 Design Books

This page contains affiliate links meaning I earn a commission if you use those links. Despite current cold temperatures, it seems that spring is just around the corner, even though it’s not yet February. Perhaps it’s the many home owners we work with that are eagerly preparing their homes for the Spring Real Estate Market, or just the winter doldrums, but we at Staged by Design® use the cold months to curl up with a great design book. From the striking photos to the practical tips, curling up with an amazing design book is the best way to stave off decor complacency. You can easily work through a chapter in a short period of time, or simply flip through the photos for endless inspiration. We have curated 10 design and lifestyle books that run the gamut for style and scope. Don’t be afraid to take risks with your designs, or your inspiration. Push the boundaries to find the comfort zone you never know existed! Down to Earth 1. Down to Earth: Laid Back Interiors for Modern Living Local gal and host of HGTV’s “Best House on the Block”,  this is Lauren Liess second publication, and it doesn’t disappoint.  Whiskey in a Teacup 2. Whiskey in a Teacup Who doesn’t love Reese Witherspoon? Lovers of Southern style will enjoy her take on entertaining, design and lifestyle. This is Home 3. This is Home: The Art of Simple Living Author Natalie Walton gives us this photo heavy insight into finding the essence of what makes you happy at home, and expresses it with examples of homes across the globe.  Elements of Style: Designing a Home and a Life 4. Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life If you follow the blog, “Elements of Style”, by Erin Gates, this book is a classic, and a must have. Erin’s shares her approachable, real world experiences as an interior designer as well as in her own home. Her relatable style rings true. Homebody 5. Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave Shiplap, anyone? Joanna Gaines latest offering. The only downside? Not enough Chip. Styled 6. Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves This New York Times Bestseller is the ultimate guide...

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The Insiders Guide to Questions You Should Ask When Hiring a Home Stager

Are a home owner or a realtor seeking to find a partnership with a home stager to better market your home? There’s a lot of home stagers out there and the industry can be very confusing. Currently there are no regulations as to who can become a home stager. So, what makes a good home stager and what should I ask when hiring one? Take a look at my video for a brief overview of what you should look for when hiring a home stager. To recap – here’s five questions you should review with every home stager when seeking a partnership to better market your home: 1. Is home staging their full time job? Many do home staging on the side or as a hobby. If they are full time you know their business is serious. 2. What training have they received? Ask about their education. Many home stagers do not have a degree in interior design. That’s because home staging is more about target marketing while interior design is more about the design for a homeowner. With that aside, there are professional certifications to become a home stager. If your home stager has that certification then they have been trained in design to market a home to sell. 3. What are their average days on market? Ask to see previous staged properties. Reputable home stagers take photos of all their staged properties. By asking to see these photos you are ensuring their style will meet your needs. Also by asking how many days their homes have been on market gives you a clear view of the quality of their work. 4. Are they insured? This is a very important question for anyone who comes into your home and does work on your home. Home stagers are no exception. 5. Do they partner with movers or have an in-house team? Home stagers depending on size will either hire an outside mover to help load furniture in/out of the home or have an in-house logistics team that does the heavy lifting. Just nice to know if you will have another company reputation to review before hiring home stager. If you are in the market for a home stager who will work with you to...

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Three Different Looks for one Space

Staging homes with the same floor plan can provide an opportunity to design and create different looks within one space. For the past few years, we have had the privilege of working with Sekas Homes staging three of their model homes with almost the same floor plan and creating three totally different looks. Sekas Homes brings understated elegance and craftsmanship to each of the homes they build. The attention to detail is evident and it’s what makes a great partnership between our two companies. Most recently, Sekas Homes developed Sunrise Square, a townhome community in Reston, VA. We were asked to stage the Model Home. Once that Model sold, we were asked to do the next. We have staged a total of 3 Model Homes so far – each with their own look and own personality. The floor plan remains basically the same – the design makes each one different. Scroll down to view how each room style evolved over time. Living Room: Kitchen area Kitchen/Dining Area: Master Bedroom: Loft (two of the condos has a third level loft – here’s our two takes for the space): Isn’t it interesting how style evolves over time? Each of these Reston town home models were staged from six months to a year. It demonstrates how you can create a totally different look with the same space just by using different furnishings and purposes for the space. Which one is YOUR favorite? Give us a call at 703-552-4545 or schedule an appointment online for your next staging or redesign project. We would love to...

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Best of 2019

As we wrap up another year, we here at Staged By Design wanted to pay tribute to 2019 and spotlight some of our best stagings and memories throughout this year. It’s been a privilege to work with our clients and help them sell their homes faster and for top dollar. Statistics prove that staging sells. Of all our stagings this year, 80% of our homes sold within the year. The average day on the market for our homes was 21 days! We had MANY of our homes sell within one week of being on the market. The numbers don’t lie – home staging is definitely an investment that gives a return! We loved working with all of these amazing homes, but there were a few designs that stood out to us. Our team collectively picked our top 5 favorite stagings of the year. Here they are in no particular order: Dean Drive, McLean, VA Roland Clarke Place, Reston, VA Aldie Road, Aldie, VA Golden Arrow Street, Great Falls, VA Great Falls Street, McLean, VA We had some great stagings but we can’t forget about some VERY memorable animal antics of the year! First up comes Champ, the pig who randomly walked by the office on a leash. We learned that day our warehouse neighbor is Bionic Pets, who creates custom pet prosthetics. An interesting day at the office for sure. Second isn’t quite as cute and friendly. When on a destage, we discovered a little squirrel who had crawled under a bed pillow and died! Wendy about died too that day! LOL! And finally, hats off to all the cats who look totally annoyed by our visits and wonder why their cat condos can’t stay in the room. Despite all the animal craziness, we have received a lot of recognition this year. Our team has worked hard to improve our processes, style and inventory. We are excited to bring more of these improvements into the new decade. We would love a chance to SHINE for you in 2020! Give us a call or go online to set up a consultation. It’s worth the investment. Here’s to a new...

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Selling During the Holidays

Selling your Northern Virginia home during the holidays is not ideal but sometimes can’t be avoided.  The decision to decorate for the holidays when selling a house is always difficult.  Should you put a tree up?  Should you put outside lights on the house?  Should you just skip Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah all together?  It can be more stress on top of what is already a stressful time of the year for most.  The good thing about selling your home during the holidays is that most buyers are serious. Those that are house shopping NEED to purchase, which is good. Historically, there are fewer homes on the market as well, which also works in your favor. However, the need for proper presentation is still key, no matter what time of year you are listing. Just as personal belongings tend to distract buyers, your seasonal decorating can serve to be a distraction, however you don’t have to ditch ALL your holiday decorating traditions.  Here are 10 tips on how to navigate staging your home to sell during the holidays. #1: Clean and declutter. This is your first step to selling your home any time of the year.  Decluttering your home before bringing out any holiday decorations is a must, or you risk your seasonal decor simply adding to the clutter that already exists. #2: WAIT to decorate until AFTER your professional photos have been taken.  Your photos are the first thing a buyer sees and you don’t want them to see a Christmas tree in your photos in February if your house didn’t sell quickly. #3: KISS – Keep it simple silly!  Whatever you use to decorate – keep everything simple.  Display a few classic pieces instead of every heirloom family favorite. Your tree should be simple and able to fit the space.  Larger trees for large rooms and slim trees for smaller spaces.  If you use a real tree – make sure to daily pick up fallen needles. #4: Use seasonal greenery.  Deck the halls with fresh garland and use a fresh evergreen wreath to adorn your front door.  Greenery is traditional and simple and adds a great smell to the home. #5: Don’t display your Christmas cardsWe all love those cards we receive...

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High Point Fall 2019 Design Trends

Visiting any one of the annual Furniture Markets held across the country is the best way to stay on top of emerging design trends. We love High Point, not only for its proximity, but for the sheer volume and range of décor, accessories and furniture as one of the largest markets that are open to the Trade Only. This year we saw the following new trends, as well as some oldies still holding strong:  Velvet Velvet was present in all tones, both in furniture and pillows, although we loved the deep, saturated look of the emerald and moss greens. Velvet lends richness to any room with its subtle sheen and evokes a feeling of luxury. We like to use it in pillows and benches and may add a few velvet headboards in the coming months.   Rattan and Woven Furniture and Accessories The look of “Boho Chic” in the last few years brought back macramé and wall hangings reminiscent of the 1970’s. The trend continues by incorporating woven texture with unique materials outside of standard rattan. We loved the benches, chairs and ottomans woven with leather, in irregular patterns, and believe it or not, papasan-type chairs. We will be adding a few of these fun chairs to our inventory soon: Channel Detail The tufted look of everything from headboards, to chairs, sofas, ottomans and benches has given way to the channel detail, which is a bit less traditional, and more streamlined. It is still a transitional look overall but can be easily incorporated into a more contemporary space and in some applications, has a nod to Art Deco Influence.  We used this lovely bench in a staging recently and it’s a perfect example of this new trend.  Boucle Boucle is a nubbly textured fabric, most typically seen in fashion. It has merged as a cozy, yet sophisticated finish for chairs. Its Sherpa-like feel is another example of the strong presence of texture in today’s design trends.  Shagreen Whether it is real or faux, Shagreen is one of our favorite finishes. This year, we saw it in everything from coffee tables to consoles. The color is typically gray to green/gray, with very little sheen. It is a subtle, but oh-so rich tactile material that pairs well with...

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The Making of a Model Home

When you walk into a model home, do you ever wonder how it gets decorated so beautifully?  We recently had the pleasure to work with Classic Homes in McLean, VA. We decided it might be fun to document the event to show the makings of a model home. Take a look at our video recap of this project: Here’s a few interesting stats involved with this design: It takes time and thought to design a model home. We strive to make sure the details are perfect. Are you a builder or know one in the NoVA area?  Let us stage your next model home!  Give us a call at 703-552-4545 or visit us on Facebook or...

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Can’t Beat the Real Thing – Virtual Staging vs. Professional Home Staging

Technology is in every area of our lives.  Real estate is no exception.  Buyers can “shop” for homes anywhere they have WiFi.  And based off what they see online, they develop a list of potential homes they want to visit.  Home staging has benefited sellers by creating beautiful spaces for beautiful online photographs.  Buyers are not only looking for a new house but they are visualizing a home when they shop.  According to the National Realtor Association, 44% of agents feel staging increases the dollar value offered for a home and 53% say staging decreases the amount of time a home is on the market.  So if staging is so beneficial – which is better – virtual or professional home staging? First let’s address – what is virtual staging?  Virtual staging is the process of using software to enhance photos of an empty home. BUT in reality – the house is still an empty box.  Professional home staging makes a connection between the home and the buyer. From start to finish, professional staging caters to the demographics of the buyer and furnishes the home with that in mind. Professional home stagers also use design principles to space plan accordingly to the design of the house. When buyers walk into a home they need to visualize the space for their needs.  Seeing a home is also an emotional experience for a buyer.  The feeling a buyer gets when walking into a home is a clear directive as to whether they love the home or not. Professional home staging may be a little more expensive upfront but it’s proven track record of selling homes faster can’t be beat.  Virtual staging is a risk.  We have encountered countless clients who have started with virtual staging, then a price reduction and finally end up coming to us for professional home staging. Once our work is done, the house sells quickly but it cost the seller more time and money in the long run. All of this could have been avoided if a little more money up front were given to professional staging and the home could have sold for top dollar. You can’t beat the real thing.  Professional home staging works. If you are wanting to sell your...

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