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Home Staging

Picture Perfect – Real Estate Photography 101

Fri, 2nd September, 2011 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh - (0) Comment

If you are preparing your home for sale and want to help your realtor sell your home quickly for maximum dollars, start with setting up for the photo shoot. Today’s buyers are very visual and will look at photos before they will even read the wonderfully written description full of details and dynamic adjectives.

The first step in this process begins with hiring a realtor that provides professional photography services to showcase your home online. When you are choosing a realtor, ask to see other homes they have, or had, listed so you can see the quality of photography. Many real estate boards allow realtors to use up to 20 or more photos on each MLS listing. Be sure your realtor maximizes the amount of quality photos they are able to use.

Click here for an example of what you should be looking for!

Here are a few hints on what you can do to get ready for your real estate photo shoot:
1) Be sure the photo shoot is scheduled when the sun is in front of the home. Sun coming from the back will make the front look too dark.
2) Ensure the windows are closed and window coverings are open.
3) Remove vehicles from the driveway, kid’s toys, garbage cans, garden hoses, etc..so the exterior shots are clean and uncluttered.
4) Trim all trees, bushes, hedges and grass (and don’t forget to rake and sweep up after!)
5) If you have patio furniture, create a comfortable living space. People will want to envision themselves sitting out in the yard…..so make it feel welcoming.
6) Be sure to have the photographer take photos of all the special featured of the home. If you just remodelled the powder room, or installed a new back splash in the kitchen, be sure you get photos of it.
7) Less is more! Declutter and remove all items that do not add to the beauty of the room.
8) Replace all light bulbs that have burned out. Small details like this can reflect on how a buyer feels the seller looks after their home.
9) Depersonalize your home. If you have a photo collection of little Timmy covering the entire refrigerator, take them down for the photos.
10) And whatever you do…….make sure all the toilet seats are down!

These are just a few hints of what you can do to help present your home in the best light. If you have any questions about staging your home and photography, please feel free to call me at 905-220-9198.

Category : Burlington / Home Staging / Real Estate / Sellers

How to stage your home like a pro

Sat, 9th May, 2009 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh - (0) Comment

1. Clean house
Make sure your house is clean! Get rid of odours – a huge turnoff for prospective buyers – by opening windows, washing floors and walls and cleaning your rugs and upholstery. Next, de-clutter your space. A jam-packed house not only makes the house look cluttered, it makes the house look smaller. When you are selling, the objective is to make your home look bigger! A lot of sellers these days are actually taking out a third of their furniture to show off more of the space. Place your items in storage, call a local consignment shop or charity to pick things up, or use a relative’s garage. Don’t use your own garage for storage, because buyers will want to look in there. Having 2 sofas and a chair in your livingroom might crowd the space. Take out one of the sofas to create more space.

2. Give it a fresh coat
If you have a little extra time and money, a paint job offers the most dramatic results. If the paint doesn’t look fresh or if the walls are painted in wild and bold colours, buyers will be turned off. Dark colours also make rooms look smaller. You have to clean up the look of the rooms with a fresh coat and make it look bright with light neutral colours.

3. Add layers
Give your house a soft, lived-in look by adding curtains, blankets and cushions. Cover the old blinds with a fresh new set of curtains. It’ll create a luxurious impact that buyers like. Fill three attractive vases with fresh blooms and set one on the dining-room table, one in the entryway and one in the master bedroom, or even in the powder room.

4. Define spaces
If you’re trying to sell an open-concept house, make sure you put prospective buyers’ minds at ease by clearly defining spaces. Using rugs is one way to establish where one room ends and the other begins. Arrange your furniture in traditional vignettes so buyers can easily grasp your home’s layout. People want to walk into a room and envision what each room is used for and how they will fit their furniture in that space. If one of your bedrooms is empty or is being used for other purposes (office or T.V. room), change it back to a bedroom by adding a matress …and make the bed! Even though the listing may say 3 bedrooms, some buyers may not see it that way.

5. Get outside
Don’t forget about your home’s exterior. Create a good first impression by placing some attractive planters along the steps, cutting the grass and weeding the garden. A fresh coat of paint to the exterior will also brighten things up making yours look like the gem on the street. Colourful annuals really add to the curb appeal, as well. Keep garbage hidden from sight and make sure there is nothing in the driveway so buyers can envision themselves driving in from a hard day at work.

6. Be natural
It’s not necessary to set the dining-room table, and don’t start baking cookies in the oven before buyers drop by. Anything that’s too clichéd or over-the-top will draw skepticism from buyers. Buyers just want to see a nice, clean product that they can see themselves living in.

7. Sleep on it
Everyone knows kitchens and bathrooms are important when it comes to selling your house, but today’s buyers are also focusing on bedrooms. So whether you’re sprucing things up or refitting with new furniture, don’t forget the master bedroom. Nice window coverings, decorative pillows and attractive bedding can inhance the look of the room. If you have dark colours on the wall, repaint it a light neutral colour to make the room look bigger. Also, take some of your clothes out of the closet to create the perception of large bedroom closets.

For more information on staging your home, buying or selling real estate in Hamilton, Burlington or Oakville, Ontario, or if you have questions about current market trends, mortgages or interest rate information, please visit me again on my website www.seansells.ca or call me at 905-220-9198 and I’d be glad to answer any questions to accommodate all of your real estate needs.

Sean Kavanagh

Category : Home Staging / Sellers

Staging is the secret to selling your home

Fri, 20th February, 2009 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh - (0) Comment

“Sean was able to list our property, show it to multiple parties, and sell it for what we wanted – in 36 days, over the Christmas holidays, and while we were on our honeymoon!” – Brent Fraser.

The above excerpt was taken from a testimonial of a client that recently benefitted from a professional home staging consultation. If you are thinking of selling your property and want to ensure it gets sold for maximum value, you not only need to hire the most qualified real estate sales representative, you need to have your home staged. With the number of homes currently on the market, your house has to shine brighter than all of your competition. So, as a value added service for all of my clients…..

…..If you list your home with me, your Home Staging is FREE!!!!!!!!!

Home staging is the process of cleaning, de-cluttering and neutralizing a home to help buyers see a home’s full potential. As home sales decline and a record number of houses cram the market, more sellers are turning to home staging to make their properties stand out. Staging is investing time, energy and depersonalizing. Home staging is not, however, massive redecorating and expensive trips to the furniture store.

Consultations with a professional home stager can run up to $500, while the staging itself can cost up to $6,000 depending on the number of rooms that are staged and how many temporary furnishings the stager adds.

However, if you list with me, your home staging is FREE!!!!!!

There are, of course, many parts of home staging sellers can do themselves. The process starts on the outside: clean gutters, edge lawns, groom shrubbery, add a new coat of paint if it’s in the budget. Remove children’s toys, yard art like gnomes and wind chimes, remove the RV from the driveway and stop parking your car on the lawn!

If your house looks bad from the outside, people who drive past won’t even stop to look inside. And with the MLS flooded with inventory, you only have 3 seconds to grab a potential buyer’s interest.

On the inside, start with a good scrub-down of the entire house. Leave no surface untouched, which includes wiping fingerprints off windows and doors, removing black scuff marks from the walls and tackling unwanted odours.  Relegate pets to the outdoors and, during an open house, send them to the puppy hotel.
Tile grout should be bleached, cracks caulked and any mould or stains removed. Replace old hand soap with bottled liquid soap and swap out frayed towels with new ones. Paint over bold colours with inoffensive neutral ones.

Now it is time to de-clutter! Remove framed photographs, knick-knack collections, extra throw blankets and pillows, and stacks of magazines and books. In the kitchen, store toasters, coffee makers and other small appliances in the cabinets to showcase your countertops.

Less is always more when it comes to staging. Too much furniture and too many rugs can shrink a space and hinder traffic flow. The goal is to get potential buyers to feel comfortable when they enter a room. They want to imagine themselves living in the home, not just visiting someone else’s home.

Most real estate agents are convinced that staging is worth the hassle and you can stage to meet all budgets. But remember, if you list with me, your home staging is FREE!!!!!

If you have any questions about current market conditions, mortgage rates, want a free market evaluation done on your home, or if you just want to find out about how to take advantage of my free home staging service, please call me at 905-220-9198 or send me an email at sean.kavanagh@century21.ca. Also, please visit my comprehensive real estate resource centre at www.seansells.ca.

Sean Kavanagh

Category : Home Staging / Sellers
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