Friday, September 23, 2011

Feature Friday: Guest Bathroom (and some home staging tips)

Hey y'all!  Today I'm featuring our guest bathroom.  How boring is that, right?  It's the one that would normally be a half bath on the main level but in this house it is next to the office (which could double as a bedroom).  Well, if you've kept up on this bloggy blog you know that we are staging the house that we're temporarily living in (we just sold ours).  So, the bathrooms are included and must be staged (I'm an APSD certified home stager and it is awesome!  If you think a career in home staging is something you would be interested in, check out the APSD site).  Nothing big and elaborate, but something that makes it look nice and... memorable (buyers have a lot to choose from!).

I had two pics of New York City that fit well in this bathroom so I hung them up.  Then I grabbed some white towels (I would have used orange or green if we had them -- just for more color) and placed them where appropriate.  I added the candles to the back of the toilet and the antique vase thingy in the shower, which is bothering me in the pictures because I should have turned it around.  Everything in the shower should point to the drain.

If you are selling or even thinking of selling your house, you need to read on,  These are 5 of the most important staging tips!

Did you know that buyers decide if they like a home within 8 seconds?  It's true.  Again, I am an APSD certified home stager.  Our team averages 21 days on market before an accepted offer.  There are several reasons why we have such a remarkable success rate in selling houses in this economy, and I'm going to share the top 5 secrets of how to make buyers fall in love with and remember your house over the 198 others that they have looked at.

Secret #1. Curb Appeal.
You realize that the first thing people see when looking at your house is actually the outside of the house itself, right?  Make it look good (remember, 8 seconds!).

Landscaping is nice, but not in everyone's budget. At minimum, lawns should be freshly mowed, leaves raked, or snow shoveled. Consider a hanging or potted plant for the entrance. Sweep the porch, deck and all walk ways and ensure garbage and recycling are tucked neatly away from the front of the house.

Scrub your front door, porch, outside railings and steps. This is cheaper than repainting and makes a world of difference. Once the outside entrance is clean, decide if the paint really needs a touch up.

Secret #2. Get rid of clutter!
I like to follow the rule, Less is More.  Unfortunately the sentimental knick knacks that your grandma gave you are probably not going to make other people fall in love with your house, so unless they follow the theme (and by "theme," I don't mean "old and outdated" -- sorry) box them up and put them in storage.  Look at every item with a very critical eye and ask yourself why you are keeping it.  If it isn't sentimental and is cluttering your house, donate it to your favorite charity (tax write-off!).  Stop waiting for the garage sale that will never happen!

Buyers are more likely to purchase a house if they want to be in the house (obviously -- everyone knows that).  Nothing pushes buyers away like clutter.  After you have de-cluttered all the rooms, if you find you still have lots of things (ie, boxes, storage containers) taking up space, you will want to rent a storage unit.  Remember, people like an organized garage, cupboard, closet, and drawer as well as the rooms… and they will look.  So, make sure those spaces are not cluttered either.

Secret #3. Clean, clean, and clean some more.
You might feel like I'm beating a dead horse with this since cleaning goes right along with getting rid of clutter, but I only do it for your benefit.  This can be one of the most stressful parts of having your home on the market, but it is essential in order to sell at top dollar.

Take a day or two and focus on getting your house all polished up.  If you can afford it and it takes some stress away, hire someone to deep clean for you.  It’s often the little things that mean the most, so be sure to pay particular attention to making your appliances sparkle, dusting the floor boards, and vacuuming your floors.  If you spend the time to do it right the first time, you will only have to dedicate 15-30 minutes per day to maintain it.

Remember that a very clean home leaves the impression that a house has been well cared for and that puts buyers at ease, which makes them feel more comfortable purchasing the house.

Secret #4. Watch where the eyes go.
Have a friend who isn't afraid to tell you the truth (or even better, use a professional home stager) come over to help you out with this critical step.  Have him or her walk around your house and tell you where his eyes are drawn.  If it is to the chipped paint on a corner of the wall, touch up.  Fill in old nail holes in the wall, glue peeling wall paper, replace the cracked window, and caulk the crack around the sink where caulk used to be -- simple stuff.

After you've done this step and if there is still a problem, purposefully place baskets and picture frames to take the attention away from the problem (don't hide it entirely, that would just be wrong).

Secret #5. Strategically place furniture and décor.
This step is usually the hardest for people to do, mainly because they don’t know what to do.  There is a myth that you have to rent expensive furniture for your entire house in order for it to be staged… not so my friend.  You can stage on any budget and usually use the furniture that you already have!  (And FYI, steps 1-4 are considered staging too).

The best way for you to arrange your furniture is so that it makes the buyer know exactly where to go next.  We call this the "flow."  Angle the living room furniture so that the buyers automatically go to the master bedroom next if that's where you want them (by the way, those two rooms and the kitchen are the rooms that should be staged the best -- in most cases).

Now, if your furniture is taste specific, like rustic, for example, and your house is not a rustic house, you might want to consider using different furniture in order to stage for the potential buyer.  I'm not saying that your furniture isn't great, it's just probably not what most people who look at your house will be using.  The most important thing is you want buyers to be able to easily picture themselves living there, which means if the décor doesn't match the house, you won't sell as quickly or for as much money.  And selling at high market value is the main goal, right?  Right.  So, just think of it this way… Staging your home will cost less than the first price reduction, even if you have to get/rent different furniture (an most of you won't).

Good luck getting your house ready to sell.  Remember that these steps are imperative to selling your home quickly and at top dollar.  Don't mess around if you really want to sell.  Make it look immaculate and fantastic!  If it is priced right for the area, you will sell quickly and that makes everyone happy.

Again, if you think home staging is something you would like to do, check out the Association of Property Scene Designers.  That's where I got certified and they do a great job teaching marketing as well as staging.

Linking up at these great parties.
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesday
Coastal Charm - Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Bunny Jeans Decor and More - The Bunny Hop


  1. Great Tips! Thank you for sharing!

  2. wow.. great post kelli. thanks :)
    our house has been on the market for almost a week.... it's SO STRESSFUL!!! and a LOT of work for me to keep it clean with my three rascals making mess. thanks for all your advice-- it was perfect for me right now :)

  3. Kelli,

    I'm dying about your piano. I love it and the fact that you got a good deal. What kind of condition was it in when you bought it. Did it need a lot of work?

  4. Great tips! Good Luck!

  5. Great tips, Kelli! Thank you! Our lake house was on the market for THREE years before we finally buckled and leased it out to a year-round renter the past two years. We hate being landlords and plan on putting it up for sale again this spring (and doing a lot of praying). Our renter loves the place and wants to stay, but doesn't want to buy it (as much as we've tried to talk him into it). Is it good idea for a renter to be in a house while you're trying to sell it...?? Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

    xoxo laurie

  6. I am here from the blog hop and now a new follower thru GFC! I would love a follow back on when you get a chance. Thanks so very much and have a great weekend.


  7. Oh I just love your bathroom! I hope you will add your lovely metamorphosis to my Fall in Love linky party on Wednesday.

    Until then, stop by and see the under $20 makeover I gave an ugly brass light fixture.

    Happy Monday!

  8. Great post, Kelli! I love bathrooms so I don't think your feature is boring at all. :) I also love your market tips. Thank you so much for linking up your post at Freshmen Friday at HomeSavvyAtoZ!

  9. All are such great tips, Kelli!

    Thank you for linking to Potpourri Friday. I appreciated your participation. Sorry I'm so tardy in commenting, but I've been away for the past four days. Hope to see you again this week!

  10. I knew you had some professional skills! Thanks for the great tips! Thank you for linking it up with Home Sweet Home!

  11. All your ideas are so correct. I am always amazed at how home on the market can look so bad... I'm talking expensive homes too!

    Dirty front doors in poor condition is one of my biggest pet peeves!

    Two weeks of hard work will save you maybe months on the market. My own houses have always sold to the first few people who view them :)

    Thanks for sharing this information at my party!

    xoxo Bunny Jean
    Wednesday's Bunny Hop Party!

  12. These are some great tips! I love how much the art changed the look of your guest bathroom! Thanks for sharing it on {Re}create Into Something New last week!

    Hope to see again tomorrow for another blog party at my place!

    Kaitlin-The Not So Simple Housewife

  13. I am deeply in love with every single piece of information you post here. Will be back often to read more updates!

    home staging companies


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