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Home Staging For Dummies (0470260289) cover image

Home Staging For Dummies

ISBN: 978-0-470-26028-9
Paperback
372 pages
May 2008
US $19.99 Add to Cart
Other Available Formats: E-book

Introduction 1

Part I: Preparing Your Property for Sale 5

Chapter 1: Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me an Offer 7

Chapter 2: Discovering What Buyers Want 23

Chapter 3: Finding the Fixes You Can’t Ignore 37

Chapter 4: Color Me Sold: Using Color and Light to Sell Your House 49

Chapter 5: It’s Not What You Have; It’s Where You Place It 57

Part II: Three Staging Steps Toward Hitting a Home Run 73

Chapter 6: First Base: The Staging Consultation 75

Chapter 7: Second Base: Earning Equity with Elbow Grease 87

Chapter 8: Third Base: Showcasing Makes Your House Photo-Ready 105

Chapter 9: Home: Opening Your House to Buyers and Agents 125

Part III: Working Through Your House, Room by Room 135

Chapter 10: Curb Appeal: Making a Winning First Impression 137

Chapter 11: You Had Me at Hello: Entrances, Exits, and Special Places 149

Chapter 12: A Whole Lot of Living to Do: Living, Family, and Rec Rooms 161

Chapter 13: A Feast of Dining Room Staging Ideas 177

Chapter 14: Cashing In on Kitchens and Baths 191

Chapter 15: Inviting Sweet Dreams with Beautifully Staged Bedrooms 207

Chapter 16: Office Affair: Stage ’em Something to Talk About 223

Chapter 17: Behind Closed Doors: Staging Closets and Other Hidden Places 233

Part IV: Addressing Special Staging Considerations 249

Chapter 18: Dealing with Sensitive Issues 251

Chapter 19: Staging When You’re Building, Rehabbing, or Flipping 261

Chapter 20: Staging Your House the Feng Shui Way 279

Chapter 21: It’s Not Easy Being Green: EcoStaging 287

Part V: The Part of Tens 295

Chapter 22: (Almost) Ten Mistakes Sellers Often Make 297

Chapter 23: Ten Reasons to Hire a Staging Professional 303

Chapter 24: Ten Tricks of the Trade That Help You Sell Your House 309

Chapter 25: Ten Ways to Prepare Your House (and Yourself) for the Sale 313

Chapter 26: Ten Reasons Sellers Don’t Stage Their Properties (But Should) 317

Index 323

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Conventions Used in This Book 2

Foolish Assumptions 2

How This Book Is Organized 2

Part I: Preparing Your Property for Sale 3

Part II: Three Staging Steps Toward Hitting a Home Run 3

Part III: Working Through Your House, Room by Room 3

Part IV: Addressing Special Staging Considerations 3

Part V: The Part of Tens 4

Icons Used in This Book 4

Where to Go from Here 4

Part I: Preparing Your Property for Sale 5

Chapter 1: Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me an Offer 7

Turning Your Home Back into a House 8

Seeing the Property Through the Buyer’s Eyes 9

Recognizing What Staging Is and Is Not (Hint: It’s Not Decorating) 11

Running down interior designers’ responsibilities 12

Defining an interior decorator’s job12

Peering into the staging profession 13

Staging to make every moment count 13

Flying solo or calling on the pros? 15

Why Real Estate Pros Embrace Staging (And You Should, Too) 15

Looking into staging’s benefits for sellers 16

Finding benefits for buyers 16

Highlighting benefits for real estate professionals 17

Setting the Stage: Three Steps to Sold 17

Step one: The consultation 18

Step two: Work, work, work 18

Step three: Showcasing your work19

Making Staging Happen with Minimal Stress 19

Taking a room-by-room approach 20

Reaching simple rewards 20

Remembering that the work is worth the effort 21

Treating yourself to dinner and a movie 21

Chapter 2: Discovering What Buyers Want 23

Comparison Shopping: Buyers Do It and So Should You 24

Evaluating your property 24

Identifying and Upgrading the Money-Making Rooms 25

Lighten and brighten 26

Add warmth and style with color 26

Clean and de-clutter 27

Upgrade kitchen and baths 27

Repair floors, replace carpet 28

Speed Dating: What Happens When Buyers Start Looking 28

Hitting the Target Market 29

Making the Most of What’s Memorable about Your House 31

Is yours "the yellow one"? 31

Is yours "the one with all the art"? 31

Is yours "the dark one"? 32

Is yours "the one with the beautiful view"? 35

Chapter 3: Finding the Fixes You Can’t Ignore 37

Having Your Home Inspected Before You Sell 37

Addressing the Fixes That Make Your House Safe 39

Looking into air quality 39

Upgrading the electrical system 40

Addressing the plumbing and hot water tank 41

Fixing the foundation and roof 41

Working with a Home Inspector 42

Making the Changes That Sell Your House 43

Neutralize the color 43

Flooring: Clean, repair, or install 45

Sell the storage space 47

Clean and repair the windows 47

Light the way 47

Chapter 4: Color Me Sold: Using Color and Light to Sell Your House 49

Grasping Color’s Emotional Power 49

Warming up and cooling down with color 50

Unmasking your home’s complexion 50

Narrowing down your color choices 51

Combining colors effectively 52

Staging with Color Psychology 53

Finding the Right Way to Let There Be Light 55

Layering light 55

Maximizing light’s color 56

Home Staging For Dummies x

Chapter 5: It’s Not What You Have; It’s Where You Place It 57

Focal Points: The Start of the Selling Process 58

Eying your existing focal point 58

Creating focal points 59

Making sure furniture sends the right message 61

Adding Angles to a Square-Shaped Room 63

Balancing a Rectangular Room 65

The L-Shaped Room 67

Sparing a Bowling Alley–Shaped Room 68

Addressing an Unexpected Angle 70

Part II: Three Staging Steps Toward Hitting a Home Run 73

Chapter 6: First Base: The Staging Consultation 75

Knowing When and Why to Call a Stager 76

Finding a professional 77

Screening your prospects 78

Knowing What to Expect from a Complete Staging Consultation 79

Delving into the consultation report 80

How long are you going to poke around my house? 80

Setting Your Priorities: What Are the Top Recommendations? 81

What’s This Going to Cost Me? 82

Pricing the walk-through consultation 82

Professional staging consultation 83

Can I Do My Own Staging Consultation? 83

Chapter 7: Second Base: Earning Equity with Elbow Grease 87

Earning Equity: Steps for Every Room 87

Leaving no streak behind 88

Repairing or replacing what’s less than perfect 92

Depersonalizing your spaces 93

It’s De-lightful, it’s De-lovely, it’s De-cluttered 94

Sorting through the clutter 95

Packing your stuff 96

Finding storage outside the home 97

Painting for Perfect Walls and Woodwork 98

Hiring the Elbow Grease: Working with Vendors 99

Landscaper 101

Painter 101

Carpet cleaner 101

Carpet installer 102

Carpenter 102

Table of Contents xi

Handyman 102

Electrician103

Plumber 103

Roofer104

House cleaner 104

Chapter 8: Third Base: Showcasing Makes Your House Photo-Ready 105

The Ins and Outs of Showcasing 105

Getting your house ready for its close-up106

Peering into the showcasing process 107

Accessories: Jewelry for Your Rooms 110

Creating balance 111

Creating visual flow 112

Knowing when to say when 112

Accessorizing at every level 112

Making more of your rooms with simple tips 113

Adding color with accessories 115

Hanging Mirrors and Art for Maximum Impact 116

Determining the right size and shape for art or groupings 116

Hanging art at the just-right height 117

Conquering difficult spaces with art 118

Finding Ideas for Accessories Functional and Fanciful 118

Floor screens and room dividers 119

Mirrors 119

Improvising for quick-and-easy accessories 121

Uncovering Out-of-the-Box Showcasing Ideas 123

Chapter 9: Home: Opening Your House to Buyers and Agents 125

Romancing the Home with Photos 126

Night Lights: Making Sure Buyers Find You 127

Offering Broker and Agent Tours 128

Living in Your Staged Property 129

Coping with inconvenience 129

Prepping for last-minute showings 130

Dealing with Fido and Miss Kitty 131

Keeping Your House Show-Ready with an Open House Checklist 132

Part III: Working Through Your House, Room by Room 135

Chapter 10: Curb Appeal: Making a Winning First Impression 137

Color It Sold: Addressing Exterior Color 137

Welcoming Buyers with Fabulous Front Doors 139

Home Staging For Dummies xii

Bright at Night: Lighting Your Property 139

Addressing Driveways and Sidewalks 140

Repairing and tidying driveways 140

Making sidewalks shipshape 141

Roofs: Tending Your House’s Top 141

Gussying Up Your Yard 142

Love the landscaping 142

Pools, trampolines, and so on: Great fun or tremendous work? 145

Adding square footage with outdoor living spaces 146

Chapter 11: You Had Me at Hello: Entrances, Exits, and Special Places 149

Making an Entrance Grand 149

Assessing your entrance 150

Selling starts at the sightlines 151

And if you don’t have a foyer 154

Figuring out furniture placement 155

Selling Stairways and Hallways 157

Exits: Stage Them Right! 158

Handling Unique Spaces at Exits and Entrances 159

Chapter 12: A Whole Lot of Living to Do: Living, Family, and Rec Rooms 161

From Formal to Laid Back: The Family of Living Rooms 161

Bringing Luxury and Elegance to Living Rooms 162

Finding Focus and Balance in Family Rooms 166

Getting the Great Room into Selling Shape 170

Staging a Recreation Room, Bonus Room, or Basement 173

Getting Your Rooms in Shape with a DIY Checklist 175

Chapter 13: A Feast of Dining Room Staging Ideas 177

Running Through a Dining Room Staging Checklist 178

Sprucing up the flooring 178

Getting light right 178

Readying the room 179

Placing Furniture — But Not Too Much of It 180

Table and chairs 182

Arranging the china cabinet 183

Setting up a buffet or sideboard (or not) 184

Softening the room with plants and ambient lighting 185

Adding artwork and mirrors 185

Accenting with accessories 186

Improvising to Set Up Your Dining Room 187

Making your own table 187

Borrowing or renting 188

When You Don’t Have a Formal Dining Room 189

Table of Contents xiii

 

Chapter 14: Cashing In on Kitchens and Baths 191

Kitchens: Staging the Home’s Focal Point 191

Upgrading on the cheap with paint 192

Brightening the room 193

Adding a splash of color 194

Countertops: Paint, replace, or reface 198

Focusing on flooring 198

Addressing the appliance issue 199

Bathrooms: Tackling Tub, Tile, and Toilet 200

Upgrading bathrooms is never flushing away money 200

Showcasing with towels and shower curtains 201

Adding artwork and accessories 201

Handling mirrors and medicine cabinets 202

Spotlighting your lighting 202

Ensuring tip-top toilets 204

Upping the Wow Factor with a DIY Staging Checklist 204

Kitchens 204

Bathrooms 205

Chapter 15: Inviting Sweet Dreams with Beautifully Staged Bedrooms 207

Getting Bedrooms Ready for Buyers 207

Prepping from the laundry pile up 208

Opening your closets 208

Being careful with color 210

Lightening and brightening bedrooms 212

Positioning the furniture 212

Addressing bedding 213

Mastering the Master Bedroom 213

Finding the function 214

Creating the lifestyle message 216

Placing furniture in a master 217

Welcoming Buyers to the Guest Room 217

Taming Kids’ Rooms 218

Making Bedrooms Their Best with a DIY Checklist 222

Chapter 16: Office Affair: Stage ’Em Something to Talk About 223

Sizing Up the Space 223

Restoring the Function 224

Building a Workable Work Space 226

Paring down equipment and furniture 228

Considering privacy issues 228

Maintaining your workspace while your house is on the market 229

Bringing Finishing Touches to the Home Office 229

Spiffing Up an Office with a DIY Checklist 230

Home Staging For Dummies xiv

Chapter 17: Behind Closed Doors: Staging Closets and Other Hidden Places 233

Running Down Things to Do in Every Closet 234

Defining Closet Upgrade Options 235

Finding the Function and Setting the Stage in Closets of Every Kind 236

Handling the hall closet 236

Perking up the kitchen pantry 236

Enhancing linen closets 237

Making the most of the master bedroom closet 238

Conquering children’s closets 238

Preparing the guest room closet 240

Getting to work on the office closet 240

Staging storage closets 241

Organizing the Laundry Room 241

Bringing Basements up to Selling Speed 242

Getting the Garage in Order 246

Part IV: Addressing Special Staging Considerations 249

Chapter 18: Dealing with Sensitive Issues 251

Eradicating Scent of Wet Dog, Eau de Cat, and Other Signs of Pets 251

Protecting Precious Goods (Or, "Grandma’s in That Jar!") 253

Quashing Collection Fever: Show Buyers Your House, Not Your Beanie Babies 254

Selling Your House During the Holidays 255

You See Beautiful Wallpaper, Buyers See Work 257

Removing wallpaper 257

Painting over wallpaper (Really!) 260

Chapter 19: Staging When You’re Building, Rehabbing, or Flipping 261

Climbing the Three Steps of Staging 263

Step one: The consultation 263

Step two: Getting the work done 265

Step three: Showcasing 265

Colors Speak Even When They Don’t Say a Word 267

Finding Eye-Opening (And Sale-Making) Improvements 270

Peeling away paneling problems 271

Patching predicaments 274

Popcorn: Great for movies, bad for ceilings 274

Plaster ceilings 275

Hanging curtains does not a house sale make 275

Building and Staging with the Buyer in Mind 277

Table of Contents xv

 

Chapter 20: Staging Your House the Feng Shui Way 279

Introducing Feng Shui 279

Overcoming Clutter’s Harmful Effects 280

Making the Most of the Five Natural Elements 281

Placing the five elements 281

Using water to sell your house 284

Staging to Feng Shui the Sale 284

Chapter 21: It’s Not Easy Being Green: EcoStaging 287

Looking Into Rebate and Eco-Grant Programs 288

In Canada 288

In the United States 289

Using Earth-Friendly Products for Cleaning and Painting 290

Greening while cleaning 290

Painting conscientiously 290

Finding Flooring That Goesthe Eco-Distance 291

Finding Practical Ways to Conserve Water 292

Part V: The Part of Tens 295

Chapter 22: (Almost) Ten Mistakes Sellers Often Make 297

Overpricing the Property 297

Choosing the Wrong Professional 298

Going It Alone: For Sale by Owner 298

Listing Your House Before You Stage It 299

Not Doing Your Homework 299

Failing to Target the Right Buyer 300

Undervaluing the Power of Curb Appeal 300

Neglecting the Floors 301

Not Washing the Windows 301

Chapter 23: Ten Reasons to Hire a Staging Professional 303

Utilizing the Skills of a Certified Staging Professional 303

Rigorous training and testing 304

Continuous training about market conditions 304

Important connections 304

Seeing What the Buyer Sees 305

Selling the Property to All Five Senses 305

Saving You and Your Agent Time and Money 306

Stagers Play the Bad Guy So Agents Don’t Have To 306

Highlighting Your House with Great Photographs 307

Selling Your Property Faster 307

Relying on the Stager’s Toolkit 307

Home Staging For Dummies xvi

Chapter 24: Ten Tricks of the Trade That Help You Sell Your House 309

Bringing Fresh Air In 309

Running a Fresh Air Machine 309

Choosing Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products 310

Hanging Art with Heavy Duty Wall Hangers 310

Professional Art Hanging with a Level and Hanging Tool 311

Saving Your Walls with Wall Respecters 311

Adding a Citrus Scent 311

Saving Your Back with Furniture Sliders 311

Filling Cracks and Holes Easily 312

Misting Naturalaire Home Cleansing Spray 312

Chapter 25: Ten Ways to Prepare Your House (And Yourself) for the Sale 313

Emotionally Disconnect from the House 313

Make Room for the Buyer’s Vision 314

Pack Up and Store Half of Your Stuff 314

Organize Closets, Cupboards, and Drawers 314

Refresh the Exterior 315

Inspect Your House Before the Buyer Does 315

Invite the Buyer In 315

Buy New House Numbers 315

Make Every Surface Shine 316

Seek Professional Showcasing Help 316

Chapter 26: Ten Reasons Sellers Don’t Stage Their Properties (But Should) 317

We Don’t Have Time for Home Staging 317

Location and Price Will Do the Work 318

I Get Compliments on My Home All the Time, So I Don’t Need to Stage It 318

My Neighbor’s House Sold Without Staging 318

My Agent Said I Don’t Need to Stage My House to Sell It 319

If It’s Good Enough for Me, It’s Good Enough for Anyone 319

Staging Is Just De-Cluttering and Cleaning, and I’ve Done That 320

Homes Have Been Selling for Years Without Staging Why Now? 320

I Can’t Afford It 321

It’s a Hot Market — The House Will Sell Without Staging 321

Index323

Table of Contents xvii

 

Home Staging For Dummies xviii

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