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Home Staging for Dummies
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Table of Contents

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

About the Author

Christine Rae is the founder and President of Certified Staging Professionals. Jan Saunders Maresh is a nationally known television personality and journalist, specializing in sewing and design.

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