Posted on 9 November 2012 | No responses
Until recently, the smallest home that Stage to Sell had staged was a 500sf bungalow. I thought that one was challenging because there was only one wall large enough for a sofa and it had an HVAC unit sticking out of it! See how we got creative and used that unit as an end table?
Well let me tell you, that bungalow looks downright palatial after today’s staging a 285sf studio!
We were contacted recently by affordable housing developer Clifford Beers Housing. They were in the final stages of completing an adaptive reuse project, converting the beautiful and historic 28th Street YMCA building into a 48 affordable housing units. Unfortunately they were having difficulty renting the last 18 units in the building because they were so small — 285 sf to be exact!
I went out to preview the studio units and decided that it would be most effective to stage the worst possible configuration in terms of layout because if we can make that one look good, all the others will seem great by comparison.
When staging for a small space, you have to make every inch count. Flexible seating and storage is a must. See how we rose to this small space challenge and created a tiny space that lives large!
We are feeling quite confident that we rose to this small space challenge and that potential renters will now see how functional and spacious these cozy units can be!_____________________________________________________________
Posted on 9 November 2012 | No responses
A few months back Stage to Sell was contacted by Melanie Meddien of Caring Realty, a local Realtor who does a lot of work with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles. Melanie asked if we would be interested in staging some homes for Habitat that were being sold to low income families for significantly below market value. Of course I jumped at the chance!
It took some time for title to be cleared, but once we had the go-ahead, Melanie and I spent an amazing day previewing the properties and then shopping the Habitat Re-Stores in Norwalk and Gardena. We were able to find enough furniture and art to furnish one of the homes and then I secured the furniture for the second property from one of my furniture rental vendors, Fashion Furniture, who graciously donated some beautiful pieces that will be given to the family that purchases the home.
Once my design plan was complete, Melanie and the team from Habitat enlisted the support of a team of volunteers to help out with cleaning and staging and I supplied some additional accessories to complete the job.
So far 22 people have applied to purchase the homes! Now that’s what I call “multiple offers!”
Here are some photos of the day and the staged properties.
Posted on 24 August 2012 | Comments Off
If you’re at all interested in design and like looking at gorgeous pictures of homes, you must check out Houzz.com. In addition to a lot of amazing eye candy, Houzz has some great articles as well. I recently came across a one about the difference between staging and decorating.
I have a lot of thoughts on that distinction, but that is a topic for another newsletter. The thing that struck me about this particular article by blogger Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist, was her statement that regardless of their personal design style, most buyers want a home that meets four standards:
It must be:
Let’s take a look at some ways that staging can help in these four areas.
Make it welcoming!
One of the easiest ways to make a home more welcoming is by rearranging the furniture to create a layout that invites buyers in. Here’s an example of a living room that was not very welcoming.
By reconfiguring the way this room was laid out, we created more room for additional seating AND opened up the room so it felt more inviting.
TIP: Try to avoid having the back of a sofa be the first thing you see as you enter a room. It may mean the couch is not directly across from the television, but I assure you it will make buyers feel more welcomed into the space.
Make it Functional!
Though anyone with a good sense of style can make a house look pretty, that alone will not sell a home. It is crucial that the home appeal to its target demographic (whether it’s young couples, families with kids, or retirees). To push buyers over the edge from simply liking what they see to making an offer, the home must make sense for that buyer’s lifestyle, i.e. it has to be functional.
Case in point: I have staged two separate “family homes” in the last few months that had four total bedrooms, but only two on the top floor. This might not seem like a big deal to some, but to a parent with more than one child, it could be a game changer. No one wants to have to go down a flight of stairs in the middle of the night to comfort a crying baby or change a diaper. The simple answer was to make the second upstairs bedroom a child’s room, but I took it a step further. I staged that second bedroom with not one, but two twin beds. In this way, a parent with two or more kids would see that there’s sufficient room to have all the young ones close at hand.
TIP: Think about who the target buyer is and make sure you are appealing to that type of buyer. Also try to fit in a home office somewhere in the house. Especially in homes with only 2-3 bedrooms, buyers are looking for an area to either work from home or at least check email and pay the bills. If one of the bedrooms doesn’t have to be taken up by a desk, you will appeal to more buyers.
Make it peaceful!
Repeat after me… “The way we live in our home and the way we sell our house are two completely different things!”
As a professional stager, I see a lot of homes. And many of them are lived in…I mean REALLY lived in. Oftentimes the rooms that are supposed to be the most peaceful and relaxing are actually the most chaotic: the bedrooms. We clutter up the tops of our dressers and nightstands with books, laundry, and purses. We shove a desk into the corner of our master because we don’t have room anywhere else for a home office. We paint an accent wall our favorite shade of fire engine red. And the result is a room that is anything but peaceful.
The key to making a bedroom (and any room for that matter) more peaceful is to simplify, simplify, simplify. Yes, it may not be “real life” but which of these bedrooms would make you feel more like cozying up with a good book and taking a nap?
TIPS: Walls should be a painted in soothing tones. If not a neutral, go with soft blues and greens which help to encourage restfulness. Clear off surfaces and make the bed with a solid color comforter. Add color and pattern in small doses through art and accessories, but keep it simple.
Make it organized!
One thing all buyers are looking for is storage space. Some homes have more than others, but we can all agree storage is something you can never have too much of. One of the reasons many buyers are selling is because they’ve outgrown their current home, and often it’s due to the age old problem: too much stuff and nowhere to put it.
The only way to help a buyer envision their own mass of stuff fitting into your limited cabinets, closets or bookshelves, is by making the most of what you have. Organization is key!
Kitchens can make or break the sale of a home. Even a decently sized kitchen can look cramped when the counters and cabinets are full to bursting. Though it won’t be easy, staying organized is the key. Clear off the counters of everything you don’t use daily. Take magnets and photos off the front of your fridge. Keep out only essential or decorative items. There should be something in each corner of the counters and perhaps something near the stove, but no more.
If you have any glass-front kitchen cabinets, they must appear neat, organized and sparsely filled. Take out anything other than your nicest matching sets of dishes. Each open shelf should be no more than 1/2 full (the same goes for any built-in cabinetry throughout your home). Try putting one nice decorative platter on a plate stand on one shelf and a matching set of mugs on another. Remember this is not real life, it’s staging!
Bathrooms are another area where most sellers need help. Most bathrooms in occupied homes look a little something like this.
That is a warning sign to buyers that there is not enough storage space in the bathroom for all their toiletries. Clearing off the countertops is a must.
TIP: For kitchens and bathrooms, the easiest way to keep them looking organized is to place all the items you use on a daily basis in a box or bin that can be easily put into a closet or the garage prior to a showing. Putting away one large box or bin is a lot simpler than trying to find a space for 50 different items.
Built-in cabinetry should also appear sparse and neatly organized. Start by removing 1/2 to 3/4 of the books on your shelves and keeping out only the nicest looking books and decorative items.
Buyers inevitably think they have more stuff than you do, so make sure your cabinets look as if you have room to grow!
TIP: Try alternating the orientation of the books. Have a grouping of 2-3 books standing up vertically on one side, with another small grouping horizontally next to it. You can also stand up your nicest hard-cover books on one side of a shelf. Intersperse a couple of simple decorative items for a punch of color and visual interest.
By making sure your listings are welcoming, functional, peaceful, and organized, you will end up with a property that appeals to even the most discerning buyer!_____________________________________________________________
Posted on 31 May 2012 | Comments Off
We are often asked, “Can you stage an occupied home?” As we wrote in a previous post, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”
For this beautiful family home in Santa Monica, we were asked to do just that. The homeowner wanted to use as much as she could of her own furniture, but knew there were some items that needed to be updated for staging purposes. We gave her a list of what should be done prior to staging (simple updates, paint, etc) and what items she needed to pack away. She did an amazing job getting the property in selling shape, and then we came in to add the finishing touches.
This one sold very quickly with 5 offers for its full asking price!
The homeowner had beautiful things, but the dark patterned sofa and rug and the kelly green bookcases were distracting.
The homeowner painted the insides of the bookcases. Then we brought in simple white furniture, a lighter colored rug, and some airy sheers. We relocated a console table that she had elsewhere in the home and showed buyers where they could put their TV, and voila – a bright and spacious living room!
The dining room chairs were well worn. The large china hutch felt too big for this room, while the light fixture felt too small.
We had the owner replace the chandelier and remove the excess furniture and we brought in new chairs, art, and sheers to brighten up the space.
This space off the kitchen and dining room was being used as a music room. Since not everyone has a piano, we decided to make it into a more functional space that anyone could use.
Bringing in a small table from another room and one of the old dining chairs, we created a small home office, perfect for doing the bills or monitoring the kids while they’re on the computer.
The master bedroom was great, but the homeowner had both a TV and a computer workstation in the room, taking away from the relaxing feel of a master suite.
We removed the desk and TV, brightened up the bedding, and added some art and accessories. Simple changes made a huge impact!
This teenager’s surf-themed room felt like a cave.
We kept the surf theme, but neutralized the paint color, brightened up the curtains and cleared the clutter.
The 3rd bedroom had purple walls and burgundy curtains, making it feel dark and cramped.
Paint, de-cluttering and some new art and accessories really brightened up the space.
This homeowner was thrilled by the new look of her home and even more happy when it sold quickly for her full asking price!
If you will be living in your home while it’s on the market, call Stage to Sell for a consultation today. You’ll be glad you did!
Posted on 30 May 2012 | Comments Off
Earlier this year we were called to consult with a family who had inherited their parents’ Santa Monica home and wanted advice on some inexpensive updates that would help the home appeal to a wider range of buyers. They went to work on my recommendations, and a few months later, called us to stage the home for sale.
It worked! This home had 5 offers and sold in 12 days for $11,000 over asking. See the before and afters below to find out why.
The living room had dated carpet and window treatments which we asked the family to remove, along with the furniture.
The new living room feels fresh and airy. Though the floors were not refinished, simply removing the carpet was enough to show buyers the possibilities.
The small dining space was not showing to its full potential. Once again, we recommended removing the carpet, window treatments and furniture.
We brought in a table and chairs and some sheers for the windows and now it feels like a functional dining room.
This bathroom was dated and the homeowners didn’t want to go to the expense of updating it.
With nothing more than a fresh coat of paint and light staging, it looks move-in ready.
This bedroom was full of furniture, but had no actual bed. We had them remove the carpet and window treatments, paint and empty it out.
We brought in a dresser, desk, chair and nightstand from another room, rented a bed, art and accessories, and now it’s a bright and spacious bedroom.
We asked the homeowner to remove the carpet and wallpaper, but to leave the bed and dresser.
It’s hard to believe this is the same room!
The master bedroom was large, but not appealing. We asked the homeowner to paint and remove the carpet and furniture.
We brought in new furniture, art, and accessories and now the master feels like a spacious retreat.
All it takes is the advice of a professional home stager, motivated sellers, some elbow grease and a modest dollar investment. In this case, the result was a huge success!
If you’re looking to sell your home in Los Angeles, call Stage to Sell today for a consultation!_____________________________________________________________
Posted on 16 March 2012 | Comments Off
I am very proud to announce that the online course I’ve been pouring my heart and soul into for the last several months is now available through Staging and Redesign!
It’s a 4-part course that takes you through everything there is to know about staging vacant homes. It also includes valuable downloadable documents like sample contracts, a property preview checklist, and more – and best of all, you will earn the Vacant Staging Specialist designation once you pass the course!
Click here for more information or to register!
“I just finished the class offered By Annie Pinsker Brown and I will be faxing the test to you. I am happy to say that I found the course to be very informative and explained in a way that is easily understood. Each step was detailed and Annie spoke clearly and slow enough that I was able to take notes without having to rush writing things down or pause the session.
The photo examples were very helpful. Especially because I am (and I suppose most people in the staging industry are) visually oriented so having them was a good tool. I almost would have liked to see more. I am glad I took the class. It was a good investment.”
Hedda Jason, Juxtaposition
The Vacant Property Specialist course is excellent and very detailed. It’s a great course for a new stager, but is also an excellent choice for a RESA-PRO continuing education course. It is always informative to learn alternative ways to approach the process, with different style proposals and contracts, along with additional tips and ideas. It’s obvious that Annie put much hard work and effort to every detail of this course as it’s very well done!
Organized by Design
- Pros and Cons of offering vacant staging to your clients
- Is staging vacant homes a good fit for you and your business?
- Vacant staging mistakes and how to avoid them
- Aquiring furniture inventory vs renting
- Working with furniture rental companies
- Business licenses and insurance
- The smart way to aquire inventory
- Storing, tracking and transporting inventory
- First client contact
- Property previews step-by-step
- Taking Before Photos
- Formulating a Staging Plan
- Creating a bid
- Placing the furniture order
- Scheduling your team
- Staging prep
- Staging day
- Getting paid
- Post-staging marketing
- What happens when the property sells or the lease expires?
- 7 Steps to Staging Success
- Staging exercises
- Homework assignment
- Vacant Staging Case Studies
- Before and After Examples
- Client Contact Form
- Property Preview Checklist
- Sample Contract
- Sample Quote Form
- Shop/Pack List
- Vacant Staging Steps (detailed step-by-step checklist for staging vacant homes)
Posted on 14 January 2012 | Comments Off
Towards the end of 2011, Stage to Sell | Los Angeles Home Staging was contacted by some of our favorite clients over at Sunset Park Realtors to stage one of their new listings in Santa Monica. It was an occupied, multi-level townhome that needed some minor fixing up before it was ready to be staged. The home was beautiful and well-maintained, but the homeowner’s living room furniture did not create a welcoming first impression for buyers.
As you can see, when you walked into the living room you were immediately faced with the back of a sofa and the TV was the focal point of the space.
Our solution was to bring in some smaller scale furniture and to reorient the room to open up the space and invite buyers in.
As you can see, not only did we create more seating in the space, but the space suddenly feels a whole lot larger when it’s’ not dominated by an oversized sofa.
This property sold for full price the same day it went on the market!
Here are a few more before and after photos from this staging success story:
Posted on 12 July 2011 | Comments Off
Here at Stage to Sell, we have been busy staging homes all over Los Angeles this summer. So busy, in fact, that we haven’t had a moment to blog about all the great projects we’ve been working on in the last month. So here’s a list for you – many of them already sold or in escrow!
2149 Basil Lane, Los Angeles (IN ESCROW)
This inspirational Bill Mack contemporary architectural on a rare, private cul de sac just east of Beverly Glen features a 2-story tall wall of glass looking out across an open, sunlit living room and dining area to a large landscaped patio and deck surrounded by tall trees, tranquil canyon views and sky. Listed by Elyse Gunter of Coldwell Banker.
1925 S. Beverly Glen #27, Los Angeles (SOLD)
This sophisticated split level townhouse with soaring ceilings in the living room is just moments from all that Century City has to offer. Listed by Deborah Bremner of Coldwell Banker.
2011 Ashland, Santa Monica
This stunning contemporary craftsman home, listed by Megan and Stacey Valnes of Sunset Park Realtors, is open, airy, light and bright and will entice any buyer.
1749 Wellesley Dr., Santa Monica (PENDING)
Turn-key traditional on an over sized lot. Oozing with vintage style & charm but updated for modern living. Listed by Jennifer Field of Teles Properties.
840 20th St. #3, Santa Monica
Exquisite north of Wilshire townhome with designer finishes throughout and a private rooftop deck. Listed by Mike Schwartz of Coldwell Banker.
With hardwood floors and plantation shutters throughout, this classic home exudes elegance at every turn. Listed by Trevor Thomas of Bankers Realty Exclusive, Inc._____________________________________________________________
Posted on 2 May 2011 | Comments Off
Stage to Sell recently staged this vacant beautiful contemporary 2 bedroom + loft townhome in Santa Monica for Elizabeth Wainwright of Keller Williams Santa Monica.
Bright, sunny, Sunset Park town home with southern exposure and great architectural feel. Living room has a dramatic, 2-story ceiling, French doors to outdoor deck and gas/wood fireplace. Spacious loft/office opens to wraparound balcony that leads up to huge rooftop deck with views of mountains and city lights. Stainless steel appliances & Sub-Zero fridge in kitchen. SxS secured parking. New carpet and a fresh coat of paint. All major appliances included.
Stage to Sell is the premier West Los Angeles Home Staging company. Owner and principal designer Annie Pinsker-Brown was chosen the 2011 Professional Stager of the Year for all of North America by the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA). She is an ASP (Accredited Staging Professional), a member of RESA and IAHSP (International Association of Home Staging Professionals), and an affiliate member of the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors.
Annie has Staged homes for Bravo’s hit show “Million Dollar Listing” and TLC’s “Property Ladder.” She has also been featured in books and recent articles on Staging in Los Angeles Magazine, The New York Times, Costco Connection and Frontiers Magazine.
Posted on 15 February 2011 | Comments Off
Check out the photos of the finished product!
5525 West OLYMPIC Blvd #303 Los Angeles, CA 90036
Listed by Scott Walker, Keller Williams Santa Monica
GORGEOUS NEW CONSTRUCTION NEAR THE GROVE IN THE MIRACLE MILE! INCREDIBLE VIEWS! THREE FLOOR 3 BEDROOM 2.5 BATH TOWNHOUSE STYLE UNIT WITH LARGE OPEN FLOOR PLAN, UPSTAIRS MASTER AND 2 BEDROOMS DOWN. HARDWOOD FLOORS, GRANITE/MARBLE COUNTERS, FIREPLACE, HIGH-END APPLIANCES/FIXTURES AND DUAL PANE WINDOWS. HUGE ROOF TOP BALCONY WITH SPECTACULAR VIEWS OF THE HOLLYWOOD HILLS. FULL SECURITY BUILDING OFFERS ULTIMATE LUXURY WITH DESIGNER TOUCHES-SUPERB ATTENTION TO DETAIL. NEAR UPSCALE SHOPS, RESTAURANTS, AND MUSEUMS!
If you are selling your Los Angeles home, let us help you get it SOLD so you can get on with your life!
Annie Pinsker-Brown | Stage to Sell
Owner & Principal Designer
“We get you to SOLD so you can get on with your life!”
Stage to Sell is the premier West Los Angeles Home Staging Company, and Owner & Principal Designer Annie Pinsker-Brown was named the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) 2011 Professional Stager of the Year.
Annie is an ASP (Accredited Staging Professional), a RESA-PRO, and an affiliate member of the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors. She is also a Home Staging instructor for Staging and Redesign (SAR).
Annie has Staged LA homes for Bravo’s hit show “Million Dollar Listing” and TLC’s “Property Ladder.” She has also been featured in recent articles on Home Staging in Los Angeles Magazine, The New York Times, Costco Connection and Frontiers Magazine.
If you would like to see more of our Home Staging work, visit our website . There is an extensive gallery of before & after photos , as well as a list of our Staged properties currently on the market.