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Expert Home Staging Tips To Make A Small House Feel Big

18 Expert Home Staging Tips To Make A Small House Feel Bigger

I am frequently asked, by homeowners and real estate agents I work with, how to make their home or listing look bigger to appeal to more buyers. As an expert home stager in Pasadena and Los Angeles, one of my primary jobs is to make smaller homes feel more spacious.

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Here’s a list of 18 tips for making a small home feel bigger. You can use these tips whether you are staging a home to sell or if you are planning to stay, but just need some help dealing with smaller rooms. These tips will work with for vacant home staging (if you’re bringing in furniture) or occupied home stagomg (dealing with the client’s existing furniture):

  1. Pare down the furniture to the essentials. Do you really need a chair in the bedroom? Will the room appear larger with just the bed, the nightstands and maybe a dresser?
  2. Clutter makes a room feel smaller. Lots of smaller items, like a Hummel collection or bowling trophies displayed on every horizontal surface, eat up visual space. Only display 3-5 items at a time. Store, sell or pre-pack the rest. You’re selling a home, not a collection of “treasures”.
  3. Use fewer pieces of furniture. Its better to have one larger dresser than 2 smaller ones.
  4. Use appropriately sized furniture. Having a too big sofa in a small den will call attention to how small the room really is.
  5. Pull furniture away from the wall. That little bit of breathing room will give a sense of greater space.  Create a cozy sitting area in front of the fireplace, with room to move around the back of the furniture.
  6. Cooler colors recede, so painting an interior room a pale blue, green or gray will make it feel larger.
  7. Houses appear larger on the outside when painted a lighter color.
  8. Keep walkways and sight-lines clear. Don’t place furniture so that you are walking into the back of the sofa, or other large piece of furniture, when you walk into the room.
  9. Bedrooms feel larger if there is ample space to walk on either side of the bed. Not enough space? Get a smaller bed while you home is on the market. Downsize from a king to a queen or from a queen to a double, if necessary.
  10. Place the bed on the wall furthest from the door, if possible. The room will feel instantly larger.
  11. Show more hardwood. The larger the expanse of hardwood floor, the larger the room will appear. Do you really need that area rug? If the hardwood floors are hidden by wall to wall carpet, remove the carpet. The home will feel much more spacious.
  12. Try using one larger area rug instead of several smaller rugs. Or if the room looks OK without it, don’t use any area rugs.
  13. Patterned upholstery and drapes make a room feel smaller. Use fewer patterns on upholstery and bedding. Use a solid color blanket or bedspread on a bed in a small bedroom to make the room feel larger.
  14. Strategically placed mirrors make a room feel larger. Reflect a window or outdoor view, if possible. You can visually expand a space by putting a large mirror over a sofa.
  15. A well lit room feels larger. Get rid of those dark corners. Make sure every overhead light and table lamp is lit before open houses and showings.
  16. Minimize window treatments. The simpler the better. Shutters, blinds or simple drapes (no flounces, ruffles, strong patterns or complicated valences) take up less “visual space”.
  17. Make all your cabinets and closets half-empty. You will appear to have more closet and cabinet space. There is no such thing as a closet that is too empty when selling your home.
  18. Clean houses feel larger. Make sure every surface including your floors are shiny clean. Clean your windows and screens so they let in maximum light and sparkle.

Making a small home for sale feel larger

These home staging tips to make your home feel larger will work if you are staging to sell or staging to live.

If you need help figuring out how to make your home or listing feel larger, hire us for a home staging consultation. You’ll get some easy-to-implement expert home staging and interior design tips.  Its the best “bang for your buck” and it’s a great investment in preparing your home or listing for sale, or making your home more livable if you are planning to stay.

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Home Staging Nets Seller 1500% Return On Their Investment!

What’s the home staging return on investment?  A Pasadena home seller nets 1500% return on their home staging and home preparation investment!

For every dollar they invested preparing their home for sale, they netted $15 in the sale price of their home. Having invested approximately $20,000 in home staging and taking care of maintenance, painting and wall paper removal, these clients received $300,000 over their asking price.

Craig Maxwell: “Our Pasadena home was nice but a bit tired, and our agent arranged for Michelle to evaluate and stage our house. (We were lucky, because she is in great demand). In a two-hour walk-through, Michelle gave us a list of easy and relatively inexpensive fixes that made a huge improvement in the interior and exterior appearance. After two weeks the house looked amazing, and even more so after Michelle staged it. We had 20+ offers after the following weekend’s open house, and two weeks later we closed escrow at 25% above asking price – a 1,500% return on our investment in house preparation and staging. We couldn’t be more impressed and pleased with Michelle’s skill and professionalism. Her taste and understanding of what is important to buyers was a key to our successful home sale.”

In February, I was brought in by Irina Netchaev of Pasadena Views Real Estate Team for a home staging consultation on a new listing. As we went from room to room, the clients made notes as I explained everything they needed to do to get their home in top selling condition. The list included wall paper removal, painting, carpet cleaning, removal of some furniture, floor refinishing, as well as painting the front door and some curb appeal suggestions. These clients were very motivated, completed everything I suggested. Three weeks later they contacted me and told me they were ready to stage.

Here’s a press release:

Home Staging By Moving Mountains Design Nets Pasadena Home Sellers 1500% Return On Their Staging Investment

Pasadena home owners, Craig and Elaine Maxwell net $300,000 over asking price after home staging by Moving Mountains Design, a 1500% return on their staging investment.

Pasadena, CA (PRWEB) May 30, 2014

Pasadena home owners, Craig and Elaine Maxwell net $300,000 over asking price after staging by Moving Mountains Design, a 1500% return on their staging investment.

Michelle Minch, owner of Los Angeles home staging company, Moving Mountains Design, worked with Pasadena home sellers, Craig and Elaine Maxwell in early February to make their home market ready. A home staging consultation was performed by Minch at the request of Pasadena Real Estate Agent, Irina Netchaev, Pasadena Views Real Estate Team. During the home staging consultation, a list of repairs and recommendations was generated in order to maximize the selling price and speed of sale. The home staging consultation consisted of paint color recommendations, recommendation to remove wall paper and window treatments, floor refinishing and general condition issues. After completing all the work suggested the Maxwells called in Moving Mountains Design to stage. Staging took place during the first week of April. Less than 2 weeks later, after a bidding war resulted in multiple offers, the house went under contract, closing shortly after. The result? The house sold for 25% over list price – a 1500% profit on the staging and market ready home prep investment.

Craig Maxwell: “Our Pasadena home was nice but a bit tired, and our agent arranged for Michelle to evaluate and stage our house. (We were lucky, because she is in great demand). In a two-hour walk-through, Michelle gave us a list of easy and relatively inexpensive fixes that made a huge improvement in the interior and exterior appearance. After two weeks the house looked amazing, and even more so after Michelle staged it. We had 20+ offers after the following weekend’s open house, and two weeks later we closed escrow at 25% above asking price – a 1,500% return on our investment in house preparation and staging. We couldn’t be more impressed and pleased with Michelle’s skill and professionalism. Her taste and understanding of what is important to buyers was a key to our successful home sale.”

“While not every home seller will have the same results when working with a professional home stager, the Maxwells experienced such great success because they followed my instructions completely and hired a top-notch real estate agent. In this case, the cost of staging was a terrific investment which netted the sellers well over their asking price. Their house was market-ready and move-in-ready, a win for both the sellers and the buyer”, said Minch.

For more information about the benefits of home staging in Los Angeles, Pasadena and Arcadia, visit http://MovingMountainsDesign.com.

 Home Staging Nets Seller 1500% Return On Their Investment!

 

 

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Chinese To Spend Billions On American Real Estate – Forbes

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Get Your Home Ready To Sell: Home Buyers Want A Move In Ready House

Here’s a home staging tip from a professional home stager: Get your home ready to sell. Home buyers in the Los Angeles real estate market want a house that is move in ready.

Los Angeles kitchen remodel for sale

Home buyers don’t want an allowance to repair the roof, replace the carpet, redo the kitchen or repaint. Allowances are for teenagers. They want a well priced home, in a decent location, that they can move right in to without spending another dime.

Its a big fallacy that home buyers want to choose their own carpet or paint colors. If you choose a nice, neutral color carpet and nice neutral color wall paint (both things the best home stagers can help you with) most home buyers will see your home as more desirable because it is move-in-ready. They’ll be thrilled they don’t have to worry about picking out carpet and having it installed or find a painter who has time in their schedule. If your home stager can’t help you with this, then you are working with the wrong home stager.

Most home buyers are maxing out their home purchasing budget by making an offer on the nicest home they can possibly afford. They don’t have extra money to paint, install new carpet or retile the bathroom. They want to move in as soon as escrow closes, not after they have to make a lot of repairs to make their new home livable.

Los Angeles home upgrades to sell a home

This Los Angeles condo was on the market for 6 months with no offers. After it was remodeled, it went into escrow the first week it was put back on the market for considerably higher than it’s original list price.

Here’s what happens when you offer a $5,000 allowance for repairing the roof that should have been replaced 5 years ago:

  1. The buyer thinks “What else didn’t they repair that they should have?”
  2. The buyer thinks “What structure got damaged by the leaky roof?”
  3. The buyer thinks “Is it really going to cost only $5,000 to repair the roof?”
  4. The buyer thinks “How much time will it take me to get bids, hire a roofing company & get the work done?”
  5. The buyer thinks “What happens if (fill in the disaster: it rains, the contractor absconds with the deposit, a worker falls off the roof)?”
  6. The buyer thinks “The seller must be desperate since the house isn’t in good shape.”

Here’s what happens next:

The buyer accepts your offer of $5,000 to repair the roof, and then also knocks off another 10% because they think the house is not in good condition or you are desperate…

~or~

The buyer rejects your house and moves on to the house down the street that is move in ready.

Here’s what happens when you offer a $3,000 allowance for new carpet:

  1. The buyer thinks “Will $3,000 really cover new carpet for the whole house?”
  2. The buyer thinks “I’m not from around here. Where do I buy new carpet?”
  3. The buyer thinks “That house down the street already has new carpet. Why should I take on the added stress of shopping for & installing new carpet?”

Here’s what happens next:

The buyer accepts your offer of $3,000 to buy new carpet, and then also knocks off another 10% because they think your allowance won’t cover all the costs

~or~

The buyer rejects your house and moves on to the house down the street that is move in ready and already has new carpet installed.

By not repairing and updating your home before you put it on the market, you are asking home buyers to assume risk and additional expenses. You add more stress and uncertainty to the situation. Many home buyers are already investing every penny they can get their hands on in order to purchase a home. They are unable or unwilling to purchase a home that will require repairs before they can move in. Additionally, the condition of your home may effect the appraisal causing the buyer’s lender to refuse the loan.

Want to get a Los Angeles home sold? Price it right, hire the best full service Realtor you can find, hire a professional home stager and make sure it is in move-in ready condition.

This post was originally written December 2010. It has been updated to reflect current market conditions.

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