Selling Your Home? 5 Minor Fixes That Improve Your Sale Price

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Selling Your Home? 5 Minor Fixes That Improve Your Sale Price // Staged4more Home Staging & Design

When it comes to selling a home, not every homeowner has the resources, time and passion to do a full renovation. While forgoing the renovations will inevitably mean a lost opportunity in terms of profits, there are minor fixes a homeowner can do to recoup some of the lost value. Outside of staging a home with fresh, matching furnishings, plants, fixtures, and décor here are 5 fixes to improve a home’s sale value.

1. Plumbing Fixtures – If not in our own home, we have all experienced a toilet that runs constantly. Barely a moment goes by but the sound of leaking water can be heard, throughout the house. But before you rush out to the hardware store and spend a whole bunch on a replacement toilet, take the time to understand if it is an issue with the toilet, or the toilet flush valve. If it is the later, then it is a relatively inexpensive fix that you can do yourself. Remember even simple fixes can go a long way.

2. Steam Cleaning – Matted carpets do not do much to create the impression that a house has been cared for. Hiring a carpet cleaner to come into the home to do a steam cleaning will go a long way to removing stains from carpets, and making them look refreshed. This simple trick will not only remove the matted sections long enough to sell the house, it ensure white and off white carpets are their natural color again.  

3. Painting – Neutral Colors – One of the easiest ways to spruce up your house for sale is to do some painting. On the exterior focus on the doors and window frames, and if the house is wooden on the outside, consider painting the whole house in a neutral color. This will help to boost the curb appeal of the property. While beige may be boring it should win the color argument inside the house. It is simple, clean, and matches any furnishings. Most importantly unlike other colors, every homeowner knows it is easy to paint over.

4. Outdoor Tidying – One of the best ways to add value to your home and prepare it for sale is to improve its appeal from the street perspective. This means taking the time to prune the trees, cut the lawn, and shape the edges of the garden. Planting a few extra well-chosen matching plants and installing planters on the step also goes a long way towards making the house show well.

5. Removing Extra Furnishings –The only thing worse than having a house without enough furniture, is having a house with too much. If the house looks cluttered then it will feel small. The end result is potential buyers will question the value that your desired purchase price offers, leading to discounting of their purchase offers. 

Photo credits 1 Remodelista 2 Apartment Therapy 3 Domaine Home 4 HGTV 5 Freshome

What did you think about these 5 tips? Add your own below in our Comment section.

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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Meeting with Prospective Home Stagers

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Meeting with Prospective Home Stagers // Staged4more Home Staging & Design

In real estate, time is of the essence, it even says so on the purchasing agreements. Having well-defined goals will help you maximize your home staging investment. Regardless what kind of home staging services you are purchasing, you should do your homework before meeting with prospective home stagers. This will help you decide who to hire, what to screen for and ultimately save you valuable time and money down the line.

To create the best environment that best serves your listing, home stagers need to know who your potential buyers are, how they may use the space and what are the lifestyle trends are. This is part of the buyer psychology and sales process. 

To help you prepare for your first call or meeting with your prospective home stager, here are the questions you should be able to answer about your listing before your meeting:

1. What is your budget for staging?

I generally give prospective clients a range of what home staging may cost for their listing. There are many factors that influence the pricing, such as location, age of the home (older homes have smaller doors, so sometimes we may have to take doors off to move furniture in), floor plan, the amount of inventory that I have to bring in, prep time, etc. So it is usually best practice to provide prospective clients a range for pricing.

What I often find is that most homeowners have a base line pricing for their staging needs, but sometimes the budget expectations can be unrealistic. If the price quoted by the home stager is more than what you had planned for staging, do a little research to see if your budget is realistic and on par with the market rate. If the price is within market rate, discuss with the stager to see how they can work with your budget. Most stagers will work with reasonable budget expectations.

2. What is your timeline? 

When are you going on market? Knowing your repair and work timelines is important because it will dictate when home staging will take place. Work delays are common, so it is important to make sure your home stager know the range of dates that you are looking at. During peak seasons, we often get booked 2+ weeks in advanced. If the client missed their ideal booking time, they may have to wait 2 weeks for our books to open up. It is important to make sure that the prospective home stager can accommodate your timeline. 

An example of vacant home staging.

An example of vacant home staging.

3. What kind of home staging service are you looking for? 

These are the 3 most common and major kind of services a stager will provide (These are general terms. Depending on the stager, you may see hybrids or only certain types of services.)

Vacant home staging services: You have already moved out of your home and now the house is vacant. A home stager will move in all the furnishing, lifestyle accessories, artwork and soft goods (textiles, bedding, accent pillows) to create a welcoming space that will be attractive to your buyers.

Occupied home staging services (sometimes also called redesign): You are living in the home while you are selling. Generally, home stagers would bring pieces like accessories, artwork, furniture, etc. into the home on a needed basis and work with homeowners’ existing pieces.

Consultations: These can range color consultations, finishes selection, and home staging walkthroughs where the home stagers will walk through your home with your, provide you with a list or a comprehensive report on what needs to be done to get the house ready.  

Depending on your needs, you can always ask what other services the home stager provides. Knowing the scope of your project will also help. 

4. Does every room needs to be staged or just the key rooms?

If the home owner is budget conscious, I always suggest staging the key rooms, which includes basically the main / common areas plus master bedroom (or en-suite if it is available). This will keep the cost down for staging and still make an impression on the buyers.

5. Who is your buyer? is this the best stager for the type of buyer?

Depending on who your buyer is, the staging will need to have the look and feel that appeal to your buyer. If your listing is in a trendy area, it may not be ideal to have a stager who is used to staging traditional homes. You can generally figure out who the potential buyer is by looking at your current neighbors, who they are, what kind of work they do, what kind of lifestyle appeals to them, what type of magazines or furnishing they have in their homes, etc. Then take a look at the portfolio of your prospective home stager and determine if he or she is the best fit. 

staged home // staged4more home staging & design

Lastly, there are no standards for pricing or required licenses, education in the home staging industry. When you are in the process of hiring a home stager, ask as many questions as you can to make sure you are completely comfortable with the home stager and with the process. Read our blog here if you are interested in hiring a home stager.

What did you think about this post? Do you have any additional questions to add? Leave them in the Comment section below.

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Contemporary or Modern? Your Guide to Making Sense of Design Styles for Home Staging

There are lots of design styles out there, and new ones develop all the time from current lifestyle trends. These design movements have names like American ColonialModernArts and CraftsShabby ChicVictorian, and more. At this point, you’re probably pausing to think something along the lines of, “Wait, is it modern I’m looking for, or contemporary? What is the difference anyway?”

If this dilemma sounds familiar, you’re not alone. There are a lot of terms that get thrown around with interior design; some of them are so similar that they’re practically indistinguishable, while others are actually subgroups of larger design styles. 

Since the goal of home staging is to appeal to as many people as possible, I would recommend going after larger design styles instead of focusing on more narrow ones. I'd also recommend shying away from anything niche or aimed at specific ethnic groups, such as Bohemian, Asian, African, etc. These are all fantastic when you are decorating your own home, but such a specific style, even in just one room, may alienate too many buyers. 

Styles that have wide appeal such as Transitional, Traditional, Contemporary, etc., work very well for home staging. Styles specific to the architecture of the home can be a little tricky. For example, while Craftsman furniture may work perfectly for a Craftsman home, would Victorian furniture work for a Victorian home? Not so much for today's buyers.

The styling of your staging will be based on two major factors: location of your listing (neighborhood, lifestyle trends, etc.) and architecture of the home (arts & craft, modern, etc.).


According to Design Shuffle, the Traditional style uses the antique furnishings, rich colors and symmetrical room layouts first created in 17th-19th century European and American designs. Formal in feel, Traditional rooms are very balanced and often use pairs of chairs, lamps or tables. 

Another element of the style is the use of detailed ornamentation; nail head trim, crown molding, button tufting and other finishing touches are used lavishly. (These details are often also used in original and innovative contexts in the other design styles.)

Designers to know: John Fowler, Michael S. Smith, Mark Hampton

Magazine to know: Traditional Home

Also check out our Home Style -- Traditional Pinterest board here


The Modern style took the first step away from the ornateness and formality of the styles that came before it. It technically encompasses a lot of smaller movements, including art deco and art modern. 

After Mid-century Modern exploded on the scene, clean lines and industrial materials became the face of the Modern style. Open space, bare windows and white-walled rooms are dotted with molded plastic, leather, chrome and glass furniture to create the bare, serene feel of modernity.

Designers to know: Mies Van Der Rohe, Karim Rashid

Magazines to know: Modern Magazine, Dwell

Also check out our Home Style -- Modern Pinterest board here


The photo above is the South Place Hotel in London, designed by Sir Terence Conran's firm. We actually used this hotel as a case study on styling tricks learned from hotel designs. You can read the blog here.)

Contemporary style is sometimes confused with Modern style. The basic difference is that they are of two different time periods. Modern design  specifically refers to 20th-century designs for example, Eames chairs. Contemporary is what is happening now. It can be confusing, since most people use the word modern when they mean to describe Contemporary. This mistake is also made frequently in major magazines.

The Contemporary style often continues along the same lines as modernism by using lots of space and making simple, bold arrangements. However, contemporary designs sometimes borrow the organic lines, details and materials of past styles as well. Currently, I am seeing a lot of reclaimed woods, farmhouse-modern types of interiors and the use of industrial elements in today's Contemporary designs.

Designers to Know: Sir Terence Conran, Philippe Starck, Michael Graves

Also check out our Home Style -- Contemporary Pinterest board here


According to Interior Design Pro, Transitional style blends Contemporary and Traditional designs into a harmonious look. So think classic furniture shapes and styles mixed with current materials and finishes. For example, an antique Louis chair might be reupholstered in a graphic print. 

Occasionally this formula is reversed, and contemporary furnishings are given a traditional fabric treatment. Another popular variation on the style is mixing traditional furniture with bold, modern art.

The Transitional style works really well because not everyone wants to live in a traditional interior, even though the architecture of the home may be traditional.

I've also discovered that today’s buyers respond well to the Transitional style, because it can go both more contemporary or more traditional. It's also fun to mix vintage items with the new. This design trick is done very well by Pottery Barn.

Designers to Know: David Hicks, Nate Berkus

Also check out our Home Style -- Transitional Pinterest board here

Other Popular Styles

These particular styles may be appropriate based on the architecture of the home. 

Mid-Century Modern

According to Design Shuffle, Mid-century Modern is characterized by simple, clean lines and organic forms and textures, and is the most popular manifestation of the Modern style. Especially associated with American and Scandinavian design, the style features a lot of walnut, teak, chrome and stainless steel. Many famous pieces of furniture emerged from the period, including the Saarinen Tulip Table and the Eames Lounge Chair, and they’re still wildly popular today.

This style became popular again thanks in large part to the hit TV show Mad Men. I have also seen many Eichler homes styled with mid-century modern interiors.

Designers to Know: Lloyd WrightCharles and Ray Eames


This style is seen very often on design blogs like sfgirlbybay. While it is popular there, it mostly works in more Bohemian and hipster neighborhoods. You also want to be careful when you are styling that Eclectic does not look too cluttered in photos. Eclectic style is very similar to Transitional style, except that it borrows from any and all styles to achieve a diverse mélange of other looks. It also uses bright colors and patterns. For example, an Eclectic living room might feature antique portraiture, French countryside chairs, a modern rug and Chinoiserie cabinets. The style is prevented from being too chaotic by using similar colors, shapes or textures throughout

Designers to Know: Sheila Bridges, Kelly Wearstler

Also check out our Home Style -- Eclectic Pinterest board here


The Scandinavian influence is also very popular on design blogs. Scandinavian style is much more than IKEA. It’s simple and minimalist styling, with white walls and floors, and soft color schemes.

In essence, according to World Guide, Scandinavian style refers to the design movement that emerged in the 1950s in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, as well as Finland and Iceland. Typical for Scandinavian design is beauty radiated through light color, the ample use of wood, and minimalism and functionality.

I personally love the black and white, comfortable and simple styling, but it can feel too bare at times. I personally have not seen this type of styling much in the United States but have seen it done in Europe very well.

A Word on Matching Interiors with Architecture Style

There are a few more styles I didn't cover, such as Arts and CraftsCoastal, Lodge Style, etc. These are very specific to the home's architectural style and will work very well if staged this way. However, I personally do not recommend staging traditional homes like Victorian, Edwardian, etc., with traditional furnishings. Most buyers today want modern interiors and just a nod to the home's original history. They may want to preserve the home's architectural style but generally would not want to live in a Victorian-era interior. I have seen some amazing modern interiors in Victorian homes, like the photo above. The owner kept the original fireplace, molding and hardwood floors but used contemporary furnishings and modern decor to update the interior. I especially love the bold color choice in the adjacent room.

A few more resources if you want to dig a little bit deeper on design styles:

*This is an update of a previous guest post written by Alyssa Ennis

Photo credits: 1 Traditional Homes 2 Domaine Home 3 Conran & Partners 4 Pottery Barn 5 Brit + Co 6 Domaine Home 7 That Nordic Feeling 8 Domaine Home

What do you think of this style guide? Did I miss anything? If so, comment below to add yours.

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Thank you for our Houzz 2015 Award

Thank you by The Chic Type Blog

We just want to quickly say THANK YOU for our Houzz 2015 Award. It means a great deal to us!

This award is a great kick off to celebrate our 9-year anniversary in this month (O-M-G!). We are in the process of rolling out more products for awesome folks like you to take full advantage of home staging. We have been working hard to revamp our 10-Step Home Staging ebook and are looking forward to relaunch it in couple weeks! And oh! Have you notice our new website? 

Best of Houzz 2015 Award

Here are some of the reviews we got on Houzz:

"Cindy is a pro. Communicative, organized, on time, strong sense of urgency. Add to that the hard-to-find ingredient of good taste. Voila; the recipe for a great work partner." - Umbra
"I have been working with Cindy for as long as I have been a Realtor, 14 year now. She is very easy to work with and has the best pricing for her services. Her style is modern and fresh and she transformed event the hardest homes to deal with. My clients are wowed every time and she gets them more money for their homes without question. She also has the added benefits of taking photos of the home as well. Staged4more is my go to company for every listing I take." - Melanie V.
"Cindy is GREAT to work with and made our home look beautiful. She has fresh ideas and tries to keep economic considerations in the picture as well. She has a good personality, professionalism and provides great customer service. I highly recommend Cindy." - Yelena K.

Photo credit: The Chic Type Blog

Press release here

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2015's Coolest Home Automation Gadgets

This post is written by guest blogger Tim Smith

Home Exterior

If you're still waiting for a hover car that folds into a briefcase like on The Jetsons, you'll unfortunately have to wait a bit longer for that technology. But today's gadgets aren't that far off the mark from old cartoons and science fiction stories. Home automation used to be for the wealthy, where curtains suddenly closed and lights dimmed at the whim of a billionaire. Your home can practically have the same features — without the high price tag. With 2015 quickly approaching, take a look at some of the best electronics around to automate your space.

Apple's HomeKit 

Apple's HomeKit

If you own an Apple smartphone or tablet, this electronics giant is ready to make the device even more powerful. They're creating HomeKit which is an app that securely connects with your appliances. From refrigerators to thermostats, Apple wants all the power in your handheld device. Control lights, temperature and even the garage door with this app. A safer household could result with attention to locks and appliances using a touchscreen.

Smart Lock 

2015's Coolest Home Automation Gadgets

Attach this Smart Lock to any door and see automation in action. You select the setting for access. For instance, you could just walk up to the door and it senses an approved device to open up automatically. When you have a heavy load in your arms, this lock is a lifesaver. It even has the ability to send notifications to your phone when a loved one has forgotten to lock or even close the door. 

WiFi Wireless Music Receiver 

2015's Coolest Home Automation Gadgets

Sure, you've seen all those Bluetooth speakers at the mall with boredom as an immediate reaction. You have an awesome speaker system at home, but it's not outfitted with Bluetooth. Add this WiFi Wireless Music Receiver to virtually any speaker and hear your device tunes emanating through that system. Control the volume and song selection from your phone. That old speaker system is made brand new again.

WeMo Automation 

2015's Coolest Home Automation Gadgets

Although this automation choice has been around all year, 2015 is a perfect time to integrate the WeMo system. Add as many outlet switches to your home as you please and connect them to the WiFi. Grab your phone and control almost any item plugged into the socket. Lights, fans and even appliances are quickly integrated into the smart home arrangement. This system can be as small or large as you require, making it versatile for any home.

Bruvelo Coffeemaker 

2015's Coolest Home Automation Gadgets

If you like your coffee brewed in a particular manner, the Bruvelo coffeemaker is just right for you. Connect it to your WiFi and control key aspects with a smartphone. Set grinding and brewing times to your heart's content or even change the temperature. You'll please yourself and friends with preset brewing programs designed to match each coffee bean type.

In no time, you may not even leave the couch for anything because an app and connected device does everything for you. Keep these products in mind when you shop in 2015. They could be the stepping stones to the next great invention.

Interested in learning more about home automation options available? Check out

Photo credit 1 Fresh Palace 2 9to5mac 3 Amazon 4 Amazon 5 9to5mac 6 gizmag

What do you think of Tim's post on this year's coolest home gadgets? Do you have any more to add? Tell us in the Comment section below!

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