Come channel your dark side of staging. Here’s your chance to create your spookiest home décor – the one that haunts you in your nightmares. Move Inc., the operators of realtor.com®, recently launched a new Halloween-themed interactive feature, “Build Your Own Haunted House,” that allows you to create your own spooky home to share with prospects or peers.
You can build a spooky home, complete with animation and sounds, and then “share the scare” via e-mail or through your social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. The new feature will be available until midnight on Oct. 31.
Build your haunted house from a menu of options – carefully selecting your architecture, lighting, and lawn features, including a customizable for-sale sign, jack-o-lanterns, tombstones, or skeletons. You also can add flying witches, ghosts, crows, or bats and several sound options to complete the fright, from wailing ghosts and shrieking witches to thunder and wind. To add even more scare, click on “zombify me” to turn your headshot into a zombie.
“At realtor.com, we want to make the home experience enjoyable, and what’s more fun than having the opportunity to build your own haunted house and share it with friends and family,” says Nate Johnson, chief marketing officer for realtor.com®.
WASHINGTON (October 9, 2015) – U.S. Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet today joined National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun at an event highlighting small business issues and commercial real estate.
“Commercial real estate plays a big role in supporting the national economy, contributing to job growth and the revitalization of communities,” said Yun. “For that work to continue, access to credit is critical. The SBA is important to facilitating liquidity in the marketplace, connecting small businesses with lenders and… Read More
Not all home staging is created equally. Staging Darwinism is real and only the smart survive. Below we countdown the top 10 “stoopidest” home staging ideas.
#10. “Bake cookies right before your open house.”
Our sense of smell is very closely related to our sense of memory. True enough, for some people, the smell of freshly baked cookies may bring back fantastic memories of days past when their loving mother baked cookies every Saturday afternoon. However, I use to work at Mrs. Fields, and my boss was a real jerk. Whenever I smell freshly baked cookies … I get slightly nauseous and a bit angry. Your house should smell like nothing when it is being shown. Scented homes lead to one of two reactions:
Buyers who are chemically sensitive get headaches, irritated eyes, or nausea and want to leave immediately.
Buyers wonder what you are trying to cover up and immediately become suspicious that you are a shyster.
#9. “My house won’t sell unless it has plants in it.”
Live plants or flowers in a vacant house tend to become dead plants very fast. Unless you are dedicated to checking on these plants regularly, you need to skip them, because nothing stops a house from going pending like dead plants. Fake plants are just that, fake. When it comes down to it, staging is creepy. You are in a house that appears to be occupied and yet, it is not. Every time you add something fake, it is one more reminder that this is not real and thus adds to the creepy factor.
#8. “If they can’t see past that ‘__________’ then they don’t deserve to buy my house.”
The truth is, if they can see past “____________” then you did a poor job preparing your house for the market. If you find yourself saying this, think again.
#7. “I can just lightly stage this room and it will work.”
Light staging or, as I call it, “the placing of random objects in a room,” like a chair and a rug in a bedroom, does not help sell houses. It will actually slow the process down. Staging is only meant to do three things:
Show the room’s purpose
Show the room’s scale
Add light to the room
Random objects in a room serve only to draw attention away from the house. Light staging is like hiring a clown to dance in front of a rack of dresses to help sell the dresses. Your buyers end up paying more attention to the clown than they do the dresses. Either stage the room completely, or don’t stage it at all.
#6. “I am paying for the staging, you should only stage with things I like.”
You are correct in that you are paying for the staging, but you are incorrect in that you think you are the customer. Really when it comes down to it you are now a retailer, trying to sell a product. You have hired a stager just as a department store would hire a visual merchandizer to display their items to sell to a customer. Your stager is concerned about what the potential buyer will like. You should be too.
#5. “The style of the staging should match the style of the house.”
Nobody has an entire household full of mid-century modern furniture. When staging a home we want the house to look obtainable. We want our clients to say, “Hey, I could do that!” By staging with an eclectic mix of furniture that does not necessarily “go” with the house, we prove to people that their mis-matched, rag-tag lot of furniture could look good in the house as well.
#4. “We should make everybody take off their shoes before they enter.”
Why in the world would you ask people to be uncomfortable in their new home, the first time they see it in order to protect floors that will no longer belong to you in a matter of weeks? Regardless of how or if you ask, thoughtful people with dirty shoes will remove then before coming through; thoughtless people will leave them on.
#3. “We should pull out the staging as soon as the house goes pending.”
Uh-oh! You pulled out your staging before the inspection period ended in order to save a few bucks on rental furniture. Now your sale has failed because the buyer didn’t like the condition of the water heater. I see that frowny face. Next time leave it in through the inspection period, better yet, through the financing contingency.
#2. “Staging can fix anything.”
I so wish this was true, but often, it is not. Sometimes things are so bad. They need to be fixed prior to, or in lieu of, staging. If your entire house is painted in rainbow tie-dye, no amount of staging can help you.
And the #1 “stoopidest” idea … “Staging is easy.”
It is amazing how many sellers I meet on a daily basis. Nearly every single day somebody calls me to explain to me why they don’t need staging services. They say they know exactly what their house needs in order to sell, and how they have a lot of experience doing what I do and they could just do it themselves. I always wonder to myself, “Then why are you calling me?” The truth of the matter is, home staging is not as easy as it looks.
I often compare it to women’s gymnastics. You know you are doing it right when it looks effortless. If you get a chance Google “Nadia Comaneci, perfect score” and watch the video. I don’t think she even broke a sweat. Good home staging looks like that.
What it all comes down to is that “staging is easy” is the No. 1 biggest myth we would love to perpetuate.
In the end, “stoopid” staging does nothing to help you and could actually hurt your sale. You need a competent staging professional if you want top dollar for your house.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Justin Riordan, LEED AP, is founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency based in Portland, Ore. As the creative energy behind Spade and Archer, Riordan fuses his formal training as an architect with his natural design savvy to create beautiful and authentic spaces for clients. Prior to opening Spade and Archer in 2009, Riordan practiced interior architecture and interior construction for 12 years, bringing an esteemed skillset and diverse background to home staging. Since founding Spade and Archer, he has personally prepared more than 2,100 homes for market.
WASHINGTON (October 2, 2015) — The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Chris Polychron in advance of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Know Before You Owe TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure, or TRID, going into effect tomorrow, October 3:
“Realtors® across the country have worked hard to prepare for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure,… Read More
WASHINGTON (September 30, 2015) — Over the last 16 years, the Good Neighbor Awards have recognized Realtors® from across the nation who dedicate countless volunteer hours to improve the lives and wellbeing of their neighbors. The five individuals named as this year’s REALTOR® Magazine Good Neighbor Award winners embody this incredible commitment to helping those around them and serve as an example of how Realtors® build and strengthen communities.
WASHINGTON (September 28, 2015) — Pending home sales retreated in August but remained at a healthy level of activity and have now risen year–over–year for 12 consecutive months, according to the National Association of Realtors®. A modest increase in the West was offset by declines in all other regions.
The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward–looking indicator based on contract signings, decreased 1.4 percent to 109.4 in August from 110.9 in July but is still 6.1 percent above… Read More
It’s time to add more romance into your designs. One-third of home owners say they’re renovating their master bedrooms to create a more romantic or intimate space, according to the 2015 U.S. Houzz Bedroom Trends survey of more than 1,500 home owners.
What does that entail? Contemporary finishes, soft neutral color palettes, more pillows, and no strong patterns, the survey finds as the top preferences.
Home owners are being drawn toward shades of white, cream, gray, and blue for their updated master bedrooms.
Also, more than a quarter of home owners are opting not to include a strong pattern in the décor of the master bedroom (27 percent). However, some owners will use floral and geometric prints (21 percent and 17 percent, respectively).
The more pillows, the merrier, the survey finds. Sixty-seven percent of home owners who are updating their bedding say that decorative pillows are a top update. On average, home owners say they’ll accessorize with four decorative pillows, and 40 percent will have five or more decorative pillows. What’s more, of the home owners replacing their beds, one in five are choosing a platform style. (See an example at Houzz.) Another top accessory choice for decorating master bedrooms is adding mirrors.
More home owners are making their traditional bedrooms into more contemporary-styled spaces. Forty-five percent of home owners say they’re redecorated bedrooms are contemporary, modern, or transitional, according to the survey.
In their own words, renovators say the master bedroom must be “stylish and beautiful” (73 percent) and “feel like a sanctuary” (54 percent). Home owners also say they’re looking for a room that promotes quality of sleep, comfortable, and easy to clean.
For some home owners, they also want to add square footage. One in five home owners say that through their renovations they are increasing the room’s size, and more than half of those are focusing on their closets to add square footage.
These additions certainly are coming at extra costs. Twenty-six percent of the 1,500 home owners surveyed say they plan to spend $10,000 or more on master bedroom renovations, while one in five are spending $5,000 or more on decorating projects.
WASHINGTON (September 21, 2015) — Following three straight months of gains, existing–home sales dipped in August despite slowing price growth and a positive turnaround in the share of sales to first–time buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors®. None of the four major regions experienced sales increases in August.
When I look at blank walls, I see a fun opportunity to brighten up a room and make it all yours. Of course, if you aren’t super experienced with interior design and décor, you might see a blank wall and think, “Oh my … what am I going to do with this?” In my experience, creating attractively designed rehabs and updates for old, distressed homes with my husband on our show “Flip or Flop,” you don’t need to fill your house with tons of art or photographs, but blank walls are kind of boring. A little touch of décor can go a long way.
Here are some fun, creative, and inexpensive ways to spruce up an empty wall and bring new life to any room.
First of all, I love killing two birds with one stone with my wall décor. With this tip, you can add more storage and display space while breaking up an empty wall and creating more style, too. Instead of shoving a big, bulky bookshelf against your wall, install modular shelves in a color that complements the color of your walls.
With modular shelving, you don’t have to place your shelves directly in line with each other in a vertical stack—you can offset them in attractive groupings to create a display out of books, vases, framed pictures, and/or anything you’d like to place on them. The possibilities for storing and displaying small items are just about endless, and you get rid of your empty wall problem at the same time.
If you don’t want to add shelving, and you aren’t sure about punching holes in your wall to hang pictures, you might want to consider an attractive wall decal. Most of these are made of vinyl, and you can remove them if you decide to redecorate, but they look like you had a scene or silhouette painted onto the wall. I really love decals that look like silhouettes of trees and forests climbing the walls, but there are all kinds of other options to choose from too. And because they’re removable, you can even change them with the seasons or for special occasions.
I don’t necessarily recommend getting a decal for every wall or every room in the house, but they do make a fun alternative to the classic accent wall and can add dimension to a room without a lot of effort or cost.
Unconventional Wall Hangings
You can turn your heirloom jewelry into wall art by framing different pieces of jewelry (an earring here, a broach there) and hanging them in a cluster over the side table in your foyer. You can also search through antique stores for unique frames and hang them up in a cluster fitted closely next to each other without anything in them. The effect is really cool and creates its own work of art without any paintings or pictures at all.
Finally, mirrors make great wall décor. You can find them in all kinds of fun shapes and sizes, and you can even create a mosaic effect by clustering a collection of small mirrors on the wall over your couch or mantel. Mirrors reflect light, so they can add the illusion of more space and increase the effects of natural light in just about any room, depending on where you place them.
Don’t get intimidated by a blank wall. Think of it as an opportunity to express your personality through a fun décor project.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Christina El Moussa is the co-star of HGTV’s real estate reality TV show “Flip or Flop,” along with her husband and business partner Tarek El Moussa. The couple started Success Path Education and teach students from all over the country how to successfully find and flip houses and invest in real estate. Please visit http://ift.tt/1KFtOKB for more details.
WASHINGTON (September 17, 2015) — Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray today joined National Association of Realtors® 2015 First Vice President-Elect Elizabeth Mendenhall to highlight the agency’s Know Before You Owe initiative in advance of upcoming changes to the mortgage closing process.
At the event, the CFPB rolled out a set of online tools to help consumers get better acquainted with what the Know Before You Owe initiative means for them. As part of this initiative, the Truth in… Read More
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