Staging Your Property for the Real Estate Market – By Homes Scape Home Staging & Design – Our Preferred Home Stager


Staging Your Property for the Real Estate Market


When selling a property, the questions that go through a seller’s mind is always how are we going to sell quickly for the most amount of money? How can we compete against the other homes on the market?  Should we consider staging? Is staging worth the time and expense?

If you have ever watched HGTV, you’ve probably seen shows on home selling and staged properties. Property staging has been around for more than 20 years but more recently has become a serious marketing tool for selling homes. Why? Because it works. That’s the whole point of home staging in the first place — to present your home in the best possible light. If you do this, buyers will be more likely to make an offer.

Staging a house means taking the time and investing the money up front to prepare the property for market. The National Realtor Association states that every $100.00 spent on staging a $400.00 return is made. Trying to see what a buyer sees in your home can be tough, but getting that glimpse is extremely important for preparing your home for sale.

When buyers walk through your home, they are making observations on various levels. They obviously need to make the emotional connection to the home where they feel comfortable. The emotional connection happens within the first 3 minutes of being in your home. They will also make sure the home meets all their needs from a structural standpoint (size, layout, number of rooms etc.). Savvy buyers will be looking for clues that indicate the true conditions of the home.

If you stage your house effectively, it will give buyers the impression of a well-maintained home. The first step in any home-staging plan are the basic repairs. You start by fixing what’s broken. This is the bare minimum. After that, you move on to the cosmetic touches like painting, replacing outdated light fixtures, replacing the flooring etc. The result is that the house seems like it’s in tip-top shape. These improvements put a buyers’ mind at ease, which is exactly what you want to accomplish in order to sell. Every buyer wants an easy transition. Moving is stressful enough. The last thing they want is to inherit a long list of repairs and upgrades. Staging your house well makes life easier for your buyers.

The second step in the staging process is packing. You want buyers to see the house as a good fit for their family. I often get the question what should I pack and what should stay? My answer: you don’t want them to see your family living in the home. If they see pictures of you everywhere, they’ll have a harder time making a personal connection to the home. The same goes for taste-specific decorating choices. Unusual paint colors and exotic knickknacks are fine when you are living in the home. But when you’re trying to sell it, you need to neutralize the decor. When you stage your house, you’re essentially removing yourself so that others may insert themselves.

You will have to pack up your belongings when you sell, so why not get a head start? By starting the pre-packing stage, you are also making your job easier when it comes to the move. You won’t have as many items to box up at the last minute.

The last step in the staging plan is the showcasing. This is where you get to get to make your home “Magazine Ready”. The art of home staging has a lot to do with space. You want to remove excess furniture and arrange the furniture in a way that maximizes usable space within the house. This gives the impression that the home is larger than it actually is. Have you ever walked through a home with minimal furniture and been amazed at how much space it had? But when you fill up that same house with over-sized furniture, knickknacks and other forms of clutter, it suddenly feels cramped. You may be surprised at how large your house seems all of a sudden. This is a common reaction among homeowners. And it’s a positive reaction among potential buyers. You never want buyers to feel like the home is cramped or crowded.

Staging doesn’t just occur on the inside. It happens on the outside as well. You’ve heard the phrase “curb appeal” before. This is the positive first impression people get when they pull up to your home. But you can’t achieve curb appeal unless you stage the house effectively.

You want buyers to be impressed with the property before they even step foot inside. This is a critical moment that will determine their attitude for the rest of the visit. It’s hard to overcome a bad first impression, even if the inside of the house is in prime condition. If you stage the house well, you’ll improve the exterior as well as the interior. Buyers will see your property in a positive frame of mind before they even walk through the front door.

Real estate agents walk through homes every day. This is especially true for the buyer agents, who might have to show dozens of homes to please their individual clients. Many of the homes the agents visit will be poorly staged. They’ll have oversized furniture, antiquated wallpaper, and shelves full of clutter. When an agent walks into a house that has been staged properly, they can get pretty excited about it. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen.

As a seller, this is exactly what you want. You want the buyer’s agent to rave about your house. You want him or her to say things like, “This is so much nicer than the other homes we’ve looked at.” The agent’s excitement will rub off on the buyers, which increases the likelihood of a sale.

We just talked about real estate agents getting excited over a well-staged home, but the benefits of this goes beyond the agent’s buyers. Other agents will hear about your house as well. Word gets around quickly in the real estate world. The buyer’s agent will want to bring his or her other clients to your house as well. They’ll probably mention it to other agents working in their firm. This will increase the number of buyers who come out to see your home.

In order to enjoy this level of “buzz,” you need to stage your house before you try to sell it. Giving potential buyers a good first impression is your primary goal. Giving agents a good impression also helps sell your property.

There are only two ways to distinguish your home. You can price it below the competition or make it seem like a nicer home. If you do neither of these things, your house will probably be on the market for a long time. Staging can make all the difference in the real estate world, even if your home is priced the same as comparable properties that are for sale. You are giving the appearance of a better value.

So what makes your home stand out from the rest?



Are You Packing Up a House Long-term?

Are You Packing Up a House Long-term?

Many people need to pack up boxes and boxes of their belongings when getting ready for a big move. The more that you can pack up items that you don’t use on a daily basis – the easier the packing can be. Items such as winter clothing in the summer, hockey equipment in the summer, summer clothing during the winter, etc. Then when you have piles of boxes, then where do you put them all? If you are out of room with all your boxes, then we may have a solution for you!

Our clients could potentially receive 25% off the 1st month and 2nd month free at Maple Leaf Storage.

We also have contacts with Big Steel Box which can also yield discounts on different size boxes as well with storage and delivery.

If you are in need of a storage solution – call us today to discuss how we could be of assistance to you!

Top 5 Secrets to Sell Your Home


Top 5 Secrets to Sell Your Home

Okay we won’t say these are top secret tips, but these are definitely some easy industry tricks that will make a huge difference when selling your home.

  1. Keep the closets half-empty: every buyer is looking for storage, and the more storage the better. Making your rooms and closets look emptier and decluttered will give the illusion of more space and storage.
  2. Hide your pets: not everyone is a lover of pets, so having evidence of your pets around (or having them there at all) can sway some buyers to look elsewhere. And in a lot of cases, buyers assume that with pets comes home and yard damage.
  3. Remove the ‘home’ from your house: the buyer wants to be able to imagine themselves living in your house, so make it as much of a blank canvas as possible. This includes removing excess knick-knacks or even painting your home a neutral colour.
  4. First impressions go far: curb appeal is important, so make sure your home looks just as decluttered and appealing from the outside as it does on the inside. The first thing they see when they drive up should be a selling point too!
  5. Always be ready to show: this will help your REALTOR greatly if your home is always ready for a showing. Plus, the more showings, the faster the sale

Listing Your Calgary Home for Sale? Get the Kitchen De-Cluttered for a Faster Sale!

Listing Your Calgary Home for Sale? Get the Kitchen De-Cluttered for a Faster Sale!

It’s been said over and over again that the kitchen can be the make or break point for a listed Calgary home for sale. There’s a lot of activity that goes on in the kitchen and it can easily be regarded as one of the more social rooms in the house. In the hustle and bustle of today’s society family members don’t get a chance to spend as much time with each other as they’d like, but every person in the family still has to eat. Whether it’s bumping into each other during food preparation or sitting down to eat a family meal, the kitchen is the place where family members will meet even during busy times.

What do you have hiding in your cupboards?

Once you have your house listed and you’re trying to tidy up, don’t make the mistake of stashing things in your kitchen cupboards so that they’ll be out of sight. If you have clutter in your kitchen, it needs to be handled properly. There are going to be a lot of viewers that come into your kitchen and open the cupboards to look inside. If a stack of papers, small appliances and other clutter comes tumbling down when the door is opened, you may lose your sale!

Don’t think that homebuyers won’t want to look in your kitchen cupboards, drawers and even take a peek in your pantry. Make sure that they are all clean and tidy and don’t use them as a dumping ground for your clutter.

Maybe it’s time for a garage sale?

If you really don’t have anywhere to store items that have been piling up on your kitchen counters and shelves, maybe it’s time to just hold a good old-fashioned garage sale. It’s easy to gather up a ton of items in the kitchen that really don’t get a lot of use. Take a look around and see if you have succumbed to this horrible habit and whether you just need to get rid of some of your excess kitchen clutter.

If you’re moving to a new home that has more space for storage, however, you might want to just box up your extra items and put them in the basement or in storage until you move. The idea is to get them out of the kitchen without shoving them into any space that has a door attached. You’ll want everything in your kitchen to be tidy including the items you have hiding behind closed doors.

Selling Your Home This Spring? Use These 5 Tips For A Faster Sale

Selling Your Home This Spring? Use These 5 Tips For A Faster Sale

Spring has arrived and it is the perfect time to sell or buy a home. Buyers are looking for Calgary homes in droves right now. April, May and the month of June are the busiest times in the market with the weather cooperating for home searches and sales.

With the arrival of the warm weather you’ll want to use these tips to make sure that you get the speediest sale possible.

1. Buy some flowers

Spring is a time of growth and rebirth and the best way to celebrate it is with flowers. Buy some containers of flowers that can be transplanted into your garden and purchase some fresh cut flowers for the inside. Not only will they make your home look great but they’ll make it smell wonderful as well.

2. Wash your windows

At this time of year it is more important than ever to give your windows a good washing. The dirt and grime of winter have left their toll on your windows and you’ll need to remove it to let the sun shine in. There’s nothing worse than dirty windows to make a place look drab and uninviting.

3. Set out some treats

If you have a kitchen that you’d like to show off, set out some treats on your kitchen table or your island for any viewers that are looking at your home. By offering some inviting goodies potential buyers will have more time to look around your kitchen and hopefully fall in love with it while they’re enjoying their snack.

4. Rake the yard

Your yard will need a good raking to clear out all of the winter debris. Even if dirt and debris are not evident, you’ll see a difference after you’ve raked the yard. It will look cleaner and more manicured.

5. Open all the windows

Now that you’ve washed all the windows it’s time to open them up and give your house a good airing out. This is a physical cleansing of your home but it is also a spiritual release of winter and a welcoming to a brand-new season. Even if you have air conditioning, take a day to air out the house by opening all of the windows. You’ll feel the difference and your potential buyers will too.


Winter “Landscaping” to Present Your Home Properly

Winter “Landscaping” to Present Your Home Properly

You know about the importance of landscaping your home before putting it on the market but what do you do about the outside during the winter? You still need to keep your home looking its finest for potential buyers that are coming to view your home and this includes not only the interior but the exterior as well. In order to keep your home “landscaped” for viewing during the winter, follow the recommended tips below.

  1. Keep the driveway and walkway shoveled

You’ll want to keep up with your shoveling responsibilities better than ever when your house is on the market. If you shovel your own driveway and walkways you’ll need to keep up with each snowfall. Don’t let any snow accumulate when your home is listed – keep the driveway and walkway cleared as much as possible. As well, make sure that the edges along the driveway and walkway where you have shoveled are edged and in a straight-cut line. This helps to present your house as a neat and tidy home.

  1. Get rid of any ice patches

Keep salt handy so that you can get rid of any ice patches that have formed and salt any areas that start to accumulate ice. After the ice has melted sweep away the salt so that it doesn’t get carried into your home. The last thing you want to have happen is for a viewer to slip and fall on a patch of ice as they are walking up your steps to view your home!

  1. Keep the porch and stairs clear

Get rid of any clutter that may have accumulated on your stairs and porch and don’t forget to clear all of the snow and ice off these areas. The stairs and porch should be cleared after each and every snowfall as well.

  1. Invest in a good mat

There are good maps for the winter and not-so-good ones available. Invest in a mat that you can wipe your boots on to clear away as much debris as possible before stepping inside. At the front door there should also be a good-sized mat for removing any of the remaining dirt that’s left on your boots and a rubber mat close by where all of the family outdoor footwear is placed. This boot mat should also be kept clean and dry, especially when your house is open to viewings.

Just because it’s winter there is no excuse to ignore the exterior presentation of your home. It’s critical to show your house as a clean and tidy home during all of the seasons of the year!


Outdoor Staging Your Home For Sale: Cleaning Stone and Concrete

Outdoor Staging Your Home For Sale: Cleaning Stone and Concrete

While these days most people understand the importance of home staging when their home is on the market, not everyone realises that cleaning and staging outside their home is important as well. Truthfully though, when a prospective buyer is looking at a home that’s spic and span inside and staged to show off its best potential but outside it has the feeling of neglect then buyers are led to believe that the outside of the home isn’t maintained as well as the inside.

It goes without saying that it’s important to tidy your yard up when you’re putting your home on the market; most home owners realise the importance of cutting the lawn, weeding the flower beds, and raking the leaves, but often overlook cleaning retaining walls, walkways, and driveways. To get the best curb appeal possible however, it is important to make sure the entire package of property looks its best!

Many people assume that stone and concrete areas in the yard and driveway are hardier than they really are; in fact, you can’t just scrub away or use harsh chemicals on these areas without some risk of ruining them eventually. It is best to match the cleaning type with the material that you’re trying to clean.

Stone, concrete, and brick can all be power washed, though not at the same pressures or intensities. Use a fan tip to diffuse the hard pressure and don’t work too close to the surface; too hard of a spray can remove the finish from concrete or brick and cause it to deteriorate. If this type of cleaning project is too big for you to complete on your own, you can hire a professional power washer to clean up your yard for you. Some types of siding can also be cleaned this way.

If your brick, stone, or concrete areas are stained with oil or grease try using some dish detergent into the stain with a bristle brush first before you wet it; vinegar can be used to remove rust stains. Take the time to work all the stains out of the materials that you can; if some stains are particularly stubborn you may need to use harsher chemical means.

Once your concrete or brick areas are clean, consider using a sealer on them to protect the surfaces. There are a variety of sealers on the market, so research which type will best suit your needs. Sealers will usually add a nice sheen to the surface and protect it from further stains or damage.

When prospective buyers come to tour your home they will see that you treat the outside of your home with as much attention that you do to the inside. And a home that is perceived to be well maintained like that is always seen as a better value to buyers.

How to Decorate a Small Condo to Make it Sizzle

How to Decorate a Small Condo to Make it Sizzle

When you’re working with a smaller space decorating can be much more of a challenge. There are certain dos and don’ts that you have to follow that don’t need to be adhered to in a home necessarily in order to pull everything together. If you approach things the wrong way your small condo will appear cramped and confining whereas if you decorate it right the condo will appear spacious and open. Take a look through the amazing tips below to find out how to best accomplish this feat.

Out with the chunky furniture

Chunky furniture and small condos just don’t mix. Look for simplistic furniture that is small yet elegant. IKEA sells a lot of this type of furniture and for reasonable prices. If you already have large furniture and can’t afford to go out and get anything new, use small accent pieces containing a lot of color to help reduce their large appearance.

Use color to your advantage

Light colors will open up the room while darker colors will cave it in. Choose light bright colors for your furniture, accessories if possible and try to use the same colors throughout the condo. This will help to pull your space together and will make the place look as though a professional interior designer has been called in to create the look.

Keep it tidy

If you have any special collections you should gather them together and have them displayed as one set so that the condo doesn’t start to look cluttered. If you have too many collectibles and can’t store them all you may want to consider using the storage space you’ve been given with your condo or even renting out a small locker to keep them in. Once you have too many things sitting around the condo it starts to look like a real mess.

Create space with mirrors

Mirrors have long been used to create the image of a larger space. Use them to your advantage throughout the condo in any room or area that looks cramped.

Concentrate on focal points

Every room should have its own focal point to stabilize the look you are trying to achieve. As well, taller items like standing lamps and long curtains will make the ceiling appear higher. When you have a focal point along with the illusion of a taller ceiling extra space will seem to be created in the room.

Add your own personal flair

This is your condo and you need to make it your own. In order to create the special look that makes you call this condo your home, add your own style of artwork and accessories. It’s not just about making this condo look bigger and open, it’s about making it the place that you look forward to returning to every day.