Clean it up and store it

When you’re selling your house, what do you do with all the “stuff”? Karen Eubank has solutions.

Getting ready to sell your house can be overwhelming. The first word your Realtor is going to mention is “declutter.” Then the stager will come in and remark that items need to be stored because it’s hard to see the gorgeous architectural details with your beautiful furniture blocking the columns and impeding the view.

What all of this really means is that selling your home will be a challenge unless you get rid of some stuff. But where do you turn? The general consensus is Craigslist can be hit or miss, eBay takes patience and time, and garage sales require energy and organization. You’ll probably be short on at least two of these if you’re about to list your home.

But it doesn’t have to be a headache. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite resources to help you get your house whipped into shape so you can move on down the road to your next adventure. (more…)

Luxury Home Staging

This luxury home at 17615 Cedar Creek Canyon Drive was completely staged for the seller.  Photos: Lance Selgo/Unique Exposure Photography.

Home staging has been receiving some nice press lately. The New York Times ran two articles in January about the art and necessity of staging to bring top dollar for your property. Do you need to spend $45,000 and replace all of your furniture to get that longed-for list price?

No, not in general but there are instances when it happens. While staging is the norm on the West Coast, and certainly in the luxury market on the East Coast, the rest of the country falls somewhere in between, thinking either staging is a must or that it’s not imperative.  The issue lies largely in the perception of the term. What is staging?

It’s not an easy answer.

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Driving your realtor crazy

Houses are flying off the market right? There’s no inventory. You can sell a house just by putting a sign in the yard. Right? No. The flawless houses are flying off the market. There are plenty that are still just sitting there. Why? Mainly because Realtors are just too nice to say what’s wrong.

Well, we’re not so here’s the dirt!

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Prop Furniture - WSJ

(Photo: Wall Street Journal)

According to this story in the Wall Street Journal, prop furniture is making a comeback for sellers staging homes in the hot residential real estate market. As any CandysDirt.com reader knows, expert staging advice can be the difference between just selling a home and profiting from your home. Still, could a cardboard settee really make the difference between “For Sale” and “Pending”?

So we asked Karen Eubank of Eubank Staging if faux furniture is a cost-effective way for owners staging vacant or unoccupied homes, and how they can maximize their staging budgets to make the most from their property. See what the expert designer had to say after the jump.

The look-but-don’t-sit prop furniture is not something I think will work in our market. I’ve seen it up close and personal and would never use it.

Most importantly, owners need have a realistic budget and time frame in mind. Remember bang for the buck is in the first 15 seconds upon entering the house. That generally means living, dining, and kitchen. Master bedrooms are also important. It’s always best to leave your furniture in the house if possible but if you simply cannot then there are some options.

– Borrow what you can from tasteful friends. Seriously, everyone has more furniture than they need and generally something fabulous in their garage.

– Consignment stores have great deals. Often when you do the math it’s cheaper to buy the living room basics from a consignment store than rent. Then you donate them and take the tax deduction.

– Get an inexpensive mattress from Salvation Army and create a headboard out of just about anything. You can find creative headboards on Houzz.com. Get some great bed linens and lamps from HomeGoods or Target.

– The best bet is to always call a professional stager because they can create a plan and give you great resources. They also have other stager pals with clients that are getting rid of furniture because they are moving and can score some terrific deals for you!

What tips do you give clients when it comes to staging an empty home?