Category Archives: Staging Tips

Selling Your Home When You Have Kids – Home Staging Minneapolis

Selling your home is not easy nor convenient. When you have children it is even more challenging and much more inconvenient.

A common theme I run into on most Home Staging Consultations is toys. It seems as though young kids just have a lot of them. I’m sure it is all because of Grandma and Grandpa. 🙂   

Many parents struggle as to what to do with all the toys that are in the living room, the dining room, their bedrooms, the family room, the bath tub and just about everywhere else.

Here are my recommendations:

Toys Are Not the First Thing the Buyer Should See When They Walk In The Door

In other words, whatever rooms you can see as you enter should be toy free zones. So if those rooms for you are say the foyer, living room and dining room, those should not have any toys in them. I am not saying toys are bad but they just need to be contained and the home itself should be the first thing the buyer sees.

The Best Place for Toys Are the Kid’s Bedrooms:

The kids bedrooms are the perfect place for toys. It’s a kid’s room after all and it is totally fine to find toys there. The toys should be neatly arranged on shelves, toy chests or neatly against a wall. Not in disarray around the room.

One End of a Family Room Is Another Great Place for a Toy Area:

If you have a large or long family room, designating one end of the room for a toy area works well. You could have the play kitchen, stove and refrigerator along one wall with the small table and chairs ready for tea in the middle. Whatever it is, again it should be neat, tidy and orderly.

A Toy Designated Toy Room is Fabulous:

If you have an extra bedroom not being used or a non-conforming bedroom, it is totally fine to have this room as a designated toy room for all the toys. But remember rule #1 still applies……it cannot be a room the buyer sees right when they walk into the home. In this room you could have the legos table with legos on it, the coloring table or whatever it is your kids like to play with the most. The rule however is no chaos. Still have the room neat, tidy and orderly so the buyer can walk through the room and isn’t overwhelmed with all the things. 

 

What To Do With All the Other Toys:

Many homes I walk into are filled with toys and they won’t fit neatly into a child’s bedroom and one end of a family room. Many sellers wonder what they will do with the rest of the toys and here is my recommendation.  Most children don’t play with every toy every day. In fact there are probably many of the toys that they haven’t played with for a while.

First pack up or donate all the toys that they have outgrown or just don’t play with anymore. If the remaining toys are still too plentiful to fit neatly in the 2 designated areas then I recommend buying bins with lids and having your child pick 2 bins of toys that will stay at their home today. The toys that are not selected are packed into remaining bins. Place these bins in storage or a storage area of your home if you have one.

Tell your children that in two weeks (or one week or three weeks, whatever you agree to) that the two bins that are staying in the house will be packed away and two new bins of toys brought out. I find that the children get excited about the two bins that will come next week and when they open them up the toys are new and fabulous again.

Rotate the bins as often as you need but hopefully by having your home in top selling condition and show ready it will sell quickly and all the toys can come back out. Or leave them in the bins as they are all ready packed to go to the new house!

Another incentive for your children in packing away their toys is that any toys left out will probably be played with by children visiting with their parents to look at the home. If your kids don’t want certain toys played with by others, it will make their decision process easier.

If you are struggling to get your home ready for sale and need advice, call a Professional Home Stager for assistance.

 

 

Fall Decor When Selling Your Home

I ran into this situation this week while doing a Home Staging Consultation. The home owner had filled every room with Fall decor. Table tops, baskets of pumpkins on the floor, little scarecrows hanging here and there, towels with leaves hanging in the bath. 

There is a right and wrong way to enjoy the seasons while selling your home.

Wrong Way:

Having Your Seasonal Decor Overwhelm The Features of Your Home:

This can happen even without seasonal decor, it’s called clutter. You don’t want buyers looking at your ‘things’ as they are not buying your things. You want them looking at the architectural features of the home. The high ceilings, the built-ins, the fireplace and so forth. An abundance of things takes away from the house.

This goes for all areas of your home…..the yard included. Halloween may be a fun day for you but creating a scary or creepy setting isn’t the way to go when selling your home. Those decorations need to stay packed away until you are in your new home.

 

 

The other reason this is the ‘wrong’ way is that your home is photographed for MLS. If your home remains on the market longer than you hope, those images are an instant advertisement when a potential buyer opens your listing that your house has been on the market way too long.

 

Right Way:

Small Display of Pumpkins and Gourds:

This can be inside or out. Fun, festive, simple and easy. 

These small vignettes are a great way to enjoy the season without going overboard. One or two pieces outside and the same goes for the inside. Less is more is a very true statement. The nice thing about this type of seasonal decorating is it works all the way through Thanksgiving.

 

No matter the season or time of year, there is a right and wrong way to enjoy your home when it is on the market without overwhelming the buyer.

 

A Couple Quick Tips when Selling Your Home in the Summer

There are a couple things I see in the summer when doing Home Staging Consultations that many times need to be addressed and are super easy to correct.

1. Cobwebs

   For most of us, we go in and out of our homes through the garage door, very rarely using the front door or even taking a look at it. In the summer months a cobweb can appear in a matter of hours. Sometimes it seems like minutes.

Every day when I water the flowers on my front steps I see cobwebs in the corners of the house and around the door. I spray them off and the next day they are there again. If I don’t get out there for a couple days it looks like I have an abandoned house! There are cobwebs everywhere and they stick like glue. Even the jet force on my hose won’t  get them off and I need to bring out the broom.    

So please, when your home is for sale check your front door every day and wipe down any cobwebs. The is nothing more unattractive to a buyer than seeing these unsightly things and sometimes with spiders dangling from them to boot. It sets the tone that “if they can’t even take care of a few cobwebs did they take care of the larger things like the furnace and air conditioner?”

If you have a back patio area you may need to do the same thing there.

2. Flowers

Lately I have had a few homeowners not have a single flower by their front door, deck or patio. Their reasoning was “I’m moving so I don’t want to waste money on flowers.” I think this is a wrong mindset.

   The flowers not only add color for the buyer when they are at your home, they add color for the exterior photographs online which is the first time the buyer ever sees your home.

Flowers add a sense of beauty and calm and it sets an emotion for the buyer to see the full potential of your outside space. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on them, but a few pots in key areas will be well worth it. Plus you can take the pots of flowers with you to your new house to enjoy so it’s not a sunk cost. 

 

If you are selling your home, walk around the exterior of your home with a very critical eye. Sometimes it is difficult to see our own homes so bring in a friend who will be honest or a professionally trained Home Stager.