Staging

Although staging is optional, it really shouldn’t be. When you’re dealing with such a significant financial transaction, you don’t want to be lazy and settle for a lower selling price or a longer marketing period than you have to.

Relative to the amount of time and money involved, staging may be one of the most lucrative projects you ever undertake. Potential buyers aren’t just looking for a structure to inhabit – they’re looking to fulfill their dreams and improve their lifestyles. Staging helps sell those dreams and creates a more emotional purchase that can generate more money for the seller.

Home staging is also beneficial because potential buyers don’t want to see work that needs to be done upon moving into the home. For every problem they see, they’ll deduct its cost from their offering price. If they see too many problems, they’ll pass altogether.

While there are plenty of room-specific staging tips, if you’re on a limited budget, it’s best to focus on big-picture improvements and on the areas that will make the biggest difference in your home’s selling price.

These include the exterior and entryway (both heavily impact a buyers’ first impressions), the living room, kitchens and bathrooms, the master bedroom and outdoor living space, such as a back patio. The following techniques can and should be employed in as many rooms of the house as you can afford and have time for.

  • Clean In the kitchen, potential buyers love to see new appliances that come with the home, but if you can’t do that, make the ones you have spotless. No one wants to see splattered spaghetti sauce, films of grease or piles of crumbs in their potential new home. Likewise, make sure your bathroom sparkles, from the corners of the tub to the sink drain to that spot behind the toilet you don’t think anyone can see. Your goal should be to make everything look new.

 

  • Declutter There are two major problems with clutter. One is that it distracts buyers from your home’s features. The other is that it makes it seem like the home doesn’t have enough storage space. Put away knickknacks. Keep in mind that buyers will be interested in your closet space, so tossing everything into the closet to hide it away may not be the best strategy.

 

  • Depersonalize Buyers need to be able to envision themselves in your home, so remove all the family photos, items with family members’ names on them and refrigerator art. Also make sure to put away all the toys and anything else that is highly personal or evocative of the home’s current inhabitants.

 

  • Remove Odors Pets, kids, what you ate for dinner last night, a moist bathroom and many other conditions can make your home smell. You are probably immune to your home’s aromas, so you’ll need to have a friend or neighbor help you out with this one. Inexpensive tricks for ridding a home of odors and giving it an inviting aroma include baking cinnamon-coated apples or slice-and-bake cookies in the oven – or burning vanilla-scented candles. It’s also a good idea to grind half a lemon in the garbage disposal to remove sink odors. While you could use a spray to deodorize your home, it might give it a cheap, institutional bathroom smell, which is hardly the image you’re going for. If you’re a smoker and you normally smoke indoors, start limiting your smoking to outside the home and take extra steps to deodorize indoors. Finally, don’t forget to take out the trash.

 

  • Define Rooms Make sure each room has a single, defined purpose. Also make sure that every space within every room has a purpose so that buyers will see how to maximize the home’s square footage. If you have a finished attic, make it an office. A finished basement can become an entertainment room, and a junk room can be transformed into a guest bedroom. Even if the buyer won’t want to use the room for the same purpose, the important thing is for them to see that every inch of the home is usable space. This includes alcoves, window seats, corners, breakfast nooks and so on.

 

  • Wallpaper/Paint It is unlikely that a potential buyer will like your wallpaper. Your best bet is to tear it down and paint the walls instead. Don’t even think about painting over the wallpaper – it will look shabby and send red flags for the buyer about all the work he or she will have to do later. Custom-paint colors are the same way. You may love your orange bathroom, but people’s tastes in colors are very specific and highly personal. While you might think that white walls would be ideal because they create a blank slate that allows buyers to envision their own décor and gives them an easy starting point, it’s actually better to paint your home with warm, if somewhat neutral, colors that appeal to the masses and project the homey image you’re trying to sell.

 

  • Flooring No one wants to live with dirty, stained carpet, especially when someone else made it that way. Linoleum is passé and looks cheap. Though pricey, hardwood floors add value and elegance to a home. They are also low-maintenance, provide great long-term value and are perfect for buyers with allergies. In other words, they appeal to almost everyone, and if not, they’re easily carpeted over by the buyer and preserved for the next owner. Common areas like the living room, dining room and kitchen should be your main focus. But ideally, you should bathrooms too: They have relatively little floor area and therefore won’t be too expensive to upgrade. In kitchens and bathrooms, go with ceramic tile or stone if you can afford it. If not, use high-quality vinyl tiles that mimic these more expensive materials.

 

  • Lighting Take advantage of your home’s natural light. Open all curtains and blinds when showing your home. Add supplemental lighting where necessary. Outdated or broken light fixtures can be cheaply and easily replaced. If you think your existing fixtures are fine, make sure to dust them, clean off any grime and empty out the dead bugs. 

 

  • Furniture Make sure furniture is the right size for the room, and don’t clutter a room with too much of it. Furniture that’s too big will make a room look small, while too little or too small furniture can make a space feel cold. Don’t use cheap college furniture, either. You don’t have to pay a lot of money to switch out your existing furniture and you may even be able to rent it, but the furniture should look nice, new, expensive and inviting. You’ll also want to arrange the furniture in a way that makes each room feel spacious yet homey. In the living room, for example, seating should be set up in a way that creates a gathering area around a fireplace.

 

  • Walls and Ceilings Cracks in the walls or ceiling are a red flag to buyers as they may indicate foundation problems. If your home does have foundation problems, you will need to either fix them or alert potential buyers to them. That said, a fix would be better in terms of getting the home sold. If the foundation only looks bad, but has been deemed sound by an inspector, repair the cracks so you don’t scare off buyers for no good reason.

 

  • Exterior Your home’s exterior will be the first impression buyers get and may even determine their interest in viewing the inside. Make sure your lawn, hedges, trees and other plants are well-maintained and neatly pruned and eliminate any weeds. To brighten windows, wash them well, and consider adding flower boxes to brighten them up further. If you can, power wash your home’s exterior – it can make it look almost freshly painted but with less effort and expense. Make sure the sidewalk leading up to the house is clear and clean, and purchase new doormats for the front and back doors. If you have a pool, showcase it by making sure it’s crystal clear. Creating some sort of outdoor living space in the backyard, such as a deck or patio with outdoor furniture, is another way to use the exterior of your home to its greatest advantage.

 

  • Last Touches Just before any open house or showing, make sure that your staging efforts go the full mile with a few last-minute touches that will make the home seem warm and inviting. These include fresh flowers, letting fresh air into the house for at least ten minutes beforehand so it isn’t stuffy, adding a pleasant scent as discussed earlier, and putting new, plush, nicely folded towels in the bathrooms.

 

Even if you have plenty of cash, don’t put too much money into the staging process. You want to emphasize the home’s best features, but keep in mind that what sells the home and what will make the home usable for the buyer are not necessarily the same thing. Overall, to get the most bang for your buck, your home staging efforts should be designed to appeal to the widest possible range of buyers. The more people willing to submit purchase offers for your home, the higher the selling price will be.

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Foreclosure Homes Silverlake
I believe that Ken was very professional and aggressive when it came to negotiating the deal. I have used Ken many times with the purchases or sale of my homes Ken is great at following through with every detail of the transaction. I highly refer him to anyone that wants a good realtor.
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Condos Brentwood
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Ranch and Farm Properties Westlake Village Hills
Working with Ken was extremely easy and he was very approachable when any questions or concerns were raised. He is very professional and does not waste time. When my husband and I would meet with him he would always make sure to go through all of the paperwork with us in a timely fashion (which can be tough when signing a thousand different documents). We really enjoyed working with Ken and could tell he was a very trustworthy individual.
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Condos Westlake Village Hills
For us Ken Grech is one of the best all around. He is honest, trustworthy, and very knowledgeable with property. I would never buy from any other person ever! This is our second time around with Ken and hopefully he will be their for our 3rd. Everyone knows it's always stressful selling / buying property, but with someone like Ken Grech on your side it becomes a great experience. It becomes easy when you have someone looking out for your best interest. We appreciated everything you did for us Ken.
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Condos Woodland Hills
Ken is an excellent realtor. He did an incredible job selling our house in 3 days during a pandemic. His attention to detail and his outstanding communication skills put him at the top. We were so impressed with his hard work and dedication that we are recommending him to all of our famjly and friends. It was a pleasure working with him. He knew we were nervous about leaving our home of 24 years and moving to a new state so he helped facilitate connecting us to a great realtor in the state we were moving to. He also researched nice areas in the new state to recommend to us. He helped us from start to finish. All of his help and guidance made the transition so easy. Working with Ken was a pleasure. He was there for us from the begining til the end. He met all of our expectations and guided us through the whole process with his expertise. It was a smooth and stress free transition because of Ken.
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TownHomes Ventura Hills
Ken acted in a professional manner. I was very impressed with his knowledge of real estate, He read the sales data of surrounding homes perfectly, leading to my home to be sold on its first showing for higher than its listing price.
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Golf Course Homes Ventura Hills
Ken was on top of the deal all the way through. If you want an local area expert in real estate we highly recommend working with Ken. This was a very easy sell/buy experience and we are more than pleased with Ken's performance. Had it not been for his local knowledge, we likely would not have been able to purchase the beautiful Morrison Highland Estates house that we did. Ken is a true professional.
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Ranch and Farm Properties Valencia
Ken Grech did a wonderful job of making us feel we were in good hands with his leadership. I would definitely use his expertise in any further real estate transaction.
by Lauren Bradley
TownHomes Thousand Oaks
We met Ken at an open house and he seemed kind and knowledgeable. Ken was very valuable in the selection of a great neighborhood for our daughter to grow up in. All communications and documentation was very timely. Ken handled any problems that came up during the escrow period. Ken is very polite and cares for his clients and their future home. Ken made the whole process easy.
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Rodeo Real Estate Agent
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Kenneth Grech

Real Estate Agent

Simi Valley | California

1308 Madera Rd Suite 8,
Simi Valley CA 93065
DRE#01328727

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