SixElements.com https://sixelements.com Six Elements Home Staging, Interior Redesign, Color Advice and House Staging Training Fri, 03 Feb 2017 17:47:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 30446819 What is a Home Staging Consultation? https://sixelements.com/what-is-home-staging-consultation https://sixelements.com/what-is-home-staging-consultation#respond Thu, 29 Jan 2015 21:30:31 +0000 http://sixelements.com/?p=1928

home staging consultationHome staging doesn’t have to be expensive, especially if you just hire a home stager to give you detailed advice on what to do on your own.

This is commonly referred to as a Home Staging Consultation and a good one will include:

1. Discussion of the target buyer for your home.

Think of home staging as “packaging” your real estate. You can’t choose the appropriate package unless you know who the likely buyer is.

The target buyer is determined by your property’s price range, location and configuration.

For example, a house with no yard on a busy street will be less appealing to a young family. Since you can’t change those “features” through home staging, it’s important to decorate with a more appropriate buyer in mind.

A good home stager will begin with a discussion of the target buyer as this should  influence their recommendations.

2. Detailed review of what to do to increase your home’s curb appeal.

Since most potential buyers will form their first impression as soon as they drive up to your home, curb appeal is key.

Many house hunters will decline going into a house even when they have a pre-arranged showing booked, just because they hate the outside of the home.

Curb appeal includes anything from replacing your welcome mat to how to improve the landscaping (and anything in between).

3. Detailed review of what to do to make every room in your home more appealing to the target buyer.

This is a room by room inventory of what you need to:

  • Repair
  • Paint (including specific color recommendations)
  • Clean
  • Get rid of (throw out, donate, sell or put in offsite storage)
  • Rearrange (you may have the right stuff, it’s just in the wrong place)
  • Add (furniture or accessories which will be borrowed, rented or purchased)

Where appropriate, the home stager may also discuss safety tips to protect your family while your home is on the real estate market.

4. Discussion of next steps after the home staging consultation.

A professional home stager can handle any of the items they’ve recommended on your behalf. Or you may prefer to implement their recommendations yourself (which saves money).

Both options, or a combination of these is completely acceptable.

For example, you may want the home stager to shop for the accessories you need and handle repairs, cleaning and rearranging existing furniture on your own.

The cost of a home staging consultation should range anywhere from $200 to $1,000 (or more) depending on: the experience of the stager, where you live (major cities are more expensive), and how much time they spend with you.

Beware of an overly cheap, or free, home staging consultation. It will be a waste of your time, and may result in bad advice that makes your situation even worse.

A true professional knows the value of their services and isn’t afraid to charge accordingly.

Read the 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Home Stager

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.

 

 

Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President Six Elements Home Staging

Internationally recognized Home Staging expert Debra Gould has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate across Canada and in the US. She is the author of 5 best-selling home staging guides and has taught over 9,000 home stagers in 23 countries.

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Real Estate Lies Explained by Barb Corcoran https://sixelements.com/real-estate-lies-barb-corcoran https://sixelements.com/real-estate-lies-barb-corcoran#comments Tue, 19 Mar 2013 02:21:19 +0000 http://sixelements.com/?p=1875

Barb Corcoran Real Estate LiesI’ve learned the hard way how many real estate lies can be contained in a newspaper ad or real estate listing. That’s because I’ve bought 8 homes in 4 cities and read thousands of real estate listings over the years.

It’s a real emotional roller coaster searching for a home. We’ve all been taken in by misleading adjectives like “cozy” and “country living.”

Since my real estate dream is to have a home with a water view one day, my pet peeve is “listen to the waves,” when the house is 10+ blocks from a lake or ocean. I would never hire a real estate agent that works that way.

Before you get all excited about your next dream home and book a real estate showing, watch this short Barb Corcoran video where she translates the fancy adjectives for The Nate Berkus Show and tells you what these real estate lies really mean.

I’d love for you to add to this list of real estate lies and what they really mean:

  • Cozy = small
  • Original condition = appliances more than 20 years old
  • Country living = really far from shopping, hard to get to
  • Handyman’s special = tear down
  • Charming = hasn’t been redecorated in many decades (and not in a retro way)

What real estate adjectives have sucked you in? Please share in the comment section!

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Home Staging and Interior Redesign

Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is President of Voice of Possibility Group Inc. which operates Six Elements Home Staging and is the creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program with over 7,000 students in more than 20 countries. An entrepreneur since 1989 and author of several staging guides Debra has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate and uses her expertise to train others worldwide.

Learn more about how Six Elements can help you with home staging advice and real estate advice to get the most equity out of your home when you sell, and help you sell faster.

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5 Ways Not to Blow Your Real Estate Deal https://sixelements.com/5-ways-to-a-real-estate-deal https://sixelements.com/5-ways-to-a-real-estate-deal#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 14:14:38 +0000 http://www.sixelements.com/?p=1801


It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to sell your home in a hot real estate market or in a down real estate market, there are many ways to avoid blowing your real estate sale.

In an interview with the Today Show, $5 billion real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran (who you may recognize from the show Shark Tank), shares these tips:

1. Set a realistic asking price.
If it’s too low a bidding war will drive it up later, if it’s too high your home will just sit there getting stale.

2. Don’t imagine that buyers will want to take care of home repairs.
Get these done now otherwise they’ll show up in a home inspection. Buyers tend to over-estimate the cost of repairs by 300% and this will be reflected in their offer price.

3. Don’t haggle and try to undercut the real estate commission.
Naturally Barbara Corcoran would say this, she’s a real estate broker after all. I don’t totally agree with her recommendation of paying an extra 1% to the agent if they sell within a set period of time, though I do appreciate how this would give them extra motivation to promote a particular real estate listing over another they might have.

Frankly, that’s why I won’t list my home with a real estate agent who mostly deals with properties way more expensive than my own. Why would he put lots of energy into my listing to earn 3% of $500,000, for example, when he could be earning the same percentage on a $2 million listing he has at the same time.

4. Don’t make the mistake of saving a few hundred dollars on a home inspection.
This is penny wise and pound foolish when you’re buying a home because surprise defects can cost you much more in the long run, says Corcoran. While I do agree with getting one done, I have learned from experience that a home inspector can miss expensive things (like the need for a new roof) and have no liability for that omission later. I know this is surprising, but have you ever read the fine print of the waiver you sign when you purchase an inspector’s services?

You can always sue later if they miss something big, but how much time, money and energy would you want to invest in doing that?

I have also learned from experience that if you’re selling in a hot market, it can be worth your while to pay for the home inspection on your own home, rather than leaving it up to potential buyers. This increases the chance of getting multiple offers (above the asking price) without conditions.

5. If you’re trying to buy, even in a buyer’s market, don’t insult the seller with and overly low bid.
I found it interesting that Corcoran says that most deals take place in 3 moves, in other words, the offer is made, the seller counters and the buyer counters again (and that’s the accepted offer).

She cautions that if you insult the buyer upfront, your likelihood of doing a deal drops dramatically. As someone who has bought and sold 7 homes, I have to agree!

Home sellers and buyers, I’m really interested in your point of view on this topic. Please add your thoughts here. I’m also curious whether real estate agents agree with Barb Corcoran’s points.

Learn more about how Six Elements can help you with home staging advice and real estate advice to get the most equity out of your home when you sell, and help you sell faster.

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Home Staging and Interior Redesign

Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is President of Voice of Possibility Group Inc. which operates Six Elements Home Staging and is the creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program with over 7,000 students in more than 20 countries. An entrepreneur since 1989 and author of several staging guides Debra has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate and uses her expertise to train others worldwide.

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When Home Staging Doesn’t Sell Your Home https://sixelements.com/when-home-staging-doesnt-sell-your-home/ https://sixelements.com/when-home-staging-doesnt-sell-your-home/#comments Sun, 06 Mar 2011 20:41:50 +0000 http://www.sixelements.com/?p=1771

real estate frustrationThanks to “JC” for a recent comment on this blog expressing his frustration that his staged home didn’t sell.

It’s awful to be in that situation when you feel like you’ve done everything “right”. I don’t know JC or even what city he lives in, but he said he spent a lot of money on staging, used the stager’s “hand-picked Realtor”, and even moved out of his house while it was on the market.

Home staging is but one (important) piece in the puzzle of how to get your real estate sold fast.

It’s possible that the stager’s “hand-picked Realtor” was not the right agent to hire for his particular neighborhood or price range.

For example, it’s generally best to list with a real estate agent who specializes in your neighborhood and price range. After all, if they usually sell million dollar homes and you have a $350,000 listing, it won’t get the same attention. Why? Because their commission on your home is way smaller AND they know more potential buyers in the higher price range.

Plus if they don’t normally work your neighborhood, they’re not as knowledgeable about it. So they don’t have buyers there, don’t know the area agents as well to talk up your property, and may recommend the wrong listing price. Worse, in some areas like the one I live in, if you hire an out-of-area agent the other agents in the neighborhood won’t show your home!

There are good agents and bad ones. I have certainly fired a few real estate agents over the years of buying and selling my own homes.

Were there strong photos on MLS?

Unfortunately, many home sellers have found that even after staging, the listing agent will keep the old photos on MLS. Or they don’t take good interior shots at all!

With 90% of potential buyers in Canada (and 70% in the US) searching MLS online themselves before calling an agent to book a showing, the listing photos are critical in attracting potential buyers who want to see the property in person.

If your home is on the market, make sure you see what it looks like on MLS. If the photos don’t show your property in its best light, demand that they be changed! Naturally, it’s up to you as the home seller to make sure your home is “photo ready” when those shots are taken, either because you’ve hired a professional home stager or you’ve done the work yourself. Don’t expect your agent to tidy the place for you!

How well did the agent market your property?

This is another benefit to hiring a real estate agent that specializes in your neighborhood. They know the other agents who have buyers looking there and it’s easier for them to talk up your listing in office meetings, get attendance at a broker’s open house or caravan, etc.

Marketing also includes feature sheets, MLS photos, advertising, open houses, virtual tours, special websites, etc.

When hiring a listing agent, make sure you discuss what marketing they are going to do ahead of time!

Choosing the correct listing price

Choosing the right listing price is critical because even if your home shows well, it needs to be priced realistically for what it is. Get out there and physically walk through homes that are listed in your area and price range to see first-hand how yours stacks up.

Listen to what listing price your agent recommends (it’s best to get at least 3 points of view on this, there can be a significant range) and then compare this with what other agents have recommended and what you see for yourself by going into other listings. Beware that some agents will suggest way too high an asking price to “buy” your listing, figuring they’ll talk you into a bunch of price reductions later.

Seasonality will effect length of time on market

The time of year and how many competitive listings are on the market at the exact same time as you will effect how long it takes you to sell. For example, if you put it on the market at the slowest time of the summer or over the Christmas holidays, it will take longer to sell because there are fewer buyers.

Is it the “right” house for the neighborhood?

If you are trying to sell a 2-bedroom in a neighborhood of 3 and 4-bedroom homes, it will still sell, but it will take longer because your pool of buyers is smaller.

Is the staging any good?

Like any profession, there is good staging and bad staging. Some err on the side of decluttering so much a place practically looks vandalized. Others, add so many cutesy touches and use so many silly staging tricks, they are totally distracting to potential buyers.

In his comment, JS assumed staging was a waste of money, but if it didn’t sell with staging, it’s unlikely that his home would have sold without it. I don’t know how long his house was on the market, or any of the other factors mentioned here. I wanted to share these so that everyone will take into account the full picture of what sells a house when it’s time to list theirs.

Please share your comments or experiences here. They will help others and also suggest new topics that you want me to write about further!

Learn more about how Six Elements can help you with home staging advice.

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.

Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is President of Six Elements Inc. and creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program with over 4,000 students in more than 20 countries. An entrepreneur since 1989 and author of several staging guides Debra has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate and uses her expertise to train others worldwide.

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Real estate listing photo better at dusk https://sixelements.com/real-estate-listing-photo-better-at-dusk/ https://sixelements.com/real-estate-listing-photo-better-at-dusk/#comments Tue, 06 Jul 2010 17:58:14 +0000 http://www.sixelements.com/?p=1757

real estate listing photo shot at duskReal estate photography quality has never been more critical. I’m dismayed when I see real estate listing photos that look like they’ve been shot from a moving car, or when the photos show a home at its least flattering angle.

As a home seller you need to insist that your real estate agent use quality photos to market your property. As a real estate agent, you need to consider whether you have the time, equipment, and/or talent to take the best shots. Here’s why:

In the US 70% of home buyers search for properties online before calling a real estate agent to discuss properties they want to visit. In Canada, that number is as high as 90%. This means that quality photos are key when promoting a real estate listing.

Whether you are working with a real estate agent or trying to sell your house on your own, make sure you are always showing your real estate property in the best light.

For the exterior listing photo, rather than the usual daytime image, consider how much more interesting the home might look when shot at dusk with the interior lights on. This is a home I decorated as seen in this photo by Toronto real estate photographer Dan Chan. By shooting the house at dusk, it’s possible to communicate more of an idea of the home’s interior even from a single exterior photograph. This makes the real estate listing much more enticing to potential home buyers when seen on MLS or on a FSBO site.

I invite you to share your comments and ideas here about real estate photography.

Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging

Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate, including seven of her own homes. She is president of home staging firm Six Elements Inc. and has trained over 4000 home stagers to start and grow their own businesses. Debra is the author of four home staging guides and offers a Directory of Home Stagers to help homeowners and real estate agents locate home stagers who will decorate homes to sell quickly and for top dollar.

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What bed size to buy for a tiny condo? https://sixelements.com/what-bed-size-to-buy-for-a-tiny-condo/ https://sixelements.com/what-bed-size-to-buy-for-a-tiny-condo/#comments Fri, 28 May 2010 03:04:30 +0000 http://www.sixelements.com/?p=1740

An interior redesign client of mine was struggling with what size of bed to order for the master bedroom of her new condo. She and her husband were used to sleeping in a King but she was concerned it would be too crowded in the new room.

quick tip

Before buying furniture, use tape on the floor to outline how it will fit. Something that looks great in a showroom, or on a paper plan, will feel totally different once you get it home!

Personally, I think it would be difficult for two adults used to the space of a King size mattress to go down to a Queen size. You have to decide whether you’d rather the room be crowded or the bed be crowded!

This is a personal choice of course, but here are some numbers to help guide you in deciding what bed size to order for what size room.

  • Double mattress is 54″ wide x 75″ (or 80″) long
  • Queen mattress is 60″ wide x 80″ long
  • King mattress is 78″ x 80″

Note, these are the North America sizes (sizes are different in Europe, the UK and Australia).

You should plan on at least an extra 50″ total to allow for one night table on either side of the bed.

So if your room is 11 feet wide, technically you could squeeze a King bed with two night stands, but the room would look like it was all bed!

Even a Queen would be crowded, but if there’s a large walk in closet or the room is long and there is space for other furniture like a dresser at the other end, it will work.

If I were home staging a room of this size, I would use a double bed. Decorating to sell is all about creating the right look, whether people would actually live in the space that way is another matter.

Generally speaking, unless you have a really big room, stay away from canopy beds, sleigh beds and similar designs that take up tons of extra space at both ends of the bed. Visually they really dominate a space even if technically you can squeeze them in!

Learn more about how Six Elements can help you with home staging advice and decorating or redesign advice.

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.

Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is President of Six Elements Inc. and creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. An entrepreneur for 20 years and author of Staging Diva Ultimate Design Guide, Debra has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate and uses her expertise to train others worldwide.

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Real Estate Agent You’re Fired! https://sixelements.com/real-estate-agent-youre-fired/ https://sixelements.com/real-estate-agent-youre-fired/#comments Mon, 19 Apr 2010 19:04:35 +0000 http://www.sixelements.com/?p=1724

Ready to fire your real estate agent?Finding the right real estate agent is so critical whether you’re buying or selling a house. Unfortunately, with about 1.3 million Realtors® in the US and approximately 98,000 in Canada, there are bound to be a lot of agents who aren’t at the top of their game.

Unfortunately you may not realize you are talking to the wrong real estate agent right away.

Watch for any early warning signs and pay attention to those little alarm bells you hear. They won’t get any quieter the deeper you get into the relationship! The sooner you find the right real estate agent to work with the better, not only for you but for them too! Here’s one of my personal stories of why I fired a real estate agent.

I was moving to a new city and an agent spent a day showing me properties. She was supposedly an expert in the neighborhood I was moving into, so I gave her a try. I was highly motivated and the type of client most real estate agents dream of because she wasn’t going to have to spend a year showing me properties. I was only in town for two weeks and needed to buy on that trip. I had already sold my house and the deal was closing within 60 day so any agent who found me the right property would be hitting their payday within 60 to 90 days.

I stopped working with this real estate agent after one day of appointments because she hadn’t worked out a system for where to put her purse down in her car, and despite supposedly being a real estate expert in that neighborhood, she seemed to always get lost on the one way streets to our destinations.

Before you dismiss me as an overly critical client consider the messages she was sending me as a new client. I had limited time, needed a pro, and was having to decide if she was “it” based on the little clues she was sending along the way.

After each showing, we’d get back into her car and she’d put her purse between the two buckets seats. With the first stop light it would tumble onto the floor dumping all the contents. Then with each next showing, I’d have to cool my heels on the sidewalk for a few minutes while she put the contents of her purse back together so we could get on with the appointment.

One day, 6 showings and I vowed never to work with her again!

This woman supposedly made her living showing and selling homes. Yet, she didn’t have enough common sense and self awareness to put her purse on the floor behind her seat? How many times had the scene I witnessed only 6 times played itself out over a year? And if she knew this small neighborhood so well, how could she possibly never remember which streets ran in which direction? Each appointment required an additional 10 minutes to find as she circled back on her route trying to figure out how to get there!

I considered how likely she was to be showing me the best properties for my needs, given how flaky she seemed. I considered how savvy she was likely to be when presenting and negotiating my offer.

All these thoughts had lots of time to run through my head as I watched her waste my precious time getting lost and scooping stray keys, lipsticks, and the other detritus women carry in their purses off her car floor, and she was history.

How well did the new agent do?

I bought a house with a different agent who appeared to be more in control of herself and her surroundings, and she especially cashed in when I listed it with her again within a few months. She made about $25,000 in commissions because she knew what she was doing and here’s what she had to do for it:

* showed me 14 houses over two days
* handled one purchase negotiation that lasted 24 hours because I insisted we keep the pressure on the sellers
* within 2 months of closing on the house, I staged it and put it back on the market with the same agent
* sold with two offers within the week, with a 3 week close

Client/Real Estate Agent relationships are largely a matter of faith. If you have lost your trust in your agent, move on. There are plenty to choose from!

I invite you to share your comments and stories here about working with real estate agents. I know it will help other readers with their own struggles.

Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging

Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate, including seven of her own homes. She is president of home staging firm Six Elements Inc. and has trained over 4000 home stagers to start and grow their own businesses. Debra is the author of four home staging guides and offers a Directory of Home Stagers to help homeowners and real estate agents locate home stagers who will decorate homes to sell quickly and for top dollar.

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Redecorate Bathroom for Spring https://sixelements.com/redecorate-bathroom-for-spring/ https://sixelements.com/redecorate-bathroom-for-spring/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2010 19:31:12 +0000 http://www.sixelements.com/?p=1710

There’s nothing like flipping through the latest editions of House & Home, Better Homes and Gardens, Elle Decor, Style at Home, or House Beautiful to have you craving a new house or major renovations. Both are costly options!

Instead, try to redecorate and fall in love with your current home all over again. It’s amazing even simple redecorating changes can dampen your desire to move or renovate.

Bathroom redecorated for springRedecorating your bathroom this spring doesn’t have to be expensive. A few well-chosen accessories, new towels and bath mat and a coordinating shower curtain will give you a whole new look without breaking the bank.

This bathroom was painted in neutral colors, the most versatile backdrop when you want to redecorate because it allows for a bunch of different looks.

I always like to start with the shower curtain, and take my cues for other items like the towels and bath mat, from there. Make sure you choose a color scheme you really love and bring in some fresh flowers or a plant.

The harder part for some people, but one that has a dramatic effect on your mood every day, is ditching the clutter. Start by getting rid of old toothbrushes, shampoos, prescriptions, cosmetics and other items you’re not using anymore. Then look at whether you can store remaining items in covered baskets.

Have you ever redecorated your bathroom without renovating and experienced how much that can lift your mood? Please share your comments below.

Learn more about how Six Elements can help you with home staging advice and decorating or redesign advice.

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.

Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is President of Six Elements Inc. and creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. An entrepreneur for 20 years and author of several guides, Debra has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate and uses her expertise to train others worldwide.

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Home Staging Helps Develop a Real Estate Listing Mindset https://sixelements.com/home-staging-helps-develop-a-real-estate-listing-mindset/ https://sixelements.com/home-staging-helps-develop-a-real-estate-listing-mindset/#comments Fri, 26 Mar 2010 13:00:44 +0000 http://www.sixelements.com/?p=1693

After deciding to list, stop thinking of your house as your home.

One of the side benefits of home staging is that it helps you see your house as a real estate listing instead of your home.

A professional home stager forces you to look at your home from the eyes of a highly critical buyer which is key to selling quickly and for top dollar. If your home is staged well, it will likely contain far fewer items than you are used to having. Gone are the 10 gadgets from your kitchen counter and that table you used to bump into in the foyer. Your bed might be on a different wall and your sports gear is hiding in the trunk of your car.

Put your mind on your next home instead of staying attached to the current one.

Once you get into the “real estate listing mindset” as I like to call it, it’s easier to emotionally detach from your home and its contents. This will help you give away all that clutter you no longer need and keep your house in showing-ready condition. It’s a real estate listing now, and you may have to “evacuate” at any time of the day for showings.

If there’s a showing in your home, the buyer’s real estate agent is supposed to accompany the buyer as they wander through your home.

Some home sellers insist that their own agent be present during all showings. I don’t recommend this as it makes it much more difficult for real estate agents to book appointments and you really don’t want to make it inconvenient for them to show your home.

I’ve purchased many properties over the years, and I can tell you from personal experience that if it was tough to get a showing appointment, I just turned my interest to the next listing in my price range and didn’t bother looking back.

While you may be discouraged from having a public open house because of all the strangers coming through (or an agent who says they aren’t effective, perhaps because they were hoping for a weekend off), it IS an effective way to sell a property in many real estate markets. I’ve personally bought 2 homes (each with a three week close) that I’ve discovered by going to an open house.

For safety reasons though, remember that if there’s an open house, there is very little control and actual supervision going on— especially if you have an attractive property in a sought after location. While visitors are supposed to sign in (which is more of a lead generation tool for the hosting agent), visitors can use any name they choose and that still doesn’t mean anyone is accompanying them as they peruse your home.

Make sure you follow my 5 real estate safety tips when you’re home is on the market to help protect your family while your home is getting so much attention from strangers.

Learn more about how Six Elements can help you with home staging advice and real estate advice.

Have you encountered any difficulties with showings or open houses when your home was on the real estate market? Please share your comments below.

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.

Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is President of Six Elements Inc. and creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. An entrepreneur for 20 years and author of several guides, Debra has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate and uses her expertise to train others worldwide.

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5 Real Estate Safety Tips to Protect your Family https://sixelements.com/5-real-estate-safety-tips-to-protect-your-family/ https://sixelements.com/5-real-estate-safety-tips-to-protect-your-family/#comments Mon, 22 Mar 2010 14:35:30 +0000 http://www.sixelements.com/?p=1671

real estate saftety tipsOne of the unpleasant realities of selling your home on the real estate market is that you’ll have to put up with strangers going through every room and opening every closet. They’ll even look in your medicine cabinet! It’s all fair game, since you are trying to sell your house and prospective buyers have the right to examine everything very closely.

While home staging is key to creating the right environment to entice prospective buyers, much of what I recommend as a professional home stager is for your own security as well.

One of the first steps to selling your home after staging is having high quality photographs taken by your real estate agent of all your rooms. These will appear online on sites like mls.ca and in the feature sheets your agent creates to market your property.

It’s important to take these 5 steps to help protect your family and the safety of your home while your property is on the market.

1. Hide or remove personal items that say too much about you.

One of the first rules of home staging, or house fluffing as it’s also called, is to remove personal items like trophies and diplomas because they encourage prospective buyers to think about who lives in your home, rather than imagining themselves living there.

While that should be reason enough to remove personal items, given that your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible and for the most money, consider this more ominous reason.

Trophies and photos of the kids playing their favorite sports provide plenty of information to help anyone looking for a way to lure your children away from the local park, sports field, or school yard.

Another important item to stash away is the family calendar. If you’ve got one hanging in your kitchen with all your kids’ extra-curricular activities, what night Mom is out at her book club and when you’re away on business, you’re giving away far too much personal information!

2. Don’t advertise large valuables.

While I admit this idea came from an episode on CSI Miami, where thieves targeted homes that were on the real estate market, it’s not that far fetched. Why show off valuables like expensive art or collections to strangers who will be looking at photos of your property online and who have access to your address?

3. Hide easy-to-pocket valuables.

Make sure small valuables like prescription drugs (remember I said they’ll be looking in your medicine cabinet?), figurines, jewelry, cameras, iPods and laptops aren’t on display, especially during an open house where people will wander freely with little or no supervision.

Consider having a designated box to quickly stash these items to take with you before a showing or open house. Or, have an off-site location where you keep small valuables that you don’t really need on a daily basis.

4. Hide bills and important documents.

Not only does a stack of bills and documents add clutter to your kitchen counter, home office or bulletin board, it takes only a few seconds for someone to pocket enough information to charge items to your credit cards, or worse, steal your identity.

Keep personal information well away from anyone strolling through your home for a showing or an open house.

5. Protect the identity of your children.

While it might be cute to have a plaque with your child’s name on the wall in their bedroom, is this really information you want strangers to have? Your listing shots might include images of your kids’ rooms which gives everyone online access to not only your address but your children’s names. This is not a good idea for obvious reasons (see point one above).

This might all sound like scare-mongering, but the reality is when you open your home up to the world, you not only open it up to prospective home buyers, you also open it up to the “bad guys”.

So why take any chances? Follow these 5 tips to help keep your family and your home more secure while your house is on the real estate market.

Learn more about how Six Elements can help you when it’s time to decorate your house to sell.

Have you encountered any safety issues or had items disappear during showings? Please share your comments below.

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.

Internationally recognized Home Staging expert Debra Gould president of Six Elements will supercharge the appeal of any property. If you’re looking to profit in the real estate market, your best investment may be a ‘decorate to sell’ consultation with Debra.

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