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Archives > December 2015

Home Staging Aids Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

Foreclosure is an unpleasant topic, but one that some of us will have to deal with.

According to home staging expert Debra Gould, the key to avoiding foreclosure is to be proactive. “If you know that you will have difficulty making your mortgage payments in the near future, contact your lender immediately,” Gould states. “Explain your situation politely and clearly, and ask if you can negotiate a modified mortgage payment plan. Don’t be embarrassed to take this important step. Lenders are much more likely to work with you if you have contacted them before the foreclosure process has begun.”

Many people facing the prospect of foreclosure will decide that the best solution is to sell their houses. If this is the only viable option for you, then you have a particularly strong incentive to sell your home as quickly as possible and for the best possible price.

This means hiring the best agent for your area. Your agent should have an intimate knowledge of your neighborhood, be able to identify comparable home sales and make this information available to you. Additionally, he or she should disclose the current market conditions and have extensive networking abilities as well as solid negotiation skills.

If you have decided that selling your home is your best option, you will need to prep your home for showings. Hiring a professional home stager is the single best way to outshine your competition. It might seem counterintuitive to hire a professional stager when you’ve tightened your budget and are facing the sale of your home to avoid foreclosure; however, it has been proven time and time again that staged homes sell faster and for a higher price than homes that are sold “as is.”

The real estate market continues to see a great number of homes going on the market, and your home needs to stand out among the rest. You want your home to be the one that people fall in love with the moment they enter, and a home stager helps make that happen.

When hiring a home stager, remember that home staging is not a regulated field. Anyone can claim to be accredited or certified, and many present portfolios of their work that they bought as part of a course. When hiring a home stager, ask questions about any before and after photos you are shown, look for a demonstrated understanding of the local real estate market and don’t make a decision based solely on price. You often get what you pay for, and in a serious situation like the sale of your home, you need the very best professional advice available. Hiring the right real estate stager can mean an extra $10,000 to $70,000 in the selling price of your home.

When you are facing foreclosure and must sell your home quickly, pricing your home correctly and marketing it effectively are not always enough to get a quick sale in this market. You must go above and beyond other homes for sale in your neighborhood to catch the eye of potential buyers. By using the services of a professional home stager, your house is much more likely to be one that sells.” The Staging Diva


Jill Gargus makes Top 10 Finalist in RESA’s Professional Stager of the Year 2013

A couple of months ago I entered a Staging Contest with RESA, the Real Estate Staging Association. 

RESA supports and encourages Stagers across North America, and provides educational forums, contests, ethic and conduct monitoring as well as fun stuff like contests!

Stagers across Canada and the USA, all voted for their peers in the first round of voting. Photos were submitted and votes were based on a 1-10 scale. I spent over 3 hours voting for hundreds of my peers, reviewing their before and after photos WITHOUT knowing whose pictures they were. The names and watermarks were removed off all submitted photos and the judging was based on finished product and overall first impression, use of scale, color and transformations. Talent was strong and the pictures were all really good, it was a tough competition honestly!
Well, the  news is….I made it to the TOP 10 in Canada of Professional Stagers…and I am so honored and excited! There were multiple categories as well, and so many inspiring stories

And now it’s off to second rounds of voting for the all finalists and the winning title! Honestly I am so thankful to be nominated and I know how Oscar Nominee’s feel now when they say, “I am just glad to be nominated”-it’s true!

For all finalist details and photos…it’s exciting! Check it out!

Selling during Santa’s visit?   

How to tackle the decorations!

While Christmas is not an ideal time to list your home, it is sometimes the only thing that you can do. So how do you have a happy holiday and still not overwhelm buyers with all your stockings and decorations?

The key is to keep it very simple. While decorations are festive, there are buyers that do not celebrate this holiday and may be put off by the decor. If it were me, I would skip decorating altogether while trying to sell, however I realize that is not always an option especially if you have kids.

In my home I put up 4 trees, so I know your dilemma! Try to keep in mind that you are still having showings and if a buyer is trampling through the snow then you know they are serious. Selling real estate in the winter is serious business.

Keep the tree set up to only one, maybe a smaller size than the one you would normally use. Leave all the windows clear of decorations and skip the Mistle toe altogether! No need to make it awkward for the Agent and a Buyer!

It is also not advisable to nail stockings to the fireplace mantle. This causes damage and the buyers will not appreciate that. Keep lights to a minimum and don’t even think about using fake snow on anything- no exceptions!

Your property is your biggest asset and it is being marketed for sale, so treat it like a product on the market and keep it clean, clutter free and mildly festive. That way the buyers aren’t overwhelmed or distracted by the decorations and the kids can still have Christmas. There is a happy medium, if you continue to think like a property marketer.

Following this advice, can result in an offer during the holidays because people are always moving and buying homes regardless of the time of year. Let’s get your home sold so next year you can be in your new home and decorate it up to your hearts’ content!