Dear Home Staging Expert:

My home is beautifully decorated and I receive many compliments on my style and taste in furnishing and decor.   I’m preparing to sell in the near future and my real estate agent advised I hire a “home staging expert” to give me some advice.  I can’t imagine what benefit I would receive from this service.  (I actually find it a bit insulting.)  Please advise.

Sincerely,

Divine Design Diane

Dear Diane:

Thanks for taking the time to ask this important question before dismissing your agent’s recommendation.  First and most importantly please keep this in mind:  We decorate our homes to create a beautiful environment for us to enjoy.  When selling, we create a neutral palette for someone else to paint their story upon.

How we decorate our homes to live in and how we decorate to sell our homes are two different things.  This should not be considered an insult on your design style.    Staging for sale is merely a different design concept. You home’s decor may need to be modified to appeal to the general public and so the photos look spacious and inviting.   Have you ever been to a model home?  They has limited furniture and decor so buyers can move around easily and enjoy the home, but not be distracted by the decor.

You mentioned that your home is beautifully decorated with your style, this may be different than what is appealing to some potential buyers.  Can you afford not to appeal to every person who views your home?  Now is the time to remove some of the personalization and make it easy for someone else to see them living there, placing their own style in this home.

Usually a beautifully decorated home is easy to prepare to appeal to the broadest number of home buyers possible.  For example:

  • Remove smaller furniture pieces and decor, to make the room appear more spacious and improve traffic flow
  • Remove decor that draws attention to itself, rather than the architecture or purpose of the room
  • Remove custom draperies that have a style not consistent with current home buyer’s desires or that block light from entering the room
  • Keep a neutral palette throughout the home with accents of color.

For example, in the above photo, what do you remember most – the beautiful window or the window coverings?  If someone likes a sleek style, will they be able to feel comfortable in this room which contains lots of furniture and patterns?  This is a beautiful room, and a few changes could make it appealing to more buyers.

This room also is well decorated in neutral tones.  Removal of a few furniture pieces and decor would improve traffic flow and make it appear spacious in photos and in person which is important to home buyers.

While hiring a home staging expert for a consultation may seem unnecessary for beautiful homes, their fresh perspective and knowledge of what home buyers perceive and are looking for can be a valuable tool to be used when preparing your home for sale.

Sincerely,

Margaret Oscilia

Home Stager and Redesign Specialist

Creative Concepts and Contracting

503-881-0886

This morning a local big box store flyer highlighted their sales items for this weekend.  The items they have on sale were items I hope none of my readers would consider buying!

This light fixture is on sale for $9.97 . . . but unless you are starring in a Broadway show does anyone really like to see themselves with these type of lights glaring down at them?

No.

If updating your bathroom and planning on selling in the future – please — do not buy this type of light bar!  It may be a good price, but it screams cheap cheap cheap!

This faucet was $29.98 but is on sale for $19.88.

I wouldn’t recommend this style of faucet at any price.

When buying homes people notice things light faucets and light fixtures.

This one also looks inexpensive and if you have ever seen these type of handles when they are dirty – eeeoooowwww!

Here is another faucet that was also advertised in another big box flyer today.

This was on sale for $28.00 — only $8 more than the above faucet.

It is a Price Pfisher brand (a brand which people see as a quality name) AND doesn’t it look so sleek and contemporary.

Easy to keep looking clean too.

When choosing faucets or light fixtures to update your space, the right choice can have a huge impact — and often is priced just a few dollars more than something that looks far more inexpensive!

Shop around and make sure to spend your updating budget wisely!

Moving or improving in Oregon? Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.  What can we do to help you today? Contact Margaret Oscilia at 503-881-0886!

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

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As professional home stagers, one hot staging tip we frequently make is to update light fixtures.  Entry light fixtures have an important role in giving home buyers a good first impression.  This small investment in time and money can have a huge return on investment.  When preparing your home for sale it is important to choose fixtures that are contemporary and neutral.

Before shopping consider:

  • How much light the space needs (1, 2 or 3 bulb? – the brighter the better for most homes!)
  • What other metal finishes are in viewed from the space?  If it is an entry fixture and views into the living room, the fixtures should be the same metal finish.
  • Size and type of fixture – ceiling mount, semi flush mount or chandelier (chandeliers examples will be explained further in separate blog)

The challenge is many lighting stores still sell LOTS of fixtures we do not recommend for Oregon and Washington homes!    If the fixture has brass or bright gold do not buy it. It will not give the updated look you wish to achieve.   Most fixtures that are painted white look inexpensive and should be passed by as well.

Here are some picture examples of What Not To Buy:

These light fixtures are in the same price range, but will give a much better impression.  All these would work well for an entry area that is not vaulted.

These light fixtures could also be a good choice for a master bedroom update.  All these fixtures are between $30 to $50.

Don’t let choosing a light fixture be intimidating.  Simple, classic and contemporary are good guidelines when preparing your home for sale.  This small change will have a surprising impact on your entry’s first impression!

Moving or improving in Oregon? Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.  What can we do to help you today? Contact Margaret Oscilia at 503-881-0886!

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

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Nearly every home I go to has this problem — caulking that isn’t maintained around tubs and showers. Sometimes it’s yellowed, other times it’s mildewed — and sometimes as illustrated so well here – it is causing permanent damage to the flooring.

When recaulking, be sure to remove all old product and use a quality caulk to protect your flooring investment. Caulk comes in a range of uses and qualities — use the best quality mildew resistant caulk — those few extra dollars will help the caulking do it’s job longer!

time to fix thisPlaces that water is present are generally layered. If one layer of protection fails there will be a second to prevent damage. This is true of properly constructed roofing and exterior components but not the other area in the home that sees a lot of water: the bathroom.

The seam between the bathtub and the flooring is especially vulnerable and is sealed with a flexible caulk. The subfloor is usually an engineered particle board and can be very sensitive to water exposure. The purpose of the caulk seam is to try to seal this joint as the two different materials move independently. The more water the seam sees the more likely it will open up, and particle board acts like a sponge that expands as soon as it is exposed to moisture.

I see grout used between the tub and the floor often, on home inspections, but it is not a very good solution. The tub is made of a different material and the grout will fracture and break.

Caulking is the best but it will need to be maintained. That means when it fails the caulk should be removed and a new, fresh seal should be applied. Seriously, when the caulking joint opens up, it is time to get in there with the razor blade and remove the old caulk. This should be done before damage to the flooring occurs.

Do not put this little maintenance item off unless you want some major changes to the flooring. If you want a comprehensive list of things in your home that you “ought to get around to,” in the Salem, Oregon area, call me.

Do these little details matter?  Yes!  Showing your home as well maintained helps put buyers at ease and become confident that your home is “the one”!  Looking for more ideas and tips on how to prepare your home for sale?  Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

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The house is SOLD!!!   It’s what we all love to hear!

Before staging, over 50 comparable homes had sold, while this lovely home was passed by.   It lacked furniture and decor, and didn’t make a good impression on the internet or in person.  It was in a great neighborhood, well maintained and priced well.

After staging, it was the FIRST to get an offer in its price range.

Here’s the unsolicited testimonial we later received:

In our time of need, Creative Concepts and Contracting, came to the rescue and helped my brother in law sell his home. After the passing of my sister, my brother in law wanted to sell and move closer to his family. He placed the home on the market and after 6 months of no activity we called Margaret. She found us a new Realtor  and staged my brother in laws home beautifully… The results were outstanding…. After 3 months he had an accepted offer.. This would not have happened so quickly without Margaret’s thoughtful, well planned out execution and talented staging skills. In a market where homes are selling below market value and many homes are listed in your same area or on the same street in my brother in laws case. Staging his home with Creative Concepts is why the home sold…. What else can I say but Thank you, Margaret, and God bless you.

We feel fortunate to be involved in work that has such a positive impact on so many people!

Moving or improving in Oregon? Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.  What can we do to help you today? Contact Margaret Oscilia at 503-881-0886!

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

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Sometimes a home with a great floor plan and location can go unnoticed on the MLS . . . especially if the photos don’t show it as an inviting and special home.

attention - living room before

A few changes can make a dramatic difference and create that all important favorable first impression!

By re-arranging the furniture, adding some decor and pillows the room no longer looked dated and tired – but inviting and contemporary!

attention - living room after

A room that isn’t used for it’s original purpose, such as this dining room –

attention - dining room before

Can be confusing to buyers and won’t create an inviting image — one that speaks of family dinners and a cozy haven.

attention - dining room after

And even bathrooms can leave a significant impression.  One of disorder and lack of space . . .

attention - bathroom before

Or one that speaks volumes about a quality lifestyle that these walls hold.

attention - bathroom after

How much is it worth to you to have an updated look for your listing on the internet and in person?

attention - master before

attention - master after

This realtor paid for a staging consultation for her clients.

Through our do-it-yourself checklist and a few items from our accessory rental this great updated look was achieved.

If your home lacks appeal and is not making the best impression in photos, it’s time to make sure your listings are attention ready with the help of Creative Concepts and Contracting – a full service home staging company in Salem, Oregon.

Whether it’s a full remodel or help with a paint color choice, we can help you achieve the look you love!

When we visit homes that are being prepared for sale, often little changes yield huge results. Small things may seem minor and home sellers may think we are being “nit-pics” for bringing up such insignificant items. Big or small – we want to address and rectify every item that will give buyers the impression that a home is dated or not well maintained.

When living in a home we become used to its idiosyncrasies, items needing repair or the décor that becomes dated. Professional Home Staging is more than beautiful décor and furniture – it is addressing any aspect of a home that affects its marketability.

This photo was taken at the entry of a wonderfully maintained home in Salem Oregon that’s been on the market for a few months. What first impression does this entry give potential buyers? As a home stager, we know buyers first impressions are hard to change and decisions on whether to buy (or not) are made within seconds.

How many new homes have amber glass in their entries? The first impression buyers will have immediately is that the home has not been updated.

We encouraged the seller to remove the glass, but he resisted because of the amount of work involved (and – it’s a small thing that buyers should overlook right?). The glass was secured with thin flat trim on both sides that was stained and varathaned after the glass was installed. If the trim and glass were removed there would be an unstained area of about an 1 ½” that was unstained and difficult to match.
Yesterday we had the pleasure of staging this home with some décor and furniture. We again encouraged the seller to try these steps to remove the amber glass and they agreed to give it a try.

Within minutes all four trim pieces that held the amber glass had been removed and all intact! There were no scratches on the remaining sill. A clear piece of glass will be reinstalled using the trim and same nail holes.  Total project time is about 30 minutes and just a few $$!
Was it worth the effort? Absolutely! Previously, the amber glass was a negative focal point. Now when guests or potential home buyers arrive, they can see into the spacious living room and see the beautiful fireplace.

Wondering how to spice up a dated home or want your home to communicate a fabulous first impression? A home staging consultation can give you the advice you need to prepare a home for sale or give a dated room a boost!

Home Stagers know which home improvements are worth tackling and will give you a good return on investment.

Ready to do some updating or preparing for sale?  Simple changes can yield big results in how others view your home!

If you have a similar project, here’s the steps we suggested to remove the glass:

• Attempt removing the trim from the side that is less visable. Using a thin putty knife carefully pry up the trim pieces. Keep the putty knife flat to avoid scratching the wood.
• If the varathane is thick and the putty knife is difficult to get under the trim use a razor knife to carefully cut the varathane “seal”.
• Check the corners to see which trim was installed last and start with that piece to avoid breaking corners or trim strips.
• Slowly pry from several points on the trim until it can be removed without breaking.

Moving or improving? Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

View our website See our YouTube Videos Connect with us on facebook! Subscribe to our blog

Home sellers who have been waiting to sell their homes may want to think quickly about waiting for the summer months!

We’ve seen business steadily increase this fall, with December being one of our busiest months ever.  Sounds crazy?  I’m projecting that January and February will be booming as well – which certainly isn’t normal for the real estate market in Oregon.

Check out this great article from Forbes magazine.  It states “This year, because of government incentives such as the first-time homebuyer tax credit, demand for homes will rise earlier in the year, creating opportunities for sellers . . .”

We’re seeing this to be true in Oregon – since Christmas we’ve been receiving many calls from people wanting staging consultations as quickly as possible so they can start preparing their homes for sale.  Rather than waiting for spring when the tax incentives are gone and interest rates are forcasted to be on the rise, they are working hard now to get their home ready to compete!

But are any homes selling? Last week two of our staged homes got offers.  One Lebanon, Oregon home was staged less than a week.  Another Corvallis Oregon home was staged, listed and sold in 11 days.  Yes – we continue to see homes prepared and priced well selling!


Creative Concepts and Contracting provides professional home staging and quality repair/remodeling services.  You can’t change the market conditions, your location or the competition – but you CAN control the image your home presents when you list your home. Make sure your home is prepared for the quickest sale.  Check our website or call 503-881-0886 for more information on what staging can do for you and your peace of mind!

Licensed, bonded and insured – CCB #180695.

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

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Twas the month before listing, when all through the house
the owners were nervous, and began to grouse.
It was time they decided their house to prepare,
in hopes that some buyers soon would be there.

There was no time to rest all snug in their beds,
images of projects danced in their heads.
“What to do, where to start?” I said with a snap.
“A buyer‘s not going to just fall in our lap!”

Bring in the stager and stop all this chatter,
See if they can tell us what improvements really matter.
In this poor economy to sell in a flash,
we must learn how to give our house some panache!

Architecture to highlight and spaciousness to show
do you think the bottle collection and moose head must go?
Before the realtors and buyers appear,
the need for a plan and strategy was clear.

The stager appeared, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment she was just the trick.
In rapid succession the ideas they came,
she saw all the problems and called them by name:

“The Clutter! The Dirt!
The dated decor!
Deferred maintenance!
And papers galore!
We‘ll stage it all from the front to back door!
And make sure it‘s the house
All buyers will adore!”

With that, her pen — it began to fly,
preparing a plan for success to try
the before photos they showed quite a mess,
and many more issues we must address.

It‘s time, she said, with little ado
To be painting your interior a neutral hue
Your sofa is gaudy and condition is poor
A slip cover will transform it, she began to implore.

From pressure washing the walk and driveway too,
we started on the prioritized list of much to do.
Cleaning, decluttering – there was no looking back,
the extra clothes, the photos and collections to pack.

The windows! How they sparkled! The rooms! How airy!
Opening the closet door was no longer scary!
The master bedroom fabulous décor did sport,
Reminding viewers of a relaxing resort.

More lighting and décor gave the house a new look
All done with very little stress to the pocketbook!
The photos now prepared for buyers online
Showed a property that could be described as sublime!

With a series of comps to compare all the fixings
All fears were allayed; we would have a great listing.
Our realtor can now market in so many ways,
And assured us a sale in a matter of days.

One after the other, with comments to share;
Realtors on tour agreed, no house would compare.
Every room was inspected, our efforts made clear,
A buyer could be expected, we had little to fear.

The Open House, a gala event
They came dropping their cards and compliments were sent.
The buyers were plentiful, all in the queue –
The color of money, oh what a hue!

The offer it came, with the speed of a missile
The key was the Stager, oh what a pistol!
And our realtor exclaimed as we closed with delight,
“Happy selling to all, and to all a good night!”

Creative Concepts and Contracting — more than just happy holiday greetings — a plan of action for home sellers!  Contact us for home staging recommendations that will set your home apart and become memorable to buyers!

503-881-0886

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

home staging business Salem Oregon home staging examples on youtube find Creative Concepts and Contracting on facebook Creative Concepts and Contracting blog

Wondering what home improvements you should  do before putting your home on the market?

Which ones will be noticed most?

If you invest in improvements can you recoup your investment?

HomeGain regularly conducts a home improvement survey.  This survey has been a guide for thousands of home sellers when preparing their home for sale.  Following is an excerpt from the report that was released today:image_cropped_hsmwoman

HomeGain recently conducted a new survey of top 12 low cost*, do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvements for people getting their home ready to sell.

The top five nationwide home improvements that Realtors recommend to home sellers, based on average cost and return on investment (ROI) to sellers, are:

  1. Cleaning and de-cluttering ($200 cost / $1,700 price increase / 872% ROI / 98% recommended)
  2. Home staging ($300 cost / $1,780 price increase / 586% ROI / 82% recommended)
  3. Lightening and brightening ($230 cost / $1,300 price increase / 572% ROI / 95% recommended)
  4. Landscaping ($320 cost / $1,500 price increase / 473% ROI / 94% recommended)

See the rest of the Survey Results Here!

When you’re preparing your home for sale, a staging consultation can help you decide which improvements will get you the most “bang for your buck”!  Consultations are affordable and provide the expertise you need to prepare for sale with the least amount of stress.

Contact Creative Concepts and Contracting at 503-881-0886 for more information about professional home staging and making a great first impression!

home staging business Salem Oregon home staging examples on youtube find Creative Concepts and Contracting on facebook Creative Concepts and Contracting blog