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

Looking for a way to give a dated bathroom some pizazz? When preparing your home for sale, one affordable and high impact improvement can be achieved by changing dated light fixtures in bathrooms.

If your bathroom features broadway light bars, or other dated fixture styles, here are some tips to help you make updating bathroom lighting easier!

Evaluate your space. Is there a existing light that isn’t painted behind the fixture?  Is there limited clearance to the ceiling or vanity mirror?

How large of a fixture do you need? Most fixtures come is 1-6 light models.  Measure how large you want the fixture  to look before heading to the store.

Consider metal finishes in the other elements of the room. For a sophisticated look, metal finishes should match.  If your faucets are chrome and the towel bars are oiled bronze, brushed nickel or another metal finish, choose the finish that will coordinate with the updated towel bars.

Sometimes the cheapest light fixture isn’t the best buy. While lights are quite easy to install, some “contractor grade” fixtures are more flimsy and can be harder to install.  If you are preparing your home for sale, be sure the fixture is one that is not too contemporary or dated, but a simple traditional style that will  be appealing to the general public.

Avoid broadway lights!  Installing this style of fixture is not an upgrade.

(That’s all I’m going to say about this style of vanity light!)

So what are some good lighting styles and finishes when updating bathrooms?

Simple, traditional styles work in most homes.

This second example has a larger “footprint” and will cover a space that may not have been painted behind an existing fixture easily.

Avoid fixtures that are too ornate.

Simple lines and contemporary finishes are nearly always a safe choice.

When potential home buyers enter this room, they no longer will be struck with how horrible the lighting is, which previously would have been their first impression.  This bathroom still has a dated counter top, but the improvement made by simply replacing the light fixture (under $50) and changing the decor gave the room an entirely different look and feel.

More questions about bathroom updating or preparing to sell?  We love your emails or comments on our post!!  Helping home sellers make wise updating choices is our passion!

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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Smart Money posted an article this week noting areas around the country that see strength in the real estate market.

Listed in the top five was one of my favorite cities – Corvallis, Ore. (up 2.96%).  Per the article:

The most influential factors for the forecast include household income growth, population growth, the jobless rate and the user cost of housing.

Granted, these increases are modest. But given that some parts of the country were pummeled by 40% declines in home values, any number that’s positive stands out. It shows those markets have done exceptionally better than others.

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

Take a typical 3 bedroom 1 bath Salem home in a NE neighborhood (NE is not considered the hot real estate hub of Salem for those not living in Salem).

Add one savy owner who updated the paint and carpet with some good choices . . . and here’s the results:

The curb appeal was challenging – especially the path to the doorway.

And while this home does look nice — as you can see it is just . . . . .

another beige vacant box.

What size are the rooms?

Over 90% of buyers shop first on the internet.

Currently there are at least 40 comparable listings on the multiple listing service . This home and these photos won’t stand out!

So instead of making an appointment to view the home, the potential buyer continues looking online until something more interesting catches their attention.

This house was listed for about $150,000.  Why would anyone stage a house that was in that price range?

Because while the average days on market in this area is over 150 days, this house received an offer within 5 days.

Some simple and affordable staging transforms a beautiful beige box into a welcoming home.

A new path welcomes buyers in – (and was affordable using materials they already had on hand).  The curb appeal is great.  Most buyers want an easy care yard!

When marketing a vacant home help buyers see the room sizes.

Simple furniture and decor showed this room size and made it look inviting.

It showed well on the internet, and even better in person.

We stage homes all over Oregon, and not all of them sell within five days. But we do continue to see the homes that are priced and prepared well standing out from the competition and receiving offers!

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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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!

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

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!

We frequently get asked “How can you be busy when the real estate market is so bad?

Are people really using a home stager. . .

In Salem Oregon?”

Yes – we continue to expand our business and the houses we professionally stage are selling quicker than the average listing.  Is the real estate market really bad? Several of the homes we staged last month received offers within days of staging!

Professional staged homes look great on the internet, are getting more attention (and yes are getting offers).

We are getting more calls than ever from agents and home sellers alike – wondering if staging is an affordable and viable option – in Corvallis, Lebanon, Albany, Dallas, Silverton and Salem.

Our schedule for the next few days is:

  • staging a vacant house in Salem for an investor who sells several houses each month (yes they stage them all and they sell within days)
  • coordinating a large remodel on a Corvallis luxury home which going on the market soon – once it is painted throughout and has an updated kitchen and bathroom
  • providing a staging consultation for a Corvallis home owner wanting to put their home on the market immediately
  • providing a staging consultation for an Albany home owner who wants to put their home up for sale in March
  • showing a homeowner options on new countertops, flooring and draperies for her kitchen/family room – ones that she will love since they aren’t selling for years to come
  • giving a bid on a vacant staging job scheduled to go on the market February 1st in Lebanon
  • and that’s just our schedule for Monday through Wednesday!

Yes – home owners, real estate agents, investors and home sellers are using home staging to improve the homes they live in or the ones they are preparing for sale!

This great testimonial was put on our Facebook wall today:

“Creative Concepts and Contracting” has provided A+ quality service in staging my vacant home in Corvallis. My family had to quickly move for a job opportunity on the East Coast, leaving behind our well-loved house. I can rest a little bit easier knowing that our house has been thoughtfully staged to create a warm ambiance.

Margaret promptly responds to inquiries and approaches projects with the perfect blend of creativity and professionalism. Her use of YouTube and social networking sites illustrates her thorough approach towards reaching a larger audience of potential homebuyers.

I would 100% recommend “Creative Concepts and Contracting” to anyone planning to sell their property in the Willamette Valley.

We know the forecast is busy and bright for home staging in 2010.  Oregon homes that are priced well and prepared for sell correctly will continue to see good offers and fewer days on market.  Wondering how to prepare to compete in this competitive real estate market?  A staging consultation is a good investment!

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

Margaret Oscilia – Home Stager and Redesign Specialist

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!     503-881-0886

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!

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

Want to improve the look and feel of a room? One of the quickest ways to improve a space is by removing cluttering.

When we help clients “declutter”, frequently they feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.  If you want to live a more organized life in 2010 or are planning to sell your home, here are a few decluttering ideas to get you started!

Start small – a bookcase, a shelf a drawer.  Don’t try to tackle an entire room or house in one day.  It’s much better to take this process in small steps on a regular basis than becoming overwhelmed and discouraged.

Remove everything from the space you are decluttering.  Before putting it back into the space ask yourself these questions:

  • Is it necessary or does it bring me joy?
  • Do I similar items that I like better?
  • Has it been used in the past year?
  • Could someone else benefit better from owning it?
  • Could this be used in another area of my home more efficiently?

As you sort these items put them in piles to:

  • Donate/give away
  • Put away elsewhere in the house
  • Sell (do you really have time to do sell it and is it really worth the effort?)
  • Garbage

Put the items to donate/give away in the car and take care of it the next time you go out.  Take the items to put away within the house and do it right away.  If selling – list it on craigslist, ebay, paperback swap today (if you don’t have time now you probably won’t later either so reconsider donating).

Take this kitchen for example.

It has lots of counter space, but the window and sink area are packed with cookbooks, plants and more.

The view from this window is beautiful, but buyers will notice the “things and clutter” – NOT the view!

For better organization and a sleek look when selling clear off the fridge!  Mingling reminders, calendars, art and notes isn’t effective!

After decluttering this space, it is more restful to the eye.

Here’s another example.

If you are planning to sell your home, storing things on the counter indicates to buyers that:

  • your home lacks storage
  • the kitchen cupboards are inadequate
  • the home owner is disorganized or sloppy

All these are negative messages you don’t want to portray!  Seeking a more organized lifestyle?  A counter full of items encourages more items to be placed on the counter — easily becoming an overwhelming and cluttered space

This decluttered home sold quickly — beating out dozens of competing properties! Whether creating a look you love or one that will be envied by others, decluttering is the first step to an organized and great looking home!

Margaret Oscilia | Home Staging and Redesign Specialist | Creative Concepts and Contracting
Cell 503-881-0886 

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

master bath beforeQuick – what’s the first impression you have from these photos?

– mauve?

– dated?

ho hum?

– needs a face-lift?

master bath beforeUnfortunately, that’s what many home buyers think when viewing a home that has tile or features that are not currently in style or that they can’t imagine in a contemporary decorating scheme.

When showing a home for sale, its so important to create a desirable image for each space – an image that buyers will fall in love with and remember after viewing other homes.

This bathroom is actually in fantastic condition, spacious and in a beautiful high-end home. Unfortunately the “mauve” colors were discouraging to buyers and the owners did not want to make updates. Buyers couldn’t see this space as a selling feature, even though the sellers had “staged” and it was spotlessly clean.

The challenge for Creative Concepts and Contracting was to affordably present this space as contemporary and inviting, placing a focus on the positive (spacious, great views, high quality) and one that new owners could enjoy without doing a major update. What will buyers remember? The mauve – or that it looked marvelous?

staging maximizes appealLime green is a popular color choice and by bringing in lime and black, the room now appears contemporary and desirable. Decor in proportion to the space and updated art contributed to the overall appeal.

The feedback is no longer about the mauve . . . it’s about how marvelous this room is! People who had viewed the room previously and found it unattractive were now impressed and convinced they would enjoy this space – without a remodel!  master bath 2 6-26

The master bedroom also features lime/black/pink and the whole look is contemporary and stylish!

This home that had been on the market for over a year sold quickly once professional staging was done to not only this room, but the entire home.

Want to create a memorable impression – and a impressive and marvelous one?  Professional home staging offers affordable and creative ideas for updating rooms without remodeling.

Creative Concepts and Contracting specializes in maximizing potential in vacant and occupied homes! Let us help you create a home to “fall in love with”! Contact us for the statistics of staged homes selling this year in Oregon – the statistics are impressive!

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