All the Feels of Fall

From fabrics to furniture, fixtures and fittings, we are loving all the feels of fall!  Join us as we share a mini Trend Report for Fall 2019:

Textures – Everything velvet, sheepskins, shearling, fur blankets, fringe (especially on blankets)

Colors and Prints – Blush, blush, and more blush like Millennial Pink, dark warm hues mixed with soft hues -  such as navys and warmer blues like Behr’s Blueprint (according to HGTV), burgundy, emerald greens, soft browns, and - animal prints – yes, they’re back!! 

Walls – Exposed brick, statement walls, including wall paper, colored block walls and painted accent walls in jewel tones

Accents – Funky light fixtures, gold accents, touches of fresh greenery (large and small), dried florals and leaves

Art – Simple jewel toned abstracts

Furniture - Mixed up furniture that encourages individual personality, and lots of curvy pieces – sofas, chairs, you name it! Natural edgy accents (made of raw materials), and don’t forget to add those beautiful Persian rugs

 

Source (House Beautiful)

Purrfect ways to sell with Pets

We love your pets and all their amazing tricks, but selling and pets just don’t mix! Yes, we sure love our pets (House Dressings team members count 5 dogs, and 3 cats among our extended critter families) but we understand that not all buyers share our fondness for the furry four-leggers. In today’s competitive real estate market, sellers strive to create broad appeal, casting a large net for potential buyers, not a small niche of folks who keep a stable-full of animals under their roofs.

In October, we’re discussing best practices for selling with pets. According to Zillow, 60% of today’s sellers have pets, but the majority of buyers who love pets want to visualize their own pets in a potential home, not the sellers See our helpful tips below:

1. Before you list:

-Cleaning is totally step one for any house but especially those with pets.  Besides a good overall spring clean - all rugs and carpets must be steamed cleaned and remain odor-free
-Remove stickers on front door warning of pets inside
-No “beware of dog” signs on doors, fences or gates
-Repair any damage to the home done by pets such as scratches and chew marks on doors, base boards or cabinets
-Let’s talk about framed photos of your family pet, animal-themed art & decor accessories, or even urns with deceased pet ashes. It’s a short conversation:  please - no!
-After cleaning, invite a friend or family member over to do a sniff test for you (preferably someone without pets!).  If the smells still linger, extra-strength odor neutralizing solutions could be needed, including a professional ozone generator treatment.

2. Tips for photo day:

-It’s important to remove all evidence of pets on photo day
-For dogs, start by hiding food & water bowls, toys and toy baskets, doggy beds, and leashes hanging near doors
-Cages can be especially distracting, so please store in garage, a room that won’t be photographed or even along the side of house
-For cats, please no carpeted climbing trees, scratch posts, toys, bowls and especially litter boxes
-Smaller critters in cages such as hamsters, birds and snakes can easily be removed from a room while it’s photographed

3. Purrfect Practices for showings:

Follow all of the tips suggested for photo day, so no trace of your cutie pie’s carbon “paw print” can be seen. We’ve discovered that some buyers with pet allergies tend to be less “allergic” when touring pet-occupied homes without visible signs of the pet’s presence. While it does take some advance planning and logistics, we sure recommend removing all pets (large & small!) for showings, open houses and caravan tours.

Here are some helpful options:

-Take the pets with you in the car as you roll out of the driveway before each showing
-If you’re at work during a showing, ask a neighbor or family member to pop by and take your pet for a walk or over to their house while potential buyers tour your home
-Occasionally pet owners prefer to board their pets for the first few weeks their house is on the market
-Or ask a pet-friendly family member to “host” your pet at their house for a few weeks
-As a final option, if your pet must stay home and be kenneled for showings, select the location of the kennel very carefully. Avoid the first few rooms the buyers will see when touring your home. Laundry rooms, guest bedrooms, and covered patios work best.





Now & Then: Flashback to 2010

HD Celebrates 9 Seasons!

Talk about a business with a past!  We’re celebrating this month with a flashback to September 2010, the month we launched House Dressing!   Nine “seasons” of professionally staging Acadiana sure deserves a special shout out as we pause to appreciate each one of our “believers” - our treasured clients who took a chance and hired us to stage their listings and experienced a brand-new level of selling.  We’ve grown from serving just 12 listing in 2010, to nearly 300 in 2018.  And we can’t wait to share 2019 numbers (hint:  August was our best month ever!), but we have to wait until December 31st. . .

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who has been a part of our amazing story, inspiration, encouragement and growth!    While a lot has changed since 2010, our mission remains the same - to acknowledge  where our blessings come from (ABOVE - PTL!); to bring our very best to each project, large or small; to share our gratitude to every client for their partnership and trust in our services; and always to bring our passion and commitment to “dressing” our projects for selling success!

In this month’s blog, we thought it would be fun to have a few flashbacks from the old days and - oh gosh!  We can’t get over how things have progressed for both House Dressings and the staging industry!

Let’s hit rewind and see what’s changed…

Home Design & Staging- Now & Then:

  • COLORS:

    • NOW - soft muted neutrals with cool accents and small pops of colors versus…

    • THEN - warmer colors (the Tuscan look - browns, reds, mustard colors) and warm metallic and typography accents, and we can’t forget – that popular chevron print.

  • STYLE:

    • NOW - modern, minimalist, simple elegant designs and open floor plans versus…

    • THEN - bulkier furniture, dark and glossy woods, disconnected spaces, heavy accents

  • PHOTOGRAPHY:

    • NOW professional real estate photographers are hitting it out of the ball park with high quality MLS images and more vignette/lifestyle shots versus…

    • THEN - cell phone pictures taken by sellers, realtors and builders

  • STAGING:

    • NOW simple yet sophisticated neutrals that showcases lifestyle and sell livable spaces, with a special emphasis on attracting Millennial buyers versus…

    • THEN - less practical styling using warm tones with busy accessories and formal furniture pieces

Things that have remained the same Now & Then:

  • Importance of Curb Appeal – sellers always want to make the best first impression to potential buyers

  • A warm welcome with an inviting foyer

  • The fireplace mantle remains a focal point– “the heart of the home”

  • Outdoor spaces are still on the top of buyers’ list of wants

  • Depersonalizing and decluttering are still key items on every seller’s to-do list


Staging is not the only thing that has changed…

House Dressings - Now & Then: Streaming Live

We’ve had many changes over the years as we strive to grow, evolve, and stay current and on-trend in the ever-evolving staging and real estate markets.  Our team has grown from a “one woman” show to a strong team of 8!!  Some other things that have changed include our branding, logo, website, warehouse, Instagram (which is constantly changing!), and of course, our inventory to always stay fresh and relevant with the latest emerging trends.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this walk down memory lane, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for House Dressings and our wonderful clients!  Be sure to tune into HD Season 10, streaming live now on FACEBOOK  PINTEREST  INSTAGRAM and our blog and website.  

 

Back to School: Staging Numbers Rule!

Yes, it’s that time of year again – time to go “back to school” and learn more about the great benefits of staging!  This month we’re sharing some of our favorite staging numbers – statistics that tell the story on why staging is one of the most important investments you can make when selling your home.

House Dressings, Acadiana’s go-to firm for the very best in home staging for Acadiana’s real estate market, offers 9 years of professional experience and hundreds of successful “sold” stories to our numbers.  When it comes to staging, our math sure adds up for sellers, agents, builders, flippers and more!

Confused over the word “staging”?  It’s simple -  staging is the professional process of preparing a home for the competitive real estate market.  It reduces a home’s flaws while enhancing it’s positive features.  Staged homes sell faster and for more money.  And most importantly, staging creates buzz!

Who cares about buzz?  Millennials especially – today’s largest demographic of home buyers.  They are actively (99%) looking online for their new homes.  In fact, 91% of Millennial home buyers say that quality MLS photos are crucial to their decision to view a property. They love move-in ready homes with natural wood floors, entertaining spaces, low maintenance yards, and modern/modern farmhouse designs. (Source:  RESA) 

Now that we have your attention, are you ready for some numbers?!

Selling + Kids = A Winning Mix!

Sellers with kid are going to love this month’s lesson plan!  It’s all about putting your best foot forward while ensuring a happy and peaceful family life during selling.  We know the thought of going on the market can be overwhelming with a houseful of little (& big!) peeps -- but no worries!  Our summer tips can help you do it successfully while keeping your sanity!

Start with the basic three D’s of staging including decluttering, depersonalizing main rooms of the home, and deep cleaning.  Next, rally the kids to help with tidying up and depersonalizing their spaces.  Scavenger hunts work great when it comes to decluttering.  Remind them that the team goal is to score (attract) lots of buyers, even those without children and pets.  Keeping the family focused on that exciting new/next house can also win support for your side!  

Breakout Session:  We love the idea of holding regular family meetings to imagine who will buy your house (art project!), chat about what’s ahead for the next few months and together create a colorful chore chart for both the selling prep phase and a second one to use once the house goes on the market.  Some families have even written good-bye letters to the house to share with buyers after closing; and buried sweet mementos in the back yard as a thoughtful farewell .  And please don’t forget to make a fun photo book with pictures of each room of the house before you start your selling prep!

By keeping them connected to the selling process and nurturing their ideas and concerns, your children can become remarkable players rooting for the home team!

Here’s our winning list of selling tips for families:

Klearing Kid Stuff and Kreating Buyer-Friendly Zones:

1) Store square-footage stealing baby gear (like highchairs, plastic swings, jumpers, etc.) in a single room – especially for MLS photos and showings

2) Toys should be relocated to children’s bedrooms and/or a designated playroom or play space

3) Protect your family’s privacy by removing and packing items with children’s name on it including awards, trophies, certificates and personalized art (Zillow)

4)  Keep that floor decluttered – especially items on the floor that make the spaces feel smaller (i.e. doll houses, kitchens, lego creations, stacks of clothes, etc.)

5)  Be vertically inclined – as in considering the busyness of wall space as well as floor space.  We suggest limiting art to just two walls in any room. And please no vinyl clings, tapped posters or wall stickers

6) Create hiding places for last minute showings (i.e. empty a few bedroom drawers, storage ottomans/trunks, wicker baskets that can fit in a closet, organizers under your bed, etc.) (Zillow)

Kickin’ Kids’s Rooms that Really Sell:

1) Just like the other rooms of your house, go neutral. This includes neutral bedding, colors, and furniture. Got a Frozen Elsa Princess or Sheriff Woody themed bedroom?  Try flipping over patterned comforters to show a solid color under-side and top with simple white pillowcases. Buyers will be able to imagine the many potential uses for these rooms (like a home office or work out room for example) without having to visually remove all the scene robbing props.

2) Be a proud mama or papa and display your kid’s “framed” artwork (make sure it’s depersonalized and adds a nice pop of color).  Hang in laundry rooms, mudrooms, kid’s bedrooms, bathrooms or bedroom halls.  Shop for budget-friendly simple frames.  Also, vibrant hardbound children’s books can be a great staging tool in bookcases, on desks and nightstands, and in a fun basket next to a chair.

3) Paring down kid’s toys doesn’t have to be a challenge; keep a decorative neutral basket with a lid or a toy box close by in their bedrooms or closet to keep just their most favorite toys in.  Other toys should be packed for the move to the new house, donated or given to other family members (who don’t live in your house!).

Finally, if you are wondering what to do with the kids this summer when you have showings, we recommend always having a “go” bag of snacks, water and other necessities packed and ready with lots of fun options of places to go. You’ll be ready to go as quickly as possible for those last-minute showings – and your listing agent will love you!  Plan to be away for at least an hour for each showing.  And don’t forget to include the pets when you load up the kids and back out of the garage!

You see?!  With a few key steps, selling and kids (and pets) really are a winning mix!

 

First Impressions: Front Porches that Beckon

Come and sit a spell!

June is the perfect month to think about outdoor spaces and how to market our front porches to welcome buyers.  In the South, we’re well known for our easygoing porches where family and friends gather to visit, sip sweet tea and watch the kids play on the front lawn.  Whether your porch is big or small, we’ve got the right-sized tips to help buyers imagine themselves chilling at the end of a warm day while passing time on your porch.     

In addition to sweet tea and friends, we’ve put together a short list of key “ingredients”

to make a great first impression that starts at the porch:

#1) Grab the bucket and soap -

Just like the inside of the home, your porch needs to be pretty much spotless. Give all surfaces a good pressure washing and/or cleaning. Once on the market, sweeping and blowing off the porch regularly is a must!

#2) How about a fresh coat of lipstick?!

Repaint and/or stain front shutters, posts and front door if tired, sun bleached, peeling or dated.  Refresh your front door – (i.e. – new paint in a cheerful bright color and new hardware, topped with a simple green wreath should do the trick!).  As buyers pause at your front door waiting to gain access, their eyes will be fixed directly on that door.  Be sure it has something positive and inviting to say back to them.

#3) The power of the pillow -

Make them want to get out of the car!  You can sell the porch just like your interior spaces with a few enticing pieces of outdoor patio furniture and accessories. A pair of matching rockers and/or a porch swing are always so welcoming and create a sense of “HOME”. We recommend a generous sprinkling of color – don’t hold back on fun patio accent pillows and cushions.  Room for a small end table in between the porch chairs?  Top it with a bright blooming plant.

#4) Do the numbers add up?

Wake up those tired house numbers and make sure they’re clearly visible from the street. We suggest installing new black numbers, vertically stacked right next to the front door (spray painting old numbers matte black is okay, too).  If you’re feeling extra creative, add a simple metal piece of wall art (space permitting) or a new black retro wall-mounted outdoor light fixture (yes black to match the numbers). Like the inside of your home, your porch should be tasteful and updated to create broad appeal.

#5) Plants that Persuade –

Plants are always a great way to get people in the door!  Plants are amazing conversation starters and show buyers that your home is well-loved. Potted seasonal plants are a must for adding a pop of color (either the container color or plants themselves) to your porch.  Select plants that require minimal upkeep (keep them looking healthy for showings) while providing maximum impact.  Hanging ferns are a wonderful choice to showcase Acadian-style homes with covered porches.  Window boxes are making a comeback and can also add an extra serving of curb appeal charm.

#6) Take them to the mat -

Welcome mat, that is!  A new and energetic welcome mat placed at the front door will ensure buyers are super excited as they step across the threshold into “their” new home!