Friday, November 03, 2006

Really Rich Real Estate TV show

I love reality tv especially when it comes to the lifestyles of the rich and famous!

On Monday, November 13th at 9:00 pm EST on VH1 is the launching of a new reality show from Los Angeles, CA looking behind the scenes of the buying and selling of the high end homes of the rich and famous.

I hope you tune in and share your points of view with others on this blog. It should be fun to explore how to get the looks of the stars to help you sell your homes.

Read the whole press release by clicking on the title of this post.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Interview with an Agent/Stager

Tina Hack is a successful real estate agent at Centoni Realty in Danville, CA. She is also a home stager and a mother of 2 children. I have showcased some of her before and after pictures on my web site as well as my newsletters and I thought it was time for her to share how she manages both roles

It comes to mind that many agents can't imagine how they can ask their customers if they can stage their home. So I thought Tina would have that answer and maybe could put a few other issues to rest for those of you who are interested in becomming an agent/stager but do not know where to begin.

Sheron Did you feel uncomfortable at first offering staging and charging your clients?

Tina When I would pull up to the curb, I just knew I had to do something! Now I would never show a home without staging it first!

So in my presentation, my added value service is how I can make their house marketable to the bulk of the buyers. I use the words of a home stager and not a real estate agent and they listen.

And no, I don't charge my clients. I could if I wanted to though. I include my staging services in all my listings. That way I make sure they are marketable and I feel very comfortable and proud when showing my properties. I would not feel this way if I did not take charge and do it myself.

Sheron What do you tell them?

Tina I say "To sell your home in this current market, you need to appeal to the public, a spacious home and a model home lifestyle is what the public is looking for and that is what I tell my sellers and buyers...I tell them merchandising is very important! That is why Crate and Barrell does so well.

Sheron How do you charge for other realtors listings and are the other agents afraid you are going to take their clients away from them?

Tina I offer a free consultation at their home...I charge based on what is in the house...type of furniture that I can much decluttering is required, and how much work needs to be done. I have at times dug right in and faux finished cabinets and added door pulls to take outdated cabinetry and turn it into a beautiful piece of furniture.

The minimum I have charged is $300 for a vacant house with just kitchen and bath accessories up to $2000 that would include window treatments. I have all this inventory and leave it there in the home until it sells and all contingencies are removed from the sale. People buy emotion and you cannot take the emotion out of the sale.

As far as other agents worrying about me, I don't even mention that I am a real estate agent. I am there to prepare their home for maximum value and that is it.

Sheron How do your sellers feel about you being a home stager?

Tina They love it! They know I care and that I will do my very best to get them the most money I can. We really get to know each other during the process too and that bonds us at a level that you cannot get just selling their house. My clients like the fact that I know them so well and they know me...paint all over my face and all. I always keep my clients.

Sheron Tina, you have been very helpful and I think you have answered my questions. Would you be available to answer questions from other agents and home sellers on my blog?

Tina Absolutely! I would be happy to.

Sheron I want to thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedule and talking with me and my visitors/members today. I wish you great success. You are a great role model for agents and moms out there who want to increase their income and expand their business. Again, thank you very much!

Tina My pleasure and I look forward to answering any questions that your visitors have.
As an experienced home stager I can walk into a home and start visualizing the process. What was difficult in the beginning was translating my process in a way that the homeowner feels good about what I"m offering. By using my how2homestage instructions as reference material, I am able to give something that explains my process. It's a great service that you offer and my clients have benefited. Thank you!

Sheron Your very welcome!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Hanging old doors idea!

While I was in Seattle in July working on a remodel, I went to the home of the architectural designer to go over some ideas and as I pulled up and entered the yard, I saw these hanging doors at the end of her driveway (picture lower left).

What a clever idea. She picked the doors up at a restoration outlet for a couple of dollars each and voila! What a creative partition! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 05, 2006

"How to sell your vacant house" eBook

I just launched my new ebook "How to sell your vacant house" and I am getting a lot of response about this vignette. My members want to see more like this with descriptions of how to create the look in different color ways.

I am in the process of putting together other looks for you and I will publish them on this blog so check in next week for different ways to vignette this room.

PS: I want to thank all of you that purchased my new book and am waiting for your feedback.

Your comments and requests can be posted here Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 27, 2006

More On Feng Shui...

In a recent newsletter, we discussed the mystique behind feng shui and the relationship it has with western ways of decorating...

To Feng Shui Or Not Feng Shui?
That seems to be the burning question!
Should we use Feng Shui? Dare we not? I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but what little exposure I have had to it, it appears to be rather superstitious at first glance so I thought I should take a closer look.
I have seen homes redecorated introducing the Feng Shui principles that, quite frankly, leave much to be desired, like taking a small bedroom mirror and moving it over the living room's large fireplace, and buying a little fountain and placing it on a lamp table because they needed the water element represented in that room. That just drove me crazy!
Feng Shui says: Hang crystals in your entry if your stairs face your front door because it will reroute your chi and keep it from rushing outside along with your prosperity. Ok, I can see my chi rolling down the stairs and out the front door. If that is true then why not hang a beautiful crystal chandelier instead.
How about the idea that your chi will run down your long hallway too quickly, taking your health and career along with it, without something to break up the space? Ok, instead of hanging a crystal from the ceiling or placing a plant in the hallway (as they suggest), there is a wide variety of wall sconces that have a reflective element to them like metals or glass. Ah, that looks better!
And I understand that in order for your chi to run freely in your living room you need to have your furniture pulled away from the wall a little bit. Well, nothing new there...decorators have been doing that for years. It does feel better! Could it be happy chi?
What do you do if your kitchen has bad chi? Go out for all you meals? No. Fortunately for us westerners, it looks like we naturally follow chi flow. Apparently, you should never have fire and water on the same walls. You are to separate fire (stove) and water (sink) on different walls (but not directly facing each other) because they're oppositional elements. Unless you live in a motor home, were good to go here.
In Feng Shui, the object is to keep chi moving along in a free gentle way. It is recommended, especially in small spaces, to use mirrors. Ok, I have always placed mirrors across from windows, openings, and in corners to expand space and let more light that the same thing?
What is chi exactly? It is defined as the circulating life energy that in Chinese philosophy is thought to be inherent in all things; in traditional Chinese medicine the balance of negative and positive forms in the body is believed to be essential for good health
Oh, and one more thing! Did you know that food is a fire element? If you want to discourage overeating you should use dishes or place mats in the water colors of black or dark blue, as water diminishes fire. Is that why Chinese food is usually served on black plates? What if you live in aqua OK?
After writing this article, it becomes evident that the East really does meet least at some design level. I find I want to learn more about it and I will keep you informed with my discoveries. So with that said, I wish for you a very happy and content Chi!

I now subscribe to the Feng Shui Google alerts and found the
funniest article written by a woman from Gilroy, Ca and I am going to link you to it right here. It is hysterical and I love a humorous approach to any helps us deal with it as well and learn from it.

Here is where you can post whatever you want to say about feng shui, for or against it, tips for the rest of us, and so on.

Help yourself!