Home Staging & Marketing Steps that Help
Scott's Clients Earn More Money

I look at marketing and positioning homes for sale much like I do online dating. If someone is seeking to make the best impression of themselves, they need to do so in writing their bio/description and through their personal photos. Selling your home should be approached exactly the same way. If you want to appeal to the masses, you must present all of your best features and then display them through your photos. You've probably heard the saying "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." It can be a painful and often costly truth. When you're selling your home, you need an experienced agent that will help you showcase the very best benefits and features right out of the gate. If you don't, you can almost guarantee it will cost you money.

The following are just a few before and after examples of how I have helped my clients capture and market the very best features of their homes. These results were accomplished through my detailed work in de-cluttering, staging, and in using enhanced lighting and professional photography. It is important to note that I worked entirely with existing furniture and only added a few pieces and parts to improve the overall impression. The time I invest up-front in helping my seller clients with these steps is by far the most powerful way I help them achieve the most possible money for their homes. This is also why the majority of my listings have sold quickly and often at, or above list price.

 

Steps to Improve a Formal Living Room

The living room in this house was small and the large, dark furniture made it appear even smaller. By removing the love seat and replacing it with a chair, I made the space feel bigger. A slip cover was placed over the sofa to lighten it and to match the chair and area rug. Rich accent pillows added a pop of color as did the red florals and greenery. Note how the warm hardwood floors actually stand-out more in the after photo. The corner uplighting helped to warmthen the otherwise dark corners and in choosing the right time of day to shoot photos, the trees outside of each window became visible. This house sold for full-price; over $55k more than the seller's had estimated before they listed with me. 

Before After

Steps to Improve an Efficiency Kitchenette

The first photo depicts everyday living for many, perhaps even most. However, you don't want your living space to look like this when you're trying to sell. Note how much more spacious and appealing this kitchenette looked after. It's amazing how a little bit of cleaning and de-cluttering can make a huge difference. 

Before After

Steps to Improve a Half-bath / Laundry Room

Note that in the first photo you can't even see the floor. This half-bath/laundry room appears tight and congested. Most people would enjoy utilizing this space in the after photo; wouldn't you?

Before After

Steps to Improve a Kitchen

You've probably heard that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. They definitely do. In the first photo, there is a lot going on. The owner's enjoyed displaying things they liked above the cabinets, and there's nothing wrong with that if you're not trying to sell. However, in selling, you must help prospective buyers envision themselves living in the space. Scaling back on personal items and cleaning up the overall look helps your property appeal to the largest pool of buyers possible. Removing the glassware above the cabinets and adding some subtle greenery really changed the feeling of this kitchen. It also made the staggered custom cabinetry stand out more. De-cluttering the counters made them appear more spacious and the overall look of the kitchen appears more polished and high-end. Lastly, would you have noticed that there was room for bar stools in the first photo? No? Well, most buyers wouldn't have either if we hadn't shown them.

Before After

Steps to Improve a Master Bedroom

This bedroom was fairly spacious, but you couldn't tell from the first photo. You also couldn't appreciate the vault in the ceiling and the subtle aqua green walls. It is also difficult to distinguish if the bed is a king or a queen from the first perspective. Note in the second photo how the vault stands out, the green walls become more apparent, the bed appears to be a king and the overall space in the room feels larger and much more open. 

Before After

Steps to Improve a Family Room

The basement family room in this photo wasn't utilized often by the seller's. It was more of a "catch-all" storage space for them. Note the windows in the first photo make the ceilings appear low (as many basements in older Salt Lake homes have). In de-cluttering the room and shooting it from a different angle, the room appears more spacious and the ceilings higher. Note that the tree behind the sofa provides an element of perspective that helps somewhat define the ceiling height. The ceilings in this basement were 8'.

Before After

Steps to Improve a Second Bedroom

The Wasatch Front Multiple Listing Service is full of blurry and over/under-exposed photographs that either darken or wash-out a room. This is a perfect example of why a professional photographer makes all of the difference in showcasing a home for sale. The first photo is way too bright and as a result, the contrasting colors on the walls and bedspread are lost. The ceiling fan light becomes the focal point and the rest of the room gets lost. The second photo shows the contrast of color. The walls are warm, the off-white outline of the bedspread actually stands out and matches the lighter foot throw and rear pillows at the top of the bed. The indirect lighting also helps to accentuate the soft features of this comfortable bedroom. Note, you can also see the green trees offering privacy outside of the window.

Before After

Steps to Improve a Living Room with Vaulted Ceiling

This 5 bedroom home had a very small living room and no family room. Therefore, it was very important to scale back the furniture to make the space feel and appear larger. In the overhead shot to the left you can see the room had a mixture of antique furniture and contemporary - and lots of it. In re-staging the living room, we only utilized the antique pieces. The rich dark woods made a nice contrast with the neutral tones of the house. We also removed the large prints from the wall (as seen on the right side of the left photo). In doing this, we captured the drama of the high windows and vaulted ceiling. As a result, the room feels and appears much more spacious in the photo to the right. We also captured the mature, green trees to the front of the house outside of the windows.

Before

After

Steps to Improve a Guest Bedroom

True, you are moving, so boxes are likely to be everywhere. Have you seen photos like these when you've been searching for homes? Probably so. In fact, you will also see many photos on the MLS featuring rooms with closed blinds. Although this can be a deliberate move to hide unappealing objects or scenery outside of the window, well over 60% of the time it's simply because the person taking the photo was attempting to block bright light as depicted in the window above the bed in the left photo. If we hadn't scheduled the photo shoot at the right time of day, look at the green trees outside of each window we would have missed showing perspective buyers in the photo to the right. This bedroom was light, spacious and comfortable and that is exactly what the photo shows. Note that even the blue accent vases stand out better on the chest of drawers and desk under the window.

Before After

Steps to Improve a Basement Bedroom

Let's face it, most kids have messy bedrooms; especially when they're teenagers. The photo on the left tells the story. It requires no explanation. However, notice the photo on the right. The room looks and feels much more spacious and the lighter bedspread helps to enhance that feeling. If you look closely, you will see the tree trunk outside of the window and the stone rock wall as well. Note that the proper lighting also makes a considerable difference in the appeal and feeling of this room.

Before After