|by Fay Jacobs|
|Put Your Home on Stage!
If all the world's a stage, Katie Green is a new kind of stage manager.
With years of experience in design, decorating and real estate, Katie is helping sellers navigate today's tricky real estate market.
With FOR SALE inventories way up, and buyers in shorter supply than in the boom times, sellers need to have their homes be the cream of the crop, the ones that get attention and the ones that grab buyers' hearts.
Katie and her business Savvy Solutions can do that and it all comes down to staging.
It's a business that has been going on for years, sometimes informally, with homeowners taking a crack at it and sometimes through the work of design professionals like Katie. Lately, it's been highlighted on cable programs like Designed to Sell on the HGTV Network, where homeowners are told exactly what they must do in order to sell their homeand indeed, what they have to do to reap the most equity from the property.
That's where Katie comes in.
Whether it's as simple as re-arranging the furniture and picking a new paint color or as complex as a whole new dcor, Katie can dress up a home so it's a buyer magnet. She's been revamping the interiors and exteriors of homes for years, giving her clients huge advantages.
While staging may sound like a natural part of getting your home ready to sell, it's actually an accredited real estate designation, with professionals working their magic to give sellers an advantage.
Katie recently added Accredited Staging Professional (ASP TM) to her already-long list of credentials, after attending a workshop in Florida.
The accreditation was pioneered by Barb Schwarz of Seattle, Washington and is now internationally known and respected. Schwarz's video How to Prepare Your Home for Sale...So it Sells received the Consumer Education Product of the Year Award from the Real Estate Education Association of America. According to real estate pros, homes that are "staged," reducing clutter, and being spruced up for sale by accredited Staging Professionals traditionally sell faster, with a higher equity return.
Karen Vollm, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Washington, DC said "Katie has a beautiful touch. The last condo she staged for me thrilled my seller and prompted raves from the buyers. Showing the property in the best light is essential in this market."
So how did Rehoboth resident Katie Green get the staging "bug?"
According to Katie, she'd been decorating and re-doing things since she was a small child. "That included my outdoor playhouses," she says. "My father would get upset with me because I wanted to repaint my room at least twice a year."
With thirty years of decorating experience, Katie got into the staging business quite naturally. But she realized that staging is uniquely different from decorating.
According to Katie, decorating is done to match a specific client's tastes. Staging means creating an inviting space where prospective buyers can imagine themselves living.
"People often don't realize that they are not selling their HOME. They are SELLING their home. There's a difference. You want the buyers to fall in love with the bones of the housebut getting them to look seriously takes staging."
Katie tells of going into some homes so cluttered they look like the inside of a Cracker Barrel Restaurant. People don't event want to go inside and look. It makes them nervous.
Getting the homeowners to part with their clutter by putting it in storage so they can show off the house is often difficult but rewarding in the end Katie says.
Along with paint, fabric, and furniture decisions, Katie often uses natural materials, branches, plants, and lots of greenery to give a home a welcoming feel.
"The design starts at the curb and invites people inside," she says, explaining the importance of the right front door and a great exterior look.
With "clutter eats equity" as her mantra and a fresh eye on each property, it's amazing what Katie can do with lots of talent and not lots of money. She loves a challenge and has turned small, elderly mobile homes into very cute living spaces. She's equally at home staging a large home for sale.
Combining the best of Design on a Dime, Curb Appeal and Designed to Sell, Katie Green has a savvy solution for the most frustrated home seller.
"Today's home seller needs to make their property as tempting as possible to perspective buyers," says Katie. "Let me give it a makeover."
You can reach Katie Green at at KaGre3@aol.com.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 18, No.01 February 08, 2008