Articles tagged with: Home-Staging

What's the story behind all the red chairs?

What's the story behind all the red chairs?

I had an idea last summer I said to James: “Going forward, let’s put two red chairs in the front yard of all our listings.”

I had no deep and meaningful reason for doing this other than I thought they looked lovely against the trees and grass. As many of you will know, red is my all-time favorite color. To me, there is red, and then there are all those other colors.

Nothing makes such a statement as a red front door, or a red car, or, wait for it, Jimmy Choo shoes with red soles!

But perhaps, subconsciously, there was a deeper meaning behind my off-the-cuff idea (although I highly doubt it!)

In Australia and New Zealand, for example, corporations believe that a red chair represents the voice of the client. In practice, an empty red chair will be placed at a boardroom meeting so that each person who speaks will be reminded of their clients.

In Canadian parks, red chairs have been placed in strategic spots and invites the weary wanderer, after a strenuous walk or hike, to rest and contemplate the beauty surrounding them in the park.

The World Wide Web talks about ‘A Red Chair Culture’. The overall idea behind this is to get people to sit down and listen to each other, to make a connection, to see each other as equals.

I little knew what I was doing when I came up with the idea, but all of the above uses of red chairs can certainly be applied to Bobbett & Associate’s use of them.

We want to please our clients by making the exterior of their homes look lovely. We want to create an appealing oasis to potential buyers as, exhausted from house hunting, they pull up in front of the home with the red chairs on the lawn.

And most of all, we certainly always want to listen. Listening to people when they speak is one of the greatest gifts we can give, and if our "little red chairs" help further that, then yay for the little red chairs!

Until next time…

A golden opportunity in Golden Hills: Can we stay under budget and on-schedule?

A golden opportunity in Golden Hills: Can we stay under budget and on-schedule?

At Bobbett and Associates, we do all we can to help our clients see the highest return on their investments, and we do so by advising them on key improvements they can make upon listing their home that enable us to ask a higher asking price than we might otherwise be able to.

Our latest renovation project is an exciting one. We were called by an out-of-area property owner who was looking to sell a very special house – a property in the Golden Hills neighborhood that’s been in the same family since it was built in 1956.

The home was in need of some strategic improvements to ensure we would be able to maximize the current market value. With a firm budget of $10,000 or less, and with a 12-day timeframe to complete the upgrades, we certainly have our work cut out for us!

We are in the process of completing the following improvements:

  • Refinishing the beautiful original hardwood floors throughout
  • Full interior painting, including painting of the original kitchen cabinets (this is a fantastic way to update a kitchen without spending a lot of money, we’ll finish the cabinets off with new hinges and hardware as well)
  • New tile floor in master bathroom
  • Various handyman fixes from plumbing to electrical as needed
  • Light landscape clean-up in the backyard and removal of an old metal patio cover

Once these projects wrap, the final steps will be a full house cleaning and then home staging by Martina (a complimentary service provided by Bobbett & Associates). A professional shoot with a real estate photographer will allow us to show off our beautifully updated home in the best possible light.

Without the improvements, the home would likely sell at $625,000 or less. But with a strategic budget of $10,000, we hope to get well over $720,000 for the home, in other words, a net gain of $85,000 to our home seller!

We can’t wait to show off the huge improvements at this house when we go to market in a few short weeks. Stay tuned for an update on how everything turns out.

Do photos on your real estate listing show your house or condo in the best light?

As real estate agents in Fullerton, we spend quite a bit of time scouring photos on the CRMLS. We like to share our favorite photos each week in our “Upcoming Open Houses” feature.

Occasionally, photos we come across leave us feeling a bit perplexed. Sometimes the photos are blurry or focused so closely on an object in the house, such as a vase of flowers, that they lack a greater context. Other times the there’s so much clutter in the photos or the house is vacant and lacks a human touch.

Looking over photos this week got us thinking about some of the more common mistakes we see when it comes to real estate photography. Strong photos and smart décor are becoming increasingly important in terms of real estate marketing, especially because more and more homebuyers are first turning to photo galleries on the Internet before they ever ask to speak with an agent or tour an open house.

So without further ado, here are some of our pet peeves when it comes to real estate marketing and photography:

Real estate photos show empty house

We understand that sometimes a homeowner may need to move out before she is able to sell her condo or house. Often times, though, the owner will pack up all of her worldly possessions leaving behind an empty shell of a house. Sometimes even the refrigerator has been removed from the premises so photos of the kitchen are marred by a gaping appliance hole.

At minimum, it’s a good idea to style the living room and one of the bedrooms. Images used to market the home on various websites should highlight those rooms that are furnished and downplay any vacant rooms. Remember the goal of the photos on your online real estate listing should be to entice would-be homebuyers to tour your home. It’s much easier to forgive a vacant house in person than online.

If it’s not practical to leave some of your personal furniture behind to stage your home, consider hiring a real estate agent or firm that specializes in home staging techniques.

Personal items, clutter visible in real estate photos

We’ve come across a number of listings that showcase the homeowner’s unique personality and lifestyle in the photos: kitschy wall décor, kitchen counters overloaded with appliances, an excessive number of religious items, rooms bursting with children’s toys. There is a time and a place to broadcast the lovely qualities that make each of us unique, and real estate photos is not that place.

Selling your home is about highlighting the features that make your house attractive. It can be hard especially for long-time owners to de-clutter their spaces but it makes a huge difference in terms of selling for the highest price as well as time spent on market.

Once you get to the point where you are thinking about selling your house, consider any steps you’ll need to take to get the house is selling order. Your real estate agent should be able to help you determine which items to display and which ones to give away or place in storage.

Photos are blurry

In this digital age of photography, there is no excuse for blurry photos. Also in this category are listings where the photos are turned sideways or upside-down. Any quirks about the photos on your listing will distract prospective homebuyers and possibly turn them off to the idea of touring your house or submitting an offer.

And while we’re on this topic of quality real estate photography, invest in professional real estate photos. It may seem like a waste of resources when you have a perfectly good smart phone, but studies continue to show that strong real estate photography yields better results for sellers in terms of time spent on market and selling price. One study even showed homes with strong photography listed in the $400k to $499k range sold for more than $11,000 extra compared to comparable listings with lesser quality photos.

A professional real estate photographer does so much more than stage photos, too. Editing software allows him to touch up photos – manipulating color saturation to make photos pop, cropping photos to highlight key features and more.

Photos are too close, lack context

Occasionally we come across listings that will feature extreme close up photos that don’t seem to contribute to the story of the house. It’s one thing to get in close to show the detail of a granite counter top such as if it accompanies a couple other photos of the entire kitchen.

We’re talking about listings where there’s a photo of a solitary window or a frame that focus on the vase on a coffee table with an angled view to the kitchen doorway. We love art and artistic expression, but when it comes to selling real estate we think it’s more effective to share photos that offer a complete picture of why someone should buy the house.

Basically when it comes to real estate photography, we should all take a page from the glossy magazines. They offer the idea of a home and lifestyle in a tastefully designed abode and make it easy for their viewers to see themselves living in those photos (homes). We believe in taking a similar approach at Redux Realtors.

Home staging, real estate photography effective marketing tools for homeowners

Home staging, real estate photography effective marketing tools for homeowners

Selling a home in Orange County, or anywhere, you probably have a primary goal in mind. Sell the home for as much as you can in as little time possible.

Professional home staging and strong photography are two real estate marketing strategies that can help you achieve this goal.

Homeowners can go one of several routes in selling their home. For example, they can hire a real estate agent to guide them through the process. Or they can hire someone like Redux Realtors who does all that AND can advise on home staging, design and marketing.

Home staging expertise

Homes that are full of clutter or personal effects don’t show very well to prospective homebuyers. Neither do … let’s say “unique” color palettes or interior design styles.

The Los Angeles Times recently had a story about a high-end home in Beverly Hills that sat on the market for months. Finally, the homeowner brought in an expert who removed the clutter and personal effects, repainted in neutral colors and added some modern furnishings to complement the funkier pieces. The house went on to sell for $300,000 above list price, or $5.5 million.

Home staging is more than just arranging furniture. It requires an attention to detail and fashionable taste. And let’s face it, not everyone who’s selling their house possesses these two qualities. Even for those who do have a knack for home design, it still takes a lot of time. And time is a luxury for most people in Orange County.

That’s where someone like Redux Realtors comes in. We take average homes and make them extraordinary. By advising on things like color palette, the selection and arrangement of furniture as well as landscaping and curb appeal, we’ve helped dozens of clients sell their homes faster and often times for more money.

Strong real estate photography

In a separate article the Los Angeles Times wrote about a real estate photography study that Redfin did a few years back. Did you know a house priced in the $400,000 to $499,999 can fetch as much as $11,200 more just because the pictures included in the online listing are professionally done?

A beautifully decorated and landscaped home may show great in person, but keep in mind an increasing number of people search for homes online before they ever tour them in person. And when they see a listing with great pictures online, they get excited to tour the house because it looks really cool.

That opens them up more to the prospect of buying the home, especially if the person feels the house has all the right features.

We have relationships with excellent real estate photographers who capture your home in the best possible light. The right lighting and composition really makes a photo pop and make a strong first impression on a would-be homebuyer.

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Company License #01272441

Company License #01272441

DRE #01189723 (Martina Bobbett)
DRE #01272441 (James Bobbett)