Posts Tagged ‘home staging’

January 17, 2014 12:00 am

How to Sell Your Home Quickly

sell your home quickly

Selling your home can be a stressful and lengthy process. With so many things to consider and details to manage, preparing your home for the real estate market can seem overwhelming. There are, however, simple ways to increase the value and desirability of your home and, consequently, increase the chances of purchasing offers coming your way. Things ranging from the time of year you decide to list your home on the market to the cleanliness of your coat closet will all have an effect on the success of the selling process. Here are some ideas to help you sell your home quickly.

1. Be Mindful of the Real Estate Market

The real estate market tends to wax and wane with the seasons. Residential home sales typically spike in the spring and slow in the summer. Sales increase again in the fall and then decrease during the holidays.  Listing your home when the market is strong may be a good way to increase the likelihood of a quick sale.  Another point to consider, however, is that you may have less competition in the housing market in a slower season.  Be aware of how the market is performing before and during your selling process.

2. Consider Curb Appeal

Many times, potential buyers decide whether or not they like a property before they even step foot inside. Opinions are formed in the first few seconds of a house showing. The way your home looks from the curb plays an important role in its desirability and appeal to potential buyers. Make house hunters feel welcome by doing some of the following to increase the curb appeal of your home:

– Make sure the grass is mowed and well-kept

– Pull weeds from lawn and flower beds

– Plant shrubs and flowers to make entry more inviting

– Update front door/entry hardware (door knob, light fixture, etc)

– Apply new coat of paint to front door

– Display house address numbers prominently and neatly

– Adorn the porch/entry with potted plants or other decorative elements

– Hang decorative shutters or window boxes to windows

– Give the exterior of your home a fresh coat of paint

These and other simple updates to the exterior of your home will greatly increase the curb appeal of your home and likely increase its value as well.

3. Make Necessary Repairs

A potential buyer will likely not want to see holes in the walls, broken window blinds, bathroom water damage or any other damage in a home. Potential buyers often want to see a home that is move in ready. The thought of buying a home in disrepair will turn buyers away. To increase the desirability of your home, perform any fixes or repairs needed to get your home in tip-top shape—patch the holes, replace the blinds, and stop the leaks.  Ensure that your plumbing, electrical and heating/air conditioning systems are functioning properly. Inspect the roof for leaks or wear. Make sure doors do not stick or squeak.  Though potentially time-consuming, these things will ultimately save you time and money in the selling process.

4. Deep Clean Your Home

You might be surprised how thoroughly a potential buyer looks at your home during a showing. Areas of your home that you may not think to clean and organize in preparation for a sale (like closets, pantries and even kitchen appliances) may be given careful scrutiny. Make sure to clean all areas of your home thoroughly. General cleaning— like keeping the kitchen sink clear, the carpets vacuumed and the showers scrubbed—is certainly important, but there are other areas that need special attention as well. Some areas or items in your home that you may not think to clean are the following:

– baseboards

– window sills

– wood trim

– ceiling fans

– cabinet shelves

– ovens

– refrigerators

– air vent covers

– utility room/closet

– garage

Potential buyers will feel more comfortable and relaxed in a tidy home than in a dirty one. This will ultimately improve their perception of your home and increase the chances of them submitting an offer.

5. Lose the Clutter

While the furniture and decorative accessories you chose for your home serve a purpose or appeal to your tastes, it may be best to put away excess furniture or decorative items. A room with too much furniture or too many accessories may look dirty, small, and closed in. Clearing table tops of knick-knacks and memorabilia will keep clutter in check. Displaying only a few key items of furniture for each room will give a sense of openness and space that will likely appeal to potential buyers. A bedroom for example may be staged best with only a bed, a dresser and a few wall hangings or table accessories. A living room may only need a couch, a chair and a couple end tables.

Another way to cut clutter is to reduce the amount of clothing, shoes and other stored items from coat and bedroom closets. An overstuffed closet will hint to buyers that your home lacks sufficient closet space. An easy way to do this is to remove out-of-season clothing items that you may not be using and place them in storage.

6. Put Away Personal Items

The goal for every showing is to allow potential buyers to envision themselves living in your home. A lot of family photographs, family name monographs, and other personal items displayed around you home will hinder a buyer from being able to see him or herself from moving in. Taking down those personal items will help house hunters be able to see themselves residing in your home.

When you sell your home, you want the process to go smoothly and you want to sell quickly for the right price. Doing some of these simple and inexpensive changes will likely help you to achieve these goals. All of these things help to make house hunters more comfortable in your home and help them envision themselves living there.

Lauren Hill is a contributing writer for Snipes Properties, a Richmond, VA real estate company.


September 11, 2013 10:36 am

Graduate Feature: Renee Gignac

Renee Gignac portraitRenee Gignac enrolled in QC Design School’s Home Staging course in 2011. Her business, Decor Innovation Designs, was still young at the time, and she hoped to develop it even further. Since that time, her business has grown into an award-winning company. She brings her own particular aesthetic – timeless, luxurious, and sophisticated – to each and every one of her design projects. We’re pleased to bring you her story here, as well as show off some photos of her work.

Company Name: Decor Innovation Designs
Description: Home staging, interior redesign, interior decorating
Region: Windsor, Ontario
Houzz profile:

What motivated you to start your career as a design professional?

I was always interested in design as a child. In my spare time I used to watch the real estate channel and read home magazines. I was blessed with an artistic talent, and knew that I wanted to do something in this field where I could shine and be myself. I guess I owe the push to follow my dreams to my mom who always believed in me and my uncle who told me to never give up.

What are some highlights of your career so far?

This year has been the best year of my career, not only as an interior designer but also as a home stager. I truly believe in the saying “reach for the stars”. We have been recognised by Houzz for the Best of Houzz 2013 award. We are now working with several real estate agents and have been picked up by four builders to stage their model homes.

How did your course prepare you for working in the field?

I learned a lot through my QC course in home staging, things that I should have learned in my interior design course and never did. I still use my course books today and refer back to them if there is something I’m not sure of. I feel that since I took the home staging course it has made me a better designer and business owner.

Do you have any advice for someone starting out with their training or career?

I will say that this is not the easiest field to work in; however, if it’s something you really want you need to put your mind to it and push yourself. You are going to face a lot of bumps in the road at the beginning, but you should never give up, no matter how hard it gets. I’m speaking from experience. It took five years before my business started to take off. Just have fun, be honest, trustworthy, and confident, and you will succeed.

Take a look at some of Renee’s work…


A staged bedroom by Renee Gignac

Bathroom design by Renee Gignac

Decor Innovation Designs living room

Renee Gignac living room design

Dining room design by Renee Gignac

Do you want to create your own success story, like Renee? Enroll in QC Design School now to start your new career in the design and decorating industry.



July 8, 2013 12:43 pm

Featuring QC Graduate Tracy Black

Meet QC graduate Tracy BlackTracy Black knows the key to a career you love is passion and perseverance. With that outlook, she is now the owner and Principal Decorator of soulstyle, an interior decorating and home staging business. We’re proud to say that she’s also a graduate of QC Design School’s Interior Decorating course. Her approach to design is to create warm, comfortable and dynamic spaces for her clients.

We got in touch with Tracy to get her insight on the design industry and share her story. We encourage you to visit her website and Facebook page, and scroll through to view some stunning photos of her work below.


Company Name: soulstyle Interior Decorating & Home Staging
Description: Interior decorating, renovation design, home staging
Region: Greater Toronto Area
Phone: 416-508-8717 or 519-217-8717

What motivated you to start your career as a design professional?

My interest in decorating and design began with my first home purchase, and for years was just a hobby (or obsession!). I was teased about losing square footage in my house because of all the coats of paint! When the opportunity to begin a new career presented itself I took a leap of faith, left the corporate world after 15 years, and began my own business in a field I was passionate and excited about. I have been very fortunate with success thus far, and have never regretted the decision.

What are some highlights of your career so far?

I’ve had many features in blogs, which have been wonderful exposure to my projects and my business. However, the real highlights of my career have always been the clients I work with.

How did your course prepare you for working in the field?

It’s good, sound training with practical and very applicable lessons. I am often emailed by potential students asking about my experience at QC, and I always recommend it. No course can teach creativity, but QC definitely provides the basis for developing yourself and your skills.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out their career?

Persevere. Be passionate and enthusiastic about what you do. We are given the very unique and trusted privilege of helping people create their homes – treat it as such. Lastly, work with a set of design principles that you truly believe in, and know why you believe in them! Be yourself and realize that your creativity is distinct. Don’t be concerned with trends or “magazine rooms”. Create spaces that your clients love.

A snapshot of some of Tracy’s designs…

A cottage-style bedroom design by Tracy Black

A gorgeous ensuite by QC graduate Tracy Black

Tracy Black, owner of soulstyle, designed this family bathroom

A family room design by interior decorator Tracy Black

A kitchen design by QC Design School graduate Tracy Black

A beautiful kitchen design by Tracy Black

A neutral master bedroom by Tracy Black


Meet QC grad Galina!Today we’d like to introduce you to Galina Sergeyeva. Galina has always had a flair for design, and so she decided to pursue a creative career that she would love. That’s why she enrolled in QC Design School’s Home Staging course back in 2009. Since then, she’s used her skills and passion to open up her own design business – Gala Interiors. We’re so happy to share her story with you today and to feature some beautiful before and afters of her work.

Company name: Gala Interiors
Design and renovation services
Greater Toronto Area
Facebook fan page:

What motivated you to start your career as a design professional?

Ever since I was a child, I aspired to a career in design, although unconsciously at the time. I was already preoccupied by aesthetic elements such as clothing, accessories, and gift creation through choosing, matching, and creating away when I had the chance.

After my graduation in Technological Engineering with an Industrial Design degree, I started working in the fashion district, keeping interior design as a hobby in between drapery and textile designs.

I then moved to Canada and received my degree in Administrative Science and Marketing Management at the HEC Montreal University. I got a manager position in a modern furniture store, and enjoyed helping clients with furniture and accessories selection, interior decorating, and redesigning.

However, my tasks did not bring enough satisfaction to my creative needs, so I finally decided to take that one step further and transform my passionate hobby into a full profession, which led to my graduating in QC Design School.

What are some highlights of your career so far?

After my graduation from QC Design School I started my career as Home Stager and became part of a real estate team that leads house flipping projects for individual clients and investors in the real estate market.  I was helping them in the home renovation process selecting colors, finishes, and building materials, as well as in kitchen and bath remodeling choosing the right tiles, flooring, cabinetry, counter tops, lighting, and fixtures. I was also leading projects as a Project Manager.

How did your course prepare you for working in the field?

Thanks to the International Staging and Redesign Professional course with QC Design School I have learned how to create beautiful, well organized, and decorated spaces, working with any budget – even very limited budgets. I have learned how to apply design techniques and principles to any type of home. Knowing how to use 3D floor plans helps me a lot in creating and presenting my projects.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out with their training or career?

It’s crucial to listen carefully to the clients, to understand their needs and goals, and to try your best to satisfy them.

Some photos of Galina’s work…

A beautifully staged family room by Gala Interiors

Before and after kitchen staging by Gala Interiors

Before and after living room by Gala Interiors

A luxurious master bedroom staged by Gala Interiors

A well-staged home office by Gala Interiors


This month we're featuring home stager Tiffany ParkerMeet Tiffany Parker. A few years ago, she decided to make a major career change. She wanted to escape her 9-5 job and pursue the growing home staging industry. She wanted to be creative every day, and so she enrolled in QC Design School’s Home Staging course. Shortly after, she opened her own business, Parker Interiors.

Company name: Parker Interiors Staging and Redesign
Region: Washington, DC
Phone: 202-431-1229
Description: With over $30 million in staged homes, Parker Interiors Staging & Redesign is the best value for staging in the Washington DC area – dollar for dollar. Using our vast inventory of furniture and accessories, our professional staging team creates fresh design concepts that transform spaces in preparation for sale and open house. Parker Interiors is committed to meeting your goals and exceeding your expectations. In the fast moving world of real estate, we believe that staging should be fast and convenient. Our talented team will reinvent most spaces in one day to showcase their best attributes, helping it sell quickly.

What motivated you to start your career as a design professional?  After years in corporate office settings, I was motivated to start my staging business by a desire to be active, transform spaces, have an impact, and express creativity.

What are some highlights of your career so far? Besides several homes receiving multiple offers after one day on the market, the greatest highlights so far have been the constant growth and expansion of the possibilities of staging.  Staging is so ubiquitous today; there are opportunities to use it in so many different environments. I was even asked to do a set design for Dr. Maya Angelou.

How did your course prepare you for working in the field? QC Design School’s Home Staging course provided a strong baseline as I entered the field by introducing me to what I would be expected to know.  Certainly a lot of learning can only be acquired on the job, but the course helped me to feel prepared for whatever might come my way.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out with their training or career?  Just be ready for an adventure.  Staging is serious physical and mental work.  Be willing to be self critical. Take risks.  Spend as much time on the business side as you do on the design side and grow smartly!

Take a look at some photos of Tiffany’s work…

Featuring home stager Tiffany Parker

QC Student Tiffany Parker

Featuring Tiffany Parker

Featuring Tiffany Parker

Featuring Tiffany Parker

Featuring Tiffany Parker

Featuring Tiffany Parker

All photos credited to Walnut Street Development