Real Estate Word -- Old or New; What's Best for You? January 2018   
  Real Estate Staging News

Real Estate Staging

Cathy Tarrant CCSP
ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland
(709) 341-7115

Are you having trouble selling your vacant home?  Try our new service, virtual staging, to help get buyers in to see your home.

One of the biggest decisions house hunters have to make is whether to go old or new. This month's article will hopefully help make the decision a little easier.

There are also some tips on what to do if you hear strange noises coming from your home as well as the lowdown on geocaching which is a fun and healthy way to enjoy the great outdoors this winter!

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate staging in general -- we would love to hear from you!


In this issue...
Our New Service for Vacant Homes 
Homestyling by Cathy is starting off the New Year with a brand new service for vacant houses.  It's called virtual staging.  
We all know that over 90% of potential buyers start their search for a new home on the internet.  We also know that the photos are buyers' first impressions and first impressions is what influences which houses they choose to see. Vacant homes are notoriusly difficult to sell because photos of an empty box are just not that appealing to buyers.  The majority of buyers will have great difficulty visualizing how an empty room would look like when furnished.  That is where virtual staging comes in!

Virtual staging will never take the place of traditional staging, which, hands down, is the best option for best impressions and faster sales.  However, it is a cheaper alternative and will help get buyers in to view your vacant property.  The key to virtual staging is DISCLOSURE.  If you decide to use virtual staging, buyers should know that the photos they are viewing are virtually staged.  They must know that they will NOT see this furniture when they go view the property in person.  Otherwise you may have some very disgruntled and displeased buyers on your hands!  And you are unlikely to make a sale if that happens!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

So here's how it works.  Email me a photo of a particular room you would like virtually staged.  It does not have to be professionally taken, but it must be good quality, preferably with a wide angle. If you prefer, I can take photos for you for an extra charge.  I will digitally stage the room, showing buyers how the room COULD look when furnished.

You choose which rooms you would like to have virtually staged. The investment is $50 +HST per staged photo and will be completed within 24-48hrs.  Minimum of 2 photos.

Special introductory offer:  $30 +HST per staged photo until Jan 31, 2018.  Minimum of 2 photos. 

Check out the slide show above to see some photos that have been virtually staged by Cathy.

Old or New-What's Best for You? 
There are various pros and cons with newer and older homes.

Home buyers face countless decisions when purchasing a home. One of the first things to figure out is whether you prefer a newer home or an older home.
Comparing newer and older homes can be tricky as it depends on individual preferences as well as family priorities. Here are a few advantages of older homes:

  1. Solid as a Rock - The craftsmanship that went into building homes years ago was usually second to none.

  2. Old World Charm - Older homes usually boast unique architectural features such as crown moulding and stained glass windows.

  3. Location - Older homes are often located in well established communities with mature trees. They're also usually close to popular downtown amenities.

  4. Outdoor Space - Older homes usually have larger lots which is important if you value your privacy or wish to possibly extend your home in the future.

Newer homes on the other hand have their own unique set of advantages. Here are just a few points to consider:

  1. Customizable - You can customize a brand new home to your own tastes with options like heated floors or granite countertops.

  2. Functional - Newer homes are laid out with functional features such as attached garages, larger storage areas and ensuite bathrooms.

  3. Low Maintenance - You're not likely to encounter any serious issues as everything's brand new. The home's exterior will also be much easier to maintain.

  4. Energy Efficient - Better windows, insulation and appliances mean newer homes are more energy efficient which translates into lower monthly utility bills.

Newer homes are usually more functional but older homes offer a level of character that new homes can't match. You may already have a good idea of what you prefer but keep an open mind as you become more familiar with the pros and cons of each. This is one of the biggest investments you'll ever make so do your research before signing on the dotted line!

Things that go Bump in the Night 
Are your home’s strange sounds keeping you up at night?

Part of settling into a new home is figuring out what noises are normal. Most are nothing to worry about but some could signal a deeper issue. Here are a few that you should pay attention to:

  1. Furnace Noises - A humming noise is normal but loud pops, scraping, grinding or squealing sounds should be checked out professionally.

  2. Scratching Sounds - The dreaded sound of scratching likely means you have rodents that are making themselves at home so take notice before it gets out of hand.

  3. Running Water - Check for leaks and water damage around the home. If you can’t figure it out quickly, call a plumber as it could mean a broken pipe.

  4. Gurgling Toilet - Gurgling noises coming from the toilet could signal a blockage in the toilet or drain, a blockage in the vent stack or a main sewer drain blockage.

  5. Noisy Fridge - Some whirring and clicking is normal but if your fridge is cracking or popping, it could be a compressor or a temperature regulation issue.

You can expect to hear some noises coming from your home as the various building materials will contract and expand. Just keep an ear out for anything unusual and don’t hesitate to call a professional if in doubt! 

GeoCaching -- High Tech Hide and Seek 
If your New Year’s Resolution was to get active, consider geocaching!

Geocaching is a high tech treasure hunt where a GPS app is used to locate various hidden caches. It's a great way to get active with your family while exploring the great outdoors!

Geocaches are hidden stashes that contain small treasures along with a logbook. Once you find a geocache, you replace the treasure with something of your own, log in your details and then check-in online.

Exploring hometown hiking trails takes on a whole new meaning when geocaching and the best part is it doesn't cost a cent! Instead of searching around for the remote this Sunday afternoon, head outdoors for a real life treasure hunt!

PS Check out this Case Study to see how we helped this client sell her home immediately and for over asking.

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.