Home staging with Cathy Hobbs and her students (part 4 of 4 in series)
August 30, 2011
I had an opportunity to watch Cathy Hobbs in action as the instructor of a CSP (certified staging professional) course. This was the final day of the 3-day course and it was time for her students to apply all that they had learned.
The CSP course teaches a method of staging that includes:
choosing a focal point for the room
accentuating the room’s function
using a 60-30-10 color ratio
systematic packing of the homeowner’s possessions that won’t be used in the staging
This is not the entire method but just a few key areas of learning for her students. On this day, the students are staging a single family home that has been on the market for over a year. As the students work they pause to ask Cathy questions about some of their choices. Cathy answers them but tries to remain an observer to see if the students can recall what they have been taught. Occasionally she interjects with a comment or reminder.
The students today are 2 women who have never staged a house before. One is from the medical field and one was in advertising and public relations before becoming a stay at home mother. They both are exploring the idea of a career in home staging.
Cathy says that even experienced home stagers can benefit from CSP courses and certification. Some of the advantages include increased marketing credibility, exclusive CSP privileges, mentoring, preferred vendor, free web site and blog.
Thank you for joining me for my 4-part series on home staging featuring Cathy Hobbs.
Ten staging tips under $10. Interview with Cathy Hobbs (part 3 of 4)
Baltimore Interior Decorating Examiner
Thank you for joining me once more for tips from Staging professional Cathy Hobbs. Here are her top ten tips!
TEN UNDER TEN – Bringing great design into your home doesn’t have to be expensive. ASID Interior Designer Cathy Hobbs shares the secrets of her “Design Recipes”, affordable design ideas…many under $10.00!
Q1- What are your top 10 tips under $10?
- Interesting decorative pillows made from colorful scarves
- Natural elements like wood chip coins (covered with open glass filled vases, filled with candles or stems)
- Decorating with fruit –fruit placed in long tall vases
- Treasured items placed in shadow boxes
- Framed wallpaper
- Potted succulents instead of plants
- Displaying cut flowers in colored bottles or jars
- Decorating with natural elements like sand, stones, and shells
- Decorating with rope
- Framed pieces of fabric
Q2- What if you had a little more money to spend?
One of my favorite things to do right now is make custom wallpaper. Wallpaper is really making a comeback. What I really love about wallpaper is the texture and durability. You can make your own custom and affordable wallpaper by buying colorful paints and interesting stencils and stenciling directly onto a piece of solid colored wallpaper.
Stay tuned for the last installment when I interview some students at Cathy’s most recent staging class in Columbia Maryland and share some pictures of the class in action staging a local home.
Home Staging “Tricks of the Trade” from Cathy Hobbs (Part 2 of 4)
Welcome to part two of my four part series featuring interviews with Cathy Hobbs. Cathy is one of the top experts in the country when it comes to real estate staging and preparing ones home for sale. Always armed with her “stagers tool kit”, Cathy can display and showcase some of the basic tools any homeowner can purchase to prepare their home for sale.
Q1- If I was to look in your bag, what would I find?
You would find the basics, hammer, screw driver, picture hangers etc. But you will also find a nifty handheld furniture lifter that allows me to lift furniture by myself as well as soft furniture movers. The furniture movers are really my secret tip! They allow me to move large pieces of furniture either by myself or with the help of a single assistant!
Q2-What 5 things do you think every stager should have?
- Picture hangers that leave virtually no holes in the walls
- Furniture lifter
- Furniture movers (soft disks that are placed under furniture legs)
- Eco-friendly cleaning supplies
- Clean air machine to remove cooking, pet, baby and tobacco smells
Q3-How do you stage a home when it is full of the homeowner’s sentimental objects and furniture?
I always remind home sellers that when they put their property on the market it is no longer their home it is a product on the market for sale and it will need to appeal to the largest amount of potential buyers. In order to do this we will need to create a neutral palette, clearing away the clutter and removing the personal momentos. I also remind home sellers that hopefully “they will be moving anyway” and so “why not pack early!” There is nothing wrong with keeping personal and treasured items in the home when a home seller is living in the home and enjoying it for themselves, but at the moment it goes on the market for sale it becomes a marketed product and those personal items need to be packed away. Often large pieces or unattractive pieces are also removed from the home.
Q4-What was the most challenging staging job you have had so far?
Ah..yes! There was one staging where an apartment in Greenwich Village was an absolute disaster. It was owned by a family who allowed their son to use the apartment while he lived in New York. The son had two roommates. Walls had been put up to create extra bedrooms and the apartment was beyond cluttered..it was a mess! The day we came to stage, there was still the apartment mascot a furry chinchilla in the apartment. Luckily it stayed in a closet the whole time!
Q5-What advice would you give people who want to sell their home?
A staged home has great appeal, enticing buyers inside, where they will see the best view of each room and the best traffic pattern throughout the home. Further, a staged home is also in its best showcase, mint condition, so that it sells at the best possible price in the shortest possible time, an un-staged home does not.
Staging before placing the house on the market, even before the “broker tour,” is ideal because realtors, as much as potential buyers, want to be “wowed”, and will be! A staged house will stand out from the competition. Realtors will want to show it to their clients, increasing traffic to your listing and speeding its sale.
Thank you Cathy for your insights into home staging. You can learn more about staging by working with Cathy first-hand when she hosts her 3-day certification course in Columbia, MD. Space is limited so register today!
Please join me next Thursday when I share part 3 of my 4-part series with Cathy. The next topic:Ten Under Ten