Home Staging

ANA’s 9 Tips to Sell Your Home in Winter…Brrrr!

By | Ana Cummings, Design, Home Staging, Real Estate | No Comments

In Calgary, it might seem like we have a longer winter season than summer. If you plan on selling your home during the winter months, here are my best tips!

  1. Make sure all your rooms are well lit. Replace low voltage or old bulbs with brighter or LED ones. In winter, the sun goes down much earlier, therefore your afternoon and evening viewings will require more light. Aim for 100w for every 50 square feet.
  2. Style your home as cozy as possible. This means layers. Put out a fur throw on the sofa or at the end of the bed. Luxurious touches that invite visual warmth will imbue a sense of comfort.
  3. Have an adequate place for boots and coats during your viewings. Empty out the front closet and put a mat underneath. This will not only keep the house tidy, but will make your potential buyer feel like they are already “at home”.
  4. Bake some cookies in the oven or have a fragrance diffuser in the home that triggers good memories of wintertime. Cinnamon, chocolate, cider smells are wonderful this time of year.
  5. Make sure the outside of the home is free and clear of snow and ice. This is your first impression and it needs to be as easily accessible as possible. Maintaining the outside of your home is just as important as the inside. Adding a couple of winter planters is also a welcoming touch.
  6. Turn on all in-floor heat in bathrooms and in areas that have it. There is no other feeling in the world than coming in from the cold and into a warm cocoon of a home. Our feet love to be warm. Having said that, being too warm is also a turn off. Monitor the weather and plan your temperature control accordingly.
  7. Add fresh flowers in places like hallways and kitchens. The addition of botanical elements adds life to a room in winter.
  8. Keep your home as clean as humanly possible; give the kids baskets to put their bulky items into.
  9. Have a designated place you and the family can go that will allow you to work and the kids to continue to study or do homework; like a public library or cozy cafe.

Best of luck to you!

Living Rooms and Selecting the Correct Size Sofa

By | Ana Cummings, Design, Home Staging | No Comments

First and foremost, how large a sofa you can get depends on two things, 1. How large the room is, and 2. How large the doorway(s) is in which it will enter. There is nothing worse than ordering the perfect sized sofa only to realize it can’t fit through a door, into an elevator or around a winding staircase.

Again, if it’s just a sofa and not a sectional, you’ll want to make sure you can allow enough room for side tables, a coffee table, and lighting such as floor or table lamps. A room just is not complete without the proper elements that make that space function perfectly. Always carry your room measurements with you when you go out shopping for your large furnishings. If you find yourself questioning between the 6ft or 8ft sofa, you can always ask an associate or call an interior decorator or designer.

Once you have found the perfect sofa, make sure you can walk all around it, and can walk in between the edge of the sofa and the edge of the coffee table, minimum distance for that would be about 14”.

When you are thinking of adding other chairs to your sofa, note that people sitting in seats opposite to it should not be more than 8ft apart, as it is very difficult to have a nice conversation at that distance.

How to Sell Your Home with Messy Kids

By | Ana Cummings, Design, Home Staging, Real Estate | No Comments

Kids right? Cleaning up after them is like cleaning up after a party that you weren’t invited to – and the party never stops! This is when you aren’t trying to sell your home, so what do you do when your home is on the market? Don’t worry, I’ve put together my top 10 best tips for getting your home sold, despite having messy kiddos.

  1. The daily to-do list. Get every family member involved with completing the daily to-do list. Put alerts on devices so that every morning everyone makes their bed and puts their unworn clothes away.
  2. Build multi-tasking muscles. Kids love games! Tell them they need to develop their “multi-tasking muscles” by making sure every trip up or down the stairs involves carrying something that needs to be put back in “its spot.”
  3. Have secret storage spots in each room. Make these new to-dos a snap by purchasing baskets or bins with lids that everyone can keep under their bed or in a designated storage area in each room.
  4. Hire a cleaning service. You need to make sure toilets, showers, and sinks are always sparkling. You can negotiate with cleaning companies to offer you the basics like bathrooms and kitchens (or the whole house). Tell your kids that they can earn some extra allowance each week if they keep their bathroom clean. Make sure each bathroom has its own set of cleaning items, including a container of disinfectant wipes for quick clean ups.
  5. Install diffusers at the entry so the home always has a pleasant fragrance. Hang charcoal air filters in smelly closets.
  6. Be proactive with your storage. Pack up any toys or clutter that make the most messes (ahem, Lego) right at the get go. That way you won’t have to worry about it when you have a last minute showing.
  7. Get the paint can out. Make sure all of your high traffic walls and doors are freshly painted; no need to see the many finger prints and dings accumulated over the years. Remove all posters tacked to walls in bedrooms.
  8. Relocate the pets. If possible, temporarily send beloved pets to a welcoming friend or neighbour’s house. This will eliminate any odors and associated accoutrements that may put off a potential buyer.
  9. Make sure everyone’s closets are super organized. This is one of the biggest challenges when you have kids, especially kids that like to collect things. A professional organizer can help. Potential buyers look inside of closets because storage is important, keep them as tidy as possible!
  10. Keep those carpets and floors spotless. Have your carpets and floors professionally cleaned prior to listing and install a strict “no shoes, no food, no drink” policy. Everyone enjoys their snacks and food at one designated spot which is cleaned immediately after each meal.

Best of luck! You can do this.

Home Staging

By | Calgary, Design, Home Staging, Real Estate | No Comments

On this week’s episode, we bring in the home staging experts! Ana Cummings of ANA Interiors and Natasha Borosh of Dezin Group sit down with Kim to talk all about home staging. But what exactly is home staging? Here are a few quick facts on home staging and why it’s important:

Home staging is all of the prep work done in order to get a home ready to go on the market. When you hire a professional, they analyze your space and decide how to bring everything together. They work with you to determine your needs. If your house is vacant, furniture can be rented to fill the space. They decide what your décor style is (modern, classic, country, etc.) and how to best work with this throughout the space.

Home staging is what gets potential buyers through the door. People spend an average of seven seconds analyzing a home online before deciding to check it out in person. You want to make sure your home photographs well and the best place to start is with a well arranged space. You want a space that flows and that gives the next home owner the ability to visualize their life there. Remember, as soon as your home goes up on the market, it is no longer your home.

For the full discussion, tune in this Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. on CTV2 or this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on CTV. Our experts break down what you can expect for costs and how much home staging can save you overall. They’ll also tell you the three most important spaces to think about and the importance of leaving buyers visual cues.

BOO! How to Scare off Potential Buyers

By | Ana Cummings, Calgary, Design, Home Staging, Real Estate | No Comments

Anyone who has been through the home buying process has walked through that house. And then promptly walked (or run) away! There are many ways home sellers can scare off potential buyers. I’ve put together a list of the top 13 things to avoid when selling a home. Read on if you dare.

  1. Pills and potions. We don’t need to see any prescriptions for (insert ailments of choice), put them out of sight.
  2. Religious decor or ornamentation. You don’t want to unintentionally limit a potential home buyer. While they are in the home, put your items away and then bring them back out when an offer has been made.
  3. Items related to one’s intimate life. Keep the toys, magazines, DVDs, and other material tucked far, far away.
  4. Pet smells, especially cat urine. A menagerie of pets might also be a deal breaker.
  5. An oven that’s never been cleaned. Take the time to get out the grease before the showings start.
  6. Overstuffed closets and garages that look like an episode of Storage Wars. Tidy up! You want to show off your storage options, not make the potential buyer feel boxed in.
  7. Dirty sinks and toilets. You want to show your bathroom off, not cause your potential buyers to be distracted by your mess.
  8. A laundry room with piles of smelly dirty clothes all over the place. Again, you want to show how much space they’ll have to work with, not cause them to become distracted by your mountain of laundry.
  9. Mouse droppings in a kitchen pantry. Evict your unwelcome rodent tenants and clean away any reminder of them.
  10. A large collection of anything, from dolls to taxidermy. This is not the time to show off your impressive troll doll collection. Show off your hardwood floors or granite counter tops instead!
  11. A front door with paint flaking off. The front door is one of the first things your potential buyer sees. Let it set the tone for the rest of the home.
  12. Dead plants around or inside the house. No need to advertise your lack of a green thumb, tidy up the dead plants before the showing start.
  13. An unmade bed. Shudder!

For over 10 years, Ana Cummings of ANA Interiors has designed and meticulously staged model homes for high profile Calgary developments, busy professionals on the move, and empty nesters wanting to update their home for increased resale value or because they want to stay there forever. Ana skillfully translates vision into reality, and consistently delivers projects on time and on budget. Her beautiful designs leave her clients “unable to leave” the spaces she has created for them.