2 WYNGAARD AVENUE
A mid-century Warnecke, this spacious home had been thoughtfully remodeled by its current owners which involved a state-of-the-art professionally designed kitchen. What hadn't been tackled was the ensuite bathroom, exterior paint and a more cohesive interior design approach. Big and bright, this house offered a lot of living space, including an oversized living room, dining room, large family room, 5 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, an inviting front courtyard and a private back patio with an outdoor kitchen. Presenting a home with a narrative that provides Buyers with a clear understanding of how a house can live is the goal of good staging, but it doesn't happen without hardwork, the proper investment in preparing a home and a willingness to let our team go to work. Can it be a tricky road to navigate? Definitely, but not without a sincere intention to present the house in its absolute best light and a desire to garner the most successful result.
before & after
43 FARRAGUT AVENUE
This sophisticated home with intimate courtyards, mostly all-level living and fabulous indoor-outdoor flow was accurately described as a "unicorn." Few houses exist in Piedmont with this kind of grand scale, open floor plan, three en-suite bedrooms and stunning kitchen/family room space. Our Sellers understood the value of updating their lovely home and investing in the right choices: fresh white paint, warm wool carpet, modern light fixtures, refinished natural wood floors, Calcutta quartz countertops, and jaw-dropping staging. Did such a significant home require a drastic makeover? Definitely. Loved and lived in, 43 Farragut needed a face lift, and the results were nothing short of "Wowza!"
before & after
5773 COUNTRY CLUB LANE
This Mid-Century Modern had all the right elements, but needed a little more swagger, fresh paint and thoughtful furniture placement. Our clients were the dream; handing us the keys, moving out and allowing our teams to go to work. Ultimately, this home was able to really shine and the home was in contract within two weeks of bringing it to market. It isn't always easy to let go, but when you put your faith in the process and trust that you are in good hands (you are!), it can certainly ease the journey and lighten your load.
before & after
6 DOROTHY PLACE
This lovely oasis, tucked away in the Berkeley Hills offered privacy and serenity, but had been overlooked when it was originally brought to the market without the benefit of fresh paint and staging with a well-intentioned, out-of-area Realtor. With only one lackluster offer presented, our Sellers decided to reboot with the realization that some changes were in order, and that working with a local team would hopefully garner a stronger result. Did we roll up our sleeves, bring in our teams of painters, handymen, cleaners, stagers and gardeners to give this stunning Contemporary the attention it deserves? Did we visit this house on a daily basis, change out the flowers, sweep the front porch and vacuum the new carpets? Yes, yes and yes, which was absolutely necessary given the overwhelming response this house received, with more than 90 showings in two weeks: that's a tremendous amount of foot traffic and a lot of wear and tear. We pride ourselves on our care and attention to detail, while we are preparing the house . . . and during the entire marketing period: plants are watered, floors are swept, yards are kept neat, mail is collected and garbage cans are put away. Our listings are NEVER neglected, and consequently, they frequently benefit from highly competitive offers.
before & after
73 OAKMONT AVENUE
Quaint and lovely, this sweet cottage in Piedmont was almost lost among larger homes on its block. Sandwiched among a sea of beige and gray neighbors, this formerly cream house needed to be noticed. Saturated blue body paint, crisp white trim and a colorful coral front door took this home from wallflower status to starring role. Light bright paint on the inside, updated light fixtures and thoughtful staging throughout created the picture-perfect storybook fantasy, selling in less than 28 hours with an aggressive preemptive offer. Do all of our listings have such a happy ending? Not necessarily, but we shoot for this goal each time because our aim is to reach high and see every listing reach its full potential.
before & after
33 CORTEZ COURT
This much-loved Montclair retreat presented with a fair amount of deferred maintenance and was hidden by overgrown foliage and a dilapidated carport. What started out as a simple update evolved into a major overhaul which included bathroom and kitchen updates, new front doors, construction of new fencing, fresh paint throughout, new lighting, new deck, new carpet, and extensive landscaping involving sprinkler repair, planting new beds, and the removal of loads of vines, a dead tree and built-up debris. Fantastic staging elevated the home to new heights, providing the vision for what this house could be for new homeowners. Thankfully, everything fell into place and an offer was presented less than one week into marketing!
Staging sets the Stage
Bringing a home to market can often require a fair amount of capital: hauling, painting, gardening, repairing, lighting, refinishing floors, installing carpeting, cleaning and, yes . . . staging! It isn't at all unusual to have a candid conversation around the value of staging and why I believe it is the single most important investment necessary to garner the best result. Do my Sellers find this concept difficult? Practically always. My carefully cultivated team and I are creating a narrative for the house that frankly almost entirely negates the lives that have lived there before. While your memories remain intact, our goal is to help the Buyers envision themselves in the house under the very best conditions. Staged homes are about the fantasy; the possibilities and the Insta-worthy photos that populate on the internet. BTW, a watered front lawn makes a huge difference!
39 WILDWOOD AVENUE
before & after
1855 TRESTLE GLEN ROAD
Truth be told, every house is "lived in." People have real lives, real requirements and real "stuff!" Do most houses suffer from typical wear and tear? Yes they do, which is why its often necessary to suggest a fresh coat of paint, repair work, replacing stained carpet, updating lighting, replanting gardens and you guessed it. . . fabulous staging!
before & after
More often than not, the garden is the first impression before walking through the front door. What's more welcoming than the sweet scent of creeping thyme or a hedge of lavendar? More importantly, a well-tended garden adds value and desirability to a home. Do we tackle yards when prepping houses for sale? Most definitely. We are frequent visitors at Devil Mountain Wholesale Nursery in San Ramon where we handpick ornamental trees, shrubs and groundcover and load it all up in our “company” truck. Our hard-working gardening crew is known to weed, prune, mow, blow, plant, repair fencing, build beds, haul away debris, lay down tons of mini-bark and maintain the properties throughout the marketing period. Front doors are often painted a cheery color, pots are planted with overflowing flowers and herbs, and fresh door mats are laid out for an overall impression that warmly says “welcome!”
288 INDIAN ROAD
When we suggested removing the overgrown camellias and rhodendruns, our sellers hesitated; "Why would we remove mature plants?" To be frank, dominating shrubbery can often hide the house and feels like a barrier. Once the beds were cleared, the home not only presented with beautiful front windows, but also brought a lot more natural light into the stunning formal living room. While the front beds called for serious editing, the backyard was altogether a different story, requiring a fair amount of planting, weeding, power washing, and watering
4444 STEELE STREET
Having purchased this home more than 30 years ago as a first-time Buyer and eventually turning it into a rental, this 2bdrm/1ba needed some serious TLC and updating. When confronted with the option of selling it as a "fixer" or putting the time and money into transforming the property, my savvy client chose to bring this sweet house to the market reinvented: new kitchen, bathroom, lighting, paint, and yard! Was he attached? Yes, he was! Was he tested? Most definitely. What started out as a simple remodel quickly snowballed into "more than he bargained for," as is often the case once walls are opened and electrical and plumbing are addressed. Fortunately, every roadblock was met with patience, willingness, support and grace. Did this little house prove to be a big undertaking? Did I put my own project manager, contractor and gardener to the test? Were we all thrilled with the ultimate outcome? Decidedly so!
359 EL CERRITO AVENUE
This charming house was hidden behind overgrown foliage and neglected landscaping. While the open floor plan on the inside leant itself to a warm and easy approach to living, the outside did little to convey a welcoming salutation. Lots of pruning, weeding, raking, power washing and bright, light paint proved to be the winning recipe for a storybook ending to a very successful sale.
before & after
675 Fairmount Avenue
This income-producing duplex required a face-lift which included fresh exterior paint, front yard plantings, a bright front door, and a little stencil magic! It can be a challenge selling an occupied listing with limited opportunities to show, but an eye-catching photograph and inviting curb appeal can provide the required impetus.
FENCES & NEIGHBORS
1063 60th Street
This hip and chic home in the NOBE, offered central location, modern amenities and urban living. However, the sweet neighbors were in a holding pattern about their dilapidated garage. They had plans to eventually address what clearly needed addressing, but we needed a solution pronto! These steel-cut screens were discovered on Etsy, arrived within a week and were installed by our talented handyman who built the frame to securely anchor the screens to the fence. The courtyard was completely transformed with a little investment, effort and ingenuity, and the neighbors loved it too!