Monday, April 6, 2009

Press Release

Contact: Amy Florek


CHARLOTTE, NC (April 6, 2009) – As the all-important spring selling season approaches in an historically slow housing market, sellers need to do all they can to market their home – and that includes staging it to attract and “wow” potential buyers. Home stagers know just the right moves to make to take a house from bland to grand and bring home the biggest return on investment. Their tricks of the trade and answers to common design dilemmas can make all the difference in selling a home – as well as enjoying one.

“Attention to detail throughout the home can make the difference between a house that sells and one that sits on the market,” explains Kate Hart, one of America’s top home stagers and owner of Hart & Associates Staging & Design. “In particular, improvements to the kitchen and bath - the two rooms that sell a home - will always help bring in the buyers.”
Below, Kate Hart shares some easy and effective home improvements that homeowners can do to make a big change without breaking the bank.
Curb Appeal: First impressions are everything, and this has never been truer than in today’s market. To leave a positive impression on buyers, take care of any exterior maintenance issues before buyers arrive, such as power washing walkways and patios, cleaning your gutters, touching up peeling paint, replacing broken light bulbs, edging and mulching beds, and adding fresh annuals. Some free things you can do include polishing your front door hardware and sweeping away pesky cobwebs.

Kitchen: Give your kitchen a mini facelift on a budget by repainting your cabinets instead of replacing them. For a more contemporary look, consider a semi-gloss espresso brown. For a more traditional look, opt for a semi-gloss creamy white. Complete the makeover by adding new hardware. Considering professional help? Ask your local painter if they can spray a lacquer finish on your cabinets. This treatment is more expensive than painting the cabinets yourself but the result looks like a factory finish.

Bathroom: Give an outdated bath a pick-me-up by replacing your existing lighting, faucets and hardware with updated styles and framing your plate glass mirror with a MirrorMate® frame. Easy to install, these frames come in many different finishes and give your bathroom a custom, designer look in minutes.

Bedrooms: Take your bedroom from lived-in to luxurious by creating a headboard that gives your room a more complete look. Measure the width of your bed and determine the height you prefer. Purchase a ¼ inch piece of plywood fitting these dimensions (ask the store to cut if for you) and cover it with 2 inch foam that fits the dimensions you selected. Wrap the foam and plywood with batting that can be purchased from a craft store. Finally staple gun a fabric of your choice around the headboard you’ve created. You can then hang the headboard behind the bed on the wall as if you were hanging a piece or art using “D” rings and hooks or attach it to your bed frame using bolts and washers.

Family Room: Make your fireplace or great view the selling feature, not your entertainment center. Chances are your family room is currently centered around the things you do everyday, such as watch TV. Before showing, rearrange your room to showcase the architectural focal point of your family room.

Dining Room: Keep this room de-cluttered and streamlined so buyers can imagine how they can enjoy this space with their families. Before showing, make sure to remove any knick-knacks and extraneous items from your china cabinet or sideboard. A rule to follow: pack up any items that are smaller than a softball such as salt and pepper shakers, wedding cake toppers, and small figurines.

Living Room: Make sure you are selling your space, not your stuff. Before showing, again, remove any family photos from the mantle, end tables and bookcases. Give this space a less cluttered look by keeping no more than three items per surface. For example, go with a piece of art and a pair of candle sticks on the mantle instead of your favorite collection.

“It’s important to complete all your improvements before your home goes on the market because as the saying goes…you never have a second chance to make a first impression,” continues Hart. “And once the sign goes up, you need to keep up the clean, de-cluttered look because you never know when you’ll have a showing. It just takes one buyer to sell your home.”

Kate Hart is a pioneer in the staging field, having helped hundreds of families and realtors prepare homes for sale through her Philadelphia-area company, Hart & Associates Staging & Design. Her design work has been featured in numerous books and national publications, as well as on The Fine Living Network, HGTV Radio and CNN Headline News. Hart was also recently recognized by the Real Estate Staging Association as “Staging Professional of the Year.”

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, MirrorMate LLC was founded by Lisa Huntting, who invented the product as a design solution for the four bare mirrors in her own home. The patented design allows the custom-cut frame to tape directly to the mirror currently on the wall, covering clips and channels and fitting seamlessly with any mirror - even if it sits atop a backsplash or runs to the wall or ceiling. MirrorMate comes in over 40 styles, installs in a matter of minutes and gives the bathroom a finished, updated look. As the original and industry leader, MirrorMate frames are patented in the U.S. with additional patents pending in the U.S. and Canada. For product and company information, as well as a demonstration video, please visit

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