Thursday, May 24, 2012

Home Staging in Maine-favorites.

I am a busy bee this time of year! One of the fun things about being an Interior Designer who specializes in home staging is I get to see ALOT of homes in Maine. Below are a handful of properties I have worked on. All of them are move in ready (of course, because I worked on them) and gorgeous. Enjoy.

MLS#: 1050394

59 Montrose Avenue # 2
Portland, ME 04103
Listed with Tom Landry, Benchmark Real Estate

MLS#: 1050603
 183 Winn Road
Falmouth, ME 04105
Listed with Anne Marie Cooke of Keller Williams

MLS#: 1030089

16 Boardwalk Avenue
Windham, ME 04062
Listed with Rick Beal of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

MLS#: 1026920
21 Chestnut Street # 406
Portland, ME 04101
Listed with Chris Saladino of Ocean Gate Realty

MLS#: 1022356
10 Ebb Tide Drive
Cumberland, ME 04110
Listed with Anne Marie Cooke of Keller Williams

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Home Staging in Maine-Sweet Success!

I have a TON of properties going under contract at the moment. Honestly, I haven't had the time to feature each listing as they go public. That is how fast things move for properly staged and priced homes.

So Realtors-this is for you. I have inventory in the warehouse, ready to GO as soon as movers/install crew can be scheduled. Here are examples of what can be staged in the next two weeks:

Living Room-Transitional/Pottery Barn style.

Living Room-Traditional/Elegant.

sunroom or back porch

dining room

Breakfast room

Bedroom (many options)

The options above are literally ready to go NOW.
First come, first serve, all are much better than options than renting!!
Good design sells. Fiore Interiors brings a home's best features to light. or 207.318.0795

Maine Interior Designer's Notebook: Kennebunkport Designer's Showhouse Preview!

Tis the season...for Designer Showhouses!
Designer Showhouses...are a competition.One large estate quality house, and us creatives compete for a spot. Each space/room is the work of one designer.
Cool, right? Absolutely. The comes the task of pulling the space together...out of one's own pocket (yes my dears, we are not paid to do this)Then thousands of people walk through and critique your work. Some much louder than others...all interior designer's should participate in one at least once. They are great learning experiences. This year I REALLY wanted a guest room, an escape. I am having so much fun with it, here are some glimpses of the progress so far!

Selecting the Rug...which one do you think we kept?

Must incorporate this...into a bedroom? Hmmn. Yep, I can make it work!

Working very hard! Ok, I may have gotten distracted at Thomas Moser in Freeport, in the most comfortable chair EVER.

Fabrics round 1: raw silks and embroidered linens...

Fabrics round 2: indochine, anyone?
"From Saturday, June 23, through Saturday, July 14, the Kennebunkport Historical Society will sponsor a Designer Show House at the former Kenneth Roberts Estate, Rocky Pastures, in Kennebunkport.  This is the first time the house has ever been open to the general public.  Tickets are $20 per person and are available through the Society, the Kennebunk /Kennebunkport Chamber of Commerce, and the Nonantum Resort."

For All the details, click HERE

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Shedding some light on the details: What you want to ask but don't!

I rarely blog this openly, but a REALLY disturbing phone call came my way today.
Perhaps it is appropriate that on a rainy, foggy day I am REALLY steamed!!
I think that home staging is still relatively new to Maine. There is a huge divide between those who "get" it and those who not not. Realtors and stagers often speak to each other several times a week. So there are few secrets.
I also think it is easier to whisper than to speak up and ask questions. Sad, but true.
So I am going to list some popular questions and answers for you. If you have more...leave them in a comment form, email, call, messenger pigeon, whatever!
Q. Do you recommend working with a Realtor?
A. Every.single. time. I have worked with For Sale By Owner on several occasions. I like them, I want to help them...but statistics don't lie. Your house probably will sit much longer on the market, costing you more in mortgage payments (and sanity)that the Realtor's commission would have been. As a buyer, they are going to look out for your best interests and it doesn't cost you any money! 

Q. Do you send all your business to the same Realtors?
A. Er, how much do you think I control the world? Really? Where did I leave my magic wand....Yes I do come across buyers every now and again, but mostly I meet sellers who need staging AFTER they have signed a listing agreement with a Realtor.
Q. Do you get paid a referral fee from Realtors?
A. NO! Never. I would like it if they shipped chocolate to my door as a thank you.
Here I am, the magical real estate fairy. Puh-lease.

Q.Are there any Realtors you won't work with?
A. ABSOLUTELY. I only work with awesome people.
Q. Will you tell me who they are?
A. ABSOLUTELY NOT! Why would you need to know that? There are so many good people to work with. Focus on that instead. If you are unsure (or new to the area), interview several people and talk to previous clients. It is OK to interview several people, just be honest and say "I am new to this and feel more comfortable talking to several people before I make my decision. I am sure you understand". Trust me, they will. Do not ask a Realtor to start doing work before you have hired them though, that's not cool.
Q. Do Realtors share our financial information with you?
A. NO! We sometimes discuss a target list price when discussing what to upgrade and what isn't worth the investment, but I am not present for personal conversations between client and Realtor. Privacy is always r

Q. What do YOU look for in a  Realtor?
A. Here is my list:

  • Experience:This is a tough market and it is changing 
  • Commitment: no part timers or people in this for something to do because they are bored living in their waterfront estate. 
  • Listening skills: Your realtor will take good care of you as a client and listen to you, even when you are stressed. 
  • Respect: (Aretha Franklin is singing in the background). You will see the top producers in Maine Real Estate speak to everyone with respect and professionalism. The client, the painter, the dog walker, the sellers' tenants, the stager. Don't settle for less, because those are signs of success and class and you want that on your side.
  • Honesty:They will tell you what you don't WANT to hear. Realtors want your business. They don't want to lose your listing and don't enjoy having to tell you about mismatched appliances, market conditions, pricing...things you don't want to hear. So don't kill 'em over it, take some time to listen. They are spending alot of $ marketing your property before it sells so they are committed to your success.
  • Avoid: Realtors who have dated former clients that are married (yes, I have seen this), or have complaints against their license, are super vocal in their political party affiliations. These demonstrates lack of ethics or common sense, so move along. 
  • STAGING: (you knew this was coming, right?). Good Realtors are out marketing your property. They will help you prep the property, but the really successful ones will connect you with a stager who either does a consult/report for the DIY homeowner, or gets more involved in the preparation process.
thanks for reading this far!

If you are wondering WHO I work with, check out the staging photos on my facebook page, here. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Maine Real Estate Staging: What to do with a modern loft?

 What do you do with a loft in downtown Portland that:
Has gorgeous views...

A building with a cool modern vibe...
 but potential buyers don't know how to use the space?
Open floor plans are both a blessing a curse. I love to live in them, but it can be hard to help people see the potential. So Fiore Interiors staged the loft with more than just "stuff". In a space like this, light and space are actual design elements.

Kitchen, featuring  Surf/Windy Bluff on metal by David Wade via Vox Photographs.
Original art from local artists lends authenticity to the space and to the experience.
ART: Sunrise II, Barbara Goodbody via Vox Photographs
So much usable square footage and sunlight for DAYS.
I didn't feel that I should stage every inch of the space. On area could be transformed into an office, art studio, or add a wall and create a second bedroom. The possibilities are endless. So I staged it as an art studio to help show the size and potential. Art: art: Pier #2, Freddy Silva via VOX Photographs

And...original art by ME. No, it is not a new calling. I literally needed a custom color for a piece of art and knew I would not find it ready made. So I had some fun, and then used a blow dryer to get it dry in time to install! 
Sneak peek at the bedroom area!
art: Skies #9 on metal, Audra Welton via VOX photographs
As always, thank you to Michael Berube, my fantastic real estate photographer.

MLS#: 1026920, 21 Chestnut St, Portland ME. Listed by Chris Saladino of Ocean Gate Realty.

Need help getting a property sold? Hire an Interior Designer who specializes in staging. The results are undeniably successful. Give us a call! 207.318.0795