Kimber Braswell knew she was preoccupied with making things look pretty since she was 10 years old. One of her sideline passions has been applying her design and decoration skills to helping friends or real estate investors by preparing rehabbed houses or offices.
In the meantime, she was a successful registered nurse for 23 years. As she began to think about a retirement plan, she says she realized she should be true to her calling—so two years ago, she launched Sweetgrass Home Staging, LLC, from scratch.
"I can work with existing items or provide all the furniture and furnishings," affirms the entrepreneur who covers a large region of clients from Chapin to Columbia.
To make houses the most market-ready possible, Kimber offers the following five tips.
- Declutter, unless deliberately selling a furnished place, to the level of removing one-half to three-fourths of items in each room.
- Neutralize any funky colors by investing in good cans of paint. She says the trend is returning to white as a base color; however, she believes grays, tans and blues also are neutralizing hues.
- Consult a stager so they can do their magic because potential buyers pick up quickly on details. Kimber says industry research indicates staged houses sell up to 72% faster than unstaged ones, and that staged houses can launch bidding wars that fetch 25% higher selling prices.
- Take care of curb appeal because some people aren't able to move past poor first impressions, no matter what houses look like on the inside. Kimber says at least paint faded shutters and front doors.
- Never leave a place vacant because staged areas give people visions and ideas of the space relations with which they're dealing.
Kimber says one of her favorite aspects of staging is helping create fresh, inviting looks.