Homes listed in today’s challenging market often languish unsold for months, even years. Savvy sellers and agents in LA and in San Francisco have been turning to professionals Renee and Wyatt Sullivan from Bella Casa Home Staging to present their home’s best face to potential buyers.
The Sullivans began Bella Casa up in San Francisco “where staging really began”, according to Wyatt Sullivan. With construction, real estate and design backgrounds, the two decided to pool their expertise and market their talents, when their own staged rehab projects sold so well, and so quickly.
“Our first spec project, ten years ago, sold way over anything in the neighborhood, because all the ‘right’ things were done, in fact $250k over asking,” he reflected. “It shocked even us!” he chuckled.
They knew they had the right ‘secret sauce’ to apply to other homes for sale in the Bay Area. Even homes with all the right basic updates and upgrades still needed the Sullivan brand of pizzazz to create the emotional attachment with the buyer for a quick sale at a strong price.
“In just one year, we added warehouse space for our staging supplies of furniture and accessories six times” remembered Renee. Now in both San Francisco and LA, they warehouse over 120,000 square feet of staging supplies. With experienced crews in both places, the Sullivans go back and forth several times a month to supervise projects “One of our strengths is that we can turn around a project in a short period of time, with our great and distinctive staging supplies in traditional to contemporary styles, ready at a moments’ notice,” said Renee.
One of their recent jobs, a contemporary condo project, had to be turned around in just three days. “We’re sure others turned it down, just on the narrow timeline alone,” said Wyatt. “Bella Casa had it done on time, and it turned out so well, we use shots of the three models for our own marketing.”
What also sets Bella Casa apart is that their pricing of top quality designer staging is often significantly less…sometimes by half…compared to other stagers, especially on LA’s Westside.
Ernie Carswell founder of Teles Properties, who just listed a well known celebrity’s home in Beverly Hills last week at $3,475,000, has high praise for Bella Casa Home Staging. “For this property, staging was essential, in my professional opinion, due to the vacant interior. Huge open spaces needed definition with color and warmth, plus floor coverings. Most importantly the home needed a new attitude toward its future incarnation. It needed youthfulness, athleticism and vibrancy. All these factors were sorely lacking until Bella Casa interpreted the space correctly and added what was needed – with flair.”
Carswell continued, “If I had to estimate a price value for the impact of the finished staged interiors, it would have to have added hundreds of thousands of dollars of “marketable value”. The visual appeal was so greatly increased, that we really can’t know exactly the financial impact, but it was six figures for sure.
“Since the property was launched (late November), and first seen in 2 years by the brokerage community,” Carswell summed up, “we now have received 4 written purchase offers and are expecting more. Is there any doubt how valuable this staging was to the selling swiftness? I think not.”
Keys to their success include long lasting fresh floral and greenery arrangements, plus original artwork, leased from the artists. “Its amazing how much depth and style these two elements add to a staged home,” commented Renee.
Up in San Francisco, much of the market is in century old Victorians. One of their secrets, Renee reveals, is to add some contemporary elements to even the most staid traditional, evoking a bit of surprise and interest.
Dilbeck agent, Eileen Benson, first used Bella Casa to market a historic home on Grand View in Sierra Madre this year. “A house must look its absolute best in order to sell right away for top dollar. The home, a Sierra Madre favorite, had so much character and charm on its own but needed a bit of something, Renee and Wyatt tailored their proposal for a moderate makeover, with tact, understanding and kindness in dealing with the sellers. Having Renee and Wyatt on my team helped sell my historic listing within 10 days with multiple offers. I consider Bella Casa Home Staging as business partners for all of my future listings. No project is too small or too large, and they’re so much fun to work with!”
According to Wyatt, “Our success has come from delivering a staged home that says to a buyer, ‘I can move in, just as it is’, no matter whether it still needs some updating to the bathrooms, or the living room is a bit dark. We know how to overcome these expensive fixes, with techniques that can even make that low light living room a cozy plus rather than a minus.”
The Sullivans have found that sellers often wish they’d done this type of staging years before; seeing lifestyle and floorplan adjustments creating usable inviting space from under utilized square footage, in a few short days, right before their eyes.
Bella Casa Home Staging offers full service staging, interior design and remodel services, as well as hourly advice for do-it-yourselfers. For more information, contact them at 866-678-5600 or visit their website, www.BellaCasaLA.com.Download Article