What Millennial Homebuyers Want in 2018

Posted by admin under Home Design, Real Estate

In real estate, every buyer is different. Key features that might be a big plus for one buyer might be a total waste on another. Finding the right balance can be tricky—especially when you want to impress extra-picky Millennial buyers. So how do sellers meet the high demands of the latest homebuyer generation?


The best real estate agents understand the importance of playing up a home’s best features. Of course, these assets can change depending on the type of buyer. After all , beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You need to start by knowing exactly what it is that your buyer holds dear!


The Millennial Homebuyer Mindset


Breakfast Nook Design-Home Matters 1711To be fair, not every Millennial is going to have the same perspective on what makes a home great. Like any generation, the Millennial population is diverse and ever-changing. However, certain characteristics can be useful for describe the majority of these buyers. For starters, they tend to be more focused on square-footage quality, not quantity. Oftentimes, even smaller homes can be a great match.


Millennials share an interesting background. Unlike their parents, Millennials entered early adulthood during a difficult economic recession, a world-wide financial crisis, and a big housing bust. To top it off, the majority of Millennials also struggle with steep student loan debt. One challenge for these homebuyers is that they may not have the credit scores or income level to swing a bigger purchase. Fortunately, the polls continue to show that Millennials are perfectly comfortable opting for smaller spaces. In fact, they often prefer homes with just the essentials. (Of course, getting the latest tech or an updated kitchen is always a plus!)


Most Desired Home Features


As we move into 2018, Millennial buyers are sure to respond well to smart-home technology. One survey reports that 81 percent of buyers are more likely to go with a listing that’s already set up with smart-home features. While most older homes on the market won’t already have these upgrades installed, it’s a relatively simple add-on. Then, everything from your living room lighting to the thermostat and security can be controlled right with your smart phone. It’s a great bonus for Millennial homeowners because they can make adjustments anytime and anywhere—whether they’re in the next room or out of town.


Master Bedroom Wallpaper-Home Matters 1711Open floorplans and the latest energy-efficient appliances are top picks for almost any buyer in the 2018 real estate market. And in a lot of ways, the Millennial market and Baby Boomers are more alike than one might first think. A location that’s within walking distance to lots of amenities is great for these buyers, when available. Plus, both types are usually looking for a space that’s not too big, and not too small. When their home doesn’t have any unused space, they don’t have to worry about wasted energy and higher costs.


Additionally, the majority of the Millennials group still wants that grand, master suite—just like most buyers. One of the most-requested home feature in a poll of 1,000 Millennials was a large master bedroom. (Second only to new appliances.) Although they might be happy with a smaller space on the whole, these buyers will still appreciate a bigger space to spread out. Knowing how to style a master bedroom to maximize its flow and make it feel even more spacious can help weary buyers submit an offer.


Professional Home Staging for Millennials


Multifunctional Home Staging-Home Matters 1711With a focus on versatile living spaces and less of a need for traditional, single-use spaces like formal dining rooms, you might think Millennials are hard to please. But with the right setup and organization, it’s easy to showcase just about any home as Millennial-friendly. Professional home staging can go a long way to showcase the best features for these buyers.


Knowing which rooms can support a mixed-use setting—like a playroom or a home office—can help potential buyers envision their future. If you need help with a new listing or staging a new build, the design experts at Home Matters can help! Contact us today to learn more about our staging packages. We’d love to help make your listings shine!

Home Design Updates that are Fantastic for Fall

Posted by admin under Home Design

As the seasons change, so does our style. We bundle up with scarves and boots and swap our summer iced coffee for hot pumpkin lattes. Giving our homes a little autumn update can do wonders, too!


To boost your home’s comfy factor at the end of the year, all you need to do is take stock of the items you already have and consider adding a few new pieces to match the weather. A lot of times, home improvement projects can get by with just a little style advice. You don’t need to do anything fancy to make a big difference. The little details alone can go a long way.


Taking Stock of the Season


Try as they might to have year-round appeal, certain items in our home really do fit better in cycles. Not every piece of décor is going to be suitable for permanent display. And that’s okay! Swapping out different colors and textures is a great way to breathe new life into a space. (Plus, making a couple changes can be a surefire way to fight off cabin fever.)


Before you start moving anything around, it helps to do a quick home tour. Look at each room with an objective eye and try to pull out any pieces that feel more “summer” than “winter.” You can do this solo, or with a professional designer to really take your space to the next level.


Fall Pillows Decor-Home Staging Advice 1710As you make you way around the house, consider the little details—not so much the big furniture. Window treatments, the bookshelf knickknacks, throws and pillows are where it’s at. Ideally, you’ll be able to decide what palette your heart is leaning towards for the season and then double-check that your home is embracing the season tastefully. You shouldn’t give every room a splash of orange to be fall-festive, but incorporating warmer earth tones can definitely help.


If you’re working with a neutral base, try to spice things up when the temperatures drop. Instead of leaving your cream sofa plain, top it off with a couple velvet cushions. They’ll instantly warm up your space and can be super-affordable upgrade for your home. Store your spring and summertime colors in the closet, and it’s like getting a whole-room makeover in a snap.


Decorate with Fall Favorites


One of the best ways to enhance your autumn décor is to rotate your artwork. All too often, homeowners forget that their walls and floors can also get spruced up. (It’s not just about flannel blankets for fall!) We love drawing attention to fireplaces and exposed brick this time of year. Shopping around for a new area rug or piece of local artwork can really tie a room together before the holidays. If you lean toward pastels in the warmer months, try transitioning to richer tones like a deep rust or forest green.


Rotate Artwork-Home Staging Indianapolis 1710The other side of embracing fall favorites is to bring the outdoors inside. Hanging out on the porch and using our outdoor living areas is a no-brainer when the days are sunny. But even as the chill starts to hit, we can still welcome natural light into our homes. Keeping curtains and blinds open in the fall is a great mood-boost. Although the weather might be a little gray, odds are, you’ve got a colorful tree right next to your window. There’s almost nothing cozier than making that kind of view a highlight of your home.


Staging to Sell Your Home


Redesigning your home is great for your own comfort, but it’s even more valuable when you’re looking to sell. Plenty of buyers prefer to house hunt in the autumn because their kids are back in school and summer vacations are finally wrapped up. Just like in the spring and summer, certain staging needs to stay current for the fall.


Living Room Home Staging-Home Matters 1710The entryway is a major first impression for potential buyers. Keeping your landscaping up-to-date helps make that moment count. Brush off any leaves from the sidewalk and arrange a few potted mums on the porch to show your buyers (and, frankly, your neighbors) that you’re focused on year-round home maintenance. Inside, a clean and thoughtfully designed home will instantly welcome and guests or visitors. Rooms automatically feel more inviting when they have the right-sized furniture, good lighting, and seasonal textures.


All of these features set the tone of “home” for your own family, and they’ll do the same for any potential buyers. Making sure your home is fashionable for the season can really help your listing shine. And if you’re looking for an extra design eye for your space, Home Matters is here to help.


In addition to our staging services, our stylists are also available for design consultations. Whether you’re looking to sell before the New Year, or just want to feel more settled in to your current home—we’d love to hear from you! To get started, contact us at or call (317) 774-7025. Together, we’ll get your space to perfection so it’s easy to fall in love.

How to Spot a Top Home Staging Company

Posted by admin under Home Staging Education

Like your realtor or insurance agent, your home stager needs to be someone you can trust. Ideally, they’ll have years of experience in the industry, too. A hobbyist may have some good ideas, but real staging success usually comes from the experts. Working with a professional home staging company will help ensure that you get the quality you want—plus all the insights about designs that work best for your market.


The Professional Difference

In the design world, having passion isn’t enough to make the cut. Your staging company should be operating with the right inventory and a solid team to help get everything in its place. Often times, a DIY or hobby stager won’t have the scalability you need to make every room on your staging list really shine. They may have some helpful tricks for reorganizing your furniture, but you’ll likely need a few more strategic pieces to really wow your prospective buyers.


Family-Room-Staging_Home Matters 0917The logistics of managing the drop-off, set-up, and tear-down of any staging project can be complex, so you want a company who’s made a habit of efficiency. Make sure the entire process feels as streamlined and hands-free as possible. If you aren’t confident in your stager’s ability to coordinate these details—say, if they’re late to a meeting, or take days to return your call—there’s probably a better option out there.


Good staging companies will already have the budget and inventory to cover the types of pieces your home needs. Of course, every project is different. If you need special items to fit your home’s rustic theme or something more modern, your stager should already have the right items on-hand. Seeing a wide variety of design styles, layouts, and price points in their portfolio is a sure sign that you’re working with one of the best stagers in your area.


Talking About Results

Staging helps market your home, but that doesn’t mean that having a couch in the living room will bring in offers. There’s an art and a science beyond the staging tactics. If the staging isn’t done right, it might even make your home look worse!


Master-Bedroom-Staging-Company-Home Matters 0917When interviewing your staging company or checking for quotes, don’t be shy about asking for some success stories. Listen for key phrases like “only 2 days on the market” or “above asking price.” Getting key data about their happy clients is great for your decision-making process. You’ll feel better about moving forward with a stager that really knows what they’re doing—and has your best interests at heart.


Also, try to ask around for more information. If you didn’t already find your home stager by referral, take a peek at their company Facebook page or other reviews online. This will help give you an idea of the company’s overall vibe. During the consultation, it’s a good sign if they start talking about your target market, your home’s demographic appeal, and other things that get into the psychology of your buyer. Your stager should be a key player in selling your home. It usually helps if they know how to use the lingo of your real estate agent.


Setting the Right Tone

At the end of the day, though, it all comes down to going with your gut. If you’ve already done your homework, know the company has a good reputation, and you’ve flipped through some of their past home projects and like what you see—you’re probably in good hands. How do you respond to their portfolio photographs? If you see the value in the homes they’ve worked with in the past, you’ll be able to get a glimpse into how your own prospective buyers will feel when they start reviewing your listing’s pictures online.


Cute-Bathroom-Staging_Home Matters 0917Like most services, it also comes down to how you’re treated. Are you receiving timely responses? Have all of your questions been answered in a straight-forward way? Dealing with professional service will help make your staging process (and hopefully your selling experience) as pain-free as possible. Even the smallest details can make a big difference, especially when buyers are trying to decide whether or not to check out your home in-person. Making every room feel cozy can help you sell your property in record time!


Staging with Home Matters

We love working with sellers at Home Matters, and we always make a point to treat every project with care. Our designers’ work even received a Best of Houzz 2017 award for most popular design portfolio! You can also check out our Facebook page for the latest projects.


How can we help you get the most value out of your home? With professional staging, you can trust that every room is shown in its best light. Please give us a call today at (317) 774-7025 to get started on your quote or consultation—we’d love to hear from you!

Do You Really Need to Stage Bathrooms?

Posted by admin under Home Staging Education

Even the tiny details go a long way when you’re looking to sell. That’s because buyers aren’t just looking for a great location—they also want every room to use its full potential.


Having the right furniture for your living room and master bedroom can help key areas seem even more spacious. Yet square footage isn’t always the biggest selling point. It’s more important that every room be practical and relevant for the buyer. For smaller areas, like the bathroom, staging really helps create that “at home” feel. In fact, a staged bathroom might be all it takes to push potential buyers head-over-heels in love with your home!


Clean Bathrooms vs. Professional Staging


As long as the bathroom is relatively modern, there won’t be much to do, right? And if your bathroom hasn’t fallen victim to any of the top outdated bathroom fads, you might think all you need to do is clean it up. Scrub the tile, wash out the sink, and you’re good to go—or are you? This is where so many sellers miss the mark. A clean bathroom doesn’t automatically make it presentable. The buyers’ psychology is more complicated than that.


Professional-Staging-Bathroom_Home Matters 0817In fact, a lot of designers say that minimalism has become a real turn-off for bathroom spaces. Bare shelves can even make the space feel abandoned or neglected, which can be strangely off-putting. On the flip side, placing a few items in the bathroom cabinets actually draws special attention to them. Staging tells buyers, “This is a practical room—check out this extra storage!” An empty bathroom can unintentionally say the exact opposite. That’s why having a clean space isn’t enough to categorize it as “staged.”


A professional stager works with the room’s current layout to emphasize the positives, like the extra storage over the toilet. They know how to place items that add personality and character. More importantly, they know how to do this without cluttering the space. When you want to get a great ROI on your home, professional staging is the way to go.


Staging Bathrooms for First-Time Buyers


Younger buyers often want to feel that they’re getting the total package—without any additional labor. Seeing areas that they might want to remodel can be distracting, so it’s important to showcase each room as move-in ready. Again, staging helps make the magic. And with the right décor in place, you’ll be able to get pictures that clearly depict the type of lifestyle your new buyers are craving.


Bathroom-Staging-Benefits_Home Matters 0817Presenting a bathroom with a cohesive color scheme is step one. Using items that mimic the faucet’s finishes on the counter, or strategically placing a picture helps tie the room together. Hanging a shower curtain that is muted and compliments the existing paint color can make a huge difference in how inviting the room feels—even if it’s just a bathroom! Remodeling kitchens and bathrooms are often the most expensive home projects, so put your buyers’ minds at ease from the start. Show them that every room is great as-is, and they’ll be more eager to put in a good offer. A staging company with plenty of inventory will have the right items to elevate any room.


Younger buyers are also more likely to start their home searches online, where great photographs make a big difference. These savvy buyers (even if they’re new to the buyers’ market) have probably seen their fair share of design shows. They’ll know right away whether a house has been lovingly staged or listed without a second thought. Make a good impression right out of the gate to get the offers you really want.


The Grand Finale—Staging the Master Bath


Of course, more experienced buyers will want to seeing staging, too. When it comes to your master bath, don’t leave those details untouched. Cleaning the space is a great place to start, but you shouldn’t stop there. To attract buyers who are really looking for spa treatment, you want to make the master bath picture-perfect.


Master-Bath-Staging_Home Matters 0817Again, an empty space can feel more off-putting than anything. Help buyers imagine themselves using this space to relax and make it easy for them to see the streamlined design. Clean countertops only get them half of the way there. A couple other items in the room help create that “homey” feel every buyer is really looking for. Professional staging helps make that happen.


Our design team at Home Matters loves working with sellers and their realtors. If you have any questions about staging your next listing in the greater Indianapolis area, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Send us a message or give us a call at (317) 774-7025 to learn more about our staging packages. We can assist with vacant home staging or occupied home staging—for homes and condos of every shape and size!

How to Take Home Staging Outside

Posted by admin under Home Staging Education

When most homeowners hear the words “staging,” their minds immediately go to their living room and master bedroom. But home staging doesn’t just happen on the inside. Your front porch should definitely get a little touch-up to make your home feel inviting for tours. For extra sell-ability, you want to show off the backyard features, too.


If you’ve already covered a few of these quick curb appeal projects, be sure to do a full circle walk around your property. Are there any outdoor living areas that look bland or neglected? A photogenic backyard will help inspire more buyers to seriously consider your listing. Professional staging can help make homes look great inside and out!


The Best Features for Today’s Buyers


Outdoor living areas are hot for buyers of almost any background. Whether your home is targeted to first-time homeowners or experienced buyers, a versatile outdoor space is sure to catch their attention. Today’s homebuyers want a place to entertain friends and family, and you’ll get bonus points if your spaces can be enjoyed year-round.


Sunroom-Staging_Home Matters 0717Green living is in, and according to Money Magazine, multi-functional areas and indoor-outdoor living setups are among the top requested home features for buyers today. Sunrooms can be the perfect example of this type of lifestyle. With easy access to the outdoors (as well as the rest of the home) this luxury adds a lot of character to both new and old properties. Professional staging can set it up with the right color scheme and décor to make your home rise above the rest. The same goes for any areas in your home that support the “bringing the outdoors in” way of life.


Outdoor fireplaces should be showcased just as much. Pictures are worth a thousand words, after all. It’s so much easier for your prospective buyers to imagine a property as their new home when a stager can arrange the space with the right furniture. Sometimes, all it takes is a little wood in the fire pit and a couple of loungers. Your buyers’ imagination will do the rest. Before long, they’ll start picturing themselves kicking back on the weekends in their new backyard.


Staging Homes with a View


Lake-Home-Professional-Staging_Home Matters 0717When you’ve got a great lakefront property, you won’t usually need to do much in the way of outdoor staging. That view itself does most of the work, but you’ll still want to frame that pretty scenery for your listing’s online photos. The right professional home stager will choose outdoor furniture that matches your target market’s aesthetic. Think rustic Adirondacks for your lakeside cabin, or a set of patio furniture for buyers who will likely have kids or grandkids.


When you stage correctly, you might realize that there’s no need to spend much extra money on landscaping your property. Especially since most buyers will want to put their own spin on the landscaping anyway! Staging lets you capture their attention with a great first impression, yet it doesn’t force buyers to make a commitment to a totally new design. Most homes already have a lot of great things working for them.


The Home Matters Team


Stage-Pool-Patio_Home Matters 0717Professional staging with Home Matters lets homeowners and leasing offices get the appropriate staging package for their listing. You might decide to stage the entire home, or just a few key areas. Either way, staging your backyard can set you up for selling success.


No matter where you’re at in your selling process—or even if you’re looking to stage a model home or apartment—the design team at Home Matters can help. With our massive amount of inventory and creative eye, we’ll give your property its best look yet. Contact us today for more information or to schedule your design appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!