Ask Christine

Installing floors – Hypo Allergenic Solutions?

Q: Christine I need advice quickly; I am about to install new flooring in our basement area but my wife and I have been experiencing breathing problems since we bought our new old house. The house dates back to 1920s and every time we are in the basement we have coughing jags. I have heard there are some hypo-allergenic solutions for flooring what do you suggest? Bob, Ontario Canada

A: Bob sounds like there may be several reasons you are experiencing coughing; it could be air quality, mould or allergies. Maybe you should hire professional help to ensure you solve the problem before new floor is installed or chosen. One of the best hypoallergenic solutions on the market today is an easy care product called Marmoleum. It’s made from natural ingredients (Linseed oil) with no VOC’s or toxins. It is warm underfoot, very durable, and the natural bactericidal properties of marmoleum prevent micro-organisms including Salmonella Typhimurium and Staphylococcus Aureus from multiplying themselves.

Are White Walls Neutral Enough for Selling?

Q: Dear Christine, My question is the age old one about painting walls before selling. My walls are white and some are beige. Isn’t that neutral? My friend said now I am selling I need to add pop color on walls to bring a designer look like on TV. What is your advice? Mary, Kentucky

A: Dear Mary in Kentucky, Freshly painted walls are one of the top interior features most buyers look for and 60% of the first impression of a room comes from color alone. Color either works for you or against you so why take the risk? When selling property it is best to stay to tried and true but neutral doesn’t have to be boring. Using the 60/30/10 principles and the CSP seven layers you can create interest, excitement and allure. Remember when selling property where ever the eye rests the sale begins. Making sure the eye is drawn to features of property not cushions art and décor. PS remember TV is for entertainment not real life.

Wait to Stage?

Q: Christine, in this terrible economic time, I am finding many of the real estate agents in my area are telling clients to wait to stage. Is this good advice? Should I be looking for a J-O-B? What can I tell these misguided agents? Jess F, RI

A: Good question Jess! Realtors are really believe they are acting in the best interests of their client; if money is tight, jobs are tenuous and selling a necessity, then, in my opinion, its all the more reason to stage a property. People in a position to buy are certainly more than ever looking for the best value their money can buy. The sooner a property is staged the better. A property which is “move-in” ready is so much easier to buy. In fact Jess 63% of buyers surveyed said they would actually pay more money for move in ready. It might not surprise you the majority of those people were men! You guessed it – they don’t want to inherit the “to-do” list.

Why Are Stagers Not Using Drapery?

Q: Christine, Bill here in Calgary Alberta.
My question is simply about drapery. I don’t profess to be a decorator or even have a decorator bone in my body but I have been a real estate agent for 15 years. We have a CSP stager in our office who stages all the listings (she does a great job), however I have noticed she rarely If ever uses drapes. Aren’t they supposed to add softness to a room?

A: Hi Bill, Thanks for the question, it really is about the feel of the whole room and what are you selling. Windows are a feature of property so covering them up with drapery seems counterproductive to me. General rule of thumb for us is “better no drapery than the wrong drapery” . Selling is about how the rooms feel vs. focusing on looks so if the room feels naked then drapery panels may help. It’s on a room by room/house by house basis though.


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I am an alumni of Certified Staging Professional. I would like to express my thanks to Nairn Friemann (CSP® Instructor), and CSPI™ Business Training Academy taught at Purchase College, NY for the opportunity of partaking in their three day home staging course last year.

This year, I enrolled in the course again as a refresher, and …

Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of being a trainee in CSP’s intensive three-day staging training workshop with Nairn Friemann in New York City…

I am new to the Home Staging business. I had originally taken another Home Staging course and received their certification. However, my experience was very disappointing…

Last year I enrolled in a staging program which was very widely advertised and cost a little less than the CSP 3 Day Course. You know that saying “You get what you pay for”…?

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