Odors Be Gone

One of the most important considerations in staging a home for sale or rent is the sense of smell. Pet stains and odors have to be the first thing you eliminate. Unsightly carpet also creates a long lingering odor.

If at all possible, take the pets out for the day, and have any traces of them, clean and orderly. Cooking odors either bring on fond memories or is a scent that is not only unfamiliar but unwanted. If there is anything you want the house to smell like, is clean. Scented candles, incense, and aerosols are a no-no! The nose is the one sense you don’t want to mess with. The eyes may be forgiving, but the nose is not!

Staging the home or condo for rent or sale is an art that should be handled hand in hand with a professional stager or a qualified real estate agent. At Claudia Bonilla Homes, we believe that there is more to selling or renting a home, then taking a listing. It’s about all the things needed to make the best of the opportunity.

The proper staging of a home can make a difference of thousands of dollars for a sale, and as much as 15% for a rental. After a good clean up and a few coats of paint, it’s the furniture staging and overall essence of the home. That means the scent of the house or condo is the icing on the cake. Lingering pet odors, heavy spices, and stale air can turn the prospect around and out the door. It’s no joke, Neutralizing the odors in your home or condo before starting to show it is an essential part of the job. Smokers have no place in the home. Pets, and extreme cuisine can also turn a buyer or tenant off.

Take a look at ClaudiaBonillaHomes.com and download my Ten Tips On Staging or see more on YouTube

What’s That Cookin’?

Hi, I’m Claudia Bonilla and I want to help you sell or rent a home in Central Florida. That’s why I focus on staging your house, or condo for sale or rent in the best possible way. Sometimes the rooms are perfect, but to make it even better, the sense of smell can be appealed to. All five senses should be addressed, with smell the one that pulls it all together. The sight of the room staged properly, the sound of soft music or no sound at all, the taste of some welcoming snacks on the kitchen counter, the feel of the fabrics or window treatments, and finally, the scent of the home can draw the visitor into a comfortable or nostalgic mindset. Stay away from smells or aerosols that could create a totally allergic or uncomfortable feeling for the prospect. 

The first thing you should do is neutralize any odor or smell the house itself has. You should start with clean carpets, and make sure all pets and cooking odors are long gone before welcoming a viewer. If there are drapes in the house that have not been cleaned in awhile, do so, or take them down. As part of the staging process, your professional home stager, or real estate agent should be able to take you through the home, make recommendations and address the overall scent of the home. Maybe you have a favorite spice, but the prospect may feel that it’s an odor that is distracting from the home’s appearance. Take out the garage, please. Never appear to be a smoker’s home. Use natural scents like cinnamon and orange. Remember the sense of smell can remind us of good or bad things, and make sure all traces of pets are either out of the home’s view or shown in top form.  I’m Claudia Bonilla inviting you to download my Ten Tips On Staging by going to claudiabonillahomes.com or see more of me on YouTube.

Staging A Home Means Letting Go

The last thing we all want to do is let go of fond memories. A lot of what we have in our lives would be better served if in a photo album, instead of an attic, den, basement, or closet. Those things represent our fondest memories but could be a major distraction to the next buyer or tenant of a home. Letting go, or packing it up before you show your home, is one of the first steps in staging. Here are some of the things I  recommend. 

Look at room photos in magazines.  They rarely have anything in the room that will distract from the room’s message. Step back and take a few photos. Notice what is there that makes the room look cluttered.  Take out any furniture pieces that give the room air. Lighting is a major factor. Daylight streaming into a room through a clean window is best, but if the sun can’t shine in, make the room look as naturally lit as possible. Take away a lot of the pillows, throws, and magazines. A few carefully placed books or magazines on the coffee table make it feel homey.

The kitchen always looks its best with minimal things on the counter. If necessary, take the blender, toaster, and favorite mugs off the countertops to make the working space look larger. Bathrooms filled with baby toys or magazines should be cleared up before allowing folks to view the home. The closets are a landmine that could make you Let go of anything you haven’t worn in the past two years and let them go, or pack them away. Your closets mustn’t look overstuffed or messy. If necessary, rent a dumpster, and let it go.

Wherever you are headed next offers you a fresh start with a lighter load.  Download my Ten Tips On Staging Your Home at ClaudiaBonillaHomes.com or see more on YouTube.

Letting Go, Before You Go 

I have spent a number of years listing homes with some of the nicest, sentimental people from all over the Country. Whether, they are about to list their home for sale, or moving on and looking to rent their home to tenants, the thought of letting go of some of those sentimental things can be overwhelming. For me, it was my books. Yes, when I was told about the weight of moving my books from one place to another, I realized it was time to pass those gems to others who would enjoy them as much as I did. Well, not all of them. My reference material is important…I guess. My point is simple. You have to let go of the things that will crowd out the buyer or tenant, and present a clean canvas for them. Take that old sweater or the dresses you wore ten years ago. LET THEM GO! I know, this is probably the last thing you want to hear, but think about it. Selling or renting your home means it’s time to show it, stage it, and declutter the entire house. A few of the items are easier than others. Those trophies, gifts from dead relatives that just don’t go into your lifestyle any longer, or your college textbooks, clothes, and shoes from the same era. LET THEM GO! Declutter your home and let the sunshine in. Letting go can be difficult at first, but once you do it, you move on and can build a whole new nest. If you are selling or renting the home you are currently living in, think about only taking those items that will show off your new space and let go of all you can. Start packing up the things you just can’t live without and get rid of the rest, so the prospective buyer or tenant sees the house in its airiest state. Sometimes family life and working from home creates a lot of items around that have been your day to day, but bringing it back to basics during the home viewing period, will help buyers as they open your kitchen cabinets, pantry, or walk-in. Space will appear larger and well taken care of with minimal items in the rooms. I’m Claudia Bonilla and I want to be your real estate agent. If you are selling, renting, or buying in Central Florida, I know I can make it as smooth as possible. Staging a home is just one of the things you need before moving forward. My job is to get you the right price, and when necessary, find you your next place to call home. download my Ten Tips On Staging at claudiabonillahomes.com or see more of me and how I can help you on YouTube.  Staging A Home Means Letting Go

Does Home Staging Really

Help Sell Or Rent A Home

One of the first questions that sellers and landlords ask is: “How much does home staging really impact the sale of a home.” The answer is rather simple. It is an essential component in getting it moved at, or as close to the asking price, and as time-efficient as humanly possible. Whether you retain a professional home staging representative, or your real estate agent can handle making and supporting you through the staging. Home staging should be planned and budgeted against a realistic return on your investment. A simple coat of paint could mean thousands of dollars, when you take a room from making your statement, to a neutral color. There are many ways you can impact the selling or renting of a house that gets your investment back, and a lot more. A coat of paint, some updated fixes don’t mean renovating a room or building something you always wished for. Let it go! Once your lawn, grounds, and front entrance say welcome,  the door should open to your best. It is extremely important. Have no fear, empty houses take twice as long to move to contract, so putting your best place forward is the right way to set the stage for prospects outside and inside. Before you stage to buy, rent, or sell, make sure you have the right agent. I’m Claudia Bonilla and I want to help you buy, sell, or rent in Central Florida. Get a copy of my 10 Tips On Staging at

ClaudiaBonillaHomes.com, and see more on You Tube.

Central Florida:

The Destination Worth Relocating To

Whatever is happening elsewhere in real estate influenced by COVID-19, I can tell you that Central Florida is seeing thousands of new home rentals and buyers every week. No, they aren’t just thinking about going to Disney, they are thinking of ways to find a better quality of life, that is more affordable, and far less congested.

The impact of COVID-19 created a double-edged blade for Florida, with the crippling effect of COVID-19 on one site, killing vacation rentals, which have declined dramatically. However, more and more people are relocating from places like New York and Michigan who have been hit hard. They are familiar with the savings here in Central Florida on the cost of a home, and the taxes they are paying that are often more than double. That’s why, right now is a great time to list, if you have been considering selling or renting.

If your home is priced and staged right, you should walk away happy with your decision to move on. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of the things that help a house sell or rent at a price that makes everyone happy. Think about what you can do to make it look better. To find out more about how to price, buyer and tenant expectations, or how to find your next home while you manage renting or selling the one you are in now.

Please call on me, Claudia Bonilla. I want to be your representative for selling, renting, or buying a new home in Central Florida. Find out more about Claudia Bonilla Homes, and to download my Ten Tips On Staging A Home, go to ClaudiaBonillaHomes.com, or see more of me on YouTube.

The Stress Of Relocating For A New Job

Relocating for any reason can be one of the most stressful experiences, even though in many instances, you are moving to a place you want to be. Relocation for a job, can be really difficult for a family, especially if they have not done a little homework on where they are going, and have a clear understanding of what they are leaving behind. The job you are moving for may be out of necessity, or a great opportunity, but there is still a lot of things to consider that could make it a good, or bad experience. Finding a new place to call home,  means getting an understanding of the community you will be living in. What are the schools like, and where will we worship. How will my family adjust, while I am adjusting to a new position I have to master? If you have to sell an existing home or buy a new one in the place of employment, that alone can be overwhelming. Having an agent that has the details on the community you are going to, like taxes, schools, things in the neighborhood that are important to you and your family, can make the transition smooth. Many agents can help you sell, or rent the old, and bring you to a new buy or rental. A good agent can help you a price, stage, and sell while looking, researching your needs and putting you in a happy place. With all you have to adjust to in a new position, securing an agent that will help you from start to finish is the best solution. I am Claudia Bonilla and I want to be your relocation agent for Central Florida. Find out more about ClaudiaBonillaHomes.com online, or on YouTube.

Relocating Can Be Stressful

When we consider moving from one home to another, possibly one state to another, stress is all part of the experience. It’s how you handle your stress that will make all the difference in the world. First, consider the positive reasons you are making this move, and how it will make your life better, or less expensive, or even warmer in the winter, if you are considering Central Florida for your next relocation. One of the worst things you can do is not to give yourself enough time to do all the things you have to do. Packing often takes us down memory lane and can delay the process of letting go of things that no longer make sense. Make the time. Plan the time. How organized you make the move, the better. Start with a list and who does what. Are you hiring a professional mover? That in itself could give you enough stress for a lifetime if you didn’t do all the homework involved. Many moving companies start at one price, but when it’s time to unload the truck, all sorts of upsells start to happen, and that’s not the time to consider whether the furniture on that truck should have been moved with you in the first place. Do all that upfront. Get it in writing. That will remove so much less stress on the other side, at your new destination or storage unit. Don’t be afraid to assign different responsibilities to others. Are we ready with the next location? Are the utilities set to go? Ask other members of your family, or a good friend to take a few things off the list and handle it for you. Never, never try to do this without rest. So many accidents happen when we try to go beyond what our bodies can take. Don’t all of a sudden become a furniture mover, or decide to work through the night to get the project done. Get your rest. Rest is one of the most important components of a stress-free experience. When your body is rested, your brain can take you places it just can’t when exhausted. Expect the stress to be there. How you prepare for it, and how you handle your move, can make the transition from one location to another very pleasant. I am Claudia Bonilla and I want to reduce the stress of relocation. Find out more about me and my services on YouTube or at ClaudiaBonillaHomes.com.

They Are Coming From Everywhere

To Central Florida!

COVID 19 may have given Disney a hit they will never forget, but it also brought thousands of home buyers and renters escaping from the Northeast and congested areas around the county. Nearly a thousand people move to Central Florida every day. Central Florida offers home buyers, renters, and new construction builders more than most markets across the country. Orlando alone has a booming economy.  Relocating to Central Florida is a natural for young families and the 55 plus lifestyle. It’s all here.

                • You’ll never have winter again

                • There’s no individual income tax

                • Vacation and resort living is always right outside your door

                • Education is at a standard worth sharing

                • Orlando features more than just parks

                • If you love golf, you’ll love Central Florida

                • The communities feature multi-cultural living

• Florida’s economy is one of the best in the country.

Take a look at Central Florida with me, Claudia Bonilla. I promise you that no matter a rental, buy or vacation destination, I will make the transition as smooth as possible. Come see more on me at ClaudiaBonillaHomes.com.

Staging Your Home For Sale

When you are ready to sell your home, it is so important that you set the stage for potential buyers. Your home was built around you and your family for ambiance, comfort, and function. Your home may have served you well, but the next owner may have a completely different way of living there, so take the time to stage. It could help you get the sale price you want, as well as move the property a great deal faster. Highlighting the best features. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2017 Staging Stats report, 49% of buyers’ agents believe that home staging has an effect on how a buyer views the home, with 77% saying that it makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their own. On the sellers’ agent side, 21% report that home staging increases the value of a home between 6% and 10%, and 39% note that it greatly decreases the total amount of time a home is on the market.

10 Tips For Staging Your Home

Tip 1: Put your talent where It pays off the most – A home buyer looks for the rooms that mean the most to them. The kitchen, master bedroom, and family room should be at its best, with a focus on its best features. Think of accenting your makeup to bring out your eyes, or other features. Have a real hard look at the space and go to work. Don’t forget to put a bouquet of flowers in the center of that kitchen table, and a few plants around the house that looked cared for. This does not mean artificial anything. The fresh flowers and plants will bring a clean scent into the home and show that you care for the things around you.

Tip 2: Take Grandma’s Pictures Down – Avoid having the prospective new homeowner feel locked in your time warp of souvenirs and photos. The cleaner the canvas, the better the shot at the prospect painting their own picture of how they want to live. Remove the personal religious and family photos, clean up that bathroom from your favorite deodorant, and take as many of the clothes away to make your closets look airy and clean. You may feel as though you are in someone else’s home, which is exactly as it should be, and it will move much more quickly.

Tip 3: Clutter, clutter, clutter – Start packing up the things you just can’t live without and get rid of the rest, so the prospective buyer sees the house in its airiest state. Sometimes family life and working from home creates a lot of items around that have been your day to day, but bringing it back to basics during the home viewing period, will help buyers as they open your kitchen cabinets, pantry, or walk-in. Space will appear larger and well taken care of with minimal items in the rooms.

Tip 4: Spruce it up – Fix it up – What speaks most to a potential buyer, is the care you put into your home. As they walk through room after room, there should be no signs of bumps, bruises, and damage. When the potential buyer sees that you have maintained your home with love and care, they feel that there will be no surprises down the road. So everywhere you can make it better, do so.

Tip 5: Call in the cleaners. – There’s clean and there’s sell my house clean. From top to bottom, ceiling fans to baseboards, clean, clean, clean. Put your best comforter and towels out, and make sure that the kitchen, master bed, and bathroom look really cared for. The best advice is to clean the house the same way you did when you moved in.

Tip 6: Let yourself go gray – You may have the most breathtaking color expression throughout your home, but to sell the home, cover that up with a neutral color that the prospect does not find out of their realm of decorating. White, tan, or gray make the space appear clean and larger.

Tip 7: Put out the welcome mat – Your front entrance is your welcome. Having old Christmas ornaments or dead plants will only give the prospect a feeling of neglect. A simple welcome mat with a few potted plants that are well cared for will do a lot to make the prospect feel that you care about making an impression of cleanliness and care for your property.

Tip 8: Let there be light – There’s nothing better than light to brighten up an opportunity. Natural light is wonderful, but if there isn’t enough of that, turn on as many lights as you can, so the house is happy and bright. And don’t forget to turn on any lights you have in your closets. Everything inside will look a whole lot better.

Tip 9: Take some of the furniture out or rearrange – Be creative. You want the rooms to look as comfortable and airy as possible. So take that extra table or chair that you really don’t need and put it in storage for your next home. Oversized and damaged pieces, and things that just never matched, should be removed.

Tip 10: Odor, odor, a real avoider – Maybe you have a favorite spice, but the prospect may feel that it’s an odor that is distracting from the home’s appearance. Take out the garbage, please. Never appear to be a smoker’s home. Use natural scents like cinnamon and orange.

Staging a home does not have to cost much. It’s up to you to minimize the time and money to maximize the impact and speed of selling your home. It’s staging, so make it light, camera, action!