Green building conference in Los Angeles

The city of Los Angeles has been selected by the U.S. Green Building Council to host the 2007 Greenbuild conference. The LA Convention Center will be house the conference October 17-19, 2007. The theme of the Los Angeles conference will be accelerating green communities.


If you are interested in learning more about the 2007 Greenbuild conference, visit


How to sell in a slowing market

Sluggish trends in California home sales are giving buyers in the market an advantage over sellers. As of September 2006, national averages suggest new home prices have slipped 9.7 percent, the largest decline in 35 years, and existing home prices have declined 2.5 percent during the same period.


To maximize seller profits in today’s market, sellers and their brokers must adapt. Staging is a proven technique to help sellers receive top dollar from buyers. The key to staging is to make the interior and exterior of a property look as generic as possible. This will allow potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space. Professional stagers may be used and often suggest clearing the space of mental barriers such as bold colors, cluttered countertops and bulky furniture that could prevent the buyer from seeing the house for what it is, rather than concentrating on these factors. Freshly-cut flowers never hurt, either!


Here are some other helpful staging tips:


  • Ensure the home has “curb appeal”. It may seem like a no-brainer, but a potential buyer’s first impression is extremely important. How they perceive the home on the outside will impact how they feel about the inside. The landscaping should be tidy and well-kept.


  • Clutter should be packed away since it may prevent a potential buyer from concentrating on the architectural qualities of a space. A seller will be packing up his belongings when the home sells, why not start this process before showing to avoid distracting buyers?


  • Bathrooms should be freed of all unnecessary items. This includes the countertop, sink, toilet and shower. Only essential items should be displayed and grouped together in a small area on the counter.


  • It may be necessary to rearrange or remove furniture. Some homeowners tend to have too much furniture, but while a home is on the market, this tendency should be addressed and avoided.


  • Any stale smells need to be taken care of. Even the slightest smell can trigger a potential buyer’s negative, subconscious perception of the house.


Professionally staged homes, according to a recent study, typically sell twice as quickly as homes that are not and 6.3 percent above the asking price, compared to 1.6 below the asking price for unstaged houses. Staging may be a worthwhile concept to investigate for stagnant listings.



“Home staging tips for home sellers.” Barb Schwarz. 2005. 20 November 2006.


“Real estate: How to sell in a slowing market.” The Week, 17 November 2006, 46.


“Spruce up an open house.” Leslie Banker. 2006. 20 November 2006.