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Every real estate agent will tell a home seller, first impressions are crucial. And, the very first thing a prospective home buyer will notice is a home’s exterior. This is why agents often promote the benefits of curb appeal and sprucing up your landscape.

Simply put, curb appeal is the way a home appears from a roadside or sidewalk view. Moreover, the easiest method for assessing a home’s curb appeal is walking to your property’s edge and, with a critical eye, attempt to view it as a person who never saw it before. If you need help, ask a friend who you trust will be honest to give you feedback.

  • Is the property easy to find or is it concealed?
  • Does the home’s exterior have a welcoming appearance?
  • Does the home stand out in a bad way?

1. Make House Numbers Attractive and Stand Out

Here is one trick to evaluating your home’s curb appeal. Image yourself as a parent who, for the first time, is dropping off their pre-teen daughter. You have the address and the GPS shows you are there, but the drive is dark and shrubs are covering the house numbers. Are you at the right place?

2. Replace Your Old Mailbox

Would a new mailperson be able to find your mailbox easily? Is it old, rusted, and with the door hinges broken? Does your mailbox match the design of your home? Updating and replacing an old mailbox is a quick and easy improvement.

3. Evaluate Your Front Pathway

Take a close look at the pathway from the sidewalk or driveway to your front entrance. What do you see? Is there cracked concrete? Are there missing pavers or bricks? Is it welcoming or is it overgrown with ivy, trees, or other plants? Is there no path at all, forcing visitors to walk across the grass?

While the above provides a good starting point, there are other tips as well, including sprucing up outdoor containers, proper use of mulch, shaping overgrown trees and shrubs, and much more. If you would like to talk about how to spruce up your landscape, please contact us.

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Are you looking for the Spring trends in furniture and accessories? As Home Staging Professionals, we stay on top of the latest and hottest trends in home decor. And, for the Spring of 2018, the word to keep in mind is bold. Trends that are currently “in” are things like heavy cabinetry, brass, and Wabi-Sabi (the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection). Things that have gone out of style include all white interiors, wall accents, word art, and random architectural elements.

Have you ever heard someone tell you, “If you hold on to something long enough, it will become fashionable again”? It is true. The only thing which is really new are those things that are forgotten. This brings us to one of the biggest new trends in 2018: Chintz, a printed multicolored cotton fabric with a glazed finish, used for curtains and upholstery. In an interview with Vogue Magazine , designer Kathryn M. Ireland stated, “Chintz is making a big comeback. Using the same floral fabric on the walls, window treatments, and furnishings—think English country but updated.”

What about color? Gray and beige are gone. The hottest new color is lavender. Nevertheless, yellow is also making a major comeback, along with other bright and clear colors. So, combined with those floral designs, expect to see colors like turquoise, apple green, and shocking pink. You will want your colors to pop.

Finally, there is a trend to combine these patterns and colors with furniture shapes inspired by the 1970a and 80s. Architect and designer Elizabeth Roberts incorporates furniture with shapely curves and overscale upholstery. Together, these bold and intense elements create a sophisticated and refined look to your living space. Regardless, one must really know what they are looking for and not wildly follow trends. A savvy consumer will think hard about their decor and what they bring into their home.

Do you have questions? If you would like to talk more about Spring trends in furniture and accessories, or a related topic, please contact us.

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Art has the power to transform your home from bland to elegant. However, this ability relies on picking the right piece and placing it in the right location. This is why so many shy away from buying art. So, to demystify this process, we are sharing some home stager strategies for picking and placing the art right.

Tip #1: Know what you like. – This is the one tip out of place with home stagers. We are trying to help you sell your home. So, we are looking at art that has the broadest appeal. When decorating your house, the art should reflect your personality and taste.

Tip #2: Create a budget. – Regardless, a budget is just a guide. Fine art can become pricey quickly. So, don’t become surprised if you spend a little more than expected. If not, you will end up regretting the piece you did not buy.

Tip #3: Do some research. – It is a good idea to attend several art auctions before diving in. It is important to get the feel and understand the pace. You may find yourself disappointed if you don’t take this step.

Tip #4: Consider being visually interesting. – Aside from personal taste, think about using more traditional artwork in contemporary designed spaces and more modern pieces in classically designed rooms.

Tip #5: Contrast and compliment the space. – There is always a temptation to match. However, this can cause your artwork to become lost in the room. Alternatively, a contrasting piece will pop and stand out.

Tip #6: Mix and match your art. – A great way to create a unique look is to mix and match periods and styles. It is even a good aide to pair more expensive artwork with more budget-friendly pieces. Doing this makes the art appear collected over time, telling the story of your journey.

Tip #7: Spend extra for custom framing, museum glass, and fabric mats. – These are important components that will protect your investment. Additionally, it adds a distinguished elegance to your artwork.

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It is sometimes difficult for homeowners to understand the purpose of home staging. Home buyers make their decisions as much through emotion as they do reason. Consequently, it is critical to understand the buyer’s perspective and the psychology of home staging. Home staging is a method for optimizing buyer appeal. This is what will help sell the home faster and for more money.

Home staging is sometimes described as decor enhancement. However, the aim is not really to produce the perfect home. Every home buyer has their own unique tastes and preferences. A buyer will often start their process with a clear vision of their ideal home already formed. They want their dream home, and buying a house is as much an emotional investment as it is a financial one. So, the ultimate goal of a professional stager is to create an environment in which the buyer can visualize how they will personalize and design the house.

As an example, when selling your house, the arrangement of furniture is not about the what will provide the best function and comfort. Of course, the room size does not change because of what is in it or how the furniture is placed. Nevertheless, it does impact the perception of space. You want to strengthen the positives and lessen the negative. Moreover, symmetrically arranged and centered rooms will help ensure that special features are not bypassed or overlooked.

Ultimately, a professional home stager will know how to accentuate your home’s best characteristics and features. As we have often stated, when you place your home on the market, it stops being your house and becomes a product for sale. In order to create the emotional buy-in that brings an offer, a home buyer must be able to see themselves already living in the home. Without the proper staging, a home’s decor can become a distraction.

Do you have questions? What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you wold like to talk more about why home buyers can’t look past decor, or a related topic, please contact us.

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Despite the statistics showing that home staging will help sell a home faster and for more money, many homeowners are not convinced that it is an essential component of the home selling process. This is a result of many common myths about home staging. Just recently, I spoke with a home seller who had lived in their house for over 15 years without making one upgrade or improvement. Yet, this homeowner was firm on an asking price in line with neighboring homes that had renovated kitchens, remodeled bathrooms, and other upgraded features. That seller’s home languished on the market for more than six months before she finally decided on home staging.

Ultimately, home staging cannot change the true market value of a house. Nevertheless, most home improvements and upgrades don’t do much to increase a home’s market value either. However, they both do increase buyer appeal, which will make it easier to market a home. Given the choice between a $20,000 kitchen remodeling project or spending a few hundred dollars for home staging, the choice seems obvious. Regardless, there are some home staging myths you will likely have to overcome before making the choice.

1. Home Staging Is Just Decluttering and Cleaning – Delcuttering a home is an important component to home staging. But, a home stager is more focused on effectively capitalizing the space and merchandising the home. A home should not look lifeless and sterilized.

2. Home Staging Is Only for Vacant Homes – A vacant home does benefit greatly from home staging. Most home buyers have trouble seeing themselves actually living in a home that is empty. That said, home staging in an occupied property is also critical and will create appeal for the broadest number of buyers.

3. Home Staging Requires Expensive Cosmetic Changes – This is false. Your real estate agent may provide you with a long list of cosmetic recommendations, like new paint, replacing old cabinet hardware, and other costly home modifications. Home stagers will work with what the seller has so that cosmetic changes are not needed.

Do you have questions? What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you have questions about home staging, or other related topics, please contact us.

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