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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 concert? 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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When is the best time to sell a home? The typical real estate agent can always find a reason why “now” is a great time to put your house on the market, regardless of the actual time of year. Yet, conventional wisdom dictates the best time to sell is in the spring and summer, while the best time to make an offer on a home is in the fall and winter. Is there any truth to these popular beliefs?

Conventional wisdom often doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. However, this commonly accepted idea is true. According to data analysis by organizations like Zillow, LendingTree, and others, early spring is the best time to put your house on the market and sales will peak in April and May. Home sales will then start to slump in August as families take final vacation trips and prepare for back to school.

While fall and winter do provide some great home staging opportunities, neither home buyers nor sellers are enthusiastic about the home buying and selling process going into the holidays. So, those selling their home will typically have a greater need to sell. As a result, buyers have the greater advantage and can negotiate a better deal.

Yet, there are underlying local factors that can impact these general rules for selling a home. For example, if the local community suffers a large number of layoffs, this can create a market full of desperate sellers who are willing to negotiate and compromise. It is always best to review current market conditions with a licensed real estate salesperson.

Nevertheless, while spring is a great time to put your house on the market, and there are many more buyers looking, you will have a lot of competition. Consequently, a savvy home seller will use professional home staging as a marketing tool that will attract the greatest number of walk-throughs. Home staging will help your home stand apart from comparable homes on the market, selling faster and for more money.

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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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Color is one of the most important factors when staging a home for sale. Yet, it can also be an expression of the homeowner’s personality, identity, and taste. So, it is sometimes heartbreaking to tell a person they should repaint a room. They love the bright, Canary Yellow walls in their kitchen. Nevertheless, as is often stated, when you place your house on the market, it stops being your home and becomes a product for sale.

Color has psychological powers. Consequently, choosing the right colors can give you an advantage over other homes for sale. The power of color can make a room seem smaller or larger, casual or formal, and even energetic or cozy. Therefore, we have some tips for incorporating popular or trendy colors.

1. Don’t Overdo It – For the best results, choose neutral color paints and add more trendy colors using decorative pieces.

2. Spacious Ceilings – A creamy white or pale pink, with a high gloss lacquer finish, can make ceilings appear higher.

3. White Walls – Chalky white, matte finish walls create a very clean look and feel. Yet, supplementing with lavender will add depth and an air of sophistication.

4. Warm and Inviting – Make sure you use those natural tones. But, brick and ocher are warm colors that can make your home feel more livable.

5. Perform a Color Test – When in doubt, buy sheets and pillowcases in the color you want. In the bathroom, use towels and washcloths. After living with those colors for a while, you may think differently.

Since we mentioned bathroom, here is another Home Staging Pro Tip: White, cream or khaki towels and washcloths will help create the look and feel of a spa or hotel, which is the most desirable when staging a home.

Ultimately, the correct use of color will attract buyers and offers. In a kitchen, a pale yellow or light olive will create the bright kitchen that buyers want. Bedrooms should be mild. So, look for an eggshell, beige, or very light gray. In a bathroom, avoid dark colors that will cause a person to feel closed in. Finally, stick with neutral colors in the living room. While you may want to add a bit more character, it is better not to conflict with a possible buyer’s idea for the space.

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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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When a homeowner starts to think of making home improvements to help sell their home, the mind almost always goes to kitchen and bathroom remodeling and renovations. This is because these areas are often big selling points. So, if a person or couple falls in love with the kitchen and bathrooms, an offer is sure to come. However, while they will help you sell our home, these improvements are costly and rarely pay for themselves. So, which home improvement can save you money and help sell your home?

Amazingly, small cosmetic improvements can go a long way to helping sell your home. While relatively inexpensive, they add polish and can increase the perceived value of a property. When making home improvements, critically look at your home and try to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. What needs to be spruced up? If you are unsure, start with these 5 simple and inexpensive tips.

1. Refresh the Kitchen – Very often, you don’t need a complete renovation or kitchen remodel. Instead, repaint the cabinet doors and update the handles and hardware. Also, consider replacing your old sink faucet with a shiny new one.

2. Renew the Bathroom – There are also many money-saving options for the bathroom. Things you can do to renew your bathroom include replacing the mirror, fixing any broken tiles, updating the toilet, and replacing the faucet and other bathroom fixtures.

3. Install Closet Systems – An overstuffed closet can make it seem like your home does not have adequate storage space. Install a closet system. However, when you refill it, place just enough so that your closet appears well-organized, and clutter-free.

4. Add More Light – Start by replacing any burned out light bulbs. Then, add a few mirrors that will reflect the natural light coming from the windows. Look for any dark corners where the light doesn’t reach and add a lamp.

5. Fresh Paint – A new coat of paint can help your home appear polished, larger, and more presentable. Select bright and neutral colors. Start with the walls, but also repaint your front door. A nice looking entryway can set the stage for the rest of the walk-through.

What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to know more about home improvement that can save you money and help you sell, please contact us.

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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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Home staging is a method for helping you sell your home faster and for more money. That said, there are many factors that go into a home’s price and saleability. Many potential clients will ask, “Does home staging guarantee my house will sell?” The only honest answer is no. Staging helps prepare your home for sale and increases appeal to the largest number of home buyers. However, other factors do have a major influence.

Other Factors That Influence a Home Sale

1. The Local Market – It is often stated that real estate is all about location. Regardless of national trends, all real estate is local. Factors like the local school district, job opportunities, development, crime rates, and more will all impact a home’s price and saleability. If your house is in a depressed real estate market, home staging can help but it cannot erase those issues.

2. The Real Estate Agent – Once you decide to sell your home, you will discover everyone has a friend or relative who is a real estate agent. Simply put, real estate professionals are a dime a dozen. It is important to pick one that is experienced, but also honest and reputable. Finding a top producer will have a big impact on your success.

3. The Listing Price – It is very important to list your home at a price based on similar properties that have recently sold. Typically, this will mean nearby homes sold within the last 3 months or less. Ultimately, the market determines your home’s value. Pricing a home too high will keep buyers away.

4. The Property Condition – Most home sale agreements include an inspection contingency. Aesthetic and cosmetic improvements may help mask some maintenance issues, but a good home inspector will discover these problems. A home buyer then has the right to ask to have them resolves, to receive a credit, or even withdraw the offer.

Ultimately, home staging is about creating the best possible first impression. In order to get the best price for your home, it is important that a seller understands all the factors that go into a home’s price and saleability. If you would like to talk more about how home staging can help sell your home, 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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While it is true that home staging can help you sell your home faster and for more money, it cannot increase your home’s market value. Some people are going to become confused by this statement, but it is important to understand what home staging can and cannot do for you when selling a home. Ultimately, home staging is not a magic bullet that can make your house worth more than it really is.

The goal of home staging is ultimately psychological and emotional. When a home buyer walks through your home, staging will help the buyer see themselves already living there. It is that emotional buy-in that helps you sell your house. Home staging manifests a positive environment and creates a good impression. The increased buyer appeal then will help motivate faster and more favorable offers.

That said, your home’s market value is often not impacted by cosmetic improvements. In fact, when a home appraiser submits their market value report, it is supported solely by data and statistics. Moreover, since the end of the Great Recession, appraisals have become so stringent as to have gotten some media attention. Essentially, what many owners believe their home is worth is often much different than their appraised value. Nevertheless, when it comes to market value, up to date maintenance has a greater impact than cosmetic improvements.

Ultimately, the benefit of home staging is avoiding slow and low offers. According to the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, 95 percent of staged homes sell in 11 days, on average, and for 17 percent more. Non-staged homes will sit on the market for 90 days on average. Consequently, the longer a home sits on the market, the more likely there is a reduced price or concessions made. So, while home staging cannot improve a home’s actual market value, it does help ensure you receive a fair and favorable price.

Do you have questions? What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about what home staging can and cannot do for you, or a related topic, please contact us.

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