Home Staging for Spring Selling!

 As winter has taken its cold and snow away, it’s time to make your home’s curb appeal a welcoming place for the visitors. Very often the first impression is the last impression, and very often buyers judge the home right from the curb.
Spring is the best season to impress buyers with your homes’ curb appeal with its all fascination. Put much effort for the great curb appeal, because if a home has curb appeal that means it is attractive to the eye. Besides, thanks to its positive effect, a great curb appeal helps to sell a home faster. Follow the Curb Appeal tips and add dollars to your house’s final selling price.

Tip #1- Make a list: 

Examine the outside of your home from a street perspective. What do you notice first? First of all you need to list everything you see that could have a negative effect on a potential buyer. Is your front door colorless and unappealing? Do large overgrown shrubs hide your beautiful house? Are there fallen leaves and debris on your lawn? Does your porch need to be decorated with plants and flowers? Is your room in a good condition?

Tip #2-A welcoming door

Your front door can make a big impact on the beauty and curb appeal of your home. After a long winter bright front door color can refresh and beautify even an old house exterior and add charm to the house design and front yard landscaping. In spring colorful elements create spectacular contrasts with green colors of leaves and grass. Choose the best spring color for your front door which fits your house exterior and design. Don’t forget about accessories. New locks, door handles and new house numbers are pleasant to the eye, improving curb appeal. Hanging metal or wood door signs and flower baskets are easy and inexpensive, as well as very effective ways to give a style to your front door decoration.

Tip #3- Porch decorations: 

If you have a porch, you can decorate it, turning a porch into an attractive outdoor room that feels like a peaceful retreat and creates a nice space to relax. Since it is one of the first areas seen, it sets the tone and establishes the atmosphere for the visitors. The simpler and more relaxing it is, the more welcoming your porch will be. Everyone thinks of flowers when they think of spring. So lining your front porch steps with some colorful flowers is a lovely idea. Transform your front porch into a warm and inviting entryway by hanging a beautiful spring wreath on your door, or you can hang a bucket with flowers instead of wreath. Use an old tool box and turn it into a planer. Celebrate the return of warm weather with beautiful arrangements of spring flowers and make an unforgettable impression on the visitors.Decorate your porch with green plants, with nice benches or chairs, with small tables. Bring the season of spring into the porch by placing flowers in containers, which would bring a new life and energy to any space. If you have a small porch you can use vertical planters.

Tip #4- Time to landscape and decorate your yard: 

Give your yard a fresh look. Rake up the leaves you missed from fall. Clean up debris such as fallen trees, branches, etc. Check the bushes and trees if they need pruning. Trim low hanging branches so they do not get on the way for the view. Neatly edge your lawn as it fits your home style. Upgrade your flower beds, make them clear of weeds. Put in some perennial flowers which will make the yard more inviting and more alive. Planting a tree is a great idea to add curb appeal to the house. If you have enough space, you can plant two trees to frame your house or your entryway. It would be great if you plant a flowering tree for the spring color. The blossoms from flowering trees offer a colorful and post- winter display. Don’t forget to accessorize the other areas in your yard that could impress buyers. Consider updating an outdoor living or dining area with new pillows, cushions or a rug. Think about adding more light to define and enhance thee space or even add a fireplace to set the mood that buyers can enjoy this area under the stars even on cool nights. 

Tip # 5- De-clutter your living area: 

De-cluttering is an important step when staging a home for sale. You should remove anything that gets in the way a beneficial first impression for the potential buyer. When the space is clutter-free, everything is more inviting and more relaxing. If you have children or dogs, it is likely that you have some extra clutter to deal with when trying to clear up the yard. Hide children’s toys, dogs’ toys and dogs’ supplies in a storage boxes. Store garbage cans in the garage or hide them with some decorations. Organize what you can, throw everything that you don’t need to keep – broken pots, one left garden glove, steel claws without handles, broken trellis, a collection  of shoes near the front door,- all of those should be cleared away. Leave only a few things which are aesthetically pleasing and which would give buyers ideas for how the space could be used.

Tip # 6- Check the house from the roof line down: 

Inspect the roof as best as you can. If it looks to be in a poor condition, replace it. If
it is just needs repair, have any broken or missing shingles replaced. Repair all flashing. It’s best to hire a professional roofing company to inspect and do all repairs. Check all windows from outside. Look for cracked or broken glass, chipped paint. Repair and replace as needed. Clean all the windows as the
y sparkle. Make them free from obstructions such as overgrown bushes or trees. Pay attention to your driveway and sidewalk, if they are soiled or are grimy, power wash them.

The original article can be viewed here.


13 Tips to Help you Sell your Home

Trying to get your home ready to go on the market can be a really stressful time – this great article from www.gobankingrates.com can be used as your ready to sell to-do list!

The number of existing home sales is on the rise — up over 9 percent from last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. Now that buyers are back in the market, read these 13 practical tips to add value to your home before you list it so that you can get the best possible sale price.


1. Stage Your Property

According to the NAR 2015 Profile of Home Staging, 81 percent of realtors agree that it’s easier for a buyer to visualize a staged property as a future home. The median cost to stage a home is just $675, so it might be well worth the investment for many home sellers.

You can receive the biggest bang for your buck by staging the living room, followed by the kitchen, master bedroom and dining room, according to the report. The bathrooms, children’s bedrooms and guest bedroom ranked lowest in priority on the report’s list. 



2. Create a Digital Home History

Buyers today seek homes that are move-in ready and well-maintained. New online services like HomeZada allow a seller to create an online digital footprint that details a home’s maintenance records, floor plans, warranty documents and homeowner’s association information. If you have properly maintained your home, an online digital footprint can enable you to showcase your efforts while allowing potential buyers to fully appreciate the home’s maintenance history.

For a small fee, a new owner can set reminders for his new home’s property maintenance schedule. He won’t have to wonder when the home’s hot water heaters are due to be flushed, the thermostat batteries need to be replaced or the exhaust fans need to be cleaned.



3. Boost Your Curb Appeal

How a home looks from the outside has a huge effect on how many potential buyers walk through the front door. Carrie-Denise Cheshire, owner of the Home Staging Institute in Portland, Ore., suggested inexpensive outdoor improvements like a freshly painted front door (she likes red), a new mailbox and well-maintained landscaping. She also recommended power washing the sidewalks and driveways, clearing any clutter from the front porch, and removing any decorative flags or affiliate signage.

For people with a higher budget for renovations and repairs, Cannon Christian, president of Renovation Realty, suggested replacing worn vinyl siding. New vinyl siding can have an 80 percent or higher return on investment, according to Christian. “It’s easy to install, cheaper than other alternatives like aluminum and wood, and requires little maintenance,” he said.



4. Upgrade Your Kitchen

A minor kitchen remodel offers a high likelihood of recouping the investment, according to a 2015 study by Remodeling Magazine. The most important kitchen features for home buyers include new kitchen appliances and an eat-in arrangement, reports the NAR. Granite countertops and stainless steel kitchen appliances also ranked high.  

“Kitchens sell homes,” said Cheshire. She suggested updating window treatments as an inexpensive remedy for a dated kitchen. “I recommend natural wood blinds, which you can custom order for $100 or less for most windows,” she said.

She also suggested a coat of glossy, white paint to liven up a dark kitchen or dated wood cabinets as well as inexpensive new flooring options like tile or bamboo. “New flooring can make a dramatic improvement,” she said.



5. Create a Clutter-Free Oasis

An organized and clean home gives off the impression that the home has been well-maintained. An unmade bed, cluttered toy room or dusty drapes can give the opposite impression. Tidy rooms also appear larger.

Kelly Hager, CEO of The Kelly Hager Group Real Estate Services in St. Louis and St. Charles, Mo., said the house should be spotless before any showing. “Wipe down your baseboards, wipe down your cabinets, and dust everything, including cold air vents,” she said.



6. Make Your Walls Pretty

Many homeowners are so used to looking at the walls of their homes that they often don’t even realize that their wall treatments have become dated or faded. Most wallpapers and bright paint colors also can be turnoffs for many buyers.

“If you have wallpaper in your home, remove it,” said Hager. “Buyers do not like wallpaper.” Instead, consider an option with a broader appeal, like a neutral-colored paint.



7. Update Flooring

Old carpet can be an eyesore for prospective home buyers and a potential hazard for those with allergies. Hardwood floors are preferred by many home buyers — 54 percent are willing to pay more for a home with hardwood flooring, according to data from the NAR — but other hard surfaces can fare well, too.

Ceramic tile flooring does well in hot climates, and, for homeowners on a tighter budget, laminate can give the look of hardwood without the hefty price tag. For homes with hardwood floors already installed, refinishing can add value to the home and can yield impressive results; the cost depends on the size of the space and condition of the flooring.



 8. Add a Wood Deck 

If you’re wondering how to increase the value of your home, a new deck offers additional living space at the fraction of the cost of a home addition and can be used for at least half of the year in most areas of the country. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 Cost Vs.Value Report, a wood deck is high on the list of mid-range upgrades that are most likely to recoup the outlay cost.



 9. Light It Up

“Natural light automatically makes the room more appealing,” said Liat Tzoubari, director of sales and marketing for property listing site Apartable. Before a showing, Tzoubari suggested the seller “open up the blinds and let the sun shine through on your beautiful home.”

Artificial light upgrades can pay off as well. According to an NAR Home Feature Preferences report, one of the most common home improvements new home buyers make is to add or replace lighting.



 10. Repair What’s Visibly Broken

Fixing a few issues before listing your home can go a long way toward adding value. “It may take a bit of elbow grease and coin, but it’s necessary when selling to discriminating home buyers,” said Brad Chandler, CEO of Express Home Buyers. “Many home buyers are only interested in homes that are in move-in condition.” 

Chandler suggested repairing any misaligned closet doors, leaky sinks and cracked windows. “If people see something broken, they may question how well the home was cared for and worry about the integrity of the less obvious things that they can’t see,” he said.


11. Hire a Home Inspector

A poor home inspection report can often break a good real estate deal. Eliminate that possibility by bringing someone in to assess any potential concerns before prospective buyers even start viewing the home. A pre-listing inspection can give you the chance to uncover any unforeseen snags and take care of any unanticipated repairs before coming up with a listing price.

Offering the report to potential buyers can be seen as an act of goodwill and can boost trust between buyer and seller. No home buyer — or seller — wants to be surprised by a large repair costs upon receipt of the home inspection report.


  12. Research Your Market

Find out what other homes in your area have sold for in the past few months. Recent sales can give you a realistic idea of what your home is worth. “Consult a real estate expert who can advise the homeowner of market conditions and trends,” said Hager. “It’s very important to have a home that is priced well from the get-go.”

If a property is priced too high, it can languish and never sell. On the other hand, pricing a property too low could result in you losing out on a greater potential for profit. Your broker can monitor the Multiple Listing Service for current sale prices in your area.



 13. Be Flexible

“Sometimes selling your house has less to do with your physical property and more with how you interact with your potential buyers,” said Chandler. If a buyer wants to close on a certain timeline, he suggested that you find a way to make it happen. If a buyer falls in love with an item in your home, consider including it in the offer.

To protect yourself from potentially parting with an heirloom or cherished item, Chandler suggested storing it before a showing so a buyer won’t be tempted to ask for the item. “When there are multiple real estate choices, buyers can afford to be picky,” he said. “If you seem difficult to work with and there is another home on their list with a more motivated seller, you will lose out.”

You can view the original article here.

Why you should consider adding a Porch!

Is the exterior of you home missing something?  Does it seem a little flat and perhaps boring?  Have you considered adding a porch?

Check out these ideas for small porches which will really add something special to your home!

Guest Post – Adrian Johnson, Century 21 United Realty

Quick Tips | Curb Appeal

image1 - Adrians Blog
As a real estate agent, I am in a-lot of houses every day.  I see the good there is to see, and the bad…!

First impressions are a very important aspect to consider when preparing your home for the market.  I’d like to share a few simple tips that will help your house SHOW BETTER & SELL QUICKER!

Breathe some life into any existing garden beds with some fresh mulch – black and chocolate brown are both in style.

Front doors, mailboxes, and light fixtures are a great place to incorporate some colors and really set your home apart.  Look on Houzz or Pinterest for ideas.

image2 - Adrians Blog
Clean the brick, clean the siding, clean the deck, clean the weeds from the walkway – CLEAN EVERYTHING!

Following through with these few simple tips will make your home stand out from the rest and will help you to sell quicker.

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Adrian Johnson
Sales Representative
Century 21 United Realty



705 868 4717