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Struggling to Sell Your House in the Winter? Try These Innovative Home Staging Tips

Struggling to Sell Your House in the Winter? Try These Innovative Home Staging TipsWith all of the busyness of the winter months and most people settling in for the season, it can be hard to achieve a successful home sale at the end of the year. Fortunately, if you simply can’t wait to put your home on the market, here are some staging tips that will engage potential buyers so you won’t have to wait much longer for an offer.

Add Accents To Your Neutrals

It’s often the case that a home with neutral colors will show better because potential buyers can envision themselves in it, but there are ways to dress up neutral tones that will add spark. Instead of leaving your place too ho-hum, try punching up the color palette with a few bright pieces that will catch the eye. Whether you add a throw, some pillows, a vase or a vivid painting, this can be a simple way to create a lasting impression.

Let The Light In

The winter months can be a more difficult time to let natural light in, but few things will have a more positive impact on how your home shows than the lighting. A warm, homey space that is lit in a way that maximizes your home’s best features will be sure to make potential home buyers interested. In addition, good lighting will work to minimize any flaws that might be more visible in a less flattering light.

Don’t Forget About The Senses

It’s easy to get so involved in cleaning and de-cluttering your home that you forget about creating ambiance, but engaging the senses can have a very positive impact on potential home buyers. Instead of leaving this aspect to chance, you may want to bake something to create a pleasant scent or play music so that people viewing your home will stick around a little longer. Potential home buyers may not be aware of it, but engaging the senses can have an unconscious effect on the impression your home leaves.

The winter months are not always the best time to put your home on the market, but it may just mean that you’ll need to put in a little more effort to make the sale. By engaging the senses and adding color to a neutral palette, you may just snag an ideal offer. If you’re currently preparing to put your home on the market, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

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Five Ways to Make Your Home’s ‘Curb Appeal’ Better Than Your Neighbors’

Five Ways to Make Your Home's 'Curb Appeal' Better Than Your Neighbors'Curb appeal, or how your home looks from the street, is an essential part of preparing to sell your house. It’s also where comparison with your neighbors’ homes is inescapable which poses a problem if you’re both on the market. Read on for five ways to boost your own curb appeal.

Open Up: Garage Doors With Impact

In most homes, the external facade is taken up largely by the garage door which means it’s a big influence on how people see your home. Embrace that. Style your garage door to suit your home, touch up the paint or trim, or even do a full overhaul with a brand-new door.

Balance Out: The Appeal Of Symmetry

Not only is a symmetrical design visually appealing, it’s also quick and easy to do. If your home doesn’t allow for large symmetrical designs because of its structure — if it has a garage on one side, for example — focus in on specific elements. Consider the front door, maybe, where fixtures are easier and cheaper to update.

Sit Back: Inviting Outdoor Seating

A great way to attract buyers is to think like them and what search-weary buyer doesn’t enjoy a moment to relax? Arrange an aesthetically pleasing seating area outside your home. It will become a welcoming space that can offer buyers the chance to sit down and dream about owning your home. A clear and attractive walkway is also very inviting, so be sure to spruce yours up or install a whole new one to, literally, lead buyers to your door.

Admire The Art: Accent With Outdoor Pieces

Put a little of your home’s personality out front to attract the interest of like-minded buyers. Weather-resistant art pieces are a great way to accent your lawn or entrance. Consider the welcoming sound of wind chimes, or a sculpture or two. Even birdbaths can provide simple but effective artistic highlights.

Look Critically: Get Outside Eyes

When you’re close to your home, it can be hard to view it as a buyer would in other words, critically. This is an essential step, though, in creating effective curb appeal. So, consider getting another person involved. Someone who can look at your home objectively and provide a clear assessment of your home’s strengths and weaknesses.

Speaking of outside eyes, don’t forget about your local real estate agent. Turn to us with questions, or for advice, at any time after all, we know what works in your neighborhood!

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Staging Tips: 5 Interior Paint Colors That Will Help You Sell Your Home Faster

Staging Tips: 5 Interior Paint Colors That Will Help You Sell Your Home FasterIt’s important to remember that when a home is put up for sale it should appeal to as many people as possible. Sometimes those flashy paint colors the owners grew up with will not charm new buyers.

Here are five ideas for paint colors that will help any home sell quickly.

Keep It Neutral For A Reason

The first thing everybody hears when they try and sell their home is to paint in neutral colors. There is a good reason for this. Every person who walks through the front door should be able to picture living in the home and not think about the people who had lived there before. Neutral colors provide a blank canvas for buyers to paint their future on

Creams Photograph Better Than Almost Any Shade

Neutral colors are not just the standard beiges everyone is used to. Rooms painted in creams tend to look better in pictures, which helps out tremendously when listing the house online. Since most people’s first impression of a home is the online photographs, this technique helps a house stand out from the very beginning.

Using Gray To Expand The Space

Making rooms appear larger is one technique to help sell a home quicker. A light gray can help make large, clean rooms appear even larger to visitors. This works on rooms that are clutter free and do not have much furniture in them. As an added technique, try painting the moldings the same color of gray so that the walls appear higher.

Accent Natural Surroundings With Earth Tones

Anybody who owns a house that has a lot of brick, stone or wood should take a moment to browse through some earth tones to accent the room. These colors, while still neutral, are found in nature and accent the natural surroundings of the room. Sienna and umber are two popular choices.

Give A Splash Of Green In A Sunny Room

When the rest of the home is in neutral tone, it provides the opportunity to spring a room to life with a dash of color. A light green is perfect for an indoor patio or den that overlooks a garden. This is one way to give a natural and earthy feel to a room that has plenty of sunlight.

Before painting, talk to your local real estate agent to walk through your home with you and give you some pointers on which colors they think will work and which ones may be problematic.

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Did You Know?: How You Arrange Your Furniture Can Turn Off Potential Buyers. Here’s Why

Did You Know?: How You Arrange Your Furniture Can Turn Off Potential Buyers. Here's WhyMost sellers focus on finding the right furniture to stage their home, but they never consider how the placement of that furniture can undo all their hard work. It’s a subconscious thing, but the arrangement of items in the home can really make a difference with buyers.

Be sure to not make some of these common mistakes when arranging furniture to sell a house.

Keep The Traffic Flowing

A proper furniture layout should serve to guide the flow of traffic from room to room and make it easy to move freely. When furniture is placed without foot traffic in mind it can lead to blocked pathways and dead ends when potential buyers are looking around.

Rooms that are overcrowded with furniture have the opposite problem and supply no easy way for guests to move without stepping over each other. Make sure traffic can flow freely through the rooms and there is plenty of space to walk around.

Decide On A Focal Point

Every room needs a focal point for the furniture. Most rooms use built in features like a fireplace, but when the home doesn’t have anything built in a television or painting will serve the same purpose.

Without a focal point, the room will feel disjointed and confused. This leads to chairs or couches pointed in different directions and can make potential buyers feel uncomfortable. A key focal point also takes the focus away from any flaws in the home.

First Impressions Over Function

Sometimes people can become so comfortable in their own home that function will overrule aesthetics and furniture will be placed where it proves the most useful and not where it looks the best.

This is fine until it’s time to sell and the first thing buyers see when they enter a room is furniture in places where it doesn’t look the most appealing. Walking in and seeing the back of furniture is never a good look, so make sure everything looks the best from the place guests will enter the room.

Every home has a different floor plan and it can be difficult determining whether furniture is placed properly, especially when you are used to the way it is now. A local real estate agent can walk through the home and give great insight into what improvements can be made and provide an outsider view of how the home looks to new visitors.

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5 Mistakes That Will Instantly Turn a Home Buyer Away – and How to Avoid Making Them

5 Mistakes That Will Instantly Turn a Home Buyer Away - and How to Avoid Making ThemIf you’re preparing to sell your home you’ve likely heard many tips and tricks to help close quickly, however few people will ever tell you what you’re doing wrong.

Don’t be your own roadblock to success! Avoid these common seller-mistakes to ensure that your home leaves a lasting impression on buyers, instead of sending them running for the hills.

1) Dirt: It’s A Don’t

Perhaps one of the biggest turn-offs in real estate, dirt gives the impression that your property is not well maintained. A dirty home is simply not aesthetically appealing and can often be the root cause of other turn-offs, such as bad odors. Keeping a clean, clutter-free home will show potential buyers that your property is a beautiful, healthy place where they can live comfortably without any foul surprises.

2) It’s Nothing Personal

While you may love looking at family photos, funky trinkets from travelling, or your colorful assortment of bath products, personal items such as these should be stored away during an open house. Showings are for buyers to see if they can see themselves living in your home, which is difficult to imagine when there are someone else’s belongings scattered throughout the house. If you’re serious about selling, pack away any items that send the message that this is your space.

3) Old News

Most often when people are looking for a new home they’re looking for just that: a NEW home! Having old, dated fixtures in your house tells prospective buyers that your property is stuck in the past, rather than prepared for the future. Make your property a place that anyone can move forward in.

4) Street Style

You may have spent so much time and effort making the inside of your home immaculate for a sale that you’ve completely forgotten that the outside is equally as important. Curb appeal is the very first impression that your home will have on buyers, and it’s essential that your property looks just as nice from the street as it does inside.

5) Snoopy Seller

You know your home better than anyone else, and you want to sell it to someone who genuinely cares about your property. While this statement may be true, it is counterproductive for you to participate in showings, pointing out all the great features of your home to interested buyers and grilling them on their intentions for when they purchase it. Give buyers space they need to see if your home is the right fit for them, and you’ll be selling it in no time.

Interested in receiving more advice on selling your home? Contact your trusted real estate professional today.

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Selling Your Home This Autumn? Try Boosting Your Curb Appeal with These Inexpensive Upgrades

Selling Your Home This Autumn? Try Boosting Your Curb Appeal with These Inexpensive UpgradesCurb appeal is the first impression that your home will have on potential buyers, so it’s important to make it a good one. Try these simple budget upgrades to give your home the “WOW” factor that buyers are looking for!

Crystal Clean

As simple as it sounds, it is extremely important to make sure that your house is nice and clean on the outside. This is overlooked by sellers more than you’d think as they become so focused on perfecting the inside of their home that they forget about the exterior!

Dirt streaks running down stucco or siding give the impression that your home isn’t well kept, and smudges on windows will prevent them from sparkling in the sun. Remember: you want your home to be their dream home. Spruce up the outside to impress buyers before they even set foot in the door.

Knock Knock

Another important design feature of your outer home is the front door as it is one of the only features of the exterior that buyers will be forced to look at up-close. A new door will not only look great from the curb, the details of its quality will inevitably be seen by anyone who enters the home. Make sure your door is in tip top shape before you start your showings!

Raise The Roof!

If your roof isn’t in good condition;or looks like it isn’t in good condition, then upgrading it is an absolute must. Most buyers are quickly turned off when they see a roof that’s in poor condition because it can be an expensive fix. It’s important that when buyers first see your home they don’t see more dollar signs than they expected.

Fantastic Furniture

Patio furniture is an easy and inexpensive way to differentiate your home from the rest! Add a pop of color to a neutral-colored house by placing vibrant chairs and planters on the front porch as featured pieces, or add a cute table and chairs to your lawn to show how useful the space can be.

That being said, be careful not to overdo it, as too much patio furniture or potted plants may give the illusion that your home is cluttered, which is a major no-no in the real estate world.

Need more advice on how to better prepare your home for a sale? Contact your local trusted real estate professional today.

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4 Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling

4 Reasons Why Your Home Isn't SellingSelling your house can be hard. Emotionally, because it’s become your home, but also economically. If your home isn’t selling, there are usually specific reasons which means there are ways to amend them and make your home more appealing to potential buyers. Here’s a short list of reasons why your home might be stalling on the market.

You Didn’t Spread The Net Wide Enough

No longer is it enough for a sign on your front lawn and word of mouth to carry the brunt of your marketing. With the world moving increasingly online, you need to address social media when advertising your home. Think Facebook. And be sure to use professional photos of your house whenever advertising it, so that it is properly and engagingly represented.

You Didn’t Make Your Home A Blank Slate

People on the hunt for a new home want to be able to picture themselves in the house (or apartment, or condo) they’re being shown. This means your house needs to be a blank slate. If there are idiosyncratic rooms, paint them neutral colors and keep the furnishings simple. Remove personal items from all areas being shown photos, achievements, etc. Open up the space by moving furniture out first.

You Are Not Available Enough or Are Too Available.

Potential buyers can be easily discouraged before they even get into your home. Make sure your house is accessible for as many viewings as you can manage even at odd hours to accommodate them. But you should not go to the showing itself. Having the previous owner around hinders people’s ability to assess the home objectively because they know it’s not objective for you. That discomfort can lead to them not asking the questions they needed to, and being deterred from the purchase.

You Didn’t Talk To The Buyers That Walked

It’s inevitable there will always be buyers that are interested but unwilling to make the final commitment, so use those buyers to your advantage. If you can, reach out and ask what made them turn away. There could be external factors (literally, elements outside your home) that negatively impact a buyer’s decision. If you learn that from almost-buyers, or even from your neighbors you’ll be able to find a fix or adjust the price accordingly.

If your home is listed but not selling, sometimes it can feel like it’s the universe rising against you. But often there are concrete reasons and simple solutions to get your home’s appeal up. And remember, in the end, the best way to find out why your house isn’t selling is to talk to your local real estate agent, who has the expertise to help.

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Budget-Friendly DIY Projects That Instantly Boost Curb Appeal

Budget-Friendly DIY Projects That Instantly Boost Curb AppealWe’re told not to judge a book by its cover, but there’s no such rule in the housing market. Curb appeal is the external attractiveness of a home, and if you’re in the market for a house that first impression has a lot to do with your final decision. Alternatively, if you’re looking to sell, it’s an easy area to boost the attractiveness of your home.

Essentially, ensure your home is accessible and inviting to make it appeal to potential buyers. It’s like making new friends, and how you’re much more likely to approach someone who is smiling. Help your home smile by spending a little time and money on outdoor seating, open spaces and color. Note that homes that have personality make stronger first impressions, so also try to put some of yourself into the exterior of your home.

A Place To Sit

Outdoor seating inspires relaxation, providing a great first impression. Potential buyers can pause and get a sense of the community without feeling rushed. They’ll take in the external features of your home in comfort, and will be primed to imagine themselves sitting out there as new homeowners, sunning or sipping tea.

An Open Entrance

Open your home up literally. Creating an uncluttered space in front of your home will help direct and draw buyers. Use pathways and lighting (lamps, candles) to clearly guide the way into your home. A well-lit pathway is not only visually appealing, but safer and a confusing entrance could deter buyers before they even reach your house.

A Dash Of Color

Color draws the eye. Add flowers to the front of your house, or paint the shutters brightly to attract attention from the street. This will also help your home look tidy and put-together.

A Strong Front Door

The front door is the focal point of anyone walking up to your house. Why not paint it your favorite color, or decorate it with something that gives an idea of the interior, like a funky door-knocker or a wreath? Make sure the door is clean and everything works (knob, bell, hinges) to complete the look.

A Personalized Mailbox

If you have a mailbox out front, you can give it the same personalizing treatment. Paint it, or plant it in a flowerbed. Keep it clean, functional and inviting, and it’ll add to the overall impression of your house.

Riff off these easy, cheap projects to increase your home’s curb appeal. Contact your local real estate professional for more information.

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Selling Your Home Soon? 4 Ways to Quickly Boost Your Curb Appeal

Selling Your Home This Month? 4 Ways to Quickly Boost Your Curb AppealMost people that have embarked on selling their home know a lot about how to showcase the inside of it, but one of the most important parts of showing a home can be forgotten as a result. Since the outside of your home is the first thing a potential homebuyer will see, here are a few simple ways you can quickly boost its appeal.

Re-Consider The Front Door

If your door is both welcoming and majestic, you may be able to skip this step, but if you have chipped paint or disintegrating steps, it’s definitely going to be worth a minor renovation so you can make a positive impression. It’s just a fact that if the front door isn’t up to snuff, any potential homebuyer is going to have a bad feeling about your house right from the start.

Languish Over Your Lawn

The look of your lawn is going to be noticed right away, so make sure that your grass is weed free and well-manicured. If you happen to have flowerbeds, you ‘ll want to make sure that any dead plants are pulled before seeing any potential buyers. In addition, if any pruning needs to be done, it’s a good idea to complete this before anyone arrives on your front stoop.

Perk Up With Paint

Few things will perk up the look of a surface than a primed paint job, so while it can be a large task to complete, you may see the results in the sale price of your home. While you may want to stick with the color you already have, if you do decide to change it up ensure it’s a color that isn’t so bold it will turn off potential homebuyers.

Clear Away Anything Extra

If you’re going to be showing your home, it’s very important that everything unnecessary on the front law, like children’s toys or an empty wheelbarrow, is stored away. A tidy lawn will leave buyers with the instant impression that your home maintenance is as impeccable as that of your front yard.

There are many great tips for showing a home, but it’s also important to consider how your home will look from the street. Since this will be the first things potential buyers view, it will have an impact on their first impression. If you’re selling your home and are interested in what’s on the market, you may want to contact one of our real estate professionals for more information.

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Staging Tips: How to Make a Small Backyard a Great Selling Feature

Staging Tips: How to Make a Small Backyard a Great Selling FeatureSmall backyards are not the detriment that sellers seem to worry about. By putting in some work, any homeowner should be able to turn the smallest backyard into a selling feature by highlighting its assets.

Here are some surefire ways to change a cramped backyard into a cozy, outdoor paradise:

Invest In Size Appropriate Outdoor Furniture

Too many people with small backyards make the mistake of picking out patio furniture that is meant for a larger space. While this may not matter for the people living in the house, it will make a world of difference to anybody looking to buy.

Large furniture will make the yard look even smaller and cramped by comparison. Patio furniture is made in all shapes and sizes, and picking out smaller pieces to use in the backyard will make the space look larger and help play to its strengths.

Open Spaces Ignite The Imagination

Too many sellers go overboard in the staging process and end up with a result that has the exact opposite effect. While a fire pit or a water feature will add value to the home, in a small backyard these features can be cumbersome if they are all used simultaneously.

Focus on one or two signature areas, a seating area, water feature or barbeque are good examples, and keep the rest of the yard open and clear so that it looks larger and the buyers can imagine what they could do with the space. Many young couples are looking for a home to raise kids in and a clear backyard helps them visualize the space children have to play.

Treat The Backyard The Same As The Front

While curb appeal is important, it’s easy to forget that the same rules should apply to other outdoor areas of a house. Considering a yard is high on the list of criteria buyers look for in a new home, especially those starting a family, the backyard should be given the same treatment as the front yard.

Remove clutter, weed the gardens, trim the trees and put away any toys, tools or grills that are not part of the staging to keep visitors’ eyes drawn to the actual yard and not lingering away to something unsightly that wasn’t cleaned up.

With enough work and imagination, there are ways to make any perceived drawback into a selling point. Any real estate professional will be able to look through your home and help identify trouble areas and how to fix them.

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