Archive Monthly Archives: June 2019

6 Quick & Easy Occupied Home Staging Tips

If you want to take advantage of the last of the spring and summer home sales, you'll want to follow these 6 quick and easy staging tips to get your home sold fast. Hopefully, you will have already organized, decluttered and updated a few things in your home in order to make it ready for the final touch - staging!

According to Zillow, Realtors name curb appeal the #1 factor in selling, so I have 3 tips to spruce up the outside of your home in minutes.

  • Do some landscaping, make sure your lawn in green and manicured, add some potted flowers to the front porch, cut any dead trees, touch up the wood chips or rocks.
  • Buy a brand new welcome mat and decorative door hanger
  • Power wash walkway, driveway, house and roof

The second group of tips is regarding in the inside of your home.  The essence of staging is to allow homeowners to visualize themselves in your home. If you are staying in your home while it is on the market, as a majority of home owners do, it is imperative to reduce the clutter! (I know I sound a little like a broken record..)

  • Pack up anything out of season, not used recently or frequently and store it in the garage, storage unit or get a donation run together!
  • Neutralize your home - take down family/personal photos, and extreme color or design choices.
  • Make the house look clean and smell nice (Some best choices of candles are cupcake or cookie scents as they make families feel at home!)

See I told you that was quick and easy!  If you aren't sure of how to do any of these, want some help executing these ideas, or want to know more of my suggestions, please reach out to me. I am happy to come out for an in-home consultation and provide my report of recommendations to get the maximum value for your home. Happy summer selling!

6 Simple Upgrades to Sell Your Home Fast


Continuing on my theme of helping you sell your home this month, here are some relatively simple upgrades you can do now to sell your home faster and get a better return on investment. Home buyers want a model home, ready to move in look, without having to pay for it. Therefore the best way to sell your home is to create that as best you can.

  • Paint - This is the first and foremost upgrade that home sell usually complete. But I am not just talking about the walls in your home. Sure, if you have a blue living room and a red kitchen, and a brown study, you should tone those colors down with neutrals that are more appealing a wide variety of prospective buyers; tan, pale yellow, off white, grey. However paint can do so much more! Consider a dated kitchen with dark wood cabinetry. A kitchen renovation may be due, however that makes no sense for your ROI, instead paint all of the cabinets white to attain a modern and bright look. Sherman Williams has a wonderful app (Color Snap Visualizer) in which you can upload a picture and test how their colors will look. I highly recommend that. tiles can be painted if you have outdated patterns or colors in the kitchen or bathroom. And you can really make your interior and exterior pop by painting the shoe molding, crown molding, chair railing and trim. Consider whether you want to have the trim blend into the walls/siding with a monochromatic look, or stand out with a complimentary color. Don't forget that your choice of paint should match the style of the home as well - American Colonial, Traditional, Victorian, Tudor, Craftsmen, Modern, etc.

Monochomatic - Craftsman home

Complimentary - Colonial home

Complimentary - Colonial home

  • Contact Paper - This is not really one of my favorite recommendations because contact paper is not very easy to work with. It is extremely sicky and difficult to get perfect without bubbles or creases. However, it can make a big difference if you have plywood shelving in your cabinets that is not easy to paint. It is also a practical solution to cabinets that already have aged contact paper that does not peel over easily. If that is your situation and you have that crazy 1970s Austin Powers/ That 70s Show pattern in your cabinets, I would suggest slapping a coat of primer down first so that the old paper does not show through. The positive thing about shelving paper is that is extremely multifunctional. It can be used on cabinet doors, shelving, counter tops, backsplashes, tiles, basically anywhere. Although I would not recommend it on a main thorough fare.
  • Carpeting - Here is the age old question: carpet or wood floors? Well if you have wood floors, in decent shape, under the carpet I always suggest removing the carpet and refinishing the floors. If that is not an option, you should always have new carpeting laid. It doesn't have to be special, stain resistant, or anything since you won't be living there and the new owner will more than likely replace it themselves. However again, we are trying to attain the model home, cared for visualization and a plush, clean, unused carpet will do that.
  • Fixtures - A home fixture is anything attached to the house, expected to be sold with the house. Replacement of some of the simplest to more complex items will give your home an updated and 'cared for' feel, especially if your fixtures of outdated or if you are drawn to a particular style that isn't common or doesn't go with the original character of the home. Below an outdated overhead light was changed with a more modern dome light, changing the feel of the breakfast nook immediately.  Replacing overhead and scone lights, kitchen and bathroom faucets, and cabinet knobs and pulls are your go-to choices. These can be done in a matter of hours. Then for maximum impact consider toilets, appliances, and bathroom vanities as well if you have more time and flexibility.
  • Bathrooms - A good bathroom is one of the most sought after places in a home, so while you don't want to spend too much of your time and money on this if you are moving out, you do want to give a prospective seller a good reason to buy your home.  Consider re-glazing the bathtub if it is cast iron and looks dated, chipped or worn. You can also purchase Rust-Oleum Tub & Tile finishing kit to update a discolored or worn ceramic, porcelain or fiberglass bath or shower yourself.  Lastly, bath fitters for bath and shower combos are also highly popular. While I don't like that concept as much as updating the current tile, placing a whole new fit fiberglass section over your tub, shower, or combo is a quick and seamless way to get a new modern look. 
  • Power washing - As I will discuss a little more in the home staging piece next, curb appeal is a HUGE part of selling your home!  So power washing is a really quick, cheap and easy way to upgrade and stage your home for sale.  Many people don't notice that their sidewalk, driveway, home siding, and roof have become discolored and stained over the years.  It's not until you actually power wash that you realize how bad it was before.  This one little clean up can make a huge difference in giving your home a manicured look, as seen below.

Before

After

I hope these ideas and tips have given you some things to think about and plan for in order to sell your home for the highest value in the quickest time! If you would like me to come out there and give you personlized recommendations, please feel free to reach out.  And if you have some of your own proven ideas or suggestions, I would love to hear about them! Happy selling!









Resources:  Exterior house colors - Better Home & Garden https://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/exteriors/curb-appeal/best-exterior-house-color-schemes/

4 Practical Steps to Decluttering

According to a recent NAR report, 95% of REALTORS recommend that sellers declutter their home before putting it on the market. So if you are trying to take advantage of the best time of year to sell or rent your home, preparing for visitors or just trying to achieved a lighter, stress free household, listen up!

In order to help clients, family, friends, and even myself organize and declutter, I follow a practical and methodical 4 step process that I want to share with you.

1. Declutter and organize by category, not by room.

More than likely you have similar things in different rooms.  If you have small closets, you may have clothes or shoes in multiple places.  The same goes for pots and pans, tupperware, bedding etc.  So when you start with each group, search the entire house for those items in order to evaluate and make decisions based.

2. Ask yourself the following 3 questions when evaluating your belongings:​

  1. Does it serve a function?
  2. Does it make me happy to own; give me enjoyment? Or does it make me stressed, annoyed, sad, angry?
  3. Do I have a similar item and do I need both/multiple? (Think less is more!)

The easiest items to evaluate with these questions are clothes and furniture.  I recently, finally, donated a shirt that I have had in my closet for 2 years and only wore once. I loved the way it looked on the rack. I loved the colors and pattern. The material was soft and light. But each time I took it out and put it on, it didn't seem to quite fit my body correctly and the colors washed me out, so I would put it back in my closet.  Finally one day I said, "why do I even have this?!" Yes, I had spent money on this shirt, however that money is gone, I don't receive it back each time I wear the shirt. Now the shirt is no longer in my closet and I no longer give any thought to the fact that I wasted money or that it doesn't look right.

Sometimes the situation calls for multiple questions to be asked.  Take a broken table for example: it no longer serves it's original function. If you are handy and fix things often, then physically schedule a day on the calendar to fix it. If you plan on getting to it some day, but for now it is one of many on a list of planned projects that you look at every weekend and think "jeez I'm just so busy, I never have time for my projects", get rid of it. It brings you more stress now than it does joy. So what is the point of keeping it?

I realize you might say, "what about mementos and keepsakes?" Keepsakes do serve a function, they do make you happy, but you can't let yourself get bogged down by them. Don't keep every greeting card you receive or every picture from the age of film camera rolls. Sort, make scrap books, decide on one category of item to save from trips or special events (ticket stubs for example), but be particular and mindful about your choices. In 10 years, will it still be important to you?

3. Have patience.

It can take months to fully declutter your life and change your way of thinking about your belongings, it will NOT happen over night. Yes you can clean out multiple rooms in a day, but in order to be successful in keeping yourself organized and decluttered, you have to be open and willing to practice these new tactics and change your way of thinking.

4. Ask for help!​

If you are not sure that you can truly go through your belongings​ and evaluate them subjectively, you are not alone. If you don't know where to start, you are not alone.  Don't be afraid to ask for help from friends, family and especially professionals. I would be happy to help your start, get back on track, or complete your decluttering process.  I am just an email or phone call away!

Bonus tip:  Storage solutions can be your friend or your foe! They can truly help you organize yourself, or they can just be a device to hide the clutter (think junk drawer.) Be mindful of how you are utilizing them.

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