Home Stage the Exterior

Should spring be just around the corner and you are getting ready to sell your home there are a few tasks for getting your yard into shape prior to home buyer visits.

By taking care to clean up your outside yard areas you expand your living space for outdoor play and entertaining of family and friends. Painting a picture of lifestyle benefits of wining and dining boosts a properties marketing appeal and with that the sales price.

Transcend the walls of your home to show your outdoor sitting areas where buyers can imagine taking a break from a busy schedule that is just steps outside the door.

Take a critical look at your yard around you, then get to work! Here is a list to get you started:

  • Remove burlap from trees and shrubs as the weather warms.
  • Remove winter killed dead or damaged branches
  • Prune away winter-killed branches to make room for new growth.
  • Cut back and divide spent perennials to 4-5 inches
  • Cut back ornamental grasses to a height of 2-3 inches
  • Thin crowded beds of daylilies or iris
  • Cut back rose canes that have winter kill to 1 inch below blacked are.
  • pull up old annuals
  • Clean around plants by raking up fallen leaves and dead foliage
  • Prep damaged grass areas for reseeding
  • Sweep hardscaped patio areas
  • Remove damaged pickets or fencing and paint peeling pickets
  • Clean up the bbq or reposition from view

Home staging shouldn’t be confined just to indoors. Home stage the exterior by cleaning up the exterior of your home it extends the feeling home to your exterior spaces. Cooking, relaxing or just hanging out reflects lifestyle benefits that home buyers enjoy, work to capture that feeling of home outside.

Refinishing Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floor refinishing 1

Recently at a home staging consultation for a mid range priced home going on the market for sale, recommendations to the main level of a home were made for hardwood floor refinishing for a floor that had seen better days.

I had to base the hardwood flooring refinishing in the context of sales price, condition of the home, competing properties and what home buyers would find desirable. Homebuyers and people with allergies across the United States want hardwood floors. Making a recommendation for a hardware flooring update made sense for the home seller and statistics showed a 101% return on investment.

Hardwood floors add value to a home, if the hardwood floor is looking a little worse for the wear, sanding and refinishing the hardwood flooring is the first consideration to get your investment back when selling.Hardwood flooring refinishing

Refinishing hardwood flooring is not that expensive and can completely change the look of a home with the option of changing color. Lighter color will make a space look open, light, bright, airy and informal. Darker refinished hardwood floors look more formal, sophisticated and dramatic. The majority of people prefer a forgiving satin finish that obscures scratches more than a semi gloss finish. A

Stained hardwood can usually be fixed if you hire a professional and replace stained sections by weaving new hardwood into the existing flooring, and then refinishing. No one will ever even notice the new pieces of hardwood, it will blend seamlessly.

Hardwood flooring refinishing carpet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucky for you if you have hardwood hidden beneath your carpet, it’s like finding a hidden treasure. Rip up the carpet and refinish hardwood floors and you will improve the value of your home by making it more desirable to the maximum number of home buyers.

In another post The Cost of Home Staging Is Always Less Than the First Price reduction discusses the fact of not taking steps to stage your home, not refinishing hardwood floors will make buyers assume that you don’t take good care of your home, and will more likely make a price reduction accordingly.

Painting When Selling a Home

Painting when selling a home provides a whooping 148 percent return on investment with dramatic results and little investment.

Repair any damaged interior walls by patching all chips, cracks, dents, dings and holes; then touch up or repaint interior walls with neutral color.  Wanna know the priority rooms?  Read on…

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Selecting Faucet Finish and Style

 

selecting faucet finish and style white gold

The return on investment for plumbing will vary from year to year and market to market. The importance of selecting faucet finish and style for your plumbing fixtures will add to your return on investment and increase your bottom line when it come times to sell your home.

As mentioned in my article about top 27 return on investments, updating plumbing depending on market can provide a 260% return on investment on average when selling a home.

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Lighting Size, Placement and Trends

 

Lighting Size, Placement and Trends black drum crystal

 

 

Lighting size, placement and trends both inside and out when preparing your home for sale reaps one of the greatest returns on investments. Simple lighting improvements can be as easy as washing windows inside and out and replacing spent light bulbs.  Othertimes you will need to make updates to compete with new and model homes in the same price range.

Refreshing the look of a room can be done by replacing old, dated light fixtures and ornately decorated fixtures that may not appeal to the broadest range of buyers. I typically recommend when providing home staging consultations that home sellers keep it simple and select lighting in a transitional style, which is neither traditional nor contemporary.

The great thing about transitional style is that it will give you a great updated look in a contemporary setting or a traditional interior setting. As for finishes, transitional styles are flexible allowing you to mix finishes with existing hardware, but if you want to match your finishes to your faucets and hardward, go right ahead.

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association consumers are looking for contemporary spa like easy to clean bathrooms and kitchens with less clutter and clean simple lines, with LED lighting cited as an “in-demand” kitchen feature for its energy efficiency (which is another hot buyer preference).

Knowing what lighting size, placement and trends when you are updating your home for sale will help you obtain a greater return on investment. Keep these simple home staging tricks handy as a practical solution for any home interiors lighting updates and you won’t go wrong.

Lighting Trends

Consumers love out door living and revamping garden areas, patios and porches can make your curb appeal really “shine”.  This will be the first impression buyers will have of your home.

Lighting Size, Placement and Trends black sh

Pendant lighting in 2015 will take on the shapes of bowl pendants and drums (like the one above).

Chandeliers aren’t just for the dining room anymore and are making their way into spaces like studio apartments, attic bedrooms and small mother-in-law suites. The luxury market demands, dramatic, upscale and extravagant transitional crystal chandeliers.

Power in the shower continues its popularity as we head into 2015.

Silver, Chrome and Stainless steel have commonly been used in the kitchen but warm metals like gold, copper and bronze are the trend for 2015.

Lighting Size, Placement and Trends gold pendant

Image Courtesty Decor Pad

 

Lighting Size, Placement and Trends copper

Image Courtesy KitchenModel.org

Lighting Size, Placement and Trends bronze

Image Courtesy Houzz

Lighting Placement

Lighting placement, size and how high you hang your lighting play an important role in the over all look and feel of a space.

  • When hanging lighting above your kitchen island hang 24-34 inches above the counter top.
  • Lighting diameter in the center of a room should measure 1/12th the size of the room to maintain a balanced look. Measure your rooms length and width and divide by 12 to get the proper size of the light fixture.
  • When hanging lighting above a table the diameter of the fixture should be 12” less than the width of the table.
  • Hang your chandelier over the dining table 28” to 32” between the table top and the light fixture.
  • In a hallway a 7ft. clearance between the floor and light fixture is a good rule of thumb to keep lighting in line of sight.
    Lighting Size, Placement and Trend

    Image Courtesty EHow

     

  • In a stairwell clearance should be 18” to 24” above the tallest occupants head.
  • Hanging fixtures in the middle of a room demand a 7ft. clearance unless hung above a table or other piece of furniture to avoid bumped heads.
Lighting Size, Placement and Trends bedroom chandalier

Image Courtesty New England Home

  • Hanging lights in the bedroom and above the bed should be 7 feet or 6” above the head when kneeling on the bed.

    Lighting Size, Placement and Trends bath sconce

    Image Courtesty Crisp Architects

  • Sconces or pendants in the bath should be spaced 28’ apart and 60” off the floor.
  • Foyer light is placed 80-84” from the bottom of the chandelier to the floor. Center to the window and hang no lower than point of the second floor when the ceiling is really tall.
  • Table and bedside lamps should measure from the base of the shade and eye level from a seated position.

Lampshade Size

Sometimes your lampshade may be all that is needed to get an updated look. Follow these rules when updating your table lamp shades.

  • Shade length from top to bottom should be 65-80% of the base length. For example if your base length is 18”, the shade should measure 11”- 15”.
  • The diameter of the shade should be no more than 2” less that the base diameter. If you have an 18” base the width of the shade not be more than 16 inches.

 

 

Top 15 Features Homebuyers Want

I’m a little statistic nut at times and find that as a home stager it is important to know the studies and statistics available in the market to share with home sellers, who are preparing their home for sale.

Armed with this knowledge it allows me to provide the home seller with a better understanding of where they should place their budget and where they will receive greater return on investment when home staging.

In a nationwide study of new and potential homebuyers of various racial groups, more than 120 home features were rated to be essential, desirable, indifferent or do not want in the homes that homebuyers want to purchase.

Below are the top 15 features homebuyers want:

  1. 80 percent of buyers would choose a highly energy efficient home with lower utility bills rather than a home that costs 2-3 percent less without those features.
  2. Around 80 percent of buyers consider garage storage essential or desirable.
  3. 80% of homebuyers most wanted outdoor features that include exterior lighting and a patio.
  4. A full bath on the main level is the highest ranked for accessibility
  5. Wide hallways at least 4 feet wide claim the top spot among African-American and Asian buyers.
  6. A wireless home security system is the most wanted technology across all groups
  7. Three features desired in the master bathroom include, an exhaust fan, a linen closet, and both a shower stall and a tub.
  8. Top three essential and desirable features In the kitchen include table space for eating, a walk-in pantry, and a double sink.
  9. Neighborhood green areas are very important to buyers of all racial/ethnic backgrounds.
  10. When homebuyers rated windows, the top two features were an energy-star rating and triple-pane glass.
  11. 80% of homebuyers consider garage storage essential or desireable.
  12. A large majority of homebuyers want 2 ½ baths.
  13. Home buyers are willing to pay between $6774-$9146 upfront to save $1000 per year in energy savings
  14. A small percentage of homebuyers report being concerned for the environment, but not to the point of being willing to pay more for such a home.
  15. 83% of home buyers feel that contractors with specialized designations, “provide better quality work and craftsmanship. 64% of buyers agree specialized contractors are “worth paying a higher price for.” Suggesting providers want quality workmanship in their homes they want to purchase.

Home Staging the Generation Gap

home staging the generation gap 1

My recent home staging consultation sporting refinished hard wood floors, trending paint color and tasteful decor.

National Association of Realtors say that 60% of the buyers that will drive the real estate market in the  coming years is the generation under the age of 33 and the slightly older Gen X’s.  The bulk of the housing inventory will come from retiring and downsizing Baby Boomers in the next 15 years.  

20.1 million senior and booming households will attempt to sell between 2015 and 2030,  according to University of Utah researcher, Arthur C. Nelson. 

home staging the generation gap

Adding new bedding and pillows is one of the easiest updates for a fresh, updated look.

What pray tell do our young buyers want?  An updated home with a large percentage of homes built before 1990.  What they don’t want is an older looking, outdated home.  This will pose a challenge for our upcoming baby boomer sellers, should they be hesitant in improving a homes appeal.

home staging the generation gap 2

Updated kitchen featuring new appliances, updated cabinets and granite counter tops in this open floor plan.

Home staging, renovation and updates will continue to be an important part of marketing a home for sale — to boost a home’s value to appeal to younger buyers and sell fast.

The more a home seller knows how to appeal to buyers the better their chances for selling fast and for top dollar.  Home buyers will be looking for homes that look their very best and stand out on from the competition.

home staging the generation gap 3

Spacious, multi-use, finished basement is an update that appeals to a broad range of both GenX and Millenial home buyers.

Home Staging the Generation Gap Will Include:

  • Home renovations and updates.
  • Move in market ready homes.
  • More closet and storage space.
  • Open floor plans, home offices with up-to-date wiring and technology.
  • Finishd basements.
  • Energy efficiency.
  • Hardwood floors and granite counter tops.
  • Extra rooms.
  • Upgraded kitchens.
  • Media Savvy homes.
  • Living spaces optimally designed for family usage.
  • New Appliances.
  • Quality and well-priced inventory.

Home sellers who consider buyer preferences when preparing a home for sale can make your property more appealing to a broader range of buyers to sell faster.  Home staging will help to emphasize the space in a home by showing property to appear open, light, bright, spacious and use merchandising techniques that update and enhance the property to more likely attract top dollar.

Check out this article on what home improvements to make for the best return on investment.

 

 

 

4 Fireplace Makeover Ideas

Fireplace Makeover 4 Ideas Fireplace Surround Classique

The Classique Fireplace Mantel Surround

When I woke up this morning it was 3 degrees in Colorado.  With that said it got me thinking about fireplaces (go figure).  Mine needs a fireplace makeover with it’s dated 6×6 white ceramic tile and big fat mortar lines (ugh).  It sticks out like a sore thumb, good thing I’m not selling anytime soon.

The following will show fireplace pictures ranging from contemporary fireplaces to fully assembled fireplace surround kits, paint and mantle ideas.

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Easy 10 Minute Home Improvement

Easy 10 Minute Home Improvement usb outlet kitchen

Images Courtesty Coolmomtech.com Hubbell Wiring USB Charger tamper resistant decorator duplex receptacle in white color features two 2.0 USB ports capable of charging two devices simultaneously.

Are you still using extension cords and electrical adapters on a two-socket outlet? Fortunately, I found an easy 10 minute home improvement that replaces a traditional outlet for an amazing outlet that includes USB ports.

My bedroom has one duplex receptacle on the wall within reach of the bed that only allows room for the flanking bedside lamps or an ugly extension cord.  The work area in my kitchen where I use both my CuisineArt, KitchenAid and Ipad for recipes only has one convenient outlet in which to work from.

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Top 10 Bathroom Mistakes When Selling Your Home

top 10 bathroom mistakes when selling your home

A list of the top 10 bathroom mistakes when selling your home and the easy, inexpensive solutions that homesellers can use to create good marketing appeal and update your bathroom into a spa like retreat.  Don’t fret, I’m here to help, let’s get going and I’ll share some tips that will get you on your way.

top 10 bathroom mistakes Picture 12

Image Courtesty areal-lifehousewife.com

1.  Not removing hard water build up and soap scum from glass on the shower doors, mirrors and tile.

Solution:  Use full strength vinegar to cut through the film, allowing to sit without drying for 5 minutes.  The streaks will literally melt down the drain.

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