Staging a Smaller Home

stageThe number one reason homebuyers purchase a home is to get more space. So if you’re looking to sell a smaller home, use these tips to attract buyers.

Bring in more light. Reflective surfaces like mirrors or polished wood floors can bounce more light into any room and make it brighter. When it comes to furniture, glass-topped tables look light and show more of the floor, which makes any space look larger.

Move curtain rods up to the ceiling and replace heavy drapes with lighter fabric, blinds, or shutters. Don’t let drapes fall across the floor. You want every inch of floor space to show.

Reduce the number of pieces of furniture in the house, especially bulky furniture, oversized pillows and furniture with skirts. Stage your home with sleek low-slung furniture with simple lines. Your home will look on-trend and appealing.

Take advantage of built-in bookcases, cabinets and entertainment areas to help you save space. The less that’s on the floor, countertops and tables, the bigger your home will look.

The less stuff you have, the better your home will show. Pack up out-of-season clothes, and pack up collectibles and trinkets that create clutter.

With a small home, less is more. By showing your home at its best, the right buyer will see the beauty of a small space.

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All About Wood Floors

woodHardwood floors never seem to go out of style – their beauty and durability is appreciated by generation after generation of homeowners. So if you’re planning to install wood floors, you’ll want some basic information in order to choose wisely.

According to Hardwoodinfo.com, hardwoods are “deciduous trees that have broad leaves, produce a fruit or a nut, and generally go dormant in the winter. Popular hardwoods include oak, ash, cherry, and maple.

Softwoods, says the site, are conifers, evergreen and cone-bearing trees including cedar, pine, and redwood. Softwoods are generally used for behind the scenes construction lumber, while the beauty of hardwood grains make them preferable for display purposes, such as in cabinets and flooring.

Sometimes older homes feature pine floors, and cedar is often used to line storage closets, but generally, hardwoods are preferred for high traffic areas like living rooms and dining rooms.

If you’re buying wood floors, you can get them unfinished, and they’ll be sanded, stained and polished on site, or you can buy pre-finished hardwoods. You can also buy engineered hardwood floors, in which several thin layers have been bonded together in planks for easy installation and water resistance.

Caring for hardwoods and softwoods is easy – use only cleansers that are recommended for wood. Keep floors swept often, as dirt, grit and debris carried by shoes can scratch and penetrate the wood. Avoid wearing heels on hardwood floors and put furniture protectors under furniture legs if there is no carpeting.

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AVOID 8 STAGING TIPS

stageYou may love your home, but that doesn’t mean that everyone coming through the door will feel the same way. What may be “charming” to the seller may seem off-putting to a prospective buyer. Many sellers attempt to stage their home themselves. In doing so, they make mistakes that can sidetrack the sale. Here are some of the biggest staging mistakes, according to professional home stagers:

  • Don’t get too personal: Staging is all about de-personalizing the space, and creating a model home look that will appeal to most everyone. Don’t create a look that appeals to just you.
  • Avoid dark colors: Choose neutral or warm colors. A few coats of fresh paint will make a huge difference.
  • Take advantage of natural light: Blocking off light with heavy curtains or furniture can hurt your sale—especially if the home has attractive views.
  • Don’t think more is better: Scale down your furniture. The size of furniture needs to be in balance with the scale of the room. Furniture should define the purpose of the room.
  • Don’t leave pets at home: Remove all traces of animals from the house. Make sure Fido is away during showings. A pet could kill a sale before a potential buyer even steps into the house.
  • Don’t neglect the outside: Outside is as important as the inside. Add flowers, mow the lawn, tidy up and add kid-friendly accessories.
  • Don’t just deal with “main” rooms: Don’t forget the garage, basement and closets.
  • Don’t forget fixtures: It’s important that all lights are burning and all fixtures are working.

Staging a home means showcasing features, not concealing flaws. Make sure your house is in good condition and use staging to cast the home in its best light.

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A GLANCE AT GREEN BENEFITS

greenSingle-family homes are responsible for more than 20% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. A green home can help reduce the causes of climate change and more homebuyers are looking to purchase homes with eco-friendly features. Consumers want homes that are sensitive to the environment.

Solar panels aren’t for everyone. A home must be in an area with sufficient sunshine and be in an appropriate location. They typically require an up-front investment but because they are clearly visible from the street, they are likely to command a price premium.

There are more inexpensive ways to make a home green. Energy-efficient appliances can reduce utility bills. Tankless water heaters mean less time and waste. Replacing old furnaces can lower your heating bill. Consider replacing windows and doors and finding ways to insulate the home.

Producing 12 months of past electricity bills can signal to potential buyers that the home has an added bonus.

A potential buyer may notice a swimming pool or great kitchen, but the home’s energy efficiency and “greenness” is harder to see. Therefore, a homeowner should make their home’s green features well known.

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COZY FIREPLACES SELL HOMES

Article courtesy of Realtor.com

fireplaceIf you want to generate sales heat for your home, don’t neglect the fireplace: A cozy fireplace is often on the top of a home buyers’ wish list.

In fact, a working fireplace with a classic design and mantle can add as much as $12,000 to the value of your home, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

No one wants a fireplace that emits smoke and gases into the home, has a crumbling chimney or is an eyesore. However, a functional fireplace and beautiful mantle can add ambience and overall value to your home at a relatively modest cost.

Here are three reasons why a fireplace can fuel higher home prices.

Cold Climate Necessity

In colder climates, a fireplace is a necessity. While it may not be the home’s primary or only heat source, a fireplace can provide welcome relief if a winter storm happens to knock out power and gas.

Additional Warmth

In any climate, potential buyers are drawn to fireplaces because they provide a sense of hearth and home. Even if a fireplace won’t be used frequently, it can provide a focal point for the living room or entire house.

Because a contractor can easily install a gas fireplace—and you no longer need to vent fireplaces through a wall to the outside with a masonry chimney—you now can find fireplaces throughout the house.

You may even see them in bathrooms and bedrooms, as well as in living rooms and family rooms.

Financial Value on Budget

If your existing fireplace looks burned out, a cleaning and upgrade are worth the expense. You don’t want an unsafe fireplace leading to a failed home inspection. The cost of adding a fireplace in a home without one will likely pay off in the long run.

The typical cost of a standard gas fireplace is $600 to $3,000 without installation. Electric fireplaces run about $1,200 to $1,500, and they usually generate enough heat to take the edge off one or two rooms. Re-lining an old chimney is typically less than $5,000.

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