Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith - Century 21 North East



Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 4/19/2018

If plans for selling your home are in the near future, youíre going to want to start strategizing the most cost- and time-effective ways to make your home irresistible to potential buyers. One of the most proven ways of giving your home the edge it needs to stand out from the competition is good photography and attractive staging.

In todayís post, Iím going to share my tips on home staging that can be achieved on a budget and in a short period of time. That way you can focus more time on finding a new home and stop worrying about selling your current one.

Tip 1: Start packing

Before you start worrying about arranging furniture, itís important to make sure you have a clean slate to work with. Start by packing personal effects into boxes and labeling them accordingly.

Staged homes are homes that look appealing to the widest audience as possible. Having personal reminders, like family photos, trophies, etc., makes it harder for viewers to picture themselves living in the home.

Most of us keep our homes arranged in a way that is convenient to our lives. And. letís face it--life can be messy. But, when it comes to staging, less is usually more.

Not only will this cleaning process help you reduce clutter and make the home look better for staging, but it will also make your moving process easier since many of your boxes will already be organized and sealed.

Tip 2: Color scheming

Expertly staged homes tend to have one thing in common--a cohesive color scheme. Think of choosing your color scheme like creating an artistís palette. You want a few colors that compliment one another and that will work together to brighten up your home.

If you have any furniture that appears worn, dated, or that clashes with the scheme of the room, itís a good idea to place them in storage while you prepare for photographs and visitors.

Tip 3: Decorate sparingly

Now that youíve packed away your family photos, you might be wondering what to put on the walls in their place. The best answer is often nothing. However, that doesnít mean the walls need to be completely bare.

For smaller rooms, you can make them appear more spacious with the use of hanging mirrors (just make sure you canít see yourself in any of those mirrors when you take your photos!).

Tip 4: Donít forget the outside of your home

The value of curb appeal canít be overemphasized. The exterior of our homes, along with our yard and driveway, are essentially what we show the world about our lives. Since most home buyers want their house to look nice, fit in with the neighborhood, but have its own unique flair all at the same time. They want to know that your house has that potential.

Furthermore, the driveway and yard are two of the first things people see when they visit. Youíll want to take advantage of this moment by making a good impression.





Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 12/29/2016

Kitchens are often the hub of the home and when it comes time to put your home on the market it is often said that kitchens and baths sell homes. A kitchen remodel can be expensive and time consuming. There are things you can do to give your kitchen a new look without spending a lot of money or time. Here are some inexpensive tips to get your kitchen in tip top shape in no time. -Upgrade your appliances Updating or upgrading your appliances will give your kitchen a fresh new look. You can start by ordering new doors or face panels from the manufacturer. If new appliances are in order you can find great deals at at discount stores. Many stores have scratch and dent appliances that may only have a small imperfection on the back of the appliance or in a place where no one would see it. This is a great way to save lots of money for more expensive appliances. -Pretty it up with paint New paint makes everything look clean and bright again. Choose a semigloss latex paint, which is easier to clean and holds up better in kitchens. Don't forget to paint the trim too. Clean and wash all the walls and trim before painting. This will ensure the paint adheres to the surfaces properly. -Get organized Even if you have the newest cabinets and appliances a messy kitchen is never attractive. Keep clutter at bay with drawer organizer for utensils, pot racks and pull out trays for cabinets. If you need more room in your kitchen, utilize empty walls. Add open shelves with some neatly placed bowls for a great decorative and storage alternative -Use the right lighting Replace flood lights with a brighter and cleaner looking halogen bulbs. Install under cabinet lighting for a new look. Use decorative lights over the kitchen table or island to set the mood. Older chandeliers can get an easy upgrade by placing small shades over the bulbs. -Refurbish the cabinets If your cabinets need a new look consider either refinishing them or giving them a lot of elbow grease. Cabinets easily build up with grease and dust. Use a cleaner with orange oil to get rid of the grime. Test a spot first before cleaning the whole kitchen. If the cabinets are worn, consider refinishing or repainting the doors and frames. Adding new drawer pulls, hinges and handles can also make a big impact. -Fix the floor An affordable way to have a do it yourself new floor is to install vinyl tiles. Vinyl flooring is easy to clean and durable. At less than $2 per square foot, you can put a vinyl floor in just about any kitchen for $500. Don't be afraid to spend a little money to achieve big results. Most minor kitchen renovations will recoup at least 83% of the cost and may even add value to your home.





Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 6/29/2014

The recent drop in homes prices, affordable mortgage rates and the popularity of television shows showing investors turning over homes has many people wondering if they can make money flipping homes. Flipping a house simply means buying and then selling a home quickly for profit. There are different ways to do this, but if you are interested in buying and selling houses, or just want to find a good deal to invest your money in. You will want to follow some tips on how to make sure you make money and not end up busting the budget. 1. KNOW THE AREA It is not just about the house you want to buy but also the area. Focus on buying homes in an area that holds value and where homes sell quickly. The golden rule of a home, location, location, location, applies here as you will want the home to be able to be sold quickly. Get to know the average costs and days on market for homes in that area. The more information you have about the market you have chosen, the better decisions you can usually make when it comes time to buy. 2. DO NOT GET EMOTIONAL This is a business venture; your goal is to make money. Emotions and money rarely mix well. Do not get emotional about house flipping. When choosing colors, fixtures and carpets go neutral, you will not be living in the home. Be careful of becoming too attached to the flip. Choose a price to sell the home, do not overprice the home. Overpricing typically leads to you holding the flip longer thus reducing your profit. 3. KNOW YOUR LIMITS If you are new to flipping homes, it is important to know your financial and work limits. The budget will always be more than you anticipate, plan for unexpected problems. Start with homes that mainly have cosmetic problems. Look for houses that need new, modern paint or updated fixtures. Homes where the outside yard and landscaping are unappealing are usually a great buy and can yield more profit. Curb appeal is usually a problem that can be fixed very easily and relatively inexpensively while greatly increasing the value of the home. 4. HAVE AN EXIT STRATEGY The point of flipping is to get in and out as quick as possible. Every day that you own the homes costs you money. Have a plan and know exactly what you're going to do with the home before you buy. Make a schedule of when work will get done and drop dead date of the house going back on the market. If you don't know if you can sell it quickly, don't buy it.