Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith - Kinlin Grover Real Estate



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 12/14/2017

 When it comes to the marketability of your house, appearances are everything! If your house is up for sale or you have plans to put it on the market soon, there are a lot of details you need to attend to before prospects stop by.

Although it's difficult to make a lived-in house look immaculate all the time, the closer you can come to that high standard, the better! Whether they're actively looking for signs of cleanliness or just noticing it subconsciously, the overall condition of your home can and does make an indelible impression on prospective buyers.

The reason "curb appeal" is emphasized so strongly by real estate agents is that the initial impression you make on house hunters can impact the amount of time your property stays on the market. That's especially true in "drive by" situations in which prospects quickly check out your house from the street and make a snap judgement about whether or not they like what they see. If your house and yard look appealing to them, then they may follow up with either the listing agent or their buyers' agent. On the other hand, if there's peeling paint visible, an aging roof, or weeds growing out of cracks in the driveway, they'll probably drive on and continue their search elsewhere. As you can imagine, there's a lot riding on curb appeal, so it pays to keep your lawn looking manicured and other landscaping features well maintained.

Once prospects are inside your home, they're going to notice everything from scuffed walls and cluttered furniture to the smell of toast you burned that morning or greasy cooking odors. Pet odors can also be a major turnoff for many prospective buyers, especially if they're not dog or cat fans to begin with! A worst-case-scenario, of course, is to have a last-minute pet accident happen on the floor when prospects are touring the house. That's not just a hypothetical situation; it occurs more often than you might think. To prevent that potential "disaster," some home sellers make arrangements with friends, relatives, or pet daycare services to have their dogs or cats taken care of outside of the house when tours are scheduled. While that's not always practical or even possible, it can make a big difference in the impression your home makes on potential buyers.

The bottom line when it comes to effective home staging is that people are going to notice "the good, the bad, and the ugly." Your objective, of course, is to do everything possible to diminish the negatives and accentuate the positives. Your real estate agent can be an indispensable resource for providing you with the unvarnished truth about what needs to be repaired or cosmetically improved to present the best possible image of your home to the public.





Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 4/20/2017

Although a home seller might commit significant time and resources to stage the interior of his or her home, it also is important to remember that homebuyers will want to check out your residence's exterior. As a result, you may want to consider staging your home's exterior in addition to your residence's interior. Staging your home's exterior can be simple Ė here are three tips for home sellers to stage a house's exterior effectively: 1. Spruce Up Your Front Lawn. A front lawn that is loaded with crabgrass and weeds is unlikely to help your house garner attention from homebuyers. Fortunately, there are many fast, efficient ways to spruce up your front lawn's appearance. For instance, mowing and watering your front lawn regularly is sure to help improve its appearance. Don't forget to use fertilizer and weed control products to further enhance your front lawn's appearance, either. When in doubt, hire professional landscapers to help you spruce up your front lawn. These landscaping experts will be able to bolster your front lawn's appearance instantly, and ultimately, boost your chances of generating substantial interest in your residence. 2. Improve Your Exterior Lighting. Ideally, you'll want to make your front entrance warm and inviting. And with the right lighting, you'll be able to impress homebuyers any time they check out your house. Pendant lighting, for example, can be hung with ease and will help you boost your home's curb appeal. This lighting will allow you to illuminate the front of your residence at night, ensuring homebuyers who drive by will be able to get a good look at your home. Furthermore, wall lighting can be placed near exterior doorways and will look and perform great day after day. Like pendant lighting, wall lighting often is easy to install and can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers. 3. Clean Up Your Driveway. A driveway that is filled with chips and cracks may do more harm than good, particularly for a home seller who wants to generate plenty of interest in his or her residence. However, a home seller who spends some time improving the appearance of his or her house's driveway is sure to transform the driveway from a home selling liability into an asset. Repaving your driveway always represents a valuable option, as this will enable you to enhance your driveway's appearance immediately. Also, installing interlocking stones or stamped concrete may prove to be a viable option, especially if you want your driveway to stand out to homebuyers. Staging your house's exterior is worthwhile, and a home seller who devotes the time and resources to improve his or her home's exterior may be able to reap the benefits of a quick sale. Do what it takes to transform your home's ordinary exterior into one that will sparkle consistently. By doing so, you can boost your house's curb appeal and differentiate your residence in a highly competitive real estate market.





Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 3/16/2017

There's one thing all successful real estate agents, advertising executives, and marketing professionals know about human behavior: Many people make buying decisions for emotional reasons, and then justify those decisions with facts. In other words, they might say they bought a particular house because of all the updates and stainless steel appliances, but the real reason was that they could imagine themselves living there, being happy, entertaining friends and family, raising their children, and even growing old together there.

For some home buyers, the deciding factor is that it reminds them of fond childhood memories or perhaps the house they grew up in. Whenever a home for sale stirs up good feelings, happy  memories, or positive thoughts in the mind of prospective buyers, it increases the chances they'll make an offer on the house.

Home Staging Tips

If your house is now on the market or you're considering putting it up for sale, there are a lot of steps you can take to make it more attractive to buyers. Obvious improvements like doing a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning of the house can make a big difference, but there are literally dozens of other things you can do to attract more offers and get the highest possible price for your property. Sometimes it's something as simple as a creating a pleasing scent, like cinnamon, lavender, hot coffee, of freshly baked bread, cookies, or muffins, that can create a comforting and enticing ambiance for potential buyers.

Although your real estate agent should already be well versed in the nuances of home staging, it would be to your benefit to do some research on it and participate in the process. Some home owners hire a professional home staging consultant to make sure no details are overlooked.

Avoiding Home Staging Pitfalls

Attractively decorating your home can be one aspect of making a good impression on potential buyers, but it's necessary to cast the widest possible net, so to speak, when making decorating choices. In other words, you would want the appearance, style, and color choices in your home to appeal to a wide variety of different tastes, rather than just a select few. That's why it's beneficial to get an objective opinion from an experienced real estate agent, a professional decorator, or a home staging consultant. Since you've been living in your home for umpteen years, you're probably going to be "too close to the trees to see the forest."

Some things that homeowners often tend to overlook just before prospective buyers arrive to tour their house include the following:

  • Furniture that's arranged in a haphazard, disjointed, or cluttered way
  • 'Welcome' mats that are dirty, faded, and anything but welcoming
  • Overflowing or grungy-looking trash baskets
  • Overgrown shrubbery
  • Smudged or cobweb-laden windows
  • Kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas of the house that are disorganized and visibly unclean
Keeping your home in immaculate condition at all times is definitely one of the more challenging aspects of putting it up for sale. However, when you consider the cost of keeping a house on the market for longer than necessary and eventually having to lower the price, the extra effort is well worth it!


 





Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 12/15/2016

 Whether you're staging your home to sell it faster or preparing for a big family gathering, there are a lot of easy, inexpensive things you can do to accentuate the positive and downplay the negative.

While one or two small touches may not guarantee making a great impression, a handful of upgrades and improvements  should tip the scales in your direction. Here are a few ideas and possibilities:

  1. Clean carpets: If you have pets, children, or teenagers in the house, there's a good chance your carpets have some ugly stains on them. Fortunately, there are relatively easy solutions ranging from hiring a professional carpet cleaning service to renting a steam cleaner machine from your local hardware store or supermarket. In some cases, you may need to pretreat the stains with a cleaning spray. Keep in mind, however, that pre-treating carpet stains can be risky. First of all, there's the potential for certain cleaning solutions to permanently fade the color of your carpet. Secondly, some cleaning chemicals are toxic, so it's important to read the label and use them with caution. Fortunately, more and more professional carpet cleaning services are using non-toxic, "green" cleaning products, so look for companies that are environmentally friendly in their practices. Depending on the extent of your carpet stains, a good vacuuming and thorough steam cleaning, alone, might produce the desired results.
  2. Upgrade door knobs: You probably never paid attention to the quality of your door hardware, but it's not uncommon for homeowners to have very plain-looking doorknobs throughout their house. Visitors will probably notice them, at least on a subtle level, if the knobs are either exceptionally cheap or -- on the other hand -- very stylish and distinctive. Granted, replacing a bunch of ordinary doorknobs with $40 antique-style or crystal glass hardware could get rather pricey! A more economical alternative would be to get moderately priced doorknobs that would achieve the desired result without costing hundreds of dollars. If you're going to continue living in your home and are looking for ways to add extra style and quality to your decor, then doing an extensive doorknob upgrade is an option to consider. On the other hand, if you're staging your home for sale, then a more conservative approach might be appropriate.
  3. Replace light switch covers and outlet plates: Many homes seem to have run-of-the mill, plastic light switch covers, which serve the purpose, but don't enhance the decor at all. While it may be another subtle aspect of your overall decorating scheme, it's one of the many features people may notice. Metallic or artistic-looking switch covers make a much more positive statement about your attention to detail and quality.
  4. Remove smudges from windows and mirrors: Crystal clear windows and mirrors help bring out the best in your home. It's one of those small touches that can make a big difference in the impression you make on family, friends, and -- if your house is on the market -- potential buyers.
There are literally dozens of small changes, improvements,and upgrades you can consider making in and around your home, but very often it's those little touches that make a lasting impression.