Posts Tagged ‘Staging’

Add Value to Your Home with Spring Cleaning

It may be surprising, but a clean and decluttered home can have a huge impact on a potential buyer’s impression of the home and help them envision it as their own. In addition, a clean home improves your mood and helps you feel more productive.

Clean Up the Yard

You never get a second chance to make a great first impression, so make the most of your home’s first impression by cleaning up the yard.

  1. Clear away fall and winter debris such as fallen branches and leaves; pick up and put away toys and other items that are not lawn ornaments.
  2. Be sure that all walkways are clear and easy to navigate along.
    • If you have broken or misaligned steps, consider hiring a professional to fix them.
  3. Clean the gutters, or hire a professional the clean them; when gutters are clogged, they can overflow and cause water damage to the exterior of your home. If they overflow into a window, the water damage can extend into the interior, as well.
  4. Treat your lawn to a spa day: feed it, weed it, give it moss treatment, and mow it on a dry day. When you know it’s going to rain, or shortly after rain, apply fertilizers for best results.

Clean Up the Exterior Walls of the House

Over the course of a year, a lot of dirt, muck, and grit can collect on the exterior walls of a home—not to mention moss, mold, and mildew growth along brick walls.

  1. On a warm, dry day, wash away the dirt on the exterior walls of your home. Take care not to damage any surfaces, let water get underneath the siding, or dislodge any bricks.
  2. If it looks like there is water damage on the outside of your home, call a professional.
  3. Take the chance to clean the outside of your windows as well, and check for any damage to them. Cracked panes should be replaced and peeling windowsills should be tended to, as well.
    • Peeling windowsills are a great opportunity (after removing the old paint) to repaint them with a refreshing new color. Not sure what color to pick? Our Painting Joy Into Your Home: How Colors Influence Your Mood blog post can give you an idea on what might be the best color, depending on what effect you want to achieve.
    • Once you’re back inside, wipe the inside of the windows down and clear away any cobwebs.

Clean Up the Garden

If you have a garden with clearly defined borders, be sure to freshen those borders up. In addition, give your garden some attention and care:

  1. Fork the soil around plants to introduce fresh air and reveal any pests or weeds
  2. Remove weeds and other unwanted plants
  3. Add mulch to control additional weeds or refresh existing mulch
  4. Check to see if any bricks or stones have become misaligned and realign them
  5. To help your plants grow and add nutrients to the soil, add compost or other organic matter

If you don’t have a garden but would like to increase the curb appeal of your home by adding some plants, try adding flower pots or hanging plants outside!

  1. Check that the flowers and plants won’t be at risk of dying from a last frost before adding the pots or hanging plants outdoors.
  2. If you want to grow the plants from seeds, consider starting them indoors to avoid losing them to hungry birds or animals before they’ve had the chance to sprout. Otherwise, pick potted flowers and plants you like from your local garden center.
  3. Arrange the potted flowers and hanging plants how you like: on your front porch, flanking your front door, along your walkway, or even in your back garden. The options are endless!

Last but not least, if you have a fence, inspect it for any damage.

  1. Ensure that all gates are properly attached and that locks function smoothly.
  2. Fill in any holes animals may have dug underneath the fence. If you have a dog that keeps digging a hole to escape, bury a toy, or pursuing some other destructive behavior, you may want to check with your local dog academy to see whether training can correct the behavior.
  3. Check for loose boards, rusted wires, damaged bricks or stones, etc. and repair the fence accordingly. If you don’t know how to maintain your fence and find that a section has decayed, call a professional.
  4. If you want to give your yard a fresh look, consider painting your fence a new color, adding flowers along the boundaries, or adding climbing plants to transform your fence into a garden wonderland. Check with your local garden center first on which climbing plants would be best.
    • Beware: climbing plants require a certain amount of maintenance and care to keep them from becoming unruly and overtaking your yard. If they attach to a tree, they can cause serious damage.

Greens for the Winter Blues

While snow is beautiful and winter’s trademark, it also makes for a colorless and bland world. This winter season, liven up your home with some indoor plants that thrive during the chilly season!

African Violet

African violets come in plenty of colors. The plant tends to bloom all year and does exceptionally well in an east-facing window, where the amount of sun is perfect! Plant your African violets in pots and set them on trays full of pebbles, as this will increase the humidity level to combat the dry winter air. Then, make sure to keep a good amount of water in the tray!

Aloe

Aloe is not only a great plant for its medicinal properties: it’s one of the easiest plants to grow! Aloe does well in small, sunny indoor areas and with a temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the soil dry and avoid frequent watering to help your aloe plant thrive.

Bromeliad

Bromeliads add a very colorful touch to your home with their vibrant leaves. This plant does not need full sunlight and grows well in shadier areas, like a bathroom or a corner. It also doesn’t need very much water to grow, so only water it when the soil looks very dry.

Cyclamen

This plant naturally blooms in the winter and enjoys chilly temperatures, making it the perfect window plant. Cyclamen comes in a variety of different colors and, with good care, will last a very long time. Cyclamen likes indirect or filtered light and evenly moist soil.

English Ivy

English ivy is an elegant plant, especially when the tendrils flow down from furniture or mantels. English ivy likes moist soil and cooler temperatures from the mid-50s to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Ivy is also easy to gift! Cut a section of the stem and plant it in the same conditions as the original plant. Allow about two weeks for it to start growing again.

Peace Lily

The peace lily is a popular indoor plant due to its easy-to-care-for nature and beautiful blooms. It also improves air quality! The peace lily enjoys lower levels of light and standard temperatures. Keep the soil moist but refrain from too much watering!

Pothos

This plant has an air-purifying effect and helps remove toxins from the home, such as formaldehyde, making it a great plant to own. Pothos has trailing stems and would do well in a hanging basket or on an indoor trellis. Cut back the stems when they get too long to keep your plant full and healthy. Pothos does well in a variety of lighting levels, but avoid too little light as this will affect the leaves’ variegation. Soil should dry a bit between waterings.

Shamrock Plant

With leaves that look like shamrocks and small, white flowers, it’s easy to see why this is a popular winter plant! The shamrock plant enjoys bright spaces but refrain from placing it in direct light. Allow the soil to dry a bit between waterings.

Plants are a wonderful addition to any home and can help combat the winter blues. Most winter plants are relatively easy to care for and grow. They don’t require much tending, making them perfect during the busy holiday months!

Tips for an Open House

Getting ready to have your open house and want to give it the best chance possible to look great to all of those potential buyers (and occasional curious neighbor) that will walk through?  Here are some quick and easy things that you can do to help you and your agent out!

  • Clean it up – Whether you are doing it yourself or hiring someone from our Home Services department; cleaning up is the number one recommendation.  Removing clutter, taking out trash, dusting…anything you can think of to make your home look cleaner, more presentable, and showing pride in ownership.
  • Let there be light – Natural light is a great asset to a home.  Opening blinds and curtains allows for the light to flow in showing the true size of the room and giving a great “welcome home” feeling.
  • Check your curb appeal – It is the first thing that everyone will see and we all have heard the saying that you only have one chance to make a first impression…so why not make it a great impression?  Sweeping the porch, deck, and walkways.  Cleaning debris in the yard.  Every little bit can help!
  • Find something to do – You may find that your agent will recommend that you not be around when you are having in open house.  While there are many reasons for this that can vary from agent to agent; one is to make the potential buyer feel more comfortable looking around.  Also, if you have pets either make sure they are properly secured or are with you at the time.  Just because you may love animals doesn’t mean everyone else does!

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Staging your home

Staging your home can give you a great advantage when you are trying to sell. It gives you the opportunity to show prospective buyers why your home…is the ideal one!
The first thing anyone, whether it be family, friends, your agent, or a potential buyer will notice is your layout. Does it have a flow that makes transitioning from one room to another a breeze? A great idea to start with is to emphasize the flow. Remove extra furniture and clutter. If you can go throughout your home with out “zig zagging” around things then you are in pretty good shape. This will also make it seem like a more open space, giving your home a larger and less cramped feel.
Use your home’s special features to your advantage! If you have a large deck or patio, give the buyer the vision of how great it is to have one! Gorgeous kitchen counter-tops? Remove any extra items that may block them and make it seem like there is less counter space than there really is. What about a jetted tub? Draw more attention by adding just a couple candles.
Altogether, staging shows off your home’s highlights and makes it seem livable. It can also give your potential buyer plenty of helpful suggestions as they envision what their life would be like inside your home.
For more assistance please check out the Home Staging section of our Home Services department and check us out on

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