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8 Ways to Make Buyers Fall in Love With Your Home

Ways to Make Buyers Fall in Love With Your Home

 

We all want people to love our home as much as we do, but especially when it comes to trying to sell it! While it’s impossible to please every buyers’ taste, there are several easy things you can do to make your home more appealing without spending a lot of money.

Check out these 8 easy ways to make buyers fall in love with your home and see if your showings cause buyers to swoon.

 

1. Check your curb appeal. Take an honest look from the curbside. What are buyers seeing first? If your home needs to be painted or pressure washed, consider making that investment. Clean up landscaping by trimming trees and bushes, planting some fresh annuals and laying new mulch. Clean windows, repair sagging soffit, or porch railings, and have any trip hazards on your driveway or front walk repaired. Finally, consider some attractive, yet subtle decorations for your front porch. Check out this “Grill the Geeks” Episode on ways to improve your home’s curb appeal.

2. Create an inviting entryway. When buyers step inside your front door, you want them to feel welcomed. If you have a foyer or front hall, it is easier to make an attractive entryway, but even if your front door opens right into your living room, you can create the feel of an entryway with a couple of simple tricks. Clear the area of clutter things that tend to pile up at the front door, like backpacks, dog leashes, or shoes. Place a small table or bench beside the door with plants, candles, or other simple décor. A small area rug can help define the space as the entryway.

3. Let the light shine in. Take advantage of natural light as much as you can. Trimming any bushes or trees outside your windows can help immensely. Wash your windows inside and out and replace or remove any worn screens. Make sure to open blinds or curtains before all showings.

4. Add some fresh color. Painting is an easy and inexpensive way to make an older home look new and is especially important if your current wall color is dark or outdated. Choose a light neutral color like a warm grey or light beige and use the same color throughout the house. If your home tends to be dark, this will help brighten it up.

5. Let storage spaces speak for themselves. Many sellers make the mistake of waiting until they have a contract to start cleaning out closets. Cleaning out clutter is part of getting ready to show, not just getting ready to move. You want buyers to perceive that there is ample storage in the home, and this doesn’t work if every drawer, cabinet, and closet is stuffed to the gills.

6. Eliminate distractions. Streamline your decorating so your buyers see the house and not your collection of Mexican roosters. Go ahead and pack up collectibles and family photos and keep decorative touches to the minimum. Too many plants, magazines, or toys distract the buyers from seeing the home as their own.

7. Entice them with outdoor space. The back yard shouldn’t be an empty space of infinite possibility, nor should it be a storage area for neglected toys. Get rid of any eyesores you’ve been avoiding dealing with, spruce up your landscaping, repair irrigation or pool issues, and create an entertaining space with a patio set, or a backyard oasis with some potted plants and a hammock.

8. Make it easy for them. Taking care of minor repairs is another step you can take to help buyers see your home as an easy and comfortable move. You want them to be mentally arranging their furniture as they walk through, not making a list of nicked woodwork, torn window screens, and leaky faucets. The less work involved, the easier it is to fall in love.

 

If you are looking for additional ways to improve your home’s appeal, give us a call today. We’d love to help you get your home ready to sell and to help even the pickiest buyers fall in love with your home!

5 Tips for Virtual Home Shopping During a Pandemic

virtual home shopping

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much of the way we live right now, home shopping included. With Stay at Home mandates in place in much of the country, we certainly can’t be going in and out of strangers’ homes touching doorknobs, light switches, and appliances.

If you are needing to move soon, however, don’t despair! We can help you find a home and stay safely within the health guidelines. Here are some tips for home shopping during the pandemic.

  1. Be selective about the homes you choose to visit. If you are the type of buyer that likes to cast a wide net and see everything in your price range, you may have to change your methodology. Try to narrow down your list of homes to visit to your very top choices.
  2. Start with a Virtual Tour. Many sellers are making virtual home tours available for buyers. The technology for virtual has improved greatly in the last couple of years, from simple videos to 3-D tours with floorplans that help you feel what it is really like to walk through the rooms.
  3. Take a Facetime tour with your agent. If the seller doesn’t offer a virtual tour, have your agent do one for you. The seller may be more comfortable allowing one agent to come in than a group of people. Your agent, masked and gloved, can take a video for you or Facetime with you while you tour the home.
  4. Scheduling a live showing. When you find a home you really must see in person, don’t bring anyone with you that isn’t vital to the decision-making process. Besides the fact that sellers probably don’t want a family of six parading around, with fewer distractions you can get a better look and eliminate the need to come back a second time. Take lots of pictures and measurements so you don’t miss anything.
  5. Put safety first when touring. You want to safeguard your own health, and you want the sellers to appreciate that you safeguard theirs as well. Have your agent arrange for the sellers to stay in one area of the home, or in the yard, while you look and ask the sellers to open all the doors, cabinets, and closets so you don’t have to touch anything. Wear a mask and use hand sanitizer before and after you enter the home. We are showing and selling houses during the pandemic, so don’t let it discourage you from looking. Most of the process can be handled online now, and what cannot be done digitally we are taking care of with your health and safety in mind.

 

Contact us today to get started!

 

3D Floors – Will the Trend Take Off?

Home decor is as much of an expression of personal style as the clothes you wear. Some homeowners prefer a retro look and feel, while others prefer more futuristic home design. And then there’s THIS — a new trend in home design which is rapidly gaining popularity overseas. It’s called 3D epoxy floor painting, and it’s a rousing conversation piece for any home.

The examples below were created by Imperial Interiors, a design company servicing Dubai and UAE. According to Imperial, liquid 3D floors are a recent innovation first used in hotels, offices, and shopping centers. However, they insist it’s a misconception that decorative screed can only be used in the bathroom or toilet – in fact, 3D floors are suitable for any room, “and even villas.”

As you can see below, these floors completely transform any room in the house into something right out of a story book.

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Would you consider doing something like this in your home? What kind of design would you want and in which room?

Selling your home with pets

What to Do with “Spot” When Selling Your Home

According to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 68% of American households have at least one pet. If you’re one of the approximately 85 million families that shares your home with a four-legged friend, that can be challenging when it comes time to sell your home.

A couple of weeks ago Property Geek Hannah Smith answered a seller’s question on our weekly #GrillTheGeeks segment about how to handle their pets when they had showings. If you missed Hannah’s response, you can watch it here:

#Grill The Geeks – Pets & Showings

Hannah Smith, Realtor chats about why it's so important to have a plan for your 🐕 pets🐈 when selling your home. Have a question for #GrillTheGeeks? Message us on Facebook or send it to info@thepropertygeeks.com.#BHHS

Posted by The Property Geeks on Wednesday, January 9, 2019

 

Basically, if you’re able, it’s best to make sure your pets are removed from the home when you’re having a showing. Here are our top reasons why:

#1 Pets stink.

We love them and couldn’t live without them, but let’s be honest… most pets have a certain eau de animal about them. If you’re able to find Fido somewhere else to stay while your house in on the market, that would be ideal. But if you can’t temporarily rehome your pets, we do advise removing them from the house during showings. Spray a little Febreze around their preferred areas and take the dog for a walk or the kitty to a friend’s place while prospective buyers are walking through.

#2 Pets can be squirrely.

No matter where you secure your beloved furry friends during a home showing, there’s a chance they could get loose. A buyer might not see the sign you left on the laundry room door and next thing you know, your cat could be hightailing it right through the front door. No agent wants to have to make that call.

#3 Pets get stressed out.

Even if you’ve got your pup nestled into his crate in a corner of the basement, you have no idea how much stress it might cause him to have strangers parading around his house. Spot doesn’t know you’re selling  — he just knows there are people there who probably shouldn’t be. If he barks the whole time prospective buyers are trying to tour your home, he might just be the reason they write an offer on a different property.

#4 Pets are unpredictable.

Your cat might be the most loving feline on Earth. But what if she chomps down on a kiddo’s hand who reaches out to pet her? As real estate agents, we’ve heard it all. You’d be surprised how many times a loving four-legged member of the family gets a bad rap for having a natural reaction to a stranger being in their home.

#5 Pets are living allergens.

We’ve seen estimates that 10% of the population has pet allergies, with cats being twice as likely as dogs to cause an allergic reaction. Removing the pets from the home just for a showing won’t eliminate allergens, but it may help. And if you’re able to find a new temporary home for your dog or cat while your house is on the market, it might increase your odds of finding a buyer.

We know it’s not always possible to make alternate arrangements for your pets and buyers do understand that. If you can’t remove them during a showing, try to make sure they’re in a separate area and well-contained for their safety as well as the safety of the prospective buyers.

If you have other questions for #GrillTheGeeks, feel free to send us an email at Info@ThePropertyGeeks.com.

Couples Are Prioritizing Home Ownership Over Weddings

Engaged Couple Buying Home

‘Tis the season to get engaged! Approximately 40% of couples get engaged during the months of November through February, with December being the most popular by far. Once the confetti has settled from popping the question, the next big decision to make usually revolves around the wedding. Of all the purchases most people will make in a lifetime, two of the most significant—and most expensive—are weddings and purchasing a home.

Because they’re so expensive, it can be challenging for couples to save for both. According to a recent survey, it looks like the majority of couples are prioritizing homeownership over a fancy (and expensive) wedding. Per ValuePenguin, the average cost of a wedding in 2019 will be just shy of $30,000. That could be a sizable down payment on a new home.

According to a recent survey from Open Listings, 64% of couples said they would delay or downsize their wedding if it meant being able to purchase a home sooner, and when asked what big-ticket item they were currently saving for, 29% of couples said a home (compared to just 17% of couples who were saving for a wedding). And the reason? Owning a home is just more important to most Americans couples than dropping tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding—53% of couples and 65% of engaged couples claimed that home ownership was “very important.”

The Takeaway

If you’ve been putting off saving for a home in order to have a large, fancy wedding, you might want to reconsider. A big wedding is a great day. But buying your dream home? That can give you a great life.

Home Trends for 2019

10 Hot Home Trends for 2019 (and 2 that are OUT!)

Each fall, decorators begin to share the interior design trends we can expect to see in the new year. Looking ahead to 2019, bold colors, metallics, and statement ceilings take center stage.

If you’re planning to put your place on the market and want it to appear like the freshest spot on the block, you need to know what’s hot and what’s not.

1. Wallpaper stages a comeback

Put down that paint brush! If you’re looking to add a splash of color or geometric flair to your rooms, wallpaper is a fashionable alternative that adds instant personality to any area. But if you’re picturing your Great Aunt Polly’s overwhelming floral patterns or you’ve heard horror stories about wallpaper removal, those days are over. Easy-to-remove papers come in an array of colors and designs that range from subtle to seriously jaw-dropping. Prepare to see plenty of wallpaper in 2019.

2. Making the most of the ceiling

Ceilings are often considered a room’s fifth wall, so why not capitalize on that blank canvas? Whether you choose to add an accent paint color, wallpaper, or decorative beams, enhancing the ceiling draws the eye upward and can make a room appear larger — not to mention more interesting.

3. The color of the year…

If you still can’t get behind the idea of papering your walls, give them a bold, up-to-date look with a fresh coat of paint. Which hue is a modern standout? Behr’s 2019 color of the year is Blueprint (S470-5). Pair it with gray or other neutral tones and you’ve got a vibrant new feel.

4. Kitchen hoods slim down

For a while, kitchen hoods have been working overtime. Not only do they ventilate the room, removing odors and smoke, they also add a decorative flourish. From copper to brick and beyond, some nearly swallowed the space with their oversized appeal. Well, in 2019, hoods are going on a diet. Expect to see rounded, more slimmed-down designs.

5. Colorful kitchens are on the menu

Neutral, all-white kitchens are out as darker, more dramatic designs are finding favor with homeowners who are looking to spice up the heart of the home. Expect to see islands, cabinetry, and fixtures get an exciting, decidedly darker makeover in the new year.

6. Appliances go for gold

Remember when rose gold was having a moment? Well, it’s over, and plain old gold is reclaiming the top spot. From faucets to fridges, decorators are imploring homeowners to go for the gold and give stainless steel the year off.

7. Metallic sinks make splash

Hammered metallics are the hottest thing in sinks according to designers. These fun and funky alternatives to your white farmhouse sinks often have a vintage vibe. Popular in kitchens, they’re expected to make a big impact in the powder room as well.

8. Keeping it interesting with colored tile

Kitchens aren’t the only rooms that are saying goodbye to neutral tones. Bathrooms are striving to be just as eye-catching thanks to bold tile colors. This trend might not appeal to everyone, but it definitely makes a trip to the loo more memorable.

9. Curvy furniture exudes comfort

Furniture with rounded edges beckons you to sit a while. Warmer and more inviting than couches and chairs with sharp lines, these comfy seating designs feel like a welcome throwback to a more casual time. Rectangular tables are out, and ovals are in. They’re safer for households with young children, making them a popular pick for families.

10. Invite the outdoors in

Some say plants are like tattoos: You get one and you’ll just end up wanting another. Greens give off oxygen at the same time that they add a nice pop of color, doubling their appeal. Tired of your artwork? Replace it with plants. Living walls will be all the rage in 2019. But if your green thumb isn’t ready for a full-scale indoor garden, start with a few easy-to-maintain plants on shelves.

Trends That Are Out

1. Accent walls

“Dramatic-colored or wallpapered accent walls are no longer the focal point of interiors. Single-colored walls are making a much bigger impact by creating a balanced backdrop for furnishings and decor.” — Kesha Franklin of Halden Interiors (via Elle Decor)

2. Cherry Cabinets

“Warmth in the kitchen is no longer achieved with this traditional go-to finish. Painted cabinets in deep blues, grays and black are dominating both modern and traditional kitchen designs.” — Kesha Franklin of Halden Interiors (via Elle Decor)

We want to hear your thoughts. Do you agree or disagree on what’s coming in and what’s trending out?

Tips for Amazing Outdoor Holiday Lights

Who doesn’t love piling the family into the car and driving around to view the holiday lights? For many of us, it’s an annual tradition. But when it comes to installing your own decorations, it can sometimes be difficult to find the motivation! (Especially when it’s -20 outside and the snow is falling.) We’ve put together a few tips that ought to make things easier this year!

Test your lights before you get started.

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It might seem like common sense, but sometimes people are so eager to get started that they start hanging lights and hours later find out that the one of the strings they’ve been working with doesn’t work. Do yourself a favor and do a plug-in test before you begin. Although no one likes doing the prep work of untangling huge clumps of twinkle lights, you’ll save yourself time in the long run.

Use outdoor-rated supplies outdoors.

Make sure you’re using lights rated for outdoor use. Otherwise you might find yourself with decor that fizzles out halfway through the season. It’s important to make sure your extension cords are intended for outdoor use as well.

Safety first.

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If you need a ladder to complete your decor, be sure to use one that’s sturdy. Don’t be tempted to risk life and limb by getting creative when it comes to reaching new heights. Be careful on roofs that might be icy or slick too. And when stringing those lights, don’t use nails or staple guns. The best way to hand electrical wires is with light clips or even electrical tape.

Start Small.

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It’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of the season. But don’t get ahead of yourself when planning your decor. It’s better to finish your decorating plan in stages than to try to do everything at once. Otherwise you might run out of steam or supplies and end up with a house that looks half done.

Be Creative.

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With all of the options available on the market, shoppers aren’t limited to simple strings of lights. There are inflatables, LED lights, net lights, icicle strands, and so many more choices. It’s easy to get carried away! Just make sure you’re not overloading your circuits. No one wants to pull a Clark Griswold.

Clean Up After Yourself.

By the time the holidays have passed it’s tempting to yank the lights down and toss them in a box until next year. But if you spend the extra time to organize things as you put them away, you’ll be ready to go next year. Strings of lights can be wrapped around a piece of cardboard or an empty paper towel roll. Mark things clearly so they’ll be easy to find and you’ll be ahead of the game when next November rolls around.

How about you? Do you have any tips on holiday lights to share?

We hope your holidays are filled with a little extra shimmer and shine this year!

 

7 Tips for Moving in Winter

7 Expert Tips for Moving in Winter

Winter is a great time to buy a home — there’s less competition, so that often means you can get a better home for a cheaper price. Talk about a happy holiday!

But moving in the winter? Not so great.

There are definitely challenges that go along with packing up everything you own and moving it to a new location in the dead of winter — especially if you live in an area with extreme winter weather.

But it’s not impossible! Here are seven expert moving tips to make your winter move fast and easy (and have you settled into your new place with a nice, hot cup of cocoa before you know it):

1. Keep an eye on the forecast

This one should go without saying, but if you’re planning on moving during the winter months, it’s extremely important that you keep an eye on the forecast.

Winter weather can be unpredictable, and snowstorms can hit with little warning. Check the forecast once a week in the month leading up to your move. The week of your move, check every day.

If there’s a significant amount of snow forecasted – the kind of snow that could close roads or make driving unsafe – consider postponing your move date until after the snow passes. The last thing you want is to get stuck on the side of the road with all of your belongings in the back of a truck.

2. Confirm with your movers (and then confirm again)

One of the best things about moving during the winter is that it’s a slow time for moving companies — which means a better deal for you on your moving services.

But if you do hire movers (or rent a moving truck), it’s super important to make sure you confirm all the details (like the day, time, and location) of your move. You should plan to confirm the appointment a week before and then check in the day before your move to make sure there’s no winter weather that will keep things from going as planned.

You don’t want to get stuck in a house with no heat or electricity, waiting hours for movers who have the wrong time. Make sure you reconfirm.

3. Hire a babysitter and/or petsitter

Moving in winter is tough.

But you know what makes it tougher?

Having a bunch of children and/or pets running around.

If you’re a parent (or a pet parent) do yourself a favor and hire a babysitter and/or pet sitter for the day. This will save you a ton of time and stress. Instead of trying to keep track of your children or four-legged friends as you lug boxes through the snow, you can focus on the task at hand, which will get you through the move (and into your warm home) faster.

4. Start your move as early as possible

Not only do the days get colder in the winter — they also get shorter.

Because there’s fewer hours of daylight during the winter, you’ll want to get your move started as early as possible. That way, if you run into any speed bumps along the way, you still have daylight hours to figure things out.

Even if you’re not a morning person, get started early. A winter move can be tough, but a winter move in the dark is even tougher.

5. Protect your floors

If there’s snow on the ground, that means when you move, you’re going to get snow on your shoes. And, eventually, that will mean snow (and water) all over your nice, new floors.

You don’t want damaging your floor to be the first thing you do when you move into your new home. If you move on a snowy day (or the ground is wet from a previous storm), lay down plastic tarps to protect the flooring before you start moving things in.

6. Make sure the heat is turned on in your new place…

Before you move, make sure you’ve switched your utilities and the heat is turned on in your new place. The last thing you want to do is arrive and find you have to spend the first night in your new home bundled up because you have no heat!

7. But turn it off during the move

That being said, turn your heat off during the actual move. As you move things in and out, all the heat will escape through the door, which will not only make it cold inside, but will also stick you with a hefty energy bill.

Moving in the winter can be a challenge, but with these tips you’ll be moved and snuggled up by the fire in your new home in no time!

How to Make Your House Smell Delicious Over the Holidays

Ready or not, the holidays are upon us. Cold temps and winter weather mean we’ll be spending more time indoors. With our homes sealed up against the elements, that means we could be at the mercy of pet odors, lingering cooking smells or something even worse.

Whether your home is for sale during the holidays or you just want a breath of fresh air, the following tips and tricks will make sure your house smells delicious over the holidays.

Pop Something in the Oven

If you have friends or a scheduled showing, whip up a batch of cookies and pull them out of the oven right before your guests arrive. You don’t even have to make them from scratch. Keep a tube of refrigerated cookie dough on hand or better yet, make cookie dough ahead of time and freeze it so you can toss it into the oven at a moment’s notice. Chocolate chip is always a favorite, but around the holidays you might want to try a little gingerbread.

Diffuse Essential Oils

Essential OilsEssential oils not only smell great, they can also be therapeutic. With a minimal investment in a diffuser and a few oils, you can keep your home smelling fresh all season long. Many companies sell essential oil blends that are already mixed and ready to use. If you decide to blend your own, there are recipes online or you can use one oil at a time. Some of our favorites for the holiday season are scents of wintergreen or pine. Peppermint is always refreshing and also can help boost your energy and concentration.

 

Simmer Something on the Stove

Simmer PotpourriIf you’re short on time and need to work with what you’ve got on hand, you can toss a few aromatic ingredients in a saucepan full of water and simmer any odors away. Traditional blends include oranges, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. You can also try slices of lemons with sprigs of fresh rosemary. Infuse new life into potpourri by adding water and letting it heat up on the stovetop. And if your fridge is empty and your pantry is bare, you can always mix some vanilla extract in water. Bring it to a boil then turn it to low and pretty soon your whole house will smell like the inside of a vanilla bean.

Decorate with Scented Pine Cones

Scented Pine ConesIf you’ve walked down the aisle of a craft store this time of year, you’ve probably smelled the cinnamon-y, spicy scent of holiday pine cones. Pick up a bag of those and spread them throughout your seasonal decor for an instant boost of holiday cheer. Or you can make your own scented pine cones by adding pine cones and 20-30 drops of essential oils to a gallon-sized bag. Let it sit for at least 24 hours, although several days is even better. For scents, you can use a mix of cinnamon, evergreen, pine, clove, or anything else you’re drawn to.

With the tips above your home will smell delicious through the holiday season and beyond. Do you have any tips we haven’t mentioned? Share them in the comments below!

 

 

Thanksgiving

5 Tips for Selling Your Home Around Thanksgiving

The majority of people think the best time to sell a home is during the summer. Children are out of school which makes it much easier for parents to relocate and start a new life in their new home. In actuality more than half of homebuyers do not have children or have children that are out of the house. There are far less numbers of homes for sale during the holidays which makes the demand for a quality home that much higher.

1. Make Curb Appeal a Top Priority.

By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, trees have started to lose their leaves. This makes maintaining the exterior of your even more of a priority. Bare trees result in a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Keep buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of leaves.

2. Avoid Clutter at All Costs.

Family visiting during Thanksgiving can add quite a bit of clutter to the home. In the case that a potential buyer wants to view the home, eliminating this clutter couldn’t be more important. If family has taken over a bedroom that’s usually used for storage, it can be wise to invest in a storage unit. These are not expensive and can be rented for a month or two while the home is on the market. Clutter decreases the perceived size of the home which could be a deciding factor whether a buyer puts an offer in or continues their search.

3. Appeal to the Buyer’s Imagination.

Creating a warm atmosphere during Thanksgiving and the holidays when your home is being sold can do a couple of things. The potential buyers could imagine themselves celebrating their own Thanksgiving in the home. This isn’t the time to put up huge amounts of decorations but rather enough to get into the spirit of the season. Warm colors should be abundant and those quirky holiday decorations that some families put up in their homes during certain holidays should be kept in the attic.

4. Price The Home To Sell.

Pricing the home to sell during the holidays is extremely important. If you accepted a new job and need to relocate by the end of the year this multiplies in importance. Many buyers if in the same situation will want to put an offer in around the Thanksgiving holiday. This will reduce the stress of trying to find a home during the Christmas holidays when many people travel for extended periods. Closing quickly will also allow you to write off closing costs during this year’s tax season.

5. Select an Experienced Real Estate Agent.

Picking the right agent is important regardless of what time of year that it is. During the holidays it’s more important as many facets of selling a home can be impacted by the holiday breaks. We’d love the opportunity to earn your business!

Remember: Selling your home during the Thanksgiving and holiday season isn’t impossible. Taking care of the small details leading up to the sale will only increase your chances of considering offers with your turkey dinner. Happy Thanksgiving and good luck selling this holiday season!