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Staging Your Home with Young Children

by Desi Sowers

You have placed your house on the market and now it’s time for potential buyers to come and look at it. Keeping it clean, tidy and ready to show can be challenging in the best of circumstances, but even more so when you have young children.  Here are a few staging tips for keeping your house ready for last minute showings while making it attractive to buyers at the same time:

  1. Begin by removing any excess toys and clutter.  Cumbersome toys like play kitchens and picnic tables take up a lot of space and can made a room look crowded and smaller than it is - so it’s a good idea to put these in storage while you are trying to sell.
     
  2. Allow your children to pick out a few favorite toys that can be easily stored in attractive containers when showing the house.  Choose an option that makes tidying up quick and easy.  Store all other toys out of sight.
     
  3. Potential buyers like to be able to see the house as they would have it. So, remove kids’ art work from the refrigerator and convert the playroom into a multi-purpose room. For example, you can stage the playroom as an office by adding a desk and chair, or as a den by adding a small sofa.  That will make the room more appealing to buyers without children.
     
  4. Consider a fresh coat of paint, especially if you have colorful rooms that were painted to appeal to your little ones.  Not only will the new paint cover finger-prints and marks on the walls, but choosing neutral colors for all the rooms will help sell your home more quickly and easily.
     
  5. Don’t forget that the outside of your house is the first thing potential buyers see.  Keep outdoor toys to a minimum and make sure they are stored neatly.  You never know when buyers might be driving by and you don’t want a bunch of toys to create and eye-sore that makes them hesitate to look at your home.

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Decluttering-101

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Lunch-Logistics-Organizing-Your-Kitchen-for-Back-to-School-Lunches

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Packing-it-Up-and-Moving-it-Out

10 Staging Tips to Help Your Home Sell

by /posted by Desi Sowers

10 Staging Tips to Help Your Home Sell

Want to sell your home? Get out the bucket, mop and Mr. Clean. The key to making a positive first impression is simple, said Sandra Rinomato, host of HGTV’s popular “Property Virgins” show.

“Get it clean, clean, clean,” said Rinomato. “If your house isn’t clean, it instantly sends up negative thoughts that the home is not well maintained. If your house is spotless, you’re ahead of the game,” she said.

But don’t stop there, advised Rinomato. To increase your chances of making a sale, “stage” the house to make it as attractive as possible. Until recently, “Staging meant pulling out all the stops—setting the dining table with your best china and crystal, arranging flowers, lighting candles,” she said. “Now we take the minimalist approach. Basically, you want to strip the house to its bare essentials, depersonalize it so potential buyers can superimpose themselves and their lifestyle on the house.”

Rinomato offered the following tips for staging a home:

1. Visit model homes and examine shelter magazines for inexpensive decorating ideas. Always keep in mind you are not decorating for yourself but for the general public.

2. Start with the outside. Give the house a fresh coat of paint, add shiny hardware to the front door and plant a few flowers to send a subliminal message the house is loved and well cared for.

3. Declutter every room to make it look larger. Get rid of family pictures, trophies and knickknacks. Closets and drawers should be no more than 30% full.

4. Invest in eco-friendly but bright lights. Open the drapes or remove them completely. “Light, bright rooms give the impression this is a happy place—and everyone wants to move into a happy place,” said Rinomato.

5. Feature only a few pieces of furniture with mainstream appeal. Pull pieces away from walls to make rooms look bigger.

6. Make sure a room’s primary use is obvious. A bedroom should look like a bedroom, not an office, hobby center or gym.

7. Bedrooms and kitchens are difficult to stage because they are in daily use, but make the effort. Clear everything off the counters and nightstands, roll up the rugs and hide the laundry hamper. Buff the cabinets with car wax and clean under the sinks. Invest in pristine white bed linens and towels.

8. Minimize the “pet effect.” Remove food bowls and litter boxes to the utility room. Deodorize thoroughly.

9. Organize the utility room and garage. Hang up the bicycles, roll up the hose. Renting a storage locker is worth the cost if it helps you sell faster and for a higher price.

10. Once your house is staged, invite your friends or Realtor over and walk them through to get an objective opinion.

Written by Jean Patteson

4 Ways to Stage Your Home and Create a Well-Rounded First Impression

by posted by Desi Sowers

home_securityRISMEDIA, October 29, 2009—Feeling good about a home and a neighborhood is part and parcel of making the decision to buy, so staging a home should involve more than just raising the charm factor. Look for ways to also make the house say “safe and secure” to ensure a more well-rounded first impression. 

In the course of my adult life, I’ve lived in 14 different residences, six of which have been single-family homes that I bought. Like most people, each time I had my list of must-haves in terms of living space, floor plan flow, structure, amenities, etc. But as I was also new to the area for half of those decisions, I was also interested in knowing more about the neighborhood and surrounding environment and would always envision myself coming home after dark. Even the most charming tree-lined street takes on a different character when the sun goes down. 

Home as a sanctuary has moved from cultural trend to the essence of what makes a house a home. The term “sanctuary” covers everything from the basic need of shelter, a place of refuge, security, as well as a home that fits the lifestyle of the family living there. Gone are the days when showing a house with a home security system or solid deadbolts might signal the buyer to think the neighborhood was unsafe. Today, a home properly equipped to address general security issues is expected and has become the norm. Making a home more secure doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. 

Here are some options for sellers to consider: 

1. Hedging your bet-Trimming the bushes at the front entry and near the windows of the home adds curb appeal and opens sight lines around entrances.
2. Security with style- Choose attractive storm doors and entry doors with more secure locking options.
3. Light it up- Motion-activated lighting, timer controls and dusk-to-dawn options paired with path lighting and landscape lighting means the curb appeal of the home doesn’t go down with the sun.
4. High-tech peace of mind-Easy-to-install, whole-home wireless security systems and monitoring means you can control locks, lights and cameras from a computer or cell phone. 

A buyer in the market for a new home today has more options than ever, and each has his or her own list of must-haves. Leverage the opportunity to show a home’s strength by marrying curb appeal and charm with a few upgrades that deliver on peace of mind.

Written by Melissa Birdsong who is vice president for Trend, Design & Brand, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. 



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