Thinking About Selling? Boost Your Home’s Appeal This Spring

Key Facts:

  • Enhance Curb Appeal: Tips for revamping your home’s exterior to make a great first impression.
  • Brighten Your Home: Key insights on using lighting and decor to create a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Spring Selling Strategy: Learn why spring is ideal for selling and how our team can help maximize your home’s potential.

As the days grow longer and the season shifts, the arrival of spring offers a prime opportunity for home sellers. It’s the perfect time to embrace the vibrancy of the new season, particularly when it comes to preparing your home for the market. With our in-depth understanding of the spring market’s nuances, our experienced real estate team is here to guide you in maximizing your home’s appeal.

pink flowers on counter

Make a Memorable First Impression

Curb appeal is essential, as it’s the first thing prospective buyers notice. After the quiet of winter, it’s crucial to revitalize your home’s exterior. Start with landscaping – clear any debris, ensure your lawn is well-manicured, and consider adding vibrant flowers or sprucing up your mailbox. A seasonal wreath on the front door can also create a welcoming feel. Remember, the exterior of your home is a preview of what’s inside, so make it count.

wreath on front door

Brighten Your Home Inside and Out

Lighting plays a pivotal role in creating the right ambiance. A well-lit home, both inside and out, appears warm and inviting. Focus on maximizing natural light – clean your windows thoroughly to let in the spring sunshine. Updating light fixtures can give your home a fresh, modern feel. Inside, rearrange furniture to highlight natural light sources, and consider adding mirrors to reflect light and create a sense of spaciousness.

woman opening window curtains

Extend Your Home’s Appeal

With spring being synonymous with outdoor living, pay special attention to your patios, decks, and gardens. Simple actions, such as cleaning existing outdoor furniture, can significantly elevate your outdoor space’s appeal. Consider adding new elements like cozy seating arrangements or colorful planters to create an inviting outdoor oasis. This not only enhances your property’s aesthetic appeal but also showcases the potential of your outdoor living spaces.

outdoor patio with furniture and string lights

Create a Welcoming Atmosphere

Small touches, such as fresh flowers or a welcoming scent, can make a significant impact during showings. These details help potential buyers envision themselves living and creating memories in your home.

diffuser

Declutter and Depersonalize Your Space

Clutter can distract buyers from seeing the true value of your home. Before listing, take the time to declutter and depersonalize each room. Removing personal items, such as family photos and unique collectibles, allows buyers to easily imagine themselves in the space. Organized and neutral spaces appear larger and more inviting, making them more appealing to a wide range of buyers.

bright and open kitchen

The Ideal Time to Sell

Spring is a highly sought-after time for selling homes. Buyers are eager to find their next home, and your refreshed and revitalized property can stand out in this dynamic market. Our team offers a complimentary home value assessment, tailored to your specific needs, to ensure your home is priced right and marketed effectively.

man and woman meeting with real estate agent

Your Partner in Success

Preparing your home for a spring sale is an exciting journey. Our team is here to highlight your home’s best features, ensuring it stands out in the spring market. With our comprehensive approach, from preparation to closing, we focus on unlocking your home’s full potential and ensuring a smooth and successful sale.

Thinking of selling this spring? Contact us for a complimentary home value assessment. Let us demonstrate how our personalized services can be the key to maximizing your home’s appeal and value in the spring market.

Warm & Welcoming: Winter Staging Secrets for a Successful Sale

Key Facts:

  • Winter staging accentuates the cozy and inviting aspects of a home, enhancing its appeal.
  • Strategic lighting and warm color schemes create a comforting atmosphere for buyers.
  • Staged homes in winter can stand out in the market, attracting serious interest.

A Season of Opportunity for Sellers

Staging your home during the winter months presents a wonderful opportunity to showcase its cozy and inviting features. In the competitive real estate market, effective staging is key to not only enhancing your home’s appeal but also making it a standout choice for potential buyers.

front door

Creating a Memorable First Impression & Enhancing Curb Appeal

The journey of captivating potential buyers begins the moment they approach your home. A well-lit path to a welcoming entrance, free of clutter, sets a positive tone. Curb appeal is crucial, even in winter. Maintain a neat exterior, touch up any peeling paint, and consider adding hardy plants for a touch of green. These small efforts can have a significant impact on a buyer’s first impression.

modern kitchen with warm lights

Illuminating with Warm Lighting and Rich Colors

As winter days are shorter, the role of lighting in staging becomes pivotal. Utilize warm, soft lighting to create an inviting ambiance throughout the home. Incorporate table lamps, floor lamps, and dimmer switches to enhance the cozy feel, especially during evening viewings. Complement this with a palette of warm, earthy tones and rich textures. Soft throw blankets, plush pillows, and tastefully chosen decor can transform a space into a haven of comfort and warmth.

fireplace in living room

Staging Living Areas for Comfort and Connection

Focus on staging living areas as spaces of comfort and relaxation. A well-presented fireplace, with neatly stacked logs and a clean hearth, can become the centerpiece of a living room. Even without a fireplace, arranging furniture to encourage conversation and social interaction can create a warm, inviting atmosphere. This is also an opportunity to weave a narrative through your home, with each room telling a part of the story, whether it’s a cozy reading nook or a dining room set for a family gathering.

candle burning

Appeal to the Senses and Incorporate Seasonal Touches

Engaging the senses is a subtle yet powerful staging technique. Introduce winter-friendly scents like cinnamon, vanilla, or pine to subtly enhance the home’s appeal. This sensory experience, combined with tasteful seasonal decor, can add charm without overwhelming the space. Remember, the goal is to complement the home’s natural ambiance, not overpower it.

dusting table

Understanding Real Estate Market Trends

The winter season often sees less competition among sellers, making it a strategic time to list your home. Buyers tend to have more urgency, and a well-staged property can stand out, attracting serious interest. Attention to detail, from ensuring light fixtures are dust-free and in working order to updating old fixtures, can create an impression of quality and care.

kitchen with wreath hanging

Maximizing Your Home’s Winter Appeal

In a competitive market, every detail in staging your home counts. By embracing the unique aspects of winter and presenting your home as a warm and welcoming space, you can captivate potential buyers. Contact us today to learn more about maximizing your home’s value, selling your property, and leveraging expert staging techniques for success. Let us guide you in navigating the winter real estate market with confidence.

8 Home Staging Tips for a Quick Fall Sale: Enhancing Curb Appeal and Interior Charm

Key Facts:

  • Fall presents a unique opportunity to enhance your home’s appeal as summer transitions to autumn.
  • Effective home staging can significantly expedite the selling process and attract potential buyers.
  • Incorporating autumn-themed decorations, enhancing curb appeal, and creating a cozy interior are essential for a successful fall home sale.

As the vibrant hues of summer start to fade, and the crisp embrace of fall takes over, the real estate market experiences a seasonal shift. If you’re planning to sell your home this fall, now is the perfect time to capitalize on the changing ambiance and create a warm, inviting space that potential buyers will fall in love with. In this article, we’ll explore some practical home staging tips to ensure a quick and successful sale, all while embracing the unique charm of the autumn season.

kitchen with pumpkins on the counter

1. Embrace the Autumn Aesthetic:

With the end of summer in sight, it’s essential to capture the cozy and welcoming essence of fall. Consider incorporating seasonal decorations like pumpkins, gourds, and autumn wreaths on your front porch and throughout the interior. A tasteful arrangement of fall colors can instantly add warmth and character to your home.

2. Enhance Curb Appeal:

First impressions matter, and your home’s exterior sets the tone for what’s inside. Rake up fallen leaves, trim overgrown bushes, and ensure the walkway is clear. Planting a few fall flowers, such as mums or pansies, can inject a burst of color into your front yard. Make sure outdoor lighting is in good condition, as prospective buyers may visit during darker hours.

patio with string lights

3. Declutter and Depersonalize:

As you transition from summer to fall, take the opportunity to declutter and depersonalize your living spaces. Pack away summer-specific items like beach towels and bright outdoor furniture. Tidy up countertops, shelves, and surfaces to create a sense of space, allowing potential buyers to envision their belongings in the home.

4. Cozy Up the Interiors:

Incorporate cozy textures and warm tones to evoke a sense of comfort. Layer throw blankets and cushions in neutrals and autumn colors on sofas and beds. Consider adding a soft area rug to anchor living spaces. Lighting also plays a crucial role; opt for soft, warm lighting to create an inviting atmosphere.

living room with cozy fireplace

5. Highlight the Fireplace:

If your home has a fireplace, now is the time to showcase it. Arrange seating around the fireplace to emphasize its coziness. Place a tasteful centerpiece on the mantle to draw attention to this appealing feature.

6. Scent of the Season:

Appeal to multiple senses by infusing your home with subtle scents of fall. Simmer a pot of mulled spices on the stove or use scented candles in apple, cinnamon, or pumpkin fragrances. Pleasant aromas can create an emotional connection with potential buyers.

bright room with sunflowers

7. Maximize Natural Light:

As daylight hours decrease, make the most of natural light during showings. Keep curtains open and trim back any foliage that might obstruct windows. Well-lit rooms feel more spacious and inviting.

8. Tackle Maintenance Tasks:

Autumn is a great time to address any maintenance issues. Clean out gutters, fix any leaks, and ensure that your heating system is in optimal condition. A well-maintained home signals to buyers that they won’t have to worry about hidden problems.

pumpkins with candles

Capture the Season’s Magic for a Swift Home Sale

By embracing these home staging tips, you can create a home that resonates with potential buyers. As you welcome visitors into a space that reflects the warmth and comfort of the fall season, you’re crafting an inviting narrative that potential buyers will find irresistible. Your home’s story, combined with the allure of fall, will speak volumes and leave a lasting impression on those who walk through the door. Following these home staging tips will not only make your property more appealing but also increase its chances of selling quickly during this transitional time. Contact us today to start your home selling journey!

Simple Ways to Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Key Takeaways:

  • Curb appeal is an important part of selling your home
  • You can improve your home’s curb appeal without a professional
  • Contact us to see how improving your home’s curb appeal can help it sell

Despite what the phrase suggests, you don’t actually need to have a curb to improve your home’s “curb appeal.” Curb appeal is the overall exterior allure of your home, and has nothing to do with the concrete edge it’s named after. So, if you’re looking to sell your home in 2023–whether it’s a townhome, condo, or single-family residence–you should be evaluating your home’s curb appeal since it’s the first thing prospective buyers see. If you follow these simple tips and apply them appropriately to your property, you can make a good first impression on local homebuyers before anyone even steps through the front door.

If You Have a Lawn, Manicure It

grass being mowed

Manicure may sound like a silly word to use in this instance, but it’s accurate as you’re ultimately tending to your lawn’s cosmetics. Spruce up your lawn before showings by cutting overgrown grass and shrubbery to uniform heights and removing all weeds.. 

Of course, manicuring also includes getting rid of those patches of dried, brown, dead grass. Reseeding for new growth is optimal, but you can use lawn-safe paint to cover brown spots in a pinch if there’s no time to grow new grass. A real, natural look should be your goal as a clean lawn gives the entire property a more elegant appearance.

Tend to Your Garden Beds

windowsill flower bed with pink and white flowers

Even if you don’t have a lawn and grass to worry about, you may have garden beds that need tending. Mulch fades and decorative rocks can get lost over time. Fill in any bare spots; replace your current mulch with a fresh, brightly colored option; and remove dead plants as needed. 

Even if it’s just a windowsill flowerbed, the extra care and attention can go a long way to sprucing up your home’s curb appeal.

Give Your Door a Pop of Color

blue painted door and brick home

The front door is a surprising focal point of your home and can be one of the first things buyers notice. Unless there’s heavy damage to the door, you don’t need to replace it. Simply add a coat or two of paint, using a color that accentuates the scheme of your home. Be mindful of any HOA regulations regarding exterior paint colors as you may have to choose from a specific set of shades.

While you’re painting the door, replace the hardware to match the new color. If your old hardware does match and can be cleaned to look brand new, certainly use it. While you’re replacing the hardware, you might as well swap out any street numbers if you can find a good match.

Upgrade Your Lighting Fixtures

a lone black light fixture

Light fixtures can be a pretty big part of your home’s curb appeal. No matter how many you have, these fixtures should look updated and new. In many cases, you can clean up the ones already installed and maybe even hit them with a can of spray paint. However, it can be necessary to replace them entirely if they’re damaged or beyond repair. 

If you aren’t sure if fixtures need to be repaired, don’t tackle the project alone. We can recommend local experts who can tackle any needed updates.

Install Outdoor Path Lighting

path lighting illuminating stepping stones

Townhomes, condos, or single-family homes typically come with a walkway leading up to your front door. Even if you have a motion sensor flood light, path lighting can really enhance your space, give it a luxurious look, and even improve safety. Path lighting comes in all shapes and sizes, and, for the most part, is solar-powered. 

Additional to path lighting, you may consider adding uplighting to illuminate a lone tree, a planter you’re quite proud of, or to showcase the exterior facade of your home. Uplighting really adds a touch of class to any exterior, leaning even further into the lavished home look with minimal effort needed.

Add Simple Accents

potted plants and welcome mat accents

A home without anything out front to fill the empty space can seem vacant, cold, and dull. Even if you just add potted plants, a welcome mat, or a seasonal wreath, it can go a long way to give a welcoming look and feel. One thing to consider is symmetry. Potted plants look so much better in pairs when they’re symmetrical. 

Try not to crowd your porch or any other area you’re filling in. Just add enough to boost your home’s curb appeal.

Clean It All Up

cleaning gutters

Everything that can be seen from the road should be scrubbed, swept, wiped down, and cleared out. Gutters, stairs, windows, driveways, porches—try to make things as spotless as possible. A clean-looking home is going to be more attractive to buyers because they’ll know it’s been in good hands all these years. A high level of cleanliness shows you really cared about the space, and will certainly get buyers excited to see the rest of your home.

Put Your New Curb Appeal to Use

If you’re putting in all this work to improve your home’s curb appeal, then it must mean you’re getting ready to sell your home in 2023. Reach out to our team today to start discussing how we can leverage your new curb appeal to build a sales strategy that will attract new homebuyers. Our local sales experts use the latest market data for your neighborhood to ensure you’re getting the best return on your home.

4 Ways to Maximize the Potential of Your Home’s Flex Space

Are you stuck at home and looking to take on a DIY project? If you have an extra room or a small nook that you just don’t know how to use, try tackling a mini home makeover! Here are some out-of-the-box ways to transform surplus flex space into a room that you’ll actually use…and will maybe even appeal to future buyers.

Here’s How to Take Advantage Your Flex Space

A flex space is an area in your home that can be customized and used in a number of different ways. They’re designed to be flexible (hence the name), and their function can be changed depending on the kind of room you need.

Looking for some inspiration to really spruce up your flex space? Here are a few ideas that won’t require much money or time.

Incorporate a home office

Have you recently started working from home? If so, it might be worth setting up your own home office. Even if you don’t have a separate room for your workspace, you can easily create a dedicated office with what you have.

If you really need a place to work, start by moving around some furniture or finding a quieter area in your house that doesn’t get used often. Remember—this is supposed to be an office you’ll want to spend time in, so be sure to add more than just a desk. Some great lighting, storage for supplies, and a comfy couch or task chair can tie the whole workspace together.

Create a home gym

Turning your flex space into a home gym is a practical way to show off its potential as a multi-use space. And if you’ve been slacking off on your workouts recently, having a dedicated active area can help you stay fit without leaving home.

To get started, try adding some mirrors, a wall-mounted weight rack, and exercise equipment that you’ll actually use (like resistance bands, a stability ball, or dumbbells). You can also incorporate a television or child-safe mats to easily turn your workout spot into a media room or play area!

Make the most of smaller spaces

Does your home have a smaller room or nook that doesn’t seem to serve a purpose? You can make the most of these awkward spaces by transforming them into whatever you want—the options really are endless here, so feel free to get creative.

If you aren’t sure where to start, just let your imagination run wild. If you love to read, consider creating a small library or reading nook where you can relax with your favorite book. Want to pick up a new skill? Having a dedicated hobby room makes it easy to spend time doing what you love. You can even design a designated space for your pets or a playroom for your children—it’s all up to you!

Add tons of storage

No matter what you choose to do with your flex area, it’s crucial to have enough storage space. You never know what you might use a particular room for in the future—but closets, shelving, and cabinets are always useful additions.

Even if a room doesn’t have a dedicated closet, you can create stylish storage by adding built-ins or tall bookcases. For a more minimalist look, wall mounted shelves are the way to go. You can even incorporate storage as part of your decor by investing in a trendy ottoman or a set of matching baskets.

Getting Ready to Sell?

If you’re thinking about listing your home and want to maximize the potential of your flex space, we’d be happy to help! While it may be impossible to predict how current events will affect the market, you can still sell quickly and for top dollar—just give us a call for all the details.

2020 Vision: The Top Home Features You Can Expect to See Next Year

The year is winding down fast, and with the upcoming rush of the holidays, it’ll be 2020 before you know it. With a new year comes new trends, and you can expect a number of home design shake-ups both big and small.

Here are the top home features that are sure to be priorities for buyers in 2020!

Separate Laundry Rooms

It might be a little unexpected, but laundry rooms were one of the most highly sought-after home features of the year, with a whopping 91% of buyers saying they’re essential. Many people also prefer the laundry room to be on the ground floor and sectioned off from the rest of the home.

In 2020, you can expect to see buyers continue to gravitate toward homes with designated laundry rooms—try brainstorming ways to bring more focus to yours!

Industrial Designs

The rustic farmhouse motif was certainly popular in 2019, but it doesn’t quite have the staying power of an industrial design. Next year, you’ll continue to see buyer’s seek out interior design elements like artisanal light fixtures, copper and metal hardware, concrete accents, and exposed brick.

Homes that already have these components incorporated will be a major plus—and while it’s a little tough to add brick walls and concrete accents if you don’t have them, there are other simple ways to industrialize your space!

Storage Space

As more and more buyers start moving towards smaller homes, efficient storage solutions become a high priority. In 2020, you can expect buyers to be on the hunt for homes that showcase their storage potential.

Built-in shelves along the wall, storage under the stairs, walk-in pantries—no matter your square footage, every inch counts. If you’re a seller, you can also use this to your advantage, staging your home in a way that emphasizes its efficient use of space. Think: a few extra storage cubes in your laundry room, a new shelving unit on an underused wall, or roll-out cubbies under your bed.

Green Features 

According to a survey from the National Association of Home Builders, green features have shot up to become one of the most sought-after features in a new home. In particular, over half of the survey respondents would invest nearly $10,000 for green features that would save them money, such as ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and windows, improved insulation, and efficient lighting. Other priorities included bettering the air quality in the home with things like dehumidification systems and electronic air cleaners.

If you’re planning to sell next year and have a little extra money to work with, consider making upgrades that’ll appeal to your buyers’ wallet.

Natural Finishes

Next year, we’ll start seeing a move toward more unique homes, and nothing sets your space apart from the rest like natural features, including river rock, reclaimed wood, exposed brick, and steel accents. These elements don’t necessarily have to come with the home even—staging your space with a rustic wood bookcase or a contemporary geode end table will do the trick.

If you’re preparing your place for a showing or just need a few cohesive decorating tips, sprinkling plants and greenery can help balance out the heaviness of these natural elements.

Pastel Colors

While 2019 may have been a year of bold colors, 2020 will usher in a muted era. Pastel shades like the popular Millennial Pink, Neo Mint, and Buxton Blue will be giving interiors a softer aura, reminiscent of 1970s-era home trends.

Additionally, accent walls have started slipping in favor, replaced instead by more strategic splashes of color, like painted doors and cabinets, two-tone walls, and accent furniture pieces.

Don’t Fall Behind in the Latest Real Estate Trends

Each year brings new fads to the real estate world, and keeping up with them plays a major role in impressing buyers. Need a little help staying in the know? We’ve got you covered! Follow along with our blog for the latest updates, and check out our specialized resources for all of your buying and selling needs.

Have a few more questions? We’re just a phone call away.

The Top 5 Exterior Areas to Fix up Before Listing Your Home this Fall

You’ve probably heard that spring and summer are the best times to sell your home, and we’ll be honest: they do have their perks. But with mortgage rates remaining low and motivated buyers steadily flowing into the market, this fall is shaping up to be a pretty profitable selling season.

If you’re gearing up to list your home soon, then you’ll need to pay extra attention to your outdoor areas. Here are the top five spaces to give a little TLC to before you sell!

The Lawn

Once you’ve raked up the leaves, you might think your lawn is all taken care of. But there’s much more to fall lawn care than bagging up leaves! If temperatures haven’t majorly dropped by the time you list, you’ll need to keep mowing your lawn—it’ll continue growing until the first hard frost.

If you’ve got a few bare spots in your yard, fall is also the perfect time for overseeding! Since the ground is relatively warm but the sun isn’t quite as powerful as in the summer, growing conditions are better than ever. Just be sure you’re providing your lawn with plenty of water, and those sparse spots should start to fill in.

The Garden

Since you’re planning a move, you probably don’t want to start planting new veggies, but there are other ways to give your garden a fresh look. First, you’ll want to make sure all of your leftover plants from spring and summer are cleared out, and your plot is weed-free. Once that’s taken care of, it’s time for the fun part!

Picked up a few pumpkins or gourds from the farmers’ market? Set them out near your doorstep. Need a home for a scarecrow or two? Give them a perch on either side of the garden. You can fill in any blank space with potted plants like mums or sunflowers or a decorative holiday banner!

The Roof 

With trees shedding leaves and dead branches, you’ve probably got a decent amount of brush and foliage dotting your roof. Now’s the time to pull out the ladder and do a clean sweep. Plus, it’s the perfect chance to get a look at the condition of your shingles and see if any need replacing!

While you’re up there, be sure to sweep out your gutters, as well. There’s a good chance the extra debris has them more clogged up than usual, which could lead to flooding or exterior damage. Clearing them out will prevent any issues, and show buyers that you go the extra mile in maintaining your home.

The Porch

The crowning glory of your home’s exterior, the porch should act as the first taste of what the inside of the home has to offer. You want to strike the perfect balance between warm and welcoming and clean and clutter-free!

First, take care of spiffing the space up by sweeping the floors, ringing out the welcome mat, and dusting off any outdoor furniture. If you have one too many chairs or a crowded collection of potted plants, you should remove some of the clutter.

Then, add a little character! Put a few pumpkins by door, set out a scented candle or two, swap out your porch light for a warmer wattage, and update your throw pillows—just be careful not to overdo it. Since your porch space is likely relatively small, a little goes a long way.

The Front Door

It’s only a small portion of your exterior, but if you play your cards right, your front door can be one of the most eye-catching parts of your home. Nothing draws attention like a fresh coat of paint, so you should consider picking a shade that pops and matches your siding—like a warm red or a bold blue. At the very least, you should use furniture wax or dish soap to scrub out the dinginess.

Once you’ve revamped your door, it’s time to accessorize! Since it’s fall, you should be able to easily find a seasonal wreath to hang. If you really want to go the extra mile, think about replacing your house number or knocker with some shiny new hardware.

Need a Few More Tips?

If you want to make sure your home is staged to impress—in all areas—then we can help. In addition to our home-staging resources, we’d also be more than happy to do a walkthrough of your home and recommend a few personalized decor suggestions or DIY improvements.

From helping you stage to navigating closing, we’ll be there to help you through the selling process, every step of the way. Whenever you’re ready to get started, we’re just a phone call away!

Kicking Clutter to the Curb: Transform Your Home with These 4 Decluttering Tips

We’ve all been there. One day, you look around your house, and there’s just So. Much. Stuff. Stuff in boxes, stuff on the walls, stuff in the corners—just…stuff. If you’re gearing up to sell your home, you’re going to have to deal with all that accumulated clutter eventually. Luckily, there are plenty of simple strategies for getting the job done!

Arm yourself for the Crusade Against the Clutter, and use these top tips to transform your home before selling.

Start Early

If you aren’t prepared, things can quickly get overwhelming. After all, you’re not only getting your home ready to sell, but you’re also packing things up, finding a new home, and dealing with your finances. It makes sense that decluttering your home isn’t first on your list, but it’s one of the most important steps!

Before you list your home, you want the space to be ready to wow buyers from the second they walk through the door. If you kick off your decluttering months in advance, you’ll be in much better shape come listing time.

Expand Your Storage

For many people, clutter accumulates simply because they don’t know what they actually have. An easy way to fix this issue and make your home more organized is by coming up with an intentional storage solution.

Hit the store and pick up some sliding storage and plastic tubs, then label each unit and keep it stored anyway until needed. That way, you’ll know exactly what you have and where it is. Never worry about misplaced holiday decorations or a surplus of school supplies ever again! Plus, a lot of your stuff will already be neatly packed away come moving time.

Take It Little by Little

Decluttering can be a long process, filling up nights and weekends and free time—especially if you put it off until the last minute. Luckily, if you start ahead of time, you’ll have the luxury of taking it little by little. And not just one room at a time—we mean really little, like an hour or two hours spent on just the kitchen cabinets or bedroom closets.

You can even make it fun! Get everybody in the house together and play a game of 12-12-12. The rules are simple: walk through the house and find 12 items you want to keep, 12 items you want to get rid of, and 12 items you want to sell/donate. You’d be surprised how quickly you can reduce your clutter after a few rounds, and it only takes a couple of minutes!

Make it FAST

For the last tip, we’ve gotten the inside scoop from professional organizer, Peter Walsh. Walsh says that decluttering is as simple as remembering this short acronym:

Fix a time. Plan ahead, and find a time that works for everyone in the house—and make attendance mandatory!

Anything not used in twelve months. If you haven’t used it in a year, then you probably don’t need it. Ask yourself a few questions: Do I need it? Is it valuable to me? Is it worth the space it’s taking up? If no, then kick it to the curb.

Someone else’s stuff. Still have that borrowed tupperware? Give it back. Holding onto things that family members have left behind? Send it their way. If it’s not yours, find a new home for it!

Trash. It’s easy to get sentimental and hold onto things that are well past their expiration date (metaphorically speaking). Don’t be afraid to take the plunge—and maybe even go overboard—and trash some of your older belongings. If you don’t want to go full in and trash it, then you can always donate it to a good cause.

Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Decluttering is just one small step in the selling journey—albeit a fairly time-consuming one. Luckily, we’re here to help you carry the load! Give us a call to learn a few more tips for getting rid of your clutter and staging your home for success.

In the meantime, feel free to explore our additional selling resources, like our neighborhood sold report and Comparative Market Analysis, and let us know when you’re ready to get started!

The Best Smart Home Technology for Upping Your Home’s Value

Repainting the walls, updating the kitchen and bathroom, replacing the hot water heater—there are ways to increase your home’s value that stand the test of time. But as the market and the priorities of buyers change, there are newer, more popular ways to get a high return on your investment!

Smart home technology is becoming a bigger factor for buyers, and it’s not hard to see why. Things like smart appliances, high-efficiency lighting, and programmable thermostats aren’t only convenient, but they also save you money on utility bills! Lucky for sellers, smart home technology is pretty affordable compared to other value-boosting projects and can increase your home’s resale value by a few percentage points.

Whether you’re selling your home soon and looking to get top dollar or just curious about your options, take a look at our guide to the top smart home technology to install in 2019.

Smart Appliances

Pretty much every appliance in your home has a “smart” option—refrigerators, washers and dryers, faucets, ovens, you name it. Smart fridges can self-adjust the temperature and create grocery lists, smart ovens allow you to check how much time is left from your phone and preprogam recipes, and smart washers will run during the most cost-effective time of day.

As far as what to install, you don’t have to replace every appliance with a smart version, but think of what’s most practical. Since kitchens and bathrooms are priorities for buyers, consider replacing the fridge, oven, or faucets.

Smart Security System & Locks

Installing a smart security system is one of the most popular smart improvements you can make. According to T3 Sixty’s recent survey of buyers interested in smart home technology, the largest amount of interest was shown for smart security systems.

The security includes anything from cameras that upload footage to a virtual database to locks enabled by wifi. Some companies, like Nest, Ring, and SimpliSafe, offer bundle packages with alarms, cameras, and smart doorbells. Since security is such a high priority for buyers, these systems will likely show one of the highest returns on your investment.

Smart Lighting

You know those lights that turn on when you clap? This is the next level. Not only can smart lighting be controlled via apps, but it can also be set to trigger under certain conditions, like when you walk by or when you leave for work. Forget to switch the lights off before leaving? No problem—you can just turn them off from your phone!

It’s recommended to buy a starter pack, since those come with light bulbs and other supplies you’ll need for setup. Once that’s all installed, most systems are compatible with smart speakers like the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Smart Thermostats

Buying a home is a big investment, so if you can show potential buyers how your home can help save them money, it’s going to make your property that much more desirable. According to studies conducted by major smart thermostat providers like Ecobee and Nest, homeowners saved 23% in heating and cooling costs (Ecobee) and around $150 annually (Nest). You can even estimate what the savings in your home might look like with an energy calculator!

The most popular smart home thermostats are Ecobee and Nest, which will run you around $200 – $300. If you’re interested in a budget option that will still look flashy to buyers, check out Honeywell. Of course, each system offers different features, so be sure to do a little research beforehand.

Smart Blinds

Smart blinds are a little more of a cosmetic perk for buyers, but they do have their money-saving benefits. You can set the shades to open or close based on peak sunlight times or the temperature of your home, which saves a few extra dollars on heating and cooling here and there. They also add an extra layer of security and convenience to the home, both of which are big selling points for today’s buyers.

Depending on the model you get, you can control your smart shades through an app, a smart hub, or even just your voice. You can even coordinate them with other smart features in your home, like the lighting or smoke detectors!

Check out options like the Serena smart shade by Lutron, the Pella Insynctive line, or Ikea’s upcoming August line.

Getting Ready to List Your Home?

While smart home technology might be one of the most popular ways to up your home’s value right now, there are plenty of other options. Give us a call, and we’ll be more than happy to walk through your home and recommend a few value-boosting improvements!

Already ready to list? Let us know, and we’ll help you find the best listing price for your home—with all of your recent upgrades taken into account.

Up Your Home’s Resale Value with These 5 Outdoor DIY Projects

Spring is here, and summer is closer than ever. That makes it a great time to get outside and spruce up your home’s exterior!

If you’re planning on selling your home soon, a little outdoor maintenance can go a long way. In fact, here are five outdoor projects you can do yourself that are sure to add resale value to your home.

Install a Fire Pit

Imagine spending a warm summer evening out back with your friends, sipping cool drinks and roasting marshmallows over an open fire. The truth is, installing a fire pit is easier than you might think!

A fire pit is made out of fireproof materials and should sit on a flat surface at least 15 feet away from your home and any trees. Here’s a how-to guide for building a backyard fire pit.

Remember, check your local building codes before beginning any type of construction!

Don’t have a yard for a fire pit? Turn your balcony into a cozy dining area instead!

Add Some Outdoor Lighting

Transform your backyard space for summer with lights that add both ambience and security. You can safely add low-voltage lighting to your front or backyard by yourself, even if you don’t have extensive electrical experience.

Whether you opt for motion-activated LED lights or hanging fairy lights, you have some great options to consider for your yard!

Have a nice back deck or balcony? Add some lights to make it a great place to gather any time, day or night.

Fix the Front Door

Your front door should be clean, bright, and welcoming! After all, it’s the first thing potential buyers will see when they enter your home.

There are a couple of different options to freshen up your front door. If it’s very old or damaged, you could replace it altogether. Other options for sprucing up your door include painting it a different color,touching up the paint job, or replacing the doorknob or knocker.

Live in a condo with an interior front door? You can still spruce up your entryway with a nice welcome mat and some potted flowers.

Power Wash the Exterior

Dirty siding on your home can make it look old and neglected, which can be a major turn-off for buyers! A simple solution to get your home’s exterior looking like new is to rent a power washer to take care of any dirt. We recommend renting a heavy-duty, gas-powered pressure washer, as these are the most efficient.

Depending on your home’s specific material (vinyl, stucco, brick, etc.), you will need to obtain a specific type of detergent to power wash your home. Be sure to opt for an environmentally friendly version!

Refresh Your Landscaping

Taking the time to properly maintain your landscaping—and adding a few new features here and there—can both increase your home’s resale value and attract more buyers. After all, real estate is all about the curb appeal!

Installing an attractive stone walkway, mulching your flowerbeds, planting new flowers or shrubbery, and planting trees are all great ways to improve your home’s landscaping.

Don’t have a yard? You can still spruce up your entryway and outdoor areas with potted flowers or hanging planters.

Looking for More Home-Selling Strategies?

We can help you increase your home’s value and get it sold fast. Contact our team today to learn more.