The Brokerage Group: Brian McDonald & Lisa Brown's Blog
Putting your home on the market is not for the faint-hearted! As many people discover along the way, the road to selling a home can be rather bumpy -- especially if you attempt to sell it on your own.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do, right away, to make the journey shorter, smoother, and more rewarding. Here are three strategies that will greatly increase your chances of success.
Find a seasoned real estate agent. An experienced real estate agent will not only help you navigate state and federal regulations, negotiate with buyers, and get a handle on paperwork, but they'll also schedule showings of your home and provide continuous marketing help.
Enhance your curb appeal: When it comes to finding prospective buyers and setting up appointments, your real estate agent will do the lion's share of the work. However, it's mostly up to you to make sure your house looks its best and that the appearance of your property catches the eye of house hunters.
Once your home is listed online and a "for sale" sign is planted in your front yard, potential buyers are going to immediately take notice of how your house looks from the outside. Sometimes people browse listed houses from their cars, so it can really pay to make a great first impression from the street.
Some of the things that matter the most are a meticulous-looking yard, a clutter-free property, and a house that looks like it's well maintained. Adding a fresh coat of paint, displaying some colorful potted flowers, and taking care of unsightly weeds and overgrown bushes are a few things you can do to make your property look a lot more inviting.
Stage your home's interior: Once you've cleared the first big hurdle (curb appeal), your next priority -- or perhaps a simultaneous priority -- is to make the interior of your home look inviting and appealing. As is the case with boosting curb appeal, your real estate agent can provide you with cost-effective advice on how to get the most mileage from your efforts.
Some of the tried-and-proven methods of staging a home include reducing clutter, arranging living room furniture in "conversational groups" to depict a cozy, intimate environment, and letting plenty of natural light stream in to make your home appear as cheerful and bright as possible.
Fresh coats of neutral-colored paint should be applied to walls and ceilings on an as-needed basis, and all floors, tables, and counter tops should be kept immaculate. Home staging consultants often recommend removing (or toning down) certain decorating themes -- such as sports, religion, or even too many family photographs -- which may alienate some potential buyers.
The overall objective is to make it easy for house hunters to imagine themselves owning and living in your home. If there's anything about the appearance, decor, or smell of your home that makes people feel in any way uncomfortable, that could make it more difficult to find a committed buyer -- which, of course, is your ultimate goal!
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Guest rooms, often unused most of the year, all too often end up as a holding area for clutter you're too attached to toss but not quite in love with enough to put out in a frequently used room. Moving into a new home creates the perfect clean slate for setting up a guest room that is a luxurious home away from home for visiting friends and family. Keep reading to learn how to set up a guest room that wows visitors.
Start with the essentials:
If nothing else, be sure to put out plenty of blankets and pillows for your overnight guests to sleep comfortably in your home. Make sure to have at least one lightweight blanket and one heavy one to suit varying temperatures.
Try spending at least one night in your guest room to get a feel for the room. Is it extra drafty? Is the sun overbearing in the morning or maybe the room is poorly lit for the nighttime. Having first-hand experience with staying in your guest room helps you to thoughtfully furnish the room.
If your guest bedroom doesn’t have its own bathroom hang a mirror up for guests to get ready in the comfort of their own room.
Put items for guests to use out in plain sight so that they do not need to feel like a snoop going through drawers to find an extra blanket or spare toothbrush. When setting up the room get creative with ways you can tastefully leave these items out instead of just cluttering up available surfaces.
Speaking of a spare toothbrush, earn bonus hospitality points by leaving out spare and travel size personal care items for your guests who may have forgotten their own. You’ll also want to stock the bathroom with extra toilet paper, tissues, and towels.
Little extras that make a big impression:
For guests who are staying for a few days or longer, you should provide plenty of available hooks and hangers as well as at least one empty drawer. You may also want to include a bedside clock with an alarm feature.
Bring in the comforts of home by providing a bedside light, books and magazines as well as a comfortable chair to sit in with a side table. Fresh cut flowers or houseplants always make a room feel more pulled together and lived in.
Leave out some entertainment options for guests who may be night owls or early risers. Whether you add magazines, books or a few movies make sure they are current and interesting. In the age of the mobile phone be sure to also include your home’s wifi password out in the open, perhaps even framed, and spare charging cords.
Add lastly, you can add a touch of luxury by including an electric kettle, mugs, packets of tea, instant coffee and packets of creamer and sugar. Consider also putting out a few snacks and drinking water.
When having friends and family stay overnight the hope is always for them to feel at home. You can avoid a cold, unwelcoming guest room by employing just a few of the above tips. After all, it’s the little things that count and your extra efforts surely won’t go unnoticed!