Staining Hard Wood Floors

In Arizona, it is common for people to have tile or hard wood in their homes rather than a lot of carpet. Hard wood, in our opinion, never goes out of style. However, with time, popular colors might change or your floors might begin to show more imperfections. That is where stain comes in. Homeowners might choose to stain their hard wood floors to make them look new again. The article below walks you through how to choose the right color stain. If you want to take on this project, continue reading!

By Glenn Griffin, guest contributor

One of the most commonly asked questions people have when restoring their hardwood floors is: “Should I stain my floor?” That question is closely followed by: “What color stain should I choose?”

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Photo by Delaware Valley Hardwoods

Staining your floors is a major decision for three reasons: 1) Your choice will have a substantial impact on the overall look of your home, 2) You will be living with your color choice for a very long time and 3) Once the stain is applied, it’s expensive and time consuming to redo it.

On top of that, there is literally hundreds of colors, shades, and combinations to choose between. Choices, choices, choices!

That’s a lot of pressure.

Thankfully, choosing the perfect color for your wood floors isn’t too difficult. You just need to know the right questions to ask. Below we’ll go through some questions that will get you on the right track of deciding whether you should even stain in the first place, and if so, how to choose the perfect stain color for your home.

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Photo by Advantage Hardwood Refinishing

STEP 1: Can I and Should I Stain My Floors?

You have a choice of staining your floors or keeping them in their natural state. Some floors are perfect for staining, others not so much. Which way you decide will depend on your answers to the following 2 questions…

What type of wood floors do I have?

If you are fortunate enough to have an exotic or unique wood floor such as mahogany, cherry, walnut, or maple then most likely they shouldn’t be stained.

First, these types of wood already look beautiful in their natural state. Often, when homeowners stain their floors, they are trying to imitate these types of wood floors. Second, many of these exotic floors also don’t take being stained well due to the oils or tight grain in the wood. There’s a high chance you won’t be happy with the result. It’s much better to keep them unstained and enjoy their natural beauty.

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Photo by Tadas Wood Flooring Inc

On the other hand, you may have a more common type of hardwood floor like red or white oak.

Over time, some finishes — especially oil based finishes — turn oak a yellowish-orange look that often gets associated with your grandparent’s floors from the 1960s. Other newer water based finishes can have a washed-out look if applied to a natural unstained oak floor. If this is not the look you’re going for, or you want to completely transform how they look, then staining is a great option.

Luckily, oak floors are perfect candidates for being stained and take stain application extremely well when the proper techniques are used.

Is there any water or pet damage?

If you have previous damage on your floors due to an overzealous pot plant waterer or the last owner’s bladder-challenged pets, then you have a couple of options: 1) Replace the damaged areas, or 2) Stain the floors a darker color than the damage so it’s not as obvious.

If the water damage covers a large portion of the floor but it’s only surface damage and can be muted with a darker color, then staining is well worth considering. It will save you a lot of money compared to the alternative of replacing the floors.

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Photo by Advantage Hardwood Refinishing

STEP 2: What Color Should I Choose?

Because there are so many color choices, this step can get a bit overwhelming. There are many different suppliers and they all have different shades and colors. Some manufacturers, especially with hardwax oils, have pre-treatment colors that can be layered on top of stain, or under it, to provide an unlimited color palette. You will want to get some color samples from your flooring professional to see the range you can choose from.

Our suggestion in choosing a color would be to first ask yourself…

What decorating style do you have or want?

Having a specific taste in furniture or an interior design style in mind will be a huge help in deciding on a stain color. Will you be buying new furniture? If so, you will have some more leeway. If you are keeping your existing furniture, then you will need to find a color that works with what you have.

If you love rustic farmhouse style interiors, you wouldn’t stain your floors dark ebony or grey. It would completely clash with your rustic furniture. Mid-toned brown shades would be a better fit.

For a modern, bold sleek contemporary design style, rich red hues would be very out of place. Ebony, white, or one of the various grey shades would be much better suited.

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Photo by Tadas Wood Flooring Inc

The key is to find a color that highlights and sets the groundwork for the interior decorating style you’re aiming for. Remember, your floors make up a large area of your home and will have a significant impact on the overall design. You want something that not only grounds your room, but also blends your decorating style cohesively together.

Because many of us find it difficult to visualize these images in our heads, a great idea is to grab some home decorating, architecture, and interior design magazines for inspiration. There are lots of online resources for photos too, like Pinterest and Houzz.

Flip through them and find all the photos with your ideal interior design style. What have others, especially professional designers, done in similar situations to what you envision? What catches your eye? What can you see yourself living with long-term? Do you like the light, airy look and feel more drawn to a lighter colored shade? Or do you prefer the deep, bold look of a darker floor? Maybe something in-between?

When you find a color you love, save the photo and show it to your wood floor professional. They’ll be able to help you find out how to replicate it.

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Photo by Delaware Valley Hardwoods  

What if I can’t decide between 2 or 3 colors?

If you’ve narrowed your choices down to 2 or 3 colors then you’re well on your way to getting the perfect stain for your hardwood floors.

The next step is to have your floor professional provide some larger samples. He’ll be able to offer two choices: either put the stain samples directly on your floor (after sanding a section), or make you some large portable sample panels.

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Photo by Tadas Wood Flooring Inc

The benefit of putting stain samples directly on your floor is that you can see exactly how the final color will look.

The beauty of sample panels also is you can move them around the house and see what the color looks like in various areas of your home, around your furniture, against the kitchen cabinets, etc. Try to get your floor professional to coat them with the same finish system you will use so that the color isn’t distorted.

With either type of sample, you will be able to observe what they look like during various times of the day and in different lighting conditions.

Once you live with your samples for a few days, you’ll know exactly what color will be perfect for your home.

GlennGriffinABOUT THE AUTHOR: Glenn Griffin helps service based businesses attract and convert high quality leads with content and marketing. As an expert in hardwood flooring, he writes content for various flooring websites including Tadas Wood Flooring, Advantage Hardwood Refinishing and Delaware Valley Hardwoods You can see their work in the photos above.

Source: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2017/10/23/how-to-choose-the-right-stain-for-the-hardwood-floors/?

Fire Pits Are The Latest Trend

If you are about to put your house on the market this fall think about adding something to your backyard that buyers are going crazy for – a fire pit!  Not only does it make a yard look more inviting, but it also allows buyers to picture entertaining in the yard. Dive into this subject a little deeper in the article below and then get some inspiration from the pictures!

Why You Should Stage a Cozy Fire Pit Area

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Fire features, like outdoor fire pits and fire tables, are in demand. The National Association of Landscape Professionals calls it one of the hottest landscape trends for the fall, based on a recent survey of 5,000 of its member landscapers.

These hot-spots can be a great way to show off the entertaining potential of your outdoor space. Set up a fire pit with a few outdoor chairs around it. You can even drape a blanket over one chair and add ingredients to s’mores on a table to finish off this perfect cozy fall scene.

Consider, taking a picture of your fire pit with the flames at dusk to even add to your listing photos to highlight as a selling point too. (A professional photographer may be best to get this picture so that the lighting is perfect.)

Check out these chic fire pit areas featured by designers at Houzz.

Photo by Envision Landscape Studio

Photo by Alderwood Landscape Architecture and Construction

Photo by Elevation Architectural Studios

Photo by Arterra Landscape Architects

Photo by Draper white

Photo by Sycamore Design

 

Source: Staged & Sold Blog by Realtor Mag

Fire Pits Are The Latest Trend

If you are about to put your house on the market this fall think about adding something to your backyard that buyers are going crazy for – a fire pit! Not only does it make a yard look more inviting, but it also allows buyers to picture entertaining in the yard. Dive into this subject a little deeper in the article below and then get some inspiration from the pictures!

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Fire features, like outdoor fire pits and fire tables, are in demand. The National Association of Landscape Professionals calls it one of the hottest landscape trends for the fall, based on a recent survey of 5,000 of its member landscapers.

These hot-spots can be a great way to show off the entertaining potential of your outdoor space. Set up a fire pit with a few outdoor chairs around it. You can even drape a blanket over one chair and add ingredients to s’mores on a table to finish off this perfect cozy fall scene.

Consider, taking a picture of your fire pit with the flames at dusk to even add to your listing photos to highlight as a selling point too. (A professional photographer may be best to get this picture so that the lighting is perfect.)

Check out these chic fire pit areas featured by designers at Houzz.

Source: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2017/09/25/why-you-should-stage-a-cozy-fire-pit-area/?

Getting Your House Sold

Little tricks and tweeks can make your house ten times more appealing to potential buyers if it has not had a lot of buzz and/or offers on it. Staging is one of the first things you can do to make your house more desirable. Ask yourself the questions in the article below and decide what you should change to get your house sold ASAP!

By Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Has your property been on the market for months with little buyer interest? With a competitive fall market ahead, it may help to reassess the condition of your home, make necessary updates, then re-list a new and improved staged property to generate new buzz and buyer interest. Here are some questions sellers should ask themselves to get their home on top of the list and ahead of the competition.

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Family Room Staging by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Does it Make the Best First Impression?

The key is to look at your home from the perspective of the buyer. With more than 97 percent of homes sold on the Internet, the first point of engagement for buyers today is the online listing. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to feature professional quality photos using the best lighting to encourage buyers to schedule a showing. Once they arrive, be sure that your curb appeal and front entry are well maintained, tidy, and welcoming by trimming bushes, cleaning walkways, making repairs, and adding seasonal touches to the front porch.

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Kitchen Staging by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Does it Appeal to The Target Market?

According to a National Association of REALTORS(R) recent trends report, 66 percent of today’s first-time buyers are millennials, and they are looking for a home that is in move-in ready condition. These buyers will turn away instantly if the home is dated and gives the impression that it’s in need of renovation. They will, however, ultimately pay more for a home that looks fresh and inviting. Be sure that necessary repairs and cosmetic updates are made such as freshening up walls and cabinets with a coat of neutral paint, polishing hardwood floors, replacing lighting, hardware, appliances, etc.

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Dining Room Staging by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Can Buyers Visualize Living in This Home?

Whether selling an occupied or vacant home, keep in mind that If buyers can’t emotionally connect, it won’t be memorable. Consider renting furniture for vacant properties to show buyers how they can use their own furnishings in the space.  For occupied properties make sure there are no distractions such as personal items on walls, shelves and tables. Showcase every key room from the entry to the basement with a clean look and minimal accessories such as colorful pillows, wall art and simple vignettes.

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Family Room Staging by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Are Key Features Highlighted?

Be sure that your home’s best assets are not hidden. Is your stone fireplace covered with a cluttered mantle or distracting wall art? Are hardwood floors covered up with dated carpeting? Are floor to ceiling windows hidden behind heavy curtains? Are built-in shelves cluttered with old books and photos? If so, remove and simplify to show these features off, bring new life and increase perceived value to your home.

For more examples of interior decorating and home staging, visit www.pjstagingdecorating.com.

PattiABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern, principal, interior decorator and professional stager of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating, has been decorating and staging homes since 2005. She and her team provide turnkey, full service home staging and interior decorating to clients across Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. She also developed an award winning staging program for luxury homebuilder, Toll Brothers. Her company has received Houzz 2015 and 2016 Awards for Customer Service. Stern has been featured in Connecticut Magazine, the Hartford Courant, Danbury News-Times and on NBC Connecticut and FOX TV. She is a regular contributor to REALTOR® Magazine’s Styled, Staged and Sold. For more information, contact Patti Stern at 203-640-3762 or patti@pjstagingdecorating.com

Source: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2017/09/18/what-to-do-if-your-home-doesnt-sell/?

Increase Your Return on Investment

If you have been getting your house ready to be put on the market, and want to make sure you are getting the highest return on investment (ROI) possible, there are things you can do yourself that will help! The article below gives eight ideas of projects to tackle that you will appreciate in the long run when you are ready to sell your home. See what they are and try some or all of them for yourself!

Image2Article Submitted by Fixr.com

With warmer weather and longer days, summer is the ideal time of year to take on a project in or around your home. Many contractors and other pros often find this time of year a little slower, as many homeowners are waiting until fall to tackle big interior projects, which means that you’ll have an easier time finding the right person for the job.

These eight projects are designed to add value to your home, without breaking the bank at the same time. Tackling them now will make your home more comfortable for the coming months, while ensuring that you can get maximum ROI when the time comes to sell.

1. Fix Window Leaks

Air gap around your windows could be driving your air conditioning bill up higher than it needs to be this summer. Old or leaking windows can cause you to lose as much as 20% of the energy you use to heat and cool your home, which can also make it less comfortable as well.

There are two ways to fix window leaks: installing new replacement windows, or installing weatherstripping around your existing windows. While both will help you save money on your energy bills, replacement windows will also help you recoup about 73.9% ROI at time of resale.

Cost:Weatherstripping your windows costs around $168 on average, while replacement windows cost between $650 and $1,500.

Money Saving Tips: Get an energy audit done on your home before you start replacing windows. You may find that only a few need to be replaced, while the rest can be caulked or weatherstripped to save.

2. Basement Remodel

Remodeling your basement is a great way to increase your existing living space, without the hassle or expense of a major addition. Basements are often cooler in the hot summer months than the rest of the home, so remodeling can help you gain more usable living areas during this time of year. A basement remodel featuring things like waterproofing or french drain installations can also recoup you about 70% at time of resale.

Cost: A full basement remodel including a new bathroom can cost around $50,000. However, waterproofing costs around $5,000, while installing a new set of stairs costs around $1,000 to $2,000.

Money Saving Tips: Simply waterproofing your basement will help make the area livable, allowing you to simply paint the concrete walls and floors, and begin furnishing the room for less.

3. Bathroom Remodel

Bathrooms are among the most frequently used rooms in the home. During the humid summer months, older bathrooms can often become home to things like mold and mildew, which makes now the best time to start remodeling. A bathroom remodel, including all new fixtures, shower, and ceramic tile can recoup you around 64.8% at time of resale, while making your home healthier and more functional at the same time.

Cost: A full scale bathroom remodel costs around $18,000. However, there are many components that can be done for less, such as installing a new bathroom fan to help dry out the room for $350 – $400 or putting in a new mirror for $120 – $150.

Money Saving Tips: Cosmetic updates to an otherwise functional bathroom can save you a lot of money. Simply painting the walls or replacing the sink and faucet can give your bathroom a facelift for less.

4. Add Attic Insulation

Another way to help lower energy costs this summer is to add some insulation to your attic. Most homes are underinsulated, particularly in this area, which can contribute to higher energy costs. Insulating your attic will make your home more comfortable, while saving you money on your AC bill this summer. Best of all, attic insulation recoups a whopping 107% at time of resale.

Cost: The cost to insulate an attic is around $400 for fiberglass insulation.

Money Saving Tips: Purchase the highest R-value you can find for your climate, and you’ll save even more on your energy bills year round.

Image35. Build a New Deck

Enjoy more time spent outdoors this summer on a new wood deck. Decks increase your usable outdoor space, make entertaining easier, and have a rate of return at around 71.5%. Start this project early in the summer to make the most of your new space before fall.

Cost: The average cost to build a new deck is around $10,630.

Money Saving Tips: If you have an existing deck, consider having it repaired, rather than replacing it. Often pressure washing and staining a deck, while replacing some of the boards can help extend its life.

6. Replace Your Roof 

After a long winter filled with ice dams, your roof may be in poor condition and in need of replacement. Don’t wait until summer storms send water pouring in through your ceiling; have your roof taken care of at the start of the season to ensure that it’s in good condition for the rain to come. A new roof will help you recoup about 68.8% at time of resale as well.

Cost: The average cost of a roof replacement is around $6,000.

Money Saving Tips: If the majority of your roof is in good condition, you may want to opt for a partial replacement or roof repair to save money.

7. Replace Your Siding 

Siding is just as important as your roof when it comes to both protecting your home from the elements, and to giving it its curb appeal. The nicer weather of the summer makes this the ideal time of year to take care of this important project. Replacing your siding can recoup you as much as 76.4% at time of resale. Replacing your siding can also help you take care of other issues such as rotting fascia, and can improve the appearance of your home at the same time.

Cost: The average cost of replacing your siding is around $7,510 for vinyl siding.

Money Saving Tips: If your siding is in decent condition, consider making repairs to those areas that require it, and painting the entire exterior to give it a fresh look for less.

8. Universal Bathroom Design 

Universal design is one of the newest trends that’s recouping costs in a big way. In many cases, universal design costs less than a complete bathroom remodel, but can make your home easier to sell because it appeals to a wider group of people. Take on the project this summer when plumbers aren’t as busy to get the job done faster. This type of project also recoups about 68.4% at time of resale.

Cost: The average cost of universal bathroom design is around $9,000.

Money Saving Tips: Many things in a universal bathroom can be installed DIY for less, including lever handles on faucets and a universal height toilet.

To find out more about projects you can tackle around your home, be sure to visit the Cost Guides.

Source: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2017/08/07/8-home-projects-with-high-roi/?

Two-Toned Kitchens Are In

The kitchen, for a lot of people, is the most important room in the house. It is where you can cook meals, gather with your family at the end of a day, entertain guests and help your kids with homework. With that said, who wouldn’t want their kitchen to be beautiful? If the kitchen is not beautiful and functional it can be a deal breaker to potential buyers. So, think about giving your kitchen a little extra TLC if you’re putting your house on the market. The article below highlights that two-toned color schemes are the hottest trend right now. Use this for some inspiration!

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Two-toned colored kitchens are gaining popularity this year. White and gray painted cabinets are dominating kitchen color schemes, according to the 2017 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends survey conducted by the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

Particularly gray-toned kitchen cabinets are seeing a surge in popularity lately.

Other colors are getting mixed in too, adding a little more pizzazz to kitchen design. For example, the surrounding kitchen cabinets may be white and then the center island may feature gray cabinets. Or, white cabinets may be on the top and then gray cabinets on the bottom.

Other materials are getting mixed in the kitchen too.  The combinations, however, are mostly muted and simple. “Clean lines with no fussy moldings or trims,” one NKBA survey respondent said. “White kitchens are never going away, but I’ve recommended mixed countertop materials, mixed cabinet colors and frequently use lots of light/dark materials for contrast.”

That said, for the more daring, blue or black-toned cabinets as well as high-gloss finishes are gaining popularity in kitchen designs too, according to NKBA’s survey.

Source: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2017/07/17/hot-home-trend-to-watch-the-two-toned-kitchen/?

Staging Your Yard and Patio

The backyard is often neglected or forgotten when staging a house. Since the weather is so great in Arizona most of the year, people love to take advantage of time outside. That is why a beautiful and functional outdoor space is at the top of some buyers’ lists. When getting your house ready to sell, don’t make these mistakes staging your yard.

By Amalie Drury, guest contributor

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Photo credit: Crate and Barrel

A great outdoor space is at the top of many home buyers’ checklists. So even if your listing doesn’t include a large lawn or an over-the-top patio, it’s important to show buyers that the home still offers the perks of an indoor-outdoor lifestyle. Be sure to avoid these common outdoor staging mistakes.

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1. Overgrown Landscaping

Banish the weeds, and trim the bushes. Nothing makes a house look unloved faster than an overgrown lawn or a patio with dandelions poking through every crack. If the home’s current owners aren’t around to keep the landscaping in check, encourage them to hire a weekly service for the duration of the listing.

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2. Lack of Furniture

It’s hard to imagine reading on the porch or serving dinner on the patio when there’s no furniture around. On the other hand, if buyers see a dining table with a festive umbrella or a pair of cushioned lounge chairs with a side table for drinks, they’ll perceive the space as valuable additional square footage where they can unwind with family or entertain.

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3. Dust and Dirt

When patios and walkways go unused, they collect a layer of grime that should be removed when staging the home. Consider pressure washing surfaces and pay special attention when sweeping and dusting spots like exterior window ledges, thresholds, and basement stairwells.

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4. Clutter

To the buyer’s eye, certain items your sellers are used to seeing in their yard or on their patio can look like unwanted junk. Encourage your sellers to clear the clutter. Plastic storage boxes, toys (except for nice swing sets, which can be appealing in family neighborhoods), tools, faded furniture cushions, dated lawn sculptures, rusty grills … all must go.

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 5. No Flowers 

In the right season, colorful blooms in containers, window boxes, or beds can greatly improve the perception of a home’s exterior and outdoor space. Even in winter, you can fill planters with greenery and berries to welcome potential buyers and make the home appear cozy and well tended.

Amalie_MG_9500ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amalie Drury is an expert on home design and furniture trends, writing on behalf of Crate and Barrel. She has covered related topics as a senior editor for magazine publisher Modern Luxury and as a city editor for women’s lifestyle site PureWow. She has also written for Time Out, the Chicago Tribune, and Sophisticated Living.

Source: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2017/06/19/the-5-biggest-yard-and-patio-staging-mistakes/?

Vinyl is Making a Comeback

A lot of people think vinyl flooring is a thing of the past. Think again! The material is making a come back in different styles and cuts sneakily imitating other types of more expensive flooring. If you have the renovation bug or simply want to do some updates around your house to get it ready to sell, consider vinyl! The article below might convince you.

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Vinyl can get a bad rap. Often it’s confused with linoleum and conjures up memories of outdated, cheap 1980s flooring rolled out in sheets. But lately, vinyl is showing itself as anything but “cheap” looking. It can be laid out in planks, tiles, and sheets and it’s getting some trendy looks.

The vinyl flooring industry is booming as new designs resemble the look of real hardwoods, but without the high maintenance. Vinyl is known for being scratch-proof and even waterproof, which is making them especially appealing in the kitchen and bathroom. Plus, vinyl is known for being more pet-friendly and that’s increasingly important nowadays. (Consider, 61 percent of households own a pet or plan to soon, according to an NAR pet study. As such, pet-friendly flooring is proving to be a growing motivator in home remodeling decisions).

Vinyl flooring options are now available in styles that mimic current wood styles, in everything from oak, pine and walnut to even hand-scraped options.

You have several color choices with vinyl too, from gray to espresso and white.

And vinyl isn’t just for resembling the look of hardwoods. You can also get vinyl that resembles tile, marble, and cement too.

The installation of vinyl is also getting more trendy. You can install it in a herringbone pattern on the floor or diagonal. Wide plank vinyl is one of the trendiest and some designers even say it can make your room look larger too.

Read more about “2017 Vinyl Flooring Trends” at FlooringInc.com.

Source: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2017/05/01/vinyl-flooring-is-stealing-the-spotlight/?

Little Changes to Boost Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is the attraction a house draws with just a glance of the exterior from passersby. It is a crucial aspect of buying or selling a house because who would want to tour a home’s interior if they are already put off by the exterior? If your house is on the market, you can make little changes like the ones suggested in this article that will majorly boost the curb appeal.

By Caroline M. Carter, guest contributor

You’ll want to leave potential buyers with a great impression of your listing’s exterior, that is if you want to motivate them to want to see more.

But what do you do if the front entrance to a house looks dated, insubstantial and unwelcoming?

Change it.

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Photo courtesy: Caroline M. Carter/Done in a Day Inc.

What impression does this front door create for the potential buyer? Does it communicate value to the buyer? Is it worth their time to schedule a showing?

No. The front door currently presents as an unimpressive–utilitarian front door with a tarnished, pitted brass doorknob and mail slot.

With a quick trip to the nearest home improvement store, the updated entrance goes from drab to fab. A critical investment of $300 for new black paint and polished brass handset, knocker, mail slot and kick plate transformed this entrance and creates value in the mind of the buyer. It now presents as more polished and welcoming. It’s substantial, safe, secure and well-maintained.

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Photo courtesy: Caroline M. Carter/Done in a Day Inc.

As a result of this quick fix, the buyer will now assume that the interior of the house is worth their time to schedule a showing.

But wait, not so fast.

All doors are important. The basement door facing the main street of this same house is unsightly, insubstantial and creates confusion in the eyes of the buyer–where is the front entrance? What is this door and where does it go?

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Photo courtesy: Caroline M. Carter/Done in a Day Inc.

 A simple black painted lattice framed outer door with no handle creates a more artistic and secure looking distraction so the buyer instantly knows that it is not the main entrance.

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Photo courtesy: Caroline M. Carter/Done in a Day Inc.

 Here’s another simple, inexpensive way to spruce up the curb: Update the house numbers. In the photo below, we added a newly installed black plaque with 4” house numbers on the stone wall closest to the stairs to the main entrance. It’s visible from the street and leads buyers to the actual front entrance.

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Photo courtesy: Caroline M. Carter/Done in a Day Inc.

So, view your entrance and front door with a more critical buyer’s eye. Does it create a positive impression of perceived value? Does it compel the buyer to make time to schedule a showing? If not, it’s time to enhance it. First impressions count.

CarterABOUT THE AUTHOR: Caroline Carter is founder of Done In A Day, a full service home transition company in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Since 2005, her company has created The Perfect Listing® to stage the areas upper bracket houses to sell. She is recognized by the area’s top real estate professionals and educated sellers to be a leading resource to successfully navigating the transition process from house to home. To learn more about Carter, visit her website at doneinaday.com, or follow her teams projects on Facebook, Instagram, Houzz, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Source: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2017/04/17/revisit-your-listings-curb-appeal-have-you-done-enough/?

Rearranging to Sell Your House

If you recently put your house on the market and don’t know what else to do to make it sell, consider doing things like rearranging furniture, de-cluttering, etc. You might not think about it, but the way your house is “staged” makes a huge impression on potential buyers. You can also add a fresh coat of paint to walls to spruce things up. Consider all the suggestions in the article below to get your house to sell fast!

By Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

It’s hard to believe the early spring selling season is already upon us! This means that homeowners who haven’t prepared their homes to list now should implement some of the following PJ & Co go-to styling tips if they want to get their listing noticed and sold quickly when the market gets flooded in April and May.

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Living room staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Remove clutter to maximize space.

Play up key features such as windows, hardwood flooring, walk-in closets, spacious cabinets and counters by removing clutter and personal items that are distracting to buyers. Enhance the size of a room or storage area by doing the following: Remove heavy window treatments, replace or cover carpeting with bright, modern area rugs, paint walls and dark trim in lighter neutral tones, and rearrange or remove furniture.

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Living room staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Give each room a purpose.
Savvy buyers are looking for a house that will match their lifestyle and accommodate their needs. Therefore, it’s important to put yourself in their shoes and determine how a room should function instead of how it already functions for that homeowner. If along the way the owner had converted a living room into a game room (as shown in the photo above), you’ll need to take the space back to its original purpose. That may mean bringing back the sofa and coffee table that’s hiding in the basement so that the home doesn’t look deficient in any way.

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Family Room Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Freshen walls with neutral colors and artwork.
The perfect starting point for an instant boost is a fresh coat of neutral wall color, such as a warm grey or beige. It not only brings a fresh, modern feel to a space, but it also creates a backdrop that showcases the other elements in the room, such as the bright white trim, wall art, and furniture. It’s also a great fix after taking down dated wallpaper as well as for covering up imperfections.

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Family Room Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Use bright, modern accents for inviting style.
When possible, we like to add furniture with clean lines for universal appeal and complement beautiful bold accents that really bring a neutral room to life. And if the homeowner decides to keep their tired, worn or more traditional furniture, camouflaging with modern pillows, throws, rugs, lighting and colorful accents in geometric patterns, fabrics and finishes will create the warm, inviting vibe that today’s buyers are attracted to.

Don’t forget about curb appeal!
Especially after the cold winter months, it’s just as important to style the outside of your home to welcome buyers inside. Spruce up the yard, make necessary repairs, and update the front porch with cheerful accessories such as a fresh welcome mat, potted flowers, colorful throw pillows on a bench, and a floral wreath for the door.

For more examples of interior decorating and home staging, visit pjstagingdecorating.com.

PattiABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern, principal, interior decorator and professional stager of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating, has been decorating and staging homes since 2005. She and her team provide turnkey, full service home staging and interior decorating to clients across Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. She also developed an award winning staging program for luxury homebuilder, Toll Brothers. Her company has received Houzz 2015 and 2016 Awards for Customer Service. Stern has been featured in Connecticut Magazine, the Hartford Courant, Danbury News-Times and on NBC Connecticut and FOX TV. She is a regular contributor to REALTOR® Magazine’s Styled, Staged and Sold. For more information, contact Patti Stern at 203-640-3762 or patti@pjstagingdecorating.com

Source: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2017/02/27/the-essentials-to-styling-your-home-to-sell-quickly/?