Staging With A Purpose

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P: cathyhobbs.com

When a buyer steps into your house, you want them to be able to easily envision living there – not trying to figure out what to do with that tiny bedroom that seems to be your storage room.

If you are using a room in an odd way, maybe you turned the dining room into your children’s playroom, it may work for your needs but will likely leave potential buyers feeling bewildered, and moving on to the next house.

Follow these 3 tips to stage each room with a purpose:

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    P: urbanpresentations.com

    Make it simple. Stage rooms for their original or most obvious purpose – a bedroom should have a bed, a dining room should have a table and chairs, etc. If you have a large finished basement, carve out a space for a rec room, theater room, or exercise room.

  • Spell it out. If your home has an undefined or awkward space, stage it with your suggestion for how to use it. For example, a small alcove or under the stair nook could be staged as a home office just by adding a desk, lamp, and chair. Stage each space so there is no question what it’s for.
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    P: stagemyownhome.com

    Lay it out. Open floor plans are popular, but can be confusing to a buyer trying to figure out how to arrange the space. Don’t try to cram too many uses into one great room – stick with the basic dining area and family room.

If buyers have to guess how to use a room, they may leave thinking the house won’t fit their needs. Make the purpose of each room clear so that buyers can visualize where they will put their own furnishings and accessories in the house.

5 Landscape Projects That Make Sense

P: 411homerepair.com

P: 411homerepair.com

Warmer temps and sunshine have us itching to get out and enjoy the outdoors. When Spring hits, it’s prime season for yard work –  you don’t want to be slaving away in the gorgeous summer weather when you could be sipping lemonade (or a margarita!) in the shade of your perfectly manicured outdoor paradise.

But where do you start? What projects are really worth it? Here are our top 5 landscape projects that offer the best return on your investment:

  • Spruce up what you have. Start with a spring yard cleanup – pull out the weeds, prune trees and bushes and rake up any leaves you may have missed in fall. Freshen up your mulch by flipping and fluffing with a rake, once you’re finished you may not even need to buy new mulch for the season!
  • Renew your deck. A wood deck will take a beating being exposed to our crazy VT weather. If your deck is looking a little worn, start by power washing to get a completely clean surface. Once dry, you can stain and then follow with a waterproofer designed for unsealed wood to protect your deck.
  • P: sheknows.com

    P: sheknows.com

    Plant flowers for a pop of color. Choose some colorful perennials to dot your yard, these plants will last for years so you will not need to replant every spring/summer like an annual. Cone flowers, daylillies, and hydrangea are good choices for VT. Annuals come in so many pretty varieties, you can add them in to your landscaping or plant in window boxes and colorful pots. Choose a variety of flowers that bloom at different times, as well as a mix of heights, colors, and shapes.

  • Plant some trees. As trees grow, they appreciate in value providing fantastic ROI. Trees also provide privacy, which tops most buyers’ wish lists. Emerald Green Arborvitae are a great option for privacy, and are perfect for VT as they resist snow and ice damage. Other trees that thrive in VT include spruce trees and of course the sugar maple.
  • P: lockerdome.com

    P: lockerdome.com

    Create an outdoor living space. Pick out some stone pavers that complement your house and landscape to build a patio and/or fire pit. Permeable paving and fire pits rank high in outdoor elements that buyers desire. Learn how to lay a paver patio on Lowe’s website.

6 Home Staging Don’ts

We talk a lot about what to do to stage your home, but what about what NOT to do? Here are 6 staging mistakes to avoid:

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P: Fox Hollow Cottage

  • Don’t go over-the-top with decor. Less is more in home staging – keep decor simple and neutral to appeal to a variety of buyers.
  • Don’t make your home smell like the department store perfume counter. Any type of overwhelming scent, whether something good or bad, will send buyers running for the door.
  • Don’t stuff all of your junk in the closet. Buyers will open every door to check out the storage space in the house, a messy stuffed closet will give the impression that there is not enough storage space.
  • Don’t do major renovations. Finishes and fixtures that you love may not appeal to every buyer. Limit any work to essentials like replacing old flooring, small repairs, updating old fixtures, and minimal painting.
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    P: Retro Ranch Revamp

    Don’t misuse rooms. A bedroom should be staged as a bedroom, not that ‘extra’ room where you store your odds and ends.

  • Don’t defer yard work. If you have overgrown shrubs, an unruly lawn, and a broken fence, chances are that potential buyers won’t take that extra step to look inside.

Prepping Your Home For Sale

Hi everyone! This is Jennie, Marketing Director for The Weaver Team. I’m always posting tips on home staging, getting ready to move, etc. but I thought speaking from my own experience might really hit home for you all. My husband and I recently decided to put our condo on the market to move on up to our first house. SO exciting, but also SO stressful!

P: Shutterstock

P: Shutterstock

Just looking at all of the stuff we’ve accumulated over the years was giving me heart palpitations. And I am a total neat freak – so it probably wasn’t even that bad. I had so many thoughts going through my head, there were so many things I wanted to clean or fix up before putting our condo on the market. There was just so much to do that I didn’t even want to start.

Once we started looking at houses, we decided it was time to buck up and get our condo on the market – sellers aren’t very enamored with offers contingent upon selling your current property. We were getting ready to head out on vacation for 10 days and I thought it would be the perfect time to list, that way the condo could be shown any time and we wouldn’t have to get out, figure out what to do with the dog, or clean up after ourselves.

So now we had a deadline to get our place ready, which was just the kick in the pants we needed. After all of the homes I’ve photographed and all of the staging tips I’ve poured over the past couple years, I knew the first step would be to declutter and depersonalize. We rented a small 5 x 10 storage unit for our ‘overflow’, I highly recommend a storage unit if you don’t have a basement or garage where you can store things.

DSCN1976We removed all photographs of ourselves, family, and dog – including from the walls, shelves, and refrigerator. We had a few ‘extra’ pieces of furniture including a console table, wine tower, and 2 dining room chairs that we removed to make the space look as large as possible, but without making it look sparse. We have storage under the stairs, so to show how large the space is, we packed it all up and put it in storage. The same for our closets, buyers are looking for storage space so if your closets are filled to the brim it gives a sense of very little storage space. We packed up seasonal clothes and shoes and off to storage they went.

Next we washed ALL of our walls and doors, just a bucket of water and a cloth, wiping them all down top to bottom. You will not believe the difference it made! And don’t forget the kitchen cabinets which tend to get extra grimy. We also wiped the ceiling fan blades, man those get dirty.

DSCN1981Once everything was hauled off to storage and everything had been wiped down, I went back through and redecorated. Yes you should declutter and depersonalize, but you don’t want your home to feel cold and unwelcoming. We have a cluster of shelves above the couch where I added candles and small picture frames will cool wallpaper. I put a runner on our dining room table with some candles and added a few small colored vases to a shelf above the TV.

Finally, as an added touch, we created a flyer that called out the features of our condo and also some additional perks like being within walking distance of the Village, local events, and being near the bus line. You don’t know if the agent showing your home is familiar with the area, so why not let them know why you love living there?

Let me tell you – staging works! Our condo, listed with The Weaver Team of course :), sold in 1 1/2 weeks! If you are going to list and have a vacation coming up, definitely list before you go, it will save you a ton of hassle with showings. And hopefully, like me, your home will sell while you’re away!

Stay tuned for my next post on buying a home.

The Importance of Home Staging

We here at The Weaver Team are strong believers in the power of staging – you only have one chance to make a first impression and it’s important to create a positive impact on buyers the moment they enter a room!

Unlike interior decorating that makes a home appeal to its homeowner’s unique tastes, home staging makes the home appeal to a variety of tastes. The goal is to draw the eye to the best features of the home, and improve any weaker elements.

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

The very first rule of staging is DECLUTTER! You want prospective buyers to see how much space your home offers, not how much stuff you have filled it with. Start by removing items you have no use for, if it’s been sitting in the basement unused for a year, it’s probably time to get rid of it. Separate items into piles to sell, donate, and store. If you don’t have a basement or garage to store items, rent a storage unit.

Updates as simple as rearranging furniture or adding new decor can make a world of difference. If you have very large furniture pieces, it’s best to remove them from a room all together to make the space look as large as possible. Also try floating furniture away from the walls and arrange sofas and chairs in conversational sets – this will open up the room.

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

In some cases, you may need to take it a step further with paint and/or installing new fixtures. You may be thinking, ‘What’s the point in painting when the new owner will just come in and paint on their own?’ Buyers are fickle, and most cannot see beyond a simple fix like paint, or even your personal decor. Remember – you want your home to appeal to a variety of buyers, and while you may love your elegant eggplant dining room, it may be a major turn off to buyers. Stick with neutral paints for your walls and update any brass fixtures that tend to make a home look dated.

Can’t get enough of home staging tips? Like us on Facebook – we post a Tuesday Tip every week!

Prepare Your Home For Winter

P: Taylored Restoration

P: Taylored Restoration

Baby, it’s cold outside! The dreaded polar vortex has made it’s first unwelcome appearance in our neck of the woods, which means it’s time to get your home ready to weather the winter months.

You want to keep your home warm and toasty inside, but winterizing isn’t just about staying warm. By investing some time and energy of your own to prep your home, you will end up saving in energy costs. Preparing your home for the cold winter months will also save you the unexpected headaches of busted pipes or a failing furnace.

Follow our winter prep checklist to get your home ready for the deep freeze:

Clean your gutters. Water should be able to flow freely now to help prevent icicles and ice dams from forming later.

Change your furnace filter. Regularly replacing the filter can significantly improve its efficiency and longevity.

Invest in a programmable thermostat. Install a programmable thermostat and save money by setting the temperature lower while you are away or asleep. The US Department of Energy says that you can save as much as 1% on your energy bill for every degree you lower your home’s temperature in the winter.

Check for drafts. Cold air can easily leak in through windows, doors or any additional exterior gaps. Here are a few fixes:

  • Window insulation film – if you take the time to do it correctly, it won’t look tacky and will significantly lower your heating bill
  • Weatherstrip tape – simple and easy, seal your windows and doors tightly with weatherstripping
  • Caulk – fill any remaining gaps in siding, windows or doors with caulk
P: Better Homes and Gardens

P: Better Homes and Gardens

Reverse your ceiling fan. Having fan blades move in a clockwise direction will push the warm air back down to reheat the space.

Inspect your chimney. If you have a fireplace or wood stove with a chimney, check it for creosote buildup and have it cleaned if necessary. Also look for any blockages like bird nests.