Let’s Look Outside: What Buyers Notice

GettyImages-1255835530-scaledIf you are selling your house you may hope that potential buyers are familiar with the idiom “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Meaning, in real estate parlance, that you’re hoping the buyers will overlook the sagging gutters, cracked driveway, tired garage doors, and fall in love the interior of your house.

It’s a fact that your house is being judged by its exterior, the grounds, the lawn, and even the garden gnomes dotting your walkway.

Here are the top 5 exterior items that buyers notice:

Exterior Lights – They should match your indoor “vibe.” If you haven’t updated your exterior lights you may be dating your house.

Gutters – Trust us, worth getting them cleaned, there is nothing more distracting than greenery growing from gutters that need attention.

Porches and Patios – Spruce them up with new furniture cushions, patio pots of seasonal flowers, and even some string lights to make the outdoor space an extension of your living area.

Lawn, Grounds – Get out the rakes, flowers, and mulch, nothing smells better than fresh mulch!

Front Door – Is it time for fresh paint? A new door handle? New welcome mat? This upgrade will make a huge impression.

Looking for more specific ideas for your exterior? Luckily, Jennie is an Accredited Staging Professional and can assess your home’s exterior, as well as interior spaces to help get you the best price in today’s market. Contact us to see how we can help get your home sold!

4 Updates to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

sidekix-media-UDDULE_eIBY-unsplashWe all want to get the biggest bang for our buck, especially when it comes to our biggest investment – our home. So how do you get the best price possible when you’re ready to sell? You don’t have to go crazy with expensive renovations, a few small and simple updates can make a big impact.

Here are 4 updates to get your home ready to sell:

Declutter. This one is free! This should be the first step in prepping your home for sale. Take down the family photos and knick knacks and pack them away. If you have a room that feels particularly ‘full,’ edit the furniture – store the excess pieces neatly in the basement, garage, or rent a storage unit.

Fresh paint. A new coat of paint does wonders for any room – and it’s one of the most affordable options to update your home. Stick with neutral colors so that buyers can picture themselves living there.

New lighting. Old (usually brass) lighting fixtures will really date a space. Refresh your home with simple lighting in nickel, black, or even a neutral wood finish. When buyers see these fixtures modernized, it makes them feel the whole house has been updated.

Update hardware. Similar to the lighting – old fashioned brass or porcelain knobs and drawer pulls will make a room look dated. Freshen you kitchen or bathrooms with modern hardware in a black finish or metal finish that matches other elements in the room.

Preparing your home to sell is easier with an experienced professional in your corner. To learn more about getting your home ready to sell, or to start looking for a new property, we can help! Contact The Weaver Team today 😉

Do’s and Don’ts for Staging Your Kitchen

photo-of-white-kitchen-4682110Everyone’s first question about staging their house is, “What should I do with my kitchen countertops?” Most days none of us have our countertops “photo-ready.” Right now my countertop boasts a blender, a toaster, a large white pitcher, a bowl of fruit and bananas and random dishes drying on a dish towel. Yours may have a coffee maker, knife block, canisters, and assorted water bottles. What stays? What goes?

Don’t take everything off your countertops. Some Realtors will tell sellers to “take everything off.” Others ignore the clutter and say, “oh, it’s fine.” In our opinion the “take everything off” approach gives the impression that the house is vacant. When you leave everything on the counter the photos tend to look too busy. We suggest a balanced approach to give the impression of a well-organized countertop. So, yes, if you have a classy cannister set, leave it. If your coffee maker is overtaking your counter then stash it in a cabinet. Fruit is always a good idea.

Do invest in some new dishtowels. Coordinated dishtowels help define your dishwasher or range.

Don’t remove your rugs and runners. Keep your rugs and runners as long as they are coordinated.

Do clean off your kitchen island and find an appropriate accent piece. Flowers are passe.

Don’t forget about your lighting. If you really want to make a your kitchen “pop” then consider updating your light fixtures. A quick trip to the lighting aisle yields a big return.

Do call us if you need an electrician to install your new lights. Don’t mess with the electric unless you really know what you’re doing.

And, lastly, don’t forget you’re never alone when you’re transforming your house with The Weaver Team. We’ll help you get your kitchen “show ready.” Contact us today for a virtual staging appointment to get your house in tip top shape.

Moving In 2020? 3 Simple Steps To Get Started

It’s time to move! Where do I start? Sometimes, the decision to sell your house is planned. Other times, it happens quickly, unexpectedly. In either case you will want to do these three things right away. Of course, the first thing you should do is call or email us for our “Prep for Success” program. Next, get started with these 3 simple steps:

Take a tour of your house. Assess your decorating, furniture, and organization. Note items that can be removed, moved, packed, or reorganized. Include closets, kitchen drawers, and wall decorations.

Gather your utility bills. How much did heating fuel cost last year? What was your electric use? Who is your internet provider? Do you have a water or sewer bill?

Assess your needs. Do you need to get a storage unit? Should you repaint your ceiling? Is it time to get a plumber to fix a pesky leak? Don’t get overwhelmed at this point. Make a list and show it to us. We have a trusted network of vendor partners that can help.

Planning is key to a successful move. Don’t underestimate your ability to get packed, organized, and moved this year. We will be with you every step of the way providing personal solutions to all of your problems, issues, and challenges that inevitably occur. Our professional advice has saved our clients time, money, and stress during this process.

Thinking about making a move? Contact us today to get started!

4 Easy and Affordable Ways to Get Your House HGTV Show Ready

living room areaWho doesn’t love to watch HGTV (Home and Garden TV)? From “Love It or List It” to “Property Brothers,” we spend hours watching the transformation of living spaces.

Try our 4 favorite tips to create a designer “look” at your house:

Buy new pillows and throw blankets. Add seasonal trends with textiles. The easiest way to perk up your couch and bedrooms is to drape a colorful throw and stack different sized pillows.

Rearrange your bookshelves or built-in shelving units. Take a photo of the “before” then remove all books, objects, and decorative items from the shelves. When you put them back arrange by size, color, and special grouping of items. You don’t need to fill every space, think in terms of a decorative vignette to tell a story. Then, take an “after” photo to admire your decorating skills.

Add some local items to your décor. Whether it’s a welcome mat with your favorite sports team or a bowl of pinecones collected from your backyard, local touches are great conversation starters when guests arrive.

Pick up battery powered twinkle lights and a remote. Why not have some fun with setting a festive mood even if you are the only one to enjoy it! String the lights on a mantle, around a bannister, or even tucked into a floral arrangement. Use the timer feature on the remote so you don’t have to worry about turning them off.

Need more decorating help? Jennie is an Accredited Staging Professional and can help you create your dream spaces. We make house calls to get your house “show ready,” whether it’s just for your own enjoyment, or, if you are thinking of selling.

Pack It Up! Yes, This Is The “One Thing” You Need To Do To Sell Your House

4b35a73e36bc822188b42a2f19e1a9c5Let’s make it easy, pack up your house! Yes, this is the “one thing” you need to do during the home selling process – start packing and keep packing!  On the Weaver Team, Jennie and I have moved several times and we understand the struggles, indecision, and fatigue that creeps in when you have to pack and move an entire household of items, furniture, dishes, sports equipment, pots, pans, food processors, etc., from one house to another.

You will feel overwhelmed, exhausted, sore, and mentally challenged during this process. Your goal is to “thin out” your belongings by packing what isn’t necessary in your day-to-day routine. Some call it decluttering, but this is more than that – it is a system to start the moving process in a predictable and measurable manner. Instead of decluttering, let’s just pack it up. Who wants to think of their collections, belongings, and decorations as clutter?

We recommend doing a few boxes a day to alleviate some of the stress. Here are our tips to start this process:

  1. Gather boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, newspapers, scissors, and a big black Sharpie or any permanent marking pen.
  2. Next, find a central place in your house to keep these supplies in view. When you have a moment, grab a box and fill it with items that you don’t use every day. Think potato masher, extra kitchen towels, ‘nice’ dishes, surplus mugs, etc. then wrap them up, put them in a box, seal the box and mark it “Kitchen.” After you take your morning shower appraise your towel collection and box up any extras. On your way to the living room? Why not grab a box and start wrapping the delicate items on your shelves?
  3. Move the box to the garage, storage shed, or special spot in the basement.

We have helped hundreds of sellers get prepared for putting their houses on the market. And, of course, there is a list of items that need attention, however, doing this “one thing” will make every other task go more smoothly.

Does Decorating Matter – How do I Stage my House for the Holiday Season?

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p: jennycookies.com

As we get into the decorating holidays, Sellers always ask, “can I decorate for the holiday?” The short answer, “yes, with some ‘staging’ recommendations.”

True story – I once showed a house with one fully decorated artificial Christmas tree in every room. Well that’s not too weird, right? Did I mention it was July?? Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine “not” displaying treasured holiday keepsakes or seasonal decorations when your house is on the market. So, what about decorating for holidays when it makes sense – October, Halloween; November, Thanksgiving; December, Christmas/Hanukkah? Unless you are showing houses to Scrooge, most buyers are in the holiday mood and a welcoming seasonal wreath, doormat, or display on the kitchen island makes them feel welcome. Too many decorations can be distracting to buyers, much like a wall of family photos. Here are the Weaver Team’s tips for the upcoming holiday season.

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p: houseofhargrove.com

First, Halloween. Don’t get us wrong, we love Halloween – who doesn’t? The candy, the costumes, the orange & black decorations – what’s not to love? Many of you will even buy a costume for Fido or Kitty. Awe! Cute! Pumpkins, mums, decorative kale and cabbage, all safe bets if your house is for sale. Unfortunately, most buyers are a little scared of zombies, skulls, and anything with fake blood. For more formal spaces, like living rooms and dining rooms, try a “Martha Stewart” type vibe with white Cinderella pumpkins and black branches. Orange and black are not everyone’s favorite color combination so be careful not spread the decorations into every room. If you need to be “spooky” try to keep it on the front porch or back deck, that way once inside the house the buyers feel more at ease.

1-Rustic-Fall-DecorNext, Thanksgiving. Autumn and fall colors blend nicely with most décor. A spray of silk autumn leaves or mums fit nicely into nooks and bookshelves. Your fall-themed pillows, blanket throws and flower arrangements will add a cozy and warm vibe to the interior. Don’t skip the autumn decorations in November and go right to Christmas. If you get weary of thinking that you need to overhaul the house again for November here’s another Weaver Team tip – “layer” your decorations. Place autumn first as a base, think leaves, mums, fall colors and then add your Halloween decorations. When it comes time to switch on November 1st just remove Halloween and voila! All set for November.

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p: theharperhouse.com

Finally, everyone’s favorite decorating holiday – Christmas. Okay, you have permission to dive right into the holly and “ho-ho-ho” the day after Thanksgiving. Here, again, just a caution about overusing red and green in every room. Like Halloween, you may want to research a more elegant look for your formal rooms. Gold, silver and white may be decorative enough to add an air of festiveness to your living room without overwhelming the buyer’s senses. If you celebrate Hanukkah then you are all set as the silver, white, gold and blue theme compliments almost all styles.

So, go ahead! Trim the tree, display the Menorah, put a scarecrow on your front porch. But, remember, take them down when the celebrations are over. You don’t want to end up in my blog – like the condominium owner that still had a Halloween mat at his front door – in March!

5 Ways to Stage a Home on the Cheap

At The Weaver Team, we wholeheartedly believe in the power of staging. Staging will create a more buyer-friendly space that will help your home sell faster and for a higher price. Here are 5 staging tricks you can implement that cost little to no money:

Langlais SummerCurb appeal – The exterior appearance of your home should entice buyers to come in and see more, so keep it neat and tidy. Make sure to mow the lawn, trim the bushes, weed the flower beds, and add a new layer of mulch to really freshen up the landscape. Add some flowers or plants in colorful pots to the porch and dress up the front door with a seasonal wreath to add warmth and a ‘welcome’ vibe.

Declutter – If there is only one thing you do before putting your home on the market, get rid of the clutter! Buyers cannot see past your personal items. Use the 90 day rule – remove anything that you will not need for 90 days. This applies to every area of the home, even closets and cabinets. Think of it as preparing for your move, you won’t have to pack these items again when your house sells! If you do not have storage space in a basement and garage for the boxes, rent a small storage unit.

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P: Houzz

Stage rooms with a purpose – If you’ve been using your dining room as an office, it’s time to get rid of the desk and bring in your dining table. If you’ve got a spare bedroom that you’ve been using for storage, remove the boxes and bring in a bed and side table, or stage it as an office with a desk and chair. Make sure each room has a single purpose, if it’s not clear to the buyer they may be confused as to how they could use the space themselves.

It’s all in the details – Go beyond your every day cleaning routine and really make your home sparkle. Detail each room – dust every surface, wipe down all baseboards and trim, and shine any fixtures. Replace any broken or worn outlet covers and switch plates with contractor grade plates that are inexpensive, but will make a world of difference. Fix any dripping faucets, squeaky hinges, or loose fixtures.

bright-living-room-on-living-room-pertaining-to-bright-colored-design-ideas-9Light it up – Clean all of the windows to let the light shine in! If you have heavy drapery that blocks the light, opt for a lighter or sheer curtain to ensure light fills the room, or remove the drapery all together. Make sure all of the light fixtures have working bulbs, and all at a similar wattage so that they all glow evenly.

Revamp with Paint!

Feel like your home could use a little update? Or maybe you are just looking to change things up … either way, the simplest way to make an inexpensive change is with paint! The walls are an obvious choice, but you can spruce up almost anything with paint, from fixtures and objects to floors and furniture.

Not all surfaces are alike, here are some guidelines for painting 5 different surfaces:

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    P: How to Nest for Less

    Wood: Probably one of the easiest surfaces to paint, wood will easily soak up paint. Clean the surface, removing any buildup. If it has a glossy finish, you will want to lightly sand it first so the paint will adhere. You can use a primer, but it’s not often necessary, and most paints these days have primer already built-in. Stick with eggshell paints for interior wood projects, it’s more durable and has a slight sheen.

2.  Metal: The first step in painting metal is to remove any rust using sandpaper or a wire brush. Next comes the primer to protect the surface and provide a good base. Choose a paint with rust inhibitors or spray paint – they make spray paint specifically for metal. You will need to apply multiple layers for a nice finished look.

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P: decorpad.com

3.  Concrete: Yes, you can totally paint concrete! Floors should be sanded and the surface must be clean and completely dry before painting. You will need to prime and then opt for a floor or epoxy paint. They make kits to paint garage floors that include decorative chips to give a speckled effect.

4.  Tile: Have some dated tile or are you just sick of the color? Instead of ripping out your existing tile and replacing with new, which could be quite expensive depending on the tile, refresh the look with paint. Tile must be cleaned and then use a special glass or tile paint, other paints will easily chip or scrape off.

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5. Drywall: If you are starting with a newly dry-walled wall, make sure you’ve sanded down the seams so that the surface is smooth and then clean off any dust.  Primer is not required, but recommended on new walls. The type of paint you choose really depends on the room – satin or eggshell finishes are fine for bedrooms and living spaces. You will likely want to go with a higher-gloss finish for kitchens, bathrooms, and entryways that can easily be wiped down.

Staging With A Purpose

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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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    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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    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.