Monthly archive - May 2014

10 Ideas to Give your Home Some Love

10 Ideas to Give your Home Some Love

Have you ever gotten to that point where you have decorated your home, and the rooms are now- well just rooms? Is it time to give your home some love? Here are ten ideas to give your home and rooms some love that will brighten them up, and give you a new feeling.

  1. Give things away. You have heard me say before decluttering and cleaning out a room can give it a whole new perspective. By eliminating clutter for some clients they feel as though a burden has been taken off their shoulders. There are various options and places to donate or sell items that you no longer use. Allowing your rooms to have a whole new feeling.
  2. Get organized – This can happen along with giving things away. As you create more space you will find that the things you need to keep can be organized, categorized and sorted out so that you have order. I have found that clients love that they can then easily locate the items that they before never knew where they were.dining before and after
  3. Speed clean– by straightening up and putting things away can create clean open spaces that give you the feeling of order. By doing number one and two above will make this process much faster too.
  4. Arrange your coffee table– Instead of having it piled up with magazines, remote controls and other paraphernalia, arrange with a beautiful vase, sculpture something that draws your eye and you enjoy looking at
  5. Add cut flowers– I find adding cut flowers in every room bring warmth and freshness. Even if it is a single bud in a vase, the simplicity and beauty adds love in the roomblue bedroom with flowers
  6. Move your rugs around – If you have area rugs, by moving them around the house can create a totally different look in a room.
  7. Move your furniture around– When I work with clients I find this the one thing that amazing them the most. By rearranging the furniture they see the rooms in a totally different light. We tend to be creatures of habit and by rearranging furniture or even moving a piece from one room to another can make a big difference.
  8. Clean your kitchen counter– when doing so analyze the items that you keep on it. Do you use that particular appliance every day? If not possibly it is one that can be stored giving you more open space on your counters, giving your kitchen a new look cleaned up kitchen, reduce all the things on your counters
  9. Arrange your book case – these can become catch all’s for everything and over the years too many things can collect that we do not even use anymore. Go through and edit. Keep in mind a “theme” when placing items back. Maybe it is a travel theme, a color theme, a particular statement with vases/ceramics/metals. Keep in mind the feeling less is more when rearrange a book case
  10. Add color– purchase some new pillow covers or maybe a new throw to put on chairs and couches to add a pop of color in a room. Sometimes the new color may inspire you to change the pallet of a room and give it a totally new look.


If you are ready to change out your spaces and make them a little more desirable consider some of these suggestions. These ten items are simple inexpensive ways to add more love to any room in any house. 

Additional reading:

How Do You Make a House Look Great For The MLS?

How Do You Make a House Look Great For The MLS?

Think about any décor magazine, do you see the counters, coffee tables, or bathroom counters covered with items? Most likely no, there are select items placed with a purpose. When you look at those rooms you think ‘wow, I like this look.’ When selling, your goal should be the same; .

Clean and De-clutter, start packing now:

Once edited pick and choose what you want to have displayed

Kitchen: Do you have a great La Creuset pot? Use it on the stove, and add some fruit or veggies in bowls that match that color on your counters.

Dining room: First get rid of the table cloth, the look does not speak to buyers unless the table is set like a décor magazine, and that is not the easiest to live with. Instead replace with a beautiful serving dish, group of candles, beautiful arrangement of flowers, possibly a simple table setting.dining

Shelves: Clients always ask how to make their shelf space more desirable. One rule of thumb I will suggest is make sure that you have the right amount of empty space, the items on the shelves should be interesting but not overwhelming.


Fireplace: If you have a fireplace, light it for the pictures in the fall/winter seasons it gives the room a warm serene feeling. In the summer make sure it is cleaned out and that the surrounding area is clean of soot. You can create a nice display with candles in the warmer months. For gas fireplaces make sure the glass screens sparkle.balance

 Bathrooms: Think twinkling clean. A fresh coat of paint here does wonders, make sure your counters are clean; put toothbrush, toothpaste, tissues and liquid soap bottle away. Get all the stuff out of your shower the shampoo, razors and other stuff. Items on counter can be flowers, rolled towels or a little touch that makes the bathroom feel more luxurious.

Bedrooms: Are special place of the house to get away from the craziness of the day’s activities. Fresh linens in relaxing colors, new fluffy pillows do wonders. These are items you can move with you so why not invest in something you really will enjoy!

Other Ideas:

Furniture; sometimes you need to play with the furniture and composition to make the room feel welcoming and charming. Don’t hesitate to move things around to convey a welcoming feel.

Flowers in any room always add color and some dramatic effect especially if the palette in the room is minimal.

Symmetry and balance relays calmness. When people see things that are symmetrical it makes the image easier on the eye and therefore calming.

If you cannot envision your house any differently, or cannot be objective realizing the positives and negatives that will distinguish your property as favorable to buyers contact us, we love to help sellers accomplish their goal of selling quickly and for top dollar. 

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How to Pick an Agent When Selling Your House

How to Pick an Agent When Selling Your House

Wow, this is a big decision but did you know that 66% of home sellers just hire the first Agent they talk to?  Your house is one of the biggest investments you’ve probably ever made, no one should judge you for being more than a little choosy about whom you hire to help sell, or buy a house. The most important thing to remember is that you will be working with this Agent for a few months and talking to them quite frequently so make sure you find an agent whose philosophy and methods align with your preferences.

So where do you begin?

First interview at least two or three agents and ask them questions that will help you determine if they are the right fit to accomplish your goals in selling your home.

Ask them for references of previous clients and call them to find out about their experiences with that agent. It always surprises me that sellers and buyers do not do this basic step. Get to know who your agent is and how they work. Ask past clients if they were pleased with the work he did? Was he easy to get in touch with? Did he keep them well informed? Would they recommend him to others?

What is their history of list price to selling price ratio? You will want an agent who has a number as close to 100% as possible. You are hoping that they are selling as close to listing price, and in a reasonable amount of time.

Next your agent should give you comparable of other homes that have sold in your area that are similar. They will give you a comparative market analysis (CMA).  This will give you a good starting point to know how your home measures up to others that are selling in the neighborhood and, most importantly, at what price you should list your house. You should also do your homework and see what is currently listed in the price range give too.

When they evaluate your house are they being honest giving you legitimate feedback as to what drawbacks that might hinder selling your property? Do they have a professional stager on their team to assist you in creating a home that will appeal to the broadest range of buyers? Being objective, evaluating the advice and following through will give you the advantage in the market place.

Does your agent work as a team or solo?

Both have their advantages and disadvantages. The team approach you may not be always working with the individual you hired, but a team could mean you get more attention and personalized service.

If they work solo ask about their current workload, you want to make sure they are available when you need them.

How will they market your home beyond the MLS? Will the reach out to buyers that are not in the immediate area, how will they do this, what are their marketing goals? Will they be able to take professional photographs that make your home look beautiful and desirable to buyers?

How does their fee work? Do they get the typical 6% which the seller pays, are you willing to pay this or is this negotiable? Are if anything concerning their contract negotiable? If you find a home on your own without your agent do they still get their fee?

How do they plan on keeping you in the loop during the selling process? What will the update you and how frequently will they communicate this information to you? Will your listing agent let you know about every interested buyer, no matter how serious?

Although many times we get recommendations from friends and family which are an excellent source, make sure you feel comfortable with the agent you select. Insure you feel they are a good fit and are confident they have your best interest in their hands at all times. Your home was/is a huge investment; you do not want to lose on one of your biggest investments.

Other interesting articles


Best Room Colors to Sell Your House

Best Room Colors to Sell Your House

You have heard me say it before color speaks differently to each and every person. Where one person may love bright colors, the next person might hate them. So when preparing a house for sale it is always best to tone down those room colors to a neutral. The room color then is not the star of the house, but takes the back seat showing off the attributes of the room instead.

How do you select the best colors for your home when selling? What colors are the best?

Of course if you are still living in your home, and getting ready to sell, you need to consider your existing furnishings. The colors should not clash with what you already have in the room, but you can find a neutral color that will not fight with what is in the room. I also will recommend keeping it simple. Keep to three colors per floor; you don’t want to visually overwhelm those looking at your house.

For living spaces such as a living room or family room use color in your accessories and a neutral color on your walls. Some good colors to consider are:

Benjamin Moore                                             Sherwin Williams

Edgecomb Gray HC173                                 China Doll SW7517

Stonington Gray HC170                              Sensible Hue SW6198

Becon Gray 2128-60                                     Aloof Gray SW6197

Shaker Beige HC45                                      Sand Dollar SW6099

Manchester Tan HC81                                Quick Silver SW6245

Edgecomb gray Houzz

Edgecomb Gray

For kitchens consider the color in your cabinets, counters and flooring since these are the fixed elements in the room, you want the color to complement. If your cabinets are not in good shape and worn it can be worth the investment to consider painting them to give them a fresh look. Painted cabinets are trending in the design world so it can be a great option to consider creating a fresh look to your kitchen.

For bathrooms keep in mind fresh and clean.  I like to recommend colors in the green and blue range- these tranquil colors give a spa feeling of relaxation. Again the color of the tiles and counters need to be considered when selecting the perfect neutral.

Benjamin Moore                                             Sherwin Williams

Breath of Fresh Air 806                                            Cay SW6772

Quite Moments 1563                                        Open Air SW6491

Beach Glass 1564                                       Retiring Blue SW6763

Quite moments Houzz

Quite Moments

For bedrooms, even children’s rooms go neutral. The Barney purple that your daughter loved, will not convey too many buyers. When selling you want the rooms to appear spacious, light and bright. Using softer neutral colors helps accomplish what buyers are hoping to find in their next “dream home.” The walls do not have to all be white or beige, but neutral tones help accentuate, open and freshen rooms to convey favorably to buyers. Color does make a difference when selling.

These blogs are filled with information too:

Why Hire A Professional Stager? My Agent Told Me What To Do

Why Hire A Professional Stager? My Agent Told Me What To Do

The goal of selling a home is to sell quickly and of course close to the asking price. But how the seller prepares the home to gain the competitive edge can affect those goals.  An Agent knows what needs to be done, but may not always be able to communicate clearly, or motivate a seller. What needs to be accomplished can get lost in translation. To gain the advantage to have a strong standing in the market, the presentation has to resonate with buyers. A professionally trained stager knows what the market demands, and the best way to present a home for buyers.

Can you prepare a home on your own? Sure. But there are advantages of hiring a professional stager verses someone that is not trained, similar to hiring any professional. If the goal is lost in translation it can cause some common mistakes that can cost a lot of money when selling.

  • Providing decorating advice verses a marketing strategy

Staging is NOT decorating; it is creating a marketing strategy for the property. A professional stager focuses on showcasing the best features of a property. A designer considers your personal likes and creates a look for you- not for buyers.  Our goal is to consider the camera’s eye and the best way to project spacious, useful rooms that buyers can connect to.


  • Free Consults

The saying “you get what you pay for” reins true here. The first step and critical step to assessing a property to become ready for market is reviewing the entire property through a consult. This is a value-rich assessment of a property giving the seller recommendations to motivate and prioritize what is essential to “package” their home.


  • Simple check list of assessments do not prioritize recommendations

Analyzing and prioritizing what needs to be done and completed in respect to market trends, buyer’s wish lists and budget issues have to be considered and discussed. The what and why need to be reviewed to help the sellers make the best financial decisions that will benefit them. If a seller just has a list of things that should be done, it does not give them directive as to accomplish and set priorities.


  • Not addressing sensitive topics

Many times Real Estate Agents and untrained stagers do not like to rock the boat by addressing sensitive topics about a property. Handling difficult conversation with home sellers is key skill for professional stagers. We understand how people hold their properties near and dear to themselves, but we also know one strong negative impression can override a list of positive factors and prevent a sale. Sensitive issues like odors, cleanliness, unattractive dated décor, religious items, clutter, provocative art etc. are all difficult to discuss but avoiding the issue is not an excuse and avoiding them can lead to costly mistakes when selling.


  • Fail to Motivate a Client with an Action Plan

A prepared property presents better period. It is essential to motivate the seller to follow through with the recommendations to prepare their home for market. These recommendations may feel overwhelming to accomplish, but a professional stager assists the seller by prioritizing what needs to be accomplished. A trained professional is a serious business owner and an expert in design planning and problem solving allowing the seller to succeed in selling faster and for top dollar.


A professional stager helps the seller understand the recommendations needed to create a solid presentation, seeing the importance and benefit from the direction given. An agent that recommends staging to a client emerges as the professional that sells properties quickly and for top dollar.


Paint Basics |Terms What Do They All Mean?

Paint Basics |Terms What Do They All Mean?

Paint, what do all the terms mean; VOC paints, gloss, semi –gloss, flat etc. if the lingo of paint is a little confusing for you this is here to help understand what these terms mean and what the best paint is for each application. Here are the basics you will need to get your painting project started.

selecting the right paint

Paint Terms

VOC- stands for volatile organic compounds that are found in paint and other items around your house that can harm you. They are gases that release as the material ages over time. These can cause allergic reactions in some people, so if you can reduce the amount of these in the products you use in and around your home, the healthier the home will be. Look for products that say Low VOC.

Latex based paint- these are water based paints made with synthetic binders i.e. acrylic, vinyl and other polymers. They are easy to clean up and good for interior wall paints. If you are unfamiliar with paint I would recommend skipping the big box stores and going to your local paint store for help when selecting paint. Price typically does correlate to the quality and amount of pigments in paint. Keep in mind that top-quality paints go on more smoothly, will show less brush marks and cover in fewer coasts than cheaper paints.

Oil based paint-These paints contain drying oil which creates a film that makes the paint dry slower. Due to new technology of acrylics, oil-based paints are somewhat of yesterday.

Waterborne enamels or alkyds– these behave much like oil based paints but are water-based and have good leveling qualities for a smooth finish and maintain the performance of past oil based paints. Do NOT paint with waterborne enamels over oil based because they most likely will not adhere. It is best to sand down with fine sandpaper the surface if suspect the last coat of paint was oil base, clean and dry to prevent peeling of the new coat. These are a great choice for surfaces that see a lot of wear such as doors, cabinets, and trim.


Matte or Flat finish– this is a finish where when dry, will be free from gloss or sheen. The surface is velvety; it absorbs and scatters the light so the finish hides imperfections well. This is an excellent option for ceilings and covering walls with a lot of imperfections. It works best in low traffic areas because it is not very easy to clean.

Eggshell or satin finish– this finish is similar to the surface of an egg, it is not shiny or glossy but it is not flat either. It is a soft finish with very little sheen. It is great for high traffic areas like hallways, kitchens, children’s rooms because it is easier to clean and can withstand repeated cleaning.

Semi-gloss or Gloss- this finish has a reflective sheen and are highly durable. Due to being very reflective anything coated in semi-gloss or gloss will emphasize any surface imperfections. Semi-gloss has a subtle shine, where gloss has more of sheen. They stand up to multiple cleanings and are traditionally used on baseboards, moldings, cabinets and doors.

Knowing the differences between the finishes and types of paint makes choosing a breeze to get the best results possible for your painting project. I have seen matte finished combined with semi-gloss on a striped wall and the results are stunningBe creative, and now confident that you will be using the right finish and paint for your projects.

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