Bob Barcelos' Blog
One of the most important things you can do before you list your home for sale is to stage it. Home staging refers to arranging the home’s furnishings and decor so it looks as good as possible. In other words, you use the decor and furnishings to make the home look like a showroom, so buyers walk in and feel instantly at home. This can help your house sell more quickly and for a better price. If you’re interested in starting the home staging process, here’s how to do it.
1. Tackle the Clutter
Clutter is the enemy of a fast home sale. It makes a home look crowded and unkempt. Purge and clean until your home looks as empty as possible. This may mean sending some items to storage while the home’s on the market, but the more you can get out of the house, the better.
2. Arrange the Furniture Well
Next, change the arrangement of your furniture. Often you will need to remove some pieces to make the home look larger.
In the living areas, pull couches, chairs and tables away from walls to allow them to float in the room. This actually makes the room look larger and inviting. Use an area rug to create a chatting area.
In bedrooms, make sure there is plenty of space on the floor showing. Get rid of a nightstand or dresser if you need to temporarily, so the home looks larger.
3. De-Personalize the Home
As you go through your home to stage it, look for things that are highly personal to your family. Family pictures, children’s artwork, or an heirloom item that has meaning to you, but does not add to the home’s look, can all be removed. You want the home to look and feel like a perfectly staged model home, not your personal, comfortable space.
4. Keep it Neutral
If you need to paint a room or add a piece of decor, make it as neutral as possible. Again, this will help buyers feel at home, no matter what their personal tastes may be. Bright colors are best avoided when staging a home.
5. Clean and Repair
Cleaning your home as you stage it is unlike any other cleaning you have done. You need to clean it as deeply as you can so that it shines from top to bottom. This shows that you take care of your home, and makes buyers feel more confident that they won’t be purchasing a lemon. In addition, patch and repair anything you find, including holes and scratches in the paint.
Staging a home is a bit time consuming, but the rewards are worth the effort. About half of all buyers’ agents report that home staging changes how a buyer views a home. You want the buyer to have a positive experience in your home, so stage it well!
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4 Improvements That Increase the Value of Your Home
Home improvement projects add useability, beauty and convenience to your house, and those characteristics make the house more desirable to potential buyers. If you’re considering a home improvement project, here are four that will increase the value of your home.
1. An Addition Increases Square Footage
One of the most impactful home improvements you can make is putting on an addition. Whether a family room, bedroom or home office, an addition adds useable square footage to your house -- and extra space is something that every prospective homebuyer can appreciate.
While not a perfect measure because value varies with the type of room, you can roughly estimate how much value an addition would have by multiplying the average sale price per square foot in your neighborhood by how many square feet an addition is.
2. A Finished Basement Increases Useable Space
A cheaper alternative to installing an addition, finishing a basement is relatively easy and likewise increases useable space.
Exactly what constitutes a finished basement can vary. You might simply want some shelves, carpeting and a few games, or you may want a full in-law apartment that’s complete with a bathroom and kitchenette. However you finish your home’s basement, though, the project will add value because anything is more useful than undeveloped storage space.
3. A Complete Kitchen Remodel
If you’re tired of cooking in an outdated kitchen, remodeling your kitchen will improve your day-to-day experience and let you recoup some of your investment. You probably won’t get the full cost of a kitchen remodel back when you sell your home, but you can regain most of the improvement’s cost if you’re wise in the changes that you make. Additionally, a remodeled kitchen can help sell your house faster if you’re in a slow real estate market.
4. A Master Bathroom Remodel
A house’s master bathroom is usually one of the three main rooms that potential homebuyers look at (with the kitchen and master bedroom being the other two). Thus, a master bathroom remodel is an improvement project that many will appreciate and be willing to pay for.
When you remodel a master bathroom, consider what high-end aesthetics and luxury features would add the most perceived value from someone else’s perspective. Then, pick the ones you think will have the biggest benefit and that you personally like.
Ask a Real Estate Agent
For help deciding how to approach any of these home improvement projects, get in touch with one of our real estate agents. We’re professionals who every day see what attracts prospective homebuyers, and we’d be glad to help you design an improvement that will add true value to your home.
A newly built green home offers a great way to use less energy overall and enjoy a healthier living environment. When you’re having new construction built, there are several ways to incorporate green design into your home. Keep the following ideas in mind to help ensure that you have a new home that is as green as possible.
Windows and Insulation
Windows and insulation can go a long way toward providing a more energy-efficient home. When deciding where to place your windows, consider putting more than half on the south-facing side. Doing this helps this area of your home stay warmer without having to keep running your furnace or heating system. With energy-efficient windows, such as ones with low-E windows, you can also prevent these areas from becoming too hot in summer. Having a well-insulated home combined with energy-efficient window placement can help you reduce energy usage even more. Insulation helps prevent heat from escaping your home in winter, leading to lower energy usage for heating.
Smaller Square Footage
New homes come in a wide range of sizes, but you don’t necessarily have to go with a larger one. Think about how much space you really need for everyday living in order to be comfortable. You might find that you can get a smaller new construction home that fits all of your needs. For example, you might choose a floor plan with one less extra room or two rather than getting one with rooms you might not even use.
One of the first ways to make your home energy-efficient is by using eco-friendly, sustainable materials during the building process. Find home builders who use locally sourced, reclaimed or organic materials for new homes, such as reclaimed wood or bamboo. This helps reduce the impact of new home construction on the environment.
Solar panels provide new homes with a clean source of energy and help reduce the amount of energy households use. More and more new construction homes are using solar technology in place of traditional electrical systems. Having solar panels installed is a complex process, but it’s much easier to do when you’re having a new home built compared to installing them on an existing home. Consider exploring options for solar panels for your new home if you’re looking for additional ways to reduce energy usage in your green home.
Geothermal energy offers an efficient way to heat and cool your home, since it relies on heat in the ground instead of fossil fuels. If you’re purchasing new construction in an area that’s suitable for a geothermal system, consider having one of these systems installed rather than a traditional HVAC system. You’ll be using a cleaner source of energy for heating and cooling while also using less energy overall to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
The landscaping at your newly built home also plays a role when it comes to energy efficiency. For example, having trees planted to block direct sunlight on the south side of your home can help keep the interior cooler in summer, so you won’t have to use air conditioning as much. When it’s cold out, more of the sun’s heat will be able to reach your interior through the bare branches, allowing you to use your furnace less often.