Home Staging & Curb Appeal

7 Tips for Home Sellers to Increase Curb Appeal

curb_appeal_for_home_sellers_640There have been a few headlines indicating that sellers listing homes for sale are scarce in the Twin Cities metro, even as the real estate market recovers and home prices increase. But undoubtedly as the spring selling season approaches, sellers are taking the time to prepare their properties before putting their home for sale on the market.

Increasing home sale prices and dwindling inventories are slowly shifting us away from a buyers’ market, offering home sellers with new and rewarding opportunities. With prices on the rise, the number of people who are underwater on their mortgage is declining, and naturally, more people will be willing to put their home for sale on the market. For homeowners who have been stranded on the sidelines, now is the time to start thinking of selling a home.

Before you put up your home for sale on the market, though, there are some things home sellers can do to maximize sales price. By taking some steps to increase your home’s curb appeal, you can increase the chances your home sells for a price you can appreciate.

To help increase your home’s curb appeal, here are seven tips for setting yourself up for success this spring selling season.

  1. Holiday Decorations. If you still have a light-up snowman or Santa Clause in your front yard or on the roof, now is the time to take it down. Holiday lawn ornaments that stick around into the spring detract from the newness of springtime. Before you do anything else, clean up your out-of-date seasonal décor....

3 Home Staging Tips for Selling a Home

It is the selling season in Minnesota. When it comes to selling  home, staging can make a world of difference.

“Home staging” is the practice of preparing a home for sale in the real estate marketplace by making it more visually appealing, while reducing clutter and removing personal items. Whether your house has been on the Twin Cities real estate market for a while or has just been put up for sale for the first time, it is always best to do some home staging for when potential buyers come around.

Here are some things to keep in mind when staging your home for the Twin Cities real estate market:

1.     Do some research. Read staging blogs, look at photographs, and attend other open houses. Learn what a staged home looks like and get some ideas of what can be done with your own home.

2.     Clean and depersonalize. Though you might be thinking you want your house to look like it’s in Better Homes and Gardens, that’s not really what staging is about. The goal of staging is to create a canvas the potential buyer can visually imagine what they...

5 Tips for Increasing Curb Appeal to Encourage Selling a Home

When it comes to selling a home, there are some tips and tricks people use to try to make it look as appealing as possible. Thinking about what the inside looks like is just as important as the outside. Though people will be likely making their decisions to buy or not to buy based on the interior of the home, if the exterior doesn't look good, potential buyers might not even make it past the front door.

Selling a home? Trying to, at least? Take a look at the curb appeal tips below to enhance the outside appearance of your home.

Clean Up Your Yard. Cleaning up the yard can make a huge difference in a home's appearance. Cover patchy lawns with new grass seed. Edge the driveway for a manicured look. Prune overgrown plants and trees.

Add Landscaping. Beyond cleaning up what you have, you can enhance your yard with landscaping. Maybe those patchy areas have problems that keep them bare: A berm or raingarden could be an appropriate and attractive alternative. When planting shrubs around the house, choose varieties that won’t grow taller than three or four feet; plant taller bushes and trees at the edge of the house to frame it. Flowers add a great splash of color, especially for a home with a white or beige exterior.

Integrate Window Boxes. Window boxes are also a great way to incorporate color and enhance or even change the look of a home. While it's a pricey endeavor to paint or replace siding, adding window boxes can increase the appeal of a home’s façade inexpensively by comparison. Wood boxes can be customized with paint or stain and synthetic boxes require no maintenance. Plant flowers with colors that contrast or complement the home's appearance.

Paint the Front Door. Again, painting or residing a whole house is expensive, but sprucing up the door is relatively cheap. For less than a gallon of paint and some new hardware, one can give the curb appeal...

Staging Leads to Picture-Perfect Homes and Quicker Sales

Five years ago, real estate agents had to explain home staging to potential home sellers. Today, the concept has caught on.

With an average of eight homes for every buyer in the Twin Cities area, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, a house that looks it best has a much better chance of selling. A thorough cleansing, decluttering, and packing away personal items to make a home appear more appealing to strangers can only go so far when the goal is to sell it. In today's market, a house needs to stand out from the scores of others.

When selling a home, professional home stagers can offer invaluable advice that could move it faster, even at a higher price. They can help sellers pick the right colors to paint their walls and tell them what might be detracting from a house's internal appearance. Professional stagers can even bring in items artwork, area rugs, sofas, pillows, and more to emphasize a home's special features.

Staging is not decorating. It's depersonalizing the home so a buyer can imagine what it would be like if they moved in. Most people don't have the time or knowledge to give their homes a generic look that is also inviting. A stager can help. A range of services are available, from a written consultation that lists repairs and changes that a home seller can make all the way to a whole-house makeover that could include rental furniture.

Of course, those services come in a range of prices as well, from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. But home owners may be able to recoup most of the costs if staging helps their home sell more quickly and without a significant reduction in price. If the market stays as competitive as it is now, more sellers in the future will likely employ the skills of stagers to stay competitive.

Once a home looks its best, professional photos of each staged room take marketing the home to the next level. Staged...

Fall Landscaping Duties

So it’s fall and you’re trying to sell your home.  Though you hope you won’t be living in your current house for much longer, this is not the time to completely shirk your fall landscaping duties.  Not only is there the chance the home doesn’t sell before next spring, but all the work you put into making it look good shouldn’t just go to waste.  Do what you can to preserve it for the potential buyer of your home.  Here are some of the most basic things you should do to prepare your landscaping, gardens, and lawn for the winter.  not selling

Take care of your lawn.  Fall is the best time to fertilize because our northern lawn grasses resume active growth when nights get cooler and longer.  Applying fertilizer now and a second time in mid-October to early November will ensure the lawn is green and lush next spring.  Though it is a little too late to seed areas of your lawn which may have grown thin, it's not too late to aerate or top-dress a lackluster lawn with a thin layer of completed compost.  Unlike compost, a thick layer of leaves can cause snow mold, which will damages the grass.  To avoid this, rake the leaves, bag them and save them to use as winter mulch. If you have just a thin layer of leaves on your lawn, run the mower over them a couple of times and leave it. If your grass is 3 to 4 inches long or longer, mow your lawn once or twice more. It's best to leave grass about 2 to 2 1/2 inches long going into winter.

Continue your watering regimen.  Because we had yet another dry summer, your lawn, plants, and trees may be stressed by drought.  This is a vulnerable position for them to be in heading into the winter.  ...

Home Selling Tips for the Fall

Yesterday was the autumn equinox and the first official day of fall.  Summer, which is traditionally the best season for selling a home, has ended by calendar standards.  This tends to be the time of year when the housing market starts to slow down, with fewer homes selling.  There are some steps which can be taken in order to increase its appeal to potential home buyers.  If your goal is to sell your home this fall, take these tips into consideration:

1.  First Impressions.  Selling a home in autumn has its own particular complications.  Green lawns, colorful flowers, and bright sunny days:  In the summertime, it’s easy to make a house look good.  Though the fall red, orange, rust, and yellow colors are beautiful, it’s when the leaves fall that the trouble starts.  A blanket of crinkly leaves atop a brown lawn is not attractive and will detract some from the curb appeal of your home.  If the ground isn’t frozen, you can continue with your regular lawn care: water the grass, trim brown plants, and rake up the leaves often.  Place potted mums and pansies in the front of the home to add an extra splash of color.

2.  Light Up Your Life.  There is less and less natural sunlight peeking into the windows as the days get shorter, but a dark home is uninviting.  To counter this, open all of the drapes and blinds in your home when showing it to let in the most sunlight.  To make the most of the sun’s rays, clean the windows to a shine.  On dark days, switch on table lamps, standing lamps, or overhead lights so each room is well lit.


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