Home Improvements to Consider Before Listing Your Home

Preparing to list your home? What home improvements should you do and what ones have the greatest return on investment? When you are putting your home up for sale, you have two main goals; a timely sale, and receiving the best possible price. In order to achieve these goals, your home needs to present itself in the best possible light. While every home buyer has different ideas about what the “perfect home” is, you as the seller need to ensure that your home appeals to the widest variety of home buyers possible.

So What Does This Mean:

  1. De-cluttering: This is always the first thing because it makes your home look much more organized — even down to how many items you have on your fireplace — and it make your rooms look much larger. Organizing goes hand in hand with de-cluttering as buyers want to see how they can organize their stuff.
  2. Paint and Clean: First, you must make certain that your color palate throughout your home equals or is superior to your competition. No, buyers cannot see beyond that. If you seek professional advice, you will paint the correct colors. Touch up, freshen up and clean everywhere! Wallpaper is a huge negative, so consider taking it down prior to listing.
  3. Updating: If you need granite or new appliances, and you are trying to maximize your profit and your competition has it, you better have it as well! Perhaps you need updated light fixtures or door knobs? If so, then do it! Buyers typically consist of two working spouses or partners and have busy lives. You must be proactive and make sure your home equals or exceeds your competition!
  4. Exterior: The same holds true for the outside. Fresh mulch, flowers, and power washing (if required) are essential! Remember, this is the first thing that a buyer sees.
  5. Staging: Professional staging or, at a minimum, a stager’s advice is essential! It is a proven fact that a staged home sells for more money and in a much quicker amount of time. I utilize the service of Julie Pelly, owner of Creative Staging. I strongly recommend to sellers that she and her team evaluate every home prior to going on the market. Some homes need redecorating, accents, or perhaps updated or missing furniture at every price point. Typically, a stager will use items in a seller’s home and redistribute them.

Preparing your home for sale can seem overwhelming at first. Home Improvements may or may not be necessary, but be receptive to doing them — keeping in mind your return on investment. Utilize a real estate professional and home staging expert to help you develop a customized plan of action. The results will be amazing and the return on investment will be worth it! You must do everything possible to make your home stand out from your competition! Lighting rooms before showings and having your home show in the best possible way will pay back dividends. The real estate market in the Philadelphia suburbs including Bucks , Montgomery, and Chester counties changes almost on a daily basis! Put your best foot forward to stay ahead of the curve. Remember, a home buyer may only visit your home once. Are you totally prepared?

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6 Spring Style Tips for Your Home

The following is a guest blog post from Patti Stern of PJ & Company

The start of spring means its time to celebrate the season with some fresh style for your home, both inside and out! Not sure where to begin? We hope the following tips will inspire your imagination when deciding the best ways to brighten, renew and add curb appeal.

Bring The Outdoors Inside. Place a variety of natural garden-like elements such as potted plants, topiaries and moss-covered balls on mantels, floors and shelves. Accessorize with beautiful botanical prints, fresh cut fern or boxwood clippings in glass vases, dried flower or pussy willow twig wreaths, ceramic bird figurines and plates which will make you feel closer to nature.

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Master Bedroom Staged By PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint. Go brighter, crisper and cleaner for spring. Start by choosing one new color such as yellow or green for an accent wall and combine with complimentary accessories which will make the room feel cohesively inviting. For your front door or shutters, try a fresh coat of a trending spring color such as Benjamin Moore’s Champion Cobalt to add instant curb appeal.

Update Bedding. Now is the time to consider some new bedding for your master bedroom, guest room, or kids room. Layer your bed starting with white and add some of the freshest colors for spring — coral, turquoise, or butter yellow. And, if your bedding is in great shape, just add accent pillows, new shams, and large European size pillows to transform the look of your room.

Get Bold With Fresh Colored Accents. Add color and texture to your entertaining areas (living rooms and patios) by switching out winter pillows with new spring colors and organic designs. Navy and white, orange and yellow, and linen pillows are great accessories to liven up any space. Don’t forget about your lamps which are also available in many different colors this season from green to orange. Add special string lighting and colorful hanging lanterns for garden ambiance in the evenings.

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Source: HGTV

Refresh Kitchen and Patio Dining Accessories.Switch out dinnerware for ones with bright, garden-inspired patterns which pair well with lighter weight tablecloths and place mats in natural woven textures. Replace umbrellas that are stained and damaged with the latest trending patterns and colors. Add complimentary accent pillows along with a cozy rug for under the table. Finish off with some beachy scented candles and you’ll be reminded that summer is just around the corner!

Spruce Up Your Curb Appeal. Repair cracks in driveway, walkway, front porch steps and patios. Add personal touches to entryway with a beautiful floral swag or wreath, a new welcome mat, clusters of potted spring flowers on the porch and a hanging swing if space allows. Refresh with new accessories such as house numbers, lighting fixtures, door handles and knocker to create added appeal. Remove dead shrubs, prune bushes, and add pops of color with new annuals. Assess the condition of your lawn and decide whether to reseed or add sod if uneven and patchy. Add a generous layer of natural mulch to beds to complete the whole look.

For more examples of interior decorating and home staging, visit www.pjstagingdecorating.com.

 

patti-sternPatti Stern, principal, interior decorator and professional stager of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating, has been decorating and staging homes since 2005. She and her team provide turnkey, full service home-staging and interior decorating to clients across Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. She also developed an award winning staging program for luxury home builder, Toll Brothers.

Patti has been featured in Connecticut Magazine, the Hartford Courant, Danbury News-Times and on NBC Connecticut and FOX TV.  She is a regular contributor tothe National Association of Realtor’s Blog, “Style, Staged and Sold.

 Header image courtesy of Ballard Designs

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8 DIY Projects To Beautify Your Backyard

As the weather warms up, you can’t help but daydream about spring evenings relaxing outdoors and summer nights filled with star gazing and bon fires. Since we couldn’t help it either, we rounded up some of the most exquisite outdoor living features to inspire your warm-weather upgrades. The best part? All of these are completely DIY!

How to build your own firepit (A fan favorite for homeowners who love to entertain!)

Image: Kathleen/Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home}

Believe it or not, this DIY is not as tough as it sounds. As long as you’ve got the flat, dry outdoor space, concrete blocks or pavers, and about 3 hours to spend, you can add an outdoor feature that will ensure warm happy nights and lovely afternoon BBQ’s this season. (Directions here)

How to create a vertical porch planter

Image: Jill/Sew a Fine Seam

Whether you’re looking to add some additional privacy, or just to upgrade your pretty factor, this vertical planter turns fresh greenery into a faux wall for your porch. Upcycle an old fence, or buy some inexpensive sturdy wire, to easily hang tiny buckets of flowers, succulents, herbs, or whatever your green-thumb desires. (Here’s how to do it)

How to screen in your outdoor space

Image: Lani/Simply Fresh Vintage

Lounge in the fresh air or dine al fresco, without the worry of creepy crawly critters. Though this outdoor upgrade could cost a fortune if you hired a professional, doing it yourself with this 3-step tutorial will save you money, and greatly increase your outdoor enjoyment this season. (Find the How-to Here)

How to upcycle a garden walkway

Image: Donna/Funky Junk Interiors

Turn a stack of shipping pallets into a beautiful and simple garden walkway, perfect for taking a stroll through your vibrant flower beds. No matter the path’s length, a garden walkway will add instant charm to your yard. (Get directions here)

How to make a teapot fountain

Image: Julee

Bubbling fountains and streaming water features are an excellent way to give your outdoor areas some rich ambiance and a pleasant soundtrack. You can turn vintage containers and pots into adorable water features with a fountain pump and some tubes, like this sweet pouring tea pot. (Here’s how to make it)

How to update a boring link fence

Image: Barb/Our Fairfield Home and Garden

If you’ve already got a property fence in place, but you’re not such a huge fan of how it looks, try this easy DIY to upgrade your exterior style. With this genius fix, you can go from boring chain link to beautiful and soothing bamboo in just one afternoon! (Directions here)

How to make and hang mason jar solar lights

Image: Dee/ThirftDee

Here’s one to put at the top of your “What to Do with Mason Jars” list — homemade solar lights to turn any outdoor space into a nighttime-friendly retreat. Simply attach the solar lamp mechanism to the jar lids and voila! Easy and energy-efficient garden lighting. (Tutorial here)

How to build your own wood sandbox 

Image: Carrie/Kenarry: Ideas for the Home

Everything else will help to turn your backyard or other outdoor spaces into a grown-up’s paradise, but what about your youngsters? When it comes to childhood play, nothing is quite as fun as digging, piling, and building in the sandbox. Follow this clever how-to to DIY your own perfect children’s play place. (Here’s how it’s done)

For more amazing outdoor ideas, inspirations, and how-to’s, take a look at our Outdoor Living page on Hometalk!

 

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How To Host a Beautiful Backyard Bridal Shower

Everyone knows weddings are expensive, but until you plan one yourself,  you may not realize just how costly it really can be. In order to alleviate some of the sticker shock of the whole experience, hosting the bridal shower at your home can be easier on the wallet rather than renting out a restaurant or banquet hall. It also gives you the ability to really personalize the event since there are no rules when it comes to throwing parties at your own home! Here are some beautiful decor ideas for a backyard bridal shower:

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Festive table linens & big white umbrellas to shield guests from the sun are essentials for an outdoor tablescape. Photo via Hostess With the Mostess Blog

Flowers

Hang vases from the fence & fill them with beautiful flowers for a simple yet elegant decor idea. Photo via PaperBlog.com

mimosabar

If you were thinking about ditching that old desk in your basement, why not refresh it with a coat of paint & use it as a mimosa bar instead? Photo via WeddingChicks.com

Romantic Idea: Decorate neighborhood sidewalks with chalk then go for a walk with your sweetie to reveal your love notes/art.

Decorate the front walkway leading to the backyard bridal shower with hearts drawn in sidewalk chalk for a fun & whimsical entryway! Photo via Pinterest

Family "tree" at an outdoor wedding/shower. So cute. Could be heavy on wedding photos but doesn't have to be...

Create a “family tree” (literally) that includes photos of the bride & groom’s family members on their wedding day. Photo via CatchMyParty.com

Header images via KenLauher.com & AustinWeddingBlog.com 

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