5 Ways to Freshen Up Your Decor for Spring

The days are getting longer, temperatures are starting to climb, and the trees are finally starting to turn green again. As spring approaches, it’s a great time to freshen up your decor and add a splash of color to your space. Looking for some quick, easy, and affordable design tips? Here are a few ways to welcome spring into your home…especially if you’re thinking about selling in the next few months!

Our Top Spring Decor Tips

Do Some Spring Cleaning

Person cleaning a kitchen

Before you make any decor updates, it’s crucial to get every inch of your home looking pristine. Spring cleaning involves more than just a little scrubbing—you should take some time to reorganize, too!

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, just start by working room by room and removing any clutter. It may also be beneficial to make “keep,” “donate,” and “throw away” piles to ensure that everything stays in order. After you’ve freed up some space, break out the cleaning supplies and banish any dust, cobwebs, and grime. Don’t have time to do it all yourself? Consider hiring a professional cleaner or organizer.

Incorporate a Little Greenery

Roses in a vase

Want to breathe new life into your home? Take some inspiration from nature! Adding freshly-cut or potted flowers and greenery can turn your house into a home—and if you’re selling, your buyers might appreciate the extra pop of color.

If you’re not sure where to start, consider picking up a ready-made bouquet or some low-maintenance houseplants for your living room, kitchen, or bedroom. Placing them in trendy planters and decorative vases can create an added level of style. For a final splash of spring, try hanging a wreath of seasonal blossoms or greenery on your front door to welcome guests inside.

Add New Accessories

Blue-themed living room

Take some time to get rid of your winter accessories and usher in a brand-new season. Light and bright colors, linens, textured pottery, and raw wood accents are all on-trend this spring, and adding these small details can really elevate your home’s style.

Start by incorporating some new accent pillows and paring down your current accessories in favor of a more curated collection. This is particularly important if you’re getting ready to sell; you’ll want to depersonalize your space, but it should still feel like a home. Hanging some different art on your walls can also help you transition to spring—we recommend floral prints or paintings.

Freshen Up with Inviting Scents

Lit candle in a living room

Is your home smelling a little musty after a long winter? Throw open the windows and freshen up with some invigorating scents…especially if you’ll be inviting buyers into your home.

Before you integrate spring fragrances, however, be sure to eliminate any unpleasant odors first. Once you’ve deodorized, swap out those holiday candles in favor of some fresher aromas. Lavender, fresh cotton, and lemongrass are all great choices, and they won’t be too overpowering. 

Don’t Neglect Your Outdoor Space!

Spring patio with a table and chairs

As you prep for the warmer months ahead, the outside of your home matters just as much as the inside. Your outdoor space can really make or break a sale during the spring, as buyers are probably ready to spend some time outside. Even if you aren’t selling soon, your yard, porch, deck, or patio could probably use a little extra attention. 

Brush off the winter blues by sweeping away any debris, addressing brown spots on your lawn, and getting rid of any dead or wilting plants. You might also want to incorporate some new outdoor furniture on your deck or patio to show off its potential. 

Ready Sell Your Home This Spring?

If you’re looking for spring decorating tips because you’re planning on selling your home soon, we’d love to help you navigate every step of the process. Feel free to reach out to us for more staging strategies and seller tips—we can even help you list your home with just a few clicks!

The Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Buyer’s Agent

When buying a home, who you choose to work with matters more than you think. Finding the right agent can make or break your entire experience, so it’s important to interview a few candidates before settling on “the one.” Not sure where to start? Here are a few must-ask questions to consider before you pick your buyer’s agent.

How long have you been an agent?

Agent and client talking at a table

Unless you mesh well with a newer agent, it’s usually better to go with someone who has at least a few years of experience under their belt. They’ll have the knowledge you need to navigate the ins and outs of the entire buying process.

Are you a full-time or a part-time agent?

When you’re buying a home, would you rather work with someone who puts in part-time or full-time effort? It’s best to go with a full-time agent that can devote more attention to you and your specific needs.

What experience do you have in my preferred areas?

People talking at a table

If you already know where you want to move, consider collaborating with a real estate pro that has plenty of experience in your target areas. They’ll have the inside scoop on the most popular neighborhoods, price trends, and all the other details you need to know before you buy.

How many clients are you working with right now?

It may seem tempting to use a popular agent—they must be the best if they have a lot of clients, right? This might be true, but you also want to make sure they have the time to take on another buyer. The last thing you want is an agent that has a hard time scheduling showings or returning your calls.

How can I get in touch with you?

Woman texting on a cell phone

Communication is key in the world of real estate, and every agent has a different way of connecting with clients. Be upfront about which method works best for you, and confirm that your agent is willing to reach out in a way that you’re comfortable with. 

What’s your availability?

Even if an agent is able to take you on as a client and is willing to communicate, they might have a lot of other things going on in their personal and professional lives. Make sure they’re honest with you about their availability…and that they aren’t jetting off on a 2-week European vacation anytime soon!

What are the conditions of your contract?

People signing a contract

Some buyer’s agents require you to sign a contract before you start touring homes, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, you shouldn’t agree to anything without reading all the terms and conditions, and if you have any concerns, bring them up during the interview.

What’s your commission policy?

Traditionally, the seller pays most (if not all) of your agent’s commission, but it’s still crucial to familiarize yourself with their policies. You don’t want any surprises to come up during the closing, especially if they’re in the form of unexpected fees.

Can you connect me with other professionals?

Women at a table

You’ll work with more than just a real estate agent when you buy a home. If you’re looking for a good home inspector, lender, real estate attorney, repairman, or cleaner, having an agent with a broad professional network is a major plus. 

Can you provide any references?

A great agent should have plenty of references, and they’ll probably be happy to share them with you. If they seem hesitant, try searching for testimonials online or consider going with someone else. You want to choose someone that’s honest and has plenty of 5-star reviews!

Looking for a Top-Notch Agent?

If you’re looking for the right real estate agent to suit your needs, we’d love to offer you our expertise! Feel free to give us a call to learn more about the tools we offer our buyers—we’re always here to lend a helping hand or answer any lingering questions.

4 Easy, Low-Budget Projects Buyers Will Love

If you’re getting ready to sell your home, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to impress buyers. In fact, making just a few small changes can have a lasting impact and help you secure a sale. Here are four easy, low-budget projects you can do on your own—and buyers will love the results!

Updating Hardware and Fixtures

Faucet with running water

Does your kitchen feel a little drab? Is your bathroom still stuck in the 1990s? You probably don’t have to undertake an entire renovation to bring your space into the new decade—adding some updated hardware and fixtures just might do the trick! Today’s buyers are looking for modern yet timeless finishes, so oil-rubbed bronze, brushed nickel, or matte black are all great choices. 

Start by checking out your light fixtures, faucets, or shower heads. Do they look dingy, worn, or out of style? If you’ve tackled a few DIY projects in the past, you can probably update them yourself. For an even easier change, try replacing the pulls on your cabinets—it only costs a few dollars.

Adding Some Fresh Paint

Paint roller

Adding a fresh coat of paint is an easy (and inexpensive!) way to update a room, but it’s crucial to choose the right color to enhance your space. While you might love bright hues or eye-catching wallpapers, buyers may feel differently. When in doubt, it’s best to go with a more neutral shade instead of something bold.

However, just because you’re repainting your home with more subdued tones doesn’t mean you’re limited to white or beige. In fact, grays, pale pink, light sage, and even steel blue are all considered “new neutrals.” It’s okay to experiment with a little bit of color, but be sure to ask your agent for a second opinion.

Maximizing Your Storage Space

An organized closet

Dedicated storage space is one of the most highly sought-after features in today’s market—and buyers are willing to pay a premium for it. Even if your home doesn’t have a lot of storage, you can still enhance what you already have with a few small tweaks.

Buyers often prioritize laundry rooms, closets, and pantries, so it’s best to focus on these spaces if you have them. First, start by decluttering and cleaning your storage areas to maximize every square inch. Adding some shelves, woven baskets, or wall-mounted organizers can create even more storage, too.

Improving Your Curb Appeal

Front porch with a plant

Want to make a great first impression? Don’t forget to update the exterior of your home, too! It’s crucial to wow buyers from the moment they drive up to your home—if they don’t like what they see on the outside, they might never make it inside.  

If you want to up your curb appeal, start by taking a look at your home from the street. Do you see any peeling paint, cracked walkways, or overgrown bushes? These are all repairs that you can tackle during a free afternoon, and you won’t even have to enlist the help of a pro. For a really simple fix, try adding a potted plant or a new welcome mat to your porch.

Are You Ready to List?

Selling your home is no easy task…unless you have the right real estate pro on your side! We’re always here to help you navigate the selling process from start to finish, and we have plenty of staging resources to get your home looking its best. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions and let us know if you’re ready to take your next steps.

4 Tips to Ace Your First Home Purchase

If you ask a homeowner what it was like to buy their first home, they’ll probably mention a few things they’d change if they could do it all again. While it’s impossible to know everything about the home-buying process beforehand, you can still prepare yourself for what lies ahead—and figure out how to avoid some potential pitfalls. Not sure where to begin? Here are some key pointers to keep in mind before starting your search.

You’re Buying More Than a House

Neighborhood

We all know the phrase “love at first sight,” and it can certainly apply to homes, too! Even if you step inside a home and instantly fall in love, it’s crucial to step back and consider the whole picture before making a purchase.

When you buy your first property, you’re investing in more than just four walls. It’s worth paying attention to things like a home’s location, neighborhood, and physical condition, too. Even if you find that open concept kitchen you’ve been dreaming of, it might not be the right fit if it’s in the wrong community or if the rest of the house requires out-of-budget repairs. It’s best to stay realistic and listen to your agent’s (and home inspector’s) advice. Remember, this is likely one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so spend your money wisely!

Down Payments Are Different for Everyone

Piggy bank and house figure

So many would-be buyers are scared of homeownership for one reason: the down payment. Traditionally, you’d put down around 20% on a home and spend anywhere from 10 to 30 years paying your lender back. However, you actually have more flexibility than you might expect. 

Depending on your credit history, location, and occupation, you could be eligible for loans that require as little as 0% down. However, making a larger down payment means you’ll pay less interest to your lender in the long run. Be sure to shop around for the right fit and reach out to your agent with any questions—they’re always available to help you out. 

Prepare for Extra Expenses

House fund coin jar

Homeownership often comes with unexpected expenses, especially right after you move in. When you’re setting a budget for your big purchase, consider adding some wiggle room to allow for any additional and long term costs. You don’t want to realize that you can’t afford your home after you’ve purchased it!

Wondering what kinds of expenses can come up? Inspections, homeowner’s insurance, prepaid taxes and other various closing costs, HOA dues, and repairs are just a few possibilities. You’ll pay for some of these before or at the closing, but certain recurring costs will have to be factored into your monthly budget. 

Get Pre-Approved Before You Start Searching

Tax forms with phone and coffee cup

Once you’ve made the decision to buy, it’s tempting to start looking at listings right away. However, you might want to press pause and complete an essential step before you start scheduling showings. Getting pre-approved for your loan will show sellers and agents that you’re serious about buying—and it can tell you exactly how much you can afford to spend.

Ready to start the pre-approval process? First, you’ll want to get your finances in order and shop around for the right lender. Be sure to have all of your important documents on hand, such as your W-2 tax form, paystubs, and social security card. Most lenders allow you to apply online, and within a few business days, you’ll know whether you’ve been approved or not, as well as the conditions of the loan. 

Are You a First-Time Buyer?

Buying your first home is a big deal, and it’s important to have the right agent by your side throughout the process. If you’re ready to start your search, feel free to reach out to us with any questions. We can’t wait to help jumpstart your journey to homeownership!

HOA

Home Owners Association or Property Owner Association (POA) Is a private association often formed by a real estate developer for marketing, managing and selling homes in a subdivision or development. Once a certain amount of homes have sold the developer passes control to the homeowners. Any person who wants to move into this subdivision will need to become a member and obey the governing documents which typically include articles of incorporation, CC&Rs (convents, conditions and restrictions) and by-laws, which limit owner’s choices. So no purple home with pink dots unless the HOA approves it. Most HOAs are incorporated, and are subject to state statues that govern non profits. 

HOA’s typically hire a management company that does the administration portion and there is a broad which is typically home owners in that specific subdivision. Most HOAs have anual dues that are due Jan 31st of every year. Some newer subdivisions now have what they call a foundation fee, or capitalization fee and this fee is charged to the buyer at the item of purchase from the builder and sometimes it will be changed every time the house sells until that provision exists. Some have it to where both the buyer and seller pay, sometimes only the buyer pays. Most closings I had last year (2019) had 1. Capitalization fee or foundation fee. 2. Transfer fee. and 3. HOA yearly dues prorated to the day of closing. After you close on the property you will be responsible for payment of the yearly dues. The HOAs can also charge you a fine that typically comes after they have sent you a notice of a violation which gave you time to remedy the problem, if not resolved within that time frame a violation will be issued. 

Anyone looking to buy in a neighborhood with an HOA should read all the documents before they agree to purchase. I strongly encourage you to do so even if they are boring to read.

Make sure to pay your dues by January 31st to avoid any interest on late payment charges.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me.

4 Challenges That Come with Marketing Your Own Home

If you’re looking to list your home this year, we have some good news—2020 is forecasted to be a seller’s market, which means most properties will sell quickly and for a higher price than normal. Although buyers are scrambling to find somewhere to settle down, even the most desirable homes still need some marketing to attract a broader audience.

Thinking about selling without the help of an agent? Here are four challenges you might not have thought about—and why you should probably consider working with a pro instead. 

Reaching Out to Buyers

Laptop and phone

Real estate is always evolving, and nowadays, most homebuyers are using the internet, apps, and more to do their research before scheduling an in-person tour. That means if you want to reach an even broader audience, you’ll have to look further than just Zillow. With so many new platforms to choose from, It’s hard to know where to promote your listing—but working with an agent will open the door to even more options (and mean less work for you!).

Not sure where to start? Working with a licensed real estate expert will give you access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is the number one way that buyers search for homes. The right agent will reach out to their broad network of contacts, host open houses, take advantage of social media, and feature your home on top real estate apps.

Taking Professional Photos

Man holding a camera

Now that we’ve entered the digital age of real estate, it’s essential to get your space looking its best on a screen. Wondering how to make an unforgettable first impression? High-quality listing photos can help lure buyers into your home, especially if you highlight its best features. 

Although smartphone cameras have come a long way, they still can’t hold a candle to the power of a professional photographer. If you want a picture-perfect listing, working with a pro is the way to go—they’ll use the right angles and lighting to make your home appear bigger and brighter. Agents can even create virtual tours and take aerial photographs, which allow buyers to get an in-depth look at your home from the comfort of their couch.

Perfecting Your Listing

Women using a computer

Want to craft a flawless listing? It’s not as easy as you might think. Most buyers prioritize price, square footage, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms—and you should include all of these in your home’s description. However, there’s more to it than just mentioning the basics. 

Because many buyers preview homes online first, a good description will set your listing apart from the rest. Highlighting special features, such as outdoor entertaining space or custom cabinets, will have potential buyers falling in love at first sight. If writing isn’t your forte, you might want to consider turning to an agent instead. They’ve probably crafted hundreds of listings in your area, so they’ll know how to appeal to prospective buyers.

Pricing Right the First Time

House figure with coin stacks and alarm clock

No matter how well you market your listing, even the most beautiful homes can linger on the market if they aren’t priced correctly. Unless you have plenty of real estate experience under your belt, you could end up making a costly mistake by setting a price without the help of a specialist. If you list too low, you risk losing hard-earned equity—but asking too much will drive buyers away.

If you’re feeling a little lost, you might want to let a professional crunch the numbers for you. The right agent will be familiar with what other homes are selling for in your area, and they’ll be able to figure out how you stack up against the competition.

Take Your Next Steps

Are you ready to team up with an agent and take the hassle out of selling? Let us do the heavy lifting for you! We believe there’s no such thing as too many questions, so feel free to reach out to learn more about navigating the selling process, as well as our effective marketing strategies.

The Top 4 Home-Selling Myths of 2019, Busted

“Fake news” has become one of the trendiest terms of the decade—even when it comes to real estate. Homeowners are often bombarded with selling advice that promises to get their home sold quickly and for top dollar…but more often than not, these “tips” are nothing more than misleading—and can throw you off-track. 

As we near the end of the year, we want to set the record straight. Here’s our list of the top four selling myths, debunked.   

Myth #1: It’s Just like Reality TV

Woman watching TV with popcorn

If HGTV is your guilty pleasure, you’ve probably watched hundreds of buyers and sellers navigate the real estate process on camera. Although the shows do get some things right, they’re often scripted and don’t provide an accurate idea of what it takes to sell your property.

One of the biggest misconceptions created by these programs is the length of the selling process. Don’t fall for the TV magic—it actually takes a lot more than a showing and a phone call to close a deal. In reality, homes can sit on the market for 60 to 100 days or more, and the closing process might last for up to 45 days. Instead of expecting instant gratification, it’s best to talk with your agent to create a realistic timeline before listing.

Myth #2: Selling Without an Agent is Cheaper

Clock with coins and wooden house figurine

Many sellers are tempted to list their home as “for sale by owner” because they want to avoid a commission fee. However, the risks involved definitely outweigh the savings. Real estate agents have to wear a lot of hats—they act as everything from property value analyzers to professional marketers to legal negotiators, all of which require years of experience. When you opt to sell on your own, all of that responsibility falls onto your shoulders, and it’s a lot to handle at once.

Although it might seem like you’re saving money by doing it all yourself, an agent can protect you from scams, guide you through paperwork, and even sell your home for up to 75% more. In fact, a recent assessment by the National Association of Realtors notes that the average FSBO home price was $185,000, while homes sold by a Realtor went for $245,000. That’s a $60,000 price difference, which is much more than what you’d pay in commission!

Myth #3: You Can Only Sell in Spring or Summer

Woman throwing leaves

It’s no secret that spring and summer are prime seasons for real estate, but that doesn’t mean you should only list during those months. In fact, there are some hidden benefits to selling during the fall and winter that you might not have considered.

Many people buying in the second half of the year are often more motivated to make a deal, whether they’re relocating or adapting to a change in their personal life. That means they’ll likely have their paperwork and finances in order well beforehand, which speeds up the closing process. You’ll also deal with less competition, which will make your home stand out more and give you extra negotiating power.

Myth #4: You Can Price Your Home by Yourself

Agent and client discussing a contract

There are countless mistakes to avoid when it comes to pricing your property, especially if you’re a first-time seller. Many homeowners believe they know their home best and can set their own price, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Oftentimes, sellers put more value into their home than it’s actually worth due to personal feelings—after all, it’s hard to see your own home without an unbiased eye! The right agent will know the ins and outs of the local market and won’t be so biased, which makes them qualified to give you a more accurate estimate.

It’s also crucial to be wary of online home estimators that promise instant results. Believe it or not, they won’t take into account any recent upgrades or repairs you’ve made on your home. A website also lacks the same personal touch as a real person. An agent will do thorough research into real estate trends in your area, as well as other properties that have sold nearby. Their hyper-local analysis paints a better picture of what your home can actually sell for.

Looking for More Selling Advice?

Whether you’re selling your first home or your fifth, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your real estate knowledge. If you have questions or are ready to list, feel free to reach out to us for more information. We can’t wait to team up and tackle the selling process together!

Keep Calm and Move On: How to Tackle a Long-Distance Relocation

Whether you’re heading down the street or to a new town, moving is always a tough transition. However, relocating across the country presents a whole new set of challenges you might not have considered. Picking up your life can be an exciting change, but it’s also a bit overwhelming. 

Need some help navigating the process? Take a deep breath and get ready—we’ve got some quick tips for you!

Stay on Top of Your Schedule

A monthly planner

Sometimes a cross-country move can come out of nowhere, especially if it’s due to a job or major life change. Even if you’ve been planning your relocation for a while, it can still be exhausting. Before you start tearing your hair out, it’s crucial to start planning ahead of time.

Once you’ve figured out your moving date, be sure to stay on top of your calendar. It’s easy for your schedule to fill up with appointments, going-away parties, and other obligations. It might help to create to-do lists or invest in a good planner (digital or paper!). However, as you get busier, be sure to plan some time for yourself, too. Tackling a move is impossible without some self-care!

Declutter & Organize

A woman organizing cabinets

Let’s face it—organizing everything you own and moving it thousands of miles is no easy feat. Start lightening the load right away, and get rid of things you won’t need once you move. You might even want to have a garage sale or donate your gently used objects to charity. Remember, if you don’t use it regularly, you should probably lose it. 

Looking for a simple way to tackle the decluttering process? Try going room by room and sorting things as you go. It’s easy to get overwhelmed as you pare down your possessions, so having a system will help ease the burden. 

Pack Everything Up

A pile of moving supplies

When it comes to packing, it’s essential that all of your belongings are secure. Check that all boxes are reinforced, and invest in some heavy duty tape and wrapping materials. Moving supplies don’t have to be expensive, though—check social media or local stores to find a bargain on some good quality boxes.

Your stuff is in for a long haul if you’re moving across the country, so you might want to take extra steps to prevent any damage.  If you’re looking for some good padding, old t-shirts and socks will do the trick in a pinch! Don’t be afraid to get creative—jewelry boxes, small containers, and extra suitcases can help you save some space.   

Make Travel Arrangements

Person packing luggage

When you’re making a move across the country, getting to your new home is one of the most difficult parts of the process. Be sure to make travel arrangements in advance—this means you should research hotels, book rentals, and reserve plane tickets ahead of time. As you’re packing, be sure to set aside any essentials that you might need as you travel to your new place.

Wondering what you should keep on hand? Think of it like packing for a vacation—you’ll want toiletries, extra clothing, medication, and all your other “must-haves.” Don’t forget to keep important paperwork, such as birth certificates and passports, with you in case you need them.

Connect with a Local Agent

Two people shaking hands

Unless you have a friend or family member in your new city, it can be tough to scope out the area. Nobody will know your future home quite as well as a local, and connecting with the right real estate agent can help.

Aside from helping you find a home, your agent can also help you navigate your new surroundings with ease. Working with an area expert comes with a lot of perks, including relocation packages, personalized guidance, and specialized tools…not to mention the local knowledge to recommend anything from the top school district to the best pizza joint! When you’re choosing a real estate agent, be sure to do your research and reach out to a few before making your decision. You want to make sure you gel with whomever you choose!

Ready to Conquer Your Move?

Although relocating can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. Remember, staying organized and prepared will make the entire process that much easier! If you’re new to the area or are looking for some long-distance buying resources, feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to ease the burden of your cross-country move!

2020 Vision: The Top Home Features You Can Expect to See Next Year

The year is winding down fast, and with the upcoming rush of the holidays, it’ll be 2020 before you know it. With a new year comes new trends, and you can expect a number of home design shake-ups both big and small. 

Here are the top home features that are sure to be priorities for buyers in 2020!

Separate Laundry Rooms

A person carrying knitted blankets.

It might be a little unexpected, but laundry rooms were one of the most highly sought-after home features of the year, with a whopping 91% of buyers saying they’re essential. Many people also prefer the laundry room to be on the ground floor and sectioned off from the rest of the home. 

In 2020, you can expect to see buyers continue to gravitate toward homes with designated laundry rooms—try brainstorming ways to bring more focus to yours! 

Industrial Designs

An Edison bulb hanging in an industrial space.

The rustic farmhouse motif was certainly popular in 2019, but it doesn’t quite have the staying power of an industrial design. Next year, you’ll continue to see buyer’s seek out interior design elements like artisanal light fixtures, copper and metal hardware, concrete accents, and exposed brick.

Homes that already have these components incorporated will be a major plus—and while it’s a little tough to add brick walls and concrete accents if you don’t have them, there are other simple ways to industrialize your space!

Storage Space

A drawer filled with t-shirts.

As more and more buyers start moving towards smaller homes, efficient storage solutions become a high priority. In 2020, you can expect buyers to be on the hunt for homes that showcase their storage potential. 

Built-in shelves along the wall, storage under the stairs, walk-in pantries—no matter your square footage, every inch counts. If you’re a seller, you can also use this to your advantage, staging your home in a way that emphasizes its efficient use of space. Think: a few extra storage cubes in your laundry room, a new shelving unit on an underused wall, or roll-out cubbies under your bed.  

Green Features 

A light bulb sitting in green grass.

According to a survey from the National Association of Home Builders, green features have shot up to become one of the most sought-after features in a new home. In particular, over half of the survey respondents would invest nearly $10,000 for green features that would save them money, such as ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and windows, improved insulation, and efficient lighting. Other priorities included bettering the air quality in the home with things like dehumidification systems and electronic air cleaners. 

If you’re planning to sell next year and have a little extra money to work with, consider making upgrades that’ll appeal to your buyers’ wallet.

Natural Finishes

A brick wall.

Next year, we’ll start seeing a move toward more unique homes, and nothing sets your space apart from the rest like natural features, including river rock, reclaimed wood, exposed brick, and steel accents. These elements don’t necessarily have to come with the home even—staging your space with a rustic wood bookcase or a contemporary geode end table will do the trick.

If you’re preparing your place for a showing or just need a few cohesive decorating tips, sprinkling plants and greenery can help balance out the heaviness of these natural elements. 

Pastel Colors

A white chair in front of a Millenial Pink wall.

While 2019 may have been a year of bold colors, 2020 will usher in a muted era. Pastel shades like the popular Millennial Pink, Neo Mint, and Buxton Blue will be giving interiors a softer aura, reminiscent of 1970s-era home trends. 

Additionally, accent walls have started slipping in favor, replaced instead by more strategic splashes of color, like painted doors and cabinets, two-tone walls, and accent furniture pieces. 

Don’t Fall Behind in the Latest Real Estate Trends

Each year brings new fads to the real estate world, and keeping up with them plays a major role in impressing buyers. Need a little help staying in the know? We’ve got you covered! Follow along with our blog for the latest updates, and check out our specialized resources for all of your buying and selling needs. 

Have a few more questions? We’re just a phone call away. 

Helpful Tips for Selling Your Home during the Busy Holiday Season

Get ready to hang the lights, deck the halls, and spread some cheer—the holiday season is almost here! Juggling the holidays along with a home sale might be sound impossible (or at the very least, stressful), but we’re here to help you find the best way to balance both.

Here are our top 4 tips for navigating your home sale during the holiday season!

Use Decor to Your Advantage

Snowmen and twinkling lights set up as holiday decor for home sellers.

You don’t have to go all out with holiday decor, but a little seasonal warmth sprinkled here and there goes a long way! Hang some white lights along the staircase, add a wreath to the front door, and string some garland along the mantel. If you do opt for a tree, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t crowd the room—perhaps even consider a tabletop version.

Bonus tip: scent is the sense most closely tied to memory, so use that to your advantage to appeal to buyer nostalgia! Bake some cookies beforehand, warm up a pot of cider, or light a few seasonally scented candles. 

Be Flexible with Showings

A welcome sign hanging outside of a home being sold.

While you’ll probably have a busy schedule over the next month or two, you should make sure it doesn’t affect your availability for buyers too much. One of the biggest reasons people hold off on selling during the holidays is because they can’t be around to prepare their home…but intentionally making room in your schedule will make the whole process much simpler!

If you usually host a holiday party, consider asking a friend or relative to step in for you. If you’re traveling, try not to be gone for too long, and make it clear to your agent and any potential buyers when you’ll be back. 

Work with a Home Stager (or Get Tips from Your Agent)

A modern coffee table decorated by a home stager.

If you either: A.) really don’t have time to stage or B.) don’t want to take any risks on your home not looking its best, then working with a qualified home stager is a great option! You might be skeptical, but home stagers have been specially trained and certified to optimize your space with the right decor and furniture—which often leads to faster and more profitable sales. 

It’ll also take one more stressful task off of your plate, giving you more time to plan for the upcoming festivities. If you want a few recommendations for home stagers, just give us a call. Of course, we can always do a walkthrough of your home and offer personalized tips and DIY projects, if you’d prefer that! 

Practice Smart Marketing

Two women meeting over a marketing plan for holiday home sellers.

Marketing a home is the key to reeling in the right buyer. It’s even more important during the holiday season, since fewer—but more serious—buyers are on the hunt. That’s where working with an agent really comes in handy! You can sit back, relax, and plan for the holidays, while we take care of getting the word out about your home through our comprehensive marketing resources, including our website, social media platforms, local advertising, professional contacts, and more.

And, of course, we’ll crunch the numbers and do the research to ensure that your home is priced at the best number for your interests. 

List Your Home this Holiday Season

Balancing a home sale and the holidays can be stressful…but not if you work with a professional! Enlist our help, and we’ll be around to carry some of your workload, reduce your stress, and sell your home for top dollar—and answer any and all of your questions along the way. Ready to list your home? We’re just a phone call away!