The front door of a home can be an attention-getting feature on the home’s exterior, beckoning potential buyers inside.
“Like a necktie, which is the focal point of an outfit, the front door is the focal point of the home,” says Debbie Zimmer, color expert at the Paint Quality Institute. “The color there sends a strong message.”
So what message could the color on the front door of your listings be conveying? Color psychologists suggest that the color of the front door can make a powerful statement about the home or the owner. Here’s what they say the different front door hues can mean, according to the Paint Quality Institute: Continue reading »
By Melissa Kandel
Not many people get excited about dead animal smells, mold growing in bathrooms, or leaky attics, but for employees at the Building Performance Institute Inc., it’s all in a day’s work. The company uses building science, house-as-a-system, and home performance analytics to determine if a home is safe, comfortable and livable for buyers and sellers alike.
Their research was outlined in Saturday’s lecture, “Behind the Walls: Housing Secrets Revealed,” during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando. The company’s research is aimed at helping REALTORS® present properties that won’t need repair just a few years down the newly cobblestoned road.
“These houses look great on the outside but what we don’t see is what can happen,” said John Jones, national technical director at BPI. Hidden construction issues like insufficient fresh air, disconnected ducts, poor insulation levels, and carbon monoxide leaks not only chip away at ceilings and walls of a home, they also chip away at the credibility of the REALTORS® who sell them.
Contributed by HomeInsurance.org
Just the sound of “home makeover” is enough to make some people cringe. The idea of spending lots of time and money painting the house, shopping for new furniture, and replacing the carpet is not something many people want to do during their free time.
But not every home makeover has to be so exhausting. In fact, there are many small alterations and additions you can make to your home that have big results for very little money and effort. If your home is in need of a new look, but you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to do it, then try these six simple ways to give your home a makeover for cheap.
1. Paint the furniture.
An easy way to shake up a room is to paint your furniture. Go bold with a red accent piece or lighten up the room with a white finish. You can also skip the paint altogether and opt for a simple stain. The color options are endless and the cost for this project is fairly cheap.
2. Add indoor plants.
It’s amazing how much a simple plant or two can dress up a room and add an unexpected pop of color. Not only do real indoor plants purify the air inside your house, but they also bring a remarkable amount of life to any room. Aim for low maintenance plants that have a variety of colors and textures and can be displayed in unique ways, like inside a non-working fireplace. Continue reading »
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
Haunted houses must not be too spooky because 32 percent of potential home buyers say they’d buy a haunted house or a home with suspected paranormal activity, according to a new Realtor.com survey.
While some potential buyers may be willing to overlook any skeletons in the closet, they do expect a discount for the paranormal intrusion.
Seventeen percent of the potential home buyers say they’d expect a discount of 51 percent or more on the “haunted” home’s market value, 19 percent say they expect a 31-50 percent discount, and 18 percent say a 21-30 percent discount would suffice for them. Only 15 percent of those surveyed say they’d be willing to pay full market value for a “haunted” home.
Discounts aside, if those ghosts acted up during the house tour, most buyers say all deals would be off. Warm or cold spots possibly produced by any lurking ghosts or suspicious noises like footsteps and slamming doors would be a deterrent to these buyers. That said, 41 percent say they are OK with ghosts staying in the home–as long as they remained invisible and didn’t bug them.
Ever find yourself having to list a home with suspected paranormal activity? Try staging the home with the “Ghost Busters” theme song playing in the background. After all, these buyers “ain’t afraid of no ghosts.”
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
At REALTOR® Magazine online this month, you’ll find a list of the top 10 worst showing offenses your home sellers can make. The list was culled from the most common responses of more than 50 buyer agents who shared what they’ve witnessed in touring homes with their clients.
But kitty litter boxes and dirty dishes in the sink aside, some buyer agents say they’ve seen much worse when touring homes with their clients. Here are some of the “Hall of Fame” of worst showing offenses. Be sure to chime in below with the worst offenses you’ve witnessed too!
Hide the ‘Body Bag’ Before the Showing
“The worst thing I ever witnessed during a showing was seeing a full body bag on the floor of the master bedroom closet. I was showing a home to a couple and their 10-year-old daughter. The wife opened the master bedroom closet and screamed when she saw a full body bag. Upon further inspection by myself and the husband, we discovered the body bag was packed with clothing for storage purposes. Still, it was extremely creepy. Needless to say, they did not purchase that home. Now I jokingly warn all my sellers to put away the body bags before the house goes on the market.”
–Shannon Register, broker-owner of Register Real Estate Advisors, Spring, Texas
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
When selling a home, you don’t want buyers to step foot in a room and suddenly feel cramped. They will quickly start questioning whether they’ll be able to fit their belongings in there and whether the home is too small.
What can you do to open up some of the tight spaces in your listings?
1. Remove furniture. Rooms packed overly full of furniture will not allow buyers to visualize their things in the space. Keep the furniture basics in each room, and then haul away the extras to a storage unit or somewhere else in the home that could use more furniture. Make sure the furniture is fit to the size of the room. For example, that canopy bed may be commanding too much attention in the master bedroom, making the room feel cramped and even blocking the walkway through the room.
2. Declutter. This is an obvious way to make a space feel bigger. It can have one of the biggest impacts to the perception of a room’s size. Have your sellers go through their closets and box up about a third of it. They can take the load to a storage unit or put into bins to store elsewhere in the home. When buyers open up a closet, you want them to see the spaciousness, not it filled top-to-bottom with your sellers’ belongings.
3. Find secret storage spots: Ottomans that can double-up as storage units too can help your sellers clear away clutter in a hurry. These can be useful particularly for sellers with children who need a quick place to throw toys and clothes prior to a showing.
4. Lighten the color. Dark colors on the wall can make a room feel more closed-in, whereas lighter tones on the wall can open it up. Cream colors and soft tones of greens and blues can help open up a space. Monochromatic color schemes, which is using colors all from the same color family, can go a long way in creating flow in a home and making a space appear larger too.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR Magazine
More studies are showing the power of green on boosting sales prices. In the most recent study, University of California researchers found that green-certified, single-family homes sold for $34,800 more — or 9 percent more — than comparable non-green certified homes.
Researchers analyzed 1.6 million home sales from 2007 to 2012 to determine if “green” really helped homes net more at times of resale.
The researchers called the findings the “Prius effect,” since the California cities that had the highest sales prices of green homes also were in places that had the highest sales of electric vehicles.
“We observed a phenomenon we’ve termed the ‘Prius effect’ — a positive correlation between the value of green home labels and environmental ideology, as measured by the rate of hybrid registrations,” co-author Nils Kok, visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told USA Today. Such residents may view green homes as “a point of pride or status symbol,” Kok added.
Previous studies that focused on home sales in Seattle and Portland, Ore., also found that “green” homes sell for higher dollar–as well as stay on the market a fewer number of days. Continue reading »
By Jennifer Couch, Houseplansandmore.com
Selecting paint colors for your walls can be a daunting task. There are so many colors to choose from! Some people simply feel stuck with the colors on the walls and live with them for years just to avoid the challenge of selecting a new color. Add to that the complexity of open floor plans and you can find yourself in a real dilemma.
Homes with open floor plans are a favorite because they have a sense of spaciousness that homes with numerous small rooms can’t offer. An open floor plan offers easy access from room to room making the home feel larger and making it a great space for entertaining.
The problem with this comes when you want to paint the walls. With an open floor plan, does the entire area have to be the same color?
The answer? Not necessarily.
By Erin Devine, DIY Home & Floor Blog
Often, home owners want to update the kitchen with granite countertops, install new flooring or renovate the basement to make their homes more appealing to buyers. Before you begin planning your renovations, however, come up with a blueprint for how much value these will add to your new home.
Here are some tips on what to consider when calculating the costs and benefits of performing a home renovation project: Continue reading »