Multiple offers are multiplying in many areas of the country. That presents opportunities and challenges to sellers. Help clients navigate them by emailing a free article, 6 Tips for Choosing the Best Offer for Your Home, from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the October “Sell Before Snow Hits” article package. Share all five with your clients today! Continue reading »
Show sellers how to make it look like they’ve just paid a hefty sum to landscape their yard—But do it on the cheap and in only a few hours by introducing them to the joys of mulch.
Email a free article, How to Mulch, from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the March “Smart Spring Yard Prep” article package. Share all five today. Continue reading »
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine
A home’s inviting outdoor space may be just enough to get a home buyer to fall in love. The American Society of Landscape Architects recently surveyed nearly 180 landscape architects asking them to rate the expected popularity for 2014 of a variety of residential outdoor elements.
Across all categories, respondents rated the following as “somewhat” or “very in-demand” for 2014: lighting, seating/dining areas; fire pits/fireplaces; grills; installed seating, such as benches, seatwalls, ledges, steps, and boulders.
“Home owners know that designed landscapes add value to their lives as well as their property values,” says Nancy Somerville, ASLA executive vice president and CEO. “They’re interested in livable, open spaces that are both stylish and earth friendly.”
Here’s a breakdown of how home owners are sprucing up their outdoor spaces, and some of the top trends that landscape architects pinpointed for 2014 in each category.
By Charlene Storozuk, Dezigner Digz
It’s hard to believe that fall is already upon us. Summer may be over, but now is not the time to neglect a home’s exterior, especially if it’s going to soon be listed for-sale this season. Here are a few tips to help you embrace the fall season and keep your property looking its best:
· The most obvious tip: rake up leaves on a frequent basis;
· Inspect your gutters regularly and remove any leaves that get trapped;
· Carry on weeding garden beds and walkways;
· Remove all annual flowers that are no longer blooming and plants that are past their “best before” date. Dead vegetation gives the impression of a home not cared for;
· If you’re experiencing a warm, dry fall in your area, you’ll still need to irrigate your lawn (according to local by-laws of course);
· Fertilize your lawn before the ground freezes (unless you’re lucky enough to live in a year-round warm climate). This will give your grass a head start in the spring. However, check with your local garden center first to find out if this is the right course of action for your particular environment;
· Readjust the timers on outdoor lighting displays since it now gets dark earlier;
· Give your gardens some liveliness by planting fall flowers such as chrysanthemums. Choose a color that compliments the exterior of your home;
· Redesign your urns and flowers pots – it’s time for a fall theme; Continue reading »
Installing a fence isn’t cheap, but the cost of a real-life one made of shrubs and bushes can fly off the charts.
Traditional fencing for a 70-by-90-foot lot could run $3,000 to $5,000, depending on materials, reports HouseLogic. Privacy screening plants for the entire perimeter easily could cost double that, especially if you use a landscaper. Continue reading »
By Kimberly McMahon, Let’s Organize/Let’s Move
No matter the asking price, simple curb appeal changes can set the scene to immediately attract buyers to a property. Data shows that a majority of home buyers look at properties online or drive by before contacting an agent. As a result, the exterior of the property is always a major selling point.
The decision to buy starts when the prospects step out of their car in front of the property. Prospects will immediately imagine what their friends and family will think when they drive up.
Here are 10 easy steps to make the most of your curb appeal. (It is well worth the expense to hire someone to make these changes if you do not have the time!)
By Barb Schwarz, Stagedhomes.com
Before you show your home to any potential buyer, you want to make sure the staging is perfect. Follow these general tips and your home will look better than the competition.
FOR THE INSIDE
- Clear all unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house. Keep accessories and objects on the furniture restricted to groups of 1, 3, or 5 items. In general, a de-cluttered home helps the buyer mentally “move in” with their own things. Rearrange or remove some of the furniture in your home, if necessary. Many times home owners have too much furniture in a room. When it comes to selling your home, thin out overcrowded rooms to make the rooms appear larger.
- Clear all unnecessary objects from the kitchen countertops. If it hasn’t been used for three months…put it away! Clear refrigerator fronts of messages, magnets, pictures, etc.
- In the bathroom, remove any unnecessary items from the countertops, tub, shower stall, and commode top. Keep only the most necessary cosmetics, brushes, perfumes, etc., in one small group on the counter. Coordinate towels in one or two colors only.
- Take down, reduce, or rearrange pictures and objects on walls. Patch and paint all walls, if necessary.
- Review the house interior, room by room, and… Continue reading »
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
By 2012, foreclosures will affect 91.5 million nearby homes and reduce property values of these homes by $20,300 per household, according to research by the Center for Responsible Lending. As such, you can’t afford to ignore that messy home next door any longer if you’re trying to sell a property.
Abandoned homes are blanketing neighborhoods across the country and while curb appeal for your listing matters, you also may need to take note of the curb appeal nearby. Buyers certainly will and if they see a home next door with shattered windows, overgrown lawns, and gutters hanging on by a thread, they might quickly decide that isn’t the right neighborhood for them.
In this month’s REALTOR® Magazine, I highlight tips from experts on what to do when Battling the Neighborhood Eyesore.
While our tips are more tame as far as how to contact your city department and homeowners’ association to get something done, an anonymous group in Detroit is being much more bold in its approach.
Known as the DDD Project (Detroit Demolition Disneyland), artists are finding long abandoned, neglected homes that the city has failed to demolish and painting them a bright orange color–“Tiggeriffic Orange,” to be exact, of Disneyland-inspired colors. The homes’ exteriors scream orange from every decaying square inch.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
That main photo you post of your listing on the Internet–you know, the one that always pops up first and often depends if a buyer will click on it to see more–needs to make a great first impression. But in winter, will that exterior property photo really look inviting under gray skies and snowy mounds?
Some experts will argue that you want your main MLS photo to be seasonally appropriate. If it’s fall, you want the exterior photo of the home to reflect fall. If it’s winter, you don’t want a summer photo because buyers will know it’s a stale listing that has been sitting on the market.
But at a time when more properties are sitting on the market for longer periods of time, will buyers overlook the seasonal disconnect?
By Sonja Greenlee, kitchen gardener for The DS Team
Lush gardens and planters sprouting life can make a huge difference to the curb appeal of a home – even in the autumn season. So if your clients are looking for a hardy vegetable to add to outdoor pots, or to spruce up a fall garden, tell them to try planting radishes. They are easy to grow, sprout in three to five days, and are ready to eat in four to five weeks.
Plus, radishes are a great fall weather crop. These shade-tolerant plans also work well in the southern region of the U.S. in the winter when temperatures are in the 70s.
Sow the tiny radish seeds in half-inch deep, well-worked soil. Plant in rows or in a mass; just remember to thin so the plants are two to three inches apart once the root systems are established. Be sure to harvest the plants before the roots get too big, or they will crack and become woody. Continue reading »