Design Expertise for Selling Your Home: Tips from a Pro

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“Because you only get one chance to make a good first impression”

Ready To Sell Your Home? What To Do Before You List - 5 Tips From An Interior Designer

Sell your home fast: Get out the paint brush, cleaning supplies and buy some boxes, these 5 tips from nationally recognized interior designer, Jean Atchison, will help you sell your home fast.

These insider tips will help you create a home that appeals to the greatest number of buyers, regardless of your existing design aesthetic, by creating a space that is welcoming, functional, and organized.

Remember, you are not making changes to continue living in your home, you are making changes so potential buyers are able to picture themselves there. In the world of real estate, the first impression is the only impression.

Tip 1: Paint

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Paint, the best ROI: Painting walls, trim, and doors in neutrals like a cool pale grey, a warm beige, or an off-white will make your home appeal to the widest variety of buyers. Your rooms will have a cohesive look making spaces appear larger, clean and fresh. Now is not the time to experiment with that “new, fun” color trend.

Painting your home in a neutral color palette will create a space that is appealing to both men and women. This “blank canvas” will allow buyers to envision themselves and their belongings in the space and start to create their own ideas about what they would like to do within it. These are thoughts that will remain with a potential buyer long after they leave the home.

Create a neutral backdrop for your home with the right paint color and finish. Paints by Benjamin Moore offer a vast range of color and finish options for the home. Some popular choices are: #OC-118 Snowball White, an off white; #2126-60 Gray Cloud, a pale gray; #OC-40 Albescent, a creamy tan; or #1464 Light Pewter, greige-a color that blends gray and tan.

Since different surfaces require different care, consider these finishes for your paint: Regal Select Flat, a latex for walls; Waterbourne Ceiling Flat, a latex that dries to an ultra-flat for ceilings; Aura Bath and Spa, a latex with a matte finish that will not show water streaks in the bathroom, and Advance Satin or for more shine either Advance Semi-Gloss or Gloss, an alkyd fortified latex for trim.

Tip 2: De-Clutter

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De-clutter, you will eventually be packing up anyway: You want to create a spacious feeling in your home that allows the buyer’s eye to seamlessly flow from room to room. Remember, you are selling your home, not your personal items and lifestyle. You want to show off the best features of your home, not the contents inside it.

We all collect furniture and accessories over time, but by removing extra furniture, buyers will feel your rooms are larger and more expansive. Take away extra chairs, ottomans, and even sofas, particularly if they are large scale. Pare down bookcases and arrange the shelves with a mix of books and decorative items so they look more open and spacious.

Similarly, remove personal decor such as family photos and mementos so buyers can envision themselves in the home. Be particularly attentive to children’s rooms and remove the toys and clutter that tends to pile up in the corners of the rooms and on their walls and bulletin boards. Don’t forget to toss out your old magazines. You should also consider putting away any potentially offensive political or religious items so a buyer cannot disagree with anything about your life or home. You want buyers to be able to envision themselves in your home, which is harder to do if your personal photos, awards, and memorabilia are visible everywhere.

Once you have removed “yourself” from your home, it now time to judiciously bring back a few neutral accessories that compliment and accentuate your space. Think vases of fresh cut flowers, a bowl of apples on the dining table, or a basket of fresh produce in the kitchen. Keep in mind that you only want to use your most neutral but wonderful pieces. If you find yourself missing your personal items just remember that you will soon see them again in your new home.

Tip #3: Out with old, in with the new

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Clean-out and clean-up: When getting ready to show your home, remember, you are not only selling your home, you are selling your spacious closets, beautiful bathrooms and well-designed kitchen. Keep in mind that potential buyers can never see enough storage. Inadequate storage can be a make-it or break-it for many buyers, these tips will show you how to make it.

When cleaning out, use the rule of thirds, take out 2/3 of everything in your closets and cabinets keeping only 1/3. This will help buyers envision how their items will look while also creating the appearance that there is plenty of additional space for their own belongings.

When addressing your closets, you want keep your closets simple. When organizing make sure that all articles are neatly folded, all hangers are matching, facing the same direction, and arranged in some similar visible fashion. Two successful ways are by color or by garment type so all pants, jackets, or tops are together. Be sure dirty laundry is not visible. Don’t forget the obvious, a good place to hide dirty laundry is in the washing machine.

When focusing on the kitchen, it is important to have your cabinet space look as plentiful as possible so remove many of your old and seldom used items. Try to only keep everyday essentials such as dishware, flatware, glasses, mugs and the occasional spatula or can opener, but only if you have a clearly defined space for them. You also want to make sure that all items are clean, matching, and organized. Try to leave as little as possible on your counters and always empty your trash cans prior to a buyer coming into your home. Remember, the kitchen is the heart of the home and you want it to shine.

When considering the bathrooms, use matching toothbrush holders, lotion, and soap dispensers. Keep only everyday non-descript necessities and products in cabinets. Knowing that buyers will snoop, no man or woman wants to open a medicine cabinet and see old personal care items or pull back a shower curtain to find mildew. Replacing a toilet seat will make an older toilet look better and investing in white fluffy towels, new bars of soap, high end shampoo, and a new shower curtain will make your bathroom show as a clean and fresh sanctuary. When selling your home, a little luxury goes a long way.

Tip #4: Staging

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Curb appeal, love at first sight: Many potential buyers will often do a quick drive-by either in the car or online to decide if “the look” of the exterior of a house or apartment building is worth returning for a peek inside. Whatever type of entrance you have, you want to make your exterior says “welcome.”

Add a new doormat at your exterior door or some potted boxwood and fresh flowering plants at the entry of your building. Boxwood in urns or wreaths on a front door are appropriate for all seasons and buildings. These touches will help accentuate the good points of your home before a buyer has even walked through the front door.

Investing in curb appeal will almost always have 100 percent return by creating a space that looks and feels warm, safe, and inviting.

Interior entryway, “eye” like what I see: Pique a buyer’s interest and entice them to want to see the rest your home by placing an interesting item in your entry and adjacent room so as they walk through your spaces, their eye will be drawn into the next area. A framed mirror above a table in the foyer, a dining table set for dinner, or a magazine and throw on a comfortable armchair in the corner of the living or bedroom will encourage a buyer to pause for a closer look. It is best to reduce the quantity of small items in a room while leaving in a strong design element, like a geometric rug, which will be remembered. Staging is strategic editing not redecorating and less is more when it comes to home staging.

Most often, the dining room is adjacent to the entryway making this room an important one to stage. An empty dining room table can come off as uninviting. You want to style your dining table in a way that does not look too formal. This can be accomplished by setting your table using your nicest “everyday” flatware and dishes. Placing small vases of flowers and candles down the center of the table is a good way to create a homey but elegant atmosphere, while keeping in mind to maintain a clean, neutral color scheme when choosing your items.

Creating vignettes, refine and define: Show off your home’s potential by clearly defining each room’s purpose and wisely use any “extra” spaces. Arranging furniture symmetrically gives a feeling of openness with little wasted space. Creating vignettes, especially in awkward areas, such as underneath the stairs, turns the space into a unique “extra” and creates a selling point. This might be an excellent place for a pet area or a small desk. Staging vignettes and defining the purpose of each room helps to create conversation and provides the buyer with clarity and understanding of the potential use of each individual space.

Proper staging also helps to create an inviting atmosphere, making your home unforgettable. Consider placing fewer but larger accessories in your rooms. People want to buy a home that is peaceful, functional, and organized with a clear layout. When staging your home, it is best to do one room at a time and make sure that each room is tailored in way that brokers and buyers will remember it later when discussing the property. Streamline your design to make a premium impact and bring in a premium price.

Tip #5: Quick Fixes

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Quick fixes, don’t break your back or your budget: Now is the time to fix the obvious and take care of all those little miscellaneous repairs that have been on your “to do” list. You want buyers to feel your home has been meticulously maintained and is a good financial and emotional investment for them.

Let it shine: Make sure all your light bulbs are working and replace any that are burned out. To make your rooms as light as possible increase the wattage to its maximum allowed level. Wash all your windows so that the natural light can shine through making your home sunny and bright. Bathrooms need to look clean and sanitary so not only clean the mirrors but also the grout and caulk. Kitchen and laundry appliances need a good wipe down as does the front door where dust or water marks may have accumulated. Don’t forget to sweep out the garage and organize its contents. An inexpensive system of racks and clips on the wall for tools, bikes, and sports equipment will efficiently utilize and organize a garage.

Tighten up and touch up: Now is also the time to go around your home with a screw driver and tighten any loose cabinet doors, drawers, doorknobs and locks. Always repair any holes or dents in walls prior to painting and make sure no faucets are leaking. Buy some wood stain touch-up markers and fill in with color any scratches and chips on millwork and furniture. Walk around your rooms and make sure all your picture frames are level. These are small things that buyers subconsciously notice.

Appeal to the senses: Fresh flowers will make your home smell and look good. Strategically placing a few candles in non-offensive scents like vanilla or citrus along with the flowers is an easy way to keep your home looking attractive and smelling fresh. Lighting a fire in the fireplace will smell wonderful and create an atmosphere that draws people in and make them want to stay. Remember to use the seasons to your advantage. Engaging the senses is an easy way to ensure your home is feeling cozy, looking good, and smelling great.

CREATE THE MAXIMUM IMPACT: Following these 5 tips will provide the maximum impact for buyers who are considering the purchase of your home and will allow you to have the broadest buying audience by appealing to the greatest number of people. Be ready to list your home and sell it fast.

JEAN ATCHISON

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Diane H Reilly Photography

Atchison Architectural Interiors designs classic and timeless spaces infused with a chic modern vibe. By merging traditional and contemporary elements, the team creates fresh, sophisticated looks. Their interiors are elegantly balanced, carefully edited, and current with a thoughtful mix of furnishings, textures, finishes, and objects.

Whether your aesthetic is contemporary or traditional, nationally recognized interior designer, Jean Atchison, will work closely with you to bring your vision to reality and create a home that is uniquely your own.



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