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September
18

 

For those who spend Saturday mornings with a cup of coffee and HGTV, home staging may seem like a piece of cake. However, when selling your home this may be the most important factor in the selling process. Staging your home for potential buyers allows them to view themselves and their family within the space, increasing the chance of them making an offer. It's important to be careful and make the right moves when staging a home to avoid missing out on a sale. Of course, when working with a Choice Properties real estate agent, we will assure all home staging needs will be addressed properly. The next time you're binge watching a home show, ask yourself, are they making these home staging mistakes?

Not Taking the Potential Buyers into Consideration

The first thing one should do when staging a home is take a minute to consider the audience. Who is most likely to show interest and purchase the home listing? Will they be a young family? An older, retired couple? Answering these questions will help the design process go as needed, according to the demographic. 

Overdesigning the Space

Contrary to belief, there is a such thing as over designing the space. In these scenarios, less is more. Staging a home to sell is about creating a space that the buyers can imagine themselves in for years to come. Take this moment to remove a majority of personal items from your home, although it may feel emotional. Easy ways to make the home inviting without overdoing it is to paint an accent wall, update window blinds, and minimal accent pillows and rugs. 

Personalising the Home Staging

Staging a home is without a doubt the best way to draw in potential buyers, intriguing them to make an offer. But, be careful about personalizing the home and scaring interested families away. Refrain from having your style and personality shine through on the home staging, as everyone has a different taste. For example, avoid repainting the kitchen any bright colors, or leaving small knick knacks lying around. Although these are important to you, it may feel loud and cluttered to others. 




Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. 

Call us to get started on your dream home search today.

 

July
24

Making the decision to sell your home may come with a range of emotions. It's nostalgic to see this chapter of your life come to an end, yet exciting to start a new journey. Selling your home may feel like a stressful time,  but when working with a trusted real estate agent it's quite the opposite! The biggest factor to selling your home is hosting an open house, allowing potential buyers to take their time exploring the home. Of course, when working with a Choice Properties real estate agent, we will go above and beyond to ensure your home selling needs are met and handled. Here is our guide to hosting a successful open house. 

What is an Open House?

An open house is an event in which the home for sale can be visited by interested buyers without having an appointment. Your Choice Properties agent will manage the staging of your home by arranging refreshments, snacks, welcoming visitors, and offering tours of the property. 

What Should I Do Before an Open House?

It's important to allow potential buyers to feel welcomed into the home. This is an opportunity for them to envision themselves in the space, making it crucial to have both exterior and interior cleaned and maintained. When posting your home to sell, prepare for an open house by cleaning the outdoor space. You should:

  • Mow the lawn
  • Trim overgrown bushes and trees
  • Touch up on chipped paint
  • Clean/organize the garage
  • Power wash driveway 

Once the exterior of the home is in tip-top shape, it's time to move inside! Consider this checklist of preparing for an open house:

  • Set the temperature to a comfortable level 
  • Depersonalize the space
  • Organize and clean closets 
  • Deep clean the kitchen, including stove, backsplash, and countertops 
  • Clean bathrooms, preparing fresh soap and hand towels
  • Vacuum and shampoo carpets 

The main benefit of hosting an open house is to help the home sell quickly. Taking the time to prepare the exterior and interior of your home will help the open house go smoothly, where your expert real estate agent will take it from there. 




Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.

March
13

Avoid These Mistakes When Selling Your House

Whether you are relocating for work or need an upgrade for a growing family, selling your home often comes with a wave of emotion. With packing and moving on your mind, stressing about selling your home is the last thing you should be worried about. The award-winning agents at Choice Properties are here to help make the process smooth and worry-free. However, there are a few key points to keep in mind when making this transition! Avoid these mistakes when selling your house to make the move easier.

Staying Emotionally Attached

When owning a home for the past few (or many) years, it's natural to form an attachment to a place you have nested and created memories with loved ones. Once you decide to sell, you will have to learn to detach and think objectively about your home's strengths and weaknesses.

Not Making Repairs

It's no secret that most homes need some maintenance or repairs. Most buyers are not interested in purchasing a home that comes with a list of updates. If your cooling/heating system is broken or the roof is missing some shingles, consider repairing these issues before listing your home on the market. Expensive repairs may be deal breakers for buyers but updating small stuff, like a broken door knob or leaking faucet, will leave a positive impression.

Not Staging Your Home

Staging your home is perhaps the most important step when selling. This gives buyers an opportunity to envision themselves in the space, increasing the likelihood of them making an offer. After you've thoroughly cleaned and decluttered, consider whether your furniture arrangements show your home at its best. If your rooms feel crowded, consider donating, selling, or giving away some items, or put them in storage.

Neglecting Curb Appeal

First impressions are everything when listing your home on the selling market. Landscaping and gardening should not be neglected during this time. Make sure the lawn is properly mowed, and even plant some flower to bring color and life to the area. Consider adding a new wreath or doormat to the front porch so buyers feel welcomed and relaxed.




Choice Properties offers you a chance to find the home of your dreams. We work with your budget and ideas in mind to support your ultimate vision. Call us if you are ready to check out the available inventory or to speak with a reputable agent who can assist you with your home buying needs.

August
31

 

A jam-packed garage filled to the gills with boxes, unused items or storage can leave a person feeling defeated before the process even begins. Break down the mountainous task into little pieces to get a better focus with some storage tips for transforming a chaotic space into one that is functional, organized and easy to use.

 

Set Realistic Expectations

Cleaning out the garage can feel like an onerous task but it will take more than one sweep to get rid of the clutter. Take the pressure off by assuming it will all get done in one fell swoop. Start by tossing perfection out the window before starting and break down the task into manageable chunks. Eventually a clean garage will appear (with small victories along the way).

 

Reconnaissance Mission

Go in with a focused mind. Worrying about sorting or removing items may ramp up anxiety about cleaning. Have a look around and note what is present. Do what needs to happen to feel organized in control. The following tips may also help:

  • Note big, bulky pieces

  • Research where to take the items

  • Take photos and create a Craigslist ad or other resource in the area

 

Use Local Resources

Compile a local resource list by looking over notes or photos made during the reconnaissance mission. Once a list is made, it is easier to figure out where to put it all. The following ideas are just a few ways to help get ideas started:

  • Consider renting a refuse container for trash

  • Find consignment shops to drop off clothes (or other charitable organization)

  • Chart details in advance to make process feel more smooth

 

Storage

Investment in proper storage is never a waste of money. Storage cabinets and wall-mounted storage can make a huge difference in accessibility of stored items and help protect items over time. Plastic bins also work well for hard items. Three main types of storage to consider include:

  • Overhead. If space is tight and there is alot to store, use overhead space to stow away least-frequently used items (holiday decor, seasonal items) in lidded bins. Overhead storage racks need secure mounting for safety so call a pro if needed.

  • Wall-mounted. Keep gear and bins off floor to prevent moisture damage and save floor space.

  • Locked cabinets. Essential for safely storing hazardous materials (antifreeze, motor oil, etc) keep them away from children and pets.

 

Some other tips to experience a successful garage clean out include moving frequently used gear near the entrance. Bikes and ball games or frequently used items should be easily accessible. Have storage handy to keep things in a proper place. Bike hooks for bikes, wire mesh baskets for balls and shelves for gardening supplies help keep things organized long-term. Maintain the clean state of the garage by continuing to purge items no longer used and creating storage for new items for a better overall feel in the home.

 


 

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August
2

Whether a first-time buyer or one with experience, inventory is slim but lots of competition exists which can lead to a frustrating seller's market. Quick, easy sales are best for buyers. Sellers and buyers can benefit from some of the following tips for maximizing home selling and buying and the current competitive market.

 

Sellers and Buyers

The following tips will help any person selling a home or purchasing know what to look for when stepping into the current market.

 

Seller: Prepare, inspect, disclose and plan ahead. The market is less forgiving if a person makes a mistake. A home which goes 'back on the market' may mean less money in an eventual sale. Holding onto the first buyer is critical. Put issues out front for potential buyer. Be prepared to disclose any issues such as a leaking roof or other defects that may kill the deal before it is sealed.

 

Buyer: Be ready to move. Buyers are aggressive, motivated and ready to go. To compete with the market, be serious about becoming a homeowner. When a desirable listing pops up, make time to go see the property as it may not be available for long. With a seriously motivated seller, the buyer make work with the seller and take it off the market which leads to disappointment for other potential buyers who missed the boat.

 

Seller: Have a strategy. Don't move too quickly on an offer if others may come in. Work with a reputable agent who knows going in what to expect from the market (and prospective buyers). It may work to wait a week to 10 days, have more showings then review offers. It may also work to act on the offers that come in. The wrong approach may result in missing a better offer to come or lose momentum of the current (motivated) buyer.

 

Buyer: Win some, lose some. A few houses will go by the wayside before the right one comes along. Go with the flow to avoid frustration. Missing out can be a motivating factor to up the ante next time.

 

Seller: Know the competition. A smart seller will hit open houses well before homes hit the market. Pricing is key in a competitive market, especially with today's herd mentality. When someone wants a home, it must be desirable and have value to other people. Well-priced homes that show well grab immediate attention of buyers and sell faster (often for more money).

Preparation

Real estate is not a cheap investment and the process can be stressful. Sellers and buyers need to be on top of the game to find success. Sellers have the advantage to plan in advance of going on the market. Buyers must be reactive and prepared to move on a dime. It may feel like a wild ride, but the home of one's dreams is worth fighting for in a hot market.

 

Get more advice on the tips to this year's seller's market.

Contact one of our agents today.

 

July
28

A homeowner who desires a property to stand out from the competition must view everything as a business transaction. Emotional attachment to a home can impact potential buyers and make it difficult to detach from the property. Sellers who transition away from emotional connection into investment mode reap more financial rewards. Learn what potential buyers are looking for and how to make an existing property for sale more marketable.

 

Wish Lists

Homes sell quickly that have desirable features on a buyer's wish list. Retailers work to understand this market and corner it for profit. The same goes for selling a home. Mentioning the top features in a listing description can net a premium in how fast the home sells and the final sale price. Features such as 'barn doors' or 'subway tiles' can net as much as 13 percent more than expected and nearly 60 days faster than homes without the features. Carefully worded listings have an impact on a person's impression of a property.

 

Some of the following features are on the top of buyers wish lists in the current market:

  • Barn doors: homes with this description net 13.4 percent more than expected. Rustic sliding doors can be found in craftsman-style homes, in bedroom closets or kitchen pantries.

  • Shaker cabinets: homes featuring this item sold for 9.6 percent above expected value and 45 days faster

  • Farmhouse sink: homes with the trendy but functional kitchen sink net a nearly 8 percent sales premium

  • Subway tile: the added aesthetic and design feature of subway tiles catch a buyer's eye and sell for nearly 7 percent more than expected and 63 days faster.

  • Quartz: typically found on kitchen or bathroom counters, listings with the word 'quartz' sold for a 6 percent sales premium while homes with 'granite' only saw a 4 percent sales price boost.

 

Buyers in today's market prefer turnkey homes to renovations, updates and bells and whistles. The more features to entice a potential buyer, the better.

 

Big Rooms

Two of the biggest spaces in a home that have potential to sell a property are the kitchen and bathrooms. If a kitchen or bathroom is outdated, modest upgrades can really add value to the home and overall appeal to potential buyers. Splash some white paint on the cabinets, freshen the look, buy some stone countertops and replace old faucets with shiny, new ones.

 

Buyers Market

Certain features help sell a home more quickly. Even with time at a premium, it is beneficial to hire contractors to come in and do some minor upgrades to help sell a property with features from a buyer's wish list. Subway tiles in the kitchen or bathroom, barn doors and craftsman features have a proven track record of selling homes faster. Play up the features to help sell property in today's market.

 

Get more advice on how to create a home that attracts buyers.

Contact one of our agents today.

June
23

A home which provides eco-friendly features can sell well in today's market. Geothermal systems, solar panels, Energy Star-rated appliances and LEED certification go far when selling a home. Home builders and sellers of upgraded homes that provide 'green' features spend a fair amount but whether a prospective buyer cares about it depends on many factors. Learn what the factors are and how to position a home with 'green' features for the marketplace.

 

Feature, Fixture or Finish

Prospective homeowners look for features to touch, feel and show off to friends and family. Spa-like bath, media room or a chef's kitchen all have buying power. A buyer may not necessarily pay extra when it comes to home improvements that cannot be seen (such as the roof, boiler or new plumbing). Green features fall somewhere in the middle. A buyer may pay extra for 'cool features' such as an energy-saving thermostat which can be controlled from a mobile phone but will not necessarily pay extra for reclaimed hardwood and unique air filtration systems.

 

Savings

A consumer will not spend a huge chunk of money on a home but if a green home means savings, short term or down the road, buyers usually listen. Resale value such as a high-tech thermostat or remodeled kitchen can present a great scenario for buyers who receive value from the feature while also having built-in equity.

 

Green vs. No Green

Most buyers will make a cost-benefit analysis with new constructions. With extra cost must come extra value to the consumer in the form of an immediate tax credit or other benefit to make the purchase worthwhile. The cost of a new system which provides such benefits and requires zero out of pocket cost has great curb appeal. A buyer is able to realize savings in lower energy bills and savings over the long term but not everyone wants to pay for green features, regardless of savings. Overall, buyers who plan to be in the home a shorter time have less to benefit from the cost savings than those who plan to stay long term. A future buyer likely will not pay extra, especially in a down market.

 

Growing Market

Some new buyers are concerned for the environment and want to give back, financial features of a home notwithstanding. Whether or not the features are cool is not significant as an environmentally friendly focused buyer will pay extra anyways.


Green features are becoming a mainstay in the housing market. Today's consumer likes to see some of the features when shopping to consider environmental impact alongside cost savings. This, weighed against particular real estate decisions, can ultimately add up with personal considerations such as location, floor plan, number of bedrooms and, of course, green features. All of the above add up to choices worth prioritizing when searching the market for that perfect home.

 

Get more advice on ways you can get started on creating an Eco-Friendly home.

Contact one of our agents today.

June
14

The start of seller season in real estate begins April 1st, which also happens to be April Fools' Day. The time to sell a house is list it now and get ready. Homes show better in springtime. A seller is more likely to move a house quickly at good market value this time of year. In a competitive market, sellers may make a mistake by waiting to list property. Spring is a great time to showcase a home's best assets and help people envision living in the property. Some simple, yet effective, tips can position a seller's home on the market, save stress and help retain power of negotiation for fair market value.

 

First Impressions

Curb appeal is very important when selling a property. Landscape can take time to maintain. Instead, go with low-water grass and drought-tolerant plants. Visit the local garden center and explore native plants. Spruce up the front yard and back patio. Potential buyers love to see how relaxation and entertainment is possible in a new space. Make the front porch and entryway as attractive as possible as potential buyers will stop at this point to get into the home and have time to look at surroundings.

 

Model Home

The emotional connection to a home is an important selling point.. A home that sells fast is one which follows these get-ready tips:

  • De-personalize the space to help potential buyer envision living there

  • Remove family photos and kids artwork

  • Edit collections, books, closets, cabinets, pantry and end tables

  • Make home look as big as possible to showcase rooms

  • Focus on big spaces in the home which will be used often like the kitchen (functionality, neutral design choices)

  • Splurge on a few main spaces which have a lot of resale value (master bath, living room)

 

Marketing

A house will not sell itself without some help. Think of the process in three parts: pricing, listing, showing. View comparable properties in the area then set a competitive price point to ensure a quick sale.

 

Get more people to the open house by listing the property on a Friday before opening the home the following Sunday. The long exposure helps before showing. Following the open house, compare all offers on Sunday night. In a good market, multiple competing offers will be given and the home can sell at or above the list price.

 

Competitive markets may be more aggressive. Direct mailers may be needed to potential buyers to let everyone know about the property for sale. A 'broker's open' invites brokers and real estate agents to view the property before an open house to receive feedback on selling more quickly.

 

Forget Perfect

Highlight the positives of the property such as access to schools, health clubs or green space like parks. A positive approach will help the property sell quickly and easily, a win-win for all parties involved.

 

Get more advice on how to get ready for this years selling season. It's a hot one!

Contact one of our agents today.

March
10

One of the reasons people search for investment property in Ohio is to gain financial freedom. Financial independence is possible with an investment property if a person knows how to go about finding the right home and the ins and outs of putting money into an additional place. There are many benefits to purchasing such an investment in Ohio, especially Indian Lake, as prices are low and demand is going up for homes by the water. To increase cash flow, an investment property can be leased or rented out and eventually sold for profit. The appeal of injecting cash into a property which can build equity and profit later is possible. Follow these steps to   get started.

 

Establish a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)

An LLC is a private limited company which is a designated business structure. This is ideal for smaller businesses because it limits and shield's an entrepreneur's personal liability risk by the enterprise's liabilities. Any individual who uses an LLC does so to protect their rights as business owner against legal issues.

 

Find a Good, Reputable Real Estate Agent

A good real estate agent can find out immediately if a property will be a worthwhile investment. They will know the area and market values to help make the best choice. When a property is selected, cash will need to be available on hand for a 20% deposit. A good lender is key to help process the loans in a timely fashion. Choice Properties has excellent trained, qualified real estate agents available to help in the selection of an investment property in Indian Lake, Ohio and beyond.

 

Property Rehab

Homes are prone to wear and tear and investment properties are no exception. As years go by, a property will need upkeep as it may not be well taken care of by tenants. Damage is an inevitable part of owning a home so keeping a fund available for leaky roofs, new heating units and more is a consideration.

 

Contracts

Be selective when choosing renters for a property. Rent arrangements need to be covered in a contract. Failure to outline this in a written agreement may result in difficulties later if the need to evict a tenant arises or if other issues come up.

 

Patience

Patience is important when searching for investment property in Ohio. Indian Lake is an area with lots to offer but it will take time to locate the best property. It is time consuming to search for contractors and good renters. Taking time now will save a headache later so be patient, take time and do it right from the start.

 

Business First

Do not let renters get away with anything. After all, an investment is part of one's financial portfolio which can affect the quality of life. It is better to kick out a poor tenant for non payment or other issues than let the issue linger and risk losing money.

 

Choice Properties has agents ready to speak with you about investment properties in Indian Lake, Ohio.                                      Don't wait, call today at 937-842-2244 to discuss the options and get started!

 

Get more advice on steps it takes to own an investment property.

Contact one of our agents today.

February
9

So You're Looking for Cheap Waterfront Property

Waterfront investment properties require special consideration to ensure the property will suit the lifestyle and provide activities everyone can enjoy. Start with these tips when looking to purchase cheap waterfront property.

 

Determine Your Needs

When potential homeowners research waterfront investment properties, the first step is to discern how the property will be used. From this point, a realtor can help figure out which area best suits these needs and desires to focus in on specific properties. Some strategies to get started include:

 

  • Learn about real estate. Get books, take a class or two and do research. Ask lots of questions, talk to friends, family and other relatives to learn as much as possible about investing in waterfront property.

  • Commit to the process. It takes time to research, find and purchase that perfect property. Some will fall through or not be a good match but know what to look for and what needs exist to know the right property when it comes available.

  • Have a strategy. Focus on achievable goals and know what the property is intended for. If it will be a rental for part of the year and vacation home for the rest, this may determine which property is ultimately selected.

 

Frequency of Use

When searching for cheap waterfront property, it is important to look at the activities available, nearby hospitals for any medical needs which should arise, proximity to an airport if frequent travel is important and finding the best property to suit the family's needs and budget. Knowing how often the property will be used can determine suitable options.

 

The Search

Location is key when searching for waterfront investment properties. After determining best fit for needs in a waterfront home, visiting the area to find a good fit is important. The surrounding community is an important factor when making a decision. Look over the property as well as the house as the real value of the home will be the property in a waterfront location. Look for five key points when searching for that perfect property:

  • Sandy beach. Proximity and quality is important for both younger and older family members.

  • View. As people age and do less on the water activities, the view becomes more important.

  • Level lot. The flatter the lot, the better for easier water access

  • Proximity to water. Homes closer to the water allow a closeness to nature and keeping an eye on any young kids by the water.

  • Privacy. Some lakefront properties have as little as 50 feet of frontage, which offer very little privacy. Ideally, a property will offer 150-200 feet to give privacy from neighbors.

 

Choice Properties has real estate agents who specialize in waterfront investment properties in the Indian Lakes area to assist with your needs and sort through complex issues to get everyone on the right track to finding that perfect location.

 

Get more advice on finding and owning an affordable waterfont property.

Contact one of our agents today.

November
27

Here are some tips for smooth lining the selling process when listing a property that you no longer live in, for whatever reason.

For a major tax break, be sure you've lived in the house as a primary residence at least two of the last five years. If you haven't, then you'll be looking at a tax gain on the sale of an investment property. If you have lived in the home, then the US federal government allows for single homeowners to sell their home without paying taxes on the first $250,000 in gain. For married couples, it's $500,000.

The next most important thing for you to do is to early on get a good, trustworthy agent on board. A local agent is a local resource for you, the seller. If you're renting, these agents can field renter's issues such as leaky faucets or broken garage doors. If you're selling, these agents are going to be priceless for knowing the local market and making sure the property is kept open house ready. Potential buyers are also more open to working with a real person as opposed to internet deals.

Even with a local real estate agent, it won't hurt you to stay on top of what the market is doing in the area where you're selling. Keeping yourself knowledgeable will let you react quickly when an offer to buy does come in. Knowing if what they're offering is high or low is good business. It's the sign of a smart homeowner.

So is taking care of your tenants if you are renting the property. If they've been loyal tenants, you may want to offer them the first opportunity to buy the property when you decide it's time to sell. At the very least you'll want to give them a good lead team to know they'll need to be moving if they aren't interested in purchasing. Keeping them happy should translate to them continuing to take care of your property while they reside there.

 If you're looking to sell a house long distance, contact the award-winning real estate agents at Choice Properties for advice on plannign the best possible sale.

 

 

Get more advice on listing and selling your home from long distance.

Contact one of our agents today.

November
24

When staging your home to sell, there are a couple of key points you want to keep in mind. First, is that first impressions really do mean everything. Second, less is more. A potential buyer wants to walk into an aesthetically pleasing space which they can easily imagine themselves living in, not some place that is cluttered or decorated with bold bright colors or other personal touches.

Any professional stager will tell you it's all about selecting great décor pieces which utilize the existing space. The ultimate goal is a positive impact on potential buyers.

 

Here are five staging suggestion tips to turn a home listing into a sold home;

Spend some time with your realtor and get to know your potential audience. Remember, you aren't selling to yourself but to a broad market. Trust your realtor to help you stage to the buyer demographic most likely to be viewing your home.  

 

We can't stress enough that you want to remove your personal touches when putting your home on the market. First thing you should do is pack up the family photos. Empty walls are much easier for a potential buyer to see as a canvas of possibilities should they decide to purchase the house.

 

Design trends do tend to have a short lifespan; however, a well-staged and marketed home should have a short list time as well. Taking a gamble on a current fad, like airy aqua or bright Mediterranean blue accents, could give you the leg up with a 'fresh' feel to the property, so don't be afraid of trends.

 

While you want a space to overall be neutral—a blank space for the buyer to visualize with—adding a splash of color can go a long way to making a property memorable. Think subtle, but striking. A room with the main walls painted a beige tone with an accent wall in teal can then be finished with teal and cream accent items throughout the room. The result will be a chic, trendy space where the buyer has room to add their own personal touches, but can see the potential the space has because of the decorating start.

 

Continuing the idea of showing the buyer a space's potential, you'll want to stage a space with as many functional pieces as possible. Avoid overcrowding. Simple, practical, and functional furniture pieces will demonstrate how livable the space is.

 

For more tips on how to stage your home with the buyer in mind.

Contact one of our agents for special advice.

 

November
10

Want to give your home a face lift but don't have a magically refilling wallet? With a budget of about $5,000 and a solid game plan, you can get a fresh new feel for your home this winter!

Home Improvements on a Budget

When working with limited funds, it's best to focus on the kitchen and bathrooms. These are the areas which are used the most, and if there's a chance you'll be selling your home anytime in the future, these are also the areas that buyers will show the most scrutiny over. With some finesse, you can even look at adding living space by enhancing your available outdoor areas.

Kitchens

A functional kitchen is a beautiful kitchen so start by assessing your cabinet situation. How practical are they? Could you use deeper cupboards? Taller? Wine-racks and spice storage might be beneficial, as well as a walk-in pantry to not only make better use of the space, but give you better control over your food supplies. Knowing what you have on hand will ultimately help out your grocery bill!

If you're happy with the cabinetry, other areas you can consider upgrading/updating are lighting and plumbing fixtures. Again, look for replacements that are not only 'pretty' but have 'green' benefits. These will eventually pay you back in utility bill savings, not to mention you can claim eco upgrades on your taxes. Win-win: help the environment AND put money in your pocket.

Bathrooms

Carry the green theme into your bathrooms. Update lighting and plumbing. While you're at it, consider giving the outdated tub/shower a facelift. Nothing says luxury like a tiled shower area, complete with a bench and a shelf area to house your assorted soaps and shampoos.

Outdoor Improvements

Create an outdoor living area to give your usable living space a boost. Actually building on new rooms can get quite costly, but a few dollars can go a long way toward turning a bland patio into an oasis. Things you'll want to keep in mind when creating your outdoor escape:

  • granite, pavers, or flagstone for the 'floor'

  • mulch landscape beds for visual appeal (if you don't have landscaping, consider a few potted plants)

  • provide shade by building a pergola or installing a retractable awning

  • if in a hot climate, consider installing outdoor fans and/or a misting system

  • water features will help with temperature as well, and can provide an audible escape


If you're looking to bring some life and energy to your home, a $5,000 budget can add quite a bit of flair and improvement to your house. Homes in Logan County are always beautiful but the upgrades keep them fresh. If you've recently updated your home, let us know!  Send us a picture and we'll feature it on our blog!

 

For more tips on how to upgrade your home with the buyer in mind.

Contact one of our agents for special advice.

 

November
6

As time marches on we tend to collect, some might even say hoard, so many "things." They might be personal mementos such as letters or various and sundry memorabilia from our school years, they might be "fangirl" collections from a book series, shot glasses from every state in the country, or baseball cards. Regardless of what is collected, humans like to gather.  It's in our nature.

Effects of a Cluttered Living Space

The problem with this is that eventually all this gathering leads to clutter, and clutter can lead to mental unease or distress. We're all very sensitive to our surroundings and the state of our living space often has a dramatic impact on our own emotional and mental state.  Cluttered closets and messy houses make for a lot of pent up anxiety and emotional baggage.  It might not seem obvious but the subtle effects of your surroundings have been studied and observed in cultures around the world for centuries, from Asian Feng Shui to modern Western Architectural Design principles. However, it's not always easy to part with our treasured collections of stuff.

 

Some of the most common reasons people refuse to get rid of these "things" are:

1. This is a family heirloom, so it would be wrong to let it go.

2. But it was a gift.

3. What if I need it someday?

4. I paid a lot of money for it.

 

Chances are, if you find yourself having to make excuses to yourself to keep the item(s), then you probably don't need them in your life or home. It's perfectly okay to have special mementos, but you don't need to hold onto every last thing you encounter in your life. Nor do you have to just throw away those relics.

Choose a few key pieces and create a shadowbox or a scrapbook. Consider donating your great-grandparents clothes to a local theatre organization where they can be used and appreciated by helping to bring the past to life . . . on stage. Perhaps you have some valuable china or crystal, or even art pieces, but they don't fit the style of your home and you never really liked the piece anyway . . . check with museum curators. You might have something that would be perfect for one of their displays (and this way you can go visit the stuff anytime you feel the urge to lay eyes on it again). Schools are always happy to take donations of gently loved books, toys, and clothes.

Minimizing, and thereby decluttering, your home will make you feel better. Don't keep things out of guilt or feelings of obligation. This is YOUR home, YOUR life, so make it a sanctuary. A happy place to be. You'll thank yourself for it.

 

Get more advice on ways to declutter your home and life.

Contact one of our agents today.

October
7

Selling a home rarely happens overnight, yet sellers can find it frustrating if it seems that too much time is passing without closing the deal. On average, a home shouldn't take more than six weeks to sell—if the market is strong and the property is priced appropriately. If it sits much longer, buyers can become wary, so let's look at some ways to generate interest if your home isn't selling as fast as you'd like.

 

Location, Price, and Condition

While you can't just move your home to a different part of town if traffic is low, you can reassess the price you're asking, and whether it's comparable to other homes in the area in addition to what the property itself offers.

If you've got some time, and have received consistent feedback over issues with the house, then you may want to go ahead and take the house off the market for a short time to address those issues. There are low-budget fixes you can do to make a house more desirable. Sometimes it's as simple as decluttering, slapping on a coat of a fresh paint, and putting out fresh flowers. In other instances, it could take a little more . . . maybe updating the kitchen and/or baths will be what it takes.

If you are unable to spare the time or money for a remodel, or the location is out of your hands no matter how nice the house actually is, another option is to go ahead and reduce the asking price.

 

Do You and Your Realtor Have the Same Goal?

As large an investment as a home is, you want to be sure that your Logan County real estate agent has your back. Be honest with your expectations from the first meeting with them. Also, be open to their suggestions and recommendations. Remember, they do this for a living and it's their job to know the market you're trying to crack. A good agent won't let you undersell or overprice, and will be willing to pursue offers by following up with any potential buyers who've shown interest.

 

If you are having trouble selling your home, let us help!

October
7

Before you take on any kind of major redecorating, you're going to want to take some preliminary steps. Like determining what your working budget for the project is, and taking a good long look at not only your likes and dislikes, but those of the other people living in the space with you, especially your significant other. If you aren't both on board, one of you could end up miserable in your home—the place that is supposed to be a sanctuary.  Discuss these home decorating tips with your family and see what ways you can spruce up your living environment.

 

"Spend an hour or two on the computer and look at some things together and talk about them. Ask your partner: 'What do you like about it? What don't you like about it?'"~Alana Homesley, interior designer (Woodland Hills, CA)

 

Having a plan in place before you begin will help make the process smooth and painless. 

That being said, there is no reason not to go after your 'dream space'. Have fun collecting pictures and ideas of what you would do if money and time were no object; create a wish list of sorts. Investing time—months, if necessary—in this step will give you a jumping point and allow you to really figure out what appeals to you, and what doesn't. This can also be an insightful tool in the event that you hire a professional home decorator.

 

"If you don't have that master list, it's hard to prioritize." ~Amy Luff, interior designer (Viva Luxe Studios in Bristol, VA)

 

Good questions to ask yourself when creating your vision:

  • What colors are comforting, welcoming, and relaxing?

  • Do you have pets that need to be accommodated?

  • What building materials 'speak' to you? Sterile and clean (marble, travertine, silk), warm and inviting (wood, bamboo, cotton and linen), et cetera.

  • What era, or style, are you most at home in? Victorian, French Country, Museum Chic . . . the choices are endless.

 

With the ideas flowing, now you need to start narrowing down your home decor ideas in order to achieve a realistic budget. Review what you have in terms of furniture and large décor pieces, and decide what can stay and what absolutely has to go. A whole new room can be created around existing pieces. Maybe you adore the design of your sectional couch, but the upholstery doesn't fit the new color palette you're considering . . . it may be cheaper to have that couch re-covered than it would be to go buy a brand new one. Love the frame on your mantle artwork, but the image itself isn't going to work with your new theme? Reuse the frame by replacing the print.

Think outside the box and be open to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Your pocketbook will appreciate it, as will mother Earth.

 

If you need an experts advice on decorating tips,

Contact one of our agents today.

October
7

Fall is in the air and the days are getting cooler. Time to pack up summer, then pull out the winter gear. This is also the perfect time to give your closets a good tidying. Here are some suggestions from professional organizers for organizing your closet space.

 

Sort 

The chief design officer for California Closets, Ginny Snook Scott, suggests the first step you need to take on is pulling everything out of your closets and then sorting the stuff into four distinct piles.

  • Now Pile—often used and worn

  • Someday Pile—special occasion clothes that still fit

  • Never Pile—face it, you're never going to put these items on again (Geralin Thomas, who is the president of Metropolitan Organizing in Raleigh, North Carolina, recommends that any "trophy garments," those that do not fit or you're keeping only because you paid a small fortune for it but are honestly never going to wear again, need to go. The money isn't coming back and all these items are doing are cluttering your space.)

  • Seasonal Pile—self-explanatory

Ms. Scott recommends going through your Someday Pile once again, see how much you can move to the Never Pile.

 

Sort Again

The first step is always the easiest, but now comes the hard part. Eliminating. For real.

Most people find that their Never Pile is often much larger than they anticipated it would be—up to 40% or more of the closet content. With this discovery usually comes motivation to keep going, to do more. Use this mindset to revisit the Now Pile; see just how much of it you can shift to the Someday and Never Piles.

 

Keep Up Your Resolve

Get that Never Pile boxed and bagged, ready for repurposing by either donating them to a goodwill store, passing them on to friends or family who can and will use them, or setting aside for a garage sale. DO NOT STORE these bags where you will be tempted to sift through or have 'one last peek'.

 

Organize the Seasonal Pile

  • Wash (or have dry cleaned) anything that is getting packed up. You don't want any lingering toiletry products on the clothes as this will draw insects. **Make sure all items are completely dry before they get stored. Unpacking your clothes to discover them threaded with mildew is nobody's idea of fun.

  • Use air tight, clear plastic containers which have been clearly labeled with what is inside.

  • Store the bins out of sight, but in an easily accessible place.

 

"Never store clothes in plastic bags like those from dry cleaners. Store them in cotton zip-up bags. No mothballs. No exceptions."  ~ Geralin Thomas

 

You're Almost Done!

 

Take advantage of the fact that the closets are empty by getting in there with the vacuum. You want to suck up all those lingering dust mites which destroy fabric and play havoc with people's allergies.

This is also a good time to evaluate your hangers. Wire hangers should go back to the dry cleaners or get recycled; these are meant for temporary use, using them long-term will stretch and ruin the shape of your clothes.

As you return the Now Pile items to your freshly cleaned closet, professional organizers suggest you "group" like items, i.e. shirts, dresses, pants, et cetera. If you want to go all out, you can do each group by color or style.

 

Enjoy the fruits of your labor. It's okay to go treat yourself to one or two new items, just don't go too crazy.

 

Get more advice on organization in any space.

Contact one of our agents today.

 

October
5

 

Plants are essential to the human way of life. We produce carbon dioxide, a poisonous gas which the plants take and convert into the oxygen that we need to breathe. Pretty important.  And they're beautiful, so why not decorate your Logan County home with a splash of life.

 

Strategically Place Plants to Maximize their Aesthetic Functionality

Kitchen. Herb gardens are functional while cooking, as well as pleasing to the eye—and perfect for apartment living where space is limited and major decorating may not be allowed. Also consider low-maintenance plants which are vine-like or create long tails as beautiful additions to upper alcoves (if you're willing to climb up and water them once a week).

Use tall, open-styled bookshelves as plant stands—they are decorative and practical. Avoid bookcases for clustering as any plants you put toward the back will not get the light and ventilation they need.

Create an oxygen-rich lush atmosphere in your dining room with a few well-placed large potted plants. If you like the 'jungle' look, you can also cluster smaller pots on windowsills or side-credenzas. Consider hanging one or two from the ceiling with macramé plant holders for a bohemian feel.

If continually changing out floral arrangements isn't your thing, consider a planted centerpiece. Wheatgrass, cat grass, and herbs are good options for the dining table, though any small, low-lying potted plant will work (you want to see the person across the table from you). Protect the table from drips with saucers underneath the plants to collect water.

Are you fortunate enough to a sun room or greenhouse? Load that bad boy up, and even have a go at something exotic or tropical. These rooms are often humid and full of direct sunlight.

Fresh greenery in your bedroom will help clean the air, refreshing the atmosphere while you sleep.

 

Not Everyone Has a Green Thumb (and even those who do, don't have it all the time)

At one time or another we've all killed a plant, it happens. Don't get discouraged. Go ahead and give it another try with these growing tips:

  • Look for healthy plants at a reputable nursery (knowledgeable staff will help you choose the right plant for your situation)

  • If you're bad about watering, use the alarm feature on your smart phone to set TIME TO WATER reminders

  • Fussy plants (like ferns) love to take a bath … or at least be in the warm "tropical" atmosphere created by steamy bathrooms.

  • If you don't trust yourself to spread the plants out, cluster them up. You'll have one place to stop and water, plus this allows the plants to create their own little ecosystem and micro-climate (good for preventing water loss).

September
21

 

From mid-century ranchers and ramblers to 21st century Mediterranean villas and works of abstract architecture, in the half a century plus which has elapsed since the '50's, home floor plans have changed. They've grown in size, number and use of rooms, and even lighting has evolved to be more 'natural' . . . skylights and picture windows favored by many for the outside hues they let in.

Let's take a look at the main rooms that have transformed over the years.

 

The Kitchen

Then: Appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers were a novelty in the 1950s. Not everyone had them, and those that did, wanted them displayed. As a result, over time walls have been removed to open up floorplans, leading into today's open kitchens with islands that are often the central gathering place of a home.

Now: The more decked out, open, and inviting the kitchen space, the more appealing the house is overall to potential buyers.

 

The Dining Room

Then: Hosting dining parties where everyone gathered in a separate dining room was a way to show status and station in life. A well-liked hostess was one who could ooh and ahh her guests—and making her husband proud, Mrs. Cleaver-style—with each dish she brought out from the kitchen.

Now: Meals are no longer the formal affair they were, gatherings are reserved for holidays and special occasions, and so most designated dining areas tend to be used as offices or play spaces for younger children.

 

The Living Room

Then: The living room was considered the family room and was often placed toward the back of the house, away from the front entertainment areas, for privacy. In the '70s, designers began incorporating conversation pits or sunken living rooms, and gradually, these rooms were brought more to the forefront of the floor plans.

Now: A shared space, the living room is a space that tends to open into other rooms, making the house inviting and welcoming to guests. Not only are the spaces larger, design trends have gone taller … vaulted ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and open lofts are all quite common.

 

The Bathroom

Then: Bathrooms were purely functional—get in, do your business, get out. One to a household sufficed on most occasions, and was often "shared" by household members. While little Johnny brushed his teeth, baby Davey was getting his bath . . . that kind of thing.

Now: Floorplans now account for at least a 2:1 ratio of bedrooms:bathrooms, but it's not uncommon for the ratio to be higher, so that nearly every occupant in the house gets their "own" bathroom.  Master bathrooms can be turned into private retreats, racking up the expense with specialty tubs, showers, vanities, and flooring materials.  

 

The Master Bedroom Suite

Then: Bedrooms weren't a place to hang out or relax. Closets were small, as were wardrobes, and available floor space was compact.

Now: Following the mindset for the master bathroom, the master bedroom has typically been given more square footage than any other room in the house, next to the living room and kitchen, in today's floor plans. It's not uncommon for master "suites" to have sitting areas, walk in closets, and of course, the attached spa-like bathrooms.

July
22

Has the time arrived for you to put your home on the market? Buying or selling a home in Bellefontaine and Greater Logan County is considered one of the most stressful events you can experience in your lifetime. Here are a few tips to reduce the stress and help you stage your home to sell in Central Ohio.

 

Tip 1: Invite a Pro In

Getting a realtor or interior designer to check out the property is the best way to make plans which will work with your home. Most realtors are happy to do this as a courtesy, but if you seek out an interior designer, then plan on paying a consultation fee (check around, average rates should be about $100/hour, and an hour is all you should need with them at this stage). What you're looking for are suggested improvements, such as paint colors or furniture placement, which can go a long way toward improving the look and feel of your home.

 

Tip 2: Get a Home Inspection

While it would be nice to think that a little elbow grease and a fresh coat of paint will make your house buyer friendly, not every homeimprovement is cosmetic. If you don't know something with your structure is damaged (like deteriorating roofs, possible termite infestations, plumping issues, or outdated electrical systems) then you can't fix it. An inspector will come in and check out the areas that you don't think about or normally see.

 

 

Tip 3: Now It's Time to Paint

You've met with the professionals and have a game plan; you're first step will probably be paint—one of the simplest, most cost-

effective improvements. Freshly painted rooms give a clean updated feel, which says value to buyers. Keep in mind that neutral tonesappeal to the greatest number of people when choosing your colors. You can bring in a professional or save a few bucks and do it yourself, or even plan a block paint party!

 

Tip 4: Inspiration is All Around

A professional designer not in your budget? Have no fear, you can always browse design-themed magazines, books, TV shows, and websites. When you find an idea you like, tear it out or write it down and start your own shopping list. Keep it simple when remodeling or fixing up on a tight budget.

 

Tip 5: Cleanliness Counts

First impressions are priceless. Don't ruin yours by not having the house clean and show ready when your Choice Properties Realtor begins scheduling viewings. If it's in your budget, consider bringing in a cleaning service to give the house a thorough top to bottom scrub to make it shine.

 

Tip 6: Increase Square Footage Visually

While you can't physically increase your home's square footage without building on, there are some things you can do to give the appearance of a bigger space. Replace weighted draperies with vertical blinds or shutters to let light in. A sunny room feels larger and more open. Mirrors are a great accessory to double the optical space; strategically placed, they can give the impression a room is twice as big as it actually is. Lastly, get rid of the clutter and knick-knacks to diminish the cramped feel an abundance of these items can leave behind.

 

Tip 7: Make the Bathrooms a Priority

Bathroom remodels or updates are always a good idea. Even if you can't afford a full overhaul, tiny changes like addressing old wallpaper or faux finish treatments, replacing light fixtures, or bringing in new linens will make the space welcoming. We spend a lot of time in our bathrooms, so buyers are extra picky about these rooms.

 

Tip 8: You Can't Go Wrong With Energy-Efficient Fixtures

How modern are your light and other ceiling fixtures? Is your thermometer digital? Besides upgrading these to be aesthetically pleasing, by replacing outdated fixtures with energy-efficient ones you'll lower the overall cost of running the household and be helping the planet.

 
July
17

 

Your home is an investment, and protecting your asset—whether it's a short term or long one—should always be a consideration. Maintenance and regular upkeep of your home and landscaping will save many headaches down the road. Here are a few suggestions for getting the most out of your investment while enjoying your Logan County home.

 

INSIDE:

  • Check with your utility company about having a free energy audit done. They can make improvement suggestions for maximizing the energy efficiency of your home. Not only will keeping your house updated put more pennies in your pocket now, it'll make the property appealing to future buyers.

  • Want a bit luxury without spending a lot? Install a water filtration system in your kitchen. These systems purify your water, they'll lower your grocery bills if you're a bottled water consumer, and once again, are appealing to potential buyers.

  • Are your ceilings outdated? "Popcorn" is no longer a desired design element. REMEMBER! Older ceilings could contain asbestos, so if there is any uncertainty in yours before taking on this project, get it tested by professionals. Tackling popcorn DIY style? Click HERE for a how-to.

  • There's nothing worse than bad air quality—which can have many culprits from outside seasonal allergens to hidden filth in your home. Older carpets might be harboring contaminants and allergens, especially if you have pets. You can hire a professional company to test the indoor air quality. If the results call for replacement, choose natural products like tile or laminate floors that are friendly on the environment. BONUS: Non-carpeted floors are easier to clean and will give your home an updated look.

 

OUTSIDE:

Curb appeal is everything, even if you aren't in the immediate market to sell. A satisfied Home Owner's Association along with happy neighbors translates to a quality way of life for you as an Indian Lake homeowner.

  • Short term: If it's in your budget, hire a lawn care company to be responsible for weekly grooming on your lawn and any shrubbery. If it's not in your budget, then do it yourself. Or put your teenager to work. Keep your lawn watered, trimmed, and free of insect infestation.

  • Long term: Landscaping. Mature shade trees provide curb appeal, reduced cooling costs when strategically located, and help the environment by providing habitat for wildlife, something that is dwindling the more we develop lands. Another thing to consider for enhancing curb appeal are shrubs and colorful flowers. Purchase plants that are found in 'your neck of the woods' for best results. If possible, look at drought-tolerant varieties as well to help your water bill. Here are some suggestions from Better Homes and Gardens for native plants.

May
12

 

A beautiful home in Logan County is only partly about the house itself. A great deal of the value of a real estate property is the level to which you maintain and care for the lawn and landscaping. With summer getting here and the grass starting to grow again, now is the time to get some control over your landscaping in order to present the best possible homes on the market in Logan County. In order to help you prepare for lawn mowing season, we've prepared a few general tips and best practices to help you get in the spirit of summer.

 

Mow Your Lawn Weekly

Grass grows at a steady rate in Ohio and most healthy lawns require mowing every week or at least every other week. A good three inch height for grass is healthy and allows it to continue to stay green and lush.  Anything shorter runs the risk of cutting it too close to the roots and it will lose its color and health. The hotter and drier the weather, the slower your lawn will grow so you may not have to cut the grass as often when things get really hot.

 

Water Your Lawn for Health

Brown grass is as bad as no grass at all so when it's hot and dry, it's important to keep the lawn watered.  A well-watered lawn will grow fuller and greener which always looks better when someone pulls up to look at the property. Watering the lawn can make your grass stand out from the neighbors if they aren't giving the grass a good shower every few days. If you use automatic sprinkler systems, set them to go off every other day rather than daily, to conserve the local water table.

 

Fertilizer and Weed Killer

A healthy lawn benefits from organic and natural fertilizer products to provide extra nutrients to the soil that help grass to grow green and healthy. You can always tell the difference in yards that use some sort of fertilizer and those that don't. If your yard has a problem with weeds and dandelions, try a post-emergent herbicide designed to kill broadleaf weeds without destroying the turf grasses.  These are safest on the lawn but should only be applied when temperatures are below 85 degrees.

 

Remember that when home buyers are shopping for houses for sale in Logan County they want to see a well-manicured healthy lawn surrounding your house.  Keep it trimmed and pristine and you'll have better luck selling a house in Logan County.

 

March
16

 

2014 was a relatively strong year for real estate across the farm belt and greater Midwest.  However, the National Association of Home Builders predicts 2015 will be even stronger for single-family homes, despite the continued rise of mortgage rates.  While the recovery seems to be delayed in many states, Ohio is noticing a resurgence of interest in homes and available land.  In the meantime, let's focus on the standard best practices that have kept us strong for decades.

 

It's the Little Things

The best possible presentation of a house is necessary to capture an eager buyer's eye.  Little things like trimming the bushes near the front door, changing out old welcome mats, and de-cluttering closets and shelves will add to an already well-prepared home. 

 

Take Notes

If you're a buyer looking at the home options available on the market, you're probably seeing several properties a day.  In this situation it's helpful to keep a notebook on you and make notes on the properties you visit.  Pros and Cons for each house will help you make a decision later on.

 

Sell for Spring

The winter months are over so it's time to start thinking springtime at your home.  Fresh flowers are always a nice touch for highlighting the rebirth of warm weather and add color and life to the rooms of your home.  Spring cleaning is important, especially to wash away the salt brine from the winter roads and the clutter that accumulates while we're hibernating. Take advantage of the smiles brought on by the sunshine.  

 

Transparency is Trust

A smart home buyer is going to hire an inspector or two to investigate the quality and possible problems with a property so it behooves sellers to be forthright with the state of the home.  Don't try to hide anything because buyers will assume you're hiding even more.  Try to get minor fixes out of the way like plumbing leaks and paint jobs.

 

We're all hopeful this year on both sides of the real estate market so let's keep the enthusiasm rolling and make this a great year for home buyers and sellers!

March
16

 

It's almost here!   So many of us are anxiously awaiting the onset of warmer weather and the energy of spring.  While you get yourself geared up for spring cleaning and swimsuits, we suggest planning an area of the yard for a garden.  Having a garden of your own is a wonderful way to connect with the natural landscape around your home and grow fresh flowers, veggies, and herbs for your home. 

 

Flowers

It's always a boon to have fresh flowers in a vase on the table.  Growing your own flowers around the house gives you a steady supply of luscious color and life to bring into your home each week.   Flowers are a wonderful way to brighten and liven up any room in your home and add extra value when showing the space to potential buyers.   

 

Vegetables

There's nothing quite like eating and sharing food with your family that you've grown and harvested yourself.  Although few of us are farmers these days, we can still enjoy a nice salad from our own gardens if we plant a few heads of lettuce, cucumber, and every Ohioan's favorite: tomatoes.  A vegetable garden brings a connection to the earth that we're all sometimes missing in the modern industrialized world.  Be careful to fence your garden or you'll be feeding the neighborhood rabbits and deer!

 

Herbs

Not everyone is totally invested in the medicinal nature of wild herbs but there are certainly other usesfor standard herb gardens. Sage, Basil, and Chives are common herbs used in the kitchen and are quite simple to grow in anoutdoor garden or even an indoor window box.  Herbs can also be burned as an aromatic, similar to potpourri. 

 

Studies show that working with plants and getting your hands in the dirt of the Earth can actually reduce stress and anxiety so what have you got to lose?   Send us pictures of your gardens this year and we'll post them to our Instagram!

February
23

So you're going to show your house to prospective buyers.  Congratulations on getting everything ready to go up to this point.  You've likely decided on a price and put out some advertising to indicate that you're ready to sell.  Now comes the hard part.  A house that shows well is far more likely to sell, and for a higher price.   Here are our 10 basic tips for getting the most out of your own showing.

 

Clean Everything

A clean home signals to the buyer that the house has been well kept and cared for and is more than likely in good repair.  Messy and dirty homes indicate a lack of attention and consideration on the part of the seller and can dissuade a buyer from interest in your property.

 

 

Unclutter the House

Clear out the place before you invite buyers inside.  Make a trip to the Goodwill, have a garage sale, empty closets, and generally reduce the amount of "stuff" hanging around.  The less furniture and stuff you have in the home, the bigger and more spacious it will look, especially in the closets.

 

Let the Light In

Sunlight sells.  Raise the shades and open the blinds to let as much natural light into the house as possible, in every room.  A bright, open room is much more open and inviting that a dark and stuffy cave.

 

Let the Fresh Air In

You don't always have the option to open a window in February but a house that is closed up for too long can develop musty odors that are unattractive to home shoppers.  Make a point to use fresh flowers, potpourri, incense, and any other means of creating a pleasant, fresh air smell throughout the home.  Buyers are most offended by the odors of cigarettes, pets, garbage, and sour laundry.

 

Fix Anything that's Broken

This includes plumbing, electrical wiring, doors, fixtures, and any other cracks or wobbles that may indicate a sub-standard quality in the home.  Leave nothing to chance and present the strongest home possible.

 

 

 

Send Pets Away

Stow pets away in a safe, secure place while prospective buyers are guests in your home.  Some people don't like certain animals and have allergies.  It's a courtesy to the buyer to eliminate this factor while showing the place and increases your chances of selling.

 

Send the Kids to Grandma's

We all love the little ones but a rambunctious group of children can be distracting to someone interested in looking over the property.  Take them for a walk around the block if necessary while your guests are viewing the house.

 

Paint

The easiest way to improve the look of the home (and the cheapest) is to give a fresh coat of paint to the walls.  It's easier than scrubbing them clean.  Use neutral tones like off-white or light creams and definitely avoid black, pink, and anything too outlandish.  The buyer wants to imagine their own style in the house, not yours.  A neutral base allows their imagination to take over.

 

 

 

Keep the Noise Down

While removing pets and children can help to eliminate noise pollution, it's important to silence any offensive appliances or tools that give off unpleasant noise.  If anything, play soft instrumental music like jazz while folks are browsing the home to give it a pleasant atmosphere.  Nothing too loud, of course.  

 

Be a Showman

The last tip is to present yourself with your best face forward.  Greet your buying guests in clean clothes and neat grooming so as to communicate a person whom they can trust is selling them something of value.  Politeness and friendly charm go a long way to make someone want to be the next family to live in your home.

January
12

Some folks in our industry believe you should hold out for spring to put your home on the market, as that's the busiest time of year for buyers to start shopping.  But the reality is that people buy homes every month, in every season, all year long.  Many families are eager to get moved during the summer while the kids are on vacation from school.  This means they start looking as early as February, and you should be on the market to greet them!

 

Selling a home in the winter isn't as difficult as you may have been led to believe.  Here are some tips for optimizing your home for showings in the cold, snowy winter months here in Northern and Central Ohio.

 

Clear Away the Snow

 

It's the time of year when our sidewalks and patios are often covered in sheets of ice or snow but that shouldn't stop agents and buyers from paying you a visit.  If you're walkways and driveway aren't clear, potential buyers may shy away from stopping in to take a look so always make sure you keep things clear and tidy.

 

Spruce up the Outside

Winter gets a bad rap because the grass is brown and the sludgy snow often covers everything in big piles but that doesn't mean you can't make the outside of your home inviting.   Tasteful wreaths or snow-themed décor can give a welcoming appeal to an otherwise drab yard.   Let's get rid of the inflatable Santas and religious holiday decorations so we can be sure to appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers in an elegant and appropriate fashion.

 

Keep it Cozy

 

When folks show up to your door shivering from the cold, there's nothing better than walking into a warm, cozy house.  Don't skimp on the heating this season and, if you have a natural fireplace, always have a crackling fire blazing in the hearth to showcase the winter amenities.  Add some scented candles and fuzzy blankets to the mix and make the home a place your visitors want to be this time of year.

 

Clean the Windows

The winter months are notorious for being grey and dirty so break the stereotype by making sure your windows are spotless and clean.  This makes it look more beautiful and bright compared to the drab exterior.  Keeping the entryway clean and clear of the muck you bring in on your boots is also key for making the house feel as inviting and clean as possible in the months people appreciate it most.

 

Don't be intimidated by the winter, people are still interested in seeing the homes available on the market in the Indian Lake and Bellefontaine areas.   If you have questions, ask one of our award-winning real estate agents for advice on making your property shine during the cold season.

January
19

We're always fielding questions from sellers about the best way to present a home for sale.  Over the years, we've tried many different strategies and crafted our own unique approach to optimizing your home for the market.  As with any sales strategy, you want to present the best possible version of your home to someone in the market to make it their own. 

Here are 7 of our favorite tips for getting home buyers to bite.

 

  1. A Welcoming Entryway

 

Many people are put off by walking right into a living room when they come through the front door.  If your home isn't constructed with an official entryway, try to construct one with a creative placement of furniture.  This gives a subtle mind-change from the outdoors to the indoors and does wonders for how the space feels upon entry.

 

  1. Lay Down Hardwood Floors

More and more buyers are looking for the longevity and clean air feel of hard wood floors.  You can turn any kitchen, dining room, or bathroom into a whole new space with some easy-to-lay synthetic flooring.

 

  1. Improve the Fixtures

It's all in the details and some newly-replaced faucets or door knobs can bring a whole new life to a house for sale.  These are often the quickest and cheapest way to improve your home value and presentation.

 

  1. Clean Countertops

 

Remodeled kitchens are all the rage but you don't have to replace all the cabinets and appliances to really make a kitchen sing.  Sometimes all you need is a new countertop that shines.  Keep it uncluttered and let the slab speak for itself.

 

  1. Closet Organizers

So much of appealing to home buyers is about allowing them to imagine themselves in the space.  If you can bring some sanity and organization to a closet space, you'll help the buyer to imagine themselves in a cleaner, more organized home.

 

  1. Lighting is King

It's hard to imagine something more integral to the appeal of a new home than the lighting.  Few people appreciate the impact lighting has on our assessment of a room and using artfully crafted lighting, rather than a blanket wash of white light from some overhead fixture, can bring depth and shape to an otherwise drab room.  The best interior designers use lighting to sculpt a room.  You can add tremendous energy to your home just by adding a few lamps and small lighting fixtures.

 

  1. Mind the Landscaping

 

In our rush to spruce up the inside of the house, thinking that's what people will live in, we home sellers sometimes forget to keep the lawn and landscaping manicured and beautiful.  The outside of the home is a family's nameplate in the neighborhood.  Make sure it speaks to pride and beauty in order to appeal to today's local home buyers.

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