In the days before the internet, when people were looking for a professional – a contractor, for example – they would often ask a friend or neighbour, “Do you know a good [insert profession]?”Well, guess what? The same thing still happens today! It’s just done a little differently. These days, people often ask for recommendations online, such as on their community’s Facebook page.However it’s done, the intention is obvious. People prefer to work with professionals who are recommended. That definitely includes real estate professionals.In my business, I work hard to be the kind of trusted real estate professional that clients rely on to help sell their property, find their next home, and make the entire process go smoothly. In addition, I stay in touch long-term to be an ongoing resource of information and advice.In fact, that’s one of the reasons I send you this informative e-newsletter.So, if friends or neighbours ask for a real estate agent recommendation, I hope you’ll feel comfortable giving them my name. I’d really appreciate your support!
One Hour Ideas for Boosting Curb Appeal
You’ve heard of the term “curb appeal”. It refers to the initial impression buyers get when they first see your property from the street. If the impression is a good one, it sets the right tone for the rest of the home viewing.How do you boost curb appeal? Here are some proven ideas that you can get done in an hour or so:
- Wash both the inside and outside of the front windows. You’ll be amazed at the difference that can make.
- Sweep the walkway leading up to the front entrance. Add a new welcome mat. Also, wash down the front door.
- If possible, remove cars from the driveway. Let buyers imagine their own cars parked there!
- Mow the lawn. Lightly trim the hedges. Weed flower beds.
- Remove anything from inside window sills that may look unsightly from the outside. Try putting a couple of flowering plants there instead.
- Place any trash bins out-of-sight. For example, put them in the garage or neatly at the side of the house.
- If the entrance door hardware is old and worn, change it. New hardware can make a bigger difference than you might think.
- Make sure the outdoor lights are working, especially if you’re showing your home in the evening.
- Add some flowering plants to flower beds, or buy a couple of portable potted plants and place them strategically.
- Clean your mailbox. If it’s rusted, replace it.
- If you have a power washer, give the walkway and driveway a quick blast. Just be sure it will be dry before the buyers arrive.
The Latest Options in Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting has come a long way from the days of patio lanterns and strings of lightbulbs. These days, there’s an exhaustive array of options available to illuminate your outdoor space, and make it more appealing and comfortable, particularly in the evenings.Here are just a few ideas:Solar garden lights. These lights are on stakes that can be easily inserted throughout the garden. Powered by the sun, they generate enough energy to cast a soft, pleasant glow along walkways or in flower beds in the evenings.Deck post lights. These are easy to install because they’re designed to sit on top of a standard 4x4 wood deck post. Most are solar powered.Street-style lamps. As the name implies, these look similar to old-fashioned street lamps. Installation is a little more complex, but still DIY-friendly. They’re eye-catching and have a dramatic impact on the look of your outdoor space.Portable lantern lights. These are outdoor lights that are portable and often made to look like a decorative fixture for a coffee table or side table. They can be placed anywhere.LED walkway lights. These are small lights that fit neatly and almost invisibly under stairs and around walkways. Walkway lights not only look good but also improve safety. Most are battery powered.Planter lights. This is one of the most interesting options. Each one is both a flower pot and a light in one! The pot itself is translucent which allows the light inside to shine through.Design experts say you should treat your outdoor space as you would any room in your home. Lighting it up for evening comfort and enjoyment is a good place to start.
Should You Reclaim the “Lost” Bedroom?
Do you have an extra bedroom that you’ve converted into a home office, arts and crafts room or other non-slumbering use? If so, you may be wondering if you should convert it back into a traditional bedroom before you list.According to home staging experts, that may be a good idea.Although buyers will know the space was designed as a bedroom, there will be a psychological response to seeing it used otherwise. For example, say potential buyers view a property with a master bedroom, a second bedroom, and a third bedroom converted into a child’s playroom. Logically, they’ll know it’s a three-bedroom home – but the impression that will form will be of “two bedrooms and a playroom”, not a “three bedroom home.” This is especially true if closet doors have been removed. They may even start wondering whether there is anywhere else for a child to play.So, when you’re selling, consider changing the bedroom back to its original purpose. You don’t necessarily need to put in a bed and dresser (although for staging purposes, that would help.) Just make the bedroom look like a bedroom for showings.Keep this in mind: It’s easier for buyers to imagine a bedroom as a potential home office, playroom, etc. than the other way around.