Friday, September 25, 2015

Magnificent Master

Having a magnificent Master Suite is essential when preparing your home for sale!
Most sellers will dust, vacuum and make the bed. In today`s market, that is just not enough!
Buyers are very educated when it comes to home buying. They have done their research and know exactly what they want. 

The master is no longer a place just to sleep. It must offer many amenities for relaxation and luxury.



To give your house a competitive advantage, the master must present itself as a serene sanctuary. There are three key areas that sellers must attend to in order to make the best possible impression on sellers.
  • The bedroom
  • The bathroom
  • The closet


So grab a cup of coffee … or whatever, and take a look at how you can make your master the most memorable room of your house.

The Bed Room


The most important feature of the master suite is the bed area. The room, and the bed, of course! In today`s market, it simply is not enough to have the bed “made”. Even though your furniture is more than likely going with you, the bedding must be luxurious and inviting to buyers.



It is important to create a fantasy setting for your buyers. You want them to envy you and to believe that if they buy your house, they, too will have your lifestyle.

So what should this fantasy space include?

  • A bed
  • Lighting
  • A place to sit and relax
  • A dresser or armoire


The Bed


A sumptuous bed with fresh, crisp bedding. If your bedding has been laundered repeatedly, it is probably showing some signs of wear. Even if it still looks “nice” to you – you may wish to buy something fresh.

The intent is to create an inviting bed similar to those you see in magazines or upscale hotel ads. What is important is to keep it in scale with the size of the room. If you have the space, indulge in big, soft and fluffy. 

Have plenty of throw pillows and coverings with lots of different textures. Use analogous colors for a more serene look.

A secret of the luxurt bedding industry is to put one or even two comforters under the bed spread to make it look even more luxurious for photoshoots. You can do this for your open houses! 

The longer buyers stay and look, the better it is to have them believe they want your lifestyle.


Let your buyers secretly desire to stay. Make them wish they were alone so they could lie on your bed!

If your room would look cramped with this style of bedding, don't do it! It is more important to give the illusion of lots of space. Instead, go for something more tailored, sophisticated - but still luxurious. 

The photo on the right presents an inviting bed without all the fluff. It uses a very tight color range and relies on subtle patterns and textures for visual interest.

It is modern and gender neutral.

To pull something like this off, the rest of the room should match. 

Keep it sparse, neutral and modern.

To give the illusion of even more space, stick to a light, monochromatic palette. Beige or pale grey are in-offensive neutrals suitable for most buyers.

Lighting


Once you have the bed designed, the next step is to add some beautiful control-able lighting. If you are lucky enough to have an exceptional view or private balcony, leave the window treatments open for viewings. However, that doesnt mean you get to pass on lighting!



If you are not lucky enough to have a dimmer on the main fixture, install one, or use lower wattage bulbs to help create a serene mood. The main fixture should be something stunning – like a chandelier. Flush hardware store ceiling mounted fixtures and $60 fans have got to go! Whatever you chose to install, it should add drama and excitement. It should also evoke the feeling of luxury.

Pot lights should all be working and have the same wattage and color temperature.



Add lights beside the bed for more control of levels. In the photo above there are three options: standing, table and suspended. Standing or suspended lights allow for more visual space as they do not require side tables. This is a great way to maximize a small master!

Whether on tables, floor lamps or suspended, this lighting should coordinate with the ceiling fixture and be as luxurious as you can afford. Remember that at least these table/floor lamps will be going with you.

Seating


I would suggest that the third most important feature is seating.  A cozy spot to unwind from the day, or just to relax and catch up on some reading.

You have all seen it in the magazines and TV shows. A proper master has some place to sit and relax. 

Something plush, possibly with an ottoman and a small table for a lamp, book and beverage.

Given the choice between a seating area and a dresser or armoire, go with the seating! 

After all, your spacious closet has enough room for all your clothes and accessories, right?



Furniture


If you have met the above suggestions and still have room in your master, Congratulations! You have a spacious room to boast about!

Keep furniture pieces to a minimum. One beautiful dresser or armoire should do it. The more empty space, the more luxurious and relaxed the room will feel.

If you have gym equipment, an exposed TV (i.e.: not in that one armoire) or anything else that is less than superbly attractive in the master, now is the time to relocate it or store it.

The Closet


Your master closet should be neat, clean…and half empty. That’s right! Pack away any clothes you will not need for the next few months and put it into storage. 

Why do this? A half empty closet gives the illusion of abundant storage space.



If you do not have a closet system, now may be the time to set up something ingenious. Use pretty designer boxes, bins, baskets to contain small items. Adjustable shelving or a chic dresser are great to neatly store the items you will need for the next few months. The less visual clutter the better!

Take a look through magazines or Google “closet organization’ to get some ideas that will work for you. 

The key thing is to make it look amazing – and if you have to spend money to do that, make sure it is something you can take with you – that is: opt for boxes or dressers over building a built in rack, built in shelves or other storage solution that will stay with the house.

You can negotiate as to whether adjustable shelving stays or goes with you.





The Bath


While there may be less you can do in the master bath, unless you already planned to renovate or change fixtures, there are still some important things you can do to make this area more relaxed, luxurious and spa-like.



First off, clean every inch of the room. Remove anything that is not attached to the walls or floors to make this easier. All surfaces should have a washing, scrubbing or polishing.  Go to extremes and clean all the nooks and crannies – including the floor bolts and covers of the throne. Check the paint for any water droplet outlines from splashes in the sink and bath area and near towel racks. Don’t forget to clean the cupboards, drawers and medicine cabinets! What you may no longer notice, buyers will more than likely zero in on.

Clean all lighting fixtures and make sure all bulbs work and match for wattage and color.

Once you have cleaned from top to bottom, be very selective as to what you return to the room. Any items for personal hygiene should not be put back on the counters. 

If you absolutely need an item, store it in the closet or cabinet – in some pretty boxes or containers so the storage looks neat when buyers look.

What should be out are some new (fluffy) matching towels.  Stick to white or one shade of a neutral to evoke a spa-like feeling. 

Some pretty soap in a dish (or coordinating ceramic pump), cut flowers or a healthy green plant and some lovely new candles are all that should be out during showings.


These hints will help you present a well coordinated master suite. If you can achieve this, you will be ahead of most other properties in your area.



If you are putting your home on the market, creating a coordinated master is important before listing. If your home is not showing to the level expected from today’s market, you may have a challenge selling your house fast. If new interior design isn't something you wish to consider right now, we can help.


If you have come to the realization that it is time to move right now to have a better life, but your house isn’t ready for market, we can help. 

If you are juggling too many responsibilities to sell your house yourself this fall, then there are people who specialize in the sale of properties "as is" - usually within a week to resolve the situation quickly. 

Contact us for details.

Next time we will look at how to sell your house in the fall.


So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here! 

And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can 

Turn Your House To $OLD!



Feel free to ask me any questions through the contact info below. I would be very happy to help.


Lynda  623-335-2662







_____________
Article Sources:

Lynda Bathory

Friday, September 18, 2015

Check. Before YOU fall!

Fall is just around the corner!

It is an exciting time when the kids are back in school, the days are getting shorter, the air is getting crisper and the holidays are on the horizon.



In the middle of all that excitement, you have your house. Whether or not you are selling your house this fall, it is important to make sure that it is in good order. A good check-up is a great way to avoid any problems once the bad weather comes. Especially before the snow flies – for you northerners ;)

I have put together my checklist for you so that you can get a jump on things. It covers most regions of North America. Add or delete as needed for your area. The most important thing is that you take some time to do a complete check of your property …before you get too busy, the holidays take over, or it starts to …snow.



Outside

  • Inspect the roof. Check shingles, flashing, and eaves. Contact a roofer if needed.
  • Inspect and clean the gutters and downspouts Ensure drainage goes away from your house.
  • Inspect the caulking / weather-stripping. Seal any cracks around doors and windows.
  • Check the foundation for cracks. Repair if needed to avoid moisture penetration.
  • Inspect the siding for any cracks /bricks for loose bricks or mortar.
  • Clean the chimney; check the flue for proper functioning.
  • Inspect storm windows for any broken panes or missing glazing. Make sure they fit well.


The Landscaping

  • Check all paths and walkways for heaving or settling. Repair any gaps or changes in level.
  • Trim trees – cut anything approaching the roof. Make an appointment with a professional for any limbs near power lines.
  • Prune perennial plants and remove any damaged or dying seasonal plants.
  • Store garden hoses and turn off outdoor water.
  • Drain and turn off sprinkler system.
  • Clean and store the mower and other garden tools.
  • Prepare an area to store cord wood.
  • Inspect, clean and store any garden furniture.


Inside

Heating Systems

  • Hot water Radiators: lubricate pump and motor. Bleed any air from radiators.
  • Forced Air Heaters - vacuum all grates.
  • Electric baseboards – vacuum all heat exchange surfaces.
  • Furnaces – make an appointment to get them serviced.
  • Thermostats – vacuum sensors and contact points. Check that they are functioning.
  • Replace duct filters
  • Clean the humidifier


Access Points

  • Garage Doors – Clean and lubricate hinges, rollers and tracks. Tighten all screws and bolts.
  • Check doors and windows for proper caulking.
  • Check for drafts at doors or windows. Get plastic insulation kits if needed.


Cleaning

  • Clean away all of summer’s dust and dirt from floors, carpets, drapes and seating.
  • Clean windows. Check window sills for dust and pollution and clean as needed.
  • Clean and store any summer gear for camping or other activities.


Safety

  • Vacuum smoke detectors and replace all batteries. Test them to make sure they work.
  • Check fire extinguishers for the servicing date.
  • Check any storm lanterns, battery operated radios for proper functioning.
  • Buy some extra batteries.
  • Check the supply of emergency candles and matches/lighters.
  • Stock up on road salt, sand and shovels.




Here is a printable JPG version. If you would prefer a PDF, contact me with your email address J




Of course, your needs will vary according to your geographic location. Use this list as a starting point and customize as needed. If you regularly do something I have missed, please let me know! 

My goal is to offer The Best Fall Maintenance Checklist available on the internet!



If you are putting your home on the market, proper maintenance is important before listing. If your home is not maintained to the level expected from today’s market, you may have a challenge selling your house fast. If maintenance isn't something you wish to consider right now, we can help.


If you have come to the realization that it is time to move right now to have a better life, but your house isn’t ready for market, we can help. 

If you are juggling too many responsibilities to sell your house yourself this fall, then there are people who specialize in the sale of properties "as is" - usually within a week to resolve the situation quickly. 

Contact us for details.

Next time we will look at ways to make your master the star of your house!


So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here! 

And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can 

Turn Your House To $OLD!



Feel free to ask me any questions through the contact info below. I would be very happy to help.


Lynda  623-335-2662







_____________
Article Sources:

Lynda Bathory

Graphic Images for the Fall Maintenance Checklist courtesy of:

all-free-download.com

www.webdesignhot.com

Friday, September 11, 2015

The SMART…Edge

Everyone has heard the expression “Work smarter – not harder.” But what does that mean to today’s home seller when markets are so competative and sellers can be so picky?



Most people know that when selling their house, they have to do some prep work to get the job done right. No doubt you have heard about:

  • De-clutter
  • Clean
  • Curb Appeal
  • Stage

If by chance, you need more information on these subjects, read: 

What To Get Done BEFORE Putting Your House On The Market


However no matter how clean and de-cluttered your house is, any buyer touring through your home will, in part,  judge your house based on your stuff.

But my stuff is leaving with me when I move!

I didn’t say it was fair…I just pointed out that this is part of the reality of modern real estate.

So what is a home seller to do to get that elusive edge?

Think S.M.A.R.T. - not hard!


A lot of people have the misconception that staging means putting away or re-arranging their stuff. It is a lot more involved than that. It is about creating dream spaces. If a professional stager is not in your budget, there are things that you can do to help you get the most money for your sale.

Seduce

The idea is simple: it is creating a fantasy space out of your living space to seduce the buyer.

On a good day, the majority of master bedrooms in houses on the market will have the bed made, clothes picked up, and bed dusted and vacuumed.

It may be new, it may be nice, but it just doesn't create the right atmospere. 

Take a look at the room on the right. The walls are frigid and the bedding doesn't match it or contrast it. The industrial TV bracket would be more at home in a gym and there is even a bathroom scale under the window! Ugh! That sad tree blocks what is possibly a beautiful view. The rugs are laid out as though they are marking off a crime scene! All in all, this space has great potential, but the decor is a certain "miss."
  
What sellers fail to understand is that home buyers have become very sophisticated. Probably the best option is to keep rooms neutral and to follow modern design trends. When in doubt, look at magazines or check out trendy hotels to get ideas for bedrooms. 

Buyers tour houses looking for the right one. They are familiar with the top design magazines and have a vision in mind. They are looking to buy their dream. They follow HGTV, too and understand “potential”, but in reality, they aren’t looking for potential. These days Move In Ready is a key concept. Whether or not they are consciously aware of it, buyers are looking for something out of Better Homes and Gardens, or Architectural Digest:


Buyers want the instant gratification of buying their DREAM!


Motivate

Your ultimate goal when selling is to make the buyer NEED to have your house. For this to happen, what you show them has to be better than what they already have. When you seduce your buyer with a sumptuously appointed master suite, psychologically they are going to want YOUR lifestyle.

What is your lifestyle? It doesn’t matter! What matters is what you project. What’s on your kitchen counter top? The usual coffee mugs and utensils, or Champagne and crystal flutes for that upcoming celebration. Even if your display is artfully arranged, think about the image you are projecting.

This? or That!

On a subconscious level, the buyer will want your house more if they believe you are successful and happy in it! They want and NEED that, too!

Find a way to project success and happiness in every room.

Attract

Nothing is as appealing as getting something that someone else already has. It’s an ugly truth, but it is Human Nature. The proverbial “Keeping up with the Jones” philosophy is alive and well in today's society. Especially if it is about a warm, loving environment.

When buyers find your home to be more attractive than their own – for whatever advantage you can show them - they will want it more. You need to wow them in every room.

There’s an old saying that nothing is as sad and lonely as a table for one. Do you keep your chairs at the breakfast bar all lined up like soldiers? Why not angle pairs of chairs towards each other (bistro style) and place a small bouquet of flowers between! It creates the perception that this space is a warm, welcoming environment. Find ways to do this throughout the house.


In some cases, the difference may be very subtle. Look at these two bathrooms. 


Both are modern, neutral, clean and de-cluttered. One has crisp white towels while the other has two spa robes hanging. Subconsciously the robes evoke a feeling of relaxation, luxury and togetherness. It is enough of a difference to draw people into the fantasy of romance relaxation and togetherness. Now that’s attractive!


React

When your buyers walk into a room, you want them to have a strong (and hopefully positive) reaction! Make the purpose of each space clear and for each have a strong focal point. For the bedrooms, kitchen and baths the function is usually fairly obvious. However, for each of these, find the best feature and play it up so that the buyers will not only notice it first, but will have a strong reaction to it.

These two seating arrangements are fairly similar in placement. In the top photo with the large artwork, the focus is clear. It is large, colorful and powerful. Chances are, a person will love it or hate it! The reaction will be strong and visceral.


In the bottom room, the eye tends to wander from piece to piece to piece. It is somewhat unremarkable. Is the window the focal point? The patterned sofa? The table? It is harder to find because there is a “sameness” throughout the room, perhaps evoking less of a reaction. 

This homogeneous type of decor will leave your buyer unimpressed. That will make your house "forgetable."

Thought Provoking

If they react to it, they will more likely remember it and discuss it after the visit. This will keep your house top of mind.

How is this achieved? Prepare a handout with some photos from the BEST point of view, of course! In this way your buyers will remember the greatest features your house has to offer. If you are using a realtor, make sure that the very best photos are part of the listing. If you do any updates to your décor, make sure the new photos are added – taking the place of less attractive ones.

How to Do It


Change from Average to Awesome


Wherever possible, change out your average stuff and replace it with something tasteful, neutral and luxurious. 

Before you shop, look through magazines and online for rooms with furniture/architecture similar to your own, then try and match the accessories and soft goods from the photos.


Find the Highest Purpose


For every room, try and find the highest purpose. Is the kitchen where you “make food” or is it where you entertain guests and share good experiences with family and friends? Reflect this in what you choose to show during visits.

Focus on Attraction


Create focal points that draw attention and that will be memorable and thought provoking. You want buyers to remember your house and to think about it and talk about it long after they have left your house.

Look to see what attracts your attention first in a magazine photo. It may be a fantastic architectural feature like a fireplace or a stunning view. 

Find a way to make your house’s great features even more memorable. If your room is relatively featureless, don’t worry! Add an accent - something oversized, in a contrasting color to the general decor, or an unexpected item in the room.

These two red chairs immediately draw the eye to this area. They are visually striking items of conversation in themselves, but they also serve to make sure people will notice the amazing windows and garden outside!

Elicit Reactions and Keep them Talking


Showing your house to strangers is challenging. Your ultimate goal is to get them to NEED your place and the best way is to create a setting that evokes a strong reaction and keeps the buyers talking about your place long after their visit. When you’ve showed them something that they use as a standard for visiting other houses, chances are you have made the sale!

It’s an Investment in Your House Sale


It can be hard to justify the expense of new home décor when you are selling your house. But remember – the great part about this is that you will be able to take this new stuff with you to your new home. It’s not like renovating where you have to leave your investment behind!

Be Creative

Look for options that fit the criteria: tasteful, neutral and luxurious but don’t necessarily cost a lot of money.

Be Thrifty

Check out thrift stores – you may be surprised about quality, price and the labels on some of these items! I bought 6 Donna Karan bath towels (with tags!) for about $25. I guess the previous owner didn’t care for that shade of taupe after all! ;)

Borrow

Ask friends or family to lend you some of their fabulous pieces or offer to do an exchange for a couple of months. They may welcome a change in their décor, too!



If you are putting your home on the market, consider current design trends before listing. If your home does not have the features expected from today’s market, you may have a challenge selling your house fast. If updating and decorating isn't something you wish to consider right now, we can help.

If you have come to the realization that it is time to move right now to have a better life, but your house isn’t ready for market, we can help. 

If you are juggling too many responsibilities to sell your house yourself this fall, then there are people who specialize in the sale of properties "as is" - usually within a week to resolve the situation quickly. 

Contact us for details.

Next time we will look at a fall checklist. Yikes! Fall is coming soon!


So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here! 

And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can 

Turn Your House To $OLD!

Feel free to ask me any questions through the contact info below. I would be very happy to help.


Lynda  623-335-2662







_____________
Article Sources:

Lynda Bathory