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hosting-perfect-backyard-bbq

 

So summer is almost half way over…before we are full out into back to school mode and it’s time to make the most of the sunnyweather and the free time with friends and family. Time for a backyard BBQ!
 

Looking for some great ideas to host the perfect backyard BBQ?

Here are some easy tips for hosting a backyard BBQ with guests of all ages:

Set the scene

Go with a seasonal palette – greens and yellows are fresh and fun! Look for flowers that are in bloom such as sunflowers, zinnias, and Gerber daisies.

If the party will go into the evening hours be sure to have some kind of lighting (for mood and safety) look for tiki torches or solar lights in the garden or around the pool.

Don’t forget about bug protection – have bug spray available for guests to use, have citronella candles on hand and spray the air and shrubs with Raid Yard Guard outdoor three hours before the party.

Try having some hurricanes candles on the table too. A white cotton table cloth is easy to wash but if you are hosting a party with children look for a vinyl one instead.

Place the table close enough to the house so the host and guests have access to the kitchen and bathroom.

Position the grill so the smoke is not blowing over the table but have it close enough so the chef feels included in the party.

 

Music

Music can really set the tone for the party but feel free to change it up as the party progresses. start off with some Bob Marley to set the mood, maybe then add some more up beat song selections that stick with the summer theme like “Cruel summer”, “Hot, Hot, Hot”, “Hot stuff” etc…As the evening becomes more mellow switch it up with some “Bossa Nova Brazil” or Smooth sounds of Sade.

 

 

 

Signature drink

Not necessary but it adds a sophistication to any party.

Try SUMMER MELON COOLERS
(serves 12)
Fill 1/2 gallon pitcher 1/3 full of vodka. Stir in puree of 1 honeydew melon (about 3 cups), 2 cups each of Midori liqueur and sprite and 1 cup of club soda. Serve over ice and garnish with skewered melon balls.

Offer non-alcoholic options as well, such as an equal mix of orange juice, cranberry juice and sparkling water.

For the kids, add some fruit in their drinks so they will feel just like the grown-ups.

best Backyard BBQ wines – Californian chardonnay (white) or Vieille Ferme (red).

Keep the display and service simple – a self serve bar or even just ice with cold drinks in a buck or wheelbarrow – it works with a the casual setting and it’s simple!

 

 

What to serve

Have a selection of different burgers – beef, turkey and veggie.
Salads that don’t necessarily require refrigeration such as a green, tomato or bean salads.
Appetizers such as crudites with hummus and tabbouleh.
Dessert go seasonal or simple – strawberry shortcake is a favourite and does not need a lot of prep time or if you have a fire pit, try s’mores

 

Remember

– to fill the propane tank so you don’t run out mid-grilling.
– give guests about 3 weeks notice, summer time is busy for everyone (especially families)
– prep as much as you can before guests arrive, that way you can actually enjoy the party
– if you want to keep the evening casual, it’s OK to go pot luck just plan with everyone first so you do not end up with 8 bean salads.
– use plastic cups and plates, they can be re-used but also accidents can happen and broken glass around little feet and grown up feet can be very dangerous.
– if children will be there, have something for them to do: sandbox, crafts, sports, games be sure to have them near by for proper parent supervision.

 

 

Where to shop

 
Some great stores to find super stylish yet budget friendly outdoor items, check out your local grocery and dollar stores but some other places to check out include: JYSK , IKEA , Sur la table, Walmart and Pier One Imports
Have a fabulous, fashionable and fun summer!
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paint-colour-concept-whole-home

When it comes to a paint colour concept you really need to think about the whole home.  We just finished meeting with some clients earlier today to put together their paint colour concept – they have hired a painter to start later in the week and during our paint consultation we discussed the idea of a paint colour concept for the whole home – even though they aren’t thinking of paitning the entire home at this stage.

Photo credit : HomeBunch – This mudroom is painted in ‘Stonington Gray’ by Benjamin Moore

What is a paint colour concept?

Basically it is a plan with a series of colours for the whole home.  The colours all work together even though they may be different – there is a fluidity to the whole look, so as you walk through the home room by room the colours will work in a cohesive manner.

You may not be ready right now (for a variety of reasons) to paint the entire home now but if you have a plan you can focus on the rooms to paint now and still know what the overall look and feel of the space will be.  Be sure to record and file all of the paint info – so brand, name and code – you can refer to it when you are ready to paint the next set of rooms.

What to know when making your paint colour concept?

You really need to understand the lighting in your home.  Which rooms have a lot of light (natural or otherwise) and at what time of day.  Paint looks different in different lights – natural vs artificial, it also looks different depending on the amount of light and time of day.  So we always suggest to clients to paint test swatches on the wall and take a look at them at various points in the day.  Be sure you like the colour at all times of day before fully committing.

Our clients wanted a light and airy look with some ‘beachy’ inspiration without going too literal – their furniture is most neutral (think light warm grey sofas and coffee hardwood floors).  the home is an older home with original interior doors and baseboards, they wanted to maintain that character but give the home a fresher and more current feel.

Here is the paint colour concept we put together for our clients:

Benjamin Moore ‘Balboa Mist’ OC-27 is perfect for their hallways and guest bedroom – it is a soft and warm grey tone and it is one of our favourites to work with.

Benjamin Moore ‘Stonington Gray’ HC-170 is another favourite of ours – it is a true gray that adds some really pigmentation on the wall without being too deep and it has a great freshness about it too.  This is for the dining room (and will be paired with a farmhouse inspired table)

‘Silver Half Dollar’ 2121-40 by Benjamin Moore is a colour that’s really inspired by the beach (not just in name). We chose this for the living room – it is one of the brighter rooms in the house and they wanted a bit more colour in the room that they spend the most time in.

There master bedroom is on the top floor in an attic space – so the sloped ceilings add architectural detail to their master but the ceilings are also a bit lower – so we opted for a light and airy white.  This is a clean and calming tone for the room and offers with great contrast to the dark coffee floors plus this means they have a lot of options for accent colours in bedding and more  – We selected ‘White Heron’ OC-57 by Benjamin Moore.

The homeowners  are happy with some of the existing colours in the home – such as the kitchen and bathrooms (so previous owners must have really focused on where to spend their money when prepping the home for the resale market as the bathrooms and kitchens all had a fresh coat of paint). So we worked with those tones along with their own tastes to create a a whole home paint colour concept.

A paint colour conept is a great way to stay focused on your style and have a designer look in your home…

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5-best-houseplants-grow-indoors

We are so thrilled to welcome our Guest Blogger – Marnie Bennett!

Houseplants are a great way to improve the look of any room in your home. They add a bit of nature to your indoor space and can make a room feel warm and inviting. There are also health benefits to incorporating plants into your house; they can remove toxins from the air and help protect you against allergens. If you’re a recent first-time home buyer or live in a condo in a busy Ottawa neighbourhood, you may not have the time or adequate space to grow an entire outdoor garden.

In this case, houseplants are a nice alternative. They allow you to satisfy your green thumb and still explore the benefits of home gardening without demanding all of your free time. These five plants are ideal for smaller spaces like apartments and condos where natural sunlight is often limited. They are hardy and difficult to kill which is perfect if you don’t have the time to care for a large outdoor garden or if you are new to home gardening and aren’t quite sure where to start.

  1. ZZ plant-

     

    The ZZ plant is a great choice if your new Ottawa condo doesn’t get a lot of sunlight. It can thrive in indirect light and only needs to be watered three times a month. It grows slowly so you don’t have to worry about it claiming a space for its own. It doesn’t attract pests which is a concern for a lot of first-time home buyers; after finally establishing yourself as a homeowner, the last thing you want is for pests to move in with you! The ZZ plant is stylish and exotic looking with beautiful glossy green leaves that will brighten up any room in your house.

  2. Snake Plant –

    The snake plant, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, is a very popular plant for those who have the tendency to unwillingly neglect their indoor plants. These plants are extremely tolerant and forgiving. Snake plants do best in the sun, but they can also survive quite well in the shade. They need to be watered every two weeks and prefer under-watering to over-watering. Many people choose this plant for its sculptural appearance and long, green leaves. As an added bonus, the snake plant converts CO2 at night so it’s the ideal plant for a bedroom. It has other health benefits as well such as removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from the air.

  3. Pothos

    Many first-time homebuyers who quickly realize they have a less-than-green thumb opt for the pothos plant, also known as Devil’s Ivy. It is easy to care for and adds a warm, welcoming touch to any room. It is also adept at purifying the air from harmful toxins. It can thrive in low light and does well with a weekly watering. Pothos plants are ideal for hanging because they are a trailing vine that can grow up to six feet indoors. However, you can prune it to your desired length and shape if you prefer a smaller, more robust-looking plant. It adds a beautiful touch of lush greenery to your home and can be a great accent piece to your new Ottawa condo or house.

  4. Lucky Bamboo

    According to Feng Shui advocates, a lucky bamboo plant has the power to bring peace, strength, and luck into a home (a great combination for first-time home buyers!). It’s an inexpensive plant and very easy to care for. It prefers low light or shade and you simply have to change the water once every two weeks for it to survive. If you notice the leaves losing their vibrant green colour, it may be getting too much sunlight. It adds a modern look to your house and an element of architectural design. With all of these benefits plus the power to remove negative energy from your home, the lucky bamboo plant is the perfect choice to explore your interest in home gardening.

  5. Peace Lily

    If you want some flowers mixed in with your foliage, consider adding a peace lily plant to your home. This plant has long, dark leaves and elegant white flowers. Its compact size is a perfect fit for small spaces and it doesn’t require too much sun. If its leaves turn yellow, it’s best to move it farther away from the window. It also doesn’t need to be watered frequently and it will tell you when it needs re-hydration by bending its leaves downward. With its ability to purify the air, the peace lily plant is another great option for improving indoor air quality.

    With all of these great options, there’s no reason why you can’t cultivate a home garden in your new house. Even if you don’t have the space, time, or expertise to grow an outdoor garden, you can enjoy all of the benefits of adding greenery to your home with some hardy indoor plants.

    Have fun experimenting and enjoy your new indoor garden!

    Read more of Marnie’s blog here

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we-answer-wednesday-how-home-staging

“My fiance and I are now living together, and we want to put my place up for sale. Is it worth it to stage the house? It is empty, so doesn’t that make it look bigger and that way a buyer can picture themselves in there? We just want to know what staging will do to help us sell.”

 

This is something we can definitely help you with.  We have staged lots of properties for clients to help get them sold.

 

Home staging is a great tool to help buyers visualize how to live in the space, it helps to highlight the features of your home and also show off the size of your home.  Home staging isn’t just about furniture that’s only one part of it. Selling an empty or vacant property is actually really tough.  Empty rooms are cold and emotionless – that means buyers aren’t connecting with the house.  Have you ever seen photos of an empty room? It’s really hard to tell if the room is large, small or just the right size…Many people do not have the ability to picture their things and their life when looking at a vacant property. There is no WOW factor with a vacant property so buyers don’t take notice.

 

A good home stager will come and view the vacant property (usually with you and often with your agent) and he/she will give suggestions on any repairs, cleaning, depersonalizing, decluttering and updates that are needed.  A home stager knows what buyers are looking for, your agent can also give you some insight as to what your competition is offering (renovated kitchen, counter tops…) but also what the buyer expectation is at your price point. Buying a home is an emotional connection – it is something the buyer feels when they walk in the door.  Home staging helps with setting the scene and connecting with buyers on an emotional level.

Plus buyers are looking to buy their NEW home, they don’t want your old one – so do the

prep work  to get it looking it’s best!

Your home stager will work with you and your budget to get the property up to par before moving in any furniture items.

Details are so important when selling:

– A new paint job in a current tone can do wonders for any property.

– Small updates like new cabinet hardware and a tile back splash can totally transform a kitchen

Brighter light bulbs in existing light fixtures can really help any room

-Fixing up any small repairs will give buyers a good feeling about ‘their new home’

-A good and thorough cleaning feels great! You want to make a fantastic first impression on your potential buyers.

When it comes to the final step of furnishing the home with staging furniture, your stager will have a plan.  He/She has figured out how to best show off this property by making it look clean and bright but also large and current.  The proper scale and placement of furniture make a big difference in flow plus using the right accents like colour and texture really give your photos a ‘pop’ and set the scene!

 

So why would staging help you?

Well, having your home professionally staged will set you apart from the competition. Having the right pieces, colours, updates and more will make you stand out from the crowd in any market.

1. Your staged property will always photograph better and in this day and age, your online photos are basically your first showing – when your photos look great, the phone starts ringing and the private viewings are booked!  Home staging will increase the amount of showings at your property.

2. Now that you have more showings, the agents start to take notice and that piques everyone’s interest  – your property is hot!

3. A hot property means offers – could be a quick offer early into the process because the buyer agent knows this one won’t last long or it could mean you have a number of interested buyers leading to multiple offers.

 

Home staging helps :

-make your property looks its best and present what buyers want

– by giving you the best online photos to be used in marketing materials and social media

– get more interest in your property and more viewings

– get the property sold for top dollar and quickly

Best wishes on the sale of your home and remember it’s really important for your own stress level and bottom line to work with true professionals who will help you feel good about the presentation and sale of your property.

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“Our home is on the resale market, the kids love Halloween and they love to decorate the house.  Should we decorate for Halloween while the house is up for sale or not?”

 

It’s fun to celebrate the holidays with decor and kids love it too but you need to keep in mind that holiday decor can be distracting for buyers.

 

We definitely recommend staying away from religious decor as it could offend or turn-off some buyers and you never know who is coming to look at your home.

 

We also recommend you don’t go ‘over the top’ when it comes to decor for the holidays.  Decor can add a lot of clutter into a space making it feel and look cramped which isn’t a positive for buyers.  Plus really over the top decor can be a huge distraction – buyers want and need to see the true features of the home like the room sizes, natural light, beautiful kitchens, bathrooms and floors .

 

 

If you MUST decorate for the holidays, consider this:

1.  Do NOT decorate for the holidays before photos.  This will date your photos and they won’t show off the actual features of your home.

 

2. Do keep it simple and tasteful.  For Halloween, put up some simple pieces on the exterior.  Nothing scary or gory – if you are in a family friendly area this will work for the buying clientele.

THIS IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF A ‘DON’T’ FOR HALLOWEEN DECOR (WHEN SELLING) – IT IS PRETTY GORY AND BLOODY AND SCARY.

 

3. Do NOT decorate too early and keep up the decor for a long time.  Think about decorating for the holidays just before and removing everything a day or two after the holiday – don’t decorate weeks early and keep it up for months.

 

4. Do decorate for the season.  So having some fall decor like pumpkins or fall wreath is neutral and welcoming but remember to keep it simple.

 

Remember once you are settled in your new home you can go all out for holiday decor so maybe this year just collect lots of great ideas!

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we-answer-wednesday-low-cost-home

“We are selling our home and moving to a new city due to a job transfer.  I know home staging sets you apart from the competition.  We want to sell quickly and make the move to the new city easy.  We are on a tight budget, do you have any quick, easy and low budget home staging tips to share?”

 

You are absolutely right! Home staging sets you apart from the other homes on the market and you want to stand out in the crowd especially if you are in a market with lots of competition.  Every style of home can benefit from home staging. 

Home staging can get you more money and help you sell faster, so the extra work to get the home prepared for the market will be worth it in the end.  Less time on the market means you can move forward with your new chapter in life without the extra stress and worry.

 

There are lots of quick and easy, low cost (and no-cost) staging tips. 

Here’s what we suggest:

 

Clean

I’m sure your home is clean but is it spit shine clean? Really get in there and clean that house.  Give it a good scrub down.  Buyers will notice and the home will feel great.  There is nothing like a super clean home.  Having said that, pay attention to the scent of the home.  You don’t want it to smell like harsh chemicals of bleach – that can be a turn off. Stick with scents like clean laundry, vanilla or cotton.

 

–  Repair

This may cost a bit, it depends on what needs to be repaired and how handy you are. 

Any burnt out light bulbs?

Leaky faucets?

Cracked tiles?

Chipped paint? You need to spend a bit of money here to tend to these issues.  

Has it been a while since you painted the house? You might want to consider a paint job – a fresh coat of paint goes a long way and make a huge difference!

Over look these repairs or just leave it? Buyers will think you maybe left other issues unresolved, bigger issues. If there are too many repairs to pay for and maybe you don’t have the time, consider that when pricing your home with your agent.

De-clutter

We all have junk.  Since you are moving anyway this is a great opportunity to lose some weight.  Go through your stuff and get rid of what you don’t want/need you will be surprised how much you can accumulate in a short period of time.  Go through everything – drawers, closets, cabinets etc.  Don’t spend the time, money and energy moving to the new place to just to toss it – get rid of it now.  The house will feel lighter.

Plus when buyers see clutter it is a stresser and it sends a message that there isn’t enough storage (one of the top things buyers are looking for is storage).  One area to really pay attention to is above the kitchen cabinets – don’t store anything up there, it’s distracting and looks messy (even decorative items) and bathroom counter tops, we tend to ‘collect’ soap, lotions and more. Clear off surface spaces – kitchen counters, your coffee table, end tables, kitchen table, desk etc…Clear out the clutter!

 

 

Pre-pack and depersonalize

You know you are moving , so pre-pack certain items that you know are going to come with you.  For instance family photos and collections – we don’t want them in the space because they personalize the space – you don’t want buyers to feel like they are visiting, you want them to mentally move in – your memories will block that from happening. 

Collectibles should also be packed up – again they are personal plus they can clutter up the space depending on the size of the collection.  Have a lot of art or books? A few are fine but if you have too many they can add bulk to the room making the space feel cramped, so pre-pack some of those pieces (at least the ones coming with you).

 

Let there be light!

Pull back the drapes, clean those windows and be sure to replace burnt out bulbs or up the wattage.  Light makes a huge difference in a space.  If you have a dark room, add some table or floor lamps. When it is time for your photos, be sure to have your lights on – over head, task lights all of your lights – it looks so much better in photos!

Take a look at the two images below – image 1 has all of the lights on – even though they have beautiful natural light streaming in from the patio doors and window.  Look how bright the room is. Image 2 – no lights on at all.  The light from the window just isn’t enough.  Yes, it is a beautiful room but it looks a bit dull without the lights on.

 

                 

 

Curb appeal

Make sure the exterior is maintained, it’s your home’s first impression. 

Trim the grass and hedges. 

Make sure exterior lights are in working order. 

Is the address plate visible and in good condition?

Does the door bell work?

Shovel or sweep the porch and walkway/driveway.

These details are important.

 

 

Set the scene

This is the fun part and the creative part. Use magazines as your inspiration -make the bed and make it look inviting like you would see in a chic hotel.  Have a great dining room space? Set the table to help buyers visualize entertaining in the space.  Add a touch of colour in the kitchen.  Some flowers or a fruit bowl on the island or kitchen table make the room look fresh. Take a look at your furniture or better yet get a friend to help – is there too much? Is there flow? You may need to re-arrange some pieces, so try to find a way to create a comfortable set up that encourages conversation but also shows off the space.

 

 

Be sure to keep the ‘creative’ stuff last and follow these steps in this order. Remember, home staging isn’t just about fluffing pillows  – it’s a step by step process to make the home look it’s best.  Buyers are looking for their new home not your old home so follow these steps and your house will shine!

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we-answer-wednesday-selling-and

“We will be selling our home during the holidays.  We love the holidays and especially the decorating.  Is it OK to decorate our home for the holidays while it is up for sale? “

 

We love the holidays too and the decorating is our favourite part but when it comes to selling your home you need to be careful.  Holiday decorating can be a negative when it comes to selling your home.

 

We love how simple and subtle this entry way decor is.  It is perfect for the fall and Thanksgiving season.  It is clean and tasteful.

 

Although we love this because it is both fun and festive for Halloween, it is too much if you are selling your home.  The mantle is too cluttered and crowded, and taking away from the fireplace – a great feature for any home

Here’s why:

1.  Certain holiday decor may be religious and that can turn (some) buyers off.  You need to keep the home neutral and depersonalized.

 

2.  Holiday decor (in most cases) adds clutter.  You might think adding a large Christmas tree in your family room shows off the size of the room but it actually doesn’t.  It cramps the space, adds bulk to the space and although beautiful it may even cut off the flow of the room.

 


This is a lot of fun and totally chic for a Halloween party but it’s very cluttered and is very distracting.
 

3.  Holiday decor can be distracting.  Lights, trees, baubles and bling really take the focus away from features like flooring, new paint, large windows and just about anything else that is included with the home

 

4.  Holiday decor dates your photos. We love holiday decor but if you are decked out for the holidays during your photos, those photos will get old and quickly.  No one wants to see a fireplace mantle with garlands and wreaths in late January or February (and depending on your market and price point that could be a realistic time frame).

 


This is clean and simple plus it isn’t religious.  This would be cute on a mantel or as a centerpiece during the season.

 
Now if you just can’t come to terms with not decorating for the holidays while your home is for sale, here are some ideas.

1.  Tone it down and keep it tasteful.  So keep to less than 50% of what you would normally do.


This is a great addition on the front porch or by the fireplace.  It’s clean and simple and it can be up over the months of December and January as it is pretty generic.  But remember to maintain any natural plants – you don’t want a fire hazard or pine needles everywhere!

 

2.  Keep your decor up for a shorter period of time.  So don’t put up your items too early and keep them up too long.

 

3.  Don’t have your decor ‘up’ for your photos.  That way you will be giving buyers (who are looking online) a true snapshot of what the home looks like and you will be able to use the photos longer as they won’t be dated after the holidays.

 

4.  Hosting the holidays? Be sure to let your agent know and coordinate with him/her any showing restrictions in advance – you don’t want to turn away showings if you can avoid it. It can set a bad impression.

 

Don’t forget the exterior – keep your decor simple, clean and tasteful.  White lights are very flattering and work beyond the Christmas holidays.  Also with the days getting shorter, these lights help buyers and agents see the house better!

 

This is really fun and very festive and probably a neighbourhood attraction but it is distracting and a look to avoid when selling your home.

 

Remember once you are in your new home you can make up for not being able to decorate during the sale of your last home! Happy Holidays and happy Selling!!

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decorating-open-concept-spaces

The open concept plan is still very popular.  Buyers love it because it is so open and fluid.  You have many options for furniture placement and layout – open concept allows you to do so much in a smaller space.  But open concept can be intimidating and tough to visualize.

As home stagers, we understand how buyers get ‘stumped’ when they see a big and empty open concept space.  Where do I put my sofa? TV? dining space?  Will my furniture fit? It’s very intimidating and over whelming.

This is why staging is so important.  when we stage a home we not only make it pretty for pictures but we think about living and entertaining in the space.  We think about the common questions that buyers have.

Here’s a great example of an open concept living/dining room in a townhouse.

Photo from centsationalgirl.com

It’s a great space for living and entertaining.  Seeing this property vacant you would never guess that you could have dining for six, a sectional and an armchair plus plenty of room to walk around.  So how did this work? Well, the size and scale of furniture is important but so is the placement.  Planning really is key.

A sectional adds so much seating and a clean line which is one of the reasons we love them.  We used the light cream tone because it is neutral and it brightens up the space.  By using a mix of bold and pattern pillows this brings some life into the room.  We love area rugs for a few reasons: they add some soft texture, colour and pattern to a room but they also help define the space.  This rug helps buyers visually understand this space is the living room and over there is the dining area.  It’s like building a wall.

 

You can apply the same ideas to a condo space.

Photo from westernlivingmagazine.com

What you will notice these images have in common:

sofas: choose the largest possible sofas to maximize on seating and the other furniture is a bit smaller
lighting: you do not have matching table lamps on matching end tables.  Instead have floor and table lamps around the room to help spread the light around the room
area rug: to add some colour, pattern and/or texture; they also define the rooms and pull the space together

Remember the following when it comes to decorating an open concept space:

– size and scale matter but look for the largest dining table and sofa that will work in the space.  Lots of little items will make it look and feel cramped.
– glass is a great way to get surface space without the bulk
– area rugs help define spaces without building walls
– a consistent colour concept with make the space look fluid and make it feel larger
– layer your light so add table lamps, floor lamps, under valance light in the kitchen
– get creative with nooks and corners – think storage, organizing or work spaces.
– think lifestyle.

Make the space work with your life,

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we-answer-wednesday-closet-space

“When you are selling your home do you need to stage closets and other storage spaces like the unfinished basement and garage?”

One of the first things buyers look for in a home is space, especially more storage space. 

Buyers will be opening up and peeking in storage spaces like kitchen cabinets, pantries, closets, vanities and other storage areas in the home.

 

It’s ideal to go through all your closets, kitchen cabinets or any cabinets that are provided in built-ins and included in the sale of the home. Buyers are nosy and they want to know what they’re buying so focus on organizing and packing up items you won’t need while on the market.

You really want to show off all of the features of the home and storage is a big must for buyers.

Remove as much clutter as you can and start pre-packing.  You will be taking it with you anyway, so pack what you don’t need (while living in the home during the selling period) and look into storing it off site maybe with a family member or a good friend.

For ‘staging’  your storage, follow these tips:

– In bathrooms:

use small baskets or trays to keep everyday hygiene items looking neat and tidy.

– In the kitchen:

be sure that cabinets are neat and tidy (no tupperware overflowing), pantry is organized, and be sure not to store items (decorative or functional) above the cabinetry or fridge it looks messy and it screams that there is a lack of storage

– In all closets:

be sure to hang clothing, be sure that the closets aren’t over stuffed, remove items from the floor (unless they belong there) and fold items that don’t need to be hung.

– In unfinished storage areas like the basement and garage:

they are used for storage so ‘stuff’ is expected but keep it organized and tidy in boxes and bins – people will want to see where they can store seasonal decor items and sports equipment like skis.

 

Remember the person buying your home is buying their new home…

so make every aspect of the home exciting from the kitchens and bathrooms to storage spaces.

When it comes to staging your home for sale – it’s always a good idea to remove that clutter (don’t waste time, money and energy packing and moving things you don’t need).

Present an organized home – it looks and feels great plus it sends the message to buyers that there’s lots of storage here and that’s something all buyers are looking for!

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“My husband and I will be putting our home on the market but not for a few months.  By the time, it is listed for sale we will be in Sunny Florida. The interior of the home will be clean and tidy, plus it will be furnished but do we need to get regular outdoor maintenance taken care of?”

 

It’s so great that you are planning ahead for the sale of your home.  The interior of the home being clean, tidy and staged is great but don’t forget about the exterior!  Yes, everyone loves to see a beautifully manicured lawn, lush and colourful gardens and green trees in the summer months but that doesn’t mean that curb appeal doesn’t play a role in the other months, too.

 

Curb appeal isn’t just a summer thing, it’s important year round! The exterior of your home is the first thing buyers will see and if it is not well maintained that could be a bit of a red flag to buyers.  You also you want to make a good first impression and a welcoming one, too.  And in the winter months, not maintaining your exterior can also be a safety issue – those are equally important factors when it comes to selling your home.

 

The summer months are definitely the prettiest months for curb appeal but a well maintained exterior is noticeable all year long. So much of the monthly maintenance is dependent on your climate but here are some helpful tips.

 

In the fall months –

*sweep the porch and walkway, and driveway
*make sure all light bulbs are in working order (the days are getting shorter so lights will be very important)
*the grass is still growing so be sure to have it cut
*for some extra curb appeal some fall planters or a wreath maybe even some pumpkins to celebrate the fall season.

 

In the winter months-

*be sure to shovel the porch,driveway and walkways,
*salt or sand those areas too
*again be sure that the light bulbs are fully functional and set to turn on at dusk, this is great for showings but also anyone driving by
*to add some extra curb appeal you can add a winter wreath!

 

In the spring months-

*the grass isn’t quite green yet but the flowers are starting to bloom (depending on the climate) so give your lawn a bit of a rake to remove any winter debris
*clear off the porch, walkways and driveways (debris, salt/sand and any garbage)
*for some extra impact bring out some colourful outdoor pillows to any bench or seating, add a spring floral wreath
*later in the spring add some planters with spring flowers to add some colour

 

Before you put your home on the market be sure to check that your exterior has the following:

– a clear address plate (you want buyers and agents to find your property)
– the paint on the front door isn’t chipped or peeling
– the front steps are in good condition
– the mail box, grip set and door bell are in good working condition
– windows close and open easily
– the exterior materials (brick, siding etc…) are in good condition

Any buyer that comes to your home should be ‘WOW’ed by it and it shouldn’t matter if it is May or January.  Make that impression every time!

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