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curb appeal

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It is now mid-September, soon we will have had frost warnings, the leaves on trees are turning colour and falling, and fireplaces will soon find themselves useful. While most of us are excited for this amazing season, people in the real estate are preparing themselves because once the cold sets in, the number of buyers out there will start to sink.

While you still have time to prepare for the cold season, don’t waste these days and take advantage before the winter season sets in. Remember that no one would want to go home shopping when it’s freezing cold and everything is covered in snow!

One of the essential strategies to get a sale before the holidays is home staging, regardless if you’re using the help of a real estate agent or selling the house by yourself.

Here are a few tips to make your home look perfect this fall –

 

Maintain your yard

Rake leaves, trim bushes, and use seasonal flowers -Keep the house looking fresh! Always remember that the curb appeal is as important as the interior. It’s the first thing that your potential buyers will see. This about an inviting front door vignette with a wreath and maybe some pumpkins or a bench with some pillows.

Control back to school clutter

Back to school season can create clutter in your entry. Make sure to have a place for your backpacks, shoes and other items the kids need to grab before catching the bus. This can even give the new homeowners some great ideas too!

 

Keep it neat and simple

While Halloween and Thanksgiving are not religious specific, too much decorating can distract buyers. Remember less is more. This can be tough with children so don’t eliminate it completely but keep it subtle and stay away from the gore,  keep it cute and have it is specific areas and not every square inch of the house.

 

Use home decor that takes a cue from nature

Rather than ghosts, scary monsters or turkeys display pumpkins, hay and flowers. Nothing can scare away potential buyers like handmade scarecrows or frighteningly realistic gory Halloween decorations. A simple bowl of fresh apples or mini pumpkins as a dining centerpiece is simple but effective.  An empty corner that looks odd can easily be filled with a tall glass vases filled with tall sticks.  A door looks more welcoming when it is dressed up a bit too

 

 

Turn your fireplace on for showings to set the mood

A little warmth emanating from the fireplace evokes a welcoming atmosphere. A crackling fire says “welcome home”, as well as well-placed candles to complete that warm, snug room.  And in cooler months a fireplace will be on the minds of buyers, so make sure they can’t help but notice it!

 

Add pillows

Use furry throws pillows and texture in your home decor to create a cozy feel. Or, think about adding a splash of colour with pillows in fall inspired colours, warm colours can make any space look and feel inviting. Pillows are inexpensive additions to your home and knowing how to use them will surely bring a big difference.

 

The cinnamon effect

Remember to use candles, incense and other oils to infuse fall scents, like vanilla or apple cinnamon. No, you don’t need to bake a bunch of sugar cookies before the showing, but investing in a tasteful, subtle scented autumn candle will do just fine in eliciting that cozy feeling buyers want to experience when they walk into their future house.

 

Some simple fall decor ideas to stage your home for the season:

This wreath from Wayfair is a lovely addition to a front door or a front entry vignette – adding some seasonal colour and texture but still very simple.

Add a simple sign with a big message to your kitchen or fireplace mantle – this handmade sign from Roman Valley Farm is perfect!

An instant fall refresh to your living room with a set of 4 orange pillows – add some the sofa and accent chair (maybe even one on your bed)

Adding a landscape art piece is one of our home staging recommendations – it is calm and soothing and adds decor to the space.  This framed country side print from Minted is perfect for a living room or bedroom.

 

The fall is a beautiful time of year and buyers are still out there looking so be sure to take advantage of nature’s beauty and the feeling of the season to help sell your home!

 

 

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A summer wreath is a great way to add a fresh look and some curb appeal to your home.  In the summer the gardens are in bloom and the colours are so bright and fresh.  We love a summer wreath because it adds just a bit some of the summer florals that we love!  If you are selling your home, a summer wreath is an easy (and affordable) way to add an inviting feel to your home.

Photo credit: Etsy.com

This boxwood wreath is a bright pop of green and this wreath would also work well for spring and summer

Selecting a Summer Wreath

When it comes to selecting a summer wreath – you have a lot of options – there are so many florals, colours and greenery that work for summer decor. We suggest a wreath in colours and tones that coordinate and compliment your exterior landscaping – so take a look at your planters and flower beds – that way the wreath and your landscaping plan all work together.

Photo credit : Etsy.com

This floral wreath with a mix of flowers and greenery has a main colour of coral and white and soft blue as accent colours – so in this case your flowers beds and planters should have a combination of these hues.

Multi-season wreath

If the idea of a new wreath for each season seems like too big of a commitment or you don’t have enough storage opt for a neutral or multi-season wreath.  Neutral tones work all year long as do simple greenery wreaths.

Photo credit : Etsy.com

This year round wreath is a beautiful blend of neutral and great texture and  the “L” adds a personalized touch.

Some favourite Summer Wreaths:


24″ Hydrangea Flower Artificial Spring Floral Wreath


Distinctive Designs 22″ Lemon Leaf Wreath


Wendy 24″ Floral Wreath


Faux 30″ Mixed Floral Wreath


19″ Lavender Wreath with Burlap Hanger

Summer wreaths are just another way to add some curb appeal to your home – whether you are selling or you just want to create a welcoming atmosphere, a wreath is a perfect accessory,

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“My house is hitting the real estate market very soon.  I know we have a great house on the inside but right now in this early spring weather, it’s not looking great.  What can we do to increase our curb appeal when our gardens aren’t in bloom?”

 

You are so right!

Depending on where you live this time of year isn’t the prettiest.  The good news is there are simple things that you can do to show off your great outdoor space. But your home is on the market now and you don’t want to wait until the gardens are in full bloom.

 

The gardens aren’t quite in bloom yet and the garden centers are gearing up for the season but in some areas it is still a bit early for planting.  But the grass is green, so use what you have and make the best of it.  So start with giving your yards (front and back) a good raking.  There is always some dead leaves and branches on the ground – just getting those off the grass will give the exterior a clean look.  Depending on your area you grass might be a bit on the long side.  So give it a mow and you will notice how much neater everything looks.

 

Flowers are a great way to add a splash of colour but because you are selling you might not want to make a huge investment in flowers this spring season plus it is still a bit early for planting.  A great alternative is planters at the front of the house and if you have a great deck space, some planters at the back are a nice touch too. So in these early spring days which flowers can handle this fresher weather? Potted Pansies are a great option – they are sturdy and colourful and if you take care of them, they will last all summer.  A bit of height is a good idea when creating your planters – in the spring we love forsythia – the pop of yellow draws the eye in!

 

Remember these 3 words when creating a planter:

Spill, Fill and Thrill

 

– in other works, have some greenery or flowers that hang over the edge of the planter, have some plants and flowers that fill the majority of the pot (of medium height) and some height – the image below is a great example of a spring planter.

 

Create a welcoming vignette at the front door – this is the buyers first impression of the home so make it count! If you have a porch put out a bench with a pillow for a pop of colour.  Try a wreath on the front door.

Just because it isn’t summer yet doesn’t mean you can’t set the scene for buyers.  So pull out and dust off that patio furniture – maybe this is a bit early than usual but remember you are show casing your home for buyers so you want them to see how they would enjoy summer BBQs and get togethers outside.  So place the furniture like you would if you were entertaining so have a dining area and a seating area. Roll out the BBQ and take off the cover.  Now that the furniture is set up and clean, make it pretty with some outdoor pillows and maybe even an outdoor rug – it creates a welcoming scene for buyers.

 

 

Want to take it to the next level?

For the photos you can set the dining table or at the seating area, set up a tray with a pitcher  – this will help make that emotional connection with the potential buyers who are looking online.

If you have a pool, make sure to have it open and running.  A pool always looks better (and photographs better) when it is blue and beautiful!

If you have incredible gardens or a beautiful flowering tree look through your photos and see if you have some beautiful ‘full bloom’ summer photos to share with your agent – these would be great to show buyers as well.

Other curb appeal factors to look into:

– check all exterior lighting are the bulbs in working order ?
– brush away any cobwebs or other debris that may have collected over the winter
– check the mailbox, is it rusted or loosely affixed to the house?
– does your doorbell work?
– how is the paint on the front door?
– how is the roof?
– sweep the walkways, driveway, porch and decks

Buyers are looking to buy their new home not your old one – so take the time to set the scene and get it sold quickly!

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we-answer-wednesday-curb-appea

“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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