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Teri Malone's Blog

By Tressa "TERI" Malone | Agent in 07090


You’ve lived in your Westfield, NJ home for 5, 10, 20 years … and you’ve collected a lot of stuff. It’s likely there are a few items that went out of style a decade ago, but they're so comfortable you don’t want to get rid of them. Furthermore, we’re so accustomed to our space that we stop “seeing” it.

Now that you’re putting your home on the market, it’s time to take a “fresh look” and really try to “see” each room, and each item in it, as if you’re seeing it for the first time — in other words, look at it as your potential buyers will see it.

Then call me up … I’ll bring in my Stager (at my expense), and we’ll do this together, because we need at least 2 pair of eyes on this to get it right. And, no, I won’t suggest that you completely remodel.

Instead, using the tips below, we’ll bring your home up-to-date without wrecking your budget.

1. De-Clutter & Organize
Clutter is one of those things that happens when we’re not paying attention. But it is very distracting to a buyer.  So, first -- discard anything you don’t need, or pack it up in anticipation of your move. For those things you need on a regular basis, use hooks and shelves inside a closet, or natural-weave baskets, to store stuff like magazines in the family room, cookbooks or dishtowels in the kitchen, or bath towels, shampoos and other bath items in the bathroom

Go through each room and remove all family photos, all small knick-knacks, fake flowers,mementos, worn or torn lampshades, toys, old magazines, etc.

Remove  one-third of the books on any cramped bookshelf or bookcase.

2  . Move it.

Sometimes just moving the furniture around can make a huge difference ... and often we can do this by taking end tables, chairs, desks, lamps, rugs, and accessories from other parts of the house to create a whole new look.  Moving a large picture from one wall to another can completely change the feel of a room. 

3. Paint it.
Paint is an easy way to make everything look sparkling, provided it is done by a professional. Use soft neutral colors for most rooms. Feel free, however, to use a dramatic color (like deep red or eggplant) in a powder room and/or dining rooms. When selecting colors, ask yourself, "What will a buyer for my house want?"   If you’re not sure, ask me!

4. Plant it.

Houseplants can add texture, warmth, and color to any room if they’re in decorative planters. Small plants can be moved and grouped to change a room's look, while larger ones make a statement on their own.

Group plants of differing heights, fullness, and color for the most dramatic effect. But, please, get rid of the scraggly ones-- it's important that your plants look healthy and happy.

5. Replace the easy things for an updated look.

New cabinet handles & switch plates can update a home for just a few dollars apiece. Take some time to scan each room to see what looks worn or outdated, and then replace it.

Also, it may pay to replace the toilet seat, and add new fresh towels. These two items alone can make a bathroom feel fresh and clean.

6. Light it.

Lighting is a significant factor in terms of a home's look and feel. It sets the mood! You want your home to look bright, but not garish, and the lighting should be soft but not make the house look dark. And, if possible, one switch on the wall should turn the lights all on/off. 

Using dimmers -- which cost only a few dollars -- in the “impact” rooms like living room, dining room, bathrooms, family room, kitchen and even the hall makes it easy for you to “create the mood” with the flick of a switch. 

7. Clean it.
Floors are one of the first things buyers notice, so try to view your floors as a “guest” might. If you have carpeting covering hardwood, remove the carpeting and buff the hardwood to a high shine

 If you have tile, use a little bleach and a toothbrush to clean it. For wood floors, you will need to clean and shine them. If necessary, you might want to have them professionally refinished. Nothing says “I’ve taken care of my home, and I’m proud of it” like highly polished wood floors.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Westfield or the surrounding area, there is no time like now. Discover what it is like to work with a Realtor® who is on your side. Contact Teri Malone online or at 732-423-2792 today.

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