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5 Steps To Sell Your Home Fast

5 Steps To Going Minimal

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The transition to a new home can be one of the most stressful things humans endure. The best thing you can do for yourself is to declutter/pare down your possessions before you begin the process of making your home market ready. It is much easier on you and your family to get a handle on your belongings before your move, as opposed to unpacking boxes of unwanted items in your new home. And, if you’re going to list your home while you’re still residing in it, it is a must.

Going Minimal: Helpful Tips

1. It is crucial to go room by room and take a detailed assessment of everything you own and what you actually use every day.

2. If closets are mainly full of storage items, decide what actually needs to be kept. For the items that you don’t need easy access to, consider donating, storing, or throwing away.

3. For each item, try to ask yourself how valuable it is to you. Does this item bring meaning and joy to my life? If the answer is no, it’s time for it to go.

4. If the kitchen is bursting at the seams with every possible cooking gadget or appliance, determine what is used daily, or at most a few times a month. Donate or store the rest.

5. For clothing and other items that you still like, but never wear or use, create a pile for re-gifting! If the items are still in good condition, someone else may really love to have that beautiful scarf that only gets worn once a year because you live in Houston.

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Once every room has been pared down, it’s much easier for buyers to see the home and visualize the potential of each space. Once these tasks are complete, the home is now ready for staging. These two steps combined (paring down and staging) will ensure you’re putting your best foot forward on day one of your listing.

by Andrée Guillory, Lead Stager, Reveal Home Staging

Minimalism

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Over the holiday, we had time to veg out a little (ok, maybe a lot). During a Netflix binge, we came across a documentary that moved us enough to want to share it with you. It’s called “Minimalism, A Documentary About the Important Things

To many of us, the idea of a minimalist lifestyle isn’t a completely foreign idea, however it’s still likely in the stages of ‘Um, that’s a little extreme/I wish I could do that/How on earth does anyone do that?/No way I’ll be able to do that’. Especially in anything but a one person household.

But, like with any concept presented in extreme form, it may lose the attention of its audience quickly. So, here is the most important take-away from the film:

Do all the things you own bring meaning, function, and lasting fulfillment and joy to you or your family members’ lives?

Of course, there will be items that don’t check all the boxes; that’s almost impossible to get around. But, if most of your possessions haven’t been in view in the last year or so, it may be time to take a hard look at all the things we own, as well as our further desire to consume.

The act of paring down can seem like a daunting task, especially in large homes. This is why it’s so important to involve everyone in the household. Making everyone a part of the discussion and decision making will undoubtedly create more awareness, and will help the process move along more quickly. And it’s a great way to help teach kids to value the things they own, and ultimately connect more with our family and loved ones, not our things.

How does this relate to home staging for the market? Join us next week for 5 tips for transitioning to a more minimal look.

by Andrée Guillory, Lead Stager, Reveal Home Staging

Year In Review 2016

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As 2016 comes to a close we wanted to reach out and wish you and yours a very Happy Holiday Season.

And we also wanted to share with you some of our success stories from this year.

Since March of this year, we’ve helped sell over $14 Million in real estate in the Houston area. And despite what has become a more challenging market, we’ve helped sellers get their homes sold in record time with our home staging experts. Now more than ever, your home has to stand out.

Van Buren Before and After Sold Reveal Home Staging

For homes that were previously listed, the average Days on Market (DOM) was 109. After staging, the average dropped to 21 DOM.

For homes that were previously not listed and staged with us, the average was just under 5 weeks. Yes, staging your home matters that much.

Of the homes we staged in the Houston area in 2016:

  • 69% received an offer in under 30 days
  • 46% received an offer in under 2 weeks
  • 17% received an offer in 5 days or fewer

We were just thrilled with these stats and wanted to share them with you. As we move into next year, please keep our team in mind to help you and your clients get their homes sold faster. We can’t wait to help sell even more homes in 2017!

Braewick Before and After Sold Reveal Home Staging

Sweet Dreams, Part 2

Last time we talked about mattresses and sheets, now it’s on to pillows and the finishing touches.

For a queen-sized bed, use two pillows, covered first with pillow protectors (again, think easily laundered) then placed in matching pillow cases. A king bed will need two king-sized pillows, dressed as above, or three standard-sized pillows. Next, place the decorative shams followed by the accent pillows. This is where you will have fun choosing a palette of colors that bring you much joy and happiness. Place a coordinating throw at the end of the bed, for chilly nights; or if you live in a warm climate, for an added pop of color.

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You now have an inviting and comfortable bed to welcome you at the end of the day. Studies show, a well-made bed, put together first thing in the morning, actually leads to a more productive day and a positive outlook. It is one of the first things you can cross off your list, resulting in a sense of well-being and success, which can create a domino effect for the rest of your day.

The National Sleep Foundation reports that 75 percent of people get a better night’s sleep when resting upon clean bedding. Consider laundering your sheets at least once per week in hot soapy water, and don’t forget to tumble dry. The body sheds skins cells at night, and excretes oils and perspiration, leaving these biological remains in a warm environment for roughly eight hours a night. With this in mind, it is nice to have three sets of sheets per bed: one to use, one to wash, and one to spare. Obviously this is a “most-desirable” scenario, and even starting out with one very nice sheet set, and another to rotate in, will still give you the benefit of fresh and clean.

By Janice Brittain, Contributing Writer for Reveal Home Staging

Sweet Dreams

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There are few things more pleasing than falling into a comfortable and well-appointed bed at the end of a long day–or dare we say, even for a wonderfully self-indulgent afternoon nap? What can you do to make your bedroom a sanctuary of rest and respite?

Start with a quality box spring and mattress. Add a nicely-pressed bed skirt, and follow with a mattress pad. This can be anything from a simple cover, all the way to the other end of the spectrum: a fluffy down bed-topper, or meet in the middle with a nicely-padded cover or memory-foam pad. The choice is yours, depending upon if you prefer a cloud-like bed experience–soft and fluffy–or a more firm and supportive one. The nice thing is, by layering, you can find the right balance starting with a simple pad and adding as you wish, keeping in mind that the simple mattress pad will go on last.

Reveal Home Staging San Felipe

Next, find the highest quality sheets your budget will allow. It’s all about thread-count right? Well, to a degree, but thread-count really just refers to how many threads are woven per inch. Choosing at least a 200-thread count sheet is a good place to begin, though it is not the only thing to consider. The type of cotton is also a very important factor in this comfort equation. But with all the different choices on the market today, how do you really know which to choose? The most commonly found types are:

  • Combed cotton, a process which eliminates impurities and uses short, less desirable fibers.
  • Percale, a smooth, closely-woven, combed fabric in either 100% cotton or a 50-50 blend of cotton/polyester, usually in thread counts of 180-200.
  • Pima, Supima or Egyptian cotton, made of long fiber staple cotton, the difference is geographical, with Supima being 100% American-grown; Pima includes cotton grown in countries such as the U.S., Peru and Australia, and is named in honor of the Pima Indians, who were growing cotton in Sacaton, Arizona. Finally, Egyptian cotton is, as it’s name states, grown in Egypt, along the Nile River; however, only about 7% of it’s exports are the long staple cotton fiber, which is what gives sheets such a luxurious feel.

Now that you are a cotton expert, place your fitted sheet on top of the mattress pad, smoothing out any wrinkles. Add the flat sheet, wrong side up, so that you can fold the top down about 12-to-18 inches over your next layer of a soft blanket or coverlet. This allows you to really enjoy the softness of the top sheet, once inside the bed. Finish with a nice down-filled comforter, enclosed in a white duvet. This cover can be easily removed and laundered, allowing a perpetually fresh, white canvas to embellish with pillows. For allergy sufferers, many good hypoallergenic choices are readily available at most major stores.

Come back next time for a continuation on this topic where we will discuss organic bedding and lighting. Until then, sweet dreams and a pleasant tomorrow.

By Janice Brittain, Contributing Writer for Reveal Home Staging

Color Us Happy. The 2017 Palettes Have Been Announced

Fall and color are two words you will hear a lot at this time of year. It could not be a more appropriate time for Pantone and other leading color experts to reveal what’s next for 2017 in the way of color. And while there are differing shades and hues, most of these trend-makers have taken their cues from nature.

These palettes feature subtle, warm and earthy tones from Sherwin Williams’ Poised Taupe; or Benjamin Moore’s dusky and mysterious, 2017 color, aptly named: Mysterious; to Dunn-Edwards’ joyful and bold pick: Honey Glow; and among Pantone’s 2017 tasty color trend predictions: Kale.

2017-palette

What goes into choosing a color of the year? Much thought, introspection and studying of trends in design, fashion, art, and even social and pop culture movements–that’s what. Sara McLean, Color Expert at Dunn-Edwards explains that the Olympics played a significant part in their color choice, with the influence of Brazilian culture, fashion and food at the forefront. As well as, looking at complementary colors and styles, all these factors go into boiling it down to a single color: one which makes a statement, and can change a room, mood or outlook.

Benjamin Moore’s Creative Director, Ellen O’Neill describes their 2017 color, Mysterious as one that “ebbs and flows with it’s surroundings, and light brings it to life. Rich, royal amethyst can fade into the soft lilac-grey of distant mountains or morph into lustrous coal.” A definite contrast to last year’s pick, Simply White, this dramatic choice shows a trend to move away from the lighter and more neutral grays and whites to a warmer and more striking palette. And most anyone would agree nature has a pretty spectacular paint brush.

“Pantone View Home + Interiors 2017” book unveiled its color trends for the year with palettes such as “Native Instincts,” “Forest Bathing,” Raw Materials,” and “Florabundant,” to name just a few. Kale is not just for salads anymore. It is one of Pantone’s top ten colors for spring.

So where does this leave home sellers looking to create a neutral and inviting environment for prospective buyers? We recommend you continue to embrace the soft neutrals, but accessorize and accent with these beautiful color choices throughout the home. Choose a palette of three colors and allow your rooms to “pop,” simply by highlighting the room with bold and warm, nature-inspired colors and patterns.

At Reveal Home Staging we are committed to supporting and working toward maintaining and creating a better environment for ourselves and future generations. We think a really “sweet” thing to mention here is that Dunn-Edwards is celebrating it’s color of the year, by currently giving back 10% of it’s sales to the non-profit organization HoneyLove.org, which helps honey bees survive the threat of extinction. With a full immersion into the meaning of its 2017 color, Dunn-Edwards is supporting a vital resource to our planet, not just by being — pardon the pun — but by doing. We think that is a win-win.

By Janice Brittain, Contributing Writer for Reveal Home Staging

Fresh Paint: Worth its Weight in Gold

Fresh Coat of Paint Reveal Home Staging

You’re scrolling through photos on HAR, looking for your perfect dream home. Then you see it: a red dining room wall. Your first instinct is, “Well, that’s something we’re going to have to change.” Your second thought? “I wonder how many other things need to be updated in this home?”

When you’re living in your home, big, bold paint colors can help to make a statement. They allow you to express your creativity and flair for design.

But when it’s time to sell, those bold statements have got to go. Although they may perfectly reflect your style, they likely will not appeal to the majority of buyers that are shopping today.

A fresh coat of paint is typically the #1 investment you can make when preparing your home for sale. Not only does fresh paint ensure that your home will appear light, bright, and more appealing to buyers, but it will also ensure that is smells fresh.

Reveal Home Staging Fresh Coat of Paint

Never underestimate the power of smell. That fresh paint smell will make the home feel new and well-taken care of. It will also help to mask those pesky pet odors.

Paint is relatively inexpensive, and easy to apply. If you are hiring someone to paint, you can typically expect to spend between $200-$400 per room.

So what color do we recommend? Your best bet is to go neutral in every room of the home. We recommend that you select one color, and use it on every wall in the home.

 

Our top three paint color recommendations:

  • Sherwin Williams 6105 Divine White – a warm white that does well in both traditional and contemporary homes, especially bathrooms. If you have oil-rubbed bronze fixtures this is the way to go.
  • Sherwin Williams 7036 Accessible Beige – this is a very neutral beige, not too tan, with a hint of gray.
  • Sherwin Williams 7641 Collonade Gray – this gray has slightly warm undertones (hint of green) that goes well with almost any floor color. Best for transitional and contemporary homes.

And don’t forget the ceiling! It’s best to go with a flat white on your ceilings, and an oil-based satin white on your trim and crown molding.

Adding a fresh coat of paint will not only ensure that your home appeals to the wider market, it will also help you to sell faster, making your investment well worth its return.

Happy selling!

These 3 Upgrades Will Give You 150% ROI

When putting your home on the market, it’s important to consider what current buyers are looking for.

We recommend that sellers consider investing 1%-3% of the asking price of their home in upgrades prior to listing. This may seem high but considering return on investment, it might be worth a look.

Here are our top three investments that are worth considering when putting your house on the market:

1. Fixture Updates. ROI: 200% absolutely necessary.

In most cases, this is non-negotiable. If you have outdated, shiny brass hardware and fixtures, these have to go. Consider updating with oil-rubbed bronze or brushed nickel.

Investment: $500 – $10,000+

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2. Power Washing/Window Washing. ROI: 150%

Remove window screens, and have your windows cleaned inside and out. This will allow more light into the property and give the appearance of a well-taken care of house. It will also help in photos. Also, if the driveway and sidewalks are sparkling, it will help you stand out from the neighbors.

Investment: $350-$1500+

3. Landscaping. ROI: 175%

Your trees must be trimmed and your beds must have fresh mulch. Preferably 3″ of black mulch in all beds. This will create greater contrast between your landscaping and your grass. It will also give the appearance of a well-tended to, well-taken care of house.

Investment: $800-$3500+