Selling a Home
Are you looking to sell your home? In this difficult market we go over the strategies you need to bring sellers in and make your home look great.

Dining Room

Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:26 pm
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Cleaning and Styling a Dining Room for Selling Your Home

A Dining Room used to be a special room where company came to eat, or for big family gatherings, maybe birthday parties or holidays. Today, the dining room is a multi-functional room for many families. Perfect for everday dinners or just a cup of coffee. Not the show place of yesteryear.

I've seen dining rooms surrounded by book cases, or two small round tables if size permits. Or maybe a work area to do the bills.

A dining room typically has a table, chairs, hutch or credenza for china, display and storage, maybe a small bar or chest for glasses and such. It is usually not a large room unless in a you happen to have a large house. Otherwise, a room that needs to sparkle and accessories do the trick.


First, a clean and uncluttered look. Many people like to use wall paper, or a dramatic paint on the walls. This only works if you absolutley love it or the look is simple, elegant and understated. The table in a wood finish is the focal point and may have a flower arrangement or candles in the center, or perhaps a runner.

I've even seen the table set as if company was coming for dinner.

A neutral carpet or an area rug is a nice addition. Area rugs today are so versatile in prints, geometrics, solids, or Persians. Nothing overpowering or too bold. Everything should coordinate and blend. Window treatments whether drapes or mini blinds or shutters should always be neat and clean. Chandelier options are so varied today but it should sparkle with the light.


The mood of the dining room whether casual, modern, or traditional and formal offers the prospective buyer a unique space to call their own. Choices can be to use it as a dining room, office or library, it is all a matter of preference.



Preparing your Living Room for Sale

Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:25 pm
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Preparing the Living Room for Home Sale

What can I say about the Living Room, some people love them while others hate this dead end room. I'm one of those people that like the privacy and peacefulness this room brings. Because most people don't have libraries or sun rooms - I like the Living Room.

Anyway I'm not here to dispute this room but since many houses especially older ones, or huge new ones have one I will try to reinvent it so it's a little more accessible and friendly.

First in trying to sell this room, make sure it's clean, neat and tidy. No books or papers all over, or knickknacks displayed from floor to ceiling. Use moderation in decorating, keep it light and simple. Stay away from the overly-decorated, under-decorated, minimalistic or designer approach (unless of course you are in that price bracket). It's hard to tell people the dos and don't s about a room that they either love or hate.

Try opening it up - no heavy draperies, wall paint that's harsh or dirty, paneling (such a thing of the past ), heavy or stained carpets, over-sized or cluttered furniture. Pare down so that you can see and appreciate the bones of the room. Good architecture always speaks for itself like wonderful moldings or archways and windows.

I can remember visiting an open house and the living room was very modern and contemporary almost like an austere but functional picture catalog, not the warm and comfortable nature of the Pottery Barn. Anyway, that's not really the point. If you're trying to sell a home you have to make a room warm and inviting and basic.

If your starting from scratch or trying to recycle pieces of furniture you can always make this room into a home office, or more of a sitting room. Bookcases are wonderful for organizing, storage and display. Even a lovely wood table or desk adds warmth and function to this room. Rearranging, recycling and reinventing are all part of this process to create and simplify and sell the Living Room.

Tips for a Good Foyer Impression

Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:51 pm
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When you are preparing your home for sale the entrance is one of the first thing buyers will notice. 

As you enter a house the foyer or foyee is the first room you enter, or in some cases maybe not. Anyway for this article it is. Is it bright? Clean? Tidy?

No laundry baskets, clutter or toys around on tables or on the floor piled up. Or on the stairs.

Keep it simple, a neutral color is always best. People don't want to walk in a house and look at purple and think oh my God we have to get rid of that god awful color that the homeowners loved. I can remember doing that exact same thing. We had walked into a lovely home and the first thing we saw was a turquoise blue sponge paint! Not the best first impression.

A prospective buyer is walking into a dream, a lifestyle, a magazine cover, not reality. Reality comes later when you ask How Much? So color, tone and simplicity really do matter.

Proportion also is key: a single lamp, candles, table, a small desk, maybe flowers or a nice accent piece if you have room. Oherwise a chair is all you need. Keep everything in balance. Pictures are a great idea maybe a landscape or an abstract. I know you've heard not to have family pictures - keep it generic. But I've never really believed in that one. I think family pictures done in moderation are okay. People like to know someone lives there and it's not a model house. Otherwise it has no character, no soul. Just generic.


Also if there are windows or a chandelier make sure it's clean and sparkling. Nothing detracts like a dirty and dusty light or window. Floors should also be clean, tile, wood, ceramic, vinyl, slate or laminate all can be vacuumed or damp mopped. A nice rug adds a homey touch and a fresh or mabe just clean walls work too.

Masking Odors

Smell is also important - no animal odor or diapers. Vanilla is a good idea to mask smells and hide odors. Stay away from ammonia, it is too much like disinfectant and hospital feeling.

All in all the foyer creates an introduction for your house - a welcoming and inviting space for your guests. So make the best of it whether it's small or large.

What is Curb Appeal?

Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:30 am
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Curb Appeal means different things to different people. Is it a feeling about a particular house? Is it a nice lawn? A new paint job? Maybe everything rolled into one complete and perfect package? When you pull up at the curb and ask yourself is this the house for me? A nice walkway, trimmed shrubery, green grass, flowers, house painted in a neutral color, clean and tidy outside, decent lighting, roof in good condition, nice front door.

Your eye takes in the whole picture quickly and this is your first impression. So you have to make it a good one. Nothing overdone just neat and clean. Nothing blocking the windows like overgrown shrubery or trees that cover your roof or weeds out of control. The total picture has to create a pleasing and pleasant experience. You want to see more of the house and backyard.


A first impression on the outside make usually means a good feeling on the inside. You know that if someone takes the time and money for paint, fertilizer and landscaping then the probability is that they would do basically the same on the inside.

Usually people make up their minds about a house in the first few seconds that's why first impressions and curb appeal are so important. So take a step back go out into the street if you have to and take a picture. Then analyze and put yourself in someone else's shoes to see how your house looks. Is everthing tidy, neat, clean? Is the grass cut? Are the shutters on straight? Do you need to repaint and freshen? Is the walkway clear? Kids toys everywhere? How's the lighting? Mailbox? What about the stairs and guardrail? Is everything in proportion? What about balance and harmony? Symmetry? It's many little things that add up to make a great impression that make for a good curb appeal.

Tips for curb appeal:

Go out into the neighborhood and take a picture of a house that you like and see what makes it so special. Cut out pictures from magazines. You don't have to make it expensive - flowers add big impact of color for a little money. So does a freshly painted front door. A front light, house numbers, a chair or table if you have room. Sometimes a front porch is so inviting to create an area for iced tea.

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