Preparing for Holiday Guests

Are you planning for holiday visitors? Think about what you’d expect to find at a five-star hotel and use that as inspiration for the perfect guest room oasis.

  • Add extra plush accents, like quilted shams, a chunky knit throw blanket, or even a fur or sequined one for a touch of glam.
  • Stock the bathroom with essentials like extra toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, shower gel, body lotion, and a festive scented candle.
  • Be sure there is ample storage — especially if your guests have winter gear like coats or boots.
  • You don’t have to deck all of the halls, but a little seasonal greenery goes a long way toward adding holiday cheer.
  • Make sure there are plenty of clean, fresh towels on hand. And — a warm, comfy guest bathrobe to add that extra touch of hotel luxe!

Are you hosting holiday guests this year, or are you traveling?

Create a Welcoming Entryway

First impressions are everything and an organized entryway can impact the entire experience a buyer has when they tour your house. Even if you’re not on the market and simply want to present your home well to guests, here’s how to create a foyer or entryway that says “Welcome Home!”

ADD AN INVITING AROMA The way your home smells is just as – if not more – important than how it looks because it is one of the first things your buyer will notice.

KEEP THE FLOOR CLEAR Create the illusion of more space by keeping the floors free of boots, shoes, backpacks, and other clutter. A clear path can help make the entryway appear cleaner and larger.

MAKE IT PLUSH Rugs instantly add a layer of coziness and placing a rug will make the space feel inviting and welcoming.

Preparing for Cooler Months

Here are a few of our favorite fall home decor tips:

🍂 Light some autumn-scented candles – we love the Brown Sugar Chestnut from Chesapeake Bay Candle Co.

🍂 Layer up your chairs and couches with cozy throws.

🍂 Swap your linen and cotton summer bedding for flannel sheets and a down blanket.

🍂 Bring on the fall florals. Swap the summer blooms for mums and line your mantel heirloom pumpkins and rich autumn-hued flowers.

🍂 Take the sweaters out of storage! If you have to swap your winter and summer clothes, it’s time to take out the sweaters and warmer wear. Even if you don’t need it *quite* yet, you’ll be glad you did as soon as those chilly mornings arrive.​

Upgrading Your Home When Selling

Upgrading your home can be a good way to help you get back even more on your investment when the time comes to sell. If this is the main reason behind the idea of upgrading, then you should pay special attention to the renovations that bring in more money when it comes to resale value in today’s housing market.

Exterior

Spruce up the outside of your home before you try to put it on the market. Repaint the house if it’s looking a little faded. Consider painting the doors as well to help improve the curb appeal. And don’t forget about the landscaping. A small investment will go a long way toward making a good first impression.

Bathroom

Redo your bathroom, but don’t worry about trying to take apart the whole thing. A bathroom remodel should really consist of a replacement for your tub, toilet, sink, and tile. You don’t have to change the layout of the room, which may be very costly, but you should update the fixtures to suit what’s popular at the time. Don’t forget to redo the wall coverings if they’re outdated, too.

Kitchen

Just like the bathroom, you don’t have to gut your kitchen and redo the whole floor plan to update it enough to sell well. Bring in a new oven, sink, and new countertops, and consider redoing the cabinetry if it’s very outdated. The refrigerator may not need to be updated, but don’t forget to replace it too if it does. Recessed lighting and a kitchen island if you have the space for it are both great options, too. And don’t forget, a fresh coat of paint in the kitchen and any other room in the house that needs a fresh look.

Patio

Everybody enjoys outdoor spaces, and if they’re ready to use as soon as someone buys your home, that’s even better. Consider extending your patio or adding ceiling fans to encourage buyers to look twice at your home. The nicer your outdoor space, the better off you’ll be.

 

Principles of Feng Shui

This concept of feng shui is derived from an ancient poem that talks about human life being connected and flowing with the environment around it. The Chinese words “feng” and “shui” translate to mean “wind” and “water.” The feng shui philosophy is a practice of looking at our living spaces and working environment while striking a balance with the natural world.

Remove Obstacles

Think about how you move through your home and try to make the paths as clear as possible. Efficiency is everything in feng shui, so it’s important to clear obstacles from your path and make your flow as easy as possible.

Keep Things Clean

Having too much clutter around is probably not going to do your mental clarity any favors. In feng shui, clutter is believed to take up valuable space that new incoming energy needs. If you are working from home, make a habit of cleaning up your workspace each day. Not only will it make you feel less stressed out, but it’ll also create a sense of order in such chaotic times. Plus, you’ll get a clean start each day, which should benefit your productivity.

Declutter the Entryway

In feng shui, your entryway represents the way energy enters your home and your life. Remove piles and balled-up socks. If you have space, add some plants and artwork to make the area feel inviting.

Add Plants

Your new life motto should be: When in doubt, add more plants. We’ve got a more detailed primer on which ones will help you find your ideal chi and where they can be best positioned, but the short answer? Plants embody life energy, so they’ll add freshness and vitality to your home.

Go Vertical

Integrating some vertical shapes and lines in your home represents growth and expansion. You can make this happen in a variety of ways by adding some lighting where the light travels upward or add a tree to a corner to make the space feel taller.

What Not to do When Selling Your Home

open houseWe all hear about the steps we should take when selling your home; however have you thought about things you should NOT do when trying to sell your home? There are so many no-no’s that seem simple enough, yet are often overlooked.

When your home is being shown to prospective buyers, don’t be there. As much as you love your home and have taken pride in decorating it to your tastes the potential buyers may be uncomfortable discussing what they like or don’t like about the home. You may also say too much without meaning to, which could put off a potential buyer.

Don’t leave clutter around your home. You want the rooms and closets to seem large. If too much clutter is around then it will seem there isn’t room for the new owner’s items. They may not be able to get past the clutter. You also don’t want to have lots of personal photos and things around. It will distract the buyer.

Don’t have your pets home during showing. Some buyers may be allergic or afraid of animals. Granted some folks love dogs and cats, but you just can’t be too sure. If you cannot remove your pets from the home for a showing, perhaps putting them in a crate or a specific room in the home. Also, it is a good idea to make sure you have cleaned up after you pet. Make sure the cat litter is changed and you have done poop-patrol in the yard!

It’s important to make your home bright and appealing. Don’t turn off lights and leave blinds closed. Turning on the lights and opening blinds or curtains to let in natural light is much more appealing than a dark room.

Probably the most important thing when selling your home is to not neglect the outside of your house. Curb-appeal is of high importance when selling, it is the first impression that potential buyers will have when they arrive. If they see a weeds sprouting up everywhere they will wonder what kind of condition is the inside like. Maintaining your landscaping is important.

Use your best judgment; think about what may turn you off when looking at homes. Chances are it’s some of the above mentioned items. Call us for more tips of what to do and not to do when selling. Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Smart Home Features

Google homeDo you have a “home assistant”? I’m sure many of you have one like we do, we have a Google Home on our kitchen counter. We use it to set timers and ask her to play bluetooth from my phone. We can also can use voice activation to control one of my other smart home devices like the temperature on our Nest thermostat. During the Phoenix summers, Nest helps us save money with intuitive temperature control when we are in and out of the house. Smart thermostats, home assistant speakers and door locks are popular and well-known products, but did you know there are even more smart devices available?

Smart Vacuums
Now vacuuming can be as simple as literally just lifting a finger. If you have an Apple Watch, you can set up a Roomba vacuum so all you need to do is tap to start the device in your home.

Smart Light Switch
You may have heard of the lightbulbs you can control color and intensity of with your voice, but what about the light switch you can talk to? Smart light switches are wired into your existing switch configuration and allow you to set nightlight settings, responsive times to turn on and off, and integration with Alexa voice activation, all from your phone.

Smart Plugs
Are you ever at work and wonder if you unplugged your curling iron, never fear – you can now switch it off from your phone! Smart plugs are simple to use, they plug into the wall, your device plugs into the smart plug, and now you’ve got full access to control it from your phone. TVs, lamps, crockpots and more can all be controlled remotely!

Smart Scales
Smart scales do way more than just tell you your weight. They help users more effectively monitor and track their weight and health by reporting proportions of fat, muscle mass and other metrics straight to your phone. If you wear Fitbit, there’s even a special scale that connects with your tracker.

Smart homes are increasing in popularity as people are more willing to invest in homes and devices that save time and money. Are you looking for a smart home? Let us know and we can begin your search today. Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

The Importance of Curb Appeal When Selling

front entrance
First impressions are everything when preparing your house for sale. Curb appeal is the initial preview of your home for potential buyers. In today’s real estate market, potential buyers will first view your home online. Then if your home matches the criteria they are using in their home search, these buyers will drive by your home. If the exterior of your home isn’t well-kept or your landscaping isn’t on par with the other homes in the neighborhood, your home showing may turn into a drive-by only with those potential buyers.

Implementing a few steps to update and maintain your home’s exterior is critical to prepping your home for sale. Doing so will invite more potential home buyers to come closer to check out all that your home has to offer. The first step is to take an objective look at your front yard’s landscaping. A desert landscape littered with weeds and overgrown trees implies deferred maintenance in all areas of home care and upkeep. Trimming trees, weeding, and pruning shrubs will also allow potential buyers to actually see your home. Planting fresh flowers or desert plants in pots near your walkway or front door is also another quick and inexpensive step to freshen up your home’s exterior and landscape. Power-washing, hosing down, or simply sweeping your driveway, walkway and front entry way are other inexpensive steps that will pay off with a big impact when showcasing your home’s exterior. While you’re at it, be sure that your windows sparkle with a fresh cleaning inside and out.

If you’re lucky enough to have a front patio area or large entry way, stage this area by placing a couple chairs to showcase a conversation area to your potential buyers as they are walking into your home. Furthermore, the simplifying rule that applies to the interior of your home also applies to the exterior and landscaping, so remove any yard or lawn art from your front yard and entry way. Keeping the door clean and free of decorations is another way to showcase the architecture and beauty of your home without providing unnecessary distractions.

As realtors, we can give you more specific advice unique to your home and neighborhood, to help you maximize your home’s curb appeal. Give us call today to learn more how we can help sell your home for top dollar! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Appliance Disposal Tips

Appliances

When preparing your home for sale, we often suggest to replace your old appliances with new ones or you may have just bought a home with old appliances and you replaced them…so what do you with the old appliances?

Recycle
You can recycle your smaller appliances with most cities. The Cities of Scottsdale and Phoenix both offer quarterly electronic recycling events, look for announcements of these events in your monthly water bill.

Give Away
Check with local charities to see what their policies are regarding used appliances donations. Charities that accept appliance donations will often offer free curbside pick-up service. You may also be able to write your donation off on your taxes.

Have It Hauled Away
You may decide you just want the appliances out of your home. When that happens, you can call services for responsible appliance removal. There will be a fee, so you might want to go through your house and find any additional items in need of being hauled away to make the fee worth the money.

Sell Them
Are your appliances still running? Head over to Craigslist or to sell them. There is a growing market of shoppers looking for a bargain. There are also customers who want to strip your appliances for parts to re-sale. Fielding offers from bargain shoppers can be a more time-consuming option, but with a little effort, you could put some cash in your pocket!

Are you thinking of selling your home? Our complimentary home stagers will help you make the decisions needed to get you top dollar! Call today for more information. Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Build Your Dream Backyard with These Online Tools

Picture this: Your perfect backyard, as designed by you. When we had our vision for a backyard revamp, we started with a pencil and paper to try and capture our thoughts. But the availability of free online tools taught us there’s a better way to get your ideas out there and start building your dream backyard. Here are a few tools that we came across that were useful:

1. Garden Planner Online

This versatile planner lets you change the size and color of everything in its arsenal, which is a lot. Bushes, trees, flowers, pavers and ponds, furniture, walls, herb gardens and more are just some of the things you can drag, drop and edit. You can even draw your own shapes and paver paths.

Tip: You will need to download free software if you would like to save your work. If you want to keep what you are working on, you can print it from the browser (just don’t close it before you are done!)

2. Plan-A-Garden

Offered by the well-known Better Homes & Gardens publication, this resource requires some personal sign-up information, but the app is worth it. All items you can drag and drop on the screen appear 3D over a changeable background of a home’s exterior in real space. You can sort plants by the amount of light they’ll receive, and even color on a base texture. 

Tip: You can save your project any time right in the browser to come back to it later. 

3. Marshalls Garden Visualiser

3D space and plenty of useful objects make this garden planner a breeze to use. It also effectively captures the dimensions of your space, and allows you to move around inside the garden to get an idea of how it will look. You can add features like paths, fences and buildings as well.

Tip: This online planner specifically does not work in Chrome and requires download of the Unity Web Player to work.

If you are looking for even more powerful tools, there are plenty of options for paid software to help you landscape and design your yard.  But for something simple and free, these resources should do the trick.  Having an inviting backyard is not only a great extension of your home but also a huge part of your curb appeal when trying to sell.  Our team offers a free one hour home staging consultation.  Contact us for more information.

Happy planning!