Home Trends for 2017

As a new year rolls in, so do some new home trends. Here is a look at what you may expect to see at an open house near you in 2017.

It is easy being green. The Pantone 2017 Color of the Year, Greenery, has been called the world’s brightest neutral. This color represents rejuvenation according to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

While on the topic of color, in 2017, navy is expected to be the new black. A sophisticated color, navy is making its way into homes in a big way to open up spaces, whereas black, which tends to minimize space, is scaling back.

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Say hello to faux. Experts predict that faux materials are going to be strong in 2017. The Wall Street Journal reported that even luxury homeowners were warming to faux materials such as faux marble and barn wood. Aside from being used as a reliable, budget-friendly alternative, additional faux materials like indoor foliage offer instant gratification with zero upkeep. Winter staging just got a lot easier!

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Fluttering design with butterflies. These fairytale-like creatures are not just for children’s rooms anymore. Butterflies, which symbolize optimism and grace, are showing up in large numbers on walls, pillows and home accents.
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Cork it. Cork is back with its multitude of purposes, natural qualities, sustainability and color tones.
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Other notable home trends to look for in 2017 include white kitchens with wood countertops, full kitchen walls of tile, modern-style bar stools, and fully decked-out laundry rooms with natural light and maximum space.

What home trends have you read about or noticed?

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Stay. Sit. Sell. How Pet Friendly Homes Can Be A Benefit

There was a time when selling a home with a pet was a major issue for sellers and real estate agents. Great efforts went into masking odors, eliminating stains, putting up food/water bowls, closing doggy doors, removing litter pans, putting toys away and even finding a place for the pet to be during showings. Needless to say, it required a lot of extra work on top of the other tasks needed to get the home ready for showing.

In today’s market, most of this has changed, and pet-friendly homes are now considered by many to be a benefit.

With 65 percent of households currently owning a pet, having a pet is no longer a “downside” when it comes to buyers and sellers. However, even though 79 million households have at least one pet, home owners still need to present a clean, pet-stain and odor-free home when listing it for sale.

More than just having pets, an estimated 83 percent of people actually consider the pet a member of the family. This is causing home owners and agents to see pet-friendly homes in a different light.

Agents understand that people are passionate about their pets. But more than understanding that passion is delivering service that meets the client’s specific needs.

Ways Real Estate Agents Can Become More Pet-Savvy
Agents can attract more pet-friendly clients by marketing themselves as pet-savvy. To do so, agents should invest in some general education about pets and their needs. This will allow them to spot key features of a home that would attract a person with a pet.

Agents can connect with pet professionals and businesses in their area to market their services. Great places to start include training schools, rescue organizations, pet stores and boarding facilities.

Agents can join special groups and networks such as the Pet Realty Network which connects buyers and sellers with pet-savvy real estate agents. Agents can also connect with other agents for referrals.

The Buyer Agent

During the initial meeting with a buyer, agents should get information about the buyer’s pets. A separate questionnaire just for the pet needs might be beneficial. This allows the agent to see exactly what features they should look for to help make the home not only perfect for their client, but for the client’s pets as well.

For example, a buyer with two big dogs will likely appreciate a larger fenced yard over an amenity that offers little by the way of quality of life for the dogs.

If the buyer is looking for a home in an HOA-regulated community, agents should inform their clients about potential restrictions placed on pet ownership. For example, there could be a limit on the size or type of pet allowed.

The Seller Agent

Because pet ownership is so common, it makes for a natural selling point when showcasing a pet-friendly home. Aspects such as secure fencing, convenient access to the yard, easy-to-clean floors and even a pet-friendly town can all be considered added value to a home.

When selling a home with a pet currently in residence, agents should share these reminders with their clients:
• Nobody loves your pet as much as you do. For the safety and wellbeing of everyone,              including your pet, it is best if your pet is either put up safely, or is away from the home during a showing.
• Clean up toys, bones, beds, and all other pet-related items.
• Thoroughly clean all floors and carpets of dirt and stains.
• Eliminate litter boxes until the showing is over.
• Make sure the yard is picked up.

An agent who can address the specific needs of a client with a pet is extremely valuable.

Spring Cleaning Will Increase Property Value

How to Boost Property Values This Spring

Spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity for home owners to de-clutter and organize their home. It is an especially important task for home owners who currently have their home listed or plan to list in the near future. Taking the time to spruce up the home can help increase value and make a good impression on potential buyers.

Here are a few simple projects that can have a big impact on a home.

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Real estate agents can share these tips with clients to help them prepare their home for sale. To download this graphic click here.

By taking the time to deep clean and reorganize this spring, home owners can increase their resale value over the short term.

It is important to note that not all spring cleaning projects are created equal. Some projects may have a nice temporary appearance, but they don’t hold up in the long run. When time is an issue, the priority should be cleaning overgrown landscaping, painting the interior and exterior, cleaning all baseboards and clearing gutters of debris which causes pest and paint problems when left untreated.

Time permitting, power wash patios and decks to remove mold and dirt to make the area appear clean and newer. And, don’t forget the attic. As buyers are not house guests, expect them to look in closets and attics. Take time to really organize and clean.

Which Rooms Are The Most Influential In A Home?

A few small changes to these two rooms creates a big impact!  

According to today’s buyers, the kitchen and the master bathroom are most critiqued rooms in a home. What does this mean for sellers? They should look to improve these two influential rooms first. Whether undertaking a major remodel or making small improvements, these are the two most lived in rooms in the home and they draw the most attention.

Show Off The Improvements

During a tour, most buyers will notice and appreciate a new vanity or countertops more than new gutters. They also notice and appreciate fresh paint and carpets. But it can be overwhelming for homeowners to consider all the potential upgrades when preparing a home for sale. However, there are two rooms that should not be ignored. If sellers are tight on budget and time, they should turn their focus to these two rooms first.

  • Create a chef’s kitchen buyers can see themselves cooking in
  • Turn a basic bathroom into a spa-like oasis where buyers want to escape

While the kitchen and master bathroom are the most expensive areas of the home in terms of remodeling, there are some budget-friendly ways to make improvements buyers will notice.


Turn up the Heat in the Kitchen

Kitchens are the heart of a home and so sellers should pay attention to detail when planning improvements.

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Here are some of the most popular kitchen projects with the highest return on investment:

1. Install all real wood cabinets. Buyers are rarely impressed with flimsy shelves and composite materials. If attaching hardware, keep it neutral in style.

2. Buy commercial appliances, or go for the look of commercial. Upscale cooktops and ranges create real impact in the kitchen.

3. Seek to use natural wood, dark laminate wood or stone floors that clean easily. Spills can happen anywhere, but they are very common in the kitchen. Avoid light floor colors and grout as they show dirt and stains easier.

4. Install stone or granite countertops. Tile countertops are difficult to keep clean for the same reason tile floors are – the grout stains easily. Single material countertops, which are clean and easy to wipe down, are a favorite of most home chefs. They look beautiful too.

5. Update the lighting fixtures. Sellers will be amazed at the return they get from simply upgrading the kitchen lighting. Whenever remodeling to sell, keep in mind style varies, so keep items as neutral as possible.

Bonus Tip: When showing the home, declutter and organize the kitchen counters. Hide the coffee maker and toaster. Remove all clutter and magnets from the fridge. You’ll be surprised at how much larger your kitchen looks without the clutter.

Create a Spa-Like Oasis in the Master Bathroom

Sellers don’t have to do a lot to make a big improvement in the master bathroom. A new tub liner, or “shell,” can make a marred tub look like new and save the seller from having to replace it.

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If not replacing the vanity, a new faucet, new lights, fresh caulking around the tub, a new towel rack and a new mirror can make a tired bathroom come alive.

Spa-Like Bathroom Upgrades Buyers Love Include:

  • Walk-in showers
  • Dual Vanity
  • Stone or natural wood flooring
  • Modern and bright lighting fixtures
  • Ample storage space for towels and personal care products

Bonus Tip: For bathrooms, always display a sparkling clean bathtub and commode. There should be no dirty clothes or even hampers visible. The bathroom should be clean and smell fresh.

A kitchen or bath upgrade can be as simple as a weekend-long, low-budget brush-up. With the right planning, some of the most noticeable repairs do not require much. A fresh facelift will go a long way in the buyer’s mind.

And, as for the other areas of the house, don’t skip a fresh coat of paint and replace the carpets. These details add value and make the home more attractive to buyers.

 

Oscar Winning Home Staging Tips

Home staging

Why Home Staging Sells

Real estate agents and sellers know how important it is to show a home that is presented in its finest form.  Statistics show that staged homes sell faster and for more money. Interestingly, it is estimated that only 10 percent of prospective buyers can visualize a home looking any different than the way it looks when they walk in the door. They need help and you can help them!

Staged homes give the perception that a home is well-maintained and stylish. Working with the flow of a home, eliminating personal effects and clutter, and arranging furniture can make all the difference a home needs be best presented.

The Two Types of Staging

Occupied Home

In an occupied home, furniture can rearranged to showcase each room’s functionality and flow. Removing an abundance of personal effects allows the buyer to envision themselves in the home, rather than feel like an outside guest visiting. If the budget permits, upgrading floors, replacing countertops and adding a fresh coat of paint go a long way to spruce up a home.

Vacant Home

As is often the case with a vacant home, the buyer is focused on the things that need fixing, the cracks in the walls, the worn carpets, the dated countertops, etc.  Buyers can also have difficulty envisioning what to do with the space. Staging offers suggestions they can build on.

Here Are a Few Pro Staging Tips to Help Your Sellers

1. Scent
Candles, freshly baked cookies or room fragrances may seem to evoke pleasant associations, however, they can also bring about negative associations. While one person may love the smell of a particular scent, another may hate it.

Over masking with scent is also a red flags for buyers that there is an odor issue in the home. If there is an odor issue in a home, it is best to address the cause, rather than mask it.

2. Accents
Area rugs, pillows, bedding and lighting are a great ways to introduce color and newness to rooms. A family of color throughout the home weaves warmth and cohesiveness together. Well-lit rooms evoke space and openness.

3. Declutter and Depersonalize
The first thing a stager will likely do is remove many of your personal effects and decorations – do not take it personally. It is important to take a step back and realize that buyers want to envision your home, as their own. Creating a neutral environment will help buyers connect with a house and see themselves living in it.

4. Show Off Your Storage
Remove excess furniture, clothes and items in storage areas of the home such as closets. Buyers want to see the size of closets and storage area.

5. Don’t Forget the Outside!
Curb appeal is your homes first impression. Spruce up its curb appeal by:
Mowing the lawn and trimming any necessary trees/shrubs
Power washing your driveway, deck, walkway and any other outside area
Add a fresh potted plant and a new doormat to welcome buyers to your home.

The benefits of a well-staged home are plentiful. A staged home suggests that the home has been well maintained and may even shift attention away from imperfections and otherwise negative selling points.

Do you want to provide staging expertise for your clients? Read about how a Chicago area Keller Williams team has staged its way to multi-million dollar success.