Decluttering 101

Whether you are planning to downsize, looking to simplify your life, or just want to get rid of all that extra stuff, decluttering is the perfect way to start fresh as the New Year quickly approaches. However, decluttering can often seem like a daunting task. You may ask yourself, “where do I start?”. No worries, we’ve broken it down for you below.

One Room at a Time

Like all good things, decluttering your space takes time. We often find that the easiest way to start is by completing one room before moving onto the next. Whether you start with your smallest or biggest room first, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment completing a room fully before moving onto the next. 

Our tip? Start with the rooms that the majority of activities take place. Rooms such as the kitchen, bathroom, or living room are great starting points!

Trash & Recycling

To start out, begin sifting through the items that you no longer have any use for. And take this part seriously! Do you really need that jean jacket from 10 years ago, or those coffee mugs that have collected nothing but dust over the years?

Anything that is paper, plastic or glass, can be recycled. But all of that other stuff? Toss it! It might seem difficult at first but once it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. In the end, you’ll be shocked by how much tidier your space looks when all of those miscellaneous items are put to rest. 

Storage Bins

Sometimes, no matter how organized you may feel you are, there are always a few extra items that make you think where does this even belong? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. That’s where storage bins, containers, and boxes come in handy. 

Depending on how extra you’re feeling, you can put as much or as little into these storage containers as you need. Start with the obvious. In each room, collect the small items (we’re talking pens and pencils, work items, cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc.) to free up some surface space. Then, you can move onto the larger items. Pack up your clothes that aren’t currently in season, have a designated spot for your shoes, and more! The limit is endless. 

Tackling Your Closet

We gave your closet a section of its own. For some, it’s the most dreaded part of the decluttering process. Start by separating your closet into clothing type. One by one, collect all of your shoes, dresses, denim, etc., to view at once. Then, decide what you do and don’t want to keep.

It will be much easier to decide what you want to keep versus what you want to toss when you’re looking at your entire shoe or jean collection at once. Whatever you decide to toss, put to the side for now. There are plenty of places you can donate these items. Always remember the bigger cause!

Next, refold and put everything back in the correct place. Maybe you had your jeans on various shelves before - now, you’ll have the room to put them all in the same spot. Slowly but surely, you’ll have the kind of closet they only show on HGTV.

Now that we’ve provided you with the basics, it’s your time to shine.  Remember, all that clutter didn’t get there overnight, so take your time! By taking it room by room, you can slowly but surely tidy up your house and free yourself from any unwanted clutter before the New Year begins. Once your home is in tip-top shape, try and be mindful. Catch yourself before putting something in the wrong spot, throw away items you don’t plan on keeping, and train yourself to keep your space the way you’ve always envisioned. You’ve got this!

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Staging Your Home for Fall & Winter Months

Staging Your Home for Fall and Winter Months

When you make the decision to list your home on the market, you want to ensure that your home is in tip-top shape before buyers come to see it. And while you may feel your home is already in perfect condition, there’s always a few small steps you can make to help with a fast sale. 

To put it simply, staging your home is important. It presents your home in a way that makes it more visually appealing to buyers, and allows them to envision themselves as the newest homeowners. However, the way you should stage your home changes the same way the seasons do. Below are 4 ways to stage your home as the fall and winter months move in.

1. Turn Up the Heat!

A small step that is often overlooked, you want your home to be at a comfortable temperature when buyers come to view it. Think about it, if you walk into a home that is freezing cold, are you going to take your time checking the entire place out? Of course not! By putting your thermometer to a neutral temperature (we recommend between 67-69 degrees Fahrenheit), your buyers will feel comfortable, and allow themselves the time to check out your home in its entirety.

2. Curb Appeal

While you won’t have green grass and flowers blossoming in your favor, there are still plent of things to do to make your curb appeal stand out. In the fall, make sure the leaves are swept away and unsightly branches are moved. In the winter, ensure that your driveway and walkways are free of snow, so buyers can get to your home with ease. 

To spruce things up, add a wreath and doormat for small pops of color, while plants such as evergreens, which can survive even the coldest of temperatures, create a welcoming essence.

Light it Up!

With daylight savings having taken place recently, chances are - it’s getting dark early. However, we don’t want to diminish the star of the show in the darker hours, and yes, we mean your home! Before buyers arrive, make sure your home is well-lit. This means cleaning your light fixtures, switching to brighter light bulbs, and adding lamps or additional lighting where necessary. If showings and open houses are taking place earlier on in the day, be sure top open your blinds to allow natural light in. Nothing says “welcome home” like buyers looking out the window to a winter wonderland!

‘Tis the Season

No matter the season, be sure to dedicate yourself and play the part! In the fall, adding small touches such as candles, corn stock and pumpkins is a great way to spruce up the interior and exterior of your home.

In the winter months, turn your home into a cozy oasis! Adding pillows, throws, carpets, and centerpieces are all great ways to highlight your favorite features. Let the season inspire your decorating, and add small touches throughout to make your home more inviting. And don’t forget to turn the lights to your Christmas tree on!

Another insider tip we have? Bake some cookies or another yummy treat before buyers arrive. Even if you don’t leave them out for buyers to snack on, the enchanting smell is sure to catch their attention.

Remember, staging your home can not only increase your overall home value, but increase the likelihood of a quicker sale. By creating a comfortable, cozy, and colorful atmosphere, you are allowing buyers to envision themselves in the home, and help them determine how they can make that space their own.

Ready to sell your home?

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FSBO or Listing Agent?

So, the time has finally come for you to place your home on the market. While a million thoughts may be running through your head, it all boils down to this: to work with a listing agent, or try out FSBO?

For sale by owner, often known as FSBO, is when a homeowner makes the brave decision to list their home on the market without the help of a real estate expert. The reason varies, but people who choose this route tend to believe that it will save them time and money, and are often confident that they can sell their home just as good as the pros can. 

While there may be some benefits of attempting to sell your home on your own, the benefits of hiring a listing agent far exceed those of taking the FSBO route. 

1. Pricing
According to the National Association of REALTORS, FSBOs made up 7% of all homes sold in 2017, with an average home sale of $200,000 “compared to $265,500 for agent-assisted home sales”. Often times, those who attempt to sell their home without assistance, have a hard time pinpointing the correct price to peak buyers’ interest. By pricing your home too high, you risk the chance of losing interest and having your property on the market for extended periods of time. However, by pricing your home too low, you could walk away with a speedy-sale, but less profit in your pocket. 

When you decide to bring in a real estate agent, they’ll use a Comparative Market Analysis, otherwise known as a CMA, to help in determining the correct listing price. This method helps sellers understand the current value of their home compared to other properties listed on the market, helping you make the best-educated guess on your listing price. This in-depth analysis takes a look at variables such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in your home, square footage, updated features and more to help determine the pricing of your property. And when something is listed with the proper price tag – you can expect a wide range of interest from buyers, which will have you walking out of your property sale with as much money in your pocket as possible. 

2. Timing

By bringing on a real estate agent, you’re freeing up all of the time you otherwise would have been spending on showings, open houses, and staging your home. With most modern-day Americans working the typical 9a-5p job, it can be difficult to free your time up for interested buyers to check out your property. 

You always want to make sure you’re available, no matter if it’s someone sending you an email, giving you a call, or requesting a tour of your home. With a real estate agent, this responsibility is taken off your plate. You can easily work your day job while leaving the dirty work to your agent, and they’ll be sure to do it flawlessly!

3. Marketing

Most who decide on FSBO decide to market their homes by throwing a “For Sale” sign in their front yard or sticking a few sub-par pictures of their home on Craigslist. While you might get a few interested buyers, listing agents have all of the correct marketing tools, platforms, and strategies to help your listings stand out amongst the competition. 

Not only will their professional photos beat out the iPhone shots of your living room, but they’ll be sure to have your listing up on Zillow, Realtor.com, and MLS the moment your listing hits the market. Both buyers and agents alike are constantly scouring through these sites and will make finding your property much easier. 

Likewise, agents already have a large network of individuals in the real estate world, helping news of your listing reach the correct market. We’re no mind readers, but we have a feeling their word-of-mouth method might bring about more success than being limited to telling friends and family about your listing. 

Even better? Your listing agent will take care of all marketing costs associated with selling your home. So sit back, relax, and let the magic happen!

Ready to take a leap of faith and sell your home? Get in touch with A New Space agent today for conversation, discussion, and any questions you might have.

staged kitchen

6 Steps for Staging Your Home

The selling process can be overwhelming for a variety of reasons. As you get caught up checking off items on your to-do list, you may consider skipping one important step: staging. Although it might seem easy to ignore, staging can help increase the dollar value of your home. In fact, 39% of sellers’ agents report an increase in the selling value of staged homes.

When a potential buyer walks into your house, they need to be able to picture a place to make memories. According to the National Association of Realtors® Research Group, 2019 Profile of Home Staging, 83% of buyers’ agents cited that staged houses were easier for their buyers to visualize as their future home.

Does staging seem like an expensive task to undertake? You might be surprised to learn that the median dollar value spent on home staging was $400. The return on investment for that amount is well worth the time. Staging doesn’t have to take up a lot of time, and your agent can help you make conscious decisions that will increase the value of your home and appeal to buyers in your area. After you’ve spruced up your home, you can relax and wait for the offers to come forward—because they will.

Today, we’ve put together six quick and easy steps to effectively stage your home (even if you’re on a tight budget)!

Light it up

There’s nothing worse than walking into a dark space. Open the blinds and turn on all the lights in your home before a showing. The brighter the space, the more welcoming, so be sure to clean (or even change) light bulbs to maximize the glow in your home. Additionally, light can give the illusion of larger spaces, especially by following the additional tips below!

Open it up and make it spotless

Photo courtesy: @fromitaly

You probably already have cleaning on your to-do list, but make sure your house is cleaner than it ever has been before. We’re talking immaculate baseboards, dusting blinds and fans, scrubbing grout, and washing windows. Then, remove as much furniture as you can and arrange the pieces to create an open concept. Even if your house isn’t naturally open, stage your furniture to create a natural flow from one room to the next.

Storage sells

Each buyer varies slightly, but no buyer has ever walked away from a house because it has too much storage. Just like the first tip, good lighting makes any space look larger. Replace old lightbulbs in the closet, consider a fresh coat of paint to brighten it up, and leave the lights on for the showing. Remove most (if not all) of your clothing so that your closet doesn’t appear packed. Then, don’t underestimate the power of replacing clear bins or storage pieces with solid colors.

De-clutter and de-personalize

For a potential buyer to properly envision their new home, your family photos should come down and your four-year-old’s charming school drawings shouldn’t be tacked on the fridge. Remove all the clutter that attaches your home to “you,” and instead, set up neutral belongings around the house. Although you should remove your pet and children’s toys, leaving behind well-maintained plants and sparse knick-knacks on built-in shelves could brighten your space. Although you want the home to feel like a blank canvas to your potential buyers, don’t make the mistake of creating a sterile environment, instead, strive for warmth!

Selective staging

Focus on the most important rooms: living room, master bedroom, and the kitchen. Rooms like guest bedrooms and storage spaces should be last in the order of importance. Some quick fixes can help brighten each room. Instead of replacing kitchen cabinets, consider staining or painting them. This small fix instantly brightens to space without costing you a fortune. Make the master bedroom gender neutral—not overly feminine or masculine. Remove anything personal to you and your significant other. Get rid of any mold or soap scum in the bathrooms and consider ditching the vanity in favor of a pedestal sink to maximize the space.

Remember, first impressions are everything

Photo courtesy: @fromitaly

The first thing a potential buyer sees is the front of your house. It’s important to put your best foot forward and leave a good first impression. There are plenty of easy fixes you can make, like clearing leaves, strategically placing a few potted plants, touching up the trim, and painting your door. Don’t date your home by leaving out seasonal decorations. Instead, improve your curb appeal by checking out this article, and remember, less is more.

Are you about to tackle the listing process? Contact New Space Real Estate today to explore your buying and selling needs!