The Liz Moore Market Watch Blog

Homeowner Staging Checklist, Part 2: Inside of Home

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Tue, Jun 20, 2017 @ 10:06 AM

By: Trez Robinson, owner of Staged 2 Sell

When it’s time to put your home on the market for sale, it is helpful to think about it as a product, just like any product on the shelves at a local grocery store.  Just like any other product, it has features and benefits, and competition. 

To gain an edge in a competitive market, you must win both the beauty contest and the price war! 

Download our full Homeowner Staging Checklist

LIVING AND FAMILY ROOMgray-beige-greoige-living-room-traditional-style.jpg

  • If you go into a model home that is newly constructed, you will see that they are usually sparsely decorated.  In a resale home you need to create space for buyers to mentally move into the room by reducing clutter and the overall number of items.  
  • Clear off all coffee tables and end tables to just 2-3 magazines and one nice vase or candle pillar, etc.  A good rule of thumb is one item per surface.

DINING ROOM

  • Clear off dining room table except for one nice centerpiece.  In some cases, the room presents nicely when the table is set.
  • Otherwise, remove tablecloths from table.
  • Remove extra leaves from the table OR add extra leaves to the table in order for the table to be in proportion to the rest of the room and any other furniture – to balance the room and make it present as large as possible.
  • Remove extra dining room chairs if they crowd the table or fill up the corners of the room.  
  • Four OR six chairs are plenty (depending on the size of your table).  It will make the room look larger and you can put the extra chairs in the garage or a storage unit. 
  • See the Living section above concerning removing or reducing the number of items, valuable items, abd collectsions.  It all applies here too, especially in a buffet. 

KITCHEN

  • The main question in the kitchen is always…what can you live without?  Clear off counters leaving only a very few items that you have to use on a daily basis.  Everything else should be kept off the counters to create space.  Most homes have far too many small appliances and other items that should be stored out of sight.  Leave out a few large decorative items like a bowl of fruit or a basket with a silk plant in it, or 3 different sized candle pillars with fresh, unlit candles – with a nice aroma (Target has great smelling candles, at a very reasonable price). 
  • Repair any tile or Formica countertops and edges that have been damaged or come unglued. 
  • Clean tile grout with bleach if it is stained.
  • Remove all magnets, photos, children’s drawings, etc., from the front and sides of the refrigerator.  If there are a couple of truly necessary items, tape those to the inside of a nearby cabinet.
  • Clean the stovetop and oven.  Replace old burner pans if they are badly stained, or have a strong odor to them.  Clean all exhaust fans, filters, and hoods. 
  • Clean the kitchen floor and keep it clean for showings.
  • Keep the kitchen sink clean and empty on a daily basis.
  • Make sure the kitchen faucet is working smoothly without drips, and that it is clean.
  • Clear everything off the window ledge above the kitchen sink.
  • Remember to pack up the collections in the kitchen, too.  Pack up your antique plate collection or whatever will distract buyers and take up space.  Remove everything that is on top of the cabinets.
  • Keep all soaps, towels, scouring pads, and cleaning supplies out of sight under the sinks.
  • Some kitchens have too many scatter rugs in them.  Too many rugs make a room look smaller. 
  • Empty the garbage every day to prevent kitchen odors.  Try to keep it out of sight – under the cabinet or in the pantry.
  • Move dog and cat dishes so that they don’t interfere with buyers walking around the room.   Recommend they not be in the kitchen; move to laundry room, etc.

MASTER BEDROOM

  • Make the bed every day & fluff the pillows.  Purchase several new accent pillows to enhance the other colors in the room and make a great master bedroom impression.   
  • Invest in new bedspread and shams if necessary.  Fresh bedding helps the master bedroom present well – the second most important room in the house for buyers!
  • Clear off bedside tables and chest of drawers except for a very few necessary items.
  • Store extra books and magazines underneath the bed.
  • Keep closet doors closed.  If you have a walk-in closet keep the floor clean and free of laundry and clutter.  There should be space between hanging clothes.

HALLWAYS

  • Remove runners/small rugs on carpet or hardwood floors.

ADDITIONAL BEDROOMS  See Master Bedroom Guidelines.

  • In children’s rooms take down all the posters except for one favorite over the bed.  Repair nail holes and paint walls if needed.

LAUNDRY ROOM

  • Put soaps and cleaners in a cupboard or reduce the number & organize them neatly on one shelf.
  • Just like the kitchen, keep counters and sinks clean and empty.
  • Get rid of excess hangers and hanging laundry.  If you have a drying area replace all those misc hangers with one style of white plastic hangers.
  • Make sure that light bulbs are working and have adequate wattage.  Many laundry rooms are too dark and need to be brighter.

BATHROOMS

  • Clear off counters.  Reduce toiletries down to a decorative few (3-5) and consolidate them on a tray or decorative basket.  Put everything else in drawers or cabinets.
  • Replace that bar soap with a neat bottle of liquid soap.
  • Coordinate all towels with one or two colors.  Fold in thirds and hang neatly every day.  New towels can be purchased very inexpensively if the ones you have don’t match.
  • Clear everything out of the shower and tub except for 1 bottle of liquid soap and 1 shampoo.
  • Clean or replace the shower curtain. 
  • One common problem in a lot of bathrooms is cracking or peeling just above the top of the shower tile or tub enclosure where it meets the dry wall or ceiling.  Repair using caulking and paint or install wood trim coated in polyurethane.
  • Get rid of mold and stains throughout bathroom, especially in the shower and tub area.
  • Many tubs and showers need a fresh new bead of silicone caulking around the edges to make them look neat and clean.
  • Take all cloth toilet lid covers and water closet covers off.  Keep toilet lids down every day.
  • Scatter rugs in front of sink and toilet and shower make the room look small.  Remove all rugs for showings.
  • Hide all cleaning supplies and the garbage can under the sink or out of the line of sight.

Click below to download our full Homeowner Staging Checklist and get your home ready to win both the beauty contest and the price war!

Download our Home Staging Checklist

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Tags: Sellers

Neighborhood Spotlight: Hampton Park, Chesterfield

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 @ 11:25 AM

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Hampton Park masters outdoor living while located in the heart of convenient Chesterfield County. Enjoy all the benefits of living 20 miles from downtown Richmond and the dining and entertainment selections in the suburbs, but you can step out your front door to miles of walking trails and outdoor amenities.

Hampton Park is centered around families, with Winterpock Elementary School and Swift Creek Middle School located within the community, and high schoolers attending the nearby Cosby High School. Chesterfield County Public Schools are nationally ranked and recognized, and living in Hampton Park allows students access to a premiere education.

I73A0654-Edit.jpgHampton Park has countless amenities for residents to enjoy and take advantage of. With two water parks, separate biking and walking trails, a putt-putt golf course, Celebration Park, and more, Hampton Park is the ideal community for those who love activity. Residents can host festivals or parties by renting out the Hampton Park pavilion, as well. In the summertime, residents can relax poolside at the luxurious swimming complex, including two pools, water slides, a kids area, and lap lanes. Not only are the facilities impeccably maintained, they allow Hampton Park residents a luxurious place to relax.

One of the major benefits of Hampton Park living is the emphasis on local business and community development. The Swift Creek YMCA is located within Hampton Park, which provides easy access to healthy lifestyles and recreation for the whole family. Celebration Park in Hampton Park also provides a great outdoor place for the family. On the Hampton Park website, the community features resident-owned businesses. This sense of dedication to local business allows Hampton Park residents to support each other and grow their companies. This mentality creates a family atmosphere among residents unlike other communities in the area.

Hampton Park is every child’s dream neighborhood! Not only is it filled with families and kids of all ages, Hampton Park places an emphasis on activities for the whole family. The Funhouse is a space unique to Hampton Park, and allows dedicated areas for children and their parents to come, play, and live like kids! This space includes playgrounds, putt putt, soccer fields, and more. Every summer, Hampton Park hosts a Summer Sports Camp, where kids can spend the day, be outside, learn a new sport, or develop their skills in one they already play! Kids can also be involved by swimming for the community swim team, the Hampton Park Hammerheads! This is a great way for kids to spend time with their friends, be outside, and stay active!

For more information, click below to download our Hampton Park neighborhood guide.

Download Our Hampton Park Neighborhood Guide

 

Tags: Richmond, Chesterfield, Hampton Park

Homeowner Staging Checklist, Part 1: Getting Started

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 @ 10:53 AM

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By: Trez Robinson, owner of Staged 2 Sell

When it’s time to put your home on the market for sale, it is helpful to think about it as a product, just like any product on the shelves at a local grocery store.  Just like any other product, it has features and benefits, and competition. 

To gain an edge in a competitive market, you must win both the beauty contest and the price war! 

Download our full Homeowner Staging Checklist

One of our favorite staging mantras is “Pack Now or Pack Later!”  The fact is that when you sell, the next step is moving.  When you move, you have to pack.  So, try to think of the concept of staging as getting a jump on moving and packing up a few things early.  It is a little bit of work, but if you figure you’re going to have to do it anyway, you may as well do it now so you can benefit from a higher sales price and a quicker sale! 

Here are some tips to get you started: 

  • Walk through your house as though you are a buyer. Room by room, assess everything. 
  • Most carpet needs to be cleaned. Have it done professionally before your home is listed.
  • Unless your home is a “fixer upper,” badly worn, stained, or out of date carpet should be replaced. Offering a buyer a discount or a credit to pick their new carpet is far less effective, and will generally end up costing you more money in addition to slowing the selling process.  Your agent or stager will help you choose a neutral color and a style with wide appeal.
  • Check all light fixtures. Are they working properly?  Replace any burned out bulbs.  Increase the wattage of bulbs in any dark hallways or corners.
  • Use lamps with adequate bulbs in dark corners, and make sure they are all on for showings. You can put them on timers if you’re not at home.
  • Repair and paint any cracks on walls and ceilings.
  • Replace any broken light switches and switch plates; make sure they are clean.
  • Keep all curtains and blinds open during the day to let in natural light and views. The extra cost of additional heating or air conditioning is a necessary cost of selling.
  • Reduce the number of pillows on couches to zero or two. Remove all afghans and blankets. 
  • Pack up all valuable items to protect them. If necessary, take them to a safe deposit box.
  • Take a hard look at those beloved household plants. In many cases they need to be pruned and/or the number of plants reduced to create more space.  If plants don’t look healthy and are just barely clinging to life give them away. 
  • Take a look at the fish tank. What are you going to do with the fish when you move?  Do you have a plan to give them to a friend or neighbor?  If so, recommend you do it early (now), and remove the fish tank. 
  • Fireplaces need to be cleaned out. Glass doors should be cleaned.  Mantels and hearths need to be cleared off except for a very few necessary items.
  • To create more space you may want to remove a chair, a loveseat or other pieces of furniture. (Remember the model home!)
  • Pack up all collectibles (you’re going to have to pack them away sooner or later anyway). They become a distraction for buyers from the desired focal point…your home. 
  • Reduce the number of books on bookshelves. Pack up extra books early.
  • Remove all family photos on walls, shelves, pianos, and tables.
  • Reduce the number of wall hung photos, paintings and art in every room to one large piece on a wall or a small group of three. Make sure they are hung at eye-level.
  • Be sensitive to odors because buyers are!!! Excessive cooking or smoking odors, dog or cat odors, baby, laundry, trash cans, and mildew odors will turn off buyers.  If there is a challenge with odors in your home use room deodorants or disinfectant sprays…find the source and treat it. (There are great products for pet odors, and many professional carpet cleaners have special ozone machines that can really help with difficult odors).  You can’t sell it if you can smell it!  For really difficult odors, there are professional companies in the local area that specialize in cleansing & neutralizing the air…and it really works! 
  • Wash all windows – hot water mixed with vinegar works great, and is cheap! Make sure all windows operate freely.
  • Repair items that are broken. This will show that your home is well-taken-care-of.  In most cases, buyers will ask for them to be repaired anyway, so do it now!
  • Don’t be afraid to move furniture from room to room. That extra chair from the living room or dining room may just look great in the master bedroom.

Click below to download our full Homeowner Staging Checklist and get your home ready to win both the beauty contest and the price war!

Download our Home Staging Checklist

Are you interested in hot real estate topics, tips and trends?  
Click below to subscribe to our blog

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Tags: Sellers

Neighborhood Spotlight: Brandermill, Chesterfield

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Mon, Jun 12, 2017 @ 02:30 PM

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Brandermill is a master planned community located in Chesterfield County along the shores of the Swift Creek Reservior. Located a convenient 18 miles from downtown Richmond, Brandermill is every nature-lovers dream retreat.

Brandermill provides outdoor activities for individuals of all ages, including playgrounds, walking/ biking trails, swimming pools, and waterfront recreation. Because of Brandermill’s strategic location, residents have easy access to dining, entertainment, and the benefits of downtown, while maintaining their nature-driven lifestyle.

I73A8779.jpgBrandermill is home to numerous clubs and organizations that thrive in this community. Some of these are the Neighborhood Residents Council, the Brandermill Rotary Club, the Brandermill Sailing Club, the Brandermill Women’s Club, the Brandermill Swim Team, and several others. These give residents an opportunity to not only connect within their community, but to use their skills, time, and efforts to better Chesterfield County and beyond.

Brandermill offers numerous unique amenities that helped the community receive the “Best Planned Community in America” award by Better Homes & Gardens magazine only four years after the first residents moved in. Some of these amenities include swimming pools, trails, Heritage Farms Garden, The Green Market, the Clubhouse which residents may rent for events, the Marina filled with endless activities, unique pavilions and playgrounds for the family, a secured RV and boat storage area, and even “Resident Only” parking spaces. Residents of Brandermill are offered several more amenities, which contributes to the positive atmosphere for those who live here.

For more information, download our Brandermill neighborhood guide.

Download Our Brandermill Neighborhood Guide

Tags: Richmond, Chesterfield, Brandermill

Neighborhood Spotlight: Coventry, Yorktown

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Wed, Jun 07, 2017 @ 03:59 PM

26.jpgNestled on 320 acres in a curve of the Big Bethel Reservoir in Yorktown, Virginia, Coventry is composed of nine distinct neighborhoods. Homes range from 1,200 sq.-ft. townhomes to 3,100 sq.-ft. single family homes. All are situated in the context of natural beauty and ample amenities: six lakes, running and biking
trails, two large recreational facilities, sports fields, playgrounds, an Olympic-size swimming pool, tennis courts and clubhouse.

22.jpgCoventry is part of the excellent York County school district. Coventry Elementary and Grafton Middle School both earned a nine out of ten from greatschools.org, and Grafton High School earned an eight. There are also fantastic private schools in the area, including Hampton Roads Academy.

Living in Coventry, you’ll be within minutes of historic Yorktown, Newport News, Fort Eustis, Langley AFB, Cheatham Annex, USCG Training Center, Williamsburg and most other points on the Peninsula.  

For more information, click here to download our Coventry neighborhood guide.

Download Our Covernty Neighborhood Guide 

Tags: Coventry, York County

Download Our New eBook: "How Long Should It Take To Sell My Home"

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Jun 02, 2017 @ 02:25 PM

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Q: "How long should it take to sell my home?"

A: That’s a great question, and absent a crystal ball, we have to rely on market data to answer that question. There are several things to consider: supply and demand, absorption rates, competition, and seasonality.

Download our free eBook below and find out more about everything you need to consider when selling.

Download

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Tags: Sellers

How Long Should It Take To Sell My Home?, Part 5: Dynamic Market

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, May 26, 2017 @ 12:26 PM

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How long should it take to sell my home?

That’s a great question, and absent a crystal ball, we have to rely on market data to answer that question. There are several things to consider: supply and demand, absorption rates, competition, and seasonality.

It’s also important to remember that the market is dynamic, and literally shifts every single day with new listings coming on the market, properties selling and expiring, etc.  Each closing creates a new comparable for an appraisal, and so we must constantly monitor closing activity as it can lead to changes in market value between the time your listing goes active and when the appraisal for the buyer’s mortgage is completed.

Click here to download our eBook, "How Long Should it Take to Sell My Home?"

So…back to our initial question…"how long should it take to sell my home?”  Our agents use a 10 step methodology to answer that question, along with recommending a list price.  Then, we meet with you every 30 days to review what has happened in the market, and how that may affect our current market position.

If you’re a seller who has been wondering if it might finally be time to sell this summer, email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, or click below, and we can prepare a complimentary analysis of market value for you – you just may be pleasantly surprised.

How Much is My Home Worth?

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Tags: Sellers

Neighborhood Spotlight: Woodlake, Midlothian

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Wed, May 24, 2017 @ 02:11 PM

I73A0928.jpgHave you ever dreamed of life on a lake? The Woodlake Community in Midlothian, VA is a suburban neighborhood located close to the city of Richmond. While it is nearby popular dining and entertainment options, Woodlake maintains the serene lifestyle that accompanies lake-front living. Woodlake is home to over 7,000 residents, and provides quick access to local schools, playgrounds, trails, and activities for the entire family.

The Woodlake Community Association is a board tasked with maintaining the community and providing programming to engage residents.

I73A0850-1.jpgWoodlake features unparalleled amenities and facilities for its residents that distinguish the community above others in the area. Not only are there recreational spaces always available for use, Woodlake residents can rent or reserve different facilities throughout the community. The Woodlake Community Clubhouse is located at the Swim & Racquet Complex, and the clubhouse, patio, and pool can all be rented for events. The Woodlake Community Association also facilitates a boat rental program where individuals can rent out paddleboards, canoes, kayaks and more. Another unique feature of the boat rental program is their famous Pontoon boat rentals that hold up to 14 adults. This program is exclusive to Woodlake residents and can be reserved for anytime during the day or evening. No other community in the area provides such an extensive list of recreational options, rental facilities, water activities, and more.

East West Legacy Park is one of the finest locations within the Woodlake community. It boasts some of the best views of the lake, and offers a pavilion with picnic tables perfect for any gathering! The Pavilion itself can be reserved but is otherwise open to community members to relax, enjoy the views, and spend time with loved ones. East West Legacy Park is one of many facilities and amenities that make Woodlake an incredible community to live in.  

For more information, click here to download our Woodlake neighborhood guide.

Download Our Woodlake Neighborhood Guide

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Tags: Buyers, Woodlake, Midlothian

It's Back...The Liz Moore Summer Open House Extravaganza!

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Tue, May 23, 2017 @ 02:10 PM

Calling all house hunters!  Visit a Liz Moore open house between May 26th and August 26th, 2017 and you'll be entered into a drawing to win some amazing prizes.  

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House hunters can register for the drawing at every Liz Moore open house.  The more you visit, the better your chances are of winning!
 
Click below for a list of open houses and to view complete contest rules.
 
Summer Open House Extravaganza Participating Properties

Tags: Buyers

How Long Should It Take To Sell My Home?, Part 4: Seasonality

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Thu, May 18, 2017 @ 03:14 PM

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How long should it take to sell my home?

That’s a great question, and absent a crystal ball, we have to rely on market data to answer that question. There are several things to consider: supply and demand, absorption rates, and competition.

Seasonality is another important consideration when attempting to predict how long it will take a home to sell.  Our local market has seasons that traditionally favor the Spring and early Summer for family homes/neighborhoods, and then a short burst in the Fall for the retiring/downsizing demographic.  Ideally, you are positioned 30-60 days ahead of these markets, to get a head start on the competition.

Click below to download "How Long Should it Take to Sell My Home?" and have all of your questions answered!

Download

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Tags: Sellers