The Liz Moore Market Watch Blog

Decluttering 101

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Thu, Apr 12, 2018 @ 03:17 PM

bench-accounting-49909-unsplashHome staging is one of the most powerful ways to help buyers imagine themselves in your home and make them want to buy it. Decluttering is the first, and most important step, in home staging. Removing clutter
allows buyers to see the structure and space of your home.

Sentimentality can be a powerful disincentive to declutter. You might feel guilty packing away your grandmother's china, or your budding Picasso’s finger paintings, but doing so allows your home to really be seen. Buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in your home, with their furniture and their belongings, and if too many of your things fill their field of vision, they might not be able to see their life there and they might walk away.

Decluttering can be overwhelming, so we’ve broken it down and provided some helpful tips.

Study your entire house.
Go room-by-room, starting with the entryway. Try and view each room for the first time with a stranger’s eyes. Notice anything that sticks out? Try and make each room resemble a neatly organized, clean hotel. Taking it little by little makes the task more manageable rather than trying to tackle the entire house at once.

Making piles is very helpful.
As you go through each room, make a stack of items to keep, one to donate, one to sell, and one to pack
away. Evaluate the value, need, use, and sentimentality of every item, place it in one of the piles, and move on. This organized approach can make the task easier.

Creating a spreadsheet can also help.
Each room will have different needs. Upon evaluation, you might find one room needs new paint, while another needs shelving for organization, and another needs boxes to pack excess items away. Organizing these tasks and needs into a spreadsheet can help prioritize expenses and improvements.

Emptying closets makes a difference.
Closets often become catchalls and graveyards; when homeowners don't know what to do with something they often stash it in a closet and it becomes forgotten with the out-of-sight out-of mind mentality. A good rule of thumb is discarding anything you haven'’t worn in the last year. Studies show we only really wear about 20 percent of our clothes and that extra space will make your closets look bigger and more attractive to buyers.

Clearing off countertops and bookcases creates clean, visual lines and neutral style, allowing your home, and not your stuff, to shine. A few well-placed home décor items can add sparkle to the space. Home stagers follow a “rule of three” for clustering items into small groups to create visual interest but not distract from the room.

Purge attics, basements, and garages of clutter. These storage spaces often don’t get much attention and quickly become cluttered, unorganized and untidy. Arranging items by type or holiday into clear, labeled tubs can help keep the space looking nice and neat while keeping you organized. It also helps potential buyers see all of the storage space your home offers.

Make sure your bathrooms are spotless.
Not every house has a luxurious spa, but by cleaning your grout, tile, toilets and showers you can help your
bathroom shine. Clearing off vanities and cleaning out drawers, cabinets, and medicine cabinets can help buyers see the storage your bathroom offers and help them imagine their toothbrush by your sink.

Unfortunately, our homes can become cluttered on the outside as well as the inside. Check around your home's exterior for outdoor toys, decorations, and natural clutter like leaves, branches, etc. This is also a great time to evaluate your home's overall curb appeal and make sure your home is making a good first impression. Lawns, shrubs, trees, and flower gardens should all be kept trimmed and tidy.

You have loved your home and worked hard to maintain it, you want that care and maintenance to show. By removing unnecessary items, you allow your home to shine and make the great first impression needed to impress buyers.

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

Subscribe!

 

Tags: Sellers

10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR, Part 8: Online and Print Promotion

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Apr 06, 2018 @ 02:00 PM

rawpixel-com-423665-unsplash

By Liz Moore

Hiring the right real estate professional is probably the single most important decision you’ll make when you put your home on the market for sale. I recommend interviewing a few agents from different firms before making a choice. There are 10 questions you should ask before you hire a real estate agent - part 8: online and print promotion!

Question 8: How will my listing be presented online and in print?

With 99+% of buyers searching online, how your listing is presented online is critical. Each listing should have its own website, with lots of high quality photography showing off the home’s best features. An agent who employs video and 3D technology such as matterport is an agent who understands the value of rankings in google, and will be able to create wide exposure for their listings well beyond an average agent.

Copy should be thoughtful (as opposed to “3 BR 2 BA + FROG”), and tell your home’s story in a compelling way so that buyers want to see it. Marketing materials should be colorful and glossy, and make a statement. Details matter.

Are you are thinking about about selling your home?  Download our eBook, "10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR®".

Download 10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR

Tags: Sellers

Hard Floors: A Solid Choice

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Wed, Apr 04, 2018 @ 12:32 PM

neven-krcmarek-424899-unsplashHard flooring has been gaining in popularity for years, especially in the main living areas of homes. Hard floors are easy to clean, hypoallergenic, and lend a sleek beauty to your home. Changing your floor covering is
an update that will instantly modernize your home’s appearance while adding value and appeal.

There are many options when it comes to hard flooring: wood, laminate, vinyl, or tile. Thanks to technological improvements, faux finishes are more convincing than ever, and wood-look products are gaining in popularity. With so many choices, where do you start?

New flooring is a big purchase, so budget is clearly a factor. But you should also consider how much traffic
and what kind of traffic your floors will endure- do you have animals with sharp or thick nails, do you have children that ride vehicles or roll trucks across your floors? You should also consider how much sunlight
and moisture your floors will weather.

There are six main types of hard flooring options: solid wood, engineered wood, laminate, vinyl, linoleum, and ceramic tile.

Solid wood – This timeless, classic material has a natural warmth and impressive wear resistance that can be sanded and refinished several times. Solid wood may expand and contract with varying humidity levels and can dent and show wear easily, and fade from sunlight.
Installed cost: $5-$10 per square foot.

Engineered wood – This flooring uses a thin veneer of real wood or bamboo over structural plywood, giving
 he appearance of solid wood at a more affordable price. It doesn't wear as well as solid wood and some
may be too thin to even refinish once.
Installed cost: $4-$9 per square foot.

Laminate – Constructed of dense fiberboard with a photo beneath a clear-plastic protective layer, laminate can mimic nearly any flooring. The best laminates resist scratching and discoloration from sunlight better than most wood. The perfection and repetition of pattern can compromise the realistic appearance of what you’re trying to mimic. Floors can’t really be repaired and must be replaced once the outer layer has worn through. Installed cost: $3 to $7 per square foot.

Vinyl – Easy installation and a vast selection of colors and designs make this a popular choice. Vinyl is also good at fending off dents scratches, discoloration, and stains. However, even the best products still look like vinyl close up, and the top-of-line product can cost as much or more than solid-wood and laminate.
Installed cost: $2 to $6 per square foot.

Linoleum – Made of linseed oil and wood products, linoleum is a natural, resilient material offered in lots of styles and colors. However, resistance to wear, scratches, and dents varies widely and it can also be relatively expensive.
Installed cost: $4 to $8 per square foot.

Ceramic Tile – This classic material resists moisture, wear, scratches, dents, and stains. Tiles can crack and grout can stain, and the hard surface often causes dropped cups and dishes to break more easily. Tile can be floated without the use of cement and grout, but that makes replacing cracked tiles even more difficult. Installed cost: $8 to $15 per square foot.

With so many types of hard flooring to choose from, you’re sure to find a material to fit your lifestyle and your budget. Once you’ve selected your material, it’s important to choose a style that’s fashionable yet has
classic staying power.

Wood-look flooring – Wood-look tile, vinyl and laminate will continue to trend as products improve in performance and appearance while offering more durability and a more affordable price tag than hardwood.

Wide plank flooring – Floor boards five inches or more in width are considered “wide plank.” These wide planks are a throwback to rustic cottages and colonial-era farmhouses, the wide planks also make rooms
look bigger. Longer and wider planks are rising in popularity as modern technology, and a variety of material choices, makes them more readily available and affordable.

Blonde flooring – Bright blonde wood and wood-looks are a new trend that is making spaces seem larger and lighter. Much like wall color, floor color can alter the perceived size of a space.

Gray flooring – Gray is a neutral staple in realty, on both walls and floors. Gray floorcoverings are still new enough to be trendy but will soon become a classic.

There are plenty of different, unique options trending that will likely stick around for years to come, which means your possibilities are endless. If you want something trendy that will last for the long haul, try going for large plank, blonde or gray wood/wood-look flooring.

Are you thinking about selling and you're wondering if new floors are a must before your home goes on the market?  Email us at info@lizmoore.com and we can help!

Tags: Buyers, Sellers, New Homes, relo-williamsburg-local, relo-peninsula-news, relo-richmond-news, RVA Home Building

10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR, Part 7: Marketing 

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Mar 30, 2018 @ 01:01 PM

anete-lusina-382329-unsplash

By Liz Moore

Hiring the right real estate professional is probably the single most important decision you’ll make when you put your home on the market for sale. I recommend interviewing a few agents from different firms before making a choice. There are 10 questions you should ask before you hire a real estate agent - part 7: marketing!

Question 7: How do you plan to market my home?

Your agent should have a written, detailed marketing plan that outlines marketing activities to be completed over the entire course of the listing. No exceptions, no excuses.

The marketing plan for your home should begin with a solid strategy to reach prospective buyers interested in your community and neighborhood – in other words, the plan should cast a wide net. Buyers begin searching for a city and then a neighborhood, before they zero in on a home. The most effective agents will have a marketing plan that accounts for all of that.

Perhaps the most frustrating experience for sellers whose listings remain unsold months after listing is that their agents did not have a specific plan after the first few weeks.

Are you are thinking about about selling your home?  Download our eBook, "10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR®".

Download 10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR

Tags: Sellers

Local Liz Moore REALTORS Earn Industry Designation in Real Estate Staging

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Thu, Mar 29, 2018 @ 04:21 PM

IMG_0179

58 Liz Moore agents earned the RESA Certified Staging Advocate™ designation (RESA CSA™) from the Real Estate Staging Association, the trade association for professional real estate stagers.  The RESA CSA™ designation is earned by agents who complete the mandatory continuing education course called Staging to Sell, What Every Agent Should Know. Agents completing the 3-hour continuing education course are trained on how the entire pre-market staging process will benefit their client and secure their relationship as a true advocate for their client’s best interest. 

The course was taught by Therese Robinson, who partners with Liz Moore to conduct pre-listing staging consultations with their clients.

“Staging makes a huge difference in how quickly a home sells, as well as getting top dollar for the seller,” says Liz Moore, President of Liz Moore & Associates.  “We’re committed to offering this service as part of our pre-listing package,” she says.

Are you interested in meeting with an agent who holds a staging designation? Email us at info@lizmoore.com and we'll put you in touch!

 

Tags: Sellers

10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR, Part 6: Recent Client Experience

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 @ 02:35 PM

rawpixel-com-593597-unsplash.jpg

By Liz Moore

Hiring the right real estate professional is probably the single most important decision you’ll make when you put your home on the market for sale. I recommend interviewing a few agents from different firms before making a choice. There are 10 questions you should ask before you hire a real estate agent - part 6: past clients!

Question 6: May I have contact info for the sellers of your 3 most recent listings sold?

Nothing is more telling than a recent client’s experience. By asking for the 3 most recent sales, you avoid the agent choosing their favorite clients to give you a reference. When you make the call, ask if the seller would hire the agent again, what they did that was most valuable, and what they wish the agent had done differently.

Be certain to also ask about communication: how often did they hear from their agent?

Are you are thinking about about selling your home?  Download our eBook, "10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR®".

Download 10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR

Tags: Sellers

10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR, Part 5: Experience

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Mar 16, 2018 @ 12:09 PM

alejandro-escamilla-2-unsplash.jpgBy Liz Moore

Hiring the right real estate professional is probably the single most important decision you’ll make when you put your home on the market for sale. I recommend interviewing a few agents from different firms before making a choice. There are 10 questions you should ask before you hire a real estate agent - part 3: marketing!

Question 4: Tell me about your real estate experience and track record.

A good REALTOR® does not necessarily mean 40 years in the business – as a matter of fact, that actually may translate to an agent who is out of touch with progressive online strategies that are essential in today’s market. Your agent should be fluent in the market and be able to explain current trends in your neighborhood (# of sales, sold: list price ratios, time on market, absorption rates), as well as a familiarity with listings and sales.

Instead of asking how many homes they have sold, ask how many of their listings have not sold, and why.

Are you are thinking about about selling your home?  Download our eBook, "10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR®".

Download 10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR

 

Tags: Sellers

10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR, Part 4: Marketing

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Mar 09, 2018 @ 11:59 AM

olu-eletu-13086-unsplash.jpg

By Liz Moore

Hiring the right real estate professional is probably the single most important decision you’ll make when you put your home on the market for sale. I recommend interviewing a few agents from different firms before making a choice. There are 10 questions you should ask before you hire a real estate agent - part 3: marketing!

Question 4: Explain how you specifically market to reach the target buyer?

Once the most likely target audiences have been pinpointed, a specific plan should include the most effective resources to reach those potential prospects. Aggressive social media strategies are a great way to reach specific demographics, and your agent should be able to articulate a plan for that. Additionally, our company’s online strategy includes 31 niche websites and a series of digital magazines that are published with target markets in mind.

Are you are thinking about about selling your home?  Download our eBook, "10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR®".

Download 10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR

Tags: Sellers

10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR, Part 3: Target Buyer

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Mar 02, 2018 @ 10:22 AM

rawpixel-com-323215-unsplash.jpg

By Liz Moore

Hiring the right real estate professional is probably the single most important decision you’ll make when you put your home on the market for sale. I recommend interviewing a few agents from different firms before making a choice. There are 10 questions you should ask before you hire a real estate agent - part 3: target buyer!

Question 3: Who is the target buyer for my home?

To catch a buyer, you must think like a buyer. Step one in putting together a solid marketing strategy is determining who are the most likely targets: is it a 55+ downsizing couple, or is it a young military family? A good marketer will know the answer(s), and will definitely not be surprised by the question.

Are you are thinking about about selling your home?  Download our eBook, "10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR®".

Download 10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR

Tags: Sellers

10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR, Part 2: Staging

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Feb 23, 2018 @ 02:11 PM

sophia-baboolal-86214-unsplash.jpg

By Liz Moore

Hiring the right real estate professional is probably the single most important decision you’ll make when you put your home on the market for sale. I recommend interviewing a few agents from different firms before making a choice. There are 10 questions you should ask before you hire a real estate agent - part 2: staging!

Question 2: Would my home be a candidate for staging?

Even the most well-appointed homes can benefit from staging. How we live in a home and how we market one are two completely separate concepts. Recent data suggests that staging can bring an increased sale price as well as shave weeks off market time. Your agent should offer a pre-list staging consultation, and help you assess if staging might help you pocket more money.

Are you are thinking about about selling your home?  Download our eBook, "10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR®".

Download 10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR

Tags: Sellers