Claire LeBlanc - REALTY EXECUTIVES



Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 9/6/2017

If you've recently put your home on the market -- or are considering doing so in the near future -- home staging is a priority which will soon take front and center!

Since "presentation is everything" when trying to catch the interest of prospective buyers, it's crucial to be able to see things through their eyes.

Unfortunately, being able to accomplish that objective is next to impossible because, as a homeowner, you're looking at your home and property through a completely different lens than the rest of the world. The longer you've lived in your home, the more your objectivity is compromised.

Here are a few reasons why it's really difficult to "see the forest for the trees" when it comes to home staging:

First of all, there's the emotional aspect of owning a home and seeing your life unfold there over a period of years. That's especially true for first-time homeowners, parents of growing children, and people who have sunk a lot of money, time, and energy into improvements and customization. Once you've added personal touches to your home to reflect your own tastes, personality, and lifestyle, you're viewing your home through a unique perspective that may cloud your objectivity as a home seller.

Solution: Think Like a Business Owner

For the same reason business owners and executives hire outside consultants to tell them how to improve management efficiency or profitability, home sellers often need professional marketing guidance from a real estate agent or home staging consultant. Getting input from home decorators, landscapers, or home improvement contractors may also provide you with helpful ideas, but their recommendations may not always be the most economical and cost effective.

When staging your home to enhance eye appeal and attract the most potential buyers, a good guiding principle to keep in mind is ROI or "return on investment." While you don't want to sink more money into sprucing up and staging your home than necessary, you do want to cast it in its best possible light. Depending on how recently your home has been updated or improved, your investment in home staging may be relatively inexpensive. On the other hand, if you haven't updated, repaired, or made improvements for more years than you care to remember, the cost of making your home irresistible to buyers may be a lot higher!

One More Scenario

If your tastes could be described as eclectic, "off the wall", or otherwise out of the mainstream, you might need to consider a major overall in the look and feel of your property. Unless you're lucky enough to have it be a "sellers' market" at the time you're putting your house up for sale, it's generally advisable to make your home appealing to as wide a range of potential buyers as possible. An experienced real estate professional is usually in the best position to provide the guidance you need to accomplish that key objective.





Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 8/16/2017

Although a home seller might commit significant time and resources to stage the interior of his or her home, it also is important to remember that homebuyers will want to check out your residence's exterior. As a result, you may want to consider staging your home's exterior in addition to your residence's interior. Staging your home's exterior can be simple here are three tips for home sellers to stage a house's exterior effectively: 1. Spruce Up Your Front Lawn. A front lawn that is loaded with crabgrass and weeds is unlikely to help your house garner attention from homebuyers. Fortunately, there are many fast, efficient ways to spruce up your front lawn's appearance. For instance, mowing and watering your front lawn regularly is sure to help improve its appearance. Don't forget to use fertilizer and weed control products to further enhance your front lawn's appearance, either. When in doubt, hire professional landscapers to help you spruce up your front lawn. These landscaping experts will be able to bolster your front lawn's appearance instantly, and ultimately, boost your chances of generating substantial interest in your residence. 2. Improve Your Exterior Lighting. Ideally, you'll want to make your front entrance warm and inviting. And with the right lighting, you'll be able to impress homebuyers any time they check out your house. Pendant lighting, for example, can be hung with ease and will help you boost your home's curb appeal. This lighting will allow you to illuminate the front of your residence at night, ensuring homebuyers who drive by will be able to get a good look at your home. Furthermore, wall lighting can be placed near exterior doorways and will look and perform great day after day. Like pendant lighting, wall lighting often is easy to install and can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers. 3. Clean Up Your Driveway. A driveway that is filled with chips and cracks may do more harm than good, particularly for a home seller who wants to generate plenty of interest in his or her residence. However, a home seller who spends some time improving the appearance of his or her house's driveway is sure to transform the driveway from a home selling liability into an asset. Repaving your driveway always represents a valuable option, as this will enable you to enhance your driveway's appearance immediately. Also, installing interlocking stones or stamped concrete may prove to be a viable option, especially if you want your driveway to stand out to homebuyers. Staging your house's exterior is worthwhile, and a home seller who devotes the time and resources to improve his or her home's exterior may be able to reap the benefits of a quick sale. Do what it takes to transform your home's ordinary exterior into one that will sparkle consistently. By doing so, you can boost your house's curb appeal and differentiate your residence in a highly competitive real estate market.





Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 7/19/2017

Creating curb appeal is an essential ingredient to attracting potential buyers to a house for sale. Similar to the concept of "dressing for success," when you make a strong first impression, your chances for producing positive results are greatly enhanced.

Looking good from the outside is the first step to capturing people's interest, but that's only the first of several hurdles that you have to clear. The last thing you want to do as a home seller is disappoint prospective buyers when they start looking around inside. That's why it's important to start strong and finish strong! While that may be easier said than done, it's a principle of success you can't afford to ignore.

Once you put your house on the market, there are two factors that could potentially work against you: the elements of time and competition.

  • Time is of the essence: Time can either be your friend or your adversary, depending on how long your house has been on the market. When house hunters see the words "just listed," it creates a feeling of excitement and urgency. For many eager home buyers, those two words mean there's a fresh opportunity to discover the house of their dreams... or at least a reasonable facsimile! It's especially enticing to frustrated buyers who have already looked at a lot of homes, without having found the right one yet. When a new house is listed and put on the market, couples will be thinking and saying "Maybe this house will be the one!" Your challenge as a home seller is to do everything possible and cost-effective to live up to their expectations! An important factor to keep in mind is that the longer a house is on the market, the less appealing it generally is to prospective buyers. Once a house has been languishing on the market for more than a couple months or so, it also puts the sellers at a negotiating disadvantage.
  • Competition is a fact of life: Buying a house is weighty decision. No one takes it lightly, and few buyers are going to make an offer on a house if they haven't looked at several others, too. Well-organized house hunters will have wish lists, "must have" requirements, and detailed notes and recollections about how each house stacks up. So it's important to work with your real estate agent to present your home in its best possible light. When your home compares favorably to other similar properties on market, your chances of getting it sold within a reasonable period of time are greatly improved.
Maintaining an appealing exterior will help give you an inside track in the competitive real estate market, but making sure your property is in good shape from top to bottom will often be the deciding factor in how soon you get to the finish line!





Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 1/18/2017

 Whether you're staging your home to sell it faster or preparing for a big family gathering, there are a lot of easy, inexpensive things you can do to accentuate the positive and downplay the negative.

While one or two small touches may not guarantee making a great impression, a handful of upgrades and improvements  should tip the scales in your direction. Here are a few ideas and possibilities:

  1. Clean carpets: If you have pets, children, or teenagers in the house, there's a good chance your carpets have some ugly stains on them. Fortunately, there are relatively easy solutions ranging from hiring a professional carpet cleaning service to renting a steam cleaner machine from your local hardware store or supermarket. In some cases, you may need to pretreat the stains with a cleaning spray. Keep in mind, however, that pre-treating carpet stains can be risky. First of all, there's the potential for certain cleaning solutions to permanently fade the color of your carpet. Secondly, some cleaning chemicals are toxic, so it's important to read the label and use them with caution. Fortunately, more and more professional carpet cleaning services are using non-toxic, "green" cleaning products, so look for companies that are environmentally friendly in their practices. Depending on the extent of your carpet stains, a good vacuuming and thorough steam cleaning, alone, might produce the desired results.
  2. Upgrade door knobs: You probably never paid attention to the quality of your door hardware, but it's not uncommon for homeowners to have very plain-looking doorknobs throughout their house. Visitors will probably notice them, at least on a subtle level, if the knobs are either exceptionally cheap or -- on the other hand -- very stylish and distinctive. Granted, replacing a bunch of ordinary doorknobs with $40 antique-style or crystal glass hardware could get rather pricey! A more economical alternative would be to get moderately priced doorknobs that would achieve the desired result without costing hundreds of dollars. If you're going to continue living in your home and are looking for ways to add extra style and quality to your decor, then doing an extensive doorknob upgrade is an option to consider. On the other hand, if you're staging your home for sale, then a more conservative approach might be appropriate.
  3. Replace light switch covers and outlet plates: Many homes seem to have run-of-the mill, plastic light switch covers, which serve the purpose, but don't enhance the decor at all. While it may be another subtle aspect of your overall decorating scheme, it's one of the many features people may notice. Metallic or artistic-looking switch covers make a much more positive statement about your attention to detail and quality.
  4. Remove smudges from windows and mirrors: Crystal clear windows and mirrors help bring out the best in your home. It's one of those small touches that can make a big difference in the impression you make on family, friends, and -- if your house is on the market -- potential buyers.
There are literally dozens of small changes, improvements,and upgrades you can consider making in and around your home, but very often it's those little touches that make a lasting impression.





Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 7/27/2016

When selling your home, you want it to appeal to a wide variety of people, not showcase your personality or preferences. While you might love deep red walls in your dining room, it might be too bold for a potential buyer. Your goal is to sell your home and having the right buyer appeal is key. There are a few things to think of when staging your home. Paint color is a must unless you already use neutral colors in your home. When looking for paint colors think of beige, olives, yellows, tans and greys. Outdated wallpaper patterns are a big no-no. Not only will an outdated look not be appealing to a buyer but the thought of having to take it down after buying the home can be a negative to a buyer. Taking down the wallpaper, fixing any imperfections in the walls with spackle and sanding, and applying a new coat of paint will go a long way. Choosing a paint with a low sheen will help hide any imperfections that may still remain. De-cluttering your home will give it a clean, organized look that will appeal to a buyer. Minimal items should remain in your home and going through your space to take out anything you don't need and sending it to storage is ideal. Think about your furniture as well, since often too much furniture can cause spaces to look small. In addition, by pulling furniture away from the walls and placing them in conversational groups, you add space to a room. Having the right decorative items can help to create an inviting space. Rather than having items lined up, trying grouping different items together, like on the coffee table. Hang pictures and art work in groups as well, avoiding a traditional straight line on the wall. Make sure that you have things such as decorative towels and soaps in the bathroom to help set the scene. And adding the right lighting can help set a welcoming mood. Make sure you have a variety of lighting in each space, from table lamps, to accent lighting, and whole room lighting. Basically, when staging your home, you want to make it a place that someone would want to live. Little touches here and there can really make a difference. With a little investment you might just find you are getting the offers you were hoping for.