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Fall Home Staging Tips on a Budget

Staged Living Room

Staged Living RoomMost homes will benefit greatly from proper staging. The most important things to address cost nothing more than a little good old fashioned hard work. You might need a dozen boxes. You might need to dig into your pockets for $40 for a gallon of paint or a 5-pack of petunias. You will need to dig a little deeper to paint the interior rooms of your home, but not too deep. 

You will be doing the work yourself, or with family and friends, to keep your resources in check. There is a lot that can be accomplished with a little money and a lot of hard work. Here are some fall staging tips for sellers on a tight budget. 

$10 or less 

Make a Plan: The work that goes into staging a home is time consuming. Before starting your first staging project put together your game plan. Consulting with your seller’s agent to help prepare your staging plan will help keep everything in perspective. Making a plan is basically free. 

Declutter: Getting rid of all the stuff that accumulates in the rooms of your home is paramount. It is the number one thing to do when staging the rooms of your home. This may seem overwhelming depending on how many years you have lived in your home. Don’t try to declutter everything all at once. Set a day aside for each room. You will expedite the process by having three boxes on the ready: keep, donate, and discard. Boxes are relatively inexpensive. 24”x18”x18” moving boxes can be found for $2.50 (that’s a mere $7.50 per room) You can get fancy and spend a little more on plastic storage bins for the items you are keeping, but you don’t need to. Stackable plastic storage bins might be worth the investment to keep everything in better order in your new home, but don’t blow your budget. 

Clean: Everything in your home needs to be thoroughly cleaned. You already have cleaning supplies, a vacuum cleaner, and a broom. You will need to schedule a day for each room after decluttering. Vacuum the carpets, sweep the floors, clean all surfaces, and clean the appliances inside and out. Put on your favorite music and get to work! Cleaning is basically free until you run out of cleaning supplies. A large bottle of glass cleaner will set you back about $8 but you might need it. Remember to clean the windows on the inside and outside. Make it shine! 

$50 or less 

Paint the Front Door: A fresh coat of paint is highly desirable on window trim, doors, and rooms. Painting your front door in the right color might even increase the value of your home by $6,000. A gallon of exterior paint is about $40. It won’t take the entire gallon to paint your front door, you'll have some left over to get started on the windows. Your seller’s agent from Coldwell Banker Classic Properties is intimate with the Central Vermont market. They will best advise you on what color to paint your front door and window trim. 

Paint the Rooms: The average room will need about two gallons of paint. Interior paint can be purchased for around $25 a gallon (budget grade paint). We recommend painting the rooms of your home in a light neutral color. This will reflect natural and artificial light and help to make rooms feel more spacious. It will cost around $50 per room and the sweat off your brow. 

Thrift Store Bargains

Mirrors and More: If you find yourself in the position of needing to furnish the rooms of your home, start by visiting your local thrift store. You might find what you need for a fraction of the price. Thrift stores are a great place to find mirrors and picture frames. Both items can be quickly freshened up with a new coat of paint. Remember to purchase primer. Paint sticks to primer, and primer sticks to everything (well almost everything, as long as it’s clean). 

Landscaping on a Budget 

Basic Yard Work: You will definitely need to keep your lawn mowed, the walkways properly edged and the flower beds weeded. Now is not the time to wait for all the leaves to fall and perform the raking task as a “one-and-done” operation. To maintain a neat appearance in the fall you will need to rake leaves on a regular schedule.

The Power of the Flower: Annuals will add a lot of color and beauty to the front of your home with minimal effort. Petunias are one of the best annual flowers to plant in Vermont. A 5-pack of petunias will run you about $40. They are low-maintenance flowers and can bloom until November. Your local lawn & garden center will provide you with additional budget friendly solutions to adding lush foliage and color to your flower beds and landscape when staging your home. 

Creativity and service drive our business at Coldwell Banker Classic Properties. We look forward to helping you stage your home creatively and stay on budget. Contact us today!

Prepping Your Home For Last Minute Showings

Potential Home Buyers Getting Ready to Look at House for Sale

Potential Home Buyers Getting Ready to Look at House for SaleYou have lovingly taken the time to stage your home properly: keeping up with yard work, planting flowers, painting your home, removing excess furniture, and doing a lot of cleaning. Clean, clean, clean! 

When you find yourself between showings your home will likely resemble what homes look like when they are in use…they will look lived in. Every showing is a potential sale. You don’t want to turn anyone away. If you find yourself with short notice simply take care of the essentials. Here are some important things when prepping your home for last minute showings. 

Kitchen: Wash the dishes. Get the pots and pans clean and start the dishwasher. At the very least, get the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. A quick sweep of the kitchen floor is essential. Wipe down the counters. 

Meals: If you are in the middle of a meal, finish quickly, pack it to go, or refrigerate the plates to finish later. Remember you will leave the house to make potential buyers feel more comfortable. Check the time and plan your choice accordingly. 

Lights: Turn on all the lights in your home, be it day or night. We always recommend doing this for a showing, as it will make a home feel cheery. 

Trash: Take out the trash! 

Pets: You will need to take your canine and feline companions with you. Additionally, you will want to remove food bowls and litter boxes (not a very attractive smell for buyers to encounter during a showing). 

Flush: If it’s yellow don’t let it mellow, flush it down! Flush all toilets and close the lids. 

Declutter: At the very least you will want to remove your personal mail from sight. Take it with you or put it in an office drawer. If time permits, declutter all the rooms in your home (putting away clothing, books, and recently used items). Tidy things up! 

Know Before You Go: You will be leaving the house for the showing. Have a plan set for where you will go. It might be a family walk with the dog at the park, hire a sitter for your children to be ready and on-call when needed, or maybe you can show up at a friend’s or neighbor’s house with pizza and beer and gain entry with a smile. 

Master Tips 

Purchase Totes: When it comes to clutter it is good to stay ahead of the game. Unfortunately, it’s a never ending battle. When you begin staging your home you will declutter and things will be perfect. As you continue living in your home, your day to day items will accumulate again. That’s how it goes. 

We recommend purchasing a 6-pack of medium to large totes to place in various rooms of your home. Keep them empty! They are emergency reserve spaces for a last minute showing. This is where you will quickly and efficiently store stray clothes, books, and miscellaneous clutter when you get notified. You can gather items in the totes, put the totes in the closet and skedaddle. Good Job!

Post Your Last Minute Prep List: Have everyone in your household ready for a last minute showing. Keep the list posted in plain sight and pre-delegate the duties. Directions will be clear and the family will work well together with a plan. Treat them to pizza and root beer for a job well done! 

Creativity and service drive our business at Coldwell Banker Classic Properties. Contact us today if you're considering selling your home in Central Vermont!

5 Simple Steps To Maximize Your Closet Space

Well Organized Closet Space

Well Organized Closet SpaceThe team at Coldwell Banker Classic Properties is looking forward to helping you with all of your real estate needs in Central Vermont. When looking to sell your home, decluttering is a very important step in the staging process. By organizing your closet, and making use of all the closet space, you will help free up valuable space in your living areas. Living areas free of clutter are essential in staging. You will also enjoy the benefit of having all your items easily accessible and organized. The process will make things easier when it’s time to sell your home, both in staging and in simplifying the items you will be moving to your new home. Here are some easy ways to maximize your closet space in five simple steps. 

Step Number One: Declutter! The easiest way to make more room in your closet is by getting rid of things you don’t use or need. Start by emptying everything out of the closet you are working on. Simply assemble the items to donate, sell and throw away in boxes and put the items aside that you are keeping to be put back in the closet (or another storage area in your home). 

Step Number Two: Assess your inventory. If you're a downhill racer with a half dozen sets of skis for various disciplines (and won’t send your beloved skis out to the garage where they probably belong) you might need a custom designed storage system to keep things in order. The same would hold true for any number of uniquely shaped larger items you would like to organize in your closet. When considering bedroom closets the inventory typically falls into the area of shoes and clothing. You can choose to hire a company that specializes in custom closet organization (and we have a handful in Vermont including Inspired Closets Vermont or Lake Champlain Closets & Storage Solutions) or take inspiration in their handiwork by perusing their websites showcasing professional solutions and work on the project yourself. 

Step Number Three: Think vertically and make a plan. Whether you are building shelves or using prefabricated shelving, you will want to be certain you are using the full vertical height of the closet to your advantage. Plan carefully. Home improvement centers have a variety of closet organization systems to choose from for the do-it-yourself closet impresario (many in wire or wood). A well designed bedroom closet will include compartments for shoes, rods to hang articles of clothing of different lengths, storage space below hanging clothes, and shelving to accommodate folded clothing (such as sweaters) or storage baskets (for housing smaller items). 

Step Number Four: Divide and conquer! Use the compartments and shelving you planned and installed to the greatest advantage by using containers and dividers. A shelf divider is a clever way to create additional cubbyholes on a shelf. 

Step Number Five: Put it back. Now that your closet space has a space for everything, put everything in its place. Once you’ve taken the unwanted but gently used good items to the donation center, thrown away broken and worn out items, and sold the remaining items your task is complete. Good job! 

Coldwell Banker Classic Properties is Central Vermont’s oldest Coldwell Banker franchise. We look forward to helping you with all of your real estate needs. Contact us today.

6 Simple Ways to Add Extra Storage Space to Your Home

Woman Decluttering Home

Keeping your belongings organized is essential to maintaining sense and order in your home. When organizing your items keep stand-up comedian George Carlin in mind. He had a routine titled “A Place for My Stuff”. The routine included the lines: “That’s all your house is, a place to keep your stuff. If you didn’t have so much stuff, you [...]

Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

Landscaping in Summer

There are several things to consider when looking to market and sell your home. The summer home maintenance checklist is a great place to start. Whether you are looking to list your home this summer, or in the near future, you will be adding value you, your friends, and your family can enjoy immediately. You will enjoy the feeling of a job [...]

How To Maximize Small Outdoor Spaces

Small Backyard and Patio

Small Backyard and PatioIt takes a little creativity and reservation when you are looking to maximize small outdoor spaces. “Less is more” is a time tested adage made famous by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (the last director of the Bauhaus and a pioneer in modernist architecture) in 1947 and fully embraced by a large circle of architects and artists of the period. We have seen the aphorism make its way into every corner of modern culture. The saying is well played in this very situation. 

The agents at Coldwell Banker Classic Properties in Central Vermont look forward to selling your home with ingenious ideas stemming from an intimate knowledge of the area and years of experience. Helping you organize your smaller outdoor spaces is just one of those ideas to make your property more attractive to potential buyers. Be it a single family home, condo or even a home with land or a farm with a farmhouse (with certain smaller spaces that need attention) here are some practical tips to get you started in the right direction. 

Curtains: Outdoor curtains for balconies and patios create a sense of personal space and provide shade. There are simple wooden frame options that can accommodate outdoor draperies if an overhead option isn’t currently present. Be sure to follow all the rules governing your property from your HOA as you work on organizing your outdoor spaces. 

Clever furniture: A built in bench or a coffee table that includes hidden storage is a great way to maximize a smaller outdoor patio in any home. A coffee table can also double as additional seating to accommodate last minute guests to that summer BBQ on the patio. Keeping several outdoor pillows (made with weatherproof materials) in your outdoor hidden storage spaces can be quickly accessed and utilized as floor cushions (to provide seating for your more flexible guests). 

Outdoor rug: A colorful outdoor rug can liven up an outdoor patio or balcony and define the space at the same time. Painting a specified section of an outdoor deck with geometric patterns is another great way to liven up an outdoor living space … but it does require a bigger commitment. Outdoor rugs can easily be replaced every season and provide a feeling of change and renewal. 

Green space: A small garden, or perhaps a collection of bonsai trees, will bring a little of the natural world into your smaller balcony or patio space. And where a traditional lawn is not appropriate (balcony) consider a little faux green grass to add a little additional green space. Imitation grass will be best served when complemented by the living plants of your tiny garden. 

Fire pit table: There are a large variety of fire tables to choose from. Many tables can be fueled by propane, natural gas, or bioethanol. The small footprint of a fire table can provide a warm and intimate gathering spot for you, your friends, and your family as you reflect on the world and roast a marshmallow or two. 

Gazebo: Who doesn’t love the sense of space and privacy created by a gazebo? A gazebo or a patio canopy are a great way to utilize space and maximize your enjoyment of a small yard…and will lend itself to the staging process when selling your home. The gazebo or patio canopy will become a focal point and draw attention away from the yard’s smaller size. Choose a structure suitable in size for your yard, you simply want to compliment the space and add a focal point while keeping the yard as open as possible. 

Structures and lighting: Additional elements can be introduced to a smaller yard such as arbors, trellises, statuary, and outdoor lighting to highlight these and other outdoor features. It is best to keep things simple and elegant. And remember to keep the space open. Less is more! 

Creativity and service drive our business at Coldwell Banker Classic Properties. We look forward to working with you on all of your real estate needs in Central Vermont. Contact us today!

Coronavirus Updates: Adaptation

A local real estate lawyer is offering free Power of Attorney (POA) status to clients so that they don't have to go to closings in person. Various towns are limiting property title searches to a "by appointment only" status; or making extra efforts to finish putting their property information online. Some banks are no longer sending out [...]

#Happy Valentines #CapitalCity #Redhearts

Valentine's Day Hearts in Montpelier, Vermont

I have to say that I love my sweet little Vermont Capital City of Montpelier! Every year for the past 20 plus years, someone (or more likely some people) go out into the frigid dark in the wee hours of the morning of February 14th, and plaster every storefront, church, school, library, restaurant, hotel, sign post and more with bright red hearts. And every year, I forget all about Valentine's Day until I drive through downtown Montpelier and see the cheerful hearts that are taped everywhere. It always makes me smile and reminds me to call all my kids to wish them Happy Valentine's Day. It also makes me plan a great dinner with my awesome husband of thirty years. Best of all, this year the Phantom put a heart on one of my real estate signs on a house at the edge of town. That heart on my sign makes me happier than a SOLD sign! Well, maybe not quite that happy but close. Whoever the Valentine Phantom(s) of Montpelier is (are) I applaud the hard work it must be to leave a warm bed for the icy and snowy streets of Montpelier because it's just another proof for what a fantastic little city where we are lucky to live. No wonder real estate in Montpelier sells so quickly! 

Valentine's Day Hearts in Montpelier, VermontColdwell Banker Classic Properties Sign