Karen Adelson - Barrett Sotheby's International Realty

Posted by Karen Adelson on 10/17/2017

Staging a home requires a seller to think about how to differentiate his or her residence from others that are currently available. Fortunately, a home staging checklist can make it easy for a seller to ensure his or her house stands out from the competition.

A home staging checklist allows a seller to take a step-to-step approach to enhance his or her house's appeal, which may lead to a fast, profitable home sale.

In addition, this checklist is simple to create and may include the following items:

1. Removing Clutter

Although you likely have collected a variety of antiques, artwork and other attractive items over the years, you may want to remove some of these belongings from your house. That way, you can help homebuyers envision what their lives may be like if they decide to purchase your residence.

Remember, the goal of a home seller is to stir up substantial interest in a house. If you eliminate clutter from your home, you can enable homebuyers to see exactly what your residence has to offer and help them make an informed purchase decision.

To remove clutter from your home, you may want to host a yard sale or sell excess items online. You can always donate excess items to local charities or give them to family members or friends too. Or, if you want to keep all of your belongings, you can put various items in a storage unit until your residence sells.

2. Cleaning a Home from Top to Bottom

An immaculate residence is sure to garner substantial interest from homebuyers. Thus, if you clean your home from top to bottom, you can increase the likelihood that your residence will make a positive first impression on potential buyers.

Go room by room and clean as much as possible. If you require extra assistance, you can hire a professional home cleaning company as well.

3. Collaborating with a Real Estate Agent

If you need expert guidance as you sell your residence, you should hire a local real estate agent.

A real estate agent is a difference-maker throughout the home selling journey. This housing market professional can help you stage your home, along with provide real estate market insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

When it comes to home staging, it often pays to collaborate with a real estate agent. In fact, a real estate agent will learn about your house and offer personalized home staging recommendations.

Furthermore, a real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a house and can help you make tough decisions throughout the home selling journey. He or she can work with you to determine an initial asking price for your residence, whether to accept an offer a home and much more. Also, if you ever have home selling concerns or questions, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them at any time.

Take the guesswork out of staging your residence – include the aforementioned items in your home staging checklist, and you can quickly and effortlessly get your house show-ready.

Posted by Karen Adelson on 10/10/2017

When it comes to arranging furniture, the living room may perhaps be the most challenging. This is especially true when the room houses both a fireplace and a television. It’s difficult to decide where to place the items in your living room when you want those seated in the room to have access to all the room has to offer including a good view of the TV and the fireplace. Here, we’ll give you some tips on where to place what for the perfect living room arrangement. We promise that if you follow these tips, everyone will have the perfect view of both the TV and the fireplace and be able to enjoy the living room fully. Think Right Angles First, place all of your seating perpendicular to both the television and the fireplace. This is one surefire way to know that every seat in the living room is the best seat in the house. There’s no wrong way to arrange furniture when you’re working with right angles! Place the TV On the Wall Opposite the Fireplace The fireplace will be the true focal point of the room. The TV will also be a feature of the room, yet less eye-catching. Where the television is installed will completely depend upon where your fireplace is. You may want to avoid, for example, hanging your TV over the fireplace so that eyes don’t become overwhelmed when the fireplace is on. Place Tables For Practical Use Side tables are going to be used frequently in your living room. You should place your side tables strategically, preferably next to pieces of furniture, so they can be used for placing items and drinks on. Putting tables far away from the ends of furniture just doesn’t make sense, since you won’t actually be using the tables. Center the Coffee Table The coffee table should be placed as close to the center of the room as possible. A coffee table should be somewhere between one-half and two-thirds of the length of your couch. This rule of interior design ensures that no piece within the room becomes too overwhelming in the space. Flow One of the best words to remember when arranging living room furniture is that of “flow.” You want the room to appear as if it were effortless to design and maintain. The living room is a place that is often used for to relax in, so you want it to feel as such. Function Beyond the look and feel of the room, you want to make sure that your living room is functional. It’s a room that’s used for reading, chatting, watching television and connecting. You never want to room to feel stuffy or unusable. With the right planning and use of your furniture, your living room can be everyone’s go-to room in the house. You won’t even need a bowl of popcorn on movie night to entice everyone with!

Posted by Karen Adelson on 10/3/2017

Let's face it: you probably have picture frames or decorations hiding some small holes in your drywall. Most people hold off on filling small holes until it's time to repaint the wall. Even then, some people assume you can just paint right over the holes to cover them up. There's a much better way to ensure you have smooth and uniform walls, however. Read on to learn how.

Repairing small holes

If the areas you are attempting to repair are mainly small holes from picture frames made by hooks and nails, there's a relatively easy way to make your wall look like new again.
  1. First, you're going to want to pull out any debris from the whole, including loose or chipped pieces of drywall. This is an important step that many people omit. If you put your spackle or paste in a hole that has loose drywall in it, it could just fall out when it drys.
  2. Next, fill up the whole with spackle and smooth it with a putty knife or any flat surface available to you. Read the directions on the paste to determine how long it will take to dry.
  3. Once dry, sand down the area using a fine-grit sandpaper (at least 120 grit). Rub your hand over the area to see if there are any bumps. Be careful not to sand too hard if your wall is textured at all. Once the spackle is smooth and flush with the wall, you can move onto the next step: repainting.

Repainting your wall

It's good practice to save leftover paint and color samples for the walls of your house. If you've done this, your work here will be a lot easier. When you repaint the area you've sealed and sanded you'll want to paint over the edges slightly to blend it with the paint already on your wall. This will, hopefully, make it so the repaired area doesn't stand out. Remember not to panic when the paint appears darker and more vibrant where the repair is. Once it dries it will more closely resemble the paint on the wall. It may be necessary to put a second coat onto the area, so don't put your paint away just yet. In the meantime, this is a great opportunity to check the walls in the room for any other areas that need to be touched up.

It doesn't look quite the same

If you find yourself staring at the one-inch area of your wall that looks slightly different than the rest, you have two options.
  1. Back away, go do something else for a while and then come back later. Was it obvious to you where the spot was after taking a break? Sometimes artists get too close to their work and focused on details that are only apparent to them. Remember that no one is likely to notice but you.
  2. If it's driving you nuts, you could always use this opportunity to repaint the entire wall. Many rooms now have an "accent" wall, meaning one wall painted differently than the other three. This is a great way to add a hint of color to a room. Find a color that will nicely accent the walls and head to the paint store.

Posted by Karen Adelson on 9/26/2017

A row house is a good fit for someone who grew up in apartment homes. There are people who spent their childhood living in apartment homes who feel more comfortable residing close to other people than they do living in a single home.

Row houses aren't always a good fit even for apartment home lovers

Single homes spell distance and an inability to communicate with neighbors as freely as they'd like to people who love apartment home living. Downside to living in apartment homes indefinitely is that you despite how much and how long you continue to pay rent, you generally never end up owning the residence.

Buying a row house can ease the transition from an apartment into a house. Yet, the transition is not a good fit for everyone. Even some apartment home lovers might not appreciate everything that comes with living in a row house. In particular, when it comes to row houses, people might not like:

  • Trying to fit three or more cars in a short one lane driveway
  • Lack of yard space - Row houses are notorious for having small front and back yards. Yards at your row house might not provide enough outdoor space for large pets to play and thrive in.
  • Noise from next door neighbors - While it's a fact that you might not ever hear your neighbors, especially if your neighbors are particularly quiet, living in row houses can easily increase the likelihood that noise that your neighbors make will spill over into your home. This could happen even in the wee hours of the morning.
  • Barking dogs - If your neighbor owns pets, you might hear dogs barking in the background throughout the day and night. You may not mind the fact that your neighbor's dog barks during the day if you work outside your home. Telecommute or work from home as an independent contractor and your neighbor's barking dog could wear on your patience.
  • Stairs - The chance to live in a one-level house is probably out of the question if you buy a row house. Many row houses are four levels, causing you to have to climb stairs.

Downsides to living in row houses

Row houses offer a tighter sense of community. The houses have been around since the late 1700s. You'll find a large number of row houses in cities like Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia. A step up from apartment home living, row houses are one of the best ways for millennials and first time homeowners to buy an initial property. Yet, there are drawbacks to owning row houses.

Move next door to loud neighbors and you might be forced to listen to someone else's music for hours. Your neighbors' dog also might find its way onto your porch every day. Worn down grass, blades flattened from neighbors walking on your lawn, unwanted pests and lack of street side parking space are other drawbacks to living in row houses.

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Posted by Karen Adelson on 9/19/2017

Home renovations can make you fall in love with a house that you had spent years struggling to feel comfortable in. Another thing that home renovations can do is raise your house's value. But, you have to make the right home renovations,popular upgrades.

Check out these popular home renovations

Because popular home upgrades are often trendy, they may change every several years. Unless you have deep pockets, you may want to focus on upgrades that you and potential home buyers will appreciate for at least a decade or longer. Here are popular house renovations that offer benefits like more living space, better comfort, improved style and greater functionality:

  • Upgraded bathroom - You don't have to knock out walls and redo the entire bathroom. A great bathroom upgrade can be as simple as installing stylish, metal bathroom faucets or replacing bathroom counters with fashionable granite counters. You could also replace your bath tub, installing a classic marble tub or a standalone metal tub.
  • Kitchen counters - People love granite kitchen counters and unique back splashes. Another item that people appreciate is a kitchen island that's topped with a granite counter. These renovations add more space and personality to your kitchen.
  • Finished basement - Little upgrades add more sleeping, living or entertaining space to your house like a finished basement. Go as far as adding a bathroom and small kitchen to your finished basement and you could rent the space out as a small apartment.
  • Covered parking space - By adding cover to your current driveway, you'll enjoy added protection for your vehicles. The cover protects vehicles against hot summer's rays, hail, snow and hard rains.
  • Extra bedroom - Look to your attic, basement or den when you start thinking about adding a bedroom to your house. Use this space as a short or long term living space for guests.
  • Enclosed porch - Turn your front porch into a fascinating outdoor living space.
  • Customized bookcase - This is a popular apartment amenity. Add a customized bookcase to your living room, bedroom or home library. Fill shelves with family portraits, fresh or silk flowers, awards and artwork.

Home renovations do more than improve your living conditions

The right home renovations can shift your opinion of your house from disapproving to very satisfied. Make popular home renovations and you could shift opinions that home buyers have of your house too. If you've been struggling to sell your house and get it off the real estate market, one or more renovations may be in order.

Just make sure that you pay for renovations that lots of people love. Stylish bathroom tiles, fancy kitchen back splashes and newly installed living and dining room bay windows get a lot of appreciation. Other home renovations like roof solar panels empower your house with trendy style.

This type of popular home upgrade is also environmentally friendly. On top of that, it lowers utility costs for homeowners. It's just one reason why popular home renovations offer more than one benefit. It's why popular home upgrades pay for themselves over the short and the long term.

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