Staging Tips to Help Sell Your Home Fast

Staging Your Home to Sell in the Fall Market

According to the National Association of Realtors, for every $100 spent on staging your home, you have the potentional to earn up to $400 back. That’s too big of a return to ignore–especially since a few simple tweaks could make a huge difference.

What is Staging Your Home?

There’s no question that the real estate market on Charleston is on fire but if you don’t have your house properly staged…the house could sit for longer than it should on the market. Staging your home means getting it in the best possible showing condition which could mean power washing, fresh paint, new furniture or finally removing those popcorn ceilings because who actually WANTS popcorn ceilings anymore? Staging can seem daunting, but with a few tweaks–you could have your home looking market ready in no time.

Here are five tips you can use to get your house ready for the fall market.

1.) De-clutter your home

I cannot stress this enough. I tell my clients to rent a POD (to be removed before listing of course) or a storage unit if they have to but whatevery they need to do, they should remove about 50% of their clutter. Closets should be half empty and garages should be as neat as possible. The more space that a buyer can see, the larger your home will look. And simple furnishings allow the buyer to imagine the space as their own.

2.) Remove Any Family Photos

It’s hard for a buyer to imagine themselves living in a home when they have a full visual of the family that currently is living there. Also, just for privacy reasons it’s always a good idea to remove the family photos from walls and surrounding areas.

3.) Paint the entire interior one color

Research shows painting the interior of your home the same light color throughout helps the home to feel large and flow smoothly. Greyish white with white trim throughout the home will help open it up tremendously and be less distracting than the hot pink 5 year old’s bedroom.

4.) Landscaping

Never underestimate the power of curb appeal and a first impression. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, simply keeping the lawn mowed (especially during the summer) and the hedges trimmed will go a long way. Buyers can pick up on the fact that if the outside has been negelected–what else has been ignored in the home?

5.) Remove all curtains–especially dark ones

Natural light is your best friend. You want your home to look at bright as possible and with dark curtains (no matter how nice they might look) all of that will be taken away. Also, if the buyer doesn’t like the style of drapes it can be distracting. Invest in nice blinds and always have them open during showings.

Ready to Sell

If all of this seems overwhelming, hiring a professional to come stage your home may be the route to go. I work with several stagers and would be happy to recommened a few to help you get your house ready to sell fast. Contact me to today for a free estimate of what your home is worth and how we can get it market ready together– email frank@askfrankrealestate.com or call 843.224.7997.

What To Eat For Luck in 2018: a Southern New Years


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We humans can be a suspicious bunch – and we’ve got all kinds of traditions to help bring in good luck and ward off the bad. Throughout the ages and in every culture, there are customs and superstitions around New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. In the South, those customs usually revolve around something everyone loves dearly: food. If you’re a native Southerner, these customs likely sound familiar. If you’re a transplant, consider this your Southern food primer of what to eat for good luck in 2018.

Black-Eyed Peas

One theory says this tradition began during the Civil War when General Sherman and his troops raided the Confederate food supplies but left the black-eyed peas and salted pork, thinking both were animal foods.  Since it was the only food they had left to eat, Confederate soldiers considered the two items lucky. Others believe that African Americans ate the legume on January 1, 1863, the day the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. A related tradition holds that counting the number of peas predicts the number of lucky days one will have in the coming year (one pea = one day), so perhaps the optimum serving on New Year’s Day is 365 black-eyed peas?

Collard Greens

“Today, anyone with any Southern blood in them at all eats their black-eyed peas on the first day of the new year with some type of greens, as the color signifies money, and a little more of that never hurts,” says George Mahe, editor of St. Louis magazine. While tradition holds that collard greens are said to bring in the cash for the New Year, there’s a more practical reason Southerners eat greens this time of year: they’re a late crop, so they’re still in season.

Cornbread

Yellow is the color of gold, and golden yellow cornbread is said to represent golden opportunities and wealth in the New Year.

Pork

In the South, pigs are considered symbols of good luck and progress for two reasons: they root forward when foraging for their food and because they cannot look backward without completely turning around.

Ready to combine all these Southern customs into a New Year’s feast and exponentially increase your luck in 2018? Here are some recipes to get your started:

http://www.southernliving.com/food/holidays-occasions/new-years-recipes-traditions#good-luck-greens-and-peas-with-ham_2

http://www.deepsouthdish.com/2008/12/new-year-traditional-southern-foods.html#axzz502e80mJT

Finding Your Perfect Christmas Tree in Charleston


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What is the one thing that most represents Christmas to you?

If you’re like many, the answer is a Christmas tree. Now, whether that tree is put up the day after Thanksgiving or the night before Christmas, whether it’s grand and glowing with decorations or small and simply adorned, that all varies. But the tree itself, that’s something a lot of us have in common. The finding and decorating of the family Christmas tree may be one of our most ubiquitous holiday traditions.

As you head out to find that perfect tree your family, here’s a roundup of the different types of Christmas trees grown here in South Carolina. Like the homes that host them, each is different in its very own way, with its own strengths, weaknesses and even, in some cases, distinctive scent:

Virginia Pine
One of the most widely grown Christmas trees, the Virginia Pine has short needles, dense foliage and a pleasant pine scent. Its strong branches make it an excellent choice for hanging heavy ornaments.

White Pine
White Pine is a dense, full tree with has soft, blue green needles, a pleasant pine scent and decorates well with lightweight ornaments.

Leyland Cypress
One of the most popular Christmas trees, the Leyland Cypress drops very few needles and with proper care, will easily stay fresh through the entire Christmas season. In addition to being a beautiful tree with soft foliage, it is grown from cuttings and does not produce pollen; therefore enabling many asthma suffers to enjoy a real tree in their home.

Carolina Sapphire
One of the newer species developed for Christmas trees, the Carolina Sapphire has foliage that is blue green in color, soft to the touch and very dense with an outstanding aroma. Because of its tendency to dry out even in water stands, it is recommended not cutting this type of tree until three to four weeks before Christmas.

Eastern Red Cedar
If you grew up in the South, you probably had this type of tree in your home as a child. The traditional native Christmas tree of the South, the Eastern Red Cedar has a wonderful cedar aroma with dense (and sometimes prickly) foliage. Like the Carolina Sapphire, it can dry out even in water stands, so its best not to cut this tree until two to three weeks before Christmas.

In the Charleston area, most Christmas tree yards open shortly after Thanksgiving. And if you want to pick and cut your own tree, you can do that as well. The South Carolina Christmas Tree Association has an online directory of Christmas tree farms in Charleston and nearby counties.

No matter where or how you find your tree, here’s a bit of Christmas trivia to take with you. The first Christmas tree was decorated in Riga, Latvia in 1510. Men of the local merchants’ guild decorated a tree with artificial roses, danced around it in the marketplace and then… set fire to it. Thankfully, some things changed over time.