Deborah McLaughlin's Blog
104 Locust St, New Bedford, MA 02740
Getting your home ready to sell entails quite a lot. Staging, taking photos, stocking the toiletries, and--in the case of an open house--entertaining guests. You want the visitors to your home to feel welcome and like they could live there someday.
To achieve this it takes planning and an eye for what really “works” in your home. To do this you’ll have to let go of everything you’ve made your home into and turn it into a blank slate where others can imagine it fitting their personal taste.
In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on preparing your home for an open house or showing to leave the best possible impression on your visitors.
Remove yourself from the picture
It might be sad to take down your family photos and personal effects, but imagine yourself in a visitor’s shoes. When you enter a home you’re thinking of buying, you don’t want to be distracted by what the previous family did with the home. Rather, you want to look forward and imagine your own family making a life there.
Even the most minimalistic of homeowners tend to accumulate a lot of stuff over the years. However, walking into a home filled with items is distracting from the features of the home. You want to draw people’s eyes toward the best characteristics of your home--whether that’s spaciousness or architectural features.
We suggest packing your belongings by room and renting out a storage facility while you wait to move into your new place.
Working with someone to stage your home is a guaranteed way to make sure your house looks welcoming for your guests and photos. However, if you plan on doing the staging yourself take a look at some similarly styled homes online to find out what looks good in their photos. When we furnish our homes, we do it based on our personal taste, comfort, and utility. Staged homes are about aesthetics and atmosphere.
Once you’ve finished staging, it’s time to clean up after yourself. Wipe down surfaces, polish wood, and clean the windows.
Don’t neglect the exterior
The outside of your home is as important as the inside. It will be visitor’s first impression when they arrive at your driveway. To prepare, make sure your siding and windows are clear of dirt, the lawn mowed, the gutters cleaned, and the doors freshly painted, if necessary. Sweep the driveway and remove any yard tools from sight.
Your real estate agent knows how to run an effective open house. However, here are a few key things to remember on the day your guests will arrive.
First, light a candle and use air fresheners where necessary. A neutral smell is the best option, but an air freshener is better than a bad one if there are parts of your home that are prone to bad smells.
Next, make sure the bathrooms are stocked with toilet paper, tissues, and clean towels. If yours are getting old, it could be a good time to replace hand towels altogether.
Finally, welcome your guests with a new welcome mat at the front door to make a great first impression.
70 Longview Rd, New Bedford, MA 02745
There are some overlooked places in your home that need proper lighting. A good example is a closet. Whether a closet is small or large, proper lighting is essential for safety and good illumination. When building a new space or upgrading an existing one, these tips will help you choose the ideal lighting.
Closet lighting fixtures should be installed at least 12 inches away from where your clothes will be stored. Light and heat from bulbs can be harmful to your clothes especially if exposed for extended periods. Avoid heat issues by choosing LED or compact fluorescent (CFL) over incandescent lights. Using LEDs or CFLs in your closet provides the right amount of light, gives off less heat and saves energy.
Halogen lights generate a significant amount of heat. They are not suitable for enclosed spaces like closets so avoid halogen fixtures in this application.
Consider the color temperature of the lightbulbs you select. A color temperature within the range of 3000k-3500k provides bright, white light that is perfect for a closet. Selecting the right color temperature allows you to see the color of your clothes more accurately: no more guessing if your pants are black or dark blue.
Illuminate dark areas
Many closets include shelves and cabinets. Natural light or wall-mounted fixtures may not reach the far corners of these spaces. Consider installing under cabinet lighting to brighten the darker corners. Under-cabinet lighting comes in assorted sizes that can be customized for your closet. LED tape lights offer endless possibilities because of their thin profile and flexibility.
Choosing the perfect light for your closet can make big impact on your space. Keep these tips in mind as you plan your updates. If you do not have existing fixtures, consult with an experienced electrician to help with installation and placement.
A troubling trend in today’s home is difficulty finding restful sleep. Most of us have heard of a few ways to create a more relaxing atmosphere before bed. Here are a couple others to add to that list.
Many people avoid putting plants in their bedroom because they’re afraid they’ll get forgotten and die. But many plants filter toxins and improve oxygen levels. Try adding a Pothos, Philodendron or an easy-care Sansevieria (also called a snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue) to your room. Others add scents that encourage relaxation such as lavender and mint.
Reduce the Textiles
Modern design tends to add pillows, throws, curtains and fabric wall hangings to bedrooms. However, textiles tend to collect piles of dust. Take a moment to look at your curtain tops or canopy, and you’ll see more than you bargained for. Dust triggers allergies, and even in folks with no allergies, the extra dust in the air makes breathing more difficult and sleep less restful. Instead, decorate your room with a floral or geometric wall covering. Cover windows with easy-care plantation shutters that dust right off. Purchase coverlets or duvet covers that easily pop in the washer to keep the dust at bay.
Incorporating these simple changes into your bedroom helps promote a restful atmosphere and improve sleep. Simpler bedroom décor makes keeping your home up for an impromptu showing easier too. If your home is on the market, ask your agent about the best way to stage your bedroom so that you can combine restfulness with the peace of knowing your home shows at its best.