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Monday, June 19, 2017

The Most Popular Interior Door Styles

Are you thinking about replacing some of your interior doors in your home to freshen it up? Whether you’re remodeling your new home or getting it ready to put on the market, these exciting interior door styles can transform a room and make your home welcoming. Choosing a new door can be overwhelming, but we’ve collected some of the most popular design styles of 2017, perfect for your home’s interior.

The Cambridge (Two-Panel) Door

Cambridge-style doors are a classic two-panel door, providing a contemporary look with a larger panel on top and smaller panel on the bottom. The Cambridge’s raised panels are perfect for use in kitchen pantries, mudrooms, or as closet doors. The simple and clean lines in the Cambridge help it fit into many home décor styles unobtrusively. Choose the Cambridge for a stylish, contemporary look that’s not too showy.

The Craftsman III (Three-Panel) Door

If you love the Craftsman look in your home design, this door is a contemporary take on that style. With three panels, a rectangular one on top with two parallel panels below, the Craftsman III is perfect for use in a bathroom or walk-in closet. The Craftsman III is a fitting interior door for use in a Craftsman home or one in which you want to inject some of that classic style.

The Provincial (Four-Panel) Door

For a classy interior door, try the Provincial, with four vertical panels and a cathedral arch split into the top two panels. The arch has an extra dip in the curves, adding more visual interest to the door. With such a stunning design, the Provincial works everywhere you want interior doors. Closets, pantries, master baths—show off this door to guests or keep it for yourself.

The Colonial (Six-Panel) Door

Also called the Bostonian, this door has six raised panels. With classic American architectural inspiration, the Colonial can be the perfect addition to your home. With its grandiose presence, this door is great for leading into large spaces, such as a pantry or master bath. Take advantage of the wide footprint to make a statement of American architecture in your home.

Barn Doors

Perhaps the biggest trend in interior doors right now (largely thanks to HGTV and certain popular celebrity interior designers) sliding barn doors are sweeping America. As we mentioned in a previous blog post, barn doors might not be the best choice if they don’t match your house’s architecture, but if you do have a traditional country home, they can be a great addition.

Whether they’re the entry point to your pantry, master closet, or master bath, a barn door can be a statement piece for your home that’s also functional. Depending on the wood and age, they can vary wildly in price. Find the finish you love and recreate it by painting or finishing the door yourself for maximum savings.

Pocket Doors

When you have tight spaces without enough room for a swinging door, pocket doors are the solution for you. They’re wonderful for closets, bathrooms, and rooms with multiple entries, providing privacy when necessary, but allowing for openness when not.

Glass French Doors

French doors have been in fashion for decades and provide an open space feeling. As interior doors, they’re great for creating separation between your living room and sunroom, or your master bedroom and bath. Take advantage of the inherent increased light of French doors by selecting transparent glass, with or without a grid.

Monday, June 19, 2017

What to Know About Making an Offer on Your First Home

After you’ve gone on countless home tours, had hour-long conversations with your spouse or family, and finally decided to place an offer on your first home, there are some things you need to know. Once you’ve chosen the property you want to buy, you should know that any verbal/oral offer isn’t enforceable in real estate sales. You need a Residential Purchase Agreement or something similar from your Realtor to make the offer official.

Your Realtor will have the experience with the standard forms and know how to modify them correctly to meet your needs. Your offer will need to comply with state and local laws, conforming with any provisions for the area. The agreement will include any discussions you’ve had with the seller, including requirements for closing costs, home inspection, and more. Here are some of the tips and tricks we recommend for making an offer on your first home.

What Should I Include in the Offer?

Your Residential Purchase Agreement, or purchase offer, will become a binding sales contract if the seller accepts. It’s essential that it includes documentation of everything needed for sale in case the seller accepts it as is, including:

  • The correct address of the property, including a legal description
  • The sales price and terms of sale (mortgage, cash, etc.)
  • The seller’s promise to give you the clear title to the home
  • A target date for the closing (i.e. when you can move in)
  • The amount of earnest money (deposit) in the form of a check, cash, or a promissory note that will be returned if the offer is rejected
  • When the offer will expire
  • Utility transfer method
  • Who will pay for inspections, title insurance, closing costs, etc.
  • State and local requirements

You’ll also want to list any contingencies in the offer; explaining that the offer is only valid for certain conditions, such as you obtaining financing or a home inspection that satisfies your requirements.

How Do I Negotiate?

With an experienced Realtor, you’ll get a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of the home’s value, and you can also check comparable listings on the MLS or online to discover the true value. You can use the results of the home inspections to negotiate a lower price or repair contingencies if the home needs them. If you’re a strong candidate for home ownership and look particularly good to a seller, you may have more leverage to negotiate in certain situations, including if:

  • You’re an all-cash buyer
  • You’ve already been pre-approved for your mortgage
  • You can guarantee a quick closing (if the seller wants that)

Depending on the real estate market in your area, you may have more power to negotiate. Discuss your offer with your Realtor and determine what the best course of action is for you when making an offer on your first home.

What Happens Next?

Once you’ve submitted your offer to the seller through your Realtor, it’s just a matter of waiting for the response. If the seller accepts your offer, you’ve got an agreement, and the gears are in motion for your first home. If the seller rejects your offer outright, you may need to go back to the drawing board or search for a new home. If the seller counteroffers, read through the amended terms and decide whether to accept or send back another counteroffer in response. After several rounds of countering, you may reach an amicable agreement for the sale of the property.

Your Realtor will help walk you through this process, advising you on the market value of the property, answering your questions, determining good negotiation tactics, and making sure your bottom line is intact. Trust your Realtor when making your first home offer, and you’ll be on your way to success.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Why a Career in Real Estate Might Be Right for You

You’re thinking about your ideal career path, and you’ve considered taking your licensing exam to become a Realtor. You like helping people, and you’re fascinated by the housing market, so it seems like a good fit. But do you have the soft skills required to be successful—and happy—in a real estate career? Becoming a Realtor isn’t right for everyone, but for certain people, it can be a great choice. If the descriptions below fit you, it may be time to consider a career in real estate.

You’re good at connecting with people.

It helps to be an extrovert, or at least an introvert who can act extroverted, when you work in real estate. A lot of your business is likely to come from referrals, so you’ll need to be comfortable attending networking events and handing out business cards. When meeting with prospects and clients, you’ll need to be personable. Your clients are planning to make a huge financial decision, and they need to feel at ease with their Realtor.

You’re a great communicator.

Being good at communicating requires more than just being a good conversationalist. As a Realtor, you’ll have to listen to your clients’ needs, help them set reasonable expectations, and explain aspects of the home buying or selling process that they might not fully understand. You’ll also need to master timely communication: when a client texts you about looking at a house, they don’t want to wait 24 hours to get a response.

Your organizational skills are unparalleled.

As a Realtor, you must be able to juggle multiple deadlines, keep appointments, make sure documents are signed and submitted on time, and meet all your current clients’ needs while continuing to market yourself and follow up with leads. If you don’t have a great organizational system, it can be easy for things to fall through the cracks.

You thrive on a flexible schedule. A career in real estate isn’t for someone who craves the strict routine of a 9 to 5 schedule. If, however, you like being able to set your own schedule, you might enjoy working in real estate. However, keep in mind that ‘flexible’ doesn’t mean ‘easy.' You should expect to work evenings and weekends frequently, as these are the times when many of your clients will be free.

You’re strict about money management.

When you work as a Realtor, you’re not taking home a monthly paycheck: your income is commission-based. That means you may suddenly get a large check after helping a client close on a $600,000 home, but you may also have long stretches when you’re not getting paid at all. You need to plan for a variable income and be good about budgeting your money when things are going well so that you can remain financially comfortable when business slows down.

You want a career that you love, not just one that makes you money.

It’s true that the top-performers in real estate can do quite well financially. However, the people who succeed in real estate are the ones who are putting in long hours and extra effort. To put in that much hard work without burning out, you have to love what you’re doing. You also need to be fully invested in your clients: it’s your responsibility to put their interests above your own, evening if their dream home doesn’t net you a dream commission.

If you still think that you want to take your licensing exam and start a career as a Realtor, you should start thinking about working for a brokerage like CENTURY 21 Commonwealth. A brokerage can help you find clients and build valuable skills so that you can succeed in your new career. Contact us to learn more.

Monday, June 12, 2017

5 Bedroom Design Trends to Avoid When Selling

Your bedroom is your sanctuary, your place to relax and rest up at the end of a long day. And when you sell your home, your potential buyers are going to be looking for a bedroom that can be their sanctuary, too. When you’re staging your bedroom, steer clear of divisive design trends that could scare buyers away. Below, we’ve highlighted five trends to avoid.

Minimalism Taken to the Extreme

You obviously don’t want your bedroom to look cluttered, but you also don’t want to go to the opposite extreme and have a bedroom with nothing but a bed and stark white walls. As professional stagers often tell home sellers, buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living in a home, and they’re likely to be turned off by a bedroom that looks like a bland hotel room or an unfinished IKEA display.

Make sure your bedroom has a few functional but attractive pieces of furniture, such as end tables and a bench at the end of the bed. Try to avoid monochromatic color schemes—even a bold color will lose some of its impact if it’s the only shade in the room. An all-white palette is especially dangerous, as it can make your bedroom look sterile.

Framed Quotes

Typography art has been popular over the past few years, and many a homeowner has flocked to framed prints with literary quotes and motivational sayings. However, your home buyers might not love your “It’s the little things that matter most” print as much as you do. Typography art isn’t for everyone, and for some buyers, it comes across as cheesy. It’s best to remove any décor items with words on them from your bedroom before you start showing your home.

Piles of Pillows

There’s no need to bury your bed in a mountain of pillows, even if you love your throw pillow collection. Too many pillows can make your bed look cluttered, so a good rule of thumb is to leave out only as many pillows as you actually sleep on.

Shiplap Walls

Chip and Joanna Gaines of the HGTV show Fixer Upper are big fans of shiplap (a rustic type of pine paneling), which might be part of the reason it’s seen an increase in popularity in the past couple years. However, your bedroom doesn’t need shiplap walls if the style doesn’t fit with the rest of your home. In fact, it could be jarring for buyers to tour a modern home and walk into a bedroom with historical shiplap paneling. (The same rule applies with sliding barn doors—they may be trendy right now, but if they don’t fit with your overall home design, don’t add them to your bedroom.)

Bold Wallpaper

Wallpaper patterns are a very personal choice, and even if a buyer likes the idea of having wallpaper in the bedroom, they might not like the silver trellis pattern you’ve picked out. And if your buyer doesn’t like the wallpaper, removing it will be a time-consuming and labor-intensive project they’ll have to take on if they buy your home. Bold wallpaper might not be a deal breaker for home buyers, but it can certainly give them pause.

If you don’t know where to begin when it comes to staging your bedroom, your Realtor can help. He or she can make suggestions based on trends they’ve seen working well in similar homes. They may also recommend a professional stager to get your bedroom looking its best during showings.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Tips to Keep in Touch with Past Clients

Life as a Realtor can get busy, and it can be difficult to stay in touch with past clients. But the connections you’ve made with your clients can help you with future sales through repeat business and referrals. In real estate, keeping up these relationships can be the difference between a slow season and a busy one.

Too much communication with past clients (especially lacking an individualized touch) can quickly become annoying, so it’s important to make sure you're professional and friendly. Here are some tips on how to keep in touch with past clients without annoying them or turning them away, so they’ll contact you when they or their loved ones need your services again.

Use a Personal Touch

There’s nothing clients dislike more than feeling they’re just another name in your email or call list. Make your contact with past clients special by remembering important events in their life. Try sending birthday cards, wedding or home anniversaries cards, and other congratulatory notes. Generic holiday cards can get lost in the shuffle, but personalized cards for significant events shows your clients you care.

Consider handwriting your letters, or at least the envelopes, for a finishing touch of personality to your cards. Your clients will feel like they’re receiving something from a family member or friend and may reciprocate with referrals or repeat business.

Connect Through Social Media

The easiest way to keep in contact with past clients and know about big events in their lives is through social media. Facebook makes it easy to organize your clients into categories, such as “past clients,” “fellow Realtors,” and “first-time homebuyers,” to make communication easier and view the feeds or message relevant to your contacts.

Staying in touch through social media can create closer relationships with past clients, possibly even making them friends in the process. You can utilize services like Rapportive so you know everything about your contacts, right inside Gmail.

Utilizing social media will help you stay on top of what your clients are doing. It also allows you to reconnect and gain new business, such as when a client is moving to a nearby community, upsizing to a larger house after the birth of a child, or helping relatives move to the area.

Deliver Useful News

When you do send messages through email or by phone, make sure they’re about something valuable to your client. The easiest way to make sure your information is useful is by segmenting your listserv or contact list into categories, so you’re targeting a relevant audience with information that matters.

If some of your past clients have settled into their home for several years and mortgage rates go down, you can let them know about refinancing options with a call or semi-personalized emails. Home-maintenance reminders or home design tips, including remodeling ideas, can also be helpful for this type of past client. Compile a list of useful articles to send in an email to them.

By correctly segmenting your past clients, you can send them pertinent and beneficial information they can use—which they’ll value when choosing a Realtor for their move. Keeping in touch with past clients can be a balancing act between not enough contact and too much. Follow these tips to help nurture relationships with past clients so that you can continue your successful Realtor career.

Keeping in touch with past clients can be a balancing act between not enough contact and too much. Follow these tips to help nurture relationships with past clients so that you can continue your successful Realtor career.

Monday, June 5, 2017

4 Awesome Day Trips from Boston

With summer around the corner, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the beautiful weather and see all that New England has to offer. We’ve compiled a list of fantastic day and weekend trips that are within a short driving distance of Boston. Massachusetts is a beautiful state, and you’ll find museums, unique attractions, and delicious food in all corners. Whether you can only get away for part of the day or a whole weekend, you can explore the natural parks, waterfalls, and sights of greater Boston and Massachusetts.

Here are just a few of our ideas for places to visit this summer:

Cape Cod

Located southeast of Boston, Cape Cod’s shores offer plenty of scenic beach destinations. When you visit Cape Cod, you can prepare to relax on the beach, but there’s so much more than that. Check out historic sites like the 300+-year-old Dexter Grist Mill or visit the collections at the Sandwich Glass Museum. Visit the boutique shops in Provincetown. If you’re feeling adventurous, explore the Cape Cod National Seashore, a 40-mile long beach featuring diverse animal and plant life.

Lexington and Concord

Massachusetts boasts a rich history, and there’s no town with a richer history than Lexington, where the first shots of the American Revolution took place on April 19, 1775. Today, you can visit the restored 1710 Buckman Tavern in Lexington, where local militiamen gathered. You can also stretch your legs and follow Battle Road to the North Bridge, part of the Minute Man National Historical Park. The North Bridge is located in Concord, the site of the first battle of the Revolution.

Of course, Lexington and Concord offer more than just their Revolutionary War histories. Concord was home to several transcendentalists, a group of 19th-century American literary scholars and philosophers. Writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, and others made their home in the area. This history can be seen in collections and exhibits in the Concord Museum, which also hosts Native American artifacts and furniture dating back to the 17th century. Lexington and Concord are a wonderful day trip destination for a taste of American history.

Salem

Most famous as the location of the 17th century Salem Witch Trials, this port city was once the center of American trade with China. When you visit Salem, you’ll find beautiful 18th and 19th century New England architecture with fine collections of antiques and crafts from China and other Asian countries. Visitors can see the Corwin House, the building connected with the Salem Witch trials, and go on the Bewitched After Dark Walking Tour. There’s also the Burying Point, which is the oldest cemetery in Salem, the Salem Witch Museum, and even a Salem Haunted Magic Show. When visiting Salem, you can enjoy the beautiful architecture and history but also have fun with the haunted tours and other aspects of the Witch Trials.

Mayflower II and Plimoth Plantation

If you want another taste of American history in Massachusetts, visit Plymouth, the first permanent European settlement in New England. You can go to a living history museum to learn more about 17th century colonists’ daily life, clothing, religious beliefs, and dialect. When in Plymouth, you can see the famous Plymouth Rock, as well as the 1640 Sparrow House, the oldest surviving wooden structure. There’s a bounty of American history in Plymouth just waiting to be explored: it’s perfect for families or couples looking to understand more about New England and its heritage.

If you head to Plimoth Plantation, you’ll find costumed interpreters recreating 17th-century Pilgrim experiences. They assume the lives of the Pilgrims, recreating experiences of building homes, cooking, military training, and more. The Mayflower II is a full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower you can visit at the Plymouth pier, where you can see what life was like for the sailors aboard the ship during their voyage to the future colonies.

Taking Advantage of Boston Day Trips

When you live in Boston, there are dozens of day trips you can take with your family to Massachusetts and across New England. These are just a few suggestions to experience the history and excitement of the region. We hope you have an opportunity to check out these destinations and more this summer!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Will Your Outdated Bathroom Scare Buyers Away?

Kitchens and bathrooms are the two rooms that sell homes, and an outdated bathroom can make the wrong impression on your potential home buyers. If one (or more) of your bathrooms looks like it time-traveled from the 1950s, you may want to make some updates before you start showing your home.

Here are a few old bathroom trends that could be red flags for buyers:

  • Paint or tile colors that were trending decades ago. Think mint green, baby pink, or powder blue.
  • Bright tile combinations. If the wall or floor tiles are a little too bold, your bathroom may look like it’s stuck in the ‘70s or ‘80s.
  • Carpets and fuzzy toilet covers. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a buyer who doesn’t see these bathroom features and immediately think about tearing them off.
  • Lack of storage. A lot of older bathrooms have limited storage space (especially if they have a bulky pedestal sink).
  • Subway or hexagon tiles. These tile patterns might not be as jarring to buyers as some of the other red flags on this list, but if they don’t fit a buyer’s personal tastes, they could leave a bad impression.
  • A leaking or rusting faucet. This is a red flag regardless of the age of your bathroom. Fixing leaks should be a priority.

How to Modernize Your Bathroom (Without a Full Renovation)

You might not have the budget or the time to do a complete bathroom remodel before you put your house on the market. However, there are some small, inexpensive steps you can take to bring your bathroom into the modern era. Here are a few quick ideas:

Update Old Hardware and Fixtures

If your bathroom cabinet or door handles are looking dingy or clunky, it’s easy to swap them out. You can also change out your light fixtures if they look outdated or don’t match the rest of your hardware. Don’t forget to replace your old towel racks—you’ll be surprised what a difference such a small change can make!

Repaint Your Walls

Opt for a neutral shade. Not only will this give your bathroom a timeless look, but it'll also make it easier for buyers to imagine adding their own personal style to the space. If you feel like the bathroom needs a pop of color, you can display bright, monochromatic towels or an understated piece of wall art.

Add Storage Space

If you don’t have a functional cabinet under your bathroom sink, consider adding one so that you’ll have more storage space and won’t have toiletries cluttering your counter space. If this isn’t possible, you can always add some floating shelves to your bathroom walls. If you do this, just make sure the shelves look organized when you’re showing your home.

Replace Old Faucets

Faucets usually only last about ten years and can start leaking before then. If your bathroom faucet leaks no matter how firmly you turn the handle, you should replace it before you show your home. Quality faucets typically cost about $200, and hiring a plumber to install one may cost around $150 to $200—not inexpensive, but potentially worth it to prevent your potential home buyers from spotting a leak.

If you’re looking for other ways to spruce up your outdated bathroom, talk to your Realtor. He or she will know what bathroom trends are popular with buyers (and likely to stand the test of time) and can make recommendations to put your bathroom in its best light.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

First-Time Homebuyer Courses: What You Need to Know

You’re getting ready to make the giant leap from renting to buying your first home. And you know what they say about looking before you leap, right?

Fortunately, the state of Massachusetts makes it easy to get educated about the home buying process before you make this major, life-changing purchase. There are several certified agencies that offer homebuyer counseling and education courses throughout the Commonwealth. You can locate courses in your area by checking the following sites:

MassHousing

Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance

Housing Consumer Education Centers of Massachusetts

So what are the benefits of taking a first-time home buyer course? For one thing…

You Can Get Access to First-Time Home Buyer Programs

Most first-time homebuyer assistance programs in Massachusetts require you to take a home buying educational course. Once you complete a course, you may qualify for a mortgage with a lower down payment (think 10, 5 or even 3 percent). You may also be able to get a mortgage with more lenient lending criteria (i.e. you can have a lower credit score than what is usually required to get a mortgage). The biggest benefit here is that you can afford to buy a home sooner than you would otherwise, which means your monthly housing expenses will go towards building equity in something you own rather than just going to a landlord.

You’ll Feel More Confident Becoming a Homeowner 

While qualifying for a first-time homebuyer program may be what motivates you to take a home buying course, it’s not the only good reason to do it. These courses arm you with the educational tools you need to make a smart home purchasing decision. You’ll have the opportunity to get advice from real estate brokers, loan originators, and attorneys. You’ll learn how to choose an affordable mortgage, access financial assistance programs, and budget for your new home.

With workshops available in English and Spanish across Massachusetts (and online, in some cases), it shouldn’t be hard to find a first-time homebuyer course that works for you. If you want to learn more about first-time home buyer programs, don’t hesitate to talk to your CENTURY 21 Commonwealth Realtor.

 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Does Your Home Have a Gourmet Kitchen?

If you’re getting ready to put your home on the market and you have a gourmet kitchen, that’s something you should play up in your listing. Kitchens designed for specialized cooking and baking are more sought-after than you might think—in fact, one Trulia survey found that 53% of young home buyers are interested in gourmet kitchens. While these buyers might not be professional chefs, they want to be able to make a wide range of specialty foods, and they want a kitchen that lets them easily access all the tools they need.

Not sure if your kitchen counts as gourmet? Check our list of features you’ll commonly find in state-of-the-art kitchens:

  • A separate refrigerator and freezer. Plenty of space for food storage is a must for avid home chefs.
  • A commercial-grade oven. Some gourmet kitchens even have two industrial-style ovens, if space allows.
  • A six-burner stovetop and industrial strength ventilation system. The range hood needs to be able to handle high-output burners.
  • A kitchen island with built-in appliances. Some gourmet kitchen islands have their own sink, drawers, cabinets, wine cooler, and even a second dishwasher.
  • Innovative storage solutions. One feature that appeals to many home buyers, whether they’re looking for a gourmet kitchen or not, is having plenty of storage space. High-end kitchens often have features like roll-out pantries, rollout trash and recycling bins, and slotted drawers that make it easy to store and access spices, utensils, and other essentials.

How to Add Gourmet Elements to Your Kitchen

Even if your kitchen doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a commercial restaurant, there are a few gourmet elements you can add that may appeal to buyers and increase your home value.

Home cooks of all experience levels appreciate having plenty of space to work, so consider upgrading your counter space. Granite and stainless steel countertops are popular choices, as they’re durable and can stand up to heavy use. Many home chefs and bakers also appreciate having a butcher block built into the counter.

Lighting is key to a good kitchen workspace, so make sure that all usable areas of your kitchen, from the stove to the counters to the cabinets, are well-lit. Consider adding under-cabinet lighting and recessed lights as needed.

Expanding your kitchen storage space can also help woo buyers. If you’re trying to decide what kitchen renovations to invest in, consider adding a pull-out pantry (one that has wheels and rolls out from a wall slot), adding new cabinets, or adding floating shelves for spices and other frequently-used items. When renovating, think about how future homeowners are likely to use the kitchen and try to create storage spaces that will let them reach the supplies they need quickly.

One last word to the wise: if you decide to renovate your kitchen to meet the needs of enthusiastic home cooks, don’t put more money into the project than your home value can support. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to spend between 6 and 10 percent of the total home value on kitchen renovations and get a decent return on investment.

Monday, May 22, 2017

6 Tips for Staging Outdoor Spaces

If you’re planning to sell your home this spring, summer, or even fall, you’ll have an excellent opportunity to show off your outdoor spaces. Buyers love thinking about how they can use the outdoor space that will come with their new home, and a well-staged front porch or back patio can make your property stand out.

Here are six tips to help you get your outdoor spaces looking great before you start showing your home.

Highlight the Outdoor Space Possibilities

As with your indoor spaces, you’ll want to make sure buyers can imagine how they would use the outdoor space. For example, if you have a small patio overlooking a garden, you could set up a café table and two chairs to suggest a cozy breakfast nook. If you have a large deck, you could stage a seating area with four chairs and a low table—buyers will be able to imagine gathering there with friends and family when the weather’s nice.

Zone Your Large Spaces

If you’re in the lucky position of having a large outdoor entertaining space, consider breaking it up into different visual zones. You could set up an outdoor dining space in one area and a shaded space for relaxing in another. Try using outdoor rugs to help define these spaces.

Create a Focal Point

Here’s another tip that carries over from indoor staging—define a focal point and stage your space in a way that draws your buyer’s eyes to that point. For an outdoor space, that point might be a fireplace, fire pit, or small pond. Ideally, it should be a good gathering place for groups. Try to orient your outdoor furniture around your focal point so that your potential buyers gravitate towards it.

Spruce Up Your Outdoor Furniture

You don’t necessarily need to go out and buy new outdoor furniture before selling your home, but if your current outdoor furniture is looking a little worse for the wear, you should spruce it up before showing your home. Consider cleaning and repainting older wood and wicker furniture. Replace or reupholster worn out cushions with a sun- and weather-resistant fabric. Opt for a neutral palette with a few splashes of color, such as bright throw pillows or potted plants.

Dress Up Exterior Walls

If the exterior wall bordering your outdoor entertaining space is looking bare and a little too expansive, help break it up by adding a few décor pieces that will draw the eye. For example, you could add some wall hangers with flowers, succulents, or plants with dangling vines. You could also hang metal art or outdoor art canvases (just make sure they’re waterproof and UV-protected).

Be Strategic with your Greenery

While most of your landscaping efforts may be going towards your front yard to boost your curb appeal, you shouldn’t neglect your backyard. If you don’t have a lot of greenery around your outdoor entertaining space, adding a few container plants can brighten the area without a lot of effort. If you have a lot of trees, shrubs, or flowers in your backyard, take some time to remove dead plants and prune back overgrown ones. Apply a fresh layer of mulch to garden beds, and if you find yourself needing to remove a lot of plants, consider replacing them or covering the open space with decorative pots. Whatever you do, don’t neglect your outdoor spaces—your potential buyers will be sure to want to see them. Wowing your potential buyers with a beautiful outdoor area can go

Whatever you do, don’t neglect your outdoor spaces—your potential buyers will be sure to want to see them. Wowing your potential buyers with a beautiful outdoor area can go a long ways towards helping you sell your home.

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