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Ideas For Accent Walls

by Denise D'Amico
 
Ideas for Accent Walls
 

An accent wall can totally transform a room, taking it from boring and drab to bold and exciting. Accent walls create a new focal point for your space, add liveliness and contrast, and are typically a very inexpensive DIY project.

The starter accent wall

You can easily add an accent wall to your room in one afternoon by applying a new paint color. Deep blues and bright oranges are common choices for accent walls, but choose a color that will complement your existing decor and overall design aesthetic.

Interesting textures

Bright, contrasting paint is a good starting point, but there are other options for accent walls that are even more eye-catching and distinct. Floor-to-ceiling wood planks can make your home seem both rustic and modern all at once and provide a natural, outdoors-inspired feel. It’s more work than simply painting a wall, but it’s still relatively inexpensive. You can source the wood from pallets on Craigslist and stain it yourself before attaching it to your wall. It takes a little extra elbow grease, but it’s worth the effort.

Patterns, murals, and more

Paint and wood are bold enough on their own to transform a room, but they’re still pretty subtle compared to other accent wall options. A chalk paint accent wall is a creative idea for any room and makes for some fun moments when you’re entertaining. There are also endless options for wallpaper and stenciling if you want some patterns or you can get really bold with a mural or oversized art print.

Make Your Home Buyer Friendly

by Denise D'Amico
 
 
Make Your Home Buyer Friendly
with Focused Staging
 
 
You’ll want your for-sale home to look its best. And that requires focus. Focused staging, that is.
 
Staging your home can increase the offer amount by up to 10%, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Profile of Home Staging. But what if you haven’t the time or cash to stage the whole house?
 
You focus on the rooms that push buyers’ buttons. A messy mudroom may not kill your sale, but an unusable kitchen or master bedroom may be a deal-breaker.
 
Few buyers can see beyond your personal style, particularly in hot-button areas like the living room, kitchen and master bedroom. So concentrate on staging these.
 
According to the NAR Profile, the living room is one of the most popular to stage. Make it feel larger by replacing bulky furniture with smaller pieces. Help buyers to imagine their things here; leave lots of space on shelves and around furniture.
 
In the kitchen, declutter countertops, the fridge and inside cabinets (yes, buyers willlook). Add color with a bowl of fruit.
 
“Most bedrooms don’t need much more than the bed, dresser, end tables, and a mirror,” the article suggests. Make the bed the focus with beautiful, but not necessarily expensive, linens.
 
A clean bathroom is a saleable bathroom. The master bath, especially, should gleam. Add attractive towels and battery candles for atmosphere.
 
And don’t forget to tidy the outside. You know what they say about first impressions.
 
If you are thinking about selling your home and we'd be glad to share our proven staging ideas
with you. You can contact the Denise D'Amico Real Estate Team at 847-551-9290 or e-mail us.

3 Reasons Why A Home Isn't Selling!

by Denise D'Amico
 
3 Reasons Why A Home Isn’t Selling!
Have you ever driven by a For Sale sign and wondered, “That house has been on the market for a long time, I wonder why it isn’t selling”? You might have asked that question because you were worried the same thing would happen when you put your own house on the market!
 
Often a home doesn’t sell for one of three reasons:
1. The price is too high.
Sometimes a homeowner will set the listing price exceptionally high in the hopes of getting lucky. What happens instead, however, is potential buyers stay away. In today’s real estate market, a house usually sells at a price that is close to its market value. Fortunately, the current market value of your house - and, hence, its approximate selling price - may be higher than you realize. It’s worth getting a free market assessment.
2. The house doesn’t show well.
Sometimes a house is strategically priced for the market but doesn’t show well. It’s difficult for buyers to look past issues, such as clutter, and see the potential. In those cases, prospective buyers who view the property, don’t like what they see, and move on. If you put your house on the market, make sure it looks its best for prospective buyers.
3. The listing is poorly promoted.
Clearly, buyers won’t become interested in a property if they don’t know about it. The listing must be promoted effectively, and that involves more than a For Sale sign. Want more tips on selling your house?
 
Call Denise D'Amico today at 847-551-9290 or e-mail me at denisedamico@remax.net

5 Reasons School Ratings Matter

by Denise D'Amico
 
 
 
 
Schools can have a big impact on property value and quality of life. If you're buying a home, here are a few reasons local school ratings matter, even if you don't have kids.
 
The next buyer will consider the school ratings, too
According to the 2014 National Association of REALTORS Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 29 percent of homebuyers listed school quality and 22 percent listed proximity to schools as deciding factors in their home purchase. Another survey conducted by Realtor.com showed that 91 percent of the people surveyed included school district boundaries in their decision-making process. You may be surprised to learn that not all of the shoppers involved in the studies had kids.
 
More money spent on schools means more money spent on homes
There's a correlation between school expenditures and home values in any given neighborhood, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Their report, "Using Market Valuation to Assess Public School Spending," found that for every dollar spent on public schools in a community, home values increased $20.
 
Higher school ratings equal higher home values
A Brookings Institution study looked at the 100 largest metro areas in the country and found an average difference of $205,000 in home prices between houses near high-performing and low-performing schools.
 
And good school ratings help homes maintain value
While changes in the economic landscape and local area can ripple across the market, a great school district can sometimes help insulate a home from market fluctuations.
 
Great school districts usually mean great neighborhoods
Often there's a correlation between super school districts and safer neighborhoods, better shopping and transportation and great public amenities – like parks. All of these factors increase the desirability of the neighborhood, which translates to higher home values and a better deal for you when it's time to sell.
 
Denise D'Amico and The Denise D'Amico Real Estate Group can provide you with insight on the schools in the neighborhoods where you're looking to buy. Call Denise at 847-551-9290 or

6 Tips For A Better Showing

by Denise D'Amico

 

 

6 Tips For A Better Showing

 

 

Keeping your home looking like a furniture showroom for long stretches isn't easy. Here are a few tips to keep your house ready for showings while you're still living in it.

 
1. Attack the clutter As you prepare your home for showing, start with a major decluttering. Throw out, recycle or give away things you don't use. Getting rid of junk will make your home more appealing to prospective buyers and free up space for you to neatly store things when it's time to tidy up for a showing.
 
2. Rent storage space Keeping things neat is easier when you have less things. An off-site storage unit can help (and you can keep it as messy as you like).
 
3. Start packing Packing most of your dishes and large baking and cooking items frees up cabinet space that you can use to stash items you use on a regular basis. It also gives you a head start on packing for your move.
 
4. Rope off a room – or two If you can, temporarily rope off rooms or areas from the kids, pets or spouses to contain your mess in a smaller space while your house is listed. But remember to make those rooms look nice, too, before the showing!
 
5. Buy hiding spots The home sections of discount stores are filled with attractive fabric boxes and fashionable bins that can simultaneously hide junk and match your décor.
 
6. If all else fails, stash it under the bed Invest in a couple of under-the-bed bins that you can use to store everything from socks to kids' toys in when faced with a last-minute showing.
 
Call Denise D'Amico when you're ready to sell.

4 Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid

by Denise D'Amico

 

4 Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid

 

 

When a prospective buyer pulls up to your home, it's your yard that greets them. Don't get off track, then, in your outdoor efforts. Here are a few things not to do.

1. Ignore maintenance. Many people love the idea of a beautifully landscaped yard, but they aren't willing to put in the work to maintain it. Make sure that any updates you make won't require an intimidating amount of upkeep for buyers.

2. Forget that seasons change When planning your landscape improvements, remember to include appealing elements for each season and not just a yard full of flowers that will wither in September. Evergreens add color through the winter, deciduous trees will flower in spring and turn color in autumn, and annual and perennial beds can bloom with color in the warmer months.

3. Neglect growth Keep your trimmers sharp. Overgrown shrubs and trees can make your home look rundown. And a well-edged lawn suggests that the rest of the property is as well-maintained as the yard.

4. Let clutter sprout Kids' toys, athletic equipment and excessive lawn furniture can ruin the effect of even the most well thought-out landscaping. Keep it neat.

Ready to dig into other improvements you can make to your home to increase its appeal before listing it for sale? Talk to Denise D'Amico to find out exactly what features buyers in your unique market are looking for. Email Denise.

3 Questions To Ask Before Listing Your Home.

by Denise D'Amico
 
 
3 Questions To Ask Before Listing Your Home
 
 
Are you considering putting your home up for sale? Before you do, be sure to ask yourself these three questions.
 
1. Is now a good time? Talk with a Realtor who knows your specific market (find one here) and can analyze the current sales inventory and trends. A good agent can determine whether it is a prime time to sell your home to get the best price. There may be all kinds of reasons to wait a season to sell, such as a glut of homes on the market similar to yours.
 
2. Is the price right? Setting the right price and understanding how that price was calculated is critical to getting top dollar for your home. An experienced Realtor can provide comparable sales in your area, and evaluate the specific features of your home to set a price that will bring you the most value for your house in the shortest time.
 
3. What's my exit strategy? You never know how quickly your home will sell, so establish a plan in case it happens quickly. Before you list it, know where you'll go if a buyer swoops in immediately, whether it's temporary housing, your brother's basement or your next home.
 
Having a post-sale plan takes some of the anxiety out of selling your home. The most important step in the selling process? Working with an experienced agent, like Denise D'Amico who will provide unmatched service throughout the sales process.
 

8 Tips For 1st Time Sellers

by Denise D'Amico
 
 
 
 
 
8 Tips For 1st Time Sellers
If you're selling a home for the first time, it's quite a different ballgame from what you experienced as a first-time buyer. Ultimately, you're in control of the process. You call the shots on prepping your home for sale, deciding on a listing price, accepting (or rejecting) offers, and a host of other factors. But you might want to heed the following tips:
 
1. Hire an experienced real estate agent like Denise D'Amico.  A real estate transaction is filled with complexities and nuances that a professional, skilled agent like Denise D'Amico can help you navigate.
 
2. Detach yourself from the process You've made memories to last a lifetime in your first home, and saying goodbye is hard. But be careful not to let your emotional attachment get in the way of making sound decisions, particularly when it comes to staging and pricing your home. Try to see your home as a potential buyer would. Pretend you're a potential buyer and walk through your home. Make a list of what you like about each room – and the things you'd change.
 
3. Don't overprice Some sellers might think that in today's low-inventory market they can overprice their home and get top dollar. In reality, if you price it competitively, you'll create a flurry of activity and (possibly) get in a situation where multiple offers are rolling in. Overpricing at the start hurts your chances of getting a quick sale, especially if numerous price reductions are needed.
 
4. Declutter and stage for a quick sale Buyers who tour your home will have a hard time picturing themselves living in it if they only see paint colors or décor that fits your own unique style. Repaint the walls with neutral, earth-tone colors, and remove excess decorations from walls. Consider renting a storage unit to store large furniture that overpowers your main living areas; rooms should appear as spacious as possible.
 
5. Make the necessary repairs/upgrades Ensure that all systems and appliances are functioning properly, as these items will come up in a home inspection that might cost you more money and, possibly, the whole sale down the road. The rule of thumb is to make improvements to your home that will help the property show well, but don't put a ton of money into capital investments such as a basement refinish or high-end flooring, particularly if such upgrades aren't consistent for your neighborhood. You likely won't get that money back in the sale.
 
6. Give your home curb appeal Your home's front exterior is the first thing potential buyers will see when they drive by, and it's likely the first photo that will appear in an online search. Give your front door a fresh coat of paint, add some bright flowers to your entryway, and make sure that any cracks or major cement damage is fixed. Consider renting a pressure washer to get rid of the grime and buildup on the outside of your house, and definitely keep the yard mowed and tidy. A little elbow grease goes a long way to making a positive first impression on buyers.
 
7. Keep an open mind for negotiations What's more important to you: Walking away with your asking price (or more)? A quick closing time? Putting out as little up front cash in closing costs as possible? All of these are considerations you'll need to make as you evaluate offers. Also, keep in mind that you have the ability to negotiate with counter-offers. Sometimes, you can sweeten the deal by offering to pay a buyer's closing costs (if feasible), or leaving some appliances behind. A few concessions can go a long way in the negotiation process, and your Realtor can work with you to carefully evaluate and respond to each offer.
 
8. Get ready for closing Once you've accepted an offer and signed a sales agreement, you'll start prepping for a closing. Also called “escrow" or “settlement," closing is the final meeting between the buyer, seller, their agents and a loan officer (or an attorney, in some states) where the buyer pays their portion of the costs to the seller and the buyer's new title and any mortgage liens are properly recorded. The closing agent will calculate what monies are due to the owner and what credits need to be applied to the transaction, such as taxes, title fees and other closing costs.
 
Ready to sell? Call Denise D'Amico at The Denise D'Amico Real Estate Group today. She can help you navigate all these steps.

4 Tips To A Greener Lawn To Increase Curb Appeal

by Denise D'Amico
 
 
 
 
4 Tips To A Greener Lawn To Increase Curb Appeal
 
A great lawn can serve as a green calling card for your home. Here are a few things you can do this spring to help your lawn – and curb appeal – flourish.
 
1. Test before you invest Find out the acid and alkaline levels of your soil with a testing kit from the hardware store before you shell out bucks for fertilizer and seed. The test will help you determine the right products to help your lawn flourish.
 
2. Give it some air Grass and soil can get compacted during the winter, making it difficult for oxygen and nutrients to reach root systems. Aerating, or poking holes in the lawn, helps. You can hire a lawn service to do this, buy a rolling tool, or use inexpensive strap-on attachments for your shoes that aerate the lawn as you march around.
 
3. Seed or weed Spring is prime time for seeding sparse areas of your lawn or applying a natural herbicide to prevent crabgrass and other weeds from sprouting. Don't do both, as the herbicide will also kill the grass seeds.
 
4. Mow tall For the lushest lawn, set your mower to the tallest setting and cut only about the top third of the grass. Taller blades promote healthier root systems and help shade the ground soil, preventing it from drying out.

5 Projects To Tackle This Spring Break

by Denise D'Amico
 
 
 
5 Projects To Tackle This Spring Break
March (hopefully) means the weather is warming up. If you don't have a trip planned to an exotic locale, take some time to get ahead on home maintenance projects. Here are a few projects you can complete during a spring fling of home repair.
 
1. Fun with water Power washing your home's exterior not only adds to its sparkle factor, but also blasts away any potentially damaging mold and mildew. Rent a machine at your local home improvement store and tackle your siding, deck and driveway.
 
2. Check your AC Scheduling a tune-up for your cooling system can save you bucks in the long term. Change your AC filter and schedule a pro to come check your system now, before contractors get busy.
 
3. Go with the flow Pull out a ladder and unclog gutters and check that they're connected securely.
 
4. Bask in the sun Catch some rays – and brighten your home – by cleaning the interior and exterior of your windows. Try a squeegee and skip the paper towels, to avoid looking out through a filter of lint.
 
5. Hit the fridge Dust and grime on your refrigerator's coils causes the machine to use more energy to cool. Cleaning coils is easy with your vacuum's hose attachment. Then, enjoy efficiently-made ice cubes in a cocktail after all your hard work. And add a paper drink umbrella. After all, it is spring break
.
Thinking about selling your home? Find out if you should be focusing on larger projects by talking to Denise D’Amico today. You can reach Denise at 847-551-9290.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 57

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