Re-posted from http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/30-cant-miss-home-staging-tips Designed to Sell designer Lisa LaPorta shares some of her best home staging tips. Grimy bathroom walls are a major red flag to buyers. Here is an easy way to get rid of surface mold: Mix a spray bottle with one part water and one part bleach. Just spray it on the wall, and watch the mold disappear. Give it a fresh coat of paint, and your grimy bathroom will go from red flag to red-hot. Don’t replace a yucky shower door: Just scour it. A grimy glass shower door can really wash out your sale. Instead of replacing it, clean it with a mixture of one part muriatic acid and about 10 parts water. Scrub with steel wool. After wiping it down, reinstall the door and you’ll have a shower that’ll help you clean up at the open house. Avoid dated tile by painting. Bathrooms sell houses, but dated tile in a bathroom doesn’t. A low-cost alternative to replacing the tile is to use paint. First coat the tiles with a high-adhesion primer. Next, brush on a special ceramic epoxy covering. For a fraction of the cost of new tile, you will have an up-to-date bathroom that brings in big bucks. Pedestal sinks are a big hit with buyers. They show off square footage in small bathrooms beautifully. First, your old vanity has to go. Next, just hook up your new sink, and your bathroom will have dramatic appeal that brings in big bucks. Plus, buyers will see how much floor space your bathroom has. A master bedroom should appeal to both sexes. When you are selling, your master bedroom should appeal to buyers of both sexes. Get rid of features that seem too gender-specific. Paint the walls a neutral color, and choose bedding that matches. Then accessorize with items that complement the overall color scheme. Do you have an overpowering brick fireplace that sticks out like a sore thumb? Here’s an easy way to tone it down with paint. Use a rag or brush to rub a light coat of paint on the bricks, one at a time. This will give them a new tone without covering them completely. And, if you use a paint color that matches the walls, your fireplace will go from sticking out to standing out. Updating an old fireplace screen is a cheap (and quick) fix. After removing the screen and wiping it down to get rid of the dust, mask off the windows so you won’t get paint on them. Then, using a can of heat-resistant spray paint, give the screen a facelift. Hold the can about 18 inches away, and use long, even strokes....

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From post on http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/feature/article/2017/01/these-doors-can-modernize-your-listing-s-look We realize that this copy targets real estate brokers specifically, but you can easily imagine it addressed specifically to you. Just substitute “your home” every time the author says “your listing.” Good luck! JANUARY 2017 | BY MELISSA DITTMANN TRACEY A front door with pizzazz has always had a starring role in a home’s curb appeal. But lately, the doors inside a home are getting a closer look for their ability to add style and address design challenges. Strategically placed doors can offer privacy in open floor plan environments or increase the usability of cramped spaces.   Real estate pros Helene Bonello-Strauss and Malte Strauss with Trust International Real Estate LLC in Orlando, Fla., who also manage the staging blog idesigntosell.com, have used barn doors hung on sliding tracks above door frames and pocket doors, which tuck inside a wall, in several remodel and staging projects. “We use [barn doors] all the time in master bathrooms where there is a vanity area that is separate from the tub [and] commode area,” says Bonello-Strauss, also a home stager. In some older homes, vanities are located in the master bedroom rather than in the bathroom, a style that quickly can date a home. “Now we just close those off with a barn door, and buyers love that solution.” She also recently used two barn doors hanging from each side of an open door frame to solve an open floor plan’s privacy issue. The homeowners had built an addition off the living area that could be used as a guest bedroom, but they never installed a door to separate the bedroom from the main area. Bonello-Strauss added the double barn doors so the space could be used as a guest bedroom or opened to expand the living area when not in use by a visitor. “It truly makes the room and provides an architectural interest to an otherwise bland wall,” she says. But don’t be thrown off by the word “barn.” Your listing doesn’t have to be country chic to benefit from this space saver. The concept works in many styles, from walnut barn doors for traditional homes to galvanized metal doors for urban lofts, says Lynn MacMillan, with Gem Home Staging & Designs in St. Catharines, Ontario. Pocket doors vary widely too, from all glass to all wood and from designs that stretch to the ceiling to those that are only waist-high. Sliding doors can attach to a kitchen island and can be used to close off areas to pets or children when needed. “I prefer using sliding doors in all my projects,” says designer and architect Lilian...

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Originally published on http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/feature/article/2016/10/creative-ways-market-odd-spaces We realize that this copy targets realtors specifically, but these “marketing” strategies work because they are actually great suggestions: just because a room has always been used for one purpose does NOT mean it can’t be used for a different purpose. That’s what this article is about: re-purposing rooms to suit your needs.  OCTOBER 2016 | BY BARBARA BALLINGER What do you say to buyers who look at a listing’s floor plan only to focus on the large space labeled “dining room” that they know they’ll rarely use? The fact is, buyers and sellers may have vastly different perceptions about how they want to live in the same home. But that doesn’t have to be a deal-killer. Part of the problem stems from how architects and builders label rooms on plans, says Chicago-based commercial interior designer Mary Cook. “Rooms get designated and labeled for specific purposes, so it’s difficult to break that perception and think about them as spaces that are something else,” she says. But as a real estate professional, you can help make a difference with the descriptions you write in your marketing materials and with the way you talk about space in a listing. Clever copy can provide just the right inspiration for buyers who might have otherwise turned away. A huge log-burning fireplace dominating a living room can be recast as a “built-in entertainment center to gather around,” suggests designer Lonnie Unger of Fredman Design Group in Chicago. Just be sure to make concrete suggestions that buyers can visualize, even before they zoom in on photos or step through the front door. Whether you’re working with sellers who have outdated notions of their listing’s assets or with buyers who can’t imagine how they’d use a space that doesn’t seem to apply to their lifestyle, we’ve amassed some talking points that can help you smooth out the conflict. Here are five examples to inspire you to help your clients imagine what can be, rather than allowing what is to become a deal breaker. 1. What it is: Oversized walk-in closet The big closets that came along with the McMansion trend were often outfitted with shelves, rods, cabinets, and even storage islands and seating space. As conspicuous consumption falls out of favor, these spaces may seem like a waste for some buyers, who’d rather spend their square footage elsewhere. What it can be: “Practical laundry space adjacent to master bedroom.” Because large walk-in closets are usually well illuminated and may even have a window for daylight, they offer numerous possibilities. How about an upstairs laundry by the bedrooms? After all, this is where most...

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Learn what you might spend on DIY decorating, plus where it’s good to splurge or scrimp Fred Albert You’ve just moved into a new home, and you’re ready to decorate. Or you’ve been in your home for a while and want to give the place a whole new look. And you want to do it yourself. The big question is: What’s it going to cost you? There’s no magic formula for figuring out how much you can expect to spend on decorating. (Trust me — I asked.) But there are steps you can take to figure out what the project might cost and where the money should be spent. Make a BudgetAssuming you’ve figured out what you want your home to look like and have made the decision to decorate the home yourself, you need to come up with a budget. Instead of trying to guess what the project might cost, start out with a figure that represents what you’re willing to spend. Make a list of the rooms you want to decorate, and list the items you will need to purchase for each room. (Don’t overlook wall treatments, flooring, lighting, accessories and labor.) Decorating 101: Do It Yourself or Hire a Pro? Enter this information on a spreadsheet and assign a cost to each item. Do some basic research in stores and using catalogs and Houzz. Sure, you can spend $500 for a sofa or $5,000 for a sofa. But what are retailers charging for the kind of quality and style you want? Then plug that figure into your spreadsheet; do that for each of the items on your list. What to Spend More On There are some areas where you should spend more money, and some areas where you can scrimp. Most professionals agree that seating should be a priority. “I don’t like scrimping on a good upholstered piece,” says Woodland Hills, California, designer Alana Homesley. “If you have a quality sofa, it can last you for 30 or 40 years.” Claudia Juestel, the owner of Adeeni Design Group in San Francisco, agrees. “Buy the best mattress you can afford and the best sofa you can afford,” she says. Even when she’s working with a small budget, Juestel will order custom upholstered pieces, because they will get used more than anything else in the house and will last for decades. A dining table is another good investment piece that can adapt to a variety of settings and last a long time. Although not as durable or transportable, window treatments can have a big impact on a room’s appearance. “There’s nothing worse than a room that has bad...

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