Hot Home Trend: Geometric Patterns in Décor Posted in Home Trends, by Melissa Tracey on June 4, 2018 44 By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Color forecaster Pantone cited geometric patterns as one of the top home design trends to watch in 2018. Shapes and, in particular, circular ones are being showcased in more home decor. Greater use of bold, circular patterns are being infused into everything from accent pillows and rugs to wall art and even tile backsplashes. Wallpaper trends are showcasing more geometric shapes too. For example, check out these two photos below from designers featured at Houzz. One, showcases a geometric wallpaper that is more subtle in a silver color and used an accent wall. The other photo showcases geometric shapes in a more dramatic way where the wallpaper serves as a focal point and then the rest of the decor is in solid colors....

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Posted in Home Trends, by Melissa Tracey on January 22, 2018 By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Black is getting popular in home design. Black fixtures, appliances, and even black furniture are emerging as one of the hottest trends in the new year. Black fixtures are replacing brass or rubbed bronze as a trendy home hardware in 2018. Black makes a great finish because it goes with anything. In matted finishes, it can also be easier to clean than your lighter, polished metals–so that’s definitely an added perk for homeowners too.              Photo by – Look for bathroom design inspiration Black cabinets in the kitchen are getting trendy too. To offset the darkness, some homeowners are mixing the black cabinets with lighter cabinets. Check out this one from Weston Lodge… Photo by Woodale – Look for kitchen design inspiration Black stainless appliances are also gradually gaining more momentum in the kitchen. Black stainless was once again being showed in the newest appliance models at CES 2018, the consumer electronics show this year. As  more smudge proof, black stainless is proving itself as a trendy alternative to traditional stainless....

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted on http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2014/07/21/pillow-talk-how-to-use-pillows-in-staging/. By Audra Slinkey, Home Staging Resource I gotta say it, I LOVE pillows! I’ve seen so many spaces transformed with the simple addition of pillows that I had to share some of my favorite photos of pillow inspired spaces, as well as my top six tips to styling and staging with pillows! My friend HSR Certified Gregg Churchill, an amazingly talented Australian Home Stager and Designer knows the art of pillow placement, so I’m using some of my favorite photos of his work exclusively to give you my top tips and to conclude with some of my favorite places to buy pillows … Tip #1 – You Can NEVER Have Enough Pillows, so Go Big!   Can you imagine if this furniture were not dialed in with pillows? This is a perfect example of how the right placement and selection of pillows can transform couches. Tip #2 – Don’t Get “Matchy Matchy.” Mix It Up! As a designer, there are things you want to “match” to add calm and symmetry to a space (like the tables and lamps above). BUT when it comes to pillows, have fun and get a little crazy! I love how Gregg completely breaks the rules here with his color and pattern choices to make this otherwise boring, white space…POP! Tip #3 – Use Pillows to Guide the Eye in Staging Okay, imagine this room without the pillows. Again, Gregg breaks some rules beautifully by drawing the eye up and away from the dated terracotta tiled floors to the colorful, selection of pillows contrasted against the white couches. Not only does he distract but he connects the floors with the space through the choice of two similarly colored pillows….love it! Tip #4 – A Square for Every Chair I have to say, I love the on-trend, coral pillows on the end chairs of this dining room as a way to connect the art with the space. By using a clean, bright, color palette of similar tones it all just flows well together, so add those pillow squares to the chairs when it works like this. Tip #5 – Add Drama and Go “Colorless” This is probably my favorite photo because Gregg removes all the color from the space for dramatic effect, so the buyers walk in and go…whoa! The reason this works so well is because he cleverly inserts plenty of textures and pattern (fuzzy rug, platinum lamps, geometric throw and pillows). Gregg deleted the color from the space, which allows a buyer to notice the architectural elements they are buying that are special in this room, i.e. the wainscoting and hardwood...

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Re-posted from http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2017/06/rules-for-hiring-high-quality-photographer [Editor’s Note: Need a photographer? Give us a call! We’ve got a recommendation!] Don’t let poor listing photos or restrictive copyright terms stymie your marketing efforts. Here’s what to look for in the right photographer for your real estate business. JUNE 2017 | BY ERICA CHRISTOFFER Fourteen of the last 15 homes Erika Villegas has sold went under contract within 10 days. One of them was previously listed by another agent and sat on the market for nine months at $199,000. When Villegas, SFR, a sales associate with ERA Mi Casa Real Estate in Chicago, relisted the property for $209,000 in May, it sold in five days. What made the difference, she says, was the photography. While the first agent put crooked photos taken with a cell phone of the home online, Villegas used a professional photographer. “People are looking online first and foremost,” Villegas says. “They’re seeing these homes and then contacting their agent to request showings. We have to approach marketing from that perspective.” Finding the right photographer for your listings can be a daunting task, especially if you’re a new agent or have had negative experiences in the past. But professional photography can make all the difference in the world to you and your clients. Learn how other real estate pros identified the right photographer for the job and what qualities to look for when it comes to photography services, image rights, and costs. Choose someone who’s familiar with real estate. Villegas says she chose her photographer, Tony Escareno, director of photography at 360 Media Services in Chicago, because he understands the business: His wife is a real estate agent. So, he’s willing to work around an atypical schedule. “He’s not a ‘this is how we do things’ kind of person,” Villegas says, adding that Escareno is open to taking creative, nontraditional listing photos. She adds his photography to Canva and Xpressdocstemplates to create printed marketing materials. “People have been surprised by his work.” You might find photographers with specific qualifications you seek at networking events. Nico Hohman, broker-owner of Hohman Homes in Tampa, Fla., met his photographer, Sean Febre, at a local Chamber of Commerce event. Hohman says he appreciates that Febre, owner of central Florida–based photo and video marketing firm Febre Frameworks, is also a young entrepreneur. Even more appealing is that Febre’s company, which grew from a two-person team to 20 employees in 10 months, focuses exclusively on real estate and isn’t dabbling in other types of photography. Febre’s photography packages start at $100 and increase based on the square footage of a home; virtual tours cost $50; and video walkthroughs are $150. Pay attention to their...

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Re-posted from http://www.hgtv.com/design/real-estate/top-10-tips-for-selling-your-home-during-the-holidays Attract homebuyers even during the holidays with these useful tips. The holiday season from November through January is often considered the worst time to put a home on the market. While the thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages: holiday buyers tend to be more serious and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed. First, decide if you really need to sell. Really. Once you’ve committed to the challenge, don your gay apparel and follow these tips from FrontDoor. Deck the halls, but don’t go overboard. Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers. Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes. Hire a reliable real estate agent. That means someone who will work hard for you and won’t disappear during Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s. Ask your friends and family if they can recommend a listing agent who will go above and beyond to get your home sold. This will ease your stress and give you more time to enjoy the season. Seek out motivated buyers. Anyone house hunting during the holidays must have a good reason for doing so. Work with your agent to target buyers on a deadline, including people relocating for jobs in your area, investors on tax deadlines, college students and staff, and military personnel, if you live near a military base. Price it to sell. No matter what time of year, a home that’s priced low for the market will make buyers feel merry. Rather than gradually making small price reductions, many real estate agents advise sellers to slash their prices before putting a home on the market. Make curb appeal a top priority. When autumn rolls around and the trees start to lose their leaves, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Bare trees equal a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Keep buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice and leaves. Take top-notch real estate photos. When the weather outside is frightful, homebuyers are likely to start their house hunt from the comfort of their homes by browsing listings on the Internet. Make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have a summer or spring photo...

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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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