How-To Tuesday: Keep Staging From Looking TOO Staged

Staging a home is a great way to help buyers envision themselves living in a space. It’s much easier for some people to picture your place as their home when there are furnishings and decor present rather than yawning, empty spaces. Studies have shown that staged homes sell 88% faster than unstaged homes. However, there is such a thing as going too far. You don’t want your home to look too stark and sterile. How do you find a happy medium between a crisp, cool, beautifully appointed space and a warm, lived-in home? How do you keep staging from looking too staged?

Start with decluttering.

The very first step in the staging process is to remove all clutter from the home. Remove anything that could distract potential buyers from the house’s best features. Pack up your family photos and mementos. Buyers want to picture their family living in the home, not yours.

Don’t do matchy-matchy.

Whether you use your own furniture or rent some to stage your home, it’s important to inject a little personality and style into it. Don’t use an impersonal, matched set. It can make a room look sterile and uninviting. Choose attractive furnishings that work well together but weren’t necessarily designed to go together.

Keep lighting soft and warm.

You want good lighting that will show off the home and accentuate the positives; but at the same time, you don’t want super bright, sterile lighting that washes everything out. Switch out LED and fluorescent light bulbs for ones that cast a warm glow. Add in lamps to brighten any shadowy spots or dark corners.

Nix the white paint and linens.

It’s true that you don’t want a lot of color all over the place, but you should also stay away from bright white everything. It might look crisp and pretty, but it can also make a space feel like a museum, causing buyers to feel uncomfortable and afraid to touch anything. Don’t be afraid of color, but be careful not to add too much. If you want to use neutrals, try a dove gray or beige, or even a nice blue.

Bring in life with plants and flowers.

Flowers and plants can do a lot to make a space feel fresher and more inviting. They bring a little life into what can otherwise seem like a blah, vacant space. As an added bonus, houseplants help refresh the air that might seem stale in a house that’s not currently being lived in.

Add decor back in.

Once the house is decluttered, clean, and all set up, it’s time to bring some of the decor back in to warm the space up a little. Throw pillows and blankets add warmth and dimension. Setting the table and adding a beautiful centerpiece add to the homey, lived-in feel. In the bathroom, keep towels on the racks and soap beside the sink. And a few books and ring dish or water decanter on the bedside table are the perfect personal touch. Add your most beautiful wall art on those freshly painted walls, and you’re done!

Staging has become an important step in selling a home, but the last thing you want is to make buyers feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. Use these steps to keep your staging from looking too sterile, and your efforts won’t go unnoticed.

Don’t Let a Neighboring Eyesore Drag You Down!

You know your house is amazing. You’re pretty sure home buyers will agree. It has lots of space, tons of upgrades, a perfectly manicured lawn, and is smack dab in the middle of an incredibly desirable neighborhood. There’s just one problem. You live next door to the neighborhood eyesore! What happens when you’re ready to sell, but a neighboring home threatens to downgrade your listing? You and your agent will need to put on your creative thinking caps and tackle the problem head-on by keeping potential buyers’ focus on your home.

Look For the Silver Lining

Maybe the lawn is unkempt because the homeowner is a quiet, elderly woman who can’t get out and do the yardwork herself. The plus here is knowing that you have a sweet neighbor who’s not throwing any loud parties and who might not mind the sound of kids playing outside. Or perhaps there are a lot of tools and yard equipment lying around next door. Highlight the fact that having a handy neighbor could mean paying less for jobs that need to be done around the house. Offer a little insight into how great your neighbors are (as long as they actually are great) to diminish the house’s appearance.

Create a Buffer

If there’s really not a way to find a bright side to the unsightly neighboring house, find a way to hide it or downplay it. A privacy fence or a landscape buffer (think beautiful trees or thick hedges) makes for the perfect way to create an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude. In addition to hiding the nextdoor eyesore, fences and landscaping add value to your listing.

Highlight the Good

To draw potential buyers’ eyes away from the neighboring house, you’ll need to do a little extra work to make your home shine brighter. Pay close attention to curb appeal. You may want to hire a professional landscaper to add some appeal. Give the house a good pressure washing or a brand new coat of paint, if applicable. Paint your front door an inviting color. Some buyers might even see your house in a better light once they see how well maintained it is in comparison to the one next door.

Find Out the Cause

There could be good reasoning behind an eyesore of a home. Materials littering the yard could mean the owners are remodeling inside or working on a backyard project. A house that’s fallen into a state of disrepair could mean that the owners have fallen on hard times financially or medically. It never hurts to ask if you can help out in some way. But make sure to do so with pure intentions and in a compassionate way.

A little creative thinking mixed with some elbow grease and a dash of compassion are all you need to help buyers look past the eyesore next door and fall in love with your home!

Friday Five // June 15th, 2018

It’s time once again for the Friday Five, our weekly roundup of five fun events happening throughout the Charleston area over the weekend. Celebrate Father’s Day with Dad this weekend by taking him out for some live music and drinks; an event to benefit veterans and their families; World Juggling Day; and more! Whatever you choose to do, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company wish you a safe and happy weekend…and a very happy Father’s Day!

Board the Carolina Queen at the City Marina on Friday evening for the Jam on the Water Concert Cruise. This 21+ concert cruise series sales once a month through November and costs just $23 per person. This month’s feature is the music of Jimmy Buffett played by Folly Pirates Over 40. Drifter Merch will be on hand to sell music-inspired t-shirts, and there will be seasonal selections from Sweetwater and a full wine and liquor cash bar. Pre-cruise gathering starts at 5pm at Salty Mike’s.

If jazz is more your speed, check out the Jazz on the Harbor After Hours Event at the South Carolina Aquarium Friday evening. Enjoy the open-air concert on the water or listen to the lilting tunes as you make your way through the Aquarium’s galleries. The event is 21+, and tickets are $45 for non-members and $40 for members. The all-inclusive ticket includes sustainably-sourced small plates from Good Catch partners and a beer and wine bar.

Also on Friday night, join Palmetto Warrior Connections for the Red, White, & Blue Jean Ball, benefitting local veterans and their families. The event takes place at Charles Towne Landing’s Founders Hall from 7pm until 10pm. Take in the live entertainment under the stars as you sip libations and enjoy food from some of Charleston’s favorite restaurants. A $50 General Admission ticket includes unlimited beer, wine, and food, live entertainment, and more. A $75 VIP ticket includes the above as well as early entry, a sneak peek at the silent auction, a commemorative glass, and access to an exclusive VIP lounge with a special bar.

For a fun family event, head to White Point Gardens to celebrate World Juggling Day with the Charleston Juggling Club. The theme for this year’s event is “Joggling and Juggling,” which means there will be a full-sized joggling board for people to juggle on, under, or around…or simply play on! Everyone from experienced jugglers to those who have always wanted to learn is invited to drop by and join in this fun, free event. As an added bonus, there will also be watermelon.

Sunday is Father’s Day, so we’re going to give you a few bonus options here! No matter what Dad’s into, there’s fun to be had on this Father’s Day Sunday. Start the day out with Bendy Brewski Yoga at Holy City Brewing. Then head on over to Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park, where Dads Climb Free! If Dad would rather watch sports than participate, you might want to take him to Bay Street Biergarten for Germany vs. Mexico in the World Cup Soccer series, or take him down to The Joe for some RiverDogs Baseball. Maybe trivia is more Dad’s speed. If fun and games are more Dad’s speed, take Dad to Ghost Monkey Brewery for Name the Music or to Oak Road Brewery for Brewery Bingo. For even more Father’s Day fun, check out the events calendar over at Holy City Sinner.

What You Should Know About Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

Finding the right homeowner’s insurance is a vital part of buying and owning a house. Your insurance policy can protect you from a lot of—but not all—losses and damage. Knowing what’s included in your homeowner’s insurance policy can save you a lot of money and heartache when you have to make a claim. Here are some of the things you should be aware of. If you’re not sure about any of these, be sure to ask your insurer.

Coverage Exclusions

A big part of being smart about homeowner’s insurance is knowing what’s covered and what’s not. It’s very important to know what your particular policy will pay for in the event of a disaster. Most insurance policies don’t cover flooding or earthquakes, so you might need separate policies if these are concerns in the area where you live.

Dollar Limitations on Claims

There might be a limit on how much your insurance company will pay for certain damages. If there are items in your house that are particularly valuable and would cost a lot to replace, you might want to think about insuring those separately. Your regular homeowner’s insurance policy might not completely cover the cost of stolen jewelry, for instance.

Replacement Cost

If your home is totally destroyed, you’ll only receive the maximum amount of your coverage. If your home is insured for $200,000 and it costs $250,000 to replace it, you’ll still only receive $200,000. So if you know the value of your home has gone up a significant amount, it’s definitely time to update your policy. The last thing you want is to be stuck with one that won’t actually help you recover completely from a disaster.

Actual Cash Value

If your home is destroyed and you don’t plan on rebuilding, you can opt to receive a cash payout of the amount of your policy minus a deduction for depreciation. This is also sometimes called market value coverage.

Your Liability

Your homeowner’s insurance policy typically covers your liability for accidents that might happen on your property. This usually covers medical care, court costs, and anything else awarded by the court. But there are limits to the amount your insurance will pay out. Make sure it’s enough to cover yourself and your assets.

Pet Coverage

Sometimes our four-legged friends can throw a wrench into insurance coverage. Your liability coverage usually covers any damage done to others, including dog bites, which make up about a third of all liability claims. But there are some exceptions. Certain large breeds of dog may be excluded from coverage or could cause your rate to go up. These might include Akitas, Boxers, Chow chows, German Shepherds, Pit Bulls, Great Danes, Mastiffs, Rottweilers, and more.

Claim Deadlines

Make sure that any deadlines for making a claim are clear. Many insurance policies have a 14-day reporting window. This ensures that any damage that’s been done doesn’t get worse before an adjuster can review it. Missing that window for making claims could have disastrous results. You might very well be forced to pay for any repairs or replacements out of pocket.

Potential Discounts

Make sure to ask your insurance provider about any discounts you might qualify for. Certain home improvements and technology upgrades can help make your home safer, which is definitely of interest to your insurer. Smoke detectors, alarm systems, deadbolts, and upgraded doors, windows, and roofing are all features that could potentially get you a discount on your homeowner’s insurance. Bundling your insurance policies is another great way to score a discount. Some people feel weird inquiring about discounts, but it never hurts to ask!

How To Deal When You’re a Neat Freak and Your Partner Is…Not

Living with a messy person when you’re used to being clean and tidy is no picnic. It’s like a real life episode of The Odd Couple, but with less comedy and more tension. More often than not, it ultimately leads to arguments or unhealthy, passive-aggressive behavior. Living with someone who has different ideals than you do is frustrating, but there are ways to deal with it in a healthy manner.

Have An Adult Conversation

Find some time to sit down and have a frank, honest, and respectful conversation. Explain to your partner or roommate that physical clutter causes your brain to feel cluttered too, causing you a lot of anxiety that could be easily prevented. But be prepared to give a little too. Having someone nag or be passive-aggressive probably makes your messy counterpart anxious as well. Speak calmly about common goals and make a plan to reach them.

Realize That Dirty and Messy Aren’t the Same Thing

Being dirty is a real problem. Dirt, mold, and grime have the potential to make someone ill. At the least, they exacerbate allergies. They also invite pests into the home, which can lead to even bigger problems. If this is the issue, it definitely needs to be met head on. Being messy, however, is a different story. While clutter creates its own set of problems, it’s much better than living with someone who’s actually gross. There needs to be a certain amount of compromise.

Lay Some Ground Rules

Decide which areas of your home you should concentrate on. Which spaces should be kept neat at all times, and which ones can be more relaxed? For example, if it’s most important to you that the living room be clutter-free and the kitchen sparkling, perhaps it’s okay to relax the rules in the bedrooms or any other areas that aren’t seen much by visitors.

Create a Routine

Make a schedule or routine, complete with checklists for cleaning and pickup. It takes roughly 21 days to create a habit. That’s three weeks. If you and your significant other or roommate can remember to follow your checklist together daily, picking up after yourselves might just become second nature.

Respect Personal Space

Compromises should only be made for common areas. Each member of the household should be allowed a personal space that’s unique to them. This is much easier if we’re talking about roommates or kids, of course. It’s a little more difficult when you’re sharing a bedroom with your significant other. If this is an area where you have to compromise, try to have other personal space in the house (or even outside…She Shed or Man Cave, anyone?), where no one else’s opinions or rules matter.

Try to Remain Positive—Don’t Nag

No neat freak wants to live with a slob. But no one wants to live with someone who constantly nags either. This might take a little bit of introspection on your part. Think about why the clutter bothers you so much. What can you let go of? Are there other constructive things you can do to help feed that need? Keep yourself feeling positive by spending some time in your own spot that you can keep tidy and spotless. Then think about the fact that your messy counterpart might actually feel most at ease in the midst of the chaos.




A friend of ours who recently bought a house enthusiastically referred us to Johnson & Wilson. Our friend's recommendation was top notch - Johnson & Wilson. is AWESOME! - Brian
Read Unbiased Consumer Reviews Online at
Real Estate Agents in Charleston

Leverage Seal 1.png191