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Staging Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making

Staging a home that’s for sale is a great way to make it appealing and inspire buyers to picture themselves living in it. But there are rights and wrongs when it comes to staging. Let’s look at a few mistakes you might not realize you’ve made when staging your home.

Over-Personalization

Home decor is a very personal thing. Sure you love that coastal, beachy theme in your living room. It might be inviting and relaxing to you, but not every potential buyer will agree. The same goes for that accent wall. Walking into a room to see one bold red wall can be off-putting for many buyers. Wallpaper accent walls have become popular lately, but wallpaper patterns are incredibly taste-specific. Yes, paint and wallpaper can be changed easily, but there are some buyers out there who can’t look past it or who just don’t want to do the work before they move in.

Not Enough Furniture

You want buyers to be able to see how well a room can accomodate different types of furniture. It’s easy for them to envision it when a house is vacant, but being able to actually see how much and what size furniture fits in a space is much better.

Too Much Furniture

So yeah, there’s definitely a balance here. While you want to show what a room is capable of holding, you don’t want to stuff it full. Putting too much furniture in a room can make it feel cluttered and unwelcoming. Be sure to leave enough space between furnishings for easy maneuvering and flow.

Too Much Color

It’s a good idea to freshen up the paint on the walls before putting your home on the market, but don’t go crazy and paint every room a different color. Likewise, don’t go with too bold of a color. If you don’t like the uniform look of one color throughout, at least keep it in the same family. For example, you could choose a dove gray for the main living area and a darker gray for the bedrooms.

Making Things Too Stark and Sterile

The last thing you want is for buyers to feel like they’re in a museum. Stay away from stark white walls and furniture. Don’t put out fragile decor that will make visitors feel like they can’t be comfortable. Remember that some buyers will have children with them, which means curious (and maybe sticky) hands and wandering feet.

Closing Doors

A closed door is a “keep out” sign, whether you mean it to be or not. Keeping doors open promotes flow. It’s also a cue that permits potential buyers to come on in and check things out.

Using Fake Items

We’ve all been inside that pristine model home that’s staged right down to the cardboard television and plastic food on the table. You’re not fooling anyone with that fake food, and it honestly just looks silly. Let’s talk about fake scents, too. Burning a fresh-scented candle or simmering a pot of spices is one thing, but please don’t pop a plug-in air freshener in every single room. Like decor, scents are highly personal and specific to each person who walks through your home. Overpowering fake scents can be downright offensive.

Forgetting the Exterior

Don’t forget to ramp up the curb appeal! The exterior and landscaping are the first impression every buyer will have of your home. Rake any stray leaves, mow the lawn, plant colorful flowers, put out a welcome mat, and maybe freshen up the front door and trim with new paint. You don’t want buyers to take one look at the outside of your house and decide it’s a no!

Have you made any of these staging mistakes in the past? Are there any we left out that are important? Let us know in the comments section!

How-To Tuesday: Set Up the Perfect Home Office

Those of us who work from home—whether it’s occasionally or full time—understand the need for a well-stocked and organized home office. Creating a space that is all at once inspiring and relaxing is important for the promotion of productivity and the reduction of stress. Read on for our best advice on setting up the perfect home office.

Designate an office space. If you’re not lucky enough to have an entire room to set up your home office in, find a spot that you can designate as your workspace. A corner of the guest room, a small, unused closet (just remove the door!), or a stair landing/loft area are all perfect spots. Just make sure you have access to electrical outlets and the WiFi access and cell reception are good.

Make a plan. Measure your office area so you’ll know what you need in the way of furnishings. Even if you have the perfect office setup in your mind, space constraints might require you to do things a little differently. Ideally, your home office should have a different vibe than the rest of your house, which contributes to the feeling of “going to work.”

Shop around for ideas. Take a stroll around your local office supply store, big box store, or bargain store. You can find great ideas for office supplies and decor at places like TJ Maxx or HomeGoods. If you don’t have an idea for the overall feel of your office, a little window shopping can help you figure out what you do and don’t like. There’s also a wealth of ideas on Pinterest!

Customize your workspace by using various pieces to make up the desk. For example, if you have a small table that you really love but also need drawers or shelves, buy a separate drawer set or storage cart and situate it under the table for a modular type of desk that you can switch up anytime you feel like it.

Install proper lighting. An office with lots of natural light is ideal, but if you’re short on windows, make sure your overhead lighting is sufficient for your type of work. Include a desk lamp for extra light or for those days when the overhead lighting feels too harsh.

Create an inspiring space. Give the walls a fresh, custom paint job. Go with a calming hue if you need an office that deters stress. If your job is a creative one, choose a fun, inspiring shade to keep things lively. Hang artwork that makes you happy, or hang a mood board so you can switch out artwork and inspirational articles/quotes from time to time. Stock your home office with fun office supplies that’ll bring a smile to your face when you need it. Add a plant or two to bring a little life to the space.

Go vertical if you’re short on space. Use shelves, baskets, or other hanging organizers if you don’t have much room on the desktop. Keeping horizontal spaces nice and tidy helps you feel more organized overall and leads to a more productive workday. We love this DIY ladder shelf as an example of how to take storage vertical in an updated way.

Get comfortable. One of the most crucial pieces you’ll buy for your home office is a desk chair. You’re probably going to spend a lot of time in it, so make sure it’s comfortable and promotes good posture. This is one area where splurging might be a good idea. The last thing you want is to feel hunched over and achy after a long workday. If your legs are on the shorter side, add a footrest under the desk for your dangling feet. This helps correct your posture and lets you keep your chair at the right height for the desk.

Don’t forget a trash can. Believe it or not, this is a little detail that tends to get overlooked. Trust us; you’re going to want a small trash can in your office. If you do forget one, you’ll either end up amassing a trash pile somewhere on your desk or you’ll have to keep getting up to throw things away in another room.

Every Homeowner's April To-Do List

Spring is finally in full swing here in Charleston. Whether you do an annual spring cleaning or not, there are some tasks every homeowner should complete to prepare for warmer weather. Here are six home and lawn maintenance chores to take care of this April.

Schedule an appointment with your pest management company. The grass is growing and the flowers are blooming, which means the insects are out and about. Protect your home from termites, carpenter bees, mosquitos, and other pests by sealing any openings in wooden structures. Have your pest management company do their thing to help protect your home and yard from insects and other pests too.

Have your HVAC system serviced. Before you crank up the A/C, call your handy dandy HVAC technician. It’s a good idea to have them perform seasonal maintenance twice a year. If the company has a maintenance plan you can join, we highly recommend signing up. You’ll probably pay a little less, and you’ll never have to make a last-minute appointment for maintenance.

Inspect the garage and attic. Take stock of things like insulation and wiring. Repair or replace anything that’s amiss. Look for any signs of animal presence. Attics and garages are prime spots for animals to inhabit during colder weather. While you’re there, knock the dust off your spring and summer gear like sports equipment and beach chairs and get them ready to be used.

Service your outdoor maintenance tools. Time to break out the lawn mower and weed eater! Before you plan to give your lawn that much-needed manicure, take a few minutes to give your tools a once-over. Check to make sure any old gasoline was emptied last year. Change the oil and spark plugs and sharpen your mower’s blades. While you’re at it, sharpen and clean any other garden tools you’ll need.

Clear the gutters. Take a close look at your gutters to make sure they’re clear and free of damage. Even if you have gutter guards, they could probably use a seasonal inspection. Leaves and other debris can create major clogs and cause big problems if they’re not taken care of.

Clean bird feeders and baths. Mold and germs stuck in bird feeders can cause birds to get sick and can also attract rodents. Take them apart and wash them well before letting them air dry and refilling. Give the bird bath a good scrubbing too, and refill it with fresh water for all the birds coming back for the spring and summer.  

Friday Five // March 30th, 2018

It’s a holiday weekend, and there’s much fun to be had in the Lowcountry. Here are our top five events happening in the Charleston area throughout the weekend. Whatever you choose to do, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company wish you a safe, fun weekend and a Happy Easter!

The Charleston Bluegrass Festival takes place this weekend at Awendaw Green. Beginning at 5pm on Friday and 10am on Saturday, this $15+ event will have you tapping your toes and dancing on the Green. The festival features artists such as River Boy, Southbound 17, Dallas Baker and Friends, Pinkerton and the Brinks, and more. Food vendors will be on hand, including Holy City Popcorn, The Roost Bar ‘n Grille, El Pinchotaco, Trolly Dolly Treats, and Damiano’s Wood Fired Pizza. Local brews and ciders will also be available from COAST, Freehouse, Tradesman, Low Tide, Commonhouse Aleworks, and Ship’s Wheel.

The Volvo Car Open (formerly the Family Circle Cup) is back from March 31st until April 8th. Spectators will be treated to quality tennis matches along with a variety of between-match activities for all ages, including autograph sessions, clinics, shopping, and giveaways. Happy hours, live music, Family Weekend, theme nights, and food trucks will all be part of this awesome annual event that continues to be a local favorite. See schedules and tickets at the link above.

The 2018 Festival of Houses & Gardens continues through April. Step inside some of the Charleston’s most beautiful homes and gardens, learn about the distinctive architecture and history, and celebrate the city’s unique culture. Hosted by the Historic Charleston Foundation, the festival features tours, talks, walks, food, and performances at various sites throughout the old & historic district through April 21st.

What would Easter Weekend be in Charleston without the city’s annual Easter Eggstravaganza at Hampton Park? Join families of all ages on Saturday from 11am until 1pm for the biggest egg hunt in downtown Charleston, a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, crafts, cookie decorating, games, pictures with the Easter Bunny, and more. This is a free event open to the public, but pre-registration is appreciated.

Before the big egg hunt, head out to Wild Dunes Sweetgrass Pavilion for Breakfast with the Easter Bunny. Families will delight in the famous Southern buffet and pancake buffet, and adults 21 and older may choose to enjoy unlimited mimosas and Bloody Marys for an additional charge. Reservations are required.

Use Your Tax Refund to Improve Your Home

With less than a month to go before Tax Day in the United States, tax refunds are sure to be rolling in across the country. You may have already earmarked these “extra” funds for a vacation or another large purchase, but if you don’t have a special purpose for it yet, we have a suggestion. Put your tax refund to work and use it to make some updates around the house. The return you see from sinking this money into improving your home will equal a much greater reward later on down the line. Need some ideas for home improvement projects that your refund will cover? Read on!

If you have $100 to spare…

  • Replace cabinet hardware. This is a small, inexpensive upgrade than can actually make a big difference. Replacing old, tired hardware gives cabinets just enough of a facelift without putting a big dent in your wallet.

  • Brighten up the entrance. If your entryway is in dire need of a refresh but you can’t afford a new door just yet, try adding a fresh coat of paint. Use a cheerful color like sunny yellow or beachy blue, touch up the paint on the trimwork with white or another contrasting color, and add a colorful new welcome mat!

  • Refresh interior paint. Again, if you’ll be selling soon, go with something neutral. It doesn’t have to be white or beige. Dove gray and calming blue are always popular neutrals.

If you have $500 to spare…

  • Get a new entry door. Up your curb appeal and add a little security with a new steel door. They tend to run around $500 and last a long time.

  • Switch to a programmable smart thermostat. Not only are smart thermostats convenient, but they can also help save money on your energy bill. Buyers also tend to look for smart technology when shopping for a new home.

  • Retile your backsplash. Another great way to give a kitchen a little facelift is to replace the backsplash. If you think you’ll sell soon, go with something neutral like white subway tiles. If you don’t plan to move in the foreseeable future, go with whatever you want—fun, patterned tiles, bright colors, etc.

If you have $1,000 to spare…

  • Replace inefficient appliances. An up-front investment in Energy Star appliances can help you save money on energy costs. Buyers tend to look for energy-efficient appliances when home shopping.
  • Tile the bathroom floor and shower. A little tilework can go a long way toward creating a luxurious, spa-like feel in a bathroom.
  • Update fixtures. Switching out faucets and light fixtures is another way to give a space a little facelift that makes a big yet subtle difference overall.
  • Add new custom blinds or shutters. If you have old, outdated blinds or window shades, think about modernizing your window coverings by replacing them with gorgeous wood blinds or plantation shutters.

If you have $3,000 to spare…

  • Install new countertops. Get rid of that old laminate top and invest in natural stone counters like granite or quartz. There are some truly gorgeous options out there, and they’re also heat and scratch-resistant.

  • Refinish the kitchen cabinets. Brand new cabinets might be out of your price range for right now, but you can certainly refinish your existing ones and breathe new life into them. Whether you DIY or hire a pro, this is a great way to give your kitchen a major makeover without doing a full overhaul.

  • Enhance your landscaping. Work on your curb appeal. Springtime is the perfect time to refresh your lawn and your home’s exterior. If you’ve been meaning to sod the yard, start a garden, build a porch covering, install a new walkway, add a privacy fence, or build an area for outdoor entertaining, go for it!

 

 

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