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April
18

Why You Should Steam Clean Before a Showing

Steam Cleaning

First impressions are everything. This is as true in the world of real estate as in any other. When a potential buyer first walks into a home, the first things they see (and smell) play a huge role in determining their interest. If your home makes a great first impression, you'll have an easier time making a sale — and you'll probably get higher offers, too. After years of experience, our real estate agents know this to be true!

One of the ways you can improve your home's first impression is by steam cleaning the carpets prior to your first showing or open house. Why is steam cleaning so important? Take a look.

  • Steam Cleaning Removes Trapped Odors
    Your home doesn't smell, right? We'll let you in on a little secret: you wouldn't necessarily know if it did. Homeowners become nose-blind to odors over time, but newcomers definitely notice those smells. When buyers look at Sarasota homes for sale, they want them to smell nice.

    Carpets have a bad habit of holding onto smells, and simple vacuuming doesn't do much to remove them. Steam cleaning, on the other hand, will remove trapped odors, including any you've become nose-blind to. Potential buyers will then be greeted by a fresh scent.

  • Steam Cleaning Removes Evidence of Pets
    Even if potential buyers own pets themselves, they don't want to see evidence of pets in a home they're thinking of buying. Buyers looking at Bradenton homes for sale want those spaces to look fresh and new. Even a little pet hair or one tiny stain can turn a buyer off. Steam cleaning removes evidence of pets from your carpet, reassuring buyers that your place is clean and well cared for.

  • Steam Cleaning is More Affordable Than Replacing the Carpet
    If your carpet looks a little discolored and dull, you may be thinking of replacing it before you sell. Sometimes, this might be a good idea. However, since carpet replacement can be costly, it's often wise to try steam cleaning first. 

    Steam cleaning costs a small fraction of what you'd pay to replace the existing carpet. In many cases, it will make your carpet look as good as new.

  • Steam Cleaning Ensures a Good-Looking Backdrop
    When you're preparing to sell your home, you can cover up minor faults like a divot in the wall or some scratches on the baseboard. But the carpet is a big element. It serves as the backdrop of your room, in a way. If the carpet does not look clean, that's something that buyers will notice.

    Steam cleaning ensures this major element of your decor looks its best. When the carpet is clean, buyers generally assume the rest of the home is clean, too.

  • Steam Cleaning Removes Allergens
    The last thing you'd want is for a buyer to walk into your home and start sneezing. While vacuuming does pick up some allergens, it also tends to disperse those allergens into the air. Steam cleaning does a more thorough job of removing pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and other allergens from the carpet. A home with carpets that have recently been steam cleaned is less likely to cause symptoms for allergy sufferers.

Preparing your home for a showing can go a long way toward helping you find the perfect buyer. If you're thinking about selling and are looking for an agent to represent you, feel free to contact us. Our experienced real estate agents can guide you through both the buying and the selling processes and ensure everything goes smoothly.

October
23

How to Decorate Your Entryway for Fall

Decorate for Fall

Decorating your entryway can be an easy, fun way to shift into the fall season without exerting too much effort. It's a smaller space so that you can create an effect with just a few accents. Maybe you're expecting company, but you're too busy to decorate the whole house, or you're expecting potential buyers to visit since you've listed your home among Sarasota homes for sale or Bradenton homes for sale. Why not just focus on the entryway, and say it all with a great first impression?

We're sure you'll love these tips for fall entryways that will dazzle your company.

  1. Start with a Bench 
    You need a bench -- or something like it -- in your entryway, no matter what the season. If you've already got a nice entryway table or hall tree, so much the better. Metal, wood, wicker -- whatever suits your style. This piece of furniture will be the stage for all your decorating efforts. Here's where you change your seasonal pillows. Display your decorative gourds and pumpkins on top of it or under it. 

  2. Chalk it up
    What could be simpler for wishing your visitors well than a fall greeting on a chalkboard? Think your artistic skills aren't up to the mark? Go online and look for some simple examples of chalkboard art, and you'll be surprised at how well you can do by just imitating and adapting. Your message and art can welcome visitors but can also be directional, as in, "Follow the pumpkins to the kitchen for Fall fun," or "This way to hot apple cider."

  3. Did We Mention Pillows?
    A changing cast of seasonal pillows is an easy way to mark the passage of the seasons. Set the mood: spooky, fun, festive -- you decide. If you're handy with the sewing machine, you can make seasonal covers to slip over the pillows as the mood strikes you. For fall, you can, of course, go with traditional orange, cinnamon, and rust, but you can also jazz things up with a vivid purple or a striking green. 

  4. Go Vertical
    Make use of the space above the bench or to the side of the chalkboard. Hang some decorative hooks or install a rustic coat or hat rack to hang stuff: a wreath, a lantern, or seasonal garlands. 

  5. Seasonal Wreaths
    One of the best ways to mark the change of seasons is through wreaths, but you don't have to limit your display efforts to the front door. You can hang fun Halloween wreaths with pumpkin lights in the entryway to mark the spooky season, but also dried botanicals to signify the arrival of fall. 

  6. Lots of Pumpkins
    Pumpkins just lend themselves to inspiring creative fall displays and arrangements. Big ones, middling ones, ginormous ones -- mix and match -- you can paint your entryway masterpiece on a palette of pumpkins and gourds. Put 'em on top of the entryway table or under the bench. Draw or paint faces on them to set the mood, or decorate your pumpkins with garlands of fall leaves. If you'd rather avoid the messiness of carving, create Halloween creatures or fall figures out of them, using felt or construction paper and a hot glue gun. 

Our real estate agents are always ready to share good ideas that can help you sell your home. Contact us today. 

April
24

Simple Tricks for Rearranging Your Furniture

Rearranging Furniture

If your living space is starting to feel a little stale, there are a few things you can do about it. 

Our real estate agents know what it takes to successfully stage Bradenton and Sarasota homes for sale, and we can assure you that arranging the furniture appropriately can change the entire look and feel of a room. Here are a few simple furniture changes that you can make to improve your space. 

  1. Find the Balance
    Interior decorating focuses on striking the right balance. Never is this more important than when it comes to arranging furniture. To avoid rooms feeling lopsided or unsettled, consider both the size and placement of each piece so that you don't end up with all the large or small pieces of furniture bunched together. 

  2. Don't Push Furniture Against the Walls
    Though it might sound counterintuitive, leaving a few spare inches between your furniture and the wall behind can actually make the room feel bigger. Determining how much space to leave should be dictated by the size of the space, but even in smaller rooms, it's best not to have furniture pushed right up against the walls. 

  3. Choose a Focal Point
    Some rooms have a natural focal point, like a fireplace or a prominent set of windows. If that's the case, you can arrange the furniture around that point. If not, you can create your own focal point, such as a large coffee table or an entertainment center, and use it as the central focus of the room. Furniture doesn't have to be directly pointed at the focal point, but it should be arranged so that the eye is drawn toward that focal point. 

  4. Use the Right Size Area Rugs
    Area rugs should generally cover most of the floor, leaving just a bit of extra around the walls. An exception to the rule is if you have hardwood floors you want to show off, but still want a few smaller area rugs to add a splash of color or tie the space together. 

  5. Mix Colors and Textures
    A lot of your furniture and decor can be arranged by color, but don't forget about texture as well. If you're arranging throw pillows on a sofa, for example, mixing up colors and contrasting textures helps keep the eye interested. You don't want colors to clash with each other, but they shouldn't all be too similar. 

  6. Go With the Flow
    One of the most important considerations, when you arrange furniture, is the natural flow of traffic through the room. The last thing you want is to have people tripping over furniture. Make sure each piece of furniture has enough space to walk by it if needed, especially between the coffee table and any couches or chairs that may be nearby. 

  7. Let There Be Light
    Lighting is one of the best tools you have to tie a room together. Use light to your advantage by incorporating a variety of sources, including floor and table lamps as well as ceiling and wall-mounted fixtures. Use natural light as much as possible, with curtains or shades that allow you to control the lighting in each room.

Contact us today to learn more about transforming your living space. We've helped countless families find their dream homes in Florida, and we can't wait to help you find yours!

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