7 Tips to Guide for Your Home Search

1. Research before you look. Decide what features you most want to have in a home, what neighborhoods you prefer, and how much you’d be willing to spend each month for housing.

2. Be realistic. It’s OK to be picky, but don’t be unrealistic with your expectations. There’s no such thing as a perfect home. Use your list of priorities as a guide to evaluate each property.

3. Get your finances in order. Review your credit report and be sure you have enough money to cover your down payment and closing costs. Then, talk to a lender and get pre-qualified for a mortgage. This will save you the heartache later of falling in love with a house you can’t afford.

4. Don’t ask too many people for opinions. It will drive you crazy. Select one or two people to turn to if you feel you need a second opinion, but be ready to make the final decision on your own.

5. Decide your moving timeline. When is your lease up? Are you allowed to sublet? How tight is the rental market in your area? All of these factors will help you determine when you should move.

6. Think long term. Are you looking for a starter house with plans to move up in a few years, or do you hope to stay in this home for a longer period? This decision may dictate what type of home you’ll buy as well as the type of mortgage terms that will best suit you.

7. Insist on a home inspection. If possible, get a warranty from the seller to cover defects for one year.


Five Feng Shui Concepts to Help a Home Sell


To put the best face on a listing and appeal to buyers who follow Feng Shui principles, keep these tips in mind.

1. Pay special attention to the front door, which is considered the “mouth of chi” (chi is the “life force” of all things) and one of the most powerful aspects of the entire property. Abundance, blessings, opportunities, and good fortune enter through the front door. It’s also the first impression buyers have of how well the sellers have taken care of the rest of the property. Make sure the area around the front door is swept clean, free of cobwebs and clutter. Make sure all lighting is straight and properly hung. Better yet, light the path leading up to the front door to create an inviting atmosphere.

2. Chi energy can be flushed away wherever there are drains in the home. To keep the good forces of a home in, always keep the toilet seats down and close the doors to bathrooms.

3. The master bed should be in a place of honor, power, and protection, which is farthest from and facing toward the entryway of the room. It’s even better if you can place the bed diagonally in the farthest corner. Paint the room in colors that promote serenity, relaxation, and romance, such as soft tones of green, blue, and lavender.

4. The dining room symbolizes the energy and power of family togetherness. Make sure the table is clear and uncluttered during showings. Use an attractive tablecloth to enhance the look of the table while also softening sharp corners.

5. The windows are considered to be the eyes of the home. Getting the windows professionally cleaned will make the home sparkle and ensure that the view will be optimally displayed.

Source: Sell Your Home Faster With Feng Shui by Holly Ziegler (Dragon Chi Publications, 2001)

12 Tips for Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

1. Get at least three written estimates.
2. Check references. If possible, view earlier jobs the contractor completed.
3. Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau for complaints.
4. Be sure the contract states exactly what is to be done and how change orders will be handled.
5. Make as small of a down payment as possible so you won’t lose a lot if the contractor fails to complete the job.
6. Be sure that the contractor has the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance.
7. Check that the contract states when the work will be completed and what recourse you have if it isn’t. Also, remember that in many instances you can cancel a contract within three business days of signing it.
8. Ask if the contractor’s workers will do the entire job or whether subcontractors will be involved too.
9. Get the contractor to indemnify you if work does not meet any local building codes or regulations.
10. Be sure that the contract specifies the contractor will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage.
11. Guarantee that the materials that will be used meet your specifications.
12. Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with the work. 

Paint Colors That Attract Home buyers
Whether you’re ready to list your home for sale or you’re just beginning the process, there’s one crucial step to consider: paint colors. The colors you put on the walls can help make your home easier or harder to sell, so it’s well worth considering repainting before you put your property on the market.

But before you grab a roller, make sure you’re choosing colors that will help your home sell. Remember: the right colors will attract homebuyers.

Colors that attract home buyers #1 - Not-so-boring neutrals
If you’re looking for a sure bet for all ages and income brackets, you can’t go wrong with neutrals. A soft beige is an easy sell – it adds warmth to the walls and gives buyers a chance to imagine the potential of the room. If you’re still living in the home, off-white neutrals are easier to keep clean while you’re in the process of selling.

Colors that attract home buyers #2 - Shades of gray
Gray is a fantastic alternative to beige for many reasons. A cool gray feels relaxing and soothing in a bedroom or bathroom. It’s a conservative but still chic color that appeals to many people, particularly older buyers, who may be seeking relaxation, rather than excitement, in their new home.

Colors that attract home buyers #3 - Wonderful whites
Although white seems like a default color, it’s anything but. There are hundreds of shades of white to choose from, and they each have benefits. A bright white makes any space look larger, while a warm white is inviting and cozy. White is universally appealing, and works especially well with younger first-time home buyers, since they’ll easily be able to repaint in their preferred color scheme after the purchase.

Colors that attract home buyers #4 - Beautiful Blue
There’s a blue hue for everyone, but to expedite the sale, stick to lighter shades. Go light blue in the bedroom for a peaceful oasis feeling, or choose a more energetic (but still pale) blue for kids’ playrooms. Blue makes a great alternative to more neutral colors if you just can’t stomach the thought of living in a blank white or neutral home until it sells.

Colors that attract home buyers #5 - Warm brights
If you’re dead set on using orange or yellow, make sure the tone is soft enough to maintain a neutral feeling. Many buyers balk at brights, since they take extra time and energy to repaint. Sunny hues work best in kitchens and other energetic spaces. Plus, warm tones are known to make people hungry – so confine your orange paint to the kitchen.

Colors that attract home buyers #6 - Easy earth tones
Earthy, rich colors like brown and green are best avoided when you’re trying to sell. However, depending on the neighborhood, lighter browns and greens could be appealing. Country homes do well with these rustic colors; just make sure you use them sparingly to avoid overwhelming potential buyers.

Painting a home is one of many steps to selling a home, but it’s also one of the most important. The wrong paint color can turn off potential buyers, so put some thought into the decision. Good luck and happy painting!

How to Get an Offer on Your Home

1. Price it right. Set a price at the lower end of your property’s realistic price range.

2. Prepare for visitors. Get your house market ready at least two weeks before you begin showing it.

3. Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show at the spur of the moment. But the more amenable you can be about letting people see your home, the sooner you’ll find a buyer.

4. Anticipate the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you’ll find acceptable.

5. Don’t refuse to drop the price. If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days without an offer, you should be prepared to at least consider lowering your asking price.


The Dos and Don’ts of Home Selling

Selling a home in the recession-hit times of today is no less than an ordeal that one needs to pass before they get a fairly compensated deal for their property. The nuances of home selling are many and they all need to be heeded if you want your home to sell quicker and at a good price. But many a home owner end up making mistakes that cost them heavily in the deal.

We throw some light on some common mistakes that you should avoid:

1) Inappropriate Pricing
Bad prices are great deterrents to fast home-selling. They include both – too high and too low prices. It is important to remember that real estate prices fluctuate like tides and need to be kept track of if you are going to put your home up for sale. If you market your home on too high a price, it will ward off clients, whereas a price too low will rob you of the profits you very much deserve.

2) Wrong or Incomplete Marketing
Good marketing is essential for selling a house effectively. Thinking that selling a house is local business is a big mistake that home-owners make. Make your house on sale visible to as many people as possible. Use the Internet and its valuable resources like social media to market your house to a global audience; you never know who is moving to your city from around the world.

For doing the same, use pictures, as many of them as possible because a humble little picture is worth a thousand words. Click high resolution photos of your house at its visual best. If you get a lot of natural light in the house, it is best to click day time photos on sunny days, otherwise use appropriate artificial lighting to get the best results.

A disastrous mistake to avoid is shooting photos of an untidy residence. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you de-clutter your house before you begin your home selling marketing campaign.

3) Homes in an untidy or ill-maintained condition
Unkempt homes give a negative vibe that may lower the chances of a prospective buyer finalizing a deal with you. Append sufficient efforts and money on getting things fixed in the house. Leave no walls with paint peeling off them. Do your home maintenance assignment right if you want to influence clients to like your home better.

4) Not treating the buyers right
The happier a buyer feels on visiting your house, higher are their chances of fixing a deal with you. So always treat any prospective buyer with utmost respect and hospitality. Give them a warm reception and serve some snacks to eat. Most importantly, don’t stick to the visitors while they see your house. This makes them tad uncomfortable. Just give them some time to view the house on their own.

Home selling is serious business and demands a great deal of patience from you. It is important to stay calm even if you have had your home in the market for pretty long because this is just the plight every home seller has to go through, and it eventually passes!



10 Things To Do Before You Sell Your Home.

There are many things to do before you sell your home that will maximize the perceived value of your home. Today’s housing market is intensely competitive and anything you can do to make your home appear neat, inviting and well maintained can give you an edge in a crowded field.  Important Things To Do Before You Sell Your Home Although it seems daunting, you can get your home ready for sale if you stay organized and focused. Concentrate on your goal—to help the house you love to look its best.

Here are the basic checklist of 10 things to do before you sell your home:

1.Pest free? Get your home professionally inspected for termites and other pests and once any are removed, get rid of any evidence of having had them. Having a recent inspection certification in hand will give prospective buyers solid piece of mind that there are no creepy-crawlies hiding in the woodwork.

2.First impressions. The first things buyers will see when they walk up to your home are the landscaping and exterior features of your house. Make sure the yard and shrubs are neatly trimmed—plant fresh flowers in existing beds. Paint or power-wash the exterior of your home if years of weather have taken their toll. Make any repairs to gutters, trim or windows as needed. And apartment dwellers should make sure all common areas are neat and clean as well, so clear out those strollers and bikes from the hallway.

3.Go generic. As buyers walk through your home, they’ll want to imagine themselves living in the space. You can make this easier by keeping personal effects out of view. Store collectibles and family photos and try to decorate with simple landscapes or commonplace objects.

4.That deep down clean. It is understood that your home should be kept neat and clean, but you’ll need to go beyond surface cleaning. Dusting and vacuuming are a given, but don’t forget to clean windows and molding, light fixtures and ceiling fans and appliances and other fixtures. And clean should mean the place smells great too. If you can’t bake cookies for each showing, at least make sure all offensive odors are eliminated at their root cause.

5.Down, Spot! Consider an alternate place to board your pets during the selling process. Remove all pet supplies and things like litter boxes, beds and feeding stations before showing your home.
6.Getting steamed. Add carpet cleaning to the list of things to do before you sell your home. Industry experts recommend professionally cleaning your carpets every three years or so. Even if your carpets have been cleaned in the last 18 months, it’s a small investment to have them cleaned before you begin showing your home.

7.Reduce, remove and reorganize. Eliminate clutter in bedrooms, on counters and wherever else your family tends to leave things. Have a yard sale to get rid of as much as you can and then work as hard as you can to organize what is left behind. And if you don’t have a yard, log in to Craigslist.org and start your own virtual garage sale. Resist the temptation to shove things in the basement or a back closet—prospective buyers will want to check out your storage areas. And if you simply can’t get rid of that Nordic Trac, rent a storage locker and get it out of your home.
8.Important rooms. The kitchen and baths are the most frequently used areas in any house. Pay particular attention to cleaning, organizing and repairing these rooms. Remove and replace stained or damaged caulk; clean grout in tiled areas and repair or replace appliances or fixtures as needed.

9.Slap on a coat. There is much debate about the value of painting before you sell your home. While the new owner may want to paint with her own colors, you should certainly consider a coat of paint in areas that are chipped, peeling or stained. Be sure to use neutral colors and do a neat job.

10. Keep up to date. Consider replacing cabinet pull or door handles that are damaged or dated. While replacing these fixtures can be a cheap fix, the replacements will keep your house looking current and well cared for.

How to stage your baths for buyers


Staging your home properly creates an inviting and welcoming environment for potential buyers. It can mean the difference between a property languishing on the market or a quick sell. Here are some bath ideas that are sure to delight potential buyers.

Clean is king. First and foremost, baths should be clean. Generally, buyers do not spend much time viewing baths, so
the first impression should be a lasting one. Take the time to scrub tiles, shower doors, and mirrors.

Simple updates. Change the hardware to reflect current trends. An inexpensive makeover entails updating knobs, pulls, faucets and towel racks.

Fresh linens. Set out matching guest towels that accent the wall color to bring the room together. Less is more. Remove personal pictures and items and instead opt for a hotel chic.

Win by a nose. Consider placing flowers, scented soaps or room deodorizers to enhance the space. Lit candles are discouraged for safety reasons.

Personal effects. Remove any personal items you would not want potential buyers to see. It's a good idea to store all clutter out of view.

Don't be a drip. A constant drip can be a distraction and turn off to potential buyers. Repair any leaky faucets or clogged drains.

How to make your house bigger to the potential buyers!


No matter what the square footage is of your home, there is always potential to make it appear larger and more appealing to potential buyers. An offer can depend on whether your property is interpreted as a cozy bungalow or cramped old cottage. The difference between these two descriptions often depends on staging and utilizing the space effectively. Here are some tips on how to make the most of a small space.

Crisp and clean. First and foremost, your home should be clean and free of any fingerprints, stuff marks and dust. Dirt and grime can detract from even the most spacious of rooms.

Let in the light. Natural light is a major selling point. Open curtains and blinds to illuminate every room and make sure those windows are streak-free.

Eliminate clutter. Clutter on counter tops can make a space feel cramped. Even if you ordinarily store the blender, knife set and toaster oven on the kitchen counter, store these items away when potential buyers are viewing the property. The same goes for bathroom counters.

Invest in built-ins. Built in shelves, bookcases and wall units provide both a showcase and storage without seeming clunky. Built-ins often add interest to a small space with architectural detail.

Think neutral. Bold paint color can make a room seem smaller, consider white or neutral tones to enlarge the space.

Minimize for maximum results. An oversize couch or extra wing chair can overwhelm a room. Don't cramp an averaged-sized room with unnecessary furniture.

Does Moving Up Make Sense?

These questions will help you decide whether you’re ready for a home that’s larger or in a more desirable location. If you answer yes to most of the questions, it’s a sign that you may be ready to move.

1. Have you built substantial equity in your current home? Look at your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out. Usually, you don’t build up much equity in the first few years of your mortgage, as monthly payments are mostly interest, but if you’ve owned your home for five or more years, you may have significant, unrealized gains.

2. Has your income or financial situation improved? If you’re making more money, you may be able to afford higher mortgage payments and cover the costs of moving.

3. Have you outgrown your neighborhood? The neighborhood you pick for your first home might not be the same neighborhood you want to settle down in for good. For example, you may have realized that you’d like to be closer to your job or live in a better school district.

4. Are there reasons why you can’t remodel or add on? Sometimes you can create a bigger home by adding a new room or building up. But if your property isn’t large enough, your municipality doesn’t allow it, or you’re simply not interested in remodeling, then moving to a bigger home may be your best option.

5. Are you comfortable moving in the current housing market? If your market is hot, your home may sell quickly and for top dollar, but the home you buy also will be more expensive. If your market is slow, finding a buyer may take longer, but you’ll have more selection and better pricing as you seek your new home.

6. Are interest rates attractive? A low rate not only helps you buy a larger home, but also makes it easier to find a buyer.

Simple Tips for Better Home Showings


1. Remove clutter and clear off counters. Throw out stacks of newspapers and magazines and stow away most of your small decorative items. Put excess furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season clothing items that are cramping closet space. Don’t forget to clean out the garage, too.

2. Wash your windows and screens. This will help get more light into the interior of the home.

3. Keep everything extra clean. A clean house will make a strong first impression and send a message to buyers that the home has been well-cared for. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates, mop and wax floors, and clean the stove and refrigerator. Polish your doorknobs and address numbers. It’s worth hiring a cleaning service if you can afford it.

4. Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows to air out the house. Potpourri or scented candles will help.

5. Brighten your rooms. Put higher wattage bulbs in light fixtures to brighten up rooms and basements. Replace any burned-out bulbs in closets. Clean the walls, or better yet, brush on a fresh coat of neutral color paint.

6. Don’t disregard minor repairs. Small problems such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well-maintained.

7. Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, edge the walkways, and clean the gutters. For added curb appeal, place a pot of bright flowers near the entryway.

8. Patch holes. Repair any holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.

9. Add a touch of color in the living room.  A colored afghan or throw on the couch will jazz up a dull room. Buy new accent pillows for the sofa.

10. Buy a flowering plant and put it near a window you pass by frequently.


11. Make centerpieces for your tables. Use brightly colored fruit or flowers. 


12. Set the scene. Set the table with fancy dishes and candles, and create other vignettes throughout the home to help buyers picture living there. For example, in the basement you might display a chess game in progress.

13. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light. Show off the view if you have one.

14. Accentuate the fireplace. Lay fresh logs in the fireplace or put a basket of flowers there if it’s not in use. 


15. Make the bathrooms feel luxurious. Put away those old towels and toothbrushes. When buyers enter your bathroom, they should feel pampered. Add a new shower curtain, new towels, and fancy guest soaps. Make sure your personal toiletry items are out of sight.

16. Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. If that’s not possible, crate them or confine them to one room (ideally in the basement), and let the real estate practitioner know where they’ll be to eliminate surprises.

17. Lock up valuables, jewelry, and money. While a real estate salesperson will be on site during the showing or open house, it’s impossible to watch everyone all the time.

18. Leave the home. It’s usually best if the sellers are not at home. It’s awkward for prospective buyers to look in your closets and express their opinions of your home with you there.

How to prevent water damage from water

Water is essential to life, and in most cases is probably viewed as helpful or benign to us.
But rainwater, sprinkler water, and water from broken plumbing can cause significant damage to a home's foundation. Even though initial signs of water damage may seem insignificant, any evidence of water problems should be thoroughly investigated to prevent the foundation from weakening.

Plumbing should be regularly checked for leaks, along with washing machine hoses and water heaters. One way to find out if there are any plumbing issues, is to take a water meter reading and then turn off all faucets and any appliances that use water. Don't flush toilets for an hour. Then, re-check the meter to see if the amount of water used has increased. If so, that indicates that you have a plumbing leak that could then cause damage to the foundation. You can also purchase water alarms with built-in moisture sensors, and install them near water-using appliances, and under sinks and toilets.

Also keep your roof free of debris and regularly clean gutters and downspouts. When rainwater can't pass through a clogged gutter, it can flow down walls to the ground, where it can seep into the home's foundation. Examine your home's exterior walls for cracks or holes where rain can seep in, and have them sealed. This includes places where plumbing or wiring enter or exit the building.

Make sure any exterior windows and doors, particularly in the basement, are well sealed and close properly. If you find any windows or doors that don't open and shut correctly, your foundation may already be damaged and should immediately be inspected by an experienced foundation repair expert.
When water seeps into the soil underneath a foundation, it can cause the soil to expand and lift the foundation, resulting in foundation cracks. When the soil dries, the foundation will settle. Constant expansion and contraction will increase and worsen structural damage. Water can also create foundation cracks and make any existing fissures larger. Other problems resulting from water entering a home include moisture-induced mildew and mold.

Studies show that seemingly benign water causes more structural damage to homes than any other hazard. If you have drainage problems or suspect foundation problems may already exist, have your home looked at by an experienced foundation repair expert. Quickly resolving water leakage or drainage problems can prevent costly foundation repairs or replacement down the road.

8 Ways to Make Small Rooms Feel Larger!


8 Ways to Make Small Rooms Feel Larger

When selling a home, you don’t want buyers to step foot in a room and suddenly feel cramped. They will quickly start questioning whether they’ll be able to fit their belongings in there and whether the home is too small.

What can you do to open up some of the tight spaces in your listings?

1. Remove furniture. Rooms packed overly full of furniture will not allow buyers to visualize their things in the space. Keep the furniture basics in each room, and then haul away the extras to a storage unit or somewhere else in the home that could use more furniture. Make sure the furniture is fit to the size of the room. For example, that canopy bed may be commanding too much attention in the master bedroom, making the room feel cramped and even blocking the walkway through the room.

2. De-clutter. This is an obvious way to make a space feel bigger. It can have one of the biggest impacts to the perception of a room’s size. Have your sellers go through their closets and box up about a third of it. They can take the load to a storage unit or put into bins to store elsewhere in the home. When buyers open up a closet, you want them to see the spaciousness, not it filled top-to-bottom with your sellers’ belongings.

3. Find secret storage spots: Ottomans that can double-up as storage units too can help your sellers clear away clutter in a hurry. These can be useful particularly for sellers with children who need a quick place to throw toys and clothes prior to a showing.

4. Lighten the color. Dark colors on the wall can make a room feel more closed-in, whereas lighter tones on the wall can open it up. Cream colors and soft tones of greens and blues can help open up a space. Monochromatic color schemes, which is using colors all from the same color family, can go a long way in creating flow in a home and making a space appear larger too.

5. Let the light flow in. Tieback–or better yet, take down–the curtains and open up the blinds to let the natural light flow in from the windows. The more natural light that flows in, the more a space can appear larger.

6. Hang some mirrors. Mirrors can reflect light and give the illusion of depth to a room.

7. Opt for plain fabrics. Upholstery that is plain and neutral can make a space feel larger than upholstery with bold prints or stripes. To avoid the neutral blahs, however, liven up spaces by incorporating textured or small patterned items, such as with throw pillows on the sofa.

8. Make smart furniture choices. See-through furniture, such as glass tabletops, can open up a space. Also, arm less chairs or sofas can make a space feel larger too. For desks, try stools that can be tucked underneath and show off more floor space than a bulky desk chair. Also, remove any floor lamps and instead use desk lamps or ceiling light fixtures for light.

Bottom line: The more floor space you can see in a room, the more open and bigger it will feel.


5 DIY Projects to Increase Sales Value by More Than $10,000!

It does not have to cost a fortune to improve a home and make it more sell able, according to Home Gain’s 2012 National Home Improvement Survey.
Home Gain surveyed nearly 500 real estate professionals nationwide to determine the top do-it-yourself home improvement projects that offers some of the biggest bang for your buck when selling a home.
“In a buyer’s market, sellers need to dress their homes for success before putting them on the market,” says Louis Cammarosano, Home Gain’s general manager. The survey shows “that do-it-yourself home improvements like cleaning and de-cluttering and lightening and brightening your home are cost-effective ways of increasing your chances of selling faster and closing closer to the asking price than homes rushed to the market with no improvements.”
Here are the top five projects that real estate professional recommend to their clients–projects that have the potential to offer some of the highest returns on investment at resale, according to the 2012 Home Gain survey:

1. Clean and de clutter
What to do: “Removing personal items; wash and clean all areas of inside and outside of house; freshen air; remove clutter from furniture, counters, and all areas of the home; organize closets; polish woodwork and mirrors.”
Estimated cost: $402
Potential ROI: 403% or $2,024 to the home’s sale price
2. Lighten and brighten
What to do: “Open windows; clean windows and skylights inside and outside; replace old curtains or removing curtains; remove other obstacles from windows blocking light; repair lighting fixtures; make sure window open easily.”
Estimated cost: $424
Potential ROI: 299% or $1,690
3. Repair electrical and plumbing
What to do: “Update leaky or old faucet spouts and handles; repair leaks under bathroom or kitchen sinks; laundry room pipes; toilets should be in good working condition; remove mildew stains.
“Update electrical with new wiring for modern appliances and/or Internet and other audio/visual equipment requested in homes today; door bell should work; service sprinkler systems; fix lights and outlets that do not turn on; replace old plug points with new safety fixtures.”
Estimated cost: $808
Potential ROI: 293% or $3,175
4. Landscaping
What to do: “Front and back yards; add bark mulch; rake and remove leaves, branches and debris; plant bushes and flowers; add planters and hanging plants; mow grass; water lawn and plants; remove weeds and dead plants; manicure existing plants; any yard work that improves the curb appeal of a home.”
Estimated cost: $564
ROI: 215% or $1,777
5. Staging
What to do: “Add fresh flowers; removing personal items; reduce clutter; rearrange furniture; add new props or furniture to enhance room/s; play soft music; hang artwork in walls.”
Estimated cost: $724
ROI: 196% or $2,145

However, the survey finds that the home improvement projects that offer the highest potential price increase to a home’s resale value continues to be updating the kitchen and bathroom. Home sellers could potentially see a $3,255 price increase to their home at resale by tackling kitchen and bathroom projects, according to the Home Gain survey. But those projects are not usually cheap to do. Check out our post earlier this year about the 2011-2012 Cost vs. Value report to see what home remodeling projects offer the biggest potential returns at resale.


Why your house may not be selling!




There may be several reason your house isn't selling. Here are three common causes a property may be languishing on the market.

1. Price. Remember, your property is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. No one wants to lose money on a property, but keep in mind the economic climate and if you need to sell, be prepared to price your home competitively. Your listing agent should have provided you with a list of comparable in the area to equip you with the knowledge to price your home realistically.

2. Condition. Your home should be immaculate when potential buyers view it. The importance of a positive first impression cannot be stressed enough. Windows should be clean, floors polished or vacuumed and all clutter should be out of sight. A fresh coat of paint, minor repairs and wet entryways go a long way. Neutralize your space with soft color, so it appeals to the masses, instead of a small group. If necessary, consult a professional stager to get your house in shape.

3. Location. The one thing you can't change about your property is its location. This is another instance when your savvy real estate professional should discuss sales options with you. Stress the positives of the location, perhaps it is located near mass transit or the area is starting to turn around. Instead of selling your home in a neighborhood that is not ideal, consider renting it until the area improves.y be several reasons your house isn't selling. Here are three common causes a property may be languishi

Is Being A Landlord: More Trouble Than It's Worth?


It's the way to make money … or so some people claim. On the surface, it seems likes like a surefire bet; in reality, it's usually more headache than it's worth. The challenges start early, and they almost always involve time and money.

Do you live too far away from the property? The farther you live away from your rental property, the harder it will be to monitor what is happening to it. Collecting rent, taking care of maintenance and eviction will all be made more difficult and costly if you live in another county – or state.

Do you understand cash flow? The purpose of renting is to make a profit from your property, or to at least break even on the mortgage, taxes and maintenance costs of ownership. You must be certain to charge enough rent to cover not only the fixed costs but also to allow for emergency repairs and unexpected expenses. If you do not charge the appropriate rent, you can have excellent tenants and still lose money.

Are You Lax about screening applicants? All would-be tenants are not equal. Choosing a tenant that is solvent, clean and respectful of your property and the lease agreement is key to having a pleasant landlord experience. You must be prepared to ask for employment information, renter’s history and references – and check them!

Do You Understand the legal side? Having a solid lease agreement will not only eliminate confusion about you and your tenant’s rights, but it can be a tool to help you recoup losses if the tenant and landlord relationship goes awry. There are many standard lease agreements available. You should either purchase and learn every item on it or have a customized lease form made by an attorney.

Do you think it is a no-hassle payday? If you think that you will hand a key to someone and begin receiving rent checks on the first of every month, you have not accepted the realities of renting. Tenants will need in-home repairs. They will need to be reminded to keep the yard clean. The home will need to be treated for termites. Heating and air conditioner filters will need to be changed. Being a landlord is a job, not a free paycheck.

Have considered maintenance and repair issues? If you are handy, you may elect to do your own repairs and maintenance. If your talents do not fall in this category, you will need to find reliable handymen, plumbers and appliance repairmen to assist you in keeping the rental in livable condition.

You are too soft hearten to enforce your own lease agreement? “But Mr. Landlord, we have had a hard time this month. Perhaps we can pay half now and the rest on payday?” If you have a hard time saying no to this or other situations, you may not be cut out for this profession. While it is not necessary to be heartless, you must be willing to protect your interests, lest your tenant’s money problems quickly become your own.

Have You Had Legal Problems with the Tenants? 
1. Tenant Does not Pay Rent,
2. Tenant Files Bankruptcy,
3. Tenant Violates The Lease,
4. Tenant Claims Uninhabitable Conditions,
5. Tenant Claims Mold Problems,
6. Tenant Sub Leases the property,
7. You have to evict the Tenant in court’
8. Other Problems …….


Home decorating tips : Stripes 101



Stripes 101
Whether traditional or unconventional, stripes—especially on walls and floors—promote order. They have an almost architectural power to redirect the eye and reshape a space. In smaller doses, like on furniture or accessories, they’re “the neutral of the pattern world,” says New York City interior designer Elaine Griffin, as they are low-risk and easy to incorporate into any type of room.

Three Expert Decorating Tricks

1. Use high-contrast stripes in unexpected spots. For powder rooms and foyers (spaces where people don’t linger), strong stripes can be charming. “I love a brilliant stripe in a closet,” says Darryl Carter, a designer in Washington, D.C. “It’s like the lining on a fine coat.”

2. Match the size of the stripes to the size of the room. In general, the larger the space, the wider wall stripes should be, because thin stripes in a big expanse can look like mere texture from far away. And in a small room broad, bold stripes can feel jarring.

3. Blend striped, floral, and solid accessories. A foolproof recipe for throw pillows: Put together three or four designs that are clearly distinct but share a palette. Try a wide stripe, a narrow stripe, a dainty paisley, and a solid. The effect is cohesive, with just enough randomness to feel homey.

Perk up your porch for less





The first image one has of a home is the entryway. Guests should be greeted with an inviting space. Here are some inexpensive ideas to brighten up your porch to make it enticing for prospective buyers.

Color. If you don't want to invest in a new front door, simply paint the one you have. Color is an instant way to add a new element to your facade. If you like the natural look of your wooden front door, consider re-staining it to look like new. Also, hardware, such as knobs and doorknockers can be easily swapped out and upgraded for a new look.
Lights. Lighting is a great way to add interest and safety to the entrance of your home. If the expense of an electrician to install outdoor lights is out of the question, consider adding lanterns or flameless candles on either side of the door or steps. This will light the entry and create an inviting space.
Plants. Consider adding potted plants to the front porch. Choose plants or flowers according to the season, consider colorful tulips in the spring or mums in the fall.
Digits. The options for house numbers are seemingly boundless. Every size, material and style is available and prices range from inexpensive to astronomical. Select numbers that fit your budget and design. The numbers can go on the home itself or between the steps. However, they should be visible from the front of the home.
Welcome. The entrance should be well lit and safe. A welcome mat or small outdoor rug may prevent slips, in addition to catching any dirt before entering the home.

An interior design offers ideas for adding cheerful, pretty flower prints to your decor.




Floral 

It’s hard to talk about florals as a single category because, like flowers themselves, each pattern has its own personality, determined by style, size, and color. Floral prints can seem intimidating at first, but once you have a few guidelines, they’re not difficult to work with—and they’re guaranteed to add life and joy to a space. Here are New York City interior designer Sara Gilbane's top pointers.
1. Scale affects mood. A large print on something small looks modern and cool, while a pillow with a mini version of the same pattern would have a sweet, vintage feel.
2. Floral furniture doesn’t have to be granny. It’s all about the details (avoid a skirted bottom on an upholstered piece) and what you pair it with. If you offset a floral sofa with a graphic-border rug or a blocky coffee table, the couch will seem quirky-eclectic rather than Golden Girls.
3. Florals can go anywhere. You have an ornate Oriental rug in the living room: Does that mean floral pillows are out? No. Find a pillow that includes at least two colors from the rug and has an open print (lots of visible background). The common palette will make it work.
4. Mixing florals creates energy. The key to pairing prints is using a matching background color. Choose one large pattern and two small, thumbnail-size patterns that all share a white or off-white background, say, for a cohesive effect.
5. There is such a thing as nongirlie florals. While small prints in faded hues definitely feel feminine, bold florals, especially large patterns and those in vivid primary colors, can take on a modern-art vibe, which is generally more male-friendly.

Moving Checklist for Sellers


  Provide the post office with your forwarding address two to four weeks ahead of the move.
  Notify your credit card companies, magazine subscriptions, and bank of your change of address.
  Create a list of friends, relatives, and business colleagues who need to be notified about your move. 
  Arrange to disconnect utilities and have them connected at your new home.
  Cancel the newspaper, or change the address so it will arrive at your new home.
  Check insurance coverage for the items you’re moving. Usually movers only cover what they pack.
  Clean out appliances and prepare them for moving, if applicable.
  Note the weight of the goods you’ll have moved, since long-distance moves are usually billed according to weight. Watch for movers that use excessive padding to add weight. 
  Check with your condo or co-op about any restrictions on using the elevator or particular exits for moving.   
  Have a “first open” box with the things you’ll need most, such as toilet paper, soap, trash bags, scissors, hammer, screwdriver, pencils and paper, cups and plates, water, snacks, and toothpaste.

Plus if you're moving out of town be sure to:

□ Get copies of medical and dental records and prescriptions for your family and your pets.
  Get copies of children’s school records for transfer.
   Ask friends for introductions to anyone they know in your new neighborhood.
  Consider special car needs for pets when traveling. 
  Let a friend or relative know your route.
  Empty your safety deposit box. 
□ Put plants in boxes with holes for air circulation if you’re moving in cold weather.

Simple Tips for Better Home Showings


1. Remove clutter and clear off counters. Throw out stacks of newspapers and magazines and stow away most of your small decorative items. Put excess furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season clothing items that are cramping closet space. Don’t forget to clean out the garage, too.

2. Wash your windows and screens. This will help get more light into the interior of the home.

3. Keep everything extra clean. A clean house will make a strong first impression and send a message to buyers that the home has been well-cared for. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates, mop and wax floors, and clean the stove and refrigerator. Polish your doorknobs and address numbers. It’s worth hiring a cleaning service if you can afford it.

4. Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows to air out the house. Potpourri or scented candles will help.

5. Brighten your rooms. Put higher wattage bulbs in light fixtures to brighten up rooms and basements. Replace any burned-out bulbs in closets. Clean the walls, or better yet, brush on a fresh coat of neutral color paint.

6. Don’t disregard minor repairs. Small problems such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well-maintained.

7. Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, edge the walkways, and clean the gutters. For added curb appeal, place a pot of bright flowers near the entryway.

8. Patch holes. Repair any holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.

9. Add a touch of color in the living room.  A colored afghan or throw on the couch will jazz up a dull room. Buy new accent pillows for the sofa.

10. Buy a flowering plant and put it near a window you pass by frequently.

11. Make centerpieces for your tables. Use brightly colored fruit or flowers.

12. Set the scene. Set the table with fancy dishes and candles, and create other vignettes throughout the home to help buyers picture living there. For example, in the basement you might display a chess game in progress.

13. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light. Show off the view if you have one.

14. Accentuate the fireplace. Lay fresh logs in the fireplace or put a basket of flowers there if it’s not in use.

15. Make the bathrooms feel luxurious. Put away those old towels and toothbrushes. When buyers enter your bathroom, they should feel pampered. Add a new shower curtain, new towels, and fancy guest soaps. Make sure your personal toiletry items are out of sight.

16. Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. If that’s not possible, crate them or confine them to one room (ideally in the basement), and let the real estate practitioner know where they’ll be to eliminate surprises.

17. Lock up valuables, jewelry, and money. While a real estate salesperson will be on site during the showing or open house, it’s impossible to watch everyone all the time.

18. Leave the home. It’s usually best if the sellers are not at home. It’s awkward for prospective buyers to look in your closets and express their opinions of your home with you there.

5 Feng Shui Concepts to Help a Home Sell

To put the best face on a listing and appeal to buyers who follow feng shui principles, keep these tips in mind.

1. Pay special attention to the front door, which is considered the “mouth of chi” (chi is the “life force” of all things) and one of the most powerful aspects of the entire property. Abundance, blessings, opportunities, and good fortune enter through the front door. It’s also the first impression buyers have of how well the sellers have taken care of the rest of the property. Make sure the area around the front door is swept clean, free of cobwebs and clutter. Make sure all lighting is straight and properly hung. Better yet, light the path leading up to the front door to create an inviting atmosphere.

2. Chi energy can be flushed away wherever there are drains in the home. To keep the good forces of a home in, always keep the toilet seats down and close the doors to bathrooms.

3. The master bed should be in a place of honor, power, and protection, which is farthest from and facing toward the entryway of the room. It’s even better if you can place the bed diagonally in the farthest corner. Paint the room in colors that promote serenity, relaxation, and romance, such as soft tones of green, blue, and lavender.

4. The dining room symbolizes the energy and power of family togetherness. Make sure the table is clear and uncluttered during showings. Use an attractive tablecloth to enhance the look of the table while also softening sharp corners.

5. The windows are considered to be the eyes of the home. Getting the windows professionally cleaned will make the home sparkle and ensure that the view will be optimally displayed.

Source: Sell Your Home Faster With Feng Shui by Holly Ziegler (Dragon Chi Publications, 2001)

Chances are your home has appreciated in value


CHANCES 
ARE, YOUR
HOME HAS 
APPRECIATED
IN VALUE.


Did you ever imagine it would appreciate enough to finance the home you've always dreamed of? It may be time to move up.

Stress Free Moving: Tips to make this Daunting Task Easier


Moving is not easy. But just what exactly makes it so stressful? The house-hunting process? The piles of unpacked boxes in your kitchen? Maneuvering that behemoth of a moving truck?

The recent study asked 1,500 consumers who had moved in the past three months questions about 75 moving-related tasks. What makes something stressful isn't just how expensive, time-consuming or difficult the task is, but also how much more expensive, more time-consuming and more difficult the task was than expected. If a task cost more money, took more time and was significantly harder than a respondent originally anticipated, that task would have a high composite moving stress rating.

So which tasks had the highest stress ratings and how can you make them easier during your own move? Let's break down the top five:
1. Packing and Unpacking. You never realize how much stuff you've accumulated until it's time to pack it. And many items -- that treadmill you stopped using two weeks after New Year's, your bobble head collection, everything in your closet purchased during the '80s -- cause more stress to move than they're worth. Make packing and unpacking easier by donating unwanted items to charity. Not only can your donation be tax-deductible, but less stuff means less stress during the move.
2. Loading and Unloading a Moving Truck without Professional Help. If you forgo a professional moving service in favor of a DIY move, you're in for a lot of heavy lifting. Don't try to tackle this task alone. Reduce moving-day stress by enlisting the help of friends and family (bribery in the form of a six-pack and pizza usually works best). Also invest in moving tools like a dolly, hand truck and moving straps to make the lifting and hauling easier on your body. And just because you haven't hired professionals doesn't mean you shouldn't pack the moving truck like them. Use this diagram to load the truck with maximum efficiency. You'll avoid unnecessary trips and prevent shifting of items on the road.
3. Home Improvement Projects for New and Old Homes. Major home improvement and remodeling projects can be a serious financial investment and often take longer than anticipated to complete. Add to this the disruption they cause to your daily routine if you're still living in the house, and it's no surprise these projects ranked as the third most stressful. Whether you're repairing the roof on your old home before putting it on the market or tackling a bathroom renovation in your new home, hiring the right contractor can make the process less stressful. Read reviews to find a reliable professional; subscribing to Angie's List is a great place to start. Be sure to research discounts for subscriptions, as they are frequently available.
4. Searching for a New Home. Rent or buy? The 'burbs or the city? Which neighborhood? Settling on a place to call home is a huge decision, and one made all the more difficult if you're unfamiliar with your new area. Start your search early and, to simplify the process, identify the criteria you're looking for in a home. If you have children, being in a good school district might be a top priority. If you're relocating for a job, proximity to the office might be your number-one concern. Once you know what you're looking for, make trips to explore the neighborhood options and familiarize yourself with the area.
5. Compiling a Home Inventory. We've already established that you're stressing out about how much stuff you've accumulated and need to somehow pack into boxes. Now, add the task of documenting all that stuff -- from art and furniture to electronics, jewelry and more. It's overwhelming, but compiling a home inventory is crucial for insurance purposes in the event of fire, theft or natural disasters. It'll also help you keep track of what went on and came off the moving truck, as well as the condition of each of your possessions. To simplify the process and save time, use a pre-populated downloadable home inventory spreadsheet.

Painlessly painting your home’s exterior: helpful tips before you start.


Clean it up!
Use a low pressure hose to rinse weather stains, muck, webs, or other dirt off the exterior of your home. Be sure to move outdoor furniture, vehicles or other d├ęcor out of the way before you get started. This is especially important if you’re paying someone else to do the job—pay them to paint, not redecorate.

Fix it up!
You may need to finish some other stuff on the “honey-do” list before you get to painting, such as fixing small holes in the siding and repair cracks where moisture tends to collect. Be mindful of whether the issue is crucial to the pre-painting process, or if it is merely a cosmetic issue you can address later. But remember, fixing those little issues helps us talk up the house for you when you’re ready to sell!

Scrape it up!
Tools required: 1) Paint scraper. 2) Sander. 3) Tenacity.

Be careful! If your house was built before 1978, the paint may contain lead. Get the lead out! Go to www.epa.gov/lead for information on the hazards of working with lead-based paint and how to have it safely removed.

Prime it up!
Treat yourself: splurge on some high-quality wood primer – it will ultimately make your job easier

Mind the gap!
Get some high-quality caulk and close up any gaps, cracks or holes in the wood. This will keep air in, moisture and vermin out, and turn that paint job into the talk of the town.

Talk it up!
If you plan outsource your paint job, make sure you negotiate the details with your contractor. Put the conversation in writing for easy reference once you’ve reached an agreement about liabilities, delegations and pricing.

Keep it simple!
Think two-tone, not Picasso and definitely not Pollock. Don’t make painting your home’s exterior more work than it is worth, and stick with colors and designs that won’t seem garish in a couple years.

25 Quick, Cheap and Easy Home Sale Tips

If you want to get a home sold quickly and inexpensively, you should review these sales and design tips.

Even with rising values and reduced inventory in certain markets, selling a home remains challenging. Buyers expect not just a shiny new stainless sink but pruned hedges, freshly painted walls, glistening hardwood floors, and more. Making everything look great can cost a pretty penny, and many sellers won’t be able to afford all the suggestions you might make.

You can help them prioritize based on the condition of what’s needed most, what buyers in the area typically request, what competing houses offer, and — of course — cost. Here’s a list of 25 affordable, easy-to-make changes from top design and real-estate pros:

1.Add power outlets with USB ports in rooms that lack them, especially in the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms where they’re most needed. “Younger, more tech-savvy couples and individuals love them,” says Tyler Drew, broker and property investor with Anubis Properties Inc. in Los Angeles.

2.Eliminate acoustic popcorn-style ceilings since they look dated and tacky.

3.Remove exposed posts and half walls. Today’s buyers want more space, and partial walls and posts gobble up room. The only walls that should remain are those that offer privacy or conceal electrical wires or plumbing stacks.

4.Update wiring for the Internet and flat-screen TVs. You don’t have to run CAT-5 through walls, which can be costly and require opening and closing and repainting walls. Instead, find a place to put a wireless router, Drew says.

5.Clean carpets and wood floors since they’re often the first part of a room that buyers check out; you don’t need to replace them unless they’re in terrible shape. A good carpet steam cleaning or wood floor waxing can be relatively inexpensive, sometimes less than $200.

6.Expand a small kitchen to make it work better and look larger. Two quick fixes: Change the backsplash by adding mirrors, stainless steel, or paint, which will introduce light and views; and add an island, which requires only 30” between counters and the island to pass through comfortably. If there’s not enough room for an island, bring in a rolling cart with pull-out shelves underneath and a wood top, says Libby Langdon, an interior designer, author, and expert with Liebherr Refrigeration..

7.Clear out and clean a garage, a big selling feature.Power wash the floor or paint it if it’s in bad shape, remove dated cabinets, and remove all junk that’s been stored there, so prospects can see how much space they would have for their stuff.

8.Change out corroded or dented door knobs and levers. The replacements don’t have to be expensive but they should look new and clean, Chicago architect Allan J. Grant suggests.

9.Pay attention to landscaping, which can add 7 to 15 percent to a home’s value, according to HabitatDesign.com principals Jessy Berg and Bonnie Gemmell. Focus on mowing grass, removing crab grass, and eliminating dead plants and tree branches. “I’d rather have dirt and the potential to paint a picture for the buyers’ mind than a backyard full of dead plants,” Drew says. But if you have extra funds, consider Sacramento, Calif.-based landscape designer Michael Glassman’s ideas: Add lots of seasonal color through blooming annuals and perennial plants and remove problems like too much noise from traffic or neighbors by installing an inexpensive fountain with trickling water.

10.Paint exterior windows, doors, gutters, downspouts, and trim, then go inside and paint the home’s trim, doorways, and walls that are in need of freshening. Don’t worry about the colors but consider those that veer toward quiet and comfort such as Benjamin Moore’s Yosemite Sand, Edgecomb Gray, or Carrington Beige. “Gray is a hot interior color now,” says Manchester, Vt.-based designer Amy Thebault. Painting rooms other, lighter colors such as white, yellow, and beige help to bounce and reflect sunlight and use more natural and less artificial light, according to Chris Ring, vice president at ProTect Painters, a professional painting source. But in cooler months, Ring says, dark colors such as deep brown and blue absorb sunlight, thereby reducing heating costs. And don’t forget ceilings, which can be a “fifth wall.” You can improve them with paint or old-style metal or faux-metal tiles, says Beverley Kruskol, a general contractor and owner of MY Pacific Building Inc. in Los Angeles.

11.Remove outdated wallpaper, replacing it with paint and preferably a neutral color, says Shelley Beckes, ASID, CID, a designer with Beckes Interior Design in Los Angeles.

12.Remove, store, or discard excessive accessories on tabletops and walls and in cabinets. “Less is more, and you want the house to be seen by prospective buyers without the distraction of too many personal items,” Grant says. Some suggest following the rule of three: Leave out only three things on any surface.

13.Get the house inspected before it’s listed to know its condition and identify any structural issues that could derail sales. Many problems can’t be detected by an untrained eye, including those in a basement, crawl space, or attic, says BillJacques, president-elect of the American Society of Home Inspectors. “There might be roof damage or a plumbing leak. Many inspectors take photos and provide

Low-Cost Ways to Spruce Up Your Home’s Exterior


Make your home more appealing for yourself and potential buyers with these quick and easy tips:

1. Trim bushes so they don’t block windows or architectural details.
2. Mow your lawn, and turn on the sprinklers for 30 minutes before the showing to make the lawn sparkle.
3. Put a pot of bright flowers (or a small evergreen in winter) on your porch.
4. Install new doorknobs on your front door.
5. Repair any cracks in the driveway.
6. Edge the grass around walkways and trees.
7. Keep your garden tools and hoses out of sight.
8. Clear toys from the lawn.
9. Buy a new mailbox.
10. Upgrade your outside lighting.
11. Buy a new doormat for the outside of your front door.
12. Clean your windows, inside and outside.
13. Polish or replace your house numbers.
14. Place a seasonal wreath on your door.

Color that attract home buyers


Whether you’re ready to list your home for sale or you’re just beginning the process, there’s one crucial step to consider: paint colors. The colors you put on the walls can help make your home easier or harder to sell, so it’s well worth considering repainting before you put your property on the market.


But before you grab a roller, make sure you’re choosing colors that will help your home sell. Remember: the right colors will attract home buyers.

Colors that attract home buyers #1 - Not-so-boring neutrals

If you’re looking for a sure bet for all ages and income brackets, you can’t go wrong with neutrals. A soft beige is an easy sell – it adds warmth to the walls and gives buyers a chance to imagine the potential of the room. If you’re still living in the home, off-white neutrals are easier to keep clean while you’re in the process of selling.

Colors that attract home buyers #2 - Shades of gray

Gray is a fantastic alternative to beige for many reasons. A cool gray feels relaxing and soothing in a bedroom or bathroom. It’s a conservative but still chic color that appeals to many people, particularly older buyers, who may be seeking relaxation, rather than excitement, in their new home.

Colors that attract home buyers #3 - Wonderful whites

Although white seems like a default color, it’s anything but. There are hundreds of shades of white to choose from, and they each have benefits. A bright white makes any space look larger, while a warm white is inviting and cozy. White is universally appealing, and works especially well with younger first-time home buyers, since they’ll easily be able to repaint in their preferred color scheme after the purchase.

Colors that attract home buyers #4 - Beautiful Blue

There’s a blue hue for everyone, but to expedite the sale, stick to lighter shades. Go light blue in the bedroom for a peaceful oasis feeling, or choose a more energetic (but still pale) blue for kids’ playrooms. Blue makes a great alternative to more neutral colors if you just can’t stomach the thought of living in a blank white or neutral home until it sells.

Colors that attract home buyers #5 - Warm brights

If you’re dead set on using orange or yellow, make sure the tone is soft enough to maintain a neutral feeling. Many buyers balk at brights, since they take extra time and energy to repaint. Sunny hues work best in kitchens and other energetic spaces. Plus, warm tones are known to make people hungry – so confine your orange paint to the kitchen.

Colors that attract home buyers #6 - Easy earth tones

Earthy, rich colors like brown and green are best avoided when you’re trying to sell. However, depending on the neighborhood, lighter browns and greens could be appealing. Country homes do well with these rustic colors; just make sure you use them sparingly to avoid overwhelming potential buyers.

Painting a home is one of many steps to selling a home, but it’s also one of the most important. The wrong paint color can turn off potential buyers, so put some thought into the decision. Good luck and happy painting!