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April 2016


Whether you are looking to buy or sell, I can offer the highest levels in real estate expertise and professionalism. Don’t hesitate to contact me and allow me to help guide you through that process!

Wendy G Brown
REALTOR®, Seniors Real Estate Specialist®, Certified Seller Representative Specialist, Certified Home Marketing Specialist   |   Direct: 770-298-4437



Itemize What You’re Taking With You

When striking a deal to sell a home, Be sure you are perfectly clear about what you are taking with you and what you are leaving behind.

“Real” property: The general rule is that if something is attached to the structure or the ground, it stays with the house. If removing the item would ruin or disfigure the walls or you need tools to remove it, it generally stays. Legally, these are called fixtures, which include everything permanently attached to the property such as a fence, built-in appliances, ceiling fans, flowerbeds and shrubs.

“Personal” property: If you can disconnect, unhook or detach it with bare hands, it’s free to leave when you do and shouldn’t be assumed as part of the sale. This could be furniture, potted plants, free-standing appliances, outdoor grill, etc.

It’s a good idea to not show your home with anything you’re planning to take. It’s better to replace them. Every agent has a story about a deal falling through due to an argument about what a buyer thought was staying. Walk in each room with your agent and make a list of things that you’ll be taking with you.

However, if you decide to leave curtains, chandeliers or are open to giving up outdoor furniture, it may just help with a sale. Buyers appreciate getting something for free. A savvy agent will hint that fixtures and furnishings are negotiable. Unless they are really important, let them go with the home. Use them to get the price you want and then replace the items in your new home.

By itemizing and discussing items, there will be no miscommunication on closing day.


Staying on Top of Rugs

Rugs help warm a dreary room, add a splash of color to a dull space, tone down a room with strong, bright colored furniture and create a new look to almost any room. Plus, it’s a quick fix to any floors that may need replacing.

  • Persian rugs can cost thousands of dollars, but many rugs can be very affordable.
  • Leather rugs add depth and complement traditional, rustic styles.
  • Wool rugs are warm, sustainable and a great way to add a natural accent.
  • Shag rugs add dimension and coziness to an otherwise flat room.
  • If you anticipate lots of traffic and wear, consider a patterned rug to hide stains.
  • A wool rug is easier to clean than other fabrics.
  • A jute rug is a perfect indoor/outdoor fabric for enclosed patios and outdoor rooms.

An inexpensive way to dress up a room is with area rugs. They come in a wide range of colors and designs and provide warmth and comfort. They can also help absorb sound in a room. The shape should mirror the furniture or room size. For example, a rectangular dining table should have a rectangular rug underneath. Likewise, a round dining table should be paired with a round rug.

Interior designers say to never cover the entire floor with an area rug; leave at least nine inches of the floor exposed. A small rug right in front of the entry door is acceptable. A dining room rug should be large enough to accommodate the legs of all chairs. Be sure rugs don’t cover vents or keep doors from opening.

Correct placement of rugs can give your home a distinctive look and added dimension that potential buyers will remember.


Staging in the Spring

Any professional home stager will tell you that the basic principals remain the same throughout the year—keep things clean, clutter free and colorful. But springtime has its own special set of rules. There are a number of things you can do both inside and out to take advantage of the beautiful weather:

  • Add splashes of color to your porch with potted flowers. Larger pots filled with tulips or daisies and accented with greenery makes a nice touch. By introducing seasonal colors to the outside, your home becomes very attractive to prospective home buyers.
  • Bring spring colors into a home with accessories like throw pillows, area rugs, artwork, towels and bedspreads. If you change accessories, the whole house changes.
  • Use decorative knickknacks that speak of spring, such as pears, eggs, and seashells. Add leafy patterns in fabrics and wicker. Use real leather and rusted metal as contrasts.
  • Replace the drapery panels in a home or office.

All rooms are important. There are ways to liven up each as the spring season blooms. You want the buyer to absorb the whole house, not just one or two staged rooms, so it’s important to create a cohesive design.

And how about the great outdoors?

  • Remove fallen leaves and dead plants.
  • Add bright, new plants where you can.
  • Trim bushes and hedges.
  • Scour outdoor furniture.
  • Sweep porches and patios.

Indeed, spring brings more buyers, so take advantage of all that the season has to offer.


What is a Takeaway?

Consumers frequently base buying decisions on emotion. They then use logic to rationalize those emotional decisions. Homesellers, working closely with their real estate agents, prepare their homes to evoke positive and personal emotions. An important tactic is to create “takeaways” to keep those fond memories resonating in prospective buyers.

The Letter:

Consider writing a personal letter from you describing your experience of falling in love with the home when you were the buyer. The letter could describe the warm friendships you’ve established in the neighborhood. Or it could recall joyous holidays around the home with pictures taken during special times.

Recall a memorable moment of coming home after the birth of a child or after a vacation. Buyers can relate to these things emotionally. They reinforce positive feelings buyers experienced in your home. To satisfy their logic, describe the loving care you’ve given the home.

First touch upon the emotions, then appeal to buyer’s rationality.

List remodels, updates or upgrades you’ve done and include anything that gives buyers a sense of confidence in your home’s current condition. Be sure to mention any pricey features you’ve added.

The Brochure:

Another effective takeaway is a brochure using high-quality color photographs of your home’s interior and exterior. Add captions or short descriptions that help buyers remember. Again, appeal to the buyer’s logic—a descriptive sentence followed by a list of key marketing details and the tender loving care you’ve given as owner.

If you’re good at writing warm personal letters or if you have the ability to create a professional-looking brochure, it’s quite acceptable to save money by doing it yourself. If not, turn to professionals to create compelling takeaways that ensure a lasting emotional connection with buyers.

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