Fall In Love With Your Home Again

I meet with a lot of clients who are interested in selling their homes, and some of them don’t have the same enthusiasm for their homes that they did when they first moved in. Their homes have become personal-energy vampires, depleting their energy when they should be restoring it. Given all the energy suckers in our lives, our homes shouldn’t be one.


Because we’re in control of how our homes look and feel. Clearing the clutter and freshening the look can make a big difference in how you feel about your home and as a result, your energy. In addition, if you’re even thinking about putting your home on the market in the next three to five years, the time to update is now so you can do it over time, spreading out the investment in time and money.

So, in honor of the month of love, here are my top ten tips for how to fall in love with your home again—and to some extent your life.

Clear the CLUTTER!

By far, my number one tip to restore is to de-clutter. Go full-on Marie Kondo, if her method is one that works for you. I have friends who swear by it! Go through all your belongings—and I mean all—and only keep the ones that make you happy or items you think will help you accomplish a goal. We buy houses Winter Garden

You don’t need to take on everything in your home all at once. Take it one step, one category, at a time. Start with clothing, move to glassware, then décor, etc. And either donate or sell what you no longer want. There are many good online marketplaces for selling your goods or for donating to people in your community; the ones on Facebook are particularly easy.

Give it a fresh coat.

Paint is the number one way to freshen the look of a home. Whether light and airy, warm and cozy, or bright and bold, wall color has a huge impact on the feel of a room, so it’s important the color reflects how you want to feel when you’re in a space. However, if you plan on selling your home in the next few years, choose on-trend colors buyers are seeking. My paint color recommendations for 2019 are still on point for 2020.

Create light.

Yes, that’s right. Light and light generated from reflective surfaces can create the illusion of extra square footage. Incorporate mirrors, glass, ceramic tile and even high-gloss paint to reflect more light.

Although, don’t over do it, as too much shine in one room can create a jarring effect. And let go of the heavy drapery. It keeps light out. Use light-colored drapes made of light fabrics such as cotton, silk, or linen, or consider no drapery at all and install light-colored window blinds for privacy. Top-down, bottom-up blinds help provide both privacy and light.

Fix the little things.

You know what I’m talking about. Those things that have been annoying you: the scuffed woodwork; the dirty, worn stair runner; the painted hinges; the squeaky steps. If you don’t have the skill or the time to take this on yourself, make a list and call a good handyman. Your Realtor should have a recommendation for you. I have a recommended contractor list for my clients, and they love it. Once these things are off your list, you’ll be happy they are fixed, and they can add up to a big sense of accomplishment.

Renovate a room.

Pick just one at a time. What’s the one room in your home you either don’t want to be in or when you walk in you always drag? Give some thought to what room would be worth the investment, as well. As I always say, kitchens sell and bathrooms follow.

However, these rooms usually require a bit more investment so if they are not on the top of your list or you’re not ready, and it’s your bedroom that’s dragging you down, by all means, get out that paint can. install new lighting, clear the clutter, buy new linens and rearrange the furniture or even buy a new piece. However, if you’re ready to tackle the kitchen but not a full remodel, think: countertops, appliances, hardware, and lighting!

Replace hardware and fixtures.

Changing your kitchen and bathroom hardware and fixtures can be an easy and relatively inexpensive way to freshen your home’s look. Still have shiny brass? It’s time to get rid of it. Matte brass is definitely on-trend. However, if aged bronze looks great in your Tudor and makes you happy, keep it but make sure it reflects today’s styles. And if you want to step this up a notch, high-end faucets are a luxury home buyers look for.

Hire a re-designer.

I’m not talking about someone to redesign your home, but someone who will help you rethink and rearrange. Sometimes you need a fresh perspective and an expert can really help. Some designers are pros at rearranging what you have and recommending new paint colors. They may recommend you change out a couple of pieces, but that’s something you can do when the time is right for you. However, if you plan to list your home for sale within the next year, this is a service your Realtor’s home stager can perform for you. We do it all the time for our customers.

Say goodbye to your carpet. If you’re still hanging onto carpet, let it go in favor of hardwood floors. There are tons of benefits. They are easier to clean, are super durable and long-lasting, are less likely to harbor allergens, look great and have tons of resale value. Yes, it can be costly but worth the investment. And yes, it’s a lot of work to move your items out of a room (which is also a good time to clear the clutter or let that old sofa go), but a mobile storage container can make it a lot easier, or you can use one of the many local storage facilities in the Milwaukee area.

Re-grout tilework.

The grout in your bathroom a little grungy? Installing new grout can completely transform some bathrooms, giving your old tile new life. Consider consulting a designer, a professional tile setter, or your Realtor’s home stager on grout color. You’d be surprised how the right color will make your tile look like new.

Don’t forget the forgotten spaces.

Garages and basements often are neglected when thinking about freshening a home, but considering how often we’re in these spaces, we should give them lots of attention. A well-organized garage will go far in improving your psyche. Give these spaces the love they deserve by both clearing the clutter and organizing what remains. Many local hardware stores and the big box DIYs have loads of containers, shelves, and hooks to help you bring out your best in these spaces.

I hope this has inspired you to give your home a little love; it’ll come right back to you in the difference it makes both to your energy and resale value. Good luck, and if you’re looking for some advice on the home improvements to take on before you list your home, don’t hesitate to give me a call.

Get The Best Price For Your Home

Pricing a home may appear to be a simple task. Observe the last 6 months of comparable sales in your neighborhood, go to Zillow and get a Zestimate and price your home accordingly, right?

Perhaps it used to be that simple, but there has been a very big shift in buyer preferences in the housing market over the last five years that makes pricing a home more difficult today. The big “it” factor is now condition. Buyers want a home in a move-in ready condition much more over the location, and the condition can be subjective. Getting a thorough assessment from a real estate broker to help price your home accordingly in today’s changing market will be essential to every seller’s success. No computer generated home pricing model can price your home on the “now”, for that you will need a visit from a local real estate expert.

So what does a real estate broker observe in pricing a home that a computer-generated analysis cannot do? Here is a helpful checklist for sellers on pricing your home as we move into a changing market:

Price Your Home on “The Now”!

This is my favorite expression to sellers when completing a market analysis of a prospective seller’s home. Pricing on the now means the broker observes the current market conditions to price your home. For example: If I am invited to a Wauwatosa home to price a home, I am using past sales as a benchmark, but I am pricing the home on the current market conditions. This is a more accurate way to help the seller’s get their best price. If I am listing a home for $349,900 and there are 10 other homes in Wauwatosa at $349,900, I am may go below the current market value to generate my seller’s an offer against the competition. If there is only one other comparable sale, and the sellers have a great property, I may be more aggressive to get them above market value. When you price on the now you get the best results for the seller because you observing the current market conditions and not only past sales history to price the home correctly.

Time Your Home Sale

If you miss this window to sell your home, you may be looking at a much lower price or a longer sales process than you anticipated. Fall home sales in the Milwaukee Metro Area are slow. They will be especially slow in the fall of 2019 because we had a very tough winter. Wisconsinites play in the summer. The two best times of the year to list your home are early spring (January to March) and early fall after the kids go back to school.

Prepare your Home

The condition is so important right now and unfortunately for sellers, a very subjective observation. A computer-generated market analysis based on square footage and location will most likely be inaccurate because it cannot assess condition. Making an educated, well-informed observation on your home’s condition is a key factor in pricing your home correctly today and requires a seasoned human consultation. A top producing broker who shows several homes a day in your market will have the knowledge you need to price the home accurately. Experience is the key here.

I have several blogs on preparing your home for sale and staging that offer helpful tips for sellers.

Every buyer wants a move-in ready condition. The condition of your home supersedes location now as the number one driver in a successful sale. This is the big shift and you do have to play to get your best price. So, get out the paint and neutralize every room of your home. Make sure you fix every little repair. Have a realtor consult with you on paint, clutter, junk removal, and staging. We buy ugly houses in Garland Texas.

Listen to the Pricing Advice of Your Realtor

When you are ready to move onto the next phase of your life, price the home based on the advice of your broker and the current market conditions. Remember that the housing market changes every day. Microeconomic local changes can have a big impact on your sale. New school referendums that raise taxes, big news stories about environmental changes locally, increased levels of crime, and falling school rankings impact your home sale. Your real estate broker will inform you of the pros and cons of each of these local developments and advise you accordingly.

2020 marks the beginning of a changing real estate market. This will be a watershed year for the real estate industry. It is important that sellers get out early to get their best price in what may be their best price for years to come. Luxury sales throughout the Metro Milwaukee area are soft. Be aggressive with your price if you are above $500,000 and make sure you have a seasoned broker handling the sale of your home. Listen to your broker on pricing strategy to have the best success and prepare your home for sale to get the best price for your home.