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Don't be too shy to spring for BOLD colors!

by Lorna Calder

Okay, so you may be thinking "I'm over these bland neutral walls!" Yes, you may also be thinking, I want to keep it neutral because some day we will sell and that will be more appealing but listen you purchased this house to be YOUR HOME, why not put a little of your personality into it! 

 

"When my husband and I purchased our home we went with the neutral "Greige" Wall (Gray/Beige) After being in a very gray world for a month or so, we decided we needed some splashes of color! So we did an accent wall in orange, yes I know ORANGE, in the guest bedroom, A lovely aqua accent wall in the Master's Bedroom following that into the Master Bath, then we went into the kitchen with a soft aqua. This brought so much more personality to our home" - Christina Terry (Client Care Coordinator, The Lorna Calder Team)

 

Here are some ways to add some color in a way that will make anyone comfortable! Listen, it's only paint, if you don't like it then paint back over with your neutrals!

 

Look to the Front Door

A bright color on the front door can be SO welcoming, mind you, make sure that it would be a good match with your primary house color an your brick/stone. The more popular colors right now are Red, Coblt Blue, yellow and coral! WOW Go Bold!

 

Matte is a better way to add color

Shiny and bold color can come off too harsh! Matte paint in a bold, dark color is much more palatable. Make sure to use a good primer to better support a dark matte color!

 

Rooms with more traffic? GO BOLD!

Kid's Rooms, Half Baths and Sitting rooms can use a bit more color just because they are all rooms that have more eyes seeing them. Why not show your personality in the rooms that are seen the most. 

 

Smaller rooms may be a good start

Starting with a smaller, more confined space make make the transition into the "color world" a little bit easier. Make just one wall an accent or paint the whole thing! Don't be scared to even paint the ceiling a bright or bold color! 

Some GREAT tips for Today's Home Seller!!

by Lorna Calder

Especially for first time sellers and/or those who have been in their home for a very long time, selling your home is an emotional process! Whatever your reason for Selling is, here is how to handle it!


FOR ALL SELLERS:

When you are a first time seller, it could be an anxious process because you don't know what to expect! Even experienced sellers could encounter uncertainty with the ever changing market. Follow these tips t help make the process worry-free and be sure to ask us ANY questions that arise, nothing is too silly!

  • Prepare your home. Get your home move-in ready and make an needed repairs. You may also hire a home inspector so you know for sure what to fix!
  • Prepare your mind. See your home as it is, a place to live. Try and remove all sentimental and emotional value from the home. 
  • Make your home available to show during the day. To help agents sell your home faster increase the accessibility of your home. Try to make sure at any time of the day, if someone wants to view it, they can.

 

Before buying another home:

  • Plan ahead to save time and money. If you sell your home before you are able you buy a new one, DONT WORRY! Count on me to find you a new home quick or a short-term lease!
  • Get PRE-APPROVED for a mortgage on your next home BEFORE you even go looking with us!

 

IF YOU'RE TRADING UP:

When families look to trade up, they usually only focus on the size of the home but there are many more factors and unique circumstances to consider while going through the selling process that you should know about. 

  • Buy or Sell first? You are probably thinking, "Should I sell my home first or buy a new home and THEN sell?" Please allow me to discuss the options with you and the outcome of all different choices to ensure you and your family make the MOST informed decision. 
  • Price it right. Many people would like multiple bids on the home so you can pick and choose to get the best and highest. To target the right buyers for your home, the price needs to be just right! To speed up the selling process, setting an accurate asking price will help you move on to the next chapter while still getting the most money!

 

Before buying a larger home:

  • Continue to shop for a home while your home is still currently on the market, never stop looking!
  • Create a list of must have and deal breakers for your next home and that will make your home search a bit more efficient and save time and money.
  • Consider the suburbs. If you want space at a budget price, consider rural or suburban areas where you may be able to get more home for you money!

 

IF YOU'RE DOWNSIZING:

The majority of folks who downsize are those who have retires, but there are many reasons why a home buyer would seek out a smaller home. Some would prefer to save more money on their mortgage and some don't want to deal with the hassle of maintenance. Whatever the reason for scaling down, you may also be focused on selling for profit to pay cash for your next home and stash some of that extra cash into savings!

  • Clear the clutter. Seeing that you are moving into a smaller home it may be a good idea to go through all of your belongings and declutter, tossing or donating items you no longer need or use! Remember, you may not have the storage in your next home that you currently have!
  • Update the interiors. Look, you dont need to go all crazy "fixer upper" on your home. Just the basics like a fresh coat of pain, removing brass fixtures and other small things can make a BIG difference. Also, trust in us! We know the market and what is trending so we can help you to make informed decisions about renovations that will save you money and get you buyers!
  • Hire a professional stager. Let be honest with ourselves, not all of us know how to decorate a home properly to speak to TODAYS buyers! You may not need it and well will let you know but we have references to some amazing and affordable stagers. 

 

Before buying a smaller home:

  • Don't write off a fixer upper. Depending on how much you sell your home for, you may have the money left over to hire a good contractor to improve the look and functionality of a bargain home!
  • Reconsider paying all cash. Instead of using home profits to pay for your new house outright, allocate a large amount for the down payment and take out a small mortgage for the remainder. Doing this gives you the liquid flexibility of cash in your financial plan as you get settled in your new home. 
  • Try before you buy, especially if you are moving out of town or downsizing a considerable amount. Renting a much smaller place in your desired location will help you determine the ideal size and exact place to buy your new home, before making a large investment. 

 

If you would like print outs of the PDFs to use or share click on these pages! PAGE1 or PAGE2

 

© 2016 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK OCTOBER MF S 

Are REALTORS® still needed to help Sell your home?

by Lorna Calder

 

Short answer, YES! If you're thinking about selling your home, don't do it alone! Although some sellers may initially try to sell their home themselves, they soon realize they need an experienced professional on their side to help them through the process. Here are 10 reasons you need a Real Estate professional to work for you!!

 

1. UNDERSTAND THE LOCAL MARKET

The internet gives you access to more information now than ever before. An experienced real estate professional, like me, is able to help you understand this information in the context of the local market and interpret what it means to sell your home. 

 

2. PRICE YOUR COME COMPETITIVELY

When you list your home, you want it to sell quickly and for top dollar. Having professional assistance will help you do both, especially in competitive markets. 

 

3. OPTIMIZE ONLINE MARKETING STRATEGIES

Buyers are savvier than EVER! To find the right buyer, we have to go where they are. We'll do more than put a sign in your yard to attract buyers; we'll utilize the latest online marketing tools to show your home at its best and entice buyers to learn more. 

 

4. TARGET THE RIGHT BUYERS

A marketing strategy means nothing if you're not targeting the right buyers. The first few weeks a house is on the market are vital. The longer a home remains on the market, the more likely a seller will have to reduce their listing price and/or offer incentives, such as a home warranty policy or assistance with closing costs, to attract buyers. A real estate pro has the experience and connections to find the right buyers for your home. 

 

5. GET MORE MONEY FOR YOUR HOME

All sellers want their homes purchased at the listed price, if not more. Studies show that enlisting the aid of an agent to sell your home will net you more money than trying to sell it yourself. According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the average for sale by owner (FSBO) sold $210,000 compared to an agent-assisted home sale which sold for $249,000.

 

6. NEGOTIATE IN YOUR BEST INTEREST

Buyers are looking for a deal on a home, and they'll hire an experienced agent to negotiate the sale for them. Having a real estate pro on your side will even the playing field and help you negotiate the terms of the sale with your best interest in mind. 

 

7. SPOT POTENTIAL CHALLENGES

Every real estate transaction is different. While we hope the transaction goes smoothly, setbacks and other hiccups often occur, and at the most inconvenient time. Sellers who have listed their homes themselves may not have the experience and know-how to deal with these issues as they arise; however, a real estate agent pro can tap into their experiences to handle potential problems, such as issues with a home inspection or problems with title, and mitigate their impact. 

 

8. OFFER TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR HOME'S VALUE AND MAKE IT MORE ATTRACTIVE TO BUYERS

​Seller typically update their homes before they list. While some simply paint each room a neutral color and do a thorough cleaning, others may do a kitchen or bat h remodel to boost their home's value and/or help it sell faster in a competitive market. What should you do to boost your home's value and give it the competitive edge in our market? Ask me!

 

9. TAP INTO A NETWORK OF AGENTS

I work alongside other local real estate professionals, and have a database of thousands who may have clients looking for a home just like yours. Marketing your home to other agents is another way to help us find a qualified buyer. 

 

10. TAP INTO A RICH NETWORK OF SERVICE PROFESSIONALS

Real estate professionals work with a variety of service and tradespeople, including contractors, landscapers, movers and more. There is an average of 26 services involved in a real estate transaction in the 30 days before and after it has closed; however, you may need to tap into these services long after the ink has dried. From a plumber to a gardener, a real estate pro can refer you to a reputable trades person in your local area. 

 


 

 

Here is a PDF version of our Flyer with all of this information if you want to share!

 

 

 

 

 

© 2016 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK JUNE MF S

What it takes to get your Home ready for Listing Photos!

by Lorna Calder

 

 

Let's get your Home marketed the best we can with these simple tips!

See below!

                                     

Below is a great comprehensive list for what a Seller can expect to be asked to do when it comes time for the Listing photos. We market your home with the utmost care and consideration. In turn we ask that you help us to get your Home seen as many times as we can by doing these simple things. 

 

Inside

General Areas of the House

  • Have all light bulbs working and turned on prior to the photographer’s arrival
  • Turn all fans off
  • Blinds down and open/window treatments pulled back
  • Hide pet related items including bowls, kennels, beds, toys, etc.
  • Place pets in a separate room or garage
  • Remove all seasonal decorations

Kitchen

  • Remove all magnets, photos, etc. from refrigerators
  • Hide garbages
  • Empty the sink and remove dish soap and cleaning supplies
  • Turn on lights above the sink, stove and under cabinets
  • Clear the kitchen counters, less is more

Bathroom

  • Hide all toiletries (shampoo/conditioners, soaps, toothbrushes, etc.)
  • Hide robes, dirty clothes and scales
  • Remove all rugs in the master bathroom

​​

Outside

  • Park vehicles away from the front of the house so they can’t be seen from inside the house
  • Absolutely no contractors can be working outside or inside the property at the time of the shoot
  • Mow grass and remove all debris from the sidewalks and driveways
  • Remove pet waste
  • Remove children’s toys including larger items such as trampolines, playhouses, sandboxes, etc.
  • Put garbage and recycling cans inside the garage
  • Roll up or store hoses
  • Hide any pet related items like chains, bowls, toys, etc.
  • Neatly arrange patio furniture
  • Remove and store pool cleaner, nets and chemical bottles
  • Cover or clean exterior of grills
  • Make sure water sprinklers do not run for two hours before (we need driveways and patios dry)
  • Remove all seasonal decorations

 

Twilight Photos

  • Park vehicles away from the front of the house
  • Turn all lights on inside and outside the house including pool and spa (no flood lights)
  • Turn all fans off on the inside and the outside of the house
  • Spa and water features on
  • Outdoor fire areas lit

 

Approximate times for photo shoots

Under 2,000 sq ft: 30 to 45 min
2,000 – 2,999 sq ft: 45 min
3,000 – 3,999 sq ft: 45 min to 1 hour
4,000 – 4,999 sq ft: 1 to 1.5 hours
5,000 – 5,999 sq ft: 1.5 to 2 hours
6,000 – 6,999 sq ft: 2 to 2.5 hours
7,000+ sq ft: 2 to 3 hours

 

When you are ready to put your home on the Market, please give us a call. We are ready to help you sell your home quickly and for the most money. With great photos, it will only make it easier! (281) 361-2280

Do you DIY or Hire a Pro?

by Lorna Calder

 

To DIY, or not to DIY, that is the question!

For good reason, DIY projects are in! They can save you money, be resourceful and give the "Weekend Warrior" a feeling of satisfaction from completion. With that said, DIY can go wrong, very wrong! Below are some things to consider when deciding if DIY is for you!

 

1. Do your Research

When thinking about a DIY project, do some research first. It may be a bit time consuming but trust me, it will save you a whole heck of a lot more time (and money) knowing that you need to just hire a professional rather than messing up a DIY project and THEN having to hire a professional. There are also factors like; Do I need  permits? Does my HOA allow this? Could it cause structural damage to my home? Yes, the videos and HGTV shows make even the hardest of projects seem so simple but we suggest you ask around to friends, neighbors, family members, or us and see if anyone has experience with these projects. If you are even just a bit confused or lost with the tools needed or the directions you have to follow...you may want to leave it to a Pro. DIY is something that requires full confidence. 

 

2. Think about your Interest and Skill Levels

When tackling a project, this should be the most simple question to ask yourself. You understand what the project is, the steps included, the tools needed but have you thought of the time it may take? Let's take building an entertainment center as an example. You may mess up on an angle, back to the Home Improvement store. You may put too much stain, now you have to sand it down again and re-stain. The stain itself takes a few coats, time needed to dry, the right temp and humidity levels to dry, etc. It can get pretty tricky if you don't think of these things ahead of time and map it out. You may need to preform an honest assessment of your skills (plumbing, electrical, etc), this is critical. You see these DIY projects getting completed in one day; well you may have kids that need attention, dogs or cats that step on your newly paved sidewalk, unexpected rain and other factors that play into time. A project you think will take one day may take 1 week! It is essential to plan and map it out before the project is started. If you can't live in a construction zone, this may need the help of a Professional. 

 

3. Projects cost money!

Again, this will play into doing your research. Research the tool rentals costs, the time away from work, the materials and then get a few estimated from local, trusted contractors (which we have many we recommend) for all of your projects. Then you can get an idea of if you really will save money or not! Also be sure to factor in overages for your DIY project, especially if it is a new project that you have never done, you may mess up, paint something wrong, cut wood the wrong length; then you will need more materials, which cost money. If you are totally confident and have it planned so well that there will be no to minimal mistakes, then go for it! If you think, hmm...I may not be able to do this or this may be to tricky, then leave it to the Professionals. 

 

Trust our Experience!

Christina has done multiple DIY projects in and out of her home, so has Lorna (A LOT) and Shannon has done some outdoor projects. We can give you advice on whether it would be cost and time effective to DIY it or to hire someone. We have a great list of Vendors with everything from Roofers to Bee Removal to Landscapers, that we use with the homes we Sell and Buy for our clients and would love to share it with you for any of your needs! Just give us a call, we are here to help!

 


 

Basic Home Improvements YOU can do to save money!

by Lorna Calder

 

Are the rise of water and energy costs taking a bite our of your wallet? Don't fret, there is hope! You may be able to save on your Utility Bills with these simple home improvements.


WATER

1. Go Low Flow - Low Flow faucets and shower heads can help reduce your water consumption. You may be able to cut usage by 50% and save as much as $145/year!

 

2. Fix Leaks - That seems like an easy one! These leaks will rack up some serious cash if not fixed immediately!

 

3. Go Tankless - Going tankless can be a great upgrade to help save on costs! And as a bonus you will never run out of hot water!


ENERGY

1. Rethink your insulation - You can reduce your cooling and heating by up to 20% with good insulation. 

 

2. Manage the temperature automatically - Imagine this; Coming home to a perfectly cooled or heated home...yes sounds wonderful and you can have this! A programmable thermostat will save you money and help keep you comfortable.

 

3. Seal up drafts - Does your home get hot in the summer and cold in the winter no matter what your thermostat is set to? This could be due to drafts around doors, windows and other openings in your home. Caulk it up and apply weather stripping where needed! Drafty windows and doors cause up to 30%-40% of heat and cooling loss!

 


You can download or open this PDF, BASIC HOME IMPROVEMENTS, to get more in depth percentages, numbers and solutions to help save YOU money!

Hot Home Color Trends for 2015

by Lorna Calder

It’s a strategy interior designers often use to create stunning rooms that wow the instant someone enters them: the use of creative color. Homeowners looking to deliver impressive interior style can take cues from what will be the trendiest hues of 2015 and beyond.

Homeowners can convey a variety of emotions in their favorite rooms by embracing different color palettes. From the sweet charm of pastels, to the comfortable ambience of neutral tones, to majestic deep and bright tones, 2015’s top color trends include:

Dreamy tones – Fantastical pigments like teal, charcoal and eggplant evoke a sense of wonder. Escape the everyday and recharge with dream-like shades in the master bedroom. Pair them with crisp white trim and opulent gold or zingy citrus accessories.

Frosted pastels – Soft blues and greys replace traditional pastels. For high contrast in the living room, combine these muted colors with striking accents, like ebony fireplace tiles or mauve window treatments.

Vibrant hues – Set the stage for lively conversation in the kitchen with energetic, attention-grabbing pure shades like red, blue, or orange. Balance brightness with grey on adjoining walls.

Nuanced neutrals – Weathered, rustic colors, like pea green and copper, bring a dusty earth palette to a whole new level. Marry function and comfort in the guest bedroom with a mix of sandy beige and soft burgundy in the guest bedroom. 

Lorna Calder is a RE/MAX Broker Associate helping home buyers and sellers in Kingwood, Atascocita, Humble, The Woodlands and Houston. Ranked in RE/MAX Top 500 for 2013 and 2014 YTD, and #7 in 2013 at RE/MAX Associates Northeast, Lorna continues to exceed her clients expectations by delivering Outstanding Service That Moves You.

Licensed content reprinted with permission. Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

 

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