June 2017 - Comey & Shepherd Realtors

How to use color psychology to influence the mood of your home

(BPT) – Looking to make a few changes around the house? A fresh coat of paint can make a big difference on the look of your home and how you feel living in it. But unless you’re a color expert, it’s hard to know what colors are best among the endless array of options. A great place to start is by understanding the psychology behind various colors, so that you can achieve the look and create the effect you want in each room.

“Color is such an important factor in setting or improving our moods; it greatly influences human emotion and behavior,” says Dr. Sally Augustin, a color psychologist who applies science-based insights to how we experience colors. “The brain interacts with color in a variety of ways, from calming to energizing. By applying color psychology to your paint selections, you can make each room evoke the emotions you desire.”

Most people talk about neutrals like black and white, according to a new color study conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Sherwin-Williams through listening to social media conversation about colors mentioned with areas of the home. But when asked directly, the majority of participants say more vibrant colors should be used throughout the home, such as blue, red and green.

Based on this new research and Dr. Augustin’s insights on color psychology, here are some ideas on choosing colors for painting projects:

In the mood for blue: If you’re drawn in by beautiful blues, you’re in good company. Sixty-two percent of Americans select blue as one of the colors they like the most. This strong preference for blue is consistent across genders, locations and age, making a blue like Adriatic Sea SW 6790 a good choice if you’re considering more vibrant colors, or if you’re painting a room in a home that you plan to sell soon.

“No matter where you go on the planet, people are most likely to say that their favorite color is blue. In our primordial past, blue was linked to good things in our lives. It is the color of the sky on a fair weather day and also a color of a watering hole seen from a distance,” Dr. Augustin says.

Black comes back: It may be surprising that black is the second most popular color (32 percent), and is especially liked among millennials, at 41 percent. Many have fallen in love with darker tones again, and dark black like Tricorn Black SW 6258 and even charcoal, navy and deep jewel tones are all gaining in popularity, adding urban sophistication to a wide range of spaces, from living rooms to kitchens.

What green really means: Generations see green hues differently. Millennials associate it with energy (33 percent compared to 24 percent of Gen Xers and baby boomers). Boomers are more likely than millennials to associate green with calmness (26 percent vs. 20 percent). When it comes to the psychology of green, the color seems to enhance creative thinking, making a green such as Derbyshire SW 6741 a good option for a study or for a stimulating playroom.

Raving for red: According to Dr. Augustin, since red is also the color of many fine wines, painting a wall Rave Red SW 6608 in a dining room can appropriately call wine to mind. Red also offers people a burst of strength, making it an effective color choice for spaces like laundry rooms, where “heavy lifting” is done. According to the survey, almost half of Americans (49 percent) said the most associated emotion with the color red is excitement.

Cheery vibes with yellow: Forty-two percent of Americans associate yellow with happiness. The color yellow is also psychologically linked to physical warmth. Other golden colors that are a bit darker, such as Cut the Mustard SW 6384, would work in a kitchen dining area, as warm colors stimulate appetite and can make a space seem cozy.

What’s right about white: The top feeling most Americans associate with white is calmness (34 percent). In color psychology, white also signals cleanliness, so shades of white can be good choices for the bath, laundry or anywhere in your home that you want to add brightness.

Selling this summer? 6 upgrades to secure a speedy sale

(BPT) – When the weather warms up, so does the real estate market. Spring and summer are traditionally the seasons when both home buyers and sellers are most active across the country. If you’ll be putting your home on the market this year, simple, cost-effective upgrades can help ensure a speedy sale at a good price.
“In the world of real estate, it’s often necessary for sellers to spend a little on upgrades in order to achieve a satisfying home sale,” says Bethany Richmond, communications director for the Carpet & Rug Institute. “Fortunately, some of the most impressive upgrades, such as new carpeting, are also affordable. Such upgrades ensure that you don’t have to spend a lot to achieve a better selling price.”

Here are six easy-to-do upgrades that are both cost-effective and high-impact:

1. Replace carpet – It’s easy to see the impact of worn or dated carpeting. “If you don’t like looking at it, buyers won’t either,” Richmond says. “Replacing old or damaged carpet delivers impressive appeal for a modest investment.” New carpet is one upgrade that has a high ratio of value to cost. It substantially increases perceived value for homebuyers without requiring home sellers to spend a bundle. “Even less expensive carpet styles will freshen the look of a room and prepare it for sale,” Richmond notes. “You can get a lot more quality for just a little more money, she says, “and if you take advantage of spring carpet sales, installing new carpeting can cost even less.”

2. Clean flooring – If your carpet is still in great shape, then simply having it professionally cleaned can make it look even better. A deep professional cleaning helps lift tough soils and provides a cleaner, fresher look to rooms.
Not only is carpet a good value, it’s healthy, too. People with allergies or other sensitivities are installing carpet to improve indoor air quality. Recent studies support previous findings that carpet, when effectively cleaned, traps allergens and other particles, resulting in less dust, dander and airborne contaminants escaping into the air. To learn more about selecting and maintaining carpet, as well as how carpet is a good choice for people with allergies, visit the home page of the Carpet & Rug Institute at www.carpet-rug.org .

3. Repaint in neutral shades – Fresh paint is another smart and cost-effective upgrade for sellers. Buyers expect it, yet many sellers hesitate to repaint. Perhaps they like the existing colors or balk at the cost of professional painting services. Yet repainting in neutral colors makes a room look fresher and brighter, and gives buyers a visual “blank slate” against which to imagine their own decor. Do the work yourself and you can reduce the cost of repainting even further.

4. Update or upgrade lighting – You may find that disco-ball style globe light charming in your kitchen, but the average buyer doesn’t want dated or unusual lighting. Replacing dated or worn fixtures, especially in bathrooms and kitchens, is a cost-effective way to give a room a more up-to-date, contemporary look. If you already have newer fixtures, consider replacing incandescent bulbs with high-efficiency options such as CFLs or LEDs. Although they’re a bit more expensive to purchase, these bulbs last years longer – a selling point for buyers who will reap the value of not having to replace bulbs any time in the near future.

5. Install new faucets – A high-end faucet can completely change the look and usability of a kitchen or bathroom. In terms of cost versus value, an upgraded faucet, such as pull-out or even touch-free styles, can dramatically increase perceived value for a relatively modest investment. An upgraded faucet is a thoughtful touch that will set your home apart in buyers’ minds.

6. Replace hardware throughout the home – You may have already thought of upgrading kitchen cabinet knobs and drawer pulls, but have you also upgraded hardware in your bathroom or on the front door? These seemingly small items have a major impact on the overall visual effect of a home. In desirable rooms such as kitchens and baths, designer hardware can elevate the entire look of the room. And upgraded door hardware will ensure buyers have a positive first impression from the moment they enter your home.

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9 Things you should know about real estate

1. A home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay.

You may think all the time and effort you have put into your home before listing it, even what you paid for it previously, makes it worth a certain price. Even an appraiser may come in before you list and say it’s worth close to a price you like. But at the end of the day, it is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. They may think your upgrades don’t match up with the asking price. It may be that the home does need renovations and the asking price is too much to justify buying it and immediately pouring more money into it. A buyer would rather purchase a home at $125k, put $25k into it, and have it be worth $180k instead of buying a home at $180k that needs the same work of the $125k home.

2. Upgrades may not increase the value, but they’ll increase the chances of getting it sold.

It’s normal to think or hope that you’ll get back every penny spent on a home renovation. Unfortunately, in most cases you really only receive back a percentage of what you spent (or sometimes no hike in value at all). Different home improvements generally offer different returns, and that amount can vary depending on the area that you live in. Other factors include quality of craftsmanship and the personal taste of buyers.

3. Cleanliness is godliness.

No house is ever going to be perfect, especially with a dog in the summer, but it is important to make an effort to keep your home as clean as possible during listing photos and showings. You want potential buyers to remember what they love about the home after they leave, not talking about how much of a mess your home was instead.

4. Curb appeal is the first (and strongest) impression.

We all know what they say about first impressions. It’s hard for someone to change their mind after a bad first impression. Take a look at the front of your home. As a stranger, would you buy it? Just in case you’re biased, look next door. What about your neighbor’s home? Would you buy theirs? If no, imagine if they made it more presentable. Then would you buy it? Yes? Remove the kids’ toys from the front yard. Hide the trash cans and recycling bin. Mow the lawn and trim the bushes, especially before your professional pictures are taken! But continue to maintain the lawn for showings, and for the chance that someone might just drive by and notice the for sale sign in your yard. If you have shutters, make sure they’re all still attached and if needed, slap a fresh coat of paint on them. And don’t forget to pressure wash!

5. Pet odor and clutter leave the longest lasting impressions.

Just because we love our furry friends, doesn’t mean that everyone does. It’s hard to erase every piece of evidence that they exist in your home. No matter how many times you vacuum, there will be pet hair that you miss. Just make an effort. And if you can, hide their bedding and food bowls. Pet odor is extremely hard to hide, especially if you have a puppy learning how to be potty trained or a senile dog with a bladder problem. It might be worth your while to replace your flooring, or offer a flooring allowance in the deal. For now, stick a few air wicks in each room.

6. Neutral paint and decor will always appeal to the masses.

Get rid of those dark colors and bright purple accent walls now! That will stick out like a sore thumb in your listing photos before a potential buyer even schedules a showing of your home. The first thought going through their mind is, “How many coats of paint is it going to take to cover up that hideous color?!” Neutral is in. Neutral is always in. As for decor, minimal is best. Go ahead and pack any extra decor that is unnecessary while you’re trying to sell.

7. Time is of the essence.

Because we’re in a seller’s market, it is the perfect time for you to list your home if you’ve been considering it. Homes can barely be put on the market before there is a contract put on them. This being said, time is of the essence for buyers. If you fall in love with a house, you need to put an offer in now, and a good one at that. There’s no time to waste going home and talking about it or sleeping on it. That home might not still be on the market tomorrow.

8. Location! Location! Location!

Why does location matter so much? For starters, you can’t move a home — at least not easily or inexpensively. When you buy a home in a good location, it’s usually a solid long-term investment. It’s often wise to buy the worst house — a property that could use some TLC — on the best block. Why? Because fixing up a home in a great neighborhood will give you the best return on your investment. Quite simply, it will be easier to sell later on. Conversely, you can buy a beautiful home that doesn’t need any work. But if the block is sketchy or just plain bad, you could have a hard time selling the property at a decent price.

9. When priced right, it will sell.

Even if you’re in a hurry to sell and price isn’t your main concern, you still need a baseline to start marketing your home. One thing’s for certain: Pricing is one of the biggest decisions in the selling process. Set too high a price and you run the risk of turning off potential buyers. It also means your house will not compare favorably with other similarly priced homes. Even worse, buyers may not even see your listing when they search online since they will be using lower price points.

Please contact a Comey & Shepherd agent to help with any of your real estate needs.

Source: Lightersideofrealestate.com

How to Hit a Home Staging Home Run

When you’re selling your home you’ll have to maintain a certain sense of perfection. That means a home that is always well-organized, clean, open and all-around welcoming. For some people, this can seem challenging, but anyone can hit a home run if they know how to do it. Here are home staging tips to make hitting it out of the park easy and affordable:

It’s nothing personal but…

In a staged home there should be minimal personal items on display. Make family photos and similar items some of the first you pack away. Home buyers need to be able to visualize their furnishings and décor in the new space.  Creating a canvas of your space can help give them this ability, and can get you one step closer to closing.

Make use of mirrors

Mirrors add the illusion of extra space in a room. Put up a few extra strategically placed mirrors around your home and they will make the rooms appear larger. If you don’t have a mirror or two hung up, you can always pick up an inexpensive mirror or two at your local home furnishing store or perhaps a local consignment store.   They don’t have to last long, just until you close.

Sweep your surfaces

Counters and tabletops should be as clear as possible. Cluttered surfaces are a major turnoff for buyers. Pack away everything to leave your kitchen and bathroom countertops in pristine condition.  By keeping them as clear as possible, you’ll open up the room a bit and make it significantly more appealing.

People love light

Lighting can make all the difference in selling a home, in terms of appearance at least. Homeowners staging their properties should keep most of the lights on at all times, or at least as long as viewers are stopping by.  When photographing the property for the listing and marketing items, it’s especially important to ensure that the home is well lit.

A no-nonsense appeal

Neutrality is the name of the home staging game. It is important to make the property appear appealing to anyone who walks through the front door. Start by painting the walls neutral tones. Crazy colors may be fun while you’re living there, but they may be too much for some potential buyers.  The home should be as welcoming as a fine hotel, with all the necessities for comfort without the personal items that clutter the space.

It’s simple and affordable to hit your home staging out of the park if you follow the advice above. As long as you keep rooms appealing, well-lit, uncluttered and clean, they should keep potential buyers interested and eventually lead to a purchase. That’s ultimately how you know you hit a home staging home run.

Contact a Comey & Shepherd agent for more advice on preparing your home for sale.

Source: HMS Home Warranty