Realtor Redux: An amenity-rich home needs a little freshening up

Realtor Redux: An amenity-rich home needs a little freshening up

Our job as Redux Realtors is to make every home we sell look extraordinary. We offer our home sellers advice on how to make their homes show their best to prospective buyers.

In our latest Realtor Redux project, we are working with a long time homeowner who now wants to move to the beach to be closer to family. Having lived in the home for 38 years, the move will be exciting but bittersweet.

We want to help this owner freshen up the home by giving it a more modern feeling. We will be working with of a budget of around $3,000 and must choose wisely on which features to update to ensure costs don’t grow too high while achieving maximum impact.

The home sits on a cul-de-sac in an HOA community that features a swimming pool, greenbelts and nearby walking trails. With award-winning schools also in near proximity, this property offers lots in terms of amenities.

Situated on an elevated lot, the new owners will enjoy peek-a-boo views of trees and city lights. Inside the house boasts impressive vaulted ceilings.

But the carpeting is worn and in need of replacement. The wall paper makes the interior look a bit tired. These will be the main areas we focus on in this Realtor Redux project.

As-is we estimate the house could list at no more than $680,000. But with a budget of less than $3,000 and our few choice improvements, we expect to be able to list this home for $699,000. If all goes according to budget the up-front investment will return an extra $16,000 on the sale.

Check back soon for an update on our progress!

Home staging, real estate photography effective marketing tools for homeowners

Home staging, real estate photography effective marketing tools for homeowners

Selling a home in Orange County, or anywhere, you probably have a primary goal in mind. Sell the home for as much as you can in as little time possible.

Professional home staging and strong photography are two real estate marketing strategies that can help you achieve this goal.

Homeowners can go one of several routes in selling their home. For example, they can hire a real estate agent to guide them through the process. Or they can hire someone like Redux Realtors who does all that AND can advise on home staging, design and marketing.

Home staging expertise

Homes that are full of clutter or personal effects don’t show very well to prospective homebuyers. Neither do … let’s say “unique” color palettes or interior design styles.

The Los Angeles Times recently had a story about a high-end home in Beverly Hills that sat on the market for months. Finally, the homeowner brought in an expert who removed the clutter and personal effects, repainted in neutral colors and added some modern furnishings to complement the funkier pieces. The house went on to sell for $300,000 above list price, or $5.5 million.

Home staging is more than just arranging furniture. It requires an attention to detail and fashionable taste. And let’s face it, not everyone who’s selling their house possesses these two qualities. Even for those who do have a knack for home design, it still takes a lot of time. And time is a luxury for most people in Orange County.

That’s where someone like Redux Realtors comes in. We take average homes and make them extraordinary. By advising on things like color palette, the selection and arrangement of furniture as well as landscaping and curb appeal, we’ve helped dozens of clients sell their homes faster and often times for more money.

Strong real estate photography

In a separate article the Los Angeles Times wrote about a real estate photography study that Redfin did a few years back. Did you know a house priced in the $400,000 to $499,999 can fetch as much as $11,200 more just because the pictures included in the online listing are professionally done?

A beautifully decorated and landscaped home may show great in person, but keep in mind an increasing number of people search for homes online before they ever tour them in person. And when they see a listing with great pictures online, they get excited to tour the house because it looks really cool.

That opens them up more to the prospect of buying the home, especially if the person feels the house has all the right features.

We have relationships with excellent real estate photographers who capture your home in the best possible light. The right lighting and composition really makes a photo pop and make a strong first impression on a would-be homebuyer.

Realtor Redux: New carpets and interior paint create amazing transformation back at the California ranch house

One of the advantages of choosing Redux Realtors when it’s time to sell your Orange County house or condo is that we maintain our own growing collection of on-trend furniture and accessories that we’re able to use to stage your home at no extra cost – it’s included in our listing fee.

We encourage homeowners to take advantage of our literal warehouse of resources because studies show homes sell faster and often times for more money when they are professionally staged and marketed. We expect our latest Realtor Redux will be no exception.

We’ve returned to our California ranch home in Fullerton, which underwent a Realtor Redux before we brought the house to market earlier this week. The homeowner is a long-time resident who plans to move out of state to be closer to family, and we wanted to help make that move as easy as possible.

The house itself is in fabulous shape, and it’s also in a great location in North Orange County with distinguished schools and plenty of quality restaurants nearby. It has hardwood floors in its galley kitchen, which includes a breakfast nook, and it has a spacious covered patio and lots of yard. The house sits on a lot that’s more than 8,000 square feet.

With four bedrooms, one bathroom and two three-quarter bathrooms, this house could be the ideal home for a young family. We felt the house had a few aesthetic issues, though, that might cause pause with today’s homebuyers.

For example, when we first toured the house we noticed the dated wall paper in the bedrooms and bold red and blue paints on the walls. The carpets appeared fairly worn, and the oversized drapes were making the home feel smaller that its 2,056 square feet.

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing a color palette for your home that reflects your unique tastes and style, when it comes time to put your house on the market, it really needs to appeal to a broad audience.

Therefore, we painted the interior walls in a neutral beige and installed a contrasting neutral carpet throughout the bedrooms and living room. We also brightened the space by removing the drapes and valances. Initially we hoped to paint the kitchen cabinets but due to budget constraints opted to give the space a deep cleaning instead.

Initially we estimated this Realtor Redux to run between $9,000 and $11,000 out of the seller’s pocket. In the end, the cost came in at $10,300. Before our work here, the house could have been listed at around $600,000. We estimated a few weeks ago that our key improvements would allow us to place this Fullerton home for sale at $639,000. However, based on the final results and comparable properties in the area, we decided put it on the market for $649,800.

If the home sells at our list price, then that means a gross profit of $39,500 to the seller from an investment of $10,300. Not a bad return on the investment if you ask us!

Even more important than the potential financial gain we’ve reported is the feedback we received from our client upon seeing our final product. We are very pleased to say the homeowner and family were ecstatic to see their long-time home so nicely and professionally presented. We look forward to providing another update when the home sells.

Realtor Redux: Cosmetic improvements will help long-time homeowner appeal to younger generation of buyers

At Redux Realtors, we specialize in advising homeowners on which home improvements will return the most money when it comes time to sell. Many times our clients are move-up buyers or homeowners who are looking to cash out some of their home equity and move toward a downsized lifestyle.

On our latest project we’ll be working with a long-time homeowner who plans to downsize and move out of state to be closer to family. We want to help this homeowner earn top dollar when the home goes to market, which will help make that move a little easier.

As-is the house could list for $600,000. With a few key improvements, we expect to list at $639,000.

The house is a classic California ranch home in Fullerton that’s districted for Troy High School. Once we work our Redux Realtors magic, the property will be ideal for a young family looking to send their kids to a top performing school like Troy, known for its Troy Tech magnet and International Baccalaureate programs.

With that in mind, our aim is to freshen up this great house by removing some of the more dated elements that might deter homebuyers who are in their late 20s to early 30s. On top of our list is rejuvenating the interior walls. For starters, the existing wall paper has got to go. A fresh coat of neutral paint will replace the dated wall paper and will give the house a bright, clean look when it’s time to show it to prospective buyers.

The existing sea foam green carpets are also likely to give younger buyers pause, so we plan to install fresh carpets of a neutral color. And to brighten up the home even more, we’ll remove the existing drapes. If we have money left in our budget, we will also examine the cost of painting the kitchen cabinets to brighten that space as well.

All together we are working with a budget between $9,000 and $11,000. With this kind of money we can make several cosmetic home improvements that may otherwise create roadblocks in the minds of potential buyers. Thoughtful touches to a home’s aesthetic can help decrease the time a house sits on the market, increase the competition among homebuyers for a particular property and drive up the sales price.

Our suggested improvements will allow us to add nearly $40,000 to our asking price, an added gross profit to the seller of about $30,000. Not a bad investment if you ask us! Stay tuned for “after” photos and an update when the house hits the market.

VIEW OUR BEFORE-AND-AFTER PHOTO GALLERY >>

Jazz up your home’s curb appeal with smart outdoor lighting design

You’ve no doubt invested a lot of time and money into your home’s curb appeal. Perhaps you’re readying your home for market and wanting to make improvements that give your home an edge among homebuyers who are looking in your neighborhood.

Make sure your home shines as the brightest on the block, even after the sun goes down, by adding a few smartly placed lights to your landscaping. A well designed outdoor lighting plan can highlight your home’s best architectural and landscape features, improve your home’s security and extend the entertainment hours of your outdoor space.

Getting started...

There are tons of lighting options available — landscape lighting that showcases your plants, shrubs, trees and flowers; outdoor hanging lights; outdoor wall lights; outdoor post lights; flood lights; torch lights; cove lights. You get the picture. Choosing the right kind of lighting can feel overwhelming.

To get started on your outdoor lighting plan, first survey the exterior of your home and yard. Walk around your property after dark and take a flashlight with you. Take note of areas of visual interest as well as areas that pose potential safety threats.

Highlight your home’s best features

Outdoor lighting can create a glowing focal point out of your home’s best features. Techniques such as uplighting and downlighting create drama and enhance your home’s architectural features.

For example, upward facing bullet lights can be used to cast a warm glow over your home’s facade, highlighting various architectural elements such as porch columns, deep eaves and dormers. A weather resistant well light can be used to highlight the underside of foliage.

Use lighting to turn the front porch into a grand entrance. Installing wall sconces on either side of the front door and a ceiling pendant light is one idea. A well lit front porch not only extends a warm welcome to your guests, it also increases their safety.

Improve safety

When it comes to home security, proper lighting plays a big role. Deck and step lights help to illuminate walkways and stairways. Outdoor hanging and ceiling lights make it easier to see the front door. Motion sensors on lights help to deter would-be intruders.

Your outdoor lighting plan should also take into consideration those areas around your property that could pose a safety risk. Improperly lit walkways can create tripping hazards and invite intruders.

Install outdoor wall sconces or lanterns on either side of the garage. Use spotlights, lanterns and wall sconces to shine light into any areas of your home hidden by shadows at night. Flood lights can be used to illuminate a large area of yard, deterring would-be intruders and also making the space useful for fun after sunset.

Extend entertaining hours of outdoor space

The new generation of homebuyers want a space for entertaining where their dogs and small children are also welcome. They want barbecues and lawn games and an outdoor space where they can host all their friends (who also have dogs and small children).

Use sconces, pendants or ceiling fixtures around eating and conversation areas. Install task lighting on either side of the grill. Extend the sense of outdoor space by lighting a tree in the yard to draw the eye outward.

Having a home with outdoor space for entertaining is incredibly attractive to homebuyers. And by investing in a dramatic lighting plan for your outdoor space you can distinguish your home from other homes on the block without having to invest a whole lot of money.

DIY or work with a pro?

When planning an upgrade to your home’s outdoor lights, consider if you want to do it yourself or hire a professional. This is a very manageable DIY project that most homeowners can knock out over a weekend for $500 or less.

The Realtors Who Redux can assist you in developing an outdoor lighting plan and choosing the right kind of lighting to ensure your home looks appealing to prospective homebuyers day or night.

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