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Make Buyers Swoon With These 4 Summer Vignette Staging Ideas

July 3, 2019

KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock

Picture walking into your dream house and being greeted by inviting scenes of summer relaxation throughout. Maybe there’s a short stack of beach reads next to the pool, or a pitcher laid out with chilled glasses, all ready for you.

This is what vignette staging is all about: drawing in buyers with curated scenes that showcase your home’s top features. It’s even better if they evoke the mood of the season.

So if you’re looking to sell your house quickly this summer, keep reading to master these four fresh vignettes that are guaranteed to make buyers swoon.

1. A dreamy front porch


Photo by Houzz  
“Nothing says ‘welcome home’ like a well-designed front porch,” says Seattle-based interior designer Sherri Monte. “Whether it’s a hanging swing with accent pillows and throw blankets, or a pair of rocking chairs with a side table in between, a good first impression starts at the front door.”

Go the extra mile by adding several magazines or books with a decorative coffee mug or wineglass. Monte even suggests adding a small rug or accent greenery to complete the look.

“Vignettes work because they create a story in the buyer’s mind,” says Justin Riordan, interior designer and founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency.

Just by looking at your front porch vignette, potential buyers might imagine a summer afternoon relaxing in a rocking chair, or watching their children or grandchildren play in the yard.

“The story may or may not be true,” Riordan says, “but if we, as the seller, can make them feel desire for the type of lifestyle they crave, then we’ve done our job.”

2. An enticing entryway


Photo by JayJeffers
As the second space your buyer sees, the entryway is arguably just as important to focus on when selling your home. To ease buyers into the summer vibes, try pairing a large vase with freshly cut flowers on an entryway table.

“A tall vase, one that adds whimsical personality and maintains a transitional style with greenery, will create a light and airy vibe,” Monte explains.

Add a few soft-scented candles and a linen tea towel. Remember to limit the number of objects in your vignettes to avoid the scenes becoming overcrowded.

“Layer in tones and elements found outside during the summer, but don’t be afraid to leave a little breathing room,” Monte says. “Repeating colors and elements that we see outside is a great way to subconsciously create continuity.”

3. A fresh, breezy kitchen


Photo by Lowe’s Home Improvement 
Everyone loves a clean, fresh-feeling kitchen. So go ahead and throw open a few windows before the buyers arrive.

But don’t stop there. Summer is easily the best time of year to use colorful produce to your advantage—and not just while cooking. The next time you visit your local farmers market, make a plan to pick up a few extra-bright veggies or fruits for display in your favorite bowl.

Forgo the freshly cut flowers in favor of a small potted plant, something fragrant—like rosemary or basil. Place these items on a wooden cutting board or textured mat with folded cloth napkins to complete your countertop vignette.

Another great kitchen vignette is what Riordan likes to call “the drink setup,” which consists of an empty pitcher and six empty glasses on a tray with cloth napkins.

“This can be placed on a kitchen counter, and it speaks to having guests over on the front porch and preparing to have drinks brought out to them,” Riordan says.

A word of caution: “Do not—and I repeat, do not—fill the pitcher with liquid or fake liquid,” he says. “It takes the gentle whisper of the vignette and turns it into a desperate scream of fakery.” When it comes to vignettes, subtle is best.

4. The perfect backyard


Photo by Smith & Vansant Architects PC
If you have any outdoor space to speak of, you’d do well to consider throwing in an outdoor vignette or two.

“If your outdoor space has room for a dining table, why not set that table with a gingham tablecloth, picnic basket, and a set of outdoor dishes?” Riordan says.

For vignettes like these, stick to a single color scheme.

“If every outdoor vignette has multiple colors, it will appear chaotic in listing photos,” he says.

Another simple summertime vignette can be built around a hammock. String one up between two trees and add a pillow and a light blanket.

“Suddenly your buyer has a great place to read and relax,” Riordan says.

The final word

No matter which spaces you decide to stage, it’s good to have a central object and build your vignettes from there. A fire pit, for example, might call for some stacked wood, a lantern, and a cozy flannel blanket. The pool might do well with a lounge chair and a folded beach towel paired with a large brimmed hat.

Having a focal point keeps things from getting too chaotic.

“Vignettes are designed to be a bite-sized section of the overall home, so you want them to create cohesion and harmony,” Monte says.

Keep these guidelines in mind as you create the dreamy summer home your buyers can’t wait to get their hands on.

The post Make Buyers Swoon With These 4 Summer Vignette Staging Ideas appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

6 Reasons Why Winter Is Actually the Most Chill Time to Buy a Home

December 15, 2018

When the weather outside is frightful, trudging door to door to look at houses might seem like a fool’s errand. Everybody knows spring and summer are the home-buying seasons, and winter is the time when you—and sellers—cool it for a bit and take a break, right?

While it’s true that things do slow down in the winter, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, it’s cold. Yes, fewer homes are for sale. Yes, moving in a snowstorm is a pain no one should experience. But there are quite a few darned smart reasons to buy a home in the winter. In fact, we’d argue that this might even be the best time to buy a home—if you can. Here’s why.

1. There’s less competition

Not everyone’s willing to look at homes in single-digit temperatures. The months of May, June, July, and August make up 40% of existing-home sales, while January and February account for less than 6%.

For sellers, that’s not-so-hot news. But buyers should rejoice.

“Buying in the winter knocks out a large chunk of the buyer competition, allowing you to be a bit more selective with your home purchase,” says Cincinnati real estate agent Eric Sztanyo.

Sure, more summer inventory means there’s a better chance of finding your dream home. But your chances of successfully buying any home are higher when it’s chilly. Fewer buyers mean fewer all-cash, over-asking offers—making your traditionally financed offer more appealing.

2. Sellers are motivated—and willing to make a deal

Most likely, sellers listing their home in the depths of winter seriously want to sell. That gives buyers the upper hand.

“Many people place their homes on the market at this time of the year because they need to,” says Lauren McKinney, a Realtor® in Asheville, NC. “Many sellers are looking to get out fast and will be more willing to work with you.”

You’ll also want to keep an eye on each home’s “cumulative days on market,” which you’ll find on the home’s listing details page. It’s possible that the house has been lingering on the market—giving you more leverage to land a fantastic home for a fraction of the price you would have paid six months earlier.

“If you are buying in the winter, you may want to target houses that have been on the market for a few months, because you might just find a seller who is more motivated to accept a lower offer,” Sztanyo says.

But remember: Just because a seller’s eager doesn’t necessarily mean you should dramatically lowball or make unreasonable demands—you can sabotage yourself if you get cocky. Instead, work with your agent to determine an appropriate negotiation strategy.

3. You can put the house through its paces

In most climates, winter puts stress on the home. That gives you the perfect opportunity to evaluate the property under the worst conditions possible. A home that might seem perfect during the temperate spring could look wholly different in the winter.

“You’ll never know how drafty the windows may be or how weak the insulation is when previewing a house in the spring and the summer,” Sztanyo says. “Buying a house in the winter allows you to put the furnace’s ability to keep you warm to the test.”

Plus, you’ll get a better idea of what you’re in for on the home’s worst days: Is that driveway going to be a pain in the you-know-what to shovel? Do you spot ice dams on the roof? How does the home look with barren trees and shrubs? Just as you’d judge a first date who shows up wearing a track suit, this is your chance to be extra critical of a house you’re thinking of committing to.

4. Hiring movers is usually easier

No one can claim that it’s easier to move in the winter. If you’ve ever done it, you know it’s sheer misery to move all of your possessions in inclement weather. But the logistics are simplified when you aren’t competing with a hundred other moving households.

“Movers aren’t booked solid like in the spring and summer months,” McKinney says. “It’s not a bad time to move.”

You might even be able to negotiate a lower price because of the chilled demand. Just make sure to be flexible and allocate a few days’ window for moving—if your moving day falls during the next bomb cyclone, you might have to reschedule.

5. You can enjoy last-minute tax savings

If you’re purchasing your first home, buying in the winter gives you a few extra months of potential tax deductions.

‘The holidays are your last chance to buy that home and use it as a write-off for your 2018 taxes,” says mortgage banker Ralph DiBugnara.

Depending on your local laws, you can deduct mortgage interest, taxes, and points—although you should consider talking to a professional before getting too excited. The new tax law might affect your mortgage interest deduction.

6. Homes close faster

In the busy spring and summer months, your mortgage broker might be backed up days or even weeks—which is beyond frustrating when your closing is planned around your lender’s schedule. But during the holidays, DiBugnara says, things slow down by 25% to 30%.

“You will be able to close your loan much faster, as wait times are much shorter during the holiday season,” he says.

That means you’ll be cuddling up in front of that fireplace sooner than expected. Nothing wrong with that, right?

The post 6 Reasons Why Winter Is Actually the Most Chill Time to Buy a Home appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.