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Curtain Call: 3 Surprising Ways Drapes Can Help Sell Your Home

July 30, 2019

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If you thought your curtains couldn’t be used for much more than hiding from nosy neighbors, think again.

Curtains are one of the most underused resources when preparing a home for sale, experts say. The right set of curtains or drapes can make or break some home sales—especially when it comes to transforming a room into the staged version you want your buyers to see.

Keep reading to find out the unexpected ways curtains can help you sell your home, and how to choose exactly the right ones for the job.

1. Curtains can block outside noise

Whether it’s the busy city street outside your apartment or the neighbor’s never-ending string of construction projects, a good set of drapes can do more than add a pop of color to your drab living room—it can also help mute the unwanted noise.

“The key is to refocus buyer attention to the positive aspects of the room,” says Caroline Carter, founder and CEO of Done in a Day. As opposed to, say, the sounds of traffic or babies wailing in the next home.

To properly block any noise from the outside, Carter recommends using a combination of neutral linen curtains and 1-inch plantation blinds or shutters.

Hang the drapes 3 inches to the sides of the window frame to avoid blocking natural light—starting just under the crown molding, all the way to the floor, she says.

But when using curtains to hide your home’s less-than-desirable features, it’s important not to lose sight of staging basics—like preserving as much natural light as possible.

“The combination of drapes and blinds will deaden outdoor noise and dress the window so the buyer is focusing on the natural light and the value of the blinds rather than the outdoor noise,” Carter says.

2. Curtains can hide ugly wallpaper or paneling

Maybe you inherited it, or maybe you chose it. Either way, we’re not judging—but buyers will.

It’s hard to fall in love with a home if certain features are detracting from its charm. So if you don’t have the means to get rid of the ugly wallpaper or paneling, at least do yourself a favor and cover it up.

“To remedy the look of paneling or wallpaper, install a fabric or curtain wall,” suggests interior photo stylist Bonnie Aunchman.

To get started, Aunchman recommends investing in quality fabric and having it measured precisely—by a professional, preferably. You’ll want the fabric grazing the floor when all is said and done, and not an inch higher, lest your buyers catch a peek of what you’re trying to hide.

“Have curtain tracks installed,” she says, “or if your budget doesn’t allow, you can achieve this look by using rods—just ensure they are as close to the ceiling as possible.”

To get an even more finished look to your handiwork, consider adding wooden or fabric-covered valances to conceal the curtain rod.

Aunchman also recommends staging furniture and a rug around the draped wall to make it look more natural in the room, and not as though something is being hidden.

“Draped walls are often done intentionally and can be beautiful,” she says. “Style your wall like it’s an element you intended to do!”

3. Curtains can make a small space feel larger

By now you’ve probably caught on to what’s considered proper curtain-hanging etiquette: That is, they should reach all the way to the floor. But did you know that you can make your house look larger by investing in curtains that are even slightly longer than what you would traditionally need?

If you have a few small rooms that need an extra bit of staging help, drapes can really come to the rescue on this.

Rather than buying curtains that start at the top of your window, opt for something longer and install the rod several inches above the window. This will give your buyer the illusion of a room with higher ceilings—and make it look much larger.

While you’re at it, extend your rods out past the window so that your windows appear larger, Aunchman says.

Just be sure your curtains look top-notch before the install.

“While it may seem that everyone would do this, make sure you steam out all the wrinkles after you unwrap your curtains—they have the obvious packing creases that need to be steamed out to drape beautifully,” Aunchman says.

How to find your perfect curtains

When selecting curtains to stage your home, there are a few important rules to follow.

“Select drapes that are up to date with the style of room as well as the style of the home,” Aunchman suggests.

And stick to neutral-hued drapes without loud patterns or geometric designs, she says.

“You want potential home buyers to focus on the home, not the drapes,” she explains.

To get started finding for your perfect curtains, check out stores like Wayfair (where you can shop for Aunchman’s go-to drapes) and J.C. Penney—which has a window treatment department that can help you kick off your custom window projects.

The post Curtain Call: 3 Surprising Ways Drapes Can Help Sell Your Home appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Yes, You Can Even Feng Shui Your Yard for Maximum Curb Appeal—Here’s How

February 8, 2019

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We’re sure you already know that using the tenets of feng shui can result in a home that hums with harmony. But while you might think of this ancient Chinese philosophy as a way to improve your indoor space, you might not realize it can be directed toward your home’s exterior, too.

Good feng shui outside allows you to welcome visitors peacefully—and even entice potential buyers.

“Curb appeal is an important feng shui principle because the energy that a house exhibits from the outside can attract prosperity and good fortune—such as buyers,” explains Anjie Cho, a feng shui educator and author of “108 Ways to Create a Mindful and Peaceful Home.”

Ready to take the feng shui outside? Here are seven spots to focus on when it comes to your home’s curb appeal, and the feng shui reasoning behind each one.

1. Front door

Photo by Rachel Greathouse 

A focus on your entryway is key because this spot is the main portal for energy to enter your home.

“Feng shui dictates that a welcoming doorway calls both energy and opportunity into the home and the lives of those who live there,” says Trisha Keel, director of education at the International Feng Shui Guild.

If your entrance can’t be easily found from the street, try to figure out why (you might need to get bigger house numbers or trim back some bushes). If good energy, or qi, can’t find your door, a buyer won’t either, Cho adds.

“Paint the front door red, which is an auspicious color in feng shui that attracts the eye,” Cho suggests.

And don’t forget about the walkway or sidewalk that leads to your home, points out Katie Weber, a feng shui practitioner and creator of the Red Lotus newsletter. Both should be in good repair because, like a flowing river, they bring beneficial energy to the house.

2. Plants and flowers

Photo by Mirage Landscape 

To boost your curb appeal, you probably already know some of the old tricks—like adding lush plantings, blooms, and colorful trees to your yard and front stoop. But following these tips does more than pretty things up.

“Flowers are the yang [positive] expression of a plant, which indicates its health and confers it to the home,” Weber says.

In fact, if you focused on feng shui only outside your home, it would be enough to raise your house’s overall energy and bring in growth and vitality, she explains.

Not the season for planting where you live? Keel recommends bushes and grasses in front, with seasonal color in pots at the door.

But a word of caution: Nix any kind of cactus in your planters.

“Avoid pointy plants at the entrance, as they foreshadow pain within.”

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Watch: 5 Genius Landscaping Tricks That Will Pay Off in Spades

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3. Exterior paint

Photo by Vic’s Masonry LLC

“Peeling paint indicates problems coming to light,” Keel says, so make sure to tackle any problem areas before an open house.

Good feng shui depends on a house that’s in the best shape, so be sure to keep up with small—but significant—maintenance tasks.

4. Lawn care

Photo by Tom Howard Garden Design and Landscaping 

A pristine lawn that’s mown, with healthy plants and free of leaves and branches, says, “I care about my home.” But it also adheres to feng shui principles.

“An unkempt lawn indicates that the home does not cultivate good energy,” Cho says.

5. Garage and driveway

Photo by Doug Abbott

We’ve got news for you: House hunters will peek inside your garage—and traverse your driveway to get there. Clean up these hot spots before it happens.

“If you have a lot of clutter or your pathways are blocked, potential buyers will feel heavy, scattered, and overwhelmed—and this is not what they want to feel in their new home,” says Kim Julen, a certified feng shui practitioner.

And don’t get us started on those garbage bins haphazardly sitting in your driveway. Your refuse has negative energy (plus, it stinks). Leaving those bins out in the open can bring down your entire home’s qi, Cho says.

“Garbage is only attractive to flies, so create a trash can corral and you’ll sell easier than if you just throw the bins in the garage,” Keel says.

6. Exterior windows

Photo by WA Design Architects 

It may sound hokey, but windows are the eyes of your house—and sparkling-clean ones are critical to feng shui curb appeal.

“Clean windows represent clear thinking and understanding, and dirty ones can make buyers wonder what else isn’t maintained,” Cho says.

Plus: “Dirt doesn’t reflect light, and it’s light that attracts people,” Keel adds.

7. Fixtures

Photo by Pillar & Peacock 

Got a sticky door or wobbly hinges? These point to carelessness and may deter a buyer.

“When things fall into disrepair, it indicates stagnant energy and it pushes life away, rather than bring it in,” Cho says.

Take note of rust around your home’s exterior, too.

“Rusty doorknobs point to a challenged career or difficult, untended relationships,” Keel says.

A wise buyer may pick up on these vibes—and move on.

The post Yes, You Can Even Feng Shui Your Yard for Maximum Curb Appeal—Here’s How appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.