Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 12/30/2016

When was the last time you examined the lighting in your hallway? For home sellers, you may want to consider revamping the lighting in your hallway. By doing so, you can brighten up your hallway, and ultimately, help make your home more appealing to prospective homebuyers. So what does it take to improve your hallway lighting? Here are three tips to consider: 1. Add Lighting Controls. Although you may already have a light switch to control your hallway lighting, incorporating a dimmer switch or occupancy sensor into your hallway may prove to be a great option to enhance your hallway's overall appearance. A dimmer switch ensures you can brighten or dim your hallway as much or as little as you choose. The added control provided by a dimmer switch enables you to create a certain ambiance that you can share with homebuyers when they check out your residence. Comparatively, an occupancy sensor detects when a person walks through a hallway automatically. This sensor may serve as a distinct feature in your home, one that may help your residence stand out in the eyes of homebuyers. 2. Incorporate Wall Sconces. For home sellers who want to impress prospective homebuyers the moment they enter a hallway, wall sconces may serve as ideal additions. Wall sconces come in many shapes and sizes, allowing you to select lighting that matches your hallway's décor beautifully. Also, wall sconces are available that enable you to create both up and down lighting that can give your hallway a one-of-a-kind look and feel. Try to find wall sconces that deliver a sense of balance in your hallway. By doing so, you'll be able to utilize wall sconces that provide a superior mix of fashion and function. 3. Install Track Lighting. Looking to brighten up a long hallway? Choose track lighting – you'll be glad you did! Track lighting typically runs parallel to your hallway's walls and offers immense versatility. Therefore, it serves as a wonderful option for those who want to make a hallway dazzle day after day. In many instances, you can change the direction of track lighting with ease, too. This type of lighting gives you superb flexibility, and as such, remains an exceedingly popular option in many homes. When it comes to brightening up a hallway or any other area of your home, be sure to evaluate all of the options at your disposal. Remember, you'll want to do whatever you can to help your residence sparkle, and the right lighting may enable you to transform a dull hallway into an eye-catching one. Lastly, don't forget to consult with your real estate agent before you perform hallway lighting improvements or other home repairs. This real estate professional likely boasts years of industry experience and will be able to guide you as you explore ways to make your home more attractive to homebuyers. Take a close look at your home's hallway lighting, and you're sure to find many great lighting options that you can use to help your residence stand out in any real estate market.





Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 11/4/2016

One of the many things emphasized to sellers is removing their personality from the home. Too much personality in the home can be a distraction for potential homebuyers. Consider a model home, which automatically draws you in, from the biggest of details to the smallest. Most model homes have neutral colored rooms, rugs, and décor. The reason behind this? To give the potential homebuyer the opportunity to visualize themselves living in that home. You want to replicate that approach. Here are a few tips for depersonalizing your home: Pictures: Displaying family photos in the home is a great way to show that you made this place a home. However, when it comes to selling, it’s best to remove these photos. Too many pictures and frames can make it difficult for potential homebuyers to visualize themselves and their family living there. Personal belongings: If you are still living in the home that you are selling, your personal belongings will likely be all over the house. It’s impossible for you to remove everything you own from a home when you are still living there. However, it is important to clean up and hide certain personal belongings when you can. This includes children’s toys, animal toys and beds, knick-knacks, and drawings and grocery lists from the refrigerator door. Placing these items in storage or just finding places around the house to store them while trying to sell is best. Paint: Paint is a way of expressing yourself in your home. Whether you like really dark colors, warm colors, or cool colors or even just white, it showcases your personality. Drastic color schemes on either side of the color wheel can throw buyers off, especially if it contains colors that they are not really fond of. It will make it difficult for them to visualize how they would decorate that room. If this sounds like you, it’s a good idea to go to the store and pick up some neutral tones and get to painting. Furniture: Staging is everything. You may have set up your living room or bedroom a certain way because that’s how you like it. However, that may not be the optimal use of that space. It’s best to do some research or hire a professional to assist with this. You have to pull your personal opinion out of the decision-making and think about what works best with the shape and size of the room. Whenever possible it’s best to provide the homebuyer with a clean slate. Neutral colors and removing personal belongings will only increase the chances that potential homebuyers will envision themselves living there and hopefully make an offer. Depersonalizing your home is just one tactic for prepping your home for selling. If you are looking to sell quickly, be sure to read all the tips and tricks there are to getting you’re home sold.




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Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 10/28/2016

Your home is great, but in order to help it stand out to prospective homebuyers, you'll need to separate your treasured belongings from your clutter. By doing so, you'll be able to maximize the space in your house and make your home more attractive to homebuyers. Ultimately, you'll want to create a household storage plan to ensure you can make the most of the space at your disposal. And with the right skills and know-how, you should have no trouble storing antiques, photographs and other personal belongings and getting rid of clutter in your house simultaneously. So what does it take to develop a household storage plan? Here are three tips to ensure you can create an effective household storage strategy: 1. Conduct a Home Storage Assessment. Which items do you want to keep, and which items can you live without? Separating your treasured belongings from your clutter is essential and will enable you to free up space in your house without delay. A home storage assessment also enables you to determine where you may be able to store various items as you showcase your residence to homebuyers. For instance, you may want to keep holiday decorations in a box in your attic or basement. Or, you might consider placing all of your summer clothing in a storage bin under your bed. But regardless of how you decide to use the storage space at your disposal, you'll first need to perform a home storage assessment to ensure you'll be able to maximize the space that is available. 2. Use Storage Boxes and Trash Bags. For items that you intend to keep, use storage boxes to organize these belongings. Also, be sure to label each box accordingly. And if a box contains fragile items, don't forget to mark it as such. On the other hand, if there are items you plan to dispose of, be sure to place these items in trash bags. That way, you can put the trash bags out on trash day and eliminate various items from your home. In addition, some items may hold value even if you don't need them. And if an item looks like it's in great condition, you may want to consider selling it online or as part of a yard sale. 3. Stay Organized. Although you'd like to be able to sell your residence as quickly as possible, the real estate market offers no such guarantees. However, if you stay organized, you'll be able to enjoy a clean, clutter-free home throughout the duration of the home selling process. After you develop a household storage plan, be sure to follow it consistently. This will enable you to keep your house looking great and improve your chances of generating interest from homebuyers far and wide. Remember, a pristine home is an attractive house, particularly for homebuyers who are searching for a residence that offers plenty of space and an awe-inspiring appearance. And if you create a household storage plan, you'll be equipped to minimize clutter, maintain plenty of space and showcase the beauty of your house to prospective homebuyers at any time.





Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 10/21/2016

In the hustle and bustle of prepping a home to be sold, many people overlook one very important detail; home safety. And while you'd like to think that prospective buyers visiting your home are upstanding citizens, the simple truth remains that selling your home opens your door wide open to complete strangers...Strangers who are going to be encouraged as potential buyers to explore every detail of your home. Luckily, by taking a few small steps, you can rest a little easier. 1. Hide you valuables - This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many people forget to put away common valuables like jewelery, high-value collectables, expensive perfumes, and high-end designer accessories like handbags and money clips. Be sure to go from room to room, keeping an eye out for anything that may hold appeal for a potential thief, and tuck away anything you think might draw a thief's attention. Do a follow-up walk of your house the next day, just in case you may have missed something. 2. Firearms - If you are a homeowner who is also a gun and/or weapon owner, then you are probably already taking the necessary precautions in regard to gun safety. However, for some collectors, prominent display is one of the things that a gun owner may take pride in. Just because your guns are in a locked, secured display case doesn't mean that they still don't hold risk to you or your loves ones. In a private setting, a locked display case is just fine...But in a situation where you are selling your home, complete strangers will have the ability to see that you are a gun owner, how many guns you have, and the precise location of your collection. Considering the value of a gun collection can run into the thousands, they should be treated just like any other valuable in your home; locked away and out of sight. 3. Personal mail - Things like bill invoices, credit card statements, and social security information should be put out of sight. Identity theft is on the rise, and by taking the proper precautions, you can avoid your personal information from falling into the wrong hands. 4. - Prescription medication - Be sure to remove medications from your medicine cabinet that carry the potential for abuse. 5. Parental safety - If you are a parent, you'll obviously want to take precautions to keep your children safe. Remember...You are allowing complete strangers full access to your home. For peace of mind, consider removing family photos, personalized items such as prominently displayed school jerseys and embroidered pillows, and that A+ math test on the refrigerator. Many people feel this step is either unimportant or unnecessary. If you feel fine with displaying these items, then feel completely free to.  The odds of a person wanting to do your family harm are fairly low.  But if you are a "better safe than sorry" kind of person, then consider this step. As long as a few precautions are met, you have no reason to feel uneasy about your home being shown. The vast majority of the people who are going to be looking at your house are responsible members of society, looking for a home to either start or grow their own families. That being said....Better safe than sorry.





Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 5/6/2016

Businesspeople imitating see, hear, speak no evil conceptThe country’s long history of racism and racial discrimination effected many aspects of life in the U.S. and the world of real estate was no exception to this. In the past, real estate agents would practice things such as “steering” and “blockbusting.” In both cases real estate agents played a part in segregating different communities by race.  Whether by steering, suggesting clients look in certain neighborhoods based on their race, or blockbusting, convincing homeowners to sell their homes quickly and at low prices by instilling the fear that minorities would soon be taking over the area, their practices did not have their clients’, or the general populations, best interests at heart. In fact, ‘steering’ and ‘blockbusting’ allowed agents to reap many fiscal rewards of racism. Modern day real estate agents have a very high standard of ethics and laws in place in regard to discrimination for these very reasons. These standards make the content an agent can provide his or her clients with limited at times. There is certain information your agent can not and should not provide. An agent cannot and should not attest to the specifics of a certain neighborhood. The agent shouldn’t tell a client the area is perfect for single persons or on the other hand describe a neighborhood as family-friendly. Your agent can suggest you speak with some of the homeowners in the neighborhood in order to get a better grasp on the neighborhood’s atmosphere. Similarly, If you want to know if the area you’re looking in has a good school system, an agent can point you in the direction of where this information and data is readily available, perhaps online, and allow you to do your own research and make your own assumptions. An agent, generally, cannot provide you with his or her personal experience or opinion on these sensitive topics. This is not detrimental to you as a buyer or a seller. As a seller you are ensured your agent is showing any and all interested buyers, and as a buyer you know your agent is showing you the optimal number of homes and neighborhoods based on your desires not your race. As your real estate agent I’d be happy to point you in the right direction of any information you may be seeking while abiding by all of the highest moral standards of my profession. It is my job to have your best interests in mind.