As Featured in the September 2020 Issue of Lake Norman Currents Magazine
 

Whether you are thinking about selling your home in the distant future or in the short term, design decisions on improvements that you make now will have a lasting effect on future salability. Following is a check list of minor home improvements that increase desirability and add value and will help your home sell quickly when you decide it's time to move on.

  • Front Door - The front door reflects the home's personality. From modern to traditional, choose a front door style that is compatible with the overall architecture of the home. Select a complimentary color that is timeless such as ebony or walnut stain. ROI about 70%.
  • Garage Door - Usually the garage door is visible from the street and adds to the curb appeal. Again, select a door style compatible with the architecture. Color should match trim used on the exterior and the garage door should be insulated. ROI about 97%.
  • Fiber Cement Siding Replacement - This siding is a bit more costly than vinyl, yet much more attractive and desirable. Baked on paint colors in deep, appealing colors come with a long warranty. Most popular are grays and blues with white trim. ROI about 85%.
  • Kitchen and bathrooms sell houses. No buyer wants to deal with the mess of updating those rooms unless they plan to offer you a fixer-upper price. Keep it neutral and save the color for decor items.
  • Bathroom Counters, Sinks and Plumbing Fixtures - Buyers still ask for granite in the higher-level options. Quartz is also desirable and comparable in price. Keep colors neutral in grays, greiges, and whites. If you have an older home with the shorter cabinet height, install a vessel sink and tall facets to visually increase the height. ROI about 70%.
  • Kitchen Counters and Backsplash - Buyers still want things light and bright. Select a higher-level granite or quartz countertop in neutral shades of gray, greige, and white. Compliment the counters with a ceramic backsplash in those colors and with a gray grout. Paint your outdated stained cabinets in a white or pale greige. ROI about 80%.

 

Joan Inglis has been featured dozens of times on TV, online and in print.  She has won numerous local, state, regional and international awards since forming her company, Carolina Spaces in 2004. Carolina Spaces is the leading expert in Home Staging, Luxury Home Staging, Model Home Merchandising and Interior Design in the Charlotte, NC region and provides award-winning services throughout the Southeast. Model Home services for home builders are available nationwide

Call 1-855-SPACES-5 or Contact Us for more information.

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Published in Blog

So, you’ve evaluated your finances, thought about your lifestyle, and made the big decision to sell your home. Maybe you’re downsizing because the kids have finally left the nest, or you’ve gotten a job in a new city and need to relocate, or maybe you’ve just retired and want to head south to warmer climates. Whatever your reason, you’re ready to sell. Luckily, for you, we put together a comprehensive guide for first-time and seasoned home sellers. Continue reading to find out how to sell your house this year.

1) Hire a Home Inspector

You’re probably thinking, wait, isn’t that the buyer’s responsibility? You’re not wrong. When you’ve accepted an offer, the buyer will most likely request a home inspection of their own. So, why would you have one? First, if a home inspection turns up something that’s in need of repair, wouldn’t you prefer to resolve it before entering into negotiations?

In fact, if you end up needing to make repairs that take weeks to fix, you may lose that buyer altogether. Having a home inspection is a proactive approach to getting your home ready to sell. Known as a pre-listing home inspection, you can find out the exact condition of your property, what issues and repairs need to be addressed beforehand, fix them, and then focus on the next task to sell your home fast.

Also, knowing the condition of your property will further assist you during the negotiation phase with potential buyers. As you may already be aware, buyers often use their home inspection as a way of getting concessions from sellers, such as asking you to drop your list price. If you’ve already addressed these repairs, it is less likely that anything new will come up and impact your negotiation.

2) Make Repairs and Small Upgrades to Your House

After you receive a comprehensive list of repairs you should make, it’s time to get started either making the repairs yourself or contracting the right person to do them. This may also be a great time to make small upgrades to your home.

Understand Your Home’s Selling Points

First, try understanding your home’s selling points and then highlight those features to make them really stand out. Not sure what those features are? Just think about what sold you on your home when you first toured it. Was it the kitchen, the open floor plan, or that personal studio space? These are the features you’ll want to concentrate on because they are most likely to sell your house again.

Enhance Your Outdoor Space

When you are selling your house, you want to find ways to make it stand out and what better way than having the most beautiful entrance and lawn on the block. You don’t necessarily have to paint the exterior of your house to impress homebuyers. Simple things like trimming your hedges and a freshly mowed lawn will go a long way. Even freshly laid beauty bark and newly planted flowers can really make your yard pop! If these improvements seem like too much to handle while you’re trying to prepare your home to sell, look into hiring a landscaper to assist.

Brighten Your Home

Simple ways to brighten your home include painting your ceilings white and choosing a wall color that is brighter and more neutral. 

3) Declutter and Prep Your House to Sell

Decluttering and prepping your house are steps you should make a priority. Renting storage units is becoming an increasingly popular method of decluttering one’s house before selling it. The idea is to limit the amount of stuff in your house so that potential future owners can envision themselves (and their stuff) in that space. Even removing photos is a great way to allow potential buyers to think about what they would hang on those walls. If you’re looking for a quick turnaround, bring in a professional organizer. They can help get your house in order, while also preparing you for a stress-free move.

4) Find a Real Estate Agent

Finding a real estate agent is easy, finding a great real estate agent can be more of a challenge. Getting referrals and reading online reviews is a great way to start narrowing down your options. You’ll want to understand what you’re looking for when hiring a real estate agent to represent your best interests. Here are some questions to consider asking any potential candidate:

  • How many clients have you served this year?

  • Has a client ever filed a complaint against you?

  • What is your fee? 

  • What services do you offer beyond negotiations and escrow?

After you decide on a real estate agent, you and your agent should come up with a plan of action. It should include a timeline, from the pricing of your house and getting it listed on MLS to open houses. You and your agent should be on the same page at all times and a plan of action will help ensure that.

5) How to Price Your House to Sell

Now is the time to find out what price you should list your home. You can start by using online tools to help you get an idea of what your home is worth. However, you should never set your sights on a single number and expect it to happen. Market conditions change all the time and so too does buyer behavior. 

Another option is to conduct an appraisal. Home appraisers are licensed professionals that will assess the value of your house based on the state of your property and overall housing market conditions. They will look at the size of your property, the interior and exterior conditions of your house, any upgrades, additions or home improvements you’ve done, and then calculate your home’s worth based on the local market conditions.

Looking at comparables of recently sold homes in your area will also help you settle on a price. These homes should be similar in size, location, and sold within the last few months. Furthermore, you want to be strategic about your pricing. Instead of lumping the price of your house in with others in the area, strategize your pricing based on your home’s selling features. In other words, if there are three houses for sale in you’re area and they are priced at $350,000, you might be able to justify $360,000 or more because you have a larger lot size or maybe you’re located in a popular neighborhood.

6) Get Professional Photos Taken of Your Home

Nothing sells a house faster than professional photos. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. They are searching online, looking at every home that comes up for sale within their filtered interests the moment it’s listed. If your house is represented online by poorly shot photography, your listing will see very little traffic. Not to mention, it’s widely observed that houses with professionally shot photos, on average, sell for more money than other listings.

Furthermore, 3D walking tours along with aerial photography that show a bird’s eye view of one’s home and its surrounding area have become increasingly popular with buyers looking online. Many agencies include some or all of these services as a component of their overall services to you as a seller. Just remember, the better you represent your house online, the faster it will sell.

7) List Your Home to Sell

Your real estate agent will list your home online on MLS (Multiple Listing Service), in order for it to start showing up on real estate search platforms to potential buyers.

You may be wondering, when is the best time to list your home? If you’re thinking about waiting for a specific season, then you might be waiting for nothing. In 2016, Redfin analyzed more than 7 million home sales to identify specific seasonal trends. It was determined that while spring was slightly better for homes that sold within 30 days and for above-asking price, winter was surprisingly a close second. What plays a bigger role in a house being sold quickly and/or above-asking price has more to do with current market conditions than the season a house is sold.

Also, don’t limit the marketing of your house to your real estate agent and online search. Market your house yourself! Spread the word through your family and friends. Share your listing on social media and send out emails asking people to share your listing with others.

8) Have Open Houses and Personal Showings

Your first open house is what you’ve been working towards and now it’s about to happen. It’s time to step up your game and stage your home to sell. If you don’t deem yourself a design-minded individual, consider hiring a professional home stager to help. Here is a list of things to consider that will really help you make your house shine:

  • Clear the clutter: You may have already transferred most of your belongings to a storage unit by this point. Now is the time to focus on cleaning up the clutter on countertops and tables. Put away newspapers, mail or magazines, or if you have children, help them pick up their toys.

  • Deep clean your house: Nothing turns off buyers more than an unclean bathroom. That is also true for the rest of your house. Now more than ever is the time to wash your windows, windowsills, and scrub your grimy glass shower doors.

  • Add white accents: White accents such as flowers or towels in the bathroom create a sense of welcome cleanliness.

  • Arrange furniture: You don’t have to necessarily rent furniture to stage your home. You can most likely use what you have. The key is to limit the number of furniture pieces in any one room. Then arrange them in a way that’s inviting to people as they enter the room.

  • Bring in light: Think about removing your curtains or keeping them drawn back to allow as much light into your house as possible. If you have rather large elaborate curtains, consider storing them away until you get to your next home.

  • Highlight your floors: Floors are a key feature homebuyers are looking at, especially if you have wood floors. Show them off by removing any rugs or unneeded furniture so that more of your flooring can be seen. If you have wood floors, think about polishing them to really make them pop.

  • Organize all closets and drawers: Homebuyers touring your home will most likely look in your closets to determine space and, frankly, to see if their stuff will fit in there. They will also likely open kitchen drawers and cabinets as well, so make sure everything is nice and tidy.

  • Dust: Concentrate on all the areas that you’ve most likely have turned a blind eye to for some time, like ceiling fans, baseboards, on top of doorways, appliances, etc.

9) Have a Plan in Case your Home Doesn’t Sell Quick Enough

You and your real estate agent should have already gone over this beforehand, but not every house sells after the first open house. There are many factors at play and depending on the condition of the housing market for your area, your real estate agent may have to use some other strategies in their arsenal to get your house sold. If it’s lowering the price of your home or holding more open houses, you’ll want to agree on what the next steps should be in case your house isn’t seeing any offers.

10) Negotiate the Sale Price of Your Home

One thing to consider is that the buyer is trying to get the absolute best price they can, while you’re doing the exact same. There will be multiple factors to consider, as each home sold and purchased is different. For example, if it’s a buyer’s market, that means the buyer has the upper hand because there are multiple listings with fewer offers being made. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make huge concessions in order to sell your house.

This is where your agent really steps up. They will help you navigate the negotiation process, and will give you their advice on how to proceed when offers are being made. Luckily, you interviewed and hired the right agent, so you know they have your best interests in mind.

11) Sign and Close

You and your agent have been working towards this moment. You’ve agreed on a price with the buyers, all inspections and appraisals of your home have been completed, and you are now signing the papers to sell your house. Congratulations, you’ve done it!

This article was originally published on Redfin.

 

Published in Blog

The model home design services of Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design were once again featured in the Metro Charlotte New Home Guide magazine.  Our merchandising of a builder's model home in Rock Hill, SC was showcased four times in the November 2018 - January 2019 issue, including our merchandisig of the kitchen, dining and outdoor living area of the home. This included the special Builder's Report section of the magazine, as the photo displayed for Lee Lighting's "A Selection of Current Trends in Home Lighting" article was of Carolina Spaces' merchandising of the kitchen and dining area of the Rock Hill model home.  The model was also highlighted as having won a Silver Award in the feature on Charlotte HBA's 2018 Parade of Homes winners.

Carolina Spaces' award-winning model home merchandising services are available nationwide.

New Home Guide Jan Mar1

New Home Guide Jan Mar 2

New Home Guide Jan Mar 3

New Home Guide Jan Mar 4

Published in Press

Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design, the Charlotte region's leading interior design, model home merchandising and luxury staging firm, has closed 2018 with the addition of four new awards. These awards, all received during the fourth quarter of 2018, add to the firm's extensive list of accolades received since its inception in 2004.

The Lake Norman Home Builders Association's 15th Annual Best of the Lake Design Competition awarded Carolina Spaces with Best Residential Interior Staging of a Property $500,000 - $999,000 and Best Residential Interior Staging of a Luxury Property over $1,000,000. This is the fourth year in a row that Carolina Spaces has taken home the prize for the luxury staging over $1,000,000 category.

The International Association of Home Staging Professionals® (IAHSP®) awarded Carolina Spaces with the award for Best Vacant Staging at their 2018 International Convention and Expo in Charlotte. Carolina Spaces also won the award for Best Vacant Staging in 2017. The award was given to Carolina Spaces both years over staging companies from around the world.

Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design merchandised the "Byford" model for Avencia Homes in the Riverwalk community, which was placed in the Fall 2018 Charlotte Parade of Homes. The parade judges honored this home with the Silver Award for its price category.

"We are humbled and honored that our work was recognized on the local, regional and international level in the last three months of 2018. We are excited to add these awards to our long list of accolades, which demonstrate our consistency and commitment to high-quality work with high-quality service that generates high-quality results," said Joan Inglis, Founder, Owner and Lead Designer.

View the entire press release at PR.com.

Published in News

Carolina Spaces was featured in the article "Honoring the Best of the Best" in the January 2019 issue of Lake Norman Currents magazine.  The article highlighted the winners of the 2018 Lake Norman Home Builders Association's Best of the Lake Design Competition.  Carolina Spaces was awarded Best Residential Interior Staging of a Property $500,000 - $999,000, and Best Residential Interior Staging of a Luxury Property valued over $1,000,000 for the fourth year in a row.

Currents 2019

Contact us for more information on our award-winning home staging, luxury staging, interior design, and model home merchandising services!

Published in Press
Take one look at the 2019 Colors of the Year and you should know that anything goes!

 
The calming blues and greens selected by Behr, Kelly-Moore, Cloverdale, Diamond Vogel, Dutch Boy, and Glidden/PPG range from gently saturated to intense, but are tried and true. 
 
Benjamin Moore stands firm with a soft gray - an industry standard and the choice of most new construction and homeowners planning to update with paint. 
 
Pantone gives us a rich coral seen all spring and summer in fashions and fabrics. 
 
Akzonoble, maker of Dulux Paint, choose Spiced Honey - a medium-golden neutral shade safe to use just about anywhere, and which makes me almost smell the spices and honey! 
 
Pratt & Lambert’s Earthen Trail is a version of the fleshy beige-pink that’s trying to make a big comeback from the 60s. Some dated properties still display this color in wall-to-wall carpeting and paint. Do you dare? 
 
Sherwin Williams’ dark Cavern Clay and Dunn Edwards’ darker Spice of Life are best in small doses, in rooms where there are a lot of windows and natural light.

Valspar’s 2019 selection of a dozen colors ranging from the tried-and-true neutral to pastels and jewel tones gives you a pallet to complement and contrast. 

In all things paint - remember that light has a great effect on the color you’ll see. Avoid mistakes by consulting a design professional before making your color selection. Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design provides professional color consultations and offers discounts on your paint purchase. Contact us at 1-855-SPACES-5.

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Dear Homeowner,
You've decided to sell your luxury property.  You've painstakingly interviewed Realtors specializing in luxury listings, and you've carefully selected your listing agent based upon qualifications, statistics, testimonials and performance.  As we discussed in a previous blog, luxury real estate requires luxury staging, so now is the time to put just as much effort into choosing a luxury home staging professional.
 
Dear Realtor,
Do you specialize in marketing luxury listings? Exceptional properties require exceptional home staging and you must partner with a knowledgeable and experienced luxury home staging professional.  As you know, home staging is a marketing tool and the quality of the home stager's work (good or bad) will convey to the property and to you!  You're the best - you need the best on your team. 
 
So how do you choose a luxury home staging professional?  With HGTV and numerous staging books available, anyone can call themselves a stager and most stagers now claim to offer luxury staging services.  While there are industry associations that provide training and ethical guidelines, there is no standard or test that measure's a stager's knowledge of core competencies as the staging industry in and of itself is unregulated.  It is very common for stagers, even those who have undergone training, to post photos of rooms on social media sites and ask "How do I stage this?"  The knowledge and service you receive from Stager A can be completely different from Stager B.  You want to select the luxury home staging professional who knows exactly how to stage your property - and not hire the stager who runs to facebook pleading for instructions.
 
In our previous blog, we explained how luxury staging enters the realm of interior design, so in assessing a luxury staging professional's qualifications, one must look for staging as well as interior design education and affiliations.  Do the credentials the stager lists require continuing education?  You want someone who is up-to-date on current trends.  Is your luxury staging project new construction?  Then look for experience with new home sales as well as staging.  Also, how many years has the luxury home stager been in business?
 
A luxury home staging firm that looks good on paper may not actually deliver the quality that you want, so make sure to view current luxury staged homes in person before you make a decision.  Are the rooms fully furnished to show lifestyle?  Is the quality of furnishings appropriate for the price-point of the home?  Is the furniture new, rented, or flea market finds?
 
Lastly, make sure you evaluate the luxury home stager's statistics. What is their average time on the market for luxury homes in your price point? Improper staging can cause a home to linger on the market unsold.  Has the luxury staging firm received any accolades for their successes? As we stated above, luxury staging enters the realm of interior design, so make sure to look for companies that have been honored for interior design as well as staging.  And if your luxury staging project is new construction, look for recognition of showcase and model home projects.
 
Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design - based in Lake Wylie, SC just south of Charlotte, NC - is the only home staging and design firm in the Southeast with advanced knowledge and certifications in the combined industries of Real Estate, Interior Design, Luxury Home Staging, Home Staging, New Home Construction, and New Home Sales. Our name brand and high-end furnishings inventory is unsurpassed.  Our list of accolades demonstrates a proven track record of success over our company's 14+ years in business.  Let our luxury home staging create the exceptional environment necessary for your property's successful sale!
 
The team members of Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design are trained, educated, and licensed.  Contact us at 1-855-SPACES-5 or visit CarolinaSpaces.com.
 
Now that you've chosen a luxury home staging professional, how much can you expect the investment in luxury staging services to be?  Stay tuned!

Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design - based in Lake Wylie, SC, just south of Charlotte, NC - offers award-winning, full-service interior design, professional home staging, model home merchandising and luxury home staging not just to the greater Charlotte area, but to all of the Southeast.  Our model home merchandising and interior design services are also available nationwide. 

 
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Published in Blog
In all my years of preparing exceptional properties for sale, I can say one thing for certain – luxury homes require exceptional staging! Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design has won many awards for Best Luxury Staging including the 2018 LUX Life Magazine Leading Designers Award for Most Outstanding Luxury Staging – NC, a UK-based international award. 
 
 
Most everyone is aware of what home staging is and how it works. While the principles are the same for staging the high-end luxury market, the process takes off in the direction of design. Luxury home buyers want to see the lifestyle they aspire to in a home - and the luxury stager needs to convey this. One cannot expect a top dollar offer for a multi-million dollar estate when the buyer is left to wander through empty, barren rooms that feel cold and uninviting. Staging is necessary to define the scale and flow of the rooms and luxury staging is needed to inspire those high-end buyers to fall in love with the home and the lifestyle it portrays. Not only must the stager have an eye for updating and details, but they must also have the experience and inventory to execute the project.
 
The quality of the staging furnishings installed is directly related to the buyer's perception of the home's quality. How would laminate countertops affect a high-end buyer's perception of a luxury home? The same applies for furnishings! Will a discerning buyer with expensive tastes pick up on that poor quality table that is the wrong scale? You bet! Will they notice the cheap sofa that appears to be a nice style but when they sit on it, they sink down into the broken springs on this garage sale find? All of this affects the buyer’s overall perception of the home and does nothing to create that "dream lifestyle.” Inappropriate furnishings are revolting and discourage buyers by weakening the home’s overall luxurious feel. 
 
Lavish fabrics and linens, high-end new furniture, eye-catching new accessories and exceptional new artwork are required for luxury staging. When done correctly, luxury staging seamlessly complements the luxurious finishes within the home. Luxury staging needs to show buyers how they would live in the home if they moved in tomorrow.
 
 
At Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design, we have decades of experience providing customized staging for luxury properties. A luxury home may require made to order furnishings in a specific style and finish. We give the house what it needs. We also procure custom upholstery and customized art for our luxury stagings. Our staging helps sell luxury homes faster and for a higher sales price, even those that have languished unsold. Our awards, testimonials and statistics speak for us. Contact us at 1-855-SPACES-5 or visit CarolinaSpaces.com
 
How do you choose the right luxury staging professional? Stay tuned for our next blog!
 
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Published in Blog

LUX Life Magazine, an international luxury lifestyle magazine, has awarded Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design with the 2018 Leading Designer Award for "Most Outstanding Luxury Staging - North Carolina."

The United Kingdom-based magazine chose the winners based on merit. Their in-house research team analyzed the past 12 months of Carolina Spaces' performance and commitment, as well as their methods, to ensure that the award went to the most deserving.

"We have scoured the design market in search of the very best, and we are proud to showcase their success in this prestigious awards programme," said Nathan Angell, Awards Coordinator.

"This international recognition was totally unexpected with no campaigning involved. We are extremely grateful and humbled to have received this prestigious award," said Joan Inglis, Carolina Spaces' founder, owner and lead designer.

"With the international recognition of our luxury home staging services, combined with inquiries from international luxury real estate firms and property owners, we are pleased to announce publicly that our model home merchandising and design services are available on the international level."

View the entire press release at PR.com.

Published in News

Carolina Spaces' model home design services were again featured in the Metro Charlotte New Home Guide magazine.  The August 2018 issue showcased in full-page view our model home merchandising of the outdoor living area of a model home in Rock Hill, SC, while our merchandising of the model home's kitchen and dining area was featured in the magazine's Parade of Homes section.

Carolina Spaces' award-winning model home merchandising services are available nationwide.

New Home Guide1

New Home Guide2 2

 

Carolina Spaces is the leading expert in model home merchandising, home staging, luxury home staging, and interior design in the Charlotte, NC region and throughout the Southeast.  Call 1-855-SPACES-5 or Contact Us for more information on our award-winning services.

Published in Press
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