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 Paint your outdated stained cabinets in a white or pale greige.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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Joan Inglis, Founder and Lead Designer of Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design - the leading home staging, model merchandising and interior design firm in North and South Carolina, was asked to provide her expertise in the September 2020 issue of Lake Norman Currents Magazine. Joan shared her wealth of real estate, interior design and home staging knowledge by authoring the article "Design Elements that Increase Home Values" as featured in the Ask the Expert section of the magazine.

In her article, Joan provides a check list of minor home improvements that increase desirability, add value, and will help your home sell quickly when you decide it's time to move on.

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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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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.

 

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Are you putting your home on the market soon? Well, whether you’re selling in one of the most affordable neighborhoods in San Francisco or most popular ones in Austin, every homeowner should prepare their home for open houses and personal tours. As your real estate agent is probably suggesting, the more traffic your home sees the more bids you’ll most likely attract. In fact, according to recent data homes that have open houses not only sell for more on average ($9,000+), they also spend fewer days on the market. Who wouldn’t want that?

To better understand what actually makes a successful open house and what homeowners can do to make their property shine to potential homebuyers, we went out and talked with the pros that know. From home designers to professional staging companies, these experts gave their top tips, tricks, and advice on how you should be preparing your home for an open house.

1. Generate traffic: “It's crucial to have great professional photographs to get potential buyers interested in seeing the home in person. Real estate agents should present a buying/selling Q&A session with a mortgage professional, stager, and home inspector at the open house - this will give buyers a great takeaway, and leave a lasting impression.” Joan Inglis - Carolina Spaces

2. Enhance your curb appeal: “An open house should start with an inviting curb appeal enhanced with a fresh coat of paint, new light fixtures, big planters framing the entrance and trimmed grass.” Clara Godbey - Home Staging & Organizing

3. Clean and declutter: “Think 5-star hotel for your home’s open house; repairs completed, replacements installed, de-personalized, de-cluttered, immaculately clean, with all furnishings arranged picture perfect.” Sherry Castaldi - Organized by Design

4. Think about the little things: “Having an open house is all about creating an unforgettable experience. Pillows, plants, and candles can bring life and highlight the best areas of your home.” Agnieszka Wilk - Decorilla

5. Let light in: “Wash your windows on the inside and outside so that they're sparkling clean! Push back or remove heavy, dated window treatments. Let in as much natural light as possible.” Mary Ann Pickett- Classic Casual Home

6. Make simple updates: “Buyers connect with a home emotionally within 15 seconds of walking through the front door. Updating paint colors and replacing lighting is one of the least expensive ways to make the biggest impact and make your home relevant to your buyer.” Helen Bartlett - Kansas City Home Stagers

7. Think light and bright: “Buyers are looking for light and bright. Remove heavy window coverings and bring in fresh neutral paint colors.” Erin Quigley - Open House

8. Stage your home: “Rent it, don’t buy it! When it comes to preparing for an open house, renting furniture is popular because it offers unlimited options, regardless of size or style. You can rent just the pieces you need for as long as you need them, and then you don’t have to worry about moving or storing the furniture once the home is sold.” Erin Osterhaus - CORT

9. Accessorize strategically: “Strategic accessorizing is key! Faux fur pillows, thick blankets, candles, and flowers create a cozy environment that is sure to make buyers feel warm and fuzzy while touring a home.” Priscilla Bettencourt - Halcyon

10. Fluff the pillows: “Fluff the pillows on sofas and beds; messy pillows visually creates a messy house. Also, playing soft music through the home is a nice touch; jazz or classical is always appropriate.” Sonja Parker - Design Box

11. Open doors and windows: “Open up doors and windows and let buyers head outdoors to linger and admire the beautiful surroundings while serving some refreshing peach tea and sweet treats and make it a Facebook LIVE worthy event!” Krisztina Bell - No Vacancy Home Staging

12. Add a little green: “Add a little green to any space that needs a spark of life -- a tropical floor plant, a potted tree, or even a little succulent arrangement in a staged room can go a long way to wake up the space and make it inviting.” Anne Christensen - Red House Staging & Interiors

13. Have the TV on: “Appeal to the sports enthusiast and have a TV on with "the game." This keeps everyone happy, and hopefully in the house longer.” Lisa Basham - Staged to Sell Homes

14. Offer a local taste: “One open house trend we're loving is the serving of local food, which gives prospective buyers a taste of neighborhood flair. Consider pre-packaged treats from a nearby bakery, or even a local food truck parked outside (bonus: the mess stays outside of the beautifully staged house)!” Alex Lon - Decoist

15. Create a memorable experience: “Bring a Bluetooth speaker for music (Miles Davis is always a safe bet), fresh flowers beautifully arranged, and a killer cheese and fruit tray.” Heather Visnesky - Abode

16. Be mindful of traffic flow: “Extra pieces of furniture crowding a room or a random floor lamp in a dining room can trip people up as they walk through. Open houses get crowded and you want to make sure folks can navigate easily. If they can’t, buyers will wonder if they can entertain easily in the home.” Julie Chrissis - Chrissis & Company Interiors

17. Provide a neighborhood perspective: “Provide a neighbor testimonial sheet! Prior to the open house ask surrounding neighbors to state what they love most about living in that neighborhood. Attach testimonials to the hand out sheets.” Leslie Eicher - Staging that Sells

18. Create a lasting impression: "I want to walk into a home that feels so bright, clean, modern, consistent and beautifully furnished that I never want to leave.” Jessamy Tsoris - Color Zen

This article was originally published on Redfin.

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Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design has been notified that they are one of the top five high-scoring finalists in the category of Best Interior Merchandising of a Model Detached - Priced Under $500,000 for the Home Builders Association of Greater Charlotte's Major Achievement in Market Excellence (MAME) Awards.20190315 011700"We are excited to share this honor with Toll Brothers, a national home builder, and Eastwood Homes, a large regional builder," said Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design's founder, owner and lead designer, Joan Inglis.

Judging took place in February and the winner will be announced in April at the HBA of Greater Charlotte MAME Awards gala.

About Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design
Carolina Spaces provides award-winning interior design, model home merchandising, and home staging specializing in luxury home staging services for homeowners, home builders, Realtors®, property investors and commercial business owners throughout the Southeast. Their model home merchandising services are available to home builders nationwide.

Carolina Spaces' Owner and Lead Designer, Joan Inglis, has been featured dozens of times on TV, online and in print.  She has won numerous local, regional, state, national and international awards since forming her company, Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design, 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 since 2004. 

Contact Us for professional assistance.

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Carolina Spaces, an interior design, professional home staging, luxury home staging, and model home merchandising firm based in Lake Wylie, SC just south of Charlotte, NC, has won "Best Of Houzz 2019 in Customer Service." Founded in 2004 by Master Accredited Staging Professional®, Joan Inglis, Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design was chosen for this award by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz® community, and was chosen from among more than 2.1 million home building, remodeling and design professionals active on Houzz®. Houzz® is the leading platform for home renovation and design.

"Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design is honored to have been awarded 'Best of Houzz' for the third year in a row. We are humbled and grateful that our commitment to quality and customer service has been recognized again by the Houzz community," said Inglis.

"Best of Houzz is a true badge of honor as it is awarded by our community of homeowners, those who are hiring design, remodeling and other home improvement professionals for their projects. We are excited to celebrate the 2019 winners chosen by our community as their favorites for home design and customer experience, and to highlight those winners on the Houzz website and app," said Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing for Houzz.

View the entire press release at PR.com.

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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.

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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!

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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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