Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 9/15/2013

Staging your home for potential buyers can be quite the hassle. You may start moving your furniture around spontaneously, or become tense when your children or spouse make messes in a room that you just prepped for show. With all of the planning that one can put into making their home shine, one crucial step in home staging is often overlooked: your family pet. For the sake of simplicity, I will outline a few things that you must keep in mind when cleaning up after your pet in a home for sale. Pet presence - For obvious reasons, some pets can't leave the house. Giant enclosures, aquariums, and disabled pets are hard to relocate sometimes, and a lot of people will be understanding of this. But if your dog or cat is healthy, then you'll want to strongly consider relocating your pets temporarily. Many people aren't pet owners, and don't like being around an excitable golden retriever or a yippy chihuahua when they are trying to imagine their family occupying your home. Remember....You are trying to make the potential buyer as relaxed as possible. Ask a friend if they wouldn't mind looking after your loved one for a bit, and if all else fails, look into a reputable boarding service for your pet. Fur - Fur can get everywhere. Even in places that you, as a resident of your home, don't necessarily notice all of the time. Be sure to give your couches, chairs, and love seats proper attention. That means taking the pillows and cushions off, and using a hand vacuum or brush to remove all of the fur you see. After you are sure that they are thoroughly cleaned, use a fabric freshener to finish it off. Try to do this well in advance of the potential buyer, as some people have sensitivities to fabric fresheners. Litter - No matter what kind of animal you have, odds are you have do deal with some form of waste. It may sound pretty obvious, but make sure your litter beds are clean and well hidden. Even if you own an exotic pet like a reptile of amphibian, this includes you too. Many people don't like snakes, but they'll like a messy snake cage even less. Another important thing to remember as an exotic pet owner is this: even though you may not be able to smell anything offensive coming from your reptile's cage, that doesn't mean that there isn't an odor. Many people who live with reptiles get used to the subtle odors that emit from the cages, and will tend to spot-clean their animal's cage without giving it the proper scrub-down that it needs. Odors - Don't use air fresheners to mask pet odor. It is meant to freshen the air...Not cover pet odors up. Instead, use powdered cleaners on carpets and rugs that your pets frequent. These can be purchased at your local pet store in the cleaning isle. Odds are, if someone has a severe allergy to animals, then they are going to be at risk of having a reaction. The cleaner the house, the less dander will be in the home.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 11/18/2012

Independent studies have confirmed that deploying particular scents in a home for sale can dramatically increase the home's appeal to a potential buyer. †With that being said, what is the best way to go about changing your home's "scentmosphere"? 1. - The Friend Test - Often times, we get used to particular scents in our home, so much so that we don't even notice that they're there. †Litter boxes, old couches, bathrooms, and bedrooms can all breed their own "scentmosphere", and some can be more noticeable and offensive than others. †Have a friend come over and, well.....Smell your home. † †Your friend doesn't live in your home. †They can pick up on things that you may not be able to, like the smell of dirty laundry, a musty-smelling finished basement, or a well-lived-in bedroom. †These "other person" smells can turn off a buyer in a heartbeat. †If you are a smoker, then stop smoking inside while your house is on the market. †Keep children's rooms tidy and clean-smelling. 2. - Kitchen Comfort - There are many scents that can be utilized in the kitchen to make it more appealing. †Candles, lemon wedges chopped up into a garbage disposal, cinnamon sticks in the oven, and fresh-cut flowers can be utilized for this purpose.†Some people swear by citrus scents, others by baked goods, but it really boils down to personal preference. †Lavender has been shown to produce a calming effect, and fruit scents like apples and peaches can carry classier undertones. 3. - Subtlety is key. †You want a noticeable "scentmosphere", but not one that is overpowering. †Pick your scents accordingly. †If you overdo it, people may think you're trying too hard to cover something up. †Remember that because we breathe, we smell things constantly. †Each individual smell shouldn't be strong enough to cover multiple rooms in your house. †You don't want your entire downstairs to smell like the cinnamon you have in the kitchen. †Likewise, a fresh lemon scent all over the entire house can make it seem like there are smells that will creep into the "scentmosphere" once the lemon scents wear off. †Less is more.  





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 5/6/2012

Where you place your furniture can make a big difference. It sets the mood and tone for that room. Here are tips from Mark McCauley, a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and author of Color Therapy at Home and Interior Design for Idiots on how to arrange spaces for chatting, watching TV or relaxing.

Design by Rebekah Zaveloff.

Most homes are filled with furniture-arranging challenges. Follow these simple tips to turn your design dilemmas into successful arrangements.

1. Take Measurements

The first step in arranging a space is determining its size. Use a tape measure to get the dimensions of a room. Or, a quick tip: measure your foot and then walk heel to toe across the room. It's an easy way to estimate the basic size, and counting your footsteps will give you a rough measurement before you shop for furniture.

Always check the dimensions of the hallways, stairs and door widths leading to the space. This is the eternal challenge for the homeowner, being sure the entrance and egress of the room is large enough for potential purchases.

2. Estimate Volume

Every object has a height, depth and width. For added visual interest to any space, add varying furniture of varying characteristics. If you are going for a serene, unchallenging area for rest or recover, keep the furnishing volumes in a room similar.

3. It's All a Matter of Scale

The size of pieces relative to one another and the size of the space is their scale. Again, similarly scaled pieces are more serene when used together, but a nice balance of pieces creates a harmonious atmosphere, utilizing the differing physical qualities of height, depth and width throughout the room. When furnishings are out of scale, you'll notice that it just won't feel comfortable or right.

4. Create a Healthy Relationship

The relationship of items to one another to form a pleasing whole is termed balance. There are two forms of balance ó symmetrical and asymmetrical.

Bilateral symmetry is like the human body: there are two of everything. Asymmetry refers to an imbalance, such as two candles of slightly different sizes next to each other. Symmetry is very restful, while asymmetry is used to add visual motion and excitement.

5. Paint Your Room

Look at your space as a painter looks at a work of art. There are visual tricks that painters use to create the appearance of depth in a space. You can use these tools, too.

The first trick painters use is "triangulation". A basic example of triangulation used in interior design is the placement of two end tables on either side of a sofa with a painting over the sofa. If you can imagine this scene, it is lower on the corners with the apex of the view just above mid-center at the top of the painting.

The second trick painters use is the creation of depth in artwork, which is a two-dimensional medium. Paintings often have a foreground, mid-ground, background and vanishing point. Stand at the threshold of your room. Place a chair, perhaps at an angle, in the foreground closest to you. The cocktail table will provide a mid-ground and the sofa with the wall behind it, the background. A window in the scene will give you your vanishing point. Or, the vanishing point can be within a work of art placed above the sofa.

6. Think Gestalt

All furniture arrangements have a certain gestalt, or "totality," a "form". Large rectangular spaces can be dealt with by dividing the "form" of the space into another form. A long narrow living space, for instance, can be split in two by creating zones of function. Say, one half is for the sofa, or the function of conversing, and the other half is for a dining set, or the function of dining.

This helps you take the bite out of large rectangular rooms by dividing them into squares by zones of function. Humans tend to feel more comfortable and less formal in square furniture arrangements versus rectangular.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 2/19/2012

Candles can make a home look inviting, cozy and warm. They can also give a glow to many peopleís skin tones. Candles come in many sizes, shapes and scents. Burning of candles during a showing can make the home feel warm and inviting making the buyer feel relaxed and calm. Try to pick out colors like maroon (cinnamon) orange (pumpkin) these scents are soothing and relaxing scents and will help make the potential sellers feel like home. The placing of the candles is very important. The best places to put them are in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen table, window sills, and fireplace mantel. If you have a fireplace, lighting a fire is a sure way to give that room a warm and welcoming feeling. Everybody loves a fireplace and your buyers will too. Bake something delicious smelling. The Real Estate experts swear by the just baked smell when showing a home. It makes your potential buyers feel right at home. Things like Apple pie; chocolate chip cookies or fresh baked bread all will create that warm and inviting feeling. Family photos in the home make your home feel like a house full of love. Potential buyers who see photos of a family having fun, and enjoying life in their home will create a sense of a home that has a lot of memories and love. Bottom line, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere can help you sell your home.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 9/28/2011

1. Stage your home. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are staged sell on average 78% faster than the competition. Staging is more about creating a mood than moving furniture around. Staging makes a house look bigger, brighter, cleaner, more inviting and best of all makes buyers want to buy it. 2. Donít forget the outside. Stage the exterior of your home too. Fresh paint, updated landscaping and welcoming lawn furniture will help will a quick sale. Buyers often look for an outdoor space that they can enjoy with friends and family. 3. Make your home available. Homes that donít get shown donít get sold. Try to accommodate as many appointments to view your home as possible. In todayís market, there are many vacant properties that can be shown anytime. Restrictive time frames, appointments that have to be set far advance will usually result in a buyer crossing your place off the list. 4. Get real about pricing. Try to be the best deal on the market. Homes that are priced correctly will sell quicker and get a higher sale price than those that have sat on the market. Todayís educated buyers are familiar with comparable sales in the area. They will flock to a home that looks like a great deal. Competitively priced homes get the most traffic and at times even receive multiple offers. 5. Pay attention to the competition. Look at the price that homes that are similar in style, condition and location have sold for. Attend some open houses and honestly size up your competition. Try to look at your competition from the Buyers point of view removing all emotion you may have tied to your home. Keep constantly updated on changes in the market and try to stay ahead of the curve.