Category Archives: Entertaining

7 Tips for Successfully Selling Your Home During the Holidays

Marti Reeder's Real Estate Blog: 7 Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays
When we think of the holidays, we often think of shopping, cooking, decorating and spending time with friends and family. We don’t want to think about moving, but sometimes selling your home during the holidays is the right time for you to sell. If that’s the case, make it easy on yourself by following these seven tips.

  1. Focus on curb appeal. There are fewer homes on the market this time of year, making a tight market even tighter. That’s no excuse to skimp on the curb appeal though. In fact, tasteful holiday decorating can make the exterior of your home very inviting. Don’t go overboard though – a natural wreath, simple holiday lighting and a well-groomed lawn will get the attention of potential buyers.
  2. Choose an experienced Realtor who knows your market. Ask for referrals from friends, and check out real estate websites like Zillow for reviews and testimonials.
  3. High quality photos and staging will showcase your home’s best features. A good Realtor will have a top notch photographer on speed dial, and will know what staging is appropriate for the time of year.
  4. A cozy atmosphere will make potential buyers feel welcome. This includes everything from curb appeal to the staging of your home’s interior. Choose a warm color palette, depersonalize your home, clear the clutter and choose soft lighting. Inviting smells like a fresh baked pie, scented candles or holiday greenery can also help create an inviting experience for potential buyers.
  5. Clear your calendar. The holidays are a busy time for all of us, but make sure your home is available and accessible as often as possible to accommodate the schedules of prospects who want to tour your home on their own schedules.
  6. Keep it clean and clutter-free. It can be hard to keep your home clean and clutter-free while you are preparing to move and to host holiday gatherings, but this is essential to help buyers imagine themselves in your home. A dirty or messy home will distract from your home’s best features, and may even send your buyers scrambling to find a well-maintained home instead.
  7. Price your home to sell. With the right Realtor, you’ll be able to choose the right price point to your home attractive to possible buyers. She’ll know what comparable homes have sold for, what your home is worth and what you are hoping to get out of it.

For more tips for selling your home during the holidays, call Team Marti at 206-391-0388 or 253-859-8500. We’d love to help!

Happy Holidays and Happy Selling!

Preparing to Move Into Your New Home

door-690704_640So, you’ve bought your first home, but don’t know where to start after you close. What’s next? Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Take a trip to your local home improvement store. Whether your house is a fixer upper, or you want to add some shelves to that new walk-in closet, you’ll want the right tools. You might want to re-paint, or maybe change the handles on the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Make sure you have the proper tools on hand. Not sure if you’re ready for that step? Grab some home design magazines, or do a walk-through of Home Depot to get ideas.
  2. Your lawn may need some TLC too. Set aside time to mow the yard, water the plants, trim overgrown bushes and trees, etc. No time? Ask your local Realtor® to refer you to a local landscaping service.
  3. Clean, clean, clean! You’ll want to make sure everything is clean before you move everything in. If cleaning isn’t your thing, you can ask friends to help or hire a housecleaning service.
  4. Take photos or videos of your house for insurance, warranty and resale purposes. They will also make for fun “before and after” photos after you’ve made your home your own.
  5. To save money, check the insulation in your attic, and install more if needed. If there’s inadequate or no insulation, your house may not be as energy efficient as it could be. Many states offer financial incentives to encourage homeowners to insulate their homes.
  6. If your new home has been vacant for any length of time, have the heating and cooling systems serviced.
  7. Create a floor plan for furniture. Before moving in, it is helpful to know what furniture will go where. This will require some up front planning – and a good tape measure! There are lots of free floor plan tools online to make it easy for you. Room Sketcher is a fun one to try.

Moving into a new home is hard work, but it is also very rewarding. Instead of being overwhelmed, take each one step at a time. Enjoy the process and look forward to relaxing and entertaining in your new home! All the hard work will be worth it.


Decorating Tips and Tricks for Your New Home

interior-design-449009_640So you bought a new house, but you don’t know how to make it welcoming and inviting to new guests. Here are some handy tips and tricks to make your new house a home.

  • Bring in lots of light. Homes full of light are more welcoming than dimly lit homes. Add decorative lamps and recessed lighting and open curtains and blinds to create a lighter, brighter, more inviting space. Replace incandescent lights with natural light bulbs.
  • Add some personalization. Your home should reflect who you are. Display collections, hang up favorite paintings and artwork, and set out the prized possessions and mementos that bring meaning to your family.
  • Be inspired by the changing seasons of the Pacific Northwest. Bring in colors from the seasons when you decorate. It will help make your home less drab and invite people to make themselves comfortable. Simple changes like replacing pillow covers, linens and rugs can make a big difference – even on a budget!
  • Pay attention to detail. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter most. If you have access to fresh flowers, use those to decorate a space. Even a small, natural scent from these will create ambiance. No flowers? Add plants for a touch of life throughout your home. Change switch plates, upgrade hardware in the kitchen and bath, paint the front door or mailbox. All of these little touches add up to a more welcome home.
  • Make your home look lived-in but not cluttered. Keep coffee table books or recent magazines handy for guests to look through. Add throw pillows and blankets for easy access and use, and put fresh towels and soaps on the vanities in your bathrooms.
  • Make old furniture new again. Refinish flea market finds with a fresh coat of paint, stencil an old trunk, or recover old dining room chairs.
  • Mix and match. Skip the matchy-matchy decor that used to be popular. Mix and match complementary colors and patterns to create a unique look that feels like home to you.

For professional decorating advice, ask your Kent Realtor for local referrals. Good luck and enjoy your new home!


DIY Home Décor: 9 Ways to Update Your Home’s Style Today

Painted FurnitureWhether you are staging your home for sale or are just ready for a fresh, new look, we’ve got nine easy, affordable decorating ideas for you to try.

  1. Give your front door a new look. Consider repainting it a bold color or update the hardware with something fresh and fun like satin brass locks, knobs and hinges.
  1. Clean up the clutter. Consider adding a dresser or other useful, but attractive piece of furniture in a hallway or entryway to store frequently used items like spare keys, dog leashes and umbrellas.
  1. Rethink interior shelving. Shelves are, of course, great for displaying books, photos and other collections, but they can add beauty to your home too. Give a boring, staid room a splash of color by repainting a bookcase.
  1. Cozy up any room with dark colors (e.g., paint, furniture, wall and floor coverings, etc.) and subtle lighting.
  2. No more matchy matchy. Once upon a time, matching furniture was all the rage, but not anymore. Pairing a wooden table with plastic chairs, or glass table tops with wooden chairs is a fun way to bring the unexpected into your home – while also reusing and recycling well-loved materials. The same is true for rugs, pillows and other fabrics throughout your home. Mix it up a bit for a fresh look.
  1. Update your lampshades. Changing out lampshades or trying different shades with different lamps is an easy and affordable way to give your home a new look. Look past the off-white pleated shades and stark white barrel shades and go for something dramatic – maybe a colored shade or a neutral tan or gray.
  1. Paint something unexpected like the inside of a wooden curio or buffet, the back panel of a bookcase, a wooden staircase, or a kitchen table.
  1. Create an intimate space by cordoning it off with curtains or another type of visual separation.
  1. Change light fixtures to give your home a new look. Focus on one bold piece like a chandelier in your entryway or dining room, or redo all of the fixtures in your kitchen or bathrooms.

Need inspiration or ideas? We love combing through design magazines, but Pinterest and Instagram are great options as well. You can also ask your Realtor® who has probably staged a home or two along the way!

Sources: Sunset: 8 Ways to Refresh Your Home’s Style & My Home Ideas: Style Updates You Can Do Today

Create a Backyard Sanctuary This Summer

Fire pitOur gorgeous, not-too-hot summers are one of the many reasons I love the Seattle area. Make this summer one of your favorites by transforming your backyard into an outdoor sanctuary. Here are some great tips from Better Homes & Gardens to inspire you:

  • Turn a boring concrete slab into a fab patio with concrete paint in a bold color. Wash down the concrete surface, remove dirt and grime with a stiff brush, create a pattern with painter’s tape or masking tape, and paint away!
  • Use salvaged objects to create inexpensive, unique planters, or use architectural remnants to dress up your backyard, giving it a lived in, shabby chic look.
  • Give old patio furniture a new look with a fresh coat of outdoor-friendly paint. Using weather resistant fabrics, recover or replace cushions.
  • Drape outdoor lighting along tree branches and trellises or across patio umbrellas or arbors to add a festive touch. Use bright lights for a party atmosphere or softer lighting for quiet evenings.
  • Add color to your garden with potted annuals for a quick, low maintenance burst of color.
  • Create a cozy nook in a shaded corner of your garden. Add a picnic table and chairs or comfy patio chairs and an umbrella with lights.
  • Use a fire pit as the centerpiece for your outdoor living space. Buy one or build one to enjoy all summer long!

For more ideas, check out these BH&G articles online:

Budget Landscaping
15 Cheap Backyard Ideas
Outdoor Entertaining Spaces


5 Backyard DIY Projects to Try This Weekend

We love Sunset magazine, not just because it is focused on the West, but because it has such great ideas. Here are 5 backyard do-it-yourself projects (from Sunset’s list of 53!) that you can try this weekend:

  1. Get organized. Build a home recycling center to hide those trash cans and recycling bins.
  1. Feeling crafty? Make this cute outdoor chandelier with a wire basket and mason jars.
  1. If you enjoy entertaining, make this simple, portable dining retreat with potted plants, PVC pipe, mosquito netting and lights.
  1. No space is too small to build this raised planter salad box to grow greens year-round.
  1. Creating this five-section, stackable compost bin is easy-peasy and good for the environment!


Decorate for the Holidays in 10 Easy Steps

10 easy holiday decorating ideasA few weeks ago, we shared Thanksgiving decorating tips, but now we’re heading into the winter holidays. Here are 10 simple ways to decorate your home for the holidays.

  1. Place mini ornaments on a cake stand with the treat of your choice to add a festive touch to any holiday party!
  2. Drape holiday lights around your door or banister to add festive lighting to your home.
  3. Hang ornaments from your chandelier to add a whimsical touch.
  4. Tie jingling bells to your doorknob with a festive ribbon to let you know when someone’s home or that guests have arrived. This is fun to do at the base of a Christmas tree too. It will alert you when pets or little ones are under the tree when they shouldn’t be!
  5. Have a fall wreath left over that you want to spruce up? Spray with glitter paint in holiday metallics. Don’t want to spring for a wintery paint to completely change your wreath? Tie or glue ornaments onto the wreath to help add a temporary festive touch.
  6. Ringing in the New Year? Tie different colored ribbons to stemmed glasses to help visitors keep track of their glass and to add a small but colorful touch to your holiday party.
  7. Put small presents in clear ornaments on your tree to give your little ones something extra to find on Christmas morning.
  8. Tie ornaments to ribbons and attach them to your banister, or works around ribbon the posts and rail for a less breakable, kid-friendly option.
  9. Need an easier way to light up your tree? Try starting at the top and working in sections to prevent tangles in your holiday lights, and get an extra set of hands to help.
  10. Want to go for a more contemporary, chic look? Try using all metallic ornaments to create a focal point instead of all colored ornaments.

10 Simple Ways to Decorate For Thanksgiving

Easy Thanksgiving Decorating TipsWith Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to get your house together for celebrating with friends and family. Here are some simple, easy ways to decorate your home without breaking the bank, or anything else, in the process!

  1. Hollow out a pumpkin, or get one from your local craft store, and keep flowers in it for a festive centerpiece for your table setting.
  2. Create your own wreath for fall with a hot glue gun, fake leaves, and other fall paraphernalia to hang on your door or to use as a centerpiece.
  3. Decorate with reds, browns, oranges and yellows to make your home look warm and inviting.
  4. Don’t feel like carving pumpkins? Try spray painting them or drawing on them with markers for an unexpected twist to this tradition.
  5. Find small pumpkins and hollow them out to use as candle holders for a centerpiece or to light your home.
  6. Tie names to a string and attach to a pumpkin for easy placeholders.
  7. Use gold as an accent to add a pop of color to your dining room table.
  8. Hot glue fake leaves to Mason Jars and insert electric lights or tea lights to create luminaries for your home.
  9. Create a “thankful for” jar. Cut out leaves and write things that you are thankful for and put them in the jar throughout November. During the big day, pull them out and read them so you can share everything that you are thankful for with your loved ones.
  10. Take advantage of early Christmas displays by purchasing red, orange and gold ornaments to keep in a large glass container to keep as an easy centerpiece.

Most importantly, take the time to enjoy your loved ones. This year has reminded our family how precious life is as we gained a granddaughter, but lost a mother. Please take the time to show your family how special they are. Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours!


Outdoor entertaining in the Pacific Northwest

Outdoor entertaining in the Pacific NWWith the kids out of school, summer is a great time to make the most of the great outdoors. If you enjoy your yard as much as my family does, you might like some of these fun ideas from Sunset magazine to turn your backyard into a great haven for outdoor living and entertaining.

Whether you have gobs of land and a wild imagination or prefer something on the simpler side, there is no end to the outdoor fun you can have in your backyard this summer. Check out these fun ideas for outdoor lighting, furniture, dining, decorating and more.


Do-it-yourself summer fun

Marti fire pitLiving on acreage in South King County allows for lots of outdoor activities year round, but one of our favorites is having friends over for a good fire. Think all-beef hot dogs, roasted veggies and s’mores! What could be better than sharing some good, old-fashioned summer fun with friends?

That’s why I love this article by HouseLogic where author Deirdre Sullivan shares ideas on how to build your own fire pit, pond and fence quickly and affordably.

If you love entertaining outside as much as I do, check out these outdoor dining ideas from Houzz. Extend your porch or patio, dress them up or down, and enjoy dining al fresco whether you’re planning a casual get together or a celebration.

Check them out and be sure to tell me if you try any of these projects. I’d love to see your pix. In the meantime, happy summer, everyone!