Category Archives: Home Decor

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!

Home Sellers, Should You Stage Your Home? YES!

You’re thinking about selling your South King County home, and you’re wondering if you need to spend the time and money to stage your home to make it more appealing to potential buyers. After all, it is a seller’s market, and home inventory is low, so buyer’s don’t have a lot of homes to choose from. Is home staging really necessary? To you have to do it? No, staging is not necessary, but it is recommended.

By staging your home, you can appeal to a broader base of buyers who can then envision themselves in your home, because clutter is minimized and your home is depersonalized. Still not convinced? Check out these statistics: 50 percent of staged homes saw a 1 to 10 percent increase in dollar value offers from buyers!

Should You Stage Your Home?

If you are considering selling your home and aren’t sure if staging is right for you, contact Team Marti today. We’d love to share our experiences with staging, and explain how it call help you sell your Kent, Covington or Maple Valley home.


7 Tips for Selling Your House in the Fall

Kent Realtor Marti Reeder: 7 Tips for Selling Your House in the FallThough the real estate market slows down a bit in the fall, it is still a good time to sell your home, especially in the greater Seattle area where home inventory and interest rates are both low. Here are some tips to help you prepare your home for sale.

 1. Clean up the exterior of your home. This means keeping your lawn, trees and shrubs neatly groomed, clearing out any flowers and plants that didn’t survive the summer, and keeping the leaves raked. It is also a good time to wash exterior windows, power wash the outside of your home, your front porch and deck.

2. Make the front of your home inviting. Don’t underestimate the value of curb appeal. You want the exterior of your home to be neat and clean, but you also want it to be inviting. This might mean putting flowers or plants (pumpkins even!) on your front porch, adding a seasonal wreath to your front door, giving your mailbox or front door a fresh coat of paint or replacing the old faded address numbers with something more attractive.

3. Clean your home’s interior, top to bottom. We always hear about spring cleaning, but fall cleaning is just as important. Give your home a thorough cleaning, including windows, blinds, ceiling fans, baseboards, floors, walls, if needed, etc. If you don’t have time, ask your Realtor® to refer you to a professional house cleaner in your area. It is well worth the money.

4. Declutter, depersonalize and organize your home, garage and any outbuildings. By doing so, potential buyers can more easily envision themselves in your home.

5. Prepare your home for fall weather. Take out or store window or portable air conditioners, replace screens with storm windows if your home has them, clean out your gutters, store your patio furniture, and consider having your furnace serviced.

6. Do minor repairs. This goes hand in hand with preparing your home for fall weather. Do the windows need caulking? Do any of the screens need repairing or replacing? Are any of your light fixtures broken or in need of an updated look?

7. Add seasonal touches to your home’s interior. This could mean a fall floral arrangement in your entryway, cozy autumn-colored throws in the family room, or a bowl of fall fruits on your kitchen counter. You could also take advantage of fall scents with candles or air fresheners – apple, cinnamon, pumpkin, etc.

During the initial walk-through of your home, your Realtor® can make additional suggestions for improving and staging your home to put the focus on its very best features. Happy selling!


5 Tips for Staging Your Home Like a Pro

According to, staged homes sell 88% faster, and for 20% more, compared to homes where sellers left their belongings in place. Thinking about selling your home this spring? Follow these tips to stage your home professionally. It’s easier – and less expensive – than you think!

  1. 5 Tips for Staging Your Home Like a ProClear out the clutter! No one likes a messy or disorganized home, especially someone trying to envision themselves in your space. Put away knickknacks, personal photos, stacks of mail and magazines.Have more furniture than you need? Move it to another room or store it out of the way in an attic, garage or storage facilities. In other words, if it doesn’t need to be there, toss it, donate it or store it.
  2. Rearrange furniture and home décor. Give your home a fresh, new look without spending a dime by pulling furniture away from the walls, moving rugs and wall hangings around, and reimagining your home’s look with small adjustments here and there. Hanging curtain rods higher can give the illusion of higher ceilings.
  3. Depersonalize your home. Sure, having your family photos and past awards and recognitions on display makes your family feel warm and fuzzy, but it’s hard for some buyers to picture living in a home they can’t see themselves in. Tuck the photos and acknowledgments away.
  4. Go neutral. Paint the walls a neutral color so buyers won’t have to immediately paint their new home. Using neutral when decorating can make spaces appear bigger. Save your favorite bold colors for accent pieces (e.g., lamps, pillows, wall hangings, rugs) that will go with you when you move.
  5. Revive your home’s curb appeal. If your home has dead flowers, dirty windows, chipped paint, or the landscaping needs some TLC, make time to give it a fresh appearance before showing your home. Power wash the outside of your home, add a fresh coat of paint to your mailbox and front door, and replace dead plants from last season with fresh flowers and greenery to make your home inviting from the street.

No time to stage your home? No problem. Ask your Realtor® to recommend someone. She may have staging experience or work with someone who’s a pro! Good luck and have fun.

[Thanks to HGTV and for the inspiration for this post!]


Fight Cabin Fever with These 5 Winter Home Decorating Tips

Fight Cabin Fever with These 5 Winter Home Decorating TipsAre you getting tired of the cold, dreary days of winter? Me too! Brighten up your home – and your outlook – with these fun winter decorating tips for your home:

  1. Add unexpected pops of color around your home: throw pillows, fresh flowers, rugs, curtains, furniture covers, lampshades, etc. If you’re really feeling bold, paint an accent wall. These are easy, affordable and fun ways to move away from dull and drab winter interiors.
  1. Let there be light. Though the days are gradually getting longer, we won’t notice an appreciable difference ‘til late February or early March. Lighten up your home with candles in the evening, and brighter lights to make your home cozier and less dreary. Strategically placed mirrors can also bring additional light indoors.
  1. Dress it up. Switch out your old, reliable (and dare I say boring?) window treatments and replace them with something bolder and brighter. In your kitchen, for example, instead of mini-blinds or top-to-bottom curtains, try café curtains in black and white check, or replace a solid-colored valance with a bold print.
  1. Mix and match fabrics to add luxurious textures to your bedroom. Add decorative accent pillows to your bed in rich fabrics like velvet, lace or silk Damask print, and finish off with a handmade wool throw at the foot of the bed, and a sheepskin or faux fur rug on the floor.
  1. Create a cozy nook for reading and relaxing, complete with lush pillows and warm blankets in an inviting spot near the fireplace. No fireplace? Hang clear white holiday lights in the corner of your living room or bedroom, and add winter white, silver and gold candles in an arrangement on a nearby table.

These five winter home decorating tips will help you fight that cabin fever until the groundhog gives us the all clear. Until then, stay toasty warm!

P.S. – A lot of stores have White Sales in January, so be on the look out for bargains this time of year!



Curb Appeal – 5 Tips to Make Your Home Look Its Best This Fall

Curb appeal is essential when  you are trying to sell your home. Here are some easy tips and tricks for boosting your home’s curb appeal, while keeping your home cozy and inviting this fall.

  1. autumn-200293_640Look at your exterior paint. Is it a neutral color? Are there fewer than three colors on the outside of the house? Make sure you keep your house a neutral color, and keep the amount of colors to a minimum to keep the focus on your house. Maybe think about changing your accent color if you don’t want to paint the entire house. Is the paint aging well, or is it flaky and in need of repainting? Talk to your Realtor® to see if repainting will raise the value of your home enough to pay for the cost of painting.
  2. Keep the lawn free of debris. With fall, all the leaves are coming down, and when people see leaves all over the lawn, it makes them wonder how much work the lawn really is. Rake leaves and dispose of them if you can.
  3. Clean up the exterior of the house. Once the leaves are off the trees, you’ll see more of your house from the street. Pressure wash the exterior to make it extra clean, and apply a fresh coat of paint to any chipping or fading areas. Clean out the gutters as well! Gutters are important to letting buyers know you care about the upkeep of your home. It will also help protect your home from water damage.
  4. Add exterior lighting. Days are becoming shorter, and it becomes more and more critical to light up the exterior of your house. This will not only provide a safe path to your door, but make buyers feel like there’s an extra layer of security in a well-lit area.
  5. Create an inviting entrance. With the right fall accents and lighting, your front porch and entryway will welcome potential buyers. Be subtle though. If your home is for sale, this may not be the time to show your Halloween spirit and love of zombies and witches.

Use these tips and tricks to get more “window shoppers” to schedule a tour of your home. For more ideas on curb appeal, talk to your Realtor who has the expertise and experience for marketing your home. Good luck!


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

9 Ways to Cut the Clutter & Organize Your Home

9 ways to cut the clutter and organize your home.One of the easiest ways to make your home more appealing to prospective home buyers – and to you – is to cut the clutter and organize your home. Real Simple and HGTV offer some fun ways to rid your home of clutter:

  • Use unexpected items for storage: coffee mug rack for hair accessories, tie rack for scarves, or pastry tips for rings.
  • Save space in the garage by hanging sports equipment, gardening gear, tools, etc.
  • Store cleaning supplies in a portable bucket or carrier under the kitchen sink.
  • Display collectibles in a glass case (IKEA has some great options!) to keep them organized and dust free.
  • Keep outdoor toys and sporting goods in a basket or laundry cart with wheels, easy to take outside and store later.
  • Use mason jars, apothecary jars or brandy snifters to store and display items like pasta, after-school snacks, spools of thread, colored pencils, crayons, etc.
  • Clear out and donate clothes each season that you have not worn in the last year. Encourage your kids to do the same by making a game of it.
  • Create a portable beauty station for make-up, nail polish and accessories that you can tote around the house or pop in a cabinet when your Realtor® is showing your home
  • Clean out your refrigerator and freezer. If you can’t remember when you bought it, toss it.

Not feeling creative? Check out Pinterest for inspiration or check out a home organization store like The Container Store.




6 Ways to Depersonalize Your Home So Buyers Can Make It Their Own

6 ways to depersonalize your home so buyers can make it their ownYou’re getting ready to sell your house, and you want buyers to be able to visualize themselves in your home. As hard as it can be to let go of what makes your home yours, depersonalizing it is crucial for a successful home sale. Seeing less of your personality can help prospective home buyers to see themselves living there. Here are some easy ways to depersonalize your home.

  1. Put away family photos, diplomas, certificates, etc. Store them carefully in their frames, so the photos and other keepsakes don’t get damaged in the move. Exceptions: photos of the interior or exterior of your home that show other views or seasonal features like blooming gardens, flowering trees, your home during the holidays, etc.
  2. Strive to make your home neutral. While your daughter may love having a bright pink room, it might deter prospective buyers who don’t have children or who don’t want the added work of repainting before the home can be move-in ready. Consider repainting your daughter’s room and other boldly-colored rooms a neutral shade and add neutral decorations (e.g., candles, decorative lighting, etc.) to add character and depth to your home without being overly personal This may attract more serious buyers.
  3. Pack away and store things you don’t need out for a while, particularly seasonal items and sports or exercise equipment you aren’t likely to need or want before your proposed move-out date. Remove extra throw blankets, pillows, books, or even electronics that are just taking up space and adding clutter.
  4. Store collections that can detract attention from the home – figurines, models, antiques, crafts, etc. Keep your collections safe in a storage unit, and keep the focus on your home rather than the things in it.
  5. Depersonalize your bathroom. Remove cosmetics, toiletries, etc. and keep the décor, towels, rugs, shower curtain, etc. simple. Be sure to always keep the bathrooms clean, so you aren’t caught off guard if a Realtor® schedules a last minute showing.
  6. Remove anything that is potentially offensive, including artwork, political memorabilia, hunting trophies, etc. You may love your Richard Nixon and beer can collections, but others may not.

For additional suggestions, consult with a local Realtor® with expertise in successfully selling homes. She will have specific recommendations for your home, and may be able to refer you to a staging company. By depersonalizing your home and staging it the right way, you are more likely to get top dollar for your home. Good luck!