Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Effective Improvements for a Faster Sale

You have decided to sell your home, and you are eager to sell it ASAP! You need to move or want those proceeds immediately, but how? Let’s go through the best ways to efficiently and effectively improve your home for a speedy sale.

First, curbside appeal. This is the first thing every potential buyer sees so make it stand out!  Some suggestions:
  • Hire a gardener to clean and spruce up the entrance
  • Remove superfluous items from the front of your home, i.e. garbage cans, strollers, etc.
  • Put a fresh coat of paint on your home’s exterior
Second, this is the time to clean and eliminate all clutter inside your home. Here’s how:
  • Give away extra toys, clothes, and anything else that makes it look crowded or disorganized
  • Organize the kitchen countertops and closets
  • Place bulky items in storage
Third, landscaping matters. A large yard cannot shine if the plants, grass and trees are in bad shape. Try the following ideas:
  • Artificial grass-this always looks amazing and eliminates the need for maintenance
  • Tie orchids around the trees, plant fresh flowers and maintain the grass and trees
Fourth, look under the hood. Make the inside of your home look as good as possible.
  • This is the time to do some of the minor repairs you have been putting off. This will make your home look better and may eliminate certain issues during the Inspection Period.
  • Yes, it seems expensive or time-consuming. However, if you hire a professional company, this can truly make the difference and get you more money in less time.
Finally, hire a professional, licensed Realtor. A Realtor with experience and expertise can help sell your home quickly for the best price.

Originally published by Coldwell Banker Burnet Blue Matter by Hillary Hertzberg

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending February 10, 2018

The market needs an increase in new listings in order to build inventory. It is something that has been needed for some time, and there has been positive movement in that regard in desirable submarkets. But it has not been consistent from week to week in year-over-year comparisons. Another way to boost inventory is to have fewer sales, but nobody wants to see that become an ongoing trend.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending February 10:
• New Listings increased 0.7% to 1,364
 • Pending Sales decreased 6.9% to 853
 • Inventory decreased 25.5% to 7,139

For the month of January:
 • Median Sales Price increased 9.2% to $243,000
 • Days on Market decreased 13.8% to 69
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.0% to 96.9%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 22.2% to 1.4

Publish Date: February 19, 2018 • All comparisons are to 2017

Monday, February 19, 2018

President's Day 2018

Happy President's Day from Stafford Family Realtors!

We hope that you are enjoying your long weekend! We are looking forward to getting back into work first thing in the morning. Everyone be safe out there!

Ambient Lighting Tricks to Warm Up the Whole House

They say setting the mood is like flipping a switch and we couldn’t agree more. Lighting plays a lead role in making your house feel like home. Here are 10 lighting tricks to enhance your home’s aura.

Guest post by Kelsey Roadruck, Houzz
They say setting the mood is like flipping a switch and we couldn’t agree more. Lighting plays a lead role in making your house feel like home. Here are 10 lighting tricks to enhance your home’s aura.
1. Control natural lighting. If you thought only stormy weather could make a breezy beach house look dark and moody, take a second look at the photo above. The lucky homeowner can draw the sheer curtains closed without completely blocking out the sun. They also get a postcard-worthy view of sunrise and sunset every day from their glass doors. The dimmed fixture above casts a warm light in an all-white room while the cloudy landscape photo tones down the views of the beach.
2. Be picky about your paint. Ask a professional about a paint’s light reflectance value (LRV) before you commit to a color. Lighter colors tend to be more reflective than dark shades. Pay attention to sheen level too since glossy finishes are more reflective than matte finishes.
3. Experiment with materials and finishes. When mixed and matched strategically, these seemingly small details can determine the mood of a whole room. This white and grey bathroom would look stark and cold without the brass fixture above. The candles around the tub help warm the room up too.
4. Install a dimmer switch. There’s nothing relaxing about straining your eyes in a room that is too bright or too dark. Use a dimmer in addition to layering your light sources for ultimate light control. Believe it or not, installing a dimmer switch can be a DIY project.
5. Recess your lights. Even if the bulb is not that bright, a central fixture with multiple bulbs and a shiny finish can be overpowering. Recessed lighting conceals the bulbs and therefore can lights feel softer. You could also hide strip lighting underneath cabinets for a nice nightlight on your way to the kitchen or bathroom. Check out this ultra contemporary island that appears to be floating mid-air.
6. Go a different direction. Uplights, like sconces and track lighting, create a soft glow. On the other hand, downlights cast ominous shadows that can really add mystery to a romantic room. Get creative by backlighting wall decor for a play on color and shapes.
7. Take a refresher course in lightbulb basics. The type of bulb is equally important as its fixture. Halogen, fluorescent and LED bulbs have a range of temperatures from warm (or yellow) to cool (or blue) hues. This is a matter of personal preference, but typically yellowish bulbs warm up cool-colored rooms nicely and vice versa. Bluer bulbs also help brighten darker spaces, like basements and windowless bathrooms.
8. Find your favorite shade. Bright colors, playful patterns and funky shapes can bring personality into a stale space. Smoky glass chandeliers intensify intimate vibes in a dining room while big paper lanterns enliven sophisticated home offices. The teal shades on this fixture match the pillows and put an icy sheen on the large dark walnut bookcase.
Note: This ceiling light is reflected in the whimsically shaped mirror that will help spread light further into the room.
9. Try twinkle lights. Not limited to holiday decor, you can use twinkle lights all year round. Drape them over windows for some extra sparkle or fill jars or empty wine bottles with a bundle of battery-operated fairy lights for an illuminated vignette.
10. Open flame. It’s no secret that candles are customary to ambience, but they’re often reserved for after dark. Next time, try starting a fire first thing in the morning and you’ll find that candles are as effective for waking up as they are for winding down. The heat will naturally draw you out of bed and the rising sun will energize you. We’re channeling all the feels from this rustic bedroom. The corner fireplace and candle chandelier are nothing short of mesmerizing.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Weekend Roundup of Activities Around Town!

Looking to get out and enjoy the weekend around the Twin Cities? Here is a few ideas of some fun ways to get out and enjoy the weekend!

Minnesota Orchestra in live performances of Leonard Bernstein’s score as the complete film is shown on screen, February 16 and 17th.
The Orchestra plays Leonard Bernstein’s score to West Side Story, while the complete 1961 film is shown on a large screen above the Orchestra Hall stage. David Newman, an Academy Award-nominated Hollywood composer and conductor, leads the Minnesota Orchestra in these concerts.

The concerts are held at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Friday, February 16, at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, February 17, at 8 p.m., with tickets priced from $34 to $96. Tickets are available at and by phone at 612-371-5656.

Escape the cold and get a taste of the tropics at one of the Zoo's most popular events. Bring your pail or favorite sand toy and play in Minnesota's two biggest indoor sandboxes.  Take in a full day of family fun exploring an indoor rainforest teeming with wildlife, along with special activities each weekend.

Minnesota Zoo Members Bring a Friend—your guests will receive 50% off daily admission tickets Monday through Friday during Tropical Beach Party.

Or consider checking out some of our local shops and restaurants while wandering around charming downtown Excelsior. Whatever you decide to do, enjoy your weekend! 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Coming to Market Next Week! 1.9 acre Lotus Lake shoreline lot in Chanhassen!

Coming Soon!!! We will soon be listing one of the largest building sites on Lotus Lake in Chanhassen! This property offers 1.9 acres with 230 feet of northeast-facing shoreline on Lotus Lake. Comprised of two conforming lots, the property could easily be divided to create two separate building sites. The home that is currently sited on the property is livable, however this is an amazing opportunity to build new or remodel! Located in Easter Carver County Schools and just minutes from all the amenities of downtown Chanhassen and the charming Village of Excelsior. Contact Eric Stafford for more information! 952-470-2575 or

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending February 3, 2018

As we get beyond the newness of the year and into the idea that 2018 is here and now, there is plenty of excitement about the promise presented within strong economic conditions and an active real estate market. Buyers are taking fresh listings that show well off the market in short order, and it is evident that the lack of inventory is driving prices up and market time down.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending February 3:
 • New Listings decreased 24.2% to 1,000
 • Pending Sales decreased 19.3% to 767
 • Inventory decreased 25.0% to 7,062

For the month of December:
 • Median Sales Price increased 9.7% to $248,000
 • Days on Market decreased 15.3% to 61
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.3% to 97.1%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 26.3% to 1.4

Publish Date: February 12, 2018 • All comparisons are to 2017
Information from Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Spring Selling Checklist!

With spring selling season around the corner, it’s time to give your home the boost it needs to meet today’s buyer expectations.

With the early spring selling season kicking off shortly after the new year, it’s time to give your home the boost it needs to meet today’s buyers’ expectations. Take advantage of being inside during the cold winter months with these quick fixes that will help your property stand out from the competition, boost its value and sell quickly.
Family Room Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Declutter & Organize

Start tackling one room at a time by packing up anything that will distract buyers from seeing the unique features of your property such as personal collections, family photos, newspapers, books and magazines. Rearrange and remove excessive furniture to simplify and make the room appear larger.

Make Basic Repairs & Updates

Make sure everything is in good working condition. Repair and replace broken light switches, bulbs, ceiling fans, door knobs, leaky faucets, shower heads, windows, thermostats, etc. Update lighting fixtures with contemporary styles and consider replacing older kitchen appliances with sleek, eco-friendly models to capture young buyer interest.
Bedroom Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Refresh and Brighten With Paint

Remove wallpaper and cover bold wall colors with a fresh coat of neutral paint to set the perfect backdrop for simple, updated styling. Give older style kitchen cabinets or wood vanities an instant facelift by covering with bright white or dark espresso paint. Then pair with knobs and drawer handles in brushed nickel or satin brass for an elegant finishing touch.

Fresh Flooring

There is nothing that dates a room more that worn, soiled carpeting. Remove and/or replace carpeting to reveal hardwood flooring underneath to instantly brighten and make the room feel more spacious. There are also many budget-friendly, easy to install options on the market now for replacing damaged flooring such as laminate and vinyl that look and feel just like wood.
Mudroom Remodel by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Add Storage Options

Today’s buyers are looking for plenty of storage. Added storage solutions such as built-in bookshelves, window seats with storage underneath, entry storage units, and extra closet hooks and rods are a practical way to attract immediate buyer attention.

Partner With a Pro

Consult with a professional stager who will have an objective eye and knowledge of what appeals to today’s sophisticated buyers. They will provide a range of solutions for enhancing your home showings by recommending everything from furniture placement to wall color to complementary modern accessories to add clean, welcoming style.

Reblogged from Digital Content for Coldwell Banker Real Estate, LLC. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending January 27, 2018

It is common for there to be a lift in residential real estate activity at the beginning of each calendar year, as consumers steel their collective resolve to do what they deem is next toward achieving their goals. It is the housing industry's equivalent to resolving to eat better, go to the gym more, quit smoking, etc. Except in 2018 so far, we are not yet seeing that extra bump in activity. For the most part, the trends have been blind to calendar dynamics.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending January 27:
 • New Listings decreased 13.2% to 881
 • Pending Sales decreased 11.1% to 722
 • Inventory decreased 25.3% to 7,080

For the month of December:
 • Median Sales Price increased 9.7% to $248,000
 • Days on Market decreased 15.3% to 61
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.3% to 97.1%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 26.3% to 1.4

Publish Date: February 5, 2018 • All comparisons are to 2017

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Smart Appliances Will Make My Life Better

LG’s ThinkQ Kitchen Showcase at CES 2018 is a gamechanger

The following post is a guest contribution from Dave Pardo, social media manager with Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group.
CES 2018 turned out to be one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had and I am grateful to have been a part of the Coldwell Banker Blue Crew. One of the most interesting products I experienced was the LG ThinQ Kitchen Showcase, which included smart refrigerators, oven ranges, dishwashers, washer and dryers, air purifiers, and other innovative appliances designed to enhance our busy lifestyles.
LG InstaView ThinkQ Refrigerator – When I saw this product demonstrated, I felt my appliance dreams had all come true. Not only does its large display allow you to manage its temperature, build shopping lists and leave notes for others, the InstaView lets you search recipes and set reminders to let you know when foods are due to expire, and so much more… all Alexa Voice Service driven, too! My favorite feature… the internal cameras that sends a panoramic view of what’s inside the refrigerator right to your mobile device… from anywhere, at any time. Perfect for when you’re away and need to know what you need to shop for.
LG Induction Slide-in Range – This smart range and oven could easily become my new best friend, as its features include notifying me when my dinner is ready. Trust me, I’ve had my share of overcooked meals. The LG SmartThinQ app not only lets you know how much cooking time is left, but also lets you pre-heat the oven, and remotely turn it on and off. The best part about this appliance… it’s Alexa Voice Service and Google Assistant enabled. What’s cooking in my kitchen, you ask? All I’ll say is that the LG Induction Slide-in Range ‘smells’ like a winner to me!
LG TWIN Wash Washing Machine – Besides, at times, making the attempt to cook, my laundry hamper might tell you that I need lots of help in the laundry department, too. This smart appliance just might do the trick, especially for when I forget to do laundry because I’m either thinking about other things or rushing out the door to appointments. After filling the washer, the LG SmartThinQ app allows the ability to schedule or start your washing cycle from anywhere. It even lets you know when it’s the washing stage is complete and ready to be moved to its LG SideKick dryer. What a game-changer! With this smart technology, I just may enjoy doing laundry!
By far, the LG Kitchen showcase at CES stood out as the most practical and relevant smart home products for me. This certainly confirms it… with all the innovative technology that LG SmartThinQ appliances now have, the heart of our homes (the kitchen) are certainly not only beating stronger, but beating much smarter, too.