With a diverse background in design and construction, Stephanie Neighbour and Dawn Nelson offer clients complete design services for the home. They collaborate on staging homes prior to listing, as well as, any design assistance with newly purchased homes.
Since 1996, Stephanie has worked with Neighbour Realty’s sister company, Vie Construction. Designing and showcasing their speculative homes for the Parade of Homes, Vie produced several award-winning homes. Stephanie has also worked with many of Vie Construction’s clients in the design of their custom home or renovation.
Dawn also has an extensive background designing custom interiors and has won various awards for model homes; including Parade of Homes “Best in Show” four years in a row. She also designed interiors for Showcase Homes and Candlelight Tours.
Setting the Stage
Before Home is on the Market
- Have carpets, rugs, and outdoor upholstery professionally cleaned.
- Change your house numbers if they are old or out-of-style.
- Buy a large, neutral-colored doormat for front door.
- Arrange for a storage facility and begin pre-packing. Go through home, room-by-room, reducing clutter by creating a pile of items you want to throw away or donate and begin packing personal items (family photos, children’s artwork, collections, etc.)
- Remove small rugs and make sure larger ones are in good condition.
- Thin-out furnishings: baskets • filing cabinets • ottomans • TVs that aren’t flat screen • printer tables • folding screens • freestanding bookcases • magazine stands • trunks, etc.
- Remove clutter from all surfaces:
- Kitchen: leave only the essentials on counters and remove everything from above cabs and surface of fridge.
- Bath : all toiletries and replace bar soap w/ liquid soap.
- Other : items from window sills, mantle, desks, tables, and leave bookcases with @ 2/3 books.
- Clean home thoroughly; hire professionals if possible.
- Use color… neutrals in varying tones can create warmth and cohesion and lighten dark spaces. Be consistent utilizing either a warm or cool color palette.
- Take a hard look at your indoor plants. Most need to discarded…that goes for the artificial ones too!
While Home is on the Market
- Sweep entrance daily.
- Keep lawn, driveway, sidewalks clear of debris.
- Pick up newspaper/mail daily and put out of sight.
- Don’t forget to water your outdoor plants.
- Put fresh flowers in front hall if possible.
- Keep fresh fruit in attractive bowl on kitchen table.
- Open all curtains and blinds.
- Pick up and hide all personal items.
- Try to keep up with laundry and keep in a concealed hamper.
- Make all beds, using crisp white sheets.
- Wipe down sinks in kitchen and bathrooms.
- Wipe down kitchen counters and pets’ eating areas with Lysol.
- Put away all dirty towels and keep clean, neutral colored, freshly folded towels on display.
- Check toilets for cleanliness and keep lids down.
- Hide all evidence of pets that you can. If you have pets that shed, vacuum daily. Clean litter boxes daily. Take your pets with you during showings!
- Leave exterior lights on…sellers may drive by to see house in evening.
- Leave interior lights on during showings.
- Be aware of unpleasant smells…masking them with overpowering fragrances can be just as bad! Choose a light fragrance for freshening the home.
Creating Curb Appeal
In a market saturated with homes for sale, it is critical you make the first impression a positive one. Potential buyers may think it is a waste of time looking on the inside of the house, if the outside isn’t enticing. That one opportunity lost, can easily be salvaged by taking a few steps to give the exterior a facelift. Depending on the condition of your home, most homeowners can invest a minimal amount of time and money to revitalize its appeal.
- Trim shrubbery — particularly shrubs blocking windows, walkways or extending past porch height
- Remove dead or ugly shrubs and planters
- Reseed or sod bare areas on the lawn
- Edge beds, driveway, walkways, and curb
- Weed beds and add mulch
- Add flowers in colorful mass groupings around front entry, drive , walkway, and in planters
Cleaning & Painting
- Pressure wash driveway, decks, soffits, and porches
- Wash windows inside and out
- Paint/stain front door and shutters a complimentary color
- Touch-up paint where needed — don’t forget mailbox