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Itching to sell your home and make the move up with your growing family or thinking of

Lisa Willard is Ashley's Building's co-owner and chief designer.
Lisa Willard is Ashley’s Building’s co-owner and chief designer.

downsizing now that the kids have flown from the nest?

Spring is right around the corner, March 20th to be exact, and along with summer, June 19th, are the hottest times to put your home on the market.

The Board of Realtors reported 2192 active listings in January 2016 and with the peak selling season rapidly approaching, the competition will increase dramatically creating a buyer’s market. If you want to be a top contender among the sea of for sale listings, you will need to do everything you can to entice interested buyers to google map your directions and get excited about signing on the dotted line.

This may take a few honey-do days or weeks to accomplish, but I assure you, it will be worth your time and investment to get your home in “look at me” shape so your buyers won’t be forced to move on to the next listing.

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1. Declutter and Depersonalize.
Does your home look more like a crowded antique store or an episode of hoarders? This is where you MUST disconnect from the emotional tie to your home and think top dollar. Too much furniture and personal clutter can hide your home’s true potential.
Janice Melancon, Real Estate Broker for 33 years, and owner of New Covenant Realty, Inc. in Bossier City says, “Remove all personal pictures and eliminate any excess furniture so the spaces look larger.  Pack it up and put it in storage and moving day will be a bit easier.” Neutral paint colors and a decluttered nicely decorated area will photograph better than brightly painted rooms.”
Once you painted over those lime green walls and narrowed down your furniture, arranging it or staging your home in a way that allows a comfortable flow through each room helps the buyer appreciate the floor plan and visualize their own style in the space.

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2. Kitchens and Bathrooms
Buyers love clean, stylish kitchens and bathrooms and many purchase decisions have been based solely on these two spaces alone.
Our company has personally updated kitchens and bathrooms for clients that wanted to add value to their home and be a top selling contender when it goes on the market.
Janice also recommends focusing on these two areas, “Kitchens and bathrooms sell.  Buyers must be able to imagine cooking meals and bathing children in these spaces.  Repair items in need of repair and freshen up these areas.  A home with an outdated kitchen may encourage low offers or may be passed over because the house down the street has been updated.”

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3. Curb Appeal
Can a buyer see your house through the bushes or trees?
Overgrown grass? Cut it. Bushes crawling up the side of your home? Have them removed ASAP.
Janice reminds us about first impressions, “When you have peaked the interest of a buyer online, the next true test is showing your home in person. A prospective buyer may drive by your home before requesting to see inside, and curb appeal; landscaping, nice flowers, a freshly painted exterior may get them to decide to view the inside.  The front door must be welcoming; no cobwebs clutter or deferred maintenance for the prospective buyer to notice as the Realtor is getting the key to open the door.”

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4. Home Inspection
Although the interested buyer making an offer on your home is usually the one that takes care of this, I firmly believe having your abode looked at by a reputable home inspector is a wise move.
This is especially important if you see cracks in or outside of your home, leaky plumbing, roof issues, or anything else that may raise an eyebrow or two. These may be signs of something serious and will scare the heck out of any potential buyer.
Having your casa looked over will either give you relief knowing it has a clean bill of health or put you ahead of the game if you need to do a few repairs before listing.

5. The Internet

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You’ve staged the home, repairs are done, and the front yard looks amazing. Now what?
According to, there are over 3 Billion people worldwide using the internet. Our phones, laptops, desk tops, and now televisions connect us to everything the world has to offer including home sales. This is where the magic happens or the train wreck occurs.
Taking good quality pictures of your home exterior and interior is a must. Buyers love to dig in to your home either through a virtual tour or by looking at multiple photos with strategic angles of each room.
Janice says, “The trend to shop for homes on the internet first before ever viewing a home means the home must photograph well.”
This goes hand in hand with Janice’s advice in our #1 tip, “Neutral paint colors and a decluttered nicely decorated area will photograph better than brightly painted rooms.”
Selling your home doesn’t have to be a stressful time; on the contrary, you are embarking on a new, exciting chapter in your life and the experience should be as joyful as possible.
As Janice reminds us, “Once you peak a buyer’s interest, you may have only one showing to convince them your home is their dream home.”
Following these tried and true methods will help your home stand out of the crowd of sellers and get you on your way to that beach condo on the gulf or the pool home in the burbs that much quicker.

Lisa Willard is Ashley’s Building’s co-owner and chief designer. She is a dedicated wife and mother to her big, beautiful, blended family. She is never to busy to stop and smell the roses, and loves all things that uplifts the mind, body, spirit and the home. She can be reached at

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