Abilene, TX Real Estate News

By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
When you want a SOLD sign, STAGE IT! What is home staging? First of all, home staging is NOT decorating. Decorating is personal. Decorating is all about personal taste, Here in Texas, many homeowners have the heads of dead animals attached to the walls and proud of it! A dead animal head on the wall is decorating but is never STAGING. Second, home staging is not leftover furniture that the homeowner does not want to move. Staging is not about furniture. Staging is about creating an appealing room and space to create emotional impact. Old outdated furniture in a room is not staging. Third, staging is not a do-it-yourself project. It is possible to stage yourself, but like trying to cut one's own hair, it probably will look like you did it yourself. A professional hair dresser is going to...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
HOME STAGING SWEETER SALES    PROFESSIONAL HOME STAGING IS  A SUCCESSFUL HOME SALES MARKETING TOOL. A professional home stager showcases a home in preparation for the sale to enhance the move in ready appeal  to prospective buyers. Often a home seller may think that their immaculate,  tastefully appointed home needs no preparation to sell or staging; yet a professional home stager will be able to make suggestions that will create emotional appeal and impact to prospective buyers.  Buyers can't help themselves. They have emotions!   In a recent tour of homes, one home was cozily furnished, very warm and inviting, updated paint, decor, and accented just right with art and accessories.   This home made up for looking at some  "plain jane"  not so appealing vacant homes.   The appeal was co...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
  Scrapbooking has entered the digital age.  Some participate at an scrapbooking event and sit at their laptop. One plus for the digital method is their table is not a mess! They may be blogging instead, for all I know! One good thing for the paper and print photo method is it is one event where messiness is encouraged or at least expected.   Cropping photo paper, cutting paper strips for scrapbook pages, searching one's supplies for just the right color paper, inevitably leads to a satisfying pile of photos, paper, stickers, and borders.   The paper method does create scraps of paper and cropped photos hence the term scrapbooking! Paper scrapbooking is high touch and very satisfying.  Now there are plenty of times I want to scrap this computer in terms of throw it..... away, and I wou...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
A Christmas Poinsetta is a great holiday centerpiece.   The Mental Health Association in Abilene sells Poinsettas each year before Christmas and I got this beautiful plant delivered to me today.  The Christmas card came in the mail today from the Abilene Association of Realtors.    Place the poinsetta and the Christmas card on a red placemat  and you have an instant dining table centerpiece for the holidays.  The poinsetta need a little water every few days but usually do just fine to last till Christmas.    
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
STAGING MAKES YOUR PHOTOS BETTER.    Here is a vacant den that has been staged.  What a contrast from empty to staged!    This home has been staged and sold.  However, if I could retake this photo  I would turn on the lamp on the left   and hang something on the wall on the left to balance the right wall.      Now that almost  everyone looks at houses online, sooner or later, it is imperative that your home stands out with a professional image captured in staged photos.  The photos are so important that even if you stage just to get the photos done and then for whatever reason  have to destage, stage for the photos.  Recently in an occupied home that I had done a staging consultation, I spent 2 hours taking the photos adding in a few props for the photo shoot.   Staging for the photo sh...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
WHAT'S IN YOUR FOOD SHOPPING CART?       What goes in to your food shopping cart is going to end up in your mouth.  To make it healthier, only buy foods that are healthy.  Now, you are probably going well, duh?! The reason I mention this is that I have proof.  If I buy cheese puffs, I eat them.   (okay don't look at me that way, there are worse things in the world to put in your mouth)   The only way for me not to eat cheese puffs, is not to put them in the shopping basket. Another food that are reasonably healthy because of the fiber are Fiber One Bars.  However, they are so sweet that it is like candy for me.  I don't stop with one.  I will eat the whole box in a day.  The best strategy with temptation is to eliminate the food.  So I don't buy Fiber One Bars.   What is on my shopping ...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
  CHRISTMAS TREE FRESH OR FAKE?   Do you prefer a fresh, living Christmas tree or a plastic, artificial one? Growing up on my childhood, farm in Oklahoma, we had a fresh, cut  tree usually cut from the farm pasture that had volunteer evergreen trees growing.   As an adult, I have had both sometimes a real tree and sometimes a plastic version.  The last time I tried to put the plastic artifical tree  together, I was missing some parts and that was the end of that.   This year, I'm dreaming of finding a real fresh Christmas tree.  If a fresh cut tree is missing a few branches, no big deal.  If an artificial tree is missing some pieces, it looks funny!    Tomorrow in Abilene, A community Christmas tree lighting will take place at the Abilene Civic Center, 1100 N. Sixth St. as part of the ...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
NEIGHBORHOOD CHRISTMAS LIGHTS GOING UP!   THANKSGIVING IS DEFINITELY OVER, THE WEEKEND  AFTER  THANKSGIVING, STRINGS OF LIGHTS ARE BEING PUT UP IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.   IT SEEMS THERE A RACE TO GET THE LIGHTS UP BEFORE DEC 1.     ACTUALLY, IT IS PROBABLY THE VERY PLEASANT WEATHER WE ARE HAVING HERE IN WEST TEXAS.  THE AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURE HAS BEEN ABOVE AVERAGE MOST OF NOVEMBER.   I'M NOT COMPLAINING.  IT MAKES GREAT WALKING WEATHER.  TO PROVE THE WEST TEXAS SUN HAS BEEN UNSEASONABLY WARM, HERE IS A PRAIRE DOG ENJOYING THE SUNDAY AFTERNOON SUN EARLIER TODAY!     AND HERE'S ANOTHER CUTIE!    IT SEEMS THAT THIS ONE IS A LITTLE CHUBBY!                    
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
  Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) Competition Voting I am a current member of the Real Estate Staging Association, which is advancing professionalism and excellence in Real Estate Staging.  There is an annual staging competition this year that members have the privelege of voting on the entries.  This is my first year experience at voting on entries in the RESA competition.   There are so many entries, that it is going to take a whole lot longer than voting took say in the recent Presidential elections.   In the staging competition, a voter gives a rating of 1 to 10 for each entry.  Each entry consists of 4 photos, 2 before photos and 2 after photos.  Now I am somewhat of a perfectionist and so I am really studying each photo for good staging criteria, so this is going to take a ...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
My Vegetable Garden List idea is the result of having eaten too many sweet potatoes and stuffing and gravy this Thanksgiving Day. Now I am most thankful for my food and I enjoyed every bite! Tomorrow is a good day to eat healithier! Tomorrow means it is time to add a green vegetable to the diet as I have overdosed a bit on the potato family. In reviewing the list of the world's 100 healthiest foods, about third of them are vegetables and about 1/2 of those vegetables, I have never eaten or rarely eaten. Thus the idea of a vegetabe garden list and a plan to introduce new vegetables to my diet. Some healthy candidate vegetables for my list are Kale Bok Choy Beets Scallions Parsnips Squash Escarole Here's the plan: Introduce a new vegetable once per week. Buy fresh and learn to prepare and...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
There is a special part of real estate called property managment where you never run out of hearing  unusual questions! There is always a new question! Today's question from a prospective tenant is:     "DO YOU TAKE SNAKES?"   Even funnier is I thought I heard: "DO YOU TAKE Section 8 (eight)?     and then I asked about the caller's housing assistance status  and the reply was  "what is that?" When I said I thought you wanted to know about whether the rental house is  available for city assistance.  Then the prospective tenant repeats the question.     "DO YOU TAKE SNAKES?"   This time, I heard loud and clear the question.   Now, I won't keep you in suspense,  I was so shocked, I blurted out probably a little too forcefully  a resounding "NO!" and before I could recover from the surprise...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
You have heard the saying, An apple a day keeps the doctor away.    In new research published online September 29 2012, Journal of Functional Foods, study participants who ate one apple every day for four weeks had reduced blood levels of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad" cholesterol. )  This means that eating an apple a day can reduce your risk of atheroschlerosis (hardening of the arteries) Participants who took a supplement containing polyphenols similar to those found in apples also had lowered oxidized LDL, but not as much as those who ate apples.  A control group taking a placebo or "sugar pill"  experienced no change in oxidized LDL.  Once again, it is no secret that apples are good for you.  Another conclusion one can draw from this study is that eating  fresh food ...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
THREE STAGING MISTAKES OWNERS MAKE!   #1  MISTAKE IS SIMPLY HAVING TOO MUCH STUFF IN THE HOUSE!     EVEN USEFUL STUFF IS STILL STUFF, EVEN EXPENSIVE STUFF IS STILL STUFF! STUFF GETS IN THE WAY OF SPACE.  THE ONLY THING THAT WILL MAKE A SELLER MORE MONEY IS TO SHOW THE BUYER  MORE SPACE AND LOTS OF IT! MOST HOMEOWNERS SURROUND THEMSELVES WITH ABOUT 1/3 MORE STUFF THAN THEY ACTUALLY EVER USE.  STUFF IS LITTLE ITEMS, BIG ITEMS, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN. FOR STAGING TAKE AWAY 1/3 TO 1/2 OF FURNISHINGS IN THE HOUSE.  I HEAR YOU GASPING NOW!      #2 STAGING MISTAKE IS THE HOUSE LOOKS OUTDATED. I didn't say you were outdated.  It is simply things that are outdated.  House Furnishings color and pattern change from year to year.        #3 STAGING MISTAKE IS KEEPING ROOMS TOO DARK. Dark comes in...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
Staging is Not Decorating. Let's not get personal in staging to sell. When you decorate a home, it is designed to appeal to the homeowners.  When you sell your home appeal to the buyers.   Staging is not decorating with  your collections of memorabilia no matter how antique and no matter how valuable.  Personal is personal.  You want the buyer to ooh and ahh over the house and think how fast can I make an offer to buy this house instead of oogling your antique dresser.  As the seller, you don't want an offer to buy a piece of furniture when it is your house for sale!  Collections include those in cabinets, bookshelves, walls, counters, and entire rooms.  I viewed an open house once where an entire bedroom was lived in by a collection of dolls.  There were simply too many eyes in that ro...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
    Scrapbooking is a hobby that many people enjoy. Some are very artsy and fussy about their layouts; others less so.     I am not so artsy, but I do enjoy the process of organizing, sorting, and then arranging photos on a page.  I am too impatient to do that much embellishment. One can also arrange scrapbook paper or fabric memorbilia, such as tickets, brochures, programs,  even pretty scraps of paper or  fabric.  Scrapbooking is a high touch activity that is satisfying and great for preserving your photos and memories of events and a way to express yourself, rather like blogging. Scrapbooking lends itself to being something that is fun to do as well in a group especially when there are door prizes!   A scrapbooking event with door prizes is being held Friday, November 30 6pm. to Mid...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
Where does the bed go when staging the bedroom?  When you live in the house - where ever you want the bed to go! However, when you are selling or staging a vacant bedroom, this is a good time to think about where the bed goes.   The bed is the obvious focal point in a bedroom and as such should take center stage.  If there is a magnificent window view, then help the buyer envision waking  up to the wonderful view. Sometimes the view is not so wonderful and in that case a wall of drapes behind a bed is a good idea. The bed should not be so big it swallows the room, so if the room is not big enough for the KING bed, downsize the bed.  I already hear you going say what?  Selling is about space not about accomodating beds! Do you the know the difference between a  second bedroom and a Maste...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
  How do you Stage a dining room? To create a dining room, the obvious focal point is going to be the dining table.  Even if the dining room has been used for something else such as a  home office, play room or exercise room, by the previous owner, when it comes time to sell a house, it is best to convert the room back to being a dining room. Staging makes it easy to convert the room back to dining.   Remove everything out of the room except for a dining table and chairs.   This is to help the buyer see the space and begin to mentally move in and make the connection to the purpose of this room.  Staging a room slows the viewing buyer down and gives a visual image to connect with.   There is a saying that buyers only see what they can see.   When a room is not staged, you have created wh...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
How do you Stage a Fireplace?   A fireplace is almost always the natural focal point of any room.  Even an ugly fireplace needs to be given some focal point honor.  Don't put a couch in front of it.  Don't put a baby gate in front of it.   Don't close it off with a solid screen.  The fireplace has to be dealt with.  It can not be left plain and unadorned such as the first photo below. One idea for the outdated gold insert is to spray paint the insert black.  Another idea is to remove the screen entirely and place logs in fireplace holder.   The mantel is screaming for attention.  Simpler is better.  The best thing about the mantel is that a piece of art could be leaned on the mantel wall.  For the upcoming holidays, a solid green wreath on the mantal wall  would be perfect especially if...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
  Winter Photo in an Abilene Window     Wasn't it just yesterday that Christmas was months away?  The local grocery store  HEB shattered that myth with Christmas music resounding from every corner duirng shopping this weekend including the Hallelujah Chorus. What happend to Thanksgiving?  Did I miss it?  Oh, Okay it is still November.  Whew!  What a relief.  The cooler weather should get me moving a little more briskly.  What a relief that  will finally get a break on the electric bill with less air conditioning. It's time to make that Thanksgiving shopping list this week.  Remember that Turkey needs thawing time.  All the media are talking about different ways to make Turkey, whether to baste the Turkey or whether to stuff the turkey. My favorite turkey baking method is to use a Reynol...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
HOUSE NOT SELLING?  STAGE IT!    THREE ADVANTAGES OF CALLING IN A PROFESSIONAL HOME STAGER ARE:   FRESH PERSPECTIVE CREATE BEAUTY & EASE OF  SALE     1.  FRESH PERSPECTIVE: A main reason to call in a professional home stager is that they have fresh perspective.  Your home stager will not be attached to your colors, your decor, or your style.  The home stager will take a fresh approach to your colors, just like a buyer will. 2. CREATE BEAUTY: A professional stager will transform your inside spaces with furnishings and decor to appeal to the most buyers.  A home stager creates spaces that embrace your buyer with emotional warmth and charm.  To do that requires skill, experience, and an eye for creating beauty. 3. EASE OF SALE:    A third main advantage of hiring a professional home stager...
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