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home decor tips

Interior design trends are a double-edged sword: what looks great today may look hopelessly dated tomorrow. That's why so many people are now interested in timeless home decor. Here are a few of the techniques we've picked up over the years while staging our Augusta homes for sale

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Staging Tips

If you want to generate more buyer interest in your home, staging your home's rooms will help you accomplish this goal. While many home sellers focus on a home's primary spaces, like the kitchen and living room, our real estate agents know that it's important to stage every space in your home. Here are a few tips to follow. 

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Downsizing Tips

When it comes to living spaces, our needs change throughout different stages of life. Large homes can become a lot to manage, especially when entering retirement. However, the decision to downsize can be a difficult one. Many people struggle with the idea of giving-up space or parting with a family home. 

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Timeless Kitchen Updates

Kitchen renovations can be expensive, so wise homeowners who are thinking about selling their homes someday choose upgrades that will stay in style for a reasonable number of years, rather than trendier changes that will look dated too soon. When you list your house among Augusta homes for sale, you are more likely to get a positive reaction from potential homebuyers if you keep renovations simple and understated.

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Clean Your Washing Machine

You might think that because you use detergent with every load of laundry in your washing machine, it stays clean. That's not the case, though.

Soap residue, minerals, and laundry soils can build up, and your washer can develop a musty smell or even start to grow mold and mildew. That's why you should add cleaning your washing machine to your spring cleaning routine and make it a habit throughout the year. It doesn't take many supplies or much effort to get the results you need, so it's a great task to put at the top of your spring cleaning checklist.

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Staging Your Home For Sale

Cleaning, organizing, repairing, replacing, packing… staging your home is no easy task, especially when you have a house full of children. Kids will be kids, and unfortunately, that means new messes will pop up faster than you can clean them. Don't worry — you won't have to tackle this task on your own. Our real estate agents have these helpful tips to make sure every one of your in-person walkthroughs and virtual showings are picture-perfect.

  1. Knowing When to Seek Help
    First thing's first, you may need a set of helping hands to accomplish your goal. Quite simply, most parents have too many responsibilities to juggle, and there are only 24 hours in a day to get everything done. Older children should be tasked with tidying up their rooms and helping around the house. For larger projects, consider asking your extended family members and friends to help — even if that means babysitting! You may also want to consider hiring professionals to help you remodel, keep your home clean, or keep your yard looking great.

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Selling a Vacant Home

Our REALTORS® are skilled at coordinating closings for a smooth transition from one home to another, but sometimes the time frame is out of your control. Maybe you've accepted a job offer or promotion requiring relocation by a specific date, or you need to care for an elderly relative.

Don't despair. With a little extra planning, you can sell a home you've already vacated by incorporating these helpful tips.

  1. Alert the Neighbors
    Vacant homes are beacons for troublemakers. Thieves can slip in, and strip copper plumbing and other materials. Or kids may be tempted to vandalize the place. Let the neighbors know you won't be there so they can keep their eyes open for suspicious activity.

  2. Stage the Home
    No matter how well a home is maintained, a lack of furnishings can give it an air of abandonment. The effect is similar to the last item on a store shelf that no one wants. If you can't use any of your furniture, consider renting packages that include the basics for a particular room. Other options include consignment or closeout furniture. It's well worth the investment to hire a professional stager who has experience maximizing attributes and minimizing flaws.

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Real Estate Terms to Know

Whether you're listing your first home, or if you're a seasoned pro at flipping houses, there are many real estate terms you'll hear. If you're considering listing your property among other Augusta homes for sale, you will need to become familiar with this terminology to make the process easier for you. Acquainting yourself with some of the verbiage discussed below will make your home-listing experience more enjoyable.

Terms You Should Know When Listing Your Home

Once you familiarize yourself with even some of the basic definitions, the process will become easier for you. If you need help clarifying some of the more complex terms, our REALTORS® can help you better understand what they mean for you as a buyer or seller.

One of the first terms to acquaint yourself with is the combination of a buyer's agent and listing agent. A buyer's agent will represent you in the sale of your home while finding potential buyers. While a listing agent will handle the marketing and prepping of your home throughout the process. Principal refers to the amount owed to the lender, which the buyer pays with interest, and using a certified REALTOR® will ensure ethical standards are upheld during the listing.

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Selling During a Divorce

Navigating the stress and emotional pain of a divorce is a lot. Throw in the added stress of trying to sell your home, and you're bound to be in a bit over your head! Our REALTORS® have helped many families navigate this process and have compiled a list of helpful tips to streamline the process of selling a home during a divorce.  

  1. Determine Timing of the Sale
    A home can be sold before, during, or after a divorce. Each point has its pros and cons relating to property division, taxes, and other financial considerations. Consult your attorney to decide which is the optimum choice for your situation.

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Multiple Offers on Home - Sprague & Curtis

Congratulations! You've found yourself in a position most sellers dream of — having multiple offers on your home. While this is a positive development, some sellers may be unsure of how to proceed. Should you choose the buyer with the highest offer or consider other options? There is no black and white answer — the best solution will be the one that fits your needs appropriately.

Our real estate agents have spent years negotiating Augusta homes for sale and have plenty of experience helping a seller manage multiple bids. We know this may seem overwhelming! However, this is a fantastic opportunity for you to ensure your needs are met and that you conduct a mutually beneficial real estate transaction with a deserving buyer.

Before you make a decision, we encourage you to consider these helpful tips:

  1. Look for Offers that Stand Out
    Before you sort your offers into categories based on price, funding, contingencies, and preapprovals, we suggest taking a moment to acknowledge the offers that stand out. You can separate them into two piles: ordinary offers and extraordinary offers. Examples of exceptional offers are those with a personalized letter, those offering to cover closing costs and those having added an escalation clause. These small details can make a significant difference later on in the process.

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Ways to Declutter - Sprague & Curtis

Many of the best Augusta homes for sale offer plenty of storage space. However, one of the biggest challenges in moving is getting "stuff" from Point A to Point B. Our real estate agents advise taking a structured and systematic approach to your move. The keys are starting early and making decluttering a priority.

Most of us have more stuff than we know what to do with. Over time, it's easy to forget the things we bought and put away. Everything purchased by a person, a couple, or a family is a snapshot of needs they had at a particular time. But those needs change. 

So, how can you tackle the intimidating task of decluttering before your big move?

Take a deep breath and follow these tips:

  1. Start Decluttering as Soon as You Can
    The earlier you start, the less stressful the process will be, since you can tackle it at your own pace. Plus, it can offer you a fresh perspective. You might be surprised just how many things you don't use often.
  2. Incentivize Donating
    To keep yourself from carting things you don't want, figure out a nearby location for donations. Many charities accept used clothes, and some will take food, toiletries, or electronic goods. Start with a "donate" pile from the beginning.

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Move or Improve - Sprague & Curtis Real Estate

To move or to improve—that is the question. Don't worry—plenty of homeowners are faced with the same dilemma when considering purchasing new Augusta homes for sale.

Our real estate agents believe that if buying your first home is the biggest real estate decision of your life, then deciding whether to remodel or sell your home is the second-biggest real estate decision you'll make. If you're like many homeowners, you've been struggling to make a choice. On the one hand, a new home is an exciting thought. A new space in a new area—now may be the perfect time to move. On the other hand, although you're no longer in love with your home, you still have a coveted attachment to it. Why not give it a second life by remodeling a few rooms, upgrading some appliances or even adding an extension on for more space?

If you're wondering whether it's time to move or improve, consider these questions:

  • Why do you want to move?
    This question is the most important: Why are you considering changing homes? Perhaps you've become disinterested in your neighborhood, maybe you don't want to contend with the seasonal weather changes. You could simply be unhappy with work or school and believe that moving with help resolve these feelings. Whatever the reason might be, it's important that you identify it and discuss it openly with your household.

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Energy Efficient Homes-Sprague & Curtis Real Estate

Our real estate agents have an exciting new trend in Augusta homes for sale to share with you. It's this: Energy-efficient homes.

Energy efficient (or "green") homes are gaining popularity throughout the United States. More and more people see the value in reducing their carbon footprint by ensuring energy isn't wasted. Not only does this help protect the natural environment, but it also reduces the cost of ownership for any home. A few energy-efficient improvements can reduce energy bills by hundreds annually. With a proactive approach, you may even cut bills by thousands.

This is a crucial matter for new home buyers in and around Augusta. Savings really count when you're establishing your budget and trying to discover exactly how much house you can afford. Luckily, there are some efficient renovations you can install relatively quickly, even if you're putting a property on the market soon. They can earn you a premium on your sale price, too.

Our top energy-efficient renovations include:

  1. Programmable Thermostats
    Your thermostat is the brain of your entire heating and air conditioning system. When you use a programmable thermostat, it will keep these energy-intensive systems idle throughout the day, then reach your desired temperature while you're on your way home from work.

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Paint to Sell-Sprague & Curtis

Are you looking for cost-effective ways to boost the value of your Augusta home for sale? According to USA TODAY, painting a home's interior produces an average 109 percent return on investment (ROI), and landscaping service LawnStarter cites an average 90 percent ROI on exterior paint jobs.

While painting is a relatively easy upgrade, whether you hire a professional or go the DIY route, you still need a strategy to optimize results. Here are some expert painting tips to make a visual statement buyers won't be able to resist.

  • Stick with the Basics
    You might think that chevron-filled accent wall is the height of style, but not every buyer is going to share your opinion. In addition, many people want to purchase a home that's move-in ready, not one that needs changes right off the bat. Light neutral shades such as ivory, tan and "greige," a hybrid of gray and beige, have timeless appeal.

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Spring Home Maintenance-Sprague & Curtis Real Estate

The arrival of spring brings the first robin, the first tulip and the first wave of viewers touring Augusta homes for sale. Stand in front of your home and take a good look. Does it look enticing enough to draw potential buyers inside?

Boost your home's value and curb appeal by completing this checklist of spring maintenance tasks.

  1. Inspect the Roof
    As your home's first line of defense against weather, the roof takes quite a beating during winter months. If you'd rather not climb a ladder, use a pair of binoculars to scan the roof for damaged or missing shingles, as well as signs of leaks.

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Staging a Home to Sell - Sprague & Curtis Real Estate

You've probably already done a lot to get your home ready to sell. There's deep cleaning, decluttering, and working on the curb appeal. But if you want to get your home sold as quickly as possible and for the best price, staging is a must. Our real estate agents can tell you, it really does make a difference!

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, staged homes can go for up to 10% more than comparable properties that aren't staged. Even if you're not an interior designer, don't worry. You can always hire a professional or try some of these easy DIY staging tips that can make a big difference.

  • Don't be afraid to rearrange or repurpose. Once you've decluttered, you'll want to get rid of some furniture. Put it in storage, sell it, or get rid of it; just get it out of the house. Alternately, you may want to rent furniture instead of using your own. Rooms look bigger if they aren't overcrowded, and the size of the furniture makes a difference, too. Furniture should be a few inches off the wall and grouped. Living rooms and dining areas should look like an inviting social space, where you would want to have conversations with friends. Feel free to try pieces in different rooms.

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Winter Curb Appeal - Sprague & Curtis

Do you assume that curb appeal is a non-factor during the winter? The truth is that less greenery and sunlight puts a greater emphasis on how attractive your home and yard look.

Thoughtful exterior staging can give your house a valuable edge over other Augusta homes for sale. Use these helpful tips to create eye-catching cold weather curb appeal that will draw multiple visitors and offers.

  1. Keep Walkways Clear
    Safety is the number one reason to remove snow from sidewalks, stairs, and driveways, but it also affects visual appeal. A snow-covered yard makes a house look unkempt and deserted, and it's a tip-off as to how well the interior of the home has been maintained. Make it a family affair by enlisting the help of your kids. 

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Sell Your Home Winter Open House Tips
Let's face it, winter weather in Maine isn't always fun and games. When the wind starts to kick up, and the ground is covered with ice and snow, most potential home buyers would rather hunker down in front of the fireplace than venture out to look at Augusta homes for sale

While summertime open houses are easy to prepare, setting one up in winter brings its own set of challenges. It's likely that you won't get as much foot traffic, so you'll want to do everything you can to put your best foot forward. These five tips will help you spruce up your home and increase your chances of closing a deal. 

  1. Avoid a Slippery Situation
    First impressions are everything, and the last thing you want is for a potential home buyer to fall on their way into the house. Shovel a complete path all the way from the street to the front door. De-ice the driveway, sidewalk, and front porch to make it as safe as possible. 

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Selling Your Home Over the Holidays
Home sales in New England don't stop when the leaves start to fall, and every station on the radio turns to Christmas carols. Many prospective buyers are eager to start the new year in a new home. This can present golden opportunities for motivated sellers to close quickly and do the same. Our real estate agents recommend the following six tips that can help you sell your Augusta, Maine home during the holiday season.

  1. Choose Your Price Strategically
    If the listing price is too high, it will linger and languish. If it is too low, it will appear as if there is a problem with the property. Aim for a sweet spot that accurately reflects the value of the property and your desire to sell with minimal negotiation. Buyers want a deal, but that doesn't mean you have to give the home away. Your real estate agent can help you set a price that is acceptable to you and attractive to buyers.

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Home Sellers Checklist
At Sprague & Curtis Real Estate, we know that once you decide to sell your home, you're anxious to get it listed and visible to potential buyers, and we're certainly excited to help you sell your home. Experience has proven that there are steps that you can take to make your home stand out to buyers, and these simple preparations can make all the difference in making your home sale successful.

  1. The Right Agent for You
    Deciding on an agent who will work hard for you is probably one of the most important steps in getting your home sold. It's perfectly acceptable for you to interview a few to determine who will be your ideal partner in marketing your home. Our real estate agents know the market and offer both experience and superior service.

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Why For Sale By Owner Homes Don't Work
When it comes to selling your home in Augusta, our real estate agents know what it takes to get top dollar in the shortest amount of time. One of the most common misconceptions about selling a home is that For Sale by Owner properties are just as profitable as those sold by real estate agents. To help you make the most out of your investment, here's what you should know about why homes for sale by owner don't work. 

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Hire a Realtor
If you are selling a home, you've probably considered different ways to maximize your profit. The thought of selling your home on your own may seem like a great option at first but—this decision could end up costing you more than any potential savings you might have expected. 

Selling your Augusta home without the help of a real estate agent can be a complicated process filled with mountains of paperwork and regulation compliance requirements. Our REALTORS® understand the selling process and can help relieve the stress and frustration that accompanies the selling process. 

If you cannot decide whether or not to hire a REALTOR® to sell your home, here are some more great reasons why you should:

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