The Only Source For Housing Market Info in Southern NJ

Welcome to the official blog site of The Iwaniw Team at Avalar Atlantic Properties, real estate marketers. Visit often to read our entries pertaining to the current housing market, the growth of our business, special promotions, and properties that we currently market. We will be adding commentary and articles that we feel are of interest to current home owners and buyers.


The Iwaniw Team
Residential Marketing Specialists
@Avalar Atlantic Properties
Direct: 856-318-9098
Cell: 856-404-5635
http://www.iwaniw.com/
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How Much Is Too Much Gray in Home Design?

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

It’s been gray mania in home design over the last few years. We first saw grays grow as the base wall color in homes, then within flooring, furniture (hello, gray sofas!), and now gray colored kitchen cabinets are all the rage. Gray is everywhere!

And while all these gray home décor items individually are certainly still trending, using them all together — well, it can be a little much. Remember, even Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz” eventually opened the door to the delight of cheerful colors.

Let’s not forget, gray isn’t exactly the happiest, most cheerful color. It’s a neutral, and it needs to be mixed with color to make it pop.

So to liven up your grays, pair gray-colored walls with an accent color, like greens, yellows, or navy patterned accent chairs, pillows, or rugs. Here, the designer uses a blue velvet sofa to break up the gray.

 

For the kitchen, avoid the temptation to pair gray walls, gray flooring, and gray colored cabinets. Instead, try a contrasting shade, like a different color kitchen island to offset some of the gray.


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The Iwaniw Team
Residential Marketing Specialists
@Avalar Atlantic Properties
Direct: 856-318-9098
Cell: 856-404-5635
http://www.iwaniw.com/
Like Us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SNJHomes

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Eye-Catching Home Accents That’ll Make All the Difference

By Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

You want potential buyers to remember a property from the moment they step though the front door. Think beyond just furnishings and décor and present a lifestyle that they can envision—all through memorable, engaging home accents.

Add in Pops of Bold Hues

For the gorgeous living room shown above, our design team chose versatile navy-blue as the primary accent color. The color really pops and makes a statement against the soft, neutral backdrop. Since this room is one of the first that guests will notice upon entering the property, the use of an eye-catching color creates a focal point to draw potential buyers into the space. The cozy velvet side chair, accent pillows, artwork, and pottery work together to create a sophisticated space.

Set the Scene

Once the furnishings and decor are chosen, set the scene. We arranged trays and baskets on tabletops to help immediately draw buyers into the space and emotionally connect. In the photos above, we chose a collection of coordinating accents with texture and personality, such as plants, flowers, colorful bottles, napkins, and wine glasses to convey a lifestyle and enhance the home’s unique style.

Display Artwork

Artwork is a great way to add a subtle touch of warmth. We’ve found that using simple imagery with soothing hues or text with a short message works best to add to the room’s style while not detracting from its best features. The canvas “Home Sweet Home” wall art and abstract art for the fireplace (shown above) were the perfect finishing touches in the farmhouse style kitchen we recently staged with soft creams, wired baskets, and pine furnishings.

Invite in Textures

Layering and mixing textures creates depth and visual interest in any space. In the rooms shown above, we started with beautiful area rugs that contrast well with the dark hardwood flooring and added a mx of textured accents, such as a faux fur throw, pillows in different fabrics, wood, gold and silver metallics, wire, glass and ceramics. The final result is an engaging space that will instantly get noticed by buyers.

For more examples of interior decorating and home staging, visit www.pjstagingdecorating.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern is the principal, interior decorator, and professional stager of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating. She has been staging and decorating homes for more than 13 years. She and her team provide turnkey, full service home staging and interior decorating throughout Connecticut and Westchester and developed an award-winning staging program for luxury homebuilder, Toll Brothers. Her company has received Houzz 2015–2019 Awards for Customer Service. Patti also has been featured as a staging and decorating expert on NBC Connecticut and FOX TV as well as a variety of local publication,s such as Connecticut Magazine, the Hartford Courant, and more. She is a regular contributor to the Styled, Staged & Sold blog. Email her at: patti@pjstagingdecorating.com


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The Iwaniw Team
Residential Marketing Specialists
@Avalar Atlantic Properties
Direct: 856-318-9098
Cell: 856-404-5635
http://www.iwaniw.com/
Like Us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SNJHomes

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Vignette Staging Doesn’t Cut It Anymore: Here’s Why

By Jennie Morris, International Association of Home Staging Professionals

In the beginning, home staging was mostly focused on sprucing up vacant properties. In the late 1990s to early 2000s, when staging first started to gain traction, stagers and real estate professionals tended to have limited furniture resources and focus on “vignette staging.”

Vignette staging is where small groupings of furniture and décor are used for adding some visual appeal and in helping to define the purpose and size of a room. It was a technique widely used at the time. But in today’s staging world, vignette staging does not work.

Vignette staging–THEN

Staging–NOW
Photo credit: IAHSP

A vignette lacks proper size and scale of furniture that give buyers an idea of how large (or small) a room is.  It makes it difficult for a buyer to visualize when furniture items aren’t used or only surface décor or art is in the space. A buyer viewing images of the property online will not have a sense of the true size or the purpose of the room.

Buyers nowadays expect more from their property search experience and are more sophisticated as a result of watching programs on HGTV and TDN.  Vignette staging cheapens the look and feel of the house.

Today’s professional home stager follows industry trends for furniture styles, colors, and understand the demographics of the buyer they are working to attract with their staging results. They do not rely on old furniture in a property. They carefully curate an overall cohesive look that will resonate with buyers online and in person.

Stagers help create the potential for a buyer, often highlighting a lifestyle with the selections of furniture, artwork, and décor.

Just as real estate professional services have evolved to include higher quality marketing, photographs, and processes that help best market a home, home staging has progressed as well.

The idea of just putting a few towels in a bathroom, placing greenery on counters, and leaning a piece of art on a mantel and calling it a “staged” property is about the same as a seller thinking FSBO is the same as using the services of a professional REALTOR®. They are not the same.  Not by a long shot!

Which property do you think a buyer will want to purchase?

Photo credit: IAHSP

Photo credit: IAHSP

Photo credit: IAHSP

Photo credit: IAHSP

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennie Norris is the chairwoman for the International Association of Home Staging Professionals® (IAHSP®), the president & CEO of Stagedhomes.com, and the owner and principal stager of Sensational Home Stagingserving the greater Denver region. As a Master ASP® Stager, she and her teams have staged 5,000 properties for sale since 2002. For more information on staging or to locate a professionally trained and credentialed stager near you, visit www.Stagedhomes.comorwww.iahsp.com.


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The Iwaniw Team
Residential Marketing Specialists
@Avalar Atlantic Properties
Direct: 856-318-9098
Cell: 856-404-5635
http://www.iwaniw.com/
Like Us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SNJHomes

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Neon Colors in Staging?! You’ll Be Surprised How Much You Like It

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey

In a throwback to the 1980s, neon colors are popping up in more home decor. The flashiness of neon colors is a sure-fire way to brighten up your home’s interior, and the way fluorescents are being worked into a room isn’t as nauseating as you might at first imagine.

Adding in neon-green bath towels or a neon-colored pink or yellow ottoman or accent chair may sound too bold for your home staging. But as long as you mix it with the right colors, it may be just the pop of color a room needs.

The neon accent trend was on display in this year’s New American Home, a model home of innovation presented during the 2019 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. Designers used neon-green and yellow colors throughout the home’s otherwise neutral colored backdrop.

Photo credit: Jeff Davis / Jeffrey A. Davis Photography

Neon color pops can actually make a room look sophisticated and luxurious.

But of course, moderation is key when adding in neon accents. (Remember, you’re not going for some black light retro effect!)

Designer Justin Riordan with Spade & Archer Design Agency in Portland, Ore., told realtor.com® that the neon trend works best when it’s mixed within a room decorated in mostly whites and grays. He suggests avoiding neon accents when working with Earth tones, such as creams, beiges, and browns.

For those looking for a more daring staging style, you’ll be well on-trend if you reach for those neon yellow pillows or that hot pink, nailhead accent chair. Check out these pictures from Houzz to see how the neon trend is being shown off in stylish ways.


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The Iwaniw Team
Residential Marketing Specialists
@Avalar Atlantic Properties
Direct: 856-318-9098
Cell: 856-404-5635
http://www.iwaniw.com/
Like Us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SNJHomes

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Get on Mom’s Good Side: Staging Fit for the Female of the House

By Sarah Anderson, VHT Studios

Let’s face it: Moms work hard! Besides juggling their own work schedule, they are integral to keeping the family on track, from changing diapers to helping with homework to shuttling kids to and from school and assorted extracurricular activities.

Because of that, when moms are looking for a property, they tend to be drawn to homes with features that work for the entire family: Large, open, and spacious kitchens, family rooms that double as playrooms and homework havens, bedrooms that can be converted to craft dens when the kids fly the coop, and designated mudrooms for sports equipment, shoes, and coats. Highlighting these family-friendly features could be paramount in appealing to mom buyers.

Photo credit: VHT Studios

Photo credit: VHT Studios

It’s also creative and smart to appeal to mom’s desire for creature comforts to help her envision her next lifestyle in that new home. What mom hasn’t dreamed of having a luxurious en suite bathroom, a reading nook, or a well-organized walk-in closet to indulge in at the end of the day? Or, having a space all to themselves in the form of a trendy “She Shed” or “Mom Cave”? And let’s not forget about a poolside chaise where the only voices heard are those of the birds!

Photo credit: VHT Studios

Photo credit: VHT Studios

Photo credit: VHT Studios

This Mother’s Day, let’s take a closer look at how real estate pros can leverage beautiful photography and even some digital virtual staging tech tools to appeal to both the practical and dreamy side in a mom’s home search.

What do Moms Need in a Home?

A great way to get on a mom’s good side is to show how a home can appeal to the whole family and how the home could even make her busy life a whole lot easier.

To clearly display how a home will work for the entire family, real estate pros need to showcase high quality, gorgeous photographs of family-friendly spaces and features within the home. Also, VHT Studios offers tools like Virtual Paint and Virtual Redecorate to help present a room in many different ways and functions–to help moms envision that picture perfect image too.

Children’s bedrooms: Show the current fully decorated child’s room that provides a fun, kid-friendly space for play, homework, and sleep. A child’s bedroom or playroom also can be transformed in photographs into a new office, den, or craft room by using virtual staging tools. (Just be sure to clearly mark the images as “virtually staged” so there are no surprises when they visit the property in-person.)

Photo credit: VHT Studios

The backyard: Show off how there’s enough room for children to play outside. Also, consider giving the home’s exterior a romantic look with a twilight photography session or a Virtual Twilight digital enhancement. Capture that blue and pink glow in the sky and the soft reflective light off the windows to convey a warm and welcoming, homey feel.

What’s Really In Mom’s Dream Home? 

All too often, moms delay their dreams to stick to a family budget. Although it’s important to take the entire household’s happiness into account when making a large purchase like a home, moms should also consider what they individually want in a house as well.

What mom doesn’t want to escape to a spa-like bathroom with a glass of wine at the end of the day?

Photo credit: VHT Studios

Real estate professionals need to show how that dream of relaxation and the ability to unwind can become a reality for moms by highlighting these types of home features in a listing. Professional photography can certainly help with that.

Photo credit: VHT Studios

Crisp, clear, high-resolution professional photography with rich, brilliant colors appeal to what moms really want in a home and draws their attention to potential indulgences such as luxurious bathrooms, open and fully updated kitchens, and relaxing, spa-like master suites, or an at-home gym where a mom can go to do yoga in peace.

The smartest real estate professionals follow that reliable old, but oh so wise adage: If Mom’s happy, everyone’s happy!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Anderson is vice president of marketing at VHT Studios, a national real estate photography and visual marketing firm.


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The Iwaniw Team
Residential Marketing Specialists
@Avalar Atlantic Properties
Direct: 856-318-9098
Cell: 856-404-5635
http://www.iwaniw.com/
Like Us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SNJHomes

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Hot Home Trend: Countertops Making Waves

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

The speckled, spotted styles of granite countertops that have dominated kitchen design in recent years are moving out of the mainstream. In fact, those brown speckled granite countertops may even start to now age kitchens.

Instead, countertops are blending in more to the kitchen design. A polished, solid colored countertop, like in all white or black, is trending. Or one design really growing in popularity lately: Veined countertop designs. These countertops feature soft waves that resemble the look of marble.

 

Check out how some of these countertops are blending in more with the design and creating a clean, polished look in kitchens.


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The Iwaniw Team
Residential Marketing Specialists
@Avalar Atlantic Properties
Direct: 856-318-9098
Cell: 856-404-5635
http://www.iwaniw.com/
Like Us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SNJHomes

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Staging Tip: Remove the Window Screens Prior to a Photo Shoot

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Besides a good window cleaning, there’s another way to boost your curb appeal and get those windows shining: Remove the screens.

Home stagers love this trick, and it’s taken straight from the film industry. Remove the outside screens on your windows in the front of your home prior to your home being photographed, or prior to an open house. Your windows will look shiny and clean.

After all, a window screen can make a window appear filmy and dark.

But whatever you do, don’t throw away those screens! Keep them in the garage, and don’t forget to reinstall them later. The new homeowners will most certainly still want those.


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The Iwaniw Team
Residential Marketing Specialists
@Avalar Atlantic Properties
Direct: 856-318-9098
Cell: 856-404-5635
http://www.iwaniw.com/
Like Us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SNJHomes

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5 Steps to Creating the Perfect Outdoor Living Room

Submitted by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)

Photo credit: OPEI

1. Declutter & Clean
The first step to sprucing up the outdoor living room is to clear dirt and clutter from the space. Store lawn equipment, children’s toys, and pet play things in a shed or garage. Give the entire area a good scrub down, sweeping away dust and debris so you’re left with a fresh, clean canvas.

2. Invite the Outdoors In
Blending interior and outdoor living spaces helps the exterior area feel like an extension of the home, not an afterthought. Ensure blinds and curtains are open to the family yard, highlighting the outdoor oasis. Make certain the indoor and outdoor décor complement one another and use similar colors, materials, and styles both inside and out. It’ll help better connect the two spaces.

3. Create Cozy Sitting Areas
Create easy traffic flow throughout the outdoor living room, while offering a number of places for people to sit–at a table, around a fire pit, or in a cozy chair configuration. Also, offer some shade by using umbrellas or outdoor curtains to minimize sun glare and maximize visions of enjoyment in the outdoor living room.

4. Soften the Outdoor Space

Introduce a few soft design features into the outdoor area to create an inviting atmosphere. Rugs, throw pillows, and upholstered patio furniture are a few ways to accomplish that “cozy” feel. Ensure these items look fresh and clean and are not worn or dated. It’s relatively inexpensive to swap out new pillows and rugs.

Create outdoor ambiance by hanging string lighting, introducing a fire pit in the center of a patio, setting up a zen-like water feature, or adding candles, small plants and freshly-cut flowers to tabletops.

5. Use Living Landscapes
Nothing says “welcome home” quite like a beautiful living landscape, complete with flowering shrubs, trees, flowers, and other vegetation. Freshen up the family yard by weeding, mulching, and planting flowerbeds and pots with colorful flowers and verdant plants. Vases of flowers can also help bring life—as well as a pop of color–to outdoor tablescapes.


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The Iwaniw Team
Residential Marketing Specialists
@Avalar Atlantic Properties
Direct: 856-318-9098
Cell: 856-404-5635
http://www.iwaniw.com/
Like Us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SNJHomes

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How to Prep a Yard for Spring Buying: 5 Tips

Photo Courtesy: OPEI

By Kris Kiser, President & CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)

As the spring selling season kicks into high gear, real estate and staging professionals can help their clients enhance their listings by creating an outdoor space that is attractive to buyers. The family yard not only can expand living space, it also reconnects families and pets with nature and provides a natural setting to reduce stress, improve memory, boost mood, among many other benefits.

Here are five points to consider:

1. Understand potential buyers’ lifestyle needs.
Determine how a potential buyer might use the yard, then plant accordingly. Does the yard need more shade for hot summer days? Is it lacking a grassy area for kids and pets to play?

2. Know the climate zone.
Help your clients select climate-appropriate plants that will thrive with minimal input. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map indicates which grasses, shrubs, and trees are most likely to succeed in a specific location.

3. Plant for pets.
More families are including pets in their lives so consider animal’s needs when planting. Hardy grass withstands pet traffic. Soft, yet sturdy, foliage is a good choice for heavily-trafficked areas. See which plants are dangerous to pets by downloading the ASPCA’s list of poisonous plants.

Photo Courtesy: OPEI

4. Attract pollinators & wildlife.
The home habitat is also vital for pollinators (bees, butterflies, and birds) and other wildlife that rely on backyard plants for food and shelter. Planting climate-appropriate, pollen-rich flowers will help nourish pollinators, while creating a vibrant outdoor scene buyers will appreciate.

5. Stage the outdoors.

Showcase how the space will be used, including setting outdoor tables, having a barbecue grill set up, and other touches that show people can “live” in the space.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kris Kiser is the president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and the OPEI Education and Research Foundation. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing power equipment, small engine, utility vehicle, golf car and personal transport vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. OPEI is the advocacy voice of the industry, and a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in the development of safety and performance standards. OPEI is managing partner of GIE+EXPO, the industry’s annual international trade show, and the creative force behind the environmental education program, TurfMutt.com. OPEI-Canada represents members on a host of issues, including recycling, emissions and other regulatory developments across the Canadian provinces.

 


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The Iwaniw Team
Residential Marketing Specialists
@Avalar Atlantic Properties
Direct: 856-318-9098
Cell: 856-404-5635
http://www.iwaniw.com/
Like Us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SNJHomes

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Staged to Sell: A Virtual Transformation

Photo Credit: VHT Studios / Chrissy Barrett

The real estate professional: Cris Grayson, broker associate at Baird & Warner in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

About the home: The five-bedroom home in Glen Ellyn, Ill., was built in 1975. The home has been meticulously maintained, and the homeowners had recently made some updates to the interior as well. It is listed for $569,900. Grayson wanted to make sure the online presentation of the home would appeal to the widest buyer pool.

Grayson’s tips:

  1. Don’t skimp on photography. Grayson places a high value on quality photography for her listings. She uses a professional photographer who is trained specifically on taking real estate photos through VHT Studios, a national real estate photography firm. A good real estate photographer will know how to capture a space from the best angles as well as the flow of the home, Grayson says.
  2. Show off the possibilities. Grayson also likes to use VHT’s Virtual Redecorate tool, which allows spaces to be virtually changed and staged for photos.

Here’s the kitchen “before” and then virtually staged “after.” See how it changes the look of the table area.

Photo credit: VHT Studios / Chrissy Barrett

Virtually Staged / Photo Credit: VHT Studios – Chrissy Barrett

Grayson also used virtual staging to change the look of the home’s family room. In its current state, the family room appears comfortable and cozy, but some buyers may be looking for a lighter, more modern look. Through virtual staging, the wall décor and upholstered furniture was presented in a warmer look in the photographs.

Photo Credit: VHT Studios / Chrissy Barrett

Virtually Staged / Photo Credit: VHT Studios  – Chrissy Barrett

 

  1. Re-cast the room’s purpose. In some cases, you may want to change the purpose of the room to appeal to a wider pool of buyers. In the upstairs of the home, Grayson and her VHT photographer Chrissy Barrett used virtual staging to transform a teen room into a young child’s room with a play space. They also presented it another way too as an office and reading or crafts room. Grayson labeled any pictures as “virtually staged” when they appeared online. The virtually staged photos appeared after a photo of the actual room.

Photo Credit: VHT Studios / Chrissy Barrett

Virtually Staged / Photo Credit: VHT Studios – Chrissy Barrett

Virtually Staged / Photo Credit: VHT Studios – Chrissy Barrett

The Result?

Days after the home was listed with the virtual staging pictures included, Grayson said they received an offer and were in negotiations with an interested buyer. Grayson has found that using virtual staging in her listings doesn’t just show potential buyers the possibilities of a space but also offers buyers a styling guide to use when they move into their new home and make it their own.

Have a home you recently staged that you’d like to show off here at Styled Staged & Sold? Submit your staging photos for consideration, along with three to five of your best spruce-up tips. Contact Melissa Dittmann Tracey at mtracey@realtors.org.


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The Iwaniw Team
Residential Marketing Specialists
@Avalar Atlantic Properties
Direct: 856-318-9098
Cell: 856-404-5635
http://www.iwaniw.com/
Like Us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SNJHomes

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