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Black Friday Shopping? The Top Searched Furniture Items by State

Nov 19, 2018 by

Consumers may be most on the hunt for a new sectional, TV stand, hutch, and sofa table to spruce up their home. These were the most searched-for home furniture items based on Google shopping data, according to a new analysis of search data by NextDay Blinds.

NextDay Blinds analyzed the data to find the top-searched furniture items and broke it down by state. Many homeowners may be setting their sights on enhancing their living room. Consumers within 27 states were most searching for a furniture item that was specific to the living room.


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Fixtures, Furniture, And Finishes: Misunderstandings That Kill Home Sales

Feb 17, 2016 by

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Gas fireplace between the dining room and living room with a white gloss-finish laminated wall unit inside a Archimed style resi
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Most sellers realize that staging – spending time and effort getting a house looking its best – helps sell homes. Staging often involves paying a professional to move in furnishings that aren’t yours to help sell an empty house – and move out some of your own furniture if there’s too much of it. But if you have fixtures, furniture, and finishes that already play up your home’s best features (or treasured heirlooms you don’t want to put in storage, like your grandmother’s antique cranberry glass light fixture), your home might already be show-ready.

There’s one potential problem, however, when sellers have killer furnishings: Buyers want them. It’s common for certain appliances to be included in a home sale, but then again, the seller might intend to take them to the new Durham, NC, house for sale they’re hoping to close on. Therefore, sellers often spell out whether appliances stay or go ahead of time, in the listing or on the seller’s disclosure form. But other items, from built-ins to light fixtures, can cause confusion if a buyer expects them to stay (and makes an offer with those things in mind), while the seller fully intends to pack them up.

What’s a fixture, and what’s its significance?

A fixture in a home can be anything, as long as it’s attached to the property, and attached in such a way that its removal would cause damage. “The general rule of thumb is this: If it takes a screwdriver to remove the item, it is generally considered a fixture of the property,” says Jeff Knox, a Texas real estate agent.

  1. Appliances: Dishwashers, built-in microwaves, cooktops, and sinks almost always stay with a house. But the fridge and the washer/dryer are often up for discussion, as might be a drop-in range. Typically, if it’s built into the cabinetry, it stays. Free-standing? It goes with the seller … usually. “These are items a buyer would need to get clarification on from their real estate agent,” says Knox.
  2. Light fixtures: What about that beautiful chandelier in the foyer? Even if the seller acknowledges that the home comes with one, it might not be the same chandelier that impressed you during your initial visit. “The buyer could be dreaming of the Baccarat chandelier they saw during the showing, but at the walk-through, there is a [home improvement store] chandelier in its place,” says Michael Camacho, a New York, NY, real estate broker with Douglas Elliman. “Things such as light fixtures or ceiling fans will usually remain as part of a sale,” says Kellie Tinnin, a New Mexico agent. But it’s still best to get clarification from your agent.
  3. Window treatments: Typically, blinds and shades stay, since they are custom-fit to the home’s windows. But many sellers have high-end curtains and drapes that match their furniture, making window treatments a hot topic for sellers and buyers to discuss with their agents. Again, if you’re attached to the window coverings, make sure it’s clear which treatments stay and which go.
  4. Flat-screen TVs: A flat-screen TV mounted on the wall can make a perfectly happy real estate agent want to head for the hills. “Technically, this is a built-in fixture,” says Knox. But try telling that to a homeowner who regularly has people over to watch the big game on that 75-inch screen. The solution? If you, as the seller, plan to take your TV and mount with you, exclude those items from the sale.
  5. Backyard storage shed: A buyer looks around the backyard, is impressed by the storage shed, and immediately envisions a home for their future riding mower. But what if the seller has the means (and the equipment) to take it with them when they move? Usually: It stays. But sellers and buyers can always clarify; most items are negotiable.

How would a buyer go about obtaining furniture that isn’t a fixture?

If, as a buyer, you spot furniture or stand-alone fixtures that you really want, simply include those items in your offer. “Make it so that these nonrealty items are left with the home at no additional charge to [you],” says Knox. Another option is to wait and use those items as a negotiation tool if the seller counters your offer. “Accept their counter if they throw in (fill in the blank),” says Janine Acquafredda, a Brooklyn, NY, agent. “Just make sure the items are included in the purchase contract, and make sure to do a final walk-through before closing to be sure that the items were, in fact, left behind.”

What if the seller wants to leave furniture and free-standing fixtures?

Sometimes sellers don’t want to move big items across town, let alone cross-country, so they might prefer that the buyer keep them – but not necessarily for free. After all, you might want to recoup some of the costs of that baby grand piano, but you might not want to incur the expense of hauling it to your new place. “Do not ever advertise that you are willing to sell or leave any items with the home until you agree to a price on the home during contract negotiations,” Knox advises sellers. Make the home transaction and the furniture transaction two separate deals. After you’ve sold the home and signed the contract, “You can then offer other items to the buyer at an additional price.”

What are finishes, and how do those apply?

Home finishes refer to decor – how the home looks when it’s decorated. Paint is considered a finish, for example, but paint color obviously stays with the walls. Although sellers don’t take finishes with them, buyers might be able to negotiate a lower purchase price if they’ll need to repaint a neon-green living room or replace cracked tile countertops. On the other hand, buyers need to be careful not to be fooled by an older home with brand-new, pretty finishes. Those new finishes could be masking less obvious problems, such as cracks in the foundation or water stains on the ceiling from a leaky roof.

Ultimately, sellers and buyers should avoid assumptions. Put all items of interest or concern to you in the purchase agreement. “Most issues about personal property, furniture, or fixtures can be resolved by being upfront, asking for what you want, and being open to reaching an agreeable solution,” says Kellie Tinnin.

 

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Why You Should Pay Attention to the Home’s Furniture Layout

Mar 2, 2015 by

By Charlene Storozuk, guest contributor

One thing that occasionally gets overlooked when preparing a home for sale is furniture layout. I’ve been in many homes where I’ve felt that something wasn’t quite right about a certain room as soon as I entered it. Not anything obvious, but more of an indescribable sense of confusion for lack of a better word.

If you’re planning on selling your home, here are some questions you should ask yourself about your current furniture layout:

• Does the room look off balance?

• Is the flow of the room disrupted?

• Does the layout impede pathways?

• Is the focal point of the room concealed?

• Does the room feel “boxed in” rather than open?

• Is there too much furniture in the room?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might want to take a look at your furniture placement. This is where a professional home stager can help you.

At a recent staging consultation that I carried out, there were some issues with furniture placement. The space in question was an open concept living room/dining room/kitchen. If you take a look at this BEFORE photo, you’ll see that some changes were needed.

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Now let’s ask the questions about this space:

Question #1: “Does the room look off balance?” Although you can’t see it from this photo, the dining area was directly behind the sofa. This area was comprised of a small round table and four chairs along with a small dining hutch. The living area was weighted down in comparison with too many pieces of heavy furniture, which made the overall space look off balance.

Question #2: “Is the flow of the room disrupted?” The large sofa split the space between the living and dining areas in half, making the room look smaller and broken up.

Question #3: “Does the layout impede pathways?” The pathway to get from the dining area to the kitchen was tight due to the length of the sofa. As well, the pathway between the sofa and loveseat to reach the seating area was cramped.

Question #4: “Is the focal point of the room concealed?” Absolutely. In this case, the focal point of the room was the fireplace. With the current furniture configuration and the large TV, the fireplace did not take main stage.

Question #5: “Does the room feel ‘boxed in’ rather than open?” Yes, you can see this from the BEFORE photo.

Question #6: “Is there too much furniture in the room?” Yes, from a staging point of view there was too much furniture in the space. While living in a house and not considering selling, you’re obviously going to arrange your space to suit your needs as was the case here. Due to the amount of entertaining the home owners did, they required more seating. However, now that they were going to sell, they needed to make some changes.

So here’s what we did…

We removed the sofa, moved the loveseat over to where the sofa previously was, and brought in a chair that was being used upstairs in the master bedroom suite. Fortunately, this chair matched the loveseat so we were in luck. While we were at it, we removed the TV for good measure in order to also help open up the space and make the fireplace the main attraction.

Once the TV was gone, we brought in a glass console table that was previously in the basement to help ground that area, yet not detract from the fireplace.

Now take a look at the AFTER photo …

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Photo Credit: Charlene Storozuk, DEZIGNER DIGZ

In the AFTER photo you’ll see how the space is more open, there’s flow, and the fireplace now takes its place of prominence as it should. This photo was taken before any styling took place. You can see how different the space looks already and that’s without any decorative accessories, an area rug or small glass tables.

The way your furniture is arranged while you are living in your home should be configured to suit your needs and to work with your intended purpose for the room. However, remember that if you’re going to sell anytime soon, you should always ask yourself some important questions about furniture placement.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Charlene Storozuk is the owner of DEZIGNER DIGZ, a professional home staging, interior decorating and redesign firm based in Burlington, Ontario Canada. She is certified as an International Staging Professional, International Design & Decorating Professional, Professional Colour Consultant, and Feng Shui Design Professional. Her work is published in the book “FabJob Guide to Become a Home Stager,” 2009 edition. Storozuk is recognized as a local leader in the home staging industry. She founded the Halton & Hamilton-Wentworth Real Estate Staging Association Chapter and served on the association’s Executive Committee for two years as Regional Vice-President, Canada. Storozuk is a past recipient of RESA North American Leadership Awards for Chapter President of the Year (2007) and Regional Vice-President of the Year (2011). For ideas on how to bring “WOW” Factor to your home, follow her HIP TIPZ Series for daily home staging, design and decor inspiration. HIP TIPZ can be found on the Dezigner Digz Facebook Fan Page and on Twitter: @dezigner_digz .

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4 Tips for Furniture Arrangement

Oct 15, 2014 by

You step into a room and you know something is off but you can’t pinpoint it. Could it be the furniture arrangement?

Home design writer Fred Albert with the Houzz editorial staff offers up several tips on proper furniture arrangement. Here are four of his tips, along with some tips from HGTV.com, on finding the right balance when furnishing a space.

1. Pinpoint a focal point: What do you want to highlight in the room? A fireplace or the beautiful view it offers to the outside? Arrange the furniture to highlight the focal point. Have the largest piece of furniture, such as the sofa, pointed toward the room’s focal point.

2. Create balance: You can achieve balance by using symmetrical or even asymmetrical arrangements, depending on the feel you want to create in the room. In formal areas, symmetrical tends to work best, such as two alike sofas across from one another. If you want a room to feel more casual, you might do an asymmetrical arrangement, such as a sectional across from two small arm chairs.

Symmetrical arrangement:

Asymmetrical arrangement:

3. Good flow: Consider how traffic will walk through the room. You’ll want to be sure to keep a path between doorways. Albert recommends allowing 30 to 48 inches of width for major traffic routes and a minimum of 24 inches of width for minor ones.

4. Mix in some contrast: Consider combining straight and curved lines in furnishings. For example, Albert notes that if the furniture is modern and linear, you might consider throwing in a round table for greater contrast. If the furniture is curvy, add in an angular piece.

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Home Improvement 101: Selecting Furniture

Jul 11, 2013 by

You’ve just moved into your new house or have just completed a renovation. The paint is fresh, the carpets are clean, and your appliances sparkle. Now it’s time for a different kind of home improvement: transforming your house or apartment into your home. Selecting furnishings and home decor that reflect your taste and personality will make your abode a haven that you can call your own. Here are five areas to consider when selecting your furniture.

1. Selecting Wood

Are you drawn to the dark richness of mahogany, the simplicity of cedar, the light hominess of maple, the sturdiness of oak, or the ruddiness of cherry? From pine, elm, and willow to walnut, teak, and birch, you have a wide range of choices when it comes to wood. When planning your interior home decor, keep in mind that designers recommend consistency within a room. In other words, you don’t want a dark mahogany coffee table and a light birch end table. If you do mix woods, keep the color tones in alignment. For example, a lightly stained pine can go with a lightly stained birch. Keep in mind, though, that you can change furniture woods from room to room.

2. Selecting Furniture Styles

Do you love the classically solid Mission style of furniture, or are you drawn to ornately decorated Victorian tables and chairs? Does the retro Art Deco style appeal to you, or do you want to bring to your home Italian old world charm? Most of us have eclectic tastes, and it’s fine to incorporate different styles into your home decor as long as they complement one another.

3. Step-by-Step Home Improvement

Most of us don’t have the money to completely refurnish our homes in one clean sweep. When it comes to home improvement, the step-by-step approach can work to your advantage – particularly if you’re not ready to commit to a single furniture style. Sometimes the best approach to home decor is to start with one piece that really speaks to you, and then find another. Once you’ve selected a few pieces, you’ll get a better sense of your tastes and the pieces you still need in order to complete a room. From there, you can move on and purchase additional furniture with more confidence.

4. Find Inspiration

It’s hard to find the right interior home decor when you don’t know what’s available or how other people are approaching home improvement. Start by looking through magazines and finding furnishings that appeal to you. Tear out those pages and keep them in a file that you can refer to later. If the furniture in a friend’s house matches your taste, tell her that you admire her home decor and ask her how she went about choosing her pieces. Once you have a sense of what furniture speaks to you, go online and see the variety of pieces that are available. You’ll be able to find a much greater selection online that you will by going to a local furniture store.

5. Have Fun!

Home improvement and redecorating projects can sometimes feel overwhelming, so remember to have fun. Take the time to enjoy the process, find pieces that you absolutely love, and take pride in transforming your house into a home.

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