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Category: Open House

Not So Common Advice for Staging Your Home

If you’ve read magazines, blogs, websites, or listened to a real estate agent discussing staging your home you have been told you should bake cookies, put out flowers, clear clutter, and depersonalize as much as possible. That is great advice. However, in the most recent edition of Realtor® magazine, there is some advice from a few California agents. Myra Nourmand, a Beverly Hills real estate pro who has a list of A-list celebrity clients including Hilary Swank and Sheryl Crow.  Nourmand has some ideas I hadn’t heard before that may benefit you if you are or plan to sell your home. Anything that make your house or condo stand out for the better is a good thing!

Nourmand advises sellers to think of their home as a movie set that needs to be camera and buyer ready.  LA agent Brett Baer adds “Home buying is very aspirational, so play to the buyers’ aspirations.” And they’ve both got ideas on how to do play to buyers’ aspirations.

  1. Create vignettes. Define how the spaces in your home are to be used. They recommend setting up a game of chess or playing cards in an area that could be a game room or corner, in an exercise area put out bottles of water and towels on a table. You are selling a lifestyle, not just a home.
  2. Go big. Push spaces to the max.  “If a dining room can fit twelve, don’t just put in eight seats.”  Go big but be mindful of the room’s scale. And if you have large rooms, enhance their multifunctionality- add a  small desk in a large living room for example.
  3. Add pops of color. The staging trend right now is modern, minimalist style with lighter more neutral colors with color added through accessories (pillows, vases, art). Provide buyers with a clean slate.
  4. Create a scene stealer. It’s mentioned the master bedroom is the perfect place to showcase this idea. Create an “elegant Four-Seasons tpe of space.” Use high end linens,textured pillows, and if you can, add a sitting area so it will feel like a suite. And add a spa like feeling to the bath with upscale soaps, fluffy white towels, a candle, and even a single flower in a vase (think a rose).
  5. If baking homemade or ready-to-bake cookies doesn’t interest you, Nourmand likes to slice four apples in half, sprinkle them with brown sugar and bake them at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
  6. Add color pops with seasonal fruits in the kitchen, living, and dining rooms (apples, oranges, pomengranites, strawberries, or lemons).
  7. Play soft classical music in the background.
  8. Encourage the Buyer to  sit down and stay awhile- set out cookies on a pretty plate, brew some tea and coffee, and put out a few bottles of water.

Nourmand says sellers should think of  reaching the buyers’ five senses (sight, sound, taste, smell, and feel) when prepping your home for a showing. Create an inviting and enticing space that will suprise the buyer as well as enourage him/her to relax and take in the scenes.

If you would like to read the original article from the REALTOR magazine March/April 2013 edition, click here.

To Open House or Not to Open House

Last Wednesday one of our agents participated in a neighborhood open house in the River Reach at Remley’s Point neighborhood. He  had the Dunes Properties  listing at  120 Wando Reach Ct.  open for viewing

120 Wando Reach  Mount PleasantThe same day as that open house, I read a blog on the real estate site Active Rain written by an agent in another state about how open houses are a waste of time and don’t sell the homes . Of course her post got me thinking.

Honestly, yes, most of the time an open house does not sell the property that is “open.” However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea to have one.  I can think of several reasons why you may want to sit down with your listing agent and plan on having an open house.

  1. It gives the curious neighbors a chance to be looky loos. And who knows, maybe one of them has a family member or friend they want to live nearby and will talk up your house to them.
  2. There are many potential home buyers who may be unsure if they are interested and do not want to take up an agent’s time to show them a house they are waffling over. This gives them a chance to see the home firsthand without any pressure and decide if they want to proceed with making an offer or  setting up a second showing for the home.
  3. Agents will do what we call a “caravan” and line up several nearby open houses over the span of a few hours and serve light food or offer a giveaway incentive (think gift card, gas card, cash drawing) to encourage other agents to view the home. This makes sure agents are familiar with the home and if they speak with a client who might be interested, they’ll be more inclined to remember the home and talk to their clients about it.
  4. Showing appointments can be a drain on you and your family’s time. If you find you are getting too frequent showing requests (which really is a good thing if you want to sell!) an open house may be a chance to lessen the number of showings.
  5. If your home has really unique features or word of mouth press in the community, there may be people who want to view it but have no interest in purchasing it or any other home. Having an open house may reduce those gratuitous showings.

Is an open house guaranteed to sell your home? No. Is an open house for every seller? Again, no. Have a conversation with your listing agent about the possible pros and cons for you.

Being a Nosy Neighbor Can Help You

I was reading this article recently that was on about how being a nosy neighbor and going to open houses near your home can help you out in the long run.

I immediately thought of my mother in law in New Jersey who recently admitted attending a party so she could “see what they’ve done to the house”  and hits almost every open house in her neighborhood. My husband and I sort of laughed at her fondly for that. But after reading this article, she’s a smart cookie apparently. 

According to the article, attending nearby open houses is smart if you’re putting your home on the market soon, but also smart if you’re planning on staying for awhile.  The article points out that those homes are going to be your home’s competition. 

Take a look at what has and hasn’t been upgraded and make comparisons to your own home and be aware of where your home “falls short.”  Their upgrades may help you prioritize your own.  You should also be aware of not over improving your home, though because you want to make sure you get a good return on your investment.  Seeing what your neighbors are doing can help you make those decisions. 

As for the reason my mother in law goes- to see the furnishings and layouts in spaces that are similar to yours- that’s a good thing to see to0.  You can possibly steal some decorating ideas.

Another benefit of attending those local open houses- meet the real estate agents and start forging a relationship early so when the time does come to sell, you’ll have someone to work with you are comfortable with and who you know is familiar with your market. 

Many people don’t realize that your local real estate agents love to chat with you- even if you are not selling or buying a home right now or in the near future.  Your local agent is a font of information.  They work with area vendors everyday and have great recommendations for- minor repairs, plumbers, HVAC repair, painters, decorators, lawn care, irrigation systems, cleaners, pressure washers, you name it, they probably know a reputable, trustworthy person to refer you to. 

So what are you waiting for? Before or after taking in a Spoleto event, go visit some local open houses, be inspired and start a new relationship with your local real estate agent.

Curb Appeal Advice

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Wine & Cheese Open House Stroll – Featuring King St Condos and The Restoration on King – 6/8 4-6PM

As part of this year’s Spoleto Festival, real estate companies around town got together to feature a King Street condo open house stroll.  So come on by and catch a glimpse of living the urban Charleston lifestyle on Historic King St.  One of our newest listings, represented by Jack Hurley and Kristin Walker, 346-E King St, will be featured.

When: Tuesday, June 8th  |  Time: 4PM – 6PM

4 Beaufain Street #308 
Listed by: Charlie & Margaret Swanson ~ William Means Real Estate ~ 224.7329
Heath Verner  ~ 425.9047  & Chip Eiserhardt ~ 442.7331 ~ Carolina One

2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths
2928114 ~ 2927971
4 Beaufain Street #303
Listed by: Jack Gumb ~ The Masters Co. ~ 860.2020
1 bedroom, 1 bath
348-L King Street
Listed by: Diana Goff ~ Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s ~ 442.0850
1 bedroom, 1 1/2 baths

348-M King Street
Listed by: Lynn Hanlin ~ Carriage Properties ~ 729.3649
2 bedrooms, 2 baths
346-E King Street
Listed by: Jack Hurley ~ Dunes Properties of Charleston ~ 607.2510
Kristin Walker ~ The Real Estate Studio ~ 412.3333
2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths
1014676 ~
337-A King Street
Listed by: J Van De Erve ~ Carolina One ~ 568.3603
1 bedroom, 1 1/2 baths
337-C King Street
Listed by: Gray Bailey ~ Carolina One ~ 442.1648
J Van De Erve ~ Carolina One ~ 568.3603
2 bedrooms, 2 baths
21 George Street #106
Listed by: Helen Geer ~ William Means Real Estate ~ 577.6651
2 bedrooms, 2 baths

21 George Street #205
Listed by: Adam Edwards ~ Carriage Properties ~ 810.1238
Charlotte Edwards ~ Carriage Properties ~ 810.6009
2 bedrooms, 2 baths
21 George Street #410
Listed by: Clark Coker ~ Carolina One ~ 452.1000
Rick Atkinson ~ Carolina One ~ 224.0756
2 bedrooms, 2 baths

76 Society Street #33
Listed by: Annette Whitmer ~ Carolina One ~ 452.8098
2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths

The Restoration on King
75 Wentworth Street 
View selected suites featuring exposed brick walls and original wood flooring with a blend of classic character and contemporary style.

A Place to Call Home Tour… Charleston’s Open House Weekend

This weekend the Post and Courier is sponsoring an Open House Tour featuring over 140 homes in the Lowcountry that range in price from $89,900 to $3.2 million. Every area of the Charleston Coast is represented with homes on the peninsula, the beaches, as far out as Moncks Corner and Hollywood and everywhere in between.  The Post and Courier is even offering the opportunity to win $2500 toward a down payment simply by registering for a drawing at any home on the tour.

Several Dunes Properties agents are participating in the Tour this weekend.  Kristin and Randy Walker are offering 61 Ashley Ave. (circa 1803), a beautiful 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath downtown home on one of the peninsula’s largest lots.  This property even features a separate 2 bedroom, 1 bath Carriage house added in 1853.  Significant updates have been made to this property, but many of the original, historic features remain.  It is truly one of the finest homes currently for sale in Charleston, so stop in to check it out.

Jack Hurley’s home on tour is at 4124 Egret’s Pointe in Mt. Pleasant’s Charleston National golf community. This 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath is built in the classic Charleston Single style in a secluded, but convenient neighborhood.  Jack is offering an extra incentive for folks to come out and tour this home.  If the winner of the Post and Courier’s giveaway is from his property, he’ll not only match the $2500 prize but he’ll throw in new carpeting and deduct one point from the purchase price. Way to go, Jack!

To view homes before driving out and touring, visit the newspaper’s Web site, There are videos of all the homes on the tour, and you can search by area, new, resale, condo/townhouse or luxury properties of $500,000 or higher. This is great way to see what’s out there, whether you are currently looking to buy or just thinking about it.  With the new tax credit, the lowest mortgage rates in decades, conservative prices, and bountiful selection, there really is no better time to buy.

So stop by the website to browse the options and get out there today 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. Don’t forget to drop in an entry form for the $2,500 down payment drawing. Official rules and regulations apply and will be posted at all houses. Register at any of the homes this weekend, but if you want a little something extra, register at Jack’s!

For more information on the A Place to Call Home Tour Open House Weekend check out this ARTICLE from today’s Post and Courier.

Featured Property with Open House – 212 Little Oak Island Drive, Folly Beach

This week’s Featured Property is 212 Little Oak Island Drivelocated on secluded, private Little Oak Island just minutes from Folly Beach. Enjoy the serenity of this island from one of your treetop balconies overlooking the lagoon. This property offers you complete access to all the amenities of a resort with tennis courts, swimming pool and crabbing docks. “The Edge of America” Folly Beach is just a quick bike ride away. This is the only 3 bedroom, 3 bath available on this highly desired, gated island.

There is an Open House on Sunday, February 15, 2009 from 10am-2pm.

For more information, contact real estate agent ERIC PETH at or call 843.252.7800

Featured Property – 1547 Clark Sound Circle, James Island

This week’s Featured Property is 1547 Clark Sound Circle on beautiful James Island. This 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home is located in the Bayview Farms community, which offers a pool, tennis and basketball courts, a clubhouse, and sidewalks throughout. This home is perfect for a family and priced to move! The sellers left Charleston for new job opportunities, which means the house is vacant and ready for your family to move in immediately.

There is a permanent Open House on this property! Call 425.4614 for details.

For more information, contact real estate agent VINCENT PERNA at or call 843.538.3800

Featured Property with Open House – 259 Forest Trail

This week’s Featured Property, 259 Forest Trail is a beautiful Isle of Palms home in a great family neighborhood. It’s just a short walk to the beach and marina.  This property has extensive, yet easy to maintain landscaping and includes 8 Palmetto trees, 2 Palm trees, and 3 Grand Oaks. There are also 5 Charleston Garden raised beds on this rare half acre lot.

There is an open house most Saturdays and Sundays in November so stop by and check out this fantastic deal of the Isle of Palms.

For more information, contact real estate agent Joe Walker at or call 843.345.4510

Featured Property with Open House – 61 Ashley Avenue

There are certainly some extraordinary listings here at dunes properties, and this week’s Featured Property is no exception. The Richard Peyton House at 61 Ashley Avenue is one of the most charming homes in Harleston Village and offers one of the Charleston Peninsula’s largest lots.  Quietly tucked behind an ivy-covered wall, this house sits on the Northwest corner of Colonial Lake and sports gorgeous lake views from upper-floor rooms and piazzas.  The property includes a completely renovated 2 bedroom, 1 bath Carriage House, a one car garage, the original brick courtyard, and a Loutrel Briggs-designed garden.  This is a wonderful opportunity to own a stunning, historic home in one of Charleston’s most beloved neighborhoods. Stop by and see it for yourself. There is an OPEN HOUSE every Saturday from 12pm-5pm

Or if you can’t make it in person, check out the video for this extraordinary property here.

For more information, contact real estate agent RANDY WALKER at or call 843.886.5600 X236