Crystal Tree Homes – Blog

Crystal Tree Neighbors,

We hope you find this information useful and informative.  Our goal as your neighborhood real estate professionals and homeowners in the community is to keep our community as valuable as possible.

Q:  “Why are some homes, townhomes & patio homes selling at lower prices than others & who determines what a property is worth.”

Your property value is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Price is not determined by real estate agents, although real estate agents will give you information on what other units have sold for and estimate based upon comparable sales what you might expect to sell for.  Sellers do not determine what their property is worth either, although they may want or “need” a certain $ amount, the real value of property is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay for it, period.

Quality real estate professionals will educate clients about the audience they will be marketing to. This is one of the most important things we can do. When you put your home on the market to sell, you should know that the next owner, will most likely be more aware of what is trending in housing than you are, may be younger than you are, and are moving into our neighborhood for a different reason than you did.  That’s why sellers should stop thinking about what they themselves like or want in a home and start thinking about what a buyer will most likely want. With the high utilization of the internet, buyers are extremely knowledgeable on prices and communities before they ever contact a real estate agent

Q:  “I’m considering selling in the near future, what should I be doing now to keep my property updated and increase it’s value?”

Our neighborhood is approaching the 25 year mark.  What was “in style” 25 years ago, is not in style or desired today.  In addition to interior fixtures being outdated, the mechanicals, windows and roofs are also aging.  Buyers today will have a home inspection to determine the condition of the property overall.  You may want to consider having an inspection prior to listing your home so that you will know what issues need to be addressed.

TOP 7 HOME UPDATING TIPS(photos of Crystal Tree Homes Sold or currently listed by our Team)

1. Maintain, repair or replace your old windows, roof, mechanicals and outdoor decks & patio space. 

2. Update your interior

Stick with warm, neutral walls.  Paint walls using a warm gray or a neutral wall color. The gold or pinky-beige wall color you chose 10 years ago is going to seem outdated to this new group of home buyers. On-trend neutrals like grays allow potential homeowners to envision bringing in complementary colors and clean-lined furnishings to make it their own.

2nd Bedroom



Warm gray or neutral wall paint provides a blank canvass and a clean look in this Crystal Tree model.





3. Invest in cabinetry. Many home buyers younger than 40 prefer new kitchen cabinetry. They don’t want to see Honey Oak kitchen cabinetry in their new home! Consider a kitchen facelift.  Shown below are examples of some of the outstanding changes other homeowners have made.



Light Maple Cabinetry in this Crystal Tree patio home with light granite countertops is spectacular.   Center wall also opened up for a large open space feeling. 








4. Update your appliances. Many younger home buyers cannot fathom buying a home without stainless steel appliances.


Stainless Steel updated appliances and stone backsplash & floors in this Waterford model, new “no soffit” cabinetry give this kitchen the sought after styling of today.    


5. Look for simple stone countertops. Granite and stone countertops are a must-have for most young home buyers — it will make the difference between whether they choose your home or your neighbor’s home. But don’t make the mistake of installing busy or taste-specific granite that may not appeal to everyone. If you plan to be in your home for a long time, go for it — but not if you plan to sell within the next few years.  Instead, choose a granite that is almost black or something with a minimum of colors and veining. Anything more might be a turnoff to those picky younger buyers.



This beautiful kitchen Lismore model townhome  boasts large center table island, new staggered cabinetry & upgraded stainless appliances.  (currently listed for sale by Sharon & Susan)  to see more photos of this home visit our main webpage.





6. Change the Light Fixtures:  If you still have the original gold light fixtures that were standard 25 years ago, change them to a newer style.


Updated light fixture, fireplace surround, flooring & trim in this Waterford model townhome make it look brand new.   


7. Open up your bathroom & shower space. Young professionals love large, open glass showers. The garden-variety tub isn’t where it’s at anymore.  Remove the pocket doors or double doors in some bathroom models to open up the room




Opened up Master Bathroom Suite in this Crystal Tree model with new flooring, tub surround, cabinets & glass shower door are welcoming.


Photos By:  Jessica Davis Photography

If you are interested in finding out more about any of these ideas, or how to begin, we have many reputable connections to get you started.

Q:  “What is Staging?”

Staging your Home is different than decorating.  If you cannot afford to update your home but want to sell it and are willing to do some fluffing and buffing, consider staging your home.

Selling your home means selling a lifestyle, but not necessarily your own. In home staging, you’re striving for a look that is fresh and welcoming yet not really taste specific. People with varying tastes need to feel that they can make the home their own if they purchase it.

This is the distinction between decorating your home and staging it to sell. It can be hard to understand at first, but if you don’t know the difference, you might not sell your house as quickly as you like.

Although everyone has different tastes in decor and furnishings, most people want a home that is welcoming, functional, peaceful and organized. Tailor your house so that buyers will describe it in those terms rather than by your style of decorating. Getting rid of clutter and having fewer but larger accessories is a great place to start.

Making sure your home isn’t taste specific doesn’t mean your rooms should be devoid of color. Instead, keep color schemes simple and dose them with an on-trend neutral, like a clean tan, a soft gray or a warm white.

If you have a distinctive decorating style — whether it’s Tuscan, shabby chic or modern — you’re going to need to scale it back a bit. If you don’t, your home will appeal to the small percentage of potential buyers who love your chosen style. Staging is about strategic editing and depersonalizing, rather than decorating and personalizing.

Waterford by Nero

This Waterford model with a pond view was beautifully “staged” in preparation for sale.  

Dated is dreary, so strive to stage your space with a current and fresh feel. Use updated neutrals on the walls and furnishings that are clean-lined and simple. Punches of color are great; just use them sparingly.

Most potential buyers would remember an appealing room long after leaving the house.

Remove overly personal items such as family photos, and leave a few pieces of art and an attractive notebook and pen on a desk. Simple accessories can help draw attention to a functional space.

If you are updating a kitchen or bath before putting your home on the market, keep the finishes neutral and classic. This is not the time to show off your personal style. You want to broaden your buying audience by appealing to a wide variety of tastes and preferences. Remember, you are selling an idealized lifestyle, not your reality.

The bottom line is that you have to get outside your head and inside the mind of a potential home buyer. It’s very difficult to be objective about your own home, but it’s crucial if you want to sell it.  If you are not sure about staging, consult a professional. Susan Sipich is a Certified Staging Consultant and would be willing to meet with you, at no additional charge, prior to your listing

Q:  “I don’t want to spend any more money on my home, I just want to sell it and move, is that possible?” 

Yes, updating and maintaining a home can be very expensive, if you cannot or do not want to update your home, there are buyers who are willing to take on the fixer-upper, if the price is right; and it will have to be lower than if it were picture perfect.  The homes that are all original inside and out will command less than the homes that are up-to-date inside & out.  In addition to going through a nationwide decline in housing prices, our aging community’s overall property values are what they are, because many sellers (not all as shown above) have been selling “as is” with original cabinets, floors, windows, & roofs.  This brings us back to Question #1, why our property values are lower than others.

We hope this has been informative, and invite you to call us for your real estate questions and sales.

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TIP:  Have a room right out of a magazine, in a snap!

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