Before You Show Your Home

You’ve gotten your house in top shape and it’s listed for sale. When you get the call that someone would like to view your home, Stephens Real Estate has a few tips for making the visit a pleasant and memorable experience for the potential buyer.

A neat house is very important, and even with only a few minutes before prospective buyers arrive, you have time to straighten up a bit. Make sure beds are made, empty all garbage cans and take the garbage outside, put up your “show” towels and close all toilet seats. Grab a laundry basket – throw all of the clutter into it and put the basket into your car. And finally, wipe down countertops and sinks with a damp cloth.

Your house should smell fresh. You may want to bake a loaf of bread or a batch of cookies to add a wonderful and inviting scent. Open curtains and blinds. Make your house bright and cheery by letting the sunshine in - especially if you have a nice view. Doing so will create a happy, light-filled space which will make any room appear bigger and more desirable.

Turn on the lights. You want to let natural light fill your rooms, but also remember to turn on the lights throughout your home. Overhead lights, lamps and even lighting in closets and the laundry room will make it easier for the agent to show your home and no one will have to search for a light switch.

Make the temperature comfortable. You want people to feel comfortable and confident that the house’s systems are in good working order so turn on that air conditioner when it’s hot outside. Now is not the time to worry about the utility bill. Same goes during the winter months. Turn up the heat and turn on the fireplace to make the room feel cozy.

Always, always leave. After you’ve worked hard making your home sellable and memorable, please leave and let the Realtor® do his or her job. If you, your kids or your pets are there, potential buyers may feel uncomfortable. You don’t want them wishing their way out the door instead of enjoying looking at your home.

It’s a great time to sell and we’re ready to help. Your Stephens agent can give you great advice on preparing your home for today’s market. If you’re interested in listing your home, call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

North Lawrence

North Lawrence House

North Lawrence is one of the most well-known, but sometimes least understood, areas of Lawrence. Situated on the north bank of the Kansas River just across from Downtown, this area is as old as Lawrence itself.

Development started around 1860, with several businesses including a store, a post office and even a ferry before the bridge was built. Eventually this community became known as Jefferson Township, but was annexed and renamed North Lawrence in 1870.

This part of town may feel a bit like a different city, with narrow streets that seem pulled from the countryside and trains that roll through like clockwork. North Lawrence definitely has its own distinctive character and is a dynamic area within the city of Lawrence.

Primarily a residential area, it’s also home to several local businesses that have been here for ages such as Johnny’s Tavern, a local favorite bar and restaurant. And the Lawrence Visitors Information Center is located in the historic Union Pacific Train Depot at 402 N. 2nd.

Many of the homes in North Lawrence were built prior to the 1960’s, but near the river levee there are several unique homes built very recently and not to be found anywhere else in town. These homes are modern and contemporary, eco-friendly, efficient, and conscious of their surroundings. The homes that have been here for years have been taken care of by residents, many of whom have lived here their whole lives and show great pride in their corner of Lawrence.

Stephens Real Estate is ready to help you find your perfect home in your perfect neighborhood. Our agents know the Lawrence market, and they have the experience and the connections to help you find the home that’s right for you. Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Keys to a Successful Sale

The real estate market in Lawrence has been hot this year. It’s a great time to sell and if you’re ready to list your home, Stephens Real Estate has a few suggestions that may help you attract buyers.

De-clutter and minimize everywhere; not only rooms, but closets, cabinets, drawers and storage spaces as well. Get rid of junk and neatly arrange what’s left. Every buyer is looking for storage and can never have enough of it. Remove half the stuff from your closets then neatly organize the remaining contents. Keep everything, including your cabinets, clean and tidy ensuring that each space looks larger and more appealing. If space is a problem for you, rent a storage unit for excess items while your home is on the market.

Remove personal items. Some agents say get rid of all personal items. We don’t necessarily think everything has to go, but you do want your home to show well and attract serious offers. Put away personal items that detract from your home such as photos, toiletries, food, drinks, etc. - anything that makes the space seem cluttered. If you have family photos hung in a tasteful way on the wall, they don’t necessarily need to come down, but you should always be thoughtful about your decorating decisions and keep the buyer in mind.

Use a neutral palette. If you’ve decorated with unusual or bright colors in your home, it may be wise to tone things down both for the listing photos and for showings. When a house is decorated with neutral colors on the walls, floors, trim and cabinetry, potential buyers will not be distracted and can more easily envision their belongings fitting in. Of course, every situation and home is unique. Your Stephens agent can provide sound advice on this.

Decorate thoughtfully. 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. Maximize the full potential of your home by arranging furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.

It’s a great time to sell and we’re ready to help. Your Stephens agent can give you great advice on preparing your home for today’s market. If you’re interested in listing your home, contact Stephens Real Estate or Contact Us.

Deerfield

deerfield area house

The Deerfield neighborhood is the area surrounding the elementary school of the same name. Located between Kasold and North Iowa, and from 6th Street north, the neighborhood seems to be tucked into the bluffs that look out toward the Kansas River. Neighborhood streets wind through hills with beautiful, mature trees and established gardens, and you will often see pedestrians walking along the sidewalks or bikers riding down the bike paths.

Deerfield Elementary is a hub of the neighborhood and sits next to Deerfield Park. This area has nice green space where young soccer or softball teams sometimes practice, and the school’s playground area is often utilized by the neighborhood when school is not in session.

Lawrence Country Club sits among the hills of Deerfield, and has been enjoyed by members since 1914, claiming coaching legend and inventor of basketball James Naismith as one of its founding members. Many of the homes in the area have a nice view of the lovely golf course.

This neighborhood is conveniently located with grocery stores, eateries and a variety of retail establishments nearby. You can gain quick access to I-70 for your commute to Topeka or Kansas City, and with 6th Street at its border, it’s easy to make a quick trip downtown or to the far west side of town.

There are a variety of homes to be found here from the majestic homes bordering the Lawrence Country Club to the cute and cozy 1960’s ranchers and bi-levels to the west.

Stephens Real Estate is ready to help you find your perfect home in your perfect neighborhood. Our agents know the Lawrence market, and they have the experience and the connections to help you find the home that’s right for you. Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Outdoor Living Spaces Add Value

Warm weather has come to Lawrence, and for most of us that means we’ll be enjoying more time outdoors. If you’re a homeowner you have the opportunity to create outdoor living spaces to extend your home’s functionality and boost its value. Some homeowners want outdoor spaces with high-end furnishings and features. They want to enjoy music, television and movies outside. It’s not just grills or swimming pools that they dream of, but a true extension of their indoor living space. Other homeowners simply want a space to sit outside and read a book, have a cool drink on a hot evening or visit with family after a long day at work.

Whatever you want from your outdoor space and whether you have a small patio or an expansive backyard, you can achieve your goals. Here are several tips that can help you enhance your outdoor living area.

Add container gardens. Pots and plants come in a wide range of sizes, shapes and prices. They offer wonderful color and can help accessorize or define your space. Potted herbs are beautiful, aromatic and useful. Who wouldn’t love to snip a bit of fresh basil to use when making dinner?

Use a variety of seating options. A variety of benches, chairs and stools will ensure that you and your guests have plenty of seating to enjoy the space. Some options could include storage underneath to add functionality.

Add a fire source to make the space cozy. Whether you have a full fireplace or a portable fire pit, people will be drawn to it. It’s nice to sit outside on a cool evening and feel the warmth of a fire, and it’s enjoyable to toast marshmallows with your family and friends.

Use landscaping to add privacy. You may love your neighbors, but sometimes you prefer to spend time outside privately. Shrubs, dwarf trees, and containers with vines climbing up a trellis are great ways to shield your space.

Remember the lighting. The sun sets late during spring and summer months, but you still want a light source for your outdoor living. Candles can set the mood, and lights strung under a pergola brighten the area so your evening can continue well after sun-down.

Use your best judgement. No matter how elaborate the space may be, it costs money to create and maintain. Don’t overspend for your neighborhood if you want to recoup that money when you sell.

We’re ready to help! When you decide to buy or sell contact Stephens Real Estate or Contact Us.

Stephens Real Estate, Inc.
2701 W. Sixth Street
Lawrence, KS 66049

Phone: 785-841-4500
Toll-Free: 1-800-875-4315