Category Archives: Selling a Home

According to Zillow

I love design trends and selling houses is what we do. So it’s no surprise I’m a fan of Zillow’s latest research on paint colors and how they impact the sale price of a home. If you’re thinking about selling in the near future you may want to pay attention. Todays buyers want what they are seeing on Pinterest and Instagram and all the features they highlight in their research can definitely be found there.

Here’s a quick recap of my favorites with pictures I found on Pinterest for inspiration.

Homes that feature charcoal gray or black doors typically sell for $6,271 more than expected. And why not, statement doors are beautiful and increase curb appeal. I’m in love with the traditional look of a white house with a black door, it appeals to a wide variety of buyers and if you’re selling you’re home that’s exactly what you want. I found this one on Pinterest.

Houses with kitchens that have a different color for the upper and lower cabinets known as tuxedo cabinets sell at a $1,547 premium. When you consider how much it costs to re-do a kitchen I’m not sure this offers as much bang for your buck as painting the front door but it’s good information to know and an indicator as to what’s coming.

As for bathrooms, light blue or periwinkle blue paint increases the selling price by $2,786 according to the research. Like painting the front door this one’s a no brainer if you ask me. A fresh coat a paint will freshen up the space and make it feel clean. I should note here that cleaning is another huge selling feature that does not go un-noticed, especially when staging the bathroom.

And finally, this last one kind of surprised me, considering all the gray walls we’re seeing in the Minneapolis/St. Paul real estate market. Homes with light taupe living rooms, with tan, peach or pink undertones sold for $2,793 more than expected.

All the images pictured were found on Pinterest and are saved to our Matt Engen Group Pinterest page.  If you’re on Pinterest too be sure to follow us there.

#pinterest #zillow #paintcolors #hometrends #sellingtips #mattengengroup

3 Things You Can Do To Make Clutter Stylish

Decluttering continues to be the number one thing Stagers and Realtors recommend when you start getting your home ready for sale. If the buyer feels like you don’t have enough room for your stuff they won’t either. So once you rid yourself of all the mis-matched cups and things you don’t need. It’s time to organize what’s left and make it look pretty.

Here are 3 really easy and fairly inexpensive things you can do to beautify your clutter.

  1. Add shelves to your garage or your basement and purchase matching clear bins. Clear bins make it easy to see what’s inside and matching bins are pleasing to the eye. Mis-matched containers look messy.
  2. Purchase pretty baskets to gather all the loose items in your closets like your mittens and hats. Pretty baskets are also great in the bathroom, use one as a catch all under the sink for your cleaning products or hair products/tools.
  3. Matching hangers. I really didn’t think this would have as big of an impact as it did but it works. Matching hangers are kind of like the matching bins, they are easy on the eye they also help you save space by eliminating bulky and inefficient hangers.

Staging the bathroom

The bathroom, it’s usually not the biggest room in the house but it should not be overlooked when staging your home. Because the bathroom is where you start and end your day it’s important to buyers. It should feel fresh and luxurious. Not sure how to accomplish that? Here are five simple things you can do to stage your bathroom.

  1. Clean. And then clean again. And then clean again. There is absolutely nothing worse than a dirty toilet or bathtub. It will immediately turn off buyers.
  2. Remove everything from the counters. Yes I know you use that every day but no one wants to see your toothbrush. Try to think of the prettiest bathroom you’ve ever been in and how it made you feel. Was there a toothbrush on the counter?
  3. Remove your towels and rug. If you have a small bathroom do not put the rug back down. It only clutters the space and makes it feel smaller. Wash and hang fresh towels.  If you do not have matching towels head to Target and get some. And while you’re there you may want to pick up a new shower curtain and some fancy soaps.
  4. Remove all your cleaning products, take them to another room or get a pretty basket to store them in and hide the wastepaper basket.
  5. Now it’s time to bring back in a few accessories. Think about creating a spa-like experience with fragrant soaps, bath oils, natural loofahs, candles and fresh flowers or a plant.

Staging the Bathroom | Real Estate Blog | Matt Engen Group

#staingthebathroom #staging #stagingtips #sellingtips #sellingyourhome #mattengengroup

Where can I take old paint cans to dispose of them?

This is a very common question. Especially when you’ve just sold your home and you’re moving out because everything must go. Yes, all those old paint cans need to go, even if the previous owner left them for you. The only way they can stay is if you ask your new buyers Realtor if they would like them and they say yes. If they don’t want the old paint cans it is your responsibility to remove them from the home prior to moving out. Do not assume the new buyers will want them. This will almost guarantee a last minute stop to the old house to remove them prior to closing.

So where can you take your old paint cans to dispose of them? If you live in Hennepin, Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Ramsey, and Washington counties you have two very easy options. All you need is your ID or a utility bill to prove you’re a resident.

Hennepin County Recycling Center and Transfer Station
8100 Jefferson Highway, Brooklyn Park,
(612) 348-6500 or (612) 348-6509

South Hennepin Recycling and Problem Waste Drop-off Center
1400 West 96th Street, Bloomington,
(612) 348-6500 or (612) 348-6509

Both facilities listed above accept household hazardous waste like paint cans, automotive fluids, pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals that I’m guessing you don’t want or know what to do with either. For additional information on items accepted, like old TV’s and computers etc., visit Hennepin County’s website.

If you live outside of Hennepin County I just found a great new website that can help you figure out what to do with your leftover pain cans. It’s called Earth 911 All you need to do it enter the material you’re trying to recycle, your zip code and click search.


Staging the Living Room

We know the idea of deep cleaning and decluttering your whole house can feel like an overwhelming task so we’ve decided to break up our staging tips and organize them room by room. Since we covered staging the kitchen in a previous post today we’re going to talk about staging the living room. The living room is where most of us spend the majority of our time and it’s often times the first room we see in a home.

Keep in mind here that the goal of staging is to make your house appeal to the most amount of buyers. Staging allows a potential home buyer to view your home with out any distractions. It presents a well-cared for property and gives the buyer a really positive first impression.  Whether you do it yourself or bring in the experts don’t list your home without first doing the work.

Follow the steps below when staging the living room to make buyers feel comfortable.

  1. Declutter. This is always at the top of our list. Put away the family photos and mementos. Remove the smaller pieces of furniture, that mis-matched ottoman and the overflowing magazine rack are great places to start.
  2. Clean. You’ve heard me say this before. A really clean house tells the buyers that you took really good care of this place. It’s also the easiest place to start. A clean slate or so they say.
  3. Paint. Yes we know painting is a lot of work and the new buyers may not like the color you pick out. But a light neutral color will appeal to more potential buyers than bright yellow. Trust me on this one. It will also make the space seem cleaner and brighter.
  4. Rearrange the furniture. You really need to think about how people will use the space. It’s important to create conversation areas while keeping the space open and approachable. If you don’t know what to do with the furniture the new buyer won’t either.
  5. Arrange knick-knacks in odd groupings. The bookshelves and the mantle should all be edited. Keep things simple and arrange them in groups of 3-5 or 7.
  6. Depersonalize the gallery wall. I’m a huge fan of gallery walls and don’t think they need to be removed. But they do need to be depersonalized. A gallery wall dedicated to your little is not ideal. But a simple trick I’ve used through the years is to simply replace the pictures with your favorite landscape pics.
  7. Maximize the windows. An abundance of natural light tricks the eye into thinking the space is larger. So keep your window treatments super simple, two matching panels is a light fabric work great. And don’t forget to clean the windows. I can’t tell you how big of a difference this makes.
  8. If your front door opens directly to the living room make sure you create a welcoming entrance. A side table and a lamp work great and give people a place to set their keys.

5413 Oliver Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419 | Matt Engen Group

#stagingtips #stagingworks #sellingyourhome #stagingthelivingroom #mattengengroup

Staging the Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home. To help buyers fall in love with it just complete these easy to follow steps.

  1. Remove everything from your counters because counter space is what matters most in a kitchen. Everything and I mean everything must go. Once you have it all removed bring back in one or two decorative items, like flowers, a plant or a bowl of fresh fruit.
  2. Pack up all the extra dishes that are taking up valuable space in your cabinets. Throw away or donate any pots, pans, glasses, flatware or small appliances that you are not planning to take with you to your next house.
  3. Freshen up, clean and modernize your cabinets. Adding updated and modern hardware goes a long way.
  4. Clean your appliances and then clean them again. Nothing turns off a buyer more than dirty appliances. If you have stainless steel appliances you may want to refer back to a previous blog post I wrote on cleaning those.
  5. Remove all the magnets and notes from the fridge.
  6. Remove the boxes of cereal or whatever it is you store on top of the fridge.
  7. Scrub your walls and if they still look dirty you may need to consider a fresh coat of paint.
  8. Clean and organize your pantry, consider using a few decorative baskets.
  9. Empty all the trash cans. If your trash can usually sits next to the counter. Remove it and purchase a smaller one that can easily fit under the kitchen sink.

Staging the Kitchen | Real Estate Blog | Matt Engen Group

#kitchen #stagingthekitchen #stagingtips #mattengengroup

How to Clean your Stainless Steel Appliances

When getting ready to sell your home the number one and easiest thing you can do is clean. And then clean again. Paying close attention the bathrooms and the kitchen. Both have to be immaculate, they really do. And if that stresses you out I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t end there, because now that your house is for sale you need keep your home clean.

In the kitchen this means that all surfaces need to be wiped down for every showing including the appliances. If you have stainless steel appliances you will need to pay close attention to how you clean them. You don’t want to leave behind finger prints, streaks or water spots. And surprisingly enough we see this a lot.

The easiest way to keep your stainless steel appliances clean for showings is to purchase Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes. Trust me when I tell you that they’re a life saver. You can purchase these at Home Depot or Target for less than $4.00.  Keep them under your sink for easy access and before you leave the house give your stainless steel appliances a quick wipe down and without a doubt they will look brand new!

I recently introduced this product to our client. Check out the before and after pictures we took of her stainless steel appliances.

This is the before picture:

How to Clean your Stainless Steel Appliances | Blog | Matt Engen Group















And now the after:

How to Clean your Stainless Steel Appliances | Blog | Matt Engen Group















I’m sure you’ll agree that this product is worth the $4.00 price tag. I mean what a difference! And it’s so easy. All you need to do is wipe and go.

To summarize it doesn’t have to be difficult to keep your stainless steel appliances clean.  All you need is the right product and 2 minutes to make them sparkle. A clean home really does do more than appeal to a buyers sense of aesthetics. It tells them that you have taken care of your home and it’s a wise investment.

#stainlesssteelappliances #sellingtips #sellyourhome #mattengengroup #cleanhome

The Spring Real Estate Market in Minneapolis

The timing of the Spring real estate market is something every seller ponders in anticipation of putting their home up for sale. We get asked about the Spring market and whether or not they should wait for it to arrive almost daily. Our answer is always the same. We’ve seen the Spring market start as early as January and as late as Mother’s Day. So many factors effect when it will arrive; the weather (especially in MN) current inventory, mortgage rates, the state of the world, you get the point. So before we can answer the question, should I list now or wait for Spring? We need to know what your goals are. When do you need to move? Do you have the time and the flexibility to wait for the Spring market to arrive?

Why the Spring market? Traditionally the Spring market is popular because the weather starts to warm up, the holidays are over and people are chomping at the bit to get out of the house. In addition, starting the closing process now allows them to be moved in before school starts. And winters sets in again. It also tends to have more transactions that go into multiple offers than any other season.

So what can you do if you have the time and flexibility to wait for the Spring market? Since it typically takes a few months to get a home ready for sale, starting now makes sense. Here are a few things you can do. Make your home as marketable as possible, declutter, paint and update key rooms like the kitchen and bathroom. Selling your home “as-is” promises quite a bit more work than todays buyers are willing to take on. Price it right and stay competitive. Because even in a hot market it’s better to be in line with other properties and attract multiple offers than pricing it to high.

If you’d like more information about the Spring market and what you need to do to get your home ready for sale, contact our team. We’d love the opportunity to work with you.

 Spring Market | Matt Engen Group | Real Estate Blog
#mattengengroup #minneapolisrealestate #realtors #springmarket #remaxresults

5 steps to selling your home

Selling your home? Here are 5 things you can do now to get your home ready for sale.

Talk to your Realtor. We highly recommend contacting the Matt Engen Group but understand if you’re already working wth an agent. Either way getting your Realtor involved at the very beginning of your journey is key. Be prepared to share your goals and timeline with them so they can connect you with the right people to make things happen.

Treat your home like a business. This house is no longer your home, it’s an asset. One you’re trying to get top dollar for. So disconnect emotionally from the living room paint color and the pictures on the wall. Now is not the time to take other peoples likes and dislikes personally.

Learn your homes market value. After visiting your home, your Realtor will put together a Comparative Market Analysis. This includes information about the local market, recent comparable sales and an opinion of your homes value. This is what the agent believes your home will sell for in todays market.

Get a home staging consultation. The goal of staging is to make your property more marketable by creating a home that is the most appealing to the largest number of perspective buyers. Staging makes your house look the best for showings, pictures and videos. And homes that are staged typically sell quicker and for more money.

Make the requested changes and repairs. The stager will more than likely make a variety of suggestions from de-cluttering closets and cabinets, fixing the broken closet door, to painting the living room and everything in between. Complete the entire list and move on. You may have purchased the property that way but it doesn’t mean that is shouldn’t be fixed now. Finally, remember the goal, we want to appeal to the largest number of perspective buyers possible.

#mattengengroup #sellingahome #home #realtor #staging


Every showing counts!

When you put a home on the market the pressure is on. Every showing counts. And while you may find it hard to believe buyers do reject potential homes due to reasons you would think or hope they could overlook, it happens. So for every showing no matter how tired of this whole process you are, it’s important to put your best foot forward.

  • Remove or replace dying plants or flowers. Inside and outside. This is especially important as we change seasons in Minnesota. Do yourself a favor and replace your dying petunias with mums.
  • Wash the dishes every day. Do not leave dirty dishes in your sink.
  • Empty the garbage, you’d be surprised by how quickly that can start to smell.
  • Do your laundry. Nobody wants to see or smell your dirty laundry, especially underwear, it makes everyone uncomfortable.
  • Put down the toilet seat. Seriously. How many times do you need to hear this? And for that matter, I can’t believe I have to say it but please flush the toilet.
  • Make your bed.
  • Pick up, stash the daily newspaper in a drawer, fluff your pillows and fold that blanket.
  • And if you have time, I know it’s a lot but sweep, swifter or vacuum.

A clean home really does send a positive message to potentials buyers. It says I have been taken care of, I have been loved and you will love me too.