Room of the Day: Preparing a master bath for resale - Guest Post By Houzz

This bathroom was large, but it was a dark dungeon that included features like faux black marble, fluorescent lighting, Lucite faucet handles, a black bidet and, oddly enough, a refrigerator. With her twin boys about to go off to college, this single mom was ready for a change. At the same time, she realized a resale would probably be on the horizon in the next few years, as she wouldn’t need so much space. “My client has really great eclectic and bold taste, but for her future plans we kept things classic and neutral in here,” interior designer Beth Kooby says. She layered in more personal eclectic touches via accessories that can be switched out with ease if necessary.

Paces Neighborhood - Atlanta, GA

Photos by Jeff Herr Photography Bathroom at a Glance Who lives here: A mother and her twin teenage boys Location: Atlanta Size: 144 square feet (13 square meters) “I’m a big fan of classic and clean for the permanent fixtures. That way a bathroom won’t get dated,” Kooby says. “You can always switch out accents like rugs, mirrors, planters and window treatments to update or change up the look later for very little money.”

ROTD: Beth Kooby

This plan shows the new layout. The linen closet previously had been a 3-by-3-foot shower stall. Kooby installed the shower where a toilet-bidet closet had been. She borrowed a little room from a large bedroom closet to work in the new bidet-less water closet.

Paces Neighborhood - Atlanta, GA

“The homeowner’s room is light, with touches of citrus, wrought iron and gauzy drapes,” Kooby describes. She created continuity via wrought iron accessories like the vintage accent table and the light fixture, the gauzy linen window treatments and the chartreuse planter. Carrara marble shows up on the vanity top and backsplash, the wall tiles around the room and in the shower. Tip: Bring life into the bathroom with plants. “I love to use plants in a bathroom,” Kooby says. The large planter was a perfect fit for the empty corner between the vanity and the wall. “It’s even more chartreuse than it looks in the photos, and it’s covered in spikes. I got it from one of my go-to spots when I need a good dose of pretty, Lush Life.” She scored the bench at 14th Street Antiques Market. “I love to add in pieces from local antique and consignment shops — I think it adds a lot of interest to the mix,” the designer says.

Paces Neighborhood - Atlanta, GA

After searching high and low, looking at “every mirror in the universe,” Kooby scored the mirrors at Cost Plus World Market. “Mirrors are a great place to add a design element,” she says. “And you can always change the finish or color.” The carved wood frames add an ornate touch that isn’t too delicate or feminine.

Room of the Day: Bye-Bye, Black Bidet — Hello, Classic Carrara

For the floor, the designer chose a reasonably priced stone that looks expensive, from Porcelanosa. In addition to helping them stay within budget, the choice warms up the room. “Too much marble can be harsh sometimes,” she says.

Paces Neighborhood - Atlanta, GA

The new shower is about 5 by 5 feet. The floor and walls are Carrara marble, with penny rounds on the former and a varied linear pattern that mimics stacked stone for the latter.

Paces Neighborhood - Atlanta, GA

Tip: Get out of the bath section when choosing a bathroom rug. Kooby recommends looking for more interesting flat-weave rugs. “They are easy to vacuum and clean; they dry quickly and feel fine on your feet,” she says. “Rugs are made to be walked on. You don’t have to be gentle on them.” The artwork is a print by George Braque, who helped create Cubism with Pablo Picasso. To keep the woodsy views while also providing privacy, Kooby stood in the tub while her client looked up at the room from the driveway outside. The homeowner had never used the old tub, but she wound up using and loving the one put in for resale.

See the Bathroom That Helped a House Sell in a Day - Guest Post By Houzz

As part of a remodel and flip of a Massachusetts bungalow, interior designer Karen Goodman gave a blue 1960s bathroom a simple, sophisticated update that not only looks more era-appropriate but also makes the 60-square-foot-bathroom feel lighter and larger. After the redo, it took only a day for the house — more than a century old — to be sold. Room of the Day: Tiny Powder Room With a Treehouse Feel

Craftsman Bungalow

Room at a Glance: Bathroom Location: Worcester, Massachusetts Size: 60 square feet (5.5 square meters) “I wanted to save this house,” Goodman says. “Whenever I find an old house that needs updating, I look at it like a lost puppy.” By the time Goodman sold the historic home in April, she had spent almost a year renovating it. She blogged about the project, from reconfiguring to rewiring. This was Goodman’s fourth flip but her first of a historic home. Though she lives in a 100-year-old home herself, she says this project tested her. “I learned my limits with this project,” she says. Whereas other flips might have required extensive woodwork replacement in one room, or some re-tiling, this house needed that in every room. “It took a lot more time and energy than I thought it would be and was worth it in the end,” she says.

Craftsman Bungalow

BEFORE: Major renovations had been done in the 1960s, and it was apparent that the home’s only bathroom hadn’t really been touched since. “A blue ’60s bathroom just doesn’t quite fit in a 1900s house,” Goodman says. Additionally, all of the plumbing was corroded and needed to be replaced, and the bathroom ended up being a complete gut. The home is more than a hundred years old, with some records dating it back to 1902. Goodman wanted to honor the home’s heritage but didn’t feel tied to making everything authentic. “It was a very different way of living back then. Just because it worked for someone 100 years ago doesn’t mean it will work for you now,” she says. Since she was redesigning the home to sell, and not for a particular client, she made sure to make design choices that had wider appeal. Goodman consulted with a trusted real estate agent during the renovation about some of her design decisions. The agent offered feedback on some of the features based on her experience about what typically helps or hurts a home’s selling potential.

Craftsman Bungalow

AFTER: The home’s age and the bathroom’s size influenced her decision to use a freestanding bathtub and wall-hung sink. “I did get some eyebrows raised when I said I was going to install a clawfoot tub and wall-hung sink,” she says, especially as the four-bedroom home has only bathroom, but it was a decision she knew was right for this bathroom. “I like to put in something a little polarizing,” she says. Someone is going to love it or hate it, but it will set it apart from other things on the market. The tub, which she painted army green, came from Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. Overall the tub was in great shape, particularly the interior porcelain, and needed only exterior sanding and a fresh coat of paint. ”I like to add a little color, but strategically,” she says. “If you do everything neutral, people aren’t going to remember the house. You gotta give them something to fall in love with.” Because the tub is a little bolder, she played down the rest of the bathroom with grays and whites. But Goodman wasn’t thinking only about making a design statement. “Things on the floor stop your eye,” she says. By lifting everything off the floor, even a couple of inches, the bathroom feels larger. The claw-foot tub and the wall-mount sink allow you to see the floor continue, which helps you visualize a larger space.

Craftsman Bungalow

BEFORE: The previous toilet butted up right next to the vanity, and Goodman says people’s knees could hit the vanity when they used it. Though the cabinet did have valuable storage space, it made the room cramped and didn’t feel authentic to the house.

Craftsman Bungalow

AFTER: The new washstand sink opens up this corner of the bathroom. Goodman salvaged the sink from a nearby bungalow of a similar age that was also being remodeled. Once she started demolishing the bathroom, she could see that the original sink had been wall hung, like this one. “It was nice to bring it back to what it had been 100 years ago,” Goodman says. The toilet is new. One day while driving, Goodman passed another home that was being remodeled and saw a toilet out front with a sign that read “Free, never used.” That toilet is now in this bathroom.

Craftsman Bungalow

BEFORE: The bathroom’s original radiator was enclosed in an ill-fitting wood cabinet with a tile countertop.

Craftsman Bungalow

AFTER: Goodman removed the cabinet and saw that the radiator was in great shape — no rust or cracks and in working condition — so she painted it silver and left it exposed. “I’d much rather see the radiator than a random box on the wall,” she says. The bathroom’s neutral walls and floors reflect the home’s era while still feeling fresh and updated. Goodman installed the bathroom’s marble mosaic floor herself — it was a material she’d been wanting to use in one of her projects for a while — and painted the walls with recycled paint. “The designer in me likes to use my flips as experimentations,” she says. Her contractor installed the white subway tile wall.

Craftsman Bungalow

BEFORE: Most of the shelves in the built-in closet are original, but the louver doors had been added at some point and didn’t fit very well. Overall it was a convenient storage space, and Goodman wanted to make as much use of it as possible. She kept to a strict rule when it came to painting the wood in the house: “If it’s painted, it’s getting painted. If it’s wood, it’s staying wood,” she says. “It wasn’t my place to decide what should be wood and what shouldn’t be in a place I don’t plan to call home.”

Craftsman Bungalow

AFTER: The new washstand sink eliminated a lot of the bathroom’s storage, so Goodman made the existing closet as functional as possible. She kept the original shelves but removed the ill-fitting cabinet doors and added new trim. She rebuilt the bench with a lift-up top to store bath toys or other oversized bathroom accessories. Concealed drawers can store toilet paper and other supplies, and the open shelves can hold toiletries and linens. Though the new storage is a little farther away from the sink, it’s more attractive and opens up the space. "It might not be as convenient, but you’ll feel a lot less cramped with the extra space," she says.

The post was written by Annie Thornton, Houzz and posted by RealBird with permission.

How to Improve Your Listing’s Photos - Guest Post By Houzz

One of the most powerful tools you have when marketing your home for sale is amazing listing photography. No matter how fabulous your home is, it won't sell if the listing photos don't do their job. Your photos should be light, bright and welcoming so that potential buyers jump in and schedule a showing. Here are some simple ways to get the most out of these incredibly important home photos.

Family Room

In the listing, include only photos of your most attractive rooms. Include the description and dimensions of the other rooms in the home, but you aren't doing yourself any favors by including bad photos or poorly staged rooms. Lure potential buyers in with lovely spaces; don't show them anything that might keep them from scheduling a showing. Hire a Professional to Stage Your Home

Living Spaces

Your photos should focus on the architecture of the house rather than the decor. The shot taken of this living room captures both the architecture (the paneled fireplace and the bookcases) and the view from the large windows. The sailboat above the mantel draws buyers' eyes to the focal point of the room — the fireplace. If I were staging this room for real estate photography, the only thing I might add here would be some pillows in on-trend colors and patterns to make the conversation area more welcoming.

Angelwylde House

Taking photos from the far corners of rooms and low to the ground gets more flooring into the photo. The more flooring you see, the larger the room will appear. Removing all rugs from a space adds square footage — at least in a buyer's mind. Unbroken floor space makes any room appear larger, and square footage is king.

Parkwood Road Residence Kitchen

Take photos at a time of day when you have the best natural light in the most important rooms of the house, such as the living room, the kitchen and the master bedroom. Make sure you open every window covering and even doors to let more light in. Don't use a flash if you don't have to — it will distort colors and appear harsh.


Although most interior photos in magazines are shot with the lights off, it is usually best to turn on all lights for listing photos. That means every overhead, pot light and lamp in the room. Those spots of light draw your eye to every corner of the space, so that a buyer may linger a bit longer on the photo. Get Picture-Perfect Lighting


Light a fire in the fireplace to create a sense of intimacy and hominess. See how light is streaming in from the left side of the room? As I mentioned earlier, make sure you open all the windows and doors to let in light so a cozy room like this doesn't appear dark. For a listing photo, I'd also remove the rug to make the room appear larger. Consider taking a few unconventional photos rather than just the old shoot-from-the-entry standards. Open the French doors, throw open a window or move the chairs out from the table to create a photo that entices and captures the imagination of a would-be buyer.

Fair Winds

It's pretty standard to take a photo from the front door into the entry, right? But try taking a shot of the entry from the interior toward the front door and open the door, as in this photo. It's much more interesting and may be a better vantage point. Bring Your Pictures to Life With These Extra Tips

The post was written by Kristie Barnett, Houzz and posted by RealBird with permission

67 Slides From Upworthy That Will Improve Your Real Estate Marketing Overnight

See these 67 slides of content marketing gems from Upworthy If you don't learn at least one new thing from these slides that's applicable for your real estate marketing, than you won't from any other sources. This is just a treasure chest of actionable information, like the one that insists that you write 25 headlines for each shares or the one about how to properly frame them on Facebook. 

Whether you are a fan of Upworthy or not, a follower of growth hacking techniques or just a casual marketer, there are more than one slides that are easily applicable to your online real estate marketing efforts, we promise !

We'd love to hear your takeaway after reading the slides!

And by the way, we did write 25 headlines for this post. We'll be happy to share them, just ask :)

-- Your RealBird Team

Katerina Gasset is joining us again as our next guest speaker on May 18, 2016

Katerina GassetWe are very pleased to announce that Katerina Gasset will be our next guest speaker on May 18, 2016 at 8 AM PDT.  Her topic:  "SEO is back with a vengeance!" You don’t want to miss this! Discover how SEO has changed and what you need to know for 2016 and beyond as Google makes changes to how they rank the content on the web. 

Find out how you can be a part of our FREE 30 Day SEO Challenge.

Katerina Gasset is a REALTOR®, and a Certified Digital Marketing Funnel Expert. Owner of Listing Experts Academy and Fast Track SEO. 

She is also the top blogger on ActiveRain and an avid user of RealBird.  Her webinars are always packed with value you can use in your business.

Please use this link to sign up!

Hope to see many of you at the webinar.

-- The RealBird Team