Blog Category - Right-Sizing

Tips to Stage Your Home to Sell Quickly

Categories: Blog, Buying & Selling Your Home, Right-Sizing, Uncategorized | Posted: January 18, 2019

cornerstone homes the carolineMoving into a brand new Cornerstone home that’s built just for you, living a low-maintenance lifestyle with time to enjoy your community amenities, and meeting new neighbors that are in the same stage of life as you, can be one of the most rewarding times of your life.  So when you begin this exciting new milestone in your life,  rest assured that Cornerstone has all the bases covered, starting with that first step of getting your home ready to sell quickly and for top dollar.    

At Cornerstone Homes, our Concierge team has helped make many of our buyers’ transitions into their new (and better-than-ever) lifestyle as easy as it can be. Our unique Cornerstone Concierge Program is designed to make each part of the process smooth and simple, and that includes staging your old home to maximize its sales price. Believe it or not, staging is a lot of fun and will guarantee that you’re on the best track moving forward. According to the National Association of Realtors, a staged home will sell for 17% more on average than a non-staged home, and 95% of staged homes sell in 11 days or less. That is statistically 87% faster than non-staged homes.”  (Nov 4, 2015) 

Tips to Stage Your Home

Linda Orban staging your home to sell

Our Concierge Team Partner, Linda Orban, owner of Home Staging By Linda, is an expert in the art of staging and can share many success stories with you of clients she has worked with over the last ten years.  Linda stated that it’s important to stage your home the right way because a buyer’s first impression could make or break a decision.  Did you know that 95% of potential buyers see your home in photos online before they see it in person?  Good home staging equals the best first impressions!   And she understands where the eye goes first, as well as what’s pleasant and positive, and what needs a change. Her motto is to keep it simple. Make sure your home doesn’t feel too personalized, so a buyer can envision making it their very own.

Linda starts by going through every single room in your home to spot the “clutter zones” so she can work with you to declutter and make the space feel open and inviting. Then she looks for the “quick fixes,” which are small changes that could include, for example,  removing old area rugs to show off the hardwood floors, taking off the curtains, changing lampshades, etc.  Believe me, it’s a fun process and can help you start thinking of decorating your new home!!! 

Here are a  few easy and inexpensive tips from Linda to get you jump started on your way to a carefree lifestyle!!

1. Boost curb appeal.

Cornerstone Homes The Caroline Home Floor Plan Barley WoodsThis is something you always hear, and with very good reason. Many people thinking of touring your home will do a quick drive-by first, often deciding on the spot if it is even worth a look inside. Make sure your home is ready to lure in onlookers with these tips:

-Power wash siding and walkways

-Hang easy-to-read house numbers

-Plant blooming flowers and fresh greenery

-Mow the lawn, and reseed or add fresh sod as needed

-Wash front windows & repaint/stain the porch floor as needed


2. Welcome visitors with an inviting porch.

Make it say “welcome home” with a clean doormat, potted plants in bloom and — if you have room — one or two pieces of neat porch furniture. Keep your porch lights on in the evenings, in case potential buyers drive by.


clean staging your home tips3. Get your house sparkling clean.

From shining floors and gleaming windows to clean counters and scrubbed grout, every surface should sparkle. This is the easiest (well, maybe not easiest, but certainly the cheapest) way to help your home put its best foot forward.

4. Clear away all clutter.

If you are serious about staging your home, all clutter must go, end of story.



5. Style your dining room table. 

The Ducal Cornerstone Homes

The dining room is often a blind spot in decorating the home. Between dinners, a large dining table can look bare and uninviting, so styling it up with visitors in mind can increase the appeal.

6. Rearrange your furniture.

In the living room, symmetrical arrangements usually work well. Pull your furniture off the walls and use pairs (of sofas, chairs, lamps) to create an inviting conversation area.

7. Open those closets! Cornerstone Homes Rightsizing Declutter Closet

Open-house visitors will peek inside your closets. Closet space can be a make-it-or-break-it selling point for buyers, so show yours off to their full advantage by giving excess stuff the heave-ho. Aim to have 20 to 30 percent open space in each closet to give the impression of spaciousness.


8. Create a lifestyle people are looking for. 

Generally speaking, you want to play up what your neighborhood or area is known for. Have a house in a quiet, grassy suburb? Hanging a hammock in your backyard and a bench swing on your porch could be the perfect touch. 

9. Think seasonally. garden staging your home flowers

Make sure your garden is in beautiful shape in the summer, and that any extra features you have, like a pool or a fire pit, are cleaned and ready to go. Take advantage of the cozy vibe of the season in autumn and winter, by building a fire in the fireplace and simmering hot apple cider on the stove. 

When you’re ready to start your new adventure in a Cornerstone home, Linda Orban will be here to help you set the stage. Our entire Concierge Team is at your service to make achieving your dream lifestyle simple and smooth. We can’t wait to help you make your move into a Cornerstone Homes community!


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Right-Sizing Part 3: Repurpose Your Favorite Items for Your New Home

Categories: Blog, Right-Sizing, Uncategorized | Posted: October 30, 2018

We all know the phrase out with the old, in with the new, but when it comes to right-sizing your life at Cornerstone Homes, we say keep the old and make it new…


When you’re ready to leave home repairs and yard work behind for good, a maintenance-free, easy-living Cornerstone home is waiting with open arms. But before you dive into the fun, social, and leisurely lifestyle that awaits here, make sure to repurpose your favorite furniture the right way.


Decluttering and getting rid of stuff makes life easier, but you don’t have to say goodbye to absolutely everything. In fact, many of your favorite pieces can feel brand new with the right touch, so you can avoid unnecessary purchases while maintaining a bit of your favorite pieces in your new one.


Reupholster Furniture

Cornerstone Homes

Even with a worn appearance, there’s nothing like the comfort of your favorite chair. Brighten up a timeless staple with beautiful, fresh fabric to give it pops of life. Not to mention, new pillows are always a great way to make an old chair or couch feel updated.


Stools as End Tables

Single Level Living TImely and Lasting Features Cornerstone Homes

Versatile and stylish, repurposing any kind of stool is always fun. Use extra stools as end tables in your living room or bedrooms for a trendy and cozy aesthetic. Give your stools a makeover with a new paint color, wrap them with string lights, and get creative with your accessories. 


Repurpose Coffee Table for Outdoor Living

Barley Woods Covered Patio

If you’re buying a nice, new piece of furniture for the centerpiece of your new living room, place your current coffee table in your Cornerstone courtyard or patio! Create a warm and welcoming spot with chairs and seasonal decor for entertaining, as well as to enjoy a cup of coffee in the mornings.

A Fresh Coat for Your Dresser

painted dresser repurpose rightsize

 If you are ready for new bedroom furniture for your new luxurious owner’s suite, give your current dresser a makeover with a fresh coat of paint in a trendy color or pattern. Repurpose your previous dining room’s chandelier by hanging over your bed to give a touch of elegance in your bedroom, and find some stylish bed linens to match. Your new owner’s suite or guest room will feel comfy, cozy, and stylish as ever.


Dining Room Revamp


Your dining room set has been through it all, from birthday parties to holiday gatherings to simple weeknight dinners. If your table and chairs feel a bit outdated,  you don’t have to let them go just yet! Paint your table and chairs and add new placemats and table settings.  Or, start using your china and silverware every day. Why not enjoy it!!  These small updates can make a big impact in your new dining room.  



Remember, our Concierge team members are here to help you sell or donate your unwanted items, and help you think about how you can repurpose your favorite furniture. We can even help you place your furniture (old and new) in your new home. The goal of the Concierge Program is to help you every step of the way, and our mission is to improve the lives of those 55+ and better, and this is the first step. This process not only makes right-sizing easier, but it also clears your mind and puts you on the right track to a relaxing, leisurely, and comfortable lifestyle.


It’s the beginning of a new milestone.   Bring your treasured items with you and breath new life into some of them.  And, now is the time to spring for a few new pieces, maybe artwork too!   Blending the old with the new is a new chapter. While some of your items may have to go, many of them can make the journey with you (with a little alteration!) Make your furniture more useful than ever before and watch your new Cornerstone home bloom with positivity. Your best life is out there, and it can start right now!




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Right-Sizing Part II: Declutter Your Home the Right Way

Categories: Blog, Right-Sizing, Uncategorized | Posted: September 13, 2018

You’ve decided it’s the right time to right-size your life — congratulations! Your children are gone, you don’t need that big house or want to do all that yard work, and you’re certainly ready for some “me-time.” You’re about to begin one of your greatest adventures yet!


cornerstone homes drop zone caroline downsizing rightsizingThe smart choice of moving into a maintenance-free Cornerstone home gives you every opportunity to explore your passions, live leisurely, and meet some of your new best friends. In this second blog of our “Right-Sizing Your Life” series, we’re going to talk about simplifying your life. In other words, downsizing your belongings.

Remember, stuff is just stuff, and objects don’t define us. In fact, letting go of items can be liberating.  Right-sizing is a lot like getting into shape — it takes time and work, but you feel incredible when you’re done. Most importantly, it will free up your mind to focus on what’s truly important to you.  





Tips for Decluttering


It’s never too early to start decluttering. Less stuff means less work and more room for new memories and experiences! We’ve put together some tips to get you started:

1. Remember: one room at a time. Start small and keep your focus on a single task, such as setting aside a few hours to clean out a closet or a set of drawers. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll make progress, which makes the rest of the process that much smoother.

Cornerstone Homes Rightsizing Declutter Closet


cornerstone homes drop zone caroline downsizing rightsizing2. When it comes to clothes, ask yourself: do I really want it? Do I absolutely need it? This will help you make definitive decisions about what goes and what stays. Your “keep” and “toss” piles will be easy to sort, but the “maybe” pile can be slightly more challenging. The “maybe” pile contains useful articles of clothing that may be duplicates, items that are out of style, and clothes that you wear but not often. Once you have this pile, look at your closet without these items — if you think that keeping them would only create more work, go ahead and donate or sell them! 



3. If you’re having a hard time giving things up, remember what William Morris said about the essence of decluttering: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
cornerstone homes drop zone caroline downsizing rightsizing

4. Emotional ties to items are normal. This is simply a part of the process, but remember that you don’t have to get rid of everything. Hand down precious items to your children and grandchildren, donate or sell what you don’t need, and keep what you love the most.


cornerstone homes drop zone caroline downsizing rightsizing5. It’s 2018 — go digital! Photos, cards, scrapbooks, letters, and more can be scanned onto a computer or an external hard drive. This frees up a vast amount of space while keeping your things safe. Who knows, you may even impress your grandkids with your new computer skills!





In no time, right-sizing your belongings leads to living in an expertly-crafted home in an exceptional neighborhood, surrounded by great friends, and doing the things you love (without wasting a moment on home repairs.) Best of all, Cornerstone Homes is here to help you throughout the entire process, to make it easy and virtually painless.

At Cornerstone Homes, we’ve thought of everything that makes this process easy and stress-free.  We call it our Cornerstone Concierge ProgramThrough this program, we help you sell your home, downsize, move, and secure financing. We partner with Smooth Transitions of Fredericksburg and  Home Matters of Virginia, who provide exceptional personal service and value. Alyson Pedlow, Moving Specialist and Founder of Home Matters of Virginia, and Kim Mould, owner of Smooth Transitions Fredericksburg, offer their services to assist you in every aspect of your move: sort, declutter, remove or sell items, pack, coordinate move, unpack, and even make your bed so you can step right into your new home, ready to go.



The life you deserve is right at your fingertips. Don’t wait, your someday is now!