News from Home Improvement – San Angelo Standard Times:

It’s not just the overall average size of the new American homes that are shrinking – down to 2,377 square feet last year from 2,438 square feet the year before, according to the National Association of Home Builders – but the stuff that goes in it, too.

Everybody knows there’s no perfect house. But with more people looking to sell than to buy, sellers need to be up front about go the extra mile to make their home stand out.

“Every house today needs to be well prepared,” says Stafford Manion, broker-owner with Gladys Manion Inc. in suburban St. Louis. “Sellers need to go much further than they used to.”

Anything untidy and poorly maintained sends up red flags that could derail sales, Manion adds.

Sellers are wise to tackle the biggest structural and aesthetic hindrances – anything septic systems that haven’t been serviced and wall cracks that have settled horribly, says Jim Ettenson of J. Ettenson Realty in Rhinebeck, N.Y.

Such problems should be addressed in listing and marketing materials for full disclosure, pros say. At the same time, home flaws sometimes can be offset by showcasing a home’s positive features, says Susan Stynes, an agent with Long and Foster in Midlothian, Va. “Don’t have a master bathroom, but have privacy on a cul-de-sac, two-car garage, or finished basement? Determine positives and play them up,” says Stynes, w…………… continues on Home Improvement – San Angelo Standard Times

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Pottery Barn Series Features DIY Home Improvement
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It’s spring. Flowers are blooming and parties are being planned. Budding flowers and warmer weather usher in the perfect time for home entertaining. Perhaps second only to the holiday season, this time of year features many festive occasions, including bridal showers, Easter brunch, Passover, graduations and spring galas.

Often people want to host parties, but the anxiety caused by the need to get it right makes some put off entertaining altogether. Have no fear. If you have extra time on the weekend, Pottery Barn in the Market Common Clarendon wants to help you unleash your inner Martha Stewart.

The store is hosting a summer open house from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday. It will be an informal guide to creating tablescapes and summer party ideas. 

The event coincides with a marketing campaign aimed at linking products to the do-it-yourself, or DIY, trend in home improvement. Pottery Barn calls it “How To”. Similar to the paint-by-number approach to art, the How To program gives customers a step-by-step guide to home entertaining, from invitations to meal preparation.

In the store, take-home cards are…………… continues on

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