Help your home feel better in 2008

By Joni Ribera, Let's Talk Real Estate

First of all, let me start this column by wishing you and your families the happiest and healthiest in 2008.

This should be an interesting year in real estate. It looks like the market is going to remain rather quiet here in Federal Way. Prices have actually gone down about 1 percent since November 2006 and there are 53.45 percent more homes on the market, which leaves a lot of homes to choose from. If you are in the market to buy, this is great. If you are in the market to sell…not so great.

You already know I am a huge fan of “staging” properties that are for sale. Here are some tips that will help your home “feel better” in this time of winter doldrums, and they certainly won’t hurt if you are trying to sell.

• When you rearrange furniture, remember to leave preferably 4 feet for walkways, and avoid flowing traffic through a conversational grouping.

• When positioning furniture, place the largest pieces of furniture first. And keep chairs no more than 8 feet apart in conversation areas.

• Wallpaper can make a decorative statement without overwhelming a room. Try papering just the part of the wall between the shelves of a shelving unit, or replace the white mats in your picture frames with matching wallpaper mats. You can cover a paper lampshade for a custom look.

• Group small items on a wall so that they form a single visual unit. To add focus to a collection of items or pictures, tape off and paint just the area behind that section.

• Some things may not take up a lot of space, but they are unsightly. To cure the loose “spaghetti look” of computer cords, get a computer cable organizer, also called a cord management solution. These bind all those cords together in an attractive way.

• Accents like lamps, mix-and-match lampshades and even light bulbs with color-enhancing benefits can change the ambiance of a room. You can change a chandelier or use rose-tinted bulbs.

• To add a touch of sophistication to bookshelves, remove the dust covers off hardcover books.

• Flow colors from one room to the next when they are visible from one another.

Federal Way real estate agent Joni Ribera: (253) 632-5779 or Also visit

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