10 Easy Ways to Stage Your House


Prepare Your Nashville House for an Easy, Breezy Sale



It’s officially springtime in Nashville; sunshine, rain showers, flowers and all. With the flurry of spring comes the time of year that many homeowners decide to put their houses on the market. You might be wondering: How do you stage your house for the perfect sale?


Research has shown the average sale price of a property can be increased by 1-5% simply because home staging tips were implemented before the house hit the market. Additionally, seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.


Most importantly, buyers “need to fall in love,” says Cohen, from Forbes. “Large assets like this have more emerging competition. So it is absolutely critical that you have it beautifully staged, that a buyer can walk in and say: ‘Okay, I am ready to move in.’”


The average home staging costs around $675. If you can get a 1% increase in the purchase price, that means a $200,000 house will sell for $2,000 extra dollars. That’s a profit of $1,325.


But it’s not necessary that you use a professional staging service. Furthermore, it’s actually simpler than you might think to stage your home yourself. Here are ten easy ways to do it:


1. Lights On and Heat Up


When you stage your house, anticipate your electricity bill going way up. Lights should be left on for showings that happen you’re gone, and always, always keep the house at a comfortable temperature of no less than seventy degrees.


2. Clean Your Carpets


Buyers only know what they see. Unless your home is a fixer-upper, badly worn or very outdated, carpets should be replaced before coming on the market. Offering a buyer credit to pick their own new carpet or a discount off the price is far less effective and will always end up costing you more money and slow the selling process. Pick a light-colored short plush or frieze carpet.


3. Smells Matter


It might come as no surprise to you, but cooking or smoking odors, dog or cat odors, baby, laundry and mildew odors will turn off buyers. If there is a challenge with odors in your home use room deodorants or disinfectant sprays and keep windows cracked open for ventilation even in very hot or cold weather. (There are great products in pet stores for pet odors, and many professional carpet cleaners have special ozone machines that can really help with difficult odors.)


Showings can happen at any time. In anticipation, try to keep the fish and strong spices at a minimum. They can be a massive turn-off. Consequently, work towards achieving a clean smell. Get rid of kitchen odors by pouring hot salt water down the drain twice a week. Grind lemon rind into the disposal. Dog & cat dishes, pet bedding, and toys should be placed in the garage. Try using baking soda or get a professional cleaner to remove any odd smells from furniture and carpeting.


4. Comfort Speaks Louder Than Words 


It’s not just a cliche that chocolate chip cookies straight from the oven can help make your home more attractive. Help buyers imagine their life in your home. Set the scene by displaying a board game or tea service on the coffee table, and arrange furniture in conversational groups. Let a slideshow of beautiful images play on your television like a screensaver.


5. Stow Away Your Belongings


Family photos, toys, cosmetics in the bathroom, and countertop appliances in the kitchen should all be stowed. Leave only necessities, and store them in cabinets. Try to pack up each room by 30%. As strange as it might seem, this creates a bigger feeling to every room.


6. Think About Your Buyer’s Needs 


Always anticipate the needs of your buyer. Do you own a family-style home? And are your buyers looking to move into the school district? Set out a flyer describing all the information regarding local schools. Stage your house by thinking of what your buyers are looking for. 


7. Make Your Bathroom a Spa 


We recommend clients purchase solid white towels, rugs, and shower curtains when preparing to sell their home. Thankfully, these simple luxuries don’t cost much. They can make a huge difference, though. And what’s not to love about white?


8. Paint Walls in Neutral Tones


Real estate experts believe certain paint colors inspire buyers to put in an offer, and often suggest that sellers repaint their home in these hues to create a blank canvas for optimal staging. Neutral color palettes allow potential buyers to imagine their own color schemes.


9. Be Respectful 


Religious symbols and family photos do not help to stage your house. A good agent will be the first to tell you this about your home, and home stagers echo the sentiment. By taking out those personal touches, potential buyers won’t wonder about who lives in the home, and will instead picture themselves there.


10. Do a Walk-Through


We rarely take the time to get a good look at our homes. Try standing in the doorway of each room and try to view the space as if you’d never seen it before. You’ll not only see what needs a good cleaning, you’ll be more likely to notice what could be removed to make the room look bigger, and what you might do to make the room appear more inviting or versatile.


Could those double doors be replaced with glass doors for more light? Would new cabinets modernize your kitchen? Could a new mirror upgrade your bathroom? Would replacing your floral bedspread with something more neutral make the room more appealing to all genders? Even simple changes can make a huge difference.


This expertise was provided by Dwell Music City, your trusted authority on all things related to real estate in Nashville. It is our pleasure to answer any questions you may have. Contact us here for more information. 

Spring Fever?


5 Secrets to Buying a Nashville Home in Spring



“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Oh, wait. Charles Dickens was talking about the French Revolution, not Nashville home buying.


Spring is both the easiest and most challenging time to buy a Nashville home. The challenge is that there is a huge housing demand during this time of year in Nashville. The benefit, however, is that there are so many more options! You can feel confident that the home of your dreams is on the market now or will be soon.


With so many options, how does one go about navigating the market? Here are a few of Dwell Real Estate’s secrets to buying your perfect home in Springtime.


1. Get Pre-Approved 


Sometimes homebuyers think that getting approved for a loan is a matter of simplicity. However, you might be approved for more or less money than you were initially thinking. You may also find that you’ll need more money if multiple offers are on the table. Overall, it makes your life easier and your shopping experience better and more accurate if you get approved prior to house hunting.


The more prepared in pre-approval you are, the more value you add to yourself and your buying appearance. You can move more rapidly if you have all of your documentation in line. 



2. Determine Your Home Wants and Needs 


Get a solid understanding of what you need. Make a checklist and prioritize the items on that list; what do you need vs. what do you want? Understand that your list will shift and change based on your budget constraints and market trends. And remember that when you buy a Nashville home, you are also buying a Nashville neighborhood. Decide which one is right for you


Consider things that might affect you, such as school zones, proximity to hospitals and workplaces, and the kind of social activity you’ll have.


3. Show Up With Your A-Game 


Most people assume that in real estate, the main competition is among the sellers all trying to sell their homes. But as you’ll rapidly find (in Nashville’s market at least) the competition is actually fierce among buyers. We often deal with multiple offers on the same property. In Nashville, the buyer’s market is fierce.


The days of under-bidding are over! Be prepared to step into an offer with your best foot forward. (This is yet another reason why you should be pre-approved.)


4. Remember, Nashville Homes are Flying 


Rising interest rates signal a strong economy, and consumers, with renewed confidence, are buying homes. Lots of them. This is what most people call a comeback. People who found themselves underwater on their homes are now starting to see those homes gain value. Consumer confidence is at an all-time high.


As home values increase, Trulia research has determined that in markets with the biggest home value gains, supply is tightest. The reason for this isn’t clear. One theory is that while homes are easy to sell in this environment, they are still difficult to buy. So even if people can sell for a good price, they would then be thrown into the same buyer pool as everyone else. A tactic that can improve your chances of success as a buyer this spring? Cast a wide net in your search, increasing your opportunities to land a home.



5. Don’t Go it Alone: Find an Amazing Real Estate Agent


It’s never been more important to hire a real estate agent than in today’s market. It is crucial that you hire someone who is experienced in many types of transactions. You deserve to have a professional representing your best interests throughout the entire buying process.


A buyer’s agent will help you with your home search, required contractual paperwork, negotiations, inspections, and any other concerns that may come up. Additionally, a good tour guide understands market trends and how those trends will affect your personal real estate needs. Remember, it will cost you nothing to hire a buyer’s agent. The seller of your new, Nashville home will pay their commission, so you’ll lose nothing. 


Don’t go it alone. A professional real estate agent takes on the headaches for you and navigates the confusion so you can focus on choosing your ideal, Nashville home.


This expertise was provided by Dwell Music City, your trusted authority on all things related to real estate in Nashville. It is our pleasure to answer any questions you may have. Contact us here for more information. 

10 Secrets to the Home Selling Process

Make Your Home Selling Easier and Your House More Attractive


Isn’t it all about finding a realtor and putting your house on the market? Turns out, there’s more than you might think to prepping your house for selling. Each of these secrets will help make your home selling easier.


In a highly-competitive market like Nashville, even implementing a few of these tips can put you ahead of the competition.


Here at Dwell Music City, we are here every step of the way to help you sell as quickly as possible.

1. Fix Everything

You don’t want a buyer to come to your home and find that two out of three lights aren’t working. Make sure the HVAC system works as well. Even if they don’t test everything before they put an offer in, they’ll find out at some point that certain items aren’t working. This can lead to the buyer renegotiating the sell price and possibly to the offer falling through. So save yourself the trouble and fix everything


2. Get Professional Advice 

While you want your house to sell quickly, you don’t want your home to be on the market longer than it should be. Pricing your house too high will cause it to sit on the market, which causes buyers to wonder what’s wrong with it. Make sure that you work with your agent to make sure your home is priced correctly for the market. Don’t try to guess! In popular markets like Nashville, professional advice is a must. Make your home selling easier and find a solid agent. 


3. Go for Color 

Don’t be afraid to sprinkle color all over your house. While you don’t have to paint every wall red, splashes of color in embellishes or furnishings can really accentuate the best features of the house.

4. Bye, Clutter!

This is an essential part of home selling prep. How can your potential buyers imagine themselves in your house if all they’re seeing is your stuff everywhere? Throw out old belongings or anything else that makes your house look like a clutter nightmare. Even too much furniture is a big mistake.  Consider arranging a few core pieces in your space and see the difference.

6. Take Photos of Your Home While it Looks Good

Take photographs of the inside and outside of your home while the landscaping still looks really good and green. Don’t wait for the in-between time. 


7. Have Floor Mats Ready

It’s wintertime in Nashville, which means the weather is very rainy. Put floor mats on the entrances of your home so people don’t track water onto your wood, laminate flooring or carpet. Unfortunately, all you need is one showing without mats to make you regret putting your house up in the first place. Make your home selling easier by limiting mud tracked through the house! 


8. Let There Be Light

Most homes are improperly lit. This ends up making rooms seem smaller and less inviting. Aim for 100 watts every 50 square feet in layers of ambient, task and accent lighting. Open the blinds and let outside light in as well. This can brighten the space and make rooms feel larger. Thankfully, there’s lots of information online that can help with this

9. Polish Your Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is everything. If your house doesn’t look good from the outside, a buyer won’t even consider looking at the interior shots. You cannot make your home selling easier without an attractive exterior.


If you want to go all out, pressure-wash your house, walkways, and driveway, or add a fresh coat of paint to your trim and shutters.


Everything matters — even things as small as the brass on your front door. Polish the kick-plate and doorknob, and clean any cobwebs or bird droppings. Flowers, particularly near the entryway, can make your house feel alive and inviting.


10. Sell at the Right Time

Spring and summer are typically known as the best time to sell your home. However, you should know that increased inventory means spring and summer buyers can afford to be pickier — so make sure your home is in sparkling, come-look-at-me shape.


This expertise was provided by Dwell Music City, your trusted authority on all things related to real estate in Nashville. It is our pleasure to answer any questions you may have. Contact us here for more information. 

Nashville HPRs

What They Are and Why You Need to Know


Let’s say you’re scrolling through Nashville houses and you notice one classified as an HPR property. No big deal. It’s still just a house, right? Sorry, kiddo – it’s slightly more complicated than that. Nashville HPRs are a hot topic for both buyers and sellers right now.


Nashville’s economy is growing rapidly. Neighborhoods are gentrifying and becoming densely populated. 


As a result, many legal real estate issues are rising to the surface. Nashville HPRs (horizontal property regimes) are one such issue.


One thing is certain. You owe it to yourself to understand HPRs. Just imagine signing papers on your new house and realizing that someone is breaking ground on another house in your backyard. 


What are HPRs? 


An HPR is a collection of individually-owned residences on the same piece of land. HPRs include apartments, townhomes, row houses and  shotgun houses. They are two or more attached or detached single family units on one piece of property.


A common misconception is that HPRs are condos. However, HPR homes are individually owned and condos are collectively owned.


Take a drive through any neighborhood in Nashville and you’ll see single homes being torn down to make room for two new homes. Developers are in favor of stretching the uses of single lots, especially in a high-demand market like Nashville. 


But what can you do to prevent getting stuck in an undesirable situation?


Controversy of Nashville HPRs


A well-designed HPR has some great benefits even without an end to their controversy. HPRs provide additional inventory in high-demand markets like Nashville, where parcels of land would otherwise be used for only one home. Whether they’re historical or contemporary, HPRs give an illusion of density to neighborhoods.


Even width restrictions can be a positive point. These restrictions force Nashville HPRs to build straight up, providing incredible views from rooftop decks and patios. In fact, they’re ideal for buyers who prefer a small yard and an urban feel.


Whether you choose an HPR home or not, no one can question that they serve a practical need for higher density housing in urban areas. If you want a hot product in Nashville’s housing market, this is it. 



In many cases, the zoning of properties permits two separate dwellings.

You will see the word “duet” used often to describe HPR properties. 


Nashville Zoning


Zoning policies are laws that developers are required to adhere to when building homes. In Nashville, the zoning policies that allow two houses to be built on one property were likely created with duplexes in mind. Developers are building two houses on a lot that perhaps formerly only had one. This zoning type is legally known as a subdivision.


To get one, a developer records what is called a “plat” –  a blueprint of the property layout. A plat map records the details each property parcel “contains.”

Detached HPR

Detached HPR means that the home owners in the development (HOA) collectively own the property. Unlike a duplex or attached housing, these houses can resemble a typical neighborhood. Detached HPR was originally designed to protect homeowners in case one of the owners defaulted. 


Here’s the tricky part: The exterior of the structure and the land is maintained by the HOA. You don’t own your yard. You own everything within the sheet rock. You’re purchasing the structure and the ground directly underneath it. The yard or land surrounding the home is shared community property.


We recommend you research whether the HOA is incorporated, recorded with the Secretary of State and current on recording fees. Find out if the subdivision was set up as a “planned unit development” (PUD) rather than a horizontal property regime. Consult a real estate agent prior to entering a contract for purchase because there are legal, lending and insurance implications to each scenario.


This expertise was provided by Dwell Music City, your trusted authority on all things related to real estate in Nashville. It is our pleasure to answer any questions you may have. Contact us here for more information. 

Which Nashville Neighborhood Speaks to You?


While East Nashville holds the title as the hottest city in the U.S. right now, not everyone will find a complimentary lifestyle in its bungalow houses and forward-thinking, hipster-driven restaurants and shops. So which Nashville neighborhood is the perfect one for you and your lifestyle?


If you’re considering a move somewhere within the urban core, chances are you’re doing your homework on the best Nashville neighborhood to live, work, play and maybe raise a family of humans or dogs (or both). Allow us to shine a light on some of the research we’ve done. After all, these neighborhoods are our playground and your future.



Nashville’s Downtown is the heart of the city and from it runs the social, political and economic lifeblood of the city. If you’re a busy professional with a downtown job, the location of this neighborhood is hard to beat. In addition, the nightlife, food, music, events and amenities are hard to beat, whether living in a penthouse or a condo.


While many mid-size cities have robust downtowns that often border on chaotic, Nashville’s downtown offers city-dwellers plenty of places for respite in nature. At the top of this list is the golden Centennial Park, a perfect retreat for avid nature lovers. Take relaxing walks here, attend cultural events and local fairs, and picnic with family and friends. 


Downtown has easy access to: 


Downtown might be the neighborhood for you if you’re: 

  • A busy professional who wants easy access to work
  • A couple who prefers the amenities of city life
  • At a different event or concert every night
  • Single and like to show off beautiful views of the city to your friends


12 South

As far as a Nashville neighborhood is concerned, 12 South is the best if you want a little bit of everything. Can’t decide between easy access to downtown and the artistic vibe of East Nashville? Thankfully, 12 South is the perfect in-between, the best of both worlds. With low-key restaurants and local-owned shops sprawled out across this neighborhood, 12 South is perfect for a first-time homebuyer or simply a relocating into a lively little community.


While 12 South isn’t the best neighborhood for people allergic to tourists or college students, it’s an amazing place for those who love social excitement and a buzz of activity.


12 South has easy access to: 


12 South might be the neighborhood for you if you’re: 

  • A couple looking to buy your first home
  • Looking for a hot investment property
  • Have a young family and like pedestrian-friendly communities
  • Appreciative of small shops and a small community


East Nashville

East Nasty is more than a killer foodie Nashville neighborhood. Yes, artisan restaurants line the streets of Five Points and sit on every east-side corner, but have you ever visited the cluster of shops at The Idea Hatchery or the bookworm environment of Her Bookshop? The historic east-side of Nashville is a hub of artisans, musicians, craftsmen and everyone else who wishes that they were.


One of the best things about East Nashville is that it functions like its own small town. It boasts its own hot yoga studio, natural foods store (like a mini Whole Foods) and farmer’s market.


East Nashville has easy access to: 


East Nashville might be the neighborhood for you if you’re: 

  • A young, hip family with at least one artist in the family
  • Looking for a great place to invest in
  • In need of a mid-sized home that can attract cool roommates
  • A social butterfly who likes to be in walking distance (or short Uber distance) to the best speakeasy bars
  • A foodie who eats out more than in (and when you do eat in, it’s from an app)



Historic Germantown is a quickly developing Nashville neighborhood, while only making up a limited 18-square-block area. History in this neighborhood is preserved and built upon versus bulldozed over. It’s a treasure chest of architectural beauty while being one of the best examples of urban mixed-use done right. 


Germantown’s food scene is no small matter, either. It sits at the top of the best food in the city, boasting restaurants with classy atmospheres and marvelous dishes. Additionally, Nashville’s annual Oktoberfest is held in this neck of the city. Appropriately, you might say.


Germantown has easy access to: 


Germantown might be the neighborhood for you if you’re:

  • A growing family in search of a quaint neighborhood
  • A fan of industrial-style architecture with pops of color and style
  • Excited by sidewalks that you can take Sunday strolls on
  • In search of quiet city living


Aren’t there more amazing neighborhoods in Nashville? Absolutely. There are many more amazing neighborhoods including the beautiful Belle Meade, the shopping-mecca Green Hills, and upscale West End. If you’re not seeing something that tickles your fancy and you’d like more information on other areas, contact us here at Dwell Music City. Our skillset is in helping you find the perfect home in the perfect Nashville neighborhood. Period.


This expertise was provided by Dwell Music City, your trusted authority on all things related to real estate in Nashville. It is our pleasure to answer any questions you may have. Contact us here for more information.