Laura Hsieh | Newton Real Estate, Brookline Real Estate, Allston-Brighton Real Estate


After buying a gorgeous new house your old furniture can feel a bit… outdated and drab. Suddenly your favorite pieces are beaten up and shabby. And the ones you thought were okay are intolerable, eyesores.

If after your move a top-to-bottom redecorating project isn’t option right away, and for most of us it isn’t, you don’t need to feel stuck with unappealing furniture.

The truth is you just need some creativity and a few free weekends to dedicate to reworking your current pieces.

Start with the pieces that just need a facelift. Touch up scratched or scuffed paint and polish any hardware. Then experiment with their placement. Maybe the office bookcase looks better in the living room and the credenza is right at home in your bedroom. Being willing to experiment to find the most unique and best fit!

Reupholster chairs, stools or even your sofa for a whole new lease on life. If you’ve never reupholstered before start with a simple project like a chair before jumping into a more advanced one (like your couch). Choose a bold new color for a statement piece or fresh neutral for a crisp, clean feel.

Add new legs to a sofa, chair or table. And yes! You can change out the legs to a couch. Add thin modern legs to update an old couch or swap out a round shape for a square-one, or vice-versa. You can even DIY a new table altogether by installing your top of choice onto a set of legs.  

You don’t always have to add to your furniture to make it look fresh and new. Sometimes it’s what you take away that counts. Experiment with removing hardware altogether from drawer pulls and doors from cabinets for an open shelf look. Try removing arms from a chair or the back altogether from a sofa. These last two are perfect to try if you’re already upholstering the furniture.

Add contact paper in your color or pattern of choice to update a glass top or particle board piece. There are so many options and in classy options. You can opt for faux marble print or just a sleek black. Metal furnishings can be freshened up with metallic spray paint in a new modern tone. Or go all in and refinish a natural wood piece after sanding.

Avoid dwarfing your apartment-sized furniture by arranging it away from the walls. This will create a feeling of spaciousness in the room. If you have an area rug large enough to do so arrange all of your furniture within its bounds. This makes a room feel more pulled together and will keep your furniture from slipping all over bare wooden floors.

When it is time to upgrade do so slowly over time and prioritize by its importance to your lifestyle. This could be a new mattress, couch or cool new rug. What will make the biggest difference to your lifestyle? Start there.


How many times have you heard yourself say (or think) something very similar to this: "One of these days, I'm going to organize my closet(s)"? If not your closets, then it's your basement, attic, or garage that needs decluttering, organizing, and/or cleaning.

Question: Are you one of those homeowners (or apartment dwellers) who keeps saving things you don't need, and then finally gets around to sifting through it all when mountains of clutter have taken over your valuable storage space? If that sounds all-too-familiar, then don't worry; you're not alone! Unfortunately, the easiest thing about organizing your home is putting it off until another day.

There comes a point, though, at which clutter takes over your life. Symptoms you're moving in that direction include an inability to find things and the inexplicable disappearance of storage space (actually, there's a perfectly rational explanation for it)! So if the "clutter monster" has been rearing its ugly head in your home in recent months, here are some causes and possible solutions to the problem.

  • You know you have a lot of junk, but you're not sure what to do with it. Well, first of all, "one man's junk is another man's treasure," so things you no longer have any use for may be very useful to charitable groups, community fund drives, or homeless shelters. In addition to giving stuff away, you could also offer free or inexpensive things to people in your social media network, hold a yard sale, or offer gently used hand-me-downs to relatives and friends. If your unwanted stuff is actually junk (by anyone's standards), then it might be worth it to have a local junk hauling service pick it up at your house and properly dispose of it. An alternative is to rent a dumpster for a few days and fill it up at your convenience. The cost may be surprisingly affordable, and the amount of living and storage space you'll reclaim in your home will make it all worthwhile. You never know until you get a quote or two!
  • You just can't seem to motivate yourself to get started! Procrastination is one of the leading causes of household clutter, but there are solutions. One strategy is to announce to your significant other, best friend, or parents that you're going to devote two or three hours on Saturday (or Sunday) to straightening out your closets, basement, or garage. The value of telling someone else of your intentions is that it sort of puts you on the hook and makes you accountable. A similar approach is often used for dieting, exercising, or spending quality time with your kids. Even though two or three hours of work probably won't transform your home into a model of organization, you'll at least have gotten started and made a dent in the project. For most people, the biggest hurdle to getting organized is getting started!
Picking up a supply of inexpensive bins, storage compartments, and shelving at your local discount outlet, hardware store, or even neighborhood garage sale may also give you the nudge you need to get your decluttering plans moving forward!

Putting your home on the market is not for the faint-hearted! As many people discover along the way, the road to selling a home can be rather bumpy -- especially if you attempt to sell it on your own.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do, right away, to make the journey shorter, smoother, and more rewarding. Here are three strategies that will greatly increase your chances of success.

Find a seasoned real estate agent. An experienced real estate agent will not only help you navigate state and federal regulations, negotiate with buyers, and get a handle on paperwork, but they'll also schedule showings of your home and provide continuous marketing help.

Enhance your curb appeal: When it comes to finding prospective buyers and setting up appointments, your real estate agent will do the lion's share of the work. However, it's mostly up to you to make sure your house looks its best and that the appearance of your property catches the eye of house hunters.

Once your home is listed online and a "for sale" sign is planted in your front yard, potential buyers are going to immediately take notice of how your house looks from the outside. Sometimes people browse listed houses from their cars, so it can really pay to make a great first impression from the street.

Some of the things that matter the most are a meticulous-looking yard, a clutter-free property, and a house that looks like it's well maintained. Adding a fresh coat of paint, displaying some colorful potted flowers, and taking care of unsightly weeds and overgrown bushes are a few things you can do to make your property look a lot more inviting.

Stage your home's interior: Once you've cleared the first big hurdle (curb appeal), your next priority -- or perhaps a simultaneous priority -- is to make the interior of your home look inviting and appealing. As is the case with boosting curb appeal, your real estate agent can provide you with cost-effective advice on how to get the most mileage from your efforts.

Some of the tried-and-proven methods of staging a home include reducing clutter, arranging living room furniture in "conversational groups" to depict a cozy, intimate environment, and letting plenty of natural light stream in to make your home appear as cheerful and bright as possible.

Fresh coats of neutral-colored paint should be applied to walls and ceilings on an as-needed basis, and all floors, tables, and counter tops should be kept immaculate. Home staging consultants often recommend removing (or toning down) certain decorating themes -- such as sports, religion, or even too many family photographs -- which may alienate some potential buyers.

The overall objective is to make it easy for house hunters to imagine themselves owning and living in your home. If there's anything about the appearance, decor, or smell of your home that makes people feel in any way uncomfortable, that could make it more difficult to find a committed buyer -- which, of course, is your ultimate goal!


When it comes to buying a house, there is no need to deal with a stubborn home seller. However, you may encounter a stubborn home seller, regardless of how well you prepare for your homebuying journey. And if you're not careful, a stubborn home seller may cause you to miss out on an opportunity to purchase your ideal residence.

Don't let a stubborn home seller get the best of you. Instead, use these tips to ensure you can handle negotiations with a stubborn home seller like a pro.

1. Don't Panic

If you are forced to deal with a stubborn home seller, there's no need to get discouraged. Conversely, consider the property seller's perspective, and you may be able to get the best results out of a tough situation.

Open the lines of communication with a home seller – you'll be glad you did. If you maintain open communication, you may be able to find out the root cause of a home seller's stubbornness and plan accordingly.

Also, don't panic if a home seller fails to communicate with you, and try to avoid assumptions at all costs. By doing so, you'll be able to remain calm, cool and collected and maintain your patience as you try to figure out the best way to acquire your dream house.

2. Be Prepared for the Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios

In the best-case scenario, a stubborn home seller will explain his or her demands. Then, you can negotiate with a home seller, find common ground with him or her and work toward finalizing a home purchase agreement.

On the other hand, it is important to understand the worst-case scenario as well.

In the worst-case scenario, you and a home seller may be unable to find common ground. And if this occurs, you should be prepared to walk away from a potential homebuying negotiation and restart your search for the perfect residence.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Are you unsure about how to deal with a stubborn home seller? There's no need to worry, especially if you consult with a real estate agent.

With an expert real estate agent at your side, you should be able to overcome any potential homebuying hurdles.

An expert real estate agent will act as a liaison between you and a home seller. He or she will learn about the needs of a homebuyer and home seller and ensure both parties can achieve their ideal results.

Furthermore, an expert real estate agent can respond to any homebuying concerns and questions. This housing market professional can teach you about the ins and outs of purchasing a residence and provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. As a result, a real estate agent can help you simplify the homebuying process and ensure you can secure a first-rate house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Ready to streamline the homebuying journey? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can get the support you need to deal with a stubborn home seller.


For those who want to achieve the best-possible results during the house selling journey, it helps to plan ahead. Fortunately, we're here to help you get ready to list your home and enjoy a seamless property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three items that every seller needs to pick up before listing a house.

1. Cleaning Supplies

A stunning home interior can make a world of difference in the eyes of property buyers. Thus, you should purchase cleaning supplies to ensure that you can transform your house's interior from drab to fab.

Cleaning supplies are easy to find at any grocery or convenience store and won't force you to break your budget. Plus, they often come with instructions so you can use these supplies for maximum effectiveness.

2. Lawn Care Equipment

In addition to improving the look of your home's interior, you'll want to do everything possible to bolster your residence's curb appeal. Because if potential buyers drive past your home and like what they see, these individuals may be more inclined than ever before to schedule a property showing.

A lawn mower, hedge trimmer and other lawn care equipment are paramount for a home seller. With this equipment at his or her disposal, a seller can improve a house's curb appeal. And as a result, this individual can help make his or her home an attractive option for prospective buyers.

3. Hand Tool Set

A hand tool set will serve a home seller well even after this individual sells his or her house. This set includes a hammer, wrenches, screwdrivers and other essential tools that will make it easy for an individual to perform quick fixes around a house.

In most instances, a standard hand tool set includes everything that a home seller will need to complete basic house repairs. And remember, an individual can always add to his or her hand tool set down the line too.

As you prepare to list your home, there are lots of things that you can do to differentiate your residence from the competition. In fact, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive home selling insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

A real estate agent is happy to offer honest, unbiased property selling recommendations. He or she can help you get your residence ready for the housing market and ensure it generates plenty of interest from potential buyers. Also, a real estate agent will show your residence to prospective buyers, keep you up to date about any offers to purchase your house and much more.

Perhaps best of all, if you have concerns or questions during the home selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them. This enables you to gain expert home selling insights and receive the support you need to succeed.

Employ a real estate agent today, and you can begin a successful home selling journey.