Archive for Home Staging

Preparing Your Home for Sale

Posted in Around Your Home, I Wish I'd Thought About That with tags , , , on August 15, 2011 by Pat Hansen

The time has come to make a change.  Your kids are out of the house, or perhaps you are a young family in need of more space.  You think the market has stabilized and you want to sell your house.

  • Prepare yourself to sell your home. Do your best to see the house no longer as your home, but as a product to be marketed. This takes work, especially if you have lived in the home for a long time and have many memories there.
  • Consider a professional whole house inspection.  An inspection will most likely uncover any major defects before they become an issue with a potential buyer. It also signals to buyers that you are a responsible seller.
  • Prepare the house.  Stand back and look at your home as objectively as possible. Would you buy this home? Ask friends and neighbors to do the same, asking them to be totally honest. Overlooking flaws could cost you money.
  • Do what is necessary to make your home stand out from the competition. Make certain that your home is fresher, cleaner and better maintained. Correct any problems discovered during the inspection, otherwise they could be a potential negotiating tactic.
  • Make sure your home has positive “Curb Appeal”. It doesn’t cost much to spruce up the landscaping and add colorful plantings. The entry door should be attractive and welcoming.
  • Remove most of the “imprint” that you have made on the home. Having a few family pictures around is fine, but if your home is a “shrine” to your family, you should take some steps to de-personalize it. Buyers must be able to envision themselves in the home.
  • Visit “Open Houses” in the neighborhood. This gives you the opportunity to discuss with Real Estate agents what the comparable prices are. An agent may offer you a free CMA or Comparable Market Analysis in order to get your listing. Knowing what your home is worth is one of the first steps in beginning to market the property.

The majority of home sellers take on the task with an ally; a Real Estate Agent. They feel that it is better to entrust the sale of their home to a professional, rather than attempting to learn about selling a home in a trial and error method.  

How do you choose an Agent who will be effective?  The following questions should be asked of any prospective Real Estate Agent in order to assess their capabilities and philosophies.

  • Are you a full-time Agent?  Choose a full-time Agent
  • How long have you been in the Real Estate business?  10 years in the business is a minimum
  • Are you an MLS (Multiple Listing Service) Member? MLS listings exposes your home to more buyers
  • How familiar are you with the area where our home is located?  Local knowledge of the market gets your home priced correctly, which will help sell it quicker.
  • How many homes did you sell in this area last year?  Is the agent successful in a difficult market?
  • Can you supply 3 names and addresses of recent clients for whom you sold a home that we can contact for reference purposes?  You know the answer to this one!
  • How did you arrive at the suggested listing price for our home? The agent’s experience should be apparent through the answer.
  • What is your specific marketing plan for our home?  Does the plan make sense to you?
  • How do you plan on keeping us informed of the sale progress of our home?  When you check references from past sellers be sure to ask this question:  Did the agent communicate as promised?

Check your local newspapers and homes magazines. An agent with a number of advertisements most likely has a fairly extensive marketing experience. Be certain, though, that the Agent does not have too many listings to effectively service the sale of your home.

Selling Your Home? – Top 8 Returns on D.I.Y. Fix-up Dollars

Posted in Around Your Home, I Wish I'd Thought About That, Renovation, The Drawing Board, Worth Repeating with tags , , , , , on April 27, 2011 by Kevin Fox

Foreclosures continue to negatively impact the housing market.  Homeowners wishing to sell their home today must do everything possible to differentiate their home from other homes on the market.  Spending a few dollars before putting your home on the market can pay big dividends if you know how to spend those dollars wisely.

HomeGain recently surveyed nearly 600 real estate agents nationwide to determine the top 10 low-cost (less than $5,000), do-it-yourself  home improvements for people getting their home ready to sell. The following are the top 8 do-it-yourself projects for under $1,300.  Note: Costs and returns are national averages.

8. Paint Interior Walls. Repair any damaged interior walls by patching all chips, holes and cracks; then touch up or repaint interior walls with neutral color. All woodwork like stairwell railings and doors should be repainted and or stained.

  • Average Cost – $1,012
  • Increase in Selling Price – $2,112
  • Average Return on Investment – 109%

7. Replace or Shampoo Carpets. If carpets are only lightly soiled, shampooing and/or spot removal should suffice. If your home has hardwood floors with room-size rugs, get the hardwood into its best condition with fresh non-slip floor polish or other coating to make it shimmer.

  • Average Cost – $647
  • Increase in Selling Price – $1,739
  • Average Return on Investment – 169%

6. Update Kitchen and Bathrooms. Update kitchen and baths by resurfacing cabinets or painting with neutral color. Replace toilet seats, dated fixtures and drawer/cabinet handles. If the appliances are included with the sale of your home, make sure they are operating and have proper documentation such as warranties and repair information.

Average Cost – $1,265

  • Increase in Selling Price – $3,435
  • Average Return on Investment – 172%

5. Repair Plumbing and Electrical. Consider repairing or replacing any defective plumbing or electrical items in your home. Make sure that all smoke and burglar alarms are functional.

  • Average Cost – $535
  • Increase in Selling Price – $1,505
  • Average Return on Investment – 181%

4. Landscaping. Hire gardener or landscaper to trim back the overgrowth and maintain yard. Add colorful plants or flowers near front door and porch area.

  • Average Cost – $540
  • Increase in Selling Price – $1,932
  • Average Return on Investment – 258%

3. Home Staging. Buy some fresh flowers, live plants and other decorations to liven up the home. Consider hiring a staging consultant. Set the dining room table for a dinner party.

  • Average Cost – $550
  • Increase in Selling Price – $2,194
  • Average Return on Investment – 299%

2. Lighten and Brighten. Replace any burnt-out bulbs and use higher wattage bulbs, if possible. Keep drapes open during the day. Turn on enough lights so home is well lit during showing.

  • Average Cost – $375
  • Increase in Selling Price – $1,550
  • Average Return on Investment – 313%

1. Clean and De-clutter. Rent a storage space or sell excess items, if needed. Keep every room very clean during open homes. Appliances should be cleaned – inside and out

  • Average Cost – $290
  • Increase in Selling Price – $1,999
  • Average Return on Investment – 586%

The article above is excerpted from HomeGain’s 2011 Home Sale Maximizer Survey, initially posted by: Louis Cammarosano on January 18th, 2011.  Read the entire article HERE

Staging Your Home for Sale

Posted in Around Your Home, I Wish I'd Thought About That, Lifestyle with tags , on October 12, 2010 by Pat Hansen

In today’s competitive Real Estate market, it is more important than ever, to outshine the competition.

  • Get rid of any odors, especially mildew odors, cigarette, cigar smoke and pet odors
  • Move litter boxes so they are out of sight; clean them daily
  • Remember, if you can smell it, you can’t sell it
  • Get rid of clutter.  If you can’t identify your own clutter, have a friend help point it out
  • Put photos away; they may be a distraction to the potential buyers who need to envision themselves living in the home

The Kitchen is the most important room in your house in terms of getting potential buyers to commit to a purchase.

  • Clear the countertops of everything you can live without. Leave a bowl of fruit or lemons on the countertop
  • Clean the sink well; if it’s stainless steel, wipe it down with WD-40 when it is dry
  • Clean the faucets with alcohol; even vodka will do the trick
  • Replace oven racks and burner pans
  • Store the garbage under the sink along with sponges, soaps and the like
  • Straighten the pantry and group items together
  • Remove all magnets and children’s artwork from the refrigerator
  • Move calendar, schedules and other necessary items to the side of the refrigerator
  • Rid the refrigerator of odors
  • Clean the refrigerator door

The Living, Dining and Family Rooms should be sparsely decorated to make them appear as large as possible.

  • Extra chairs can be moved to the Master Bedroom or Basement
  • Have the carpeting cleaned if necessary
  • Clear off coffee tables and end tables to just 2 or three well-chosen magazines and one nice vase or statuary
  • Clear off the dining room table except for one nice centerpiece. Remove the tablecloth to show the beauty of the table
  • Remove extra table leaves to make it smaller and thereby make the room appear larger

The Master Bedroom and Bath are important highlights after the kitchen. No matter whether you have a 60’s bath or a high-end modern one, it too, should be staged.

  • Have a full roll of toilet tissue folded hotel-style, at the end. Put down the lids
  • Place a fresh bar of soap at the sink
  • All fixtures and everything in the bath should be ultra clean
  • Store toothbrushes, cosmetics and containers under the sink
  • Put luxury towels, tri-folded, on towel racks or roll them on shelves.

A home that has been properly staged must also be presented to each potential buyer in its best possible light. Before All showings:

  • Set the stage—Lights, music, action!
  • Open all blinds and drapes
  • Vacuum the carpeting
  • Turn on ALL lights and lamps
  • Put the garage doors down
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