Category: Selling a Home

What are some cheap ways to stage my home to sell?

Home staging

Selling your home? Then you might want to stage it without spending too much to maximise your profits. Lucky for you because you’re in the right place.

Staging your home or simply properly preparing it for resale can play a vital role in having your property sold in no time and at the best possible price. To help you get started, below are some of the best ways to stage your home without spending too much. Some of them are even free! Check them out now.

Declutter.

The basic rule is to clean up and declutter. It would be too difficult and almost impossible to stage a house full of unnecessary things, so start off by deep cleaning your home. During the process, choose things you’d want to keep and get rid of those you can. You can either properly dispose them or donate those that you don’t really use or want. 

Pro Tip: Ensure your bathroom and kitchen counter tops are free from clutter as well as from bulky appliances. 

Organise.

oranised things

While on the process of decluttering, be sure to organise things. Properly store away your personal things, make your bed, fix your dressers and drawers, etc especially during showings and do your best to maintain such. Scrub dirt and grime away from your bathrooms and kitchen surfaces including your tubs and toilets. Windows and floor should be cleaned too.

Pro Tip: Don’t shove stuff into your closet. Instead get some moving boxes and properly store them in your storage room or in the garage. This is because most (if not all) buyers will check on your closets to see if there’s enough storage. 

Keep personal items away.

living room

You need to let potential buyers picture themselves living in your home. This would be impossible to do if you have all you personal items on display like framed family photos. 

Pro Tip: Clear off notes and photos on your refrigerator or computer desk. The less things around, the better.

Let the light in.

Light

Letting natural light in can make a big difference on how your house will be seen by potential buyers. Keep blinds up and tie up curtains as it can make the space look bigger as well as it can highlight the views outside especially if you have a picturesque view to boast. In the event that the view outside isn’t that ideal, you may opt to hang a simple white linen curtain panels that can obstruct the view while allowing natural light to come in. 

Pro Tip: Hang curtains near the ceiling to create an illusion of higher ceilings and bigger rooms.

Paint it off.

Paint

While plumbing and electrical should be your top priorities, painting your home is one of the most impactful and cost-effective things that you can do to stage your home. A fresh coat of paint can actually do wonders to your home giving it vibrance and life despite its age. 

Pro Tip: Never use loud paint colours as it can immediately put off buyers. Instead choose a neutral color such gray or off white which will allow the buyers to envision the home in a more neutral hue.

Work on small extra things.

When a buyer sees a lot of small things that needs to be fixed like water stain on the ceiling, burnt out light bulbs and cracked window panes, it set off their inner alarms. Often times, those small things start to raise bigger questions that may break the sale. To avoid being in the same situation be sure to do a thorough check and start fixing those that you can. 

Pro Tip: Fix all chips and cracks in walls and baseboards. Fix dripping faucets and replace non-working light bulbs.

So there you go! I bet you’ve already got a good place to start with home-staging. Good luck!

Homes for Sale by Owner: Top 5 Reasons Why FSBO Sales Fail

Home

Are you planning on selling your house? If so, you might be tempted not to hire a real estate agent to maximize your profits since you don’t have to pay for an agent’s commission. Doing all the work all by yourself means you’ll get the most money out of the transaction. Sounds really good right? Well, not really. 

Selling a home with an agent’s help will actually give you higher and better profits than doing the work all by yourself. In reality, you’ll get enough funds to cover the agent’s commission and more profits for yourself. Not convinced? Well, we have statistical data to back it up. National Association of Realtor’s says that the average FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sales price in 2016 was $185,000. On the other hand, a home sold through the help of a realtor had a sale price of $245,000. That’s a whopping $60,000 price difference!

A seller may or may not have the capabilities to negotiate the deal in his favor. While a realtor will surely get you covered when it comes to negotiation. And since you’d be relying on your own skills on finalizing a contract, you’re risking potential legal problems and smaller profits after all the extra effort and time spent. 

Below are some of the top reasons why FSBO transactions can be more pain than gain.

Online marketing of a property for sale isn’t as easy as it

may seem.

Online Marketing

Most buyers will search online for houses for sale. The biggest advantage of having a real estate agent is they can offer a widespread exposure for your listing as they have access to multiple listing services. Moreover, they can promote your house to fellow agents to share with their clients. On the other hand, FSBO sellers will need to spend a lot on advertising and might not still be able to reach the same quality audience that a real estate agent can.

FSBO houses can be priced incorrectly.

Price

FSBO sellers tend to set price merely based on online assessment tools or whatever amount a friend or a neighbour suggested because it was either offered to them or they were able to sell their property at that price. These methods are actually totally unreliable and it can risk the price being way off. Nothing can compare to actual and timely market knowledge that real estates have. 

Overpricing a home can actually be dangerous as it will languish in the market leaving buyers to wonder why. Worst is nothing will change even if you reduce the price later. In addition, if your house has been in the market for an extended period of time, buyers are more likely to negotiate to get the property at a much lower price. 

Only real estate agents would be able to provide an accurate value of your property which is based on comprehensive market analysis. This in turn, will help you arrive at the reasonable listing price – not too expensive to put buyers off but not too low to leave you with less profits out of the sale.

You might not be able to properly estimate how much money you should spend on curb appeal.

Money

In general, inexperienced home sellers don’t know how to properly stage their property for the broadest audience which can turn off potential buyers. May it be because of an amateur paint job, an unmaintained yard or landscape or a broken door. 

Having a real estate agent by your side can actually help you a lot since they have an eye for detail and will usually recommend simple and budget-friendly staging steps allowing you to spend the least amount of money for the best possible outcome that can help you present your home at the best possible light.

                             Showings can be tiresome.

Open House

Scheduling and attending showings can be really draining. This is something FSBO sellers don’t realize until they’ve already gone several meetings. Unfortunately, novice home sellers are prone to deal with people who don’t really have the intention to buy as well as investors that are looking into flipping the property for a profit.

On the other hand, having an agent will free up your time that will allow you to focus on other things like tidying up and vacating the place. Moreover, buyers are observed to be uncomfortable with sellers hanging around during showings. 

Paperwork isn’t as easy as you think.

paper Work

Paperwork can really be tricky. And if you have no background in contracts or law, better leave it to the pros if you don’t want to end up with lawsuits after the sale. On the other hand, agents got everything covered for you. They will handle all property disclosures and necessary documentation to ensure you won’t be faced with liabilities in the future. 

With all the above compelling reasons, I hope it’s clear now that real estate agents can play a vital role in home-selling. Don’t make the same mistakes new sellers make. Let the pros play the game they now very well.

Is the clunker in your driveway driving potential home buyers away?

WARNING!

 

This post is a bit of a rant about a house I listed several years ago when I was still an active agent.

 

Notice I’m very specific here…

 

We’re not talking about pink flamingoes, a lawn jockey, or flowers growing out of an old toilet.

 

No, but the subject of this article has already been sung about in a country song or two.

 

And while the subject of my mild rage isn’t a rusty old Ford Fairlane, the homeowner’s yard looked just as bad as the place described in that 90’s country tune.

 

Damn it, Jim! I’m a Realtor, not Grant Cardone!!!

 

I can’t sell a house that’s not fit to show. And in this case, we’re not talking about a single car. No, we’re talking six unique rust-buckets, all within different stages of decomposition.

That’s in addition to the three beaters crowding the small driveway on this tiny 3BR home. You know the type that have a different beater for each day of the week? Instead of getting one quality car from a local dealer, they try to maintain a fleet of clunkers. Yup, that was my client!

I’m not a sales assassin.

Just your ordinary (former) real estate agent.

I did the best I could given a bad situation, but it took forever to sell that one. And we probably could have gotten the seller a higher price had he taken my advice.

Listen to your Agent!

 

That’s the simple moral of the story here. Trust your agent. Listen to your agent. If they tell you something makes your house look less desirable, don’t take offense. Just resolve the issue and know that they have your best interests at heart.

 

Okay, rant over! Back to living the dream.

 

Should We Pressure Wash Our Driveway Before Staging Our Home to Sell?

Should We Pressure Wash Our Driveway Before Staging Our Home to Sell?

 

A home buyer’s first impression on your home should be a pretty good one. Most buyers would give your home less than a minute to decide whether they should enter and give it a more critical glance. So it’s very important to ensure that your house’s exterior is enticing enough for them to want to view the inside.

 

This raises a good question for many homeowners. Should you pressure wash your driveway before staging your home to sell? Yes! You definitely should. It’s the part of your property that a potential buyer would immediately notice before anything else. As soon as they step outside their vehicle and onto that pavement, a first impression is made.

 

It is a clean impression?

 

a clean driveway makes a great first impression to homebuyers

 

…or a DIRTY driveway?

 

dirty driveway before pressure washing it clean

 

The answer to that question is so important for your home marketing!

 

So, here are some compelling reasons we put together to ensure your driveway is appealing enough for home-buyers to say “yes!”.

First impression is critical.

A dirty driveway is a major turn off to a home buyer. It’s like your house saying, “Hi, there. I’m the garage and I’m quite dirty. Get in so you can see more places like me.” Well, that hurts. Especially if you did your best to clean up the entire house for the home’ buyer’s visit. So do clean it up and make your home impress buyers at first sight!

It helps your home sell faster and with less hassle.

If your house makes a good first impression with potential buyers, you have a higher chances of it being sold faster. If you were able to convince them that your house is still worth the cost because of its clean appearances and good features, chances are better that they would not take long to move forward on the home buying and negotiation process.

A clean driveway adds value to your home.

Another reason to clean up your driveway is that in can add value to your home. You’d like to get the best price for your pre-loved house right? So make sure potential buyers fall in love at first sight! A recently pressure washed home can increase it’s value from $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the size, According to the National Association of Realtors.

 

Aside from your driveway, you also have to ensure that the rest of your exterior is also well-staged. Consider washing the siding of your home on the same day as the driveway:

 

pressure washing your siding is also a great idea!

 

Below are some more basic but very important exterior staging tips:

 

  1.  Clean your windows and repair screens.
  2. Pressure wash or scrub your exterior walls.
  3. Clean up your front and backyard. Do this frequently while you’re on the market.
  4. Keep unused equipment in storage.
  5. Replace busted light bulbs. You don’t have to buy expensive ones. Just ensure they work.
  6. Clean up your house address numbers.
  7. Replace your front door if needed.
  8. Consider re-painting.

 

Remember that a great curb appeal and a good impression screams “Buy me!” to home buyers. Home sellers that do these simple but important staging tips sell more quickly and have fewer concessions over the asking price.

 

Can’t find time to do it yourself? There are local pressure washing companies just like Superior Cleaning of Birmingham, Alabama all over the US. Go to Google and find a reputable local contractor to clean your house and driveway. Always be sure to ask if they carry insurance and check reviews before hiring a company to pressure wash your driveway. Happy Selling!

 

Getting Pet Odors Out! So you can Sell Your Home

Dealing with pet odor

 

We all LOVE our furry friends! But if you’ve had a dog in your home for a while it can lead to odors that might turn off potential home buyers. Today we’re going to look at a few tips for pet owners looking to sell.

 

Can Pet Odor Really Kill a Home Sale?

 

Absolutely! Just ask an experienced Realtor. And what’s worse is that you’re probably “nose blind” to those odors since you live with your furry friend all the time. You’re desensitized to it, but even potential buyers with their own pets will probably notice the smell. If your agent brings up the smell, don’t get offended. They are just doing their job, and you want a good agent who won’t pull any punches. After all, you hired them to do everything in their power to sell your home for the best price possible.

 

 

Where do Pet Odors in the home come from?

 

If I wanted to be snarky, I’d just say “It’s the DOG dummy!” but the truth is your dog is just the source of an odor that’s permeated your entire house over the months or years. Here are just a few of the areas that probably harbor pet odors:

 

  • Carpets
  • Drapes or curtains
  • Drywall
  • Clothes
  • Linens

 

If you’re serious about selling your home, you need to address the pet odor both at the source and also throughout your house.

 

Start with the Odor Source

 

Take your dog to the groomer or give them a bath yourself. If it’s a long-hair breed, consider getting their groomer to give them a short, summertime haircut. If you’ve already bought or rented your next home, consider keeping your dog there or with a friend for a few days. Once you’ve dealt with the source, it’s time to move on to a thorough cleaning.

 

Cleaning up Dog Odor

 

It might make the most sense to start with the carpet, but I would recommend you start up high and work your way down. Remove all your curtains and throw them in the wash if the tag says it is safe to do so. The same goes for bedding, both yours and the dogs. Then you can move on to a thorough vacuum and shampoo of the carpets and rugs. If your pet isn’t 100% housetrained, a quality spot cleaning product might be in order. I would also go ahead and change out the air filter for your central AC unit at this time. It probably needs to be swapped out anyway since you’re showing your home to potential buyers.

 

 

Removing Dog Urine From Carpet

 

Extreme Dog Odor Cleanup

 

Okay, so that didn’t work and your agent still smells Fido when she walks in the door. What now? Remember our list of possible places the odor might be hanging out? If you followed my steps in the past paragraph and the odor is still present, you’ll have to focus on those other areas. A fresh coat of paint will help attract a qualified buyer while also preventing the drywall from smelling like a wet poodle. Or if you think the carpet shampoo didn’t do the trick, it might be necessary to call in a flooring pro and replace the carpet.

 

I hope you found these tips helpful, and best wishes on the sale of your home!