Tag Archives: decorating

Are the Holidays a Good Time to Sell?

Are the Holidays a Good Time to Sell?

Most definitely! Let’s face it, the only people house hunting during this time of year are the serious home buyers. So while the quantity of home buyers may dwindle a bit, the quality of those shopping for a new home greatly increases. Go ahead, if you’re a motivated seller list your home now, you just may be surprised at the results you get.

And don’t forget, always have your home staged by a professional stager in order to maximize your home’s potential for a quick sale.  A stager will increase your home’s sale-ability quotient and add an inviting holiday feel with understated, tasteful holiday decor.  Remember you don’t want to go overboard with holiday decorating as it can easily become a distraction as opposed to an element that draws buyers in and helps them experience that “homey” feeling.

Merry Christmas & Happy House Selling!

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“Leaf” it to Mother Nature to help get your house sold

Autumn is a great time of year to sell your home (the best time of year in my opinion) because Autumn with all its natural beauty can really give your house a shot of curb appeal — for next to nothing! 

Just a few weeks ago, you were probably enjoying the fruits of your labor in your garden and flower beds, visually drinking in the unmatched beauty of the full-blooming dahlias, brilliant-colored sedum, black-eyed Susans, the deep pink to white echinacea, purple salvia, and bold-colored canna, to name just a few, when it may have hit you … literally.

Yup, there it was, that first autumn leaf floating down from its tree branch high above. It may have brushed  lightly against your shoulder before flitting away and racing upward again, then slowly, methodically swaying to and fro downward it came once more until finally coming gently to rest on the lawn far below its original perch. For just a brief moment you may have found yourself mesmerized by its dance, your eyes fixated on its every move. But then realty reared its ugly head as you remembered with a grimace and perhaps an audible groan, that this singular brightly hued pretty little leaf would soon be joined by thousands – nay millions – of other leafs just waiting to ruin a perfectly good Saturday afternoon parked comfortably in front of the TV watching your favorite football team stomp the competition.

Sadly, there’s no getting around it. If you have any bragging rights what-so-ever about your yard and especially if you are attempting to sell your home — you gotta get out and rake. Ah, but did you know you can have the last laugh (well sorta) on all that spent foliage by using it as free mulch?  That’s right, free!

Seriously, leaves?

  • Yup, because leaf mulch enriches the ground by returning nutrients back into the soil.  And here’s a bonus – your lawn and gardens will require less fertilizer and other additives as a result!
  • Leaf mulch helps retain moisture by lowering the soil’s exposure to sun and wind thereby reducing evaporation.
  • By managing your leaves on site, you reduce the need to buy paper yard waste bags.
  • When you add a thick layer of mulch (2 to 3 inches) to your garden it reduces the need for herbicides and can help prevent the growth of weeds.
  • Leaf mulch prevents compaction and erosion of soils from wind and rain by acting like an insulating barrier from the heat in the summer, the cold in the winter and from the wind all year round.
  • And in terms of much-needed curb appeal that when selling your home helps it stand out from the competition, leaves look great all crunched up as mulch. Your mums, ornamental cabbages, and all your fall blooming flowers, will “pop” against a leaf mulch backdrop!
How do you take advantage of this free landscaping bounty?

  • Keep your mower blade sharp and set the blade to about 2.5 inches high and only mow leaves when dry to prevent clumping.
  • Push the lawnmower slowly to give it time to chop up the leaves and be sure to mow leaves when there is no more than 1 inch of leaf litter.
  • When adding mulch to gardens, do not put mulch right up to the base of plants or trees.Try to make the mulch no deeper than 2 to 3 inches.
  • If your lawnmower has a bag attachment, remove the bag to spread mulch evenly over the lawn, and then use the bag to collect some of the mulched leaves in order to easily empty it around trees, shrubs and gardens. If your mower doesn’t have a mulch setting, you may be able to convert your mower to a “mulching munching machine” by purchasing a mulching blade retrofit kit, available at hardware stores and garden centers.
  • If you are fortunate enough to have a lawn service, ask them to leaf mulch.
Oh and don’t forget, before you add mulch to your flower beds, go ahead and plant some eye-catching pops of color with beautiful mounding mums and showy ornamental kale.
 
And there you have it, free mulch, clean yard, and some added curb appeal most home buyers will find hard to resist!

Every picture tells a story, unfortunately, not all stories have happy endings!

Homeowners, listen up! Your Realtor is your Realtor, and in most cases, NOT a professional photographer. It’s up to you to be sure your agent is either capable of taking good pictures of your home themselves or have a professional step up to the plate. Ask to view the images of your home BEFORE your agent posts them. If the images do not showcase your home, then demand they be retaken.

In today’s Real Estate market, nearly 90% of home buyers begin there search online. Therefore, it is imperative your home shows well in that medium first.

Let’s take a look at exhibit A — would you prefer potential buyers saw this image as a representation of your home (this was an actual image used to “showcase” a home on Realtor.com as were the other before images shown below) …
or perhaps this one?

Not yet convinced that a picture’s worth a thousand words — or potentially thousands of missed dollars? Then I offer exhibit B.

Pretend you’re a buyer, which is more appealing, this  …

or this retake of the same bathroom by someone with an eye for photography?

As a seller, why would you think that fuzzy, out of focus, horribly cropped  pictures will attract buyer interest? Quite simply, they won’t. Don’t be fooled into thinking you must accept substandard imagery! If your Realtor can’t get the job done right, then insist they enlist the services of someone who can!

Your house is up against a LOT of competition — it HAS to look good both in person and online! Your home is arguably, your largest asset, why would you settle for sloppy, second-rate photography as a means of highlighting its best selling features?? Crappy online images will NEVER catch buyer’s eyes, NEVER entice them to make an appointment to view your home, NEVER be the crucial first step toward getting an offer on your property!

FYI? The home featured in this blog received 3 requests for showings within 24 hours of re-posting the new and improved images. It would appear as though the seller can begin to start thinking about “living happily ever after.”

Home Staging ROI: The numbers don’t lie!

With a near 300% R.O.I., home staging continues to be one of the best tools in a harsh real estate market for preparing a home for a quick sale at top dollar! As we enter into the fall selling season, you owe it to yourself to be sure your home/listings stand out in a fiercely competitive real estate market.

Take this simple quiz to see how your property stacks up.

Home Improvement Calculator – HomeGain

Calculate the top 10 home improvements and the expected value to your home’s price, customized for your zip code. Get your home ready to sell with HomeGain’s Home Sale Maximizer tool.

Top Ten reasons Realtors should recommend home staging to their clients

1. Professionally staged homes stand apart from the pack!
A professional stager is able to examine the property with an objective, buyer’s eye and make recommendations to give the home that “WOW!” Factor necessary to entice potential buyers. FACT: Only 10% of people can look past clutter and unattractive decor in a home and see the potential of a property! First impressions are everything in the real estate market. Having a home professionally staged ensures those crucial first 10-20 seconds of a showing are a deal maker, not a breaker.

2. Real Estate agents can make suggestions for needed improvements, but they lack the detail proposed by a professional home stager!
While many realtors oftentimes provide adequate suggestions on repairs and changes needed to get a property sold, usually these suggestions don’t cover all the elements a home stager would address. Homes are purchased based on emotions, professional stagers will advise making all the obvious repairs and improvements needed, but they also provide emotional connection points throughout the home that make potential buyers fall in love with the place. Most agents lack the design expertise to help their clients carry out a expertly designed home staging plan, and most homeowners don’t have the knowledge, objectivity, or time to make the changes suggested.

3. If you recommend a home staging for a listing it DOES NOT mean you have to pay for it!
True, many agents are opting to provide home staging for their clients as part of their fees and services, but it is not the norm for agents to pay for staging. Recommending a professional home stager is like recommending a home inspector — your clients don’t expect you to pay for the home inspection services, so why should they expect you to pay for home staging services? When all is said and done, staging doesn’t cost the homeowner a dime either. How is that possible? According to the HomeGain® Home sale Maximizer Guide 2011, home staging yields a 299% return on investment!

4. Home staging is a proven method used to help properties sell faster and for more money!
It’s a win-win situation. Turning properties quickly means less hassle for you and your clients. And, a higher sales price brings you more commission and benefits your clients’ bottom line as well. Professionally staged homes sell over 50% faster than non-staged homes and on average for 6-10% more.

5. Listings show better when they are professionally staged and this will reflect well on you professionally!
When you become known for having properties that show well, other agents are more likely to show your homes, and more and more homeowners will insist on you as their listing agent. You’ll gain a reputation for turning homes faster when people see your name on the lawn signs of all the “sold” homes in their neighborhood.

6. Stagers are experts in tackling sensitive topics, let them be your “bad guy!”
Stagers can take away the stress and anxiety of possibly offending your clients by taking over the responsibility of discussing sensitive subjects like odor and unattractive decor. Home stagers will explain to your clients that they aren’t there to judge their design choices or cleanliness; they just want to position their home to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers and therefore, greatly increase the potential for a quick sale. While the décor may suit their tastes, properties need to be neutralized before they are put on the market in order to attract as many buyers as possible. Professional home stagers will gently explain to your clients that the way they live in their home is very different from the way it should be prepared for sale.

7. Home Stagers give you back your free time to focus on what you do best!
Professional home stagers will take over the oftentimes daunting task of preparing your listings for the market. That way you won’t have to waste your time and effort on areas outside your expertise. Stagers will take your weak listings and turn them into “model homes” so that you can focus your efforts on your real estate skills. When a property is staged, it can make the entire selling process easier because homes that are organized and clutter-free are seen as being well taken care of. This makes all aspects of selling a home go more smoothly from showing to final inspection.

8. Professionally staged properties entice buyers with eye-catching photography in your online MLS and marketing materials!
Today’s savvy buyers, nearly 90% in fact, use the internet to begin their home search. That is why it is critically important you have the strongest marketing photos possible. Many home buyers pass up properties based solely on the photos they see online. Having a home professionally staged is a valuable marketing tool that will draw in the buyers.

9. Professional Stagers prepare a home for sale more quickly than an agent or homeowner!
While some real estate agents and homeowners do have an eye for design, home staging is best left to those trained and skilled in the art of real estate property preparation. Professional home stagers prepare homes for sale day in and day out. They know the right contacts, and have the knowledge and skills necessary to get the most bang for the buck in the least amount of time.

10. Home staging is quickly becoming the standard in the real estate market!
Home staging is growing more and more prevalent, especially in today’s inundated real estate market. By not informing your clients about the benefits of home staging you are putting them at an immediate disadvantage. Leaving a property in “as is” condition will only help sell the competition, especially when the competition is already using home staging as a marketing tool! With the harsh real estate market sellers are facing today, it’s critical that you help your client showcase their home by recommending staging. Be sure to inform your sellers about the benefits of home staging, your clients will appreciate your suggestion to utilize one of the most innovative and successful marketing techniques available in real estate today!

Aside

Ah-h-h, at last, its June!  Warmer weather, blue skies, birds chirping, flowers in full bloom — and online Real Estate listings with snow-covered lawns! There is nothing that screams, “Pick me, pick me, I’ve been stagnating on the market for ever!” louder than a … Continue reading