Making the decision to sell your home begins a journey of a thousand steps. From hiring a real estate agent to getting the home ready for the market, there is a lot to do.
Luckily, homeowners have a tool belt full of items that make the job easier. The most powerful tool of them all is decorating – better known as staging. Done right, staging your home will help it sell faster and for more money.
Before you hire a decorator, or decide to do it yourself, you’ll need an appropriate backdrop – a clean, uncluttered space. Otherwise, staging the home is like putting lipstick on a pig.
There are several reasons homeowners should clear their homes of the clutter accumulated from daily living. First, clutter makes people anxious.
The results of a nine-year long UCLA study show that there is “real psychological stress associated with clutter.”
The last thing you want a potential buyer to feel is stress or anxiety when touring your home.
Since most clutter in a home is a collection of personal items, depersonalizing the home goes hand-in-hand with clearing clutter. Sure, all those personal items are what makes your house a home, but too many of them may hinder its sale.
Buyers need to be able to imagine what it would be like living in your home, surrounded by their belongings. Your stuff detracts from their ability to do that. Besides, you will have to move all that stuff once your home sells, so you might as well do it sooner rather than later.
Depersonalizing: What’s Involved?
Depersonalizing is the act of removing most items of a personal nature. Family photographs, souvenirs, collections, DVD and CD collections and framed diplomas, degrees and awards are a few examples of items to pack up and store.
Since you’ll need boxes for the move, buying them now saves work later on. Buy several boxes for each room in the house, and don’t forget newspaper or other packing material to protect breakables.
The best way to go about depersonalizing the home is to do it one room at a time.
Living Room and Family Room
Since this is where families spend most of their time, these rooms will most likely take the longest. Items to remove include:
Now we move from the most challenging room to the easiest room to depersonalize – the kitchen. The biggest clutter catcher in this room is the refrigerator. Remove the magnets, sticky note reminders, kids’ artwork and personal photographs. In fact, remove everything from the front, sides and top of the refrigerator. Unless it’s decorative, pack it all up.
Many families use the kitchen counter as a mail drop. There’s nothing particularly wrong with that, but mail is highly personal and needs to be put away, out of sight.
Since bedrooms are the most personal of all the spaces in a home, they can be challenging to depersonalize. Remove family photos, of course, but you may need to go beyond that. Imagine a posh hotel room and remove anything from the bedrooms that you wouldn’t find in one.
Bathrooms tend to become cluttered with personal products. While it isn’t necessary to pack these items up, it is crucial that they be put out of sight in cupboards and drawers.
Don’t forget the shower stall or bathtub. Buyers will pull back the shower curtain. Would you want to be greeted by pumice stones, shampoo bottles or kids’ water toys? Again, think of a posh hotel bathroom and try to imitate that look.
The home office is typically one of the most cluttered rooms in the home and also a hot selling feature, so it’s important to create a vignette that appeals to the target market for the home.
Attack the walls first, taking down awards, diplomas and degrees, and photos.
Clear the desk of mail, work papers and professional journals and magazines.
As you work on depersonalizing each room in the home, don’t just throw the items in the boxes. Wrap and pack for the move and then take the boxes to a storage facility.
Don’t forget to organize what’s left in the room – it puts you one step closer to staging the home.
Should You Hire a Stager?
Everyone’s situation is different. Some homes don’t need staging. Of those that will benefit from staging, the extent of what needs to be done will vary from one home to another.
As part of my listing service, I offer a consultation with a stager, at no charge to the homeowner. During the initial consultation, the stager will offer suggestions. If the homeowner feels that they need more help in getting the house ready for sale, they can then hire the stager at an hourly rate.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, it’s never too early to call in a real estate agent to talk about the entire home-selling process, including staging. Give yourself plenty of time to get your home ready, to maximize your sale.
Call me if you want to talk about getting ready to sell. 551-427-6343.
Homeowners …. if you’re thinking of selling this year, here are some good reasons to do it now, instead of waiting until spring:
The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by ‘supply and demand’. If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases.
Source: The KCM Blog
Happy New Year! I hope your 2014 is filled with peace, happiness and good health.
What will happen in the real estate market this year? Many pundits are predicting slightly better sales in 2014 than in 2013. But the KCM Blog‘s headline today took a different view:
Housing Predictions for 2014: Sales Will Surge
Among the reasons cited are (1) the number of first time home buyers are expected to rise, and (2) many move-up buyers, who have been trapped in their homes because of negative equity, will finally be able to make that move because of rising property values.
Many buyers and sellers think that with the holidays and winter approaching, they should wait until spring to make a move. Au contraire!
There are good reasons, if you are thinking of buying or selling, to do it NOW rather than waiting for spring. Here are some of them, recently published in the KCM Blog:
5 Reasons to Buy A Home Now Instead of Spring
by The KCM Crew on November 25, 2013 in For Buyers
Based on prices, mortgage rates and soaring rents, there may have never been a better time in real estate history to purchase a home than right now. Here are five major reasons purchasers should consider buying:
Supply Is Shrinking With inventory declining in many regions, finding a home of your dreams may become more difficult going forward. There are buyers in more and more markets surprised that there is no longer a large assortment of houses to choose from. The best homes in the best locations sell first. Don’t miss the opportunity to get that ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ buy.
Price Increases Are on the Horizon Prices are projected to appreciate by over 25% from now to 2018. First home buyers will probably pay more both in price and interest rate if they wait until the spring. Even if you are a move-up buyer, it will wind-up costing you more in net dollars as the home you will buy will appreciate at approximately the same rate as the house you are in now.
Owning a Home Helps Create Family Wealth Whether you are rent or you own the home you are leaving in, you are paying a mortgage. Either you are paying your mortgage or your landlord’s. The Fed, in a recent study, revealed that the net worth of the average homeowner is 30 times greater than that of a renter.
Interest Rates Are Projected to Rise The Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Realtors, Freddie Macand Fannie Mae have all projected that the 30-year mortgage interest rate will be over 5% by the end of 2014. That is an increase of almost one full point over current rates.
Buy Low, Sell High We would all agree that, when investing, we want to buy at the lowest price possible and hope to sell at the highest price. Housing can create family wealth as long as we follow this simple principle. Today, real estate is selling ‘low’ compared to where it will be next year. It’s time to buy.
5 Reasons to Sell Before Spring
by The KCM Crew on November 19, 2013 in For Sellers
Many sellers feel that the spring is the best time to place their home on the market as buyer demand increases at that time of year. However, the fall and winter have their own advantages. Here are five reasons to sell now.
Only Serious Buyers Are Out At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere 'lookers'. The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.
There Is Far Less Competition Housing supply always shrinks dramatically at this time of year. The choices for buyers will be limited. Don't wait until the spring when all the other potential sellers in your market will put their homes up for sale.
The Process Will Be Quicker One of the biggest challenges of the 2013 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks have been inundated with both purchase and refinancing loan requests. Both of these will slow in the winter cutting timelines and the frustration these delays cause both buyers and sellers.
There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 25% from now to 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with historically low interest rates right now. There is no guarantee rates will remain at these levels in years to come.
It's Time to Move On with Your Life Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and decide whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?
You already know the answers to the questions we just asked. You have the power to take back control of the situation by pricing your home to guarantee it sells. The time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.
If you're thinking about buying or selling, DO IT! Call me! Happy Thanksgiving!
Would you operate on yourself? Write your own Last Will and Testament? Plan your retirement by yourself? Of course not!
The biggest decisions in your life deserve the expertise of a professional! If you're thinking about selling your home -- most likely your biggest investment -- here are some good reasons why you should consider going with an agent rather than FSBO:
If you're thinking about selling your home, and maybe going FSBO, call me and let's talk about it.
The video illustrates the yearly wear and tear on the homes systems and appliances, the fact that breakdowns are likely and frequent and how a home warranty service agreement can help protect against breakdowns.
Several years ago, I decided to purchase a home warranty on my home, and it has come in handy several times -- for a kitchen sink blockage and a broken attic fan, for example. Check out the video, and if you want more information, give me a call.
The market has quickly shifted to a seller's market, with low inventory but a lot of buyers. With this shift, it's important for homeowners to realize that there is a built-in check to the current exuberance: the appraisal.
When multiple offers are received, the seller needs to carefully consider all aspects of each offer. The "best" offer may not be the one with the highest purchase price. The buyer's down payment and ability to qualify for a mortgage in some cases could trump the offer price.
Careful analysis of the offer is one very good reason why it is prudent for a homeowner to use an experienced agent rather than going "for sale by owner."
Call me if you'd like to talk about your options and what's happening in your local market. 551-427-6343.