Friday, August 27, 2010

Can staging your home increase the value when selling?

Home staging is one of those subjects that people often feel a little bit intimidated by. There are a number of factors that are involved in good home staging but it does not need to be a complicated issue.

We caught up with Tori of Ross Designs. She is an expert in home staging and has a wealth of experience that can turn your home selling experience into a quick and lucrative home sale experience.

Whether you plan to do your own home staging or hire a professional to do it for you, here are a few commonly asked questions about this process with surprisingly easy answers:

What Exactly is “Home Staging?”

The process of staging is taking what you have (or, in some cases, bringing in new items) and presenting them in a way that shows off what you have as well as you possibly can.

In a way, home staging is about illusions. It's beyond decorating and cleaning. It's about perfecting the art of creating moods. Staging makes your house look bigger, brighter, cleaner, warmer, more loving and, most of all, it makes home buyers want to buy it.

Does My Entire Life Have to Be Disrupted for Home Staging?

No! Many people think home staging requires a lot of new furniture and artwork to be brought in and put in your home. In fact, most people already have what they need for a great home staging already in their home. They just need a little expertise to help guide them on how to position their assets.

It is also possible to easily live in the home while the staging process is in full swing. In fact, this is frequently part of the home staging challenge: making your home both staged appropriately and livable.The great news is that it can be done. Particularly when you hire a professional to help you with this process, you will find that the two really can coincide easily.

Is It a Good Investment to Invest Money in Staging a Home?

Absolutely! Many times staging is done after a home is generating little interest on the housing market. Some strategic staging is performed and it sells quickly thereafter. The fact of the matter is if you want to sell your home…and sell it quickly…staging makes all the difference.

Homes that are staged sell faster in a slow market and sell for more money in a hot market. There is simply no reason not to stage. The investment comes back to you in a sold house.

How Can I Find Someone to Stage My Home?

Tori of Ross Designs is one of Omaha's leading home staging companies. She can be reached at 402.490.3244.

Home staging is often overlooked in the home selling process. In fact, it can be one of the most important factors if you want to sell quickly and for top dollar. If you are in the market for selling your home, I suggest speaking with a professional home stager and see what they suggest. In the end, it may be the best move you could make.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

For Your Clients: 5 Great Tips to Close the Deal

By Paige Tepping

RISMEDIA, August 14, 2010--In a tough real estate market where competition for buyers is high, sometimes the seller has to ‘sweeten the pot’ to get the deal done. Here are five creative ideas from Realtor Vicki Walker to help close the deal.

1. Offer a Decorating Allowance
There may be a buyer that likes your home but just has different decorating tastes. To seal the deal, offer a decorating allowance (for painting, new carpets or wallpaper). You can offer cash at closing, or put money in escrow to reimburse decorating and remodeling expenses made within 90 days of closing, up to a maximum amount.

2. Do a Pre-Sale Inspection
This actually works for both the seller and the buyer. By having a whole house inspection done before listing the house, you get a chance to address any issues before prospects see the home. That means you increase the homes saleability. Display the report during open houses and highlight the repairs that have already been addressed. It's like seeing the repair history when you buy a used car; it makes you feel better about making an offer because you know the car is in good shape and exactly what has been repaired in the past. By having the home inspected before listing it, people don't have to guess what kind of condition it is in, they can see it in writing.

3. Offer a Home Warranty
A home warranty reassures the buyer that the property is in top condition and gives them comfort knowing that certain future repairs will be covered by insurance. Buyers fear that as soon as they buy the house the dishwasher, dryer, or stove will go on the fritz. A home warranty is an inexpensive way to offer peace of mind to the buyer.

4. Cover Closing Costs
Sometimes it takes a little nudge to close the deal. You can offer to pay the buyers half of title and escrow fees, or pre-paid interest charges. Paying the points on the loan may also be a tax deduction for you. Many lenders may limit how much of the closing costs you can pay, but if the buyer is short of cash, offering to pay some closing costs can make a difference.

5. Offer Seller Financing
There are many ways to offer seller financing. Options include putting funds in escrow to cover several months of mortgage payments, buying down the mortgage rate, or carrying a second mortgage to cover the down payment. It is wise not to offer seller financing unless you have consulted a real estate attorney and your real estate agent. Make sure that the buyer has good credit. Although this is the least attractive option to the seller to get a deal closed, sometimes it takes creativity and going the extra mile to get your home sold.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Increase the Value of Your Home Through Landscaping

Let's increase the value of your home by up to 15% through landscaping!

For the sake of argument, let’s assume you have a home that’s valued at $100,000 and you could add 15% to the sale price. 

That’s an additional $15,000 in your pocket, minus expenses. I’d say that’s a good deal, wouldn’t you?

Even better, you can gain that value cheaply through landscaping!Remember, the first thing potential buyers for your property see is the exterior of the house and the yard itself.

The old rule that you have about 10 seconds to make a first impression applies here. If buyers see a well-maintained exterior and a well-groomed yard, well, thenyou’re one step closer to making a sale at a price you want!

If they see a poorly maintained home and yard, well, your chances of a sale plummet badly. So, let’s talk about landscaping and what you can do to add value to your home cheaply!

Here are some common-sense tips. 

Tip 1: Clean Up the Clutter

I know this can be hard if you have kids, but you want to create the impression of neatness on potential buyers. Things like bicycles, toys, creaky old lawn furniture, overstuffed garbage cans, etc. create a negative “vibe” that can be hard to overcome.

Tip 2: Care for Your Lawn the Right Way

 Fertilize your lawn a minimum of once a year and, ideally, three times. Use a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. And here’s an important point – don’t cut the grass too short.

By “scalping” your lawn, you can end up creating unsightly bare spots. Instead, be sure to mow only one third of the height of lawn each time you get the mower out. This helps the grass develop strong roots and fend off pests and weeds.

Tip 3: Trim and Edge! 
Trimming and edging give your lawn the finishing touch, making it look as neat and well cared for as possible. 

So, edge the main lawn areas and trim around patios, flowerbeds, decks, and other landscape features. Use the trimmer correctly anddon’t let it cut into trees or “scalp off” grass at the ground level. 

Tip 4: Remove Bad Planting Choices
If some unfortunate planting choices were made by the previous owner (or you put some in that you don’t like now), either trim them or get rid of them. 

If you decide on new plantings, talk to your local nursery expert about the correct choices and how much care they’ll require.

Tip 5: Create a Point of Emphasis
By this, I mean that you can plant a flowering tree that stands out…line your walkway with flowering plants….frame the front door with annual flowers of bright color…and so forth.

With these plantings, you emphasize the beauty of your homeand make that home stand out in the neighborhood. Most of these items are inexpensive and provide a great return in terms of increased home value. 

And there’s a bonus – it can be great fun to do all these plantings!Need more suggestions on how use to use landscaping to increase the value of your home?

Contact me today, and we’ll have a wonderful time discussing one of my favorite subjects!