7 Reasons to be Happy It’s Fall

7 Reasons to be Happy It’s Fall

From beautiful scenery to pumpkin flavored treats, here’s 7 reasons we’re looking forward to fall!

Autumn is officially upon us! While this time of year symbolizes the end of long, sunny beach days and warm sunshine on our faces, there’s so many wonderful things to look forward to about this next season. If you’re experiencing the end-of-summer blues and need a few reasons to be excited about fall, look no further than this list:

Pumpkin spice everything.

25-Pumpkin-Spice-Recipes

If you’re a fan of pumpkin flavoring, you’re in luck. This is the time of year when pretty much everything is available in pumpkin spice. Coffee, cheesecake, breads, desserts, etc.. the possibilities truly are endless.

The satisfaction of stepping on crunchy leaves.

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Yes.

Scented candles.

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Your house will never smell better than it does when these delicious scented candles are lit!

Boots season!

Ladies…need I say more?

The scenery!

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Mother Nature really puts her best face forward this time of year!

Halloween!

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Whether your house hosts the best Halloween party on the block or you simply like to decorate for the occasion, there’s no denying this holiday is one of the most fun to celebrate!

Apple picking.

9923367944_3fbafe3c87_zImage via Flickr user davitydave

This good old fall past time is a fun way to spend an afternoon with friends and family.

Thinking about Buying? 3 Questions to Ask

Thinking of Buying a Home? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions!

Thinking of Buying a Home? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions! | Keeping Current Matters

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate.

Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home.

There are 3 questions you should ask before purchasing in today’s market:

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with finances.

A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What non-financial benefits will you and your family derive from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:

  • Home values will appreciate by 4.1% in 2015.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 18.1% by 2019.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 10.5% by 2019.

So what does that really mean for you and your family?

The chart below was made using the Home Price Expectation Survey’s predictions:

Homeowner's Family Wealth Over the Next 4 Years | Keeping Current Matters

If the experts are right and you were to purchase a home by January 2016 for $250,000, that home would appreciate by over $34,000 over the next four years! As we have reported before, homeownership is one of the best ways to build your family’s wealth.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by an increase in mortgage rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors andFreddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately one full percentage over the next twelve months as you can see in the chart below:

Mortgage Rate Projections | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

Price Your Home Correctly from the Start!

Selling Your House? Price It Right From the Start | Keeping Current Matters

In today’s market, where demand is outpacing supply in many regions of the country, pricing a house is one of the biggest challenges real estate professionals face. Sellers often want to price their home higher than recommended, and many agents go along with the idea to keep their clients happy. However, the best agents realize that telling the homeowner the truth is more important than getting the seller to like them.

There is no “later.”

Sellers sometimes think, “If the home doesn’t sell for this price, I can always lower it later.” However, research proves that homes that experience a listing price reduction sit on the market longer, ultimately selling for less than similar homes.

John Knight, recipient of the University Distinguished Faculty Award from the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of the Pacific, actually did research on the cost (in both time and money) to a seller who priced high at the beginning and then lowered the their price. In his article, Listing Price, Time on Market and Ultimate Selling Price published in Real Estate Economics revealed:

“Homes that underwent a price revision sold for less, and the greater the revision, the lower the selling price. Also, the longer the home remains on the market, the lower its ultimate selling price.”

Additionally, the “I’ll lower the price later” approach can paint a negative image in buyers’ minds. Each time a price reduction occurs, buyers can naturally think, “Something must be wrong with that house.” Then when a buyer does make an offer, they low-ball the price because they see the seller as “highly motivated.” Pricing it right from the start eliminates these challenges.

Don’t build “negotiation room” into the price.

Many sellers say that they want to price their home high in order to have “negotiation room.” But, what this actually does is lower the number of potential buyers that see the house. And we know that limiting demand like this will negatively impact the sales price of the house.

Not sure about this? Think of it this way: when a buyer is looking for a home online (as they are doing more and more often), they put in their desired price range. If your seller is looking to sell their house for $400,000, but lists it at $425,000 to build in “negotiation room,” any potential buyers that search in the $350k-$400k range won’t even know your listing is available, let alone come see it!

One great way to see this is with the chart below. The higher you price your home over its market value, the less potential buyers will actually see your home when searching.

Price & Visibility | Keeping Current Matters

A better strategy would be to price it properly from the beginning and bring in multiple offers. This forces these buyers to compete against each other for the “right” to purchase your house.

Look at it this way: if you only receive one offer, you are set up in an adversarial position against the prospective buyer. If, however, you have multiple offers, you have two or more buyers fighting to please you. Which will result in a better selling situation?

The Price is Right

Great pricing comes down to truly understanding the real estate dynamics in your neighborhood. Look for an agent that will take the time to simply and effectively explain what is happening in the housing market and how it applies to your home.

You need an agent that will tell you what you need to know rather than what you want to hear. This will put you in the best possible position.

Selling? Low-Cost Home Improvement Fixes that Make Your Home Shine

Selling? Low-Cost Home Improvement Fixes that Make Your Home Shine

When selling a home, even tiny fixes can have a big impact. Here are 10 of the best low- (or no-) cost home improvement fixes to make your house stand above the competition:

1. Address the Heart of the Home

In real estate, the kitchen is a main selling feature and can be a make or break deal for potential home buyers. If a new kitchen just isn’t in the cards, consider replacing smaller ticket items and de-cluttering. Low- and no-cost fixes for the kitchen include:

  • New cabinet hardware
  • New faucets
  • Installing a new backsplash
  • Storing countertop appliances to create more work space
  • Replacing dark valances with lighter fabric or removing them altogether

kitchen

2. Update Switch Plate Covers

Switch plate and outlet covers are brittle, and can crack and yellow over time, resulting in a home that, no matter how well updated, still looks dated. New outlets and covers can be replaced in a snap for generally under five dollars, making it one of the lowest cost updates available. Consider flat switches that create a modern, streamlined silhouette and stick to white for a timeless look.

3. Beautify the Bathroom

An updated bathroom comes only second to kitchens in a buyer’s list of must-haves, so showing them a clean and uncluttered bathroom will score points with any potential buyer.

New flooring can give an otherwise tired bathroom a much needed facelift and create a newer looking bathroom overall. Coordinating linens, a new shower curtain, and thoroughly cleaned grout can top off this easy home improvement investment.

updated bathroom

Image Source: Flickr/Kyle Murphy

4. Address Storage

Storage is always a concern for buyers. Installing low-cost closet organizers to your existing space will increase storage and organization in your home. Add storage baskets to hide clutter and you will have beautiful storage spaces that will make any buyer envious.

closet organizer

Image Source: Flickr/Rubbermaid Products

5. Deep Clean for a Good Return

If your home contains wall to wall carpeting, clean carpets can make a world of difference to a buyer. Cleaning carpets can easily be completed in a weekend with a rental cleaning machine, and it creates a noticeably clean, odor free environment for buyers to tour.

6. Boost Curb Appeal

Nothing boosts curb appeal like a tidy yard. Trim and edge walkways, weed gardens, and trim shrubs for maximum impact. If you have a porch, consider potted, seasonal plants to bring the look together.

curb appeal

Image Source: Flickr/one2c900d

7. Improve the First Impression

As buyers approach your home, first impressions matter. Ensuring your entryway is clean and inviting with something as simple as a new mailbox or updated house numbers will make buyers feel welcome. Clean windows and doors for extra impact.

8. Add a Coat of Paint

Freshening up your living space with neutral colors will invite buyers to imagine their belongings in your home and will cover up any nicks, scratches, or dents your wall incurred over years of daily living.

9. Update Lighting

While not the lowest cost solution on our list, you will find that a new light fixture or two really breathes new life into key living spaces. If your budget is tight, look to kitchen, dining, and living rooms for the most bang for your buck.

updated lighting

Image Source: Flickr/Aleksey Gnilenkov

10. Add some Decor Pizzazz

Finally, a fresh look can be completed with nothing more than some colorful fabric. Inexpensive pillows and throws in a coordinating palette through your home will create a unified look that will have buyers hooked.

living room decor

Image Source: Flickr/Emily May

Selling Your Own Home: What Season Is Best?

Selling Your Own Home: What Season Is Best?

The jury is out on the very best time of the year to sell your home. Instead of waiting and missing out on a great sale, consider the pros and cons of each season and make the decision to sell based on your own readiness and market indicators.

Conventional wisdom might tell you that the best times to list your home for sale would be far enough back from the end of summer or the winter holidays so new homeowners can buy and settle in before the school year begins or the calendar turns to the new year. While this may sound wise, buyers actually seek out homes throughout the year. So as you decide the best time of year for selling your own home, use these pros and cons to influence your choice.

Summer

During summer months, families may be readying for the next school year or looking for a forever home. Before listing your home for sale at the hottest time of year, remember that families may also be taking extended vacations during this time, and thinking about relaxing rather than breaking in a new home. So while some will be motivated to find a new place in order to get into a particular school district or be more settled before fall, you may also miss out on potential buyers who simply aren’t around at this time.

Fall

Autumn is a time of fall leaves and firing up the first blaze in your fire pit or fireplace. It can also be an extraordinarily busy time of year for business people who have major initiatives to pursue during the last fiscal quarter of the year. In addition, families may be super busy with the start of school and the fall sports season. On the flip side, families may well be motivated to be moved in and settled in time to host holiday festivities at their new home.

Winter

Winter is a tough time to close on the sale of your home, as buyers are working through holiday costs and may be discouraged by bad weather and shorter days. While it may not be the best time to get your home to closing, it can be a good time to list, so that buyers who are planning ahead for the spring can be enticed by your listing. You may also be able to take advantage of families who are being transferred over the holiday break and are looking to make a quick purchase.

Spring

Spring can be a great time to reach prospective buyers who have recovered from the expenses of the holidays and may have a fat income tax return that is ready to be spent on a down payment. Keep in mind, however, that the military and major corporations may be scheduling moves to coincide with summer break to ease pressure on families with school-age children. This means that if your choice for selling your own home is springtime, try to list as early as possible, as it may take a month or two to negotiate price, go through inspections and potential repairs, and then be ready to close on the sale. Historical trends showing spikes in late spring/early summer sales often reflect homes listed far prior.

The jury may be out on the most fortuitous time to list and sell your home, but no matter when you decide, today’s market is pretty hot, due to low inventory and rising interest rates and rental costs. So instead of waiting for what may be a mythical best season, your best bet is don’t wait — list now.

5 Ideas That Will Make Your Front Porch Shine

Up your curb appeal game with these simple front porch ideas.

http://stevefaye.cbintouch.com/

With fall in full swing, your front porch needs to transition to attract buyers. Luckily it’s easy to make a few changes so it blends in for the season. Here are five front porch design ideas to make your home stand out:

via  Tiger’s Testing ServiceDesignMine

#1 Clean out debris with a power washer.

The first step is cleaning out the debris from summer. You could use old-fashioned equipment like a broom, mop, washcloth and elbow grease or hire a professional pressure washing service to clean away stubborn debris so your porch looks like new. Dirt and grime in the floor and on the siding can be dusted off quickly by a pressure washer, which will save you time and effort otherwise spent hand washing your porch.

#2 Add a new coat of paint.

A new coat of paint is a great way to revitalize the front porch, whether it’s touching up the trim, railings and banisters, or repainting the front door. It is also an opportunity to add a bright new color as part of your front porch design. Painting is a good DIY project on the weekend, or if you intend to do a complete overhaul, you might need to get a painter to help. Make sure the color will complement the rest of the house. You could always paint the porch a neutral tone and then cover the door in a bright color so it stands out as buyers walk up.

#3 Revitalize the front door.

Once you start getting the porch fixed up, it’s time to turn your focus to the door as it will be the first area buyers see. If the door is scratched, scraped or muddy, it won’t seem welcoming to potential homebuyers. Start by cleaning off any dirt and grime with the power washer or with a washcloth covered in vinegar and water. Then you can add on decorations like wreaths, a new door knob made of brass or steel, window dressings and more. That way it will look brand new without having to install a new door for hundreds of dollars.

#4 Imbue the porch with the natural landscape.

To make your porch blend in with the landscape, consider adding potted plants with seasonal flowers. They are inexpensive, add a splash of color and can be either standing or hanging in baskets throughout your porch. They will also help to create a welcoming atmosphere on the front porch. You should coordinate the colors of the plants to match the front door or the landscape so they stand out against the porch and blend with the yard.

#5 Brighten the porch with fixtures and new decor.

If the house numbers and mailbox are showing signs of age, you might need to spend a few hours or hire a handyman to revitalize them. You should also install light fixtures to make those house numbers easy to see at night or on rainy days. Light fixtures are also good for illuminating front porch decor like chairs, rockers, swings, dining chairs and tables. If you have night showings at your home, they will be useful for giving the porch a warm feel at all hours.

Get in touch with a local expert!    http://stevefaye.cbintouch.com/

Renovate? Or Relocate?

Pros & Cons: Renovating vs Buying a New Home

Is it better to renovate a home or buy a new one?

After living in your home for a long time, you might decide it’s time to make a move. But if you don’t exactly have the budget for a new home, it might serve you better to remodel your existing home. How do you determine which is the better decision? Here are some considerations to help you make the big choice.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Is staying in your location really important? If you like the neighborhood you’re living in, you have the choice to renovate your home or buy a home in the same neighborhood.
  • Do you have the budget? In locations with affordable homes, you might lean towards buying new. In cities with expensive homes, it might be cheaper to renovate.
  • Can you renovate your home without changing the floor plan? It costs less to renovate your home — almost 50 percent less — when you don’t change the structural elements.
  • Will renovations increase your home’s value? Some remodels and changes increase a home’s value, while others are just money down the drain depending on your local market. You should always consult with a remodeling expert before you embark on big projects to see if they’ll add value.
  • What’s your long-term plan for the home? You shouldn’t make renovations to a home if you don’t have a long-term goal for it. For example, if you live in a two-bedroom house and plan to have a lot of kids, you’ll likely need to move sooner than later. Sometimes it’s just easier to move into a new home.
  • How does moving affect property taxes? Property taxes vary by county, and moving into a new home might mean an increase. Check with a real estate agent and the city itself before to make sure you wouldn’t be paying more taxes as a result of moving.
  • How is your mortgage affected by a move? Buying a new home could mean a lower mortgage, depending on market conditions. You could also end up with the same mortgage — you’ll need to see what real estate pros say and what your best deal could be.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Once you’ve answered some of these questions, you might be leaning more towards one decision than the other. If you need more information on renovation versus buying a new home, here are some of the pros and cons of both decisions.

Relocating

Selling your old place before searching for a new place can be a long, extensive process with an exciting result. And it can be both stressful and arduous if you don’t approach it correctly. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages to weigh in the process:

Advantages

  1. New beginnings: You get to start over in a new place — whether it’s down the street or in a new neighborhood, city or state — beginning again with your family and belongings. You get to meet new people, decorate your new home and settle into a new landscape.
  2. Financing options: Once you’ve bought a house the first time, it’s easier the second or third time around to go through the paperwork and purchase process. Your agent will help with title, insurance, taxes and finding a quality lender to help you buy the house.
  3. Income taxes: Depending on your state laws, selling your old home could land you extra money in your pocket without added taxes because of the capital gains exemption (which is up to $250,000 and $500,000 for married taxpayers). There also are eco-related tax credits available if your new home qualifies. You should check with your real estate agent and tax filer.
  4. High costs: Selling a home involves paying your real estate agent and other fees throughout the process. It’s long, complicated and expensive, and you have to be willing to go through it to acquire your new place.
  5. Moving: Moving can be a problematic process because you always find stuff in your old place that you never used. That leads to sorting, throwing away and trying to pack everything within a short timeframe. It’s added stress that can be overwhelming at times.

Disadvantages

  1. High costs: Selling a home involves paying your real estate agent and other fees throughout the process. It’s long, complicated and expensive, and you have to be willing to go through it to acquire your new place.
  2. Moving: Moving can be a problematic process because you always find stuff in your old place that you never used. That leads to sorting, throwing away and trying to pack everything within a short timeframe. It’s added stress that can be overwhelming at times.

Remodeling

While your current home may seem drab at times, remodeling the space allows you create new spaces, update its function to meet your needs and create an ideal home, depending on your budget. However, it comes with a lot of disadvantages that may or may not be worth the investment.

Advantages

  1. Costs less: The cost to remodel your home is less than buying a new home because it’s on a room-by-room basis. You don’t have to remodel everything in your home, which means your budget can flow with what you need to do. Moreover, there are ways to save money on your renovations so that you get a great end product without spending a fortune.
  2. Personal touch: Renovating allows you to change your existing home to meet your personal expectations and desires, as compared to buying a new home that may have a few features you want but not at all. Why spend hundreds of thousands on a new house and update it when you can keep your old home and update it a little at a time?

Disadvantages

  1. Not for major overhauls: If your home needs a complete do-over, then a remodel isn’t for you. It’s not worth the investment to spend thousands of dollars to change every single room in your home when you could buy a new house with all of the updates. It’s better to renovate a few rooms in your house rather than all of them. It’s also not worth it to remodel your house if you’re trying to downsize.
  2. Financing issues: Remodeling requires a homeowner loan, family loan, payments to contractor or vendor loans. You must have home equity, so if you haven’t lived in your home for a long time, it could be hard to get approved.
  3. Construction: Remodeling means your home will be in shambles for days to weeks as the room is updated. You can choose to stay in a hotel — which means spending a few extra dollars — or stay in your home. It’s a bit stressful and loud — and it requires patience, which not every homeowner has.

Conclusion

What’s the best decision for you as a homeowner? Is it time to make the move into a new home, or is yours just in a need of a few fixes? Whichever you choose, get the finances, paperwork and appropriate professionals lined up before your proceed.

Avoid these 3 Mistakes – Foreclosure Purchases

Homes in Foreclosure: 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Considering a Purchase

Homes in foreclosure can be an appealing option in terms of price. While there are great deals to be had, purchasing a foreclosed home isn’t for everyone. For many buyers, there is a misunderstanding about the different types of foreclosures available.

Homes in foreclosure can be an appealing option in terms of price. While there are great deals to be had, purchasing a foreclosed home isn’t for everyone. For many buyers, there is a misunderstanding about the different types of foreclosures available. Understanding the key concerns and how to overcome them, will be critical to making the best purchase possible. Here are the top three mistakes to avoid:

1. Going It Alone

One of the biggest mistakes buyers make is to consider homes in foreclosure as a do-it-yourself venture. While many home buyers can successfully work without a real estate agent to purchase a home, those who work without an agent on a foreclosure do so at their peril.

Foreclosures require specialized knowledge from an agent who can guide you through the peaks and pitfalls of the process. Conducting a search in your area for a real estate agent who specializes in these types of sales will be beneficial to you as a buyer — and help protect your interests.

A certified home inspector familiar with inspecting foreclosed homes and a real estate lawyer well-versed in the process should round out your team to ensure you are getting the best home possible for the lowest price.

2. Ignoring Hidden Costs

Focusing on the low sticker price of a foreclosed home could be risky, especially if that dollar figure is your sole deciding factor. Hidden costs can creep up even long after the sale, and create headaches — especially when there is little access to cash to remedy the situation.

It is quite common for homes in foreclosure to be riddled with physical problems due to long-term lack of maintenance, vandalism, or simply the effects of sitting empty for a period of time. Even if a buyer can conduct a home inspection prior to offer, the scope of the inspection can seriously be limited due to utilities that have been disconnected, making it difficult to assess a home’s true condition.

The best thing buyers can do is set a maximum price for offer — and stick to it. It can be tempting to get caught up in the thrill of the bid, but saving a few thousand dollars off the top can turn into tens of thousands in the long run to fix issues that were overlooked prior to offer

3. Thinking Foreclosure Always Equals Great Deal

Timing and strategy are always helpful when buying homes in foreclosure, but it is important to remember that in a saturated market, many of the homes that are available have already been passed up by investors. While this doesn’t make a foreclosed home unworthy of a bid — buyers need to be realistic in their expectations of what they will receive.

Because a foreclosed home isn’t always the most advantageous deal, getting lending pre-approval is essential in being able to complete the process. Many lenders won’t finance a purchase where the selling price is more than the assessed value of the property, so knowing where you stand before you hit the auction block is critical.

Even if you’ve found a great deal, be wary of homes still occupied by the people who defaulted on the loan. Many owners who are angry at the bank or situation end up vandalizing their home, stripping it of its contents in the process, and leaving an unwanted financial burden on the buyer.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of the risks, buyers who do their homework, employ the right professionals, and consider a home’s location, condition, and viability as a long-term investment will be able to make a foreclosed home work for them.

Bath Updates can Add Value

A bathroom update might be just what is needed to help your home for sale stand out.

The following is a guest post from Patti Stern of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating.

Bathrooms are still one of the most important rooms in a home when it comes to making the best impression on potential buyers. Outdated bathrooms are simply a turn-off to millenials. Whether sellers decide to stage their bathroom by adding simple upgrades to give a more modern look or completely remodel to update features and add functionality, each will have some impact on resale value.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report there is an overall return of confidence in the value of remodeling (since 2005 when it last peaked). For bathroom remodels, the national average price spent is $16,000 with 70% of the costs recouped. In general, the simpler and lower-cost home projects deliver a higher return in value.

bathroom1

The following are some tips to keep in mind when staging or remodeling a bathroom:

Painting and Removing Outdated Wallpaper Is A Must. If you don’t have the time or money to invest in a complete remodel, removing dated wallpaper and adding a fresh coat of neutral paint will provide a boost with instant universal appeal to buyers who are not interested in a dated bathroom.

Let There Be Light. New light fixtures can add an immediate update to an outdated bathroom. Not only will they look more attractive when paired with complementary accessories, they will also highlight the most important features in the room.

Access Condition of Cabinets. If your budget is limited and cabinets are in good condition, you may opt to refinish or paint them. Either way, there are many price levels for vanity, cabinets and counter top materials to choose from when replacing.

Replace Hardware and Add Fine Details. Better quality faucets, towel bars and vanity hardware are a simple way to add a high-end look. If you are remodeling and can fit it in your budget, consider adding a bathtub tile surround, tile backsplash, new flooring, frameless shower doors, a freestanding tub or radiant heating for a spa-like feel.

bathroom2

Add Depth With Accessories. Elegant accessories that complement the room’s style are an inexpensive way to update the bath. Hang a new shower curtain in a unique pattern paired with a plush bath mat. Layer soft, thick hand towels on racks paired with framed wall art. Place flowers in vases and splurge on special bottles of hand soap and candles.

For more examples of interior decorating and home staging, visitwww.pjstagingdecorating.com.

Home Improvements with the Greatest Return

Home Improvements to Consider Before Listing Your Home

home imp

Preparing to list your home? What home improvements should you do and what ones have the greatest return on investment? When you are putting your home up for sale, you have two main goals; a timely sale, and receiving the best possible price. In order to achieve these goals, your home needs to present itself in the best possible light. While every home buyer has different ideas about what the “perfect home” is, you as the seller need to ensure that your home appeals to the widest variety of home buyers possible.

So What Does This Mean:

  1. De-cluttering: This is always the first thing because it makes your home look much more organized — even down to how many items you have on your fireplace — and it make your rooms look much larger. Organizing goes hand in hand with de-cluttering as buyers want to see how they can organize their stuff.
  2. Paint and Clean: First, you must make certain that your color palate throughout your home equals or is superior to your competition. No, buyers cannot see beyond that. If you seek professional advice, you will paint the correct colors. Touch up, freshen up and clean everywhere! Wallpaper is a huge negative, so consider taking it down prior to listing.
  3. Updating: If you need granite or new appliances, and you are trying to maximize your profit and your competition has it, you better have it as well! Perhaps you need updated light fixtures or door knobs? If so, then do it! Buyers typically consist of two working spouses or partners and have busy lives. You must be proactive and make sure your home equals or exceeds your competition!
  4. Exterior: The same holds true for the outside. Fresh mulch, flowers, and power washing (if required) are essential! Remember, this is the first thing that a buyer sees.
  5. Staging: Professional staging or, at a minimum, a stager’s advice is essential! It is a proven fact that a staged home sells for more money and in a much quicker amount of time. . Some homes need redecorating, accents, or perhaps updated or missing furniture at every price point. Typically, a stager will use items in a seller’s home and redistribute them.

Preparing your home for sale can seem overwhelming at first. Home Improvements may or may not be necessary, but be receptive to doing them — keeping in mind your return on investment. Utilize a real estate professional and home staging expert to help you develop a customized plan of action. The results will be amazing and the return on investment will be worth it! You must do everything possible to make your home stand out from your competition! Lighting rooms before showings and having your home show in the best possible way will pay back dividends.

Put your best foot forward to stay ahead of the curve. Remember, a home buyer may only visit your home once. Are you totally prepared?