Maybe it’s not the most fascinating topic of the day. If you’re buying a home, however, and that “time is of the essence” phrase on the purchase agreement is really applied, how easily and quickly your escrow closes is indeed the kind of thing that can keep you up at night. No one likes a […]Proactive Buyers help escrow close on time! — Bill Nickerson’s Blog
First impressions are everything–especially in real estate. When buyers tour a home it better look its best, or buyers will quickly move on to the next.
Furnishing the space helps potential buyers visualize their life within the walls. And, bonus points, staged properties sell on average 73% faster than non staged homes.To help you out, we rounded up a list of successfully staged homes that have used price-conscious or zero-cost strategies to make your listing look great without breaking the bank.
The last thing you want when you’re showing a home is for personal items (ahem, toothbrushes) to distract your clients. You want potential buyers to envision their own belongings in the space, not fixate on the current owner’s hair filled hairbrush.
In occupied homes it is crucial that sellers are on board with hiding clutter and personal belongings when it’s time for photography and showings.
2. Furniture That Fits the Space
It’s probably common sense that a 600 sq ft condo shouldn’t be furnished with the same living room furniture as a 2,500 sq ft family home. When working with a smaller space, consider the appropriate size of furniture for the space. Oversized furniture makes rooms feel crowded and well sized furniture creates the illusion of a larger space.
If your client already has a living room set, think about splitting up the sofa and loveseat into two seperate rooms to maximize resources and space. Also discuss rearranging furniture in order to create the best flow of the space.
3. Minimalistic Decor
Less really is more when it comes to staging. You want to keep the focus on the bones of the house, not the superficial decorations. You want the space to appeal to a larger group of potential buyers.
4. Real House Plants
There are many benefits to real plants versus fake ones. For starters, fake plants are actually more expensive than their living counterparts. You can buy real house plants at your local stores for under $20. Also, live house plants won’t become dusty over time (not cute!).
Plants are perfect for vacant and non vacant houses, they add life to any space. You can even give them to the buyer as a congratulatory gift once the deal is closed.
5. Neutral Rooms
It’s difficult to envision how you are going to style the guest bedroom when it’s painted bubblegum pink with ‘Princess’ hanging over the bed. Moral of the story: Buyers want to be able to walk into a room and not have to worry about all of the things they will have to change later on.
Your clients might resist painting before listing, but it is best practice to prepare a neutral space. White walls might seem dull, but they act as a metaphorical blank canvas for buyers to paint their life onto.
6. A Lived-In Feel
There is a fine line between a house that feels over-staged (cue the giant bowl of 20 lemons in the dining room), and a well curated home. Adding thoughtful accessories makes the house feel lived in and more attractive to buyers.
The key is to be authentic. Think of what you would actually use in the space, like beautiful utensils or local magazines (pictured above). It is a good idea to keep a stash of staging items handy for final touches–A stack of books or a lit candle goes a long way.
7. Natural Light
Do not underestimate the power of ambient lighting. Place furniture around windows so sunlight can shine through and brighten up the room. Sunlight in a home can physiologically influence our happiness without us even knowing. If you have a killer view, be sure to show it off by positioning furniture so it is the focal point of the room.
If your client has dark window treatments, switch to a sheer white option or remove them altogether. Letting in daylight will immediately elevate the space.
8. Mirror, Mirror
Mirrors create the illusion of a larger space, making even the smallest rooms feel open and inviting. Mirrors reflect the light in the room and intensifies its design power. Plus, they are useful!
Oversized mirrors can be expensive but overstock stores like Homegoods have great options at serious discounts. Plus, they can be reused for future staging.
9. Al Fresco Approved
Residential architects have ranked outdoor living spaces as the no. 1 “special function” room amongst consumers. Potential buyers see outdoor areas as an extension of living space and should be staged accordingly.
Investing in a small patio set for staging purposes if your client doesn’t own one might get the listing sold even faster. Extra points if you add a nice bouquet of fresh flowers.
Staging a home can be hard work, and it can take some creativity to get results without breaking the bank. Investing time upfront will get you a better results in the end.
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How Much Is Your Home Worth In Today’s Market?
Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:
- Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.
- Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
- “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.
- Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate.
- Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy.
Heating costs rise year after year, leaving homeowners with growing concerns over how they’re going to make it affordable to keep their home warm during the winter months.
Solutions to this issue range from long-term investments to quick fixes that will help you save in the short term. If you’re renting an apartment or plan on moving soon, you might be better off focusing on low-cost, short-term fixes while you shop for a home that is more energy-efficient.
In this article, we’ll cover both types of solutions so you can start saving money and fearing the heating bill each month.
Read on for the list of the most cost-effective ways to save on heating your house this winter.
Make sure your doors are sealed properly
A lot of heat can be lost from a door that has worn and outdated weatherstripping. Replacing it will help reduce heat loss for years to come.
Another common issue is heat being lost from door thresholds. To find out if your threshold needs to be adjusted, look for a space in between the bottom of the door and the threshold. It’s often easiest to see this at night if there’s a light on the other side of the door.
Many door thresholds can be adjusted by tightening and loosening a screw. However, if you’re renting and don’t want to make any big changes to the doors without your landlord’s permission, a good quick fix is to use something called a draft guard. This is essentially a roll of fabric that rests against the bottom of the door and blocks cold air from entering the house.
Plan heating around your schedule
With a programmable thermostat, you can decide when it matters most to you to heat the home. For homeowners who are at work from 9-5, it might not be necessary to heat an empty home for the whole day.
Similarly, you can save quite a bit of money by lowering your thermostat by 5 degrees during the night time while you’re asleep.
If you work from home, you might want to keep the house warm during the day so you can focus on your work rather than how cold your toes are! However, you also have the advantage of being home to take advantage of solar heat.
Opening shades and blinds that are receiving direct sunlight and closing those that aren’t is a great way to raise the temperature in your home by a few degrees on sunny days.
Seal cracks and holes
Most homes lose a significant amount of heat to small cracks around window frames, electrical units, and other vulnerable areas around the home. Sealing up these cracks and holes can save you a substantial amount of money, especially if you live in an older home that has seen a lot of wear and tear.
Heat only the rooms you need
There’s no need to heat every room in your house during the colder months. Keeping bedroom and bathroom doors shut and using a small space heater in the room you’re occupying is a great way to reduce your heating bill.