21 Staging Tips for Selling Your Home Fast

If you are planning to put your house on the market this summer, it goes without saying that you are hoping to sell your home as quickly as possible and get your asking price. Set the stage for success with these 21 tips for styling and upgrading your home, and see results — fast.

 

1. Boost curb appeal. This is something you always hear, and with very good reason. Many people thinking of touring your home will do a quick drive-by first, often deciding on the spot if it is even worth a look inside. Make sure your home is ready to lure in onlookers with these tips:

  • Power wash siding and walkways
  • Hang easy-to-read house numbers
  • Plant blooming flowers and fresh greenery
  • Mow lawn, and reseed or add fresh sod as needed
  • Wash front windows
  • Repaint or stain the porch floor as needed

 

2. Welcome visitors with an inviting porch. Even if you have only a tiny stoop, make it say “welcome home” with a clean doormat, potted plants in bloom and — if you have room — one or two pieces of neat porch furniture. Keep your porch lights on in the evenings, in case potential buyers drive by. Illuminating the front walk with solar lights is a nice extra touch, especially if you will be showing the house during the evening.

 

3. Get your house sparkling clean. From shining floors and gleaming windows to clean counters and scrubbed grout, every surface should sparkle. This is the easiest (well, maybe not easiest, but certainly the cheapest) way to help your home put its best foot forward. You may want to hire pros to do some of the really tough stuff, especially if you have a large house. Don’t skimp — this step is key!

 

4. Clear away all clutter. If you are serious about staging your home, all clutter must go, end of story. It’s not easy, and it may even require utilizing offsite storage (or a nice relative’s garage) temporarily, but it is well worth the trouble. Clean and clear surfaces, floors, cupboards and closets equal more space in the eyes of potential buyers, so purge anything unnecessary or unsightly.

But it’s my style! Guess what? It may not be the style of those seeking to buy a house in your neighborhood. So even if you have an awesome vintage-chic look going on, rein it in for the sake of appealing to the most number of people. You can bring your personal style back into play in your new home.

 

5. Strike a balance between clean and lived-in. Yes, I know I just said to get rid of all your clutter (and you deserve a big pat on the back if you did it), but now it’s time to judiciously bring back a few elements that will really make your home appealing. Think vases of cut flowers, a basket of fresh farmer’s market produce on the kitchen counter or a bowl of lemons beside the sink.

Read more.

By Laura Gaskill

Published July 29, 2012

Houzz

What the “fiscal cliff” means for housing…

Dare to Compare Home Builders

Here at M/I Homes of Indianapolis, we are just as confident in our product as we are in our people. Because of that we want to invite you to dare to compare us with other home builders. We feel strongly that you’ll see our differentiators as overwhelming evidence as to why building with M/I is the best way to go!

  • 30-Year Transferrable Warranty– That’s right, 30 years (the industry standard is a 10-year warranty, in case you were wondering)! Our warranty is structural, too. No other home builder in the country has that kind of confidence in their product. M/I warranties are even transferable when you move!
  • Whole Home Qualified– Our homeowners can enjoy more green in their pocket thanks to our ample energy savings! We have an average HERS rating (used to rate energy efficiency) of 73 which can save homeowners more money than even Energy Star Qualified homes can!
  • House to Sell Advantage We understand that having a home sitting on the market can be frustrating and we want to help! The House to Sell feature offers people who have a home for sale a three percent advantage to sell their current home.
  • Worry Free Mortgage- In a tough economy, this feature is huge! If you lose your job, M/I Homes will help you make your mortgage payment. After buying with us and owning for 60 days, you’ll become eligible for our Worry Free Mortgage Plan®. If you become involuntarily unemployed due solely to economic conditions, the monthly principal and interest on your first mortgage will be covered up to $1,250 per month for 6 months. It’s a guarantee you can count on, in a time when you could use it most.
  • Award-Winning Design Center- We take your house and make it into a home! Our Design Center will help make your dream home a reality. Work with our experienced staff members who will walk you through every step of choosing the details of your M/I Home to make it truly unique and reflective of your style and personality.
  • Financing Options from M/I Financial- We have a large range of individualized financing options based on your needs and your individual situation. M/I Financial has the best interests of our homebuyers in mind, just like we do. M/I Homes and M/I Financial work very closely and are able to communicate quickly and effectively.
  • It’s All in the Family- M/I Homes is a business founded on family values. We are a family-owned business and understand how important a family’s home is to our customers because it is just as important to us!
  • Experience Counts- The truth is we’ve been building homes for quite some time (30 years) and we’ve gotten pretty good at it! Our resume boasts more than 80,000 homes built for individuals, couples and families just like yours. And ours, too.

Certainly, there are plenty of other home builders out there for Indianapolis residents to choose from, but we truly believe we are the best choice. Treating customers like family, using quality materials and going above and beyond to ensure homeowners get a house they love truly sets us apart from other builders.

Want to learn more about our company and why we’re the best choice to build your new home? Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

**The items listed here are regarding our Indianapolis division at the time of this post.

Bust To Boom: Why Housing Matters, Economically

Nam Y. Huh/AP

The economy has peppered political speeches for much of the presidential campaign. But talk of creating jobs has stolen thunder from the housing market.

The epic housing collapse four years ago was a key ingredient in creating the Great Recession in the first place. Plus, boosting the housing market can be a boon for overall economic recovery.

Beginning A ‘Long-Term Cycle’

Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic, follows the housing market. He says housing is a major driver of the overall economy because it impacts multiple sectors. When you buy a home, for example, you also buy things to put in it. When companies notice that kind of activity, they respond, he says.

That knock-on effect is boosting stocks at Home Depot and Lowe’s; they’re trading at their highest prices in a decade. That, in turn, lures investors.

Brian Peery of the California investment firm Hennessy Funds says he’s hopeful.

“I think we’re actually just beginning a long-term cycle here,” he says. “I think if you look at the home builders and the construction companies themselves, they’re not quite optimistic yet, but they’ve certainly become less pessimistic.”

Denver real estate agent Victoria McCaskill, meanwhile, certainly is optimistic.

“What we’re seeing now is low inventory … lots of buyers in the marketplace, rents are up” she says, “and we’re seeing a situation where it’s almost difficult to find a home as a buyer. It’s a multiple-bid situation in a lot of instances.”

Still, a number of false starts in the economy over the past few years have fallen flat. This time, according to Thompson, the growth is real — if halting.

The Recovery We’ve Been Waiting For

In the 1970s and ’80s, Thompson says, housing and cars were major drivers in recovering from recession. They accounted for 50 percent of the recovery in the ’70s and one-third of the recovery in the 1980s.

“And today, they’re accounting for only about 10 percent of the recovery,” Thompson says. “So we’re missing this huge, important engine of economic growth.”

He says there are a couple indicators to look for when assessing the housing market: Is housing being built and what kind?

“One of the reasons why this recovery has been so disappointing is because we overbuilt in what’s called single-family houses,” Thompson says.

But we’ve been lacking apartment complexes. He says that’s starting to change. One of the driving forces in apartment construction is a nascent trend of young people moving out of their parents’ homes. Rather than jumping into home buying, they’re looking for apartments.

“Hopefully, once we see enough of these apartment buildings being built, we’ll sort of hit a ceiling in the apartment sector, and then you’ll see people starting to move out of apartments and into houses,” Thompson says. “And then you’ll really have the housing recovery that we’re all waiting for.”

Recovery is uneven, but in states that have been hit the hardest — Michigan, California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada — there are hopeful signs.

“As you look across the country, not everything is improving or declining at the same rate,” he says. “But you know what? That looks less like a recession and more just like a regular economy.”

Political Impact

Still, many homeowners are struggling with foreclosure and renegotiating their mortgages. With the presidential candidates relatively silent on the issue, Thompson says, voters are left wishing.

“Right now I think there [are] a lot of people who are sort of waiting and hoping that if Romney is elected, if Obama is elected, that they’ll have a kind of secret plan to replace the current strategy with proactive policies that say … ‘We understand how important housing is to a recovering economy, and we’re going to make sure that 2013 doesn’t look like 2009 through 2012,’ ” he says.

As Americans await the election, there are still things holding buyers and investors back — whether the mortgage deduction will still remain, for example, or the impact of problems abroad. Thompson says Congress could be another tripwire.

“Right now, the U.S. economy is recovering — the private sector, at least — at a decent pace. What would really hold us back is that this do-nothing Congress does nothing again and lets the fiscal cliff happen,” he says.

Thompson points to a Congressional Budget Office report that says the fiscal cliff would cut the average family’s disposable income by about $2,000.

“So housing is a risk. You’re always taking a risk when you make an investment,” he says. “And the question is: Are you more likely to take that risk when you know you’re going to have a $2,000 hit the next year? I would say no. So the economy is doing OK, but Congress could still really screw it up.”

source: NPR

Realtor Profile: Glenn Bill

Soon after high school, at the age of 19, I received my real estate license. For the past 23 years (I guess I’m dating myself a bit, oops), I’ve been proud to work in the real estate industry, helping hundreds of families find their dream homes.

Not all realtors suggest the option of building to their clients, but I’m a big believer in the fact that some families are better off getting exactly what they want in a home than settling into a house that needs drastic changes or doesn’t meet all their needs. For this reason, I constantly tout the benefits of building with M/I Homes! Not only does building a home allow you to choose the finishes of a home, but it also is a way to help the environment and save some money! Homeowners will experience substantial savings by building as opposed to buying an existing home. M/I Homes’ Whole Home philosophy is top notch, ensuring homes are energy efficient and made with quality materials. Depending on the age and details of an existing home, new build homeowners can end up saving thousands of dollars each year; it’s remarkable!

Whenever I have a buyer who chooses to builds with M/I Homes, they’re always beyond pleased at the end result. My favorite part of my job is working to grow a list of families that aren’t just M/I homeowners, but raving M/I Homes fans! There are certainly plenty of names on my list alone and I’m sure other realtors who work with M/I would say the same.

My favorite moment with an M/I Homes fan happened a while back, when I walked through a couple’s new home with them. The two literally teared up saying, “We never thought we’d be able to own a home this gorgeous!” It’s that satisfaction and sense of “bang for your buck” that keeps families coming back and deciding to build with M/I.

In my experience, clients are not only impressed by the grandeur, impeccable design and functionality of M/I Homes, they’re also drawn to the company as a whole. The people of M/I are no doubt the company’s largest asset. From the empathy of the salespeople to the responsiveness of the consultants and field coordinators, M/I Homes employees are unparalleled in their leadership and management skills. It’s comforting to families looking to make such a major financial decision to know they have trustworthy people handling their money and building their home.

From my standpoint as a realtor, my job is to always find the home that is best for my clients. I would not keep introducing them to M/I Homes time and time again if I weren’t 100 percent confident in the value and quality of the homes they produce. I’m proud to have a great relationship with M/I Homes and a long list of clients who are very happy I took them to see the models!

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