15 Fab Ways to Stage Your Home

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The summer buying season is heating up, and that means sellers will be flocking to list their homes. With so many homes on the market, it’ll be stiff competition for sellers who are looking to get out of their current home and into a new one. How do you get your home to rise to the top?

I know staging made a huge difference for my husband and I when we were buying our home. There were some that were empty and it was tough to see how you could use the various spaces. Then, there were some that were too cluttered and too personal, or unclean and unkept with a fixer-upper to-do list that gave me anxiety just walking around.

Remember to de-clutter and de-personalize your spaces!

Remember to de-clutter and de-personalize your spaces!

So, while you feel at home in your house, think about how those potential buyers will feel when they walk through instead. Staging with these 15 fab tips will help to sell it (and hopefully sell it quickly so you can start living in your dream home sooner rather than later!).

1) Clutter – Simplify, simplify, simplify! Too much furniture can make rooms look smaller. Same goes for the small stuff, too. Pack up any unnecessary items and personal belongings that you won’t need for a month or few months.

2) Great lighting – Increase the wattage of your lamps and fixtures to 100watts for each 50 square feet. Make sure you also have ambient lighting (general / overhead), task (pendant, reading, etc) and accent lighting (wall, tables, etc).

3) Neutral and appealing colors – Go for neutral paint colors that anyone will like. Bold colors have a way of appealing to a smaller market and reducing offers, so go for neutrals, especially in large spaces.

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A few updates and a little cleaning go a long way — especially in bathrooms!

4) De-Personalize – Remove family photos and make it less personal so the future buyer can picture their family there, not yours.

5) Flower arrangements – Search your yard if needed! Pull summer blooms into a vase to welcome those viewing your home. Or run to the nearest store and get a small bouquet of flowers.

6) New Facings – If you can’t afford new cabinet doors but want to make them look updated, add new hardware and just new doors / new drawer fronts. Same with the dishwasher – you may be able to get a new front panel from the manufacturer.

7) Finish those unfinished projects – They will become eyesores to your potential buyers. Make sure you update them prior to listing your home.

They say kitchens sell homes, and updating appliances is an easy way to boost the appeal!

They say kitchens sell homes, and updating appliances is an easy way to boost the appeal!

8) Invest in updated appliances – They don’t need to be best or newest model, but stainless steel is a huge selling point for future homeowners. Make sure to spray stainless steel cleaner prior to showings to make sure there are no fingerprints. New kitchen appliances bring high returns from sellers in all of our markets!

9) Update bathrooms – Grimy bathrooms are a huge red flag! Even if you can’t afford to do a full update, make sure to get rid of surface mold. Give the room a new coat of paint, clean grout, replace the shower door and/or paint your tiles to give inexpensive but effective improvements.

10) Give the fireplace a facelift – If you have a fireplace, update the fireplace screen. Get a heat resistant spray paint to give the screen a facelift.

11) Curb appeal – Online people are first going to see the exterior of your home so make sure that this first impression gives the perfect impression! Paint the exterior, add new flowers, pull weeds, re-stain your deck, power wash your home, and wash your windows – inside and out! A welcome home mat and flowers on the porch are also nice touches to make those feel welcome.

Don't forget to stage the outdoor spaces of your home, too!

Don’t forget to stage the outdoor spaces of your home, too!

12) Floors – Have your floors professionally cleaned for carpets, and have wood floors cleaned or refinished if needed. You could even utilize discount sites like Groupon, Angie’s List, etc to find inexpensive ways to update these items.

13) Clean out! – Clean out your closets, cupboards, pantries, etc. Typically you can hide things in these, but these will all be opened when your home is up for sale. Buyers want to see storage areas and they definitely do now want to open the door and have items fall out or worse, hitting them on the head!

14) Pets – We all love our own pets, but potential homeowners probably don’t want your pet hair all over. Make sure to remove pet odors and stains from floors by getting them steam cleaned. Also, try to send pets (dogs and cats specifically) to daycare on when your house is being shown. Don’t have a daycare? Reach out to a friend or neighbor to see if you can have your dog stay their for a few hours! Make sure to vacuum extremely well to remove hair! Pets, as well as their smells and allergens, can deter potential buyers.

15) Outdoor Staging – Staging doesn’t stop at the door. It’s important to stage your outdoor living spaces, too. This includes your front porch, deck, patios and around the pool. This not only warms up the spaces and makes it feel like home, but it also gives buyers an idea of how useful the spaces could be to their lifestyle.

If you’re looking for a new home in the Cincinnati market, make sure to check out these gorgeous new homes. You won’t have to worry about any of these issues, since they are brand new!

Selling a House? 5 Reasons You Should Do It Now

Many are talking about why now is a great time to buy a home. Today, we want to look at why it might also be an opportune time to sell your house. Here are the Top 5 Reasons we believe now may be a perfect time to put your house on the market.

1.) Demand Is High

Homes are selling at the fastest pace since November 2009 when the market spiked in response to the home buyer tax credit. The most recent Existing Home Sales Report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed that monthly sales increased 9.7% over the same month last year. Total sales have been above year-ago levels for 22 consecutive months. There are buyers out there right now (buyer traffic is 31 percent stronger than a year ago) and they are serious about purchasing.

2.) Supply Is Beginning to Increase

Total housing inventory last month rose 11.9% to 2.16 million homes for sale. This represents a 5.2-month supply at the current sales pace, compared with 4.3 months in January. Many expect inventory to continue to rise as more sellers escape the shackles of negative equity. Selling now while demand is high and before supply increases may garner you your best price.

3.) New Construction Is Coming Back

Over the last several years, most homeowners selling their home did not have to compete with a new construction project around the block. As the market is recovering, more and more builders are jumping back in. These ‘shiny’ new homes will again become competition as they are an attractive alternative for many purchasers.

4.) Interest Rates Are Rising

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have shot up to 3.98% which represents a jump of more than ½ point since the beginning of the year. Even those trying to be the voice of reason on this issue are projecting higher rates. For example, Polyana da Costa, senior mortgage analyst at Bankrate.com said:

“Rates are unlikely to keep going up so quickly and should remain below 5%.”

Whether you are moving up or moving down, your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

5.) It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you are thinking about selling and decide whether it is worth waiting. Is the possibility of a few extra dollars more important than being with family; more important than your health; 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 your situation by putting the house on the market today. The time may have come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.

 

Source: The KCM Blog

Moving Into a New M/I Home? How to Stage Your Old Home to Sell.

Are you all packed up and ready to move into your new M/I Home? But wait! What about selling your old home? Don’t let selling your old home hold you back from settling into your new M/I Home! If you want to sell your home quickly and for top dollar, staging is a great start. Staging is the process of presenting your home in the most appealing way to the market. Allowing families to visualize how they would live and how their furniture would fit into your home will make it more appealing. The staging process doesn’t have to be difficult or costly. Here are our top 5 tips to stage your home to sell.

1. Wide Open Spaces: De-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter – we can’t say it enough! If you haven’t already moved into your new M/I Home, put away the knickknacks and junk to make your current home look neat. Rearrange furniture to make rooms appear larger and more inviting. If some pieces of furniture look worn, keep them in storage while staging your home to sell. Organize bookshelves, coffee tables, desks and more in order to clear up surfaces.

2. Mmm, Fresh Baked Cookies: Make sure your home not only looks inviting, but smells pleasant as well! Having a place that smells like fresh baked cookies, pie, cake or other sweet dessert can really make a house feel like a home. Be conscious of cooking or pet odors that may linger. Open your windows to allow for air circulation and add fresh flowers for that extra touch.

M/I Homes Master Bedroom

3. See the Light: Good lighting makes homes look warm and inviting. Think about adding extra lamps to dark corners, as well as replacing old bulbs. Keep curtains and blinds open during the day to bring in as much natural light as possible. Neutral colors on walls help a room look bigger and brighter – try light beige as white walls can look a bit sterile. You can even light the fireplace on a dreary day to brighten up a room.

M/I Homes Kitchen

4. Keep it Simple: Don’t overcrowd living spaces with too much furniture. Try to put away kitchen appliances that take up counter space. Make sure your closets are tidy and clean. Don’t over-decorate with too many pillows, blankets and rugs. Remember – you’re trying to sell the house, not the stuff inside of it!

5. Detail-Oriented: Once you’ve completed the big changes to your home, concentrate on the little things that may have slipped through the cracks. Replace broken bathroom tiles, make sure wallpaper isn’t torn and check for dust. Most importantly – CLEAN! A clean home will always be more appealing than a dirty one. Try to depersonalize your home so that buyers can picture themselves living there. Finally, spruce up the front of your house with plants and flowers – you want to make the best first impression possible!

These 5 tips are a great way to stage your home for a quick sell. Whether your house has been on the market for awhile, or you’re still living there, staging a home is a great way to entice buyers. Remember – you can still stage your home if you’ve already moved into your new M/I Home. For more information on M/I Homes, visit our website.

How to Make a Home Picture-Perfect

Home Photo

Walt Danley Realty
An Arizona home on the market for just under $5.7 million. See photos of this home and others featured as a House of the Day.

Add a photo, earn an extra few thousand dollars. In Mansion on Friday, we reported that adding at least one photo to a residential real-estate listing can up the final sale price by 3.9%.

Photos are already fairly established in listings. Roughly 85% of online listings include photos, says Ken H. Johnson, an associate professor of finance at Florida International University’s Hollo School of Real Estate and co-author of a 2011 study on photos in real estate. But the type of photo matters, he adds.

“When people first look at a home, they look at five or six scenes, and that will make the determination if they want to look at more,” says Brian Balduf, co-founder and chairman of VHT Inc., a visual marketing services company for the real estate industry. “You want to put your best foot forward.”

If you’re crunched for time or cash, homeowners can still set their space apart by taking steps beyond basic de-cluttering and depersonalizing.

1. Remove large pieces of furniture. Clearing a room of large furniture can make a home seem more spacious. “You want to focus on the space and less on the furnishings. Unless the dining room table is being sold, you don’t want it to be the focus of the shot,” Mr. Balduf says.

2. Consider a paint job. Sometimes the difference between selling a home and having it sit on the market is as simple as a coat of paint, says Ron Shuffield, president of Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realty International/Christie’s International Real Estate in South Florida. Mr. Shuffield advises homeowners to decorate in the most neutral colors as possible, like beiges and browns. Jarring colors like bright oranges and deep purples can be off-putting to potential buyers.

3. Remember the front door. Mr. Shuffield recommends paying special attention to the front door. “Pressure-clean the sidewalk, plant some flowers, trim landscaping. It’s a small investment to make sure you make a positive first impression,” he says.

4. Look for details. Photographers often recommend shooting from the corner of a room with a wide-angle zoom lens to show a room at its largest. But sometimes, the whole room doesn’t have to be the focal point. Look for intricate design work, quality fireplaces, eye-catching staircases and high ceilings. “In normal real-estate photography, that gets overlooked because you’re looking at the room itself,” Mr. Balduf says.

5. Be your own editor. Apps like Instagram, an online photo-sharing service, make it easy for homeowners to gloss over imperfections and dress up photos.

Mr. Johnson, the FIU professor, recommends putting in as many photos as possible into online listings. But sometimes, leaving a little mystery can be equally alluring. “You don’t need photos of everything,” Mr. Balduf says. “You need just enough to entice people to want to see more.”

By Sanette Tanaka, WSJ

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