Is It Worth It To Stage Your Home?

Sellers who are eager to attract serious buyers and maximize the value of their home often utilize home staging as a way to leave a good impression.

Homes that are skillfully staged look better in photos online, creating more leads, showings, and ultimately, offers. Furthermore, prospective buyers want to be able to envision themselves living in a home. Staging makes it easier for them to understand what it would look like and how spacious it will feel once it has been furnished.

Home staging by the numbers

You don’t, however, have to take my word for it. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases an annual report which collects and analyzes survey data from nearly 2,000 agents regarding their experience with home staging.

In their findings, they note that 62 percent of agents agree that staging a home lessens the time the property is for sale. Furthermore, 77 percent of agents said home staging makes it easier to visualize living in a home that would otherwise be empty.

Which rooms should be staged?

Staging an entire home takes an enormous amount of time and money. One way to simplify the process is to stage a select few rooms. In the NAR’s study, they asked agents which rooms they typically staged when selling a home. The results:

  • 83% Living Room

  • 76% Kitchen

  • 69% Master Bedroom

  • 66% Dining Room

  • 53% Bathroom

  • 31% Yard Space

  • 25% Children’s Bedroom

  • 21% Guest Bedroom

From these results, we can ascertain that it’s important to stage the main rooms of your home. Lesser used a multi-purpose rooms (like offices and guest rooms) aren’t as important to stage.

Can staging your home increase the sale price?

It’s difficult to say with certainty if, and by how much, home staging affects the sale price of a home. However, if staging your home is successful at getting the attention at a greater number of prospective buyers, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to go with the highest bidder.

When the NAR asked agents if staging increases the amount buyer’s offer on a home, their responses were somewhat mixed.

  • 29% of respondents thought it increases the offer by one to five percent

  • 21% of respondents say it increases the offer by six to ten percent

  • 8% said it increases the offer from between eleven to twenty percent

  • 14% said it had no impact on the dollar value of the home

  • 27% were unsure if it had an impact on the dollar value

In general, it would seem that most agents feel that staging a home not only improves a buyer’s opinion of a home, but also increases its sale value. If you’re planning on selling in the near future, staging at least part of your home could be something to consider to give your property a competitive edge.

Must-Haves for a Successful Home Selling Negotiation

A home selling negotiation may seem like a major hassle, particularly for property sellers who want to find a buyer as soon as possible. Fortunately, a prepared home seller will be able to streamline the property selling cycle as well as get the best price for his or her residence.

What does it take to complete a successful home selling negotiation? Here are three must-haves that will ensure any home seller can finalize a successful negotiation quickly and effortlessly.

1. Housing Market Data

Understanding the ins and outs of the housing market can help an ordinary home seller become an exceptional one. As such, if you allocate the necessary time and resources to collect housing market data, you may be better equipped to enter a negotiation as an informed home seller.

Housing market data is readily available – you just need to know where to look for it.

For example, home sellers can examine the prices of recently sold houses that are similar to their own. By doing so, home sellers can see how their house stacks up against the competition – and whether the price a homebuyer wants for a residence is in line with similar properties.

2. Realistic Expectations

Let’s face it – as much as a home seller would like to enjoy a fast, seamless negotiation with a property buyer, many hurdles may delay a home sale. But a home seller who establishes realistic expectations before a negotiation begins may be able to minimize stress.

For home sellers, it is important to understand that a negotiation must meet the needs of both a property buyer and seller. And if you consider the homebuyer’s perspective, you may be able to enter a negotiation with an open mind.

Furthermore, a home seller should be unafraid to walk away from a negotiation if necessary. Although exiting a negotiation is far from ideal, it is important to remember that it is always an option. Thus, if a negotiation reaches a point where you start to feel uncomfortable, you can always walk away and relaunch your efforts to sell your house.

3. An Expert Real Estate Agent

No one should be forced to enter a home selling negotiation without expert assistance. Luckily, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals possess the skills and know-how to assist home sellers during negotiations.

An expert real estate agent will serve as a liaison between a home seller and homebuyer. He or she will provide honest, unbiased recommendations throughout each stage of a home selling negotiation, ensuring you can make informed decisions along the way. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to respond to any home selling concerns and queries – without exception.

Want to take the guesswork out of negotiating a home sale? Consider the aforementioned factors before you begin a home selling negotiation, and you can improve your chances of securing the best price for your residence.

Enjoy a Speedy Home Selling Experience

When it comes to selling a house, it helps to plan ahead. By doing so, a home seller can identify and resolve potential home selling hurdles right away.

With the right approach to selling a house, any seller can minimize problems along the way. In fact, the right approach may increase the likelihood that a seller can enjoy a speedy home selling experience.

Now, let’s take a look at three tips to help sellers streamline the home selling journey.

1. Price Your House Competitively

What is your house really worth? This question is difficult to answer for a home seller, as many factors impact the value of a home.

A home’s age and condition likely will play important roles in your residence’s value. Furthermore, external factors like the crime rates in the city or town where your home is located or your house’s proximity to parks and schools may affect your residence’s value.

To establish a competitive price for your house, you’ll want to study the local housing market. Look at the prices of available houses that are similar to your own; this data can help you define a competitive initial asking price for your residence.

In addition, it frequently helps to perform a home appraisal. During a home appraisal, a property expert will assess your house and provide a property valuation. Then, you can use this valuation to determine the ideal asking price for your house.

2. Conduct a Home Inspection

Although a home inspection generally is completed after a seller accepts a buyer’s offer on a house, there is no need to wait. Instead, a home seller can conduct an inspection prior to listing a residence to learn about a house’s strengths and weaknesses.

Review the results of a home inspection closely – you’ll be glad you did. After a home inspection, you can identify any underlying problems with your house and take the necessary steps to resolve these issues. That way, you can prevent such problems from cropping up after a buyer submits an offer on your house.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about how to price your house or complete other home selling tasks, there is no need to worry. Remember, you can always hire a real estate agent who can provide plenty of support throughout the home selling journey.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a house. As such, this housing market expert can teach you about the real estate sector and ensure you can achieve the best possible home selling results.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events, negotiate with a buyer’s agent on your behalf and simplify the home selling cycle. With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble receiving expert responses to your home selling questions too.

Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can reap the benefits of a speedy home selling experience.

First-Time Home Seller Tips: How to Identify a Strong Offer

Looking to sell a home for the first time? Ultimately, a first-time home seller must be able to identify a strong offer for his or her residence. With extensive real estate insights, a first-time home seller may be better equipped than others to accept a strong offer and accelerate the home selling cycle.

Identifying a strong offer for a home can be quick and easy – even for a first-time home seller.

Now, let’s take a look at three tips to help a first-time home seller differentiate between a strong offer and a poor one.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

The housing market can be complex, particularly for a first-time home seller. Fortunately, many free, easy-to-access resources are available to help a home seller learn about the ins and outs of the housing sector so he or she can plan accordingly.

For example, a home seller can check the prices of homes available in his or her area via a simple online search. This home seller can even find out how long a particular house has been available, whether the price of a home has been reduced over time and much more.

With in-depth knowledge of the real estate market, a home seller can study how his or her residence stacks up against the competition. Then, this home seller can establish a competitive price for his or her home, increasing the likelihood that he or she will receive a number of strong offers.

2. Understand Your Home Both Inside and Out

A home appraisal is a must for a first-time or experienced home seller, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

During a home appraisal, a property inspector will take a close look at a house’s interior and exterior. This inspector will provide a report at the appraisal’s completion that highlights a house’s strengths and weaknesses too.

For a home seller, an appraisal offers a valuable learning opportunity. It enables a home seller to gain deep insights into a home’s condition that he or she may struggle to obtain elsewhere. That way, a home seller can complete assorted home repairs before listing a residence and boost his or her chances of receiving multiple offers that exceed a house’s initial asking price.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A first-time home seller should meet with a real estate agent and discuss the differences between a strong offer and a poor one.

Thanks to a real estate agent, a home seller can seamlessly navigate the entire property selling journey as well.

Typically, a real estate agent will help a home seller establish a fair price for a residence from the get-go. This housing market professional also can offer helpful tips throughout the home selling journey to ensure a home seller can get the best possible results.

Don’t leave anything to chance as you prepare to list a residence for the first time. Instead, take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and a first-time home seller should have no trouble distinguishing between a strong offer and a subpar proposal.

You’ve Hired a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your House: Now What?

Let’s face it – in today’s fierce real estate market, home sellers need any competitive advantage that they can get. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available to ensure that you can maximize the value of your residence.

After you hire a real estate agent, the home selling may move quickly. In fact, the most common steps associated with the home selling process include:

1. Prepping Your House

As a home seller, you’ll want to do everything possible to ensure that your residence looks great both inside and out.

Your real estate agent can help you prep your house before it is listed on the housing market. He or she may offer tips about how you can transform your home’s ordinary interior into an exceptional one. Plus, your real estate agent can put you in touch with home cleaning companies, landscapers, painters and other home improvement professionals who can help you take your home’s appearance to the next level.

2. Hosting Open Houses and Home Showings

Open houses and home showings represent essential parts of the home selling and homebuying cycles. For home sellers, these events enable you to showcase your residence to a large group of homebuyers quickly. Meanwhile, open houses and home showings enable homebuyers to browse a wide range of properties without delay.

Your real estate agent will keep you up to date about open houses and home showings. This real estate professional will always provide you with sufficient notice any time a homebuyer wants to check out your home as well.

Hosting open houses and home showings can be stressful, particularly for home sellers who have already committed substantial time and resources to improve their properties. Fortunately, your real estate agent will set up plenty of open houses and home showings to generate substantial interest in your property. He or she also will share homebuyers’ feedback with you, ensuring that you can complete myriad home maintenance and upgrade projects as needed.

3. Responding to Home Offers

After your home reaches the real estate market, it may be only a matter of days before you receive your first offer.

Your real estate agent will inform you about any offers on your residence, and you likely will have 24 to 48 hours to determine whether to accept, decline or counter a homebuyer’s proposal.

Although you only have a short amount of time to assess a homebuyer’s offer, your real estate agent is happy to help you determine how to proceed. This real estate professional will enable you to establish realistic expectations for your home before you list your property. That way, you’ll be able to see how your home stacks up against the competition and price it properly.

Furthermore, your real estate agent will negotiate with a homebuyer on your behalf. And if you don’t feel comfortable with an offer on your home, your real estate agent will respond to a homebuyer’s proposal accordingly.

There is no need to stress when you sell your home. If you hire an experienced real estate agent, you should have no trouble accelerating the home selling process and optimizing the value of your residence.

Where Home Staging Meets Home Safety.


In the hustle and bustle of prepping a home to be sold, many people overlook one very important detail; home safety. And while you’d like to think that prospective buyers visiting your home are upstanding citizens, the simple truth remains that selling your home opens your door wide open to complete strangers…Strangers who are going to be encouraged as potential buyers to explore every detail of your home. Luckily, by taking a few small steps, you can rest a little easier.

1. Hide you valuables – This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to put away common valuables like jewelery, high-value collectables, expensive perfumes, and high-end designer accessories like handbags and money clips. Be sure to go from room to room, keeping an eye out for anything that may hold appeal for a potential thief, and tuck away anything you think might draw a thief’s attention. Do a follow-up walk of your house the next day, just in case you may have missed something.

2. Firearms – If you are a homeowner who is also a gun and/or weapon owner, then you are probably already taking the necessary precautions in regard to gun safety. However, for some collectors, prominent display is one of the things that a gun owner may take pride in. Just because your guns are in a locked, secured display case doesn’t mean that they still don’t hold risk to you or your loves ones. In a private setting, a locked display case is just fine…But in a situation where you are selling your home, complete strangers will have the ability to see that you are a gun owner, how many guns you have, and the precise location of your collection. Considering the value of a gun collection can run into the thousands, they should be treated just like any other valuable in your home; locked away and out of sight.

3. Personal mail – Things like bill invoices, credit card statements, and social security information should be put out of sight. Identity theft is on the rise, and by taking the proper precautions, you can avoid your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

4.Prescription medication – Be sure to remove medications from your medicine cabinet that carry the potential for abuse.

5. Parental safety – If you are a parent, you’ll obviously want to take precautions to keep your children safe. Remember…You are allowing complete strangers full access to your home. For peace of mind, consider removing family photos, personalized items such as prominently displayed school jerseys and embroidered pillows, and that A+ math test on the refrigerator. Many people feel this step is either unimportant or unnecessary. If you feel fine with displaying these items, then feel completely free to.  The odds of a person wanting to do your family harm are fairly low.  But if you are a “better safe than sorry” kind of person, then consider this step.

As long as a few precautions are met, you have no reason to feel uneasy about your home being shown. The vast majority of the people who are going to be looking at your house are responsible members of society, looking for a home to either start or grow their own families. That being said….Better safe than sorry.

How Long Will it Take to Sell My Home?

Selling a home requires a combination of careful planning, favorable market conditions, and good luck. As a result, there’s no simple formula for determining when your house will sell. There are, however, things you can do to help increase the odds of your home selling within your timeline.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the reasons homes sell quickly or slowly, and offer some tips on how to plan accordingly so that your home sells at the price you want and within the time you need, so you can get back to your life in your new home.

What you can’t control

Let’s start with the pre existing conditions that you won’t have much sway over when it comes to selling your home. First, there’s the market: is it a buyer’s or a seller’s market? The term “seller’s market” deals with supply and demand. In a seller’s market, there is more demand than supply, and therefore listings often see quicker sales and more frequent offers. These terms are used geographically as well. While we are currently considered to be in seller’s market nationwide, it could vary geographically. Certain cities and regions experience surplus housing and are therefore considered buyer’s markets.

What you might be able to control

One factor in the amount of time it takes for your home to sell that you have some control over is when you put it on the market. A new study has found that the best time to sell a home is early March to late April, depending on your geographic location.

For you, this means ensuring that your home is ready to be listed by the end of January. That means you won’t want to delay in getting outdoor issues taken care of before winter arrives if you live in a colder climate. It’s much easier to work on roofs and driveways or septic systems before temperatures reach freezing.

What you can absolutely control

Now that we’ve talked about those details which are out of your hands, let’s talk about what you can do now to increase the likelihood of your home selling when you need it to.

First, be sure to price your home accurately. Any time that your house sits on the market with an inflated price is time wasted.

Next, stay on track with home improvements and upgrades that will increase the interior appeal and curb appeal of your home. That means fresh coats of neutral paint, a lot of cleaning and decluttering, and some appropriate landscaping. It’s important to remember, however, that some upgrades aren’t very cost-effective, so be sure to do your research before taking on big home improvement projects.

Right before you put your home on the market, take the time to stage the home and take great photos. Cell phone pictures of a dirty house with poor lighting won’t do you any favors. If you know a photographer, enlist their help for the day to make sure your photos stand out on listing websites.

If you follow these tips and remain consistent in communicating with your real estate agent, there’s no reason you shouldn’t sell your home within the timeframe needed for you and your family.

3 Key Benefits of an Open House for Home Sellers

An open house represents a valuable opportunity for a home seller who wants to generate interest in his or her residence. This event enables homebuyers to get an up-close look at your house, and ultimately, may help homebuyers become comfortable with submitting an offer for your home.

For home sellers, there are many great reasons to devote time and resources to get your residence ready for an open house, including:

1. An Open House Gives You a Chance to Make a Positive First Impression.

Any home seller can showcase his or her residence online. Conversely, it takes a dedicated home seller to highlight the true value of his or her house to interested homebuyers as part of an open house.

With an open house, you can boost your home’s chances of making a positive first impression on homebuyers. Because homebuyers can browse your home with ease, they will be able to evaluate it in a no-pressure situation.

Plus, if you employ a real estate agent, this professional will be available to provide homebuyers with additional details about your residence during an open house. Your real estate agent might even be able to offer information to homebuyers about your residence that they won’t be able to find online as well.

2. You Can Choose the Date and Time of an Open House.

Unlike a home showing, a home seller can select the date and time of an open house. This flexibility ensures a home seller can plan accordingly and guarantee his or her house is clean and neat when the big day arrives.

In most cases, home sellers will host an open house on a Saturday or Sunday, and the event may take place over the course of an afternoon. Meanwhile, an open house might even feature fresh-baked cookies, coffee and tea and other assorted snacks and beverages that homebuyers can enjoy as they check out your residence.

3. You May Be Able to Convince a Homebuyer to Make an Offer.

The odds that a homebuyer will submit an offer on your residence without an in-person evaluation of your house are slim.

On the other hand, after a homebuyer walks around your residence and envisions what life might be like in your home, he or she may be convinced that your house is the perfect choice. Thus, he or she may make an offer on your residence, which means you can move one step closer to selling your house.

When it comes to hosting an open house, you’ll want to prepare as much as possible. And with a dedicated real estate agent at your side, you’ll be able to receive expert tips to get ready for an open house. This real estate professional understands the importance of an open house, and as a result, will do everything he or she can to help your residence stand out to homebuyers, too.

Prepare your residence for an open house, and you could improve your chances of generating significant interest in your residence among large groups of homebuyers.

Brighten Up Any Hallway in Your Home

When was the last time you examined the lighting in your hallway?

For home sellers, you may want to consider revamping the lighting in your hallway. By doing so, you can brighten up your hallway, and ultimately, help make your home more appealing to prospective homebuyers.

So what does it take to improve your hallway lighting? Here are three tips to consider:

1. Add Lighting Controls.

Although you may already have a light switch to control your hallway lighting, incorporating a dimmer switch or occupancy sensor into your hallway may prove to be a great option to enhance your hallway’s overall appearance.

A dimmer switch ensures you can brighten or dim your hallway as much or as little as you choose. The added control provided by a dimmer switch enables you to create a certain ambiance that you can share with homebuyers when they check out your residence.

Comparatively, an occupancy sensor detects when a person walks through a hallway automatically. This sensor may serve as a distinct feature in your home, one that may help your residence stand out in the eyes of homebuyers.

2. Incorporate Wall Sconces.

For home sellers who want to impress prospective homebuyers the moment they enter a hallway, wall sconces may serve as ideal additions.

Wall sconces come in many shapes and sizes, allowing you to select lighting that matches your hallway’s décor beautifully. Also, wall sconces are available that enable you to create both up and down lighting that can give your hallway a one-of-a-kind look and feel.

Try to find wall sconces that deliver a sense of balance in your hallway. By doing so, you’ll be able to utilize wall sconces that provide a superior mix of fashion and function.

3. Install Track Lighting.

Looking to brighten up a long hallway? Choose track lighting – you’ll be glad you did!

Track lighting typically runs parallel to your hallway’s walls and offers immense versatility. Therefore, it serves as a wonderful option for those who want to make a hallway dazzle day after day.

In many instances, you can change the direction of track lighting with ease, too. This type of lighting gives you superb flexibility, and as such, remains an exceedingly popular option in many homes.

When it comes to brightening up a hallway or any other area of your home, be sure to evaluate all of the options at your disposal. Remember, you’ll want to do whatever you can to help your residence sparkle, and the right lighting may enable you to transform a dull hallway into an eye-catching one.

Lastly, don’t forget to consult with your real estate agent before you perform hallway lighting improvements or other home repairs. This real estate professional likely boasts years of industry experience and will be able to guide you as you explore ways to make your home more attractive to homebuyers.

Take a close look at your home’s hallway lighting, and you’re sure to find many great lighting options that you can use to help your residence stand out in any real estate market.

Fix the Small Things Before You List Your Home

You have made the decision to put your home up for sale. Before you stick the sign in the yard there are a few things you will want to do. Buyers can be picky and the competition can be stiff. So now is the time to do all the little repairs you’ve always meant to do but never had the time for.

Here are just a few of the basic repairs you will want to conquer before the first prospective buyer walks through the door:

1.Tackle the Entrance

This is the first thing people see when they come to your home. Paint the front door and trim surrounding the door. Repair sagging screen doors and replace any missing or corroded hinge screws and tighten the rest.

2. Spruce up the Perimeter

Walk the perimeter of your home, clear away dead plants, clip blossoms, and clear away leaves and other yard waste.

3. Recheck the roof

Any problem that has the word roof in it scares a buyer away immediately. Replace missing shingles and fix hanging gutters.  Remove any moss growing on the roof as this shows signs of neglect.

4. Clear and caulk gutters.

Clear all the debris out of the gutters and recaulk the gutter end caps.

5. Patch nail holes and repaint.

Patch up nail holes in the walls of your home. Use a lightweight putty to fill the holes and paint the repaired spots.

6. Clean the Grout

Deep clean tile grout with bleach.  Regrout tiles where needed and recaulk cracks between sinks, tubs, toilets, counters and floors. This will give your tile a whole new look.

7. Stop Dripping Faucets

Fix leaky faucets before the buyer notices them.  You may need to call in a plumber to do this task. Before you do that you can shut off the water supply and check for moisture on the wall around the valves and on the floor of the sink cabinet. Many hardware stores carry faucet rebuild kits that contain the 6 to 12 parts most likely to fail, including the metal ball, O rings, springs and gaskets.