Staging Your Home for a Faster Sale

July 17th, 2015 No comments »

If you are planning to put your house on the market, 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! Here are a few tips to help you out! 

Boost curb appeal.

Power wash siding and walkways, hang easy-to-read house numbers, plant blooming flowers and fresh greenery if the season permits, mow lawn, and reseed or add fresh sod as needed, wash front windows, repaint or stain the porch floor as needed to name a few things.

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!

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.

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 about  vases of cut flowers, a basket of fresh farmer’s market produce on the kitchen counter or a bowl of lemons beside the sink.

Rearrange your furniture.  

In the living room, symmetrical arrangements usually work well. Pull your furniture off the walls and use pairs (of sofas, chairs, lamps) to create an inviting conversation area.

Choose sophisticated neutral colors.

Now is not the time to experiment with that “fun”-looking lime green. But that doesn’t mean you need to go all white, either. Rich neutrals like mocha and “greige” create a sophisticated backdrop that makes everything look more pulled together.

Open those closets!

Open-house visitors will peek inside your closets. Closet space can be a make-it-or-break-it selling point for buyers, so show yours off to their full advantage by giving excess stuff the heave-ho. Again, this is really important, so even if you need to store a few boxes elsewhere, it’s worth it. Aim to have 20 to 30 percent open space in each closet to give the impression of spaciousness.

Use “extra” rooms wisely.

 If you have been using a spare bedroom as a dumping ground for odd pieces of furniture and boxes of junk, it’s time to clean up your act. Each room should have a clearly defined purpose, so think about what potential buyers might like to see here. An office? A guest room? Another kids’ room? Whether you buy inexpensive furnishings, rent them, or borrow some from friends, making a real room out of a junk room will have a big payoff.

Clean up toys.

Of course there will be families with children looking at your home, but just because they have kids too doesn’t mean seeing toys strewn everywhere will sell them on the place. When people are house hunting, they are imagining a fresh start. Show them that in this house, it is possible to have a beautifully organized kids’ room, and they might be swayed.

Let this be a great experience, you will find great satisfaction with the end product, that I promise!

Issues With Flood Plains

February 11th, 2013 No comments »

When a Broker lists a home on water or near any waterway one crucial area of investigation is whether it is in the flood plain. Even with a lot that is partially in the flood plain, building a structure or adding an addition to an existing structure may be restricted.

To check the status, the buyer may contact a local surveyor or the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for more information.

It is important to determine if a property is in the flood plain because if it is, flood insurance will be required by the mortgage lender.

There may be some clues that tip one off to a need for further investigation.
1. There may be water marks on trees showing water stands.
2. If there are lakes, streams or rivers nearby, it must be determined what the flood elevations area and then look at the local and State ordinances governing what can be built in the 25 year or 100 year flood plain.
3. What type of soils are in the area? Can the soil support a structure?
4. Is there storm water collection system: storm water sewer or drainage ditches?
5. Where is the structure in relationship to the surrounding ground. Eg at the top of a hill or the bottom.

It is vital that the buyers, themselves, investigate.  They must think about future use of the property and if there are limitations to what they may built, or rebuilt, in case of  damage to the existing structures.

Effect of Foreclosure on Credit Score

October 23rd, 2012 No comments »

A foreclosure can reduce your credit score as much as 200 points.  As short sale is one in which the lender accepts a sales price which is less than the amount of the mortgage due.  A deed-in lieu of foreclosure occurs when the property owner deeds the property to the lender rather than making them go through the time and expense of a foreclosure.  Both the short sale and the deed-in-lieu of foreclosure will cause  drop in credit scores almost as much as a foreclosure.

The degree of effect on a person’s credit score depends on what the score is before the event, what is reported and the composition of his or her credit file.  A high credit score may be impacted more by a foreclosure than one that is lower to begin with.

It would seem prudent that a homeowner would utilize any one of these techniques as an absolute last resort and then with the understanding that any one of these could reduce their credit score by 200 points.