CENTURY 21 Sexton & Donohue, Inc.



Posted by CENTURY 21 Sexton & Donohue, Inc. on 5/8/2018

Have you ever visited someone's home and thought to yourself, "Their living room seems really cluttered" or "Those counter tops look like they haven't been updated since the 1960s!"

Many people quickly notice decorating flaws or home maintenance issues in other people's houses, but when it comes to their own homes -- well, that's another story!

Why is that the case? Two reasons: You're emotionally attached to your own home environment and you're also "too close to the trees to see the forest." It's hard to step back and see your home through a fresh set of eyes -- which is exactly the way prospective buyers are going to look it.

Curb appeal -- or a lack, thereof-- will be the first thing they notice, followed by positive or negative first impressions of your home's interior -- if they get that far! So if you're preparing to put your home on the market, you don't want to be like the person who tries to represent themselves in court. As Abraham Lincoln once said, they have "a fool for a client!"

Since first impressions are so vital when selling your house, it makes sense to confer with someone who really knows the ropes when it comes to home staging. Typically, that would be one of the following professionals:

  • An experienced real estate agent: Real estate agents are in the business of helping people sell their homes as quickly and profitably as possible -- it's a win/win situation. In all likelihood, they've conducted hundreds of house tours and listened to a massive amount of feedback from prospective buyers. One thing they've invariably noticed is that a lot of people react the same way to the same issues. Based on experience and a trained eye, most real estate agents can quickly spot and point out cost-effective ways to make your home more marketable and visually appealing.
  • A professional home stager: Although not all communities have access to professional home stagers, there are talented and knowledgeable experts in that field who can offer valuable advice. If you're working with an experienced real estate agent, however, it probably would not be necessary to pay extra to hire a professional staging consultant.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median amount of money spent on staging a home is $675, so it doesn't necessarily have to be ultra-expensive. In a survey of its membership, Realtors ranked living rooms and kitchens as the most important rooms to stage. Also considered important are the master bedroom, dining room, and bathrooms.

Thirty seven percent of Realtors® representing sellers believe that buyers most often offer a 1 to 5 percent increase on the value of a staged home. A smaller percentage say the potential increase is in the neighborhood of 6% to 10%. However you look at it, you're tipping the scales in your direction when you make your home look its best prior to putting it up for sale.





Posted by CENTURY 21 Sexton & Donohue, Inc. on 3/13/2018

No matter how you look at it, putting your home on the market is a life-changing experience!

Not only will it change your future circumstances, but it will have an impact on your day-to-day routine, right now.

If your home is actively being shown by real estate agents, there are a few things you may need to do on a regular basis to make the best possible impression on potential buyers:

Keep it clean: Ordinarily, most homeowners aren't inclined to thoroughly clean their house every day -- or "at a moment's notice." Very few people have the time or motivation to keep their home's immaculate on a constant basis; it's exhausting just thinking about it! However, when your house is being viewed by prospective buyers, cleanliness -- or the lack, thereof -- will be noticed. Although "old habits die hard," it may be necessary to enlist the help and cooperation of your children (and spouse) in keeping the house looking presentable at all times. While it's unrealistic to expect your home to look immaculate day after day, it might be necessary to establish some new rules and standards for your family to follow about picking up clothes, toys, snack wrappers, and food residues. If you can maintain a "semblance of order" on an ongoing basis, then it shouldn't be too difficult to prepare your home for the next showing. While you'll usually get at least 24-hours notice before a house showing is scheduled, there may be the occasional request for a same-day visit.

Appearances count: "Keeping up Appearances" is more than just a popular British sitcom; it's a necessary goal for anyone hoping to sell their home within a reasonable period of time. Doing your best to stage your home in an attractive, inviting way is a key ingredient to a successful home-selling strategy. Setting priorities for curb appeal will also help you put your best foot forward in a competitive real estate market. Although many aspects of home staging are based on common sense and simple home decorating principles, it's difficult to be objective when your family's home is involved. There's certainly a lot of credible information online concerning the benefits of reducing household clutter and leaning toward neutral paint colors, but you can also turn to your real estate agent for tips on enhancing your home's curb appeal, interior appearance, and overall marketability.

Unless the home you're selling is relatively new or completely updated, there are a lot of decisions to make about how much time, energy, and money should be spend on upgrades, repairs, and enhancements. While everyone's situation, budget, and timetable is different, it's usually necessary to correct issues that might be considered a glaring problem or a deal breaker. Sometimes those issues don't come to the forefront, however, until you get specific feedback from agents and prospective buyers.





Posted by CENTURY 21 Sexton & Donohue, Inc. on 9/6/2016

If you're getting ready to put your home on the market, every little detail can make a huge difference in its marketability. Not only is it vitally important to make a great first impression on prospective buyers, but you also want those good feelings to linger after they walk out the door. Although homeowners generally don't need to concern themselves with the marketing aspects of selling their property, there is one sales principle which is well worth keeping in mind: More often than not, people make buying decisions based on their emotions and subconscious feelings, rather than on concrete facts and rational thought. It's only after they've made their emotion-based buying decision that they attempt to justify it with facts and logic. So "gut feelings," intuition, and emotions can play a central role in how and why people choose to buy one home over another. Easy Home Staging Tips That's why it can be beneficial to have the fragrance of freshly brewed coffee, cookies, cinnamon buns, or homemade bread wafting through the air when prospective home buyers visit. It can help put your visitors in a positive state of mind, and cause them to associate your home with those enticing aromas and good feelings. Unfortunately, the opposite effect can also come into play during a house showing. For example, offensive odors in the air could raise questions about the cleanliness or desirability of your house. If pet smells, stale tobacco smoke, or dirty laundry odors are among the recollections that linger in the minds (and noses) of would-be buyers, you can be sure they'll be less likely to make an offer. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to counteract unpleasant odors and keep your home smelling fresh and inviting for real estate showings. Two other key things to consider when preparing your home for potential buyers are lighting and clutter. When one or more rooms look cluttered, it creates two negative impressions in the minds of prospects:

  1. It makes the living space look small and confining, which detracts from the perceived value of your home.
  2. It also creates an impression of chaos and disorganization. Whether that's a description of your family's lifestyle or not, you definitely don't want to convey that to prospective buyers.
Lighting Sets The Tone Lighting can be a tricky thing to get just right, because there's a thin line between soft lighting and gloomy lighting. Also, if the lights are too low, people might be wondering what flaws you're trying to hide. Harsh lighting can also have a negative effect on how people perceive your home, so if you notice visitors squinting or shading their eyes when they enter a room, it may be time to install a dimmer switch! Get an Expert Opinion In most cases, home sellers need input from a real estate agent, Realtor, or experienced home staging consultant to be able to show their home to its full potential. A professional can help you focus on specific areas in need of improvement, and can often provide cost-effective suggestions for making it more appealing to buyers. If you've been living there for a number of years, it's almost impossible to be objective about what needs to be changed, repainted, rearranged, or replaced. A seasoned real estate professional can look at things from the perspective of a potential buyer, and make recommendations that could help improve your curb appeal, present your home in its best light, and sell it faster and for the best possible price.







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