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How To Stage A Home For Sale Staging your home for sale is very important if you want to sell it quickly and get more of your money in a slow housing market. Home staging is not decorating. The idea of staging home is to make your home look like more valuable and more likable for buyers. It does not need a lot of money to do it. A little effort with very small amount of the money can bring back a very good return. Some said it could raise your selling price 5 to 20%. Tips on how to stage your home for sale: 

Clean your front yard, mow the lawn, and grow some flowers or set out some plants. This will not cost you much. What your potential buyers can see first is the front yard. The first impression is very important to make buyer wants to get into the house to see more.

Clean the front door. Paint and fix it if needed. This is the second thing a buyer will see before the buyer gets into your home.

Let the light into each room. Always leave the curtains and blinds wide open.

Put nice air fresher to make the home smell nice. Place the air fresher in each room. Do not forget to replace the air filters. A bad smell will definitely turn your buyer off.

Remove all the junk and unwanted items from each room including closet. De-clutter your house. Clutter makes your house much smaller.

Steam-wash your carpet and keep the house clean.

Clean each room. Nothing will be worse than a filthy bathroom and dirty kitchen.

Pay close attention to your kitchen. Some very small changes can make the kitchen make nicer, for example, such as replacing the counter with a new one. It doesn't cost too much, but it definitely will make the house worth much more. Other small things you can do that will not cost too much include replacing an old sink and faucet and maybe add new hardware to the cabinets.

Remove all the family pictures from your house so the buyer can imagine this home as his/hers, not yours.

Fix up your bedroom. Put away your clothes remove clothes from an overstuffed closet and make sure all of your personal belongings are put away.

How to Keep Remodeling Costs Down Ready to put a little “sweat equity” into your home? Don’t sweat it. It doesn’t mean you actually have to do your entire remodel yourself. After all, you’re not a professional contractor, right? That’s why you’re hiring a pro. But if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get a little dirty you can save yourself some money while adding to the value of your home.

Do It Yourself It is possible to cut the costs of a remodel by doing your own demolition, including such chores as tearing out carpet, removing lighting and plumbing fixtures, and clearing the kitchen of old appliances. You can also cut down on costs by doing the painting yourself and the clean-up. How much you’ll save by doing these things yourself depends on many factors, including the size of your remodel. It’s possible to save $1,000 or more on a major kitchen remodel by doing some of the demolition yourself. And if you’re good at painting, and the project is sizable, you can save possibly several thousand dollars or more by painting yourself. Don’t mind doing major clean up? But before you leap in and negotiate with your contractor over how much you’ll save if you add a little sweat equity to the project, take a deep breath and think it through. Be realistic. Your contractor may cut the cost of the project by $1,000 if you agree to do your own kitchen demolition, meaning removing all appliances, removing plumbing fixtures, and knocking down a half wall. Do you have the tools for the project? Do you know how to turn off the water main and the gas while you take out appliances? If you get the refrigerator out of the kitchen then what? Do you have a truck to take it to the dump? And if you’re a weekend warrior swinging a sledge hammer for the first time in 25 years, what happens if you pull your back and can’t get back to your office the next day? Cleaning up after a construction project also is likely to be a bigger and much messier task that you might imagine You’ll need a shop vacuum cleaner, for starters, and you’ll have to figure out how to dispose of a lot of leftover bits and pieces of construction materials ranging from insulation and bits of drywall to wads of duct tape. Sound fun? If those “sweat equity” opportunities don’t sound inviting, there are others that can save you money. Most people can paint interior walls and cabinets. The risk you run by painting yourself of course is moving in without getting the painting done which will not only diminish your own pride in the remodel but is ultimately harmful to cabinets, wood work and drywall, all of which need protective coats of paint.

Home Pricing Strategies

Review Comparables After the landscape, comparables play the biggest role in setting the price. Considered part art, part science, “comps” are regarded as the single-best tool in determining a home's value. You can view comps on your property or anyone else’s on, simply by entering an address.

Look at Unsold Homes Homes on the market that haven’t sold yet are also a consideration although not a strong one since it’s unproven whether the house will bring the money it’s asking. But, look at the active competition. Find a home most similar to yours and find out how many days it has been on the market. If the house has been sitting for a while (more than 30 days), you will see the market is not convinced that is the correct price for that home. Once you see the “Sold” sign, find out how much above or below the list price it sold for. This will give you a good idea of how the market is behaving and how aggressive you can be in setting a price.

Use Square Foot Pricing Some neighborhoods are a mixed bag of architecture, style, and size, which means if you can’t find another home similar to yours, you can use square foot pricing. How? Take 3/5 homes as similar to yours as possible, add up the square footage, and divide by the number of homes. This will give you an average per square foot for your comps. Then, add up the sold price of each home, divide by the number of homes to get the average. Lastly, divide the average sold price by the average square foot to get the average price per square foot. Once you have the average price per square foot, multiply it by your home’s square footage. This is just another tool to help you price your home. Example: Step 1: Find the average sq. ft. of comps Home 1 -- 1,950 square feet Home 2 -- 2,400 square feet Home 3 -- 1,800 square feet Home 4 -- 2,050 square feet Total -- 8,200 square feet 8,200 / 4 = 2,050 sq. ft.

2,050 is the average sq. ft. of your comps Step 2: Find the average price of comps Home 1 -- $310,000 Home 2 -- $410,000 Home 3 -- $299,000 Home 4 -- $325,000 Total -- $1,344,000 $1,344,000 / 4 = $336,000 $336,000 is the average price of your comps Step 3: Divide the average price by the average sq. ft.: $336,000 / 2,050 = $164/per sq. ft. $164 is the average price per sq. ft. of your comps Step 4: Set the price of your home: Take $164 and multiply it by your square footage to get a price. For example, if you have a 1,975-square-foot home, multiply it by $164 (e.g., 1,975 sq. ft. x $164 = $323,900). Bingo! Your home’s price: $323,900!

Get a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) If you’ve used the three strategies above, but still need reassurance, go to a real estate agent - or, two or three -- and ask them for a CMA. Whether you use the agent to sell your house or not, they will be more than willing to provide a CMA in hopes of getting your listing. It shouldn’t cost you any money to get one.

Get an Appraisal If you really need extra assurance, hire a professional appraiser. An appraiser will cost approximately $250-$650, depending on your home size and uniqueness of the property. They will come to your home and itemize the number of rooms and amenities (e.g., swimming pool, fireplace, etc.) and will pull comps from other nearby homes that sold recently. Once they have completed their review of your home, the comps, and the market, they will furnish you with an appraisal. This will be an estimation of your properties fair market value.

Home Inspection Tips to Prepare Your Home 

Make sure all interior and exterior light fixtures work. If an outdoor fixture bulb is out, the inspector has to note that the fixture does not operate correctly.

Provide access to the furnace, water heater and electrical panel. Also, the inspector must be able to remove the electrical panel cover. If the panel is locked, remove it.

Install a new furnace filter and vacuum the register. It will be looked at during the inspection and be considered as a part of the overall condition of the furnace or heat pump.

Ensure that windows operate smoothly. If some are stuck or painted shut, the impression will be that many windows cannot open. Also, remove window security.screws.

Replace all damaged window screens, and make sure all operating windows have screens.

Tighten all door knobs and tighten or repair all handrails. Also check to be sure that all interior doors will latch to the strike plate.

Clear the way to the attic access panel or pull down, especially in a closet. The inspector will enter every attic.8.If you use your attic for storage, remove any items that will inhibit the inspector.

Be sure that there is a minimum of one smoke detector per floor.

Provide keys or unlock sheds and outbuildings.

Verify all utilities will be on at the time of inspection, and that gas pilots (including fireplaces) are lit.

Remove or restrain pets on site.

Empty the washer and dryer so they can be tested. The dishwasher can be run whether it is full or empty.

Selling a home can be a long and stressful process. When you get to the point of the inspection, you’re nearing the finish line! Hopefully, the pointers mentioned above will help you cross it with ease!