One of the questions I get asked all the time by sellers is ‘should I stage my home?’
And I always answer, ‘that depends.’
That depends on if you want to sell your home faster and for more money.
If you want a faster sale and more money in your pocket, then the answer is: YES!!! A THOUSAND TIMES YES!!! Stage your home!!
I get the fact that selling a home and moving into a new home possibly thousands of miles away creates one of the most stressful, miserable times in a person’s life. I get you are overwhelmed with every little decision and freaking out about finding boxes and a new place to live.
Remember, selling a home and moving may only be an activity you do a few times in your life. So if ever you go all-in on a project this is it!!
Depending on whose research you check, a staged home sells an average of 4 weeks SOONER and always for more than a non-staged home.
Read that again…faster and for more money.
The reason this is such a no brainer in the Real Estate world is a staged home puts the buyer in focus. You may be stretched beyond words, but a staged home tells the buyer “relax…come in…we’ve been expecting you…your desires and future are what is important here.”
In homes that are un-staged, every buyer has to work through your memories, furniture, tastes, quirks before ever thinking about what they want and need. Un-staged homes do sell…eventually.
With all that being said, staging your home doesn’t have to be a major production. But there are a few essentials:
- Neutralize your home. Take down photos. Paint the walls a more neutral color. Get rid of the beloved couch passed onto you by Grandma Shirley. You love these things, but that doesn’t mean anyone else will.
- Have some furniture. Some…not a lot. Give people a general idea of how the room can be used but not so much furniture that the room looks cluttered or small.
- Increase lighting everywhere! Any mood lighting will make buyers think you are hiding something. So, brighten up all your corners and let people imagine how awesome their life will be when they make your home…their home.
The bottom line is, a staged home gives a better first impression and photographs better for social media. You want your house to be a ‘must-see’ that has all the realtors in town buzzing.
And, who are we kidding, we want the buyers to line up with offers. Staged homes give buyers the impression that their lives will be as awesome as your staged home looks. And those are the impressions that motivate buyers to offer aggressively and quickly.
As your real estate agent, I will walk you through the options and opportunities that exist for every home sale. I have years of experience seeing good homes and not-so-good homes.
Please send me an email and we can start talking!
More and more in this competitive market Realtors will not even begin to show you homes until you are pre-approved with a lender. It may seem kinda mean and like they are just in it for the money, but truly this is protecting you as the buyer. It happens all the time, A buyer falls in love with a house they saw on line! It was love at first sight! You are dying to get inside that house, you call your realtor you worked with when you purchased your last house and now she asks if you are pre approved? You say ummmm……what the heck does that mean ?
Unless you are paying for your home in cash, there are some essentials you will need to put together to get that pre-approval that will make your home buying experience so much more enjoyable and avoid the emotional rollercoaster that takes place when you get your heart set on a home you possibly can’t afford, or even worse, you can afford it, but someone else had a stronger offer because they they were already pre-approved.
I recommend keeping all of the following in a nice folder you will not misplace. You will be asked for the same information a number of times and often be asked for new information to add to it.
Be prepared to give your addresses for and dates of residence for at least the last two years.
2. PROOF OF INCOME
You will be asked to provide the last two years of W-2 statements and tax returns. The lender you have chosen will also want your most recent pay stubs.
3. DEBT -TO- INCOME RATIO
Your debt to income ratio (DTI) they are going to use that acronym a lot, and others so hold on, and ask when you don’t know. Your DTI should be 40% including mortgage and insurance. How in the world do you figure that out you ask ?? Simply put…Add up all your monthly income, then subtract all your debts. So, if your monthly income is $10,000, you want no more than $4,000 in debt payments each month.
4. EMPLOYMENT VERIFICATION
Your employment status will be checked. It is best to have 2+ years at the same job, or the same field of work.
5. PROOF OF ASSETS
Current bank statements will help your lender determine you will be able to make a good downpayment. Keep bank statements, investment statements and any other funds you can use for your down payment.
6. GOOD CREDIT
Good credit helps a lot with the pre-approval process. However, don’t be intimidated if your credit is less than perfect, there are a lot of programs out there to help people. Be prepared to give your lender your social security number so they can pull your credit reports.
7. YAY! YOU ARE PRE-APPROVED
You will receive a letter from you lender stating you are pre-approved that states the price of the home you should be looking for. Remember, that amount is up to you and what you feel comfortable with.
Being pre-approved prior to shopping for your new home can make the home buying process a lot of fun! Information os power! You and your Realtor know what you can afford. You can avoid a lot of heart ache and pitfalls just by taking a few simple steps prior to starting the search for your dream home.