Selling A Vacant House? Home Staging Is A Must

There was a time in the not so distant past when there were far more home buyers than sellers, and sellers had the luxury of not having to pretty up their place to sell it. Often their property would sell before the listing ink was dry. Rather than replacing the hideous blue carpet, they might offer a credit. If the buyer didn’t like the orange paint, then THEY could repaint after the close. The idea of having the house professionally staged – prepared for the market – seemed frivolous and a bit unnecessary, but for those who did, their house often sold over the listing price with multiple offers.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last few years, you are painfully aware that those days are long gone. In the Orange County real estate market of today, there are over 17,000 properties on the market, and home sales are way down.

While some folks have the luxury of waiting for market conditions to improve, many homeowners are forced to sell their property now, for a variety of reasons. Some are carrying two mortgages and need to eliminate one of them, some have relocated to Orange County due to business, some overextended during the credit boom and can no longer afford their mortgage, and many homes have been foreclosed and are being unloaded by banks.

There are buyers out there. There are always people who are relocating into the area, and there are also locals looking to upgrade and hoping to take advantage of falling prices. True, many buyers are waiting for prices to come down more, and some cannot get the financing they need, and others are ready and able to buy but can’t sell their own house. But buyers are out there; there’s just an imbalance between supply and demand.

With so much competition out there in housing inventory, it is crucial that your property stand out. It all starts with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). More and more buyers are searching for new houses on the internet before they ever even contact an agent, so sellers have to grab their attention with great photos just to get them interested. Then when they visit the property, they have to be impressed right away. Like speed dating, buyers will decide within the first thirty seconds if they are interested in pursuing the relationship or if they want to look elsewhere. It’s important to make a favorable first impression.

Does staging really work? Statistics say yes. Common sense also says yes. That’s why home builders spend thousands on professional design services to trick out their models with high-end furnishings and expensive upgrades. It is an overt marketing strategy to get prospective buyers to fall in love with their model, to see its potential, and to envision themselves enjoying a particular lifestyle. As my husband likes to say, “They are selling the dream.” This is why the design and d├ęcor is upscale and impeccable. This is why there is a beautiful pool, fireplace and patio furniture in the backyard. This is also why there are no piles of bills on the counter, waste baskets in the bathrooms, or magnets on the refrigerator.

Home staging professionals have applied the same concept and techniques to help realtors market their listings and home owners sell their properties, and their services have become increasingly popular.

Does every house need to be staged? In my experience, every property – no matter the size or value – can benefit from staging – and it works if you’re selling or renting a property. But let’s be honest; some houses need it more than others. If you have a house that has nice landscaping and curb appeal, and is simply, yet tastefully decorated inside, has neutral paint and carpet and some carefully chosen upgrades, and is completely devoid of clutter, then congratulations! You can get away with minimal staging. Especially if you have a great floor plan, are located in an in-demand area and are priced realistically.

But what if your property is vacant? There are a lot of vacant properties currently on the market, as many homeowners have simply moved out and left their empty house on the market. The majority of the houses I stage are vacant. In my opinion, if you are trying to sell a vacant property, it is IMPERATIVE that you have it professionally staged, and I will tell you why.

Vacant houses present special problems for the seller and agent for several reasons:

o Buyers need to use their imagination to see the potential. Because the rooms are empty, it is often difficult for them to envision how they would look with furniture, window treatments, and artwork.

o Sometimes it is impossible to figure out the purpose of a particular space. If there is a room or area in your house that is even remotely odd, shaped or sized in an unusual manner, or whose purpose is ambiguous, then buyers will be confused and uncertain. Its purpose must be adequately defined, and this is best done visually.

o In vacant properties, buyers tend to focus on every imperfection. Unless your property is brand new, this is going to be a problem. And the older your house and the more outdated your fixtures, the bigger this problem will be. Filling the property with tasteful furnishings will distract buyers and minimize the impact of these imperfections.

o An empty house feels cold and bleak. Remember, first impressions count. You want it to be warm and inviting so buyers will have an emotional response and establish a personal connection with the house, just as they do with model homes. Sell the dream.

o And paradoxically, empty rooms actually seem SMALLER than furnished rooms, leaving buyers to wonder whether their things will even fit. Gauging scale is tricky, and you can still be wrong. Adding furniture in the right proportion solves this immediately.

Staging vacant houses resolves all these issues for the buyer, and can also make an empty house feel warm, comfortable and, well, like home, which is the point.

How much does staging cost? It varies widely from stager to stager. The high-end companies that furnish model homes charge thousands of dollars, and spare no expense, but it is worth it to the builders who typically have a lot of homes to sell.

For the average seller, especially those who may not have a lot of money to invest in staging, this type of high-end furnishing is not necessary. There are many staging professionals who can do a fantastic and very effective job for far less. We like to say that the cost of staging is always less than your first price reduction. Think of it as an investment before you sell, just like upgrading the countertops or repainting the kitchen.

Most stagers will provide free quotations for their services; their offerings can vary widely so make sure you understand exactly what is included in the cost.

The Ideal House (Home Sweet Home)

The house was the place of the gathered and protected family from various disturbances that came from nature and from the disturbance of the bad hands.

Because of that so that we feel at home remained at home, then was needed by the atmosphere of the pleasant house.

Several characteristics of the Ideal House:

  • His atmosphere interior enjoyable.
  • The exterior had the environment that beautiful
  • The clean kitchen part
  • The clean TOILET part

In the house, the values of the family and humanity was invested in a manner for generations to the individual.

As main means of a family, the existence of the house must become main attention.

Four conditions must be met to be able to be said as the ideal and healthy house.

  1. The house interior must be enough to be available the room for parents, the child and the guest. For the tropical area, better the attic was rather high, so as the volume of air in the room was enough. Air ventilation must be good, likewise room information must be enough.
  2. The house exterior in order to have the area of the yard that was enough so as to be able to be planted the reforestation crop, the fruit, vegetables and the flower. The environment might not around the house be dirtiest pollution. Was available water facilities, electricity and continuation of the telephone. Had the road that could be passed through car to head means of the public’s service like the market, the hospital, the school and the place of religious duties.
  3. The part or the kitchen of the processor of domestic food must meet the condition for the cleanliness. In this place food was processed. When the dirty kitchen, then food that was cooked dirty also and this was dangerous for the health of the member of this house of occupants’s family.
  4. The condition for the four healthy houses was the existence of the clean TOILET.

Green House, Home, and Lifestyle Choices to Save on Energy

A “green house” – home, that is, not an indoor farm… a green house no longer only applies to the type in which we can grow a garden inside of, but the term now applies also to those houses and homes which utilize “greener technologies” in order to run more efficiently, create less waste in energy expense, and often, are even involved in the generation of energy on their own. Of course, if you’re not going to buy or build one of these, and hope to save on energy expense in your existing home right now, here are a few things you can do…

To make your home more of a “green house” home, cut down on energy expenses whenever and wherever possible. You can start by installing a timer to your heating system. Set the timer so that your heating system turns down quite low about an hour after you go to bed, and turn up again about an hour before you wake up. Have it shut completely off about a half-hour before there is no-one at home (like, during work and school hours), and turn back on again about a half-hour before you return home again.

Another “green house home” idea is to do this very same thing for your hot water heater. This is a huge consumer of energy and can represent an enormous chunk of your energy expenses. Have a timer installed on your water heating system and set it to turn off at bed-time, and turn on again about an hour before waking. Have it turn off when no-one is at home, and turn on again in enough time before your home becomes bustling with people once again. Remembering to set your heating and hot water system completely off while away on vacation, or just away for the weekend, is also a great and simple way to save an inordinate amount of energy expenses.

Finally, for another green house home idea, keep clear in mind the relationship that light and heat has and how they can affect each other. For example, you’re probably well aware that having your window curtains open wide to let in the natural sunlight saves a lot of artificial lighting electricity expense, right? Add to that the sun’s warming effect in the home, and this also saves on heat in the winter… but what about the summertime? If we did this in the summer, we could save on lighting, but we would spend much more on air conditioning to counteract the heating effect of the sun’s warmth on a hot summer day, pouring into your windows. For this reason, it would be best to keep the shades closed, which would actually have a cooling effect in your home, and just use artificial lighting when needs be – this costs far less than running an air conditioner in the home all day.

Home Loan – Move Into Your Dream House Now!

So you have your dream home etched in your mind. You are waiting with bated breath to move into your dream home. However, have you considered pre-qualifying for a house loan? Have you weighed your financing options well? Applying for a home loan is not a Herculean task. house loans are easy to process. Applying for a loan like this is a hassle free affair. It is easy and convenient. It is the most popular type of loan available to home buyers. Applying for a house loan is one of the preliminary steps of buying your dream house. Home loan qualification is a must for every prospective buyer. It refers to the approval given by the lending institution. The institution approves of a specific loan amount for buying a home.

Qualifying for a house loan is fairly easy. As a home buyer, you need to provide the institution with relevant information pertaining to your credit, assets, debt, income, employment status and more. The lending authority analyzes your application based on the above mentioned information. Your ability to repay the loan amount is also taken into consideration. The data you provide should be accurate and relevant. It should be right. It is a convenient process to apply for a home loan. You can get in touch with reliable loan brokers who will assist you through the process. You need to inform them about your needs, budget and address other relevant concerns. These experts will chalk out the best house loan plan for you. They will suggest options keeping your needs in mind.

Thanks to the wondrous advancement in technology, home buyers can apply for a loan on the Web. It is a fast and effective way of getting your work done. Time pressed home buyers choose to apply online to save their valuable time and money. A majority of lending institutions and companies have a website these days. House buyers can find all the information and details about loans online. All their queries can be answered online. They can inquire about interest rates as well. There are fixed interest rates and adjustable interest rates as well. If you want to avail of low interest rates, you need to maintain a good credit card rating, good employment history and stable income.

Acquiring a house loan is not the daunting task it is made out to be. There are various financing options available online. If you are looking to get a home loan, it is recommended that you browse the Web to get the best. The World Wide Web is truly a haven for products and services. The Internet is a convenient resource for loans. You can get all the information you need online, at the click of a button. You can compare home loan rates as well. More and more first time home buyers are increasingly applying for house loans online. For all you know, your dream home may be just a click away!

Home Security Solutions For New Homeowners

There’s something truly thrilling about knowing that you’re never going to have to pay rent on something you don’t own again. And whether it’s your first time owning a home, or the next step in a new life with a new partner, nothing feels like being a grown-up quite like finally having your very own place. Of course, the process that gets you there involves a lot of work, sometimes stress, and endless piles of paperwork to fill out. But that shouldn’t be discouraging, as once everything is set in motion, it’s usually rather straightforward and easy to figure out.

However, while you’re figuring out the ins and outs of house payments or happily looking at the tower of boxes in your new foyer, it’s important to still have your wits about you for the next big step of a new house: home security. In fact, your careful attention to moving in is the first step towards making sure that robbers don’t see your house as a target. All of those different boxes that are practically screaming that their contents were once expensive television sets, computers, and other highly desirable items for your typical criminal. So don’t make it apparent what your new home houses by putting those boxes out on the corner with the regular trash. Break them down, or store them in garbage bags. After all, it’s not just your well-meaning new neighbors who are paying attention to the fact that you just moved. Those who are professional criminals are also on the lookout.

Another thing to consider when trying to get started on the best path possible towards home security in your new house is that this property might be considerably different than where you lived before. If you’re living in a house for the first time ever, then it might be helpful to take house-related security concerns into consideration. If you used to have a doorman or were used to the extra security that apartment buildings sometimes bring, then making the adjustment is going to be different, but not impossible.

The best thing to do with any house, new or old, is to have the added safety of a reliable home alarm system. If you’re going to be living in a house with more than one floor, it’s highly recommended that if you have an alarm that is older, you get a new alarm panel installed upstairs, next to the master bedroom. When you are easily able to set an alarm either before bed or when you’re leaving the house in the morning, you are more likely to actually remember to do it. After all, whether you have the fanciest alarm on the market or something slightly more simple, there’s no way it can possibly do its job if you aren’t setting it in the first place.

But of course, the home security of your new house is going to still involve the same common sense steps that you’ve been taking all along to ensure ha you and your property stay safe. Keeping doors and windows shut and securely locked, knowing your neighbors, and always checking to see that lights are on and security systems are armed are just some of the simple, no-brainer ways that you can protect your newest home and your biggest investment.

Home Built Hen House – When You Want a Backyard Hen House, Home Built Ones Offer a Better Solution

A home built hen house has to be the most flexible option I can think of if you want to provide the best chicken coop possible. Believe me building a home chicken coop is nowhere near as difficult as you might imagine and this is such a fantastic time to be able to keep hens.

There has been such a global explosion in interest in all things poultry related in the last few years and as a result of this there is so much information available for you to access very simply and easily; especially in relation to chicken accommodation and how to go about getting it right.

This has to be a good thing, imagine all those hints and tips all there at the touch of a button, pretty amazing. The more chicken coop plans or chicken coop kits that you look at the better choices you can make in your poultry housing and so to be able to take advantage of this wealth of expert knowledge is invaluable.

Poultry have a few simple needs that are not difficult to cater for, especially with the right help and guidance all there at your fingertips to make it all so much easier in getting it right with the minimum of effort.

You could choose to buy something readymade, but I have not found anything that seems to tick all of the right hen house boxes. For a start they are very expensive and looking at the materials used to make them I can only think you are paying for the fact that the timber has already been measured and cut for you, which is not worth the extra cost to my mind.

At least if you take on building a DIY hen house, shed or coop yourself, you know that you really are going to be able to fit in with your own and your chickens requirements. After all, you know the size, shape and space that you have available in your back yard and whether there are areas of light and shade for you to take advantage of and then adjust your ventilation and heating accordingly.

You really do not need much in the way of DIY skills to produce hen housing of which you can be proud. By following a set of step by step instructions that guide you through stage by stage, I think that you will be blown away by what you can do.

The other big bonus is the cost of your DIY project; we all like to think that we are getting the best value for our money and building a home hen house will not disappoint on that.

To guarantee durable, quality poultry housing you cannot go wrong with a home built hen house. Your hens will be safe and secure in their environment and you will have the satisfaction of the best chicken coop that is very economical and effective, no problems.

Building hen houses is simple and a great deal of fun when you are given the correct information. They are practical, easy to assemble and can save you a fortune.

Realizing a Dream House: Home Renovation Ideas

Renovating a house can be an exciting experience on one hand and on other hand it can be painful also. It does not just beautify your home but also adds value to it. Nonetheless, home renovation requires a little bit of effort, creativity, and of course- expenses. Here are some tips which you can apply when you decide to revamp your house and make it a beautiful haven to live in:

Know the kind of house you truly want.

Many people buy a house then have it reconstructed. Basically, when you buy a house, the structure and design may not be completely suitable to your lifestyle or family size. If you want to renovate it, be sure to have a clear picture of the home you desire. You can browse the internet for contemporary house structures if you want to make it more modern or search around for house renovation ideas. Hiring reputable home renovations professionals can help you in achieving the kind of house you want. It has to be your personal preference so at the end of the renovation, all the effort and cash you spend is worth it.

Set a specific budget.

There are two ways to set the budget for the renovation. One you can plan for the kind of renovation you want, considering the rooms, walls, flooring, furniture, fixtures and other areas you want to change. Then compute for the budget required for renovation. Secondly, you can have an estimate of how much you have to spend on renovation. Then renovate the house considering your budget. When seeking for home builders experts you may first ask them about an estimate for the house restructuring as per your plan. Budget is very important and before the actual revamping of the house, you should consider what you have available before the project gets underway.

Secure the foundation and start renovating the weak points.

Many homeowners give more emphasis on the designs they want rather than the things that really need improvement. If you want to add more rooms or perhaps another floor to make your house three-stories instead of two, you need to know first if the foundation of the house is firm enough to withstand it. You may also have to check for weak and ruined areas in your home. Have home builders expert check on the roofing, flooring, as well as the strength of the walls. After renovating the weak areas in your house, you can start with complementing them with beautiful structural designs.

Think of renovating as an investment and not as money-spending.

When you renovate, make sure to select high quality materials. You may want to add a garden and do some landscaping and widen your garage. Of course adding structures will depend on your needs. If you have a growing family it is much better to make the house bigger. Renovating a house is more than a desire to live in a comfortable and beautiful home. Nowadays, home improvement is a kind of investment. Real estate properties are getting more and more expensive. Beautifying your home can add value to it and in any case you decide to sell it in the near future, you are sure to have a return on investment (ROI).

It is indeed fulfilling to live in a comfortable and secured house. And renovating your house is one way to make it happen.

Open House, Home Showings and Realtor’s Caravan – What’s the Difference?

First time home sellers can find the process of marketing and selling a house a little confusing, but once you’ve experienced a few real estate transactions you’ll have it down pat. You can rely on your realtor to explain everything clearly so that you understand the various marketing strategies employed to help sell your house.

What is Open House?

You probably already know this one, it entirely likely that you visited your present home for the first time during an open house. Basically, open house is a prescheduled day and time where your house is open to the public for viewing. It’s a great way to create excitement about a newly listed property. Your realtor (or possibly an assistant) will be at your home (generally the owners leave for the duration of the open house) to talk with prospective buyers and point out the special features of your property.

What are Home Showings?

Home showings are often productive, private visits by single buyers, often accompanied by their buyers agent. These buyers have expressed specific interest in your house, perhaps after seeing it on MLS listings or whatever other advertising medium your realtor has chosen to market your house. Home showings can lead to second visits which are especially exciting; they could be a precursor to an offer on your house!

What is a Realtor’s Caravan?

No, it’s not the model of mini-van that realtors favour. A realtor’s caravan is an organized tour of your house for other realtors, who have been invited by your realtor, usually just after your house has been listed for sale. The realtor’s caravan is particularly valuable for getting some valuable feedback from local realtors who are knowledgeable about local real estate market conditions. These professionals may have suggestions to make your listing more attractive to local buyers and opinions about your pricing strategy. If you are in luck, one of these realtors may have a client who is looking for a house just like yours, prompting a quick sale. In sluggish real estate markets, a realtors caravan provides local agents with first hand insight into homes that may interest future buyers.

Now that you know the difference between an open house, a home showing and a realtor’s caravan, you are one step closer to becoming experienced in selling your house! The next step is finding that interested buyer, and negotiating the sale of your house.

Geoff McLean is a realtor in Victoria BC who approaches his real estate vocation with honesty, integrity and straightforwardness. Geoff is also the primary author of a blog about his home city. Living in Victoria is a valuable source of information about the Greater Victoria area for those who are interested in moving to this beautiful city.