Monday, April 27, 2009

5 tips to Staging Your House

When you are selling your home there are some easy, inexpensive things you can do to help speed along the process. Home staging is commonly known is anything that helps a home seller make their home more attractive and appealing to potential buyers. While it's tough to be objective about your own home, here are some tips you can use to start to get your house ready to sell.

Create an Entrance
It is very important for someone selling their home to give a great first impression. We've all heard the term "curb appeal" which begins instantly as a potential home buyer approaches your home from the street. A warm entry can help set the tone for the showing of your house.

Think about adding a fresh coat of paint, new hardware, a new porch light, nice looking house numbers and a new door mat. Potted plants on the steps or along the entry also makes for a more welcoming entrance. This small investment can create excitement among a home buyer before they even enter your home and hopefully should increase your chances of selling.

Overcome Clutter
There is not a home owner anywhere that can honestly say they do not have too much stuff. The reality of it is the longer you live at a place the more you acquire. A potential home buyer does not want to see how much you have acquired over the years so the most important thing a seller can do to help the process of selling their home is clean up the clutter! Counter tops, floors, closets and shelves all need to look clean so every room looks and feels more spacious. When a home buyer walks through your house, they need to be able to imagine their own things in your space. If the room looks small and cluttered, this will simply not happen.

Take a box into every room and fill it with unnecessary objects. A good rule to go follow: if you haven't used it in three months, put it in the box.

Remove Odors - Let in Air
Walking into a stuffy house with smells of smoke or pet odors is a huge turn off! Open your windows for 15 minutes before you show your house to freshen up the air. If your home does have a permanent smell, try to remove some of the odors with cleaning supplies, odor removers and wall plug-ins. This important thing here is to remove the wall plug-ins before you show your house so it is not obvious to the home buyer you are covering up a smell.

Create a Purpose for Each Room
You may have a room or two in your house that is either empty because of a move or labeled just as a "junk room". The important thing to remember with these rooms is to create a purpose so a picture can be put in the minds of home buyers who come view your home. Not only will they be able to see the space as a functioning room, they will be able to envision their own workout equipment, bedroom set or office setup in each room. Space is difficult to judged in an empty room, help the buyer understand how much space the room offers by staging a room with a purpose.

Let Your Light In
It is important to let natural lighting into your rooms to help show off your space. There is nothing more displeasing than to walk into a dark, dull room. A potential home buyer will not be given the chance to explore the room fully if the room is dark. If you have heavy drapery, replace it with something light and airy to let your light in. If you are looking to do this inexpensively, use sheers and a tension rod to achieve this look.

If you are working in a more private room such as a bedroom or bathroom, I recommend using the bottom-up Roman shades to strain views from your neighbors but still allowing the light to fill the room.

Hopefully by following these tips you will find yourself packing up because you sold your home. In all of my experience in real estate, every time we have staged a home we have had great results. These are all quick, easy and inexpensive ways to help improve the look of your home when selling.

If you are interested in more tips like these, visit Denver Real Estate Tips or email Kim Olson directly at Kim Olson have been a real estate agent in the Denver metro for over 5 years. She specializes in creative ways to market your property. Check out The Denver Source for more information on Kim Olson and Denver properties

(Source: Kim Olson)

New Home Buying Tips

Purchasing a home in the Denver area can prove to be quite the difficult task, especially if you're a first time buyer and even more especially during these tough economic times. A huge part of the process of purchasing a new home will be securing financing for it, and this means finding a mortgage loan with a rate that will work well for you.

The first thing you need to do when you're looking to purchase a home is to look for an experienced real estate agent. The whole thing is a rather complicated process it's not as easy as a layman might think; there are massive amounts of paperwork involved, taxes and other more or less important details that the average person just isn't able to handle properly, at least not from their first try. You need to find an experienced and professional real estate agent that will help you with the entire process of finding a home, and ideally you'd find a Denver real estate agent with some knowledge of the mortgage procedures as well so that they can help you with that as well.

Even with a good Denver realtor you'd be well served to learn some things about the Denver real estate market so that you can become somewhat familiar with the various prices in the various areas, communities and neighborhoods. This is important because you won't want to buy a property that is overpriced, and while you're at it you should inform yourself about the amenities, any extra maintenance costs and other factors that may prove of importance before you sign on the dotted line of your mortgage contract.

After you become familiar with the real estate market you should get a personal inspection of the house, apartment or whatever you're purchasing. Don't take anyone's word for it, not even your real estate agent's because you may have different standards than he or she does, what would be fine to them just won't do in your book. You should also pay close attention to the surrounding area, the neighborhood, check if the utilities are working properly and if your neighbors have nice houses that look kept up. When you're inspecting your home make sure that you check the pluming as much as you can, check for leaks, dry rot, and don't forget to check the roof. Missing a bad roof will cause you to spend a whole lot of money that you never planned to spend in the first time.

Now we come to the financing issue. Even if this is your first home, and whether you find yourself in Denver or some other city, don't just accept the first mortgage loan offer that you receive. Mortgage loans are products like any other, this means that when you're looking for one you should do some shopping around and find a loan that works great for you. It's important to keep in mind that when it comes to the huge sums that one talks about home loans even a .05% difference in your interest rate will mean a great deal in the long run, especially if things take a turn for the worse. When looking for a mortgage loan, you also need to take into consideration that the loan contract will come with closing costs and other adjacent fees and charges that will hike up the price. These types of fees may include things like appraisal costs, escrow account fees, mortgage insurance, so make sure that you ask about these extra added costs when you start talking to your lender so that you don't get slapped with things that you're not willing to pay for.

(Source: Greg Garner)