Archive for the ‘Preparing To Sell Your Home’ Category

How To Stage Your Home On A Budget

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Understanding how to stage your home on a budget involves learning how to work with what you have and using inexpensive quick fixes to improve the look of your home. Staging your home to appeal to prospective buyers doesn’t need to involve expensive consulting fees or furniture and accessory purchases. Let creativity and a minimalist point of view guide you to an attractive new look for your home.

Successfully Stage Your Home On A Budget

Get clean. Before you stage your home, give it a deep cleaning, making sure to hit all the spots that don’t get normal attention like windows, baseboards and tile grout. If you’re put off by that amount of effort, it may be worth it to invest in a cleaning crew to get the job done. Once your home is clean, make every effort to keep it that way for the duration of the home selling process.

Free yourself of clutter. Removing extra items from the rooms of your house is a perfect way to begin to stage your home on a budget. After all, the effort costs nothing! The trick is to remove items that are out of place or don’t relate to the function of the room. Once you’ve de-cluttered your home, get in the habit of putting things away when you’ve finished an activity—your home will be “show ready” at all times with a little discipline. (more…)

Staging Your Bedroom

Friday, February 26th, 2010

It may seem odd to think about staging your bedroom, but home staging is a proven way to increase the chances of a successful home sale. By improving the presentation and appearance of the rooms in your home (including your bedroom), you can enhance a prospective buyer’s impression of the home in general.

Staging Your Bedroom Successfully

Clean and clutter free. To begin staging your bedroom, remove as much clutter from the room as you can. Books, papers and dirty clothes should all be removed and stored properly. Next, clean the room thoroughly including the windows, floors and even under the bed. These two steps will make a huge difference in the appearance of the room and training yourself to keep the room in this condition will make it easier to prep your home when it comes time for a showing.

Out of the closet. Clean out your closet of all but enough clothes for the next two weeks. Thus may seem extreme, but a mostly empty closet will appear much larger to prospective buyers. Try to clear shelves of as much as half of their contents to give them the same spacious look. Store or neatly line shoes up on the floor for the final closet clearing touch.

Romance in the air. When buyers step into your bedroom, staging should make them think of peace and romance. Use soft bedding in neutral colors will have a calming effect, while stacks of decorative pillows will create a romantic feel. Remove electronics, exercise equipment and any items that will distract from the feel of the room. (more…)

What Taxes Are Sellers Responsible For When Selling Your Home?

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

When it comes time to sell your home, you’ll need to understand what taxes sellers are responsible for. Selling your home can be a complicated financial transaction and tax payment and reporting requirements only add to the burden.

Home Sellers Are Responsible For Taxes, But Which Ones?

A tidy profit. If you sold your home and made a profit on the sale, you may be responsible for paying tax on (or at least reporting) capital gains income to the federal government. If you lived in your home for less than 12 months, then the profit is reported as short-term capital gains income. If you lived in the house for more than 12 months, then the profit is reported as long-term capital gains income.

Gimme a break. The good news is that under most circumstances, you’ll be able to exclude most or all of the profit from your income. Current tax law allows for an exclusion of $250,000 for single taxpayers and $500,000 for married taxpayers.

House or home? In order to qualify for the home sellers tax break, you need to own the home and have lived in it for at least two out of the last five years. The two years don’t need to be consecutive, but the house does need to be considered your primary residence. If you are forced to sell the house due to a change of employment or other unforeseen circumstance (as defined by the IRS) you can take the exclusion even if you’ve lived in the house for less than two years. (more…)

What Home Sellers Should Know About Home Inspections

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

As a home seller, you may be surprised to find that a home inspection is a powerful tool. A home inspection can help protect you from expensive repairs and reduce your liabilities when it comes time to fill out home disclosure forms.

Home Sellers And The Advantages Of Home Inspections

Get schooled. A seller’s home inspection is an opportunity for you to learn about all of the systems of your home and how they have fared during your years of ownership. A good home inspector can identify problems, as well as the causes. This information can help you eliminate such issues in the future.

Minimize exposure. By initiating a home inspection early in the selling process, you can identify issues that should be reported in your disclosure statement. Full disclosure of all outstanding issues will limit liability exposure after you complete the sale of your home.

Nip problems in the bud. As a home seller, you want to keep your house in top condition right up until closing. A home inspection not only can identify existing issues, but also conditions that might lead to costly repairs in the future. Identifying and fixing these problems is often much simpler and cheaper if they are handled early on. (more…)

How To Take Great Home Photos For Your Real Estate Listing

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Great home photos could be your strongest marketing tools as you try to sell your home. You can make your real estate listing stand out from the pack with distinctive photos of the interior and exterior of your home. The good news is that with a little creativity and planning, you can create great home photos for your real estate listing.

Great Home Photos Help Your Real Estate Listing

Less is more. Before you can take great home photos, go through your house and remove as much clutter as possible. Clear away all papers, knickknacks and loose articles from shelves and other flat surfaces. Remove appliances and other clutter from kitchen cabinets. You might even consider removing some pieces of furniture from crowded rooms to enhance the feeling of open space in the room.

Set the stage. Once your home is clutter free, compose each room to highlight the function and features of the room. Although this process, called staging, is often used before showing your home, it is also a useful way to get great home photos. Set the dining room table with your best china. Light the fireplace and drape a cozy blanket across the couch. Place fresh flowers near the master bath sink. Dress up each room so that it will make a good impression when photographed. (more…)

How To Stage Your Home

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Learning how to stage your home is a perfect way to help set your home apart in a crowded real estate market. When you stage your home, it doesn’t necessarily mean having to hire an interior decorator—you just need to create an atmosphere that says, “Wouldn’t it be great to live here?”

How To Stage Your Home And Keep Your Sanity

As you think about how to stage your home, consider the age-old expression: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Staging you home is about making the best impression you can on prospective buyers. Here’s how to get started:

A blank canvas. Before you begin to stage your home, clean your home, make any necessary repairs and remove as many personal items (portraits, collectibles, souvenirs, etc.) as you can. You want buyers to visualize themselves living in your home—personal items get in the way of that image.

The great outdoors. Home staging actually begins outside. Make sure the landscaping is neatly trimmed and that toys, bikes and yard equipment are out of sight. Use mulch to freshen the look of landscaping beds and consider planting warm-colored flowers near entries and walkways. Container plants are a great way to add a quick shot of color to decks and terraces.  And the same goes for apartments – make sure the common areas leading up to your door are free of clutter, bikes, strollers, etc. (more…)

Home Disclosures: What Are Sellers Responsible For?

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Many sellers fear home disclosures as a roadblock to a quick sale. As a rule, sellers are responsible for home disclosures that may effect a buyer’s decision to move ahead with a home purchase. An honest home disclosure can help avoid future litigation. (more…)