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Why Everyone Should Stage Their Home When Selling

Buyers like seeing staged homes, not messy ones. Here are ways to get your ready for a showing.

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 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

81% of buyers say they can better visualize themselves living in a home if it’s staged. These homes also sell four times faster than unstaged or vacant homes, so needless to say, staging is important. Today, I’ll be sharing six simple ways you can prepare and stage your home for showing.

1. Declutter. Get rid of non-essential items, such as things on tables and counters. Store, pack up, or throw out these items so potential buyers will see a home free of clutter.

2. Depersonalize. Take down family photos, mementos, and knick-knacks. Buyers want a blank slate they can see themselves in and these personal effects can be distracting.

3. Deep clean. Though you may have a weekly cleaning routine, selling a home means you want to pay some extra attention to the places you normally don’t. These neglected areas include lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, shower tiles, and similar things. Carpets and flooring should also not be overlooked.

4. Rearrange furniture. You’ve probably lived in your home with a preferred furniture setup, but removing some unessential pieces of your collection may help rooms open up. You want your home to seem spacious to buyers, and more furniture means less room.

5. Tips for kitchens and bedrooms. For the kitchen, clean each countertop and cabinet as well as remove unneeded appliances—you don’t want more than three on your counter (even fewer if you have a small kitchen). For bedrooms, follow the previous tips with a focus on decluttering. Keep a nice comforter on your bed, adorn it with fluffy pillows, and make it look inviting overall. Because we spend a lot of time in our rooms, buyers will be impressed by one that looks great.

You want your home to seem spacious to buyers.

6. Curb appeal. Make sure your yard is clean and that driveways and sidewalks are swept. Clear anything that has piled up and remove snow when it falls. People even drive by homes before scheduling showings, so you want to make a good impression.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.

Don’t Fall Victim to Any of These 8 Common Homeownership Mistakes

Within your first year as a new homeowner, there are eight crucial mistakes you should avoid.

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 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

Becoming a homeowner can be incredibly exciting. But, as difficult as it may be, it’s important not to become overzealous. 

Once you’ve got the keys to your first home in hand, the first thing you should do is to take a step back and examine whether all the little changes you want to make are actually a good idea. Making uninformed decisions in the heat of the moment can be a very expensive habit in the long run. 

If you aren’t careful, you could find yourself faced up against one of the many costly missteps new homeowners tend to make within their first year. Today, we’ll list just a few of these mistakes. 

1. Going with the lowest repair bid. After getting multiple contract bids, many homeowners assume that whichever option is the least expensive will be their best choice. However, there is something to be said for the old adage, “You get what you pay for.” Make sure that all bids you receive include the same project scope. Sometimes, one bid may be cheaper because it doesn’t actually include all the details and steps involved in the process. 

2. Submitting small insurance claims. The maddening reality is that filing a claim (or two), especially in a relatively short period of time, can trigger an increase in your premium. It’s kind of like a driving record, where the more tickets you have, the higher your insurance will be. It’s the same thing with insurance. Your best bet is to take good care of your home from the beginning so that small claims don’t even materialize.

3. Making improvements without checking the return on investment (ROI). Spending $30,000 upgrading all of your home’s windows may not necessarily bring you back that same value if you decide to turn around and sell your home after just a couple of years. New windows can be a great investment, however, if you plan to stick around for a while. The important thing to remember is that just because you personally value an upgrade, it doesn’t mean the market (or the new buyer) will. So, always check with an agent or appraiser before making expensive home upgrades.

Making uninformed decisions in the heat of the moment can be a very expensive habit in the long run.

4. Going on a furnishing spree. Try to exercise retailing willpower. Investing in high-quality furniture over time is much smarter than filling your house full of discount items and particle board all in one go. Live in your home for a while and get to know your space before you fully furnish it. 

5. Throwing away receipts and paperwork. When it comes time to sell, having proof of the small repairs you’ve made over time can serve as a “resume” of sorts to support your list price. These documents can also be useful in the event that something breaks down and you need to fall back on a warranty. 

6. Ignoring small items on your inspection report. Use your inspection report as your very first homeownership to-do list. You should address these items before you even begin to think about comparing paint swatches. Appraisal issues that drop the value of your home can cause major problems if left ignored.

7. Remodeling without doing research. No one wants to be a Negative Nancy, but there are benefits to understanding the potential worst-case scenarios for a given project. Before undertaking any major remodels, ask detailed questions of professional contractors so that you can get your timing, budget, and expectations all in line with one another.

8. Buying cheap tools. You don’t have to break the bank, but investing in high-quality tools within your budget will make a big difference down the line. 

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

5 Things to Remember to Help You Save Money While Renovating

No matter what renovation you are choosing to undertake, you need to set a budget and stick to it. Here are five tips to help you do this.

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 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

Are you ready for a kitchen renovation or a bathroom remodel? Or maybe you want to add office space? No matter what type of home renovation you’re planning, you need a budget for it. That is why today I want to talk about setting a budget and following that budget with five simple tips:

1. Your renovation costs for each room or area should be proportional to the home’s overall value. This means if you’re working on the kitchen that’s worth 10% to 15% of the home’s value, you should spend whatever that 10% to 15% represents on its renovation. We can help you set a budget for the specific room you are working on by doing a comparative market analysis.

2. A home remodeling loan is an option you could take if you are going to do a big remodel. To remodel a kitchen in a $200,000 home, you’re looking at spending about $30,000. If you don’t have the cash on hand for this, it may be smart to meet with a lender and see how they can help you. You may be able to do a refinance or a home equity loan.

3. Get a quote from a contractor. Never get just one quote. Instead, get two or three from different people. Then, throw out the lowest bid. Sometimes contractors may cut corners, which may end up costing you more time or money. Build trust with contractors and get as much detail as possible for the quote so that you see the value.

For a kitchen in a $200,000 home, you are looking at about $30,000 in renovation costs.

4. Stick to your home remodeling plan. Many people like to add little things as they go through their remodeling plan. If you are going to remodel just the kitchen, stick to the kitchen.

5. Remember that there will always be hidden home renovation costs. This is especially true for older homes. If you’re doing a kitchen remodel in an older home, for example, be aware that there will likely be plumbing issues and other things behind the walls that will cost you money. Plan for this by setting aside an extra 10% to 20% for these hidden costs.

If you have any additional questions or are interested in buying or selling a home, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to speaking with you soon.