selling your house

Staging That Sells: Using Mirrors Throughout Your Home

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Do you have a mirror in your home? Chances are the answer is yes (and that you have more than one) and for more reasons than beyond checking your reflection.

After all, mirrors are a simple way to add natural light to your home, making rooms appear large, spacious, and desirable. And as such, using mirrors strategically in your home staging efforts can help you sell, all without having to spend a significant amount of money.

Now, let’s discuss how you can use mirrors in each important room to sell your home quicker than you could otherwise.

 

Using Mirrors in Each Important Room

Mirrors aren’t just for bathrooms or bedrooms (although they are important in these rooms too). In fact, you should use mirrors in multiple ways and areas throughout your home:

  • Entryway – By placing a mirror in your home’s entryway, you can help buyers imagine the home as if it were their home. It makes your home feel, well, like a home! And it gives buyers a distinct image of themselves in the home.
  • Living Room – If you have a fireplace, placing a mirror above it is a great accent that will make the room appear larger. You should also look to place mirrors on large walls opposite windows. Doing so will reflect light and fill empty wall space, immediately making the room appear more spacious.
  • Bedroom – If you don’t already have a mirror above your dresser, it’s a great idea to do so. It will make the space feel more livable, not to mention add a nice decorative touch to the room.
  • Kitchen – Kitchens don’t often have mirrors, but sometimes adding one can add another personalized touch that resonates well with buyers. In particular, you may want to add one if you have an entry/exit door in your kitchen near a hook for keys or other accents.
  • Bathroom – Every bathroom comes standard with a mirror, but that doesn’t mean your mirror has to be boring. In fact, you can choose a fun shape or mirror with a decorative frame to make even the smallest of bathrooms more stylish.

 

United Real Estate Specializes in the Staging and Sale of Homes

Are you currently trying to sell your home but aren’t quite successful? If so, the team at United Real Estate can help with the tips above and more!

Since 1925, we’ve helped homeowners like you stage and sell homes throughout the United States. Contact us today to discuss your unique needs and learn more about how we can help sell your home!

Landscaping 101

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Landscaping is a great way to add value to your home while also taking advantage of unused space. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to start a vegetable garden or you need space for the kids to run around?  Whether you’re just starting out our looking for ideas to spruce up the outside of your home, we’ve got some great tips to make your next landscaping project as smooth as possible.

Prioritize wants vs. needs.  While you may want a rose garden and a fountain, you may need a sizeable place for your kids and your pets to run around in. Make a list of what you need for your backyard first.  Think about what functionally makes sense and then and then make a list of your wants – those extras that would be nice to have. Weighing the pros and cons before you ever pick up a shovel means you’re more apt to feel satisfied with the end result.

Plan it out. Once you decided on what’s necessary and what is not, make a rough outline on paper. Don’t worry about making a magnificent sketch, remember this is only meant to be a guide. After you’ve mapped out how you want your new space to look, create a to-do list and decide which project you want to start on first. This will allow you to create many small wins, ultimately adding up to a complete  yard!

Do your research. Investigate sun and wind patterns. Does the back of your house lack natural sunlight?  Once you know the sun and wind patterns you can plan around them to avoid making a rookie mistake.

Research plants  to find out how much water and sunlight they’ll need. Do you have water restrictions in your area? This will help you determine what types of plants make sense for your yard and where exactly you should plant them.

Decide what’s worth your time. Think about how much time you’re willing to invest in the upkeep of your yard. If you don’t want to devote your time to planting every year, then stick with perennials. Larger patches of grass mean more time mowing your lawn. Having a diverse backyard can definitely be rewarding, just make sure you know what you’re getting into before you go the whole nine yards.

With a little planning, you can create an outdoor space that is both functional and pleasing to the eye.

Most landscaping projects will add value to your home and are a great way to get your home ready for to sell. If you’re looking more expert ideas and assistance in getting your home ready for sale, United Real Estate can help. Contact us today to get started!

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/landscaping-projects/landscape-basics/landscape-design-for-beginners/

10 Quick Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Sale

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How does it sound if you could sell your home for top dollar and do it more quickly than you thought possible? For most homeowners, it sounds like a dream come true and with proper preparation, it can happen for you as well.

Below, we’re going to share 10 quick tips to ensure your home is ready for sale and that once it is, you’ll get the most money possible for it.

  1. Disassociate Your Attachment to Your Home

Whether you’ve raised your kids in your home or have other associations making it difficult to let go, the first step in preparing your home is to take yourself and your family out of the equation. This will make it easier to prepare if you’re able to view it as just a house rather than your house.

  1. Pack Up Everything Personal

Have photos of your family everywhere? Some priceless family antiques that you love showing off? If you do, know that while you love them, potential buyers won’t. You want all buyers to envision themselves in your home so getting rid of everything that’s personal will help them do just that.

  1. Cut the Clutter

If you haven’t moved before, you’ll quickly realize how much you have in your home that you don’t need or use. If you haven’t used something in over a year, pack it up, donate it, or throw it away. This includes collectables, random items on countertops, books, and more.

  1. Rearrange and Reorder Your Cabinets and Closets

Let’s face it: buyers are going to look in all of your cabinets and closets to see not only what kind of space you have, but to snoop as well. And if your cabinets are a mess, it might leave the wrong impression. However, a quick reorganization and reordering can fix that.

  1. If Necessary, Put Some Belongings in Storage

If you have a lot of furniture cluttering up your space, it’s often best to remove some of it and put it in a storage unit. Not only will your space appear larger, but it will show better as well.

  1. Remove Anything You Want to Take With You

If you’ve hung your grandmother’s chandelier in the entryway and want to take it with you, you don’t want to leave it in place and have a buyer fall in love with it and get hung up on it in the final negotiations. This means that if you know you want to take something, it’s best to remove it early so you don’t run into any issues.

  1. Make Any Necessary Minor Repairs

Minor repairs can add up to one more significant negative impression. By making quick fixes like patching holes, replacing cracked tiles, painting walls neutral colors, and fixing faucets and drawers, you can prevent buyers from developing any doubt as to why they should want your home over others.

  1. Clean, Clean, Clean!

No buyer wants to walk into a dirty home, they’ll assume this is how you’ve taken care of it for years! Make sure the whole house sparkles from the windows to the sidewalks, carpets, grout, rugs, and even the towels on display in the bathroom.

  1. Scrutinize and Double Check Your Work

Once you’ve done steps 1 through 8, it’s time to take a step back. Put yourself in your buyer’s position. Ask yourself questions like: would you want to enter your home? Would you be impressed with each room as you enter? Do rooms pull you in? If the answer is no to any of these questions, do your best to identify problems and correct them.

  • Do Your Part on the Outside, Too!

Curb appeal matters. This means it’s time to clear the sidewalks, mow the lawn, paint faded trim, trim your bushes, and ensure your house number is clearly visible.

Looking for Assistance Selling Your Home?

Preparing your home is only half the battle when it comes to selling your home.

And, when you’re looking for consummate professionals that can work with your home preparation to sell for top dollar, United Real Estate can help. Contact us today to get started!

Clean Up Your Mess

  • Is your home welcoming?

    Is your home welcoming?

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If you’re selling your house, don’t forget this easily missed step. Wedding photos, utility bills, over packed closets and even pet supplies can give potential buyers a little too personal look into what living at your property would be like. Don’t scare off buyers with tchotchkes, clutter and personal affects.

Before you list your house, do these 10 quick things:

  1. Pretend your home is a hotel room – remove the extraneous items you wouldn’t find in a hotel room. Photos, clothing, books/magazines, excessive décor etc.
  2. Look at the space from a buyers eyes – what can you remove to make the space look bigger?
  3. Find the hottest trends. Take a look at style magazines and see what the latest décor trends are, see if you can integrate a few of these techniques into your home.
  4. Consider buying or renting furniture. If you don’t have the appropriate furniture for renting, considering investing in it for a better showing.
  5. Clean up. Make sure the house smells as good or better than it looks. Odd smells or pet dander can be a turn off for many buyers.
  6. Neutralize it. If possible, eliminate polarizing colors, prints and even furniture. The more distinct your style, the less likely it will match with the buyers.
  7. Mow your lawn. Make sure your yard is in the best condition it can be. You don’t want to eliminate buyers before they even enter.
  8. Cars count as clutter too. If you have extra vehicles or unusable garage space, move the vehicles while showing the home.
  9. Invite buyers in. Adding flowers, fresh paint, wreaths or seasonal décor to your home’s entrance will give buyers a pleasant welcoming.
  10. Get rid of garbage. Empty your trashcans, recycle your newspapers and remove anything that could leave a bad taste in buyer’s mouths.

While there are hundreds of things you can do to make showing your house easier or more successful, this list should give you a good start. Remember, create an environment the buyer can picture themselves in.

 

The Problem with Pricing Your Home too High

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    Can you use gift money for a downpayment?

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Homes can be expensive and often a lot of work, making it seem like your home is valued at much more than it is. But the truth is, your home is only worth what the market is willing to pay. Pricing your home too high will discourage interested parties from making an offer and cause your property to sit for months, which is never the goal.

Unfortunately, it often doesn’t matter what’s included in our offering – or what your mortgage is. The number of days a property has been on the market is the major determinate of a correctly priced home. If you haven’t received an offer in a 30-day period, the price is too high. The longer a house is on the market, the less valuable it appears to buyers.

Appreciation and depreciation can be difficult to calculate without a firm grasp on your local market. As someone who looks at multiple houses every day or week, a professional real estate agent will know what the market is willing to pay and should be able to guide you with your pricing. There are certain things that homeowners can do to influence buyers’ perceptions of their home’s value and increase the price buyers are willing to pay for it. Ultimately, it’s in the best interest of everyone involved to make a timely sale.

Overpricing your house in the beginning can make the selling process much more difficult. The first days of listing your home should garner the most interest and overpricing will cause you to miss that window. If you’re interested in talking to a local real estate agent about what an appropriate listing price would be, let us know. We’re here to help.

Listing Your Home in the Winter

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    Winter home

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With less foot-traffic, weather and the holidays as barriers, many sellers think that the winter months aren’t ideal for selling a home. But if you’re looking to relocate – whether across the country or across town – don’t despair. Many buyers have been turned off by the competitive busy season. Younger buyers won’t be concerned about school districts or having their children change schools during the school year. The traditional buying seasons have been turned upside down in recent years, as markets recover and grow at different paces. Still thinking you need to wait before listing your home? Think again.

Motivated Buyers
Buyers are often highly motivated and willing to pay more to get their desired home. There are less homes on the market and sometimes job transfers or ailing family members can’t wait until the spring.

Less Competition
It’s likely that if you list your house in the fall or winter, you won’t experience the same completion you might find in May or June.  Without 15 similar houses on the market, homebuyers might not look at your home with the critical eye they would in summer months.

House Performance
The winter months give your home a chance to show off its durability. How has it withstood during freezing temperatures, snowfalls and ice? If it shows as cozy and warm, it will be easy for potential buyers to picture themselves living there.

This doesn’t mean that your process will be seamless; there might be snow to shovel and holiday interferences. But don’t despair, it’s likely that you can sell or find your dream home any time of the year.

Seven Easy Ways to Prepare for an Open House

  • Is your home ready to sell?

    Is your home ready to sell?

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As the busy selling season winds down, it’s important that real estate agents and home sellers are taking advantage of every opportunity to sell properties before winter – including open houses. More than cookies and cleaning – there are several things you can do to ensure that your house presents at its best.

Organize Everything – Storage space is a vital selling point for any property. Cluttered closets and cabinets make it appear that the home doesn’t have enough storage – even if there is ample. Combat this misconception by making sure everything is well organized. You’re guaranteed that the buyer is going to be inspecting every nook and cranny.

Make Small Repairs – Potential buyers won’t overlook anything, from scuffed paint to leaky faucets you’ll want to make sure everything is in tip-top shape before holding an open house. Ideally, you would start this process one month out and have an agent guide you in the most important changes.

Update Your Interior – When you home is staged with nice décor and you’ve made simple updates, buyers will more easily be able to visualize themselves in your home. It’s often inexpensive to give your home a more modern look.  If you are in the process of moving out, a few strategically placed pieces of furniture can do wonders.

Door Hangers – Old school door hangers tend to work. Neighbors are likely interested in the listing – so let them know about it. Instead of lamenting on the fact that the only traffic is ‘nosy neighbors’ embrace the fact that neighbors can help sell a home. Share the home with adjoining neighborhoods as well. Lots of people want their friends and family to live nearby.

Declutter – Experts recommend eliminating up to half of your home’s clutter, either by renting a storage unit or a portable pod. You might even have a friend or family member who would help out with storing items. Keep aesthetics minimal and see what you can do to depersonalize the house. Buyers want to see themselves living there – not you.

Be Invisible – If possible, try to avoid being around the house. If the owner is absent, buyers will feel more comfortable asking questions to the realtor and discussing the benefits and drawbacks of the home.

Collect Contact Information – Make it easy for visitors to sign into the open house. This is a helpful safety measure and it also allows you to grow your database of interested buyers. Registrations can be done simply with a piece of paper and a clipboard or an iPad.

This just skims the top of the list of things to do before an open house. If you are looking to sell your house and need expert advice, contact us. We’re happy to help.

Home Staging Boosts Higher Prices and Quicker Sales

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As a seller, you’re probably hoping to get as much money as you can for your home and sell it quickly. You can boost your chances of doing this by staging your home.

Here are a few things you should know about home staging for prospective buyers:

  • Staging your home means making it look as appealing as possible to buyers. In order to do this, you might have to paint the walls, rearrange the furniture, keep personal items to a minimum and invest in more neutral decor items that the majority of buyers will like.
  • You should expect to spend some money on staging your home, but don’t go overboard. If you stay within your budget, you’ll make that money back in the form of a higher selling price. Your real estate agent can assist you with getting your home ready for staging at a cost-effective price.
  • You can test whether staging is worth it for you by having buyers look at your home before preparing it for staging. If you’re not getting high enough offers, then it’s time to give staging a try.

Need help selling your home? Contact United Real Estate and visit us on Facebook.

Maintain Your Home: Start Spring Cleaning Now

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    bathroom II

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Making plans to put your home up for sale this spring or summer? Then it’s time to start working on making it as clean as possible for potential buyers.

Here are some easy cleaning tips and home upgrades you can do to get your home ready:

  • Bathrooms: Vacuum and wipe down the ceiling and walls to get rid of grime. Wipe down the mirrors and the insides of windows. Use a strong cleaner on the toilet, shower walls, tub, sink and floor, then it soak for about 15 minutes before rinsing it off.
  • Bedrooms: Wipe down the walls and ceilings, then dust off the tops of dressers and other surfaces. Remove the covers from beds, and open the windows for a few hours to air the rooms out. Clean the windows, steam clean the carpets and wash all linens.
  • Kitchen: Give the fridge and freezer a thorough cleaning, then remove grease from all cooking appliances. Wipe down the cabinets and counters, then mop the floor.
  • Other rooms: Wipe down all walls and ceilings. Clean your upholstery, dust electronics and clean the windows.

Need more tips on selling your home? Visit United Real Estate, and follow us on Facebook.

Five Ways to Show Your Home a Little Love

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    crown molding

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Whether you’re getting your home ready for the market or planning on fixing up your new home, you don’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of simple and cost-effective ways to do home upgrades.

Here are five easy and inexpensive ideas for making some changes to your home:

  • Install stair brackets. Make the outside of your staircase visually appealing by adding wood brackets. All you need are nails and an adhesive.
  • Put up crown molding. Get some Trimroc molding, a handsaw and joint compound to install molding that instantly boosts your home’s appeal.
  • Refinish your cabinets. With some cleaner, sandpaper, paint and a paintbrush, you can give your kitchen cabinets a fresh new look. This works best if your cabinets are in good shape already.
  • Paint the floor. Instead of investing in a new floor, grab some floor paint and give your floor a whole new look. This is a much less expensive and time-consuming option.
  • Give your bathroom fresh caulk. Update the caulk around your tub and sink for better protection against moisture.

Ready to start the buying or selling process? Visit United Real Estate, and stop by our Facebook page.