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Posts Tagged ‘Staging Your Home’

Home Staging for Pet Lovers

Monday, September 9, 2013 posted by Tommi Crow

Staging your home for potential buyers can be quite the hassle. You may start moving your furniture around spontaneously, or become tense when your children or spouse make messes in a room that you just prepped for show. With all of the planning that one can put into making their home shine, one crucial step in home staging is often overlooked: your family pet.

For the sake of simplicity, I will outline a few things that you must keep in mind when cleaning up after your pet in a home for sale.

Pet presence – For obvious reasons, some pets can’t leave the house. Giant enclosures, aquariums, and disabled pets are hard to relocate sometimes, and a lot of people will be understanding of this. But if your dog or cat is healthy, then you’ll want to strongly consider relocating your pets temporarily. Many people aren’t pet owners, and don’t like being around an excitable golden retriever or a yippy chihuahua when they are trying to imagine their family occupying your home. Remember….You are trying to make the potential buyer as relaxed as possible. Ask a friend if they wouldn’t mind looking after your loved one for a bit, and if all else fails, look into a reputable boarding service for your pet.

Fur – Fur can get everywhere. Even in places that you, as a resident of your home, don’t necessarily notice all of the time. Be sure to give your couches, chairs, and love seats proper attention. That means taking the pillows and cushions off, and using a hand vacuum or brush to remove all of the fur you see. After you are sure that they are thoroughly cleaned, use a fabric freshener to finish it off. Try to do this well in advance of the potential buyer, as some people have sensitivities to fabric fresheners.

Litter – No matter what kind of animal you have, odds are you have do deal with some form of waste. It may sound pretty obvious, but make sure your litter beds are clean and well hidden. Even if you own an exotic pet like a reptile of amphibian, this includes you too. Many people don’t like snakes, but they’ll like a messy snake cage even less. Another important thing to remember as an exotic pet owner is this: even though you may not be able to smell anything offensive coming from your reptile’s cage, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an odor. Many people who live with reptiles get used to the subtle odors that emit from the cages, and will tend to spot-clean their animal’s cage without giving it the proper scrub-down that it needs.

Odors – Don’t use air fresheners to mask pet odor. It is meant to freshen the air…Not cover pet odors up. Instead, use powdered cleaners on carpets and rugs that your pets frequent. These can be purchased at your local pet store in the cleaning isle. Odds are, if someone has a severe allergy to animals, then they are going to be at risk of having a reaction. The cleaner the house, the less dander will be in the home.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net homes for sale and rent website.  List your property on the MLS and reach millions of homebuyers, today!!

Not long ago, real estate sales involved hammering a sign in the yard, placing newspaper ad’s and mailing post cards to neighbors.  Today, selling a home requires a huge amount of internet advertising and distribution…which means using great photographs, video’s and social media to boost your properties image and catch a buyer’s eye. 

If you are one of the thousands of  home sellers looking to capitalize on the real estate recovery and pocket maximum profit from your home sale, you have to embrace the internet.  Home buyers use Ipad, tablets, desktop computers and smart phones to shop online and compare hundreds of homes for sale.  Today’s buyers quickly scan through hundreds of listings on sites like Zillow and Realtor.com, looking for that one home that catches their eye. 

To maximize the sales price of your home, consider these 5 tech savvy tools and tips

  1. Use Professional Grade Photography.  A recent study revealed that professional property photo’s increase the perceived value of a home by 13 percent.  Considering that a 13% added value on a $250,000 home equals an increase in value of $32,500, it could well be worth your while to hire a pro.  Buyers are visually oriented, so selling your home has become a bit like a beauty pageant, of sorts.  To increase your sales price, provide the best possible pictures on the internet to grab the buyer’s attention and motivate them to schedule a home showing.
  2. Post a Video Tour on YouTube.  About 20% of buyers search online for home video’s.  Grab their attention by posting a video on InfoTube.net .  We will upload it to YouTube for you, or you can upload toYouTube.com by yourself.
  3. Include a Floor Plan of Your Home.   If possible, include an interactive floor plan that shows how rooms in your house relate to one another.  Interactive floor plans combine the floor plan with professional photo’s and create an exciting shopping experience for home shoppers.
  4. Get Rid of Clutter.  We have all heard this before, but it is amazing at the number of people who do not pay attention to this simple advice.  Buyers are not interested in buying furnishings; they are shopping for a home.  Your house will show much better if it is clean, organized and all personal items are removed.
  5. Advertise on the MLS.   The internet has made it possible for sellers to list property on the MLS and sell it By Owner.  The MLS is the national database of homes that are For Sale.  If your listing is not a part of the MLS, you are missing millions of home shoppers every month, who will never know your house is For Sale.  All MLS listings are distributed to every major search engine for real estate including Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Google, Yahoo and many more.  These websites report buyer traffic in excess of 24 million home shoppers each month.  If you want to maximize your sales price and profit, you have to be on the MLS

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Please search our website for fantastic deals on thousands of homes for sale by owner, investor and builder.    For more great marketing tips and home improvement idea’s…then be sure to LIKE us on Facebook. 

ALL HomeBuyers HATE Popcorn Ceilings

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

   When trying to come up with a list of items that all homebuyers HATE..the first thing that came to my mind is Popcorn ceilings.   They scream dated.  They collect cobwebs, dust and dirt.  They are impossible to clean or paint.  And, if your home was built before the 1980’s, the popcorn may contain cancer causing asbestos.  (Asbestos was outlawed in 1977, but old supplies were used for years.) 

If you are selling your home, get rid of it….even though that is easier said than done.  If your home was built before 1980, you should first have the ceiling tested by a professional to see if it contains asbestos.  (Read the handout “Asbestos in Your Home“).   If asbestos is found, call a professional asbestos removal company to spray paint over it ($2-$6 a square foot), if it is in good shape.  Or, better, have the pro’s remove and properly dispose of it ($54-$64 a square foot).  Do not attempt to remove asbestos yourself!   There is a lethal reason it is a banned substance.                        

Whether the popcorn contains asbestos or doesn’t…removing popcorn ceilings is a messy, difficult and possibly expensive project.   Do it yourself with the proper gear, or expect to pay a painter about $2.50 a square foot to get rid of it, patch holes and repaint your ceiling.  

There are a few alternatives to sealing or removing popcorn ceilings.  You can opt to cover it up.   Depending on the architectural style of your home…you can consider installing beaded board or press tin ceiling tiles to hide the popcorn….forever.

If you are selling a home…get rid of the popcorn!!!  No one in the world likes popcorn ceilings…if you have them, you hate them, too.   Today’s buyers have so many choices, they won’t even consider a home with popcorn.  

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Please get rid of those dated, dirty, ugly and possibly dangerous ceilings today!!!    Popcorn is blowing your sale!

Click Here to Read What Buyers Hate Most…Second to Popcorn Ceilings

Home Buyers Move Back to Basics

Thursday, February 23, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

                                                    Home Sellers take note:

When it comes down to chosing a home, buyers are going back to the basics.  Today’s buyers consider new or updated kitchens and bathrooms, and a flexible, open floor plan as the most important features they are looking for in a home.

A recent survey of hundreds of real estate agents reveal what features appeal to the broadest cross sections of buyers in the marketplace.

  • 33% of those surveyed said that a new or updated kitchen is the most important feature they are looking for.
  • 14% of purchasers said that an open floorplan is a must have. 
  • 12% are looking for homes with new or updated bathrooms.
  • Only 1% of buyers feel that entertainment rooms or finished basements are important home features.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  When you advertise, photograph and show your home, don’t forget to emphasize the “hot buttons” area’s that buyers are telling you they are looking for.

  A recent survey of hundreds of real estate agents uncovers the reasons some homes sell….and others languish on the market. 

Agents say that the majority of home sellers have gotten more “real” about their real estate in 2012.  More than half (51%) of sellers are willing to price their homes more competitively this year vs last.   And, nearly half (45%) are more willing to change the appearance of their homes to appeal to and entice buyers.   

What is the best use of a seller’s time and money?  De-clutter, de-personalize to make their home appeal to the broadest cross-section of potential buyers.

  • 94% of sellers are getting rid of clutter and making cosmetic updates.
  • 78% are willing to “de-personalize” their homes.
  • 59% are bringing in new home decorations or furniture to make their home updated and appealing.

De-personalizing and de-cluttering a home makes it easier for a buyer to imagine him or herself living in the property.   In order to sell your home in today’s competitive marketplace, it is crucial for seller’s to realize that the property is no longer their “home”…it is an expensive product that is For Sale.        

Always remove family photo’s and personal artwork.  They do nothing for the appeal of the home.  They simply distract a buyers focus and perhaps give the buyer too much information about the seller’s personal life.  Never good.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.   5 FSBO houses on InfoTube.net SOLD this week.   Things are improving for those seller’s who work smart to attract buyers.   Visit our Facebook page for informative, fun and revealing news.

   Be inspired and create a modern, progressive space with Aspect decorative tiles — the radiant look of metal brought to life in an eco-friendly, affordable alternative to high-end installations.  The overall look?  Clean. Contemporary. Pure luxe. Shine on…with Aspect.

This striking backsplash or wall treatment provides high-tech sheen to a room, or if surrounded by softer textures, conveys luxurious sophistication. Tiles are 3″ x 6″ and are sold in eight-tile packs (enough for one square foot).

These peel and stick metal tile couldn’t be easier to install. Unlike traditional metal or ceramic tiles, with Aspect there’s no grout, glue or adhesive needed. You can literally peel the backing off the tiles and stick them to whatever surface you want.   An average homeowner can resurface their kitchen backsplash or fireplace surround in less than 2 hours, with tools you probably own.

The tiles come in 4 modern finishes, bronze, stainless, copper and champagne; tiles are made from 60% recycled material and 99% of the waste in the manufacturing process is recycled.  The company is LEED’s certified and products are Made in the USA.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.   “Like” our InfoTube Facebook page and stay on top of up the minute news and new product idea’s that matter.

Profitable 2012 Resolution:  Showcase and show off your home with great photo’s.

Photographs are important and powerful tools in marketing real estate.    Statistics show that home sellers who provide numerous and good quality photographs of their property receive twice the amount of buyer interest than their competition.

When photographing your property, try to follow this advise from Dave Rezendes, #1 real estate photographer in the USA.

• Don’t assume that wider is better.  Sometimes a particular vignette or architectural detail will better convey the feeling of a house and give a stronger effect.

• When staging a photo, keep perspective in mind.  It may be necessary to move furniture slightly to compensate for lens distortion and keep your photo looking realistic, especially in wider shots.

• Mind your verticals.  Shooting at a downward or upward angle can skew the vertical lines of the photo, making them no longer parallel.  Most photo editing software has the capability to correct this in post-processing.

• Keep an eye on your staging.  A crooked pillow or messy bedskirt can take a minute to fix on location but hours to fix in post-processing.

• Avoid any clutter in your shots.  Any exposed power cords, personal items, or even too much staging material can negatively affect the image. Keep your photos neat but not sterile.

• Avoid photographing exterior views in direct, midday sun.  Try to cover that in the morning or early evening for the most complimentary natural light.

• Avoid photographing exterior views in direct, midday sun. Try to cover that in the morning or early evening for the most complimentary natural light.

• Before you take a photo, double-check to see that neither you nor your equipment is visible in mirrors or window reflections.

InfoTube.net Home Ad Service offers Home Sellers 20 photograph Slide Show and Video Tours.   

Make 2012 your year to Show and Sell!!!

7 Secrets to Selling Your Home Now

Thursday, April 21, 2011 posted by Tommi Crow

In today’s’ super-competitive housing market, it is essential that homebuyers picture themselves living inside the home you are trying to sell.    

7 Secrets to Selling Your Home Now

  • For starters, take down the Wallpaper – Trust me when I say, “Buyers just do not like wallpaper.”   If you doubt how personal wallpaper is…just walk into any wallpaper store and stare at the thousands of available patterns.  Chances of your tastes matching are at least a thousand to one.  Don’t risk it!  Pull that paper down!
  • The Clutter HAS to Go!  Living in a house is alot different than Selling a house.  It is easy to get blind to your own clutter.  Ask a friend, neighbor or neutral party to be honest with you.  Then, pack away every single thing you don’t use.  And, clear the kitchen counters completely.
  • Smelly Homes Will NOT Sell.  Agents have an old saying, “If I can smell it, I can’t sell it.”  Pet smells, musty odor’s, etc will kill a sale everytime.
  • White is not a Color.  But, paint is your friend.  Every room should have a fresh coat of paint in a warm, neutral color.
  • A Spot of Color.  Everyone loves flowers.  Place pots with colorful annual flowers by the front door or plant seasonal color in the beds to make your home inviting and memorable.
  • Househunting Begins on the Internet.  If your property is not exposed on the internet, your chances of a buyer finding you are very small.  Tip the odds in your favor by advertising your home on the MLS and all the major search engines for real estate.  InfoTube also offers FREE property listings on its website.   Also, make sure your listing includes at least 10 good photo’s of the interior and exterior of your home.  If possible, also include a video tour of the house and neighborhood.
  • Forget About Comp’s and Sold Properties.  Study your competition, which means homes currently For Sale.  If your home is priced too high when compared to your competition, it is going to sit for a long, long time.

Homeowners should please keep in mind that Buyers have a lot of choices.  The homeowner who can make their house stand out among the vast inventory of “For Sale” signs will the one who wins the selling game.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net homes for sale and rent website.  For up to the minute real estate news and tips follow InfoTube for Real Estate on Facebook.

If you have a condo, ranch, one level bungalow or a home with the master on the main level that you need to sell, this may be your lucky year.  The baby boomers (those 77 million people that were born between 1945 and 1964) are back in the housing market in a big way..and they often pay cash.

The aging boomers have finally worked up the courage to sell the family house, depreciated as it is, and roll the home equity into their last ever home purchase.   Ironically, the catalyst for this trend has nothing to do with real estate.   The motivation is age, quality of life and the stock market.  The stock market is back, bringing with it the net worth of the boomer generation, who controls 80 percent of the financial assets in the United States. 

If you own a one level, low maintenance home…you are already sitting in tall cotton…but you can do some simple things to sweeten the pot even more…if you know what to emphasize and what needs to be done.

Capitalize on the needs of the 65+ year olds, who are looking for place that they can grow old in.  They are naturally drawn to homes that are easy and safe to live in, even if managing stairs and home maintenance is hard to do.

  • Replace door knobs with levered handles.
  • Replace knob-type plumbing fixtures and cabinet pulls with levers or open handles.
  • Today’s house only needs one bathtub.  Offer at least one,  barrier free shower on the main floor, even if means taking out a bathtub.
  • Put a laundry room on the main floor, even if you have to eliminate a closet or half-bath to do so.
  • Consider making entryway staircases longer and more gentle.  Create an option to add a wheelchair ramp to one side, if needed.
  • Consider adding grab bars in glass enclosures or  if your bathroom has wide open space.
  • Replace carpeting with tile, hardwoods or laminate flooring for easier maintenance, durability and a smoother surface.
  • Provide ample indoor lighting and don’t forget the outdoor security lights.
  • Provide outdoor handrails on stairs, inclines or wherever necessary

Marketing Insight:  Most home improvements, suggested above, offer easy living appeal for all ages.  Just because your house is senior friendly doesn’t lessen the appeal to everyone else, but always be tactful.  Design two InfoSheets for Buyers.  Offer one in a standard format and create another that highlights senior-ready amenities.  

InfoTube.net believes that 2011 will be a better year for home sellers, if they know how to reach and appeal to today’s buyer.  Visit our website for tips, insights and a FREE home listing!  What do you have to lose?  Did we mention we also offer a low, flat fee MLS listing package for home owners???

UP the Odds of Selling Your Home this Spring

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow

   

Every single home seller can Up the Odds of Selling their home this season.  And, best of all…we aren’t recommending  lowering your price….

To learn how successful seller’s got the job done this spring…CLICK HERE….for details with Before and After Photo’s.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.   Homes that have languished on the market in the past are now Under Contract!!!  If you need help selling your home, we are here to help you!  Call 1-800-858-6000 or visit our site today.

Tree FAQ’s for Earth Day!

Thursday, April 22, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow

Did you Know ….

Tree FAQs:

“Over the course of 50 years, a single tree can generate $31,250 of oxygen, provide $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycle $37,500 worth of water, and control $31,500 worth of soil erosion. ”

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”Anonymous

“One tree can absorb more than a ton of carbon over its lifetime.”
Via:  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Trees reduce storm water runoff and erosion, and they remove harmful chemicals from the soil to prevent them from running into streams and rivers.
Via:  USDA Forest Service

It doesn’t take a lot of money or time to plant one tree for Earth Day!   In addition to being good for the earth…planting a treel also adds green to your bank account when you sell your home.   Mature landscape has no subsitute.

 InfoTube.net planted 7 tree’s for Earth Day this year and we hope to plant more next year.   Thank you for visiting and please plant a tree today!

Radiator Covers Dress Up Your Home

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow

Easy staging and decorating tip:  Install a cover over old radiators.

 

 

Radiators perform a necessary function in any home, but they can easily be a home feature, too.   An easy DIY project, a Radiator Cover can completely transform the look and feel of your room, by hiding away those ugly radiators.

Why not give your home an instant and inexpensive makeover and gain shelf space?  Radiator covers look more attractive than a bare radiator and also provide a shelf for plants, flowers, photographs, candles, lamps, etc.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net homes for sale and rent FREE website.  Search our site and find over 20,000 homes sold directly by builder or owners.

I’m thinking Turkey.  The leaves have fallen, lawn mowers are stored and furnaces are in use.   It’s at this time of year that many of our customer’s ask…  “Should We Take Our Home Off the Market During the Holidays?”

The answer is definitely “NO”.  There are a lot of reasons to keep your home listed right through the New Year.  And, there’s a special timely reason this holiday season!!

  1. The First Time Buyers Tax Credit has been extended until April 30, 2010 AND it’s been expanded.  Step Up Home Buyers, who make a lot of money, can also receive $6500 in Tax Credits until April.   Big tax incentives mean that smart buyers will be house shopping vs mall shopping this holiday season.  
  2. Interest Rates are at Record Lows.  30 year fixed rate mortgages are below 5 percent.  But, with the dollar weak and falling, low rates may not be around for long.   Serious home buyers are aware of the difference that even a small interest rate increase would make in their house payment.  The combo of Tax Credits and Low Interest Rates create strong urgency among buyer’s.  Smart seller’s spruce up their homes and play into the pressure.
  3. Holiday Shoppers are Serious Buyers.  Trust me.  Everyone of us loves the holidays.  So, the people who are out looking for homes in November, December and January are SERIOUS Buyers.  Do you really want to pull your house off the market when the most serious people are shopping??  Think about it and gear up!!
  4. Less Competition.  Many sellers don’t read our blog.  They foolishly pull their homes from the market during the holidays, and this year will be no exception.  Less competition and MLS exposure could make the difference between For Sale and Sold, this Christmas. 
  5. Houses are Pretty during the Holidays.  Staging your home is easy during the holidays.  The mood is festive.  Holiday colors are warm and inviting.  Candles, centerpieces and decorations touch the heart and convey a peaceful lifestyle.  Light the candles, make a roaring fire, bake some goodies and turn on some relaxing holiday music.  Buyer’s love to see a home decorated and looking special.  Don’t let this once a year opportunity pass you by.
  6. Curb Appeal.  If your landscape and lawn isn’t that great, breathe a sigh of relief that no one else’s is this time of year, either.   Add seasonal color, a wreath, perhaps some decorations.  Just keep it subtle and classy.  No mowing, no weeding and trimming, and best of all snow covers all…

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net FREE homes for sale and rent website.  Thanks to all Veterans and Active Military Personnel!!!  Call us today and receive a FREE Property Listing Upgrade as our gift to you.

Green Flooring. Marmoleum Natural Linoleum.

Thursday, October 22, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow

If you are considering an update for the old vinyl flooring in your home,  go natural.  Natural linoleum, made from wood and cork, limestone dust, pine rosin and linseed oil, is a fantastic, green material substitution for the petroleum-based products of old.    Natural linoleum is available in either sheets or individual tiles, it offers an endless suppliy of color and pattern choices and is a great product for residential or commercial use.

Why We Like Natural Linoleum

It’s Versatile.  Marmoleum is available either sheet or tile forms.  It is used in both residential and commercial settings.  Great for resturants and offices, too.  The product can be used on floors and countertop surfaces.  It is sold in a wide range of colors and patterns.  Some patterns mimic quarried stone, others are mottled for subtle texture and other options include high tech MRI images.  The applications and decorating options are only limited by the owner’s imagination and tastes.  A Do-It-Yourselfer can easily install the tiles themselves, just like vinyl.      It’s Low Maintenance.  Manufacturers estimate the lifespan of natural linoleum at 30-40 years, compared to 10-20 for vinyl.  Scratches are no problem.  The surface is hard, and even becomes harder over time.  Additionally, any surface scratch can be buffed out, because the color extends through the entire thickness.  For cleaning, a dry mop is recommended for routine maintenance.

It’s Green and Better for the Environment.  Natural linoleum is much better for the environment than petroleum based, vinyl products.  Vinyl’s are not sustainable and are highly polluting in their manufacturing process.  Natural linoleum is made from wood, rosin, limestone and linseed oil.  All these materials occur naturally and are sustainable.  When it’s time to remodel, natural linoleum can be shredded and turned into compost for the garden versus filling a landfill.  Additional bonus, natural linoleum will last and look good for a least least twice as long as vinyl.

Disadvantages.  The linseed oil in the products “off gas” and some people are sensitive to its fumes.  We advise that you air out the product for a few weeks before you install it, if you have a sensitive reaction to the smell.   Like most plant-based products, linoleum doesn’t perform well in area’s with constant moisture.  Test the moisture content of floor slabs before installation.  Use Caulk to seal edges around tubs and showers where flooring abuts.  The only other disadvantage is probably the initial cost of the product.  Marmoleum costs around $4.00 per square foot, compared with $1.50 to $2.00 for vinyl flooring.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net FREE homes for sale and lease website.  Search for properties or post your listing.  We connect thousands of buyers and sellers each day, and we can help you get more exposure, too.

Virtually Stage Your Home to Sell

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow

Marketing a vacant home can be difficult challenge, because empty rooms are hard to size up and they don’t stand out in a buyer’s mind.  This leaves every vacant home looking like the one next door, with the only difference in a buyer’s mind being, which home has the lowest price.

This problem may have been solved by Krisztina Bell, a smart Atlanta Realtor, who invented and patented a software program that will “virtually” stage any vacant property for around $250.  Her company has been heralded by the Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronical and other publications as the answer to giving the effect of a professionally staged home at a fraction of the cost.

With 90 percent of home buyers doing their shopping online, and thousands of vacant homes on the market, Ms Bell’s idea is smart and timely.  Her technique transforms listing photo’s of vacant homes into homes with professionally designed interiors, using a library of attractive furnishings, accessories and artwork.   The resulting “after” photo’s are realistic, authentic and hard to distinguish from a home that has been actually staged with furnishings.

To view the Photo Gallery of some impressive Before and After Pictures, please visit her website VirtuallyStagingProperties.com, by clicking this link.  You will be amazed.  And, if you have a vacant home to sell, you should seriously consider this inexpensive option and make your home pop.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net homes for sale and rent website.  If you virtually stage your home, be sure to upload the slideshow to InfoTube.net.  Thousands of buyer’s search our site daily for new information on properties.