Simple Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home
When speaking to sellers about increasing the value of their home there are two different aspects to consider: one is what the appraiser will see and the other is what the buyer will perceive as value. So when you’re thinking of the buyer and how to make your home appear more valuable to them, so much is about the first impression: your front porch, the paint on your door, the simple staging techniques that you would see on HGTV. Perhaps a buyer wants to perceive your home as having intrinsic value, things like extra storage. Is your home low maintenance or maintenance-free? When they move in, will it need paint? Is it going to need new carpets? So just replacing the carpet, making sure that all your paint and your trim in your home looks gorgeous will increase the value to the buyer.
In regards to the appraiser, they’ll be evaluating things like: When was the last time you updated your kitchen? What do the bathroom counters look like? You can do some simple upgrades that like changing the countertop in your bathroom, making sure that your lighting is up to date, making sure your yard is fenced. Little things like that that won’t cost a lot of money will increase the value for an appraiser as well.
How to stage your home with your own furniture
When we take a listing we like to sit down with the seller and consider the furnishings in their home. We may move this table over there or this chair here and do some simple staging with your own furniture, which helps to minimize costs. We look for ways to make your home just pop. It could be something so simple as just taking a collection that you have throughout the house and putting it together on one shelf, or moving a table from the entry just so it feels more spacious and putting that table somewhere else. It’s a really fun thing to do and we enjoy it.
There are also occasions that call for a professional stager – perhaps your home is vacant or maybe you’re using that third bedroom with a treadmill and we want to make it look like a child’s bedroom. In those instances and others we bring in a professional stager and have several that we work with that do amazing work.
Photographing your home for your MLS listing
One of the most important items of listing your home are the photographs, both the interior and exterior of the home. We hire a professional photographer for all of our listings. We make sure that the weather is gorgeous and we come in, we take aerials, we get the sunshine, we get the mountain view. We do not put a listing on MLS until the photographs are just amazing. And we generally ask our photographer to take about 50 photos. MLS allows you to load up 25. And many times we’ll go over those with the sellers and say, “Which ones do you feel represent what you love about your home the best?” And then we look at the ones that we feel will be the best for marketing. Once those photographs are selected we do what we call “Go Live,” and that’s when we launch the listing. It’s a very exciting moment for us.
What to expect with Open Houses held in your home
It’s important for sellers to understand the value of an open house. With Bend being the active community that it is, if it’s Saturday and a powder day on the mountain, generally speaking the attendance will be low at an open house. So we are selective about the days that we choose for an open house, the day and the hours that we’ll hold the home open. We’ll come in, we’ll turn on the lights, we’ll bring snacks, beverages, we will advertise the open house on MLS, on our website, on Facebook, and sometimes in the paper. What you can expect is for us to be there and you’ll be able to enjoy yourself away from home knowing that we’ll be keeping an eye on the people coming through and update you when it’s over.
Understanding the Home Inspection Process
Often we find that buyers and sellers don’t know what to expect with a home inspection. If you’re the buyer you’re going to be getting a report back that can be up to 30 pages. The home inspector will go up in the attic, he’ll go below into the crawl space, he’ll check every window latch, how every door shuts, weather stripping. What he will not check is the irrigation and the sprinkler system.
If you’re the seller sometimes you’re thinking, “How do I get my home ready for a home inspection?” At the least, you need to make sure that the areas of access are cleared so that it’s easy for a home inspector to get into the attic and easy to find the crawl space. More tips: make sure your smoke alarm batteries are good, that your smoke alarms are working and that all your light bulbs are working. If a light bulb is out, the inspector may call for an electrician because they think that the light isn’t functioning and they’re not allowed to touch the bulb.
How to Sell a Home Around the Holidays
Many people feel that listing their home around the holidays is too much of a challenge. We think differently. What we appreciate is going into a home that has the fire going and Christmas or holiday decor scattered around; it just makes a home feel really homey and cozy. One thing to be careful of when selling a home during the holidays is not have too much decor. You want the home to still feel spacious. But that sense of a Christmas tree or the Christmas potpourri, something cooking in the oven is welcoming to a potential buyer especially when it’s snowy or rainy outside. It’s a terrific way to represent your home in the best light possible.