9 Essentials for the Perfect Open House

Hosting an open house is your opportunity to show off your home’s potential to the public and lock in that interested buyer. Rather than a traditional home showing, open houses provide you time and flexibility to transform your normally lived-in home into a welcoming, jaw-dropping oasis. Most buyers schedule multiple open houses in one day so they can compare and contrast homes. Here’s how to guarantee yours is successful and unforgettable:

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1. Promote, Promote, Promote

The most important aspect of a successful open house is a successful marketing and promotional plan. Get the word out through social media advertisements, open house fliers and door hangers, newspaper ads, and word of mouth. Use all media available to reach the largest audience. Put up directional signs with balloons in the neighborhood and at the front of your home – if no one can find it, not even the most convincing advertisement will save your open house.


2. Tidy Up and Declutter

You only have one chance at a first impression, don’t let that first impression be of a dirty and cluttered home. Some homebuyers may be inclined to lower their offer based on untidy conditions. Furthermore, clutter creates the illusion of a smaller space. Going the extra mile to fluff a pillow will pay off big time in the end. Before the showing remember to:

  • Wipe walls
  • Wash windows and buff countertops, tables, and other surfaces
  • Thoroughly clean bathrooms
  • Clear surfaces and floors of toys, magazines, ornaments, etc.


3. Curb Appeal

This is the presentation of your home to the public. Mow the lawn, clear out weeds, and remove toys or other debris from your yard. Plant flowers in your garden and trim the shrubberies. Make the outside of your home reflect your hard work and staging in the inside.

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4. Remove Pets

Dogs, cats, and other pets should be neither seen nor heard during an open house. Taking them to the park for the day or to a friend’s house will be well worth it. If removing a pet isn’t an option, do not let them roam freely. Try to move them to a confined, less trafficked space until the open house is over.


5. Odor

There is nothing worse than unidentified aromas in a home. No matter what the cause, it’s important to neutralize. Be mindful of factors that contribute to certain odors such as pets, old food in a refrigerator, certain foods cooked the night before, and smoking.  Though you may be used to the odor, it can be quite obvious to an outsider. A simple solution is to invite a friend or relative to do a “smell test” in areas of your home. Ask them to give honest feedback so you can identify and eliminate source. Temporarily changing your lifestyle, such as smoking outside or cooking less potent foods, and hiring a cleaning service is the best way to rid your home of odors before an open house.


6. Home Repairs

Have a drawer that doesn’t close correctly? Have cabinets that are missing handles? Do your walls need a paint touch up? Stains on your carpet? Leaky faucet? It’s time to stop procrastinating and finally tackle these home repairs. If you’ve been avoiding the hassle, chances are buyers want to avoid them too.


7. Family Pictures and Albums

Remove all pictures and albums of your family on the day of your open house. You do not want buyers imagining your family living at your home; you want them to envision their families living in their new home.


8. Remember Your Own Security and Privacy

Don’t let the excitement of a busy open house distract you from your own safety. Lock up small, personal items such as jewelry and expensive electronic devices. Be mindful of bills you may have laying on the counter or personal checks with account numbers and credit card receipts. All spare keys and garage door openers should be out of sight and locked up. Be mindful of certain medications: do not leave them in bathroom medicine cabinets.
9. Stage Your Home

Doing small things such as setting your dining room table will go a long way. Try to make the environment look natural, like you’re having close friends over for Sunday brunch. Air out your home, turn on all lights, and open all of your curtains. Buyers love walking in to a bright and airy space. Add fresh flowers or fresh baked cookies as a finishing touch.

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Need more help? Friendly professional service is just a call away! Contact me for help getting your home sold.

Why now is the perfect time to sell your house

This year- 2016- could be your last chance to list your home in the booming seller’s market, so if you’ve been toying with the idea of selling, now is the time!

The projections for this year largely remain in favor to do so. In 2016 sellers can look forward to increasing home prices, low inventory, and intense competition. March is the perfect time to get everything in order so you’re ready to enter the market and put that for sale sign on the front of your yard. Home buying season begins in April and reaches its peak in June.

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But what makes the current market so suitably tailored to sellers this year?

The answer is economics 101: supply and demand. Simply put, the amount of interested buyers shopping around the housing market far exceeds the inventory of available homes.

According to the National Realtors Association, in January 2016 an MLS-listed home was on the market for an average of just 64 days, and they found an 11% increase of houses sold in 2015  vs. 2016 on a seasonally-adjusted annualized basis report.  This is excellent news for sellers, because they can expect competitive bidding wars on their homes. The bidding will drive up the pricing of the property, and the seller will come out on top. So, if you wait to sell your home until the warmer months, you will miss out on competitive buyers.

 

What is causing the increase of demand in 2016?

Interests rates are expected to go up. The Federal Reserve has hinted the rates are going to increase sooner rather than later. This is causes passive buyers to take action and make fast decisions in the market to secure low mortgage rates.

Over the past few years we’ve also seen rent prices skyrocketing. The average price to rent an apartment or home has risen 15% in 70 metro areas across the United States. First time homebuyers are entering the market to avoid the rising rent costs, secure a stabilized mortgage payment, and to invest in properties for their future.

Finally, tax benefits still work in favor of the seller. Selling a home can secure a large tax break on your 2017 filings. You can exclude capital gains from the sale of a personal residence on your taxes. Single tax payers can exclude up to $250K, and joint filers can exclude up to $500K. Though be mindful of meeting the requirements before your finale decision to sell is based on the exclusion: you must have lived in the home for 24 consecutive months within the past 5 years, and you cannot have claimed a home-sale exclusion of your returns in the past two years.

Time to plan the spring garden

Whether you’re starting a new garden or returning to a well-established one, planning is essential for a successful and fun experience. To give your garden the best chance to thrive, take time to get organized at the beginning of your growing season.

How to benefit from your housing costs

Put Your Housing Cost To Work For You! | Keeping Current Matters

There are many young people debating whether they should renew the lease on their apartment or sign a contract to purchase their first home. As we have said before, mortgage interest rates are still near historic lows and rents continue to go up.

Housing Cost & Net Worth

Whether you rent or buy, you have a monthly housing cost.

As a buyer, you are contributing to YOUR net worth.

Every mortgage payment is a form of what Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies calls “forced savings.”

“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

The principal portion of your mortgage payment helps build your net worth through building the equity you have in your home.

As a renter, you are contributing to YOUR LANDLORD’S net worth.

Below is an example of the home equity that would be accrued over the course of the next five years if you had purchased a home in January; based on the results of theHome Price Expectation Survey.

Put Your Housing Cost To Work For You! | Keeping Current Matters

In this example, simply by paying your mortgage, you would have increased your net worth by over $44,000!

Bottom Line

Use your monthly housing cost to your advantage! Meet with me to go over how we can get your started building your net worth!

Source: KCM Real Estate Matters