Many now realize that it is a great time to buy a home. Today, we want to look at why it might also be an opportune time to sell your house. Here are the Top 5 Reasons we believe now may be a perfect time to put your house on the market.
1.) Demand Is High
The most recent Existing Home Sales Report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed a 17.2 percent increase in sales over July 2012; sales have remained above year-ago levels for 25 months. There are buyers out there right now and they are serious about purchasing.
2.) Supply Is Beginning to Increase
Total housing inventory last month rose 5.6% to 2.28 million homes for sale. This represents a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace, compared with 4.3 months in January. Many expect inventory to continue to rise as 3.2 million homeowners escaped the shackles of negative equity in the last 12 months and an additional 1.9 million are expected to enter positive equity in the next 12 months. Selling now while demand is high and before supply increases may garner you your best price.
3.) New Construction Is Coming Back
Over the last several years, most homeowners selling their home did not have to compete with a new construction project around the block. As the market is recovering, more and more builders are jumping back in. These ‘shiny’ new homes will again become competition as they are an attractive alternative for many purchasers.
4.) Interest Rates Are Rising
According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have shot up to 4.57% which represents a jump of more than a full point since the beginning of the year. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae,Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will continue to climb.
Whether you are moving up or moving down, your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.
5.) It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
Look at the reason you are thinking about selling and decide whether it is worth waiting. Is the possibility of a few extra dollars more important than being with family; more important than your health; more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?
You already know the answers to the questions we just asked. You have the power to take back control of your situation by putting the house on the market today. The time may have come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.
Home staging professionals find new business in changing market
Studies show staged homes sell faster than properties without touch-ups
Home staging professionals discovered a unique way of marketing themselves in the fluctuating real estate environment by reminding home sellers that properties sell much faster after undergoing a professional facelift.
The Real Estate Staging Association has the figures to back this up.
In a recent study conducted by the trade association, 89 vacant occupied and un-staged homes were listed. These homes spent an average of 166 days on the market. However, when these exact same homes were professionally staged and relisted, they only spent an average of 32 days on the market — a 73% decrease in time spent on the market.
“Every home can use staging,” said Shell Brodnax, CEO of RESA. “Even investors are coming in. They are buying those properties, they’re fixing the things that need to be fixed and they’re paying for staging,” she added.
According to Brodnax, staging is an effective tool no matter what the housing market looks like. In a slow market, staging can make a house stand out and sell. However, in a hot housing market, where things are more competitive, those properties are getting attention and often bringing in multiple offers, said Brodnax.
Additional research done by the association showed that when 359 homes underwent staging before hitting the market, the homes received a first offer within 26 days after the staging. Of these homes, 69 receivemultiple offers. When a seller invests in staging before they list their home, the home will sell 87% faster, RESA studies proved.
Brodnax noted that staging has gained momentum over the past 10 years as the market has continued to change. “It’s just really becoming more known — staging is a must,” said Brodnax. “Ten years ago, stagers were really struggling to get people to listen to them… staging now is a no brainer.”
Audra Slinkey, president of Home Staging Resource, said homes that aren’t staged may still sell fairly quickly, but they may not sell for as much money as they could were they professionally staged.
“Homes that are not being staged… it’s like leaving money on the table,” said Slinkey.
According to Slinkey, the average cost of staging is approximately 1-3% of the value of the home. However, the return on investment can be as much as 8-10% back. “It’s a small cost and work on the sell side, but it’s a win,” said Slinkey. “You improve upon a product and the demand and price goes up.”
While the need for staging is ever-present, the recent housing crisis did have an impact on stagers. “The worst time for stagers was in 2008, when the only things on the market were foreclosures and short sales in a lot of areas. Banks weren’t going to pay for staging,” said Slinkey.
But even in slow seasons, the staging industry is able to keep busy. One of the things that stagers are good at is redesign work and holiday design during seasonal slowdowns, said Slinkey. “As a business model, they can still catch themselves,” she added. “They stay fairly busy during those months.”
More and more sellers are seeing the benefits behind staging. For most sellers, it’s all about showing buyers the property’s true potential.
Check out Linda Saavedra from Showhomes Tampa interviewed on The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show. Andrew Duncan is the leader of Tampa Bay’s Most Innovative Real Estate Team and the Host of The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show Sundays on 970AM WFLA. Locally recognized as one of the top teams and groups of realtors in Tampa and consistently ranked in the Top 20 of all real estate sales categories (nearly 10,000 agents) in Tampa,. See why a top Realtor is a huge fan of our model as he talks about the advantages of Showhomes
This article was originally written by Nairn Friemann, president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz Inc., RESA 2012 Professional Home Stager of the Year and a CSP graduate and intructor. Her article is wonderfully well written and really showcases the pitfalls associated with choosing the wrong home stager.
Five Common Costly Mistakes Made by Untrained Home Stagers
Selling a home is never easy. However, the challenges today seem overwhelming to most sellers.
The main criteria for selling real estate have always been location, size, and price but never before have presentation and condition been as important as they are today. 95% of buyers are shopping first on the Internet and “driving-by” properties in a “click.” Without a doubt, appealing website photos are the key to attracting buyer traffic (we have dubbed it ‘speed dating’ for homes). Visiting the property, buyers form first and lasting impressions within seconds. 90% of the population cannot visualize and base their judgments solely on what they see and how they feel, and research is proving that emotions play a much larger part of the decision making process than previously assumed.
In this tough market, buyers are also demanding and getting best value, so properties that are in good condition sell faster and for money. According to Barbara Corcoran, for every $1 a home seller does not invest in condition work, a buyer will deduct at least $3. Most buyers today are putting their full investment into the purchase price of the home and don’t have extra money for any major work. In addition, the majority of buyers do not have the time or the desire for renovation.
As professional home stagers, we cannot influence location, size and price factors. Our role is to collaborate with agents and home sellers to prepare properties for the marketplace to sell for top dollar as quickly as possible. This is impossible without thorough attention to condition issues and enhanced presentation.
A successful staging process begins with a professional analytical consultation that includes specific recommendations for the homeowner. It is our responsibility not only to tell the seller what they need to do but also to make sure they understand the importance of staging and to motivate them to follow through with the recommendations. Otherwise, they will not achieve their objectives of selling quickly and for top dollar. In fact they may not be able to sell at all.
A room such as this, left in ‘as is’ condition would fail to meet buyer expectations. In fact, it would probably drive those target buyers right to the competition.
This same room, now transformed, showcases the space superbly and is now a room buyers want to spend time in.
With so much at stake for home sellers, the staging consultation is critical to the preparation and marketing of the property. The expert advice trained staging consultants provide has significant financial importance. That is why real estate agents and home sellers should invest in trained professional home stagingconsultants. Unfortunately, many “stagers” are not trained and make serious mistakes that can be extremely costly to the home sellers. When the staging process is ineffective this can lead to longer time on the market, increased carrying costs for the seller, reduced selling price and increased stress. These are all extremely costly consequences for a home seller.
Here are five common costly mistakes made by untrained staging consultants:
1) They give away free consultations:
My view of this is “you get what you pay for.” Trained professional stagers understand the critical importance of the consultation as the first step in the staging process. They provide comprehensive room-by-room assessments and thorough, prioritized recommendations. They counsel, explain and motivate homeowners to invest in what needs to be done. The consultation should be value-rich.
Free consultations are generally “meet and greet” with some general information about the benefits of staging. They are superficial and fail to capitalize on this opportunity to address all the important staging issues of the property. In many cases the lack of attention to detail and other omissions can lead to ineffective staging, longer time on the market and reduced selling prices.
2) They provide decorating advice versus marketing strategy:
Trained professional stagers know that staging is not decorating – it’s marketing. A room can be beautifully decorated, but fail from a staging perspective. Our focus is on showcasing the best features of the property, making rooms look as bright and spacious as possible and creating buyer appeal and wow impact. Our work is strategic, always considering the buyers’ preferences and the camera’s eye. Even if someone is a talented decorator, they may not be qualified to give you professional staging advice.
3) They perform check-list style assessments but don’t analyze and prioritize recommendations.
This really demonstrates the level of expertise of your consultant. The room- by-room assessment is just the beginning – it is simply information gathering. Identifying the key strengths of the property, and analyzing and prioritizing recommendations in respect to market trends, buyers’ wish lists, and budget issues provides the homeowner with a clear understanding of not only what has to be done but why these actions are so important. This expert consulting advice helps sellers make the best financial decisions.
A professional home stager will evaluate and prioritize what needs to be done in a space to make it sellable.
4) They don’t know how to handle sensitive issues so avoid them.
Mastering the art of difficult conversations with home sellers is a key skill for professional home stagers. We are trained to address sensitive issues with home sellers and understand that it is imperative for us to do so. One strong negative impression can override a list of positive factors and prevent a sale. These sensitive issues can include odors, cleanliness problems, unattractive and dated décor, clutter, an abundance of religious items, provocative art, etc. A lack of understanding and or skill in handling these issues is not an excuse and avoiding them can be a very costly mistake.
5) They fail to motivate the client with an action plan
Professional home stagers know that it is not enough just to tell home sellers what they need to do. The true test of an effective consultation is that the consultant has been able to motivate the sellers to follow through with the recommendations. Trained staging consultants understand that the staging recommendations may seem overwhelming to their clients, but by outlining a feasible action plan, they will inspire confidence and demonstrate their ability to help with some or all of the process. Trained professional home stagers are serious business owners who are experts at consulting, design planning, problem solving, project management and showcasing. A home seller is far more likely to get the best advice, follow through with the necessary staging process and succeed at selling faster for top dollar if they invest in a consultation with a trained staging professional.
In that same living room as above, the property now shines because the professional stager made this key selling space a priority.
We would like to add:
When beginning your search for a professional home stager it is important to consider their portfolio, the length of time they have been in business, their education or training background, and that they have insurance. Take into account the calibre of work they do as well as the overall results they achieve for their clients. The home staging industry is not regulated and therefore anyone can call themselves a home stager. It is the duty of the home owner or the realtor to do their due diligence when researching the professionals in their area so that they select the right individual or company to partner with.
At Showhomes we are very pro franchising and there are a ton of great organizations that you can join. We wanted to share a great article predicting trends in the industry for the second half of 2013. Of the top 10 franchise sectors listed in this article Showhomes is involved in 3 of them (Home Based, Residential Services, and Real Estate). Finding the right franchise is one of the most important decisions you will make. We really recommend that you consider what you are the most passionate about in your life. As you will be spending lots of time in whatever franchise you choose you should do something you enjoy. Simply buying a franchise just because you think you can make a bunch of money usually isn’t the right choice. Talk to franchisees and see if you can envision yourself in their shoes. Whatever you choose to do go with your gut with what feels right.
“Senior care and mobile businesses show promise along with niche food-focused operations.
Franchises are expected to experience modest growth at best this year. This from “The Franchise Business Economic Outlook: 2013″ report and other sources.
Still, they should “outperform within many of the industries where franchises are concentrated,” predicts Matt Haller, vice president of public affairs and chief of staff to the president and CEO at Washington, D.C.’s International Franchise Association.
Which franchise sectors will see the most growth—and, hopefully, success—through the balance of 2013? Haller, along with author, blogger, and consultant, Joel Libava (“The Franchise King”), and Jeff Elgin, CEO of FranChoice Inc., believe the following ten are strong possibilities.
1. Senior Care.
“Everyone you ask about this is going to mention senior care,” Libava says. “It’s still a really good sector for franchising. The numbers don’t lie and the demographics line up just as they should.” That’s not to say it’s free of potential pitfalls. “What most people don’t realize about it is that it’s really a sales and marketing business. You need to be strong in both of those areas to make it work,” Libava stresses. “Yes, there are plenty of potential customers, but you aren’t going to get them if you don’t hit the pavement and create a referral network.”
- 2. Mobility.
This franchise sector also involves the senior population. Libava sees a potential windfall for businesses that install ramps or handrails in or around people’s homes. “There’s definitely a need out there for these kinds of services, since more and more people are staying in their homes as they age, but I think they may need to be paired with other senior services.”
3. Home- or Van-Based Service Businesses.
A few examples are Budget Blinds, CertaPro Painters, Fibrenew, Fish Window Cleaning, and franchises featuring pet- and children-related services, says Elgin. He considers these businesses especially appealing at the moment because they’re both low-investment and high-margin. “Since the financing marketplace basically went away four years ago, we’ve seen an explosion of focus on these types of franchises because many people can’t afford other more traditional fixed location opportunities without financing part of the initial investment.”
4. Business Services.
Haller ranks this segment of the franchise industry among the top two sectors in both employment growth and growth of the number of establishments this year. “As corporate America continues to do well, the demand for franchise business service providers steadily grows,” Haller maintains. Increased manufacturing and other such activities “will have a positive impact on a broad range of business services, which will continue to support the growth of franchises in this sector.”
5. Commercial and Residential Services.
“With the accelerated movement in the housing market, spending on home improvement is increasing and the demand for residential and commercial services is growing rapidly too,” says Haller, who expects this sector to grow by 2.8 percent this year. The continued sales of existing homes in 2013, he adds, “will mean more work for franchises that provide home care, from bathroom updates to lawn maintenance.”
6. Frozen Yogurt.
This has been one of the most talked-about sectors in franchising for the last three years, according to Libava. Perhaps as a result of all of that chatter, there are now over 25 different concepts in this particular space. “I have a feeling that it’s becoming crowded and increasingly difficult to differentiate one franchise from another,” he says. “Still, I think it’s one to watch.”
7. Gourmet Burgers.
Although this food-focused franchise sector also has been “hot” for a while now, Libava believes that just like frozen yogurt, the burger sector will continue to do well for some time to come. “A lot of people want burgers and fries, especially good ones.” He considers upscale burger joints to be “a safe bet for people who want to get into food franchising and also have several hundred thousand dollars—because they’re big investments.”
8. Various “Executive-Model, Rapid-Initial-Growth” Franchises.
A few examples of this sector are niche fitness franchises with a twist, like Kosama, or those that focus on massage and related services, such as Massage Envy. These businesses “typically have fixed locations and higher initial costs,” Elgin says, but they also tend to attract lots of customers “and therefore start making money far faster than standard franchise businesses.” Massage Envy is also like Target in that it brings affordable luxury to the masses…
9. Real Estate.
“The real-estate industry turned a corner last year and continues to add to that recovery in 2013,” Haller says. Specifically, he adds, sales of new homes will increase 26.5% this year, up from the 19% increases seen in 2012 . “New building construction is expanding, vacancies are coming down, and rental activity is improving,” Haller says.
10. Fast-Casual Restaurants.
A subset of traditional quick-service restaurants, these franchises “continue to be high on the list for strong ROI,” according to Haller. “Consumers are always looking for convenience and value and, as a result, turn to less expensive food options.” This particular sector should prove to be especially appealing for those looking to franchise, he adds, because of “the demand factor and [because] there are no limits to where you can open a quick-service restaurant.”
Here is a great blog post from Home Matters in Indianapolis:
Ready for another price reduction? How about multiple offers instead?
Do these scenarios seem too far apart to be realistic? Here in Indianapolis and our surrounding areas, sellers are facing one extreme or the other. With low inventory levels, buyers are snapping up well priced and presented homes quickly. Homes that don’t meet one of those two wickets (price or presentation) are not seeing the shift in market. They are still sitting and still requiring price reductions.
Properly presenting homes from the beginning
Whether a home is vacant or occupied, having the home staged prior to listing is an important part of receiving maximum returns. Statistics show that the first two weeks of a listing is the best time to receive an offer. Faster is better and to not have the home properly prepared from day 1 means leaving money on the table.
Waiting to stage until after the initial surge of showings is a common thought for many sellers who are trying to “save money” by seeing if they can sell without staging.While this thinking is understandable, it is also flawed. In order to maximize the possibility of multiple offers (something becoming more common in today’s market) professional home staging needs to happen from the beginning, not when the best sellers have already left the building.
Price reductions happen around 30 days
When a home has been on the market for more than 30 days it begins to feel stale to agents. Interest is waning and the likelihood of good offers is reduced. The average price reduction, according to Zillow is 1-3%. Often on a $200,000 home, price reductions may be $5,000 – $10,000 smashing that average with nearly 5% in reductions. Compare this to the cost of home staging. An average vacant staging job in this price range, would be in the low $2000′s. For occupied homes a professional evaluation and changes based on recommendations may only be a few hundred.
Even in a shifting market, homes will sit while others sell. Poorly presented homes will justify the price tag of similar homes with higher prices. If you are interested in preserving the equity of your home, there is no investment than home staging before the home is listed.”
Marty Barnes from The Entrepreneur Source recently wrote a great blog post about one of our long term franchisees Donna Muelver. Great overview of the fascinating people that are part of the Showhomes family.
“Our Entrepreneur this month wasn’t looking for a franchise and had little interest in owning one. But sometimes the franchise just finds you. Donna Muelver answered the door when opportunity knocked and she is happy she did.
Donna Muelver was a stay at home mom and foster parent and her husband Rick was a firefighter. One day a friend told them about a real estate sign installation company that was for sale. It was a struggling company with potential. Donna could run and market the business and her husband Rick and eldest son Wayne could help out with the installation of the lawn signs. They did this for over 10 years, increasing sales and adding real estate photography to their basket of services. And then, opportunity knocked again.
Here is a great blog from Chicagoland Staging:
“I was recently speaking to a group of homeowners who are thinking of selling their home in the next year. One of the lessons that I was trying to impart is the idea that faster is better when selling their home. I often hear, “I don’t care about selling fast. I care about getting the most from my home sale as I can.” What many sellers don’t realize is that there is usually a direct correlation between days on market and the net proceeds of your home sale.
Faster is better: 3 days is better than 30 days
As I was talking to the home sellers, all I could think of when I uttered the words, “faster is better”, was the AT&T commercial. You know the one. The little boy advises the adult that Grandma would like to be faster and they could strap a cheetah to her back in order to achieve this end result.
The one thing that is true of this marketing campaign is that faster is better, at least as it pertains to home selling. Consider for a few minutes if you were a buyer. You found a home that you really love. You found out it has only been on the market for 3 days. Consider what kind of offer you are likely to make.
Some of the offer decision making process will include:
- How quickly would you likely feel compelled to make that offer?
- What is the likelihood that you may have other potential buyers who want this property?
- How likely are they to take a lower offer?
Would your answers change if you knew the home had been on the market for 30 days? Most of the time the answer is, “Yes.” The average offer will be much higher if it’s made in 3 days than if it is made in 30. Most buyers will feel compelled to make a higher offer and do it more quickly. As the 30 day mark approaches, buyers begin to feel that there is no rush, and there won’t be any competing offers. Motivation gets much lower.
The truth is that in many markets, 30 days is still a very quick sale time. If the average days on market is 60, 45, or 90 days (or more) then 30 is a fabulous statistic. Offers will continue to decline every week the home lingers on the market.
Faster is better: Keeping your home show ready
Another part of the faster is better argument is that home sellers will have less work when the home sells quickly. It is a lot of work keeping a home show ready. Making the bed, vacuuming, keeping the laundry rooms free of work, removing the pets from the home, so on and so forth. How many times do you want to do this? When the home sells quickly, you’ll have to do this a lot less.
The truth is that when selling a home, faster is almost always better. Sellers will have less work preparing for showings, leaving the home for showings, and stress of wondering when the offer will finally come in. Offers will likely be higher, and very possibly there will be more of them if the home is shown in it’s best possible condition.”
Bellaire home wins in CNBC Competition “Best Bang For Your Buck”
Showhomes Home Staging had its home staging services recognized nationally by CNBC’s Million Dollar Home Contest.
Showhomes Home Staging, a national home staging franchise, staged the million dollar property that was selected by CNBC’s real estate expert, Dolly Lenz, as the “best bang for your buck” in the country, priced at $1 million on May 3, 2013.
The winning home on Cedar Street in Houston’s Bellaire neighborhood is listed by realtor Lisa Kornhauser who works for the firm of John Daugherty Post Oak Realtors, who asked Showhomes to help him stage the million-dollar property. The English manor is 4,413 square feet and features four bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms, a fire pit, outdoor kitchen and exceptional kitchen appliances.
Showhomes Home Staging specializes in helping realtors and homeowners sell homes by staging properties in such a way that prospective buyers can already imagine themselves living in the home.
“The key is to add little details,” says Matt Kelton, chief operating officer of Showhomes Home Staging, “Today’s Wall Street Journal by the coffee maker, slippers by the bed and fresh flowers on the dining room table make all the difference.”
CNBC’s Million Dollar Home Contest revealed a single multi-million dollar home in six different markets across the U.S.: Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Houston; New Haven, Conn.; and San Diego, Calif. The show aims to explore value in different markets and real estate trends in different regions of the country.
What’s that smell?
Scents and odors are everywhere and all buyers are influenced by them, particularly when looking at houses to purchase. The sense of smell is the strongest of all the senses to connect (or disconnect) buyers to your house.
When preparing to stage a house, we recommend getting rid of the sources of bad odors by making a house super clean and dealing with pet issues, to name a few. But how about subtly layering a scent through a house that has no odors, but is clean and staged?… Infusing scents for the sole purpose of helping convince buyers that your house is “the one”.
With that being said, should you pull out scented candles for your next showing or prepare to bake chocolate chip cookies for your Open House?
Well, no you shouldn’t and here’s why…
We need to stop doing what we THINK works to attract buyers and rely on studies that tell us what DOES work. Research shows that while popular scents may trigger positive emotions, they can distract from our ability to make decisions.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Eric Spangenberg, Dean of the College of Business at Washington State University, has been studying the effect of scents on the buying habits of people for over 20 years.
He and his co-authors published the results of their recent study in the Journal of Retailing.They found that shoppers spent 31.8% more when a store was scented with a simple orange scent over a complex blend of scents. Professor Spangenberg says the same principles apply to Open Houses, “because in both cases, the aromas may affect cognitive functions in the same areas of the brain involved in decision-making.” And what were their findings about stores with no scents? Buyers spent more in these stores than in the stores with complex blends, but less than in the stores with simple scents.
When buyers are confronted with a complex scent, even if it is pleasant, they are distracted by trying to figure out what the smell is instead on focusing on the house.
So, how do you know which scent to use? According to Professor Spangenberg,
”You need to think, ‘What scent will buyers associate with this environment?’ It must be simple and positive and congruent.”
Simple: He recommends using simple scents, such as orange, lemon, basil, vanilla, green tea, pine and cedar. These scents are easier to sort out, less distracting and thus more conducive to spending.
Positive: Equally important is the strength and source of that scent. You don’t want buyers to be bowled over by a strong scent the minute they walk through the door. As the saying goes…”less is more.”
“You want scents to be on the edge of your perception — not centrally processed. This leaves the central part of your brain to do what it does best: process the task at hand” – Eric Spangenberg
Using natural, organic elements will help keep the scents subtle and also prevent turning off buyers who are sensitive or allergic to synthetic commercial products.
Congruent: You must select a scent that is in harmony with the location of your house. The scent of pine may be great if your house is on a wooded l
How do you infuse your home with simple, organic scents?
Original Source: Sue Proud of Proud Home Staging: http://proudhomestaging.com/2013/04/