Staging Diva Home Staging Tips For the Basement

Certain areas of a home are more likely than others to be forgotten about when it comes to staging a property to sell. However, these often-ignored spaces which seem unimportant to some homeowners (and even some home stagers), might actually rank higher than expected on a prospective buyer’s property wish list.

One often forgotten space of a home is the basement. You never know what a prospective buyer may have planned for the basement of a property you’re staging. If the homeowners are using their basement primarily for storage, make sure everything is in order so a buyer can perceive it as a great, usable space.

The basement should never be kept looking like a dumping ground when a house goes up for sale.

o Put up shelves to get as much clutter off the floor as you can. Have your clients donate or sell anything they don’t want to move and suggest they put other large items into storage that they’ll be taking with them to their new home.

o If the walls and floor are dingy, give them a fresh coat of paint.

o Install better lighting if needed.

o Put up blinds to hide ugly views from basement windows.

o In a finished basement, help buyers envision a use for the space by adding props such as a craft table or workout equipment. Add accessories such as plants, art and lamps to give the space warmth.

Taking care to ensure the basement of a property you’re staging looks its absolute best gives your clients a great advantage.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Debra Gould

Choose A CARING Real Estate Agent

Whether you are looking to sell your home, or seeking to buy either your first house, or a new one, statistics indicate, those represented by quality, responsive real estate agents, generally, obtain the best/ finest results! In most areas, there are a large number of agents, to choose from, so doesn’t it make sense, to take the time, and make the effort, to carefully, interview several, and determine, who’s best, for you? There are many factors to consider, but, since, for most of us, our house, represents, either our single – largest, or one of our largest, financial assets, it’s worth the effort, to get, what you need, and deserve. In other words, you need a CARING real estate agent, and. only, when you take the time, and effort, to choose wisely, it’s in your best interests. With that in mind, this article will briefly examine, consider, and review, using the mnemonic approach, what this means, and represents.

1. Character; clarity; cooperative: Focus on the true character, of each individual, Will he proceed, with the level of clarity, to make a quality difference, for the better? Does the prospective agent, proceed with a cooperative approach, rather than an adversarial one?

2. Attitude; aptitude; attention; articulate: You benefit when your representative possesses a positive, can – do, attitude, and looks for ways, you can, rather than focusing on problems. How well – developed are the individual’s skills and aptitude? Will he pay keen attention, to you, and your needs? Choose someone who is articulate, and clearly communicates with all parties!

3. Relevant; realistic; ready: Markets and economies change, and only someone, who pays attention, and uses relevant methods and approaches, achieves the finest results. Avoid someone who seeks to buy, your listing, by suggesting an overly optimistic, listing price. Is the agent, ready, for prime – time?

4. Integrity; ideas; imagination: The single – biggest thing to demand, is someone with absolute integrity! When you find this, then you need someone who will have a well – developed, relevant imagination, and ideas, which make a difference, for the better!

5. Needs; neighborhood: Choose someone who knows the neighborhood, thoroughly, and believes in it. Combining this, with putting your needs, first, is in your best – interest!

6. Generate goodwill; great: A great agent proves his worth and value. by generating goodwill, based on a combination of integrity, knowledge, skill – set, negotiating ability, and other relevant characteristics, as well as his responsiveness, etc. Find yourself, a great, rather, than, merely a good one!

Who you choose to serve your real estate needs, has a significant impact! Choose wisely, and carefully, and make it, a great – fit!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Richard Brody

3 Quick & Easy Ways to Sell Your Home Fast

I had to fire a Seller; no matter how I delivered the suggestions as her real estate professional, she just would not listen. I was contacted by the Seller and asked if I would list her house. I knew from mutual associates this gal was pretty eccentric so I took on the challenge. Just so happened a home improvement show was filming in Denver at the time and looking for features. I sent the producer photos and a brief description of my Seller and her home. The producer called me within seconds of me firing off the email. Porcelain Chicken & Pink walls do not sell homes…

1) The Prospective New Buyer Loves to See „Light & Bright“, so clean and De-clutter Your Home A.S.A.P.: Remove your personality; place as many personal effects into boxes and bring them to storage. This will help to make it look bigger and cleaner. The Buyer will then be able to envision their own belongings & style in the home. Avoid using bright colors and too many personal effects.

2) Maintain Curb Appeal: Get your landscaping in shape. Weeds and dead grass take away from the home’s overall first impression. Buy some seed & feed, pull the weeds, trim the bushes and pick up the debris. Don’t just do this once, you have to stay on top of it and take care of the landscaping weekly.

3) Price it Right: Don’t just listen to your neighbors, you can’t estimate on what someone sold for on the block 3 years ago. You have to be realistic and logical; this is an area where emotion cannot become involved. is a good free website where you can get a good idea of value. Though not set in stone, you need to consider your amenities, square footage and location. Best advice is to be realistic and logical – put yourself in the Buyer’s frame of mind. Seriously, consider what you would pay for the property and keep in mind everyone can justify a purchase if they can perceive and justify the value. We all love a great deal…Right?

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Kate O’Toole

How to Sell Your Own Home – Part 2 – Staging

Part 2 – Staging Sells Your Home Fast.

In 2009 many people began a business in real estate sales by selling their own house. Today, (2010) many of these same people are still trying to sell that first home. The market is tough and with so many homes on the market, today’s buyer is looking for an extraordinary home at a reasonable price, not an ordinary home at an extraordinary price. If you are a For Sale by Owner seller who is not partnering with a REALTOR®, this article will provide you with some guidelines that will help speed the process up and make your home extraordinary.

For example, using our checklist as a guide, the first task after setting the proper price, (see article 1) is preparing your home to sell or „staging.“

Before we get into the heart of staging, we need to discuss disclosure. Staging does not mean hiding. As the seller, you should be aware that the seller’s disclosure of material facts is an important part of a real estate transaction. We suggest you first get your home inspected by a licensed home inspector. Make sure that your home is termite free, and has good plumbing; water quality, lead, radon, septic tank, asbestos, electricity.

If you are partnering with a REALTOR®, they will know of a professional who is reliable and experienced. If you are going strictly on your own, you can look up their listings in the phone book under Home and Building Inspectors. Beware however. Anyone armed with a „do it yourself“ book and a business license can call themselves a home inspector. Some states do not require the inspector to pass a test or be certified. Make sure that you them through the Better Business Bureau. Ask for their credentials and verify references. It’s a little effort that results in maximum benefits.

As we discussed in the last article on „Setting the Price,“ the first thing to remember in selling your home fast is to highlight the best parts of your home. Remember – „first impression“ is important. Just because many of you are still living in the home you are selling, it doesn’t mean that the home has to appear „lived in.“

Make your home attractive to a potential buyer by making sure the first view is their most attractive view. Walk to the street in front of your home and turn around. What do you see? Be honest with yourself; would you pay the price you’re asking. Is the lawn cut, curb edges manicured?

Are the bushes trimmed? Is the paint fresh or chipped and fading? Has the roof seen better days; missing shingles or curled up in spots? Are windows broken, screens missing? Is there clutter everywhere, bikes and toys lying all over? Are fences down or missing slats or links? Are walkways broken, cracked or missing? To answer the obvious question here – NO, the new buyer does not want to do those repairs themselves, no matter how attractive the price is.

Ok, assuming the outside checklist is finished, walk inside the home, with that same critical eye and notepad in hand. Make sure the inside of your house is attractive. A well decorated home, with freshly washed or painted walls and clean carpets, with furniture neatly arranged, will sell faster and for more money than one that looks „lived“ in. De-personalize the home. Get rid of the personal mementos and wall decorations, sports plaques or your child’s finger painting you have tacked onto the refrigerator as well as un-clutter and re-arrange desk(s) and bookshelves.

Clean the kitchen and bathrooms until they shine. These are the two most critically looked at areas of the house, right after the living room. If you have problems doing this, you may need to hire a home stager and a professional cleaning crew so that your home will look organized, clean and tidy.

After your home is in its best performance, you can also hire a professional photographer to take some great pictures of your home. Why you ask? Because in today’s market, many home buyers and their buying broker, look for houses on the web first.

If you belong to a FSBO service, they usually have a spot for you to put pictures of the home. Do not trust this requirement to your trusty digital camera you got for Christmas. Get a professional who knows real estate sales. Remember that first impression is an important thing, how can you sell your home fast if your home itself does not look attractive on the web. You want them willing to see your home after they have viewed the pictures you put up..

After all those things set, you can start to make an „open house.“ Open houses should be scheduled on the time in which your home shows its best performance or condition. For example, if you have a beautiful garden, show it off during the morning before the flowers start to wilt. If there’s one thing that you love most about your home, be sure to share it with potential buyers, but don’t hover. Let the potential buyers look for themselves. Let them ask questions and answer them honestly but then shut up. As a professional REALTOR® who partners with FSBO sellers, I have seen more first time sellers talk the customer out of buying, than I have ever seen them talk one into buying.

With today’s influx of foreclosures, if you need to sell your home fast, you may need some help from a professional in order to take advantage of their buyers list and their nationwide marketing.

If you are partnering up with the services of a real estate firm, your REALTOR® will be able to help you determine what needs to be repaired or corrected.

In conclusion, selling your home fast by yourself is not an impossible task. Those expenses you will incur to freshen up the home are worthwhile when compared to the money gained in the sale.

By Hans Rosielle – GRI

Property Mill Real Estate Group LLC

A Fixed Fee REALTORS® Guide for the FSBO Seller.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Hans Rosiele

Marketing Your Vacation Rental Home – In Print and In Person

The third and final part of this series on marketing your vacation rental home will focus on using printed materials and on finding unique ways to get the word out about your rental property. While the Internet has become an important tool in marketing vacation homes, real-world options are still valuable and can help you find potential renters both locally and globally.

Brochures and Flyers

Full-color brochures and flyers can be extremely effective tools for marketing vacation homes. They are inexpensive and easy to produce on your own by using your home computer and a simple publishing program. You can also spend a little more and have a graphic designer create some for you. Start with a small run rather than thousands.

It is important to include quality pictures of your home, including not only the front of the house but also a few things that make it stand out, such as your extra-large bathroom, your swimming pool, or your beautiful view. You should also include your name, phone number, email address, the location of the vacation rental home (if space permits) and, ideally, the URL for your own personal website.

Check around the town in which your vacation rental is located for spots to place your brochures or flyers. Ask local businesses to hang them in windows or place them for patrons to take. Churches and schools may have bulletin boards on which you can post your flyers as well. You can also expand the scope of your efforts by keeping brochures or flyers with you at all times when you travel or in your hometown and placing them strategically for people to take.


Postcards are another great way to go about marketing vacation homes. They are practical, useful, and inexpensive. Again, include pictures of your home as well as contact information and your website URL. Not only can you place these postcards around town, but you can also leave a stack of them in the home itself. Renters will use the postcards to send notes to their friends and family, who may then see what a great time is had at your vacation rental and contact you directly for their own trip. You can also use these postcards to send notes to friends and family, or to thank your renters for staying with you.

Print Advertising

Running advertisements in print publications is the traditional way to go about marketing vacation homes, but you can put a spin on this approach. First, ads can get expensive as most publications charge by the word or column inch, but you can keep costs down by listing your website URL rather than a long description of your vacation rental. Your URL can contain all of the important details, and the ad can just state the location of your home and some basic contact information.

Additionally, you can advertise your vacation rental home in both standard and more unusual spots. Run an ad in the paper that is local to your rental home for sure, but also seek out publications that cover topics that are related to your home. For example, if your home is located near a golf course, run an ad in a golf magazine enticing golfers to come and stay. If your home is near the beach, a surfing or fishing magazine might work well for you. Try to stay ahead of your competition and reach as many potential renters as you possibly can.

Additional Options

Another approach to marketing vacation homes is to offer up a weekend as a prize in a local raffle. There are fundraisers going on all the time for various causes, and they would probably be thrilled to receive this as a prize to give out. At the same time, you benefit because it gets your vacation rental home noticed and even those that do not win will be made aware of your existence.

You should also create a signature for your emails that includes some basic information about your home. You never know who will see your message, and your friends and family will always have your contact information at their fingertips to share with those that they know as well.

Above all, the personal touches that one puts into marketing vacation homes are what helps the owner close the deal. Capitalize on the fact that you are a real person with a real home for rent rather than a corporation with an anonymous hotel room. People are more likely to choose your vacation rental home if they feel comfortable with you, so take the time to be available to answer questions or meet with people in the community.


When you are involved with marketing vacation homes, you need to make sure you cover all of your bases. There are many homes out there competing for renters, so you need to stand out. Make sure you create a website for your vacation rental home, and then add your home and its URL to reputable listing sites for additional traffic. Use word of mouth and referrals from friends and family to your best advantage. And never forget that print advertising still has its place, even in today’s online world. Savvy owners know that with a strong strategy in place for marketing their homes, they’ll be sure to book their rentals year round with ease.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Fraser Hannah

Selling Your House In A Down Economy

Challenging economic conditions means that the real estate market is ideal for buyers but a graveyard for sellers hoping for a good deal. The housing market in the United States is at its lowest ebb in almost three decades. The Mortgage Bankers Association states that in 2011, 8 million Americans were at least one month behind with their mortgage payments with 5 million of these homeowners two months behind. With huge numbers of houses up for the sale, prices are falling rapidly and sellers are caught in a trap. Below are some tips for selling your home in a down economy for a reasonable price.

Find A Great Realtor

Although you can try and sell the property yourself, it is asking an awful lot to list your house and do all the ground work without real knowledge of the industry. Despite the fact that a realtor will cost you from 3-6% of the selling price, their expertise could easily make up that difference. Find a local agency that’s familiar with your neighborhood including knowledge of comparable properties in the area, school systems etc. Check the realtor’s sales history over the last few years. You want a successful realtor that is not too busy to give your property his full attention.

Marketing Plan

Your real estate agent is responsible for producing a marketing plan but it is your duty to familiarize yourself with the plan as it’s an essential element of driving traffic and getting more people to view your home. Your property must be visible on top internet sites such as The best realtors have their own website so make sure your property is on display there too.


This is your chance to shine. Walk through the home with your agent and he should be able to point out things that may turn off potential buyers. The good news is that preparation work for your home can be performed on a relatively tight budget. Take care of the property’s exterior first with neatly trimmed hedges and colorful flowers always a plus. Repair any bricks or handrails that are loose and also ensure the roof is in perfect condition.

Ensure all walls are painted and carpets are professionally cleaned. Remove all odors to leave a fresh smell and move around furniture to make the living space look as large as possible. If you can’t make your property look immaculate by the time the first viewers arrive, your home will remain unsold.


Look at the active listings, pending listings and recent sold statistics of homes that can reasonably be compared to yours. However, be wary when looking at selling prices as those sales could have taken place a few months ago. Economic conditions can change very quickly so you may have to adjust prices to suit the existing market. Pay special attention to listed prices as this is your competition.

Once you have followed the above steps, you need to be quick to follow-up on inquiries. Your realtor generally handles follow-up activity including emails or phone calls from interested parties. Hopefully, you will receive plenty of interest thus enhancing the possibility of receiving a fair price for your home.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Jason Kay

How to Determine Closing Costs As a Seller

Determining the closing costs as a seller in any real estate deal is really a simple process. Selling raw land in most areas is easier to determine than that of buying a home. Because insurance and utility bills aren’t included in the transaction, the most difficult item to determine in a raw land deal will be the taxes. Let’s break down the basic items you’ll focus on in determining the closing costs of a new residential lot.

The first consideration will be the taxes on the lot. In most areas, at closing, the seller will pay the buyer the prorated amount for the taxes on the lot. At the end of the year, the buyer will be responsible for the full amount of the tax bill. Let’s make a simple example to show how this process works. If the annual tax bill on the lot is $365 and the closing date was January 10th (the 10th day of the year), then the seller would pay the buyer $10 dollars as their portion of the taxes at closing. Note that we are keeping the example simple, as each day, the taxes on the lot equal 1 dollar. The buyer collects the $10 dollar prorated amount at closing, and at the end of the year, the buyer is responsible for the full amount, or $365.

Next, there are attorney fees to consider. The primary responsibility that the seller has for the sale of raw land or a residential lot is having the deed prepared and delivered to the buyer by closing. The preparation fee of having the deed ready at closing will vary according to the attorney that is chosen. Generally, for the deed preparation on a residential lot, the cost can be as little as $150, or as high as $250 dollars. Of course these rates vary, depending on the state or region you are acquiring the land or lot. If you are a real estate agent, it is wise to have a regular attorney you trust and can depend on. This way, you’ll have a pretty good idea on what your attorney fees will be. In addition to the deed preparation, there may be recording fees and/or courier fees added to the sellers closing costs. These are generally less than $50.

There are also deed stamps to consider. This is a transfer of ownership tax charged by the county that the land or lot is located. Let’s give an example of how the deed stamp tax would be calculated. Let’s say that the tax is $1.85 per every $500 dollars. If the lot sale price were $200,000, then the deed stamp tax would be $740. To easily calculate the deed stamp tax, in this case, divide the contract price by 500, and then multiply it by $1.85. This determines the amount due by the seller at the closing of the land or lot.

Finally, there is the real estate commission involved in the sale of the land or lot. This is the percentage or amount that the seller of the land or lot will pay to the real estate agency. Because of the anti-trust laws, a real estate brokerage firm is never allowed to base their commission percentage on what other real estate brokerage firms are charging. You, as the seller, should check with your real estate brokerage firm to find out what the commission fee will be. The fee is generally lower for raw land or lots than it is for a home site with a dwelling already established. The seller can then use this amount to deduct it from the sale price of the land or lot, or add it to the closing costs.

Sellers should always check with a reputable real estate attorney to be certain that all information given is completely accurate. This information is extremely reliable, but sellers should definitely seek the advice of a real estate attorney for any guarantees.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Blake Templeton

Tips For Home Selling During the Holidays

To ease stress during the holidays, here are helpful hints to enjoy the spirit of the season even while marketing your home:

  • Determine a schedule with your real estate agent for days and times most ideal for buyer previews to be conducted; this will help maximize important family time and minimize housecleaning.
  • Keep ice melt salt near the front door to ensure porches and sidewalks are cleared for guests. Make arrangements for snow & ice removal if you will not be home to maintain safe passage.
  • Place rugs at the front door for guests to wipe their feet; do not be shy asking guests to remove shoes once inside to avoid falls on hardwood or tile floors.
  • Holiday scented candles can be problematic; some buyers may be just as sensitive to candle scents as they are to pet dander.
  • Double check that all candles are extinguished and decorative lights turned off before leaving home, even if leaving a few minutes before scheduled appointments (in case buyers run late or cancel at the last minute!).
  • Keep a roll of ready-to-bake chocolate chip cookies handy; bake them an hour before an Open House for a welcomed aroma! (but keep the cookies for your family to enjoy, do not leave cookies out for guests).
  • As with all valuables in the home, ensure that holiday gifts; whether wrapped or unwrapped, are stowed away for safekeeping.
  • If using a lockbox to provide access; ask your real estate agent to remove the lockbox and accommodate showings, if possible, during the holiday season.

These are just a few helpful hints to discuss with your real estate agent to ensure you and your family can preserve a wonderful holiday season!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Tamela Roche

Top 4 Things You Need To Know Before Selling A Home

It goes without saying, that selling a house is a major financial transaction that will significantly impact your economic health for many years to come. This is the reason why it’s imperative to ensure you understand what needs to be done to make a quick and lucrative sale. Besides, home buyers are looking for the best, so a home for sale by owner can easily slip through the cracks if it is not in tip-top condition and is not advertised properly. Whether you are a seasoned home selling veteran or a first time home seller, the process of selling a home will inevitably be challenging and complex.

Nonetheless, with a little know-how, you will be able to sell your home in no time. Listed below are four important things you need to know before selling a home.

1. Set a reasonable asking price- Properly pricing a home for sale is one of the most, if not the most, important parts of selling a house. Besides, if you overprice your house it either won’t sell, or it will take much longer to sell than it should. Home buyers are streetwise and know immediately when a home for sale is overpriced. Consecutively, you should always ask for a price that’s realistic which can bring you buyers instead of overcharging and turning off many potential buyers.

2. Make your first impression count- In today’s highly competitive market, first impressions are everything if you want to sell your house fast and for the highest possible price. Furthermore, do your best to make sure your home looks as inviting as possible. Besides, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to tidy up the garden, cut the grass and plant a few flowers.

3. Advertise your property online- With the advent of the Internet, more and more people are searching for houses for sale online. It is therefore vitally important that you advertise your house on as many of the major property web portals as possible. Furthermore, while listing your house online, make sure you provide relevant photos of the interior as well as exterior of your home. Besides, attractive display pictures and detailed description makes your chances better for a higher volume of relevant responses.

4. De-clutter your home- Before showing your house to the buyers, make sure you thoroughly clean your house and de-clutter it of any unused or extra articles. Also, organize your wardrobes and other storage spaces and try to highlight more empty space. Any home buyer would notice available storage spaces in the home, as they are one of the important segments of the home.

While these were some of the things you need to know before selling your house, there are many others, such as clear your dues, depersonalize your space, inspect the house among many others.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Tushar Deep Singh

Alternative Ways of Selling a House

If you are in the market of selling your house, most individuals point you in the direction of a real estate agent. These individuals are able to list your house on a wide network, and give potential buyers more access to the home. Of course, if your house is sold you must pay a percentage to the real estate agent for doing most of the leg work. If you want to cut the real estate agent out of the picture and reap all the benefits of selling the house there are other alternatives. This includes selling your house privately, to home buyer specialists and via an auction. Depending on many factors it is possible to receive more money through these actions (although to sell my house this way, you may also lose some money through one of these transactions).

Sell Your House Privately

This is just like selling the house through a real estate agent, but you do all the leg work. If you have the time to perform all the extra work it may be worth doing. However, you can’t just let the house sit there with a for sale sing in the yard, as only the people who drive by the house are going to see this. You need to have the house listed on home buying websites, in the newspaper and any other option available to you. It is vital to have more eyes see your home, as this brings in more potential buyers. On top of this, you also need a professional to stop by and give you a price estimate on how much the home is worth.

Home Buyer Specialist

These individuals or companies are willing to pay cash up front for the house. You do not sell the house for how much it is worth, but if you really don’t care all that much and either just need the money or need to move fast, this is a valuable option. After the individual reviews the house they give you an offer, if you take it the person gives you cash on the spot.

Sell House at Auction

If you live in a high demand neighborhood where people gobble up the hoses, it may be best to sell my house via an auction. This way, the people interested in the house bid on the property, which in turn may result in the house selling for more than it’s worth. Of course, if the house is not in demand, it is possible to lose money.

So depending on your circumstances, you can choose any of the ways described above.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Shaun Greer

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