- Recently, according to a NAR (Natl’ Assoc. of Realtors) publication’s questionnaire, numbers were compiled on how many Realtors would “stage a fridge”. Here are the interesting results:
– 49% “Absolutely. No detail is too small for some buyers.”
– 26% “Only if the fridge is staying with the house.”
– 15% “Maybe, but it’s overkill. Anyone who cares what’s in the fridge is too picky.”
– 10% “Yuck! I’m a real estate professional, not a maid!”
Now me? I know that staging is important. And it’s more important in some homes than others. I will go over strategies with my clients individually tailored to create great “flow” in their home, and an easy, expansive and pleasant showing experience for their potential Buyers… sometimes by moving furniture a bit, moving, removing or swapping out artwork, de-cluttering and clearing countertops, as well as generally minimizing. I will say, though, that I am a sucker for the fact that people still need to “Live” in their home during the Selling process, so I am not as strict as some agents. But, I will explain that if someone is distracted by your personal belongings- family photos etc, they are now not looking at your home… they are looking at your things…. You want the Buyer to be able to see themselves living in your home, picturing what their furniture will look like over there, and getting excited at the idea of living in it. That’s why neutral colors are encouraged, what I call “old lady wallpaper” is discouraged, and things that might evoke a negative response in people such as overly religious decor, lots of alcohol on display or political “statements” are not advised. The way it was explained to me before I was a Realtor and was selling my first home makes the most sense: “The way you live in a home (most people anyway : ) is completely different from the way you sell a home.” ***I would not stage a fridge : )
- When Selling your home, make sure to fill out each line of the Property Disclosures. There are boxes for N/A and Unknown. If you don’t see the appropriate box, just write in N/A or whatever is correct. The point is to disclose everything you know about your property, and I will tell you that the best policy is “Disclose, Disclose, Disclose”. If there is something you are not sure you should put on the Disclosure because you think that if you did, it would make someone potentially think twice about buying your home… that is a huge hint to disclose it! Most Buyers know that they are not buying a brand new home (unless they are : ) and so are expecting there to be some issues here & there. These are fodder for potential negotiation, and you know that, as a Buyer, you yourself would feel much more comfortable & more likely to remain engaged buying from people who were being up-front with you about their home. You can also make the choice to correct whatever issue it is prior to filling out the Disclosure form. Disclosing “issues” also protects you in the event that something happens later on after the sale, and was the result of something that you normally would have been aware of but didn’t include on your disclosures. You can attach separate pieces of paper to explain certain things, or, if you have room, just make a note on the form itself. Remember… Disclose, Disclose, Disclose!
- I’m told property taxes were just confirmed yesterday. At this time of year, if you are in the middle of a transaction, it’s always good to talk w/your Agent and Escrow Offcer about how taxes will play out in your Closing breakdown. The tax year begins on July 1st, and runs through June 30th of the following year, BUT, the tax amounts are not finalized until around this time of year. If you are buying in September, for instance, Escrow will likely take a stab at figuring out what your taxes will amount to by taking last year’s number, and adding on a certain percent. If you over-pay at Closing, you will receive a check in the mail shortly afterward refunding anything over-estimated. Escrow is your neutral third party. Utilize their services so that you are fully prepared when you get to the closing table!