Cut the Cost of Home Staging – 4 Top DIY Guidelines

Are you a home seller who’s interested in home staging? You probably are, seeing how popular staging has become recently. As it rightfully should because staging has proven itself to be beneficial to home sellers, realtors, and buyers alike. However, the cost of home staging by professional stagers is not a light one and it might prove too burdensome for some home sellers.

You do not have to forgo the benefits though just because you think you do not have the budget to hire a professional. You can actually do it yourself! The staging process can actually be learned and performed by the sellers themselves. This is why DIY or do-it-yourself staging has started to proliferate.

If you’re worried that you don’t know where to start, don’t be. I’ve compiled a short list of DIY staging steps that you can easily apply for your own home!

Here are 4 Fundamental Tips in Staging Your House:

1. Know the critical areas Home Buyers look at

Home buyers pay specific attention to areas of the house that most home sellers overlook. These areas are not quite the top priority for some home sellers but buyers tend to be quite critical to these things like your flooring or walls. For some sellers, these areas are just trivial aesthetic issues but for home buyers, it’s more than that.

Pay close attention to those areas because they might be the tie breaker your buyers are considering when choosing between your house and a different seller’s house. Don’t let any chance escape you.

2. Brighten up your home

You may not be aware of it, but your house has most likely become darker and darker inside since when you first move in. Look around and you’ll notice all the items you’ve added to your home over the years. You’ve probably put up curtains and blinds all over the place as well as big furniture. While you might be totally comfortable in this ambience, it might give off a different feel to your home buyers.

Dim houses might project a gloomy and unwelcome atmosphere to those who are visiting your house for the first time. Consider these points and make sure your house looks warm and welcoming to your buyers by improving your lighting.

3. Use moderate colors

Look at your house. Does it look good to you? Most likely, the answer is yes, right? After all, majority of home owners try to “break-in” their homes by adding a bit of their own flavors into the house. The same goes for the colors we choose when painting and decorating our houses.

The thing is, our personal tastes might not be shared by many other people. That’s why, it is best to choose moderate or neutral colors as you repaint your house when staging. The best look to go for when staging your house is the modern, fresh, and neutral look. Neutral colors have a more universal appeal and will therefore attract more buyers than strong or bright colors.

4. Make sure your house is clean

In the home staging context, “cleaning” is more than just taking out the trash and wiping out all the dust. “Cleaning” means removing all the clutter inside the house. This means keeping all your personal items away from your buyers’ sight. This includes your trophies, family pictures and other memorabilia that marks your identity as the home owner.

When touring a house, home buyers want to feel like they’ve found their new home. They are trying to imagine themselves living in their new house. Seeing all your personal items will distract them from doing that. It’s best to hide these things instead.

These are just a few of the many simple things you can do with your house. Follow these guidelines and you’ll surely be on your way to a successfully staged house, ready to be sold to eager home seekers. Good luck!

What Every Home Seller Must Know

As most people are aware, it can be quite challenging to try to sell a home in the existing real estate market. The market is flooded with inventory and lenders have tightened their lending guidelines. Buyers have become wary of the idea of evening owning a home. Short sales and foreclosures have made it increasingly difficult for regular homes to be competitive. Given all of the challenges of trying to sell a home in the current market, there are several critical things that anyone considering selling right now should be aware of.

One of the most common mistakes that many home sellers make is in thinking that just because they purchased their home for a certain amount a few years ago, they should be able to sell it at the same price or that by lowering the price, they are offering prospective buyers a great deal. The simple truth of the matter is that home buyers are not concerned with how much you paid for your house when you purchased it. They are only concerned with the way your home compares to the rest of the competition. Therefore, regardless of how great of a deal you think you may be offering, if there is a comparable home on the market and it is listed for less, there is a strong chance you are going to lose out to the other home.

Another common mistake made by home sellers in the current market is in thinking that just because their home appraised for a specific amount, they should be able to ask the same amount when selling. The home appraisal process is far from perfect. It is based on comparable sales within the recent past and while an appraiser can often justify a higher price with relevant comps, it is also possible to justify a lower selling price with comparable sales as well. Ultimately, any home is only worth what an able buyer is willing to pay for it and that decision will frequently be based on other options that are available in the area.

Despite the conditions of the current market, there are still some sellers that remain in denial regarding their ability to sell their home at top value. While there is still always the chance that a dream buyer will come along and offer what you are asking for your home, you still have to get past the appraisal hurdle. Unless that buyer is paying cash and is not requesting an appraisal, one will likely be required by the lender if financing is involved. If your home is like most currently on the market, you are surrounded by properties that have witnessed a decline in value as a result of the housing crisis. What this means for you is that when the appraisal comes in on your home, it is likely going to be far less than the dream offer you received as a result of those low market values surrounding your property. Ultimately, you still may have to accept a lower offer on your home to get past the appraisal and to avoid having the contract fall through due to the lender’s refusal to honor it.

There is no denying that the current market is extremely competitive. Things that buyers were willing to overlook several years ago, they can now afford to nit-pick over. Selling a home in the existing market is nothing short of sheer war and in order to win, you must make sure that your home outshines all of the rest of the competition. The best way to get started is by making sure your home shines-on the inside and the outside. The quickest way to kill a prospective showing is with an overkill of clutter and personal belongings. Get a head start on your packing and clear out as much as you can. It’s crucial to that all-important first impression.

Finally, do not underestimate the importance of the Internet. Gone are the days when buyers found homes to buy by driving by For Sale Signs. The great majority of all buyers today located properties online. If your property is not being marketed online, you are missing out on a huge section of the market. To gain the most exposure for your property possible, it is crucial that you have photos of your property online. Not only should those photos appear on your broker’s website, but also on all of the relevant real estate websites, including,, etc. If possible, strongly consider posting a virtual tour of your home online to attract even more attention.

Deciding If You Should Buy or Build Your New Home

The process of purchasing a new home is very exciting, but many people ask the same question when they are trying to find their dream home: is it better to build a home, or buy a pre-built home? There are definitely pros and cons to both options, and this article is going to explore those factors so that you can make the decision for yourself.

The first thing to consider is whether or not you are picky about the floor plan and layout of the home. If you have a specific floor plan in mind that you cannot live without, then it may be best to build a custom home because it will likely be difficult to find a home with the exact layout. But, if you are a little more flexible with the overall layout, then you may be able to find a home with features that are similar to what you had in mind.

Cost can also be a factor, because buying a pre-built home can sometimes be cheaper if the home is a few years old. Even brand new homes can sometimes be cheaper if they are built by a large home builder, because the builder can often get discounts on labor and material when they are building a number of homes at the same time. So, if you want to save money still buy a brand new home, then you may talk with a home builder to see which pre-built options are available.

Time is another issue for some new home buyers, simply because they don’t want to wait for a custom home to be built. When a pre-built home is purchased, the buyer can often move within a few weeks because the home is ready to go. But, building a custom home requires the buyer to be patient, because it may take a few months before the home is built and ready to go.

You will also want to consider location, because options change depending on the area where you would like to live. If you are looking for a home out in the country, then you will have plenty of options available to buy land and build a home according to your own wants and needs. But, if you would like a downtown residence, then it may be nearly impossible to find land that can be built on… simply because most of the open areas have already been developed.

Buying a home and building a custom home can both have their own advantages and it is a personal decision that each person needs to make. No matter what you decide, if you take the time to prepare and plan, you will definitely be happy that you decided to live the American dream and purchase a home!