Set the Stage For Your Own Home Selling Success Story

There’s a new wave of home shows on TV these days and the focus is on getting a house seen and sold quickly and for top dollar. These shows feature all the elements of a good plot; drama, comedy, suspense, bad guys, victims, good guys, and always it seems a happy ending.

The drama unfolds with the scene set as the sellers, our victims, are obviously in desperate need of a quick home makeover to sell the place. The bad guys, the Realtor or potential buyers walk through the willing victim’s home and offer candid, sometimes crude remarks on how the house shows. The victims generally sit like rabbits in hole at a neighbor’s house and watch on TV as the scene unfolds and what these bad guys have to say about their place.

Yikes, they need help! Here they come to save the day, the helpful crew, our heroes; stagers, designers, painters, carpenters, camera men and of course our host, to the aide of our sellers. They will rescue our victims and the sale of their home by getting it spiffy for sale in less than 2 days and for less than it costs for a day at Disney World. Everyone’s happy and the show, I mean sale, is a success!

How can you as a home seller create this same experience without America watching but reach your intended audience – the buyers in your market? I’ll tell you how, STAGE your own property!

Staging is a marketing tool that highlights you home’s best features while minimizing the negative. Staging is not about your personal style or taste.

Notice in most of these shows, the designer will “neutralize” the space and strip away the often outlandish, messy or outdated style of the owners in question. It’s about selling the space, the house itself, not the contents. Buyers want to envision themselves in this home, not your house.

Treating your house like a commodity for sale on the open market is the first step in separating yourself from your home, it is now a product. It gets easier after that.

Here are a few simple tips to start you on your way to your own successful sale;

1. Declutter, depersonalize and deep clean your place. All the little knick knacks, kid’s artwork, family photos and rooster collections need to be packed up and moved to storage. Save them for your next place. Remove items not permanently adhered to counter tops in bathrooms and kitchens especially. You have to pack anyway, get started early! Get the house cleaner than you ever have before, including the grout, wall plates, door frames, carpets and windows.

2. Neutralize vibrant wall colors and remove wallpaper, even if it is a “designer” color, faux finish that was popular 5 years ago or took 18 hours to dry. Buyers want a home that is move in ready and despite what you feel about the colors you love, buyers probably won’t and will look at it as work to do – not move in ready. You can’t go wrong with a warm beige or taupe or an antique white. A fresh clean palette speaks volumes.

3. Remove unnecessary furniture and rugs to storage. Keep only the necessary pieces to show placement and scale of the room. If your furniture is really in bad shape, consider buying few inexpensive newer pieces or slip covers, you’ll be taking it with you to your next place so why not slurge a little? Rugs tend to create a disruption in flow, especially if they are small and scattered about the house this includes bathrooms. One anchoring rug in proper proportion per room is fine if not too busy. Buyers are purchasing square footage, space, flooring, architectural details and counter tops, not your furniture. Show them what they’re getting by highlighting the house not your stuff.

4. Find the focal point of the room and highlight it, don’t make it compete with something else. Maybe it’s the fireplace or the beautiful view, sell the focal point, don’t hide it! Large TV units are notorious for overshadowing the focal point of many rooms, if you can move it or store it while selling you’re way ahead of the game.

5. Create curb appeal both in front and back of your property. Freshly mowed and edged yards, mulched flower beds and seasonal flowers welcome visitors to a home that says, “I’ve been well cared for.” Removing all excessive lawn art and equipment invite the buyer in and allow the imagination to flow. Keep hoses tight, pool toys stowed and bbq grills to a minimum and out of sight especially if they’ve seen better days.

By doing these steps prior to listing and showing your house, you’ve improved one of the biggest factors in the successful sale of your home, the condition.

You as the owner are the only one who can control that. So whether you invite an HGTV crew, a professional home stager or a neighbor over to help you, you’ve chosen to make your house the star of the real estate show in your local market, one that you have produced yourself and one that will most certainly have a happy ending.

Flip Checklist Budget – What You Need to Include on Your Budget for House Flipping

Many people are enticed into house flipping by television images of people ripping materials out of a dilapidated house, refurbishing it, and selling it for a substantial profit. The profit realized from each flip can be modest or substantial – or the investor could lose everything depending on decisions made before or during the process.

My house flipping budget checklist

Before you go shopping for the perfect rehab-to-flip property, you need to create a budget for the entire project, not just the purchase and rehab expenses.

The first item on your check list does not have direct monetary value and cannot be added into the expenses column. However, it is an important “ingredient” to your budget: an excellent credit score. Unless you are funding a flip entirely with cash or through private means, an excellent credit score works in your favor with the banks – especially when the loan is for a high-risk project like a house flip.

Now, let’s look at the specifics of your budget:

• The After Repair Value (ARV): determining the ARV of your potential flip is the starting point on which you can base your expected return on investment (ROI) when the house is put on the market. A trusted realtor can help you estimate the ARV of the property.

• Rehab costs: these will vary widely depending on how much rehab work needs to be done. A budget repair form can be handy for tracking all the repairs needed.

• Financing/carrying costs: these include not only the loan but also the costs of carrying the house until it is sold:

o Financing loan(s)

o Property taxes

o Utilities (gas, water, electric)

o Property insurance

o HOA/Condo fees

An important point to note here is that the longer the rehab work takes and/or the longer the post-rehab house stays on the market, the greater your carrying costs and the lesser profit you may realize.

• Realtor’s fees: you can sell your flipped house yourself (FSOB – For Sale by Owner) but if you are looking for the fastest turnaround on your investment – and profit – relying on a good real estate agent is worth the commission fee (and actually helps you save money on your flip project in the long run).

• Forgotten costs: these are additional expenses of house flipping that are often overlooked, including:

o Inspection fees

o Interest on loans

o Contingencies

o Closing costs

One experienced house flipper’s average budget was broken into these cost percentages:

• 53.25% = Purchase Price

• 20% = Labor

• 6.5% = Materials

• 8% = Carrying costs, utilities, commissions, etc.

• 12.25% = Profit

Realistic budgeting = reduced risk

There is nothing that can completely eliminate the risks inherent in house flipping but creating a realistic budget is one of the key ways to mitigate some of that risk. Another way to “manage” some of the risk is to become as thoroughly knowledgeable about house flipping before you make your first investment. And a final way to manage risk is to follow the old adage and never invest more than you can afford to lose.

Best wishes for your house flipping success!

Serviced Apartments: A Blessing To The Hospitality Industry

In the recent times, hotels are becoming quite expensive. Thus, if visitors still want to travel to faraway places as well as stay in comfortable lodgings, they need to make other arrangements. Service Apartments are a convenient and comfortable substitute for hotels. They are readily available at an affordable price and offer all sorts of facilities to its guests. Moreover, these fully equipped lodgings have varied advantages. This is why, now-a-days, people choose service apartments instead of hotels. Many noteworthy associations throughout the world give such organized services. These apartments are very well-maintained and luxurious, providing its guests with memorable holidays. Owing to the amenities they provide, these apartments are an ideal place of accommodation for small weekend trips to relocations.

Reasons for Choosing Service Apartments over Hotels

There are a number of reasons for choosing these well- embellished flats and not hotels. Some of those reasons are:

• The primary advantage is that they are highly cost-effective. With the growing price of hotels, more people are choosing these furnished flats as their accommodating places.

• In case of hotels, travellers need to stay in a confined suite. However, these residences cover a larger area and have large living room, kitchen, bedrooms and dining room. They offer a more comfortable ambience to its guests.

• They are much more flexible than hotels, in terms of cancellations, parking, early check-ins, free Wi-Fi and many other services.

• In hotels, visitors choose their food from a limited menu. On the other hand, in service apartments visitors could cook their own food, in accordance to their choice. There is no need of extra charges for this facility.

• Travellers could avoid all the chaos in hotels by staying in these apartments. In hotels, we book rooms for everyone. However,visitors could enjoy staying with their whole family in these flats agreeably.

Types of Service Apartments

These apartments are becoming popular gradually. The renowned organizations offer different types of residences, which have their own distinctive features. The varied types of service apartment available are-

• One bedroom Flats: double bed, separate bathroom, kitchen and living area.

• Deluxe One bedroom Apartments: Along with the above facilities, there is a special breakfast bar here.

• Two Bedroom Penthouses: They have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, separate kitchen and living room. There is a private terrace available.

Apart from all the above three, there are three bedroom, three bathroom apartments, and four bedroom, four bathroom penthouses. Guests could choose any of the mentioned according to their liking and budget.

Wall Art – Tips For Proper Placement

Nothing can finish a room’s décor like the effective use of wall art. But people are often perplexed about what to put where. Some of the most common mistakes I see are: art hung too high, size of art out of proportion with the size of the wall and art disconnected from the furniture beneath it.

Here are some tips to help ensure your wall art enhances, rather than detracts from, the overall look of your room.

1. The right height

Most people mistakenly believe that pictures should be hung at eye level. But whose eye? A 6’2″ man or a 5’4″ woman? A better way to gauge the correct height is by looking at how the picture relates to the furniture below it. A good rule of thumb is to hang a picture so that the bottom is 6-8 inches above a sofa back or 8-10 inches above other furniture. Higher than that and it becomes disconnected from the furniture and makes the room look out of balance.

2. The right balance

Another mistake people commonly make is hanging a small picture behind a large sofa. A picture should be one half to two thirds the width of the piece of furniture below it. If a picture is too narrow for the spot, you can flank it with two smaller pictures to fill the space.

3. Think of groupings as one picture

If you don’t have a large enough piece of art to adequately fill a big space, you can use groupings of smaller pieces. The individual pictures should be framed in similar materials (metal, wood, etc.). They don’t have to be identical, but they shouldn’t “fight” with each other.

Before you hang your grouping, work out a pleasing arrangement on the floor. You can also cut out pieces of paper in the same shapes as your pictures and tape them on the wall with painter’s tape until you are happy with the arrangement. For a cohesive look, the frames should not be more than about 3-4 inches apart.

4. Mirrors do triple duty

Mirrors not only have a functional and decorative use, but they can also become an architectural element. Placed where it will reflect a window and its view, a mirror can act almost as an additional window, increasing the amount of light in a room and making a room seem larger.

Placement of mirrors should follow the same rules of thumb as art, but make sure a mirror is high enough that people can see their reflections without having their heads cut off.

And don’t lean a mirror on the mantel, as it will only reflect the ceiling.

If you follow these guidelines when hanging your art, you will see how much more cohesive and balanced your room will look.