Tag Archives: home staging

Forget the Groundhog…Cape Cod Spring Must Be Here!

Wow!  Today is Saturday, and I didn’t have any Open Houses planned, because my team was happily occupied with buyer clients all day.  All of us remarked at the traffic of buyers coming in and out of homes…and they were appointments, not Open Houses.  Tomorrow we have three advertised Open Houses, but because of the number of people looking, we are tempted to open one of our latest properties which is located in a prime neighborhood.  Do you think the mild winter has brought about an early spring real estate market?  We think so.
 
So, what does this mean for you?  If you are a buyer, you might want to schedule your spring buying trip now.  We still have lots of inventory, market-adjusted prices, and mortgage providers offering reasonable rates.  If you are a seller, though, you might have to kick your gears into overdrive.  It might still be too cold to do any exterior painting, but you may want to consider clearing the closets, sprucing up the hardwood floors, and de-cluttering, de-personalizing, and staging your home for sale.  Bright and immaculate kitchens and baths sell homes more quickly. Not sure just what to improve? Call us and we’ll do our best to help.

Good News for Cape Cod Vacation Home Buyers

We received news on Friday that at least one local Cape Cod lender, Cape Cod Five, is reinstituting 90% loans for second home buyers. (NOTE: Contact Meryl Watson for details: mwatson@capecodfive.com). This was made possible because no title insurance companies would insure more than 80% loans but now at least one company is willing to offer the coverage.

95% Financing is Available for Cape Cod Condos

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Get on Stage – It Really Works!

Small, but better staged than vacant

This one bedroom, free-standing condo in North Falmouth, MA had been on the market for nearly a year. The sellers decided to enter into a short-term lease with a couple who was renovating their home as long as they could continue to market the property. The tenants moved in and tastefully decorated their temporary home. The next buyers who came in bought it!

Staging Your Cape Cod Home For Sale

I became an instant convert. The current market certainly requires that homes be priced properly and effectively marketed, but staging seems to have a larger role than ever before. Statistics show that staging a home can increase the selling price by up to 7%, but there are still skeptics everywhere.

HGTV states on its website that “in a cold market, a properly-staged home can sell in half the time.” It now offers several series that focus on staging, and the network will have a separate staging special, “Staging Secrets and Myths,” on Sunday, April 12 at 8:00 PM.

Clutter, Clutter Everywhere Hurts Your Cape Cod Home Sale

Occupied homes present a unique challenge. It is the opposite of home decorating. A home decorator helps home owners to personalize the home to their own tastes and needs. A home stager, on the other hand, depersonalizes the home so that buyers can more easily visualize themselves and their furniture in the space.  Even more important than the depersonalization, in my mind, is the decluttering that is always part of the process.  Each home I’ve seen staged seems to have doubled in square footage after the home stager’s visit.

Since this process can be threatening to Cape Cod real estate sellers, and therefore dangerous to the welfare of the real estate agent, I have made special pricing arrangements with talented stagers to provide 1.5 hours with my sellers to provide them with a “to do” list. I provide this at my expense and use it as an incentive to secure listings.

For the most part, the “to do” list is simply a case of “packing now” rather than waiting until the house is under agreement. In some cases, the stagers have made suggestions about repainting particular rooms, rearranging/editing furniture for better “flow,” or substituting a more appropriate furniture piece to better fit the space.  In other cases, it requires some serious sprucing up. In all cases, the results have been very encouraging.

Painting on a Blank Canvas

Pristine, yet vacant, living room/dining area

Vacant homes and condos offer a unique opportunity. Local furniture stores will, for a fee, stage a home as long as it is not occupied. I recently listed an updated, 2 bedroom 1056 square foot ranch condominium with an open floor plan.  The first two open houses and several showings resulted in two primary comments from potential buyers:

1.   I’m not sure my furniture will fit in here.

2.   Since it was built in the late 70’s, it’s too old for me.

Bring on the Stagers!

A view of the staged, living room/dining area

I called a stager and told her that I wanted to give buyers an idea of the real size of the rooms and to make the home feel more current. The owners agreed to a two month staging agreement and the furniture was delivered.

The results have been amazing. The most enjoyable aspect for me has been seeing the look on the people’s faces as they entered the condo. Of course, an offer will be even more enjoyable.

You can view the staged condo and take a virtual tour at www.273seawardbend.com.

Until next time,
Steve