Home Staging Tips For a Quicker Sale

Many resources exist for proper home staging techniques. Home staging is defined as the preparation of a home for sale with major emphasis on presentation and visual appeal. This goes above and beyond expected repairs to the home and actually crafts a visual appearance so that potential buyers will not be distracted by clutter or personal belongings, will feel comfortable and envision themselves living in the home.

Not only is a quicker sale one of the desirable outcomes, but sometimes also the ability to get a higher price. Your home is made to appeal to the largest possible audience and give it optimal chances for a quick and profitable sale. How many situations have there been, where a buyer is distracted by items in the home or off-putting wallpaper and colors to simply dismiss the house in favor of the next showing they go to. Although we think rational people will not behave this way, there is a subtle appeal of a staged home that presents the home in it's best possible light and somehow feels more move-in ready. In the current buyer's market, you need every advantage you can get to sell your home for the best possible price.

Usually when home staging is brought up the focus shifts to wall color, interior decor and decluttering, but in addition to there being much more to be done on the interior, there is the often overlooked curb appeal factor to consider. Yes staging a home also applies to the exterior. Curb appeal means making a good first impression may allow potential homebuyers to be more open minded on their first walkthrough of your home.

In our Oakville home, we had a friend offer an impartial look at the front exterior and that creates an alert to upgrade items such as painting doors and shutters, lawn repair or even fresh sod in this case, add fresh mulch to garden beds and around trees, add a few potted flowers, yellow plants near a home's entry are a good choice. Dispose of weeds, front yard clutter and rake up any leaves. Trim bushes and hedges and in general make the yard look well kept. You can add outdoor furniture such as a bench or even a couple of sitting chairs if you have the layout for it. There was room for a single bench that was implemented.

The next area to have a closer look at will be the entry area of your home once the front door is opened. Simply decluttering this space and cleaning it will go a long way to improving first impressions. There should be plenty of light and invest in a new welcome mat if you don't have one or if the old one is worn.

There are many more helpful home staging tips to share ranging from which are the current and trendy color schemes to decluttering advice, the necessary removal of all personal photographs and trinkets from the staged home, and even renting furniture if necessary to give a particular room a more upscale or neutral appeal.

A local Oakville home staging company can help Southern Ontario residents and real estate agents turn the ordinary into extraordinary.

Ready To Sell Your House? You Better Start Here!

For many people, selling their home is a complicated and stressful experience. Figuring out how to price your home, what inspections are necessary, and what is needed in legal paperwork is difficult and intimidating! The advice presented here intends to take some of the difficulty out selling your home. Read on to clear up some of the confusion.

Be sure your home's roof is in top condition prior to attempting to sell your house. A roof that is in need of major repairs could be a major deal-breaker for buyers. If you don't fix this problem, then any buyer would probably appreciate a certain allowance, so that they can fix the roof themselves.

You need to realize the risks that come with real estate before you start to make any decisions. Someone who is new to investing may wind up learning the hard way about the inherent risks involved. Before you invest any money, make sure your knowledge of the subject is good.

When you make your home feel inviting, people instantly become that much more interested in it. More people will want to view your home this way.

Schedule potential buyer walk-throughs for times when you are not around. This will give your buyer the feeling that your home may be his future house. If you hang around, your buyer will not be able to envision himself and his family living in your house. This may stop a potential sale in its tracks.

Ensuring that your windows are free of streaks and smudges can make your home seem clean and airier. Clean windows will improve the lighting of your home, and make it look newer. Most prospective buyers will notice the effect, but will not stop to think that you put so much time and effort into it.

You will probably have to negotiate with your buyer. If you want to make a quick sale, remain open-minded, and be willing to take any reasonable offer that you are given. If you're not quickly trying to sell your house, hold off for an offer you are comfortable with.

When you are staging your home for potential buyers, do not include artwork or decor depicting controversial subject matter. A gay rights coffee table book might offend a Catholic who passes through. You need to create an environment that everyone can feel comfortable in. Paint and decorate with neutral colors to help potential buyers imagine themselves living in your home.

Just by making some small updates in your kitchen you can make people want to buy your home. Try switching one appliance for becoming a focal point, so that the look can be updated. Add hanging storage or a new fixture to make your kitchen look more modern. Instead of changing out old kitchen cabinets, consider giving them a fresh coat of paint.

As previously mentioned, selling real estate can be difficult, particularly if it's a buyer's market. When you have a home up for sale, there are a lot of considerations to mull over throughout the sale process. Apply these tips to make the good decisions and reduce your stress.

Home Staging and Real Estate Marketing - Top Ten Reasons Real Estate Agents Should Use Home Staging

1. Professionally staged homes stand out from the crowd.

A professional stager will examine the property with an objective eye and make recommendations to give the home that "wow" factor necessary to entice potential buyers. Did you know that only 10% of people can look past the clutter and unsightly decor in a home and see the potential of a property? First impressions mean everything in the real estate market, having a home professionally staged will ensure that those critical first 10 seconds of a showing are a deal maker, not a deal breaker.

2. Real Estate agents often make suggestions for improvements needed, but they aren't as detailed as a professional home stager.

Many realtors feel they provide adequate suggestions on repairs and changes needed to get a property sold, but usually these suggestions don't cover all the elements a home stager would. As a real estate agent you know most homes are purchased based on emotions, professional stagers will advise making all the obvious repairs and improvements needed, but they also help provide the emotional connection points throughout the home that make potential buyers fall in love. Most real estate agents don't have the design expertise to help their clients carry out a masterful home staging, and most homeowners don't have the knowledge, objectivity, or time to carry out the changes suggested.

3. Just because you recommend home staging for a listing does not mean you have to pay for it.

Although some real estate agents are opting to provide home staging for their clients as part of their fees and services, it is not the norm for agents to pay for staging. Recommending a professional home stager is just like recommending a home inspector. Your clients don't expect you to pay for the home inspection services, so why should they expect you to pay for home staging services? In the end, staging doesn't cost the homeowner a dime either, a 2007 Home Gain Survey of over 200 realtors reported that sellers who spent typically $500 on staging services for their home recovered over 343% of the cost in the sale of their home.

4. Home staging has been proven to help properties sell faster and for more money.

This is a clear win-win situation because turning the property quickly means less hassle for you and your client. Also, a higher sales price brings you more commission and benefits your clients' pocket book as well. Professionally staged homes sell over 50% faster than non-staged homes and on average for 6-10% more.

5. Your listings will show better if they are professionally staged and this will reflect well on your professionalism.

If you become known for always having properties that show well, other agents are more likely to show your homes, and homeowners will seek to have you as their listing agent. You will gain a reputation for turning homes fast when people notice your name on the lawn signs of all the "sold" homes in their neighborhood.

6. Stagers are experts in tackling sensitive topics in a diplomatic manner.

Stagers can relieve your anxiety of offending your clients by taking over the responsibility of discussing sensitive subjects like odor and unattractive decor. Home stagers will explain to your clients that they aren't there to put down their design choices or cleanliness; they just want to help their home appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers. While the décor may suit their tastes, properties need to be neutralized before they are put on the market to attract as many buyers as possible. Professional home stagers will explain that the way you live in a home is very different from the way you present a house for sale.

7. Home Stagers free up your time to focus on what you do best.

Professional home stagers will take over the daunting task of preparing your listings for the market. This way you don't have to waste your time and efforts on something outside of your realm of expertise. Stagers will take your weak listings and turn them into "model homes" so that you can focus your efforts on your real estate skills. Having a property staged can help make the entire selling process easier because homes that are organized and free of clutter are seen as being well taken care of. This makes all aspects of selling a home go more smoothly from showing to inspection.

8. Having a home professionally staged provides you with eye-catching photography for your MLS and marketing materials.

According to the NAR Profile of Home buyers and Sellers 2008, "87% of all home buyers and 94% of buyers aged 25-44 used the internet to search for homes", this is why you need to have the strongest marketing photos possible. Many home buyers are eliminating properties from their viewing list based solely on the photos they see online. Having a home professionally staged will arm you with valuable marketing photos that will draw in the buyers.

9. Professional Stagers can prepare a home for sale more quickly than an agent or homeowner.

Some real estate agents and homeowners do have an eye for design, but home staging is not their profession. Professional home stagers prepare homes for sale day in and day out. They know the right contacts and have the knowledge and skills needed to achieve the most bang for your buck in the least amount of time.

10. Home staging is becoming the standard in the real estate market.

Home staging is growing more and more prevalent, especially in today's saturated real estate market. By not informing your clients about the benefits of home staging you are putting them at an immediate disadvantage. Leaving a property in "as is" condition will only help sell the competition, especially when the competition is already using home staging as a marketing tool. With the tough real estate market sellers are facing today, it's critical that you help your client put their best foot forward by recommending staging. Be sure to inform your sellers about the benefits of home staging, your clients will appreciate your suggestion to utilize one of the most innovative and successful marketing techniques in real estate today!

How to Show Your Home for Sale

When buyers make an appointment to see your home they have already made several important decisions. They have selected your neighborhood as a possible location. Your lot and exterior style appeals to them. Your price is within their range. If the floor plan and interior style works for them, and if the buyers feel a sense of trust in your home, they will move to the contract stage. Here are some tips to help you make the most of this important step in the sale of your home - the showing.

1. Setting Showing Appointments

Homes may be shown by appointment with the Realtor, appointment with the owner, or by using the house key placed in a lockbox. The lockbox is a popular system in many areas, and facilitates showings by all members of the local Multiple Listing Board. To arrange a showing, agents must first call your home or cell number. If you do not answer, they may leave a message, and proceed with the showing. Most lockboxes record the agent's identity and time of showing. Whether your home is shown by special appointment or by the lockbox system, the objective is to make your home easy to show to potential buyers. This is your first contact with the buyer, and you should make them feel welcome in your home.

When you receive a call from a Realtor for a showing, keep in mind that he/she is showing lots of homes, and it is difficult to set precise times. Be flexible on the timing, and allow a window of one hour for arrival, if possible. If you are going to be at home, you may ask the Realtor to alert you when they are 15 minutes away. You may occasionally receive a last minute call, with the visitors already in your driveway. If you are prepared for a showing, invite them to come in. If you are not ready, let the Realtor know that you need some time to prepare. Always thank Realtors for trying to show your home. You need them to come back!

2. Consider Children & Pets

If you have children it is very important to educate them on the showing procedure. They should know that real estate agents will be calling for appointments to show their home, and they should know how to respond. If they are at home by themselves during the day, they will need to let in the agent and buyers, and vacate the house during the showing. They may wait in the backyard or go to a neighbor's house. Televisions and video games should be turned off. Hopefully, they will know how to tidy up the kitchen. Children must know that an advance phone call by the agent is required for a showing. They must not allow entry to anyone who comes to the door without an agent.

Pets pose special problems for showings. If pets are left in the home during the day, leave a note alerting the agents that a pet is in the house. Give instructions as to how your pets should be handled. For example, "Cat must not be allowed outdoors." Often pets are fearful or uncertain about strangers entering the house when you are not home. Many people are afraid of (or allergic to) pets, and are not happy to encounter them in the house. It would be best to crate your pets during showings, place them in a restricted area, such as the laundry room, or take them out of the house. Keep in mind that a great variety of people may enter your home, including children. If there is any uncertainty as to how your pets will react to strangers, you should remove them from your home during showings.

3. Provide Lots of Information

Have brochures laid out on a table for prospective buyers. Anticipate the information that would interest your buyers. Examples are: a copy of your survey or floor plan, photos of neighborhood amenities, school information, neighborhood newsletter, nearby country club, golf course, etc. Answer their questions early. Remember, prospective homeowners are choosing a home and community - a lifestyle.

4. Don't Hang Around

Do not be present for the showing. Sit outside or run an errand. When you are there, buyers may feel that they are intruding. They will not discuss changes they might make to your home, or how they would use the space. This could limit the time spent in your home. Never take over the showing or attempt to sell your house. You do not know the buyer's special interests, and may inadvertently turn them off. Remember that this not a social visit. Buyers need to make an emotional commitment to your home. They usually need some quiet time to experience your home and sense how they would enjoy living there. Your presence is distracting and inhibiting to potential buyers.

5. Appeal to Buyers With Sights, Sounds and Scents

People gather impressions about your house from all senses - sight, sound and smell. Improve your home's appeal to all senses. Leave blinds open, and consider removing some screens. Natural light sells houses! Increase the sizes of your bulbs if the light is dim in certain areas. Put on some instrumental music, but keep it very low and mellow. Do not leave televisions on. Have the temperature cool in summer and warm in winter. Use pleasant scents, such as candles or potpourri. An unpleasant odor will have a very negative impact on a buyer's reaction to your home. In particular, cigarettes and pet odors are a turn-off. Do not try to mask an unpleasant smell with another smell. Work toward a clean, fresh smell.

6. Have a Safe Showing

Keep in mind that the public will be entering your home, and consider their safety and yours. Do you have rugs, wires or small toys that could be stumbled over? Buyers should be able to move easily from room to room. You may need to remove some furniture to keep traffic patterns open. Leave your stairs completely free of clutter. Replace any missing handrails. Remove valuable objects from tables where they may be accidentally bumped. If you use candles for a nice scent, do not leave them burning when you leave the house. Do not leave money, guns, medicines, jewelry, x rated magazines or any personal items in public view. Consider your security, and the buyer's safety as you prepare your home for viewing.

7. Set the Stage

Consider using a staging service to help you present your home. It should be perfectly clean and clutter free. Homes generally look better with furniture, but they must not appear crowded. Your furniture and accessories should give your home a very general appeal. Avoid strong political, personal or artistic statements. The focal point should be the house, rather than your family. Use decorative objects, such as pillows, framed photographs, books, fresh towels and flowers. Create a mood with natural and lamp lighting and soft music. The goal is to make potential buyers feel that they could move right in. Home buying is an emotional process. You must build a sense of trust and attachment to your home during the short time that buyers are in your home. They must positively imagine themselves enjoying your home and gardens.

Showing your home is an important part of the sales process. You only have a short time to gain the buyer's interest in your home. Their time in your home should be handled with care and respect for their time. Each showing is important. Remember, you only need one buyer, but you don't know which one.

How Do I Fix Up a Home to Sell?

The first thing you need to do is stop thinking of your home as "home" and start thinking about it as a commodity that you want to sell. To be a successful seller you must detach yourself emotionally from your home and be brutally honest about how it should look in order to sell.

Property condition and appearance play a much bigger part in home sales now than they did in the run-away seller's market of the late 1980's, when even rundown fixer-uppers sold at a premium. Today's buyers discount the price if a home needs work, if they buy it at all.

You don't have to spend a fortune preparing your home for sale. In fact, you shouldn't. Concentrate on cost-effective improvements that will give you a good return on your investment.

Paint is the least expensive improvement you can make to a home. And, the transformation can occur quickly. A neutral decor may seem boring, but it is a safe bet from a resale standpoint. The same goes for floor coverings: stick to neutral linoleum and carpet.

It's always a good idea to get advice from your agent, or a decorator who specializes in fix-up for sale, before investing in a cosmetic make-over. Make sure the improvements will enhance the marketability of your home.

Moving-On Tip: A lot of what needs to be done to get a home ready for the market doesn't cost a dime, but takes time. Removing excess personal possessions and furniture is important. Buyers need to be able to see past the owner's belongings. They need to imagine themselves living in the home. In order to de-clutter, some homeowners rent storage space, if their own storage space is limited.

Counter-tops in the kitchen and bathrooms should be clear of almost everything. The easiest way to deal with this is to put kitchen and bathroom essentials, and cleaning supplies, into plastic bins that can be stored in cabinets. That way you can get what you need, when you need it, and stash it away again quickly when you know your home is going to be shown.

The way your house presents itself from the street (called "curb appeal") is very important. First impressions are lasting. A front gate hanging on a hinge, or peeling trim paint, can cause buyers to wonder what else is wrong. You want to convey the impression that your home is well-maintained.

Go through the house and fix defects--many of which you may have lived with for years. An irony of the fix-up-for-sale process is that most people's homes have never looked as good as they do when they are offered for sale.

Cleanliness is next to godliness when it comes to selling homes. The interior of your home should gleam. Wash windows inside and out. Hire help, if necessary. And plan to keep your home this way during the entire marketing period. Hire a cleaning person, or service, to come once a week if you are a busy person who doesn't have help.

Fix-up-for-sale decorators can assist you in adding the finishing touches and staging your home for sale. This often involves bringing in flowers and rearranging furniture to show your home off to better advantage. If the home is vacant, you may want to rent furniture. Vacant properties can be difficult to sell because most buyers have difficulty visualizing themselves living in an empty house.

The Closing: A real estate agent can recommend decorators, painters, gardeners, contractors, handymen, and cleaning crews to help you with fix-up-for-sale chores.

Barn Door Hardware - Increase Your Home's Real Estate Market Value

Home improvements and remodels are quite popular right now. With the economic struggles America has had recently, the housing market took a turn for the worse. Though things are starting to turn back around, any expert will tell you that recovery is not instant, and that even a swift turn-around in the housing market may take several years. This is why homeowners have engaged in home improvements and remodels, to increase the market value of their homes.

There are a few things to consider when deciding what types of remodeling are more important than others. One of those is whether or not the project would boost the appraisal value of the home. Certain elements of a house are more important than others when appraising the home's worth.

The following is a list of a few things that may affect the appraised worth of your home: number of bedrooms, whether or not there is a fireplace, number of bathrooms, whether or not there is a formal dining room and type of house construction material. A few things that don't matter quite as much are wall color, the brand of appliances, and surprisingly whether or not the basement has been finished off.

An easy and economic way to add value to your home is by using barn door hardware, also known as flat track hardware, to close off an open doorway to a room such as a home office, study, or dining room. Barn door hardware is simple, rustic, and aesthetically pleasing. It allows doors to add to the decor of a room. The hardware itself also adds to the overall aesthetics of a room.

Implementing barn door hardware, or flat track hardware, is a great way to quickly and economically add value to your home. It is neat, attractive, reliable, and strong.

Basic Home Improvements Help You Sell Your House Fast

In today's sluggish real estate market, selling your home can be a nightmare. Months or even years can drag by with your house on the market. But there is hope. Despite the slow economy, there are a number of ways you can boost your home's attractiveness to potential buyers. Your house will increase in value and sell faster, even in today's market!

The importance of curb appeal can never be overestimated when discussing home sales. The external appearance of your home frequently makes the difference between a buyer coming in to see the rest of the house and a buyer driving on by. Small changes like cutting back overgrown shrubs, weeding, and planting seasonal flowers cost little to nothing, but can make your home more attractive.

However, major outdoor improvements can really make your house look fabulous and sell fast. For instance, did you know that landscaping frequently provides up to 200% return on investment. So if you spend $5,000 on a new stone walkway and retaining wall, you can increase the value of your home up to $10,000! Not only will your house look great, it will make a stronger impression from the street, inviting potential buyers to come in, look around, and make an offer.

Inside your home, there are also several options for sprucing things up to make the house sell fast. Many homeowners immediately turn to a kitchen remodel, but with the price of new appliances, this investment is often too large to recoup. Bathroom renovation, on the other hand, makes a big impact and costs much less. Updating an old-fashioned powder room or creating a luxurious master bath suite will give you the most bang for your buck; by concentrating on these key spaces instead of less significant areas like a kid's bathroom, you'll optimize your investment. Another fantastic way to enhance the interior look of your home is to install new flooring. Especially if a central part of your house, such as the entryway or kitchen, has dated, worn, or blasé flooring, you can make a huge impact by changing it out for a fresh floor. There are a number of economical flooring options on the market today to make a beautiful impression without breaking the bank. With laminates and prefinished wood flooring costing as little as $7 a square foot, you can create the glowing warmth of a hardwood floor at a fraction of the price. And, real estate research has shown that buyers heavily prefer wood floors to almost any other material.

Other external upgrades to consider include new siding or fresh paint. Especially if the old paint is chipped and peeling, a new professional paint job can make all the difference in the world. Even something as small as power washing your house or just repainting the front door can increase curb appeal.

Some of these changes may seem like an excessively large investment to make in a house you're trying to sell, but they're actually quite cost-effective. Because they enhance your home's appeal, they decrease selling time exponentially: meaning, that even if you don't recoup 100% of the investment, you're still coming out ahead. You've saved yourself the time, hassle, stress, and, yes, money of having your home on the market long term.

Even if you don't have the capital to invest in major home improvements, you can still influence how fast your home sells. Some of the tiniest changes can increase your home's appeal and make the difference between a potential buyer making an offer or walking away. For starters, keep your home neat and tidy, so buyers aren't assailed with dirty dishes and piles of laundry when they tour your house. Have your carpets professionally cleaned to make them look fresh and fluffy. Place fresh flowers on your table or create a seasonal decorative arrangement. Essentially, use your common sense to make your home as inviting as possible. Whether you choose to make a major home improvement investment or a minor one, you can influence how fast your home sells.

Decorative Concrete Engravers - How Do Your Marketing Tactics Score?

There is little question that consumers and most businesses are more selective in spending decision these days. Nearly any publication you read will offer some "scare" statistic about consumer confidence being down, housing markets eroding, and fears of recession growing. In this environment it is easy to lapse into a depressed melancholy about future business opportunity and justify doing less to get less.

However there are always winners and losers in every economic cycle. The winners seek to find the opportunities presented by the cycle and adjust marketing tactics and business behaviors to the environment. It may be time to revisit and refresh some old ideas and to consider some new approaches. Below is a 10 question quiz with a simple YES or NO for you to answer regarding the marketing of your decorative concrete engraving business.

  1. I maintain an organized and continuously update list of e-mail addresses of prior customers, prospects, and referral sources and diligently e-mail photos of my most recent jobs to all contacts.
  2. I conclude every job with a personal walk through with my customer where I provide a care and maintenance tips handout and request referrals of someone they know who could use my services?
  3. In the last 12 months I have volunteered to engrave an emblem or design in a high profile civic project supported by the majority of my community and have issued a press release to the local paper and business magazines about my effort.
  4. I have developed and sent a mailing to all Real Estate Brokers in my community reminding them of my service while emphasizing that external landscaping enhancement increases curb appeal and is considered one of the higher ranking improvements a property owner may undertake to increase perceived value and asking price for their home.
  5. I have participated in no less than one Home Improvement Show at my local civic center in the last year.
  6. I have surveyed the pricing of my competitors in the last 12 months and adjusted my pricing accordingly if appropriate.
  7. I have asked each prospect where they found out about my service and then increased my attention/investment in the media/referral sources that has generated the largest DOLLAR VOLUME to my business.
  8. I have targeted neighborhoods where I have done work and generated a direct mail promotion into the neighborhoods where I have work that is visible.
  9. I have updated my brochures and web site with fresh pictures of my most recent work in the last 3 months. I have also then mailed the new brochures or e-mailed links of my new web site to all my prior customers and referral sources as an update and reminder.
  10. I am now devoting 1 hour each week to calling prior prospects who have not purchased (old estimates) and prior customers.

If you have not answered YES to 7 of the 10 questions above, it may be time to refresh your marketing plan.

Don't Let The Real Estate Slump Discourage You - Take These Steps To Sell Your Home

Be resolute about your goal to sell your house and find your new home regardless of the housing market.

1. Start packing, order some boxes and pack up the things you won't need for the next 6 months. Seasonal cloths, books, memorabilia, extra dishes and kitchenware as well as any items that overly personalize your home such as family photos, awards and trophies.

Feng Shui Tip #1: Clear the Clutter=Improve the feng shui

2. Successfully staging your home for sale requires some detachment. Pack as many of your personal items that you can. The aim is to create space and to showcase each room with an anchoring focal point to hold the attention of a prospective buyer.

Feng Shui Tip #2: Hold the buyers attention/energy=Sale

3. The Front Door must stand out and be distinctive. The path to the front door must be clear and unobstructed. Trim overgrown foliage. Use a pair of brightly colored pots or vessels to flank the front entrance and an oversized rug or mat to create a distinct footprint.

Feng Shui Tip #3: Energize the front entrance= Capture the buyer's attention.

4. Insider Tip-make sure there are no mirrors or stairs facing exterior doors or large windows. This pushes energy out of the house. Doors and windows in direct alignment with one another will have the same effect. Remove mirrors in these locations and use decorative floor screens, pedestals and potted trees to help contain escaping energy.

Feng Shui Tip #4: Don't leak energy-contain it=Sale

5. Is everyone excited about moving? Everyone needs to be on the same page-one family member's insecurity about moving can be a hindrance. Communication and reassurance will help remove these emotional obstacles. Talk about the new house, draw a floor plan and make a list of all the new and exciting features to look forward to.

Feng Shui Tip #5: Create harmony and uncover hidden obstacles=Releasing the house

Tip on Selling Your Home Quickly - Importance of Home Staging

Introduction: An Overview of Home Staging

Home staging is the act of grooming a home to make it more attractive to potential buyers and to raise the value of the home. Home Staging is much more than just helping sellers decorate their homes. Home Staging is the art of preparing a home for the real estate market. Home staging is all over the media with shows like "Designed to Sell" highlighting the importance of getting your home market ready.

Homes Sales

Homes are taking longer to sell than a year ago. Homes that have not been enhanced are the ones that sit on the market for a long time or they receive "low ball" offers. Homes that have that "lived-in" look can take longer to sell as buyers struggle to look past things that need to be improved, repaired or find it difficult to visualize themselves living in the property because of personal clutter, cramped spaces and unimpressive presentation. Homes that are Staged using simple techniques sell faster and for more money. 63% of staged homes sold for the asking price in 6 weeks. 40% of staged homes sold at their first open house.

Contemporary home staging and redesign techniques, as featured on HGTV, help empower your home with the "WOW" factor ordinarily attributed to model homes. By presenting potential buyers with a fully furnished home instead of empty rooms, sellers and agents are able to sell homes faster and for more money. That's why home staging is a growing profession that's rapidly changing the way homes are sold. Houses that sell the quickest and for the highest price are those homes that do not look as though they are someone else, instead they almost look like a store display.

Sell Your House

Sellers seem reluctant to do a bit of "sweat equity" before they put their homes on the market. Sellers have only one opportunity to make the best and lasting impression. Selling ones home is often an emotional experience. Some real estate agents help sellers Stage the home themselves. Most listing agents agree, however, that vacant homes show better with staging and will encourage sellers to hire a professional stager.

Buyers in Today's Market

Buyers need to make an emotional attachment to your home before they can make an offer to purchase. Buyers are drawn to these well-maintained homes that are fresh, well-decorated and in perfect condition. Buyers imagine their furniture, their pictures, their children and even pets in a home before they purchase. Buyers need to be able to envision themselves in the home and fall in love with it.

Conclusion: Stage Your Home, Sell It More Quickly!

Home Staging is the very best proven way to get top dollar for your home as you prepare it for sale. Home Staging is merchandising your product to its' fullest potential. Home staging is quite possibly the single most profitable decision you could make when trying to sell or rent your east end property from estates to beach bungalows to retail spaces. Home staging is about creating an environment where the home buyer sees themselves in the home and knowing it must be essential to their lifestyle. Home staging is good news for the seller; good news for the buyer; and good news for the Realtor.

Life is a Stage - So is Your Home!

What is a home staging?

Home staging prepares a home for sale, and for the dozens of enquiring eyes that will be scouring the property looking for flaws. It creates an image of the perfectly decorated home, in move-in condition. This should be the next step after decluttering, cleaning and repairing your home. The changes may be as small as rearranging furniture to give the illusion of more space, or repainting with more neutral and soothing colors. Home stagers will offer great ideas for perking up a room with accessories and creating a new stylish look for your home

Why stage your home?

In this day and age, having to deal with a sluggish market, staging is a must. It can give you the edge that may result in a faster sale or a higher sales price.

First impressions can make or break the sale of the house, and a home that is properly staged helps to maximize your chances of a positive first impression.

Your home will have an advantage over other unstaged homes.

A staged home shows well in web site marketing and video tours, and since the majority of homes are chosen over the internet, this is a vital form of advertising.

Tips for staging your home.

As you go from room to room, there should be a flow to your home. Avoid overly bright or bold colored walls. This may mean repainting some or all of your rooms with more calming, neutral tones. Some people cannot understand that that bright purple wall can be removed with a coat of paint, and these distractions may result in no sales.

Clean the carpets

Furniture: The most common trick used by stagers is to rearrange furniture to create a more stylish look. During my house sale, my stager suggested I move my dining room table into the living room, creating a living/dining room. This freed up space for my crammed kitchen table and voila, I had a brand new and improved living space.

Rearranging may also mean reducing the amount of furniture so that a room looks more open. This includes emptying out closets, even if it means putting some things in storage. Consider renting a few pieces of stylish furniture or pieces of art.

Tidy up your bookcases so that they look pleasing to the eye. This may mean packing away many of your books and keeping out the ones that display well.

Brighten the house up by cleaning windows, and go with higher wattage light bulbs (just until the home sells). Make sure that the lights are left on before an open house, so the prospective buyers are walk into well-lit rooms and hallways.

Creative use of fabrics as accent pieces for additional texture and color are very common.

Remove family pictures, hockey trophies, any traces of everyday family life. You don't want the buyer feeling that they are in someone else's space; they need to imagine their family living in this house.

Use plug in room fresheners, especially to mask pet and smoking odors. If you can't get rid of a smell, overpower it by providing a distraction such as baking chocolate chip cookies and leaving the tray in the oven.

Sweep out the furnace room and clean the cobwebs off the furnace. If the furnace looks cleaner, it appears newer.

Make a list of general repairs, and if you can't complete them, hire a handyman to polish them off.

Add fresh or silk flowers to many of the rooms.


Display bowls of colorful fruit.

Apply oil to cabinets to revive their finish.

Modernize your cabinet handles.

Clear everything off the counters, finding homes for small appliances - you'll love the look.

Remove fridge magnets and small area rugs.

Have a table set for use, complete with place mats, place setting and napkins.


Have a set of thick and luxurious towels reserved only for open houses.

Fill baskets with scented soaps and lotions.

Use a scented plug in air freshener.

Remove the collection of shampoo bottles from the tub, or toothbrushes lying on the counter.


Clear off your night tables, maybe leaving out an interest looking book.


Place containers of flowers on the patios, decks and entranceways.

Set the table with colorful picnic plates

Power wash the outside of the house, patios and walkways.

Freshen up the paint on all porches and doors

Weed the gardens and apply mulch; it makes them look like new.

In order to make your home staging a positive experience make sure you use either a realtor who is skilled at home staging, or a professional home stager. The latter is a trained designer and they understand how to create a mood or illusion for the buyer.

It can be difficult listening to strangers telling you how your home needs to look. You really need to be open minded and trust their expertise. Many people are surprised at how hard it is to separate from their homes; just keep telling yourself, "It's not my home anymore". You'll probably enjoy many of the changes you've made and may reflect these in your new house as well. There is just something about living in a stylish, clean, clutter-free environment.

Staging Your Homes For Sale

Are you planning to put your home for sale? If you do, it will be possible for you to put it in an open house so you people can visit the property and buy them if they like its features and appearance. If you read online, you will see that there are a number of people who have successfully sold their properties through open houses. But prior to putting your home in an open house, you might want to do some home staging first before inviting people to view it. The good thing about home staging is that you are going to increase the property value of your home so you can sell it immediately at a better price. With this, here are the basic things that you can do to properly stage your home.

First of all, it is very important for you to leave a very good impression for people who are going to visit your home. Clean the parts of the house that needs some tidying up. Examples of these are the porches and the walls that you have to clean and be free from mess. You should also start packing the items in your home. Since you are going to put it on sale, better remove the personal items that you have at home. These are the family pictures and other items that would make a buyer uncomfortable along with some religious items. Clean also the house from other private items that you may have around still. You also need to remove some appliances in the house in order to make the house appear more spacious so the clients will be convinced more to buy the property.

Since you will be cleaning up, it is very important for you to place the trash at the right place that is far from the sight of the buyers. This will not only make your house look uncluttered but also clean enough for the buyers to be attracted towards the idea of buying it. You can also try increasing its value by sealing the cracks at a few parts. After sealing them up, you may also want to repaint it in order to make it more presentable and looking brand new for the clients. In this way, you will be able to get people to buy your property even if it is just a second hand property.

Apart from just the physical appearance, it is also very important for you to have the house checked for some hidden problems such as pipes and electric systems. With this, you may want to ask a professional plumber and electrician to have these things checked for you. Once people visits your home for open house, they might start to ask about pipes and water systems at home. Most of the time, some people will even try it out for themselves. Even if they love the appearance of your home, they will still definitely not buy the property once they discover that the house has leaks or the flush does not work properly. When it comes to electricity, it is important for people to see that you have an organized and safe electrical system at home. As buyers, they do not want to compromise their safety when it comes to fire accidents.

Finally, if you have a lawn, make sure to clean them by trimming up the weeds or at least decorate it by planting some flowers on it. In this way, you will make your house looking much more presentable than the usual. When it comes to selling your house, you will be able to sell it at a much better price when you stage it. It will only need you to do several steps in order to totally improve its looks and make it marketable.

Home Sellers! Are You Guilty of the 7 Sins of Home Selling?

Greed: This one is a biggie. It was easy in a seller's market to get in touch with your greedy side. Feeling like Midas, anything you asked for from a buyer turned to gold in your hands. Drunk with that kind of power, buyers were often left feeling helpless to comply if they wanted your home. In a balanced market, or even in a buyer's market, many sellers have not kicked the greed habit. Ironically, greed is costing those sellers money. Ask any real estate agent and they will tell you stories of deals that were blown because of a $300.00 item that could not be agreed upon. No longer with the advantage, many sellers are refusing to make any concessions if it means less money in their pockets, but now the buyer's are free to move along to the next house on their list. A seller may balk at fixing a $500.00 item in the house, or providing an inexpensive home warranty, but when the buyer moves along to an accommodating seller, the greedy seller is left to wait for another buyer - all the while making mortgage payments on the house they can't sell. Bad move.

Unrealistic Expectations: Anyone who has sold a home in a seller's market is going to have a hard time grasping a buyer's market. If you want to sell your house, you have to forget everything you remember about selling your house in the past. Odds are that your home will not sell in a week, nor will you receive multiple offers. Unrealistic expectations are the foundation of blame and resentment, and they keep you from selling your home. The first few weeks of having your home on the market is filled with hope, anxiety, and irrational exuberance. It's completely normal to believe that your home is somehow more special than the others on the market, and yours will be the exception to the tough market. Once it becomes clear that the bidding war has not materialized, and your home still sits along with the others, a home seller with unrealistic expectations is crushed. Stay positive about your home, but don't blind yourself to what selling it will entail. A home seller with a realistic view of what it takes to sell a house in a balanced or buyer's market, can easily adapt to changing market conditions, use constructive feedback to improve their home, and in return sell their home faster.

Pride: If you really want to sell your home, make the promise right now that you will never utter the following phrase: "I'm going to send that buyer a message." If you enjoy sending messages, then perhaps you could raise carrier pigeons. If you want to sell your home, drop that phrase from your vocabulary. The message that sellers send, when they respond to buyers that way is "I don't want to sell my house to you. You have insulted me." In the end, all you are left with is your pride, and that house that just will not sell. As an active Ebayer, I have never witnessed a transaction in which the seller of an item got indignant at the lowest bidder. It's all business. Divorce your emotions from the home selling process, and you have an advantage over the angry sellers in your area, because the buyers that they turn way with their "messages", are going to buy a home - just not theirs! The message to send to a buyer should be in the form of a counter-offer. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Impatience: You want this home sold. Now! The impatient seller can't understand why their home hasn't sold in the first week. By the third week on the market, the impatient home seller is fuming, and wondering how to get out of the listing agreement. Are you an impatient home seller? If you've chosen your real estate agent carefully, and believed when you signed the listing agreement that they are up to the job, then sit back and let the market work. The impatient seller calls their agent more than once a day for updates, even if there has been no activity on the house. The question, "why isn't it selling?" is regularly pleaded over the phone. Are you, the impatient seller, doing everything you need to do to get your home sold? Have you done the things your agent suggested to get your home in selling condition? Did you really listen to the comparable pricing data your agent provided you? Or did you have a set price in your mind and refused to move from it when listing the home? The impatient seller can create an enormous amount of stress for everyone involved in selling the home, and it's totally avoidable. In the end, the timing of the sale of your home will be a combination of price, condition, and luck. No amount of impatience is going to change that.

Ignoring the market: Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is disaster for a home seller. Yes, we know that your neighbor sold their home for the same price you want for your home, but that was four months ago. The residential real estate market is more fluid than ever now. Educate yourself about current market conditions, not last year's market, not even last month's market. A home seller who ignores the market will interview a few real estate agents, read the data provided by the agent, then ignore the data and list with the agent that gives them the least argument about pricing their home unrealistically. Real estate agents do not price homes, sellers do. The agents will provide valuable information and input to help a seller choose a price. Some agents will refuse to take a listing if they feel the seller is unrealistic about pricing, but many others will take the listing with the caveat that the seller be open to reducing the price later. With so many other properties on the market, an overpriced home will sit there like a deli tray at a gathering of vegetarians. Then, the seller will be chasing the market by lowering the price after watching the prices around them fall. Eventually, the house may sell, but the price will be determined by the market, as it always is. If you are guilty of ignoring the market, you can save yourself a lot of time and headache by scheduling a meeting with your real estate agent to go over the current sales data for your home, and setting a realistic price, now.

Stubbornness: When selling your home it's best to imagine yourself as a supple tree gently swaying with the wind, instead of a donkey with its heels dug solidly into the dirt resisting all attempts to be budged. Stubbornness can show up in many situations. When you are contacted to schedule a showing, do you leave the house? Though it's a fact that your home has a better chance of selling if you are not there for the showing, do you refuse to be inconvenienced by having to leave? You may tell yourself that the buyers can work around your schedule. They won't. The chance for a sale often vanishes because a buyer feels uncomfortable with the homeowner in the house, and cannot freely assess the house. Expect to be inconvenienced when you sell your home. It's part of the process.

Being Uncooperative: Are you a partner with your real estate agent when it comes to getting your home sold? Do you resist all suggestions by your real estate agent to make changes to your home that will help it sell faster? I've had this conversation with home sellers many times. Is it fair that people judge your home based on the things that are not going to be in it when you move out? No, probably not. Do buyers judge your home based on those things? Absolutely. I've seen buyers lose their enthusiasm for a home based on a decorating theme that didn't suit them. No matter how many times their real estate agent might remind them that they can decorate in their own style, it's too late. The home is now referred to as the "duck home", or the "doll home", or the "pink home." Every house gets a nickname when buyers are shopping. Don't let your refusal to cooperate stop your home from being the "perfect home."

The sale of your home requires the cooperation of countless people, many of whom you'll never meet. The key word here is "cooperation." We, as home sellers, expect those that are working to complete our sales transaction to be cooperative. What about you, the home seller? Are you willing to meet the buyer halfway in negations? Are you willing to work within someone else's schedule to get something signed? Remember, you may be selling a property, but in the end, real estate is about humans. Be a good one.

Help Your Real Estate Listing Clients: How to Stage a Kitchen in the Age of Dining Out and Fast Food

Today the kitchen has lost its position as the "heart of the home" that it enjoyed in generations past. According to a 2004 report on dining out, published by Restaurant.org, single professionals eat over 50% of their meals away from home. And, in recent trends data... the National Restaurant Association (NRA) reports that restaurant sales will rise nearly twelve-fold from the 1970 figure of $42.8 billion to a whopping $511.1 billion this year! So, where does this leave you when you are trying to show a home? It makes it essential that you outline the ideal kitchen and help your listing clients ensure that their kitchen shows well.

Yes, some people are gourmet cooks, some families still eat dinner together every night, and some individuals consider their kitchen the only real place to "congregate with friends." But many homeowners eat out more often than they cook at home. Add to that the number of meals that are "delivered" and the number that are eaten "en route" to work and school...and you may find that the kitchen has taken a back seat when you are showing a home.

According to the Meal Consumption Behavior report, "Males between the ages of 25 and 34 eat commercially prepared meals most frequently -- an average of six times per week" and higher income earners are even less likely to prepare food at home.

Those with a household income of $75,000 and above dine out more often than lower income households. These higher income households spend 46.7% of their entire annual food budget on eating out [http://www.restaurant.org/research/consumer/spending.cfm].

Despite these figures, homebuyers still want a "traditional home." People who are buying a house often imagine themselves as "settling down" - and they want all the time-honored options ... including a nice, roomy, well-organized kitchen.

When you show a home, the kitchen must be inviting. Want to help your listing client create a show-friendly kitchen? Share the following information with them:

What are the top five ways to lose a potential buyer with this one room?

  1. Cluttered counters and walls - The more "stuff" on the counters, the less counter space your room will appear to have. The more bits and pieces plastered on the front of the fridge -- the more disorganized and cluttered the whole room will seem to be. The more "decorative" items you have strewn on the walls, the less able your potential buyer will be to imagine their stuff on the walls. The idea is to make the buyer imagine living here... the less of YOU they see, the more of THEM they can project.
  2. Grimy floors/sink/cabinet tops/appliances - In a matter of moments, a floor can become gritty. Add to that a few water spots in the sink, a slight coffee stain from this morning's essential cup of java and a few crumbs perching on top of the toaster... and what do you get? A kitchen that seems dirty and uninviting. Be sure you take a look at the kitchen with fresh eyes. Stand at the door and pretend you have never seen it before. (Imagine you are the grime police.) What do you see? If you were your mother-in-law (or maybe your mother) what "tiny little comments" might you make? Fix those. Now. Be so bold as to scrub the sink and SHINE it (pay special attention to behind the faucet and the rim around the sink - use an old toothbrush). Sweep, mop AND wax the floor. Thoroughly clean all appliances - even in the nooks and crannies. Make it simply spotless.
  3. Unsavory smells/odors - Avoid cooking strong smelling food when your house is on the market. Day old fish, boiled cabbage, onions, etc., will turn off the most interested buyer. Avoid "covering up" smells with strong sprays, over-scented candles and products. Your favorite "gardenia" smell may send your potential buyer into sneezing fits. Instead, consider leaving out a single appliance - a bread machine, with the timer set to be mid-way through the baking process when the house is to be shown. How many people do you know that don't like the smell of fresh bread? (Yeah, I can't think of a single one either!)
  4. Disorganized or insufficient storage space - If your cabinets are brimming with "stuff" or (goodness forbid) things tend to tumble when you open them, you need to remove all but the most essential items while showing your home. Pack up all the extras in a box (or boxes) and put them in storage. Eliminate your "junk drawer" and be sure that your plates, glasses and bowls are close together and are located close to where you will use them. Organize your pantry area and be sure all food items are neatly stacked and appropriately organized and are not located in various cabinets throughout the kitchen. Consolidate them into one general area. When you finish cleaning and packing away, make sure that what remains is neatly organized and that everything is located where you are most likely to use it. People WILL look in your cabinets. They will try to determine from your use of the area if there is enough storage space. If you can't live in the space, why would they believe that they can? If you can't keep it organized, how will they?
  5. Dark and/or claustrophobic décor - Dark colors in the kitchen make it less inviting. It makes it harder to cook when you have to strain to see what you are doing. Ample light is a requirement. Natural light is best. If your kitchen doesn't have quality lighting, you need to add it. Consider "natural light" light bulbs, add additional light sources under upper cabinets, and make the room brim with warm, bright light. If your lights flicker or are dull - replace them. In one kitchen I saw recently, there was no window to the outside, but the owner had added a mirror with "window panel" framing over the sink and a light above it to add light, reflect it and give the impression of a window. It wasn't perfect, but I was a vast improvement over facing a solid wall while doing dishes. Claustrophobic decorating would include oversized decorative items in a small kitchen, anything that requires you to dodge, move or step around to do simple tasks. Heavy, low-hanging items that "close in" the space in a kitchen are also ill advised. I recently saw a wrought-iron pan rack that was hung (too low) over an island in the center of a kitchen. It was covered in pans and it created a visual wall in the center of a modestly-sized kitchen. The cook continually had to 'bend down' to talk to people on the other side of the rack. This type of decorating was too "claustrophobic" for that space. Replacing the rack with higher-hung lighting would have eliminated the "squeeze" effect and would have lightened, brightened and expanded the entire room.

What do most people want in a kitchen? They want enough counter space to work and clean line of sight (so kill the do-dads and tuck away the cabinet-top appliances). They want modern, clean, easy-to-maintain appliances. They seek cheerful, well-lit areas (think "natural light feel") and enough easy-to-reach outlets (extension cords in a kitchen are both unsightly and unsafe).
People looking at a home's kitchen want to see a space that is inviting and easy-care. They want a kitchen that makes them WANT to stay in for meals -- a place to "nest" that adds comfort, relaxation and other nourishing qualities to daily life.

The Top 3 Reasons to Paint a Home Interior

Painting a home's interior is one of the most popular home improvement tasks for homeowners in Woodstock, Georgia. Using a reliable contractor is one of the most important means of having a home look fresh and clean when the job is finished. The procedure is pretty simple. Choose house painters in Woodstock with a solid reputation. Choose which rooms need to be painted. Pick the paint color and prepare the home. The Woodstock painting contractors will do the rest. Here are three reasons to paint a home interior.

Painting a home interior is one of the cheapest improvements one can make to sell a house when putting it on the real estate market. Today's market is extremely competitive. Sellers need to gain whatever edge they can to make a home look beautiful and well-cared for. They may even be hesitant to put a house up for sale because of the hassles that go along with getting it ready for showings and open houses. The fact is, a freshly painted home helps a house to look inviting and move-in ready. It smells fresh. If everything else is equal, shoppers will choose the real estate that needs the least amount of work, making it an easier sale.

Visual Appeal
Interior painting is just part of general maintenance routines that need to be performed around the house. In about five years, paint colors start to fade and get darker in the corners of the room. Older paint can make a house look dirty. Because paint is a porous material, odors can be absorbed by the paint and make the house smell. Adding a fresh coat of paint will not only brighten a room, it can make it smell like new, too.

Some people paint rooms simply because they have grown tired of the existing room color. Others are changing the use for the room and what is in there now is inappropriate. They may have seen a picture in a designer magazine or in a friend's decor. One thing to keep in mind when changing room colors is to consider how long the current homeowner will be living in this house. Going for the latest color trends can be the kiss of death when it comes to the real estate market, so be careful when choosing colors. Most Woodstock homeowners paint their interior every five to 10 years. Generally speaking, the color chosen should be something that one can live with for the next five years.

Evaluating Current Situation And Development Trends For The Bulgarian Real Estate Market In 2008

Nowadays, the Bulgarian real estate market is in a sufficiently balanced condition. There are a stable interest and demand, and on the other hand sufficient supply on behalf of local and foreign investors to meet this demand. The price increase is moderate, without sharp jumps, as the indications show about 50% annually; in other words except well-balanced, the real estate market is in a stable growth period. The sudden price jumps, the stagnation, the lack of new construction and the lack of demand remain in the times past. As a matter of fact, the demand has always been there, but it used to be either avalanche-like or it was turning into a small flow and therefore usually the buyers could not find that what they were looking for. Things are different now. There are many sites, available in varied price ranges, at different distance from the sea, which in itself influences the prices. On the market the sites differ by their area and planning. To a great extent the variety refers to the apartments and the apartment complexes. The private houses are also widely represented on the market, however, the difference in the house demand compared to the apartment demand, is that no foreigner would buy an old-construction apartment, but the demand of old houses is as stable as the demand of new houses.

Of great interest are the areas located within close proximity of the sea - in Bulgaria the length of the coastline is approximately 240 km. The resource is vast; a lot of the attractive plots with a varied-size area, available especially in such regions, are suitable not only for high-rise construction, but also for building of private houses and villas with a magnificent sea view and scenery.

Land properties are wanted as in the vicinities of the large seaside cities, such as Varna and Burgas, as in the area of the summer sea resorts, such as Golden Sands, Albena, St. Constantine and Elena, Sunny Beach. As a general rule, the most preferred ones are the localities where the infrastructure is already developed.

Here is an interesting fact: if earlier the resort apartments were mostly bought for the purpose of seasonal living, thus more often now, the owners stay living in Bulgaria all year round, go on sight-seeing journeys all over the country, including to the uppermost west regions, to enjoy the natural resources and the variety of resorts. The customer service enhancement in the apartment complexes and the resorts in the country has proven its positive effect on the buyers' choice. All sites are provided with all-year-round maintenance and security guarding, restaurants and shops, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gyms, bars, etc. Also very perceivable is the construction quality improvement, all the more that Bulgaria joined the European Union and it does its utmost to build as good as the rest of the European countries. For instance, there are more often sites with autonomous or central systems for heating and cooling of the interior premises. Due to the mass and progressively increasing competition in the sphere of construction, the building companies are frequently urged to bring in their tough business progressive technologies, materials, engineering systems and facilities, in order to ensure better habitability standards for the residential sites and to innovatively bring to life the latest scientific and technological achievements in the field of construction, production of building materials, and last but not least, to befittingly make use of the marketing and advertising art. Also a significant trump for them is the necessity of supply of such sites on the real estate market in the same price range as of the sites not particularly innovative as regards finishing.

An example could be the sites that are being built in the quite popular residential area in Varna, called Breeze. Both buildings - with high quality interior and exterior finish, where the apartments are of the same price range, but in one of the sites every apartment is planned to be equipped with the newest autonomous system for heating and cooling of the premises by Daikin, a Japanese manufacturer, and in the second building - the apartments will be heated by regular converter air-conditioners, that is to say the market prices of the apartments are the same, but the level of their technical equipment is different. There are many examples as this one.

If we give consideration to the sites that enjoy the highest popularity among newly arrived buyers, the leading positions are taken by those complexes and small apartment buildings, which are located in the prestigious panoramic areas of Varna - Bulgaria's sea capital, in regions such as Breeze, St. Constantine and Elena (sea & spa resort in the vicinities of the city), Primorski Park, Galata. The apartments in these areas are suitable as for a seasonal summer vacation, as for all year round living and business. Moreover, there still is a quite good demand for not too expensive complexes in the small resort towns, such as Kranevo, Byala, Nessebar - with pure nature and moderate resort activity. The rise in popularity of the big summer resorts, such as Albena, Golden Sands, St. Constantine and Elena, Sunny Beach - famous across Europe - and the apartment complexes located on their territory continues, all the more that the customer service standard in the country's resorts gets continuously improved and gradually meets the requirements for a European-level service.

Taking a look at the construction materials, used in the building of these dwellings, we should gladly notice the increasing popularity of the German-made 15 or 30 cm red bricks, that allow mechanized application of gypsum plaster; 150 or 200 cement quality class; good exterior 4 or 5 cm polyurethane façade thermal insulation boards; ETALBOND-type aluminum façade panels, natural stone facing slabs of local or European origin; multi-chamber PVC window framing, double glazed window with tinted glass in a range of colours; polished aluminum tubing and connections or stainless steel tubes for outdoor and indoor railings and outdoor railings for terraces and balconies; high quality and Bulgarian and Spanish tiles and granitogres, sanitary ware and mixer taps, both regular ad designer series; high quality interior and exterior doors with natural facing; high class laminate parquet; natural plank wood flooring or classic oak patterned parquet; interior paint finishes - mainly durable innocuous water-based paints; water supply and sewerage mains of polypropylene pipes and connections; autonomous electric- and water-meters ; contemporary electric units with safety fuses and switches.

Looking at the new construction private homes, it may be remarked that this kind of building is mostly concentrated in new complexes of closed type, located either within close distance to a populated area, within the boundaries of small towns or villages, near the sea or the beach, as well as in the villa areas of district centres such as the cities of Varna and Burgas.

In terms of construction, the houses are monolithic, brick-built, two-storey buildings: as a rule, there are a spacious living room with a kitchen and some auxiliary rooms on the first floor and bedrooms on the second. Oftentimes, the second floor could be described as attic because of the type of the roof. The roof itself is either classic type of wooden beams with hydro insulation, ceramic or bitumen tiles, or a contemporary "flat" type with thermal and hydro insulation and finishing exterior bituminous membrane. Exterior 4-5 cm façade thermal insulation using a silicate plaster and paint. It is common to see houses with a stone base up to the level of the basement premises and garages. Furthermore, if houses are built in the style of the Bulgarian national revival, their particular features are the oriel and the partial or complete wooden planking of the second and third floors.

Frequently the roof of these houses is deliberately made of old Turkish-style tiles and the windows are double-glazed of stained glass or with window grating, in order to thereby invariably stick to the intended ancient style of the buildings. A quite common feature are also the working fireplaces in both modern and traditional natural stone style. The interior walls and ceilings are mostly plasterboard finished with mineral wool quilt provided for insulation. More often in the practice the walls and ceilings are finished with smooth gypsum joint-filling and high quality paint or with decorative plaster finish. The sanitary premises are fully finished and fitted, including room tiling, lighting, an electric water-heating boiler, equipped with sanitary ware, mixer taps, showers and shower cabins. As the newest standard in construction we can define the use of multi-chamber PVC window frames available in various finishes imitating wood or simply in white colour; a regular double glazing or stained glass double glazing in a few base colours; also the installation of high quality interior and exterior doors with natural facing, modern locks and hardware; the floorings are made of high class laminate parquet; natural plank wood flooring or classic oak patterned parquet; the water supply and sewerage mains is made of polypropylene pipes and connections, autonomous electric- and water-meters ; contemporary electric units with safety fuses and switches.

The equipment of the home with the most necessary communications, such as telephone, internet and television is a must. The installation of electric plugs, switches and lights on the walls and the ceilings is also obligatory. Often the properties allow having an original and impressive landscaping: a lawn and decorative trees, free-growing flower compositions, decorative blooming bushes etc.

The contemporary market and the services of specialized companies provide the opportunity of building indoor or outdoor swimming pools and non-complicated children's water rides. As far as the market nowadays offers a rich variety of price options, it is possible to install such kind of a water system with comparatively small budget. The fences are usually erected on the base of reinforced-concrete rings - the fundament of slag blocks, concrete blocks; they can be solid or made of spans with wooden or concrete elements with openings. Tiling elements covering the top of the fence could also be seen; often the entrance gate is massive, made of wood or iron, with modern damper mechanisms to facilitate opening and closing of the wings;

As a rule the liquidity as well as the price of the land plots depend on their exploitability, on the availability of panoramic view and beautiful surroundings in the area where the plots are located, as well as on the distance to a populated area in view of the prospective connection of the plots with communications (electricity, water-supply and sewerage system, telephone and internet); the plot prices increase in proportion to their proximity to important natural resources such as a sea, beach, resorts; very popular among the local and foreign purchasers are the areas located near lakes and rivers which by the way is an incredible feature of the the southern part of the Bulgarian black sea coast. The method of acquisition and formalization of a land plot or any other property in Bulgaria is quite easy, starting with the reason that in Bulgaria the title to the land exists. If professionally organized, the period to purchase a real estate and formalize the transaction can be reduced to a minimum of a few weeks.

When wisely chosen, the area for purchase of an apartment, a house or a land plot can determine not only the comfortable vacation and lifestyle of every one, but it also involves the golden opportunity for quick and profitable resale of a particular real estate.

On the other hand Bulgaria is rapidly renewing its popularity among the Russians and the Balts not only as an interesting tourist destination but also as a destination for profitable investment of capital with quite quick return. We can give an example by indicating a part of the clients of our agency - Dao Real, who invested in fully finished apartments in Varna City during 2006 and at the end of 2007 sold them through our direct mediation service without any additional costs on the apartments earning a profit of 35 000 to 50 000 euro. In terms of the country's good political line - on the one hand, as a current EU member, Bulgaria has fulfilled all the eligibility requirements and directives for the country's faster joining the Schengen area, and on the other hand, it implements a smart policy of development of mutually beneficial foreign-economic and cultural relations with Russia - the expectations are for further development and preservation of the country's popularity among the Russian and EU purchasers and the investors. The topical of today is the large-scale construction of malls, department stores and business centers in the cities, which are developed not only with the joint capital participation of both local and foreign big contractors but there are also projects that are 100 % financed by funds of European contractors and organizations.

The local city authorities render complete assistance to the investors and developers for infrastructure development and renovation, as well as for supply of the necessary powers and public utilities to the area, where the site is located. The fact that there is an interest and investment of western European funds in the country shows itself the increasing stability in the region. The first shopping malls and business centers based on the European model have already been built and are in operation, but there still is big deficiency in buildings of that kind. Formerly, the offices and the small stores in Bulgaria were often situated in hasty re-fitted apartments on the first floor in common residential buildings. Now the number of such type of "offices" quickly decreases, all the more that a law on their forbiddance and gradual elimination is being adopted. In general, Bulgaria can be described as Eden for the investors, an undeveloped niche market, where formerly there was nothing special and nothing much happened, but where tranquility has always existed. Now it is the right time to make and concentrate serious investments in the Bulgarian real estates and development; and to receive such a great profit that would be too difficult to earn in any other European country.

Predicting a Slow Recovery of Real Estate Market in 2011

Compared with the trends in housing market in 2009 and 2010, the Calgary Real Estate Board is expecting an improvement in the market even though at a slow pace. The press release states that there will be an increase by 20% in the sales of single family house in the market. This will be good news for the potential sellers who are planning for a deal and also to those who are not able to finish out the deal in and around Calgary. The expanding energy sector in the area is the reason for the boom in employment opportunities, inviting more and more in-migration into the both metropolitan areas and towns. The in-migration will be the key to market recovery, producing stable jobs.

The forecast says that people will opt for owned single homes and condos over rented one in the going year in the downtown areas and outskirts of the town. The affordability and low interest rate eventually gets the buyers to go for a larger selection of homes.

If you are planning to sell your home expecting a better return, make sure about certain things your house should possess. The buyers market will look for well-maintained homes with all amenities and seasoned comforts. Do you know that most of the home buyers decides whether or not to look the inside of a house just by seeing the exterior of your house? The impression they get just by the look of the exterior of a home implies a lot in their decision to take the deal seriously. So you have to make sure that you have left no choice except driving the buyers to come inside and spend time in seeing your house.

So, the Calgary home renovations work should start from the exteriors. Change the landscaping of your garden either by including features or removing things avoiding every slightest chance from hampering the fine view. You can have an energy efficiency lamp with low voltage near the driveway gates, which can give soothing appeal to the sidewalk and landscaping in the night. A decorative street lamp on the front porch will have a luring effect all over the premise giving an appeal to the front doors, windows and garage as well. Color schemes on the wall can gain you many admirers too.

You can also go for the Calgary home renovations done by yourself, which can help you in gain some money back in your pocket. If the driveway gates looks like they need enhancement go for it. Repair the fences guarding your yards, and make sure that the surroundings of your house should be neat and tidy in dawn and dusk. With these points in mind and completing your Calgary home renovation work, you can display your renovated home amidst the eager homebuyers for selling with an attractive price tag.

Barn Door Hardware - Increase Your Home's Real Estate Market Value

Home improvements and remodels are quite popular right now. With the economic struggles America has had recently, the housing market took a turn for the worse. Though things are starting to turn back around, any expert will tell you that recovery is not instant, and that even a swift turn-around in the housing market may take several years. This is why homeowners have engaged in home improvements and remodels, to increase the market value of their homes.

There are a few things to consider when deciding what types of remodeling are more important than others. One of those is whether or not the project would boost the appraisal value of the home. Certain elements of a house are more important than others when appraising the home's worth.

The following is a list of a few things that may affect the appraised worth of your home: number of bedrooms, whether or not there is a fireplace, number of bathrooms, whether or not there is a formal dining room and type of house construction material. A few things that don't matter quite as much are wall color, the brand of appliances, and surprisingly whether or not the basement has been finished off.

An easy and economic way to add value to your home is by using barn door hardware, also known as flat track hardware, to close off an open doorway to a room such as a home office, study, or dining room. Barn door hardware is simple, rustic, and aesthetically pleasing. It allows doors to add to the decor of a room. The hardware itself also adds to the overall aesthetics of a room.

Implementing barn door hardware, or flat track hardware, is a great way to quickly and economically add value to your home. It is neat, attractive, reliable, and strong.

10 Tips For Selling Your Home Faster

Editors: You are welcome to reprint the following tips, as long as the contact information at the end is included.

With a little extra effort, you can improve the chances that your home will sell quickly and for top dollar. Get potential home buyers off the street and into your home with these tips:

* Make your home sparkle. With so many new houses on the market, buyers often expect a resale home to be in "like new" condition.

* Consider staging. Professionally decorated model homes have set high expectations for how a home should look. If you can afford to stage your home, you should. Staging is proven to benefit sellers both in price and speed of sale.

* Enhance curb appeal. Make sure your landscaping is neat and weed-free. Keep the grass cute, trim bushes and trees, rake leaves, and get rid of yard clutter. Fix sagging gutters, replace missing shingles, and paint areas that are faded or peeling. Finally, add some bright flowers around the entrance.

* Avoid being labeled a "fixer-upper." Take care of all the pesky things you've been meaning to fix but haven't gotten around to. Fix leaky faucets and loose floor boards. Replace broken light bulbs and cracked electrical panels. Patch holes in the wall and cracked ceilings.

* Clean and de-clutter, and then clean and de-clutter again. Throw away old newspapers and magazines. Organize closets. Clean the attic and cellar. Dust the furniture, vacuum the rugs and straighten wall hangings.

* Make your home light and bright. Take advantage of natural light by keeping the curtains open. Make sure the windows are clean.

* Focus on the kitchen and bathrooms. These are the most important rooms in the house so make sure they are renovated and up to date. You can also make small changes to keep them looking fresh and new. Put nice handles on less expensive cabinets and replace old light fixtures with more modern ones.

* Get rid of all that stuff. Box up as much as you can and stack it neatly in the garage, not in the closets. The house will appear larger and potential buyers will be able to picture themselves living there.

* Paint. This is an inexpensive way to make your home pop. Painting the family/living room and the master bedroom will have the biggest impact. Be sure to fix problem areas like chips and water stains. Take down outdated wallpaper and touch up the baseboards.

* Air it out. If you have pets, get rid of as much hair and dander and pet odor as possible. Make sure your home doesn't have any other smells that might turn off potential buyers.

Today's buyers expect a lot. The Internet has made them more educated, wiser and more demanding when it comes to their next home. Sellers need to educate themselves as well. An experienced, reliable real estate agent [http://assist2sell.com/offices.aspx] should help sellers understand current market trends. They should also supply home sellers with pertinent information about their home, like the tips listed above, that will enable a quicker sale at the best price possible.

How To Get Your Home Sold At The Best Price

Trying to sell your home can be difficult - even with the real estate marketing improving. There is still competition out there, so you need to do everything possible to make sure your house stands out from the crowd. Here are some of the best tips to get your home sold in the shortest time for the highest price:

Clean it Up

When it comes time to sell your home, you need to understand that you are no longer living there for yourself. In other words, the way the home is decorated should not be for your enjoyment, but to appeal to the largest possible base of buyers. This means getting rid of all the clutter, doing a thorough cleaning on the inside, painting a neutral color, doing all minor repairs, and removing all personal items. For this step, you may need the services of a staging professional. An expert in home interiors can help you stage the inside of the home properly, so it will wow buyers when they walk through the door.

Before the buyer ever walks through the door, though, they will either be turned on or turned off by the exterior. See to it that with your house, it is the former. Get the outside cleaned up -- the landscaping, trees, bushes, grass, everything necessary to make the outside of the house appealing. The combo of an appealing interior and exterior will make your house stand tall in the market.

Price it Right

To sell your home in a timely fashion, you need to make sure it is not over-priced. The reason is that if you set the price too high, you will waste valuable time while you are paying the mortgage and waiting to move on to the house you really want to be in. Go through the listings in your neighborhood and pay careful attention to homes that are similar to yours. Also check free websites like Yahoo and Zillow to cross reference what you are seeing in your own research. Then even if you decide to sell the house without a realtor, you will still have a good idea of what the price should be.

Market it Effectively

That said, most home sellers would be crazy to sell their home without a realtor - and preferably a top realtor at that. You need to work with someone that has all the most up to date marketing techniques and knows how to get as many eyeballs on your listing and prospects in the door as possible. When it comes right down to it, real estate sales, like any other type of sales, is nothing but a numbers game. The more people that see your home, the quicker it well sell. So when you want to sell your home at the best possible price, make sure you partner with a real estate agent that has a proven track record of successful results.

Unemployment - How Will It Affect The Real Estate Market?

It's easy to see how and why unemployment levels have an effect on the housing market and other sectors of the economy. To state the obvious, the people without an income and are not economically independent won't have the money available to buy products and meet monthly bill payments. Those without the available funds are likely to lose their house or not be able to purchase a house in the first place. This adds unoccupied homes to the housing inventory, which will contribute toward a reduction in house prices.

Despite numerous government projects to help stimulate the economy by helping home owners being instigated, a lender is extremely unlikely to negotiate on any loan repayments if the debtor cannot demonstrate how they could afford to pay in the future. This means that foreclosure is extremely likely and a high number of foreclosures are not at all good for the market.

Another, less direct way in which unemployment could have a negative impact on the housing market is through the effect that the unemployed have on the economy. The people without an income have less or no disposable cash to spend, which means that they purchase less from shops and other outlets. This in turn decreases the revenue that's taken by commerce which could result in redundancies or even business closure. This in turn means that there's even less money available on the market for things such as home purchase.

On a more localized level, increased crime rates are witnessed in a certain region having high unemployment levels. Any area with high crime rates is less attractive to prospective buyers and therefore the price of the housing is adjusted downwards to make amends for this lower demand.

Even the people who are employed might not be confident about their future in an economy that is seeing rising unemployment figures. Due to this they might choose to wait until a bad economy stabilizes and improves before making any massive purchases, houses included. Another factor could be that in a negative economy individuals expect house prices to decrease, and thus choose to wait until the market levels out so that they can get the best available price.

Those who do have jobs and a disposable income are more likely to maintain and invest in their houses. Home improvements like re-decorating and building extensions would always have a positive impact on the desirability of a home and nearly always push the price up relative to its location. With fewer individuals making such home improvements, or probably even seeing their houses fall into disrepair because of shortage of funds the overall attractiveness of homes, and therefore the amount that a buyer would be ready to pay for them would drop.

With unemployment levels so closely linked with the housing market, it's usually one thing that is looked at when economists try to forecast housing prospects, and a factor that individuals usually take into consideration before deciding on whether or not to go on with a purchase.

Finding That Diamond in the Rough

When you're in the market for a new home, you probably have some idea of just what that home should look like. But it's important to keep in mind that a home that isn't in pristine condition may still have great potential. Many new buyers will go by their first impressions and if not perfect they opt out from pursuing the purchase of a house that others may see in a different light. Here are some tips to help you look beyond bad decorating and ugly wallpaper to see a potential jewel.

Floor Plan: The floor plan is extremely important. Look at entrances, exits, and where the rooms are located. Think about the flow of traffic in and around your home. A good floor plan is worth a lot, especially when you look at the cost of changing it.

Also consider noise. Do you have young children that will play in a particular part of the house? How will that noise reach the part of the house where the adults will spend most of their time? A friend of mine loves her house, but she complains that the noise from Monday Night Football reaches all the way from the room where her husband and son watch the game to her bedroom. Even though the two rooms are on different floors and different ends of the house, voices carry.

Walls & Floors: Walls and floor coverings make an important first impression. Paint is relatively inexpensive, so try to see the walls in the colors you would choose. Carpets can be removed and replaced; hardwoods can be refinished and vinyl floor coverings are not very expensive.

Walk all the floors and listen for squeaks and feel for uneven spots. If the floor is solid, the way it looks can be changed quickly and cheaply.

Kitchen: The kitchen is usually the most popular room in a home. Paint and new appliances can make a big difference, should you not like what's there now. The most important thing to consider is whether or not it has enough space to suit your needs. Also check for the work flow. Make sure when the oven door is open or when the dishwasher door is down, that the flow around the space is not hindered.

Now let's turn to the outside. The curb appeal is very important to presenting the house for top dollar. When you look at a house with an unattractive appearance, ask yourself if it can be altered to your liking with just a few dollars and a little work. While other prospects may be turned off and walk away, you may be able to offer a lower price then expected and with just a little TLC, polish that diamond.

Keep in mind that unless you are building your dream home, you will probably never find the "100% perfect" home. So before you make an offer, keep in mind what you can't live without and what you can improve upon with some well-placed upgrades and improvements.

Top 9 Conservation Tips For Winter Time Home Selling

If your home is on the market during the winter season, potential home buyers will have your home's energy efficiency at the top of their mind. Here're a few tips to make your home more attractive to conservation-minded buyers.

Modernize your thermostat - Simply investing in a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways to conserve energy in your home.

Position your thermostat for energy efficiency - Locating your thermostat on an interior wall and at least five feet from the floor will keep the temperature accurate and comfortable.

Decorate your windows - Using shutters, heavy window shades and blinds can help keep the cold air at bay.

Caulk and weather strip doors and windows - Investing a bit of cash at your local hardware store can mean big savings on your energy bill's bottom line. You can check for air leaks around all your doors and windows by using a candle to check for drafts.

Insulate your attic - One of the cheapest ways to improve energy efficiency in your home is to increase the insulation in the loft space of your attic. Be sure the insulation is at least 6 to 7 inches thick.

Install storm windows - While installation can be a big investment, storm windows are sure to add value to your home by providing an attractive barrier to wintry weather.

Check your fireplace - If you have a fireplace, check the flue for a tight seal and buy a fireplace cover to minimize hot air loss. It's also important to have your fireplace cleaned once a year to prevent the risk of a house fire.

Consider a new furnace - If your furnace is over 20 years old, consider investing in a newer, modern furnace. While there is an initial cost, you'll save big with the increased efficiency, and this will surely increase attractiveness to potential buyers.

Check you furnace filter monthly - Replace your furnace filter whenever it looks dirty, as potential homebuyers will often check filters as an indicator to a home's maintenance. A dirty filter could signal bigger signs of neglect.

Remember, in the winter months home buyers are extra conservation conscious. Making your home warm and energy efficient could mean the difference when comparison shopping!

7 Key Reasons Why Your Home is Still on the Market and What to Do About It

Its typical in this economy for homes to remain on the market for 6 to 8 months or more. There are a lot less qualified buyers due to anxiety about the real estate market and a widespread increase in unemployment. The good buyers are out there looking for a bargain and hoping to get maximum value for their money.

Since there's a large surplus of homes on the market, the ball is in the buyers court. However, if you feel that attention to your listing has been unusually stagnant in the market, there might be a few things you can do to get just enough edge to sell your home.

Here are 7 overlooked reasons why your home is becoming not moving:

1. Above Market Value - We all want top dollar for our properties, but the reality is that the economy is working against us at this time. Re-evaluate your price point. Has your agent re-run a comparable market analysis for your home? Keep in mind, if you have been on the market for over four months, housing values might have changed. Price your home smart, just right to entice interest and initiate multiple offers. Remember, your goal is to sell your property.

2. Curb Appeal - How many times have you browsed around the mall window shopping? Once something catches your eye, you walk right in to get a closer look (and buy it). The same concept applies here for your home. Manicure the lawn, fluff up the flowerbeds, touch-up the paint, and give the exterior a good power-wash (especially the garage doors!). Make sure your home is attractive to all the "window shoppers" out there. Give them a reason to come in and buy!

3. Interior Appearance - As important as curb appeal is, interior appearance is just as vital. Get a few storage boxes and de-clutter your interior spaces. Most of the time you won't need to hire a professional stager. Simply re-arrange your existing furniture to highlight each room. Remove all unnecessary chotskies from your living room, kitchen and bedrooms. Keep each room simple and nicely decorated. Less is more in interior presentation.

Moreover, make sure your home is kept completely clean. Its a drag to clean your home every other day, but buyers can come anytime of the week. The last thing you want is for a buyer to walk in and see dirty dishes in the sink, wet towels in the bathroom, and laundry scattered around the bedroom. This is a sure way to turn off prospects.

4. Unfinished Do-It-Yourself Projects - Now husbands listen up; it's all about attention to details. The unfinished D.I.Y. projects must be finished before showing your home. For every eye-soar a buyer deducts value, even if it's only perceived value. Set aside one weekend to make sure all the loose ends are taken cared of.

5. Poor Presentation - It is important to make sure that your agent takes good, bright, and clear photos of your property. Great photos attract more eyeballs. Make sure to photograph key features and upgrades along with the standard property photos. Turn on every light that you can and open the windows to let in as much light as possible. Preferably, take photos with a good high-end digital camera with 6 megapixel or higher to get the best quality shot.

6. Weak Online Advertising - If your home isn't online somewhere, you should really reconsider who is representing you. The majority of successful home buyers (75%) preview their properties on the internet. Creative real estate agents leverage social networks, forums, and advertising outlets online including craigslist and Google Ads.

7. Failure to Advertise Offline - Online advertising is only part of the complete marketing mix. Offline marketing is still one of the most effective advertising modes available. The most basic of all offline advertising is a well constructed property flyer. A Real Estate Flyer highlights the key features of your property giving the potential home-buyer an overview of your home.

Having an abundance of well constructed real estate flyers using high quality photos will improve your home sale success. Additionally, make sure you have plenty of copies of the flyer throughout your home and in the lawn flyer box. We advise a minimum of 100 flyer to be printed per home. If you go though 100 flyers in a week, you know there is interest in your home and an offer may come sooner than you think!