While it’s true that in a seller’s market homes go quickly no matter what, the the housing market is slowly cooling. So, if you want to get top dollar for your home, home staging is worth the minor investment.
Additionally, if you want your home to stand out and receive the most and highest offers possible. Basically, you want buyers to fall in love with the home.
How does staging capture buyers’ hearts for a successful, top-dollar sale? Read on…
Home Staging is all about presenting the house as a warm, move-in ready home that ideally home buyers can visualize themselves in.
Update your décor with popular, on-trend style. Specifically, updates in living rooms, main bedrooms, and kitchens definitely make a positive impression. If homebuyers can start to see what it would look like to live in that home, they are likely to be more committed. They will also like be more willing to place a high offer. Moreover, if they can see themselves in the home, they are less likely to change their minds last minute or ask for a ton of concessions.
Home Staging is Worth It.
Staging can minimize the negatives and accentuate the positives of a property. Basically, it will help your home make the best impression possible.
These simple updates will help buyers see the home’s unique features and increase the perceived value.
It’s no surprise that a cold, empty property will not get the same attention as one filled with stylish, warm furnishings and accessories. Home staging instantly creates a more inviting room. Additionally, homebuyers can get an idea of what kind of furniture would fit in the space.
Furthermore, you may only have one chance to catch the eye of homebuyers scrolling through hundreds of pictures online. Nearly all—99%—of millennial home buyers start their search online, according to NAR’s data. Even in a hot market, staging a property to look amazing in photos will draw more buyers to see the home in person and even submit an offer.
Lastly, staging is an investment which helps maximize the rate of return on the sale of the property. Cost to stage a vacant home can vary, typically less than or around $5000 and usually less than the first price reduction!
With an average investment of 1% of the sale price into staging, about 75% of sellers saw an ROI of 5% to 15% over asking price, according to data from the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA).
A recent survey from the International Association of Home Staging Professionals shows that staging helps sell homes three to 30x faster than the non-staged competition. Further, staging can help increase the sale price by up to 20% on average.
For those who decide not to stage, the average price reduction on a home was 5 to 20 times more than what it would have cost to stage the home. Not to mention the higher selling price they probably would have received as well.
All things considered, you can see that there is a strong argument that staging is worth the investment (which in perspective is a small one at that).
If so, you’re not alone. It’s a question we get all the time in similar variations… “Are we in a housing bubble?”, “When is the housing bubble going to pop?”, on and on…
It’s a very valid question, especially for those of us who experienced, painfully, the housing market crash of 2008.
But it’s important to understand what led up to the housing crash of 2008 and what’s different today.
Homeownership has always been a cornerstone of the American Dream. Over 86% of Americans agree homeownership is a key part of the American Dream according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Before 1950, less than 50% of families owned their own homes but that soon changed with the GI Bill gave many of the returning veterans from WWII the ability to purchase a home. Since then homeownership moved upwards to 65% and the strong desire for owning your own home has continued to grow, helping home values to appreciate over the years.
As you can see, the only time home values dropped significantly since 1945 was during when the housing bubble of 2006-2008 popped. While some think the sharp increase in prices during 2006 looks very similar to the rise we’ve seen in the past 2 years and thus means a crash is coming, there are differences between the two periods of increases.
In 2006, homebuyers were not truly qualified for the mortgages they were given. Many could not afford to continue paying their mortgages and the market was flooded with foreclosures
⇒ Foreclosures caused a domino effect and banks along with the rest of the economy was in tailspin
⇒ Home values dropped…like off a cliff
⇒ some just walked away from their homes when they realized they owed more than what it was worth
⇒ more foreclosures ⇒ more decline in home values over the next few years.
2 Reasons today’s market is not like the one we experienced 15 years ago…
Prior to 2006, banks were creating artificial demand by lowering the standards needed to qualify for a home loan or refinance their current home – meaning even those with bad credit history, no stable income, etc… “qualified” for a loan. Today, regulations to prevent a repeat of 2006, require much higher standards to qualify for a loan – you really have to show that you’ll be very likely to make your payments.
For the last year or two, the demand for homeownership is a reaction to the recent COVID-19 world-wide pandemic that caused people to re-evaluate the importance of having a home. Lockdowns will do that! Plus remote work seems like it’s staying around to some degree, increasing the options for those who don’t have to live so close to work. It also increases the demand for a home that can double as an office so many people are looking to move out of their smaller, rented apartments onto a bigger house.
When home prices were on a rapid incline in the early 2000s, many thought it would continue as such and so they started to borrow against the equity in their homes to finance college educations, new cars, boats, and you name it. However, when prices started to fall, many of these homeowners owed more than their house was now worth, causing some to just abandon their homes. This led to more foreclosures.
Homeowners haven’t forgotten the lessons of the housing crash even as prices have skyrocketed the last few years. Accessible home equity has more than doubled compared to 2006 ($4.6 trillion to $9.9 trillion) according to Black Knight.
The latest Homeowner Equity Insights report from CoreLogic reveals that the average homeowner gained $55,300 in home equity over the past year alone.
Today’s homeowners will not face an underwater situation even if prices dip slightly. Overall, homeowners today are much more cautious and there are regulations to make sure banks and others don’t get too greedy.
The housing market crash 15 years ago was due to a flood of foreclosures that was fueled by shady mortgage practices. No one wants that to happen again. Therefore, with the increased regulations, stricter mortgage standards and an increasing level of home equity, there is no realistic reason to believe that today’s housing market will crash.
You are not alone. According to Pew Research, the past two years saw the ranks of retirees 55 and older grow by 3.5 million!
Retirement, like other major events in life can have a huge impact on what you need from a home.
Retirement, or even semi-retirement is one of the biggest changes most of us will face in our lives. It’s often a period of time that most of us look forward to… more time to relax, travel, visit loved ones, enjoy hobbies, etc…
As we focus more on these important things in our lives we reconsider what we need from a home as well. Downsizing is typically appealing as the old adage of “Less is More” starts to ring true.
Most people of retirement age, usually those over age 55, choose to sell the homes they raised their children in and move into smaller more manageable homes so they have more time to spend visiting loved ones, traveling and/or doing other hobbies that take them out of the house.
Some may even move out of the area to be closer to loved ones or to an area they’ve always wanted to live in but couldn’t due to work or other restrictions.
Benefits of downsizing are numerous and often appealing to those who are looking forward to spending more time enjoying the precious things of life and less time in the rat race. Some pros of moving into a smaller home include:
The home equity you’ve built up in your existing house can be a huge help if you move. and move. According to the latest Homeowner Equity report from CoreLogic, the average homeowner in the US gained about $55,300 in equity over the last year.
Those equity gains can provide for a larger down payment, meaning smaller monthly mortgage payments which can often translate into more financial freedom. Having the funds from a recent home sale can also help you buy a house in this very competitive market, since offering more money up front helps your offer stand out.
Whatever your future home-owning experience entails, having a caring, knowledgeable realtor on your side can help you find what’s best for you in your current situation.
We, at The C. Taylor Group, can be the realtors you need in whatever stage of life you find yourself in. We understand the changes that occur in life and we want to do everything we can to reduce your stress during the home selling/buying process so that you can spend more time doing what’s important to you and enjoy all that life has to offer.
If you plan to retire soon or have already started enjoying retirement, you may be thinking of how you can adjust your housing requirements accordingly. Meaning now may be the perfect time to downsize. Let’s connect so we can work together to find a home that fits the needs of your current situation.
Those wanting to buy a home wonder if houses will become more affordable soon.
Those thinking about selling wonder when is the best time to sell.
Many thought a rapid slowdown in price appreciation would occur by the end of 2021 and the beginning of this year but as the data shows, that isn’t the case. Prices instead accelerated in December and are still going strong.
To be clear, Acceleration means prices increase at a greater year-over-year rate than the prior month. Deceleration means home prices will continue to rise but at a slower speed than year-over-year appreciation. Depreciation indicates home prices drop below current values but that’s in nobody’s forecast!
S&P’s Case Shiller showed appreciation accelerated in 15 of the 20 metro areas they report on and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) revealed that price appreciation accelerated in December in six of the nine regions it tracks.
If you’re a first-time homebuyer or someone looking to sell a house and buy a home that better fits your needs, waiting could cost you in two ways:
Likely for this year and possibly for next, the more time goes by, the more mortgage rates will increase and home prices will continue to go up, possibly making it more difficult for you to afford a home if you’re buying.
If you’re selling, there may be less buyers for your home as affordability decreases with the increase in mortgage rates.
“If you’re thinking about waiting until next year and that maybe rates are higher, but you’ll get a deal on prices – well that’s risky. It may be more advantageous to purchase this year relative to waiting until 2023 at this time.” ~ Deputy Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, Len Kiefe
But it doesn’t mean you can just put a for sale sign in your yard and get the offer you want as quickly as you want.
Once your house is listed for sale, the “Days on Market” timer starts ticking. So when you list your house, make sure your house is ready to show and sell because the longer your home sits, the more buyers will start to wonder if something’s wrong with it and they will start to wonder if they can get away with a low offer.
If you really want to impress homebuyers, consider getting a pre listing home inspection. If you get a home inspection done first, you’re not likely to be surprised with a list of repairs that the buyers’ inspection comes up with and you won’t be under the gun to fix things fast before closing. Having a pre listing inspection puts you in control, giving you time to get things fixed and shop around for the best price. Additionally, it takes away another opportunity to lower their offer price.
You may not have to take as much time prepping as in the past (homebuyers are a little more accepting currently of minor home improvements, etc…) but be sure to take the time to make the house look presentable. It will pay off with multiple high offers, leading to a quick sale and happy you.
Some simple way to prep your home for sale include:
This goes along with number 1 and if you really don’t have time for any other prep of your house, at minimum focus on curb appeal. Many buyers will literally turn around and not even come in your house if the it looks awful on the outside. So take some time to clean up and improve the appearance of your house on the outside. Top real estate agents agree that improving curb appeal is the #1 thing a homeowner can do to boost their marketability and add dollar value to the sale of their home.
Some Basic Yard Care that can make a Big Difference:
Home staging is the practice for showing off a home in its best light with furniture and decor that fits the space in order to spark buyers’ imaginations and help them see themselves in the space (not visualize you still in it).
Your prep work of cleaning and decluttering will get your house in the right condition to stage it. Home stagers can be hired to fill in the rest. They often have furniture they store and use for this specific purpose or they may help you find the best way to arrange your current furniture and décor to best attract buyers. At this point, it’s all about getting buyers to see themselves in the home and be motivated to put in an offer. Top realtors agree staging will always increase the sale price of the home.
There always seems to be an agent in the family or an acquaintance from church that dabbles in real estate and while it seems ideal to work with someone you know and like, if you really care about selling your home for top dollar and in the least amount of time with the least amount of headaches and work on your part, it’s best to go with someone who is experienced and will work hard to sell your home.
Think about it, your friends and family didn’t really do anything to earn your business, you’re thinking of going with them only because you know them and if they’re doing it for a lower commission, they likely don’t have a huge incentive to put in the long hours of marketing or searching for your next home.
Research potential agents, their background, their team, read reviews, and interview a few to see who may be the right match for you.
An agent will be your partner in this very emotional process and you want one who is trustworthy, who understands your wants/needs and is experienced in handling these types of important transactions.
We are that type of agent.
You can count on our agents to walk through this process with you, give you the advice you need, be by your side at every step from pre-listing to close (and beyond!)