My TOP 10 House Staging Tips

January 27th, 2015

When preparing your house to sell, remember it is a PRODUCT! Just like any other product, such as a car, you want to make sure it is looking its best. Would you sell your car without having it detailed and cleaned? Would you get all of the pet hair and extra stuff out before selling it? Of course you would! Why would your house (often your biggest investment) be any different? Here are my most common tips when preparing homes for sale.

10. Hide your toiletries! When house shopping, no one wants to envision themselves living among someone else’s personal items. Get rid of them for the showings!

9. If you don’t have overhead lights inside, make sure to put lamps on a timer!

8. Clean our your closets. (This is an obvious one)

7. If you have tons of stuff in your storage room, or odd stuff such as Halloween mannequins (like I do) invest in white sheets and cover it all up. Buyers tend to nickname houses. The last thing you want to be remembered as is the “creepy Halloween house”.

6. Spruce up your mailbox. First impression is key!

5. Replace any visible ‘curly q’ lightbulbs with the regular ones. Much more attractive.

4. WD-40 those doors! Squeaky doors give off a bad vibe and scream maintenance.

3. Take 1 piece of furniture out of every room. Make your house live large!

2. Remove the magnets and clutter from your fridge!

1. Pack away any items smaller than a canteloupe! This is my #1 rule of thumb for making a house less busy to the buyer. Instead of looking at your stuff, make them see the house!

I hope these home selling tips are helpful! As a service to our clients, we offer free staging advice to help you get the most money for your house. If it’s a bigger job, we can recommend a stager in the Des Moines area and bring them in for a second opinion. Remember, all of these staging tips are best complimented by a professional photographer! Presentation online is just as important as how your house shows in person!

One of our recently sold homes on Onondaga Pt. in Des Moines.

One of our recently sold homes on Onondaga Pt. in Des Moines. Staged by Elizabeth Erin Designs.

Do Open Houses Sell Homes?

January 27th, 2015

The age old question. Will an open house sell my home?

This is a complicated one to answer. Odds are that no, an open house will not sell your home. However, when an open house is done right the odds go up drastically.

The old method of placing an open house sign out the morning of, placing an ad in the newspaper and hoping people show up is outdated, and in my belief makes open houses irrelevant in the industry today (when conducted in this way). When our team holds an open house in the Greater Des Moines area, we employ what we call a “Seventh Level Open House”.

So seventh level sounds pretty cool huh? Here’s how it works. There is a 7 point process to putting on a dynamite open house. The steps include knocking on doors to invite the neighbors and anyone they may know looking to buy in the area. Sending out postcards advertising the open house. Placing sufficient signage before the open house. Advertsing the open house in chosen locations.

As of late, we have also employed Twilight Open Houses. Our chosen time is Thursday 5-8. This catches the maximum “coming home from work” crowd and shows the house in a different light. More of an event and cocktail party atmosphere.

Do we host open houses at every property every weekend? The answer is no. It is definitely a strategy we use and worth a try–when done the right way.



How to Sell A House in Des Moines, IA

January 26th, 2015

So you want to sell your house in Des Moines? 

One of the most common questions I hear is HOW do I sell my house? There are several things to take into consideration when considering a move.

When we sit down to talk about selling a house, here is what we cover in the initial consultation:

1. LIST PRICE. What are the current market conditions? Generally we start with the macro conditions, meaning we look at the entire market. For instance, right now Des Moines is experiencing record low inventbluegrasssoldory which impacts sellers in a big wa
y. With lower inventory, the general laws up supply and demand come into play. With less on the market, buyers have less to choose from. You may, perhaps gain a higher price for your house in this type of low inventory environment. We narrow market conditions all the way down to the neighborhood. How many houses are currently on the market in the area? What has sold recently that will give us an indication on where to price the house?

2.CONDITION. What do you need to update in order to make the house show in the best possible way? Staging can be very minimal and have a huge impact. Something as small as taking magnets off the fridge can make the house present far better in person and in photographs.

3. WHAT’S NEXT? When considering making a move, it is very important that you have a plan of action for what comes next. Even if you think you are qualified to buy that next dream home, it is vital that you meet with a lender to make sure you are on track. Before you put your house on the market, make sure you know where you are going next!

4. FIND YOUR ABSTRACT! In Iowa, the transfer of property requires the abstract be up to date. What is an abstract? It is that legal-sized document you were given when you purchased the house. An inch or two thick. It’s probably in a safe deposit box or storage if you don’t know where it is! If you don’t know where it is, we do have ways of tracking it down. Replicating an abstract can cost THOUSANDS, so it is worth your while to find it!

5. COST. Can you afford to sell your house? When meeting with a client, we break down expenses to be as accurate aspossible. We take into account all expenses including revenue stamps, tax proration and attorney fees to prepare documents. Find out what is left on your mortgage, so we can accurately predict what your check will be, or how much you will have to bring to close on the property.

These are just a few of the basics to get your house on the market. As a Realtor, my job is to protect your interests-financially and otherwise. If you have questions about how to sell your home, contact us today for a free seller consultation!