Quick Tips for Staging Your Home to Sell

by Sara Seeger 10. March 2015

Staging Your Home

There are a number of attributes that can help a house sell, such as location, updates, size, and proximity to renowned schools, just to name a few. However, you have little to no control over many of these things when you go to sell your home. What you can control is how your house looks when it's on the market. Once you place your house on the market, you are ultimately selling a product, so it is important that your product looks and feels as appealing and comfortable as possible. Here are five quick staging tips when selling your house.

1. Make It Comfortable

Forget about sterile white walls and bare rooms, an empty house can make it hard for someone to visualize themselves living there. It also doesn’t help for pictures on an online listing when trying to draw buyers to your property. Empty rooms can appear “cold” and smaller than their actual size. Paint your walls a warm, neutral color and add furniture that makes the home feel comfortable.

2. Enhance Unique Attributes

Remember the saying, “less is more.” Try not to crowd furniture in corners of the rooms or in places that don’t make sense. Instead, accentuate your home's characteristics by decorating around them. You can even arrange furniture to downplay negative characteristics of the home.

3. Let the Sun Shine

Natural light can greatly improve the look and feel of your home. When staging your home, open your blinds and pull back your curtains.

4. Remove Personal Items

The easiest thing to do when staging a home is to remove all personal items. This includes family photos, personal items in the bathroom or bedroom, papers, etc. These can be distracting to a buyer and may not allow them to connect with the house. If you are still living in the house, consider placing your personal items in a decorative basket or cabinet while showings are happening.

5. Clean Up

No one wants to walk through a dirty or cluttered house. Remove any clutter (ahem, garages anyone?) by consolidating and putting storage bins in cabinets or on shelves. If you have a lot of storage items, consider renting a storage unit. They are fairly inexpensive and if they will allow your home to be less cluttered and potentially sell faster, it may be worth it. Also, make an effort to clean the house before staging photos are taken and always tidy up before a showing.

These are just a few quick and inexpensive ways to stage your home to sell. There are many other things a seller can do to make their home shine. Have you ever staged a house to sell? How did you prepare to get your home ready to sell?

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

5 Inexpensive Ways to Improve the Look of Your Home

Importance of a Home Inspection

5 Home Improvements That Add Value

Infographic: Is Getting a College Education Worth It?

by Sara Seeger 24. February 2015

For some time now, obtaining a college degree has been regarded as mandatory for success in many career paths. Many jobs require a college degree to even be considered. But as college costs are creeping higher and higher, many people are wondering if the ROI is still there. Between the years and years of student debt people obtain and the high unemployment rate for recent graduates, people are asking the question: is college still worth it?

Infographic: Is Getting a College Education Worth It?
If you found this infographic useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

Infographic: Are Maryland Private Schools Worth the Price Tag?

Has Anyone Seen My $200 Million?

The Bank of Mom and Dad: When to Shut It Down

The Bank of Mom and Dad: When to Shut It Down

by Sara Seeger 5. February 2015

Locked Bank

No formal application, no interest, and no credit history check- sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right? In most cases, this describes the Bank of Mom and Dad. Too often, parents are left in a financial dilemma by giving out zero interest loans to their children, or in some cases, just giving out free money.

As parents, you want to give your children the world and help them through all stages of life. Ultimately, there comes a time when the support you give your kids needs to shift from financial to emotional support. This begs the question, when do you shut down the “Bank of Mom and Dad?”

Communicate Clearly

Children returning home after college or continuing to live at home through college is very common. However, parents should first have a discussion with each other about the feasibility of this, and then have a chat with their child. Communication has to be clear and expectations laid out, to ensure your child is clear on how much financial support will be provided and for what time frame.

Charge Rent...Or Insist on Contributions

Charing rent is beneficial in covering the increased cost of having your child live back at home. It's also a good way to teach your child about budgeting in order to prepare them to be self-sufficient in the real world. If parents don’t need the extra cash financially, another option would be to keep all of that “rent” money in an account and hand it over once your child moves out to help them get their independent life started.

If rent isn’t practicable for your child to afford, insist on other contributions to the house, such as covering some extra groceries or utility bills. If your child is struggling to find employment, assert that they need to help with chores around the house, such as cooking meals, doing laundry, cleaning, etc.

Your Retirement Fund is Yours

People nearing retirement shouldn’t feel obliged to take from their own savings or retirement fund for their adult child. Although this may seem harsh, there comes a point where parents shouldn’t hinder their own retirement plans to help their children.

Education is Key

Instead of just providing for your child while they are home, consider teaching them some important financial lessons. Some important lessons any dependent young adult needs to learn are how to save, how to set a budget, how to build or rebuild their credit score, how to avoid debt, and why it is important to plan early for retirement.

Most importantly, remember there is no “one size fits all” solution. Every family has their own financial and emotional circumstances that come first. The main point for parents is to do what you can to help your child become financially independent, without harming your ability to retire.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

How to Build Good Credit: 5 Steps for College Grads

What Should You Do with Your Graduation Money?

Down Payment Saving Tips for the Newbie Home Buyer

© 2008- 1st Mariner Bank