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To Stage or Not to Stage

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

So you think that everyone who comes to your home will just adore your decorating style.  Well, the fact of the matter is that they probably won't.  This is where home staging comes into play.  If you are into antiques, lace curtains, with lots and lots of things all over your home, no matter how expensive or even tasteful, you run the risk of turning off far too many potential buyers.  Whether they like the neighborhood, the location, or even the floor plan of your home, if you have too many personal items on display, the focus becomes on the things on display and NOT on your home.  And the home is what you are trying to sell, not the things on display.

So let your realtor provide you advice on the best way to showcase your home.  Or better yet, invest the money to hire a professional home stager.  The professional home stager will consult and provide you excellent advice on how to have your home shine.  For a vacant home, having it well staged gives you, the seller, a definite advantage in the market place, since too many buyers have a difficult time envisioning how an empty room might be used.

To start, take as many personal photos off the wall as you can.  If you have a specific hobby, whether it is hunting, race cars, martial arts, or knitting, put these items away and out of sight.  When someone is coming to look at your home, turn on the lights and make the room temperature as comfortable as you can.  Sweep the floors.  Put your pets away, or better yet, take them out for a walk when a buyer is coming to preview your home.  Make the home smell fresh and clean, or simmer a pleasant spice on the stovetop, such as cinnamon, to give your home a welcoming aroma.  Take your personal hygiene items off the bathroom counters and out of sight.   Keep the house neat and tidy with as little clutter as possible.  It may help to rearrange the furniture to make the rooms look more spacious.  Here in the Tampa Bay area it is alright to have some emphasis on the wonderful beach lifestyle, but be sure not to go overboard.

Your goal is to have the house speak for itself by being clean and airy with lots of open space, and showing its maximum appeal.  Don't let clutter, your hobbies or family photos take away from all the advantages of your home.

Buyer Beware, Make Sure a Realtor Is There!!

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Many home buyers, especially first time buyers, think they can save a little money if they don't work with a real estate agent.  This could be a very expensive mistake.  On of the best reasons for a buyer to work with a Realtor is that it is FREE!  It does not add any cost to the purchase of the house and sellers generally expect that a buyer will be working with a Realtor, since the seller probably is.  A Realtor will guide the homebuyer through the many issues of the contract negotiation process.  The real estate agent will perform an evaluation of the house so the buyers gets the best possible value for their money.

Working with a Realtor is also very important when looking for new construction.  The builder's agent is working for the builder, not the buyer.  A buyers' agent will work diligently to protect the buyers' interests, and will help secure independent home inspections before closing to make sure the contractor has in fact completed the house and that there are not lots of little unfinished details or worse, shoddy craftsmanship.  The buyers' agent's job is to protect you.

Definitely work with a realtor if you are considering purchasing a home that is For Sale By Owner, or FSBO.  According to the National Association of Realtors, more than 95% of FSBO homes sold have a Realtor involved in the deal.  Often, FSBOs don't have the experience or knowledge to price their home properly or to get the home selling transaction to a successful conclusion.  By not knowing complex real estate laws, FSBOs simply may not follow the laws written to protect the consumer.  This can result in lawsuits that, if a Realtor had been involved, most likely would have been avoided.  Make sure you have someone to represent your best interests.  Your Realtor may be the only professional  with the experience to get you through the entire transaction.

Good Realtors have extensive experience working with lenders and can help buyers find the right mortgage professional with the right loan products for the buyers.  They know how to get the loan closed.  Realtors also are great resources for finding home inspection companies, home repair tradesmen like electricians, plumbers, lawn maintenance, carpenters and contractors, surveyors, and many, many other professionals. 

Of course, the whole relationship is built on trust.  You, the buyer, must believe that the Realtor is truly working for you.  If you, as the home buyer, do not feel comfortable that your real estate agent truly is working in your best interests, the solution is simple.  Find the right Realtor.  Since this is one of the largest and most complex financial transactions you will ever make, it is vitally important that you feel comfortable with and have trust in your Realtor. 

A good Realtor will help make the purchase of your new home a great experience!!  Enjoy it.

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2

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Photo of Gwen and  Doug Campbell - The Campbell Team Real Estate
Gwen and Doug Campbell - The Campbell Team
at Keller Williams Realty
30522 US Hwy 19N, Suite 107 S
Palm Harbor FL 34684
Doug's Cell 727-741-4189
Gwen's Cell 727-741-7260
Fax: 888-447-7908