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Five Cheap and Effective Staging Ideas

Appearance is crucial when selling your home. Making your home look sensational will go a long way in being able to get what you want out of the property. It’s here that staging comes into play. But many homeowners aren’t able to afford the cost of a professional stager. Thankfully, you don’t have to turn to a professional. There are a number of things that you can do on your own to transform the look of your home.

#1 Pack up your personal items.

Packing up all of your personal effects is one of the cheapest and simplest ways to prep your condo or home for sale. Removing your personal touches will help a potential buyer to see the home as their own. Sometimes your personal items can make that difficult. Pictures, artwork and other decor are more distracting than you realize. Hide them in the basement or a storage space while conducting tours.

#2 Get rid of the clutter.

Getting rid of any excess clutter is a great way to get potential buyers to look at your home. Sometimes emotional attachments can make throwing out clutter difficult. It’s easy to gather clutter if you have lived in the same home for years. Excess items can have a negative impact on how your potential buyers view your property. De-clutter your home as much as you can to attract more buyers.

#3 Rearrange and neutralize your rooms.

Even though you might enjoy the blue walls in your bedroom, that doesn’t mean a potential buyer will. Loud or eclectic design elements might make a potential buyer think about all of the work that they have to put into the home. The best thing you can do is to repaint your rooms a neutral color, like white, tan or cream. This will appeal to more buyers and allow them to visualize their own decor in the home.

Consider rearranging the furniture in your rooms to increase their functionality. Think about how to show potential buyers how much they could do with a room. Maximizing space is crucial when selling a home.

stagging

#4 Eliminate smells and stains by deodorizing and scrubbing your home.

No buyer wants to walk into a home that is dirty and smelly. The best thing you can do is scrub everything from floor to ceiling before having an open house. You don’t want any dirt, dust or odors lurking around the home. You want to make sure your property shines as much as you can. Greet buyers with a clean, fresh smell in every room. If you’re short on time, hire a cleaning service. A pro will save you time and ensure a spotless home.

#5 Replace the hardware around your home.

Most homeowners can afford to replace the hardware around their home. Focus on your doors and kitchen first. Next, make your way through the rest of the home. Swapping out your old hardware with new hardware can make a big difference in how your cabinets and doors look.

Conclusion

In going through the tips above, you can quickly transform the appearance of your home. Even making these small changes can make a major difference in how potential buyers view your home. You don’t need to spend a fortune staging your home. Instead, invest some time and effort in making a difference in the way your home looks.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

Five Things Home Sellers Should Never Do

When you prepare to put your home on the market, you hope that everything will go the way you imagine and that is your home will sell for over listing price the very first day it goes on the market.

The reality isn’t so rosy. The market may slow down. Your home may get few showings or no offers. You may have to lower your list price. Or, your home may not sell at all because you made a big mistake.

So if you’re thinking of doing any of the following five no-no’s, stop yourself right now.

Don’t hire the first REALTOR® you meet. Selling your home is one of the largest transactions you’ll ever have, so why wouldn’t you interview several applicants to help you? You can ask friends and family for referrals, but there are several questions you should ask. Make sure the agents you interview are experienced selling homes in your neighborhood and the type of home you want to sell. To get the listing, potential agents may employ a number of strategies, including suggesting or agreeing with you to list a high price for your home. Don’t fall for it. Choose the agent who is straight with you, about the market and about your home.

Don’t ignore the market. Every market is different and those differences can impact the sales price of your home, the number of days your home spends on the market, and whether your home sells or not. You have to face the reality of market conditions to influence the success of your home’s sale. If home prices are going up, you’ll do well, but it will be more expensive to purchase your next home, unless you move to a less expensive market or home.

And if prices are going down, you may not net what you were hoping for, but your next purchase may be a bargain, if you stay in the same area.

Home for sale

Don’t hide problems the home may have. If you’ve had a major water leak or had your foundation fixed, you need to disclose that in a formal seller’s disclosure form for all potential buyers to see. While it may be tempting to check the I-don’t-know box, remember that any lie can come undone. You don’t want to face legal problems because you tried to hide the truth. And if your buyer wants to know more, you can show the receipts for what you did to fix the problem.

Don’t overprice the home. When your home is overpriced, it’s underdressed for the party. Everyone notices that it doesn’t quite fit in. Buyers who can afford your home quickly notice that your home doesn’t quite measure up to others in the same price range. Buyers who could afford your home if it were priced correctly are unlikely to make offers because they’ll be searching in a different price range.

Don’t ignore your agent’s advice. A real estate agent is a professional. When she or he tells you that you’ll get a better offer more quickly if you’ll declutter, stage your home, make certain updates or repairs, it’s a proven truth. Buyers are more negative when they see homes that need work, and tend to make offers or withhold offers based on their feelings.

If your agent showed you a comparable market analysis, he or she may have suggested a listing range to price your home. If you go over that, you’re risking a negative response from the marketplace, long days on the market, and probable price reductions.

Do things right from the beginning and you’ll have a smoother, easier, and more profitable transaction.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

How To Have The Coolest Home In The Neighborhood

It’s the American way to always be looking for the next big thing. Whether you’re just looking for some cool new additions to your home décor, want the latest tech, or need to figure out a few new ways to make life easier, these products will get you there.

1. Self-cleaning sheets

Do you wash your bedding as much as you should? These sheets will actually help you out with that.

“Founded by the creators of The SleepClean Pillowcase, Silvon just introduced a line of bacteria-resistant sheets,” said Elle Décor. “Uniquely, the company doesn’t produce its linens with chemicals or nanotechnology—but rather with silver, a naturally bacteria-resistant substance. When the silver-infused linens come in contact with bacteria cells, the positively charged silver ions attack the DNA of the bacteria, hindering the cell’s ability to reproduce.”

Silvon sheets are available as a preorder on Kickstarter, where their original $20,000 campaign has now reached $537,824.

2. A machine that helps with your laundry

You may have already seen the Foldimate. It went viral last month because it actually FOLD S CLOTHES FOR YOU.

“Completing the robot takeover of our laundry chores, the appliance is designed as a third addition to the washing machine and clothes dryer you have lined up in the basement,” said Cool Things. “That way, you don’t just have to leave the laundry room with your clothes properly washed and dried, you can come out with every item neatly folded, too.

Personally, we’ll like to see a next-generation unit that can hang stuff up. Maybe that’ll happen before the Foldimate, which is still in development, goes to market—currently slated for 2018.

clothfolder

3. A refrigerator that’s helps you write your grocery list

We’ve written about the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator before, when it debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). But back then it just seemed like a cool novelty. Now that it’s out there in stores and being advertised on TV, we’re kind of obsessed.

“The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator has a 21.5-inch 1080p screen, which can be used to display recipes, a calendar, notes and more. The screen can also be used to stream TV and music — and screw sticking your shopping list on the door, you can out and out order your groceries on it,” said techradar. “And the Family Hub has another trick up its sleeve, in the shape of built-in cameras that show you what’s in the fridge. You can view the contents from your smartphone wherever you are — so if you get to the shop and aren’t sure if you need to buy milk you can just take a look on your phone.”

Refrigerator

4. Transparent speakers

Not loving the way traditional speakers look in your house? No problem. Just go transparent.

“Transparent speakers usually just show off internal components or an LED-illuminated chamber full of bubbles. Not the Turtle Beach HyperSound Glass, though,” said Geek. “These are transparent speakers that you can actually see right through. There’s no cone. There’s no voice coil. No magnet, no dust cap, no terminals. The HyperSound Glass is just a black stand and a rectangular frame that surrounds a completely translucent panel.”

Even better, the sound is directional. “The ‘stream’ of ultrasound they send out is highly focused, and it gradually becomes audible sound as it reaches its intended target. Listeners just a few feet away won’t hear a thing.”

hypersound-glass

5. The coolest chair you’ll ever make yourself

Think Lego meets IKEA meets haute home. This multifunctional chair called SPYNDI from Lithuanian designer Mindaugas Žilionis uses 60 handmade wooden elements that click together and can be fashioned into as many shapes as you can come up with.

“In just 15 minutes you can turn this pile of sticks into many different chairs, lounges and tables,” said Bored Panda. “The human spine-inspired project has already reached full funding on Kickstarter!”

chair

6. Next-level weather display

Weather apps are so yesterday. This ambient weather display doesn’t just tell you the weather, it shows you. “The tempescope is an ambient physical display that visualizes various weather conditions like rain, clouds, and lightning. Based on weather forecasts from the internet, it can reproduce tomorrow’s sky in your living room,” said Tempescope.

This product is not yet available.

Tempescope-Ambient-Weather-Display

7. Keep track of what’s going on at home

There are tons of drop cams you can use to provide home security and also watch over your kids and pets at home. We love Circle, which lets you “See, save and share what’s happening at home from your mobile device,” they said. Our favorite feature: the fact that you can listen in and even talk through the device. The ability to say “Hi” to your dog while on your lunch break? Yes, please!

8. Remote pet play

Not enough to just watch your pets and have a few words with them while you’re gone for the day? With PlayDate, you can also play with them right through the camera. “Play with your dog or cat from anywhere using a smart ball that you control from your mobile device,” said Indiegogo. “You can control PlayDate’s smart ball remotely from your iOS or Android device after downloading our free app from the App Store or Google Play.

Imagine being able to play with your dog when you’re not at home.”

This product is currently being crowdfunded, with $483,407 raised as of the end of May 2016. Check out the video here.

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Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

Will Your Realtor Use These High-tech Ways To Sell Your Home

Does your home need a drone?

If you’re selling your house in 2016, it might not be a bad investment. Same with using virtual reality and staging. Even in this market where sellers have the upper hand because of tight inventory, some new high-tech marketing techniques now making their way into the real estate market might help lucky sellers get even more attention.

“The power of these tools is that it motivates people to take action,” said Brian Balduf, chief executive of VHT Studios, a home photography, video and virtual staging company in Chicago.

Here’s some new methods sellers are using to attract buyers:

Virtual Staging

The tried-and-true method of home staging with over-stuffed rental furniture and some carefully-placed candlesticks and wall art has a new partner, or perhaps new competitor — virtual staging. Thanks to Photoshop and other visual effects software, virtual staging companies can take an empty room, or a room with older furniture, and make it contemporary. Even adding light fixtures and different wall colors can be done at the click of a mouse.

Virtual staging really became popular during the recession, by helping banks and other homeowners attract buyers and move properties like foreclosures more quickly, said Balduf. “It helped people visualize what could be there,” he said. And while a traditional stager can only do one look for a room at a time, a virtual stager can see how it all comes together as an ensemble s, said Balduf. It also allows sellers to mix and match different styles of interiors with buyers. “You don’t always know what the buyer wants, maybe if it’s a Victorian on the exterior, they want a Victorian interior instead of contemporary,” he said.

Exterior virtual staging is also a growing field, showing how a house looks at twilight, nighttime, or in the daytime, as well as summer, fall and winter. The cost is far less than real staging at about $100 a room, compared to as much as $5,000 a month for staging costs, Balduf said.

Balduf said a professional virtual stager can make a virtual room layout look imperceptible from an actually staged room, by careful use of shadowing and shading. Anybody can take some clip art and shop it into a photograph,” he said.

Virtual staging also allows a room to be recreated for different uses, such as creating an image of a child’s bedroom with toys and bright colors for a family or a study with office furniture for an older couple, said Balduf.

Of course, there are key ethical factors involved. While virtual stagers can swap out furniture, or remove garbage cans from an exterior shot, most say they won’t ever remove something permanent from a photo, such as a water tower or an high-tension electrical pylon. “Removing a water tower crosses a line,” he said, and he often has to caution agents and sellers of the ethics of removing permanent features. Still, Balduf says adding a fire in a fireplace or greening up grass is acceptable in virtual staging

Chris Kershisnik, a Realtor in Germantown, Md., said virtual staging doesn’t present an ethical issue to him, but buyers still need to get their actual eyes on the property before they buy. “I don’t think virtual software or Photoshopping a picture frame is a problem,” he said. “The pictures are meant to generate a showing.”

”Others don’t even view the property first. Bruce DarConte, also a Realtor in Washington, D.C., said that sometimes virtual staging is the only way you can see what a property might look like, especially when the homes haven’t been built yet. “I bought my home without ever seeing it. Just a model and floor plan,” he said.

Shell Brodnax, the chief executive of the Valley Springs, Calif.-based Real Estate Staging Association, or RESA, which represents physical stagers, said the organization doesn’t in most cases allow its members to use any of the virtual techniques at all.

“RESA does not endorse virtual staging,” she said. “Staging is a physical act of using furniture, art and light as accessories to create a visual way to showcase a property for sale. What some call ‘virtual staging” is really an artistic rendering of a room.” For example, RESA members cannot add or take away furniture in a scene, or change wall colors, or change exterior views. Only small blemishes can be removed, such as lamp cords, she said.

If you do go with a virtual stager, like anything else, check the quality of their work and ask to see samples, says Balduf. Also, ensure that you and your agent are up front to buyers agents and buyers that what they see is what the home could look like, not how it does look like, he said.

Drones

If you’re selling a home and want to show off its surroundings, consider a drone. In real estate, the three most important things are location, location, location. And using a drone is an easy way for properties to show off locations, whether the property is on a beach, near a golf course, or next to some other amenity.

Prices for a drone range from $200 to $500 per shoot and can shoot still photography or full-motion video, said Dan Isaacson, owner of CAVU Aerial Photography, a drone operator for real estate and commercial clients in Chicago, whose 50-pilot company shoots about 80 to 100 drone videos a week nationwide, with about 80% of the shoots real estate related.

Virtual Drone

“Every single house has a story to tell that isn’t shown by traditional still photography,” he said. Often a drone can help a buyer too, by steering them away from a home where there are visual blights like water towers or electrical pylons. “There’s always something that can be a deal-breaker, like the home is near a freeway or in a cul-de-sac,” said Isaacson “You wouldn’t have known that with just a still photographer.”

Not every property can use a drone. Under FAA rules, the 6,000-plus commercial operators must be licensed pilots, can’t fly their drones higher than 400 feet and they can’t be closer than five miles from an airport. So if you live within five miles, using a drone is out, said Isaacson. Most drone operators however have GPS so they can tell in advance whether they can use a drone near your home, he said

Drone operators advise consumers to look at the body of work before you buy. “You’re not buying a pilot, you’re buying a visual marketer. Just because they know how to fly it, doesn’t mean they’ll do a good job showing off your house,” said Balduf. As the client, you have creative control of what the drone can shoot, so use it to your advantage, Balduf said. “A good pilot will work with a homeowner by doing a walk-through and story-boarding,” said Isaacson.

Keep in mind though that like any photography, put your best foot forward by putting trash cans away, tying up hoses and putting toys and cars in the garage, said Isaacson. Still, just like a virtual stager, an ethical drone photographer won’t edit anything permanent out of the footage they shoot, he said.

3D Tours

If you don’t want to spend a day in a car going house to house looking at various properties, then 3D virtual tours are likely going to be a major boon to buyer, seller and Realtor. Soon, buyers will be able to walk through homes, either from their own home or at an agent’s office. “You are immersed in the house and you can navigate room-to-room,” Balduf said.

3-D walk through

Realtors, who often have to pay their own way to drive clients, are some of the biggest proponents of 3D tours, which can help narrow down homes before they’re ever seen in person. In addition, 3D tours can improve safety for Realtors (especially female Realtors), who are often advised never to show a property after dark and always to tell their brokerage where they are and to have them check in regularly.

A 3D-tour costs about $200, said Balduf, though it can take longer than a regular photo shoot, with about an hour for set-up and camerawork in each room. Turning the raw 360 degree footage into a 3D shoot takes about another two days, Balduf said.

“Some agents say, ‘There’s nothing special about this property,’ but to me that’s a perfect reason to do something different,” said Balduf. “A home is the most expensive product they’re every going to buy, so they don’t want to see some photos some agent took with their iPhone,” he said.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

Phoenix Residential Market Report ~ June 2016

Real Time_Supply

Pie Chart_Market

Average Sold Price_Monthly

Average Days on Market_Monthly

Active vs Sold Transactions

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Short Sales_Monthly

The current real time market profile shows there were approximately 9,920 new listings (down 153 listings from last month) on the market in June 2016 and 8,977 sold transactions. Since the beginning of the year the number of new listings has exceeded the number of sold transactions by +10.5% but the overall inventory of homes on the market is down -15.3% as compared to the number of home on the marker in June 2014. Demand is equivalent to demand experienced in June 2015 but with lower inventory of homes on the market home prices will start to appreciate at a faster rate.

Since September 2015 the average sold price has formed a new upward trend where each month the average sold price has gradually increased. Last year’s summer buying season was weak where we saw prices decrease from June to September. This month buyers demand has stays strong so we should continue to see the Phoenix real estate market continue to appreciate which is good news for sellers. Since July 2015 (12 months ago), the average sold price has increased approximately +7.6% (up from last month), the average days on market have decreased approximately -1.3% (down from last month) and the number of sold transactions have increased approximately +12.6% (up from last month).

The volume of foreclosure purchases since July 2015 (12 months ago) has decreased approximately -30.5% and the volume of short sales decreased of approximately -53.3%. Since November 2014 the volume of foreclosure purchases went up and now the trend is back down once again. Also, since August 2013 the volume of short sale purchases have decreased -414.3% because the inventory of homes “up-side-down” have been exhausted and values have risen to a point where consumers can break-even or sell with some equity but some homeowners are still up-side-down depending if they purchased their homes between 2005 and 2007.

Since July 2015 (12 months ago), the number of homes for sale on the market have increased approximately +5.3% or 22,129 homes for sale on the market to a gradual increase of 23,298 homes. The total number of listings is low as compared to 28,776 listings in May 2014. This decrease in the number of homes for sale indicates we are currently in a seller’s market (low supply and increased demand).

Real estate prices are still relatively low (near 2008 prices), mortgage rates are still at a historical low and the macroeconomic market is improving both in terms of prices and the overall economy. Give us a call to discuss your best buying or selling strategy, TODAY!!

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

10 DIY Home Improvements Even a Beginner Can Handle

So you just bought a house that needs some work, but you are a short on cash and ever shorter on the skills needed to fix up your place. Not to worry! There are plenty of home improvement projects even the most beginner of DIYers can handle.

In fact, here are 10 such projects that can work for practically every budget and skill level. We’ll start with the very easiest of projects and then add some more interesting ones once you feel you’ve gotten the hang of some of them.

1. Painting

One of the easiest ways to spruce up the look and feel of your house is by painting. Whether painting just an accent wall, a whole room or the entire exterior of your house, painting is easy enough for anyone to tackle.

Just make sure to clean the walls before you paint, always tape the edges, and never roll horizontally!

2. Garage organization

Not every home has a garage, but if you do, it’s most likely messy and disorganized. Adding a permanent organization system to your garage is a great way not only to free up usable space but also to add some perceived value to your property.

Phoenix garage-organization-10

Having a designated place for all of your tools, your yard equipment, athletic and outdoor gear and anything else you might be carrying around is much better than just stuffing them into a corner of the garage.

3. Landscaping

Curb appeal. It’s often the top reason cited why potential buyers won’t buy a house. If the house looks ugly on the outside, it will probably be ugly on the inside. Having a great first impression is key when buying a home.

The best way to make that great first impression is to have a well-manicured front yard. Sod, trees, shrubbery, annuals and more are just some of the basics any beginner DIYer can install and maintain to keep his or her curb appeal dazzling.

Phoenix Landscaping

Curb appeal is often the top reason cited why potential buyers won’t buy a house.

4. Door hardware

Every home has doors, yet not everyone knows there are thousands of ways you can decorate your doors. The easiest way to do that is to replace the hardware on your doors.

Whether it’s your front door, your bedroom door or some cabinet doors, changing up the hardware can have as much impact on a room as painting it.

Changing up the hardware can have as much impact on a room as painting it.

Change the color of the hinges from gold to black. Replace an old knob with a fancy lever. Add an electronic keypad to your front door so you never have to worry about forgetting your keys!

5. Deck staining

Like painting, staining is a fantastic way to change the look and feel of an area from drab to luxurious. Pressure washing and staining a deck to a darker color can make your deck feel like new, and it gives discerning buyers what they want.

Staining is a fantastic way to change the look and feel of an area from drab to luxurious.

6. Light fixtures

Do you want to make a room look more contemporary? How about that modern look? Or farm-house chic?

One of the best ways to enhance the look of your home is by changing the light fixtures. And yes, even a beginner DIYer can handle changing a light fixture.

If you can tie shoe laces, you can wire a light fixture. Just be sure always to turn the electrical break off before starting any electrical project.

7. Mirror framing

Have you ever looked into your bathroom mirror after you’ve taken a shower and realized you weren’t the only naked thing in the room?

Most mirrors are simply just a plate of glass with nothing else around them.

To upgrade the look, find a large picture frame at an antique store or farmer’s market. (Or buy a new mirror to fit inside of an existing picture frame.) Then, hang that picture frame around your mirror for that luxurious look.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can always custom make your own frame using baseboard molding. Just be sure to cut your corners at a 45-degree angle.

8. Ceiling fans

In warmer climates, ceiling fans are an absolute must. Or, if you live in a place where you don’t have to run the air conditioner often but still want air circulation, you need a ceiling fan.

Like light fixtures, ceiling fans are similarly installed and can change the look and feel of a room in an instant.

Ceiling Fan Installation

9. Insulation

Although most beginner DIYers like to look at their new improvements with pride and joy when they finish installing them, insulation is one improvement that your brain will enjoy more than your heart.

You won’t be able to see the fruits of your labor when you’re done installing new blown or rolled insulation into your attic and walls. But, your wallet will be reaping the rewards of your efforts once your heating and cooling bills are reduced.

10. Carpeting

If you can wrap a present in wrapping paper, you are one step away from installing new carpets in your home.

Like wrapping a present, carpeting simply involves measuring, cutting, rolling and adhering.

Carpets can be worn out in less than five years. Replacing your carpet (and carpet padding underneath) will certainly add value to your home. Plus, nothing feels better on your toes than fresh, new carpets!

As with any renovation or improvement project to your home, make sure you consult with your community homeowner’s association (if you have one) to make sure the changes are in line with the community restrictions.

And acquire any permits necessary to be in compliance with your local ordinances.

And finally, when in doubt, there’s nothing wrong with throwing in the towel and hiring a professional. The easiest home improvement project you can do is sit on your couch and watch other people do the work for you!

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

Buying A New Home? These 4 Upgrades Are A Must!

For new-home buyers, they have some tough decisions to make: Which extra features are worth the extra money and which ones aren’t? Some upgrades buyers can easily put off without breaking the bank. But for others, buyers may be wise to get them done right away.

Read more: Cementing Partnerships in New Construction
Realtor.com® recently featured an article on some of the easiest upgrades to add to a new home now that could save time, money, and headaches later on. Among the upgrades to do now:

1. Cable conduits: This can be one way to future-proof a home. “Yes, smart home features are increasingly going wireless, but that doesn’t mean you should skip running cable conduits throughout the house—especially if you see a big home theater or full-home sound system in your future, both of which work best plugged in directly,” the realtor.com® article notes. “Adding an extensive system of cable conduits can make hooking up entertainment much simpler.”

Cable Conduets

2. Radiant heating: This is integrated into the floor, which makes doing it during the construction phase a lot easier than after. Buyers likely will pay at least $6 per foot for their system in new construction. Those adding it later will likely pay double that – or more. Also, consider confining radiant heating into one room because it “actually can be a limiting factor in future design changes, since the contractor will need to work around it or replace it by zones,” says Ken Streiff, a Minnesota contractor and builder with 20 years of industry experience.

Radiant floor heating

3. Outdoor outlets: Adding outlets later on can cost upward of $250 each. Adding them during construction when the walls are still open can be much cheaper.

Outdoor Outlets

4. Accessibility: You never know what the future holds. Consider making hallways and doors wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. Reinforce bathroom walls to make adding grab bars later on easier — and with no need to open up the walls. Also, consider the location of switches and outlets and don’t make them too high or too low.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

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