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Results, No Excuses

Decorating Tricks for Hiding Kids’ Messes While Selling Your Home

Keeping the house together during the selling process is a challenge. Making sure everything is just right for showings and open houses can be exhausting and overwhelming Throw kids into the mix, and things can get downright chaotic. Fortunately, a few small decor choices can help conceal kid clutter—changing your “for sale” sign to “sold.”

Hide in Plain Sight

With overflowing toy boxes and tea-party set-ups overtaking the living room, it may be unrealistic to banish all kid stuff to other rooms. Instead, make use of your furniture’s built-in compartments and drawers. Have a storage ottoman next to the sofa? Fill it with everything from action figures and dolls to coloring books, art supplies, stuffed animals and more. Divide the credenza in the family room so that your little ones can store toys behind its closed doors. Accent the open shelves with ceramic vases, family photos, decorative carafes and other appealing decor items.

If your built-in storage is already in use, opt for two or three woven baskets with lids instead. Place them wherever you want, whether it’s next to the loveseat or on the bottom shelf of a console table. Buyers will be too busy appreciating your home’s cleanliness and open floor space to think about what’s inside.

Hide Within Reach

Families in smaller living spaces might consider another strategy—underbed and attic storage. While the underside of your child’s bed may be already home to all sorts of tchotchkes, encourage kids to neaten it up with rolling plastic or rattan storage bins. Discreetly stow away everything from dress-up clothes to seasonal clothing in multiple containers. Slide them out of sight, then help your little one make the bed with an oversized quilt that conceals what’s hidden below. The best part? These containers can still be used after moving into the new bedroom or playroom.

For toys that are too big to fit in this space, such as kids’ teepees and play tents, consider collapsing them and stowing behind a dresser. If the dresser has legs that makes it easy to spot what’s behind it, opt for a chest instead.

Rotate Toys in Longer-Term Storage

Consider storing bins of toys longer-term and swapping them out every few weeks. In addition to the attic and basement, the back corner of a deep closet is a great place to stack storage tubs filled with everything from building blocks and board games to miniature cars and pull toys. Strategically hide them behind long coats so a quick peek inside the closet doesn’t give anything away. Better yet, switch out the storage tubs for suitcases. Rotate the toys in storage every few weeks–kids will have renewed interest when they come out of hiding.

Minimize and Add Some Style

Rather than attempting to conceal every toy, consider downsizing. Prior to the first showing, help your little one sort through toys, determining what still gets played with and what doesn’t. Sort into “keep,” “donate,” and “throw away.” This streamlines the cleanup process and makes it easier to stow away what remains. Bonus? You’ll have less to move when the time comes. For every item your children give up, consider rewarding them with small change or a trip to a favorite restaurant or ice cream shop.

For kids’ areas like bedrooms and playrooms, embrace the playful nature and just add a little style. Choose bookcases and desks with useful cubbies and shelves, and dress up the space with vibrant and unique artwork. Inspire imagination in potential buyers (and keep the space useful while your home is on the market) by choosing a few colorful supplies and knick-knacks to display.

Strategically rearrange home decor to hide kids’ messes while your house is being shown, and potential buyers will see a clean space that they’ll want to make their own.

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More Americans Are Saying It’s Not A Good Time To Buy

It is not exactly surprising, given the stunning jumps in both home prices and mortgage rates, but Americans have never been more bearish on buying a house.

Just 30% of adults surveyed by Gallup said now is a good time to buy a home, down 23 percentage points from a year ago. That is the first time the share has been below 50% since the question was first asked in 1978. (The results are from Gallup’s annual Economy and Personal Finance poll, which was conducted April 1-19.)

Home prices are up 34% since the start of the pandemic, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index. The record increase in prices was fueled by mortgage rates, which set more than a dozen record lows in the first year of the pandemic. Rates, however, have shot up more than two full percentage points in just the last few months.

Home affordability is nearly the worst its ever been. Due to higher prices and interest rates, the mortgage payment on an average home is now nearly $800 more than just before the pandemic began.

The supply of homes for sale is also still historically low, and even the usually busy spring market has done little to boost inventories. Demand, especially from the millennial generation, is strong, but buyers are stepping back due to the costs. Home sales have fallen for five straight months.

“All major subgroups of Americans are significantly less positive about the housing market now than they were a year ago,” the Gallup report says. Those who were more positive about the market last year seem most dejected, with larger declines among Midwest residents, suburban residents and upper-income Americans.

By age, about a quarter of young adults age 18 to 34 say now is a good time to buy, down from 42% a year ago. For those age 35 to 54, 28% say the market is favorable, down from 52% a year ago. Older adults are slightly more positive, with 35% saying now is a good time to buy, down from 61% in 2021.

Activity in home sales is still strong on the higher end of the housing market, where there is more supply.

Despite higher mortgage rates, most still think home prices will rise further. Analysts vary but most believe the current double-digit annual gains will shrink to around 4% to 6%. Consumers have long been bullish on home prices, except following the Great Recession and the subprime mortgage crash between 2008 and 2012.

While Americans may be pessimistic about the current state of homebuying, more than ever now think real estate is the best long-term investment. About 45% choose real estate, while 24% pick stocks, and 15% say gold. Real estate used to trail gold when Gallup first asked this question in 2011, but since 2014 it has been the winner.

  • Just 30% of adults surveyed by Gallup said now is a good time to buy, down 23 percentage points from a year ago.
  • That is the first time the share has been below 50% since the question was first asked in 1978.
  • Home prices are up 34% since the start of the pandemic, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index.

What Does a Real Estate Agent Do for Sellers?

When you’re trying to sell your home, you want to work with a realtor who will help make things as simple for you as possible while getting you the maximum amount of money.

Seller want their agent to be their advocate above everything else. They want to be able to trust their agent, transparency, and to feel like their minimizing the headaches they might experience during the process.

A great seller’s agent should be adept at what they do in multiple areas, including the following.


One of the best things a seller’s agent can do for you is to price your home properly. Pricing a home is often described as an art and a science.

Agents use science in terms of comparable sales that happened recently. The art comes in through knowing the local market, having experience, and also using a sense of intuition.

A good agent can find that price balance that will keep a seller competitive and make sure they’re getting what their home is truly worth.

An agent will create a comparative market analysis, which reviews homes nearby that are on the market, pending, or might have recently sold. Your agent might have sold some of these comps or maybe, at a minimum, have seen them in person.

You may also be wondering how an agent is any better than an online valuation model. In reality, there is a relatively high error rate with these tools. For example, according to Zillow, its online calculator estimates around 20% of the actual value 87.6% of the time, leaving a big margin for error. These tools can’t account for the nuances and variables that an experienced agent can, when pricing a home.

Great sellers’ agents are also present for inspections and appraisals to ensure there’s no spinning from the buyer’s agent. For example, if an inspector says a house will need a new air conditioning unit in five years, the agent for the buyer could spin this by saying the A/C is bad. A seller’s agent can prevent this from happening.

Getting Your Home Ready

Getting a home ready to hit the market is about more than cleaning it up. Listing agents know how to maximize what you can get for your property.

A listing agent can go through and find improvements you need to make, and they can also recommend people who can help you get them done.

Before you make any of the improvements your agent suggests, they’ll go over the return on your investment you might expect.

Along with repairs that could be needed, the agent can stage it if needed. Staging can include removing anything unnecessary from furniture to clutter. The agent will know how to help potential buyers visualize themselves in the space and picture their belongings there.

Once your home is picture-perfect, your agent can hire a photographer to take professional photos.

Marketing Expertise

A skilled seller’s agent will be great at marketing. They know what buyers are looking for and how to get your home in front of them and make it appealing.

Your agent showcases your home on the MLS and social media. They also do traditional marketing like open houses and distributing flyers.

Screening Buyers

Trying to sell a home is time-consuming and stressful enough without dealing with unqualified buyers. Your agent will work on your behalf to ensure no one is wasting your time. Even a buyer who is truly interested in your home might not have the financing.

Agents are earning money through a commission, so it’s in your best interest and theirs to screen out and eliminate unqualified buyers.

Your agent can work only with pre-approved buyers who have already gone through a financial verification.

Overall, a good seller’s agent can offer you a lot of value, and many of the things they do you can’t or perhaps wouldn’t want to do yourself.

At Position Realty, we allow you to choose the commission plan you desire ranging from 4.5% to 6.5%. The range depending on how much of our own money we’ll spend on marketing and a competitive commission offered to the buyer’s agent. Give us a call today to find out more!

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