With current mortgage rates low and rent on the rise, the math has shifted for the nation's renters. It's more affordable to be first-time home buyer than to rent in many U.S. cities.
As a result, demand for homes has been high. Home prices are up more than five percent since last year, and values have recovered from last decade's downturn in-full.
More than 6 million homes sold in 2015, and even more homes are forecast to sell in the 2016 housing market.
For home sellers, this is excellent news -- it's easier to command high prices when the housing market expands. However, there's another way to increase your home's value as well.
Through a process known as "home staging", sellers can invest a little bit of money into their sale and earn themselves a huge, huge return.
Furthermore, according to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes which are staged before going on the market sell 73% faster, on average, than their non-staged counterparts.Click to see today's rates (May 28th, 2016)
The real estate market is competitive and sellers should always be looking for ways to gain an edge over the competition.
One way to "beat the competition" is to sell your home on the cheap.
A lower sale price versus comparable homes will attract offers from buyers, no doubt, but you'll net less cash than if you had priced your home at its actual market value.
Another way to make your home stand out is to make expensive home improvements prior to listing for sale.
Replacing your home's kitchen or bathrooms can add to the property's value, but making renovations can cost tens of thousands of dollars. There's also no guarantee your improvements will attract buyers.
A third, and often better, approach is to "stage" your home for sale.
Many homeowners are familiar with the concept of home staging, thanks to reality television. Home staging is the art of preparing a home for sale.
Via home staging, you aim to improve the flow of your home, to eliminate clutter, and to make your home appear bigger and brighter.
A professional home stager is an expert in the art of preparing homes for sale.
And, because most buyers now begin their home searches online, having your home professional staged appropriately can be crucial toward that first step of attracting an interested buyer.
An non-staged home can present worse in photographs as compared to a staged one. Staged homes are often more likely to get a walk-through.Click to see today's rates (May 28th, 2016)
There are two ways by which professional home stagers charge their clients. Some charge by the hour on a consultant basis; and others charge a flat rate for their time.
All will charge for "materials" required during the home staging process, which may include temporary furniture, artwork, and home accessories.
Estimates are provided free-of-charge.
The median cost to stage a home is $675; and, depending on the size of home and the extent of the work, fees can be lower or higher.
Don't shrug this off. Home staging is an investment in the sale of your home. It's not uncommon for a several hundred dollar investment to yield a several thousand dollar return.
Plus, if staging helps your home to present better online, it will be worth every penny you pay. You can't sell your home, after all, if nobody comes to see it. This is true no matter what your home's asking price.
A good home stager will do a cost-benefit analysis to help you understand your options. Consider everything presented.
The concept behind staging a home for sale is to help present the property in its best light, figuratively and literally.
Even simple, inexpensive staging can result in big bumps to your sale price.
You should also make repairs or replace items in your home which are broken, worn out, or in obvious need of an update.
For example, electrical outlet covers are inexpensive and should be replaced wherever needed; as should door stops and door handles which appear to be old.
Remember: A home buyer will look at the "little things" in your home and, if those items are neglected, the buyer will wonder what else is in disrepair.
Consider re-caulking your kitchens and bathrooms, too. Bright caulk gives the appearance of cleanliness, which can help to sell your home.
In any housing market -- strong or weak -- well-staged homes sell faster and at higher prices than non-staged homes. Remember that as you think about moving and buying your next home which, of course, you can now do at very low rates.
Get today's live mortgage rates now. Your social security number is not required to get started, and all quotes come with access to your live mortgage credit scores.Click to see today's rates (May 28th, 2016)
The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.
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2016 Conforming, FHA, & VA Loan Limits
Mortgage loan limits for every U.S. county, as published by Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)