Monday, February 28, 2011

Special Report for Home Sellers & Real Estate Pros

Top 10 DIY
Home Improvements
for Home Sellers

Home Staging, once again, leads the list of home improvement projects with an almost 300% return on investment. Increase a home’s resale value with staging, the key to selling success.

The following is reprinted from HomeGain’s most recent survey.

HomeGain Releases 2011 Home Improvement Survey Results

HomeGain reveals new survey findings of top 10 do-it-yourself home improvements for home sellers; cleaning and decluttering ranks as highest return on investment, followed by lightening and brightening

Emeryville, CA – January 19, 2011 - HomeGain.com, the first website to offer web-based free instant home values, today announced that it has released the results of its nationwide home improvement and home staging Home Sale Maximizer™ survey.

HomeGain surveyed nearly 600 real estate professionals nationwide and configured a list of the top 10 do-it-yourself home improvements that cost under $5,000 and benefit sellers most when they sell their homes.

According to the HomeGain survey, the top five home improvements that real estate professionals recommend to home sellers based on average cost and return on investment (from highest to lowest ROI) are:
  1. Cleaning and decluttering ($290 cost / $1,990 price increase / 586% ROI)
  2. Lightening and brightening ($375 cost / $1,550 price increase / 313% ROI)
  3. Home staging ($550 cost / $2,194 price increase / 299% ROI)
  4. Landscaping ($540 cost / $1,932 price increase / 258% ROI)
  5. Repairing electrical or plumbing ($535 cost / $1,505 price increase / 181% ROI) 
Cleaning and decluttering continue to rank as the top suggested home improvement (since the survey was originally conducted in 2000), recommended by 99 percent of real estate professionals, costing less than $300 and returning a value of nearly $2,000 to the home's sale price, or a 586 percent return on investment.

"Sellers need to prepare their homes for sale before putting them on the market," said Louis Cammarosano, General Manager at HomeGain. “Homes that have initial appeal have a better shot at selling faster and closer to the asking price than homes rushed to the market with no improvements."

Rounding out the top 10, low cost, do-it-yourself home improvements includes: updating electrical systems and/or plumbing, updating the kitchen and bathrooms, replacing or shampooing carpets, painting interior walls, repairing damaged floors, and painting the outside of the home.

The home improvement projects with the highest price increases to a home's resale value are updating the kitchen ($1,265 cost / $3,435 price increase), followed by painting the outside of the home ($1,467 cost / $2,222 price increase) and home staging ($550 cost / $2,194 price increase).

To see the complete survey results, visit the HomeGain Real Estate Blog.

HomeGain’s Home Sale Maximizer online home improvement tool, based on the results of our home improvement surveys of real estate professionals, is designed to provide home sellers with the most cost-effective improvements to best increase the salability of one’s home.



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Home Seller Tips

Should You Be Insulted When Your Real Estate Agent Recommends Home Staging?

Absolutely not. A good real estate agent knows that home staging is a highly effective marketing tool. Be insulted if they don’t recommend home staging.

Need I say more? Well, just in case you still feel a little insulted, here’s the full story.

Real Estate Pros know the secrets of marketing your home to sell.

Have you ever really thought about why it’s best practice to hire a professional real estate agent to sell your home? The answer is Realtors are experts in marketing homes to sell. And one of their biggest marketing secrets is home staging.

Real Estate Pros know what buyers are looking for in a home.

You can blame it on new-construction and model homes. Everybody loves the idea of a new-construction home. But since not everyone can have a new-construction home, staging does the next best thing.

Home staging makes buyers feel that they are getting a newer home – warm, inviting, up-to-date, and move-in ready.

Real Estate Pros know that an investment in home staging will be returned at closing.

You expect your agent to invest in marketing techniques like: great photos, advertising on-line, broker open houses, and more.

Would you feel insulted being offered any of these options? Of course not. Home staging is the same thing. It’s simply another marketing technique in your agent’s toolbox.

Agents would not make – or recommend – these investments if they did not garner great results.

Real Estate Pros know that decorating to sell is vastly different from decorating to live.

Decorating to sell – also known as home staging – showcases a home’s best features, while selling a lifestyle appealing to the masses.

Staging makes others fall in love with your house as they imagine themselves living in each space.

Real Estate Pros know that your listing needs to stand out from the competition.

Employing every marketing tool available is key. Don’t be insulted, instead be pleased when your agent recommends home staging.

Home staging is the best way to give your home the advantage over the competition. And the competition has never been greater.

Real Estate Pros know you’ll be glad you staged, when your home sells quickly and for top dollar.

Take no offense. When your home sells faster than all the others, the only thing you’ll feel is thrilled! And then you can tell everyone that staging was your idea.




These home sellers took their agent’s advice to stage. Seven months and no sale. After staging, house sells in two.
Are they offended now?



Friday, February 4, 2011

Services Center

Love at First Showing

You’ve heard of speed dating, well Home Staging is speed decorating.

In just a few hours, a house is transformed into a home everyone will love.

The Goal

Make the best first impression you can, because first impressions are lasting impressions.

On Your Mark...Get Set...Go!

Timelines are tight, budgets are small, limitations high and brains and brawn combine for creative solutions.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, wouldn’t it be nice if potential home buyers fell in love at first sight with your home?


Here’s a fun example, of a family room staged by AtWell Staged Home in less than an hour, during a home staging consultation.


(Click images to enlarge)
Baby grand piano is relocated from the adjoining dining room, replacing an oversized massage chair.

Accessories are placed on the mantle to highlight the focal point of this room – the stone fireplace. Earlier, an oversized painting hid much of this great feature.

The far couch is moved away from the window and sofa table repositioned to the fireplace wall. The home owner’s own colorful art is added over the table.

Finally, the “good” pillows are pulled out of storage for an extra punch of color.

And the best part? This transformation cost $0.