Monthly Archives: March 2015

Home Staging Can Help Sell Home for More, Realtors® Say

WASHINGTON (January 27, 2015) – Most homeowners know it is important to keep a home clean, bright and free from clutter while it is on the market for sale. But sometimes, Realtors® say, taking the extra step to stage a home can make a difference in how a buyer values it and the price a seller might get for it, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2015 Profile of Home Staging.

“Realtors® know how important it is to have a home in the best shape possible when showing it to prospective buyers,” said NAR President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Arkansas. “At a minimum, homeowners should conduct a thorough cleaning, haul out clutter, make sure the home is well-lit and fix any major aesthetic issues. Another option is staging a home, which Realtors® often suggest to sellers to help prospective buyers better visualize themselves in the home and could modestly increase the home’s value for both the buyer and seller.

The report, the first of its kind from NAR, found that 49 percent of surveyed Realtors® who work with buyers believe staging usually has an effect on the buyer’s view of the home. Another 47 percent believe that staging only sometimes has an impact on a buyer’s view of the home only. Only 4 percent of Realtors® said staging has no impact on buyer perceptions.

Realtors® on the buyer side believe that staging makes an impact in several ways; 81 percent said staging helps buyers visualize the property as a future home, while 46 percent said it makes prospective buyers more willing to walk through a home they saw online. Forty-five percent said a home decorated to a buyer’s tastes positively impacts its value; however, 10 percent of Realtors® said a home decorated against a buyer’s tastes could negatively impact the home’s value.

From the seller side, a majority of Realtors® utilize staging as a tool in at least some instances. Just over a third of Realtors® (34 percent) utilize staging on all homes, while 13 percent tend to stage only those homes difficult to sell, and another 4 percent will do so only for higher priced homes. The median cost spent on staging a home is $675. Sixty-two percent of Realtors® representing sellers say they offer home staging service to sellers, while 39 percent say the seller pays before listing the home.

Realtors® representing both the buyer and seller agreed on two major points in the report—which rooms should be staged and the change in dollar value a buyer is willing to offer for a staged home compared to a similar not-staged home. Realtors® ranked the living room as the number one room to stage, followed by a kitchen. Rounding out the top five rooms were the master bedroom, dining room and the bathroom.

Realtors® believe that buyers most often offer a 1 to 5 percent increase on the value of a staged home (37 percent from Realtors® representing sellers and 32 percent from Realtors® representing buyers). Additionally, 22 percent of Realtors® representing sellers and 16 percent of Realtors® representing buyers said the increase is closer to 6 to 10 percent.

“Working with a Realtor® gives buyers, sellers and investors the advantage they need to succeed in today’s market, as they know what buyers want and how to best market and stage a home for sale,” Polychron said. “While many factors play into what a home is worth and what buyers are willing to pay for it, staging is an excellent tool that can be used to give a home a little extra push for sellers. Staging isn’t used by every Realtor® in every situation, but the impact it may have and the value it can bring is clear to both home buyers and sellers.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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Going Green


This infographic takes a look at the green and energy-efficient home features popular with recent home buyers. The data comes from the 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, and the 2015 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report.



Making The Right Decision To Buy A Home or Rent

There are many things that need to be taken into consideration when you are thinking about buying or renting a home.  Forget asking friends and family because they are biased in giving advice.  Even though renting may have been a good option for them it may not be for you.  It is crucial to consider where you are, what you want and the economy as it stands currently.  Below you will find some questions to ask yourself when coming to an end decision in the great debate between buying to renting a home.

1)      Ask yourself how long you plan on being there?

If you aren’t planning on staying in your home for more than a few years it may not be a good option to purchase a home.  Consider your job situation.  Are you planning on being promoted?  With the promotion will you be required to relocate to a new work location that will require you to move?  No one can predict a housing bubble.

There are no guarantees that the value of your home will increase significantly in just a few years of ownership.  Often times the market can see a decline.  If you plan on living in your home for more than a few years you will be able to sit these ups and downs in the market out.  However if you will faced with a move in a few years you make end up selling at a loss.  Buying a home is a gamble if you aren’t looking to stay put for more than a few years.

2)      What will be the total costs associated with owning the home?

When buying a home take into consideration all of the costs associated with the process and compare them to the costs of renting.  You will also need to consider the possibility of market increase or decline within your equation to consider if you will lose money, break even or profit on the endeavor.  Consider the taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, mortgage payment, interest costs and anything other amount of money that will go into the home.  Average this amount out amongst the number of months you plan on living in the home you will get the monthly amount it will cost you to live in your home.  Then consider the following question.

3)      What are the total costs associated with renting the home?

To compare you need to take into the cost of your rent payment, insurance, utilities and other expenses associated with renting a home or an apartment.  Once this is added up through the same process that you applied above you will have a comparison on which to base your monthly outlay.  This financial difference will give you an understanding on where you will be further ahead with renting or buying.

The difficult part will be knowing what the value of the home you are renting or buying will be at when you need to move.  Will it be astronomical to buy a home after renting for a few years? Will your home have doubled in price in a few years when you go to sell?  This element is based off of past averages so it is a rough estimate at best.

4)      Are you ready for the responsibility that comes with home ownership?

This is only something you can answer.  Owning a home is a big deal but then so is renting a home.  In both situations you need to upkeep the property, pay your bills and create a space that is your own.  To do this there will be some expense involved.  The main difference between owning and renting is this; when renting you are not building equity however someone else is paying for the major repairs while when buying you are more likely than not building equity and have the expense of repairs that come up.

Only you and you alone know whether buying or renting is the right decision.  Most often buying a home is advantageous over renting especially if you plan on staying in the home for more than a few years.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area.  More information can be found at

Choosing The Right Sellers Agent Makes Selling Your Home Easy

Have you decided you need to sell your home?  Are you relocating to a new area for a new job?  Are you downsizing now that your children are out of the house and off to college?  Are you retiring and looking to move to an ideal retirement location?  Whatever the reason you have chosen to move it is time to sell your much beloved home.  Most of us do not have experience selling our own homes this is why we look to hire a real estate agent to list our home.

The first and most important step in selling your home is to choose the right selling agent.  No matter the home you must find an agent that specializes in selling it.  If you have a luxury home it is best to work with a seller that is accustomed to selling luxury homes.  Selling a home on the water requires a selling agent familiar with selling homes in recreational settings.  Homes that are within a golf community require a selling agent familiar with golf courses and recreational areas throughout the area.  Selling a home within a community subdivision; it requires a realtor with knowledge of the areas different subdivisions.

Here are two important tips to consider when hiring a real estate agent to list and sell your home.

Find An Agent Who Is Friendly

You make know many area realtors that know the area and you believe would be perfect to sell your home.  The problem lies within the problem that comes from mixing business with pleasure.  Be careful when considering a realtor you know on a personal basis.  Better than working with someone only because you know them find someone who is friendly and involved within the area.  Choose someone who is reputable and well respected in your community.

Prepare an interview and make sure that all of the realtors you are considering are asked the same questions in order to keep them all on an even playing field.  All of the listing agents should understand exactly what you expect as a seller as well.  Find an agent who is friendly, responds well with the community, is reputable and fully is committed to working with your expectations as a seller.

Find An Agent Who Is Knowledgeable

Depending on the type of home you are selling your agent should fully understand that sector within the real estate community.  For instance, if you are trying to sell your waterfront home it is pertinent that you choose a selling agent familiar with selling lakefront homes as well as the recreational package that comes with living on water.

Check with the realtor about data that supports the market value of your home including absorption rates and the time frame at which it could potentially take them to sell your home.  If the agent is unwilling or not able to give you an honest home appraisal considering the current market conditions they are most likely not the agent you are looking for.

Choosing the right agent to sell your home can turn a hectic, long term process into one that is simple and quick.

Lady of the Lakes Real Estate is Livingston County’s premiere realtor; out of Pinckney, Michigan helping buyers buy and sellers sell homes that provide a recreational lifestyle including golf courses, lakes and the Huron river chain of lakes, throughout Brighton, Howell, Pinckney and the surrounding area.  More information can be found at