The Downside of Offering a Buyer’s Credit – Why it’s better to do the upgrades yourself

free kitchen-2488520_640

Most people have walked through beautiful model homes and wished their own home had all those modern features. Model homes showcase the latest in upgrades and decorating styles. When we get home all we can see is the tile in our bathrooms and yesterday’s details in our kitchens. These things can become overwhelming if we are considering a home sale in the near future.

“Can I even sell my house with granite countertops anymore?”

Upgrades vs Buyer’s Credit

Once you decide that your home does need a facelift as compared to other options in the marketplace, the next decision is whether to do it before listing or offering the buyer a credit which allows them to remodel to their own taste. While it might seem like a good idea to give the buyer the ability to choose their own design, the truth is that if you can afford to do the work, you should get it done before listing. Here are a few reasons why offering a buyer’s credit has a downside:

•Buyer Impression: A dated home will look dated. Unless you’re offering a true “fixer-upper,” then buyers will evaluate your home based on its current appeal. Some will envision the potential, but many will find that too much work.

• Lower Offers: Offering a credit could be seen as seller motivation or desperation, which can lead to lower offers.

• Credit vs Value: You might feel an $8000 credit is reasonable for new kitchen counter-tops but your buyer might not. This can lead to additional negotiations which might reduce your profit.

• Home Condition: Buyers are hoping for a low-maintenance, low-repair property. If your home shows its age, buyers naturally wonder what else might be lurking beneath the surface.

• Loan Approval: Getting a home loan approved with a “carpet allowance” is all but impossible. To avoid this concern, most credits are labeled as “closing cost credit” instead, but there are limits to that also. If your buyers already are hoping for a closing cost credit, then they might not be able to accept your offer.

A dated home will always look dated. While you might find a buyer who can truly vision the potential of your home, the truth is a home in need of updates will have a smaller buyer pool, and this reduces your chances of a good offer. If you can afford to make the updates before you list, you remove the opportunity for low-ball offers and put yourself in the best possible position to get a great offer.

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We have added a whopping 46 dates to our schedule for 2018!  Only 12 students per class for individual benefit.  Register and pay for any workshops before 12/31/17 and receive a huge discount!  Contact for details.

Simply the best hands-on Home Staging Course in the industry.  If you learn by doing and seeing the process in person…this workshop’s for you!



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4 Home Staging Horror Stories to Haunt You This Halloween from the National Association of Realtors

My SCARIEST Home Staging Stories featured on the National Association of Realtors blog, ‘Styled, Staged, Sold’.  We hope you don’t have nightmares!  Happy Halloween, everybody!

Halloween facebook pumpkins

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Home Staging Tips: Should You Set the Table?

free dining-table-1348717_640

Home stagers, Realtors, and even home owners argue this point all the time. But when you’re staging your home for market, avoid setting the table and keep the focus on the space, not your stuff. That is, after all, the entire concept behind staging to sell. You aren’t selling your stuff, you’re selling the house! So why add to it with yet another distraction?

Potential buyers walk through a home in about 15-20 minutes on average, give or take. By setting the table, you are now taking away from their experience of the space by directing them to the tabletop instead of the beautiful outdoor view, shiny hardwood floors, gorgeous chandelier, etc.

While a smartly dressed table can be amazing to look at, remember what you’re selling…THE HOUSE! So dress your table for a celebration or holiday, not for a showing. Keep that colorful bouquet on the table to draw the buyer’s eye into the room, but don’t over-indulge to ensure potential buyers remember the space itself and not your grandma’s china!

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“Ask the Home Staging Expert®” – Can you help us choose a backsplash?

subway tile kitchen

Greetings from Milwaukee!

My partner and I are flipping our first house but we don’t know what to choose for a backsplash in the kitchen. We want to go with tile and love the trendy multi-colored glass tiles so popular right now, but we are seeing them in every newly remodeled listing in our market. Not sure if we should follow the crowd or do something completely different. Is one backsplash more desirable than another? The cabinets have been painted off-white and we are adding stainless steel appliances and light gray granite countertops. The floors in the kitchen are wood.

Sam & Matt – Milwaukee Flippers

Dear Sam & Matt,

Congratulations on your first flip! That sounds like a lot of fun and I’m sure it’s already been a great learning experience for you both.

As far as the backsplash goes, I tend to see the multi-colored glass tiles everywhere too right now. (For the past couple of years actually.) And while I like them, I do think there is something to be said for standing out from the crowd. Because you want to appeal to the most buyers possible, I wouldn’t go too crazy. But based on the description of your kitchen without actually seeing it myself, I would consider something more classic that never goes out of style…so how about subway tiles? Sounds like they might be the perfect fit for your project! Subway tiles are not only economical but they also come in many different colors, though I am partial to glossy white myself. You might also consider adding a decorative bullnose trim to dress it up a bit if you prefer as there are many nice options to choose from. Personally, I think subway tiles have the most longevity and are more pleasing to most aesthetics, so will appeal to more buyers in the long run.

Hope this helps and wishing you much success on your first flip! I’m sure it will turn out absolutely smashing!

If you have a question for “ASK THE HOME STAGING EXPERT®”, please contact

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curb appeal lighting free

It’s no secret that fall is just around the corner, and that means shorter days and longer hours spent in the dark. To ensure your house stands out at any hour, here are a few easy ways to light up your exterior and give your home a more inviting appeal.

1) Clean Up Existing Lighting – If your exterior lighting is already in place, make sure the glass is clean and the frame is polished! All that dust and dirt can really make the light seem much dimmer, so make sure everything is looking spiffy and your fixture will show off a stronger beam. So why not replace the bulbs while you’re at it?

2) Rejuvenate with Paint – It’s amazing what a coat of fresh paint can do, even for a lighting fixture! And with so many colors and finishes to choose from, you can easily turn something old into something new again. Try an oiled bronze finish or a textured paint, such as hammered gun metal. And if you have a lamp post too, you can refinish it to match!

3) Upgrade the Lamp Post – Create an entirely different look by replacing a lackluster standard lamp post for something much more grand! New England Arbors makes some great vinyl pillars that can be slipped right over an existing post or anchored on their own with a 4 X 4. An easy DIY project and a great way to class up your curb appeal! Available in several styles at Amazon, Target, Home Depot, and others. Shown below is the ‘Portsmouth’ model.

new england arbors portsmouth

4) Add Solar Lighting - Don't have a lamp post light? No problem! You can install this great find from Gama Sonic. It's a solar powered LED light that can be used as a post mount or wall mount and comes in three finishes. To add even more light and drama, check out Gama Sonic's solar flood lights. You could literally light up your entire yard with the money you'll save by not having to hire an electrician to install!

gama sonic baytown solar outdoor LED light

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