“Ask the Home Staging Expert®” – Can We Stage and Sell a Home with Renters?

Good morning, Lori!

We have a dilemma and are hoping you can help.  My elderly father-in-law recently went into assisted living care due to ongoing health issues.  He owns a duplex and has been living on one side while renting out the other.  The current renters have been in place for less than a year and still have 5 months left on their lease.  We are now looking to place the property on the market in the next month or two since my father-in-law’s new living situation seems to be permanent and he needs the funds to help pay for his care.  He agrees and has given us the go ahead to prepare his house for market.  We’ve already started to make a few minor repairs and updates on the exterior and recently had a couple of windows and carpeting replaced in his unit, but the renter’s side is a different story.  We aren’t sure how to go about staging and selling the property while the tenants are still living there.  I have only seen through the front door a couple of times.  It looks very cluttered and I’m afraid it will be a turn-off to potential buyers.  The renters are aware we are planning to list it For-Sale-By-Owner, though we haven’t mentioned a time frame.  How can we show this property to potential buyers without causing any legal issues or bad feelings?

Complex-Duplex in Arkansas

Dear Complex-Duplex – Thank you for your question and yes I agree, selling a house with tenants in place can often prove a bit more challenging.  For my part, I can only give you an opinion, not legal advice.  I know tenant laws vary by state, though I do believe as long as the renter is in a lease, your father-in-law is still bound by that lease.  While the house could be placed on the market, the renters are under no obligation to tidy up for showings, and you would likely need to give them at least a 24-hour notice each time the house is to be shown.

That said and without knowing all the details, I would approach the renters to see what they might be open to.  Offering an early buy-out of their lease and perhaps offering to pay something towards their moving expenses might sweeten the pot and prompt them to leave early.  And while this option would definitely dip into the money you’re trying to save for your father-in-law’s care, it might be the best idea if you really want them out.

The one advantage you have is that it is a duplex, and the buyer might see a tenant already in place as a positive, not a negative.  As a single family home, that would likely limit the pool of potential buyers to investors and buyers with the patience to wait for the lease to expire.  As a two-for-one however, it could be exactly the right scenario a buyer might be looking for!  An investor would be more apt to see it as a ‘one-down, one-to-go’ offer, and a potential buyer planning to occupy the space might like the idea of having someone else making those monthly payments toward their mortgage.  In that case, staging and showing your father-in-law’s side of the duplex might be enough.

Whatever you decide to do, I would strongly encourage you to seek legal advice from an attorney who specializes in real estate sales in your area before moving forward, either way.  If it were me, that would be the first place I would start.

Wishing you and your father-in-law the best!  Hope it all turns out favorably.

If you have a question for “ASK THE HOME STAGING EXPERT®”, please contact lori@homestagingexpert.com.

 

 

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How Staging a Vacant Home can Improve Your Chances of Selling Faster and for More Money

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again…vacant rooms look smaller. Potential buyers have a difficult time envisioning how their own furnishings might fit the space. And worse yet, they often wonder why the house is sitting vacant and make assumptions that can easily lead to low-ball offers, if they ever make an offer at all.

Here, Charlene Francis who earned her certification with Home Staging Expert® and serves the Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak Region, proves how adding furnishings and accessories to a vacant property and staging it to sell can make all the difference.  Just check out the before!  Not very user friendly or cheerful.

But warming up a cold vacant listing and showing potential buyers exactly how their own furnishings might fit in the space can be a real visual frame of reference for them.  Not to mention, how much more inviting does this house look now vs. the big vacant box it once was?

Staging a vacant property for market is always the best way to achieve the desired end goal for both the seller and potential buyer.  When buyer’s can actually picture themselves living in a house, they are far more apt to make an offer.  And creating an appealing atmosphere to show them just how wonderful it could truly be is going to give any vacant listing a marketable edge over their competition.

If you are looking to have your home staged in the Colorado Springs or the Pikes Peak Region, please get in touch with HSE® Certified stager Charlene Francis at thefranciscompanies@gmail.com to see how she can assist you today!

 

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COLORADO & WYOMING HOME STAGING EXPERT® WORKSHOPS – 2020 SCHEDULE JUST ANNOUNCED!

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Should You Ever Paint or Replace Your Siding to Sell Your House?

 

While most never consider drastically changing the exterior of their home to sell, some absolutely should, and many more would likely benefit.  Not suggesting you NEED an all-new exterior to get your house sold, but an updated color scheme can easily turn the dated to modern, the chaotic to calm, or the boring to bling!

The most obvious reasons to update would be peeling paint, irreversible staining, or siding that’s just very, very dated.  Worse yet, if your house is already on the market and your exterior colors are getting negative feedback, it would likely be in your best interest to make a change.  But don’t let those be the only factors to prompt you!

Painting everything the same color when you’re dealing with funky, mismatched additions, fixing past ill-chosen colors, or blending in dated brick accents with the rest of the siding can also give your home a fresher, more cohesive feel.  And if you’re thinking of painting over dated brick in general, you can read more about that here.

I recently watched a house with old, dingy white clapboard siding and faded green shutters get a fresh coat of Behr Paint’s Galley Gold with cream colored trim and matte black shutters.  The results were absolutely stunning!  And for the record, if you’re afraid of painting vinyl siding, Sherwin-Williams has a line of exterior paint called VinylSafe made for this very purpose.  From what I’ve seen and read myself, it does exactly what it says it will do with proper application.

If you’ve got cedar or wood siding that’s been stained, or even a deck or fencing, consider re-staining it to brighten it up or painting over the old stain with a semi-solid or solid stain color.  A number of years ago, I gave this advice to one of my clients and the old mud-brown stain that had been plaguing that home for decades was given a semi-solid stain update in burnt almond and it looked like a brand new house!  Please note:  If you plan to do this, consult a pro.  It is important to know if the original stain was oil based, and prep work is essential.

Those considering replacing the siding altogether (or even your roof) and want to see what color combos might look best, I’m a big fan of CertainTeed siding and roofing and they have a clever little, easy-to-operate tool called ColorView that can give you a preview of what your new exterior colors might look like, and plenty of siding colors and roofing materials to choose from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Updated Kitchens Sell – Take Advantage of Deep Discounts on Major Home Appliances in November

It’s no secret that an updated kitchen is very appealing to potential buyers!  Painting dated cabinets, adding new cabinetry hardware, countertops, and lighting are all great ways to make a kitchen that’s seen better days look much more current.  New appliances are also an important element in a kitchen transformation and anything you invest, you will typically earn back on a quicker sale and/or better price!  Appliances can be expensive however, so knowing when to buy can really save you money.

Since most appliance manufacturers tend to roll out their new models in the fall, September and October are always a great time to get in on the savings.  But if you’re really in the market for a deal, and as the truly thrifty among us already know, the prices are slashed even further to make room for holiday inventory in November!  And while waiting to purchase until the end of the week could garner you a few more savings, if you have the patience, wait until month end when appliance stores are trying to make their monthly quota and are more apt to offer their best deals.

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Thinking of Selling Your Home Next Spring? Start getting ready NOW!

According to the National Association of Realtors®, homes listed the first week of April see 14% more views, 5% less competition, and sell 6 days faster!  So if your goal is to get your house on the market fast and take advantage of these statistics, whatever you do…don’t wait until the last minute.  There’s always plenty to do, and it comes up faster than you think.

The fall and winter months are the perfect time to start thinking ahead and get a jump on the notoriously busy Spring Market!

Start clearing things out!  You’ve got a long-winter ahead of you and it’s the perfect time to start boxing things up, cleaning out those closets, and getting rid of the excess you don’t plan to take to your new home.  We recommend boxing up anything smaller than a football that you don’t use/need on a regular basis and storing it in the basement, a secondary room, or even the garage.  Likewise, furniture/electronics/’stuff’ that’s not making the cut should be cleared out and sold/donated/gifted at this time.

Make needed repairs and updates!  Spring is a very busy time of year for contractors, so lining up someone to fix that leaky faucet, paint your dated cabinets, or re-sand those hardwood floors in the slower fall/winter months is an ideal time and won’t leave you in a panic to find someone at the last minute!

Find your Realtor® and stager!  Finding the right professionals should never be left to chance!  Do some research and start narrowing down your options.  Get recommendations from friends and family, check out agents and stagers who have found success in your neighborhood, or take a look at our HSE®’s who have completed our Home Staging Expert® course and are more than qualified to assist you in meeting your goals and getting your house SOLD!

April will be here sooner than you think!  Take some of the stress out of the process by being prepared well in advance and the sale of your home will go much smoother, placing  you miles ahead of the competition.

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