Preparing Your Home To Sell

Home Staging


Staging your home to sell has almost become necessary to be competitive in todays market. Gone are the days where deep cleaning your house and hiding the litter box were enough.   More and more sellers are paying a home stager to make their home more attractive to potential buyers.

What a Home Stager Does

A home stager is an expert at planning and picking colors, patterns and furniture that will complement your home. A  Home stager is a lot like an Interior Designer other than they won’t generally consider your personal taste in the design but instead what will appeal to the majority of buyers.

Examples of What a Stager Might Do to Get Your Home Ready for Sell

Go through your home from top to bottom and develop a plan of action and the cost involved.

Identify ways to highlight your homes best features.

Recommend which items should stay in the house and which should not. This includes furniture and other household possessions.

Arrange for any repairs or work to be done and then overseeing the work.

Bring in furniture, art work, rugs, curtains, and pillows along with other welcoming objects to make the home feel like a place people can live the life they have dreamed of.

Finishing touches before an open house, such as fresh flowers, and baking cookies to fill the home with a delicious aroma.

Hiring a Stager

A properly staged home will receive a lot of attention and will most likely sell very quickly. So if you do decide to hire a stager make sure that you get recommendations and interview several before you make a choice. Keep in mind that a good home stager will do all the things described above.

staging-wallpaper staging-a-home staging2 sample-staging

Downsizing 101!

Barb Vanderpool

Hello, while this article is primarily written for seniors…..anyone can benefit if they have a wish to downsize their living quarters and/or if for some reason, their home no longer works as well for the way they are living. Perhaps this is the home where you raised your children, and while I am sure that it holds many memories, it may be more than you can (or want) to take care of.

Sometimes even the thought of moving is so overwhelming, we simply choose to do nothing. Even if you are only “toying” with the idea, I can almost assure you that it will not be easier in 5 more years…so whether or not you move, start the process now.

We all have so much. Sometimes our homes are a spot for past generations to store their possessions. Our house is the spot for all the stuff that no one…

View original post 463 more words

Get Ready to Sell-An Article for Seniors

When is the Right Time to Sell Your Home?

Many of us have thought about selling our home but questioned if it was the right time. Selling your home can be an overwhelming concept, especially if you have an emotional attachment. So a lot of times we choose to do nothing.

Questions to ask yourself

Does your home provide the best environment for your current needs?

Do you have trouble keeping up with the maintenance?

Have you isolated yourself from your friends and family?

Are your finances keeping you from enjoying your home?

Do you feel secure?

Do you ever get lonely?

These may be some reasons for you to move to a smaller home or condo or even a senior community.

Where Do I Start?

Get the family together and discuss what option is best for you.  Have a family member or realtor  go through the home with you. Use four different color dots to help sort through things. Red will be for the things you will take with you. Green for what  you will give to family. Blue for things you want to sell. Yellow for everything that will go to charity. Your realtor may or may not suggest leaving anything for staging purposes.

Call A Senior Real Estate Specialist!

This special designation is recognized by the National Association of Realtors and has been specially trained in particular circumstances relating to those over 65. Some of these include:

Types of senior living communities

Communications with your families

Developing a team of experts

Downsizing possessions

Preparing your home for sell

Financial and tax matters (or a good accountant)

Legal and estate issues (or a good attorney)

Fix Up or Leave As Is?

You and your Realtor will go through your home and he or she will make suggestions on what the home needs to show its best and bring you top dollar. The most common fix ups are:

Fresh paint

New carpet

Clean windows

Staging items such as new linens/towels

The highest wattage light bulbs possible

Sometimes spending $1,000 in little touch-ups can return 5-10 times the investment AND a quicker sale.

Make sure the outside looks good too! Trim bushes, rake leaves and keep grass mowed. If the outside needs painted… start with the front door. Don’t forget to wash the outside of the windows too. Replace any torn screens or old fixtures.

The Results After the Move

Better Quality of life

Better nutrition

Improved mental shape

More friends

You will wish you had done it sooner!

Who Do You Know?

There are over 70,000 seniors living in the Treasure Valley….think about it…is there anyone you know that may be risking their health by continuing to stay in their home?

2013: A House Becomes a Home Again

For around a decade now, when we talked of buying a home, it was all about the cost. Rather than discussing the value of a home, we were more concerned about the price and the interest rate.  We seemed to care more about our family’s net worth than where we raised our family.

The generations before us bought their homes so they had a place to call their own, to raise their family, and to feel safe. It wasn’t just about the investment.

Our parents and grandparents knew it was a form of savings and understood that if they payed their monthly mortgage, they would end up with a bit of retirement money later on. Although that was a benefit of buying, it wasn’t as important to them as having a place for their family to call home.

In the last decade we have forgotten that the financial aspect is not the only reason to buy a home.  Remember that home-ownership is and will likely always be a big part of the American Dream.

It seems that in 2013 people are beginning to understand home-ownership the way their parents and grandparents did.  Not only is it an investment but a place for their family to feel safe.

After all, there is no place like home.

6 Tips on Buying an Investment Property for Rental Income

Mortgage rates are low, which has made buying a house more affordable. Investors are finding rental properties to be an attractive option for making some extra income. Here are some helpful tips for those considering the purchase of an investment property for the purpose of renting it out.


If your purchase is meant to be a long term investment, you should make enough from rent to cover the mortgage as well as the monthly maintenance on the home.

If you buy a foreclosed property, you will need to make sure you factor in the added costs of repairs that need to be made before the home can be rented out.

Remember that real estate can be a great investment but only if you have good tenants who pay their rent.


Areas near schools are a good draw for families. Condominiums are great (if they allow rentals) because the associations often do the upkeep on the property.

If the property is a foreclosure, many other investors may have an interest and may be offering to pay cash. And because there are often repairs needed in these types of homes, you won’t be generating any income right away.


Do you want to go through the screening process for your tenant and handle any issues that may arise? If not then you may want to consider hiring a management company to take care of any problems.

Property management companies will generally charge a percentage of the rent and in return they will market your rental, screen for a tenant, take care of any issues (leaky faucets, broken furnace, etc).


It’s important that you know your responsibilities as a landlord according to the laws. Some good resources of information are U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website, and The Landlord Protection Agency, this includes state laws and guidelines as well as forms for rental agreements.

A lawyer can help make sure you have a well-written lease. This will protect you when you need to evict a tenant and also make them responsible for any damages they may have made to the property.


Make sure you ask for previous rental history and run a credit and criminal check.  Ask for a deposit that is the amount of one months rent or more if they have pets. This extra deposit will be held for scenarios, such as the tenant stops paying rent or damages are made to the property.
Make sure you walk through the property before your tenant moves in and ask them to sign off on the condition of the property. This will help any future disagreements about the condition before and after the tenant moved out.


Compare your property with other similar rentals in the area.  Make sure that the amount you come up with is competitive, and will still cover your costs.

Flexibility may be in order if you have an empty property for months and need to get a tenant in immediately.

Is Your House Still the Right Home?

As a Senior Real Estate Specialist…I see the same scenario over and over. You have lived in your home for many, many years and “are not leaving”. This is home. There are many ways we can work together to keep you in your home if that is your first choice…at least for as long as you possibly can.

I partner with many companies in the senior living industry. I would be happy to refer to you any medical or non medical help you may need. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK!

Perhaps you need someone to help you with grocery shopping once a week, or maybe cook a couple meals…or even take you to a doctors appointment. Let me help, really!!

With that said, is your house still the right home? Ask yourself and answer (honestly) a few questions…

Do you feel safe? Do you have slippery hardwood floors? Too many stairs? Alone at night?

Is the maintenance of your home overwhelming you? Are you having any trouble finding and keeping maintenance help?

Is you health declining? And with that question…will it be easier in 1 year, 5 years, or?

Have you recently lost a spouse and do you ever get lonely?

Are you still driving, and if not, are you isolating yourself?

If you are thinking of selling your home…where would you start and where would you go?

The goal is to avoid a “crisis” situation!


Downsizing 101!

Hello, while this article is primarily written for seniors…..anyone can benefit if they have a wish to downsize their living quarters and/or if for some reason, their home no longer works as well for the way they are living. Perhaps this is the home where you raised your children, and while I am sure that it holds many memories, it may be more than you can (or want) to take care of.

Sometimes even the thought of moving is so overwhelming, we simply choose to do nothing. Even if you are only “toying” with the idea, I can almost assure you that it will not be easier in 5 more years…so whether or not you move, start the process now.

We all have so much. Sometimes our homes are a spot for past generations to store their possessions. Our house is the spot for all the stuff that no one wants, but we want to keep it in the family.

Here are the basic top 10 steps.

  1. Tell your children your intentions. Let them know you are only “toying” with the idea of downsizing, and that they have xx number of months to decide what they would like to do with their childhood toys and memorabilia from college. Go through each of the rooms with your children and have them identify what they would like to take (again, give them a specific date). It’s generally easier to start with all of the unused back bedrooms and basements.
  2. Head to the living, dining, and kitchen areas. After you have decided what you will take (I realize that you don’t know where you are going, but almost anywhere you choose, you will take your living, and bedroom furniture.) If the dining table is too big, it means you get to buy a new one! Then have the kids tell you what they would like.
  3. Next step…everything that needs to be thrown out. Plod away at going through drawers and tossing things into a garbage bag…even if you don’t move for 5 years…it will be great now! Yes, even the paperwork from the car you sold in 1990 can be tossed!
  4. Memorabilia…photo albums, collectibles, music items, holiday decorations, etc…get some great moving boxes, pack this up, and put it in the garage with a well marked label. If it’s something you “may” need in the next few months…at least it will be where you want it.
  5. Time to sell! Whether or not you want to sell items at a yard sale or put them on Craigslist, or possible to a consignment store… it’s time for the sale. This is “anything” you have deemed to good to throw away. Books, linens, furniture, TV’s, kitchen items, ANYTHING.
  6. Charity items… everything goes to charity.
  7. Wow…what’s left? You will be surprised! All the “not sure stuff”. If you truly can’t make a decision, or are not sure…next is everything you know you won’t need for at least 6 months. Pack it up in an area that’s easy to get to if you should need it.
  8. Have a building inspector (or handyman if you have a relationship with one) and go through all of the items that need to be repaired or improved prior to selling your home. At this point, involve a Realtor so that you don’t spend money you don’t need to. Even if you are not thinking of selling in the next year…you should have someone check out the attic/crawl space/etc for potential problems periodically.
  9. Put your home on the market with a Realtor who will price and stage it correctly.
  10. Move into your new home and hopefully have a much smaller house/yard/etc. Whoops..number 11 is ENJOY LIFE!

5 Great Real Estate Tips

Money-under-HouseThe real estate industry is heading into 2014 with clear momentum; demand is finally starting to catch up with the supply of homes, as is made clear by significantly fewer distressed homes on the market.

The National Association of REALTORS is already predicting a rise in median existing home prices for the new year, with more conservative experts foretelling at least a  modest 3% climb in real estate prices.

Regardless, almost everyone agrees the real estate market is quickly recovering; with this exciting new year ahead of us there will be some clear actions to help insure your success in buying and selling real estate in 2014.

Here are 5 great tips to help you stay ahead of the trends:

Get Off the Sidelines
For sellers waiting for market improvements, they are here – so jump back in the game if the price is right. Buyers may have already missed the rock bottom deals that were around and that said, the rules have changed a bit; expect higher down payments than we saw in previous years. Sellers too should be aware that many buyers may now have a harder time qualifying as well due to these changes.

Renovate Wisely
Even though renovation and remodeling can add value to your home not all upgrades are created equal. Consider your options before making costly changes that might not actually benefit your selling price. Believe it or not sometimes it’s best to focus on the small things like repainting or minor fixes rather than extravagant builds that may or may not even be to your potential buyers tastes.

Make a Good Impression
Over 84% of potential buyers start their search for homes online, before they even talk to a REALTOR. Investing a few extra dollars from the get-go by paying for professional photos or video of your home can pay of big time in the long run.A REALTOR.COM survey showed that homes marketed with professional quality photographs sold for nearly 12% more than homes with bad or no images.

Don’t Be Afraid to Market
If you’re selling you need to put it out there! Give your agent the go ahead to market your home creatively throughout a number of venues. This includes traditional venues like print ads as well as newer options like social media. Show your listing on the agents website; ask them to blog about it or post it on their Facebook and Twitter pages as well. The internet is a global platform and can exponentially increase your homes exposure to a vast audience.

Little Details Make Big Differences
If you’re a buyer little things can make a world of difference. When you do a walk through switch on the stove, run the fauces, flush the toilets, run the air conditioning and put feet on the ground in the neighborhood. You aren’t just buying the house, you’re buying the area as well so get familiar with it.

I would love the opportunity to speak with you about your buying or selling needs here in Idaho. I specialize in the best homes in the Treasure Valley, including 55+ living in Boise! Contact Me today to learn more about how I can help!