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Bonus Points for Bonus Rooms

March 1, 2019
Courtesy: Pinterest

Home buyers love to get the most space for their money. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 66% of millennials cite more living space as the No. 1 reason for buying a house. So if you’re selling a home with a bonus bedroom, a finished basement, or an extra-large landing on the second floor that could be used for something, you’re adding a lot of extra value.

But are you really highlighting the glorious potential of that space to buyers? 

Remember, you’re not just selling a house; you’re selling an aspirational lifestyle! So whether you’re showcasing an attic hobby room, a gamer’s paradise in the basement, or a wellness retreat on the second floor, consider these strategic staging tips to make that flex space shine. 

1. Avoid giving rooms a split personality

For optimal results when selling, execute a single theme in your bonus room, says Howard Andrews, a licensed broker with Knipe Realty in Portland, OR. 

Someone who craves a spot to paint landscapes probably doesn’t want one that also crams in an elliptical trainer and a double bed. And a young couple imagining a sweet nursery won’t be impressed if their future baby’s room is also a makeshift potting shed with hydroponic herbs sprouting below bright lights. 

“You really want potential buyers to be able to imagine themselves in your house,” Andrews says. 

2. Get physical with a yoga studio or gym

The number of Americans practicing yoga and meditation has surged in the past couple of years, according to a recent study from the National Institutes of Health. So staging your bonus space as the perfect spot to get healthy makes it an attractive alternative to the gym (and a budget-savvy one, too), says Michael Sinatro, broker-owner of the Sinatro Co. and an accredited home stager in West Hartford, CT. 

“When buyers come across a home that has a meditation or yoga room—a calming, Zen kind of place—people’s gut reaction is how they wish they had one,” he says. “In our overscheduled digital world, people are yearning for peace, mindfulness, and a moment of quiet.” 

Sinatro suggests keeping the decor simple: a yoga mat or two, some plants, and a nook in the corner piled with comfy pillows. 

“A home gym is also appealing, especially when you have things like rubber mats, a water cooler, and mirrors on the wall,” he adds. But skip the giant stair-climbing machine if the room has low ceilings—it will only draw attention to that feature. 

3. Consider getting crafty

There’s no reason to spend piles of cash to stage an extra room for a nonexistent purpose, but if you’re passionate about a hobby and can showcase the space attractively, do so. A new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center showed that 1 in 5 Americans finds hobbies make their lives more meaningful. 

“My wife would probably fall in love with a house that has an organized sewing and crafting space, and I think that’s true for a lot of couples, because we’re seeing a lot more of the do-it-yourself crowd becoming more mainstream,” says Andrews. 

“Buyers also value extra storage everywhere, so built-in storage is a great asset for a hobby space. Good lighting is also a must.” 

An industrial-style long table and freestanding bookshelves also help define a hobby room. 

4. Gear up for a gaming room

One recent survey reported that 65% of U.S. households regularly play video games. Buyers who love gaming will appreciate a space with plenty of electrical outlets that can accommodate consoles or charge wireless joysticks, gaming computers, and even vintage arcade machines. 

“A gaming space has to be a large enough to accommodate a table with about 3 feet around every side of the table—it gives people enough room to get around each other,” says Andrews. 

5. Trick out an office with awesome storage

With nearly 4 million U.S. employees telecommuting at least half the time, home offices are hugely desirable. But don’t just stick a cheap desk in a room, slap a lamp on it, and call it an office. Create the kind of office where people can picture themselves producing their best work. 

“You’re selling what buyers picture themselves to be,” Sinatro explains. 

Add some tall storage with lots of shelving that’s well-designed, plus a small seating area, and you’ll show all the options in a nice space, he says. 

6. Create a dream closet and dressing room

According to the National Association of Home Builders, more than 40% of first-time home buyers consider a walk-in closet essential. So if your home’s master bedroom is short on storage, consider spending about $1,500 to transform an adjacent bedroom into an Instagram-worthy walk-in closet, with tons of hanging space and shoe cubbies—and maybe even a storage island in the center of the room. 

7. Don’t forget the Big Ds: Declutter and depersonalize

Spare rooms that just showcase piles of things you can’t find space for is a surefire way to tank a sale, no matter how great your home is. 

“People might be very forgiving when they see a cluttered garage, but if your third bedroom is full of boxes, it’s really hard to get past that cluttered impression,” Andrews says. 

8. Downsizing? Stage your space authentically

If you’re new empty nesters planning on moving to a condo, you might be tempted to stage your home so a young family sees themselves there. But resist the temptation to revamp the entire house. 

“While you want to appeal to as many buyers as possible, you don’t want to fake a playroom if you don’t have children,” Sinatro says. 

Similarly, if you’re not an artist, staging a bedroom as a bright art studio just won’t work. 

“If something is genuinely your passion, that will come across to buyers, as long as it’s clean and simple,” he adds.

By: Wendy Helfenbaum

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Household changing? Getting married (or divorced)? Time for a change of scenery or job relocation? Want to invest? Just send me an email or call 619-888-2117 – I can help.


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7 Tax Benefits of Owning a Home: A Complete Guide for Filing Now and Next Year

February 21, 2019
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davidmariuz/iStock; ChristianChan/iStock

As with any financial matter, please consult with your tax professional to see what is right for you.

What are the tax benefits of owning a home? Homeowners might be wondering this right around now as they prepare to file their taxes. Especially since thenew Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—the most substantial overhaul to the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years—went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018. You might even be wondering how the new plan affects the tax perks of homeownership.

Well, look no further than this complete guide to all the tax benefits of owning a home. We break down exactly what’s changed, and all the tax breaks homeowners should be aware of when they file their 2018 taxes.

Read on to make sure you aren’t missing anything that could save you money!

Tax break 1: Mortgage interest

What changed: In the past, one of the most lucrative tax breaks for homeowners was the deduction for mortgage interest. The new tax code didn’t eliminate the deduction, but it did change substantially. The new tax bill allows homeowners with a mortgage that went into effect before Dec. 15, 2017, to continue to deduct interest on loans up to $1 million.

“However, for acquisition debt incurred after Dec. 15, 2017, the tax reform only allows the homeowner to deduct the interest on the first $750,000,” says Lee Reams Sr., chief content officer of TaxBuzz.

Why it’s still important: The ability to deduct the interest on a mortgage continues to be a big benefit of owning a home. And the more recent your mortgage, the greater your tax savings.

“The way mortgage payments are amortized, the first ones are almost all interest,” says Wendy Connick, owner of Connick Financial Solutions. (See how your loan amortizes and how much you’re paying in interest with this mortgage calculator.)

Note that the mortgage interest deduction is an itemized deduction. This means that for it to work in your favor, all of your itemized deductions (there are more below) need to be greater than the new standard deduction, which the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act nearly doubled to $24,400 for a married couple (it used to be $12,700). For individuals the deduction is $12,200, and it’s $18,350 for heads of household.

As a result, only about 5% of taxpayers will itemize deductions this filing season, says Connick. “In the past it was more like 30%.”

For some homeowners, itemizing simply may not be worth it this year. So when would itemizing work in your favor? As one example, if you’re a married couple who paid $20,000 in mortgage interest and $6,000 in state and local taxes, you would exceed the standard deduction and be able to reduce your taxable income by an additional $2,000 by itemizing.

Tax break 2: Property taxes

What changed: In the past, property taxes in their entirety had always been deductible. (Here’s more info on how to calculate property taxes.) But now, this deduction is capped at $10,000 for those married filing jointly no matter how high the taxes are.

Why it’s still important: Taxpayers can still take one $10,000 deduction, says Brian Ashcraft, director of compliance at Liberty Tax Service. Just note that this year, property taxes are on that itemized list of all of your deductions that must add up to more than the standard deduction ($24,000 for a married couple) to be worth your while. And remember that if you have a mortgage, your taxes are built into your monthly payment.

Tax break 3: Private mortgage insurance

What changed: If you put less than 20% down on your home, odds are you’re paying private mortgage insurance, or PMI, which costs from 0.3% to 1.15% of your home loan. Good news! The new tax bill extended the ability to deduct the interest on this insurance, a deduction that was set to expire, says Connick.

Why it’s still important: The PMI interest deduction is also an itemized deduction. But if you can take it, it might help push you over the $24,000 standard deduction. And here’s how much you’ll save: If you make $100,000 and put down 5% on a $200,000 house, you’ll pay about $1,500 in annual PMI premiums and thus cut your taxable income by $1,500. Nice!

Tax break 4: Energy efficiency upgrades

What changed: Nada. The Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit was a tax incentive for installing alternative energy upgrades in a home. Most of these tax credits expired after December 2016; however, two credits are still around. The credits for solar electric and solar water heating equipment are available through Dec. 31, 2021, says Josh Zimmelman, owner of Westwood Tax & Consulting, a New York–based accounting firm.

Why it’s still important: You can still save a tidy sum on your solar energy. And—bonus!—this is a credit, so no worrying about itemizing here. However, the percentage of the credit varies based on the date of installation. For equipment installed between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2019, 30% of the expenditures are eligible for the credit. That goes down to 26% for installation between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020, and then to 22% for installation between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021.

Tax break 5: A home office

What changed: In the good ol’ days of 2017, if you worked from home at all, your office space and expenses could be deducted. Now this deduction is gone completely for employees who have an office to go to but work from home occasionally.

Why it’s still important: Good news for all self-employed people whose home office is the main place they work, you can still take a $5-per-square-foot deduction for up to 300 square feet of office space, which amounts to a maximum deduction of $1,500. Understand, however, that there are strict rules on what constitutes a dedicated, fully deductible home office space. Here’s more on the much-misunderstood home office tax deduction.

Tax break 6: Home improvements to age in place

What changed: Not much, except that for this filing season, these home improvements will need to exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. So if you make $60,000, this deduction kicks in only on money spent over $4,500.

Why it’s still important: The cost of these improvements can result in a nice tax break for many older homeowners who plan to age in place and add renovations such as wheelchair ramps or grab bars in slippery bathrooms. Deductible improvements might also include widening doorways, lowering cabinets or electrical fixtures, and adding stair lifts. Caveat: You’ll need a letter from your doctor to prove these changes were medically necessary.

Tax break 7: Interest on a home equity line of credit

What changed: In the past, people used these loans to do all sorts of things: pay for college, throw a wedding, or make improvements to their home. And they could legally deduct the interest. Not anymore, even if you took out the loan before the new tax plan.

Now if you have a home equity line of credit, or HELOC, the interest you pay on that loan is deductible only if that loan is used specifically to “buy, build, or improve a property,” according to the IRS.

Why it’s still important: You’ll still save cash if your home’s crying out for a kitchen overhaul or half-bath. Major note: You can deduct only up to the $750,000 cap, and this is for the amount you pay in interest on your HELOC and mortgage combined.

Article from Realtor.com

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate!  I ❤️ working on behalf of my clients.  If I can be of assistance to you,  just send me an email or call 619-888-2117. 


8 Ways to Make Your Real Estate Agent ❤️ You

February 13, 2019

From: Lighter Side of Real Estate

With Valentine’s Day fast-approaching, there’s no denying love is in the air. Let’s think for a moment about the person who’s always there for you, helping to make your dreams come true. We’re talking about your real estate agent, of course.  ❤️

Just what does it take to make the agent who’s done so much for you swoon? There are plenty of ways to build a harmonious, lasting, and fulfilling relationship that will take you from starter home to happily ever after. 

Check out this list of things that’ll make your agent fall head over heels in love with you.

1. Refer your friends and family

Talking up your real estate agent to friends and family is the greatest gift you can give. Being a connector is a wonderful way to help your favorite agent build and grow their business. Go ahead, brag about how amazing your agent is; they’ll adore you for it.

2. Make sure your open house is pet-free

Barking dogs, loose hamsters, and roaming lizards are a huge turn-off to potential homebuyers. Securing your pets or taking them off-premises will mean the world to your agent, who probably has better things to do than herd your cats. 

3. Get pre-approved

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage means you’re a serious buyer, and if you find “the one” you’re good to go. Agents don’t have any time to waste. Knowing that you can come up with the funds at the closing is a weight off their minds. (It also means that you’re not just spending weekends looking at homes because you cancelled cable and can’t think of anything else to do.) 

4. You’ll show your home at a moment’s notice

Because no one can predict when a buyer might want to see a home, sellers who are open to a last-minute showing make an agent’s job that must easier. Letting interested parties take a tour when it’s convenient for them may just sell your home that much faster, which is a win for everyone.

5. Commit to keeping your home clean

Nothing makes a house shine quite like keeping it clean and uncluttered. Ensuring your place is “show ready”—from the moment it’s first listed until the closing—eliminates any worries your agent may feel as buyer agents and their clients come to view your house… and that peace of mind is priceless.

6. Up your curb appeal 

Recognizing that the front of the home is the first thing would-be buyers see, it’s crucial to keep the exterior well-maintained. Sellers who are on top of cutting the grass and raking the leaves make a great first impression—and as they say, you only have one chance to make a first impression.

7. Take your agent’s advice

Whether it’s about recommended staging, or an item that needs to be fixed before the home inspection, following the advice of your expert is beneficial for all parties. After all, you’ve hired a pro, so why not heed their wisdom and reap the rewards?

8. Leave a glowing review on social media or offer a testimonial

Again, sharing the love is a big part of helping your agent gain new clients. Offer to write a testimonial for their website, or share your experience on social media and let the world know you’re crazy about him or her.


 

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate!  I ❤️ working on behalf of my clients.  If I can be of assistance to you,  just send me an email or call 619-888-2117.

 I do appreciate testimonials on:
Social Media, Zillow, Yelp and Realtor.com

 

Don’t Get Sidelined

February 7, 2019

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Household changing? Getting married (or divorced)? Time for a change of scenery or job relocation? Want to invest?

Just send me an email or call 619-888-2117 – I can help.

Crystal Ball – 2019 San Diego Housing Market Forecast

January 28, 2019

2018 HOUSING MARKET IN REVIEW

In California, in 2018, for the first time in four years, home sales ended at a lower level.  The economic forecast by the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) predicts that in 2019, single family home sales will decline approximately 3.3 percent.

In San Diego  home prices were consistently up in most markets in 2018 but at reduced levels compared to recent years. High demand for homes fueled price increases, but evidence is mounting that inventory will improve in 2019. This may apply some downward pressure on prices for home buyers. A fourth interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve in 2018 spooked the stock market to close out the year. The Fed has indicated that the number of rate increases in 2019 will be halved.

Closed Sales decreased 22.9 percent for Detached homes and 42.9 percent for Attached homes.

The Median Sales Price was up 5.8 percent to $725,000 for Detached homes but decreased 6.7 percent to $418,250 for Attached homes.

Days on Market increased 25.0 percent for Detached homes and 50.0 percent for Attached homes. Supply increased 43.8 percent for Detached homes and 100.0 percent for Attached homes.

Unemployment rates remained remarkably low again in 2018, and wages continued to improve for many U.S. households. It is generally good for all parties involved in real estate transactions when wages grow, but the percentage of increase, on average, has not kept pace with home price increases. This created an affordability crux in the second half of 2018. Housing affordability will remain an important storyline in 2019.

 

2019 HOUSING MARKET FORECAST

As mentioned in the 2018 recap above, C.A.R. has predicted a slower housing market in California in 2019.

Here are some of the indicators to watch for: 

Higher Interest Rates

While sales are projected to decline next year in California, the cause behind this trend will not be higher prices. According to the forecast, the median home price in California will increase only 3.1 percent to $593,450 in 2019, compared to a projected seven percent increase in 2018. C.A.R. estimates that home prices will temper in 2019, however interest rates could go up, which will compound housing affordability challenges. The C.A.R. forecast shows that in 2019, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed home loan will increase to approximately 5.2%, against an average rate of 4.7% in 2018.

Drop in Existing Home Sales

Existing homes sales are predicted to decline in 2019. These estimates from C.A.R. mark a significant shift from the hot demand the housing market in California experienced in the past four years. That period witnessed consistent rise in demand and price gains driven by bidding wars. However, things have changed in 2018, and the declining trends are likely to continue in 2019.

Price Reduction Predicted

C.A.R.’s chief economist and senior VP, Leslie Appleton-Young said that the rise in home prices over the last few years occurred due to a shortage of housing supply. This trend shifted at the end of 2018 and although California is not yet fully a buyer’s market, the trends are pointing in that direction.

 

If you have questions about the market in your specific area, please email me or call 619-888-2117. 📲

Investing In a Green Home Will Pay Dividends In 2019

January 24, 2019

 

 

Article from: WindermereSeattle

As we step forward into 2019, eco-friendly “green homes” are more popular than ever. Upgrading your home’s sustainability improves quality of life for those residing in it, but it is also a savvy long-term investment. As green homes become more popular, properties boasting sustainable features have become increasingly desirable targets for home buyers. Whether designing a new home from scratch or preparing your current home for sale, accentuating a house with environmentally-friendly features can pay big dividends for everyone.

While the added value depends on the location of the home, its age, and whether it’s certified or not, three separate studies all found that newly constructed, Energy Star, or LEED-certified homes typically sell for about nine percent more than comparable, non-certified new homes. Plus, one of those studies discovered that existing homes retrofitted with green technologies, and certified as such, can command a whopping 30-percent sales-price boost.

There are dozens of eco-friendly features that can provide extra value for you as a seller. To name a few:

 

Cool roof

Cool roofs keep the houses they’re covering as much as 50 to 60 degrees cooler by reflecting the heat of the sun away from the interior, allowing the occupants to stay cooler and save on air-conditioning costs. The most common form is metal roofing. Other options include roof membranes and reflective asphalt shingles.

 

Fuel cells

Fuel cells may soon offer an all-new source of electricity that would allow you to completely disconnect your home from all other sources of electricity. About the size of a dishwasher, a fuel cell connects to your home’s natural gas line and electrochemically converts methane to electricity. One unit would pack more than enough energy to power your whole home.

For many years, fuel cells have been far too expensive or unreliable. But as technology has improved, so too has reliability. Companies like Home Power Solutions and Redbox Power Systems have increased the reliability of these fuel sources while reducing their size. Much like we’ve seen computers and cell phones shrink in size while improving reliability and power, fuel cells continue to be refined.

 

Wind turbine

A wind turbine (essentially a propeller spinning atop an 80- to 100-foot pole) collects kinetic energy from the wind and converts it to electricity for your home. And according to the Department of Energy, a small version can slash your electrical bill by 50 to 90 percent.

But before you get too excited, you need to know that the zoning laws in most urban areas don’t allow wind turbines. They’re too tall. The best prospects for this technology are homes located on at least an acre of land, well outside the city limits.

 

Green roof

Another way to keep the interior of your house cooler—and save on air-conditioning costs—is to replace your traditional roof with a layer of vegetation (typically hardy ground covers). This is more expensive than a cool roof and requires regular maintenance, but young, environmentally conscious homeowners are very attracted to the concept.

 

Hybrid heating

Combining a heat pump with a standard furnace to create what’s known as a “hybrid heating system” can save you somewhere between 15 and 35 percent on your heating and cooling bills.

Unlike a gas or oil furnace, a heat pump doesn’t use any fuel. Instead, the coils inside the unit absorb whatever heat exists naturally in the outside air, and distributes it via the same duct work used by your furnace. When the outside air temperature gets too cold for the heat pump to work, the system switches over to your traditional furnace.

 

Geothermal heating

Geothermal heating units are like heat pumps, except instead of absorbing heat from the outside air, they absorb the heat in the soil next to your house via coils buried in the ground. The coils can be buried horizontally or, if you don’t have a wide enough yard, they can be buried vertically. While the installation price of a geothermal system can be several times that of a hybrid, air-sourced system, the cost savings on your energy bills can cover the installation costs in five to 10 years.

 

Solar power

Solar panels capture light energy from the sun and convert it directly into electricity. Similarly to wind turbines, your geographical location may determine the feasibility of these installments. Even on cloudy days, however, solar panels typically produce 10-25% of their maximum energy output. For decades, you may have seen these panels sitting on sunny rooftops all across America. But it’s only recently that this energy-saving option has become truly affordable.

In 2010, installing a solar system on a typical mid-sized house would have set the homeowner back $30,000. But as of December 2018, the average cost after tax credits for solar panel installation was just $13,188! Plus, some companies are now offering to rent solar panels to homeowners (the company retains ownership of the panels and sells the homeowner access to the power at roughly 10 to 15 percent less than they would pay their local utility).

 

Solar water heaters

Rooftop solar panels can also be used to heat your home’s water. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average homeowner who makes this switch should see their water bills shrink by 50 to 80 percent.

 

Tax credits/rebates

Many of the innovative solutions summarized above come with big price tags attached. However, federal, state and local rebates/tax credits can often slash those expenses by as much as 50 percent. So before ruling any of these ideas out, take some time to see which incentives you may qualify for at dsireusa.org and the “tax incentives” pages at Energy.Gov.

 

Regardless of which option you choose, these technologies will help to conserve valuable resources and reduce your monthly utility expenses. Just as importantly, they will also add resale value that you can leverage whenever you decide it’s time to sell and move on to a new home.

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Household changing? Getting married (or divorced)? Time for a change of scenery or job relocation? Want to invest? Just send me an email or call 619-888-2117 – I can help.

How to Stage a House for Free: 7 Ideas That Don’t Cost a Dime

January 17, 2019

asbe/iStock

asbe/iStock

By: Whitney Coy, Realtor.com

One of the most common mistakes sellers make is assuming they need to sink a bunch of money into home staging. Some choose the expensive route—swapping out their furniture and art at the behest of a hired professional home stager—but that’s not the only way to impress potential buyers.

“Everyone needs to stage their home to sell it efficiently,” says Laura McHolm, co-founder of NorthStar Moving. “But you do not need to spend a lot of money to stage your home.”

Want to get your house in tiptop shape without spending a dime? Follow these home staging ideas that are 100% free.

1. Depersonalize

The first step to staging your home is getting rid of personal items such as photos, albums, handmade items, trophies, and mementos—even the kids’ artwork on the fridge.

“No family pictures,” says McHolm. “A buyer wants to be able to envision living in that house. It’s not your house anymore. It’s a house that will soon be their house. So get the ‘you’ out of your house.”

Removing your personal items isn’t easy—they’re the things that make your house feel like your home, but keep in mind that it’s only temporary. Pack them up and store them safely until you can find them all spots of honor in your new place.

2. Declutter

All that stuff littering the surfaces of your home has to go.

“Most surfaces should have between three to five items on them, because clutter is distracting both in photos and in person,” says property stylist Julie Chrissis, of Chrissis & Company Interiors. “You want buyers looking at the home, not the stuff.”

This means eliminating piles of mail and magazines, collections you have on display, knickknacks, and most other items that can easily be packed away.

3. Nix the extra storage

If you’ve been living in your current home for a while, you’ve probably come up with a lot of creative ways to store all of the items you’ve accumulated. But now that you’re hoping to sell, it’s time to get rid of them. Purge!

“Eliminate any plastic storage bins, over-door storage, above-cabinet storage, and extra racks in rooms,” says Chrissis. “This is important because buyers never want to think they will outgrow a home. A seller’s job is to show them there is plenty of storage space for them to grow into.”

Since all those stored items are already packed into bins and baskets, it should be simple enough to move them to a storage facility until you’ve moved.

4. Deep clean

Even if you consider yourself a neatnik, you’re probably going to need to do a little extra work to get your house ready for buyers.

“Take a critical eye to your home. Living somewhere daily reduces the things you notice that might be a problem, like dirty walls, scuffs and scrapes, leaks, or even odors you have become accustomed to,” says Marty Basher, home organization expert at ModularClosets.com. “Also, deep clean the kitchen and bathrooms. These areas of the home are generally the most cluttered and dirty. Both of those things will turn off willing buyers.”

It might help to ask a friend or family member to come by and help you find areas that need attention. Someone who doesn’t live in your house will be better able to look at your space through the eyes of a buyer.

5. Change the furniture layout

Maybe you’ve placed your couch at an odd angle to keep the sun out of your eyes during your midday nap, or your armchair is in the middle of the room so you can better see the TV. Those things are all fine for you—but not for buyers. Now it’s time to stage the room for optimal space and flow.

“Room layouts should be set up for photos first. It’s important that the photo not be of the back of a sofa, large chair, or other piece of furniture, as this makes the room look smaller because it blocks the view of part of the room,” says Chrissis. “The same goes for open houses and showings. If buyers see a room with furniture barriers, it makes the room seem smaller.”

6. Let there be light

Now that your home is clean and uncluttered, it’s time to brighten things up so buyers can actually see it.

“You want natural light and lamps with warm light—no swirly bulbs that look like office light,” says Chrissis. “We tell most of our clients to remove valances as they typically make a room darker and, in most markets, are a little out of fashion. Lamps are important, especially in winter months when there is less sun and sunset is earlier.”

7. Reduce your furniture

If your house is filled to the brim with furniture, it’s time to move some of it out.

“After the home is thoroughly cleaned out, keep only up-to-date furniture in excellent condition, and just a couple of accent pieces in each room,” suggests broker and interior designer Tory Keith of Natick, MA.

Not only does this go hand in hand with making things look less cluttered, but less furniture will also make the rooms look bigger.

Move unneeded pieces to the basement, garage, or a storage facility until you’re ready to move.

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Household changing? Getting married (or divorced)? Time for a change of scenery or job relocation? Want to invest? Just send me an email or call 619-888-2117 – I can help.

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