The Importance Of Staging Houses For Sale

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to sell your house, or a real estate agent working hard to help a client find a buyer for their home, staging is of the utmost importance. Below you will discover exactly why staging the home is the most crucial step of the selling process.

Helps Buyers See Themselves in the Home

When staging a home, all personal items are removed. This includes family photos, team sport memorabilia, and anything else that speaks to a specific group of individuals. The reason for this is that you want buyers to see themselves in the home when they take the walk through. If, for example, the buyers are Miami Dolphins fans and you have Dallas Cowboys items throughout the home, this may prevent them from feeling like the house is their home. The can result in a lost sale.

Gives a Good Impression

Taking the time to stage homes for sale involves removing all clutter and organizing the rooms so that they have the most amount of space. When a client goes to buy a home, he or she will form a good or bad impression from the moment they walk in the front door. A de-cluttered and organized spaces is not only inviting, but it also gives the potential buyer the vibe that the house has been well cared for. 

Gets the House Sold Faster

The first place a buyer will see your home is on the realtor’s website. Images of a staged home are going to attract more attention, which means a higher than average number of showings. At the showing, the interested parties will have the chance to see the beauty of the staging up close. A large number of showings is bound to result in an offer early on in the listing, which means homeowners will be able to sell their properties much faster than had they not used a staging strategy. 

Generates a Higher Price

There’s a very good chance that the additional showings end up producing multiple offers. Sellers can use this to their advantage to actually sell their homes for more than what they were asking. The seller can counter back with a higher offer, or the realtor can allow a bidding war to ensue. The extra money may even be enough to cover the closing costs. 

Although the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom tend to be the most important rooms to stage, keep in mind that buyers will check every nook and cranny of your home for sale. That means you’ll also want to organize closets, basements, and even your attic space. 

For more information, contact Stacy Sells or a similar company.

Three Ways To Make Your Home More Secure After A Break In Has Occurred

Having someone break into your home can make you feel very violated and unsafe. It gives you a sense of insecurity that can be very hard to shake. If you have recently had someone break into your home, use the guide below to learn what steps to take to restore your feeling of security and keep your home as safe as possible at all times.

Hire a Contractor

The first thing you need to do is you need to hire a contractor to repair any damage that the criminal did when they broke into your home. Sometimes windows are shattered or door jambs are broken in order for someone to gain access to your home. Leaving the damage in disrepair will leave your home vulnerable to another attack and could put your family at risk. It is best to hire a professional to do the repairs, to ensure that they are done properly and quickly.

Hire a Locksmith

Next, you need to hire a locksmith to remove the locks that are on your door and replace them with better locks. There are many different types of locks that are now available on the market. You may want to choose a lock that has a small camera built into it that will film anyone who comes up to the door. This ensures that if anyone does try to break into your home again, they will be caught on film that can be given to the police. The locksmith will not only know how to install the locks for you, but he or she will also be able to help you set them up properly, if need be. It is best to have multiple locks on your doors to create as safe of a home as possible.

Get a Home Security System

Finally, a home security system can be a great way to keep your home safe and secure at all times. Home security systems are now very affordable and will give you peace of mind that your home is secure, even when you are away from it. Be sure to consider if you want a security system that includes video cameras or one that simply alerts authorities if any suspicious activity occurs within the home when the alarm is activated.

There will always be criminals breaking into homes so securing yours as well as you can is important. Being able to restore the peace of mind that you lost will take time, but accomplishing these three steps will make you feel safer right away.

Selling Your Home? 4 Tips For Staging Your Bathroom

When selling your home, you’ll be taking the time to stage your house so that it is shown in the best way possible. While you have many options for rearranging furniture in other rooms, you may not think there is much that can be done with a bathroom. These tips will help you stage a bathroom so that it is looking its best.

Perform A Deep Cleaning

The cleanliness of your home is a reflection on how you have taken care of it. That’s why it’s so important to spend time giving the bathroom a deep cleaning prior to any showing or open house. This even means cleaning between the vents on your bathroom exhaust fan, which is most likely filthy from years of neglect.

Pay attention to areas where you have potential mold growth. You may not be able to clean the white caulk around a shower door, so you will be better off replacing it completely so it looks its best to a potential buyer.

Brighten Up The Room

You should replace the light bulbs with the brightest wattage bulbs that your fixture allows. Bathrooms may not get the most natural light, especially if you have frosted windows, so adding more light in this way can be key to making it not seem dark and gloomy. It also helps to install more mirrors that will reflect light around your bathroom.

Remove Your Personal Items

Potential buyers will be going through your cabinets and drawers to see the storage you have in your bathroom. You should take time to remove all your personal items from the bathroom. Not only will it remove that bit of personalization that can be off-putting to a buyer, but it will also make the space look clean and roomy. For example, removing prescription bottles from a medicine cabinet will make it look like you are not running out of space. Just put everything away in a closet, and put them back when the showing is over.

Decorate Using Towels

Remember all those decorative towels that you have stashed away that are supposed to look nice and never be used? Now is the time to get them out of storage. Placing these nice-looking towels in the places where your every day towels typically go is a great way to decorate a bathroom with the limited options that you have.

For more bathroom staging tips, speak with your agent.

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The Importance Of Contingencies In A Home Sale

For new homes buyers and sellers, one important item to think about is contingencies. Contingencies are requests made by the buyer in order to finalize the sale. The following are some things you should know about contingencies before purchasing or selling a house:

Contingencies Defined

A contingency is the aspect of a home sale contract that protects buyers and sellers of home from different issues that could cause a contract to fail. They can often provide the buyer or seller a way to exit the contract if specific conditions are not met by a certain deadline.

Different Types of Contingencies

There are a variety of contingencies that can be added to a home sale contract. The following are among the most commonly seen in many home purchases:

Finance Contingency- This contingency says that the purchaser of the house will have a guaranteed way to finance the sale. A finance contingency is a crucial aspect to a sales contract. If the purchaser does not have a solidified method of paying for the house, many man-hours will be wasted on the sale. Not only will a pre-approval be necessary, but proof of an approved loan may also be required before the sale can move ahead. Additional financial contingencies can be added, such as a cash offer, down payment contingencies, and any other method that can provide proof that the buyer can pay for the house.

Insurance Contingency- This is not always a requirement but they are becoming increasingly popular. For homes that can be hard to insure, this can make the buying of the home more difficult. A homebuyer can create a contract that is contingent on the ability to properly insure the house. Homes that have endured major issues, such as flooding or mold infestation can be hard to insure unless specific and expansive repairs are made and can be proven.

Escrow Contingency- Escrow is the amount of time between the start of the sale and the end. This type of contingency will be necessary if the seller of the house needs a set amount of time to leave the property.

If you are going to be dealing in a home sales transaction, be sure to get all of your contingencies in writing. This can be a problem for those who are buying and selling from friends and relatives. While you want to have faith that the acquaintance will make good on their word regarding contingencies, it can leave you with a halted sale if someone tries to take advantage of you. Work carefully with your realtor and attorney to ensure that nothing will bar the sales process.

3 Ways To Get Rid Of Bad Odors In Your Home When Putting It Up For Sale

One thing that can really turn off potential buyers who look at your home for sale is bad odors. When people walk in, they will notice bad odors instantly, and this can be a big factor that plays a role in what they think of your home. It can be hard to tell if your house stinks when you live there, simply because you can get used to the smell of your own house, but you could ask other people what they think. If you believe your house contains bad odors, here are some tips to help you eliminate the smells so potential buyers do not get distracted by them.

Replace Your Carpet

If you have carpeting in your home, the bad odors might be coming from your carpet. Cleaning carpet is one way to freshen up the smell of a house, but this method does not always completely eliminate the bad smells in a house. It might take ripping out your old carpeting and replacing it. If the bad odors are due to pet accidents, you might also need to clean the wood floor underneath your carpet before putting new carpet in. If you do not do this, the bad odors could work their way back into your house.

Clean Your Ductwork

Another source of odors in a home can be from the ductwork. Ductwork is used to transfer cooled and heated air throughout a house, and these air ducts can contain contaminants that are causing your home to smell bad. If you hire an HVAC company, they can clean these for you, and they may also be able to sanitize them with chemicals that will help get rid of any odors that are trapped inside.

Clean All The Floors And Upholstery In Your Home

The other thing you can do is really deep clean your house. Scrubbing the floors with a cleaner that contains bleach can help with any trapped odors on floors, but you should use caution because certain floors might not react well with bleach.

In addition, you should clean all the furniture in your home, and you should clean all the curtains and anything else that is made of fabric. Upholstered items lock in smells, and the only way to get rid of the smells is through cleaning them.

If you want to sell your house quickly, you may need to find a way to get rid of the bad smells you have trapped inside your home. If you would like to learn more about selling your home quickly, contact a real estate agent like one from Central Virginia Realty.  

Are You A Meticulous Cleaner? 3 Features To Look At When Buying A Home

Whether you live in an apartment, condo, or single-family home, you should keep the place clean. Sometimes this only involves cleaning the interior, but it can also include exterior cleaning. In an apartment, these tasks are typically minimal, so it is easy to handle as someone who is a meticulous cleaner. Becoming a homeowner can have quite the impact because of the increased load of cleaning. So, it is best to look at features that will ensure you have an easier time maintaining a spotless home.


The kitchen countertops will likely receive a great deal of wear and tear over time, especially when you cook most of your meals at home and from scratch. It is crucial to prioritize kitchen countertops that are not going to cause you a lot of trouble in regard to cleaning and keeping it from being a germ hazard. Polished granite and concrete are two countertop materials that you can rely on for ease of cleaning.


The flooring in your home can have a substantial impact on how much time you spend with floor care. The areas that are most susceptible to problems include the kitchen and bathrooms, so you should prioritize the type of flooring in these rooms compared to the rest of the home. Some all-around winners are linoleum and ceramic tile, which gives you an inexpensive and luxurious option to choose from.

For the rest of the home, you should at least try to stay away from carpeting. Tile, hardwood, concrete, or laminate are all easier to maintain. Carpet requires vacuuming and deodorizing, and you have to be very careful of children, pets, and your own accidents as liquid spills and stains are common issues.


To keep your home clean, you can either work hard or work smarter. Working hard could include taking on any home, regardless of its cleanliness levels and keeping it hygienic through sheer effort alone. The windows may not seem that related, but they play a huge role in your home’s sanitation. Old and drafty windows are naturally going to let dust and other particles into the home. Even with new windows, some types are most likely to have air leakage, which is all the space dust needs to get inside. The smart way to work is to look for windows known for minimal leakage in awning, hopper, and casement style.

When looking at homes, knowing what will allow for easy cleaning can ensure a happy ending.

Ditching The Dorms — The Pros And Cons Of Buying A House For Your College Student

For some parents, buying a house near the university for their child to live in for the duration is a good alternative to paying for a dorm. But is it right for you? Here are 3 pros and 3 cons to help you decide.


Stability. Buying a house means that your college student will have a permanent and stable place to live for the duration of schooling. This can be a good way to help him or her succeed by choosing the location and lifestyle that fits them best. There will also be plenty of storage and space to work. 

Fixed Expenses. College housing, rent, food plans and other expenses can change markedly from year to year. But with a purchased home, you won’t have to worry about that. A fixed rate mortgage means that you can know how to budget for living expenses much more easily. 

Investment. The house itself can be a good investment for some families. After you’re done with college needs, it can become a rental investment property and provide additional income or a tax break (if there’s a loss) against your other income. If the house is in a growing area, depreciation (even after just a few years) can also help you recoup a lot of your costs. 


Home Ownership Costs. Obviously, owing a home comes with some expenses that renting doesn’t. Be prepared to pay for things like property taxes, insurance, repairs and maintenance. Some experts recommend putting aside between 3.6% and 4.5% annually for maintenance and repairs, so factor this in when crunching the numbers. 

Responsibility. Not all college students are ready to take care of a house. If you live far away, the student may need to stay on top of things like maintenance and minor repairs. And if you decide to rent out any additional rooms in the home to help pay the mortgage, the student may also need to help act as a landlord. So, be sure that your young adult is ready to be the “go-to” person on the ground. 

Change of Plans. If your son or daughter decides to make a change in schools or plans during those 4 or 8 years, you may wind up having to unexpectedly sell the home. This can mean increased depreciation, an unpredictable real estate market and extra selling expenses. 

If you determine if buying a college area house is the right call for your family, it’s best to work with a local, qualified real estate agent with experience in the university area market. This way, you can not only find a good house for your child to live in but also the best investment to let your money work for you. 

Contact a business, such as Charles L Moles Real Estate Services, for more information.   

3 Reasons To Rent A Mobile Home

Renting a mobile home is an option that is often overlooked by many people that are looking to rent a new home, which is a shame as there are some benefits provided by a mobile home rental that apartment rentals simply cannot match. Listed below are three reasons to consider renting a mobile home.


One of the biggest inconveniences about renting an apartment is that you will not really have much outdoor space aside from a balcony or patio, and some apartments don’t even offer those amenities. The lack of private outdoor space can also be a bit of a problem if you have dogs and want to be able to play with them or let them outside to relieve themselves without having to worry about them running off or other dogs rushing them. 

However, most mobile home rentals will be sitting on a plot within a mobile home park that will typically have a yard of some kind. Depending on the park, these yards can range from relatively small plots to larger yards that would not be out of place for a small to a mid-sized house.


Another reason to consider renting a mobile home is that it will often be one of the most cost-effective rental properties that you can live in. The main reason for this is that the owners of these mobile homes will charge less per month for rent than an apartment because the mobile homes themselves will typically cost only a fraction of the price of a house, with the average sales price of $37,100 to $73,600. Due to this low purchase cost, many mobile home owner will charge you less than the cost of an apartment to rent the mobile home.


Finally, you should consider renting a mobile home if you want more space for your family than many apartments can provide. There are mobile home options available that have large floorplans that can easily accommodate large families comfortably. In fact, it is not uncommon to find mobile homes available that have substantially more square footage than the average apartment.

Contact your local real estate agent or office today in order to get assistance with finding mobile homes to rent in your area. Renting a mobile home is a great option that can provide you with a rental that has a yard while also being both less expensive and larger than an apartment. Visit for more information. 

How To Get The Most Money For Your Mineral Rights

If you own land, you could be sitting on a gold-mine. Actually, you may have valuable minerals, oil, and natural gas on your property that could be making you significant money. Selling mineral rights basically involves handing someone else access to your property to dig, excavate, and remove valuable minerals and commodities based on the terms of the agreement with you, the land owner.

Some ways to negotiate the right price for your property mineral rights include:

Have your documentation in order. Before you begin to negotiate with companies looking to buy the mineral rights of your property, make sure that you have all of your documentation together. Buyers will want proof of ownership, copies of surveys, and any information related to the property that you might have available. This will pique buyers’ interest and lead to a higher bid for the rights.

Don’t jump at the first offer. Take time to carefully consider all options before accepting a bid or offer. Many buyers will try to pressure you into accepting their offer, and you may feel like you will miss an opportunity if you wait. The truth is, you should not accept the first offer that you receive unless you have done your homework and feel that it is a fair bid for the rights. Don’t hurry into a deal that ends up costing you lost revenues later on.

Plan on it taking a while. Selling the rights to your property takes time, and it will require evaluation by potential buyers, which can a lengthy process. Liken selling mineral rights to purchasing a new home; it doesn’t happen overnight. 

Don’t give others the chance to flip. Avoid giving away potential revenue by signing option agreements. This typically gives buyers the opportunity to sell your rights, which may put money in their pocket that should be in yours. Read the agreement carefully, and don’t be afraid to renegotiate the deal before signing a contract.

Consult with an industry expert first. Working with an industry expert in the field can help you with selling your mineral rights and that could increase the price that you receive. Even if you want to sell the rights independently, consult with an industry expert to uncover what you may expect to garner from your property.

Take time to assess your property and talk with an expert regarding mineral rights. Don’t expect to make money overnight; it could take a while to determine the best arrangement for you and the potential buyer. Use these strategies to garner the best price possible when you do decide to make money off of your property’s mineral rights.

To sell mineral royalties, contact a company such as Appalachian Mineral Partners.

Financing Options For Those Serving In The National Guard

If you’re a drilling member of the National Guard, you enjoy some military benefits like low-cost health insurance and military discounts on and off post. When you’re looking to buy your first home, your military background can also give you an advantage. If you are an active member of the Guard, here are some financing options you should look into. 

1. The VA loan.

VA real estate financing is available for qualifying military members. These loans have a lot of advantages. For one thing, you don’t need any down payment at all to get 100% financing on a home in your price range. Also, mortgage insurance (usually applied to those who don’t have strong down payments) is often waived by the lender. As an added bonus, you can get VA loans over and over again — it’s not limited to a one-time home purchase. Since you’re not in active duty service, you might wonder if you qualify. You’ll be excited to know that many members of the National Guard actually do qualify for VA financing with approved lenders.

You will be eligible if you have served at least 6 years in the Guard. If you have been discharged, it must be honorable. Sometimes your Guard unit is called up for a deployment, placing you in temporary active duty service. If this is the case, you will be eligible for a loan after completing one deployment, even if you haven’t served six full years in active reserve or select reserve. 

2. The conventional loan.

If you haven’t yet acquired six years of service but still need to buy a home, take heart. There are still some good options for you that cater to your military service. Some lenders, like USAA (a bank that directly serves the needs of service members) will offer conventional loans for service members at competitive interest rates and with very little (5%) down. If you have excellent credit, negotiating a mortgage with lenders who are experienced with service members can also help waive or absorb the mortgage insurance that you would normally pay with a low down payment. 

3. Other Loans

If you are not able to be approved for a conventional loan, you can look into other options. Because you’re in the guard, you have more freedom to move around to different areas in your state and choose a more rural setting. Choosing a rural area to buy will help you qualify for a USDA loan. The USDA has a program in place to help promote the development of less-populated areas by offering guaranteed, low interest loans to low-income families. FHA loans are another good option if you don’t have much for down payment funds.