Home prices are continuing to rise across most of the nation. This has created concern in some pundits that a housing bubble, like we saw ten years ago, is forming again. We want to explain why these concerns are unfounded.
The current increase in home values can be easily explained by the theory of supply and demand. Right now, the number of families looking to purchase a home is greater than the supply of homes on the market.
Here is a chart that explains how the months’ supply of housing inventory impacts home values:
According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, there is currently a four-month supply of inventory. That puts us in the blue section of the above graphic. Home prices should be appreciating.
The difference in 2006…
A decade ago, the demand for housing was artificially boosted by lending standards that were far too lenient. Today, the strength of the demand for housing is legitimate, as lending standards are nowhere near what they were a decade ago.
For proof of this, let’s look at a graph of the Mortgage Bankers’ Association’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index:
The higher the number, the easier it was to get a mortgage. We can see that from June 2005 to June 2007, mortgage standards were much more lenient than they have been over the last nine years.
Today’s price increases, unlike those a decade ago, are the result of qualified buyer demand exceeding the current inventory of homes available for sale. Once the supply increases, prices will level out.
It’s being called the HGTV effect; today’s buyers have high expectations. They want to walk in and have everything perfect. Here are 10 top staging tips sellers can and should do to appeal to today’s buyers.
Get Rid of the Clutter
After cleaning everything to sparkle (I mean everything and really sparkle) the next most important thing to do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. A good everyday rule to try is for every new item that comes in, an old one has to leave. The biggest contributor to a cluttered look is having too much furniture. When professional stagers prepare a home to go on the market, they often whisk away as much as half the owner’s furnishings, and the house looks much bigger. You may not need to take away any furniture, but stand back and take a good hard look at what you have and ask yourself “what can I live without?” Less is always better.
Arrange the Furniture
Many people feel a room feels larger and is easier to use if all the furniture is pushed against the walls, but that isn’t necessarily true. Reposition sofas and chairs into cozy conversational groups by floating them away from walls can make a space more user-friendly and it will make the room seem larger and many times contributes to the flow of the space.
Ambience of Lighting
Many homes are improperly lighted. Great lighting can make a home look warm and inviting. Increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures for a total of 100 watts per 50 square feet. Don’t have just one or two fixtures per room either. There are three types of lighting: ambient (general or overhead), task (pendant, under-cabinet or reading) and accent (table and wall). All three can be in one room depending on the room.
Make It Bigger
A way to make a room look bigger than it is, is paint it the same color as the adjacent room. If you have a small kitchen and dining room, painting them the same color will make both rooms feel like one big space. One designer suggests; make a sun porch look bigger and more inviting by painting it green to reflect the color of nature. Another design trick: If you want to create the illusion of more space, paint the walls the same color as your drapery. It will give you a seamless and sophisticated look.
Paint it Neutral
A fresh neutral color helps tone down any dated finishes in the space. I suggest testing a quart of paint in a warm, neutral hue on your wall before your final decision. With so many new colors out now, the definition of neutral extends way beyond beige, from warm tans and honeys to soft blue-greens. Careful with beige as it can easily look pink. Colors take on different hues depending on lighting and even the floor color. Testing is always best. No bold wall colors, they have a way of reducing offers, stay with neutrals especially in large spaces.
Arranging the right accessories can make a room more inviting. For eye-pleasing accessorizing, odd numbers are best, especially three. Rather than lining up accessories in a row, imagine a triangle and place one object at each point. Size is important too, so in your group of three be sure to vary height and width, with the largest item at the back and the smallest in front. For maximum effect, group by color, shape, texture or some other unifying element.
Vary Wall Hangings
This is from an article I read recently, and it’s so true: If your home is like most, the art is hung in a line encircling each room. Big mistake. Placing your pictures, paintings and prints in such stereotypical spots can render them almost invisible. Art displayed creatively makes it stand out and shows off your space. So break up that line and vary the patterning and grouping.
Bedrooms should look relaxing and luxurious. Nice linens in soft colors are pleasing and inviting. A staging trick for a bedroom without a bed: just buy or borrow a frame and an inexpensive air mattress and dress it up with neutral-patterned bedding. Remember to de-clutter the bedroom too, especially your closets. You’re showing off your storage space, which sells houses – it always ranks high on buyers’ priority list.
If you can’t afford new cabinets, just get new doors and drawer fronts. Then paint everything to match and add new hardware.
Accessorizing the bathroom is important too. Clear counter tops of all toiletries. Clear out cabinets to look spacious. Rolled-up towels, decorative baskets and candles are an easy way to create a polished look, and it doesn’t cost much to do.
If you live in the Frisco or the surrounding area and are ready to get your home on the market this spring call Jan Atkinson, 214-477-5737. She can help you get it sold fast!