Livingston's Local Experts

Staging To Sell

What are your perceptions of staging?

  • Staging is not decorating, interior design or redesign.
  • Decorate: Make something more attractive by adding nonfunctional elements to it; to apply paint, wallpaper, and other accessories to a room or house.
  • Interior design: Personalizing to change the property to reflect the owner’s personality; to change or modify something showing that obviously is from or belongs to a particular person.
  • Redesign: To change or redesign the aesthetic appearance of a house or room utilizing what they already have.

Most homeowners have enjoyed their home. They have personalized it and put their mark on it. And while they are living there, that’s great. However, personalizing can destroy a sale when they put the house on the market. Staging is depersonalizing the home. Depersonalize means: To take away or omit personal qualities of something. The personal qualities of the home are omitted or adjusted to neutrally suit a variety of tastes and preferences.


Staging- Appealing to the buyer’s senses

By preparing your property ahead of time, you are taking the necessary measures to ensure the buyer is guaranteed a positive first impression. The goal is to have all five senses appealed to in order to create desire versus need. We must provide the WOW factor upon entry of the property.


  • Utilize as much natural light as possible… open the curtain
  • Remove all forms of clutter (including personal collections)
  • Trim shrubs and trees, edge lawn, plant flowers


  • Wall and floor textures
  • Cleanliness
  • “Nothing Brown”


  • The home should smell fresh and clean
  • Confront smoking issues
  • Animal smells should be eliminated
  • Laundry should not be present
  • Mold and mildew should be done away with
  • Cooking smells should be cleared
  • Diaper containers emptied
  • Open Windows (20-30 minutes a day to free odors)
  • Fresh flowers are a nice touch


  • Set out individually wrapped candies for prospective buyers and their agents
  • Host a wine and cheese party both before and after the staging process


  • Soft classical music ~ Low volume on each level of the house
  • Be aware of exterior traffic, animal sounds
  • Our Dream Home – Mary O’NeilFirst Impressions


First impressions are vital in the process of staging and selling a home. It only takes 15 seconds for a buyer to develop an opinion of the property. It is critical to achieve the first impression for a successful sale.

Properly preparing a home allows potential buyers the “WOW” emotion as they visualize living in the home. Pay attention to small details. Scan the room from top to bottom. Be aware of your entire surroundings. A potential buyer spends on 2-6 minutes on viewing a home unless you provide a lasting first impression.

Homes should be ready for a viewing within 15 minutes time at any time of the day on any given day of the week.

  • Curb appeal/landscaping
  • Doorways – free of clutter (shoes, etc.)
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Investments for Home

Best Financial Investments for Your Home

Over the last couple of years, rehabbing TV shows have become increasingly popular. In these shows, people fix or introduce new features to their homes while adding substantial market value to the house in the process. If you own a home, you can make many of these types of fixes or additions to increase the value of your home, too. You can also enjoy these changes for as long as you live there. Some of the best financial investments you can make to your home include:

Major Problem Fixes

The first high-return investment you should make in your home is to correct all major problems. If your home has serious issues, such as a broken air conditioner or a pipe leak, fixing those issues should be priority No. 1. Repairing or replacing the roof and siding can be a great investment, and potential buyers will generally factor in both the time and cost of having to fix it. Problems like these are always easier to fix when they’re small than later after having put them off.

Exterior Improvements

Investing in the facade of a home can also bring great returns. Replacing garage doors is one of these investments. If your garage door looks new, your house will look new, as well. Painting the outside of your home is another good investment in the exterior. If you don’t want to take the time and money to fully repaint your home, pressure-washing can be a quick way to make the outside of your home look much more presentable.

Entryway Improvements

Another good investment is to invest in a new entryway door. Like the garage door, the front door is important in making a good first impression on a potential buyer. Replacing your front door with a steel door can also make your home safer; increasing the safety of your home can be another great selling point for a potential buyer. Replacing windows is another way to make the outside of your home look better, as well as improve the home’s energy efficiency.

Fixes and additions to the inside of your home can be a great financial investment. A fresh coat of paint to the interior can add value by making the home look cleaner and brighter.

Update Bathroom, Kitchen and Appliances

Improving your home’s bathroom, particularly visible elements such as vanities, lighting, toilets and tubs, can create a high return. For bathroom improvements, you may obtain a better return on investment by spending your money on items in the bathroom that a potential buyer would see, instead of completely gutting the bathroom.

Kitchen remodels can be another way to significantly improve the value of your home. For kitchen remodels, you’ll want to spend money on functional items such as cabinets, drawers, pantry doors and appliances. Appliances such as refrigerators don’t have to be completely new, but they should keep up with current trends. Kitchen remodels should also suit the home. A kitchen that looks like it belongs in a $300,000 home will feel out of place in a $150,000 home.

Adding high-efficiency appliances to a home can modernize it and also save you money on electricity. Some states and cities have tax programs that could reduce your taxes if you buy and use high-efficiency appliances that require less electricity.

Overall, you should research the investment potential of your home before making any purchase. If you are trying to increase the value of your home, you need to make sure your fix or addition will increase the value of the home not only for you, but also to potential buyers.

This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of RISMedia.

Posted on Nov 22 2017 –  RisMedia Housecall, By Craig Middleton

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FSBOs Sell for Less

Study: FSBOs Net ‘Significantly’ Lower Profits

The study examined the price differences between homes sold through traditional agents versus those sold by FSBOs from 2016 to the first half of 2017.

Some homeowners may be tempted to try to avoid commission costs to a broker and try to sell the home on their own. But that can backfire and turn into a much lower sales price, the study found.

Even successful FSBO sellers achieve prices “significantly below” those from similar properties sold more traditionally via REALTORS®, the study found.

The authors found that the differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales is “remarkably close to average commission rates.” A FSBO sale, on average, nets nearly a 6 percent lower price than an MLS sale for a similar property.

“Assuming that both buyers and sellers pay the commission, one might have expected something less than this average,” the researchers note. “It appears that many sellers are avoiding commissions while netting home prices less than they would with an agent-represented MLS sale. They are avoiding commissions at any price, even one that exceeds a commission rate.”

Source: “Saving Real Estate Commissions at Any Price,” Collateral Analytics Research (Aug. 16, 2017)

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Site Condo vs Platted Sub

The site condo is a form of development that closely resembles the more traditional form of land subdivision known as a “subdivision” or a “plat”. Although both types of development have the same basic characteristics, site condominiums are a newer form of development and are not, therefore, as familiar to homebuyers and neighbors as the more customary plats.

An important concept related to any type of site condo development is that condominiums are a form of OWNERSHIP, not a Read More

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Is New Construction Right For You?

Many homebuyers think that purchasing a brand-new home is smarter than purchasing a “used” home. A new home’s maintenance costs should be minimal; its construction materials, systems and appliances should be up-to-code and energy efficient; the floor plan and amenities should meet the needs of modern buyers; and the home should be move-in ready. A new construction home also has an emotional appeal for buyers who like the idea of living in a home that’s completely clean and potentially perfect.

What many buyers don’t realize is that new homes often have numerous hidden Read More

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Local Matters: Location Livingston

When we go looking for real estate, what are we looking for first and above all…LOCATION! Where to live is and always has been the most import financial and social decision most will ever make. It is Home.

Local Matters!

Since the beginning of time, location has always been the #1 concern for all real estate. Proximity to schools and services, distance to land fills, industrial facilities or train tracks. Access to expressways and traffic trends, etc… Read More

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Home Possible Advantage

Freddie Mac Home Possible Advantage(SM) Mortgage Makes Home Financing With a 3 Percent Downpayment Possible

New Low-Downpayment Mortgage Aims to Change the Game for Homebuyers

MCLEAN, VA–(Marketwired – Dec 8, 2014) – Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today launched Home Possible Advantage(SM), an affordable conforming, conventional mortgage with a three percent downpayment requirement designed to make responsible homeownership accessible to more first-time buyers and other qualified borrowers with limited downpayment savings. Read More

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Using A Local Expert

Top Five Reasons to Use a Livingston County REALTOR®
Our homes are the single most important investment most of us will ever make. It is not just the place we call home for our families, it encumbrances at least 35% or life’s expenditures and it is one of the single most important long-term financial decisions that we monitor and depend on. That is why selecting a local Livingston County real estate professional to assist you in making a move is so important.

Not all real estate licensees are the same. Read More

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Housing Trends

New from on our website is the Housing Trends Newsletter in co-operation with NAR.

Updated monthly and linked to all the latest up to the minutes stats around the country.

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6 Things That Turn Home Buyers Off

6 Things That Turn Home Buyers Off 
(and What Sellers Can Do To Prevent It)

We’ve talked about surprising home features buyers LOVE, and about why buyers aren’t biting on today’s market, despite it being highly affordable. But we haven’t talked much about the characteristics of sellers, listings and homes that turn buyers all the way off. Well, not until now!

Here are 6 big-time homebuyer turn-offs that make buyers cringe at the Read More

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