Lisa Westerman - ReMax Professional Associates



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Staging is a marketing tool, not an exercise in decorating for living comfort. Professional real estate stagers should be a member of your team when you want to sell your home quickly and for top dollar.

Even if you have a go-getter real estate agent and your home is in a great neighborhood, consider staging as a way to enhance value and prompt an acceptable offer in the least amount of time. Your stager will target the "right" buyer, based on price, features and demographics, to achieve results.

Planting a "Buy Idea"

Contrary to the popular notion of staging, it does not involve an effort to "sell," but rather encourages the  buyer to envision living in a particular home. Savvy buyers will already have determined that a specific property is within their budget, that it has the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and that the location is a desirable option. Staging will reinforce the notion that the "good life" can become reality in that house.

Focusing on "Best" Features

A professional stager will not attempt to highlight every feature of the home. The purpose is to provide a prospective buyer with a memorable impression that distinguishes a particular property from all others. Your stager will discuss with you the best ways to create a lasting impression, but be prepared to remove overly personal accessories for the duration of the home's time on the market.

Minimizing Awkwardness

No home is perfect. Whether it's a matter of perception or personal preference, most houses have at least one space that can seem difficult. A professional stager might disguise a perceived fault, or may suggest a remedy. Common requests include repainting a room, clearing kitchen and bath clutter, or pulling weeds and placing pots full of colorful flowers near the front door to boost curb appeal.

Maximizing Existing Space

Your stager might want to remove or rearrange furniture, or ask you to pack up and store out-of-season clothing, books, sports equipment and toys. Understand that once the home sells, you will have to begin packing anyway, and spacious interiors are a selling tool. Let prospective buyers get a sense of possibilities as they walk through your home!

Magnifying Value

Assuming that your home is clean, well-maintained and reasonably priced, professional staging is the best way to provoke the emotional reaction that will prompt a prospective buyer to submit an offer. Staged homes typically sell faster and at higher prices than comparable unstaged property. The higher selling price will undoubtedly pay the fee!


If you plan to sell your house, there may be certain items that you want to bring to your new residence. However, various items may prove to be too big, too heavy or too expensive to transport to your new address. But if you leave these items behind, you may be able to make your house more attractive to dozens of potential buyers.

Ultimately, there are many high-quality items that home sellers may choose to leave behind for buyers, such as:

1. Refrigerator

Although your refrigerator has served you well for many years, transporting this kitchen appliance to your new house could prove to be difficult. Fortunately, a buyer may appreciate the fact that you're willing to provide him or her with a top-notch refrigerator as part of a home sale.

For a home seller who intends to leave his or her refrigerator behind, it is important to take some time to clean the appliance. That way, a homebuyer will be able to use the refrigerator as soon as he or she finalizes a home acquisition.

Also, scrub down the refrigerator's shelves, wipe down the appliance's exterior and remove any foods and beverages from the refrigerator prior to moving day.

2. Washer and Dryer

A washer and dryer may cost a homeowner hundreds or thousands of dollars to purchase and install. Luckily, a home seller who includes a washer and dryer in a home sale can make it easy for a buyer to avoid the hassle of finding, buying and installing these appliances.

Ensure that your washer and dryer are working properly before moving day arrives. Remove any dust and debris from the dryer's lint trap, and wipe down the exterior of both the washer and dryer.

3. Furniture

If you own stunning outdoor patio chairs, a deluxe dining room table and chairs or other first-rate home furniture, you may want to include these items in your home sale. By doing so, you can help a buyer furnish his or her home in no time at all.

Selling a home can be challenging, even if you intend to leave behind assorted high-end items for a buyer. Thankfully, real estate agents are available to help simplify the process of selling a residence in any housing market, at any time.

A real estate agent understands that you want to enjoy a quick, profitable home selling experience. To accomplish this goal, a real estate agent will learn about your residence and explore ways to promote it to the right groups of buyers.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will offer expert guidance at each stage of the home selling journey. He or she will set up home showings and open house events, keep you up to date about offers on your residence and help you get ready for a home closing. And if you ever have home selling concerns, a real estate agent will immediately respond to them.

Consult with a real estate agent today, and you can move one step closer to selling your house.


If this is your first home sale, you might be wondering about what your requirements are in terms of home inspections. A vital step in the closing process, professional home inspections are typically included in real estate contracts as a contingency (the sale is dependent upon their completion).

But, are there any situations in which a seller would get a home inspection?

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about why sellers might want to get their home inspection and how it could be useful to the home sale process overall.

To diagnose problems with your home

When you’re deciding on the asking price of your home, you’ll want to take into account all of the things that could potentially drive that price down. Inspectors will look for a number of issues in your home, which can save you from any surprises when a potential buyer orders their inspection of your home.

The further along in the home sale process when you discover an expensive repair that needs to be made, the more complicated it makes your home sale.

So, if you’re in any doubt about whether your home will need repairs now or in the near future, ordering an inspection could be a safe option.

What do inspectors look for?

When inspecting your home, a licensed professional will look at several things:

  • Exterior components of your home, such as cracks or broken seals on exterior surfaces, garage door function and safety, and so on.

  • The structural integrity of your home; checking your foundation for dangerous cracks where moisture can enter and cause damage in the form of mold or breaks in the foundation.

  • The roof of your home will be checked for things like broken or loose shingles or nearby tree branches that could damage your home or nearby power lines in a storm.

  • The HVAC system will be tested to make sure it’s running properly and efficiently and also that vents are clean and clear of debris.

  • Interior components of your home will be checked for safety and damage from things like pests and water damage.

Will the seller still order an inspection if my home just had one?

An inspection contingency is built into almost all real estate contracts to protect the interests of the buyer and seller alike.

In most circumstances, a buyer will want to get their own inspection performed. After all, they don’t know who you went to for an inspection and whether they were licensed in your state.

The bottom line

Ultimately, if you’re planning on selling your home in the near future and aren’t sure if your home may have any underlying issues, it’s usually a good idea to get an inspection to make sure you can plan for any repairs or inform potential buyers of any issues with your home.


After you receive an offer to purchase your house, you likely have only a short period of time to make your decision. Ultimately, determining whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuyer's proposal can be tricky. But if you plan ahead, you should have no trouble performing a comprehensive analysis of a buyer's offer, regardless of how much time is available.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you review a homebuying proposal.

1. Weigh the Pros and Cons

Creating a pros-cons list may prove to be ideal, particularly for a seller who is struggling to decide how to proceed with an offer. With this list in hand, you can evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of accepting a proposal and determine the best course of action.

Furthermore, it may be beneficial to assess your homebuying goals relative to an offer. If you goal is to maximize your profits, for example, you may want to accept an offer only if it matches or exceeds your house's initial asking price. Or, if your goal is to move out of your current residence as soon as possible, you may be willing to accept a proposal, even if it falls short of your home's initial asking price.

2. Assess the Housing Market

Housing market data is readily available that may help you make the best-possible decision about a home offer. If you analyze this information closely, you may be better equipped than ever before to decide whether a buyer's proposal is "fair" based on the current real estate market's conditions.

Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a home appraisal before you list your residence as well. Following a home appraisal, you'll receive a property valuation that may help you price your residence and evaluate home offers down the line.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

There is no need to examine a home offer on your own. Instead, collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can receive expert recommendations as you assess a homebuying proposal.

A real estate agent is happy to work with you at each stage of the home selling process. This housing market professional will make it simple for you to list your house and promote it to the right groups of buyers. Next, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events to showcase your residence. And once you receive an offer on your house, a real estate agent will allocate the necessary time and resources to help you make an informed decision.

Lastly, if the first home offer that you receive fails to impress, there is no need to worry. You should not feel pressure to accept the initial offer on your house. In fact, you can always counter this proposal to set the stage for negotiations with a buyer, which could increase the likelihood of a successful home sale.

Get ready to review a homebuying proposal – use the aforementioned tips, and you can fully assess any offer that you receive.


Ready to sell your condo? As a first-time condo seller, it sometimes can be tough to streamline the process of finding interested property buyers and getting the best price for your residence.

Fortunately, we're here to help you simplify the process of selling your condo.

Here are three tips that every first-time condo seller needs to know.

1. Check Out the Prices of Comparable Condos

When you price your condo, it is important to set realistic expectations from the get-go. And if you ask too much for your property, it may linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time.

On the other hand, an informed condo seller will have real estate market data that he or she can use to gain an advantage over the competition.

How does your condo stack up against similar properties? Perform an in-depth assessment of the competition, and you'll be able to price your condo accordingly.

Check out the prices of recently sold and currently available condos. By doing so, you can better understand how to price your condo competitively.

Also, spend some time performing assorted condo interior and exterior repairs before you add your property to the real estate market. This will allow you to boost your condo's appearance both inside and out and make your property an appealing choice to condo buyers.

2. Conduct a Property Appraisal

Hire a property appraiser to inspect your condo. That way, you can receive expert insights into your condo's strengths and weaknesses.

During a condo evaluation, a property appraiser will review all aspects of a property. He or she then will provide you with an in-depth report that you can use to understand potential problem areas with your condo.

A property appraisal is a valuable learning opportunity, and you should try to make the most of it.

Choose a property appraiser with condo experience. This professional will be able to take a close look at your condo and help you prioritize potential repairs.

In addition, review a property appraiser's findings closely. This information will help you determine the best ways to enhance your condo and ensure it can stand out from the competition.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to selling your condo, it is always a good idea to work with a real estate agent.

Hiring a real estate agent with condo experience is a must, particularly for a first-time condo seller. This real estate professional will teach you about the ins and outs of the housing market and help you promote your condo to the right groups of property buyers.

A real estate agent will set up condo showings and open houses and negotiate with condo buyers on your behalf. Plus, he or she will offer honest, unbiased condo selling recommendations to help you get the best price for your property.

Don't leave anything to chance as you get ready to sell your condo. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can accelerate the process of selling your condo.