Thursday, June 30, 2011

Real Estate Tips: Home Staging

One of the most important elements of buying a home is imagining yourself and your stuff in it. The best way for sellers to help their prospective buyers have a good first impression and easily visualize themselves living there is setting up the home is staging. Home staging is the practice of setting up your home so it is aesthetically pleasing to buyers.

Looking at an article in the Realty Times, they brought up the best secrets to staging. Maybe you can try and apply these tips in your home:

1. Declutter

The first and sometimes hardest part of subjectively looking at your home is removing clutter. After years or months of accumulating possessions, we sometimes slip on clearing all the extra things in our homes. Bottom line cutter is distracting and it gives the illusion the home does not have enough storage. Clear the extra knick knacks and furnishings in your home by putting in a better location or storage.

2. Cleaning

After clearing away clutter, the next most important step is thorough cleaning. The prospective buyers and agents can get a bad impression when a home is not cleaned. They assume it is also not maintained regularly. Before any showings make sure your property is clean and ready to invite people in.

3. Repairs

Make sure all the little projects you have left undone get repaired and fixed up. These projects may scare off potential buyers. Loose knobs on handles, touch-up paint, and other seemingly harmless repairs may tell the buyers that more has been neglected.

4. Neutral Décor

Neutral colors are the best choice for staging. Most buyers are paying attention to color; they may not have the same taste as you. Try and keep everything appealing to all buyers. Bright colors that do not agree with your potential buyers may start adding up in their mind as projects that need to be done and may be too overwhelming.

5. Appropriate furnishings

Make sure that the furniture is the right size for the room. Furniture that is too big for a room makes it feel smaller. The reverse is also true that small furniture makes a room feel disproportionate. Also try and use the room for its designed purpose. For instance a bedroom turned into an office may work for you but buyers may think the space is small or unusable for a bedroom. Also, dining rooms may not be necessary in your home, but not utilizing a separate dining room may turn off potential buyers.

If you are looking for some help in selling or staging your home, talk to professionals. Here in Tampa, Florida we have lots of options in staging assistance. Of our valued friends, Staging South Tampa, LLC is a great source for advice.

When it comes to getting your house sold, contact SI Real Estate. We pride ourselves in helping buyers, sellers, tenants, investors, and landlords in accomplishing their real estate goals. We can be reached at 813.631.5144 or email us at

Monday, June 27, 2011

Real Estate Tips: Buyers Agent for New Construction

Buying a new home can be very exciting, it is important that still being a savvy buyer while getting what you want in your new home. One of the most overlooked factors in a new home purchase is buyer representation. Although many builders are great and have great new homes sales consultants, as a buyer you need to have your own personal advocate and representative! Before viewing new construction homes and reviewing options, it is prudent to speak to a local agent who is familiar with the process and the area.

The prime example of real estate buyers seeking to go it alone is on new construction. Builders make it so convenient and easy to walk into a new community and get set up for your new home. Why would anyone consider having a buyer’s agent with them when viewing new construction? The following represent a few examples of your benefits:

Free Representation

The most important factor for any buyer having a designated agent is representation. This professional is your expert in the marketplace working to help you achieve your goals with having your best interest at heart. For most buyers this is completely free to you. Builders, all sellers, designate a commission right into their sales price; they do not negotiate that price down for new buyers who do not have a buyer’s agent. Would it bring you more comfort having someone in your corner at showings, contract negotiations, incentives from seller to buyer, final walk-thru and closing? I think so! Please be a savvy buyer and contact a buyer’s agent who is familiar with the area and procedures of new construction.

Increased Negotiation

The base price on newly constructed home is one the builders are not going to negotiate on, however most builders are willing to make some upgrades or changes to suit the new homeowner. Here at SI Real Estate our experience has shown us that you can get more by having an experienced agent at your side:

Our of our agents, Katie Crider, was able to negotiate all new flooring on a move-in ready home. They actually pulled up already installed carpet and laid down tile throughout the floor. Another client had all new fans and light fixtures added for no additional cost.

The key is having an agent familiar with what a builder is willing to negotiate on and have them negotiate the contract with you. Our Broker, Nibal Elsaadi, also has had great success with new construction lately. Buyers want to have modern and guaranteed homes. You cannot beat walking into a new home and giving the client exactly what they are looking for. Nibal was able to get one client over $22,000 worth of upgrades for just cost to the builder. It is also very common that he negotiates in closing costs, HOA fees for the first six months, or full appliance packages.

If you are exploring the idea of purchasing any home, again you should have a buyer’s agent! If you are looking to start looking into whether you can afford to purchase a home or have already been prequalified, please contact one of our agents at SI Real Estate. We can be reached at 813.631.5144 or email us at We understand the importance of integrity, hard work, and maintaining clients’ satisfaction.