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Stephen Clyde

Sales Associate

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Home Staging, Explained: How Staging Will Help Sell Your House





What is home staging? Home staging is the art of strategic home improvements and makeovers, in an effort to prep your house for the real estate market. If you’re looking to sell your home, staging it the right way is essential to getting a sale sooner, rather than later. But staging isn’t just about making your home pretty for sellers to look at – it can accomplish many other things as well, from real improvements, to masking flaws, and more.


Staging for Your Home’s Faults


Have a tiny bathroom, tiny kitchen, or tiny home overall? Have a yard so lumpy that it’s not suited for anything but postmodern gardening? Staging can help mask these flaws, or even improve them properly. While high-intensity renovations that knock down walls and overturn your lawn are best left to the professionals (or at least Home & Garden TV reality shows), there are some staging elements that you can do yourself with a minimum of cost and effort.


Tiny rooms can easily be expanded with a few optical tricks. While the only thing that will truly expand a room in the footage sense is some intense construction, clearing a room of clutter and bringing in light will help make a small room seem more spacious. Remove bulky elements, and replace them with smaller, sleeker pieces. Updating hardware in your bathroom and kitchen can act to mask flaws as well as be a selling point in itself: take, for example, the trendy and stylish standing shower. Removing the tub from your bathroom already reclaims a great deal of floor space, and installing this more modern option will act as a real bonus for buyers both young and old. Other bulky elements that can be replaced are bathroom sinks (after all, how much room do you really need to wash your hands?), cabinetry, and shelving. Lawns and yards can be staged with an attractive patio and well-planned garden.


With more serious flaws, it’s a matter of proper home improvement projects, rather than trying to mask the issue with an attractive loveseat. If you’re not upfront with things like bad piping or electrical work, you might wind up saddled with a court date down the line. Take this opportunity to go through with those improvement projects you always meant to get around to, but consider leaving sensitive projects (such as the aforementioned water and electrical) to the pros.


Staging to Sell Your Home, Fast


A staged home is a home that sells faster, and for more money. As a home seller, it’s just good business sense to make your product – your house – look as attractive as possible to your consumers. Consider it from your buyers’ perspective: a buyer wants to see what your home can look like at its best, and wants to see that you’re eager to sell them a quality product. An individual who has gone to no efforts to stage won’t stand out from the pack, and a house that’s completely a blank slate – no furniture, no decoration, no nothing – will look just like any other blank building, and won’t whet your buyers’ appetite. With a staged home, you’ll wind up with more buyers lining up, and more offers rolling in, allowing you to pick and choose who you want bidding for your home.


In this sense, staging can also help your home sell for more. The housing market has steadily improved over the years, and the sellers’ market has been slowly returning. Making the effort to improve your home before you sell with updated hardware and a fresh coat of paint will satisfy your buyers more, and will have them making fewer price-lowering demands for glaring flaws. A buyer can’t complain about cramped quarters and an overgrown yard if your staging has already taken care of the problem.


Professional Home Stagers: Are They Worth the Price?


Many real estate agents offer professional staging services alongside their other duties. When you’re already working with them on the legal paperwork and marketing duties, it makes sense to ask their opinion and advice on your home’s looks. Prices vary from stager to stager, but can range from $1500-$2500. When you’re trying to sell your home at a gain, is that added expense worth it? What can they offer that you can’t handle on your own?


That price tag is for professional-level advice, and professional-level service. Not only do real estate stagers have years of experience under their belts, they also have contracts and connections to get you the best prices possible on staging elements and renovations.  They’re also knowledgeable about their location, and what buyers in the area are looking for; they can help your home stand out on the market and stand out on the street, without sticking out like a sore thumb. There’s also the simple matter of convenience: staging takes time and a keen eye, and instead of stressing yourself with the details and worrying if your personal tastes match the buying public’s, you can put your trust in a real professional to keep things running smoothly.


Even with the best canvas to start from, a well-staged home can and will sell for more, and sell faster. The expenses of staging aren’t negligible, but will be more than recouped when closing comes around. Staging your home is well worth your efforts, whether you do it yourself or hire a professional stager to do the legwork for you.


What Family Buyers Are Really Looking for in Your Home


What Family Buyers Are Really Looking for in Your Home


Selling your home is all about knowing what your target buyer’s market wants, and appealing to it. Different stripes of buyers require different approaches to best appeal to their needs and wants, and one of the most common buyer types is the family buyer. These people are interested in how your home will work for them and their loved ones, and how well the house will grow with them over the years. Check out what families will be looking for when they’re on a visit to your home.


Location, Location, Location


It’s common knowledge that real estate is all about location, when it comes to family buyers, it’s still true. Families want to know that your home is in an appropriate and convenient area for their needs: for example, is it along bus routes, or will their children have to walk or be driven? What is the quality and reputation of the local school district? Is it right next to a busy street or highway? How far is it away from local conveniences, such as grocery stores, doctor’s offices, and more fun locales such as movie theaters and malls? Family buyers have busy lives, and want to make sure that their new home’s location doesn’t make things more stressful – and want to make sure that their children have the entertainment and socialization opportunities that they deserve.


If your home is in a prime location, be sure to talk this topic up. A great location can make for a real boost to your home’s value, so it’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. However, if your home doesn’t measure up in this regard, it’s not the end of the world: it just requires a different sales pitch. More remote homes can easily be sold on their peaceful, natural surroundings, and conversely, homes located on busy streets can be sold on their proximity to local amenities. Play to the strengths of your home’s location, and don’t ever talk it down – stay positive, and your pitch will be stronger.


Space to Live, and Room to Grow


A spacious house is an easy sell for any buyer, but it’s especially important for families. More members of the household means more space needed, and if your home has extra bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, and spacious outdoor yardage, you’ll find yourself with a host of interested applicants. Having the space to begin with is a plus, but having room to expand further can be even better; especially if your buyers are considering adding to their family at any point in the future. A spacious lawn is a great feature for buyers with children, pets, or just a real passion for gardening. 


Unfortunately, not all homes can be the spacious dream houses these buyers are looking for, but you can do your part to stage your home properly to give the illusion of more space. Clear clutter from your rooms and yard: pack up personal knickknacks and decorations (you’re going to be moving soon anyway, after all), and clear your lawn of debris. Staging is essential when trying to sell any home, but is all the more important when you’re trying to sell something small. Small rooms benefit from plentiful lighting, minimal clutter, and furniture that’s suited to the size of the room. Pull that oversized couch out and replace it with a loveseat, and replace a large, heavy coffee table with a lighter, glass-topped number to give the illusion it’s taking up less space. Staging is the next best thing to a proper expansion, so instead of knocking down walls, speak to your real estate agent. They often provide staging consultation services to interested applicants.


A Home Ready to Be Lived In


The home-buying process is a tedious and stressful one, and your buyers want to make sure their new home is ready to be lived in right away. While DIY enthusiasts might be charmed by a fixer-upper, most buyers will be scared off by a house that requires a lot of work to measure up to their standards – or one that requires a lot of work to live in comfortably, period. Even a low-impact project like painting or retiling rooms can scare off families who are strapped for time, skill, or cash – home-buying takes a lot of resources from a person. They want a house that’s up to code, up to speed, and ready to give them the comfort they need to live their lives. 


Thus, it’s your duty as a seller to get your home up to speed as far as maintenance and beautification goes. Get your home professionally-inspected, especially in areas where it really counts regarding utilities and structural integrity: such as getting your basement inspected for water damage, having your electrical work tested, or getting upper rooms and attics inspected for drafts and holes.  If anything has been bothering you in your house now, it’ll start bothering your buyers too, so take the initiative to get it fixed now. These projects will not only protect you against potential lawsuits, but further beautification and improvement projects will add a few extra digits to your home’s price tag on the market. It’s a sound investment that any seller should consider.


Appealing to family buyers is a smart move as a home seller, as they make up a solid portion of the buying market. With a little work and a well thought-out sales pitch, you’ll be able to appeal to their needs in a new home, and give them the help they need to find that perfect house to grow old in. 


Is a Spec Home Right for Your Family?


Is a Spec Home Right for Your Family?

Buying a home is a stressful, exciting, and rewarding experience all rolled in one – and that’s putting it lightly. However, more and more voices in the real estate industry suggest that the conventional route of buying a new home based on blueprints and models alone isn’t always the right choice. To delve a little deeper into this topic, let’s connect with some leading experts from around the web to see if a spec home really is the best option for you and your family. 


Building a dream home is far from a simple affair. Figuring out room layouts, landscaping additions, upgrades, custom options, and a slew of other choices can lead to plenty of headaches as you wade through the development and purchasing process. But what if there was another, simpler way of finding a new home that fits your needs? 


As an alternative to the standard homebuilding process, many contractors and development groups have begun to build speculative or inventory-based homes. Colloquially known as “spec homes,” these offerings seek to meet the demand of homebuyers who simply can’t wait for several months to see a brand new home rise up from an empty lot. While some might see this proposition as risky for all parties involved, the spec home market has plenty to offer for those who are both willing to explore non-conventional options and able to fit their needs to these selections.   

Breaking down the “Spec Home” Concept

Before discussing the pros and cons of the spec home market, it’s definitely worth laying the groundwork for a firm definition of these homes. Otherwise, the more in-depth tangents and points of this discussion naturally lose quite a bit of their context and meaning. 

According to H.M. Cauley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, spec homes are all about potential. Without having a buyer waiting in the wings – or showing any interest at all – many developers aim to get ahead of the real estate demand curve by building “ready to go” homes, complete with a variety of luxury features and additions. In many cases, the particular tweaks and custom improvements made to these homes – like being fully-furnished before a buyer enters the picture – are decided upon by gauging the local market’s needs and preferences.

What’s in it for Builders? 

So why would a contractor want to build a home for no one in particular? As Cauley goes on to explain in his review of the subject, there’s no denying that this approach has plenty of uncertainty and risk built into the process. However, these organizations aren’t simply gambling away their money, manpower, and other resources on a whim or a guess. By offering high quality selections based upon the real estate landscape in markets across the country, spec home builders aim to take advantage of the overlap between buyer demand and the return generated by investing in these properties upfront. 

Understanding the Benefits of Spec Homes

From the buyer’s perspective, there are also plenty of benefits available to you and your family by signing off on a spec home. To start, a spec home purchase eliminates many of the complex decisions that go into building a new home. Instead of fretting over whether or not a certain type of counter top works with the hardwood floors or which bathroom package best suits the master bedroom, you can simply shop around until you find a completely finished home that strikes your fancy.

It’s also important to discuss the value of timing in the spec home equation. Unlike a normal home purchase, which can take several months to a year to finish if you’re waiting on the contractor to develop your plot and build the house, spec homes are ready for a move-in as soon as you sign on the dotted line. For families that need a quick turnaround or can’t afford to wait for any other reason, this level of convenience can definitely impact the decision-making process.

Of course, there’s always the option to approach this purchase as an addition to your financial portfolio. In her look at the rise of spec homes as an investment instrument, The Wall Street Journal’s Candace Jackson notes that plenty of buyers take on spec homes as a way to turn a profit. Naturally, this perspective requires a keen sense for where you expect the market to head in the future, but it’s still worth filing away with the other benefits of the spec home system.  

Honestly Evaluating the Other Side

Despite all of the excitement and potential held within spec homes, it’s also important to point out that this process isn’t right for everyone. As far as detractions or negative aspects go, the limited flexibility of this approach is a major turn-off for some buyers. At the end of the day, what you see is what you get, so any renovations or changes will generally occur after the purchase and outside of the standard expense associated with this acquisition.

Additionally, Bill Ness of 55 Places points out that if you’re part of the first wave of homeowners in a speculative development area, you could spend the next several years living in a perpetual construction zone until the builder completes the rest of the neighborhood. While this is a non-factor for some families, it can be a major deal breaker for others. 

On the financial side of things, spec homes aren’t exempt from the risks associated with investments in general. Going in on a spec home isn’t as volatile as investing in a roll of lotto tickets or dumping your life savings into penny stocks, but it is still far from a risk-free proposition. If you’re considering this kind of purchase for fiscal reasons, it’s well worth your time to connect with a financial advisor and ensure that the timing and potential is right for this move into the world of real estate.    

Making a Choice That Fits Your Family 

At the end of the day, there is no one right answer regarding the purchase of a spec home. What your family needs and desires in a home is unique to your situation. This means that the only proper way to approach this opportunity is by weighing the benefits and the limitations in a manner that’s relevant to your housing requirements. Thankfully, with everything you’ve learned here guiding the way, there’s no reason to think that you and your family can’t make a smart and informed decision when it comes to figuring out if a spec home fits your future plans. 


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 


The Wall Street Journal 


55 Places



A Quick Tip For Selling Your Home


Selling home tips are a dime a dozen these days. Seems like everybody and his virtual assistant has a long list of ideas about how anyone can sell a house in this market. Well, I'm here to tell you it isn't all that easy, in fact it takes considerable time and attention to position your home to attract the perfect buyer as quickly as possible.

I am not just writing a list of tips to fill up space, but I am telling you the most important tip of all. In fact, it's number one on my own list of selling home tips, my short list of things that really work in the real world. My top tip is to scroll back the videotape in your mind to the day you bought your home and replay it again to remind yourself why you fell in love with it in the first place. That is really a powerful exercise that prepares you to stage your home and to write your classified ads with the fresh, enthusiastic mindset you had when you were the buyer once upon a time. Writing ads to attract buyers works like magic when you are speaking their language.

There are so many distressed and extremely motivated sellers these days, it only stands to reason that buyers will pick up on their anxiety and either offer less than the asking price or simply walk away. Buyers have some kind of subtle radar that tells them a seller is over-eager to sell, and no matter what the real reason it leaves an impression on the buyer that there might be something wrong with the home itself. That's the last thing you want your prospective buyers to feel about your home for sale. What you want them to feel is that they are darn lucky to have a chance to see and perhaps purchase such a great house that you still love so much!

That's why this whole idea is at the top of my selling home tips, it is the most important thing you can do to sell your home in any market. It's all about your attitude and how it comes across in the way you stage your home for showings with little details that show you care, and how you write classified ads to post online and in the newspaper that include lots of details that attract buyers who might be looking for a home exactly like yours. Your attitude matters and it can work like a magnet to attract your perfect buyer when you sell a home.

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Team Clyde's "For Your Eyes Only" Deal of the Week

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Real Estate Investors Guide to News Trends


Picture of the "Gingerbread House" i...Image via Wikipedia

Real Estate Investors Guide to News Trends

There are a lot of important occurrences in real estate today. Real estate investors have to stay on top of the news. The success of real estate investing relies on staying informed.

I track real estate investing news and trends every single day. I carefully track real estate news items. I am careful to follow a number of different news sources. I make sure that I always know about everything going on in the industry.

You can change your real estate investing business forever if you are aware of the news. It can help you spot opportunities. You can definitely build credibility by being aware of the latest news. You can expand your business when appropriate. Real estate investors must know as much as possible about their arena.

Below you can check out my real estate investing news notes:

* Bulk REO investing is on the rise. - Bulk REO investing appears to the next big thing. It is important for you to be able to buy in volume rather than in small numbers. You will see the incredible gains that are possible. There are definitely a lot of real estate experts getting involved.

* Fannie Mae will be retiring a program soon. - Market stability has received great contributions from real estate investing. Some of Fannie Maes programs are not really necessary at this point in time. The GSE has decided that the time has come to let the program go. Home buyers are losing options and you need to know.

* You need to know about this aspect of commercial real estate investing. - This is an important part of every deal. There are some investors, though, that think the opposite of others. This is an area of serious disagreement. You will need to make the decision that best fits your commercial real estate investing strategy.

It is vital that you know everything possible about your business arena. This means that you will need to always be aware of how the real estate market is changing. You can be sure to read about real estate every day. Check in here if you lack the time to do your own research!

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Getting Loan Modification To Your Favor

Loan modification or loan workout as sometimes commonly called, is a change in the terms of a mortgage agreed upon by the lender. Alterations are considered to aid homeowners in getting lower monthly payments that will deter possible foreclosure. The lender meets with the owner to reach an agreement in determining what loan terms can be changed for the benefit of both parties. The proposed outcome will enable individuals to pay a smaller monthly sum based on their present income.

Lenders can make modifications at their own discretion, but are usually motivated by profit to offer better options to the borrower. When an individual continues to make payments at a reduced rate, the financial institution accrues more income than if they had to foreclose on the property. Federal programs available within low-income states mandate that lenders offer appropriate modifications. Mortgages are improved in a number of ways that comprise of reductions in interest rates, principals and late fees. The loan can also have a monthly payment cap according to a household's income and be extended over a longer period of time. Forbearance programs are obtainable for those needing a few more months to get back on good financial standing.

There are determining factors a lender will ponder before making loan modifications. Consent relies on the type of hardship that has caused the borrower's predicament. The recent economy has brought upon the stress of employment loss. Individuals may get laid off or fired, losing their regular income. People are losing their jobs due to company cutbacks and business bankruptcy. An accident could leave the sole income provider with unexpected medical bills or the inability to work. Other reasons that determine modifications to mortgage loans may be the financial future situation, property equity and the amount owed.

Many homeowners now have the option of utilizing HAMP or the Home Affordable Modification Program. Applications can be submitted when borrowers are in default, bankruptcy or foreclosure. The process is not difficult and starts with a modification affidavit. The borrower then provides proof of income and tax returns with all family information. Documents are then submitted to the lender for approval.

With the housing crisis upon us, many individuals owe more on their homes than the property is worth. The HAMP program believes struggling property owners should be given the chance to stay in their homes.

Getting Loan Modification To Your Favor


Loan modifications are changes in the terms of a mortgage agreed upon by the borrower and the lender. Alterations are considered to aid homeowners in getting lower monthly payments that will deter possible foreclosure. The financial institution and the homeowner meet to determine what loan terms can be altered to the advantage of both parties. The hope is that individuals will be able to pay a smaller monthly payment based on their current income.

Lenders have the ability to deny any modifications, but are usually motivated by revenue to recommend better options to the homeowner. When a financial institution has to foreclose on a property, there may be less income accrued than if they had allowed payments at a reduced rate. Federal programs available within low-income states mandate that lenders offer appropriate modifications. Mortgages are altered in several ways that include a reduction in interest rates, principals and late fees. The loan can also have a monthly payment cap according to a household's income and be extended over a longer period of time. Forbearance programs are obtainable for those needing a few more months to get back on good financial standing.

There are determining factors a lender will consider before making mortgage modifications. There are many factors a lender will take into consideration before making mortgage modifications. The major approval is based on the nature of hardship that has caused the financial problem. The recent economy has shown an increase in the unemployment statistics. Finding work can be very difficult with the influx of lay offs. An accident could leave the sole income provider incapacitated or with an urgency to pay unexpected medical costs. Other determining factors to loan modifications may be the property equity, amount owed and future financial situation.

Many homeowners now have the option of utilizing HAMP or the Home Affordable Modification Program. Applications can be submitted when borrowers are in default, bankruptcy or foreclosure. The process starts with a simple modification affidavit. The borrower then provides proof of income and tax returns. All documents are submitted to the lender to await approval.

With the housing crisis upon us, banks lose money if they have to foreclose on a property that is worth less than the borrower owes. The HAMP program believes struggling property owners should be given the chance to stay in their homes.

Residential Solar Panels - Useful Tips For Its Successful Use



Residential Solar Panels are usually created never to output too much power.  This only suggests that systems demanding high energy is recommended to be utilized moderately.

Such devices involve the clothes dryers and even complete electric home heating systems.  It might be beneficial to run these types of systems utilizing common power source for instance gas.

An additional solution can be to heat up just one place at a time to reduce the power output.  Over-loading the solar cells can lead to irreparable problems to your solar panels.

Residential solar panels  are no longer merely for households in bright parts and they're gradually getting a lot more cost effective.

An important thing  concerning  residential solar panels  is the very fact that nearly all household could easily be changed in order to use these.  Whilst residences in the bright areas of the US can most profit from solar energy, homes everywhere throughout the nation can easily benefit  also.

Solar power systems have become much more cost effective as well as easily accessible. Believe it or not, you'll find solar power panels available on the internet or maybe you could construct your own.   

Normally, consumers opt to buy solar systems for the house  coming from dependable suppliers and also contractors.

Solar power systems is getting far more well-known every day since it could make it easier to conserve a substantial amount of cash in your monthly power expenses.

There are many reasons why solar panels has grown far more well-known as of late. Recognizing those components makes it possible for a person to see why a number of people are going for the usage of this sort of power in their households.

Solar Energy panels are commonly utilized to change the power coming from the sun to electrical power which can be utilized in the house.

Solar power is really an inexpensive type of sustainable energy which ensures that you enjoy consistent, practical and even dependable electrical power.  For people that frequently have electrical power shortages along with great monthly electrical expenses, solar energy stands out as the excellent remedy.

If the electricity supplier is difficult to rely on and also expensive then it's a good idea to buy residential solar panels and become your very own energy provider.

Solar power systems  really are all to easy to set up and keep because they are self-contained and also modular.  Solar systems could be custom-built to suit your very own power needs and also funds.

Dependent upon the kind solar system you decide on, you could possibly offset a few or even all your energy necessities. Solar panels can be put next to your property by using a ground stand, or simply they could be mounted on the roof intended for horizontal or simply tilted usage, determined by your home's roof kind.

Along with appropriate set up, every panel can tolerate powerful winds and definitely will work effectively for years.

You may also count on that the value of your property to rise  with the inclusion of
Solar Panel Prices.

Though solar power systems do not necessarily demand very much routine maintenance and also checking, it is frequently recommended to employ a reliable every now and then to make certain the panels will be running at highest capability.

Looking Into The Weird And Wonderful World Of Shed Plans


Looking Into The Weird And Wonderful World Of Shed Plans

Browsing the Internet, you'll find dozens of plans to building sheds, some for free and others costing a fee to download.In order to make the best decision possible, you should have a good idea as to what you are looking for in your wood shed building plan.Before taking on the job of building a shed and then finding out that it was not what you were expecting.Checking for a reputable company or individual should be a top priority.Anyone can use take inspiration from the designs of sheds that they see all around them.

To judge the integrity of a website and its desire to deliver on what is offered, see if they've lasted for some time and let people comment on forums and blogs.The blueprint for building the wooden shed must contain a list of whatever materials and tools are required to finish the work.A good building plan will provide detailed items that will be needed such as galvanized bolts and not a generalized list such as nuts and bolts.Depending on your eventual purpose for your shed, there are different types of materials that you may want to use in your shed blueprints.You should consider and write down all the facets of your project, from the style of shingles for the roof to the kind of wood and type of post.

Perhaps you have seen a wooden shed in your neighborhood that really looks professional.Find out which company designed and built their shed.Lots of those in your neighborhood will be glad to tell you what a good deal they got on that beautiful structure everyone asks about.Go on the Internet and use this information to search for a company or plan that suits your intentions.

Home building stores and warehouses offer a wide variety of books on DIY projects that will offer a huge amount of information on the dos and don'ts of building your own wooden shed.See if you can find these plans on the internet before you buy them.Downloading can save you money if you do not want to purchase the book.You can often find a day to attend classes at building supply warehouses, where you can ask specific questions about the design you've chosen.

This is a good way to get some free advice on selecting the right plan that you had in mind.More often than not, the instructor involved will be able to point out a Do It Yourself website for your project.Checking out recognized, well-reviewed websites is a good way to begin whatever construction plan you're considering.Even better is when a site provides a forum that you can go to for assistance as you encounter problems in your project.

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