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Erin Stumpf's Real Estate Blog

Sacramento Real Estate and other items of local interest

By Erin Stumpf | Broker in Sacramento, CA
  • Staging your Sacramento home is one of the keys to getting the highest price in the shortest time on the market...

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Sacramento County, Curb Appeal in Sacramento County, Remodel & Renovate in Sacramento County  |  March 12, 2014 2:26 PM  |  189 views  |  No comments
    Properly "staging" a home listing is incredibly important if a seller is serious about getting top dollar for a property.

    What is staging, you ask? In a nutshell, it's basically a process to prepare the home for sale in order to highlight the best aspects of a property. Staging can vary from simply rearranging existing furniture in an occupied home, enhancing with accessories or artwork, de-cluttering, deep cleaning, or making repairs to a home -- all with the intent to enhance and contextualize space so that buyers emotionally connect with a house and can see themselves living there. In a vacant home, it could mean furnishing the entire house from the ground-up. Think of it as "merchandising" your home, just like a store would to entice customers to buy things.
    Erin Stumpf realtor's staged listing Sacramento
    Most sellers I speak with are ready, willing and able to go through this process if it means their home could sell for more money in a shorter period of time on the market. It's rare for a seller to list a home and not want to...although occasionally if the house is being sold via a short sale, needs to be sold really quickly, or it has been inherited and is being sold by the estate in probate or via a trust, it may not be worth the time, effort and energy for that seller. Because it does take all of that.

    Staging is a group effort between the seller (you), the listing agent (me), and a professional stager (my go-to stager is Michelle Kaspari with Essential Home Staging). I do include a consultation with Michelle as a part of my listing services. The consultation is critical. Michelle visits the house and inventories existing furniture, accessories, the way rooms are laid-out, colors and textures present, and takes into consideration any unique qualities of the home to highlight...or downplay. She then comes up with a seller "To-Do" list. This list often includes re-positioning furniture, removing or relocating artwork, de-personalizing the home as in removing certain family photos or (thinning them out), re-arranging existing accessories and possibly embellishing with new accessories, possibly bringing in furniture, painting, making repairs, and cleaning.

    Most of the items on the list your average homeowner can do himself / herself in a week or two, which tends to work out well since usually sellers don't want to put their home on the market the day after we meet to take care of the listing paperwork. The "on market date" is usually slated for a future day a few weeks out, so naturally that gives a seller some time to get things ready. Sometimes if more extensive cleaning, painting or repairs are recommended those tasks can take a couple weeks or months to complete. Sometimes it's not feasible to do 100% of the recommendations too; for example you may not have the time or resources to replace your blue carpet with something neutral, or your garage may be too small to store some extra furniture and your one friend with a truck can't help you move it somewhere else. We get it. Usually though it's worth the time, effort and energy to do many of the things on the list...it translates to higher sales prices and shorter time on the market.

    Or if you are not into DIY or have a vacant home to stage, Michelle can basically act as your project manager to orchestrate the transformation of your home. And of course staging a home is topped off by having amazing marketing photos for your Sacramento home...I also use a professional photographer as a part of my listing services, but that's a separate blog post for another day!
  • Sacramento Remodeling Costs Vs. Actual Value - What is your Return on Investment (ROI)?

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Sacramento County, Curb Appeal in Sacramento County, Remodel & Renovate in Sacramento County  |  January 3, 2011 10:37 AM  |  1,433 views  |  1 comment
    When I speak with prospective sellers about the value of their home as we get ready to list it, I always review the recent comparable sales from the neighborhood to assist to determine the listing price. Often, sellers will tell me things like, "Well I saw that house when it was for sale, and even though it's the same floorplan, we have new wood floors. We spent $9,000 on the floors so our house is worth $9,000 more than the house that sold." Or " We put in a $65,000 swimming pool, so our house is worth $65,000 more than the house across the street." Nope, sorry, that is just not how it works. You can not just simply add the cost of the improvement project to the perceived value of the house...generally, and depending on the project, you will only recoup a percentage of the cost of the improvements to the actual "appraisable" value of the house. An appraisal is what a mortgage lender will use to determine the value of the house in order to lend money to a buyer who will purchase your home.

    Certain home improvements will yield a stronger "return on investment" than others. The actual cost of the remodeling versus the actual increase in value of the home are two different figures. Obviously if you are a homeowner, your enjoyment of the upgrades you make to your home is really important, but you will never get dollar-for-dollar increase in your home's value.

    Remodeling Magazine does a study every year regarding the home improvements that will give you the best return on the money you spend for the upgrades. Because trends are different regionally, they have separated different geographic areas in their report -- so here is the data for Sacramento specifically.

    So what are the top 5 Sacramento home upgrade projects that give you the best return on investment (ROI)?

    1. Replacing your front Steel Entry Door; the average cost to do this is $1,464, and the average actual value of this upgrade is $1,641 (112.1% ROI).
    2. Replacing your Garage Door; the average cost to do this is $1,514, and the average actual value of this upgrade is $1,461 (96.4% ROI).
    3. Wood Deck addition; the average cost to do this is $13,827, and the average actual value of this upgrade is $11,956 (86.5% ROI).
    4. Minor kitchen remodel; the average cost to do this is $23,603, and the average actual value of this upgrade is $19,854 (84.1% ROI).
    5. Window replacement; the average cost to do this is $14,431, and the average actual value of this upgrade is $12,016 (83.3% ROI).
    You can read the full report here.
 
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