Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA
RE/MAX Leading Edge | 781-944-6060 | marilynellis@remax.net


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 9/21/2017

If you've recently put your home on the market -- or are considering doing so in the near future -- home staging is a priority which will soon take front and center!

Since "presentation is everything" when trying to catch the interest of prospective buyers, it's crucial to be able to see things through their eyes.

Unfortunately, being able to accomplish that objective is next to impossible because, as a homeowner, you're looking at your home and property through a completely different lens than the rest of the world. The longer you've lived in your home, the more your objectivity is compromised.

Here are a few reasons why it's really difficult to "see the forest for the trees" when it comes to home staging:

First of all, there's the emotional aspect of owning a home and seeing your life unfold there over a period of years. That's especially true for first-time homeowners, parents of growing children, and people who have sunk a lot of money, time, and energy into improvements and customization. Once you've added personal touches to your home to reflect your own tastes, personality, and lifestyle, you're viewing your home through a unique perspective that may cloud your objectivity as a home seller.

Solution: Think Like a Business Owner

For the same reason business owners and executives hire outside consultants to tell them how to improve management efficiency or profitability, home sellers often need professional marketing guidance from a real estate agent or home staging consultant. Getting input from home decorators, landscapers, or home improvement contractors may also provide you with helpful ideas, but their recommendations may not always be the most economical and cost effective.

When staging your home to enhance eye appeal and attract the most potential buyers, a good guiding principle to keep in mind is ROI or "return on investment." While you don't want to sink more money into sprucing up and staging your home than necessary, you do want to cast it in its best possible light. Depending on how recently your home has been updated or improved, your investment in home staging may be relatively inexpensive. On the other hand, if you haven't updated, repaired, or made improvements for more years than you care to remember, the cost of making your home irresistible to buyers may be a lot higher!

One More Scenario

If your tastes could be described as eclectic, "off the wall", or otherwise out of the mainstream, you might need to consider a major overall in the look and feel of your property. Unless you're lucky enough to have it be a "sellers' market" at the time you're putting your house up for sale, it's generally advisable to make your home appealing to as wide a range of potential buyers as possible. An experienced real estate professional is usually in the best position to provide the guidance you need to accomplish that key objective.





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 7/1/2014

1. Stage your home. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are staged sell on average 78% faster than the competition. Staging is more about creating a mood than moving furniture around. Staging makes a house look bigger, brighter, cleaner, more inviting and best of all makes buyers want to buy it.

2. Don’t forget the outside.
Stage the exterior of your home too. Fresh paint, updated landscaping and welcoming lawn furniture will help will a quick sale. Buyers often look for an outdoor space that they can enjoy with friends and family.

3. Make your home available.
Homes that don’t get shown don’t get sold. Try to accommodate as many appointments to view your home as possible. In today’s market, there are many vacant properties that can be shown anytime. Restrictive time frames, appointments that have to be set far advance will usually result in a buyer crossing your place off the list.

4. Get real about pricing.
Try to be the best deal on the market. Homes that are priced correctly will sell quicker and get a higher sale price than those that have sat on the market. Today’s educated buyers are familiar with comparable sales in the area. They will flock to a home that looks like a great deal. Competitively priced homes get the most traffic and at times even receive multiple offers.

5. Pay attention to the competition.
Look at the price that homes that are similar in style, condition and location have sold for. Attend some open houses and honestly size up your competition. Try to look at your competition from the Buyers point of view removing all emotion you may have tied to your home. Keep constantly updated on changes in the market and try to stay ahead of the curve.





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 6/26/2013

Independent studies have confirmed that deploying particular scents in a home for sale can dramatically increase the home's appeal to a potential buyer.  With that being said, what is the best way to go about changing your home's "scentmosphere"? 1. - The Friend Test - Often times, we get used to particular scents in our home, so much so that we don't even notice that they're there.  Litter boxes, old couches, bathrooms, and bedrooms can all breed their own "scentmosphere", and some can be more noticeable and offensive than others.  Have a friend come over and, well.....Smell your home.    Your friend doesn't live in your home.  They can pick up on things that you may not be able to, like the smell of dirty laundry, a musty-smelling finished basement, or a well-lived-in bedroom.  These "other person" smells can turn off a buyer in a heartbeat.  If you are a smoker, then stop smoking inside while your house is on the market.  Keep children's rooms tidy and clean-smelling. 2. - Kitchen Comfort - There are many scents that can be utilized in the kitchen to make it more appealing.  Candles, lemon wedges chopped up into a garbage disposal, cinnamon sticks in the oven, and fresh-cut flowers can be utilized for this purpose. Some people swear by citrus scents, others by baked goods, but it really boils down to personal preference.  Lavender has been shown to produce a calming effect, and fruit scents like apples and peaches can carry classier undertones. 3. - Subtlety is key.  You want a noticeable "scentmosphere", but not one that is overpowering.  Pick your scents accordingly.  If you overdo it, people may think you're trying too hard to cover something up.  Remember that because we breathe, we smell things constantly.  Each individual smell shouldn't be strong enough to cover multiple rooms in your house.  You don't want your entire downstairs to smell like the cinnamon you have in the kitchen.  Likewise, a fresh lemon scent all over the entire house can make it seem like there are smells that will creep into the "scentmosphere" once the lemon scents wear off.  Less is more.  





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 4/3/2013

In the hustle and bustle of prepping a home to be sold, many people overlook one very important detail; home safety. And while you'd like to think that prospective buyers visiting your home are upstanding citizens, the simple truth remains that selling your home opens your door wide open to complete strangers...Strangers who are going to be encouraged as potential buyers to explore every detail of your home. Luckily, by taking a few small steps, you can rest a little easier. 1. Hide you valuables - This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many people forget to put away common valuables like jewelery, high-value collectables, expensive perfumes, and high-end designer accessories like handbags and money clips. Be sure to go from room to room, keeping an eye out for anything that may hold appeal for a potential thief, and tuck away anything you think might draw a thief's attention. Do a follow-up walk of your house the next day, just in case you may have missed something. 2. Firearms - If you are a homeowner who is also a gun and/or weapon owner, then you are probably already taking the necessary precautions in regard to gun safety. However, for some collectors, prominent display is one of the things that a gun owner may take pride in. Just because your guns are in a locked, secured display case doesn't mean that they still don't hold risk to you or your loves ones. In a private setting, a locked display case is just fine...But in a situation where you are selling your home, complete strangers will have the ability to see that you are a gun owner, how many guns you have, and the precise location of your collection. Considering the value of a gun collection can run into the thousands, they should be treated just like any other valuable in your home; locked away and out of sight. 3. Personal mail - Things like bill invoices, credit card statements, and social security information should be put out of sight. Identity theft is on the rise, and by taking the proper precautions, you can avoid your personal information from falling into the wrong hands. 4. - Prescription medication - Be sure to remove medications from your medicine cabinet that carry the potential for abuse. 5. Parental safety - If you are a parent, you'll obviously want to take precautions to keep your children safe. Remember...You are allowing complete strangers full access to your home. For peace of mind, consider removing family photos, personalized items such as prominently displayed school jerseys and embroidered pillows, and that A+ math test on the refrigerator. Many people feel this step is either unimportant or unnecessary. If you feel fine with displaying these items, then feel completely free to.  The odds of a person wanting to do your family harm are fairly low.  But if you are a "better safe than sorry" kind of person, then consider this step. As long as a few precautions are met, you have no reason to feel uneasy about your home being shown. The vast majority of the people who are going to be looking at your house are responsible members of society, looking for a home to either start or grow their own families. That being said....Better safe than sorry.





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 1/15/2013

You are about to make a big decision; putting your home up for sale but there are some very important things you need to do before the sign goes in the yard and you open your doors to potential buyers. Getting these things checked off the list will help get you to a quicker and more profitable sale. Here are some tips to get you started: 1. Sit down with your real estate professional. Come up with a game plan and set a realistic asking price. Make decisions about marketing and showing availability. Pre-scheduling meetings or times to catch up with your agent will help keep the lines of communication open. 2. Get your paperwork in order. Prepare a list of repairs, upgrades that have been done to your home. Assemble all maintenance records, warranty information and user guides for appliances in the home. If you do not have them many are available on the internet. It will show potential home buyers you care about your home. 3. Clean your home top to bottom. Wash the walls, shampoo the rugs, touch up the paint and get every cobweb from the corners. Remember your home will be looked at very closely and the last thing you want is a buyer to be turned off by a little dirt. 4. Organize and declutter everywhere. You have probably acquired quite a bit of stuff. Go through every closet, cabinet, and start clearing out. You may want to have a yard sale or donate unwanted items to charity. For the things that you must keep consider a storage unit. 5. Get a home inspection. Have a pre-sale inspection of your home. This will prevent any surprises and help you identify any problem areas in your home. Repairs can affect the ultimate sale price of your home. For problem areas, make repairs or get estimates. This will help you determine what the ultimate sale price or items you may need to be prepared to negotiate on. 6. Stage the home to sell. Hire a professional stager to dress your home for sale. You will want to stage the home inside and out. Research shows that staged homes typically sell for more money. Congratulations you are well on your way to a successful sale.