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How to Make your Home Look Larger when Selling your Home by Owner in 4 Easy Steps

28 Jan

What is the number one amenity that homebuyers look for when buying a home? Space… and of course value.  They both go hand in hand when you think about it.  The more space your home has, the more expensive it is correct?  Usually, although giving the illusion of space can make homebuyers feel better and you feel better to ask more for the price of your home than you once thought.  Bringing in light, using neutral colors and getting rid of large, bulky furniture is a start.  Here are more tips to help your home look larger.

1)   Purge and de-clutter: While this step seems like a no-brainer, every home usually has excess ‘stuff’ that is not needed.  Whether it is in your home office, kitchen counters, or kid’s toys lying around, you can purge and de-clutter to make your home look larger.  A home staging trick? In every room you should be able to see portions of the baseboards (where the wall meets the floor).  Look around the room; if you can’t see the baseboard on most walls, you may need to get rid of some items.

 2)   Use neutral colors that are pleasing: Bringing in neutral colors into your home palette will keep homebuyers eyes moving throughout your home as the rooms flow into one another.  While these colors may not be your ideal if you were living there for the next 20 years, your home is now on the market. Just like selling a car, you need to shine up the exterior, interior and give it a tune-up.  Consider using a neutral palette of browns, grays, or muted greens and blues to appeal to a wider range of homebuyers.  You will be surprised how large your home will look once you bring in neutrals to open the rooms.

 3)   Bring in light and ditch the dark window treatments: Look at your windows and determine if your rooms are letting in as much natural light as possible.  Dark window treatments can be hindering your source for natural light, as well as large furniture may be blocking natural light.  Ensure that large armoires, entertainment centers and headboards do not block natural light.  The other issue is being able to see views. Homebuyers want to feel like they are looking out at a beautiful view.  If you have furniture, or heavy drapery blocking their view, they will assume you are hiding something!

 4)   Only use essential furniture: Have you ever walked into a model home, and wondered why the bedroom only had a bed and a dresser?  While this may seem a little drastic, depending on the size of the bedroom, this may be sufficient to give the illusion of more space.  While you don’t want the room to look stark, the room should look livable, and inviting.  If you have too many large pieces, consider putting them in storage, moving to another room in your home, or selling pieces you may not need for the next home you move into.  Your rooms will grow considerably in visual space, just by following this tip.

Open up your home with the addition of these helpful staging tips.  While you aren’t trying to fool the homebuyer, you are trying to showcase the best amenities about your home.  Size is crucial, and an over cluttered, over furnished and dark home will sit on the market much longer than one that has been carefully staged with the above tips.  If you are having troubles visualizing how your home should look, seek the advice of a professional home stager, or ask a friend who may have a better eye than you.  Before you know it, your “Sold” sign will be going up in the front yard!

We look forward to working with you throughout the process of selling your home!  Your friends at Kansas  City’s For Sale By Owner…


Is blue for you? How to choose a paint color for your house

9 Dec

Is blue for you? How to choose a paint color for your house – by Mary Boone


Different body and trim colors gives this Charleston, S.C., home a more traditional look. – Zillow

What’s the best color to paint your house?

It depends, according to experts who say color choices should be based on factors including the style of your home, landscape, neighborhood, roof color and stonework.

Red may be your all-time favorite color, but if the brick facade on your house has a decidedly pink tint to it, you’d be wise to paint another shade. And, just because all the latest home decor magazines are forecasting blue to be the color of the year in 2013 (and they are), that doesn’t mean it will work on your house.

“Exterior paint choices are less influenced by trends than fashion or even interior paint choices,” said Krim Danzinger, senior consultant for AkzoNobel, maker of Glidden paints.

Good thing. Exterior paint jobs, after all, are the kind of pricey projects that most homeowners hope to undertake just once every decade or so.

“When you’re painting the inside of your home, you have the luxury of being more fearless with color. It’s a way to convey your uniqueness to the people you know well enough to invite into your home,” said Barbara Richardson, director of color marketing for AkzoNobel. “But when we talk about exteriors, we have to look at the community you’re part of. You need to look at the environment and the other houses on your street. There’s a sense of camaraderie you want to have with your neighbors. If your house color clashes with theirs, you distract from the appearance of the whole street.”

Get started
When you’re trying to decide what color to paint your house, Richardson advises studying homes in neighborhoods you admire. Photograph color combinations you love — on houses as well as in clothing, wallpaper or fabrics. Do your research. If you live in a fanciful Victorian or stately craftsman, do you know how these homes have traditionally been painted in your part of the country? Do any of these historic color combinations inspire you?

Then, after you’ve spent time narrowing down your choices, buy a quart of several different paints and try them on your house. How do they look next to your stone chimney? How do they look in morning or at night?

Leatrice Eiseman, head of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training and executive director of the Pantone® Color Institute, says you also can’t overlook the neighborhood when choosing exterior paint.

The undertones in your next-door neighbors’ homes should help inform your palette. Are their homes warm (beige, rose, brown, gold, yellow) or cool (gray, blue, green, teal)? You’ll want to choose colors that work in harmony with the other houses on your block.

Match location and architecture
“San Francisco is filled with ‘Painted Ladies,’ Victorian houses that are painted bold combinations like purple, mulberry and mauve. It’s bright and unusual, and it totally fits,” Richardson said. “A similarly styled house in a more conservative area, let’s say Dubuque, Iowa, might be painted off-white or very pale yellow. That would be a good fit for that region.

“In the Bahamas, you might see dozens of blue houses with bright yellow or green shutters,” she continued. “On the other hand, there might only be a handful of blue houses in all of Tempe, Ariz. Blue just isn’t a big color there.”

So, what should you do if the color you love doesn’t mesh with your architecture or region?

“Think small doses,” suggests Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. “Pops of color can be added to your exterior in much the same way you use pillows or wall-hangings to add color to your interior.

“If you painted your entire house bright red, it would probably stick out like a sore thumb,” she said. “But by painting your door red, you’re able to show your personality without having everyone in the neighborhood wonder, ‘Oh, my God, what was she thinking?’ ”

Is there a color you should never paint your house?

“Never say never,” Eiseman said. “I might not paint a house black, but black trim could work beautifully. It’s all about what colors you’re mixing it with and how much you’re using.”

Find inspiration
Looking for more exterior paint inspiration? Consider these tips from the color experts at AkzoNobel:

  • Want a contemporary appearance? Consider painting the body and trim of your home all the same color. This is also a great way to let the light reveal architectural detail through natural shading.
  • For a more traditional look, incorporate two, three or four colors into your scheme. Highlighting trim will often help create a historical feeling, especially if the colors you’ve chosen are representative of a particular historical palette.
  • Hide your undesirables — gutters, electrical conduits, vents and utility boxes — by painting them the same color as the body of your home.
  • Don’t forget your landscaping. Flowers and shrubs can greatly enhance the color of your home. For instance, you can bring out the soft yellow of your trim color with the flowers near your entry or plant a variety of purple shades to add interest to a neutral scheme.

Rent-to-Own Real Estate Deals – Buyer and Seller Beware

21 Nov

Rent-to-Own Real Estate Deals – Buyer and Seller Beware

by Clayton Clossonon July 13, 2007 in Home Buying

Although they’ve actually been around for decades, rent-to-own contracts that substitute for mortgages and conventional home loans are enjoying a surge in popularity in several regions of the country. The slumping real estate markets in parts of the U.S. fuels these deals, where homes can sit on the selling block for months at a time.

Add to this the recent tightening of rules and regulations for bad credit loans and a near perfect storm has been created for rent-to-own scenarios. It sounds like a great way for home sellers to speed up the sale of their home.

Think of it this way: Lots of folks with bad or bruised credit simply can’t qualify for a home loan under current guidelines. So, instead of just renting a place to live, they opt for non-traditional arrangements to buy a home. These arrangements are contracts between the buyer and seller and don’t involve a bank or mortgage company. One of the most common rent-to-own contracts is the land contract.

A land contract is essentially an agreement between the buyer and seller where the seller “finances” the buyer to purchase the home. A payment schedule (monthly amount multiplied by the number of months) is agreed upon, and the buyer pays a down payment as a security deposit to the seller. The title of the home remains with the seller until the buyer has made all the payments. The payment schedule usually covers only a part of the sale price of the home, which means that at the end of the payment schedule, an outstanding balance remains. This is usually paid using what’s called a balloon payment. So, the buyer pays payments for a set period of time, and then must pay the remaining amount to buy the home. For example, the buyer may pay $800 a month for 10 years and have a balloon payment of $50,000 due at the end of the 10-year contract.

Here is the risk: Land contracts aren’t always publicly documented and recorded; rarely a good idea when dealing with real estate and this much cash at risk. Another common rent-to-own scenario is renting or leasing with the option to buy. Such options are different from land contracts in that the agreement is usually filed and is a legal arrangement. They give the renter or lessee the option to buy the property at a set time during the loan. With an option, rent payments become equity in the property.

While the benefits of rent-to-own arrangements may seem strong, both the buyer and seller need to be aware of problems that can result from poor planning. A few of the most common problems faced with rent-to-own scenarios are:

•Repossession can be difficult if the buyer defaults on payments
•The seller is stuck with any repairs, even if the buyer caused them
•The seller may be responsible for real estate tax and property insurance
•If anything goes wrong, the buyer may lose any money paid, including the deposit
•When the time comes, the buyer may not be able to finance the balloon payment after all (remember, the buyer couldn’t get financing to buy the home in the first place)

The most important factor to remember with rent-to-own is that all terms of the contract or option must be spelled out to the smallest detail to avoid any problems. Who is responsible for repairs to the home? Who is responsible for maintenance? What happens if the buyer misses a payment? When is a late fee added? When is the down payment refundable, or at what point does it become non-refundable? Are pets or roommates allowed? Who is responsible for paying property tax and insurance? These are just a few of the important questions buyers and sellers should consider and work out prior to entering into an agreement.

It’s not hard to see why hiring a lawyer to review a land contract or “option to purchase” agreement is a very good idea. There are so many details and potential issues that need to be covered that it’s almost impossible for people to set these up correctly without professional guidance.

A little painstaking preparation setting up a land contract or option-to-purchase will help prevent a lot of problems down the road. And even with proper legal and real estate guidance, know the risks. A traditional mortgage to buy and sell the home may still be worth the wait.

Read more:

Visit our Pinterest Boards for Great Home Design Features and Ideas!

1 Oct

Home of Kansas City’s BEST HOME VALUES online and in your neighborhood!

Visit our Pinterest Boards for Great Home Design Features and Ideas at

Selling Your Home by Owner – More Than Just a Sign in Your Yard!

The FSBO Store
10635 Roe Avenue
(NE Corner of I-435 & Roe)
Overland Park, KS 66207
Phone: (913) 498-FSBO (3726)

Top Five Ways to Sell Your Home Fast

1 Sep

1. Price it right
2. Make it inviting
3. Get an inspector
4. Fill your listing with photos
5. Throw in a little something extra
5a. Visit the team at Kansas City For Sale By Owner

10635 Roe Avenue
Overland Park, KS 66207
Johnson County, Kansas

PH: (913) 498-3726
FAX: (913) 385-7230

Home Improvements to Consider

2 Aug

Making sound investments in your home can improve the “bottom line” when the time comes to sell your home. The trick is, knowing what to improve. Making home improvements prior to listing it is a common practice. However, improvements should be selected carefully if the primary goal is to increase the profitability of your property.

Here are the 5 top projects that contractors and real estate professionals consider the best returns on investment:

  1. Kitchen
  2. Bathrooms
  3. Interior Painting (neutral colors)
  4. Roof
  5. Heating/Cooling systems

Keep it simple. In fact, experts generally agree that you will often see the highest return on investment for projects that simply bring your home up to the standard of those around it.

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