The Colors of Home – How Your Interior Color Palette Influences Buyers

Published on April 12, 2024 by Smith Marketing

When selling a home, you don’t want to overlook even the smallest of details. Sure, big points like the size and square footage of a home are going to play a primary role in how quickly the house sells and for how much, but there are plenty of other factors involved, as well. This article will look at one of those other factors – the colors of the home – and how they might play into the selling process.


To get help from the leading Allen Tate Greensboro team as you prepare to sell your property and potentially buy a new one, get in touch with Smith Marketing today.


Embracing Tradition

When picking colors that you think will help to attract buyers and sell your home, you need to think first about the market you are in and what people are likely to want and expect. In the Greensboro area, many of the properties are more traditional in nature and have a timeless approach to décor. The bright and trendy colors and styles that might play well in other parts of the country – specifically, bigger metropolitan areas – aren’t going to be such a hit in other areas. Stay true to the market that you are serving and you will be far more likely to have a deal sooner rather than later.


Soft Shades Rule the Day

Most likely, you’ll want to go with some softer shades when painting walls or adding staging touches that will be on display when you list the house. You want to make sure that potential buyers can picture themselves living comfortably in the space right from the start, even if you’ll be taking most or all of those decorations with you. Pastel shades tend to work well when aiming for a traditional look, but you could opt to get the help of a professional designer to make sure your selections are on track or check with your real estate agent to get valuable input. If you are working with an experienced Realtor such as those at Smith Marketing, they will have a very good handle on what is currently popular and more importantly what to avoid. 


Always Play It Safe

Getting a house ready to sell is not the time to take bold chances with your design decisions. Rather, you want to play it down the middle and try to create a look that is going to appeal to as many people as possible. When decorating your own house that you are going to live in for many years to come, you can feel free to take whatever risks you want with the design and opt for bold colors and styles. That’s not an approach that is likely to pay off on the market, however, so play it safe – even if it feels a bit boring – and make sure every buyer feels welcome so you can have the biggest possible pool of bidders.


Whether you are listing your home, looking at homes for sale, or doing both, Smith Marketing is the Greensboro real estate partner you want to have on your side. Reach out right away to learn more.

What Adds the Most Value to a Property?

Published on January 23, 2024 by Smith Marketing

As a property owner, you are likely always looking for ways to boost what your property is worth. Your home may be the most valuable thing that you own, so adding to the value of this asset – even by just a percentage point or two – can make a big difference in your finances. So, what is it that is going to add the most value to your property? The article below will take a closer look.


Whether you are looking at Greensboro NC homes for sale or you want to add your own property to the MLS listings sometime soon, Smith Marketing is the right partner for the project. Take a moment today to get in touch and you’ll be in good hands.


Get Rid of the Clutter

This one almost seems too good to be true, as it doesn’t take any investment and only modest effort to see results on this point. By decluttering your home before it is time to sell, you will make the space feel dramatically bigger, and prospective buyers will have an easier time seeing themselves moving into the house. Of course, you don’t have to be ready to sell to benefit from cleaning out the clutter, as doing so can help you in terms of stress reduction, lowered anxiety, and more. The clutter has to go!


Consider Some Fresh Paint

Paint is not expensive, especially if you are able to do it yourself. By adding fresh paint, you’ll make the space look and feel newer, even though you’ll only have spent a small amount of time and money on the project. If you are doing the painting with the idea of selling the house in the near future, make it a point to pick neutral colors that aren’t going to send anyone running in the other direction. Play it safe with your design choices to keep as many people as possible in your pool of prospective buyers.


Pick Up the Curb Appeal

Another way to give your property value a boost without investing a lot of money into the process is upgrading the curb appeal through better landscaping. Improving landscaping doesn’t have to require a major redesign or an expensive team of professionals – it might be as simple as keeping the grass in good condition and making sure the flower beds are weeded.


Add Useful Square Footage

To make a big move toward having a more valuable property, you could hire a contractor to complete an addition to the home. Of course, this is going to be more expensive than the other ideas discussed above, but it can more than pay off in the long run when you get ready to sell the home and it has more useful square footage than it did previously. Of course, there are zoning and code restrictions to keep in mind here, so do your homework before planning to go ahead with this endeavor.


As an Allen Tate real estate team, Smith Marketing has built an excellent reputation in Greensboro, Oak Ridge, Summerfield and the surrounding areas. Don’t buy or sell real estate in this area without first reaching out to the expert real estate agents at Smith Marketing to learn more about what they can offer. You will be glad you did.

“Move-in Ready”: What Does it Really Mean?

Published on December 4, 2019 by Smith Marketing

Are you in search of a “move-in ready” home? If so, you probably have a pretty good idea of what that means to you. However, to someone else, it could mean something completely different. There isn’t exactly a black or white answer to the question. The key is to be clear about your expectations with your real estate agent when searching for homes for sale in Greensboro.

The True Definition of “Move-in Ready”

Technically speaking, for a home to be “move-in ready” it must meet all local codes for a residence, including electricity, water, and locking doors and windows. That’s the bare minimum requirement for a house to be classified under that term. Most potential home buyers are looking for a little more than that.

What Home Buyers Actually Mean by a “Move-in Ready” Home

There are other terms that more specifically describe the condition of a home. Some examples include:

Newly Renovated

Some buyers are looking for a home that has been recently remodeled to include the latest features, new floors, fresh paint, new countertops, etc. Bathrooms and the kitchen are pivotal rooms of focus in newly renovated homes.

New Construction

Some buyers are looking for a recently finished newly constructed home that is complete and ready to be lived in. Some hope to catch new homes in progress but near completion so that finishing touches like flooring and paint colors can still be customized.

Fully Updated

Similar to a “newly renovated” home, a “fully updated” home has had recent improvements made throughout. The term “updated” tends to refer to technical aspects of the home such as plumbing or electrical, but it can include aesthetic features as well.

Communicate with your Real Estate Agent about the Type of Home you Need

You may have a clear definition of what “move-in ready” means to you, but the key is to make sure your agent also understands your definition. Explain what you want and what you are not willing to compromise on. Don’t waste time touring a bunch of “fixer-uppers” when you really want a home that is “newly renovated” or “fully updated.”

Be Willing to Compromise

You may not be able to find a home that is in the exact condition you’re looking for, so prepare to be open-minded and consider some different options. If your time is limited, don’t look at homes that are in need of major work before you can move in. Look for a home that is “fully functional” which means the plumbing works, the electricity works, and the structure is sound, which may be all you need immediately. The rest can be projects for the future.

Find “Move-in Ready” Homes for Sale in Greensboro with Smith Marketing

Smith Marketing and Allen Tate RealtorsⓇ can find you the type of “move-in ready” home you’re looking for. With so many homes for sale in Greensboro right now, you’re sure to find one that meets your needs. Call (336) 215-7880 today to schedule a meeting with an agent.

How are Mortgage Rates Affecting Current Buying Trends?

Published on November 8, 2019 by Smith Marketing

When is the best time to buy a house? Depending on who you ask, you could get a variety of different answers. One person might say, “In the spring.” Another might say, “When the housing market is good.” Others might say, “When mortgage rates are low.”

Mortgage rates certainly do affect on buying trends. Potential buyers who have been thinking about house hunting may decide to take the plunge and apply for pre-approval when rates are low. While pre-approval does not necessarily lock in the current rate, it’s still a good idea to apply and find out what amount you will qualify for to establish a price range before previewing homes.

Current Buying Trends Lean Toward Higher End Homes

While mortgage rates play an important part in current buying trends, other factors are also at play. One such factor is the housing market and what’s in demand. Low mortgage rates often encourage buyers who are looking for higher-priced homes, such as luxury homes in Grandover Greensboro, to choose this time to upgrade. This also means that lower-priced homes will soon be available as current homeowners prepare to sell their homes and purchase larger homes.

First Time Home Buyers Benefit from Lower Mortgage Rates

Lower rates also put first time home buyers at an advantage. One thing first-time buyers often lack is down payment funds. Current homeowners who are upgrading have typically built-up equity in their current home that eliminates the need for a down payment on their new home. First-time buyers can often get a lower rate and avoid mortgage insurance if they put down 20%. But when rates are already low, buyers with little or no money to put down can still get a low rate and a more affordable monthly payment.

Federal Rate Cuts are Responsible for Historically Low Mortgage Rates

Why does The Fed (Federal Open Market Committee) lower interest rates on loans? The decision to lower rates is usually done to boost the economy. It encourages people to go out and purchase real estate among other things. The Fed has made several rate cuts this year in an attempt to achieve the ideal amount of economic growth. Conversely, if growth goes “too far” in The Fed’s opinion, rates will go up to balance out the economy.

This gives buyers a sense of urgency, to “strike while the iron’s hot” and finance a new home before rates go up again. Current homeowners may decide to refinance their homes to take advantage of the low rates to reduce their monthly payment or cash out some of the equity that has built up in their home.

Now is the Time to Find the New Home you’ve Been Dreaming of

With low mortgage rates available now, it’s time to stop “thinking about it” and start house hunting. Smith Marketing and Allen Tate Realtors® can help you find the home you’ve been looking for. New and existing homes are available now in some of the most highly desired areas of The Triad, such as Grandover Greensboro and other up and coming neighborhoods. Homes of all sizes and price ranges are hitting the market now, so don’t wait. Call Smith Marketing and Allen Tate Realtors® today at (336) 485-1881.

10 Reasons to Buy your New Home During the Fall

Published on November 1, 2019 by Smith Marketing

Are you thinking of buying a new home, but you’re unsure about looking during the fall? You may have heard that spring and summer are the best times of the year to house hunt, but there are certain advantages to buying a home in the fall, especially if your focus is on luxury homes in Greensboro.

Consider these 10 Reasons

Sellers are Motivated

The housing market slows down in the fall, which can make it more difficult to sell a home. Sellers may go weeks or even months without an offer. This makes them extremely motivated to accept any offer they get, even if it’s a little lower than their asking price. As a buyer, this puts you at a distinct advantage.

Real Estate Agents are More Available

When agents aren’t so busy juggling multiple clients, you can get more one-on-one attention. Your agent can spend more time finding you the right home and making sure you get it.

Banks Offer Better Mortgage Rates

When the housing market slows, lenders don’t book as many loans. So they offer lower rates to entice buyers to finance or refinance.

More Time to Think Over your Purchase

Buying a house is a huge financial decision, and you want to be able to take the time to think it over. However, in a busy, competitive housing market, you have to put offers in quickly with not much time to consider. In the fall you won’t feel as much pressure to make a fast decision.

Flexibility of Moving Dates

In a slower housing market, you’ll have more flexibility when it comes to closing dates. Also, moving companies are less busy so they’re more likely to be available on the day you want to move.

Neighborhoods are Busier

If you’re checking out the neighborhood during the summer, it might seem quieter than usual due to vacations and hot weather keeping people indoors. In the fall you can get a better feel for the activity and speed of the neighborhood.

The Weather Gets Interesting

Any home can look great in sunny weather, but in the fall you can see it in the rain and with the leaves off the trees and perhaps even in the snow. It may seem different depending on the weather.

No Flowers to Hide Imperfections

With no flowers blooming to enhance the appearance of a home, you’ll be more likely to notice things like peeling paint, faded siding, or other blemishes.

Take Advantage of Holiday Bargains for Home Goods

After moving into a new home there are always things you need, such as curtains, rugs, and other home accessories. With all the holiday sales going on, you could save some money.

Have an Easier Time Booking a Handyman and other Services.

There are often things that need to be repaired or done to a new home. You’ll have an easier time booking painters and home repair services in the fall.

Find Luxury Homes in Greensboro for Less During the Fall 

If you’re in the market for a high-end luxury home, fall is a great time to find one at a good price. Higher priced homes tend to stay on the market longer anyway, and motivated sellers may be willing to cut you a deal just to get the home sold. Smith Marketing and Allen Tate RealtorsⓇ can help you find luxury homes in Greensboro that are priced to sell. Call (336) 215-7880 today to speak with an agent about available homes.

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Top Ways to Save for the Down Payment of Your First Home

Published on July 15, 2017 by Smith Marketing

Are you ready to buy your first home? Want to make sure you have enough for a down payment? There are advantages to making a down payment on your first home. You can secure a lower interest rate on your mortgage as well as a lower monthly payment. But it may seem daunting to try to save up that much money. Before you start looking at any Greensboro houses for sale, consider the top ways to save for a down payment on your first home.

Start an Automated Savings Plan

Most potential home buyers find it easiest to save by having an automated savings plan in place. Typically, this involves having your financial institution automatically withdraw a portion of your direct deposit paycheck and put it in a designated savings account. It is wise to have a separate savings account that is designated only for saving for your down payment. If you are not paid by direct deposit you can set up an automatic transfer on certain days of the month to transfer funds to your designated down payment savings account. When the money gets moved automatically, it keeps you from forgetting and the money is put away before you can spend it.

Open a High-interest Savings Account or Investment Account

By putting your savings into an account that yields higher dividends, you will reach your savings goal faster. Interest-earning money market accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs) earn more interest than a basic savings account. Another option is to invest your savings in a conservative type of stock or set of mutual funds. Speak to your financial advisor about this before proceeding to make sure you are investing wisely.

Use Your IRA (Individual Retirement Account) for Your Down Payment

It is possible to use the funds in your IRA as a down payment for a home. But it is important to understand the tax implications of this decision. A traditional IRA is subject to federal and state income tax when you make a withdrawal before the age of 59½ because the funds went into the account pre-tax. A Roth IRA is not subject to taxes because the funds were placed in the account after being taxed. It is also important to understand that taking funds from your retirement account may affect your future retirement security. Speak with your financial or tax advisor before proceeding.

Real Estate Agents in Greensboro Can Help Before and After You Save

Before you make any immediate plans to buy your first home, you need to find out how much you will need to save. Meet with your real estate to get an idea of how much the home you want to build will cost, taking a few years of inflation into consideration. Once you have saved your down payment, meet with your real estate agent to begin viewing Greensboro houses for sale. Smith Marketing of Allen Tate Realtors® will work with you every step of the way to help you realize your dreams of owning your own home. Call (336) 451-4921 or (336) 663-1320 to set up a free consultation today.

Home Exterior

Top Reasons to Downsize Your Home

Published on July 1, 2017 by Smith Marketing

Many of us spend our lives moving from a smaller home to bigger and bigger homes as our families grow and our lives change. But when it comes to homes, bigger is not always better. There are some true advantages to downsizing your home, and some may surprise you. If you’re thinking of downsizing or maybe moving to one of the maintenance free communities in Greensboro, NC, look for the best real estate agents who will make sure you get the most for your money.

Downsizing to a Smaller Home has Major Benefits:

Lower monthly mortgage payment. Smaller house, smaller payment. A huge home may seem like a great idea at first, but once you start making those payments you may find that the financial burden is too much to bear.

Lower monthly utility bills. Less square feet of home means less area to heat, cool, and light. Lower energy bills can make a big difference in your monthly budget, leaving you more money for other things.

Less maintenance required. The bigger your home, the more maintenance and upkeep it will need. Cleaning, yard work, and other chores add up and take up a lot of your spare time. It may be too much for your family to handle alone, which leads to hiring costly help.

Pay off your mortgage faster. Interest accrues daily on most home loans, meaning the faster you pay it off, the less total interest you will end up paying. Lenders don’t like this, which means it’s great for the borrower.

Pay off debt faster. If you have other debt besides your home, such as student loans, credit cards, or car payments, you will have more money left over to pay on these loans. Paying these off faster, especially high rate credit cards, will save you the most money in the long run.

Have more spending money. You’ve heard the term “house poor” before. It means you put too much of your household income into your home, leaving you without much left for enjoyment. If you buy a home that’s above your means, you better like it a lot because you’ll be spending most of your time there.

Unburden yourself from too much “stuff.” Like most people, you are likely holding onto possessions that are not crucial to your well-being. In fact, it may even negatively impact your mental and emotional health. Let go of the things you don’t need. Once you feel the weight that is lifted by selling or donating things you rarely use, you’ll understand. Your home is meant for living, not storage.

Find the Right Sized Home for Your Lifestyle in Greensboro

If you’re tired of paying too much for your home or wish to simplify your home’s upkeep, consider downsizing or moving to one of the maintenance free communities in Greensboro, NC. You can find an existing property or have a custom home designed and built that still includes all the luxuries and quality craftsmanship you desire. Enjoy your dream home and your life outside your home as well. Contact Smith Marketing of Allen Tate Realtors® at (336) 451-4921 or (336) 663-1320.

What to Do When you are Willed a Late Family Member’s Home

Published on June 15, 2017 by Smith Marketing

Have you been given property from a family member’s estate settlement? Whether it was your parents’ home or another family member who has passed, you have a choice in how to proceed. You can move into the home yourself, rent it out, or sell it. This decision is sometimes difficult due to the emotions associated with a loved one’s home. If you choose to sell it, there are some steps you will need to take in order to do so. Working with experienced real estate agents in Greensboro, NC, will help make the process easier.

Step 1: Find out the tax implications of selling the home. There are specific laws regarding the taxing of inherited property. You can refer to or meet with a trusted tax advisor or accountant who can explain the tax implications that will apply when you sell the home so that you will be prepared.

Step 2: Prepare the home for sale. Clean out personal items and hold an estate sale or yard sale for items you don’t wish to keep. Only the executor of the estate and other family members can determine what items should be kept and what should be sold, donated, or tossed.

Step 3: Wait for the estate to go through probate. This means the court system has to authenticate the will to be sure it is legitimate. The executor of the estate, or the trustee if the property is part of a trust, will then be free to proceed with the sale of the property.

Step 4: Choose the right real estate agents in Greensboro, NC, to sell the home. When it is finally time to put the home on the market, you need experienced, knowledgeable real estate agents to get the home sold.

Step 5: Set a price with the help of your real estate agent. Allow the experts to help you set an official asking price that is not too high or too low.

Step 6: Let your real estate agent do the work. This is the part where real estate agents truly shine. They list the home, get it out on the market and in front of the right people. And it sells.

Selling is Stress-Free with Smith Marketing and Allen Tate Realtors®

It’s not always easy when you receive property in someone’s will, especially when it’s a close loved one. You may have trouble selling because of your emotional attachment to the home or property. But if you decide that the best option is to sell, Smith Marketing’s team of Allen Tate Realtors® will help reduce the stress and anxiety you may feel. Your agent will help you get the home ready for sale, then list it in the most attractive way to draw potential buyers. Once it sells, your agent offers continued support through the final closing.

If you find yourself the benefactor of some property you don’t wish to keep, let experienced real estate agents in Greensboro, NC, get it sold in a timely manner for the best possible price. Call (336) 215-7880 to speak with an agent today.

Using a Vacation Home on the Lake, Mountain or Beach as a Rental Property

Published on May 29, 2017 by Smith Marketing

A vacation home is a wonderful investment. Years of enjoyment and family memories will be made there. But if it’s used as a vacation home only and no one lives there full time, it can be a financial drain. Maintenance costs and utilities, not to mention the mortgage itself, can really add up. People who want to be able to afford their luxury homes in the Triad, NC, and a vacation home as well, could consider renting out the second home when it’s not in use. But before doing so, here are some things the homeowner should know about renting out a vacation home.

1. Tax implications. The way you use a vacation home, how long you stay, how long you rent it out, all affect the way you file your taxes.

  • If you rent out the property for 14 days or less it is considered a second home and not a rental, meaning the income will not have to be reported to the IRS.
  • If you rent out the property for 15 days or more and use it for less than 14 days or 10% of the days rented it is considered a rental property and all income from rent must be reported to the IRS. The rental expenses can be deducted from the owner’s taxes.
  • If you use the property for more than 14 days or 10% of the total days rented it is considered a personal residence and will be taxed as such.

The regulations from the IRS are very particular, but there is one possible “loophole.” The owner may stay in the home longer than 14 days while performing maintenance, as long as that is the primary use during that time, and the property can still be considered a rental.

2. Rental success depends on a few important elements:

  • One possible issue with renting out your vacation home is that peak dates for renters may be the same dates you wish to use the home. You may want to consider using the home more in the off season to make enough rental income.
  • It’s important to set rental rates carefully so that they are comparable to similar homes in the area and still high enough to generate income.
  • Property management. An expert property manager with experience renting luxury homes in vacation areas can help to market the property and handle the rental process from scheduling to collecting fees. This takes the hassle out of renting your home, allowing you to enjoy the home when you can, and collect income when you can’t.

Keep your Luxury Home in the Triad, NC, and Afford a Vacation Home Too

If you have dreamed of owning a luxury home in the Triad area, NC, and a lake, mountain or beach house or other vacation home, it is possible. Renting out your vacation home can bring in enough income for maintenance and the mortgage payment, making it possible for you to afford a second home.

Smith Marketing with Allen Tate Realtors® can help you find the home you want in the Triad area and help you find a REALTOR® in the vacation area you want.

The complete guide to selling your home

How to Sell Your Home and Hold on to Your Sanity (and your Money)

Published on May 15, 2017 by Smith Marketing

Are you wanting to move into a bigger home? Looking to downsize? Career change leading you to a new town? Whatever the reason, you are now trying to sell your current home, a daunting task. You probably have plenty of questions. How much will I spend on improvements? Is selling a home without a Realtor possible? What are the tax implications of selling a home? Don’t worry. Before you starting preparing your home to sell, consider this guide.

Preparing Your Home for Sale: Which renovations are worth the Money and Which Aren’t?

Attempting to sell your home as is without performing repairs or doing away with eye sores could mean it will sell for much less than what you hoped for, if it sells at all.

You could spend a great deal of time and money on improvements to your home before you sell it, but some projects offer a greater return than others.

Improvements that are worth it:

  1. Paint. A fresh coat of paint goes a long way toward giving your home a new look. And it’s a fairly inexpensive improvement. Go for neutral colors that are likely to please more people. Avoid bold colors that make a strong statement. Buyers should be able to envision their own style in the home.
  2. Clean windows and curtains. Windows and window treatments matter for more than one reason. Windows let light in and are often the first thing people notice about each room. Cleaning curtains or replacing them if they are outdated is a worthwhile upgrade. It’s not hard to find simple, inexpensive curtains in neutral colors to match any décor. Clean the windows well so the glass is clear and the area between the window and screen is free of bugs and dust.
  3. Fix things. That leaky faucet in the master bathroom, the closet door that’s off track, the hole in the screen door—these need to be repaired. Fixing small details, or hiring someone to fix them if necessary, is well worth the time and money. Little problems, no matter how small, give the impression your home is in bad shape overall.
  4. Update hardware. Door knobs, cabinet pulls and handles, and other hardware should be in good shape and match throughout your home. If your cabinets are plain front, consider adding hardware to spruce them up. Replace or polish any damaged or tarnished hardware.
  5. Clean carpets and grout. If you have carpets in your home, have them professionally cleaned to remove any stains or odors. Depending on their condition, carpets may need to be replaced. Make sure the grout between tiles in your kitchen or bathroom is clean, especially if it is white or a light color.
  6. Improve lighting. Make sure as much natural light as possible enters your home. Add new light fixtures, get new lampshades, even consider replacing lightbulbs with higher wattage bulbs (within the maximum suggested by the light fixture). The majority of buyers consider lighting to be the most important feature of a home after location.
  7. Focus on the kitchen. The kitchen is the most important room in your home when it comes to selling. If you’re going to spend money on home improvements, the kitchen is the place to do it. And the good news is you can expect about an 85% return on your investment in this case. An outdated kitchen will make a home more difficult to sell and could mean potential buyers offer you as much as $10,000 less than your asking price. The cheap, easy fixes are paint and hardware. The more expensive (and more worthwhile) improvements are countertops, cabinets, and appliances. Even if you purchase just one quality stainless steel appliance, it will make the entire kitchen seem more expensive and sophisticated.
  8. Hire a home stager. There are home staging specialists who can help present your home. Arranging furniture, lighting and décor in the right manner will make your home look beautiful to potential buyers. Whether or not you have an eye for decorating, a home stager is an expert and knows what buyers are looking for when they walk into a home. You may use your breakfast nook as a kids’ playroom, but if a potential buyer sees a table and chairs with flowers and place settings, they envision a lifestyle they want. You want to remove all personal items so potential buyers can see themselves living there. Your home stager will take care of all these details to make each room in your home inviting.

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Improvements that may not be worth it:

  1. Complete home makeover. Now is not the time to renovate your entire home. If you fully remodel each room in your home from top to bottom, you will likely not get back even half of what you spend. And you won’t even get to enjoy the improvements you poured so much time and money into. Address the areas needing the most work and tackle those as frugally as possible.
  2. Expensive flooring. Do not install high dollar hardwood floors or expensive marble flooring. If the original hardwood floors have been covered up with carpet, do consider removing it and refinishing the floors. Do polish marble or stone flooring to give it a fresh shine. But don’t pour all of your fix-up budget into flooring that won’t add much to the price of your home.

Some of the Best Things You Can Do to Prepare Your Home for Sale Cost Nothing at All

If the costs of selling a home are overwhelming, you can do many things to improve its appearance that won’t cost you anything. Even if you have made other more significant improvements, these small items still appeal to potential buyers touring your home.

  1. Clean your home. Give your home a thorough spring cleaning. Vacuum the areas you often forget about, like behind and under furniture. Dust the top of the fridge. Get cobwebs out of the corners. Remove bugs and dirt from inside the windows. Give special attention to bathrooms and the kitchen, as these are often the most important areas to potential buyers. Now that you’ve cleaned up, keep it that way everyday so your house is ready to show anytime.
  2. Declutter your home. The less furniture you have in each room, the bigger it will look. Remove extra chairs and tables and bookshelves that make rooms look full. Minimize the number of appliances and kitchen gadgets sitting on surfaces in the kitchen. Keep toiletries off the counters, tub or shower, and put them in drawers or cabinets.
  3. Remove personal items. You may have a wonderful collection of knickknacks, like, for example, your salt and pepper shakers from all over the world. They mean a lot to you, but potential buyers may be turned off. Go ahead and pack your personal items (including family photos) to get ready for the move to your new home. It is important for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in the home, which will be easier if it looks more generic and less like you.
  4. Stage rooms. You don’t have to hire a professional stager to make your rooms look presentable. You can use furniture and other items you have to make rooms look inviting. Get out the good China and set the dining room table with place settings, and flowers or fruit as a centerpiece. In the bathroom, make that garden tub you never use look like its begging to be relaxed in by laying out candles and a pretty towel draped over the side. These are just a few examples of room staging that can have amazing results.
  5. Empty half of your closets. Clean out your closets so they look only half full. Get rid of clothes you don’t wear anymore, and pack away the clothes you won’t need in the immediate future. Storage is a big priority for potential buyers, and your closets will look much bigger if they are not full. Show off your closet organizer by using it properly with shoes and accessories displayed in the way they were intended.
  6. Remove pets. Definitely take pets out of the home before a showing, and consider moving pets out of the home for the duration of the time your home is on the market. For potential buyers, whether they are animal lovers or not, seeing (or smelling) evidence of pets in the home could be a deal breaker. Litter boxes, food bowls, hair and other telltale signs of pets can be a real turn off. And it’s extremely difficult to keep your home spotless with pets around. Consider having pets stay with nearby relatives or friends during the selling process.
  7. Stage the backyard. Often overlooked, the backyard is just as important as the rest of your home to potential buyers. If you have a back deck, porch or patio, you should also stage it to be inviting. Arrange tables and chairs, open the umbrella, even set the table with picnic place settings. Hang up that hammock, clean up the kids’ outdoor toys and play area, keep the grass mowed and the weeds at bay.

greensboro home for sale

Curb Appeal: You Only Get One Chance to Make a First Impression

What potential buyers see when they first pull up to your home is most important. If a potential buyer doesn’t like what they see at first glance, they may not even want to set foot in your home. Keep the front yard immaculate. Stage the front porch to be inviting. Plant flowers and keep shrubs trimmed. Clean out bird nests, spider webs and any evidence of bugs. Keep the front porch swept and power wash the front walk and driveway. Have all flower beds newly mulched. Power wash siding and even paint the outside of your home if needed. Consider adding outdoor lighting as well. Even if you have a limited budget, consider using at least some of it on the front of your home.

Tax Implications of Selling a Home: What You Need to Know

Now that your home is ready to sell, you may be wondering about the tax implications. The good news is taxes are relatively simple. If you have lived in your home for at least two of the past five years, you can exclude a house sale profit of up to $250,000. If filing jointly with a spouse, that amount goes up to $500,000. You can use this same tax exclusion as many times as necessary in your lifetime as long as at least two years pass between sales. Special circumstances may allow you to exclude higher amounts, the specifics of which can be discussed with your tax advisor.

Selling a Home Without a Realtor: Can it Be Done?

Yes. But is it easy? No. There are definite advantages to getting help from a realtor. A realtor is able to bring more potential buyers to your home, particularly ones who are looking for features your home offers. Realtors can advise you on how to prepare your home for sale, and are often staging experts themselves through years of experience. Your home will sell faster and most likely for a higher price when you work with a realtor.

Ready to start the process of selling your home? Contact Smith Marketing of Allen Tate Realtors® at (336) 451-4921 or (336) 215-7880.