Why It's Better To Do Repairs & Upgrades Than To Offer Buyer's Credits

In the era of HGTV, potential home-buyers expectations have become extremely high. They want a home that is beautiful and problem-free. Buyers are willing to pay premium prices for the perfect home that is move-in ready.

The reality is that most homes on the market need some sort of repairs or upgrades in order to appeal to these sophisticated and demanding buyers. The question is, is it better to do the repairs and upgrades on your own, or give a buyers credit to address the issues.

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Upgrades vs Buyer’s Credit

Once you decide that your home does need a facelift as compared to other options in the marketplace, the next decision is whether to do it before listing or offering the buyer a credit which allows them to remodel to their own taste. While it might seem like a good idea to give the buyer the ability to choose their own design, the truth is that if you can afford to do the work, you should get it done before listing. Here are a few reasons why offering a buyer’s credit has a downside:

•Buyer Impression: A dated home will look dated. Unless you’re offering a true “fixer-upper,” then buyers will evaluate your home based on its current appeal. Some will envision the potential, but many will find that too much work.

• Lower Offers: Offering a credit could be seen as seller motivation or desperation, which can lead to lower offers.

• Credit vs Value: You might feel an $8000 credit is reasonable for new kitchen counter-tops but your buyer might not. This can lead to additional negotiations which might reduce your profit.

• Home Condition: Buyers are hoping for a low-maintenance, low-repair property. If your home shows its age, buyers naturally wonder what else might be lurking beneath the surface.

• Loan Approval: Getting a home loan approved with a “carpet allowance” is all but impossible. To avoid this concern, most credits are labeled as “closing cost credit” instead, but there are limits to that also. If your buyers already are hoping for a closing cost credit, then they might not be able to accept your offer.

A dated home will always look dated. While you might find a buyer who can truly visualize the potential of your home, the truth is a home in need of updates will have a smaller buyer pool, and this reduces your chances of a good offer. If you can afford to make the updates before you list, you remove the opportunity for low-ball offers and put yourself in the best possible position to get a great offer.

Using Throw Pillows in Your Design

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Pillows are an important accent in the total room design. Properly placing pillows on a chair, sofa or bed can complete the look of a specific room and make the space more inviting and comfortable. Here are a few tips that will help in decorating your space with pillows.

How many pillows should you use? Balance is very important, you want to make sure you don't have too many pillows or too little of pillows. As a general rule, an odd number of pillows makes for the most natural, inviting arrangement: three for smaller sofas, and five for larger ones. On a chair, I think only one pillow is best. I have seen vignettes where more are used, but I think this makes the chair look unusable. Now a bed is a completely different story. The more pillows used in a bedroom, the more luxurious the room feels. A full bed or larger should have at least, two sleeping pillows, two shams, and an accent pillow. To make the bed feel more luxurious try adding two euro shams (large square pillows) two accent pillows and a breakfast pillow.


How to choose which pillows to use? The first step in choosing pillows to make sure the color and pattern coordinate with the color scheme of the room. Start by selecting a solid color accent pillow 18 to 22-inch square. You can now layer pillows that have a design or pattern on top. Using pillows of different shapes and sizes will give a more layered look. The materials of the pillows you chose will also have an impact on the design of the space. Cotton or Linen fabric will look more casual and velvet and silk will look more luxurious.


How to place the pillows. This is also something you can have fun with. On a sofa, I prefer symmetry with two pillows on one side and two on the other. In a bedroom, I place the sleeping pillows flat on the bed. The two regular shams are placed up against the sleeping pillows and the accent pillow centered on the bunch. If you are using euro shams, those go at the very back, followed by the sleeping pillows resting on the euro shams.

Throw pillows are a great way to add color to and dimension to a room. Just by changing them out you can get a completely different look and feel of any room.

2017 Profile of Home Staging

The True Impact of Home Staging


Sixty-two percent of listing agents say professional staging decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market, while 40 percent of buyer’s agents say their clients are more willing to walk through a home that has been staged, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2017 Profile of Home Staging.

“REALTORS® know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home, and staging a home makes that process much easier for potential buyers,” says NAR President William E. Brown. “While all real estate is local and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are willing to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value.”

Thirty-one percent of respondents to NAR's survey say staging increased the dollar value of a home they sold by 1 percent to 5 percent; 13 percent of respondents say it increased a home’s dollar value by 6 percent to 10 percent. Agents on both the buying and selling side agree that the living room is the most important part of a home to stage, followed by the master bedroom, kitchen, and outdoor space. 

Thirty-eight percent of listing agents say they stage every one of their sellers’ homes before listing them. Fourteen percent say they will only stage homes that are difficult to sell, while 7 percent say they only stage homes in higher price brackets. However, 37 percent of listing agents say they do not stage homes at all before listing them. Instead, they say they make recommendations to sellers to declutter their homes and fix any issues.

Agents who stage say the seller pays for the staging 25 percent of the time, according to the survey. Twenty-one percent say they have provided funds to stage a home. Fourteen percent of agents say they offer home staging services to sellers.

Source: National Association of REALTORS® 2017 Profile of Home Staging (2017)