Staging a home requires a seller to think about how to differentiate his or her residence from others that are currently available. Fortunately, a home staging checklist can make it easy for a seller to ensure his or her house stands out from the competition.

A home staging checklist allows a seller to take a step-to-step approach to enhance his or her house’s appeal, which may lead to a fast, profitable home sale.

In addition, this checklist is simple to create and may include the following items:

1. Removing Clutter

Although you likely have collected a variety of antiques, artwork and other attractive items over the years, you may want to remove some of these belongings from your house. That way, you can help homebuyers envision what their lives may be like if they decide to purchase your residence.

Remember, the goal of a home seller is to stir up substantial interest in a house. If you eliminate clutter from your home, you can enable homebuyers to see exactly what your residence has to offer and help them make an informed purchase decision.

To remove clutter from your home, you may want to host a yard sale or sell excess items online. You can always donate excess items to local charities or give them to family members or friends too. Or, if you want to keep all of your belongings, you can put various items in a storage unit until your residence sells.

2. Cleaning a Home from Top to Bottom

An immaculate residence is sure to garner substantial interest from homebuyers. Thus, if you clean your home from top to bottom, you can increase the likelihood that your residence will make a positive first impression on potential buyers.

Go room by room and clean as much as possible. If you require extra assistance, you can hire a professional home cleaning company as well.

3. Collaborating with a Real Estate Agent

If you need expert guidance as you sell your residence, you should hire a local real estate agent.

A real estate agent is a difference-maker throughout the home selling journey. This housing market professional can help you stage your home, along with provide real estate market insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

When it comes to home staging, it often pays to collaborate with a real estate agent. In fact, a real estate agent will learn about your house and offer personalized home staging recommendations.

Furthermore, a real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a house and can help you make tough decisions throughout the home selling journey. He or she can work with you to determine an initial asking price for your residence, whether to accept an offer a home and much more. Also, if you ever have home selling concerns or questions, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them at any time.

Take the guesswork out of staging your residence – include the aforementioned items in your home staging checklist, and you can quickly and effortlessly get your house show-ready.

It’s common knowledge that a 20% down payment is key when you buy a home, but is it absolutely necessary? With average home prices continuing to rise, it’s hard to actually save up that sizable of an amount of money. Thinking bout the numbers, buying a home may seem impossible. 

There’s good news: The 20% down requirement is actually a myth. If you put less than 20% down, you can still get a mortgage with most banks. There’s a reason why you hear that you need to put 20% down to buy a home. If you don’t put 20% down, you need to get either private mortgage insurance (PMI) or government insurance from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). These types of mortgage insurance protect the lender if you don’t make your payments and the home is foreclosed on. 

Do PMI Payments Go On Forever?

When your loan-to-value ratio reaches 80 percent, you’re able to ask your lender to cancel the insurance. Once the loan-to-value ratio reaches 78 percent, the lender has a requirement to cancel the PMI. This type of insurance can be costly, averaging at least a few hundred dollars a month. 

Alternatives To 20 Percent Down

Look at financing before you find a house. There’s a few programs that can help you to buy a home without 20% down. There’s different ways to qualify for these programs, so your best bet is to talk to a lender well before you start your home search.

Government programs through places like the US Department of Agriculture and the Federal Housing Administration help people to buy a home with very little down- anywhere from 0-3.5%. Some of these programs can prove to be costly on the backend, due to extra insurance requirements, but they do provide an alternative path to home ownership.  

There’s also an option to actually finance the down payment with what’s called a subordinate loan. his may make sense for some, however, you are taking out a loan in order to pay for another loan. The process may be counterintuitive for you and your financial situation. 

Different Paths To Homeownership


While there’s many different paths to owning a home, there’s no one right answer. Since everyone chooses different properties and has different financial situations, there’s a way for you. Even if saving up a 20% down payment is seemingly impossible, there’s way to get around it. Start with talking to your bank and other lenders to see what types of programs are available to you and discover what your path to homeownership is.

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