Posted 06/10/2015

Have you ever walked into a home for sale and thought there’s no possible way anyone lives here. There’s not one thing out of place and everything is matched perfectly as if it was done by a professional. Well, it probably was! That is likely due to a real estate agent advising their sellers to “stage” their home before putting it on the market. The goal is to highlight home’s strengths and downplay its weaknesses. Leave just enough furniture so that it looks amazing yet, a potential buyer can see themselves living there.


When selling your home, you must appeal to the masses. Not everyone is an Elvis fan and might be so distracted by your Elvis shrine that they missed all the great details of your home. But how can anyone not be a fan of Elvis, right?

You don’t necessarily need to hire a staging company with these tips provided but if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the experience of preparing your house to hit the market, then don’t hesitate to call one. Take a look at these tips to get your home in tip top condition and leave potential buyers with a great impression.

1. Curb Appeal
You’d think this is a no-brainer but people are so focused on the inside they forget that the first impression is going to be made when a buyer drives up to the house. Clean up weeds, put a coat of fresh pain on your front door, add new hardware to the door, add flower pots or greenery, rid of any debris on sidewalk, re-seal your driveway. New siding, paint and trim details can make all the difference too.

2. De-clutter Your Home
If you have too much stuff you simply need to clean it up. Time to roll up your sleeves and get to business! Too much clutter can turn away a potential buyer in an instant. Aside from wanting buyers to find the home aesthetically pleasing, you want them to come in and visualize the way they see their lives in the home.

Purging your belongings can be especially hard for some people. We’re not saying you have to throw anything away, just store it away in containers as you’ll want to de-personalize your home. When it comes time for the big move, you’ll be happy you were able to get a lot of stuff packed up before hand.

When starting in a room, clear everything out but the big pieces. Now you can start with a blank canvas for accessorizing…lightly.  Make sure the furniture is laid out correctly and expose the rooms best feature. If there is too much furniture, store away some pieces. An overcrowded room will feel small.

Decorating may not be your thing so you can bring in a consultant to help guide you. You can expect to pay anywhere from $150.00 to $250.00 for a consultation. If you hire a Stager to actually do the work for you, you will obviously pay more.

3. Fresh Interior Paint
Nothing better than a freshly painted house! Keep the paint neutral and limit the number of colors you use. Don’t forget about the trim. If you have painted trim, give that a fresh coat too. Wipe down baseboards while you’re at it.

4. Flooring
If your carpet has seen better days, it’s time to replace it or if it’s simply dirty, get them cleaned professionally. Also, if your hardwood floors are scratched up, have them sanded and re-stained. Think of the competition. If you and the neighbor down the street have similar houses for sale, the house that is move -in ready will likely be chosen first. In today’s market, there is a lot of competition!

5. Replacing Furniture

Furniture outdated? No problem! You can go to your local furniture rental store and rent up-to-date furniture for a surprisingly low monthly cost. If you lack the time to do this, there are online furniture rental places that deliver. When you visit the website, you’ll see groupings already put together for you. Visit to see if they deliver to your area.

Clean like your mother-in-law is coming over!

Maybe you’re not a clean freak because you’re too busy living life and cleaning is the last thing on your mind. When it comes to selling a home, buyers do not want to know what you had for dinner the night before or even two days ago. Wipe down every appliance in the kitchen and clean out your fridge. Be sure showers and tubs are mold free, toilets have no rings and clean up water stains. Have your windows cleaned professionally or do it yourself but make sure they sparkle!

When we live in our homes, we accumulate odors through foods we cook, pets and just everyday living. We become accustomed to it and it smells like home to us. We get comfortable with things not being fixed and live with the weeds that may be in the front lawn. People are quick to judge and some can’t get beyond the smallest things so don’t give potential home buyers a reason to turn around and leave before they’ve gotten through the front door. Painting, deep cleaning the house and replacing or cleaning carpets can make a home not only look great but it gives it a fresh, new smell. You’ll want your prospects to be wowed from the time they drive up the driveway.

If you are going to be searching for a new home, get pre-approved by one of our Mortgage Consultants at Mortgages Unlimited. 763-244-0458.

Posted 10/27/2014

Here at Mortgages Unlimited, we love finding new and interesting technology that can help make your life a little bit easier. Last week we introduced on our social media pages two great apps, MoveTools from State Farm and the new and improved Google Maps & Street View. Both of these apps are extremely helpful, Google Maps & Street View can help you find that perfect neighborhood for you and your family; while the MoveTools helps you stay organized and make your move stress free once the neighborhood is found and the dream home is yours!

The new and improved Google Maps & Street View is a great tool for anyone! We find it most helpful when researching a neighborhood for a potential home, looking at different communities, and discovering local favorite’s right in your backyard! The more you use it the more it will adjust to your style. When researching a neighborhood you may find a local park you love; with Google Maps you can star that park on the map and Google will bring up other parks in your area as well as a direct way to get there. By using the app frequently, Google Maps will learn more about you and your favorite activities and will cater the results to you and your family. Another cool aspect of Google Maps is its’ Street View.  With Google Maps Street View you can explore neighborhoods at street level, almost as if you were walking down the block. With Street View you are able to experience neighborhoods that you may want to live in, without physically driving through it, saving you both time and money.

Once you’ve chosen the house, toured the neighborhood with the 360-degree Street View and checked out all of the local amenities, now it is time to use the app MoveTools from State Farm. MoveTools is one of our favorite apps because it helps take the stress out of moving and can help you stay organized throughout the entire event. Enter in your move-in date and it will create a week by week checklist of deadlines and tasks so you won’t feel like you have forgotten something. Another feature that really made this app something to talk about is the interactive packing screen. You can go from room to room in your house and virtually pack your items. MoveTools will label each box so you can easily identify the contents without actually opening the box. From there an inventory is created for your possessions and the location of each box. You can search the inventory to find any item and make notes about specific items. MoveTools is a great app that helps you keep track of your possessions, organizes your boxes, and helps you stay on top of your move. It’s like having your own personal moving team right in your pocket!

Google Maps is available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices while State Farm’s MoveTools is only available for iPad and Android devices. Let us know your opinion on them and we would love to hear about apps that you love to use both in house hunting and moving.

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