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How to Help Your Home Stand Out and Sell Faster

by The Mike Parker Team

How to Help Your Home Stand Out and Sell Faster

In today’s buyers market, home-selling clients are always asking me what they can do to help their homes stand apart from the competition. As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network(R), I have seen how effective home staging can make all the difference in not only a quicker sale but a more profitable sale, as well.

First, it’s important to realize that home staging does not refer to the usual steps taken when your home is placed on the market, like painting the front door, taking away personal photos, and baking something in the oven. Staging, rather, is the professional merchandising of your home, which helps create an instant connection with potential buyers as they walk through the door. Just as new homebuilders create a model home for buyers to envision themselves living in, home staging does the same for your existing home.

Here are some important facts to be aware of before embarking on the home-staging process:

1. Make sure your home stager is knowledgeable about real estate and, in particular, your local market. Knowing what other homes in your area sold quickly provides the stager with important clues as to what buyers are attracted to.

2. Real estate agents, especially Top 5 Members like me, are excellent sources for referrals on home stagers in your area. Be sure to ask your neighbors as well.

3. Staging seeks to minimize the furniture in any given room in order to create the right spacing, while displaying as much floor space as possible. Be prepared with a convenient storage solution before you begin the staging process.

4. According to the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSPR), there is a growing trend toward eco-friendly home staging, where stagers provide specific “green” materials to sellers. This creates unique appeal to today’s environmentally conscious consumers.

5. Home staging is also on the rise among short sale and foreclosure properties where homes might be in need of special care. If you are in a financially challenged situation and need to sell your home, talk to your real estate professional about staging. Certain lenders are working with stagers in order to expedite these types of sales.

In the current real estate climate, homes must be merchandised and marketed wisely. Please e-mail me to find out how staging can make a significant impact on the outcome of your home sale…and please forward this email to anyone else who might be in need of home staging.

IRS Updates First Time Home Buyer Credit Form

by The Mike Parker Team

 The IRS has now updated their posting for the First Time Home Buyers Credit form that has to be used for sales after November 6th (date of new enactment).  Originally the form was going to be ready in December.  Then it was “January 8th”.  Now they are saying “Soon”.  When the form does become available you can access it at www.irs.gov and the link is on the upper left-hand side under “Top Forms and Publications”.  It is Form 5405.  Even if you use a tax preparer it would be good for the taxpayer to review the new requirements so they can gather the necessary info for the preparer.

10 Tips for Staying Organized in 2010

by The Mike Parker Team


If you’re like most people, one thing that always makes your New Year’s resolution list is, “Get more organized.” In today’s hectic and often challenging lifestyle pace, staying organized provides an important sense of control and ensures you stay on track toward important goals.

As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I know that organization is the key to success, both at home and on the job.  Here are 10 tips for kicking off a well-organized year:

•Box it up right – Begin by stowing away the holiday décor in well-marked and sorted boxes. Try using empty wine cartons (you can probably get them free from your local liquor store) for fragile ornaments, and buy a few plastic storage cases that can be stacked and stored out of the way.

•Make some lists –
Add any new names to your card and gift list, so that you are ready for next year.

•Get a new calendar – first, transfer in all birthdays and other important dates you want to be sure to remember.

•Schedule it – then begin scheduling annual medical, dental and veterinarian appointments for the family and pets, and note any other dates you want to remember, such as car maintenance, registration times, etc.

•Get it on sale –
Get a head start on next year by taking advantage of after-holiday sales on wrapping paper, cards and gifts.

•Budget for next year – Take a look at your receipts to see how much you spent this year; then divide by twelve and begin a savings plan to help you get there stress-free.

•Hidden agenda –
Designate a private spot for storing gifts you buy when they are on sale during the year. Keep a note in your wallet listing what you buy and for whom.

•Be tax ready –
Create a folder or storage box for all receipts, check stubs, and other materials you will need when tax season rolls around. Make this the year you throw everything into the designated file or box.

•Be car ready –
Keep a box in your trunk to hold blankets, umbrellas, diapers, flashlight and anything else you may want to have handy in an emergency.

•Check on your resolutions –
Keep a written list of what you want to accomplish this year: losing weight, eating better, exercising, or even being more organized. Check the list each month to see how well you are doing.

While it seems impossible at times, staying organized is simpler than you think—and the rewards are tremendous—so forward these great tips to your family and friends. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2010 and be sure to e-mail me for any real estate-related assistance you may need in the New Year.

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Photo of Mike Parker - CRS Real Estate
Mike Parker - CRS
HUFF Realty
60 Cavalier Blvd.
Florence KY 41042
859-647-0700