Stage Your Home To Sell with Free Help From Robb & Stucky

Staging Your home to SellWe all can agree that the most important decision you can make when selling your home is pricing it to sell.  The price determines whether your home sells or sits on the market.  However, the next important factor after pricing is appearance.  A well designed, functional home where home buyers can easily see themselves living in your home will move off the market fast and for the right price.  Before you list your home for sale with a Realtor® or even if it is already listed and not selling, take inventory of the appearance of your home.

Start at the curb and make sure your lawn is neatly trimmed, any debris and unnecessary items are removed, fill bare rock gardens, paint worn doors must be freshly painted.  Make it look as fresh as your budget allows.  Inside the home all clutter must be removed, excess furniture, pictures, ornaments.  Keep it clean and simple.  This is not the time to display an abundance of personal photos.  Home buyers need to visualize themselves in your home.  Personal photos and items can distract tremendously.  CLEAN your home.  Homes with years of dust, grime in tile grout, layers of dirt around light switches, doors, etc. is a huge turn off to home buyers.  They will not see past the dirt and grime.  They will walk in and right back out.  It doesn’t matter how well priced that home is.  Filth and odor is a turn off!

Next, take into consideration at how functional your home is with the contents within it.  A client and I were viewing some homes yesterday.  One home was vacant and left us feeling uneasy and seemed disjointed.  It just didn’t flow.  When we went to the second home, we found a huge difference.  It was the same floor plan, but having been filled with furniture it really helped improve the flow of the home.  Each room of your home has a purpose and should be staged appropriately to not cause confusion or leaving buyers feeling uncomfortable.

A great way to learn more about staging your home is to visit designer showrooms.  But, before I go any further, I need to explain how home staging differs from interior design before all the professional home stagers come after me for confusing the two.  Staging your home is not the same as designing your home.  Home staging is designing your home to sell.  You are designing for the general buyer not yourself or your family.  An interior designer helps you to design your home to your tastes and needs.  However, I do think as a someone selling their home, you can learn a great deal from the world of interior design on how to take what you have and arrange it to where your home is pleasing and functional for it’s purpose to sell.

I also believe in using all the resources available to you.  One resource is at Robb & Stucky.  The designer showroom off of PGA Boulevard offers free seminars throughout the year.  Take advantage of what the seminars have to offer.  You can take the opportunity to discuss your situation with one of their designers.  You may even take away some ideas for your future home!

If you find you need the services of a professional home stager, call or email me.  I can lead you to some great professionals in the area.

Susanne Quirk is a Realtor® with Cobblestone Realty specializing in residential homes in Jupiter, Juno Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Contact Susanne at (561) 386-0350, e-mail, or visit our website www.TheJunoBeachRealtor.com to learn more.

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First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit Time Constraints

The following Press Release is from the Florida Association of Realtors.

WASHINGTON – April 24, 2009 – If first-time homebuyers wait until November to sign a sales contract, it’s probably too late to get the $8,000 tax credit. To qualify, buyers must close before Dec. 1 – a signed contract is not enough. New construction should be started by mid-summer to qualify.

According to the National Association of Realtors, a “home is considered as ‘purchased’ when all events have occurred that transfer the title from the seller to the new purchaser. Thus, closings must occur before December 1, 2009 for purchases to be eligible for the credit.”

Noting that deadline, the National Association of Builders kicked off a campaign notifying buyers that if they want the tax credit, they should plan to sign a construction contact soon.

Mike Dishberger of Sandcastle Homes Inc. in Houston, Texas, says that building a home from scratch can take anywhere from four to six months depending on the floor plan and location. Assuming it takes the full six months, first-time homebuyers should sign a new-home construction contract no later than May 31, 2009.

While it’s possible to rush an existing-home sale and go from contract to closing in only a few weeks, that schedule could cause a problem for last-minute buyers who wait until November. If an onslaught of buyers hope to beat the clock, title agencies and others involved in the closing process could get backlogged during November, and the IRS does not consider “planned closing dates” for the tax credit – only actual closing dates.

To qualify for the tax credit, home buyers must have not owned a home for three years prior to the purchase and have a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) less than $95,000 for single tax payers and $170,000.

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Susanne Quirk is a Realtor® with Cobblestone Realty specializing in residential homes in Jupiter, Juno Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Contact Susanne at (561) 386-0350, e-mail, or visit our website www.TheJunoBeachRealtor.com to learn more.

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Town of Jupiter Hosts Turtle Trot 5K

19th Annual Town of Jupiter Turtle Trot

19th Annual Town of Jupiter Turtle Trot

The Town of Jupiter is hosting the Turtle Trot 5k for the 19th year in a row.  Over 600 runners from all over Palm Beach County are expected to participate.  The marathon will start at Carlin Park, run along A1A through the Jupiter Inlet, return and end at Carlin Park.  Free shirts will be given to the first 600 participants.  Multi-Race will provide timing and scoring using the chip system.  Prizes will be given to 1st – 3rd overall male and female and first three places for male and female runners in each of the 15 age groups.

The Parks and Recreation provide many quality programs and events for our community.  Here’s one way to support our town by participating, volunteering or sponsoring the Turtle Trot.

You can register as a race participant by visiting the Jupiter Community Center at 200 Military Trail, Jupiter, FL 33458 or download an application from their website or at Multi-Race’s website or visit Running Sports in Juno Beach (561) 694-8125.

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Susanne Quirk is a Realtor® with Cobblestone Realty specializing in residential homes in Jupiter, Juno Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Contact Susanne at (561) 386-0350, e-mail, or visit our website www.TheJunoBeachRealtor.com to learn more.

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Turtlefest 2009 in Juno Beach

Turtlefest 2009

Turtlefest 2009

The 7th Annual Turtlefest is here Saturday, April 25th at Loggerhead Park in Juno Beach.  Admission is free, but there is a $5.00 fee for some children’s activities.  This is a great way to support the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.  They work year round protecting and caring for the sea turtles and educating the community about these fascinating creatures that visit our beaches each year to hatch their eggs.  Did you know that in turtle season, the center gives walking tours on the beach to search for turtles coming on shore to hatch their eggs?  It is one event every child needs to experience.  Entertainment will includes two music stages, education presentations, bounce house, dunk tank, arts and crafts, food and more.  Visit the Loggerhead Marinelife Center website for more information on entertainment and parking.

Susanne Quirk is a Realtor® with Cobblestone Realty specializing in residential homes in Jupiter, Juno Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Contact Susanne at (561) 386-0350, e-mail, or visit our website www.TheJunoBeachRealtor.com to learn more.

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Lilly Pulitzer Now Open at the Palm Beach Gardens Mall

A Colorful CauseI was at the mall last weekend and noticed that the Lilly Pulitzer store is now open.  Located next to Victoria’s Secret with a beautiful display of prints that are so familiar to us all in Florida.  What caught my attention most was the little trail of palm trees that meandered from the store to the atrium where a Lilly-like jeep was displayed.  The jeep was covered in pretty green and pink floral prints and was displayed with some of Lilly’s new line of clothing specifically designed for A Colorful Cause.

Lilly Pulitzer has partnered with nine American starlets.  All mothers, each celebrity designed a look for women and children.  Proceeds are donated to fight epidermolysis bullosa, a devastating skin disease.  Celebrity designers included Gwyneth Paltrow, Bridget Moynahan, Angie Harmon, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Catherine Bell, Brooke Shields, Marcia Cross, Debra Messing and Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon.

Susanne Quirk is a Realtor® with Cobblestone Realty specializing in residential homes in Jupiter, Juno Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Contact Susanne at (561) 386-0350, e-mail, or visit our website www.TheJunoBeachRealtor.com to learn more.

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First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Explained

Here is a simple explanation of the home buyer tax credit for 2009.  Kiplinger Editorial Director, Kevin McCormally, not only explains the tax credit for 2009, but also clarifies the “tax credit” for 2008.

Susanne Quirk is a Realtor® with Cobblestone Realty specializing in residential homes in Jupiter, Juno Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Contact Susanne at (561) 386-0350, e-mail, or visit our website www.TheJunoBeachRealtor.com to learn more.

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Top 3 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Buy Real Estate

3564981_lowStrong indicators show that we are in the best market to purchase a home.  Whether you are interested in buying a home as an investment, as a first time home buyer, or to move up to a bigger home, it doesn’t matter.  It’s still a great time to buy for everyone.  There are many more reasons why, but to make things easy, I can boil it down to three main factors.

1.  Housing prices are declining. The old saying, “buy low, sell high” applies here.  There’s no need to wait it out for the lowest price.  In fact, waiting it out could do you more harm than good.  You will miss a lot of great deals out there waiting for the market to bottom out.  Because real estate is for long term investing, your purchase will pay off even if you didn’t buy your home at the lowest point in the market.

2.  Mortgage rates are at a low. CBS Financial Analyst, Ray Martin, appeared on the CBS Early Show saying, “Rates on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage are at a level we won’t see again in our lifetime.”  Be full warned, when housing purchases increase, rates are going increase as well and historically they have increased rapidly.

3.  $8,00 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit. Buy before December 31, 2009 and you’ll get an $8,000 tax credit if you’re a first-time buyer.  Know the definition of a first-time home buyer!  You can previously have been a home buyer and still qualify.  The law defines “first-time home buyer” as a buyer who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase.  For married taxpayers, the law test the home ownership history of both the home buyer and his/her spouse. See First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.

Not sure how to proceed?  I’d meet with your mortgage broker and find out what you can afford to buy.  Credit score needs some work?  No problem, a good mortgage broker can help you improve your credit score.  Then, call me.  I can help you find the best home at the best price.

Susanne Quirk is a Realtor® with Cobblestone Realty specializing in residential homes in Jupiter, Juno Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Contact Susanne at (561) 386-0350, e-mail, or visit our website www.TheJunoBeachRealtor.com to learn more.

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Filed under Real Estate, Real Estate Investing