Listing Courtesy of KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
Staging is to an Bethany Beach home what packaging is to a supermarket product: a vital element that can supersede all others. Product managers rely on advertising and marketing efforts to create awareness among consumers, just as homeowners use their Realtor’s marketing know-how (the listing, web page, signage and all their other advertising initiatives) to bring local prospects to the door. Then, just as well-designed, attractive packaging is what finally moves a product off the shelf, it is first-class staging that can transform casual lookers into Bethany Beach home buyers.
The goal of staging is to draw observers in; to help them picture whether the property’s spaces have all the nuances of what in their own mind’s eye constitutes a welcoming home. Bottom-line studies continue to verify that, staged correctly, homes sell more quickly. Although there are few absolute staging dos and don’ts, (after all, staging is an art); we can point to a number of probably don’ts. They’re relatively easy to avoid:
Failing to Incorporate the Outside
No matter how beautiful a home is once you open the door, prospective home buyers want to be proud of their new Bethany Beach digs. Even if it will be marketed as a fixer-upper, a welcoming exterior is always a welcome surprise. If, on the other hand, dirty windows, dry grass, and cracks in the sidewalk greet buyers, that first impression can be counted on to drive offer numbers in the wrong direction. Staging efforts need to encompass the whole enchilada!
Neglecting the Little Things
When it comes to staging, nothing is completely unimportant. Light fixtures, cabinet knobs, faucets, drawer pulls—even electric outlet covers—all contribute to the cumulative impression a local home conveys. It doesn’t mean that every tiny detail needs to be replaced; only those that are conspicuously damaged or dirty need to get attention.
Failing to Capitalize on Natural Light
As photographers know, "It’s always all about the light!" The fewer dim corners, the better. Staging a home to accentuate its rooms’ natural light is important, and where needed, boosting with lamps and overheads.
Forgetting the Nooks and Crannies
Assume that prospects see everything. Before a showing, a last quick walk-through of the whole home is a good idea. Check for stray items that are out of place, and be sure all is properly swept and neatened.
Opting Not to Use a Professional Stager
If the whole prospect of diligent staging isn’t appealing, it makes good business sense to hand it over to a staging professional. Pro stagers see every detail with a trained eye, and work to create a rich atmosphere—not just a collection of rooms.
From a buyer’s first glance at your listing to its ultimate sale, each step of the way is an opportunity to propel the process. The first one of those steps is choosing the Bethany Beach Realtor® who will add energy and expertise to the campaign: I hope you’ll consider me!
When you think about it, it was to be expected: the pace of house flipping activity in communities all over the country almost had to quicken. The market made it all but inevitable—in places where prices are on the rise while inventories remain tight, the conditions are right.
A “house flip” in Bethany Beach is what you call any area house that’s sold within a year of being purchased. House flipping happens when something unforeseen occurs that prompts a buyer to change residences more quickly than anticipated, or (much more often) when the purchase is made in the first place because the buyer sees an opportunity to make a profit.
House flipping became all the rage for a while during the housing bubble of the mid-2000s, hitting a peak in 2005. Half a dozen TV series were launched that popularized the adventures of itinerant flippers, tracing their footsteps as they acquired, fixed up, then sold properties for enticingly large premiums. The best of them depicted not simply the money to be made, but also the hard work (and occasional disappointment) that accompanied the house flipping phenomenon.
Then came the bursting of the ‘bubble’ and the consequential drop in enthusiasm for house flipping. RealtyTrac, the authority on U.S. housing data, also keeps tabs on the flipping statistics. This month they reported a new trend in action: an increase in the share of homes and condos flipped in 2015: 179,778, which is more than 1 in 20, and “the first annual increase in the share of homes flipped following four consecutive years of decreases.”
That total means that the total number of investors who completed at least one flip in 2015 was at the highest level since 2007. According to RealtyTrac, the homes flipped last year yielded a national average gross profit of $55,000: “the highest for flips nationally since 2005.” Moreover, they found that the return on investment was more than 45% (up from 35% in 2005).
For us locally, the question is what that might signify for Bethany Beach real estate. On the one hand, there are those observers who tend to take the view that whenever house flipping takes off in earnest, it indicates that a real estate market is becoming overheated—that prices are rising too quickly. That is definitely something Bethany Beach could do without. But a slightly more convincing reading was put forward earlier this month by commentator Diana Olick on CNBC. She found that, unlike many of the earlier house flipping participants, “data indicate that flippers in 2015 continued to operate within relatively conservative margins.” That means that they typically bought homes that were not wildly underpriced, then sold them at price points close to their estimated market values. They were also not usually buying with the perilously small financial cushions that typified earlier flippers. That had also been a hallmark in the mid-2000s, when the ready availability of cheap credit encouraged the practice. That’s no longer the case.
All in all, it seems as if the national house flipping trend is not at all reminiscent of previous overheated (and over-hyped) conditions. Instead, Bethany Beach’s real estate market looks to be more welcoming to anyone who recognizes the sustained value of the house they are looking to buy or sell. I take a great deal of pride in helping them make it happen! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.