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Does Staging A Home Really Work?

Listing clients often ask if staging a home has any measurable benefits.  While I still haven’t found any hard “scientific” evidence, the latest report “2017 Profile of Home Staging” from the National Association of Realtors reveals that some but not all Realtors think the answer is “Yes”.

Bear in mind that this profile is a result of a survey of Realtors who may or may not accurately reflect a broad market opinion.  Information about the survey respondents and methodology are on pages 13 and 14 of the report.   Click here to read the full report.

Like any other cost or effort associated with selling a home, sellers should evaluate if staging a home will improve their bottom line, and by how much.  Since real estate is highly local, your listing agent should be able to advise whether staging would be beneficial and, if so, by how much.  39% of those polled state staging a home “greatly reduces” time on the market.  Since there are typically carrying costs paid by the seller while their home is on the market (utility bills, insurance, lawn care, mortgage payments, etc), a minimum DOM is critical.  If the seller has already relocated and is having to maintain an empty property in addition to another, these costs can be substantial, so moving the property as quickly as possible for the highest amount resonates more loudly than normal.

Another key result of the poll shows that 58% of respondents say staging a home increased the selling price between 1 and 20%.  41% said staging a home actually decreased the selling price, or weren’t sure if staging a home actually increased the selling price compared to other similar homes in their markets that were not staged.

Staging a home – does it pay off?

Below is NAR’s synopsis of this survey.  Click here to read the full report.

From the Buyers’ Agent Perspective:

Forty-nine percent of buyers’ agents cited that staging a home had an effect on most buyer’s view of the home.

Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.

Staging the living room for buyers was found to be most important (55 percent), followed by staging the master bedroom (51 percent), and staging the kitchen (41 percent).

About one-third of buyer’s agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between one and five percent compared to other similar homes on the market that are not staged.

From the Sellers’ Agent Perspective:

Thirty-eight percent of sellers’ agents said they stage all sellers’ homes prior to listing them for sale. Fourteen percent noted that they only stage homes that are difficult to sell.

The most common rooms that are staged include the living room (83 percent), kitchen (76 percent), master bedroom (69 percent), and the dining room (66 percent).

The costs of staging a home were typically paid by the seller before the home is listed (25 percent).

When staging a home, 29 percent of sellers’ agents reported an increase of one percent to five percent of the dollar value offered by buyers, in comparison to similar homes.

Twenty-one percent of respondents stated that staging a home increased the dollar value of the home between six and 10 percent.

Thirty-nine percent of sellers’ agents stated that staging a home greatly decreases the amount of time the home is on the market.

The most common home improvement items agents recommended to sellers were decluttering the home (93 percent), entire home cleaning (89 percent), carpet cleaning (81 percent), and removing pets during showings (80 percent).

In summary, I tend to take results of surveys and polls with one or two grains of salt.  Only 1,894 “usable responses” out of 53,760 respondents were used to tally the results of this survey, and the format in which the data is presented suggests the authors may have had a slight bias in favor of staging versus not staging.  But all in all, it’s an interesting report worth reviewing if the seller is on the fence about staging a home.

Contact me to learn more about staging a home and whether it might benefit your bottom line.

Jim Bobo, Jr., BIC
Jim Bobo Real Estate LLC
10605 Hwy 78 East
Summerville, SC 29483
Call or text (843) 442-7275
Licensed in South Carolina

2069 Briar Bend Road Ridgeville SC 29472 Home For Sale

2069 Briar Bend Road Ridgeville SC 29472 Home For Sale
Living Room
MLS# 1425007   Newer Brick Home For Sale in Ridgeville, SC. 4 Bedroom, 2.5 Bathroom, FROG, 2764 SF, built 2006 on 1.423 acres. Wow – this Town and Country Home has it all! Enjoy the peace and quiet of the country but still be close to Summerville and Downtown Charleston. All living areas including the Master bedroom are on the main floor – only the FROG (counted as 4th bedroom) is up!
01 2069 Briar Bend Front of House 1

To schedule an appointment, contact us at (843) 442-7275.

This listing is brought to you by Jim Bobo, Jr., BIC Jim Bobo Real Estate LLC

Flat Fee MLS Listing Charleston-Summerville-Mt Pleasant SC

When it comes to choosing a Flat Fee MLS listing broker in Charleston-Summerville-Mt Pleasant SC, your best choice is Flat Fee SC.

Operated as a discounted Flat Fee MLS listing service by Jim Bobo Real Estate LLC, FlatFeeSC.com promotes our client’s listings better than any other flat fee company – Guaranteed!

Buyers won't even think your home is being marketed at a huge discount!

Buyers won’t even think your home is being marketed at a huge discount!

We have been offering this service since 2008, and over the last 8 years have learned a lot about what does and what does not work for economy-minded sellers.  We are America’s Best discounted full service Flat Fee MLS listing company!

As our client:

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Flat Fee SC is a discounted full service MLS listing program.  It is not a limited service MLS program.

Call Jim Bobo Real Estate at (843) 442-7275 to get started.

1532 Maple Grove Drive Johns Island, SC 29455 Home For Sale

Just listed! 1532 Maple Grove Drive Johns Island, SC 29455 Home For Sale
1 year Home Warranty included with acceptable offer!
1532 Maple Grove Kitchen 2 Featured Visual Tour
2,127 SF
4 bedrooms (counting the FROG)
2.5 bathrooms
Built in 2009
2 car attached garage
Listed at $275,000
MLS # 1320570

2 story upgraded home with stunning hardwood floors downstairs, upgraded carpet up and tile in the bath rooms and laundry room. Located in The Retreat on beautiful Johns Island close to Downtown Charleston and shopping! This home has everything to give it that “Wow” factor buyers love!

1948 Gracewood Drive West Ashley-Charleston SC 29414 Home For Sale

1948 Gracewood Drive West Ashley-Charleston SC 29414 Home For Sale
1948 Gracewood Kitchen 2

2,650 SF 4 Bedrooms + office 3.5 bathrooms 2+ Car Garage Elevated construction
Premium lot Built 2012 Listed at $399,000

Make sure to check out the full photo gallery by clicking here.

Built by Pulte Homes in prestigious Essex at Carolina Bay, this home features many upgrades. Why wait for your home to be built when you can buy a premium upgraded move-in ready home that’s only about 1 year old?

1948 Gracewood Flags 2

This listing is brought to you by Jim Bobo Real Estate LLC
Call or text if you enjoy saving money! (843) 442-7275
Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC

Gorgeous 1.5 story home with the Master Suite down stairs! 2069 Briar Bend Road Ridgeville SC 29472 Home For Sale MLS# 1314382

2069 Briar Bend Road Ridgeville SC 29472 Home For Sale
2069 Briar Bend Kitchen
MLS# 1314382   Newer Brick Home For Sale in Ridgeville, SC. 3-4 Bedroom, 2.5 Bathroom, FROG up (4th bedroom) 2751 SF, built 2006 on 1.423 acres. Wow – this Town and Country Home has it all! Enjoy the peace and quiet of the country but still be close to Summerville and Charleston and all of the industry in the region.  Master bedroom is on the main floor.
01 2069 Briar Bend Front of House 1

This is a Flat Fee MLS listing.  Contact us at (843) 442-7275 to view this beauty!

Sell your home in record time by following a short list of do’s and don’ts

Here’s a short list of things you can do to sell your home in record time.   I call this “The 6 C’s of Selling Your Home”.

Stage your entire property

Stage your entire property (OK, maybe you don’t need the band)

1. Curb appeal.   It’s always planting season for some type of flower in South Carolina, presenting you with the year-round opportunity to get out in the yard and do some planting and cleaning!  Grimy exterior residue?  Consider pressure washing the exterior first.  Clean gutters.  Check your shingles.  Touch-up with painting.  Replace or repair damaged screens.  Make your house look clean and fresh.  Then pull or spray for weeds, trim the bushes, add some flowers and top it all off with a fresh dusting of pine straw.  Weed ‘n feed the lawn and don’t forget to spruce up the mailbox.  The message: Do everything you can do to the exterior of your property to make it pretty and inviting.

Keep your home clean and tidy while showing

Keep your home clean and tidy while showing

2. You know the saying: “Cleanliness is next to Godliness“.  Make sure the inside of your home – including the garage, storage areas, etc – is clean.  Nothing turns buyers off more than dirty homes.  Many listing agents won’t even take a listing if the house and lawn are not presentable because they are worried about their reputation and all that buyer resistance they know they will hear.  And those are the agents you want working with you, not against you.

Pack away clutter - move off premises if possible

Pack away clutter – move off premises if possible

3. Got Clutter?  Get rid of it.  Box it up and move it out – literally from off the property, if possible.  Boxes distract buyers almost as bad as the clutter itself, which will not help your home sell.  Hey, you’re moving anyway!  Don’t have a handy place to store off-premises?  Then stack the boxes neatly in the attic (preferable).  No attic or storage nook?  While it is better to remove it from the property, try a wall in the garage that is out of everyone’s way.  It’s not advisable to stack the boxes inside in closets or on floors because it looks like the house doesn’t have adequate storage space.  While you’re at it, make sure you have appropriate furniture where it belongs.  Most of us do not need professional staging services, which can get expensive.  Just exercise common sense and make sure your house is arranged nicely.

Uniform Residential Appraisal Report form with tape measure

A good appraisal gices you “fair market value” of your home, plus a bonus: a floor plan sketch your agent can use in marketing the property.

4. Correctly price your house to sell.  Whatever you do, do not “fish” for an unrealistic price while thinking “if I don’t ask, I won’t know”.  What could happen is buyer’s agents will convince their buyers to shy away from your listing because they think the price is too high, and they don’t want to waste their time with a property that is so obviously overpriced.  Today, even many buyers are very knowledgeable about comparables.  With an over-priced home that sits on the market, people start to think there is something wrong with the house because it isn’t selling, which makes it more difficult to sell even when you lower the price – all because it was overpriced to begin with.  You can avoid this vicious cycle by pricing your home so it sells.  Your agent will give you a probable selling range in a CMA (Comparable Marketing Analysis).  Additionally, I recommend you get a good appraisal, which will give you an actual “Fair Market Value” for your home from a licensed 3rd party with no potential conflicts of interest.  The appraiser gets a fee, not a commission.  You also get a decent floor plan out of the deal your agent can use in marketing.

A pre-listing home inspection gives you advanced warning of what a buyer may find.

A pre-listing home inspection gives you advanced warning of what a buyer may find.

5. Check your home for any deficiencies by having a pre-listing home inspection. This will allow you to correct as many deficiencies as possible before putting your home on the market. Having knowledge of big-ticket issues with your home that a buyer’s home inspector will likely call-out (maybe the windows are nearing the end of their useful life) gives you advanced warning of what is likely to come.  You still should price your home using an appraised value, but when it comes to renegotiating the price after the buyer hits you with a “Repair Addendum” about two weeks after going under contract, you won’t be caught off guard.  Just the opposite, you’ll be ready for it.  It is important to note that it doesn’t make mathematical sense to add the estimates for making repairs/improvement to the appraised value; the appraiser is generally appraising the property as though it is in habitable and functional condition.

Make sure your bathrooms are clean and properly equiped

Make sure your bathrooms are clean and properly equipped

5.  Be Considerate of buyers.  Turn on an adequate number of lights and set the temperature appropriately.  It’s OK to show off your home sound system with some very low volume easy listening music.  Leave a note on the counter next to some paper napkins inviting buyers to a bottle of cold water.  They’re going to open your fridge anyway.  Might as well offer them a reward for visiting your home.  Make sure there is toilet paper, soap and clean hand towels or paper towels in the bathrooms.  Talk about embarrassing.  Remove pets period.  Not everyone likes animals.  Assume all buyers are not pet lovers to be safe.  Remove anything that might offend someone, or be inappropriate for children’s eyes.  These are only a few of the considerations you should make when your home is on the market, but it hopefully points you in the right direction.

Sell your home in record time by following Flat Fee SC's 5 Cs

While you don’t need to bake cookies for each showing, leave a short note on the counter inviting buyers to have a bottled water

While this is a shortened version of what a seller needs to do to make their home stand out from the competition, I have used these basics to help my selling clients meet or exceed the basic Buyer Tests, at least on things the seller can control.

Copyright © Jim Bobo Real Estate

Call us at (843) 442-7275 to get started!