Hoffman Murphy Team Blog

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Hoffman Murphy Real Estate lists and sells over 100 homes a year in our local beach cities market. When we list a home, our goal is to get the most money for our sellers. And in order to do this, it needs to stand out among the competition. To create true demand for a property, the kind that results in multiple offers and the terms sellers dream of, a home needs to be the kind someone can fall in love with. Pricing your home to get buyers in the door is the most important; but in order to get that offer, we need them to fall in love once they walk through the door.

The way a home presents itself creates emotional appeal. Think of how you feel when you walk into Pottery Barn, or look through a West Elm catalogue; a society obsessed with design sites like Pinterest and Houzz, and the myriad of cable home improvement shows prove how important staging is- its selling an ideal lifestyle and invokes a feeling of desire. When your home outshines the competition and looks like a show room, we hear spouses say to one another, "honey, I have to have this home. Do whatever it takes, this is it!" That kind of urgency and demand can only be achieved through real emotion.

Often times people mistake the word 'staging' for 'renting furniture'. Actually we use the term 'staging' to essentially describe the 'act of preparing your home for sale.' Once you decide to sell your home, it's our job to help you turn the home you have lived in to a saleable asset. Staging is just that- positioning a product to gain top dollar. The good news is, in many cases, the furnishings you already have is all you need. Sometimes reducing the amount of furniture, or even re-arranging a space makes all the difference. Additionally, removing clutter and personal items, and adding a few contemporary on trend accessories can take your same old living room into a showroom out of a magazine. This is where a value of a professional really steps in. Stagers are the experts in providing a fresh perspective on new layouts of a room you had never thought of that best showcase the space. Stagers know how to ensure any challenging areas or rooms in the home have a clearly defined use, which removes objections and allows the buyer to envision their life and all it could be when they are the ones calling it home.

There are instances when purchasing furniture and going for a full professional staging is the right direction. Especially with vacant homes, furniture brings life and purpose to a space. In our experience, time and time again, the monetary investment made to professionally stage a property is worth more than 300% of what you put into it. It creates a reaction in buyers that is almost hard to monetize. And according to the National Association of Realtors, over 90% of buyers now begin their home search online, so how a home is presented in photos will decide whether a buyer even makes the decision to come view your home. Empty rooms give no perspective, and on the other end of the spectrum, cluttered homes are distracting. When your home hits the market, it's the future memories you are selling to the next buyer, not just the dirt and walls. Especially in our South Bay market, where first time buyers can spend close to a million dollars for their first starter home, first impressions matter.

The best thing about staging and how much it can effect the bottom line price of your sale, is that it is something you have complete control over. Since you cannot change the location, the lot size, your neighbor or in most cases the square footage, the two things you are in control of to ensure the most successful sale is price it right, and make it look better than all the competition. As we like to say, pricing gets them through the door, but staging gets them to write an offer!

If you are interested in a private professional consultation on tips or suggestions on how to best showcase your home for sale, call the experts in this arena- Hoffman Murphy. Helping you make your home shine is what we do best.

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Rent is more expensive than ever! Rental prices have risen faster recently than in the last 9 years. Studies show that the cost-of-living barometer in Southern California jumped from 3.9% to 4.7% in a 12 month period- the biggest rise since 2007.

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The Sellers Market:

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There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage - either yours or your landlord's.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of 'forced savings' that allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you'll have the certainty and stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years - unlike rental payments which will continue to rise over the next three decades.

Bottom Line - This year, why not give yourself the gift of home ownership? Lock in your housing costs for the next 30 years and guarantee you are the one building wealth. Additionally, the tax write offs that happen with home owners is not something that renters take advantage of.

Do you want to know if you can qualify to purchase a home? Odds are it is less expensive than you think! We're happy to connect you to a lender that can quickly let you know your buying power and run some scenarios of renting and buying to see what makes the most sense for you.

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