Make Your Home Appealing By Staging An Outdoor Room

ideas for decorating your patio

There is nothing like coming home and relaxing on the front porch, back porch, patio, deck or a nice corner on the lawn or garden. Does your home offer an outdoor refuge?

If you are selling a home, you may want to stage such an outdoor space because buyers desire them! Outdoor living spaces have grown in popularity. 63% of young renters say that outdoor spaces would be important to them in deciding upon a home to buy.

Ideas to make your outdoor spaces more inviting:

Fire Pit
Have a few seats grouped around a fire pit to make a cozy space.

Get Rid of the Old Grill
Has your grill seen better days? Get rid of it and replace it. You want buyers to think of entertaining outside on their own new grill, not be repelled by your rusty one.

outdoor rooms

Stage the Porch or Deck
Show buyers how to use the space (whether small or large) so they can see how the porch or deck can be used for entertaining. If you already have outdoor furniture, make the setting more inviting with pillows, some magazines and perhaps a glass of lemonade.

Outdoor kitchen

Outdoor Kitchen
The National Home Builders Association reports that outdoor kitchens add 130% to a home’s value. (Kitchens can range from a built-in grill to the addition of a sink, storage, pizza oven and refrigerator.)

Fountain in a back yard

Water Feature
A water feature adds a serenity value to your outdoor space.

Want some inspiration for your outdoor rooms? Look at Sibcy Cline’s Pinterest Outdoor Room board.

Tips To Help Sell Your Home Fast

Tips to get your home sold

Selling a home is a big deal. Your goal is get it sold fast to move on with your life. Here are some tips to help:

  • Pricing Strategy
    By pricing your home correctly from the start, you will attract the most buyers and not become “an old listing” with a lowered price later. 
  • Stage it to Look Fabulous to Home Buyers
    Make your home appealing to as many potential buyers as possible by neutralizing non-traditional colors, showcasing furniture in an appealing way and de-cluttering and de-personalizing your home. 
  • Store Clutter and Depersonalize
    A large part of the staging process is de-cluttering your home so the buyer can see the potential of their furniture in your home. Your goal is to have half-empty, tidy closets. Remove family photos and other personal items. You want the buyer to look at the rooms – not your belongings and collections. Think “minimalism”. 
  • Empty Home?
    If you have no furniture, you may want to consider having a few rooms professionally staged. The power of staging is the buyers can see how their furniture will look in your home.
  • Repair Things
    Knock out all of the minor repairs like touch-up painting or repairing the weather stripping. You want your home to look in great shape.
  • Let in the Light
    Make your homes as light filled as possible. Open curtains and shades to let in natural light. 
  • Great Photos on the Internet
    Your first open house will actually be on the Internet. Interested buyers view homes first online before seeing the home in person. Photos of your home should be professionally shot, showcasing its finest features. (Note: Your Sibcy Cline Agent will use the services of our team of Sibcy Cline Professional Photographers who shoot as many photos as needed of your home.)
  • Hide Your Animals
    Your pets need to be incognito during the selling process. Not every one is a dog or cat lover.
  • Add Curb Appeal
    The first impression of your home will be the front yard! Make sure your home’s exterior looks welcoming. Clear dead leaves. Pressure wash the walkways. 
  • Use a Sibcy Cline Agent
    Your local agent knows the appeal of the area and the condition of the current real estate market.
  • Be Ready For Showings
    You need to be prepared for showing appointments at all times. This is a really difficult part of the selling process. Beds need to be made up neatly, there should be no garbage, dirty dishes or laundry for public view and the bathrooms and kitchen need to be spotless. Your home needs to be clean and welcoming at all times.

13 Things To Avoid When Selling Your Home

Mistakes to avoid when selling your home

When preparing your home to sell, you need to spend time and effort to get your home staged and updated to appeal to buyers. You want your home to stand out and shine among all other homes for sale.

Here are 13 mistakes to avoid when listing your home ready to sell:

1. Clinging to Clutter 
We know you love your stuff. It has meaning to you. Buyers, however, will not appreciate your things. Clutter makes it difficult for buyers to imagine their things in your home. You need to either throw things away, sell them or store items away offsite while your home is on the market.

2. Not Upping Your Homes Value with Updates
We are not talking about tackling major home projects, but updates such as a new backsplash in the kitchen, replacing faucets or light fixtures or simply repainting a room or two can add more appeal to your home.

3. You Have Blocked Light and Views 
If a piece of furniture is blocking a window in a room, you need to move it – especially if the outside view is attractive. Make rooms sunny and light filled by opening curtains and blinds.

4. Painting Only To Your Taste 
You loves the deep purple accent wall in your family room – but will others adore it like you do? Probably not. Walls should be painted in neutral colors with beige, grey or pale green tones.

5. Staying Emotionally Attached
Selling your home can be an emotional time, especially if you have spent many years enjoying it. When your home is for sale, you need to have a thick skin as others may not feel the same as you do about its features. Do not take criticism about your home personally.

6. Staying Home When Your Home Is Shown
When buyers tour your home it is awkward if you are in the home. They may not want to stay and see what your home has to offer. You need to leave for all showings.

7. Pets in the House
Take your pets with you when your home is shown. The buyer touring may have a fear or allergy of your pet and be turned off or even refuse to enter the home with the pet inside. (And remember, all pet food bowls and toys should be hidden away. Pet stains and odors also need to be addressed.)

8. Overdoing It With Decor
Staging a home to sell is different from decorating it. Accessories need to be kept to a minimum.

9. Not Neutralizing Your Personal Style
Your home needs to show in a neutral style to appeal to the masses. If you have a special collection or a room that was converted for a special hobby, you need to remove the objects and bring that room back to its original purpose. Think luxury hotel room or new home model.

10. You Do Not Have a Green Thumb
The front yard is the first thing people will see when entering the home. You need to make the landscaping look fresh and neat. Flowers and outdoor furniture add to the ambiance of an outdoor space.

11. Your Closets are Stuffed
Yes, buyers are going to check out your closets. They need to be de-cluttered and organized. The same goes for the bathroom and kitchen cupboards and pantry.

12. Putting Off Cleaning
If cleaning is not at the top of your list of things to do, it needs to be when you home is on the market. All things need to be put away. Dishes are to be washed. Beds should be nicely made. The kitchen and bathrooms are to be spotless.

13. Neglecting the Garage and Basement 
The garage needs to be clean and tidy. So does the basement.

Benefits of Selling Your Home During Winter

Sell your home during winter

Winter is not a time of year typically associated with a lot of home sales, but real estate experts advise that owners can actually tap this unique market. All it takes is a different type of prep work and a positive attitude.

While bright, sunny days coupled with warm weather and green grass can seem like the best way to market a home, some industry insiders actually prefer to market a home in winter. Homes tend to be more brightly lit and festively decorated in a way that makes a listing look a lot more “homey”.

Everyone is Motivated in the Winter
Another huge benefit that comes with putting a home up for sale in the winter is interest of getting a deal done as quickly and easily as possible. Sellers who decide to sell in the winter are typically those who either have to get their homes on and off the market quickly or have had the property up for sale for a few months and want to strike a deal as soon as possible.

In either case, real estate professionals will often advise that buyers at this time of year are likewise motivated to move in quickly. They might need to move for job-related reasons and want to do so when there’s less competition from other buyers or hope to relocate while prices are still below what they might expect to see a few months down the line.

What to Keep in Mind
It’s worth noting that homeowners have a serious part to play in making sure their properties are fully up to code and ready for the sales process. Any issues that arise could hold up what would otherwise be a quick and easy sales process. That point goes beyond simply making sure a home is ready for a photo or video shoot and involves ensure all home systems (heating and cooling, hot water heaters, etc…) are in good working order.

When mishaps arise with those home systems, they can lead to backups because of how busy the associated repair professionals are at this time of year. Therefore, getting systems tested before the home is put up for sale is usually a great idea.

Likewise, it’s usually smart for owners to invest in a home warranty ahead of a sale to make sure that if something does go wrong for those systems, they’ll have some financial protection and added peace of mind. That can be a huge benefit for buyers as well, and highlighting that protection might be an extra selling point at this time of year.

It’s also important for owners to remember that the more limited number of shoppers seen on the market at this time of year means that they might need to be a little more flexible in how they conceive of the sales process. Some home buyers may be perfectly willing to buy, but then the holiday season gets in the way, delaying the sale. Other buyers might want to get the sales process wrapped up as quickly as possible. Home sellers should be prepared for all scenarios.

Hosting an Open House
Because of how tight anyone’s schedule can be at this time of year, there are not as many open houses. This can actually present a significant opportunity for you to show off your home with an open house and putting your best foot forward.

Make sure your home is 100 percent ready for that open house. At this time of year, that effort usually starts with two different types of curb appeal. First, it’s important to keep a yard in the best shape possible, even if there’s a blanket of snow on it. Clearing out sticks and dead leaves can go a long way here, as can tasteful holiday decoration, where it’s appropriate.

The other aspect of curb appeal is making sure all paths are safe for people to walk on. Clearing snow, ice and puddles from driveways and walkways, as well as the sidewalks will help sellers and their guests avoid any potential accidents and also show that you are conscientious about attending to your property.

Issues to Avoid
Once open houses have been held and bids are starting to come in, keep a positive mental attitude. It can be easy to worry about getting a sale done in short order or a good price for a home, but at especially at this time of year, sellers’ agents will have more time to devote to the sale of their listings and make sure everything goes smoothly.

Remember, at some point the finer details of a sale are out of the sellers’ hands. Rather than getting worked up about things you can’t control, it’s usually a better idea to let you agent do his/her job. Relax and enjoy the season for what it is – an opportunity to spend time with family and friends.

Sell Your Home By the End of the Year

Selling your home in fall or winter

Want to sell your home now and not wait until the spring market? Fall and early winter could the perfect time.There are still buyers looking for homes and during this time of year, they are usually serious ones. And, you will have less competition of other homes on the market. 

Here are ideas to sell your home now before the end of this year:

Asking Price
Be realistic about the asking price. It needs to be based on a current competitive analysis and not by your emotions attached to your home. It is not a good strategy to “test the market” and see how a higher price does. If your home is priced too high, you will ultimately end up lowering it as well as lose that initial buying market. 

Competitive Market Analysis
Your real estate agent will see what has sold, is pending and active in your area for comparable properties. This research will give you a good feel for how the market is doing with buyers and will help with the proper pricing of your home.

Put Your Best Foot Forward
Make sure your home is in tip-top shape and ready to sell. It should be rid of clutter, have neutral decor and have any known problems serviced. Ask your agent for honest feedback about your home. The better the showing condition, the faster it could sell. Remember, first impressions count.

Curb Appeal
During fall it’s important to keep up with mowing and raking. Keep gutters clear. Potted mums will make the front yard look cheery before the first frost hits. If there is snow, clear walkways and the driveway. Landscape lighting adds drama. 

Tone Down Seasonal Decor
Fall and winter seasons are prime times for home decor. When selling your home, keep holiday decorations to the minimum. You do not want to distract from your home’s features. Perhaps a few pumpkins in fall and some greenery in December. 

If you have a functioning fireplace, now is the time to show it off! Light that fire to create a cozy environment. 

Keep the Lights On
With less daylight in fall and winter, make sure your home looks at light filled as possible. Open curtains and pul back the blinds. Keep lights on in all rooms. 

Offering flexible terms to the home buyer could work in your favor at this time of year. Is the buyer in a rush to move or need time to close on the home? 

Look for a Sibcy Cline agent here.



Pricing Your Home Correctly to Sell

Price Your Home To Sell

When selling your home, the goal is to obtain the highest possible price.

What Should You Sell Your Home For?

Pricing your home correctly with your agent is crucial. It’s the “Goldilocks effect”. Price it too high and you take a risk of discouraging offers from buyers. You then may need a price drop to gather up buyer interest. Price drops are sometimes viewed as a red flag. Buyers may wonder if there is a problem with the home.

Price your home too low and buyers may question your home’s condition and if there are problems at that bargain-basement price.

Price Your Home in the Center – Not Too Low and Not Too High

By pricing at the correct market value you’ll increase the chances of getting strong offers for your home. Right out of the gate, you will attract buyers and there may be a bidding war. If that happens, you will end up with an even higher final sale price. (Another perk is that your home should sell quickly in this current real estate market.)

How Your Agent Prices Homes To Sell
Your agent takes several things into consideration when pricing a home:

  1. The current values of homes in your neighborhood. (Your agent runs “comps” of recently sold homes and will generate a comparative market analysis to review pricing with you.)
  2. The current demand for homes in your area.
  3. The condition of your home also affects its current value.

    Upgrades and Renovations To Your Home
    Any renovations and upgrades to your home may add value, but not always. It is doubtful you will receive the full dollar amount that you spent. Remember, the potential buyer will not care how much sweat equity you’ve put into your home and its improvement.

    Be sure to talk to you agent about what improvements would be best to improve the sale of your home. (It may be necessary repairs, staging or some curb appeal tweaks.)

    Talk to your favorite Sibcy Cline agent here.

5 Perks of Selling Your Home Right Now

Reasons to sell your home now

You may have been considering putting your home on the market to sell but are unsure due to current real estate market conditions. You know can sell, but are not so certain you’ll find a home to buy. Here are five “perks” of selling now to take under consideration:

Perk 1: Take Advantage of Buyer Demand
Many buyers are looking now to purchase homes. (First-time home buyer properties are especially in high demand.) If you sell now, these buyers will take notice right way and your home should sell quickly. This will mean having to deal with less open houses and showings. The entire selling process will be smoother. Once your home is “sold pending”, you won’t need to worry about keeping it “show ready 24/7”.

In 2021, homes were typically on the market for a single week (as compared to three weeks in 2019 and 11 weeks in 2013.)

Perk 2: Easier Terms for Home Sellers
In this market, contract terms favor the home seller. You can set the closing date and occupancy to your preferences. You do not need to offer home warranties, concede money for home repair or have to offer “carrots” to make the deal more alluring to buyers. With fewer sacrifices when selling, you are giving up less. According to the National Association of Realtors, 75% of home sellers did not offer any incentives to attract buyers in 2021.

Perk 3: More Money For Your New Home
With the home inventory shortage many homes on the market are receiving multiple offers. Competition for homes is driving prices upward. Sell your home now for a high market price and you will have more money to purchase that new home. This does not mean asking too much for your home. If you overprice, the selling process will slow down and you may lose out on multiple, escalating offers. Talk to your agent about a pricing strategy.

Perk 4: You Can Trade Up to a Better Home
Upgrading your home to one that is larger or better suited to your needs is a great reason to sell now. Lock in a still-low mortgage rate. Even if the home costs 10 to 20 percent more, you will come out ahead in the long run in your new home.

Perk 5: Max out the Equity in Your Home
Now is a great time to take advantage of your home’s equity. Take your current mortgage balance and subtract it from your home’s estimated market value. That sum is your home’s equity. Your goal is to have enough equity to pay off your current mortgage and additional money to make a 20% down payment on a new home.

Should You Sell Now?
If you are motivated, you can handle the home-buying process once your old home has sold. It will take tenacity and deep understanding of the market. Working with your real estate agent will play a key role in hearing about homes coming onto the market. Patience and pricing strategies will be important factors in buying that new home.

If you’re willing to either rent or move in with family in the interim, you will have more time to find your new home. Also, you may be able to negotiate renting your current home from the new home buyer.

Sibcy Solutions
Not interested in a double move or need further assistance in securing a down payment for your new home? Sibcy Solutions offers innovative selling options that allow you to remain in your current home until you find a new one. For buyers, we can accelerate getting you into a home by making you a cash buyer. Your real estate agent or Sibcy Cline Loan Originator can review with you based on your unique situation.

Ideas When Selling Your Home During the Holidays

List your home during the holidays

Homes sell all year long and some are on the market during the winter holiday season. There is an art to selling during this time of year. It’s a busy time and people who are looking for homes will probably not be “tire kickers”. Here are some tips to help you sell during the holidays:

Stage It Accordingly

One unique benefit of selling a home during the holidays is that you can actually use it to your advantage when it comes to staging. You can warm up a space during the holidays and that might make it easier for potential buyers to picture themselves there.

Add tasteful but simple holiday decorations. Don’t go overboard and block the home’s features.

Focus on the cozy features like the fireplace, and of course, it’s a great time to use the classic real estate trick of baking cookies when someone comes for a showing. Make sure your home is warm temperature-wise too.

Clean-Up the Curb Appeal

While the winter makes it tougher to sell your home because people can’t see the landscaping, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the curb appeal altogether.

Shovel the walkways, illuminate pathways, and make sure that there’s a mat at the door so people coming to see your house can wipe their feet.

Price It Accordingly

Your listing agent will work with you to develop the right pricing strategy based on their assessment of the local housing data. Many variables go into pricing, but you may need to go a little lower than you’d like if you are selling this time of year with less demand from home buyers.

It’s not the time to haggle. During this time of year, it’s often better to price it right from the start instead of making price reductions later.

Be Flexible About Showings

During the holiday season, everyone is busy and may have more plans than usual, but if you’re selling your home, you need to be flexible and accessible when it comes to showings. It’s a challenging time so if someone wants to see your home, you need to do everything you can to facilitate that.

Focus on Outdoor Features

If you live somewhere with harsh winters, selling your home around the holidays can give you the chance to show off some of the exterior features that make it well-equipped for winter weather. For example, maybe potential buyers go outside to take a look at your home’s new roof. You could also show off convenient winter features like updated heating and attached garages.

If you can manage your expectations before you put a home on the marketing during the holidays, it’s going to help you stay more relaxed and also hopefully help you sell your house faster.

Is Winter a Good Time to Sell Your Home?

Why sell your home during winter

The “summer buying season” got its name for a reason: it is by far the busiest time for real estate sales in the calendar year. However, this fact seems to have also created something of an unfair negative view of other times to both sell and buy properties. In fact, some experts say there are actual benefits to putting a property up for sale over the course of the winter.

Industry data suggests homes put up for sale in winter sell more quickly than those in the summer, according to several reports. This outcome is also true when it comes to buyers meeting sellers’ initial asking prices. And while these sales conditions may seem counterintuitive to some homeowners, it’s important to remember one thing: More people put their homes up for sale in the summer, so there’s more competition on both the buying and selling sides of the market.

Why winter is a great time for sellers
While most would-be sellers think it’s wise to put their properties up for sale in May or June, those who do so in January, February, and March are more likely to find a captive audience of hopeful buyers, the report said. Moreover, because there’s so much competition in the summer and even fall months, homes can sometimes stay on the market for a few extra months.

But those who decide to put their homes on the market in the winter months initially may find that while there are fewer buyers actively looking to make a purchase at that time of year, those who are in the market could be more motivated to get the  deal done. A smaller market doesn’t necessarily mean one that is less likely to be conducive to making deals, and there can be a significant benefit that comes from listing in winter for those looking to close quickly.

Beneficial for buyers as well
Meanwhile, because of all the people in the market in summer, bidding wars can get heated quickly, resulting in higher sales prices overall, according to new NerdWallet data. That might be good for many sellers, but buyers looking to find a bargain on a home will likely do better to wait out the competition and seek to purchase in fall and winter instead.

“If your circumstances give you the freedom to be able to choose the best time to look to sign a contract on a new home, there’s no question that the market dynamics favor you the most to do that in the dead of winter, ideally in January or February, right before the activity starts to heat up,” Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for, told the news source.

With all this in mind, sellers will have to weigh what is more important to them as part of their home sales goals: maximizing their sale prices or getting through the process as quickly as possible. Each objective has its own merits, so how those realities apply to individual owners may vary significantly. Working with a real estate professional can help owners make the decision that works best for them.

Look at homes for sale.


Decluttering your Home? Items you Should Sell!

Decluttering your home Sibcy Cline Realtors

Decluttering your home can provide much satisfaction. With things cleared out, everything has a place with no messy piles. (If you are getting your home ready to sell, a good purge will save you lots of time for when you finally move.)

Here are some tips of what items are best to sell when decluttering:

Recreation Gear
Recreation equipment can be pricey when purchased new. You should do well earning cash, especially during the warmer months when people use these items most. Things such as tents, sleeping bags, backpacks and camping gear are sought after.

Old Computers/Typewriters
If you have an older computer or a typewriter, you might be able to make money when selling. People like to use old-style typewriters as decor. Some older computers are in demand. Do research before getting rid of such items.

Video Games
You’ll need to see what games and consoles are selling in today’s market. There are nostalgia collectors searching for older games for their collections. It’s all about supply and demand for what you will get when selling.

If you are ready to digitize your music collection, consider selling old CDs. Vintage vinyl albums are highly sought after, so be sure to sell those! The same goes for movie DVDs.

Kids’ clothes in gently used condition can be easily sold. (Holiday apparel is popular in the resale market.) Adult clothing can be sold, too. If the items are designer and in good condition, consider selling on Poshmark. Otherwise, donations might be the best bet to get rid of other unused clothes.

Exercise Equipment
Have a treadmill or exercise bike you no longer use? You should try selling it. Old equipment could be someone’s new workout tool.

Out-of-date furniture items at the right price are appealing to buyers for DIY projects. Antiques might sell – it all depends on the style of the item.

New musical instruments tend to be pricey. Try selling them secondhand. Pianos may be difficult to sell since they are heavy.

Some hardcover books make great decor items, especially if they have interesting spines. Try to sell such books as a set. Newer books can be resold, too. Fiction books are popular for the resale market. Have a collection of cookbooks? Consider digitizing favorite recipes and minimizing your collection to your most-used books. The rest can be sold. If you have a comic book collection, check out pricing online. You might have a gold mine.

Baby Items
All of the accessories for babies – high chairs, cribs, strollers, etc… are in demand on the secondhand market. Sell them.

There is a market for vintage toys as well as current toys in clean, good condition. (The Barbie with no hair will need to be tossed.)

Art/Home Decor
Depending upon the item, you may be able to sell art or home decor. It’s worth a try. Items not in style or popular will probably need to be donated.

Holiday Decor
Ornaments can have value, especially vintage pieces. For example the Hallmark brand has collectible ornaments people want.

If you are paring down your tool set, sell what you do not need.

China, Dishes and Glassware
If your collection of dishes is large, perhaps it is time to downsize to what you actually use. Try to sell the rest. If that is not successful, consider donating them. The same goes for glassware.

Kitchen Appliances
There are many tools for mixing, dicing, baking, blending and more. Take inventory of your kitchen appliances and keep only those you actually use. Vitamixers and air fryers are popular right now and would be good items to sell. If your unused appliance is older, consider donating it.

Not in love with an antique item in your home? You may be able to make some cash by selling it. You’ll need to Google each item to get a feel for value. Mid-Century Modern items are currently very popular. If the item is not popular, a donation might be best.

You may be able to sell bedding or linens in good condition at a garage sale. Otherwise donate this type of item.

Items in your Garage
Yard equipment such as an old lawn mower, trimmer or other garden tools can be sold. Bicycles and scooters are other good items to sell. (Facebook Marketplace is a good place for these type of items.)

Where to Sell Items
If offline is your method, try a garage sale, flea market, or reach out to friends and family. Online, there are many options such as eBay (for items that can be shipped), Let Go, Offer Up, CraigsList, Poshmark (clothes/handbags/home decor), Facebook groups/marketplace or NextDoor. Everything But The House is another online option.