How Home Sellers Should Prepare for an Open House

open houseAn open house is a great way to have potential buyers see your home in person. Getting your home prepared for that big day is important since you always want it to look its best for that special day.

One of the most important aspects of prepping for an open house is to make sure visitors can really picture themselves living there. This is often difficult to do if your home – or even any one room – is too personalized with family photos or mementos, bright wall colors, or other distracting items. The same is true if there’s even a little bit of clutter lying around.

Other Things to Address
If there are little chips in the wood or places where a window screen isn’t in the best shape, now is the time to make any small repairs or replacements that need to be made. Even the most minor fixes should be prioritized. You will want to show your home in its best light and condition.

While the idea of repainting rooms, making repairs or clearing out overloaded closets seems daunting ahead of an open house, it’s worth noting that this is something you will have to do anyway when moving out – so simply think of it as getting out in front of the work.

Getting People Through the Door
Another critical part of an open house is to get buyers through the door in the first place. Your selling agent will promote your open house with directional signs as well as online (and probably on Social Media). You can help promote it, too, on your own Social Media with family and friends.

To make sure your home is even more appealing to buyers, consider an investment in a home warranty. This can help insulate both you and the buyer from unexpected costs related to replacing and repairing certain systems and appliances if something were to go wrong. These plans often don’t carry a huge cost and can provide significant peace of mind for all parties involved through the real estate sales process and beyond.

Need help getting your home open house ship shape? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can assist with many home-related services and needs.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click


Get Your Home Ready for Sale Now!

Home renovationWhile winter is here, homeowners who are considering selling should take this time to ensure their homes are ready to appeal to buyers. That effort requires some prep work – and the good news is that a lot of these jobs are easy to complete.

Starting with Physical Labor
Prior to selling your home, owners need to make sure their houses are depersonalized. All personal touches and mementos should be removed from areas potential buyers are most likely to view. This is an important step because potential buyers need to be able to picture themselves themselves moving in with their belongings.

Removing family photos, kids’ drawings on the fridge and other home-y items is crucial. If a property that’s put up for sale feels too “lived in,” would-be buyers might be subconsciously less interested in making a bid.

It’s also wise to focus on decluttering and clearing out items that can build up in corners and closets. This should coincide with a larger effort to give a home a good top-to-bottom cleaning, especially in communal areas such as the kitchen or den, where prospective buyers are likely to spend more time during open houses. This might also be a good time to find items to donate or sell items that are no longer used or worn.

Applying Finishing Touches
Depersonalizing and decluttering a home are often the hardest parts of the job, but homeowners have other efforts to undertake, according to On The Market. For instance, if any rooms of a house are painted in bright or bold colors, repainting them so they’re a bit more muted and neutral is often recommended because buyers may not be able to picture a room in any other colors.

In addition, it’s a good idea for owners to make sure their front lawns and any garden areas are in good shape. A little work outdoors can help visitors feel welcome immediately and adds to that curb appeal.

Your real estate agent will recommend changes to make before selling. With a few months before the official start of the busy real estate sales season, there’s still plenty of time to easily make those changes.

Sibcy Cline Home Services is available to help with painting and other preparation needs to get your home sale ready.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click

Benefits of Selling Your Home During Winter

House_Snow_Hands.jpgWinter 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, according to the Realty Times. 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, veteran 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.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click

Successfully Sell Your Home This Fall

Old street lamp in the park at autumn. Toned image.Is fall the right time to sell your home? Yes, it is! Given the demand for homes in today’s market, you’re still likely to generate a lot of interest from would-be buyers.

There is a different approach to selling in the fall because the real estate market traditionally changes from its summer buying patterns. Here are ways to make your home stand out from the crowd when selling during the fall season:

Appeal to the Fall Buyer
One of the biggest things to keep in mind at this time of year is the most likely demographics for buyers will be either a younger millennial and people who are looking for a change after their own kids moved out. People with school-aged children are not as motivated to buy a home in autumn since their kids are already settled in at school.

Highlighting the kinds of home features that will appeal to your likely buyers may be a good way to market your home. Home office space, a guest bedroom or even easy access to local attractions are features that millennials and empty nesters will be drawn towards.

Photos of Your Home
For marketing purposes schedule your home to be photographed while the autumn leaves are still on trees and the light is still strong during the day. This can really make a house feel warm and homey – and is much better than the dim, thinner light that comes along in early winter. Brown grass just does not look as nice as a green lawn.

In addition, your home’s staged decor should reflect the season. Pumpkins and gourds nicely displayed on a front porch look welcoming. Light fall interior decor also adds a nice touch. Create a cozy (yet uncluttered) atmosphere. See our Fall Decorating Ideas Pinterest board for ideas.

Highlight What’s Nice
Entice fall home buyers by showcasing your home’s high-efficiency heating system and automated thermostat (that also improves efficiency with easier controls). A little expenditure on weather stripping or a new thermostat can really help to wow prospective buyers.

Make your home brighter for open houses (which might not always be easy given how gray some fall days can be.) Add mirrors and install brighter light bulbs to help your home from feeling dark and dreary. Be sure to keep lights on and open the drapes for showing appointments.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click

August Home Sales Report – Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana

HomeSales_August2017.jpgMany homes are selling quickly due to low inventories of homes for sale. Mortgage interest rates remain low. Here are the sales statistics for August 2017 for Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana:

The Cincinnati region enjoyed setting a record for 15 consecutive months for increased average sale price!

August 2017 vs August 2016

  • -.61% Decrease in homes sold (2,610 homes vs 2,626)
  • 8.48% Increase in average sale price ($210,000 vs $193,868)
  • 12.58% Increase in median sale price ($170,000 vs $151,000)
  • 7.81% Increase in gross sales volume ($548,883,303 vs $509,097,422)

January – August 2017 vs January – August 2016

  • .2 % Increase in homes sold (17,776 homes vs 17,740)
  • 6.59% Increase in average sale price ($202,902 vs $190,366)
  • 7.95% Increase in median sale price ($163,000 vs $151,000)
  • 6.8% Increase in sales volume ($3,606,792,639 vs $3,377,091,173)

Statistics courtesy of Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors August 2017 Home Sales Report


August 2017 vs August 2016

  • -.74% Decrease in homes sold (1,606 homes vs 1,618)
  • 10.92% Increase in average sale price ($162,235 vs $146,261)
  • 11.36% Increase in median sale price ($139,200 vs $125,000)
  • 10.10% Increase in sales volume ($260,548,765 vs $236,650,202)

January – August 2017 vs January – August 2016

  • 1.86% Increase in homes sold (10,910 homes vs 10,711)
  • 5.96% Increase in average sale price ($134,000 vs $126,900)
  • 5.59% Increase in median sale price ($134,000 vs $126,900)
  • 7.93% Increase in sales volume ($1,699,577,954 vs $1,574,682,921)

Statistics courtesy of Dayton Area Board of Realtors August 2017 Home Sales Report

Northern Kentucky

August 2017 vs August 2016

  • -4.53% Decrease in homes sold (653 homes vs 684)
  • -4.36% Decrease in average sale price ($182,987 vs $191,326)
  • 1.27% Increase in median sale price ($160,000 vs $158,000)
  • -8.69% Decrease in sales volume ($119,490,533 vs $130,867,134)

January – August 2017 vs January – August 2016

  • 3.06% Increase in homes sold (4,821 homes vs  4,678)
  • 2.50% Increase in average sale price ($180,361 vs $179,956)
  • 3.29% Increase in median sale price ($157,000 vs $152,000)
  • 5.64% Increase in sales volume ($869,524,447 vs$823,122,265)

Statistics courtesy of Northern Kentucky Association of Realtors August 2017 Home Sales Report

Southeastern Indiana
Southeastern Indiana had an uptick in home sales for August!

August 2017 vs August 2016

  • 12.8% Increase in homes sold (123 homes vs 109 homes)
  • 9.9% Increase in average sale price ($174,328 vs $158,565)
  • 14.2% Increase in median sale price ($159,900 vs $140,000)
  • 24.1% Increase in sales volume ($21,442,297 vs $17,283,518)

January – August 2017 vs January – August 2016

  • 3.8% Increase in homes sold (813 homes vs 783 home)
  • 4.1% Increase in average sale price ($157,335 vs $151,208)
  • 1.1% Increase in median sale price ($140,500 vs $139,000)
  • 8.0% Increase in sales volume ($127,913,336 vs $118,395,991)

Statistics courtesy of Rick McMillin – Southeast Indiana Association of Realtors Home Sales Report, August 1, 2017

Look at homes for sale in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana.

Current Home Owners have Plenty to Gain from Selling Now

red home sign on hundred dollar bills. Real Estate business ConcWith the current real estate situation, prices have reached record highs in many markets. Despite this trend many homeowners are still on the sidelines of the housing market and are hesitant to put their properties up for sale regardless of the incentives to do so. This might be particularly true for owners who bought in the past 10 years, when prices were above the pre-recession and historical norms. However, today’s market conditions could make now the perfect time to sell.

Housing Market 2017
Perhaps the biggest story in the housing market in 2017 has been the massive demand to buy homes and the relatively limited inventory of properties they can actually purchase. In comparison to the market five years ago, there are now 20 percent fewer homes up for sale nationwide4.

Digging into the Numbers
The reason for this trend is clear enough to industry observers: Buyer demand is so great that when any home is put up for sale, owners are likely to find significant enough interest – typically from multiple bidders – that they can get through the real estate sales process quickly and easily. Today fewer than half of all homes for sale are still available within two months of being listed.

Different Situations
Why aren’t more homeowners eager to get into the market and earn a significant return on their home investments thanks to today’s high prices?

Some people may be worried about how much they would have to pay for a new home after selling their own. Others may be waiting for competition to ease so they don’t have to go through the bidding process to get a new home once their old home has sold. Others are just afraid to list before they find something they like.

Further compounding the inventory issue is the fact that home builders aren’t able to put up new houses quickly enough to meet demand in most parts of the country.

When Sellers become Buyers
The good news for prospective sellers is in the busier markets, the selling process has been so accelerated, everything happens in less than a week. For example, a listing can go up on a Thursday or Friday, with an open house scheduled for that weekend, and multiple bids may come in by Monday. That’s a four-day turnaround, and a lot of homes go from not even being listed to under contract within five.

That could encourage current owners on the fence about getting into the market themselves, though that means if they do shop around, they will need to have contingency plans in place for getting their own homes listed and under contract quickly.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click

What Home Sellers Can do to Boost the Sale of Their Property


There are plenty of DIY projects that can help homeowners make their properties more appealing both inside and out, and boost appeal when selling their homes, according to HGTV. One of the simplest is to put a little more effort into making a yard look good with some extra gardening, yard cleanup (like raking leaves and clearing twigs or branches) and a freshly mown lawn.

Improving the Exterior
It’s relatively easy to clean out gutters or pressure wash the side of a home to really make the property sparkle. Be sure to make any repairs to damage that may be visible on the home’s exterior. A fresh paint job – especially on the front doors or around the windows –  can go a long way toward making a home look newer than some might think. Simply buying a new welcome mat can also make the entryway look fresh.

Inside the Home
Once the outside of the house is taken care of, home sellers need to turn their attention to the inside. Taking the time to make rooms a little less personalized – so would-be buyers can more easily picture themselves living in the house – is a good idea. Repaint any bold-colored rooms to make them a bit more muted. Efforts to organize drawers, closets, and other hidden-away areas help with creating appeal, especially when curious open house attendees might want to poke around.

It’s also important to keep in mind the kinds of rooms home shoppers will want to investigate most thoroughly, according to IKEA. Chief among them is the kitchen. Stow away most of your appliances to keep counters and islands free of clutter. And, remember to make sure every surface in this room sparkles.

Along similar lines, people are always going to be particularly interested in the home’s bedrooms, so be sure to keep them tidy with personal items hidden away  including emote controls or toys. Finally, it’s also wise to give everything in the bathroom a serious scrubbing, because anything awry in there can be a serious turnoff for many would-be buyers.

Consult with Your Agent
Working with real estate professionals to get advice about boosting curb appeal is always a good idea since they know what efforts are most likely to result in a quick and easy sale.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click