5 Tips for Staging Your House to Sell

We’re thinking about moving into a bigger house, but part of getting more square footage involves selling the ranch we currently call home. While it looks like a decent enough house to us, I know that as-is it won’t fetch the top-dollar we need to get into something bigger. The real estate market is fierce in Eastern Mass, but somehow I don’t think that our house will measure up to the competition.

To ensure the best success, I’ve been researching ways to get the most money for your house. Here are 5 tips for staging your home that I found useful:

1.) De-Personalize Your Space

You’re moving out (hopefully) so you need to make your home look like a house rather than a home. This will help you disassociate yourself with the space to make the move easier while helping prospective buyers imagine themselves in the space.

Remove photos, family heirlooms and other meaningful mementos that will stop a prospective buyer from picturing themselves in the space. Remove anything that will make a buyer wonder about you instead of focusing on picturing themselves there.

2.) De-Clutter.

It’s amazing how much junk you probably have. Rent a storage space or a POD and start packing away anything you don’t need in the immediate future. If you haven’t used something in over a year, consider donating it to charity or selling it at a yard sale. The less you have, the less you’ll have to move. As a bonus, your de-cluttered house will look bigger and more inviting to buyers.

3.) Clean those closets!

Buyers love to snoop and things like closets or kitchen cabinets aren’t off-limits at all. Clean those areas up and free as much space as possible to make it look like you have an abundance of storage space.

4.) Clean, clean clean!

Buyers will often not consider a dirty house. Wash windows, rent a pressure washer, take care of cop webs, polish the sink faucet and vacuum daily. You may want to also clean out the fridge if that’s going as part of the sale.

5.)  Work on the curb appeal.

Head outside and look at your house. Is it neat and inviting? Does it look like a home you’d want to go tour? Clear sidewalks, mow the lawn, paint window trim and plant flowers. Yellow flowers. Yellow makes people want to buy things.




Gulp: We’re Cutting Cable

We’re finally doing it – we’re cutting cable. After talking about it for over 2 years, we’re finally breaking free of Dish. They raised our bill from $47/month to $52/month in January (yearly $5 price hike) and then in March they raised it to $95 because “customer credits” expired. I got those credits the last time they raised it to $80 and I tried to leave.

This time, the best they could do was $65 if I didn’t want to downgrade my package. We could get back down to $52 if I wanted to get rid of basically every channel we watch (mostly kid channels and Hallmark. Don’t judge me.)

We shopped around with various cable providers and they all came to over $100/month for cable and internet. Right now we pay $35 for internet, so that’s still quite a cable bill. It seems like wherever we go we would be paying about $65 for cable.

There’s a lot of things you can do with $65/month instead of paying for cable. Here’s what we decided to do:

$8.34/month for Amazon Prime (I’m buying 12 months all at once for a little discount)
$10/month for Netflix (2 screens)

Total: $18.34/month

We have a couple of Roku players and can watch shows on ABC and other major networks about a week after they air for free. We might also get an indoor antennae since we are between 3 major cities. At this rate, we can also splurge on streaming movies, Red box and DVDs each month and still be ahead of what we would be with cable. Amazon prime is mostly for buying streaming content and 2-day shipping our DVD selections.

Some friends also recommended that I look into a streaming service called Kodi, but I haven’t done that yet.

So, if you’ve cut cable, what has your experience been like? Can you offer any advice? Do you think my Roku will cut it? We also have a 3rd generation Apple TV, but it seems pretty limited — no Amazon Prime on that.

DEAL ALERT: Straight Talk iPhone 5S now only $149!

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If you’ve been thinking about upgrading to an iPhone 5S and switching to Straight Talk, now is the time! Walmart is offering the iPhone 5S in your choice of grey or silver for just $149!

If you’re not familiar with Straight Talk, it’s a prepaid wireless service from Walmart that costs just $45 a month for unlimited talk, text and data*. (5 gb high speed and then 2G after that.) There are never any overages and right now, they’re running a promotion where you get $5 off a month for the first 3 months. Need more data? You can get 10 gb of high speed data and then 2G after that for $55 a month.

If you’re worried about coverage – don’t be! Straight Talk uses the 4 major carriers’ networks to provide service. The network you use will depend on the phone you buy. The iPhone 5s runs on the Verizon network.

Head online to see if the phone is available at your local Walmart. If not, you can order online and have it shipped. Don’t wait – this deal is too good to pass up and there’s no telling how long it will be available for!