Michelle Anne Murphy - South Shore Real Estate Services | Scituate MA Real Estate


Sellers who are eager to attract serious buyers and maximize the value of their home often utilize home staging as a way to leave a good impression.

Homes that are skillfully staged look better in photos online, creating more leads, showings, and ultimately, offers. Furthermore, prospective buyers want to be able to envision themselves living in a home. Staging makes it easier for them to understand what it would look like and how spacious it will feel once it has been furnished.

Home staging by the numbers

You don’t, however, have to take my word for it. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases an annual report which collects and analyzes survey data from nearly 2,000 agents regarding their experience with home staging.

In their findings, they note that 62 percent of agents agree that staging a home lessens the time the property is for sale. Furthermore, 77 percent of agents said home staging makes it easier to visualize living in a home that would otherwise be empty.

Which rooms should be staged?

Staging an entire home takes an enormous amount of time and money. One way to simplify the process is to stage a select few rooms. In the NAR’s study, they asked agents which rooms they typically staged when selling a home. The results:

  • 83% Living Room

  • 76% Kitchen

  • 69% Master Bedroom

  • 66% Dining Room

  • 53% Bathroom

  • 31% Yard Space

  • 25% Children’s Bedroom

  • 21% Guest Bedroom

From these results, we can ascertain that it’s important to stage the main rooms of your home. Lesser used a multi-purpose rooms (like offices and guest rooms) aren’t as important to stage.

Can staging your home increase the sale price?

It’s difficult to say with certainty if, and by how much, home staging affects the sale price of a home. However, if staging your home is successful at getting the attention at a greater number of prospective buyers, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to go with the highest bidder.

When the NAR asked agents if staging increases the amount buyer’s offer on a home, their responses were somewhat mixed.

  • 29% of respondents thought it increases the offer by one to five percent

  • 21% of respondents say it increases the offer by six to ten percent

  • 8% said it increases the offer from between eleven to twenty percent

  • 14% said it had no impact on the dollar value of the home

  • 27% were unsure if it had an impact on the dollar value

In general, it would seem that most agents feel that staging a home not only improves a buyer’s opinion of a home, but also increases its sale value. If you’re planning on selling in the near future, staging at least part of your home could be something to consider to give your property a competitive edge.


Finding the ideal home for your family's needs is no easy task, but if you stay organized and focused, the right property is sure to come along!

One of your most valuable resources in your search for a new home is an experienced real estate agent -- someone you trust and feel comfortable working with.

They'll not only set up appointments for you to visit homes in your desired price range and school district, but they'll also help keep you motivated, informed, and on track. Once you know and have shared your requirements (and "wish list") with them, your agent will be able to guide you on a path to finding the home that will best serve your needs -- both short- and longer term.

In addition to proximity to jobs, good schools, and childcare, you'll probably want to pick a location that's close to supermarkets, recreation areas, and major highways. If you have friends or family in the area, then that would also be a key consideration.

While your immediate needs are a good starting point for creating a checklist of requirements, it's also a good idea to give some thought to what you may need in the future. Plans to expand your family, possibly take care of aging parents, or adopt pets are all factors to consider when looking at prospective homes to buy.

If you have college-age children or recent graduates in the family, you might have to save room for them in your new house. Many grads need a couple more years of financial and moral support from their parents (not to mention home-cooked meals) before they're ready to venture out on their own. Houses with a finished basement, a separate in-law apartment, or even a guest cottage on the property are often well-suited for multigenerational households.

In many cases, people tend to buy a home based on their emotional reaction to it, and then justify the purchase with facts. For example, if the price was right and a particular house reminded you of your childhood home, then that combination of elements could prompt you to make an offer on the house -- assuming those childhood memories were happy!

Sometimes prospective buyers might simply love the look and feel of a neighborhood or the fact that there's a spacious, fenced-in back yard in which they can envision their children or dogs happily (and safely) playing.

According to recent surveys, today's buyers are attracted to homes that have energy efficient features, separate laundry rooms, and low-maintenance floors, counter tops, and backyard decks. Gourmet kitchens, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink, a home office area, and outdoor living spaces are also popular features. Although your tastes may differ, many house hunters also like design elements such as subway tiles, hardwood floors, shaker cabinets, pendant lights, and exposed brick.

When it comes to choosing the home that you and your family will live in for the next few years, your top priorities will probably include a sufficient amount of space, plenty of convenience, and a comfortable environment in which you and your loved ones can feel safe, secure, and happy for the foreseeable future!


Do you know how to get your house ready for the real estate market? If not, you may miss out on opportunities to showcase your home to the right buyers. Perhaps even worse, you may struggle to maximize your home sale earnings.

When it comes to selling your house, it usually helps to plan ahead. Fortunately, we're here to help you do just that.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get your house ready to sell.

1. Clean As Much As Possible

Let's face it – a messy kitchen, bathroom or bedroom is an eyesore. And if you fail to clean your house prior to listing it, you risk alienating buyers time and time again.

Cleaning is a necessity for home sellers, regardless of a house's age or condition. If you allocate time and resources to ensure each room in your home looks pristine, you can increase the likelihood that your residence will make a positive first impression on buyers.

Mopping the floors, wiping down walls and taking a room-by-room approach to home cleaning generally is recommended. In addition, if you need extra assistance, you can always hire a professional home cleaning company.

2. Perform Home Exterior Maintenance

Although you may spend a lot of time cleaning your house's interior, you shouldn't forget about your home's exterior as well.

Ultimately, how your home's exterior looks may dictate how quickly your residence sells. If your house boasts a beautiful front lawn and immaculate exterior, a buyer may fall in love with your home instantly. Conversely, if your home's front lawn is uncut and your house's siding is damaged, your residence is unlikely to impress potential buyers.

When it comes to home exterior maintenance, it helps to do as much as you can. Trim the front lawn, repair damaged home siding and perform assorted home exterior maintenance. By doing so, you can immediately bolster your house's curb appeal.

3. Remove Clutter

Over the years, you may have collected a lot of items. But these items may make your house appear smaller than it actually is – something that all home sellers should try to avoid.

If you have a large collection of clutter, you may want to consider selling or donating various items. Or, you can always rent a storage unit for assorted belongings and move these items to your new residence after your current house sells.

Clearly, there are many ways to prepare your house for the real estate market. If you want to ensure the best-possible results from the home selling journey, you may want to reach out to a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can guide you along the home selling journey and ensure you can get the support you need to achieve your desired goals.

Start getting your house ready to sell – use the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly enhance your residence before you list it.


Adding a residence to the real estate market can be stressful, particularly for a first-time home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you maintain a positive outlook as you await offers on your house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a first-time home seller remain calm, cool and collected after he or she lists a residence.

1. Set Realistic Expectations

Although a first-time home seller might expect dozens of offers in the days following a house's addition to the real estate market, it may take some time to stir up interest in a residence. However, a home seller who establishes realistic expectations from the get-go will know how to stay the course throughout the property selling journey.

A first-time home seller should understand both the best- and worst-case scenarios. That way, a home seller will know how to respond to any potential pitfalls that may arise.

Furthermore, a first-time home seller should have a plan in place for what will happen after a home offer is accepted. This will ensure a home seller is fully prepared to vacate a house as quickly as possible.

2. Learn About the Housing Market

The housing market is exceedingly complex, especially for those who are selling homes for the first time. Conversely, a first-time home seller who takes a diligent approach can gain the real estate market insights to make confident decisions.

For example, a first-time home seller should analyze the competition closely. By looking at the prices of similar houses that are available, this home seller can establish a competitive price for a house and increase his or her chances of a quick home sale.

A first-time home seller also should check out the prices of recently sold houses in his or her city or town. By doing so, this home seller can find out whether he or she is entering a buyer's or seller's market and plan accordingly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Selling a home may seem like a simple process on paper, but challenges can quickly arise that prevent a first-time property seller from achieving his or her desired results. But with support from a real estate agent, a first-time home seller can get the assistance that he or she needs to remain confident at each stage of the property selling journey.

A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with selling a house and will help a property seller avoid such problems. In fact, a real estate agent is happy to provide expert guidance to help a first-time home seller operate like a home selling professional.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to a first-time home seller's concerns and queries. This guarantees a home seller can obtain unparalleled insights into how to set a competitive price for a residence, how to bolster a house's interior and exterior and much more.

Want to keep things positive as you proceed along the home selling journey for the first time? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can maintain a positive outlook as you navigate the home selling cycle.


A home seller who understands his or her residence's strengths may be better equipped than others to enjoy a successful property selling experience. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to identify your house's strengths before you list your residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you identify your home's strengths.

1. Conduct a Home Inspection

Although a home inspection generally is requested by a buyer after a seller accepts his or her offer to purchase a house, a seller may want to conduct an inspection prior to listing a residence. That way, a seller can gain deep insights into a house's strengths and weaknesses and map out his or her property selling strategy accordingly.

A home inspection may require only a few hours to complete, and an inspection's benefits can be significant. After an inspection, a homeowner will receive an inspection report that details any home problems. Then, a homeowner can use this report to learn about his or her house's strengths and weaknesses and explore ways to transform assorted weaknesses into strengths.

2. Consider the Buyer's Perspective

Think about why a homebuyer may consider your residence over other options – you'll be glad you did. If you analyze the buyer's perspective, you could discover unique ways to distinguish your house from the competition.

Evaluating the buyer's perspective may help you prioritize home upgrades too. For instance, if your home boasts a large in-ground swimming pool, you may want to dedicate time and resources to clean your pool and perform any necessary repairs. Or, if your residence has a two-car garage, you may want to eliminate clutter from it so you can show off the true size of your garage to potential buyers.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about what differentiates your home from other properties in your city or town, there is no need to worry. Because if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert support throughout the home selling journey. And as a result, you can identify your house's strengths and take the necessary steps to highlight these strengths to potential buyers.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a house, regardless of a property's age or condition. He or she is happy to meet with you and learn about you, your home and your home selling goals. Next, a real estate agent will craft a property selling strategy for you. And once you put this strategy into action, you should have no trouble achieving your desired house selling results.

In addition, a real estate agent is ready to assist you in any way possible throughout the house selling journey. If you have concerns or questions at any point during this journey, a real estate agent will respond to them right away.

Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can identify your house's strengths and develop an effective strategy to promote your residence to the right groups of potential buyers.