Tips for Hiding TV Cords and Plugs in Your Home

The average American household now has 2.5 TV sets, even when the number of people in that home is only two. Not only is there a TV set in the main living area, but many families have TVs in children’s bedrooms and even kitchens and bathrooms. Television sets can now be mounted on walls, keeping them off furniture, but that leaves households with a new dilemma: how to keep power cables from showing.

Fortunately, there are several options for concealing your cables from view. They each come with their own challenges, with some less expensive than others. Here are three of the most popular options, from most expensive to least.

Option 1: Move the Power Box

hiding tv cables_move power box

If your cable TV hasn’t yet been installed, the installer should be able to place the cable outlet in the area where you’ll be mounting the TV. If a cable outlet is already in place, consider contacting the cable company to handle it for you. For the power outlet, you’ll likely need to hire an electrician to move the power outlet to its new location, unless you’re comfortable taking on the project yourself. Option 1 is the most expensive option if you choose to bring in a professional to help.

For do-it-yourselfers, read the steps carefully before beginning your power outlet move to avoid injury. You’ll need to turn off the circuit breaker to that outlet before you begin working and decide where you want the outlet to be located before starting your work. You can also move the cable outlet yourself or run a new one if a line isn’t already in place in that room.

Option 2: Hide Inside the Wall

hiding tv cables_hide inside walls

Instead of moving your outlets, you could run the cables through the wall. This involves cutting a hole in the drywall behind the TV and feeding the cables through, then dropping them toward the floor. If you’re installing the TV on an interior wall without insulation, you’ll be able to easily drop it. Your drop can also be made easier by using fish tape, as demonstrated here.

You’ll need to cut a hole closer to the floor to run the cable through to get power. Unless you’re sure you can make this setup attractive, you may want to have a plan in place to cover up the outlet, such as placing a cabinet or entertainment center below.

Option 3: Use a Cord Keeper

hiding tv cables_cord keeper

One of the easiest ways to conceal your cords is to use a cord keeper. Available for less than $20, cord keepers are designed to blend with your wall. While the keeper itself protrudes from the wall, it is far less unsightly than dark cords running from your TV to the power outlet.

If you plan to use a cord keeper, consider hanging your TV on a corner. The protrusion looks less obvious when it runs along a corner, since that area of the room is already recessed anyway. Cord keepers are generally white, so plan to paint them to match the color of your walls.

If you’re one of the many households that choose to hang your TVs, cord management is a must. With a little planning and a do-it-yourself attitude, you can hide your cords without spending a fortune.

5 Ways to Revamp Your Home’s Most Underused Spaces

It’s a common theme: families tend to spend most of their time in only a few rooms of their homes, leaving the rest of the rooms hardly used. There’s a solution for wasted space: repurposing your rooms. Just because a specific room was originally meant for a certain purpose doesn’t mean is has to stay that way forever. Here are some ideas for revamping the most underused spaces in your home.

Breakfast Nook Can Now be a Desk Area

revamp space_breakfast nook

It sounds quaint and cute, but a breakfast nook really can be a waste of space. Many home owners may find that this area tends to be where mail and paperwork piles up, rather than where a nice meal in the morning can be enjoyed. If you find yourself in this situation, consider formally transforming this little area to what you’re already using it for. Optimize it as a desk area by installing storage units to help eliminate clutter and make working and organizing a lot more convenient.

Tiny Bedroom Can be a Walk-In Closet

revamp space_closet

An extra small bedroom is hardly useable. Rather than letting this space go to waste, consider converting it into an awesome walk-in closet. If you’re tired of cramming all your clothes and shoes into your current closet, a large walk-in closet equipped with closet organizers can be much more enjoyable and practical. Drawers, shelves, rods at various heights and shoe racks can make this closet something that rivals that of Carrie Bradshaw.

It’ll be a lot easier to find what you’re looking for when it’s neatly put away rather than stuffed behind other crumpled up garments. If the room is right beside your master bedroom, consider removing the adjoining wall to give you instant access without having to leave the room. 

Oversized Great Room Can be an Open Concept Living, Dining and Study Space

revamp space_great room

If you’re blessed with a ton of square footage in your home, that’s great. But sometimes spaces can be a little too big when it comes to making the area cozy and figuring out how to furnish it. If you’ve got a great room, try revamping it in such a way that aligns more closely with the way you and your family lives.

You can actually divide the space up to create more than one type of “room.” For instance, one section of the room can be the living area, while the section closest to the kitchen can be a dining area. This is especially useful if you don’t have a formal dining room. And if you’ve got no room for an office, you can set up a mock office area in one part of the room as well. The options are seemingly endless.

Dining Room Can Be a Playroom

Revamp spaces_playroom

Probably one of the most underused rooms in a home is the formal dining room. Especially in homes that feature an eat-in kitchen, there’s less of a reason to use the dining room. Odds are, you probably use your dining room (if you have one) once or twice a year, unless you’re an avid entertainer.

If you have children, and don’t really want them messing up their rooms with toys or throwing them in the basement by themselves to play, why not convert the dining room into a playroom? It won’t be a playroom forever – the kids will eventually grow up. But until then, keep the toys in one neat place and the kids near you by transforming your underused dining room into a space the kids can call their own. 

Mudroom Into a Large Laundry Room

revamp space_laundry room

Mudrooms can be pretty handy, but if you’re finding this space being used more as a trash bin, perhaps it’s time to come up with a better idea for the space. If your laundry machine is way down in the basement, consider converting your mudroom into a large main-floor laundry room. That way you’ll have more space to put some countertops and shelving to make it easier to fold laundry. And having it on the main floor instead of in the basement makes it a lot more convenient compared to lugging heavy laundry baskets up and down the stairs.

There’s no sense paying for square footage if it’s not even going to be used. Repurposing a room that’s hardly visited can add a level of practicality to your home life, and can possibly add a little extra value to your home. Ask a professional real estate agent what types of rooms add the most value to properties to really boost your ROI. 

5 Attractive Furniture Options That Charge Your Electronics

No matter where you are in your house, your smartphone or tablet is likely on hand. When your battery runs low, though, finding a charging cable and plugging your device in can be difficult. You could leave a cable in each room, but hiding unsightly cables from view brings even more challenges.

New furniture is now on the market that meets the needs of today’s tech-obsessed families. Utilizing technology similar to the charging pads that became popular a couple of years ago, this furniture allows a device to be charged simply by setting it down on a designated spot. If you’re planning to buy new furniture in the future, consider these high-tech options.

NORDLI Nightstand

charging furniture_side table

Sold by IKEA, this nightstand has built-in charging capabilities. Simply set your device on the small round charging area marked by a plus sign and you’ll be charging. An additional USB port is provided if you want to charge two devices at once. The leg of the table has a groove to hide the charger cable for the secondary USB cord. IKEA also has small charging pads made to blend with existing furniture in a home. These pads can turn any surface into a charging table.

Qivolino Wireless Charging Table

charging furniture_wireless charger

Using Qinside technology, this wireless charging table charges devices without requiring a power connection. Two wireless charging stations are available on the tabletop, allowing two devices to be charged at once. These tables are designed for commercial use, allowing companies to provide it as an amenity to customers. Businesses can also charge customers for charging time on the table. A company’s logo and branding can be printed on the table for increased exposure.

Koncept Z-Bar Mini with Air Charge Base

charging furniture_lamp

Wireless charging is built into the base of these lamps, which are designed to be placed on a desk or nightstand. Available in white, orange, metallic black, and silver, the lamp’s base includes a small rubber ring that the smartphone rests on while charging. Air Charge technology is also available in charging pads and valet trays.

Savana Solar Powered Patio Table

charging furniture_patio

This charging table isn’t only useful, but it’s good for the environment, as well. Solar cells are built into the tabletop to absorb sunlight and convert it to energy. Through two USB ports attached to a bank battery, that solar power can be converted to power to charge up to two devices at once. Even on cloudy days, the table has the ability to charge devices.

KATEDRA Office Desk

charging furniture_office desk

Slovenia company Desnahemisfera has this futuristic-looking office desk, which has a built-in wireless charger. An LED light burns white while in standby and flashes red once a phone is placed on it. Once the phone reaches a full charge, the light turns green. Best of all, the desk has a unique design.

In the coming years, customers will likely only see more options for furniture with charging technology built in. Charging pads are also dramatically improving in attractiveness, giving customers a great alternative to buying new furniture. Using charging pads, you can turn any piece of furniture into a charging station without taking away from your home décor.

Are the Sellers Trying to Hide Something From You With Their Home Staging?

There’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional home stager to prepare a home for the market. In fact, it’s encouraged. Presenting a home in the best light possible can help potential buyers picture themselves living in the space, and better the see the home’s best attributes.

When a home is properly decorated, proportionately furnished, and neutrally painted, it will attract more buyers. It’s an extremely helpful tool for sellers looking to gain the most attention on their home as possible.

As a buyer, there are certain questions you should ask yourself when you walk into a staged home. While staging is important to help sellers make their homes as attractive as possible, it can also distract buyers from certain issues they didn’t notice in their initial walk-through.

If you’re on the prowl for a new home, ask yourself the following questions about the staging of properties you look at:

Is the Home Overly Decorated?

home staging_vases

If you notice that a home you view in person has somewhat of a ‘generic’ feel to it, it’s probably been professionally staged. Look for signs such as all of the pieces are coming from the same manufacturer, zero wear and tear, and even price stickers under vases. These are signs that the house has been decorated to appeal to the masses.

While some home owners might constantly be on top of the latest in home interior decor, many others don’t have this type of time nor inclination to achieve such perfection. While the decor might be impressive, make sure to look past it and scope out the bones of the house.

Is the Staging Functional and Practical?

home staging_furniture orientation

Look at the way the furniture is arranged – does it make any sense to you? If the place was yours, would you have positioned the furniture pieces in the same manner? Would you have put your own chairs on each side of the fireplace, or a solitary armchair in front of the window?

While these types of arrangements are attractive and sensical to some, to others they may not be practical. If you think a certain furniture arrangement is a bit odd (albeit attractive), odds are a certain issue might be camouflaged. Look underneath furniture – including area rugs – to check for any problems with the flooring. And be sure to look behind every piece of furniture and object to determine if there are any unpleasant surprises lurking.

Do All the Furniture Pieces Fit Well in the Space?

home staging_furniture sizing

Try to determine whether or not the furnishings are proportionate to the size of the rooms. Spaces that are low on square footage are often made to appear larger than they are by having smaller-scale pieces arranged within them.

If you sit at the couch and your knees are chest-height, or the dining room table feels like it was made for children, this may be a sign that the rooms are on the small side. This might be fine for some buyers, but not necessarily for others.

On the flip side, oversized furniture might suggest that the rooms are on the larger end of the size spectrum. In this case, it could mean more money out of your pocket will be needed to furnish such large spaces.

Are There Issues That Are Being Purposely Hidden?

home staging_hidden issues

Among the most expensive rooms in the home to repair and renovate are the kitchen and bathroom, which definitely make the top of the list. When it comes to staging, sellers might purposely place certain objects on top or in front of issues they might not necessarily want you to notice before an offer is on the table.

So the next time you’re penciled in for a home viewing, move the towels on the bathroom sink, and push aside the candles on the kitchen counter. Check to see if the caulking is fresh in the bathtub, and if there are any signs of water damage under the sinks.

You can’t fault sellers for professionally staging their homes. Their real estate agents encourage it, and so would yours if you were selling too. There’s a difference between showing buyers what the home could look like with the right decorating strategies, and simply hiding the property’s defects.

Luckily, your real estate agent will be able to help you point out any flaws with the home that the seller may have been trying to hide through strategic home staging efforts.

5 of the World’s Hottest Luxury Real Estate Markets

While cities like New York, London and Paris still make the list of some of the world’s hottest luxury real estate markets, sales have cooled somewhat. This makes room for other international cities to emerge on the list of markets boasting spiked values in luxury homes.

1. Toronto, Canada


The Canadian city has been named the world’s hottest luxury market, with an impressive growth in sales of 37% in 2014. In fact, 2014 was the second best year on record for Toronto’s real estate market. It’s only the limited inventory in the city that prevented 2014 from being its best year to date.

It’s this very low supply of homes in Toronto that has pushed prices to between $1 and $2 million for relatively average homes, and as much as between $2 and $4 million for larger homes in more desirable neighborhoods.

2. San Francisco, CA


Now is as good a time as ever to own a luxury home in San Francisco. With a price increase of 14.3% over the past year, this west coast US city boasts among the most high-end real estate markets in the world.

The median asking price for homes in San Fran have been pushed over the $1 million mark thanks largely in part to the tech industry money that’s been pouring into the local market.

3. Bangalore, India


Referred to as the ‘Silicon Valley’ of India, Bangalore makes this year’s list of one of the hottest luxury real estate markets across the globe. Homes rose in price by nearly 14% over the past 12 months, thanks to plenty of new money flowing into the city.

Namely, Bangalore is becoming more of an attraction to the rich techies of the country, who are pouring into the city by the hoards and ultimately driving up real estate prices. In fact, it’s estimated that the number of extremely wealthy individuals in Bangalore will more than double over the next few years.

4. Jakarta, Indonesia


The influx of the ultra wealthy continues into Jakarta, pushing the prices of homes over 11% throughout the past year. Wealth continues to spread, and is estimated to jump by nearly 150% over the next few years.

Jakarta, along with the rest of the southeast Asian nation, offers a lot of economic potential, fueling the influx among the country’s wealthiest individuals. The Indonesian city has boasted one of the world’s fastest growing luxury real estate markets over the past few years, thanks to the filthy rich snatching up luxury homes by the dozen.

5.  Tel Aviv, Israel

tel aviv

It seems as though the tech industry has its hand in boosting the real estate market in cities across the globe. Also benefiting from a strong tech industry is Tel Aviv, with housing prices that have more than doubled over the past five years. Multi-national tech giants like Microsoft and Google have even planted some of their offices in this Israeli city.

Over the last 12 months alone, prices for homes in Tel Aviv have increased over 10%.

The trend we seem to be experiencing is the hike in sales of homes over the $1 million mark is attributed to the increasing number of high net worth people – those with over $1 million in finances. In addition, cities with a strong tech foothold are seeing increasing home prices. For these individuals, real estate investments offer a hedge for their wealth, and these 5 cities seem to fit the bill.

6 Reasons Why a Mortgage Refinance Could Work For You

If you’ve built up a certain amount of equity in your home, you might be eligible to refinance your mortgage. Refinancing basically involves getting a new mortgage to replace the original one. The first loan is paid off, then a second loan is created, usually at a much lower interest rate.

refinancing your mortgage

Refinancing isn’t for everyone, nor can just anyone even be eligible for it. But for many homeowners, refinancing can be an ideal opportunity to save money and pay off debt faster.

Here are 6 reasons why you might want to consider refinancing your mortgage.

1. Take Advantage of a Lower Interest Rate

The main reason to refinance your mortgage – and the most obvious one – is to take advantage of a lower interest rate. It’s been years now that interest rates have been hovering at record lows, so now’s as good a time as ever to tap into these reduced rates to save a bundle by the end of your amortization period. You can get a 30-year mortgage at just over 3% right now, and an even lower rate with a 15-year loan.

If you locked in at a high rate when you first got approved for your mortgage, now might be a prime time to consider refinancing. You could literally be saving thousands upon thousands of dollars just by spending a few hours to fill out some paperwork and hand in the necessary documents to your lender.

lower interest rates for mortgage

2. Shorten Your Mortgage Loan Term

The longer your mortgage term and amortization period, the more money you’l be dishing out in interest at the end of the day. By refinancing at today’s low interest rates, you just might find that a 20-year loan is not that much more expensive than a 30-year loan.

Get in touch with a mortgage broker, or find an online mortgage calculator to plug in some numbers to see just what the difference would be. If the estimate you get is feasible for you, consider getting in touch with a mortgage specialist who can help you iron out all the details to get you refinanced, and shorten your loan period.

3. Cash Out Your Home Equity

Let’s face it – everyone’s got a huge expense that they face on occasion. Tuition fees, emergency medical expenses, home renovations, investment property purchases and starting a new business are all examples of expenses that require a huge stack of Benjamins up front. Not everyone has that kind of liquid cash laying around, but many do have the money in their home’s equity.

The longer your home has been appreciating in value and the more money you’ve been paying towards your principle will add to your home’s equity. It might make sense in certain scenarios to cash out on this equity to pay for some of life’s more costly expenses. It mainly depends on what you’re trying to do, and if you are the type of person who is able to manage debt responsibly.

4. Consolidate Your Debt

If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably got a variety of bills to manage and pay every month. And some may not necessarily be due at the same time each month, making it more challenging to remember to pay your bills. Miss a payment, and not only will you be charged a late fee, but your credit score will also be affected. Not only that, but some of your bills are probably attached to a sky-high interest rate. Credit cards in particular are known to charge borrowers exorbitant rates, some as high as 20%.

consolidate your debt for mortgage refinance

By consolidating your debts and using your home equity to secure a loan, you can take advantage of a lower interest rate by using the equity you’ve built in your home as security. This will give you the convenience of having to only worry about one consolidated payment instead of several bills. You’ll also end up paying less in the long run thanks to the lower interest rate that typically comes with this set-up.

5. Cash Out to Purchase Investment Property

A trend that has been emerging among home owners lately is taking money out of home equity to buy investment properties. Refinancing your mortgage to buy other real estate can help you build wealth through investments you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford to make.

Of course, these types of endeavors require careful considerations, including tax or mortgage underwriting issues. Speaking with a mortgage broker or real estate agent will help you figure out if this is something you can swing without exposing yourself to a high amount of risk.

cash out home equity

6. Ditch the Adjustable-Rate and Lock Into a Fixed One

If your current mortgage has an adjustable rate, you might want to consider refinancing to lock into a fixed one instead. Interest rates might be super low right now, but they won’t necessarily stay that way.

Locking into a fixed-rate mortgage at a low rate can help protect you from any crazy fluctuations in interest rates which will cost you dearly in the long run. Not only that, but it’s a lot easier to plan and budget for fixed payments compared to volatile ones.

Refinancing can be the ideal solution for you, but you definitely need to carefully consider all angles before you take the plunge. Weigh out the pros and cons of your specific financial position and make a decision that will address your best interests. Take the time to sit down with a mortgage specialist to iron out all the nitty gritty to see if refinancing is right for you.

Why Did Your Credit Score Suddenly Plummet?

Last time you checked, your credit score was 700. Upon a subsequent check only a few weeks later, you realize that it’s dropped to 675. What gives?

When it comes to credit scores, a host of different factors could be at play in a sudden reduction. You know the importance of having a healthy score when it comes to making big purchases and being approved for various loans, so you want to do everything in your power to make sure your credit score is strong.

If you’ve realized that your credit score has dipped lately, one of these reasons could be behind it:

You Made a Huge Purchase on Credit

credit score_car purchase

Did you make a big purchase over the last month on credit? A vehicle purchase, perhaps? Making a big purchase can put a big dent in your credit score, even if you pay off the balance in full before the end of the month approaches. The reason? Your balance may have been reported prior to you making your full payment. If that’s the case, it could be the reason why your credit score seemingly dropped with a few short weeks.

You Opened Up New Credit

credit score_new card

If you’ve recently applied for a new credit card, you risk having your credit score negatively affected temporarily. That’s because when you apply for credit, you’re basically giving the credit card company the go-ahead to look into your credit history. This ‘hard inquiry’ on your credit could lower it. That’s because when the information on your credit report shows you’ve applied for a bunch of new credit cards over a short period of time, your credit score could dip as a result.

You Closed an Old Credit Card Account

credit score_cancelled

Believe it or not, but old credit is actually good credit. The amount of time that you’ve had an account open – even if you’re not using it – shows that you’ve got a decent payment history (hopefully), which is a good reason to keep a credit card, even if it’s been collecting dust in your wallet.

By hanging on to old or unused accounts, you can reduce your credit utilization ratio. On the other hand, if you close out these accounts, you’re essentially wiping some of your available credit, and therefore increasing your utilization ratio. This can cause your credit score to dip. 

You Made a Late Payment

credit score_late payment

Even one missed payment can have a big impact on your credit score. While being a regular delinquent has its obvious consequences, so does missing one payment. If your payment is more than 30 days past due, it’ll probably show up on your credit report. Any late payments 30 days past due is a big deal, and 60 or 90 days late is even worse.

Collections Has Taken Over on Your Unpaid Credit Account

credit score_unpaid

Every single one of your payments needs to be made on time and in full every single month. As we’ve already stated, even one missed payment can make a difference. In order to keep your credit score healthy, all of your accounts need to be paid in a timely fashion, not just your loans and credit card bills.

Even bills to utilities, educational institutions or doctor’s offices that are not paid on time will have a negative effect on your credit score. Keep these accounts unpaid for long enough, and collections will take over, which will show up in your credit report.

Your Credit Limit Was Lowered on a Credit Card

Credit card companies look favorably on those who make their payments in full and on time every month. They also look favorably on those who go nowhere near their credit limit. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. If you’ve charged an expensive item to your credit card, your credit utilization will go up, and your credit score will go down.

Your credit score is vital to your financial health. Keeping it as high as possible is important, especially if you plan on taking out a loan for things such as a mortgage or a car loan. If you’ve got some qualms about the health of your credit score, talk to a financial expert who can give you some tips and advice to keep it on the up and up.

No Front Porch? 5 Easy Ways to Make Your Front Door More Inviting

The concept of the “front porch” seems to have vanished in favor of back yard Shangri-las. Instead of sipping lemonade in rocking chairs on a warm summer’s evening, homeowners now retire to back decks and patios, where they have privacy.

As a result, homebuilders have tossed aside the front porch concept in favor of stoops and landings designed for receiving packages and shooing away solicitors. These stoops are covered by overhangs to keep homeowners dry while they unlock their front doors. However, the end result is that many front entrances seem much more cold and uninviting than they once were. Here are a few tips to help you create a warmer, more welcoming environment around your front door.

Add Greenery

front porch_greenery

Even a small space can be spruced up by a few plants. You can choose from potted plants with flowers mixed in or a year-round wreath on the front door. Make sure you select flowers that don’t attract bees to avoid a nuisance each time you exit and enter your house. Some homeowners have permanent planters on either side of the front door and simply change the plants and flowers inside those planters to match changes in season or personal taste.

Get Creative with Your House Number


If you see your house number as merely a way to help visitors find you, you’re missing a great opportunity. You can get creative with your house number by using greenery, plates, and even birdhouses. Whether your number is displayed on a post, your front door, or the area beside your front door, there’s no limit to the different ways you can present it.

Boost the Lighting


If you’re dealing with a small space, you can jazz it up through the use of creative lighting. This serves the dual purpose of enhancing security while also making the area a little more attractive. You can accomplish quite a bit in a small space through the use of creative wall lights.

Redo the Landing


Whether your guests enter your front stoop includes steps or runs parallel to your front yard, you can change the look and revitalize your front entrance. Artistic use of stones and/or bricks can take your landing from boring concrete to a look that dramatically enhances your curb appeal.

Creative Front Doors


When you have limited space to work with, it’s more important than ever that your front door stand out. There are so many options available today, whether you prefer a windowless door or one that incorporates glass and lets in light. However, you can wow your guests with a custom-designed front door that leaves a lasting impression

If you find the small space surrounding your front door limits your design choices, these tips could help. You don’t have to feel limited by a lack of space. Consider it a challenge as you seek to renovate your house and make it more welcoming to guests. Whether you choose to change out your front door for something unique or work on the landscaping surrounding your front stoop, there are many different options available.

6 Reasons to Avoid the "For Sale By Owner" Route

There’s usually only one reason why home sellers choose not to hire a real estate agent: they don’t want to pay money towards commission.

In their minds, they get to keep the money they otherwise would have paid for these services. But the truth is, there is a lot of value in these services, which cannot be performed properly without education and experience in the real estate business.

Before you choose to become a For Sale by Owner (FSBO), consider the following 6 reasons to think again.

1. It’s Extremely Time-Consuming

avoid for sale by owner_time consuming

Selling your own home isn’t as easy as posting a few pics online to garner interest from prospective buyers. If you’ve ever sold anything online, you know that a certain amount of time is needed to get the item sold. Even selling something as small as your child’s bike on CraigsList can be time-consuming, between taking pictures, posting the listing, fielding calls, and showing the item before selling it.

When it comes to selling real estate, you can expect that time to be dramatically amplified. Getting your home ready to show, conducting all the prep work, being present to show the home at a moment’s notice, conducting follow-up calls, managing open houses and seeing the sale through can take up a huge chunk of time you might not be able to spare.

2. Pricing Your Home Properly is Difficult

avoid for sale by owner_costly

Price is not arbitrary when it comes to establishing a listing price for your home. This is the most crucial component when selling. If you list the home at a price point that’s far too high, you risk scaring off potential buyers and wind up with a stale listing that gets no attention. On the other end of the spectrum, if you price the home too low, you stand to lose a good chunk of change.

Home owners have an emotional attachment to their properties, and usually think it’s worth more than the market dictates. A real estate agent with experience in pricing homes appropriately will understand your local real estate market, and will know how to price your home according to its specifications. These experts are skilled at finding the sweet spot when it comes to establishing a listing price that will attract buyers while bringing in as much money for you as possible.

3. The Paperwork Involved is Complicated

avoid for sale by owner_complicated paperwork

When it comes to buying and selling property, disclosures and regulations have become more involved and complicated. As such, the associated paperwork involved in the industry has increased. This paperwork is not only lengthy, but it’s also complex, which is enough to convince anyone to leave it to the experts to deal with instead. In fact, the number of home owners going the FSBO route has dropped significantly over the past couple of decades – from 19% to 9%.

4. There Are Too Many Parties to Negotiate With

avoid for sale by owner_negotiation

Selling your home is a huge business transaction involving negotiations with a number of parties. Obviously, one major party you’ll be negotiating with is the buyer. And your negotiations will probably be more involved than just a simple acceptance of the initial offer. Most likely, there will be at least one counter offer, then a post-offer period that will involve inspections and requests for adjustments.

In addition to the buyer, other people will also have to be negotiated with, including the buyer’s lawyer, the appraiser if there is any question of the home’s value, and the bank if you’re involved in a short sale. No matter how confident you might be about sitting down with a buyer and coming to an agreement, there’s something to be said about understanding the real estate industry and having a little negotiating experience.

5. Exposure is Minimal Compared to the MLS

avoid for sale by owner_minimal exposure

One of the most important things involved in the home selling process is advertising. Ideally, you want to get as many eyes on your house as possible to maximize the number of offers coming in. While there are tools available for FSBO’s, they’re no match to the type of tools available to real estate agents, namely, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

This internet advertising platform is by far the most effective means of advertising properties for sale. All licensed agents in your community will see it, and be notified when a property comes up that matches their clients’ criteria.

In addition, real estate agents will have the means and the know-how to prepare all sorts of other marketing materials, including internet marketing, brochures, and open houses. He or she will also make sure to regularly network with other industry professionals who have interested buyers – perhaps the buyer for your home.

6. FSBO’s Can Deter Buyers

avoid for sale by owner_featured

The biggest group of potential buyers will most likely be represented by a real estate agent of their own. These agents just might prefer to work with other agents instead of FSBO’s for the simple fact that they might be concerned about earning their rightful half of the commission.

As the seller, if you already planned on forking over the buyer’s agent commission, you’re saving very little at the end of the day, if anything at all. If you’re not planning on contributing a commission portion to the buyer’s agent, consider them gone.

Going the DIY route during a home sale isn’t as easy as you might initially think, nor will you be saving as much as you had hoped. At the end of the day, there’s a lot of work involved in the process. This work requires a lot of time, which might be tight depending on your schedule. The work involved might be over your head, putting you in a compromised position where money is being gambled.

To take the stress and hassle out of the equation, and ensure you get the most money out of the deal, hire a real estate agent to do the dirty work.