2018 Real Estate Review for Central Indiana

Posted by admin under Real Estate

As another year wraps up, we’re taking a look at how Central Indiana has handled the ever-changing real estate market. A couple trends around the Circle City have stood out, but what does that mean for 2019? By reflecting on the past, we’ll have a better understand on where the new year might take us!


A Year of Low Inventory in Real Estate


Across the country, inventory shortages have proven to be a new norm in 2018. Just in the first six months, the number of homes for sale was 18.2 percent lower than in the first half of 2015, according to an article from This decline has led to more bidding wars, higher prices, and lower selection for buyers across the board. But that hasn’t been bad news for sellers.


The drop in real estate inventory has proven to be even more true for the Indianapolis area. The changes here have been even more dramatic than in other parts of the country. In just three years, we’ve seen inventory decrease by 49.6 percent. That’s a pretty significant shift! And compared to the coasts, pricing around Indy is still more affordable. The growing economy might see an influx of new buyers coming in from out of state, as well as more people staying put. Without enough property to go around, we’ll probably see home prices continue to rise.


Faster Home Sales around Indianapolis


We’ve also seen faster home sales this year in Central Indiana. One article from May 2018 described this frenzied market in a straight-forward way: “A house goes on the market, you get a bunch of showings right away and there’s multiple offers.” This has been a sweet setup for sellers, but the fierce competition makes the house hunt that much harder for buyers. Whereas homes would stay on the market for months in the past, in 2018 some were sold just hours after getting listed.


Of course, not every sale this year happened in one day. According to Trulia’s June numbers, Marion County saw homes on the market for 46 days on average. In Hamilton County, the average was 55 days. These shorter timeframes for listings has also been reflected in price range. Marion County saw an 8.9 percent increase in the average sale price this summer. But even if prices are going up, buyers don’t seem to mind. Although new construction has been happening all over the area, there’s still a high demand for homes. This puts the spotlight on existing homes. Buyers are willing to pay for the features they want most—wherever they can find them.


Looking Ahead for the 2019 Market


So long as you have a great team on your side for listing and staging your home, you should expect to see more great outcomes with the 2019 market. According to the November 2018 Market Indicators Report, the one-year change saw a 7.1 percent increase for the month of October. The year-to-date statistics are even better, at 8.5 percent. This is great boost for sellers! The median sales price for homes in our area has continued to rise over the 2017 numbers, and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down.


If the number of homes on the market continues to be slim in 2019, we could expect to see even more competition amongst buyers, since pending sales improved this year. Buyers seem to be especially eager to put in offers throughout these low-inventory months. This might be the main reason why the sales prices have been looking so good. The October 2018 numbers show a 5.5 percent uptick from 2017 YTD pending sales, so the activity is still hot.


Of course, sellers still need to know how to distinguish their home from the pack. A neat and tidy home with a great inspection report may not be enough to attract your ideal buyer. That’s why your listing photos and a fantastic walk-through can really help your property to shine. Buyers are more interested in fighting for homes when they have an emotional appeal. Professional home staging does just that. By painting the picture of what life would look like in a new home, you can help make your listing the must-have home for your area.


If you’re looking to make a move in the new year, Home Matters can help! Give us a call today to start planning your home’s marketing strategy with great furnishings and design. We’d love to hear from you.

Make Your Move—The Best Homes for Indy Residents

Posted by admin under Home Staging in Indianapolis, Real Estate

One of the best reasons to live in Indiana (and specifically, around the Indianapolis area) is that there are so many home options to choose from. Whether you’re looking downtown or around the cities of Fishers and Carmel, you’re in for a real treat when it comes to home buying. Just about any type of home you can imagine can be found within a close radius of our capital city.


This variety is also what makes our home staging work at Home Matters so fun! Since we get to style homes for all types of buyers, no two projects are identical. One day might take us to a cute home for first-time buyers in Noblesville, and the next could have us at a mini-mansion in Zionsville. Then, the following week, we might be working on a new home build in Westfield. This diversity helps prove that no matter what time of dream home you’re hunting for, you can find it around Indy!


Indianapolis Senior Living


Luxury-Living-Marquette-Indianapolis_Home Staging 1806Indianapolis-area residents who are looking to downsize can find their next home in a fantastic condo or senior living community. We have dozens of options in the region. You just have to do a little homework on each location. Getting all the amenities you want in a cozy address really makes these communities feel like home. We recently worked with the Marquette in Indianapolis to stage their luxury units. Highlighting every detail really makes a difference, even in the bathroom! Don’t you love this spacious master ensuite?


Home Staging for Downtown


We also have a lot of fun working with listings for more urban settings, like the new condos popping up around the downtown area. Finding pieces that work with these sleek, modern settings really helps attract the right type of buyer to each listing. Whether you’re a property manager for a new apartment complex or just looking to sell your home for a different location, you should never underestimate the power of professional home staging! When you get the right furniture for your layout, it’s so much easier for your potential buyers to fall in love with your space.


New Home Listings around Indy


Trafalgar-Homes-Modern-Prairie_Home Matters 1806If something brand-new is more your style, then you’ll definitely appreciate the new home listings around the greater Indianapolis area. With multiple layout and square footage options for your budget, you’re bound to find a location that’s right for you and your family. We had a blast staging these new homes in Trafalgar, IN. Their modern-prairie aesthetic is right up our alley. The area’s new 55-home neighborhood is full of stylish designs, both inside and out!


Established Indiana Neighborhoods


Of course, a new home doesn’t have to be a new build. You might find your dream home at an existing address. We’re often called to stage for older homes that have had recent renovations. New bathroom and kitchen designs can really get shown off when you have the right staging accessories to match! From the living room rugs to the master bedroom artwork, a professional home staging company helps bring all the best features of your house to life for new buyers. The right eye for design can make any home—no matter when it was built—look like new. All it takes is a little work and know-how.


Luxury Homes in New Communities


Central-Indiana-Home-Staging_Home Matters 1806Then again, some parts of Indianapolis are begging for new builds. A growing population makes it necessary for new communities to start up in the Indy-area suburbs. Some of the latest luxury homes can be found in Heather Glen at the Legends. What makes new homes so fun is that you can customize the features before you move in. We fell in love with this living room setup. Isn’t it so sunny and bright? The windows are a great value-add for buyers looking for a comfortable place to relax with friends. You can also use this space to curl up with a cup of coffee and a great book.


Which type of home is your favorite? Are you looking to downsize your living situation or upsize for a growing family? Either way, a great designer can help you make your new house a real home for years to come. Whether you fall in love with a place for its beautiful home staging or you want a designer to assist you as you plan your new layout, Home Matters is here to help.


Our team of experienced design experts love working with homeowners and homes of all shapes and sizes! Give us a call at (317) 774-7025 to schedule your consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

7 Traits That Make a Good Realtor Great

Posted by admin under Real Estate

Working with a great real estate agent is a lot like finding your ideal home in that what’s good for you might not be good for the next family. Just as certain home features may be more suited to your needs, the character traits of your agent need to complement your own personality. But when it comes to choosing an experienced and professional realtor, a handful of qualities are definite winners.


Before you commit to working with anyone, it’s a wise idea to check the facts. Great reviews and testimonials, a good understanding of the current market, and being able to “click” with your agent are all important. Cross-reference this list to make sure you’re teaming up with a real pro!


Qualities of a Truly Great Realtor


1. Top Performers


Indianapolis-Realtor_Professional Home Matters Staging-1805Buyers and sellers both benefit from working with a real estate agent who is a real star in their industry. For this job, you’ve got to go with someone who’s been around the block. Realtors who consistently close more deals than the average agent in their area are clearly the ones to watch. When you ask about their stats, it’s important to pay attention to how long they’ve been in business, as well as how many clients they regularly service. Evaluating these details will help you feel confident about working together—no matter what side of the table you’re on for the closing.


2. Trusted Network


Many realtors rely on specific referral partners to help keep their listings on track. Great organizational skills are required for managing everything from professional home staging services to cleaning the home, making minor repairs, and scheduling tours. Oftentimes, getting these tasks done right means outsourcing to the experts and having a close-knit team. If your agent is trying too hard to be a “one-person show,” you might be missing out on some of the benefits of having a realtor with a trusted referral network.


3. Patient Listener


Good-Real-Estate-Agent_Home Matters Staging-1805It’s always important that your agent pays attention to you and your family’s wants and needs. Honoring your must-have list for a new home and being able to listen and honor your timeline will make purchasing or selling your home so much easier. A good listener will even be more likely to match your ideal type of communication style—whether that’s sharing updates via text, phone call, or email. A patient realtor always pays off!


4. Wholehearted Honesty


Of course, all those good listening skills have to be put to good use in other ways, too. Not all real estate agents can give you the honest feedback you’re looking for, yet this is a valuable part of making an informed decision. Your big transaction will benefit from having your realtor share some hard truths. Is your dream home riddled with expensive repairs? Does your listing need professional home staging to make a better impact for buyers? These suggestions might sound frustrating, but a great realtor will know how to break the news to you in a kind manner.


5. Easily Adaptable


Great-Realtor-Traits_Home Matters Home Staging-1805The best realtors can handle just about any real estate situation with ease. Because they’re quick to adapt, you can relax and feel good about where you’re headed. You can also think of this trait as being a quick and creative problem-solver. When your real estate agent is able to look at properties and buyer and seller agreements with a critical eye, your experience should be relatively hassle-free. If you notice any signs of a short temper, you might be better going in a different direction.


6. Community Expert


A great real estate agent will also have a good grasp of the community where they live and work. In a lot of ways, you’re looking to have a tour guide for your new neighborhood, right? Your agent should be able to point out great community events around town, tell you about the good restaurants and shops nearby, and help paint the picture for what life might look like where you’re thinking to move. The same goes for sellers. If your agent is informed about the area’s latest trends, they’ll know how to help stage your home to attract the right type of buyers.


7. Magnetic Personality


If all the other qualities are met, the last thing to check for is whether or not you “click” with your realtor on a personal level. When talking with your realtor gets you in a good mood, you’re definitely on the right track! After all, it takes more than just skills to become a great real estate agent—you’ve got to have the personality to match. While this will look different from person to person, if you can find an agent that speaks to you on a deeper level, you should be set for a great experience.

2018 Real Estate Trends for Midwest Homeowners

Posted by admin under Real Estate

We all know that the real estate market has ebbs and flows. What’s tricky is trying to predict the outcomes! Fortunately for homeowners in the Midwest, the market has been following an optimistic trend. All signs point to strong sales throughout 2018. Here are just a few of the things to get excited about as we enter the real “hot season” for buyers and sellers.


The Strong Midwest Economy


Kitchen Dining Staging-Home Matters 1804Friendly neighbors, safe communities, and hospitality are all staples of the Midwest persona. Yet living in this region comes with some other practical perks, too. Real estate in the Midwest has remained steady in recent years for its great cost of living, higher wages, and relatively low unemployment. In fact, the Midwest is slated to hold its reputation of being the most affordable area in the country, according to one 2018 Housing Market Outlook report. Buyers get a great amount of square footage for their budget, and sellers can enjoy a solid return on their home investment.


That’s probably part of the reason why a couple key Midwest cities were included on Amazon’s Top 20 List for its new headquarters’ location. In addition to power players like Chicago, Denver, and Philadelphia, we also saw Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana make the list. That’s high praise for the Midwest! And while Indianapolis may not be the final pick, the city isn’t out of the question. The quality of life here gives new residents—and long-time Hoosiers alike—access to plenty of great food, entertainment, and school systems. And with plenty of home options around Central Indiana, there are different price ranges for everyone!


Home Sales in Indiana


Most experts agree that millennial buyers are revving up for 2018, and it’s not just couples and young families that are ready to become homeowners. The millennial market shows a strong trend for single buyers that’s likely to continue in the near future. Settling down in the Midwest is a great choice for this generation. These buyers can often get “more house” for their money, plus all the amenities of living close to a major city, whether that’s Minneapolis or Indianapolis!


Indiana Real Estate 2018-Home Matters 1804The Indiana real estate market in particular is experiencing a great start to the year. Central Indiana saw existing-home sales jump over 8 percent in February 2018—even though the inventory has been slimming down and prices have been rising. This is a nice continuation on the 5 percent boost that the average home sales price had in 2017. All evidence leads to an exciting time for sellers. Consider this: The average time on the market in 2017 was just 66 days. That’s nearly a 15 percent drop from the 2016 numbers. With professional home staging, your listing could sell even faster this year!


Even luxury homes in Indianapolis are seeing an uptick. In 2017, almost 150 homes in the $1 million price-point (and higher) were sold around the city. That’s a massive 143 percent jump from the 2012 numbers, when only 61 luxury homes were sold. These types of listings often take longer to sell because there are fewer buyers in this elite market. That’s a big part of why this boost in sales is encouraging to see. It’s a good indicator that the Indiana economy as a whole is poised for success.


A Great First Impression


Of course, even in a strong housing market there’s still competition. Sellers need to put their best foot forward if their home is going to grab the attention of this fast-paced environment. Buyers don’t want to settle for sub-par, so it’s important to have eye-catching pictures or at least a welcoming walk-through when potential buyers come to see your listing for the first time.


Master Bath Staging-Home Matters LLC 1804One of the best ways to make a great first impression in today’s real estate market is to work with a professional staging company for your home. Your listing deserves to be styled with a wow factor that suits your home’s architecture and main features—like a great master bath! The investment can quite literally pay for itself multiple times over, so there’s no reason to skip this step. Let our home stylists make your house a 10/10 for your target market.


A little staging can go a long way to help buyers imagine life in your house, so don’t keep your home ignored on the market. Contact Home Matters today to schedule your consultation!

Model Home Staging and Buyer Psychology

Posted by admin under Home Design, Real Estate

A good home builder knows that the right layout, location, and curb appeal will attract buyers. But how do you really make a house into a home? For most people, deciding to build it’s all about the details. Model home staging is what ties everything together.


Home builders that choose to work with a professional staging company get a real edge over their competition. Utilizing the right furniture only enhances your designs. (Plus, it helps make your marketing materials really pop.) A fantastic floorplan isn’t always enough to seal the deal, so staging helps you paint the whole picture. By complementing your homes’ unique architecture and beauty with a few accents, it’s easy to win over today’s homebuyers.


Model Homes in the Modern Market


Living-Model Home Staging_Home Matters 1802We live in a digital age, which means buyers are spending more time online to search for a local home builder. Investing in professional home staging can help your specs stand out from the crowd. Great photos present that clean, polished image your buyers want for their new home.


Home builders carefully select the floorplans and models for their neighborhoods, and your staging company should be just as thoughtful in their own design selections. Consider the demographic of your target market. Does your staging actively attract that same sort of buyer, or does it miss the mark? The key for model homes is to present your designs and custom home building options in their best light. You want your home tours to feel comfortable and inviting in every room—and every corner. Understanding the real estate market in your area should inform your architectural choices just as much as your staging company’s aesthetic.


The Psychology of “Everything in its Place”


Office-Model Home Staging_Home Matters 1802Staging is so important for model and spec homes because it’s hard for most buyers to imagine life in an empty space. Although model homes are new and clean, buyers aren’t usually able to wrap their head around when to do with a totally open area. Every room needs to have a clear and defined purpose. Otherwise, people may not know what to do with the space.


Questions like, “Is this room going to fit my furniture?” or “Where are things supposed to go in an open floorplan?” are common for both new and experienced home buyers. Staging is a great tool because it answers these questions with a quick glance. As buyers walk through a staged spec home, they don’t need to worry about these same design questions. Seeing furniture already in place will showcase how cozy and versatile every room can be.


Giving that move-in ready vibe has a huge appeal, but empty rooms aren’t usually the solution. Define spare bedrooms as a guestroom or office space to help buyers use their own imagination for how to use your layout. Being able to see exactly how furniture should be used in the room offers huge advantages. That way, no area of the home will feel “wasted.” And that just makes the new home lifestyle look even more appealing.


Set the Tone with Professional Home Staging


The new home market is picking up steam in recent years, which means home builders need to set themselves apart. In order to capture the attention of today’s buyers, more builders are relying on professional staging to complement their floorplans. Staging can have an incredible ROI for home builders. Even staging one model home can have a huge impact on your area’s market.


Bedroom-Model Home Staging_Home Matters 1802Vacant rooms don’t have the wow-factor that staging brings. By setting up each room to look its best (in person, and online) your model home will definitely get the attention of more buyers. You can even work with your professional staging company to update small pieces through the year so the home feels “in season” for each tour. Warm, velvet pillows on the living room sofa are great during winter, but you might need to swap them out for bright floral patterns in summer. Every detail counts with a home’s architecture—don’t let the home’s staging go to waste!


If you’re interested in working with Home Matters for your existing spec homes, or even an upcoming design, please give us a call (317) 774-7025. Our design packages for builders are a great way to keep your walk-through tours fresh and inviting every season. Visit our Facebook page to see additional samples of our work, then send us a message to get started on your consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!