Home Selling Tips: Staging Your Home

beige bungalow house
beige bungalow house
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

First impressions are crucial, especially when it comes to selling your home. Luckily, there are some easy and affordable upgrades you can do to make your home stand out from the moment potential buyers arrive.

1. Enhance The Curb Appeal

Try some affordable upgrades like pressure washing the exterior, painting the front door or shutters, replacing old fixtures, adding fresh greenery to garden beds and window boxes, and creating an inviting outdoor living area with chairs on the porch or stoop.

2. Kitchen Makeover

Did you know that the kitchen plays a crucial role in selling a house? The good news is that you don’t need to break the bank to make it more appealing. If you’re on a tight budget, you can update the backsplash by using peel-and-stick faux tile, tin tile, beadboard paneling, or painting the existing tile.

3. Minimize Furniture

When it comes to getting your home ready for sale, one of the most important things to focus on is decluttering. A cluttered home can turn off potential buyers, so it’s essential to get rid of any unnecessary items. One way to achieve this is by reducing the amount of furniture in each room. Professional stagers often remove up to half of the furniture in a home to make it look more spacious. This allows buyers to move around the house freely and appreciate its unique features, like a fireplace or built-in bookshelves. By minimizing clutter, you can help your home appear more inviting and appealing to prospective buyers.

4. Rearrange Your Furniture

When it comes to preparing your home for sale, rethinking your furniture placement can be an effective way to enhance its overall appeal. Arranging your furniture in a way that maximizes the space and highlights the unique features of each room can make a big difference.

5. Add An Office Space

With the rise of remote work and homeschooling, having a designated workspace has become increasingly important for many homebuyers. By making efficient use of available space, you can appeal to potential buyers who require a home office without compromising on other essential features of your home.

6. Depersonalize

One important aspect of preparing your home for sale is creating a neutral and welcoming environment that allows potential buyers to envision themselves living there. To achieve this, remove personal items such as family photos and children’s artwork that may distract buyers from imagining their own lives in the space.

Work on these tips and you might just have a potential buyer knocking on your door. Which tip will you do first?

Events in Portland for February 2023

Events in Portland, Oregon for February 2023

It’s February! The month we dedicate to Black History and a little thing called L-O-V-E. In the hopes of getting into a mood of celebration and appreciation this month, we’ve picked out a selection of Portland events just for you!

Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes

📅 Nov. 15, 2022 – Apr. 9, 2023 | 📍 OMSI | 💵 $24 – $30

Come celebrate Marvel’s 80-year history with an exhibition that takes you on a journey to the universe of the characters that we know and love. Discover behind-the-scenes stories from the creators themselves. Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes features a long list of interesting artifacts, interactive displays and life-size statues of Marvel’s iconic Super Heroes. Never-before-seen props and costumes from Marvel movies and series will be on display as well.

You can also enjoy OMSI’s four science labs as your ticket includes access to OMSI’s Turbine Hall, reimagined Science Playground, and Natural Sciences Hall.


OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry)
1945 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214


Jan. 31 – Feb. 59:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 7 – Feb. 129:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 14 – Feb. 179:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

See website | Get tickets

Portland Winter Light Festival

📅 Feb. 3-11, 2023 | 📍 City Wide | 💵 Free

Get entranced with the Instagram-worthy light displays at the Portland Winter Light Festival. The pop-up light installations will be scattered across the city and can be viewed at no charge! More chances of viewing these light art when you drive along the North, Northeast, Downtown and Southeast Portland areas. Check out the Portland Winter Light Festival website for a map of the installation locations.

See website

Biamp Portland Jazz Festival

📅 Feb. 16-25, 2023 | 📍 Various Venues | 💵 Cost Varies

The Biamp Portland Jazz Festival celebrates Black History Month with some jazz music. A series of concerts and events will be held for over two weeks this month. Watch the live performances of up-and-coming and legendary Jazz musicians. Here’s a list of performers for the Biamp Portland Jazz Festival:

  • Hubert Laws
  • Dave Holland
  • Bill Frisell plus Hiatus Kaiyote
  • Charlie Musselwhite and Curtis Salgado
  • Angélique Kidjo, 5-time Grammy winner
  • Storm Large
  • Jon Cleary with funk-fusion export Dumpstaphunk
  • .. and many more!

See website | Get tickets

NW Black Comedy Festival

📅 Feb. 16-19, 2023 | 📍 Curious Comedy Theater | 💵 Cost Varies

The NW Black Comedy Festival is back with eleven showcases, two live podcasts, and over sixty Black comics from around the world to bring you hours of fun and laughter. This event was awarded in 2020 by The New Your Times as one of The Best Black History Month Events in the country.


Curious Comedy Theater
5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97211

See website | Get tickets

Portland Mardi Gras Parade

📅 Feb. 21, 2023 | 📍 Mississippi Avenue | 💵 Free

Watch out for Portland’s family-friendly Mardi Gras Parade along Mississippi Avenue. Everyone is invited to dress up and dance along! Some lucky participants may even get a chance to receive a signature mini-umbrella from hosts Krewe. Food and beverage specials will be available all day at Mississippi Avenue and even after the parade. Who knew Portland had its own Mardi Gras parade?


The parade starts at Victoria Bar and proceeds down Mississippi Avenue to Cook St. near Ecliptic Brewing (source: http://www.travelportland.com)

See website

Source: www.travelportland.com

Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Model House and Set of Colorful Keys

Buying a House in 2023

Buying a home for the first time can be complicated. There are lots of steps, tasks, and requirements to follow, and you don’t want to make a costly mistake.

Here’s a rundown of what you should think about before you buy to help you get the most out of your purchase.

1. Improve Your Credit Score

Improving your credit score takes time and effort, but it is possible. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Check your credit report for mistakes – It’s important to regularly check your credit reports for any errors or incorrect information that could be damaging your score.
  • Pay your bills on time – Paying your bills on time is one of the most important factors for maintaining a good credit score.
  • Keep credit card balances low – Keeping your credit card balances low will help improve your credit score. Try to keep your balances below 30% of your available credit.
  • Limit applying for new accounts – Opening too many new accounts at once can have a negative impact on your credit score.
  • Use different types of credit – Having a mix of different types of credit, such as installment loans and credit cards, can help improve your credit score.


A minimum down payment will most likely be required, depending on the loan. Expect to pay at least 3% of the property’s purchase price.

How much you’ll put down on your home depends on the type of mortgage you receive. The typical mortgage down payment ranges from 3.5% to 20% of the property’s purchase price.

If you put down less than 20%, you may be required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) or other fees.

Things To Know About Down payments

  • The size of your down payment has a direct impact on the interest rate your mortgage lender will set for your loan. The larger the down payment you offer your lender, the lower your interest rate may be.
  • A larger down payment generally means you’re a less risky borrower, and a less risky borrower means a lower interest rate.
  • It’s now possible to get a mortgage for as little as 3% down, although some loans (like Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans require no money down.


Real estate agents are home-buying experts who know the local market and can take you to houses that meet your needs in your target area. They make finding the perfect home much easier and faster.

Now is the time to start researching lenders. Ask for recommendations from friends and family and conduct online research to find someone who will work well with you and your needs.


Mortgage pre-approval is a critical step in the home-buying process that you should not overlook in 2023. Getting a mortgage preapproval accelerates the lending process. If you find a home you like and need a loan quickly to buy it before another prospective homebuyer does, being preapproved will allow you to secure the purchase sooner.

Lenders will consider several key factors before deciding to pre-approve you for a mortgage:

  • DTI Ratio – measures the amount of income a person or organization generates in order to service a debt
  • LTV Ratio – is an often used ratio in mortgage lending to determine the amount necessary to put in a down payment and whether a lender will extend credit to a borrower
  • Credit History – a record of your ability to repay debts and demonstrated responsibility in repaying them
  • Income and Employment History – to check how much money you are earning and your job stability
  • FICO Score – are based on the information collected on individual consumers by the three major credit bureaus, including their payment history, credit utilization, and the age of their accounts


What kind of home do you want in terms of square footage, features, and so on? Make a list of your non-negotiables.

Are you ready for your dream home? Let Shawn Realty help you find that perfect home for you and your family.