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Staging Your North Iowa Home to Sell!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

In today’s blog post we are going to talk about the process of staging your North Iowa home to sell. Many home sellers wonder whether this is truly a necessary step when listing their property. We hope to answer some of your questions and show you the benefits of staging your home. If you are interested in selling your North Iowa home, learn more about why you should stage your home in order to receive top value for your property!

 

Home Staging and its benefits to your home sale

 

What is Home Staging?

Home staging is the process of getting a home ready to sell on the market. Its goal is to make the home appealing to the largest number of potential homebuyers. Staging helps create the best possible first impression of the home. It turns it into a welcoming site that highlights the property’s features. Professional home stagers eliminate clutter, arrange and eliminate furniture, extentuate the flow of the house, and add decor to broaden the appeal of the property. Staging allows buyers to visualize themselves in the home and imagine how they would utilize the space if they were to live there. As such, staging helps homes sell more quickly and at higher values.

 

Is Staging a Good Investment?

Home staging does require some capital to do it effectively. Hiring a professional stager is always a wise choice. They are incredibly experienced in the art of staging and know the best ways to highlight your home. If you would prefer to stage your home yourself, you will still likely incur some costs, such as general maintenance and cleaning costs, upgrades, and storage fees for items you want to remove. Although you might not want to put more money into your home right before selling, the Return on Investment (ROI) for staging is well worth it! Any money you spend now, you will see returned to you as your home increases its value through the staging process!

 

What are the Benefits of Home Staging?

There are many benefits that can come from staging your home. Need some hard facts to convince you? The National Association of REALTORS® recently released their 2017 Profile of Home Staging. Their collected data shows the benefits from the points of view of both sellers and buyers of home staging.

 

Buyers’ Agent Perspective

  • 49% of buyers’ agents found staging to have a positive effect on the buyer’s view of the home

  • 77% of buyers’ agents found buyers had an easier time visualizing the home as their own through staging

  • 40% of buyers were willing to see online listings that were staged

  • ⅓ of buyer’s agents found staged homes had an increase offered dollar value of 1% to 5%

Sellers’ Agent Perspective

  • 29% of sellers’ agents saw a 1% to 5% increase in the dollar value offered by buyers for staged homes

  • 21% of sellers' agents saw an even greater increase of dollar value at home 6% to 10%

  • 39% of sellers’ agents found staged homes has less days on the market (DOM)

 

These numbers highlight that the greatest benefits of staging your home are an increase in offered dollar value for your home, increased competition amongst buyers, and less DOM. Home staging truly is a win-win!

 

Is Home Staging a Good Investment for your North Iowa Home?

What are some Key Tips for Home Staging?

While far from being an exhaustive list, here are some simple steps you can take to stage your home to sell. Start with paint! Adding a fresh coat of paint throughout the home gives it an instant face lift. Choose a light, neutral color that will appeal to a broad array of people and make the rooms in your home look larger. The next step is to do a deep cleaning. Make sure that dirt has been removed from every nook and cranny and everything is looking shiny and new. Complete any lingering home maintenance projects that you have been putting off. Now, you need to go through your home and declutter and depersonalize. It is imperative that homebuyers can visualize themselves in the space. This can be difficult to do if there are a lot of your personal items and memorabilia throughout. Create clean, open spaces by removing all unnecessary items from counter and table tops. At the same time, pare down the amount of furniture to only those pieces that help showcase the size of the living space. Put furniture in areas that help highlight the flow of your home or accentuate architectural features. Your final step is to make the space homey. Place flowers and candles in rooms throughout the house to create a cozy, inviting atmosphere during showings. The most important rooms to stage, as found in the NAR 2017 Profile of Home Staging, were the kitchen, living room, dining room, and master bedroom.

 

What Should I Do if I am Interested in Staging My Home to Sell?

We hope this blog gave you a little more insight into benefits of staging your home to sell. However, we realize that you might still have some more questions regarding the topic. That is where we come in! Call our experienced team at Jane Fischer and Associates Team  to answer any questions you have. We are more than happy to come look at your home and give you some helpful staging advice before listing your property. We can also put you in contact with the professional stagers in the area that we trust to get the job done right. We are looking forward to hearing from you today!


 

TubaChristmas and Tom Fetty Krugerrand Auction this Saturday!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Head to Mason City's Southbridge Mall (100 South Federal Avenue) this Saturday, December 9th, for some festive fun and holiday good cheer!



The day begins with the annual Tom Fetty Krugerrand Auction from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. All monies raised during the auction are donated to our local Salvation Army. Help support a great cause this holiday season!  


Then, stick around for the 32nd annual North Iowa TubaChristmas concert in the mall’s Center Court at 1:00 pm! TubaChristmas is a live musical performance of everyone’s favorite Christmas carols by local tuba, baritone, euphonium, and sousaphone players. Beginning in 1974 in New York City, TubaChristmas concerts are now held every year throughout the country and around the world. North Iowa is proud to boost one of the largest such concerts in the nation! Enjoy a rousing performance of the greatest Christmas tunes by 100 local musicians!



Are you a musician? Come participate in TubaChristmas! Tuba, baritone, euphonium, and sousaphone players of all ages are welcome. Please head to the Mason City High School band room on Saturday morning at 10:00 am for registration. Cost is $10 per participant. Rehearsal will begin at 10:30 am. Musicians should bring their own instruments, Santa hat, and music stand. Be sure to decorate your instrument for the holiday!



Jane Fischer and Associates Team
wishes everyone a festive holiday season in Mason City and throughout North Iowa!  

 

Image Credit: Jake Rajewsky/Globe Gazette

Winterize Your Home in 7 Easy Steps!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

The cold winter days are finally upon us in North Iowa! Increase your home's energy efficiency, save money on your heating bill, and keep your family nice and cozy all winter long by following these 7 Easy Steps to Winterize Your Home!

 

1. Dodge Drafts! Drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your home's energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)! Save that energy by placing a draft blocker under your doors.


2. Use A Window Insulation Kit! Head to your local hardware store for some plastic for your windows. This adds an additional buffer against the cold.


3. Add Storm Windows! Skip the plastic and install storm windows that will last you for years to come. Studies show that these windows can save 12% to 33% on your heating costs every year!


4. Caulk Windows & Doors! Air leaks throughout the house waste a lot of energy. Be sure to caulk and seal all your windows and doors properly.


5. Replace Furnace Filters! Dirty filters increase energy use by restricting airflow. Plus, the irritants trapped in it can make your family sick! Your furnace filter should be changed every month during the winter. To save time and money (in the long run), consider using a permanent filter.


6. Monitor Your Heat! Make sure you turn down the thermostat everytime you aren't home to reduce energy waste. Also, save money by turning down your heat a degree or two and wrap up in a warm blanket instead!


7. Lower Your Water Temperature! According to the DOE, you can annually save 4% to 22% by turning down your water heater's temperature! Most water heaters are automatically set to 140ºF. Lower the temperature to 120ºF. Trust us, you won't notice the difference....aside from the money you will be saving!

 

Looking for more homeowner, buyer or seller tips? Visit our website!

 

Like and Follow-us on Facebook for more great tips and new homes to the market.


 

22nd Annual Festival of Trees Opens Today!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Come kickoff  the holiday season in Clear Lake this weekend at the One Vision Festival of Trees!! For the 22nd year, more than 100 Christmas trees, wreaths, and other holiday décor will be on display and for sale  at One Vision’s Kinney Lindstrom Center gymnasium (1200 North 9th Street West) from Friday, December 1st through Sunday, December 3rd. Enjoy a beautiful, festive walk through the displays and find the perfect decorations for your North Iowa home! Don’t miss your chance to see and purchase the beautiful wreath sponsored by Jane Fischer and Associates Team!! Along with the displays, enjoy live musical entertainment and fun special events planned throughout the weekend, including the Opening Night Gala, Breakfast With Santa, Cookie Walk, and other family activities!

 

The Festival of Trees is a fundraiser for One Vision (formally Opportunity Village). This nonprofit organization, based in Clear Lake, helps over 550 people “achieve greater independence through personal choice and community involvement”. All proceeds from this weekend will be used towards services provided by the organization.

 

FESTIVAL OF TREES DISPLAY HOURS

Friday. December 1st | 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Saturday. December 2nd | 8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Sunday. December 3rd | 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

 

FESTIVAL OF TREES SPECIAL EVENTS

OPENING NIGHT
Date: Friday, December 1st

Time: 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm

Admission: $25 per person  

Get access to the Festival of Trees during the Opening Night Gala! Enjoy a candle lit  evening with live music and tasty treats and beverages.

 

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

Date: Saturday, December 2nd

Time: 8:00 am until 11:00 am

Admission: $8 per adult | $5 per child (ages 5 & under)
Meet Santa and enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast, courtesy of the Clear Lake Knights of Columbus. Tickets to Breakfast With Santa include admission to the Festival of Trees displays.  

 

SECRET SANTA WORKSHOP
Date: Saturday, December 2nd

Time: 8:00 am until 1:00 pm

Your children will love some “parent-free” time while creating homemade gifts to take home.

 

COOKIE WALK
Date: Sunday, December 3rd

Time: 11:00 am until Cookies are Sold Out!

Stock up on delicious homemade cookies and candies for the holidays.

 

 

Purchase tickets for all special events in advance HERE or at the door!

 

Image Credit: EventBrite   

Mason City Ranked One of the Safest Cities in Iowa!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

With fun community events, exciting cultural and entertainment amenities, beautiful recreational facilities, and excellent local schools, MASON CITY is a great place to call home! On top of all of these incredible attributes, Mason City is also SAFE! It was recently ranked the 9th Safest City in Iowa!

 

Home security website SafeHome recently released their list of the safest cities, with a population of at least 60K, in the state. They calculated their rankings based on recent crime data from the FBI as well as from the U.S. Census. When the results came in…..Mason City received an overall Safety Score 78.38!

 


Call this safe community home! Check out our Current Homes for Sale in Mason City! Give the Jane Fischer and Associates Team a call today or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/!  

 

Christmas By The Lake!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Do you hear those jingle bells getting closer?! It is almost time for Christmas by the Lake! One of the holiday highlights in North Iowa, Christmas by the Lake in beautiful Clear Lake offers two days of festive fun for the whole family! Do not miss out on any of the fun! Find the full schedule below and enjoy a weekend of yuletide cheer!

 

Saturday, December 2nd

  • 8:30 am | Cookie Walk/Crafts | United Methodist Church

  • 9:00 am - 4:00 pm | Holiday Bazaar | Senior Citizens Center

  • 10:30 am & 11:00 am | Storytime & Crafts for Children (Ages 3-6) | Public Library

  • 11:00 am | Crowning of Christmas Prince & Princess | Clear Lake Bank & Trust

  • 11:00 am | Free Screening of ELF | Lake Theatre

  • 11:00 am - 1:30 pm | Soup/Sandwich Lunch | United Methodist Church

  • 11:00 am - 4:00 pm | Indoor Nativity Scene Displays | CL Regular Baptist Church

  • 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Children’s Petting Zoo & Pony Rides | City Park

  • 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm | S’Mores & Christmas Karaoke | 400 Block of Main

  • 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Visit with Santa | City Park

  • 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Free Main Street Trolley Rides

  • 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Professor Von Air Extraordinaire | Clear Lake Arts Center

  • 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm | Santa’s Workshop Festival | Clear Lake Arts Center

  • 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm | Free Horse Drawn Sleigh & Carriage Rides | Wilcox Furniture & Ge-Jo’s

  • 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm | Strolling Dicken’s Characters

  • 5:00 pm | Lighted Christmas by the Lake Parade & Fireworks Finale

  • 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm | Visit with Santa | City Park

 

Sunday, December 3rd

  • 11:00 am | Free Screening of ELF | Lake Theatre

  • 12:30 pm | Polar Bear Dip | City Beach

  • 1:00 pm | Treasure Hunt | Lakeview Room

  • 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Visit with Santa | City Park

  • 2:00 pm | Messiah Sing with a Concert by NordKor Children’s Choir | United Methodist Church

 

 

Jane Fischer and Associates Team wishes everyone a very merry time at Christmas by the Lake!

 

 

 

Image Credit: Clear Lake, Iowa


Getting Your Home Ready for Thanksgiving Guests!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Not only will you be filling your bellies with an incredible feast this Thanksgiving but you will also be filling your house with holiday guests! Get your home ready for all your friends and family now so you do not need to stress later this week! Prepare your Mason City house and keep your guests comfortable throughout Thanksgiving by following these simple steps!

1. Let there be light!

You might be able to navigate your house in the dark but your guests cannot! Make sure to provide them with ample lighting during the night so they can safely walk to the areas they need to reach. Add nightlights to hallways, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Make sure that all outdoor lights are working properly.

2. Clear the clutter!

Ensure ample space for your guests by removing any unnecessary clutter. Place these items in closets and storage so they are out of the way. Clear off tables and counter tops.

3. Create a great first impression!

The foyer is the very first impression your guests will have. Make it welcoming! Also ensure it is functional for your guests. Clear out your personal items so guests have an easy spot to place their coats and shoes.

4. Prep your kitchen!

Your kitchen is going to see a lot of action on Thursday. Make sure that you have all the essential items you need easily accessible. Create a comforable spot for guests to hang out in the kitchen and keep you company while you prepare your food!

5. Make it cozy!

Create a relaxing spot for guests to get some rest. Ensure that all guests have ample bedding to stay warm at night. Consider adding a ceiling fan to your guest bedroom so your guests can control their own temperature.

6. Stock your bathroom!

Keep you bathroom fully stocked with toilet paper, toiletries, and towels. Have all these items easily accessible so guests can find them when they need them!


Jane Fischer & Associates wishes everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!  

 

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Your favorite North Iowa holiday tradition is almost here!  It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas opens this weekend!!!!  Head to beautiful Music Man Square to enjoy the holiday spirit with family, friends, and neighbors. Marvel at the spectacular window displays and decor as you as transported back to Christmas in 1912! Celebrate the holiday classic “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas, composed by Mason City native Meredith Wilson. The stunning holiday display is open to the public this Saturday, November 18th, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and will be open daily now through Christmas. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

 

Celebrate the opening of this grand display at Holiday Premier of It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas this Friday, November 17th. From 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm, get access to the festive wonderland in Music Man Square early. Enjoy holiday music, a special presentation of The Nutcracker, delicious samples from Hy-Vee East, a live and silent auction, and so much more. Tickets are $50 per person or $350 for a table of 8. Tickets can be purchased at Hy-Vee East and Music Man Square.

 

Also, be sure to stop by Music Man Square every Sunday in December to have your photo taken with Santa!

 

Jane Fischer & Associates cannot wait to see you all for a jolly good time this holiday season in Music Man Square!

 

Image Credit: Visit Mason City

Reasons to Celebrate All Month Long!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Thanksgiving might be November's star holiday but there are several other days within the month worth celebrating! This month is all about appreciation, togetherness, and celebration! With national and international holidays, there is plenty to be joyful about in November! Here is one fun and easy way for you to celebrate each of these month's best holidays!

 

 


 

November 11th - Veterans Day

Celebrate by thanking a veteran you know for their bravery and service!

November 13th - World Kindness Day

Celebrate by performing a random act of kindness to a total stranger!

November 16th - World Tolerance Day

Celebrate by learning more about a culture that is different than your own!

November 20th - Universal Children’s Day

Celebrate by taking a child in your life out for a fun activity or healthy, delicious treat!

November 23rd - Thanksgiving

Celebrate by giving thanks for your many blessings this year!

November 25th - Small Business Saturday

Celebrate by supporting your favorite locally owned business!

November 28th - Giving Tuesday

Celebrate by donating your time or money to your favorite charitable cause!

Check out our Blog for fun decorating tips and holiday ideas all season long! Jane Fischer and Associates Team hopes everyone in North Iowa enjoys making these unique holidays a part of yours and your family's traditions!

Get Connected with the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Clear Lake is one of the best places to call home. A stunning natural landscape, endless recreational activities, fun community events, and access to amenities and facilities are just some of the many reasons that Clear Lake is top notch. Another reason is the dedication of local organizations to promote and support the continual development of the community. One such organization is the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce! This fantastic organization made up of local business owners is dedicated to making the community a better place for everyone.


The Chamber is focusing on connecting its members and the public in better ways. Communication is key to this effect. Find out more about the organization and the work they do during their "Chamber Chats" on Facebook. These live videos occur the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month at 11:00 am. Topics are focused on upcoming Chamber and major community events, local projects and happenings, Chamber members, and more helpful information. This is a great way to stay informed about what is happening in Clear Lake and find out more about the incredible local businesses in our community.


Be sure to take advantage of all the informative programming and fun events that the Chamber hosts throughout the year. Here is the schedule for the rest of 2017:

Clear Lake Pathway to Success

  • Tuesday, October 31st | 11:45 am | Best Western Holiday Lodge

Chamber Chats on Facebook

  • 2nd & 4th Mondays of the Month | 11:00 am | Online

12 X 12 Luncheon

  • Friday, November 17th | 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm | Chamber

Festival of Trees

  • Friday, December 1st - Sunday, December 3rd | One Vision

Christmas by the Lake

  • Saturday December 2nd | 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm | Downtown Clear Lake

New Member Orientation

  • Monday, December 11th | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm | Chamber

Business After Hours

  • Thursday, December 14th | 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm | Clear Lake Arts Center

Quarterly Chamber Coffee

  • Friday, December 15th | 7:30 am - 9:15 am | Surf Lounge

Lake Leadership Days

  • Education Day – Wednesday, November 15th

  • Health & Recreation Day – Wednesday, December 20th



Are you a local business owner? Become a Chamber member today! Find out more information HERE!

 

 

Image Credit: Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

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Contact Information

Jane Fischer & Associates
Century 21 Preferred
2800 4th Street SW #3
Mason City IA 50401
Cell: 641-425-4900
Office: 641-424-9400
©2017 CENTURY 21 Preferred. CENTURY 21® and the CENTURY 21 Logo are registered service marks owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each office is independently owned and operated.