Here’s interesting news you may not hear very often – the lack of distressed properties has caused a drop in existing home sales.

Now that’s a really loaded sentence so let’s break it down piece by piece and see what it really means.

1) Lack of distressed properties – on the surface this might seem pretty ridiculous. Last we checked there’s a ton of distressed properties just waiting to be dropped and then snatched up again. So is this a load of nonsense? Not entirely. You see, median home prices are up 7.9% from a year ago. This means less homes are underwater. This means there’s more incentive to keep up payments which leads to less distressed properties. So in a sense, this is true.

2) A drop in existing home sales – so this one is a little more cryptic but also basically true. What you’ve got to remember is investors make up 17% of the buyers market. So if they’re scared off by higher prices or got spooked for any other reason, they might hold off buying for now. This would look like a drop in existing home sales.

So what this boils down to is that higher prices means less opportunity. And what we are trying to tell you is that you’ve almost run out of time. If you’re waiting for the deal of a lifetime to land in your lap, then go back to sleep. But if you’re ready to land a great bargain, even when you see 100% clearly that prices are rising, then the time to get in the game is now.

Are you ready to play? If so, leave a comment and tell the world!

Home staging has been proven to help homes sell faster and for more money and is becoming more important as properties are still tough to sell in many markets. However, hiring a professional home stager or interior designer isn’t always in the budget, especially for those who are already financially strapped.

4 tips for staging your home on a tight budget…

1. Accessorize
Accessories can make a huge difference in the perceived value of your home and they are far cheaper than doing major repairs or upgrades. Lamps, curtains, pictures, changing hardware and fixtures can all make a huge difference in home appeal. Plus you may be able to take some of these items with you to your new home.

2. Rent the Cosmetics
In addition to the items above staging your with new furniture, electronics and appliances can make a massive difference in the visual appeal and feel to help with selling a home faster. Fortunately this doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on a house full of brand new furniture. There are now a variety of rental stores for sources couches, recliners, flat screens and even appliances from as little as a few dollars a week and which can be returned when your home sells.

3. Do-it-Yourself
If you are feeling brave and have the time to spare there is a lot that can be learnt by attending a DIY class at your local home improvement store or even on the web. Just make sure you aren’t taking on more than you can handle. Keep costs down by renting or borrowing the tools instead of buying them.

4. Don’t overdo it
Don’t gamble on home renovations for selling a home. It is never a sure thing till you have closed. Taking on more debt if you are struggling to keep up with payments or are underwater normally isn’t a wise financial move, it’s just throwing good money after bad. Consider selling your home for cash as-is instead.

The word across the web is that this summer is set to be a record season for the real estate market and a great time for selling a home. So will it be easier for homeowners to find a buyer in the next couple of months?

Summer is traditionally one of the hottest seasons for the real estate market and this should be an even better year with plenty of discounted homes out there luring those contemplating buying a home with low mortgage rates and pent up demand adding and additional boost.

However, while there may be more buyers out house hunting this summer there have also been many homeowners who have been holding their homes off the market as well as a recent surge foreclosure filings and those who have finally given up waiting on a government bailout that works for them, all which will add to the competition for those selling a home this summer.

With many schools getting out as early as the end of May this year the buying frenzy could start earlier than anticipated. This means little time for those selling a home to spruce up their properties and spread the word before buyers make their picks.

However, distressed homeowners need to be careful about spending too much on selling a home. Many are afraid to work with real estate agents due to the added cost but the marketing and cleanup it can take to make a home stand out can add up quickly too. Many lenders won’t loan on homes with certain defects but if it come down to a choice between keeping the lights on and fixing up a property, advertising your home in the local paper and throwing a proper open house then it may be wiser to find a cash buyer who will take it in its current condition.