Category: Blog (64)

Here are some essential tips for sellers and aspiring home buyers. Make sure you also lean into your trusted real estate professional for additional insight and guidance.

SMART STRATEGIES FOR SELLERS

Putting a home up for sale can be stressful, and some owners have a hard time making objective decisions when it matters most.

Homeowners consistently overestimate the market value of their homes by 5 to 10 percent.1

PRICE IT RIGHT

Your listing agent will perform a current market analysis.Look closely at the sales of similar homes that have closed in the last 90 days and take the number of available listings into account when agreeing to an asking price.

Sources: 1. Smart Money Magazine, February 2, 2011

2. National Association of REALTORS, 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

KEEP IN MIND

Homes that have failed to attract a buyer in a reasonableperiod of time may be overpriced.

Foreclosures or short sales in your neighborhoodcan impact your home’s market value.

It doesn’t pay to set the price too high; mostbuyers will need financing and the bank will generally use an appraisal based onrecent sales to justify the amount.

Your agent may recommend  that you perform repairs to  correct visible flaws—or even  suggest staging your home so it  feels more spacious and potential  buyers can picture themselves living there.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF  YOUR MARKET DEBUT

Pricing your home competitively  from the get-go increases the odds  of a quick sale.

Nearly 43% of buyers looked online  for properties as their first step and  43% found the home they ultimately  purchased on the Internet.If your  home is priced too high when it hits  the market, you run the risk that active,  qualified buyers will scroll right past it.

New listings are called “hot” for a  reason—buyers get excited about  them. Showings are likely to cool  off noticeably after the first 30  days on the market.

When weighing an offer, make sure to consider the potential costs of holding on to your property longer than you want or need to (including the mortgage, property taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.).

Get the home you want

Get Ready

Talk to your mortgage professionalabout your financial situation and credit history to determine your loan options. It’s important to know how much house you can afford based on your down payment and income. A strong letter of pre-approval can really add to your bargaining power.

Have a meeting with your real estate agent. Discuss your needs and preferences and establish the best method for your agent to send listings and communicate with you about available properties. Tap into his or her knowledge of the local market.  When it comes time to act, your agent will represent your interests in negotiations and work to ensure a smooth transaction.

Shop Smart

Expect to pay more for a showplace: if you consider a fixer-upper, judge structural deficiencies more harshly than cosmetic flaws. It can be costly to replace major components or to change the layout, but redecorating with flooring, fixtures or paint is relatively easy and sometimes offers instant equity potential.

Location is key. Even if the site seems perfect for you at the present time, think about whether it will appeal to a large pool of buyers if you should decide to sell in the future.

Go for It!

To write a winning offer without overpaying, look at the prices for comparable sales. Consider whether the property is in a high-demand area or if there is plenty of competition. Ask your agent to find out why it is for sale and if the seller seems motivated. If you accommodate the seller’s preferred closing dates or other terms, he or she maybe more flexible with the price.

Do Your Due Diligence

Schedule a home inspection after coming to terms. Many sellers expect to address issues related to safety or building codes, and additional repairs (or a credit) may be negotiated. Make sure all of your questions or concerns regarding the home’s condition are answered through the inspection process.

The average person will spend a total of 3,680 hours, or 153 days of their life, searching for misplaced items, according to “Becoming Minimalist.” Typically, the only time many of us think about decluttering our homes or spaces is when we’re getting ready to move. Whether you’re moving or just want to save time and space, this easy five-bin approach is a great way to start simplifying your living environment.

The 5-bin approach

Decluttering the home can be overwhelming. However, applying the five-bin approach to reorganizing and discarding items may help you feel less anxious and more in control of the process.

Bin 1: Items that need to be put away. Place items that belong somewhere else in the home in this bin. Eventually, you’ll put them away; the intention is to put them somewhere while you’re clearing the room.

Bin 2: Items to be fixed. Place items that you plan to fix or that need to be washed or cleaned in this bin, such as toys, dirty clothes or scuffed shoes.

Bin 3: Items to donate. Items in this bin are in good condition, but you no longer need or use them. They can be given to friends or family, sold online or donated to a local charity.

Bin 4: Items to be recycled. This is where you’ll place items made of paper, plastic or glass that you don’t want to keep. Add all empty drink bottles, food containers, and magazines or newspapers.

Bin 5: Items to discard. Place expendable items in this bin that you can’t recycle or donate.

What about sentimental items?

Many of us have items we can’t bear to part with because there’s a memory or other sentimental feeling attached. Here are a few tips for handling sentimental items that may start to create clutter.

Decide if it’s worth keeping. If you use or enjoy the item, hang on to it. However, you may not need to retain every piece of artwork your children created. It can be helpful to ask a relative or friend when deciding which to keep.

Choose a few items that remind you of a loved one. If you’ve inherited many heirlooms, see if other members of your family would like some, too. Donate the rest.

Keep in mind; you can get rid of an item without getting rid of the memory. Take a photo of the item to place in a journal or scrapbook and write why it means so much to you.

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