You've scrubbed every surface, trimmed the hedges to perfection, and baked some cookies to make your home smell warm and inviting, but there's a problem.
Every time someone comes to view the house you're trying to sell, the first thing they notice is the unkempt mess next door.
If you're selling your home, you have enough to worry about without adding troublesome neighbors to the mix, but sometimes life just isn't fair. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can smooth things out with your neighbors and get back to more important things — like selling your home.
Selling your home is hard work, so don't let pesky neighbors hold you back. From noise problems to unruly lawns, patching things up with the folks next door will make the process of selling your home infinitely easier.
Getting ready for a home inspection is one of the more nerve-wracking things about selling your home. The good news is that you don't have to wait until after the inspection to fix some of the most common trouble spots.
There are certain spots in a home that every inspector will check. Focusing on these issues now is the best way to maximize your budget and your chance of a favorable inspection result.
Investing the time and resources to repair these problems now will save a lot of stress in the long run and will likely save you some money at closing time. Better yet, a positive inspection result puts you one step closer to turning your dreams of a home sale into a reality.
Buying and selling a home at the same time can be an intimidating experience. Lining up a buyer and a new home within a short timeframe requires tons of planning and a bit of luck. However, selling your home before closing on a new one doesn't mean you have to be left without a place to live. Sellers usually have a few different options to explore, including a rent-back agreement.
A rent-back agreement is a good way to buy yourself some extra time after a home sale. However, like most real estate negotiations, they come with benefits and risks. Below we'll explain everything you need to know about how these agreements work and why you might consider one:
A rent-back agreement is an arrangement that allows the seller to continue to live at a property as a tenant after the closing date. During this period, the buyer assumes the responsibility of a landlord. The purpose of a rent-back agreement is to give the seller extra time to find a place to live following the home sale.
The details of a rent-back agreement can be negotiated during the closing process. You'll need to work with the buyer to determine monthly payment, security deposit, agreement length, and utility responsibilities. The buyer's home insurance should cover the rent-back period. It's important to always consult with your real estate agent, lender, and attorney when negotiating the terms.
Depending on the terms and situation, sellers can benefit from a rent-back agreement in a number of ways. For one, it can give you the flexibility to accept a strong offer before having a new home lined up. It can also give you more time to find your dream home as opposed to simply settling for a property out of necessity.
Rent-back agreements can also be helpful if you have kids in school and would like them to finish out the school year before moving or changing districts.
Rent-back agreements have obvious benefits for buyers too — as they can provide supplemental income that can help offset a small bit of the cost of the new home.
Rent-back agreements are generally short, as most lenders only allow a rent-back period of 60 days. While the added time can be a huge benefit, it's not a long-term solution. During the rent-back period, sellers will need to abide by the lease terms set forth by the buyer.
The buyer will also need to assume the responsibility of the landlord. The arrangement may also be less appealing to buyers who are eager to move in quickly after closing.
The major risk of a rent-back agreement comes in the form of determining liability. Determining who has liability for damage or unforeseen circumstances is often part of the negotiation. Usually, the buyer's homeowners policy should cover the rent-back period; however, the seller may want to explore a short-term rental insurance policy to cover personal property.
Rent-back agreements are a common way for sellers to buy more time, but the true benefits will ultimately depend on your unique situation. Not all buyers will offer them, but sellers often have the leverage to ask for them in a hot market.
The total number of bedrooms is an important selling feature of any home, so it's no wonder many homeowners are eager to transform extra rooms into bedrooms. But did you know there are actually legal definitions and coding requirements for bedrooms?
The number of bedrooms in your home can have a major impact on your home value and even your property taxes, so it's important to learn the rules on what rooms actually qualify. Remember, legal definitions can vary across states and municipalities, so always be sure to check on the requirements in your specific area. Below are several common requirements used to determine if a room qualifies as a bedroom:
Remember, buyers love to imagine what they can do with extra space, so if you have a room that doesn't qualify as a bedroom, you can always get away with advertising it as an office or nursery. Even if it's not technically a bedroom, extra rooms are always a good selling point.
Turning extra rooms into bedrooms can be beneficial for numerous reasons, but always be sure to make sure your space meets the legal requirements in your area before labeling it a bedroom.
Millennials — usually defined as being in their early 20s and approaching 40 — now represent more than a quarter of the U.S. population, and many of them are buying homes. In fact, they make up the largest share of home buyers at 38%.
If you're selling your home, you'll want to appeal to this large segment of home buyers. And it pays to keep in mind they can have different priorities compared to other homebuyer age groups.
Follow these 7 tips to help attract millennial homebuyers:
Millennials make up a large percentage of home buyers, so attracting them can help your home sell more quickly and for the best possible price. The key is knowing what they're looking for and making sure your home meets their needs and preferences.
Traditionally, spring is the most popular time to sell your home. In the winter, temperatures start to drop, people begin hunkering down, and home sellers see fewer buyers and lower offers.
However, like most things last year, the real estate market continues to be different in 2021. In fact, cold temperatures are unlikely to put a damper on this hot seller's market! Low inventory, low-interest rates, and a rash of serious buyers who want to upgrade their homes as soon as possible have created the perfect situation for would-be sellers.
While the odds are certainly in your favor right now, there are a few things you can do to help you get the most out of your winter home sale. Start with these six tips.
If you've been thinking about listing your home, now is the perfect time to do it. Follow these tips, and there's a good chance you'll have your home sold for a price you love before the spring flowers start to bloom.
Selling your home is as much of a lifestyle decision as it is a financial decision. Like any other investment, you want to make sure that you're making financially responsible decisions every step of the way. One option that you have when selling your home is to use your current equity to finance your next move. Research shows that more and more homeowners are gaining equity in their homes regardless of state. By paying the equity in your current home towards purchasing a new home, you can achieve your real estate goals sooner than later.
What is Home Equity?
The equity in your home is its current value minus the remaining mortgage debt. As you pay your monthly mortgage, you grow the equity in your home. For instance, If you purchased your home for $200,000 using a mortgage loan and only have $50,000 remaining on the loan, your home equity is $150,000.
How Can I Use My Existing Equity?
As you consider selling your home, you likely already have another real estate goal in mind. Whether you're downsizing or purchasing a home for your growing lifestyle needs, you'll need to create a plan for how you're going to buy a new house. Instead of using your savings for another down payment, you can leverage the existing equity in your home to fund the purchase of your next home. There are a few ways that you can use your existing equity when selling your home:
As you search for a lender to secure a mortgage for a new home, they may allow you to use the existing equity in your current home as collateral. One advantage of this option is that many lenders will match the rate of your original mortgage.
The option allows you to pocket the equity as cash to put towards the new home. Prior to selling your home, you may have refinanced your mortgage. This option works similarly, allowing you to use as much as 85 percent of the home's appraised value in equity.
A HELOC, or a Home Equity Line of Credit, gives you a set balance that you can use as much as necessary. For instance, if your HELOC is for $20,000, you can choose to only use $10,000 of it. This is beneficial because you'll only pay interest on what you use, not the full amount.
A mortgage lender may allow you to accept a loan for 80 percent of the purchase price and then take out a home equity line of credit for the remaining 20 percent. After selling your home, you'll then use the profits to pay off that home equity line of credit.
Is using your equity to fund a new house purchase the right decision when selling your home? That depends on how much equity you have and how much you need to finance for a new home. Speak with your real estate agent to determine if leveraging your equity when selling your home is right for you.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a valuable tool for homebuyers because it allows buyers with good credit to secure home loans with a down payment as low as 3.5 percent. It's important to keep this in mind when selling your home because around 30 percent of buyers rely on FHA loans to purchase a home and there are rules that govern what types of homes can be purchased with those loans. Is your house FHA-friendly? Making sure that it is will open the bidding to the many buyers who use FHA loans, and more potential buyers are always good news when selling your home.
The steps to make your home FHA-friendly are relatively easy to handle for most sellers, and can open the bidding to 30 percent more buyers when selling your home. If you have any questions about selling your home within FHA guidelines, the right real estate agent can walk you through every step of the process.
For many homeowners, the thought of selling your home for less than what you believe it's worth is unthinkable. After all, your goal is to try to make a profit or recoup the majority of your initial investment. Unfortunately, lowball offers are often part of the home selling process. There are many instances in which selling your home successfully will include accepting an offer that may not seem attractive at face value. Let's look at why buyers submit exceptionally low offers and when it may be beneficial for you to accept such a price when selling your home.
When selling your home, entertaining multiple offers is a good problem to have. While the highest two or three offers will seem the most attractive, most homeowners will see the lowest offers as unattractive. Some will even consider any offer well-below asking price insulting. If we think a "lowball" offer is 20 to 50 percent lower than the listed asking price, it's no surprise why you would scoff at such a small amount when selling your home.
Why do buyers submit lowball offers? In many instances, it's likely a negotiation tactic that a buyer may assume will eventually lead to an accepted price that is still lower than asking price, ultimately helping them save money. Some men and women may submit a lowball offer on a home in a buyer's market hoping, hoping that they find a seller motivated enough to accept.
Lowball offers may present themselves when selling your home, and some may be better than they seem. Although most real estate agents will recommend avoiding lowball offers, many experienced and knowledgeable agents know how to spot a lowball offer that's a great deal.
Accepting a lowball offer may be unthinkable when selling your home, but in reality, there are many reasons why it's wise. When is it wise to accept a lowball offer when selling your home?
While lowball offers may seem unattractive, they may be essential in successfully selling your home. When setting a price for your home, ask your real estate agent which lower-than-priced offers are acceptable to consider.
Selling your home? Wondering if it's a good idea to keep it going during the holidays?
The holidays can create some special challenges when you're selling your home.
Staging a home for sale often means you need to be thoughtful about decorations – drawing attention where needed without overwhelming would-be buyers. Sellers are usually advised to go easy on exterior lights and to stand ready for a tour right up until the last week of the year.
There are market challenges, too: Research has shown buyers looking for a deep discount have their best bet in December, which features some of the lowest average sale prices of the whole year. Sellers contend with a risk that staying on the market over the winter may cost them.
But does that mean selling your home is a no-go over the holidays?
Selling your home during the holidays isn't right for everyone. If you have a busy holiday schedule or want to focus on other priorities, waiting might be the right move for you. Contact a trusted local real estate agent for guidance personalized to your situation.
When selling your home, it's wise to remember that potential buyers have different perceptions, tastes, and priorities than the owner of the property. No matter how much you love the decorations and personal items you have placed in your home, buyers want to be able to imagine what their lives would be like if they lived there. That's why a home makeunder – think the opposite of a makeover – is such an important step toward selling your home. By following the "less is more" philosophy, you make it easier for buyers picture what they would do with each space and ultimately help them fall in love.
Selling your home starts with understanding what buyers want and how to present your home in a way that helps them fall in love. Take the time to makeunder your home before listing it for sale, and you'll be one step closer to selling your home to a motivated buyer.
Selling your home can be a quick and smooth process; however, it can be an extended and somewhat frustrating process. Even in the best markets and after maximum preparation efforts, there can be instances in which a homeowner has trouble selling their property. If you're selling your home and it isn't moving, try these steps to move the sale forward.
You may face obstacles that may delay selling your home. Thankfully, these tips can help you overcome obstacles and help you reach your goals.
If you're considering selling your home, you may believe it's an easier process than buying a house. While being on this end of the transaction does have its advantages, homeowners should be aware that it's easy to make costly errors. When you're ready to begin the process of selling your home, try to avoid these common mistakes.
Real estate transactions can be complex and mistakes can be easily made when selling your home. Thankfully, these pitfalls can be avoided with a little forethought and help from a real estate professional.
If you're planning to sell your home, you'll need to know what it's worth so you can price it accordingly. We all may tend to overvalue our houses. With so many memories filling these spaces, it's only natural that we see the property through rose-colored glasses. Unfortunately, one mistake that many sellers make is incorrectly pricing their home. These errors often lead to a lack of interested buyers, a longer than necessary listing on the market, and sometimes receiving a lower offer than the home is worth.
How do you price your property correctly when selling your home? Here are a few steps to determine what your home is worth.
Selling your home can easily be a lucrative decision; however, you can potentially lose money by pricing it incorrectly. Before listing your home, be sure to complete these steps to ensure you're listing your home on the market for a reasonable price.
Selling your home is quite an undertaking. While the ideal scenario is to find a buyer that is willing to meet your terms and accept your price, many sellers receive multiple offers that are each appealing in their own ways. Fielding too many offers is certainly more preferable than receiving none at all, but how does a seller decide which is best? Believe it or not, when it comes to selling your home, the "best" offer might be a little harder to recognize than it may seem. Here are five tips to help you decide on the best offer when selling your home.
Selling your home is an exciting feeling, especially when you receive multiple offers. Take these offers in stride, consult with your REALTOR® frequently, and be sure to consider all details when selling your home to ensure you choose the offer that helps you reach our real estate goals.
When it comes to selling your home, it's natural to focus on the sale's potential profits rather than the potential costs associated with the process. While selling your home can be a profitable experience, there are many expenditures throughout the process that can cut into your budget.
Closing costs are an essential aspect of selling your home that can be costly if you're not anticipating them. Let's take a look at some common closing costs that sellers typically take care of, as well as some closing costs that buyers may ask you to cover while selling your home.
Seller's Closing Costs
When selling your home, there are certain closing costs that most homeowners will be required to pay. These costs can often cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, which is why you should always budget for them when selling your home. This typically includes the cost of:
Buyer's Closing Costs
Not all closing costs are your responsibility when selling your home. Typically, the buyer will cover certain closing costs, which may range from less than one hundred dollars in costs to one thousand dollars or more in fees, including:
Often the buyer will negotiate for the seller to cover some or all of the closing costs. For example, the buyer may accept a counter-offer from the seller if the seller agrees to cover closing costs. In other instances, the buyer may ask the seller to cover specific costs like home inspection fees or appraisal fees, especially if these inspections reveal repairs or other investments will need to be made on the home after the buyer purchases it.
Closing costs associated with selling your home may range from one percent to even seven percent of the sales price. Before selling your home, consider speaking with an agent to learn about which closing costs you should include in your budget.
Moving is quite an overwhelming experience, even for those who have relocated before. The physical effort, the logistical considerations, and the mental fatigue are enough to drain any adult. However, the stress is multiplied when you have children. Although the task may seem impossible, there are many ways that you can complete the moving process without having to pack on extra pressure.
Can moving with kids be painless? Of course! Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, use these tips to help make moving with children an effortless experience.
Moving with children can be difficult, but it doesn't need to be a headache. By keeping your child informed, engaged, and cared for, you can make moving with your family painless.
Receiving your first offer is an exciting moment when selling your home, but how do you know when to accept an offer? The details differ with every transaction and seller, but plenty of common factors can help guide your decision. The more information you have, the easier it becomes to decide whether an offer is the right one for you.
Ultimately, the decision on whether to accept or reject an offer when selling your home is a little different for every seller because it depends on your unique circumstances. Selling your home is much easier with the help of an experienced real estate agent who can help you make informed decisions based on all of the data available.
There's so much to think about when you're selling your house that it's easy to let something important fall through the cracks.
Following an organized checklist will help keep you on track and ensure that the entire process goes smoothly. Don't forget to add the following items to your list.
As soon as you've confirmed that you're selling your house, you'll want to start getting your head wrapped around all the organizational tasks you'll need to tackle. This includes things like:
When you decide on selling your house, you'll want to immediately start researching schools, vets, and medical providers in your new location. Once you've made your decisions, arrange to transfer your family's medical records, school records, and your pets' vet records to your new providers.
Schedule the Movers
If you're going to use professional movers, start gathering quotes early-on so you can make the best decision. It's often best to begin this process as soon as you've started thinking about selling your house.
Make sure you read reviews and ask plenty of questions. Also, explore whether there are any ways for you to cut back the cost, such as packing your own items and getting rid of things you don't really need. Prior to selling your house, it's a good idea to set a moving budget, so you're not stuck with any unpleasant surprises.
If you're moving yourself, arrange for some friends to help you and reserve the moving truck. Also, consider whether you have enough people to drive all of the family's vehicles to the new home. If not, you'll want to book a vehicle mover as well.
As soon as you've committed to selling your house, you'll also want to start gathering up your moving materials. This will give you time to get as many free boxes as possible, which will cut down on your costs.
Start packing non-essential items as soon as possible and consider renting a storage unit to store them. This will help with the decluttering and depersonalizing that's necessary when selling your house. When you start packing, don't be afraid to be ruthless about what you decide to keep. Giving things away or selling them will save you time, effort, and money.
When you get closer to your move date, designate one box for essentials and put everything you'll need for your first few days in this box. This way, you won't have to search for important things as soon as you arrive.
Make Your Move
It's easier said than done, but try to get a good night's sleep before moving day. Make sure you wake up early, wear comfortable clothes, and don't forget to breathe! Keep your pets somewhere safe while the movers or your friends and family load up the trucks.
When everything is packed, give your house a final cleaning and make sure you've done everything that was required as part of your contract when selling your house. Check to make sure everything is locked up, and start your journey.
It may take a while to finish unpacking, but the process of settling in starts right away. First, you'll want to make sure the utilities are working. Then, unpack your essentials box and help your kids and pets get comfortable in their new environment. If you have younger children, make sure you childproof the home right away.
Selling your house is naturally stressful, but it doesn't have to be! Follow this checklist, and you'll be able to ensure you don't miss anything important. Who knows, you might even make it so stress-free that you enjoy the process!
If you're thinking about selling your house, the time to start preparing is right now. Homes that are clean, well-presented, and priced right often receive multiple offers. However, selling a home still requires some preparation.
Here are ten things to do as soon as you start thinking about selling a home.
Selling a home is much easier when you're prepared. Follow these steps, and you'll be ready for those offers to come rolling in!
Selling your home isn't easy–especially during a global pandemic. Although our daily lives have changed drastically, that doesn't mean that now is the time to abandon your home-selling goals. The real estate industry has adapted and evolved to the coronavirus's challenges to ensure that buyers, sellers, and agents can continue to conduct real estate transactions safely and securely.
If you thought selling your home during the coronavirus was impossible, think again! Markets across the country report positive monthly trends, including an increase in inventory, a decrease in time spent on the market, and an increase in property value. Here are seven tips for selling your home during the pandemic.
Selling your home right now may seem like a bold move, but fear not! With a few changes to the process and my help, we will make selling your home as smooth as possible.
If you're thinking about selling your home, finding a real estate agent you trust is a major first step. Once you're comfortable and ready to move forward, you'll need to sign a listing agreement.
This is the legal contract that outlines the engagement between you and your real estate agent. It also explains each party's rights and responsibilities regarding selling your home.
There are several different types of listing agreements. Depending on the firm you're working with, you may have options. Following, you'll find a brief explanation of the most common types of listing agreements you're likely to encounter.
An open listing gives you the most flexibility for selling your home. A homeowner can sign open listing agreements with multiple agents and only pay a commission to the agent who brings the buyer to the table. It also gives homeowners the option to find a buyer themselves and avoid paying a commission at all.
The drawback to this is that real estate agents are often hesitant to enter into open listing contracts. After all, a good agent will invest time and money into marketing your house. Under an open listing agreement, there's nothing to protect them from having another agent swoop in and take the commission
If you choose this option, there's a chance that you'll end up doing most of the work yourself. You may also end up selling your home for less than you would if you had a dedicated agent working on your behalf.
Exclusive Agency Listing
With this type of listing agreement, you'll sign a contract with only one real estate agent. However, you'll still retain the right to find your own buyer. If you end up selling your home yourself, you won't have to pay the agent a commission.
This plan allows you to fall back on your agent if you can't sell the house on your own. However, some agents will still hesitate to enter into this type of agreement since they're not guaranteed a commission. There's also a chance that the agent will request a higher commission rate in exchange for the inherent uncertainty.
Exclusive Rights-to-Sell Listing
Selling your home under an exclusive rights-to-sell listing is the most common option. This gives the real estate agent the exclusive rights to market your home and list it on MLS. He or she will receive the full commission as long the home is sold within the designated timeframe.
This is the preferred agreement for most real estate agents. Under this agreement, the agent is also more likely to put all of their resources into selling your home. They don't have to worry about someone else taking the commission, so they're more willing to commit the time and effort to ensure you sell your home quickly and for the best possible price.
Since the agent will lose the commission if the home isn't sold within the designated time frame, it also encourages them to aggressively market your home. This time frame is included in the listing agreement and can range from 30 to 365 days. Most agents consider 90 to 120 days to be the most realistic.
Properly marketing and selling your home takes time, so you don't want to push your agent too much. However, keeping the time frame relatively short will also protect you from being locked into an agreement for too long if they fail to perform.
Which is Right for You?
If you're not in a hurry to sell your home and feel confident in your ability to find a buyer on your own, then one of the first two options may be right for you. However, if you want the best chances of selling your home quickly and easily, consider choosing an exclusive-rights-to-sell agreement. Although you'll end up paying a real estate commission, most homeowners agree that the cost is well worth it!
When you're selling your home, you should know that many buyers consider ample closet space to be a top priority. Nearly every homeowner has boxes of possessions that are destined for the closet which means that a functional and versatile closet may be a prime selling point. Thankfully, there are ways that you can increase your storage capabilities without building a new closet! Here are some of my favorite closet hacks to max out a tiny closet before listing your home.
Even though areas like kitchens and bathrooms are major considerations, discerning buyers will also keep their eyes open for closet spaces that go above and beyond the normal nook. As you prepare to sell your home, consider upgrading your closet space to make it a versatile, attractive area that buyers will love.
Selling your home requires a lot of preparation. You'll need to take care of necessary repairs, update your curb appeal, and prepare for staging. When you start to pack and declutter, a storage unit can be your best friend. Storing some of your items off-site will make it easier to give your home the neat and organized look and feel that appeals to potential buyers.
Here five things that you'll want to put into storage while you're selling your home.
These are five of the most important things to remove when you're selling your home, but it's not an exhaustive list. As a general rule of thumb, unless you need it on a daily basis, it's a great idea to get it out of the house. This will also make clean-up easier when you have an open house scheduled or a buyer wants to come by on short notice to take a look.
Selling your home over asking price is naturally the goal for every seller; however, buyers see things differently. They want to get the best deal possible on the home, which means that they won't be making an above market offer unless they think that's what it will take to close the deal. With advice from your real estate agent, it's your job to present your property in a way that inspires buyers to maximize their offers.
Selling your home above asking price requires market savvy, along with a willingness to roll up your sleeves and do the work to make sure your home looks its absolute best. The help of an experienced real estate agent will be invaluable throughout the process, from choosing the right price to closing the deal.
There are many steps involved in selling your home, and the final one––closing––is one of the most important. This is the moment when you legally transfer ownership of your home to the buyer.
Since the entire process of selling your home can sometimes feel overwhelming, we recommend creating and using checklists for each step along the way. This will help you get organized and ensure you don't forget anything.
Here are a few of the most important things you'll want to add to your closing checklist.
Prepare Your Home
As you prepare for selling your home, it's a good idea to begin gathering the items the new homeowner will need. This includes owners' manuals for appliances, warranty information, garage door openers, and extra keys. Before you head out to your closing, leave these items on the counter where the new owners will easily see them.
Give your home one last cleaning and take some time to check all the drawers, closet shelves, and so on. Since closing is the final step to selling your home, once you leave the meeting, it's no longer yours, and you can't go back. This is why it's so critical to ensure that you've removed everything you intend to keep.
Shut off the water valves that to go sinks, toilets, the water heater, and the appliances. This will help prevent accidental flooding. Make sure you let the buyer know so they don't think there's a problem and call a plumber. On your way out, don't forget to lock up everything securely.
Gather Your Documents
To make the process of selling your home go smoothly, it's important to stay organized. As you prepare for closing, make sure you have all of the necessary documents, including:
If you owe money, you'll have to bring a cashier's check to the closing or wire the amount owed to the escrow account. If money is owed to you, you can expect to either receive a check or have it wired into your account before you leave.
Understand Your Agreement
During the closing process, you'll review the contract and go through and all of the other paperwork and agreements that apply to selling your home. You'll have a final chance to review things like:
Pay close attention to these details, and don't be afraid to ask questions if anything doesn't sound right.
Cancel Your Insurance and Utilities
When you leave the closing, the process of selling your home is done! However, there are a few more important things to do. If you haven't already made arrangements, you'll want to immediately reach out to your utility company and your homeowner's insurance provider to cancel these services.
You don't want to pay for these things any longer than you have to, but it's also important to wait until you've finalized selling your home before canceling. This way, the home is protected up until the moment that it's no longer yours.
File Your Paperwork
The last step of selling your home is to file all of the closing documents somewhere safe. You may want to scan a digital copy to store in the cloud and also keep the original paperwork in a filing cabinet or safe.
Selling your house is an exciting time, and there's no reason to stress over your closing. Just follow this checklist, and you'll be fine!
When selling your home, first impressions can make or break your sale. Even if you don't live in a market with a high inventory of homes for sale, many homebuyers will still walk away without making an offer if they find real or perceived issues with your home. We believe these ten tips will help you prep your home for a successful sale.
Selling your home is an endeavor that requires patience, dedication, and hard work if you want to maximize your offer potential. Use these tips to prep your home for a successful sale before you list it.
Millennial buyers make up a larger portion of the housing market and are an important demographic to consider when selling your home. While some of their priorities in shopping for a home are different from previous generations, there's no doubt that most millennials are very interested in owning a home. It just has to be the right home for their needs and budget. By marketing your home through modern channels and offering the home features they love, you can attract this all-important demographic when selling your home.
While millennials do have some preferences that skew toward the modern, they're looking for many of the same things from a home as any other buyer. Selling your home to this key demographic will be easier if you market it in the right places, choose a competitive price, and help them fall in love with your neighborhood.
When you're prepping to sell your home, step back and take a look at it with an objective eye. You may love its color palette, fixtures, and other decor elements, but your taste no longer matters. Will your home's appearance appeal to prospective buyers?
Before you start tearing everything down to start from scratch, consider some strategic upgrades. For example, minor kitchen renovations can result in a 20 percent higher return on investment (ROI) than a full-scale remodel. Selling your home can be quicker and more profitable with these smart kitchen improvements.
Want a winning recipe for selling your home? Use these "ingredients" to whip up a kitchen that will satisfy any buyer's taste.
If you're thinking about selling your home and moving into something smaller, you're not alone! While downsizing was once a trend that was most popular among retirees, people of all ages are now making this smart move.
There are many reasons why downsizing is a good idea. Here are a few of the most important benefits.
If you're someone who loves to entertain and have parties, then selling your home to buy one with fewer rooms might not be the best idea. However, if you only have gatherings on certain holidays or not at all, then this is definitely something to consider!
Many people are finding that their dream home is actually much smaller than they thought! If you're open to downsizing, there's no time like the present to start thinking about selling your home and exploring new options.
Selling your home is a big decision, and seller's remorse can creep in when you least expect it. Seller's remorse is a feeling of regret that you sold something that you weren't ready to part with, or that you sold your home for a lower price than you should have received. Preparation is the key to avoiding seller's remorse, and we're here to help with five key tips for no-regret home selling.
Selling your home with no regrets starts with choosing the right price, and knowing when to walk away from a negotiation. Once you find the right buyer, being prepared for the future is the best way to avoid regrets after closing the deal.
Owning a luxury home is an amazing feeling, but before the keys are in your hand, you must first navigate a quite different process than normal real estate transactions. When entering into the luxury real estate market, it's wise to heed the advice of agents and buyers who are familiar with these endeavors. Here are a few tips to consider as you shop for a luxury home.
Purchasing a luxury home is an exciting prospect. As one of the most significant financial decisions of your lifetime, you must proceed with this endeavor as knowledgeably and responsibly as possible. Use these tips to help you make your luxury homebuying goals a spectacular reality.
Selling your house while you're still living in it can be a rough road, but selling your house from out of state has its own set of curves and speed bumps to navigate. "Out of sight, out of mind" definitely doesn't apply when you're selling real estate from a distance.
With careful planning, you'll be cruising smoothly down the real estate highway. Use this helpful checklist of tips for selling your house from out of state.
You don't have to travel blind when selling your house from out of state. Keep your eye on the final destination, and you won't go wrong.
Like the rest of the world, the real estate industry has had to make significant adjustments due to COVID-19, to keep sales associates, buyers, and sellers safe. The process for selling your home may look different these days, but buyers and sellers are still motivated to close the deal virtually while navigating the new normal. Learn how to navigate this new market with our guide to selling your home in a virtual world.
Unusual challenges often require unusual solutions, and selling your home in today's market means embracing change. The good news is that a blueprint for success is already in place, with virtual sales tools and outside-the-box marketing ideas leading the way.
Selling your home is an opportunity to recoup your investment and finance your future goals--naturally, any homeowner wants to get top-dollar for their property. Unfortunately, some homeowners receive offers that are less than what they believe their home is worth. One way to prevent low offers from entering the picture is to invest in certain home improvements that may increase the value of your property. We recommend these six updates that can really pay off when selling your home.
While every homeowner should stick to a strict budget when making home improvements before listing their property, there are some investments that may increase the value of the home. Consult your real estate agent to discover which updates may pay off the most at closing.
Selling your home involves a lot of time, effort, and often a financial investment. With so much put into this transaction from long before the listing until the final closing paperwork is signed, the last thing you want to do as a seller is waste your time trying to respectfully work with buyers who are not serious about purchasing your home. There's a perfect buyer out there for every home and many more who are willing to negotiate to your advantage, which means it's important to learn how to identify the qualified, motivated buyers from those who are simply telling you what you want to hear.
Selling your home is a lot smoother of a process when you're only dealing with motivated, qualified buyers. While it's important to be courteous and respectful to every individual who tours your home, it's equally important to expect professionalism and only seriously consider those who are in a position to commit to an offer.
Selling your home is an exciting process, especially when you're oh-so-close to finalizing the sale. Although there may be a hundred and one reasons why a buyer will love your house, there are unfortunately just as many ways that a seller can self-sabotage opportunities to seal the deal — or even receive an initial offer. How can you accidentally stop a home sale in its tracks? Here are a few of the common ways that sellers can upend their own home sale.
Selling your home doesn't need to be a frustrating or drawn-out process. By acknowledging the pitfalls that trap other sellers, you can avoid stopping your home sale in its tracks.
Selling your home can be difficult, especially on an emotional level. Every day spent within these walls has left a mark on your memory. As family and friends gathered to share life's joys with you, this house has become a part of you. When the time comes to sell, it's not uncommon for sellers to recall these memories and allow their emotions to drive up the price. Unfortunately, overpricing your home is one of the worst mistakes a seller can make.
You believe our home is worth every penny of its listing price, and you're not wrong. It's natural for sellers to think that the time, effort, and home improvement investments they invested should be accounted for in the price. However, perceived value and actual value are seldom ever similar when it comes to selling your home.
Two common mistakes sellers make are pricing the home high in hopes to negotiate and purposely pricing the home higher than the comparative market analysis suggests. How can these decisions negatively impact the success of selling your home?
First, your real estate agent should conduct a competitive market analysis. Then, have your home appraised before listing it so you'll know a reasonable price range. Finally, you should try not to let your emotions influence your perception of the home's value.
Ultimately, your agent's goal is to help you successfully sell your home. An experienced agent or broker who is professional and knowledgeable will price your home for an amount that maximizes your financial benefit while staying within a price range that buyers find reasonable and appealing.
Selling your home can be a positive experience, especially when it's priced to sell. Trust in your agent and the hard data to avoid overpricing your property.
You're selling your home to recoup your investment and fund your financial goals--to lose money during the sale is an unthinkable possibility that unfortunately befalls many sellers.
Even if they successfully sell their home for an amount higher than they originally paid for the property, there are still many ways in which the seller can miss out on thousands of dollars. The following are a few surefire ways you can instantly lose money when selling your home.
Though many of these mistakes are common, you can easily avoid them with help from your listing agent. As quickly as you may want to complete the transaction, selling your home takes time, patience, and a level head. Navigate this process responsibly and reasonably to maximize your profits.
If you're thinking about selling your home, there will come a time when you'll have to start sorting through your belongings so you can pack up and move out. Not only will you likely feel surprised by the sheer number of things you've accumulated, but you may also start to wonder whether you should leave some of them behind. The answer, of course, is yes!
Some things are considered part of the buyer's contract and must be left in the home. Leaving certain other items will make life easier for the new buyer while also limiting the amount of stuff you need to deal with.
Before you do any more packing, take a look at this list of ten items you'll definitely want to leave behind when selling your home.
If you're in doubt about whether a certain item should come with you or stay behind, don't hesitate to ask your real estate agent. This is just one of the many ways that a great agent can make selling your home a breeze!
Selling your home for top dollar is a priority--but is it a realistic possibility? For many sellers, this type of real estate transaction is new and can seem quite confusing. Thankfully, many real estate agents have happily shared tips on how to successfully increase the chances of selling a home for an outstanding price. Before you list your property, consider these ten pieces of advice.
Selling your home is quite an undertaking, but a little patience, understanding, and hard work can go a long way. Consider these tips before you list your home and speak with your real estate agent about other ways you may be able to secure a higher asking price.
Selling a home is the start of a new chapter in life, but that doesn't mean you can't retain important elements of your previous life, such as your old friendships with neighbors. Even though you may not live close by, you should try to maintain and strengthen your relationships with those you care about. Use these five suggestions to keep in touch with your friends and neighbors after you relocate.
Staying in touch with your longtime friends and neighbors after selling a home doesn't need to be difficult. By using a variety of communication methods, going the extra mile to stay connected in-person, and understanding what makes your old friends feel appreciated, you can maintain and strengthen your relationships with your previous neighbors no matter how far away you've relocated after selling a home.
Selling your home can feel like an overwhelming task, especially when it's still sitting on the market. Despite interest from buyers, busy open houses, and reassurance from your real estate agent that your patience will be rewarded, your listing has yet to secure an offer. Unfortunately, even the best efforts can yield unfavorable results. If you're having trouble selling your home, you may want to investigate these common problems that keep properties on the market for ages.
Even if you're having trouble selling your home, don't lose hope! It's not too late to make a few quick changes and secure a fantastic offer!
Selling your home is an exciting feeling, especially when you receive multiple offers. Of course, any number of offers are beneficial, but many sellers don't know which steps to take next. If two or more buyers submit attractive offers, you'll need to evaluate more than the amount itself. When it comes to selling your home, price isn't everything. We recommend that all sellers learn how to compare multiple competing offers to determine which is the best for their unique needs.
While it may seem like there's no such thing as too many offers, receiving multiple offers can be overwhelming. Naturally, the highest amounts will immediately catch your attention — and perhaps cause the lower amounts to fall to the wayside. Before you choose a buyer based on the highest offer alone, we suggest that you also weigh the following considerations in your decision-making process.
When you're selling your home, you need to be prepared to field multiple offers from qualified buyers. While many of these amounts will be attractive, there are other factors to consider besides the price itself. Evaluate these offers using the suggestions above and consult your agent for advice on choosing the offer that suits your needs.
If you've been thinking about selling your home, you've probably considered the question of whether you really need staging. After all, it's an extra expense and it requires some effort -- so is it really worth it?
The answer is... maybe. Here are a few things to consider.
What is Staging, Anyway?
In case you're not familiar, staging involves setting up a home so that it looks as appealing as possible to potential buyers. In many cases, this involves bringing in the right kind of furniture, artwork, home decor, and more.
Buying a home is a very emotional decision. In many cases, great staging can help a potential buyer envision what it would be like to live in the home. Once they make this emotional connection, they're more likely to put in an offer.
Since 95% of homebuyers spend at least part of their time searching for homes online, the way your home photographs can also have a huge impact on how quickly it sells. A professional stager will know exactly how to ensure your home is presented in the best possible light both in photographs and in person.
The Link Between Staging and Selling Price
Staging prior to selling your home may help you get a better offer. According to the National Association of Realtors, 25% of agents representing buyers said that home staging increased the home's selling price by up to 5%. Another 12% said staging gave their offers up to a 10% boost.
When talking to agents representing sellers, these numbers were even higher. Twenty-two percent of them attributed staging to a price bump of up to 5%, 17% said that staging brought the price up by up to 10% and another 2% attributed it to a whopping 20% price increase!
According to the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA), a home that has not been staged spends an average of 143 days on the market. In contrast, homes that were staged before they were listed stayed on the market for a mere 23 days. If selling your home fast is a priority, it's clear that staging is something you'll definitely want to consider.
Even if you've already listed your home, staging may be worth it. According to the same study, homes that were staged after they were listed sold within 40 days from the time the staging occurred. While these statistics will vary from location to location and home to home, it's still likely that staging will set you up to sell faster.
Should You Stage Your Home?
Despite the statistics above, it should be noted that your particular home may not necessarily need staging. While approximately 28% of real estate agents say that they stage all homes they sell, the rest tend to take it on a case-by-case basis.
Approximately 13% of agents only recommend staging for difficult-to-sell homes while another 7% say that they only recommend staging for luxury homes in high tax brackets.
When selling your home, it's always a good idea to consult with an agent you can trust. This person will help you weigh the pros and cons of staging so you can determine whether it's a good idea for your specific home.
Selling your home is a wonderful feeling, but there's plenty still left to do after you've accepted an offer on your former property. Regardless if you're purchasing a new home or if you're moving into a rental property, all sellers need to consider these ten things after selling their homes.
Before you toast to new beginnings, make sure you tend to these ten tips to ensure that your hard work continues to pay off. Through planning, patience, and practical decision-making, you can set yourself up nicely for the next chapter of your life!
Are you a pet owner that's hoping to sell your home? As much as you love your four-legged friend or cuddly critter, all homeowners should be aware that the presence of a pet can negatively impact the resale value of your home. While most pet owners are prepared for the cleaning, repair and insurance costs that some pets create, there are many animal lovers that don't realize the specific ways in which these family members can turn away those buying a house.
Don't worry! If you do have a pet, you can still successfully sell your home for a great price. Here are a few tips to follow when listing and showing the space to those buying a house:
Even though your dog or other animals may lower your resale value, you can still successfully sell your home for a great price. Follow these steps to ensure you're being considerate of the buyer's feelings towards pets and show them that this can be the home of their dreams with or without a furry family member.
The average home spends anywhere from 30 days to 90 days on the market before attracting the right buyer. Buyers may jockey for position for several weeks before one pulls ahead of the pack and gives you a clear path to selling your home.
Even when things are looking up, don't drop your guard. Selling your home isn't a done deal until the closing day is over – when the papers are signed, the keys have been handed off, and you are ready to move forward on your future.
With help from an experienced real estate agent, you can avoid situations that might otherwise end your sale at the last moment. Still, it's a good idea to get prepared in advance. The more you know, the easier it is to avoid a worst-case scenario.
Let's look at some things that can cause headaches late in selling your home:
Early preparation lays the groundwork for you to avoid these six show-stopping issues as you sell your home. Connect with the right real estate agent early on, and you'll be much more likely to find a like-minded buyer, too.
So you're selling your home, and you've decided to save money by taking the DIY route. In reality, studies show for sale by owner (FSBO) homes sell for approximately 30 percent less than homes represented by a real estate agent. Can you afford to pass that up?
Here are five significant reasons why working with a real estate agent is the best advantage you can have when selling your home.
Don't stumble your way through what is probably the most significant financial transaction of your life. Selling your home with the help of a real estate agent pays off financially, physically, and emotionally.
At the end of the day, selling your home is a means to an end. Whether you're downsizing, relocating for work, or simply need a space that meets your current financial and lifestyle needs, you're relying on your home sale to help facilitate the purchase of a new home. The question is: Will you lose money when you sell your home?
Selling your home is easier said than done, especially if this is your first time navigating a real estate transaction. Unfortunately, this opens up many opportunities for mistakes to be made — even by homeowners who have already successfully sold a home. The following are the common mistakes that could cause you to leave money on the table:
Selling your home is a detailed process but a thorough understanding of these transactions will help you ensure that you don't make mistakes that cause you to lose money on your sale.
Has selling your home crossed your mind? For many homeowners, the thought of selling their house is quite conflicting. On one hand, it's the space where your family and friends gather to celebrate the moments of life, both little and large. On the other, sometimes relocating to a new space is the change you need to accommodate your current finances and lifestyle. One way that you can identify if it's time for you to move is when you notice that you've outgrown your current home.
Have you outgrown your current home? Here are ten signs it is the perfect opportunity to sell your home.
Selling your home is a major decision that shouldn't be made lightly. Consider these points, have an open discussion with your family, and reach out to a real estate agent if you believe now is the right time to sell.
A reverse mortgage is a type of mortgage loan that enables homeowners, particularly seniors, to access the accumulated equity value of their home without selling it.
Reverse mortgages first arrived in the 1960s but have become popular in recent years. More homeowners are using them for the funds required to comfortably age in place.
Sometimes, however, plans change. Some homeowners discover they want to move after all, perhaps to be close to family. Others move into an assisted living environment to help them with the demands of aging. What happens to the reverse mortgage then?
Good news: You can still sell a home with a reverse mortgage – if you know how.
Selling Your Home With a Reverse Mortgage
The majority of homes on the market have an outstanding mortgage. A reverse mortgage is very similar. Although it might seem intimidating, it merely means you'll need to do things in the right order.
Here's the best approach to selling your home with a reverse mortgage:
Selling your home with a reverse mortgage doesn't have to be a headache. Reach out to a real estate agent you can trust, and they'll make the process easier.
No matter what else you do to prepare when selling your home, pricing the home correctly is often the single most important factor in attracting the right buyer. Price the home too high, and it can be nearly impossible to get a competitive offer. Go too low, and you may be leaving money on the table when it's time to close the deal. Fortunately, picking the right price is mostly science, and you can jumpstart the process with our guide for how to price your home like a pro.
While there's no one way to set the perfect price when selling your home, the most important factor is to rely on the expertise of your real estate agent. With a comparative market analysis and a deep understanding of your local real estate market, you can choose a price that gets your home sold while meeting your financial goals.
Moving into or out of a home is an event that is filled with lots of emotions for everyone. Those can range from happiness to sadness to excitement, or even a little fear. Leaving a small but thoughtful gift for the new owners of your home can help you close that period of your life a little easier. It's also a nice gesture to welcome the new owners and let them know you wish them well. Try one of these suggestions.
Moving into a new home can be quite an experience and leaving a little gift for the new owners with a note to wish them well is a nice gesture that will be appreciated.
A duplex is a multi-family home that consists of two units in one building. Units usually stand side by side. They share one wall that connects them but has their own entryway and front landscaping. A duplex can also be a two-story building with a single front yard.
A duplex is a common investment property. Instead of buying a house, a buyer can live in one unit while renting the other. A duplex may be ideal for a growing family, too: Parents can live in one unit while grandparents or college-aged children use the second.
However, you decide to use it, buying a duplex is a bit different from buying a house.
Here's what to know:
A duplex offers both the potential to grow in value and passive income that takes the sting out of a mortgage loan. As with any time buying a house, consider your options carefully. Pick a real estate agent who knows multi-unit properties inside and out!
Whether you're selling your home soon or you're looking to add value long-term, the garage may not be the first room you think of when upgrading your home. For many homeowners, the garage is a place to store things and work on projects, so aesthetics take a back seat. If you're looking for a unique way to wow potential buyers, however, a finished garage is one potential tool in your arsenal. But does a finished garage truly add value when selling your home? The answer depends on what you're trying to accomplish, and what sort of buyer you intend to attract.
While finishing your garage may not add resale value in a concrete way, it can be an important subjective factor in attracting the right buyer. Not every buyer will be interested in a finished garage, but the right buyer may love it. Your real estate agent can help you decide whether to finish the garage, or whether you're better off investing those funds in another room.
You know that selling a home doesn't just happen overnight. Unfortunately, there are many instances in which you do need to sell it as quickly as possible. Whether relocating for work or for family, you may have no choice but expedite the process so that you can meet your relocation deadline. Follow this step-by-step guide to make this transition as smooth as possible.
Selling a home so that you can quickly relocate may seem like an ordeal, but we assure you that the right real estate agent can help make this process as easy as possible. Follow these steps and you'll be ready to move on to brighter horizons in no time!
There are a lot of things to look forward to when you sell your home and get ready for the next chapter. Packing up all your things is not one of them. Still, moving day is unavoidable, and when that day comes, these simple tips will make the process easier than you thought possible.
When you're moving, countless exciting paths lie ahead. Following these ten moving tips will make the process of moving onto the next chapter of your life much more simple and stress-free.
Selling your home is an emotional process, especially when you're at a transitionary point in your life. Whether your grown children are out on their own or if you've closed a chapter in your career, many older adults discover that downsizing to a more manageable space is best for their evolving lifestyle needs. Unsure if now is the right time to downsize? Consider these pros and cons.
As your life changes, so do your lifestyle and financial needs. Downsizing to a smaller home is perfect for some adults who want to save money and live life on their terms. However, like any move, downsizing may not be the right decision for your family. Take some time to consider your options and ask a trusted real estate agent to help guide you through this decision.
Your house doesn't meet your needs anymore. Perhaps you've run out of space. Maybe your house's appliances or style are out of date. Whatever your reasons, you've decided you need a change. But do you renovate the home you've got to better suit you and your family? Or do you look for a new one that already does? The answer depends on your needs, your financial situation, and your tolerance for the stresses involved in moving and renovation.
One of the benefits of renovation is that you can all but guarantee you'll get what you need—within reason. Does your kitchen need updating? Do you need an extra bathroom or bedroom? Those types of renovations might be easier than buying a house in your neighborhood, at your price point, that has everything you need.
Getting what you want with a new home depends on what's available in the market. You might have to make compromises in price, features, or area. At the same time, the market can provide many more options with a new home than could ever be available with a simple renovation.
Ultimately, the choice of what, when, and where to buy is always yours. The decision on what to renovate, however, is generally static. You'll still be limited by your finances, equity, and your home.
In most cases, paying for a renovation will be easier than buying a house. While renovations aren't cheap, they're still less than buying a new home, and they're easier to pay for. If you've lived in your home for a while, chances are it has accrued equity. Equity is the difference between the current value of the house and the balance left on your mortgage. Typically, homeowners use home equity loans to pay for renovations because they're easy to secure; Your home is the collateral securing the loan.
If your current house has little to no equity, it probably makes more financial sense to buy a new home than renovate. Without equity, you'd likely have to take out a personal loan which could be harder to secure and more expensive to payback. Also, you might be better off buying a house if the cost of your current mortgage plus a home equity loan would exceed or match a new mortgage.
Neither renovation nor buying a house are stress-free. The renovation will likely require you to live, at least part-time, in a construction zone for weeks or more. It'll be loud, there will be strange people in your home, and it'll be messy. You might also have to endure interruptions in power, plumbing, and the internet.
Moving has its stresses, too. Of course, there's the actual process of packing and moving. There's also the emotional toll of leaving a home, a neighborhood, and possibly friends and family. There's also the stress of selling the old house, which could persist well past the time you've moved into the new one.
Deciding to renovate your current home or to buy a new one isn't easy. However, if you understand what your current and future needs are, you can make a decision that will make you happy.
With the home market heating up, many buyers believe that making a cash offer will give them an advantage over other buyers. But, as a seller, is it in your best interest to take a cash offer? Or are you better off sticking to your price and holding out for a lender-financed buyer?
The answer is--it depends.
There certainly are some advantages to selling your home to a cash buyer. This is particularly true if you're in a hurry to sell because you're moving or you need money quickly. However, as with most things, there are some potential drawbacks. Let's take a deeper dive into the pros and cons of a cash sale.
For your protection, never accept a personal check from a buyer to pay for your home. Instead, insist on a bank check or a check from the attorney's escrow account. Also, beware of a buyer who tries to purchase the home with actual cash. The cash could be part of a money-laundering ring or drug money. If that's found to be the case and you failed to report it, you could lose your home.
The Bottom Line
For sellers who are in a hurry to sell their home, a cash offer can be the perfect answer. However, if you have the time to wait and can deal with a minimal amount of uncertainty, you'll almost always get a better deal from a lender-financed buyer. Your circumstances will determine which is the best choice for you.
If you're thinking about selling your home, give us a call. Working with a qualified agent can help minimize stress and give you the peace of mind that you're making good decisions. We'll help you determine your property's fair market value and find the perfect buyer, so you can sell your home without the hassle.
Seeing a home listed "as-is" will excite some buyers and raise a red flag for others. If you're thinking about selling your home as-is, you may be imagining a quick sale without having to make any repairs. And you may be right, but there's a lot to consider when you put your home up for sale, and selling as-is has some potential drawbacks, as well as some tempting advantages.
Pros of Selling a Home As-Is
Cons of Selling a Home As-Is
Selling a home is an exciting endeavor. Whether you've sold a home previously or if this is your first time, you likely already realize that this process involves many steps. Before you get ready to list your house for sale, we suggest putting these ten items on your home-selling checklist.
There are many reasons you might be interested in selling your home. No matter what your main motivation is, however, most people come into the process with some financial hopes.
The majority of sellers wait for favorable market conditions before they sell. Most invest at least a few dollars on refreshing the appearance of the home and raising curb appeal. Plus, it's crucial to ensure you make enough on your sale to meet any outstanding obligations.
With that in mind, a difference of a few thousand dollars can have a major impact on your timing when going to market. Unfortunately, it's easy to underestimate the costs of selling your home.
The cost of selling can be much higher than planned thanks to several factors:
Thinking about listing your home for sale over the next few weeks? Here are ten ways to stage your home to make it presentation perfect for that first showing.
Selling a home is a process in which every detail matters. If you're like many homeowners, you may only sell a property two or three times throughout your entire life. Since selling a home is often a new endeavor for homeowners, it's easy to make an error throughout the process accidentally. Here are eight common mistakes you can easily avoid when listing your home for sale.
When you're selling your home, setting an asking price is a bit like playing a round of The Price Is Right, where contestants use their shopping knowledge to zero in on an item's price without going over. Make sure your price is right with these expert tips on pricing your home to sell.
Selling your home doesn't have to be a long, drawn-out process. When The Price Is Right, you'll be amazed at how quickly the offers come.
There is any number of reasons why a real estate deal can go south, but the home inspection is one of the most notorious deal killers of all. Issues turned up during the inspection can throw a serious wrench into your home sale, so it's important to be prepared to avoid this potential pitfall. Here's what you need to know about avoiding inspection woes... and how to proceed if a problem arises.
How Inspections Work
These days, just about every purchase contract for a home includes a contingency that allows the buyer to hire a professional home inspector. Most Realtors will recommend that their client have a home inspection carried out, and roughly 85 percent of buyers will heed that advice. That means that, before your home is sold, it will almost certainly be inspected by a professional.
Whether that inspection will reveal any issues is another matter. If your home is in great shape, you probably don't have a lot to worry about. Still, there is always a chance that the inspection will reveal flaws that even the homeowner doesn't know about.
Inspections cover the house from top to bottom. Each inspector has his or her own particular method, but the areas that inspectors check is largely standardized at this point. Inspections typically include the plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical systems, as well as structural elements including the roof and foundation. Inspectors also check all major appliances and look for signs of mold, mildew, and pests.
It's crucial that you know as much about your house as possible. That way, you can fix any issues that need fixing, and disclose any defects that you either can't or don't want to fix. At the very least, if the inspection report turns up a problem, you won't be surprised.
Although it may not be necessary in every case, it can sometimes be helpful to hire your own professional inspector to carry out an inspection before putting your home on the market. With an inspection report of your own, you can get out ahead of any issues that may exist. That's a major advantage in a competitive market.
A home inspection typically costs $300 to $500 for an average-sized home. It's a significant investment, but it often pays off when you consider the overall benefits. For one thing, having fixed any issues will allow you to get top dollar for your house. Plus, you get to fix them on your own terms, and not the buyer's terms.
Do everything you can to ensure that your home is in tip-top shape before your home is inspected. While it is possible that an inspection can reveal serious issues, you can take some simple steps to make the process go more smoothly, and make sure that simple repairs are not mistaken for something more serious:
Getting ready to sell your home? Sometimes it seems like all your neighbors had to do was stake down a 'for sale' sign and watch the offers roll in. But for most us, selling a house isn't nearly that easy. That's especially true in an increasingly crowded market.
Many of today's sellers find themselves facing much more competition than just a few years ago. Chances are, your house isn't the only one for sale in your neighborhood, or even on your block. Luckily, there are several great strategies that can help you get ahead when you're selling your home in a crowded market.
All real estate agents are required to hold a current license, but that's the only consistent qualification across the board. Each real estate agent has a unique combination of experience, success rate, and other relevant criteria.
How do you decide which listing agent is best suited to meet your specific needs? Before selling your home, interview potential agents using this list of questions designed to help you make an informed choice.
Selling your home is a huge undertaking, and the relationship with your real estate agent is key. Take the time to find an agent you can rely on to guide you through the journey.
There's no doubt that selling a unique property comes with its share of challenges. Real estate shoppers rely heavily on comparable properties when analyzing prices, and by definition, a unique property is difficult to compare with anything else in the area when selling your home. A property can be unique because of its value, layout, or extravagant upgrades, especially if has been personalized specifically to suit the needs of its previous owner. The good news is that selling a unique property is far from impossible, but it may require different tactics than selling a property that fits more naturally with the neighborhood. Get started with our six tips on how to sell your unique property.
Selling a unique home may not always be easy, but you can absolutely learn from the people who have been in your shoes before. By capturing the unique nature of the property through images/video, choosing the right price, and making the most of modern marketing tools, you can simplify the process of selling your home.
There's plenty of preparation that goes into selling your home. It's important to prepare the home correctly even when your to-do list is a mile long. It's easy to overlook the importance of a safety check when you're doing so much to get your home ready, but skipping safety is a big mistake. Avoid unwelcome problems after closing the deal, by doing a safety check both indoors and outside before selling your home.
Performing a comprehensive home safety check is a crucial step when selling your home. It provides peace of mind that you won't have any unwelcome surprises after you close the deal. In addition to helping prevent potential lawsuits, a safety check makes it easier for the next owner to enjoy the home just as much as you have.
Selling your home is a complex process and something that most people only do a handful of times in a lifetime. While it may be tempting to forego the help of a real estate agent to save money on commissions, the reality is that the right agent can save you money and make it much simpler to sell your home. A skilled agent has the industry expertise, local knowledge, negotiating skills, and marketing know-how to make your life easier in so many important ways. Still undecided on hiring an agent? Here are six reasons to hire a real estate agent when selling your home.
There's no doubt that the right real estate agent makes life easier when selling your home, and can even save you money in the process. The commission for a top agent is a small price to pay when you consider how many ways your agent can help you get your home sold, save time, and keep your hard-earned money in your pockets.
When you're selling your home, it may feel like everyone you know turns into an expert. Everybody wants to offer their tips for a smooth sale, but not every piece of advice will be worth following. In fact, sometimes bad advice causes sellers to commit some of the most common sins of selling, from skipping important prep steps to picking the wrong price. Thou shall not sell a home, before reading the six sins that are killing your home sale.
Avoiding these six common home-selling sins will make it much easier to attract the right buyer, and sell your home.
Selling your home is rarely easy, but it's a much smoother process when you know the most common mistakes to avoid before you start. Sellers make mistakes for a wide variety of reasons, including inexperience with selling, bad advice from well-intentioned sources, and letting emotions get in the way of negotiations. Learn how to avoid common pitfalls with our guide to seven home-selling mistakes that you'll want to avoid.
Selling your home is so much easier when you learn from both the positives and negatives of people who have been through the process. By keeping expectations in check, working with the right real estate agent, preparing the home for sale, and being willing to negotiate, you can simplify the process of attracting the right buyer when selling your home.
Selling your home on a tight timeline comes with its share of unique challenges, but it's definitely possible if you know how to prepare. It's important to make sure that the home is ready for the market in every way, and that means you'll also have a tighter timeline when prepping the home to high standards. The right marketing and the help of an experienced real estate agent will make life much easier when time is of the essence. Our five insider tips for selling your home on a tight timeline are the perfect place to start when you're aiming to sell in a hurry.
There's no doubt that selling your home on a tight timeline can feel a bit chaotic, which is why it's so important to have a plan. Investing time in preparing the home and money in the right marketing plan will make it much easier to get the job done. Throughout the process, a trusted real estate agent should be your number one source of advice for selling your home fast.
Did you know that most buyers form a strong opinion of your home before they walk through the door? First impressions matter big-time when selling your home, so you want buyers to be impressed from the moment they arrive at the curb. By maximizing the curb appeal of your property, you can go a long way toward selling your home. Let's take a quick look at some of the aspects to consider when it comes to the outside of your home.
Once you have your home looking great from the curb, it's important to keep it that way. Selling your home is so much easier when buyers have something to be excited about from the moment they arrive for a showing or open house, and curb appeal can even encourage buyers to stop for a look when they happen to pass by the home during their daily travels. The time, money, and elbow grease you invest in curb appeal is a small cost for the potential benefits.
When you've made the decision on selling your home, the fun really starts!
Selling your home involves a lot of different moving parts. When you take things one step at a time, however, it all gets easier. Going into the selling process with a clear idea of what you need to do will reduce your stress and prevent you from overlooking key details.
Here are seven things you need to consider while selling your home:
Selling your home starts with a firm decision. Once you've made that choice, give yourself every advantage you can by reaching out to a local real estate agent you can trust.
There's no avoiding a home inspection when selling your home, and that's a scary thought for many sellers. Even if the home is in great shape, there's no escaping a little worry about what the inspection might discover. Fortunately, while a home inspection may turn up unexpected issues, it's still fairly rare for an inspection to cause a deal to completely fall apart. Preparing for the process will make your life much easier. Get started with this list of what to do when your home is the hot seat.
While there's no way to guarantee that an inspection won't turn up any issues when selling your home, taking the time to prepare puts you in a much better position. If you have specific questions about your home prior to inspection, your real estate agent should be an excellent source of advice.
Getting your home ready to sell does take a little work, but that doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money. Many of the projects you'll need to complete are low or no cost, and they all go a long way toward making the best possible impression on buyers.
There are a lot of things you can do to get your home in top shape to sell. A little time and effort on your part can make buyers feel welcome and have them making offers in no time!
Selling a home is complex, whether you're doing it for the first time or have some experience with a prior sale. As with any complex process, it really helps to look at the habits of people who have navigated the process successfully in the past. While every home and market is unique, the basics – from prepping your home to keeping it ready to show – remain the same. Start your next home sale on the right foot with our guide to eight habits of successful home sellers.
Successful home sellers are willing to work at the process every day and look for every opportunity to present their home in the best possible light. Behind most successful home sellers, you'll also find a successful real estate agent, who provides marketing, guidance, and market analysis for the seller.
All homeowners know that a practical approach is necessary when considering a home purchase. Aside from the geographical aspects like location, school zones and commute times, the features inside the home can make or break a potential sale. Integrating the latest technologies into your house can dramatically increase the value and desirability of your home. Consider upgrading your property with a few of these smart technologies to help you sell your home.
Smart technology is quickly moving into every home on the market. Before upgrading your space with any of these amazing devices, be sure to speak with your real estate agent to identify which systems could give you the most return on investment and help you sell your home faster.
When you are a homeowner, you own everything inside that home and outside of it, within the confines of your property lines. You can change out light fixtures, remove carpeting, cut down trees and uproot plants and shrubs whenever the mood strikes you. However, if you're selling, things change to some degree, and some of those belongings are considered fittings and fixtures, which means they are part of the property to be transferred to the new owner. So what are some of the things that typically must be left for your buyer? Here are five things to leave behind when you're selling your home:
Other things are usually left behind when you're selling, including wall brackets, cabinet hardware or wall-mounted air conditioning units, for just a few examples. If you wish to take certain items on the "leave it behind" list, your intention to remove these should be disclosed to the buyer before a purchase contract is signed. Your other option is to remove and replace the fixtures you want to keep before your home is listed for sale.
If you are in doubt about whether or not you are obligated to leave certain items or need advice about making the proper disclosures to buyers about keeping them, contact a real estate professional for help. Getting solid advice from an experienced professional is your best course of action to ensure a friendly, hassle-free transaction between yourself and your buyer.
If you're thinking about selling your home, now is the time to start making any necessary renovations and updates. While you might think you know exactly what needs to be done, it's smart to talk to a real estate agent before you get started. He or she will be able to tell you exactly which features are most popular with homebuyers so you can focus your time and money on the projects most likely to improve your bottom line.
While buyers often have varying priorities when it comes to a home's interior, most may want the same features on the outside. Investing in the following five projects will help increase the chances of selling your home for top dollar.
Besides the work you do before the open house, it's a good idea to make a quick trip through just before your real estate agent arrives. When you're selling your home, its appearance makes a measurable difference in how people view it, whether it's online or in person. The neater and cleaner it is, the better the home comes across to buyers.
Just before the open house, make a pass through your home to check its condition by area.
The landscaping around your home is the first things prospective homebuyers see when they pull up in the driveway. That first impression creates a lasting impression, and it is worth investing the time and effort to ensure your grass, trees, flowers, and shrubbery look their very best. As you prepare your home for its place in the real estate market, the following landscaping tips will help you set the stage for a successful sale.
Finally, don't attempt to do it all yourself. Invest in the services of professionals to ensure that the job is done right. This is especially important when it comes to tree trimming, sprinkler repairs, electrical work, and exterior repairs that require specialized tools and experience. This means that the finished appearance your investment buys will be worth its weight in gold when the ink on the contract dries.
Most times when selling your home, it's better to let your real estate agent do the talking with potential buyers. However, there may be moments when it's just you, the buyer, and the buyer's agent having a conversation, so it's important for you to understand what not to say, as well. Most buyers will be looking for an edge in negotiations, and that edge can come from seeking out information that the seller's side would rather not share. Learn how to maintain your leverage and avoid scaring off buyers, with our guide to seven things that you should never say when selling your home.
By understanding what to say and what topics to avoid, you can make it easier to achieve your goals when selling your house. The right real estate agent will act as a buffer between you and potential buyers, but it's always helpful to know exactly what not to say when your agent isn't present.
You love your cozy, quirky home; however, when it is time to sell it, those loveable irregularities might not be the best selling points. For you, the tiny handprints on the hallway wall may be a part of your history, but for a potential buyer, they are something that needs fixing.
So, before you put that sign in your yard, consider making certain repairs to increase your chances of selling at the right price.
Selling your home is an exciting time, but you have to do the work first. So, pull out your notebook, take a walk around your property, and make a plan that will get your home looking just right for selling. Some extra work up front may be just the thing that gets your home sold quickly and for a price that makes you smile.
Selling a house that has pets? Potential buyers may automatically expect fur, odors, dirt, and damage. Luckily, you have time to erase all traces before you list. If you're a homeowner and a pet owner, don't let your beloved family members become financial obstacles. Keep them out of the selling and showings altogether with a few practical real estate strategies.
Here are some of the most valuable steps to take in order to sell a home with pets:
Are you ready to turn your cozy doghouse into a home that will sell? Before you list, make sure you take these steps to keep pets out of the picture.
There are many misconceptions about what drives Millennial homebuyers to make an offer on a property. When you are selling your home, cutting through the "wrong" ideas can make your home more appealing to this highly motivated demographic. As you prepare your listing, the following are nine things that are at the top of a Millennial buyer's wish list.
In today's hot real estate market, it's not uncommon to receive multiple offers shortly after listing your home for sale. Since getting top dollar is a common goal when selling your home, you may feel tempted to jump on the offer with the highest price. However, doing so could be a mistake. Before you accept an offer, consider these seven other important factors.
Working with a qualified real estate agent when selling your home will give you the peace of mind you need to make good decisions.
Location and condition aren't the only things that can keep you from selling your home. In a healthy real estate market, houses that don't sell after awhile are at a significant disadvantage. One issue that can keep an otherwise desirable house from selling is a price that's too high.
Many homeowners are eager to set a relatively high price when they go to market.
There are several reasons:
Unfortunately, there are good reasons why a higher asking price spooks buyers. It can take qualified buyers out of the running even if they can afford the home.
If you are selling your home, learning about pricing can help.
The Psychology of Pricing Can Scare Qualified Buyers Away
In big-ticket items such as houses and cars, pricing is anything but an exact science.
Unfortunately, the more valuable an item is, the easier it is to misjudge its fair market value. This is especially true of things, such as houses, that cause great sentimental attachment.
In many cases, people who are otherwise ready to buy your home will decline to make an offer not because they feel the price is unreasonable, but because better bargains are available.
What's more, there are psychological factors involved:
When selling your home, the price is an important signal to prospective buyers. If the price is not in tune to both your needs and market conditions, it will create confusion.
Remember, this doesn't mean a house has to be underpriced just to sell! Instead, sellers should look to the expertise of a trusted real estate professional for a proven pricing methodology.
How Should Sellers Price a Home When They Want Results?
To develop an accurate picture of the fair market value of a home, ask your real estate agent to prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) for you. He or she will look at recent sales in the neighborhood as well as sales of comparable homes – those with similar amenities.
Only after doing this research is it possible to select a price that:
The price a real estate professional comes up with may be lower than what you first expect. However, a good home can still be priced somewhat higher than average for the local market. In the long run, this leads to an easier and more rewarding selling experience.
Pricing Issues Can Sink Your "FSBO" Listing
Many sellers choose "for sale by owner" methods because they think it'll be quicker and easier. When it comes down to it, many FSBO listings are either overpriced or underpriced. Studies show FSBO listings sell for substantially less than agent-led listings.
No matter what your goals are, your first step in selling your home should be to contact a reputable local real estate agent. That way, you can get on track for the results you want.
Do you know if now is the right time to consider selling your home?
Don't worry — many homeowners scratch their heads at this same question. While buying a home is an important decision, selling your home is a matter of equal significance. When you first consider selling your current home to purchase a new house, a million thoughts may fill your mind.
For some, selling a home involves questions of practicality: when is the best time to sell, how do I know if I can afford a new home, will buyers want to purchase my home in its current condition?
For others, saying goodbye to a home is like saying farewell to part of the family. They'll often have emotional concerns that raise stressful questions: can I really leave our family's first home and will I ever find a home that feels just as special?
If you're unsure whether or not now is the right time to sell your home, you're not alone. Thankfully, there are a handful of key questions you can ask yourself to help you determine if there's no better time than the present to sell your home.
Question 1: Does it feel like your home is getting too big or too small?
As you transition into different periods of your life, the needs of you and your family will change. With the lifestyle you currently have, and where you believe it's headed, consider if the size of your home is adequate to accommodate these needs. If your young family of four is starting to grow in a small two-bedroom home, you may consider upsizing. However, if your children have moved out of the house and you're considering retirement, it may be in your best interest to downsize.
Question 2: Is it a wise financial move?
Take a look at your finances and think about whether you can reasonably afford —or not afford — to move. Selling your home may be a great idea for those who have been saving for years or who want to lower their mortgage expenses. However, it may not be a wise choice for those that may be unable to take on the financial requirements of a new home responsibly. Also, it's wise to discover whether or not your home has equity or if you'll have to make renovations before you can realistically ask for your targeted price.
Question 3: What is the current status of your local real estate market?
Is your area in the midst a housing boom or has the market not been favorable for sellers over the last few years? Depending on the market, selling your home may not be a wise idea even if the answers to the questions above insist that you should. Ultimately, you want to receive a fair price for your current home so that you're able to afford your next property. Selling in a buyer's market or during a recession may not be a smart choice.
Question 4: Is this the right time for you to sell your home?
Although the changing seasons can make it easier or harder to quickly sell your home, you also have to consider if this is the right time for you personally to take on this transition. If you have major life changes coming up that may impact you financially or occupationally, it may be best to wait. However, if you've responsibly prepared yourself to sell and feel that you can comfortably make the next move, perhaps now is the best time for you to consider selling your home!
Are you considering selling your home? Then it's time to call a real estate professional.
When it comes to property sales, a real estate agent is one of the greatest resources a seller has. Of course, an agent can help you successfully sell your home. However, what most homeowners don't know is that a real estate agent performs a variety of other critical duties both during the sale and behind the scenes.
Read on to discover eight things that real estate agents do to help you sell your home!
Downsizing often makes sense for seniors whose needs no longer match their present home.
When retirement nears, downsizing often makes good financial sense. It can help you make the most of a fixed income. Likewise, it means less time and money spent on maintenance.
It can also be safer. For example, many older homes have stairs that become a nuisance over time. They might also have large tubs or other amenities that are no longer desirable.
Downsizing the right way can help seniors achieve a more relaxed, sustainable lifestyle. With fewer things to worry about, they have more time to focus on what matters.
Here's how to make the process simpler:
It may be a bit of a production, but downsizing can make things more comfortable and less expensive. With the right real estate agent in your corner, you may find yourself moving into a "downsized" home that's your favorite one yet.
There's no doubt selling your home is a process that can come with its share of challenges, so it's crucial to prepare. Choosing the right asking price from the start will make life easier as you find the right buyer and negotiate your final selling price.
But the asking sale price is only one part of the equation because buyers have negotiating tactics of their own. Let's take a look at six tips to help you negotiate the right sales price when selling your home.
While the negotiating process will usually have its ups and downs, understanding how to negotiate the right selling price gives you a significant advantage throughout the process. Work with your real estate agent, encourage competition, and be prepared for the tactics that buyers will use to drive the price down. Selling your house may not be easy, but with the necessary preparation, you can find the right deal.
Selling your home is a huge undertaking that often creates a lot of stress. Working with a great real estate agent can help make things easier, but how do you find one you can really trust?
Real estate transactions are often deeply personal, so you'll want to make sure you have a real connection with the professional you choose to work with. These five tips will help you find an agent who feels more like a best friend than a business connection.
When selling your home, it's wise to do some small, targeted home improvement projects. A touch of something new here and there can do a lot for the way potential buyers see a home, so minor investments of a few hundred dollars each may add thousands to your asking price. Many of the best projects don't even take long to complete.
And then there are the ... "other" projects.
Selling your home can be a hectic time. If you let the stress get out of control – say, by not having a trusted real estate agent on your side – it can really influence your decision-making. That might explain why so many sellers are attracted to costly and unsuccessful renovation projects. The idea that "bigger is better" can seem much more attractive when you're on a tight deadline and handling everything on your own. Most of the time, however, it's just not true.
Let's look at seven home improvements projects you might skip when selling your home:
As you're selling your home, less is more. A real estate agent can advise you on the best ways to improve the market value of your property. That way, you make more on your sale and get to closing faster.
Selling your home comes with its share of excitement, but it can also mean added stress, especially if you have children. In between paperwork, organizing the move and last-minute preparations, it's essential to ensure that your kids understand what's happening for your family. Making time to talk to them about the move is crucial as is keeping them informed throughout the process. To help with the transition, you might consider reading a book or two them about moving to a new home. The following books are some of the favorites for helping youngsters cope with the uncertainty of moving, making it a bit easier and even fun.
Moving isn't an easy phase for any family, and the task of selling your home is only the beginning of the process. With some planning and good communication, the change can be a good way to strengthen family bonds. Get your kids involved, and schedule some time to enjoy these books before the move.
When you're selling your home, it is to present it in the best possible light. From tackling home improvement projects to staging an open house, small details can make all the difference in the world to a potential buyer.
When it comes to fixing up your house, it's important to pick your battles carefully. Some home improvements can help boost the resale value of your property, while others spend money you won't get back. Here's what you need to know about what to fix, and what not to fix when you're selling your home.
Fixing Cosmetic Problems
There are two ways to look at minor cosmetic blemishes – the kinds of issues that don't affect a home's functionality but do make it look run-down or outdated.
Painting a room is an inexpensive way to correct a home's cosmetic problems. However, many of today's buyers are willing to overlook flaws dive into DIY projects after they buy a house.
Fixing cosmetic flaws is a judgment call. Weigh the value of your own time and effort against the relatively small effect that cosmetic improvements are likely to have on your home's value, and decide if it's worth it. Either way, most of your efforts should be focused on making sure your home's major systems are in good shape.
Fixing the Big Stuff
While buyers are usually able to overlook flaking paint and outdated carpeting, they're much less likely to spring for a house that needs new plumbing or has major electrical issues. It's essential that you make sure the "bones" of your house are solid. That means making sure the plumbing, wiring and HVAC systems are up to par, and that the roof and foundation are sound. If any of these areas are lacking, it's important to fix them up – or hire a professional to do so – before selling your home.
Kitchen and Bathroom Updates
Conventional wisdom says that the kitchen and bathroom are the essential rooms in the house to a potential buyer, and this is true – up to a point. The problem is, many sellers sink a ton of money into kitchen and bathroom remodeling right before they sell their house, only to discover that they might not get that money back.
Many buyers plan to remodel these rooms anyway, so anything you do could end up being erased as soon as your home changes hands. Besides, do you want to finally create your dream kitchen and bath, right before selling your house? As a general rule, don't spend too much on your kitchen and bathroom, unless they are in such bad shape that they would prevent anyone from ever wanting to buy your house.
When you do decide to make home improvements before selling, it's important to avoid doing anything too trendy. Tastes change so quickly that today's hot color or design could look hopelessly out of date within a year. Stick with neutral colors and timeless design elements, so your house will appeal to the broadest range of buyers for as long as it may be on the market.
When it comes to selling your home, there are a lot of important things you need to get done. While you're worrying about finding the right real estate agent, staging your home for photos, and improving its curb appeal, it's easy for some other important details to fall through the cracks.
Forgetting to do the little things can sometimes cost you big money. Don't fall into this trap! Here are seven of the most common things that home sellers forget to do.
This winter season may be the perfect time to list your home for sale. Some shoppers may be motivated to buy before year's end. Making your home appealing to prospective buyers is key to catching their attention and sealing the deal. Using these six tips to get your home ready for the market and let this winter be a season be your selling success story.
Set aside some time in your schedule to make your home a winter showcase before listing, and see how much difference these tips can make.
You may have bought your home as a starter, or perhaps you've outgrown your space. What you thought was your dream home might no longer suit your lifestyle. The fact is, people, sell their homes for a variety of reasons, and there's no rule of thumb for exactly how long you should stay in your current house.
If the thought of selling your home has crossed your mind recently, it may be time to revisit your goals to determine if now is the best time for you to make a move. Give some consideration to the following scenarios, and if they are right for you, it just might be time to list your home for sale.
Area Homes Are Selling High
Browse through listings for homes in your neighborhood, paying particularly close attention to homes comparable to yours in size and features. If the list prices seem high, it might be time to pay attention and do some further research. Using public information, or better yet, the help of a qualified real estate agent, you can see what similar homes in your community are selling for currently and recently. You may be able to make a nice profit by selling your home.
Two Words: Seller's Market
A seller's market happens when more potential buyers are looking for homes than there are homes available. The cards are stacked in your favor in this scenario when selling your home, as you are more likely to get at or above your asking price. Your real estate agent will know the market trends, so letting them know that you are thinking of selling your home will allow them to alert you of the best time to list.
Your Home is Cramping Your Style
Has your family grown since purchasing your home? Perhaps you've begun working from home, but don't have enough space for a proper home office. Many homeowners choose to sell when their current home is no longer big enough for their family's needs. It's important to weigh the pros and cons of additions and renovations against buying a new home that already has the features your family now needs.
Your Home Has Become a Financial Burden
If you underestimated the costs of home ownership when buying, you might be feeling a constant strain on your budget. A different neighborhood may have a lower cost of living, and you may even want a smaller home that requires less maintenance. Smaller homes or those in more affordable neighborhoods could potentially cost less in property taxes, homeowner insurance, and utility bills as well.
The price isn't always right. When it's wrong, buyers may move on to the next home without giving yours a second thought. Investing the time and effort required to determine the right price for your property can expedite the sale and put the money you desire in your pocket.
Research Comparable Properties
It is always advisable to compare apples-to-apples, and oranges-to-oranges when setting a price for your home. Start by looking at houses with similar square footage and features. When comparing homes, you should only consider those within a variance of up to 10% for both square footage and lot size.
Focus only on properties located within 1/2 mile to 1 mile of your home. Then narrow your search by the home's age, the neighborhood, and quality of schools if they are different. This research will give you a reasonable estimate of the value of the property.
Of course, the value of the property and what homes are selling for can be two different things. It is essential to examine recent sales in the area. By comparing the listing price to the sales price, you can determine whether the properties were over/underpriced from the start.
Always Consider the Season
Home prices typically rise during the summer months as families prepare to move into new homes and school districts. However, listing a home in the summer months isn't a slam dunk that you'll get the price you want. That's because other sellers are also eyeing the summer months to place their home on the market. This trend creates an oversupply of houses which can drive prices lower.
Be Mindful of the Appraisal
The buyer's lender is going to order an appraisal before they'll approve the loan. That appraisal should be as close as possible to the sales price. The lender may decline the loan if they feel that the value of the home is significantly less than the agreed upon price.
Factor in the Future
Circumstances within the community can increase or decrease the home's value. Homes in communities where large employers are in the process of expanding have a higher perceived value. Conversely, homes in communities where the economy is struggling or noticeably shrinking can have a lower value. These factors are entirely out of your control when you are selling your home, but do have a significant impact on your property's perceived value.
Pricing in a Buyers, Sellers, or Neutral Market
Examining recent sales data will be a telltale sign if it's a buyer's, seller's, or neutral market. In a buyer's market, you want to be as close as possible to recent sales of comparable properties when selling your home. In a seller's market where inventory is low, you can add 5-10% to your asking price. In a neutral market, you'll want to set the price to match the market trend which typically involves adding 1-2% per month since the last comparable sale.
Getting the Most for Your Home
There are two things you absolutely must do when setting a price for your home. If you want to get the highest price possible when selling your home, you must first put your emotions aside. To you, it's a home filled with years of memories: To a buyer, it's still just a house. Second, you must get the house in top condition. Fixing the trim, trimming the landscape, and painting will go a long way towards justifying the price you put in the listing.
If you're like most people, your house is one of the most significant assets. This means that when it's time to sell, a lot of money is at stake. The decisions you make while selling your home can impact the rest of your life. Improve your chances of getting top dollar by avoiding these six common seller mistakes.
There's no doubt that appealing home staging is key to attracting interested buyers, but how much should you spend on staging? Whether you're working with a tight budget or merely trying to save every dollar you can for your move when selling your home, it's possible to do a great job staging a house on a budget.
Staging a house on a budget may present unique challenges to deal with, but you're far from alone. Remember that your real estate agent has done this many times before, so they should be a great source of advice for staging priorities and ideas.
A dirty bathroom with stains and old fixtures is not likely to have shoppers falling in love with your home, so some elbow grease may be required to get bathrooms looking their best.
You can still find affordable furniture rental options when staging on a budget – especially if you stick to staging only the most important rooms. For furniture, the most important spaces are the master bedroom, living room, and dining room. Furnishing these rooms helps to sell your home by making it easier for buyers to imagine what life would be like there.
Just like with the bathroom, new fixtures and a fresh coat of paint on cabinets go a long way toward making an old kitchen look new again. Since kitchens are often the site of old smells and stains, you'll want to clean your kitchen to professional standards.
You want buyers to be impressed from the moment they arrive at the curb, so it pays to invest in your yard and the entrance to your home. Make sure your yard is clean, your lawn is cut, trees/hedges are pruned, and your garden is looking lively. You'll also want to apply a fresh coat of paint and updated fixtures if the entrance to your home has seen better days.
Staging a home on a budget is so much easier when you invest your effort where it matters most. By making affordable fixes, refreshing well-used rooms, keeping up with curb appeal, and strategically renting the right furniture, you can maximize your value when selling your home.
The process of selling your home and finding a reliable mover can be as stressful as meeting your potential spouse or starting a new career. It doesn't matter if you're moving a few miles away or a few hours away, you want to hire a moving company that you can trust. How can you tell the difference between a reliable moving company and a bad one before they start loading your prized possessions on their truck? These tips from the experts will teach you what to look for when talking to potential moving companies to make selling your home less stressful.
Keep these tips in mind as you go through the process of selling your home. It's a lengthy list, but it will feel great to check one thing off your checklist—hiring the movers.
When you listed your home for sale, you knew someday you'd have to move. Unfortunately, the process can be stressful and time-consuming. It can also be surprisingly expensive. If you're moving, you can't eliminate expenses altogether, but these nine tips should help you save some cash.
Selling your first home takes a big commitment of time, energy, and emotion. You'll leave behind your first-home memories while looking for a new place to start all over again. It's not an easy job, but it's worth it.
Until you sign the papers on your new and current home, you'll pull double-duty as a home buyer and a home seller. It's a tough job, but it's doable when you have a plan. Here are six tips to help you get the job done.
It's Worth the Effort
Selling your home is a labor of love. When you hand over your keys to the new owner, you'll feel the thrill of making someone's homeowner dream come true. When you close on your new home, you get to repeat the process all over again.
The Veterans Administration home loan program, also known as a VA loan, has helped millions of Americans become homeowners. But some sellers still don't have much information about how these loans work. When you're selling your home, being informed will help you make a good decision.
How the Process Works
A buyer starts the house hunting process by obtaining proof from the VA that they are eligible for this type of loan. The buyer then contacts a VA approved lender, who handles the financing. These are private lenders, and most of the process is the same as it would be if the buyer were choosing any other type of mortgage.
The Veterans Administration does not lend buyers money; they only guarantee a portion of the loan. That means the lender still has recourse if the property is foreclosed on. Because of that guarantee, buyers can get more favorable terms. It's similar in concept to FHA loans but applies only to Veterans, currently enlisted military personnel and sometimes their spouses. The bid process is the same, and once you accept the buyer's bid, everything proceeds as usual with an appraisal, home inspections, and closing. Most VA loans close in 30 to 45 days, just as other mortgages do.
Some sellers worry about delays and extra paperwork because the VA is a government agency. However, the VA's role in this process is small, and VA approved lenders are very familiar with how it all works, so those fears are simply unfounded.
Where the Big Difference is For Seller
VA loans are subject to a stricter appraisal process. All mortgage lenders require an appraisal of the property before finalizing the loan. For VA loans this process also includes an assessment of Minimum Property Requirements (MPR). For this reason, not every appraiser handles these types of assignments. Although this could cause potential delays, in most areas, it won't. Unless a property is remote and difficult to get to, there are likely plenty of appraisers in your area capable of handling the job.
Some sellers worry unnecessarily about the minimum property requirements. Because they are guaranteed, VA loans are designed for properties that are in good shape and move-in ready. For most people, selling your home will mean it's in move-in condition already. In situations where that isn't possible, this can be an issue. Fixer-uppers and homes that need extensive major repairs will require some other form of financing. In most cases, a buyer using a VA loan will probably already be aware of this, so it shouldn't be a big issue for the seller if they have submitted a bid on your home.
There are limits on how much and what type of closing costs can be paid as part of a VA loan. As a result, sellers often think they will be required to pay them instead. The closing costs and who pays what are a frequently negotiated part of the contract when selling your home. And as with any other type of mortgage, the seller still has the option to negotiate or just say no. Buyers may have to pay some costs in cash at closing instead of rolling them into the loan, or sellers may opt to adjust the selling price upward to compensate.
When selling your home, it's a good idea to keep an open mind and objectively assess the offers you receive. That buyer with a VA loan could be the perfect match for you!
If you've recently decided to sell your house, you might be experiencing a range of thoughts and emotions. Aside from committing to selling your home, deciding on your asking price is probably the biggest choice you will face during the process, and it's an important one! Working with an experienced agent is key to getting your home sold efficiently, and having professional guidance to help you determine the asking price allows you to list your home with confidence. Following are some of the ins and outs of home pricing you'll want to consider before making a decision.
Taking the time to do your research and make your home its best before listing your home will make the pricing process easier.
As a seller, you'll want to do everything you can to make your home more appealing to buyers. And like other sellers, you'll be doing some prep work to get your home ready to sell. That means fresh paint, increased curb appeal, and sometimes even renovations. Many sellers struggle with deciding exactly where to spend their home improvement budget, and it can be tough to know what buyers want. Hopefully, you're lucky enough to have a few of these upgrades already in your home. If not, adding one or more of these suggestions can help your home get noticed and stand out in the minds of buyers.
When it's time to sell your home giving buyers what they want gives you a big advantage. And it will help make your home selling experience a successful one.
If you've recently decided to sell your house, you might be experiencing a range of thoughts and emotions. Aside from committing to selling your home, deciding on your asking price is probably the biggest choice you will face during the process, and it's an important one! Working with an experienced agent is key to getting your home sold efficiently, and having professional guidance to help you determine the asking price allows you to list your home with confidence. The following are some of the ins and outs of home pricing you'll want to consider before making a decision.
Get Acquainted With the Market
The housing market is known to change often, and trends develop because of supply and demand. Your strategy may be much different in a buyer's market than when the seller has the advantage. Do some research, to understand what is happening in your area where the housing market is concerned. Upfront knowledge is important in deciding how to proceed, and your real estate agent understands the market and will provide valuable insights into the market.
The Power of Comparison
It's your right to ask any price you want for your home, but that doesn't guarantee that you'll get it. An essential part of pricing your home is to look at comparable homes and their selling prices. Your real estate agent can provide you with a comparative market analysis that is full of helpful information on area comps. Keep in mind that you should consider homes that are comparable in size, age, and location when setting your asking price.
Put Your Emotions on Hold
The excitement of selling your home is running high, but now is the time to look at your home thoroughly, and view each aspect of it with a critical eye. Of course, your home holds sentimental value, as it should, but some parts of your home may be worth more to you than they would to a potential buyer. Are there add-ons that may detract from the value to buyers? Could your home use a makeover? The answer to these and other questions, when answered honestly, may influence how you ultimately price your home.
Spruce Up Your Home
Your home may be in good or even great shape, and if so, you may feel comfortable setting your asking price once you've done your research. Most homeowners, however, can find a few things that need attention. Small projects such as tidying up your home's landscaping and decluttering its interior may allow you to up your asking price. Potential buyers will be looking at the home as a whole but will hone in on details as well. A tidy, welcoming home is what they hope to see.
The Zero Debate
Traditionally, setting a home's price ending in too many zeros may not be to your advantage. Although there's truly little difference, a prospective buyer may be more enticed by a home priced at $299,000 versus one priced at $300,000. While avoiding the zeros may present a bargain to some, it may cause some buyers to miss your home entirely. Online real estate searches are extremely popular, and that home priced at $299,000 won't show up if the buyer sets the parameters from $300,000 to $350,000. Your real estate agent knows the market and will offer advice depending on your unique selling scenario.
Taking the time to do your research and make your home its best before listing your home will make the pricing process easier.
Once you've decided where you're moving to, it's time to let everyone know the good news! And your social media posts filled with pictures of your new place aren't entirely going to do the job. Changing your address is one of those things you can't put off. Doing so can cause overdue bills, costly billing errors, service interruptions, and can even leave you vulnerable to identity theft. Here are some of the places you'll need to update your address after selling your home.
Lots of organizations allow you to change your address online, either through an online form, e-mail or chat with a customer service representative. Some companies will still require you to call.
The US Postal Service, DMV, and most voter registrations allow you to fill out a web-based form to change your address.
If you have a lot of people to notify, especially friends and family, you may want to send out postcards. You can use templates found on Canva.com or in Microsoft Office to design your own.
The TouchNote app allows you to create custom postcards and even mails them for you.
The by-invitation-only app, Updater, can manage the address changes for you and help you coordinate utility services, book a mover and even get insurance.
If you want to notify some friends and family via social media, opt for private messages.
The process of updating your address is even more critical when you're selling your home and moving out of state. Keeping everyone informed will make things easier during this stressful and exciting time.
Your home undoubtedly has a lot of beautiful things about it. And you'll want to highlight all of them to make it more appealing to buyers. One positive you probably didn't think about promoting when selling your home is its pet friendliness. Finding a pet-friendly home is a pretty big deal to buyers so here's how to let them know your home is the perfect place for them and their furry friends.
Selling your home quickly and at the right price means you need to appeal to as many buyers as possible. The National Association of REALTORS® reports the Millennial generation is the largest group of home buyers today. And pet-friendly homes are significant to them. According to the American Pet Products Association, over 60% of Americans have a pet and Millennials comprise the most significant percentage of pet owners with 34% owning pets. Additionally, a survey by Sun Trust Mortgage indicates one-third of the Millennials that bought homes did so because they wanted to have more space for a pet. So when you look at all those statistics, it's easy to see that you're very likely to be selling your home to a pet-loving millennial and making them aware of how your home can serve their needs makes sense.
What Do Pet Owners Want?
It's primarily dog owners who are opting for homeownership for the sake of their pets. Due to the size, demeanor, and activity level of some breeds, they have a harder time finding an appropriate pet-friendly rental than cat owners do. Physical space can be an issue, and if they're in an area where rent is already high, the hefty deposits and cleaning fees make renting even less appealing. So they're buying homes instead. Make sure to highlight these features when selling your home.
In addition to your home being pet-friendly, you'll want to emphasize the pet friendliness of your neighborhood too. These things often make a community more attractive to pet owners:
These pet-friendly features are not just for single family homes either. Many condo communities have made efforts to appeal to pet owners and if yours includes any of these amenities on premises, make sure you tell your real estate agent.
Make it Visible Your Home is Pet-friendly
Pet owners naturally connect with one another so don't be afraid to provide some visual evidence of your love for your pet. It will help give a buyer an emotional connection to your home that could help close the deal. A picture of you with your pet, a flashy new water bowl, and a container of dog treats on the shelf are an excellent way to make an impression with a pet owner.
Selling your home as pet-friendly is the right thing to do for today's buyers, and it helps with finding the perfect buyer for your home.
As you go through the process of selling your home, you'll most likely receive more than one offer from potential buyers. In these kinds of situations, it may be necessary to make a counteroffer. There are a number of factors that can affect the type of counter you make and the success of acceptance. Here's what you should know about how to make a counter offer when selling your home.
All Things in Consideration
There are a variety of things you'll want to pay attention to within an offer from a potential buyer. Most likely, your focus will fall to the offer price first. Whether or not this price is acceptable to you, it's important to take the time to read all of the terms of the offer before making the decision to counter.
You'll want to carefully consider things like:
Once you've determined which terms of the offer are acceptable, you can then begin preparing your counteroffer to address the unacceptable terms. For instance, you received an offer on your home for the full asking price but the buyer has added contingencies to the contract for the major appliances to be included in the sale and a 60-day closing.
A 'give-and-take' perspective is typically the best approach when selling your home. When considering a counteroffer, consider meeting the potential buyer halfway. For instance, you may counter by including all major appliances except for the washer and dryer and a 30-day closing in exchange for the buyer's responsibility for half of the closing costs.
A professional real estate agent can help you draft a counteroffer that works best for you. You'll want to thoroughly read, sign, and date the counter and your agent will present it to the buyer or
It's All in the Details
No matter what you've included in your counter, make sure every detail is in writing. It's important to understand that presenting a counteroffer will negate the original and create a completely new agreement.
In some cases, it may be beneficial to negotiate the terms of your counteroffer verbally to avoid the extensive paperwork. Once everything has been agreed upon, the final terms of a counter can be put to paper and submitted for as a final purchase agreement for formal acceptance from the buyers.
When you're trying to sell your home, receiving a lowball offer is the last thing you want to happen, and it's certainly disheartening. Preparing yourself for the possibility of a lowball offer and having a strategy in place to deal with it can make the situation much less stressful. Use these tips to help you plan what you'll do if you receive an offer that's not up to your expectations.
Ultimately, you will make the decision of which offer to accept on your home, but having a strategy in place to handle lowball offers is important as you list your home for sale.
The closing day is an exciting time for sellers, but it can also be stressful. With help from an experienced real estate agent, you can minimize complications and keep things moving forward.
Even with the best real estate agent on your side, however, it's important to understand as much as you can about the process. An informed seller ensures that he or she will be able to make the best decisions even down to the final hours of the process.
And, unfortunately, unexpected things can happen at the last moment. By the time a home sale reaches closing, it's usually ready to go off without a hitch – but it never hurts to be prepared.
Most of the closing simply consists of sitting down and signing documents--lots and lots of them. Many people are surprised by how long this can take: Although a quick closing may be done in as little as an hour, it's a good idea to clear off the entire morning or afternoon.
Keep these pointers in mind for a successful closing as a seller:
Everything has to be signed and verified at closing. If even one piece is missing, you'll have to reschedule. That, in turn, can endanger the terms of your mortgage loan, which is often offered with very strict time constraints. Luckily, there's a simple list of items to remember.
You'll need to bring:
Your closing should be a day of celebration. Double-checking all the paperwork with an expert advisor by your side will help give you peace of mind as you reach this major milestone.
Summer is a perfect time to sell your home. Whether you live on the coast or in the heartland of America, the number of home seekers is steadily rising, which creates a fantastic market.
If you have yet to put your home on the market, here are six reasons to sell your home this summer.
Selling your home during the summer offers a wide range of benefits, whether it is due to the economy, more available time, less competition, or a whole list of other advantages. Don't delay any longer, but your home on the market today and enjoy the many perks of listing your home during the summer!
For many homeowners there comes a point when your current home doesn't seem to "fit" any longer.
How do you know if it's time to sell your current home and buy a new one? Here are ten signs you've outgrown your current home:
Seeing the signs that your current living space no longer fits is the first step toward a happier life for you and your family. It can be hard to part if you've made many memories there, but being honest and objective about your situation will help. Things change and if your current home isn't meeting your needs, it's time to move on.
Whether this move is a large milestone for you or more of a periodic reset, downsizing is a healthy exercise that not only simplifies your life and increases satisfaction, but also makes this and future moves much easier. If this sounds appealing to you, contact your real estate agent today to review your options for downsizing to a smaller home.
Most guides to selling a house will tell you all about the things that you do need to fix or upgrade, and for good reason. There are some things that every buyer will look for, and you don't want to fall short in those areas. However, there are also plenty of renovations and fixes that you don't need to worry about. Whether an item is simply not a priority for buyers or the cost of an upgrade doesn't match the expected return, it's a good idea to know what not to fix.
The big thing to remember with upgrades is that the more you spend on a project, the bigger your risk if the taste of your buyer doesn't match your own taste. That rules out most major renovations unless the room is in such rough shape that it needs an upgrade for the home to sell.
If you have any questions about which fixes to prioritize, which to skip, and what matters most to buyers in your market, then your real estate agent should be your number one source for advice. Working closely with your agent will help you focus your effort where it's most needed, and simplify the process of selling your next home.
However, there are some common staging mistakes that could cripple your efforts to sell your home. We've compiled a list of a few staging blunders that you'll certainly want to avoid.
Selling your home shouldn't be stressful. Relax and have some fun with staging, letting your home take the spotlight.
Developing a plan and setting attainable goals are two of the biggest ingredients in the process of selling a home successfully. By understanding what steps you need to take, when you need to take them, and where you can look for help along the way, you'll put yourself in a great position to sell a home quickly while maximizing your return on investment. This step-by-step guide to selling a house is designed to prepare you for the process, and help you achieve your goals.
Step One – Find the Right Real Estate Agent
The first step on our list just might be the most important, because finding the right real estate agent will make all the steps that follow so much easier to handle. Remember that you definitely don't have to settle for the first agent you meet, unless that agent truly shows that they're the right person to sell your home. Ask around for referrals, interview agents, and find the right agent for your unique needs.
Step Two – Research the Market and Pick a Price
One of the first things that your agent can help you with is understanding your local real estate market, and picking a price that will help get your home sold. Your agent should offer a comparative market analysis (CMA), which will help you understand what other similar homes in your market are selling for, and set a price that attracts competitive offers.
Step Three – Clean, Clear Out Clutter and Prepare Your Home for Sale
With a great agent on your side and a fair market price chosen for your home, you'll be ready to prepare your home for potential buyers. This is a great opportunity to start the process of moving out, clear clutter, store personal items, and make your home as attractive as possible for buyers. You'll want to clean every inch of your home, from basement to master bedroom. Curb appeal is a big deal too, so make sure that your yard is looking its best.
Step Four – Market Your Home to the Masses
With your home ready for buyers to visit, it's time to start attracting attention and introducing buyers to what you have to offer. Your real estate agent can help you market your home through social media, online listings, and traditional marketing tools. You can also do your part by spreading the word and letting others know that your home is on the market.
Step Five – Prepare for Multiple Offers
By working with an experienced agent, picking the right price, and marketing your home effectively, you'll set yourself up to receive multiple offers on your home. Make sure that you understand exactly what you're looking for from an offer, so you can negotiate the deal that best matches your needs.
Step Six – Negotiate and Close the Deal
All of the work that you do up to this point leads up to the process of negotiating with the buyer and closing the deal. Work closely with your real estate agent to ensure that all of the key legal details are covered and that you're maximizing the value you receive in return for all of the hard work you've done to sell a home.
No matter where you are in the sales process, remember that there's plenty of help available, both from your real estate agent and from other homeowners you trust. Start by following our step-by-step guide, and you'll already be ahead of the game when you decide to sell a home.
The decision to sell a home isn't one to face lightly. Going through with it means undertaking one of the most complex processes you'll ever undertake. Luckily, the help of a real estate expert simplifies things and makes it a lot less stressful. Still, researching the topic is always a good idea.
The more you know, the easier it'll be to make informed choices throughout the "game." Your real estate pro can offer you expert advice, but the final decision is always up to you.
Let's look at some of the most common "rookie mistakes" that can send your sale to the dugout:
It may sound complicated to sell a home, but it doesn't have to be a hassle. A real estate agent who specializes in homes like yours will be a team player throughout the process. Experience is essential! Now, play ball!
Your home is going to be in a vulnerable position as REALTORS® begin showing it to anyone with an interest in buying, so keeping valuables protected is essential. Follow these tips before that first open house.
When you are selling your home, there is no way to avoid opening it up to strangers. It is an essential piece of the selling process you cannot remove. When you are ready to open your home to prospective buyers, make sure you have stashed valuable and important items and have found a way to secure them.
Now, that might not necessarily be a bad idea if you happen to meet a great agent right out of the gate, but selling your home is a big move, and it's important to choose your listing agent carefully.
To find the best agent for the job, you need to ask questions—and not just "how much will you get for the property?" and "what will the commission be?" Include these questions during the interview process:
Your goal should be to an agent with whom you are confident in and comfortable with and who can sell your home quickly and at the right price.
There are two related, but distinct processes that help people pin down the valuation of a property before they move forward: Comparative market analysis and home appraisal.
Both of these will be performed at different steps in the sale process. Knowing the difference between the two can save you some valuable time.
CMA Versus Home Appraisal: Final Considerations
Both a comparative market analysis and home appraisal provide valuable insights that help you and your real estate agent move toward a successful sale. Assuming a property spends only a moderate amount of time on the market, each usually needs to be completed only once.
Sometimes, however, a lender might request a new appraisal even if the previous appraisal was only a short time ago. You might even get a CMA before you make a final decision about selling your home. Each situation is different.
An experienced real estate agent can help you by ensuring you're equipped with an accurate CMA. Plus, when the time comes to prepare for an appraisal, they can guide you on the most important steps to raise your home's value in your budget and timeline.
As with anything in real estate, the sooner you get started with selling your home, the smoother the process.
This is where meals are made, families eat together, and all the hustle and bustle of holidays happen. So it may come as no surprise that the kitchen is one of the top places to update when selling your home.
When you update your kitchen, you'll get more of your investment back when you sell the home. On average, sellers get back 70 or 80 percent of the cost of the updates. The updates you choose do matter, though, so here are a few things to focus on.
Make a Strong Impression
The kitchen is possibly your best chance to impress potential buyers, not to mention one of the few areas of your home where your investment gets the biggest return. Even so, you'll want to do it right for maximum impact. While updating these five areas, make sure you're staying true to your home's character, architecture, and neighborhood. If you need help deciding what updates to make, your real estate agent can help guide your decisions.
Selling your home is like a short-term romance. It requires faith in the person you choose. You depend on your REALTOR® for meaningful communication and timely feedback. You want to sell your home, so you must trust them because they're your connection to achieving your goal.
The REALTOR® you choose is critical to your success in selling your home. Follow this guide on "Finding the Right Real Estate Agent," to help you through the selection process.
Start with a List
If you have no idea how to find the right real estate professional, start with a list.
Once you have a list of REALTORS®, search for their company websites. Some businesses use Facebook for easier client interaction, so search there too. Check out an agent's listings and sales, open houses, and marketing efforts. Look for a listing of credentials, real estate specialties, and client comments.
Compile a list of open houses from online research or open house signs in neighborhoods where you'd like to live. Simply show up with all the other guests and sign in. The person hosting the open house is usually the seller's agent, so as you walk through the home, check them out as well.
You can learn a lot through undercover observation but ask a few questions as well. If you're impressed, ask for a business card.
Treat a realtor interview as though you're the employer looking for the best candidate for the job. That's essentially what you'll be doing. Make sure the agent understands that it's an information-only meeting. Come prepared to ask the questions you couldn't answer from checking out a website or visiting an open house.
Ask about credentials, licenses, and designations but don't waste your interview time discussing them. You should focus on marketing, negotiation, and closing experience. In the end, these are the biggest factors in getting your home sold.
You can usually verify a realtor's license status through a state's online licensing portal. Realtor and broker designations are related to education and ethics.
NAR offers education and training for other designations and certifications. You can find criteria for Accredited Buyer's Representative, Certified Residential Specialist, and other designations at NAR.com.
It's Worth the Effort
Making a perfect match with a real estate professional requires time and patience, but it's worth it. When you choose the right person, it can make a big difference in selling your home quickly, professionally, and for the price you want.
Selling your home involves a lot of details--some you probably haven't even thought about. There are a few main areas most of these fall under and having a list can help you plan and prepare effectively.
The Planning Stages
You've made the decision to sell your home, now it's time to work out all the details.
Work on Curb Appeal
The first thing buyers notice about your house is the outside, so start here. Walk toward the street and look at your house to see what kind of first impression buyers are getting. What can be improved?
Getting the Inside Ready
You'll want the inside of your home to look just as amazing as the outside. Consider hiring a professional home stager. Having someone who doesn't have an emotional attachment to anything in the home can be helpful.
Here are some other things you can do.
Meet with Your Real Estate Agent
It's a good idea to use a real estate agent when selling your home. An agent will list your home, publicize it, and schedule tours. They can also advise you on pricing.
There are a lot of details involved in selling your home. Being well organized and planning ahead can save time and help you get the price you're looking for.
No matter how much you're looking forward to turning over your house keys to a new owner, selling your home can lead to deep soul-searching.
Did I get a good price? Will the new owners love my home the way I do? Did I really want to sell in the first place? If you're asking yourself these questions, you just might have a case of seller's remorse.
When you walk away from a place you love, it can feel like abandoning an old friend. Fortunately, the emotional attachments will likely fade with time. The financial regrets that settle in after closing can be even more difficult, but you'll have to let them go as well. Those wordy closing documents you signed are contracts. They're difficult to break no matter how much remorse you feel.
The best time to manage seller's remorse is before you put your home on the market. Begin the process by asking yourself these questions:
Am I listing for the right reason?
Empty nest? Divorce? Financial gain? Impulse? Exactly why are you selling your home? If you received a big job offer with a deadline to relocate to a new city, selling your home can feel like lifting a weight off your shoulders. If you list your home because Uncle Bob said you could make a ton of money, you might not realize it's a bad idea until the deal is done.
Only you can decide if selling your home is the right decision for you.
Am I listing for the right price?
Pricing your home can be tricky. It's not an exact science, but your REALTOR® can help. Review recent home sales and research comparables--homes similar to yours in similar neighborhoods. Also, when calculating the potential net return on your sale, don't ignore these and other before-sale and after-sale costs.
Your price should include enough wiggle room to negotiate with a serious buyer. If your price is too high, you'll attract few potential buyers. If you price your home too low, you may lose money on the deal. That's a sure trigger for seller's remorse.
Have I found my next home?
Whatever the cause of your seller's remorse, it will likely fade with time. The healing process may take longer to begin if you sign the closing documents on your old home but don't have a new home to go to.
Sellers do that sometimes when a buyer's purchase is contingent on a quick closing. You can do it too. But if you don't have a backup plan, the sensation of temporary "homelessness" can leave you with an acute case of remorse. It's important to think before you list:
Seller's remorse happens
The sense of having made the wrong choice can happen any time you make a decision with long-range consequences. That's why it's important to work with a real estate professional when you decide to sell your home. Your REALTOR® can work with you from pre-listing through closing. You'll gain confidence in the home-selling process and that will minimize your chances of succumbing to seller's remorse.
Staging your home for open houses is an important step in the selling process because you want buyers to imagine what their life would be like if they lived there. Working with an experienced real estate agent is a great way to learn what it takes to successfully stage a home. Today, we're going to take a look at five things you definitely don't want to do when staging your home.
By avoiding the most common mistakes for staging an open house, you'll be ready to present your home to potential buyers in its best possible light. The big key is keeping your home clean and clutter-free so that every buyer who visits can imagine their own life there.
Whether you're buying or selling a home, closing day can be a stressful part of the process. The closing day is when everything related to your real estate transaction becomes finalized. Luckily, closing often goes smoothly--especially when you have a great real estate agent working with you throughout the process.
Once the sale is final, there's often still a few things you need to do. None of these steps are as big or as complex as what you've already been through but making sure they are taken care of will go a long way toward protecting you from last-minute hiccups.
Let's review some of the most important considerations you shouldn't forget:
The closing day is a huge milestone for anyone – it marks true success in selling your home. To maximize your profits and minimize frustration, plan on two extra days to manage these last six issues. You'll be glad you did!
Selling your home is easier if prospective buyers get a positive impression from the beginning, and that starts with smell.
Let's look at some effective methods for reducing pet odors.
When you've been living with a beloved pet (or pets!) for a while, it's not always easy to pick up on their natural aroma. Buyers will be much more attuned to it than pet owners, so it's important to go a step further than you might think is necessary.
If you're not sure, invite a friend or family member over to check things out. They'll be able to tell you if they can detect Fido or Fluffy, and might even point out areas where the scent is stronger. The hard work will be worth it after selling your house for a premium price!
Retirement brings with it an unimaginable sense of freedom. You're no longer tied to school districts, commuter schedules, or alarm clocks. When you release longstanding duties and commitments, you can change your lifestyle and even your location. You can move to a new neighborhood, a new city, or even a new country. Or you can stay right where you are.
Should you go or should you stay? That's a big question that only you can answer. Here are some of the things you should consider before making your decision.
Unfortunately, zeroing in on that magic number can be tricky.
Set the price too high, and your home could languish on the market for months, or worse—maybe not sell at all. Set the price too low, and you could be cheating yourself out of thousands of dollars. Here's what you need to know about setting the perfect price for your home.
As with so many things, first impressions are everything when it comes to selling a house. The longer your home stays on the market, the less likely it is to sell. Setting the right price is the key to selling your home quickly, and to make sure you get the amount for it that you deserve.
If you thought your home would sell quickly, but you haven't had a single offer so far, could you be the reason?
That's a hard reality to consider, but it's important if you're serious about selling your home. You must examine everything you did or did not do before and after your listing went live. Sometimes a single change can make a big difference.
When you've lived in your home for a long time, it's easy to miss conditions that might be obvious to a home buyer. That's why it's important to seek other opinions when re-evaluating your home. Sometimes you simply need a second pair of unbiased eyes to pinpoint obvious issues. Other times you may require professional input. Use this list of questions as a guide.
Did you price your home unrealistically?
Selling price is a primary consideration for most home buyers. If your asking price is unreasonably high, buyers may just move on to the next listing. You can still recover from high pricing expectations.
Is your home ready for the market?
If your home lacks the curb appeal that draws buyers to your door, do something. When you're selling your home, do whatever you must to make it a home buyer's magnet.
Is your home not quite clean enough?
When you're giving home buyers free rein, they'll find whatever you missed in your spotless home. Before putting your home on the market, have a professional do a deep cleaning. It will cost you, but they will eliminate problems you might not have noticed.
Are your listing photos a turn-off?
Buyers respond to great photos. If your home has curb appeal, beautiful landscaping, and bright spacious interiors, your listing photos must show it. It's worth the cost to have them done professionally.
Do you have bad Open House etiquette?
If you've scheduled only a few private showings and had no feedback from your open houses, eliminate yourself as a cause.
Your Real Estate Agent Matters
Most of your problems wouldn't be problems if you'd vetted your real estate professional. When you're selling your home, you need a real estate agent who will work with you throughout the process.
While no real estate agent can make magic happen, a professional will work hard to minimize problems so you can sell your home.
You can paint your dining room red for a morning energy boost. You can redo your bathroom with a white-on-white color scheme for a spa-like feel. As a homeowner, you can decorate with colors that match your personal style. But when it comes to selling your home, the wrong color can affect how much a buyer is willing to pay for your home.
Your red walls, for example, could be a big turn off for potential home buyers. Buyers don't like colorless white bathrooms either. That's what a recent Zillow Paint Color Study found after researching 32,000 photos of sold homes. They also found that color has the power to increase or decrease your home's sale price.
Color matters, so we tweaked our color ideas with Zillow stats to provide guidance for picking the perfect color when selling your home.
Even if you used these colors only sparingly, they can cause problems.
So, what do you do when it's time to sell your current green home and find a new one? The good news is that green homes are popular, and all of those energy efficient upgrades can add real value when it's time to sell. You'll find environmentally conscious shoppers in every market, especially if you know how to market your green home effectively. Here are our tips to help you find the right buyer so you can sell your green home quickly.
Now is a great time to sell a green home, because there are so many buyers out there looking for green, sustainable features. Finding the right real estate agent, marketing your home in the right places, and understanding what green home buyers are looking for will make it so much easier to find the right buyer for your green home.
As you prepare to sell your home, you are doing everything possible to make it shine. Fresh paint is on the walls, the carpets are newly shampooed and every window is sparkling. Yet, if you have failed to declutter your space before you started all of this work, you may still struggle to find an interested buyer. Here's what you need to know about decluttering as you prepare to sell your home.
Decluttering is not easy, but it is a necessity for a successful home sale. When you have decluttered your home, you will find that it's much easier to keep it neat and tidy. There's just less of "stuff" to move and clean around. This makes getting ready for a showing simpler.
Decluttering makes your house seem larger making it more appealing to potential buyers. Also, if you declutter fully, which means moving your stored items out of the house, your home will suddenly seem as if it has ample storage. This is critical to encouraging potential buyers to take another look, so take the time to do it.
When your home is decluttered and your personal mementos have been removed, buyers are able to better picture their own belongings in the house. This is helpful because it makes them feel "at home" in your home, enticing them to put in an offer.
Finally, decluttering will lead to a faster sale, and maybe even a higher price. While no one can fully predict what will make a potential buyer say "yes," a home that is ready to move in to with minimal work is almost always going to sell faster than one that is jam-packed with the previous owner's belongings. Even if you have outgrown your home, it shouldn't look like you have when a potential buyer comes through.
Plain and simple--while decluttering is a big part of preparing a home for sale, it is rarely an easy thing to do. Your value your belongings, and ridding yourself of them can be a difficult process.
First, break down the job by room, starting with the first room a seller will see when entering the front door, and ending with the bedrooms. This will allow the main living areas to be ready for showings, even if the bedrooms are not quite there, so you may be able to list the home before you are done with this process.
As you declutter a room, have bins labeled "keep," "storage," "donation," and "trash." Pick up each item and put it in one of the bins. Then, put the "keep" items back in the room, ensuring that you aren't keeping too many things. Remember to put the highly personal items, like your family photos or kids' artwork in the "storage" bin.
As you tackle this job, work in small amounts of time. Give each task 20 minutes, then do something else for a while. Otherwise, you will get overwhelmed.
Don't forget about seasonal items. Only keep the items you need for the current season. You can pack away and store seasonal clothing, decor and other items to free up space in your home.
Finally, remember that this is temporary. When you move into your new home, you can pull those items out of storage and start enjoying them again! By spending a little bit of time decluttering now, you will sell your home much faster and for a higher price.
Selling a house requires presenting it in the best possible light. For some, that means spending time, money and effort on cleanup and repairs. For others, the project starts at decluttering. Don't cringe... decluttering your home doesn't have to be a headache. These cleaning hacks will get you well on your way to a home that anyone would be happy to call their own.
When the time comes to sell your house, remember that presentation counts. Making repairs and improvements can definitely increase your home's resale value, but these simple decluttering tricks will go a long way toward presenting your home in the best way possible.
It took a lot of dedicated effort to get your home on the market. It would be nice if you could just sit back and wait for the offers to roll in. Unfortunately, it's not that easy.
Once your home is on the market, your REALTOR® will work hard to complete the sale but you'll have to do your part to keep things moving forward. Here are five things you can do to help keep your marketing efforts on track.
When it comes time to sell your home, it's even more important to apply the DIY spirit. The more time and energy you invest – known as sweat equity – the better your odds of getting the sale you want faster.
Consider these ten projects:
DIY projects are fun, exciting, and make a difference in your sale. Try these ten and your buyers will really be wowed by what you have to offer.
Defining what a luxury home is when you are selling or buying a house isn't always easy. Here's what you need to know about the luxury home market.
As you can see, when buying a house, what defines "luxury" market is going to be different for every buyer. Determining what your goals are, and then shopping for homes that meet those goals, will ensure that you find a home that fits your needs, whether or not it fits the "luxury" category.
If you are selling your home, you may be dreading telling the kids about the move.
Familiarity and routine are things that kids rely on. Moving from the home they are familiar with breaks their routine and can be very stressful for even the most relaxed kids. Add in changing schools and moving away from best friends, and you have a recipe for meltdowns and behavior problems.
Telling the kids is going to be one of the more difficult things to do during the move and timing it can be even more difficult. You don't want to do it the day before it happens, but you don't want to do it six months prior either. If you are selling your home, you should break the news at least a couple of weeks before the real estate agent starts showing the property.
Set aside a special time for breaking the news. You will want to have plenty of time for discussion and questions.
Keep yourself in a calm mood. Young children, especially, pick up on their parents' moods. Even if you are not happy with the move, you need to keep that out of the conversation as much as possible.
How you break the new will depend on the age range of your kids. Smaller kids may not understand, so telling it as a story can be effective. Older kids will want more details. You should mention why the move is needed (new job, moving closer to family, etc.) Let them know where you are moving and the time frame.
Let the kids ask questions and answer them honestly. Your children are going to be going through a major transition. Lying or trying to hide difficult details will backfire later if the child figured out one or both parents lied.
Encourage the kids to express their emotions. Younger children often cannot put words to deep emotions. If a child needs to cry or gets angry, let it happen. Older kids, especially teenagers, may become openly defiant about the whole idea. That is perfectly normal. Just reassure as much as possible.
You might think the worst part is over when you finish the conversation. However, it is only the beginning.
As the kids process the news, they are going to have new questions. Let them know they are welcome to ask as many questions as possible. They will also have emotions come up at odd times.
If possible, plan trips to your new home to let the kids become used to it. Of course, long-distance moves make this difficult. However, even pictures or videos of their new home can help.
Try to keep to your normal schedule. As stated before, kids thrive on routine and familiarity. Keeping their eating, playing, napping and bedtime schedules as close to normal will help them with the transition. It will be their anchor in the storm.
Even if you have all the conversations and provide as much support as possible, you may find your child still has difficulties with the move.
All you can do is give the child time to make the adjustment. Some kids can transition within a week or two. Others may take months.
Selling your home is stressful for everyone in the family. Be prepared for having this critical conversation with your kids when appropriate. It will make everything go smoother.
Selling your home is nerve-wracking--even under the best of circumstances. However, add into the mix a short timeline and things become a bit more interesting.
There is good news: Buyers are snapping up homes across the US at warp speed. So, if you're considering selling your home, now might be a great time to list it on your local real estate market.
Using these seven tips along with the right real estate agent can help speed up the sale of your home and still provide top dollar.
Selling your home isn't always easy, but it doesn't have to be time consuming either. With the right steps, you can sell your home quickly and avoid the drama of endless days on market.
While it may not feel like it yet, the spring selling season will be here before you know it. The work you do now in preparation can make a huge difference when the time comes to attract the right home buyer. Here are six tips for selling your home to get you started and help you prepare for real estate success this coming year.
The beginning of the year is an excellent time to sell a house--especially once the winter weather starts to give way to the spring flowers. If you want to make the most of the upcoming selling season, then the best thing you can do is to start making your preparations today.
Selling your home is all about preparation, and there's no better time to get started. Follow our six home selling tips to hit the ground running, and be sure to lean on the expertise of your real estate agent whenever you're in need of advice.
Attract homebuyers during the holidays with these tips.
When most people think about the holidays, they think about family gatherings, turkey dinners, and gift-giving. Selling their home during the holidays isn't something they usually imagine. No one sells their home during this time of the year ... Right? Wrong!
In fact, selling your home during the holidays has its advantages. Since fewer homes are on the market, there is less competition. And home buyers are usually more serious and ready to buy.
How do you make the most of this selling season? Here are ten tips to get you started.
Although selling a house during the holiday season will definitely keep you busy, don't forget to take the time to enjoy the season too.
With strangers wandering through your house, take these steps to feel more comfortable during an open house.
Selling your home can cause concern about how to protect your personal privacy and possessions. When buyers walk through your home during a showing or open house, they will most likely peek into every drawer, look inside each closet and check the pantry and cabinets.
Here are a few steps to take to make you feel more confident while your home is on the market.
Protecting Your Belongings
Strangers walking through your house can be unnerving. Take a few precautions to keep your home secure.
Protecting Private Information
Most home selling tips include advice about removing all personal items in the home as a way to stage the property. Another reason to do this is to protect your privacy.
What To Do With All the Stuff?
You're following all of these home selling tips and getting stuff out of your home. Now, what do you do with all of the stuff?
Feel safe about opening your home to strangers. By following these home selling tips, you can be certain that your belongings and information are safe and secure.