Selling your home soon? As you look at your finances and list your home, it's probably tempting to focus on your potential earnings. However, every real estate transaction comes with closing costs for the buyer and the seller.
You probably already know you're responsible for the agents' commissions, but what about the rest of your closing costs?
Before selling your home, make sure you understand all the closing costs you'll be expected to cover. Here are some common costs that may surprise you:
Of course, your final closing costs before selling your home will depend on a lot of different factors. From zip code and loan terms to the buyers' willingness to negotiate, these factors will help you figure out just how much to set aside for closing. Understand your responsibilities and prepare yourself for every possible expense.
Are you selling a home? If so, you need to know that you could be your worst enemy.
Many home sellers are surprised to learn that they are the ones sabotaging their ability to sell their homes quickly and for a good price. When you're selling your home, make sure you avoid these mistakes that could hinder your home's sale and push buyers away.
Selling your home can be a stressful time, and this is definitely a process you want to see come to a fast conclusion. By avoiding these five common problems, you will have much greater success selling your home quickly because you won't be standing in your own way!
Selling your home upon retirement is a question millions of people grapple with. While it might seem logical to scale down when you retire, is it really the best option?
There's no "one size fits all" solution for selling your home. Most people will find there are pros and cons to the choice they have to weigh before making a decision.
Ultimately, selling your home is a deeply personal decision. It's best made with input from a real estate agent you can rely on.
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.
Of course, you probably already know that, but what you might not know is that upgrading your property doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming. The right DIY home improvement projects improve your home, add value, and bring buyers to your door.
With these fixes, buyers will be flocking to your property and making top offers. And remember, it's not always the costly changes that give the best ROI, so consult your real estate agent about which home improvement changes will be better suited for your home.
Selling your home can be an exciting adventure full of surprises and pitfalls. Taking the time to properly stage it can make selling your home less of a chore and allow you to get the best price possible. Follow these five tips from the pros to help you prepare your home and set the stage for a successful sale.
Staging doesn't have to be scary. After these fixes, you'll be excited to show people how great your property really is.
Everyone has a little "clutter" lying around the house — and some of us may have more than others. When you're selling your home, managing your home's look and feel is one of the best ways to maximize your chances of selling quickly and for the most amount of money.
Real estate pros know decluttering allows potential buyers to see your home as "their home" and makes it appear bigger with more storage space. Use these steps to get started:
Decluttering Before You Sell Your Home
Not only can decluttering help you prepare for a move, but it also gives you a boost mentally. You'll be one step closer to staging, and you reduce the amount that you'll need to transport to the new house. In a way, it prepares you mentally to make a change. Decluttering gets you in the mindset to embrace a new setting, and you can make that new setting a new home.
It's true-decluttering is hard, but the rewards you'll reap are more than worth it.
Remember the first time you laid eyes on your home? Your jaw dropped at the beautiful front yard. You were amazed at how all those windows sparkled as you walked up to the door. After you moved in, you thanked your lucky stars for sending you your dream home. You loved your house when you first bought it and knew you would live there forever. Wait a minute... Forever? That's an awfully long time to live at the same address. Here's what to do when you think you've fallen out of love with your home.
There are different reasons people fall out of love with their dream homes. The good news is more often than not, it's possible to identify the issue and fall back in love with your home all over again.
Before selling your home, you need to answer a few questions:
If you've only been in your house for a few months, it's likely that you haven't actually fallen out of love with the place but are simply suffering from either a case of buyer's remorse or feelings of being unsettled. In this situation, the best thing to do is give things some more time. The chances are good that you'll relax and fall in love with your home all over again. If you discover that your emotional detachment from your house stems from it needing work or remodeling, you need to come to a few decisions. You can choose to invest the time and money into making the improvements your happiness relies on, or speak to a real estate agent about selling your home. It's important to note that sometimes finding your dream home means making improvements.
If you decide that it's not your house but rather something else triggering your sense of dissatisfaction, look around the community. You may find that it holds the secret to helping you feel fulfilled. The odds are that there are volunteering opportunities and clubs near your home to help you fill up your life and feel happier.
If you absolutely can't stand the idea of spending any more time in your house, then it's time to talk to a real estate agent about selling your house. When shopping for a new house, remember the issues that caused you to fall out of love with your house and avoid those pitfalls with your next purchase.
When you decide that selling your home is the best solution, always make sure you deal with a real estate agent you trust to get you the best price for the home.
Selling your home? A recent survey showed more than 85 percent of buyers who applied for financing asked for an inspection of the home they intended to buy. Today's savvy home buyers rarely leave things up to chance — they want to be assured they are getting great value.
Despite this growing trend, many sellers still wait for buyers to take the initiative on inspections.
A seller might save a few hundred dollars by waiting until the buyer makes the first move, but this is rarely worthwhile. In fact, there are many benefits to taking the plunge and getting an inspection as soon as you decide you are serious about putting your property on the market.
Let's look at six benefits of pre-listing home inspections:
With all that in mind, selling your home should almost always start with an inspection. It's an essential step, just like making basic repairs, listing your home in the right places, staging it for potential buyers, and partnering with a real estate agent you can trust.
Your home has been your safe haven over the years. As much as your home means to you, it's starting to feel like it is time to make a move. So what should you consider when making the decision to sell your home? Here are six signs that it's time to sell.
Understanding your market, pricing, and new homeowner options will simplify your decision and help ensure you live in a home you will enjoy for years to come.
You might think selling a home is similar to buying one, but they actually have little in common. Buying a house for the first time is something that many of us look forward to throughout our lives. No matter how much you love your first home, there will likely come a day when you're ready to move on to something new.
Selling your home is a totally different experience from buying a home. Buying a home involves feelings and sentiments, while selling one centers on dollars and cents. However cut and dry the selling experience might seem, there is still a period of confusion involved in the selling process. Many first-time home sellers have no idea where to start. Here are some of the most important tips for first-time home sellers to help you get started.
Just as with buying a home for the first time, you can remove a lot of the mystery from the equation by taking the time to read, study and learn. There's a lot to learn from your real estate agent and other experienced home sellers. Since you're here, it's safe to say you're already taking steps in that direction.
One advantage of selling your home for the first time is that you'll likely have experience sitting on the other side of the table as a buyer, so you'll already have some idea of what to expect. With a willingness to keep learning and the help of an experienced real estate agent, you'll be ready to tackle the process of selling your home for the first time.
If you're looking for a way to increase the value of your home, consider looking not in the kitchen, but rather in the closets. Updated, custom closets help add additional storage to your space, making it more usable for you, and more appealing to future buyers. Here are some reasons why closets can make a home more valuable to potential buyers.
Closets Make a Home Move-In Ready
Unless they're specifically shopping for a "fixer-upper," today's buyers want to purchase a home that is move-in ready. The little features that show the homeowner has given the home plenty of TLC and attention are invaluable in this. When a buyer opens a closet and sees a professional organizing system, they know that the home has been well maintained. This makes it seem more valuable in their minds.
Custom Closets Have a High Return on Investment
If you invest in a custom closet, you'll have almost all of that investment when selling your home. Custom closets sell homes, and they can mean the difference between a home that sits on the market and one that sells quickly for a good price. You will be able to enjoy the use of the closets while you live in the home, and then enjoy the financial benefit when you're ready to sell.
Adding Closets Improve the Home's Function and Value
If your home doesn't have enough storage space, adding a closet can add value significantly. Consider a den in your home that doesn't have a closet. When you add one, you instantly add a bedroom. Adding linen closets in the hallway or the bathroom or a storage closet under the stairs adds additional storage space that buyers will want.
Following Current Trends Improves the Home's Appeal
When thinking about closets, consider the current closet trends. Purposeful organization is essential to making a close appealing. Built-in shelving, pull-out drawers and bins, ironing boards, and built-in shoe racks all have a reason for being in a closet and a benefit to the home's owner. A dresser in the closet is another current trend, keeping all clothing storage in one convenient location.
If you have the space to do some remodeling, consider adding a second closet to the primary bedroom. Individual closets go hand in hand with dual vanities to make a master suite more practical and comfortable, and modern homeowners, particularly in larger homes, are look gin for these kinds of features.
Use Custom Closet Space in Small Closets
Many homeowners with smaller homes make the mistake of assuming that custom closet space isn't for them. This couldn't be farther from the truth. When selling your home, you need to remember that your buyer is looking for a home like yours, even if it's become too small for your needs now. So, consider using a custom closet organizing system in your small closet. It will maximize your storage space and give your home a polished look that makes it sell well.
If you're thinking of selling your home in the near future, consider those improvements that make your home shine in the eyes of potential buyers. Closets are one of these, so give your closets a makeover and see how much more quickly the home will sell.
Selling your home? A successful open house is essential to attracting the right buyer. A truly great open house takes time, and it goes beyond popular ideas about "staging." Use these proven techniques to make an impression:
Ask your real estate agent for more tips on how your open house with wow buyers. That way, you'll know you're on the right track.
Once you've decided to sell your home, there is one question that looms large, hanging over your head like a heavy weight. What am I going to do with all this stuff? The question is especially relevant if you will be downsizing into a smaller house.
If you have lived in your current home for an extended period of time, the problem may be just that much worse. The accumulation of life's stuff is easy to put out of sight and out of mind during the day-to-day bustle. But when it is time to start packing and getting a home ready to sell, it can be like an avalanche bursting forth from every corner.
What's the best way to start downsizing your life and do it efficiently? It may sound easy — keep the stuff you need and purge the stuff you don't — but if you aren't careful how you do it, you can create more problems for yourself than just having too much junk.
Take your new uncluttered attitude with you into your new home. Recognize clutter culprits in your old home and take pains to reduce what can build up in your new one. The easiest stuff to get rid of is the stuff you never accumulate.
When you're selling your home, first impressions are everything. Typically, each home buyer is looking for something different in the house they buy. However, there are common problems that will make them walk — and, maybe, even run — out of your home if they see them. The good news is there are several things you can do to make buyers fall in love with your home.
With these tactics and fixes, there's no doubt buyers will fall in love with your home. Ask your real estate agent for more tips on how to get the most out of your sale.
If you're planning to sell your home, consider staging it. From decluttering and cleaning to rearranging and styling, successful home staging can make you money. In fact, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, most sellers' agents agree a well-staged home increases the dollar amount home buyers offer.
If you are an HGTV fan, you know home staging is when the "pros" go through a home clearing out the clutter, highlighting its strengths, and presenting each room in the best light that will attract the largest group of potential home buyers.
But, do you need to hire a professional stager? Maybe not. Use these six tips to manage the styling and upgrading of your home to fetch a higher sales price.
In a competitive market or in a situation where you need to sell your home quickly, staging is the key. Keep these tips in mind, and don't be afraid to talk to a professional stager. Often, the cost of professional staging is made back with a higher sales price and less time on the market!
If you've ever moved and had a stressful experience, or you've heard horror stories from your friends or family when they sold and moved houses, you may wonder if a stress-free move is even possible. The answer is: "You Bet!"
Buying a house is a huge deal. If you've just started house hunting or are already under contract, moving is the next giant step in this process. Moving can be stressful and chaotic. The good news is packing and moving can be relatively effortless with some planning and organization. Use these simple steps to get started:
No matter how you decide to de-stress your moving day, it's important you keep everything in perspective. Don't decide that all your boxes need to be unpacked in one day. Make sure you take time for yourself on moving day to relax and reflect on what you've accomplished.
You love your dog or cat; however, when listing your home for sale, many potential buyers will not be as enamored as you are. In fact, your pet might be the reason some buyers bypass your home entirely and move to another pet-free option.
Here's How To Sell A Home When You Have Pets
The Problem Prospective Buyers Have with Pets
Many buyers will say there are two reasons that prevent them from touring homes with pets:
The good news is that there are things you can do to ensure that your pet and prospective buyers are comfortable.
Relocate Your Pet
You might not like the idea of living without your dog, but it's an option you may have to consider to sell your home.
If you have a friend or relative that is willing to provide a temporary home for your dog, consider their offer. In fact, it will be good for both your dog and prospective buyers. Your dog won't have the stress of strange people coming and going, and prospective buyers will be comfortable while in your house.
Create a Safe Place for Your Pet
If providing your pup with a home away from home isn't an option, provide them with a secure place while prospective buyers tour your property. This can be a neighbor's house, an outdoor kennel, or even an indoor crate. It's important that your pet is comfortable in this area before prospective buyers start walking through your home.
Clean up After Your Pets
First impressions are important during the home selling process. Before prospective buyers arrive, clean your home thoroughly. This includes:
Make sure your pet looks groomed and well-cared for.
Repair Pet Damage
Go over your entire property and repair any damage your family pet has done. This includes:
Consult Your Veterinarian
Selling your home is stressful for you and your pets. It can take a toll on their health, particularly if they're a senior pet or one that already struggles with health issues. Talk to your veterinarian about what you can do to make the process easier for your pet.
Throughout the entire process, make sure your pet knows that they're still an important member of your family.
Before you sink the "for sale" sign in your front yard, make sure your house looks its best with these simple and inexpensive home improvement projects that will help make your home sell faster.
Buyers typically don't want to think about all the work they need to do in their new home. These fixes can help make your home a showstopper and will help move your property faster.
Is the yard a mess? Do the shutters need painting? Have you just cost yourself a contract by making a few simple mistakes. Here is a list of five home-selling mistakes to avoid with tips on how to correct them.
Avoid these common mistakes and you can be sure buyers will want to bite! And don't forget to talk to your real estate agent for even more advice on selling your home.
There's no doubt that you're going to be busy while you work to sell your home, but focusing your energy in the right places will make your life much easier. Better yet, a bit of focused prep can make your home more appealing to potential buyers and ultimately makes it easier to find the right match as quickly as possible. Use this "survival guide" for selling your home to get started.
Your real estate agent will help make sure that people show up, so the most important thing you can do when selling a house is to make sure that your home is always ready to show. That part becomes significantly easier to maintain after you get the initial work out of the way, as long as you keep up with it consistently. With a little teamwork, you'll find the right buyer in no time.
Downsizing frees you from the time, energy, and effort required from living in a larger home.
People have become obsessed with the idea that bigger is better. You see it everywhere: bigger burgers, bigger cars, and bigger houses. It's time to set the record straight — selling your house and downsizing your home might actually be a better lifestyle choice for you.
Choosing to buy a smaller home often has to do with the desire to live a more simple life. If you're trying to decide whether downsizing is the right move for you, here are some benefits to consider before taking the plunge.
Downsizing your home is about doing more with less. Rather than spending your time and energy maintaining a larger home, you may enjoy your life more by living in a smaller one.
Spring is typically the busiest season in real estate. If you're thinking about selling your house, then this is truly a can't-miss opportunity. Buyers are hitting the market in force after a winter of hibernation, curb appeal is springing back, and warmer weather makes it easier to finish chores around the home. Now all you need is to get your home — and yourself — ready for the busy season ahead.
With the right preparations in place, you'll be ready to hit the ground running during the busiest months of the real estate calendar. Selling your house is much easier when you take the time to plan, prepare and put your strategy into action. The right real estate agent and willingness to research on your own are the key ingredients to simplify selling your house this spring.
Home staging highlights the best features of your house and makes it more marketable by giving it a clean, organized, and neutral appearance. It also makes your home more appealing to the greatest pool of prospective buyers.
Hiring a professional stager is a good investment because they have the design expertise and time to get the job done right. If you don't have the budget to hire a professional, follow these six home staging tips to get you on your way.
Making your home shine is a critical component of a successful sale. If you need more tips, your real estate agent will know how to transform your home so buyers will bite.
Many sellers rush to put their homes on the market without giving too much thought to what it takes to grab a home buyer's attention. As you consider listing your home, there are a number of "secrets" you can use to take your house from ordinary to extraordinary in the eyes of homebuyers.
Make your home stand out from the competition by following these selling steps.
A little effort on your part will go a long way to increasing the chances of your home selling quickly. Following these steps can make your home selling process fun and pain-free.
Selling a home is filled with complexities that can be difficult to navigate, especially when going through the process for the first time. As a seller, you should always remember no question is stupid. Asking as many questions as possible can help you avoid costly mistakes, and your real estate agent is there to help educate you about the process.
To help put clients at ease, here is a quick list of common real estate questions sellers are often too afraid to ask:
Selling your home can be a fast-paced, complicated process, and you're sure to have tons of questions along the way. Even if something might seem obvious, don't hesitate to double-check with your agent. Your agent's job is to make your home sale as smooth as possible.
Selling your home is akin to cashing in on your largest investment. If you've paid off your mortgage or built-up a significant amount of home equity, you might be eagerly awaiting that large deposit into your bank account. However, you may want to temper your expectations until after the closing date. Real estate transactions are fairly complicated, and there are many moving parts. Therefore, you most likely won't receive any funds until after loan documents are executed, which typically takes place on or shortly after the closing date. Here is what to expect:
You May Receive An Earnest Deposit
Most offers include an earnest money deposit, which is money provided by the buyer as a sign of good faith and a signal they're committed to following through on the home sale if all contingencies are satisfied. However, the earnest deposit is typically not made available to you until after the closing date, so you won't be able to spend it or deposit it into your account. Rather, it's held in an escrow account and may be returned to the buyer under certain conditions.
The earnest deposit varies depending on the offer but is usually 1% to 5% of the sale price. Once you accept the offer and receive earnest money, you are expected to take the property off of the market and the closing process will begin.
You Can Expect To Receive Payment Around The Closing Date
Real estate transactions typically take 50 to 60 days to finalize, so you'll likely have a waiting period before you receive your funds. The exact date you receive your money actually can vary depending on where you live. Laws and regulations that apply to mortgage closings can vary by state. There are generally two different types of closings:
In either scenario, payment is usually made through a wire transfer into a bank account (usually the faster option) or as a cashier's check.
Selling your home can be an emotional process, and many of us are eager to see the cash return. Just be patient and work with your agent throughout the closing process, and you'll be paid before you know it.
Determining the perfect time to sell your home is never easy, but when the universe aligns, selling at just the right time can ultimately influence the speed of your home sale as well as the sale price. However, defining the right time ultimately comes down to numerous economic and personal factors. The housing market fluctuates over time, and our personal needs evolve throughout our lifetimes. Both are common reasons why the average person stays in a single home for seven to ten years.
If you're wondering if it's the right time to sell your home, here are five signs that could help make your decision:
Your home is your biggest investment, so it's important to make sure the time to sell is right. The decision to sell ultimately requires one to weigh economic factors with person situations.
A bigger and brighter kitchen is always on the list of top home features buyers are willing to move for. For those who love to cook and entertain guests, a nice kitchen is a must-have. As a seller, this means investing a little time and effort into sprucing up your kitchen can be well worth the time and energy.
Because the kitchen is such an important selling feature, we often recommend our clients invest in some upgrades and repairs before listing. While a full remodel may not make sense financially, here are some upgrades you might want to consider this year:
The kitchen is often considered one of the most important rooms of the house when it comes to selling a home. It serves as a gathering place where food is prepared and guests are entertained. Looking at your kitchen through the eyes of a potential buyer will definitely help your home sale.
If you're planning to sell your home, the quality and experience of your real estate agent can have a big impact on your return. Real estate agents can vary in terms of experience, responsiveness, and negotiation skills. Finding one that can work for you can require a bit of research on the front end, but it's well worth the effort.
If you're trying to determine if an agent is a good fit, an initial interview or introductory conversation can go a long way. Not sure what to ask? Here are some important questions that you'll want to cover:
It's always worth taking the time to gauge an agent's experience and professionalism. Finding a good one could ultimately result in more money in your pocket.
If you have a dark, unfinished basement that is primarily used for storage or laundry, you might be wondering if it's worth the time and investment to enhance the space prior to selling. After all, basements are versatile and can serve many different functions, all of which make them an attractive feature for buyers.
While finishing your basement prior to selling can serve as a significant value-add, recovering your entire investment can be challenging. Therefore, it's often not recommended to invest heavily in a new basement, unless you plan on using it yourself for a few years before selling. However, there are many affordable upgrades and enhancements you can do to make the space more appealing:
Sellers shouldn't feel like a full basement makeover is necessary, but keep in mind a little work can go a long way. At the end of the day, you don't want people to dread going down into the basement. Instead, make it a place that is inviting and accessible.
It's a well-known fact that the real estate market cools off in the fall and winter and picks up in the spring, but what is really the best season to sell your property? The answer ultimately depends on your situation and location. The reality is each season comes with its own unique advantages and challenges. To help you determine the best season for selling, we'll break down the top advantage and challenge of each season below:
Many people believe spring is the best time to sell your home, but that really depends on where you live. While spring is often the most popular time to shop, some southern states experience intense weather in late spring. Competition is also at its peak. Here are some of the benefits
Statistics show that late June has the highest number of closings, indicating summer is an ideal time to sell. It's also the most popular time to move, especially because school is out. However, extreme heat in some areas of the country coupled with vacation times can drag out the closing process.
Once school starts, there is a noticeable decline in real estate activity, but that doesn't mean fall is a bad time to sell. There are still many buyers on the market that couldn't secure a home in the spring or summer. Selling in late September / or early October has both pros and cons:
December is often considered to be the slowest month for real estate closings. Cold weather means fewer shoppers in most of the country, but competition is probably at its lowest point of the year. If you live in Florida, Arizona, or Southern California, winter is likely a great time to sell.
It's certainly possible to sell your home any time of the year, and so often the right season depends on your property, location, and situation. Your real estate agent is a great resource to help you assess the market and determine the best time to list your home.
Understanding the true value of a home is critical for both buyers and sellers. A home appraisal is an important piece of a buyer's mortgage application process and is always required by lenders. However, sometimes sellers are interested in conducting their own home appraisal to determine what a home is actually worth before setting an asking price.
While there are some instances where a seller appraisal is useful (and even necessary), they're not always advantageous. Here are some things to know before seeking a seller appraisal.
Examples of When Sellers Should Consider An Appraisal
A buyer's lender will require an appraisal, so paying for your own can be a waste of time and money in many circumstances. Instead, your agent can use comps (comparable nearby home sales) to help set your sale price. However, there are a few uncommon circumstances when a seller appraisal should be considered:
Why A Seller Appraisal Might Be A Waste Of Time
Unless your home possesses extraordinary or unique features, a seller appraisal might be a waste of time for two reasons:
Seller appraisals do have a purpose, but for the vast majority of consumers, they're not necessary. Instead, work with your agent to study local comps and determine the best market price for your property.
Preparing your home for a listing can be a lot of work — from cleaning to staging, you always want to position your home in a way that impresses potential buyers. However, when it comes to home sales, it's the little things that tend to often have the biggest impact. A lot of minor issues that may not give you a second thought may cause a buyer to hesitate before moving forward.
If you're getting ready to list your home, don't sweat major renovations. Instead, your time may be better spent focusing on the little things that can make a big difference. Here are some examples:
Major upgrades and renovations may not be necessary before listing your home. Instead, focus on the small, inexpensive repairs that can have a major impact on the outcome of your home sale.
Living in a home while it's on the market can be inconvenient, to say the least. Clutter around the house can not only make your listing appear smaller and less attractive, but it can also make it more difficult for buyers to envision themselves living in the home. Consequently, decluttering is an essential part of any home staging process.
Sellers living in the home that's on the market must be prepared for shoppers to drop by at a moment's notice. Keeping your home clutter-free 24/7 may seem like an impossible feat, especially if you have children. However, with some planning and practice, anyone can learn to declutter quickly and efficiently. Here are some tips to help:
It's not fun living in a staged home, but by keeping things as clean and presentable as possible, you'll find a buyer in no time. Then, you'll be well on your way to a brand new home of your own.
Staging your home can make a world of difference in the outcome of your home sale. Staging is a proven technique that can home your home sell fast and may even help you net a higher sale price. However, staging isn't always an easy process, especially if you're not experienced. A bad staging job can actually make your home appear less appealing to buyers.
To further complicate things, some of the home staging trends that worked ten or twenty years ago no longer resonate in today's market. In fact, one of the most common mistakes we see is sellers using outdated staging trends. Successfully staging your home often requires sellers to be in-tune with the latest design trends, which is why we always recommend working closely with your real estate agent.
Below are some outdated staging trends you should be sure to avoid when listing your home this year:
Staging is a technique that ultimately helps the buyer visualize the space. Outdated staging trends, personal items, or loud decor can ultimately complicate that mission. If you're struggling to stage your home, don't forget to check out some other local listings for inspiration.
With so many people working from home these days, it's no surprise that a home office has become a popular selling point. In fact, it's now a "must-have" feature for many buyers. By advertising a home office in your listing, you stand to increase your sale price by as much as 4%. The good news is it's fairly easy to add an office to your home. However, it's important to stage it the right way. By following these tips, you can generate buyer attention with the perfect office setup:
Home offices have never been more important. By not having one, you run the risk of excluding many potential buyers who work from home. Your listing agent can help you find the best way to add and show off a new home office space to hook buyers today.
Should you accept the first offer on your home? This is a common question we hear from sellers. On the one hand, you might think it's worth holding out for a better offer, especially in a hot market. On the other hand, rejecting the first offer could be risky.
The truth is there are many instances when the first offer will be your best offer. Below, we'll discuss those reasons as well as give you some tips to consider when making your decision.
Should You Accept The First Offer?
Receiving the first offer is exciting. It serves as confirmation there is interest in the home, and it serves as a reasonable indicator that your home sale may be finalized in the not too distant future. So should you accept the offer or wait for another one to come along?
Unless the offer is significantly below your asking price, you should likely accept it. Here is why:
Tips To Consider When Evaluating Your First Offer
Whether or not to accept the first offer isn't always a clear-cut decision. There are several factors you'll likely want to consider:
In many cases, the first offer is the best offer, and there can be downsides to waiting for better ones to come along. However, if the market is hot, the offer is low, or the buyer has unrealistic expectations, waiting a few days might be worthwhile.
If you're getting ready to list your home, you undoubtedly want to do everything in your power to achieve the highest possible sale price. But selling a home is a complicated process, and there are many variables that influence the outcome of a real estate transaction. The hard part is many of these variables are beyond the seller's control.
This doesn't mean your ability to cash in on your biggest investment comes down to luck alone, but acknowledging what you can't control will better position you to spend your time and energy on the things you can control.
Here are some items that sellers can't control during the home selling process and what you can do instead:
When it comes time to sell your largest investment, some things are simply out of your control. Instead of getting hung up on these details, try to focus on what you can control.
While the real estate market usually slows down in the fall and winter, there is a common misconception that winter is a bad time to sell your home. Sellers should know that this is simply a myth. While the market might look a bit different in colder weather months, selling in the winter isn't necessarily difficult. In fact, there are many benefits to listing your between December and February. Competition is often lower, and buyers tend to be a bit more serious when house hunting.
If you're planning to list your home this winter, below are some shortcuts to help you expedite the selling process:
Selling in the winter may present a different set of challenges, but sellers shouldn't be discouraged. It's not impossible, but you may need to adjust your strategy just a bit.
Putting work into a home you're about to sell may seem counterintuitive, but in some cases, it can land you a higher sale price. However, in other cases, major upgrades can be a sunk cost. So how do you know if a certain renovation is worth your time?
The truth is it can be difficult to know whether renovations will lead to a higher sale price, but this is where your real estate agent's expertise can be a big help. If you're planning to sell soon, here are a few reasons why it's essential to consult with your agent before making any major upgrades or renovations:
While many sellers believe the right time to start working with an agent is when you're ready to list your home, the truth is you can start working with an agent any time. Consulting with one before beginning major upgrades can save you a lot in the long run.
With most home financing based on a 30-year term, selling before paying off a mortgage is a very common practice. So what happens if you sell your home for more than your mortgage balance? Making a profit on a home sale is possible even if you haven't paid off your mortgage. When making a profit, you can use the funds for a down payment on a new home or anything you'd like, really. However, your ability to turn a profit comes down to your sale price and the amount of equity you've built in your home.
What Is Home Equity?
Home equity is a figure that represents the total value of your property ownership. To calculate your home equity, simply take the home's market value and subtract the outstanding mortgage balance and any other liens on the property. The remaining figure is your home equity. There are two different types of home equity:
Determining Your Payoff Amount
In order to estimate your potential profit from a home sale, you need to determine your mortgage payoff amount. Keep in mind, your payoff amount isn't the same as your remaining loan balance. The payoff amount includes any accrued interest since the closing date. You'll most likely need to contact your lender to determine the exact payout amount.
What Happens To Your Remaining Mortgage Balance If You Sell Your Home?
If you sell your home prior to paying off your mortgage, the buyer's funds will first be applied to your remaining mortgage balance and any additional loans against the property. After the mortgage balance has been paid off, the remaining funds will be applied to closing costs, which include agent commission, escrow fees, and taxes. Finally, any remaining funds leftover at this point become your profit.
What you do with your profit is up to you. Most people take their profit and reinvest it in a new home. However, if you're planning to downsize or move into a rental property, you may want to consider saving the money for retirement or investing it. Or, take a vacation — it's ultimately your money.
It's possible to turn a profit on your home sale even if your mortgage isn't paid off. However, your sale price, current home equity, and the amount of time you've owned the property are two factors that will directly influence your profit.
Selling a home while you're still living in it can be inconvenient, to say the least. From last-minute showings to constant cleaning — there is a lot of work involved. However, professionally staging your home while you're still living in it can be a whole new level of difficulty, especially if you're not prepared.
While it might be inconvenient, home staging is a vital selling technique that is proven to lead to a higher sale price. By taking the right steps, you can manage to pull off home staging even if you're still living in your home. The good news is home staging can also help you sell fast, which means you hopefully won't be in the situation for too long. Here are some tips to help you:
Staging your home while you're still living in it can be a bit uncomfortable, especially if you have kids or pets. Just remember, the pain is worth the gain. Staging can help net you a higher price and sell your home quickly. Then, you'll be well on your way to moving into a brand new home of your own.
Selling your home can be a stressful process, but when you're up against a deadline and need to sell fast, things can get a bit hectic. However, selling your home quickly is definitely achievable — you just might have to put in a little extra leg work up front. If you're up against circumstances that require a quick home sale, your real estate agent can help. Here is a quick list of five things you can do to reduce the amount of time your home sits on the market:
People need to sell quickly for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you've found the home of your dreams or maybe you need to move for your career. Regardless, be sure to work with your agent on the best approach to selling your home quickly.
If you're planning to sell your home in the near future, it might be tempting to leave repairs and upgrades for the next owner. But neglecting maintenance in the weeks and months leading up to your sale could have some major consequences.
Minor issues, such as broken doorknobs or chipped paint, can leave a bad impression on buyers. Even worse, minor issues can turn into big problems if they're not taken care of. If a major repair is needed at the wrong time, it could derail your closing or drastically impact your sale price.
If you want to sell soon, here is a quick list of home maintenance tasks to perform ahead of time:
Service Your Heating System
If you're selling soon, we recommend a thorough cleaning and servicing of your heating system from top to bottom. Have your furnace, ductwork, and chimney inspected and serviced. Replace filters and clean out all your vents. Major issues with your heating system will have buyers quickly running in the opposite direction.
Schedule A Roof Inspection
Your roof should be inspected at least once a year, but definitely before listing your home. Minor roofing problems are notorious for compounding into larger issues when left untreated. If you're experiencing any leaks or notice any warped or cracked shingles, you'll want to make the necessary repairs as soon as possible. If you need a replacement, keep in mind that a new roof is a big selling point, and you'll be able to recover costs in your sale price.
Maintain Your Landscaping
Your landscaping has a major impact on your curb appeal, which is a term used to describe how your home appears from street view. Curb appeal is important because it attracts buyer attention in your listing photos and is also the first thing shoppers see when pulling up to your home. Make sure your lawn is treated and trim all shrubs and trees. Also, make sure your driveway and walkways are well maintained.
Wash Your Windows
Light exposure is an important part of the home staging process, so you should expect your windows to be visible when buyers are touring your home. Be sure to thoroughly clean them and remove any dirt, grime, or muck prior to listing your property.
Resolve Any Plumbing Issues
Plumbing issues can range from leaky faucets to major pipe cracks in the basement. Either way, they're likely driving up your water bill and potentially causing mold growth. Buyers will be quick to notice any extra water in the basement, which is often a major warning sign. If notice any signs of leaks, be sure to have a plumber come take a look.
To sell your home fast, you'll want it to shine inside and out. If your home has worn carpet, chipped tiles, peeling paint, fixing these items can go a long way. A home with a "lived-in" look can be very unappealing, so you'll want to really pay attention to minor cosmetic details.
Investing in a home that you want to sell might seem counterintuitive, but major problems can lead buyers to pull out at the last minute. By taking care of some basic home maintenance tasks ahead of time, you can help ensure a smooth and successful closing.
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.
While it's common for millennials to delay the home buying process in favor of renting, it won't be long before they represent the majority of the buyer market. As home-buying habits shift across generations, millennials naturally have different requirements and expectations when it comes to choosing a home. Learning how to market your property to a younger generation is an important selling technique, especially if you're looking to maximize your overall return.
To ensure you're casting the widest net possible and attracting millennials to your listing, be sure to keep these tips in mind when promoting your listing:
With millennials making up an increasingly large percentage of the buyer market, learning to market your property to this generation will become more and more important. Keep these tips in mind when working with your real estate agent to create your listing.
Many sellers assume the state of the market and rate environment will ultimately dictate the sale price of the home. While these two items do play a major factor, there are still many things the seller can do to generate a nice return.
However, boosting your sale price isn't always easy — and it often requires a significant investment in time and maybe even money. However, with the right upgrades, you can go a long way towards maximizing your sale price. Below are just a few of the ways sellers can independently boost the return on their home sale:
The process of selling your home often begins weeks or months before your home hits the market. However, investing time and money up front can go a long way towards boosting your sale price regardless of the market conditions.
Hindsight is 20/20, especially when it comes to selling your home. There is a lot of pressure involved in a home sale, and it's very common for sellers to look back and wish they did things a bit differently. Every stage of the selling process plays a large role in determining your final sale price, and simple mistakes can ultimately cost you thousands in the end.
The good news is most real estate agents have extensive experience working through the challenges of a home sale and can help you avoid costly errors. If you're planning to sell your home this year and want to get the best return, be careful to avoid these mistakes:
It's easy to make mistakes when selling a house, but by doing your homework ahead of time, you can avoid these common pitfalls.
Renovations, upgrades, and staging make a world of difference when it comes to listing your home on the market. While the kitchen and bathrooms are often top selling points for many buyers, you don't want to forget about the living room.
The quality of the living room is an important selling point, and as a seller, you'll want to create an environment that enables buyers to envision themselves relaxing and spending time with family in the room. To help you achieve this, below are some important living room upgrades that you may want to prioritize before listing your home:
The living room is often one of the first rooms buyers encounter, so it often sets the tone for the rest of the home. Making the proper upgrades are essential for creating an attractive listing and maximizing your sale price.
Selling a home is a relatively rare life event for most people, so it's normal not to know what to expect. When seeking advice from neighbors, friends, or family, it might seem like everyone thinks they're an expert on real estate transactions. It's also common to hear myths and tall tales about the market or the selling process.
As a first-time seller, don't believe everything you hear. Getting caught up in real estate myths can lead to bad decisions that ultimately cost you money in the long run. If you're planning on selling your home soon, be cognizant of these five myths of selling a home:
Selling a home isn't always easy, so arming yourself with the most accurate information is the best way to make decisions that lead to a good return. Of course, experienced real estate agents are often the best source of reliable information about the market.
An open house is one of the most effective ways to generate significant buyer interest in a short period of time. It's a scheduled time slot when your home is open to any potential buyers who would like to see it.
Open houses have been an effective home selling technique for decades because they not only generate more traffic and attention to your listing, but they also allow buyers to tour the home in an easier, more relaxing environment. For an open house to be successful, planning and preparation are essential. Here are five things you can do to prepare:
Open houses are an important strategy for garnering interest in your listing, but it's important to make sure they're done the right way. This is just another reason why working with an experienced real estate agent can make all the difference.
When you're selling your home, you'll inevitably have to deal with at least a few minor annoyances. However, it might make you feel better to hear that it happens to everyone! Being prepared and knowing what to expect will help you keep your cool as you go through the process. Here's a look at some of the most annoying parts of selling your home.
1. Last-Minute Showings
Getting ready for a showing takes a lot of time and effort, so when a potential buyer wants to see your home at the last minute, it's bound to cause some irritation. It's common to get a call saying a buyer is "10 minutes away," or even worse, is already sitting in your driveway.
Just remember that if it results in a home sale, it will all be worth it. While you won't be able to get everything perfect, just do your best. When you get the call, pick up as much as you can, toss it all in a Rubbermaid container, and put it neatly in your closet. This is the best way to tidy up on short notice. Hopefully, the buyer will understand that they didn't give you much time to prepare and will take that into consideration.
2. Buyers Making Themselves at Home
Sometimes, sellers return to find that the buyers have made themselves at home during a showing. Thankfully, this doesn't happen often, but when it does, it certainly is annoying.
While it's totally acceptable to look inside cabinets and closet doors, when buyers crank the heat, track mud all over, or let their kids run amuck, that's too much. Fortunately, most buyers are respectful of sellers' property. If they're not, ideally, the seller's agent will be able to reign them in.
3. Appointment No-Shows
A no-show is even worse than a last-minute appointment. When you've taken the time to vacuum, dust, light a candle, or even bake cookies, it's super annoying if the buyer doesn't come when they're supposed to.
While it's very inconvenient, it does happen. Sometimes, it's due to an emergency, and other times buyers simply forget or have a scheduling conflict. Unfortunately, this is an issue you may not be able to avoid.
4. Picking At The Little Stuff
Some buyers will be very vocal about things they don't love in your home. While everyone has different tastes, a buyer who loudly talks about how ugly the paint is or nitpicks about small issues may not realize just how rude they're being.
Try to keep a thick skin and remember that this is sometimes tactic buyers use to try to bring the price down. As long as you're confident your home is priced correctly, take their criticisms with a grain of salt.
5. Finding Your Home Lit Up and Open
There's nothing worse than coming home after a showing to find that all the lights are on and the door has been left unlocked. The buyer's agent should take care of everything before they leave. If they don't they're being both rude and irresponsible.
You can help keep this from happening by leaving showing instructions for the buyer's agents. Posting reminder signs that say "turn off all lights and lock all doors" can help prevent you from coming home to this unpleasant surprise.
Even the best real estate agents can't keep all of these things from happening. Unfortunately, it's totally normal to have to deal with at least some minor annoyances while you're selling your home. If any of these things happen to you, just take a deep breath and remind yourself that it will all be over soon!
Many buyers decide if they love a home during the first few minutes of a tour, which is why it's so crucial to make a good first impression. Buying a home is very emotional, and the secret to a quick sale and good return is making the buyer fall in love with the property.
As a seller, there are so many easy ways to attract buyers and make your listing stand out from the competition. The best part is, many of them are inexpensive. Below are some simple tricks to delight buyers when they tour your home:
A little work can go a long way. By taking simple steps to make your home more attractive, you can make buyers fall in love at first sight.
When the real estate market starts to heat up, it can be common for many sellers to have a fear of missing out — especially if you're seeing your neighbors sell their homes for well above asking price. However, determining the right time to sell your home isn't always easy. It's a major process and a significant commitment, so there are numerous factors one must consider before deciding on the right time to list a home.
If you're on the fence about whether it's the right time to sell, below are some important points to consider when making your decision:
While the state of the market and time of year may factor into your decision to sell, the best time ultimately comes down to your unique situation.
Trends come and go. What used to be all the rage can now be yet another project for the potential homebuyer. This is just as true for the bathroom as anywhere else in the home. But the bathroom deserves special attention compared to other rooms for several reasons: any fixes might involve serious plumbing work, and the bathroom is one of the most functional spaces in the home, so it's hard to get away with design simply for design's sake. If you want to wow buyers instead of turning them away, consider updating your bathrooms if they retain these trends.
There may have been a time when mustard was a nice color for the bathroom (and you can still use splashes of the color under the right circumstances!), but if buyers walk into a big yellow bathroom, they'll probably turn right back around. Changing up the colors in your bathroom will be more or less work depending on what's on the walls — if it's paint, you can simply roll on a new coat, but if it's tile you have more work cut out for you. Just make sure you spend time choosing the right color scheme, and work with an expert if you're unsure.
Buyers appreciate more storage, but that doesn't mean storage belongs anywhere. A medicine cabinet limits the size of mirror you can have in the bathroom and it also can be an eyesore when viewed from certain angles. Besides, there's plenty of ways you can store your bathroom essentials. Medicine and other small items can go in containers with matching lids, and towels can be neatly stacked on a tray, which is nice to look at but is also functional.
Color Toilets and Sinks
A color toilet may be fine for you, but when you're selling your home, you need to please as many people as possible. No one will think much of the standard white toilet, but they might be turned off by a colored one, especially if they have decor ideas of their own that would clash with the toilet color. The same applies to the sink too. Make choices that buyers won't need to replace.
It may look stunning, but intricate tiling is a hassle for home maintenance. Smaller tiles means a more difficult time cleaning and grouting, and more of it. Homeowners already have a lot to do around the house as it is, so it's not a great idea to ask potential buyers to sacrifice their time and energy maintaining a detail of the bathroom that really isn't necessary.
You don't need to completely transform your bathroom to make a significant improvement. Likewise, a bathroom usually won't sabotage a deal. But if your bathroom is a blemish compared to the rest of the home, that will definitely affect a buyer's enthusiasm towards the home. Just be strategic and make sure your changes will appeal to the most buyers possible.
If you're planning to sell your house, home staging techniques can help to move your home to the front of the line for interested buyers. With a few staging ideas from the pros, buyers will notice your home's potential, even in overlooked spaces like the basement that often gets overlooked.
Although your basement may seem like an unimportant space, buyers will definitely check it out when viewing your home. Even if it appears to be a cold, dark space, buyers will investigate it for structural problems, mold and mildew, and potential uses for extra space. Why not give them a pleasant surprise with home staging ideas that can create a functional, inviting basement and enhance your home's potential.
Get Rid of Trash and Clutter
Basements are often unused spaces that collect unwanted household items, old books and magazines, outdated clothes, children's toys, and various yard tools. To potential buyers, these items will likely look like clutter that should be thrown out with the trash. By getting rid of trash and clutter in your basement, buyers can focus on a clean open space that has many potential uses for family needs.
Eliminate Musty Smells and Bad Odors
If your basement has musty smells and bad odors, you can count on scaring buyers away. Since basements are often below ground level, they can easily develop lingering, unpleasant smells from water leaks, excessive moisture, and mold and mildew, especially if they have no windows for airflow. Before showing your home to buyers, take time to freshen up your basement with pleasant, welcoming smells.
Create a Neat Storage Area
Basements with concrete floors and high ceilings can be excellent storage areas. If you have a finished basement, consider adding some free-standing shelving units or bookcases for storage. You can purchase a variety of storage bins, decorative boxes, or colorful containers for an organized, neat appearance. Buyers will be impressed with the organization and extra storage space in the basement.
Make Cosmetic Improvements
Making a few cosmetic improvements in your basement will go a long way towards attracting buyers. For minimal costs, you can patch wall cracks; repair loose stair railings; give walls a fresh coat of paint; install updated lighting fixtures, and throw down a colorful area rug. These simple cosmetic improvements will quickly take your basement from dark and gloomy to cozy and comfortable.
Build a Home Gym or Fitness Center
A basement can be a great space for a home gym or family physical fitness area. It's a space that provides quiet privacy away from busy areas in the house like the kitchen and family room where everyone tends to gather. Consider a basement fitness center that's equipped with a flat-screen TV, surround sound speakers, a small refrigerator or juice bar, and a comfortable recliner or two for relaxing after a workout.
Design a Multipurpose Family Room
If you have a finished basement, you have a variety of possibilities for a multipurpose room. You can turn your basement into a family room, a children's playroom, a home office, a library, or a music room. With a large basement, it's easy to incorporate several functional areas into one space, so the entire family can enjoy various activities while spending time together.
When creating a usable basement space, focus on function, style, and storage. Your basement should not be a catch-all space for all kinds of unused items. If you're planning to sell your home, consider some home staging ideas that will turn your basement into a comfortable space with functional, show-stopping appeal that buyers will love.
You've listed your home on the market, and the seller has made an offer. Congratulations! Now, it's time for your appraisal.
This is the part of the home selling process where an independent third party determines the value of your home. The results of your appraisal can impact your final selling price, so it's normal to feel a bit nervous going into it. Are you wondering how an appraisal works and what you can do to prepare? Take a look at these tips.
1. Know What to Expect
Understanding what happens during an appraisal can help calm your nerves and will also help you prepare. Most appraisals take between one to three hours and involve a professional appraiser thoroughly inspecting your property both inside and out. The purpose is to determine the current market value of your property.
Some of the things your appraiser will consider include the age of your home, its location, the size, and what the structure of made of. They'll also consider the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the layout of your home, and the overall condition of the roof, siding, and interior. Finally, the appraiser will compare your home to the value of comparable homes located nearby.
2. Prepare Your Home for Inspection
Even though an appraiser doesn't value your home based on its cleanliness, it's always a good idea to clean and declutter before they arrive. Sometimes, an appraiser might subconsciously value a home a little lower if it looks like a mess, so it makes sense to take the time to present your home in the best possible light.
3. Gather the Necessary Paperwork
Appraisers will typically ask for information about the home before they arrive. You'll make their job easier and ensure a more accurate appraisal if you give them a list of any major improvements you've made and provide detailed information about the age of your major appliances, HVAC system, and the roof. Whenever possible, also provide copies of the original paperwork.
If your appraiser arrives and finds out there's an addition or something else they didn't know about, all the information they've gathered about comparable homes will be off. This means they'll have to start over — which will delay your results and the closing of your sale. Avoid this by giving full disclosure and providing all of the information upfront.
4. Be Honest in Your Listing
Before your appraisal, it pays to make an honest assessment of what your home really offers. Unfortunately, sellers and their agents are sometimes guilty of listing "puffery." Fudging the numbers, adding square footage, or hoping no one will notice your roof isn't new isn't going to get you anywhere.
While it's sometimes tempting to add a little bit here and there, starting with an honest estimate will make the appraisal process much smoother.
5. Understand the Outcomes
When you get your appraisal back, there are three possible outcomes: it will be higher or lower than the agreed-upon purchase price, or it will be spot-on. If your appraisal matches the agreed-upon price, you're ready to move forward with the closing, and no additional negotiations are needed.
However, if the appraisal comes in lower, you could have a problem. In this case, you may want to request an appraisal review. During this process, another licensed appraiser will prepare an independent report. This will help confirm the accuracy and completeness of the initial report. If the appraisal is still lower, you may need to re-negotiate with the buyer, and there's a chance they may walk away from the deal.
If your appraisal comes in higher than the agreed-upon price, you can move forward with the closing. However, you also won't have the opportunity to ask for more money. While the buyer will be happy knowing they already have some equity in their new home, knowing you've underpriced yourself may leave you feeling bitter.
This is why it's so important to price your home appropriately from the start. Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent will help you evaluate the value of your home and price it correctly for the current market conditions. This will help prevent you from having unpleasant surprises when your appraisal is done.
You don't have a second chance to make a good first impression, and this couldn't be more true when it comes to selling your home. People often form first impressions within seven seconds of an interaction or experience. First impressions are key to attracting buyers; in fact, many buyers will know within a couple of minutes whether they're going to make an offer or not. As a result, creating a compelling first impression is an essential part of the selling process.
So how exactly do you create a good first impression when selling your home? These tips can help:
When listing your home on the market, be sure to set yourself up for success. It takes many buyers less than 10 or 15 minutes to tour a home, so you only have a short period of time to make a good impression.
Wondering if it's time to reconsider your home listing?
As the seller, you have the power to take your property off the market anytime. You'll be able to start over again whenever the timing is right for you.
In general, you should aim to sell your home within 30 days of listing. Your real estate agent will work around the clock to promote your home to the right buyers. But for whatever reason, you might find your home hasn't attracted enough attention in 60 or even 90 days. This is the most common scenario when buyers choose to start over at a later date.
The longer a home is listed, the more likely buyers will think something is wrong with it! That said, there are other reasons you might withdraw your listing. Pulling a listing now doesn't mean you'll have a more difficult time selling later. In fact, giving yourself a few months to reassess can help you sell at a higher price.
If any of these apply to you, it might be wise to take your home off the market:
Whatever your situation, you can get the best advice from a trusted real estate agent. Your agent is an ally who'll listen to your concerns and help you chart the right path, whether that's a big sale now or a re-list later.
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.
It might be a "seller's market" right now, but it's still a good idea to do everything you can to make sure your home sells for the right price. Getting a pre-listing home inspection is a simple step that can make a major difference. This inspection is paid for by the seller and is typically done before the home is placed on the market. While you might think this is unnecessary, there are several important benefits you'll enjoy. Here are a few of the most important.
You'll Be Able to Make Repairs Before Listing Your Home
Nobody wants to be blindsided when they're trying to sell their home. Getting a pre-listing inspection will allow you to learn about any problems and take care of them before putting your house on the market.
Making simple repairs can help your home show better. You may also save money by giving yourself the time to shop around for contractor options, buy materials when they're on sale, and allow for a longer timeline.
Even if you decide not to make the repairs, you'll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you won't run into any unpleasant surprises when the buyer's inspection comes in.
It Allows You to More Accurately Price Your Home
If there are problems with your home and you don't want to fix them, you can factor the cost of the repairs into your asking price. Since buyers often overestimate the costs of repairs during negotiations, taking care of issues ahead of time could save you a significant amount of money.
On the other hand, if you have a home inspection that shows your property is free of issues, you may also be able to ask for a higher price.
You'll Enjoy a Smoother and More Efficient Transaction
The last thing you want to do is get into a long negotiation with the buyer after your inspection. When you don't have to deal with haggling over recently-discovered repair needs, you'll go under contract and get to closing far faster.
An inspection that shows a major problem is one of the main reasons buyers walk away from a deal. Since the buyer will receive full disclosure ahead of time, there's also less chance that they'll be surprised by something and change their mind or demand a far lower price.
You'll Gain the Buyer's Trust
Since buying a home is a huge financial commitment, it makes sense that buyers are sometimes wary. By providing your pre-listing inspection ahead of time, you're showing that you're trustworthy and aren't trying to hide anything. This will make the buyer feel more confident and may increase the chances of getting a fair offer much faster.
It Will Make Your Listing More Competitive
While getting a pre-listing inspection is becoming more popular, it's still not done by all sellers. If your home is the only one on the market that has one, your listing will be more competitive. This makes it more likely that you'll receive an offer quickly and at the price you're looking for.
A pre-listing home inspection shows potential buyers that your home is safe and secure. It's easy and inexpensive to obtain one, making it well worth the effort.
When you're ready to sell your house, you know it's important to make repairs and spruce up your home's interior so that you can come closer to getting your asking price. But it's not just the interior that counts. You should also take a good hard look at the landscape and make a list of things that could be improved. A neat, well-maintained landscape that shows loving care will make an impression. There's just nothing like a well-tended expanse of green lawn, along with some eye-catching color in flower beds to lure the drive-bys into stopping and taking a closer look.
So what makes sense to repair, upgrade, or renovate in your landscaping?
Above all, make sure the exterior of your property is clean, weed free, and that plants, including the lawn, are neatly trimmed.
Whether you're staging your home yourself or hiring professionals to do it, you should know a bit about lighting. Most staging advice has to do with these three areas:
But what about using lighting to enhance the overall appearance of your home?
Lighting matters because potential buyers are turned off by a dark house. What's more, as real estate experts will tell you, you'll get better offers for your home when it's well lit.
How Lighting Can Enhances Staging
The right kind of lighting will help your home look better in subtle ways. For instance, a tall room will look smaller if the lighting is placed low and doesn't reach the ceiling. Lighting used the right way will make a too-small room look bigger: you can push a wall open by focusing light on it. If a room seems too narrow, you can illuminate the wide sides; conversely, you can train the light on the narrow ends for a wide room.
Lightbulbs: Which Type?
With the right bulb, you can do the following:
A few decades ago, there was only one kind of lightbulb, the incandescent, which might be 40 watt, 60 watt, or 100 watt, and clear or frosted. These days, the choice in lightbulbs can be confusing: in addition to the incandescent, there's the CFL fluorescent or the standard fluorescent (these have mercury so must be disposed of as hazardous waste); halogen (these burn very hot); and LED bulbs — the best choice, as they last a long time and are inexpensive.
Lightbulbs are sold by "colors," which are based on number of Kelvin units: lower Kelvins means more of the yellow light we associate with a cozy and warm ambience, while higher Kelvins create whiter or bluer light. You can choose from Soft White, Warm White, Bright White, and Daylight. Your choice will depend on what you want to accentuate and how.
Here's how the types of lights are most frequently used:
Mastering the fundamentals of staging with lighting is a relatively easy way to increase your chances of getting the price you want for your home. It's worthwhile to make a small investment in lightbulbs and practice your lighting staging skills.
Whether you're thinking of selling soon or you plan to stay in your home for the long haul, your outdoor space is more important now than ever before. With the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic still fresh in our minds, most homeowners are re-evaluating their space and re-prioritizing what's important to them.
Today, many buyers are focused on making the best use of all available space. This has created a strong trend towards all types of outdoor upgrades. It's now one of the most sought-after features among home buyers, and we don't see this trend going away any time soon. Still not convinced? Here are three reasons to consider spending some of your time this summer upgrading our outdoor space.
1. Increased Home Value
Many outdoor upgrades increase the amount of usable living space on your property. According to a January 2021 survey conducted for the International Casual Furnishings Association, people spend more time outdoors doing things like grilling, dining, gardening, and spending time with their children and pets.
People want outdoor spaces that complement both their homes and their lifestyles. They want privacy, relaxation, and comfort when they're spending time outdoors. Since this is so desirable right now, you can expect upgrades that support these goals to earn you a solid return on your investment.
2. Improved Curb Appeal
Upgrades to your driveway, front entrance area, and landscaping will all improve your curb appeal. This will make your home more attractive and inviting. It will also go a long way towards making it more desirable when you decide to sell.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so don't miss out. You'll be surprised by how much even small upgrades like replacing your mailbox or house numbers can improve your home's curb appeal.
3. Long-Term Enjoyment
Even if you don't plan to sell your home any time soon, it's worth considering moving forward on the outdoor upgrade you've been dreaming of. Countless studies tout the benefits of spending time outdoors.
Creating a space where you can relax and enjoy your time off without ever leaving the comfort of your home will do wonders for your physical and mental health. You'll also have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you're making smart moves and keeping your home on-trend.
2021's Top Outdoor Upgrades
Outdoor kitchens top the list of desirable outdoor upgrades. This can range from a covered grill with some cabinet space to a full gourmet kitchen complete with pizza ovens, dishwashers, and more. Other desirable features include outdoor heating (ex. fire pits), outdoor bars, and comfortable outdoor seating areas. In some locations, inground pools are also making a comeback. Decks, patios, and outdoor gazebos are also growing in popularity.
It's important to note that you don't have to break the bank to follow this trend. Even a simple landscaping update can make a major difference in the value of your home. Other simple upgrades to consider include replacing your garage door, installing a sprinkler system, updating your front door, and adding landscape lighting.
If you're planning to list your home for sale, chances are you'll be relying on an experienced real estate agent to help you seal the deal. Both your agent and your future buyer's agent will play an important role in creating a smooth transaction process. In return, agents are usually compensated with a commission based on the home's final sale price. Because agents are only paid after a successful closing, they're motivated to help you sell quickly and efficiently while achieving the best possible sale price.
Agent commission structures can be confusing, and when it comes time for a closing, many clients are unsure how their agents are paid or how to calculate the fees. To help clear up any uncertainty, below are some common questions and answers related to agent commissions.
Agent commissions can certainly be confusing, especially if you're selling your first home. While they may seem like extra fees, it's important to remember that you'll likely recover your costs and more if you're working with an experienced agent.
Perhaps you've seen the signs in front of some homes: "For Sale by Owner." The assumption for most of us is that this seller has decided to avoid paying agent fees and is hoping to pocket those fees. Is this a good idea though?
Agents' fees are just one of the many costs of selling a home. Let's take a look at these and other costs you're likely to encounter when you sell your home.
It's helpful when selling your home to make a list or a spreadsheet of all possible costs you're likely to incur to avoid surprises during the selling process. A good real estate agent will also make the selling process a lot smoother.
Packing for a move while you're trying to sell your home can be tricky. As your real estate agent will tell you, you want your home to look a certain way when potential buyers visit. Everything ideally should be neat and tidy, and yet the very act of moving ordains that there will be a certain amount of chaos as you stage your move into another home. What to do?
Here are some tips that can help.
Empty or staged: Which is best?
An empty house isn't necessarily a bad thing when it comes to selling your home. Certainly, potential buyers won't have any trouble imagining their lives against the backdrop of your empty home.
On the other hand, you may think making your home look a little bit lived in would help it sell. Perhaps you want to leave window treatments in place, as well as some rugs, a coffee table, other objects that liven up a space.
If you're going to host potential buyers while you're moving, do try to keep the home spotlessly clean, and even if you're still packing, keep clutter at a minimum, making use of closets and a storage room to stow your packing while showing the home.
Clear out the clutter.
The first step in any move is to clear out everything you can say goodbye to. Be strong: if you haven't used it over the last year, get rid of it, whether that means recycling, donating, selling, or pitching. This goes for clothes, furniture, decorative items, appliances, dishes, and cookware.
Be organized about packing.
Acquire your boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape early and in plentiful supply, so you don't run out. If you know someone who can give you boxes in good shape, that's great, but make sure they are not so old they're going to collapse once full.
Pack according to rooms, using color-coded tape: green for the bedroom, red for the kitchen, etc. Do not fill boxes, so they are too heavy to lift. For breakable items, be sure to wrap them and fill up the box with newspaper or other filler, so they don't shift around in transit. You can also wrap breakables with towels and washcloths, so you maximize space.
For bedroom drawers, try wrapping them with plastic wrap and taping them so you can leave the contents inside. Bundle clothes on hangers into a large plastic bag and tape up the ends, so you don't have to fold all those clothes.
Make sure everything's shipshape in the new home.
Before you start moving in, check that everything's running right in the new home: electricity, phone lines, internet, toilets and other plumbing, and all appliances. As your family gets ready to move in, direct everyone to pack a small bag with necessities such as a change of clothes, toothbrush and toothpaste, and other toiletries, so they don't have to search through boxes.
There's a lot to think about when you're selling a home and getting ready for a move. But the more organized you are, the easier both processes will go. Be sure to utilize the services of your real estate agent for the best results.
Whether you're buying or selling a home, the sales price is always at the top of the agenda. For sellers, the final sales price affects bottom-line profit and future plans. For buyers, it impacts future expenses for bills, home repairs, and renovations. Before selling your home, it's essential to consider repairs and upgrades that impact your profit and decide whether making them is your best option.
Many homeowners are faced with the dilemma of selling their home in "as is condition" or sinking money into needed repairs and upgrades. To answer that question, you need to evaluate necessary repairs, examine your financial situation, and research local real estate markets to determine the return on your investment.
Evaluate Necessary Repairs
All homes need repairs, but some are more urgent than others. If you live in an old home that hasn't had a lot of upgrades, you may have more costly repairs. Start by walking through the house and making a list of repairs and upgrades that may impact your sale. Any repairs to the foundation, roof, plumbing, and HVAC systems (heating and air conditioning) should be at the top of your list because they bring the highest return on your investment.
Other repairs and upgrades that add value include:
Examine Your Finances
Selling your home means moving to a new location. Whether you're buying your dream home across town, relocating out-of-state, or downsizing in retirement, you must consider moving expenses, as well as other move-in costs such as monthly bills, home repairs and upgrades, property improvements, property taxes, and mortgage payments, unless you pay cash. If you discount the sale of your home to allow the buyer to make necessary repairs, how does that impact your future finances?
Some buyers look for fixer-uppers, but generally that means minor repairs like new carpeting, new paint, and new light fixtures. Major repairs like a new roof, new windows, new plumbing, and a new electrical system are too costly. When major repairs are necessary, a buyer will usually offer a significantly lower price, ask the seller to pay for repairs, or walk away from the sale. Most buyers want a home that's in move-in condition, but you have to make sure necessary repairs won't impact your financial situation.
Research the Local Real Estate Market
Researching homes for sale in your area can help with decisions on making repairs. In most cases, fixer-uppers reflect a lower sales price than homes with numerous upgrades and renovations. You can view homes online or talk to your real estate agent about important repairs and upgrades that boost sales and provide the best return on investment.
Smart sellers weigh the cost of making improvements against the home's market value after improvements are completed. If you notice that most higher-priced homes for sale have upgraded kitchens, that's probably because the return on investment is high. This doesn't mean you have to tear out the cabinets and install top-of-the-line designer appliances. In some cases, painting old cabinets, installing new hardware, and hanging new light fixtures are enough to give your kitchen an updated look.
When you're selling a home "as is," this means you will not make any repairs or offer the buyer any discount to cover the cost of repairs. Based on your real estate needs and your timeline to move, your real estate agent can help you decide whether an "as is" sale or a discounted price is your best option.
Making home improvements either for your family to enjoy or for the purpose of selling your home is a great idea. But some improvements are a better use of your money than others, so how do you know you're spending your home improvement dollars wisely?
This is an important question if you plan to sell in the near future. You'll want to undertake projects that have a higher return on investment (ROI), ones that will help sell your home at a better price, allowing you to recoup most of if not more than what you put in. In general, focus on projects that leave a big impression on buyers. Here's where you can focus your efforts.
Buyers expect and assume the basic systems of a house are functioning as intended. They don't want to think about maintenance, at least initially. They know these types of repairs can potentially be costly, and it will impact the selling price.
When you're selling, the first impression is so important. Improving your curb appeal gets your home noticed and buyers in the door.
Projects that create additional living space or improve the efficiency and function of an existing space almost always make a big impact.
Making the most of your home improvement dollars with a high ROI project will really pay off when it's time to sell. You'll make a better impression with buyers and that translates to a better selling price.
Tax season is upon us, and if you sold your house in 2020 (or are planning to sell it in the future), you're in luck! Thanks to the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, there are some tax deductions you can take that may result in serious savings! Here are a few of the most important.
While the information above is an excellent starting point, remember that each person's finances are different. It's always a good idea to speak to a tax professional before filing your taxes, particularly in years when you have a major life change, like a home sale.
When you're selling a home, curb appeal is a big factor. For most buyers, the curb appeal of a property can make or break the sale within a matter of minutes! While a well-kept property will entice buyers to take a closer look, a property that looks neglected will quickly send buy in the other direction.
Curb appeal refers to how a property looks from the street. It's a combination of visual appeal, attention to detail, and good maintenance. When a house looks neat and well-maintained from the outside, buyers usually assume that the inside of the house looks the same. Since 90% of buyers start their search online, photos showing eye-catching curb appeal definitely attract attention.
Great curb appeal not only maximizes the sale price of your property, but it also motivates buyers to view the home. On average, a home with fresh paint, well-kept features, and manicured lawns sell for about 10% more than similar homes with less curb appeal. Think of your home's curb appeal as the first impression for buyers.
If you're selling your home, you can boost curb appeal by taking steps to attract buyers. Depending on your budget, there are numerous things you can do to put your home in the spotlight.
Focus on Landscaping
Whether buyers are driving by or searching online, the front yard is the first thing they see. This includes trees, shrubs, garden areas, walkways, and driveways. Lush green grass, manicured trees and shrubs, and well-maintained walkways and driveways are a big plus. To boost your home's curb appeal, get rid of weeds and debris, trim the trees and shrubs, plant colorful flowers, spread a layer of fresh mulch, and repair cracks in walkways and driveways.
Increase Nighttime Appeal
Prospective buyers might drive by after dark to check out the neighborhood. Exterior lighting is an easy, affordable way to add show-stopping curb appeal after dark. Landscape lighting creates a warm, inviting glow and visibility along walkways and driveways, while porch lights, spots, and downlights showcase important landscape and house features. If your garage is attached to the house, don't forget to light it up as part of the exterior.
Freshen Up Outdoor Features
Take a good look at your home's exterior to check for needed upgrades and repairs. Focus on the main features buyers will consider a big expense if they have to make repairs.
Welcome Your Guests
Once buyers get past the front yard, they are focused on the house. By creating a welcoming entryway, buyers will be eager to get inside. You can start by making sure the front porch is clean and well-lit to create an inviting atmosphere. If things look a little dingy, give your porch a fresh coat of paint or stain, paint your front door a bright color, add a charming porch swing, and fill outdoor pots with fresh greenery or colorful flowers.
When selling your home, first impressions can make or break a sale. By sprucing up your curb appeal, you can attract more buyers, sell your home faster, and pocket more profit for your next move.
Selling a home "as is" is often viewed as a convenient option for homeowners who are looking to move on from a particular property. In some cases, the seller wants to transact quickly or may not have the financial resources available to make the repairs.
Selling a home as is means the property will be sold in its current state — no matter how good or bad the condition may be. In other words, the transaction takes place with the understanding that the seller won't be on the hook for any repairs.
Many believe selling a home "as is" is the easiest way to move on from a property, but that's usually not the case.
Common Misconceptions About Selling A Property "As Is"
Selling a property as is does not mean the homeowner is excused from having to reveal facts about the property, disclose potential problems, or honestly answer a buyer's questions. States have different rules about which details relating to a home's condition a seller must disclose to a buyer; however, in most cases, it's important to disclose what you know.
Additionally, real estate agents are often required to disclose known details about a home's condition including:
Many buyers may also be under the impression that they'll have the opportunity to negotiate repairs following the home inspection. However, if you don't plan on committing to any home maintenance, it's important to let the buyer know upfront.
Selling A Home As Is May Impact Buyer's Perception
An "as is" home sale is almost always perceived negatively by potential buyers, so you may be limiting your market size to investors and home flippers. Additionally, it can signal to buyers that you are desperate to sell the home, which means you'll likely lose negotiating leverage. Buyers that are interested are more likely to try to lowball your sale price. As a result, listing a home as is can prove challenging for both sellers and real estate agents.
Reasons Why You Might Want to Sell A Home As Is
While many would recommend avoiding an "as is" home sale if possible, there are some valid reasons why sellers may want to consider it:
Listing a home can require work and dedication on behalf of a determined seller, but if you are experiencing a situation where you need to list your home "as is", it's a good idea to weigh the pros and cons.
Every home sale is unique and presents its own set of challenges. Working with an experienced real estate agent is usually the best way to determine the right strategy for your property.
As a seller, finding yourself in the midst of a bidding war might sound like a dream come true. Two or more parties trying to outbid one another as the price of your home climbs higher and higher—what could possibly go wrong?
But a bidding war can backfire on you if you're not careful, leaving you with nothing but wasted time and effort. Here's your seller's guide to navigating a bidding war so you come out on top.
What Is a Bidding War?
It's important to understand what a bidding war is and also what a bidding war isn't. A bidding war is when two prospective buyers are bidding higher and higher to purchase a property. This drives up the price of the property, which can be great for the seller.
A situation in which two prospective buyers send in differing offers, one higher than the other, is not a bidding war. It simply means that you have multiple offers. The characteristic that defines a bidding war is active competition between the interested parties.
How Do You Handle a Bidding War?
The primary goal when you're selling your home is generally to get the highest possible price. A bidding war may be a great opportunity to accomplish this goal, but it's also important to be honest with your potential buyers and to remember that the highest offer isn't always the best offer.
Should You Encourage a Bidding War?
It is possible to encourage a bidding war over your property, and there can be real advantages to doing so. While maintaining a good, transparent relationship with your buyers is a top priority, you can stack the deck in your favor to make a bidding war more likely.
By playing your cards right, a bidding war can drive up the price of your home and increase your profit. Of course, to create the prime conditions that might lead to a bidding war, it helps to have a great team of real estate professionals working for you.
Selling a home requires more time and effort than many people realize. When closing day rolls around, it's time to pay the people who helped along the way. From attorneys and contractors to Uncle Sam, there are plenty of people who will be lining up to take their cut before the deal is done.
When you're estimating the profit you'll see from your home sale, it's important not to forget about the closing costs you'll pay. While the final costs vary based on several factors, including where your home is located, most sellers can expect to allocate between 6% and 10% of the home's sale price to closing costs. Here's an overview of what you can expect.
It's always a good idea to contact your lender and get an estimate of what you'll owe so you can properly prepare.
You should be able to receive a full estimate and breakdown of your closing costs before your scheduled closing day. Make sure you review it closely. This will allow you to ask questions so you understand everything you're expected to pay. Taking the time to do this will ensure you're prepared and help prevent any unpleasant last-minute surprises.
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.
When it comes to selling your home, remember there are more savvy buyers out there than ever before. Many insist on a home inspection, and most mortgage lenders won't go forward with a financing package until there's an inspector's report on file. No house is perfect, but the right repairs today can make tomorrow's home maintenance look a lot more manageable. That helps you sell much faster.
Usually, the winning strategy is to go after the biggest problems before selling your home. Those include roof repair, heating and cooling system performance, wiring issues, and sewage or septic system problems. But what if those things are in great shape? If you have any leftover home repair budget, you can invest it in targeted projects. These won't take long, but they can impress prospective buyers and give you negotiating power for the asking price you really want.
Let's review five of the best fast fixes before selling your home:
As you get ready for selling your home, it's important to balance your investment with expected returns in the form of a higher asking price and a faster time to closing. An experienced local real estate agent can help you take advantage of the most valuable trends.
Dog, cat, bird, fish, and beyond – whatever species your companion is, you know a pet isn't just an animal. They're family! In fact, studies have shown a big yard for Fido to play in is a factor in many buyers' decisions about which homes to bid on. But what happens when you're on the other side of the equation: Selling your home?
Selling your home can take lots of time and energy. Many small details add up to success. From smells to sounds to stains, the signs that an animal lives in the home can turn off certain buyers. It may not be fair to your furry or feathered friend, but they can sour the crucial first impression.
Here's how to get set for successfully selling your home when you have pets:
Your pets may not understand that you're selling your home, but you know they'd want you to succeed. With these tips, you'll minimize the chance that they'll have any unintended effects on your plans.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 your home and buying a home are two significant real estate transactions that require your patience, commitment, and focus. Each of these processes involves many steps, significant attention to detail, and hours of effort to ensure that the completed sale meets all of your expectations. Alone, selling your home or buying a home is quite a feat — attempting to do both simultaneously is another endeavor altogether. If you're planning on juggling a home sale and purchase at the same time, here are a few tips to make these dual transactions as smooth as possible.
Although it's typically easier to buy and sell a home separately, there are quite a few scenarios in which a homeowner would benefit from conducting both transactions at the same time. The biggest dilemma most homeowners face is determining which transaction they should attempt to finalize first. Each homeowner's situation is unique and specific factors will influence their decision. For example, someone who needs to relocate quickly should attempt to sell first while someone who has the finances on-hand to make an offer on their dream home should try to buy first.
Some benefits to selling first may include avoiding two simultaneous mortgage payments and having cash-on-hand to make a down payment on a new home. However, selling your home initially may make you feel pressured to buy quickly and force you to pay additional costs for temporary housing and storage. If you choose to buy before you sell, you'll have a place to move your belongings and you may feel less stressed during the home sale process but you also run the risk of not qualifying for a new mortgage or having your funds tied up in your older property.
Selling your home while buying a house is quite a feat but success in both endeavors is possible. Consult your real estate professional for advice before deciding which transaction to tackle first.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
How stressful is selling your home? Respondents in one survey ranked it higher than divorce, losing a job and becoming a first-time parent. Emotions can cause you to make bad decisions at a time when it's important to keep a clear head. Here are some expert tips to keep your emotions in check when selling your home.
Selling your home is a potent emotional experience. Acknowledge your feelings, but don't let them take over. Approach the sale as the business transaction it is and pour your emotions into making your new house a home.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Your house is a valuable asset, and likely the most valuable asset within your portfolio. There is no question that you want to get the best price possible when selling your home. As with all investments, getting the price you want requires answering the hard questions. To that end, the following are seven questions that every seller should ask their real estate agent before listing.
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 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.
If you're going to be selling your home, you'll want to make sure buyers can make an easy decision to say yes. Everyone knows the importance of finding a good real estate agent and pricing your home correctly, but your prep work is vital too, especially if you need to sell quickly. These five tips can do a lot to help your home sell faster.
No seller wants their home to stay on the market indefinitely with little interest. Making an effort to sell your home quickly will make everyone happy, and you'll be able to look for your next new home sooner.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Life is constantly changing--relationships, jobs, children, and family. All of these things cause shifts in our lifestyles and more specifically where we live.
People relocate to a new home for a number of reasons: career, relationships, family, finances or just for change itself.
Here are nine reasons why people move:
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.