Does Location Really Matter?

You find a beautiful home available on the market, but you’re not so sure about the location. Does it really matter all that much? Yes, it does. That’s why you’ll often hear REALTORS® say, “Location, location, location.”

The location of a home you’re considering buying will affect you in two ways.

First, it will affect the property’s future resale value, especially if the area is becoming less desirable.

Second, it will affect your lifestyle. If the area doesn’t have the features you want – nearby schools and playgrounds, walking trails, proximity to activities that interest you, such as golf or restaurants – you probably won’t enjoy living there.

A good REALTOR® will help you find the right home in the best location for you.

The Benefits of a Pre-Sale Inspection

Your home probably has dozens of great features that are going to help it stand out and sell faster. Perhaps it has a cozy sunken living room? Or an equipped and smartly decorated kitchen that Rachel Ray would envy? Or a location in a desirable area?

All these things will help.

But there’s another selling feature you should consider adding: a pre-sale inspection.

A professional home inspection is usually done on behalf of the buyer before the deal to purchase a property is finalized. In fact, you can expect any offers to purchase your home to be “conditional upon satisfactory home inspection.” However, there are two good reasons why you, as the seller, should get the home inspection done:

Reason #1

A professional inspection can identify problems that might otherwise thwart the sale.

Say, for example, you get a great offer but the buyer’s home inspector discovers a minor leak in the foundation. That might be enough to jeopardize the deal. However, if you had a professional inspection done, you would have had the opportunity to get that problem fixed in advance of the offer.

Reason #2

Informing potential buyers that a professional inspection has been done is a great selling feature. It demonstrates to buyers that there are no hidden problems with the property, which gives them more confidence to make an offer.

A certificate of home inspection can be as enticing a feature to home buyers as a wrap-around deck!

Want To Sell Your Home Faster?

Let Potential Buyers Feel at Home!

You may think that being a host or tour guide for potential buyers who are viewing your home is a good idea. After all, who knows more about the wonderful features of your property than you do?

The problem is, buyers don’t feel the same way.

They much prefer to see your home with only a REALTOR® present. This helps them feel less like an intruder and more comfortable giving your property their full consideration.

Is Your Home Market Ready?

Putting your home on the market may be the last thing you have on your mind.

But as you know, life happens. Things change. You might unexpectedly find yourself in the position of wanting or having to quickly sell your home.

It happens more often than you might think. In fact, according to studies into why people sell their homes, more than a third are due to relatively quick and unexpected changes. Something happens – a job relocation, a lifestyle change – and the homeowner finds him or herself making a move.

In these situations, the biggest source of stress is caused by the need to prepare the current home for sale.

If you’ve lived in your house for a few years, or even just a few months, you know how quickly things can pile up. The garage and basement get filled with stored items. Things needing minor repairs get put on hold.

That’s why it’s a good idea, every so often, to inspect your property and ask yourself, “If I had to put my home on the market this month, what would I need to do?” Then plan to get those things done. That way, if you suddenly find yourself wanting to sell your home quickly and for the best price, you’ll be ready.

Does Home Staging Really Work?

You might have heard about home staging and wondered what it’s all about. There are even a few television reality shows that feature staging experts doing their magic on a particular house or condo.

So what exactly is it?

Home staging is simply setting up your home to maximize its appeal to potential buyers. It involves everything from cleaning and removing the clutter, to arranging the furniture and decorating. The concept was developed by Barb Schwarz, who has become a legend in the staging industry.

Think about some of the most attractive furniture showrooms you’ve visited. Remember that beautifully set table with the bottle of wine set perfectly in the middle? Did you notice the two wine glasses and place settings that made it look as if a couple were about to sit down for an enjoyable meal? That’s an example of staging.

Does staging work?

According to studies, it does. In fact, staging has been shown to help sell a home faster and for a good price. In some cases, effective staging has even increased the selling price.

Should you stage your home?

It’s definitely going to help make your property more appealing to buyers. When it comes to staging, you have a couple of choices: you can hire a professional stager, or you can stage your home on your own. A good REALTOR® can help by either recommending a stager or providing you with staging tips.

You can definitely do some or even all of the staging on your own. In fact, some of the simplest staging techniques are easy to implement. Putting fresh flowers in the kitchen is an example of staging. So is arranging furniture in a room so that it looks as bright and spacious as possible. But if you have a difficult space or you need to bring in or reorganize furniture, you may want to consider a professional.

Trying To Find A Bargain Home

You’ve heard the story. Someone finds a home on the market that seems underpriced, grabs it, and subsequently discovers it’s worth tens of thousands of dollars more than the selling price.

What a bargain!

The truth is, bargains like that rarely happen.

Most properties sell for somewhere close to their market value. That’s why you need to find the perfect home for you, in the right area, with a list price that is within your affordability range, and then buy that property for the lowest price your REALTOR® can negotiate.

When you shop for the right property at the right price, you have a good chance of finding and buying your dream home.

But if you go into the market with a plan to find a bargain, you risk overlooking those homes that might otherwise be great opportunities for you. Why? Because your price expectations will probably be a lot lower than the actual market prices.

The good news is that an experienced REALTOR® can help you find a home that’s perfect for you in every way: type, features, location — and price.

Your Property Is The Product

They say, “Home is where the heart is.” How true! That’s why, when selling your property, it’s important to realize that your home – your heart — is moving to another place. Your current property is now a product that you want to sell quickly, and for the best price possible.

Making that mental transition, however, isn’t easy. After all, you probably have at least one fond memory associated with every room in your house! Here’s a tip: Pack up the personal items, such as pictures and trophies. Rearrange the furniture. Make it look like someone else’s home.

When you let go of your emotional attachment to your property, you’ll be able to be more objective when preparing it for sale.

Open House Tips That Turn Viewers Into Buyers

What do you want from an open house? Obviously, you want to attract a lot of potential buyers – and have at least a few of them become seriously interested in your property.

So how do you make your open house as successful as possible?

You probably already know the basics: make sure your house is clean, bright and uncluttered.

However, there are some other open house success tips you may not know…

Get minor repairs done. A dripping faucet, a squeaky fence door, or a scuff on the wall may seem minor to you, but these problems can stand out like a sore thumb to a potential buyer.

Brighten things up. Make sure all areas of your home are well lit. Natural light has the most appealing effect. Open all the curtains.

Put away personal items. Trophies, pictures, mementos – all remind potential home buyers that they’re strangers in someone else’s home. Make each room look as impersonal yet inviting as possible. Stage your rooms as though they were in an attractive furniture store display.

Sniff around. There are probably smells around your home that you’ve become used to, or even like, such as lingering perfume scents in the bathroom or remnant smells from cooking an exotic meal. Try to make your home as scent-free as possible.

Take your pet for a long walk. Don’t leave them in the house during the event, no matter how friendly and well-behaved they may be. Some people just don’t like pets. Others may be allergic to them.

Make sure everything works. Check for burnt out light bulbs, run-on toilets, and derailed closet doors.

A final tip: Unless it’s absolutely necessary, don’t be at the open house yourself. Your presence can be intimidating to potential home buyers, no matter how cordial and helpful you try to be.

Traffic Matters

Like taxes, traffic is a fact of life. So, when you’re shopping for a new home, consider how the road situation will affect your commute to work, access to shopping and attractions, and the ability to conveniently reach places you need to go.

After all, it’s difficult to enjoy your new home if you’re constantly sitting in traffic!

Ask your REALTOR® about known congested streets and intersections, school busing routes, and access to public transit.

Be Ready To Move

You’ve spent a lot of time shopping for the perfect property. You made an offer, held your breath and – hooray! – you got the home! But now you’ve realized that you have to move in four weeks – and you’re far from prepared.

Don’t add stress to what was otherwise a smooth process. Make sure you have these things in place well in advance:

A good real estate lawyer. Selecting the right lawyer can take time, so you don’t want to leave this task to the last minute.

A reputable moving company. Start looking into moving firms right away to ensure you pick one that’s reputable, timely and will do a good job.

A contractor. Your new home may require some repairs and renovations that you want to get done right away.

Insurance. This is an easy detail to overlook. Don’t. Insurance costs can vary widely, and you want to make sure you take the time necessary, well in advance of your move, to select the right policy from the right company.

Getting these things in place in advance of your move will make the entire process go more smoothly.