Reasons to Consider Making a Move

When is it a good time to sell your property and buy another home? Whenever there’s a good reason to do so! There are many things that may motivate you to consider making a move.

For example:

  • Your current home no longer meets your needs. You may have more space than you need or you might be looking for a larger home to accommodate a growing family.
  • You’re looking for features your current property can’t accommodate. For example, you might want to install a pool but don’t have the backyard space or you might want a larger living room for entertaining but don’t have room for a renovation.
  • You want to live in a more desirable community. This is one of the most common motivators since the area you live in has a huge impact on your lifestyle.
  • You want to move closer to work, school, family, shopping, theater, etc.
  • You’re simply bored of your current property and are ready for a change.

Whatever your reasons, if you’re thinking of looking for a new home – even if you haven’t made a firm decision yet – we should talk.

Be a Savvy Home Viewer

The last thing you want to experience after purchasing a home is “buyer’s regret”. That’s the sinking feeling you get when you realize, days or weeks later, that you may have made the wrong decision.

Say, for example, you bought a home based on your first impressions. When you viewed it, you thought it was just perfect. Then, a few weeks after you moved in, you discovered that the bedrooms are smaller than you had originally thought and the street is loud and busy. That wouldn’t be a very good feeling!

That’s why it’s important to become a savvy home viewer. When you visit a property for sale, you need to move past your first impressions and take a comprehensive look at the property and the neighborhood. That way, there won’t be any unpleasant surprises later on.

Here are some tips on how to do just that:

  • Take the time to carefully view each room, including closets and storage areas.
  • Make sure you have measurements of all the rooms.
  • Imagine yourself living in the home. Where will you have dinner? How will your furniture look? What is it going to be like to travel to work and school each day? Where will your kids play?
  • Get a professional home inspection. Then, make sure you read and understand the report.
  • Understand and get estimates for any maintenance and repair issues, such as required bathroom upgrades or roof shingles that need replacement.
  • Walk in the community and get a clear sense of what it’s going to be like to live there.
  • Carefully consider any negative issues before telling yourself, “I can live with this.”

What’s Great About your Community?

When potential buyers view your home, they are just as interested in the surrounding area as they are in the property itself. So, before listing your home on the market, it makes sense to think about your community and its key characteristics.

Here’s a good way to do that:

Imagine a relative from out-of-town coming to visit. She may say that she likes your community, and wants to know what you enjoy most about living there.

How would you answer?

Would you talk about the friendly nearby residents? Would you list the community events? Name all the local shopping? Describe the nice restaurants within walking distance? Or tell her about the local playground?

There are probably many things about your community that make it great. What are the top three? Those are probably characteristics of the area that most buyers will want to know.

The Problem with “Stuff”

The late comedian George Carlin used to have a routine called, “A place for my stuff.” He was referring to the idea that, besides being a place to sleep and eat, the purpose of a home is essentially to store all the stuff you accumulate over the years.

That may or may not be true. But, if you’re like most homeowners, you probably have a lot of stuff in your home… stuff in closets, and stuff in the garage.

That’s just what happens!

The problem, however, comes when you try to sell your home. What may seem to you like a comfortable home office filled with supplies, office equipment, books and papers, may look to a buyer like an uncomfortable, small and cluttered space.

That’s the problem with “stuff”. Too much of it, and it gets in the way of buyers seeing and appreciating the great features of your home.

So, when you’re selling your home, what do you do with all that extra stuff?

One solution is to have a garage or yard sale. (If you call it a “moving sale” you’ll attract more buyers.) This is a great way to get rid of the things you don’t need anymore – and, perhaps, make a few dollars!

Another solution is to give some of the items you don’t need to charity. There are many local organizations that can make good use of second hand clothing, furniture, and toys.

Finally, for all of the things you want to hang on to, but are cluttering up your home, consider renting a locker at a self-storage company.

One thing is for certain. The more spacious and comfortable each room of your home appears to potential buyers, the more likely it is that they’ll see the true value of your property and become interested.

What’s Memorable about your Home?

Chances are, there is a characteristic of your property that everyone remembers, appreciates, and maybe even envies. It could be a spacious kitchen with an island and upgraded appliances… or a stunning backyard with a wrap-around deck and beautiful landscaping… or rustic hardwood floors that contrast with elegant, high-end ceramics.

Whatever it is about your property that people tend to like and remember, will also appeal to potential buyers. So, when listing your home for sale, make sure to emphasize that characteristic.

When buyers view homes, they tend to remember just one, or sometimes up to two or three features of each property. “Oh, that’s the house with the large rec room and bar.” Or, “That’s the property with the gorgeous landscaping.”

These are characteristics that help sell a property. Make sure you highlight them.

However, sometimes homeowners lose perspective of what is truly appealing about their property. Ask friends to tell you what features in your home make it appealing. You might be surprised by their answers.

What Happens when you Make an Offer?

If you want to buy a new washing machine, you simply go into a retail store and pay the listed price. Pretty simple.

However, it doesn’t work quite that way when it comes to real estate. Although a home will usually have a “listed price”, you must make an “offer” for that property and then the seller must accept it. In fact, if there are other buyers interested in the property, you may not get the home even if you offer the listed price!

That’s why it’s so important to work with a good real estate professional, who can provide information and experience to help you determine the right offer to submit.

Once you make an offer, if the seller accepts it, the home is yours. If the seller rejects your offer, it could be because they’ve accepted another buyer’s offer, feel your offer is too low, or have rejected one of your conditions.

Sometimes, the seller will come back with a counteroffer. If you accept it, congratulations, you’ve bought the property. If you don’t like the counteroffer, you can make a counter-counteroffer!

This back and forth negotiation can get a bit tricky, which is another reason to have a professional by your side.

Is Your Home in “Move-In” Condition?

When buyers view your home, they ask themselves whether they like it. Assuming that the answer is “yes”, they try to determine how much work would be required before they could move in.

It’s not uncommon for a buyer to be interested in a property but be turned off by the perceived amount of work required. In fact, this can sometimes discourage a buyer from even making an offer.

That’s why ensuring your home is in as “move-in” condition as possible is so advantageous. It will help sell your home faster and, often, for a better price.

So what does “move-in” condition mean? It means that there are no repairs or maintenance issues that need to be addressed immediately. Buyers can be discouraged by seemingly minor issues, such as a loose closet shelf or a lightly dripping shower head. So it’s important to get those little repairs done before showing your home.

Buyers will also likely want to know the age of your furnace, water heater and other appliances, in order to anticipate when they will need to be repaired or replaced. If you have transferrable warranties for any of these items, be sure to let buyers know.

A fresh coat of paint is one of the best investments you can make in preparing your home for sale. More than any other repair or renovation, a coat of paint can make just about any room look almost new and move-in ready.

Buyers are sometimes worried about having to purchase new window coverings. If your window coverings will stay with the home, make that clear to buyers too.

Generally, the more you can do to make your home seem ready to move in, the better.

Want more tips on selling your home quickly and for the best price? Call today!

How Much Can you Afford?

Why is it so important to know how much you can afford to spend on a home?

Two reasons.

First, you don’t want to buy a property and then find out, after you’ve moved in, that you can’t financially maintain it. That would mean having to resell it under stressful conditions.

Second, you don’t want to settle for a property that’s less than ideal, when you really could have afforded the “dream home” you’ve always wanted.

So how do you figure out how much you can afford to pay for your next home?

The first step is to gain a clearer understanding of how much your current home will likely sell for in today’s market. That amount, together with other financial resources you might have (such as savings), will determine your available down payment.

The next thing you’ll need to figure out is the maximum amount of mortgage for which you qualify.

Say, through the proceeds of the sale of your home combined with your savings, your expected down payment is $150,000. If the lender authorizes a mortgage of $375,000, then you can afford a $525,000 home.

Typically your lender determines your maximum mortgage based on, among other things, a percentage of your income, to ensure you can maintain the property.

It’s worth doing your own calculations too. Calculate your anticipated utilities, insurance, and property tax, and make sure you have some money set aside for unanticipated expenses.

Of course, you don’t need to spend as much as you qualify for on a new home. A home that meets your needs in terms of property type, features, and community, may in fact cost you less.

Consider the Possibilities

You’re shopping for a new home. You visit a property that looks great from the outside, but when you go inside to explore the rooms, you’re disappointed. The kitchen is cluttered and “feels” small. The living room seems too wide. The master bedroom doesn’t look comfortable at all.

Should you strike this home off your list of possibilities?

Maybe. Maybe not. You see, there may be any number of reasons why a room doesn’t look appealing. Some of those reasons may have little to do with the size and configuration of the space.

For example, a bedroom might look tight and uncomfortable because there are two over-sized dressers taking up most of the space, making the room feel cluttered. Without them the room could be ideal.

The kitchen might seem small because the toaster, coffeemaker, spice rack and numerous other items are using up all the counter space. If you can imagine those gone, you might see how roomy the kitchen could feel.

So the next time you’re viewing a home, consider the possibilities for each room, not just how the room actually looks now.

How Much is Your Home Worth?

If you are like most homeowners, you have probably often wondered what your home is currently worth.

You may want to know the value of your home just because you’re curious, or because you need to know the financial value of this important investment, or even because you’re thinking of making a move in the near future.

These are all good reasons. So how do you find out?

Well, a lot of homeowners simply guess. You might have heard a friend or colleague say, “We bought this property for such and such five years ago. So I bet we could get such and such if we sold it today!”

Unfortunately, a guess is just a guess. It’s often wrong.

Other homeowners might find out what the “house around the corner” sold for last month, and base their estimate on that. While that’s actually a more accurate predictor of what your home is worth, you can still be off by tens of thousands of dollars.

The best way to find out what your home would sell for in today’s market is to calculate its Current Market Value. This is done by reviewing what similar homes in your area have sold for recently – usually within the last six months – and then, based on that data, and the unique characteristics of your home, determining the value of your property today.