Real Estate · Selling

It’s Hard to Keep Up

During the past twelve months, how many homes have you sold? Ten, twenty, fifty? How did you attract the buyers? Which marketing techniques were most effective? How did interest rates affect the selling price?  Are discount points the same today as twelve months ago?

Each day, the local real estate market changes. Buyers become more sophisticated and web-literate. Interest rates, discount points and closing costs fluctuate to the tune of the money markets. New homes become available and others sell.

Unless you are involved in local real estate on a daily basis, you’re likely to find that yesterday’s facts are today’s fantasies. So, if you plan to sell your home successfully at the best possible price, you’re going to need assistance to overcome the complexities of selling.

Make your choice of a representative carefully.  Areas of expertise to be considered include:

1) financing know-how and creativity
2) experience marketing homes like yours
3) internet literacy
4) pricing expertise
5) negotiating talent

Real estate transactions require a mix of facts and figures know-how combined with superior people and communications skills.

When selling your home, don’t underestimate the importance of obtaining strong representation by an experienced real estate agent. Remember, you will be competing against many other homes for the attention of qualified buyers. Your agent-advocate can produce just the right buyer!

Buying · Real Estate · Selling

Trade Up or Trade In?

If you’re ready to upgrade to a larger home, or need to relocate, you’re presented with a dilemma.  You can’t simply “trade in” like an automobile, so your choice is:

1) sell your existing home first, or
2) own two homes until the first one sells.

But what if you can’t find another home?  Will you be left on the street?  Or how can you afford to own two homes at one time?  What is the answer?

If owning two homes is out of the question, explain this to the agent who lists your home.  It’s a good idea to begin looking for your next home before you have a buyer for your old one, but not necessarily wise to attempt a purchase.

If you find another home, and make an offer contingent upon the sale of your present one, sellers are less likely to accept your offer. But while your home is for sale, continue looking at others.  Try to select two or three that meet your needs.  Then, as soon as you have a contract on your present home, begin negotiations to purchase your favorite.  If, by chance, it is already sold, you will still have the opportunity to purchase one of the others or possibly another new one that is new on the market.

Ask your agent to explain this situation in more detail.  The more you know, the more comfortable you will be with your decision.

Real Estate · Selling

When the Fur Flies

We all know how stressful a move can be, but if pets are part of your family, there may be an added level of anxiety.  Many real estate agents have practical knowledge from working with families with pets, and experience has proven that there are some simple steps you can take to alleviate the stress on your four-footed friends.

First be sure that your pets are wearing current tags.  It’s wisest to have your cell phone number as part of the tag’s information, so that you can be reached either here or there in an emergency.

Have a reasonable supply of any medications and food, so that you’re prepared during travel and upon arrival.  Before you move, do some research in your new area to locate a new veterinarian, and be sure to have copies of your current vet records ready to transfer.

When moving day arrives, seclude your pet from the chaos in a quiet room with a “Do Not Disturb – Pets Inside” sign.  In your new home, be sure to immediately set out all your pet’s cherished belongings, like favorite toys, bowls and bedding.

As we all know, pets keenly perceive emotions.  Taking a few steps to be prepared will help to reduce your anxiety, and your pet will hopefully follow suit.  Consult with your veterinarian for other excellent moving day advice.

Buying · Real Estate · Selling

It Takes Two To Harmonize

Whether you are buying a home or selling one, it is likely that once an Offer To Purchase is on the table, you’ll enter a phase of the transaction called Negotiation.  Fear not – this is how both sides “win.”  By following a few reasonable recommendations, both parties can turn Negotiation into Agreement.

It’s best to begin with a fair asking price and a fair offer.  Sellers, don’t shoot for the moon.  Buyers, don’t lowball on a home you really want.  Overpricing is a turnoff to potential buyers, while low offers may meet with outright rejection.

Next, understand and respect each other’s priorities. Seller won’t budge on price?  Perhaps they would pay more of the transaction fees. Buyer urgently needs quick possession?  Perhaps they would forgo some repairs.

This illustrates the value of compromise.  A win-win situation doesn’t necessarily mean that both parties get everything they demand.  Avoid emotional decisions and be open to concessions.  If you can’t agree on a particular term, try meeting in the middle.  Who will pay closing costs?  Who will pay for repairs?  You needn’t hold up the entire agreement when you can simply split the difference on certain terms and move forward.

Experienced real estate professionals are successful negotiators.  Bringing buyers and sellers together is Job Number One.  Protect your best interests by seeking the advice of a professional.

This article was originally published on this site on December 14, 2015. It has been updated reflect the current home market.

Real Estate · Selling

Three Possible Prices

There are many factors that affect how you’ll price your home when you’re ready to sell.  In spite of market conditions, interest rates, and so on, every transaction is unique.  So, you should seek the assistance of an agent and prepare yourself and your home well in advance of placing the For Sale sign out front.

Sometimes a home will have three different possible prices: the price the sellers want to net, the price the buyers would like to offer, and the final sales price agreed upon by both parties.  Your home’s ultimate value is determined by other local sale prices, which are often a product of supply and demand.

The asking price or the offered price are not the whole story, however.  While an offer of $500,000 doesn’t seem to appear as good as an offer of $510,000, pay close attention to the terms attached to that higher offer.  If the buyers also want you to offset closing costs and deduct for a decorating allowance, the “clean” offer of $500,000 might actually put more money in your pocket.

It’s wise to seek representation and assistance with pricing, marketing, negotiation and closing.  Put a real estate agent with local experience to work for you.  Once armed with the facts relating to terms and conditions of local sales, you can move forward with confidence in your listing.

Real Estate · Selling

Paperwork and Personality

As you prepare to sell your home, you must begin by making a choice: to seek the services of a professional or to proceed without representation.  You realize that your home is probably your biggest financial investment, with a value that could be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Now imagine if you had a legal problem involving that kind of money – would you prepare and present your own case to the judge without an attorney?  Not surprisingly, managing legal issues is just one of the top reasons that most sellers seek the representation of a qualified real estate professional.

On the paperwork side, there are offers to purchase, sales agreements, inspection reports, title investigations, and more, all leading up to the final closing.  On the personal side, there is the experience and skill required to successfully negotiate between parties, as well as to anticipate and resolve the myriad issues that can arise from listing to offer to sale.

Considering the size of your investment, why would you put any of your stake at risk by forgoing the assistance and advice of an experienced professional?  Maximize your returns with a minimum of hassle and cost.  You wouldn’t go to court without an attorney, and you wouldn’t operate without a surgeon.  It’s easy to see that some things are just too important to handle without an expert.

Note: This article was originally published on this site on January 12, 2016. It has been updated reflect the current home market.

Inspections · Real Estate · Selling

Offer "Peace of Mind"

Do you want to add to the appeal of your home when selling? Aside from basic mechanical or cosmetic repairs your home may need before you list, there’s one other easy and inexpensive way to make buyers feel good about purchasing your home. It’s called a “home warranty,” and for years it’s been a popular marketing tool, especially for older homes.

We all understand that appliances and home systems like heating and air eventually wear out and break down with age. By offering a home warranty to buyers, they are actually receiving “peace of mind,” since the warranty will cover repairs to appliances and other systems for the first year of new ownership.

You also increase the likelihood of a better offer, since buyers won’t try to subtract the cost of expected repairs. They will know they are covered by the home warranty if anything should go wrong. To file a claim, the buyers call a single toll-free number to arrange repairs for any item covered in the policy. Home warranties are so practical that buyers often continue their coverage past the first year.

When selling your home, ask your agent about the different home warranties available, various coverage plans, and their cost. You’ll find that this minimal investment could pay off handsomely in a full price offer from confident buyers! Sound good?

Note: This article was originally published on this site on September 29, 2015. It has been updated reflect the current home market.