Monthly Archives: January 2014

How to Get Top Dollar in The Spring Market

How to Get Top Dollar in The Spring Market

Especially Helpful if you haven’t sold a house in a while

The best chance for selling your property is within the first seven weeks. Studies show that the longer a property stays on the market, the less the seller will net.

Below are some of the key things that you need to consider when pricing/marketing your home:

PRICING

It is very important to price your property at a competitive market value right when you list it. The market is so competitive that even over-pricing by a few thousand dollars could mean that your house will not sell. It’s interesting, but your first offer is usually your best offer. Here are reasons for pricing your property at the market value right from the start in order to net you the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time.

An overpriced home:

* Minimizes offers

* Lowers showings

* Lowers agent response

* Limits financing

* Limits qualified buyers

* Nets less for the seller

Common realtor stories hold that eighty percent of the marketing is done when we decide on what price to list your home. If you are unwilling to list at current market value, you would be better off not putting it on the market at this time.

CLEANLINESS

Most people are turned off by even the smallest amount of uncleanness or odor when buying a home. Sellers lose thousands of dollars because they do not adequately clean. If your house is squeaky clean, you will be able to sell your home faster and net hundreds, if not thousands of dollars more. If you are planning on moving, why not get rid of that old junk now so that your house will appear larger? Make more space. Odors must be eliminated especially if you have dogs, cats, or young children in diapers or if you are a smoker. You may not notice the smell, but the buyers do! Most agents have a difficult time communicating to their sellers about odor. If you employ an agent to get the most amount of money for you, please don’t take offense if he must confront you about odor problems.

ACCESSIBILITY

The only way any agent can show a house is to have access to your front door key(s)!

I and other top buyers agents will not show your home if both the key(s) and access are not easily available. We do not have time to run around town all day picking up and dropping off keys or organizing around your, your listing agent’s, theirs and their buyers’ busy schedules . We want to show and sell homes!

If it isn’t easy to show you’re helping your competition, because their homes are.

While I’m at it, when your home is being shown  please do the following:

* Keep all lights on

* Keep all drapes and shutters open

* Keep all interior doors unlocked

* Leave soft music playing

* Take a short walk with your children and pets

* Let the buyer be at ease and let the agents do their job

PAINT & CARPETING

Paint is your best improvement investment for getting a greater return on your money. Paint makes the whole house smell clean and neat. If your house has chipped paint, exposed wood, or the paint looks faded, it is time to paint. If your carpet is worn, dirty, outdated, or an unusual color, you may need to seriously consider replacing it. Many houses do not sell because of this problem. Don’t think that buyers have more money than you have to replace carpet. They don’t. They simply buy elsewhere.

FRONT YARD & CURB APPEAL

Your front yard immediately reflects the inside condition of your house to the buyer. People enjoy their yards. Make certain that the trees are trimmed so the house can be seen from the street. Have the grass mowed, trimmed and edged. Walkways should be swept. Debris cleared away. Remove parked cars. This all adds to curb appeal. If a buyer doesn’t like the outside, they may not stop to see the inside.

Closing Checklist … Items You’ll Need at Your Closing

Closing Checklist … Items You’ll Need at Your Closing

Okay, so now you’ve bought/sold a house and the closing is happening soon.

If it’s your first time or your first time in a long while here’s a quick primer.

If you bring the following, you should have everything you need.

  • New Deed drawn up by your attorney. (sellers)
  • Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide certificate of compliance (sellers)
  • Title V certificate of compliance (if serviced by private sewer) (sellers)
  • Final water/sewer bill, stamped paid in full (if municipal service not serviced by well) (sellers)
  • Keys and garage door openers ( leave duplicates in a drawer in the house) (sellers)
  • Copies of any paid bills or affidavits required for work done after home inspection issues were negotiated. (sellers)
  • Instruction booklets, receipts, builder drawings and anything else you have that the buyer could find very useful after moving in to your home (leave them in a drawer in the house). (sellers)
  • Copy of receipt or statement for fuel oil in the oil tank and/or propane in the propane tank (if applicable) (sellers)
  • Driver’s license or another form of personal identification. (sellers & buyers)
  • Your personal checkbook for miscellaneous items and/or adjustments. (sellers & buyers)
  • Certified check or cashier’s check drawn in Buyer’s name or whatever the conveying attorney specifies for the difference between the sale price of the property and the amount of the mortgage less any deposit already made. The final amount will be spelled-out in detail on the form known as the HUD1. (buyers)
  • At the closing, the bank may require 2-3 months tax payment (to be held in Escrow by the Bank); PMI when applicable will be collected for the first year. The exact amount can be obtained from the mortgaging bank prior to the closing; it will be spelled-out in detail on the  HUD1. (buyers)
  • Additional fees can be paid with cash or personal checks. The exact amount can be obtained from the bank’s attorney prior to or at the closing. (buyers)
  • Personal property of the sellers can be paid with cash or personal checks. (buyers)
  • Remaining fuel oil in the oil tank (if applicable) can be paid with cash or personal checks. (buyers)
  • Paid insurance policy or binder for the new property (whichever the conveying attorney specifies) in an amount equal to the amount of the mortgage. Ask your insurance agent for advice on this matter. (buyers)
Ramp Up Your Curb Appeal and Sell, Sell, Sell

Ramp Up Your Curb Appeal and Sell, Sell, Sell

When you’re preparing your house for sale, remember the importance of first impressions. There’s an old saw in any business that says “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”, and in real estate it’s an absolute given.  Buyers can be turned-on and turned-off by the strangest things … more than half the houses I’ve sold are sold when the buyers get out of their cars. So stand across the street from your house and imagine yourself pulling-up and seeing the house for the very first time. What do you see?

Here are some easy things you can do to ramp-up your curb appeal.

Outside

* Sweep front walkway

* Remove newspapers, bikes and toys

* Park extra cars away from the property

* Trim back the shrubs

* Apply fresh, clean paint throughout

* Clean windows and window coverings throughout

* Keep pet areas clean

* Keep plumbing and all appliances in working order

* Maintain all sealant (window, tub, shower, sink, etc.) in good condition

* Make sure roof and gutters are in good condition

* Mow the lawn more frequently and plant flowers

Inside

* Clean until the Kitchen and bathrooms shine

* GIve a quick once-over with the vacuum, carpets look cleaner

* Place fresh flowers in the main room

* Put everyday dishes away and set a formal dining room display for decoration

* Make beds and put all clothes away

* Enhance the spaciousness of each room

* Open drapes and turn on lights for a brighter feel

* Straighten closets

* Minimize live house plants … keep only the most beautiful/favorites

* Put away all silk flowers and fake plants

 * Put toys away

* Turn off television

* Play soft music on the radio/stereo

* Keep pets out of the way and pet areas clean and odor-free – place cat litter boxes in out-of-the-way places and refresh the litter often

* Secure jewelry, cash, prescription medication and other valuables

Important Reminders:

1. Potential buyers always feel more comfortable if the owners are not present.

2. If people knock on your door to see your property, refer them to your real estate professional for an appointment. Never let them in.

3. Leave a number where you can be reached with your agent if you are leaving town, even for a weekend. Keep your cell phone on and forward your house phone to it.

In closing, The Appearance of Overall Excellent Condition = Buyer Offers

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