Here are some essential tips for sellers and aspiring home buyers. Make sure you also lean into your trusted real estate professional for additional insight and guidance.
Smart strategies for sellers
Putting a home up for sale can be stressful, and some home owners have a hard time making objective decisions when it matters most.
Homeowners consistently overestimate the market value of their homes by 5 to 10 percent.
Price it right
Your listing agent will perform a current market analysis. Look closely at the sales of similar homes that have closed in the last 90 days and take the number of available listings into account when agreeing to an asking price.
Keep in mind
- Homes that have failed to attract a buyer in a reasonable period of time may be overpriced.
- Foreclosures or short sales in your neighborhood can impact your home's market value.
- It doesn't pay to set the price too high; most buyers will need financing and the bank will generously use an appraisal based on the recent sales to justify the loan amount.
Your agent may recommend that you perform repairs to correct visible flaws - or even suggest staging your home so it feels more spacious and potential buyers can picture themselves living there.
Take advantage of your market debut
pricing your home competitively from the get-go increases the odds of a quick sale.
- Nearly 35% of buyers looked online for properties as their first step and 40% found the home they ultimately purchased on the Internet. If your home is priced too high when it hits the market, you run the risk that active, qualified buyers will scroll right past it.
- New listings are called "hot" for a reason - buyers get excited about them. Showings are likely to cool off noticeably after the first 30 days on the market.
- When weighing an offer, make sure to consider the potential costs of holding on to your property longer than you want or need to (including the mortgage, property taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc)
Sweeten the deal
Sellers who agree to pay the buyer's closing costs can make it easier for first-timers to obtain financing, while offering to throw in appliances, upgrade allowances or other perks could swing a buyer's decision your direction.
- Get Ready
Talk to your mortgage professional about your financial situation and credit history to determine your loan options. It's important to know how much house you can afford based on your down payment and income. A strong letter of pre-approval can really add to your bargaining powers.
Have a meeting with your real estate agent. Discuss your needs and preferences and establish the best method for your agent to send listings and communicate with you about available properties. Tap into his or her knowledge of the local market. When it comes time to act, your agent will represent your interests in negotiations and work to ensure a smooth transaction.
2. Shop smart
Expect to pay more for a showplace; if you consider a fixer-upper, judge structural deficiencies more harshly than cosmetic flaws. It can be costly to replace major components or to change the layout, but redecorating with flooring fixtures or paint is relatively easy and sometimes offers instant equity potential.
Location is key. Even if the site seems perfect for you at the present time, think about whether it will appeal to a large pool of buyers if you should decide to sell in the future.
3. Go for it!
To write a winning offer without overpaying, look at the prices for comparable sales. Consider whether the property is in a high-demand area or if there is plenty of competition. Ask your agent to find out why it is for sale and if the seller seems motivated. If you accommodate the seller's preferred closing dates or other terms, he or she may be more flexible with the price.
Do Your Due Diligence
Schedule a home inspection after coming to terms. Many sellers expect to address issues related to safety or building codes, and additional repairs (or a credit) may be negotiated. Make sure all of your questions or concerns regarding the home's condition are answered through the inspection process.
If you must sell your current home to afford a new one, consider putting it on the market before starting your search. You can often negotiate a better deal on a purchase if your property is under contract or you already have the cash in hand.
Friends don't let friends rely on strangers for their real estate needs
The average family moves every 5 to 7 years. Whether moving across town or across the country, it's important for you and your family and friends to have an agent you can trust. I am part of an exclusive network of real estate professionals that operate throughout North America and are committed to serving and providing value to clients before, during and after the transaction. My network has closed approximately $17 billion in residential sales in 2010 through working by referral.
12.5% of Americans moved within the past year: of this percentage, 16.7% moved to a different county in the same state and 11.5% moved to a different state.
The advantages of working with an agent in my network:
- Our clients are more than a transaction. We serve as trusted advisers to our clients whether they need help with real estate or are looking for a recommendation to a reputable trade or service provider in their community.
- We are known for integrity. We are held to a higher standard, treating our clients with care and respect.
- We work by referral. Most of our clients were referred to us by other happy clients.
- We are all producers. we get results.
63% of adults have moved to a new community at least once in their lives.
Help me to help your family and friends
If you have a friend or family member who is moving out of town or to another region, i can refer them to a professional who offers the same values and excellent care that i do. Moving can be a stressful process; let me refer your loved ones to an agent from within my network to serve as a local expert and help ease the transition to a new area. call me with their names and phone numbers and i will follow up with them.
48% of buyers found their agent through a referral and 85% of people used an agent they previously worked with to buy or sell a home.
According to the Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, 49% of Homeowners say that using eco-friendly appliances and materials in their kitchen is important. If you want to make your kitchen renovation project more eco-friendly, follow these tips:
- For greener cabinets:
- Choose adhesives or glues that have no- or low-Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and formaldehyde-free.
- Refinish cabinets with no- or low-VOC, water-based paints and stains.
- If you use reclaimed wood, find out where the wood came from. Old wood may contain toxic chemicals.
2. For greener countertops:
- Look for countertops that are made from recycled or sustainable materials.
- Avoid using formaldehyde-based glues and adhesives during installation.
- Seal stone with water-based, low-odor sealant.
3. For greener flooring:
- Traditional linoleum is durable and easy to maintain.
- Cork is another green option, but make sure that you use cork that was manufactured in Spain and Portugal, where environmental and health regulations are stricter than in other foreign countries.
- Bamboo is a great choice. Just make sure it wasn't made with formaldehyde-based binders.
Look for the Energy Star certification on the appliances you buy. These appliances are energy efficient, which may mean more money in your pocket.
Thinking of renovating your kitchen? You're not alone. The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms of the house to remodel. Whether you're updating your kitchen with a fresh coat of paint and more storage or you're in for a complete overhaul, here are three questions to ask before you get out the sledgehammer.
- What does your dream kitchen look like? Make a list of everything you want in your ideal kitchen, including the floors, countertops, appliances, fixtures, back splash, etc. Flip through interior design magazines or look online for inspiration.
- How much of your dream kitchen can you afford?
- A basic kitchen upgrade: What's included? The kitchen footprints stay intact, but the space gets a basic, DIY cosmetic makeover including new budget-friendly appliances, a lick of paint and new hardware and fixtures. Cost, on average: $5,000 to $15,000
- A midsized renovation: What's included? It's a step above a basic upgrade that may include new flooring, cabinets, countertops and appliances in addition to new paint and fixtures. Cost, on average: $15,000 to $35,000
- A major remodel: What's included? This is a major overhaul that involves changing the current footprint of the room, such as tearing down walls or relocating appliances. Everything in the space is new, from cabinets and appliances to hardware and fixtures. Cost, on average: $35,000 to $75,000
3. Do you hire a professional? While most homeowners can do minor improvements themselves, it's often best to leave the bigger jobs to the professionals.
49% of homeowners planning a kitchen remodel intend to gut their existing kitchen, and 42% plan to update the existng space.
Support your favorite Exploration Park and win a dream vacation. Buy your tickets now for a chance to be one of three lucky winners! Tickets are $100 each and only 200 tickets will be sold. Drawing will be held March 29, 2014 during Jeans, Jewels & Jazz: Hooray for Hollywood, Turtle Bay's annual live and silent auction fundraiser.
(Need not be present to win.)
One lucky winner will win their choice of a 9, 10-night or 11-night Azamara Club Cruises voyage for two in a Veranda stateroom from a choice of one of 12 voyages operating between May and November 2014, courtesy of Azamara Club Cruises.
SANCTUARY - TREASURE IN TRINIDAD
Win 7 days/6 nights for up to 6 people in a dramatic ocean-view dream home in beautiful Trinidad, California, courtesy of Don and Sue Schepps.
A DAY AT THE RACES
A day at Thunderhill Raceway in Willow, California, for 6 people during the 2014 racing season. Donated by San Francisco Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA).
Voted "Best Place to Take the Kids" in the North State by Record Searchlight readers, Turtle Bay strives to bring the best in educational exhibitions and programs to people of all ages in our community. Proceeds from annual fundraisers like Jeans, Jewels & Jazz help support these exhibitions and programs.
For complete rules and information, please visit our website at www.turtlebay.org/auction. To purchase raffle tickets, download the raffle ticket request form or call (530) 242-3130 or (530) 242-315
Once you have taken care of the prep work to get your home on the market, you'll need to present your home to potential buyers. Even small cosmetic improvements will have a major impact on the sale of your home. The right touches can get a buyer excited about your home, but a few poor decisions may lose their interest completely.
Clean. Clean. Clean.
A tidy home is a loved home. Wipe finger prints and other smudges from glass, mirrors and other shiny surfaces. Wax and polish your hardwood and tile floors and vacuum your carpets often. Keep your oven, stove and kitchen counters clean and free of clutter.
Clean up the yard.
Make sure your landscape is well maintained to increase curb appeal. A more conservative yard is often a better showcase for your home, so be generous with your trimming and pruning. Pare down bushes and trees that block windows. Pull weeds out of your flowerbeds, lawn and sidewalk cracks. Repair minor asphalt and walkway cracks if necessary. If your home has gutters on the roof, clean and clear the frequently.
Let there be light.
Natural light is the best light to cast your home in. Replace faded and heavy curtains with sheer ones or install blinds. Opening the shades when showing your house will also make your home seem larger. Temporarily replace energy-efficient fluorescent lights with high-wattage incandescent bulbs to give your home a warmer glow. Make sure darker rooms are well lit.
Add a few little touches.
Replace worn or outdated doorknobs, cabinet handles and light switches. Buy fresh new towels for the bathrooms, but don't use them (keep the towels you use out of sight in a cabinet). Place flowers in windows that are walked by often. Display a seasonal decoration, such as a wreath or a wood ornament.
For your home's interior:
- Fill in the paint cracks in your walls and ceiling, and paint them a neutral color.
- Fix creaks and squeaks with WD-40.
- Modernize your kitchen and bathroom cabinets with new drawer pulls and handles.
For your home's exterior:
- Install window boxes with cheerful flowers or plants.
- Paint your window frames.
- Update your light fixtures.
- Replace your house numbers.
Putting your home on the market isn't as simple as placing a FOR SALE sign in your yard.
There are several steps to take prior to listing your home that will make the transaction smoother and quicker.
Hire a real estate agent. It may be tempting to list your home on your own to avoid paying a sales commission, but selling your own home is a full-time job itself. Areal estate professional represents the best opportunity to earn the maximum amount from your home's sale. An agent will recommend the best listing price, market your home effectively and show your home to buyers. An agent also recognizes what buyers are looking for in a new home.
Get your home inspected. Your are required to disclose any problems with your property to prospective buyers. Failure to do so will lead to further complication, even if you weren't aware of the flaws ahead of time. Hire a professional inspector to identify and document any problems with your property. Also, make sure your home has a clean bill of health from termites.
Make repairs ahead of time. A long list of necessary repairs is a major put-off for most buyers, who may decide to move on rather than deal with the headache of fixing up the home. Do as many repairs yourself as possible, then hire a contractor to complete the rest, If you decide not to make major repairs beforehand, hire a reputable professional to provide cost estimates that you can show to any interested buyers to put their minds at ease.
Showcase your home. Curb appeal and first impressions are valuable assets when selling your home. Clear unnecessary items from your yard and maintain the landscape to welcome visitors. Keep the interior of your home clutter-free to maximize your home's livable space.
Price it right.The original asking price of your home has a huge impact on the ultimate sales price. If your price is too high, buyers will look for better values and your home will remain on the market longer. The longer your home is on the market, the less desirable it becomes to buyers-even if you eventually lower your asking price-because most buyers will avoid a home that others are avoiding. Conversely, pricing your home too low may result in a quicker transation, but ill yeild you less money in the end.
Experts predict that nearly 10.5 million remodeling and replacement projects will be completed this year. Although 65% of homeowners are remodeling to maintain their homes, 30% are doing so to improve its resale value. Regardless or your reason for remodeling, it's a great time to make improvements to your home.
3 renovations with the biggest returns
- An attic room has a return on investment of 73%. However, it's one of the most expensive renovations to undertake, with anaverage cost of $50,148.
- Kitchens offer an average of 66% of costs. A midrange minor kitchen remodel has a return of 72.1% and an average cost of $19,588.
- Bathrooms off an average return of 62% of an average cost of $16,552 for a midrange remodel.
Get more out of your living spaces
Many homeowners are interested in creating multi-functional rooms that can meet the changing needs of their families. Here's how to make the most of your spaces:
- Maximize your space. Go through the house, and donate what you and your family dont need or use. This will improve the flow and funtionality of your home.
- Transform a room with furniture that does double duty. End tables, coffee tables and seating often feature compartments or drawers to store toys, paperwork, bedding, etc. Additionally, Murphy beds can be pushed into the wall when not in use, freeing up floor space.
- Put small spaces to use. Turn an unused closet or corner of a room into a small office, homework area or laundry room.
The average remodeling project costs $44,734 and has a return of 57.7% when the home is sold.
Other Low Cost Ways to Update Your Home
- Install a new mailbox
- Upgrade outdoor lighting
- Replace old doormats
- Plant annual flowers
- Buy new pillows for sofas
- Display lightly scented potpourri or candles
- Replace torn window screens
- Polish or replace your old address plaque
- Fix or replace leaky or outdated faucets
- Buy organizational systems to reduce clutter
- Re-caulk sinks and bathtubs
- Place centerpieces on large counters and tables
The Record Searchlight Presents - Eat Desserts First
Get Tickets at One SAFE Place Business Office & Client Service Center, Cornerstone Bank, Five Star Bank, American West Bank, Boheme Spa, Mary's Pizza Shack, O2 Staffing, Cold Stone Creamery, Sweet Spot, Sandy's Specialties, Record Searchlight, Redding.com
This chocolate indulgence event typically sells out each year and features hundreds of desserts from local restaurants, caterers, and bakers. “From luscious cheesecake to bread puddings, mini caramel apple pies to tiramisu. "There will be an amazing assortment,” said Michelle Martin Streeby, Record Searchlight’s marketing director.
Tickets are only $20 each and proceeds from this family friendly event will benefit victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and elder abuse in our community through the works of One SAFE Place.
In an effort to raise the much needed funds to operate the center, One SAFE Place will be hosting a dutch raffle and prize wheel.
Boheme Spa Package for four with First Class Limousine Service to and from the spa.
BBQ Boot Camp with Mike Dill. This prize includes BBQ lessons for up to eight people, new BBQ, and meat from Prather Ranch.
A Year Worth of Dates with dinners, entertainment and activities for you and you special someone for a year.
And many, many more opportunities to leave the event with more then a full tummy.