Category Archives: Tips for Sellers

Ten Steps For A First-Time Home Seller

Ten Steps For A First-Time Home Seller tma farmnet blog

Homeowners do not generally think about filling the shoes of a first-time home seller until they decide to buy a new home. Usually, the motivating factor is the need to move — due to work-related issues or the needs of a growing family — and that generally involves buying another house. It is when the homeowners stop to consider the move that it may dawn on them, yes, because they need to sell, they are now a first-time home seller.

Selling a home is very different from buying a home. Whereas buying a home generally involves emotions and feelings, selling a home typically centers on what listing agents like to call maximizing profit potential.

The First Step: Price your home accurately. For this, you should enlist the help of a reputable listing agent. Do not choose your cousin’s sister-in-law, for example, who dabbles in real estate. You will fare much better if you select an experienced real estate agent who sells a fair number of listings, preferably in your neighborhood.

Your agent will analyze comparable sales and prepare an estimate of value often called a CMA, for comparative market analysis. It is OK to compare the Zestimate at Zillow but note the variances your agent will point out because your listing agent should have the experience and education to provide you with a more accurate opinion of value.

The Second Step: Ask your agent to advise you on preparing your home for sale. Most homes show better with about half of the furniture removed. If a buyer walks in the door and wonders if anybody lives in the house, you have done your job correctly. Consider home staging to boost your selling power and appeal.

Painting is the single most effective improvement you can make. Do not let dings in the woodwork or scraps on the walls make your home reflect deferred maintenance.

The Third Step: Choose the best day to list your home. This time period will vary depending on your local community, the weather, time of year, and a host of other factors, including the state of your present real estate market. It is not like that movie Groundhog Day. You basically get one chance to present your home in hopefully its best light the first day on the market.

The Fourth Step: Ask about your agent’s standard real estate commission before you get too far down the line. If it is reasonable, consider the big picture and benefits to you to hire this individual. Check track records for performance. Do not expect a full-service agent to discount. Getting into a contract is only the beginning; you need to make it all the way to closing.

Your home will not sell itself, despite what you may read or hear or the propensity of real estate websites to make the process appear as easy as the click of a mouse. It is not. You do not know what you do not know. To get the most money from the sale of your home, you will most likely rely on the professionals you have hired to sell your home.

Do not try to pit agents against each other to compete for commission or you will increase the chances you will end up with a weasel. You do not deserve a weasel.

The Fifth Step: Be flexible with showings. If home showings are too much of an imposition, consider going away the first weekend your home is on the market. Yes, it can feel a bit intrusive to allow strangers to trek through your home and check out your soft-closing drawers in the kitchen. The best way to sell your home is to let a buyer inside with her buyer’s agent to tour in peace and quiet. Leave the house when buyer’s agents show up. Anything you say can and will be used against you, plus, buyer’s agents prefer to show without interference.

The Sixth Step: Allow an open house if your home is conducive to an open house. Not every home is a viable candidate for an open house. If your home is located in an area close to major traffic, that is generally indicative of a reasonable expectation that the open house signs will pull in visitors. Ask your agent if she advertises the open house online. Many a home buyer has had no desire to buy a home until she spots an open house and subsequently falls in love.

The Seventh Step: Insist on professional photography. Of course, if you have hired a top-notch listing agent, your agent most likely already provides professional photos. It is not enough to just get the angle right in the photo, the most popular photos are rich in color and depth, and they entice. Ask to approve the virtual tour or photo tour before it publishes.

The Eighth Step: Review your listing online. Look at your home listing on various websites to make sure the information conveyed is accurate. Agents do their best to ensure accuracy, but since it is your home, you know the details better than anyone. If you spot a feature that is missing, contact your agent immediately and ask for an inclusion.

The Ninth Step: Try to respond promptly to a purchase offer. Many offers contain a date by which the offer expires. Notwithstanding, it can drive buyers crazy if they are forced to wait for a seller to decide whether to accept their offer or to issue a counteroffer. Remember, if you are selling because you need to buy a new home, you are no different when you are a home buyer yourself.

The Tenth Step: Line up your movers early. If you are thinking about moving at the end of May, for example, which is the busiest time of the year for movers, you might find it is impossible to locate movers for the day you want. You can start packing before your home hits the market, which will give you a head start on the process. It will also give you peace of mind to be prepared. Selling can be stressful enough.

 

these home improvements pay off in the long run

Sell or Stay, these home improvements pay off in the long run

Homeowners undertake home improvements for two basic reasons: to please themselves or to please others who may one day buy their home. Some types of improvements are for the sake of a speedier sale, such as planting a row of shrubs between your backyard and a busy street behind your home. Others are for your own enjoyment, like painting your rec room your favorite shade of neon pink.

The best home improvements, however, pay off in the long run whether you are staying or selling. Here are a handful of projects that are worth the investment whether you are hoping to please potential buyers or make your home more enjoyable for yourself:

Add skylights:
Buyers love balanced natural light. You probably do as well! Adding Energy Star-qualified no-leak skylights is a cost-effective improvement that enhances a home’s appeal to potential buyers, as well as its enjoyment for the people currently occupying it. They are particularly popular in bathrooms and kitchens, but skylights can go in any room where you want more natural light, an open, airy feeling, and a brightened appearance. To further differentiate home spaces such as hallways and closets, consider tubular skylights which are inexpensive and easily installed in a matter of hours.

Add or upgrade a deck:
When the weather warms up, your family will want to spend more time outdoors and a deck is a perfect platform for outdoor enjoyment. Potential buyers also perceive it as a benefit and adding or upgrading a deck can boost your home’s value. In fact, a wooden deck will recoup 75 percent of its installation costs at the time of resale, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report.

Exterior paint:
Repainting the exterior of your home is a big job, but one that is well worth the investment, whether you are trying to impress potential buyers with great curb appeal or simply make your house a more enjoyable place to return to each day. Exterior paint greatly affects the overall look of a home, plus quality paint helps protect siding from the elements.

Kitchen cosmetics:
Great kitchens sell homes, and the kitchen is also the room where many families spend a great amount of time, so anything you do to improve a kitchen is well worth the investment. Taking care of basic items like replacing old cabinet hardware, upgrading faucets and lighting, and investing in quality countertops can be cost-effective ways to elevate your home’s value and boost the usability of the kitchen.

Whether you plan to put your home on the market this spring or summer or intend to stay put for years to come, it pays to invest in home improvements that enhance both resale value and your enjoyment of your home.

TMA Farm Net blog - Sell or Stay, these home improvements pay off in the long run

DIY Home Upgrades

DIY home upgrade

Do-it-yourself home projects are sweeping the nation, and it is easy to see why. DIY is typically budget-friendly and fulfilling to complete; simply find the right project to match your skill set and needs.

Make a hardware swap. Replacing your kitchen cabinets changes the entire look of your kitchen – but it is expensive and requires considerable skill. For a simpler, smaller project that can still have a big impact, replace the hardware on your cabinets instead. Select the hardware type first, then move on to style. Crisp, sleek hardware goes best with a modern kitchen, while more detailed offerings work well with classic, traditional kitchens.

Refresh your space with a fresh coat of paint. Repainting a wall or room is the perfect way to showcase your style, without breaking the bank. Try going bold with pops of color on an accent wall. It is easy to recreate a space that reflects who you are, without making expensive renovations.

Illuminate a simple change. It does not always take a huge change to reinvent a room; it can be as easy as changing the light fixture. You could choose to repaint your existing chandelier or you could give your ceiling fan a new look by replacing the blades. If you are on the crafty side, try making your own shade for an existing lamp with some of your favorite fabric.

Invite people to your gallery. If you cannot decide on the one perfect image for your wall, then why not go for several? Gallery walls are a great way to show your favorite prints and photos artistically. Pick the wall and apply a fresh coat of paint. Once the wall is ready, pick your photos or prints and set them in frames you love. Now the fun part lay your works of art on an open floor space and rearrange them until you find the perfect layout.

Bring a new vibe to your existing furniture. If a chair or loveseat is starting to show its age, reupholstering it is a great way to give the piece fresh life. Remove the current fabric and replace it with a new fabric of your choosing. Apply staples or stitching to hold the new fabric in place, and that old piece of furniture will have a distinctive new look.

Is Selling in the Fall a Good Idea?

_FALL-570It is no secret that homes sell throughout the year and in all twelve months. It is also no secret that the largest percentage of homes sell in the Spring. In fact, for many years you could look at a line that went from January through December on a line graph and it would look like the back of a double hump camel.

The first hump would occur in May each year. More homes sell in that month than any other month of the year. Then there would be a bit of a pullback in July as people took vacations and enjoyed the summer. Then the second (smaller) hump would occur in August and September where there would be a bit of a resurgence in sales and then things would tail off into the holidays.

About 7 years ago however, a new trend started to take place in the twin cities and it has not changed over that period of time. Now, what we see is that the early Spring market is even more robust than in past decades. May is still the top month of the year for home sales. However, there is no trough in July or second hump in August and September any longer. Instead, once May sales are complete there is just a slow descent into the holidays over the rest of the year.

Now, please understand that we still sell MANY homes after May. However, it is apparent that the buying habits of consumers, at least here in the twin cities, has caused a “front loading” of sales early in the year. In fact, by the end of June almost 2/3 of all sales for the year have taken place.

So, what does this mean for home sellers in the Fall? There are two variables to pay attention to. The first is the level of inventory that is available. It is widely known that over the last few years the demand for housing has far outpaced the available inventory. This has been especially true in the first tier move up buyer range of $250-400,000. In the Spring when the largest number of buyers are in the marketplace, there are multiple offers competing for the same property. You’ve seen the news stories which are becoming a yearly ritual. Generally speaking the most activity for multiple offers has been in the first time buyer range up to $250,000. And, there are always some neighborhoods that enjoy heavy demand regardless of time of year like Linden Hills, Wayzata, Kenwood, Crocus Hill Highland Park, and Mounds Park to name a few.

The second variable is that in the Fall, the market is still active but, there are fewer buyers, so sellers have to be priced more competitively than in the Spring. You can still make record profits as a seller this time of year. You just have to know how to position your home correctly in the marketplace.

Lastly, the Fall is the best time of year to contact me if you are also thinking of taking advantage of the hot Spring market. The reason is I can give you great advice on what to do over the winter to prepare your home for the coming Spring. You won’t have to rush to get things done and you will be in great shape come Spring when you open your doors to all of the interested buyers who will be looking for that perfect home. Yours.

article contributed by:
Mike Vanderheyden
RE/MAX Specialists
8400 Adair Avenue N 
Brooklyn Park, MN 55443

http://www.mike.remax-northcentral.com/

6 Tips for Buying in a Seller’s Market

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Buying a home in a seller’s market doesn’t necessarily have to mean paying too much, giving in to seller demands, or difficult negotiations. Even when sellers have the advantage, they may still need to work with a buyer to sell their home.

Some homes will often get plenty of attention while other homes may sit because they are priced too high or because of any number of factors that are undesirable to buyers in their market. With this in mind, it’s possible to make buying easier, even when the market favors the seller.

1) Be Firm but Fair in Negotiations

No matter what the seller may be asking for their home, the home still has a fair market value. While the amount the seller may be asking for a home could be a little bit higher in a seller’s market, that doesn’t mean a buyer can’t negotiate the price. Remain firm in negotiating, but also be fair based on the market conditions. A real estate agent can be your best resource to help you determine what your options are when it comes to making an offer.

2) Take a Look at Homes on the Market For a Long Time

Even in a seller’s market, there will be homes that just aren’t as popular as others. These homes will stay on the market longer, and finding out why this is the case, might be the beginnings of a great deal. If a home has a characteristic that isn’t popular with many buyers in the area, but it doesn’t bother you, it may be possible to buy a home in a seller’s market for less than you might expect.

3) Remember, There’s More Than one Location

Location is very important, but there’s generally more than one specific street or area where a buyer might want to live. By looking in several different places you might find the home that’s right for your needs without being completely tied to a location where the sellers may be less willing to negotiate and the prices might be above budget.

4) Find the Motivated Sellers

There will always be some sellers that are more motivated than others. No matter the reason for their motivation, the opportunity exists for buyers to get a good deal on a home they love. It may not always be easy to find sellers that are highly-motivated, but an agent can often help locate sellers who are looking to move their properties faster, and for a lower price.

5) Be Prepared and Ready to Negotiate

One of the ways to get ahead as a buyer in a seller’s market is to make sure your finances are ready. By having a mortgage pre-approval letter and a strong down payment, it’s possible to get ahead of other buyers who may not be as prepared. Sellers want to work with buyers who are serious and have a high probability of completing the transaction without delays.

Not being ready before making offers could mean missing out on a home that would be just right.

6) Don’t Underestimate the Power of Cash

Buyers who pay in cash and don’t need a mortgage to purchase a home often have a better chance being ahead of other buyers in a sellers market. Cash can be very attractive to some buyers, because when it comes to buying a home, it shows a seller that they don’t have to worry as much about a deal falling through because of mortgage finance issues.

When buyers don’t need mortgages, the transaction may be completed a lot faster, too, making it easier for everyone to moving on to the next phase of their lives. Speak to a financial professional to see if this would be a prudent move for your long-term financial health.

While a seller’s market can be a bit tricky to navigate, home buyers should know that with enough preparation and effort, they can find and purchase their dream home without adding additional stress to the process.

By our guest blogger,_KrisLindahl_481224369

Kris Lindahl REALTOR® CRS CLHMS
The Kris Lindahl Team at RE/MAX Results
2407 109th Ave NE Suite 110
Blaine, MN 55449

www.krislindahl.com
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