Preparing For An Appraisal Before Listing Your Farmington Hills MI Home

Preparing For An Appraisal Before Listing Your Farmington Hills MI Home

Preparing for an Appraisal Before Listing Your Farmington Hills MI Home 

You’ve decided to put your Farmington Hills MI home on the market. Before listing your home, you may want to have it appraised. An appraisal is an unbiased, professional opinion of how much your home is worth. The results of the appraisal will help you determine the asking price for your home. Homeowners often get nervous about the appraisal process and what could end up hurting the appraised value of their home. 

Read on for some tips on how to best prepare for your appraisal: 

Make sure your home looks good from the curb  

Curb appeal is one of the most important aspects of preparing a home for sale and it’s also important when preparing for an appraisal.  Similar to neglected repairs, a home with little or no curb appeal can create a poor first impression for the appraiser and lower the value of your home. 

Houses with high curb appeal receive better appraisals, hands down. Start by walking around your home before the appraisal with a critical eye. Remove any clutter from both the front and backyards like stray toys, bicycles, and lawn furniture.

Also, look for any damage that could decrease your home’s value. Are there loose floorboards? Do the gutters work properly? Pay attention to things like overgrown shrubs and bushes, weed-filled flower beds, and damage to the exterior of your home. Be sure to also address any chipped or peeling paint.

While an appraiser won’t necessarily care what color your house is painted, they will pay attention to the condition of your paint. Chipped or peeling paint, especially on the exterior of your home, can be an invitation to wood rot and other structural issues.  

Take a look at comparable homes in your area

The market value of your home is largely determined by how it compares to similar homes in your area that have recently sold. Your Farmington Hills MI real estate agent will be able to pull information for you on recent closing sale prices in your neighborhood. 

This will provide valuable insight into how your home measures up. Before an appraiser even steps foot on your property, they’ll gather a list of comps to compare your home.

They’ll use the price of similar homes sold nearby, and adjust based on the features and qualities of your home. If homes in your area are selling with new hardwood floors, updated appliances, and fabulous curb appeal, you should consider taking on similar projects to fetch the same value. 

Inspect for potential safety issues around your home

As you prepare for an appraisal, you’ll want to inspect any potential safety issues in your home that could raise a red flag for an appraiser.  A few of the most common repairs that are cited in appraisal reports include peeling paint, missing handrails, and broken windowpanes.

 If you are unsure if you have any potential safety issues, an experienced Farmington Hills MI real estate agent can walk through the home and point out things that might be cause for concern during the appraisal.

Make some smaller home updates to your home 

Outdated décor can have a negative impact on an appraisal, while a more modern appearance can have the opposite effect.  Small things don’t add a lot in an appraisal, but they add up – giving the entire home the appearance of being modern and updated. 

Repaint the walls and hang new curtains. Install shiny new doorknobs or faucets. Update old countertops, paint cupboards, or reface them and replace old flooring, if you can. You’d be surprised how inexpensive flooring can be to replace, especially if you do it yourself.

Laminate flooring and tile will refresh a room, as will updating countertops, even laminate countertops. Keep the looks neutral and adaptable, yet modern.  

Give your home a deep clean 

Give your home a deep cleaning.  A home will appear to have more worth when it’s clean. Pay extra attention to areas that might not be part of your regular cleanings such as the inside of cabinets and the corners of ceilings.

Get rid of any scuff marks on the walls and shampoo your carpets to remove lingering stains or odors. Focus on the exterior of your home as well, such as cleaning out gutters, wiping down the outsides of windows, and even power washing the floor of your garage and the sides of your house.

A spic and span home inside and out looks newer and more attractive to both appraisers and buyers.

Compile a comprehensive list of upgrades

Be sure to inform your appraiser of any improvements you’ve made in your home within the last 4 years. New additions, replaced HVAC units, siding, gutters, a new roof, remodeled kitchens, and updated bathrooms will all positively reflect on your appraisal. Don’t assume the appraiser will notice every updated fixture or siding replaced.  

Make sure everything is in working order

Go through your property and ensure that everything is working how it’s supposed to. Makes sure any safety equipment installed is working properly like smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and home security alarms. 

Replace burned-out bulbs, turn on any pilot lights that you have switched off, and take care of anything else that suggests something might not be quite right. While an appraiser won’t go into as much detail as the inspector will, it’s best to show that everything is in good working order.

Look beyond your house to the surrounding area 

Are there new schools, parks, highway ramps, stores, or other public amenities that have been added since you bought the house? Point these out to your appraiser. The appraiser may not be totally familiar with the area and amenities such as these can add even more value to your home.  

Farmington Hills MI REALTOR -Tom Gilliam

When you are ready to list your Farmington Hills MI home, contact Farmington Hills MI REALTORⓇ – Tom Gilliam. Tom can help determine the market value of your home and make suggestions on how you can command a higher asking price.  

Tom is proud to be one of the most trusted real estate agents in Farmington Hills – offering his guidance and expertise to home buyers and sellers for the past 20 years. He understands that buying or selling a home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust.

As your agent, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and guide you towards a smooth and successful transaction. Get the process started today by contacting Tom Gilliam directly at (248) 790-5594 or you can reach him by email.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

Searching For The Best REALTORS® in Farmington Hills MI?

Searching For The Best REALTORS® in Farmington Hills MI?

Searching for The Best REALTORS® in Farmington Hills MI?

If you currently in the market to buy a home in Farmington Hills MI, you’ll need to choose from among the most qualified REALTORS® in Farmington Hills MI to help you with your purchase. There are so many moving parts to real estate and finding a great house is just one piece of the puzzle. You need a skilled agent in your corner who can help you navigate the market, uncover the best homes in Farmington Hills for sale, make sure you get the most value for your money, pull together all the details of the transaction, and get you the best deal possible.

Offering over 20 years of experience, Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam is able to provide his clients with the kind of knowledge, skills, dedication, and personalized service they need when purchasing Farmington Hills MI real estate. Highly knowledgeable, Tom can help educate you on the best neighborhoods and communities in Farmington Hills, the types of homes and features offered, the top builders in the region, school districts, area amenities, commute times, local community developments, and so much more.  

Tom can help streamline your property search by putting together a list of homes in Farmington Hills for sale that are the best fit based on your preferences and needs. He would love to speak with you to discuss the type of home you have in mind and answer any questions you might have about Farmington Hills MI real estate, pricing, financing, and more. Get started on finding your dream home today by contacting Tom directly at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch by email.


On our easy-to-use website, you’ll be able to search Search the MLS for homes in Farmington Hills MI for sale – listings updated every 3 minutes. View photos of available properties, find detailed real estate information, create a free account, save your search, and receive notifications of new listings that match your specific home criteria delivered directly to your email. Be sure to scroll down below to find out about current market trends and why homebuyers should consider living in Farmington Hills:

Search Homes in Farmington Hills MI for Sale

If you would like more information on any of the homes in Farmington Hills MI for sale, or to set up a private showing, please contact Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam. Tom is very familiar with the market and is always the first to know when new inventory becomes available (and coming soon listings), ensuring that his buyers have access to the most desirable homes and securing an offer. 

Farmington Hills MI Real Estate Market Snapshot

The current median list price in Farmington Hills MI is $335,000, down 4% from March to April. Farmington Hills’ home resale inventories are at 41, which is a 2% increase since March 2021. The median list price per square foot in Farmington Hills is $166, with no change since March 2021.

 

Today April 2, 2021

1 Month Ago

1 Year Ago

Active Inventory

41

40+2%

121-66%

Median List Price

$335,000

$349,900-4%

$299,000+12%

% Distressed 

0%

2%

0%

Median Days on Market

16

15+6%

46-65%

Median Home Size

2,398

2,381

2,141+12%

Median $/Sqft

166

166

141+17%

Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI with a Skilled Agent

Partnering with a skilled and knowledgeable agent like Tom Gilliam can prove invaluable when shopping for a new home. Tom will set up an initial consultation with you to gain a good understanding of what characteristics and features in a home and Farmington Hills neighborhood are important to you. 

He will then sift through multiple databases for homes in Farmington Hills MI  for sale that best match your specific home criteria, and schedule private showings for you to see them in person. While this may seem like something that is easy enough to do on your own, it can actually be a very time-consuming process without the help of a qualified agent. Tom may also be able to uncover Farmington Hills Michigan real estate and coming soon listings that you might not be able to find on your own. 

Search Homes in Farmington Hills MI for Sale

Think of Tom as an extra set of hands (and feet) that can help you with the legwork of the home search process and coordinating appointments for showings. Tom will also do a comparative market analysis to ensure the home you are interested in is priced according to current market value to ensure you’re getting the most value for your money.

All real estate transactions involve staggering amounts of paperwork that can often be confusing. Tom will make sure that all necessary paperwork is filled out and filed correctly as well as review any contracts you sign to makes sure that you’re getting exactly what you think you’re getting.

If you are ready to get the process started, Tom would love to speak with you to discuss the type of home you have in mind and answer any questions you may have about properties for sale in Farmington Hills MI, pricing, financing, and more. Feel free to contact Tom directly Tom Gilliam at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch by email.

The Benefits of Living in Farmington Hills, Michigan

Farmington Hills is a small, affluent city in Oakland County, MI, and part of the northwestern suburbs of Metro Detroit. Recently ranked as the fifth-best city in the state to live in by the Chamber of Commerce (a digital-based company), TIME Magazine also picked Farmington Hills as the best place to live in Michigan based on strong economic and educational performance, convenience,  and pleasant way of life.

With a total population of 80,823, the average household income in Farmington Hills is $106,572.00 and the Median Household Income $83,268.00. The median home value with a mortgage in Farmington Hills is $258,900.00 and without a mortgage is $254,000.00.  Buyers will find a wide range of homes in Farmington Hills for sale to choose from including entry-level homes to multimillion-dollar estates.

Affordability in Farmington Hills provides abundant opportunities for families to move here and enjoy a strong sense of community with access to top-rated public schools. Thriving in business and leisure activities, Farmington Hills is fueled by a strong economy and is home to several large corporations providing hundreds of jobs.

Top employers in the city include Botsford Hospital, Robert Bosch Corporation, Quicken Loans, Cengage Learning Gale, and Chrysler Financial Services among other great companies. The Nissan Technical Center and Nissan Trading Corp. are also located in Farmington Hills as well as Hitachi Automotive Services, Hino Motors Manufacturing, and branches of Panasonic, Mercedes Benz, and Greenpath. 

Search Homes in Farmington Hills MI for Sale

Downtown Farmington is a vibrant, walkable destination with over 160 businesses from banks, bead stores,  photography and yoga studios to a variety of eateries and one-of-a-kind shops. For parents with school-age children, most of the community is served by the highly-acclaimed district of Farmington Public Schools, shared with nearby Farmington and filled with top-rated schools.

Other public school districts serving Farmington Hills include Clarenceville Public Schools and Walled Lake Consolidated SchoolsThe city also contains branches of Oakland Community College and Wayne State University, and is the home of the Michigan School of Professional Psychology.

Farmington Hills has several neighborhoods and community parks including Heritage Park, featuring trails for hiking and cross-country skiing during the winter months, a splash pad, playground, volleyball courts, and an in-line hockey rink. The beautiful 18-hole Farmington Hills Golf Club is one of the best-golfing venues in the area. With an active youth and family services division, a strong educational system, and involved, service-oriented community members, Farmington Hills continues to evolve and grow, and just get better and better for its residents.

Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) operates local and regional bus transit in Farmington HIlls. Major thoroughfares in the city include (M-5), Orchard Lake Road, 12 Mile Road, 8 Mile Road, Northwestern Highway, I-696, and I-275. There are several freeway interchanges connecting local roads to the two interstates. The closest major airport serving the community is Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, about a 30-mile drive from the center of town. 

Partner With one of the Most Trusted REALTORS® in Farmington MI – Tom Gilliam 

Tom Gilliam is proud to be one of the top-rated REALTORs® in Farmington Hills MI, offering his guidance and expertise to homebuyers and sellers for over 20 years. Tom understands that buying or selling a home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust. As your agent, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and always go the extra mile do ensure the best results possible.

Get the process started today by contacting one of the most trusted REALTORS® in Farmington Hills MI – Tom Gilliam at (248) 790-5594 or get in touch by email.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

Getting Your Farmington Hills MI Home Ready to Sell? 2021 Home Design Trends

Getting Your Farmington Hills MI Home Ready to Sell? 2021 Home Design Trends

Image: The Nordroom.com

Getting Your Farmington Hills MI Ready to Sell? 2021 Home Design Trends

If you have plans for selling your Farmington Hills MI home now or in the near future, we recommend that you be mindful of design choices when planning a remodel or redecorating. Selecting last years’ trending paint colors, fixtures, and finishes, for example, could cause your home to feel dated quickly. Also, over-personalized renovations that buyers may not resonate with could actually get you less money for your home, or cause it to linger on the market, which is never a good thing. 

Due to the pandemic, we’ve all spent a lot more time at home over the past year. For many of us, our homes have become our office, classroom, gym, and most importantly, our refuge during times of uncertainty. So, it’s no surprise to see that the hottest design trends for 2021 revolve around soothing color palettes, coziness, comfort, functionality over flash, and quiet retreats. 

People are really starting to think about how they function in their own homes more than what others are going to think walking into their homes. Instead, we are asking ourselves: What do I need? What makes me comfortable? What does my family need? The trends for 2021 and moving forward are about real lifestyle, not just flash.

The cozy comfort theme is being translated into colors, materials, and textures throughout the home. Cold grey and white minimalist color palettes are taking a backseat to warmer neutrals with pops of color and pattern throughout. People are also wanting cozier spaces with more separation and privacy and a dedicated space for working from home.

Homeowners are putting vacation budgets towards home improvements and creating their own staycation-worthy retreats. Bathroom trends for 2021 are all about easy-to-clean surfaces and hands-free components that minimize exposure to germs and maximize cleanliness. Enhanced outdoor living areas are also becoming increasingly popular. 

To help inspire your design projects, unlock the full potential of your Farmington Hills MI home, and maximize your investment, let’s take a closer look at some of the hottest design and remodeling trends showing up for 2021: 

1). Uplifting color pallets

This year, colors appear to be gravitating toward warm and happy shades that convey a sense of coziness, comfort, and wellbeing. Palettes are getting their inspiration from earthy hues, warm neutrals, and soothing blues and greens.

While white and gray are still the safe options they’ve been for the past several years, expect to see alternative neutrals becoming increasingly popular choices for cabinets, walls, and furnishings in 2021. For a fresh and sophisticated look, try one of these 2021 paint colors of the year:

  • Urbane Bronze (brownish-gray) by Sherwin-Williams
  • Aegean Teal (coastal blue) by Benjamin Moore
  • Soft Candlelight (muted yellow) by Valspar

Indigo, ruby, sapphire, and plum on the opposite end of the spectrum are showing up on everything from fabrics and home accessories to fireplace mantels and floating shelves. These classic rich hues can help bring warmth, depth, and a touch of luxury to your living space. Designers recommend using the “60-30-10 Rule” to incorporate these colors, which is a classic decor rule that helps create a pleasing color palette for an interior space.

The rule states that 60% of the room should be a dominant color, 30% should be the secondary color or texture, and the last 10% should be an accent. The 60% is the overall color of the room or the background color. The 30% number becomes the secondary color in your space and compliments the main color, but different enough to give the room interest. The final 10% is your accent color, which can be bolder or more subtle depending on the look you what to achieve. The accent color in the space can be showcased through artwork and accessories.  

2). Reimagined living spaces

The pandemic forced many of us to rethink our home design. From multipurpose rooms to converted closets to backyard cottages, we have had to find creative ways to manage virtual meetings and school. And designers expect these changes to impact the way we live and work for years to come. For example, some home builders are predicting the end of open-concept floor plans as we know them.

With many people working from home full-time, the need for compartmentalization is bigger than ever. Buyers are looking for cozier spaces with more separation and privacy. That means separate dining rooms, plenty of office space, and maybe even room for a bar or a home-gym. Parlor-style seating is also trending. The addition of alcoves, pocket doors, and sliding partitions that enable homeowners to section off rooms as needed are a popular and functional design trend.   

3). Dedicated work-at-home spaces

A study by Modsy, an online interior design service, revealed that working from home has already had a significant impact on home décor and design. Limited private space to work was the number one frustration of clients with their, often makeshift, home office work set up.  Creating a private, dedicated workspace has become a priority. The study found that home office design requests had increased by 40% in the past year.

As life gets back to the “new normal,” post-pandemic, it’s likely that many jobs will allow for remote employment, so home offices are here to stay. As a result, we will see more dedicated and private home workspaces, as opposed to makeshift desks. This may mean people will choose to move to larger homes in more remote areas for more space, or re-envision rooms as permanent home offices.

But, what if you don’t have a dedicated room? Alternative workspaces have also become increasingly popular. In fact, one of the biggest trends this year is the “cloffice,” essentially a spare closet turned home office. 

4).  Tranquil staycation retreats

With travel options limited right now, many homeowners are reallocating vacation budgets toward making their home a staycation-worthy retreat. In theory, vacations are relaxing and after a few smart decorating tweaks that cater to your senses, you can transform your abode into a tranquil retreat.

Most would agree that there’s something instantly relaxing about walking into a pristine hotel suite free of clutter. To create the same experience at home, you’ll want to address clutter first. Start by placing baskets at every entryway for shoes, and trays and hampers where messes collect.

You can also create a calm and serene environment by layering lighting throughout the space. Use floor and table lamps with neutral color shades, like white or beige, to evoke a sense of calmness. Next, consider the flow of the room, and rearrange furniture to create symmetry. The room will look and feel calmer because there are fewer pieces and objects to focus on. Lastly, Introduce accents in calm colors.

Opt for accent pieces like lamps, trays, and decorative objects in mellow shades of blue, green, lavender, or beige, or earth tones such as dusty yellow.  Carry those vacation-vibes into your bathroom with some of the top upgrades for 2021.

5). Contemporary easy-clean bathroom designs  

With 2020 came sheltering in place and, with it, a heightened awareness of the cleanliness of our homes. As hygiene continues to be top of mind, particularly in high-traffic environments like bathrooms, expect to see interiors with easy-to-clean surfaces and antimicrobial fixtures. 2021 bath trends include these items without sacrificing style.

Once seen as a futuristic and costly luxury, smart toilets and bidets are finding a prominent place in the post-pandemic home, according to the NKBA 2021 design trends report. Smart toilets have hands-free components, like self-closing lids and touch-free flushing, which reduce interactions with germy surfaces. Smart toilets eliminate the nooks and exposed plumbing of more traditional models, making cleaning the exterior easier as well.

Quartz dominated all other materials in the NKBA report, in which 74% of designers picked it as the top countertop material for the bathroom. Quartz countertops like Silestone easily keep up with the frequent cleaning that’s part of the new normal. Plus, quartz surfacing is non-porous and inherently less susceptible to harboring bacteria, an important trait in a damp environment. In line with today’s contemporary-leaning bath designs, these countertops have sleek profiles with few seams, which adds to their low-maintenance appeal.

6). Inviting outdoor living spaces  

Enhanced seating and outdoor comforts are both strong trends for 2021. The pandemic has elevated the importance of having private space just beyond your own doors.  According to a National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) membership survey (NKBA looks at outdoor spaces, as well as indoor ones, and tracks trends for both categories), outdoor kitchens were the top project. Next were patios and decks. Screened porches and three-season rooms rounded out the top three.

The most requested features for enhanced outdoor living are expanded seating, fireplaces and firepits, and weather protection. When asked where residents prefer to set up their home offices, one of the most popular choices was at the back of the house with direct access to the yard or patio. Homeowners want to work with an outdoor connection. According to Houzz trend reports, pergolas have become a quick and affordable solution for homeowners looking to extend their usable living space outdoors.

Pergolas provide adequate shade for dining, lounging, and other outdoor fun and relaxation. Privacy is also an increasing priority. With the pandemic driving residents outdoors to exercise, meditate, rest, or recuperate, it’s a bigger issue than in the past. “The more private the spaces, the more desirable they are for homebuyers,” the report notes.

Are you contemplating a remodel? Preparing to put your Farmington Hills MI home on the market? Want to find out how upgrades could impact the value of your home? 

Partner with award-winning Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam  

With over two decades of real estate experience working with buyers and sellers, Tom Gilliam provides the kind of knowledge, skills, commitment, and personalized service you need and deserve. Tom understands that selling a home is a huge financial and life decision and that you are looking for an agent you can trust to sell your home for top dollar. 

Tom will first visit your home and assess it in detail to provide an approximate valuation based on the age and condition of the home as well as nearby sales comparison data. Tom partners with some of the best professional home stagers in the area and will offer suggestions for preparing your home accordingly and make it available for showings. 

Tom will create a competitive marketing strategy that exposes your home to the public and other real estate agents through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, and so on. Your listing will appear on all the most popular real estate sites where buyers spend hours a day looking at such as Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, REMAX, Redfin, and dozens of others. Your home will also be featured on Tom’s own highly-trafficked website homes2moveyou.com.

As your agent, Tom will hold open houses, communicate with prospective buyers, negotiate offers, and put out any fires that might erupt along the way. You can be assured that he will do whatever it takes to get your home sold quickly for top dollar. With an agent like Tom, the experience of selling your home is a very personalized and pleasant one.

If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling Farmington Hills MI real estate, please give Tom a call at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch by email.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

 

 

 

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Selling Your Farmington Hills MI Home? Avoid These Mistakes

Selling Your Farmington Hills MI Home? Avoid These Mistakes

Selling Your Farmington Hills MI Home? Avoid These Mistakes 

Selling your Farmington Hills MI home can be surprisingly time-consuming and emotionally challenging, especially if it’s your very first time. With no experience and a complex, emotional transaction on your hands, it’s easy for first-time home sellers to make mistakes. However, with a little know-how, you can avoid many of these pitfalls. Read on to find out how to sell your house while getting the highest market price within a reasonable time frame – and without losing your mind.

Not keeping your emotions in check

Once you decide to sell your Farmington Hills home, start thinking of the transaction from a purely financial perspective. That way you can distance yourself from the emotional aspects of selling it. While your home is full of sentimentality and memories for you, a potential buyer will be looking at it quite differently.

Try to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and examine the house’s attributes and imperfections. If you can remember that you are selling a piece of property as well as an image and a lifestyle, you’ll be more likely to put in the extra effort of staging and doing some minor remodeling to get top dollar for your home.

An agent can also help tone down the emotion of the process by interacting with potential buyers and eliminating those who only want to look at your property but have no real intention of making an offer. It may be hard to believe right now, but you’ll soon become just as attached to your new home as you were to your old one.

Not hiring a Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® 

An experienced real estate agent can help you at every stage of the home selling process. They are better-qualified to set the right price for the homes they list, better-equipped to market those homes, and likely to find a buyer in a shorter period of time than if you try to sell on your own. Marketing exposes your property to the public as well as to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service, other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, and so on.

In many markets, a substantial portion of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Real estate agents often use these cooperative relationships to benefit their clients. In addition, an agent will know when, where, and how to advertise, which medium, format, and frequency will work best for your home and your market.  Without an agent, you are the one responsible for showing the house and negotiating the sale with the buyer’s agent, which can be time-consuming, stressful, and emotional for a lot of people.

Not setting the right price  

The selling process generally begins with a determination of a reasonable asking price. One of the biggest mistakes to avoid when selling your Farmington Hills MI is overpricing it. A higher list price will not translate to more money in your wallet. In fact, the National Association of REALTORS® reported in 2020 that sellers typically sold their homes for 99% of the listing price while 38% reduced the asking price at least once.

Listing your home above market value can cause it to linger on the market and make buyers wonder why it hasn’t sold. Buyers see comparable homes in your area online every day and they know how long a house typically lasts on the market. Don’t worry too much about setting a price that’s on the low side, because in theory this will generate multiple offers and bid the price up to the home’s actual market value.

Underpricing your home can actually be a strategy to generate extra interest in your listing, and you can always refuse an offer that’s too low. Your real estate agent can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in your local market as well as the price, financing, terms, and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in marketing your home and selling it at the best price. Often, your agent can also recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your property. 

Not being willing to negotiate on the asking price  

Any smart homebuyer will negotiate, and if you want to complete the sale, you may have to as well. Most sellers want to list their homes at a price that will attract buyers but still leaving some wiggle room for negotiations. The buyer then feels like they are getting good value while allowing you to get the amount of money you need out of the sale.

Be prepared to receive multiple offers if your home is priced right and don’t ignore any offers, even if it seems too low. Negotiate by making a counteroffer. Don’t be afraid to make a full-price counter offer if your price is competitive and it’s backed up by comparable sales. Whether you end up with more or less than your asking price will likely depend on whether you are in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market and how well you have prepared your home to sell.

Your agent can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position and also help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.

Not investing in quality listing photos  

Since most buyers look for homes online these days, and many of those homes have photos, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t have quality visuals of your home. If you do a good job, it will set your listing apart and help generate extra interest. Good photos should be crisp and clear and taken during the day when there is plenty of natural light available. They should showcase your home’s best assets. Consider using a wide-angle lens if possible—this allows you to give potential buyers a better idea of what entire rooms look like.

Ideally, hire a professional real estate photographer to get top quality results instead of just letting your agent take snapshots on a phone. And don’t just stop at photos. Consider adding a video tour or 360-degree view to further enhance your listing. This can be easily done with any smartphone. You can certainly entice more potential buyers into walking through your doors for showings. You may even get more offers if you give them an introductory walk-through of your property. 

Not disclosing problems with your property

You really can’t get away with hiding problems with your property because they will get uncovered during the buyer’s inspection. Basically, you have three options to deal with any issues: fix the problem ahead of time, price the property below market value to account for it, or list the property at a normal price and offer a credit for the issue. Not fixing the problem ahead of time, however, could eliminate a number of potential buyers who are looking for a turnkey home.

Having your home inspected before listing it is a good idea if you want to avoid costly surprises once the home is under contract. Many states have disclosure rules and some require sellers to disclose known problems about their homes if buyers ask directly, while others require that sellers must voluntarily disclose certain issues.

Not preparing your Farmington Hills MI home for sale

Sellers who do not clean and prepare their homes for sale will have a harder time getting them sold fast for the best price. You want your home to be in the best condition possible. Take care of major defects like broken windows or a leaky roof that could discourage buyers.  If you haven’t attended to minor issues, such as a dripping faucet or broken doorknob, a potential buyer may wonder whether the house has other, more expensive issues that haven’t been addressed either.  Anything that’s obviously broken gives potential buyers a reason to submit a lower offer.

Thoroughly cleaning, decluttering, putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and getting rid of any odors (litter box) will help you make a great impression on buyers. In addition, you might consider hiring a professional to stage your home for showings or ask your real estate agent for help or ideas. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are staged before going on the market sell 73% faster, on average, than their non-staged counterparts.

Virtual staging apps such as Ro0omy, VisualStager, BoxBrownie allow you to stage a home digitally, then use the photos in your listings or other marketing material. Remember, you only get one chance, and sometimes only three seconds or so to make a great first impression, so make it count.  

Not estimating your costs to sell

Depending on the price range of the home, be ready to spend 9% – 10% of the sale price on selling costs, including the real estate agent commission and closing costs. Be sure to budget ahead of time for the additional costs involved with selling your home so that you will be ready when the time comes to close the deal. The main types of fees to plan for include:

  • Staging and prep fees (anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple of thousand dollars)
  • Real estate agent commissions (5.8% national average)
  • Inspections and repairs (varies)
  • Closing fees (1% – 3% of the sale price)
    • Title fees
    • Transfer or excise taxes
    • Escrow fees
    • Reconveyance fee
    • Recording fees
    • Prorated property taxes
  • Seller concessions (2% – 6%)
  • Overlap costs (1% – 2%)
  • Moving and relocation costs (varies)
  • Mortgage payoff (varies)

Your real estate agent deals with transactions every day and will be able to give you a very close estimate of seller closing costs.

Not selling to qualified buyers  

It’s more than reasonable to expect a buyer to bring a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender or proof of funds(POF) for cash purchases to show that they have the money to buy the home. Signing a contract with a buyer may be contingent on the sale of their own property, which may put you in a serious bind if you need to close by a particular date. An unconditional offer is when the buyer does not place any conditions on their offer. This is often preferred by sellers as it is an easier option and the sale can proceed quickly.

The takeaway

Selling your home will likely be one of the biggest transactions of your lifetime. An experienced Farmington Hills MI REALTOR like Tom Gilliam can get broader exposure for your property, help you negotiate a better deal, dedicate time to your sale, and prevent your emotions from sabotaging it. An agent brings expertise to a complex transaction with many potential financial and legal pitfalls.  

Partner with award-winning Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam   

Tom Gilliam is proud to be a trusted REALTOR® in Farmington Hills MI for the past 20 years – offering his guidance and expertise to home buyers and sellers. He understands that buying or selling a home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust. As your agent, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and do whatever it takes to ensure a smooth transaction and the best results possible. 

Tom works hard for his clients and provides the kind of knowledge, skills, commitment, and personalized service you need and deserve when buying or selling a home. Get the process started today by reaching out to Tom Gilliam directly at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

The Closing Process When Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI

The Closing Process When Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI

The Closing Process When Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI: A real estate closing, also called a settlement, is the process of transferring ownership of a home from the seller to the buyer. In the context of real estate, “closing” is basically synonymous with “signing.” Reviewing and signing documents is the bulk of what a home buyer does during this process. But that’s not all that happens.

Summary: Come closing day, the buyer and seller will sign all the necessary papers to officially seal the deal; the property title and ownership get transferred from the seller to the buyer; the home buyer will sign a variety of documents prepared by the escrow/closing agent and will also pay whatever closing costs are due; and agent commissions and other funds are distributed by the escrow agent. 

The closing process is usually managed by an escrow agent and sometimes an attorney who specializes in handling real estate closings and preparing the related documents. In some states, the home buyer and seller can close separately at different dates and times. While in other states, both parties must attend closing at the same time and sit at the same table with their respective real estate agents and/or attorneys. 

Even though you and the seller may agree on a closing date, your agent will probably work with your lender and title agency to suggest a timeline that allows them enough time to correctly execute their end of the deal.  

The Steps at Closing

While the logistics mentioned above can vary, the steps at closing are basically the same.  

  • The home buyer will bring a cashier’s check to cover all remaining closing costs and fees. 
  • The property title will be signed over from the homeowner to the buyer, thus transferring ownership.
  • The closing agent (or lawyer or notary) will register the new deed with the appropriate government office. After that, the home buyer will be listed as the official owner of the property. 
  • The respective real estate agent(s) involved in the transaction will receive their commission fees. 
  • The seller will receive any proceeds they earned from the sale, once their mortgage balance and closing costs have been paid off.

Closing day documents

A real estate transaction is a complex process that involves a lot of paperwork, and there are many documents that buyers will need to sign on closing day. Fortunately, the escrow or closing agent will have all of the required documents prepared and ready for the buyer’s signature upon arrival at closing. 

There will be mortgage-related documents, legal disclosures, tax records, and more. It’s not uncommon for buyers to sign their name over a dozen times before all is said and done. Buyers will have to sign the property deed, bill of sale, mortgage agreement and note, transfer tax declaration, and closing disclosure. 

Once the buyer has finished signing all of the closing documents, and all funds have been properly distributed, the deed of ownership will transfer from the homeowner to the buyer. If it is a joint closing, the seller will then hand over the keys. If it is a separate closing, the seller’s agent might deliver the keys (This can vary).

How Farmington Hills MI homebuyers can prepare in the days leading up to closing

Knowing what happens in the days leading up to closing can reduce some of the stress and help ensure a smooth transaction. Here is what you can typically expect to happen: Your mortgage lender will send you a closing disclosure a few days prior to closing. Among other things, the closing disclosure shows how much the buyer has to pay in closing costs. The buyer will then need to obtain a cashier’s check in the amount stated in the closing disclosure.

In some cases, the buyer might wire the money to the title/escrow company, rather than paying by cashier’s check. Typically, the buyer brings a copy of the homeowner’s insurance policy to the closing, or an insurance binder, depending on what the lender requires. During the week prior to closing, last-minute underwriting issues may also be resolved in some cases. 

What Farmington Hills MI homebuyers need to bring on closing day

Buyers need to bring all necessary paperwork with them to closing to make sure nothing is missing, different, or overlooked. Some important documents include: 

  • Cashier’s or certified check – You’ll pay your closing costs with a certified check or a wire transfer from escrow.
  • Proof of homeowners insurance – Lenders require an insurance policy before closing   
  • Photo ID – You’ll need to bring a government-issued identification for the title company.

Closing day check list

Review the following checklist to make sure that you have everything in order so that the closing day process runs as smooth as possible:

  • Contact the closing agent – Once you know who your closing agent is and where they’re located,  contact their offices to see if they have any special instructions for you. They’ll typically have a list of items you’ll need to bring.
  • Review your closing documents – Legally, you should receive your closing documents 3 business days prior to closing. Make sure you read them so you understand what you’re signing and check for any errors. Double-check all of the basics: spelling, numbers, names, etc.  
  • Check the fees – Your most recent loan estimate should be close to your closing disclosure. Some fees may change a little, but there shouldn’t be any big surprises at this stage.
  • Review seller responsibilities – Review your final walk-through checklist to make sure the seller has taken care of all their responsibilities.
  • Be payment ready – Expect to write the check for closing costs. Plan in advance if you are transferring funds from another account so they are cleared.

How much It costs to close on a house in Farmington Hills MI 

Closing costs are the fees that third parties charge and typically include the home inspection fee, premium for homeowners insurance, appraisal fee, credit report charges, attorney expenses, and so forth. Some of these fees, such as earnest money and home inspection fees, will need to be paid before the actual closing day. On average, homebuyers will pay between 3% to 4% of the purchase price of the home in closing fees. For example, if your home costs $300,000, you might pay between $9,000 and $12,000 in closing costs.

The takeaway

Closing on a house in Farmington Hills MI may seem like a cumbersome process, but the toughest part of it is the waiting. If you enlist the help of a skilled Farmington Hills MI REALTOR and other experienced professionals at every stage of the process, you will feel confident and look forward to closing day when you get the keys to your new home!

Partner with award-winning Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam   

Tom Gilliam is proud to be a trusted REALTOR® in Farmington Hills MI for the past 20 years, offering his guidance and expertise to home buyers and sellers. Tom understands that buying or selling a home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust.

As your agent, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and do whatever it takes to ensure a smooth transaction and the best results possible. He is able to provide the kind of knowledge, skills, dedication, and personalized service you need and deserve. If you or someone you know is interested in Farmington Hill MI real estate, feel free to reach out to Tom directly at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI? Conventional Mortgages 101

Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI? Conventional Mortgages 101

Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI? Conventional Mortgages 101: This year, you are finally ready to buy a home in Farmington Hills MI. Whether it is your first time or you are an experienced homebuyer, all the mortgage options out there can be overwhelming. Not all home loans are the same and knowing what kind of loan is most appropriate for your particular situation will prepare you for talking to lenders and getting the best deal.

In this article, we are going to take a closer look at conventional mortgages so that you can determine whether this type of loan is the right one for you. 

  • The majority of home loans are conventional loans
  • Conventional loans typically cost less than FHA loans but they can be harder to qualify for.
  • Conventional loans are not guaranteed in part or in full by the government.
  • Conventional loans are offered by private lenders and may be secured by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mac (government-sponsored entities)  

Conventional loan requirements

Requirements for conventional loans vary by lender, but you typically need to demonstrate credit-worthiness and the ability to make your payment every month. Here are some things that a conventional loan lender might look at:

  • Your credit score. In many cases, the bottom cut-off for conventional loan approvals is a credit score of 620. Though depending on other factors, such as the amount of the mortgage and your income, you may need a higher score to qualify.
  • Your credit history. Mortgage lenders may look more in-depth at your credit than other lenders, and you may be asked to clear up old accounts or negative items before final approval.
  • Your income and debt. The lender wants to ensure that you’re able to pay the required monthly amount. They’ll look at how much you make, as well as how much debt you already have—the ratio of your debt to your income. If your debt is already taking up a large chunk of your income every month, you’re less likely to be able to pay a mortgage and less likely to get approved.
  • The value of the home. Typically, banks won’t approve a loan that’s more than the value of the home in question. You usually have to get the property appraised before a mortgage can be finalized for this reason.

Types of conventional loans 

Conventional loans come in a wide range of types. Here are the five most common forms of conventional financing:

1). Conforming loans

A conforming loan simply means the loan amount falls within maximum limits set by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that back most U.S. mortgages. The main difference between Fannie and Freddie comes down to who they buy mortgages from. Fannie Mae mostly buys mortgage loans from commercial banks, while Freddie Mac mostly buys them from smaller banks or “thrift” banks.  Fannie and Freddie must purchase loans that fall within the loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which is why conventional loan limits exist.  The types of home loans that don’t meet these guidelines are considered non-conforming loans.

The 2021 maximum limit for conforming loans on single-family homes is $548,250 for most counties across the U.S. Conforming loans are best for borrowers with good credit and low debt-to-income ratios who are looking to get a mortgage with a loan amount that doesn’t exceed conforming loan limits.

2). Non-conforming or ‘jumbo’ loans

Also known as non-conforming loans, jumbo loans are conventional mortgages that exceed the conforming loan limits in a given area. Higher-end homes are often associated with this loan type. Because their significantly higher balances don’t conform to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines, jumbo loans aren’t eligible for purchase by either entity. 

Jumbo loans differ from high-balance loans, which are conforming loans with higher balances to reflect average home prices in high-cost areas such as several counties throughout New York and California. The conforming loan limit on single-family homes in high-cost areas for 2021 is $822,375. Jumbo loans are best for borrows who are looking to finance the purchase of a home that costs more than the conforming loan limit in their county.

3). Fixed-rate loans

A fixed-rate loan is a type of conventional mortgage that has the same interest rate for the life of the loan and won’t change. The principal and interest portion of your monthly mortgage payment will be the same amount each month. You’ll generally pay more interest with a longer-term loan and interest rates typically are higher than rates on adjustable-rate mortgages. It also takes longer to build equity in your home with a fixed-rate mortgage. This type of conventional loan is best for borrowers who plan to stay in their home for at least seven to 10 years and who prefer predictable, stable mortgage payments, so they can more precisely budget other expenses month to month.   

4). Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs)

Unlike the stability of fixed-rate loans, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) have fluctuating interest rates that can go up or down depending on market conditions. Many ARM products have a fixed interest rate for a few years before the loan changes to a variable interest rate for the remainder of the term. For example, if you have a 5/1 ARM, your mortgage rate would be fixed for the first five years and then adjust annually for the remainder of the loan term. 

ARMs typically start out with lower rates than fixed-rate mortgages, but you can expect rates to increase over time. Most ARMs have a lifetime cap of 5%. During the years that the rate adjusts, it can go as high as 5% above the initial fixed-rate, according to the CFPB. Adjustable-rate mortgages are best for borrowers who are comfortable with a certain level of risk. If you don’t plan to stay in your home beyond a few years, an ARM could save you big on interest payments.  

5). Non-qualified mortgages

A Non-qualified mortgage (Non-QM) is a loan that doesn’t meet the standards of a qualified mortgage and uses non-traditional methods of income verification to help a borrower get approved for a home loan. This type of conventional loan caters to borrowers with low credit scores or other unique financial situations such as self-employed borrowers or those who rely on commissions or bonuses for a large portion of their income. Non-qualified mortgages will typically have higher mortgage rates and fees than prime mortgages, which are reserved for buyers with excellent credit scores. 

Non-QM loans have gotten a bad rap due to the large number of subprime loans that were doled out before the housing crisis and then went into foreclosure. Thanks to a tightening of federal regulations on the mortgage industry, lenders are now more cautious about who they loan to – non-QM lenders included. But for prospective homebuyers, there are plenty of non-QM lenders who can serve their needs. This type of conventional loan is best for borrowers who have serious blemishes on their credit profile, a DTI ratio above 43% or other unique financial situations, but can comfortably afford a mortgage.

Advantages of conventional loans

Conventional loans usually require less paperwork and can be obtained more quickly than government-insured loans. A conventional loan is a great option if you have a solid credit score and little debt. One of the best advantages of conventional loans is the mortgage insurance (MI). Typical monthly MI for FHA loans is 1.35 percent of the loan amount and in most cases will last for the life of the loan. Whereas typical conventional lending MI can be as low as .50 percent of a loan amount on a 95 percent Loan-To-Value (LTV), depending on your fico score. You can avoid PMI by paying 20% of the loan upfront, which will lower your mortgage payments.  

Conventional loans can be more flexible than FHA or other government-backed loans. Lenders of this type of loan don’t have to follow specific government guidelines, which means they may be able to work with borrowers who don’t fit those requirements. They can also provide mortgages for properties that are more expensive. In most cases, borrowers save money in the long run with a conventional loan because there’s no upfront mortgage insurance fee, and the monthly insurance payments are cheaper. 

Disadvantages of conventional loans

Significant documentation is required with this type of loan to verify income, assets, down payment, and employment. Conventional loans also generally come with a higher bar for approval because they are not guaranteed. Because the lender is taking on all the risk, risk, you may need a higher credit score and stronger debt-to-income ratio to qualify for these loans.

Closing costs on a conventional loan usually must be paid at settlement and can’t be rolled into the mortgage as they can with an FHA loan. Such things as loan origination fees are set by the lender, not the government agency, and may be higher. Additionally, lenders may require processing or application fees not applied with government-insured loans. With a conventional loan, you are also more than likely have to pay PMI if your down payment is less than 20 percent of the purchase price.

The Takeaway

Before you move forward on a mortgage, carefully consider your individual financial situation. Review your circumstances and needs and do your research, so you know which types of mortgage loans are the best fit and most likely to help you reach your goals.

Partner with Award-winning Farmington Hills, MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam   

Tom Gilliam is proud to be a trusted REALTOR® in Farmington Hills MI for the past 20 years – offering his guidance and expertise to home buyers and sellers. Tom understands that buying or selling a home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust. As your agent, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and do whatever it takes to ensure a smooth transaction and the best results possible.

Tom works hard for his clients and is able to provide the kind of knowledge, skills, dedication, and expertise you need when buying or selling a home. Feel free to reach out to Tom directly at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

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