Selling your home is and can be a nightmare while still living in the home, and needless to say It’s one of the largest and most expensive assets most of us will ever own. It’s where we lay our head down at night, the place we make memories and call home. Selling it can be one of the most overwhelming and stressful experiences you may ever go through. So here are some tips for living in your home while it’s for sale to help you through the process:
Yes, make the beds every day!
If you smoke, don’t do it in the house! And if you’ve smoked in the house it would pay to have a restoration company come try to treat it or consider having it completely painted to rid the smell.
If you are selling your house, hire a consultant to do an inspection of the property. A consultant can let you know what changes you can make to make your home more attractive to possible buyers. Sometimes just simple changes like the color of a paint or a change in the landscape can get your house off the market faster.
Dishes up. 🙂
Keep closets and storage areas organized, the larger they appear the better!
If you are selling your residence in the fall, use the colors of the season to decorate your house and help you make a sale. Items like pumpkins or mums are nice accents to place in front of your home; they draw potential buyers into your residence and help make a good first impression.
Keep it smelling nice. If you cook something strange, air it out!
Keep the temperature comfortable and season appropriate.
Staging your house can be one of the most effective tools for selling in a difficult market. Keep your house as neutral as possible, removing personal pictures and painting walls an ivory, light brown, or off white. This allows a potential buyer to picture themselves as the homeowner, rather than you.
Fresh flowers inside and out are always a nice touch.
Keep your refrigerator clean and organized in case they look.
Hiring a Realtor is worth considering when selling your home. Using a Realtor, versus selling on your own, gives you professional advice and opinions, and accurate information for pricing your home. In addition, you’ll receive maximum exposure through MLS listings and advertising. This can help you achieve a faster sale and higher selling price.
Keep your trash cans emptied.
Keep the floors vacuumed.
Another trick to increase your chances of selling your home is to paint all your walls. Choose a neutral color when you do this. It doesn’t have to be a basic white or beige, you can mix it up a little. Try a butter color in the living room or a light blue or green in a kids bedroom.
Keep the yard tidy.
Leave whenever possible and take pets with you; it makes the buyers feel more at ease. You want them to take the time to appreciate your home, right?
Windows are an important part of selling your house. Make sure they’re nice and clean both inside and out. If they’re old, try to fix them up with paint or replace them. You’ll also want to make sure the drapes are wide open to allow natural light into the room.
Don’t talk to the other agent or buyer directly more than you have to. You hired your agent for a reason, so let them do their job.
Be prepared for lights to be left on, doors left unlocked, and heaven knows what else I’ve had happen over the years. It’s not often but it’s also not the exception to the rule unfortunately these things happen sometimes.
Selling a home in the fall may become rather difficult as the market is slowing for the season. Parents do not want to pull their kids out of one school and make them start in another. Be flexible when accepting offers during this time of year or you could find your home still on the market, come spring.
Wait patiently for feedback from your agent. Sometimes it takes a few days to hear back from the other agent and the buyer.
Be as patient as you can throughout the process and try not to blame your Realtor if it doesn’t sell right away. If you chose the right agent, they have no reason in the world not to do everything they can to get your home sold as soon as possible and for that matter, for as much money as possible. They don’t get paid unless and until you get paid.
Leave a bit of wiggle room for negotiations when you are setting up your selling price for your home. Buyers do not like to work with a seller who is not willing to budge, even if the house is priced correctly within the market pricing. You want to appear like you are willing to give a little bit.
Remove any really valuable items. Consider taking them to a safety deposit box or storage unit just to be safe.
Breathe. When it’s meant to sell, that right buyer will come along. 🙂
Downsize, Right Size Or Cross Size…That’s the question when it come to retirement. Many baby-boomers are getting set to do just that, Retire! It is an exciting thing, but also big decisions that come along with it when it comes to downsizing your home. Some situations mean that the home is too big or the yard is too much to maintain or yo just want to move somewhere warmer. No matter what the reason these steps should help you make the best situation that is right for you.
Even if you’ve never thought about your retirement plan, the desire to move can arise when your kids leave home, when a grandchild is born—or when maintaining (and paying for) the old place becomes too much. No matter if you’re near retirement age, retired already, left work behind long ago—or know someone who has—all sorts of reasons can trigger the need to downsize, right size or make a cross-ways move in today’s market.
Consider All Your Possibilities
If it has been years since you last moved, know that our local market has changed…a lot. To avoid costly missteps, retired home sellers need to revisit the basics of real estate, plus some unique issues while looking for your retirement dream home. With careful research, you’ll be less likely to make a relocation choice you’ll regret later.
STEPS 1 & 2: Get On The Right Path—Right From The Start
If you’re currently a homeowner, STEP 1 is to keep reading to bring a plan for your dream home into focus. Then (STEP 2) call us to determine how much cash you’ll likely pocket from your home’s sale. We’ll conduct a comparative market analysis to determine your home’s current value and listing price. Then we’ll help you crunch the numbers to find out how much walk-away cash you’ll have to apply to the purchase of your new home in your retirement destination.
STEP 3: Select Your Dream Location Carefully
Your may love our area, but moving somewhere with a lower cost of living can be a critically important decision. Carefully consider the tax consequences of moving to various states (or countries!) and how taxes will impact your investments and income.
Perhaps living closer to children and grandchildren will make both your life and their lives easier. TIP: Be sure to ask family members’ opinions about you moving closer to—or further away from them before you take such a step.
For the locations you’re considering, determine the predominant age range, lifestyle and mindset of the population. Will you fit in? Or, will you feel like an outsider, even after living there for some time? Do you prefer to live in a community for those 55 and better, or in a traditional setting with a mix of ages? TIP: One advantage of new construction projects is all the neighbors are new.
STEP 4: Visualize Your Dream Home
It’s easy to say you want a condo or a single-family home for retirement, but there are many inside-the-home elements to consider. Items on your must-have list may include: no stairs at all; an elevator; one, two or three extra bedrooms to accommodate guests and/or office space; first floor location or upper floor with a view preference; reserved parking space or covered parking; extra storage areas; aging in-place features such as wide doorways and low countertops; etc.
Once you determine your immediate needs, it will be easier to locate and select homes to visit. And, you can narrow down the communities you’re interested in as well. TIP: Identify features of your current home that are bothersome and you’d like to change, as well as those things you love and want to duplicate.
STEP 5: Preparation Smooths Every Transition
No life transition is ever easy. Be as open-minded and flexible as you can while still meeting your needs. We are happy to answer all the real estate and relocation questions you have along the way and are always available to work with you locally. Through our trusted network of relocation specialists, we can refer you to top-quality real estate professionals in other locations around the state, across the country or even abroad.
Listing your home can seem like a complicated process and some home sellers have their own theory about listing agents and even agents all together. Understanding how the process works and how your listing can work for you is the first step in realizing its not as complicated as one would make it seem. I hope this information will help in understanding the listing process and how your home listing can work for you.
Unlike many other professionals, real estate agents are only paid if they are successful — if the home sale goes through. A lawyer who loses a case, for example, may still expect payment, as do doctors who may not be able to cure their patients. Real estate agents, however, receive no payment unless a home is sold and makes it to settlement.
Agents work many hours before and after a sales contract is signed, in hopes of receiving compensation at the end of the process. Because they want to serve clients to the fullest, most agents work on commission.
Understanding Your Listing Agreement
Once you find an agent you want to work with, you’ll sign a “listing agreement” specifying the commission or fee to be paid and other contractual terms. The agreement is not between you and the agent, however, but between you and the broker the agent represents.
By law, only licensed brokers are allowed to receive a brokerage commission or fee. The salesperson you work with (your “listing agent”) will receive a share of the commission when the home sale goes to settlement. If another agent brings the buyer to the table, that salesperson (and his or her broker) will also receive part of the commission
Your agreement will stipulate compensation by either a commission or fee. Buyers and sellers may not realize that there are no set commissions — no “going rate.” Real estate brokers cannot discuss between themselves how much they charge for commissions, nor are they allowed to set commissions. To do so would violate anti-trust laws and threaten a broker’s license.
Traditionally, it’s said that the seller pays the commission, yet some would argue that it’s the buyer’s loan that creates the cash to pay the commission. Either way, the funds brought to the table from the buyer’s loan and the seller’s equity pay the real estate companies involved
Money Well Spent
In addition to the compensation, the terms of your listing agreement will detail how long the contract will remain in effect and the specific services contracted for. A full-service agent or company usually:
- Lists details about your home and listing agreement in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
- Provides and prepares all forms to list the property for sale.
- Educates the sellers on the sales process.
- Fronts all advertising and marketing expenses.
- Conducts analysis of the home in preparation for sale.
- Prepares a home brochure and finance sheets for distribution as needed.
- Assures that all buyers are at least pre-qualified, if not pre-approved for a loan, before making an offer on the home.
- Negotiates all aspects of the contract, including: price, finance terms, contingencies, seller subsidy (if any), home inspections, etc.
- Monitors various professional inspections, including pest, radon gas, home and others.
Sometimes agents will conduct all the work above, only to have the buyers’ contract fall through. Then the process starts all over again, in hopes the sale will go through the next time around.
When Is Compensations Earned?
Although the commission or fee may not be paid until settlement, it is considered to be “earned” when your agent brings a “ready, willing and able buyer” to you, even if the buyer has been working with a different agent in the home search process.
A “ready” buyer is defined as a person who wants to purchase the home within a designated time frame. “Willing” means the buyer has signed a contract with terms agreeable to the seller. “Able” means the buyer qualifies for the financing required to purchase the home.
Once these stipulations are met, the listing agent has earned his or her commission. Still, the agent’s work is not done. Following the contract comes all the work to get the transaction to settlement.
After You List
Getting your home listed, of course, is just the beginning. You and your agent will then begin work on a marketing plan and a time-table for implementing it. Your agent will help you decide about the best asking price for your home, based on current market conditions. He or she will also advise you about what you can do to improve your home’s chances for selling quickly at the best possible price
Fast Track Selling
Times running out for Home Seller so everyone says, even those who are not professional Realtor’s seem to think. With school starting back and fall fast approaching Home Sellers seem to be in a panic mode this time of year and agents seem to be fighting off this assumption that these Home Sellers really have concerns about and don’t want to be “Left in the cold” sorta speak. Although it is true that the housing market seems to slow a bit this time of year due to many factors and Home Sellers with children seem to put looking for a home on the back burner or at least slow down a bit in their search as they are focusing on getting their children’s school shopping done and preparing for the fall season, but Home Sellers don’t let this fact slow you down as those families that are looking for the perfect home will still be out there looking as they multitask their daily routines. Remember if you home is not selling or getting showings there are many factors that can be attributed to this such as price, curb appeal, access to show and much more. I wanted to share some tips on getting your home back in the fast track and help you see results in getting your home sold quickly. I hope this will help all of the Home Sellers in the Greater Oakland County area and beyond.
1. Price To Sell
A nationwide survey of the National Association of Realtors found homes that sell within four weeks of the initial listing sold for close to the original asking price. Homes on the market for up to six months sold for about 7% less than the asking price. Listings that languished for more than six months sold for 15% less than the asking price. Experience shows: a too-high price results in a slow-to-sell home.
Expertise pays off.
This is an area where our neighborhood expertise pays off. By performing a competitive market analysis, we can help you determine the best possible price–one that puts the most money in your pocket and gets it sold fast. We’ll study listing and selling prices for similar homes in your neighborhood and compare your home’s special features, improvements and condition. Interest rates, local economic trends and the availability of homes for sale in your area will also affect your home’s value. The feedback we glean regularly from home seekers helps us keep our sellers informed of what today’s buyers want and are willing to pay.
The more realistic the asking price, the sooner your home will sell. Unrealistic prices, on the other hand, are the major cause of “shopworn” listings, causing potential buyers to wonder if something is wrong with the home beyond price.
2. Results Marketing
Create a marketing plan.
Once you’ve established a selling price, the next step in your fast-track strategy is a maximum-exposure marketing plan. An effective marketing plan can include:
- Tours to familiarize other agents with your home.
- Showing your home to qualified buyers.
- Advertising your home where it counts.
Offer buyer incentives.
For example, sellers can help with closing costs, provide a home warranty, give allowances for carpet or draperies, or pay utilities or lawn service for a limited time. Lowering cash barriers to the purchase will significantly enlarge the circle of potential buyers. We can discuss many other ways to market your home so it stands out from the competition.
3. Showplace Condition
To tempt a buyer, your home has to be inviting. Today’s buyers generally don’t have the time to do their own fixing up, so for maximum appeal your home must be in move-in condition.
Focus on curb appeal.
First impressions really do count. Inside your home, recognize that living condition is different from showing condition. Prospective buyers want to see your home in near-perfect condition, even if that’s not the way they’ll keep it once they move in. Make your home a “showplace” and you’ll soon be taking a victory lap after a fast sale.
Give me a call for more tips on getting your home ready to sell, developing an effective marketing plan, or setting the right price for your home. With our experience and track record, together we can make sure you finish a winner.
If you’ve decided it’s time to move up to a bigger home, new home a better home or a home in a more coveted area, your next challenge will be getting there financially. Great Strategies for buying your next home is the key and It’s likely you’ll need more cash, a larger income and, perhaps, better credit than you had when you purchased your current home. Putting all the pieces in place for the move up could take some time and detailed planning. Great Strategies for buying you next home can help with the head-aches and surprises that come along if your not prepared. In the Greater Oakland County Michigan area there are many areas to purchase or up-grade to a new home or a better home, its all about planning and being able to make that move when the time is right. Don’t get stuck “in the mud” when it is time to move up to a better property or one that fits your needs either because your family is growing or because you need to down-size. I hope these tips prepare you for when the time is right, please keep me in mind for all of your Real Estate needs.
1. Credit Check
Although your credit rating may have been sterling as a first-time home buyer, years of credit-card and utility accounts, car payments and consumer loans may have scuffed up that financial image a bit. Late or missed payments have a negative effect on your credit profile, as do large, long-term balances on your accounts. Your credit score, a rating system many lenders use to evaluate your financial situation, may prevent you from borrowing as much as you’d like for your next home or getting the lowest interest rate currently available.
The wise move-up buyer will take stock of his or her credit standing and debt status well before attempting the next home purchase. You may need some time to reduce your debt, catch up on any delinquent accounts, remove inaccuracies and blemishes from credit reports and make other adjustments to increase your credit score.
2. Shop a Loan
A quick way to sift through these issues is to contact a lender who can pull a credit report to see if there are any glaring spots on your record. If nothing needs immediate attention, you can continue on with a complete application, providing the financial information needed for loan pre-approval. The loan officer will determine the maximum loan amount you qualify for based on your income and debt profile.
You may want to shop around at this point, comparing loan programs and interest rates. Consider how well your current loan has worked for you and remember that rates aren’t everything. The lowest rate may be accompanied by high points. If so, you’ll have to keep the mortgage long enough to justify paying the steep up-front cost of the loan.
Consider whether a non-traditional mortgage program could meet your needs. An adjustable-rate mortgage may be a good choice if it looks as though interest rates will be falling. A 40-year mortgage might reduce the monthly payment enough so you qualify for a larger loan
3. Collect your Cash
An important factor in the equation that determines your buying power will be how much cash you have for a down payment and closing costs. The best mortgage interest rates are available to buyers with down payments of 20% or more. If you make a smaller down payment, you may have to take a higher interest rate or pay for private mortgage insurance, both of which will reduce your buying power.
Unless you’re a prodigious saver, chances are the equity you have in your current home will provide the largest source of cash for your next home purchase. Equity, of course, is the difference between the market value of the home and the balance on any mortgages secured by the home.
We would be happy to conduct a comparative analysis of your home to determine the right sales price — at no obligation to you, of course. By determining the value of your home and subtracting out selling costs (paying off the old mortgage, marketing fees and settlement expenses), you’ll have the basis for a down payment on your move-up property.
4. Tune it All In
After taking stock of your financial situation, you may find it necessary to delay your move in order to get the type of home you’ve targeted. Perhaps you need to save more cash for down payment and settlement costs. You may need to pay down outstanding debts to improve your credit score and qualify for a larger mortgage or a lower interest rate. Remember, it’s likely your home’s value and your equity in it will continue to grow as you get yourself in a position to move up successfully.