Our Real Estate Blog
Finding the ideal home for your family's needs is no easy task, but if you stay organized and focused, the right property is sure to come along!
One of your most valuable resources in your search for a new home is an experienced real estate agent -- someone you trust and feel comfortable working with.
They'll not only set up appointments for you to visit homes in your desired price range and school district, but they'll also help keep you motivated, informed, and on track. Once you know and have shared your requirements (and "wish list") with them, your agent will be able to guide you on a path to finding the home that will best serve your needs -- both short- and longer term.
In addition to proximity to jobs, good schools, and childcare, you'll probably want to pick a location that's close to supermarkets, recreation areas, and major highways. If you have friends or family in the area, then that would also be a key consideration.
While your immediate needs are a good starting point for creating a checklist of requirements, it's also a good idea to give some thought to what you may need in the future. Plans to expand your family, possibly take care of aging parents, or adopt pets are all factors to consider when looking at prospective homes to buy.
If you have college-age children or recent graduates in the family, you might have to save room for them in your new house. Many grads need a couple more years of financial and moral support from their parents (not to mention home-cooked meals) before they're ready to venture out on their own. Houses with a finished basement, a separate in-law apartment, or even a guest cottage on the property are often well-suited for multigenerational households.
In many cases, people tend to buy a home based on their emotional reaction to it, and then justify the purchase with facts. For example, if the price was right and a particular house reminded you of your childhood home, then that combination of elements could prompt you to make an offer on the house -- assuming those childhood memories were happy!
Sometimes prospective buyers might simply love the look and feel of a neighborhood or the fact that there's a spacious, fenced-in back yard in which they can envision their children or dogs happily (and safely) playing.
According to recent surveys, today's buyers are attracted to homes that have energy efficient features, separate laundry rooms, and low-maintenance floors, counter tops, and backyard decks. Gourmet kitchens, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink, a home office area, and outdoor living spaces are also popular features. Although your tastes may differ, many house hunters also like design elements such as subway tiles, hardwood floors, shaker cabinets, pendant lights, and exposed brick.
When it comes to choosing the home that you and your family will live in for the next few years, your top priorities will probably include a sufficient amount of space, plenty of convenience, and a comfortable environment in which you and your loved ones can feel safe, secure, and happy for the foreseeable future!
Real estate market data is readily available to home sellers across the United States. With this information at your disposal, you should have no trouble maximizing the profits from your home sale.
Now, let's take a look at three real estate market data that every home seller needs to check out before listing a residence.
1. Prices of Comparable Houses
Let's face it – determining a competitive price for your house may prove to be difficult, regardless of your home's age or condition. Fortunately, if you analyze the prices of comparable residences in your city or town, you can better understand how your house stacks up against the competition and price it appropriately.
Furthermore, it may be beneficial to conduct a home appraisal prior to listing your house. This appraisal enables a home expert to assess your house both inside and out. Then, you'll receive an appraisal report that contains a property valuation, which may help you determine a competitive price for your house.
2. Prices of Recently Sold Houses
Are you preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market? Review the prices of recently sold houses in your area, and you can find out whether the current housing market favors buyers or sellers.
If home sellers are receiving offers at or above their initial home asking prices, now may be an ideal time to list your residence. Thus, you may want to add your house to the real estate market sooner rather than later to capitalize on a housing sector that likely favors sellers.
Conversely, if home sellers are receiving offers below their initial home asking prices, you may want to allocate significant time and resources to find ways to improve your house. Because if you enhance your house's exterior and interior, you may be able to help your house stand out from the competition and increase the likelihood of a profitable home sale.
3. Average Amount of Time That a House Is Listed
Check out how long houses stay on the real estate market before they are sold – you'll be glad you did. With this housing market data in hand, you can assess the pulse of the real estate market and map out your home selling journey accordingly.
If you need help collecting or analyzing real estate market data, there is no need to worry. Hire a real estate agent today, and you can gain the insights that you need to make informed decisions throughout the home selling journey.
A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is happy to help you in any way possible. He or she will provide recommendations about how to price your house and improve your home's interior and exterior. Plus, a real estate agent is available to respond to any of your home selling concerns or questions, at any time.
Ready to list your home? Review the aforementioned housing market data, and you can obtain deep insights into the real estate sector prior to selling your house.
If you plan to sell your home, it may be helpful to prepare for a difficult negotiation with a homebuyer.
Although your home may be in great shape and you've set a fair price for it, there are no guarantees that you'll be able to avoid a long, complex home selling negotiation. However, a home seller who prepares for a difficult negotiation now may be better equipped than others to remain calm, cool and collected throughout the home selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips that home sellers can use to get ready for a difficult negotiation.
1. Assess the Housing Market Closely
A home seller who sets a competitive price for his or her residence may be able to avoid a complicated home selling negotiation entirely.
To determine a fair price for your house, a property appraisal is ideal. During this appraisal, a property inspector will evaluate your home's interior and exterior and help you identify any problem areas. Then, you can complete assorted home improvement projects and price your house accordingly.
Furthermore, it is important to assess the prices of comparable houses in your area. With this housing market information at your disposal, you can enter a home selling negotiation with data to support your arguments.
2. Understand Your Home Selling Goals
How a home seller approaches a negotiation may vary based on his or her goals.
For example, a home seller who needs to move out of a house as soon as possible may be willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to satisfy a property buyer's requests. By doing so, this home seller can speed up the property selling cycle.
On the other hand, a home seller who can afford to be patient may be unwilling to budge on various homebuyer requests.
Consider your home selling goals closely before you enter a negotiation with a homebuyer. And if you feel uncomfortable, you can always walk away from a negotiation and reenter the housing market.
3. Focus on the End Results
A home selling negotiation can become contentious, but it is important to remember the end goals of this negotiation.
Ultimately, a successful negotiation will meet the needs of both a property seller and buyer. If a negotiation heavily favors a homebuyer, a home seller should be ready to exit the negotiation.
A home selling negotiation can be stressful, and you should be ready to take breaks as needed. For example, spending a few minutes meditating or walking outdoors may help you clear your head and reenter a home selling negotiation with a fresh perspective.
Lastly, if you want additional support, real estate agents are happy to help you. A real estate agent knows what it takes to negotiate with homebuyers and will do everything possible to ensure all parties involved in a negotiation get the best results.
Take the guesswork out of a home selling negotiation – use these tips, and you can prepare for a difficult negotiation before you add your house to the real estate market.
For those who intend to list a house, it helps to establish realistic expectations. That way, you'll have a good idea about what to expect during the home selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you manage your expectations as you attempt to sell your house.
1. Understand the Housing Market
You may own a great home, but even a top-notch residence may be difficult to sell based on the current housing market's conditions. If you allocate time and resources to study the real estate market, however, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market. Then, you can map out your home selling journey accordingly.
In a buyer's market, there may be an abundance of houses and a shortage of buyers. Therefore, sellers may need to price their houses competitively to stir up interest from buyers.
Comparatively, in a seller's market, there likely is an abundance of buyers and a shortage of first-rate houses. This means a seller probably won't have to wait long to receive offers to purchase after he or she lists a high-quality residence.
To distinguish a buyer's market from a seller's one, you should look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area and find out how long these properties were listed before they sold. This information enables you to review the level of interest in properties in your city or town and can help you determine whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market.
2. Know Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses
You may believe your home is flawless, but buyers may quickly identify problems with your house. Fortunately, a seller who conducts a house inspection can address any potential issues before listing his or her residence. Home inspection results may help a seller establish realistic pricing expectations for his or her house too.
During a house inspection, a property expert will examine a residence both inside and out. This property expert next will provide a homeowner with an inspection report that details his or her findings. With an inspection report in hand, a homeowner can correct underlying house issues before he or she adds a residence to the real estate market.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent understands the opportunities and challenges of the home selling journey. As such, he or she will help you set expectations for this journey, as well as help you make the most of available home selling opportunities and resolve property selling challenges.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and find out what you want to accomplish by selling your home. He or she next will craft a personalized home selling strategy for you, promote your residence to potential buyers and do everything possible to help you maximize your home sale earnings.
Manage your expectations as you proceed along the home selling journey. By doing so, you can limit the risk of encountering home selling problems and boost the likelihood of a successful property selling experience.
It’s a competitive market for home sellers right now. That means it’s more important than ever to make your house stand out from the competition and draw visitors to your listings and open house, as well as attracting interested buyers with excellent curb appeal.
All of these preparations take time and planning. However, if done correctly, you’ll not only bring more potential buyers to visit your home, but you’ll also be able to increase your asking price based on a few key aesthetic upgrades.
In this post, I’m going to fill you in on some of the most time and cost-effective ways to prepare your house for sale to bring the most number of potential buyers.
Make a revitalization budget
Before you start spending on your home upgrades, take the time to make a budget for the things that are the most important to making your home look and feel great. This budget will help you keep your spending in check and get the most out of your sale preparations.
Start working on curb appeal
Without spending much money, many homeowners can drastically increase the curb appeal of their home. Pressure washing the siding and sealing and sweeping the driveway is a great start.
Before taking photos or receiving visitors, trim and edge the lawn and lay down some fresh mulch. You don’t need to spend hundreds on flowers to make a substantial difference on curb appeal.
To make your home stand out and look up-to-date, apply a fresh coat of paint to your front door. Choose a color that complements your home, but one that also “pops” and grabs your attention.
Declutter and organize
Preparing your home for sale also happens to be a great time to start packing away some personal belongings. Family photos and other items that are unique to your family are best left out of your photos and distract viewers from being able to picture themselves in your home.
Since our homes are built to live in, many of us keep our things in convenient places rather than tucking them away. Now is a good time to try and find ways to integrate some minimalism in your home so that visitors don’t feel crowded by clutter.
Spend money on the right items
Some home upgrades just aren’t worth the time and money they’ll take to perform before selling. So, it’s best to prioritize the things that will have the most impact on visitors and viewers of your real estate photos.
A new welcome mat and cabinet handles are a great example of inexpensive upgrades that can make a home feel new again.
Take a look around your home and find the accessories that look dated or worn and see what you can accomplish on your budget.