When Should You Offer Over Asking Price?

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The thought of offering over asking price is enough to make a home buyer wince. But, there are certain situations where you need to go big or go find another home. Here are a few situations where offering over asking may be essential.

Situation 1: It’s a seller’s market.
A seller’s market means there are more people buying homes than selling. As a result, home buyers face challenges in both home shortages and competition from other buyers. A buyer often has to act fast and bid high to get sellers to accept their offer over others that come in. How do you know if it’s a seller’s market? If homes are selling in ten days or less, it is a good indication that it’s a strong seller’s market. Another sure sign is that homes are selling for 10% or more over list price. As your REALTOR®, I can help you make a good offer in a hot seller’s market.

Situation 2: The house is obviously underpriced.
Some sellers list their homes below market value either because they hope to spark a bidding war or need to sell their home fast. By making a bid over asking price, it may help your offer outshine others. As your agent, I can pull comps to help you assess what other homes in the area are selling for, which you can use as a baseline when making your offer.

Situation 3: You’re competing with cash buyers.
Home sellers LOVE cash buyers, which gives them a big advantage over those needing a mortgage. If you know you’re competing against a cash offer, it may be a good idea to go over asking price to help convince a seller that your offer is the one they should accept.

Situation 4: You absolutely want the home & do not want to risk losing in!
Sometimes, a buyer just falls completely in love with a home. If you know your heart will be broken if you don’t get this house, than making an offer over list price can help you get the property of your dreams.

New Year's Resolution For Your Home

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We did it! 2020 is here and we have made it to a new decade which means we all are thinking about ways to better ourselves and our lives in the new year. Well how about your home? The best way to start a new year is to start with the home. It will help you get into the right mind set to hit your other new year’s goals if the place you spend most of your time is updated and fresh for 2020 too!

Revamp

You don’t need to go out and drop a ton of money buying all new furniture or redoing your floors because let’s be honest, after the holidays, most of us are looking for ways to save money not spend it. There are little things you can do to make your space feel fresh and new without breaking the bank. Consider painting a room or changing a light fixture. These are simple and inexpensive ways to freshen up a room and by buying and doing these things yourself, you can add “Get Handy” to your list of New Year’s resolutions.

Wallpaper

No, we haven’t lost our minds! Wallpaper no longer needs to look like your grandmothers living room. There are plenty of modern wallpaper options available and will instantly add character to a dull room.

Add Some Life

A little greenery goes a long way in livening up your home and helping if fell brand new. Hang some potted plants or place a tree in the corner of a once bare room. The pops of green help tie everything together. Added bonus: health benefits! Greenery inside the home is known to boost your immune system and improve productivity, air quality and mental health.

Clean that Tile

You may look at your kitchen or bathroom and think that you need a whole overhaul but that’s not always the case! Your rooms may just need a little love by way of heavy scrubbing and grout cleaning. You’ll be amazed at the transformation a little elbow grease can bring. Save some money by doing it yourself or bring in the professionals if needed.

Is A Fixer-Upper Right For Me?

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You’ve seen all the headlines: DIY special. Needs some TLC. Handyman Special. These homes are often far from turn key but can offer good opportunity for the right person. Fixer-uppers can be great homes and profitable investments, but are they the right choice for you? To help you decide, consider three important factors.

Your plans. If you’re hoping to get a good deal on real estate and flip it for a profit, this can be a good option. Another great option is buying a fixer-upper and doing the repairs yourself in order to transform the house into your dream home. On the other hand, if you have watched a lot of real estate shows and expect to spend a couple of weekends working on the home and then make big bucks, you’re probably on the wrong path. Keep in mind that renovations are often costly, time-consuming, and far more complicated than they look on television.

Your budget. Consider whether you can realistically afford the renovations. How much would it take to make the home liveable? Would basic cosmetic changes be enough, or do you need a budget for more extensive repairs? If major construction is required, you may qualify for a home improvement loan program. If you’d like more information about current loan programs, I can review what is available and connect you with a lender to check your eligibility.

Your time. Examine your calendar. First, consider if you will have a place to live while renovations are completed. If you’re selling your current home and need to move out by a certain date, you’ll need to make plans for temporary housing. You must also consider the time required to manage this type of project. You’ll need to hire and coordinate contractors, or, if you’re doing the work yourself, you’ll need to budget significant time for your labor.

Think a fixer-upper might be right for you? I can help you find deals in the area. Just give me a call.

What Does Move-In Ready Really Mean?

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When home buying, a term you may often see is move-in ready, but what does it really mean? At a minimum, a home termed move-in ready should be livable without any repairs. A potential home buyer should not have a to-do list before they move in. However, some home buyers incorrectly assume that move-in ready means updated or new, when in reality, the term can be used to describe a property in almost any condition, from extremely dated to completely renovated. What can you expect from a move-in ready home? Take a look.

Electrical and plumbing.
In a move-in ready home, all of the electrical work needs to be up-to-date, including modern outlets and switches. The plumbing should also be in good condition with working fixtures and faucets and no leaks.

Roof, windows and siding.
The roof should be in good condition and have plenty of life left in it. An old roof may not be leaking today but could at any time, and that would not deem it move-in ready. Also, siding and windows should be in good shape with nothing warped, damaged or rotting.

Heating and cooling systems.
A home is not move-in ready if the water heater, furnace and HVAC system will need replacing in a few years. These systems should be in proper working condition, and life the roof, have a substantial life span remaining.

Kitchen.
Although new appliances and marble countertops are nice, they are not requirements for move-in ready, but functionality is. Working appliances and functioning faucets, lighting and outlets are what are important here. Although cosmetic enhancements might turn a potential buyer off, they do not prevent someone from moving in.

Bathrooms.
Bathrooms must be clean with working plumbing and unclogged drains to be termed move-in ready. Things such as low water pressure or a toilet that doesn’t flush properly would not be acceptable.

Flooring.
As long as floors are clean and free or warping or buckling, they are found move-in ready. Carpeting should be clean and free of dirt or damage.

Paint.
Walls do not need to be freshly painted but do need to be free from scuffs and chips. Ideally, paint color should be neutral, but a hot pink wall will not prevent a buyer from moving in.

Remember, if the wallpaper gives you nightmares, it doesn’t mean the home isn’t move-in ready. Unless you are building a custom home, rarely will a home come exactly as you want it. Move-in ready simply means exactly what it says…it can be moved in to; it does not mean the home is perfectly decorated to suit your tastes with hardwoods, fresh paint and major upgrades. Be realistic when you see the term and if you have additional questions, give me a call!

3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Buy A House

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Whether you are thinking about buying a house, or already out there actively looking, there are 3 all-important questions to ask yourself before you make the move.

What are my “musts”? These must-haves should be your top-priorities. They include things like a certain number of bedrooms, a specific school district or even something like a pool. These are items that are not up for negotation, and homes that do not meet this criteria should easily be scratched off the list. To maximize options, limit your “must” list to things that can’t easily be changed after purchase; for example, you can’t change a home’s location but you can easily change its flooring.

How long do I plan to stay? Consider various life factors that might come into play – things such as a growing family or job relocation. The answer to this question will help you determine if it’s a good time to buy, and if so, what size home you may need.

How’s my credit? If you are planning to take out a mortgage, you credit score is a crucial factor in determining what kind of rate you might receive and also how much money a lender will be willing to lend you. You can get a free copy of your credit report annually from TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Look over these reports carefully to make sure everything is correct. This is also will help you in deciding if you need to build your credit before buying. If you have additional questions on building your credit, see my previous article on easy credit building or give me a call!

Moving? Marie Kondo It!

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Almost everyone has heard of Marie Kondo, right? She is a organizing sensation that has created a method to simplify and organize your home by getting rid of items that “do not bring joy into your life”. What better time to use this method than when moving! If you want to incorporate her method into your move, here’s some tips to help you KonMari it.

Give yourself plenty of time. There is one downside to using this method to moving. It isn’t a project you can complete in an afternoon. To do it right, it will take time.

Move from easiest to hardest. The KonMari method is all about order. Start with the items that are easiest to part with and move up to harder items. Think clothing, shoes and books and work your way up to items that hold more personal meaning – documents, miscellaneous objects in drawers and on shelves, and personal mementos for last. At each stage, pick up items and ask yourself if they bring you joy. If they don’t toss or donate it; if it does, it comes to your new home. Of course, there will be personal items, like a toothbrush or medical records, that do not make you gleeful but are necessary. This method does not apply to those items of necessity.

Don’t let sentimentality get in the way. The Marie Kondo method requires complete honesty and urges you to get rid of possessions you’re keeping out of guilt. Think about the purpose an item serves and see if you can repurpose ones that have been stuffed in the back of your drawers. If not, get rid of it.

Pack it up. Get the whole family on board with de-cluttering by encouraging your kids to choose an organization where they’d like to donate what they’re discarding. Encourage them to put at least one item per day in a donation box and to reflect on how it will help somebody else. Once you’ve narrowed your belongings down to daily essentials or those that bring you joy, get packing. The good news? It will take less time to unload and unpack later, and your new, uncluttered home will bring you much greater joy.

12 Days of Home Selling Tips

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On the first day of Christmas
My REALTOR® Angela said to me:
“Consider your curb appeal.”

Curb appeal is all-important when it comes to selling your home. If a potential buyer does not like the way your home looks on the outside, they will not want to see the inside. First impressions are lasting impressions. Remove outdoor clutter such as toys and trash cans; freshen up the entry way with new paint, seasonal flowers or plants, and a good scrubbing; add living space such as a porch swing, dining area or some new lighting; and mow, trim & weed to keep your yard looking clean and tidy.

On the second day of Christmas
My REALTOR® Angela said to me:
“Declutter & detach.”

A cluttered home gives the feeling that it is not well-maintained, dirty and lacking storage, whereas an uncluttered home looks spacious with plenty of storage and clean! Too much stuff makes it difficult for potential home buyers to see past the clutter to the home and its best features. Less clutter also means less to move, a win-win. It is also important to detach yourself from your home. We get it – you have a lot of memories in your home, but it is important to detach and be emotionally ready to sell so expectations are realistic as to what you can receive for the home.

On the third day of Christmas
My REALTOR® Angela said to me
“Clean everything!”
Cleaning everything both inside and out will help your home shine bright to potential buyers. A clean home looks like a well-cared for home. Cleaning should be from top to bottom and inside and out. Wash windows, pressure wash re-caulk tubs and showers, dust, and polish all chrome faucets and mirrors. Also, hang up fresh towels and get rid of smells that might be off-putting to home buyers. A thorough cleaning will make your home more appealing. If it proves to be too much, consider hiring a cleaning crew to come in and do it for you. A clean house is a must when selling!

On the fourth day of Christmas
My REALTOR® Angela said to me
“Repaint your walls.”

Painting your home instantly updates it and makes it feel fresh and clean for home buyers. A fresh coat of paint also presents a clean slate to potential home buyers and enables them to better see themselves in your home. In addition to adding appeal, it is also one of the least expensive ways to add value to your home, but don’t forget to keep paint colors neutral! Again, you want your house to appeal to the most potential buyers possible.

On the fifth day of Christmas
My REALTOR® Angela said to me
“Do any minor repairs.”

Again, the goal of home selling is to get the maximum amount of money as possible for your home. This may include making minor repairs to help portray your home in the best possible light. Minor repairs may include things like fixing leaky faucets, patching any holes or cracks to the walls, replacing missing fence boards or updating the lighting. Your REALTOR® can help you with the decision on what things need doing and what things don’t. Minor repairs can mean major bucks when it comes to selling your home.

On the sixth day of Christmas
My REALTOR® Angela said to me
“Depersonalize your home.”

Most people fall in love with their home, making them an extension of their style and personality. One of the most important elements of success when it comes to home selling is getting potential buyers to imagine themselves in your home. Depersonalization involves eliminating your tastes and neutralizing the space by removing family photos, neutralizing color palettes, putting away artwork and magnets, and removing any personal effects like razors and deodorant. The goal is to get other people to see themselves in your home, not you in your home.

On the seventh day of Christmas
My REALTOR® Angela said to me
“Let the light shine in.”

A lighter room is a brighter room. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades and increase the wattage of your light bulbs. Do whatever you can to make your house bright and cheery; it will make it easier to sell.

On the eighth day of Christmas
My REALTOR® Angela said to me
“Make your home available.”

If someone wants to view your house, you need to be accommodating, even if it’s inconvenient for you because after all, someone needs to see your house to want to buy it. And don’t forget, always leave your home during a viewing. Hanging around during a showing makes you look desperate to sell, increases the risk you’ll say something you shouldn’t, and makes home shoppers extremely uncomfortable.

On the ninth day of Christmas
My REALTOR® Angela said to me
“Remove any signs of pets.”

We get it, you love your pet; but not everyone is an animal lover. Hide evidence of pets and send them to a friend’s place if possible during showings. One whiff of a dirty litter box or a view of pet waste in the yard could ruin a showing. Also, some potential buyers are afraid of animals or allergic to animals, and some pets can be unpredictable around strangers. Why turn off a potential buyer from the get-go? Other ways to help: put away water and food bowls, vacuum, pick up and put away pet toys, remove photos of pets, and put away the crates and carriers.

On the tenth day of Christmas
My REALTOR® Angela said to me
“Organize closets and cabinets.”

Buyers will be curious as to how much storage space there is and will open closets and cabinets to get a closer look. It is important to ensure these are organized and partially empty to give off the impression that you take care of your possessions (and are likely to take care of your home) and that there is plenty of space!

On the eleventh day of Christmas
My REALTOR® Angela said to me
“Take good photos.”

Ever hear the expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words?” Nothing could be more true in real estate. Many homebuyers search for homes online these days, and good photos will help set your listing apart and generate added interest in your listing. Good photos should be crisp and clear, taken during the day when there is plenty of natural light and should showcase your home’s best assets. Consider hiring a professional to get quality results and add a video tour to further enhance your listing.

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My REALTOR® Angela said to me
“Price your house to sell.”

Overpricing will lead to loss of interest and less demand for your home and no offers. You can always drop the price later, but by then, it might be too little too late. Talk with your REALTOR® about the worth of your home. Ask about comparable homes in the area and price it to sell in the current market. Be realistic about what you can actually get for your home. Selling a home is all about supply and demand, and you must pick the best price based on how much your home is actually worth, not how much you think it’s worth.