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Showing Your Home to Buyers? Don’t Make These 4 Mistakes – They Could Cost You Dearly!

July 31st, 2015

Staging_Your_HomeThere are numerous steps that must be taken to properly stage a home, and some sellers can easily become overwhelmed by all of the tips and steps they have been told to follow. It may be acceptable to skip over some of the steps to save time or money when staging a home, but there are some mistakes that homeowners can make that can have negative results.

Leaving Personal Hygiene Items Out
A common staging tip relates to storing all personal items out of site, and the reason for this is so that home buyers can see themselves living in the home as opposed to feeling as though they are in someone else’s home. However, some homeowners will leave personal hygiene items out, such as a razor, shampoo, a toothbrush and other items. These are highly personal items that can easily make a home buyer feel uncomfortable walking through the home.

Allowing Controversial Items To Be Seen
In addition, some homeowners will leave controversial items out, and these can distract a buyer, annoy them or even infuriate them if the items are controversial enough. Home buyers should feel welcome in a home and should leave without any negative feelings. Everything from posters to refrigerator magnets that may be even slightly tainted with controversy should be removed.

Leaving Valuable Items In Plain Sight
For homeowners who have some valuable possessions, it may be best to store these away or even to remove them entirely from the home. Keep in mind that buyers will be negotiating with sellers at least once and often several times during the process, and the last thing a seller wants is for the buyer to have the impression that the seller can afford to make concessions and to negotiate more freely.

Keeping Closets And Cabinets Cluttered
Closets and cabinets are common storage areas that are used to hide much of the clutter that most people keep on dressers, counters and shelves when staging a home, but storing items in these areas can backfire. Buyers will open closets and cabinets to inspect storage space, and a home can appear to be lacking in storage space when these areas are cluttered.

Properly staging a home is an important step to take to prepare a home for sale. A real estate agent can provide a homeowner with additional staging tips customized to his or her home. Consider setting up a consultation with your trusted real estate agent to discuss staging ideas before listing a home on the market.

An Insider’s Look at Mortgage Closing Costs and How to Minimize the Amount You’ll Pay

July 29th, 2015

Closing CostsWhen buying a new home, you may be focused on finding a mortgage program that has a down payment requirement that is manageable for you. However, some home buyers will overlook the costs that they are responsible for at closing. These costs can vary, but it is common for home buyers to pay between two to three percent of the loan amount in closing costs, if not more. This can be a hefty sum of money that you will need to budget for. The good news is that there are some steps that you can take to keep these costs to a minimum.

Shop For a Title Insurance Company
There are numerous fees that will be listed on your closing statement, but one of the highest fees is the title company charge. The title charges vary from company to company. Most lenders and real estate agents have preferred title companies that they want to work with, but you typically have the ability to shop around and compare the fees. You simply have to inquire what the lender’s or real estate agent’s preferred title company is and what the fees are. Then, you can shop around to find a better deal.

Consider Your Escrows
Another large expense on your closing statement will be the prepaid taxes and insurance as well as the escrows for these amounts. One idea is to ask your lender to waive escrows. This request is not always granted, but it can drastically reduce the amount of money you need to pay for out of your pocket at closing. You can also shop around for a better deal on property insurance to lower your escrow expense.

Ask the Seller to Pay for Closing Costs
While you are ultimately responsible for many of the closing costs, you may be able to structure your sales contract so that the seller pays for some or all of the costs. This is generally something that may be negotiated at the time the original offer is made, but you could also submit a revision request to the contract through your real estate agent.

Understanding what the closing costs are and which costs can be negotiated or shopped around for is important. You can also look at how gifts from the seller or other parties can be used to reduce your out of pocket expenses when buying a new home.

Summer’s Here! Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal and Get a Quick Sale with These 3 Tips

July 27th, 2015

curb appealCurb appeal is important in the home sales process, and this is because it will impact the overall first impression that potential home buyers have about the property. Some homeowner can easily spend a small fortune and a considerable amount of time improving curb appeal, but others may be looking for faster and easier results. The good news is that boosting curb appeal is easy and affordable to do when these three tips are followed.

Spruce Up The Front Door
The front door and patio area are focal points for those driving by the home, and this area receives even more scrutiny by those home buyers who walk up to the home to take a tour of the interior. Re-staining or re-painting the front door can be highly beneficial to dressing up the look of this focal area, and this can give the impression that the home is well-maintained and stylish. In addition, consider replacing the front door mat and hardware on the door for improved results and added aesthetic appeal.

Power Wash The Exterior Of The Home
Beautification efforts for the front of the home would not be complete without spending time cleaning up the space, and one of the best ways to clean the exterior of a property thoroughly is by power washing it. Power washing the exterior may include cleaning the exterior siding material of the home, the patio, the driveway, the sidewalk and even the fencing. This can give the entire area a fresher and more appealing look.

Add Color To The Flower Beds
Some homeowners may not have funds or time available to fully revamp the landscaping, but showing the flower beds some attention can pay off. After weeding the flower beds, add some fresh, brightly colored blooms to the area to dress up curb appeal. Homeowners can finish off the look by spreading a new layer of mulch across the flower beds after the flowers have been planted.

Curb appeal is vital to selling a home quickly and for top dollar. Enhancing curb appeal can cost a small fortune and could take weeks to do, but even these small and affordable efforts can give homeowners great results with minimal time and money required. Homeowners who are thinking about selling their property soon can contact a trusted real estate professional for personal assistance with their staging and home improvement efforts.

Did You Know? The Location of Your Home Plays a Role in Your Selling Price – Here’s Why

July 24th, 2015

Location CartoonOne of the most common questions homeowners have before listing their home for sale relates to the selling price. Understanding the value of the home is about far more than just comparing the square footage of the space with other homes that have recently sold in the area. While there are many factors that will play a part in a selling price, location is an important factor for several different reasons.

Neighboring Properties
The properties that are located next to the home for sale are critical to the property value. For example, a home that is located next to a park or a beautifully maintained home may have more appeal than a home located next to a strip center or a gas station. Even with homes that are located just a block or two apart, this difference in adjacent properties can have a dramatic impact on properties values.

Safety Concerns
When a home is located in an unsafe area or an area that is riddled with crime, safety concerns can lower property values. Many home buyers will review crime statistics about a location before making a buying decision, and high crime areas are far less appealing to buyers. Properties are ultimately only worth what someone will pay for them, and buyers may overwhelming opt to purchase homes in safer locations unless the sales price is lowered.

Vehicular and Pedestrian Traffic
There are some advantages to being in an area with heavy vehicular or pedestrian traffic, such as if you live in an urban area and are searching for a property that offers this lifestyle. When a home is located in heavily trafficked areas in a suburban or rural location where a quieter way of life is desired, these can be drawbacks that impact the selling price. If one home is located on a busy street corner and another similar home is located a few blocks away removed from traffic, the home with a more desirable location will typically have a higher selling price.

Desirability is often directly related to property location, and homes in more desirable locations will therefore have a higher selling price than those in an undesirable location. For those who are thinking about selling a property soon and who want to learn more about its value, a consultation with your skilled real estate professional can provide a homeowner with helpful information.