Preparing Your Home To Sell

Sellers want their home in top condition when it goes on the market. We know those first impressions and curb appeal matter. What can homeowners do to get their house in top condition to sell?

All In The Presentation

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Some say the first impression is the only impression that matters. You’ll often get the best return on your investment when spending money on improvements to the outside of the house. Make time to power wash your home and clear out the spiderwebs on the front porch. Keep the landscape tidy and free of debris and ensure the walkway to your home is clear. Buy the new garage door or update the front entrance door and add a fresh doormat.

Showcase Properly

Clear the entrance and kitchen of dirt and grime. Touch up any nicks in the drywall and paint walls in high-traffic areas inside, like the main hallways and bathrooms. Address any areas where stale odors or stains are noticeable in your carpets or rugs. It may be time to hire a carpet cleaner to do a deep clean. It’s important to depersonalize the home. The buyers have to envision themselves in your space, so remove personal photos where possible.

Do’s And Don’ts

  • DO – Almost all buyers claim they search for a home with good light. Always maximize the lighting at home, both inside and out. Be sure all the window coverings are open to let the sunshine in. Purchase higher wattage bulbs for lamps and light fixtures.
  • DON’T – Even if you think your pet is the most adorable one that exists, not all buyers will agree. It’s best to send your pet to a friend or neighbors’ home during a showing. Some buyers get the impression the house is not clean if animals live there, so it’s best not to have the food bowl or litter box out as a reminder.
  • DO – Buyers want storage. Organize and purge items in your closets so that the closets are only half full. A tidy closet only half full will give the impression that there is plenty of space.

Find more tips for selling your home.

Sell Now

It’s a seller’s market right now. There are fewer homes for sale which means more competition for buyers. Let’s look at a few of the reasons not to wait to place your house on the market.

Before School’s Out For Summer

Sell now at the start of the spring real estate season before people prepare to move in the summer when their kids are off school. Be sure to include both indoor and outdoor spring-cleaning projects to get your house ready to show. Moving families will want to settle into a new neighborhood, so school registration for fall is finalized, and new routines are established.

Homes Are Selling Quickly

According to Realtor.com, the median U.S. home listing price is up 15.6%, and homes are spending less time on the market than last year at this time. On average, homes stay on the market for about 54 days, which is nearly a week shorter than a year ago. And the Quad City market is seeing home sales finalized in less than seven days. Fewer homes for purchase allow those available to turn over quickly, which means you’ll have fewer open houses. If you’ve been debating on selling at a time when profit looks promising, now’s the time.

Multiple Offers Mean More Options

Fewer homes available for sale means that, as the seller, you could experience bidding wars and multiple offers. And receiving multiple offers may give you more flexibility on closing dates and fewer inspections to pass. Bidding wars produce more offers to consider and even possible cash offers from buyers.

Money In Your Pocket

Interest rates remain low, and the possibility that they will begin to rise again has incented some buyers to take the leap and act quickly now. As demand for available homes increases, so does the money in your pocket if you’re ready to sell.

Find more selling tips for homeowners at melfostercoblog.com

Handling Multiple Home Offers

Your home is on the market and you are suddenly handling multiple offers from interested buyers. While this may feel like an ideal scenario, you may not be sure where to begin. To keep it simple, consider selecting from one of three courses of action for best results.

Accept The Best Offer And Reject The Others

Determine what best offer means to you first. Typically best offer means getting the most money for your home. But some sellers need to move quickly due to personal circumstances, so their best offer may be the cash deal today without waiting on pending loan approvals or contingency sales. Once you know what you need most from your sale, narrow it down to the best offer for a quick and easy sale.

The Secret In Multiple Offers

You can ask your buyers to present their final offer upfront, also called highest and best offer. This method of cutting to the chase is an assertive way to weed out buyers who may be on the fence or not quite serious about their offer. Buyers would have to present a purchase agreement with a highest offer addendum, which allows for an increase in purchase price not to exceed a certain dollar amount of the next competing offer. The other buyers would not know any details of the other offers being put forth.

Counter The Best Offer And Reject The Rest

If one offer is the clear favorite, you might simply want to counter that offer to see if you can get the terms you want. While other potential buyers are waiting, you may choose to negotiate with your top candidate and then decide to reintroduce other buyers back into the equation if your first option falls through.

Talk with your Mel Foster Co. REALTOR®, they can help you navigate this decision.

Moving Tips When You Have A Pet

Preparing to move into a new home is exciting yet overwhelming. If you have a pet, he or she is likely a bit unsettled too. Consider a few useful steps you can take ahead of your move to ensure a smooth transition for the beloved animal members of your family.

Planning Ahead

Your four-legged friend can sense change is coming. Try introducing the pet carrier she will travel in weeks in advance. Place her favorite toy or blanket inside and leave it open at home so she feels comfortable in it. Take her on a short car ride in the carrier so she’s used to being inside of it.

Prepare a bag with necessities to care for your pet and be sure it’s handy and ready for moving day. Include items like food or kitty litter, grooming tools, leash, medications and favorite treats.

Making Changes

Seek out a new veterinarian before your move and have your current vet transfer the files. Set up an appointment to visit with the new vet soon after your move to establish a relationship prior to any need for urgent care. Be sure you update tags or microchip information to your new address and phone number.

Getting Them Settled

If at all possible, take your pet with you in your vehicle when you move. Avoid having your pet loose in your new home while movers are coming in and out and doors are left open for an easy escape. The first visits to the yard should include a leash, even if the yard is fenced. There is so much to sniff and explore in a new yard and you should use this time exploring with your pet to check for small holes in a fence or other hazards.

Find more tips for selling your home.

Should You Raise the Asking Price of Your Home?

Pricing strategies

There are several strategies homeowners can follow when setting their initial asking price. Often sellers try to undercut their competition, but there are times when it actually makes sense to list your home for a higher price.

You should feel comfortable listing your home for a higher price when your residence offers more than other listings in your area. Maybe your kitchen was recently renovated or you have more storage that sets your home apart from all the others. These features may justify an asking price that’s a bit higher than other homes in your area.

Finally, frequently check market conditions to see if they have changed since you initially listed your home. If you notice more buyers are entering the market and homes are selling quickly, raising your own asking price might be a good move.

Setting the right asking price is a challenge you’ll face when listing your home. That’s why it’s so important to work with a real estate agent who knows your market. Find a Mel Foster Co. agent who specializes in listings in your area.

When is the Right Time to Sell?

Timing Right?

Some homeowners feel their current house isn’t their forever home. Here are a few signs it may be time to start your search for something new.

  1. Your Home Doesn’t Fit Your Needs

If your family is growing, or you’ve recently become an empty nester, it’s probably time to start searching for a new home. Consider location, size, and layout when finding your next home.

  1. It’s a Seller’s Market

You can always count on the real estate market to provide shifting trends. Fortunately right now it’s a seller’s market and most homes are selling quickly. There is currently more demand for homes than the market can meet. If you’re on the fence it might be time to strike while the irons are hot.

  1. Your Interest Rate is High

Currently interest rates on mortgage loans are historically low. If you’re paying a mortgage with a high interest rate, it’s time to start searching for new opportunities. You can consider refinancing or maybe this is the push you need to find a different home. You’ll want to act quickly, as interest rates are expected to increase throughout 2018.

  1. Your Mortgage is Completely Paid

If your mortgage is completely paid off when you sell your home, you can reap the financial rewards of making years of payments. If you’re looking to downsize significantly, consider a smaller home that requires less upkeep. It’ll save you time and money if the home doesn’t require constant care.

Follow these tips to start preparing to sell.

Three Ways to Make your Home Appeal to Millennials

What we look for in a home.

It can be difficult to appeal to millennial homebuyers’ tastes, but recent polling has provided some insight into what they’re searching for in their first home.

  1. Leave Room for Improvement

Many millennials are looking for a fixer-upper for their first home due to their limited budgets. HGTV has made remodeling more accessible than ever, and millennials want to renovate their houses into their own dream homes. In 2017 first-time homebuyers spent an average of $33,800 on home renovations.

  1. Have a Separate Laundry Room

Millennials are willing to sacrifice comfort for extra square footage dedicated to a laundry room. Every year surveys taken on millennials’ buying choices point toward this trend. It’s a small change that can make your home significantly more attractive to this group of buyers.

  1. Be Environmentally Friendly

Offer a house that includes green features. Millennials look for LED lighting, double paned windows or even solar panels. You don’t have to make a major investment, but even updated, energy-efficient appliances will attract buyers. It’s not only trendy and good for the planet, but will also save money in the long run.

Want more expert advice on how to market your home to the most buyers? Ask a Mel Foster Co. agent.

 

Why You Should Buy During the Winter

Buy in the Winter.

House hunting during the colder months may not be the most popular time of year to look, but there are several upsides to consider.

  1. You Face Less Competition in the Winter

Approximately 50% of homes sold during the year are sold during summer months. If you purchase in the winter, you may avoid stressful bidding wars and sellers can be more eager to close quickly as they have fewer offers to choose from. They may also try to sweeten the deal with additional incentives when you buy during this time frame.

  1. Sellers are Motivated

A motivated seller is great news for the buyer. If they’re trying to sell quickly due to relocation or other time constraints, they’ll be more flexible when it comes to price. It’s also possible the house has been on the market for an extended period of time, maybe since last summer, meaning the seller is ready to close as quickly as possible.

  1. Interest Rates May Increase

Interest rates can have an impact on your budget when buying a house. The direction of interest rates is never certain, but many analysts think the rates will increase, maybe even multiple times in the year, due to a strong economy. Consider that the sooner you buy, the further your money will go.

  1. Housing Prices are Rising

Housing prices on average have steadily increased the past several years. This upward trend is expected to continue according to real estate analysts.

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