Real Estate Agents

There are two other homes in my neighborhood that are for sale along with mine. How can I make my house stand out from the competition?

There are four main factors that affect the sale of any Home – housing inventory (ratio of supply vs. demand), location, condition and price. While you don’t have any control over the current supply and demand in the market place, and cannot change the location of the home you are trying to sell, you do have control over the condition and price of your home.

To make your home compelling in the eyes of a buyer, it’s helpful to have a “wow” factor. Perhaps it’s a remodeled master bathroom or kitchen, new appliances or flooring, a beautifully finished basement, a stunning lot or outdoor entertaining area – what does your house offer that the competition doesn’t? If your home doesn’t currently have a “wow” factor, it might be worth considering what investment you can make that will help your house stand out from the competition, and create value in the mind of a buyer.

Without a “wow” factor, you need your house to be the “shiny penny” in the group. It needs to be the cleanest and most well-cared for home in the neighborhood. There cannot be any clutter, dust or dirt in sight! Your house needs to be move-in ready with a neutral color scheme that most buyers find appealing.

Finally, you have to list your house at a compelling price point. Will a buyer find more value in your home vs. the competition for your asking price? Your asking price will either compel someone to buy your home, or it will help sell the competition!

A buyer will write an offer on your home if it has a specific feature they want but can’t find in other homes, or if it offers a greater value for their money.

Submitted by Shari Dykes, Carpenter Realtors

If you are new to an area and need to buy a home during a short visit, what are the key factors to consider to ensure a good long-term decision?

According to the National Association of Realtors, the 2013 average home search took buyers 10 weeks. Additionally, 90% of buyers start their search online, so if you’re shopping for a home in a quick trip, use the internet ahead of time to find out as much about the area as possible.

Your first step in the process would be to utilize the assistance of an experienced, local Realtor®. At no cost to the buyer, you can access their expertise and knowledge of the city to help you find the home that meets the criteria of these items on your list:

School systems: Quality of education; proximity to the schools

Amenities: Parks, shopping, interstate access, job commute

Housing affordability and resale: Shop to get the most home you can for your budget, but keep resale in mind. Look at the home’s location and the status of the neighborhood upkeep. It’s been said, “Never buy a home you can’t sell!”

Price: Schools, land, city, finish and age of home will determine what you can buy for the money

Home size: The number one reason for a repeat buyer is to find a larger home. Your kids are not getting any smaller, so buy something that will grow with your family, not one that you will outgrow quickly.

Provide your Realtor your housing list and they will send you options that meet those requirements. The agent will be able to give you recommendations and guidance on the homes found based on your goals, and may even be able to preview the options ahead of time for you to help maximize your visit.

Once in town, make sure to take notes, pictures and videos of the homes so at the end of the trip you can recall the properties and the amenities they have to offer. Preparation and communication with your Realtor are key to helping you get the most out of your home-shopping tour, enabling you to find that perfect abode – even on a quick visit!

Submitted by Dan Irish, Realtor®, ERA Real Estate Links

We want a bigger home, but need to sell our existing home prior to buying a new one. Where do we even start?

This is a common situation for home sellers. Avoiding the stress of owning two homes while balancing the purchase of your next home is a tricky but oftentimes unavoidable situation. Careful planning with your real estate agent and a well thought out strategy can get you where you want to be with minimal risk. During your move-up, there are four specific things you should be mindful of:

Marketing your existing home: Put together a plan that will allow you to market and sell your home in an efficient and reasonable manner. Bottom line: How long will it take and how much will we make?

Financing: If you will be using the proceeds from the sale of your home for the purchase, it will be helpful to work closely with your real estate and mortgage professionals to piece together the details. This is a critical step so that you can plan the financial components of your move. Bottom line: How much money will I need for my new home?

Your buyer: Once you have an offer in place you’ll need to carefully vet the buyer and have them answer serious questions about their capacity to purchase your home. Bottom line: Are they ready, willing and able to purchase your home?

Contingencies and contractual terms: Making your home purchase contingent upon the sale of your home helps you protect against the risk of owning two homes. Home sellers are often agreeable with this arrangement. Also, negotiating the time of possession on your existing house will make your move more convenient and less stressful.Bottom line:Which terms and conditions are in your best interest?

The process can be a daunting one, but by breaking it into manageable pieces and working with competent professionals it can be truly rewarding.

Submitted by Jason O’Neil, Encore Sotheby’s International Realty

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