Home Selling Advice

Why Pre-Listing Home Inspections Are Growing in Popularity

Home sellers are increasingly electing to have their homes inspected either prior to listing their home for sale, or prior to finding a buyer.

Having your home inspected and taking care of any issues can virtually eliminate the potential pitfalls and hassles associated with waiting to do the home inspection until a buyer is found. In this case the inspector works for you, the seller, and generates an inspection report for you. You can then share the inspection report with potential buyers.

Although the inspector is working for you, and generating a report for you, the inspector still has an obligation to do the best and most accurate inspection possible.

Here are the main advantages of having a pre-listing home inspection completed:

How Does A Professional Agent Determine The Market Value And Best Listing Price Of Your Home?

The single most important factor to consider when selling your home is the price.  How much is your house worth in today's local real estate market? 

You don't want to overprice your home.  You will lose the freshness of the home's appeal after the first few weeks of showings. After that time, demand and interest wane. On the other hand, if you price your property too low you may receive less than the actual market value.  Homes priced below the market, however, will often receive multiple offers, which will then drive up the price to market.

Pricing is all about supply and demand . . . part art and part science.

This is How a Professional Real Estate Agent Prices Your Home . . .

Interviewing Multiple Agents? Be Careful What Information You Share

You're ready to list your home.  Although a particular agent was highly recommended to you by a trustworthy friend, you've decided to interview them as well as 2 other agents so you can compare their marketing plans and how much they feel your home is worth.  

This is a good idea, if you have the time, but there are a few things you need to be careful of during this preliminary question and answer process . . . things that can negatively affect your bargaining position later when your home is marketed.

Ways To Find Out What Your Home Is Really Worth

What don't the computer models that determine home values tell you?  Well, lots and lots of things. There are so many reasons that these models are flawed . . . many obvious, many not so obvious.

If you used one of the online services to determine the value of your home, our advice is definitely don't use that information to set your selling price. These models may be wildly inaccurate, and often are.

A computer program can't physically inspect your home. It doesn't know whether unique features of your property might add to or detract from market value. It can't account for a sewage treatment facility next door, or the railroad tracks nearby with trains that blow their whistles all night. It also doesn't know that you recently added high-end finishes in your kitchens and baths and invested money in staging your property with the colors and furnishings that today's buyers are looking for.

6 Seller Secrets For This Spring's Real Estate Market

Each year, it seems the housing market takes on a different tone – and whether it’s a sellers’ market with inflated prices and bidding wars, or a buyers’ market with tons of choices and low prices – there’s no denying that the 2017 spring housing season is upon us.

So what does it have in store? Well, if you’re thinking of listing your home, that’s an important question.

Here are 6 market insights that will give you a head start!

Open House in the Winter? Make a Powerful First Impression

When preparing your home for an Open House this time of year, be sure to pay as much attention to the outside as you do to the inside. You want to create a great first impression, so by the time potential buyers enter your home, they are already optimistic about living there.

Here are some relatively easy things you can do to create the most inviting exterior without breaking the bank or your back. Also be aware that most buyers will ride by and check out the exterior of your home before even considering viewing the inside.  So it can be argued that the exterior is 'the most important' selling feature. 

1. Put a fresh coat of paint on your front door.  Not sure what color is best?  Use a color wheel to find a color that complements the color of your siding or brick.  Here is a simple color wheel to use from This Old House:  https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/choose-paint-colors-color-wheel.

Selling Your Home? How a Sale Can Impact Your Taxes

Generally, any profits you earn are taxable. However, when you sell your home you may not have to pay taxes on the money you gain . . . it all depends on whether you fall within the qualifying guidelines. 

Here are 10 items to consider when selling your home:

1. You May Qualify for an Exclusion of Gain.  You may be able to exclude part or all of the gain from the sale of your home. This rule may apply if you meet the eligibility test. Parts of the test involve your ownership and use of the home. You must have owned and used it as your main/primary home for at least two out of the five years before the date of sale.

Want to Add Value To Your Property? Plant Some Trees!

It's Spring and everyone is busy cleaning up their landscaping and thinking about what new projects to start.   Here's a good tip to improve the value and desirability of your property . . . plant some trees!

According to the National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Surveys, 18% of repeat buyers and 25% of buyers purchasing a new home said that being on a wooded lot or on a lot with many trees was very important to them.  And, 84 percent of real estate agents surveyed believe that a house on a wooded lot will fetch at least 20 percent more than a home on a lot without trees.

Trees do more than add desirability.  Did you know that at according to the U.S. Department of Energy at least 3 trees strategically placed on a lot can save an average household between $100 and $250 in annual energy bills? 

Read more about it:  Don't Overlook the Trees, Buyers Aren'tThe number of trees on a lot can be a powerful influencer for home buyers.  [NAR Daily News Magazine]

Invite The Maximum Natural Light Into Your Home

Lots of natural light is a great selling feature for any home.  It has much to do with the placement of the windows and which direction they face.  It also has much to do with how much light enters your property, how wooded or open, and the placement of large trees and shrubbery.  These are perhaps things you can't do anything about.

In light of that, the window coverings you choose can make a big difference on how much natural light you invite into your home.  When you're selling your home, the rule of thumb is . . . the more natural light the better.

Let's look at some window covering options you might choose that will give you both ample natural light when you want it, and privacy and shade from the sun when needed.

April is Fair Housing Month - Working to Stop Discrimination

This month marks the 47th anniversary of the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, and HUD is launching an educational campaign to help people recognize and combat housing discrimination.

This quote from HUD Secretary Julián Castro sums it all up. "At the core of everything we do to improve housing opportunities is a firm belief that no family should ever be denied the opportunity to own or rent a home because of what they look like, where they come from, how they get around, how they speak, who they love and other circumstances of life. HUD’s fair housing efforts level the playing field so that folks have a solid foundation upon which they can achieve their dreams and build for the future."

What to do if you believe your rights, or the rights of others, are being violated?  Learn more on HUD's website.