Why Use a Realtor when Selling a Home

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

A real estate agent can help you understand everything you need to know about the home selling process.

Not all real estate licensees are the same; only those who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®(NAR) are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR “®” trademark on their business cards and other marketing and sales literature.

REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reported that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again. (more…)

How to Set a List Price for Your Home

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Setting the list price for your home involves evaluating various market conditions and financial factors. During this phase of the home selling process, your REALTOR® will help you set your list price based on:

  • pricing considerations
  • comparable sales
  • market conditions
  • offering incentives
  • estimated net proceeds

Pricing Considerations – Find a Balance Between Too High and Too Low

When setting a list price for your home, you should be aware of a buyer’s frame of mind. Consider the following pricing factors: (more…)

Get Your House Ready to Show Buyers

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

A house that “sparkles” on the surface will sell faster than its shabby neighbor, even though both are structurally well maintained.

From experience, REALTORS® also know that a “well-polished” house appeals to more buyers and will sell faster and for a higher price. Additionally, buyers feel more comfortable purchasing a well-cared for home because if what they can see is well maintained, they assume that what they can’t see has probably also been well maintained. In readying your house for sale, consider: (more…)

The Basics of Marketing Your Home

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Your REALTOR®’s marketing efforts and considerations will include advertising, showing the property, how long the house has been on the market and whether you’re buying another home. Your home should be listed, whenever possible, through a Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Advertising and Promotion

Properties are commonly advertised through real estate agent Web sites, Internet home search/listing services, classified advertising and real estate guides. Promotion efforts through office and MLS tours are a good way of getting other buyer agents to view your home and to promote it to the buyers they are working with.

Even with all these advertising avenues, ” For Sale” signs on front lawns are still remarkably effective. Many REALTORS® promote their Web sites on the sign and use brochure boxes with the signs to market the property. When appropriate, and with your permission, your REALTOR® may send a mailing about your property to neighbors. Sometimes one of them has a friend or relative who always wanted to live near them. You never know how far reaching the benefits of word-of-mouth advertising by friends, relatives and neighbors can be.

Showings and Open Houses

To prepare your home for viewing, make it as bright, clean, cheerful and serene as possible. Always look at your home from the buyer’s point of view. Your REALTOR® will probably find a tactful way to suggest that you be absent while the house is being shown to prospective buyers, because your presence will inhibit their actions and conversations. They won’t feel free to open closets and cabinets, test out the plumbing and discuss their observations objectively as they walk through the house. It goes without saying that your children and pets should not be on the premises either.

If your REALTOR® has scheduled an open house, you may want to notify the neighbors, and assure them that they’ll be welcome. They’ll jump at the chance to poke around in your house, and sometimes they can turn up a buyer among their friends.

Quick tips for showings and open houses:

  • Clean or replace dirty or worn carpets.
  • Open all curtains and blinds.
  • Replace any burned out light bulbs and turn on all lights.
  • Clear all clutter.
  • Clear all countertops.
  • Wash and put away any dirty dishes.
  • Set the dining room or kitchen table if you have particularly nice linen or china.
  • Simmer a few drops of vanilla on the stove.
  • Put on soft music.
  • Burn wood in the fireplace on cold days, otherwise, clean the fireplace.
  • Put fresh towels in the bathroom.
  • Take any laundry out of the washer and dryer.
  • Leave the house so your REALTOR® is free to deal with prospective buyers in a professional manner.
  • Put pets in cages or take them to a neighbor.

How Long Has Your House Been on the Market?

Professional appraisers sum up their entire body of knowledge in three words: “ Buyers make value.” Your home is worth as much as a buyer will pay for it.

If your home has been on the market for months, it’s a clear message that the property may not be worth what you’re asking for it. This is particularly true if there haven’t been many prospects coming to see it. What you do at that point depends on whether you really need to sell, and whether you’re working with a time limit.

If you’re not really motivated to move soon, you can always wait – years if necessary – and hope inflation will catch up with the price you want. The problem is that in that time, your home begins to feel shopworn. Buyers become suspicious of a house that’s been for sale for a long time.

If you really do need to sell, with your REALTOR® discuss a schedule for gradually dropping your price until you find a level that attracts buyers. There’s no point in saying, ” We simply can’t sell our house.” Anything will sell if the price is right.

If You’re Buying Another Home

You may wonder what will happen when you’re selling one home and buying another – how will all the details work out? This is a common situation and REALTORS®, lawyers, and title and escrow companies have plenty of experience in arranging contracts and loans so that the two transactions dovetail smoothly.

And should you sell your home first then buy or buy first then sell? Ideally, it’s best to find a home you like and make an offer subject to selling your current home. This generally works in a normal market. However, in a “hot” market most sellers will not accept a “subject to sale” offer. In this case you need to sell your home first and then buy a new home in the interim period between selling and vacating your house.

If you find that you need to buy the next house before you’ve received the proceeds from the present one, lending institutions can sometimes make you a short-term ” bridge” loan to tide you over between the two transactions. Make sure you fully understand the exposure and emotional investment before proceeding with this type of loan.


The Basics of Making an Offer

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

A written proposal is the foundation of a real estate transaction. Oral promises are not legally enforceable when it comes to the sale of real estate. Therefore, you need to enter into a written contract, which starts with your written proposal. This proposal not only specifies price, but also all the terms and conditions of the purchase. For example, if the seller offered to help with $2,000 toward your closing costs, make sure that’s included in your written offer and in the final completed contract, or you won’t have grounds for collecting it later. (more…)

Home Inspections Avert Future Headaches

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Suppose you bought a house and later discovered, to your dismay, that the stucco exterior concealed a nasty case of dry rot. Or suppose that when you fired up the furnace in the winter, you discovered a cracked heat exchanger leaking gas into your home. The best way to avoid unpleasant surprises like these is to arrange for a home inspection before you buy.

Home Inspections Help You Avoid Unpleasant Surprises

A good home inspection is an objective, top-to-bottom examination of a home and everything that comes with it. The standard inspection report includes a review of the home’s heating and air-conditioning systems; plumbing and wiring; roof, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation and basement. (more…)

Why use a Realtor When Buying a Home?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

A real estate agent can help you understand everything you need to know about the home buying process.

Not all real estate licensees are the same; only those who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR “ ®” trademark on their business cards and other marketing and sales literature.

REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reported that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again. (more…)

Take Charge When Buying a Home

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

If you approach the home buying process intelligently and with confidence, you are much more likely to buy a house you’ll be proud to call home.

Approaching the task of buying a home can be overwhelming; there’s so much to consider:

  • How much house can I afford?
  • How can I find the best loan?
  • Where will I come up with a down payment, and how much will I need?
  • Should I buy a new or resale home, and which will go up in value?
  • Should I work with an agent or look at homes on my own?

And these questions are just the beginning. Buying a home is one of the largest financial transactions in your lifetime – do your research so you know what you’re doing. (more…)

How to Choose a Home

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Here are some tips to help determine which house is best for you.

Once you’ve settled on a couple of preferred neighborhoods for your home search, it’s time to pick out a few homes to view. Having a house features “wish list” keeps you focused on which features are most important to you.

When narrowing down your home search, consider the following: (more…)

How to choose a Neighborhood for Your Home Search

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Narrow your home search by identifying neighborhoods that are right for you. This helps keep your search focused and efficient.  Terri can offer neighborhood information to guide you in your search.

When evaluating a neighborhood you should investigate local conditions. Depending on your own particular needs and tastes, some of the following factors may be more important considerations than others: (more…)