Recent Blogs For Sellers

Check out this blog from Trulia’s Real Estate 101 Blog From December 2016 – Let’s see how her predictions have held up!

By Laura Agadoni | Dec 22, 2016 9:30AM

Planning to sell in the new year? Get a head start by listing early.Being early has its benefits: “The early bird catches the worm” or “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” You get the idea. So if you’re thinking about listing your home for sale in Athens, GA, in 2017 — or if you already know you will — why not do so early, as in January or February? By getting in on the real estate market at the beginning of the year, you could benefit in some unexpected ways. Here are six of them.


1. There’s low inventory. When inventory’s low, it’s usually a great time to put your house on the market. Your new listing could cause buyers to pounce when there’s little competition, especially if your home is in a desirable neighborhood. Research conducted by Trulia revealed that 2016 was the year of low inventory. “Inventory has been low, at least in Chicago, so you might as well hit the market early,” says Gary Lucido, president of Lucid Realty in Chicago, IL.


2. There’s more urgencyThere are plenty of reasons people need to get in a home fast. Many companies transfer employees at the start of a year, for one. Whatever the reason, if you encounter a homebuyer in the dead of winter, they probably need to buy sooner rather than later. And unless you’re in a hot climate, January and February are not the months most people want to be out hitting the streets to browse. Winter buyers often have a sense of urgency — when they find what they’re looking for, they’ll make an offer.


3. Spring starts early in warm marketsIf your home is in a warm climate, you could really benefit by listing your home for sale in early spring. “Traditionally, our real estate website has at least double the number of visitors starting the day after Christmas,” says Glenn S. Phillips, CEO of Lake Homes Realty, a multistate real estate brokerage. “While homebuyers may not be personally visiting houses as quickly, they will be looking online. We advise that listing a home earlier helps a home stand out in the market.” Also, when the weather outside is frightful, “Retirees and people in the market for a second home seek a more temperate climate,” says Denver, CO, agent Matt Vos.

Some markets, however, do not experience prime time in January and February. “You might want to wait [to sell] if you have great outdoor space,” says Lucido. “It won’t show as well with snow on the ground and leafless trees.” But if outdoor space isn’t an issue, like in an urban environment, go ahead and list during the first two months of the year. “New Yorkers will attend an open house even in snowy and frigid weather if it means finding the right new home,” says David Walker, CEO of TripleMint, a New York, NY, real estate brokerage.


4. There’s early movement for lower price points“The lower-price-point markets move a little earlier,” says Vos. If you’re a first-time homebuyer and are currently saving in preparation to buy, you might have earmarked that tax refund coming to you for the purpose. “When these potential buyers get a refund on their taxes, they’ll sometimes use that as a down payment to roll into a purchase,” offers Vos. The sooner you turn in your tax return, the sooner you’ll get your refund, usually in fewer than 21 days.


5. There’s a new administrationSpeculation and uncertainty abound whenever a new administration takes the helm. If you think the Trump administration will make it tougher for people to buy a home, you might want to sell early in the year. “Many people worry that some of the reforms laid out in the Republican platform could potentially force buyers to fork over larger down payments,” says Peter Vekselman, a Southeast real estate investor. “This could be a problem for many home sellers as the pool of eligible homebuyers begins to shrink.” Of course, speculation is just that. But if you believe this to be true, “It makes sense to sell a home now,” says Vekselman.


6. There’s a potential interest rate hike comingSome people are concerned about rising interest rates this year. If homebuyers think rates will rise, they might buy sooner rather than later. “The interest rates have been very low for a very long time,” says Vos. “As they begin to tick up, you will start to see consumers’ buying power drop because of the cost to cover mortgage payments.”

Josh Moffitt, president of Silverton Mortgage Specialists in Atlanta, GA, agrees: “It is all an unknown, but there is some thought that rates could continue to rise in 2017 like they have been doing slightly at the end of 2016.”


– See more at: https://www.trulia.com/blog/6-tips-for-selling-you…



Check out this blog from Trulia’s Real Estate 101 Blog –

By Vanessa Nix Anthony
| Feb 22, 2017 3:30PM

Heed these 8 suggestions from real estate pros to ensure your property gets the highest possible price.Little things mean a lot when it comes to selling your home and getting a great price for it. But if everything counts and you have only so much time and money to invest, how do you know where to start to get your home for-sale ready and to fetch the best price?

The good folks at Consumer Reports National Research Center set out to answer just that, with an online survey of 303 real estate professionals from around the country.

As we head into the hottest selling season and with 5.3 million homes expected to change hands this year, use some or all of these strategies to help you leverage all you can against the competition.

  1. Stage and declutter your home
  2. One of the panel members Consumer Reports consulted was the former executive producer for This Old House, Massachusetts realtor and renovation consultant, Bruce Irving. Bruce was previously interviewed by Oprah protégé, Nate Berkus, and The New York Times called him “the house whisperer.”

    “Do all the work necessary to make your property look good, not through expensive changes but through excellent staging,” says Irving. “Your agent should be able to provide proper advice and even bring in a professional.”

    That means clearing out your clutter.

    “I have a gal who I send into listings to declutter and depersonalize for sellers and just tidy things up using the sellers’ own possessions for the most part,” says Karen Wallace, an agent with Lyon Real Estate, located in Auburn, CA.

    Tara Miller of Tarabell’s Designs in Portland, OR, does just that: she helps homeowners and agents stage their houses for maximum sales appeal.

    Miller points out that people who don’t keep up on needed repairs end up spending the most when it comes time to prepare a home for sale.

    “It’s remarkable what regular home maintenance, cleanliness, and minimizing clutter in your everyday life can do for you when it comes time to sell.”

    She also notes that staging a home is very different from designing or decorating. “It’s a tough thought, but not everyone likes your pets, hobbies, sports teams, or religion.”

  3. Clean it up!
  4. “If it’s dirty, it will not sell — even if it’s a great place,” says Kathy Partak, a realtor with Select Estate Properties in Auburn, CA.

    In fact, most of the agents we spoke to focused on overall cleanliness and space as the biggest factor in selling your home.

    And cleanliness pays off, according to Consumer Reports: cleaning can deliver a 3% to 5% return on investment, and this is something you can do yourself.

    When showing your home, Irving adds, “Raise window blinds, lower toilet seats — make sure the place looks at least as good as it would if you were having your boss over for dinner.”

  5. Enhance your curb appeal
  6. First impressions sell your home. As soon as a potential buyer drives up to your house, they’re making judgments — and a messy yard or a broken mailbox could cost you.

    “Exterior space is ‘free’ extra square footage and is so appealing to buyers,” says Wallace. “It pays to enhance it.”

    But if your staging budget doesn’t include the outdoors, Partak suggests making the most of the walk from the car to the entry.

    “Make it look nice from the curb with some easy potted or planted flowers to trim the walkway.”

  7. Pay attention to details
  8. The details that you may believe are insignificant can turn out to be major selling points for your home. For Irving that includes everything from paint touch-ups throughout the house to a full redo of public rooms.

    “Wash your windows, replace compact fluorescent bulbs with incandescent or halogen, and remove or minimize personal photographs,” he says.

    If you have a small budget, Partak suggests upgrading to energy-efficient windows, and adding new appliances in the kitchen. “These are always the things that bring in more money.”

  9. Refresh your kitchen and bath
  10. Don’t forget two of the the most important rooms in your home: the kitchen and bathroom. Consumer Reports estimates that you can increase your home’s value by as much as 7% through renovation.

    If you don’t have renovations in your budget, Kristen Kohnstamm, principal broker and co-owner of Dunthorpe Properties, a luxury real estate firm in Portland, OR, recommends fresh paint, a low-hanging opportunity to freshen up your space and potentially boost your asking price.

    Choose a neutral palette to increase the appeal to as many tastes as possible; buyers need to be able to easily visualize themselves living in the home, and bright colors might turn them off.

    “The worst thing you can do is put lots of money into things like carpet, paint, and other aesthetics that a new homeowner will likely want to change,” says Kohnstamm.

  11. Invest in good photos
  12. Make sure your real estate agent offers great photos that show your home in its best light when it comes time to list. Home buyers seeking a new place to live will see the pictures online before ever making a decision to visit.

    And when it comes to open houses and showings, Irving suggests you “absent yourself” because sellers can sometimes get in the way of a sale by taking things too personally.

  13. Don’t DIY everything
  14. Irving’s top tip includes a good finger-wagging at people who think they can DIY a home sale and still come out ahead.

    “First and foremost, for correct pricing, widest and best marketing, and the highest price, hire a real estate agent,” says Irving.

  15. Try not to take it personally
Kohnstamm cautions first-time sellers to temper their emotions when it comes to the sale of their home. This won’t necessarily increase the value, but will speed up the sale.

“Whatever comments are [made] about your home, they’re never intended as a personal affront. Remember, everyone has different tastes, but clean and well-maintained never goes out of style.”


– See more at: https://www.trulia.com/blog/proven-ways-increase-v…

Check out this blog from Trulia’s Real Estate 101 Blog –

By Blake Miller | Mar 15, 2017 1:49PM

Focus on these tips to help buyers choose your house instead of your neighbor’s!Airto Zamorano’s real estate game plan was solid: do a serious deep cleaning of his home every single time he had a showing. “The idea is that we wanted to project a fresh, clean feel,” says Zamorano, who lives in Marlton, NJ.

The tactic worked. Despite similar homes for sale in his neighborhood, within 24 hours the Zamoranos received a full-price offer. They even received several backup offers while they were under contract! “Everyone made a comment about the home being well cared for and how clean it was,” he says. “We take great pride in homeownership, and that was clear to people. I think having a fresh scent and everything vacuumed and wiped down right before the people arrived made a huge difference.”

Going head-to-head with your neighbors’ listing can make a complex process even more challenging. Here’s how to beat out the neighborhood competition to get your home sold first.


– See more at: https://www.trulia.com/blog/real-estate-comps-make…

Check out this blog from Zillow “Porchlight” blog spot!

5 Tips for First-Time Home Sellers
BY BRENDON DESIMONE ON 9 NOV 2015


Whether you purchased your home four years ago or 40, selling for the first time can be tricky. Here are some important points to consider when you list your home for sale.

Selling a home is nothing like buying one. Whether you’ve been in the home for four years or 40, first-time sellers need to consider some important points before getting started.

You need the right agent

Unless you’re offering the home For Sale by Owner, you will need to sign an agreement with a real estate agent and their brokerage. You’ll also have to pay a commission. Because the agreement contractually ties you to your agent for three to six months, choosing the right one is more important this time around. Unlike when you were a buyer, you can’t simply come in and out of the market.

You’ve got to be ready to sell

In the Internet age, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Information flows more quickly than ever. If you list your home at an unrealistic price or not in the best condition, the number of days on market (or DOM) will add up — and could come back to bite you later.

Sellers who resist their agents’ pricing suggestions may not be emotionally ready to separate from their home. By overpricing it, they will self-sabotage the sale. It’s better not to list your home than to “try” at a high price or in bad condition.

DOM factors into buyers’ offers

A typical buyer looking at a listing will first notice the price and size. They will then scroll through the photos and look at the listing history. If a home has been on the market more than three months, they may think there is something wrong with it.

Or, what’s worse, when you do get serious and adjust your price or condition to what it’s really worth, buyers will penalize you for it by offering even less.

You’ll never interface with the brokerage — only your agent

The agent you choose matters more than the brokerage, although you should consider both. If you list your home with Suzy at XYZ Brokerage, Suzy will be your only contact with the company.

Agents are independent contractors who choose to hang their license with a company whose brand and culture match their business. While a well-known or large brokerage is an important consideration for listing, if your agent is successful and someone you trust, they will do a good job no matter the brokerage.

If you get an offer, you have to move soon

Once you get an acceptable offer from a buyer and you sign the contract, the clock starts ticking toward your closing. Many sellers underestimate the amount of time it can take to list, sell and close on a home. Know your market before you list, and put a plan in place for where you’ll move when your home sells. If your market moves quickly and your agent expects the home to sell within a few weeks, it might be better to wait.

The best advice for first-time sellers is not to sell until you are ready. Have a plan, know where you are going, and work with a great local agent early on. You should do what it takes to present your home in its best light and price it right.

Selling a home can be very stressful and emotional. Add on top of that packing and moving, and it’s a lot to deal with for anyone. Be sure you’re prepared before you start the process.

Related:

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.


Check out this blog from From Style, Staged, and Sold blog!


How to Create a Warm, Inviting Winter Listing
By Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

A Welcoming Curb Appeal

Maintain a polished look by keeping gutters clean and shrubs trimmed. Be sure to also remove any hazards by shoveling, sanding, and removing any ice or snow from the driveway, walkways, and sidewalks. To engage buyers on a gloomy day, keep the front porch well lit, use potted evergreens or berry branches, a wreath on the door, lanterns, and a seasonal welcome mat.

Simple and Elegant Holiday Decor

Do not overdo! Buyers want to see the home’s permanent features and a fireplace or window covered with too many ribbons and stockings will distract from key focal points. Instead, incorporate elegant finishing touches such as mercury glass votives and ornaments for some sparkle paired with candles, pine cones, berries and twigs.

Create Warmth With Lighting

Use modest lighting as an accent to create an inviting ambience. Scatter a few lightly scented tea lights in votives, candles in varying heights on beautiful pillars or lanterns and soft white string lights on the front porch, entry stairway or fireplace.

Splashes of Minimal Color

Too much traditional green and red can compete with existing decor and command a room’s attention. A couple of red plaid throw pillows or a red wool blanket draped on the sofa will add just enough festive pop. We also love using silver and gold paired with fresh, white seasonal flowers to complement freshly painted neutral walls that appeal to nearly all buyers.

Keep It Bright

With shorter days, let in as much natural light as possible by opening blinds and curtains. Make sure that all lights are working, light bulbs have been changed, and be sure that the property is well lit both inside and out for late afternoon showings.