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4 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home

Selling your home is, in a nutshell, a complicated process. There are a million factors to consider: when to sell, how to sell, and how much to sell for, to start. In order to successfully sell your home, it’s important to avoid the many potential pitfalls along the way that can threaten to bring the selling process crashing down and cost you immeasurable time, money, and hassle.

Here are 4 mistakes you’ll definitely want to avoid when selling your home:

Over or Underpricing

When selling your home, it’s imperative you price it in a way that’s in line with your current market. If you mis-price your home, no matter what way you look at it, you’re leaving money on the table: if you underprice, you’ll sell your home for less than it’s worth. If you overprice, you won’t be able to compete with other homes and your house will sit on the market, costing you time and money.

Before you list your home, do your research to understand what’s going on in your local market. Get to know the average listing price of comparable homes in your neighborhood and look at the price where most homes seem to be closing. You’ll want to price your home in the same range to both stay competitive and ensure that you’re getting the best price for your home.

Not Investing In Repairs

Many homeowners neglect to invest in minor repairs on their home, presumably since they’re selling the house and figure the new homeowners can take care of it. But listing your home as a “fixer upper” and not investing in the necessary repairs can drive down the value of your home and end up costing you a significantly higher amount of money than just handling the repairs yourself.

Prior to listing your home, evaluate any areas that might need repair. Does the exterior need a fresh coat of paint? Does your plumbing need to be replaced? Is there landscaping work that needs to be done? Getting these repairs out of the way before you start showing your property will end up getting you higher offers and will save you money in the long run.

Not Staging Your Home

Staging is an essential part of the selling process. By staging your home properly, you’re showcasing your property in the best light and maximizing its appeal to potential buyers.

But many sellers (particularly first time sellers) decide to skip the staging process. They either show their home as is or, if they’ve already purchased another property, move all of their things out and show the home empty.

Both of these scenarios can have a negative effect on potential buyers.

If you show your house as is, with all of your furniture, decor, and personal belongings, your house will look lived in – by you. It’s going to be hard for potential buyers to picture themselves in your home when pictures of your family are staring back at them from every wall surface.

On the other hand, if you showcase your home empty, it can be challenging for potential buyers to picture the home as a liveable space. It will seem cold and impersonal, which can hurt your chance at selling.

If you want to sell your home, invest in proper staging that highlights the best parts of your property and makes your home feel attractive and appealing to potential buyers.

Trying To Sell On Your Own

With so many potential mistakes that could prevent you from selling your home at the highest possible price, the biggest mistake you could make is trying to navigate the process on your own.

Working with an experienced real estate agent who understands your market and the selling process is invaluable. Agents handle the entire process from beginning to end and can help you avoid major mistakes on the way. They know how to price your house to sell and how to get your home from listed to sold in as little time as possible.

Do yourself a favor – if you’re considering selling your home, don’t try to do it on your own. Get the right support by partnering with a qualified real estate agent.

There are a lot of mistakes that can be made on the road to selling your home. But if you know what to look out for, you can avoid those mistakes and get your home sold quickly, easily, and profitably.

 

*Article provided by the Lighterside of Real Estate

4 Behind-The-Scenes Ways Your Real Estate Agent Supports Your Home Sale

When you hire a real estate agent to sell your home, there are obvious things you notice them doing to help your house sell. Things like: hosting open houses, bringing potential buyers on home tours, and marketing your property in multiple ways to make sure it gets enough exposure.

But when it comes to adding value to your home sale, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A huge percentage of your agent’s job takes place behind-the-scenes, and they’re working around the clock to get your house sold — even when you’re not looking.

Here are 4 behind-the-scenes way your real estate agent is working to get your house sold:

1. Performing market research

When it comes to pricing your home, your agent doesn’t just pull a random number out of a hat. Your agent’s recommendation is a result of extensive market research to ensure your home is priced in a way that’s attractive to both buyers and you, the seller.

Agents pull data on comparable properties in your area (from both the MLS and any public databases) for the past 12 to 18 months. They research how each home was priced and how the price correlated to the average time the property sat on the market before coming up with a CMA (comparable market analysis) to determine the market value of your property and suggest a listing price.

All the insights gathered from your agent’s behind-the-scenes research are crucial to pricing your property correctly — and wouldn’t be possible without your agent’s hard work.

2. Gathering relevant information for buyers

A critical part of the home selling process is providing accurate and complete information to potential buyers. But most of the information buyers want isn’t something you, as a seller, will have ready and available.

Your agent gathers all the information a potential buyer might want to know so that if and when they request it, it’s ready to go. Agents research things like the average utility usage of your property for the past 12 months, a breakdown of the home’s floor plan, and a list of all available electricity and gas vendors in the area to make it available to buyers, which saves you a ton of time and hassle.

3. Phone calls and scheduling

As part of their marketing efforts, your agent likely has your property listed on both the MLS and multiple public forums in order to get your home in front of as many potential buyers as possible. And while the increased exposure is great for driving interest in your home, someone needs to manage all the inquiries, follow up with interested buyers, and schedule viewings.

And that person is your real estate agent.

When your agent calls you to schedule a tour, that’s just a small part of the process. Before they called you, they’ve already answered email inquiries, fielded multiple phone calls, talked to buyer’s agents, and weeded out people who aren’t serious about viewing — and potentially buying — your home.

The call you get to schedule the tour is the last step in a lengthy scheduling process — most of which your agent manages behind-the-scenes.

4. Managing the close (and all the logistics that go with it)

Now, once a qualified buyer makes an offer on your home — and you decide to accept it — your agent’s job goes into high gear. Now, that’s not to say that managing the close happens entirely behind-the-scenes; obviously, your agent is going to work with you to get the job done. There’s plenty of the closing process (from negotiating with the buyers to reviewing contracts) that you’ll get to witness up close and personal.

But there’s a lot more that goes into managing the close of your home then what you actually see from your agent.

They have to make sure the signed contracts are sent to everyone who needs a copy, including the lender, the buyer’s agent, the title company, and any involved attorneys. They have to file a status change with the MLS from “For Sale” to “Pending” and, finally, to “Sold.” They need to schedule the final walkthrough with the buyers and their agent.

Closing on your home? It’s kind of a logistical nightmare.

But luckily for you, when you work with a real estate agent, they take care of all the (many) details and logistics that need to be managed throughout the closing process, saving you immeasurable time, money, and frustration.

When you work with a real estate agent, it’s easy to see the value that they bring to the table during the process of selling your home. But what you see is just the beginning. The hours you see your agent putting in — the home tours, the open houses, the phone calls — are just a tiny fraction of the work they’re actually doing. Your agent is working around the clock to get your home sold… and the majority of that work takes place behind-the-scenes.

*Article provided by The Lighter Side of Real Estate

Selling Your Home? Here’s One Aroma That Will Help You Sell It

True or false…

When you’re selling a house, you should bake cookies before a showing or an open house.

I guess you could say the answer is a hard and fast “true” because, after all, it can’t hurt. Who doesn’t like the smell of freshly baked cookies?

But it’s also kind of false…

It isn’t like you can Betty Crocker your way to a sale, let alone at the highest price possible. Your entire house still needs to be appealing. A batch of cookies isn’t going to hide bad odors enough or divert people’s attention from a messy house that needs repairs.

If only it were that simple…

Picture (and smell) this — a buyer shows up to a house and the homeowner has:

  • Two dogs laying on the sofa (wet from being in the rain).
  • Five cats roaming around. They share one unclean litter box and use every piece of furniture as scratching posts.
  • A well-used ashtray in each room.
  • A teenage son who has a pile of gym clothes under his bed.
  • A freshly-baked batch of cookies on the table with a sign that says “Enjoy a warm cookie while enjoying our house!”

Think the buyer’s gonna want to grab a cookie, let alone buy the house? Nope. There’s more of a chance their son will figure out how to do his own laundry.

You’d think that’s far-fetched, but we real estate agents and our buyers actually walk into houses not too far from this reality.

The one smell that does sell…

Cookies won’t cut it. Nor will a cookie-scented candle. (Or any other candle scent for that matter.)

Pro tip: Some candles can actually turn a buyer off. Even if someone likes the smell of a particular candle, it may trigger curiosity about what the owner is trying to hide.

However, there is one smell that will help your house sell…

It’s called “clean.” But you can’t get it in a store, online, or from a late night TV infomercial. You can get the products that’ll get your house smelling clean from any of those places… but there’s no substitute for a good, thorough cleaning to create an aroma that will appeal to any and all buyers.

Whether you do it on your own, or hire a professional cleaning service, giving your house a good deep cleaning before (and while) your house is on the market is one of the most important things you can do.

That doesn’t mean it should smell like ammonia or “Spring Breeze” cleaning solution. It should smell like nothing, actually. Or at as close to it as possible.

Obviously there’s more to it than that

A clean (and clean smelling) house is a good start, but there’s more to think about when preparing your house for sale.

Lots of homeowners do very little to prepare their house for sale, yet they expect their house sell quickly and for top dollar.

On the other hand, some homeowners go bonkers and do way more than they have to, or even should, to prepare their house for sale. These folks end up spending more time or money than they’ll receive in return.

The bottom line:

There’s a fine line between not preparing your house enough… and preparing your house too much. Always seek a trusted real estate professional’s advice on preparing your house just the right amount.

 

*Article Provided by the Lighterside of Real Estate

There is more to an OFFER TO PURCHASE than the Price!

 

– Confirm proper municipal address, postal code & LEGAL DESCRIPTION for correct registration at land titles.

– Review POSSESSION DAY. Avoid weekends if possible as mortgage lenders & lawyers are often not available.

– Review all CONDITIONS. Buyer’s conditions are for the benefit of the buyer, & Seller’s conditions are for the benefit of the seller. Common conditions may be financing, inspection, review of condo documents, review of mortgage verification, review of title and restrictive covenants, lawyer review & sale of a buyer’s home.  A rural purchase would have a many additional conditions such as water, sewer & subdivision concerns. Rule of thumb is that for either a buyer or seller, any concerns can be dealt with by adding a condition to satisfy.

– Discuss TERMS of an Offer.  Examples:  having the water cistern filled, the septic tank emptied or having the carpets, furnace & ducts professionally cleaned prior to possession.

– Review the amount of the DEPOSIT and when it needs to be received & the rules around the return or keeping of it.

– Review the CHATTELS (objects that are in the house and on the property), included or excluded.

– Review security alarm contracts & if you can/must assume the contract & any additional lease agreements that may be in force for appliances, furnaces.

– Review the REAL PROPERTY REPORT section & discuss the option of TITLE INSURANCE if needed.

– Lastly. If an Offer is written subject to selling the buyers home or if you are the buyer who needs to sell their home, review the time agreed upon to allow this to happen & any potential benefits and drawbacks of this type of sale.

 

Best practice it to get an experienced real estate agent to help you draft & negotiate an effective Offer to ensure a smooth closing!

How Selling Your House Is Like Making Lasagna

How many layers are there in a lasagna?

There’s no right or wrong answer to that. Other than, “more than one” probably. Even two is pretty skimpy.

So, let’s say three is minimal for argument sake. (But, four or more is better.)

This isn’t a lasagna lesson.

And, there really isn’t any rule that you can’t have a one or two layer lasagna. So, you’d be “right”.

But, this article isn’t really about lasagna, it’s about real estate. Specifically, the critical “layers” you need to have when you list your house for sale.

Like we were talking about above with lasagna, for the sake of argument, you definitely need three layers. More would be better.

So, let’s look at the three most important layers when listing your home for sale.

The 3 layers

The three “layers” you need to have when you list your home for sale are:

1- Price
2- Exposure
3- Ease of access

Price

The price of your home is the first, and most critical layer when you are listing your home. If you don’t nail the pricing, the next two layers won’t matter a whole lot. It won’t matter how much exposure your home has if the price isn’t in line with the market. Buyers have a good handle on values, and they won’t waste their time looking at a house if the price is way out of whack. There’s certainly a little room to be on the “high” side. You don’t need to “give your house away”. But, you really need to be priced well against the current competition, and justifiable against similar homes to yours which have recently sold.

Exposure

Exposure has gotten easier over the years because of the Internet. But the easiest way to ensure you reach every single buyer in the market is to make sure you’re on the local multiple listing service (MLS) .Beyond that, you want to make sure your listing “populates” or “syndicates” to all of the real estate sites out there. Again, the easiest way to do this is typically to list your home on the local MLS. Most agents have a system that then allows your listing to be picked up by more real estate websites than you can imagine.

But the bottom line is this – your home needs to be easily found. And since most buyers are actively looking online, make sure it’s on there as “everywhere” as possible.

Ease of access

Your home needs to be easy for buyers to come and see.

Sounds simple enough…

You want your home sold, so of course you figure you’ll make it easy to come and see. But not everyone does. More people than you can imagine make real estate agents and buyers jump through hoops to schedule a showing. Saying no to a showing, or trying to corral every showing into a tight window of time during the week is going to hurt you. So, just make sure you keep your house ready to show at any given moment, and say yes to any request to come see the house. (Within reason, of course…)

If you just do all three of those things, you’re in pretty good shape to get your home sold for as much as the market will bear, in as short a time as possible.

But, it won’t necessarily be as good as it could be if you were to add just a few more layers to your “listing lasagna”.

The “extra” layers

While the first three layers are more or less non-negotiable, and will most likely get you as close to the highest offer as possible, as quickly as possible, you may want to consider these extra layers. Adding these into your mix will increase your chances of getting the highest and best offer possible, as quickly as possible.

1- Hiring an agent who knows and understands the market.
2- Hiring an agent who is a strong advisor.
3- Hiring an agent who can negotiate.
4- Hiring an agent who keeps things together.

Knows and understands the market

It’s easy enough to hire a real estate agent. There’s plenty of them. But, you should really make sure to hire one who truly knows and understands your local real estate market.

You want one who can analyze the activity on your house, and the overall market, so that the agent can…

Advise you

There’s a lot of talk about selling homes “as quickly as possible”. The key words there are “as possible”.

Sure, you and your agent want your home to sell, and sell quickly. But “quickly” depends on the market. And you want an agent on your side who, after analyzing the market and activity, can advise you on what to do… Should you stay firm on your price and just be patient? Should you lower your price? If so, how much? Is there something you can change about your house that buyers are getting hung up on? If so, is it worth doing, or will the cost be too much for it to make sense?

There’s way more than that to list, but those are just a few examples of advice your agent should be relied upon for, and be able to provide to you.

Negotiate

This is another thing that gets a lot of lip service. But an agent who negotiates well is a huge asset. Sure, you want one that will negotiate a “win-win” enough to make a deal come together. But, you really want one that gets you the fatter end of the win. And that isn’t always just about price.

A good negotiator will get you the best price and terms. And, more importantly, it’s important to have an agent who will…

Keep the deal together

There’s a lot of time, and a lot of things that can lead to a deal falling apart between signing the deal and a closing.

Having a strong agent on your side, who can almost predict and nip problems in the bud before things get out of control, is a huge layer to add to your listing lasagna. And, if things do get dicey, you want an agent who can wrangle it all in and get things back on track.

Looks can be deceiving

People often look at selling a house as pretty simple. And the truth is, it is pretty simple…in terms of the first three layers.

But that doesn’t necessarily make the best “lasagna” possible. It might look OK enough to be called lasagna, but it’s not gonna be quite as tasty as it could be, if you take enough care to add the next four layers.

 

*Article provided by the Lighter Side of Real Estate