Scott Miller's Blog
If you've owned your house for a long time and are putting it on the market, take time to consider how the buying and selling process has changed. Today’s buyers are both smart and cautious. They have access to more information than was possible a decade ago. Research shows that buyers begin shopping twelve to eighteen months before they're ready to buy. Your real estate professional has inside information on the local market, they can help you navigate the new selling terrain.
Take advice to heart in these essential areas:
Choose a reasonable price. Setting the wrong price gets your market plan off on the wrong track. When it’s too high, it will sit on the market for days or weeks derailing your plans to move. You want to get the most that you can from a home sale, but the market will bear only so much. Smart shoppers already know the comparable homes recently sold and come armed with a wealth of information before making their offer. Setting the price too low can backfire too. If a buyer is not interested in rehabilitation or renovation work, they may pass over a property that is not priced competitively.
Take great photos. Most serious buyers begin their search online. If your agent suggests hiring a professional real estate photographer, it’s often worth the investment. Internet shoppers quickly pass over blurry, out-of-focus, dark, or cluttered shots. Clean the windows and take pictures with the shades and curtains wide open. Bright and inviting photos encourage the buyer to visit in person.
Staging is more than décor. Take the time to remove personal objects, family photos, and collections. Organize your furnishings to make the best use of your space. Downplay dated areas that need updating and focus on the “bones” of the home and curb appeal if the entire house requires a makeover.
Test drive the online experience. Go online yourself to see how the photos look. Upload new ones until you're satisfied. Also, check out the street view on Google or Safari Maps. If they post outdated images where curb appeal is lacking, take a similar shot, and post it instead.
Make sure you know how the buyer sees your house when you put it on the market. Modern buyers are cautious. They come armed with information. Let your agent help you address issues relating to how your house appears online.
As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to transform an ordinary kitchen into a comfortable, attractive setting. With an awe-inspiring kitchen, you may be able to differentiate your house from others that are available in a competitive real estate market. Plus, your house's kitchen might even lead some homebuyers to submit offers immediately following a home showing.
Clearly, a top-notch kitchen can make a world of difference when you sell your house. But how can you determine whether a kitchen overhaul is necessary?
Here are three questions to consider before you embark on a kitchen renovation.
1. When do I plan to sell my house?
If you intend to sell your home quickly, you may have limited time at your disposal. Therefore, a complete kitchen overhaul may not be an option.
On the other hand, if you have several weeks or months to plan ahead, it may be worthwhile to evaluate your kitchen and find ways to improve it.
Consider your home selling timeline closely. That way, you can examine various home improvement projects and determine whether a kitchen renovation is a priority.
2. How much money do I have to complete a kitchen renovation?
A kitchen renovation can include everything from simple upgrades to a massive overhaul. As such, the costs associated with a kitchen renovation may vary.
Assess your home improvement budget and plan accordingly. If you have the funds available, you may be able to revamp your entire kitchen. However, if your financial resources are limited, you may need to consider cost-effective measures to enhance your kitchen.
Remember, there are many quick, easy ways to bolster your kitchen. Wiping down the walls and ceiling can help your kitchen dazzle. Meanwhile, repainting the kitchen walls and mopping the floors also provide simple, effective ways to improve your kitchen's appearance without breaking your budget.
3. Is a kitchen renovation worth my time?
A home appraisal may prove to be exceedingly valuable, particularly for home sellers who are on the fence about completing a kitchen renovation.
During a home appraisal, a property inspector will examine your residence and provide a report that highlights your house's strengths and weaknesses. This report can help you establish a price range for your home. In addition, the report may provide you with insights into whether a kitchen renovation may enable you to boost your home's value.
Lastly, if you're still uncertain about a kitchen renovation after a home appraisal, a real estate agent may be able to provide extra support.
A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a home. Thus, he or she can evaluate your residence and help you decide whether a kitchen renovation is worth your time.
When it comes to a kitchen renovation, it is essential for home sellers to examine all of their options. Consider the aforementioned questions, and you should have no trouble determining if a kitchen renovation is right for you.
Selling a home takes patience. Especially when you’re balancing your time between settling into your new home, and keeping up with your work and family life. So, when you’ve finally gotten to the point of accepting an offer on your home, you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief--and you should! However, there are still a few more things that will need to happen and a couple of things to consider before closing the deal on your home sale.
Contingencies on the purchase contract
A purchase contract typically includes contingency clauses that are designed to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller. These clauses mean that the contract is contingent upon the actions being completed before it can be legally valid.
There are three main contingencies that will likely be included in the purchase contract before closing--inspection, financing, and appraisal.
The inspection contingency allows the buyer to have the home inspected by a professional before closing (the time should be specified within the contract, but the inspection should usually occur no more than two weeks after you accept the offer). A home inspection lets the buyer know what to expect in terms of repairs that the home needs now or will need in the near future.
Since the vast majority of buyers will be purchasing their home through a loan, a financing contingency is included to allow the buyer time to secure their mortgage. Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved makes this process easier, but the buyer will still have to finalize and close on their mortgage before their financing is official.
This clause exists to protect the buyer in the event that their mortgage application is denied, ensuring that they aren’t penalized.
The third contingency most often found in purchase contracts is a home appraisal. The buyer will order an appraisal and then the appraiser will reach out to you to find a day to come and value your home.
If the home is then appraised at the amount agreed upon in your contract, this contingency is met. However, if the appraisal comes up lower than the purchase amount, the buyer can renegotiate the price.
Walkthrough and closing
Once the appraisal and inspection have been met and financing secured, the buyer will have a chance to do a final walkthrough of your home. The walkthrough usually occurs no more than two days prior to closing on the sale. A walkthrough allows the buyer view the home one last time to ensure that the condition of the home hasn’t drastically changed since the home was inspected or appraised. So, make sure the buyer is aware of any changes you planned to make to the home before closing.
Now you’re ready to close on your home sale. You’ll receive a disclosure form to review (read it carefully!) and sign. Once closing is complete, ownership of the home is officially transferred to the buyer.
While the closing process does include several steps, it’s important to be available and cooperative along the way to ensure a smooth sale and transition into your new home.
Selling a home may prove to be a long, exhausting journey, particularly for those who fail to plan ahead. In fact, there are many reasons for home sellers to map out the home selling journey, and these reasons include:
1. You can identify any potential home selling pitfalls.
Although selling a home should be a quick, seamless process, problems may occur without notice that prevent you from optimizing the value of your house. Fortunately, if you plan ahead for selling your house, you can take the necessary steps to identify and address potential home selling pitfalls.
For example, conducting a home inspection before you list your residence may prove to be exceedingly valuable. This inspection enables a property expert to detect any underlying problems with your home. Then, you can use the inspection findings to prioritize home improvement projects. And once you complete these projects, you can enhance your house, increasing the likelihood of a profitable home sale.
2. You can improve your house's appearance.
Let's face it – few homebuyers likely will be attracted to a home with a messy, cluttered front lawn. Luckily, a home seller who prepares for the home selling journey can revamp a house's exterior and eliminate any eyesores.
A home seller may notice assorted home exterior problems if he or she takes an objective approach. By doing so, a home seller can consider a homebuyer's perspective and devote the necessary time and resources to bolster a house's curb appeal.
With a stunning home exterior, a house is likely to stand out from similar properties that are available. As a result, a home with superior curb appeal may generate lots of interest from potential buyers as soon as it becomes available.
3. You can get the support that you need to succeed.
No home seller should be forced to move along the home selling journey alone. If you hire a real estate agent before you list your house, however, you can get the support that you need to succeed.
A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a house and can help you plan accordingly. Therefore, this housing market professional will make it easy for you to get the best price for your house, regardless of the current real estate sector's conditions.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about you and your house. This housing market professional next will tailor his or her home selling efforts to ensure that you can achieve your desired results.
A real estate agent also is ready to respond to any home selling question. For a real estate agent, there is no such thing as a "bad" question. This means you can ask a real estate agent any question about selling your house, and this housing market professional will provide you with a thoughtful response.
Clearly, there are many reasons to plan ahead for the home selling journey. If you start planning to list your house, you can improve your chances of enjoying a successful home selling experience.
Selling your home can be a very exciting experience. From house-hunting to packing up your stuff, it can all be a very fun and rewarding process. However, there are some steps that must be taken to ensure you sell your house for the right price. You must understand what your house is worth, then it's vital to make sure your home is ready to sell. To do this effectively, there are some tips to consider.
Spruce Up the Landscaping
While the inside of the home holds great importance, curb appeal also matters quite a bit for many home shoppers. That being said, sprucing up your landscaping can give your home curb appeal home seekers will love. To do this effectively, we recommend hiring a professional landscaping company. However, you can also do these tasks yourself. Be sure to trim the bushes, mow the lawn and pull those pesky weeds.
Clean the Exterior
As you’re making improvements to your landscaping, you should do some additional cleaning while you’re at it. If the exterior of your home appears dirty, then it may be pretty difficult to land the sale. To clean effectively, using a pressure washer is key. This is a great way to clean those hard to reach areas, and the powerful water blasts can wipe away dirt that has been stuck to your home for years. Also, be sure to clean the gutters and siding.
While a dirty exterior can look very bad, damages can look even worse. That being said, making repairs to your home is vital when looking to sell. While you may be hesitant to fix that costly dishwasher, doing so can go a long way as you’re trying to sell your home for its asking price. It's important to put your home in the best condition as possible to increase your chance of a sale.
Get Rid of Odors
If you have a strange stench inside or outside your home, then it’s best to take care of this as soon as possible. A strange odor can make the home seeker believe you have a mold, insect or pest issue, so you’ll want to ensure that these smells are taken care of right away. A good tip here is to invite your friends or neighbors over to do a walkthrough. Since you live in the home, you may be used to the odor; an outside source can fill you in if something smells off.
Make Things Tidy
A dirty home is a leading reason why many home seekers won’t follow through with a purchase. This is mostly due to the fact that clutter can make a space appear smaller than it really is. And when selling your home, you want to make sure that it looks as big as possible. Put away clothes, clean up the counter, and put things in storage if a certain area looks cluttered.
By following the tips outlined in this blog, you can do your best to inch closer and closer to selling your home!