GETTING FROM ONE HOUSE TO ANOTHER … MAKING THE RIGHT MOVES, ARE KEY!

The market is still going strong in 2021, and whether you are planning to upgrade, downsize, or relocating to another area, here are some tips for making it a smooth transition. 

Consult a professional and weigh your options – As a seller, you may have several options available to you. Seeking the advice of a Realtor to discuss your options and which will work best for your particular situation is key..  Then once your plan is in place, they will be there for you through the process, every step of the way.

Know where you are going – In this market, if your home is priced correctly, you can expect to sell quickly, so if you plan to buy a home while selling your current one, it’s critical to have a strategy in place for making the transition BEFORE you sell. Remember that, as a buyer, you’ll be facing the same competition as the buyers who are looking at your home. Having a strategy in place is especially true if you need the equity in your current home to purchase a new one. Given it is a seller’s market, you are in control and may have the option of asking your buyer to agree to allow you stay in your home a little longer with a rent-back option as part of the terms of accepting their offer.  In this market – many buyers will agree to this option given the lack of inventory.  If not an option, consider renting before buying your next home.  

Visual Showings are more important than ever – Although searching for homes online isn’t new, now more than ever with some of the pandemic safety measures put in place, more people are taking their searches online further than ever before. When you are interviewing agents, ask how they plan to showcase your home. A recent survey found that listings with virtual tours received more views than those without, and home buyers were relying on both virtual tours and high-quality listing photos to narrow down the homes they want to visit in person. 

Getting your home show ready –   The time for all the small home projects you have been thinking about or meaning to do is now!  From a fresh coat of paint to decluttering your closets, or fixing a leaky faucet.  The little details will make a huge difference in helping would be buyers see your home as a place they could see themselves living in.  As I always say – first impressions matter, and you only have one chance of making it a good one.  And today, that takes place most times online!!

Select the offer that works best for you – With so few homes on the market, the likelihood of you receiving multiple offers, is very possible.  While this can be exciting, your Realtor may suggest to sit tight and give your home a little more market time and not to jump at your very first offer.  That’s not to say your first offer may be your best offer – but giving your home a little market-time before you determine what offer will be best to accept would be wise.   Not always is a good offer just about price – although a very important factor of consideration – but sometimes the terms can be just as important and make all the difference.  Typically, I advise my sellers to take a little time to discuss and assess each of the offers to best determine which offer is best for them to accept.  Seek your Realtors guidance to give good sound advice through their experience and knowledge of the market. 

Helping buyers & sellers achieve their real estate goals.

THERE ARE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN REALTORS – SO CHOOSE WISELY!

OK, so you have decided you are ready to make the move and sell your home.  Now your first order of business: choose a Realtor who will best represent you in your sale … your Realtor as your trusted advisor.  I would suggest you meet with 2-3 agents if possible.  Sometimes homeowners will go with a recommendation from a friend or family member, which is totally fine. They had the experience, and if they are recommending them to you, it probably is a safe bet.  I might just ask them what their experience was like, and why they think they would best represent you in your sale.  Write a list of questions that will be important for you to know so that you can refer to it– know what is important to you when selecting the right agent – write that down so you cover those points in your meetings.  What are some of the important qualities and factors you need to look for before selecting your agent?  Here are just a few …

First and foremost, you’ll want to find an agent who knows your neighborhood/your market, has knowledge of the schools, shopping, roads, and local amenities.

What is their list/sales ratios?   Of course, in this market most listings are going over asking – but what is their strategy for pricing a home as to where they believe will net you the highest sales price?   Don’t be fooled by agents “telling you what you want to hear” – that is not in your best interest.  Some agents will tell you your home is worth more then it is to “win the listing.” – when only to experience price reduction after price reduction.  Costing you time and money!  Have the agent prepare a “Comparative Market Analysis” based upon recently sold properties (3 months in this market) and what your property will be competing against should you list your home today.  This analysis will give you a good range of value as to where your property should be listed.  Pricing your home where it needs to be is KEY in getting the most activity/buyer interest that will ultimately gain you the contract on your home in the shortest amount of time.

How many closed transactions have they had in the last 12 months?  At least one a month would be a good average.  

How will agents market your home?    These days most buyers are searching online and educating themselves sometimes even before they contact an agent.  It is important that your agent give the home its best presentation online since that truly is the buyers “first showing”.  Checkout their website, real estate websites, social media, etc. of other listings they may have that will give you a good sense of how they will market your home online. 

Will agents help you stage your home prior to listing it?  Personally, I think staging a home will help enhance and highlight all the home has to offer where needed.  First impressions matter – so we want to make it a good one.  Setting the stage prior to the photographer coming in will only net you the best value for your home.  Having the agent make suggestions or recommendations to get your home show-ready is important

There are many moving parts to selling or purchasing a home, and at times can be very emotional.   Choose a Realtor who will support you throughout all parts of the transaction.  It’s not just about listing your home – it is everything in between.  It’s not about purchasing a home – it is everything in between.  If, things go sideways – you need to know and feel confident your Realtor will be there helping you through to help you “figure things out” – and believe me …  there are Realtors out there who will not be that!  So, when interviewing agents, choose wisely!  Make sure you feel comfortable and confident that they will represent you well “throughout” the process and get you to the closing table!   

Helping buyers & sellers achieve their real estate goals.

AVOIDING THESE HOME SELLING MISTAKES CAN GAIN YOU MORE PROFIT IN YOUR SALE

The dos and don’ts when it comes to selling your home.  Many times, the biggest mistakes are the easiest to avoid.  Here are just a few … 

Pricing Too High:  You might think that because it is a seller’s market, this would be a good strategy, when in fact it can work against you.   Pricing a home at “fair market value” is a strategy in any market.  When a property first hits the market, it is important that it is show ready and priced competitively from the get-go.  There’s no secrets – agents know their market, and most buyers can be quite educated on the market as well.  If an agent or buyer feels the property is price too high, it may not even get on their show list.  In fact, if a property is priced too high, they may not even see it because it may not pop up on their search criteria of where it should be.  Some of the sellers perceived thought processes are …  listing your property higher then where it should be will get you a higher return, or will give you room to negotiate, as some sellers will say.  That thought process will cost you money in the end, as you have slimmed the activity of potential buyers walking through your home, and you now find yourself lowering your price to ultimately where it should be.  If you price your home at market value, you will get more showings, of potential buyers with the potential of multiple offers, which can drive the price up from there.

Dismissing Offers:  There are buyers who will want to submit a lowball offer to see where the seller stands on price and/or would be willing to accept.  Don’t be offended!  I always counsel my sellers not to dismiss any offer, but always respond with a counteroffer.  You never know where you will end up.  You can’t fault the buyer for trying.  

Stubbornness: In any real estate transaction there should be a little bit of give and take. Both sides want to feel good after the negotiations.  It is important to look at the “big” picture when selling your home.  It is rare to get everything you want, and you should be willing to make some concessions.  This could mean coming down a little on your price, extending the closing date, or making some changes to the property.  It can sometimes make better financial sense to accept a lower offer and close sooner.

Dismissing Staging.   You want the buyers to feel welcome from the moment they drive up to the home and open the front door.  Ensuring your home is landscaped at its best and perhaps a welcoming wreath or potted flowers at the door will surely set the tone.  There are different variations to staging, to a no cost but just effort, to maybe costing you a few thousand dollars, depending on the home and what you’re trying to accomplish.  Staging does not have to cost you a lot, but it can certainly net you more money in the ultimate sales price.  Consult with your Realtor to discuss what makes sense for your particular home.  

Selling your home can certainly come with its challenges, but having the guidance of your Realtor will surly make for a smoother transaction.

Helping buyers & sellers achieve their real estate goals.

WHAT ARE SOME COMMON REASONS BUYERS WALK AWAY FROM A TRANSACTION? 

Bringing a real estate transaction to a successful close at times can be difficult.  There are many moving parts to a transaction, and having the aid of a Realtor, can only increase your odds of it being successful!

Once you have a signed contract you still need to get through the inspection, mortgage, and appraisal process.  All it takes is one person dropping the ball or one surprise to bring the process to a screeching halt.  Believe me when I say – I’ve been there!  Not fun!

There will times when a buyer may back out of a deal but knowing the reasons why may better prepare you to avoid that situation.  

Financing issues – there is a huge difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval. When an offer is submitted, it is important to know which one the potential buyer has, and hopefully issued from a reputable mortgage lender.  Most always, a pre-qualification letter is based on the mortgage lender reviewing credit and taking verbal information from the potential buyer. Whereas a pre-approval many times will review credit, and income, employment, tax returns, and bank statements to determine the buyer’s creditworthiness. 

Home Inspections – Unless a buyer is paying cash or removing their inspection contingencies, the first step in the offer acceptance process is to do home inspection. The main job of an inspector is to ensure that the structure and mechanicals of the property are in good working order and inform the buyers of any short comings.  After the inspection, the buyer will receive a full inspection report to review and determine whether there are items of concern that they would like addressed by the sellers.  I counsel my buyers to focus on health & safety issues for the most part.  The buyer must assess whether the cost of repairs is truly reflected in the price or feel the need to re-negotiate.  In many cases, the seller will agree to fix some of the minor repairs or negotiate a credit to the buyer towards their closing costs. However, if the buyer & seller cannot come to terms, and the items are severe and cost prohibitive, the buyer has the right to walk away, and deposit money will be returned.  

Multiple Offers Presented – It is not uncommon, although I do not advocate for it, buyers will submit multiple offers on different properties, especially in this marketin effort of getting an offer accepted.   But sometimes even when their offer is accepted it does not mean they stop looking. Unless there is a massive earnest money deposit they risk losing, they may be able to walk away if they find a property they may like more while risking little. Buyers can use their contingencies or “lack of financing” to back out of a deal without breaking the contract. This can leave the seller starting the process all over again!  The best way to deter this situation is to increase the earnest money deposit. If they have more to lose, they would be less likely to go down that road.

Cold Feet – For anyone who has bought a home before knows it can be a stressful process, and a big emotional commitment. From the time you start looking for a home up until the day of the closing it can be a roller coaster of emotions. It is not until the day of closing and paperwork is signed, is the deal done!  So just breathe and take it one day at a time.  Rely on your Realtor to guide you through the process. It will have been well worth the ride!!