selling

What You Should Expect Out Of A Great Listing Agent.

What You Should Expect Out Of A Great Listing Agent.

The top listing agents don’t just post your home for sale online for prospective home buyers to submit bids, they maximize your chances of getting the best price by performing dozens of activities that lead to selling your home. Use this checklist to ensure that your selling agent is doing their job:

  • Analysis of pricing trends and local price per square foot
  • Automatic posting on all major online home search sites
  • Advertising in local publications
  • Prepping and staging expertise
  • Professional photography
  • Creation of marketing documents (flyers, etc.)
  • Access and monitoring of your private lock-box
  • Direct mail marketing program
  • Development of virtual tour (bonus)
  • Exclusive previews for other real estate brokers
  • Research on buyer motivations and capacity
  • 24-hour response turnaround time on client requests
  • At least 2 open houses

Appraisals

Hi LEAD_NAME –

Appraisals play a major role in all real estate transactions. A home appraisal is an evaluation done by a certified appraiser where they calculate the market value of your home based on square footage, features and location.

There are two common sales approaches that are used in the residential market. The most common is the sales Comparison Approach, which is a method where the appraiser estimates property market value by comparing it to similar properties. The second is the cost approach, most commonly used with new properties. In this method, the build costs are taken into consideration and the appraisers estimates what it would cost to replace the property if it were to be destroyed.

What You’ll See on a Residential Appraisal Report:

  • Details about the property as well as side-by-side comparisons with three similar properties.
  • Information on the type of property
  • An evaluation of the overall local real estate market
  • Details on any issues the appraiser feels are harmful to the value of the property, such as poor street access
  • Notes about any serious flaws, such as a cracked foundation
  • An average sales time estimate

If you’re interested in learning more about appraisals or if you have any other questions about the buying or selling process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Sincerely,

AGENT_NAME

AGENT_NAME, AGENT_DESIGNATIONAGENT_EMAIL

AGENT_PHONE

AGENT_WEBSITE_LINK

AGENT_BRE

Advice on closing Cost

Hi LEAD_NAME –

As you search for a new home, it’s always a good idea to factor in the closing costs so you can properly plan and manage your finances. In general, you can expect to pay 2-5% of the purchase price in closing costs, not including the down payment.

 

Closing costs can include the following:

  • Down Payments
    20% of the purchase price depending on your qualifications and loan choice
  • Earnest Money Deposit 
    The money put down when a contract is written – it usually goes into an escrow account
  • Lender Fees 
    Includes charges for loan processing, underwriting and preparation
  • Third-party Fees 
    Includes charges for insurance, title insurance, title search, appraisal fees and other inspections
  • Government Fees 
    Includes deed recording and state mortgage taxes
  • Escrow & Interest Fees 
    Include homeowner’s insurance, loan interest, real estate taxes, home warranties and prepaid interest
  • Property Taxes
    Capital tax based on the estimated value of the property

Please do not hesitate to contact ME_US_LC when you are ready to take the next step. I_WE look forward to assisting you!

Sincerely,

AGENT_NAME

AGENT_NAME, AGENT_DESIGNATIONAGENT_EMAIL

AGENT_PHONE

AGENT_WEBSITE_LINK

AGENT_BRE

AGENT_BUSINESS_NAMEAGENT_BUSINESS_PHONE

AGENT_BUSINESS_ADDRESS

AGENT_BUSINESS_CITY, AGENT_BUSINESS_STATE

AGENT_IMAGE

How to Price Your Home Like the Savviest Sellers

How to Price Your Home Like the Savviest Sellers

4 things canny home sellers do when pricing their homes.

Image: Terri Long

Home pricing is more of a science than an art, but many homeowners price with their heartstrings instead of cold, hard data.

Smart sellers know that crunching the numbers is always the better route to an accurate home price. Here’s how they do it.

Related: 5 Things You Need to Ask Yourself Before Turning Down a Low-Ball Offer

#1 They Avoid Overpricing

Homeowners often think that it’s OK to overprice at first, because — who knows? — maybe you’ll just get what you’re asking for. Although you can certainly lower an inflated price later, you’ll sacrifice a lot in the process.

Just ask Candace Talmadge. She originally listed her Lancaster, Texas, home for $129,000, but “eventually had to accept the market reality” and chop $4,000 off the price.

The home’s location proved challenging: Buyers were either turned off by the area — a lower-income neighborhood south of Dallas — or unable to afford the home.

“Sellers have to keep in mind the location,” says Talmadge. “Who are going to be the likely buyers?”

The most obvious pitfall: A house that remains on the market for months can prevent you from moving into your dream home. Already purchased that next home? You might saddle yourself with two mortgages.

“You lose a lot of time and money if you don’t price it right,” says Norma Newgent, an agent with Area Pro Realty in Tampa, Fla.

And worse: Continually lowering the price could turn off potential buyers who might start wondering just what is wrong with your home.

“Buyers are smart and educated,” says Lisa Hjorten of Marketplace Sotheby’s International Realty in Redmond, Wash. “You’re probably going to lose them.”

#2 They Don’t Expect Dollar-for-Dollar Returns

It’s easy for homeowners to stumble into two common traps:

  1. Conflating actual value with sentimental value — how much they assume their home’s worth because they lived there and loved the time they spent there.
  2. Assuming renovations should result in a dollar-for-dollar increase in the selling price — or more.

“Many homeowners think, ‘Of course my home is worth a bazillion dollars,’” says Newgent. If they put in a few thousand dollars worth of new flooring, for example, they might overestimate the upgrade’s impact on the home’s value into the tens of thousands.

Talmadge’s Texas home came with a built-in renovation trap: It was already the nicest home in the area, making it harder to sell. Major additions had inflated the square footage — and the price, according to one appraiser — without accounting for the surrounding neighborhood. That created a disconnect for buyers: Wealthier ones who might be interested in the upgraded home disliked the neighborhood, and less affluent buyers couldn’t afford the asking price.

“Don’t buy the nicest home on the block” is common real estate advice for this reason.

That’s not to say that renovations aren’t worth it. You want to enjoy your home while you’re in it, right? Smart renovations make your home more comfortable and functional but should typically reflect the neighborhood. A REALTOR® can help you understand what certain upgrades can recoup when you sell and which appeal to buyers.

Another culprit for many a mispriced home is online tools, like Zillow’s “Zestimate,” that prescribe an estimated market value based on local data.

The estimate is often wildly inaccurate. A Virginia-area real estate company, McEnearney & Associates, has compared actual sold prices with predicted online estimates for several hundred homes in the area for the past few years and concluded the predictions failed half of the time.

#3 They Use Comparable Sales (also Known as “Comps”)

The best pricing strategy? Consult a real estate agent, who will use something called comps (also known as “comparable sales”) to determine the appropriate listing price. They’re not just looking at your neighbors; they’re seeking out near-identical homes with similar floor plans, square footage, and amenities that sold in the last few months.

Once they’ve assembled a list of similar homes (and the real prices buyers paid), they can make an accurate estimate of what you can expect to receive for your home. If a three-bedroom bungalow with granite countertops and a walk-out basement down the block sold for $359,000, expecting more from your own three-bedroom bungalow with granite countertops and a walk-out basement is a pipe dream.

After crunching the data, they’ll work with you to determine a fair price that’ll entice buyers. The number might be less than you hope and expect, but listing your home correctly — not idealistically — is a sure way to avoid the aches and pains of a long, drawn-out listing that just won’t sell.

#4 They Adjust the Price When Needed

Once your home is on the market, you’ll start accumulating another set of data that will serve as the ultimate price test: how buyers react.

Agent Hjorten says there’s an easy way to tell if you’ve priced too high: “If we have no showings, it’s way too high. Lots of showings and no offer means you’ve marketed well — but it’s overpriced once people get inside.”

Talmadge didn’t struggle with showings. She says a number of people were interested in the home, but not enough at the price. In the end, Talmadge sold her home for $125,000, with a $5,000 seller’s assist, a discount on the cost of the home applied directly to closing costs.

“It all boils down to location, location, location. In [another] neighborhood, our house might well have sold for well over $130,000,” Talmadge says.

When it comes to finding a buyer, pricing your home according to data — and the right data, at that — is crucial to making the sale.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Staging Your House (So It Sells In Record Time)

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How To Handle Offers


How To Handle Offers

September 18, 2017

You obviously have experience purchasing a home. But you may not have had an opportunity, yet, to be on the other side of the transaction: putting your house on the market and entertaining offers.

Offers, in particular, can intimidate first time sellers (even those who have bought and sold a few times). After all, the stakes are high. If you don’t accept the offer, deciding to counter-offer instead, the buyer may lose interest. If you take the offer, you may do so at a lower price than you could have otherwise negotiated.

Let your REALTOR® help you steer clear of both those dangers.

An offer is typically presented by the buyer’s REALTOR®, who will give you the proposed price. He or she will also explain any conditions, such as “conditional on a satisfactory home inspection”. Regardless of the conditions, always ask if the buyer has arranged for a pre-approved mortgage.

Now comes the tricky part. Do you accept the offer, reject it, or counter-offer? As your REALTOR® we can work together to ensure you make the right move. Ultimately, your goal is to sell your house for a price that is comparable to what similar homes in the area have sold for recently.

The Most Important Room In Your Home


The Most Important Room In Your Home

October 2, 2017

When preparing your home for sale, you want to make sure every room looks its best. But pay particularly close attention to the kitchen. Many buyers will spend a lot of time determining whether or not it meets their needs. In fact, some buyers will even form an impression about the entire property based primarily on how they feel about the kitchen!

How do you make it look its best?

Start by making sure your kitchen appears as roomy as possible. Put away all countertop appliances, even the toaster and the coffee machine, so that the counter space is completely clear.

Check that your cabinets and pantry shelves aren’t stuffed with dishes, foodstuff and other items. While that’s normal in most family homes, it doesn’t promote the image of plentiful storage space. Clear out as much as you can. Make sure what you leave behind, especially food items, is stored neatly.
Got a junk drawer? We all do. Empty the contents into a box and stow it away.

Of course, you want to ensure that the kitchen is clean and shiny. The area in and around the sink is critical. There are some excellent specialty cleaners available that will remove even the most stubborn stains in a stainless steel sink. (Never use steel wool or other abrasive cleaners. They leave unsightly scratches.)

If you have a window over the sink – a great selling feature – make sure it’s especially clean. You can be sure that buyers will linger for a few moments to look through it.

And, finally, don’t forget the space under the sink. Make sure that the space is as clean – and empty – as possible.

Make Your Home Show Better


Make Your Home Show Better

October 30, 2017

It’s no secret in the real estate world that the more attractive your home looks to potential buyers, the more likely it will be to sell quickly and for a good price. So, obviously, you want to do everything you can to ensure your home “shows” well.

But before you invest in a major renovation or other costly improvements – which may not be necessary – consider these low-cost tips first.

Paint. This is the easiest and most cost-effective way to make a room or other area of your home look bright and new.

Potted flowers. Flowers always brighten up a space. And if they’re potted, you can place them anywhere – in the foyer, outside the front door, even on the back deck.

New mats. Mats get worn and stained so easily. Place new mats at all entranceways.

Obvious repairs. A squeaky fence gate. A dripping faucet. A broken floor tile. People notice. Get these repaired.

Upgraded lighting. Improve the lighting in key areas of your home, such as the basement, which tends to be darker.

These tips won’t cost much and are relatively easy to implement. Yet, they can have a dramatic affect on how well your home shows.

Staging the Outside of Your Home


Staging the Outside of Your Home

November 27, 2017

You’re probably familiar with the term “home staging”. It involves cleaning, de-cluttering, reorganizing, and decorating specifically in order to make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Furniture stores do something similar when they “stage” a bedroom suite in a showroom.

Most sellers focus their staging efforts on the inside of their homes. But the outside is important too. After all, a property’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers see. So you want to make sure that the first impression is a good one.

Here are some ideas on how to make sure that happens.

When preparing your home for sale, imagine you’re a potential buyer and take a walk around the outside of your property. Do you like what you see? Are there issues that concern you? Try to be as objective as possible.

You may notice, for example, that the deck is faded and worn, some of the border stones around the flower bed are chipped or missing, or the fence gate squeaks. If you notice these things, so will potential buyers. So, consider getting these minor problems repaired.

As you inspect your yard, pay particular attention to sheds and other areas around your property where rakes, shovels, garbage bins, bikes, toys and other items tend to accumulate. Just as you would unclutter the inside of your home before a showing, you should also make sure the exterior areas of your property are as uncluttered as possible.

Then explore simple ways you can make the exterior of your property look even more attractive. For example, giving your hedges, shrubs and other evergreen plants a trimming, can dramatically improve the look of your yard. Planting flowers or placing flowerpots at key locations, such as near the front entrance can also have a big impact.

To Paint or Not to Paint


To Paint or Not to Paint


To Paint or Not to Paint

December 11, 2017

Painting the outside of your home traditionally takes more time and expense than a comparable area on the inside. You have to deal with ladders, more paint and, of course, the weather. So when preparing your house for sale, you don’t want to do any exterior painting unless it is really necessary.

How can you tell? Walk across the street and cast a critical eye on your house. Can you notice areas where the paint is chipped or faded? If so, then so will potential buyers. It’s worth your while to invest in getting a fresh coat of paint on these areas. The good news is that painting, whether on the exterior or interior, is the least expensive way to make your home look more attractive — and therefore more desirable to buyers.

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