Obstacles When Selling a Home

Written by Christina Green on . Posted in Home Buyers and Mortgagors, Mortgage Services and Providers

Delighted at having soldThere are many obstacles Real Estate Agents encounter when selling a home. When you are prepared it is easier to get through it. You have to anticipate it, plan for it, and be ready when obstacles are thrown your way. How you handle the obstacles that are thrown at you in Real Estate will determine what value you can bring to any Real Estate transaction.

There are two types of obstacles to overcome in real estate sales. The first kind is before the sale takes place and the second is during the process. Issues prior to a home sale generally involve the marketing process. Problems encountered during the process are usually condition related.

A main problem Realtors encounter is getting a homeowner to understand just how important pricing is. The key is getting a seller to understand that pricing their home higher does not mean it will sell for more. In many circumstances the exact opposite occurs. An agent who knows exactly what to say when a seller wants to overprice their home is one of the keys to being successful in the business.

Some marketing problems that occur include making it difficult to see the home, requiring accompanied showings, or not presenting the home well.

One of the most difficult obstacles to handle is getting the seller to price their home appropriately. You can have the greatest marketing in the world but that will not sell an overpriced home. Real estate agents need to understand that walking away is sometimes better than selling taking a listing that you don’t feel confident in selling.

Going through an appraisal report step by step, detail by detail is important. Sellers appreciate the time and effort when it comes to the market value of their home. An agent who takes the time will get more consideration than someone who is not careful and just throws out any value.  When the seller is not in agreement with the value, carefully going over the data with them again is important.

Realtors need to realize that real estate sales come second nature to them, but a buyer or seller may do it once every decade. Buying or selling home can be extremely stressful. A realtor is there to represent their client.  

Home Improvement

Written by Shardae Griffin on . Posted in General, Home Buyers and Mortgagors

Home ImprovementLooking to make some improvements on your home? There can be endless possibilities to changing the look of your house. You may want to increase the value of your house so that you have a better chance for it to sell. You may just be looking to do some remodeling for yourself. Here are some tips that may come in handy if you are having trouble getting a start to your project.   Think about inviting a Realtor or interior decorator to check out your home. You will probably have to pay a decorator a consultation fee but there are many Realtors who will come out as a courtesy. You can check with several interior designers in your area and in an hour hey can give you lots of ideas on improvements that your home may need. Even small suggested improvements, such as paint colors or furniture placement can go a long way toward improving the look and feel of your home. One simple and most cost-effective improvement is paint. Freshly painted rooms look clean and updated.  Keep in mind that when it comes to selecting colors, neutrals appeal to more people. This can make your home more desirable. Visual space or how large a home feels also counts. You want to make each room in your house feel larger. You can try replacing heavy closed draperies with vertical blinds or shutters to let in light. A sunny room feels larger and more open. Clear any clutter that you may have. The more clutter, furniture and plain old stuff you have in a room , the more cramped it will feel. The look of your front door and entrance play heavily into the overall curb appeal of your home. If your existing front door isn’t up to par, head down to your local home improvement store for a more energy-efficient and attractive replacement. Whether you choose a solid wood door or one  with decorative stained or cut glass panels, a welcoming entrance will definitely increase your home’s bottom line.

Factors That Determine If a Home Will Sell

Written by Christina Green on . Posted in General

houses_and_dollar_signYou want to maximize the net profits from selling your home while minimizing the inconveniences experienced while moving through the process. In order to achieve these goals, it’s important that you know how the selling process works and the factors that determine if a home will sell.

The selling process normally goes like this:

  1. Choose an agent
  2. Choose a time frame
  3. Choose the list price
  4. Marketing efforts begin
  5. Negotiate a sale
  6. Accept a contract
  7. Open the transaction
  8. Complete the inspections
  9. Clear any contingencies
  10. Ensure loan approval
  11. Close the transaction
  12. Coordinate the move

The following are the factors that determine if a home will sell. They will also help to land on the right listing price.

1. Terms/Financing The monthly cost of homeownership is an important determining factor in a buyer’s decision making process, so keep this in mind when pricing your home. An affordable monthly payment encourages buyers to write an offer on your home and to pay fair market value for the property. Make sure a financial worksheet is placed in your home for potential buyers. This worksheet should provide the monthly cost of various down payment/loan option combinations.

2. Home’s Condition Take note of repairs and/or improvements that should be done to maximize the home’s appeal. You want to ensure that potential buyers can imagine their things in the space.

3. Home’s Location To price the home correctly, you must know the advantages and limitations of its location. Draw from your own experiences living in the area, and make a list of these advantages and limitations.

4. Market Conditions The real estate market moves through cycles. These cycles are caused by supply and demand issues. However, no matter the current market, it’s important you choose an agent that knows how to attract the greatest number of buyers, because more buyers equal a higher net profit. Your realtor should also provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). This will tell you how much similar homes in the area have recently sold for, giving you a better idea of what the listing price should be.

5. Agent Marketing The ideal realtor should be comfortable hosting open houses, have unique sources of potential buyers, community recognition, and great overall communication skills. The more effective your agent’s marketing strategy, the more buyers will be attracted to the home and the higher net profit will be.

6. Pricing To determine the property’s value, take the following items into consideration:

–          Competing properties
–          Available financing
–          Your home’s condition and appeal
–          General economic conditions
–          What buyers have been willing to pay for similar properties (CMA)
–          Supply and demand factors
–          Location

Make sure you consult with an agent and take into account all factors before pricing the home.

Putting yourself out there

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in General

expand-your-business-with-us_1You have a new business venture or an existing business where you want to advertise or make yourself more known. The biggest thing to keep in mind when registering on new sites is consistency!! I can’t stress the importance of this step enough. I also understand it’s hard to remember what you put on that other site last month or last week, and never mind last night. Don’t let that stop you, put your best self everywhere.
Let’s begin by organizing your thoughts. I would suggest to open up your document processor such as Word and type up a little about yourself and your business and let’s not forget about your background. Coverage areas and maybe a photo as well to personalize your profile, keep it simple, keep it clean. Maintaining your fee structure streamlined is also good, it will be easier for you to remember when called away from your office.
Then open up your spreadsheet and input the website address, log in credentials and passwords for future reference, This spreadsheet will help maintain updates, be more efficient and will be less time consuming as you will spend less time trying to remember your credentials and where you need to go to update your information as well. This sheet can be used for marketing purposes not online as well, if using old fashioned printed resources. If using paid accounts this sheet could help you as well by keeping track of the dates your account is active and renewal deadlines. On the back end you can also use this to track where you’re getting the most traffic. You can notate where your new customer/ client found you to see which site is most beneficial for your business.

Now that you’re ready, let’s find those resources and begin working!!

Moving With Kids

Written by Shardae Griffin on . Posted in General, Home Buyers and Mortgagors

house huntingMaking a decision to move when you have kids can be a bit difficult. It is a major family milestone and depending on where you live it can affect everything from your kids’ education to your family’s social life.  You want to make sure that you are not only getting a great home, you want to ensure that the neighborhood is acceptable.  There are lots of family-friendly neighborhoods out there when considering your family. First things first, you want to get the inside scoop. You may want to find out from your real-estate agent where the best locations are. Or maybe you can inquire about certain areas from friends and family. You can also find out from looking through your local paper or maybe by going online.  Finding out information such as what schools surround the area and the crime rate  can be very helpful. One of the next important factors is to consider is the size of your home. A one bedroom apartment may not be the best places to raise several children. Children need room, not only space for a bed, but a place for them to play and express themselves. You should consider buying a home with a large living area as well as rooms that can become extra bedrooms, playroom or even a game room. You may even want to find a home that has a large yard. The next step you should consider is to figure out what features besides the price range are important and which ones are of a lesser priority. Considering factors like: How many kids live in the neighborhood? Is there a town pool or community center nearby? How long is your commute to work? Is there a downtown that fits your lifestyle? Knowing the answers to these questions will affect not only your children’s well being, but will also give you a peace of mind when searching for your future home.  

Home Improvements that Increase Value

Written by Christina Green on . Posted in General

House Made of ToolsBefore considering a home improvement project you need to stop and think about how the project is going to effect the value of the home.  Home improvement projects can increase and decrease the value of the home.

A common misconception by homeowners is that a home improvement that costs $25,000 will add $25,000 to the value of the home.  This is not the case!  There are certain home improvement projects that will most of the time increase the value of a home.  The following projects, in most cases, will add value!

Adding Additional Living Space When performing a comparative market analysis, if two homes are comparable in terms of upgrades, amenities, and location, a home that is larger than the other, is going to be worth more.  There are many opportunities for homeowners to be able to add additional living space in a home, which should have a positive impact on a home’s value.  The finishing of an attic or basement are two examples of adding additional living space.

Kitchen Remodel/Improvements The kitchen of a home often times will be the biggest selling feature of a home or can be the biggest negative of a home if it is outdated.  The first thing that a homeowner needs to determine when improving their kitchen is how long they plan on staying at their home.   The decision to completely remodel or choose to improve depends on a homeowner’s situation, but either way, remodeling or improving a kitchen will absolutely increase a home’s value.

Bathroom Remodel/Improvements Similar to a kitchen, bathrooms can have a significant impact on a homes desirability or lack there of.  When deciding between a complete bathroom remodel or improvement, the amount of time a homeowner plans on staying at their current residence should be taken into consideration.

Boosting Curb Appeal The first impression is extremely important in real estate.  The front of a home is the first thing that is noticed on a home.  Boosting the curb appeal of a home will increase the value of a home and can be relatively inexpensive.  A few easy ways to boost a homes curb appeal can be adding some nice landscaping, adding some exterior lights, redoing a walkway, or redoing front steps.

Upgrading the Exterior Elements Improving doors, siding, or windows are all very good improvement projects and can improve a homes value.

Every homeowner should want to complete home improvement projects that are going to increase the value of the home.  The above improvements, if done properly, will accomplish this.  If there is ever a doubt to whether or not a project is going to increase or decrease value, a professional real estate agent should be consulted for their opinion and feedback.  

Completing a Comparable Market Analysis or BPO

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in General

A Broker Price Opinion (BPO) or Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) is just what it sounds like. It is the opinion of a licensed professional real estate agent or broker with some expertise in regards to the value of the property in your market area similar to an appraisal but not as in-depth. Every company has their specific guidelines but overall some research items remain the same across the board. Some companies may require you to take pictures of all the properties used in report while others may only require original subject property photos and the others can be taken from the listing. Things to keep in mind are: images
  • Gross Living Area (GLA)
  • Age
  • Location
  • Urban areas within .5 mile radius Suburban areas within 1 mile radius Rural areas within 5 mile radius
  • House type
  • Three comparable properties currently listed
  • Three comparable properties recently sold
Something also that you should keep in mind is that the Multiple Listing Service or MLS may not always be up to date, therefore it should not be your only source of information. Some sources can be and not the only ones either Realtor.com, I like their advanced search feature, also Redfin, Movoto, Realestate.com and lets’ not forget public records, they are available in a lot of areas now online. Now keep in mind, when you’re requested to complete a CMA or BPO you are accepted to be the expert in that area, stick to your fee and deadlines already agreed upon. Provide comments regarding the subject property and the market area be as detailed as possible. As a realtor you are familiar with the characteristics people are looking for when purchasing, those should be the same details used when listing a home or evaluating its value as well. Such as what is located nearby, schools, hospitals and/ or shopping centers. How about the comparable homes that were chosen, why that specific one?

Real-estate agent and Internet Battle

Written by Shardae Griffin on . Posted in Home Buyers and Mortgagors

internetWhen it comes to the internet there is no limit to what you can get accomplished. The internet has transformed how consumers shop for goods and services. The same can be said about real estate agents. With services such as Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com there could be little need for an agent.  As these sites rise in prominence, real- estate agents are starting to push back. Real estate agents do have an advantage when it comes to actually showing a property for sale to a potiential buyer. For obvious reasons, sellers do not want to allow strangers to walk around their homes alone. The role of opening the door is better handled by a real estate agent that is physically able to walk a person inside.  When buyers can find out the homes that they want through online research, an agent is able to spend less time touring them around a property. The internet increases agent leverage over brokers. In most states, agents have to affiliate with a brokerage. However, when they can self-promote online , they don’t need as much in return.  Agents are in a position where they can keep more of their money. Agents can reap great rewards using a web log (blog) to position themselves as an expert in their city, subdivision or other area Blog posts about the market conditions, real estate events, local codes and restrictions, climate information and many more will begin to gather a regular readership and future clients.  Agents can involve others in business or community organizations to post their information and build good will. Real estate agents and brokers fall all over the compass when it comes to how the internet is impacting their business. Some are doomsayers, believing that the web will be the demise of the MLS system and real estate full service brokers.

Real Estate Red Flags

Written by Christina Green on . Posted in Home Buyers and Mortgagors, Mortgage Economy and Market

imagesIt is important to be aware of real estate red flags from all aspects of the buying process. These red flags may prevent the house from selling, leaving the property sitting on the market far too long.Many of these Real Estate issues can and should be resolved prior to putting the home on the market. Home buyers today look for homes they do not have to involve themselves with additional time, money and effort.Most home buyers that are going to take on maintenance issues will look for a discount which sometimes can be substantial when they are making their offer.

Water penetration

One of the top home buying red flags is any kind of water intrusion. Signs of water penetration, including sagging or swollen building materials, dark stains or noticeable dampness are often indicators of much bigger problems. Water can cause wood to break down over time, but it could also lead to issues beyond the immediate area.

The Neighborhood

The buyer will consider the surrounding neighborhood. If this neighborhood is noticeably struggling, they will want to know why, and will consider it a negative when weighting their options. Environmental issues, crime or an exceptionally low rate of employment are all troubling for potential buyers.

Electrical Issues

A reliable electrical system is important in a home. With more and more electronics becoming a necessity, buyers want an electrical system that can hold up to modern demands.

Bad Smells

Nothing is as unappealing as a bad smell, either inside or outside of the home. Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living new lives in their new home. This is one reason why real estate agents recommend a professional carpet cleaning before showing a home. It takes care of both unsightly stains and potential smells. Awful smells are one of the top reasons buyers will not purchase a home they would actually consider otherwise. The fear is that they will not be able to get rid of the odor after buying the home. This is especially true with pet odors and smoking.

Painting One Wall Or Ceiling

Some sellers know they need to eliminate signs of water damage or leaks before showing their home. Unfortunately, the seemingly quick fix of painting over the problem is usually detected by buyers and their agents. A quick coat of paint is no solution.

Keep all these common real estate red flags in mind when selling or buying a home and you are likely to be far more successful in the process.

How to Sell a Home Fast

Written by Christina Green on . Posted in General

imagesA home can be sold fast if some guidelines are followed. There are no shortcuts. How the seller answers the questions below will determine how fast the home will sell.

What is the seller’s motivation/urgency to sell?

Having a motivation to sell the home, puts a sense of urgency into the homeowner. Typical scenarios include:

• Relocation – There are a number of reasons why the seller might be relocating, forcing them to sell their home.

• Life event – marriage, baby, divorce, illness, etc.

• Upsize, downsize or better location – Maybe it’s a different location or size that the seller is seeking.

Without a motivation to sell the home, can the seller still be on board to do what’s necessary to sell the home fast? That depends if the can take the advice of an experienced Realtor who can guide them on the home selling process. If they’re more concerned in following their own lead, then they’ll likely have difficulty selling the home fast. The need to listen to their knowledgeable, local Realtor professional then they too can sell their home fast, even if they aren’t pressed to do so.

Have you prepared to sell your home?

Preparing to sell the home will always be one of the most critical steps to take towards completing a fast sale. The seller needs to plan to make the proper home selling preparations so they’ll be able to reap the benefits in selling the home for as much as possible. It’s important to understand that when they don’t prepare, the home’s ultimate selling price will reflect the lack of preparation. This lack of preparation can be detrimental to a maximum selling price and it will likely result in the home selling for less than market value. This selling price difference will be greater than what the cost would have been to properly prepare your home.

What will the preparations include?

• Cleaning, Repair, Unclutter.