How to Buy a House

 

Ket chain with house

How to Buy a House

Educate yourself

Find out as much as you can about  the home buying process and the specific property in which you have interest-  how long has the home has been on the market, are there other interested buyers, are there other offers on the table currently, and is there a specific day the sellers will review the offers.

Review comps

Your agent should send you the last six months of recent sales data to review and compare. These “comps” tell about the most recent market and what current buyers/sellers have agreed on for a sale price. Compare the comps with the subject property; square feet, renovations of kitchen, bathrooms, age of systems (HVAC, water heater, septic) roof, windows, and landscaping. The location in the area or neighborhood also will be a factor in determining the property value, a home on a side street or cul-de-sac may be more appealing than one on a busy road or next to commercial space.

Also review the pending sales (homes under contract, but not yet settled)  and see if your agent can uncover some information about those transactions. You want to ask about the number of offers they received or a ballpark selling price. The pending sales represent the most up-to-date market statistics. Your agent’s opinion of the home’s value and any other relevant factors can all factor into your offer price.

Call your lender

Your lender should be one of your  first contacts in the home buying process to make sure you are are looking in the right price range.  Let her know you plan to make an offer on the home. Not only will you need a pre-approval letter with your offer, but you will want an update on mortgage rates and products, since these change daily.

From the time you applied for pre-approval until now, there could have been a massive shift in rates or a new product that could benefit you. For all you know, you can afford more, or that bonus you received last month could mean a higher down payment and qualifying for a better product.

Make sure you know and are comfortable with the amount of cash needed to close.

Discuss terms

In addition to price and financing, you will need to decide on terms including the settlement date, the settlement company, how much of a earnest money deposit you will put down and any contingencies you will include in the offer to purchase/contract.

Contingencies are the details that have to be satisfied before you and the seller are locked into the commitment to transfer of the property ownership. Each contingency gives you an opportunity to do and inspections, ask for/negotiate repairs, secure financing  or void the contract- the seller can also void the contract in some cases.  You will need to decide which, if any, contingencies  you will include:  home inspection, radon inspection, appraisal, financing, home sale, and others.

How long many days will you take for your inspections? Do you want to close quickly or take a longer time? Will you need an appraisal and loan contingency? How long should that be?

The terms of your offer can make or break your deal. If the seller wants a quick close, and you can do it, give it to them. If you are competing with a cash offer, make your offer as stream-lined and with the least amount of contingencies you are comfortable with.

Make the offer!

Once you decide to move forward, do it. Waiting to see what happens in terms of a price reduction or if anyone else if interested is only working against your own best interest. Offer less if you perceive the property to be over- priced instead of waiting for a reduction and certainly don’t wait for the competition.

There are 4 components to an offer;

the contract – with offer price, contingencies, settlement company, financing arrangements and settlement date.

lender letter -stating you are qualified for the purchase price

financial information sheet – a document supplied by your agent detailing your financial situation- and ability to purchase (brag sheet).

earnest money deposit check – customarily 2%-3% of the purchase price- (although it can be more or less).

Inventory

While you should give your best effort for the home you want, there will be other homes if that one gets away. Make certain you are immediately notified when a home comes on the market in your preferred neighborhoods by having your agent set up an automatic email from the MRIS for you, so you don’t miss anything. Have faith that another great home will come along in the future and-  and be ready!

Georgetown row houses

 

Tracy Tkac
301-437-8722
Evers & Co.
Tracy@eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com

Reviews

Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Owning a home can be a big expense, but the good news is some of your expenses are actually tax deductible. Read on to see how you can maximize homeownership write-offs on your tax return. (Note that this information is valid for tax year 2015 only.)

Mortgage interest

You can deduct all of the mortgage interest (not principal) payments you make on your home, up to a $1-million loan for a couple filing jointly. This applies to your home equity line of credit (on a loan up $100,000) and second mortgage as well.

If you own a second home, such as a vacation cottage or mobile home, you can deduct the mortgage interest for it as well, so long as you reside there for the longer of 14 days per year or 10 percent of the time it is rented out.

Mortgage points and insurance

In addition to the mortgage interest, you can also deduct the points you pay on your mortgage for your main home in the year you pay them, as well as points paid for a home equity loan. Points paid for refinancing your home mortgage generally have to be amortized over the length of the loan.

You can also deduct any premiums paid for private mortgage insurance (PMI) on your loan if you earned less than $109,000 in 2015 and the policy was taken out after 2006.

Property taxes

As strange as it sounds, you can deduct taxes on your taxes! Your property taxes are a deductible expense. Keep your property tax bills and proof of payment.

Home office

If you have some sort of home-based business, you may be entitled to a home office deduction on your taxes. There are several hoops to jump through to qualify for the deduction, the two biggest being that your home must be your primary place of business, and that you use the office space only for work. (The IRS spells out the rules for claiming the home office deduction in Publication 587.)

There are two ways to calculate your deduction. Under the simplified option, you can deduct $5 per square foot of your home office’s area, up to a maximum 300 square feet.

The more complex (but often more advantageous) option involves dividing the square footage of your office by the total square footage of your home; this yields the “business percentage” of your home. You then multiply allowable home costs — namely mortgage interest and utilities — by the business percentage to arrive at the deductible amounts.

Energy credits

If you implemented energy-efficient improvements to your home, you can get a credit of up to 10 percent of the cost of those improvements, to a maximum of $500. This covers expenses like new windows and doors, insulation, and high-efficiency heating and cooling systems. You could also get a credit for 30 percent of the cost of renewable energy systems, like solar power.

There could also be state tax credits for these items as well which you can stack on top of your federal credit.

Medical home improvements

If you have a medical condition that necessitates home improvements, such as adding a stair lift because you have arthritis or an air filter because your spouse suffers from allergies, you may be able to write off some of these costs as part of your medical deduction.

However, you can deduct only that portion of your medical costs that exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income (7.5 percent if you are 65 or older).

And in most cases, you can deduct only the difference between the cost of the equipment and the increase in value to the home from this improvement. Some improvements (such widening doorways to accommodate a wheelchair) add no marketable value to the home but are fully deductible if you meet certain income requirements.

Home sales

If you sold your home in the last year, you could be eligible for some tax savings resulting from that transaction. The costs of your real estate agent’s fees, advertising, and title insurance are deductible expenses. You can also deduct improvements you made to the home in order to sell it, but only if you have a taxable capital gain from the sale.

Home damages

If your home was damaged by weather, fire, theft, or another disaster, you’ve suffered a casualty loss, a portion of which may be deductible. If your loss was greater than 10 percent of your income and was not covered by insurance, you can deduct the loss. You’ll need to be able to document the value of what was lost, however.

by Brette Sember

 

Tracy Tkac
301-437-8722
Evers & Co.

Tracy@eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com

Simple Changes for a Greener Home

If the phrase “sustainable home” intimidates you, don’t let it. Incorporating green practices in your home is simpler than you might think. We’re not talking installing solar panels or adding car-charging stations in your garage (at least, not yet).

You can have an eco-conscious home without building one from the ground up. From switching to LED light bulbs to installing a toilet that wastes less water, there are a number of ways to make your home a little greener.

Read on to learn how you can work toward making your current home a bit more environmentally friendly.

Light bulbs and beyond

“Using LED light bulbs is the easiest thing to do that will change your electric bill,” says Anthony Maschmedt, founder and owner of design-build firm Dwell Development. “And high-performance windows are crucial to having a comfortable home.” He recommends triple-pane windows for maximum energy efficiency.

You may also want to rethink your current heating and cooling system. The Dwell Development team suggests using ductless mini-split systems throughout a home. You can mount them right on your wall, and they’re run by a remote control.

Maschmedt says these ductless heating and cooling systems are 300 percent more efficient than most systems out there. Other benefits to ductless mini-split systems include their small size, easy installation, and ability to blend into the existing interior design of a room. These systems will soon become the new normal, according to Maschmedt.

Repurposed materials

Try repurposing old materials and turning them into treasured statement pieces in your home. From countertops to flooring, look locally for materials you can repurpose.

Courtesy of Groundswell Design Group LLC.

Repurposed boards make a striking headboard. Courtesy of Groundswell Design Group LLC.

If you’re thinking about replacing your countertops, try recycled steel or reclaimed wood. Bamboo wood, for example, works quite well as a kitchen countertop option; it’s both durable and resistant to bacteria and mold.

Environmentally friendly flooring options are also not difficult to find. Flooring made from cork, linoleum, and bamboo are not only renewable materials, but also assist in home insulation efforts. Linoleum, in particular, is known for its lengthy lifespan.

Water conservation

Selecting the right fixtures can save thousands of gallons of water a year. Maschmedt recommends investing in Stealth System toilets, which use less than one gallon of water per flush. An average toilet uses three gallons per flush. “For an average three-bedroom house, you’ll save 6,000 to 9,000 gallons annually by using these toilets,” he says.

In addition to easy fixes like new toilets, look for other fixtures and appliances that conserve water. Purchasing tankless water heaters is another good place to start. Tankless water heaters skip the inefficient (and wasteful) process of reheating hot water in a tank. Instead, they heat on-demand, so no energy is wasted keeping water hot.

You’ll save money on operating costs, and save on water usage given you’re no longer running water while waiting for it to heat up.Energy.gov reports that for homes using 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, “demand water heaters can be 24 percent to 34 percent more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters.”

Additionally, you can collect and repurpose rainwater on your property to irrigate your garden and landscaping. Place rain barrels or cisterns beneath your downspout, and install rain chains, which drain water from your gutter and hang from the downspout hole.

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This easy DIY rain collection practice provides an alternative supply that won’t increase your water usage — or your water bill. But before you go out to get your own rain barrels and rain chains, look into your state’s rainwater harvesting laws.

From rethinking your heating and cooling system to water conservation efforts, the key to turning your home into a more environmentally conscious space is making one change at a time.

You don’t need to build a green home from the ground up to incorporate sustainable home practices. Choose a few small changes you can enact in the near future, and you’re well on your way to a green-living oasis of your own.

BY SARAH PIKE

Who Will Buy Your Home?

2015-08-12 13.01.23

Who Will Buy Your Home?

When it comes time to sell your home, whether you’ve lived there for three years or 30, you need to see it as a product for sale. And just like an item on a store shelf, you want your home to stand out from the competition.

Of course, your feelings and emotions about your home — and all of the memories you made there — may make it difficult to detach and view your home as a product. But sellers who quickly transition away from the emotional connection and into investment mode will reap the financial benefits many times over. Homes that go into contract quicker and with few (if any) price reductions ultimately sell for more money. And isn’t that every seller’s goal?

What’s on buyers’ wish lists

Homes that sell quickly probably have many of the features today’s buyers find desirable. Smart retailers try to understand better what consumers want, and then deliver to them. Home sellers should do the same.

When you’re preparing to sell your home, consider small renovations, updates, cleaning and even some light staging. I’ve seen sellers make significant upgrades to their home before listing, leaving them to question if they actually want to move.

Today’s buyers look for move-in ready and turn-key homes. The more bells and whistles, the better.

Focus on kitchens and baths

It’s a pretty well-established fact that kitchens and baths sell a home. If your kitchen or bathroom is tired or outdated, consider modest upgrades that pack a punch.

Painting cabinets white gives the kitchen a clean and fresh look. Consider new stone countertops like quartz or granite. And replace old faucets with shiny new ones.

Spending a modest sum can reap incredible benefits — tenfold.

If you’ve got it, flaunt it

Research shows that certain features help sell a home faster. Even if you don’t have time for renovations, you might luck out and already have some of the items on buyers’ wish lists.

For example, subway tiles in the kitchen or bathroom, barn doors, and craftsman features are proven to help homes sell faster. If your home has these, play them up, because today’s buyers want them.

Just like companies figure out the next hot car, handbag or shoe for their respective industries, smart home sellers must know their audience and market their product to meet customer demand.

When it comes time to sell, consider your buyer, and try hard to make your home into a top-notch product.

 

 

 

BRENDON DESIMONE- Zillow

 

Tracy Tkac
301-437-8722
Evers & Co.

Tracy@eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com

TRENDS YOU MIGHT WANT TO STAY AWAY FROM

INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS YOU MIGHT WANT TO STAY AWAY FROM

TRENDS YOU MIGHT WANT TO STAY AWAY FROM

We all want our homes to be updated and inclusive of the latest trends. But not all of them are right for everyone. We cautioned last year against open shelving in the kitchen and a few other trends that might not be right for everyone. We’ve added a few more this year.

Vanity with no storage

The hottest look in bathrooms right now is the pedestal sink with an industrial metal base. The look is upscale, hotel spa-like, simple. But the function leaves a little to be desired. If you need more storage than the ZERO shelves, drawers, and cabinets this bathroom vanity provides, this might not be the look for you.

 

Marble countertops

For us, few things are as alluring as an all-marble kitchen. A huge countertop sheathed in Carrara or Calacatta is better than…well, lots of things. But there goes that function issue again. Marble requires diligence. If you’re not meticulously clean and constantly attentive to things like your kid’s juice cup or your wine glass, you could end up wishing you’d gone with quartz.

“How do you live? Are you the type of homeowner who picks up after yourself after each use in the kitchen? Or are you a busy on-the-go homeowner, where a kitchen counter wouldn’t get wiped down until the next morning?,” asked Houzz. “Acid from substances such as red wine, marinara sauce, blueberries and even lemons can tarnish the look of the marble if left to sit overnight.”


Precision Stone Services
Busy, graphic wallpaper

It’s beautiful, it’s bold, and it’s bound to be out of style and/or irritating the heck out of you (and/or causing seizures, depending on the strobing effect of the geometric pattern you chose) in short order. Yes, we love a good graphic pattern. On the walls even, if done right. But a choice that’s so bold can end up haunting you. Unlike paint, wallpaper isn’t a quick fix that can be changed in a couple of hours. If you’ve never spent days tearing away little pieces of paper from a wall that doesn’t want to let it go, just trust us: It’s. No. Fun.


Walls Surround You
Brass fixtures

Are brass fixtures chic and new (again) after years of chrome domination? Yes. Does that mean they will be embraced by the greater public and dominate the fixture market again? Who knows. If you’re looking to add a little sparkle to your kitchen or bathroom and don’t mind spending a little money on something that may only be a permanent change, go for it! If your goal is to make smart updates so you can list your home for sale, this might not be the place to spend the money- especially if you’re in a more conservative or traditional real estate market.


Centsational Girl
Written by Jaymi Naciri 
http://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice1/item/43544-20160404-5-interior-design-trends-you-might-want-to-stay-away-from

 

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Tracy Tkac
301-437-8722
Evers & Co.
Tracy@eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com 

Get Your Own Agent!

Should You Use the Listing Agent When Purchasing a Home? No- Get Your Own Agent!

Kentlandshouses

First-time home buyers aren’t typically versed in the intricacies of agency disclosure, nor do they understand the concepts of a buyer’s agent and seller’s agent. They only know that the person they meet at an open house or email about a listing is an “agent.”

It may seem easiest to go with the agent who already knows the home, but not having a buyer’s agent represent you could be a mistake.

When they start getting more serious and want to inquire about a property, its price, condition or history, they typically direct their questions to the seller’s agent — which presents an immediate conflict of interest.

So what’s a buyer to do? It helps to understand the concept of agency before this happens.

A real estate agent’s loyalties and responsibilities change depending on the transaction. Here’s a quick rundown of the different roles an agent can play in any one transaction.

The listing agent

The listing agent or seller’s agent works for the seller and represents their interests in the sale. The seller hires their agent, typically in writing, to market and sell their home.

The listing agent’s responsibility is to get the seller the highest amount of money in the shortest period. Their fiduciary goals and loyalty should be with the seller at all times.

The buyer’s agent

Purchasing a home can be emotionally draining, not to mention financially stressful. Many consumers seek independent counsel from a buyer’s agent.

A buyer’s agent works with them for as long as it takes to make a purchase. They teach the buyers the market, show them lots of homes, and eventually advise when it comes time to make an offer and negotiate with the seller. An invaluable resource, a buyer’s agent stands by the buyer’s side for the duration of their home search.

The dual agent

Sometimes a buyer forgoes independent representation and chooses to work directly with the listing agent. This situation isn’t allowed in some states because of the conflict of interest. Where it is allowed, a dual agent represents both sides of the transaction at the same time.

In the case of a dual agent, it’s impossible for the agent to be completely loyal to either party. Both parties must agree to dual agency in writing, in advance.

Who pays for the agent?

The seller pays the real estate agent’s commission when the deal closes. The two agents then split the commission. In the case of the dual agent, the agent takes home the entire commission.

Should you use the listing agent as a dual agent?

Unless you are an experienced real estate investor, it’s best to stick with a buyer’s agent. There’s no cost, and a good buyer’s agent will provide an invaluable amount of advice and support in what can end up being a very stressful period.

The home search can involve many twists and turns, so having a loyal adviser along the way will help you make an informed decision on what is likely the largest purchase of your life.Mother father and children washing dog labrador retriever outsid

By BRENDON DESIMONE Zillow

Tracy Tkac
301-437-8722
Evers & Co.
Tracy@eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com

Make Your Home Say ‘Spring’

home-spring
Spring blooms!

Make Your Home Say ‘Spring’

Was that a flower bud you saw when you left the house for work this morning? A yellow tulip daring to grow? Is it—no way—actually, finally spring? Make Your Home Say ‘Spring’ by cleaning out and making lighter and brighter.

If your living room is still full of the furry pillows and emerald velvet throws that felt so glam yet cozy in the winter months, then get your act together and dress your home for the new season!  Create a space that screams “spring” with these 10 easy designer tips.

1. Pack up dark tones and try new colors

Lighter tones for spring

Arnt Haug/Getty Images

Lighter tones for spring

If you’re looking for an easy way to transition your home for warm weather, here it is.

“When we start seeing more sunlight, I pack up the dark tones and heavy accessories and rearrange everything to increase openness and air circulation,” says Jennifer Adams, an interior designer from Scottsdale, AZ.

Swap in lighter or neutral tones to give your home an open, airy feel. Spring is a great time to bring new colors into your home, especially if you’ve already got white or neutral walls. Adams recommends trying “fresh colors” such as mints, lighter greens, blush pinks, and grays. Combine colors with warm metals (think rose and antique golds) to create a cozy, fresh space.

Introduce new colors

imaginima/iStock

Introduce new colors

Not sure where to integrate these changes? Think small: throw pillows, blankets, and bookshelf accessories. If you’re feeling brave, consider painting a whole wall—as long as you’re willing to paint again if you grow tired of it.

2. Update your entryway

A spring-y welcome mat

FrankvandenBergh/iStock

A spring-y welcome mat

If your entryway looks like the way to Winterfell, now’s the time to give it a seasonal makeover.

Your front door is the first thing visitors see—so you’ll want to make it pop. DeAnna Radaj, an eco-shui design consultant from Charlotte, NC, recommends changing your welcome mat, door wreath, and porch accessories each season.

That doesn’t mean they have to be covered in pastels and Easter eggs, but a timeless spring look can go a long way.

Don’t forget to clean, too: Remove the layers of snow-tracked dirt and silt built up on your porch and give your patio furniture a thorough wipe-down.

3. Switch to sheers

Sheer drapes give an airier look.

Kelvin Murray/Getty Images

Sheer drapes give an airier look

As a general rule, you should build your drapery in layers, with heavy panels on the top and light sheers against the windows. Now that spring’s here, it’s an excellent time to take down those dark, heavy panels for a thorough cleaning.

Doing so creates a “spare, open feel,” Adams says, allowing light to filter through the gauzy fabric to illuminate your entire room in a soft glow. While you’re at it, swap out any textural or embellished fabrics or pillows for lighter fabrics such as linen, she says.

One caveat: If your room gets direct sunlight during a part of the day—like sunbeams hitting your breakfast nook right at 7:30—don’t feel like you have to suffer the high beams just for the sake of an “airy” feel. Consider swapping in neutral-colored panels to protect your eyes.

4. Go minimal

Declutter with a more minimal look.

antagonist74/iStock

Declutter with a more minimal look

You need fewer accessories in spring. With nothing much to see outside in winter, it’s worth building visual interest with various knickknacks. But now that you’re letting in more light—and tracking the progress of those buds—it’s time to declutter.

“Change out heavy, solid accessories—like vases—for taller, slender ones—like beautiful candlesticks,” Adams says.

On your walls, she recommends selecting lighter-colored frames for your art and mirrors—think antique gold or silver instead of dark woods.

———

5. Clean the windows, inside and out

You already know: Spring-cleaning is so refreshing, it feels great once you actually do it, blah, blah, blah. But here’s an important step in the whole process that many people forget: Clean the exteriors of your window, too.

“Who wants to see all the dirt from rain, snow, and wind?” Adams asks.

6. Buy seasonal bedding

Seasonal bedding

Alex_Wang1/iStock

Seasonal bedding

Don’t just clean your bedding for spring. Consider getting an all-new set to bring new life to your bedroom for the season—something bright, light, and airy.

And it’s not just aesthetic: A lighter-weight duvet helps prevent the night sweats as the temperature rises.

“Bedding, accent throws, and pillows should all be changed for the seasons and temperature changes,” Radaj says. “It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to store when out of season.”

7. Add mirrors and sparkle

Brighten up a room with some well-placed mirrors.

aydinmutlu/iStock

Brighten up a room with some well-placed mirrors

No, we’re not going for full-on glitz and glamour, here—no one wants to relive New Year’s Eve in the spring. But adding reflective elements (e.g., mirrors on the wall or crystal accents) can bring sunlight into hard-to-reach spaces—making even the darkest room feel bright and fresh.

8. Welcome the outdoors

Bring the outdoors in.

KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock

Bring the outdoors in

Sure, you can head to the backyard if you’re eager for sunlight and greenery (look at all those gorgeous blooms, finally sprouted!), but why not bring the outside in?

In addition to flowers and plants that can survive indoors, Radaj suggests using natural fibers such as jute and seagrass. You can also get your green on by framing artwork and photos of natural landscapes.

9. Update your gallery walls

Looking for a simple fix to make your space feel brand new? Look at your walls—how long has the artwork been in that exact arrangement?

Try something new.

You don’t have to change every bit of artwork you own, but taking the time to rearrange one of your gallery walls—or even move it to a brand-new spot—can make a huge difference in the aura of the room.

10. Get an HVAC checkup

This last one isn’t about your home design. But after all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?

Before switching on your air conditioner for the first time since last August, make sure your HVAC system is up to snuff after a long winter of heating.

“Your lungs will thank you,” Radaj says.

At the very least, replace your filter. It’s also a good idea to get a full checkup for the system to make sure everything is working properly. Not only will this make the air feel fresher, it also can save you money on your energy bills—and we knowthat will put a spring in your step.

By
Jamie Wiebe,  Realtor.com
Tracy Tkac
301-437-8722
Evers & Co.
Tracy@eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com
Curb Appeal

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Curb Appeal   Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Curb Appeal

Let’s face it, first impressions matter. We care about how we dress for a job interview, and we spent extra time in front of the mirror before that first date. When it comes to selling a home, first impressions matter, too. Its all about curb appeal!

The term “curb appeal” derives from real estate sales and home design. For years, buyers have formed their first impressions of homes while standing in the street or sitting inside the car, just beyond the curb. Before the advent of text messaging and smartphones, a buyer would get a phone call or fax from their agent about a new listing. The initial drive-by would determine whether or not they would go for an actual showing.

To get that buyer in the door, the seller spent hours, even days, seeding new grass and planting flowers, painting their front door, mulching, weeding and cleaning up the yard. If the home didn’t appeal from the curb, buyers moved on to the next house. Curb appeal was always the single most important piece of the home sale puzzle.

Expanded appeal

Today, curb appeal still matters — but it matters differently. Almost every buyer forms their first impression from a home’s online photos.

Instead of driving to your home, buyers will scroll through pictures of both the outside and the inside, before ever stepping foot inside. What’s more, they may never come to see it if they don’t like what they see online.

While the exterior of your home should be high on your priority list, it is most valuable only when the buyer walks up or drives by. But they may not ever get that far.

The interior also needs to show your home in its best possible light, because Web appeal has become the new curb appeal. And if your home doesn’t photograph well — either because you didn’t have it professionally shot, didn’t post high-resolution photos, or you haven’t taken the time to prep it — then curb appeal won’t even make a difference.

What sellers should do

Sellers need to spend ample time preparing the inside of their home and getting great photos, so buyers will form the best possible impression.

The downside for sellers is that they have to work so much harder than they did just 15 years ago. In our ever-more-visual society, buyers make immediate judgments about a home within moments of clicking on the new listing on their smartphone.

Sellers only have one chance to make a good impression. The home still needs to look good from the curb — but to get the buyers there in person, it needs to look great on the Web.

BRENDON DESIMONE- Zillow

 

Tracy Tkac
301-437-8722
Evers & Co.

Tracy@eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com

Pricing Your Home Right- from the Start

Front Kilkenny

Sold in 5 days!

Pricing Your Home Right- from the Start

One of the most important factors in selling your home is to price it as accurately as possible from the beginning. Some sellers want to “test” the market by offering their home at an elevated price point to see if they get any bites for the ultimate goal of walking away with more money in their pockets. Of course, that is goal of every home seller- to maximize profit to go forth with the next purchase, relocation or retirement but it will not likely be obtained by over-pricing your home listing, but pricing your home right from the start will.

By testing the market with an inflated price, one that is not supported by recently sold homes in the neighborhood, some sellers are actually achieving the opposite of their goal. The over priced listing may languish, and sit on the market for longer and the price will eventually have to be lowered anyway, and many times to below market value. Sadly, this type of listing is often overlooked because it has become stale. Both agents and buyers may summarily eliminate that home from their search because it has been on the market for a long time and they may assume something must be wrong with that property.

Pricing your home right means looking very honestly at the condition of the home, the up-grades (or lack of), the location with-in the neighborhood and most importantly the recently sold homes in your area. A good real estate agent will be able to provide you with the neighborhood market activity including what has sold in the last six months-, which is the criteria an appraiser will use when appraising your home for the buyers loan. And he/she will also show you what is currently for sale or under contract and help you compare your property with those homes. Listing at the right price will likely mean your home will be shown more and ultimately be sold for more.

By Tracy Tkac

Tracy Tkac
301-437-8722
Evers & Co.

Tracy@eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com

Your Home’s First Showing

Your Home’s First Showing

Let’s face it, buyers form their first impression of your home based on the online listing. As they say, Web appeal is the new curb appeal. So get ready for your home’s first showing by taking preparation seriously.

If you are serious about selling your home, you have to take your listing photo shoot very seriously. If your photos don’t excite buyers, they may not step foot inside.

You should prepare for your photo shoot as much as you would for an open house or private showing. Work alongside an excellent  local real estate agent , and follow these tips to make sure your home looks its best.

Never list your home online without photos

Today’s buyers get email and text alerts when a new home that matches their criteria hits the market. There is nothing more frustrating than to see the desired address come across as an alert, only for the listing to be incomplete.

Buyers (and agents) will punish you for jumping the gun. Will they go back later and look again, once you have the photos up? Maybe — but maybe not.

You’re adding an extra step for them, and it comes across like you don’t have your ducks in a row. That’s not a great way to start out with your future customer.

Clean, declutter, organize and remove

You should spend a good amount of time preparing for your photo shoot. This means that you fluff the pillows, put toilet seats down, put Fido’s bowl and toys away, and ensure the home  is in impeccable condition.

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A tidy home free of clutter appeals to buyers. Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

People can zoom in, zoom out and play with photos in online listings. They’ll notice everything. If your photos don’t show your home well, it sends a message to the buyer that you don’t care, and that you are not a serious seller.

The buyer is your customer. You have a product for sale. Take the time to present it in the best possible light.

Poor photos won’t cut it

Images that are blurry, poorly lit, or distorted are not going to sell your home.

It’s a good idea to hire a professional photographer who will take high-resolution photos, and even bring extra lighting or equipment to enhance their work. They’ll also take dozens of pictures and work tirelessly to show your home in the right light and from the best angles.

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Well-lit photos show off your home’s assets. Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Don’t skimp on the number of photos

When it comes to photos, the more, the merrier. You want to make it easy on buyers to get comfortable with and learn more about your home.

Not only are the listing photos their initial impression, but they serve to help orient the buyer after the first or second showing. Once they have been through the home in person, they are better able to relate to the floor plan and how it flows. Going back to the listing photos allows them to make connections and dig deeper. Encourage them to do so by posting plenty of photos.

BY BRENDON DESIMONE

Tracy Tkac
301-437-8722
Evers & Co.
Tracy@Eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com

301-437-8722/ 202-364-1700 Real Estate Professional Licensed in Maryland, Virginia & Washington, DC