Tag Archives: real estate

Getting Ready To Sell

A home sale typically comes as a result of a life change or a major decision. These decisions don’t usually happen overnight, providing homeowners with years to plan for a successful home sale. By using your time wisely, you will maximize your home’s value when you want to list and sell.

On your way to this point, you should be open to spending money in getting ready to sell. Investing in strategic home improvements will help facilitate a quicker and more profitable sale.

Selling a home is a large financial and emotional transaction — likely the largest in a lifetime. This makes strategic planning and counsel vital. Here are some steps you should take a year or more before you plan to list your home.

Connect with a local real estate agent

Real estate agents shouldn’t just show up, list a home, hold an open house and move on. Instead, they should be valuable assets to you years before listing. Connecting with a local agent and developing a relationship well in advance allows you to start learning the market and transitioning from the mindset of a homeowner to that of a seller.

A good agent will provide helpful information, advice and assistance on an ongoing basis, in hopes of working with you on the eventual sale. Work with an agent who can connect you to local resources like inspectors, painters and other service providers.

An agent can also assess your home’s condition and suggest small to medium-sized improvements that will help boost your home’s value. Prioritize these projects for the months or years leading up to the sale.

Have a formal property inspection

For a few hundred dollars, you can have a licensed property inspector assess the home’s major systems and components. You can take this step up to two years before you will list your home.

Why would you want to have someone come and point out your home’s flaws before selling? Because it’s better to know about any issues upfront so you can address them before your potential buyer discovers them.

Additionally, you can put a financial plan in place to pay for any needed fixes. Dry rot on your back deck could cost $500 to remedy now, but you’d be better off handling it now than having a buyer see it as a major decking/structural issue and request $5,000 when you are weeks away from closing and your back’s against the wall.

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Make improvements

A year before you will list, spend the extra time and money ensuring that your home both appeals to mainstream buyers and passes a potential buyer’s property inspection.

If your agent suggests cosmetic fixes like laying new carpet, painting cabinets or cleaning the yellow grout in the bathroom, put a plan in place to tackle each of the projects. Waiting to the last minute will be too stressful, plus you won’t get the enjoyment out of the cosmetic fixes.

If you know your roof is at the end of its life, it might be more economical to replace it so that you can advertise a new roof. Today’s buyers want homes that are move-in ready. They don’t have the time or resources to take on projects. The more issues you can resolve for them, the more successful your sale.

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Get a home warranty

A home warranty is like a one-year insurance policy that addresses your major (and minor) appliances and most systems. If something breaks, you can call the home warranty company, not the appliance repair technician or plumber. For a small co-pay, they will come out and repair or replace the item swiftly.

If your home has some issues, a home warranty is a great way to address them without having to spend weeks or months shopping around, getting bids for work and seeing through each repair. A warranty works well when you list the home and are too busy to call around getting bids.

Moving is tough, in and of itself. Add prepping a home for sale and your move becomes more emotional and stressful. Planning ahead can help you address issues in advance.

Don’t wait until the last minute, or you risk leaving money on the table. Meet with an agent early on and put a timeline in place to get the most of your home’s sale — fast.

 

Tracy Tkac
301-437-8722

Tracy@eversco.com
Evers & Co.

Tracy@eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com

 

BY BRENDON DESIMONE Zillow

 

 

Guidelines for Selling Your House

 Guidelines for Selling Your House

Preparation and timing can help you get the best price for your home.

Consult the large real estate sites, like Realtor.com,Zillow.com and HomeGain.com to see how similar homes are priced in your neighborhood. Many newspapers also list the selling and asking prices of recent sales, plus how long the houses were on the market. Note the prices for your neighborhood during the last several months.

Check how sales were running, say, a year ago, so you get an idea of whether the market is heating up, cooling down, or staying put for guidelines for selling your house . This exercise should give you a sense of what your home is worth.

Selecting an agent

You may decide that you can sell your home without an agent. It’s an attractive thought, since you would save the 6% of the selling price that a broker typically collects. But balance that against the work involved in advertising a house and being available at all hours to show it.

If you do decide to work through an agent, ask for referrals from friends or check the Web and local newspapers for advertisements. Don’t simply accept any recommendation. Make an appointment with an agent and interview him or her for the job.

Evaluate the person as though you were a buyer: Is he or she professional and personable? Does he say the right things to make you want to see the home? Also, since the agent will likely be able to advise you on a selling price, how well does his or her price jibe with the homework you did on your own? Don’t be fooled by an agent who is merely flattering you with an inflated price. Go by what you already know about your house and the current housing market.

Ask whether he or she will be the agent actually showing the house. Some brokers have specialists whose main duty is to win the listing. Then another of the broker’s agents takes over.

The lowdown on commissions

Once you find an agent you like, you have to formally sign a listing agreement. This is a contract, laying out the specifics of your arrangement, including how long you will let the agent represent your home and what the compensation will be.

Many agents prefer an exclusive listing, meaning you agree to pay a commission regardless of whether the agent is actually responsible for finding the seller. You should commit for no longer than three months (one month, in a hot market). In case you find the agent lacking in enthusiasm, you don’t want to be locked into a bad situation.

When you discuss the listing agreement, discuss other issues as well. For instance, if there are certain times when you want the house off-limits for walk-throughs, let the agent know.

Also, consider negotiating the commission. If your house is expensive, an agent might not flinch if you suggest 4 or 5% instead of the usual 6. Conversely, if you know it’s a buyer’s market, consider offering the incentive of a higher commission if the agent can land you a sale within 5% of your asking price.

After you’ve signed a listing agreement, you may want to give your lawyer a call to notify him or her that you’re selling your house and will need help reviewing bids and contracts. If you don’t want to pay for a lawyer, your agent should also be able to guide you through this process.

Getting ready for an open house

Whether you sell on your own or work with an agent, you’ll want to spruce up your house before it goes on the market.

Take an objective look at it: Is it cluttered? A little worn and tired? Consider a new paint job. Tidy up. Move unneeded furniture into the attic, basement or rented storage. Remove some of your personal items, like family pictures and knickknacks. Mow the lawn. Plant flowers, if it’s the right season. These seemingly insignificant details can add many thousands of dollars to your eventual sales price.

If you’re no good at this kind of thing, consider hiring a home “stager,” someone with experience preparing homes for showings. Their fees can be more than offset by quicker sales and higher selling prices.

Speaking of which, you’ll need to settle on an asking price. In doing so, forget what you originally paid for the house, how much you’ve spent on renovations or remodeling, and even how much money you need to move on to your next home. When it comes to pricing your property, the only yardstick that matters is what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood now — which may be more, or less, than you sank into it.

Your research will already have given you a good idea of how the market is faring. Your agent should also provide you with comparable sales and discuss why your house should be priced higher or lower.

Timing is the key

Also note how long the homes were on the market. If you’re in a seller’s market, with listings moving in a week or two, think about adding a premium to the asking price.

In a buyer’s market, it’s especially important to get the price right. The critical selling time is within the first month after your home hits the market. If the price is too high, you’ll turn off potential buyers and agents and then have a hard time attracting them back, even if you lower your sights later.

When you receive a bid via your agent ask for guidance in how to respond. This will depend on how you priced the house, what the housing market is in your area and your urgency to sell or wait for a better price.

Make sure your lawyer or agent reviews the contingency clauses included with the bid. For example, it’s generally not a good idea to agree to sell your home with the contingency that the buyer must first sell his or her own home.

Also make sure that all the buyer’s contingencies are restricted within specific amounts of time. For instance, if the deal is contingent upon the home passing an inspection, then the inspection must occur within a week to 10 days of an accepted bid. The same is true of the closing date: Make the buyer commit to a reasonable date, usually 45 to 60 days from acceptance.

 

 

5 Smart Moves for a First Time Buyer

5 Smart Moves for a First Time Buyer

GetMedia-47Tracy Tkac

Washington Homes Group

www.WashingtonHG.com

301-437-8722

To get you started in the right direction, and this is just a start, here are a few tips that you should consider.

Get lender-qualified and find a good real estate agent

To start off, keep in mind that there are  5 smart moves to consider for a first time buyer should  in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC real estate market.

Make sure to get qualified by a lender or loan officer to see what price range you can realistically afford. It will waste your time and you may be disappointed to learn that a home is out of your budget after you fall in love with it.

Talk with some real estate agents to find the right person to represent you in your transaction. It is in your best interest to sign with a buyer- broker agent, it does not cost you anything as the seller pays all commissions. Your agent can recommend a couple of good lenders to speak with.Your realtor will be your guide and partner though-out the process, make sure they are committed to you fully and knowledgeable about the area’s in which you are looking and the process. There are many procedural deadlines and paperwork that must be kept to date on, any slack could cost you money.

Once you’re qualified and have your price range estimate in hand, you’ll be able to spend your time shopping in neighborhoods that you can afford. But remember: Just because the bank says you can qualify for a certain amount, that doesn’t mean you should spend that amount. Make sure you can actually afford the monthly payment, along with all your other bills.

For real estate sales professionals, you should get referrals for a full-time agent or broker who sells at least five or more properties per year and is well-educated on the process and location where you plan to live. You should call references, check that the agent’s state sales license is up to date and interview them to make sure you’ll be comfortable working with them.

Make sure you plan to be a long-term owner

Once you know your price range and have looked at some properties, it’s time to make sure that you believe you can find a property that you will own for a minimum of a few years or can rent out if circumstances change.  The truth is, long-term real estate ownership can be a great way to earn wealth, but short-term ownership may or may not be a wise investment depending on where  you are buying and market conditions. The most important thing you can do, is educate yourself.  Do your homework: Talk to go to first-time buyer seminars, check out online material and read some books to learn what to avoid in the buying process. The more you educate yourself, the better the chances you have of buying a good investment and a  wonderful place to live!

Know the Process

Your agent should tell your exactly what you can expect from viewing property, making an offer, negotiating terms, important contingencies to include in your offer, inspections, repairs, loan process, appraisal, walk through and finally settlement.

Take your time

Make sure you have a full understanding of what the marketplace has to offer in your price range and that you know what you’re doing and even though buying a home can be stressful, that you are as comfortable as possible with your decision.

 

 

5 Secrets of Home Staging

5 Secrets of Home Staging

Highlight your home’s strengths, downplay its weaknesses and appeal to the greatest possible pool of prospective buyers with these 5 secrets to home staging.

by HGTV

Bye, Bye Clutter

The most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. Make a house rule that for every new item that comes in, an old one has to leave. One of the major contributors to a cluttered look is having too much furniture.

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By HGTV

Home Lighting

One of the things that make staged homes look so warm and welcoming is great lighting. As it turns out, many of our homes are improperly lighted. To remedy the problem, increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures. Aim for a total of 100 watts for each 50 square feet. Don’t depend on just one or two fixtures per room, either. Make sure you have three types of lighting: ambient (general or overhead), task (pendant, under-cabinet or reading) and accent (table and wall).

furniture group

by HGTV

Furniture Groupings

There’s a common belief that rooms will feel larger and be easier to use if all the furniture is pushed against the walls, but that isn’t the case. Instead, furnish your space by floating furniture away from walls. Reposition sofas and chairs into cozy conversational groups, and place pieces so that the traffic flow in a room is obvious. Not only will this make the space more user-friendly, but it will open up the room and make it seem larger.

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By HGTV

Make It Bigger

To make a room appear to be bigger than it is, paint it the same color as the adjacent room. If you have a small kitchen and dining room, a seamless look will make both rooms feel like one big space. And make a sunporch look bigger and more inviting by painting it green to reflect the color of nature. Another design trick: If you want to create the illusion of more space, paint the walls the same color as your drapery. It will give you a seamless and sophisticated look.

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By HGTV

Neutral and Appealing

Painting a living room a fresh neutral color helps tone down any dated finishes in the space. Even if you were weaned on off-white walls, take a chance and test a quart of paint in a warm, neutral hue. These days, the definition of neutral extends way beyond beige, from warm tans and honeys to soft blue-greens. As for bold wall colors, they have a way of reducing offers, so go with neutrals in large spaces.

Tips by HGTV

Tracy Tkac
301-437-8722
Evers & Co.

Tracy@eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com