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Buying a New Home

Sell Your Home In The Quickest Way Possible

sell your home fast

Originally posted on Dave Ramsey’s Blog

You decided to sell your house, and you can’t wait to buy a new place. There’s just one thing standing in your way: You’ve got to close the deal on your current one first. You just hope it doesn’t take months to get an offer. You want to sell your house fast!

Well, there’s one tried-and-true trick that’s proven to reduce your home’s time on the market. A study by the Real Estate Staging Association found that homes staged before listing received an offer in just 23 days on average. That’s 90% faster than those who waited months after listing to bother staging.

If your budget’s tight, you may think you can’t afford to stage your home. But Dawn Kirkland, a real estate agent in Birmingham, AL, offers five free tricks to help you sell your house quickly.

Selling your home can be stressful, especially if you need to do it quickly. With a little bit of work and the correct approach, your house can sell in record time if you do these several things.

Channel Your Inner Neat Freak

You always knew your tidying tendencies would come in handy one day. Now it’s time to clutter-bust your way to buyers’ hearts!

Dawn admits decluttering isn’t rocket science—but it is the key to creating a pleasing environment. Pay particular attention to common junk magnets like:

Kitchen and bathroom counters
Fireplace mantels
Laundry room shelves
Tabletops
Magazine racks

No decluttering advice would be complete without a call to streamline your closets. “If your closet is crowded, I’m going to think my stuff won’t fit,” Dawn says. Wow buyers by showing them how much space there is for stuff—not how much stuff there is in the space.

Rearrange the Furniture

Once all the clutter’s out of the way, take a step back and look at the big picture. Does your home invite buyers to sit and stay a while? Can buyers flow freely through your home without bumping into things? If not, you’ve got work to do!

Start by putting bulky pieces in storage and moving furniture away from the walls. “Oftentimes, the room is arranged so the children can play in the middle of the room or the TV can be seen easily from every chair and sofa,” Dawn says. Buyers want to walk in and see an open—yet intimate—space that inspires conversation, not channel-surfing.

An experienced agent can lend a fresh eye and help you reimagine your home. “Go to different rooms and see if there are pieces that you can repurpose for the living room to get the effect you want,” Dawn suggests.

Think Like a Buyer

Cleaning your home for home showings is common sense. But many folks underestimate just how clean it needs to be.

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill weekend tidy-up. Think of it as spring cleaning on steroids. You’ve got to think about what buyers look for and get down to the nitty-gritty so that even the smallest details shine. From ceiling fans and window blinds to baseboards and tile grout, no surface goes unscrubbed!

Don’t forget to get your windows squeaky-clean. “There needs to be as much light coming in as possible,” Dawn says.

Set the Table

Staging paints a picture for potential buyers so they can envision life in your home. “If I see that a family can live here, I will think my family can live here too,” Dawn explains.

And nothing represents family life quite like the dinner table.

That’s why Dawn recommends giving the dining room some staging attention. Bring your good china, flatware and linens out of hiding. Or add seasonal flair with a dash of bold colors. You don’t have to go over the top with every piece of dinnerware you own. Keep things simple by setting just two places at the table or arranging a decorative centerpiece on top of a neutral table runner. You can find loads of inspiration on Pinterest and Houzz.

Bring the Outside In

Make your house feel like home by taking advantage of what’s in full bloom right outside your door. “[Fresh flowers] are so inviting,” Dawn says. “They warm up a room and send the message that this is a really nice space to be in.” If plucking decorations from your yard isn’t an option, stop by your local grocery store and pick out a fresh bouquet that’s already been prearranged. If you run short on vases, display your finds in an antique pitcher or Mason jar for a touch of vintage charm.

And flowers don’t have to be the only star of the show. If you grow your own fruits and veggies, entice buyers with a bowl of fresh produce on the kitchen counter.

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These Technological Advances Are Shaping The Housing Industry

technologies

Originally posted on New Homes & Ideas 

The story of the 20th and 21st centuries is one of rapid technological advances. In the last 30 years especially, progress in personal computers and microchips has progressed at an exponential rate, and things aren’t slowing down. A report from the Computing Technology Industry Association found that 46 states had net increases in tech jobs in 2015 and that the tech industry now accounts for 7.1% of the U.S. GDP.

As it grows, tech is transforming every industry around it, including the housing market. Here are four technological advances that are making their mark on renters, homeowners, landlords, and developers alike.

3D Printing

Also known as additive manufacturing, 3-D printing has broad application in housing. Using 3-D printing, it’s possible to build an entire home in under a day. Plus, additive manufacturing allows for easy customization. And since it’s possible to “print” only the materials needed for construction, 3-D printing cuts down on waste.

The majority of new buildings aren’t the product of 3-D printing. But as the technology improves, it could have vast implications for architecture and design. Will structures built by 3D printers be sturdier than traditional wood and concrete buildings, since designers can “print” reinforcing materials like carbon fiber into the walls? Will creative architects and designers use the technology to push the boundaries of traditional building design? Only time will tell.

Drones

For several years, drones have been used on construction sites. They’re useful tools for surveying construction sites and are sometimes used to guide heavy machinery. Insurance companies use them to check out hard-to-reach areas of buildings for damage or needed repairs.

Increasingly, unmanned aerial vehicles are part of the process by which rents are determined. Traditionally, building permits are the way commercial real estate agencies track construction. But according to a CNBC report, CoStar Group has found a new way to monitor construction: military-grade drones. With a drone, companies like CoStar have more immediate and dynamic access to real-time construction information. The drone allows them to see where new properties are being built, and how fast — which allows them to better understand the rental market’s balance of supply and demand.

Virtual & Augmented Reality

Virtual reality is useful for both customers and developers. It’s especially beneficial for architects and designers, who can use augmented reality to interact with a fully immersive environment as they design it. On construction sites, VR can help workers better visualize the structure they’re building, as well as quickly introduce them to changes in plans and new instructions.

As for consumers? VR has obvious benefits for potential homeowners allowing them to interact with fully immersive models of their prospective new home. Some companies use technology such as, Matterport, to allow prospective homebuyers to take 3-D tours of properties— no headset necessary. Who needs a tour, if you can do it from the comfort of your own couch?

Smart Devices

Smart devices have become a big hit for consumers on the higher end of the rental and homeownership market. Whether it’s adjusting your home’s lighting or temperature, setting alarms and monitoring security, or regulating your home’s energy usage, to your home’s temperature, security, alarms, outlets and more, smart devices grant consumers a greater degree of control over their living spaces than ever before. It also increases efficiency and lowers energy costs — a win for both consumers with bills to pay and developers hoping to minimize the environmental impact of new construction.

By Sam RadbilContributor from ABODO

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Why The Highest Offer Isn’t Always The Best

new home

Reposted from The Boston Globe 

You are ecstatic because you have received seven offers on your home, many of them over the asking price. Your initial reaction is to choose the highest, but wait. The highest offer isn’t always the best one. You should scrutinize every bid before you make this important decision.

For example, if you receive an offer well above the asking price but the buyer has only a 5 percent down payment, this could become a problem if the bank does not appraise your home at the proposed purchase price. If the buyer can’t put more money down to bridge the difference between the offer and the appraised value, the deal could fall apart or have to be renegotiated — at a lower price. A slightly lower offer with a bigger down payment could be more appealing.

Have your agent show the components of each offer on a spreadsheet. Here are some conditions, other than price, that you will want to consider and possibly renegotiate:

■ Closing date

If closing at a particular time is important to you, make sure the date on the offer aligns with your desired one.

■ Inspection

You may find that one buyer wants one, but the other has offered to waive it. What do you do? This is something to discuss with your agent, but it’s often in your best interest to take the lower offer without the home inspection contingency. If the inspection is waived, there will be no further negotiation prior to signing the purchase and sale agreement. If it is not waived, but you see the phrase “inspection for informational purposes only,’’ the buyers still will be having an inspection, but are using language to suggest that they will not try to renegotiate afterward. This however, is not always the case, and creates uncertainty for the seller. Also, by the time this happens, your property could be off the market for up to 10 days.

■ Cash or no financing contingency

Most sellers believe a cash offer is much better than a financed one, and many times it is. A cash offer may come in lower, however, because some buyers rationalize that if they are paying cash they can offer less. With a cash offer, your agent must make sure that the buyers submit a proof of funds, such as a recent letter or statement from a financial institution.

In my opinion, waiving the financing contingency can be just as attractive as a cash. This has become quite common. Most buyers cannot afford to pay cash, but they know their financing will be approved, and they want to do everything they can to make their offer as attractive as possible. This also means that they would forfeit their second deposit (typically 5 percent) if the financing does not come together.

Waiving this contingency also includes forgoing the bank appraisal (unless they have stated otherwise). If you decide to accept one of these offers, your agent should call the buyer’s lender to make sure the buyer has secured financing if the appraised price comes in lower.

■ Escalation clause

Such a clause states that a buyer will pay a certain amount over the highest bona fide offer that does not contain a home sale contingency. Not all agents use these, but I think they are a great way for buyers to ensure their bid stands out in a competitive situation. It’s also a way for a seller to make more money. Let’s use $5,000 as an example. Once all offers are reviewed, the seller’s agent contacts the agent who submitted an escalation clause, forwarding him or her the highest offer (and redacting all personal information). The buyer has a certain amount of time, normally half an hour, to accept or reject the highest bid, plus the $5,000 escalation. So if the highest offer is $525,000, the buyer must agree to $530,000. An escalation clause also permits the buyer to say no if the highest offer is too high.

Whatever you end up doing, remember that every term is negotiable — and as a seller you are in the driver’s seat in this market. A sharp seller’s agent will compare and leverage all offers to achieve your desired pricing and terms. This is the fun part, so enjoy.

Marjorie Youngren is a broker at Century 21 Commonwealth in Lynnfield. Send your real estate questions to marjorie.youngren@commonmoves.com. Follow her on Twitter @MarjorieTeamC21. Subscribe to our free real estate newsletter at pages.email.bostonglobe.com/AddressSignUp

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