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How to Minimize the Amount of Time Your Home Is on The Market This Spring

price your home

By Megan Wild, author of Your Wild Home blog

If you’re selling your home this spring, you may be very interested in making its time on the market as short as possible. The average time to sell is six months, which can be a long time if you’re in a hurry.

Some homeowners sell their homes because of a job transfer or other circumstance that makes a quick move imperative. Others simply want the sale process, complete with prospective buyers trooping through their homes, over quickly.

What you have to do is take control of the process. While you can’t single-handedly influence market conditions in your area, you can substantially influence a number of factors proven to sell homes faster. Here they are.

1. Paint and Refurbish Your Home

Any real estate agent will tell you that homes sold “as-is” won’t be quick sellers unless the home is brand new. You will need to make the house look good. At a minimum, paint the interior and exterior so they will look new and gleaming.

If any minor repairs are necessary, you’ll have to make them. A leaky faucet or squeaky hinges, for example, may be familiar enough that you don’t really notice. Prospective buyers will.

Have a friend or relative who doesn’t see your home all the time walk through it for the express purpose of telling you when anything looks less than in tip-top shape. People often can’t see their own homes with a neutral eye. A worn carpet might not strike you as shabby. But people who don’t see it every day may be struck by its less-than-pristine condition.

price your home2. Stage Your Home

Sixty-two percent of real estate agents say that staging a home causes it to sell quicker. If that doesn’t persuade you to stage it, what will?

Staging means multiple things, but all fall under one central category. The house is specifically made to look highly attractive and appealing to buyers. The furniture and rooms will be arranged to delight the eye and to focus on the best features.

If your furniture currently doesn’t match, for example, you might want to rent or borrow matching furniture. If you currently don’t have plants because your cat knocks them down, you might want to purchase a few for the visual and environmental appeal. Plants improve your home’s ambiance and also purify the air.

It might be wise to hire a professional stager. If you’d rather do it yourself, enlist some friends to give you advice about emphasizing your home’s best features.

price your home3. Declutter Significantly

Decluttering is something every wanna-be home seller must do. First, rooms with a minimal amount of furniture and items look larger. Larger rooms look more attractive. It’s very likely that minimalism sells homes faster.

Second, buyers need to be able to see themselves in your home. The more things you have that are yours, the less they can do that. Does your grandmother’s patchwork quilt hang in your living room? It is likely every bit as beautiful as you think. But if a prospective buyer with cash to burn doesn’t like patchwork quilts, it may turn them off to your house. A blank wall will let the buyer mentally project what they’d like to see there if they were to buy the house.

Remember that you can’t just tote the stuff you’ve decluttered up to the attic or down to the basement, either. Prospective buyers will be looking carefully at all those areas. You may have to park it with friends, family or a professional storage service until you move.

4. Quiz Your Real Estate Agent

A good real estate agent can be your friend in selling the house quickly. When you are deciding upon a real estate agent, quiz them specifically on time-to-sale. Ask them how many homes they sold versus how many they represented. Ask for facts and figures on time to sale for comparable homes in your city and your neighborhood. A good real estate agent should know these immediately.

Ask for references before hiring a real estate agent. Talk to the references about the agent’s selling-related knowledge, helpfulness and availability.

5. Price to Sell

While most homeowners want, of course, to sell for the highest amount possible, consider price-to-sell strategies if you want or need to move quickly.

The most common strategy is to price your home a bit under the market rate. If it’s a deal, prospective buyers will be more apt to open their purse strings. This is especially true if you’re in a hot real estate market.

Be prepared, also, to sweeten the deal. You don’t have to advertise this fact, but just know that it’s a way to grease the process for a motivated buyer. A common sweetener is factoring the cost of a large piece of equipment that will need to be replaced fairly soon into the sale price. So if the buyer will probably need a new water heater in three years, you come down on the price for the amount one would cost.

If you want to minimize the time it will take your home to sell, take control of as many aspects of the process as you can. These five methods will help you be out of the old home and into the new as quickly as possible.

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5 Quick and Affordable Home Improvements to Do For the Spring Sales Season

sales season

By Yuka Kato, owner of fixr.com 

Each spring, as we begin to stir from hibernation, the annual home selling and buying cycle begins to ramp up.  Many homeowners take advantage of this coveted spring season because these listings can align for a sale between May and August, a period that accounts for 40% of an average year’s total home-selling volume.

Ready to take advantage? These five improvement ideas will help your home stand out and shine during the busy spring season.

Curb Appeal

First impressions are everything, so as buyers pull up to your home, don’t disappoint!  Curb appeal projects come in all shapes and sizes for every budget.  Remember, a dirty or unkempt exterior sends the message that your home hasn’t been taken care of properly.

sales seasonLow and No Cost Options:  Tidying lawns and gardens or pressure washing siding can bring an instant and low cost improvement.

Substantial ROI Options:  If you have a larger budget, consider replacing garage and entry doors or adding stone veneer. These projects can recoup up to 90% of their investment all while helping to sell your home faster.

Carpet Cleaning or Replacement

Buyers are looking to make as few fixes as possible when purchasing a new home, so if your carpet is old or worn, consider replacing it. Note that many seller agents will tell you that their listing sat on the market until the old carpeting was replaced, and then it sold immediately.

Money Saving Tip:  If your carpet still has some life left in it, consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner to spruce up without replacement. The average cost of professional carpet cleaning is $50 – $75 per room, an investment well worth it.

sales seasonHardwood

Today’s buyers love hardwood floors and recent research suggests refinishing hardwood floors will have a big ROI, most likely more than the cost of the project itself. With this in mind, it makes great sense to invest in this area of your home.  Whether you tear up existing carpet to expose hardwood, refinish existing floors, or do a new install, your project has the potential to pay back in ROI and a successful sale.

Refinish or New Install?  Pricing for refinishing or installing new hardwood floors range greatly depending on multiple factors.  If you’re hiring a pro, a refinish can range from $1.50 to $5.00 per square foot; whereas, new installs average $8.00 per square foot.  Quality of wood, access of area, and the condition of existing floors all play into the final price.  DIY is a less costly option, but not always an easy one to undertake.  Consider the nature of the job and whether you have the right skill set to take it on!

Update Lighting

Updated lighting not only helps your listing stand out visually but also attracts buyers eager to save energy and electricity costs. Whether you embark on a DIY project or hire a pro, there are multiple ways to enhance your home’s appearance with new lighting.  Aside from aesthetics,  your home will attract buyers seeking both the safety and energy efficiency benefits that come with today’s programmable smart systems.

Lighting Tip:  Lighting upgrades don’t have to remain indoors. Consider enhancing nighttime safety and aesthetics with well placed lighting around walkways, entryways, and in the yard.  An average system of 15 to 20 lights with a 600 watt transformer costs about $320 per light, installed. These types of improvements can expand a home’s sense of space – an appealing aspect to buyers.

sales season

Stage, Stage, Stage!

Home staging is often an afterthought when it comes to home improvements; however, if you’re looking to list this spring, it may be all you need to stand out.  NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Staging Report says 29% of seller’s agents report an increase of 1%-5% in offer price as compared to similar, unstaged homes and 21% stated that staging a home increased the dollar value of the home by 6%-10%.  Staging the Living Room and Master Bedroom were found to be the most important from a buyer’s perspective. Staging can be done on your own or with the help of your realtor or staging pro. In 35% of reported cases, the seller’s agent has handled the staging process and/or covered the costs which generally range from $300 to $600 for an initial design consultation plus $500 to $600 per month per room, with a minimum three month contract.

sales seasonSpring Sales Success

There are many ways to improve your home for the spring sale season.  If you’re trying to stand out among the competition, consider one of the above for a quick and affordable project that will boost your home’s potential.  Some projects require a pro while others can be accomplished quickly and cost effectively on your own.

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Why To Include Barn Doors At Home

barn doors
Barn doors seem to be becoming more and more popular. We’re seeing lots of builders include them in their upgrade options. Renovators and sprucing up their interiors with barn doors, too. Not only are they rustic and comforting, but they save tons of space in your home. If you’re worried about your home not being a farmhouse style, these specialty doors are completely versatile. Whether your style is eclectic, classic, modern, or midcentury, there are barn doors for you.

barn doors

Photo courtesy of Barrett Renovation

Barn doors are a great space-saver. Used as a pantry door, they keep the clutter out of your kitchen. With no door swinging back and forth, there’s not only more space in the kitchen, but no marks on the walls! If you live in a home with small children, you know the dangers of slamming a finger in a door. There’s no worries about that when choosing a barn door.

“I think they are perfect for areas where you want the flexibility to close off from public view,” says Courtney Rogers, a design expert for Edward Andrews Homes. “They do require additional wall space on either side of the opening, so confirming that there is ample space for the door is key.”

Other things to consider when thinking about adding a barn door, is the sound transfer when shutting the door. It may be a little louder than a traditional door, so make sure they go in a place where you don’t mind hearing the slide. Barn doors are often seen as entrances to entertainment rooms, pantries, closets, and even bedrooms and bathrooms.

barndoors

Banks Pointe by HHHunt Homes

“The barn door style is perfect for a farmhouse, a contemporary house or (my favorite) the contemporary farmhouse,” adds Tracy Kay Griffin, a design expert with Express Homebuyers, a company that purchases homes in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. “But quite frankly, it is so versatile it can go in any type of house.” It all comes down to picking the material, finish, and hardware. Choose a material that will reflect the style of your home, like metal for a modern style, or distressed or natural wood for a rustic style. The finish and color, if you choose a wooden door, can also change the look of your barn doors.

Reposted from New Homes & Ideas

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