Top 10 Real Estate Tips

During a real estate transaction sellers and buyers ultimately want the same thing, the best price, the right timing and a smooth closing. The following Top 10 Real Estate Tips are a few ways to achieve those goals.

1. Price your home to sell 

Sellers are sometimes tempted to “test the market” by pricing their property above its market value or pricing it under market in the hopes of creating a bidding  war.  

Listings receive the most activity during the first month on the market. Don’t risk losing buyers and their agents by pricing your home above comparable properties in your area.  Buyers often want to know what’s wrong with a property that had to be reduced or sits on the market too long. This is especially true in today’s active market.

2. Hire the right Realtor to do the job

Interview Realtors and hire the best one for you. Ask for specifics on how your property will be marketed to sell, check out their Website, percentages  of listings sold,  and area expertise.

Don’t hire a Realtor simply because they are willing to list your home for a higher price.  A qualified Realtor will give you a Market Analysis with data to justify the top  price range for your property. 

3. Use technology to expand your reach

Popular sites such as Trulia and are good sources of information, but consider staying on top of current market trends with monthly Real Estate updates via email. 

Buyers search for property online, therefore, it’s important that your home be visible. If your home has a spectacular view, video footage shot by drones is a wonderful way to showcase it online.

4. Stage your home to sell

Selling a home requires thinking like a buyer.  Beginning with the entryway, take a critical look at your home beginning with the view from the street.  Freshen up the landscape, pressure wash the walkways, wash the windows and get a new welcome mat.  First impressions count!

Inside, de-clutter everywhere including closets and the garage. If necessary, rent a storage unit.  Hiring a cleaning service to do an initial deep clean is money well spent. Maintain a “model-home” look for showings by storing toys, cleaning supplies, magazines etc. out of sight.

If you are selling a high-end or unique property, consider hiring a professional stager. Staged homes sell for an average of 7 percent more. Take a look at the possibility.

5. Stay out of the way while showing

Sellers are sometimes tempted to show buyers all the special features that their home has to offer, but resist the urge and allow the Realtor to show it. If possible, leave the house during showings, even if it’s just for a walk. Give prospective buyers the opportunity to see your home without the pressure of having the seller looking over their shoulder. A good real estate agent will follow-up showings with feedback  and ask for answers to questions that the buyers may have had. An informational flyer is a good place to tell about special features too.

6. Buyers- take pictures and notes

After a day of house hunting, it can be difficult to remember what each individual property had to offer. Bringing along a folder to take notes along with a cell phone, camera or IPad for pictures will help you remember the individual aspects of each house. Also, be sure to ask the agent for property information sheets with specific details on taxes, square footage etc.

7. Disclose defects up front

The vast majority of buyers will hire a professional home inspector prior to purchasing a home, so it’s in a seller’s best interest to disclose all known defects up front. Avoid dealing with a laundry list of repairs from the home inspector by repairing problems, with licensed professionals if necessary, prior to selling. 

If repairs cannot be completed prior to closing, the solution is often leaving money in escrow or giving the buyers  a credit to cover the cost for repairs. Either way, sellers risk the possibility of paying more than they initially would have.

8. Get pre-approved before looking

Don’t risk finding your dream home only to discover that it is  above your price range. By getting pre-approved by a lender you will know what you can afford before looking.  Your offer will look better to the seller too!

9. Consider the real cost

Both buyers and sellers benefit from considering what the real cost is when negotiating. Buyers sometimes pass up the perfect house over a few thousand dollars, when the difference in the monthly payment is just dollars a day.

Consider the difference in monthly payments between a $295,000 and $300,000 home. Assuming  a 30 year mortgage, 15% down payment, 1.25% for  taxes  and 4.5% interest the difference amounts to only about $22 a month.  That’s about the price of  a couple of cups of coffee a day.

When considering offers, sellers should keep in mind  the cost of monthly maintenance costs, taxes, insurance, mortgage payments and possible homeowner’s association fees if their house sits on the market an additional length of time.

10.  Go easy on the shopping before buying

If you are getting ready to buy a home, put off purchasing  big ticket items, opening new credit cards or accumulating new debt. Doing so will raise your debt-to-income ration, which lenders consider when determining how much of a mortgage you can afford. Also avoid changing jobs or transferring substantial sums of money between accounts.



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