Holly Jolly homes

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The holiday season along with the winter chill is typically not the most popular time to list your home for sale.  For those that decide whether by choice or urgency to be on the market there are some upsides to this.

  • You will have the advantage of low inventory which results in less competitive listings
  • Buyers that shop during this time are as serious about buying as you are about selling, they may have a home they sold or are relocating to your area
  • You can show off the personality of the home with glittering lights and the soothing scents of the season
  • You can make your visitors feel right “at home” softly playing merry music
  • Tasteful decorations can be as good as staging

So…….Ho Ho Ho….and if you get nifty wrap your home in a bow

Happy home selling 🙂 ⛄️🎄

 

 

 

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Understanding fixtures and personal property in a real estate sale

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That perfect light fixture set off just the look you were aiming for when you when redecorated your living room.  As you are getting your home ready for the market you become reluctant to pack it up even though you have no plans of leaving it.

Now you are torn between the “staging effect” it can have on a buyer and the possibility of the light fixture becoming a negotiable item even though you state in your owners disclosure that it is not remaining and will be replaced with another fixture of the buyers choice within a stated allowance.

My suggestion is to remove it, because it may become the one item that tipped a buyer in your favor, and chances are they would have still offered to buy your home without it because the most important things like size, price and location are what they are really shopping for. Once a buyer sees it and likes it they will want it.

A stand alone lamp in the same room would be considered personal property but since the overhead light is attached by permanent wires it is considered a fixture and the buyer may assume it is included.

Both buyers and sellers alike overlook items and get surprised at a final walk though when they discover something must stay or go.  Some of the most common items I have re-negotiated at a final hour of closing the sale are:

  • Light fixtures
  • Mailboxes
  • Flowers and trees
  • Flower pots
  • Garden trellises
  • Fireplace mantles
  • Appliances
  • Portable appliances such as a water softeners, floor heaters , window unit air conditioner, humidifiers
  • Room size area rugs
  • Shelving units and bookcases that stand alone
  • Decorative light switch plates
  • Window treatments (blinds may stay but the curtains are removed)
  • Decorative faucets
  • Lawn ornaments
  • Window flower boxes
  • Garden hoses
  • Outdoor buildings (sheds)
  • Security systems (the owner may be obligated to a lease)

The easy solution to avoid these misunderstandings is a careful review of the checklist on a  owners disclosure statement regarding the items remaining with a home.  Also, a review of any exclusions on the Real Estate agents listing sheet, and always address any item of question in the purchase and sale agreement.  If there is an item of personal property that works well with a home a buyer can always ask for it or purchase it from the owner and note it on a personal property agreement.

Happy home buying and selling…:)

photo compliments of :https://pixabay.com/en/users/ChellyRika-3711680/

 

 

 

For sale or “on sale”, when is a good time to buy or sell a home

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The first thing that came to my mind when I read a post by a local real estate agent on social media  saying that we were in a “hot market”, was to take my sign down.  I still had packing , downsizing and could not get out that quick.  Real estate markets vary by location and are driven mostly by economic factors in an area that influence supply and demand.

Here are my tips to make it easy for you to know how your area is performing.

Hot market

  • Real estate agents in your area have ready, willing and able buyers just waiting for a new listing to hit the MLS, due to very low inventory
  • The list price is generally the starting price and buyers bid up
  • Quick closings, as buyers are mortgage ready or have cash, closing within 30 days
  • Buyers are scouting the neighborhood and when your sign goes up they leave a note on your door with an offer
  • Your agent will hold a “public open house” and state a time and date that you are open to review offers
  • Buyers will make an offer without coming into town or viewing the home

Sellers market

  • Homes sell at list price
  • Prices are stable or increasing
  • Buyer incentives paid by seller are added onto the list price
  • Seller offers few repairs only necessary to obtain financing and may ask buyer for a contribution
  • Low inventory
  • Start of the selling season, defined by your local area trends
  • Average days on the market are less than 60

Buyers market

  • Prices decreasing in an area
  • Average days on the market are more than 60
  • Sellers are advertising price reductions
  • Sellers are offering buyer incentives such as loan closing fees without increasing the price
  • Sellers are offering other incentives such as new appliances, repairs and cosmetic updates
  • Homes on the market at the end of a selling season, like late fall or the beginning of a school year depending on your area trends

Working with a real estate professional and having a market analysis prepared for the area you are planning  to buy or sell will easily give you this information.

Happy home buying and selling 🙂 It’s a piece of cake

 

 

Finding out what a property is worth

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Sellers of real property and buyers of real property have the common goal of obtaining the best possible price and terms in the transaction.

Here are a few suggestions to help you determine market value if you are thinking of buying or selling real estate.

  1. Appraisal services are offered on a fee basis depending on the complexity of the property.  A small tract of land or a home in a neighborhood contains information from a local Realtor multi list system, tax records, and court records.  An appraiser uses listings currently on the market, recent sold properties, along with adjustments for size and improvements. Photos are included in the report along with comments explaining the reason for adding or subtracting value when using the comparable approach.  For more complex properties such as commercial sales, land developments, farms and multi family properties reports may be quite lengthy and include an analysis of the present and future return on the investment.  Appraisers are licensed by the states they perform services and their opinion of value is very reliable.
  2. A comparative  market analysis is provided by a real estate agent, also know as a CMA. The data offered is pulled from a local Multi list system that the agent is a member of.  The information includes competitive listings,  recent comparable sales to what you are preparing to buy or sell.  Most real estate professionals offer this service at no additional cost to their agency agreement with the client.  It is very reliable for most residential and lot purchases.
  3. Tax assessor records are easily accessible today with most areas offering online services.  Depending on how often records are updated you can get an information for what you are selling or buying.  If recents improvements are noted and the information has been accurately input you can get an idea of where the value may be.  Some assessors sites also show recent sales surrounding the subject properties.
  4. Real estate and mortgage lender internet sites can also be a resource for finding the value of a property.  Depending on the site and how often the information is updated, and the accuracy of the information submitted you may get an idea of the value.

Happy  buying and selling……  🙂

“Old Fashioned” way to sell still works

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Throughout the years techniques used to attract home buyers continuously changed with new trends coming in a old ideas never leaving.
Since real estate internet sites have now surpassed the “for sale sign” as the most effective way for a buyer to find a property listing a lot of effort is put into making the ad look attractive.
The use of photography has evolved from a front view placed in the newspaper, on to virtually tours and now the use of cameras on a drone to showcase a listing.
All of these methods are definite time savers for a buyer
and can easily shorten their “must see” list.
If you are the seller of a property keep in mind that whatever is photographed does not go to a limited audience. Once it hits the internet not only prospective buyers are looking at what you have to sell.  Co-workers, relatives, your neighbors, school friends, church friends and on and on will be able to step into your personal space.  Take the time to discuss this with your agent and consider areas of your home or property that you would not be comfortable with anyone other than a prospective buyer viewing.
Regardless of how the property is presented the one thing that never changes is the price being in balance with the value. A property that is priced in line with the current market values for the location and condition is the most effective way to have a successful sale in a reasonable amount of time.  Over priced properties will be a great challenge to sell for the asking price regardless of how many billboards, magazine ads, virtual tours, websites they are advertised on….

Advertised pricing based on the condition and location= sold!

Employing a real estate professional

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Once you have made the decision to buy or sell real property, the next step will be to find the right person to navigate the process for you.  Real estate professionals offer a specialized service, but not all are well rounded in every phase of the profession. The most commonly used services are:

Residential home Sales-At the top of the list for the most commonly used, the buyer and seller should use someone that is knowledgeable of the location they are interested in.

New home sales-Many builders will employ staff to handle the sale.  Can be beneficial and may save money for a buyer as long as you keep in mind the salesperson will not be representing your interest.

Commercial Sales-this is very specific and your agent should come with proven results of qualification in this field. You can search local real estate boards for agents in this alliance.

Land and farm-Another specialty market and I recommend using an agent with a proven resume of knowledge in this phase.

Resort properties-Some may offer onsite sales representatives that can be very helpful since these properties typically have ownership regimes, rules and limited financing options.

Real estate agents make a great effort to build a referral database of past customers and clients.  You may simply find the right agent just by asking family, friends and co-workers for a recommendation.

Always take the time to interview an agent or maybe three. Ask the agent to bring a business resume with references to the interview.  You may also ask for a marketing plan to sell, or a summary of their negotiating skills if you are a purchaser.  You should not base your decision to hire an agent based on the value they presented of a property unless a prepared analysis is reviewed.

During the interview you should discuss the fee for the service and the terms of your employment agreement. Fees are typically paid on a percentage of a sales price, but some brokerage firms offer a menu of services that are a set rate.  An example of a set rate service may be when a buyer or seller already has the negotiations done on a property but needs a professional to take it through the steps to a successful closing.

The relationship between you and your agent should be comfortable and trust worthy.  If it is not that way, you can almost be sure it is a mutual feeling.  Some folks just don’t click.

Real estate laws vary from state to state, and agents are likely to take required continuing education.  So whether the agent is new to the business or a seasoned professional you should be confident that they are keeping your best interest in mind.

Best wishes for selecting an agent that “gets people moving”

 

 

Pets, Pest and other critters

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Dogs, cats, birds, snakes, monkeys, ferrets, rabbits, bobcats, goats, pigs, horses, spiders, roaches and termites just to name a few I’ve encountered showing real estate.

When preparing to sell your home or property you will likely have a discussion with your real estate agent on how to handle these living creatures.
Household pets are very common, but there are two types of buyers, the “likers” and the “don’t likers”.
I suggest to the owner if possible to take the pet on an outing when a showing is scheduled.
It helps the “don’t likers” stay around check out the property, and it helps with distractions so the buyer stays focused on their checklist and doesn’t miss any great features.
Another advantage to this is the safety aspect. The most pleasant pets can become protective or irritated in the absence of an owner on their property.  An owner should act on the side of caution even if they are doubtful a pet may behave this way.  I also want to mention the odor some pets may cause, it’s always a good idea to eliminate it, by removing the pets’ bedding, blankets, and food dishes will help.

Pest control is a must for the interior of a home and any porches or any outdoor living areas.  Anything crawling on floors, walls, or cabinets give a buyer the creeps. There are many non toxic, do it yourself recipes for the most common household pest, if you prefer to handle this yourself.
Termites or other destroying insects common to your area should be inspected for by a qualified person. Treatments and inspections reports readily available to a buyer is useful, and sometimes required for mortgage financing.

Critters…..well they can be anything from your nightly raccoon that visits to the frequent snakes that come out of a nearby pond. Whatever it may be it is always a good idea to display this information before buyers start walking the property. Buyers are sometimes relocating from area that they would never imagine a confrontation with anything more than a squirrel or rabbit. Any outdoor animal pens that are off limits should also be disclosed before a showing.

Home sellers, put this tip on your home selling checklist, and if you are a buyer and pets are important check your local zoning, condo association or homeowners association because they may have restrictions on the type and amount of pets that are allowed.

Happy home selling and home shopping 🙂

photo compliments of:

https://pixabay.com/en/users/kabaldesch0-553126/