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IF YOU’RE A HOME OWNER CONSIDERING A CHANGE, THIS ARTICLE IS FOR YOU.

You may have heard buzz words around the Real Estate industry like “Seller’s Market,” “Low Inventory,” and “Low Interest Rates.” As a homeowner, you may be thinking – easy day! Selling my home will be no problem with these ideal market conditions! 

You’re right – the odds are ever in your favor. So, how do you price it? Here are some factors to consider:

COMPARE YOUR PROPERTY TO SOLD PROPERTIES

The first mistake homeowners make is not comparing their home to houses that have sold in their area. This is a vital step – you need to know the actual behavior of the market, not just a projection.

Switch your search from “active” to “sold.” Find homes located within 1 mile or less and in your subdivision (if you’re in one). Next, search homes that are similar to yours: same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, +/-200sqft, similar design/layout, lot, etc.

Take a look at your neighborhood – is the builder still building new homes? Is it a desired neighborhood close to shopping and nightlife? How long do homes stay on the market? When was the last time a house sold in your neighborhood? Answers to these questions will determine your home’s value and consequentially, how much you should list it for.

ASSESS THE AGE

Once you wow buyers with your beautiful home, the next layer gets peeled back. Houses come with several features with a life expectancy. Needless to say, the newer the better:

  • Roof: 20-30 years
  • HVAC: 15-25 years
  • Appliances: 10 years
  • Electrical: Lifetime, Electrical accessories (10 years)
  • Floors: Carpet (8years), Linoleum (10years), Vinyl (50years)
  • Foundation: Lifetime, Termite Proofing (10years)

COULD YOUR HOUSE BE ON HGTV?

It’s cliché – but that’s where your customers are shopping – if you can bridge the gap or at least narrow it, you’ll have a better chance of selling.

Today’s customers are paying top dollar per square foot – so it’s no wonder they want the space to be put to a functional, multi-purpose, use. Does your floor plan and interior design match today’s trends? If not, you may want to consider that when pricing your house to sell.

CONSIDER THE APPRAISAL

The purpose of the appraisal process is to help keep the real estate market from artificially inflating. Financial institutions require an appraisal so they can ensure their investment is a good one. An appraiser considers many factors like lot size, a view, garage spaces, fireplace, pool, enough bathrooms, and more.

The appraisal can come back to haunt you…even if you have a buyer ready and willing to pay a certain amount, if the appraisal comes back lower, some further negotiations may need to occur.

After all is said and done, your goal should be to sell your house in 30 days or less. Anything can sell if it’s priced right. Can you take a step back and price your house in an un-biased way?

– BONUS MATERIAL –

PROCEED ONLY IF YOU’RE SERIOUS ABOUT SELLING!

  • TIPS – NOW THAT YOU’VE LISTED
  1. Declutter, get rid of as much as possible and consider a storage unit
  2. Curb Appeal – Green Lawns are happy lawns, trim the hedges, clean around your front door, power wash
  3. Hire professional cleaners, consider air fresheners around the house
  4. Hire a professional Photographer
  5. Marketing – Beyond a sign in your lawn, Open Houses, Internet Advertisements, Presence on Home Search engines 

I was driving home after a long, cold, rainy day of showing over 7 houses in a 4 hour period. I realized there are 5 things to consider when preparing to house hunt. As a professional home shopper, I already know these things because I do it almost daily – but maybe you’ve never house hunted before and you have no idea what to expect. This article is for you!

1 – Be on Time.

Real Estate Agents have to schedule appointments for every house you want to see. This takes a great deal of coordination, especially if you’re trying to see more than 2 houses at a time. We plan an optimal route, time between destinations, time at each house to look, and plan for hiccups. Usually an appointment is scheduled for a 15-30 minute time window. Owners need to prepare their house for the showing, pack up pets and kids, and go do something for that time. If you’re late, it can send the wrong message to the Home Owner and totally kill the schedule the Real Estate Agent has planned. Be on time.

2 – Wear Comfortable Shoes.

You will be on your feet – A LOT. Not only will you be on your feet, you will be all over the exterior of the house while shopping. Wear shoes that can withstand the elements. Wear shoes that you can put on and take off quickly as some home owners request you remove shoes before you traipse across their brand new white carpet.

3 – Check the Weather.

Check the weather and dress accordingly. It can rain in Florida – it can also be cold or extremely hot. The temperature can change significantly in a matter of hours. Dress in layers and pack an umbrella.

4 – Pack a Snack.

If you’re out looking at more than 2 houses in a time period, definitely pack a snack. Unless you previously plan this with your Real Estate Agent, chances are they aren’t scheduling time for a quick food run. Pack a snack for the car ride. My go-to snacks are almonds, bananas, veggies, and water.

5 – Take Notes.

You may think you’ll remember that the second house had the fence with the gap that you’ll have to replace because your dog will escape if you don’t. Or wait, was that the third house with the white cabinets and the stain in the carpet? The best thing you can do is discipline yourself to take notes on every house – pros/cons/features/upgrade potential, etc. Take a photo or video even! Anything that will help you remember the fine details of each home.

There you have it! 5 tips for making the house hunting process a little more enjoyable.

Is it time to upsize or downsize your current home? Are you thinking about selling your house, “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO – pronounced fizzbo) and need some quick pointers, or maybe you’re not ready to talk to a real estate professional but want to get a jump on getting your house ready for the market?

We highlight 7 tips to help get your house SOLD FAST and for TOP DOLLAR!

FLOORS – carpet in the main living & traffic areas is OUT! Carpet in bedrooms is still ok (but make sure that it’s in good shape and professionally cleaned before listing). Recommend installing a vinyl plank or laminate flooring to get TOP DOLLAR for your home!

PRO TIP: Install the planks to run with the length of the room. It helps draw the eye to the back of the room


WALLS – while you may have loved your red accent wall, your kids blue and pink rooms…real talk: not everyone is going to like your taste. Paint your walls back to a neutral color before listing; either a beige or gray. New paint helps brighten up the rooms and gives it that fresh feel!

PRO TIP: The 2 gray colors that are in right now are – Sherwin Williams – Agreeable Gray and Repose Gray. Also, paint your base boards, door trim and doors with a fresh coat of white paint. You’ll be amazed at how much that changes the feel of the rooms.


KITCHENS – the heart of the home! Buyers are looking for open concept, clean feel, updated appliances, & updated countertops. White kitchens are in!! White cabinets, quartz or granite countertops with specks of gray, with new stainless-steel appliances.

If you can only afford to make one upgrade to your kitchen – update your countertops (especially, if you have old fashioned laminate countertops). Consider installing a solid surface countertop, granite, or quartz. If you can afford 2 upgrades – buy an updated appliance package. White and black appliances are out!

PRO TIP: Make sure all of your appliances are clean (stove tops, ovens, and fridge). Buyers are looking at these things. Also, make sure you declutter as much as possible in the pantry and countertops. Put away dirty dishes.

BATHROOMSIf possible, update your vanities! Replace laminate with solid surface, granite or quartz countertops. Make sure all of your wet areas are caulked. Common areas – toilet base, shower/tub, and the vanity’s backsplash.

PRO TIP: DIY the caulk job yourself, takes 15 mins or so, costs less than $10. YouTube some tutorials and make it happen!


PET ODORS – very sensitive subject for us pet lovers! No one wants to be told that their pet is stinking up the house! But sometimes we just need to hear the truth! If you have a bigger dog or multiple dogs, chances are that your house will have a slight pet odor. Invite a friend over or a neighbor and have them give you their honest opinion.

PRO TIP: Sources of pet odors – your pets favorite lounge spot, the carpet, or the couch.


CLEAN & FIX THE LITTLE THINGS – Scrub, scour, tidy up, straighten, get rid of the clutter, declare war on dust, repair squeaks, the light switch that doesn’t work, and the tiny crack in the bathroom mirror because these can be deal-killers and you’ll never know what turns buyers off. Remember, you’re not just competing with other resales homes, but brand-new ones as well!

PRO TIP: Tidiness level – Imagine a family friend is coming to stay with you for a while and you want to make them feel as comfortable as possible!


And finally…

PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY – we can’t stress this enough!! Do not take pictures with your phone, or a simple point and shoot. Invest the small amount of money and have a professional showcase your home the way it DESERVES to be!

PRO TIP: Declutter as much as possible for photo day! Less is more! If you can get a bowl of fresh lemons for your kitchen table, do it – they bring so much life to a space!

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