Tag Archives for " sell homes "

Home Staging: Making Your Home Sellable

By Andrew John Cocks | Selling

You’ve listed your home and the agent wants to start showing it to prospective buyers. Here’s a few tips to help it look its best.

You may have already read the importance of clearing out clutter. Well, that’s because it can’t be stressed enough. It is one of the most important aspects of making your home appealing to buyers, for two reasons. First, not just papers and dishes, clutter includes decorations and furniture too. Too much of it can block a persons view of the house itself. If everywhere they look they see stuff, a buyer doesn’t see your home. It is imperative that they have a clear view, or they won’t want to buy. Second, all that clutter screams personality. Your personality. And this is not what a buyer wants to see. When someone is looking over a home, what they need to do in order to be motivated to buy is to imagine themselves living in that home. If the house is so full of the current owner, a potential buyer can’t get past that and make the mental leap to visualizing themselves in the home.

Because of this, some sellers choose to box up a lot of their personal goods and put them in professional storage. This gets it right out of the house, so even the boxes aren’t clogging up the spare rooms and closets, which are also important selling features.

It is also important to fix things around the home. Keep in mind how well the doors around your home work, as buyers will almost always open closets and cupboards. If the doors are sticky or squeak, that gives a bad first impression. Obviously, your front door is the first candidate for a good hinge-oiling.

While you certainly don’t want to enter into major renovations, a new coat of paint can really brighten up a home and make it more appealing. Consider both the outside and inside of your home. And as tempting as it is to choose trendy colors or things you are personally attracted to, neutral tones are best. White or off-white are your safest bets as they will help a home appear bright, and give a new owner a good base if they wish to paint the home more uniquely.

Speaking of a bright home, be sure to leave all the lights on when your home is being shown. Open all the curtains, too, so that viewers feel that your home is bright and welcoming, and they can see clearly. Dusting every surface also helps your home look brighter.

Consider smell, an important sense that impacts our first impression. Do a good deep cleaning, especially if you have pets or smoke indoors. Air the home out a bit. You may wish to install some air fresheners, but be sure not to choose anything too overwhelming, as more and more people have sensitivities to scents these days.

Good luck with showing your home!

5 Ground Rules for Home Buying Success

By Andrew John Cocks | Buying

There are few purchases in life that carry the financial and psychological weight of buying a home. Whether you are buying your first home, moving up to your dream home, or downsizing your home and your life after the kids have gone, it is important to understand the ground rules for success in the world of buying a home.

Making the wrong decision in buying a home can have devastating and long lasting effects, while making a wise decision in home buying can greatly enhance the overall value of the investment. It is necessary to learn all you can about the world of home buying and mortgages before setting out to purchase the home of your dreams.

While there are plenty of web sites designed to help first time homeowners learn all they can, most financial experts say that there is no substitute for the good old one-on-one learning. Fortunately, most mortgage lenders, home inspectors and real estate agents will be able to provide this kind of one-on-one learning.

When buying a home it is often best to use a systematic approach as this is often the best way to be sure that all decisions are based on information and reason, not on impulse or emotion. Buying a home can be an emotional process, nevertheless it is imperative to keep your emotions under control and not let them cloud your judgment.

There are five basic ground rules when it comes to buying a home and shopping smart, and they are:

#1 – Get your financing before you get your home

There are few things in life as disappointing as losing out on the home of your dreams due to not being able to secure funding. While the desire to get out there are search for that great home is understandable, it is vital to line up the financing you will need before you start shopping for a home.

Getting the financing ahead of time has a number of important advantages, including knowing how much you can buy and gaining more respect from the listing agents. By knowing how much home you can afford before you shop you will avoid wasting your time looking at unaffordable properties, and the listing agent will be more than willing to show you the homes in your price range.

It is also important to take a good look at the various types of mortgage on the market before getting started in the home buying process. These days, mortgages come in far more choices than the typical 15 or 25 year. For that reason, potential home buyers need to understand how each type of mortgage works, and to gauge which mortgage is the best choice for their needs.

#2 – Look at the community, not just the home

It is a good idea to look at the entire community, instead of focusing on a single home. This can be a particularly important thing to consider for those moving to a new metropolitan area, as these buyers will be unfamiliar with the local climate and lifestyle. It is crucial to determine the areas of town that are most desirable, and to consider things like distance from work and local shopping opportunities.

We have all heard that location is the key consideration when it comes to real estate, and that is certainly the case. Buying a house in the wrong area can be a big mistake, and it is important to choose the location as well as the home. Potential buyers can learn a great deal about the nature of the various neighborhoods simply by driving around town, as well as by talking to other residents.

#3 – Be fair with your first offer

Trying to lowball a seller on the first offer can backfire, as can paying too much. It is important to carefully evaluate the local market, and to compare the asking price of the home with what similar houses in the neighborhood have sold for.

Comparing the sales of comparable homes, what are known as “comps” in the industry, is one of the best ways to determine what is fair, and to make sure that you neither overpay or underbid on the property.

#4 – Always get a home inspection

Always investigate the home for any possible defects before making an offer. Compared to the cost of the average home, the price of a quality home inspection is virtually negligible. Hence, get a good home inspection done before you buy.

To find the best home inspector, it is a good idea to seek out word of mouth referrals as many of the best home inspectors rely on word of mouth advertising.

#5 – Do not alienate the sellers of the home

Many real estate deals have fallen apart due to the personal animosity of the buyer and the seller. It is important to avoid alienating the seller of the home during the process, and to avoid nitpicking every little detail during the sale.

Keeping the good will of the seller will help the transaction go smoothly, and it will provide the best environment for seller and buyer alike.