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Creating just the right amount of curb appeal can be a delicate balance, but one thing's for sure: Many real estate agents firmly believe that it is the most important factor affecting how long a property remains on the market. That being the case, it's a phase of preparing your home for sale that you don't want to neglect or put on "the back burner."
If your home and property is in reasonably good condition, it may be possible to give it some extra eye-appeal without going overboard on the cost. Here are a few curb-appeal basics to consider as you get your house ready for the real estate market.
Painting: If it's been more than a few years since the outside of your home has been painted, it may be time to either repaint the entire exterior (which won't be cheap) or do some extensive "touching up." Sometimes, simply repainting window trim, shutters, and the front door can help visibly improve the overall appearance of your property. In general, peeling or fading paint will negatively impact the marketability of your home, so it's an issue worth addressing early on.
Power washing: A professional power-washing service can remove unsightly stains, layers of dirt, and discoloration from concrete surfaces, fences, roofs, garages, garage doors, and your home's exterior. One cautionary note about power washing: Applying too much water pressure can potentially cause damage to materials like loose roof shingles, older painted surfaces, crumbling concrete, old slate flooring, untreated wood, and aging fences. Special instructions may need to be given to workers and their manager, regarding delicate surfaces and the need to adjust water pressure accordingly.
Front porch: There are a lot of nice touches you can add to a front porch to make it look more inviting and visually appealing. In addition to making sure floors, steps, railings, windows, and furniture are immaculate, inexpensive upgrades, such as a new welcome mat, mailbox, and house numbers can also make a noticeable difference in the impression you create. Weather permitting, colorful potted or hanging flower baskets will enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property. As is the case with interior home staging, strategically arranging furniture can help prospective buyers imagine themselves relaxing on your porch and elsewhere in your house. That can be a key step in triggering their interest.
Landscaping: When your house is on the market, it's crucial to keep your lawn and shrubs looking manicured at all times. Any hint of overgrowth, dying trees, or weeds can send the wrong message to potential buyers about the quality and desirability of your home. Edging for lawns, flower beds, and sidewalks can often be a relatively inexpensive way to enhance the eye appeal of your property.
A seasoned real estate agent can provide you with more cost-effective ideas on sprucing up the outside of your house to attract prospective buyers.
Receiving multiple offers on a residence is a home seller's dream come true. However, if a home seller faces a tight deadline to review several homebuying proposals simultaneously, making the right decision may prove to be exceedingly difficult.
Ultimately, evaluating multiple home offers at the same time can be quick and seamless – here are three tips to ensure that you can review various home offers and make an informed decision.
1. Consider the Homebuyer's Perspective
Although you probably won't be able to find out the identity of a homebuyer who submits an offer on your home, you may be able to learn about the homebuyer's perspective if you study a home offer closely.
For example, a homebuyer who wants to close on a residence as soon as possible may face a time crunch. And if this buyer has fallen in love with your home, he or she may do anything possible to acquire it.
On the other hand, a homebuyer who submits a lowball proposal may be looking for a bargain. Therefore, this home offer may fall far below your initial expectations, and you should not hesitate to decline or counter the proposal.
2. Analyze the Housing Market
Operating in a buyer's market or a seller's market may dictate how you proceed with multiple offers on your house.
If you've listed a house in a seller's market, the number of homebuyers likely exceeds the number of first-rate houses that are available. As such, you may want to accept a home offer in a seller's market only if it matches or exceeds your expectations.
Comparatively, if you're working in a buyer's market, there likely is an abundance of high-quality residences and a shortage of homebuyers. Thus, you may be more inclined to accept a home offer that nets you the biggest profit – even if the home offer falls shy of your initial home selling expectations.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you're unsure about how to approach multiple offers on your home, it certainly pays to consult with a real estate agent. In fact, a real estate agent can help you examine various offers and decide which home offer – if any – is right for you.
By hiring a real estate agent, you'll gain an expert ally who will support you throughout the home selling journey.
Typically, a real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals and ensure you can set a competitive price for your residence. He or she also will host home showings and open houses, negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf and do everything possible to help you get the best price for your home, regardless of the real estate market's conditions.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is prepared to respond to your home selling concerns and queries. And if you have questions about a home offer, your real estate agent is available to respond to your questions at any time.
Take the guesswork out of evaluating multiple offers on your home – use the aforementioned tips, and you can determine the best course of action based on the home offers at your disposal.
If you want to list your home, it generally is a good idea to address any house selling concerns right away. That way, you can alleviate these concerns before they slow down the home selling process or prevent you from accomplishing your desired home selling results.
Now, let's take a look at three common home selling concerns, as well as tips to help you resolve these issues.
1. Meeting Your Home Selling Timeline
If you want to sell your home by a specific date, it often helps to establish house selling milestones. Then, once you have these milestones in place, you can determine the steps you'll need to take to stay on track with your home selling timeline.
Of course, it typically helps to maintain flexibility relative to your home selling timeline. If you can quickly adjust your house selling timeline as needed, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a seamless home selling experience.
2. Determining the Right Initial Asking Price for Your Home
How you price your residence can have major ramifications on your house selling experience. If you conduct a home appraisal, however, you can gain the insights you need to establish a competitive initial asking price for your home.
A home appraisal usually won't take long to complete, and the evaluation enables you to obtain a property valuation. Once you have this valuation, you can use it to price your residence competitively – something that could help you speed up the home selling journey.
3. Optimizing Your Home Sale Earnings
As a home seller, your goal is likely to earn as much as you can from your house sale. Yet optimizing your home sale earnings may be difficult, particularly if you fail to promote your residence effectively. But if you learn about your target buyer, you could boost the likelihood of getting the best price for your residence.
Think about your home and why a buyer may want to purchase it. Next, you can craft a home listing to highlight your house's amenities and features to the right groups of buyers.
Take a look at the local housing sector, too. If you find out how your residence stacks up against comparable houses in your city or town, you may discover innovative ways to differentiate your home from the competition. And as a result, you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable home selling experience.
Lastly, if you require extra help during the home selling journey, don't hesitate to contact a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer tips and recommendations to help you identify and address home selling hurdles before they get out of hand. Best of all, if you ever have concerns or questions at any point in the home selling journey, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.
Want to add your house to the real estate market? Address the aforementioned home selling concerns, and you can enter the housing market with a plan in place to achieve the optimal results.
Selling a home takes patience. Especially when you’re balancing your time between settling into your new home, and keeping up with your work and family life. So, when you’ve finally gotten to the point of accepting an offer on your home, you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief--and you should! However, there are still a few more things that will need to happen and a couple of things to consider before closing the deal on your home sale.
Contingencies on the purchase contract
A purchase contract typically includes contingency clauses that are designed to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller. These clauses mean that the contract is contingent upon the actions being completed before it can be legally valid.
There are three main contingencies that will likely be included in the purchase contract before closing--inspection, financing, and appraisal.
The inspection contingency allows the buyer to have the home inspected by a professional before closing (the time should be specified within the contract, but the inspection should usually occur no more than two weeks after you accept the offer). A home inspection lets the buyer know what to expect in terms of repairs that the home needs now or will need in the near future.
Since the vast majority of buyers will be purchasing their home through a loan, a financing contingency is included to allow the buyer time to secure their mortgage. Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved makes this process easier, but the buyer will still have to finalize and close on their mortgage before their financing is official.
This clause exists to protect the buyer in the event that their mortgage application is denied, ensuring that they aren’t penalized.
The third contingency most often found in purchase contracts is a home appraisal. The buyer will order an appraisal and then the appraiser will reach out to you to find a day to come and value your home.
If the home is then appraised at the amount agreed upon in your contract, this contingency is met. However, if the appraisal comes up lower than the purchase amount, the buyer can renegotiate the price.
Walkthrough and closing
Once the appraisal and inspection have been met and financing secured, the buyer will have a chance to do a final walkthrough of your home. The walkthrough usually occurs no more than two days prior to closing on the sale. A walkthrough allows the buyer view the home one last time to ensure that the condition of the home hasn’t drastically changed since the home was inspected or appraised. So, make sure the buyer is aware of any changes you planned to make to the home before closing.
Now you’re ready to close on your home sale. You’ll receive a disclosure form to review (read it carefully!) and sign. Once closing is complete, ownership of the home is officially transferred to the buyer.
While the closing process does include several steps, it’s important to be available and cooperative along the way to ensure a smooth sale and transition into your new home.
If you plan to sell your house in the near future, now may be a great time to host a garage sale. That way, you can get rid of excess items, declutter your house and earn extra cash at the same time.
Ultimately, hosting a successful garage sale can be easy – here are three best practices to help you get ready for a garage sale.
1. Organize Your Inventory
A garage sale provides an excellent opportunity to sell a broad range of items – everything from kitchen appliances to gym equipment. As such, you'll want to sort through your belongings and separate must-keep items from those you can live without.
Organize belongings based on where they go in a home – you'll be glad you did. This will enable you to plan ahead for how you'll showcase various items during your garage sale.
Moreover, if you find some items are no longer usable, you should get rid of them altogether. Dispose of any damaged items, and you can immediately remove clutter from your residence.
2. Price Your Items Competitively
One person's junk is another person's treasure, and if you understand the true value of your belongings, you'll be able to price them competitively during a garage sale.
If you plan to sell electronics, jewelry or other high-end items at your garage sale, it often pays to perform research to learn about the true value of these items. Performing an online search of an item will help you see how various sellers around the globe are pricing the same item. Or, you can always contact local retailers directly for expert pricing insights as well.
In addition, consider the age and condition of an item before you price it. If an item looks brand new and performs great, you may be able to earn a significant profit from it. On the other hand, if an item shows signs of aging, you may want to lower your pricing expectations.
3. Promote Your Garage Sale to the Right Audience
Create flyers that you can post around your neighborhood to promote your garage sale. These flyers should include information about the date, time and location of your garage sale, thereby making it easy for those who see the flyers to find your event.
Don't forget to post details about your garage sale online too. Share information about your garage sale with family members and friends on social networks, and you should no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in your event.
Lastly, if you're planning to sell your house and need help getting your residence show-ready, you may want to consult with a real estate agent.
A real estate agent can offer expert tips to help you declutter your residence and ensure that your house is an attractive option to homebuyers. Furthermore, a real estate agent may even be able to help you prep for a garage sale, increasing the likelihood that you can make this event an instant success.