Archive for the 'Home Sellers' Category

6 Apr
8 Reasons to Move . . . and a Plan for Each
Posted On : 04 6th, 2017   By : Alice  |  Home Sellers, Real Estate, Staging and Prepping
The house you live in is no longer the “right” house for you. You don’t necessarily have to move (after all, your company hasn’t transferred you out of state), but your reasons for putting your house on the market are more urgent than merely wanting to.
When you’ve made the decision to sell, take some time to think what the one main reason is. Why? Because once you’ve decided to move, you may hear an endless chant in your head: “I have to get out! I have to get out!” Not good. When emotions start to rule, you can make hurried, risky, and just plain bad decisions.
By being honest with yourself and determining the main reason you want to sell, you can work with your real estate agent to devise a solid sales plan. Together, you and your agent can consider whether you need to sell within a certain time frame, whether you need to make a particular minimal profit margin, and the amount of improvements you’re willing to make to your property before it’s put on the market. You may even decide that the old homestead looks pretty good . . for now.
My House No Longer Fits Me. Congratulations! Your last child just graduated from college and you’re finally empty nesters! Or maybe you just found out that you’re expecting twins . . . your second set of twins. Either way, your house is no longer the right size for your family. Outdoor issues might come into play, too. You thought you weren’t the “outdoorsy” type, but that tiny strip of lawn in the back makes you feel hemmed in.
The Plan: If you’re empty nesters, don’t downsize too much . . . you may need a little space from one another! Rather than pulling up stakes and moving to Arizona, consider being snowbirds, so you can still be close to friends, family, and favorite hangouts. Conversely, a growing family means more than just more space. Think school quality ( is a great source for neighborhood and school info), proximity to weekend fun, and a floor plan that’s truly family-friendly.a
My Relationship Changed. Maybe you got a divorce. Or you’re moving in with your longtime love. Perhaps it’s the second marriage for both of you, and you’re blending your families, Yours, Mine, and Ours-style. Whatever the specific reason, relationship changes are among the top reasons that people start thinking about selling their homes.
The Plan. If you’re on your own now, consider a townhouse, condo, or even living in the city — something you’ve never done before. If you’re blending families, don’t go too big. Ask yourself how long it will be before some of the kids go off to college . . . it happens quicker than you think.
I Make More Money . . . Or Less. If you can afford more than the darling little starter home you’re living in, you’re probably looking to upsize and glam up: a luxurious kitchen, a ritzy master suite. If, unfortunately, your income has been reduced, time may be of the essence for your financial solvency.
The Plan: For upsizing, peruse websites such as Houzz for inspiration on the latest home trends and features. For downsizing, invest some money in making your current home as clean and updated as you can afford (your agent can advise you). The better your current home looks, the closer you’ll get to your asking price.
This House Never Worked for Me. Be honest. Was it a mistake from the get-go? Did all those small, low-ceilinged rooms that once seemed so charming turn out to be dark and gloomy? Have you started to notice how little storage space you really have? Homeowners’ needs change over time, and as we mature, our need for a home that truly “works” — rather than one that just looks good — increases.
The Plan: Relax! Ask yourself whether a room addition or a major remodel will get the job done. If you know it won’t, visit builder’s models, peruse decorating magazines and websites, and have your agent take you to many, many houses. You don’t want to make the same mistake twice.thinkstockphotos-96326229
My Neighborhood Is No Longer Neighborly. If your kids are grown, maybe you no longer wish to be awakened by the roar of the school bus. Maybe the other families you were closest to moved away. Or maybe the city fathers are finally going to widen the road right behind your house, and you want to be gone long before the noise and traffic that the “improved” road will bring with it.
The Plan: Don’t venture too far. If you liked where you lived, you might be able to justify the hassle of a nearby move knowing that you’re eliminating the things that weren’t working for you.
I Retired. Enough said. Whether your reduced income means you can no longer afford your property taxes or whether you just want to move to a warmer climate, retirement is right up there with major life changes that bring a new lifestyle.
The Plan: Research and patience. Today’s mobile home purchase could be tomorrow’s regret. And as much as you might want to put down new roots in a sparkling new location, it might be best to see where the majority of your kids and grandkids settle.
I Want My Money. You just know your house has appreciated. A lot. All those teardowns on your street were replaced by more upscale homes, driving upthe value of your lot. Or you’ve made well-thought-out improvements to your home — from kitchen upgrades to room additions — that are exactly what home buyers are looking for. Why not sell, you think, rather than just sitting on my equity?
The Plan: Time is on your side, so there’s no need to rush. Do consult a financial adviser, though, on how to best invest the financial windfall you expect.
I Just Want to Move! Okay, let’s be honest. Sometimes you do just want to move. Some people like getting a house “just so” and then moving on to the next project . . . or, in this case, the next house. They don’t have to move . . . they just like to. If that’s the reason, you have all the time you need to prepare the house for a profitable sale. Chances are, it looks pretty good already!
The Plan: We want to meet you! But seriously, if you can afford to move and you actually like to do so, you’re a real estate agent’s dream. Enjoy finding your (new) dream home — you’ve clearly found your calling
4 Apr
Real Estate Buzzwords: Buying, Selling, Who’s Who
Posted On : 04 4th, 2017   By : Alice  |  Home Buyers, Home Sellers, Real Estate

This is the first in a series of blog posts in which we’ll demystify the buzzwords of real estate. These terms are familiar to those who work in real estate but may be confusing and contradictory to “civilians” who only buy and sell homes a few times in their lives. Think of this as our version of Real Estate 101. Below are buying phrases, selling phrases, and a brief “who’s who” of all those titles we like to throw around!real-estate-clip-art-cartoons-buy-or-rent-clipart-panda-free-ONrxyp-clipart


Multiple offers: More than one buyers broker present an offer on one property where the offers are negotiated at the same time.

Net sales price: Gross sales price, less concessions, to the buyers.

Offer to purchase: When a buyer proposes certain terms and presents these terms to the seller.

Preview appointment: When a buyer’s agent views a property alone to see if it meets his or her buyer’s needs.

Walk-through: A showing before closing or escrow that permits the buyers one final tour of the property they are purchasing.


Broker’s tour: A preset time and day when real estate sales agents can view listings by multiple brokerages in the market.

Disclosures: Federal, state, county, and local requirements of disclosure that the seller provides and the buyer acknowledges.

Exclusions: Fixtures or personal property that are excluded from the contract or offer to purchase.

Inclusions: Fixtures or personal property that are included in a contract or offer to purchase.

List price: The price of a property through a listing agreement.

Listing agreement: A document that establishes the real estate agent’s agreement with the sellers to represent their property in the market.

Listing exclusion: A clause included in the listing agreement when the seller (transferee) lists his or her property with a broker.

Open house (public): When a listing that is on market is available to the public for viewings and showings.

Relist: A property that was listed with another broker and is now relisted with a new broker.

Showing: When a listing is shown to prospective buyers or the buyer’s agent, in which case it’s called a preview.

Sign rider: An additional sign placed on a brokerage yard sign; it may include the agent’s name, “open Sunday,” “contract pending,” “sold,” the new price, and so on.


Back-up agent: A licensed agent who works with clients when their agent is unavailable.

Broker: A state licensed individual who acts as the agent for the seller or buyer.

Buyer agent: The agent who shows the buyer’s property, negotiates the contract or offer for the buyer, and works with the buyer to close the transaction.

Dual agent: A state-licensed individual who represents the seller and the buyer in a single transaction.

Inside sales agent: A real estate team member who services inbound leads generated from sign calls and other internet sources. Converts these leads to appointments for the team’s sales agents.

Listing agent: The real estate sales agent that is representing the sellers and their property, through a listing agreement.

Mortgage banker: One who lends the bank’s funds to borrowers and brings lenders and borrowers together

Showing assistant: Team member who schedules showings, shows homes to prospective buyers, follows up with buyers after showings, finds new properties to show, and keep tracks of where clients are in the buying process.

Transaction coordinator: Handles all the details of transactions from purchase agreement to ensure an on-time closing. Coordinates title/escrow, mortgage loan and appraisal processes as well as scheduling inspections and coordinating any possible repairs.

20 Mar
The Yin and Yang of Appealing to Home Buyers
Posted On : 03 20th, 2017   By : Alice  |  Home Sellers, Staging and Prepping

When you’re selling your home, you want two things: to get the best price possible and to sell as quickly as possible. And while there’s an awful lot of advice out there as to what will make your house most appealing to buyers, a lot of that advice may seem contradictory. Well, we’re here to tell you that’s just not so. Read on to see how supposedly conflicting advice is actually complementary. . . it’s all part of the yin and yang of getting your house sold.

Respect and trust your agent’s advice. They’re experts. And they want your home to sell, too, because — aside from their genuine desire to help you — that’s how they earn their commission. So really listen to them and study the CMA (comparative market analysis) they prepare for you. If they’re suggesting a price for your home that is lower than you expected, don’t be offended. They’re not putting a price on your memories, your hard work, or your personal taste. They simply know what the market will bear. Remember: a house is a commodity — not a true product — and buyers ultimately decide what a home is “worth.”

On the other hand . . . even if the initial asking price is somewhat lower than you expected, you’re still going to have to spend some money to sell. It’s an inverse version of “you get what you pay for.” Outdated or quirky wall colors? Get them painted! Leaky faucets or shower heads? Fix it yourself or call a plumber. Kitchen wallpaper with a repeating motif of pots and pans? Pay someone to remove it professionally (please!). Whether the questionable home feature was somethin
g you loved or something you merely tolerated, potential buyers may not be so forgiving.


Yes, all those cliches you’ve heard are true. Most potential buyers will have trouble “seeing” themselves living in your home if it’s chock full of family photos, sports team memorabilia (what if they favor a different team?), a melterand a few too many pieces of wall art with “cute” sayings. Trim, pare, and reduce as many of these items as you can . . . you’ll enjoy them all the more when you move into your new home.

On the other hand . . . you want potential buyers to feel that they’re walking into a well-loved home. Play to their senses so they form an emotional connection with your home. If seasonally appropriate, have a fire burning in the fireplace. Soft music and pleasant home fragrance (consider scented wax squares in an electric melter for safety’s sake) are welcome no matter what the time of year. And do be aware of smoke, pet, and food odors and do what you can to eliminate them.


Yes, you do need to declutter! It’s not enough that kitchen countertops be clean — they must also be empty of even such useful items as toasters and blenders. When you have a showing scheduled, it may be tempting to shove everything in the cla closetoset, but don’t. Potential buyers always check out a home’s closet space. (If you’re in a rush to tidy the house, shove everything under your beds!) In fact, investing in closet organizers is good idea. Most experts suggest that 25 percent of your closet space be unused to create a feeling of space. Your real estate agent will probably also advise that you rent storage space to temporarily rid the house of anything that makes rooms look crowded: heavy window treatments, too many chairs in the living room, boxes of old board games threatening to spill out of cabinets. Heed this advice, because it’s an expense well worth it. And, please — always keep personal items well out of sight! Those sweaty socks lying on the floor from your morning workout? Not so cool.

On the other hand . . . once you’ve stripped the house down to its basics, it may be time to add a few key touches. Yes, we’re talking staging. A pretty throw draped over a chair. An area rug in the entryway. A vase of cut flowers in the kitchen right next to the color brochures your agent provides. The dining room table set for a dinner. Just as you’d want to look your very best for a job interview, make sure your home looks sharp for its “interview.”


And finally, if you have to choose between dark and cozy and light and sunny, always choose the latter. Before a windowshowings, open houses, and broker tours, open blinds and curtains (and as mentioned earlier, seriously consider getting rid of heavy c
urtains to begin with). Turn on lamps and ceiling lights. On mild days, open a few windows and let a breeze blow through. Make the house feel accessible, welcoming, and friendly.

On the other hand . . . potential buyers are there to make friends with your house — not you. Always leave during showings. Always. Although this can be difficult at times — especially if you have small children — the effort is well worth it. If you’ve put time and money into decluttering and staging so that buyers can picture themselves in your home, it won’t matter a bit if you’re sitting there watching TV (or worse, looking at buyers looking at your house). Three little words: hit the road!

So that’s it. Consider these points, and you will achieve the tranquility of a successful sales experience!