Our real estate agents want to make the whole home selling process easier for you. In many cases, that starts by giving you a firm idea of exactly what you can expect. While selling will always have its ups and downs, it becomes much easier when you understand how it all fits together.
If you are considering the sale of your home, knowing your home's value is essential for pricing it accurately to get buyers interested. Whether you are considering a sale or just curious, it is always a good idea to keep on top of valuations, if for no other reason than to determine your ROI.
No matter what motivates you, having an accurate understanding of your home's estimated market value can come in handy. Today, there are several ways to do that, many of which are free and within reach online. However, some methods are better for getting an accurate real estate estimate than others.
This post will compare working with a professional agent to get a real estate estimate of value versus sourcing the information online at a website like Zillow.
In today's internet age, technology has given us the ability to perform many tasks ourselves. As buyers and sellers have become savvier, the first stop on the journey to buy or sell a home is the internet.
Online tools and home value estimators are everywhere! While you have multiple platforms to choose from, one of the most popular is Zillow. But is a "Zestimate" as a Zillow estimate is known, accurate?
So, what is a Zestimate?
This is Zillow's version of an online home valuation platform and can give you an estimate on over 100 million homes all over the country. Zillow's algorithm automatically computes values. These are based on both public-submitted as well as user-submitted data points for each property.
Like many online value calculators, The accuracy of a Zillow Zestimate will vary widely based on several factors, including your location and how much data is available.
While online sites like Zillow are helpful, you should never rely on them to make an accurate real estate estimate of valuation. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you want accurate information to make an informed decision.
Sites like Zillow have the potential to empower buyers and sellers. They have replaced the world of comparable sales and values that were once understandable only to real estate professionals. They give both buyers and sellers the ability to learn useful information about properties in their area, including their own.
Sites like Zillow do their best to provide accurate information as to the value of your home. However, Zillow is an automated system that is based on mathematical formulas and data analysis. It does not think for itself. It cannot account for variations – changes that can substantially affect the price of a home from any sort of "average."
When you are buying or selling, you cannot afford to be off on your real estate estimate by tens of thousands of dollars in your pricing or bidding!
While Zillow is fine if you are seeking a general idea of value, the fact is, analysis and a real estate estimate provided by a real estate professional will be more accurate. Real Estate professionals specialize in answering the question, "what is my home worth?" They do this for their clients by running a comparative market analysis. This consists of finding similar properties, or comps, that sold within the past 90 days and using this factual data to prepare their valuation.
The most accurate comp is a nearby home that is similar to yours in terms of square footage, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Ideally, the lot size is also similar. Once your REALTOR® finds a few comps in your area, they will average these figures to determine a baseline home value.
Today, sellers need to take into consideration that home buyers begin their search for properties online. Assume your agent has provided you with a real estate estimate that values your home at $503,000. Most people will search for homes using $20,000 or $25,000 increments.
That means listing your home at its market value of $503,000 could prevent your listing from being seen by buyers searching the $475,000 to $500,000 range. Asking $500,000 for your home in this instance might generate more traffic and maybe even a bidding war that can push your final number well above your expectations!
If your real estate estimate is too high, your home can sit on the market, even in a seller's market. Valuing your home too high can be a big problem. If your home stays on the market too long (over 30 days), it can become stigmatized. Buyers often get suspicious when they see that a home has been on the market for an extended period. They may think that there is something wrong with the property.
If that is the case, the seller may need to significantly reduce the price, sometimes below market value, to generate interest. However, pricing your home below market in an attempt to generate interest and multiple bids can also backfire. Granted, in a hot seller's market, like we're living in right now, that strategy can be effective. However, pricing too low can lead buyers to assume that your property is only worth the list price.
While sites like Zillow can be helpful in the information gathering stage, your best bet is to work with a real estate professional. They can help you to price your home accurately and list it for close to the figure. When you are in doubt, turn to your local real estate professional. They understand your market and will help you cut through the haze to pinpoint the right price for your home.
If you're like most people buying or selling a home, you'll choose to work with a local, licensed real estate professional or REALTOR®. These professionals know and understand the local market, have outstanding negotiating skills, and as we have mentioned in prior posts (internal link to REALTOR "overview" article HERE), can make the entire buying and selling process easier.
As compensation for their expertise, your REALTOR® is paid a commission based on the sale price of your home. There are several different commission structures based on the structure of your deal. Here's a breakdown of the role of the various players, how realtor commissions work, and who pays these fees.
When you decide to sell your home and enlist the help of a REALTOR®, you sign a listing agreement. In that agreement is an agreed-upon commission rate with the listing agent, which is typically a negotiable rate, typically between 4 and 6%.
This commission is often split evenly between the seller's agent and the buyer's agent (if they are working with an agent). Each agent pays a portion of their commission to their brokerage.
For example, for a home with a sale price of $500,000 and a 6% commission rate – split equally between the buyer's and seller's agents – each agent would receive 3%, or $15,000. Assuming each agent must split their commission 50/50 with their respective brokerages, each agent would make $7500 from the sale (before subtracting any additional marketing costs incurred).
While this is the typical arrangement, commission splits are not always 50/50 between the agent and the brokerage. For experienced agents who reach a certain commission level, the split can step up to 70% in favor of the agent. This brokerage model relies on the agent sourcing all of their own leads, clients, and business.
Precisely who pays the commission can be a bit tricky. The standard practice is that the seller pays the fee. However, the fee is often wrapped into the home price, so the buyer ultimately ends up paying the fee, albeit indirectly.
Let's look at how this works using the above example.
Each with an agent, a buyer and seller agree to a deal on the $500,000 house. Assuming a 6% commission on the sale, the entire commission of $30,000 comes out of the home's sale.
The buyer will pay the $500,000 purchase price. The seller would receive $470,000 ($500K minus the 6% commission). Depending on who is responsible for the closing costs and other fees, these fees could either come out of the seller's $470,000, or the buyer would have to pay all or part of these additional costs (or roll them into their mortgage).
The listing agent's brokerage would then receive the entire $30,000 commission from the closing attorney. They would issue the buyer's agent or their brokerage a check for half of the commission, and each of the brokerages would pay their respective agents their 1.5% commission from the sale.
While it may seem like selling your property directly or creating a FSBO ("Fisbo" or "for sale By Owner listing and taking the real estate agent out of the process makes financial sense, in the long and short run, unless you're selling to a family member, it's rarely a good decision.
A real estate professional is vital to the process of selling (and in today's market, buying) a home. They can help to facilitate the negotiations, manage the paperwork, and maximize your chances of selling your home at a fair price through staging, arranging professional photography, as well as virtual tours, and other marketing activities. Your listing or seller's agent will represent you and look out for your best interest, making sure that you receive top dollar and that all of the legal requirements of selling your home are met.
When working with a buyer's agent, you have the best possible chance of finding the perfect house that you'll love based on your needs. A buyer's agent will research your market to find the perfect home and increase the likelihood of a successful sale.
Real estate professionals are there to ensure that the process moves smoothly. When dealing with your home, it's often the biggest investment you will make and is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you're on the brink of either buying or selling, they ensure that the process is fast, smooth, and easy.
One of the biggest contentions for selling (or buying) a home is that the real estate fees are too high or that the service isn't worth the cost. In fact, there are even newer services that will work for a flat fee – like $100 or $500 or a steeply discounted commission. While this can sometimes benefit sellers (and ultimately buyers) in terms of cost savings, typically, you get what you pay for in terms of representation.
When working with a real estate professional in a more traditional arrangement, your interests as both a seller and a buyer are protected. While it sometimes happens, if your home sells on the day it's listed, your agent could make a tidy sum for a relatively small amount of work – taking some photos, determining a price, and listing the home on the market.
However, this is rarely the case. Sometimes a home can take weeks, months, or in the case of very unique or expensive houses, can take years to sell.
For the seller's agent, this means spending hours marketing the home, making phone inquiries, staying abreast of other listings and sales in the neighborhood. The seller's agent will also bear the costs of keeping the house on the market, signage, and advertising costs. The fact is, most sellers wouldn't want to be paying their agent by the hour!
This is also true for buyers. Some might find a house immediately. However, most will look at dozens of homes over the course of weeks or even months before finding the right one. If buyers had to pay their agent by the hour, they would probably feel rushed into making a decision!
Selling or buying a home is a complicated endeavor that is made easier by working with a qualified real estate professional or REALTOR®. Having a professional in your corner, whether selling or buying, can help you find exactly what you're looking for at the right price that is fair to both the buyer and seller.
In exchange for the hours of work they do, agents receive a percentage of the sales price or a commission. While it's typically the seller who pays the commission, the cost is generally factored into the home's list price. In this way, the buyer ultimately bears the cost of any real estate fees.
While it's important to understand how commissions are structured and who is ultimately responsible for payment, it's equally important to keep in mind that commissions are always negotiable. For homeowners who are concerned about high fees and may opt to use a flat fee or discount broker or list their home as a FSBO, it's important to remember that, like many things in life, you often get what you pay for!
Your home is often the most expensive and biggest investment you'll make in your lifetime making it important to understand what your realtor commission will cost and to trust who you're working with. It's a smart choice to work with a professional REALTOR® when selling or buying your next home!
It doesn't happen often, but like buyers, sellers can get cold feet. Between the work of personalizing your home and the memories you've created there, sometimes it's hard to let go. Even if you don't get cold feet, there are plenty of other reasons to change your mind about selling.
Buyer's who back out of a deal forfeit their earnest deposit money (typically 1-3% of the offer price). As a seller, if you decide to cancel after the home is under contract, you can either be legally forced to close, or sued for financial damages. Of course, the specifics depend on the terms of your sales contract.
While technically the answer to this question is no, it's actually not uncommon, especially in a hot market. Selling a house is complex, time-consuming, and can be expensive. When a deal is struck and closed, there's usually a sigh of relief.
That being said, even when the seller doesn't have a clear legal right to back out, it can happen. This is generally tough for the seller. While a buyer has the benefit of contingencies that can make it easier to walk away, it's hard for a seller to do so without a penalty.
As a seller, if you're selling your home, you should not enter into any purchase and sale agreement if there is any doubt on your part. There is really little wiggle room for doubt, second thoughts, or cold feet. Buyers have ways out, the seller, not so much!
Sellers may have many reasons for trying to back out of a purchase and sale agreement. While some may hold up in court, others are actionable and can result in penalties.
Among the reasons a seller may give for backing out of an agreement include:
Both sellers and buyers should understand that any offers, counteroffers, and acceptances should be in writing and signed by both parties agreeing to the contract.
Typically, when a seller accepts the buyer's signed offer, or counteroffer and communicates that acceptance to the buyer, or the buyer's representative it is considered a binding agreement. Until that time, there is no obligation on behalf of the owner to sell. An oral agreement is typically not binding. A contract for selling real property must be in writing and signed by both parties.
There are some instances when a seller can back out of an agreement without consequence. Here are a few examples:
A home seller that backs out of a purchase and sale can be sued for breach of contract. A judge could find the seller at fault and may order the seller to sign over the deed and complete the sale. A seller that loses in court is often ordered to pay the buyer's legal fees along with their own and there could be a harsh penalty.
The seller may also be ordered to:
A seller that wants to walk away and avoid a court fight could offer to pay the buyer enough to make them whole and hope they agree to cancel the contract.
Generally, a seller can not cancel without cause. Your attorney should look at any purchase and sale agreement and make sure that there are protective measures included to protect the seller in the event of a change of heart.
The bottom line in this instance is to think through the purchase and sale before taking any action. If there is a potential for a change of heart, do not sign any agreement unless and until you are sure. Think about your initial reasons for selling your home. Chances are these reasons will hold up and perhaps is just a temporary bought of remorse that will fade with time, or when the check clears!
When selling your home, a REALTOR® completes dozens of steps and tasks to get you to the point at which the closing occurs. Some of these steps include;
Your REALTOR® has been there every step of the way, keeping your best interests front and center. They fielded offers, negotiated terms, and kept you abreast of every development regarding your home. From arranging the septic inspection to monitoring your buyer's financing to arranging the inspections to keep you compliant with the Contract to Purchase terms, your REALTOR® has made the process of selling your home a smooth one and has brought you to the final step... the closing!
This is the stage where your REALTOR® will "dot the i's and cross the t's." It's the stage where all of their hard work, compiling documents and preparing all of the forms needed to complete the closing comes to fruition. Even after the closing is complete and the new owners have the keys, your REALTOR® is still there working on your behalf.
In this post, in our selling your home series, we will examine the final steps your REALTOR® will take to prepare you for closing, close on your home, and follow up post-closing to answer any questions or resolve any issues that may arise.
You've arrived at the closing. Your REALTOR® has arranged inspections, worked with your buyer to secure financing, and completed a few dozen other tasks since the buyer signed the Contract to Purchase. Any repairs or issues have been addressed, the bank approved the financing, and now it's time for your REALTOR® to put together all of the paperwork and schedule your closing. As the seller, your REALTOR® will typically act as your representative at the closing.
These are the steps they will take before closing day.
At this point, your REALTOR® will begin the final processes, starting with a request for the final closing figures from the closing agent (attorney or title company).
They will receive and carefully review closing figures to ensure that they are accurate.
Upon closing, your REALTOR® will forward all of the closing documents to you as the seller, as requested. If applicable, they will refer you to one of the best agents at your new destination if needed.
The last step is changing the MLS status to sold, entering the date, price, selling broker, and Agent ID numbers, etc. Finally, they will close out the listing in their transaction management program.
Even though your home is sold, and your listing is closed out both internally, and on the MLS, your REALTOR® remains ready to answer questions and provide support even after the sale. They are available to the new buyer to answer questions about filing claims with the Home Warranty Company if requested.
They will also remain available to clarify and resolve any issues or conflicts about repairs if the buyer is not satisfied. Your REALTOR is on call to respond to any follow-on calls and provide any additional information required from their office files.
Working with a REALTOR® to sell your home is a smart business decision. They are pledged to uphold the stringent, enforceable tenets of the REALTOR® code of Ethics in all of their professional dealings with the public. A REALTOR® has the level of skill, knowledge, and attention to detail that's required in today's complex real estate transactions. Not every real estate licensee holds REALTOR® membership. If you want a smooth transaction, make sure yours does!
Your REALTOR® has researched the market, determined your home's value, listed your property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database, and begun marketing your home to their contacts and other agents, literally throughout the world...
If they've done their job well, you should receive an offer for your home. Actually, in today's market, you'll most likely be receiving multiple offers. It can be a pretty long road between receiving an offer and scheduling a closing. This is where your REALTOR'S® expertise really shines!
Your REALTOR® is there to help you sort through and understand any offers and help you to make an informed decision about which is the right one to accept. The Offer/Contract process can be tricky. It's the right time to have a REALTOR® on your team to negotiate the right deal.
In this selling your home post, we're going to explore the process and steps your REALTOR® will take from the moment an offer (or offers) is made until the day a Contract to Purchase is signed!
Once you've received an offer for your home, there are several steps your REALTOR® will take that will keep the process of selling your home on track. An offer is the first step toward a signed Contract to Purchase. The buyer may have contingencies like home inspections, and your REALTOR® will take steps to verify that the buyer is pre-qualified.
During this part of the process, there is a lot of paperwork, deposits must be properly handled, and the buyer may need additional information that your REALTOR® should have in the Property File. Here are the steps and tasks your REALTOR® will manage from receiving an initial offer, culminating in a signed Purchase and Sale Agreement:
This process should culminate in a signed Offer to Purchase. When the Offer to Purchase Contract is accepted and signed by you, your REALTOR® will deliver the signed contract to the buyer's agent. They will then record and promptly deposit the buyer's earnest money into an escrow account, disseminate "Under-Contract Showing Restrictions," and deliver copies of the fully signed Offer to Purchase contract to you.
Your Realtor will also deliver copies of the Offer to Purchase to the selling agent and the lender. They will add copies of the contract to the office file and advise the seller in handling any additional offers to purchase submitted between the contract and the closing. At this point, the process of selling your home will enter into the final stages. This includes:
If your home has a septic system and/or a well...
Your REALTOR® may also work with the buyer to assist them in securing a loan. Loan approval is a major element of a successful sale and as such, your REALTOR® will spend time tracking the process. They will:
The lender will require an appraisal to approve the loan. Your REALTOR® will schedule the appraisal and provide the comparable sales used in market pricing to the appraiser. After the appraiser has left the property, your REALTOR® will follow up with them and enter the completion of the appraisal into the transaction management program. If you have any questions about the appraisal report, for example, if it seems too low, your REALTOR® will assist you in questioning the report.
Your buyer and their lender will require a home inspection before approving a loan. Along with the appraisal, this is an important element. Your REALTOR® will work with you to coordinate the buyer's professional home inspection. They will then receive and review a copy of the inspector's report and enter its completion into the transaction management tracking software.
They will sit down with you and explain your responsibilities concerning loan limits and interpret any clauses in the contract. They will also ensure your compliance with any Home Inspection Clause requirements.
If issues arise, your REALTOR® will assist you with identifying and negotiating with qualified contractors to perform any repairs required by the seller or their loan underwriter. They will also negotiate payment and oversee the completion of all required repairs on your behalf if needed.
Once you've received an offer for your home, the process can move quickly, and there are many moving parts to selling your home before closing. Your REALTOR® has the experience, expertise, and contacts to assist you and make the process as smooth as possible. Should a problem arise, they are there to help you resolve it, whether it's hiring a contractor for needed repairs or explaining the appraisal or home inspector's report.
In our next blog post, we're going to take a look at the final steps of the process when selling your home – the closing, and how your REALTOR will continue to work for you, even after you've given the keys to the new owner!
Until this point, your REALTOR® has been researching, preparing, and compiling information and documentation to ensure that selling your home is a successful project that delivers a maximum return. Now it's time to take the process of selling your home further and actually place your home on the market and list it on the Multiple Listing Service.
This is where working with a REALTOR® really pays off. Your REALTOR® Even before your home is listed on the MLS, your REALTOR® and their team have already performed dozens of actions to prepare your listing to this point. These actions reflect the level of skill, knowledge, and attention to detail required for successfully selling your home and underscore the importance of having help and guidance from someone who completely understands the entire process.
In this selling your home post, we will take a look at the specific steps required for selling your home. From entering your home in the MLS Database to how your realtor will design a marketing strategy to build interest in your property, drive traffic to your online presence, and generate serious offers for your home.
Once your REALTOR® has taken care of all the previous steps and tasks and gathered the proper documentation for the property file and property listing file, they will review everything with you. This includes their Curb Appeal Assessment and Interior Decor Assessment. They will provide you with their recommendations for selling your home, including preparing and staging your house. They will then list your home in the Multiple Listing Service Database. This process includes:
Once your home is listed on the MLS database, this is when the real work begins. Your REALTOR® is a marketing expert when it comes to selling property. A well-planned and executed marketing strategy is the key to attracting attention and interest for your listing. A poorly executed marketing plan can result in your home languishing on the market with little interest, little traffic, and no offers.
Your REALTOR® understands the market and has proven marketing strategies and processes that they will customize for your home. They will have already performed a detailed market analysis to determine the proper price for your home, and they will now prepare marketing materials to get the word out. Your marketing plan will include both digital and traditional components, and your REALTOR® will take the following steps:
Once they have prepared your home's marketing materials, they will next begin to distribute them through their company's networks, social media platforms, and company website and notify other agents. Your REALTOR® will take steps that include:
Along with preparing and distributing materials, your REALTOR will place ads and maintain your home's Internet marketing strategy. As your property generates interest, they will continuously manage the marketing plan and monitor the results. Managing your campaign includes:
Your REALTOR will keep you abreast of any and all developments. They will place regular weekly calls to you to discuss marketing and pricing. They will discuss feedback from showing agents to determine if changes will accelerate the process of selling your home.
Ultimately, your home's marketing plan will drive traffic, increase showings and spark interest in your property. All of this effort will generally lead to an offer, or in this current market, multiple offers which your REALTOR® will present to you.
In our next selling your home blog post, we're going to look at the steps your REALTOR® will take when offers are submitted and your home is placed under contract.
Once you've settled on terms, defined the agency relationship, reached an agreement, and signed your listing contract, your REALTOR will take the next steps. They will begin working in earnest preparing your home's MLS listing and begin organizing much of the legal paperwork and information needed when selling your home.
Simultaneously, they will prepare your listing, take photographs, prepare a profile, organize and prepare your Property File and Property Listing File before moving on to the next step; entering your property in the MLS and developing a marketing strategy to maximize exposure for your property in the market.
In this selling your home post, we're going to examine all of the steps your REALTOR® will take from the time you signed a listing agreement until it's time to list your home on the MLS and begin marketing your home.
Your REALTOR® will have done a lot of preliminary work even before you've signed a listing agreement. They will have conducted a significant amount of research to determine the status of your local market, pull together preliminary documents, determine legal statuses like ownership and zoning, and developed a preliminary marketing strategy.
Now the work begins. Selling your home means pulling together the detailed information, data, and legal paperwork needed to prepare your MLS listing and compile your property listing file.
Once they have gathered the documents needed for the property listing file, your REALTOR® will gather your current financing information that includes:
If your home is in a neighborhood with a Homeowner's Association, it may be necessary to adjust your sales plan to meet the HOA bylaws. Your REALTOR® will research and contact the HOA to verify fees and bylaws.
The next step is to gather and analyze all utility information to include in the MLS listing and property listing folder. This is an important element of preparing a cost analysis for any potential buyers so they can understand your home's operating cost. This step includes the following tasks:
Research electricity availability, including the supplier's name and phone number.
If your home has a rental component, your REALTOR® will complete this next series of tasks to prepare the information a buyer will need to assess the rental potential of your property. If there is no rental component, they may not need to take all of these steps. These tasks include:
At this point, your REALTOR will take the final steps necessary for selling your home, including the preparation and staging of your home before it's officially listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) databases. This includes:
Up to this point, you have a signed Listing Agreement, and your REALTOR® will have taken all of the necessary steps to gather the needed information to prepare your home's MLS listing properly. They will have all of the legal information necessary in the Property File and Property Listing File, which will include verified square footages, operating costs, utility information, and any additional information needed, for example, rental and lease data.
In the next selling your home blog post, we'll look at the next steps in the process of marketing and selling your home, which includes entering the property in the MLS Database and creating a marketing strategy for your property to build interest, drive traffic, and generate offers for your home.
Home improvement shows can be pretty intriguing. With the exquisite finishes, the grand reveals, the hugs, and the grateful smiles, it's easy to get sucked into a five-hour marathon session of entertaining reality TV. Unfortunately, these shows can be misleading. They give viewers unrealistic expectations of what can be accomplished when it comes to remodeling, flipping, buying, and selling a home. Our real estate agents reveal 5 things that home makeover shows never tell you.
Home inspections are an important part of the home selling process, and in some cases, they can complicate or even derail the sale. That's why it's important to understand exactly what a home inspection covers and how it can affect the pricing and sale of your home.
Our real estate agents share the following things that sellers should know about home inspections:
With this year's pandemic accelerating the shift towards remote work, living near the office is quickly becoming a thing of the past. With so many people working from home, many are taking advantage of the opportunity to reconsider their home's location. Not only is this spurring a quick recovery for the housing market, but it's also leading to an exciting new trend that's popping-up here in 2020: the rise of the Zoom Town.
So what exactly is a Zoom Town? It's often a beach town, lake town, or even just a peaceful secluded area of the country. More importantly, it's far away from the normal bustling cities that have traditionally served as the heart of the business world. Zoom Towns are seeing rapid growth this year, as many people are choosing to work where they vacation and vacation where they work.
You've bought your dream house. You're ready to move in. Now comes the really stressful part: packing and moving. Remember that the key to a smooth move is good organization. Even if you're hiring professional movers to take some of the load off you, it's still wise to have a plan when you move.
Take a look at these tips and live by them as you organize and pack. You'll be glad you did.
Fashions in interior design come and go. When getting ready to list your home, you might be tempted to try the latest trends to help make your home stand out from other listings. But sometimes, those trends can have the opposite effect. If you're planning on selling your New England home, our REALTORS® can help you sort through fads and nail down the fashions as you get your home ready for the market.
Here are some timely warnings about what to avoid.
If you find yourself spending more at home this year, your living space may be starting to feel a little cramped and claustrophobic. A comfortable living space is important, and studies have suggested small spaces can negatively impact your overall mood and mental health. Not only does more space equal more happiness, but it can also increase your home's overall value.
Luckily, when it comes to interior design there are simple ways to make your home appear more spacious. Our real estate agents have several tips for making your home appear more spacious. Whether you're looking to put your home on the market this year or simply looking to make things more comfortable, consider these design suggestions that can actually trick the eye into seeing more space:
Staging your home is an important step to take before putting it on the market. It helps your real estate photos look more appealing, which brings potential buyers inside your door. And once the buyers are there, a perfectly staged home lets them visualize their family living happily in your home. Home staging mistakes, however, can have the opposite effect.
Our real estate agents point out the following common staging mistakes you might be making in your home.
Contact us to learn more about how to avoid staging mistakes so you can present your home in the best possible way. Our agents have a great deal of experience buying and selling homes and can advise you on how to stage your home to attract buyers.
In New England, we have to be mindful of getting home improvement projects done during our summertime window of good weather. Some indoor projects may be done in fall and winter, but anything that involves paint fumes, dust, and going in and out repeatedly should be done when you can keep the windows open.
If you're like most homeowners, you've got an extensive list of projects you'd like to see completed. Perhaps you're planning to put your home on the market soon.
We recommend prioritizing before you embark on any home improvement project. Try tackling a more involved project at the start of summer, when you have more time, and then make your way down the list to easier projects. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Our real estate agents love welcoming new residents who are relocating from another state. While every move is exciting, there's something really special about starting the next phase of your life in a completely new location.
However, moving from one state to another also requires a bit more thought. Here are a few of the most important things to consider before taking the plunge.
Our real estate agents know one of the biggest reasons many people look forward to owning a home is to have a garden. Gardening is a fun and rewarding hobby, but it also means staying vigilant for that ever-present pest: Weeds.
National Weed Your Garden Day is June 13, a Saturday this year. It's the perfect time to get some fresh air and work on the best ways to protect your garden from weeds. Here's how to stay one step ahead of these troublesome invaders:
Contact us for expert advice on buying or selling your home.
If you're a first-time homebuyer or seller, you may not be familiar with the lingo used during the process. Even those who've been involved in a real estate transaction can usually do with a little brushing up. While this list isn't comprehensive, it'll get you started with some of the real estate terms you might run into.
You've decided to sell your home, and now want to show it off to potential buyers. More potential buyers are attending virtual open houses and showings to find their dream home from the comfort of their current residence. Just because they won't be there in person, doesn't mean you can skip vital steps in presenting and staging your home. Our real estate agents compiled a checklist for a virtual open house, so your property stands out from other New England homes for sale. Make sure to do these things before your virtual open house or showing.
With a few small changes, you can transform your bathroom from blah to beautiful. Remodeling your bathroom can have a significant impact on how much you enjoy your home, and it's also a project that can increase your home's resale value.
Our real estate agents suggest the following seven bathroom remodeling ideas you'll want to try:
If you are planning on using a VA loan to purchase a home this year there are several changes you should know about.
Following the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, veterans and military service members will enjoy more borrowing power but pay slightly higher fees when applying for VA home loans. The Act was signed into law in June 2019 but took effect Jan 1, 2020.
Navigate these changes to VA loans with a little help from our team. Our REALTORS® highlight everything you need to know about using VA loans in 2020!
The VA loan limit is the maximum loan amount the Department of Veterans Affairs can guarantee a veteran or military service officer without making a down payment. The loan limit adjustment is a big win for veterans across the nation, especially for those buying in pricier markets. Extending the zero-down purchasing power will save many veterans a lot of cash and help them remain competitive.
However, the elimination of loan limits doesn't signify unlimited borrowing power with no down payment. Veterans will still need to have adequate income and meet their lender's credit demands to qualify for the VA loan amount. And if you still have impending VA loans or have defaulted on a previous loan, the loan limits will still be applicable throughout 2020.
Before this act went into effect, VA loan limits equaled the limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency on complying loans. In 2019, the limits were set to $484,350 in a typical US county and slightly higher in high-cost counties.
Our REALTORS® are there to guide you every step of the way when it's time to buy a home. Still, it's important to understand what you're getting into – and how to advocate for your interests.
Buying a home can include twists and turns, even when everyone has the best intentions. Knowing which questions to ask will help you get the information you need to make an informed decision about your real estate options.
Don't forget these vital questions when you're getting ready to buy a home:
If you're recently retired or planning for your retirement, you may decide to purchase a new home. Many retirees buy new property, either to downsize from an existing home or to relocate to a more favorable area. Our real estate agents can help you locate properties that are a good fit for your post-retirement needs. Follow these guidelines to make sure purchasing a home is appropriate for your finances and personal retirement goals.
Rethink Moving to a "Bucket List" Destination
Once you retire, it's easy to get caught up in fulfilling your post-retirement dreams. Maybe you've always wanted to live at the beach town where you vacation every summer, or perhaps you've envisioned retiring to a secluded cabin in the mountains. However, before you purchase property in these dream locations, you need to make sure these cities are places that you want to live.
Owning your own home is a valuable step in building your equity and creating security for yourself and your family -- no matter the shape or size. Part of homeownership is maintaining that investment through required chores and maintenance. Don't lose value simply because you don't know what to do. The start of a new year is the perfect time to keep tabs of chores you should be doing once a year. Our REALTORS® have assembled seven chores you shouldn't forget to do yearly, to help you keep your home in top shape.
When winter arrives, it's time to put away warm-weather clothing, boats, and other summer items. But when it comes to New England homes for sale, there's no offseason.
According to Money.com, average home sales net a higher amount above asking price during December through March, even in cold-weather areas. Make your home stand out above the competition with these tips from our REALTORS® to boost winter curb appeal.
The landscape of the real estate market is changing dramatically, thanks to short-term rental properties. The increasing popularity of Airbnb and other similar services is encouraging property owners to invest in homes and condominiums that tourists find desirable. Our REALTORS® want you to make the best long-term investment choices possible. When considering properties to invest in for these purposes, we encourage you to ask the following questions:
Our REALTORS® strive to help everyone they meet make informed decisions about buying and selling a home. No matter if you choose to use our team in the long run, you deserve to have all the facts that will help you achieve the results you want.
One of the most important things a seller can understand is the value of professional advice when it's time to list a home. "For Sale By Owner" may seem fast and convenient, but most sellers who try to do things all on their own will find themselves frustrated – and never reach their goals.
A REALTOR® provides benefits you won't want to pass up. They include: