Selling Your Home?: Here Are 5 Things To Not Bother Fixing First

Home repairs not necessary before selling

Selling your home?

Then you’ve likely had that rude awakening where a real estate agent tours your home and breaks some tough news: Your house needs work before it goes on the market.

For starters, you’ll have to fix the boiler. And paint. And replace those outdated cabinets … the list might go on and on.

Given that all these tweaks cost money, you might wonder: Do I have to do everything?

Many of these fixes are indeed necessary, says Kathleen Kuhn, president of HouseMaster, a national chain of home inspection offices.

“Any defect or condition that affects the intended function or operation of a major house system should be fixed,” she says. This would include taking care of leaks, built-in appliances not functioning properly, insect infestations, plus any imminent safety or environmental hazards.

But beyond that, it’s up to you: Sure, the nicer your home looks, the more money you’ll likely be able to fetch when selling it. But not all improvements you make offer the same return on investment. Here are some fixes that some experts say you can pass on without too many repercussions.

1. Fixing cosmetic damage
Cosmetic damage includes things such as scuffed floors or peeling paint: They don’t interfere with the function of your home, although they do make it look run-down. The good news is, a keen home buyer knows to look beyond that, says Craig Webb, editor of Remodeling Magazine.

“Sophisticated home buyers and home flippers know that cosmetic damage can be easily fixed,” says Webb. What will give them pause is the hard stuff.

“They are going to want to know that the electrical and plumbing systems are up to grade and that the utility bills are decent,” says Webb. If the home’s structural issues are sound and the “bones” are good, then you can let the surface stuff slide.

2. Updating kitchens and bathrooms
So your kitchen is woefully outdated, your bathroom avocado green (yuck). That may be OK. Really.

The reason: Many buyers these days look forward to remodeling these “fun” areas—plus, trying to second-guess what they want and have it there waiting for them is just plain unrealistic, given all the home decor styles there are to choose from today.

“Maybe you favor a French provincial kitchen and he or she likes Scandinavian modern,” says Webb. “People have very different ideas about what a perfect kitchen is or what a perfect bathroom is. It’s a big risk, and unless you know your exact buyer, it’s better not to guess. The next person will impose their own dreams on the house anyway.”

3. Doing partial fixes
If you do decide your kitchen and bathroom are so bad they’re worth redoing, don’t go halfway. Unless you can redo a whole kitchen, don’t bother with partial fixes. Older cabinets with brand-new granite countertops only highlight the old.

4. Repainting in trendy colors
We don’t care if the color du jour is violet—selecting “trendy” paint colors is yet another bad move.

The reason: Color trends come and go so fast, what might look great today will look dated tomorrow or, even if they’re totally hip, might not appeal to large swaths of buyers anyway.

“Bright colors are really trendy right now, but they don’t appeal to a wide audience,” says Samantha Hancock, a real estate agent with Re/Max Advantage Plus, based in Chanhassen, MN. So if you must paint, “keep things neutral,” advises Hancock. “Odds are the buyer is going to paint the house how they like it anyway.”

5. Renovating beyond your neighborhood’s norm
There is a saying that Webb likes to use: “Too much house for the neighborhood.” In other words, if all the houses on your block are beautifully furnished and landscaped, then it likely is worth it to spend the extra cash on your own. But if your house is the only house on the block with a well-kept rose garden and indoor dog shower, you may not get the return you hope for.

“No matter how much you try to have the jewel house to live in, you aren’t going to get the return on the investment if the rest of the neighborhood doesn’t match,” Webb says. So check out your neighbors’ homes and plan accordingly.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Are You Selling Your Home?: 6 Maintenance Tasks To Never Neglect

Home Selling Maintenance Tips

If you’re a homeowner, you already know that keeping your property in tip-top shape requires dedication and patience for ongoing maintenance. But what if you’ve put your home on the market, or even accepted an offer? Perhaps you’re thinking: Not my problem anymore.

Sorry, folks, we’ve got news for you: Just because you’re selling doesn’t mean you’re off the hook from routine maintenance tasks—and that’s especially true if you’ve already vacated the house.

Sure, a well-cared-for house shows better: Small things like broken doorbells and leaky faucets make buyers wonder if your property also has bigger issues elsewhere. But more important, a little routine maintenance can help you avoid a catastrophic problem down the line (e.g., burst pipes, roof leaks, critters moving into your attic) that could devalue your property and derail that sale.

To prevent minor issues from escalating into full-blown, money-sucking, sale-killing problems, focus on these six important areas you can’t afford to neglect:

1. Keep up the yard and walkways
Whether you’re still living at the home or not, you’ll want to make sure to keep your landscaping tidy—remove dead tree limbs, rake leaves, and clean out flowerbeds.

If your home is already vacant, have someone tend to the yard regularly so that grass and weeds don’t detract from your home’s appearance, suggests Kyle Hiscock, a Realtor® with Re/Max Realty Group in Rochester, NY.

“If your home does not have a well-maintained exterior, (potential buyers) will keep driving,” he cautions. “Plus, this kind of neglect can be a bull’s-eye for vandals to break into your property.”

Consider having lights on timers so the house doesn’t look dark all the time, and arrange for driveways and walkways to be plowed weekly in the winter months. And don’t let mail pile up in the mailbox.

2. Clean the gutters and check the roof
This one’s easy to forget about, even when you don’t plan on going anywhere. But when it comes to gutter and roof issues, neglect can cause a dangerous domino effect.

Overflowing gutters can damage your foundation, and also lead to drainage issues. And, of course, you don’t want buyers seeing puddling water as they approach your house.

Just ask Alise Roberts, owner/broker at Alise Roberts & Company in Bellevue, WA. In the rainy Pacific Northwest climate, she frequently has to remind her clients to keep sidewalks clear of moss and clean gutters of pine needles and leaves.

“Buyers, seeing the house when it’s raining, will also see your gutters overflowing,” she says. “That’s a terrible first impression.”

And then there’s the roof. Of course, it’ll be examined during the home inspection, but it would behoove you to do it before putting your home on the market. Small roof cracks can remain undetected for years, causing water to slowly infiltrate your home and damage ceilings and walls.

“If water starts to penetrate a property, it can be a very difficult sale,” Hiscock notes. “Water in basements or in homes is one of the top three things buyers are scared of.”

3. Service your heating systems
It’s not sexy, but the hidden guts of your home need regular attention, whether you’re still living there or not. That means having your HVAC systems professionally serviced.

First up, your furnace: If you get it addressed before you list your home, it won’t smell like dust when you crank up the heat during an open house on a chilly day. While you’re at it, have the duct work and filters cleaned as well. And if you have baseboard heaters, vacuum those out, too.

(Speaking of heat, Roberts suggests keeping the thermostat at 66 degrees Fahrenheit when agents are showing your house so buyers can visit your place comfortably. This will also avoid any issues with pipes freezing or bursting.)

Have a chimney? Be sure to have it inspected and cleaned as well.

“You want to make sure there are no cracked flue tiles, and that from the exterior, there are no gaps in the mortar between the bricks,” Hiscock explains. “Otherwise, you could potentially have the chimney fall over onto the house, and that’s a very expensive fix.”

4. Keep the critters out
If you don’t want to add “family of raccoons included” to your listing (and pay the hefty tab for getting them out), inspect the inside and outside of your home for any areas that need to plugged up. Take care of holes from damaged siding or fascia under the roofline—and do it promptly.

“In a colder climate, squirrels look for somewhere warm to go, and they’ll find their way into your property,” Hiscock says.

Stove and dryer vents, for example, should be covered with wire mesh to deter pests.

5. Wash your windows
Most people associate sparkling windows with spring-cleaning, Roberts says. But if your house is on the market, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is—you need to get those babies squeaky clean.

“If buyers walk through your home and all they see is dirty windows, that’ll really mar the showing process,” she says.

Make sure to wipe them down after a bad storm, when they’re especially likely to show muck and grime buildup.

6. Check the calendar
Depending on what time of year you bring your house to market, pay attention to any details that scream, “We don’t live here or care anymore,” Roberts says.

That means tackling seasonal tasks such as clearing away lawn mowers in the fall and storing shovels in the spring.

“Too often, I see a seller’s patio furniture still outside during the winter time. To me, that’s not a good reflection on the property,” Hiscock says. “It shows deferred maintenance and lack of caring, and can really turn off a potential buyer.”

“If a seller can’t put away their patio furniture and lawn mower, what makes you believe that they’ve actually maintained the property all the years they’ve been there?” he adds.

Staying on top of these regular tasks will make it easier to sell your home with fewer headaches. Plus, it’ll preserve the value of your property, and potentially, the thickness of your wallet, too.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Selling A Home: 6 Epic Ways To Bungle The Sale

Home For Sale

Selling a home might not seem like rocket science, but rest assured, there’s a lot to consider—and a lot of money on the line. As such, home sellers can really sabotage their own efforts in so many ways.

Curious about what could go wrong?

Check out these six classic ways home sellers bungle their prospects so you don’t become the next victim:

1. You priced your house too high
Even when you’re in a seller’s market (where inventory is in short supply and buyers are bidding up a storm for homes), you should set a reasonable listing price for your house. Unfortunately, “some people have unrealistic expectations of the market,” says Seth Lejeune, a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway in Collegeville, PA.

Many sellers overestimate the value of their house because they’re emotionally attached to the place. Others overprice as a sales tactic.

“A lot of people price high because they want room to negotiate, but that strategy can backfire, since you might not get any offers,” Lejeune says.

So, to set the right asking price for your house, you’ll want to trust your real estate agent to do a comparative market analysis, a process that assesses the value of a home by comparing it to similar properties that recently sold nearby.

2. You skimped on professional photos
You can have the most sought-after home on the block, but if you don’t take good listing photos you may have trouble even getting buyers in the door. Hence, it’s worth hiring a professional real estate photographer to snap pictures instead of taking them yourself on your smartphone.

Most real estate photographers are reasonably priced—a basic shoot generally costs between $95 and $300, says FitSmallBusiness.com—and the payoff can be huge. Studies have shown that professionally photographed homes sell faster and for more money than homes listed with point-and-shoot cameras.

3. You tried to make home repairs yourself
Before putting your house on the market, you may have to do some repairs. Doing repairs yourself can save you money, but it can also create expensive problems if you make mistakes.

Indeed, “you can wind up damaging your house if you don’t know what you’re doing,” Lejeune says.

Consequently, it’s worth hiring a handyman or certified contractor, depending on the nature of the work, to make important home repairs.

“Problems with hot water heaters, plumbing, ductwork, and electrical issues should always be handled by a licensed professional,” Lejeune adds.

4. You stuck around during showings
Having the seller present during a showing or open house can be a huge turnoff to a home buyer, says Jennifer Baxter, associate broker at Re/Max Regency in Suwanee, GA.

“Even if you don’t say anything to the buyer, it’s just awkward,” Baxter says. “When the seller is there, buyers don’t feel comfortable to speak freely or open closet doors and look closely at the house.”

The solution is simple: Just vacate the premises when buyers view the house.

“Let your agent represent you and handle all interactions with potential home buyers,” Lejeune advises.

5. You withheld information from buyers
Sure, you want to show your home in the best light, but not disclosing any flaws you’re aware of—like, say, a previous flood or termite damage—could come back and haunt you. For one, a home inspection might reveal this info anyway and your home buyer will be none too pleased that you kept your lips zipped. Not disclosing certain flaws is also illegal in some areas so it might even open you to a lawsuit.

Therefore, make sure you fess up to home buyers on any issues you’re aware of—which should all be provided to the home buyers in a document known as the property disclosure statement. Sure, it might scare off home buyers, but probably not—and it’s way better than getting caught hiding info afterward.

6. You let your ego get in the way
Some home sellers get so fixated on getting their full list price, they simply turn down offers that are below the bar. But that closed-minded approach can have big repercussions.

“If you’re not willing to make counteroffers, you’re probably not serious about selling your house,” Baxter says. Granted, “if you’re comfortable with your house sitting on the market for a while, you could try to hold out for a full-price offer. But if you want to sell your house in a reasonable period of time, you need to entertain offers that are below list price.”

Bear in mind if your house sits on the market for a while, it can make it more difficult to sell.

“If a home is on the market for more than four weeks, prospective buyers are going to assume that there is something wrong with it,” says Irvine, CA, real estate agent Benny Kang.

In other words, time is a-ticking! Any offer is worth considering, so try not to take it personally.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Can Seller Back Out Of Home Sale? The 5 Times They May Bail

When Can Seller Back Out

Can a seller back out of a home sale?

That’s a question I found myself asking after my own much-anticipated real estate purchase fell through when the seller got cold feet. Luckily, this scenario is fairly rare: Most home sellers are highly motivated to move the transaction along. Still, if they do change their mind, it can leave buyers baffled and wondering: Can sellers really do that? And what are the consequences?

After all, when buyers back out of a real estate purchase, they can pay dearly for their change of heart. If they renege due to a reason not outlined in their contingencies, they will likely lose their earnest money deposit, which can be a significant chunk of change totaling 1% to 2% of the purchase price of the home.

While sellers don’t offer up any kind of earnest money and thus appear to have less on the line, backing out of a home sale at the last minute can carry ramifications for them, too. Here’s when sellers can—and can’t—back out of a home sale, and how buyers can handle a seller who bails.

Why would a seller not sell?

Sellers may want to back out of a home sale for all kinds of reasons. The main one? They just can’t find a new home that seems as perfect as the one they’re in now.

“Predominantly, the issue arises when the sale is contingent upon the seller finding a suitable alternate property either to upsize or downsize,” says Michael Kelczewski, a Realtor® with Brandywine Fine Properties at Sotheby’s International Realty in Wilmington, DE.

A home seller who turns a 180 could also be treading murky ethical waters, backing out of an accepted offer because a better one came along. Still, just because home sellers want to back out of a deal doesn’t mean they can unless they do so carefully. So when are they free and clear?

The 5 times a home seller can back out of a sale

Sellers can back out of a home sale without ramifications in the following instances:

  • The contract hasn’t been signed. Before a contract is officially signed, a seller can kibosh a deal at any time (that’s what happened to me).
  • The contract is in the five-day attorney review period. Most home sales involve the use of a standard real estate contract, which provides a five-day attorney review provision. During this time, the seller’s attorney or the buyer’s attorney can cancel the contract for any reason. This allows either party to back out without consequence. Although the seller can legally back out during an attorney review period, it’s not very common.
  • The seller planted an escape hatch in the contract. Sellers can place addendums within the contract that say they can back out without penalty—like a contingency that they have to find a new place where they want to live first.
  • The buyer doesn’t adhere to the contract terms. One common buyer issue is the buyer failing to secure a mortgage in a certain time frame. If sellers don’t want to wait around for the buyers to find financing elsewhere, they can move on.
  • The buyer requests repairs the seller is unwilling to do. When home buyers get a home inspection, they’ll often request that sellers make repairs based on that report, or issue a “repair credit” to cover those costs. The thing is, sellers can always refuse—a move that could “constructively cancel” the real estate contract. In essence, the seller forces the buyer’s hand, since constructive cancellation requires the buyer to either back off on the requests or back out of the deal, says Brian J. Thompson, a CPA and attorney in Chicago.

When a home seller can’t back out of a sale

But aside from the above reasons, once a real estate transaction has a fully executed purchase agreement that’s past the five-day mark, it’s not that easy for a seller to flake out. Are there serious consequences if a seller reneges on a deal right before closing? “Most definitely,” says Denise Supplee, operations director of SparkRental.

That’s because, in the laws governing real estate transactions, there’s something called a “specific performance” provision. This entitles buyers to force the seller to honor their obligations under the contract. It entails taking the seller to court and forcing the completion of the sale.

The problem with this route is it takes time and money for a buyer to enforce, and most home buyers don’t want to wait a few years to get into a new home while their cash deposit sits in escrow. Most buyers would probably let it go, says Gary Lucido, president of Chicago’s Lucid Realty.

Yet that doesn’t mean a buyer has to just let a flip-flopping seller walk away scot-free. Instead, a jilted buyer can sue for damages from the seller for breach of contract. The lawsuit can include recouping monies the buyer spent on temporary housing (especially if the buyer sold an old home to buy the new home) and costs for storing furniture. Monetary damages could also include legal costs as well as inspection, survey, and HOA application fees.

For sellers facing such a scenario, “usually the easiest path is to pay the buyer the amount that makes them whole again,” advises Carl Gentile of Gentile & Associates in New York City. So, feel free to pursue this route if you feel wronged and want the seller to make amends.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Home Selling: 6 Hardball Negotiation Strategies That Can Backfire

home selling negotiation

When you’re selling your home, you might imagine you hold all the cards. And you do—sort of. But it’s easy to become overconfident in a seller’s market. If you don’t do a reality check, pronto, you could end up sabotaging your sale. So much for that straight flush!

Here are six common home seller negotiation tactics that can totally backfire if you don’t approach them carefully.

1. Starting a bidding war
Bidding wars are the stuff of home sellers’ dreams. And there’s nothing wrong with fueling a little competition among buyers in order to get the best deal for you. But this tactic can easily backfire if you bungle it.

“If mishandled, people may assume the worst, and the best offer may walk away,” says Sep Niakan, owner/broker at Miami-based HB Roswell Realty.

Common bidding war bungles include the following:

  • Not clearly explaining upfront how you intend to handle multiple offers.
  • Giving an offer deadline that is too many days away. Some buyers might not want to wait for you to make a decision, especially if other homes are in contention.
  • Already having a strong offer on the table, but then insisting that all potential buyers come back with their highest and best bid. There’s no guarantee buyers will play ball and, if that strong offer walks, you’re stuck with lower offers to choose from.

Bottom line: Proceed with caution before turning up the heat on the competition, lest you risk losing out on a dream deal.

2. Haggling over repairs
What if the buyer completes an inspection and comes back with a long list of requested repairs? If sellers get too tough here, they might send a buyer walking.

The sellers should consider how good the overall package is for them before refusing to do repairs, says Lucas Machado, president of House Heroes in Miami.

“When the buyer’s offer is high, and the seller tries to negotiate away from legitimate repairs, the buyer may feel the seller is taking advantage of them.”

3. Threatening to put your home back on the market
If negotiations aren’t quite going your way, you might be tempted to call the buyer’s bluff. Hey, if they don’t want to ante up, you can always put your home back on the market and find another eager buyer to squeeze.Right?

Yes, you might find another taker quickly. But beware of this move—it might not go according to plan.

That’s because there’s often a stigma associated with putting a home back on the market, and it might be harder to get buyers to take a second look, says Realtor® Michael Hottman, associate broker at Keller Williams Richmond West in Richmond, VA.

“Exercise caution with this tactic, because real estate markets can change quickly from hot to cold, leaving you without all those buyers you were expecting,” Hottman says. “And the ones who you had initially thought were legitimate prospects may have moved on to other homes in the time between your property originally going under contract and now coming back on the market.”

4. Being stubborn on the closing date
You’ve decided you’re not going to allow the new people to move in until (insert future date) because that’s when the closing date is on your new home. Or, they can’t possibly take possession this spring because your kids are still finishing school.

Guess what? Your buyers have scheduling issues of their own, says John Powell, chief development officer at Help-U-Sell Real Estate in Tucson, AZ.

“Sellers need to understand that they may have to move twice, since buyer and seller schedules seldom work out perfectly.”

5. Getting greedy over what comes with the house
Planning to take your beautiful custom light fixtures with you? Not so fast, Hottman warns. Often, he finds that sellers have expensive fixtures in place to show the home, but plan on taking them when they move. And that can cause trouble at the negotiating table.

The buyer “might have decided to buy the ceiling fan, and the house happens to come with it, or they get so upset that a fixture they fell in love with is now missing that they won’t buy the home,” Hottman says.

Avoid this confusion by replacing anything that won’t be staying with the house before you show it. If that’s not possible, be prepared to leave the prized fixture behind, or negotiate a comparable replacement.

6. Refusing to pay closing costs
So, you’re coming down the home stretch and this deal is almost done. Congratulations! But the buyer asked you to cover their closing costs.

Before you say “no way,” consider it this way: Buyers sometimes roll the amount of those closing costs into their offer. For instance, let’s say your home is listed for $200,000. A buyer might then submit an offer for $204,000, but ask you to cover the $4,000 in closing costs.

“Some sellers will hold firm at the $204,000 offer and refuse to pay the closing costs because they want this higher price the buyer offered,” Hottman says. “Some sellers can’t see the net is nearly identical between a $200,000 offer with no closing costs and $204,000 with $4,000 in seller-paid closing costs, and they miss out.”

A good deal comes down to doing the math, keeping your ego in check, and putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes. After all, when you sell your house, you’ll probably be buying one, too.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

“So Why Are You Selling?”: 10 Answers You Should Never Give

Why Are You Selling Your House?

So Why Are You Selling?

“Why are you selling your house?” might seem like a perfectly innocent question from home buyers, but watch out—if you’re the home seller they’re asking, this is one of the diciest questions you can answer. The reason: Pretty much any explanation you give is bound to contain revealing info that these home buyers could use against you, thereby compromising your negotiating power.

“Home buyers are looking for any indication that you’d be willing to accept an offer that’s below list price,” says Annapolis, MD, real estate agent Greg Beckman. “If you say the wrong thing to a buyer, the person might make you a lowball offer.”

To prevent that from happening, Beckman recommends sellers let their listing agent handle communication with prospective buyers. “Let your agent do all the talking,” he says, adding that sellers shouldn’t be present for showings or open houses.

That said, there are times when you might still interact with home buyers—say, if they arrive early for a showing or linger until you return. If that happens, and if the seller asks why you’re selling, you want to have a short, neutral response prepared in advance, says San Francisco real estate agent Allison Fortini Crawford. Such as: “We love the home, but we’re ready for a change.”

So, what’s a bad answer? Well, there are many, actually, like these doozies below:

“I got transferred for my job”
This is one of the most common reasons why people sell their house. In fact, 17% of people surveyed by the moving company Allied Van Lines said they’ve been relocated for a job. Nonetheless, revealing this to home buyers could make them think that you’re desperate to sell fast and, in turn, lead them to make a lowball offer.

“Our family needs a bigger house”
Trading up? Don’t relay that to home buyers. The reason is pretty simple: “You don’t want to give buyers the idea that the house may not be enough room for them, either,” says Crawford. Similarly…

“Now that our children have left the nest, we’re ready to downsize”
Downsizing makes total sense for empty nesters and retirees, but likewise, you don’t want home buyers to think that your house is too large and difficult to maintain.

“We need a smaller mortgage payment”
There are a couple of reasons why this response is a bad idea. First, you don’t want to give the impression that the house is too expensive or overpriced. Second, you don’t want home buyers to presume that your finances are in such poor shape that you’d accept a lowball offer. Put simply, “Never discuss your financial situation,” says Beckman.

“We’ve already bought our next house”
If you want to fetch top dollar for your house, don’t divulge that you’ve already purchased your next home. “It makes the home buyer think that there’s a sense of urgency and that you have to sell quickly,” says Crawford—which is a valid assumption, considering that a lot of people can’t afford to carry two mortgages at once.

“We want a quieter neighborhood”
Steer clear of saying anything that could paint the neighborhood in a negative light. Even saying that the area is quiet could backfire. “You don’t know what a home buyer wants,” says Beckman. For instance, some people are drawn to areas with a hopping night life (and the noise that entails), or at least a place where the streets aren’t barren by 8 p.m.

“We need to move closer to our parents to help care for them”
Many people move to be closer to family—and in some cases, it’s out of necessity. However, there’s no need to share that information with home buyers, since this suggests you have to sell your home pronto.

“My back problems make it too difficult for me to climb the stairs”
A number of home sellers move out of two- or three-story houses for health reasons. However, you don’t want to draw attention to the fact that there are a lot of stairs throughout the home, since it could scare off older home buyers or home buyers with young children.

“Our utility bills are through the roof”
Energy-efficient home features are all the rage nowadays, which makes sense when you consider that home owners spend on average $1,945 a year on their energy bills. But some home buyers still overlook utility costs when they go house hunting. So, the very last thing you want to do is draw attention to the fact that your gas or electric bills are expensive.

“The house is too difficult for us to maintain”
No one wants to buy a money pit. So, even if you’re selling a clear fixer-upper, don’t mention maintenance costs to a home buyer. Also avoid talking about repairs that you just never got around to making, like repairing the bathtub caulking, as well as big projects like replacing the 20-year-old water heater—all reasons for home buyers to think twice about making an offer.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Your Home Isn’t Selling: 11 Possible Reasons Why

Selling-Your-Home

Why Isn’t My Home Selling?

When you first put your house on the market, you might be hopeful for a quick sale—especially if you’ve put a lot of money into improving the house over the years and if the neighborhood is one that has historically attracted a lot of buyers. While you shouldn’t panic if the house doesn’t sell the moment you list it, you should begin to worry if the months start flying by without any real offers.

If this is the case, here are 11 reasons why your house may not be selling:

1- You overvalued your property. If your house is overpriced, it’s simply not going to sell. Compare your property to similar properties that recently sold within your area to get a better idea of its true value. An experienced real estate agent can give you an accurate value of your home. Additionally, don’t make the mistake of tacking on the cost of any renovations you made. You can’t just assume that the cost of a renovation translates to added value.

2- Your listing is poor. If the listing of your home includes a poorly written description without any images, a lot of buyers are going to skip over it. Make sure you and your REALTOR® put an effort into creating a listing that attracts the attention of buyers. Make sure to add high quality photographs of both the interior and exterior of your home. Don’t forget to highlight unique features, as well.

3- You’re always present at showings. Let your agent handle your showings. Buyers don’t want to have the seller lurking over their shoulder during showings, especially during an open house. This puts unwanted pressure on the buyer, which will make them uncomfortable and likely chase them away.

4- You’re too attached. If you refuse to negotiate even a penny off your price, then there’s a good chance that you’ve become too attached to your home. If a part of you doesn’t want to sell it, or you think your house is the best house in the world, odds are you’re going to have a lot of difficulties coming to an agreement with a potential buyer.

5- You haven’t had your home professionally cleaned. A dirty house is going to leave a bad impression on buyers. Make sure you have a professional clean your carpeting and windows before you begin showing your house.

6- You haven’t staged your home. If you’ve already moved out, then don’t show an empty house. This makes it difficult for buyers to imagine living in it. Stage your house with furniture and decor to give buyers a better idea of how big every room is and how it can be used. You want the buyer to feel at home when they are taking the tour.

7- You kept up all of your personal decor. Buyers are going to feel uncomfortable touring your house if you keep all of your family portraits up. Take down your personal decor so that buyers can have an easier time imagining themselves living there.

8- Your home improvements are too personalized. You might think that the comic book mural you painted for your child’s room is absolutely incredible, but that doesn’t mean potential buyers will agree. If your home improvements are too personalized, it can scare off buyers who don’t want to pay for features they don’t want.

9- Your home is too cluttered. Even if your home is clean, clutter can still be an issue. For example, maybe you simply have too much furniture in one of your rooms. This can make the house feel smaller than it is.

10- Your home is in need of too many repairs. The more repairs that are needed, the less likely a buyer will want your house. Many buyers simply don’t want to deal with the cost or effort of doing repair work, even if it’s just a bunch of small repairs, such as tightening a handrail or replacing a broken tile.

11- You chose the wrong real estate agent. In my opinion, choosing the right real estate agent is simply the most important decision you make in selling your home.  A good REALTOR® makes all the difference in selling your home within a reasonable time.
All these things can be fixed once you realize your mistake; however, the longer your property stays on the market, the less likely it will sell at listing price. One of the best ways to avoid making these common mistakes is by working with a professional real estate agent.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Selling Your Home: People Share 5 Painful Lessons They Learned

Selling Your Home Lessons

Selling Your Home: Lessons Learned

Selling a home should be a joyous process—where you show off your digs to enamored buyers who shower you with offers that far surpass what you paid for the place originally.

That’s the dream, anyway. And yet, all too often, the home-selling process is fraught with pain, surprises, and no small amount of post-sale regrets. As proof, peruse these cautionary tales of real-life home sellers, and the lessons they learned.

1- Moving in with Mom and Dad
Last year, Nick Braun sold his Columbus, OH, home … while his new home was still being renovated. The combination of lousy planning and poor timing meant Braun had to move out of the old house and pay to store his furnishings as he waited for the new house to be ready. “My family and I lived in my parents’ house for over three months!” says Braun.

Lesson learned: “It’s difficult to plan perfect timing when you’re selling and buying and renovating,” says Carolina Chia, a Realtor® at New York’s TripleMint Real Estate. But you can mitigate this risk by including a contingency in your contract saying that your new digs must be ready before you move out of your old. Or else, arrange to have other interim living arrangements in place. “And there’s always the option of leasing back from the buyer until the renovations are finished,” says Chia.

2- You see “homey,” they see clutter
Rachel Ryan learned a hard lesson when she sold her first home in Hanahan, SC. “My house was sparkling clean, but there was a lot of stuff that drew attention away from the home’s key features,” says Ryan. “What I thought looked homey actually made the house seem cluttered and disheveled.” That mistake chopped tens of thousands off Ryan’s sale price. Ouch!

Lesson learned: Potential buyers have to be able to envision themselves living in a home, says Erika Dalager, at the home staging site roOomy. She advises sellers to remove as much clutter as possible and refrain from displaying personal items like family photos. Instead opt for neutral décor that showcases the space without overpowering it.

3- Why didn’t we fix that sooner?
Like many people, Chris Brantner put off nagging updates he’d wanted to do in his first home in Houston, TX, because of the cost. When it came time to sell, he did them all, to get a good sale price. “And guess what? We didn’t want to leave!” says Brantner.

Lesson learned: “Don’t wait to fix your home up until right before you sell!” says Brantner. “Our experience would have been so much better had we just done the updates.” Remember, many renovations that seem pricey have a great return on investment, so do them now, and they’ll pay off later. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the improvements yourself!

4- No parking allowed
When Brad Chandler needed to move out of state to care for a sick relative, he priced his Chesapeake Beach, MD, home to sell, and quickly went to contract. But when the buyer got a land survey—which Chandler had failed to do—it revealed that his driveway ran through an adjacent property. The day before closing, the buyers’ lender wouldn’t accept the property. “Now I have to fix that issue, and the house will be worth less in the long run,” says Chandler.

Lesson learned: Always get a survey of the property prior to selling, especially when you aren’t in a cookie-cutter neighborhood or the house is in an older subdivision, advises Chandler.

5- Wait, I want my home back!
For Michelle Morton, the hardest part of selling her home of 11 years in Raleigh, NC, was the unexpected emotion. It affected her so much, she tried to back out of the sale several times, but the buyers refused to budge. “I was still a mess on the move-out day,” says Morton. “I felt like I had just taken my kids’ home away from them.”

Lesson learned: Sellers are often blindsided by the heartbreak they feel when selling a home. Still, if the time is right to sell, try to focus on the benefits—like the money you’ll save and the better neighborhood you’re moving to, says Tracey Hampson of Century 21 Troop Real Estate in Santa Clarita, CA. Also keep in mind that moving doesn’t erase the fond memories you have—and that your new place will “feel like home” eventually. Just give it time.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

High-Resale Value Home Projects You Can Tackle In A Weekend

Home Projects With High-Resale Value

Home Projects With High-Resale Value

“There’s no place like home,” as the old saying goes. That’s especially true when it comes to an investment.

You live in and love your home, but there might come a time when you have to leave it. And when that time comes, you’ll want to get as much money as you can for your property so you can move onward — and upward.

In order to increase your abode’s value, you might think you have to put in a ton of time, effort and money, but that’s not entirely true. Instead, you can take on weekend projects over time to spruce the place up so when it’s time to sell, you have a completely updated property that’ll end up selling itself.

Ready to get to work? Roll up your sleeves and start on one of the following five weekend projects.

1. Repaint Your Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to smart investment in your home, the kitchen is one of the best places to start. Buyers expect kitchens to be updated. Stone countertops, stainless appliances and sleek flooring all make a space feel modern. Obviously, these changes require a lot of money and, sometimes, a lot of time. That’s why you can tackle it in bits and start first with your cabinets.

Old wooden cabinets with equally dated hardware — think oak doors with shiny brass handles — don’t require a complete gut job. Instead, spend a weekend repainting them a more neutral hue. Finish the project off with new metallic knobs and pulls to complete the modernized look.

2. Make the Eye Go up With Crown Molding

Most homes have roughly the same ceiling heights, but there’s a little trick to make yours look bigger — crown molding. Yes, that white line at the top of your painted walls will draw eyes upward, making the room appear airier than it may very well be.

The project is easy enough to complete, too. You might not be able to install molding throughout your entire home over a single weekend, but you can certainly tackle the project on a room-by-room basis. Again, start with the spaces likely to draw in the most moolah:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Living spaces
  • Master bedrooms

These tend to be the make-or-break rooms when it comes to a big purchase. Crown molding adds a bit of detail, a feeling of luxury that’ll certainly add to the bottom line.

3. Boost Curb Appeal — and Backyard Bonuses

No one will come in your home unless the first impression is stunning. Another DIY project should be a landscape overhaul of your front yard. It can be something as simple as adding a path of pavers to your front yard or sprucing up your flowerbeds with colorful blooms. All of this will catch the eye of potential buyers — and fatten up the bottom line of the offers they make.

Another easy fix — your garage door. If it’s street-facing, it’s another area for prospective buyers to look at, and it has a great return on investment.

You don’t have to stop with the front of your home. Especially if you live in a climate that permits lots of outdoor activity, you’ll want a backyard to match. Some may require you rent or buy tools for landscaping and other applications, but imagine the payoff with, for example, the beauty of a functioning fire pit in your backyard. Not only will you be able to enjoy it while you’re still living in your home, but potential buyers will easily be able to envision themselves sitting around a fire.

4. Beautify the Bathrooms

Bathrooms have a big effect on buyers. They expect clean, modern updates, just like in the kitchen. Overhauling your powder room is an easy weekend task that might require small swaps, such as a new modern light fixture over the vanity or a new vanity altogether.

Your full bathrooms will require a bit more attention if you want them to be up to snuff. Again, look in the familiar places:

  • Lighting fixtures
  • Cabinets
  • Hardware
  • Countertops
  • Tile

You don’t have to shell out a ton of money to have someone else re-tile a wall or backsplash in your bathroom, either, if you have the patience to demo and tile the space yourself.

5. Out With the Really Old

Some accents once considered fresh and fashionable now give your home a dated appearance. You probably already know what in your home screams 70s, 80s or 90s. Whatever it is should go in due course.

The list of outdated design elements is truly endless, but some of the biggest offenders are old-school wallpaper, the floor-to-ceiling wood paneling that may or not be actual wood, and, of course, popcorn ceilings. By removing these three offenders alone — a popcorn ceiling doesn’t take much effort — your home will snap right back into 2017.

Once people start envisioning themselves living in your home, you won’t have to envision offers pouring in — they’ll start coming thanks to your hard work.

You go, weekend warrior.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

First Impressions: Popular Curb Appeal Trends for 2017

Curb appeal

Curb Appeal Is Important

Never underestimate the importance of a pretty face on your home. A curb appeal “face-lift” is money well-spent, whether prepping to sell your house, increasing its equity-value, or just for your own pleasure.

These 6 new ideas and trends should get your creative juices flowing.

1-Re-Think the Front Door
REALTORS® have long advised that the front door—one of the first things a visitor touches—should look well-kept and attractive. The cheapest option is to repaint it, and people are getting more adventurous with color choices for doors. No longer feel bound to match your door to the window and shutter hue. Contrast is good, and some homes benefit from brighter colors.

For just a few more dollars, replace old, corroded hardware—knobs, kickplate, etc. For a professional look, and to save yourself some time and clean-up, install the new hardware afterpainting.

Replacing the entire door might cost you or your client $500 or more, but if you are bored or unhappy with your plain door or if the door will affect the value of the home, peruse the latest new styles.

If you really want a big change, consider adding an arched doorway, windows on either side or expanding to a double-door. Ironically, one new trend is to go old and ornate.

2-Light the Way
Some home-building companies scrimp on the porch or entrance-way lighting. If you or your client weren’t involved in the original lighting decisions—or even if you were—over time, glass fixtures become dim from dirt, dead moths or old bulbs.

Cleaning globes and replacing bulbs instantly brings new life to your evening facade. New fixtures are inexpensive and can usually be owner-installed. You will likely be delighted—no pun intended—to discover that advanced lighting technology has gone beyond florescent with the introduction of LED bulbs. LEDs provide more lumens with less power, resulting in brighter entryways while saving on electricity.

The options are nearly limitless for affordable and novel ways to illuminate your home’s front porch or portico.

3-Install Stone Veneer
For many homes, a major transformation from common, run-of-the-mill appearance to a luxury look is achieved with stone veneer. No doubt about it: stone veneer is an up-and-coming trend for home upgrades. Once installed, stone veneer is nearly indistinguishable from full stonework. The key difference is cost and ease of installation.

Stonework speaks to craftsmanship, and veneer gives your home this expensive look for less. Stone veneer also has advantages beyond cosmetic:

It’s rugged and never needs painting.
It comes in a wide variety of textures and colors.
You can use it for an entire house, a single wall or just the skirting.
You will be pleasantly surprised at how it sets your home apart from others on your street while increasing its value and marketability.

4-Refinish Sidewalks and Driveways
Just as the upscale look of stone upgrades exterior walls, stone or brick makes a huge improvement to unsightly cracked concrete walks and drives. Different types and shapes of stone can create a variety of patterns, and hiring a professional installer on a complete tear and replace will save time and your back.

If your property’s asphalt or concrete drive is in good condition, bordering it with brick pavers can add a touch of class. Trims can be a do-it-yourself project requiring minimal skill, effort and cost.

5-Add Color to Landscaping
You’ll want the lawn and hedges manicured. Go further. Green is great, but dots of color lift your yard to a higher level of beauty.

Over the last decade, most cities have upgraded cosmetics, realizing that public street-corners beg for flowers and professional landscaping. Eyes have come to expect more color and design street-side—and in desirable neighborhoods, and that expectation translates over to the look of your curb.

Again, a tiny expenditure equals a major step up. Bulbs, shrubs, borders, fencing and mulch are all things to consider.

6-Check Your Mailbox
In many neighborhoods, another first curb-appeal object is literally at the curb: the mailbox. It’s often not seen for what it is: an eyesore.

Sure, you can spend a pile for a pile of bricks to dress up your mailbox. But a recent trend is less costly: unique and artsy mailboxes and posts. Visit an arts and crafts show and you may find hand-crafted mailboxes for a reasonable price. At the least, meet a local artist who would enjoy crafting something special for you. If you prefer to do it yourself, concrete footing, a post, wood trim, paint and of course, your mailbox, will go far.

On a street where all the mailboxes look the same — and where the houses also may be cookie-cutter—you can set yours apart. That’s the point of all these improvements. Give your house its own attractive identity—and for less than you might expect.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com