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 And replace those outdated cabinets … the list might go on and on.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So your kitchen is woefully outdated, your bathroom avocado green (yuck).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

Selling Your Home: 7 Small Home Flaws That Can Be Big Deals For Buyers

Home Flaw Deal-Breakers

After living in the same home for a while, it’s amazing what you can get used to. A creaky floorboard, for instance. A chipped tile that you’ve been meaning to replace but haven’t gotten around to. A doorknob that needs a little coaxing to turn. No big deal, right?

Well, these small flaws can be huge deal-breakers when you decide to sell your home.

“Prospective buyers are going to add all the ‘flaws’ they find to the price of the property, and that’s when they start trying to discount the price,” cautions Jane Peters, a real estate broker and owner of Home Jane Realty in Los Angeles.

Curious what some of these seemingly small problems are?

Check out this list of minuscule (to you) things that buyers see as big hurdles to closing a sale.

1. An old electrical panel
Recently, the home buyer made a controversial request for a repair at a property listed by Cedric Stewart, a real estate consultant at Keller Williams in the Washington, DC, area.

Apparently, their home inspector claimed that $2,000 worth of repairs were needed on an electrical panel to get it “up to code.” The sellers insisted the current panel worked just fine.

“To the sellers, it was a small issue,” says Stewart, “but to the buyers, it was an electrical panel that could fail them at any time.”

To end this particular dispute, Stewart received bids from four electricians and got the repair quote knocked down to $1,200. The sellers offered that amount as a credit in lieu of repair at closing.

“The buyers grumbled,” Stewart recalls, “but they took it.”

2. Ripped window screens
Window screens will wear out over time, but if yours are torn, take it seriously.

“They’re a pain for anyone to replace,” says Stewart. “Therefore, sellers don’t want to do it and buyers will insist that they do. If the sellers refuse to fix it, the buyers will demand a credit. This can be a major point of contention, and we’ve seen it delay progress before.”

Stewart recalls one seller who agreed to replace a damaged window screen. But on the final walk-through, it still hadn’t been done—and the buyer threatened to walk away from the deal.

“It worked out,” says Stewart, “but it wasn’t pretty.”

3. The location of your laundry room
Even if you own a state-of-the-art washer and dryer—and plan to bestow both on your lucky buyers—they may not be so thrilled with these nice appliances if they aren’t situated in what they think is the “right” place.

“Some buyers have a problem with the laundry being on the ‘wrong’ level, especially in a three-level house or townhouse-style condo,” Peters explains.

In other words, you might be fine lugging your laundry to the basement, but don’t expect all buyers to feel the same way. Offer to move these items to a new locale to warm buyers up.

4. Sticky door locks
Live in a house long enough, and you’ll encounter a malfunctioning door latch or lock. That may be no big deal to you, but it may alarm buyers big-time.

If it’s an exterior door, they will likely view this as a major safety issue, explains Stewart. And although it may seem like a simple fix, it’s often a complex one, he says.

Think about it: The company that installed the doors may no longer be around, the model may not be in production anymore, and/or it could be tough to get someone to replace the exact hardware. Consider fixing this problem before a buyer notices it.

5. Your bathtub or shower
Some people prefer showers, others want baths (particularly parents who must clean up small kids). So if you’re missing one or the other, watch out.

In an ideal world, you’ll have both: a bath with a showerhead above. But even if your bathtub works just fine, make sure the style isn’t too off. Not everyone is excited to soak in a tub straight out of “Stranger Things” in avocado green. If that’s you, luckily there is an easy fix: Consider slapping on a new coat of paint (yes, you can do that). Here’s how to paint a bathtub.

6. Small closets
“Many buyers focus on closets,” says Peters. “Are there enough? Are they large enough? Walk-in closets are also preferred.”

There are a few things you can do to ease these concerns. For one, try to make your closets look roomier by decluttering them as much as possible. Put excess items elsewhere (like a rented storage unit). You might also consider hiring a contractor to build or extend closets where needed—or at least point out to buyers that they can do this themselves.

7. The walls of your kitchen
Some people like—no, make that love— open kitchens. So if your kitchen currently has four walls, you could be in trouble.

“Buyers may look at the possibility of breaking down a wall,” Peters says. But be warned, many might not want to do the work, or just get such a bad first impression of your kitchen that they move on. If you think your kitchen’s four walls feel cramped and is stalling your sale, consider opening it up yourself. Here’s how to knock down a wall.

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: 5 Reasons It Will Pay To Sell Early In 2018

Selling Your Home In 2018

It’s been nearly a decade since the Great Recession delivered the worst housing crash in modern memory. But these days, the fallout feels squarely in the rearview mirror. Markets have bounced back with fervor, and confidence is skyrocketing: From Charlotte, NC, to Stockton, CA—and everywhere in between—homes are flying off the market at record prices, and buyers are still clamoring to get in the game.

One thing is clear: It’s a great time to be a seller.

“We’ve seen two or three years of what could be considered unsustainable levels of price appreciation, as well as an inventory shortage that resulted in a record low number of homes for sale across the country,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com®.

In other words: Today’s buyers are exhausted. And in many cases that means they’re willing to sacrifice to get a toehold in the market.

Sounds like the stuff of seller’s dreams, right? But know this: If you plan to sell in 2018—and you want to unload your home quickly and for maximum money—your window of opportunity may be rapidly narrowing. Here’s why you should get moving ASAP.

1. Rates are still historically low, drawing buyers into the market
We may not be enjoying the rock-bottom interest rates of yore, but by historical standards, today’s 30-year mortgage rates—hovering just above 4%—are still low. And experts agree mortgage credit will remain relatively cheap for most of the year.

That means the getting’s still good for buyers—and, subsequently, for sellers looking to unload their homes.

But rates are on the rise, and it’s been widely predicted that they’ll reach 5% before year’s end. Buyers know that the longer they wait to buy, the more expensive it will be.

Roughly translated, that means you’d be wise to list your home earlier in the year, before more rate hikes kick in. Not only will you capture the market of buyers scurrying to close a deal, but if you’re buying after you sell, you’ll also benefit from those lower rates.

2. Inventory remains tight—and demand high
Simply put, there are more buyers than available homes—particularly in red-hot markets where land is scarce and it isn’t cheap to build.

And the housing shortage will likely get worse before it gets better: Realtor.com data predict inventory will remain tight in the first part of this year, reaching a 4% year-over-year decline by March.

Sellers, that means this is your opportunity to be wooed. Buyers, their choices limited, are going to great lengths (and making some major concessions) to win the house, says Katie Griswold, a Realtor® with Pacific Sotheby’s in Southern California.

“We’re in a very favorable seller’s market,” she says. “We’re seeing bidding wars—which push up prices—and buyers are submitting offers with very pro-seller terms, like forgoing the repair request or waiving the appraisal contingency.”

And cash investors are in the mix, too, accounting for 22% of all home sales transactions in November 2017 (up from 20% in October), according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Those cash buyers are snapping up homes in an already tight market and keeping some first-time buyers at bay (sorry, buyers!). But if you’re selling, you stand a better shot at an all-cash offer—one you just might be crazy to refuse.

Of course, there’s a catch: Inventory levels are predicted to begin rising in the fourth quarter, marking the first inventory gain since 2015 and setting the stage for more dramatic housing gains to come. So if you’re thinking of selling, start preparing now in order to walk away with a sweet paycheck.

3. Home prices are still increasing
From coast to coast, home prices continue to rise—which translates to more money in your pocket when you sell.

But the gains are predicted to be more moderate than in years past. Realtor.com data suggest a 3.2% increase year over year, after finishing 2017 with a 5.5% year-over-year increase.

Bottom line: You still stand to make a pretty profit if you sell this year, but the earlier you can list, the better off you’ll be.

4. People have more money in their pocket
Record levels of consumer confidence, low unemployment, and stock market surges are setting the stage for high home buyer turnout in 2018. For the first time since the 1960s, the Fed has projected that the unemployment rate will drop below 4%, and the domestic stock market is enjoying a nearly unprecedented rally.

The housing market is already reflecting this boom: Existing-home sales soared 5.6% in November 2017 (the most recent month for which data are available) and reached their strongest pace in almost 11 years, according to the NAR.

“Incomes are growing and people are finding better and more stable jobs,” Vivas says. Buyers “are feeling pretty good about (their) finances.”

And thanks to the GOP tax legislation, which nearly doubles the standard deduction, we’ll see fewer people itemizing, says National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

“The income effect of that is that most people are getting a tax cut—which should help (buyer) demand,” Dietz says.

All of these factors combined mean more buyers could be on the hunt, with more money in their pockets to shell out on a home for sale—possibly yours!

5. Millennials are ready to commit
Millennials, often crippled by student debt, have been especially hampered by rising interest rates and high home prices.

But the aforementioned conditions are ripe in 2018 for these first-time buyers to take the plunge, and experts predict that millennials will make up a vital part of the buyer pool over the coming year: Millennials could account for 43% of home buyers taking out a mortgage in 2018 (a 3% year-over-year increase), according to realtor.com data.

“As people move into their 30s, they’re looking to move from renting to homeownership,” Dietz says. “And we predict that trend will continue even more this year.”

More home buyers flooding the market can only mean good things for sellers—at all price points.

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 Inspection: 6 Things Sellers Can Do to Prepare For One

home-inspection-preparation-hilton-head-island

Home Inspection Preparation

Q: What can sellers do to prepare for a home inspection?

A: Completing these quick and easy tasks before beginning the selling process will help reduce stress and save your clients valuable time during the home-selling process.

1-Clean the House
An important part of selling a home is keeping it clean in anticipation of a showing. Cleaning the home will convey that it’s been well cared for and that the house is less susceptible to any issues caused by neglect.

2-Check All Windows
Have your client take a quick inventory of the windows to make sure they’re in good working order. Replace windows that are cracked or broken before the inspection to save time during the selling process.

3-Finish the Honey-Do List
Some areas of the home, although not typically thought of as areas that would affect a home’s appeal, may be displayed as safety concerns on a home inspection report. Your client can help themselves by replacing burnt-out lightbulbs, testing smoke detectors, replacing air filters and unclogging drains. These little things are easy to forget in day-to-day life, but taking care of them is a relatively easy task that will help potential buyers focus on the important systems of the home.

4-Check All Outlets
A sampling of electrical outlets will be tested as part of the home inspection to make sure they’re in good working order. Encourage your clients to take note of which outlets are not functioning in the home and replace them. Or, they may want to consider hiring an electrician to make sure both outlets and the electrical box are updated and in proper working condition.

5-Clear Areas for Easy Access
Home inspectors will be looking at the major parts of the home, including the foundation, HVAC systems, electrical systems, plumbing and even the water heater. Making sure home inspectors can easily access these areas, including the basement and attic, will save time during the inspection process.

6-Consider a Pre-Listing Inspection
Hiring experienced and professional home inspectors can save a lot of headaches during the selling process. They will thoroughly go through the home and notify clients of any potential issues ahead of listing the property.

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 In 2018: 5 Edgy Tips To Get Your House Sold This Year

Selling Home In 2018

If you want to know how to sell a home in 2018, face the facts: It’s a new year, and that brings a new breed of home buyers to your front door.

Knowing who these buyers are—as well as what they love and loathe in a home—is critical to fielding a great offer.

Today’s buyers have very particular tastes and turnoffs that could mean your home gets snapped up fast, or sits on the sidelines. If you want your home sale to succeed, heed these tips.

1. Market to millennials
Those darn millennials are growing up! In fact, people in this age group (who are basically in their mid-20s to mid-30s) could make up 43% of home buyers taking out a mortgage by the end of 2018.

“Millennials are the largest purchasing group in the country right now,” notes Jeff Nelson of IXL Real Estate Eastern Shore in Daphne, AL.

So what do millennials want? For one, they’re settling in the suburbs. About 57% of home buyers aged 36 and under bought homes in the burbs in 2016, while just 15% of the same age group bought urban pads. Yet millennials still crave walkable neighborhoods, so if your area has cafes and other amenities within a short distance, play that up.

As for the home itself? McMansions are out, smaller homes are in.

“Buyers are trending toward homes that meet but do not exceed their space requirements,” notes Cynthia Chase, a real estate agent with Weichert in Hamburg, NJ.

Still, you should play up how spacious your place feels by touting an open floor plan if you have one (or knocking down a wall or two if it’s within your pre-home-sale budget).

Millennials are also into green features like storm windows, insulated water heaters, and solar panels—so show buyers receipts of utility bills from before and after adding these features to show just how much you saved. (Here’s more info on how to make your home green.)

2. But don’t forget about baby boomers, too
Another hot home-buying group is baby boomers—the number of Americans aged 65 and older is expected to double, from 46 million in 2016 to more than 98 million in 2060. And according to the AARP, nearly 90% of seniors want to stay at home as they grow older.

So what does that mean for home sellers? You can woo boomer buyers by renovating your home to incorporate universal design features, which make a home accessible regardless of age or disability—or touting these features if your home has them already.

Think your home lacks such amenities? You might be surprised by what’s considered a plus. A one-level ranch home or one with a master suite on the ground floor presents less of a risk of falls, so make sure to mention these features as perks. (Here are more real estate renovations that help homeowners age in place.)

3. Go beyond a video tour and add a drone
Video tours are nice, but they’re so 2017.

“We are slowly seeing the rise of drone tours, which are much more effective at marketing your property than traditional photos,” says Glenn Carter, a real estate investor and expert at Condo.Capital.

Drone footage has been on the rise since the FAA first issued an exemption for a real estate operator to use drones in 2015. Sales of commercial drones were expected to reach 2.5 million units in 2017, with drone technology in real estate predicted to account for 22% of total commercial drone use by 2020.

The key benefit a drone brings to your property is that it provides a sweeping aerial view: If you have a beautiful yard or landscaping or woods nearby, drone footage can highlight these aspects better (and certainly more dramatically) than a simple photograph or on-the-ground video. It can also show off the neighborhood surrounding your place.

If you think drone footage would help your home sell quickly, ask your real estate agent about hiring a professional photographer with experiencing using drones. Anyone you employ should have the required FAA UAV operator’s certificate.

4. Get smart home features that play well with others
Having smart home features is par for the course these days. But now that so many home buyers come with their own smart home gadgets, it pays to make sure your system is broadly compatible with the big players in the field.

“Most home buyers have already invested in personal products built on one platform or another—Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple HomePod—and it is important that your system support all of these options in order to stay attractive to the largest potential buyer pool possible,” says Jeff Miller, co-founder of AE Home Group in Baltimore.

5. Consider a pre-inspection before you sell
Today’s buyers are looking for turnkey homes, which are move-in ready and lack any potential problems.

“As people get busier and busier, home buyers are looking to make things easier,” notes Janine Acquafredda, associate broker at House-N-Key Realty in Brooklyn, NY. “People want to be able to move right in, worry-free.”

To ease any concerns buyers might have about your home’s condition, consider having your home pre-inspected—which can reassure buyers that the house is in good shape, or point you toward repairs you might want to make before you put your home on the market.

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 Staging: How Can It Pave The Way For A Better Sell?

Home Staging For A Better Sale

Home Staging – Patty McNease, director of Marketing for Homes.com

Q: How can staging pave the way for a better sell?

A: Staging allows your clients to show off the unique features of their home that buyers can come to love. During the holiday season, staging can make a home stand out even more. The following staging tips will help buyers fall in love with their future home just in time for the holidays.

Is staging really necessary?
Many homeowners are concerned about the overall cost to sell their homes. One place they may look to cut expenses is staging. While some think it’s unnecessary, proper staging is crucial to selling a home since it allows buyers to imagine what living there could look like. In fact, according to a recent National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) survey, 77 percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as their future home, which decreased the amount of time it was on the market.

Which rooms are the most important to stage?
According to the same NAR survey, the living room, master bedroom and kitchen are most critical. This is likely because these are the spaces where future owners will be spending most of their time. When planning these rooms, space and functionality are important. Rooms that are cluttered or difficult to navigate will not appeal to potential buyers.

How should I stage a home around the holidays?
Keep in mind that buying a home is an emotional experience for both the buyer and the seller. Often, the buyer’s emotional connection to the home is what really solidifies the sale. The holidays are a sentimental time for many, as they bring back warm memories and allow younger buyers to imagine future celebrations. Enhance these emotional connections to draw buyers to make an emotional investment in the home.

That being said, it’s important not to go overboard. Since different types of potential buyers will be coming to visit, avoid including overly religious décor. Instead, opt for simple and classic. Also, consider burning a pine- or cranberry-scented candle for those buyers who come over for a tour.

My client is hesitant. How can I convince them to stage their home?
If your client is against staging, remind them that 86 percent of buyers believe viewing a property online is the most useful part of their home search. With so many different options, it’s important to capture their attention in this initial stage of viewing so that they want to see the home in person. If you’re still struggling, show your client a before and after photo from another property you’ve staged, and ask them which home they would rather see.

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