My Blog

Pricing your home to sell

5/5/2016

SELLING YOUR HOME? MAKE SURE THE PRICE IS RIGHT!

In today’s market, where demand is outpacing supply in many regions of the country, pricing a house is one of the biggest challenges real estate professionals face. Sellers often want to price their home higher than recommended, and many agents go along with the idea to keep their clients happy.  However, the best agents realize that telling the homeowner the truth is more important than getting the seller to like them.

There is no “later.”

Sellers sometimes think, “If the home doesn’t sell for this price, I can always lower it later.” However, research proves that homes that experience a listing price reduction sit on the market longer, ultimately selling for less than similar homes. John Knight, recipient of the University Distinguished Faculty Award from the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of the Pacific, actually did research on the cost (in both time and money) to a seller who priced high at the beginning and then lowered their price. His article, Listing Price, Time on Market and Ultimate Selling Price, published in Real Estate Economics revealed:

“Homes that underwent a price revision sold for less, and the greater the revision, the lower the selling price. Also, the longer the home remains on the market, the lower its ultimate selling price.”

Additionally, the “I’ll lower the price later” approach can paint a negative image in buyers’ minds. Each time a price reduction occurs, buyers can naturally think, “Something must be wrong with that house.” Then when a buyer does make an offer, they low-ball the price because they see the seller as “highly motivated.” Pricing it right from the start eliminates these challenges.

Don’t build “negotiation room” into the price.

Many sellers say that they want to price their home high in order to have negotiation room. But what this actually does is lower the number of potential buyers that see the house. And we know that limiting demand like this will negatively impact the sales price of the house. Not sure about this? Think of it this way: when a buyer is looking for a home online (as they are doing more and more often), they put in their desired price range. If your seller is looking to sell their house for $400,000, but lists it at $425,000 to build in negotiation room, any potential buyers that search in the $350k-$400k range won’t even know your listing is available, let alone come see it! The higher you price your home over its market value, the less potential buyers will actually see your home when searching.

A better strategy would be to price it properly from the beginning and bring in multiple offers. This forces these buyers to compete against each other for the “right” to purchase your house. Look at it this way: if you only receive one offer, you are set up in an adversarial position against the prospective buyer. If, however, you have multiple offers, you have two or more buyers fighting to please you. Which will result in a better selling situation? The Price is Right

Great pricing comes down to truly understanding the real estate dynamics in your neighborhood. Look for an agent that will take the time to simply and effectively explain what is happening in the housing market and how it applies to your home. You need an agent that will tell you what you need to know rather than what you want to hear. This will put you in the best possible position.

5 Tips for beautifiying the bath

3/23/2015

HOME IMPROVEMENT TIPS

Five tips to beautify the bath.

Updating a tired-looking bathroom is a great way to increase a home’s resale. The fixes don’t need to be costly or labor intensive:

  1. Beautify: Add decorative glass, stone tile or accents to make a bathroom stand out. Extra-wide wall tiles are popular and wood cabinets can be embellished with carved wooden inlays.
  2. Lighting: Add more lighting options around the room to reduce shadows and glare. Mood lighting around the tub area is also very popular.
  3. Bath/Shower: A new tub and a spa-like atmosphere can do wonders for a bathroom. Adding a massage element to the showerhead will appeal to buyers.
  4. Update Fixtures: Changing the fixtures in a bathroom can add a great deal. From cabinet handles to faucets, the addition of brushed nickel or other metals is always a huge hit. And if space permits, add a second sink.
  5. Think Green: Install fixtures that save water. A low-flow showerhead, low-flow faucet aerator and a dual-flush toilet can save thousands of gallons of water. Energy-efficient windows is another easy option.

A renovated bathroom offers an intimate, contemporary feel and is one of the things people will remember about a home.

 
 

Costs in buying your first home

3/23/2015

FINANCIAL TIPS

Costs for first-time buyers.

Buying a new home can be a huge, complex undertaking, especially when it’s your first time. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced real estate agent guiding you along the way.

The biggest mistake new buyers can make is underestimating the costs of buying a house and maintaining it over time. Many experts agree that homeowners should have 1%-3% of their homes’ purchase price in savings for improvements and surprise expenses. It’s wise to have at least six mortgage payments in the bank after a closing. These estimates may not work for everyone, but if you are spending above your means on a new home, you may quickly find yourself in financial trouble.

Inspections are important for the first-time buyer, as they list repairs that will be needed for the home. A buyer should put together a short-term and long-term plan based on the inspection so they know how much money they will need in the months and years ahead.

Renters are accustomed to paying basic utilities. Homeowners, on the other hand, must also pay for water, sewer and trash collection—as well as property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, homeowner’s association dues, yard care, snow removal and other expenses unique to your location.

Buying a home is one of the largest investments you’ll make. Your real estate agent will help each step of the way, first helping you establish a realistic price point for your home purchase and a clear understanding of your monthly expenses.

Staging Mistakes

8/16/2013

 

Avoid These 8 Staging Mistakes

 

    You may love your home, but that doesnt mean that everyone coming through the door will feel the same way. What may be charming to the seller may seem off-putting to a prospective buyer. Many sellers attempt to stage their home themselves and, in doing so, create mistakes that can actually sidetrack the sale of their homes.

    Here are some of the biggest staging mistakes, according to professional home stagers.

    1. Getting too personal: Home staging is meant to create a neutral canvas that will appeal to the majority of buyers. Staging is all about de-personalizing the space, and creating more of a luxury hotel or a model home look that will appeal to most everyone. This is not the time to bring in your unique style and create a look that appeals to just you.

    2. Using dark colors: If painting, you should choose a nice, neutral and warm color, such as beige tones, grey tones, or light blue or pale greens. Youll be amazed at the transformation a few coats of fresh paint will make on your home.

    3. Not taking advantage of natural light: People love natural light, so blocking off any light with heavy curtains or furniture can hurt your sale, especially if the home has attractive views. Anything dated in a home is a turn-off to a potential buyer and window treatments are one of them.

    4. Thinking more is better: Scale down your furniture. The size of the furniture needs to be in balance with the scale of the room and the other furniture in it. Remember that the purpose of furniture when selling a home is to define the purpose of the room and to show what will fit where. It is not meant to show that you can provide seating for 15 in your living room and every seat has a side table to rest drinks on.

    5. Leaving pets at home: You need to remove all traces of animals from the house and make sure Fido or Sunshine is away during showings. Having a pet could kill a sale before someone even steps into a house.

    6. Neglecting the outside: People care about the outside space just as much as the inside, so add flowers, make sure the lawn is mowed, the yard is tidy and add a few backyard accessories for the kids.

    7. Only dealing with main rooms: People are quick to stage living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms, but dont forget to spruce up the garage, basement and closets as well.

    8. Forgetting fixtures: When staging a home, its important to ensure all lights are burning with fresh bulbs, and that all fixtures are working.

Remember, staging a home means showcasing the propertys many features, not concealing its flaws. Make sure your house is in good condition and use staging to cast the home in the best light.

 

Anita Cassarino can be reached at 503-214-4144.  Prudential Northwest Properties is an independently owned and operated broker member of BRER Affiliates, Inc. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Troubleshooting Tips for Your Electric Oven/Range

7/15/2013

Troubleshooting Tips for Your Electric Oven/Range

Here's another helpful video in the AHS series on various problems with an electric kitchen range and what to do about them.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ8D_0sG1KE&list=PLMiHVMOtpzxfjofS58bPTylzh3r_rVtpK

What you need to know to sell your home quickly

4/15/2013

 

Quick Tips for Selling Quickly

 

 

Patience is a virtue for just about any circumstance including selling your home. Yet sometimes you must sell quickly when a job opportunity arises or you face an abrupt lifestyle change. Assuming your home is in good condition and free of liens, here are several tips to help expedite a sale.

1. Price your house correctly: Working with your agent, choose a price thats somewhat lower than what youre seeing in the market, but not too low that it will send up red flags. Let your agent establish a price he or she feels will make your house the buzz of the neighborhood. The amount may not be what you had envisionedremember, the market has changed substantially over the last five yearsyet when priced slightly below comparable sales you should attract serious buyers.

Many Prudential Northwest Properties Real Estate agents use the Prudential Value Range MarketingSM as an additional pricing resource. Instead of setting a specific price, a value range is selected enabling sellers to entertain offers in a defined range.  

 2. Be flexible, compromise: know your basement price and dont be offended by offers within those parameters. Consider negotiating housewares and fixtures that may appeal to prospective buyers, such as those expensive new drapes you just installed, the dining-room chandelier or that slick, washer-drier combo. Conduct a complete inventory of household features to determine what you can and cant live without.  

3. Remove the clutter from your home: This must be done regardless of time frame. Throw away anything you wont be taking with you and pack in storage items that you wont miss during the sale process. Consider renting a storage pod that can be picked up and eventually moved to your new home.

4. Offer incentives: One popular incentive for a fast closing is to share or pay for your buyers closing costs. You may also offer higher commissions for a fast sale, which may lead to even more showings.

5. Rent to buy: If theres interest in your home but no one is willing to step up to meet your timeline, offer prospective buyers the chance to rent your property with the right to buy it in six months or a year. Both parties win, as buyers can experience the home and neighborhood firsthand while you transition with cash flow to cover expenses.

Indeed, home-selling requires time and patience yet there are several things you can do to help expedite the process, if necessary. With flexibility and creativity, you can increase your chances of a quick sale.

 

Anita Cassarino, Real Estate Broker, can be reached at 503-214-4144. Prudential Northwest Properties is an independently owned and operated broker member of BRER Affiliates LLC. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. Equal Housing Opportunity.

What's the purpose of the earnest money deposit?

4/1/2013

 

Earnest Money Deposit

 

 

Most homebuyers today understand they need a sizeable down payment and a strong credit score to secure a conforming home loan. Buyers also must hold liquid funds for another financial obligation an earnest money deposit to be paid when they make an offer on a home.

In short, earnest money is handed over to the sellers agent or the title company when a purchase contract is signed. This demonstrates that the buyer is serious about the transaction and is backing it up with cash.

Without earnest money, buyers could simply make offers on many homes, essentially taking them off the market until they choose a favorite. Sellers rarely will accept offers without such deposits.

There is no set amount for an earnest money deposit so it can be up for negotiation. If the home is popular with multiple bidders, the seller may ask for up to 3% of the asking price as earnest money. Ideally, the amount is enough to impress the sellers, particularly when theyre entertaining several offers.

Assuming the transaction results in an accepted offer, earnest money goes toward the buyers down payment and closing costs. If the transaction falls through, the buyer may have to forfeit a nominal cancellation fee or more.

Be sure the purchase agreement outlines the refund process. Remember, a buyer can lose earnest money through default, which happens when he or she does not perform according to the terms stipulated in a purchase and sale agreement. 

Work carefully with your Prudential Northwest Properties Real Estate agent to ensure a clear understanding of all terms and obligations.

 

Anita Cassarino, Real Estate Broker, can be reached at 503-214-4144.  Prudential Northwest Properties is an independently owned and operated broker member of BRER Affiliates LLC. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. Equal Housing Opportunity.

 

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