Are you looking to move this year? Debi Benoit, of Benoit Mizner Simon Co. Real Estate, shared 10 things to consider whether you’re in the buying or selling part of the process.
When to sell: The spring market is now
With record low inventory, buyers are desperately looking for new listings. Though it seems early in the year, January to early February is the start of the spring market. Jumping in early may be the best decision you can make.
Preparing your home for sale
Before placing your home on the market consider any necessary repairs that may dissuade potential buyers. Be sure to get advice from your real estate agent first though to determine which repairs will increase your home’s value. Similarly, cosmetic improvements like painting or carpet cleaning can add a big bang for the buck.
Choosing your real estate agent
If you’re planning to sell your home this year, one of the most important decisions you will make is the selection of your real estate agent. When choosing an agent, it is important to consider level of experience, personality, communication skills, their access to additional resources and their familiarity with the area in which you’re buying.
Do some research online – check to see if your future agent’s firm is featured on the Web and on social media. Do they have a good website? Do they use video tours and have impressive photos?
Appealing to potential buyers: tips for staging
De-Clutter your home: Consider moving the furniture around to create a different flow to the house, put any extra furniture into storage, and move out the clutter. Too much “stuff’’ can create visual stress, and deter potential buyers.
De-personalize your home for open houses: When people walk in to your home, they need to be able to envision themselves living there. For scheduled open houses, put away some of your tabletop framed photos and even religious symbols – buyers are much more likely to move on homes that they can picture as their own.
Control the amount of light that comes into the home: Controlling the light levels throughout the home can make it more inviting, and can even make certain rooms seem larger than they really are. If you have a room with a low ceiling, try paneling the ceiling to make it look taller.
Create a welcoming atmosphere on open house days: On days when you are hosting potential buyers, you need to create a welcoming atmosphere that appeals to their senses; for example, play music at a low volume to give the home a calming ambience, add fresh flowers to a room to provide a pleasant and soothing scent, or open a few windows on a nice day.
Price to sell
Pricing your home correctly creates opportunity for it to move faster than your neighbor’s property and get the highest selling prices. To do so:
– Hire a broker who specializes in your town.
– Even if you have time on your side, don’t go for a higher price than your home is worth. Sellers who say that they want to “see how it plays out’’ not only run the risk of shrinking the potential buyer pool but removing themselves from consideration altogether.
– Negotiate, but don’t overreach. Overaggressive negotiations could potentially forfeit the sale. The negotiating skills of your broker are paramount in a buyer’s market.
– Market your property online and check your competition. Look at what’s moving and what’s not and be sure that your property has a visible, searchable online presence and that you have highlighted key selling features.
– Be realistic – Do not price your house based upon what you want, but on what the market will support.
Schools and housing
Buying a home in a town known for great schools can mean having a bigger mortgage. According to Deanne Anderson on foxbusiness.com, a top school is worth 25 percent of your home’s value. One-fourth. That’s not a small number in today’s housing market. Whether you are deciding between public or private schools, the important thing to consider is return on investment and a great school district is a big asset.
Importance of a neighborhood
When buying a home consider the surrounding community. The quality of the neighborhood has potential to create a welcoming, safe, and comfortable environment for both children and adults.
Using technology to your advantage in the home buying market
Social media have now become a staple in our society. The real estate market is now using technology and social media to connect real estate agents, buyers and sellers. Today more and more homebuyers are turning towards online resources to navigate the real estate market.
Prioritize your needs and wants
When buying, creating a list of your needs and wants allow you to assess potential homes without exceeding your budget.
Don’t forget to inquire about expenses
Know and understand all the costs associated with home acquisition and ownership – mortgage payment, real estate taxes, insurance, water and sewer, landscaping, heat (gas/oil), electrical, repair and maintenance. A new existing house may need capital improvements: roof, windows, new heating system, carpeting/flooring, bathrooms, kitchen, etc. Consider each expense before buying to ensure budgets are not unknowingly exceeded.