If you’re selling a home for the first time, it’s quite a different ballgame from what you experienced as a first-time buyer.
Ultimately, you’re in control of the process. You call the shots on prepping your home for sale, deciding on a listing price, accepting (or rejecting) offers, and a host of other factors.
But you might want to heed the following tips:
1. Hire an experienced real estate agent
A real estate transaction is filled with complexities and nuances that a professional, skilled agent can help you navigate. Ken Asher will help you all the way.
2. Detach yourself from the process
You’ve made memories to last a lifetime in your first home, and saying goodbye is hard. But be careful not to let your emotional attachment get in the way of making sound decisions, particularly when it comes to staging and pricing your home. Try to see your home as a potential buyer would. Pretend you’re a potential buyer and walk through your home. Make a list of what you like about each room – and the things you’d change.
3. Don’t overprice
Some sellers might think that in today’s low-inventory market they can overprice their home and get top dollar. In reality, if you price it competitively, you’ll create a flurry of activity and (possibly) get in a situation where multiple offers are rolling in. Overpricing at the start hurts your chances of getting a quick sale, especially if numerous price reductions are needed.
4. Declutter and stage for a quick sale
Buyers who tour your home will have a hard time picturing themselves living in it if they only see paint colors or décor that fits your own unique style. Repaint the walls with neutral, earth-tone colors, and remove excess decorations from walls. Consider renting a storage unit to store large furniture that overpowers your main living areas; rooms should appear as spacious as possible.
5. Make the necessary repairs/upgrades
Ensure that all systems and appliances are functioning properly, as these items will come up in a home inspection that might cost you more money and, possibly, the whole sale down the road. The rule of thumb is to make improvements to your home that will help the property show well, but don’t put a ton of money into capital investments such as a basement refinish or high-end flooring, particularly if such upgrades aren’t consistent for your neighborhood. You likely won’t get that money back in the sale.
6. Give your home curb appeal
Your home’s front exterior is the first thing potential buyers will see when they drive by, and it’s likely the first photo that will appear in an online search. Give your front door a fresh coat of paint, add some bright flowers to your entryway, and make sure that any cracks or major cement damage is fixed. Consider renting a pressure washer to get rid of the grime and buildup on the outside of your house, and definitely keep the yard mowed and tidy. A little elbow grease goes a long way to making a positive first impression on buyers.
7. Keep an open mind for negotiations
What’s more important to you: Walking away with your asking price (or more)? A quick closing time? Putting out as little up front cash in closing costs as possible? All of these are considerations you’ll need to make as you evaluate offers. Also, keep in mind that you have the ability to negotiate with counter-offers. Sometimes, you can sweeten the deal by offering to pay a buyer’s closing costs (if feasible), or leaving some appliances behind. A few concessions can go a long way in the negotiation process, and your Realtor can work with you to carefully evaluate and respond to each offer.
8. Get ready for closing
Once you’ve accepted an offer and signed a sales agreement, you’ll start prepping for a closing. Also called “escrow” or “settlement,” closing is the final meeting between the buyer, seller, their agents and a loan officer (or an attorney, in some states) where the buyer pays their portion of the costs to the seller and the buyer’s new title and any mortgage liens are properly recorded. The closing agent will calculate what monies are due to the owner and what credits need to be applied to the transaction, such as taxes, title fees and other closing costs.
Call Experienced Real Estate Agent
Ken Asher (719) 930-7817
No hassle No Obligation FREE walk through of your house
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After blizzard like conditions last weekend, I decided to get up early Saturday morning and do some hiking in Garden Of The Gods. I chose the Siamese Twins Trail which is easy 1 mile roundtrip and less than 150 foot rise. The weather was perfect for hiking. It was a nice senic hike and I would recommend this trail for anyone.
Siamese Twins Garden Of The Gods
Western Blue Jay getting a drink of water on the trail
When home buyers drive your neighborhood, or when Realtors are previewing for their clients, what do they see? You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure your home has the The Wow Factor: Seven Quick Curb Appeal Tips that makes people go “wow.” Take a walk around your property right now—front to back. Pretend you’re a prospective buyer. Do you like what you see?
Here are eight quick tips for creating a visual impression that makes them want to see more.
- Start at the door. Get out your paintbrush and spruce up the front door. A bright color will attract attention from the street, if that fits with your overall exterior. Replace doorknobs and hinges with something new and shiny. A seasonal wreath on the door adds a welcoming touch. If your screen door squeaks or sags, get a new one or just remove it to make an attractive door more visible.
- Under pressure. Rent or buy a pressure washer and go over the entire exterior, top to bottom. Pay special attention to any white or light-colored areas, which tend to collect dust and dirt. Use it on porches, stairs and decks. And by the way, power washing is equally effective on concrete, and can really lighten up sidewalks and driveways.
- Spit and polish. Anything that’s metal on the outside of your home should sparkle and shine. Start with the house numbers. A good metal polish might work, but if not, replacing them is relatively inexpensive. Exterior light fixtures should all be working order and should shine brightly, both in daylight and dark. Check for burned-out bulbs while you’re at it. How’s your mailbox? New owners might appreciate one of the new models with a security lock.
- Hide the kids and dogs. You want your home to have the broadest possible appeal. Not all prospective buyers have children so if you do, it’s best to keep the evidence out of sight. Put away the bikes and balls. If you have play equipment such as swings or a basketball goal, remove what you can or move items to where they are less visible. Be sure someone in the family is assigned to pick up after Fido and Fluffy too.
- Plant a garden. You don’t have to have a green thumb to add seasonal color to the outside of your home. Think containers. Placing a few colorful pots on the front steps or by the door is a great place to start. Visit your local nursery and buy whatever is in season. Replace as needed—nothing dead or dying, please! Keep the grass mowed and edged too.
- Light up your life. Good exterior lighting improves both appearance and security. In-ground spots can accent landscape elements or the house itself. Make sure the front walkway and drive are well lit. If wiring is not an option, solar fixtures are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, although they may not be as bright as wired fixtures.
- Look out the window. Or in, which is what your prospective buyers will be doing. While you’re power washing, make sure the windows get their share. Use an inexpensive vinegar and water spray, and wipe down with old newspapers. Give them the same treatment on the inside and the whole house will sparkle.
- Shutters are a plus. Shutters add a cozy feel, so if you don’t already have them, you might consider installing some. If you have shutters, reattach anything that looks saggy. Make sure they are freshly painted. Depending on your home’s exterior, choose a contrasting color that stands out. Dark green looks great with yellow or cream. Black is great on stone or brick, and white is almost always a good choice.
As you plan your exterior makeover, keep in mind your neighborhood, competing homes that are on the market, and your budget. Most of these How To Maximize Your Selling Price With Low-Cost Cosmetics and DIY. And even if you have to spend a few dollars for professional help, the investment will pay off by attracting more buyers more quickly.
Whether you are a A Case of Cold Feet: How to Handle the First Time Homebuyer or an experienced homeowner, buying a new home is always stressful. Here’s a handy checklist of six things you can do up front to make the process a lot easier. Before you start packing, here’s what you need to do.
- Prepare a budget. You need a clear picture of your family’s finances before you even think about calling a Realtor or applying for a mortgage. List all your monthly fixed expenses, such as car payments, current rent or mortgage, utilities, school tuition, and loan payments. Add categories for other expenses such as food and entertainment.
- List your debts. If you have existing credit card debts, student loans or other debts that require regular monthly payments, get them down in black and white, so you know exactly how much you owe. Figure out your debt ratio. There are plenty of online calculators that will do this for you. You need to know two ratios. Your housing debt expenses (including taxes and insurance) as a percentage of your gross monthly income should be 25-28%. Your installment debt ratio (credit cards and other consumer debt) should be around 10-15%. Your total debt to income ratio should not be more than 40%.
- Get pre-approved. #1 and 2 above are important because you want to get pre-approved for a loan before you start shopping. This is an important safeguard, to keep you from falling in love with something you can’t afford or can’t get a mortgage for. Be sure you understand the Mortgage Pre-Approval – Don’t Overlook The Importance. Getting pre-qualified means that you give a lender your overall financial picture, including your debt, income and assets. The lender evaluates this information and gives you a ballpark figure of the mortgage amount for which you could qualify. Pre-qualification can be done over the phone or on the Internet, usually at no cost.Pre-approved, on the other hand, means that a lender evaluates your debt ratios, your credit report, and your overall ability to repay a loan and says, “Yes, I would loan this buyer X number of dollars to buy a home.”
- Make a list. Before you begin working with a Realtor, you need to make a two-column list of needs vs. wants. Be sure you know the difference! You need three bedrooms. You want a swimming pool. You need to be very upfront with your Realtor about exactly what constitutes a deal-breaker in your purchasing process. If more than one person is involved in making the final decision, be sure that you are more or less in agreement about needs and wants. If one spouse wants a short commute and the other has visions of a country estate, you could have a problem. Resolve these issues ahead of time.
- Find a Realtor. Once you’ve done your homework, it’s time to start looking. You want to find a Realtor who represents you and puts your interests first. The best way to find a Realtor is to ask friends and family for recommendations. However, if you are new to the area and don’t know anyone, you may need to visit several firms and interview several Realtors. Chemistry is important. You need to look for someone who is committed to meeting your needs and who knows the area and price range you’re looking in.
- Ask the right questions. When you are talking to prospective Realtors, don’t be afraid to ask probing questions. And expect to get frank, straightforward answers. Here are a few to get you started:
- How long have you been in real estate?
- Do you represent both buyers and sellers?
- How many buyers are you currently working with? How many sellers?
- How many homes did you sell last year?
- How familiar are you with the neighborhoods we are considering?
Buying a home could well be the single most important decision you will ever make, both financially and emotionally. However, if you do your homework and prepare thoughtfully for the process, it can also be a fun and rewarding experience. Happy hunting!