Our Real Estate Blog
It’s a competitive market for home sellers right now. That means it’s more important than ever to make your house stand out from the competition and draw visitors to your listings and open house, as well as attracting interested buyers with excellent curb appeal.
All of these preparations take time and planning. However, if done correctly, you’ll not only bring more potential buyers to visit your home, but you’ll also be able to increase your asking price based on a few key aesthetic upgrades.
In this post, I’m going to fill you in on some of the most time and cost-effective ways to prepare your house for sale to bring the most number of potential buyers.
Make a revitalization budget
Before you start spending on your home upgrades, take the time to make a budget for the things that are the most important to making your home look and feel great. This budget will help you keep your spending in check and get the most out of your sale preparations.
Start working on curb appeal
Without spending much money, many homeowners can drastically increase the curb appeal of their home. Pressure washing the siding and sealing and sweeping the driveway is a great start.
Before taking photos or receiving visitors, trim and edge the lawn and lay down some fresh mulch. You don’t need to spend hundreds on flowers to make a substantial difference on curb appeal.
To make your home stand out and look up-to-date, apply a fresh coat of paint to your front door. Choose a color that complements your home, but one that also “pops” and grabs your attention.
Declutter and organize
Preparing your home for sale also happens to be a great time to start packing away some personal belongings. Family photos and other items that are unique to your family are best left out of your photos and distract viewers from being able to picture themselves in your home.
Since our homes are built to live in, many of us keep our things in convenient places rather than tucking them away. Now is a good time to try and find ways to integrate some minimalism in your home so that visitors don’t feel crowded by clutter.
Spend money on the right items
Some home upgrades just aren’t worth the time and money they’ll take to perform before selling. So, it’s best to prioritize the things that will have the most impact on visitors and viewers of your real estate photos.
A new welcome mat and cabinet handles are a great example of inexpensive upgrades that can make a home feel new again.
Take a look around your home and find the accessories that look dated or worn and see what you can accomplish on your budget.
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Buying a home is a life-changing event. As such, the decision to purchase a residence should not be taken lightly.
For homebuyers, it is paramount to get as much help as possible so you can discover a terrific house at a price that matches your budget. With support from an expert real estate agent, you should have no trouble acquiring a residence that meets or surpasses your expectations.
But what does it take to find the right real estate agent to assist you during your search for the perfect home? Here are three tips that every homebuyer needs to know.
1. Ask Family Members and Friends for Guidance
If a family member or friend recently bought a home, he or she may be able to provide real estate agent recommendations. Family members and friends are trusted sources, and their real estate agent recommendations may help you speed up the process of finding your dream house.
Your neighbors also may be able to real estate agent suggestions. They should be able to provide details about what it was like to work with a particular real estate agent so you can plan accordingly.
Of course, you should still perform plenty of research into a real estate professional's background and expertise before you hire this individual. Be diligent during your search for a real estate agent, and you can employ a real estate professional who will go the extra mile to help you discover a great house.
2. Search the Web
A simple web search of a real estate agent's name may enable you to learn a lot about this individual. In fact, a web search often provides a great way to find out about local real estate agents quickly.
Although a web search may help you examine a variety of real estate agents in your city or town, it is essential to fully evaluate a real estate professional's credentials.
If possible, search for client feedback about a real estate agent. This may help you determine whether to move forward with a particular real estate agent or shy away from this housing market professional altogether.
3. Meet Directly with Several Real Estate Agents
When it comes to finding the right real estate agent, nothing beats a one-on-one meeting.
Set up meetings with several local real estate agents. By doing so, you can get a better idea about whether a real estate agent can help you accomplish your homebuying goals.
It often helps to make a list of questions to ask a real estate agent before you meet with him or her. That way, you can gain the insights you need to make an informed decision.
If you feel comfortable with a real estate agent after a face-to-face meeting, don't hesitate to hire this professional. Remember, the sooner you start working with an expert real estate agent, the sooner you may be able to purchase your dream house.
Use these tips, and you can hire a first-rate real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying journey.
We live in the 21st century and the age of technology, this we know. But, what some sellers still do not realize is the importance of properly staged and well taken photos. The photos that you place online with your home’s listing can make or break a buyer’s interest. If you do not feel confident in your own ability to take the photos then you may want to consider hiring a photographer. However, if you feel capable of taking the photos that will be a buyer’s first look, then review the pointers below.
1. Proper lighting: Proper lighting when taking photos is essential. The lighting can completely alter the look of a home; a poorly lit room can look older and smaller than it actually is. To avoid this, try taking photos during the daytime when there is plenty of natural light, but when the sun is not beating into the room as it can cause shadows. The natural light is an ideal situation, as different lightbulbs give off different levels and color of light.
2. Avoid blurry photos: Posting out of focus photos to your listing is asking for a buyer to overlook your home. They are not only uncomplimentary but detrimental to a buyer’s interest. Make sure to keep the camera or phone (only high-end phones) steady and have proper lighting when taking the photos. It would be best to utilize a tripod or a stabilizer, if you have access to one.
3. Choose your angles wisely: All too often photos are shot up close on a feature in the room. This does not give the buyer an accurate depiction of what the room truly looks like. It’s hard to tell its size and its shape. Try standing in a doorway or inside of a closet, so you are able to photograph most of the room. But, be sure not to use a wide-angle camera lens, as it can distort the room and give buyers a false pretense of its size.
4. Remove clutter: Taking photos of your home for your online listing while there is clutter all over is not the best way to showcase your home. It will make your rooms look smaller and be harder for one to visualize his/her belongings in that space.
5. Remove personal items: When selling your home, you want buyers to be able to envision themselves living there. It’s important to remove overly personal items for open houses and it’s also important to do so when taking photographs of your home.
These are just a couple pointers for taking photos that peak buyers’ interests in your home. If you are very inexperienced in photography,be sure to do additional research, so you are taking the best photos possible.And again, if you’re unsure of your ability, it might be best to leave it to the professional—as a first impression is everything.
If you’re buying your first home, there are plenty of things that you’ll need to know. Being informed will allow you to avoid some of the most common mistakes that first-time homebuyers make. These errors and their remedies can be found below. Don't join the crowd and make an error, know before you buy.
They Don’t Have Enough Funds
Every homebuyer plans for mortgage payments. Not every buyer plans for all of the other costs that go along with buying a home. Just because you can afford mortgage payments doesn't;t necessarily mean that you can afford the house.
There’s so much financially that goes into owning a home. You’ll need to plan for things like home maintenance, insurance, taxes, closing costs, and more. All of this will need to be saved ahead of time in order to buy and maintain a house. Things like property tax and insurance can go up yearly, and these costs can be very unexpected.
Not Securing A Loan
If you don’t secure a loan first and find the home of your dreams, you could be in for trouble. If you haven’t been pre-approved for a mortgage, finding a home and putting an offer in is a bit riskier. Many buyers don’t realize that they can’t qualify for the amount of loan that they think they can. Getting pre-qualified allows buyers to understand just how much house they can afford.
Avoiding Real Estate Agents
If buyers go it alone, they are taking a risk. The seller pays the real estate agent fees in a home transaction. You really have nothing to lose getting a professional to help you. From there, your agent can recommend all sorts of professionals to assist you in your home search including lawyers, mortgage companies, home inspectors, and others. It’s essential for a smooth home transaction to work with people who are experienced and know what they’re doing.
Depleting Your Savings
When you buy your first home, you’re going to need a reserve of cash beyond what you have saved for a downpayment. This cash includes an emergency fund, money for repairs, furniture, new appliances, and other unexpected expenses. If you use all of your savings on a downpayment, you’ll be in a dangerous financial situation. Just make sure you have saved enough extra for a rainy day fund.
Opening New Accounts
Before your loan is closed, you should be frozen- financially frozen that is! Don’t open any new accounts. It can be tempting to head out and buy a new car that will look good in your new driveway or to fill your house with all sorts of brand new furniture, but you should wait. Once you get the keys to your new home, you’re in the clear to spend again and open new accounts. You don’t want to overextend your budget of course. Just be sensible!