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Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:57PM

TOP TIPS FOR STAGING YOUR HOME

A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors® revealed that 77 percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home makes it easier for potential buyers to visual it as their own. 
  1. Dress up your yard. First impressions count, and the first one your home gives comes from the exterior. Mow the lawn, clean up shrubbery, rake any leaves, clean the walkway and driveway, plant in-season flowers, and pull up any unsightly weeds.
  2. Reduce personal items. Make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves making your house their home by removing personal photos and knick-knacks from shelves, walls, and counters. Instead replace them with clean, simple décor, such as abstract paintings, nature images, vases, plants, and more.
  3. Organize your storage areas. Storage is a huge selling point. Tidy up and clear out the accessible closets and cupboards in the home and make sure to point them out during an open house or showing.
  4. Appeal to the senses. Consider ways you can appeal to potential homebuyers’ other senses. During a viewing or open house, bake some fresh cookies or burn delicious smelling candles and play light, relaxing music in the background.
  5. Consider turning to an expert. With their knowledge of current trends and great eye for design, professionally certified stagers can transform a home in a variety of ways and have a keen sense of what homebuyers want and expect in a home. Investing in hiring a pro may pay off in dividends.
Tray on Coffee Table




Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:02PM


 WHAT TO NEGOTIATE WHEN BUYING A HOUSE

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran, the negotiation part of the transaction can be a little daunting and stressful. However, it is necessary to ensure you are getting the best possible deal for your money. So, what should you negotiate when buying a home?
  1. Closing costs. Your closing costs are determined by a variety of factors, but you can expect it to be between 2% to 5% of the purchase price. Ask the seller to cover some or all of the closing costs upfront or request a closing credit that can be used to make specific updates and fixes to the home.
  2. Furnishings. Love how the seller has furnished and decorated the home? Buyers often negotiate keeping couches, fixtures, landscaping items, patio furniture, appliances, and more. And many sellers agree, wanting to make the home more appealing.
  3. Inspection and closing timing. Buyer offers that include a quick inspection and close timeline are often more attractive to sellers who have been going through the process for far too long. Just ensure you allow yourself ample time to get your financing in place and complete proper, thorough inspections.
  4. Home warranty. Sellers will often agree to pay the premium on the home warranty at closing and then hand it off to the new homeowner, who is responsible for the deductible on any future claims.
  5. Repairs. Your inspection may uncover small or large repairs needed to bring the home up to standard. You can negotiate to have these items fixed before closing or ask for a price reduction to cover the costs.
Man and Woman Shaking Hands




Tue Jan 8, 2019 3:32PM


FIVE WAYS TO INCREASE THE VALUE OF YOUR BASEMENT
The basement is usually an afterthought in homes, especially if it’s not already finished when you move in. The lack of natural light compared to the ground floor and above doesn’t always make for the most inviting space. However, there are plenty of ways to improve your basement that will both increase your home’s value and give you more space to enjoy.
 1. Home theater: Basements can be the perfect space for a home theater, as they already have little lighting and offer ample space and an escape from summer heat or winter cold. A TV mount and some simple built-in seating can be accomplished for under $2,000.
 2. Play room: Kids have a tendency to scatter their toys all over the house. Creating a playroom helps keep the mess confined to one area, plus basements often offer great storage capabilities. Just update the space to make it kid-friendly with features like egress windows, carpet, and a safe, finished staircase.
 3. A bar: Grownups need a play space too! Creating a bar in your basement is an easy upgrade and allows you to keep your gatherings focused in one room, making post-party clean up easier.
 4. Utility room: If you do a lot of gardening or other DIY projects around your home, add a sink and hose to give yourself a space for cleanup and storage. This is especially useful if you don’t have much room in your garage.
 5. Family room: You can keep your formal living room upstairs and add a second space that’s more focused on relaxation and watching TV as a family.

Gray Fabric 3-seat Sofa Near Black Flat Screen Tv




Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:41PM


THE TRUTH ABOUT VIEWING HOMES ONLINE
It’s easy to get sucked into looking at home listing after home listing online, drawn to the stunningly filtered photos of manicured lawns, sharp-looking kitchens, and giant bedrooms. Although this is a great place to begin, it’s important to keep in mind that all may not be as it seems.
Here are our top tips to avoid getting duped by listings online.
Photos don’t always capture the full picture. Real estate photographers are very good at highlighting the best features of the home and often use wide angle lenses to make spaces appear larger than they really are. But, be aware that there may be less photo-worthy features they aren’t displaying. Don’t forget to look at the property features listed below to gather a better idea of what the home has to offer.
Ensure you are looking at current listings. Nothing is worse than falling in love with the perfect home, only to check out the listing date to find it was posted two years ago. Make sure you use websites that are pulling information daily from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and have your real estate agent verify it is available.
Use your real estate agent as a resource.If you find a seemingly great listing online, always run it by your agent to confirm you aren’t missing something important. They can also provide neighborhood details, price comparisons for similar properties just sold in the area, additional listings that match your criteria, and more. Once you a find a home you’re ready to view, make sure you bring them with you to answer questions and be an extra set of eyes.

Person Holding Gray Pen Sitting Near Laptop




Sat Dec 1, 2018 4:44PM

5 HARMFUL HOMEOWNER HABITS TO BREAK
Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:
  1. Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.
  2. Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
  3. “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.
  4. Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate.
  5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy.
Person Holding Pink Piggy Coin Bank




Thu Nov 8, 2018 2:51PM


 WHAT AFFECTS PROPERTY VALUES?

Some the features that increase property values are obvious—like a remodeled bathroom, a modern kitchen, or a sought-after neighborhood. But here are a few features and circumstances you have not have realized can affect property values.
 1. The neighbors: Not every neighborhood or community has an HOA that can keep the neighbors from going overboard with decorations or neglecting to care for their home. Homes adjacent to crazy neighbors can potentially be undervalued.
 2. Trendy groceries and coffee: Recent statistics suggest that if your home is a short walk from popular grocery stores like Whole Foods or coffee chains like Starbucks, it can actually appreciate faster than the national average.
 3. Mature trees: A big beautiful tree in the front yard is enviable, and it’s not something that can be easily added to any home. Homes with mature trees tend to get a little boost in value.
 4. Parking: This isn’t too much of an issue if you live in the suburbs or in a rural area, but residents in dense cities can have real problems with parking, and homeowners might need to rent a spot just to guarantee a place to park each night. That’s why having guaranteed parking in urban areas will raise property values.
 5. The front entrance: First impressions matter to buyers—many will cross a home off their list within 10 seconds of stepping through the front door. An appealing front door, a friendly entryway, and a functioning doorbell are all necessities for getting top dollar.
High Angle Photography of Village