Should I Sell My Home ‘As Is’ or Fix It Up? Let’s Take a Look

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 14th, 2017

Should I Sell My Home 'As Is' or Fix It Up? Let's Take a LookWhether your home is a few years or many decades old, its physical condition is going to be a significant factor in the sales process. Below are a few questions that can help you to determine whether you should sell your home ‘as is’ or fix it up before placing it up for sale.

Have You Had A Home Inspection?

A great first step before selling your home is to book an inspection by a licensed home inspector. This will provide you with a full list of minor and major issues with your home. If your only issues are small, minor ones then it is worth your time to patch them up before you sell. However, if you are facing costly repairs such as a roof replacement or foundation repair, you will have some thinking to do.

Can You Afford Renovation And Repair Costs?

Speaking of costly repairs, can you afford to invest the funds necessary to fix up your house? Depending on the inspection results, you may be on the hook for thousands of dollars in renovation costs. If you do not have the money, then you may be forced to sell as is.

Keep in mind that there are loans and other financial products designed to help homeowners like you with home renovations. Be sure to check in with your bank or mortgage lender to see if you qualify.

How Fast Do You Need To Sell?

Another question you will need to answer is: how fast do you need to get the home sold? If you are in a rush because you have to move or switch jobs, then you may need to sell the house as is. However, if time is on your side, then it might be worth waiting until your renovations or repairs are complete.

What Does Your Agent Recommend?

Finally, what course of action does your real estate agent recommend taking? If the repairs needed are minor, or the market is hot enough that buyers might overlook any issues, then your agent might suggest selling as is. Conversely, if the market is moving slowly, then it might be worth investing the time needed to fix things up.

When you are ready to sell your home, contact us and we will be happy to share our expertise and insight. We look forward to meeting you.

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To Stay or to Go: Should You Hang Around During Your Open House?

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 7th, 2017

To Stay or to Go: Should You Hang Around During Your Open House?Are you thinking of listing your home for sale? Whether this is your first sale or you have been through the process a few times, you are probably aware that you will need to host at least one open house. Welcoming strangers in to tour your home can range from delightful to irritating, but it is a critical part of the selling process. So, should you stick around or disappear when potential buyers are viewing your home? Let’s explore your options.

The Best-Case Scenario

For almost every buyer, the ideal situation is that they are viewing a clean, vacant home which is empty of all furnishings. It can be challenging to visualize your family in your future house when you are trying to see past the current tenant’s clutter and furniture. Depending on your circumstances, this might not be possible. 

Are You A ‘People’ Person?

Would you consider your family welcoming and extroverted? Or are you more of the private, inclusive type? If you aren’t really ‘people’ people, then it is probably best if you disappear during your open house. Your real estate agent will be working hard to ensure that your potential buyers start to feel ‘at home’ while touring through your home.

If your personality is more of the shy, quiet type, then you may find interacting with buyers awkward or even intimidating. If that is the case, you should find someplace else to be during your open house.

When In Doubt, Let Your Agent Answer

Finally, keep in mind that interested potential buyers are going to have a lot of questions. They will want to know the fine details about the condition of the home, if there are any surprises waiting to be found and if they can grind down the price. If you do decide to stick around, it might be best to let your agent give the answers.

As you can see, there are pros and cons to being home during an open house. If you are ready to move forward with selling your home, contact us today. Our professional real estate agent team is happy to meet with you, discuss your options and share how to get your home listed so it quickly sells for the best possible price.

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You Ask, We Answer: Should I Sell My Home Now or Wait Until the Spring?

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 5th, 2017

You Ask, We Answer: Should I Sell My Home Now or Wait Until the Spring?Have you been thinking about listing your house or condo for sale? As you are likely aware, the seasons play a role in our local real estate market and how busy it is. Nicer weather brings out the most in any real estate market, with buyers spending their evenings and weekends touring open houses and finalizing shortlists. Many markets cool off a bit in the winter, but that does not mean that the buyers disappear.

In today’s blog post we will explore why selling your home during the winter can beat waiting for the real estate market to warm up in the spring.

Interest Rates Are On The Way Up

One key consideration this year is that interest rates are trending upward. While it is impossible to predict the movements that the Federal Reserve will make, there is every sign that rates will tick upward soon. Mortgage interest rates tend to rise along with the Federal Reserve’s upward movements, so selling now means selling while mortgages are a bit cheaper.

There Is Less Competition In The Market

Another great feature of listing your home for sale during the winter is that you are likely to face less competition from other home sellers. Fewer homes in the local inventory mean fewer options for buyers that need to close on a home quickly. If your house is clean, in top condition and adequately staged, you can rest assured that it will stand out from the other available options.

It is true that there may be fewer potential buyers shopping for a new home during the winter. However, you will tend to find that winter buyers are serious about finding and purchasing a home. They are much less likely to be ‘window shopping’ or passing through viewing open houses.

Holiday Staging Is That Much More Fun

Finally, it is worth mentioning that staging can be a lot more fun during the holidays. Selling your home in the summer means trimming the lawn, keeping the garden looking clean and maintaining your curb appeal. Selling your home over the holidays means Christmas lights, decorations, baked goods and a more festive atmosphere.

Selling your home in the winter might seem a bit counter”intuitive, but with the market easing up and less inventory available you will find serious, interested buyers. When you are ready to list your home for sale, contact us. Our friendly real estate sales team is ready to help ensure that you receive top dollar for your home.

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Should You Get a Home Inspection Before Selling Your Home? Let’s Take a Look

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 16th, 2017

Should You Get a Home Inspection Before Selling Your Home? Let's Take a LookIs it time to upgrade or move on to a new home? If you are planning on listing your home for sale in the near future, you will have a few key considerations to make. Do we paint? Finish the basement into a suite? Renovate the bathroom, or leave it?

However, before you start worrying about renovations it can be helpful to understand how your home has stood the test of time. Let’s have a quick look at a few reasons why you may want to consider investing in a professional home inspection before selling your home.

Assessing Your Home’s Current Condition

Give some thought to your home’s current condition. How old is it? When was its last professional inspection? Has your home suffered any significant weather or other kinds of damage? Take a walk around and look at the key structural areas. Do you see any issues with the roof? How do the walls or siding look? Are there visible cracks in the home’s foundation? If there are obvious issues, it is time for an inspection.

Do You Need A Speedy Sale?

Another excellent reason to get your home inspected early in the selling process is that it’s likely to speed things along. If there are any repairs required, you can have them taken care of before you start staging your home, having professional photos taken and hosting open houses.

A recent inspection can also give you a competitive edge over nearby or similar homes that are for sale. It signals to potential buyers that you have done some of the heavy lifting in the process and that they are unlikely to uncover any major issues when they have their own inspection done.

Take Care Of ‘Deal Breaker’ Problems

Finally, a home inspection ensures that you will be able to take care of any potential deal-breaking issues that could ruin a sale. Even if you decide to skip repairing some of the minor issues, taking care of things like cracks in your foundation, mold problems or old electrical wiring will all help with keeping your sale on track.

These are just a few of the great reasons to invest in a professional home inspection before listing your home for sale. To learn more about the home selling process or to get started, contact your local real estate professionals.

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4 Mistakes That Plague First-Time Home Sellers and How to Avoid Making Them

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 15th, 2017

4 Mistakes That Plague First-Time Home Sellers and How to Avoid Making ThemAre you thinking about selling your home? If this is your first time going through the selling process, you may be wondering just how well things are going to go. Selling a home is usually a smooth process – there are thousands sold each day – but issues can arise if you’re not careful. Let’s explore four mistakes that are commonly made by first-time home sellers and how you can avoid them.

Trying To Sell Without Experienced Representation

The first and most significant mistake that some first-time sellers make is to try to go it alone. Selling a house is a major financial and legal transaction and one where experience is crucial in getting things right. Invest in an agent who has a track record of quick, efficient sales and you’re going to have an advantage.

Choosing Emotion Over Reason

Next, you’ll want to avoid letting your emotions control how you react or respond during the selling process. Many homeowners become emotionally attached to their homes, which is fine while you’re living there but can be a problem when you’re selling. It’s important to let logic and reason guide the sale. Don’t let yourself get caught up emotionally or you may make a critical mistake.

Pricing Outside Of A Realistic Range

Asking too much – or too little! – for their home is another common mistake made by first-time home sellers. It’s critical to understand that the local real estate market has a lot of influence on the correct asking price for your home. Current listings and recent sales of similar homes in the area tend to set a price range in the minds of buyers so these will need to be observed. Your real estate agent will be a big help in choosing the right sale price.

Selling At The Wrong Time

The final mistake we’ll cover today is listing your home for sale in the wrong environment. The local real estate market is in a constant state of change due to a variety of factors. The seasons, other local home listings, interest rates, new home construction, local municipal zoning changes and all sorts of other factors can influence your sale. Unless you are under a time constraint, it’s best to let your agent advise you when it’s a good time to list your home.

Selling your first home can be a daunting experience, but with the right frame of mind and professional representation, it will go smoothly. To learn more about the home selling process or to list your home for sale, contact us today. We are happy to assist you.

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What Are the True Costs of Selling a Home? Let’s Take a Look

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 10th, 2017

What Are the True Costs of Selling a Home? Let's Take a LookAre you thinking about selling your house? Before you decide to list your home up for sale, it is helpful to get a clear picture of how much it’s going to cost. Whether you are sprucing things up with a fresh coat of paint, replacing the roof membrane or just covering your taxes, there will be a few bills to pay. Let’s take a quick look at some of the true costs that you’ll incur when selling your home.

Is Your Home Ready To Sell?

The first question you will need to answer is whether or not your home is ready to sell. Unless your house is relatively new, it will likely need repairs and maintenance. Depending on the age and condition of your home, you may also decide to invest in a full home inspection. Having a professional inspector look things over is a good investment – especially if they find problem areas that require immediate attention.

Invest In A Good Real Estate Agent (And Their Commission)

To get the best price for your home, you will need to be represented by a great real estate agent. Of course, they are not going to work for free. Once the home sells, the agent is compensated with a percentage of the sale price, which is known as a commission. In some cases, the home seller also pays the commission for the buyer’s real estate agent as well.

Factor In Costs During The Sales Process

The selling process will also have its costs. From lawyers’ fees to excise taxes, there is no shortage of small costs that can start to add up. You may decide to invest a bit in your open houses in order to make them more welcoming. Or you might need to close out your mortgage. Whatever the case, be sure to leave some space in your budget for these costs.

Moving Out Will Cost You Too

Finally, don’t forget to factor in the cost of moving to your new home. Many families fail to budget for moving expenses, which can be significant if you are moving out of a large home with a lot of furniture.

As you can see, selling a home is a major financial transaction and one that should be led by an experienced professional. When you are ready to begin the process of selling your home, give us a call. Your trusted real estate professional can advise you of local market conditions and ensure that you receive top dollar when you sell.

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Is ‘Curb Appeal’ Really That Important When Selling Your Home? Yes – Here’s Why

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 9th, 2017

Is 'Curb Appeal' Really That Important When Selling Your Home? Yes - Here's WhyDo you remember the first time you shopped for or purchased a home? If so, think back to that moment. What did you first notice? Do you remember certain aspects of the home’s appearance, or perhaps some unique landscape feature? Was it the bright color of the freshly-painted door or the glossy sheen from the clean windows?

The concept of ‘curb appeal’ – that is, how your home appears when viewing from the curb – is an important one, especially when selling your home. 

Give A Strong First Impression

The first impression that your home gives is one that will last. If your paint is fading or chipped, your siding is damaged, your roof is in disrepair or your gutters are hanging loose, what do you expect a potential buyer to think? It’s safe to assume that if you can’t be bothered to pull the weeds in the garden or rake up the leaves that there may be other maintenance issues lurking.

Remember, your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible and for the best price. If your house looks like it’s in perfect shape from the outside, potential buyers will want to explore further.

Appeal To The Drive-By Buyers

You may not be aware, but many potential home buyers won’t bother connecting with your real estate agent or showing up to your open house events. Instead, they’ll drive by to get a feel for how the house and property look from the outside. Some might peer into your backyard or take a quick look around the lot as well. It’s critical that your home appears in peak condition at all times during the sales process. If your curb appeal declines, you may end up losing out on a potential sale.

Set Your Home Apart From The Neighbors

Contrast is another reason why focusing on your home’s curb appeal is important. Potential home buyers will be comparing your house with others on the same street and across the neighborhood. If your house is the best looking one on the block, it’s more likely to sell for a high price than if it’s the runt of the litter.

When you’re ready to list your home for sale, our professional real estate team will be happy to share some more curb appeal tips. Give us a call at your convenience – we look forward to connecting with you.

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4 Things You Should Never, Ever Say If You Hope to Sell Your Home

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 31st, 2017

4 Things You Should Never, Ever Say If You Hope to Sell Your HomeHave you ever had a conversation with a total stranger where you said something that you regret? If you are placing your house or condo on the market, you’re eventually going to end up having to chat with potential buyers. Yes, your real estate agent is likely to do most of the talking. However, you will still have to deal with buyers that want to grill you about the home’s history, condition and more.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at four things you should never say to someone who is interested in buying your home.

“We’re Not Accepting Offers Less Than…”

A good way to kill your sale and have a buyer walk away is to set a price floor on bids and offers. Even if the amount you are asking for is reasonable, many buyers will pass because they are offended that they’re being forced to bid above a certain price. Unless otherwise advised by your agent, it is best to let buyers feel in control of the offer process. You can always counter-offer later.

“Our House Has Been On The Market For…”

Stating how long your house has been on the market is rarely a good look. No matter how short or long the listing period has gone on for, buyers don’t need to know this. Moreover, if your home has been on the market for months, knowing that may scare potential buyers off.

“We’ve Always Meant To Renovate That…”

If you were going to fix, improve or even clean something in your home, you probably would have done it before inviting potential buyers in. Your goal is to present the house you do have in the best possible light. Try to avoid pointing out areas that a buyer is going to need to renovate or invest in later.

“We Need To Close The Sale By…”

The last thing you want to do is look desperate to close the sale and move on. Buyers and their agents are going to be looking for signs of weakness which will allow them to submit low-ball offers for your home. If you let on that you have to sell or move by some deadline, you can rest assured that you are not going to get as much when you sell.

There you have it – just four of the things you should not say to potential buyers of your home. For more tips and advice about selling your home, contact our professional real estate team today. We are happy to help.

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Selling Your House? 3 Strange Questions That Potential Buyers Might Ask and How to Answer Them

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 20th, 2017

Selling Your House? 3 Strange Questions That Potential Buyers Might Ask and How to Answer ThemAre you listing your home for sale now, or in the near future? If so, you have probably come to terms with the fact that soon you’ll be having strangers tour through your home asking all kinds of questions about it. In today’s blog post we’ll take a look at three strange questions that buyers might ask and how to approach answering them.

“Has Anyone Died In This House Or Is It Haunted?”

You might have chuckled when you read that, but questions about paranormal activity are more common than you think. Many people have beliefs and superstitions about ghosts, ghouls, demons and other spirits that haunt homes. Learning that someone has died in your house – even if it was long before you owned the place – is enough for some potential buyers to pass and move on to the next listing.

“Is Anything Buried In The Backyard?”

Have you ever owned a pet that has grown old or otherwise perished? Think back to that experience and ask yourself: where did you bury them? Many families bury deceased pets in their backyard, thinking that it is a good final resting place. And that may be true if you own the house for the rest of your life. However, if you decide to sell, then you have passed on a backyard that has a corpse resting in it. That can end up as a startling surprise for the next family to live there, especially if they have a dog that enjoys digging up the turf.

“Have There Been Any Infestations?”

Asking about pest problems is a bit less on the weird side of things, but it is one question that is almost certain to come up. Visitors will want to know if your home has experienced mice, rats, termites, ants, cockroaches and a variety of other plagues. Some of these will make sense for your home or the area you live – termites in a wood-framed house, for example – while others will make no sense at all.

Rest assured that the above are just a handful of the many bizarre and strange questions you might get while showing your house to potential buyers. If you do encounter something that seems a bit funny, aim to be polite and answer thoughtfully. When you are ready to list your home for sale, or for more tips and real estate advice, contact us. Our professional real estate team is here to answer any questions you have.

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4 Home Staging Ideas That Are Heavy on the “Wow” Factor but Light on the Wallet

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 13th, 2017

4 Home Staging Ideas That Are Heavy on the Staging is one of the most important aspects of any home sale. The more attractive your home is to potential buyers, the faster you can finalize the sale and move on. With that in mind, let’s explore four home staging ideas that won’t cost a fortune but are sure to impress your buyers.

#1: Clean The Place Until It Shines

The first and most obvious option is not going to cost much more than your time. Your home needs to be absolutely, positively spotless. The floors should be so clean that you would have no issue with eating off of them. The walls should be clean and free of marks. Windows and mirrors buffed to a sparkling shine. If there’s dirt to be found, rest assured that potential buyers will see it!

#2: Buy New Slip Covers And Sheet Sets

If your furniture is starting to look a little dated, you can spruce it up by investing in new slipcovers. These can be color matched to the rest of the room’s palette so that your furniture fits in. It is also a great idea to ensure that you have new-looking, matching sheet sets on all of the beds. The bedrooms don’t need to look like hotel rooms, but they do need to look good.

#3: Invest In Better Lighting For Important Rooms

When was the last time you replaced the bulbs in your fixtures and lamps? If you are still using dull older incandescent bulbs, it’s time to invest in newer LED or compact fluorescent lighting. It is best to try to match the color temperature of the bulbs to the rest of the room so that the room’s color and ‘feel’ don’t clash with the lighting. If this is a bit above your head, consider having a lighting expert come in to help light the important, high-traffic areas.

#4: Use Plants To Add A Bit Of Warmth And Life

Finally, if your home is lacking a bit of plant life, it might be time to take a quick trip to the local nursery. Adding one or two plants to your common areas adds a touch of life and even helps to keep the air fresh. If you prefer a pop of color, you can always add a flowering plant that’s currently in bloom.

Spending a few hours and a few dollars on staging is an investment that will pay off immensely when you sell your home. If you are thinking about listing your home for sale, or for more staging tips, contact our real estate team. We are happy to share our experience and help get your home sold quickly at a great price.

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