What Are The Requirements To Sell A Home Using An FHA Loan?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 8th, 2021

What Are The Requirements To Sell A Home Using An FHA Loan?Before an owner can market a property to buyers that want to use a FHA loan, he will want to familiarize himself with the FHA’s standards. FHA won’t insure loans on just any property.

While their standards aren’t as stringent as they used to be, a home needs to be in relatively good condition to qualify for FHA financing.

Location And Lot

To qualify for FHA financing, the property has to be located on a road or easement that lets the owner freely enter and exit.

The access also has to be paved with a surface that will work all year a long dirt driveway that washes out in spring won’t qualify.

The FHA also wants the lot to be safe and free of pollution, radiation and other hazards. For that matter, it also needs to provide adequate drainage to keep water away from the house.

Property Exterior

The FHA’s requirements for making a loan start with the home’s roof. To pass muster, the house must have a watertight roof with some future life left. In addition, if the roof has three or more layers of old shingles, they must all be torn off as part of the replacement process.

The property’s exterior has to be free of chipped or damaged paint if the home has any risk of having lead paint. Its foundation should also be free of signs of exterior (and interior) damage. It also needs full exterior walls.

Property Interior

The property’s interior also needs to be inspected. FHA standards require that the home’s major systems be in good working order.

Bedrooms should have egress routes for fire safety and the attic and basement should be free of signs of water or mold damage.

The bottom line is that the FHA wants to make loans on homes that borrowers can occupy. This doesn’t mean that a home has to be in perfect condition to be sold to an FHA mortgage-using borrower. It just needs to be a place that they can live.

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Tips For Selling Your Home In The New Year

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 3rd, 2020

Tips For Selling Your Home In The New Year Many people think that selling a home after the holidays and during the Winter season is a bad idea. Most people are not in the home buying mood, because they are thinking about the holidays.

Also, buyers will think that you are desperate and they will give you offers that are less than list price.

Advantages Of Selling Your Home Now

However, there are some advantages to selling your home over the holidays and into the new year. There will be less homes on the market, so there won’t be as much competition.

Also, buyers will likely be on their holidays from work, so they will have much more time to view properties and look around at homes.

Another factor is mood – buyers will generally be feeling more cheery and relaxed over the holidays, which will result in them being more likely to make the decision to buy a home.

A home can have a really romantic and cosy feeling during the winter season, which could make a buyer fall in love with it.

When You Are Selling Your Home During The Winter Season, Here Are Some Tips To Keep In Mind:

  • Choose a good real estate agent who will be able to communicate with you well and find the right buyers for your house.
  • Price the house realistically. This time of year, it helps to be competitive. You might even get buyers competing, which will push the price up as they bid against each other.
  • Make sure that you have all of the paperwork in order, including an energy performance certificate, fittings and fixtures list and much more.
  • Give your home a little makeover so that it gives a great first impression. Touch up the paintwork, rearrange the furniture and remove clutter.
  • Giving a sense of airy lightness is important, especially in the winter months. Make sure that your windows let in plenty of natural light.
  • Be flexible. You might need to be able to accommodate last minute viewings or viewings at strange times, so keep your schedule open.
  • Serve seasonal drinks and snacks at your open house, such as mulled wine, eggnog and cookies, to put your buyers in a good mood.
  • Have your moving company chosen and ready to go in advance, in case there is the possibility of a quick sale.

These are just a few tips to keep in mind for selling your home over the holidays. For more helpful tips, contact your trusted real estate professional.

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Improve Your Curb Appeal This Winter

Posted in Home Selling Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 27th, 2020

Improve Your Curb Appeal This WinterAfter all of the excitement of the holidays, the sparkle of the lights and the overstimulation of decorations, the rest of winter can seem lackluster. Don’t let your home add to the dreariness of the season.

Spruce up your curb appeal with the tips below and inspire your neighbors to create well-groomed street that will make driver’s passing through smile.

Tend The Plants

If you’re currently located in a winter wonderland, then dig up any dead plants that won’t grow back. Replace them with cold-loving flowers, such as snowberry or lambs ear.

In warmer climates, this is the time for any landscaping changes you’d like to make. It will give your plants a chance to flourish by spring and have solid roots before the harsh heat of summer.

Light The Way

With daylight hours dwindling, well-placed outdoor lighting will help highlight your home’s best features in the evening.

Not only do they make your home look warm and cozy, but they also provide much-needed walkway lighting so that your guests arrive safely.

For a festive New Year’s sparkle, wrap white lights around the porch and in the trees.

Create A Custom Mailbox

Reclaim a vintage mailbox or get creative with paint to let the neighborhood know your family’s favorite sports team. A personalized letterbox says a lot about your household, so make it something special that doesn’t look like every other box on the street.

Also, visitors trying to find your home always appreciate large, easy-to-read address numbers visible from both directions.

Place Pots Strategically

Create focal points with terra cotta or colorful pots. Place them around your door to make a cozy entrance. Use evergreens and holly to give the curb appeal of your home a wintry feeling or brighten up a dark doorstep with cheerful pansies.

Paint Your Front Door

Perk up your curb appeal when the weather is dreary by painting your front door in a color that packs a punch. Try a vibrant red, bright blue or sage green. These colors will make your home feel warm and cheerful. However, don’t apply paint if the weather is below 40 degrees, because it will dry brittle and crack.

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5 Benefits of Using A Real Estate Agent When Buying Or Selling A Home

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 21st, 2020

5 Benefits of Using A Real Estate Agent When Buying Or Selling A HomeIt may come as a surprise for some people to learn that not everyone uses a real estate agent when buying or selling a home. Whenever someone is looking to move, it is critical to rely on the experience of a real estate agent. There are a few benefits that everyone should keep in mind.

Tips For Price Guidance

The price is one of the most challenging aspects of either buying or selling a home. A trained real estate agent spends his or her days looking at the prices of homes that are bought and sold in the local area. 

Therefore, real estate agents can help someone sell a home both quickly and at the right price. If homes are left on the market for too long, prospective buyers might think that something is wrong with the house. This may make the home harder to sell.

Networking In The Real Estate Industry

Next, hiring professional real estate agent is important for accessing the professional network. Real estate agents typically have access to appraisers and inspectors who will be able to do a quick, easy, and cost-effective evaluation of the home. This will help the homeowner determine whether or not any repairs are necessary to get the house ready to sell.

Appropriate Financing Options

A real estate agent can also guide a prospective buyer through the financing options. There are lots of options when it comes to purchasing a home. A real estate agent can help someone review his or her options, helping a client find the right financing option for them.

Exposure For A Home Sale

One of the major benefits of working with a real estate agent is access to something called the Multiple Listing Service. This is a service where the vast majority of real estate agents list homes that are for sale. This will help any house being sold gain more exposure. The more exposure, the more potential offers, helping a house sell for a higher price.

Handling The Paperwork

One of the most often overlooked benefits of working with a real estate agent is help with the paperwork. The paperwork required to buy or sell a home can be significant. A real estate agent knows how to get through this paperwork quickly, efficiently, and accurately.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to consult with your trusted real estate professional.

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5 Important Mistakes To Avoid When Selling A Home

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 27th, 2019

5 Important Mistakes To Avoid When Selling A HomeSellers of homes often make mistakes that are not in their best interests. Here are common mistakes people make when selling a home and how to avoid them.

Using Bad Photography

Using lousy photos or no photos to promote the property for sale is foolish. Professional photography is not so difficult or expensive that sellers should settle for the use of bad photos. Sometimes all the potential buyers will see is the photos they find online. If the photos are bad or not there at all, then that is the end of their interests. 

To stimulate interest in a property, it is even better to use a high-quality video walk through than simple photos. This allows a buyer to enjoy a virtual showing of the property.

Allowing Emotions To Control The Process

Sometimes, buyers should step aside and let the experts guide the process. One example of this is the decisions about staging a home for sale. Staging is getting the home in an immaculate condition that is most attractive to buyers. 

An important part of staging the depersonalization of the home. This means removing any photos or family items. The reason for doing this is to allow the potential buyer to imagine their family living in the home and not have them think about the previous residents. 

This part of the process may be quite emotional for the seller because it is the first clear sign that they are truly giving up a home. Those emotions are natural but should not stand in the way of getting the home ready for sale.

For Sale By Owner

It may be tempting to try to sell a home without utilizing the services of a professional REALTOR®. However, many studies show that the net price that sellers receive for selling a home on their own is about the same as if they used a real estate agent. 

The buyer pays the real estate agent’s commission. Usually, the price achieved by a professional real estate agency is higher than what an owner may achieve alone. The reason for this is that buyers expect to get a discount from the market price for a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) home. Another consideration is that marketing a home is not easy for amateurs to do, so FSBO homes may languish on the market for a long time before selling.

Too Pricey

Listing a home for a price that is higher than the market value, automatically puts the seller at a disadvantage. It discourages a potential buyer from making an offer. Eventually, this may lead to having to discount the listing price. This makes the home look like something may be wrong with it.

Not Making Repairs

Homes that have a pre-inspection and all the necessary repairs made are much more attractive to buyers. This is true, even if the price includes a discount from market value to allow for the estimated repair costs. It is mostly a matter of convenience for buyers who want a home that is ready to move in and does not immediately need repairs to be made.

Summary

Avoiding these common, and sometimes costly, mistakes may help sellers to sell their homes faster and hopefully get a higher price. Work with a qualified REALTOR® to learn more about how to get a home ready for sale, what price to ask for, when to list it, and what to do to maximize the sales price.

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How To Maximize The Resale Value Of Your Home

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 8th, 2019

There are a few things to consider, when selling a home, that will help you maximize your potential for a better sales price. Seasoned real estate professionals are one of your best resources for these tips.

The Buyer’s First Impression Is Emotional

The first goal is to improve the buyer’s first impression when they see photos or a video of the home, do a drive-by, or make an appointment to view the home. Work with a real estate agent on staging the home and pay particular attention to curb appeal.

Staging means that a home has no clutter. Remove any personal items (family photos, toys, pets, etc.). Make closets less than one-third full. Make sure the home is immaculately clean. Use nice decor and minimal furniture. 

Logical Backup For The Buyer’s Emotions

Once a buyer has a positive emotional reaction to the home, then to cement the deal at a good price, offer logical backup to support the emotional reaction. Create a handout that lists the amenities and positive attributes of living in the neighborhood, such as good schools. If possible, sell the neighborhood and the community along with the home.

Answer a buyer’s, often unspoken, question of “Why should I live in this area?”

Like-New Condition

Homes that are in perfect condition usually sell for a premium price and may attract multiple purchase offers. Make any repairs that are necessary to ensure all the systems in the home are in working order.

Another confidence builder for a buyer is when the seller reimburses the fees for the inspections needed, from the escrow closing. Let the buyer choose the inspection companies from a pre-approved list that is acceptable for the seller.

Kitchen and master bathroom upgrades usually have a positive impact on the sales price. New appliances can be included in the sale and covered by a home warranty.

Go Green

Homes that are energy efficient and have an alternative energy system, such as solar, are usually more desirable. This is especially true in parts of the country where the monthly utility bills are very high. Add information about the savings on the monthly utility bills, when compared to other homes that are not green, to the home’s selling brochure.

Summary

Top-selling real estate agents know that homes with these characteristics usually command the best prices, receive more offers, and spend less time for sale on the market. Another benefit is that agents get excited about listing high quality homes. They typically feature them prominently in their listings from the agency, on their website, and in all other marketing efforts.

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Why Do People Stage Homes To Sell?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 2nd, 2019

Why Do People Stage Homes To SellIf you’re selling your home, your real estate agent has likely advised you to stage your home to sell. But why exactly do people stage homes to sell? Some people go to great lengths to stage their home too, even going so far as moving possessions into storage units or renting furnishings!

If your home is already nicely decorated, why should you go to the added trouble of “staging” it? There are many good reasons to stage your home to sell.

1. Staging Makes Your Home Appear More Spacious

Having lived in your home for a number of years, you probably haven’t noticed how many things you’ve accumulated. When you stage your home to sell, these things get put away out of sight. This tends to clear tabletops, open up floor space and generally make your home look larger. Homebuyers will see the spaciousness as a huge asset.

2. Staging Gives Every Area A Purpose

Part of the staging process is to give every area of the home a purposeful identity. A space by the front door becomes a true foyer, a bay window becomes a reading nook and a short hallway becomes a mail organization station. This lets homebuyers imagine how organized and productive their new lives will be in your home.

3. Buyer’s Agents Will Be Proud To Show Your Home

It may seem odd, but the homes that a buyer’s agent shows can reflect on the agent. When your home is beautifully staged, seller’s agents will be delighted to bring their buyers to see it. This can result in more traffic, which can lead to increased offers on your home for sale.

4. Staging Helps Buyers Envision Living There

Another process of staging is the removal of personal items from your home. This would include trophies, family portraits and similar memorabilia. This enables homebuyers to more easily envision themselves living in your home, which is more likely to lead to them making an offer.

5. Staging Takes The Burden Off The Seller

As the homeowner, you need to make sure all your possessions are in tip top shape for showings. Your favorite “sloppy” couch would have to be refreshed and steam cleaned to pass muster with discriminating buyers. Instead of going though all that, you can rent temporary staging furniture that’s already in pristine condition. 

As you can see, there are benefits to home sellers to stage the home. For help with the staging process, consult with your trusted real estate agent.

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4 Simple Tips To Make Sure Your Home Smells Inviting

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 28th, 2019

4 Simple Tips To Make Sure Your Home Smells InvitingAs a diligent home seller, you’ve taken all your real estate agent’s advice about preparing your home for showings. You’ve de-cluttered, enhanced curb appeal and developed efficient strategies for leaving your home while viewings are taking place.

But have you given any thought to how your home smells to strangers?

Newcomers to your home will naturally be more sensitive to the smells of your house. Your nose is likely desensitized to your common household odors, but a prospective buyer may be put off by how it smells. Here are some ways to make sure your home smells inviting.

Don’t Burn Incense

If you enjoy burning incense, you might think this is a nice way to impart a lovely scent in your home. But don’t burn incense before showings. The visitors may be unfamiliar with common incense smells like patchouli, myrrh, jasmine and others. And if they can’t identify it, even a pleasant scent can be off putting. The best thing is to save your incense for when you’ve moved into your new home.

Move The Litter Box

If your cat uses a litter box, be sure to change or refresh it daily. This will help keep the scent from spreading throughout the home. Also, move the litter box to a less noticeable part of the home, such as the mudroom, garage or basement.

An odorous kitty litter box is more forgivable if it’s in an out of the way spot. And, as long as you let your cat know where it is, it will likely have no trouble adjusting.

Have Your Pets Professionally Groomed

Invest in professional pet grooming services to reduce the smell of dogs and/or cats in the home. Pet dander is not only an allergen; it imparts a musky scent that some homebuyers may not enjoy. A once a month grooming should be sufficient unless your pet is exposed to heavy rains or muddy conditions; in which case an extra grooming session is recommended.

Avoid Cooking Prior To Showings

Just like incense, if a homebuyer can’t recognize a scent, it can be off putting. Avoid cooking just before showings, if possible. Things like onions and garlic smell wonderful if you’re hungry, but not necessarily to a homebuyer. Of course, the scent of a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies is always appreciated – let’s be honest!

Don’t forget to take your home’s smell into consideration when preparing it for showings. These tips will help ensure your home smells its very best.

Be sure to communicate with your trusted real estate professional for more tips and tricks to help make your home appealing to the most buyers.

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Video: For Sale By Owner?

Posted in Home Selling Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 4th, 2015

Most people don’t know enough to sell their own house. Here’s why.

1. They Can’t List It!
– Only licensed brokers and agents can create a listing in the MLS sale-by-owner houses will be invisible to agents and unavailable on the Web.

2. Agents Won’t Show It.
– Typically, a buyer’s agent gets part of the commission paid to the seller’s agent. Sale-by-owner houses don’t have that commission commitment so a buyer’s agent might not get paid. No agents makes the pool of buyers MUCH smaller.

3. It’s Probably Overpriced.
– Most homeowners don’t have enough data and emotional distance to put a market price on their own home. and overpricing is another deterrent to potential buyers.

4. Buyers Prefer Neutrality
– Buyers will spend less time in the home and be less likely to make an offer because owners aren’t neutral about the transaction.

5. Legalities & Complexities.

-Real estate transactions are complicated. Most homeowners don’t know enough to avoid potentially expensive liabilities Overlooking a form or required disclosure exposes the seller to lawsuits AFTER the transaction is closed.

There are some sellers with a real estate background that do have enough experience to sell their own home but in most cases you probably shouldn’t try selling your own home.

Video-ForSaleByOwner

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Home Selling Tips: How to Compete with New Construction for Home Buyers’ Attention

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 4th, 2014

Home Selling Tips: How to Compete with New Construction for Home Buyers' AttentionAre you thinking about selling your house or condo? If you’re in a market that has a lot of newly constructed homes, you’re going to be competing with those listings for buyers’ attention.

In today’s post we’ll share a few tips that can help you attract buyers and convince them that your pre-owned home is just as good as a brand new one.

Upgrade And Modernize Your Home Prior To The Sale

Numerous studies have shown that buyers who prefer brand new homes are mostly interested in the new appliances and fixtures throughout the home.

If your home is more than a decade or so old, you’ll want to invest some time and money in upgrading your appliances and fixtures before trying to list your home on the market.

If you have newly constructed homes very close to yours it might be worth installing these items after you’ve moved out so that the buyer is the first person to use them.

Focus Your Marketing On A Specific Buyer

Depending on which neighborhood your home is located in and the local amenities, you may want to consider focusing your marketing on one particular buyer. For example, a downtown condo would be marketed to a completely different prospective buyer than a large four-bedroom home out in the suburbs. Take some time to consider the “persona” of your target buyers, and craft your messaging around what these individuals or families will be looking for in their dream home.

Shine The Spotlight On Your Home’s Strong Points

As with any major sale, you’ll want to ensure that you spend as much time as possible highlighting the strong points in your listing. Be sure to mention any local community amenities as well, such as schools, parks or community centers. If you’re selling to a family, your proximity to these amenities will be a significant point of comparison with brand new homes in the area.

If you have the budget, you may also want to consider having your home professionally staged, as staging is an excellent way to show a potential buyer just how good your home can look with tasteful furnishings, art and other finishing touches.

Selling your home is a challenging proposition that shouldn’t be faced alone. When you’re ready to sell your home be sure to contact your local real estate agent, who has experience selling in your local market and can help to ensure your sale moves along smoothly.

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