Sumathi Narayanan Realty's Blog
You’ve finally decided to sell your home and now you want the REALTOR® to show you the money! While that sounds like it can happen at the snap of a finger, there are a few things to consider. Are you selling for a profit or is your goal to make the biggest profit you can? If it’s the latter, here are a few things you can do:
Step onto the Stage
Staging your home can bring in big bucks. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 77% of REALTORS® agree that buyers who can visualize a staged property as their future home makes a difference.
Research Your Ideal Client
Who are you selling to? Are your buyers people who have children and want a nice neighborhood? Are they wanting a move-in ready home? Unless they are buying solely for the neighborhood, the condition of the home has a lot to do with their decision.
Create a Digital Showing
Let’s face it – social media and digital marketing are one of the best ways to connect with potential buyers. Adding a 3D element where they can “walk through” will not only create additional interest, but widens the number of people that may add your property to their list. An additional plus would be if you could upload the floor plans, any warranty and maintenance records to show how well you took care of the home.
Appeal to the Curb
If you think buyers aren’t looking at the exterior of the home, think again. They want to see the home in its best light – that means pressure cleaning or painting the exterior, washing the windows, repairing any cracks in the driveway and investing in landscaping.
Invest in Upgrades
Upgrades to the kitchen and bathrooms truly make your home stand out. New appliances, eat-in arrangements and lighting have a lasting effect. Have some water or something to drink in the refrigerator and make sure it’s clean. Buyers do peek. If you can afford new, inexpensive flooring that speaks to the environment, that will be a positive in your favor.
Have a Neutral Palette
Painting the walls in a neutral color lightens up the space and allows potential buyers to consider what their furniture would look like in the space
The more you can get rid of so buyers can see an actual representation of how much space they will have the better. Your staging should demonstrate different ways the spaces can be utilized, giving them a wealth of ideas.
Other This & That
Installing ceiling fans, smart home tech and other simple touches can instantly put your home at the top of the list.
These are just a few ways your home can help you get top dollar for your home to move forward with a smile on your face. For more tips on getting your home ready to sell for top dollar, work with your REALTOR® for awesome results.
If you’ve been renting and preparing to buy a new home, you’ve probably saved up your down payment and are in the process of getting pre-approved for your mortgage loan. If, on the other hand, you’ve been living in a home you own and paying on your mortgage, you may be ready to buy, but only if you can use the equity in your existing property. Logically, that would mean you have to sell your home first, which pays off your existing mortgage, then live somewhere temporarily while you shop for your new home. However, you have more options, and none of them require you to live in a third location.
Option 1: Contingent Purchase
Ask your real estate agent for in-depth information on contingent purchases in your area, since different cities and states can have conflicting rules. This means making an offer on a new home that is “contingent” on your accepting an offer on your current home. Basically, you will do the buying and selling parts of your real estate plan at the same time. While your agent is looking for new homes, they are also showing your home to buyers. You can use the same agent for both parts of the process, which is often cheaper, or you can use a buyers’ agent for the purchase and a sellers’ agent for the sale, which may help you get better deals. Not all sellers are willing to entertain contingent offers since that can put a crimp in their own moving plans, so make sure your agent is aware of your circumstances from the beginning.
Option 2: HELOC Loan
Home equity line of credit or HELOC is a particular type of home loan. These loans are usually second mortgages of some sort but allow you to withdraw the entire amount within a given time period. This means you can keep your current home, and use the HELOC loan to buy your new home. Then, when your current home sells, pay off the mortgage on that home, and get a new mortgage on your new home to pay of the HELOC loan as well. This can be risky, however, since HELOC loans are based on the equity value of your current home, which may not be as high as the market value. In addition, they can have variable interest rates, which, if your old home ends up not selling for an extended period of time, can really start to drain your savings. If you plan to go with this option, make sure your real estate agent knows the timelines you’re working with, and try to find an agent with a “sellers’ guarantee.”
Option 3: Contingent or Rent-Back Sale
A contingent sale is similar to a contingent purchase, but instead of closing relying on you finding a buyer, it relies on you finding a new home and that offer being accepted. These tend to be shorter-term agreements, such as 1 to 2 weeks, but can be longer, even up to several months, depending on your buyer. Be careful and try to have contingencies on only one side of your purchase, since if you end up with too many chained together (you are on contingency, as are your buyers, and their buyers and so on) if one person’s plan doesn’t work, the whole chain could fall through. Alternatively, if your buyer has a longer moving timeline, they might be interested in setting up a “rent-back” agreement. This allows you to sell your home and then rent it back from the new buyers for either a specific time period or for as long as it takes for you to find a new home. This is especially a good idea if your buyers are currently renters on a month-to-month agreement since both of you can move whenever is needed.
If you’re ready to buy a new home, but are worried about selling your current one first in order to afford it, you are not alone. Make sure you explain your situation to your real estate agent during your very first meeting. Once they know what kind of agreements will work for you, they can do a much better job of finding your dream home and helping you complete the purchase.
If you’re in the process of moving, you don’t necessarily need to hire a moving company. Hiring movers is only one option of many when it comes to getting your stuff from place to place. If you want to save some money on your move, you should check out alternatives to hiring movers.
If you don’t want to drive your own moving truck, but still could use some assistance on your move, you should take a look at container moving. You fill up the container with all of your stuff, and the company will get the container from place to place for you. This is especially helpful if you are doing a long-distance move.
You can always rent your own truck, pack your own stuff, and head out the door on your own. You’ll pay for gas and mileage, but have control of your own timeframe. Moving companies often have many different resources available to help you in the process including boxes and packing supplies. National companies provide convenient truck returns over most parts of the country where you’ll be, so it’s easy to get the truck back.
Ship Your Stuff
If you happen to be moving a long distance, sometimes, it’s more cost effective to let the big stuff go. Ship items like clothes, books, DVDs, and other personal belongings that can’t easily be replaced. Sell big items like beds and sofas.
You can use many different kinds of shipping services, or even use air cargo to get your things from one place to another. While you’ll need to purchase some furniture when you get to your final destination, this could be a good option, especially if you’re looking to start over, or if you don’t own a whole lot of furniture and large items.
Use Your Car
Your car is always an option to help you move no matter where you are moving to. Whether you’re moving across the country or just across town, you’ll probably need to pack your car. It’s also a lot of fun to have your car for a road trip on long distances. This way, you’ll have a lot of stuff with you, but you can still travel and see many things that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
Tips For Packing The Car
You want to be able to get the maximum packing space out of your car for the move, no matter how far you’re going. First, you should plan how you’ll pack ahead of time. You don’t want to save the task of packing the car for moving day. Also, you need to make sure that there will be room for every living thing that needs to go into the car like children and pets. Those are important and you definitely don’t want them all squished in between some boxes during a long move!
If you're a first-time homebuyer and you've already started exploring available properties, you might think to yourself, "Why do I even need a buyer agent?" After all, you've been looking at homes for sale and the realtors who showed you the properties were very nice and helpful. But here's the deal: Those realtors are seller agents. They represent the home seller. They are legally, morally and ethically bound to get the best possible deal for the seller -- not for you as the buyer! This is just one of the reasons why first-time homebuyers can really benefit from working with a buyer's agent. Here are some more advantages.
Buyer Agents Work for You -- The Buyer
Once you're prequalified and your buyer agent understands the features you want in your first home, the agent will locate for-sale properties that fit your criteria. Not only that, but the buyer agent will coordinate and schedule showings of those properties for you. You don't have to do all of the legwork. And remember: As your representative, the buyer agent is out to find the best possible deal on a first-time home purchase for you.
Buyer Agents Are Great Negotiators
Every home sale and purchase is bound to hit a snag or two along the way. It's a lengthy process to buy or sell a home, and it's also a highly emotional transaction for buyers and sellers. It is, after all, the largest emotional and financial transaction that most people will make in their lifetime. Therefore, the negotiating skills of a buyer agent will be of great benefit to you as a homebuyer. If something starts to go wrong, they know how to negotiate a fix and they know professionals within their network who can help iron out problems -- from titling companies to real estate attorneys and even contractors to fix unexpected problems with the property.
Buyer Agents Are Property Experts
If you look at a home, do you know all the potential problem spots to examine to ensure that it won't have hidden costs? For example, can you tell if the plumbing is too old and will need major repairs within five years? Can you assess the age and functionality of the furnace, hot water heater and other features? Probably not -- but the buyer agent can because he or she has that experience.
Best of all, buyer agents don't charge any upfront or ongoing fees for their services. They split the commission with the seller agent who works for the home seller. For all these reasons and more, it makes great sense to put the expertise of a buyer agent to work for you!
Let's face it – all homebuyers want to enjoy a fast, successful property buying experience. Yet transforming this vision into a reality can be difficult for first-time and experienced property buyers alike. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the homebuying journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you enjoy a seamless homebuying experience.
1. Understand the Challenges Associated with Pursuing a Home
Planning ahead for the homebuying journey generally is a good idea. That way, you can identify potential homebuying hurdles and resolve these issues before they escalate.
Oftentimes, it helps to craft a homebuying strategy. This plan enables you to map out each stage of the homebuying journey, and by doing so, prepare for any challenges that may come your way.
You also may want to create a list of homebuying criteria. This list will make it simple to narrow your house search, and as a result, ensure you can discover your ideal residence without delay.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
You know you want to purchase a house, but you still have no idea about how you will pay for a residence. Fortunately, if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can enter the real estate market with your finances in order.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can explain the differences between fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and help you determine which mortgage option best suits your individual needs.
Furthermore, you should review all of your mortgage options closely. Because if you understand your mortgage options, you can make an informed mortgage selection that will serve you well for years to come.
3. Hire an Expert Real Estate Agent
If you want to simplify the homebuying journey, you should hire an expert real estate agent. In fact, with an expert real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to quickly and effortlessly make your homeownership dream come true.
A real estate agent is a homebuying professional who is happy to share his or her expertise with you. Therefore, if you have any concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent can respond to them immediately. And if you are uncertain about how to proceed at any point during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent can offer data-driven recommendations as well.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide when you decide to submit an offer to purchase a home too. At this time, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive homebuying proposal. And if your offer is accepted, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase. Or, if your proposal is rejected, a real estate agent will help you reenter the real estate market.
Take the guesswork out of acquiring your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of enjoying a fast, successful property buying experience.