How To Deal With Offers When Selling Your Home
When selling a home the ultimate goal is to get an offer from a buyer that meets all the requirements of the homeowner. Depending on the market type, whether a seller’s market or a buyer’s market, the offers may not be at the asking price. Homeowners have a number of options for dealing with offers when they come in and this article explores in depth what homeowners can do when they do receive one or more offers on their home for sale.
How Will Offers Be Presented?
In order to be legal and enforceable in court all offers for real estate must be presented in writing. Most states consider electronic versions of the forms to be considered “in writing” and even the digital signatures that go along with the electronic forms are acceptable. The buyer can present verbal offers to the seller and the seller can even accept a verbal offer verbally, but until written down the offer and acceptance is not valid. A court of law would not find an enforceable contract where there is only verbal offer and acceptance. So the best bet is to make sure there is a written contract that covers the terms of a verbal offer.
Sometimes buyers just want to test out the waters and see if the sellers would be willing to accept an amount offered verbally. They may send an email or have their agent send an email or make a phone call to see if the seller would take a certain amount to sell their house. Even if the seller states yes they would, until the offer is reduced to writing with signatures on the offer documents it will not be valid as noted above. Email, text messages,...
DIY Projects To Do And Ones To Avoid When Getting Your Home Ready To Sell
As the weather starts to warm up and the real estate season starts to heat up homeowners may be wondering what they can start doing in order to get their home ready for sale during for the spring market. In many areas the spring season represents the time when the most buyers are out looking for homes. By starting the preparation process now prior to the peak selling season homeowners can position themselves to be ready during the prime selling period of the year.
Indoor Preparation Tips
If the weather is still cold in your area or there is still snow on the ground then prior to it warming up it is a good idea to tackle indoor projects in order get the home ready for sale. While curb appeal is important to address the interior is just as important to work on as well.
Painting your home with fresh neutral colors is a great way to update the look of a home real quickly and allow buyers to see the home for what it is. Dull paint and dirty walls will never impress any buyer as compared to a home with a clean well done paint job. If you are up to the task of painting your home on your own this is one Do It Yourself (DIY) task that can save you some money. Of course buyers are looking for a paint job done properly so make sure the painting you are doing is as close to perfect as possible. That means all trim must be painted with trim appropriate paint and colors, walls and ceilings must be properly painted and no paint bleed is seen (i.e. paint from the walls is accidently running onto...
What Are Fixtures In Real Estate?
A critical part of any real estate transaction is the actual fixtures within the home that are required to stay with the home after closing. There have been many lawsuits filed on the basis of a homebuyer seeing something in a home prior to making an offer or prior to closing and then not finding that specific item or finding a cheap knockoff after closing. Home sellers should understand what a fixture is when selling a home and be ready to disclose up front if certain fixtures will not be remaining with the home. Homebuyers as well should understand what items are considered fixtures and what items are not so that in the case something is not really considered a fixture the buyer requests that item stay as part of the sale or is aware the item may not be there after closing.
Simply stated a fixture is something that is physically attached to a part of the home that is supposed to stay with the home after the sale has been completed. For example a chandelier attached to the ceiling in a dining room or foyer area is considered a fixture and should stay with the home after the sale. Bookshelves that are physically attached to walls is another example of a fixture that will generally stay with the home. Everything else that is not affixed is considered personal property of the seller and generally does not stay with the home unless specifically requested in the purchase contract.
When it comes to wall mounted TVs the TV itself is not considered a fixture but the actual wall mount that holds the TV to the wall is considered a fixture. ...
Dealing With Mold When Selling A Home
Mold is a naturally occurring living substance that exists everywhere in nature and its purposes is to decompose organic matter. The organic matter is a food source for mold. Whether you think you have mold in your home or not the fact of the matter is you do have very small quantities of mold in your home. Mold in low quantities is generally not cause for concern. When mold accumulates in large quantities then humans and household pets can suffer ill effects from it. This article explores mold in the home and how it can affect the sale of a home.
What Causes Mold To Grow Out Of Control
As mentioned above mold is found pretty much everywhere and as result is present in a home usually in very small quantities. Certain conditions in a home can cause mold to grow uncontrollably which then may require professional treatment and cleanup in order to get rid of. One of the most common ways which allows mold to get out of hand is water leaks, especially in areas where there is little to no air circulation or the water leak is continuous thus providing mold a constant supply of water.
As the water leak begins to saturate carpets, walls, wood and more mold spores can attach themselves to those items and will start to grow uncontrollably. Especially for items with organic matter in them (wood and drywall) the mold will begin to not only eat away the surface of the wood but will also embed themselves in the wood themselves making removal of just the mold alone almost impossible.
Mold will cause even worse damage to drywall and carpet since the carpet is much more porous allowing the mold to...
How Buyer Feedback Can Help Home Sellers
A crucial aspect of selling a home is paying attention to the feedback provided by homebuyers and their real estate agents. After every showing real estate agents are usually sent an automated email, which asks for their opinion on a number of things with regards to the house they have just seen. While the email goes to the homebuyer’s agent the information provided to the home sellers can come from both the buyer as well as the buyer’s agents. The buyer’s agent provide feedback based on what their buyers tell them about the home or the buyers can directly provide the feedback if the email is forwarded to them.
Sometimes the buyer’s agents ignore the emails since they may have gone through multiple homes in one day and the buyer’s comments and thoughts can blur together in the mind of the agent. Other times due to the buyers visiting so many homes the agents may provide generic comments about the home that don’t give the homeowner much to go on other than the buyers may or may not be interested in their home.
The helpful buyer’s agent will provide detailed comments and thoughts based on what their clients felt and what the agent also sees. Regardless of what level of commentary is provided home sellers still can use any feedback provided to guide them towards making adjustments in the home’s price, marketing strategy, presentation or more. Failure to take into account buyer feedback can lead to a doomed sale with no offers coming.
Buyer Feedback On Home Pricing
One of the most important aspects of putting a home on the market for sale is ...
How To Recover From An Expired Home Sale
So your home has been on the market for three to six months and for whatever reason did not sell within that time frame. The current seller’s market means homes are selling briskly in many markets with more buyers than there are home sellers so given the right conditions homes are selling. Homeowners needs to set their home up under the right conditions as well in order to get sold. Often times those homeowners who try to sell their home in haste without full preparation will find themselves behind the curve when compared to other homes. That combined along with a mindset that is not exactly willing to adapt and change as needed means the home will sit on the market with little to no interest from homebuyers.
Failure In Home Preparation
One of the more common areas where a home does not sell during its listing period is due to inadequate home preparation. There are many steps that need to be taken in order to get a home ready for sale. Depending on the age of the home and the time the last update was made in the home there may be a lot of improvements needed in order to bring a home up to current market standards. A majority of homebuyers are looking for move-in ready homes. A home is move-in ready when a homebuyer can purchase the home, move all their furniture and belongings in and not have to worry about making any updates for a number of years to come.
Therefore homeowners need to take the proper steps to make sure their home is move-in ready if they want...
What Is A Buyer’s Persona and Why Should Home Sellers Care
In marketing speak a persona is a particular set of customers that are grouped together in order to better sell to them. Home sellers would be wise to understand what type of persona would be interested in buying their home. For instance if one is selling a luxury home marketing to those who are luxury home buyers makes the most sense and represents the most effective use of marketing dollars versus marketing to everyone and anyone that wants to buy a home. With luxury homes costing what they do it does not make sense to market to those who are looking for an entry level starter home. Home sellers need to focus on the right persona in marketing their home and as a result there is greater chance the right buyer will come along ready to make an offer.
How To Target The Right Buyer
Given an unlimited amount of money for marketing purposes home sellers and/or real estate agents can advertise a home for sale all over the world without regard to who is seeing the message. The reality is there is a limit to the amount that can be spent on marketing and as a result those marketing dollars need to be effectively spent to target the right buyer who would be interested in buying the home. Therefore it makes sense to figure out who the ideal homebuyer is and where do they go to find information on homes they potentially want to buy.
A majority of buyers (more than 80%) begin their home shopping online. What that means is in some form or another they are actively looking for homes via their laptop/desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone. The traditional locations...
Preparing Your Home For A Quick Fall Sale
Whether your home is making its debut for the first time on the market in the fall or maybe needs to be re-listed after having expired with no offer getting the home marketing presentation done right can help ensure success. A fall time home sale does require somewhat different preparation in order to attract the right buyers. By ensuring your home is better than every other home out there on the market and primed for a fall sale will result in a quick sale.
Should You Sell Your Home In The Fall?
The first question many homeowners ask is if they should sell their home during the fall. The fact is homes sell throughout the year. Depending on one’s location there may be a peak season when the most homebuyers are out shopping for homes and as a result that season has the greatest number of home sales. For the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky area the peak season for selling homes is during the spring. During the springtime many families are shopping for homes so they can get moved in prior to the start of the school year in the fall. Moving during the fall can often be disruptive to children and could potentially force the children to change schools during the school year which most parents want to avoid.
Seasonality wise with fall and winter being colder and there being greater chances of rain or snow (depending on one’s location) homebuyers may not be as up to buying a home during the colder seasons. There being fewer buyers out during the fall also may mean in order to get sold lower home...
Do You Need An Open House To Sell A Home?
In the past when real estate was mainly advertised through the newspaper and listings came in an actual soft cover book published on a weekly basis, open houses were a great tool to get buyers in the door to show off a home. Generally those listing books included only one picture of the front of the house and had statistics about the house in general (bedroom count, bathroom count, square footage and more). In order for buyers to get a real feel of the home it had to be visited in person. What better time to get a bunch of buyers into a home than during an open house.
In the current days of the Internet with high definition photography, videos, 3D tours, virtual reality tours, aerial tours and more buyers are better able to get an overall view of a home and better decide if they want to see it in person. If a buyer does decide they like a home they are more likely to want to view the home when no one else is around to obstruct views or make them feel rushed in seeing parts of a home. Where open houses were needed in the past, in this current market their use and effectiveness is not as high.
What Types Of People Come To Open Houses?
To truly understand whether an open house is a good idea it helps to have an understanding of who comes to open houses and what their motivation is. When one hosts an open house it truly means the house is open to anyone and everyone to walk in and tour to their heart’s content....
When Is The Best Time Of Year To Sell My Home?
Home sellers often wonder when is the best time to sell their home? While there are many who will say now or anytime is the best time to sell one’s home there are times where homebuyers are out in full force looking to actively move. For Greater Cincinnati home sellers, the best time to sell a home is during the early to mid-spring time period. Every state and real estate location is different though and this also depends on the type of area the home is located in.
Why Some Markets Have Different Peak Seasons
A home located in a retirement community is definitely going to have a different peak buyer time as compared to a home located in a neighborhood where local schools are one of the big draws. Those parents wanting to move into a new home before the new school year starts will want to buy a home in spring or early summer in order to make sure they settle in prior to the start of school. Those looking to move into a retirement community may be looking to move before the weather gets cold. Again this will entirely depend on where the communities are located. Retirement communities in Florida will be different than retirement communities in the Greater Cincinnati area due to different climates.
For those markets where schools are the primary motivator for people to move in, then spring time can be peak shopping time where the most home buyers are out looking for a home. Home sellers can ...
Should I Have Aerial Photos Or Videos Taken Of My Home For Sale?
The latest and greatest real estate marketing techniques include virtual reality video, 3D video, high definition photography and aerial photographs and videos. Aerial photographs and videos can present an overhead view of homes and the surrounding features. Aerial pictures of a home are not necessary for every home and in some cases should be the last thing home sellers should pay extra for since it adds very little to the marketing of the home.
What Kinds Of Homes Would Benefit From Drone (aerial) Photos and Videos?
Homes with a few accessory features in and around the home are great to show off from above so buyers know where the pool is in relation to the main home or where the basketball court is in relation to the garage. An overhead view will also let buyers know how much land is available with a particular home. Luxury homes with plenty of land and outdoor recreation amenities are great to show off from the air.
Aerial photos are not just for luxury homes but often times luxury homes have features that luxury buyers will be better able to appreciated when seen from above. Aerial photos/videos of non-luxury homes with great yards, landscaping and recreation amenities may also present well in a marketing package when done correctly. For example a water front home will show off great from above where the surrounding body of water is a sight to behold. So don’t think just because a home is not a luxury home that aerial videos are not needed.
What Kinds of Homes Should You Skip Drone (aerial) Photos and Videos For?...
What To Expect When Listing Your Home For Sale With A Realtor
New home sellers or those who have not sold a home in a while may be wondering what the process is for selling a home with a Realtor. While each Realtor may have a different process for the most part Realtors will visit a seller’s home for a listing appointment where they will provide a listing presentation, do a walkthrough of the home. If the home and seller are ready to go the Realtor can start the process of getting a home listed for sale. Once the listing agreement is signed the Realtor will take measurements of important rooms in the home, gather other facts about the home and either take pictures/videos of the home or arrange for a photographer to come out and take the pictures and videos.
The length of time of the entire process of getting a home onto the market depends when the Realtor is first called to the home and the level of readiness the home is in. If a home is not ready due to need of repair and/or other work to get it ready the Realtor will offer advice on how best to repair and stage a home. This process can take a couple of weeks depending on the speed and motivation with which the seller is able to work on what is needed to get ready If a home is ready to go onto the market then a Realtor can have a home listed for sale on Internet websites within 1-2 days.
What Is A Listing Presentation?
When a Realtor comes to the sellers’ home the first time they will usually bring with them a booklet with their listing information or will show a listing presentation on a digital device. The presentation will go...
6 Reasons Why Your Home Expired Without An Offer
When a home listed for sale expires off of the market without so much as an offer there are a number of common reasons as to why that happened. Some of the causes of having an unsold home are the responsibility of the real estate agent if there is one involved. Other aspects of selling a home are done in coordination with the real estate agent but is the primary responsibility of the home seller (setting the listing price for example). If a home seller still has in mind the goal of selling their home this list of six common reasons why a home does not sell will help home sellers get back on track and get their home sold.
Overpricing is one of the main reasons a house will not sell. Homebuyers are looking to get the best value for their money when buying a home and go in fully informed with regards to home prices and features. Regardless of how many upgrades, add-on features a home has if the price is not in line with other homes in the neighborhood it will not sell.
Many neighborhoods have a tendency to have similar houses, similar quality and design. If one house in the neighborhood has been upgraded that does not necessarily mean it will be able get a premium price for that neighborhood. The upgraded home may be sold for a little more money than other non-upgraded homes in the neighborhood but it will not be that much more. The average price of a home in the neighborhood becomes a point where any home priced higher must show the true value through upgrades in order to entice a buyer to make an offer.
Marketing Strategies Expert Realtors Use To Help Sell Your Home
Selling a home is not a simple matter of taking a few pictures, putting it up on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and then the home will sell. It takes much more effort to effectively get a home sold than just taking a few pictures and throwing the information about the home on a few websites. Expert Realtors know these techniques like the back of their hand and must be continually flexible in their strategies in order to sell any type of home during any time of the year or during any market condition. While these strategies presented here do represent what expert Realtors will do, only by working with one of these expert Realtors can home sellers realize all the benefits of these time tested marketing strategies.
Every Real Estate Market Is Different
First thing to realize is that every real estate market is different. Even within the same metropolitan area different locations will require different marketing strategies. Hot neighborhoods where properly priced homes sell in a matter of days can be right next to neighborhoods where homes take weeks or months to sell. Realtors who work in the local area understand the local differences between neighborhoods, cities, and localities and know that while some strategies will work in one area a totally different strategy may be needed in the neighborhood next to it.
Home Pricing As A Marketing Strategy
Believe it or not home pricing is an area that is of importance...
What To Clean Up When Preparing Your Home For Sale
Getting a home ready for sale involves many different things in order to present the home in the best possible light to all potential home buyers. Unless you are selling your home as-is proper presentation ensures buyers look primarily at the features of the house so they can determine whether or not the home will work for them. Distractions from an unclean house means buyers may decide to look elsewhere under the impression that an unclean house was not well cared for in other ways. A clean home also looks great with high definition pictures for buyers who are looking on the internet for a new place to call home. Cleaning ones house prior to putting it up for sale and keeping it clean during the showing process is a critical staging step that all homeowners should do and the following areas are important areas to clean up.
Floors and Carpeting
Starting from the bottom and working up the first thing to clean would be carpet and flooring. For carpets that are not heavily soiled, stained or torn having the carpets steam cleaned and deodorized will go a long way to freshening up a home. If carpets have stains, deep odors contributed by pets, smoking that will not come out with steam cleaning or large tears and heavy wear then new carpet should be installed. New carpet with neutral colors will help improve the look of a home and home buyers will appreciate getting a home with new carpet installed.
Hardwood flooring with minor wear which still retains its color can be refinished...
5 Reasons Why Your Pending Home Sale Can Fall Apart
5 Reasons Why Your Pending Home Sale CAN Fall Apart And How To Prevent It
Selling a home is not a fast activity like going to a store and buying a new television. In most cases you go to the store pick out what TV you want and after paying for it you can leave and enjoy the TV. Selling a home on the other hand is a more involved process. The instant an offer is accepted by the seller there still is a period of time where the deal to purchase the home can fall apart. Here are the main areas where a home sale can fall and how to avoid those pitfalls.
Every house that is going to be purchased with the use of a mortgage loan needs to be appraised in order to ensure the amount being lent to buy the home is not more than the actual value of the home itself. Mortgage lenders are able to lend for long term periods and with low interest rates due to the fact that if the borrower can no longer pay for the mortgage loan the lender can foreclose on the property. After foreclosing on the property the lender should be able to recover some if not all of the money lent for the purchase of the home.
The mortgage lender will order an appraisal to be performed by a licensed appraiser. The appraiser will look at the condition of the home as well as look at the updates and upgrades that have been made. Through the appraisal process the house is compared with recent sales of homes which are similar to the home being evaluated and provide...
5 Smart Strategies For Selling Your Luxury Home
Selling a home involves quite a bit of preparation in order to make sure you are presenting the best possible product. When it comes time to sell the home you will need to think of it as a product since ultimately that is what it is in the buyer’s minds until they buy it and make it their home. Taking it one step further a luxury home is also a product, but one that needs to be elevated much more since buyers for luxury homes are looking for specifics in a home and want something that will justify the price. The following strategies are designed to help luxury home owners elevate their home so that when buyers visit a home the home in person they can sell the luxury difference.
Luxury Home Photography and Video
As a Cincinnati, Ohio Luxury Realtor I have been asked about what differences are there in marketing a luxury home versus marketing a non-luxury home. The differences can be minor such as having more pictures of a luxury home versus a non-luxury home. One of the main reason a luxury home has more pictures is usually because luxury have more features and amenities to show off compared to non-luxury homes. Buyers looking for those luxury features and amenities will first want to see them in pictures before they decide a home is worth visiting in person. If the pictures can’t keep the buyers attention then the luxury real estate agent may not doing their job.
Photography and videos of a luxury home must be top notch and your typical point and shoot cameras or low light cell...
How Do The Holidays affect My Home Sale?
As an Anderson Township, Ohio Realtor I get asked many times what is the best time of the year to sell a home? Many homeowners believe that since it is Fall and Winter and especially getting close to the big holidays like Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Kwanza and Christmas it is better to wait and not have one’s home listed for sale since there are fewer buyers ready to buy a home. While it is true there are fewer buyers looking to buy a home during the holiday season that does not mean all home sales come to a standstill and nothing gets sold. In fact many homes do sell and close during this time of year and if you are serious about selling your home, any time of the year is a good time to put your home on the market for sale.
The Types Of Sellers Looking For A Home During The Holiday Season
Parents with school age children are a smaller percentage of those looking for a home during the holiday season but that does not mean they are not shopping at all. For those parents who have sudden job moves or need to move to be closer to relatives for whatever reason they need to find a home now. There are those parents too who can afford to buy a home they like now and move into it when they are ready come springtime.
Other buyer categories include married couples without children, empty nesters looking to downsize or right size as well as unmarried individuals looking to settle down and have a place to call their own. ...
Safety Tips For When Your Home Is On Sale
While the process of selling your home is not necessarily an unsafe one that does not mean you shouldn’t be taking safety tips to protect your loved ones and personal belongings. Some of these tips have dual purposes too in that not only do they help increase you safety during the time your home is on sale but also serve a purpose in making your home more appealing to buyers. By following these tips you can better protect yourself and ensure a smooth home sale process.
Put Away Your Collectibles and Valuables
This is one of those areas as noted above where putting away your collectibles and valuables means more safety and security for you and improves the look of your home for buyers. Your valuables and collectibles need to be put away to keep them out of sight from envious eyes who might think they look better with them than with you. Maybe most of the buyers in your area are honest and will leave your valuables alone but that does not mean their kid’s might not think your classic model car collection does not look fun to play with. Anything valuable or pricey needs to be put away, preferably stored outside of the house where it is not seen.
Part of the putting away of collectibles relates to the decluttering step that is recommended for homes being put up for sale. In addition to there being a lower chance of theft when the valuables are put away the space looks more open with fewer things in the home. Buyers need to imagine themselves and...
Fall Home Selling Tips
While springtime in the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky represents the peak time for home sales and purchases the second most active time for buying or selling a home is in the Fall. There are some different considerations to take into account when selling your home in the Fall in terms of home preparation and curb appeal. The most important fact to understand is through proper home preparation, regardless of the season, you can maximize the amount of buyer traffic you get and help increase the price you can get when selling your home.
Fall Time Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is something that should not be neglected during any season. Curb appeal is what draws buyers in when they drive by a home and usually the first picture they see of a home on the Internet is one of the front of the house. Therefore getting your curb appeal correct is critical to help your home standout amongst the other homes listed for sale.
While the weather is still cooperative keeping your grass properly mowed and edged helps keep a nice groomed look to your home. Watering your lawn so it greens up or remains green is also an important thing to do since dry or dead patches of lawn tell a story of homeowners who did not care to work on the outside of the home so the inside may also have some problems as well. If you do have dry/dead patches of lawn get some quick grow grass seed repair kits that cover up those dead spots by allowing new grass to come in quickly.
Another important tip is to make sure to keep the falling leaves cleaned up. Whether you have leaves on the ground or leaves collecting on your roof or...