Selling Your Home

How to Sell Your Home as a Short Sale

What to Know About Selling a Home as a Short SaleThere are times when things happen in a homeowners life where they may have to sell their homes unexpectedly. An unexpected home sale may also show that home may be worth less than what is owed on the mortgage. This is also called being "underwater". In these cases, the homeowner has several options. One option is to wait for a foreclosure. Another option could be a short sale.

A short sale is one option for those who do not want to go through the foreclosure process, with possibly fewer negative consequences. In some instances, those who sell their home as a short sale may be able to soon buy another home sooner than they would if they had a foreclosure. The short sale process is different than the general home selling process, as the lender has much more influence throughout the process.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

What Is a Short Sale?

Circumstances can change. With a divorce, job loss or medical bills looming, not all homeowners can afford to continue making payments on a home and may need to sell. And in some cases, selling a residential property where the market value is lower than the outstanding mortgage could result in a short sale.

Homeowners who are faced with homes...

Selling Your House? Everything You Need to Know About Staging

How to Stage Your HomeHome sellers who want to sell their property quickly will usually start by making their home look as beautiful and desirable as possible. This is why staging is so important for people who want to sell their property. Home sellers who are thinking about selling their home in the near future should consider staging their property before listing it for sale. Proper staging for a home not only makes the home look better for the buyer as they tour a home, it also helps the photos look better that are posted to help sell the home. These tips can make staging easier for a person who wants to sell their property.

What Is Staging?

Staging is the art of making a home look more appealing to home buyers. Staging usually involves making aesthetic improvements as well as maintenance upgrades. Home sellers who want to sell their home quickly and for more money will often stage their property before ever putting their home on the market. Staging the home can make the property look up to date and well maintained.

What Must A Home Seller Do to Stage Their Home?

There are many things that home sellers can do to stage their home.

Decluttering

To stage their home, many sellers start by decluttering the property and making repairs. Decluttering is the act of removing all excess items from the home. Excess items could include collectables, papers, stacks of magazines, old furniture and old clothing....

Reasons Why You Shouldn't Sell Your Own Home

Why You Should Avoid a FSBO Home SaleThe term FSBO stands for For Sale By Owner, and it's one of the options for home sellers who may be on a budget. Instead of securing the services of a real estate agent, the seller does the work themselves and saves the cost of commission. However, sellers may not be considering the many potential pitfalls of home selling as they may not realize just how specialized and detailed the work a real estate really is. From legal ramifications to financial mistakes, see why sellers usually regret taking the task of seeling their own home on themselves.

Home Pricing Is Difficult

There are some websites that show the average cost of a home in a neighborhood and possibly the recent home sales on a homeowner's particular block. However, there are potential drawbacks to a home owner trying to do their own website research. Many websites may not be displaying current information, Or the information they show may be misleading.

For example, each home sale is specific to the buyers and sellers in the transaction, determined by anything from the condition of the home to the specific contingencies listed in the purchase offer. These facts are not shown on a website, though they might be available to a real estate agent. Agents have the accurate selling information for nearby homes that a potential FSBO seller may not.

And pricing a home correctly from the start is critical for an eventual home sale. Set a price too high and sellers may turn buyers off immediately. Set the price too low, and buyers may think the seller has...

Marketing Tips and Tricks for Home Sellers

7 Steps to Market a Home for SaleWhen people selling a home start to think of it as a business transaction, they may be able to recognize how important a good marketing strategy is for a home sale. Landing the right buyer involves putting up a good package, and then finding people who want it. Here are a few marketing tips that may boost a seller's sale price, or seal the deal a little sooner.

1. Bring In an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Even though millions of people will sell at least one home in their lifetimes, it really is not an activity that is easy for amateurs. Selling any product that may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars requires knowing:

  • what buyers want
  • which buyers want to buy certain kinds of houses
  • how best to get those buyers' attention

A real estate agent with plenty of recent experience working in the area will have detailed knowledge about all of these subjects.

2. Get a Feel for the Local Real Estate Market

Even with the professional guidance of a real estate agent, home sellers still have a lot of say in the direction of the sale. This means that sellers need to educate themselves on the nature of the market in their area and their neighborhood. The dynamic of the local market could affect the list price of the home, the way the home is staged, the details in the listing, and the speed at which the sale could be closed. Understanding these factors in advance helps sellers to...

How To Sell a Home With Pets

Selling a Home With Pets? 4 Can't-Miss TipsPets aren’t just random animals, they’re friends and part of the family, and pet owners will do whatever they can to make sure their pets are happy and healthy. When trying to sell a home to move to a new one, pet owners may come across advice saying they need to get rid of their pets or the home won’t sell, but this isn’t true. While selling a home with pets may be more difficult than selling a home without pets, it isn’t impossible, and here are a few different ways pet owners can give their home the best chance of finding a buyer.

Relocate Pets During Showings

A home showing is the most important time for a home because this is when buyers will decide if they want to purchase it or not. For this reason, guests should be made as comfortable as possible during this time, which means any pets in the home should be taken elsewhere for the duration of the showing. Not only are some people allergic to animals, guests may also be afraid of them. Removing pets from a  home during showings can also be better for the pets, as it’s possible for buyers to bring along small children who don’t know how to act around animals, or doors can be left open and it could be possible for pets to sneak outside where they can be harmed. 

Homeowners can temporarily relocate their pets by taking them...

Lighting Tricks for Selling Your Home

How Creative Lighting Can Help Stage the HomeLighting is important, especially when it's time to stage the home. Proper lighting can help make the room look airy and more spacious, and can also make the home look cleaner. Homeowners who need to stage their home for real estate showings can use lighting in creative ways to highlight beauty in the home. These tips will help homeowners use lighting to stage their home creatively.

Clean All Windows

Dirty windows can restrict light coming into the home. Cleaning the windows helps to ensure that all the light is able to filter in through the windows. Maximizing daylight in this way can make the home's interior look more cheerful.

Use Sheers to Create Diffuse Light

Dark curtains can create a heaviness in the room while also blocking light and adding shadows to the space. Replacing dark curtains with sheers enables more daylight to enter the home. Sheers can be left open to allow daylight to pour in directly, or they can be closed to create a diffuse, natural glow.

Use Edison Bulbs for Dramatic Effect

Edison bulbs are creative and artful. They look great on bare bulb light fixtures and on fixtures where the bulb is partially visible beneath a shade. Edison bulbs have a slightly antique, industrial appearance that's especially effective in rooms that are decorated with wood and metal furnishings. Edison bulbs work best...

How to Make Your Home Stand Out in a Buyer’s Market

6 Ways To Make Your Home Stand Out in a Competitive MarketSelling a home can be tricky, and selling a home in a buyer’s market where there are far more homes than there are buyers can be difficult for homeowners who are unfamiliar with good strategies to make their home more appealing to buyers. These strategies can be used by any homeowner, new or experienced, to help their home sell in a buyer’s market.

Take High Quality Pictures For Online Listings

Chances are, the first time a buyer will see a home is in an online listing, so it’s important for the homeowner to have lots of pictures available. The more pictures that are available online, the more buyers may be enticed to come visit it in person, where they can truly fall in love with the home.

Taking pictures is easier now than ever because of the ever-increasing quality of cell phone cameras, so homeowners shouldn’t feel the need to go out and buy a brand new camera just to sell their home. However, it’s worth noting that if a seller can’t take professional quality pictures on their own, they ought to consult a professional to ensure their home’s photography stands out.

Clean and Get Rid of Clutter Before Showing

Buyers love to see clean homes because it means they actually get to see the home, rather than all the things that fill it. ...

Documents Needed for Home Selling

Common Paperwork Types When Selling a HomeSelling a home often calls for a great deal of documentation. Some of this paperwork is generated and managed by a real estate agent, but others may require the seller to collect and maintain. With this list, sellers will know which documentation to watch for while selling their homes.

Selling Paperwork

When people decide to sell a home, they quickly realize that the process of selling can be very complicated. A real estate agent usually handles paperwork related to the actual sale, and includes:

  • listing agreement for the property, which indicates how the agent distributes payment for services
  • marketing plans to attract attention to the home
  • purchase contracts offered by buyers and signed by both parties
  • mandatory disclosures about the condition of the property
  • home buying contingencies placed by the buyer
  • occupancy agreements

Much of this paperwork may need to be completed more than once, if the seller ends up going through the process with more than buyer.

Inspections and Appraisals

In order to sell the home, most lenders require an appraisal to estimate the property's current value. Many home buyers also choose to request a home inspection, to ascertain the home's...

5 Upsides to Downsizing Your Home: How Less Can Be More

Five Upsides to Downsizing Your HomeThe old saying, “Sometimes less is more” can certainly hold true when it comes to the benefits of downsizing the home. While it's many owner's pride and joy for years and years, there often comes a time when the glorious of that spacious home loses its luster. After all, it takes a lot of time and money to run a large dwelling, so many owners are looking into downsizing the home for some of the following benefits.

1. Less Overall Stress Can Promote Greater Health and Happiness

Excessive stress affects the mind and the body, triggering signals that can slow down numerous essential functions that keep individuals healthy. In fact, stress has been linked to several leading causes of death in recent decades, with heart conditions being at the top of the list. It's not a secret that financial stress is a top concern of most individuals, especially those with high mortgages and/or interest rates scraping to the bottom of their bank accounts. Downsizing is likely to reduce one's mortgage, taxes, repair bills, and—in some cases—can even eliminate mortgage debts entirely. With these burdens eased, many homeowners feel rejuvenated, less stressed out, and more satisfied overall.

2. Less Home Equals More Energy Savings

Unless it operates on a solar panel system, one of the downsides to living in a larger abode are greater energy expenses. Electrical expenses for heating and cooling in a smaller home will decrease, especially when using energy efficient appliances and implements....

How to Sell a Home with Unpermitted Work

What to Do When Your Home Has Unpermitted WorkWhen it comes to renovating or improving a home, owners are supposed to complete all work within the letter of the law. This means they may need official permits granted by the city in order to add on a new bathroom, break ground on a pool, or install a skylight in the ceiling. Because different neighborhoods have different rulings and homes can frequently change hands, it's not uncommon for homes to have unpermitted work. Learn more about what constitutes unpermitted work, how it affects the buyer's decision, and what sellers can do about it.

The Nature of Permits

No matter how skilled a contractor a homeowner might be, a local official has no way of verifying just how safe their work is. Permits are designed to ensure the stability of the home isn't compromised during a renovation or repair, and the specific rules about which jobs need them and which jobs don't are determined at the local level. In certain cases, owners may be required to hire professionals, regardless of their own expertise when it comes to the work.

The Nature of Homes

Homeowners, in Cherry Grove or elsewhere, may choose to complete renovations without a permit for any number of reason. They may be trying to skirt property taxes or just save money on hiring contractors. Some owners don't know that they need to get permits, and some just flat out ignore the rules....

Tips to Prepare for Your First Home Showing

Your First Home Showing: Ways to Get ReadyWhen you're selling your home, your first home showings can be both stressful and exciting. Knowing how to prepare your home and what you can do to make your home more inviting for buyers can help make the experience more productive. By staging, cleaning, making small repairs and reducing clutter, you can attract more buyers and bigger offers. These tips will help.

Reduce Clutter

Clutter is the number one enemy of home sellers, because clutter can make your home appear to be smaller and darker than it really is. Eliminating clutter is the best way to make your house more appealing to buyers. Clutter takes many forms, so there are many things you can do to reduce clutter in your home. Toys on the floor, knick-knacks on the shelves, bills on the counter and excessive clothes in the closet can all be called "clutter." These tips will help:

  • Pick toys up off the floor to make each room look more spacious.
  • Clean closets by reducing the number of items stored on the floor and on the shelves.
  • Clean off all counters, tabletops and shelves.

For many home sellers, clutter reduction can take weeks or even months. In addition to all the sorting and decision-making (what stays? what goes?), the actual act of getting rid of clutter takes time. Garage sales take weeks to organize, donating items requires trips back and forth to...

Landscaping For A Successful Home Sale

How to Landscape to Appeal to Home BuyersGood landscaping makes a good impression on people who see your home from the outside. Good landscaping can make your home look well-maintained and well-loved, which ultimately can make it more attractive to potential buyers. If you're thinking about selling in the next year, these landscaping tips will help you cultivate buyer-friendly landscaping, even in competitive markets like North Myrtle Beach.

Get Started Early

Good landscaping doesn't happen overnight. Growing grass and flowers, de-weeding the lawn, establishing new trees and making similar changes can all take time. If you know that you'll be selling your home sometime later this year, start working on your landscaping months in advance. This gives you time to plant, fertilize and encourage plants to establish roots as needed, so your landscaping will be more mature by the time buyers come to see the property.

Prune

Pruning encourages new, leafy growth and can help make old bushes look new and vital once again. Pruning also helps control plants and trees that might block light into the home, which can help make the inside of the home look lighter and more cheerful. When pruning shrubs and plants, it's important to pick the right time of year. Many plants do best when they're pruned in early spring. Don't forget that shrubs will take time to bounce...

Best Energy Efficient Improvements For Your Home

How to Pick Energy Saving Upgrades For Your HomeImproving the value of one’s home is often toward the top of people’s priority lists, and there are a lot of ways this can be accomplished. Many choose to remodel or landscape, but another often overlooked solution is to utilize energy efficient improvements not only to increase property value but to reduce overall monthly overhead. What is an energy efficient home? Simply put, it's a home that has lowered its carbon footprint. And best if all, making these changes can have a positive impact on the planet as well.

DIY Upgrades

What is the best way to save energy at home? Lowering your bills by doing some work yourself sounds pretty good! While some home projects require a professional, there are a few easy energy efficient changes one can make around the home that can yield some nice savings. One of the more common recommendations that nearly everyone can do is to change out light bulbs for models that use less power. Whether the choice is to go with an LED, CFL, or halogen incandescent, many households can save close to $100 per year on their energy bill just by making a simple change.

Homeowners who are a little more project savvy might enjoy utilizing insulation to their advantage, and either replacing old material or putting it in for the first time in a home’s attic can make a big difference. This simple improvement will help to regulate a home’s temperature,...

Curb Appeal Basics: A Checklist for Home Sellers

What is Good Curb AppealCurb appeal is a valuable part of staging a home to appeal to buyers, as the front yard is the first thing a buyer sees when they approach a house. A poorly maintained or unappealing front yard can deter buyers by giving them the impression that the home isn't well maintained by the owner and possibly in a state of disrepair. On the other hand, a vibrant, well maintained yard can attract buyers with a clean look that excites them and encourages them to see the rest of the house. Here are a few common trouble areas where home curb appeal improvements can be made.

Curb

The curb isn’t the first thing that buyers see, but it is the first aspect of the property they will see up close. Take the time to get it in hand: Repair cracked concrete; make sure that the mailbox is in excellent condition and has no chips, dents, or rust. Be sure to confirm that the house number is easy to see from the street, as buyers are less likely to scope out an address, with good curbside appeal or otherwise, if they can’t find it.

Driveway

Sellers might think that buyers will barely see the driveway, but if it looks bad, it might be the only thing they see. Driveways often show buyers how the current owners treat the home, especially the parts that do not matter as much. A driveway with cracks and stains gives an impression of disrepair to viewers, and it can serve as a deterrent to potential buyers. Even a great listing in Carolina...

How to Sell a Home: A Guide for First Time Home Sellers

Basic Tips for First Time Home SellersWhen going to sell a home, there are a multitude of steps that can boggle and overwhelm even the most adept mind. What if a home seller has no idea how to start? Is staging important? What does a real estate agent do? This home sellers' guide gives sellers the basic details needed to sell a home quickly with preparations to ensure they get the best bang for their buck.

Do I Need a Real Estate Agent?

Although there are few instances in life when people really must have a professional to handle a certain situation, sometimes hiring a professional to guide and advise you is worth more than the money paid. In selling a home, hiring a real estate agent is one of them. Without an agent, sellers are alone to negotiate with the buyer, who probably has an agent to help them secure the best deal. A real estate agent is there to get the home ready for sale, make sure that buyers find the home, negotiate a good offer on the house seller's behalf and confirm that the home sale is following all relevant laws and guidelines. On top of all of that they are there to provide guidance and advice for home sellers.

What Is Home Staging?

One of the things a real estate agent can help with is the presentation of a home to prospective buyers as well as open houses. The process of getting a home in its best condition, with colors and designs that are most appealing to buyers, is called “...

How Do Capital Gains Affect the Home Selling Process?

The Impact of Selling a Home on the Capital Gains TaxSelling a home often returns a big profit, which might be subject to capital gains taxes. With this guide, sellers can begin to understand the rules of capital gains taxes and whether or not they may be required to pay them. Is the sale of a house a capital gain? Be sure to consult with a financial expert or real estate agent when selling a property for more help understanding what tax implications of selling a house can apply to a specific home sale.

How Do Capital Gains Taxes Work?

When selling a piece of property, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may have a stake in your profit. The profits earned from the sale of property are known as capital gains. Most people who do not own businesses seldom deal with capital gains taxes outside of the sale of a home. The reason is that many personal belongings that can be sold to another person, such as a car, are items that do not appreciate over time. Since homes have the ability to increase in value over time, individuals may have to settle capital gains on the sale.

When Do People Owe Capital Gains Taxes?

The good news is that there is an option for most sellers to exclude much or all of their capital gains from their taxes during tax season. This is called a capital gain exclusion and can help sellers avoid capital gain taxes. Capital gains refer to the difference between what was paid for the home and its current sale price. This means that the difference is the only thing that needs to be considered for ...

How to Choose an Interior Paint Color

Choosing an Interior Wall ColorWhen preparing a home for sale, it is best to paint interior walls a neutral color, with off-white being the most popular. However, if a buyer has just bought a house and is making it their own, or they are just ready for a change in décor, there is a world of colorful possibilities.

Light vs. Dark Colors

There are good reasons why sellers paint rooms off-white, and these are as true in Myrtle Beach as they are anywhere else. It is unobtrusive, allowing potential buyers to more easily envision the space as their own. But light colors also make spaces look bigger, and buyers are always in the market for more space. If a space feels cramped, keep the paint light to open it up.

However, openness is not always the desired impression. Sometimes small and cozy is what is called for. For these rooms, use darker colors.

Sometimes, rooms are just shaped weird, but clever use of color can help visually downplay it. If a room is overly long, paint the long walls something light and the short walls something darker. This causes the width to expand and the length to narrow, presenting a more proportioned room.

From Floor to Ceiling, Dark to Light

The desire for space is also the reason why nearly every home has its ceilings painted white. If it was dark, it would be smothering.

As a general rule, a room should transition from dark to light as it moves from floor to ceiling. Flooring, therefore, should be the darkest element in the room. The walls are lighter, and the ceiling is white.

Cool vs. Warm Colors

Cool colors are green, blue and purple....

Should I Add Smart Technology to My Home Before Selling?

Smart Technology in the HomeThese days, the phrase on everyone’s lips is “smart technology.” If your home does not have it, you should know that buyers may be looking for it. This guide shows you some of the most common forms of smart home technology you should consider adding, with some tips to help you decide which ones are the best investment.

Cautions About Smart Technology

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that smart technology is an industry in rapid development. This means the following:

  • Even top smart home devices can become obsolete quickly
  • There are many brands on the market to make your home smart
  • Interactivity may be limited

In short, you should be wary about the kinds of products that you install in your home as a way to impress buyers. Home buyers, especially buyers on the younger end of the spectrum, are accustomed to using various types of smart technology beyond smartphones. They may already have preferences about the best brands, and expect that whatever you have is going to be at the top of the line. Ask your real estate agent for recommendations before you start making a smart home, so that your upgrades will be appreciated by the average home buyer.

Full Home Automation vs Individual Technologies

What is smart home technology? There are a couple of different ways to approach smart home technology. There are fully-integrated home...

Tips for Selling a Home With a Pool

Staging a Pool to Sell a Home to the Best BuyerA home with a pool can have big appeal to the right buyer. However, not all home buyers are specifically seeking a pool. This means that a home's pool may have to win over buyers who are not convinced that they would like a pool on their property. To do this, the pool must be kept in good condition and properly staged. Knowing how to stage, market and present a property with a pool and can help get the most for the sale of a home.

Make Cosmetic Repairs

An older pool can suffer from cosmetic problems like algae, cracks, pock marks in the plaster, water stains and scale on the tiles. Cosmetic issues can lead a home buyer to question the condition of the pool, even if these problems have no real impact on safety and functionality. Have cosmetic problems repaired before putting the home on the market to help reassure buyers that your pool is in good condition.

Keep Up With Cleaning and Monitor the Chemical Content

Keep up with cleaning and monitoring of the chemicals in your pool. The water in the pool must be crystal clear when buyers come to the home. If in the middle of packing to move there isn't time to keep up with pool maintenance, hire a pool service to ensure that the pool will always look its best.

Leave the Water Uncovered

Many homeowners keep their pool covered to prevent water from evaporating or...

Home Selling in Summer: Tips to Stage a Home at the Hottest Time of the Year

Summer is a good time to sell your home, because there are many buyers on the market during summer months. However, hot weather and an abundance of buyers can make this time challenging for home sellers. Keeping up with curb appeal and creating a comfortable environment around the house can be critical for making a successful sale.

Keep Up With the Watering

It takes a lot of water to maintain a healthy lawn at the height of the summer. With the sun beating down and temperatures rising, grass and flowers can suffer if they're not sufficiently hydrated. Depending on the local weather, home sellers could find themselves watering their lawn or garden on a near-daily basis. Taking steps to conserve water and automate the system can make this less of a burden.

  • set up an irrigation system for the garden, and place it on a timer.  
  • water the lawn in the early morning or late evening to prevent evaporation. 
  • turn off the watering system when it rains.

Maintain Curb Appeal

Curb appeal can be a lot of work in summer. Gardens need a lot of maintenance to avoid becoming overgrown or dry and brittle. Keep up with fertilizing, edging the grass, trimming bushes, deadheading flowers and raking up the lawn after storms. Homeowners who don't have time to do this personally will benefit from a gardening service.

Maintain Cool Temperatures Indoors

Some homeowners try to save money...