Selling 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...
Selling 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.
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...
The 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...
When 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...
When 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.
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...
Good 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.
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...
Improving 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. Another side benefit? Making these changes can have a positive impact on the planet as well.
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, and can sometimes save homeowners about $600 per year!
Larger And More Impactful Changes
For those who have construction skills or a larger budget...
Curb 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 curb appeal improvements can be made.
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; and confirm that the house number is easy to see from the street, as buyers are less likely to scope out an address they can’t find.
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 Forest might turn...
When going to sell a home, there are a multitude of steps that can boggle and overwhelm even the most adept mind. What if a seller has no idea how to start? Is staging important? What does a real estate agent do? This guide gives sellers the basic details needed to sell a home 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 seller's behalf and confirm that the home sale is following all relevant laws and guidelines.
What Is Home Staging?
One of the things a real estate agent can help with is the presentation of a home to prospective buyers. The process of getting a home in its best condition, with colors and designs that are most appealing to buyers, is called “home staging.”...
Selling 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. Be sure to consult with a financial expert or real estate agent when selling a property for help understanding what taxes 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. 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 capital gains tax liability, not the final sale price of the home. If a seller owned the home...
When 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
These 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 technology you can add to your home, 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:
- Products become obsolete quickly
- There are many brands on the market
- 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 investments, so that your upgrades will be appreciated by the average home buyer.
Full Home Automation vs Individual Technologies
There are a couple of different ways to look at smart home technology. There are fully-integrated home automation systems, that link a number of smart devices,...
A 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...
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
These days, a lot of buyers want a fairly open floor plan with lots of space. If you have an older home or a house with a lot of enclosed rooms, you may have to fight convention if you want to bring the offers in. These tips help you to show off the space you have and create a comfortable flow for your home, even if you don't have a house with a lot of space or an open floor plan.
Choose One Purpose
Home buyers often expect the home to fulfill a variety of purposes, such as eating, sleeping, entertaining, work and education. If you have many small rooms in the home, trying to cram too many activities into a single space is the last thing you want to do. For staging, the smaller the room, the simpler you must keep the activities. A spare bedroom could be converted into a playroom or entertainment room, instead of letting video game equipment and toys clutter kids’ bedrooms or the living room. An enclosed dining room should be devoted only to that purpose.
Eliminate Visual Clutter in Design
Busyness is the enemy of the small room. Even if all the basic clutter is cleared away and you are left with an open floor and mostly-empty shelving, the room may still look too busy. Fun houses at carnivals are designed with contrasting patterns to trick the eye and make it hard for people to navigate. You do not want any room in your home to create such confusion. Instead, select designs that encourage an open flow. Minimize the amount...
Preparing a home for sale can be an expensive process if it's allowed to run out of control. The cost for repairs, renovations, carpet cleaning, and more can really mount up long before the sign is in place and the home is actually ready for the market. Since most sellers consider preparations like these necessary, they are usually willing to bite the bullet and absorb these costs, knowing they will recoup them when the home sells.
Professional staging services are another preparation that can really help sell a home, but it is one that many sellers find themselves shying away from, especially when repair bills and other expenses have already made a sizeable dent in the budget. While the budget may not allow much room for staging, it can be a big mistake to skip the step entirely.
The Value of Staging a Home
Real estate professionals place real value on the staging process. In fact, according to recent statistics published by the National Association of Realtors®, 32% of buyers' agents and 37% of sellers' agents felt that staging increases the value of a home in the eyes of the buyers who view them. In addition, staging was also felt to:
- help buyers visualize a home they are viewing as their future home (81%)
- make buyers more likely to want to view a home they have previously seen online (46%)
- make buyers more inclined to overlook some property faults...
Seller financing may just be the great untapped market in terms of win-win situations for a variety of reasons.
Interest rates are still relatively low, but credit is tightening a bit, making loan qualification more difficult for borderline buyers. The future is a bit uncertain, and interest rates are creeping up while demand seems to be leveling off.
Why should a buyer or a seller look to alternative financing because of this? In some cases, it can be good for both sides, and it can offer a way to simplify a transaction rather than adding additional layers of complication. It takes a good amount of consideration to determine if seller financing is a good move - buyers and sellers alike should speak with a financial professional to see how this would affect their current situation.
A History of Financing
While long-term mortgage financing is by far the most prevalent way to buy and sell real estate, it has never been the only way. Until the mid-20th Century, long-term mortgages were unheard of, even for commercial property. Cash ruled and, if terms were offered, it was usually for a short-term payout.
Farm property often changed hands by means of casual agreements to make payments out of successive harvests, sometimes with provision for a "balloon payment" after X number of years. The arrangement allowed newcomers and younger generations of farmers to build equity without having to save up for cash purchases of land.
A legal document known variously as a Contract for Deed or Land Contract, Lease-Option or Lease-Purchase Agreement, Equity Sharing,...
Just like knowing which fork to use at a banquet table, selling your home comes with all sorts of hidden rules about good manners. Learning the rules of home selling etiquette will make the process feel a lot smoother, and you may find that knowing how to behave during open houses and showings helps you sell your house a little bit faster.
Most rules about good manners have to do with making the people around you feel comfortable and relaxed — in the case of selling your home, your behavior should be determined by what is most likely to make people shopping for a new home feel like they're welcome into your home, yet under no pressure to buy.
Although this may sound complicated, there are a few easy ways to ensure buyers feel at home when visiting your home. Here’s what you should know to make a good impression.
1: Make Yourself Scarce
One of the many benefits of working with a real estate agent is that you don't need to come in contact with prospective buyers during showings. It's not that meeting them is outright rude or anything, but your presence on the property is a big reminder that you're the owner. Most buyers won't want to offend you by commenting on your choice of kitchen cabinets, so they won't feel free to discuss your home or voice their opinions to their own real estate agent if they feel you hovering in the background.
It's also much easier for buyers to picture your house as their own without you — a total stranger — in their line of sight. Hit the road when a...
Vacation homes are a wonderful way to really relax and spend time in a pleasant atmosphere. However, sometimes circumstances, including time or financial constraints, can make it necessary to sell a vacation home that is no longer wanted or needed.
Unlike selling a permanent residence, selling a vacation home often means managing the process from another location, sometimes hundreds or even thousands of miles away. If you have decided to sell your vacation home and are wondering where to begin, the following suggestions may assist you in getting it sold as quickly and easily as possible.
Check Tax Ramifications First
Vacation homes are usually viewed differently than a primary residence for purposes of taxation, so remember to first make sure to do your research to ensure that selling your vacation home is financially feasible for your particular tax situation. In some cases, you may be better off by choosing to have the property managed professionally by a property manager for on-going rental income instead of selling. This may be especially true if you will have to pay capital gains taxes on the sale of the vacation home.
Use the Services of a Real Estate Professional
If, after examining the taxation ramifications, moving forward with the sale of the vacation home seems like a smart move, the next step is to hire a reputable real estate professional who specializes in successfully selling vacation homes in that particular area. ...
Buying a home is not only one of the biggest purchases of a lifetime, it's the fulfillment of a dream. Many home buyers have specific things they consider must-haves for their dream home.
Outside of the home itself, one of the most common considerations is the neighborhood and its distance from work. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 78-percent of home buyers stated in a Community Preference Survey that neighborhood quality was more important than home size. The same survey showed that 57-percent prefer a shorter commute to a large yard.
But what about the actual home features? Once home buyers have zeroed in on a neighborhood, it's time to consider the other things that top a home buyer wish list.
1. Outdoor Living Space
While the NAR survey shows that home buyers often opt for a shorter/easier commute versus a large yard, a usable outdoor living space still makes it as a home buyer wish list item. A large backyard is most desirable when the space is usable and inviting. An attractive backyard, patio, deck, or covered porch offers additional living space without the need (and expense) of expanding the house with renovations. Some of the most popular outdoor living space wish list items include:
- Large, maintenance-free deck
- Outdoor kitchen and/or pizza oven
- Well-maintained pool