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Top Tips for Sellers

  • The First Impression is the Only Impression You Get – Make sure when some one drives by or walks up to the house, everything they see is well maintained, cleaned and polished (i.e no spider webs, leaves, trash, clutter, etc on the porch, the walkways, or the garage.
  • Keep it clean, keep it cleaner
  • Just because you move out, doesn’t mean the house is just how you left it, do a walkthrough before open houses/showings
  • Secure it all around, as great as your neighbors may have been, temptation is powerful
  • Understand your true costs and price accordingly
  • Price objectively, no one else has sentimental value in your home
  • If you’re still living in the house while it’s on the market, consider moving half of your stuff into storage. It’ll be easier to keep the place clean and it’ll make the interior appear that much larger and more spacious.
  • Lighten up, literally. Dim lights and closed-off windows make a space seem cold and uninviting. Replace any old light bulbs and pull back drapes/blinds to maximize the amount of natural light inside the house.
  • Hire a tech-savvy broker who knows the market, monitors the MLS, remains well-informed about properties going on the market, knows the competition, and has plenty of tools in his or her belt to get the word out about your house.
  • Ditch the pets for the weekend. You may have grown accustomed to the smell of your pets, but trust us – the rest of the world hasn’t. Plus, not everyone finds your dog, cat, gerbil, parrot, or python to be as cute and lovable as you. It’s a safer bet to give pets a vacation and deep-clean and deodorize in their absence, before the showing. Remember, clean is critical.
  • Make up, not face lift. Polish the interiors with a fresh coat of paint, maybe some touch-ups/patchwork here and there, but don’t go knocking out any walls or doing hardcore remodels before you move. You’re more likely to lose money on the deal. Remember, most people will want to make the house their own anyway, so don’t drop thousands into something they may not want to keep.
  • De-Home Your House. You want prospective buyers to see themselves in the house, not you.
  • Plan ahead with your pictures. If you know you’ll be putting the house on the market in the wintertime, but your house looks it’s best in spring, remember to snap pictures of your house when it’s at it’s best. Make sure you get professional photography done.
  • Super Tip: Give buyers a 4 seasons experience with a photo of your house from each season so they can picture it year-round
  • Beyond Curb appeal, a house is only as strong as it’s kitchen. Bedrooms and bathrooms eliminate, but kitchens sell. If you’re looking for somewhere to focus your remodeling or renovating efforts, the kitchen is the place to start.
  • Be “show-ready” at a moment’s notice
  • Open it up – if you have a lot of foliage (overgrowth) covering the front of the house, cut it out. Buyers are likely to see overgrown bushes or shrubbery covering the front of the house as additional yard work they’ll have to do.
  • Give buyers a blank slate, but allude/hint at the possibilities. Give them inspiration, but not lock them into anything.
  • Set up the house based on how the rooms are supposed to be used… even if it’s not how you’re used to living in them.
  • Ask your broker where the property is being listed.
  • When it comes to furniture, less is more. When it comes to quality photos (the key word here is quality), more is more… and even that probably isn’t enough. Get more, better photos. Don’t skimp on this.
  • Leave coupons for local restaurants and delivery places out in the kitchen.
  • You’re selling the neighborhood as much (if not more) as you are, the house.
  • Use today’s endless landscape of technological channels to connect with potential buyers. Don’t be afraid to be creative and make a name for your home in the market. (think, you’re own personal video shoot of “cribs” – have fun with it!)

Top Tips for Buyers

  • Don’t buy if you won’t be staying for long
  • Do some credit clean-up before you start shopping for a home
  • Know your limits, don’t overextend your budget
  • 20% down can be negotiable if it has to be
  • Shop the schools
  • Pay your professionals
  • Points vs. Rate, choose which makes the most sense with your timeline
  • Look for pre-approval before you start shopping
  • Do the research before making a bid
  • Get it inspected to avoid surprises
  • Meet the neighbors before you buy
  • Scope out the neighborhood
  • Before you start, set your priorities
  • Know your options, explore your mortgage options
  • See what’s out there for first-time home buyers (programs, loans, credits, etc…)
  • Know what to look for in a Real Estate Agent
  • Learn the offer process
  • Read the fine print, make sure you understand your contract
  • Remember to save for your Down Payment, Closing Costs, Loan Fees, and Moving Costs
  • Build a healthy savings account
  • Leave your money where it is for a while before you start shopping
  • Know the property lines, get a survey done
  • Buy when it’s right for you, don’t try to game the market
  • Bigger isn’t always better
  • Don’t get blindsided by hidden costs of home ownership (property taxes, utilities, homeowner association fees, repairs, property tax increases, etc…)
  • It’s a house, not a date. Don’t let your emotions drive your decision. Falling in love with a house can often end in heart break
  • Look under the hood, get it inspected
  • Bid what you can afford first, then consider what it’s worth

Market Analysis

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