Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 6/18/2018

Selling a home for the first time can be tricky. In fact, first-time home sellers often make mistakes that prolong the home selling process. Perhaps even worse, these errors may cause a home seller to miss out on opportunities to optimize the value of his or her residence.

Now, let's take a look at three common mistakes that first-time home sellers make, as well as ways to avoid these problems.

1. Setting an Unrealistic Initial Asking Price

Although you might have paid a hefty sum for your house a few years ago, what your home was worth then is unlikely to match its current value. However, if you set an unrealistic initial asking price for your residence, you risk alienating dozens of potential buyers.

Before you set a price for your house, it pays to perform plenty of housing market research. That way, you can see how your home stacks up against the competition and price it based on the current real estate sector's conditions.

Furthermore, you may want to conduct a home appraisal prior to listing your house. Following a home appraisal, you'll receive a property valuation to help you establish a competitive price for your residence.

2. Failing to Provide Full Details About Your House

No home is perfect, and a home seller who withholds information about his or her residence risks wasting precious time and resources. To better understand why this may be the case, let's consider an example.

If a home seller fails to include information about a faulty heating and cooling system in a home listing, a buyer will be unaware of the problem. A buyer then may submit an offer on this house that a seller accepts. But during a home inspection, a property inspector likely will discover the defective heating and cooling system, which leads the buyer to rescind his or her offer. And at this point, the seller will have to restart the home selling process from square one.

When it comes to selling a home, it helps to be honest. If you provide full details about your residence, you can help a buyer make an informed decision and reduce the risk of that a purchase agreement will fall apart after a home inspection.

3. Choosing an Ineffective Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent should have a seller's best interests in mind. As such, this housing market professional will collaborate with a seller throughout the home selling journey to ensure a seller can optimize his or her earnings.

Unfortunately, not all real estate agents possess the same skills. But if you evaluate a variety of real estate agents, you can increase the likelihood of finding one who matches or exceeds your expectations.

Employ a real estate agent with a proven reputation. And if you're uncertain about whether a real estate agent can help you achieve your home selling goals, it usually helps to request client referrals from this housing market professional.

Streamline the process of selling your home – avoid the aforementioned first-time home seller mistakes, and you can boost your chances of enjoying a quick, profitable home selling experience.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 6/11/2018

Selling your home is a major decision, and as such, you likely will need to allocate significant time and resources to determine whether now is the right time to add your residence to the real estate market.

Ultimately, there are many signs that may prove now is the ideal time to list your home, including:

1. Your house feels too big or too small.

Does your home feel cramped? Or, do you feel like you have too much space at your disposal? In either scenario, listing your home may enable you to relocate to a house that better suits your lifestyle than your current residence.

Working with a real estate agent will enable you to determine the right price for your home and generate plenty of interest in your residence. Plus, your real estate agent will help you narrow your search for a new home, ensuring that you can discover a new residence that suits you perfectly.

2. Your financial situation has changed.

Land a high-paying new job? Or, are you looking to cut expenses to save for a baby who is on the way? If your financial situation has changed dramatically, you may want to consider selling your home.

Furthermore, collaborating with a real estate agent may enable you to maximize the value of your residence in any housing market, at any time. Your real estate agent will set up home showings, provide tips and recommendations to help you bolster your house's curb appeal and much more. By doing so, your real estate agent will make it easy for you to drive interest in your home.

Let's not forget about the personalized support that a real estate agent can provide, either. Your real estate agent will be able to respond to any of your home selling concerns and queries. Thus, your real estate agent can play an important role in your ability to sell your home and optimize its value.

3. You're ready for a change.

Tired of dealing with New England winters? Or, do you want to enjoy the warm, sunny California weather day after day? If you're ready for a change in your life, you may want to sell your house sooner rather than later.

After you sell your home, you can relocate to any location you choose. Meanwhile, selling your home may open up new opportunities for you, as you'll be able to establish a new life in a new location at your convenience.

If you're ready for a change, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This real estate professional will help you add your home to the real estate market and offer plenty of housing market data to ensure that you can price your house competitively. In addition, your real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you get the best home selling results.

Don't wait to make a change in your life. Instead, meet with a real estate agent, and you can explore your home selling options today.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 4/16/2018

If you're getting ready to put your home on the market, the thought of organizing, cleaning, and arranging it may seem like an overwhelming project!

Knowing where to begin and how much money to spend on home staging and decorating are among the many questions that may be flooding your mind, right now.

The key to success is to make as much of an impact as possible, without spending more money than necessary.

One way to avoid "spinning your wheels" when it comes to maximizing the appearance of your home is to work with an experienced real estate agent. A good agent will quickly notice aspects of your home that need attention and advise you on the most cost-effective ways to improve its marketability. If they've shown dozens (or more) houses in their career, they'll be very familiar with all the things that attract buyers, as well as what repels them.

Although everyone has different tastes and expectations, many house hunters are attracted to gleaming hardwood floors, energy efficient windows, and stainless steel appliances. While it may not be cost effective to have new floors, appliances, and windows installed to sell your house faster, you can make the best possible impression by making sure the windows are crystal clear, hardwood floors are polished, and appliances are clean and shiny.

Since many house hunters pay close attention to the kitchen, it's especially important to win their approval on appearance and cleanliness. Because food is prepared and often consumed in the kitchen, it's going to be one of the more challenging rooms to keep clean -- especially if you have children. However, if a prospective buyer is wavering between two houses for sale, you can be reasonably sure that the one with the clean kitchen and bathrooms will be their preferred choice.

There are a lot of other ways you can make your kitchen appealing to buyers, too. By minimizing clutter on counter tops and displaying fresh flowers and a colorful bowl of fruit, you can make your kitchen look much more inviting. Prospective buyers will also respond favorably to appealing fragrances, such as freshly baked bread, cookies, cinnamon buns, or coffee. Clean windows, attractive curtains, and plenty of natural light will also add to the ambiance of your kitchen.

The ideal reaction from potential buyers touring your home would be something to the effect of "I can imagine us preparing dinner, entertaining guests, and sitting around the breakfast table in this house!" Setting the table so that it looks like the family is just about to sit down for a meal together is one way to help convey that image. The encouraging news is that when someone expresses sincere appreciation for the comforts and features of your home, there's a good chance they'll find a place for it on their short list of possibilities!





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 4/9/2018

Selling a home takes patience. Especially when you’re balancing your time between settling into your new home, and keeping up with your work and family life. So, when you’ve finally gotten to the point of accepting an offer on your home, you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief--and you should!  However, there are still a few more things that will need to happen and a couple of things to consider before closing the deal on your home sale.

Contingencies on the purchase contract

A purchase contract typically includes contingency clauses that are designed to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller. These clauses mean that the contract is contingent upon the actions being completed before it can be legally valid.

There are three main contingencies that will likely be included in the purchase contract before closing--inspection, financing, and appraisal.

Inspection contingency

The inspection contingency allows the buyer to have the home inspected by a professional before closing (the time should be specified within the contract, but the inspection should usually occur no more than two weeks after you accept the offer). A home inspection lets the buyer know what to expect in terms of repairs that the home needs now or will need in the near future.

Financing contingency

Since the vast majority of buyers will be purchasing their home through a loan, a financing contingency is included to allow the buyer time to secure their mortgage. Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved makes this process easier, but the buyer will still have to finalize and close on their mortgage before their financing is official.

This clause exists to protect the buyer in the event that their mortgage application is denied, ensuring that they aren’t penalized.

Appraisal contingency

The third contingency most often found in purchase contracts is a home appraisal. The buyer will order an appraisal and then the appraiser will reach out to you to find a day to come and value your home.

If the home is then appraised at the amount agreed upon in your contract, this contingency is met. However, if the appraisal comes up lower than the purchase amount, the buyer can renegotiate the price.

Walkthrough and closing

Once the appraisal and inspection have been met and financing secured, the buyer will have a chance to do a final walkthrough of your home. The walkthrough usually occurs no more than two days prior to closing on the sale. A walkthrough allows the buyer view the home one last time to ensure that the condition of the home hasn’t drastically changed since the home was inspected or appraised. So, make sure the buyer is aware of any changes you planned to make to the home before closing.

Now you’re ready to close on your home sale. You’ll receive a disclosure form to review (read it carefully!) and sign. Once closing is complete, ownership of the home is officially transferred to the buyer.

While the closing process does include several steps, it’s important to be available and cooperative along the way to ensure a smooth sale and transition into your new home.





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 2/12/2018

Selling a home requires time, dedication and patience. As such, you need to be aware of the biggest dangers associated with selling a residence before you add your home to the real estate market; otherwise, you risk wasting your valuable time and resources. One of the biggest home selling dangers often remains ignored – self-sabotage. And if you're not careful, you may sabotage your chances of selling your residence without even realizing it's happening. So what can you do to avoid the danger of self-sabotaging your home sale? Here are three tips that home sellers can use to eliminate this risk altogether: 1. Be Realistic About the Price and Value of Your Home. Employ a professional appraiser to evaluate your home before you list it on the real estate market. By doing so, you'll be able to better understand what your home is worth and price it appropriately. Also, keep in mind that what you ask for your house may not be what homebuyers offer for your residence. For instance, in a seller's market, you might actually receive multiple offers that exceed your initial asking price. Conversely, in a buyer's market, you may wind up getting numerous offers at or below your original asking price. Regardless of whether you're selling your residence in a buyer's or seller's market, however, it is important to remain flexible. Ultimately, you need to feel comfortable with the initial asking price you set your house and the offers you receive for your residence, and only then will you be able to finalize an agreement that works well for both you and a homebuyer. 2. Act Fast on Any Offers You Receive. It is paramount to prepare for offers before they arrive, as this will enable you to act quickly and efficiently. Typically, you'll only have a short amount of time to decide whether to accept a homebuyer's proposal. And if you plan for prospective offers you'll receive, you can act confidently under duress. Consider how you'll respond if you receive an offer that meets or exceeds your initial asking price, along with how you'll respond to an offer that falls below your initial expectations. Because if you plan for the best- and worst-case scenarios, you'll be better equipped to minimize the chance of sabotaging a home sale. 3. Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent. Collaborate with an experienced real estate agent, and you'll be able to prevent the risk of self-sabotage. A real estate agent will help you determine the best price for your home and get your residence ready for a home showing. Meanwhile, this professional likely will possess years of experience and ensure you understand the ins and outs of the real estate market, allowing you to make the best decisions possible relative to your home sale. Find the right real estate agent to sell your home – you'll be thrilled you did! With an expert real estate agent at your disposal, you'll be able to improve your chances of finding many interested homebuyers and getting multiple offers for your residence. Understand the danger of self-sabotage, and you can prevent this problem from arising as you attempt to sell your house.