Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 3/20/2017

For home sellers, it is essential to dedicate the necessary time and resources to streamline the process of adding your property to the real estate market. In addition, you should prepare for any challenges that you may encounter after your home is listed. By doing so, you can avoid many costly mistakes.

Ultimately, there are numerous costly mistakes that may prevent a home seller from optimizing the value of his or her residence, including:

1. Underestimating Your Closing Costs

Closing costs may put a major dent in how much you obtain for your house. Fortunately, you can calculate your closing costs before you sell your home.

Consider all of the expenses that may be included in your closing costs. From attorney and other professional fees to excise tax expenses, you'll want to account for any and all costs that may impact how much you'll earn for your house.

Also, if you ever have concerns or questions about closing costs, be sure to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can explain how closing costs work and help you plan accordingly.

2. Guessing Your Home's Price

What you paid for your home several years ago is unlikely to be what the same as what your house is worth today. Thankfully, you can meet with a home appraiser to determine the true value of your property.

A home appraisal offers a great first step to determining the right price for your home. Meanwhile, a home appraiser may be able to help you identify home problems that you can correct prior to adding your home to the real estate market.

Furthermore, don't forget to check out the prices of comparable homes that are available in your area. This will provide you with the housing market data that you need you to price your home competitively from the get-go, boosting your chances for a quick home sale.

3. Letting Your Emotions Get in the Way

Let's face it Ė listing your home can be stressful, particularly for a first-time home seller. However, it is important to do whatever you can to prevent your emotions from getting in the way of selling your home.

Setting realistic home selling expectations may enable you to remain calm, cool and collected after you list your property. Luckily, real estate agents are available to guide you along the home selling journey and ensure that you are fully supported at every stage.

Your real estate agent will offer expert tips and recommendations, allowing you to understand the ins and outs of the real estate market. He or she also will negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf, keep you up to date about offers on your residences and host open houses to promote your residence to a broad array of homebuyers. Thus, your real estate agent can help you avoid the stress and anxiety that is commonly associated with selling a home.

Avoid the aforementioned home selling mistakes, and you should have no trouble maximizing the value of your residence.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 10/31/2016

Curb appeal may very well be one of the most important aspects of a home to spruce up when selling. Why is this, you ask? First impressions. Whether it be an open house or an individual showing, the outside of a house is the first thing a homebuyer physically sees. And itís their first impression of your home. First impressions set the pace of a showing. If the landscaping is lacking or nonexistent and the homebuyer is not excited to be viewing your home then it could leave them with a less than favorable impression, all before they step foot inside. If the house is exuding with appeal the homebuyer will be excited and eager to see more. This is not to say that the homebuyer will purchase solely because of the curb appeal. The rest of the home should reflect what made that potential homeowner as excited as when they first pulled up and laid eyes on the house and accompanying land. Here are a few tips to maximize curb appeal: Paint: A fresh paint job lays the foundation of curb appeal. Painting or siding an entire home can be expensive, but painting the front door, porch and stairs can be fairly inexpensive and take only a day or two. Try adding a pop of color to the front door to really make your home stand out from the rest. Mulch: Is there anything better than freshly laid mulch? The smell alone can set the tone at a showing, but itís the color that brings it home. Try choosing dark colored mulch with a light colored home to really make it stand out. Flowers & Bushes: Who doesnít like flowers? You really canít go wrong with any type of flower; they are all beautiful. However, itís best to choose low maintenance flowers and bushes just incase the next homeowner isnít looking for extensive yard work. The added color from the flowers and bushes only enhances the amazing curb appeal you will have when youíre done. Lawn & Yard: Maintaining a healthy lawn and clean yard is essential. Burnt or patches of missing grass make the yard look unkempt and not cared for. To ensure bright, green grass invest in a spring clean up of the yard (many landscaping companies offer this service), which includes raking, fertilizing, mowing, etc. Seeding may also be necessary in areas of missing grass. Continue to water and mow throughout the spring, summer and fall for maximum beauty. Lastly, messy yards that include items that pile up over time such as toys, wood, etc. should be tidied up. Curb appeal is not only important when selling a home but also maintaining the value of a home. A house is an investment so make sure to take care of it. Creating and maintaining curb appeal is just one way of caring for your home. Now get to it and good luck!





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 8/15/2016

Want to boost the value of your home? Doing so may prove to be expensive if you're not careful. Fortunately, we're happy to help you revamp your home on a budget, and ultimately, ensure you can maximize your residence's value when you add it to the real estate market. Here are three tips for home sellers who want to increase the value of their residences without breaking their budgets: 1. Power Wash the Exterior. Dust, dirt and grime can accumulate along your home's siding. As such, your home's messy exterior is unlikely to help your residence generate interest in a highly competitive real estate market. On the other hand, power washing your home's siding can be done quickly and may enhance your residence's appearance instantly. You may be able to rent a pressure washer from a home improvement retailer, enabling you to complete this task on your own over the course of a few hours. Or, you can hire a licensed and bonded contractor to power wash your home's exterior. Regardless of which option you choose, however, you're unlikely to have to worry about a hefty bill. 2. Enhance the Kitchen Cabinets. Are your kitchen cabinets old, dirty and ugly? Lucky for you, there are many quick, easy ways to transform your bland kitchen cabinets into glamorous ones that can make your home more attractive to homebuyers. For instance, updating the hardware of your kitchen cabinets enables you to give the cabinets a sleek, modern look. Also, you can clean off the cabinets and add a new coat of paint to revamp their appearance. When it comes to improving the appearance of your kitchen cabinets, you may not need to replace the cabinets altogether. Instead, use these simple yet effective improvements to enhance the appearance of your kitchen cabinets without delay. 3. Remove the Carpets. Carpets will wear down over an extended period of time and may become an eyesore in your home. Thankfully, you may be able to remove the carpets and expose beautiful hardwood floor. To remove the carpets, you'll need to be patient. Typically, removing staples from carpets is paramount and may take you several hours to complete. But those who do so may find an exceptional hardwood floor that can help revamp the appearance of your house. A hardwood floor that remains beneath a carpet may be in great shape after a carpet is pulled up. Conversely, you may need to restore the floor Ė something that usually is much more affordable than installing new carpets in your home. Remember, home improvement projects may require time and patience, but home sellers who perform these tasks effectively can boost the value of their houses. And if you're ever uncertain about whether a home improvement task will help you bolster your home's value, you can always consult with your real estate agent for professional assistance, too. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips to discover the best ways to bolster your home's value. By doing so, you can enhance the appearance of your home without breaking your budget.





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 3/28/2016

A house needs to be sold three times when it is on the market. First it needs to be sold to other agents so they will want to show and sell the home. Second it needs to be sold to buyers and lastly to the appraiser. Even if the buyer is willing to pay a certain price for a home they usually need a mortgage. That means it is actually the bank who is buying the home. The bank wants to protect their investment so they do an appraisal. When the appraisal comes back low or as an under-appraisal deals can fall apart. If you are a seller or a buyer you need to know how to protect yourself from short appraisals? Here are some suggestions from Bankrate.com for buyers and sellers. If you're a buyer: -- Tell your lender to find an appraiser who comes from your county, or perhaps a neighboring county. -- Request that the appraiser have a residential appraiser certification and a professional designation. Examples include the Appraisal Institute's senior residential appraiser, or SRA, or member of the Appraisal Institute, or MAI, designations. -- Meet the appraiser when he or she inspects the home and share your knowledge of recent short sales and foreclosures that might skew the comps. "Many appraisers are just pulling up data out of MLS (Multiple Listing Service) or off the deed at the courthouse and not checking it out," Sellers says. "Most good appraisers will appreciate the information." And yes, you can speak with your appraiser; the prohibition only applies to your lender. If you're a seller: --∑Get an appraisal before you list a home. Search for a qualified appraiser in your area on the Appraisal Institute website. -- Use the appraisal to set a realistic listing price for your home. -- Give a copy of your pre-listing appraisal to the buyer's appraiser. The more professional appraisers will understand that you're just trying to add more data and another perspective. -- Question a low appraisal. There's always a chance the appraiser or a supervisor will take into account new or overlooked information.





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 3/9/2015

You are about to make a big decision; putting your home up for sale but there are some very important things you need to do before the sign goes in the yard and you open your doors to potential buyers. Getting these things checked off the list will help get you to a quicker and more profitable sale. Here are some tips to get you started: 1. Sit down with your real estate professional. Come up with a game plan and set a realistic asking price. Make decisions about marketing and showing availability. Pre-scheduling meetings or times to catch up with your agent will help keep the lines of communication open. 2. Get your paperwork in order. Prepare a list of repairs, upgrades that have been done to your home. Assemble all†maintenance†records, warranty information and user guides for appliances in the home. If you do not have them many are available on the internet. It will show potential home buyers you care about your home. 3. Clean your home top to bottom. Wash the walls, shampoo the rugs, touch up the paint and get every cobweb from the corners. Remember your home will be looked at very closely and the last thing you want is a buyer to be turned off by a little dirt. 4. Organize and declutter everywhere. You have probably acquired quite a bit of stuff. Go through every closet, cabinet, and start clearing out. You may want to have a yard sale or donate unwanted items to charity. For the things that you must keep consider a storage unit. 5. Get a home inspection. Have a pre-sale inspection of your home. This will prevent any surprises and help you identify any problem areas in your home. Repairs can affect the ultimate sale price of your home. For problem areas, make repairs or get estimates. This will help you determine what the ultimate sale price or items you may need to be prepared to negotiate on. 6. Stage the home to sell. Hire a professional stager to dress your home for sale. You will want to stage the home inside and out. Research shows that staged homes typically sell for more money. Congratulations you are well on your way to a successful sale.