Our Real Estate Blog
Adding a residence to the real estate market can be stressful, particularly for a first-time home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you maintain a positive outlook as you await offers on your house.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a first-time home seller remain calm, cool and collected after he or she lists a residence.
1. Set Realistic Expectations
Although a first-time home seller might expect dozens of offers in the days following a house's addition to the real estate market, it may take some time to stir up interest in a residence. However, a home seller who establishes realistic expectations from the get-go will know how to stay the course throughout the property selling journey.
A first-time home seller should understand both the best- and worst-case scenarios. That way, a home seller will know how to respond to any potential pitfalls that may arise.
Furthermore, a first-time home seller should have a plan in place for what will happen after a home offer is accepted. This will ensure a home seller is fully prepared to vacate a house as quickly as possible.
2. Learn About the Housing Market
The housing market is exceedingly complex, especially for those who are selling homes for the first time. Conversely, a first-time home seller who takes a diligent approach can gain the real estate market insights to make confident decisions.
For example, a first-time home seller should analyze the competition closely. By looking at the prices of similar houses that are available, this home seller can establish a competitive price for a house and increase his or her chances of a quick home sale.
A first-time home seller also should check out the prices of recently sold houses in his or her city or town. By doing so, this home seller can find out whether he or she is entering a buyer's or seller's market and plan accordingly.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Selling a home may seem like a simple process on paper, but challenges can quickly arise that prevent a first-time property seller from achieving his or her desired results. But with support from a real estate agent, a first-time home seller can get the assistance that he or she needs to remain confident at each stage of the property selling journey.
A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with selling a house and will help a property seller avoid such problems. In fact, a real estate agent is happy to provide expert guidance to help a first-time home seller operate like a home selling professional.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to a first-time home seller's concerns and queries. This guarantees a home seller can obtain unparalleled insights into how to set a competitive price for a residence, how to bolster a house's interior and exterior and much more.
Want to keep things positive as you proceed along the home selling journey for the first time? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can maintain a positive outlook as you navigate the home selling cycle.
If you have always wanted to own a second home in the mountains, near the beach or just about anywhere else, now may be the ideal time to transform your dream into a reality. The housing market offers many opportunities for property buyers – even those who already own a residence. If you understand what it takes to navigate the homebuying journey, you could quickly and effortlessly purchase a second house that matches or exceeds your expectations.
Ultimately, there are lots of things you can do to streamline your search for a second residence, such as:
1. Get Your Finances in Order
If you still have a mortgage on your current residence, there is no need to stress. In fact, by consulting with a mortgage specialist, you can evaluate your home financing options as you prepare to search for a second house.
Mortgage specialists are available at banks and credit unions, and they understand the ins and outs of home financing. Thus, mortgage specialists can help you analyze your current mortgage, establish a homebuying budget and determine the optimal financing option for a second house.
Of course, if your current house's mortgage is paid in full, mortgage specialists can still help you get ready to launch a search for a second residence. If you collaborate with mortgage specialists, you can get the help you need to immediately obtain financing to acquire a second house.
2. Narrow Your Home Search
You know you want to buy a second house – now, you just need to hone your house search based on your individual needs. If you focus on residences in a select group of cities and towns, you may quickly discover a wonderful house that you can enjoy for years to come.
As you consider potential cities and towns where you want to purchase a second home, think about your short- and long-term goals, too. By doing so, you can boost the likelihood of finding a second house that will suit you perfectly both now and in the future.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
For those who want to acquire a second home sooner rather than later, hiring a real estate agent is a must. Because if you have a friendly, knowledgeable real estate agent at your side, you can minimize the risk of encountering roadblocks that otherwise could slow down your homebuying journey.
A real estate agent is happy to teach you about the housing market in your preferred cities and towns. Plus, he or she can offer expert recommendations about how much to offer to pay for a residence you want to acquire. And if you have concerns or questions as you pursue a second home, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them right away.
Take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing a second residence – use the aforementioned tips, and you could speed up your search for a second house.
Want to flip a property? You need a team of rock stars on your side. This isn't a one-man show; in general, real estate investors only prosper when they've made connections with real estate agents, lenders, contractors, and other investors at the top of their game, and it's even more crucial when you're flipping one or more properties. Wondering how to make that happen? It's simpler than you might think.
1. Treat every professional relationship as a mutually-beneficial connection.
Think beyond the golden rule and keep in mind that everyone who works for or with you is in this business to make money as well. Working with them to benefit you both is the only way to grow your network. It shouldn't need to be said, but here it is: Be kind. Be considerate. Realize that this relationship, whether it's an interaction with a real estate agent, a home inspection, or a contractor, could have huge long-term implications on your future as an investor. True rock stars aren't going to bend over backwards to work with you if they sense you're just out to get what you can out of them.
2. Professionals who are great at their jobs aren't going to come flocking to you.
In order to attract industry professionals who are great at their jobs, you need to be great at yours. Do your research, know what you're looking for, and don't be afraid to ask 'stupid' questions; your image will suffer much more for pretending more experience and knowledge than you have. Ask questions; look for recommendations everywhere you go, and as names rise to the top, hire the best to work with you on projects whenever possible. They're likely to be professional, not chummy, and that's a good thing.
3. Give a little extra when possible.
An excellent real estate agent can help you scout out the best possible properties to flip--and the best deals. Acknowledge that. If they find you an insanely great deal on a rehab property, consider shooting them a little extra beyond their commission for that property; although that $70,000 duplex might be worth $350,000 by the time you're done with it, your agent's commission will remain rather paltry for the work and digging they put in. By the same token, talk to your contractors their preferences for a project, and cater to their preferences if it's something you don't care that much about. Finding small ways to work in the preferences of others will give you a big step up in their estimation, which can make all the difference in future flips.
Virtual reality (VR) may not be in every household in the country, but it's becoming more mainstream by the day. And contrary to popular belief, it's not just video game experts who want to get their hands on the latest technology. See how VR can inspire better offers from motivated buyers, leading to a bidding war that ends in your favor
The Case for VR Over Video
From drone shots to interior tours, there's no doubt that video has proved effective at showcasing the size of the home. However, VR has the edge because it helps people feel as though they're already living in the home. Instead of having to watch other people at Open Houses parade around, the buyers feel as though the home is already theirs.
VR can also streamline the sale process because buyers can get answers to their questions upfront. Videos have limitations when it comes to showing the scope and details of certain parts of the home, but VR gives buyers the true experience of being there.
Convenient & Memorable
Homebuyers are inundated with properties when they're on the hunt. Eventually, one house can start to blend in with the next. Instead of scrolling through countless photos online or attending their fifth Open House of the day, VR gives buyers time to inspect the home without having to leave the comfort of the agent's office.
Considering this technology is still not widely being used, buyers are virtually guaranteed to remember your home from the rest of the pack. Plus, if your home is attracting interest from outside the state (or even country), VR is the next best thing if they can't attend in-person. If out-of-state buyers are inspired to make the trip, it's almost certainly to make an offer.
More Than a Tour
VR technology for luxury homes can do much more than just give the home buyer a tour. Some programs allow the buyer to decorate rooms, allowing them to see how they're preferred color scheme and furniture placement would look.
VR can also show the details of the neighborhood, such as the ratings of the school systems, nearby shopping, etc. Finally, VR can help people calculate their future mortgage and property taxes, so they understand the financial side before making an offer.
This technology is still largely being used for luxury homes only, though it should be noted that the technology is becoming more widely available (and affordable) with every passing year. It's an effective and fun way to get people interested in your property.
Not everything you’ve heard over the years about home improvements actually “improves” your return on investment. In fact, there are some myths that continue to crop up that surprise homeowners when they price their homes to sell them on the market. Learning the difference between a change you make for your family to enjoy versus an improvement that raises your home’s value can be a painful lesson if you wait until requesting a market evaluation from your real estate agent.
- Every renovation adds value to the home. Splitting a large master bedroom to create a guest room or add a bathroom to your home might increase your asking price, but that doesn’t mean an underwriting evaluation determines it the same way. And while combining two smaller rooms into one or removing a wall could increase the room’s usefulness, on paper, the decrease in bedrooms might lower the valuation amount. If improving livability for your family is the goal, do what works best for you. But, if you’re renovating so that you can sell for a higher price, talk to a home valuation expert, such as a licensed appraiser, to see what really gives you a return for your home.
- Completing the project yourself saves money. This myth only holds true if you’re a qualified contractor. Sometimes, in an effort to save money, you end up spending more to correct errors you didn’t know not to make. Hiring qualified professionals nearly always pays off as compared to doing it yourself.
- Pools add sales value. Many homeowners believe that installing a hot tub or pool makes their home more attractive. While in some locations this indeed is true, if your home is located in a climate with variable seasons, a pool requiring maintenance can be off-putting to many buyers. Putting in a pool should be for the sake of those living in the home. When it comes time to sell, your experienced real estate agent can help you market it with a pool even if that’s not a big seller in your location.
- Improvements should be trendy. Despite what you see on television, not all design trends improve your bottom line. Trading out your bathroom door for a barn door might satisfy your need to update your home, but not all buyers appreciate the lack of privacy a barn door offers. And, while shiplap might be popular when promoted by a well-known designer, homebuyers often prefer less textured walls on which to make their own mark.
The bottom line is that to improve your bottom line, stick with upgrades to appliances, a new roof, replacing that garage door and upgrading the landscaping. Your real estate professional can clue you in on which improvements increase the price and which promote a speedier sale. When you’re ready to sell, ask for a market evaluation on your house.