Tag Archives: Home Sellers

Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until Spring to Sell Your Home

Key Takeaways:

  • After a turbulent 2020, many homeowners are holding out until spring to list their properties.
  • Though spring is usually the busiest season for real estate, now is the time to take advantage of high prices, low interest rates, and skyrocketing demand for homes.
  • Not sure when to list? Get in touch with us today to explore your options!

Here’s Why Sellers Should Capitalize on 2021’s Hot Winter Housing Market

It’s safe to say that 2020 was a challenging year, both in real estate and for the world as a whole. And as we celebrate new beginnings, many homeowners are pondering a move at some point during 2021. Traditionally, spring is considered the best time of year to sell a home—but thanks to a number of factors, this is no longer the case.

Still not sure if now is the right time to move? Here’s why you shouldn’t wait any longer to put your home on the market.

You won’t have much competition

Modern for sale sign

If you haven’t seen as many “For Sale” signs in your neighborhood recently, you’re not alone. According to the National Association of Realtors, available inventory has plummeted by nearly 40% over the last few months, which is fantastic news for today’s sellers. 

Dwindling supply and high buyer demand will put your home in the spotlight if you decide to list this winter, and it means you’ll be in the driver’s seat during negotiations. Because there are fewer homes on the market right now, you also won’t have to compete with other sellers waiting to move in the spring. 

Interest rates are still low

House with coin stacks and percentages

Interest rates reached record lows in 2020, which tempted many buyers to enter the market even amidst a pandemic. In November, rates actually dipped below 2.3%—that’s the lowest they’ve been in recorded history!

Most experts believe interest rates won’t spike during 2021, but we’ll probably see some slight increases as the economy continues to bounce back. Listing your home before rates go up comes with a lot of benefits, and it might even be the smartest financial decision you ever make.

Low interest rates help drive buyer demand and make homeownership more affordable. As a seller, that means you’ll draw in a larger audience of financially-qualified buyers and maybe even sell faster than you expect. If you plan on buying another home, you’ll be able to secure a great rate, too.

Home prices keep rising

Calculating home prices

If you’ve lived in your current home for more than a few years, now could be the perfect time to sell and cash in on your equity. In a recent study, the National Association of Realtors found that home prices have increased by a whopping 13.4% since 2019. In 2021, prices are expected to increase by 8%—and in 2022, that projection drops to just 5%.

While it may be tempting to “time” your sale to get the best possible price, selling your home when you know the market is doing well is a surefire way to yield an impressive profit. And if you’re ever curious about how much your home is worth right now, you can always ask your agent for a free home valuation.

The market could change before spring

Aerial shot of a suburban neighborhood

As the market continues to recover, it’s still hard to know what will happen in 2021—after all, nobody predicted last year’s pandemic and economic collapse! Most experts aren’t expecting another sudden crash, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until spring to list your home.  

Right now, we’re seeing a record amount of home sales, as well as a surprising number of motivated winter buyers. So if you want to be smart about your move, it makes sense to sell sooner rather than later.

Get the Most Out of Your Home Sale

If you’re thinking about selling your home this winter, contact us today to get started. We have plenty of resources to guide you through every step of the process, and we can even help you buy your next home after you sell.

Want to know how much home prices have risen in your neighborhood? Be sure to ask about our complimentary home value assessment!

4 Bright Ideas for Staging Your Home with Lighting

Key Points:

  • When it comes to selling your home, staging is the easiest way to make a great first impression both online and during an in-person tour.
  • Focusing on the smaller touches can really impress buyers—and lighting is an important detail you should never overlook.
  • Looking for more easy tips to transform your home and get top dollar in no time? Drop us a line for even more staging advice!

Staging Before You Sell? Don’t Overlook Your Home’s Lighting!

You’ve probably heard that staging is an essential step to drawing in buyers. Most real estate agents will tell you to stick with neutral decor and depersonalize as much as possible before your home hits the market. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make a few subtler changes, too.

Looking for an easy way to accentuate your home’s best features? Try framing them in the right light—literally. Bright, ample lighting will give your space a glow buyers will love, and it can even make your house seem larger and more open. Here are some easy ways to ensure your home is perfectly lit before your next showing.

Choose the right bulbs

Screwing in a light bulb

The quickest way to boost your home’s brightness is to swap out low wattage incandescents in favor of LED (light-emitting diode) or CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs. They’re slightly more expensive, but the payoff is worth it—your rooms will feel much more spacious, and they can last for up to 50,000 hours.  

Nowadays, LEDs and CFLs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. If you’re looking to add a warm glow or make a room feel cozy, try going for a soft white bulb. Cooler bulbs create an energizing atmosphere better suited for task lighting, bathrooms, and kitchens.

Swap out old fixtures

Pendant lights in a kitchen

Take a look at the light fixtures throughout your home—are they looking a little dated? You may not mind that old ceiling fan light or tarnished wall sconce, but buyers will likely notice them. While you don’t have to replace every fixture in the house, updating the ones in your main living areas will make your space appear more on-trend.

You want to keep your lighting neutral, and incorporate matching finishes wherever possible. If you’re not sure where to start, consider replacing your kitchen lights with stylish pendants. Swapping out an old chandelier for a lantern or orb-style fixture can breathe new life into your dining room. And when it comes to the bathroom, try to choose sconces with clean, simple lines.

Layer your lighting

Grey living room with lamps

Layering your lighting is just like arranging furniture; if done correctly, it can enhance the size and feel of an entire space. You should aim for three different types of lighting in each room: ambient (overhead), task (reading or desk lights), and accent (table or floor lamps). This forms a cohesive level of light throughout your home.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your lights. You can add both form and function with some under-counter lighting or by installing a dimmer switch on an overhead fixture for more customization. The possibilities really are endless—if you’re in need of some ideas, just ask your agent! 

Amp up the natural light

Window with natural light

Today’s buyers want homes filled with natural light. So if you have a room that gets a lot of sun, throw back the drapes and open the blinds before a showing.

Looking for additional ways to create a sun-bathed glow? Think about painting your walls in lighter colors—like white, grey, or beige—or using a higher gloss finish. You can also accessorize with mirrors or shiny decor to reflect light throughout a space.  

Looking for More Home Staging Tips?

Staging your home doesn’t have to be hard when you have the help of a top-rated agent! Contact us today for even more exclusive selling tips—we’d love to get your property market-ready and maximize your potential profits. And if it’s been a while since you checked up on your home’s current value, feel free to ask us for a complimentary equity assessment.

Be Our Guest: 4 Ways to Transform Your Home into the Ultimate Entertaining Space

Key Points:

  • Even in the middle of a pandemic, today’s homeowners are looking to make their spaces more conducive to entertaining.
  • Certain upgrades—especially those in the entryway, kitchen, and backyard—have the potential to boost your home’s resale value. And best of all, your guests will love them just as much as you do!
  • These projects might have a high return on investment, but you won’t have to break the bank to really wow party-goers…or potential home buyers!

4 Ways to Make Your Home Entertainment-Friendly

The holiday season is approaching fast—and while you may be adept at hosting an amazing get-together, your home could actually be holding you back. Seemingly minor annoyances, like a too-small kitchen or not enough seating, are exaggerated when your space is filled with guests. However, a few slight changes have the potential to transform your house into the life of the party. 

Ready to get your space looking its best for your next post-pandemic extravaganza? These four home upgrades are definitely worth the investment if you’re passionate about entertaining. Plus, they can even increase your home’s resale value when you decide to sell!

Spice Up Your Entryway

Art on a wall

When it comes to throwing a fantastic gathering, you want to make a good first impression from the moment guests arrive. So if your entryway is looking a little drab, it’s time to give it a little extra TLC.

Even if you have a small front porch, you can still spruce it up with a new welcome mat or seasonal wreath to set the tone for what awaits inside. From there, make your foyer more inviting by adding a few luxe, yet practical, touches. A small bench, mirror, or coat rack will help your guests feel at home right away. Don’t have a foyer? You can enhance just about any entryway with a statement rug or some wall art.

Focus on the kitchen

Kitchen with bar seating

Any memorable soiree almost always involves food. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a gourmet kitchen renovation to create a room that’s beautiful and functional.

Above all, your kitchen should be an area where you’re able to cook while still mingling with visitors. If you’re a gourmand at heart, splurging on some higher-end appliances or extras—like a chef-caliber stove with additional burners—can make a huge difference. If you really want to go all out, consider adding a larger kitchen island for more seating that won’t disconnect you from your guests.

Do you relish in mixing the perfect drink for your party-goers? Try transforming a rolling cart or some extra counter space into a bar. Just set up some bottles, put out your best glasses, and accessorize with a decorative ice bucket or other bar tools. If you have the room, you can even install a wine fridge!

Create social zones

Set dining room table

One of the biggest misconceptions about party-planning is that you need a large, open space to entertain. Believe it or not, you don’t have to knock down walls to craft a layout that works well for gatherings of any size. Instead, focus on creating designated social zones that encourage your company to chat and explore.

In most cases, guests tend to gravitate towards the kitchen—but you want to have plenty of alternatives to avoid everyone crowding in the same room. Every social zone should have a distinct focal point that draws attention and creates a visual connection between each space.

In a living room, your focal point could be a roaring fireplace, your favorite artwork, or a large sectional sofa. A table of appetizers in a dining room can draw hungry visitors out of the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try different techniques for each gathering!

Upgrade your outdoor space

Outdoor patio

Ready to take your celebration outdoors? Making improvements to your yard, patio, deck, or balcony will elevate your next get-together—and can also yield an impressive return on investment.

If you haven’t already, you might want to buy a table, chairs, or a couch able to withstand the elements. This establishes another social zone for visitors (and you!) to enjoy. A pergola, fire pit, new pavers, or outdoor lighting are a few other upgrades that help tie everything together. If you love to barbecue in the summer, you may even want to indulge in an outdoor grilling station with a sink and some counter space.

Want to Get Your Home Looking Its Best Before You Sell?

Making a few key updates to your home can impress guests and potential buyers. Whether you’re ready to sell now or just have a few questions, you can trust us to help you navigate your next real estate journey from start to finish.

Give us a call to learn more about selling in today’s hot market—we’ll even let you know how much your property is worth with our free home valuation!

Make Your Home Boo-tiful with These 4 Halloween Staging Tips

If you step outside on a cool October afternoon, you might just smell some pumpkin spice and freshly picked apples wafting through the air. That can only mean one thing: Halloween is just around the corner! And while this ghoulish holiday delights both kids and kids-at-heart, it also creates interesting staging opportunities for home sellers.

As tempting as it might be to pull out your most spine-chilling decorations, buyers probably don’t want to walk through a haunted house to tour your space. If you want to avoid a home staging horror story, we have a few tips to help you incorporate a little spooky flair without going overboard.

Here’s How to Add a Tasteful Touch of Halloween to Your Home Staging

While it’s totally acceptable to add a dash of Halloween-inspired decor to your home, your goal should be to stage for the season, not the holiday. That means using more fall-focused decor instead of going all-out with spider webs, skeletons, and other eerie touches.

Here are a few guidelines to get your home looking its best for autumn buyers. And if you ever have questions about what is and isn’t appropriate, just ask your agent for advice!

Start with your front porch

Pumpkins on a doorstep

If you absolutely have to add a bit of Halloween fun to your home, consider transforming your front porch into an area that both buyers and trick or treaters will love. Start by setting out some natural touches, like pumpkins, potted mums, or even a small bale of hay. You can always tone up the holiday spirit with a Halloween-themed welcome mat or wreath.

Try to keep all of your outdoor decor as low-key as possible. That means waiting to put out any inflatables, cobwebs, or light displays until you move into your new home.

Put out some pumpkins

Painted pumpkins

Looking for an easy way to get buyers in the Halloween spirit? Pumpkins are one of the most versatile fall accessories, and they work well inside and outside! Aside from the traditional jack-o’-lantern, you can also set out some smaller, uncarved pumpkins throughout your home. If you’re in the mood for a DIY project, paint some craft pumpkins in neutral tones to create little pops of Halloween cheer.

Pumpkins don’t all have to look the same, either. Head to your local pumpkin patch to check out different sizes and colors—there’s no better way to add a splash of orange, white, green, or brown to your space! 

Avoid over-the-top accessories

As you stage your home for buyers, it’s best to leave your most outrageous Halloween decorations in storage for next year. While you may love mummifying your living room or embellishing with spiders and bats, these additions can quickly morph into an unwelcome distraction during a showing. Instead, consider adding more subtle accents, such as dark-colored lanterns with votive candles, a fall-inspired tablescape, or candy displayed in tall jars.

You should also ensure that none of your accessories are gorey or frightening. The last thing you want to do is have buyers wondering if your house is truly haunted!  

Appeal to the senses

Votive candles

Autumn is filled with endless signature scents, sights, and flavors—and you can use them to your advantage when staging. To set the mood inside your home, try putting out some Halloween candy in a decorative bowl as a refreshment for buyers. Fall-inspired candles can add a sense of warmth, so don’t be afraid to bring on the pumpkin spice.

If you really want to go above and beyond, boiling a pot of apple cider, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla before a showing will help you invite some of the season’s best aromas into your home.

Leaves May Be Falling, But Home Sales Aren’t!

Don’t get spooked by the home selling process—our team is here to help! We have the tools you need to get top dollar for your home before the busy holiday season. And even if you’re still on the fence about selling, we’d be happy to give you a free report of your home’s current value. There’s never been a better time to cash out on your hard-earned equity, so just give us a call to get started!

What Increasing Home Prices Mean for Today’s Buyers and Sellers

To say that 2020 has been a bit of a whirlwind would be an understatement. And as we get closer to the end of the year, many buyers and sellers are wondering if it makes financial sense to enter the market. Although the warmer months are typically considered the best time to move, buyer demand continues to surge into fall, while the available supply of homes just keeps dwindling. This has caused home prices to skyrocket to one of their highest points ever.

Need some advice before breaking into today’s competitive housing market? We have a few details to consider before making any big decisions.

Buying or Selling Soon? Here’s How Rising Home Prices Will Affect Your Move

Real estate has always been about supply and demand. For example, during the housing market crash of 2008, home prices plummeted partially because of low buyer interest. Today, though, we’re seeing the opposite—prices are increasing due to waning supply and rock-bottom mortgage interest rates.

This is fantastic news for anyone looking to sell their home and cash out on their hard-earned equity. Buyers, on the other hand, may have to do more to stand out from the competition.

Why have home values increased?

Increasing home values

Even amidst a pandemic and national recession, buying a home is still a top priority for many Americans. In fact, according to a newly released report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the number of existing home sales reached a 14-year high this August. A similar report by Bloomberg states that if current demand holds strong, we could run out of housing inventory in around three months.

Wondering why so many people are clamoring to buy this year? Even in the face of rising home prices, low mortgage rates have enticed buyers to make a move. While record-shattering rates have helped to expand purchasing power, this intense desire for homeownership has caused prices to jump by a whopping 8.2% year-over-year.

Buyers can take advantage of lower interest rates to afford a more expensive home

Family buying a home

If you’re thinking about buying a home soon, you’ll need to be prepared to navigate a cutthroat market. Ever since rates started decreasing in late 2019, more and more buyers have decided to start searching for a home. Unfortunately, this means you could get caught in a bidding war or might have to make some compromises to secure a place of your own.

Although prices have soared dramatically since last year, buying a home is still an attainable goal. In fact, when mortgage rates sunk below 3% this summer, buyers found themselves with an extra $15,000 in purchasing power.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by today’s market, you’re not alone—and reaching out to an agent can help you get the answers you need. Consider contacting a real estate professional before you start looking for homes. They can provide the expertise you need to find your perfect place!

Sellers should expect to sell quickly and for top dollar

Today’s sellers are in a better position than ever before. Nationally, the housing market has struggled to keep pace with buyer demand for the last few years, but this deficiency has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. By listing now, you could take advantage of fierce rivalry amongst buyers, high home prices, and low competition from other sellers.

Despite the ongoing recession, home prices have actually climbed throughout most of 2020. Between May and July, existing properties appreciated in value by a whopping 2%, which is the highest month-by-month increase in three decades. If you’ve lived in your home for at least a few years, you could be sitting on six figures of equity.

Even if you aren’t interested in selling, there’s never been a better time to check on your house’s current value. A top-rated local agent should be able to perform a full home analysis and tell you how much you could sell for if you listed today. 

Bottom Line: Now Is the Time to Talk with an Agent

Buying a home

Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling your home, you shouldn’t wait to connect with an agent who has plenty of experience in your desired area. They can help you keep up with today’s ever-changing market and answer any questions you might have.

Not quite ready to move? It’s still worth talking with an agent about your current home’s value, especially as we continue to see such dramatic price increases!

Ready to Take Your Next Steps?

No matter what your real estate needs might be, we’re here to help you every step of the way. Get in touch with us today and let us know what we can do for you. We can even conduct a comparative market analysis on your home to see how much equity you’ve gained over time!

These 4 Negotiating Tips Can Help You Sell for Top Dollar

Receiving your first offer is one of the most exciting parts of selling your home. And while it might seem like the hard work is finally over, the negotiation process is actually just getting started. 

Even in a seller’s market, negotiating with a buyer can require quite a bit of time, skill, and guidance from your agent. However, with the right strategies, you can remain in the driver’s seat and maximize your profits.

Here’s How to Negotiate with Potential Buyers

When buyers submit an offer, they’re trying to get the best possible price, secure specific contingencies and financing, and close on their ideal timeline. As a seller, you’ll want to take their needs into consideration—but that doesn’t mean you have to give in to every concession.

Ready to hone your negotiation skills? Here are four easy tips to help you leverage a deal that gets you the price you want while keeping your buyer happy.

Review every offer with your agent

Agent helping with a contract

Even if you have some home selling experience, it can be hard to decipher all the elements of an offer. Most offers are just a small part of a purchase and sale agreement, which includes everything from price to contingencies to deadlines, so it’s important to review every detail with your agent.

While it might be tempting to decline any offers below your asking price, you still want to consider the bigger picture. It may be worth sacrificing some equity for fewer contingencies or a cash deal. Your agent can guide you through the pros and cons of each offer, as well as answer any questions.

Don’t compromise on your must-haves

Talking at a table

Fortunately, low inventory and rising prices have given sellers a distinct advantage in today’s market. That means you probably won’t have to give up a lot of your must-haves—like a certain price or closing date—to secure your sale. 

While it’s okay to drive a hard bargain, you don’t want to appear unreasonable to buyers. In some situations, it’s common courtesy to agree to certain contingencies (such as a home inspection), offer credits for repairs, or even pay a portion of their closing costs.

Make a clear counteroffer

Making an offer

If you receive an offer that isn’t quite what you want, you have a few options. Most sellers choose to respond with a counteroffer, which proposes modified terms that are more beneficial to them. 

The biggest factor to consider is price—if a buyer offers less than you’re willing to accept, try countering with a more realistic number. However, you’ll also want to take financing, contingencies, and timing into account. For example, you may want to ask a buyer for a different closing date or say no to excessive contingencies, as they can slow down the transaction. Ultimately, the ball is in your court, so it’s worth weighing different options with your agent.

Don’t be afraid to say no

Signing paperwork

Generally, you should always submit a counteroffer to every reasonable offer. However, if it becomes clear that a buyer isn’t willing to budge on your deal-breakers, don’t be afraid to say no. It’s also best to automatically decline any lowball offers that are around 30% less than your list price.

While it may seem counterintuitive to turn down an offer, it’s not worth negotiating with someone who isn’t serious about your home. And because the market is extremely competitive right now, it probably won’t take long to find a buyer who’s willing to pay the right price.

Thinking of Selling Your Home Soon?

If you’re looking for the right agent to guide you through the negotiation process, we’d love to lend a helping hand! Get in touch with us today to learn the ins and outs of selling your home—we’re always on hand to answer any questions you might have.

How to Handle Getting Multiple Offers on Your Home

If you’re thinking about listing your home, you’ve probably heard that we’re in a seller’s market right now. As inventory dwindles and buyer interest intensifies, it’s not uncommon to see properties sell just hours after they’re listed, sometimes even tens of thousands above their original asking price.

This may seem like an ideal scenario, but navigating a multi-offer situation can be difficult for even the most seasoned sellers. And sometimes, selecting the right offer doesn’t always mean going with the highest bidder.

Your Guide to Choosing the Right Offer

As a seller, you’ll quickly find that not all offers are created equal. In addition to price, there are a few other factors you should consider, such as contingencies, financing, closing dates, and plenty of other extras that buyers can attach to an offer. 

Feeling a little overwhelmed? This advice can help you streamline, and get the most out of, your home sale.

Keep your agent in the loop

Talking with an agent

First and foremost, you’ll want to include your agent in every step of the negotiation process. They’ll be the main point of contact between you and a buyer’s agent, but they can also talk you through your options and help you decide which offer best suits your needs. Additionally, your agent can educate you on common contingencies, as well as other terms that are often added to an offer (more on that later!).

Compare contingencies and financing

Hand holding cash

Aside from price, you should look at the contingencies and financing options included within any offers you receive. Contingencies are conditions that must be met before a sale—common examples are home inspections, appraisals, and loan approval. As a seller, you want to see as few contingencies as possible, as they can make it harder to close the deal.

Additionally, it’s important to consider how a buyer will be paying for your home. Cash offers are usually considered the best, as you won’t have to deal with appraisals or lenders. There’s also no chance of losing the sale if the buyer’s loan application doesn’t get approved. If you’re looking to close fast, it may even be worth accepting a lower offer if it’s in cash.

Consider any extras

Signing a contract

In a hot market, some buyers will do anything to stand out against the competition. However, before you fall for any seemingly enticing offers, you’ll want to know which terms will actually benefit you as a seller. 

It’s almost always worth giving special consideration to pre-approved buyers, because they’ve taken an extra step to secure their financing ahead of time. Buyers who want to close quickly, pay any closing costs, or even set an escalation clause to outbid other offers may also be more serious candidates.

Remember your home’s value

Money house

If you end up receiving quite a few offers on your home, you might even find yourself in a bidding war. This can drive the price up quite substantially, but you should probably think twice before accepting the highest bid.

If a buyer is financing their purchase, your home will likely need to pass an appraisal before the sale. And if the price was inflated in a bidding war, a bank may not approve the buyer for the full amount of their loan, which could jeopardize the deal. Be sure to keep your home’s value in mind as you review offers with your agent. They can help you filter out any outlandish bids while still maximizing your profit.

Gearing Up to Sell Soon?

Selling a home doesn’t have to be a stressful process—at least not when you work with a top-rated local agent! Feel free to give us a call and let us know how we can help with any of your real estate needs. We have the resources and expertise to get your house sold quickly and for top dollar!

15 Home Selling Terms to Add to Your Vocabulary

Even if you’ve sold a home before, deciphering real estate jargon can still seem impossible. There’s a lot of unique terminology you should know if you want to make the most of your sale, which means it’s crucial to be well-versed in some of the most common home selling terms before you list. If you’re still confused by contingencies or trying to decode disclosures, our glossary of real estate terms is here to get you on track.

15 Home Selling Terms, Explained

Here’s our A to Z list of the most important home selling vocab every seller should be familiar with. If you don’t see a specific term listed here, feel free to give us a call—we’d love to answer your questions!

Appraisal

House with coin stacks

The estimated market value of your property. Oftentimes a buyer will need to have a home appraised in order to secure financing.

As-Is

Listing a home “as-is” means that you’re selling it in its current state. This term tells buyers that you aren’t willing to make any changes or take money off the price—they will be responsible for handling all repairs.

Closing Costs

Calculating closing costs

This blanket term describes all the extra fees that come with closing on a home, which are usually deducted from the profit you make on the sale. Common closing costs include agent commissions (for you and the buyer), title fees, loan payoff costs, and any outstanding taxes or expenses.

Commission

This is what you’ll pay your agent (and the buyer’s agent) for their services. Commission is often negotiable and tends to be 5 to 6% of a home’s sale price, with around 3% going to each agent. 

Comparative Market Analysis

House figure on top of a calculator

Often abbreviated as CMA, this detailed evaluation of your home’s value is based on similar properties that have recently sold in your neighborhood.

Contingency

A contingency is a certain condition that must be met before a home is sold. If a contingency is not met, the buyer or seller can exit the deal, typically with no penalties. Financing, home inspections, and appraisals are just a few common contingencies.

Disclosures

Signing paperwork

Disclosures refer to any specific defects in a home that you’re legally obligated to share with a buyer. Required disclosures vary from state to state and even town to town, but your agent should be familiar with the most common types in your area.  

Earnest Money

This is a security deposit submitted by a buyer after they’ve put in an offer to show that they’re serious about purchasing your home. The money is typically applied towards their closing costs if the sale moves forward. 

Escrow

Agent chatting about an escrow account

An escrow account is normally set up by a lender to hold earnest money until the sale of a home. However, escrow accounts can also be used by lenders to hold real estate taxes and insurance premiums as you pay off your mortgage.

For Sale by Owner

Sometimes abbreviated as FSBO, this is when a homeowner tries to sell their property without the help of an agent, usually to avoid paying commission.

Real Estate Agent

Real estate agent helping a client

A real estate agent is someone who has passed a real estate exam and possesses a license that allows them to buy or sell homes in a specific area.

Real Estate Broker

Real estate brokers are agents who have received additional education, passed a broker exam, and completed a certain number of transactions. Most agents work under the supervision of a broker.

Realtor®

Realtors talking to each other

A Realtor® is an agent or broker who is a member of the National Association of Realtors. Realtors® are required to follow a strict code of ethics and pay annual membership dues.

Staging

Staging is the process of styling and updating your home for potential buyers. It can involve cleaning, repainting, decluttering, making repairs, and moving around furniture to make your space look its best. 

Under Contract

Under contract sign

When a home is under contract, the seller has accepted an offer from a buyer, and that buyer has the exclusive right to purchase the property.

Thinking About Selling Soon?

If you’re getting ready to list your home, we can help you navigate every step of the process. Just reach out to us to learn more about the services we offer to our sellers, and let us know if you have any questions. We’d be happy to lend you our expertise! 

Keep Your Home Ready to Show with These 4 Tips

As a seller, you have to be able to get your home looking fantastic at the drop of a dime if an interested buyer schedules a tour. And unless you have the time to constantly clean, keeping your space prepped for showings might seem like an endless (and stressful!) ordeal. Luckily, we have a few tips that can help you avoid any pre-showing panicking.

The Easiest Ways to Stay Ready for Showings

The biggest secret to keeping your home ready for buyers is to do most of the work ahead of time. It might be tempting to put off cleaning or wait until the last minute to add your finishing touches, but all that procrastinating can easily backfire right before a showing! Here are some easy ways to keep your home looking spotless at all times…without any added headaches.

Declutter and reorganize

Decluttering a living room

Before you even think about listing, take some time to declutter and reorganize your belongings. This can help decrease the amount of stuff you have to put away before a showing, as well as reduce how much you’ll pack when you inevitably move. Remember, you want buyers to focus on the best parts of your home, not your clutter.

Not sure where to start? Try sorting your possessions in “keep,” “donate,” and “throw away” piles so you can narrow down what you really need. And if you have items that don’t get used every day that you’d like to keep, you can always rent a storage unit until you move into your new place.

Do an initial deep clean

Cleaning a kitchen

After you’ve thoroughly decluttered, you’ll want to do a thorough cleaning of every single room in your home, including your closets. It might seem like a lot of work at first, but it’ll be worth it when you don’t have to completely scrub down your house each time a buyer comes knocking on your door. Don’t shy away from getting into every nook and cranny—you want everything to look perfect!

Many professionals recommend using the top-to-bottom and left-to-right rule. That means starting by cleaning things up high, such as ceiling fans and bookshelves, and ending with your floors and carpets. Going from left to right can also keep you on task and make the entire process go by much faster.

Have a routine for tidying up

Making a bed

Let’s be honest—if you have kids, pets, or actually live in your home, it’s not easy to keep it looking like a showroom at all times. Establishing a regular tidying routine can help you maintain that initial deep clean you did before listing. Assigning tasks—like making beds or vacuuming the floors—to everyone in your household also allows you to divide and conquer! 

To minimize the amount of cleaning you have to do, consider keeping some rooms that you don’t use off limits. You can even designate a certain area, such as an ottoman or a storage bin under a bed, for everyday clutter that needs to be hidden right before a showing.

Create an escape plan

Family on a walk

Keeping your home ready for showings is only half of the battle—you also need to know where you and your household will be going before the buyers show up! Not every tour is conveniently timed, so you’ll want to have a few options in place for different times and days of the week. If you have kids or pets, don’t forget to make arrangements to accommodate their needs, too.

Don’t know where to go? Try using your time to run errands or plan some fun (and practical) outings with your kids, like an outdoor study session or afternoon at the pool. Your furry friend can also be included in the fun—just head to a pet-friendly park for a little sunshine and fresh air!

Want to Get Top Dollar and Sell Fast?

Selling your home might seem difficult, but working with the right agent can make all the difference! We’re ready to help you navigate every step of the selling process, so just give us a call to see what we can do for you.

8 Simple Ways to Get Your Outdoor Spaces Ready for Summer

The weather’s getting warmer, summer is (finally!) just around the corner, and we’re all staying at home more than ever before. If you plan on spending your days relaxing in nature, now is the perfect time to give your outdoor space a little upgrade. And if you’re thinking about selling soon, you might even impress some summer buyers, too.

These Easy Projects Can Totally Transform Your Outdoor Space

You don’t have to spend a lot of money or time to get your outdoor space looking stellar. Here are eight quick, cost-effective DIY projects to help usher your yard, patio, porch, or balcony into the new season. 

Do a little tidying

Gardening supplies

Did you forget to do your spring cleaning? Before you start on any big projects, take some time to tidy up your outdoor spaces. Sweep away any dust on your balcony, patio, or deck, and clean off your furniture. If you have a yard, be sure to clear out any lingering debris, trim back your trees or shrubs, and uproot any pesky patches of weeds.

Perform regular maintenance

Late spring is the perfect time to tackle that maintenance to-do list you’ve been putting off! Although these routine tasks might seem mundane, they’re essential to keeping your outdoor space in tip-top shape. Cleaning out your gutters, spraying for bugs and pests, and powerwashing are just a few common projects that you’ll want to handle before the weather gets too hot. 

Give your lawn some extra attention

Mowing the lawn

There are a few steps you should be taking right now if you want to keep your lawn green all summer long. Aerating and fertilizing during late spring is key to keeping your yard healthy. When you start mowing, be sure to not cut more than one third of the grass height in one sitting. You can prevent this by increasing the blade height on your mower.

Add new landscaping

You don’t have to be a professional landscaper to add some new greenery to your outdoor space—but be sure to do some research before you start planting. Try to select flowers, shrubs, or trees that do well in your area, and consider how much sunlight they’ll get throughout the day. If you have a balcony or patio, incorporating a few potted plants can add a fun (and low-maintenance) splash of color.

Plant a garden

Raised garden bed

Have you always wanted to harvest your own fruits, vegetables, or herbs? Raised plant beds make it easy to create a garden just about anywhere, and they’re an easy DIY project that you can tackle before the summer months. Just build or buy the beds, fill them with soil, pick your plants, and start growing!

Invest in some outdoor furniture

Good patio furniture offers both comfort and function, and just a few updates can transform your outdoor space into a whole new living area. Consider investing in some staple pieces, like a table and chairs or a loveseat, depending on the size of your deck or patio. Many retailers will even ship the furniture straight to your front door. 

Incorporate new lighting

Outdoor string lights

If you want to take advantage of your outdoor space during the day and at night, new lighting might just do the trick. You don’t have to get too fancy (unless you want to!)—simply replacing some fixtures or hanging a strand of trendy string lights will elevate the entire area. If you really want to beat the heat, you might even install an outdoor ceiling fan on your covered patio or deck.

Getting Ready to Buy or Sell This Summer?

Whether you’re thinking about moving next week, next month, or next year, you can trust us to help you navigate every step of the process. We have plenty of buying and selling resources to get you started, so feel free to reach out if you have any questions. We’re always on hand to lend our expertise!