7 Things to Consider When Selling an Inherited House

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Inheriting a home can come with a mixed bag of emotions and responsibilities. In addition to processing the death of a loved one, acquiring a house can be daunting.

There are often several heirs involved in the process, as well as financial debt and legal issues to navigate. If you’re interested in selling a home you’ve recently inherited, here are some important things to consider as you begin the process. 

The home’s worth

Getting a broker’s price opinion will be your first step.

Before you make any decisions, try to determine the value of the home. Many online estimators can assist you in this process but keep in mind that they’re not always completely accurate. In other words, you may not be able to sell for that exact price. 

Comparable properties in the area (that are selling in the current housing market) may help you make the most accurate prediction. Also, note that the house may need repairs or minor updates if it hasn’t been cared for in a while. 

Having a general idea of how much the home is worth will be important as you work towards finalizing your listing.

Things to Consider When Selling an Inherited HouseAny remaining amount on the mortgage

Next, it’s important to figure out how much is left on the mortgage. If the home is not paid off, you’ll be responsible for making payments every month. This is why it’s critical to find out where the mortgage stands as soon as possible.

In addition to monthly mortgage payments, check to ensure all property taxes are up to date and paid in full. You should also complete a title search to check for any liens on the property. These types of financial issues will need to be settled before you can begin the process of preparing for a sale. 

How many heirs are inheriting the property?

There are often several heirs when it comes to an inherited home. For those who have siblings (or even cousins), this can be a lot to sort through. 

Carefully examine the will to identify all heirs and notify them of the situation. You should also identify the executor who will have the ultimate say on any decisions. This individual will be in charge of caring for the home and ensuring the mortgage is paid every month until it comes time to sell.

If the will does not name an executor, the heirs need to work together to identify one. This should be someone ready and willing to step up and handle necessary responsibilities.  

The probate processes

Probate is defined as “the formal legal process that gives recognition to a will and appoints the executor or representative who will administer the estate and distribute assets to the intended beneficiaries.” 

In addition to every state having various inheritance laws, there are different ways the decedent can leave behind assets. For example, a trust is different from a will. Consulting with an attorney is the best way to determine whether a probate proceeding is necessary.

The good news is that many states have worked to simplify probate. While it was traditionally known as a lengthy process, many people report a more streamlined system today.

Tax implications

Selling an inherited house will likely lead to some level of tax implications. Please note that this is just an overview of what to expect. You should always consult with a tax professional to get a better idea of what to expect when you sell an inherited property.

If you’re wondering whether the sale of this property is taxable, you must first determine your basis.

According to the IRS, the basis of property inherited from a decedent is usually one of the following:

  • The fair market value (FMV) of the property on the date of the decedent’s death 
  • The FMV of the property on the alternate valuation date if the executor of the estate files an estate tax return and elects to use the alternate valuation on that return

For more information on this, visit the IRS website

In addition to issues of basis and capital gains, you’ll have to determine whether estate tax applies to your situation. This is a tax on someone’s right to transfer property after their death.

Finally, it’s important to remember that you are responsible for any unpaid and upcoming property taxes on the home when you inherit it.

Preparation before listing

If you’ve made it this far, it may feel like you’re close to the finish line, but preparing the house for a sale can take a lot of time and effort. This is especially true if the person lived there for many years. 

Your real estate agent will guide how you should prepare the house before listing it. Whether they prefer it to be empty or staged with furniture, you should trust their advice.

Regardless of which route you go, it’s time for everyone to determine what they’d like to keep and pack up in a box to bring home. When it comes to old furniture items that have seen better days, consider hiring a company to haul them away. For items that may still hold some value, put one of the heirs in charge of selling items online

Once this is accomplished, you can hire a company to do a deep cleaning of the house before a photographer takes photos for the listing. 

Accepting the right offer

If you have time and patience, it pays to wait for the right offer. Your real estate agent will help you facilitate negotiations that lead to a fair price. This is the best way to ensure every heir gets a sum of money they’re satisfied with.

If you’re eager to sell quickly (and without making repairs or improvements), you may want to consider selling to a cash buyer. These are companies that are willing to buy houses for cash, usually as is. The downside is that you won’t get full price for the home.

Consider your options before making a careful decision.  

How to Know When It’s Time to Downsize Your Home

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The decision to downsize your home is a personal one that depends on many different factors. Although it may be an easy way to lower your bills, it can often be difficult to leave a house that holds treasured family memories. This is especially true for those who have been in the same place for many years, perhaps even decades.

The good news is, there are a lot of benefits to downsizing. The vast majority of people do it to save money, but there are plenty of other reasons why it may be an attractive option.

If you’re debating whether to sell your home and find something smaller, here are five signs it’s time to downsize. There are many considerations for downsizing.

  1. Maintenance is overwhelming or costly

Signs it is Time to Downsize

Taking care of a house can often feel like a full-time job. From routine cleaning to repairs and improvements, all of this maintenance takes time and money. If you have a large yard, you also have to worry about landscaping or perhaps even pool cleaning. 

Experts recommend putting away $1 per square foot for annual maintenance. When you take a look at your monthly spending, is this viable for your budget? If you are being forced to dip into your savings account to make repairs, this may be an indication that it’s time to downsize. 

When upkeep becomes too daunting, a smaller house is appealing, especially if you need to pay someone to accomplish cleaning and maintenance tasks.

  1. You have a lot of unused space

If your kids have all grown up and moved out, you’re probably living with a lot of unused space. Chances are, you don’t need two or three spare bedrooms, whether you use them for guests or your hobbies. Plus, once you hand over your kids’ belongings, there’s less to hold onto, making it possible to downsize more easily. 

Remember, even if you’ve paid off your mortgage, you’re still spending money on utilities for all of this unused space.

From water to electricity and gas, the extra square footage adds up. Likewise, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance premiums are also higher for a larger house. 

Ask yourself whether you’re really using the entirety of your space.

  1. Retirement is on the horizon

Retirement is an exciting phase of life that offers so much to look forward to. You’ll have time to enjoy the activities you love, spend time with friends or family, and travel.

For some people, this is a perfect opportunity to embrace the life of “snow birds” and purchase two small homes in different places. Going back and forth is a great way to escape extreme weather, such as desert summers or East Coast winters. 

Although retirement is something to look forward to, it does require a savvy financial plan to ensure you can live comfortably without the income of a full-time job. Selling your home is often a great way to cushion your bank account and ensure you have enough money to live the life you want for years to come. 

It’s also important to consider the fact that housing price increases have outpaced inflation by 150% over the past 50 years. This is good news for retirees holding onto homes they simply don’t need anymore. Your house is an important investment and retirement is often the best time to cash out. 

  1. Your lifestyle needs have changed

If you purchased your home 10, 20, or even 30 years ago, your life likely looks very different than it did back then. 

You’re probably less concerned with the schools in your neighborhood and more worried about aging in place. Even those in perfect health may have changing needs.

For example, it may be difficult to get around as easily as you once did, especially when it comes to stairs. This makes downsizing to a single-story home ideal.

What’s more, many people want to be closer to family members as they age. This makes it more convenient to get assistance with everyday tasks from grocery shopping to changing a light bulb. Plus, one of the big benefits is easier access to those you love and want to spend more time with, such as grand kids. 

  1. There are significant financial benefits

If you’ve already been thinking about downsizing, timing is everything. Are homes in your neighborhood flying off the market with high price tags? It may be a good time to consider this option.

Although the housing market can always change, there’s no denying we’re in a seller’s market and have been for quite some time! Low inventory is leading to higher home prices that make selling very attractive.

Further, it’s good to follow the 30% rule. If your housing expenses (mortgage, utilities, maintenance, property taxes, and insurance) are more than 30% of your monthly budget, it’s time to free up some cash. This is especially true if you’re finding it difficult to save or spend money on hobbies and fun activities. 

Downsizing can help ease the mental burden of feeling like there isn’t enough money to go around every month.

Explore your options

Making the decision to downsize isn’t easy, but there are many ways to explore your options.  

First, consider meeting with a real estate agent to talk about the housing market in your area. Find an experienced realtor who is interested in getting to know more about your wants, needs, and any concerns you have.

A real estate agent will help you navigate whether it’s the right time for you to sell by determining a realistic price estimate for your home. 

Prefer to sell to a cash buyer? While it’s better to work with a real estate agent, this can be a good option if you’re facing extreme financial trouble or have a very tight timeline.

There are many companies that buy houses for cash, as well as iBuyers. The iBuyers use technology to make an initial offer that can close in as little as two weeks.

You will just need to avoid some of the common house flipping mistakes.

In most cases, they pay closer to market value than the companies that buy houses for cash.

What Factors Impact Property Values?

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When a house hits the market, listings tend to focus on physical details such as when it was built, architectural style, square footage, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

But many other factors contribute to a home’s value — and some may be beyond your control.

These things can become important when you’re selling because they can influence the days on the market or DOM for short. Higher DOM will have a direct correlation to the sale price of your property. Unfortunately, a high DOM will usually lead to a lower selling price.

If you plan on flipping a house this could become vital to know.

Here are nine unique things that influence property values.

Things That Influence Property Values

1. Proximity to Stores and Restaurants

Homes located near good schools and green spaces have always been valued highly, but recent housing trends show properties close to popular chain stores and restaurants are also increasing in value.

For example, having a Starbucks or Trader Joe’s nearby is a big advantage.

2. The Neighborhood

Your neighborhood can positively impact your home’s value. There is no doubt it will influence the real estate appraisal.

If you have a homeowners association that provides lawn service, snow removal, a community swimming pool, or other services, it may boost your home’s value.

On the other hand, if you live in a neighborhood with dilapidated properties and numerous foreclosures, your property value could decrease. Neighborhoods with a high number of registered sex offenders also tend to have lower property values.

3. The Street Name 

Homes located on numbered streets, such as First or Second, tend to sell for less than comparable homes on streets with names. However, in major cities, such as New York, homes on numbered streets may sell for more because of historical or elite connotations.

Even an address’ suffix can play a role. Boulevards, places, and roads tend to sell for more than streets and drives.

4. Updates and Renovations

Although some prospective buyers are looking to flip a house, most are looking for a turnkey property. Homes with renovated kitchens and updated primary bedroom suites tend to be valued higher.

If you’re looking to list your home, consult with a local real estate expert to find out if the time and expense of a renovation will be worth the investment. Know the best questions to ask a Realtor before you call a contractor or tear down any walls.

5. Parking Accessibility and Garage

Homes with a garage and ample street parking tend to have higher values. Covered parking in particular commands more money than homes with only driveway or street parking.

If you own a home in a large city, your property will likely be more valuable if you live close to a train or bus station. Future buyers will appreciate the convenience, and they’ll be willing to pay for it.

6. Energy Efficiency and Smart Tech

There was a time when video-camera doorbells, voice-activated lighting, and heat activation from a cellphone seemed like features from a futuristic movie. But these smart-tech devices are becoming increasingly common and desirable in homes.

Beyond convenience, smart tech offers homeowners peace of mind, and buyers are willing to pay for that.

Buyers also want energy-efficient homes that reduce utility costs over time. Buying a home is one of the most significant purchases a person will make in their lifetime, and it pays to have long-term cost savings.

7. Trees and Landscaping

A home’s curb appeal can positively or negatively impact its value. A home with established trees and gardens will likely sell for more than a home with a patchy strip of grass.

If you’re looking to add value before selling, consider adding low-maintenance landscaping. Plant a couple of trees in strategic places. That will help make a good first impression on buyers.

8. A Haunted History

Some buyers may be fascinated by true crime podcasts or ghost-hunting shows, but that doesn’t mean they’ll want to buy a home with close ties to either.

Homes that were the site of hauntings, infamous crimes, deaths, or murders are harder to sell, which lowers their value over time. If you aren’t bothered by a home’s past, you may be able to snag a haunted house at a great price. 

Likewise, homes located next to a cemetery tend to linger on the market. But living next to a cemetery comes with perks you may not have considered. Not only are the areas quieter, but the grounds are also well maintained, making a cemetery a peaceful and beautiful neighborhood.

9. Market Competition 

The market will ultimately decide how much you can buy or sell a home for. Prices are based on the basic economic principle of supply and demand. If there are more homes on the market than buyers are looking to purchase, values will drop, making it a buyer’s market.

If there are more buyers than available homes, prices will rise, creating a seller’s market. If you’re a buyer struggling to afford a down payment in a seller’s market, it might be time to learn how a side hustle can help you buy a home.

Some sellers can’t wait for the market to turn in their favor. If you’re selling your home, take a look at the best websites for selling your home by owner for tips that can help your property stand out from the crowd and turn a large profit.

Final Thoughts

When buying or selling real estate there are numerous factors that can influence property values. It is crucial to have this information so you don’t make mistakes whether you are purchasing or setting a correct price when selling.

Hopefully, some of the tips we have provided here have been useful.

How to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

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Tips to Prepare Your House to Get Sold

Are you getting ready to sell your home? Home sale preparation is one of the most vital tasks when selling a home.

Homes are rarely ready to hit the market as is. Most of them need a slight (or major) makeover to attract potential buyers. 

There are certain tricks of the trade that real estate pros use in order to quickly sell a home at a desirable price. These tactics will cost money upfront but will ultimately help increase a seller’s overall profit.

The following tips range from low-cost updates to full-on renovations. Whether your budget is large or small, these strategies are sure to help raise your returns.

Although this advice is mainly geared toward homeowners, it can be used for other people as well (e.g., investors using a 1031 exchange to quickly sell an apartment building). 

How to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Clean, Declutter, Depersonalize

Decluttering and depersonalizing your home can help potential buyers visualize themselves in the space. Remember, you are moving on and leaving this home behind. The goal now is to emotionally detach and present buyers with a blank slate. 

In addition to giving the place a good scrub, pack up personal belongings such as photographs, knickknacks, family heirlooms, and other decor. Basically, remove anything that will distract from the sale. 

Regarding items you no longer want to keep, consider selling or donating them to a local charity such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill.

All other items can be put in storage or tucked away in small boxes in your cabinets and closets. Although this may seem cumbersome, consider it a jumpstart on packing. 

Give it a Fresh Coat of Paint

Painting is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to increase the value of a home. At a 107% return on investment, repainting the interior walls has one of the highest values in terms of home improvements. 

When repainting a home, research common and popular colors. Keep in mind that this is not about your personal style but what potential buyers will like. The exterior should have a fresh coat of neutral paint, and the interior walls should be free of any chips or cracks. 

It’s best to stick to inoffensive colors such as off-white, eggshell, or “greige.” But not all colors work for all rooms. For smaller spaces, pastels and stark whites can make them seem larger.

For larger, potentially alienating rooms, darker, more intimate colors can help bring the room in.

Don’t forget the trim and other adornments. Painting the crown molding the same color as the walls can make a room feel bigger, and painting it a contrasting color can make it cozier. 

Stage The Home

Staging a home has been shown to increase the odds of selling it for a higher price. You do not necessarily need to stage every single room, but consider doing important areas such as the master bedroom and living room. 

You also do not need to remove all of the furniture in your home to stage it. Hyper-stylized items like a bright yellow couch or zebra rug can be distracting, though, so consider moving them into storage or at least out of sight.

Temporarily decorate the home with furniture and decor that’s ordinary yet in style. 

Make Renovations and Repairs

Depending on the condition of a property, the seller may need to make some repairs to sell the place. A leaky roof, some cracked tiles, or a faulty HVAC system could all make selling your house much harder. 

Other times, a room’s features may simply be outdated, and making renovations would help increase the home’s market value. Remodeling the kitchen is a common route many homeowners take because most buyers want a nice kitchen.

Installing stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and new cabinets can transform the space into an inviting room for cooking and hosting. 

Financing renovations can seem tricky, but homeowners can use plenty of creative options to achieve their remodeling goals.

There are different lines of credit that owners can tap into, like credit cards and second mortgages, but make sure to pay attention to the interest rates.

If you don’t have the money to pay off the renovations immediately, then you will want a card or loan with a low rate. Otherwise, you could end up paying more on interest overall. 

If going through the process of making renovations isn’t for you, but you still want to give potential buyers the option to make updates, you could offer seller concessions in the form of credits toward renovations and repairs

Increase Your Curb Appeal 

First impressions matter. The outside of a property and the driveway are what buyers will immediately notice. In addition to painting the exterior of a home, redoing the landscaping and/or the driveway can help increase curb appeal.

If you’re dealing with a particularly run-down house or a fixer-upper, then decluttering the front yard and mowing the lawn could do wonders for your selling efforts. Power cleaning a driveway or installing a new one can make a huge difference as well. 

Do a Photoshoot 

Once you’re done preparing the home, make sure your listing properly showcases the property. It would be a shame to put in tons of effort only to have a property sit on the market due to unflattering or bland pictures.

Listings with professional photos have even been shown to sell homes up to 32% faster than homes with low-quality images. 

When preparing your home for sale, it’s all about emphasizing the details that will capture a buyer’s attention.

Going the extra mile will show people you are serious about selling and will likely increase the final sale price. If you’re working with a real estate agent, be sure to ask for their advice on staging and renovations.

They should be able to point you in the right direction and offer references for contractors, photographers, landscapers, and more.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you have enjoyed these tips on how to get your home ready to sell and can put them to good use.

The more you can do to get your home prepared for the real estate market, the greater the odds you will sell your house fast for the most money possible.

Never sell yourself short by putting your house up for sale before you’re ready.

7 Optimal Tips to Update Your Front Yard

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How to Update Your Front Yard

When it comes to remodeling a home, generally speaking, homeowners tend to prioritize the home’s interior. The exterior is often an afterthought; however, it is an excellent way to update your front yard. However, the exterior is the first thing that visitors see when they drive up to the home.

When a home has an updated exterior, it tends to improve the curb appeal of the home. Whether you decide to sell the home or just improve it to maintain it, there are some tips to help to update your front yard.

These are the kind of improvements that will help your home sell faster.

Maintain the Lawn

Tips to Update Your Front Yard

As we are well into the spring season, it is a good idea to reseed the lawn. Fertilize and ensure that your lawn is taken care of. Weeds are inevitable in most lawns.

Ideally, pull weeds, including the roots by hand, or use a hoe to remove the entire weed.  If the weeds are overgrowing and out of control, you can use an herbicide to kill the weeds. Be sure to read the directions to ensure you don’t damage the existing lawn.

You can also hire a service to take care of your lawn monthly to ensure that it is weed-free and green. There are some late spring tips to take care of your lawn and yard. Hire a landscaper or gardener to help mow the lawn weekly. A green and healthy lawn is very inviting and will make the home and yard look well tended to.

If you have a smaller area where you want to have a lawn and are not interested in the maintenance, consider adding artificial turf. This is a great way to maintain a green appearance.

It is a good idea to research what type of turf, and remember some of it does get hot. This can be problematic if you have pets.

Tend to the Flower Beds

Shrubs and bushes in flower beds should be trimmed neatly to create a neat appearance. If you want to put down mulch around the shrubs, that creates a nice look.

Remember to get the flower beds free of weeds as well. If you have smaller flower beds and want to add annual color, that will add some zest to the home.

Consider adding petunias or marigolds will add some bold color. You can keep them for several months by pruning back on the old blooms.

Flower beds that are neat and orderly definitely create an attractive yard and another way to update your front yard. These landscaping improvements will help to improve the overall home value.

Paint Your Front Door For More Exterior Appeal

After you have cleaned up the front of your home to ensure no cobwebs or leaves are hanging around, consider painting the front door and trim.

It can be a contrasting color to the home, which will add to the appeal of the exterior. Avoid any home improvements that may be too trendy, as they can be a turn-off for a potential buyer.

If you are selling your home, select a color appealing to the majority, as you don’t want the color to be too off-putting. Consider adding a seasonal wreath on the front door and a fresh entryway doormat.

All of these enhancements you are making to your home are considered exterior staging.

Update Your Exterior Light Fixtures

If your light fixtures are in good shape, then go ahead and just be sure to clean them and ensure the light bulbs are operable.

Light fixtures are considered fixtures in real estate as they are attached to the property.  If the light fixture is in disrepair, consider replacing them. Light fixtures are not all that expensive and consider a search at a home improvement store such as Ace Hardware or Lowes.

All of these steps will help you get the home ready for a spring sale should you decide that is the direction you plan to go.

Add an Architectural Mailbox to Help Update Your Front Yard

If you live in a home in an HOA, there may be restrictions on what type of mailbox you can put on the property. If not, some beautiful mailboxes can be added to the property and make the exterior and front yard more appealing.

There are many different mailboxes that you can select. Consider searching online for the type of mailbox you are seeking. There are mailboxes with a post or wall mount that you can select.

Many companies offer an option with the selection of the finish, including an architectural bronze finish. Keep in mind, if you live on the waterfront or ocean that is a more corrosive environment. This can impact the mailbox and cause it to corrode more quickly. Be sure to select a finish that will stand up to the elements.

Update Your House Numbers

Along with your upgraded mailbox, you can also upgrade the house numbers. There are many places where you can order house numbers to add to the appeal of the exterior of the home.

With a farmhouse-style home, many are using house numbers in script style with the house number, and some are even adding the name of the street.

Be sure to order house numbers that will tolerate the elements. The last thing you want is to purchase house numbers only to have them rusting or falling apart within the first few months of having them.

Add Exterior Lighting

There are some fabulous options to add exterior lighting to your flower beds and yard. If you have a beautiful tree as a focal point, then you may want to illuminate the tree. Add lighting in the flowerbeds to showcase the flowerbeds and seasonal flowers.

There are many options with exterior lighting, including solar, which is a great option. They are not difficult to install, and the wires are buried under the soil, which can be a relatively easy DIY project.

Get a timer for the lights and allow them to go on at sunset and stay on until dusk. Not only are the exterior lights aesthetically pleasing, but they also add to the safety of your home. The exterior lighting is a money-saving home improvement tip.

Final Thoughts

There are some fabulous ways to transform your home’s exterior by following the steps above. Be sure to maintain your home to prevent your home from accruing deferred maintenance.

Updating the exterior of the home will create a lasting impression of your home for visitors and buyers if you are selling.  There are many other ways to create a beautiful curb appeal of your home, so be creative and add to the value of your home.

Hopefully, you have found my tips for updating your yard to be useful.

The Quick Little Guide on the Fastest Way to Sell a House

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A Quick Little Guide on the Fastest Way to Sell a House

Do you need to sell a home fast? If this is your first time selling a house, you may realize that there are different challenges that are waiting for you.

For some people, there is a tendency to feel emotional during the process. This is somewhat normal especially when you lived in that house for a long time.

The memory in the place sometimes makes people question their decisions. But you should not let your emotions cloud your judgment because it may make you commit some mistakes in the process of selling.

Selling a house fast may seem to be a complex process for first-time sellers. This is because there are some parts of the process that you’re not familiar with. For other people, they struggle in the process of showing the house to potential buyers.

You will hear how people will critic and comment about the specific parts of your house. This may also affect you in some ways emotionally.

So before selling your home, you should familiarize yourself with the important things you need to remember.

Sell House Fast

Understanding the Mechanics of Home Selling

Putting your house in the market requires you to know the mechanics of selling a house. A lot of people commit mistakes and end up waiting for a long time for the property to be sold.

Prices, insurance, real estate agents, and other factors are determinants of the success of your journey as a selling.

Understanding how these factors can affect the whole process will give you enough idea on how to strategize.

So, before you even decide on prices and other stuff, learn about the mechanics of home selling. Know the simple steps and the common mistakes people commit.

Avoid these Mistakes when Selling Your Home

Here are the different mistakes you should avoid to make sure that you will be able to sell your house faster.

Getting Emotional

This is the most common mistake that people who lived in the house for a long time commit.

People usually get emotional in the process of selling a house because of many factors. But this is something that can get in the way of being able to sell it. There are some people who suddenly feel like they are no longer sure if they really want to sell the property.

So before you sell, you have to make sure that you are emotionally ready.

Setting an Unrealistic Price

Another reason why it is usually taking too long before a property is sold is the unrealistic price being set by the seller. To avoid this, you have to check the market and determine the real market value of your property.

You need to pay particular attention to the right real estate comparables. In other words, the homes that are truly similar to yours. Analyzing comps correctly is one of the key ways to ensure your home is priced appropriately from day one.

There are some homes that make really good comps and others that do not. You can also ask the help of real estate experts for this.

Also, keep in mind your home is going to need to pass the buyer’s lender’s real estate appraisal.

Not Carrying Proper Insurance

Most people as mentioned by cash for homes are looking for properties that are insured. One of the common mistakes that sellers make is not having the insurance details while selling.

Buyers also make their own research before buying a house. They know the importance of getting a property that is insured.

Few Simple Steps on How to Sell Your House

To assist you, here are some steps you can take to ensure that you will be successful in selling your house.

Sell Your House to a Wholesaler

A wholesaler is someone who sells houses for the seller at a higher price and gets the difference as his or her part.

There are different reasons why you should get a wholesaler. Firstly, they have quite a great number of prospects and potential buyers. Aside from that, they also ensure that your property will be sold at your asking price.

Find the Right Real Estate Agent

There are several things you should consider when you are looking for a real estate agent.

You have to check their track record and see how they are performing But most importantly, you have to ensure that they are familiar with the neighborhood where your house is located.

Interviewing real estate agents before choosing is one of the best ways for you to be able to get the best one.

Declutter Your Home

This is an important reminder before you even decide to sell your house. Make sure that it is ready to be photographed and featured in the market. Real Estate agents refer to this as staging the home properly. Staging can be everything from removing unwanted items to making repairs, to changing up the furniture, to changing paint colors.

Some folks have so much stuff they need to rent either a self-storage unit or a Pod in order to get their extraneous stuff out of their home.

You can start by eliminating things that are not necessarily important in the selling process.

Consider a Short Sale of Your Home

This option is for homeowners who still have an amount due on their mortgage. If you are financially distressed, the best way for you to be able to successfully get a buyer is to short sale your home.

Many buyers are looking for houses in short shale because of the reduction in the price.

Check Your Curb Appeal

One of the things that people check, whenever they are buying a house, is the external appearance. You have to check if your walkways, yard, lawn, and even driveway look good online and personal. The house should be inviting and appealing.

When it comes to the exterior there are fewer things more important than your home’s curb appeal.

Keep Up with Current Technology

Now that technology has already changed the way people live, buyers are also looking for the newest tech upgrade in houses they visit.

Start with your security features and look for the best gadgets that can ensure this. From securing your front door to some auto blinds, you are certainly putting your house on top of the others in the market.

Write a Great Listing Description

Listing is something that people check. Make sure that your description will make potential buyers interested in visiting your house.

A great listing description is short and catchy. It should contain the most important details buyers should know about your house.

Bottom Line

Selling your house successfully can be achieved with the proper strategy. As the homeowner, you know exactly what should be changed and what to improve in your home.

In taking photographs, be honest and yet be challenged by the fact that there are other houses being sold in the market.

DIY Home Staging Tips – Stand Out From The Competition

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How to Stage Your Home Yourself

Do you need to get your home looking better? Are you looking for some DIY home staging tips that will help make your home stand out from the competition?

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) home staging is the skill of transforming your home into a product that will be generally pleasing to most onlookers.

While there are many reasons for staging a home, the most popular would be when a home is up for sale. It is about optimizing the layout and space of your home in a manner that highlights its best peculiarities making it stand out from other houses in the market.

This art is becoming quite popular owing to the results it brings to homeowners. In this DIY home staging tips article, we will focus on the major components of a typical home.

DIY-Home-Staging-Tips

Clean and Repair to Start The Home Staging Process

Clean and repair are the rule of the thumb when it comes to DIY home staging. For any room, this can be one of the largest hindrances for home clients. Having a clean home that is free of major repairs makes your home seem move-in ready, so potential clients are not coming up with the list of stuff requiring extra work on their part.

Before you start adding decor pieces, try to get your house in top shape. Fix anything that is broken and work on decluttering the various parts of your home. It would be highly advisable first to get rid of anything you no longer need or want.

One of the better avenues to take would be to hire one of the top junk removal companies such as 1800 GOT JUNK or another refuse removal company like them. They will come to your home with a truck and take away what you don’t want.

If some of your things have value they will donate the items to charity for you – a nice bonus to be able to help someone out in need. Once you have the larger items out of the way, you’ll want to start organizing what remains.

This means removing unnecessary items from cabinets and closets to show that the home has plenty of storage area. Also, remove clutter from the garage, attic, and basement so that the floors are easily visible and people can start to imagine their furniture and belongings in the area.

After cleaning, repairing, and removing the unused items out of the way you can shift your focus to staging each room in the house to appeal to a wide range of buyers.

Even homes that are in bad condition can benefit from home staging. Even properties that need some TLC show much better when they are not filled and unorganized with junk.

Kitchen Home Staging tips

Certainly, this is one of the places in your home that needs to be staged exceptionally well since it will help you sell. Normally, homeowners are seeking stylish and refreshed kitchens, thus, you need to learn what is trending.

First and foremost, make sure the kitchen is sparkling clean. Declutter the countertops, clean the floors, and make all the appliances as clean and sparkly as possible.

As you might expect, it is the tiny details that make a lot of difference in home staging.

For instance, fresh fruit and flower bowls can produce a little life in your kitchen. You can enhance it with a few excellent stemwares that are set out to encourage visitors to think of entertaining in the place.

In case you own a breakfast bar, position the stools nearby but with a bit of space between the stools and bar to give the image that the bar is spacious.

Make sure all the lights are on and if there are windows, allow as much natural light as possible by opening curtains and blinds.

Living Room Home Staging Tips

When preparing the living room for potential buyers, your aim should be to make it appear big and spacious with a lot of possibilities.

This is essential because oftentimes, this is the area that a majority of homeowners gather and entertain. Make this area simple and eliminate any unnecessary and bigger decoration items.

Accentuate the windows and natural light by pulling back drapes or curtains and opening up the blinds and shades.

Luckily, the living room is the simplest place to include modern trends too, without necessarily going overboard. Although going out to purchase all brand-new decor accessories is not a must, it is a good idea to have trendy accessories that stand out.

Bright, dissimilar palettes are not just in fashion but can be a tool to attract attention to particular traits of the home that you wish to show off.

Bathroom House Staging Tips

The bathroom is another area that can impact a home for sale. Usually, potential buyers will look for a comfortable and ultra-modern bathroom that makes them feel relaxed.

Replacing old light fixtures with modern items is an inexpensive way to lighten the area and add modern touches. If you have the budget, you may consider replacing colored tile with more neutral-toned tile.

The idea is to show your potential buyer the inherent feasibility of your bathroom.

Normally, it is good to add nice items such as candles, towels, decorative soaps, small plants, and other common items found in your bathroom.

Although you don’t spend a lot on DIY home staging, replacing things like bath mats and towels can indeed bring some desirable impacts.

Additionally, a bathroom is a place you should spend extra time cleaning, eliminating any build-up or mildew from the moisture. This can be an immense hindrance for buyers and may even be a reason your home will not sell.

Bedroom Staging Tips

While you want the bedroom to be inviting, you also want it to be neutral enough that a potential buyer can envision living in that room.

You will need to eliminate anything that is messing up your bedroom, as well as photos and personal items. This can mislead the buyer from noticing other appealing qualities of the home.

Have suitable and neutral colors on the bedding as well as a limited number of throw pillows. Be sure the bedroom is sufficiently lit before showing, either with natural light that comes from the windows or decorative light installations.

Home Staging Tips For Your Entrance

The front entrance to the home is what people will see when looking at pics online and determining if they even want to visit your home.

Clean the door and any windows around the entrance. Remove any clutter from the front porch or steps. Add some color by placing a seasonal plant near the door.

If the house number is on the door, or near the door, either clean it diligently or replace it with new numbers.

All of these items can draw more eyes to your listing and help you to sell quicker.

Final Thoughts On DIY Home Staging Tips

You don’t have to follow any complex rules with these DIY home staging tips. Focusing on little details always makes your home stand out. Making some repairs and cleaning is a simple but excellent step to consider to render your home even more attractive to potential buyers.

By doing so you will also increase the chances that when the appraiser visits your home will look even more favorable.

Even More Home Staging Resources:
Staging your home may seem like a waste of time and money but the reality is that in most cases, staging a home can be very beneficial to a home seller. Take a look at this post by Sharon Paxson to learn about how to stage a home and why it’s so important!

Virtual Staging Versus Home Staging: Which Is Better? If you don’t know what virtual staging is, to put it simply, you’re staging your home for the web but not for the in-person visit. Does that matter? It depends and I would encourage you to read this insightful article about virtual staging by Conor MacEvilly.

If you don’t “wow” potential home buyers with a great first impression, there’s a good chance you will not get top dollar for your home. Staging your home is an art and if it is not taken seriously, your home could look downright UGLY. Michelle Gibson goes through home staging mistakes that must be avoided if you want to create a lasting first impression.

Use all of these additional home staging articles to make your home look like a showplace. If you have the time to put it in, DIY home staging can save you lots of money and get your place looking as good as a pro. Best of luck!

 

What to Expect From a Real Estate Appraisal

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What to Know About The Real Estate Appraisal Process

Finally, someone has come along and given you the offer you’ve been waiting months for. But the stress isn’t over yet. Your home is now about to go through the potential buyers’ house appraisal process.

There are many factors that will determine the appraisal value. It is helpful to these things whether you are a buyer or a seller.

House appraisal issues can cause massive delays when trying to sell a home. They are the 2nd most common issue related to contract delays, only behind problems related to the buyer getting their mortgage commitment from a lender.

Even worse is that appraisal problems are the cause of around 1 in 10 contract terminations. So there is a good reason as to why you might be nervous about this whole thing in the first place.

Let’s talk about everything to do with appraisals so you can better prepare yourself for the inevitable future of having a real estate appraisal. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know exactly what to expect.

At What Stage Can You Expect The Home Appraisal to Occur?

Appraisals happen just after the seller, and the buyer agree on details like prices and repair costs. The buyer’s borrower will issue an appraiser to gauge the home’s value to ensure the lender is loaning money on a property worth the money being spent.

Some sellers also like to get a pre-appraisal done on their home if they have no idea what it should be priced at. Sometimes there are homes with limited comparable sales or “comps,” making it difficult for real estate agents to put a correct asking price. Having an appraiser in will give you at least another opinion of value.

What to Expect From a Real Estate Appraisal

Who is charged for the home appraisal?

If a loan is involved, the buyer nor the seller can request a home appraisal from a company. Instead, this is sorted out by the lender, who will go to a third-party AMC.

In this case, it’s the buyers who are billed for the home appraisal assessment, and the lender determines the fee. However, the appraisal company is charging the lender and setting the fee, which is in turn passed along to the buyer in the form of part of their closing costs.

Generally, this can be anywhere from $400 to $1000, depending on the lender the buyer has chosen and depending on who the lender chooses to appraise the home. You can learn more about the cost of a home appraisal at Benzinga.

What is The Actual Purpose of an Appraisal?

The point of an appraisal is to determine the market value of a home, protecting the buyer from overpaying for a home that could put themselves in financial jeopardy. As mentioned, to also help the lender find out how much they should be lending.

The way the appraiser does this is by assessing the property to gauge the value, noting things like its features, the size of the home, and its overall condition. A real estate contract will often include a clause that says the sale is contingent on the house appraising for the agreed-upon price or higher. This is a common real estate contingency and not out of the ordinary.

However, in the hot seller’s real estate markets, many contingencies are often waived by home buyers to sweeten their offer. More often than not, this will happen when there are multiple offers on a property.

How to Prepare For a Home Appraisal

The appraiser is there to do the best job they can, but are there ways you can be better prepared for the whole process to ensure your home gets the value it’s deserved?

Well, yes, there are things you can do to ensure that the home gets the right appraisal price:

Clean Your Home

The same way you cleaned your home when you had buyers viewing the property, do this exact thing again as if you’re showing a new buyer around the home. The principal is essentially the same because you want to make a good impression on the person walking around, though this time, it’s an appraiser.

Make Sure Your Pets Are Secured

Don’t get us wrong, who wouldn’t want to be greeted by a loveable dog as soon as they walk into the home? It almost gives a nice impression that the place is a loving home. But there is nothing worse for an appraiser who is trying to do their job when they’ve got a pet following them around wanting some love.

So make sure to secure your dogs and cats away!

Clean Up The Front and Back Yard

Just like you’ve done with the interior of your home, you’re going to want to give some love to the exterior, which means pulling out any weeds, mowing the lawn, and trimming the hedges. Generally, just making this as presentable as you possibly can to ensure that you’re giving off the right impression when the appraiser comes round to do their job.

If your home looks like it has no pride of ownership, it could influence the appraiser. Keep in mind that an appraisal is just one person’s opinion.

You could have ten different appraisers visit your home, and the likelihood is having ten different values. It is no different than a real estate agent giving you an opinion of value.

Leaving the home in bad condition will be a mistake.

What Do Appraisers Lookout For in a Home

Almost all appraisers will use the same form when looking around a home, the URA Report.

This form asks questions about the housing trends, neighborhood demographics in the surrounding area, available utilities, and the property’s exact measurements.

Exterior Factors

Throughout the exterior, home appraisers are taken note of the following things:

  • Age
  • Structure
  • Construction quality
  • Property site
  • Location
  • Roof integrity
  • Foundation Integrity
  • Parking
  • Gutters and siding
  • Neighborhood
  • Exterior condition

Interior Factors

Throughout the interior of the home, appraisers search for:

  • Functional layout
  • Square footage
  • Number and size of bathrooms, and kitchens, bedrooms
  • Health and safety accouterments
  • Included utilities
  • Code compliance
  • Appliances
  • Interior condition
  • Structural integrity

Upon checking these things, they intend to see how the property matches other similar properties in the neighborhood. The appraiser will take measurements and photos, which will allow them to get the full picture and finally assign a value to the home.

This is why it is so important to do a spring clean of the home, as if the appraisers deem things to be untidy and unkempt, they’ll have a reason to think that the house itself has not had proper care shown to it, which could influence their opinion of the home and ultimately the value.

It should be noted that appraisers are not doing a home inspection as a professional home inspector does but they do look over the property for substantial issues.

When Will You Get The Results of a Home Appraisal?

The appraisal report could take around a week to get back to you, but it’s more realistic that you’ll be waiting a little longer than that, around about 10 to 14 days.

This is because the appraiser may have to call around, check for permits and verify certain information for their report. If you want things to be as speedy as possible, make sure your agent is communicating well with the appraiser so that they can answer any of the questions they might have about the property.

Final Thoughts on Home Appraisals

You should now have a better understanding of the house appraisal process. Without a doubt, the appraisal is a vital hurdle to clear in a real estate transaction. Doing what you can to help the process along is always a good thing.

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