We collaborate with real estate agents all across the US in an effort to analyzes trends in the residential real estate industry, promote cross country referrals, and network on behalf of our seller clients. At the end of the third quarter for 2017, we've curated the best real estate articles for home buyers and home sellers.
Is an Open House Key to Selling Your Home? - Paul Sian
Technology has quickly become a significant influence in everyday life, and has allowed potential buyers to virtually view a house online prior to previewing. Does an open house help sell your home in today’s market? Sian defines the five different types of people who attend open houses and highlights a few key items that may help determine if open houses are essential. Open houses bring in potential buyers, but they may either be pre-approved or non-qualified buyers. You’ll get curious neighbors and people looking for something to do. Lastly and unfortunately, you will have potential to get criminals walking through. In a seller’s market, the days leading up to the first open house can create a buyer frenzy and a potential bidding war for the home. In conclusion, Sian recommends that open houses can help sell a home, but should not be held for luxury homes as it can bring criminals and unqualified prospects.
Top Smart Technology You Need to Know About - Dan Barcelon
Smart technology used to be exclusive for luxury homes, but today it has become less expensive, and homeowners are now installing it to make their home unique. Dan Barcelon explains the various ways you can make your home smarter by connecting the electrical components of your home to the Internet. For example, an inexpensive doorbell with a video camera can be installed and homeowners can speak to visitors, see the outside, and lock the doors with the feature. Barcelon explains how home security can allow homeowners to keep peace of mind and get instant notifications when alarms are triggered, monitor security cameras, and activate or deactivate the home security system. Other ways that you can make your home smart include connecting your appliances, lighting, and adding a central vacuum cleaning system. In conclusion, Barcelon emphasizes that adding smart home technology will add greater value and appeal to your home when you sell.
How Millennials are Impacting the Real Estate Market - Anita Clark
Today, millennials make up the largest percentage of buyers in the United States, which means more sellers are appealing their home to this generation. Anita Clark explains the personalities of millennials and how you can cater your home to their needs and wants. Because millennials grew up with technology, they rely heavily on it to make methodical and research driven decisions and will research a home online prior to viewing. Clark suggests having top notch photography, video, and drone video showcasing your home, which will appeal to millennials. Besides looking for move-in ready homes, millennials are also looking for functional, open floor plans, technology upgrades, and prime location. Millennials would rather choose smaller homes to live close to urban areas where they can walk or bike. They are environmentally friendly and seek a low maintenance home with smart technology appliances. Clark notes that most millennials’ parents provide or loan the down payment for them to purchase a home. Because of this, they rely heavily on their parents to help them make their home purchase decision.
Top Items That Will Lower Your Home Value - Bill Gassett
Location and aesthetics are key to your home value. Bill Gassett explains the variables that can positively or negatively impact your home value and gives suggestions on how you can fix negative variables. Some of the top variables that cannot be changed and will impact your home value include your home’s proximity to power lines, a gun range, highway, and registered sex offenders. Gassett explains that power lines buzz, are imposing, unattractive, and some people are worried about potential adverse effects of them. If a home is close to a gun range, there is a potential for noise pollution and a stray bullet hitting the property or someone. Train tracks and highways are loud and for safety reasons, they are not preferable to a homeowner. If a registered sex offender lives near you, it can drive down the value of your home, and according to Gassett, there are studies showing that the presence of one can lower your prices by up to 12%. Other variables that can affect your home value include the hoarders next door which can create an eye sore, unusual upgrades that do not fit the neighborhood or area, excessive noise pollution, color and interior design of your home, billboards, an undesirable school district, and numerous foreclosures. Some of the items that can be proactively fixed include choosing neutral colors for your home.
Top Warning Signs of Buyer Cold Feet - Conor MacEvilly
Properties are perceived differently by buyers when they go back on the market. Conor MacEvilly explains the top 10 warning signs to watch for when selling your home in order to minimize the chances of buyer cold feet and putting your home back on the market. If you encounter a multiple offer situation, you have the chance to be choosy. Compare and contract your offers and the buyers who are making the offers. MacEvilly emphasizes that the highest offer is not always the best offer. If only one of the spouses has seen the home, and an offer is submitted, this can be a warning sign of cold feet. The other spouse may not like the home thus resulting in a buyer back out. If buyers are not familiar with the area and submit the offer, this can also be a sign. The buyer can end up finding another area that they love or find out that the area of the house they put the offer on does not suit them. If a buyer has viewed the home too many times prior to making an offer, it can mean that they are unsure or that they will be picky during the inspection process. If a buyer’s offer contains every contingency, it could indicate that they are overly cautious about the process. In addition, other warning signs include seeing the home during the open house without an agent, not having their own agent, asking many questions, and not seeing enough homes prior to writing an offer.
Smart Technology That Will Help Sell your Home - Debbie Drummond
Debbie Drummond explains how smart technology can give home sellers a unique edge when marketing their home. Some of the perceptions that buyers see when they know a home has smart technology are that the home has been well kept and is a quality home. Buyers believe that the sellers have taken a lot of pride in ownership, and the home stands out to them. This helps sellers, especially when it is a tight market. Some of the simple smart technology additions that Drummond suggest include adding smart technology lights and thermostat.
Tips for Finding the Right Rental Property - Frederick Frank
Rental properties are a great investment for buyers, but to ensure success, Frederick Frank gives tips on finding the right rental property and what to do. First and foremost, you must view your purchase as a business investment decision. You will be both a landlord and homeowner and must dedicate the time and effort, have a business plan, determine your motive, and find what your desired outcome and exit plan are. Know what you want in your rental property, such as the location, size, layout, networks, and school districts. Have a budget to prevent you from overspending. Frank explains that if you need a loan, go for a general loan and make sure your monthly income is enough to cover your mortgage repayments. Search for properties with a realtor, the Internet, magazines, newspapers, and property managers. After finding some properties, do some research. Location for rental properties plays a big role in determining the type of tenants you’ll get. Make sure you view the property, conduct an inspection, and ensure the contract is valid.
Top Tips on Home Buying - Joe Boylan
Buying a home can be overwhelming, but Joe Boylan provides great tips in his article to ensure your home buying process is as smooth as possible. First, you want to determine an area you would want to purchase in, pick one that fits, and drive through the neighborhood frequently. This allows you to get a feel of the neighborhood and your neighbors. The MLS is a platform that real estate agents use to search for homes. Portals and websites with IDX feed link the listing data to market what homes are for sale. Use these tools and set up alerts to get notifications once a home goes on the market. Social media is also a growing trend and allows you to find homes through your network. One of the most vital aspects on the home buying process is getting pre-approved. Boylan explains that lenders will review your loan application, income, and debts to determine if they will lend to you. He also emphasizes that you should be available for showings, set guidelines with your realtor, and make strong offers. Escalation clauses are also advantageous because it will allow you to raise your price immediately in case there is a multiple counter situation. Writing a letter to the seller will also help you stand out from other offers because it shows the seller you took the time to write about their home. Lastly, during your home buying process, don’t make big financial decisions, such as purchasing a new car, since it can affect your pre-approval.
Top 10 New Construction Questions to Ask For - Keith Lawrence
Buying new construction is appealing to most buyers. However, not all builders are the same. In his article, Keith Lawrence highlights the top ten questions you should ask prior to committing a purchase on a new construction home. One of the first questions is to ask what the builder’s skills are. Builders have different experience and expertise from each other, which can incidence the quality of their final product. Lawrence’s second questions asks if the builder specializes in the type of construction the buyer is purchasing. Review their portfolio and discuss previous projects they have completed. Lawrence states that experienced builders will have this vital information. During your research, you should also ask if it’s possible to view an existing project. This will allow you to review the quality, products, and the level of craftsmanship the builder has on their projects. Also ask for a specifications report, which will identify the actual living square footage, features, and a list of available upgrades you can add on. See if you have enough time or if it is allowed to switch certain upgrades to another. Another important questions is to ask if there will be a home warranty. Most builders will offer one, but they vary on coverage, length, and cost. Find out who you the key contacts are for your home and if you are able to visit the construction site. It’s suggested that you make regular checks and tours of your home to ensure it is going well. Create a deadline with the builder and set expectations. Finally, make sure the overall cost is within your budget.
Is Your Home Compelling? - Kevin Vitali
Kevin Vitali states that the decision to buy a home is driven more by emotion. Because of this, sellers need to pay attention to comparable homes and take some steps to ensure their home is compelling. Vitali highlights that price, location, condition, level of updates, and home staging and decor are vital aspects in determining if your home is compelling. Your home price needs to be realistic and not too high. Although you cannot change the location of your home, you can adjust your list price to make it more compelling. The condition of the home is vital, and its best to ensure your roof, electrical, and HVAC aspects are in good condition since the are major expenses. Vitali also states that the level of updates are key. Buyers are looking for turn key, remodeled kitchens and baths. Update your colors, flooring, decor, add curb appeal, have a clean home, and depersonalize.
Top Tips for Selling a Luxury Home - Kyle Hiscock
Kyle Hiscock provides a quick video highlighting the top tips you need when selling your home as well as a great article on the tips. First, pricing the home correctly from the beginning is the most important. Because 90% of homebuyers start their home search online, having high quality photos and video are important. Portray the location and lifestyle so that homebuyers understand the luxury aspects of the home. Time the listing of your home correctly since the time of the year plays a big role when listing a luxury home. Evaluate and determine if open houses are necessary. Public open houses don’t sell, but broker opens for real estate agents can potentially help. Staging the home and showcasing its luxurious properties will help sell the home. Lastly, you must be patient because luxury homes take longer to sell.
Top Tips to Improve Your Credit Score - Luke Star
Credit scores are vital part of evaluating your ability to obtain a home loan. Luke Star highlights the tips that you can take to improve your credit score. Pay your bill on time or early every month, and it will help you avoid late fees and show lenders you are responsible. The lower the balance you have on your credit cards, the better and it could increase your credit score. Having too many credit cards can show lenders you are a risk, so it is best to only have two to three cards with low rates than many cards as it can increase your debt potential. Having a mix of debt such as loans, car payment installments, and student loans that are paid on time signifies that you are a good risk and responsible. Keeping an account with a good record will help your scores. Don't fill too many credit applications as it can hurt your credit score. Develop a budget and seek a credit repair company if needed.
What to Scrutinize Prior to Selling Your Home - Lynn Pineda
Lynn Pineda highlights the top things to scrutinize prior to selling your home. These include evaluating your home’s curb appeal and ensuring that it is aesthetically appealing. This includes cleaning the gutters, cleaning the roof and ensuring it is in good shape, making sure the stucco is ok, painting, and performing any landscaping needs. Besides evaluating your homes exterior, you also need to scrutinize your home’s interior. This includes having a dust free and clean home, attending to dents, scuff marks, loose hardware, and stains.
Top 5 Ways to Sell Your Home for More - Xavier De Buck
In the competitive real estate market, every seller wants to sell their home quickly and for the most money. Xavier De Buck explains the top five ways you can utilize to sell your home for more money. First, understanding what the buyers are looking for is key. Not all are looking in your area, and you will need to emphasize your home’s unique and desirable characteristics, such as your landscaping, interior, view, and/or pool. If you are renovating, you want to confirm the structural integrity, electrical wiring, and plumbing prior. De Buck explains that more buyers are looking for open space and natural light, so cosmetic changes may be needed. Create curb appeal by adding flower beds, updating your lawn, garden, driveway, and backyard with picturesque elements. Pricing your home is key and you will need a real estate agent to help you find the optimal number. Effective online marketing by adding quality photos, video, professional sales copy, and creating high visibility are also important when selling your home. Lastly, be patient.
Selling A House Where Pets Live - Sharon Paxson
Pets are an integral part in some owners’ homes, but they can prevent you from getting the most money for your home when you sell and can be liability. Pets can cause damage, odors, and marks. Some potential buyers don’t like animals or are afraid. Sharon Paxson suggests ways that you can minimize the negative impacts of having a pet when you sell your home. First, she suggests having your home professionally cleaned, such as the carpets or even replacing them. Keep your home flea and bug free. Address any deferred maintenance, such as ripped screens, scratched doors, and any other damage. Don’t have listing photos showing any pets or pet furniture. You can board your animals or have them stay at a relative or friend’s home while your home is “show ready.” If this is not possible, Paxson suggests taking your dog or pet to work, taking them on a walk during showings, cleaning up dog toys, picking up water bowls and any other signs that show a pet lives there. Maintain and clean your home regularly keep a neutral odor in your home, and clean up any decay in the yard. Another suggestion is to have all the air filters replaced in your home since pet hair can be clogged, odors can stay, and it will make your HVAC system more efficient. In conclusion Paxson understands that it is a stressful time for both homeowners and pets, and she suggests planning ahead.
Opening Your Floor Plan While Saving Money - Wendy Weir
Weir shares some great ideas on how to save money by opening your floor plan, on your existing home. Opening up the floor plan gives the illlusion of increased square footage. She offers tips on finding a contractor, creating an addition, a lower level walkout, and checking on building and use restrictions for your neighborhood or HOA. Finally Weir points out it's imperative you research what constitutes a legal bedroom because each state has it's own requirements.
Joy Bender is the co-founder/owner of Aumann Bender & Associates real estate group with Pacific Sotheby's International Realty. She has a passion for digital marketing, the serps, and helping clients discover San Diego. Follow her on Facebook for luxury lifestyle and more real estate tips.