Getting Organized

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 12.28.29 PM.png

Organizing your home can sometimes seem like a time-intensive endeavor. Breaking down projects into two-minute tasks every day could help to make clearing clutter more manageable and easily attainable.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 12.30.33 PM.png

Simple tips like these can create a happier, healthier and more valuable home. Thank you for thinking of me for all of your real estate needs, and be sure to share my contact information with anyone you know of looking to buy, sell or invest in a home.

Selling Your Home? Make Sure the Price Is Right!

ImageProxy.mvc.jpeg

In today’s market, where demand is outpacing supply in many regions of the country, pricing a house is one of the biggest challenges real estate professionals face. Sellers often want to price their home higher than recommended, and many agents go along with the idea to keep their clients happy. However, the best agents realize that telling the homeowner the truth is more important than getting the seller to like them.

There is no “later.”

Sellers sometimes think, “If the home doesn’t sell for this price, I can always lower it later.” However, research proves that homes that experience a listing price reduction sit on the market longer, ultimately selling for less than similar homes.

John Knight, recipient of the University Distinguished Faculty Award from the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of the Pacific, actually did research on the cost (in both time and money) to a seller who priced high at the beginning and then lowered their price. His article, Listing Price, Time on Market and Ultimate Selling Price, published in Real Estate Economics revealed:

“Homes that underwent a price revision sold for less, and the greater the revision, the lower the selling price. Also, the longer the home remains on the market, the lower its ultimate selling price.”

Additionally, the “I’ll lower the price later” approach can paint a negative image in buyers’ minds. Each time a price reduction occurs, buyers can naturally think, “Something must be wrong with that house.” Then when a buyer does make an offer, they low-ball the price because they see the seller as “highly motivated.” Pricing it right from the start eliminates these challenges.

Don’t build “negotiation room” into the price.

Many sellers say that they want to price their home high in order to have “negotiation room.” But, what this actually does is lower the number of potential buyers that see the house. And we know that limiting demand like this will negatively impact the sales price of the house.

Not sure about this? Think of it this way: when a buyer is looking for a home online (as they are doing more and more often), they put in their desired price range. If your seller is looking to sell their house for $400,000, but lists it at $425,000 to build in “negotiation room,” any potential buyers that search in the $350k-$400k range won’t even know your listing is available, let alone come see it!

One great way to see this is with the chart below. The higher you price your home over its market value, the less potential buyers will actually see your home when searching.

ImageProxy-1.mvc.jpeg

A better strategy would be to price it properly from the beginning and bring in multiple offers. This forces these buyers to compete against each other for the “right” to purchase your house.

Look at it this way: if you only receive one offer, you are set up in an adversarial position against the prospective buyer. If, however, you have multiple offers, you have two or more buyers fighting to please you. Which will result in a better selling situation?

The Price is Right

Great pricing comes down to truly understanding the real estate dynamics in your neighborhood. Let’s get together to discuss what is happening in the housing market and how it applies to your home.

What People Say About Your Home When You’re Not There

what-people-say-about-your-house.jpg

I have heard every one of these comments at one time or another:

If you’re putting your home on market, you’re probably dying to know what home buyers will have to say as they tour your property. While you hope there’ll be nothing but oohs and aahs, that’s not always the case.

Just so you know what potential buyers are really thinking when you’re not there, we asked Realtors® to reveal some of the most noteworthy—and cringeworthy—statements they’ve overheard as potential buyers inspect the goods. Wince, take note, and act accordingly.

‘What’s that smell?’

When Heather Witt Leikin, a real estate adviser at The Partners Trust, was asked about a home’s odor recently during a tour, she had what she thought was a logical answer: The smell was of carpet cleaner, because the owners had just cleaned the rugs for the showings. Sure they looked nice, but the smell was harsh, nasty even—so much so that the buyer said, “I could never live here” and scrammed. Odious odors, by far, top the list of things home buyers comment on. Here are some of their favorite things to say:

  • ‘Did someone die in here?’ “I have shown homes where the smell was so bad that the clients asked, ‘Did someone die in here and their body is in here decomposing?’” says Maryjo Shockley, a Realtor with Keller Williams.
  • Wow, this place smells like a dog, cat, hamster, ferret, etc.’ No, we’re not sure what ferrets smell like either. But do your best to keep pet odors in check by regularly grooming your critters, cleaning litter boxes, and making sure they don’t leave a scent trail of any kind.
  • A smoker lives here—let’s leave’ “If it smells of tobacco smoke, more and more people walk in, take a few whiffs, and then walk right back out,” says Cara Ameer, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker.

It goes without saying that a good cleaning and opening the windows will eliminate most funky smells, but if an odor won’t budge, consider lighting some scented candles. And since even cleaning products can have an off-putting scent, Witt Leiken suggests leaving some time between shampooing those carpets and putting your place on the market.

I don’t know where you’ll keep your clothes, honey’

Here’s a joke frequently heard by Wendy Flynn, a Realtor with Keller Williams in College Station, TX: A couple walks into a closet. One person turns to the other and says, “Well, this closet is great, but I don’t know where you’ll keep your clothes, honey!”

Joke or not (and we’re not entirely sure it is one) , there’s a huge grain of truth here: Every inch of storage space matters. Even if you have to store clothing and accessories elsewhere, it pays to make your closets look as spacious as possible. Remove stuff.

Wow, these people take a lot of meds’

You’ve been warned: “Buyers will open kitchen cupboards, medicine cabinets, and anything else they feel they need to see to make a decision on the home,” says Shockley. And that can come with some snide commentary on your stash of Zoloft, Viagra, or prescription laxatives. So do yourself a favor and hide your medicine some place safe, like inside your nightstand (even the most prying home buyer usually won’t go there).

Adults live here?’

This is one of Shockley’s personal favorites. The questions came as buyers toured a home that featured a Disney theme throughout. As much as you (or your kids) may love your “Frozen” shower curtain and Elsa and Anna salt and pepper shakers, try to stick with neutral decor, says Natalya Price, a home stager and Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Summit, NJ.

The house seems dark and depressing’

Even if your home is pristine, dark or dimly lit rooms are a mood killer, say Realtors. Luckily, this is a flaw that can easily be remedied, even if your home doesn’t get tons of natural light.

For starters, be sure to pull back the curtains, take them down completely, or switch them to a sheer material that lets in light but maintains your privacy. And if you need even more help, flip on every switch or get more lamps. Many buyers won’t care if they’re basking in sunlight or lamplight as long as it’s bright.

It’s awfully loud’

Since homes are supposed to be our place of refuge, noise—from traffic to rowdy neighbors—can be a huge turnoff. So if you live in a noisy area, do what you can to block it out by planting trees and shrubs between your home and the road, or between you and our neighbors’ yards. You can also get soundproof windows, which could be well worth the investment.

If these walls had a fresh coat of paint…’

Betsy Bingle, an associate broker with LintonBingle Associate Brokers, says she often hears buyers say, “If this had a fresh coat of paint it would make it so much nicer!” Talk about a missed opportunity.

“It’s true that a nice bright coat of paint goes a long way,” Bingle says. “It is an inexpensive way to brighten up any space.” And to get top dollar on your home, of course.

Courtesy of REALTOR.com

Liz Alterman is writer who has covered a variety of subjects, from personal finance issues for CNBC.com to career advice for The Muse. Her hobbies include reading, baking, and failed attempts at gardening.