Crystal's Blog Corner

What the House-Hunter Needs to Consider

11/19/2018

If you’re out looking for a new home, chances are that you might be stressed. House-hunting is stressful. You go from home to home without much luck usually. Either the market is too competitive, you can’t find anything that fits comfortably in your budget, or you’re just not seeing any houses that are the right fit for your family. To make it easier, there are some things that are extremely important to consider when buying a house and others that you shouldn’t worry about. That way, you can let some of the stress go.

1. Location, Location, Location

If you’re going to pay attention to one thing when you’re buying a house, pay attention to the location of where the house is. You can change everything else about the house, but the one thing that you can’t change is where it is located. Make sure that it’s in a place where you feel comfortable. You don’t want to be too far from the school where you kids go or too far from work. You also want to make sure that you end up in the right neighborhood since you’ll be stuck with the neighbors that you get. Only look at the homes that are in areas that you would actually want to live so that you don’t complicate things and give yourself unneeded stress.

2. Make a List of “Necessaries”

Before you go out to look at homes, have a list of things that you know you can’t compromise on. If you’re moving because you want a bigger home, then make sure that you don’t compromise on the number of rooms that the house has. Your list should be things that you know that you have no other option but to get it. If a house doesn’t have it, then the house is a deal-breaker. If you’re looking for a pool, first compare swimming pool pricing with the cost of homes that have pools included. Or see if you could compromise some other way. Just make sure that you don’t scratch out a home for something that you could have compromised on.

3. Ignore the Little Things

When you first walk into a house, you’ll be tempted to look at every single detail of the home to see if it’s worth it. But that might not be the best approach. Instead, look at the big things and ignore the little things. If there’s a room that’s painted the wrong color or has wallpaper that you don’t like, don’t fret. That is a quick and easy fix. You can easily repaint that wrong and customize it to something that you like more.  If you look to the backyard and you’re not a fan of the landscaping, that’s okay too. Landscaping is also relatively easy to fix. You can always get outside with the family one weekend and make it a family project to personalize the backyard.

4. Look for the Big Things

What you want to pay more attention to are the bigger things. This includes things like the plumbing in the home. When you go to see the house, ask about the plumbing and see how old the pipes are and how reliable the plumbing is. You don’t want to get stuck in a house that has faulty plumbing that you’ll need to replace within a year. You also what to make sure that all the major appliances in the home are relatively new. Ask about the water heater (and keep in mind that they only last about 12 years on average) and the heater and the cooler to make sure that everything will work during the hot and the cold months. Make sure that you make a note of the big things and overlook the little things.

Finding a home doesn’t have to be as stressful as everyone makes it out to be. If you look for the right things and ignore what doesn't matter as much, then your house-hunting will be a breeze.

SOURCE: REALTY TIMES- by Mikkee Mills

The Smartest Fall Renovations to Make if You’re Planning to Sell Your Home

11/16/2018

There are a lot of fall renovation tips centered on bring cozy warmth into the home. In fact, we just took a look at some hot trends last week. This week, we’re looking at renovations you can make with equity building in mind, courtesy of Scott McGillivray from HGTV’s Income Property and Moving the McGillivrays.

While some trends carryover, there is some great info here for those who are looking to make some updates to enjoy now, while being able to reap the potential future financial benefits.

Matte appliances

These are a “hot trend of the moment,” said McGillivray. And while he says that he likes how they “lend a luxurious look to the kitchen, and how they look great when paired with neutral colored cabinets,” he still thinks stainless steel is your best bet if you’re looking to sell anytime soon. It’s the “best choice for a long-term return on investment,” he said. While these matte finishes are great of-the-moment looks, I expect they’ll look dated a few years down the road.”

Quartz counters in warm colors

We may be moving away from all that white or counters that look like Carrara marble (only easier to care for). While quartz isn’t going anywhere, McGillivray is seeing a trend toward warmer shades. “Countertops that look like marble will always be in demand because they’re classic, but the tide is slowly turning,” he said. “We are seeing a trend where quartz counters in warm neutrals are in high demand. I think people are trying to get away from sterile looks and really make kitchens homey again.”

Light floors

“Along with the light and airy trend comes a desire for lighter floors,” he said. “Dark walnut and cherry finishes are out, and lighter, blonder woods are in. Similar to kitchen counters, I think the trend will be toward warmer colors rather than cooler colors. But light is definitely the way to go trend-wise.”

Hands-free technology

Smart homes aren’t the way of the future. They’re here, now, and the smarter the home, the more attractive it may be to buyers. “This may seem like old news to the early adopters, but more and more people are starting to embrace hands-free and SMART technology,” he said. “This means that anything in your home that you can command with your voice is going to be super popular.”

Less Serious (and More Fun) Spaces

It’s time to go a little wild with your home—but within reason. “I predict that people are going to stop taking their homes too seriously and have a little bit more fun,” he said. “This means more colors, more patterns and less concern over what’s ‘proper.’ While smart return on investment design decisions should still be made for fixed items in your home, let’s all relax a bit and have a little fun with our furniture and decor this year.”

SOURCE: REALTY TIMES- by Jaymi Naciri

Student Loans Proving a Barrier to Homeownership. We Have Solutions.

11/15/2018

The role student loans play in denying would-be buyers from getting into a home of their own has grown to staggering levels. According to the 2018 Homebuyer Profile report from the National Association of Realtors®, “Almost one in four homebuyers this year had student loans, which made it harder for them to save for a down payment and delayed their purchase," said USA Today.

“Among buyers rejected for a mortgage from a lender, 40 percent had college debt, the NAR found.” Per the same study, 80 percent of millennials don’t own a home, and 83% of those non-homeowners said student loan debt was a barrier to buying.

The NAR found that “Two in five buyers, like Jodi Meyers, cut out luxury or nonessential items to save up for a home,” said USA Today. Her family, in the midst of paying off Meyers’ $55,000 in student debt, cut out all necessities and purchased outside of their preferred area to be able to afford a $249,000, four-bedroom home in Lakeland, Florida. The upshot: “It’s not my dream home, but it got my foot in the door, and now I’m building equity,” she told them.

Of course, compromise is nothing new when it comes to buying a home, especially if it’s your first. Few of us can go out there and purchase the waterfront mansion of our dreams, but that doesn't mean we don’t aspire to do so someday from our starter home in the ‘burbs.

Check out a site like Student Loan Hero and you’re going to read about things like front-end ratios and back-end ratios and it can all get very confusing. And, the truth is, the average person doesn’t need to know the nitty-gritty. The important takeaway is that, in your lender’s eyes, your income needs to be sufficient to cover a mortgage and all associated expenses when all your debts are taken into account. Having student loans in the hundreds of dollars per month can make it harder to qualify.

So what CAN you do if you’re looking to budget and buy a home, but student loans are holding you back? There are options.

Amass a higher down payment.

“If you can save a 20 percent down payment, your student loans are far less likely to affect your loan process,” said Student Loan Hero. Your lender should be able to give you details of what loans allow your down payment to come from gift funds from a family member.

Pay off your debts.

Talk to your lender about this. You may be surprised that a scenario in which you redirect some of your down payment funds to smaller debts that can be cleared out could make it easier to qualify for a mortgage. “Paying down that high-interest credit card balance, for example, is a great place to start,” said Dave Mele, president of Homes.com on Bankrate.

Get a side hustle.

If you can’t negotiate a raise, find other ways to make more money so you can add to your down payment or use it to pay down your student loans. “If education debt is making your debt-to-income ratio too high, consider looking for ways to pay off your student loans faster. There’s no penalty for prepaying student loans, so you can make extra payments anytime,” said Student Loan Hero.

Switch to an income-driven repayment plan on your student loans to make payments more affordable.

“An income-driven repayment plan sets your monthly student loan payment at an amount that is intended to be affordable based on your income and family size,” said Federal Student Aid. Fannie Mae changed underwriting rules around income-driven repayment plans last year, making it easier for those on these plans to qualify for a mortgage. “Depending upon the plan, your monthly payment could be capped as low as 10% of your discretionary income,” said Forbes. “And if your discretionary income is low enough, your monthly payment could be as low as $0.”

Get creative with your loan type.

While many first-time buyers opt for an FHA loan because of the low down payment (as low as 3.5%) and generous credit score requirements (as low as 580), there are other options. “The Fannie Mae HomeReady™ mortgage is another loan available to borrowers with student loans,” said The Mortgage Reports. “Via HomeReady™, buyers can show a debt-to-income of up to 50%, with certain off-setting factors; and a down payment of just three percent is allowed. The minimum credit score to get approved for a HomeReady™ home loan is 620.”

SOURCE: REALTY TIMES- by Jaymi Naciri

Essential Garage Equipment for Car Enthusiasts

11/14/2018

What makes a car enthusiast? The vehicle you own says a lot about your passion for cars. About 12 percent of Americans are loyal to a particular vehicle brand, and vehicle brand loyal customers are four times more likely than other consumers to describe themselves as car enthusiasts, according to Scarborough. What you have in your garage also makes a statement about your love of cars. Here are some essential items every car enthusiast should have.

Garage Space

First, you need a garage with adequate space. A small garage might provide enough space to park your car, but if you want room to work, you may prefer something bigger. Chicago architect Allan J. Grantrecommends that a single-car garage should be a minimum of 10 feet wide, and a two-car garage should be at least 20 feet wide, with 24 feet being optimal. For a car enthusiast, a two-car garage provides better working space.

Workbench

A good workbench is the first piece of essential equipment, says Popular Mechanics. You can build your own workbench inexpensively or purchase one from the store.

There are several ways to design your own workbench. The simplest is to use a pair of sawhorses to support a solid-core door or a plank of medium-density fiberboard. You can also find many designs online for building workbenches out of simple materials such as 2 x 4's and 4 x 4's. Bob Villa offers five different DIY designs for workbenches you can build in a weekend.

To speed things up, kits for building your own workbench are also available from suppliers such as the Simpson Strong-Tie Company and Hopkins Manufacturing Corporation with its 2x4 Basics product line. If you'd prefer to buy a pre-made workbench, modular workbenches from manufacturers such as Craftsman and Gladiator provide the flexibility to customize your workspace.

Vises

To use your workbench, you will want a good bench vise. A bench vise holds your projects in place, provides extra force and stabilizes items while glue dries. Avoid cheap vises, and invest in a quality visefrom a manufacturer such as Craftsman.

Lighting

Adequate lighting is essential for working on your car. The easiest way to improve the quality of your overhead lighting is by installing ceiling-mounted fluorescent light fixtures. Four-foot instant-on T8 bulb fixtures with wide reflectors or diffusers are a good start.

However, to get lighting in hard-to-reach places, you'll want more than overhead lighting. Mercedes mechanic Kent Bergsma recommends avoiding clip lights and halogen-type shop lights and instead using stage and movie lighting equipment, such as an LED video lights with barn doors.

Storage

The more tools you own, the more storage space you need. For general storage, a pegboard is the most affordable way to store individual tools and other pieces of equipment, and a tool chest provides organized storage.

To store your off-season tires, it puts less stress on tires to store them upright than to stack them. You can hang tires on hooks if they're mounted on the rims, but never hang unmounted tires because this will distort and damage them.

Ramps, Jack Stands, Lifts and Hoists

It's also essential to have equipment to elevate your car. An auto ramp set is great for working under your car. Jack stands with safety pins will come in handy to change tires. If you can afford it, a vehicle lift will really make your garage look like a car shop. An engine hoist with a stand is also useful.

SOURCE: REALTY TIMES 

Top Tips for Selling Your Home Before Christmas

11/12/2018

We might have enjoyed a long hot summer, but the nights are drawing in and there’s a definite chill in the air. As it just begins to feel like the end of the year is in sight, it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about what your next year might look like – especially if you’re planning some big changes.

Moving to a new home is one of the biggest changes you can make, whether that’s selling up to travel the world or simply moving to a better-sized home around the corner. The good news is that, although there are definitely good and bad months to put your house on the market, you’ve still got just about enough time to squeeze and exchange and completion into 2018 if you’re keen to start next year somewhere fresh.

  1. 1. Do your research

Having a good grasp of the housing market in your area will help you to make an informed decision about how much your home should sell for and the type of buyer you should be targeting. A formal valuation from a surveyor is the best way to get an accurate figure, and an estate agent can give you an opinion about what it might realistically sell for.

It can also help to know what you’re working with. If you are thinking about hiring a surveyor for a valuation, consider arranging a survey at the same time. This will let you know about any hidden damage in the property that might put buyers off if they discover it, potentially delaying your sale or shaving thousands off of your asking price.

  1. 2. Prepare yourself

If you’re planning to move to a new home, it’s a good idea to start arranging your finances early. Once you’ve got an estimated value for your home, you should be able to work out what you can comfortably spend on your next property.

  1. 3. Get your home on the market ASAP

It can be tempting to try and get everything perfect before advertising your home is for sale, but if you’re aiming for a relatively fast transaction, don’t worry about it. You can always carry out little DIY tasks in between viewings and you may find that some buyers are happy to purchase your home as-is and make it a project of their own.

Make sure your listing includes good photos. Attention to detail will help your home stand out and get plenty of people interested in your home quickly. Improve the quality of your photos by arranging a professional deep-clean, opening all the curtains to maximise the light, and removing all clutter – from family fridge magnets to desk papers and bathroom products.

  1. 4. Choose your DIY list carefully

There are always odd-jobs around the house that get pushed to the bottom of a “to do” list. Putting your house on the market is a great time to filter out what’s important from what isn’t, either from a safety view or aesthetic purposes. For example, you might be used to the loose floorboard in the hallway, but buyers will see it as a trip hazard. The flaking paint on the windowsill might not bother you, but it will add to an air of shabbiness in your home that could reduce its value.

While it’s a good idea to get some of your odd-jobs completed, be wary about taking on a larger renovation project. There’s no point in spending thousands on a new kitchen, for example, as unless your new buyers share your exact tastes, they’re likely to rip it out anyway, therefore not seeing it as added value to your home.

  1. 5. Perfect your staging

Once you start getting viewings, the next step is to sell the dream. To some, staging a house is an art form, but there is plenty you can do without hiring a professional.

Firstly, remember that you can’t show off the size and proportions of your house if it’s packed with your belongings. To help a buyer envision their own things in the property, strip out anything that isn’t completely necessary. Excess furniture, abundant toy collections and bulging wardrobes will all give the impression that your house isn’t big enough to comfortably live in.

Welcome as much light as possible into the property, opening curtains and blinds and putting lamps and mirrors in any gloomy corners. Fresh flowers always look nice, and being mindful of strong smells (fresh coffee or baking, versus garlic and wet pets) will help your cause.

SOURCE: REALTY TIMES- by Annie Button

Want to sell your house? Try these tricks to sell it quickly.

11/12/2018

When you decide to sell your house, there can be many reasons for it. Maybe you are willing to buy a new house somewhere else or just want some money from your old building. Here all you want is not to wait for so long to get an offer for the deal. You want to sell your property quickly and you just hope it doesn’t take more than a month to get an offer.

Nowadays, it is very important to stage your house before listing them and a study shows that more than 90-95 percent of the houses which were staged before listing were sold in less than a month time period.

It is completely alright if your budget is tight, you still have great chances of selling your house in less than a month.

Here are some keys points you need to keep in mind.

1. Keep it clean!

Making space is not as hard as you might think, but at the same time, it is the key to creating a pleasing environment. You need to pay special attention to particular areas in your house where anyone can see common junk. For example, areas like - Kitchen and bathroom counters, fireplace mantels and Laundry room shelves, etc.

Keeping it clean is incomplete without keeping your closets clean. An untidy closet will not create a good impression for sure. Also, you have to amaze your buyer by showing them how much space you have for all the stuff and not how much stuff you have already for all the space left.

2. Is your furniture in the place?

While you are done with making space for everything in your house, just have a look at the furniture in your house. See if it is sufficient for the guests to sit and relax for a while. Is the arrangement of your furniture good enough for a buyer to roam around freely without bumping into any random things? If it is not so, then you need to get work right now.

Most of the times, the living room is arranged in such a way so that children can play in the middle of the room or they are comfortable in watching the television easily from all the chairs and sofa sets. The buyer will look forward to a spacious yet intimate area in the house and not something which too much messy, close or too much cozy.

3. What about the buyer’s perspective?

It is a good idea to clean your house before you show it to a buyer; it goes without saying, right? Many sellers do not give much importance to this point. This is where they do everything wrong!

See, you don’t have to look at it as an exhausting cleaning process but as an excellent opportunity to impress your buyer a bit more. You don’t have to go hard on this cleaning process but at the same time, you have to make sure that whatever the buyer looks at in your house, it should look neat and clean; every bit of it should look clean. From ceiling fans and window blinds to baseboards and tile grout, no surface should look muddled. In addition, your house should have enough light coming from the windows, so make sure the windows in your house are also clean.

4. It is so good if it feels like home

If your house feels like home, the buyer is more likely to find your place more friendly and comfortable then anywhere else. Load your house with some good fragrance, the buyer must like the atmosphere, the ambiance of the place as they enter. The atmosphere in your place should smell good, this will be a positive point for you. Your living area should have a nice flower pot with some fresh flowers adding to the pleasant aura of your place. Make sure that flowers are not the only limelight of the house. Even terrace gardens impress a lot of buyers and these terrace gardens are getting more popular these days too.

5. Invest a little more of your cash in selling your house quickly

If your budget is a little bit more then it is truly fantastic because you can spend it on selling your house quickly. Use this extra money in decorating your house beautifully, paint the front yard of your house, make it look attractive.

You know already that every house property is different in its own way. So before you spend this extra money recklessly, just ask a reliable agent for his advice. An experienced agent knows what buyers in your area want from you and your house. Therefore, they can help you maximize your home’s appeal without busting your budget.

What to avoid?

Here is the thing, don’t ever think as the owner of the house. Think like businessperson or a home seller, just as simple as that! Always try to distance yourself from all the emotional aspect and look into this transaction as a financial perspective and nothing else. Maybe just for a while, but you have to forget and disconnect yourself from the numerous memories that you have undoubtedly made in the house.

At the same time if you will keep in mind that you’re selling not just a piece of a property but also a beautiful dream and a luxury lifestyle, then you will put in some extra efforts of staging and selling the house.

Conclusion

Each and every house is different and beautiful, all you need is perfect planning and proper step by step process to sell your house. As the owner of the house, only you can decide the best strategy to sell your house. However, if you put all the above points in action then I can assure you that you will be able to sell your house much more quickly then you think.

SOURCE: REALTY TIMES- by Francina G. Martin

How to Know You Have Found the Right House

11/10/2018

When it’s time to find a new place, you may start with the highest of hopes: you’d ideally like a passive house, its heating and cooling standards on par with the best in European design, as well as one where the property records aren’t a tangled mess. By Day Two you’re ready to compromise.

Looking at a house to buy or rent can be dizzying: after touring two or three properties, the details of each start to blend together and you wonder which one had that awful wallpaper in the bathroom, was it the same one with the funky glass door knobs that reminded you of your grandmother’s house?

It’s not long before you’re wondering if you’ll know the right one when you walk through the door or if you’ll be stuck in an endless loop of confused wandering through hallways to half-baths and peering through windows at unfamiliar scenery.

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions – and biggest expenses – in life for most people. Some people embrace these decisions while others dread them. There’s a way to successfully strike the delicate balance between wants and needs.

Narrowing the field

A Realtor will show you every home in town in hopes of making a sale. While it can be helpful to see a variety of potential places, it can also muddy the decision. Consider how much time you have to make a decision – if you’re looking for a larger home to accommodate your growing family you may have more time than if you’re being transferred on short notice.

Be realistic. A real estate agent can only show the homes that are available at the time you are looking, and you provide that person with the guidelines they work within. Separate your “wants” from your “needs” to narrow the options. Each member of the household should make a list of things that are important to them. Discuss the items and combine the lists, prioritizing major things that eliminate entire categories of homes, such as single-story buildings, the number of bathrooms, those without a garage, or zeroing in on a particular neighborhood.

That gut feeling

The right house – that meets most or all of your basic criteria -- should actually speak to you. When you walk through the rooms you should get a feeling that you’re being welcomed home. The size and configuration of the rooms should feel right. You may start to envision yourself and your family enjoying the space immediately, including where your furniture will go and how traffic will flow through the kitchen and other rooms.

There are limits to what can be changed and you have to decide if the best assets of the house will outweigh the parts you don’t like. Consider if you can put up with years of ducking a little when you go up the stairs, because a major structural issue like that is the hardest to correct while disliking the color of the bedroom is a minor issue that can be changed in a matter of hours.

Decision-making tips

  • Don’t try to see more than two or three houses a day, and when you do, evaluate them immediately, striking from your list those that didn’t evoke any feeling of potential.
  • Pros and cons. Sure, making a list of the good and bad features of a home is helpful, but first, consider whether you feel positive or negative about the space when you visit. Does the floorplan raise red flags, or does the kitchen excite you? Also, make sure to check the property records before buying to avoid any unpleasant surprises in the future.
  • Don’t let your excitement overrun your judgement. You must be able to walk away from a house that has serious issues beyond your financial ability to repair, regardless of how perfect it feels. Put your trust in a home inspector (or two) who will give you a no-holds-barred evaluation of the systems and structural concerns. Sagging walls or an outdated heating system can turn your dream home into a money pit nightmare very quickly.
  • Look beyond the superficial and do some math. Will your furniture fit up the stairs, or will you have to buy new pieces just for this house? How does the square footage of closets compare with your current space?
  • Think a few years down the road. Is your family going to grow, or perhaps shrink? Is there space for a home office, a second car, or for noisy teens to play video games?

Americans move on average every six years, but the right house can make great memories in that six years.

SOURCE: REALTY TIMES- by Ben Hartwig

Selling a Home? You May Need to Make These Plumbing Repairs First

11/9/2018

Inspections are par for the course when selling a home, but when the inspector comes back and says something is wrong with the plumbing, sellers either panic or shrug it off and assume that it’s the buyer’s problem.

Most buyers won’t commit to buying a home until after it’s been thoroughly vetted by an inspector. And if there are problems, the inspector will certainly find them.

Making repairs after an inspection can be a hassle and will certainly eat into your profits, but what repairs are you required to make?

Check the Contract

The first step is to check your contract to make sure that you haven’t locked yourself into making repairs that you don’t want to make.

As a general rule of thumb, you don’t want to sign a contract until you fully understand its obligations, especially when it comes to repairs.

And here’s the good news: you don’t have to fix everything that the home inspector say could be improved. The report is not a to-do list.

Repairs typically fall into one of three categories: ones that are required, ones that are optional, and ones that are up for debate.

Required Repairs after a Home Inspection

Some repairs will be required before lenders will release funds to make the purchase. Typically, these repairs are related to structural defects, safety issues and building code violations.

Safety issues may include mold or mildew that is discovered during the inspection process. Water main leaks and damaged plumbing systems that go unrepaired can lead to mold growth.

“Broken water mains can cause leaks to go undetected and result in high water bills, mold, mildew, and rot, which is why routine plumbing maintenance is recommended for all of our clients on a yearly basis,” says Bob Oates Plumbing.

If a home inspection reveals such problems, you will likely be responsible for repairing them.

Many sellers choose to give the buyer a repair credit, which allows them to make the repairs themselves. The benefit to going this route is that you don’t have to oversee the repairs.

Repairs that are Not Required

Damage due to normal wear and tear or cosmetic issues doesn’t have to be repaired by the seller.

Some contracts will expressly state that the buyer cannot request cosmetic repairs and can only ask for the required repairs listed above. But state laws will also affect the seller’s liability for any issue uncovered during an inspection.

Make sure that you understand your local ordinances to know which repairs will be your responsibility.

Negotiable Home Repairs

Somewhere in between the required repairs and optional ones are repairs that are negotiable. How they’re handled is really dependent on the market.

If it’s a seller’s market, the seller has more leeway to call the shots. If it’s a hot seller’s market, the contract may state that the buyer will purchase the home “as is” or may only request an information only inspection. Such language in the contract would absolve the seller of any need to pay for repairs.

In a normal market, a seller would not be able to enlist such hard and fast rules.

It’s up to the seller to determine how to negotiate these repairs. Some offer a home warranty, while others may choose to offer something of value to the buyer.

SOURCE: REALTY TIMES- by James Stevenson

Why the Fall May be the Best Time to Buy a Home!

10/31/2018

If you still think that the best time to buy a home is either spring or summer, you might miss out on what makes buying a home in fall such a great idea. While it is true that the buying frenzy is usually during spring and summer, taking advantage of the many holidays during fall can finally land you your dream home.

Best Time to Buy a Home

Are you aware that October is the best month for snagging home buying deals? This is backed by RealtyTrac’s data over a period of 15 years and 32 million home sales during that time period. More so, their data showed that those who purchased homes in October ended up paying 2.6% less than the estimated market value for the homes they purchased. That’s thousands upon thousands of savings!

Think about it, a home worth $500,000’s 2.6% is $13,000. You can use that $13,000 for purchasing really good appliances or have a vacation. Think this ‘discount’ is out there? Just wait until the 8th of October because homes purchased on that date averaged 10.8% less than their market value estimates. That’s beyond a good deal! That’s a steal!

Take Advantage of Less Competition

For those with kids, the start of fall is usually a very busy time as people get back to their daily lives after all the fun of summer. Those who were home hunting in spring and summer have either grown weary or already bought homes. Though it is true that sellers also typically drop out of the market during fall and usually resurface after the New Year, keeping an eye out for new listings can give you a beautiful new home before the holidays.

Make the Holidays Work for You

The holidays are just around the corner come fall and people are either hurrying to sell so they can move to another home or that they’ve taken a time out from buying as they get busy for the holidays. This factor can come in handy when you spot a new listing knowing that the owner would want to vacate their old home as soon as a deal is finalized.

Your Real Estate Broker Will Have More Time for You

Because there are generally less listings and less buyers in fall, your real estate broker will have more time to show you homes that fit what you are looking for plus answer all questions you may have. They’d also be more motivated to make lots of sales as the end of year nears and holidays approach.

Bargain Home Improvement Season

Fall is generally the time of the year when appliances are at their most affordable and new models are being launched. This is also the best time to purchase cookware, patio furniture, TVs, and sometimes, pay for home improvement services.

All of the above that point to why fall is the best time to buy a home are great, but year-end tax credits might be one of the best incentives for you. It is possible that you’ll be able to score quite a significant tax deduction come tax season.

SOURCE: REALTY TIMES by- Brad Miller

5 Real Estate Marketing Ideas To Sell Your House Fast

10/31/2018

5 Real Estate Marketing Ideas to Sell Your House Fast

After a month or so of repair and renovation, your house looks brand new once again. You’re absolutely ready to sell your house! But what do you do next?

It’s time for some real estate marketing. If you want to sell your home quickly, you need some fresh, creative ideas to attract potential homebuyers. Here are some great real estate marketing ideas that are proven to work!

Take it online

One of the very first things you should consider doing is advertising online. According to the NAR Report, 90% of people utilize the internet when buying a home! Check your online marketing options. The same study suggests that homebuyers use specific online tools during different phases of the home search process, including Google search, YouTube, and online listings. If you could set up your advertisement through a popular online app, much better. People use their smartphones more than ever when trying to find things to buy, even a home.

Don’t forget to post your ad on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. You can maximize your real estate marketing through these websites. Again, you will need stunning photos for your property, along with some really nice caption. Additionally, consider video marketing. Most people appreciate video streams than photos. Making videos is a great way to increase your online visibility and reach out to so many homebuyers.

Host an "Open House"

While most people can readily view your property online, nothing beats the experience of actually being there and getting a ‘feel’ of the house. Consider conducting local neighborhood tours. This increases your chances of getting your home sold quickly and at a greater price! So how do you pull up a successful open house? First, make a good first impression. You want everything to be beautiful and presentable, from the landscaping to the exterior paint and of course, the home interiors. Your home should be really clean. Remove personal clutter and stage your home. Offering some goodies or snacks like cupcakes and sweets is a plus too!

If you have clients who can’t be present during your open house, you can still give them a ‘personal’ and engaging experience through virtual reality. VR is the latest form of real estate marketing. It makes it possible for people to view multiple properties without leaving their homes. Through this technology, you can make guided visits that capture 360-degree videos of your property. You can also host interactive visits where potential home buyers can ‘move’ within a property by clicking on special hotspots. Lastly, you can do virtual staging – place virtual furniture and furnishings without having to buy or rent a real one!

Use air dancers

Instead of the traditional ‘For Sale’ or ‘Open House” signs, why not use air dancers? Inflatables are a great way to attract people’s attention, whether they are driving or walking past your property. Having a gigantic sky dancer with a big grinning face in front of your open house is a surefire way to catch people’s attention, with no possibility of missing it being “open”.

Get really nice photos

People searching online will heavily rely on the photos you uploaded. If you’re not too confident with your camera skills, then hire a professional photographer. The investment is worth it! Get a beautiful shot of your home interior. Remove vehicles and other things that could obstruct the view. Crop out sidewalks and streets. Do the photo shoot in a beautiful daylight. If you have a beautiful yard, showcase it in your photos. Most people prefer buying a home with a spacious, well-manicured lawn. And lastly, take photos of every room inside, focusing on interesting details.


Add a unique vibe in your property

Make their visit to your home memorable by placing an item that will really capture their attention. Apart from the inflatable dancer outside, have one really quirky item in your house. It could be anything – like an authentic Michael Jackson Memorabilia, a beautiful wall painting, or an antique chest cabinet.

Selling your home at the price you want is possible. With these creative real estate marketing ideas, you are surely going find a serious, willing homebuyer in no time!

SOURCE: REALTY TIMES- by Megan Jones

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