Our Real Estate Blog
Many house hunters are so focused on finding the ideal house, yard, and neighborhood, that they sometimes sacrifice one of their main objectives: a short commute to work.
At first, a long drive to the office may seem like a small price to pay for finding your ideal house, but your outlook might change when the tedium of commuter gridlock becomes a daily burden.
Fortunately, there are ways to ease the stress of being stuck in rush-hour traffic twice a day.
Car pooling: By sharing driving responsibilities with one or two other people, you can reduce the overall stress of your trip to the office. You can also save money on gas, highway tolls, and parking fees. Assuming you find carpooling companions whose company you enjoy, time will pass a lot faster. Then, of course, there's the advantage of less wear and tear on your car. Although carpooling may not be as idyllic as living 15 or 20 minutes from work, it can be an effective way to ease the burden of back-and-forth driving.
Telecommuting: As technology advances and more and more people are adapting to it, the option of working from home is becoming increasingly popular. When you consider the many options there are for document sharing and communicating remotely, you may have a strong case for proposing a work-from-home arrangement with your employer. Even though it may be necessary to meet face-to-face with coworkers, colleagues, and clients a few days a week, the ability to split your work time between home and office can save you time, money, and aggravation. As long as you can maintain your productivity working from home, it may turn out to be a life-changing arrangement! Granted, it doesn't work for everyone, but it may be well worth looking into -- at least on a part-time basis.
Public Transportation: If you happen to live close to a train station, then public transportation might be the perfect solution to an otherwise long, tedious drive into the city. Instead of concentrating on road signs and traffic conditions, you can read a book, listen to your favorite music, or prepare for a meeting or presentation. You can also check your email, get a head start on your work day, or even sneak in a few minutes of sleep or meditation.
While the best option for many people is to buy a home that's within 30 minutes of their job or business, that may be difficult to accomplish for couples working in different locations. Long commutes can infringe on important aspects of your life, though, including family time, relaxation time, and being able to get things done around the house. Not having enough time to "recharge your battery," every day, can eventually take its toll on your health, your relationships, and your outlook on life. If finding a house close to work is not panning out, then alternatives like telecommuting, carpooling, and public transportation may be, at least, a partial solution.
If you want to maximize your home sale profits, it generally is a good idea to conduct a property appraisal before you list your residence. That way, you can receive a property valuation from an expert home appraiser. And with this property valuation in hand, you can set a competitive initial asking price for your residence.
A home appraisal may prove to be a stressful experience, particularly for a seller who is unsure about the value of his or her house. Lucky for you, we're here to provide insights into the home appraisal process and ensure that you can prepare for this evaluation.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you approach a house appraisal with confidence.
1. Understand How a Home Appraisal Works
Although you've allocated significant time and resources to upgrade your house, it is important to remember that the condition of your residence is one of several factors that a home appraiser considers. In fact, an appraiser will evaluate the current state of the housing market, the prices of comparable houses in your area and other factors to provide an accurate property valuation.
Oftentimes, it helps to work with a real estate agent if you plan to sell your home. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive immediate responses to any of your home appraisal concerns and questions.
2. Establish Realistic Expectations for Your Home
Let's face it – what you initially paid for your house is unlikely to match your residence's current value. If you set realistic expectations for your residence prior to an appraisal, you may be better equipped than ever before to accept the evaluation results.
It may be beneficial to look at the prices of houses in your area prior to an appraisal. This information can help you understand whether the housing market currently favors buyers or sellers – a factor that may influence the valuation of your house from an appraisal.
3. Explore Ways to Boost Your Home's Value
There are always options to bolster a house's exterior and interior. Therefore, following an appraisal, you should plan to complete home repairs that could help enhance your house's value.
As you search for ways to upgrade your residence, you may want to reach out to a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can offer recommendations and tips to help you improve your residence, even if you're working on a tight budget.
Of course, a real estate agent provides extensive assistance throughout the home selling journey. He or she will promote your residence to prospective buyers and host home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you determine the best course of action.
Ready to conduct a home appraisal? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of a successful house appraisal that leads to a fast, profitable home selling experience.
There is a lot of discussion today about whether or not a real estate agent is necessary for the most successful sale of your home. You may have all the required skills and experience to handle it yourself, but that’s hard to figure out if you don’t know what a real estate agent actually does for you in the process. They’re marketing savvy, have access to the local MLS (multiple listing service), professional history and ongoing training with the market, which are the main features they bring to the table, but what does that really mean for you?
You probably found your real estate agent the same way you plan to sell your home and even found this article – with an Internet search. Sure, you can post your listing in several places on the internet, but the best advertising covers a variety of media outlets. Your real estate agent will have their own website, will syndicate the property to listing sites and even send out print media advertising like postcards, signage and home magazines. You can do the majority of these things, but the costs to retail clients are often much higher than they are for B2B clients like your agent. In addition to actual advertising venues, your agent will work with you on home staging, curb appeal and professional photography to make your home look its best in all that high-end advertising.
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS
Except for a few locations, all licensed agents are also members of at least one local MLS board. Some are members of two or more depending on their market area and the structure of the MLS relationships. It's possible for a do-it-yourselfer to pay a moderate fee and become part of an MLS board, but some require full agent licensing to join, and that can be an expensive and time-consuming process. This benefits you in multiple ways. First, your property goes into the MLS and syndicates out to anywhere that pulls that information. That means not only major sites but also each and every other agent in the same MLS’s website. That means more buyers looking at your property from more places.
Network and Know-How
A real estate transaction is a complex process with a lot of paperwork. It also generates legal agreements, which have more terms than just the price. Your real estate agent will be familiar with the entire process and therefore is in the best position to make sure you come out on top. They benefit when you benefit, so it's like having an extra person on your team in a race. Not all deals go through, and an experienced agent knows where to find those pitfalls and avoid them, or get you out of a deal that’s gone wrong with the fewest repercussions. In addition, your agent knows people. Not just other agents, interior decorators, photographers, and advertisers but other sellers and buyers. Most agents have multiple clients both buying and selling. Through these networks, your agent can find a buyer that loves your home that you otherwise wouldn’t have known it existed.
When it’s time to sell your home, going to the pros is the best decision you can make. Not only will you generally get a higher price for your home, it’s less work and often much quicker than trying to do it yourself. Talk to a variety of professionals in your area to find the one that is best for you.
After you receive an offer on your home, how should you respond? Ultimately, there are many questions for a home seller to consider before accepting a proposal, including:
1. What is my home worth?
Did you get your home appraised before you added it to the real estate market? If so, you may want to review a home offer in contrast to your home appraisal. This will give you a better idea about whether the offer is "fair" based on your home's condition.
If you have not received a home appraisal, there's no need to worry. In fact, there are many ways to assess your home to determine whether to accept or decline a proposal.
Check out the prices of comparable residences in your city or town. This will enable you to see how these houses are priced and better understand how to proceed with an offer.
Also, review the prices of homes that recently sold in your area. With this information, you can learn about the current state of the housing market.
2. Are there any other offers to consider?
As a home seller, you'll likely have 24 to 48 hours to respond to an offer on your residence. But if you receive multiple offers at the same time, you'll want to evaluate these proposals in conjunction with one another.
Even if you receive two offers for the exact same price, these proposals may differ.
For example, a homebuyer who has financing in hand will be able to streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner. On the other hand, a homebuyer who submits an offer without financing in hand may require additional time to secure a mortgage from a bank or credit union.
Take a close look at all of the offers on your home. Review these proposals with a fine-tooth comb, and you'll be able to make an informed decision.
3. Does this offer meet or exceed my expectations?
An offer on your home may fall short of your initial asking price, but this offer can still meet or surpass your expectations.
Consider what you hope to accomplish as a home seller as you review an offer.
For instance, if your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible, you may be more inclined to accept one of the first offers you receive. Or, if you can afford to remain patient, you may want to take a wait-and-see approach to ensure you get an offer that matches or exceeds your initial asking price.
4. What will happen if I accept the offer?
After you accept an offer on your home, a homebuyer likely will want to complete a home inspection.
If the home inspection goes well, the homebuyer probably will proceed with his or her purchase. If it does not, you may need to complete home maintenance or repairs to finalize the purchase agreement.
Remember, if you accept an offer, there are still several steps that will need to be completed before you sell your house. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you'll know exactly what to expect at each stage of the home selling process.
If you recently added your house to the real estate market, it may be only a matter of time before you sell your house. In fact, if you know what to expect after a home listing is published, you can plan accordingly for all stages of the home selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for the home selling process.
1. Craft an Engaging and Informative Home Listing
Oftentimes, a home listing may dictate a seller's success. If a seller creates a listing that fails to effectively highlight a house's benefits, buyers may shy away from the residence altogether. On the other hand, a seller who crafts an engaging and informative listing can increase the probability of a fast, profitable home selling experience.
Your home listing should include relevant information about your residence, including details about your house's age and condition. Also, it may be beneficial to include high-resolution photographs of your house to help buyers envision what life may be like if they purchase your residence.
There is no need to stretch the truth in your home listing, either. Because if you fail to provide homebuyers with accurate information about your home – and these buyers discover "hidden" home problems during an inspection – you ultimately may put a potential home sale in jeopardy.
2. Make Your Home Available to Potential Buyers
As a home seller, you should strive to make your residence available to as many potential buyers as possible. Thus, if a buyer requests a home showing on short notice, you should be willing to temporarily vacate your residence to accommodate this buyer's request.
In addition, you should try to keep your house neat and tidy. That way, if a buyer requests a showing on short notice, you won't have to worry about scrambling to clean your home.
3. Know What Your Home Is Worth
After you list your house, buyers will read your home listing and set up showings. And if a buyer is truly interested in purchasing your home, he or she likely will submit an offer.
A seller generally has only a limited amount of time to assess an offer and decide whether to accept, reject or counter it. Fortunately, if you conduct a home appraisal, you can find out what your house is currently worth.
With a home appraisal, a property expert will examine your residence, as well as evaluate pertinent housing market data. Next, this property expert will offer a home valuation that helps you understand the true value of your house.
Lastly, if you need assistance as you sell your house, it may be helpful to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can teach you about the real estate sector and help you make informed decisions at each stage of the home selling journey.
Take the guesswork out of selling your house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost your chances of enjoying a fast and successful home selling experience.