5 Tips to Prepare Your Home for a Successful Sale

By Rebecca Chandler

Want to sell your home quickly and for the best price? Making some small improvements can give buyers the best first impression and make a world of difference when selling your home.

Here are 5 tips for getting the best offer sooner.

1. Curb Appeal. The first thing that buyers will see is the outside of your house. Does the outside make them want to see the inside? A well-kept yard, an inviting porch, a clean driveway – all increase the likelihood that buyers will want to see more, so start here. Clean up the lawn and the driveway. Touch up or repaint the exterior. Clean gutters and keep the porches swept and inviting. Showing that the exterior of your home is well-kept will lead buyers to the assumption that the home is well-kept in general.

2. Clean, de-clutter and simplify. Do a deep clean or hire a professional cleaning crew to make sure everything looks its best. Keep carpets vacuumed and beds made. Make the rooms look larger by removing clutter and large furniture. Packed closets and cabinets also lead others to believe there is inadequate storage, so clean those out, too. Make sure to keep all the dishes away, hang clothes neatly in closets, make sure all light bulbs work, and towels in the bathroom and kitchen need to be clean and folded neatly.

Help buyers imagine their own things in your home by storing personal items such as photos and knick-knacks.

3. Update.
This includes fresh paint, replacing outdated appliances and fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom. If it’s not in your budget to replace, you can add new hardware on cabinets and sinks. If you can, replace outdated flooring or stained carpeting – or at least have them professionally cleaned.

Interior paint is one of the easiest ways to freshen up your home and increase its value. And, while that dramatic purple wall in the dining room may have matched your chairs, it may be hard for buyers to imagine with their furnishings. Use light, neutral colors that make the rooms look bright and large and that match any decor.

4. Consider hiring a home inspector. It’s very likely that a buyer will hire one anyway – after they’ve made an offer, so being honest about your home’s condition will help you avoid any surprises or complications with the contract and closing later. And, although you don’t have to make any non-essential repairs, you may discover essential ones of which you may be unaware.

5. Interview real estate agents and ask them about their marketing plan for your home. After you’ve done all the work to get it ready to list, an aggressive marketing plan will ensure that as many buyers as possible see it.

Most agents will list the home in the Multiple Listing Service database, on their website and on their company website. Ask them about also putting it on other top ranked real estate sites. Also, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, most buyers move within 11 miles of their previous residence – so ask about local advertising as well.

The sign in your yard should include the agent’s information. Many add a brochure box, but it’s difficult to keep it full. Ask about adding a text code that leads buyers to a mobile site for your home that shows more information and photos, so the information is always readily available to interested buyers.

Looking for more tips? Go to 5 Questions You Should Ask Your Agent Before Listing Your Home.

Rebecca Chandler is the vice president of marketing for NewPoint Media Group, LLC.

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.

Millennials Want to Buy – Boomers Want to Sell

Millennials want to buy – boomers want to sell
ORLANDO, Fla. – April 2, 2013 – Is it the perfect real estate storm? A survey released yesterday by PulteGroup Inc. finds strong demand soon from buyers 18 to 34. Meanwhile, Arthur C. Nelson, a professor of urban planning at the University of Utah, worries that the nation’s supply for for-sale inventory will expand fast as more baby boomers turn 65 and decide to rent or downsize.

Millennials

According to the PulteGroup Home Index Survey (PGHI), 65 percent of renters age 18-34 with an income of more than $50,000 intend to buy, and that percentage grew in the past year.

Most millennials aren’t moving on their own, with 76 percent saying they’ll live with a spouse or significant other, according to the survey. Of those not moving in with a significant other, 22 percent expect to have a roommate, including a friend, parent, in-law, grandparent or sibling.

“Millennials have witnessed the housing boom and bust, but still believe homeownership is a good investment,” says Fred Ehle, vice president for PulteGroup. “Consistent with other third-party research that shows more than 90 percent of millennials plan to buy a home someday, we see a lot of young adults who are making financial sacrifices to afford a place of their own. With the combination of incredibly low mortgage rates, rising rental rates and very low inventory levels, millennials realize now is a good time to purchase a home.”

PulteGroup says 30 percent of its 2012 home sales went to first-time homebuyers, many of whom are millennials. In internal buyer surveys, more than 50 percent of millennials say a desire to own/build equity is the primary reason for purchasing a home. The second largest reason, at 12 percent, was that millennials were tired of apartment living.

“Millennials today want a lot of value in their home that makes efficient use of every space,” says Ehle. “In fact, the single most important home feature to a millennial buyer today is the floor plan layout.”

PulteGroup’s internal buyer surveys showed that millennials listed the following aspects in a new home as extremely important/very important:

• 84 percent – ample storage for daily items
• 76 percent – space for TV, movies, sports watching
• 73 percent – the entry to the home
• 69 percent – an open/layout space in kitchen and family rooms for entertaining
• 63 percent – outdoor living/deck
• 36 percent – the ability to conduct business from home

More than 90 percent of millennials research a home purchase through the Internet. The PGHI survey found that they’ll also go online to reach out to real estate professionals and even their own parents.

Baby boomers

Arthur C. Nelson, professor of urban planning at the University of Utah, predicts that roughly 1.5 to 2 million adults age 65 or older will put their home on the market in the next seven years. Nelson says he sees a growing momentum to downsize.

“This is the decade of the shakeout, where the boomers will begin turning 65 and we’ll begin to see how they influence the housing market,” Nelson told The Chicago Tribune. Nelson cites other research that shows people tend to sell at a faster rate once they hit age 60. Baby boomers began turning 65 in 2011 and the last will hit that age in 2029.

It could represent a lot of homes. About 80 percent of adults own a home when they turn 65.

The news could also benefit commercial developers. Nelson says that about 4 percent of older-adult home sellers opt for a rental once they sell the family home. He predicts a surge in construction of apartments for more affluent renters.

© 2013 Florida Realtors®

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Home Selling: Is Your Front Door Welcoming?

Is Your Front Door Welcoming?

Is Your Front Door Welcoming?Creating indoor/outdoor transitions that welcome and complement your home can add to your home’s curb appeal and value. People often think only about the value of their house and what’s going on inside, but your front door is the first impression your visitors get of your home. Make it a good one.  Read more

Soruce: www.stuarthomesearch.com

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

10 Ideas for Outside the Box Home Marketing

Taking An  Outside the Box Approach to Online Home Marketing

When it comes to searching for homes online in our local Stuart, Florida market, buyers have hundreds if not thousands of homes to choose from. Making your home stand out among the competition requires an “outside the box” approach to gaining online exposure and driving interested buyers to your listing. Your agent’s online marketing plan should include these essential components to make your home stand out:

-A custom Web page dedicated to your home
-Lots of high-quality pics
-A virtual property tour or video
-A mobile or “responsive” Web site that displays your home properly on all devices
-Multiple points of contact including text/SMS, auto responders, email, QR codes, and toll-free numbers
-Maps with satelite or street views
-Downloadable flyers and other information
-Community and schools info
-Listing syndication that sends your property details to the top real estate listing Web sites and social networks

Read more about selling your home

 

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Ready to sell? Stage Your Home with These 8 Easy Tips

task list DIY Home Staging in 8 Easy Steps

 

DIY Home Staging in 8 Easy Steps

 

As a home seller, you’ve no doubt heard of a home that has been “staged to sell.” This means that a home has been visually organized in a way that will appeal to the majority of buyers – often resulting in an increase of offers and decrease of selling time. For some, this means bringing in the big guns and hiring a professional home stager. But home staging is also something you can do yourself with the help of a motivated seller.

 

Here are eight easy, inexpensive steps for DIY home staging that can be used to transform any residential listing into a buyer’s dream home:

 

1. Clear a path. Walk through the home as if you were viewing it for the very first time. Can you easily get from room to room? Is there an inviting flow throughout the space? If not, rearrange furniture so it is easier to tour. This may require placing large or redundant pieces in storage.

 

2. Clear the counters. This is one of the hardest steps for most sellers, but it can also make the biggest difference. Buyers are looking for a clean slate and lots of space, so it’s important to keep surfaces clear. Put necessary objects – like keys and pens – in appealing baskets or tins for the duration of the sale. Remind your clients that how you live in a home and how you sell a home are two very different things.

 

3. Make it sparkle. You can’t underestimate the value of a good, deep clean. Gleaming windows and shining stainless translate to “move-in ready” for potential buyers. Urge your sellers to hire a service, and arrive for showings early to make sure beds are made and floors are swept.

 

4. Don’t forget the closets. Buyers are nosy and will peek inside closets. After all, storage space is one of a home’s most valued features. Make sure your sellers aren’t cramming their cupboards full. Encourage them to organize their closets and get a storage unit to hold overflow, if needed. As an added benefit, it will make the move easier when their home sells.

 

5. Limit family photos. Home staging creates an environment that welcomes potential buyers to mentally move in. Tons of photos of someone else’s family can impede on that vision. Remove all but a few family photos. Whenever possible, be sure to completely clear the fridge door, too.

 

6. De-scent and re-scent. You love animals. The seller loves animals. But buyers don’t always love animals. So if your listing smells like pets (or smoke), air it out then use this handy trick to clear stale scents. Place two capfuls of vanilla extract in a coffee cup, then place it in the oven at 300 degrees for one hour. Within twenty minutes the whole place will smell heavenly.

 

7. Let there be light. Throw back the curtains! Disobey your father and leave the lights on in every room. Bring in more lamps, if you can. Light sells houses. No one wants to buy a dark, dingy cave. Well, almost no one… Shrek might, but he’s probably not your average buyer.

 

8. There’s power in flowers. Don’t forget the finishing touches: a potted plant by the front door, a cheery arrangement highlighting a window with a view, even a single flower in a bud vase can brighten up a bathroom vanity. Live plants are a breath of fresh air in any home (just please skip their silk and plastic counterparts).

 

kitchen staging DIY Home Staging in 8 Easy Steps

Keep windows open, lights on and counters clean.

 

And just like that, your listing is ready for its close-up. Home staging helps you highlight a place’s best features and downplay many weaknesses.

 

Source: Point2 Blog

 

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Marketing Homes Online: Ten Ways to Leverage the Web

Client Registrations Last 30 DaysSelling a home is all about exposure. When it comes to listing your home for sale, online marketing ensures the greatest number of potential buyers view your home in the shortest time possible.

Typically agents market homes online by uploading listings to various websites, creating virtual tours and single property Web sites, or place ads on Craigslist with the hope that a buyer will request a showing. The results are often lacking, but top producing agents who deploy a lead generation system (CRM) to manage these processes drive hundreds of buyers to their Web site, creating opportunities to discuss and show their clients’ properties.

Here are ten ways we use the Web in marketing to buyers and for sellers and how we manage these processes:

1. Virtual Tours are favorites of buyers! Our Virtual Tours capture more buyers for your home!

2. Single property Web sites, mobile single property Web sites, “squeeze pages” and landing pages provide multiple ways for buyers to find your listing their way.

3. Craigslist ads display your home on this popular site with proven calls to action and links that generate buyer leads.

4. eFlyers beautifully display your home online with multiple ways to contact us, schedule showings and proven calls-to-action that generate more buyers.

5. Syndication to all major real estate sites such as Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, etc.

6. Google AdWords and search engine optimization (SEO) ensure our listings get found on page one to drive more buyer leads for us.

7. Blogs are a great way to showcase your home while providing valuable information for home buyers.

8. QR Codes are imprinted on our yard signs, property flyers, and other print material, which lets buyers scan to a custom mobile Web site featuring our listings.

9. Social Media affords continuous engagement with buyers, sellers, and referring agents. We are on Facebook, G+, Twitter, Linkedin and other social outlets.

10. Video tours are featured on YouTube, our blogs, Web sites, and Social Media sites as well as my channel.

Having perfected our online marketing efforts for more than ten years, we currently receive nearly 200,000 monthly unique and repeat site visitors and over 500 buyer registrations. Our client management (CRM) platform processes these leads, which are hand-reviewed and distributed to our buyer agents for immediate and ongoing follow up.

 

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Selling Your Home: Determining Fair Market Value

Selling a home in Stuart, FLReady to sell your home in Stuart, Florida ? Determining a home’s fair market value is essential when it comes to listing your property for sale.

I typically complete a CMA (comparative market analysis) using various methods combined to come up with a suggested listing price. This may include a price per square foot calculation, an online home valuation using Zillow, Trulia, or other real estate portal, researching tax records, or obtaining a professional appraisal.

Regardless of the method used, I begin by selecting comparable properties (“comps”) based on the following criteria:

1. Location- the closer to your house the better, preferably in your neighborhood, subdivision, on a similar street, or in the same school district.
2. Type of home- I look for comps that are similar in style, construction material, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, finishes, and lot size.
3. Amenities and upgrades- items such as a remodeled kitchen, newer A/C, crown moldings, patio, pool, or community amenities (pool, gym, etc.) all affect value. HOA or equity fees also factor into the equasion.
4. Sale date- I use comparable sales as far back as twelve months if comps are scarce, but for lending purposes banks will only consider sales going back 90 days.
5. Seller concessions- assistance with the buyer’s down payment or closing costs may reduce the value of a comparable sale to account for any deal sweeteners.
6. Agent insight- having been inside a lot of homes in your area, knowing details about recent comparable sales, and other agents’ feedback all help when determining value.

Once comps are selected I start with a price per square foot calculation based on comparing recent sales of similar properties to determine a price range for the home. This method provides a fairly accurate valuation but does not take into consideration other criteria that affect a home’s value.

Next I will visit Zillow, Trulia, and other online home valuation sites to “compare notes”. These online real estate portals are helpfull but notoriously innacurate valuation tools. Estimates (or Zestimates, as Zillow calls them) can vary by more than 10% from the actual value. Regardless, online pricing tools do help to get a relative idea of a property’s value.

If feasible I may also obtain a formal appraisal, which is one of the most reliable of home valuation tools. An appraisal is an opinion of a property’s value provided by someone who has been formally trained and licensed in rendering opinions (for a fee). The best appraisals are those performed by local appraisers with knowledge of the subject property’s neighborhood and surrounding area.

Being able to accurately calculate the fair market value of a home is an essential skill to look for when choosing a real estate professional to list your home. Regardless of the methods used to determine value, our goal is to help the seller get the best possible price for the property, in the shortest time possible, and with the least amount of stress.

 

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Frequently Asked Questions About Closing

Closing (also called settlement) is the legal transfer of property ownership. Usually, but not always, possession is transferred at closing. Sometimes the seller may ask to close the sale but retain possession, and pay rent to the buyer until vacating the property at a later date.

Closing FAQs

 

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Seven Inexpensive Tips to Improve Curb Appeal

Getting Ready for the Spring Selling Season: Improving Curb Appeal

Whether you hire a handyman or do the work yourself, these quick and inexpensive outdoor fixes will help your house to stand out from the competition:

1. Trim the bushes: trimming back or taking out overgrown bushes, branches, and trees can dramatically improve the curb appeal of a house.

2. Power wash the exterior: even if the house could use a paint job, power washing can improve the appearance by removing dirt, mold, and mildew.

3. Install new plants: planting new bushes and flowers add color to a house. They not only beautify, but can also conceal an ugly foundation. Make sure to edge flower beds and walkways as well.

4. Weed and Feed: remove all weeds and apply a weed killer to the lawn and the beds. Keeping the grass cut, watered, and fertilized will help to maintain a healthy looking lawn.

5. Install a new mailbox: if your present mailbox is old and battered, replace it with a new one to quickly enhance curb appeal.

6. Repair the driveway and walkways: improving the driveway and walkways will immediately add to curb appeal. If you don’t have a walkway, consider adding a flagstone walkway over the existing grass.

7. Police the Area: sweeping the sidewalks and removing trash or debris around the house are obvious but often overlooked ways to further enhance curb appeal.

Improving these areas can quickly add lots of curb appeal to your house to help sell your property in the least amount of time and for the best price.

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! Prepare Your Home for Showing Season

By Keith Loria

Getting your home ready for sale in 30 days can be a challenge, however, for some sellers, it’s often a reality. Whether it’s a new job, a better opportunity, a marriage proposal or anything in between, there are a host of reasons that can necessitate the need to get out of your house quickly. If you find yourself pressed for time, the following tips will help you take advantage of the limited time you have to get your home ready for a showing.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is discard the clutter and pack up as much as possible. Since you’ll most likely be out of the home in a short period of time, you might as well begin the packing process. Be sure to keep out a month or two worth of clothes and supplies and put everything else into storage. This will most likely be a time consuming process, so spend a few hours each day packing your belongings and don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for help.

Make a list of all the little things that need to get done and start crossing them off as soon as possible. Change all broken light bulbs, patch up any nail holes, make spackle repairs in the bathroom, fix any drips and take care of any little things that a potential buyer might use as an excuse not to buy.

There’s nothing quite like a fresh coat of paint to give a home an updated look and feel, so once you’ve moved as much as you can to storage, get out those paint cans and throw a painting party with your friends and family. Use neutral colors and be sure to start with the most visible rooms.

Hire a cleaning service to come in and do a detailed cleaning, which will include everything from the drapes to the rugs to the inside of appliances. You want your house to give off the impression that it’s clean and comforting.

Remember to take care of the outside as well. Mow the lawn, have the leaves picked up, remove any trash or toys lying about and create a focal point outside that will enable prospective buyers to envision themselves living their life in their new space.

Don’t wait too long before talking with a real estate agent as they’ll be able to offer you tips on how to get your home sold quickly.

Contact our office today for more tips to prepare your home for showings.

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.