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March 2016

 

Whether you are looking to buy or sell, I can offer the highest levels in real estate expertise and professionalism. Don’t hesitate to contact me and allow me to help guide you through that process!

Wendy G Brown
REALTOR®, Seniors Real Estate Specialist®, Certified Seller Representative Specialist, Certified Home Marketing Specialist
wendy@wendybrown.realtor   |   Direct: 770-298-4437
http://www.wendybrown.realtor

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HOMESELLING TIPS

Due diligence before moving day

As a homeowner, you accumulate all sorts of documentation the moment you make the offer on your home. Loan documents, inspections, insurance policies, receipts and warranties are just a few of the documents you may be collecting. Knowing where these items are can save you a lot of time and money.

Keep closing papers such as the deed, settlement statement, appraisal, disclosures, mortgage note, inspections and title insurance policy together in one place—preferably in a safe deposit box.

For other records, a practical record-keeping system doesn’t have to be expensive. Purchase an accordion file and label each flap with a different category. Those might include:

  • Insurance Policies
  • Purchase and House Data
  • Property Taxes
  • Home Maintenance and Improvements
  • Warranties, Manuals and Receipts
  • Home Inventory

Organizing your home files may take a considerable amount of time initially, but it will definitely be time well spent in the event you need the documents in the future.

HOMESELLING TIPS

Quick tips for selling quickly

Patience is a virtue for just about any circumstance including selling your home. Yet sometimes you must sell quickly when a job opportunity arises or you face an abrupt lifestyle change. Assuming your home is in good condition and free of liens, here are several tips to help expedite a sale:

Ask for a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA): Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices agent can prepare an informal estimate of your home’s value based on comparable sales in the neighborhood. This includes detailed comparisons of the home's size, age, location and features to determine a reasonable price range for your property. You can then adjust the price based on variables in home and lot size, upgrades, condition and location. The amount may not be what you had envisioned, yet when priced slightly below comparable sales you should attract serious buyers.

Ask about our Progressive Value Range Marketing (PVRM): Many Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices agents use PVRM as an additional pricing resource. Instead of setting a specific price, a value range is selected enabling sellers to entertain offers in a defined range.

Be flexible: Know your bottom price and don’t be offended by offers within those parameters. Consider negotiating housewares and fixtures that may appeal to prospective buyers—such as those expensive new drapes you just installed, the dining-room chandelier or that new washer-dryer combo. Determine what you can and can’t live without.

Remove the clutter: This must be done regardless of time frame. Throw away anything you won’t be taking with you and pack storage items that you won’t miss during the selling process. Rent a storage pod that can be picked up and eventually moved to your new home.

Offer incentives: One popular incentive for a fast closing is to share or pay for your buyer’s closing costs. You may also offer higher commissions for a fast sale, which may lead to even more showings.

Rent to buy: If there’s interest but no one is willing to meet your timeline, offer the chance to rent with the right to buy it in six months or a year. Both parties win, as buyers can experience the home and neighborhood firsthand while you transition with cash flow to cover expenses.

Indeed, selling a home requires time and patience yet there are several things you can do to help expedite the process. With flexibility and creativity, you can increase your chances of a quick sale.

HOMEBUYING TIPS

Before you buy, check for restrictive covenants

You’ve just toured the home of your dreams and are ready to make an offer. You may not be aware that there may be restrictions that dictate what can and cannot be done to or on the property.

A restrictive covenant—a type of deed restriction—regulates a group of new and existing homes or building lots. Developers use them to preserve a development or subdivision as a model community and control its use and appearance. Buyers agree to the sometimes-rigid restrictions in order to maintain the aesthetic standard set by the developer and to safeguard the value of their homes.

Restrictive covenants should not be confused with local zoning and government regulations. Some covenants and zoning regulations overlap. For example, either can limit the height of a building. Restrictive covenants tend to exert greater control over lifestyle. In addition to standard clauses, which may stipulate a home’s minimum size, height, architectural style, and color schemes, covenants often ban practices that could be regarded as aesthetically objectionable—such as RV, boat or non-operative vehicle parking. They may also regulate grass height, window treatments, holiday decorations, walls, fences, hedges and pets.

While most homeowners enjoy the quality of life resulting from restrictive covenants, some may limit the life you planned. Before committing yourself to a property, be certain you can live with all the restrictions.

HOME IMPROVEMENT TIPS

A distinctive backyard can turn heads

You’ve just inherited an old house in a distant location and want to put it on the market. You don’t have the time, resources or energy to make it perfect and just want a quick sale.

Or maybe you had renters who did substantial damage and you don’t have the money to make necessary renovations.

Just because it needs work doesn’t mean you can’t sell it. Many buyers today are looking for deals and may see potential in your home.

So what to do? Here are a few tips when on the market:

  • Leave brochures for new cabinets in the kitchen, color palates around the bedrooms.
  • Create computerized images of what updates might look like.
  • Secure bids from licensed contractors on necessary fixes and provide them to potential buyers. People may mentally overestimate the cost of a new roof, shower stall, drywall repair or fresh paint. Providing sample estimates will bring the home into clearer perspective.
  • Work with your real estate agent to make the home as presentable as possible for the least amount of money.
  • Nothing is going to attract people more than a lowered price. You will need to discount to gain an advantage over comparables in better condition.

A down-and-out house doesn’t mean you’re stuck. With small repairs, research and practical pricing, you can turn that “Ugly Betty” into a sale.

 
 
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