If you find yourself saying any of the following to your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional, you may be hurting your chances of selling your home quickly and for the most money possible.
“I’m not making any repairs.” According to the 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report from the National Association of REALTORS®, 47 percent of buyers under the age of 37 purchased new homes to avoid renovations and problems. If many buyers don’t have the will, skill or time to make repairs, you’re eliminating a number of buyers who would otherwise love your home.
“My home has to be worth more than that.” You may believe your home should be worth more than you paid for it and provide you with enough equity to move. Your listing agent will supply you with tools to understand current market value. The comparable market analysis shows what homes have recently sold for and what other sellers are asking for similar homes as yours, as well as price and sales trends.
“Let’s price it higher and see what happens.” Pricing above comparable homes is a real risk. You’ll outprice buyers who would want your home. Buyers who can afford your home will quickly find that your home doesn’t compare to others.
In any of these cases, you’ll be looking at a price adjustment, and have lost valuable marketing time. Realistically, your home is only worth what the most qualified buyer is willing to pay for your hom
Updates You Can Afford To Sell Your Home
A recent poll on Houzz.com found that most people hate carpet, fluorescent lighting, wallpaper, vinyl floors and other things in their homes, so why turn off buyers with these won’t-haves?
If your home is dated, you can do some quick and easy updates that will wow your buyers.
Make it welcoming. You can’t underestimate the importance of curb appeal. Repaint where needed, but make sure the entry waves hello from the street. Clean, weed and stage your home from the sidewalk to the shrubs to the front door. Buy pots of flowers and a fresh new welcome mat. Make sure that’s not so much as a stray leaf or toy on the front yard.
Make it cool. The new neutrals are a far cry from the yellows and beiges of the Mediterranean era, ‘90s jewel tones, ‘80s pastels, and ‘70s earth tones. Instead, repaint with cooler tones, like gray or icy Scandinavian whites and sky blues.
Make it low-maintenance. Replace worn carpet with a high-grade laminate floor that looks like wood, tile or granite. Replace countertops with easy-clean quartz. Upgrade your heating and cooling with a programmable thermostat. Change out yellowish light bulbs with long-wearing daylight LED bulbs.
Make it show-ready. If you have popcorn ceilings, have them removed. Replace old appliances and dated fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen with new stainless or brushed nickel finish. One of the new touch faucets, an induction range, and an apron sink also add the wow factors you need to impress buyers.
How Late Payments Impact Credit Scores
FICO scores, the Fair Isaac Corporation credit-scoring system, are used by lenders to determine your creditworthiness. The lower your scores, the more risk you pose to lenders, resulting in higher interest rates or loan denial.
Scores fluctuate for many reasons, including your debt-to-income ratio, making minimum payments only, credit inquiries and other factors. But nothing impacts credit scores like a missed rent or revolving credit payment. And, for the best-scoring consumers, the drop in credit scores is the most punishing.
Making timely payments is one of the easiest things you can do to show you’re using credit responsibly, which is why your payment history accounts for the largest part of your FICO score—35 percent.
Late payments remain on your credit report seven years from the original delinquency date, regardless if the payment is made and the account is current or if the account is closed and the payment is never received, according to Experian.com.
The more recent the late payment, the more it can impact your scores. If you’re late or missed a payment, make the account current as quickly as possible. The length of time it takes to recover will depend on whether the late payment is an anomaly or part of a habitual pattern.
Establish a current history of on-time payments. Use at least one credit card, paying in full each month to avoid finance charges.
On-time payments will add positive activity to offset negatives from the past, and over time your credit scores will rebound.
Avoid Water Shortages with Xeriscaping
In many parts of the country, from California to Texas, green lawns are not indigenous to the region. Non-native landscaping contributes heavily to water shortages in many areas, causing watering restrictions.
How can homeowners help? By adopting a concept called Xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is simply creating a landscape that features native plants that don’t require extra water and are capable of withstanding native drought conditions.
While the look of a xeriscaped garden or yard of cacti and hardy shrubs is much different from the lush carpet of St. Augustine or Bermuda grass, you can easily create attractive landscaping that demands less water.
Simply pay attention to your yard’s shape, size, slope, sun, and shade. Choose grasses, plants and flowers that are “native” to your area and can grow on the typical regional annual rainfall without additional watering needed. Group plants and flowers with similar watering requirements in zones, so that any extra watering is more efficient.
Zoned areas may be broken up by walkways, berms (mounds), bits of turf, glass, walls, large boulders, river rocks and other stones. Add mulch to accent the plants and flowers, as well as to provide a healthy root environment, which also reduces the need for extra watering. In some cases, artificial turf may be an option where it can be effectively used in small areas to accent flowers and plants.
The total effect can be quite beautiful. You’ll use less water, lower your costs and maintenance, and your yard will attract fewer pests.
Homebuyers tend to move like a herd – they stampede together and they graze together. Signs your market is easing may include showings with fewer offers, longer days on the market (tracked by your area’s multiple listing service) and more questions, contingencies and demands from buyers.
We at Fab Realty Group members of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional can help you with sales and staging strategies and bring offers from qualified buyers. So what can you do to help?
Make your home pristine.
There’s a huge difference between a home that’s “move-in ready” and one that “needs work.” Show pride of ownership by putting your home in top move-in condition so that your home is more appealing to buyers than any other home in your area and price range.
Price it right.
You can expect lower offers in a slower market, but homes that are priced fairly and in pristine condition will be treated with respect and enthusiasm by buyers. Consider pricing slightly below market value or offer to include all appliances to attract more interest from buyers.
Be willing to negotiate.
Negotiation works best when both parties get what they want. You might take less money in exchange for a cash offer or quick closing. Your buyer may be willing to pay your asking price, but may ask you to pay their closing costs.
You may sell your home for a little less than you were expecting, but you’ll find that a slowing market means you’ll be able to buy your next home for less, too.
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April showers and Snow 😦 bring May flowers, but they also give you time to check a few things off your to do list on a rainy weekend. Here are a few projects you can get done:
1. Spring clean. Dust all the blinds, wipe down the quarter-round molding, and clean under the beds and furniture you haven’t moved in a while.
2.Organize your closets. Unless you’re extremely neat all the time, you’re bound to have items you can sort. Create sections or piles to keep, throw away, and donate. Getting rid of clutter makes you feel good and it also makes your home look better.
3. Paint something. Paint may take longer to dry in wet weather but it’s still fun to sand and finish an old table or spruce up a nightstand. Get your house paint from the garage and touch up dings on the doors and walls. Or paint some small terra cotta pots and fill them with plants for your kitchen window.
4. Fix something. Even if you don’t know how, it’s time to stop that leaky faucet or install that new sink. Just visit the Internet for instructions or invite a knowledgeable friend to help, and then serve them dinner.
5.Make updating plans. A rainy day is a good time to assess your home and think about projects you want to do later. Make a wish list of things you want to accomplish, like updating the kitchen or finding new lamps for the den.
Most buyers want a move-in ready home that’s clean, updated and functional and they’re willing to pay more to get what they want. Here are just a few improvements you can do that will go a long way with buyers.
1.Update the finishes. If you’re going to improve a room, update everything, even the light switches. Get rid of popcorn ceilings, which are universally reviled by buyers. If you have wood floors, pull up your old carpet and polish the wood until it gleams.
2.Reconvert the conversions. Conversions are usually awkward, such as garages turned into living spaces. The house and garage elevations are rarely the same, the driveway leads nowhere, and there’s no place to park cars away from the next hailstorm. Offer to reconvert on request.
3. Paint neutrally. Nothing improves a home like fresh paint. Your Berkshire Hathaway Home Services network professional can help you choose sellable colors and finishes.
4. Fix obvious problems. If you can see it, your buyer will see it, too, so fix the sticking door, the running toilet, the leaky faucet, the busted sprinkler head, the wobbly ceiling fan, the loose doorknob, and so on. Buyers are so turned off by dirt, so plan to deep clean every nook and corner.
5. Say “Welcome!” with curb appeal. Fresh modern paint on the front door, a new welcome mat, potted flowers, shiny new porch lights all show pride of ownership – something you want your buyers to feel, too.