Reasons Why FSBO’s Fail (And Why You Need A Realtor!)

Home-SoldEveryone wants a good deal. Unfortunately that’s the reason many homeowner’s take the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route instead of hiring a real estate professional. Either they think it will save them money, save them hassle, or they are just confident that they can navigate the process on their own. Fact is, there are some really good reasons why many FSBO efforts fail; they are the same reasons you like should work with a qualified REALTOR®.

Too Many People To Deal With
A person can only handle so much. You’re already dealing with getting the house ready to show, possibly still finding a new place, packing…and then you’re going to meet with the buyer, the buyers agent, your bank, the home inspector, the appraiser, and maybe even an attorney? It’s a full time job just keeping up!

Homeowner’s Don’t Know The Market…or How to Market…
Do you know the median home value for your area? Are you knowledgeable in the best ways to market and advertise your home for maximum return? There are any number of things that need to be taken care of before you even list your home; a good agent should know all of them.

The Process
There’s a lot more to selling a home than just putting a sign in the yard. Even after you’ve found a qualified buyer there are further challenges like the home inspection, home assessment and what to do about them – surprises lurking in your foundation or attic could kill the deal before it even starts. Speaking of qualifying buyers: that’s one of the biggest parts of the deal – just finding people not only interested in your home but who are financially able to buy it.

The Paperwork
This item alone should be caveat enough. Familiarity with the paperwork is essential and not knowing the correct processes can sink a sale quick! The sheer volume of the paperwork itself is another factor as well, not to mention that much of the paperwork itself must follow very specific timelines.

The old adage is true: Many hands make light work!
And considering that you’ll almost need to be in multiple places at once, besides having a familiarity with the system that only comes with experience, a skilled real estate professional is an invaluable asset when it comes time to sell your home.

Scary Real Estate Red Flags

old-manor-1231905The things that go bump in the night may be a very real concern, unfortunately you may not find out about them until you’re moved in and spending time in your new home. No, we’re not talking about restless spirits – although hopefully that’s in the disclosure statement somewhere! – we’re talking about the hidden boogies in your new home that may cause REAL nightmares.

Now, of course hopefully, you’ve done due diligence and worked with a professional REALTOR® who no doubt insisted you have the home inspected before any serious offers were made….right? No? *queue scary music*

If you’re already in your own Amityville horror these tips may be too late, but if not there are a few things you can do to spot likely problem areas in the homes you’re looking at to bust those bad listings! Here’s a few key things to look for:

Mediocre Maintenance
Chance are if there’s plant life growing out of the gutters there are other maintenance and upkeep items that may have gone unchecked. Look for signs like these to determine how much of a headache you might have in store.

Fractures
Especially in the foundation of the home. Visible signs of walkway warping and out-right cracks in the foundation wall are a big concern as repairs of that sort can be extremely costly.

Trust Your Nose
It could just be something funky. Everybody’s house has a different smell after all…but trust your nose. Musty, lingering odors can be a sign of a bigger hidden problem like mold or even resident vermin.

Faulty Wiring
You’re not an electrician probably, but go through and make sure to look at all the wall sockets as well as turn lights on and off in all the rooms. Any popping sounds or flickering could be a sign that there’s more going on.

Fresh Paint
Seems like kind of a weird warning sign, right? Especially since it’s pretty common to slap on some new paint when getting ready to sell a home. Fact is however it’s also a great way to hide flaws and problem areas! Hole in the wall? Cover it with construction paper and paint over it. Mold? Paint will cover those stains as well. Look for stains bleeding through, sagging ceilings, or even just ask why they painted the room.

So be conscious of potential hidden problems when out looking at homes, you can eliminate a lot of potential problem homes before you get your heart set on the location. Always, always, always get your potential new home inspected by a professional with a history of experience — your agent should know several.

How To Create A Great First Impression For Your Home

house_entranceWhether you are looking to sell or just want to spruce up your new home for the season everyone agrees: first impressions count! 

The front of your house, of course, is the first place to start as it will be the welcoming view of your home for visitors; there are a lot of simple tips to perk up a houses exterior. Here are some of those ideas to help get you started!

The Big Door
In most cases your garage will take up the larger portion of the front of your home; that’s a great reason to pay attention to it’s impact on the overall reception of the house. If your garage door is looking a bit run down it may be a good time to consider replacing it, or if it’s in fairly good shape you might consider just slapping on some new paint or adding window features to it.

Hit The Bricks
If your walkway has pavers or bricks as part of it’s make up you will want to take some time to give them the once over – stone work of any kind can fade and lose color over time due to sun exposure. You can use a gentle washing to help clean them up and check of the mortar to make sure it’s in good condition. If the stone work is too far faded or crumbling it may be time to look into replacing it.

Upgrade The Windows
No, not Windows 10! The windows of your home! Whether this be just updating the glass itself to newer more energy efficient types or actually changing the style and look of the windows themselves, you can make a big difference in how your home looks.

How Does Your Garden Grow?
You can easily add pop and color to the front of your house with a nice flowerbed or planter. Make it seasonal but simple to save yourself upkeep while still looking fabulous. Flowerbed areas in front of your home are especially nice if you have a smaller yard as it can help soften the delimitation between the house and the yard itself.

It doesn’t take much to really make a difference in the look of your home – even just painting the shutters or trim a new color can really add some wow factor. So get out there and make it happen!

Sell That Home FAST!

moneyhousingWith low home inventory and steady prices in Idaho already this year, many industry experts are agreeing that 2015 could be the year of the sellers market return.

That being said it doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easy move; buyers are being even more particular about the homes they view as they still have a number of options to consider. I’ve put together a few tips to help you get your home ready for buyers and get it sold fast!

Power Up
Consider adding power outlets with USB ports. It’s a minor thing but for today’s tech savvy families this could be a huge selling point.

Clean Up
Get the carpets cleaned by a professional, do the same for your wood floors. Dingy dirty floors are a major turn off and one of the first, most noticeable, elements to any space.

Expand
Don’t be afraid to open up that kitchen space. Open flow designs are all the rage and often with just a little remodel you can really add some appeal to the room that is often considered the heart of your home.

Keep Up on the Yard
Curb appeal is largely made up by your home exterior – especially the landscaping. Now, in Winter time it will be a bit harder to really showcase your lawn but you can do simple things like making sure the hedges are trimmed, and that the side walks and drives are cleared of snow.

Ditch the Wallpaper
Unless it’s something really modern or suited to the entire rest of the house it’s likely a good idea to tear out that old parlor wall paper and go with something more sleek and chic.

Price to Sell
That doesn’t mean undercut your investment, but be sure your home is priced competitively for the market. A great starting point is to have a comparative home market analysis done by a qualified REALTOR. Don’t be afraid to go a little low either, some times pricing a little below market value can entice more buyers and lead to multiple offers.

5 Ways to Bring More Spring Into Your Home!

spring has sprung!Warmer temperatures and longer days are soon to be here! With having just set our clocks to spring forward the change of seasons is almost palpable in the air. The best way to get a jump on things so that you’re not having to play catch-up is to get an early start; so we’ve put together some quick tips to help you bounce into Spring and get your house ready!

Sell Sell Sell!
That’s right! It’s time to declutter and make room for this years fun! The best way to do that is to have a garage sale. Not only will this help you get rid of things you might not necessarily need but you can even pad your pockets at the same time. Don’t just re-stash stuff! Whatever you don’t sell will definitely be appreciated at your local goodwill or thrift store also.

Clean Slate
If the weather is co-operating there’s no law that says you can’t start taking care of the outside of your house too. This might mean pulling weeds early, or cleaning out the gutters and rain spouts. Cleaning is a good idea for the inside of your home too; the beginning of the season is a great time to do those “every once in a while” tasks like moving all the furniture out from the walls and giving everything a good once over.

Pound the Paperwork
Tax season should already have this process started for you, but the first of the year is always a good time to file old papers that you’ve had just laying around, put receipts in their proper place and generally just give the old paper trail a good turn to make sure everything is where it needs to be – toss anything that’s of no use.

Add Some Pop!
Think colors! Think fresh! Think NOT beige! That’s right, adding just a little new paint can work wonders for your home. Whether it be a new color palette for that bookshelf or re-painting the entire room a little bit of color can go a long way!

Shine a Light!
Open the windows, open the shades! On days when the sun is playing nice it’s great to open up some of the windows and just let things air out. It’s been proven too that sunlight has some antibacterial properties – so it can actually help make the air healthier in the process!

Any one of these tips will help you get your home in tip-top shape for Spring and the coming busy Summer season! What are some tips YOU count on to keep things running smoothly?

Is a Tiny House Right for You?

moneyhouseYou’ve likely seen the TV show or heard someone talking about the latest home trend: Tiny Houses. There’s even a local home builder in Nampa Idaho who specializes in these new micro-homes! While down-sizing is one of the latest things to sweep the world of real estate, and some of the designs are quite cute, you’ve got to really consider a few things before jumping into a mini-house.

What is a Tiny House anyway?
Tiny Houses feature living spaces as small as 90 square feet, with overall home sizes generally being under 900 square feet in total. Some are permanent structures, while others sport wheels or trailers for easy relocation. The emphasis is on activities and a lot of your actual living outside the home and using less space for “stuff”.

Will it all fit?
The biggest adjustment is just the difference in available room. Storage can become a large part of the creative process in these reduced space homes and new homeowners for this style of living must consider the difference between what things are necessary and what things might just be clutter.

You don’t have to skimp.
Despite what you may think these tiny homes offer anything but spartan amenities. Many high end small homes include exotic woods and materials throughout; the real difference is just in how much room you have.

While generally these small houses aren’t ideal for large families the appeal for younger home buyers, and older couples who are finding their empty nests a little too empty, is easy to see. So much of the things we need in our lives for happiness all happen outside where we live anyway; there are many seeing this as a way to live a more free lifestyle.

Big or small it’s not hard to find great homes in our state! We invite you to search to find exactly the right place for you!

Things Home Sellers Need to Do in 2015!

2015The new year is upon us and it’s time to embrace the change and seek a brighter tomorrow! For those considering selling their home the warmer Spring months ahead it’s prime time to get things ready for making the big move. Here are some tips for not only those looking to sell their home but also for those looking to spice up the place they’ve hung their hat for years already.

Get Creative.
Step back and really look at your space. Sometimes it helps to clear the room of furniture – and hey, with Spring cleaning, you were going to be doing that anyway right? Consider doing a full remodel, if it makes sense. Knock down a wall, but in a bar or kitchen island.

Bail on Beige.
Blah. Neutral. Beige. Off-white. Honestly, even taupe is better! Be bold! Claim your walls! Be mindful of current styles and trends, and maybe not go full chartreuse, but really…we can’t suggest this one enough.

Update your lighting.
Did 1995 call and tell you that 8 glass panel chandelier in the dining room was missing? Yeah. It’s like that. Consider not only new updated fixtures but also the bulbs themselves! Lighting has come a long way in the last 20 years; you could actually be saving yourself money.

Clean out the garage.
If you are going to be selling your home this just makes good sense. You’ll be making the task of moving a little bit easier. If you are not moving then it’s a good idea just because it will help you use the space more efficiently – imagine! being able to actually park your car…in the garage! It can happen! The legends are true! Start by getting rid of anything you haven’t seen or used in the last 5 years. Chances are, unless it’s a family treasure, you can do without it.

There are a hundred tips to get your house in tip-top shape! Most of them you can find on your own just by stopping and really taking a look around. From de-cluttering to just old fashioned cleaning and painting you can do a lot to make your home more sellable or to keep your house more livable for yourself!

Sell That Home FAST!

dollasSome will say that when you lower the price on your home that it’s a sure sign your marketing isn’t doing what it should, they may even go so far as to say that if you don’t sell in those first two magic weeks that there is no way your home can compete to more newly listed homes with a better price. None of this of course is completely true. The market is constantly in flux and having to adjust price, especially after the first week or more on the market, is not uncommon.

While we always suggest taking the advice of your own agent, here are some tips to help you get that home sold quickly without too much compromise on price.

Know the current fair market value and price accordingly. Don’t price the home for what it was in 2005, don’t price it for what it might be in 2015. Have your agent provide a comparative market analysis of your home based on it’s amenities, location, and other market factors.

Present the home in the best light. Curb appeal plays a big part of this; the old addage is true – first impressions are everything. This can range from keeping the yard well maintained to even just adding some new paint to the front door. Take care of any small repairs well in advance of showing the home.

Ever heard that a picture is worth a thousand words? That’s even more true when it comes to real estate photography. A survey from REALTOR.org shows that homes listed with professional photos sell on average for 10% more than homes without. This also means a little prep work for you the homeowner: tuck away laundry baskets, pet beds, and make sure everything looks tidy.

Social Media. It’s one more place to show off your listing; if you’re working the networks correctly it can be a very powerful way to do it. When your home is listed get the link from your REALTOR® so that you can share it on your own personal networks – you may have a buyer amongst your friends without even realizing it!

Homes that are priced based on the current market conditions, are marketed online, and also shows well in person will generally almost always sell for more than homes that are simply thrown onto the market and forgotten.

Think You Don’t Need a REALTOR? Think Again!

thinking
Even with the amazing amounts of information online today regarding real estate, buying and selling homes, and market conditions real estate is still a complex industry; it is imperative to make sure you are not attempting to go it alone. It is crucial to find an honest, competent, agent who will represent your best interests throughout the entire process.

Here are some good things to keep in mind no matter which brokerage you choose:

Experience
Despite huge amounts of on-going education, like many industries, agents in real estate simply will not know how to deal with unusual situations without some experience. Therefore having an agent that has been out working in the market for a little while is only to your advantage. All real estate transactions are complex so having one that has been through the process itself numerous times is a real asset – be sure to ask your prospective agent how many transactions they’ve closed in the last year; ask about their general amount of time in the industry.

Availability
Real estate agents often have to handle multiple clients and offer scenarios at once. It is important that while you want an experienced agent that you don’t pick one that simply may have “too much going on” to help you with your needs. Especially if you are a first time buyer or seller it is important your chosen agent be able to spend a little extra time with you, educating you about the transaction process.

Knowledge
Not just knowledge about the type of house you want to buy, but also the info on the kinds of amenities in the area, schools, and what things are important to the way of life you are looking to lead. An agent knowledge should extend well beyond just the correct procedures in negotiating and shuffling papers. Make sure you work with an agent that knows the area!

So do some homework before you settle on an agent. Remember, chances are your home will be the biggest financial decision you make in your entire life. Having a qualified professional to help you navigate through the transaction will be absolutely necessary for success. Beyond that, trust your gut. Make sure the agent you select is someone you can trust and who you feel will be great at providing you with just the right service!

3 Tips to Prepare Your Home to Sell FAST!

Get that home sold!Every home seller dreams of a quick and easy sale, no complications, no compromises, and of course an above market all cash offer. While working with a professional REALTOR® is a sure safety net for most common pitfalls most home sales don’t come together over night, even when they do go smoothly.


Thankfully there are a few quick easy things you can do to help the process be even more successful:

Price Competitively
Even more than location, location, location – price, price, price is important!
Listing your home at the most competitive price point may determine how quickly you’ll receive offers. Before settling on a definitive price ask your agent to run a comparative market analysis of your home. This will tell you what other homes within your community are selling for.

Curb Appeal
First impressions count! The curb appeal of your home may determine whether or not your phone is ringing with offers. Thankfully there are many basic things you can do yourself that have a big impact on curb appeal and keep costs at a minimum. A new coat of paint on the front door in a bright, trendy color invites visitors in from the curb. Consider seasonal flowers and a manicured, well maintained lawn. What may seem like small touches, like upgrading your mailbox or replacing faded address numbers make a drastic difference.

Clean, De-clutter, and Staging
Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to come in and really put a sparkle to everything, including carpets. Be sure to de-clutter your home of any abundance of personal items, unfinished projects, or general clutter before a showing. Check into staging rooms – especially if you’ve already begun the move out so rooms don’t look sparse – having rooms staged professionally has the potential to even add to the offer on your home.

These simple tips should help you amp up the sell ability of your home in no time! Be sure and ask your REALTOR® if they have any ideas as well!