Pesky, But Potentially Costly Home Maintenance

Pesky, But Potentially Costly Home MaintenanceIf you’re new to home ownership, you may not be familiar with all of the responsibilities that are now yours. All of those things you used to call the super or management office for now fall in your lap.

Here are some items to keep in mind, especially if you got a “great deal” on your home because it needed a little TLC.

Little Drips and Leaks

Plumbing maintenance can by far cause some of the most costly problems if you ignore those little, niggling drips, clogs or strange sounds in the pipes. Leaks and drips under the sink are out of sight, so they often are out of mind. However, a buildup of moisture in a sink cabinet can set the stage for costly mold problems.

If the leak is on an upper level and the moisture seeps into the walls and subfloor, it endangers the structural integrity of the ceiling below. Latex paint has the particular ability to “stretch” and hold moisture. When this happens, you may not notice the damage to the ceiling below until the paint forms a moisture-filled bubble. By this point, drywall, insulation and subfloor will need extensive and expensive repairs.

Better to get the leak looked at right away by a certified plumber.

Roofing

To an untrained eye, a roof may appear perfectly fine, but hail, heavy rain, ice, snow or wind can cause damage to your roof. When left unrepaired, a damaged roof exposes your home to the elements, inviting potential damage. Here are some signed you need an expert roofer to inspect your home:

  • Missing shingles: During heavy downpours, strong windstorms or as snow and ice melts and slides off your room, tearing shingles away. While roofing tiles are designed to overlap, offering double protection, when one layer is missing, water can seep underneath and cause damage. Having a few shingles replaced is much less expensive than have to completely replace the deck (the layer of wood under your roof) of your home and completely re-roof it.
  • Curling or lifting shingles: A curled shingle or a row of lifted or buckled shingles indicates that you may already have a leak, or the potential for one. Have these shingles replaced immediately and inspect the deck and sub-roof materials for damage.
  • Decay and mold: When mold, moss or lichen grows on your roof it’s a sign that areas of the roof are holding water. Treat the growths with a killing agent immediately. Have damaged shingles repaired as soon as possible.
  • Damaged flashing and drip edge: Flashing refers to the metal or vinyl pieces that surround chimneys, pipes, exhaust fans, while a drip edge is the metal piece along the outer edge of the roof. If any of the metal or vinyl pieces are bent, buckled, dented or have holes, your home may be exposed to water damage. A certified roofer can repair flashing and drip edges.
  • Gutters are the metal or vinyl troughs that collect water runoff and direct it to downspouts away from the home. Gutters require extra maintenance. In the fall, leaves and debris collect in gutters potentially damning them and causing water to back up under the roofing tiles. Make sure to clean gutters each year before winter weather begins.
    In the winter, your gutters may fill with ice and snow forming an ice dam. The best way to avoid ice dams is to have sufficient insulation in your attic to avoid overheating your roof, and sufficient ventilation that accumulated heat can escape. Yes, it is too much heat coming from the inside of the house that causes a rapid snowmelt and pushes snow and ice into your gutters.
  • Extra precautions: If you live in an area with lots of snow and ice, consider having ice and water barriers or shields added to the “valleys” of your roof. A valley is where two differently angled roofing lines meet and where water, ice and snow can pile up.

Electrical Problems

If you have a breaker that continually trips or (in older homes) a fuse that blows, you may have an electrical problem. Of course, you may simply have too many items running on one breaker, but blown fuses and continually tripping breakers may indicate a fire hazard.

Have your home inspected by a certified electrician. If you own an older home, with fuses, consider having them replaced with modern breakers. Replace outlets in bath areas with a GFI (ground fault interrupter) outlet that switches off when the outlet is overloaded or when the appliance comes in contact with water.

We want your home ownership to be the best possible experience. We suggest getting an inspection before purchasing your home, and a yearly or bi-annual maintenance inspection to keep your home in top shape. When the time comes to sell this home and move to another one, you won’t have costly repairs needed before you can put it on the market.

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Monochromatic Decorating Ideas

Monochromatic Decorating IdeasThe use of a single color, or range of shades in a color gives your home a sophisticated designer appeal. Do you have to hire a designer to achieve the look? No, you can do it yourself if you keep these things in mind.

Respect the Hue

In other articles, we’ve talked about the difference between warm and cool undertones in the color palette. Warm undertones are in the yellow, red, orange and green family while cool undertones are in the blue and purple family. When designing in monochrome, your goal is to keep all the elements in the room (walls, flooring, furnishings) in the same color with the same undertone.

Create Interest with Texture

To avoid creating a boring design, create visual interest with various textures. If the walls are smooth, add a textured carpet, nubby upholstery or three-dimensional artwork. Vary smooth glass tile with rougher natural stone, or a smooth floor with a wall-treatment or drapes that have folds, creases or other interesting surface characteristics.

Define with Light

Use various light sources to define areas of interest, artwork, architectural details and exceptional furnishing. Add lamps and hanging light fixtures, hidden up or down lights, colored film on windows and even colored lights to change the mood or feel of the room.

Add a Single Contrasting Element

If white is your color and you want to evoke cool sophistication, add a single blue or sea-green vase or jade carving. In a taupe design, a warm, earthy rust or bronze adds interest. When decorating in grays, make sure to keep the theme warm or cool, but try adding a single element from the opposite undertone to make it pop, so if you’re using warm grays, add a simple cobalt blue as a focal point.

For a more dramatic contrast, consider the always-elegant black and white.

In the kitchen, matching cabinets, flooring, walls and ceiling may make the room seem larger—more open and airy. Simple contrasts in elongated cabinet hardware will pull the eye upward while horizontal wood grains move the eye from side to side.

A monochrome bath adds a spa-like feel to a smaller room. Simplify the décor with striking greenery for an Asian-inspired vibe.

In a white-on-white theme, consider adding a contrasting paint color or bright wallpaper to a single wall. Use a monochrome theme to bring attention to a special architectural detail such as an original brick wall in your loft, or a natural-finished pine beadboard wall treatment for that Scandinavian feel.

Whatever your ultimate choice, to narrow down your monochrome choices, peruse the Internet and magazines for examples that express the feel you’re looking for, then pick up samples of carpet, paint and fabric to experiment with textures. Make sure some are smooth, and try different lighting options with your samples to give you the best idea of what might work.

Most of all … design your home to be comfortable to you, not some version of sophistication that doesn’t really work for your family.

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How to Choose Lights for Your New Home

How to Choose Lights for Your New HomeIt’s not just about wattage anymore. Light fixtures and light bulbs come in myriad types, sizes and colors. Do you want LED? Should you use “soft” bulbs? And what is the difference between watts and lumens? With the phase-out of the traditional incandescent bulb, the lighting choices you grew up with are not the same as what will be available in the future.

When making choices for your new home, consider the light’s expected usage, the use of the room and the availability of replacement bulbs.

How Light Works

Artificial light affects how color appears on your walls and ceilings. That is why paint colors that seemed so perfect at the paint store can look all wrong on your walls. Some popular bulbs for home use will change how color appears, and how a room “feels” when the lights are on.

  • Incandescent bulbs. The bulbs we grew up with typically have a warm cast and brighten up colors in the warmer spectrums (reds, oranges, yellows) and dampen colors in the cool spectrum. However, as of this year (2014) most incandescent bulbs will be phased out for general use. Although there are exceptions for specialty bulbs, including some sizes of the very popular designer Edison bulb, when your bulb goes, you’ll need to replace it with some form of fluorescent or halogen bulb. Or, you’ll need a new light fixture altogether.
  • Standard fluorescent bulbs. The long tubes used in schools, retail stores and offices emit cooler colors that enhance greens, blues and purples while subduing reds, oranges and yellows. These bulbs often “hum” in the background. Better for work areas (kitchen, garage), standard fluorescents offer an economical lighting source.
  • CFLs. Compact fluorescents are the obvious choice to replace incandescent bulbs. With bayonets that fit most light fixtures, CFLs are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and wattages. They also have a Kelvin rating which determines the color spectrum of the bulb. The lower the Kelvin number, the warmer the colors. A “full spectrum bulb” is designed to mimic daylight.
  • LEDs. Light-emitting diodes emit a warmer light. Often the “bulb” has a reflective cone that augments the light. LED light enhances most paint colors and gives natural lighting that works well for bathrooms and dressing areas.
  • Halogen. Because of their whiter, brighter light and longevity theater stages use halogen lights for high performance applications. In the home, halogens reduce eyestrain as reading lights, offer safety and security to your outdoors and highlight your artwork. They burn hotter than other lights, though, so don’t belong in areas where the bulb can’t be shielded. Some older halogen fixtures—especially torchiere lamps—posed a fire hazard from the hot-burning bulb, so check to make sure your halogen fixtures have protective shields.

Replacing Fixtures

When replacing light fixtures, consult a lighting designer to solve lighting challenges and create the most economical arrangement of your lighting profile.

We can help you determine the best lighting upgrades for the sale of your home. Give us a call to set up an appointment for a home review today.

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Choosing Paint by Light Direction

Choosing Paint by Light DirectionLight exposure in your room plays a large part in the visual drama of your paint colors. In rooms with multi-directional sun exposure—either opposing (east/west or north/south) or perpendicular (north/west, north/east, south/west, south/east)—the play of light over your walls, reflecting off your ceiling or bouncing off the floor can change the appearance of the paint colors your chosen. In fact, the colors will look different at various times of the day and even change with the seasons throughout the year. And, when you add artificial light into the mix you may end up with a look you weren’t expecting.

The Basics

As you may remember from grade school, the concept of color is part of the light spectrum. You know that when you see a rainbow, its colors are different lengths of light rays from the sun bouncing off water molecules in the atmosphere. In fact, the very definition of color is the property of an object producing different sensations on the eye resulting from the way it reflects light. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is color.

Humans have varying degrees of color-blindness, and in men, it is as high as seven to 10 percent in the red-green spectrum. A smaller number of colorblind people of either gender do not see the blue-yellow spectrum. That means that if you’ve chosen a neutral gray or taupe with a red or green undertone, your spouse may see it differently from you.

Add the play of light to the scenario and you can see why your color choices can make a huge difference to how you enjoy your home … and how it appears to potential buyers.

Light Direction

In the northern hemisphere, a southern exposure has light throughout most of the day and most of the year. Light from the sun intensifies colors, so consider the room’s use when choosing bright vs. cool colors. If this is the room you’ll be relaxing in at the end of the day you’ll want to cool it down with blue undertones.

East or west exposure is most intense in the morning or evening. A bedroom with a west exposure will be darker in the morning. If you have trouble waking up, you might want to add red or yellow undertones to your room colors. On the other hand, a room with an east exposure will be light and bright in the morning, so you might want to tone it down with blue or green undertones.

In the afternoon, light rays are shorter, giving them a blue tone that washes out color. If you’ll use a room most often in the midday, consider a brighter color that is opposite the blue spectrum (yellow on the color wheel) or with yellow undertones.

Lighting makes a big difference too. The type of light bulb, wattage and placement of the light fixture change the appearance of color on walls, floors and ceilings.

Making the Right Choice

Before choosing a color, bring home swatches and hang them on the walls. Watch how light plays off them throughout the day. If you’re still not sure, buy sample sizes of a couple of colors and paint larger swaths on the walls (or on butcher paper) to get a better idea.

If you’re unsure about which neutral color to paint in preparation to sell your home, give us a call. We’re happy to advise you on what buyers look for in a home.

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Living Small

Living SmallNo matter what our background, we all have an ideal dream home size in mind. When it comes down to the actual living in it, however, can smaller be better? If your dream is for an urban dwelling with access to cultural events, public transportation, or a great walk score you might have to look smaller to be able to afford your location. Or, if you want a mountain cabin or beach cottage, you may have to rethink that overstuffed sofa, king-sized bed, and your gigantic collection of taxidermy.

Does size matter?

Depending on how many people are living in the home and the home’s design, too small a home could make everyone be underfoot and living there miserable. But recent innovations in organization and layout, clever, multipurpose furnishings and lots of personal ingenuity can make a smaller home, condominium, or cottage the perfect place for you and your family.

Mindfulness

When designing and furnishing your small space, be thoughtful about each piece you add to your home. If a piece of furniture has only one purpose, you might want to rethink it. For instance, can your table double as your desk? Alternatively, can a work cart become a counter with stools? Do you mostly eat in the living room? Then your coffee table could double as a dining space.

Out of the box

Some retailers specialize in small spaces and can give you great ideas on how to maximize space. If your ceilings are tall enough, consider a loft option for your bed. Not just for children or college students, the space below a queen-size loft bed can be a closet, an office, a TV room … let your imagination run wild. In a child’s room, below the loft can become a playroom, or alternate levels of beds can provide privacy for multiple kids.

Another option is to create storage above, below, and around the bed. Standing or wall-hung cabinets offer designer details while adding a repository for you shoe collection. Raise your bed up just a few inches and you can fit a full dresser under it. Take advice from apartment-dwellers and maximize all of your vertical space.

Consider your lifestyle

If you regularly cook and eat at home, design your kitchen to accommodate your eating style and use living space accordingly. But, if you regularly order take-out, or dine out more often than in, consolidate your kitchen area in to a gallery and use more space for entertaining. A compact kitchen can still have all the amenities of a large one—stainless steel appliances, built-in specialty storage spaces, high-end surfaces like granite, and designer backsplashes—just in a more condensed layout. Moreover, your kitchen doesn’t even need to be a separate room. A “great room” concept with kitchen, dining and living all in the same area works great in small spaces as well as large ones.

Know what’s important

The most crucial thing about choosing to live small is knowing why it is your best choice. If access (to work, shopping, transportation, culture, the beach, solitude) is most important to your quality of life, paying more to live small may be the best decision you make. If living small for a season so that you can later enjoy a larger space is your purpose, then working at it to make your small space work for you is an important decision.

No matter what your purpose, small or large, or anywhere in-between, we can help you find the space that work best for your situation. Give us a call today.

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Do I Want to Buy with Cash?

Do I Want to Buy with Cash?According to Market Watch, 43% of homebuyers in 2014 so far have purchased with all cash. While some analysts believe that the cash-buying frenzy will not last, there is always more room for negotiation when the buyer brings cash to the table. When it comes to buying a home in a hot real estate market, sometimes cash can net you a lower price than a mortgage. So, if you’ve just sold your home and are looking to buy a new one with cash or are otherwise planning your estate, here are some things to remember.

Reasons to buy with cash:

As an empty nester or retiree looking to downsize, you often have cash from the sale of your larger home to purchase a new home. This allows you to choose a smaller home, pay cash, and possibly have money left over. Or, you can buy into a better community for retiring. So while you may end up with a smaller home, the amenities more than make up the difference.

Sometimes, you want to gift a home to your children as a wedding gift, or as part of your estate planning. After all, homeownership is part of the American dream. However, gifting only a down payment may pressure your loved ones to purchase a home when they are not ready to be homeowners. A better option for them would be to purchase a home for them with all cash. The home is paid-for and their obligation would extend only to yearly taxes and insurance, but not the heavy burden of a mortgage. A paid-for starter house protects them from the ups and downs of the market as well, and gives them a basis for a mortgage when the time is right for them.

Investment property that is completely paid for can be a “cash cow” for your retirement. The ongoing income from a rental that does not have a mortgage can make your retirement a little more comfortable, and is less problematic in probate than properties with mortgages would be.

Reasons to have a mortgage:

If you have a financial instrument that might give you a higher rate of return than the mortgage will cost you, it might make more sense for you to invest your cash in the higher return and to take out a low cost mortgage on the property.

If you need to improve your credit report, it might be better for you to take a mortgage. This type of “good debt” can improve your credit score and make it easier to borrow money for other reasons.

Additionally, there are tax benefits from holding a mortgage that, depending on your financial situation, may be more beneficial than owning the home free and clear. Of course, before you make this decision you should check with your tax accountant or financial advisor.

Negotiating with cash:

When you find the perfect house and you’re ready to make an offer, don’t start with the “all cash” offer. If the sellers know that you are able to pay cash for their asking price, they will be less willing to negotiate with you. Let your professional real estate agent help you determine the best time to reveal your cards. We know the right time to offer cash to get the seller to agree to your offer.  Call us today and we can get started finding the perfect home for you and negotiating the best offer for your needs.

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Why More Americans Do Not Own Homes

Why More Americans Do Not Own HomesEven while home prices are on the rise—fueled by the low supply, low mortgage rates and investor buying—the number of Americans that own homes, as a percentage of the population, is decreasing. The reasons vary, since many current renters are former homeowners that lost their homes during the financial crisis and others simply do not have enough income to qualify. But some potential homeowners, with savings for down payments and the desire to own may be priced out of the market by as little as $1000.

A new report by the National Association of Home Builders points out that an increase of just one thousand dollars in the price of a new home can upset the delicate balance of income-to-debt ratios required to qualify for mortgages. According to their report, that $1000 increase in a home’s price knocked over 200,000 potential buyers out of the market in 2013, assuming a 10 percent down payment and a 30-year mortgage.

Subtle cost increases

The NAHB report suggests that local regulatory increases—fees, permits, zoning costs and higher taxes for new construction—price new homes out of reach for otherwise qualified potential homeowners. Since it is in the best interest for most localities to have more homeowners than renters, this inadvertent price increase imposed by local regulations may ultimately produce an undesirable effect.

Buying used

Since homes in established neighborhoods are less likely to have the higher regulatory fees and taxes that new construction has, a solution is to buy a resale home. Real estate professionals like us specialize in finding the right home for the right price for qualified buyers. Homes in older neighborhoods have other advantages as well. For instance, initial outlay for a new home does not often include the cost of landscaping. A resale home typically has at least some landscaping in place. When a new homeowner is on the very edge of what they can afford, extras like that raised flowerbed you have your heart set on, the stone pathway you envision or an in-ground sprinkler system and newly laid sod often have to wait.

We can help!

With income not keeping pace with the cost of new housing, you may find yourself priced out of the new-home market. We can help you find an affordable solution without sacrificing the amenities you want in your new-to-you home. Compared to new homes, pre-owned homes have the advantage of negotiation between buyer and seller on some or all of a home’s features or components. Remember that any upgrades the previous owner put into the home—ceiling fans, upgraded faucets, hardware and appliances—typically come with the home.

New homes often have warranty issues. The first owner ends up dealing with all of those issues so that by the time the second (or later) owner moves in, the potential for problems is less. A home inspection before your purchase should reveal any potential problems that then can be included in final negotiations at the time of close.

For information on the best home purchase for you, give us a call.

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Keeping the Old House when Buying the New

Keeping the Old House when Buying the NewThe current housing market, while picking up in most areas, has one basic problem: low supply. With many buyers choosing to keep their old home when they purchase a new home, fewer homes are on the market, driving up demand.

Becoming a landlord

Buyers that do not need the equity in their current property in order to purchase the home into which they are moving, are choosing to become landlords instead.

The financial crisis and ensuing recovery has increased the demand for rental housing. In fact, the cycle of buyers not selling their current home before buying a new one reduces the supply for homes to buy, thereby raising the prices and pricing entry-level buyers out of the market. Unable to buy the home they can afford, they then seek to rent a home that better meets their needs instead, resulting in rental price increases due to higher demand.

For those able to become landlords, it is somewhat of a perfect storm since the ability to demand a higher rent increases the income from your rental property, increasing your equity.

Advantages for landlords

Don’t forget the other advantages of being a landlord too. Since your former home is now a business for tax purposes, repairs, maintenance, utilities, taxes, insurance, some fees, and other costs may be tax deductible. Be sure to consult a qualified tax accountant to find out what your tax liabilities or deductions may be when making your former home a rental. Remember too that collected rents count as business income, so be sure to establish proper accounting records for your property.

Advantages for underwater homeowners

The option of turning a home that currently is worth less than then its mortgage into a rental property offers a way to build equity into the home and shift the balance back toward the break-even point, while potentially making a little income in addition. So, rather than chuck more money into the current home, making it into a rental solves the upside-down mortgage issue while freeing up cash for the down-payment and mortgage on a new home.

The emotional costs of being a landlord

Some property owners, especially if they lived in the property, find it difficult to make the shift from homeowner to landlord. They mourn painting over their faux finishes with generic rental neutrals, and seeing a nursery turned into an office. They worry about potential damage to their property, and the associated costly repairs, and they fret about the possibility of months without a renter and having to pay on two mortgages at once.

The best solution toward making this shift is to hire a professional property manager. A professional helps you establish the appropriate rental amounts to cover both the initial mortgage and other costs and repairs that may become necessary.

In addition, they offer a buffer between the owner and the renter that keeps the relationship entirely professional. Having a property management service handle your rental and renters can give you peace of mind while ensuring that your former home is in good hands.

As your real estate professional, we can connect you with a property management professional, so let us know what your plans are so we can help.

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What Homeownership Can Mean for You

What Homeownership Can Mean for YouWhen you’ve never owned your home, your relationship to it is less personal. Let’s face it, when something goes wrong in your rented apartment, you call the landlord or manager to fix it. You don’t worry about insurance against natural disasters, save up for that new roof or upgraded furnace, or myriad other requirements of homeownership. After all, you just live there.

Homeownership changes all of that. You are your landlord! You are the manager, and all those repairs and upgrades? They’re your responsibility now.

So, do you really want to own a home? Yes! And here’s why:

Equity

When you own your home, every payment that you make toward your mortgage principle (i.e. not an interest only payment) increases your equity (ownership stake) in your property. As a renter, your payment goes toward the property owner’s equity. You also gain equity when the fair market value of your home increases due to changes in the market, economic growth in your region, or shortages in housing due to increased demand. And, if you make useful improvements after you purchase your home, both your improvements and your principle payments may increase your equity.

Predictable payments

As property values and costs increase, rents go up. If you are not in a rent-controlled situation, you have no control over what your lease payment will be from year to year. When your current lease ends, you may find yourself priced out of your building or neighborhood. When you buy a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, particularly in an area that does not have association dues, your monthly and yearly outgo is steady and stable. Having predictable payments allows you to stick to your budget.

A place of your own

We teach our children to save up for that toy they want, and that teenager to work toward the cost of that first car because we know that the personal investment brings pride of ownership, increased responsibility, and appreciation for the cost and value of the object. When you buy your own home and have the responsibility of caring for it, you work toward keeping it in the best possible condition and presentation. When something is broken, you fix it. When it needs and upgrade, you save up for it. It becomes an extension of you and your dream for yourself and your family.

You also take more pride in how your home appears to your neighbors. You know that if yours is the only uncut lawn, your standing in your neighborhood diminishes. Neighbors that work together to increase the curb appeal of the entire neighborhood have not just pride of ownership, but also a sense of belonging. Common improvements to the neighborhood raise the value of everyone’s property.

Homeownership changes you. It grounds you to your community and connects you to your neighbors. If you’ve never owned a home, start by contacting us. We are professionals in real estate. We can get you started toward homeownership and its many benefits.

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How to Sell for Full Price

How to Sell for Full PriceOften, homeowners try to “test the market” with a higher than fair-market price when first listing their home. That can be a poor marketing strategy. When your agent tries to talk you out of it: Listen!

Setting “too high a price” will be too high a price for you to pay in the end.

Results from too high an initial price

Lowering your price after listing causes a chain-reaction in the marketplace that reduces the status of your listing. In the eyes of other agents that might bring buyers your way, a price reduction raises red flags. Here’s the short list:

  • You miss the critical first 14 days when buyers and agents are most interested in a new listing.
  • Other agents may dismiss you as an unreasonable seller that would be difficult to work with.
  • Your home can no longer compete with other new listings fresh on the market, particularly if they are more fairly priced for your market.
  • Buyers may think something is wrong with the home. They may press for more concessions, discounts or repairs, and upgrades.
  • Relisting your home at a new price is not really a new listing, so agents may simply dismiss it.

Price your home right the first time

We are professionals that know the market for your home. Let us help you price your home fairly from the start. When priced correctly, your marketing strategy works for you to sell your home as close to your asking price as possible.

Regardless of what you may believe about the value of your house, pricing it commiserate with five years in the past or five years into the future is to doom your home’s sale.

Current fair market value means: The price that an interested but not desperate homebuyer would be willing to pay and an interested but not desperate homeseller would accept on the open market for your area and based on comparisons to homes in location, size, upgrades and amenities.

What if prices are going down?

If prices in your area are trending down when you choose to enter the market, you may want to set your price “under” the fair market value so that you’re not forced to lower your initial price and trigger the results listed above.

What if prices are going up?

You cannot anticipate the market, so if prices in your area seem to be going up you can choose the top end of the “fair” range. Do not overprice your home, however, since market trends are volatile and can shift just enough to place your home out of range. Remember that lenders operate slightly behind the market, so if your home is too high too soon, a buyer may not be able to obtain funding to buy it.

Increase the value, not the price

As professionals, we work with you to set the right price for your house and get the most for your home sale. Some ways to raise the initial fair-market-value of your home are:

  1. Make sure your home is in the best condition possible: make repairs, simple upgrades (e.g., light fixtures, faucets), and clean, clean, clean.
  2. Neutralize deep paint colors and strong faux finishes. This doesn’t mean to paint everything white, but a modern neutral such as café au lait, warm gray or deep cream sets a canvass for homebuyers to visualize their own furnishing in.
  3. Depersonalize your home: buyers want to see themselves in the home, not the former owners. Remove family photos, trophies, school banners, children’s artwork and other giveaways that might hinder a buyer’s vision for his new home. Make sure none of your personal information is visible: hide bills, letters, cards and other items with your name.
  4. Clear clutter and simplify furnishings: As we live in our space, we tend to add, but rarely take away. An extra bookshelf or side table fits our needs, so we ignore that it crowds our space a little. When buyers enter a furnished home, crowded spaces can make the house appear too small. Clutter, even decorative clutter, can obscure a home’s assets such as architectural detail, higher ceilings and beautiful wood trim.

Setting the right price

We can help you set the right price the first time, so call us and we’ll get started today.

 

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