We Bust the 3 Biggest Myths About Selling Your Home in the Winter Part 3

canstockphoto37273624This is the third and final installment in our series about selling your home in winter.

Waiting until spring to sell your house is one of the biggest misconceptions in the world of real estate. We’ve already busted myths about selling during the winter and shared the top reasons why selling in the winter is easier than you think.

Now we’re going to focus on those home features that were custom-made to be shown off during the winter. Not everything looks better under the bright rays of the summertime sun. If you’re unsure how to make your property sparkle under winter skies, check out these features that show better in the winter than at any other time.

 

Energy Efficiency

This is one of the most important aspects of any home, and if you’ve invested in maximizing efficiency and cutting down energy costs, now is the time to brag about it. We’re not saying you should “accidentally” leave your latest heating bill lying around so potential buyers can see it, but depending on the numbers—why not?

If showing off your low power bills is too forward for your taste, make up a neat list that details all the energy efficient upgrades and changes you’ve made to the house. Include average heating and cooling bills, so buyers can take those discounted costs into consideration when weighing your home against others. If you’ve taken measures to reduce your home’s carbon footprint, include that information as an extra highlight.

 

Architectural Flourishes

Bannisters, columns, arches, and walkways are custom-made for winter decorations. Tasteful twinkling lights and evergreen garlands draw attention to these architectural features that may be overshadowed in summer by trim green lawns and flowerbeds. If you have special light fixtures or lampposts, add a colorful bow or sprig of holly to draw attention. These types of flourishes look good all winter long—not just during the holidays.

If it snows a lot in your neighborhood, play that up by creating a winter wonderland in your front yard, or on the porch. Create an image of cozy togetherness, where potential buyers can envision themselves enjoying a hot cup of cocoa or rolling up an impressive snowman to watch over the house.

 

Simple Upkeep

Home maintenance is something that potential buyers often have on their minds. If your home is easy to take care of during the winter, be sure to let buyers know it. Keep all driveways, walkways, and steps free of snow and ice—and keep snowblowers, shovels, and ice melt tucked out of sight.

If you present a neat and safe winter appearance, buyers won’t get distracted by how long the driveway is or the number of steps leading up to the front door. Make sure there are no leftover messes from fall cleanup. If snow is scarce, add a layer of mulch across all flowerbeds to make a tidy, well-kept impression on potential buyers.

 

Entertaining Spaces

Whether it’s a wide, open backyard perfect for a family picnic or an open floor plan that just screams holiday get-togethers, make it easy for buyers to see these entertainment perks. If you’re showing your home around the holidays, set up the space as you would for an intimate family dinner or a larger holiday mixer. Set out place settings or arrange furniture into conversational groupings and nooks.

To show off outdoor spaces that might be covered in a blanket of snow, display photos of summer festivities. Pick snapshots that feature outdoor dining, family barbecues, or other warm-weather festivities. If you have award-winning roses or an appealing summer garden, make sure those summertime bonuses aren’t left out.

 

Final Thoughts

Winter can seem like a tough time to show off your home’s greatest assets, but some things look better under a soft covering of snow or in the warm light of a fire. Identify what makes your house stand out when the days are shorter, and get ready to join the winter housing market. It’s the perfect time for your little gem to shine.

We Bust the 3 Biggest Myths About Selling Your Home in the Winter

This is part one in a three-part series about selling your home in winter.

canstockphoto5310529Sleigh rides, twinkling lights, and hot cocoa by the fire are all things that come to mind in the winter. Putting your house on the market? Not so much.

But waiting until spring to list your home is a big mistake.

It’s a common myth of sellers that they think no one buys a home during the winter,” says Real Estate Agent Ryan Ivie. “I’m constantly telling sellers that it’s actually a great time to sell because that’s when inventory is lower, meaning less competition.  I’ve seen plenty of homes, especially higher end, sell in the middle of winter.”

If you’re ready to move out and move on, don’t let winter stand in your way. This can be an ideal time to get your house on the market. If you’ve been on the fence about listing during the dark, snowy days of winter, let us put your mind at ease.

We’re busting the biggest myths about selling your home in the winter months—check out the home-selling truth below.

 

Myth #1: No one’s looking for a house in the winter.

It’s true that there may be fewer buyers during winter months, but the ones that don scarves, boots, and stocking caps to see your house are serious about finding their dream home. You’ll save yourself an endless parade of window shoppers and capture those who are ready to buy now.

Mythbuster Reality Check: There ARE fewer homes for sale in the winter (and that’s a good thing!).

There might be fewer people looking, but there’s also a limited number of homes for sale in the winter. That means you have less competition. And less competition means you have a better chance of selling your home at or near asking price—and doing it faster than you would if every home on the block had a For Sale sign in the front yard.

 

Myth #2: The holidays are the worst time to show your house.

Actually, your house might show better during the holidays. Lights, wreaths, and a fresh blanket of snow can help your house look more inviting. All those special touches help invoke nostalgia, plus it’s easier for people to envision their own future holiday gatherings when they see how warm and cozy your house already is.

Mythbuster Reality Check: Putting up a few lights is easier than weeding the flowerbed daily.

When your house is on the market it needs to look its best ALL THE TIME. During the summer that means regular weeding, mowing, and edging. In the spring you have to combat unpredictable weather and the unattractive reality of mud and dead plants that haven’t yet come back to life. But in the winter a few twinkling lights and a nice snowfall give your home an instant facelift that doesn’t require you to break a sweat.

 

Myth #3: Nobody wants to move in December.

December is a busy month full of shopping, parties, decorating, and creating magical memories. It’s easy to assume that no one has the time (or the desire) to try to fit househunting into that mix. However, there are a couple reasons that buyers may be extra-motivated this time of year. Some people are under an end-of-the-year deadline to buy a house for tax reasons. Others may be looking for a fresh start at the new year, or need to move for work.

Mythbuster Reality Check: People often NEED to move in January.

The first of the year is all about new beginnings, and employers are no exception. January is one of the biggest months for relocations, which means everyone who needs to move their family for a job is looking for a place to call home. So, while it may be true that folks want to pack up the moving van after the holidays, they need to find and buy a house before.

 

Get Ready to Sell Your Home This Winter

If you’ve been letting these myths stand in the way of hanging out that For Sale sign, it’s time to bust those misconceptions. If you’re serious about selling your home, why not get started now? You could start your new year off with a successful sale and a brand new dream home for you and your family.

 

This is the first in a three-part series about selling your home in the winter. Don’t miss this golden opportunity to capitalize on this overlooked selling season and stay tuned for our next two installments!

9 Reasons For Sale by Owner Can Backfire

simpolo-1478505_640Every year homeowners contemplate hiring an agent or listing their property for sale by owner (FSBO). However, FSBO might not be the best option for the majority of sellers. Here are a few considerations to mull over before you decide if you have the chops to take on a complex real estate transaction.

1. You probably don’t have the time

Think about it, do you really want to be answering calls and knocks at the door from complete strangers who may or may not actually be potential buyers? Safety and privacy are big considerations when deciding to sell without an agent.

2. After sale issues

Although employing an agent doesn’t protect you from liability or guarantee that there won’t be any after-sale consequences, they help by taking precautionary steps. An example of an after sale issue includes a leaky roof and the buyer now wanting you to pay for a new roof. However, if you disclosed the leaky roof before the sale your bases should be covered. The key to avoiding after sale issues lies with prevention.

3. You may not be saving money after all

One of the most common reasons for someone to try and sell their house on their own is to save money. Although a very valid reason, the average FSBO home sold for $210,00 in 2014 compared to $249,000 for a home sold by a real estate agent according to the National Association of Realtors.

4. You could get scammed

Or taken advantage of. Buyers often feel that they can get a better price or deal for themselves because owners lack the skills and knowledge to negotiate. By employing an agent, you will have an expert negotiator in your corner ensuring you get top dollar for your property.

5. It’s all about the details

Underestimating the complexity involved during the entire real estate purchasing process can be detrimental. The list of potential mistakes is huge unless you are aware of your state’s laws and regulations regarding real estate transactions. Knowing how to read closing documents, fill out purchase agreements and calculate the true value of the property are extremely beneficial skills in protecting you from future litigation.

6. Too many people to negotiate with

Let’s say you decide to list your home FSBO. You should be prepared to negotiate with the buyer, the buyer agent, the buyer’s lawyer in some cases, the home inspection companies and the appraiser all of which work for the buyer. They are looking out for the buyer’s best interests. Who will you have looking out for yours?

7. The internet gets results

And real estate agents have solid internet marketing strategies. According to recent studies, 92 percent of buyers search online for their next home while only 28 percent look at print materials including newspaper ads. Do you have the skills needed to get maximum exposure to potential buyers?

8. FSBO is getting more difficult

The percentage of people listing FSBO has dropped from 19 to nine percent over that last 20 years. One of the main reasons for this drop is that as industry disclosures and regulations increases so does the paperwork involved in selling and buying a home.

9. You will end up hiring a Realtor anyway

Generally, those who are unsuccessful with selling their homes FSBO seek out professional services including hiring a real estate agent. Employing an experienced agent with a history of success gives you peace of mind that your real estate transaction will be handled carefully, respectfully and professionally.

3 Tips for Selling A Home With Pets

Are you trying to sale your home with pets? As a pet owner, covering up lingering pet smells and getting fur out of the carpet can be a challenge. To help you prepare your home for sale, without sending potential buyers running, here are few tips to make the process easier: girl-1160441_640

  1. Check your fencing. Take some time to mend your fencing, deck, and porch which may have marks from any scratching or chewing. Most of these marks can easily be erased with a little elbow grease and sandpaper.
  1. Pick up your yard. To protect your home, and not turn home buyers away, take a moment to clean up after your pet to ensure no pet-related landmines enter your home.
  1. Hide any evidence of a pet. Because you want potential home buyers to envision themselves living in your home, you’ll want to hide any evidence of a pet. Remove their toys, water and food dishes, and anything else that distracts from the home. Also, when showing your home, if possible, have your pet temporarily off-site to limit the chances of them escaping through the front door or turning into a liability.

Have some things to add about selling a home with pets? Tell us about them below in the comments or on our Facebook page.

3 Things That May Deter Buyers From Making An Offer

Selling a home can be a challenge. However, with the right real estate agent, the whole process can go a little smoother. As you move forward with putting your home on the market, there are a few more things that may surprise you that deter potential home buyers. If you have some of these don’t get discouraged, there are other things you can do to showcase and highlight the stunning aspects of your home. empty-863118_640

So, what are some things that can turn buyers off? Here are 3 to be aware of:

  1. Swimming pool. If you live in a warmer climate, an in-ground pool could be a great addition to your home. However, if you live in a colder area, a pool can be a huge disadvantage and can detract from the home.
  1. Big or small backyard. You might love your huge backyard, but some buyers may be turned off with the extra maintenance a big yard brings. On the other side, a backyard that is extremely small is a turnoff because it limits privacy and entertaining guests.
  1. Tile flooring. Because this is one of the hardest types of flooring to remove, tile can turn some buyers away. Depending on the type of tile (i.e. white tile) can really date your home and dis-way potential buyers from making an offer.

Learn more about cool features that can deter buyers at Realtor.com.

Important Real Estate Terms You Should Know

savings-440782_1280Regardless if you decide to hire a real estate agent to help you buy/sell your home or not, there are some key terms to know when it comes to real estate. Out of those key points, here are 3 real estate terms to know as you move forward in your home buying/selling process.

Pre-approval Letter.  Even before you start your search, you should speak with your bank, credit union, or a mortgage lender to find out what kind of home loan you qualify for. This information can help you and your real estate agent (if you choose to hire one) understand how much of a home you can afford. Another important issue you need to talk with you loan officer or mortgage lender about is closing costs and other fees to make sure they will be covered in your loan.

Fixed rate vs. Adjustable mortgage rate. As it sounds, a fixed mortgage rate is unmovable whereas an adjustable mortgage rate is subject to change throughout the course of the loan. Talk with your bank, loan officer, or credit union to find out which option is the best fit for you.

Buyers agent vs. Real estate agent. Real estate agents, also known as sales agents, are licensed to advise people on real estate issues. Most states require a real estate agent to complete a real estate course and pass a state and federal exam.

If you are interested in becoming a licensed sales agent in Utah please check out Utah Department of Commerce: Division of Real Estate for the necessary requirements and for further education check out the available courses for new agents.

Broker’s, on the other hand, are required to have more education and pass the brokers exam. Brokers are more liable and legally responsible for any mistakes made by agents or salespeople who work for them. If you are interested in becoming a broker in Utah visit Broker Registration site on the Utah Department of Commerce: Division of Real Estate page.

Homeowner Trends for 2015

Are you considering a remodel? Do you want to make your home more trendy? Are you looking to buy a home that is more up to style? Just curious to know what is popular? Wherever you stand on the topic, there are a lot of fun thing going on in real estate.

The first thing, and not surprising, is a home with storage space. Homeowners are looking for specialized storage in their homes where they can store things in a more. Walk-in closets and large pantries are other popular aspects to have in your home for maximized storage.

Having open spaces in your home is another growing trend especially among the younger crowd. People like having more room to socialize and entertain in their homes. Not ready to start knocking down walls? There are many tips and tricks to open up any space.

Include a fireplace or fire-pit into your home or landscaping design for is great to add warmth, ambiance, and romance. If you are trying to decide between a wood burning or electric fireplace, here are some pros and cons to consider.

In the end, no matter what the recent trends are, pick a home that you love and fits your lifestyle. What are some aspects in your home that are important to you? What do you love? What do you hate? Having a clear idea on what you are looking for, can help make the home-buying process a little easier.

Ready to buy or sell? Give me a call today and let me help you find your next dream home.

What Season is the Best Time to Sell?

 27470db8-2e06-4d3a-a134-055ac1b281c1Living in Utah there is a lot of beauty to the every changing seasons. No matter  the time of year, Utah has a variety of family friendly and fun things to do. However, choosing which season is best to sale your home is another matter. Many would probably argue that spring is the ideal time, but a recent Redfin study might change your mind.

According to the study, 39% of the homes listed in the spring went under contract in the last 30 days and 15% sold for more than the list price. Whereas 38% of homes listed in the winter sold within 30 days and saw 14% of those homes sold for more that list price.

If you are ready to sell your home, give us a call and let us assist your find your next dream home.

 

Benefits of Working with an Agent

Spring is right around the corner and with the warmer weather, people more inclined to buy a new home.

What some people don’t realize is when working with an agent, most clients actually end up with more money in their pockets and have less stress during the whole home buying experience.

Hiring a Realtor is free for home-buyers since sellers are the ones who pay their commission. For some people, there is an appeal of going it alone but there are a lot of benefits of working with an agent. One of those perks, when you work with an agent you will have more exposure on your home which can lead to more offers and more money.

To help market your home, Realtors use a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which allows them to view homes right as they go on the market. With various fields, agents are able to narrow down on exactly what you are looking for to help you find your dream home before someone else does.

Home-buyers aren’t the only ones who benefit from working with an agent. Sellers also have an advantage to using a broker. In 2013, 18% of sellers reported the most difficult task was performing and understanding the paperwork; 14% said it was difficult to know if they were getting the right price for their home.

On average, a home sold for $230,000 with an agent compared to $184,000 when selling directly by owner.

Why not give us a call today and find out what we can do for you. We are committed to making sure you get everything you deserve.

Is Your Home in the Right Shape to Sell?

RE/MAX Fit to Sell Video – Painting Your Home.BuyingAndSelling2

Selling your home today requires thought and expertise. Your agent can help you make sure your home looks its best. One of the simplest things you can do to prepare your home for sell is paint.

When it comes to painting your home for sell, neutral colors are key. If your home is painted in bright or unusual colors it can deter potential buyers or negotiate on the price. Selecting the right color can help the potential buyers visualize themselves and an emotional connection with the home.

Here are some additional questions to consider when preparing to sell your home:

  • When was the last time you painted? If it’s been more than 5 years, giving your home a fresh coat of paint can show buyers the home has been well maintained,
  • Do you have wallpaper? If so, you may want to consider removing it.
  • What shape are your doors and trims in? 
  • What about your ceiling? A fresh coat of paint to these areas can brighten and make a home look new.

You want to create an environment that appeals to as many buyers as possible to quickly sell your home.

What are some of the first things you notice when touring a home?