Friday, June 26, 2015

Sellers Were Asking: The OFFER!

"What do I do when I get an offer?"  That's a common question from my sellers.  An important thing to remember is money is not the only consideration.  You may prefer a lower offer with a more suitable closing date.  Negotiation is an art where you may give and take over price, terms, and conditions.  Here are some tips to help you throughout the process.
Aim for a sale.  Your aim is to get as much as you can for your home.  The buyer's aim is to find your lowest acceptable price.
Evaluate the Buyer.  Buyers who have been pre-qualified have been told by a lender how large a mortgage they're likely to qualify for.  Buyers who are pre-approved already have a tentative loan commitment in place.
Keep a level head.  Keep communications on an agreeable level.  At all stages of negotiation, be as flexible as possible.  Try to remain unemotional.
Ask questions.  When offers come in they may contain terminology you don't understand.  Ask questions, don't accept an offer you don't understand.  Avoid discussing contracts when you are too busy to pay them proper attention.  This means, have someone take care of your children while you are in the decision making process.
Consider all offers.  You have three basic choices.  Accept, reject or counter.  Outright rejection is seldom wise.  Again avoid getting emotional, it won't help and can even hurt.
Respond quickly.  When buyers make an offer, they are in the mood to buy.  Moods change, don't play games by making people wait.
Rely on your Realtor.  We can de-personalize easily, thereby keeping negotiations flowing toward an eventual agreement.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Sellers Were Asking: Maximizing Your Home's Equity

If I were to tell you of an investment you could make to ensure your home achieved its maximum potential on the market, in any market, would you listen?  Once introduced to the open market, a home becomes an asset, a saleable commodity of great potential.  How much potential, is in your hands.  

Many sellers believe it is a Realtor's job to 'paintthat picture of potential.  Let me ask you this.  When you go in search of a 'new' used car, what catches your eye?  I'll bet you look for 'low mileage, clean and affordable'.  You know the black book?  There's an unwritten black book for houses too. 

It is not the Realtor's job to clean and de-clutter your home to prepare it for sale.  It is yours.  And, the old, "but, they can see past my stuff" just does not cut it when potential home buyers are stacking home against home.  Pretty homes sell.  63% of buyers prefer to pay more for a house that is in turn key, move in condition.  So, here you have it.  37% of the buyers will look past your 'stuff'.  

Sellers give all sorts of reasons why they don't want their homes staged.  "It's too expensive!"  "It's too much work!"  And my all-time favourite, "My house will sell itself".  The cost of home staging is actually less than your first price reduction. Stagers work with the flow of a home, help to eliminate clutter, edit and arrange furniture. They can direct a potential buyer's attention to the positive features of your home as well as downplay the impact of any negative features.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Buyers Were Asking: Custom Home Building

Having represented numerous home builders over the years, I have seen some really smooth builds and some fairly tough ones.  If ever there is a need for clear, concise communication and preparation this is the time.  In the initial stages, you are meeting with an architect to choose and draft your plan.  Some solid advice?  Ask the architect what the fee will be to follow the house through from conception to completion.  Here's why.  Many homeowners cannot visualize a house simply by looking at plans.  Problems develop on the job site when the owners finally realize what the house is going to look like.  During the building process, your architect can assist with change orders and act as the mediator in minor and moderate disputes between you and your builder.  Periodic field inspections at critical times allow the architect to verify that the project is progressing as planned.  Your contract with the architect should note that the builder must make all corrections at his sole expense as pointed out by the architect.  If you want your job to go smoothly, you must have superb plans and detailed specifications.  It also pays for you plan well in advance by selecting all items that will be used in your home.  Do not try to pick things as you build.  Long lead times are required on some items, such as cabinetry, lighting fixtures, imported tile and unusual appliances.  If you delay, you may be limited to garden-variety choices that guarantee quick delivery, or, you risk delaying your move-in date.  Early selection eliminates surprises and allows you to get bids from contractors that are highly accurate.  The extra money you pay an architect to go along for the ride can be viewed as an insurance policy.   Call us if you need help finding the right key people for your build.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Sellers Were Asking: A Memorable Home

When potential buyers view your home, you want them to leave excited and thinking "I could definitely live here!" Sellers need to make their houses memorable and one of the best ways to do this is to keep it as clean and neat as is humanly possible. Scrub the house from top to bottom and hire a cleaning service to help if you don't have the time to do it yourself. A freshly painted and washed exterior can do wonders if it was previously looking old and tired. Powerwash vinyl siding and mow the lawn. Clear up spider webs, clean windows until they sparkle and make sure all toys and tools are put away. You don't want potential buyers to trip. Make a statement right away with a welcoming entranceway. Each room can adopt its own personality without becoming too dramatic. Make sure the hardwood gleams and add a coat of paint where necessary as it does wonders for little work and expense. The kitchen is especially important. Clear away all clutter, fix leaky faucets and change hardware for an inexpensive facelift. Of course, there's always the old standby - flowers. A tasteful floral arrangement will brighten any room. Give us a call if we can help you!