Home prices are up – are you fully covered?

Area home values are on the rise and that’s a good thing for you the homeowner. However make sure that your homeowner’s insurance keeps up with your homes value.

For instance when you bought your home you paid 200k. It’s now worth 400K but you never increased the insurance coverage. So now if there’s an event that affects your home, you’ll only be covered for 200K not 400K.

We recommend that you get a check up on your homeowner’s insurance at least twice a year.

Got a question? Ask away. We’re here to help!

Success Tips for Getting Your Home Sold!

Presentation is everything & can make you $$$

First Impressions

Most buyers form their first impression of your home before they even get out of their cars. This is “curb appeal,” or the view from the curb that tells the buyer how attractive and well-maintained your home is compared to other homes. In a competitive market, it takes more than trimming the hedges and planting a few flowers to create curb appeal.

The exterior of your home must be in pristine condition – freshly painted, cleared of clutter, with no visible repairs needed. A broken step, overgrown bush, or abandoned toys in the yard can spoil the appearance and your buyer’s first impression.

Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is important because it sets the tone for what the buyer is going to see inside. If the buyer likes the exterior, he or she will be predisposed to also like the interior and you’re that much closer to selling your home. To see what needs to be done to sell your home faster and for a higher price, go outside, stand on the curb and try to look at your home the way the buyer will.

Walkways/driveways – Make sure walkways are clear of snow, weeds, or debris. Repair or replace cracked steps or pavers. Driveways should also be clear of vehicles, toys and debris. Park cars in the garage.

Landscaping – Keep your lawn mowed, edged and
watered. Prune dead branches and plants. Weed flower beds and replace leggy, thin landscaping with fresh plants and flowers.

Exterior – Replace loose or damaged roof shingles, clean the gutters, and paint and caulk window trim and doors. Repaint the front door an eye-catching color that complements the rest of the exterior. Replace broken windows.

Entry – Power wash siding, brick, windows, and porches. Paint or replace furniture such as rocking chairs or porch swings. Replace mailboxes, light fixtures, door knobs or any other fixture that looks less than fresh. Put out a welcoming new floormat.

Some parts of your home may require more work than others, but it’s well worth it to get buyers eager to see what’s inside.

2.  On the Inside

Declutter & clean

Kitchen – Take 1/2 of the stuff off the kitchen counter and box it. 

Take 1/2 of the stuff in the cabinets, box it and store it in the garage. 

Bedrooms Take 1/2 of the stuff out of the closets

Place Fabreeze air freshener in wall socket


Bathrooms Place toothpaste, make-up, cleaning products out of sight

Place Fabreeze air freshener in wall socket

Turn on lights – Lots of light everywhere – bulbs in every fixture.  Make it bright.

Help buyers see themselves in the home.  Depersonalize by boxing personal pictures and excess artwork.  Store these strategically in the garage.

Pets – Arrange for pets to stay with friends or relatives during showings and open house events.

What you don’t know about disclosures

Most states have laws that require home sellers to disclose what they know about the operating and environmental condition of their homes as well as any situation or encumbrance that may affect the home’s value.

Disclosure Statement

If a shower pan leaked on the floors, and was repaired, that must be disclosed to the buyer, even if there are no outward signs that there was ever a problem. A disclosure form is called a Real Estate Disclosure Statement, Property Condition Disclosure, or Condition Report. They are required by the federal government to disclose the presence of lead paint, and many states require seller disclosures with regard to radon, gas believed to cause cancer.

“As Is”
Some states allow sellers to disclaim disclosures to make an “as is” sale, which means the seller has no intention of guaranteeing the property, but they must do so in writing. Even then they must disclose any material defects they know of. Such forms say something to the effect of “the owner of the real property makes no representations or warranties as
to the condition of the property and the purchaser will be receiving the property as is with all defects which may exist”. Even then, the seller must fill out a federal and/or state-mandated disclosure form.

While the forms may ask sellers to disclose whether or not they know there is lead paint or radon present, sellers aren’t usually required to do tests to determine the presence of toxic chemicals. But if the seller notes the existence of a problem, he or she may need to provide proof of tests and/or remediation for any problem that has been disclosed, including fire and water damage.

Sellers
If you are a seller, your real estate professional will provide you with the disclosure documents you’ll need to sell your home. It’s important to answer every question as truthfully as you can. Your real estate professional can not fill out the disclosure for you. If you’re in doubt about what to disclose, such as a repair, it’s best to err on the side of too much information than not enough. You don’t want to give the buyer any room for complaint after the closing. Sellers aren’t expected to know everything about theirhomes. Disclosure forms allow you to check the “I don’t know” box, but you should only do so if you truly don’t know the condition of a certain appliance or system. When you disclose a problem to the buyer that
has been fixed, be sure to provide a copy of receipts and invoices. The repairs should
correspond with the problem. Many agents provide a copy of the disclosure to interested buyers, so they can get an idea of the home’s condition before making an offer or having an inspection.

Buyers
If you are a buyer, read the seller’s disclosure carefully and use common sense when you see that something has been flagged. Leaks often produce mold, so ask the seller if the area with the leak has been tested for mold. If a seller-disclosed problem hasn’t been fixed, you can either ask the seller to fix it, or offer a little less for the home. Keep in mind that sellers aren’t expected to disclose what should be obvious or discernible to you as the buyer. Use the disclosure as a guide for what to look at throughout the home. If one shower pan has been replaced, chances are the shower pan in the second bath will need to be replaced soon.

The best way to feel confident about the condition of your home is not to rely on the seller’s disclosure. Have the home inspected by a licensed professional home inspector. For a few hundred dollars and a few hours of your time, you can follow along and learn as much as possible about the condition of your purchase.

Find out what a home is worth fast & FREE – no cost, no obligation right here.

Think Like A Buyer

You’ve looked at your agent’s comparable market analysis, calculated how much you need out of selling your home, and have come up with an asking price, but before you sign on the dotted line think of how buyers will react. Based on how buyers typically choose homes, will they feel your home is really worth the asking price?

How Buyers Shop
Take the time to make your home more attractive. Buyers look at affordability first and foremost. Most are already preapproved by a lender and know exactly how much they have to spend. Whether it’s with their agents or online, buyers shop in price\ ranges – typically in $25,000 increments. With that in mind, it’s far better to price your home at $399,995 or
$424,900 than at $405,000. Your job is to make sure the buyer who is qualified to buy your home, will actually see it.

Next to pricing, buyers look at all available inventory and compare your home to others currently on the market. When home inventory is high, buyers have more room to negotiate terms. When fewer homes are available for sale, buyers are more likely to meet your terms. Buyer’s choices are then narrowed onto a short list, based on what they perceive to be the
best value – the best homes in the best condition, and in the best neighborhoods they can afford.

Determining Your Asking Price
It’s important when using comparables to determine your asking price that the homes are close in proximity, similar in size, and appearance to your home. You must also strongly consider current market conditions. As markets rise and fall, buyers can only negotiate based on current market values. This means, a buyer who wants a home in a particular neighborhood may choose one that’s in less than perfect condition if the price is right. Other buyers may opt to compromise location in order to get a larger home, or one in better condition. No matter the situation, buyers always choose the home that offers the best price, condition, and location for the money.

Just as you want the most money possible for your home, your buyer wants to pay the least amount of money. The buyer isn’t interested in how much you paid for the home, what you paid for upgrades, or how much money you need to make from the sale. They are only interested in whether or not they want those features and whether or not the home is worth the price you’re asking. Look at your home as critically as you can. Take the time to fix broken items and make your home more attractive with fresh paint, new carpet, and updated fixtures. You can’t change your home’s location, but you can change it’s condition and make your home more competitive for the price.

Vetting Buyers & Offers

Negotiation is a fine art and typically works best when both parties get what they want. For example, you may be willing to take less money for your home in exchange for an all-cash offer or a quicker closing. Your buyer may be willing to pay your asking price, but they may ask you to pay their closing costs. Buyers respond to price, location, and condition.

Buyers
Before considering your buyer’s offer, make sure they’re a serious buyer. Ask your agent to provide proof that the buyer has been prequalified by a lender or has
other means to purchase your home such as a preapproval letter or letter of credit.
Once an offer is officially made, ask yourself, “is this reasonable”? If you’re uncertain, ask your agent to explain the offer. If the offer isn’t what you expected, your agent can explain why. For example, a nearby home may have recently sold for less than your asking price and your buyers feel you should sell for the same. Be prepared to defend your price by showcasing your home’s condition, updates, size, and other advantages.

Offers
A serious buyer will offer close to what you’re asking, but may have a few demands and contingencies. A buyer may ask you to reconsider an exclusion, such as a fine chandelier or custom piece of furniture, because of it’s decorative importance to the room. Based on the offer received, you will know if that’s a reasonable request.
Sometimes buyers find your home before they are ready to move. For example, a family may be
transferring from another state and need to find a home quickly. Common requests in scenarios like this are asking you to delay closing or rent back the home and charge you rent until they can move in. You can confirm this with their relocation company and decide if this is reasonable for you to allow. Special requests should be accompanied by a respectfully high offer price. Are the price and terms the buyer is offering reasonable, given your home’s position in the marketplace?

Negotiating
Buyers will only pay what they believe your home is worth. They respond exclusively to price, location, and condition. What you paid for the home or the equity you need out of it, aren’t relevant to the buyer. It’s simple, homes in top condition sell for the most money. If you’re not receiving the offers you’d like, then condition is likely affecting the price. Ask your agent which repairs and updates would increase your property value the most. After making those changes, then reconsider your price. You can also counter with a carpet allowance, offer to pay HOA fees, or offer some other concession that will please the buyer.

Your agent can’t tell you what to ask for your home or what you should accept, but he can tell you what you can do to improve your negotiating position. Keep in mind that your purchase offer is only binding when you agree to the buyer’s terms or the buyer agrees to your counteroffer. Every change you or the buyer makes means the other party can walk away from the deal entirely. Don’t lose your buyer over a minor sticking point. Keep your eye on the goal – selling your home.

Emotional Triggers For Home Buyers

Your five senses can take you back in time to a wonderful memory. Sights, sounds, and scents can remind you of long walks on the beach with your sweetheart, holidays with your family, or the best weekend you ever spent camping as a kid.

Are you ready to move into your new home? Buyers have memories they love, too. When they
buy a home, they are looking forward to creating new
memories. When you’re ready to show your home to a prospective buyer, try these few ideas to help stimulate your buyer’s senses:

Sights. Welcome your buyer with a freshly swept sidewalk, flowers in the garden and freshly trimmed bushes and trees. Keep your entry spotless and inviting; either by a new welcome mat, new fixtures on the door or shiny new hardware on the porch lights. Once your buyer is inside, let them see the bones of the home by keeping clutter, furniture and
accessories to a minimum.

Sounds. Turn the television off and put on soft,relaxing, or romantic music. Oil creaky doors so they don’t ruin the mood. In doing so, you are saying to your buyer “Slow down, Take your time. Look.”

Smells. Cooking aromas are intoxicating. Fresh-baked cookies may be trite, but they work. You can also put a slow cooker on the day your home is being shown, such as a stew with onions.

Fresh flowers canbe lovely especially if you add in eucalyptus stems or thin pine branches. Ensure that the cat box and dog bed are clean. Nothing smells better than clean, so put away the air freshener and scented candles. Make sure any added fragrances are pleasant and organic.

Touch. Make certain your house is so clean, that it invites buyers to touch. Put a sumptuous throw on the sofa. Pristine counter tops, sinks and other surfaces invite people to put their hands down. What we touch, we tend to want – if the touch is pleasant.

Taste. Whether it’s hot or cold outside, refreshments will make your buyer feel welcome. Put out a tray, small ice bucket, and glasses with a little pitcher of ice water, juice or whatever is appropriate for the season and the weather. A plate of cookies or covered crackers with a block of cheese and cheese slicer will help buyers keep up their energy. Best of all, it will help them linger in the kitchen – the most important room in the house to most buyers.

These suggestions will help put your buyer at ease and make them feel at home. More importantly, these steps will put your buyer in the mood to buy.

Find out what your home is worth fast & FREE – no cost, no obligation right here.

CMA’s vs. appraisals

Market Value

Your home’s market value is equally important to buyers, sellers, lenders and real estate professionals.Establishing a home’s market value is equally important to buyers, sellers, lenders and real estate professionals so that transactions can proceed quickly and efficiently. A real estate professional may prepare a comparative or comprehensive market
analysis (CMA) for their sellers to help them choose a listing price. The CMA includes recently sold homes and homes for sale in the seller’s neighborhood that are most similar to the seller’s home in appearance, features, and general price range.

Home Value
Although the CMA is used to help determine current market value, it does not establish the seller’s home value. In fact, the seller’s home is typically not even featured in the CMA. The CMA is merely a guide to help the seller learn what’s happening in their local market, so they can better understand where their home fits in term of price ranges, based on location,
features and condition. Once the home is listed on the open market, a buyer makes an offer, usually based in part on a CMA the buyer’s agent has prepared. CMAs can help buyers better understand the local market as well as sellers. If the buyer is receiving financing through a bank, the bank will order an appraisal. Unlike the CMA, a bank appraisal is a professional determination of a home’s value. It’s performed by a licensed appraiser, using guidelines established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates federal housing loan guarantors such as FHA, VA and housing loan purchasers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Appraisal
An appraisal is a comprehensive look at a home’s location, condition, and eligibility for federal guarantees. For example, a home that doesn’t meet safety requirements such as handrails on steps will not be eligible for FHA or VA loans until the handrail is installed or repaired. Appraisers use the same data in their market research to find comparable homes as REALTORS® do. They are also members of the MLS, but they also have additional guidelines from the bank to follow that minimize risk to the bank. They may take off value for slow-moving markets, or markets with high rates of foreclosures. If prices are falling, the appraiser takes the number of days a home has been on the market far more conservatively.
When the appraisal is finished, the bank makes the decision to fund the loan, or it may require the seller to fix certain items and show proof that the repairs have been made before letting the loan proceed. If the loan doesn’t meet lending guidelines, the bank will decline the loan. Despite stricter lending and appraisal standards, most buyers’ loan applications go through to closing – nearly 85 percent. One reason for that is that real estate agents are preparing CMAs that are better tuned to lending standards, for sellers and buyers to better understand not only what the market is doing, but how much lenders are
willing to finance.

Find out what your home is worth fast & FREE – no cost, no obligation right here.

Negotiating with buyers

Sellers today have to do more to attract buyers and offers than ever before. When offers come in,sometimes they are low or have conditions that have to be negotiated. As a seller, you can be proactive before the offers come in to make sure negotiations are kept to a minimum and in your favor.

Negotiate by planning ahead

Before you begin negotiations with any buyer, make sure you have the upper hand by removing any sticking points in advance. Price your home to sell at or below current market
comparables and you’ll more likely receive serious offers close to your asking price. Put your home in spotless move-in condition, with no visible repairs
needed. De-clutter your home, deep clean it, paint it and repair it, and keep it “show-ready” every day it’s on the market. Get your home inspected so you know where issues are and can correct them before they become negotiating points that cost you money. Buyers respond well to fair pricing and a “model home” appearance. Your buyer has less to negotiate,
and will more likely make an offer closer to asking price.

When the offer comes in Buyers sometimes test sellers with low offers, but don’t get upset or discouraged. If the offer is too low, simply have your agent return the offer with a copy of recent comparables to show that your home is priced fairly at current market value. They will get the message, and either come back with a reasonable offer, or move on to another home. If the offer is low, but close to what you want, study the terms carefully, adding up possible expenses such as paying the buyer’s closing costs. Ask for the buyer’s reasoning behind the offer to give you insight into the buyer’s mindset. Could the buyer be trying to buy more house than he or she can afford? Could a change of financing help get closer to your price? Can you afford to help with the buyer’s closing costs if he or she will raise the offer price?

Before you agree, make sure the buyer is preapproved with a lender and working with a real estate professional. Serious buyers have access to the same comparables as you do, so a buyer working with areal estate professional is more likely to be preapproved by a lender and informed of current market conditions. A full price offer doesn’t mean negotiations are over. It could signal that the buyer intends to negotiate a lot of repairs or refurbishing costs during the inspection period. Stay calm and reasonable.

If you’ve done your homework – priced and prepared your home for the highest, best offer, your home will sell at a fair price.

Find out what your home is worth fast & FREE – no cost, no obligation right here.

Selling in a tough market

When home prices fall, supplies of homes for sale increase, and buyers become more demanding, it’s a buyer’s market. That doesn’t mean you can’t sell your home for a fair price. You just have to work harder to make it happen.

A real estate professional can give you an accurate overview of the market.A buyer’s market is not the time to represent yourself. It may be tempting to recoup some equityby not paying a real estate agent, but you’ll losemore than you’ll gain. A real estate professional can
give you an accurate overview of the market, helpyou with strategies, and bring offers from qualified buyers.

In a buyer’s market, only location and condition can move buyers to pay more for any home. You can’t do anything about location, but you can take condition
out of the equation. There’s a huge difference between a home that “doesn’t need a thing” and a home 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 price range.

You can expect lowball offers in a buyer’s market, but homes that are priced fairly and in pristine condition will be treated with more respect by buyers.Pricing according to recent sold comparables might not be as smart as pricing to pending sales – those yet to close. You have to know what your bottom line is, but pricing your home should have nothing to do with how much you owe creditors, how much cash you need to buy your next home or how much you need for your retirement or any other reason. Buyers will only pay current or pending market value as determined by the most recent comparables.

Negotiation is a fine art, and typically works best when both parties get what they want. For example, you may be willing to take less money in exchange for a cash offer or a quicker closing. Your buyer may be willing to pay your asking price, but they may ask you to pay their closing costs. You’ll quickly realize if you’re dealing with a sincere buyer. Respond to the buyer’s negotiations with documentation, receipts and other information in a timely manner. If you feel the buyer isn’t negotiating in good faith, simply stop negotiations. You’re under no obligation to respond to an unreasonable offer. The buyer will get the message. Buyer’s markets work for sellers, too. Keep in mind that when you buy your next home, you’ll
be able to take advantage of falling prices, too. Think about the future – that you can repurchase more home for less money next time. It all evens out.

Find out what your home is worth fast & FREE – no cost, no obligation right here.
Francine Gregory | F. Gregory Estates | Office: 916-800-3726

2572 21st Street Sacramento CA 95818
SOLD@fgregoryestates.com
916.800.3726

Drop us a line

Yay! Message sent. Error! Please validate your fields.
Clear
© 2017 F. Gregory Estates CA BRE#01450581 Created by Smallsitez.net All rights reserved.