Elena Langlois - CENTURY 21 Commonwealth



Posted by Elena Langlois on 4/19/2018

For home sellers, a seller's market is ideal. Ultimately, this type of housing market empowers home sellers to maximize the value of their residences, and for good reason.

Typically, a seller's market is defined by several key traits, including:

1. Shortage of Quality Houses

A seller's market often features a shortage of quality houses, which means many home sellers frequently are able to set higher initial asking prices for their residences that they would in a buyer's market.

Although a seller's market may enable home sellers to get more for their houses, a home seller still must find ways to generate interest from prospective homebuyers.

For example, a home seller who revamps his or her home's exterior will be able to boost the residence's curb appeal. As a result, this home may generate greater interest from homebuyers than other residences that are on the market, increasing the chance of a quick home sale.

2. Abundance of Homebuyers

A seller's market may feature an abundance of homebuyers who are ready to make their homeownership dreams come true. As such, a home seller may receive offers as soon as his or her residence becomes available. And in some instances, a home seller might even get multiple offers that exceed his or her initial asking price.

Oftentimes, a seller's market provides increased confidence to home sellers. Conversely, it is important to establish realistic home selling expectations, regardless of the market conditions.

For instance, a home seller who prices his or her residence too high from the get-go is unlikely to generate significant interest – even in a seller's market. Thus, this home may remain on the market for many days, weeks or months, and a home seller might need to lower the price eventually.

On the other hand, offering a competitive price, i.e. a price that corresponds to the prices of similar houses in a particular area, is ideal. If you provide a competitive price on your home from day one, you should have no trouble receiving plenty of interest in it, especially in a seller's market.

3. Consistent Supply of Dependable Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents are happy to help home sellers maximize the value of their residences in a seller's market. These real estate professionals may possess many years of industry experience, which means that they likely understand the ups and downs of the real estate sector. Therefore, real estate agents can offer practical tips to ensure that you can stir up substantial interest in your home, get the most for your house and accelerate the home selling journey.

Perhaps best of all, your real estate agent will be happy to respond to any concerns or questions as you add your home to the housing market. This real estate professional works for you and will do everything possible to ensure you get the best results.

Ready to add your home to the real estate market? Employ a real estate professional, and you can move one step closer to optimizing the value of your house.




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Posted by Elena Langlois on 4/5/2018

Today’s home buyers see hundreds if not thousands of real estate photos when they’re in the market. Odds are that they’ll eliminate a number of homes from their search before ever even setting foot in them.

As you can imagine, that makes your home listing’s photographs all the more important to securing solid leads on your house.

In spite of the importance of photographs, a number of sellers get them wrong. To ensure that your home listing’s photos make a great first impression, we’re going to take a look at some of the common mistakes to avoid in your listing photography.

1. Not taking enough photos

In the age of digital photography, you can never take too many pictures. Experiment with different lighting, setups, and angles, and don’t be afraid to take as many photos as necessary to get the shots you want.

2. Going overboard with the uploads

It might be tempting to upload all of the pictures you took of your home, but it could hurt your overall presentation. Sort carefully through your pictures and pick one or two photos that best showcase each room and another one to three photos of the home’s exterior and land.

Visitors to your listing will get bored and click away if you have a slideshow with hundreds of images. Make it easy for them to find exactly what they’re looking for by limiting the number of total photos of your home.

3. Avoid close-ups

Your home should be spotlessly clean and tidy when taking photos. However, that doesn’t mean you need to get up close to each object in your home to take photos. Try to take wide shots that make your home feel spacious and welcoming.

4. Look out for mirrors and reflections and other distractions

If there’s one way to ruin an otherwise serene photo of your home, it’s when you spot the photographer accidentally showing up in the shot. Plan your angles so that you don’t get any flashes, glare, or reflections in your photographs.

And, while we’re on the topic of distractions, it’s a good idea to take your pets out of the room before your start shooting. Remember, potential home buyers don’t love your dog or cat like you do.

5. Don’t settle with your first shots

The different (or lack) of lighting your home receives throughout the day can make or break your photos. Try taking photos of your home at midday, when there are the least amount of shadows. Then, shoot some photos at golden hour (just before the sun sets) to capture warm tones. Finally, right after dusk, turn the lights on in your home and take some shots from outside. These photos give the illusion of a warm, cozy place where the light is always on.





Posted by Elena Langlois on 3/29/2018

New technologies are constantly being produced that are designed to make our lives easier. Technology around the home is no different.

America recently underwent a boom in residential solar power, a trend that doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. And, big tech companies like Google and Amazon are trying to nudge their way into the smart home technology sector with devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Many of these tools and technologies are great for convenience around the house. Amazon Dash buttons let you reorder common household goods like paper towels and laundry detergent with the touch of a button in your pantry when you run low.

However, some forward-thinking homeowners are looking towards home improvements that can increase the resale value of their home by making it more desirable to potential buyers.

In today’s post, we’re talking about the latest tech that homeowners are buying to give their home an edge over the competitors in the real estate market.

Read on to find out which technologies can make a difference and which ones will soon be obsolete.

Smart home technology

Our phones have gradually become all-encompassing devices that help us organize our lives, and smart home tech companies hope to do the same thing with your home.

There is no shortage of competition for access to your home in the form of remotely controlled lighting, sprinklers, HVAC, and more.

And, while some state of the art systems might attract potential buyers, it’s important to remember that smart home tech is a fledgling industry.

That means that the tech is constantly evolving and might not be relevant or useful to potential buyers when it comes time to sell your home. (It would be like trying to sell an iPhone that is 4 generations too old for anyone to want it anymore.)

Home security

While home security technology is still rapidly changing, there is a benefit to having a system installed that can help woo potential buyers who are concerned about the safety of their family.

Aside from safety, this tech can also be just plain convenient and time-saving. Smart door locks can sync with your smartphone to unlock when you arrive at your home and lock when you leave, shaving a few seconds off of your daily routine.

Solar panels

One benefit of installing solar panels on your roof is that you can then show potential buyers physical evidence of the amount of money they can save each month on their utility bills.

However, it should be noted that there are some exciting new residential solar solutions coming to the market in the near future--one example being Tesla’s solar roof that looks almost exactly like a regular roof but generates electricity for your home.

So, when considering new technology for your home to boost its resale value on the market, remember that technologies are still changing. Keep your timeline for sale in mind, and try to avoid tech that will be obsolete before you plan on putting your home for sale.





Posted by Elena Langlois on 3/22/2018

After you receive an offer to buy your house, you likely will have only a short period of time to determine whether to accept this proposal. As such, pressure can add up quickly, which often can make it tough to make the best-possible decision.

Fortunately, we're here to help you analyze your options and determine how to proceed with a homebuying proposal.

Let's take a look at three steps that every home seller should take after receiving a homebuying offer.

1. Weigh the Pros and Cons

Make a pros and cons list to examine a homebuying proposal – you'll be glad you did. With this list, you can assess the advantages and disadvantages of accepting a homebuying offer and proceed accordingly.

If you accept an offer, you can move forward in the home selling process. On the other hand, if you don't feel that an offer matches your expectations, there may be no reason to accept this proposal.

2. Evaluate Your Home Selling Goals

Consider your home selling goals as you evaluate an offer to buy your house. By doing so, you can determine whether an offer falls in line with your goals.

For example, if your goal is to sell your house as quickly as possible, the amount of the offer may not matter. In this scenario, you may want to accept a homebuying proposal to accelerate the home selling process.

Comparatively, if your goal is to maximize your profits, you will need to determine if a current offer is the best proposal that you could receive. If the answer is "Yes," then you may want to proceed with a home sale. Or, if the answer is "No," you may want to reject or counter a buyer's proposal.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – evaluating a homebuying proposal can be difficult, particularly for a first-time home seller. If you consult with a real estate agent, however, you can get the help you need to make an informed decision about an offer.

A real estate agent can offer lots of housing market data to help you understand the current value of your house. Plus, this housing market professional can provide recommendations about whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuying proposal.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will serve as a guide throughout the home selling journey. He or she can keep you up to date about any offers on your house, perform deep analysis of all homebuying proposals and ensure you can determine the best course of action on any offer, at any time.

Let's not forget about the housing market expertise that a real estate agent possesses, either. A real estate agent understands there is no such thing as a "bad" question. Thus, a real estate agent will respond to any home selling queries that you may have.

Take the guesswork out of assessing a homebuying proposal – use the aforementioned steps, and you can determine whether to accept an offer on your house.




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Posted by Elena Langlois on 3/15/2018

If you’re thinking about moving into a new home to start a family, you’ll have a lot of factors to consider. There’s more to a neighborhood than just safety, as your future children and pets will agree.

In this article, we’ll talk about some signs that a neighborhood is a good place for a family. We’ll also offer some advice on weighing those factors to find a place that fits both your lifestyle and your budget.

1. Safety

One of the most important factors in your hunt will be safety. However, there’s more to the safety of a neighborhood than just crime statistics. If you have children or pets, safety includes living on a street that doesn’t have high-speed traffic and blind corners.

You’ll want to be able to take your dog for a walk, let your cat roam the neighborhood, and go for a bike ride with your children without having to worry about the dangers of road traffic.

Another factor in safety is how well-maintained the neighborhood is. Oftentimes, neighborhoods run by homeowners associations tend to see to things like potholes, litter, and other things that could put you and your family at risk.

To get an idea of whether or not a neighborhood is a good fit, it’s a good idea to tour the surrounding streets on foot.

2. Community

Many of us can remember a time when everyone on the street knew each other. However, as we’ve gotten more digitally connected and have vehicles to travel across town, many suburban and urban neighborhoods have lost some of their sense of neighborhood community.

For a young family, knowing and getting along with your neighbors can be a big advantage. Having other kids in the neighborhood that your children can play with will be good fun for your children and it will make your life easier when it comes to play dates and keeping track of your kids.

To get a sense of the local community, ask to be introduced to some neighbors or say “hello” as you walk down the street.

3. Proximity to important services

The obvious amenities you want in the area are good schools, grocery stores, and parks to bring your kids to. However, there are some lesser known services you’ll want to keep in mind. Access to reliable, affordable high-speed internet will be valuable to both you and your children, especially since much of their homework will likely be online.

4. Scout the traffic

If you’re going to be getting your child on the bus every day and then driving to work, it’s a good idea to know what to expect in the mornings and when you come home. Visit the neighborhood during rush hour and take a test drive to your work to see if there are any unexpected delays.

5. Public services

There’s more to a good town than the lack of potholes. Check out the local library, post offices, police, and fire departments as well. Ask someone you know who lives in the town or join the town’s Facebook group to gauge whether the public services are on par with what you and your future family would want.




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