Elena Langlois - CENTURY 21 Commonwealth



Posted by Elena Langlois on 5/17/2018

There's one thing all successful real estate agents, advertising executives, and marketing professionals know about human behavior: Many people make buying decisions for emotional reasons, and then justify those decisions with facts. In other words, they might say they bought a particular house because of all the updates and stainless steel appliances, but the real reason was that they could imagine themselves living there, being happy, entertaining friends and family, raising their children, and even growing old together there.

For some home buyers, the deciding factor is that it reminds them of fond childhood memories or perhaps the house they grew up in. Whenever a home for sale stirs up good feelings, happy  memories, or positive thoughts in the mind of prospective buyers, it increases the chances they'll make an offer on the house.

Home Staging Tips

If your house is now on the market or you're considering putting it up for sale, there are a lot of steps you can take to make it more attractive to buyers. Obvious improvements like doing a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning of the house can make a big difference, but there are literally dozens of other things you can do to attract more offers and get the highest possible price for your property. Sometimes it's something as simple as a creating a pleasing scent, like cinnamon, lavender, hot coffee, of freshly baked bread, cookies, or muffins, that can create a comforting and enticing ambiance for potential buyers.

Although your real estate agent should already be well versed in the nuances of home staging, it would be to your benefit to do some research on it and participate in the process. Some home owners hire a professional home staging consultant to make sure no details are overlooked.

Avoiding Home Staging Pitfalls

Attractively decorating your home can be one aspect of making a good impression on potential buyers, but it's necessary to cast the widest possible net, so to speak, when making decorating choices. In other words, you would want the appearance, style, and color choices in your home to appeal to a wide variety of different tastes, rather than just a select few. That's why it's beneficial to get an objective opinion from an experienced real estate agent, a professional decorator, or a home staging consultant. Since you've been living in your home for umpteen years, you're probably going to be "too close to the trees to see the forest."

Some things that homeowners often tend to overlook just before prospective buyers arrive to tour their house include the following:

  • Furniture that's arranged in a haphazard, disjointed, or cluttered way
  • 'Welcome' mats that are dirty, faded, and anything but welcoming
  • Overflowing or grungy-looking trash baskets
  • Overgrown shrubbery
  • Smudged or cobweb-laden windows
  • Kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas of the house that are disorganized and visibly unclean
Keeping your home in immaculate condition at all times is definitely one of the more challenging aspects of putting it up for sale. However, when you consider the cost of keeping a house on the market for longer than necessary and eventually having to lower the price, the extra effort is well worth it!


 





Posted by Elena Langlois on 5/10/2018

Listing a house may seem like a long, arduous process, especially for a first-time home seller. But with the right real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert support at each stage of the home selling journey.

What does it take to hire a diligent real estate agent to ensure you can sell your house? Here are three tips to help first-time home sellers employ the ideal real estate agent.

1. Conduct a Comprehensive Search

Search far and wide for a real estate agent – you'll be glad you did. With an extensive search, you can learn about the pros and cons of working with various real estate agents in your area and plan accordingly.

Don't hesitate to reach out to friends and family members for real estate agent recommendations. If friends and family members enjoyed outstanding experiences with certain real estate agents, it may be a great idea to contact the housing professionals who have helped your loved ones achieve their home selling goals.

Also, look for real estate agents who boast many years of industry experience. These housing market professionals are likely to understand the ins and outs of selling a residence. As such, they may be better equipped than other real estate agents to help you optimize the value of your house.

2. Ask Plenty of Questions

If you find a real estate agent who seems like a viable candidate to help you sell your residence, it is important to set up a face-to-face meeting. That way, you can ask questions and determine whether this individual is the right person to assist you.

During a face-to-face meeting, find out what a real estate agent has to say about your residence. Typically, a diligent real estate agent will conduct extensive research before meeting with you and should be able to offer honest, unbiased home selling recommendations.

Furthermore, there is no such thing as a "bad" question, especially for those who are selling a house for the first time. And if you have questions for a real estate agent, a face-to-face meeting provides an excellent opportunity to get your queries addressed by a housing market expert.

3. Get Client Referrals

Ask real estate agents for client referrals. Then, reach out to past clients so you can better understand how a particular real estate agent has supported home sellers over the years.

If a client offers glowing recommendations of a real estate agent, this housing market professional may prove to be the best choice. On the other hand, a client who encountered problems with a particular real estate agent may help you avoid making the wrong decision as well.

Ultimately, the right real estate agent is someone who can help you sell your house and keep you informed as the home selling journey moves forward. And if you spend some time learning about the real estate agents in your city or town, you should have no trouble employing a top-notch real estate agent who can take the guesswork out of selling your residence.




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Posted by Elena Langlois on 5/3/2018

If you want to maximize your home sale profits, it generally is a good idea to conduct a property appraisal before you list your residence. That way, you can receive a property valuation from an expert home appraiser. And with this property valuation in hand, you can set a competitive initial asking price for your residence.

A home appraisal may prove to be a stressful experience, particularly for a seller who is unsure about the value of his or her house. Lucky for you, we're here to provide insights into the home appraisal process and ensure that you can prepare for this evaluation.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you approach a house appraisal with confidence.

1. Understand How a Home Appraisal Works

Although you've allocated significant time and resources to upgrade your house, it is important to remember that the condition of your residence is one of several factors that a home appraiser considers. In fact, an appraiser will evaluate the current state of the housing market, the prices of comparable houses in your area and other factors to provide an accurate property valuation.

Oftentimes, it helps to work with a real estate agent if you plan to sell your home. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive immediate responses to any of your home appraisal concerns and questions.

2. Establish Realistic Expectations for Your Home

Let's face it – what you initially paid for your house is unlikely to match your residence's current value. If you set realistic expectations for your residence prior to an appraisal, you may be better equipped than ever before to accept the evaluation results.

It may be beneficial to look at the prices of houses in your area prior to an appraisal. This information can help you understand whether the housing market currently favors buyers or sellers – a factor that may influence the valuation of your house from an appraisal.

3. Explore Ways to Boost Your Home's Value

There are always options to bolster a house's exterior and interior. Therefore, following an appraisal, you should plan to complete home repairs that could help enhance your house's value.

As you search for ways to upgrade your residence, you may want to reach out to a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can offer recommendations and tips to help you improve your residence, even if you're working on a tight budget.

Of course, a real estate agent provides extensive assistance throughout the home selling journey. He or she will promote your residence to prospective buyers and host home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you determine the best course of action.

Ready to conduct a home appraisal? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of a successful house appraisal that leads to a fast, profitable home selling experience.




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Posted by Elena Langlois on 4/26/2018

If you have ever looked around your neighborhood and thought that this could be the year you have the lawn that all of the neighbors envy, you’re in luck. The spring season is the perfect time of year to start cultivating the perfect lawn. All you need is a plan in place and the grass will really be greener on the other side of the fence- your side! 


First, you need to understand what’s the actual problem with your lawn. Do you suffer from bare spots on the lawn? Are there many weeds around, making the lawn appear unsightly? Is fungus present on the lawn? Then, see how big of a problem each of these issues are if you see them. How much time do you have to devote to getting the lawn ready and maintaining it? When you determine all of these things, you can start the first steps of your plan. 


First, you’ll need to aerate the lawn, which helps to open up the compact soil. You can do this with a rake or power rake. Next, even out the terrain as needed throughout the aerating process. Depending on the extent of the unevenness of the terrain itself, you may need to hire a professional. Then, you’ll need to reseed the lawn. Be sure that you choose a grass seed that is appropriate for the climate you’re in as well as the sun and shade conditions of your property. Finally, your new lawn seed will need to be watered every day with a significant amount of water at first. This will help the grass grow quickly and evenly. Try to aim for about one and a half inches of water per week. Water your lawn early in the morning if you can for the maximum benefit to watering.  


Once your new lawn is in place, make prevention a top priority. You’ll want to be vigilant about preventing and getting rid of weeds. If you learn how to identify the weeds, that’s half of the battle. You can find weed guides online or even get a gardening book that will help you to learn more about what and how to get rid of weeds. 


Use commercial weed killers or create your own natural weed killer, depending on your preference. To create a natural weed killer all you need is vinegar, salt, soap, and water. Vinegar is pretty powerful in its ability to ward off weeds, so if you're looking for a natural route, you may want to give it a try. 


By starting a lawn off right in this way, you’ll be able to see improvement. Don’t stress if your lawn doesn't look perfect in the very first season. It could take some time for your lawn to reach its full potential. Remember if you’re in a drought-prone area, you’ll want to avoid any harsh pesticides, as they will only make the lawn conditions worse.





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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