Elena Langlois - CENTURY 21 Commonwealth

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 Ė 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 Ė 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 Ė 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 1/11/2018

Have you ever visited someone's home and thought to yourself, "Their living room seems really cluttered" or "Those counter tops look like they haven't been updated since the 1960s!"

Many people quickly notice decorating flaws or home maintenance issues in other people's houses, but when it comes to their own homes -- well, that's another story!

Why is that the case? Two reasons: You're emotionally attached to your own home environment and you're also "too close to the trees to see the forest." It's hard to step back and see your home through a fresh set of eyes -- which is exactly the way prospective buyers are going to look it.

Curb appeal -- or a lack, thereof-- will be the first thing they notice, followed by positive or negative first impressions of your home's interior -- if they get that far! So if you're preparing to put your home on the market, you don't want to be like the person who tries to represent themselves in court. As Abraham Lincoln once said, they have "a fool for a client!"

Since first impressions are so vital when selling your house, it makes sense to confer with someone who really knows the ropes when it comes to home staging. Typically, that would be one of the following professionals:

  • An experienced real estate agent: Real estate agents are in the business of helping people sell their homes as quickly and profitably as possible -- it's a win/win situation. In all likelihood, they've conducted hundreds of house tours and listened to a massive amount of feedback from prospective buyers. One thing they've invariably noticed is that a lot of people react the same way to the same issues. Based on experience and a trained eye, most real estate agents can quickly spot and point out cost-effective ways to make your home more marketable and visually appealing.
  • A professional home stager: Although not all communities have access to professional home stagers, there are talented and knowledgeable experts in that field who can offer valuable advice. If you're working with an experienced real estate agent, however, it probably would not be necessary to pay extra to hire a professional staging consultant.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median amount of money spent on staging a home is $675, so it doesn't necessarily have to be ultra-expensive. In a survey of its membership, Realtors ranked living rooms and kitchens as the most important rooms to stage. Also considered important are the master bedroom, dining room, and bathrooms.

Thirty seven percent of Realtorsģ representing sellers believe that buyers most often offer a 1 to 5 percent increase on the value of a staged home. A smaller percentage say the potential increase is in the neighborhood of 6% to 10%. However you look at it, you're tipping the scales in your direction when you make your home look its best prior to putting it up for sale.

Posted by Elena Langlois on 11/2/2017

There is a lot to think about when you know youíre ready to sell your home. The best approach is to take things step-by-step in order to get everything right. 

Make Necessary Repairs

Before you even decide to put a ďfor saleĒ sign out front, youíll want to address the problems in your home that you know about. If the roof needs to be replaced, or you know you need a new refrigerator, you should tend to those things as soon as possible. While these items can be an expense for you, completing these things before the sale of the home will increase the value of the home and save you some aggravation when it comes time for the home inspection.

Donít forget about the small details as you look at what needs to be done on your property. Does the doorbell ring? Are the lightbulbs all working? These small details are just as important as the big stuff.   

Find A Real Estate Agent

Finding a real estate agent isnít a one-size-fits-all job. You want an agent who understands your needs and is an expert in your particular market. You can check with your family and friends to see if they have a particular agent who they recommend. Also, you might check out reviews online to help you discover an agent. Do you have a particular agency in mind? Give them a call and they can set you up with one of their agents. Many agents will be happy to provide a number of references of recent sales if you inquire. 

Find Out How Your Home Will Be Marketed

If your home wonít be on social media, thereís something wrong with the marketing plan. Youíll need lots of good photos and maybe even a video tour of your home. You should definitely be sure that your home is being marketed on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram to name a few social networks. These networks even offer paid ads to help you reach the right buyers. Talk with your realtor to see what the plan for marketing your home sale is.

Prepare For Home Showings

While you still might need to live in your home while youíre selling it, you want the property to be presentable. Start at the curb of your home and work your way to the inside. The property should look presentable from the moment buyers pull up to the house. The lawn should be mowed, the landscaping should be trimmed, and the inside of the home should be thoroughly cleaned. This will seal the deal on the sale of your property after all of the other hard work has been done.   

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Posted by Elena Langlois on 10/19/2017

Effectively staging your home can make a difference when selling your home. It can help you reach your asking price, or it can mean the difference between making a sale and not making a sale.

With so much at stake, itís clear that home staging is a good idea. However, if you plan on living in your home while itís on the market it can cause a big change in your lifestyle. It can mean putting most of your belongings in storage and be constantly rearranging furniture and moving your valuables around.

In this article, Iíll give you some tips to help you get through the difficult time of living in a staged home. Iíll talk about how you can make the most of this situation while still making the important sale on your home.

Decluttering and removing personal items from your home

There are two important things to remember when cleaning out your home before staging it. You want to declutter and you want to remove your personal presence in the home.

In terms of decluttering, not only is this a good time to start packing up items you wonít need until you move into your next home, but it is also a good time to do some cleaning. When going through your home, ask yourself if youíve used the item in question within the last year or two. If the answer is no, you might be able to throw away or donate the item.

When someone views a home they want to be able to picture living there. Thatís hard to do if it is filled with the photos and heirlooms of another family.  If youíre unsure about whether something is too personal to keep on display in your home, thereís a good chance that itís better off to put it in storage.

Use your free time at home to your advantage

Living in your home while itís on the market gives you one important advantage--youíre able to spend more time prepping your home for sale. Use your free time and weekends at homes to paint your walls bright, neutral colors. You can also experiment with arranging furniture in a spacious and welcoming way.

This is also a good time to take care of small issues that might turn off potential buyers. Runny faucets, creaking doors, and other cosmetic fixes are all simple but important fixes to make while still living in your home.

Adopt a ďclean as you useĒ mentality

Since people are coming to view your home, youíll naturally want it to be as clean and tidy as possible. But rushing to clean everything before someone views your home makes it more likely to overlook a dirty countertop or misplaced towel.

A good practice is to simply clean up after yourself as you use items. That means wiping down the counter or oven after use, making sure you donít leave products out in the bathroom, and sweeping the floors at the end of the day.

While it can be difficult to live in your home while it is staged for sale, it also has its advantages. As you go through this process, remember that it isnít forever, and that it can save you time and money in the long run.

Posted by Elena Langlois on 10/12/2017

Creating just the right amount of curb appeal can be a delicate balance, but one thing's for sure: Many real estate agents firmly belief that it is the most important factor affecting how long a property remains on the market. That being he case, it's a phase of preparing your home for sale that you don't want to neglect or put on "the back burner."

If your home and property is in reasonably good condition, it may be possible to give it some extra eye-appeal without going overboard on the cost. Here are a few curb-appeal basics to consider as you get your house ready for the real estate market.

Painting: If it's been more than a few years since the outside of your home has been painted, it may be time to either repaint the entire exterior (which won't be cheap) or do some extensive "touching up." Sometimes, simply repainting window trim, shutters, and the front door can help visibly improve the overall appearance of your property. In general, peeling or fading paint will negatively impact the marketability of your home, so it's an issue worth addressing early on.

Power washing: A professional power-washing service can remove unsightly stains, layers of dirt, and discoloration from concrete surfaces, fences, roofs, garages, garage doors, and your home's exterior. One cautionary note about power washing: Applying too much water pressure can potentially cause damage to materials like loose roof shingles, older painted surfaces, crumbling concrete, old slate flooring, untreated wood, and aging fences. Special instructions may need to be given to workers and their manager, regarding delicate surfaces and the need to adjust water pressure accordingly.

Front porch: There are a lot of nice touches you can add to a front porch to make it look more inviting and visually appealing. In addition to making sure floors, steps, railings, windows, and furniture are immaculate, inexpensive upgrades, such as a new welcome mat, mailbox, and house numbers can also make a noticeable difference in the impression you create. Weather permitting, colorful potted or hanging flower baskets will enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property. As is the case with interior home staging, strategically arranging furniture can help prospective buyers imagine themselves relaxing on your porch and elsewhere in your house. That can be a key step in triggering their interest.

Landscaping: When your house is on the market, it's crucial to keep your lawn and shrubs looking manicured at all times. Any hint of overgrowth, dying trees, or weeds can send the wrong message to potential buyers about the quality and desirability of your home. Edging for lawns, flower beds, and sidewalks can often be a relatively inexpensive way to enhance the eye appeal of your property.

A seasoned real estate agent can provide you with more cost-effective ideas on sprucing up the outside of your house to attract prospective buyers.