Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Aug. 31, 2022

How it Affects You: 4 Signs the US Housing Market Has Peaked

The real estate market is beginning to drop off after a two-year surge.


Due to rising property prices and interest rates during the last year, several purchasers decided to postpone their home-buying plans, which led to the lowest level of mortgage demand in 22 years. Similar to this, there were 75% fewer applications for refinancing in 2022 than there was the year before.


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These elements affect sellers as well as purchasers and homeowners. Many in the sector are now wondering: Has the U.S. housing market peaked?


What does it mean for the US housing market to ‘peak’?


The most important indicator that a housing market has peaked is when rapid growth rates begin to decelerate and eventually turn negative. Leading experts concur, with Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics as chief economist, who thinks the market has peaked and is currently beginning a "housing correction."


Although the downturn hasn't had much of an impact on house prices, some analysts do think that in some locations, particularly those where demand was so strong that properties became overvalued, prices may begin to decline.


Others predict a slowdown in the rate at which home prices will increase rather than a price drop. Therefore, such high rates of growth may start to slow down rather than the 20% growth we observed over the previous year.


It's crucial to remember that, despite the market's cooling, there are currently no signs of a repeat of the 2008 housing bubble crash.


What are the signs that the market is cooling off?


Interest rates are on the rise


This year, the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked interest rates many times, including during its meeting in June when it announced the biggest increase in almost 30 years. These interest rates increase the cost of borrowing generally and have an effect on mortgage rates as well.


The inventory of available homes is growing


Although there is still a housing shortage, the difference between demand and supply is closing.


New home sales are down


Sales of new homes fell by 19% in April and May 2022, to their lowest level since the start of the COVID pandemic. Existing home sales are also dropping, falling in June 2022 for the fifth consecutive month.


Home prices are softening


With more than 10% of sellers dropping the sales price on their homes in June 2022, it appears that the era of homes selling for $100k higher than the asking price is coming to an end.


These indications, in Townsend's opinion, aren't always negative. In fact, she sees an "area of opportunity" in the market's cooling.


What does this mean for home sellers?


Although the housing market may have peaked, demand for homes is still quite high. Sellers may need to modify their expectations, however, since they might not receive a deluge of enticing offers on day one as property prices are starting to decline in some places. They might also need to price and sell their home a little more realistically.


Additionally, sellers should prepare for the reappearance of inspection contingencies, which were mostly ignored over the past few years. Therefore, it is once again becoming more crucial to clean, stage, and make small repairs.


Remember: A cooling market isn’t the same as a market crash


Despite the fact that the last time the real estate market peaked, it was followed by a severe housing crash, analysts concur that 2008 won't be repeated. Instead, what we're going through is a return to normalcy following a few years that were extremely competitive (and otherwise atypical).



Therefore, the fact that the market has peaked doesn't mean that you're entering the market at the incorrect time, whether you're trying to buy a new house or sell your existing one. All it means is that you'll want to be sure you have a knowledgeable real estate agent by your side who can guide you through the market and help you decide which home would be ideal for you and your family to buy or sell.


Contact your local real estate agent to guide you in the changing market.

Aug. 15, 2022

How to Stage a House: A Room by Room Guide

Staging your home is a tried-and-true strategy in selling your home to attract more buyers and help you reach or exceed your asking price. So what exactly is home staging, how effective is it likely to be, and what is the return on investment?


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Staging with curb appeal


Curb appeal is crucial since buyers get a first impression of your home from the outside. Little changes can have a tremendous impact.


Curb attractiveness is like wrapping presents. In order to pique potential buyers' interest in opening the front door for the ultimate revelation of living areas, it creates the first impression and "wow" effect. 


Other improvements to take into account for amazing curb appeal include lighting your area when potential buyers drive by at night, installing solar lighting for a touch of elegance along a pathway and entry, and adding an intriguing welcome mat. For an inviting appearance, you can also add a porch swing, sofa, or bistro set if the front porch is present.


Staging an entryway


Your entryway is one of the first areas potential homebuyers will see, so it is crucial that it is welcoming. The move from the outside to the inside can feel seamless with the addition of a potted plant or flower vase. Use a rug to delineate the area if your house lacks a defined entry.


Staging a kitchen


A newly renovated kitchen is a terrific way to draw buyers, but smaller adjustments also matter. Start by cleaning your appliances and counters. Put kitchen appliances in cupboards or other storage. To make an old kitchen look new again, repaint the cabinets and replace the hardware. Less is more in terms of styling. It suffices to have a small stack of cookbooks or a container of fresh flowers.


Everybody is aware that kitchens sell homes. A dated area may be given new life without breaking the budget with inexpensive improvements like new cabinet hardware and painting the walls, trim, and cabinets. On the list of simple DIY staging suggestions that promote the sale of the space, cleaning and tidying the area ranks highly.


Staging a dining room


If you have a dining room, you don't have to set the table with your finest china, but you should create the impression that it is a formal dining room. Use a neutral table runner to tie everything together, and make sure your table is dust-free.


Anything that doesn't belong in a dining area should be taken out. Although many homes use their dining table for purposes other than eating meals, you want the buyer to picture hosting parties here.


Staging a living room


You want to present your purchasers with a living area that is airy, tidy and inviting. That can entail getting rid of bulky furnishings. But you don't have to leave anything in the room. Throw cushions can add colorful accents and help purchasers see the room as a whole. The addition of some healthy houseplants will give the space a nurturing and living feeling.


Buyers shouldn't be waiting at the door; instead, your art should entice them to enter the space. Therefore, to arrange furniture in the best way for your living room, consider the floor's shape, flow, and focal point.


Staging a bedroom


If you are unable to stage every bedroom in your home, stage the master suite. Your color scheme needs to be composed of soothing neutral hues. White, taupe, and soft blues typically work the best. The area should have a few accessories, but soft lighting and a throw blanket will make the space look complete.


It's ideal to utilize a queen-size bed if you can because buyers love to see a room with lots of space. Since the bed is typically the center of attention in the room, its placement is equally crucial. If possible, avoid placing the bed next to a window unless it is absolutely necessary. The wall opposite the door is the best spot for the bed to be placed.


Staging a bathroom


While it should be clean, your bathroom shouldn't feel sterile. Think of the serene, pleasant bathroom at a spa for design ideas. Fresh, fluffy towels, a shower curtain with texture, and a brand-new bar of soap in a pristine dish are a few amenities that can go a long way.


A house that is for sale may have a "timestamp" from its bathrooms. Start by performing a thorough cleaning, paying close attention to the caulking, grouting, and molding. Next, decide on new paint for the cabinets and walls. Update the light fixtures in the master bathroom with a little more glitz. Add a fresh spray of an odor-neutralizing product that has no aftertaste to finish.


Highlighting your home’s best features


You should arrange your furniture and decorations so that the buyer can immediately see these special characteristics. Your home's best features will be highlighted by placing seats around your fireplace, hanging light, airy drapes to frame your windows, and strategically applying to light.



Describe what about the house drew you to it. When deciding whether to sell, consider the reasons you fell in love with your home. Those items will probably be the ones that draw customers. Ensure that those areas are organized, decluttered, and highlighted so they stand out and impress customers.


There are several strategies you can utilize to cut costs, whether you're working with an expert or doing everything yourself. To determine how much work needs to be done, consult your real estate agent.



Aug. 15, 2022

What Affects the Value of a Home? Factors that Could Reduce Value

It's getting close to your planned house appraisal, which is always nerve-wracking regardless of the conditions. The advice of an appraiser is highly regarded whether you want to purchase, sell, or refinance your house. What interferes with a home appraisal, and what can you do to fix it?


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To establish how much they are willing to lend on a property, the lender will look at an appraised valuation. The value of your property will also affect how much you are able to borrow through a home equity loan.


Therefore, you wouldn't be the first person to worry and call your handyman or to hastily vacuum before an appraisal while pleading with the cosmos for the highest price.


Why does appraised value matter?


According to the National Association of Realtors, an appraisal's goal is to present an "independent and impartial analysis of the real property."


The lender is usually the customer of the appraiser, and the appraised value influences how much money the lender will lend or how much equity a homeowner can access.


What hurts a home appraisal?


Let's go through some of the major reasons that can lower your home's evaluated worth.


Less desirable location


The appraisal report will specifically cover neighborhood features like whether the area is growing quickly or slowly, for example.


Additionally, buyers are drawn to neighborhoods with desirable features like good schools, parks, walking paths, and easy access to dining and shopping, which raises the value of nearby comps.


Slow real estate market


A valuer will also consider the state of the local market.


A real estate market with poor demand could be indicated by falling property values if there is an excess of homes, a decline in home values, and a home sale time of more than six months.


A high concentration of foreclosed homes in your area may also restrain price increases, and persistent market downturns may necessitate that an appraiser makes necessary adjustments for comparable sales.


Rising interest rates have helped to rebalance the market, giving buyers comparatively more power than they did when conditions were overwhelmingly in favor of sellers, even though the real estate market is still robust in 2022.


Poor layout


Your floor plan may be more segmented than the open plans seen in today's modern buildings, depending on when your house was built.


If a property's floor layout is "atypical or operationally outmoded, restricting the market appeal for the property in comparison to other homes in the vicinity," the author of the appraisal report has the opportunity to include a sketch to demonstrate this.


Pest infestation or damage


The appraiser should not check "yes" in the box indicating whether there is evidence of an infestation. Before an appraiser ever visits, you should take care of serious problems like mouse droppings in the basement and termite-caused wood damage or hollowing. Engage the right expert for an assessment if you suspect a pest issue.


Structural or foundation issues


It is preferable to be very up with the appraiser about what you know when it comes to significant issues like a damaged foundation. That entails providing the appraiser with any quotes or bids for the work. Instead of utilizing a more generic figure that can skew high, an appraiser can take that cost into account while making their estimates.


Poor quality construction


To give your appraisal a quality grade, the appraiser will examine your home's building materials and workmanship. According to Fannie Mae, homes with "basic finishes, inexpensive stock materials, and limited refinements and improvements" will receive lower ratings.


The quality grade will also be impacted if there is proof that the home's builder lacked professional experience or that the electrical and plumbing systems are of poor quality.


Older age


It's only a number, age. Whether an appraiser adjusts a value because of the older age of your property relies on how well you've maintained it and whether you've made any renovations.


Even though there is a significant age difference, you could not notice a value decrease if the property has been "renovated to a degree that is equivalent" to younger properties.


Extreme clutter or signs of neglect


Your house evaluation won't be ruined by a misplaced sock or a little mess since appraisers are trained to look past the clutter. Before an appraiser arrives, though, it's always a good idea to clean up, put the dishes in the dishwasher, vacuum, and clear the countertops.


Showing a clean home is also practical since you want to make sure the appraiser can readily access every area of the property so they can take pictures and take precise measurements. An extremely cluttered property may make it difficult for the appraiser to access some areas, which could impair the evaluation. Additionally, the value of your home may be negatively impacted by neglect indicators like mildew or peeling paint.


Flood zone classification


A home's flood danger will be looked into by appraisers as part of their appraisal. They will note the FEMA Map # for the property and whether the house is located in a FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Special Flood Hazard Area.


Typically, a home in a floodplain that need flood insurance will be less expensive (though waterfront properties tend to be a notable exception).


Regardless of the situation, the evaluation process can be intimidating and frustrating. If the home appraises for a particular sum, your sale, refinance, or home acquisition will probably proceed more smoothly. Contact your local real estate agent to help you with the process.





Aug. 1, 2022

Why It’s Still a Sellers’ Market

You might be wondering what that means for your intentions to sell your home as reports of the real estate market slowing down from the high frenzy it experienced during the pandemic increases. If you're considering moving, you should be aware that the market is still far from typical.


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Even if there are more houses for sale this year than last, the housing market is still undersupplied. And that indicates that the current housing market is still in favor of sellers. This is because the number of available properties for sale might indicate whether buyers or sellers are in control. Consider it like this:


Buyer's Market


When there are more homes for sale than there are potential buyers, it is considered a buyers' market. When that occurs, buyers are in a stronger negotiating position since sellers are more inclined to make concessions in order to sell their homes.


Seller's Market


Contrarily, in a sellers' market, it is true. For the number of buyers in the market, there aren't enough homes available, giving the seller complete control. In that case, purchasers will exert every effort to compete for the few available residences.


Neutral Market


When there are enough properties to meet buyer demand at the current sales rate and supply is balanced.


And because inventory has been at or near record lows for the past two years, we've been in a scorching sellers' market.


What Does This Mean for You?


The best overall conclusion is that we'll switch from a brisk sellers' market to a modest sellers' market.


Even though the market is slowing down, the situation is still favorable to you. You'll have luck selling your home today if you collaborate with a real estate agent to set the price at the market level. Despite the fact that buyer demand is waning as a result of rising mortgage rates, properly priced properties are nevertheless selling quickly. That indicates that you still have time to list your home.

July 25, 2022

What to Ask and When to Sell Your House

Selling leaves you with a lot of responsibility after hitting the lottery. Moving expenses. rates for mortgages. the entire process of looking for a new place to live that fits your needs and lifestyle.


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We've gathered advice from experts on how to answer eight crucial questions to help you decide whether to sell your home, how to get the best price, and when to close.


Is it a buyer’s or seller’s market?


The housing market is influenced by interest rates, unemployment, and other economic issues. Even if property values increase over time naturally, market conditions still have an impact on how much money you'll make when you sell.


Do you have a proven real estate agent?


Of course, there are additional factors to consider when selling your home in addition to market conditions. You can be guided through this uncharted region by an experienced real estate agent. Actually, the majority of sellers rely on an agent's knowledge.


Agents are compensated for their assistance with commissions ranging from 5% to 6%, which are normally paid in full at closing by the seller, but their knowledge is priceless.


An agent’s advice includes:

  • Recommendations for any upgrades and fixes prior to advertising the property, as well as a network of contractors who can provide quotes


  • An effective price plan built on a comparative market analysis that includes graphs, technical details, and images of comparable homes in your area


  • Staging, expert photography, setting up private previews for other brokers, virtual tours, and organizing open houses are all examples of marketing services.


  • Managing offers, negotiating concessions and repairs, and dealing with any issues that arise so you may get at the closing table without stress.


Does your home no longer fit your needs?


Life takes place. Even if you enjoy your current residence and have lived there for a while, a job change or other circumstances may prompt you to look elsewhere.


Last year's sellers informed the NAR that they wished to relocate because their current residences were either too tiny or too far away from friends and family (18%). (17 percent ). 85 percent of buyers in May made their purchases in a suburb, a small town, the country, or a resort location, indicating that people are still drawn to larger, more open spaces.


Additionally, as people age and become empty nesters, they frequently no longer desire the two-story homes in which they were raised.


Can you afford to move?


Unfortunately, moving is more difficult than simply clapping your hands and teleporting to your new location. Even while some life circumstances may take precedence over money matters, occasionally the math just doesn't work out.


People sometimes overlook the following fees while planning a move:

  • Using the value of your home to pay off debt.
  • An increase in living expenses.
  • Either a security deposit or a down payment.
  • Establishing utilities at your new residence.
  • Actual moving expenses.
  • Closing expenses.


What’s your selling timeline?


You can't be very picky with your bids if a new job requires moving to a different state in two weeks; even then, things can happen that cause the sale to be delayed. According to NAR figures, houses listed in June spent an average of 14 days on the market and received an average of 3.4 offers, down from 4.2 a month earlier.


The circumstances of your buyer, such as a job loss, could potentially scuttle the transaction.


Is your neighborhood changing?


If you've been in your house for at least ten years, you've seen how your neighborhood has changed. Perhaps there are more schools nearby, or you've just realized you're the oldest neighbor.


Is it a good time of year to move?


According to historical trends, the best months to sell a house are traditionally June if you want to optimize the sale price and July if you want to move swiftly.


Location, however, can affect this. The ideal time to sell depends on your region, interest rates, and market circumstances even if you are not dealing with seasonal weather.


Is your home in shape to sell?


True, some improvements, including boosting liveable square footage, raise your home's appraised worth and attract potential buyers. However, to get your house in the best condition to sell, you don't have to completely renovate it.


Do you feel as though anything in your current house is no longer appropriate?



Think of this as an extra question. Selling your house can also depend on other factors, such as having little extra money in your budget each month, needing to turn your home equity into income, or simply seeking a change in lifestyle.

July 18, 2022

Expert Predictions for the Housing Market for the Second Half of the Year

If you're considering buying or selling a home, the present state of the housing market may have you wondering if now is still a good time to do so. Do I need to move this year? Let's look to the experts for predictions on what the second half of the year will bring for residential real estate to help with those answers.


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Depending on inflation, mortgage rates could change.


Although where mortgage rates will go in the coming months is one of the main concerns for all buyers, no one has a crystal ball to predict exactly what will happen in the future. The record-low mortgage rates during the epidemic were an exception, not the rule, according to housing industry analysts.


As a result of the Federal Reserve's response to growing inflation this year, rates have increased by more than 2%. Mortgage rates will certainly change if inflation keeps on rising.


The current mortgage rate is a crucial issue to take into account whether you're purchasing your first home or selling your present residence to move. Rate increases affect affordability and your buying power. Working with a team of professionals is essential to get competent guidance and make the best choice possible.


Homes for sale are expected to continue to be more plentiful.


There are more houses for sale this year, especially this spring. This is partly because more homeowners are putting their homes on the market, but it's also because higher mortgage rates have lessened the strength of the demand from buyers. The rate of home sales is slowed by moderating buyer demand, which contributes to an increase in inventory.


According to experts, growth will continue. The inventory projection for 2022 on was recently updated. They significantly upped their forecasts for inventory gains in the most recent report, ranging from a 0.3 percent increase at the start of the year to a 15.0 percent increase by the end of 2022.


Forecasts for home prices indicate continued appreciation


The pandemic caused housing prices to rise by unprecedented amounts since there were too few properties available for sale compared to the number of people trying to buy. According to CoreLogic, property values increased by 15% in 2021, and they have been rising ever since.


Even if there are more homes for sale today, there are still more buyers than there are available properties, which keeps pressure on home prices upward. Because of this, analysts do not anticipate a drop in prices; rather, they predict that they will continue to rise this year, albeit at a slower rate.


The current rate of home price growth is unsustainable, and if mortgage rates rise and there is more inventory, home price growth will be slower but it is unlikely that prices would fall.


If you currently own a home and are considering selling, know that its value is not expected to decrease. However, delaying to buy your next home could result in higher housing costs as home prices continue to rise. Because of this, it can make sense to buy a home now rather than later if you're considering doing so or are ready to move. However, you can be confident that if you purchase a property, the price growth will assist increase the value of your investment.


Contact a real estate agent to go through your objectives and the future so you can choose the ideal moving strategy.

July 14, 2022

Seasonal and Monthly Checklists for Home Maintenance

It's no secret that owning a home is expensive. Although estimates of maintenance costs vary, one fast rule suggests that when addressing a home maintenance checklist, homeowners set aside 1% of the home's value each year for maintenance fees.


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Even when you're investing money in the property, changing the air filters or cleaning the gutters won't automatically raise the worth of your house. However, if you aren't taking proper care of your house, you can find that when you decide to sell, its worth has decreased.


Home maintenance checklist: Where to begin?


Especially if you intend to sell your home within the next year or two, it might be difficult to know where to start certain repairs. Are you prepared to begin? We've categorized our home maintenance checklist so you can easily find the frequency and season of each chore.


Monthly maintenance tasks


Clean and replace HVAC filters


Your HVAC system's air filters can help it operate more effectively, last longer, and provide better indoor air quality throughout the house.


Clean and descale faucets and shower heads


Your shower heads and faucets may eventually become soiled and possibly even have scale accumulation. You can clean them by putting white vinegar in a ziplock bag, tying it to the shower head or faucet with zip ties, and letting it sit for an hour or two. Remove the bag, then wipe away any sediment with a cloth. After that, you should run hot water through the openings.


Inspect drains for clogs


It's really simple. You can use a drain cleaner if your drains aren't functioning properly. You can also use boiling water to flush the drain or a solution of baking soda and vinegar for home treatments.


Inspect electric cords


Make sure there are no frayed or damaged electrical cords by walking around your house and inspecting them. An electrical fire may start because of damaged cords.


Clean garbage disposal


If it isn't cleaned frequently, a garbage disposal can become fairly disgusting. Turn on the garbage disposal after dropping a few ice cubes and some lemon peels in there. Any food buildup will be broken down, and the citrus peels will give the kitchen a fresh scent.


Seasonal maintenance


Winter maintenance tasks


Check for signs of ice dams


If left hanging on the roof eaves, icicles and ice dams (thick ridges of solid ice) can lead to several issues. If you notice any, use a roof rake to remove the snow securely without endangering the siding or roof.


Winterize pipes


To avoid your pipes from bursting because the water inside them froze while you were away during the coldest months, you should winterize them. To accomplish this, shut off the water supply at the main valve and open all of the taps in the house to create a gradual, even drip.


Spring maintenance tasks


Spring cleanup


After laying mulch in your flowerbeds, you should rake up any fallen leaves that you may have missed in the fall. Your plants will be protected by the mulch from any cold spells, weed growth, and drought. Check the trees as you go around for indications of broken limbs, insect or animal damage, or other damage.


Lawn prep


Now is the time to begin if you've always wanted a lush, green lawn. Patches of barren grass should be filled in and reseeded. Although you won't need to fertilize it right away, be sure to keep some on hand just in case. In addition to being more appealing to the eye, maintaining stunning landscaping can raise the value of your house.


Inspect the exterior of your home


When inspecting the exterior of your property, pay close attention to the roof to make sure there are no gaps that water can enter, no missing shingles, and no indications of wood rot. If there are any cracks in the driveway, patio, or walks on the ground, fill them in with concrete.


Gutter maintenance


Neglected gutters that are overflowing with leaves and other debris can ruin your siding and result in water damage. You'll have to roll up your sleeves, grab the ladder, and begin scooping out the muck to stop this.


After cleaning the gutters, you can make this work simpler by installing gutter guards. Your gutters will remain clean and unclogged thanks to the guards.


Clean the exterior


The home's outside will inevitably become dirty, and spring is an excellent time to use the power washer (or rent one). Make sure the siding is in good condition by taking a tour around the house before you start power washing it. To avoid wood rot, you should immediately take care of any damage you see.


Repair and clean the deck or patio


While you have the power washer out, you don’t want to forget to power wash the deck and patio! Check to make sure there aren’t any loose boards, screws, or nails. If there are, repair them.


Check the plumbing


Look for leaks or corrosion in the supply line, water heater, and pipes. Sometimes you can catch these things in time to prevent any harm. However, you'll need to employ a plumber if you have a significant issue, such as rusted pipes or a leaking water heater.


Summer maintenance tasks


Tidy up the yard


Your flowers should be blooming by now, the grass should be expanding, and everything should be OK! To avoid cutting the grass too short during the summer, you should set your lawnmower to the maximum setting.


Check sprinkler system


Make sure your sprinkler system is functioning properly if you have one. Check each component of the system to ensure the sprinkler heads are upright, that there are no blockages in the line, and that no vegetation is blocking the spray.


Reverse ceiling fans


By turning the ceiling fans so they spin in the other direction from clockwise, you may keep your rooms cooler in the summer. By doing this, a cool wind will be produced as the cool air is forced downward.


Check for bugs, rodents, and other pests


Bugs, rats, and other pests thrive in the summer and can cause a lot of problems. Small issues like an ant trail or a few mice in the cabinet are typically simple to eliminate and clean up after.


Inspect the foundation


Did you know that a poor foundation can cause your home's value to decrease by as much as 15%? Take the time to properly inspect your foundation for indications that you may have a problem because it's important to find a problem early on before it gets out of hand.


Autumn maintenance tasks


Touch up paint where needed


The summer heat may be severe, and it can start to fade the paint on the outside (and even in interiors that receive a lot of direct sunshine). The excessive dampness in some locations with a lot of rain can make paint peel and chip. The exterior of your property might be entirely repainted or touched up as you clear away clutter from surfaces.


Powerwash exterior and walkways


It's a good idea to use the power washer once more now that the temperature is cooler to clean up any cobwebs, filth, and grime before winter arrives. Use this opportunity to inspect your home's exterior for any indications of possible damage.


Rake up the fallen leaves


With its colorful foliage, autumn is a gorgeous season, but it's also very untidy. If the leaves pile up, they could destroy the lush lawn you worked so hard to create in the spring. As the leaves wither and fall, they can create quite a mess. Large mounds of leaves make the ideal habitat for insects to reproduce and for little rodents to build their nests.


Turn off your sprinkler system


You do not want to skip this step if your area experiences a very harsh winter and you have a sprinkler system. You face the risk of the irrigation lines breaking or, worse, cracking if you don't turn off your sprinkler system during the scalding cold months.


Inspect HVAC system


You already did this in the spring, but you should do it one more in the fall just before the bitter cold arrives. By doing this, you'll increase the system's lifespan, make it more energy-efficient, and reduce health concerns.


Check and clean exhaust fans


An exhaust fan plays a critical role in home maintenance because it pulls excess moisture out of a room, thus preventing the risk of mold and mildew – both of which are deterrents for buyers. The fan in the bathroom is pretty easy to clean, as it’s just dust and cobwebs, but the exhaust fan in the kitchen is going to require more effort because you’re going to be cleaning grease buildup, not just dust.


Clean gutters


Here is yet another project you completed in the spring. To make sure everything is clear and draining properly before the winter weather arrives, we advise cleaning the gutters twice a year.


Inspect and clean the chimney


An annual inspection of your chimney is recommended to check for any problems that might restrict the escape of harmful gases. Then, based on how frequently you use the chimney, you may wish to periodically get it cleaned.


A home maintenance checklist is a lifesaver!


Home upkeep involves several steps, and it's simple to occasionally forget to complete some of them. This home maintenance checklist is a terrific resource to help you make sure your house is in excellent condition both now and when it's time to sell.


When you start having prospective buyers come to view your property, you'll have a lot less to worry about if you keep up with the tasks on this list. However, if you plan to sell soon, find a top real estate agent who can assist you in setting priorities for what has to be done first for a smooth sale.





July 11, 2022

Common Home Buying Scams and How to Avoid Them

The number of home buying scams is increasing along with the demand for quick all-cash home purchase services.


One of the cyber frauds with the fastest national growth is real estate fraud. As scammers particularly target house sellers and buyers, the FBI finds a 42 % rise in real estate crimes in recent years.


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We'll go over the most typical home buying scams in this post, their red flags, and how to make sure the proceeds from the sale of your home stay in your pocket.


Common home buyer scams to avoid


The following frauds include phony or cunning buyers who try to persuade you that they wish to buy your house.


The overseas or foreign buyer


This buyer approaches you and begs for the chance to purchase your house through a website, an email, or even the mail. They say that although they are now abroad and won't be returning to the United States until a specific time, they urgently require housing. In order to secure the residence, they then offer to mail you a cashier's check.


This scam has been used for a very long time, not just with property sellers but also with landlords and high-value products on resale websites. After you put the cashier's check into your account and they call you a few days later with a pathetic tale of how their plans fell through, they request a refund.


In an effort to allay any concerns, they might even generously offer to let you keep a portion of the money as an apology.


The cashier's check won't have had enough time to bounce, but it definitely will! Usually, a few days after you return "their" money back.


The eager-beaver and unavailable buyer


Watch out for the impulsive buyer. Being enthusiastic about your house is one thing, but a buyer who seems overly anxious to deposit earnest money or a sizable down payment before seeing it could be a scam.


Be aware that some reputable buyers do make remote home purchases, especially during the pandemic. However, they usually have a representative who guides them through the house via video chat or bargains on their behalf. Your real estate agent can assist you in separating the genuine from the false in this situation.


The detail-overload buyer


This buyer starts off by providing you with comprehensive financial records and biographical data, far more than you might anticipate from a simple home selling request.


They might be eager to divulge a ton of fictitious financial information, but they might lack references, a social media following, or any other genuine identification.


The check-bungling buyer


This buyer claims they sent you too much money by mistake and will demand that you pay them back a portion of it when you deposit the check. They will say they had no intention of putting down so much money for the house. You're less cautious because you get to keep a piece of the payment.


However, the check will bounce in a few days, and you won't be able to get the money back that you sent them.


The bogus investor buyer


This "investment" buyer puts pressure on you to enter into a contract to buy your house. Typically, they won't provide references or deposit any earnest money. This is due to the fact that they are merely placing a contract on your home in the hopes of later selling it to another investor for a profit or finder's fee; they do not actually have the funds to purchase it.


You will have lost crucial time while your house was off the market if they are unable to resell the deal. Although you won't lose any money, you will waste time that you could have spent selling to a reliable customer.


The title or deed buyer


A homeowner who falls prey to a title or deed scam may literally have their home taken from beneath them. These con artists frequently steal your mail to gather private information and falsify signatures or other documents to take ownership of your property by assuming the title or deed. They might attempt to borrow money against your property.


Even while you can typically solve the issue, it is a costly procedure. Pay attention to any changes in your credit score, missing mail, or strangers on your property.


The foreclosure relief offer


A homeowner who falls prey to a title or deed scam may literally have their home taken from beneath them. These con artists frequently steal your mail to gather private information and falsify signatures or other documents to take ownership of your property by assuming the title or deed. They might attempt to borrow money against your property.


Even while you can typically solve the issue, it is a costly procedure. Pay attention to any changes in your credit score, missing mail, or strangers on your property.


Home buyers beware, and be empowered


Other frauds that homeowners may encounter are numerous. Regardless of the typical frauds, we have discussed in this blog, if you ever have a bad feeling while interacting with a possible buyer, trust it. Real buyers utilize agents, have a website and reviews, and don't use excessive pressure to persuade you to sign the contract.


Scammers take advantage of a house seller's lack of market knowledge. You can prevent being taken advantage of if you are aware of their strategies and are guided by a seasoned agent.




June 27, 2022

A Guide For Selling Your House Quickly

You'll need to think outside the box with your plans if you need to relocate soon for a new career or personal reasons to improve your chances of selling your home swiftly. The biggest worry is that putting a house on the market for more than a few weeks can give other purchasers the impression that there's something wrong with it. That might result in fewer offers, fewer interested buyers, and perhaps a lower sales price. 


Free White and Brown Concrete House Near Green Grass Stock Photo


Fortunately, there are a few strategies you may employ to assist sell your old house quickly and enable you to move into a new one straight immediately.


Decide if you are ready to sell your home


A strong seller's market may tempt some people to take advantage of the opportunity to sell for top money. But the market shouldn't be the only factor considered when deciding to sell. The particulars of your needs and your financial status must also be taken into account. Here are some things to think about.


Can you afford the cost of selling your house?


The cost of selling your property is substantially higher, despite the fact that most consumers focus on the 6 percent real estate agent commission. Selling a house costs about 10 percent of the selling price. You have other costs to cover in addition to real estate commissions.


It might not be financially advantageous to sell your property if you haven't accrued enough equity. By deducting your mortgage balance from the probable sales price, you may determine your equity. You may also use a home selling process calculator to estimate the price your house will sell for. Take a look at properties that are comparable to yours in terms of home size, lot size, and improvements by taking into account local real estate comps.


Can you afford to buy a new house?


You should still think about how much it will cost to move into your new house. The majority of home sellers want to buy a home rather than return to their rental home, so you might find yourself in a competitive market where you need to move swiftly with your bids. Additionally, keep in mind that closing expenses for your new home, which are approximately 3% of the purchase price.


Is selling your house the best option?


Have you given any thought to the precise reasons behind your desire to sell your home? If not, now is the moment to decide what results you want to gain from selling your house. If you can accomplish the same results by renovating your property or by other means, be sure to think about what best suits your needs.


How to prepare for your home sale


Making a few simple preparations will help your home sell fast and for the highest possible price. You must get your home ready for buyers before your real estate agent lists it for sale. You need to promote your property for broad appeal, much like you would when showcasing products in a shop.


Find the right real estate agent for you


The most straightforward way to sell your home is to work with a real estate agent. Compared to alternative selling strategies, real estate brokers frequently secure greater sales prices for the sellers they represent. Furthermore, they are well knowledgeable about both the procedure and the market.


Creating a selling strategy


There are a few ways to quicken the home sale process.


Decide the right price to sell your home


Because buyers frequently look for properties inside a certain price range, your asking price affects the demographic of potential buyers you're targeting. It could also indicate the state of your house, such as the necessity for renovations if a house is offered below housing market value.


The market will determine the price. Comparable house sales are used by real estate brokers to determine the appropriate price for your home. The real estate agent looks at previous property sales in your community.


Create the best listing description


Your home's images and specs sheet are posted with a listing description on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is then visible on real estate websites. Your listing agent ought to be able to create a fantastic MLS description for your home.


Keywords that homebuyers are looking for, like "move-in-ready," are included in good listing descriptions.


Post your listing at the right time


According to research, Thursday is the ideal day to offer your property if you want to sell it quickly. This is due to the fact that buyers are getting ready to visit homes, usually on the weekends and usually starting with the newest listings.


Depending on your local market, your knowledgeable real estate agent might have extra advice to offer regarding the timing of a listing.


Accommodate showings as much as possible


There are a few typical methods you can display your house. Private showings, during which the buyer's agent guides the buyer through your home, are the most typical. The buyer typically finds this to be simpler. A realtor can also host an open house where several potential buyers, both with and without agents, are invited to view your home on a certain day and time. The seller will typically find this easier.


Incentivize potential buyers


Offer a closing cutoff date with a little bonus for the buyer to assist you close a house sale. Consider giving the buyer a seller's credit or even an additional commission to the buyer's agent if you need to conclude the deal swiftly for tax considerations.

June 20, 2022

Questions to Ask Your Agent Before You List Your Home for Sale

Asking your realtor is the best method to determine what pre-listing preparations your particular home needs. Finding a top-notch agent is actually the first step any seller should take because it will help them determine which improvements and repairs would yield the highest return on investment.


Free People Having Conversation at the Table Stock Photo


Make sure your house is in excellent condition and appealing to buyers before marketing it if you want to take advantage of the equity in your home. In order to sell your home for the highest price, a real estate agent will know how to ensure that it becomes what buyers are searching for.


You must ask your agent these "To Do or Not to Do" questions (and what your agent will probably answer).


Should I Refurbish My Walls and Floors?


Yes. The answer to this query is always yes, unless your walls and flooring are brand-new, immaculate. If you didn't choose neutral colors, even new paint and new flooring might need to be redone.


You're in luck if you recently painted your walls a neutral hue like off-white, beige, or light gray within the past year. Your walls can be brought back to their newly painted state with just a thorough cleaning from baseboard to ceiling.


Focus on the primary living areas, such as the living room, kitchen, master bedroom, and bathroom where your buyer will spend the majority of their time, if the seller needs to repaint. If the wallpaper in certain areas is not neutral in color or design, you must also remove it.


Should I Deep Clean?


Speaking of cleaning, the answer to this query is always "yes" so you don't need to consult an authority.


A messy house gives potential purchasers the impression that the existing owner hasn't maintained it. They won't view themselves as the owners of your house in the future; instead, they'll be on the lookout for issues and believe that the house need more repairs than it actually does. Lowball bids will be made by buyers who believe your house might be a lemon, or they will simply walk away.


Normal cleaning is insufficient when you're trying to sell your home. You’ll need to deep clean everything.


Should I Declutter, Depersonalize and Start Packing?


Definitely, sure. Make sure the buyer is viewing your house, not you, at both open houses and private showings. Depersonalizing and decluttering your home are the best ways to accomplish this.


You'll also need to conceal all the eccentric furniture and junk that give your home its unique individuality, in addition to artifacts that display the names and faces of your family.


Sellers who are having problems selecting which decorative items to pack and which to use for home staging may just want expert assistance.


Should I Get Professional Staging and Photography?


For staging? Maybe. The value of your home will determine if staging is a good idea or not. Paying for staging may not be worthwhile for homeowners in lower price ranges, but it is essentially necessary for high-end properties.


However, the response is nearly invariably "yes" in professional photography. A staggering 83 percent of buyers begin their home search online, according to the NAR. Therefore, it is worthwhile to make that expenditure as the images serve as both the first impression that potential buyers have of the property and a decisive factor in luring a physical visit.


Should I Get a Pre-Listing Inspection?


It depends on the situation. A pre-listing inspection has the ability to both benefit and hinder the seller, so deciding how to proceed really requires an agent's skill.


Your buyer's inspector will discover any significant problems with your house that you suspect exist, such as poor wiring, malfunctioning plumbing, or broken roofing. When they do, you'll be on the hook for the repair fees as well as likely a reduction in the ultimate sale price.


It's best to identify and address significant concerns like these before you list so you can manage costs. Additionally, the higher the asking price will be for your home, the better condition it is in. It's advisable to wait if you don't believe there are any serious problems.


Should I Investigate My Home?


Yes. There are certain other reports and inspections you could need even though a thorough pre-listing inspection might not be the best course of action. It is the seller's obligation to ensure that their home complies with fire safety regulations, thus it is recommended to get one inspected before listing.


Should I Make Upgrades?


Maybe. Similar to the pre-listing inspection, this choice frequently boils down to your home's current market value.


You might discover that a succession of little improvements, such as changing the faucets, cabinet hardware, and window treatments, will add more value to your property than a single pricey project. As mismatched bulbs can make matching glass shades appear discolored, some repairs might even be as simple as changing the light bulbs in your fixtures.


Your best option is to prepare a list of the improvements you're willing to do, along with a budget, and show it to your realtor.


It takes a lot of work to sell a house, work that starts long before your house even hits the market. However, you'll be in the greatest position to obtain the most equity out of the sale of your property if you enlist the assistance of a knowledgeable realtor up front and put in the work before listing.