Homeselling Process Archives - Jen Libutti Homes

Category Archives for Homeselling Process

Consider Upgrading Before You List

Most people have wandered through new home developments and wished their own home looked as modern and chic.  Model homes showcase the latest upgrades and decorating trends.  For home sellers these homes are their competition, and it can feel daunting to offer an older floorplan and design.

While it might seem like a smart idea to simply offer a buyer credit and list, there are downsides to this plan, and taking the time to update a bit on your own first could mean thousands (or even tens of thousands) of dollars in your pocket.

Here are a few reasons why offering a credit might not be the best strategy:

• Buyer Impression – A dated home looks old and not all buyers can see the potential.

• Lower Offers – Offering a credit could be viewed as high seller motivation, resulting inlower offers.

• Value Differences – You and your buyer might disagree on the value of needed upgrades. For example, you might feel $7,500 is a fair cost for a new countertop whereas your buyers might expect considerably more; this can lead to more negotiations and lower sales price.

• Home Condition – A property that shows its age can prompt the buyer to worry about the overall condition.

• Loan Approval – Lenders are wary of buyer credits; in fact, upgrade credits are no longer possible. You might have a buyer unable to take advantage of the credit at all and you could lose the buyer.

Home design trends change quickly.  If you’re ready to sell, it could be tempting just to list your home in its current condition.  Before you just add a credit to the listing, consider some simple updating so your buyers can see the value of your home.

Thinking of Selling??

Let us help you determine which upgrades will yield the highest returns on your investment!

Schedule your FREE Home Marketing Strategy Session today!

Preparing To Sell During Quarantine

So now that you’re stuck indoors for the foreseeable future, you may be wondering how you are going to fill your time. If you have plans, or are just considering, putting your house on the market when this is all over, now is the best time to get it ready! What better way to pass the hours and be productive than preparing your house for sale? While some checklist items may be obvious, there may be a few to-do list boxes you aren’t sure you need to check. Here is a list for you to get your house ready for sale!

Start Outside

If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere having nice spring weather right now, take advantage of being outdoors without breaking any local rules. In most cases, you are permitted to enjoy the sunshine on your own property, so now is the best time to spruce up the outside. If you have a power washer, clean your siding and any sidewalks or driveways attached to your home. Boost your curb appeal by mowing the lawn, touching up any landscaping work.

Make Repairs

Take care of whatever repairs you can that don’t require an unnecessary trip to the store. Swap out old lightbulbs, fix that window that keeps jamming shut, and patch up any dents or scrapes on your indoor walls.  If there are repairs you need to make that require a trip to the store and you are comfortable doing so, make a list of the necessary materials and try to limit the amount of trips you need to make, wear a mask and perhaps gloves and finally be sure to wash/sanitize your hands before and after you go*

*Leaving your home to buy materials to fix repairs should be done @ your own risk and only if you have a level of comfort in doing so.  If this is not possible, stick to repairs you can make that does not require leaving your home.

Increase Curb Appeal

If you have any paint on hand, or will be venturing out to the store and can get some, give your front door a fresh coat, add a new floor mat (ordered online!) and perhaps a plant for your front porch to make your home feel approachable. If a potential buyer doesn’t feel welcome approaching your home, they likely won’t want to live in it.

Declutter the Home

This is the best time to realize how much you actually use items in your home. If you’ve been stuck indoors for several weeks and you still haven’t used an item, add it to your donate or toss pile. Not only is this great to help prepare for sale, but it will help your mental health while you are stuck inside. Clearing clutter is extremely beneficial for many reasons, and it will make your move that much easier.

Clean & Organize

After you’ve decluttered, it is time to clean and organize. When someone tours your home, they want to feel like it can be theirs. If your home is scattered with items and there is barely room to walk around, it will be hard for them to picture themselves living there. Having your items cleaned and organized will also help you when it is time to pack and move on!

Eliminate Odors

You are probably craving fresh air anyway, so why not spend those sunny days with every window in the house wide open! This will help eliminate any residual odors you aren’t aware of and it can help keep air flowing while you are using chemical products to deep clean your home. 

Right now is the PERFECT time to start preparing your home for the market - for more thorough recommendations on how to add value to your home and position you in the best light to achieve TOP DOLLAR for your home, click here to contact me or here to schedule a virtual consultation!

Selling During Coronavirus Questions: ANSWERED

There are so many questions and concerns amid the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. The real estate market is especially hard hit and sellers are concerned.  Real estate at its core is a people business. It relies on person-to-person interaction and the coronavirus necessarily limits this contact. As the spring selling season gets started, home sellers will have questions and it’s important to acknowledge concerns and offer practical advice and concrete information to help sellers make the best decision for themselves and their families.

1.  Should I still try and sell my home? – Of course, there are many aspects to this question. First and foremost, the health concerns of the sellers’ family have to be taken into consideration. Unless absolutely necessary, the elderly and those with underlying health issues should not allow unnecessary people into their homes; including buyers and agents.  If the household is essentially healthy and not considered high-risk, then this could be a great time to sell. Consider the advantages of lower inventory coupled with low-interest rates; as listings become rarer, the remaining inventory will get more attention which could create better offers.

2. Is it safe to have people through my home? – This is certainly a concern, but there are practical steps you can take to ensure safer home showings.

3. What can I do to protect my family during showings? – Protect the home, family and visitors alike by taking the following precautions.

  • a. Keep hand sanitizer at the front door to offer buyers and their agents when they enter the home.
  • b. If there is a guest bathroom, keep disposable hand towels and soap for guests to use and make the request known to the showing agent.
  • c. Offer disposable gloves for use with a receptacle for used gloves.
  • d. Limit the showing days and hours so you can properly clean between showings.
  • e. Have cleaning wipes handy. Request agents to wipe surfaces, door handles, and banisters which are touched during the showing.
  • f. Ask your agent to offer virtual showings or host virtual open houses

4. What happens if my buyer loses their job? – Most real estate contracts now include, and California is no exception, a contingency for the buyer loan approval and funding. Now more than ever, it’s critical to keep that contingency in place. In the unfortunate event the buyer loses their job or can no longer qualify for the loan during the contingency deadline, the parties cancel typically cancel the contract.

5. Will I get a higher price if I wait to list my home? – The truth is no one knows. We don’t know how long or short the crisis will be and we don’t know how the financial market will weather the outbreak. While this is a question the seller will ultimately need to decide, the old adage about a “bird in the hand” is important to remember.

This spring selling season has proven to have unique circumstances –please contact me to learn more about the current outlook and opportunities in our local market.

Homes Selling Fast in 2018, Like Last Year

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A recent report showed that homes across the U.S. sold faster than ever during 2017. And experts believe that 2018 could be an even hotter real estate market, due to a chronically low level of homes for sale. So buyers should be prepared for competition.

A Fast-Moving Real Estate Market in 2018

Here’s the big message for home buyers and house hunters in 2018: Be prepared to move quickly when you find a house you want to buy. Nationwide, homes sold at their fastest pace on record last year. And this year could match, or even outpace, that record.

According to a recent report from the real estate information company Zillow, it took a median of 81 days to sell a home in 2017. That was nine days faster than the previous year. The fastest-selling month for houses was June of 2017, when it took about 73 days for a home to sell (including the actual closing process). Since it can take between four and six weeks to close a sale, this means the typical home was on the market for around 30 days, before going under contract.

Buyers Still Dealing With Limited Inventory

So here we are in spring 2018, and housing markets across the country are still red-hot. This is largely due to the dearth of inventory seen in many areas. Home buyers in 2018 are facing limited inventory this home-shopping season, which has been the case for the last three years.

According to the latest figures, housing market inventory across the country has declined on a year-over-year basis for 37 months in a row. This leaves fewer options for home buyers, while boosting competition and prices. In 2017, nearly a quarter of all homes sold across the U.S. went for more than the list price. This shows that stiff competition could be leading to bidding wars and driving prices higher.

According to Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow, 2018 will be marked by fast home sales.

“As demand has outpaced supply in the housing market over the past three years, buying a home has become an exercise in speed and agility,” Terrazas said in a recent news release. “This [year] is shaping up to be another competitive home shopping season for buyers, who may have to linger on the market until they find the right home but then sprint across the finish line once they do.”

Tips for Buying in a ‘Fast’ Market

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make the house-hunting process more efficient, and to make your offer stand out. Here are five tips for buying in a competitive market:

  1. Review recent home sales in your target area, to get a feel for pricing.
  2. Work with an experienced real estate agent who knows the local market.
  3. Get pre-approved for mortgage financing to help narrow your price range.
  4. Move quickly with a strong offer when the right house comes along.
  5. Keep the big picture in mind; don’t quibble with the seller over “nickels and dimes.”

The fastest-selling real estate markets of 2017 were mostly located in California and the Pacific Northwest, where inventory is most constrained.

Contact me for more info or for help purchasing your next home!!

How to Prepare for a Competitive Real Estate Market

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Home buyers who are planning to enter the real estate market can benefit from having their financing arranged ahead of time. What does that mean exactly, and why is it so important in the current real estate market? Here’s what you need to know.

Many real estate markets across the country are highly competitive right now due to a lack of supply. There are plenty of people in the market looking to buy a home, but there’s not enough inventory to go around. This supply and demand imbalance puts upward pressure on home prices and makes things more competitive for buyers.

Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, recently cited this as one of the primary factors influencing the market right now. “The major constraint in the market right now is the lack of supply,” Fratantoni told CNBC. “The absolute number of units on the market is near an all-time record low.”

Competing in a Tight Real Estate Market

In a competitive real estate market, home buyers want to have every possible advantage going for them. Among other things, home buyers can benefit from having their financing lined up ahead of time, before they even start looking at houses.

This might mean one of two things, depending on your money situation:

  • If you’re planning to pay cash for a house, the seller will probably want to see bank statements proving that you have the funds in the bank.
  • If you’re like most home buyers, and you will be using a mortgage loan to help finance your purchase, the seller will probably want to see that you’ve been pre-approved by a mortgage lender already.

Benefits of Mortgage Pre-Approval

Mortgage pre-approval is basically a kind of financial pre-screening process. This is where a bank or mortgage company reviews your current financial situation to determine (A) if you’re a good candidate for a home loan, and (B) how much you can borrow. This helps you, the buyer, in two ways:

  • Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help you narrow down your housing search to the kinds of properties you can actually afford, based on your financing. This will make your house-hunting process more efficient.
  • Mortgage pre-approval could also make sellers more inclined to take your offer seriously, since you’ve been working with a mortgage lender already.

Both of these things could give you a much-needed advantage in the marketplace. This is especially important in an active real estate market where homes are selling quickly, and where multiple offers are a common occurrence.

The current inventory situation across the country also underscores the importance of having professional help from an experienced real estate agent. An agent can help you find a property that meets your needs, evaluate the seller’s asking price, and make a strong offer in a timely fashion. This is the key to success in a competitive real estate market.

Are you ready to start the search for your new home?  Contact me and let me help you!

Why Pricing Is So Important When Selling a Home

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Do you plan to sell a home in 2018? If so, it’s time to start thinking about your asking price. Better yet, you could work with an experienced real estate agent to determine your list price. It’s one of our specialties. In this article, we’ll look at the reasons why it’s so important to price a home effectively, in order to get a quick sale.

Pricing Your Home to Sell Quickly

When selling a home, you can set the initial asking price in one of three ways. You can price it to sell quickly, eventually, or not at all. The first option is the one that appeals to most sellers, for obvious reasons.

The primary goal when selling a home is (A) to get the highest possible price, and (B) to sell within the shortest time possible. So let’s talk about how you would price a home to sell it more quickly.

When selling a home, it can be helpful to change your mindset from “owner” to “seller.” In reality, you’re both of these things. You’re the person who owns the home, and you’re also the one who is selling it. But you’ll want to think more like a salesperson than a homeowner, especially when it comes to pricing your home for the market.

Here’s a short maxim to help you adopt a salesperson’s mindset: “It’s not personal. It’s business.” You can repeat this little mantra when determining your asking price, and when negotiating with buyers. The personal and emotional connection you have to your home does not translate into market value.

Depending on when you first purchased your home, there’s a good chance it has risen in value. That’s because home prices across the country have generally risen over the last few years — and they continue to do so in most cities. So you’ll want to have the property evaluated by a real estate agent prior to setting your price. Your agent will review recent home sales in the area and other relevant data to figure out what your house might be worth in the current market.

The Market Determines Value

And speaking of the market, that is what determines how much your home is worth. The primary market forces of supply and demand dictate how much a seller can charge for an asset (in this case, a house). So it’s important to analyze the broader real estate market — and not just the house itself — when deciding on your initial asking price. This is another area where an experienced agent can guide you.

Setting the list price too high is a common mistake among sellers, particularly those who go it alone without an agent’s help. We live in the Information Age. Thanks to the internet, home buyers are more price-savvy than ever before. Most buyers conduct a lot of research before entering the real estate market. So it’s important that you establish a realistic asking price based on (A) recent sales activity and (B) the unique features of your home.

Pricing is one of the “Three P’s” of a solid home-selling strategy. The other two P’s are preparation and promotion. If you want to sell a house quickly and for top dollar, you must prepare it for the market, price it wisely, and promote it widely.

Have questions? Please contact me if you have questions about selling your home, or if you’d like a market analysis to help determine a good price. This is one of my specialties. I can help you avoid common pitfalls and support your price with current sales data.

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