Jay Falone's Blog
Although there are a lot of sound reasons for hiring a real estate agent to help you sell your home, objectivity is near the top of the list.
Homeowners, when left to their own devices, tend to overprice their property and overlook easy, inexpensive ways to improve curb appeal and overall marketability.
There's both an art and a science to effectively selling residential real estate, and when either of these aspects are neglected (the art or the science), opportunities for a speedy sale are often missed.
Whether it's because of emotional attachments to the property or a lack of knowledge about real estate marketing, home sellers sometimes undermine the sales process and send prospective buyers scurrying. If you're considering putting your house on the market in the near future, here are a few tips to help you maximize your chances for producing the best possible results.
- Avoid the temptation to price your house too high. Other than emotional attachment, some homeowners inflate their asking price because they're not on a strict timetable and can afford to wait. They incorrectly assume that if they wait long enough and show their home to enough interested prospects, they'll eventually get their high asking price. While that strategy may seem to make sense at first, it's actually based on a false premise. Once an overpriced house lingers on the market for months, its desirability drops sharply. Not only will prospective buyers assume that something's wrong with it, but they'll also catch on quickly to the fact that you're asking too much for the property. Unless an eccentric millionaire comes along who is absolutely in love with your house and has no qualms about writing out a large check for more than the house is worth, chances are your property will linger on the market indefinitely. In the vast majority of cases, house hunters are looking for a home that makes financial sense and provides a decent amount of investment value. Also worth considering is the fact that a property priced well above its fair market value could make it difficult or impossible for an interested prospect to obtain bank financing.
- It's usually a mistake to assume the house will sell itself. Failing to price a property competitively, maximize its curb appeal, and keep the interior looking impeccable at all times is a recipe for disappointment. Since first impressions are crucially important in attracting prospective buyers, no detail should be overlooked when putting a home on the market. When you consider the competitive nature of the real estate market and the fact that most serious prospects are going to carefully evaluate all aspects of a home before making an offer, it makes sense for you, the home seller, to avoid placing barriers, stumbling blocks, or disincentives in the path of potential buyers.
You’ve decided to sell your home to upgrade or even downsize, but you don’t know whether you should start looking and buy first or wait to sell first. The best-case scenario is to do both, but that takes a lot of planning. If you are sure your credit is good enough to get the loan you want, you can find a home and you have a buyer for your home all at the same time, the process could be quite smooth. Working with an excellent real estate agent goes a long way to making this scenario go smoothly.
If you decide to buy a new house before you sell, and then put your home on the market, or choose to put your home on the market and buy a new home, even if your home doesn’t sell quickly, you will most likely have a place to move to—and can take your time moving. This plan has two hitches, and they’re not necessarily bad:
Your house sells quicker than you expected. If it does and you haven’t found a home, or you did, but you haven’t closed yet, you may have to move to temporary housing until your deal closes. On the other hand, if the seller is not in any hurry, you could rent your home back until your deal closes and you get moved.
You will have to pay two mortgages. If your current home is not paid off, you will have to pay two mortgages. Depending on your income, you may not be able to close the loan on the new home until you sell your current home. If your debt-to-income ratio has room for two mortgages, this is not a problem.
Selling first is probably the safest way to go about moving. Once your house sells, put most of your possessions into storage and find a short-term rental. This allows you to take your time finding your dream home and getting the financing for the new house. Since you have all the time in the world, you’ll be able to shop around for the best mortgage without feeling pressured to take something because you need to close quickly.
Making the Decision
Before you decide on whether to buy or sell first or do both at the same time, determine which is best for your situation.
Check your credit score. The better your credit, the lower your new interest rate will be. Lenders will be more willing to work with you.
Start browsing for homes for sale to see if there is anything you are interested in.
Know how much mortgage you will qualify for. Speak to several lenders about the different available loan programs.
Contact a real estate agent to discuss listing your home. Ask about the listing contract and the cost of listing. Some real estate agents give you a discount on their commission if you use them to buy and sell.
Know the market. If buyers are flooding the market, it may be easier to sell your home. If sellers are flooding the market, it may take longer to sell your home because there are many homes for people to choose from.
The answers to these questions will let you know if it is better to buy or sell first.
Attending an open house should be a fun, exciting experience. An open house enables you to view a residence and determine whether a home is right for you. As such, if you know what to expect from an open house, you can plan ahead and maximize the value of this event.
Preparing for an open house can be simple. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to attend an open house.
1. Review a Home Listing
A home listing enables you to learn about a house's age, condition and other factors. Thus, you'll want to review a home listing closely to ensure it is worth your time to visit an open house.
If a home listing grabs your attention, it may be beneficial to attend an open house. That way, you can get an up-close look at a residence.
On the other hand, if a home listing fails to garner your interest, you may want to consider other residences. Because if you attend an open house for a residence that falls short of your expectations, you risk wasting precious time and resources.
2. Put Together a List of Questions
When it comes to preparing for an open house, it often helps to put together a list of questions about a residence. By doing so, you can ask pertinent questions about a home and gain the insights you need to decide whether to submit an offer.
There is no such thing as a "bad" question to ask during an open house. Therefore, you should be unafraid to ask any questions about a house when you attend this event.
Remember, the more information that you have about a home, the more likely it becomes that you can make the best-possible decision about a residence. If you ask plenty of questions during an open house, you can obtain home insights that you otherwise may struggle to receive elsewhere.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
An open house may prove to be a daunting experience, particularly for those who are pursuing a home for the first time. Luckily, real estate agents are available who can help you plan ahead for any open house, at any time.
With an expert real estate agent at your side, you can get the support you need to succeed during the homebuying journey. In fact, this housing market professional will learn about your homebuying goals and ensure you can accomplish them in no time at all.
Typically, a real estate agent will keep you informed about open houses in your city or town. This housing market professional is happy to attend open houses with you and offer homebuying insights and recommendations as well.
If you want to get the most out of the homebuying journey, it pays to hire an expert real estate agent. Reach out to a local real estate agent today, and you can hire a housing market professional to guide you along the homebuying journey.
A multifamily home is defined as a building that has more than one unit. Each unit has its own separate kitchen, bathrooms, and utilities. These types of homes can be rented, owned, or be an investment property where a landlord collects rent.
A multi-family home is a more economical way of living. Because there is less privacy and tenants or owners are living in proximity to others, the cost is usually less. If you live in a multifamily home, you may not be responsible for things like exterior maintenance or landscaping and lawn care. The landlord may hire an outside company to take care of these tasks.
Multifamily Home Designs
Multifamily homes come in a variety of designs. You may pass by houses that more than one family lives in and don’t even realize. Types of multifamily dwellings include:
These designs could have anywhere from two families to hundreds of families living in them. Duplexes, condos, and townhomes tend to have owners rather than renters. Apartments are usually seen as a property type that is leased. Some properties are stand alone while others are part of a complex. Your choice of where to dwell or invest in a multifamily unit all depends on preference.
How Costly Are Multifamily Properties?
For those who don’t like to deal with yard work or maintenance, living in a multifamily unit could be a great choice. You may have to pay monthly HOA fees or other maintenance costs, but everything is taken care of for you. These fees may even cover maintenance inside of your unit.
If you are investing in a multifamily unit, the costs can get a bit more tricky. While you will know the cost of the mortgage and insurance, the monthly expenses to maintain the property are always unpredictable. These costs all depend on what in the property is under warranty and how old the property is. Older homes will need things like new furnaces and roof replacements. It can be tricky to know exactly how much to charge for rent to actually make a profit as a landlord.
Keep in mind that if people are renting from you, you’ll need to replace things like appliances, carpets, and flooring each time a tenant moves out, and a new one moves in. It can also be challenging to deal with tenant problems on a day-to-day basis. Be sure you know what you are getting yourself into if you decide to invest in a multifamily home.
Overall, multifamily homes can be a great housing option for many families because of the simplicity and cost-effectiveness.
Putting a new mailbox up? Be sure to follow the official guidance from the U.S. Postal Service.®
Here are a few rules, tips, and suggestions to make your mail carrier's day a little smoother.
Putting Up a New Mailbox
USPS-approved mailboxes have Postmaster General (PMG) approval labels. Have your post office approve your mailbox plans if you're making your box. Its height should be 41-45 inches above the ground, and set 6-8 inches back from the curb. Your number should be clearly marked on the mailbox. It's helpful to number your home as well. If on a corner, mark your mailbox with your complete street address.
Switching to a wall-mounted box? Get your post office's go-ahead first. No PMG approval label is required. Just be sure the box can handle your normal volume of mail, including magazines. Place it in a spot that's visible and convenient for the carrier.
Tip: Think about your carrier (and the substitutes). If you put up wind chimes and garden lighting, hanging baskets and so forth, be mindful of the carrier's path.
Installing a Post for the Mailbox
A proper mailbox post is strong and stable, but will bend or fall if hit by a car. It's two inches in diameter if made of metal. It's four by four inches if made of wood.
Posts should be buried up to two feet deep. (Concrete-filled containers are not recommended.)
Tip: When inclement weather arrives, remember that your mail carrier needs a safe approach — free of mud, ice, or snow — to the mailbox or mail slot.
Best Practices for Door Slots
If the mail comes through a slot, be sure the opening is 7 by one and a half inches, or larger. The bottom of the slot must be thirty inches above the ground.
Is the slot horizontal? The flap should open upward, hinged at the top of the slot. If vertical, it must be hinged opposite of the door hinge side.
Tip: Be sure the opening is clear for the carrier to deliver your mail without struggling. There are approved inner shields for slots to use, rather than stuffing anything in the slot to insulate your place from a draft. Oh, and do you happen to have a cat? With claws? Be sure the cat isn't making a sport out of grabbing the mail or trying to catch the carrier's hand through the slot! Being mindful might not be a rule, but it's nice.
Creating Carrier-Friendly Neighborhoods
Sun, rain, snow, or wind... Mail carriers brave it all for us. Help your neighborhood stay carrier-friendly in return. Know the rules. Consider the mail from your carrier's point of view.