Warning: "continue" targeting switch is equivalent to "break". Did you mean to use "continue 2"? in /var/www/vhosts/skirtingboards.com/httpdocs/wp-content/plugins/revslider/includes/operations.class.php on line 2758

Warning: "continue" targeting switch is equivalent to "break". Did you mean to use "continue 2"? in /var/www/vhosts/skirtingboards.com/httpdocs/wp-content/plugins/revslider/includes/operations.class.php on line 2762

Warning: "continue" targeting switch is equivalent to "break". Did you mean to use "continue 2"? in /var/www/vhosts/skirtingboards.com/httpdocs/wp-content/plugins/revslider/includes/output.class.php on line 3706
home selling Archives - SkirtingBoards.com®

When is a Lowball Offer a Good Idea?

Let’s face it: buying a home is like a game of chess, and each person is trying to outwit the other. You want to purchase the house for the least amount of money and the seller is trying to get as much as possible out of the deal. So when should you use a lowball offer as a part of your strategy?

Freshome asked several top realtors to weigh in on this topic.

holidays

Sometimes, it’s better to receive than to give. Image: jimfeng/Getty Images

The holidays

Apparently, sellers are in a more generous mood during the most wonderful time of the year, according to Shelton Wilder, a Beverly Hills, CA-based realtor at the Douglas Elliman Real Estate Company. In fact, she remembers one buyer who put in a lowball offer on Christmas Eve.

“The holidays and the fourth quarter are slower, but sellers tend to panic every year at this time,” Wilder says. “If a house has been sitting a while without offers, then it can create the perfect scenario for a buyer to pick up a property for a steal.” Also, she says that some sellers want to close the deal before the end of the year for tax purposes.

house won't sell

The longer a house sits, the better your lowball offer looks. Image: Haywire Media/Shutterstock

The home has been on the market for a while

If a home has been sitting too long, this can also be a good time to lowball an offer. A home will generally sell for asking price or over in the first seven days, according to Tom Matthews, part of the Tom and Joanne Team at Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty. “After 8 to 45 days on the market, a home is likely to sell for asking price.” But after this time frame, Matthews says a home will usually drop in price and this is an appropriate time for a lowball offer.

And Jenny Okhovat, a realtor with Compass in Los Angeles, CA, agrees. She says that a lowball offer is only a good idea when the home has been sitting on the market for quite some time, or if your realtor recommends it. “Your realtor should work with the opposing realtor — unless the home is FSBO — to come to a conclusion about whether or not the lowball offer will be considered by the seller,” she explains. “A lowball offer is only a good idea when there are no other offers on the table. Otherwise, it may be used against you to create a ‘multiple offer’ dynamic.”

repairs

A house that’s not in top shape won’t get top price. Image: ronstik/Shutterstock

The home needs repairs

If the home needs some work, the seller should be expected to lower the price accordingly. And the more work the home will need, the lower your offer can be. “If the property is in a state of significant disrepair and the seller doesn’t have the resources to fix the property or bring it up to market standard, the sellers are going to receive offers that are much lower than just the cost of fixing up the property,” explains Brett Jennings, Founder of the Real Estate Experts in the California Bay Area. “Buyers are going to factor in the price of their profit margin (if they’re an investor) or the time and hassle of renovating (if they’re a homeowner).”

homeowners tired

Homeowners soon tire of going through the selling process. Image: Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

There are failed attempts to sell

Sometimes a house is on the market for a while because a sale didn’t go through. “It can be helpful to look for properties that accepted an offer and went into contract, but then the transaction fell apart and they came back to market,” Jennings says. “These sellers are often more motivated to accept lower offers.” If there has already been one failed attempt at a sale, he says they may be more open to negotiating the second time around. In this case, a lowball offer could be a good option.

Crime scene homes aren't popular.

Crime scene homes aren’t popular. Image: Calkins/Shutterstock

The home has a bad history

It’s not only people who can have a bad reputation. Not many people will want to live in a home that’s gained notoriety for an unpleasant reason. “A home could be unmarketable if it was the site of a highly public murder,” says Phil Georgiades, Realtor, Mortgage Expert and Chairman of FedHome Loan Centers. Also, if there was a bad fire or the owner chose not to rebuild after a hurricane, some buyers could be apprehensive. This could help your lowball offer get accepted.

overestimate price

Homeowners may overestimate the value of their home. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

The home is overpriced or it’s an extreme buyers’ market

If the property is desirable or priced fairly, Georgiades doesn’t think a lowball offer is usually a good idea. “However, if the property is overpriced, a lowball offer may make sense,” he says. And Georgiades adds that sometimes sellers tend to overprice their homes. “If your agent appraises the home you are looking at and it is overpriced, it may make sense to write a lowball offer for fair market value,” he explains.

“An extreme buyers’ market is actually pretty rare,” Georgiades says. “In the past 20 years, there has almost always been a housing shortage.” However, this may vary depending on your region of the country — or even by city or part of town. If you are trying to purchase a home in an extreme buyers’ market, a lowball offer will go over better.

foreclosure

Homeowners on the verge of foreclosure are likely to take your offer. Image: olikoff Photography/Getty Images

You know the seller’s motivation

If you can learn a little more about the seller, you may be able to determine the reason why the home is on the market. Then, you can decide if a lowball offer could be appropriate. “I cannot stress enough the importance of dialogue with the seller or seller’s agent to understand the seller’s needs and motivation,” advises Joanne Taranto of the Tom and Joanne Team at Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty.

“Do they need to move to a new state for a job or to care for an elderly relative? Did they inherit the property but don’t have any interest in holding onto it? If you can identify what is important to the seller, you may be able to negotiate a better deal,” she says.

Jennings agrees. “The prospect of accepting a lowball offer is one that happens either because the seller is under some sort of stress and has a pending event like a foreclosure,” he says. “Or they don’t have the time or resources to bring a property to market.”

Low ball offer

A lowball offer can be offensive. Image: Fancy/Veer/Corbis/Getty Images

The risks of a lowball offer

All that said, one of our realtors is against a lowball offer under any circumstances. “Talk about starting off on the wrong foot,” laments Vivian Cobb of Colorado Springs, CO-based Cobb Real Estate. “A lowball offer is usually contrary to the spirit of trying to get the deal done.”

Cobb explains that getting to the finish line of a real estate transaction is a team sport. “If the other team is starting out by being insulting, it doesn’t usually go well from there,” she warns. However, Cobb also says that this practice may vary by market. “In California, for example, lowballing is the norm. But in Colorado, it’s considered bad form.”

And while Okhovat believes there is a time for lowball offers, she also thinks buyers should be cautious. “You don’t want to lowball a property that you really want,” she says. “[A lowball offer] can only be for a property you’re willing to lose out on if your offer is not accepted. “

The post When is a Lowball Offer a Good Idea? appeared first on Freshome.com.

Watch Out, Sellers: Are You Making Any Of These 4 Home Selling Mistakes?

Selling your home can be an emotional process. What makes it even tougher is that it’s also a business decision, one where it’s unwise to let your emotions run the show. Doing so can lead to making a mistake that could potentially cost you your ideal buyer.

With that in mind, we laid out four of the most common home selling mistakes, as well as how to fix them. Read them over to make sure that you don’t fall into any of these all-too-easy traps when it comes time to find a buyer for your home.

home selling mistakes

Be realistic when it comes to pricing. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

Pricing too high

The Problem: We all think our houses are worth their weight in gold. However, when it comes time to sell, it’s important to realize that sentimental value is not the same as fair market value. If you price your home too high, you risk just sitting on the market. The fact is, the way listing searches work these days, buyers are shown homes within a certain range of prices. You need to be in the right range in order to appeal to qualified buyers who will be interested in your home.

The Solution: Look at comparables. These are similar properties that have sold in your area within the last few months. Your real estate agent can pull them up for you. They’ll give you an idea of the right price range for your property.

Taking good photographs is especially important. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Skimping on photographs

The Problem: When selling your home, the photographs are what get people in the door. They’re the first impression that potential buyers get of your home when they’re looking at listings online. Unfortunately, even if your home looks great in person, if it’s captured with bad photos, it won’t even get a second glance. Many potential buyers will pass it over for more photogenic properties, even if your home is ultimately a better deal.

The Solution:  It’s important to make that first impression a good one. If you’re planning on taking the photos yourself, make sure that each room of your home is clean and well-lit before you do so. Then, be sure to capture the room from a variety of angles so that viewers can get a true sense of the layout of your home. Alternatively, go ahead and invest in a professional so you can rest easy knowing you can count on a job well done.

staging

Always stage your home before showings. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Forgetting to stage before showings

The Problem: We know that getting out the door before a showing is hectic. However, if you leave clutter on counters and dirty dishes in the sink, potential buyers may not be able to see past the mess to get a true sense of your home. Ideally, before showings, your home should look staged and newly cleaned in order to leave the best impression possible.

The Solution: Follow our home staging tips to get your home looking its best. Then, before each showing, work on sprucing up a little. Put away any clutter like kids’ toys or pet paraphernalia. Finally, do a few small cleaning tasks like wiping down counters and floors to make sure your home really shines.

negotiating

Stay open during negotiations. Image: ImageFlow/Shutterstock

Letting your ego run the negotiations

The Problem: Negotiations can be emotionally taxing, especially when buyers try to sneak in low-ball offers. Sometimes, it’s only natural to get a little frustrated. However, when you let your ego take over during negotiations, it can be a recipe for disaster. You may end up passing over or talking yourself out of an offer that would ultimately satisfy your end goal – selling your home.

The Solution: Remember that selling your home is a business deal and try to take a step back from your emotional attachment to the house. Figure out what your priorities are for the sale, whether it’s a bottom line sale price or a certain settlement date, and focus on that. Any offer that gets close to satisfying that priority is worth negotiating. Make sure you’re willing to both give and take.

The post Watch Out, Sellers: Are You Making Any Of These 4 Home Selling Mistakes? appeared first on Freshome.com.

Getting Ready To Sell? These 5 Small Repairs Make A Big Difference When Showing Your Home

When it comes time to prepare your home for sale, you want to ensure it’s in the best possible shape by the time you show it. This way, when a potential buyer asks about the property’s condition, they know it is ready to be sold without much work left to be done.

After all, most buyers would prefer not to have to deal with any functional issues before they move in. Before showing your home, consider making these small repairs, as they can make a big difference both in terms of interest levels and offer prices.

small repairs

Consider applying a new coat of paint. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Applying New Paint

Nearly any reputable realtor will suggest that you give your home a fresh coat of paint before showing it, provided you have not already done so very recently. At the very least, you should paint the interior in a neutral color that will make the space seem larger. If you have the time and it has been a while, you should also consider new paint for the exterior. A simple coat of paint makes everything look newer and as if it is in better shape.

flooring

Update your flooring to hardwood. Image: Breadmaker/Shutterstock

Making flooring fixes

Depending on the flooring currently in your home and its condition, you should also make any small repairs to this part of the house. Flooring replacements and repairs can be inexpensive when you choose the right material. Even a slightly more expensive flooring replacement can be worth it if you have shag carpeting or something else no buyer will want.

At the moment, most buyers prefer hardwood floors, so if you have this type of floor under your carpeting, a relatively low-cost removal of the carpet can dramatically boost your home’s appeal. If you have ceramic flooring, replace or clean the grout and replace any cracked or chipped tiles. As a general rule, don’t bother installing ceramic flooring in a home before showing it, since it is expensive. The only exception would be a bathroom or entryway that previously had carpeting.

cabinets

Think about resurfacing cabinets. Image: KUPRYNENKO ANDRII/ Shutterstock

Resurfacing kitchen cabinets and sinks

The average kitchen remodel will give you almost a complete return on your investment in terms of asking price, but this holds true more for mid-range and minor remodels than it does for high-end kitchens. One thing that will almost always be worth it, however, is resurfacing your cabinets. This is something you may be able to do yourself. You can liven up old cabinets, which will make them look less dated. While you are at it, consider replacing the handles on your cabinets, as well.

This is also the time to make small repairs to the sink and countertop, such as caulking your sink. Just giving your sink a deep clean may be enough to improve your home’s appearance. Your real estate agent may suggest some other minor repairs to the countertops, backsplash or sink.

bathroom

Freshen up bathrooms. Image: ArchiVIZ/Shutterstock

Cleaning or replacing bathroom fixtures

Your home needs to be sparkling clean when you show it, so do your best to get your shower doors and any glass fixtures in the bathroom completely clean. If this is not possible, go ahead and replace them. There may, for example, be lime deposits that have etched the glass past the point of repair. You may also need to refinish your tub if there are stains.

There are also some other minor repairs to make in your bathroom before showing your home. If you have carpeting in your bathroom, you definitely want to replace it with tile, as you will be hard-pressed to find a buyer who thinks this is a nice feature. You will also generally get your money back for small repairs such as new fixtures, lights and floors, all of which help make your bathroom shine during the showings. Also, don’t forget to repaint the bathroom walls, preferably in a light color as this makes the space seem larger.

curb appeal

Don’t forget curb appeal. Image: rSnapshotPhotos/ Shutterstock

Boosting curb appeal

Before showing your home, take the time to boost the property’s curb appeal with minor repairs, as this will bring in more interested buyers. If there are any cracks in your sidewalk or driveway, patch them up. If you have an asphalt driveway, take the time to resurface it. In the case of fences, make any necessary repairs on them and give them a fresh coat of paint. You will also want to do some minor landscaping, such as trimming back dead branches and planting flowers.

Remember that a boost to your curb appeal will make it more likely that someone will take a look at your home. Buyers will also be attracted to the ability to get a perfect picture in front of their new home without having to do extensive landscaping themselves.

The post Getting Ready To Sell? These 5 Small Repairs Make A Big Difference When Showing Your Home appeared first on Freshome.com.

These Home Staging Mistakes Are Impossible For Buyers To Forget

Home staging is a huge part of putting your home on the market. For one thing, it helps your photos stand out and get potential buyers in the door. For another, once they’re there, it helps them visualize themselves living in the space and, hopefully, encourages them to write an offer. With that in mind, it’s incredibly important to get staging right and, yet, it’s also easy to make home staging mistakes.

To that end, we decided to help you get it right by pointing out some of the most common mistakes. Read them over to make sure that none of them are happening in your home.

home staging mistakes

When staging, it’s important to keep your home relatively depersonalized. Image: The Woodlands Home Staging

Keeping it too personal

When you intend to live in your current home for a while, it makes sense to make it feel personal. After all, your home is supposed to be your oasis from the outside world. Naturally, you would want to fit it to your personal tastes. However, when you’re selling your home, that goal changes. Now, you want your home to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.

The fix: Go for a neutral look, both in terms of decor and the number of personal items you have around the house. Take down those family photographs and replace them with some affordable geometric artwork. Repaint over in-your-face colors with soothing, neutral shades.

scale

However, even neutral palettes need some contrast. Image: KCS, Inc.

Not including some contrast

That said, sometimes when people depersonalize their homes for resale, they can go a little too far. Seeing multiple rooms decked out in tan or light gray might not turn buyers off, but it won’t make your home very memorable for them, either. Your best bet is to include a little contrast in your neutral palette for visual interest.

The fix: Remember the 10-30-60 rule. If both your primary and secondary shades – those that take up 60 percent and 30 percent of the room, respectively – are relatively neutral, you can splurge on your accent shade to make it eye-catching. We recommend using a bold color in things like accent pillows or wall art in order to help the rest of the room pop.

contrast

Pay attention to scale and proportion. Image: Robert Thomas Homes

Forgetting about scale

Scale and proportion are important to consider when putting together any room. However, they become even more critical when you’re trying to sell. Put simply, potential buyers look to your furniture as a guide for how they envision themselves living in the space.

If the furniture is too big, they’ll assume that the house doesn’t have enough space. If, on the other hand, your furniture is too small for the room, they’ll assume that they will also have trouble making the space feel appropriately full.

The fix: Keep your proportions in check. As a rule, you’re looking for your furniture to be in 2/3 proportion to the room. By that, we mean the length of your sofa should take up 2/3  the width of the nearest wall. The coffee table should then be 2/3 the width of the couch. The same proportions can also be used for dining tables or bedframes.

taget market

Don’t forget to cater to your target market. Image: Little Staging

Not considering your target audience

When you’re staging your home, you should always have your target audience in mind and stage accordingly. In real estate, your target audience is whoever is most likely to buy your home or the demographic that makes up most of your neighborhood.

If, for instance, your neighborhood is made up of young professionals and their families, you may want to aim for a more modern color palette and decor. If, however, your neighborhood is full of empty-nesters who are downsizing, it might make more sense to go for a more contemporary look.

The fix: Take the time to look around your neighborhood and see who, predominantly, has moved in recently. Then, bring what you have discovered to your stager. He or she will know what should be done to appeal to your target audience. If you’re serving as your own stager, don’t hesitate to do some research online about the best way to appeal to them.

The post These Home Staging Mistakes Are Impossible For Buyers To Forget appeared first on Freshome.com.

How To Sell Your Home During The Holidays (We Promise It Can Be Done)

Unfortunately, the real estate market has a tendency to slow down during the winter months. However, that doesn’t mean you should lose hope if you need to sell your home during the holidays. There are ways to make your home attractive enough to buyers that they’re willing to brave the cold. We’ve listed our best tips below. If you implement the right ones you could have a holiday buyer in no time.

sell during winter

Do your best to keep holiday decorations to a minimum. Image: Louise de Miranda – 30’s Magazine

Minimize holiday decorations

Yes, decorating is an essential part of the holidays. Your decorating style, however, is bound to cater to your personal tastes. When trying to sell your home, it’s important to keep personalization to a minimum. Ideally, your home will be as neutral as possible in order to appeal to a majority of buyers.

Buyers are easily distracted. Sometimes they have trouble looking past things like dated wallpaper or carpeting. Overly-personalized holiday decor will stick out like a sore thumb and buyers may have trouble putting it aside in order to see how great your home truly is.

Keep in mind, we’re not telling you to have no decorations. We’re simply suggesting that you keep things simple. Try to keep overtly-religious decorations to a minimum, as well as anything that feels a little over-the-top. For the period of time that you’re trying to sell your home, opt for a classic, minimalist approach to decorating.

cozy

Use textiles to keep your home feeling cozy. Image: Jennifer Pacca Interiors

Keep it cozy

If there’s one thing that everyone can relate to in winter, it’s wanting to escape those colder temperatures. One way to help sell your home to buyers is to make your home feel like a cozy and welcoming space.

There are a few different ways you can go about it. Here are some suggestions:

  • Keep it warm: Despite what it may do to your heating bills, there’s no better feeling than coming into a warm house after being out in the cold. If you know there’s going to be a showing on your home, turn the heat up to a reasonable level. You want buyers to be able to focus on how great your home is, rather than how chilly they feel.
  • Display plenty of textiles: Textiles like blankets and pillows are synonymous with warmth and coziness. Make sure to display plenty throughout your home. Doing so will help buyers subconsciously associate your home with cozy nights in.
  • Get scented: Everyone loves a home that smells great. Before showings, try infusing your home with warm, inviting scents like cinnamon or fresh-baked cookies. You can do this by burning a scented candle or by cooking up the real thing.
price

Be sure to price it to sell. Image: Introspecs LLC

Price it right

Like it or not, pricing is a huge factor in how interested potential buyers are in your home. While you’ll obviously want to get the highest possible sale price, the best way to entice buyers to brave the cold and come to see your property is to price it right. We’re not saying to give it away, but you should be open to negotiating.

As to how to go about pricing it fairly, the first thing to do is look at comparables, or comps. These are similar properties that have sold in your area recently. Your real estate agent can provide them for you. They give you an idea of a realistic price range to list your home and help you figure out your bottom line. You can do this by looking at how much you owe on the property and how much you’ll need if you’re buying a new home. Any offer at or above your bottom line is worth entertaining.

showing requests

Work hard to accommodate any showing requests. Image: Abby Hetherington Interiors

Be flexible with showings

For most of us, the holidays are one of the busiest times of the year. Every day, it seems like there’s a celebration to prepare for or an event to attend. Odds are, the buyers who are interested in seeing your house are going to be busy, too. Since they likely have a limited time to schedule showings, you should remain especially flexible in order to accommodate them.

While this may seem tough, considering that you’ll have holiday obligations of your own, it’s non-negotiable. Selling in the winter often means having a limited pool of buyers to choose from. Therefore, it’s especially crucial to work with the ones that are available. Accommodating showing times, even when they’re inconvenient to you, is part of that. After all, no one wants to submit an offer on a house without seeing it first.

With that in mind, there are a few things you can do to make showings easier. The first is to have a showing plan in place so that everyone in the family knows what their responsibilities are before walking out the door. Additionally, try to keep your home as neat and show-ready as possible. The less picking up you have to do, the easier it will be to accommodate those last-minute requests.

Do you have any other tips for selling a home during the holidays? Let us know in the comments.

The post How To Sell Your Home During The Holidays (We Promise It Can Be Done) appeared first on Freshome.com.