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PRICING YOUR HOME TO SELL

PRICING YOUR HOME TO SELL

Smart, competitive pricing is essential. When you price too high, your home stays on the market longer, prolonging the process and increasing your expenses along the way.

Home Seller Mistake No. 1: Pricing Too High

“I can always lower the price later if I don’t get any offers.”

That statement costs home sellers millions of dollars every year.

Yes, you can always lower your asking price, but that’s not a good strategy. Time and time again, experience shows that sellers who list competitively from the start get a better price than sellers who list high and then go lower and lower.

Why? Psychology.

When you price too high, here’s what buyers think:

“Wow, three price cuts in the last four months… There must be something wrong with that house.”

“With all the price cuts on this house, the sellers must be desperate. Let’s offer them far below what they’re asking and see if they bite.”

Sound Pricing Strategies

A far smarter approach is to find a knowledgeable agent who understands the local market and then work together on setting the right price. A good agent can help you avoid the overpricing trap.

An experienced agent will help set the right price for your home by considering the following:


Similar homes, via a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): Your agent will provide a professional analysis that goes deep into stats about recent sales and current listings similar to your home in size, age, condition and features. Sales within the past six months are especially relevant.

General market conditions: Is it a seller’s market or a buyer’s market in your community? It’s important to note that what’s happening nationally may not reflect local conditions. Your agent can explain the difference and clear up any misconceptions you may have.

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how to market a home for sale

How an Agent Markets Your Home

 

Experienced agents understand how to accurately price your home and make it stand out in the market. They also have access to a vast referral network, enabling them to connect with potential buyers across town or around the world.

Here are a few avenues Power Marketing Real Estate agents may use to market your home, both online and off.

Multiple photos: Studies show that buyers are more likely to visit a home that includes multiple photos of the listing. Well-lit, wide-angled photos highlight your home’s best features and important rooms.

Designated website: A customized website for your home is an effective online marketing strategy. It can showcase your home with photos, virtual tours or videos, and details about the property and surrounding neighborhood.

Virtual tours: Video tours can be posted with or without a designated property website. Giving buyers an inside look at your property online can get them interested enough to schedule a showing.

Home search websites: More than 75 percent of buyers start their home search online. It’s important that your listing receives full exposure in the MLS and in search engine results. Posting your listing on Craigslist, Facebook, newspaper websites and elsewhere can also be effective in reaching potential buyers.

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Agents

It’s vital to understand how to choose a Realtor. Like selecting any service professional , from an accountant to your family doctor, it’s important to do your homework before deciding on a real estate agent. Your home purchase or sale likely represents one of the most significant financial transactions of your life, and you definitely want to find the right person for you.

Why the Right Realtor Matters :

Upon beginning your search, you’ll find that many agents specialize in areas beyond general residential properties. You’ll find specialists in luxury homes, distressed properties, international transactions and more. Before you dive in, it’s important to determine whether you’re dealing with a specific property type and/or a certain market segment – high-end homes, retirement communities, etc. This will help you from the start.

It’s equally important to find an agent who can get the job done. Although your uncle’s friend may dabble in real estate, ask yourself if he’s really the person most qualified to help you buy or sell your home. Personal referrals are great, but only if they’re based on relevant criteria.

Abilities matter. And production matters. You want someone with experience, education and a proven track record of successful closings. On all counts, Power Marketing Real Estate is a solid place to start your search.

 

 

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The Right Listing Agent

Plain and simple, owning a home can improve your quality of life, provide stability and give you a sense of control you just can’t get from renting. You have a place to live when you rent, but buying is something much deeper – and better.

A skilled, qualified real estate agent brings tremendous value to the process. You’re relying on this agent on many different levels, so be careful to select someone with the right combination of education, experience, performance and local insight. Look for a proven expert who can cast a wide marketing net and attract as many potential buyers as possible.

Be sure to let your agent know the particulars of your situation. Perhaps you need to sell within a certain time frame, are relocating out of state, or are facing foreclosure. Keeping your agent informed helps set the path for the best way to proceed, ensures that your needs are met, and ultimately contributes to a successful transaction.

Tips on Choosing and Working with a Realtor offers additional details on finding an agent to suit your needs.

 

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Home selling

Home selling

Selling a house can be stressful. Making the decision, preparing the house for sale, keeping it clean, waiting for a buyer, dealing with offers, and advancing to the closing table – all of these steps can involve discomfort. This is a huge financial transaction with many emotional aspects. But you can get it done , and it may even be easier than you anticipate.

One thing to keep in mind is that you’re not alone. An experienced, professional real estate agent can guide you through the process, help resolve any issues that come up, and ensure that your home sells for the optimal price in a timely manner.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when putting your home on the market and learning how to sell your house:

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How Much House Can You Afford ?

Knowing how much you can afford to pay is a crucial step in your search. Nailing down your budget early will make the overall process more focused and less stressful.

Here’s a good way to figure out how much you can afford:

The 28/36 Rule

The 28/36 rule is an established benchmark used by many lenders to determine how much credit to offer you. Here’s how it works:

 

Get preapproved for a mortgage. Your lender can approve you for a certain to loan amount prior to your home search. This gives you a solid number against which you can assess the affordability of the houses you visit.

 

The “28” refers to the notion that no more than 28 percent of your gross monthly household income should go toward housing costs, which include mortgage principal, interest, taxes and insurance.

To calculate, simply multiply your gross monthly income (amount before taxes) by .28. Use this amount as a guide for how much house you can afford.

Example: You earn an annual salary of $70,000. Divide 70,000 by 12, giving you a monthly gross income of $5,833. Multiply that by .28, and you’ll find you should spend no more than $1,633 each month on total housing costs.

The “36” part of the 28/36 rule refers to your overall debt, which shouldn’t exceed 36 percent of your income. This is important to consider because other high monthly debt loads – such as car and credit card payments – impact the amount you can afford to spend on housing.

For first-time home buyers, the tricky part is knowing how much to budget for taxes and insurance. An experienced real estate professional can assist you with this.

 

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Anatomy of a Home Purchase

For most people, finding the right home begins with a house-hunting strategy combining personal preferences, guidance from others (including an agent) and a mix of neighborhood exploring and online search.

For some, the search takes a while; others find what they want right away. In either case, your real estate agent can be a huge resource of insight and guidance, working through issues or complications that arise along the way.

Here’s a general outline of what to expect during a home purchase, from the buyer’s perspective.

Buyers make a purchase offer.
This is it! You’ve found the home of your dreams, looked over disclosure documents, reviewed comparable sales data, talked it over with your agent and submitted an offer. The sellers may accept your first offer, but more often will return a counteroffer. In fact, additional negotiations are common, and your agent will help you through this generally stressful stage.

 

The sellers accept.
Once everyone is happy with the terms, the parties have reached what is known as mutual acceptance and enter into a purchase and sale agreement.

Buyers put up earnest money.
To solidify your intent to buy, you’ll place a deposit, or earnest money, on the property. The amount varies, but is generally at least 1 percent of the purchase price. You’ll write the check to the escrow company, not the seller. Note: This money counts toward your down payment later.

Escrow opens.
The earnest money deposit goes into an escrow account, where all funds will be held until closing, when they are then distributed to the right people (lender, mortgage broker, title insurer, real estate agents, etc.).

Buyers apply for a mortgage.
This step is streamlined if you’ve already been preapproved for a loan (which is a smart thing to do). If not, you’ll begin the loan application process now.

The lender inspects title history and orders a property appraisal.
The lender needs key information about the property before granting a loan. This is when potential problems can come to light. For example, the appraisal could show a lower value than the purchase price, or the lender could have trouble finding comparable homes. Also, the title search could turn up liens or other problems.

A home inspection takes place.
You’ll hire an inspector – generally, your agent will suggest one, or provide several options – to check the home and point out minor and major problems that should be fixed before closing. At this point, you still have the option of backing out of the deal. Through your agent, you’ll submit a list of requested work, and the sellers have the option to complete the tasks, do some of them but not others, or reject the request. The sides will negotiate until reaching an agreement.

Removing contingencies.
If the house passes inspection, appraisal and title search, and everything is good to go, then all contingencies can be removed, paving the way to a closing.

Closing time arrives.
Once contingencies are removed and financing is set, all parties sign a seemingly endless stack of documents, and the transaction closes.

Packing begins!
When the final signatures are in place, it’s time to put down the pens, shake hands, exchange smiles and start packing for the move!

 

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DECIDING WHERE TO LIVE

DECIDING WHERE TO LIVE

Talk to at least one neighbor before you make an offer. Ask what they like best and least about living there.

In many cases, it’s better to buy the smallest house on the most desirable block than the biggest house on the least desirable one. Buy location over house.

 

If you’re unfamiliar with the area where you’re moving, your buyer’s agent is an invaluable resource. He or she can offer insider knowledge on neighborhoods, schools, access to recreation and shopping districts, and the many other details on local neighborhoods and subdivisions.

It’s important to have a clear picture on the features that matter most to you in a home or location. Creating a list of “must haves” and flexible “nice-to-haves” from the start will make things a lot easier for you.
Factors to consider:


1. Size of home – square footage, number of bathrooms, rooms, etc.
2. Home features – updated fixtures/appliances, property size, garage, storage, etc.
3. Location – proximity to schools, open space, entertainment, work, etc.
4. Neighborhood – older or newer homes? Families, retirees or singles?
5. Room to grow – planning to have more children?
6. Condition – move-in ready or a less expensive home in need of improvements?

Your buyer’s agent can offer advice on the countless items you should consider according to your lifestyle, budget and particulars.

 

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THE IMPORTANCE OF A BUYER’S AGENT

A real estate transaction is a complex process involving stacks of paperwork and a number of outside service providers and contractors.

An experienced buyer’s agent can guide you through the process, answering your questions and serving as your advocate . Your agent will help you find the property that fits your needs, submit offers and counteroffers, suggest a good property inspector and other professionals, and provide all sorts of relevant advice.

With a buyer’s agent, you’ll have someone on your side, looking out for your interests every step of the way.

 

When seeking out a buyer’s agent, look for factors such as productivity, education and experience.

 

Look for an agent who understands your lifestyle. Make sure the agent knows the neighborhoods you’re interested in, and can answer questions you’ll have about the location.

 

What are the costs involved in hiring a buyer’s agent?

 

As a buyer, you don’t pay your agent directly. Instead, the agent receives an agreed-upon portion of the listing agent’s sales commission (usually about half), which is paid by the seller.

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Dream House Concept

The Benefits of Home Ownership

Plain and simple, owning a home can improve your quality of life, provide stability and give you a sense of control you just can’t get from renting. You have a place to live when you rent, but buying is something much deeper – and better.

The intangibles are tough to measure, but there are other benefits you can quantify:

Financial investment:
Your monthly mortgage payment creates equity for you, not your landlord.

The interest on your mortgage is a tax deduction:
While this isn’t a reason in itself to buy a home, it’s nice to get a break at tax time.

Fixed monthly housing payment:
If you opt for a fixed-rate mortgage, the monthly rate of your mortgage won’t change for the length of the term.

 

Look for a house you can stay in long-term; one that will “grow” with your family and needs. The financial benefits of owning increase over time.

Look for an agent who understands your lifestyle. Make sure the agent knows the neighborhoods you’re interested in, and can answer questions you’ll have about the location.

 

Tax-free gain:
When it’s time to sell your home, you don’t pay taxes on the proceeds of the sale that are above what you paid (with some restrictions – see information on capital gains).

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