Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Top Seven Things Every Seller Needs To Do


"Honey let's move", three simple words that can strike fear into the heart of almost anybody. Your mind will immediately flash images of strangers trampling through your house, packing boxes, loading the truck, breaking some odd lamp that will suddenly become a family heirloom; no wonder moving consistently makes the top ten list of the most stressful things a person can do.

After initially trying to justify that your current abode is perfect, you will resign yourself to the fact that there is a move in your future. What next?

Here is a top seven list of the things every seller needs to do before placing their house on the market.

7. Declutter - that junk drawer, closet, room may be ok for you but it will an immediate turn off to any prospective buyer. Go through the house and get rid of those things you don't really need, as a rule of thumb, if you haven't used it in two or three years, you aren't likely to use it again. Have a garage sale and schedule a pick up from Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Even if you decide not to move, you will feel better about yourself.

6. Repair and refresh - Every morning you look at that broken gutter and say "I gotta fix that", same goes for the leaky sink in the hall bath. While these little things are ok while you are living there, they are red flags to any buyer and you are probably going to have to fix them after the buyer' home inspection any way. Once you take an afternoon repairing these little things, get out the paint cans and paint anywhere it is needed, have the carpet professionally cleaned (or replaced if needed). It's a competitive market and your house needs to shine above all others.

Tip: Go all out and get a professional home inspection and address those items.

5. Research - I'm not talking about research into a pricing strategy that will come. I'm talking about real estate in general and research about the people that sell real estate in your area. Real estate is a constantly changing industry and is affected by many other factors such as mortgage rated, employment figures and even inventory. The simple act of listing your home for sale has changed dramatically in the past five years. Ask your friends about their experienced with Realtors, get the good and the bad. Make a list of the top three.

4. Amateur or Pro – Every seller has said to themselves, “This isn’t brain surgery, I know I can sell it on my own”, after all, who knows your house better than you do?  It is true that many people sell on their own and do it successfully without a Realtor.  However, most of them find that this is a full time job and they end up needing help along the way with all sorts of issues (pricing, buyer qualification, showing, appraisal issues and legal issues are a few of these).  In the end, sellers that use a Realtor, make more and sell quicker than those that don’t.

3. Questions to Ask Yourself – You need to put yourself in the shoes of a buyer looking at your house.  Most buyers have seen five to fifteen other houses before they visit yours, answering these simple questions will help your house stand out:
  •  If I was going to stay in this house another five years, what changes would I make?            
  •  What are the best features of this house and its surroundings?
  • What are the worst things about this house and its surroundings?
  • What one thing would prompt a buyer to buy this house over all others on the market?
  • What one thing would prompt a buyer to buy another house on the market over this one?
These questions are designed to help you overcome objections over price, condition, neighborhood, schools, design, floor plan, location and a myriad of other item that will cause your house not to sell.  Answer them honestly and address the issues brought up by the answers.

2. Who would buy your house? - The likely buyer of your house is somebody very similar to you when you bought it.   Think back to those days when you were looking.  Were you a first time buyer or move up buyer? What were the specific things you needed in a house? What sort of budget did you have?  An essential part of marketing is knowing who you are marketing to, figure out the type of person that will buy your house and you will have half the job conquered.

1. Where are you going and why – You are moving for a reason, what is the primary reason?  Are you experiencing a job transfer? If so, how long before you need to be in your new location? Has there been a change in your family that requires a different place to live? Has there been a change in your lifestyle that allows a different place to live? Have you found your dream home and don’t need two houses?  The answers to these questions will give you a guide to the amount of time and the amount of money you will need to make the move.

 Of course this is not the end all, be all of lists.  We haven’t even begun to address items such as pricing strategy, contracts, staging, escrow and closing, appraisals, inspections and a myriad of other things that will affect the sale.   A member of the Bo Evans Realty Team is ready to help you with your next move.  Give us a call today at 334-361-4661 or email sales@boevansrealty.com

Friday, December 19, 2014

Thinking of Buying A Home in 2015 this Guide will help

Home ownership rates are expected to continue climbing over the next year. The coming year should bring a fresh supply of new homes, new mortgage programs are expected to be rolled out soon for first time buyers and interest rates should remain low for the foreseeable future.

Perhaps you have decided that 2015 is the year for you to take the the plunge and buy a home. If you are sure where to start, this handy guide should help. 

1. Check your credit- Remember that credit card with the $750 limit you got with the cool t shirt? Even if you paid it off and haven't used it since the night you bought a round for everybody, it still may be affecting your credit. Check out Credit Karma.com or My Fico.com to make sure you don't have have any old open accounts or accounts that need to be taken care of. Both sites provide excellent advise for improving your credit and MyFico will all you to purchase the same credit report many mortgage lenders use. Mortgage lenders will require a credit score of 625 for an FHA loan  and higher for other mortgage programs. 

2. Save your money - While there are a variety of mortgage programs that require little or no down payment, you will still need some cash for things like closing costs, insurance and that cool new recliner for your den. You should have about 5% of your purchase price in the bank. 

3. Get pre-approved - There are so many mortgage programs, even seasoned buyers need some guidance in choosing the best one for their needs. All have different credit, income and down payment requirements, some are limited to certain counties, VA loans are only available to active duty or prior military, guard and reserves. There is a difference between pre-approval and               pre-qualified. . Don't know who to call, contact a member of the Bo Evans Realty Team, we'll be happy to help. 

4. Make A List - You probably have a pretty good idea of what you want in your next home, but it's a good idea to examine your lifestyle and determine your wants and needs. You probably,y need a certain number of bedrooms and a particular school district but you may want a pool or workshop. Prioritize the items. Put as many items on your list as you want, separate them into "must have" "would like to have", and "would be nice to have". It also helps to make a "don't want" list for things you would like to steer clear of. 

5. Dream - by now you know what you want (and don't want) in your next home. Head over to BoEvansRealty.com and check out the vast inventory of homes in our area. You can also sign up for automatic updates that will email you anytime a home that fits your needs comes on the market. 

6. Get Ready - contact a member of the Bo Evans Realty Team (334-361-4661) to begin the steps to buying your next home. You will get expert advise on contracts and offers, negotiations and all the steps you need to take to be in your new home in time for a great house warming party. This step can happen at any point of this process. 

Until Next Time ....
The Bo Evans Realty Team