HOW TO PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR SALE ON A BUDGET

Appearance is everything when it comes to selling your home. Home staging and careful home preparations play a vital role in reducing your home’s time on the market and can help bring in higher offers! Here are some ways to prepare your home without breaking the bank:

REMOVE ALL CLUTTER

You want your buyers to view your home as their own. Having a cluttered home makes it difficult for the buyers to imagine themselves living in it and to see the potential your home offers. Store all your personalized items such as family pictures, personal collections, or toys if you have kids.  Pack away anything that is eating up space.

CLEAN

This is not your ordinary day to day cleaning. Nobody wants a dirty and smelly home. It is a must to have your house cleaned and deodorized prior to showings. Make sure everything is spotless. Get down to the nitty-gritty, follow the method of top-to-bottom, left to right method to make sure nothing is missed and overlooked.

IMPROVE THE CURB APPEAL

First impression is everything. Enhancing your curb appeal is equally as important as cleaning your home. If buyers see a house and love the exterior, they will most likely want to see the inside as well. Make sure you mow the lawn, remove dead shrubs and leaves and clear the driveway and sidewalk of clutter. This is your only chance to make a first impression. Make your house stand out from the rest.

Selling your home is a big deal! Use all these budget-friendly tips to make buyers feel that the home has been well taken care of and loved.

What NOT to do when selling a home

For a smooth transaction, here are some of the common mistakes to avoid when selling your home.

CHOOSING THE WRONG REALTOR- You need to choose a real estate agent who not only knows the housing market and the area really well, but also has the sales expertise and marketing skills needed to make your house stand out. Choose a realtor with excellent reputation rather than just relying on family or friend’s suggestion. Research and review agent’s ratings and reviews to help you make the decision.

OVERPRICING YOUR HOME– Pricing your home too high will deter potential buyers. Your realtor knows the market and what the houses like yours are garnering in terms of prices. Your realtor will be able to provide you with updated market statistics and comparable homes to help you price right.

GETTING EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED- Once you have decided to put your home on the market, it will be helpful to distance yourself from the emotional aspects of selling your house where you’ve cherished so many memories with your loved ones. If you’re emotionally unprepared, it will be difficult to see your HOME as a HOUSE that needs to be sold. Try see yourself as a home seller rather than a homeowner.

SKIMPING ON LISTING PHOTOS- Most of the buyers today looks for homes online, so it is important that the photos of your home are the best representation of your house. Be sure to check with your realtor to ensure they have a professional photographer who will help showcase your home’s best assets.

BEING UNPREPARED FOR YOUR NEXT STEP – As with any major change, there are a lot of moving pieces during a real estate transaction. Having a backup plan in place and the mental preparedness for changes will help ease any disturbances. Ask your realtor up front about closing costs and get a hold of your mortgage payoff so there aren’t financial surprises. It is always best to prepare yourself financially and mentally for any scenario that may arise.

NEW LISTING! 7746 KENTUCKY CIRCLE N, BROOKLYN PARK MN 55445

7746 Kentucky Circle North

Brooklyn Park MN 55445

Sales Price: $ $167,500

KENTUCKY LISTING

Check out this bright sunny home in Brooklyn Park. Located near shopping, schools and freeways but tucked away from busy streets! This home features 3 bedrooms and 2 baths and  ¾ bathroom on lowel level and nook in family room great for craft or desk area. Updates include paint, kitchen cabinets, counter tops and flooring throughout!

View the property listing here:

http://www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com/listing/mlsid/152/propertyid/4566579/

Don’t pass this one up!!
Call us at 651-269-3487 for any questions you may have, or feel free to email us at Sandy@SandyErickson.com

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Updated cabinets and counter tops in kitchen

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Sunny open living room

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Dining room up to living room above

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Rear of home. Large lot

Should you hire a Home Inspector?

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Home inspections are an essential part of the home buying process. It allows you to get impartial information about the house you are about to buy so you can avoid potentially pricey pitfalls. When you make an offer on your home, you can request an inspection contingency. This will allow you to back out of your offer without penalty within a certain timeframe if you are dissatisfied with the home inspection and are unable to resolve any inspection issues with the sellers. It should be noted that most inspections are able to be negotiated successfully between the buyers and sellers.

A qualified home inspector will pinpoint health and safety problems and look for any conditions that need specialized attention. An inspection includes physical elements such as roof, walls, foundation, insulation, attic and basement. It includes heating and cooling systems, plumbing, electrical and even examination of appliances. A home inspector provides a comprehensive report that details any issues found in the inspected home.

There are 3 things to remember about home inspection reports:

  1. A home inspection is not a warranty. The report details the issues found on the day of the inspection and cannot predict issues that may arise in the future. No matter how skilled your home inspector is, he can’t see the future and predict when an aging system may fail.
  2. No home is perfect– Even newly constructed houses can have issues. Some home buyers make this mistake of not having their new house inspected by a professional.
  3. It’s not pass or fail–  The home inspection report gives you all the details you need to help you make a decision whether or not to proceed with the sale of the home, negotiate with the seller to have the issues fixed or to reduce the  purchase price.

The Bottom Line

The home inspections can reveal problems that you may negotiate with the sellers to fix before the closing or before you move in. It may cost you some money, but you’ll be glad you did it because, in the long run, every penny spent is worth it. Home inspection can give you peace of mind that the home you are about to move into is safe and in a good shape.

IS SELLING “FOR SALE BY OWNER” A GOOD IDEA?

Some sellers think that selling “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) will save them thousands of dollars by not paying agents’ commission. However, there are several reasons why pursuing a FSBO might not be a good idea.

  • FSBO Homes Pricing Problems- One of the most common reasons FSBO don’t sell is because homeowners tend to overprice their homes. They are not aware of the current housing prices and changing market conditions as well as an experienced Realtor. Real estate agents, however, have an understanding of the current market conditions and data about recent sales in your neighborhood that can be used to price your home appropriately.
  • FSBO Marketing vs. Realtor Marketing- Homeowners often underestimate the time and work that goes into marketing a home. Agents are experts in marketing homes. They can pool resources to maximize exposure and have marketing budgets where homeowners usually don’t have.  With their experience, they have an idea what type of marketing will work to sell your home in the shortest amount of time for the most money.
  • Tricky Negotiation and Legal Paperwork- Homeowners don’t understand the paperwork involved in the sale of a home. Often, they are unaware of the mandatory industry disclosures and regulations, which can lead to costly legal problems. An experienced real estate agent knows what to do to address standard real estate contracts, closing documents, and appraisal issues. They can handle all the delicate nuances of negotiations between sellers and buyers. Having no emotional attachment to the house means real estate agents can be nonsubjective and negotiate the sale of the house effectively.It doesn’t come as a surprise anymore that the percentage of people doing FSBO have dropped down from 19% to   9% over the two decades.

Bottom Line

The typical FSBO home sold for $184,000 compared to $230,000 for agent-assisted home sales. Before making the jump to becoming a FSBO seller, sit down with a real estate professional so they can answer any questions you may have about getting your home sold.  A qualified real estate agent brings expertise to a complex transaction with many legal and financial pitfalls.

Coming Soon Listings: A Way to Market Your Home

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People have been talking about the “coming soon” listing feature that Zillow recently added to its site. This feature allows certain agents to post or advertise homes that are not available for sale on the site up to 30 days before they are added to the MLS.  You may have heard these listings called by a variety of names: Pocket Listings, off- MLS listings, or office exclusives. The downside of Zillow marketing like this is that it goes out to all kinds of buyers who may be unqualified to buy, resulting in unnecessary raised hopes or showings for the seller, and the information on Zillow can be inaccurate and difficult to manage.

The Sandy Erickson Team offers a Pre-Listing Marketing plan for our sellers who have interest in taking advantage of a “coming soon” listing strategy without the confusion or wasted time of a national site like Zillow. We have a database of trusted, local realtors who will receive the information of your home directly. Providing your home’s information to Realtors will allow them to connect it to their pool of buyers, matching up the needs of their buyers with the home. The result is that only buyers who are truly looking for a home like yours, and truly ready to buy, will be the ones to respond to this “coming soon” strategy.

Our proven marketing strategy is more than a listing on MLS and a sign in the yard. We will create the greatest demand to get your home SOLD.

The Importance of Title Insurance

When you purchase a home you want to make sure that the people you’re buying it from have the full and legal title. As a buyer, you want a free and clean title of any loans, fees and liens that the previous owner had against it. Problems with the title can limit your enjoyment and use of the property and may bring you big financial loss down the line. This is where title search and title insurance plays a role.

A title search is when a title professional search public records to look for any problems with the home’s title, looking at deeds, trusts, and wills, tracing the history of the property back many years. Some buyers have lost their houses because of clouded ownership. One way of avoiding this is to buy title insurance, also known as an owner’s policy. This is a one-time upfront investment with rates based on the purchase price of your home. This policy is used to protect the purchaser’s interest in the property. Though this policy is not required, it is highly recommended. This policy is valid as long as the owners, or their heirs, have an interest in the property. When selling, this provides assurance to the buyer that the title company will back you up with legal defense if needed and will also monetarily cover title after purchasing a home.

As always, it is wise to consult with your Realtor, lender and Title Company to know your options and to determine what’s right for you.

Is 2015 the Year of the Homebuyer?

It is anticipated that year 2015 will be a big year for homebuyers. Here are just a few of the changes that are expected in 2015:

  • Rent will raise around 3.5% and home values will continue to appreciate
  • Builders will begin constructing more, less expensive new homes.
  • Millennials will overtake Generation X as the largest group of homebuyers.
  • Homebuyers will have more negotiating power.

In general, it is expected that buyers will get back more leverage in the market. As Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow chief economist says, Since the recovery began in earnest in late 2012, buyers have really taken it on the chin, forced to contend with low inventory, tight credit, bidding wars and intense competition from investors and all-cash buyers. But next year we’ll start to see things really turn around. More inventory will continue to come on line, putting the competitive pressure on sellers for a change. This more balanced market will be smoother sailing for everyone, both for buyers in search of a competitive advantage, and for sellers who turn around and become buyers themselves.”

Next year looks to be a market that will balance out for both buyers and sellers—a benefit for everyone! But it is important to remember that no matter what the market does, the best time to buy or sell is when YOU are personally ready.

How to Prevent Clothes Dryer Fires

Cleaning your dryers should be done on a regular basis.  An estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.

Clothes dryer fire incidences in residential buildings was higher in the fall and winter months, peaking in January at 11 percent. Failure to clean (34%) was the leading factor contributing to the ignition of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings. Dust, fiber, and lint (28%) and clothing not on a person (27%) follow.

Here are a three easy ways you can keep your dryer fire free this winter:

  • Ensure you’re using the proper transition duct. One very important piece for dryer safety is the transition duct; this hooks the dryer to the dryer ducting. Remember just because you can buy in the box store does not make it proper or safe. Many of the cheap transition ducts are dangerous and may void warranties on your dryer. The International Mechanical and Residential Building Codes specify “UL2158A Listed” materials to be considered as code compliant. Listed products should meet and/or exceed flame-burning tests of at least 430 degrees Fahrenheit.

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  • Clean your lint screen. This screen should be cleaned each time to dry a new load. Be thorough—even if there is only a little lint on the screen, wipe it away.
  • Clean your vent line. This line connects from the wall behind your dryer to the outside flap. If you are unable to clean it yourself, you may hire a professional to do this for you,

5 Things You Need to Get Pre-approved for a Home Loan

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Looking for a house before getting pre-approved for a mortgage is like walking into a grocery store without a wallet. There’s nothing more disappointing than finding your dream house and then discovering you can’t afford it. To ensure that you have the best shot at getting the home you want, you need to obtain a mortgage pre-approval from a lender. It is a reasonable assurance you’ll be approved for a loan.
Here are the 5 things you’ll need to get pre-approved for a home loan:

  1. Proof of income. A record of employment income such as a paystub, T-4 slip or a personal income tax return (if you are self-employed, at least two years of Personal Income Tax Returns and Financial Statements) Proof of any additional income such as alimony or bonuses.
  2. Proof of assets. To prove that you have funds for the down payment and closing costs, you will need to present bank statements and investment account statements as well as cash reserves. Assets may include vehicles, retirement savings account, jewelry, collections and other real estate holdings.
  3. Your credit score. The loan officer will actually do this part for you! You’ll need to provide them with some key information so they can pull your credit. A “good” credit score depends on the scoring system used by your particular lender. Different scoring systems use different scales, and they each develop their own credit score range. Customers with a higher credit score will be able to get lower interest rates which will affect how much you can afford.
  4. Employment Verification. Not only will your loan officer want to see your pay stubs, but they are likely to call your employer to verify if you’re still employed and check on your salary. Today, lenders want to make sure that they are loaning money only to borrowers with stable employment. Borrowers who are self-employed still need to provide additional paperwork concerning their income and business.            
  5. Be ready to provide any additional paperwork requested by the loan officer as quickly as possible. The more cooperative you are, the smoother the transaction will be and the sooner you can find your new home.

The bottom line is by getting a pre-approval first before looking for a house can save a lot of disappointment and heartache later. By doing so, you also have an opportunity to discuss loan options and budgeting with a professional. If you’re interested in talking with a loan officer to learn about your credit score, you’re price point, or a home mortgage, Click here to contact our trusted loan officer John Roehrich.

Helping You Find Your Way Home…