Sale of Home Contingency Explained

A common question we get from our clients is what to do when an offer on their home includes a Sale of Home contingency. In a nutshell, a Sale of Home contingency means that the potential buyer has a home to sell, and that they will only move forward with the purchase of the new home if and when their property sells. Our clients are often uncertain about how to proceed when they receive an offer with this contingency. Of course every situation is unique, but in most cases, we advise the following.

Should You Accept the Home Buyer’s Offer?

Whether or not to accept an offer with a Sale of Home contingency depends on two key factors:

  1. The salability of the buyer’s property — You (with our help) need to evaluate how likely it is that the buyer’s home will sell within a reasonable timeframe. Factors such as how it is listed on the market (by a Realtor or FSBO, for example), its list price, location, and condition will all play a role in how quickly it sells.
  2. The dollar amount of the offer — If an offer is going to contain this type of contingency, then the dollar amount needs to be on the high end of what the homeowner is willing to accept. A “low ball” offer with a Sale of Home contingency is usually not worth considering.

If You Decide to Accept the Offer

If our clients consider these factors and choose to accept the offer, we strongly advise them to include language in the counter offer that will allow us to continue marketing and showing their home, even though it is in contract. We also include an escape clause that allows for our clients to accept a better offer. It works like this:

two professionals shaking handsOur clients receive another offer that they’d like to accept.

  • They accept the offer as a back-up offer.
  • They notify the first buyer of the new offer, and give the first buyer a certain amount of time (usually 48 hours) to remove the Sale of Home contingency.
  • The first buyer must either remove the contingency (and move forward with the purchase regardless of whether or not their home sells) or be “bumped” by the second buyer.
  • If the first buyer does not remove the contingency within the allotted time frame, then the second buyer takes over the primary position and the transaction moves forward.

Sale of Home contingencies are very common and, when handled properly, are just another component of a smooth transaction. We can provide more information about contingencies and what to expect when selling your home. Call us at 614-939-8944.

Beat the Winter Blues with Colorful Home Décor

The winter holidays and New Year’s have come and gone, and so have all the decorations. With no twinkling lights or festive ornaments brightening up its main living areas, your home can start to look a little bare. Not to worry! Here are a few winter home decorating ideas that can cheer you up and bring back the holiday sparkle. And if you’re planning to sell your home this season, these tips will also help you impress potential buyers with your warm, welcoming home.

seasonal wreath on doorKeep the Wreath on Your Front Door

A splash of color in your entryway can bring a smile to your face even on the gloomiest winter mornings. Add sprigs of holly, frosted pine cones, or a colorful bow to an evergreen wreath and hang it over your door for a fun and festive winter look. (Plus, home buyers pay special attention to your entryway, so a seasonal wreath is key to creating the best first impression.)

Get Cozy Around the Fire

Have a fireplace? Turn it on! Nothing beats a peaceful winter evening reading or sipping coffee by a crackling fire.

Spice Up Your Home

Cinnamon, vanilla, and spruce are cozy wintertime scents that can add a touch of magic to your home. The fragrances from scented candles will complement your winter home décor nicely (and create that special feeling of “home” for potential buyers).

blue and white furnishingsSwap Holiday Colors with Winter Palettes

An effortless way to transition from holiday décor to winter décor is to switch color schemes. These are color combinations HGTV recommends for decorating your living room, dining room, bedroom, and other spaces in your home:

  • Gray, white, silver, and turquoise
  • Red, silver, and white
  • Dark brown, dark purple, and reddish orange
  • Pale green, beige, and copper
  • Navy, beige, and white

Let the Winter Sunshine In

Keeping the curtains closed can make your home look dreary. Brighten up your living spaces with natural light during the daytime, and light a few candles when the sun goes down. Buyers love homes that are cheery, bright, and spacious; opening the windows not only fills your home with light, it also makes your home appear larger.

Keep Winter Blues at Bay When Selling

If you’re planning to sell your home this winter, keep these winter home décor tips in mind. Home buyers want to feel cozy and comfortable in a place they’ll soon call home; a bright and cheery interior will leave the best impression. We’re more than happy to talk with you about selling your home. Contact us if you’d like more staging tips and home selling resources.

Will 2017 Be a Buyer’s or Seller’s Market?

Buyers Road and Sellers Lane signsA common question as we enter the new year is “Will next year be a buyer’s or seller’s market?” Most economists agree that 2017 will likely remain a seller’s market. In some of our neighborhoods, the answer is obvious — we have been playing “catch up” on inventory all year. I expect the New Albany market to continue to skew toward sellers well into 2017, even with an uptick in mortgage interest rates. There are several pockets where inventory levels remain higher, primarily the +$1M market, that might be classified as a buyer’s market.

The National Association of REALTORS® defines a seller’s market as one with less than a 6-month supply of homes for sale. A balanced market will have a 6- to 7-months’ supply of homes for sale, and a buyer’s market generally has an 8-month supply or more. Supply varies from community to community as seen in the table below (based on inventory/trailing year sales as of 12/20/16):

Neighborhood Months’ Supply of Homes for Sale

CommunityMonths of Supply
New Albany Country Club (under $1M)4
New Albany Country Club (over $1M)12
Hampsted Communities2
New Albany Links Communities1
Windsor3
Preserve Communities1
Albany Park0

Where Will Mortgage Rates Go?

The consensus seems to be that mortgage rates will rise from the historically low interest rates we’ve enjoyed for the past eight years. In fact, we’ve already started to see an increase. When the Federal Reserve raises its rate, it inevitably puts pressure on rates that lenders charge for mortgage interest. We don’t believe the rates will increase to levels where affordability will be substantially impacted.

Key Takeaway for Sellers: If you are planning to sell your home in the next two years, 2017 is likely to be the better year in which to do so. Call us for more info: 614-939-8944.

The Top Real Estate Resolutions (And How to Keep Them)

Want to visit the gym more? Finally complete the home improvement project you’ve been working on? Save money for that new watch/car/house/vacation? January 1 is the perfect time to jumpstart your goals. If you’re like most people, according to Money Magazine, you probably have “stay fit,” “spend less,” or “enjoy the most out of life” on your list of New Year’s resolutions.

Did a few real estate goals make it on your list, too? You’re not alone. Here are a few of the most popular home-buying or home-selling goals, and a few tips on how to achieve them.

Buy Your First Home

brand new homeownersYou’re ready to take that first step to homeownership in the New Year. You likely already have an area or neighborhood in mind, and you have a few features that you’d like in your new home.

How to keep it: Buying a home is a major project. It may be easier for you to achieve this goal if you set smaller, more manageable goals, such as putting aside money every month for a down payment, reviewing your budget, and researching reputable lenders.

Make Extra Payments on Your Mortgage

If you currently own a home, you might be trying to pay it off quickly, knowing that paying even a fraction of your mortgage ahead of time can cut out a few years (and hundreds of dollars in interest). You might have even taken some time to determine how much you could feasibly pay extra every month.

How to keep it: Don’t feel like you need to make dramatic changes to your monthly payments. Instead, save up just a few dollars a week to put aside toward your mortgage.

Put Your Home on the Market

You’ve decided that 2017 is the year to sell your home. Maybe you’ve started getting rid of household items you no longer need, or maybe you’ve started making a few small home improvements. This is a great first step to achieving your real estate goals.

How to keep it: Forbes shared the secret to keeping New Year’s resolutions, and one of the top tips is to make your goals specific. If you want to sell your home for a high price, for instance, determine what amount you want for your home. Start researching which homes near you have recently sold to get an idea of market conditions and what prices are realistic. Just ask us for a Neighborhood Sold Report or a free home evaluation.

Invest in Your First Property

investing in real estateHave you been thinking about investing in real estate to make extra money? Because this type of investment requires a little more real estate and financial knowledge, you might have already started doing a little research before you begin. Knowing common terms, understanding the basics of investing, and having a good handle on your finances can save you time and effort down the road.

How to keep it: Maintain detailed records of your finances. Do your research. Give yourself a deadline to have your down payment and cash reserves (if you don’t have the cash to buy the property outright). Determine how much money you want to make. Then, set aside the time to meet with a real estate agent to talk about your goals and which properties would be best for you.

We’ll Help You Achieve Your New Year’s Goals

Whether you’re buying or selling a home in 2017, we will do everything we can to help you with your resolutions. You can take the first steps now by viewing the resources available on our website, or you can contact us directly to talk about your plans.

Selling Your Home in 2017? Here are the Latest Market Predictions

notebook with new year's goalsIt’s that time of year: Many homeowners are looking to the New Year and planning their 2017 real estate resolutions (sell the house, move to the suburbs, buy that dream vacation home, etc.).

If you’re planning your own New Year’s real estate resolutions, you might be researching 2017 housing market predictions to figure out when you should sell your home and what tomorrow’s home buyers are searching for. After all, you’ve invested your time and money into your property. Don’t you want to see your hard work pay off?

Here are a few real estate predictions for 2017 that may come into play when you sell your home.

Buyers Want the Best of Both Worlds

If you live in a suburban community that’s surrounded by urban amenities, chances are good that your location will be a selling point for buyers. MarketWatch predicts that buyers want “surban” homes just steps from shops, restaurants, schools, and parks.

These Home Features are “In”

Formal dining rooms and dark kitchen cabinets are out. Open layouts, white kitchens, and first-floor master suites are just a few of the “in” real estate features of 2017, according to Builder Online.

Don’t have any of these features in your current home? Don’t worry. We can help you add value to your home so you can sell for the most money possible (no costly renovations required).

Sustainable and Smart Homes are a Priority

house with smart entertainment systemEven though green homes aren’t a new idea, the trend will likely continue into 2017. Since many buyers are eager to save money on monthly energy bills, energy-efficient home features and “smart” home systems are inching toward the “needs” column on buyers’ wants and needs lists. REALTOR® Magazine’s 2017 design trend predictions include more efficient HVAC systems, low-E window film, and even circadian lighting.

Thinking about making “green” upgrades to your home? We can help you determine which energy-saving features will give you the highest return when you sell.

Determined to Sell Your Home in 2017?

We can help you check “home selling” off your list of New Year’s resolutions. We offer invaluable resources on our website about preparing your home for sale, understanding the current market, and pricing your home. Contact us and we’ll help you get started.

How 2016 Technology Has Changed Your Home Search Forever

scrolling through mobile phoneWhen was the last time you hopped in your car to start your home search? Most home buyers today just pick up their phones to instantly view properties all around the country — no car required.

Each year, new tech changes the way that we interact with the world. Here are just a few of the ways 2016 technology has changed the way buyers find real estate.

You Can Access Anything On the Go

Your home search doesn’t stop while you’re out and about. Today’s technology has made it easier to access information when you need it. While you’re waiting in line at the store or idly scrolling through your phone, you can find articles about the home buying process on social media, see listings on a mobile search app, or check commute times from homes you’re considering.

Video Tours Have Evolved

Listing photos are incredibly helpful for home buyers who are looking online for properties. But now, video tours make deciding on homes even easier. Instagram, Facebook Live, and even Snapchat are just a few of the many platforms that you can use to find video tours.

“Smart” Home Features are Becoming a Priority

Remember earlier this year when the Pokémon Go mobile app was released? Proximity to a “Pokéstop” — a point of interest where players could collect items for the game — was listed as a feature in property descriptions, at least for a little while. The Pokémon Go craze is just one of many instances where technology is becoming a priority in and near homes that buyers are considering.

home with smart featuresToday’s home buyers can purchase smart home security cameras, install programmable thermostats, and invest in the security systems of tomorrow. Green homes, energy-efficient appliances, and home energy monitoring systems help homeowners save money. With the right mobile apps, your smartphone can control just about anything in your home, from lights to locks.

One Thing That Will Never Change…

The Internet is saturated with information, both good and bad. But one thing you can’t glean from technology is the ability to navigate the complex real estate process. Even with all the innovations in technology, you’ll still need an experienced real estate agent to help you buy a home.

Are you searching for a home in our area? We’ll help you find just what you’re looking for and handle every detail of your transaction. Contact us and let’s get started.

6 Simple Holiday Decorating Ideas for Your Home

What really makes your home warm and merry this holiday season is the people you welcome into it. Sometimes we get so consumed with the details – cleaning, decorating, shopping, cooking – that we forget to stop and take the time to enjoy the best part of the holidays – spending time and making memories with our loved ones. So here are some super simple holiday decorating ideas to help make your home more festive and leave you plenty of time and energy left to enjoy what matters most.

  1. Fill a glass vase (or other unique container) with colorful glass balls. This adds color and cheer to any room, and allows you to showcase your crystal vase or glass bowl that rarely come out of storage and make use of those “extra” ornaments.
  2. Fill a fireplace (that you are not planning to use, of course) with several poinsettia plants. This can really brighten up a room and add a cheery focal point. Finish the look by draping some garland over the mantel for a framing effect.
  3. Highlight a large light fixture with a little garland and/or a sprig of mistletoe. This is a great way to add some decorations to a room without taking up any table or floor space, which can be limited, especially if you are entertaining.
  4. Cover empty boxes in various sizes with shiny, colorful holiday wrapping paper. You can arrange tiny boxes on a serving platter and use as a centerpiece, and fill empty corners or display shelves with larger boxes.
  5. Hang a single, small to mid-size wreath in a feature window.
  6. Tie a swag or two on your mailbox. Add some ribbon for an added pop of color.

We Can Assist With Your Holiday Real Estate Needs

Are you buying your next home or selling your current home during the holidays? We are here to help with anything you need. Call us at 614.939.8944.

Downsizing Your Home? Use These Tips to Plan Your Move

kitchen and dining roomMaybe the thought of moving to a smaller, low-maintenance home has only briefly crossed your mind, or maybe you’re seriously considering downsizing. But before you trade your too-large house in for, say, a cozy condo downtown, there are a few things to consider.

Downsizing requires quite a bit of planning: You may need to figure out what to keep and what to discard, choose between the love seat and the sofa for your new living room, and determine which furniture pieces can serve multiple functions.

Here are a few downsizing tips to help you prepare to sell your current home.

Start Reducing Your Possessions Now

The sooner you are able to get rid of furniture, household items, and knickknacks you no longer use or need, the better off you’ll be. When you do decide to sell your home, you will thank yourself for spending a few hours a week decluttering now rather than waiting to do everything all at once.

If You Can, Sell Instead of Discard

Many homeowners choose to downsize to spend less money on a mortgage and more money on fun experiences. If you are able to start decluttering weeks in advance, you will have the time to sell unwanted possessions and save the money for future vacations. Consider hosting a yard sale, posting items for sale online, or having high-end items appraised.

Have a Plan

notepad with wadded paperTo avoid getting overwhelmed by all the work involved in downsizing, form a plan to keep your stress at bay. Consider these planning tips:

  • Make a checklist of possessions you cannot live without in your new home.
  • Create a checklist of wants and needs for your new home.
  • Determine which items you can pack now and which items you need to keep handy.
  • Start packing your nonessential belongings.

Get Started by Working with a Real Estate Expert

One of the biggest mistakes home sellers make, whether or not they’re downsizing, is not hiring a real estate professional to make the most of their investment. An agent’s experience and knowledge will help you sell your home for the most money possible, allowing you to use the proceeds to purchase a smaller home.

Are you thinking about downsizing? Start the process by requesting a market analysis for your property. Contact us to learn more.

safety tips infographic

12 Tips for a Safer Holiday Home

Our world is full of risk at every turn—from perilous jobs to dangerous driving conditions. That’s why we all love to get back to our homes and not worry about everyday safety hazards. It’s great to feel comfortable and safe at home, but is it as safe as it can be?

Your home should be your haven: the place where you will be protected from harm. It should be a top priority, and yet every year 12,000 people or more visit the emergency room during the holiday months due to accidents and unintended injuries sustained from hidden dangers around the home.

With a sharp eye and preventive action you can reduce the chances of lurking safety dangers for everyone who visits your home.

1. Good Lighting

Adequate lighting reduces the risk of tripping and falling both inside and outside your home. This is especially important in winters when days are shorter. Critical areas that need to be illuminated are the stairs, outdoors, and foyers. Make sure your street number is well lit and visible from the street to aid first responders find your home. The fix: Make sure adequate wattage is utilized and long-life bulbs and motion detectors are in place.

electrician working on outlet2. Electrical Problems?

Electrical issues, like a flickering light or a dead outlet, can be mild annoyances that actually signal serious dangers. If not addressed promptly, a faulty electrical system can result in house fires and shocks. The fix: If you’re experiencing any problems with your electricity, contact a professional right away. In your daily life, make sure electrical cords are not frayed or pierced and extension cords are securely connected. Do not run too many cords to a single outlet. Unplug small appliances, space heaters, and power tools when not in use.

3. Do Routine Cleaning

Not maintaining your appliances leads to a greater chance of accidental home fires. The fix: Do simple tasks regularly like cleaning grease off your stovetop, emptying the lint trap on your dryer, and keeping your chimney clean and clear.

4. Smoke and Gas Detectors

Every home needs functional warning devices that detect smoke and gasses. The fix: When purchasing smoke alarms, make sure they also detect carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that is especially dangerous because it is colorless and odorless. Replace the batteries every six months—or whenever you change your clocks. Create an emergency evacuation plan, build a preparedness kit, and practice regular safety drills with your family to ensure awareness of procedures.

… Curious to Learn the Other 8 Safety Tips?

Prepare for the season and DOWNLOAD your Holiday safety guide now!

We Can Refer You to Trusted Service Professionals

With the upcoming holidays at hand, now is the perfect time to survey your home and address potential safety hazards to yourselves, your family, and your friends. It doesn’t take long, most fixes are very inexpensive and simple to do, and your efforts will pay dividends in peace of mind for years to come.

If you would like our advice on how to make your New Albany home safer and need a list of trusted sources for home repairs, please contact us today. It’s our business to ensure that your home is safe and secure for your family.

What’s Happening in and around New Albany This Month?

The community fun continues this month in New Albany, Ohio! We want to make sure you know all of the details. Mark your calendars for these upcoming November events.

Saturday, 11/12: NAWN’s Annual Charity Fashion Show

brunch at a country clubTime: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: Jefferson Country Club in Blacklick, Ohio
Fees/Admission: $50/ticket; $450/table of ten

New Albany Women’s Network is hosting their Annual Charity Brunch & Bubbly Fashion Show benefiting CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), a program that enables volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children. At the Charity Fashion Show, there will be a silent auction, a tasty brunch and a fashion showcase from local boutiques.

11/17-11/19: The Addams Family — A New Musical Comedy

Presented by the New Albany High School Drama Department
Times: November 17, 18, 19 – 7:30 PM, November 19 – 2:30 p.m.
Location: McCoy Community Center for the Arts in New Albany, Ohio
Tickets: $9-$15

The Addams Family: A New Musical Comedy is based upon Charles Addams’ wildly popular single-panel cartoon series, which also inspired several live action and animated films and television shows, most notably the iconic series from 1964 – 1966 starring John Astin, Carolyn Jones, and Jackie Coogan and the movies from 1991 and 1993 with Raul Julia, Angelica Huston, and Christopher Lloyd. The Addams Family: A New Musical Comedy is not only full of catchy new songs like “When You’re An Addams” and “Full Disclosure” but also will have you rolling in the aisles with laughter. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

Thursday, 11/24: Thanks For Giving 4 Miler Walk/Run

sneakers at a raceTimes: Kids’ Run Starts at 8:00 AM, 4K Walk/Run Starts at 8:30 AM
Location: Market Square in New Albany, Ohio
Fees/Admission: Donations are accepted, but not required.

The Thanks For Giving 4 Miler Walk/Run is all about family, giving back, and having fun. There is no official race fee. You can give as much or as little as you want. The goal is to feed as many families in Central Ohio as we can – and you can help. 100% of the net proceeds will be donated to three local non-profit organizations: LifeCare Alliance, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and The New Albany Thanksgiving Day fund at the New Albany Community Foundation.

We Can Assist with All of Your Real Estate Needs

If you are relocating to New Albany, moving to a larger home, downsizing or selling your current home, we can help you with anything you need. Call us at 614.939.8944 to discuss your real estate goals.