Archives: February 2017

7 Crucial Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Seller’s Agent

talking with a real estate professionalYour home is likely the largest financial investment you have, so it makes sense to carefully choose the right agent to represent you when you sell it. The best real estate agent will walk you through the whole process, showcase your home in the best light, give you feedback from showings and open houses, and let you know whether you should accept a buyer’s offer up front or negotiate for a higher price.

It’s a good idea to talk to more than one listing agent before you sign on with one. As you’re interview listing agents, ask these questions so you can determine which agent will best help you sell quickly and for the most money possible.

1. What’s Your Real Estate Experience?

A listing agent who has been in real estate for several years or has sold plenty of properties has seen all kinds of scenarios. If this agent has overcome challenging home-selling hurdles before, he or she will know how to avoid or mitigate these stressful situations during your home sale, should they arise.

2. What’s Your Sale-to-List-Price Ratio?

This percentage will tell you if this agent consistently sells homes close to or over the list price, which is the price that’s set when the home goes on market.

3. What are Your Average Days on Market Stats?

In other words, how quickly do sellers’ homes go under contract with this agent? Agents who sell homes quickly often use advanced marketing or advertising techniques and are highly skilled negotiators.

seller texting her real estate agent4. How—And How Often—Will You Contact Me?

How frequently does the agent you’re interviewing provide updates or check in with his or her sellers? The best real estate agent will keep you updated about everything that’s going on with your listing—and contact you over your preferred method of communication, whether it’s email, phone call, or text.

5. When are You Available?

If you contact your listing agent after office hours or on the weekend, is your agent going to get back to you before Monday morning? If you work regular 9-to-5 hours, getting in touch with an agent who also only works those hours might prove difficult or inconvenient.

6. How Do You Plan to Market My Home?

Marketing is key to getting your listing in front of as many buyers as possible, including those searching online for properties, glancing at magazine and newspaper ads, and driving by homes that are for sale. During the interview phase, ask for the specifics of each agent’s marketing plan.

7. Can You Give Me at Least Three References?

Ask the agent you’re interviewing for testimonials from past home sellers—which can include online reviews or video testimonials—or a list of references. Call the agent’s past clients and ask general questions about their experiences to get an idea of the agent’s responsiveness, helpfulness, and tech-savviness.

We’re Available to Answer All of Your Questions

We’d be happy to answer your questions about listing your home, whether they’re these seven essential interview questions or general questions about the home selling process. Just give us a call or shoot us an email.

Staging Your Home

It’s time to prepare your home to sell. So where do you begin?

It’s a good idea to take an objective look at your home to see what needs repaired or replacstaged home in New Albanyed. Your house will be scrutinized by potential buyers who won’t overlook smudges around the light switches, boxes stacked in the laundry room, or peeling paint on the back splash. A spruced-up home makes a good first impression, which is essential for getting buyers to investigate further. Ultimately, you want buyers to picture themselves living in your home. This means you will need to clear your home of all distractions, such as clutter and personal photos on the walls.

It’s not personal. It just helps would-be buyers to visualize the home as their own. Let us take you through the process.

Clear Out the Clutter in Every Room

Decluttering your home makes every room look larger and feel neater, and it gives the impression that it has been well cared for. If a house is cluttered, buyers have trouble imagining themselves in it.

Be sure every room smells as good as it looks, and pay special attention to pet areas, nurseries, and bathrooms. Fresh paint and a one-time professional cleaning service can make your home look like new!

If you have acquired too much stuff over the years, sell some, donate it to charity, or throw it away. If you can’t bear to part with it, store it out of sight. A good rule of thumb: When in doubt, throw it out.

Neutralize

Neutral paint, décor, and carpeting create a home for any lifestyle. Neutralizing also helps buyers see their own things in your house and visualize living there. Eliminating distracting colors and accessories lets the buyer concentrate on positive impressions.

Depersonalize

Help buyers see themselves living in your home by removing personal items like photos and collections. You want the buyer to look at your home, not your possessions.

Declutter Closets

Closets and storage spaces are important considerations for home buyers. Store unused or out-of-season clothes so that your closet looks bigger and more organized.

Deep Clean

Have your carpets cleaned professionally; if they are badly worn or stained, replace them. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to improve the appearance of your home.

Make All Necessary Repairs

Making repairs eliminates buyer objections before they arise. If you think something is too much trouble to fix, chances are the buyer will think so, too. Buyers tend to think repairs will cost more than they do. Don’t start any major renovations since it’s unlikely you will recoup the cost, but do repair leaky faucets, slow drains, torn screens, broken windows and any other minor issues.

Curb Appeal

Creating an excellent first impression of your home starts from the outside and can make or break a sale. If potential buyers don’t like what they see on the outside, chances are they won’t look any further, so make your home’s exterior look its best.

It is crucial that your home look its best during showings. Buyers take this time to tour your house in person and consider whether it is their next home. Make this aspect of home selling easier with a concrete plan for before, during and after each showing. Your hard work will likely pay off in the form of an offer.

Contact us to learn more about home staging and selling real estate in New Albany.

9 Moments All Home Buyers Experience

You’re armed with your pre-approval letter, your wants and needs list, and your knowledge of the real estate market. Now comes the fun part: searching for homes! Like any part of buying a home, the home search has its ups and downs. But once you’re living in your new home, spending weekends shopping for furniture and décor, and enjoying all the amenities of your new location, you know you wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Here are the moments only home buyers understand.

home buyers searching for homes

1. When You Hit “Search” for the First Time

You put your price range, number of bedrooms, and a couple of must-have features into an online home search tool, then hold your breath while the results page loads. Look at all those listings! Your new home is just a click away!

sign pointing to home for sale

2. When You Make a Day of Driving Through Your Favorite Neighborhoods

You find yourself giving this excuse to friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and anyone else who wants to make plans: “Sorry, I’m busy all weekend. I’m going to open houses!”

buyers looking at homes

3. When You Fall in Love with Several Different Homes

You just can’t help it! You’re picturing yourself reading by the window, cooking meals in the kitchen, decorating the bedrooms, exploring the trails nearby, and even running errands to the closest grocery store.

buyer who's stressed out

4. When You Go Overboard on Your Must-See List

Your Realtor warned you not to have a long list of homes. Now that you’ve seen a handful of properties, each new home is starting to look just like the one before it, and trying to keep them all straight is making your head hurt. The home buying struggle is real.

parents stressed out about listings

5. When Your Favorite Home Goes Off the Market

Another buyer scooped up your favorite property before you could even call your real estate agent for a showing, or worse, the home goes off market just before you’re about to make an offer.

attic stuffed with boxes and clutter

6. When You Tour a Home That Clearly Isn’t Ready to Sell

For a second you think you’re in the wrong place. There are fingerprint smudges on the windows, dust bunnies in the corners, clutter in the closets, family photos on the walls, home décor that’s easily 30 years old… Yikes. This looks nothing like the online listing photos you fell in love with!

looking at new listings

7. When a New Listing with All Your Criteria Hits the Market

This property has everything you’ve been searching for, and it just showed up in your inbox! You scramble to schedule a showing, make an offer, and thank your Realtor for signing you up for email alerts.

buyer talking with a Realtor

8. When You Still Don’t Understand Parts of the Closing Process

Even though your agent explained everything that happens after you make an offer, you’re still confused about some things, like the difference between “due diligence fee” and “earnest money.” Due diligence is a courtesy amount of a few hundred dollars you pay the seller to take their home off the market. (You get this money back.) But earnest money, which is a fraction of your down payment, you don’t get back.

new homeowners unpacking

9. When You Finally Move Into Your New Home

All those days spent researching neighborhoods, cancelling plans to go to showings, and taking pages and pages of notes about your favorite properties have paid off. The home is finally yours!

We’ll Help You Find Your New Home

The home buying process has its ups and downs, but we’re here to help you every step of the way. We’ll sign you up for alerts of new listings, coordinate showings, and guide you from your home search to the closing table. Ready to get started? Just give us a call!