Archives: August 2017

Want Top Dollar for Your Home? Hire a Real Estate Agent

A quick Google search is all it takes to discover hundreds of new recipes, do-it-yourself projects, and tips about how to stage your home. With so much information available online, especially about the home selling process, many homeowners start to wonder whether it’s faster and more cost-efficient to sell their own homes rather than hiring a real estate agent to do it for them. (Spoiler alert: It’s not.)

Sold sign in front of single-family houseMaybe you’re just now thinking about selling your home. All those HGTV shows and helpful articles make it look so easy — how hard could it be to sell your home yourself? Or maybe you’re already elbows deep into selling For Sale By Owner and are thinking, this isn’t so bad.

Just because you can do something yourself doesn’t mean that you should, especially when it comes to selling a home.

What Makes a Real Estate Agent So Invaluable?

Everything from preparing paperwork to negotiating the price and terms — you name it, a real estate agent does it. But what many home sellers forget is that a real estate agent’s job is a lot of behind-the-scenes work.

contract to purchase a homeWhen you hire a real estate professional, you’re not only benefitting from the agent’s intimate knowledge of what’s happening in the local housing market, you’re also working with a licensed professional who is legally bound to work in your best interests. A few essential elements of their job include:

  • Researching recent comparable sales to determine the best price for your home
  • Spending their own time and money to market your listing
  • Promoting your home through their network of contacts and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
  • Coordinating showing appointments and open houses on your behalf
  • Responding quickly to inquiries about your property
  • Writing counteroffers and filling out required disclosures
  • Doing everything they can to help you achieve your goals

Isn’t It Cheaper to Sell My Home Myself?

Commission — a percentage of the sale proceeds that goes to the real estate agents involved in the transaction — is a major factor in the decision to go FSBO (For Sale By Owner) or hire a real estate pro. Working without a real estate agent will certainly save you a few thousand dollars on commission, but there’s a catch.

If You Go Down the FSBO Road

If you decide to go FSBO, you won’t save as much money as you think. You might not even save money at all.

Sign that says For Sale By OwnerYou will have to spend your own time and money to invest in quality photography for your listing, purchase marketing materials (and not just a For Sale By Owner sign), carefully research which home improvements will bring you the most bang for your buck, and list your home on the MLS, just to name a few.

This all assumes that you price your property correctly, manage to entice buyers with your marketing efforts. Once it’s in contract, the works not over. You’ll still need to investigate whether buyers are actually qualified to purchase your home and make all the right repairs so no red flags surface during the home inspection. And don’t make a costly mistake involving disclosure forms or the contract!

If You Work with a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents, as licensed professionals, are experts at handling all the details of your transaction. They will help you avoid costly mistakes, negotiate the best price and terms for your property, and ensure that it sells for top dollar.

At the end of the day, working with a real estate agent will save you time, money, and headaches.

Okay, I’m Convinced — What Do I Do Next?

If your goal is to sell your home quickly and for top dollar, we can help. We’re more than happy to share our wealth of home selling resources, including staging tips and a home evaluation. Give us a call and let’s talk about your plans.

Real Estate Terms….What They Really Mean!

Real estate has a language all of its own! While realtors can read between the lines, many home buyers are confused by the unfamiliar phrases they see on property descriptions. Understanding what these real estate terms really mean will help you know what to expect before walking through the front door.  Here are a few of the most frequently used real estate terms you might come across:

 

Sold As-Is – The seller won’t do any repairs; what you see is what you get.

Cozy or Charming – Think very small; the home may be cute or have character, but it is not spacious.

Hidden Gem – A diamond in the rough; a great opportunity for a buyer willing to do minor updating or repairs before moving in.

Investor Special – The property needs extensive repairs and updates in order to be livable.

Lives Large – The actual square footage may be small but the floorplan maximizes the space and makes it feel larger than it is.

Location, Location, Location – Home is within a desirable neighborhood, likely in close proximity to popular amenities, major roadways, parks, or schools.

Lovingly maintained – This usually means the home has a long time owner who kept the home in good condition, although it probably needs updated.

Mature Landscaping – Shrubs and trees need pruning or possibly replaced.

Motivated Seller – Signals that the owner wants to sell their house quickly or has received no offers and may be flexible on their list price.

Move-In Ready – Neutral décor, updated, no additional work is necessary for the house to be habitable.

Open Plan – Typically means that the great room and kitchen are adjacent and not separated by any walls.

Priced to Sell – Seller has initially priced the house low and is likely not willing to negotiate much off their list price.

  

Hope this helps you to decipher the language of real estate!  If you want to see a home after reading the description, reach out to me or any of the other great agents on our Thomas & Company team! 

 

Until next time,

 

  

       

Should You Hire a Professional or DIY on Those Home Repairs?

equipment for a do-it-yourself home repairTo DIY or not to DIY? That’s the question on many homeowners’ minds when there’s a repair or home improvement project on their to-do lists. The good news is that you can do plenty of things on your own. But for other projects, you’re better off hiring a licensed contractor, plumber, or electrician to do the work for you.

When undertaking a home improvement project, whether you’re buying or selling a home, you want to strike a balance between saving time by hiring a professional and saving money by doing it yourself. So here’s how to know when to hire a professional and when to go DIY.

Replacing Hardware — Do It Yourself

Need an upgrade from tarnished doorknobs, outdated cabinet pulls, or boring light switches? Pick up new hardware from a local home improvement store and go for it. Replacing hardware is a fairly simple fix that any homeowner can do on their own.

roofer's tool belt on top of a houseReplacing Roof Shingles — Hire a Professional

Unless you have significant roofing experience (and aren’t afraid of heights), you’re better off leaving this job to the professionals. Contractors can repair your roof in significantly less time — and save you risk of injury.

Installing Ceiling Fans or Light Fixtures — It Depends

If the wiring is already there, you can put in a new fan or light in your living room yourself with little problem. Just make sure that you’ve turned off the power on the circuit breaker before removing the original fixture.

However, if you want to add a ceiling fan or overhead light to a room that doesn’t have wiring already in place, you will need to hire an electrician. They will check to see if your home has sufficient amperage (and rewire the room if necessary), cut and patch drywall to install the fixture, and add a light switch.

Installing Major Appliances — Hire a Professional

Installing a new oven, refrigerator, washing machine, or dishwasher takes quite a bit of know-how, so you’re better off hiring a professional to get the job done right. They will check the wattage, check gas and water connections, and ensure that your new appliance is level, among other things.

white tile backsplash in updated kitchenAdding a Backsplash — Do It Yourself

Adding wall tile to your kitchen or bathroom is something you can do yourself. Home improvement stores have all the equipment you need, from mortar to tile cutters to the wall tiles themselves. When considering this DIY project, make sure that you have the time to prepare the mortar and grout, lay the tile, seal the backsplash, and allow everything to dry.

Adding Granite or Quartz Countertops — Hire a Professional

Upgrading your countertops involves precise cutting of the quartz or granite and assistance from several people to lift the heavy countertops — plus the initial assurance that your cabinets can support the weight of the heavy material. So when installing new granite or quartz counters, it’s better to hire a professional.

Need Recommended Service Providers?

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, we can connect you with trusted contractors, electricians, plumbers, and other professionals who can save you time and money on your home improvements. Contact us at 614-939-8944 or info@newalbanyohio.com and we’ll be happy to provide recommendations!