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Monday, January 16, 2012

Five Simple Things That Will Be The Ticket To Successfully Selling Your Home

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If you put your home on the market, for whatever reason, be it that you are going to seize the great opportunities out there for buyers these days or if you need to relocate for a job or are ready to move into a condo for your retirement – obviously, you want your home to sell.  With so many properties on the market for sale these days, buyers have a host of choices to choose from.  Here are some easy steps to take to make sure your house sells and sells well.

Put Away The Personal Stuff 
(Strangers Have No Need to See Your Grocery List)

The one surefire way to get buyers to want your home is to get them to visualize themselves living in it.  Never mind the purple fluorescent walls you may have installed in the basement or the bright green kitchen tiles – to begin with you need to remove traces of your own personal lives that serve as a distraction to buyers.  It is important to provide a blank enough slate that potential residents can imagine themselves living in it while at the same time leaving enough elements of the home to show that the place IS livable. 

Get Rid of All The Clutter 
(Buyers Don’t Care About Your Magazine Collection)

Clutter hides the real stuff.  If buyers want to gauge where they may put their own furniture and belongings, it will be next to impossible for them to do it if they can’t see past the junk and clutter lying around while you live in the home.  Try to keep it as neat and clean as possible.  If you must have pockets of things around the house then make an effort to organize them in an appealing manner. 

Make It Squeaky Clean

(Pretend Your Mother-in-Law’s Coming Over)

If something is not clean as a whistle, the first instinct a buyer will have is to get out of there and find another, better place.  Even though things can be cleaned later on, you need to show buyers your home at its best potential.  Make a solid effort to make fixtures shine, bathrooms sparkle, getting rid of long-term stains and build-up wherever possible.  Think of a high-end hotel and set things up in a clean way that will appeal to many tastes.  In the kitchen, your appliances should be spotless.  Windows are also an important aspect that should not be ignored. 

Make It Smell Fresh and Inviting
(Fresh Smells = A Home That Sells)

Again, just like a high-end hotel, if someone walks in and the first thing that hits them is a nasty smell or even a subtle but unpleasant smell, they are not going to want to stay.  If there are smokers in your home, or if you have indoor pets – first ask a friend or relative to walk around your house and give you an honest opinion of how it smells.  Then be sure to treat any problem areas and potential pitfalls that could hinder your sale.  Having carpets steam cleaned is an investment worth making; removing drapes and bedding to have them dry cleaned is also not a bad idea.  Some sellers put a pot of apples, cinnamon and sugar on the stove and cook it for a few hours before showing the house, giving the space a ‘fresh baked’ aroma.  Be sure not to mask bad smells though, rather treat them.

Make Sure There Is Outdoor Appeal
(People stop in their tracks when they see a gorgeous exterior)

If you can get people to say “wow!” when they see your home from the outside, there is a good chance they will be compelled to see the inside too.  Curb appeal is the first opportunity to generate interest in your home and it also lets you provide a glimpse of what you may have to offer inside.  Make sure there are no ugly areas of peeling paint, faded wood or unkempt and poorly maintained areas in the lawn and garden areas. The outdoor space should be inviting, have lots of nice potted plants or trees and shrubbery that is watered well while surrounded by fresh grass. 
The best way to get OFF the market with a nice red “SOLD” sign out front, is to provide buyers something appealing.  By following these five easy steps, your property will likely not last long in the selling circuit and sellers will grab it in no time.  Not only does the property sell easily, your efforts also yield top dollar for the house!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Great Expectations – Real Estate Forecasts for 2012 and Beyond

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With all the year-end publications out there summarizing how things transpired in 2011 focusing on the “wins” and “losses” of the previous year, we thought it would be useful to take a look at the outcome of our real estate market from last year. We also examined how things look for the coming future in our region. The news is good. Between inventory that continues to sell, the promise for stronger price appreciation and persisting low interest rates – contrary to many media reports, it is a great time for real estate!

Home Sales Increased in 2011 With Expected Increases in 2012

As compared to 2010, total home unit sales rose steadily in 2011. Expected to continue in 2012, with inventory leveling off throughout the year (especially during the second half of the year after foreclosure inventory is projected to slow down), we can expect to see some stabilization in the market.

Distressed Sales Continue But At a Hopeful Slower Pace This Year

The number of foreclosures entering the market in October 2011 versus October 2010 was a significant 30%. However though home prices will still dip a bit more this year as a result of these distressed sales, it does not appear that this trend will carry throughout the entire year. The second six months look to be strong in terms of pricing, despite foreclosure inventory.

Price Appreciation Forecast Strongest In the Region

National price appreciation figures remain low however the Charlotte area is a stronger market and usually comes in ahead of the rest of the nation. Considering the four-year block of 2011 to 2014, while the rest of the nation is forecasted to experience a 1.1% appreciation rate, the Charlotte area will see appreciation as much as 10-14% (about 3% annually), as reported by Bloomberg.

Buying Power Will Remain Strong With Very Low Interest Rates

Amid speculation that interest rates will begin to climb again at some point in the latter part of 2012, the news is good for now that interest rates are still historically low. This will provide many homeowners the opportunity to upgrade into a bigger home while staying within the same payment range. Since buyers are able to get a lot more for their money right now, the market will continue to experience increased volumes in sales.

New Tool Available With Exclusive Features

To help assist our clients with their real estate endeavors, we have an exciting new tool available online for both buyers and sellers. Not only can you perform traditional home searches on this site, but you can also search based on advanced criteria that caters to such details as a specific school district, neighborhood or even subdivision. For sellers there is a market snapshot tool that provides information on home sales in the area, current listings and recent data so that you can use it to gauge your home’s potential.
As we move ahead into the New Year and beyond the outlook is promising. It appears that we have weathered the worst and have much to look forward to. With our city pushing for new jobs there will likely be a hopeful added economic boost, further contributing to a stronger real estate market in our area.

If you would like to see how your home factors in on the selling market, or if you are considering seizing the amazing opportunities out there for buyers right now – please visit us for a customized consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!