Posts Tagged ‘ selling ’

Low Cost Ways to Update Your Home

This is the time of year that many (non-distressed) sellers consider putting their home on the market here in the Boise Idaho area. Many of us are feeling the effects of the economy and can not afford to do expensive updates so here are a few inexpensive ways to update your home:

  • Install a new mailbox –nothing looks worse than a mailbox that has been beaten up by the weather and the mail carrier
  • Upgrade outdoor lighting– it does not have to be expensive, just new
  • Replace old doormats – you do not want the first item before a buyer steps into your home to be a worn out or filthy doormat.
  • Plant annual flowers –this adds instant color and fills in dull spots around the yard. Putting potted annuals by the garage and front door give a warm homey feel
  • Replace torn window screens – these are so easily overlooked by a seller but when buyers look out your windows the last thing you want them to see is a big hole in the screen
  • Fix or replace outdated faucets—fix them especially if they leak and replace if they are more than 10 years old. Remember, it does not have to be expensive just new
  • Re-caulk sinks and tubes –this simple job makes a sink or tub look like new but remember to properly remove existing caulk so the job looks clean
  • Buy organizational systems to reduce clutter—having little baskets that items can be put in and put away quickly before showings keeps the house looking neat
  • Place centerpieces on large counters –like the annuals in the yard, it gives the room a pop of color and a pleasant focal point

 Always remember that a buyer likes the home to look new and you can give that perception without busting your budget.  This does not mean you have to buy the top of the line items to update but be careful not to buy the cheapest items either or you will wind up replacing them before you even close the deal!

If you would like more tips on how to sell your home in the Boise real estate market area you can look at additional posts under the “Selling Your Home” category or go to my website (no sign up required): http://www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

Home Buyer Turn-Offs

There are some things that a seller does that can really repel potential buyers. In today’s market, a traditional seller has to compete against some pretty tough competition: banks and short sales. Both are below market type of listings but a traditional or what I call a “regular” seller does have some advantages.  A normal closing time and a relatively well maintained property are two of those advantages. But there are also ways that a seller can kill a deal. Tara -Nicholle Nelson of Trulia gave several reasons that I will share with you below along with my take on it.

1.-Stalker-ish Sellers. This one made me smile! I have shown houses where the seller insists on giving the tour. After all, they know their property best! Problem is most buyers want to be able to envision themselves in the home. Having the seller there in the same space makes that process very difficult. The buyer will no longer be paying attention to what they could like about the home because the seller is distracting them with little pieces of nostalgia that the buyer does not need or want to know.

Sellers, go for a walk or go to the store but whatever you do, just do not make your presence known while the buyer is looking at your home. If there is a lack of chemistry (kind of like dating) between you and the buyer, you could kill the deal before it even makes it to paper.

2. Keep it Clean – Sellers will be told this a dozen times but it really does make a difference. When buyers have seen the trashed bank owned and short sale properties it is such a relief to see a well cared for home.  So clear the clutter, straighten items up (laundry, dirty dishes, toys, etc.) and try not to have any offensive odors lingering in the home (cigarette smoke, stinky food, dirty cat boxes,  wet dog,etc.).

3. Pricing – It used to be location, location, location that sold a home. Today it is pricing, pricing, pricing! It is hard when your home is in better condition than the distressed property but pricing your home like it is 2006, regardless of the superior condition, will not get you a buyer. Actually, overpricing indicates to the buyers that you are either testing the market or will be unreasonable to negotiate with.  Have your realtor do the comps with and without the distressed properties and then figure on a price that meets in the middle.

4. Bad Home Improvements– If you are going to take the time and money to do an improvement, do it to sell and not for your personal liking. Use neutral or warm toned colors that will appeal to a majority of buyers, not your favorite shade of pink “because you still have to live there until it sells”! I am always amazed at what some sellers consider improvements (which makes me wonder how bad did it look before?).  If you know you are going to sell soon and are going to update or upgrade, get a professional opinion from either a home decorating store, paint store or your favorite realtor (most realtors actually do know what the current trends are!). You want to make sure that you will get a return on your money so choose wisely. Remember, any job worth doing is worth doing well and doing smart!

5. Listing Photos– Listing photos are so important and yet are so over looked! The internet is generally where most buyers view the homes that they would like to see before they ever get in the car. A bad photo will have them clicking the “next” button to see a different home. If your realtor does not have a decent camera, they should be hiring a professional to take the pictures. And make sure that you the seller see and approve the pictures first and have the realtor show you what your listing looks like on the MLS and internet.

One more item that is also overlooked and that is showing availability. Many buyers have a limited time when they are out looking so don’t make it difficult to schedule a showing. Most buyers are understanding but if they have to arrange the entire schedule of properties to see around yours, they may just skip you all together.

If you would like additional tips for selling your home in the Boise Idaho real estate market please see my other posts under home selling tips or go to my website (no sign up required): http://www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

Why You Should Google an Address

With instant information available at our fingertips via “google” magic, it is extremely easy to find out pretty much anything we want. But have you ever googled your address? or your neighbors? or maybe one of your children’s friends? While this may seem like spying, it is actually a very handy tool to have available for a few reasons.

  • 1.-To keep you and your loved ones safe – Local sex offenders have to register with their local county Sheriff’s department. By typing in an address you can see if a sex offender lives there. If you want to see if there are in your neighborhood or in a neighborhood that you are considering purchasing a home, you can type in the address, the town, or the zip code followed by “Megan’s law” and the registered offenders should appear.
  • 2. To protect against scams – By doing a search on an address you can see if it is being advertised by scammers as being for rent or sale.  If you are doing the search on a property that you plan on buying you will be able to see if someone other than the owner or realtor are advertising the property.
  • 3.To check on Home Sold Prices – This is especially helpful if you think your taxes are too high. By checking on the local sold prices you will be able to see the sold pricing  trend in your area. If the you see a downward trend (which you most likely will right now) you will be able to petition the local tax assessor to adjust the tax assessment. (If you go to Trulia.com you will be able to get this information also)
  • 4. To see street views – This is really a great idea especially if you are getting ready to list your home. Many potential buyers go to the internet first before they physically view a home. Google Maps lets them see a street view, not just of your property but of those around it too.  There may be a shot of your house maybe when you were cleaning out your garage or having a garage sale (you get the idea). Was your former neighbor a pig? Now they have moved and their yard looks great but usually the google street view is a few months (sometimes years) old. If you think that the view is not a good one make sure that it is mentioned by your realtor in the listing so potential buyers are not scared off before they even get to see the inside!

Whether you are buying, selling or just trying to stay safe, it is an excellent idea to google an address!

If you have any questions regarding the real estate market in the Boise area please feel free to contact me: mary@heritagewifi.com or www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

source site: Trulia.com and WalletPop.com

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