- When listing your house for sale your top goal will be to get the home sold for the best price possible!
- There are many small projects that you can do to ensure this happens!
Prior to closing your closing attorney will conduct a title examination to uncover any title problems that will prevent the Seller from giving you clean title to the home. Although rare, there are times that title issues escape detection, only to surface after closing. This can be a big problem for the new owner and this is where Title Insurance comes in.
If title problems are severe enough and not covered by insurance, you could actually lose your house. A title insurance policy protects you and your heirs against title defects for as long as you own the property. If you get a mortgage, your lender will require Lenders Title Insurance for the amount of the loan value. Owners Title Insurance is optional, however most homeowners and real estate professionals will choose to pay for it for peace of mind.
If you are getting your home ready to sell you may wonder if remodeling or making upgrades to your home makes sense, or which upgrades will bring the best return on the money you spend on upgrades.
I usually coach my Sellers not to spend on major upgrades to sell a home. Cleaning, fresh paint and minor repairs go a long way toward making a home salable. Typically you will find that smaller projects give a greater return. Still, there are times when it may make sense to consider a major upgrade if the feature in question is seriously defective or out of date and is preventing the sale of the home.
For specifics on the cost vs. benefit of many upgrade and remodeling projects please refer to the Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value Report at www.costvsvalue.com
Many Buyers who purchase a home in a subdivision wonder if they should have a survey done. After all, the subdivision plat is recorded at the court house and a survey may cost $300 to $400. Is this really necessary?
Many buyers rely on anecdotal evidence such as fence lines, or where the neighbors mow to determine their property lines. If none of your neighbors have installed a fence or built a shed near the property line you may decide that having a survey is not important. However, if one or more of your neighbors has a fence or shed near the line, or even a retaining wall or driveway extension; do you want to find out later that they have encroached on your property or do you want the current owner to deal with it?
Think about when you decide to sell this home. What if the next Buyer does a survey? Imagine the monkey wrench this will throw into that sale and you may decide that paying for a survey now is money well spent.
In today's Seller's market if you haven't received an offer in the first week or two something is wrong. Either the home is overpriced or there is something about the home that is giving potential Buyers pause. Your Realtor should be reaching out to Buyers' Agents and asking for feedback on their showings. This could give you valuable information on corrective action to take.
We had a listing a few months ago that received very positive feedback, including feedback that the home was priced right, however no offers came in. One recurring theme in the feedback though was that the kitchen did not have enough cabinets and counter space. The Seller installed additional cabinets and the home sold to the first person in after the work was complete.
Generally speaking, waiting is not the right thing to do. Either take another look at your price and adjust accordingly or look at the showing feedback and see if there is something you can do to make your home more appealing.
There are pros and cons to living in a neighborhood with a Homeowners Association (HOA). Before purchasing a home you should be aware of the pros and cons and decide if being part of an HOA community is right for you.
An HOA is guided by a set of rules referred to as Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs). The CC&Rs are a legal document and are recorded at the courthouse for your community. The HOA has the responsibility and authority to enforce these rules, including the authority to levy fines and/or force corrective action. Many HOAs will have an Architectural Control Committee in charge of reviewing homeowners' plans for making any changes to their home or yard.
Before purchasing into an HOA neighborhood you should carefully review the CC&Rs to be sure you are comfortable with the rules you are signing up for. A good practice is to have your Realtor write a special stipulation into the purchase agreement requiring the Seller to provide a copy of the CC&Rs for your review within the first few days of the due diligence period.
Although some HOAs and CC&Rs may seem unreasonable and restrictive they are intended to protect the value of your home and your quality of life.
Now that you're a homeowner you will need a toolbox. Here is a list of obvious and not so obvious essentials that every homeowner should keep in a toolbox.
Click here to see a video from American Home Shield on this topic. Happy Troubleshooting!
Is Your Home Price on Target?
Statistics show that the best opportunity to sell your home is often within the first few weeks of putting it on the market. This can be good news, or bad, depending on your motivation. Some homes sell right away, while others sit on the market for months without a single offer.
To maximize your selling opportunity, it is important that your home be priced right. What is the right price? Several factors will determine your home’s best asking price.
The current real estate market has a lot to do with it. Additional factors such as location, recent sold data, current market trends, and your home’s special features that set it apart from the competition are all taken into consideration when pricing your home
“What’s wrong with pricing my home a little high?”
Price your home too high and most buyers won’t even bother looking at it. Over priced homes tend to sell the competition first. This scares away many qualified buyers simply because they can go elsewhere and get more house for the money. As the house sits on the market, people will shy away from it thinking there must be something wrong with the home.
"Should I under-price my home?"
Price it too low and you could lose thousands of dollars. There are times when you will attract multiple offers, but this is only recommended when you need a faster-than-average sale. In most circumstances, pricing your home correctly from the very beginning will net you the best results in both time and money.
Most homes in the Atlanta area are not in a flood zone. That means they are not in an area that requires flood insurance. Flood insurance can be very costly running from several hundred to a few thousand dollars per year. The process for determining if a home requires flood insurance can be costly as well so it is important to do a few things up front to minimize your risk.
First ask your Realtor if the home is in a flood zone. He should be able to check the tax database to see how the property is classified. If it is classified "X" this means the home is not in the 500 year flood plain and is considered low risk. This home should not require flood insurance. In addition you can visit the Floodsmart.gov website and enter the property address to do some research on your own. The website should tell you what the risk level is for the property.
Also ask your lender to verify if the home is in a flood zone. This should be done during the due-diligence period of the contract. The lender will pull a flood certification report for the property. If it is determined the home is in a high-risk area, the lender may also need to order an elevation certificate from a local surveyor before they can quote flood insurance rates. This can run $350 to $800 which is a cost that the Buyer will be required to pay.
If you have any questions on this topic don't hesitate to give me a call and I will point you in the right direction to get answers.
Last week we talked about closing costs and the possibility of negotiating with the Seller to pick up a portion of the Buyer's closing costs. If you are the Seller you may be asking "Why should I pay for the Buyer's closing costs?".
Ideally you won't if you find a Buyer who can. The reality though is many Buyers do not have the funds to come up with a down payment and also pay all of the closing costs. Often the decision comes down to helping the Buyer to make the deal work or rejecting the deal and hoping a better deal comes along.
If you think the home will appraise, the closing costs can be added to the purchase price to offset the cost and improve the Seller's net. Your Realtor will be able to help you think through this or other strategies to find a solution that works for both you and the buyer.
A key part of providing the best service to our clients is to provide them with knowledge, guidance and the support needed throughout the entire selling or buying experience.
We want to provide the very best service to our clients. This means that for the home seller, we want to ensure that every home listed through us is given the attention necessary to properly promote it in the market place, and that every buyer that we assist receives everything they need to find the home they’ve been looking for.