Sellers Must Face Facts, About Their Home’s Value: 5 Considerations

After, over a decade, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, I’ve come to realize, many homeowners, end up, being, their own, worst enemies, because, their perception of the value of their house, is, often, considerably different, from what, a potential, qualified buyer, may believe, and thus, be willing to offer! Because of this, I emphasize, to my clients, my core policy, I will always tell you what you need to know, not just what, you want to hear! A wise homeowner, will interview real estate agents, and hire one, who makes a difference, for the better, in terms of achieving the objectives, of obtaining the highest possible, available price, in the shortest period of time, with the least amount, of hassle! With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 5 considerations, and reasons, sellers are best – served, when they face the facts.

1. Realistic – Price it right, from the start: Don’t be fooled, falsely complimented, or let you ego, be stroked, by someone, who suggests, an overly, optimistic, suggested, listing price. Since, generally, the best offers, arrive, in the first three weeks, after a home is listed, on the market, when/ if, you use a listing price, which is excessive, you will lose a great opportunity! Be realistic, and, price it right, from the start!

2. Using a professionally designed, thorough, accurate, Competitive Market Analysis (CMA): Base the listing price, on a professionally designed, thorough, accurate, Competitive Market Analysis (CMA)! This is the best, and only, accurate way, of determining a quality, listing price! Price the property, correctly, from the start!

3. Know the competition: Remember, your house, has competition, from others, being offered, for sale, in your area! Take a close, realistic look, and know your actual competition, by seeing the other houses, and identifying, how your house, is stronger or weaker. Price accordingly, and, be realistic!

4. Marketing and sales strategy: When interviewing agents, it is wisest to fully discuss, suggested marketing and sales strategies, and, why, they suggest, a particular one, for your best advantage! Every house has certain strengths, and weaknesses, and you need, to use areas of strength, effectively, while effectively addressing, areas of weakness!

5. Negotiate from strength: If you want to get the best results, you should, negotiate from strengths, to your best advantage! This begins with pricing, properly (at the right price – point), and marketing, effectively!

When a homeowner prices his home correctly, understands the process, realizes limitations, etc, and, listens, to the advice of a qualified, real estate agent, he faces, the facts, and uses them, effectively! Will you be a smart home – seller?

Veterans – How to Get a VA Loan

One of the primary dreams of military members is to provide a comfortable home to their families. As such, the government designed the veteran or VA loan – a program which will benefit military men towards the fulfillment of this dream which is in fact weaved into the ultimate American dream of providing every American a comfortable home for living. Here are some tips on how veterans can obtain such loan.

Knowing if you are eligible

Veterans, those in active duty, or members of the National Guard or selected reserves may apply for a VA loan, pending determination of eligibility. For applicants to determine their eligibility, one must submit a duly-accomplished VA Form 26-1880 along with proof of service. Eligibility is usually determined 10 days after submission.

Inspecting home of your choice

There are many types of homes under your choice, but of course, you only need to select the one which is best for your preferences, needs, and lifestyle. The choices may complicate your decision-making. But you can always seek help from real estate professionals licensed by your state government. They can determine affordable price ranges and can help schedule home tours for you to inspect the home and see what’s there for you and your family.

Loan request

Sometimes, the sellers may require the buyers to present a pre-approval of the veteran home loan. Thus, to make sure that everything will flow seamlessly, you might want to obtain a pre-approval even before closing deals. To some sellers, the request for the loan pre-approval signifies serious interest with the property being sold.

Let the house for sale be appraised

Home appraisal is also needed to avail of a veteran home loan. In some states, the pre-approval is issued along with a monitoring number for the lender to keep track of the appraisal’s progress as well as the status of the loan application. The primary reason why appraisal is necessary is to determine whether the home’s price will be sufficient to become collateral to the requested loan.

You must remember that the VA loan is designed with a no down payment scheme. The government relies on your honesty and trustworthiness to repay the monthly dues of the veteran home loan. This is in acknowledgement of the selfless efforts made by your and those in your uniform to serve and protect the country, its territories, boundaries, resources, assets, interests, and its people.

After all the above steps are completed, you will be deemed eligible to obtain the loan. With the help of an insurance agent, you’ll finally close the deal finalizing insurance clauses to protect both seller and the new owner from damages and losses. All documents will then be entered into public records.

Looking To Sell Your House At The Highest Price Possible? What to Do

When selling your house, you need to do a little marketing just like you would with any other kind of sale. You can of course use the help of a real estate agent to do the work for you, but it is important that you put in some effort as well. If you choose to work with an agent, then make sure that you only choose those inclined to bring you the best prices however small the house maybe, the style or the condition. Avoid those who only make marketing efforts for luxury homes, leaving the smaller properties to sell themselves.

With potential buyers scattered all over, you just need to make a plan that will keep the phone ringing, bringing in views and finally closing deals. Here are a few things you can do to sell your house fast and at the highest price possible.

Touch up the house

A new splash of paint can greatly add value to your house and so are other minor repairs that need to be taken care of. Usually doing smaller touch ups gets you better value than having to deduct such costs from the price. Try to add value to your house every way possible and buyers won’t mind buying the house for the price tagged.

Take good exterior photos

Listing your house without high quality photos might not fetch you much results. Remember that buyers trust more in what they can see and hence upload the right photos to accompany the advert. To make a difference, photograph the front part of the house ensuring that you remove vehicles on the driveway and shoot angles photos that are up close. Vegetation blocking your front door should also be cleared and sidewalks cropped out. When taking the photos, avoid times when there is shade. The better the photos the more the attention they will capture on your behalf.

Be as good with interior photos

The exterior photos will welcome potential buyers into your home and they will be expecting to see whether the interior is as good as the exterior. Accompany your listing with good photos of the interior as well therefore. Take pictures of every room in the house, ensuring the lights are turned on, drapes and blinds open and focus being on the most interesting details in individual rooms like wooden floors or even lighting. Keep toilet lids on and get rid of trash cans to have appealing photos even in the bathroom and kitchens.

Have proper signage

Whatever marketing channel you choose to use, ensure that you offer the buyers enough contact information. The worst thing you can do is make it hard for the buyers to reach you or your agent so be careful with signage and work by the rules and regulations if any are there especially with the relevant homeowners association. Apart from the signage on the property, give clear details with your printed ads or direct mails too.

Home-Cooked Meals Are a Hot Investment

I married well.

After seeing a recent stat that 41% of first marriages end in divorce, I count myself lucky. I managed to find a mate who is smart, funny, responsible and compassionate.

And he loves to cook!

I picked up some basic cooking skills throughout high school and college. I can make grilled cheese, boil an egg and bake a mean chocolate cake for someone’s birthday. But I don’t stray too far from those easy recipes and skills.

On the other hand, my husband is the one in our family who makes the bulk of our meals. He’s the one who can explain the different cuts of beef at the grocery, and he’s the one who knows when to use dill and when to use rosemary. (I try to stay away from the spice rack completely.)

If food prices continue to shift the way they have over the past year, I think we will see more people like my husband cooking amazing meals at home rather than going out to eat… and that’s going to create some fantastic investment opportunities if you know where to look.

Back in the Kitchen

The government recently announced that the consumer price index (CPI) was unchanged for June, while economists were expecting inflation to tick up 0.1%. The 12-month CPI has dropped to 1.6% from 1.9% and is well off its five-year peak of 2.7% reached in February.

There’s a lot of hullabaloo going on right now about whether the Federal Reserve will lift rates yet again this year and whether the slowdown in inflation is far more than temporary, as the Fed has been claiming.

But I don’t care about the Fed right now. If the Fed is going to act, it’s unlikely to be until December, and there’s a lot of data set to come out between now and December that could sway the Fed.

If you dig a little deeper into the CPI report, there was a great nugget of data that no one is really talking about… and that creates a great opportunity for astute investors.

The government reported that grocery prices (food at home) fell in June. The price of food purchased in a grocery and prepared at home has steadily dropped since peaking in September 2015. We experienced a small run-up earlier this year, but it appears that prices are rolling over once again and headed lower.

By contrast, the price of food purchased at restaurants has steadily risen over the same time period and shows little sign of relenting.

Technology has worked to reduce costs in food production by increasing crop output. Low gas prices have cut transportation costs as well. The end result: It is now cheaper to buy food at the grocery than it was in 2015.

Meanwhile, rising labor costs and skyrocketing rents have forced many restaurants to lift their prices just to eke out a profit, making it far more expensive to eat out.

The United States Department of Agriculture reports that food-at-home prices dropped 1.3% in 2016 from 2015 levels and are expected to rise between 0% and 1% in 2017. Food-at-restaurants prices jumped 2.6% in 2016 and aren’t slowing in 2017.

The Market Has Changed

The race is on to make a profit off what’s hitting your table for dinner. We’ve seen a surge over the past several years of meal-delivery services such as Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Plated and Home Chef. These companies are catering to families (particularly millennials) who are looking for the comfort of cooking at home while still getting a unique variety of meals – far more than my awesome grilled cheese sandwiches.

Earlier this summer, Amazon announced plans to acquire Whole Foods. Imagine if Amazon could streamline Whole Foods the way it has done its other businesses, bringing costs down and luring customers in.

And of course, we have Wal-Mart going head-to-head with Amazon, which could create a price war that works in favor of consumers.

The market has shifted in favor of the grocer over the restaurant. Prices are dropping for food in grocery stores while restaurants are raising their prices just to get above the cost of operating. Meanwhile, wages for most Americans are stagnating, making the choice an obvious one.

Investors should be wary of restaurants and take a new look at grocery stores such as Kroger or even watch for new opportunities driven by millennials.

Preheat the oven. Sharpen the knives. Bust out the cookbook. It’s time to make dinner at home.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Realtor

The 5 most common questions to ask when hiring a REALTOR!

Selecting a real estate agent to assist in the largest financial transaction a person will likely ever make is a critical part of the home selling process. In a challenging economic environment where competition among real estate companies is on the rise, choosing the agent that’s right for you can be a confusing task.

Home sellers should start by interviewing several real estate agents to find someone with whom they “connect” with, However, chemistry is not the only variable to consider. The length of time an agent has been in the business, his or her home sale success rate and knowledge of the local market can also play a significant role in the decision-making process.

To jump-start, the conversation, try and ask these five essential questions home sellers should ask before selecting a REALTOR to represent them.

1. How long have you been in the real estate business and what has your success rate been in terms of home sales over the past 12 months? The length of time a real estate representative has been in the business and their home sale success rate demonstrates their knowledge and expertise in the industry. Ideally, a home seller will want to work with an agent who has a high percentage of completed transactions within your home’s price range.

2. What was the average amount of time it took to sell those listings? Comparing marketing times between the agents you are interviewing will provide you with an indication of how well that agent markets homes.

3. What was your list-price to sale-price ratio? Significant differences between original listing prices and ultimate sale prices can be an indication that the list prices quoted at the outset were unrealistic.

4. What is your online marketing plan to sell my property? In Canada, the vast majority of home buyers begin their home search on the Internet. Therefore, the one you select to help you in the sale of your home should have a strong online marketing presence as well as be visible through social media outlets in order to reach the widest possible audience. Before or after meeting with the candidate to a quick Google search for the agent’s name, company name and see what you find. PRO TIP: If you don’t find a lot of information, how do you expect buyers to find and locate your home when it is actively on the market?

5. Do you have references you can share from past clients? References allow you to gain additional insight into the day-to-day workings of the real estate agent. Gathering reputable references will help ensure that you select the best real estate representative for your needs.

PRO TIP: Selecting an agent with a strong online presence is strongly recommended, and checking online reputation and reviews of that agent is crucial. Do a quick Google Search for Online Reviews “agents name”, Do they have a Google Local listing, Facebook Business Page Reviews etc.