Fall can be a great time of year for selling a home - even in places with four seasons. We think of spring as home selling season, but really homes are moving all the time. People are back from their vacations and the holidays and inclement weather aren't yet here. Now is the time to be buying or selling a home.
Here are five tips for owners to keep in mind when selling a home in autumn.
1. Tidy Up the Yard. You’ll be busy keeping the yard clean if your home is on the market in fall. Now is the time to cut away vines that grew in the summer to let more light inside the house and trim back branches to better reveal the exterior of your home. Wash your siding if it has accumulated dirt over the summer. Ensure your gutters debris-free and are draining well. If you get a lot of rain in the fall, have floor mats on hand and spots to place wet shoes and umbrellas. If snow will be falling soon, have the tools on-hand to shovel the sidewalk and de-ice the stairs.
2. Festive Fall Curb Appeal. Get your house into the spirit of the season. Buy potted flowers for the front of the home like marigolds and chrysanthemums. Decorate the outside of your house with a festive fall wreath on the door or traditional pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn on the patio. If Halloween is near, feel free to have a jack-o'-lantern. Keep your holiday display simple, though: Too much and you could distract home buyers and make them less interested in your home.
3. Dust It Up. Your home should be spotless when you put it up for sale on the market. Buff your bathrooms and kitchen until they shine. Thoroughly clean underneath furniture and behind it, in the corners...
Warmer weather tends to spark movement in the real estate market. Moving is easier and people want to be settled in their new home by fall for school. Even so, selling a home right now isn't exactly an easy proposition. It takes a little more work to sell a home than in previous years. Here are some top home selling strategies to keep in mind.
Price it right. There are about seven homes on the market for every buyer right now. Pricing it right from the beginning increases chances of selling a home quicker and avoiding price reductions. This is especially true if it has more features than other homes nearby, which can place it at the head of the pack.
Know the agent. Finding an agent with experience selling homes in the local market will help ensure correct pricing. When choosing a real estate agent, find out how long on average it usually takes him or her to sell a house. It's best to choose an agent whose properties sell in an average of three or four months, which generally indicates the agent understands how to price the market.
Make the repairs. A few years ago, it might have been enough to just amp up the curb appeal a little. People selling in today's market will have to do more than that. With foreclosures and short-sales as they are, there are plenty of "fixer-uppers" available to buyers priced low. Fix the roof, tighten the leaky pipes, refinish the hardwood floors and replace the drafty windows among other modest repairs to clinch the deal.
Spruce up the place. Appearance is still critical. Reduce the clutter in every room, especially when it comes to personal items or potentially offensive things. Update light fixtures and cabinet hardware in bathrooms and kitchens. Clean the carpets and polish the floors. Put a fresh coat of paint on the walls and on the front door. Trim the lawn, overgrown bushes and trees. It could be helpful to hire a professional stager.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow, with the winter holiday season following quickly on its heals. You're busy, you're family is busy, your friends are busy - it's hard to imagine trying to sell a home during this time, but sometimes it can't be helped. There can be some advantages, though, as people who look for homes during the holiday season tend to be more serious buyers. Additionally, because many people take their homes of the market in December, serious home buyers have fewer homes to choose from, which means less competition for sellers!
Selling a home during the holidays takes some extra preparation, though. In addition to the usual sorts of cleaning, packing and staging to make the house look its best, sellers must keep some other things in mind:
- Add outdoor curb appeal with subtle wintry decorations, like a a simple wreath on the front door, a string of white lights wrapped around the porch, or a pile of neatly stacked firewood.
- Inside or outside, keep decorations simple. A few poinsettias, a strand of holiday lights, maybe some pinecones are enough. This is not the year for a life-size Santa clause in your living room.
- Don't cover important architectural features with decorations, like archways, fireplaces and mantlepieces.
- Not everyone shares the same religious beliefs. Try to avoid overtly religious decorations this year.
- If you get a tree, don't overdo it. A tree too large for your living space will make it appear cramped to potential buyers.
- Don't keep wrapped gifts under the tree, store them in a closet.
- Before people arrive for a tour, bump the heat up just a little so the house is warm and cozy.
- Playing classic holiday music softly in the background can put potential buyers into a nostalgic or festive mood. Pick something well-known and not to quirky.
- If you plan on entertaining during the holidays, let your real estate agent know ahead of...
Last week, I wrote some do’s and don’ts to help first time home buyers prepare to buy their first home. Last week, there were tips specifically for selling a home during the fall. Yesterday, I started providing information for sellers, specifically about tips for selling a vacant home. Today, I’d like to address first time home sellers. Newness to the home selling process and a lethargic real estate market could make anyone balk at the prospect of selling a home for the first time. Here are some tips particularly for people who may be selling a home for the very first time.
- It’s Not Impossible. About 5.25 million existing homes were sold throughout the year in 2001. About 5.65 million existing home were sold in 2007, the fifth highest year on record, even though the market was down. Though that figure is still 12.8% short of the 6.48 million sold in 2006, it shows that even when the real estate market may look dismal, other people have been selling their homes. You can sell yours, too.
- Get Representation. You knew it was important to have a real estate agent help when you bought the house. Know that when you are selling your home, it’s even more important to have a Realtor looking out for your best interests. It is your equity that has been building up in the house. Take time to pick the right Realtor with experience and knowledge,...
I'm a little late on this, but late is always better than never. It's September, it’s getting colder outside. I even heard that we’re supposed to have frost this week. That means soon we’ll be sealing the houses up and firing up the furnace. It’s the time of year when carbon monoxide leaks are found after heating units sat over the summer.
As of August 1st, a new CO detector law went into effect which requires that every new and existing single family home have a carbon monoxide detector installed within 10 feet of every room used for sleeping. Multi-family homes and apartment buildings must comply by August 1, 2009.
According to the State Fire Marshall website:
• Every single family dwelling and every multifamily dwelling unit shall be provided with a minimum of one approved and fully operational carbon monoxide alarm installed within ten (10) feet of each room lawfully used for sleeping purposes.
• If bedrooms are located on separate floors additional carbon monoxide alarms would be necessary within ten feet of these areas.
• If bedrooms are located in separate areas (on the same level), additional carbon monoxide alarms would be necessary within ten (10) feet of these areas.
• In lieu of installing multiple CO alarms in the hallway, a separate CO could be installed inside each sleeping room
• It is important that these devices be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s installations instructions and not be placed in ‘dead’ air pockets such as corners of rooms, at the junction of walls and ceilings or within thirty-six (36) inches of ventilation ducts.
• Carbon monoxide alarms shall be installed at the height...