Tammy Stone
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Articles Tagged "home sale"

Should I Sell My House Home

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Buying A Home | 4 Posts
DIY | 3 Posts
Selling A Home | 10 Posts
Support Local | 1 Posts
October
1

Check out my newest listing in Cedar Springs School District!

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My goal is to help you make some SMART MOVES.  So, check me out...

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I'm here to help and hope to help you out in the near future!

February
8

December
13

August
4

July
14

April
7

WHERE TO UPDATE YOUR HOME TO INCREASE HOME VALUE

 Sometimes people have the funds to update their home before they sell it, in order to increase the overall value.

 The question usually asked is, "How much money should I put into my renovation and where should I spend it?"

 The SINGULAR room in your home that will get you the most bang for your buck is the KITCHEN.

No matter what your budget or home goals, there's one simple and cost-effective update that can get you the most money when you sell: updating your kitchen. Whether it's a total gut job or just adding some more efficient appliances, kitchens are consistently one of the biggest sellers in any real estate market. Here are some ways you can update your kitchen - from the full remodel to less expensive options in updating a kitchen.

 

A NEW KITCHEN - FULL REMODEL

A new kitchen and bathroom are big ticket items, but they're also some of the most valuable improvements you can make to your home. From replacing appliances to new cabinets, adding granite countertops, and installing a backsplash, these updates have a long-lasting effect on your home value.

Changing Out the Countertops

If you're looking to sell your home for top dollar, you should consider replacing outdated countertops. Replacing outdated countertops will make a huge difference in your house's resale value.

Paint

Picking a fresh color or painting a room is one of the easiest ways to make a home feel like it has new life. When you paint, your walls may look new and bright again, and even your old furniture can look modern with a coat of paint on it. Choosing paint colors that are popular for houses in your area will help you get more money when you sell because buyers don't have to worry about stepping outside their comfort zone if they like what they see at first glance.

Bonus - Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel appliances can add over $15,000 to your home's value. If you're planning on selling your home anytime soon, it might be time to upgrade your appliances to stainless steel. Stainless steel appliances will often make buyers think of high-end kitchens and may prompt them to offer more money than if they were seeing a kitchen with more traditional materials like laminate or granite countertops.

March
29

Easy Ways to Increase Your Home Value

  • Repaint your door
  • Paint kitchen cabinets
  • Update kitchen handles
  • Add extra seating areas outside
  • New outlets and light switch plates
  • Front porch – flowers – First impression of the home. Same with landscaping
  • Get rid of popcorn ceiling
  • Add visible storage
  • Stash the majority of your specifically personal items
  • Take care of tiles
  • Swap out lighting
  • Neutral paint colors
  • Paint the inside of your window frames
  • Paint older bathtubs
  • Invest remodel money into the kitchen
  • Call the inspector before you list
  • Find out from Realtor what buyers are looking for and then do those things.
  • Update your laundry space – organization spaces
  • DIY Built in Bookcases
  • Add a Bedroom by installing a closet
March
22

If you're buying a home and have gotten the clear to close from your lender, then CONGRATULATIONS! - all of your efforts to purchase your dream home are about to become a reality!

What they don't tell you is that there are a few actions that can bring this process to a complete HALT.

I'm here to let you know what these mistakes are so that you DON'T make them before you reach the closing table!

All of the following items are RED FLAGS for your lender and they could decline the transaction because of one of the items below happening right before buying your home:

  1. Don't purchase items such as a new car, new furniture or new appliances.
  2. Don't open a new line of credit or close an existing line of credit.
  3. Don't quit or switch jobs.
  4. Don't make a late payment on a bill.
  5. Don't ignore questions/requests from your lender and/or broker.
  6. Don't authorize a credit check.
  7. Don't make large deposits into your bank account outside of your normal paycheck amount.
  8. Don't cosign a loan with ANYONE.
  9. Don't change bank accounts.
  10. Don't take out a payday loan.

Wishing you Every Success!

November
22

7 REAL ESTATE FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW

  1. Property taxes are ASSESSED every year - this means your taxes will probably go up after you purchase your home.
  2. HOA Dues DO matter - the amount and frequency of the HOA dues in a community could make or break your financing.
  3. Real Estate Websites aren't ALWAYS accurate - some real estate websites feed from multiple sources, aren't regularly updated or can be updated by just anyone. Information that you find on the web regarding a specific house may not always be correct depending on how quickly the website updates its listings.
  4. Home Value Estimates are NOT always ACCURATE - these online estimates are calculated by a computer and not an experienced realtor which leaves out a lot of important factors used to price a home.
  5. Seller's PAY the commission - sellers pay the entire real estate commission for the sale of the home, half of the commission goes to the listing agent and half to the buyers agent. This means that if you are buying a home, then it is virtually free for you to use a real estate agent.
  6. Going directly to the Listing Agent DOES NOT SAVE money - some buyers believe they will save money going directly to the listing agent instead of hiring a buyers agent. This isn't true because the commission is always paid by the seller. It's also not recommended because the listing agent won't have a buyers best interests in mind.
  7. Not All Types of Properties QUALIFY for financing - not all financing programs accept all property types and not all sellers accept all types of financing. This is why it's recommended to explore available financing options before searching for a home.

February
22

You've made the decision to sell, now what?  What needs to be done?

First Impressions Count

Here's a few things to think about:

  • You need to take an honest look at everything in your house. The exterior, interior, kitchen space etc… from a fresh set of eyes.  You HAVE to see this from a buyer's point of you and what they would like and not like about your abode.  What would you want if you were the buyer looking at your home for the first time?  If you are unable to see this with clear eyes, have a friend come over and have them give you an honest opinion of your home and what "they see."
  • Take out the emotion. Selling a home is an emotional experience because you have memories tied to it.  When your home goes up for sale, you will receive feedback comments from a buyer's showing experience.  Sometimes, these comments are hard to digest.  It's ok.  That's normal.  As you're getting ready to sell, and looking at items that need to be fixed, try to remove the emotion from that process.
  • Buyers want to be able to move right in and not have to do any repairs or cosmetic changes. Knowing this information, will help you decide what projects need to be a priority to get top dollar.  If you need more advice on whether or not to tackle a project, I'm here to help.

Repair, Repair, Repair

If you know the gutters are falling down and need to be tightened up, Do it!  First impressions count and Curb Appeal is the first impression that someone has of your house.  Take a good hard look at the exterior of the house and see what loose ends need to be fixed.

Let's just make this easy… Fix everything that needs to be fixed in order to sell.  If you are questioning this or money is tight, let's chat.  I'll come over and tell you what has to be done.  FYI, if some items are not repaired, it may have to be reflected in your listing price.

Declutter

You knew I was going to say this!

October
25

Please, please don't make me tell you the following.  It is so incredibly awkward to do so…

Your House Has a Bad Odor

Here's the deal, you probably don't even realize it because you are used to it.  But a buyer will definitely notice the smell.  Here's some of the causes:

  • While your animals are adorable to you, they may not be so adorable to others…
    • Animals that have urinated on the carpet, which has now penetrated the baseboards and continues to leave a smell.
    • Kitty litter needs to be cleaned
    • Scratches, chewed and scratched baseboards
    • Extra pet toys – remove
    • Some people are allergic to animal hair
  • Your house just smells bad.
    • Trash
    • Garbage disposal
    • Cooking ingredients (bacon, curry)
    • Dirty shoes
    • Laundry
    • Mold/wetness

The HOUSE NEEDS To SMELL CLEAN.  Time for spring cleaning.  Throw away what you can.  Those things need to go into the trash can, need to leave.  This also is good for the decluttering process.  Wipe down walls, baseboards, floor boards, air it out and don't just cover it up with an air freshener.  That is definitely a sign to the buyer that you are covering up a bad smell.

Ugh... I know that's incredibly harsh, but sometimes it's the unpleasant conversation that has to happen in order to sell your home.  Just try to see and smell your home from the buyer's perspective.

October
19

Simple Steps in the Staging Process

  • You want buyers to visualize themselves in that space. Kitchen… they are cooking in their kitchen.
  • You want the buyer to be attracted to the beauty and style of the kitchen or space.
  • Space needs to be clean and ready to use.
  • Stagers create a story. Place settings are out on the table for example.
  • Use high end finishes to make a statement.
  • Replace light fixtures
  • Replace kitchen hardware
  • Use space more efficiently by adding built-in storage
  • Add architectural interest – Have a focal point in room
  • Storage!!!

Balance – Sometimes, the "against the wall theory" is not the greatest idea.  Is the room balanced?  Is all the furniture to one side?  Create a balance so that there's a natural walking flow path around the sitting area.

Function - Lighting, use natural and ambient lights.  Living rooms (even formal) should have a coffee table and a place to put down a drink.

Color Neutral with a splash of color.

October
6

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION...

We all know that living near a good school increases the value of your home. But who knew a neighboring cemetery can adversely affect your property value? Or that proximity to a hospital isn't a good thing? In fact, we now know—or should know—that nothing is more important when selling your home than your neighborhood. So if you're buying, think ahead; purchase your dream home in the wrong location and you may be buying into a nightmare.

Here are some location no-nos:

  • Realtor.com research has found that living near a cemetery will lower your property value by 12.3%
  • And having a hospital nearby means when you sell you can expect an impact on your sale price of 3.2%.
  • Also note: make sure you move near a "good" school; a "bad" school will reduce your home's value by 22.2%. ·
  • An article in the Journal of Transport Economics and Policy indicates that having an airport nearby can discount the value of your home. The greater the noise level, the greater the negative impact.

Among the amenities to look for in your neighborhood-to-be:

  • Proximity to transit. According to a Transit-Oriented Development in America survey, 55% of Americans would pay more to live near good transit options. The study, conducted by consultant HNTB Corporation, found that 57% of respondents liked not having to depend on cars to "work, live, and play." ·
  • A neighborhood on its way up—not down. In transitional neighborhoods, you get a lot of value for your home-buying buck. Your real estate agent is the best source of information and will also know if there are any planned roads or developments that may impact the neighborhood—positively or negatively.
  • Water, parks, and green spaces. A nearby waterfront can add up to 25% to the value of your home

September
23

With a little bit of forethought, selling a home doesn't have to be a difficult process.  Here are some things you should think about:

   

Starts with the Decision to Sell

  • Why are you selling?
  • Do you have equity?
  • Do you understand what's going on in the market?
  • Are you looking for something different in life?  A different lifestyle?
  • Do you need to move?  Job change? Loss of job

 

What's the Plan?

  • How are you going to find a buyer??
  • What about the paperwork?
  • Who's going to negotiate with the buyers?
  • A good Realtor should be able to answer the typical time frame for selling in your neighborhood, the best marketing strategy for selling, how the listing price will be determined, what the staging process looks like, the hurdles in selling your home, the best way to stay in contact with you.

 

You've made the decision, now what…

What needs to be done? Fix Repairs, Declutter etc… Staging. How can you stand out from the competition? Curb appeal, Move-in condition

 Make the List!

How do we determine home price?

Zestimate, Realtors. What you should be looking at.

 

Listing a Home – What to Expect

1) Marketing Buzz

2) Someone to give you advice on which improvements to tackle

3) What the listing contact says and how it reads

4) Communication within 24 hours.  What we expect of you … that you're flexible, try not be offended, and that you do respond and communicate as well.

 

Marketing Buzz

 

Offer

Everything is Negotiable – Go through contract – Price, Closing time, possession time etc…) See if from the buyer's perspective (meeting of the minds)  Results – What's your End Goal?

 

Let's Chat.  I can help!

September
15

Ok, so that was just a tease because I am a great Realtor and I do hope you use me to help your sell home.  What I will do, is say it like it is, give you all the information you need, and lead you through all the steps.

How much time do we have?

Let's face it, all you care about is that your home gets sold for top dollar, in your time frame, and with the least amount of hassle.  Correct?

First Question… What is your time frame for selling?  If you need to be at a new job in 60 days out of state, and once you receive an offer on your house (typical time frame is 45 days from start to finish), then there's not much time to do much of anything but put your home on the market.

Few things to remember:

  • Your home selling price is determined by the sold homes in your neighborhood and like qualities. Apples to apples.  A Ranch home with 3 bedrooms compared to another ranch home with similar features that sold within the last six months in the area.
  • Buyers want to purchase a move-in ready home. The condition of your home will be reflected in your selling price.
  • What is the time for selling in your neighborhood?

 

If you truly want to sell for top dollar

  1. You need to have a plan!
  2. How are you going to find a buyer?
  3. What are the buyers looking for?
  4. What should you fix?
  5. Should you put money into repairs?
  6. How are you going to determine a price?
  7. What about the paperwork?
  8. Who's going to negotiate with the buyers?

Here's where a good Realtor comes into the picture.  They should be able to answer the typical time frame for selling in your neighborhood, the best marketing strategy for selling, how the listing price will be determined, what the staging process looks like, the hurdles in selling your home, the best way to stay in contact with you.  Their job is to take care of you their client and handle all these things that you may not have time to deal with.

If you would like some help, you have my number and email. :)

 

September
8

  How are you going to find a buyer for your home?  You need to think like a buyer.  Put yourself in their shoes.

What are the buyers looking for?  Does your home have those features?  What type of buyer is the perfect fit for your home?

Market – Demographic/Psychographic

In order to think like a buyer, you need to know WHO that person may be?  Does your home attract the first-time home buyer or someone looking for a second home?    About how much they would have to make in order to buy your house at your price range?  What makes them tick?

The Typical Buyer

  • Wants at least 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths
  • If they have kids, they are driven by school districts and being in a good one!
  • Women usually are concerned about the living space – bedroom size, living room, kitchen.
  • Men usually need a man cave, garage or basement space.

Who is YOUR perfect buyer for your home?

  • How old are they?
  • What gender?
  • Interests and Hobbies?
  • Occupation?
  • Level of Education?
  • How much do they make?  This determines how much they can afford to buy.
  • Do they have kids?

What does YOUR perfect buyer need?

Are they looking for a certain school district?

How many beds/baths will they want?

Want a backyard?

Need a basement?

Want an updated or open kitchen?

They work from home and need great internet speed?

Marketing – Find/Attract Them  Where are They?

Everything Virtual

In the good ole days, we used to advertise in the newspaper.  What's a newspaper, you say?  Exactly!  Now, it's a race to see who finds your home the fastest and what's the best way to market online?

  • Obviously, the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), is your best option. Yes, you need to use a Realtor and pay a commission to use this service but EVERYTHING pulls from the local MLS.  Zillow, Realtor.com and all those beautiful sites, actually pull from the local MLS boards.  So don't shoot yourself in the foot and NOT get the most exposure that you possibly can get when marketing your home.
  • Google search – how do you find a home? Well, we just googled, "homes for sale in ada mi."   2nd best way to get exposure but tricky for everyone to make the front page of google unless they (Realtors) are paying for Ad words.
  • Facebook Ads – another tool that Realtors use to push out a home. This one works well, but because it's an "Ad", there is obviously a cost associated with it.
  • Virtual Tours these are popular to add on to a listing since it works like a video and video ranks high in searches.
  • Videos – my favorite!!! I love video walk throughs on listings.  I do this quite often for buyers who are out of town and I need to be their eyes.  You physically video tape while walking through the home.

There is a lot that goes into marketing your home.  The goal is to give you the most exposure to drive up the price, to have you bank the most money!  Creating a Marketing Buzz is the best way to get that result!

Contact me if you are interested in seeing how I create a "Marketing Buzz" around your home!

September
1

So, you've been thinking about selling your home but are questioning if NOW is the time to sell?  How's the market?  Is it a buyer's market, seller's market?  Will my home sell quickly?  Do I have enough equity? If I do sell, what's next? 

It Always Comes Back to Your Why

First things first, the home selling process begins with the decision to sell.  Here's what's funny.  As a Realtor, we tend to forget how this process goes until we actually have to go through the home selling process ourselves.  And while I know the ropes inside and out, it was still stressful, it was emotional, and it was a lot of work to get the home ready to sell BUT…

It was also worth it!  I knew what I wanted. 

I sold my home three years ago after making the decision that it was too much work for me to maintain.  I went through a divorce a few years back and held onto the house, for a secure place for my kids to come HOME to.  Once, they graduated from high school and were heading off to college, I knew it was time for me to move on. It was my opportunity to pursue what I really wanted, which was a home on an all-sports lake.  I have so many fond memories of going to my grandparent's cottage and spending time on the lake, that I know this is my dream home. My lifestyle changed.  My kids moved out of the house.  Now, it was time for me to pursue my dream home.  

You can't time the market or your life… but you can make a plan (Be sure to check out LifeHack below).

 Start planning ahead…

  • In the next year… what does your family need? Do you need more space?  Would you like a bigger kitchen? 
  • Is your family getting bigger? Is there a possibility that parents/grandparents may have to live with you?  Will you be an empty nester soon and want to think about a smaller home?
  • Do you want a better lifestyle? Do you like the hustle and bustle of city life?  Love suburbia?  Prefer the woods and no neighbors?  Love the peace and enjoyment with lakefront living?

 One of my Favorite Life Hacks I use this life hack every year when I reset my goals.  I absolutely love it!  Thanks to Dean Grazoisi and his book Millionaire Success Habits.) Check it out…

If you could fast forward a year and then look back and it was the BEST YEAR of YOUR LIFE, what does that Best Year look like?

  • How much money are you making? How much money do you have saved?
  • Where do you work? From home or in the office?
  • Are you taking your company to the next level? Do you own your own business?
  • How does your significant other look at you in the morning after a long day?
  • How is your relationship with your family, kids, and friends?

Sometimes, we need to look at the bigger picture of life, and then make a plan to get there. I have the plan to get you where you want to go and lead you through the process!

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