That All Important First Impression
It’s well established that a first introduction is vitally important. That initial handshake can either lead to a meeting of the minds, or to no deal. “I hope I make a bad first impression,” said no one ever! In real estate, we see this play out again and again.
When you are selling, the first personal impression when a buyer tours your home is like the handshake. If they don’t like what they see pulling up to the curb, walking into the lobby, or opening the front door, the cash register is going to ring up “no sale”.
Although a good first impression of your home may not always end up in making a deal, it is always the first step into getting to that important offer to purchase. Here are 10 ways to make a great first impression on prospective buyers.
1. Get Buyers To See Your Home
Today, most real estate transactions are born on the internet. The first interaction a prospective buyer has with your house is online. If there is no connection with them in those first photos, it’s extremely unlikely to go to the next step with a private showing. Make sure you have an agent that takes quality photos of your property, preferably professional ones. ...
With April just around the corner, our thoughts turn to spring. For many, spring not only signals the onset of warm weather, flowers, and birdsong but heralds the time to sweep out the winter detritus from hearth and home, otherwise known as Spring Cleaning. The first logical step in the process is removing all that stuff you really don’t want, don’t need, or never use, your clutter.
For those of you preparing to sell your home this spring, an absolute must for you is to take your cluttered chaos and turn it into organized harmony , but even if you are staying put, what better way to start the new season than with a home free of extra stuff to get in the way of your feng shui. Now that you are sold on the idea of paring down and organizing, there are a couple ways to approach the process of organizing your home.
- the intense weekend (or two) decluttering boot camp
- the series of multiple shorter de-junking sessions
Personally, since I am not a fan of pain and suffering, I prefer the “take-it-in-smaller-bites” process. Keep in mind, regardless of whether you opt for the intense program or the low impact version, you...
The 5 Reasons Twin Cities Home Sellers Should List Now
Even though March is still very much a winter month in the Twin Cities, we had a few days of spring-like weather in February. Those days may have been a teaser but I will tell what is no joke – the spring home buying season started in January! Buyers are eagerly snatching up properties with wild abandon. If you are planning to sell your house this year, the earlier in the year you get your house on the market, the better. This phenomenal seller's market is not going to last forever but right now it’s all about you and the question on my mind today is, what are you waiting for?
1. Tenacious Buyers Will Not Be Here Forever
To say there are many eager buyers in the market watching the posting of new listings with a keen eye is an understatement. Many have not just been anticipating home ownership for weeks, a great number of buyers have been looking for months. With so much competition for so little inventory, a large number of these buyers have attempted to secure a deal on a home only to lose out to another eager buyer. They are not giving up anytime soon but market conditions such as rising interest rates may force them out. This sense of urgency is inspiring them to make great offers, very...
Selling Homes in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota
The spring and summer housing market is behind us, but as we look in the rearview mirror and wave good-bye, we should also look ahead and say hello to the second best season for home sales, fall. If you thought about putting your house on the market but somehow didn’t manage to pull it all together as yet, here is your second chance as a seller to take advantage of this market leaning so heavily in your favor here in the Twin Cities.
Generally speaking under normal conditions the seasonal adjustment of the cooler months and inventory, prices and market activity seem to follow the downward trend of the temperatures. This may not be the case this year. While inventory levels, days on market, and pending sales are declining, median sale prices are continuing to rise.
Twin Cities Metro Market Data Still Strongly Favors Sellers
The Minneapolis Association of Realtors report for the week ending September...
Why Early Spring is the Best Time Sell Your Twin Cities Home
Spring has officially arrived! Birds singing, flowers blooming, temperatures rising and “Home for Sale” signs popping up on front lawns like mushrooms in the forest after a rain shower. Now I have not seen any robins yet at my bird feeder, no crocus popping their colorful little heads out of the dirt or forsythia in bloom. What I have witnessed is platoons of serious home buyers out in the market place. Sounds like we have an active market filled with buyers holding pre-approvals, down payments and closing costs in their eager ready-to-buy hands. Isn’t that great? Let’s take a closer look.
Actually it appears the spring home buying season got off to an early start. According to the real estate numbers published by the Minneapolis Association of Realtors for February, pending sales were up 6.7 % with closed sales flat over this time last year. When we take a look at supply of available properties, the number of homes for sale fell 19.4% resulting in the months’ supply of inventory at 2.3, down a whopping 28.1% from last February.
The Best of 2015 simply had to include this post by Joe Houghton originally published this past June. Not only has he presented some fabulous and inexpensive ideas to boost the curb appeal of your home, he has curated some great information from some great sites like Better Homes and Gardens and also offered up some great DIY tips from bloggers like Bella Tucker and First Home Love as well.
This information is must read for those of you are planning to sell your home this year. Even if you are planning to stay put, who doesn't want to improve the appearance of their home? Enough said. Let's read how we can give our homes a mini facelift!
In life, you get one chance to make a first impression. It can be the determining factor in getting the job, securing the client, or closing the deal. When you are selling your home, the same holds true. The first impression a potential buyer has of your house, be it online or in person can have a significant influence not only on an offer price but how quickly you receive one.
When buyers are presented with a property that has great curb appeal, it draws them in with a smile. Reversely, if your home looks untidy and ill kept from the outside, buyers are going to have the impression that the property has not been well cared for, and it may even have them saying, “Next please”, without so much as an inside peek.
Best of 2015 from The Minneapolis and St. Paul Real Estate Blog
Happy New Year! 2015 is in the rearview mirror and we are looking at 2016 and what is on the road ahead of us. Now with the holiday activities behind us, we can review 2015 in terms of accomplishments, the body of work, career, financial and personal goals met and visions realized.
Here at the Minnesota Property Group, we think we had a great year and lots of success stories. One of those successes is our new website rolled out at the beginning of the year and all the great content we have worked so hard to provide to our past, present, and future clients. We are very proud of our Minneapolis and St. Paul Real Estate blog and where we have taken it this past year. So what better time in this first week of the New Year, to present our favorite and best-performing blog posts as a review. All this week we will post our Best Blog Posts of 2015, one every day.
Since many of you are thinking about selling your home this year, this is a great post with suggestions of how you can rock that experience!
How To Be a Rock Star Home Seller in 5 Easy Steps
Selling your family home can be a stressful experience under the best of circumstances. Listing your home creates a condition that interferes with the daily rhythm of your family life and invades the privacy of your personal space, not to mention the mixed emotions your family...
These 5 Hot Tips Will Heat Up Your Winter Home Sale
Winter has arrived. In places like the Twin Cities, that means fewer daylight hours, frigid temperatures, snow, and ice. Winter definitely changes the dynamics of selling and showing your home at its best. However, we can also see these cold weather challenges as opportunities to showcase your home in ways not possible in the warmer seasons. Here are my 5 best tips for making your home shine more and sparkle brighter even though the days are shorter and the ground is covered in snow!
1. Strut Your Stuff Winter and Beyond
An absolute must is to keep the driveway and walkways clear and safe for walking. Maneuvering through snow and ice to get inside your home is not going to make a good first impression so be sure your property is totally accessible. Even though snow removal can be a challenge keep in mind you don’t have to worry about mowing and trimming the lawn every few days. Another plus, if you don’t have the best landscaping on the block, the snow can provide a pristine charm you wouldn’t have in the warmer months. However, if you are an avid gardener...
7 Great Tips for Fall Home Sellers
The Twin Cities real estate market has been strong throughout the spring and summer, and according to housing market analysts, we are experiencing one of the best housing markets of the last 15 years. So if you planned to sell your home this year but missed the spring and summer home-selling season, don’t despair or feel you need to wait until next spring to sell your home. Autumn happens to be the second best season for home sales.
Going into the cooler months always brings a seasonal adjustment in inventory levels. According to the weekly report from the Minneapolis Association of Realtors, for the week ending September 19th, new listings decreased 0.4% to 1,613 and inventory 13.8% to 16,606. So fewer houses on the market, increase your chances of finding a buyer. Speaking of buyers…
While families with children tend to make their move in spring and be situated in their new homes for the start of the school year, job changes and relocations go on all year so there will be families out there looking for homes. Additionally, many millennials and empty nesters tend to wait until fall with hopes of being in their new home before the winter holidays arrive. Easier mortgage approvals coupled with interest rates remaining low, sweeten the deal. Buyers are inspired.
To get you ready and help with that selling decision, here are 7 tips that will take turn your "home for sale" to "home sold" when you list your property this autumn.
When the time comes to sell your home, you may be tempted to forego hiring a Realtor and do it alone. After all, DIY is the hot trend these days and who doesn't like to save a few dollars? Being a great fan of saving money with DIY projects, I totally understand. But, before you pound a “For Sale” sign in your front yard and start counting the money you’ll save on a Realtor’s commission, there are a few facts you should consider because this may be a DIY project that ends up costing you money rather than saving you money over the long run.
To buy and sell a house is no simple task. In fact, national statistics show that only 9% of all “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) efforts are successful. Only one out of every twelve people who attempt to sell their own home actually end up with a closed deal and approximately 24% of those transactions involved a sale to a friend or relative, 15% involved a buyer directly contacting a seller, and 1% when the owner was a licensed agent.
When DIY sellers were surveyed by The National Association of Realtors, the most difficult aspects of going FSBO were cited as follows:
- Understanding and performing paperwork: 18%
- Getting the right price: 13%
- Preparing/fixing up home for sale: 12%
- Helping buyer obtain financing: 3%...
Is the winter housing market hotter than you think?
Although spring and summer are typically thought of as prime time for selling and buying a home, there are distinct advantages to list your home for sale in the first part of the year. Really, you ask? Your skepticism is certainly understandable, after all winter is darn cold here in the Twin Cities Metro, right? And aren’t buyers gravitating to a warm fire and a cozy corner waiting for the spring thaw to house hunt? Some, yes, but all of them, absolutely not! Let’s take a closer look at reasons you may want to list your home now.
1. Winter buyers are Not Window Shoppers
While some buyers hibernate in winter, not all of them do. There are folks out there that need to buy homes 12 months of the year due to job changes, (large corporations traditionally hire and transfer more in the early part of the year) relocation, or family changes, like the birth of a child. These folks are serious buyers because they don’t just want to move, they need to move. As a seller, you will like these buyers a lot!
2. There is Less Competition
When spring arrives house for sale signs pop up everywhere like mushrooms after a heavy rain. Because the inventory of homes for sale in the winter is lower, your chances of landing a buyer improve. It’s that basic and fundamental principal of supply and demand....
Winter changes the dynamics of selling and showing your home at its best. Less hours of daylight, cold weather along with snow and ice are all challenges we face in the winter season. Here are my 5 best tips for making your home shine more and sparkle brighter even though the days are shorter and the ground is covered in snow!
1. A Home for All Seasons
Keep the driveway and all walkways shoveled. Maneuvering through snow and ice to get inside your home is not going to make for a good first impression so be sure your property is totally accessible. Granted snow removal can be a challenge but at least you don’t have to worry about mowing and trimming the lawn every few days. Another plus, if you don’t have the best landscaping on the block, the snow can provide a pristine charm you wouldn’t have in the warmer months. On the flip side, if you are an avid gardener and have put time and money into awesome landscaping make sure to have an album of photos highlighting those features for buyers to view.
2. Let the Light Shine In and Out
Keep window dressings at a minimum to take advantage of the available light. Make sure draperies are drawn and shades are up. Even if you are showing your home in the evening, lamplight glowing in the windows...
Clean, Spotless, Immaculate!
You have removed all the clutter from your home and de-personalized it. Now it’s time to deep clean, and I mean DEEP. We want your home to shimmer and sparkle with sunlight streaming through windows and reflexing off polished surfaces and shining in the eyes of your buyer. That is our goal, to literally shine! This will reflect pride of ownership, a home has been well loved and taken care of, maintained to the max!
Your house may have odors you are not even aware of because you are so used to smelling them every day, but to a potential buyer this is the number one turn off. It may send a buyer away as soon as they enter your home, or at the very least seriously affect the sale price of your property. Common odors include pet odor, urine, mold, mildew, strong cooking odors, and cigarette smoke. You need to remove the odors, but whatever you do, don’t try to mask them with room deodorizers, it will only make it worse.
Keep your pet clean. Ditto for pet beds and litter boxes. If shampooing your carpet does not remove pet smells you will need to replace it. Avoid strong cooking odors and deep frying. Remove visible mold or mildew with a bleach solution. If you smoke in your home, stop. To remove smoke odor you can try a product such as Vamoose. If that does not work you may want to consider hiring a professional service such as ...
Now that you have de-cluttered, de-personalized and refreshed the interior of your house as you prepare to list it for sale, let’s continue the process on the outside. I cannot over-emphasize how important a role curb appeal can play in the sale of your home. It is that all-important first impression and at times the only impression that matters. Potential buyers may decide in those first few seconds not to buy your house. No matter how good the interior may be, they have judged your home in those critical first few seconds. It’s most important to make people feel safe, warm, and welcome as they approach your home. Let’s look at 10 ways to we can wow them on that first important look.
Trim shrubs and trees. If you have dead or dying shrubs, replace them. Compare your landscaping to other homes in the area to see if it is comparable. If it is not consider planting some shrubbery. Shrubs are a better choice than trees since immature specimens do little to enhance the landscaping and mature trees are...
Refresh, Refurbish, Repair or Replace - Oh My!
After you de-clutter and depersonalize, it’s time to review your house room by room and neutralize, repair, replace and refresh. Since you are selling your home, we do not want to invest in expensive repairs or mammoth remodels so our goal is to look for ways to make your house appealing to buyers at minimal cost to you, the seller. Keeping that objective in mind, we want you to Invest your time and money in easy fixes that will pay off by bringing you top dollar for your home!
However, and it cannot be overstated, you may love every color and be accepting of every imperfection, but to a potential buyer these will be reasons not to purchase your property, or to make you a low offer, and believe me they will be looking for reasons. We do not want to provide them with any, so let’s begin in the interior of the home starting with the kitchen, which can often make or break a sale.
Your Home Needs the 3 D Treatment
Before you put your house up for sale, you need to deep clean, de-clutter and depersonalize it. When you are getting your home ready to sell, these are the basics and the best place to start. We want to make your property look as much like a new house as possible. Our goal is to project a warm and inviting environment, as clean, spacious, and impersonal as we can so that potential buyers can visualize your house as their home, with their furniture in the living room, their art on the walls and their car in the garage.
De-clutter – The First Step
This can often be the most difficult step for some sellers because often they have an emotional attachment to everything in their house. However, you really need to get rid of the clutter because one thing I know for sure, a buyer's dream house does not include your clutter! It will help you to look at this process objectively and realize that your beloved napkin collection filling up a shelf of the linen closet is clutter from a buyer's perspective. Remember, the buyer is purchasing your house not your stuff, and you want him or her to visualize where they can put their stuff!
Toss, Donate, Keep Oh My!
You have decided now is the time to make a move and sell your home. As a seller, this is your time! According to Forbes, 60% of all home sales in 2014 will in the months of May-August. Additionally, there is a limited supply of inventory and buyers are out there who are ready and prepared to become homeowners themselves.
Let's Put Our Best Face On
Even though the market is tipping in your favor, in order to sell quickly and get the best price for your home you need to show it off at its absolute best. You know it’s a great house but remember that potential buyers will be looking with a critical eye and comparing your property to others for sale on the market.
To get your house ready to sell, let's look at what I call the two level approach, the first level being practical, which is the general condition of your property, and the second level the emotional which is about the aesthetics like curb appeal and decor, the livability factor.
Let’s Talk Practical
On this level we need to be concerned about structure and mechanicals, the things a home inspection will evaluate such as:
Selling your Twin Cities Minnesota Home
6 Reasons to Sell Your Home Now
The last several years have been tough for some families who wanted to sell and move up to a bigger home. Often they found they owed more on their property than it would bring on the current market. Perhaps they did not find themselves “underwater” but needed more equity to finance that purchase.
There are empty nesters who no longer want the responsibility or expense that comes with the 4 or 5 bedroom property and are ready to downsize to a smaller house, a townhouse, or even that trendy chic loft downtown they have always wanted.
Are you a potential seller waiting for the right time to list your house for sale? Let’s take a look at current market conditions because now may be the time to make a move!
1. Current inventories of properties for sale are low
Inventory levels of houses for sale continue to remain low. The Market Activity Report published by the Minnesota Area Association of Realtors for the month of March reported that new listings had increased 5.5%, inventory decreased 4.1% and...