Selling Your Home

Selling Homes in Winter

Selling homes in Winter

You just landed your dream job in Minnesota, and while you are over the moon at the prospect, you are not so happy about selling your home in the slowest season of the year for real estate, winter. While there are many aspects involving a significant lifestyle change that you can obsess over, don't allow listing your house to be among them.

Winter home sales in Minnesota

Real estate is not a seasonal business. People buy and sell homes fifty-two weeks a year because life doesn't come to a halt when the temperatures drop and snow flies. All the aspects that necessitate a need to relocate, be it cross country or across town, do not happen exclusively in the year's warmer months. Both advantages and disadvantages are inherent in listing a home for sale in all four seasons. One factor remains constant; presenting your home in its best light will result in quicker deals and higher prices.

When Selling in the winter, accentuate the positive home features

Does your home have features that shine in the winter months? Be sure your potential buyers know about them. Examples include:

  • High-efficiency furnaces
  • Newer energy-efficient windows and doors
  • Extra insulation
  • Solar thermal systems
  • Radiant floors in bathrooms 
  • Four season sunrooms
  • A heated garage
  • Heated walkways and driveway to eliminate ice and snow

Tips for Minnesota winter open houses and buyer tours

  • Turn on your gas or electric fireplace. Remember, anything that makes your home warm and welcoming is an excellent asset in winter. 
  • Brew a pot of tea and set it out with a platter of cookies. Simmer spices such as cinnamon and cloves with orange peels in a small pot in the kitchen. 
  • Open the curtains. Turn on the lamps. Let as much light in as possible. Even bright and sunny homes can appear dark in the...

Selling my home to an iBuyer

Pros and Cons of Selling Your Home to an iBuyer

If you are a homeowner weighing the options of selling your home, this article is for you—no sugarcoating. For most, selling the family home is a stressful situation, and it is an intrusion in your life and requires an investment of time and money. For those who want or need the convenience of doing as little as possible and don’t mind the additional expense, there is the option called the iBuyer.

Since the concept of the instant buyer is still relatively novel, you may not know anyone with firsthand experience. Before you decide, you probably want to look at the standard advantages touted by iBuyers vs. the more widely accepted method of listing your home with a real estate professional.

Using an iBuyer Saves Time

  • You will not have to hire a real estate agent. Researching and selecting the best agent to sell your home takes up a chunk of time, and it’s a critical choice that may affect your bottom line and your blood pressure!

But is this a time saver? The time you do not spend researching realtors is going towards researching iBuyer companies. You also have to consider that many sellers will spend time on both options because they will want to compare the home price offered by the buyer and the suggested market price from an agent. 

  • You will not have to declutter, clean, or stage your home. If housework is not your thing, not engaging in a deep cleaning and organizing project may make using an iBuyer extremely appealing.

Is this a time-saver? You are still going to need to declutter your home when you pack. Unless you use an iBuyer that does not do an in-home evaluation, don’t you want your home to make a positive impression? Keep in mind that the final offer is made after the review. I can’t help but believe that a home that looks and smells good will generate a higher request.

  • You will...

How to get my home ready for inspection

10 Tips to Prepare for Your Home Inspection

When a seller and a buyer meet the minds, the result is a signed purchase offer. The contract is contingent on having a professional home inspection most of the time. The after-the-offer phase of a home sale is the step that can most likely sink the deal and create a great deal of anxiety for sellers and buyers alike.

Getting ahead of potential inspection items

As a seller, you want your home to pass inspection with as few callouts as possible. Hopefully, while preparing your home for sale, you looked at your house with a buyer’s critical eye and made repairs where necessary. Better yet, you had a pre-listing home inspection and took care of all the callouts on the list.

However, if you did neither of those, you should still make preparations to facilitate the inspection process. You should do so even if you had an evaluation previously, which will be evident as you read through my list.

1.  Keep up appearances in and around your home.

In other words, keep your home clean and neat. Although you don’t get points for that on the inspection, it leaves a positive impression. You want the inspector to see that your home has been cared for and maintained. So even after you have an offer in hand, don’t let things go. 

2. Make sure there is easy access to areas that will be inspected.

The inspector will check the basement, crawl space, and attic. She will look in the cabinets under the sinks to check for leaks. Remove any clutter that is in the way of getting to these areas. Is your attic access pull-down stairs in a closet?  Emptying it is probably a good idea. If a space is not accessible, that will throw up warning signs you don’t want.

3. Remove and replace blown-out light bulbs.

Replace any burned-out light bulbs both in and outside the house. A burned-out light bulb will require that the inspector check to make...

7 Ways to Up Your Curb Appeal Mojo

MN Realtor Shares Easy Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal

If your curb appeal is missing that specific something that takes it from so-so to wow, I dedicate this post to you. If you are selling your home, you should already know how critical making that positive first impression is to potential buyers. You want to hit them with your best before they walk in the front door.

Curb Appeal Works Magic on MN Home Buyers

Even if you are not selling your home, boosting your curb appeal adds value to your property. You will also win the admiration of your neighbors and become the most popular house on the block. After you finish my list of suggestions, it will amaze you that such a small investment of money, time, and creativity will result in a noticeable uptick in curb appeal.

Here are my best, inexpensive tips for upping your curb appeal game. So please put on your sunscreen, and let’s get outside!

1. Up Your Front Door Mojo

True story. Several years ago, I had difficulty selling my home in Rhode Island. It was a newer home, a colonial replica associated with like homes. Great location and landscaping but not getting the attention from buyers my agent and I anticipated.

I decided to paint the two yellow front doors turquoise over the objections of my realtor, who was reminding me that my choice wasn’t a traditional colonial-era color. A few days later, we had several showings and an offer. I’m convinced it was the newly painted doors.

So if your front door is faded or doesn’t say “look at me,” get a quart of color that catches the eye. Remember, don’t be coy or shy in your choice you want to stand out from the crowd.

2. Work Magic on the Front Porch 

If you are lucky enough to have a porch, flaunt it. Hang some greenery and flowering baskets. Set up a cozy eating nook and a sitting area. If you have a front entrance less spacious, put a pot or two blooms by...

MN Home Selling and Short Notice Showings

MN Home Selling and Short Notice Showings

Anyone that has sold a home before will tell you that it can be an intense and stressful experience. Strangers coming through and looking in your closets, judging your décor and housekeeping habits is an invasion of privacy. Not to mention that you will sometimes get those requests that fly in the face of that 24-hour notice you want.

Both as a Realtor and a former home seller myself, believe me, I feel your pain. With four active young boys and a dog, I know families' challenges to keep their homes ready to show when on the market. But when that short-notice request from an out-of-towner pops up, it’s hard to take a pass because you know an eager buyer when you see one.

First Impressions Matter - A Lot

Because you get one shot at making an excellent first impression, I put together this list of quick, easy pre-showing tips for sellers. These tips have proven successful personally and for many of my clients over the years.  Make your home shine and put a gleam in the eye of the most critical buyer by following my simple checklist.

√ Pick Up Clutter in Every Room

Get those size 12 Air Jordan’s off the floor and into the closet. Dirty laundry should go straight into the washer. Get the kiddo's toys into the storage bin and forget about newspapers and magazines. Any stray dishes or glasses hanging around should go directly to the dishwasher.

√ Make the Beds

If one thing goes a long way towards pulling your bedroom together, it is a well-made bed. Be particular and smooth out the comforter or bedspread, and don’t forget to fluff the decorator pillows and throw if you use one. 

√ Tidy the Bathrooms

Put away any bottles or jars cluttering the countertop or bath area. Quick spray and clean the shower doors, mirror, vanity top, sink, and faucet. Pick up any used linens and put them in the washer. Straighten...

MN Realtor on Home Staging

MN Realtor on the Importance of Home Staging

Just a few years ago, staging a home for sale was rare. It was also generally for homes on the higher end of the pricing scale, new homes or empty homes. Today the story of home staging is entirely different.

The National Association of Realtors study conducted in 2017 found that 58% of real estate professionals said that when you stage, the sale price can increase as much as 20%. This same study found that 39% said staged homes sell much faster. The message of staging and selling a house quickly and for more money resonates with today’s home sellers at all price points and for all types of housing options.

Even sellers with starter homes or small condos with a limited budget can stage their property to make it more desirable. I will share some great tips that I guarantee will make your home more marketable and cost very little as long as you are prepared to invest some time into the project.

The Five Basic Building Blocks of Home Staging

What I am about to share can be considered the foundation of staging a home. Whether the seller has a small or large budget, these are five rules that everyone will incorporate into the staging plan. Those with a generous budget will spend money instead of time, and those with fewer funds will sacrifice their time.

Home Staging Tip #1 – Remove Your Clutter

Those of you who have read some of my other posts will probably sigh and say, “Joe, I have heard you suggest this many times before.” That is true because no matter how many times I say start with decluttering when you want to sell your home, many people don’t do it. The fact is you are going to do it when you move, so why not get a head start on packing and get it done before you put your home on the market? It makes sense, right?

Clean out your closets, cabinets, drawers, basement, and attic, or anywhere you store your “stuff.” If it’s...

Why Your MN Home Won't Sell

Real Estate Agent On Why Your Home Won't Sell

When your home is not getting offers in a seller’s market, it is no surprise that you are not in your happy place. It’s not how you expected things to go. You thought it would sell quickly. Now you are asking your realtor why other properties are selling while your listing is growing moss.

Taking more time to sell a home happens all too often. As an agent who has been in the business for 16 years, I have been in this scenario. Here are what I’ve found to be the seven most common reasons a home isn’t selling.

The Price is Too High

The most common reason a home is not moving even in a market favorable to sellers is incorrect pricing.  At the listing time, your realtor should do a market analysis of properties comparable to yours that recently sold. The price comparison is the best method to determine the asking price.

There are times sellers disagree and insist their home is worth more. There are often factors that the seller didn’t consider that affect the value. To neutralize the adverse effect of imperfections, a price adjustment is necessary. The price of a home should align with its condition.

Buyers today are savvy, and most of them are working with agents who also do a market analysis to determine home values. This helps buyers arrive at a fair price to offer a seller based on both the market and the condition of the house they want to buy. 

Online Photos are Poor Quality

The first introduction a prospective buyer has of your home is the photos they see online. If they are not professional quality, they are not doing you justice as a seller. Online images that are dark, blurry, turned sideways, or upside down is not acceptable.

Inadequate Marketing

If you thought all agents were the same, this is where you find out that is not true. How and where your realtor markets your home can make a difference in how fast you sell...

Selling a Home With Pets

Selling a Home With Pets

According to the American Pet Products Association survey in 2018, 68% of households have at least one pet. People love their pets. That same APPA survey found that those millions of pet owners spent billions of dollars to prove it, $72.13 billion give or take a couple of mils. That’s a lot of puppy chow and catnip! 

Many pet owners consider their fuzzy wards children and often refer to them as “fur babies.” Being a dog owner, I understand completely. Our Doodle is an integral part of our family, and we all love him. However, when the time arrives to sell your home, beloved pets can present logistic problems. As much as I hate to have to say it, there are times that pets can raise issues that sellers must resolve before listing the property. 

The Challenges of Selling a Home with Pets

Some of the issues sellers faces when they have pets include:

  • funky smells and odors
  • what to do with pets during showings
  • keeping the home free of fur
  • maintaining cleanliness in pet areas
  • Make sure pets with aggressive behavior are confined or removed during buyer tours
  • ensuring that both pet and buyer safety is paramount

Pet Odors Must Go or Buyers Will

If you don’t’ get rid of funky animal smells, it will be difficult to get buyers to stay, much less make an offer to purchase. Now I know what you are going to say because I’ve heard it a hundred times, "my pets and my house do not smell.” 

Trust me, unless you are scrupulous, vacuuming daily and washing your pets weekly, you have funky pet smells. What’s more, you may not smell them, but people not living in your home will.

Getting Rid of Pet Odors

Start at the source. Time to give Miss Rosebud or Mr. Stinky a bath. Wash all of your pet’s bedding as well. Next, thoroughly vacuum your home, floors, and upholstered furniture also....

Use Hygge to Sell Your House

Use Hygge to Sell Your House

Did you know that Sperling’s Best Places named Minneapolis the third best city for hygge in America?  Now you do. Don’t get me wrong; we are not turning our nose up at the third-place award to Seattle #1 and Portland #2. However, some of us think with more people of Scandinavian heritage in the Twin Cities and colder winters, we should be #1 when it comes to getting our hygge mojo working.

What does hygge even mean, and how do you pronounce it?

By now, you have probably at least heard the term hygge. It is a Danish concept that has created a considerable buzz in the home décor market. But it is not just about decorating; it’s a lifestyle. It is a concept of embracing simple pleasures. The Danes, being awesome people, created hygge in the 18 century, and it remains an integral part of their culture today.

The word is pronounced “hue-gah.” Frequently defined as coziness, and in the Oxford English Dictionary as “to keep or make oneself snug.” So hygge also reflects a feeling of safeness and warmth. The critical thing to note is that even with long winters and limited hours of daylight, Danes are considered the world’s happiest people. Since you want buyers to be the most satisfied people when they tour your home, let’s hit them with some hygge.

Soft, Warm, Snug Cozy

Hygge decorating is about texture. Soft materials that provide warmth and comfort are essential. Aspects of this decorating style that you can pull together in staging your home for winter are knits, fur or velvet pillows, soft fuzzy throws of soft merino wool or cashmere, and fluffy rugs. Hygge is about color too. Whites and soft greys are perfect wall colors. White woodwork or natural light woods are perfect compliments. The color scheme should be neutral and mix grays, browns, white, and black. Warm wood furnishings fit in perfectly with this décor style as well. Other aspects of...

Best Tips For Home Sellers Who Want to Rock Holiday Decor

Staging for The Holidays

Let’s face it, selling your home over the Christmas Holiday can be a challenge. It goes over, and above the usual inconveniences you must endure and the compromises to the rhythm of your family’s routine you must make when you sell. For most, it happens to be the busiest time of the year regarding shopping, family activities, and entertaining. A string of strangers looking in all your nooks and crannies is not at the top of your wish list.

Many sellers temporarily take their home off the market in December while others wait until January to list. However, there are buyers out there, and most of them that are house shopping in December are serious buyers. So for those sellers with a high level of motivation, the holidays can provide a unique opportunity for your home to shine. You can also get a step ahead of the competition who decide to fast forward to January.

Once you decide to market your home when bells on bobtails ring, the next question is should you decorate and if so what are the rules? Here, the basic rules of staging your home for any season apply. Keep everything clean, eliminate clutter and avoid the personal items in your choice of holiday decorations.

Now let’s drill down to the details. Here are my best tips for home sellers who want to rock their holiday décor.

Keep the Holiday Decorations Simple

If you want a genuinely minimal look when you stage your home for the holiday consider subtle touches such as a beautiful bowl filled with pinecones, a vase filled with holly branches, and an evergreen wreath over the mantle or in a large window.

Avoid Clutter and Over Decorating

You may love your Christmas village homes and antique Santa collection. This year keep them in storage. Give a light touch to the decorations and keep them generic and understated. You want people looking at your home, not at your collectibles. Limit your holiday...

Outstanding Curb Appeal Can Sell Your Home

Make That Home Sale with Curb Appeal

When you sell, curb appeal is the first impression your home will make on a buyer.  Do it right, and you could end up with an offer, just like that! Do it wrong, and a potential buyer may decide not to walk through your front door.  So when evaluating your curb appeal as you prepare to sell your home, be critical because I promise you that buyers will be.

Pretend you are a buyer. Take a look around the outside of your house and yard. Now ask yourself, if you were buying today would the exterior of your home inspire you to take a look inside?  If the answer is anything less than, “I can’t wait to see the inside of this house” then you have a bit of work to do. Here are a few steps that will send your curb appeal rating meter over the top. 

Clean Up

Just as you do inside your home, you should “pick up” in the front and backyard, porch and deck. You want it clean and tidy. Remove any remaining dead leaves, branches, and other debris from the previous season. Oil stains on the driveway or garage should be cleaned up. Organize the garage. Power wash your siding. Clean the gutters. Wash the windows, so the sunshine sparkles off the surface of the glass. Wash all the light fixtures on your house and garage.  Don’t overlook the door knockers and knobs. Polish them up!  

Refresh, Repair or Replace

As you go through the cleanup process, make a note of any items that need attention. Decide if all that is required is a facelift, some rehabilitation or the situation is hopeless and you need to invest in a replacement. Here are some common areas to evaluate and issues you want to address.

  • Check the roof for loose or broken shingles
  • Make sure the flashing isn’t bent, shows gaps or other issues that might lead to leaks
  • Repair or replace torn screens or cracked panes of glass
  • Look for any broken shingles and...

Stage Your Home to Impress Buyers

The Argument for Staging

Once you have organized your home and removed its clutter, it’s time to talk about staging.  In a 2017 study conducted by NAR, the National Association of Realtors, 58% of agents surveyed said staging increases the selling price of the home as much as 20%. In this same profile, we find that 39% of agents believe staged properties sell significantly faster than those not staged. Additionally, 77% of buyers found it easier to visualize a staged property as their new home. 

Keep in mind that the objective of sellers is to prepare their home so buyers will envision themselves living there. If a buyer cannot make a personal and emotional attachment to your property, they are not going to make an offer. You want your buyers to fall in love with your house. Staging can go a long way towards making that happen.

Staging Choices 

You have a few options when you stage a home. If the house is empty, hiring a professional stager is plan A. This is the best and easiest way to get your home looking its beautiful and stylish best. All the photos in this post are from a staged home we sold in St. Louis Park. See what I mean?

If plan A and your budget are not on the same playing field, go to plan B and rent furnishings. Rental companies can provide everything you need to stage your home and deliver them as well.

It is not necessary to buy or rent new furniture either. You can use what you have now to stage your home. Your listing agent can give you some suggestions or recommend someone to help. Many professional stagers will tour your home and guide you for a consulting fee of about $250-$300. You can also connect with your old friend Google and research DIY home staging tips, like this article for instance.

Staging Tips

If you decide to stage your...

Sell Your Home Like a Boss

Tips to Control Stress When Selling Your Home

When you sell a home, the experience has the inherent potential to be stressful. Not only is the rhythm of your daily life at the mercy of showings, but your home has to look tip-top for potential buyers.  Your privacy is held hostage to strangers opening closets and drawers as they snoop into your nooks and crannies. Yikes!  That is enough to get the calmest nerves twitching. There are many moving parts to the sale of a house. There are many individuals involved in that sale. Any of these or a combination of several can become the stress source for the homeowner. These are factors the seller has no control over, zip, zero, none! However, there are many aspects of the home-selling process where the property owner can have power over the outcome. Making better decisions at the beginning of the process increases the likelihood of having a superior selling experience. Since I have sat in the seller seat myself on a few occasions, I have gathered some morsels of wisdom on the subject. Since I love to share, as one seller to another, here are my best tips for a successful home sale.

Hire A Great Real Estate Agent

There are a few different ways people go about finding a real estate agent when they sell a home. Some seek recommendations from family and friends. That is one way to do it, but that doesn’t always work out to be the best method alone. Listen to recommendations by all means then go online and research those agents.

See if they have a robust online presence. Hopefully, the agent will have a website and an active blog with well-written informative information for both home buyers and sellers. The online posts will often also tell you how well they know the area, especially the community where you live. Check out their experience, their credentials,...

Prepare Now To Sell Later

Sell Your Home When The Time Is Right For You

It’s no surprise that many people advocate that the best time to sell a home is in the Spring. Part of the reason this theory has evolved is that families want to be established in their new homes by the beginning of the school year in September. While this does make sense for families with children, when it comes to when to put your home on the market there are no one-size fits all scenarios. 

Even though Spring may be considered prime time for home sales by many in the industry, there is no perfect time for everyone. Every situation is different, and when you are personally ready to sell, that becomes the best season for you. However, there is one piece of home-selling wisdom that is always true no matter what time of year you sell.

Can you guess that one sliver of home-selling wisdom?  It’s the preparation of your home to look its best in winter, spring, summer or fall. Making an outstanding first impression on buyers will determine how quickly you sell and how high a price you obtain. A home that is move-in ready will face a cleaner offer with fewer if any contingencies. Even in this strong seller’s market, we find ourselves in right now, the condition and appearance of your home do matter.

It makes the most sense to take the time to get your home in tip-top shape for the fussiest of fussy buyers. If you think your house is nearly market ready and only needs some decluttering and a deep cleaning that’s great.  If on the other hand, you are a homeowner that knows your family nest could use some feathering, here is a quick list to get you started on your project.

The Kitchen – Deal Maker or Deal Breaker

Updated kitchens are right at the top of the list for potential home buyers. A new kitchen can make your home irresistible. If you have an older kitchen, does that mean you should forge ahead and replace it with a $40,000 renovation?  It depends on the value of your...

Spring - Prime Time For Home Sales

Spring – The Best Time to Sell Your Home!

It’s officially Spring!  Birds are chirping, flowers blooming, and “Home for Sale” signs as plentiful as dandelions on your lawn after a rain shower. Wait! What? The calendar says Spring but that is apparently fake news since I am looking out the window at 18 inches of snow we were just gifted and shaking my head.The truth is the only Robin I saw was wearing a parka and snow boots. Not a single crocus is shoving a brightly hued head out of the earth. Even the forsythia has yet to bloom. And Home For Sale signs are not so plentiful at all with inventory levels of available homes at an all-time low in the Twin Cities.However, what I have witnessed is an army of serious home buyers out in the marketplace. Yes, a plethora of buyers whose pockets are bulging with pre-approval letters, down payments and closing costs. Isn’t that great? It depends. It’s outstanding if you are a seller. 

The Twin Cities Housing Theme is Short on Supply, Big on Demand

Right now there is an extraordinary imbalance in the Minneapolis-St. Paul real estate market which favors sellers under the $500,000 price point in a big way, and I'm talking really big! New listings in March were down 17.5% compared to last year at this time and inventory of homes down 26.1%. That translates into 1.7 months supply of inventory. So what exactly does that mean? If no new listings enter the market it would take 1.7 months to sell out...

The Biggest Turn-offs for Buyers

Twin Cities Buyers Know What They Don't Want

The one thing most sellers have in common is that they are unable to look at their property with a dispassionate and critical eye. The longer they have lived in their home, the more emotionally attached they become. Many simply cannot understand that the cracked tile in the foyer they have lived with for 10 years, should be of concern to a buyer. Or the magenta bedroom walls they adore would be another person’s decor nightmare.

After being a realtor in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro for 16 years and closing on close to 1000 properties, I have shown my share of homes that made buyers run for the exit shouting, “next please”! I have been the listing agent challenged with marketing the lime green home with hot pink trim.  So over the years, I have probably not heard it all, but enough to tell you what makes a buyer look like he just sucked a lemon. Sellers can and should take matters into their own hands before they put their home up for sale to avoid having their home sit on the market for a long time and sell for less money. 

Big Ticket Replacement Items

A house with a roof that is at the end of its lifespan or siding that needs to be updated is a major red flag for buyers. The same holds true for old electrical systems with fuse boxes and ancient plumbing. If an Octopus furnace, the monster in the basement also known as a gravity furnace, with asbestos wrapping around the ducts lives in the basement that will generally have buyers looking for the door quickly. 

It would be in the seller’s best interest to address major issues such as these beforehand, but if the circumstances make that impossible, there can always be a credit back to the buyer at closing to take care of the replacements, although that solution may end up costing the seller more in the long run.

Location Challenges

Here is that location, location real estate...

Preparing Your Home to Sell

Preparing your home to sell

It is critical that you choose a Realtor that will tell you all of things you should do to prepare your home to sell. If you hire a good real estate agent and follow their advice, tips and tricks, you will sell your home for top dollar. 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.

Home selling preparation step 1

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!

Preparing your home to sell step 2 

The best way to tackle the task of purging is to separate everything into 3 categories, toss, donate, and keep. Go room to room, basement to attic and toss all items that are broken, no longer working, or in a condition too poor to donate.  Next, items in good condition but you no longer want or need you can donate.  What is left is all that you want to keep.  At this point, whatever you don’t need for day to day living or will not be used to stage your home you can pack ready for when you move to your new home.  Rather...

10 Ways To Grab Buyers at Hello

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. 

2. Remove Clutter, Organize and Depersonalize

Removing Clutter and organizing is critically important. A well-organized home without clutter and disarray allows buyers to see there is enough room for themselves and all their stuff. One reason people look for a new home is they have outgrown the one they currently reside in so if they think for even one second your home is not spacious enough or lacks storage they will move on. Remove personal photos and memorabilia as well. You want your prospective buyer to think of this as their home, not yours so please remove that urn containing Rover’s ashes off the mantel.

3. Clean Until Your Home Sparkles in the...

5 Reasons To Sell Your Twin Cities Home Now

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 often above list price while making few demands.

2. The Anticipated Rise in Interest Rates Could Knockout A Sellers' Market

The market experienced an unanticipated spike in mortgage interest rates at the end of last year immediately following the presidential election.  Right now they...

7 Reasons Selling Your Home Is Not a DIY Project

Should I Hire a Realtor or Sell Myself?

Should I Hire a Realtor or Sell My Home Myself?

When the time comes to sell your home, the temptation to save by doing it yourself can be strong, especially in today's DIY trend. However, selling your home is a complex process, and a DIY sale might not always be the cost-saving strategy you imagine.

Understanding the Challenges of Selling Your Home Yourself

National statistics reveal that only 9% of For Sale By Owner (FSBO) efforts succeed. The complexity of real estate transactions is often underestimated, leading to challenges that can cost sellers time and money.

Why You Might Consider a Realtor

From setting the right price to handling paperwork and dealing with unqualified buyers, a Realtor brings expertise and resources that can streamline the sale process. Here are seven key areas where a Realtor can make a significant difference:

  1. Preparing the Home for Sale: A Realtor can guide you on necessary repairs and staging to appeal to buyers.
  2. Pricing Your Home: Realtors have access to market data to price your home competitively.
  3. Dealing with Unqualified Buyers: Realtors screen potential buyers to focus on serious offers.
  4. Marketing a Home: Effective marketing strategies are crucial, and Realtors have the tools and networks to reach a wide audience.
  5. Negotiations: Realtors negotiate on your behalf, dealing with buyers and their agents to secure the best terms.
  6. Handling Documents: The sale process involves extensive paperwork, which Realtors manage efficiently.
  7. Considering Potential Costs: Realtors cover marketing and other sale expenses, which might outweigh the commission costs.
  8. ...