First Impressions Matter - A Lot
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 at times you will 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 4 active young boys and a dog, I am aware of the personal challenges families face 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.
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...
Home Staging is Now Mainstream
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 a house and selling it 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 to buyers. I’m going to 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...
9 Reasons Your Home is Not Selling in a Hot Market
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 don’t agree and insist their home is worth more. There are often factors that the seller didn’t take into consideration that affect the value. To neutralize the adverse effect of imperfections a price...
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.
Success-driven Home Selling
Most people have two primary goals when they sell their home. These are to sell quickly at the best price possible. Both are attainable and if your location is TheTwin Cities metro and your home value is under $500,000, the market favors you in a big way.
However, please do not think that you will achieve these goals if you ignore the basic rules of how to prepare to sell your home. If you want multiple offers and you want them in the first few days of listing you need to accept the fact that preparation is necessary. If your home’s list price is in the higher tiers, it becomes even more critical.
Convinced? Fabulous! Here are my ten commandments of home selling. Follow these, and you will present your home at its finest.
Clutter is not aesthetically appealing. It makes your home look messy and lacking in storage space. The goal is to go through every closet, cabinet, drawer and storage space from basement to attic. Don’t forget the garage and any outbuildings as well. Everything you decide you do not need should be for sale, consignment, donation or disposal.
For some, this step is no big deal, and for others, this...
2940 Urbandale Ave N, Plymouth Minnesota 55447
Offered at $499,900
If you are looking for your next home in or around Plymouth, please consider this traditionally styled residence in the desirable Greentree Forest neighborhood. This 3504 square foot residence features four bedrooms and baths, oozes charm and cozy warmth. From the first glimpse, it is obvious this home is meticulously and lovingly maintained. When you learn of the numerous improvements and updates made by the current owners, you’ll be sure your eyes didn’t deceive you.
So what exactly do we like so much about this outstanding family home? Lots! Please join us on our mini-tour as we check off all the great attributes of our favorite new listing.
Easy Peasy Commute and Great Metro Access
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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.
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...
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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...
Our Favorite Blog Posts of 2017
It’s that time again. As we say goodbye to the old year and look ahead to 2018 with great expectations it is always worthwhile to reflect on the last 12 months and review the work accomplished with some satisfaction. On Our Twin Cities Home Blog, we try to bring you the best information we can find on everything real estate from buying and selling a home to living well in our vibrant and beautiful Twin Cities Metro.
As we look forward to more good work this year we’d like to share some of our favorite posts with you again. So without further ado, here is what we think deserves a second look before we close the books and begin the first chapter of the brand new year!
Has a year really passed since I wrote this one? It was one of my favorites because I am proud to work with Joe all 365 days of the year. He has a great real estate story and a great philosophy on how he approaches real estate so I felt it appropriate to tell it one more time.
Saving more money is a ...
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...
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!...
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.
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 ...
15 Curb Appeal Tips to get your Home Ready to Sell Fast
Sell your home fast by starting with the first impression. Here are 15 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 fast 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!
First Impressions will help sell your home fast
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.
Now that you know how important curb appeal can be, here are 15 easy and inexpensive sure-fire ways to get the curb appeal of your home hitting the high notes!
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 might be feeling about letting go of the old home and moving on to a new one. That being said, if you want or need to sell your home, you must realize and embrace the fact that things are going to change.
On the other hand, change is not a bad thing. Hopefully, you will be moving forward to a bigger home, preferred location, new job, or a new life adventure! Perhaps you are downsizing and looking forward to less responsibility, more time for leisure activities or a simpler, less complicated lifestyle. Whatever your particular situation, you want and need to get your home sold and you want the process to be as seamless and stress-free as possible.
You’re ready to sell and I want you to be a Rock Star Seller so here are 5 easy ways to make that happen!
1. Listen to Your Real Estate Agent
One of the reasons you selected your real estate agent was because you trusted that he was the best professional in the...
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 and have put...
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.
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...
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 very expensive. If you...
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:
- structure ...