May 2017 - Comey & Shepherd Realtors

Ready To Make an Offer? 4 Tips for Success!

So you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call a ‘home’ and you finally found one! The price is right, and in such a competitive market you want to make sure you make a good offer so that you can guarantee your dream of making this house yours comes true!

Freddie Mac covered “4 Tips for Making an Offer” in their latest Executive Perspective. Here are the 4 Tips they covered along with some additional information for your consideration:

1. Understand How Much You Can Afford

“While it’s not nearly as fun as house hunting, fully understanding your finances is critical in making an offer.”

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and will allow you to make your offer with the confidence of knowing that you have already been approved for a mortgage for that amount. You will also need to know if you are prepared to make any repairs that may need to be made to the house (ex: new roof, new furnace).

2. Act Fast

“Even though there are fewer investors, the inventory of homes for sale is also low and competition for housing continues to heat up in many parts of the country.”

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report, the inventory of homes for sale is currently at a 4.7-month supply. This is well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to compete with each other for their dream home.

Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with your agent to present it as soon as possible.

3. Make a Solid Offer

Your strongest offer will be comparable with other sales and listings in the neighborhood. A licensed real estate agent active in the neighborhoods you are considering will be instrumental in helping you put in a solid offer based on their experience and other key considerations such as recent sales of similar homes, the condition of the house and what you can afford.

Consider ways of making your offer stand out! Many buyers write a personal letter to the seller letting them know how much they would love to be the new homeowners. Your Comey & Shepherd agent will be able to help you figure out if there are any other ways your offer could stand above the rest.

4. Be Prepared to Negotiate

It’s likely that you’ll get at least one counteroffer from the sellers so be prepared. The two things most likely to be negotiated are the selling price and closing date. Given that, you’ll be glad you did your homework first to understand how much you can afford. I can provide assistance in the negotiation process, giving you guidance on the counteroffer and making sure that the agreed-to contract terms are met.

If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home. If the inspection uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, you can typically re-negotiate the terms or cancel the contract.”

Bottom Line

Whether buying your first home or your fifth, having a Comey & Shepherd real estate professional who is an expert in their market on your side is your best bet to make sure the process goes smoothly. Let’s get together and see if we can make your dreams of homeownership a reality!

Source: KCM

Easy DIY Projects To Prepare Your Home For Sale

(BPT) – If you’re looking to sell your home quickly and for more money, it’s essential to make popular areas of the house look appealing to potential buyers. Fortunately, with a little DIY effort, you don’t have to spend money on expensive home repairs or real estate-staging services.

Consider these easy DIY projects that can help ensure your home is market ready when it’s time to sell. If the property is particularly appealing, you may even start a bidding war.

Paint the front door
First impressions count when it comes to a home sale. You want your entryway to be inviting so homebuyers want to look further. An easy way to update an entryway is to paint the door with a new color that complements your home and surroundings. Simply remove the hardware, clean the surface, prime and topcoat with the new paint color. While you’re at it, consider painting exterior accent features – such as shutters or window boxes – the same color for a cohesive look.

Repair and refresh walls
Painting is an easy and affordable way to freshen an entire home so that buyers take notice. However, cracks and holes in freshly painted walls can make a poor impression. For a DIY project that yields a professional result, repair walls before the first swipe of the paint brush. Spackling is easy to use for filling holes and cracks, sands to a smooth finished surface, and creates the superior paintability needed to seamlessly blend with the surrounding area. ALEX Flex Spackling is perfect for eliminating those stubborn reoccurring cracks in drywall that appear as problem areas expand and contract with changes in weather and humidity.

Update kitchen and bath hardware
Do you have kitchen and bath hardware that’s decades old? If so, it may be worth your time to replace these dated details. Adding small features such as modern cabinet hardware can visually update a room, so explore affordable options at your local home improvement store. Once you select the style you like best, just get your screwdriver and swap out the old for new.

Re-caulk the kitchen and bathroom
Exposure to water and moisture over time can cause caulk to look dirty and unsightly. Potential buyers are sure to note mold, mildew, dirt, and stains on old caulk. For a clean appearance, remove the old caulk, thoroughly clean the area to remove any dirt or residue, then re-caulk with DAP Kwik Seal Ultra Sealant. Backed by a lifetime mold and mildew resistance guarantee, this premium siliconized kitchen and bath sealant repels water, liquids, soap scum, stains so the sealant stays looking clean, fresh and new. Plus, it is safe for all surfaces, even granite and marble.

Revisit lighting throughout the home
Proper illumination isn’t just useful, it can open up a room and highlight beautiful architectural features. All lighting should be dusted, but for those fixtures that are old, outdated, or broken, consider inexpensive replacement options. Something as simple as replacing glass globes can add high-impact style. Adding task and accent lighting is another smart investment. For example, under-cabinet lights in the kitchen are easy to install and are likely to impress potential buyers.

Preparing a home for sale doesn’t have to be a daunting process. With these five projects, you’ll be well on your way to have a beautiful home ready for listing.

Source: brandpoint.com

Exterior Home Improvements That Yield Higher ROI For Less Money

(BPT) – Do you know what home improvements will give you the best return for your money? Here’s a hint: step outside.

You might assume upgrades to interior spaces like kitchens and bathrooms have the best payoff, but most home improvements don’t return 100% of their value at the time of resale. Those that yield the best return on investment for the most modest costs are generally exterior improvements.

Interior projects like a minor kitchen renovation or bathroom upgrade return a decent percentage of your initial investment when you sell your home – about 80% and 65%, respectively, according to Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value report. However, they can also cost tens of thousands of dollars.

By contrast, exterior projects like adding a deck or replacing a garage door deliver similar high rates of return, but for far less cost. Adding a composite deck can cost around $17,000 and yield an
ROI of more than 65%, while a garage door typically costs less than $2,000 and returns nearly 77% of your investment when you sell.

In fact, six of the eight improvements with the best ROI on Remodeling’s report were exterior projects, and their average payback was nearly 75%.

Here are popular exterior projects that offer high ROI, according to the Cost vs. Value report:

Roof replacement
A midrange roof replacement costs returns nearly 69% of the investment. What’s more, a new roof helps protect your entire home from weather damage and can improve curb appeal.

Composite deck addition
Costs vary, but Remodeling bases its evaluation of ROI on a cost of about $17,000. At that price, adding a composite deck delivers ROI of 65.2 %. Of course, the value of your deck will depend on many factors, including the quality of the building products you choose.

Siding replacement
Another exterior feature that protects the whole home and greatly affects its curb appeal, new siding can cost around $14,500. When you sell your home, that new siding will recoup about 76% of your initial investment.

Garage door replacement
Older garage doors may lack modern insulating qualities and a
shabby-looking door can drag down the look of your home. Replacing the garage door costs roughly $1,700 and returns nearly 77% of that amount at the time of resale.

Steel entry door
The single exterior home improvement with the greatest ROI is also one of the cheapest and easiest to do. Replacing a wooden door with a steel entry door will run you about $1,400 and you’ll recoup more than 90% of that cost when you sell your home.

Exterior home improvements not only enhance your enjoyment of your home and help maintain its security, they’re also the first things potential buyers see when they pull up to the curb. When
you want to make cost-effective, high-ROI improvements, making exterior upgrades is money well spent.

Source: Brandpoint

5 Things Home Sellers Often Forget To Do

When you’re selling your home there’s so much to do: Do touch-ups, get that balky air conditioner fixed, look into staging… It’s no wonder that sometimes things fall between the cracks. Big things. We can help you identify the to-do’s that sellers typically overlook. It’s been our experience that these tasks are well worth the time it will take to complete them.

To-do No. 1: Google your address

Not all sellers scour the Internet to find out what’s being said about their property, but they should. Nearly all buyers—90%—search online during their hunt for a home, according to the National Association of Realtors. You should be aware of what your online listing looks like, since it will influence the kinds of concerns buyers will have.

Is the site’s estimated value very different from your asking price? It might be because tax records have the wrong information about the number of bedrooms or bathrooms your house has, and this is easily fixed. Consider this too: Google Maps’ street view of your property may not show improvements that you’ve made, so you’ll want to be sure to include those updates in your listing.

To-do No. 2: Account for improvements and issues

If you’ve owned your home for a while, make a list of all the problems you’ve solved while you’ve lived there. This could include chimney fires, water damage, or a flood in the basement. Whether you solved the problem or not, you should disclose this information to the buyer so you don’t wind up in a lawsuit after the sale. Disclosing “invisible improvements” that you’ve made, like re-grading or adding a French drain system, can also be a great source of comfort for buyers.

To-do No. 3: Make sure the doorbell rings

Ah, attention to detail. It’s those little cosmetic repairs that could cost you your home sale. If buyers see that you can’t even be bothered to repair a busted doorbell, they’re automatically going to think about what else may need fixing and view the home negatively.

First impressions make all the difference. A well-kept home, starting with the view from the curb, gives the perception that the seller has great pride in the home and has taken good care of it—which translates into less energy and costs for the buyer as they prepare to move in.

To-do No. 4: Clean inside everything

Storage is a huge selling point for homes. So be warned: Buyers are going to poke around inside closets, drawers, cabinets, ovens, refrigerators, and even the dishwasher, whether they’re cleaned or not—so you’d better make sure they are clean.

Spending the money on a service to deep-clean your home will come back to you at least 10 times in your sales price. Even if you’ve swept up and scrubbed all surfaces to a shine, you’re not done until dust, crumbs, and creepy crawlies are cleaned out from within the small spaces too.

To-do No. 5: Clarify which items are not included

You don’t want a buyer to fall in love with your house because of the custom window treatments and then rescind their offer when they find out the curtains aren’t for sale.

The law says that anything bolted to the wall or ceiling goes to the buyer unless specifically excluded in the contract. If you want to take your flat-screen TV, chandelier, or custom pot rack, be sure to label it as soon as the house goes on the market, so that buyers don’t bank on owning that item and wind up disappointed.

If we can help with any other questions you may have about preparing your home for sale, please call a Comey & Shepherd office.

Source: Realtor.com

How To Give Buyers What They Want

Think bigger is better? Well, most of today’s home shoppers don’t. The homes that are in most demand by buyers in a hypercompetitive real estate environment have just three
bedrooms and two baths, according to a new realtor.com® survey.

Ranch-style homes, those suburban classics, top the wish lists of 42% of home seekers surveyed by realtor.com this spring. But more than half of those we polled are looking for a relatively modest three-bedroom home, while 75% are considering a two-bathroom home.

“While we often think of dream homes as being big and bold, that‚s not what we‚re hearing from potential buyers today,” said Sarah Staley, a spokesperson for realtor.com.

The main idea behind the survey: to give buyers and sellers some insider guidance on rooms or features to invest in as the peak season for home purchasing gets underway. Here are some of the areas to target:

A kitchen that impresses

The kitchen continues to be a major draw for home buyers of all ages˜80% of them ranked it as one of their three favorite rooms in their home. (The others were the master bedroom, at 49%, and the living room, with 42%.) There’s a strong desire among buyers for an updated kitchen, so consider investing in upgrades that will pay off. Even if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, consider a less expensive project to give your kitchen a fresh look.

The great outdoors

Parents of young children are particularly excited about finding a large yard, although that feature ranked high with just about everyone. While you can’t really make your yard bigger, you can work to maximize its usable space, and create an outdoor room that’s inviting for the entire family.

The garage is greater than the living room

In a kind of package deal with the big backyard, buyers also said they really, really want a garage. Shoppers aged 55 and up, in particular, actually preferred garages over living rooms! So if you’re thinking of converting your garage into a man cave to impress buyers, don’t. (More on man caves below…)

Not in demand

Meanwhile, the least-searched features were a guesthouse, an in-law suite, and a man cave. If you have one of these, you might want to consider staging it in a way that shows off how it can be used for another purpose, such as a home office.

Looking for more advice on how to prepare your home for a quicker sale at the best possible price? Please call a Comey & Shepherd agent for a free market evaluation of your home.

Source: Realtor.com