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4 Things Agents Consider When Setting Listing Prices

There’s no online calculator for setting the perfect listing price for your home. It takes experience, market savvy, and even a bit of psychology. A strong listing agent can help you set the right, most competitive price for your home. Here are a few things they might look at:

1. The competition
Your agent will look at the prices of similar homes in your area that either are currently listed or sold during the past few months. They’ll take into account how many days the properties were on the market, and how the listing prices for those homes differed from the final sale prices.

2. Market trends
What’s affecting the market in your neighborhood, and your region? Your agent will consider national factors that shape the real estate market, such as possible rising interest rates, as well as local factors, like whether the average home price in your neighborhood has been rising or falling. They’ll also think about things such as new companies moving to the area in the near future, or plans for improving local amenities, like parks and shopping districts. All can increase the value of your home to a buyer.

3. Your neighbors
Although a home the same size and age recently sold for a high price, your own place might not fetch the exact same fortune if, say, junky cars continue to proliferate in your neighbor’s driveway. On the flipside, if the grass is in fact greener on the other side of the fence, your home’s value may be higher due to your neighbors’ curb appeal.

4. The Goldilocks price
Listing your home at a price that’s “just right” from the start is critical to selling it quickly, for the best price. Overpricing your home, and then dropping the price a few times while it sits on the market, could lead to a lower final sales price than if the home was priced appropriately from the beginning. And, of course, setting a price that’s too low leaves money on the table.

Wondering how much your home might be worth in today’s market? Contact one of our experienced agents under the tab above labeled "About Us" who can explain how these and other considerations could factor into a pricing strategy for your home.

-Information provided by RE/Max LLC

6 Tips to Keep Your Home Tidy for Showing

 

 

Keeping your home looking like a furniture showroom for long stretches isn't easy. Here are a few tips to keep your house ready for showings while you're still living in it.

1. Attack the clutter
As you prepare your home for showing, start with a major decluttering. Throw out, recycle or give away things you don't use. Getting rid of junk will make your home more appealing to prospective buyers and free up space for you to neatly store things when it's time to tidy up for a showing.

2. Rent storage space
Keeping things neat is easier when you have less things. An off-site storage unit can help (and you can keep it as messy as you like).

3. Start packing
Packing most of your dishes and large baking and cooking items frees up cabinet space that you can use to stash items you use on a regular basis. It also gives you a head start on packing for your move.

4. Rope off a room – or two
If you can, temporarily rope off rooms or areas from the kids, pets or spouses to contain your mess in a smaller space while your house is listed. But remember to make those rooms look nice, too, before the showing!

5. Buy hiding spots
The home sections of discount stores are filled with attractive fabric boxes and fashionable bins that can simultaneously hide junk and match your décor.

6. If all else fails, stash it under the bed
Invest in a couple of under-the-bed bins that you can use to store everything from socks to kids' toys in when faced with a last-minute showing.

When showing your home, it pays to work with a professional. Find a great agent above at the "our agents" tab.

-Information provided by RE/Max LLC

    

6 easy, affordable smart home features that could help you sell your house fast

Fresh paint on the walls, professional staging and an asking price that ends in 999 — when you're selling your home, you'll do whatever you can to help it stand out and sell faster. Because the National Association of Realtors is predicting modest growth for the 2017 real estate market, as a seller you want every edge you can get. And on the heels of the popular Consumer Electronics Show in January, perhaps that edge is a smarter home.

"Smart home features are designed to make homes more convenient, appealing, secure and energy-efficient — all of which are bonuses when you're trying to sell a house," says Geoff Lewis, president of RE/MAX LLC, "Sellers who want to move their homes faster may benefit from adding smart features that make their properties more appealing to tech-minded buyers."

According to IHS Markit and CNBC, 80 million smart home devices were delivered worldwide last year. That's a 64 percent increase from 2015.

Here are six trending smart home features that might catch buyers' attention and help sell your home faster:

Keyless/remote entry door locks

Have you ever left the house and worried that you left the front door unlocked? If your home is equipped with a keyless/remote entry door lock — available from multiple manufacturers — you can use an app on your smartphone to lock the door from wherever you are. Some manufacturers make versions that will also send a text or email to your phone when the door opens. Locks that can be programmed with multiple entry codes also allow you to see who comes and goes and when.

Smart lighting

From lighting automation that allows you to control lights remotely and wirelessly, to energy-efficient LED bulbs that can change color to match your mood and decor, lighting has come a long way. Some smart lights work in tandem with home automation systems to allow you to turn them on or off, or even dim them, from an app on a smartphone or tablet. Others require no communication hub and can be controlled directly from your mobile device. You can also put some smart bulbs on timers (using your wireless device), sync them with certain TV shows or movies, and integrate them with security cameras and thermostats.

DIY security systems

Don't want to sign a contract or deal with complex security systems? Install-it-yourself security systems are affordable and offer security features like cameras, sensors, motion detectors and alarms or sirens, without the need for a security service to monitor them.

Smart appliances

The Internet of Things (IoT) — everyday objects that have network connectivity — includes a growing list of smart appliances. Many manufacturers are offering washers, dryers, refrigerators and other home appliances that can communicate with you — and each other — wirelessly. Many can be controlled remotely from your smartphone — so if you leave the house and can't remember if you turned off the stove, you can check in and turn it off using your smartphone app.

While appliances aren't always included in a home sale, they do make for interesting features that keep your home top of mind to buyers.

Smart plugs

One of the easiest, most affordable smart home upgrades you can make is to add smart plugs to your home. These Wi-Fi-enabled plugs fit existing outlets and can be controlled from a smartphone app. Plug anything into a smart plug, like lights or a television, and you can turn it on or off remotely, track energy consumption, or even create an on-off schedule.

Temperature controls

Programmable thermostats were just the beginning; today's home temperature controls are even smarter. Like other smart home features, smart thermostats can be controlled remotely from your mobile device. You can program them to make automatic temperature adjustments and then use your smartphone to override the program like turning up the heat on a particularly cold day. Some smart thermostats learn from household behavior and adjust the temperature to meet your family's needs and save energy, while others adjust based on the number of people in a room. And several can now be operated via voice-controlled virtual assistants.

"Many of these smart home features are surprisingly easy and affordable to install," Lewis says. "Sellers who are open to the idea of investing a little money to possibly help get a speedier sale, may want to consider adding the smart features buyers will be looking for in 2017."

If you're thinking of selling your home, contact one of our agents above under the "About Us" tab at "Our Agents" and get the information you need today!

 

-Information provided by REMAX LLC

Selling Your Home? 4 Signs its Time to Call an Agent

Thinking of selling your home on your own? Online listing sites may lure you into thinking that the process is simple. Take a few photos, buy a "For Sale" sign and wait for buyers, right? But the process is much more complicated than that. If you're considering selling your home on your own, here are a few sure signs you should call a professional real estate agent.

1. You're not sure what your home is worth

Calculating the right price for your home is an art and a science. Price your home too high, and it can grow stale, sitting on the market. Price it too low, and you could leave money on the table. Agents have the most current information about how much comparable homes in your neighborhood sold for and how long they were on the market. Agents use their deep knowledge of local and national market factors and the nuances of your particular home to calculate the right price.

2. You're losing sleep because this sale will be the biggest financial transaction of your life

Rest easier with an agent – research finds you'll make more money. According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical FSBO (for sale by owner) home sold for $185,000 in 2015, compared to $240,000 for agent-assisted home sales.

3. You can't decide whether or not to renovate your 1980's-era chrome and mirrored dining room before listing

Your favorite HGTV host may say buyers love the 80s, but is that what home shoppers in your area are looking for? An agent knows which features and design styles are selling now in your area, the details of competing homes in your neighborhood and the relative value of different renovation projects.

4. You think "staging" refers only to Broadway musicals

An agent knows how to best show off your home's features. He or she can provide tips for basic de-cluttering and furniture rearranging. Your agent may also have a great referral for a staging pro.

To learn more about the services an agent can offer you, talk to your local RE/MAX agent.

New Buyers- Ways to Set Yourself Up for Success

As one of the largest financial decisions in a person's life, buying a home requires discretion, sensibility and budgeting. The following tips will keep you on the right path as you look to purchase your first place.

1. Keep score
The better your credit score is, the better your mortgage terms will be. A good credit score can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. Start reviewing your credit a few months before you apply for a home loan. If you have a score in the 600s or lower, start paying down credit balances to 30 percent or less of your balance. Also make bill and debt payments on time – no later than 30 days after the due date. If you have a score in the 700s or 800s, be sure to maintain and protect your good credit. The slightest credit misstep can cause a strong credit score to plunge more sharply than a weak score.

2. Consider all costs
The cost of a home is just the start, and smart buyers tighten their belts before buying to meet the monthly and yearly financial demands of homeownership. When you buy a home, you're responsible for paying principal and interest, taxes and insurance. Additionally, you'll need to cover expenses such as utilities and possibly homeowner association dues. You'll also need cash on hand for the upkeep and repair costs that come with any home. The average homeowner spends 1 percent to 4 percent of a home's value on property maintenance each year, according to U.S. News & World Report. Expect to pay for repairs or maintenance even within the first year of owning your home.

3. Be flexible in your search
Home-buyers who distinguish between wants and needs make the most sensible decisions. A list of must-haves should include items that affect your quality of life, such as a home's location, its price, number of bedrooms and square footage. You should be prepared to concede nonessential items, such as views and extra rooms, if you find a house meets your must-haves and is within your budget. Being flexible also involves adjusting your criteria as the home search progresses. For example, your budget may require looking at a town house rather than a detached home, or buying a fixer-upper in order to live in a better neighborhood.

4. Keep your cool
Don't get overly excited in your search, especially in markets where homes are selling quickly. A bit of self-restraint prevents you from overspending or choosing a home that doesn't fully fit your needs. Be prepared to walk away if a home inspection reveals more defects in a home than you're able to deal with. Also, keep calm if you find yourself in a bidding war. Your agent can help you make the most competitive offer, and if it doesn't get accepted then your agent can help you find the next great option. Finding the right home that fits your lifestyle and budget can take weeks or months. By starting early and being patient, you'll avoid the sense of urgency that often drives home-buyers to make hasty decisions.

Don't go it alone! Find a RE/Max agent on our "Our Agents" tab above to guide you every step of the way.

4 Ways Having an Agent Beats Selling Solo

James Johnson has been trying to sell his Colorado ghost town – a café, motel, gas station and two homes (just $350,000!) – for months without success. And it's not just because it's in the middle of nowhere that the property isn't selling. While offloading your sofa or lawnmower on your own doesn't take a lot of sales skill, working with a professional real estate agent is one of the best ways to make the most money in the shortest time when selling your home – or ghost town. Here are the top reasons why.

1. An agent may increase your profit
Many people think they'll make more money if they avoid paying an agent a commission and instead handle their own home sale, but the statistics show otherwise. According to the National Association of Realtors, selling with an agent brings in a higher profit, enough to cover the commission and then some. For one thing, a Realtor has the experience and tools to price your home appropriately. Studies show that homes priced correctly when they first hit the market sell faster, and for a better price, than those that linger with a decreasing price tag.

2. An agent can save you time
While it may take just moments to upload a Craigslist ad, handling prospective buyers, inspectors and appraisers can suck up your time. From screening out unqualified buyers to helping you prepare your home for inspections, agents drive the process more efficiently.

3. An agent often makes a better deal
You might be proud of your poker face, but are you really a savvy enough negotiator to put one of the biggest deals of your life on the line? As most buyers use a buyers' agent, you'll probably be going toe-to-toe with a professional negotiator. When you list your house through an agent, you not only get their marketing power and connections, you get a pro negotiator advocating for you during the initial offer, the counter offer and the post-offer period, which includes inspections and requests for concessions.

4. An agent can lower your risk
The potential for making mistakes (with potential legal ramifications) among the reams of paperwork involved in a home sale is huge. Agents know how to do things exactly right.

Thinking of selling your home? Or buying a tiny town on Colorado's eastern plains? Talk to an agent. Contact one today from our "Our Agents" tab at the top of this page.

-Information provided by RE/Max LLC

First-time Homebuyers: You're closer to a down payment than you think

For many first-time buyers, saving for a down payment is the most difficult step in the home-buying process. However, it's a common misconception that you need 20 percent down to buy a home.

Actually, lenders across the country offer mortgage products with very affordable down payments — some as low as 3 percent.

Owning a home has always been a key component of the American Dream; in fact, many surveys show that 65 percent of Millennials agree that homeownership and the American Dream go hand-in-hand. Home ownership also comes with several benefits like building equity, receiving annual tax deductions and becoming more engaged with the local community. It serves as a stepping stone for long-term wealth creation, too. Historically, first-time buyers have represented 40 percent of all home purchasers, but today they make up about 30 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors. Down payment misconceptions could be to blame.

"It's safe to say that most first-time buyers aren't aware that there are reasonable loan options available that require less money down," says Geoff Lewis, president of RE/MAX, LLC. "Choosing an option with a smaller down payment can make it possible for potential buyers to enjoy the benefits of homeownership sooner."

Most popular low down payment options

FHA Loans — Traditionally the mortgage of choice for first-time buyers, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), offers government-insured loans with as little as 3.5 percent down. The most popular FHA loan option, the 203(b), is widely available from lenders across the country. You may qualify with a credit score of just 500, although there may be limitations on some condo purchases.

Home Possible from Freddie Mac — This program allows you to put between 3 and 5 percent down, as long as you intend to use the purchased house as your primary residence, and don't currently own or share ownership of another house. You'll also need to complete a required homeownership education program online.

Conventional 97 from Fannie Mae — Just 3 percent down is enough to help you qualify for a Conventional 97, as long as you're applying for a fixed-rate mortgage on a single-family home that's less than $417,000. You'll also need to participate in a homeownership education program, and at least one of the purchasers applying for the loan must be a first-time buyer.

HomeReady from Fannie Mae — Another option that requires as little as 3 percent down, HomeReady can offer below-market interest rates. This program also allows non-occupant borrowers to apply; for example, parents can secure this type of loan for a young adult, who's just starting to establish credit.

In addition to these mortgage options, there are also a variety of down payment assistance programs that may be available through your state or lender. Today, many loan programs allow for down-payment funds to come from third party sources, like cash gifts from relatives.

Buying a home with a smaller down payment has distinct advantages too. You're less likely to become "house poor," which can happen when you spend the majority of your total savings on home ownership, leaving little cash in reserve for unforeseen emergencies or desirable home improvements.

Something to keep in mind when considering your loan options: putting less than 20 percent down can also result in the additional monthly cost of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). However, if your home value is appreciating, PMI can be eliminated in a few years through refinancing.

"Homeownership isn't reserved just for people who can afford a large down payment. Mortgages that offer an option for less cash down are making it possible for many to enjoy the American Dream," Lewis says. "Mortgages are like any other product, you have to shop around to find the one that works best for you. Lenders and real estate agents can give you a good idea of what your choices are."

-Information provided by RE/Max LLC

5 Things to Expect When Selling Your Home in the Winter

Winter is traditionally a slower time for home sales, but don't despair. Here are a few ways the timing might play in your favor.

1. Buyers tend to be more motivated
Buyers looking for homes are doing so because they really must relocate due to job, family or other unavoidable circumstances. You'll probably waste less time dealing with real estate tire-kickers.

2. Things move faster
Because there are fewer transactions during the winter, mortgage companies, home inspectors and appraisers have less on their plates. You should be able to schedule appointments sooner and expect faster turnaround for reports and approvals than in the busy warmer seasons.

3. You can leverage the smaller inventory
With fewer homes on the market, it can be easier to promote your property's comparative advantages. Highlight your home's unique features. Are you the only townhome within walking distance of downtown? The only split-level with a pool in your school district? Be sure to mention it in your listing.

4. Summer buyers are looking now
Not everyone looking in the winter must move immediately. Your Realtor may have ideas about how to market your home among local businesses and organizations with fluid populations, such as universities, or via school district websites that might attract families moving to the area.

5. You can remind buyers of warmer weather
Be sure to include images of your home during greener summer months, including lifestyle shots of your deck, patio, porch and/or yard. Feature these photos in a frame during showings to remind buyers how the home can come alive in the spring.

An experienced agent who knows your unique market and the current inventory can paint a more specific picture of what listing your property in the winter will be like. Contact us any time if you need someone to help you with this.

-Information gathered from RE/Max LLC Blog

http://www.seeremax.com/oye/Agent/10891570​

 

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When you choose RE/MAX, you align with a brand whose reputation has been built by real estate’s best. Instantly enhance your credibility by aligning with a brand that means experience, professionalism and outstanding results.

If you are interested in joining the RE/MAX team, call 530-477-0711 for more information.

 

 

 

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