Get Your Home Ready to Sell in the Spring Market

Spring is right around the corner and while we are in the cold, gray days of February, now is a perfect time to get your home ready to put on the market to sell during the Spring market!

Start purging and packing. Go through your closets, attic, garage, basement, junk drawers and decide what you can throw out and what you want to save but don’t need and can box up. Reducing the amount of clutter will help potential buyers visualize how they might use the different areas. Plus, the less you have in a closet – the bigger it will seem.

Make improvements especially in the kitchen and bathrooms. It doesn’t need to be expensive. For instance, how do your kitchen cabinets look? Are they chipped or are the knobs falling off? Replace or repaint them, tighten the knobs or replace the hardware completely. Regrout tile where needed, caulk the shower and tub, replace switch plates and doorknobs- all this will give the bathroom a fresh look without breaking the bank.

How is your front door? The front hallway? The first thing a potential buyer will see when they come to your home. Give it a fresh coat of paint and clean or replace the knob and knocker if there is one. Look around at the foyer area and notice if you need to update the walls with neutral paint or clean the trim, if any.

Use neutral, gray or white paint on the walls in each room. Another relatively cheap and easy thing to do in the Winter months to get ready for Spring. Don’t just touch up – paint the entire wall. Now is the time to paint over the bright colors you may have used. If you have carpeting in any room, consider replacing to hardwood which will help the home sell, or at the very least get a good professional cleaning.

Go room to room in your warm home while the February snow is falling outside and scrutinize everything from switch plates to ceiling fans. Look for the tiny flaws that you haven’t noticed like cob webs in between the storm & the window. Have you dusted the shades? Cleaned the curtains? Not something people think to do on the weekly, but can make a huge difference. Simply get on the floor at kid and dog level and wipe down the baseboards and look for little fingerprints to wash away with mild soap and water. Put the brush attachement on your vacuum and run it over the walls.

The Bottom Line: It’s surprising, the little things you don’t notice daily in your home. But, taking the time and seeing things through the eyes of a potential buyer can greatly help to get your home ready for Spring. Sometimes asking a friend to come to do an honest walk through and point out problems will help. Now, might also be the perfect time to find a Realtor and have them come in your home and give you their feedback as well.

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Title Agency at Closing

Homeowners oftentimes have more than one mortgage on their property. Once sold, the mortgage has to be released so the buyer gets a clear title.

A mortgage is a debt secured by the collateral of specified real estate property, that the borrower is obliged to pay back with a predetermined set of payments. Mortgages are used by individuals and businesses to make large real estate purchases without paying the entire value of the purchase up front. To sell a house with a mortgage, the loan needs to be paid off the same day of the closing.

There is a lot going on at the closing of a property. Title First Agency plays a crucial role in the process of closing and protecting the seller from any unforeseen legal issues.  Title First Agency can assist with the loan transactions and handle the money between the buyer and seller. One of our agents will receive the money from the buyer, pay off the existing mortgage, remove the lien on the title and transfer the title to the new owner. We will be able to provide the agent with the mortgage payoff amount and account number before closing.

If there is money left over once the mortgage is paid, the seller could receive it within days, if not immediately at closing – each state is different.  Title First Agency, as the closing agent, will coordinate the activity and documentation from a variety of participants, pulling each piece of the transaction together.

Title First will finalize the deposits, wire transfers, and checks. After the closing, we will record the deed and the mortgage at the courthouse and prepare the owner’s and lender’s title policies. Buying or selling a home has become a complex transaction and you need a trusted title search company to guide you through the process.

The experts at Title First oversee and perform thousands of closings each year. When using Title First, you can sign confidently on the dotted line knowing that all details of your title transfer and closing are in proper order. We are here to answer any questions you may have about buying or selling a home, and our team will guide you through the entire process.  Call us today: 614-808-2062

 

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Real Estate & Social Media Marketing

Homebuyers used to open up their newspaper and look for properties for sale. Now, using social media platforms are an absolute must.

Instagram: Agents have the ability to generate leads, sales, and referrals from Instagram. Believed to be the perfect social media platform to showcase a property. There are over 700 million active users who like photos about 4.2 billion times per month. Predominantly accessed on a mobile phone enables the user to be engaged virtually anywhere, all day long, plus it’s user-friendly.  Using the right hashtags is also very important, as people use them to search for a particular topic on Instagram.

Twitter:  Another easy platform to use not only on a desktop computer but on a smartphone. Realtors can not only share their listings but other content, such as links to advice articles, news and anything that has to do with real estate (moving, adding value, advice, renovation and the location). It’s a good place to get into conversations with other Twitter users to make connections in the community.  As with Instagram, using the right hashtags is important, as people use them to search for a particular topic on Twitter.

Facebook:  More than 2 billion users worldwide and easy to set up an account. Post on a variety of topics – there is no need to only post photos. Do something different every day. Only post a “sales” post once every few days. Provide value to the person scrolling by. Every day, Realtors can connect with prospective home buyers and foster business relationships with peers. Most of all maintain these relationships by commenting on other pages, liking other pages’ posts, and never use an auto-scheduler to post on your behalf. Be authentic.

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FSBO Is Not Easy – Call A Realtor

Ready to sell your home? Of course, you want to make as much money as you can from the sale and you might be thinking your best plan to accomplish that is selling your home yourself – FSBO –  to avoid paying a real estate agent, which is understandable. But, we offer you a few reasons why hiring a good Realtor is a better idea.

Marketing a home is not easy:  Listing your home online doesn’t take much effort. Anyone can do that, which is why you must make your stand out and be noticed. A Realtor will have avenues to get the word out to other agents who are working in your price range and neighborhood, an option you won’t have to sell your home on your own. The Realtor’s very own website, Facebook & Instagram account will attract prospects that you simply won’t have the access to.

Qualifying a buyer is not easy:  There is a big difference between pre-approved for a mortgage and pre-qualified. A skilled Realtor will be able to find out whether the person that wants to see your house is qualified or just curious. Having to prepare your home to show takes a lot of work and you surely don’t want to put your life on hold while you ready your house for show – just for a curious neighbor. Realtors are trained to ask qualifying questions to determine the seriousness, qualification, and motivation of a person calling to see your home.

Staying unemotional about your home is not easy:  Selling your home and preparing to move is never easy and always an emotional process. A good Realtor will be there to buffer any situations that might occur because you might be letting your emotions take over. Most buyers know that an FSBO home has been priced by the seller and is quite often overpriced because they can’t detach themselves emotionally from their home. Savvy shoppers realize that after a while, sellers who can’t sell their home will finally hire a Realtor and the home will be on the market at the right price.  If they have the time to wait? They do. If not? They move on to another home.

Being home during the showing is not easy: Or smart. Nothing makes the buyers more uncomfortable than having the seller present when looking at a home. With FSBO you will have to be there touring your home with the potential buyer. More times than not, the showing will be rushed and some of your best selling points will be overlooked.

Negotiating is not easy: Especially if it’s your own home that you love and have emotional ties to. Negotiating is a complex matter and all transactions are unique.   Skilled Realtors know the laws, the contracts, the comparable sales, the closed sales that the banks usually look at when they decide to lend the money for the purchase, and the appraisal. There are plenty of points to negotiate on before the actual sale takes place. Repairs to the house, lawn upkeep, and even additions can be negotiated in the contract that may ultimately affect the price but can be negotiated almost entirely outside of the price discussion.  For every negotiating point, there’s a tactic to handle it best.

The bottom line:  Working without an agent requires a huge investment of time, knowledge, and effort. Besides separating your emotions from the home you love and possibly raised your family in, you should know how to stage it to sell, market it, negotiate and be able to accept a negative response from potential buyers. You can try to do it alone to save money, but hiring an agent has many advantages.  Interview and find the best Realtor in the area. Expect that they will be able to get the most exposure for your home, help you negotiate a better deal, and dedicate more time to your sale.  The right Realtor will bring expertise to the transaction, financially and legally.with many financial and legal

 

 

 

 

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Real Estate Myths: Debunked

Are you ready to start looking for your first home?  Buying a home can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Your home will likely be the biggest investment you’ll make in your life, which can also make it your biggest risk.  Don’t fall for the following myths:

Myth: If you pre-qualify for a loan, you will be approved for a mortgage

Loan approval involves an underwriter analyzing hundreds of pages of documentation, as well as considering other factors like the home appraisal report. A pre-qualification letter, however, is based on a quick, preliminary analysis of your credit report. Getting the letter is a recommended early step to show you’re a serious buyer, but it doesn’t mean a loan approval is guaranteed.

Myth: You need 20% for a down payment

There’s an array of loan options that don’t require 20 percent down — in fact, this amount is rare in today’s home buying market. According to the National Association of Realtors, 60 percent of millennials are putting just 6 percent down on average.

Saving for a big down payment can be advantageous, but you don’t want to deplete your savings or risk coming up short on your mortgage payment. Instead, you should save as much as possible for unexpected expenses.

Myth: You don’t need a real estate agent

Realtors are so important to the home buying process. Real estate agents get a commission, but the home buyer does not pay their fee. It is paid by the seller and is built into the selling price. Every seller expects to pay a buyers agent commission. If you show up without one thinking you can get a 3% discount on the price you will quickly regret it. Realtors help you get the lowest purchase price with their expertise and using comparables. Real estate contracts are long and often hard to understand for the average person. There are many items such as home appraisals, inspections, opt-out clauses, etc. that you need to know about in depth in order to protect yourself.

Myth: You need a perfect credit score

Your credit score doesn’t have to be flawless for you to be able to find a mortgage that fits your budget. It surprises many when they talk to a lender and realize that they can still qualify, even with a lower credit score. To offset potential negative factors on your credit history, you may need to have a larger down payment or meet other qualifications, but you don’t need to have a “perfect credit score” to qualify.

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