Archive for the 'Sellers' Category

5 Tips to Help You Sell Your Home FAST

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5 Tips to Help You Sell Your Home Fast

 

There is no question that in many parts of the country, houses are currently on the market longer. As a seller, this slow-down means there is more competition for a limited pool of potential buyers. Consider the following five tips to place your home on the fast track to sale:

 

Price It Right

The first 30 days are the most critical. If your home is priced too high, interested buyers may never even tour your listing. The longer the property is on the market, the fewer the prospects.

 

Deciding the value of a home isn’t an exact science. Yet, there is data to help you determine a fair asking price that is right on target. You may want to hire a real estate appraiser for an objective, unbiased estimate. Then consult with a real estate professional who can help you determine true market value based on a comparable market analysis, which will include recent home sale transactions as well as homes currently on the market. From your analysis, you may want to price your home conservatively to give it a competitive edge.

 

Make Your Home Irresistible

Unless they are looking for a fixer-upper, most homesellers are more likely to make a bid on a home that they can enjoy immediately. Therefore, you need to create an environment the buyer can’t resist. In other words, do everything you can to make the home so attractive, charming, cozy, inviting, comfortable and exciting that a buyer will want to buy that lifestyle for himself.

 

Evaluate the home from a buyer’s point of view. An experienced real estate professional will be able to offer an objective view and will also know what buyers are asking for. Get your home in tip-top shape by making repairs and cosmetic improvements, and removing clutter. This may mean investing in a few upgrades to modernize your home’s look such as installing newer carpet and light fixtures and painting the walls a neutral shade.

 

Create Traffic

If you want buyers to see your home, you must first find the buyers. Work with your real estate professional to design a marketing plan that is flexible and capitalizes on your property’s most desirable features. Your strategy should include ways to reach buyers online and offline – such as word of mouth, the Internet, yard signs, direct mail, open houses and so on.

 

Go with a Professional

Selling a home is more than just putting a sign in your yard and having a listing on the Internet. And in a competitive market, you don’t really want to take the chance of making novice mistakes that can slow the selling of your home. By hiring a real estate professional, you get the benefit of an experienced marketer and negotiator who is familiar with real estate issues in your community. A real estate professional can offer worthy advice on pricing and staging your home based on their vast experience.

 

Plus, there’s the added value of the peer-to-peer networking among real estate professionals, which can bring buyers and sellers together – sometimes even before the property goes on the market.

 

Offer Incentives

Offering incentives can be just the impetus a potential buyer needs to select your property over others. You may want to consider offering a carpet or paint allowance. Or, pay for a professional home inspection or a home warranty – and, depending on your market and budget, offer to pay some of the closing costs.

 

Don’t be discouraged if there are competing homes for sale in your neighborhood. With just a few smart moves, you can turn a buyers’ market in your favor.

 

-Keith Reilly

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A Year in Review…

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Since beginning my real estate career in May of this year, I have had the privilege of experiencing many different aspects of the business and I have to say…I love it!  I just wanted to share with you some of the things that I’ve been blessed with doing this year:

· I have attended countless training courses in subjects such as ethics, buyer/seller representation, real estate investing, commercial transactions, foreclosures and many other topics in order to get up to speed with my peers within the industry. 

· I have shown over 150 homes to clients throughout Bucks County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Chester County and Delaware County resulting in successful sales and satisfied customers.

· I have connected out of state clients with trustworthy, local real estate professionals in South Carolina and Delaware that have resulted in closed transactions and satisfied customers.

I am hoping that with a can-do attitude and strong work ethic my business will continue to grow in 2009 in the face of a challenging market. 

I would like to personally thank those of you who have supported my transition from the US Marine Corps into real estate this year.  I continue to find this career an exciting challenge and am optimistically looking forward to serving you in 2009!

 Happy Holidays to you all and many blessings in the New Year!

Five Tips for a Green Home

Eco-friendly.  Being “green”. Energy-efficiency. These catch phrases have become part of our every day language as we’ve become more aware of not only our impact on the environment, but also the rising costs of energy. As a homeowner, there are some simple, inexpensive steps you can take to make your home energy-efficient. Get started on the road to being “green” with these five tips:

Change Your Light Bulbs

By replacing just five incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, you can save $100 per year on electric bills while using up to 75 percent less energy and removing greenhouse gases from the environment.

Buy ENERGY STAR® Appliances

ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances, such as refrigerators, washers and air conditioners, meet a higher level of energy efficiency set by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy than standard models. According to ENERGY STAR, if just one in 10 homes used ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances, the impact could be compared to planting 1.7 million new acres of trees. And, switching to these appliances is not only good for the environment, but easy on your pocketbook. Although these appliances may costs more, you can reduce your energy bill by $80 per year.

Seal Up

Cracks and air leaks represent cash seeping from your doors and windows. Get rid of air leaks in doors, windows and other areas by caulking gaps and cracks. This will help decrease your heating and air conditioning bill. But make sure you use silicone sealants. Acrylic caulk tends to shrink, while silicone sealants are waterproof and won’t shrink or crack, creating less waste.

Use Less Water

Did you know that roughly 60 percent of a home’s water consumption takes place in the bathroom, according to the California Urban Water Conservation Council? The largest culprit is the toilet, which accounts for 27 percent of your household supply every year. By installing low-flow toilets, showerheads and faucets, you can save thousands of gallons of water each year. In addition, replace leaky fixtures. That slow-dripping faucet can waste as much as 2,400 gallons of water per year.

Adjust the Thermostat

When adjusting your home’s thermostat, the rule of thumb should be: turn up the dial in the summer and down in the winter. Lowering the temperature by just one degree will reduce your electrical costs. And if you use a programmable thermostat, you can program your air-conditioning and heating systems to reduce output while no one is at home or at night while you sleep. Ceiling fans are also helpful in circulating the air to keep the room cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Going green doesn’t have to be overwhelming or costly. By making just a few small changes within your home, you can help decrease energy consumption and help make the world a “greener” place while saving yourself a few bucks in the process.

How Buyers Find the Homes They Purchase

How buyers find their home

How buyers find their home

Interesting, isnt it? All that money spent on newspaper advertising and those fancy schmantzy “fine homes” magazines only accounts for about 4%.  When it comes to finding a home, the Realtor still continues to be the best asset in the home searching process.  The next best way is using the internet.  My broker supplies a free home search program that is a mirror image of the MLS database that all real estate professionals use to locate homes.  Its know as Home Pilot and it very comprehensive.  What I like most about it is that I can have my client log in and let the system know that I am representing them.  While they are searching, I can then see what my clients are looking at and saving.  This is VERY helpful for me because it lets me see exactly what types of homes are tickling my clients fancy.  If you are in the home search phase, I would suggest giving the Home Pilot a try.  You can also register for it at my website at www.KeithReillyRealEstate.com

Happy Hunting!

The property inspection process explained

Once you have made an offer on a property you would like to own and the seller accepts that offer, the buyer has several things he or she needs to accomplish prior to settlement.  One of those is the property inspection.  The inspection is critical because it gives the buyer the opportunity to discover all the things that may be wrong with the home so that he or she can make the most informed decisions they can.

To begin with, some houses on the market are being sold in an “as-is” condition.  This means that if you purchase the property, you are taking the property exactly as it is being sold without the opportunity to ask for the seller to fix anything.  Even if you are buying a property in an as-is condition you still want to get an inspection so you can fully understand all the conditions of the house before you have the keys in your hand.

Now, once you have determined that the house is not being sold as-is and the sellers have accepted your offer then the property inspection process shall begin.  First, the home buyer is given two options for tackling the inspections.

Option 1

This option allows buyers to terminate an agreement of sale if they discover a problem with the property during the inspection.  The buyer also has the opportunity to negotiate with the seller for repairs or credits in relation to any problems with the house that the inspection may turn up.

Option 2

The main difference between option 1 and option 2 is that if any problems come up from the inspection, the buyer is required to submit a “Written Corrective Proposal” for repairs or credits of said problems.  Once the seller receives this proposal, he or she may choose to whether or not to satisfy the proposal for repairs or credits.  If the seller agrees to the proposal, than the buyer MUST follow through with the purchase of the property.

In summary, Option 1 gives the buyer a bit more leverage during the inspection process and Option 2 gives more leverage to the seller.

Take a closer look by reading page 10 of the Agreement of Sale

Page 10 AOS

Once you have decided on the option you would like to choose, then the next step is to hire an inspector to come out and inspect the property.  You can easily find an inspection company through Google or the Yellow Pages.  When hiring the inspector, you need to make sure that they are a member of the national home inspection association.  Here is a PA home inspector compliance statement you should have filled out by the inspector.

Home Inspector Compliance Statement

Ok, you have scheduled the inspector to come inspect the home.  You want to make sure that you and your Realtor are present during the inspection and are asking as many questions as possible.  Once the inspection is complete, the inspector will give you a summary of any problems he found and what it might cost to fix those problems.  One thing I want to point out to you is that there is no such thing as a perfect house.  An inspector can go into a brand new home and find issues with it.  That being said, you have this summary, the final phase of the inspection process begins which is called the “Reply to Inspection”

The reply to inspection is addressed on a specific form and it outlines how you as the buyer intend to deal with the issues that came up during the inspection.  Using this form, you will state if you will be accepting the property, terminating the deal, asking for repairs, asking for credits, changing the purchase price or any other number of things. If you intend to take the property, call it your wish list.  Once you have this form completed it will be given to the seller who will then decide how he wants to handle your requests.  Let the negotiations begin!  In the end,  the buyer and seller will either come to an agreement over the inspection or the entire deal will fall apart.  As you can see, the inspection process many times can make or break the deal!

In this article I talked about some of the essential parts of the home inspection process.  As you can see, it can be very difficult for a consumer to navigate through this process if he or she does not fully understand it.  That is why I will always tell you that its in your best interests to be fully represented by a real estate professional.  Your Realtor will ensure that your money, time and overall best interests are fully realized during this whole process, saving you both head and heartache in the end.

Month’s Supply of Inventory (MSI) and why its important

When selling a home, it is important for one to understand the factors affecting how long it will take for that particular property to sell.  One of the factors that can affect the sale is whats called the month’s supply of inventory or MSI for short.  The MSI is a calculation that expresses how long it will take for all the homes (inventory) in a particular market to be sold.  This calculation is based on the amount of homes currently on the market and how quickly  these homes are selling.  For those of you mathematically inclined, the calculation is as follows:

The number of properties For Sale (FS) during the month (that is, the property was Active at least one day during the month) minus the number of properties that went Under Contract (UC) during the month minus the number of properties that Expired (X) during the month, divided by the number or properties that went Under Contract (UC) during the month:

MSI = (FS – UC – X) / UC

Example:

At the end of September in Bucks County their were 2,791 homes currently on the market with 252 homes under contract.  2,791/252 = 11.08

What this says is that it will take 11 months for the inventory in Bucks County to be sold.

Pictured below is a graphical representation of the MSI for the last two years in Bucks County.

In practical terms, the higher the MSI the more of a Buyer’s Market there is.  There are many more homes to choose from and home sellers will compete with each other, thus driving down prices.  If the MSI is lower, then there is less inventory on the market which gives home sellers the advantage.  For instance,  when the market was a Seller’s Market in 2005, the National Association of Realtors quoted that the MSI was about 4.6.  Compare that to the current Buyer’s Market MSI in Bucks County at 11.  Understanding the MSI is important because it helps to give real estate consumers a clear picture of what the market is doing and what they can expect when buying or selling a home.  By looking at the graph above, you can clearly see that today’s market is in fact a Buyer’s Market and consumers need to set their expectations accordingly.

The statistical information provided in this post was obtained from http://www.trendmls.com

Top Ten Real Estate Brokers in Bucks County

I was told once that the two most stressful things in life are buying a house and selling your house.  Now, of course, I can think of quite a few more things that might be just as stressful but this individual’s point is well spoken.  Buying or selling a home can be quite stressful because so many times it is one of the biggest financial decisions a person will be making.  So how does one combat this?  Well, I would suggest starting by working with a reputable real estate  broker.  A quick search for real estate brokers on the Yellow Pages website for zip code 19067 gave me a whopping 497 search results!  Holy cow!  With so many options how are you possibly going to find a reputable broker?  That, of course, is ultimately up to you…but to make things easier I have posted the top ten brokers doing the most business in Bucks County below to help you in your search.

*The above statistics are taken directly from Trend MLS.  Trend MLS is the database that is used by every residential real estate proffesional within the region to buy and sell real estate.