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Why Have a Champaign/Urbana Realtor Represent You?

by Rose Price

As we embark on the spring selling season I thought it might be important to go over what it means to be"REPRESENTED BY A REALTOR".   What BENEFITS you receive when you are being "represented" by a realtor instead of being on your own. When it really comes down to it, there are so many different things that can potentially go wrong in a Real Estate transaction.

A great Real Estate Agent can predict problems ahead of time and resolve them or maneuver around them to protect their client. It's all part of "representing" their clients. But if you're on your own, it can be a very tough, and often expensive, lesson to learn. As a realtor, we put your needs and interests as the #1 priority and will use all our skills and knowledge to navigate the sale or purchase,  to your benefit. That's how it works and we always do the BEST for you. Here's how it  breaks down:

 

UNDERSTANDING YOUR NEEDS- First and foremost, being represented means that we take the time to truly understand your needs backward & forward. Finding out your home needs as well as the neighborhood & community desires. We are YOUR advocate throughout the entire transaction. Unless it feels right to you, nothing goes forward. You need to understand and feel 100% about what is taking place before we will go to the next step in the process. As long as you have a realtor that is working with you, and truly understanding your needs and what you need to get from the transaction, then you are in good hands and should move ahead.

 

HAVING THE INSIDE 411- A great Real Estate professional is going to have many years of knowledge in the Champaign/Urbana housing market, community, people and just about everything you need to know about purchasing a home in their "territory". Now I don't want to align myself with "Mrs. Kravitz" but you know what I mean, your agent needs to know the 411 so that you can be confident that you are truly getting the local point of view and not the "canned" version of the area and the homes that reside there.

 

KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR- Having a Realtor "represent" you also means you have someone protecting you every step of the way! I'm not going to let you get in over your head in any real estate transaction. If you've given me your top price point...then that's where I'll make sure you stay. If we are having an issue with a contract, I'll make sure we get that resolved before going forward. Helping you stay within the home search criteria that you provided me is another great benefit. It is very easy to get sidetracked when looking for your perfect Champaign/Urbana home. Great realtors take the time necessary to really get to know their clients. I will protect your information and take care of you if complications arise. These are the things that are handled by a Realtor, on your behalf, when we represent you.

 

 

MEDIATOR/NEGOTIATOR- When a Realtor "represents" you, you now have your own mediator/negotiator. You can sit back and direct how the sale/purchase of your Champaign/Urbana home will go down. Think of how much easier it is to make decisions with someone else having to do the stressful business of delivering the information?!  Let me do the hard stuff!  I am a trained mediator/negotiator and know how to work within the confines of the contracts of Real Estate. I can help prepare you for this moment when you will be faced with the different scenarios that will be thrown your way. Then, once I am at that point, you will not only be ready, you will have me at the table and you will calmly be making the decisions you've already been practicing making.

BOTTOM LINE:Getting a Champaign/Urbana Real Estate Professional to work with you on the Sale or Purchase of your Real Estate transaction is a great financial decision. After all, you wouldn't try to put a new motor in your car without taking it to your Certified, professionally trained mechanic, would you? Then why try to muddle through one of the biggest financial decisions in your life without an expert that has been professionally trained to do that job? Let Champaignrose partner with you on this important venture in your life. Take a look at what my Clients have said about my service, then come in and talk to me so I can get to know you better. Together I'll help you with any Champaign/Urbana Real Estate need. 

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Champaign/Urbana IL 5 Reasons You Need to Buy Your Home Now!

by Rose Price

NOW is the Time to SELL YOUR CHAMPAIGN/URBANA HOME!

by Rose Price

                                                          Can you believe that the 4th of July has come and gone?  I can't....because it means that in 8 short weeks the kids will be headed back to school!  It never ceases to amaze me at how quickly summer seems to pass.  For me summer is always busy as it is a PRIME TIME TO BUY AND SELL HOMES.  

The Champaign/Urbana Housing Market is cruising off the charts right now, and there is a very good reason for that....NOW IS THE BEST TIME TO SELL YOUR HOME, OR BUY THE HOME THAT YOU'VE BEEN WAITING TO PURCHASE!  The National Association of Realtors, along with many other housing market experts, agree on two facts:

     1. The demand for homes is at an all time high and mortgage rates are as low as they are going     be for the foreseeable future- meaning the next two years at a minimum.

     2. Although the inventory of homes did rise 2.2% in the last 30 days, inventory on a whole is still   at an extremely low level. 

When the demand for homes outweigh the supply, then it becomes a Sellers Market.  Sellers, you are then in the drivers seat.  So, if you are considering putting your Champaign/Urbana Home on the market, this is why NOW is the time to do so.

For Buyers, if you do find a home that you have fallen in love with...DO NOT WAIT TO PUT IN AN OFFER, and do not try to play hardball by low-balling the offer.  Many Sellers are receiving multiple offers on their properties, so if you are coming in with a low offer they aren't going to take you seriously and end up throwing you out of the entire process.  Instead, offer a fair price or the marketed price, and make sure you get the home.                                                                                                     

Whether you are a Seller or a Buyer, it is important to use an experienced realtor to guide you through the Home Buying/Selling process.  Someone who understands not only the Real Estate end of the transaction, but has the local expertise as well.  As someone who has lived and practiced Real Estate in the Champaign/Urbana area for 20+ years, I can give you both.  So give me a call and let me help you with all your Real Estate needs.

Are You Considered a Champaign/Urbana IL Home Seller?

by Rose Price

Taking time to prepare your Champaign/Urbana IL Home prior to putting it up for sale is extremely important.  After all, for most of us, this is our most important asset so taking the extra time it takes to ensure we have taken care of all the small things makes the most sense.

1. Get all your paperwork together. Simple right? Not so much- if you've been in your home a long time this may take longer that you think. You'll need HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, Appliances, Remotes and any other technical systems that your new owners will need to live comfortably in the home.

2. Check all the small things.  You know, the ones you've probably gotten used to living with. Check switch plates, fixtures, door handles, mailbox, etc.

3. Make things less personal. This may seem odd, but you want potential buyers to be able to picture themselves in the home, not see "your" home. So pack up and move out many of your personal items.

4. Try to eliminate all evidence of pets in the home! This may sound harsh, but you want to make it look as though you NEVER had a pet in the home. Get rid of smells, stains, food, food bowls, etc.

5. Remove clutter from every room in the home!

6. Gather estimates on repairs/or replacements.  Unless everything in your home is brand new, you can expect for it to be on the "bargaining block" during the negotiation phase. So get on top the process now.

7. No one wants a dirty house! You want to deep clean...I'm talking "white glove" test. Plus, a clean house will garner a better selling price as well.

8. Hide the kids! What?? A buyer will be checking for signs of damage from children, so make sure you've made those repairs.  When you have a showing, make sure the kids are out of the home, no one wants to have kids under foot while they are looking at a home.

9. Clean up your landscaping. No need to hire a professional...but clean up the yard so that it looks neat and tidy. Grass should be cut, twigs and leaves from winter raked and bagged. Sprucing it up with a few flowers or shrubs never hurts either.

10. Take some pictures. Once everything is cleaned up and looking nice.....take some pictures and use them for marketing purposes.  The better the pictures the more people will want to come and see your home.

Just as in any type of sales job, a home is never truly bought, or sold, until the money has changed hands and the keys have been given. You may have received an offer on your Champaign/Urbana IL home, and are fairly certain that the buyer possesses all the right credentials to allow the sale to go through smoothly, but there are still steps that you need to go through before the sale is final.

One of those critical steps is the....HOME INSPECTION of your Champaign/Urbana home. Now, unless your home is flawless, of which most are not, you will be in for some negotiations with the buyer. The best way to handle these types of negotiations is to have the best Real Estate Agent on your side. The agent who would have suggested that you had an inspection of your Champaign/Urbana home prior to the home being put on the market so that you could have taken care of these issues on the front end. However, if that wasn't the case here are my suggestions:

First, you need to be realistic and understand that every home is going to have some issue(s) that need to be fixed. So don't get stressed out, get in "fix it" mode and take care of what needs to be done.

As a realtor,  I don't like to see a buyer use the Home Inspection as a means to "renegotiate" the contract. Don't get me wrong, for the most part when a buyer is asking for a negotiation on something it is justified- damage on a roof, plumbing, foundation, etc. A Home Inspection is meant to protect the buyer against "major" problems, not to nitpick and try to get a seller to virtually give you a brand new home. Sellers, you need to rely on your Real Estate Agent for advice!

Inspection Credits versus Repairs

After the inspection is completed on your Champaign/Urbana IL home, and there are legitimate repairs that need to be completed, try to push for a closing cost credit or a price reduction. This would be the easiest for you, the Seller to do. Besides, you don't want to be in the position of having to do repairs and having the Buyer not satisfied with the repairs that are done and having to redo them or losing the sale!

Negotiating the Home Inspection Problems

Remember, you are not obligated to repair your Champaign/Urbana home before you sell it, but you MUST be up front and honest with the Buyer. One of the difficulties in going through the inspection process and then losing a buyer is now knowing EXACTLY what was found needing to be repaired and disclosing it to another potential buyer.   In this case, you must now learn the art of "haggling".  Nothing new, but you'll need to look at the list of repairs and decide which you are willing to make and which you aren't,  and negotiate it with the buyer in a way that will allow you to spend less money....but NOT LOSE YOUR BUYER!

The bottom line is to be prepared up front. Work with a professional Real Estate Agent who knows what needs to be done up front to avoid the pitfalls of the Home Inspection process. Once you've found that agent, put your trust in that person and listen and adhere to their advice.

For more tips on Selling and Buying homes in the Champaign/Urbana area please visit my website at www.champaignrose.com, or give me a call. I know the Champaign/Urbana area well after living and working here for the past two decades and can answer all your questions or help you get your home ready to be put on the market.

Make Your Champaign/Urbana IL Home "MOVE IN READY"

by Rose Price

We've all heard the old adage....."walk a mile in someone else's shoes", but how can that apply to getting your Champaign/Urbana IL home ready to put up for Sale and show to potential buyers?  Easily....you need to start thinking as a "Home Buyer" when you're getting your home ready, and not a Home Seller.  Here are a few tips to get you started before welcoming Buyers to your Champaign/Urbana Home:

1. Have a Friend Pre-Listing Party. Yes, that's right, invite a few of your trusted friends over, crack open a bottle of wine and go room to room with a notepad.  Have them objectively look at each room and give suggestions as to what they would change,  or would be a red flag, if they were to look at your home as a potential buyer.                                                                             

2.  Next.... Consult a Great Real Estate Agent!  Take your list of "fixes" from your pre-listing party and run it by your agent. They will tell you what is worth the money to fix or not.  He or She will also go over your Homes Value and develop a personalized marketing plan with you.

3. De-Clutter!  I know,  I've said this over and over again.  But it bears repeating because it's so important.  Let's take a closet as an example:  Taking 1/2 of your clothing off of a closet rack and the shelves, then neatly reorganizing it will make your closet look much larger.  Extra furniture is also a problem area as it is usually shoved into corners.  Stop that!  Rent a storage unit and get rid of much of the furniture in each room so that every room can be staged to take advantage of the space, size and nuances to to highlight why it's special.

4. Think Neutral.  Now, I'm like everyone else, I love pops of color throughout the home and I think the home feels a lot warmer and cozier with color.  But if you're putting your home on the market, you need to go neutral. It is hard for a potential buyer to envision themselves in a home that has "you" written all over it.  Neutral colors paint the picture of a blank canvas which gives your potential buyer the feeling that they can create their painting or oasis of a home.

5. Clean out your garage.  We are all guilty of using the garage for storage, but trust me, your buyer wants to know that their vehicles are going to be able to fit in the garage.  Again, even if you need to rent a storage unit, take out all storage boxes and seasonal tools and equipment not in use.  And ....make room for your vehicles.

6. Make sure Hardwood Floors are gleaming!  People in general love hardwood floors, but nothing is worse than looking forward to a home with hardwood and getting to a home and seeing dull, lifeless and scratched floors!!  It can be a deal breaker because your buyer is thinking about how much time and expense it's going to be to refinish them!  Instead use a simple soapy wash followed by a rejuvenating floor polish  and voila'.....your floors will look like new....and it only cost you around $50!

7. Restore your natural stone, tile and grout. If your bathrooms and kitchen tiles have lost their luster you may want to look into getting them refreshed.  Professional restoration services are available in most cities and are relatively cheap compared to a complete renovation, and can make your kitchens and bathrooms look brand new. And since these are the two most highly rated rooms in a home....I'd say it's money well spent!

Local home improvement stores have trained personnel and many classes available to train you in the techniques to restore what you have in  your homes today versus having to do total renovations.  Utilize their expertise to help make preparation for your selling process go smoothly and quickly. For more Real Estate Selling Tips or Buying Tips check out my website at www.champaignrose.com

                                                                                          

Hosting a successful Open House isn't  rocket science...but there are some tips I can share that will make it a success!

1.  Advertise....a lot!  You want everyone to know, so newspapers, flyers and definitely online!

2. Put out LOTS of signage.  This may sound like a given, but it's so important.  Signs should go all over, and not just in your own neighborhood.

3. Invite your neighbors. Yes, you heard that right..and they want to come anyway!

4. Sign-in Sheet. This will allow you to follow up with anyone that came through, and follow-up is key!

5. Give a Take-away.  Make sure you have a flyer with photos and all the pertinent information.

6. Set the time for the Open.  Since most people expect open houses to be on Sunday afternoon, take advantage of that fact and maximize your success.

7. Food & Water.  Although these are not necessary, the smell of fresh baked cookies always make people feel like they're at "home".  Water is necessary because many people will have been out all afternoon.

8. Lighting. You need to make sure your home looks light and bright. Open blinds, turn on lights in darker rooms and play up the special points of your home.

9. Be Prepared.  Make sure you are organized in all aspects and you start on time! You should also check that you have toilet paper on the rolls just in case someone needs to use your bathroom.

10. Have a bright and cheery disposition. If you love your home it shows...so be genuinely enthusiastic so each person who visits feels the same.

The Spring Housing Market Starts NOW for Champaign/Urbana IL

by Rose Price

If you are thinking of buying or selling  a home in Champaign/Urbana IL and the surrounding towns, your best opportunity could be right now... in January!  Yes, it is cold outside, and rainy, but mortgage interest rates are most likely at their lowest levels for 2014.

The interest rate on a 30 year mortgage, if you were to obtain your loan today, is 4.51%...but predictions show the rates rising by year-end to the 5.75% level.  It is even better for the 15-year mortgage as it is at 3.56% today.  Getting into the housing market early this year is going to make all the difference in the world when it comes to costs. Rates like this make it feasible for Champaign/Urbana IL home buyers and refinancing homeowners to eventually live mortgage free!

However, with the Fed announcing the pull back of the stimulus packages of the past year, the rates will start climbing soon.  In addition to mortgages and rates, inventory of homes will be a key component in buyers being able to obtain their desired residence.  At present, the ChampaigUrbana housing inventory is somewhat low...so homeowners thinking of putting their home on the market, will want to do so now.  This way they are guaranteed more of a "sellers market" and a better chance at getting the asking price of their home. Buyer demand and limited inventory does drive up prices...and the peak selling season is NOW.

Take a look at the most recent Champaign IL Market Update below:

For more information about the wonderful Champaign/Urbana IL Homes for Sale, or to learn about my Personalized Home Buying & Selling Marketing plans,  give me a call!  My experience and knowledge of the area, along with 20 years in the real estate market, will give you the confidence that ChampaignRose is the only RE professional to handle all your real estate needs.  Let Rose be "Your Resource to all Center City Districts in Champaign IL.

 

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