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Selling Your Home During The Holidays

by Rose Price

The holiday season is upon us! November through January is often considered the absolute worst time to sell a home.  Sure, the thought of selling your home during the Holidays doesn’t sound quite that cheerful, and we’re not here to dampen your Holiday spirit, just to share that selling during the Holiday’s does have quite a few advantages!  Holiday buyers are usually more serious about buying—and buying now! Better yet, there is a lot less competition, which is obviously a huge plus.  So, first, decide if you really need to sell now.  If the decision is yes, then commit!  Jump into some Gay apparel, deck the halls and follow these Tips For Selling Your Home During The Holidays! 

Deck the halls…but don’t get all ‘Elf’ on us, more like Ron Burgundy, “stay classy…” 

Homes often look their best during the holidays, but make sure you don’t overdo it.  Decorations too large or simply too many can distract buyers.  Also, there are fierce advocates on both sides of this issue, but you may want to consider putting the religious decorations away while buyers are at your home.  This has nothing to do with your religion, or any other sociopolitical issue, it is simply a way to allow the buyer to picture themselves living there, which is what you want.  Opt for more general decorations…and you can always put up the manger when they leave.  Just a thought.  

Hire a reliable real estate agent.
So, someone who will work hard for you and won't vanish during Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's.  Friends and family are good resources for this, chances are you know someone who has moved recently, or knows a great realtor in town.  Get a recommendation of someone who will go above and beyond to get your home sold.  Isn’t that what you want?  This will ease your stress and ensure you enjoy the Holidays just as much as last year, when you were not selling a house.

Seek motivated buyers.
Anyone house hunting during the holidays most likely has a good reason for doing so. Work with your agent to target buyers on a deadline, including people relocating for jobs in your area, investors on tax deadlines, college students and staff, and military personnel.

Price to Sell. I know you’ve heard this before…but seriously, Price to Sell!
This is one of the most important!..at any time of the year really. A home priced to sell, even a little lower for the market, will make buyers feel the holiday cheer! This is better than starring high and gradually making small price reductions.  Agents know this and many will advise sellers to slash their prices before putting a home on the market.

Curb Appeal.
Autumn rolls around and the trees start to lose their leaves, so maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important, You need to Rake!  daily maybe!  Keep the yard tidy.  Also remember that bare trees equal a more exposed home, so touch up the paint job, make necessary repairs, clean the gutters and give your yard some extra love.  This is also another time where elegant decorations can make your home even more inviting.   Keep safety in mind as well; make sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice and leaves.

High Quality Real Estate photos.
It’s well known that most people start their home search online.  Well, this is even more the case when the weather starts to get colder.  No, one wants to drive around and walk in the cold, they’d rather sip some hot coco and search from a warm Snuggie on the couch! So, make a good first impression; use lots of beautiful high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have a summer or spring photo of your home available so buyers can see how it looks year-round, but definitely focus on photos of the season!..and note, the lights in all the rooms are on in the photo above...offers a nice warm glow!  This is a really nice effect!

Give a video tour.
There will be less foot traffic during the holidays, so shooting a video and posting it to the web is a good way to attract those online house hunters!  This way, they don’t need to drive in the snow in order to determine if they’re interested or not.

Keep your home cozy!
your home needs to be comfy cozy and inviting during showings.  Turn up that heat, play some soft music and have a plate of homemade holiday treats on the table!  Encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, giving them even more time to admire and imagine themselves living there!

Don’t be a Scrooge…be the opposite.
Ok, so lenders are the scrooges these days, but if you've got the means, consider offering a home loan to a serious buyer. You could get a great return on your money.

Lastly, Relax — the new year is around the corner.
Holidays are stressful enough; gifts to buy, dinners to prepare, relatives, drunk uncles at the Christmas party… just take a deep breath, and a moment to remind yourself that if you don't sell this winter…there is always next year, which by now, will only be a few days away! 

*Thanks HGTV for offering some helpful tips.

Celebrate Oktoberfest in Champaign

by Rose Price

Drag out the lederhosen! It's never too early for Oktoberfest, and Destihl in Champaign will begin the party on Saturday afternoon at 4pm.  Champaign Mayor Don Gerard will do the honors by tapping the first keg at 4:30pm. You'll be able to compete in the best dressed and best traditional costume contests, as well as the Stein holding contest. Bavarian cuisine on the menu all day, and you'll enjoy music from the Maria Merkelo Polka Trio, the Peoria Area Accordion Club and the Killborn Alley Blues Band. Destihl is located at 301 North Neil Street in Champaign [map].

Did you know this? Oktoberfest dates back to 1810 and the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese in Munich!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company. 
Photo courtesy wikimedia.org

Food Fundraiser for Kids

by Rose Price

For the 18th year in a row, The Hope Institute is holding it's Annual Celebrity Chef fundraiser. Tickets, which range from $150 to $250, can be purchased on the website. Since 1957, The Hope Institute has been helping children with developmental disabilities and their families.

This year's Celebrity Chef is Stephanie Izard (at left), who's "Girl and the Goat" restaurant in Chicago was named "America's Best New Restaurant" by Saveur magazine. You may have seen her win the 2008 season of Bravo's Top Chef, or read about her in Wine Magazine, where she was named 2011's Best New Chef. Now, get the full spectrum by being able to enjoy her fabulous menu.

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy Stephanie Izard

Don't Risk Being Unprepared for Disaster

by Rose Price

It is not something anyone wants to ponder, but the only thing worse than a natural disaster is not being prepared for it.  Not having proper insurance coverage can make a bad situation far worse. Here are some disasters that may require insurance special coverage.

Flood Insurance.  If your house is in a flood-prone area, you may already have flood coverage in your basic homeowners policy. Don’t wait to find out:  Call your agent and make sure. Flood insurance policies are usually inexpensive, unless you are in a flood-prone region.  But even a few inches of standing water in your home can cause enormous damage.

Mine Subsidence.  Sinkholes are rare, and so are the homeowners policies that cover this type of disaster.  More common is minor ground shifting that can damage your foundation and structure. Coverage for this type of damage isn’t expensive at all. You can get coverage for about a hundred dollars a year for a $250,000 home.

Earthquake. Another rarity, but they do happen. You might remember the little quake that shook northern Illinois a couple of years ago.  Typical homeowner policies don’t cover earthquake damage, and it can be expensive. You might also want to read this guide from the Red Cross of Central Illinois!

Tornadoes. Usually a standard part of a homeowners policy, but worth double checking. Tornadoes happen just too often for this not to be a part of your protection. The image above is from a tornado near Secor, Illinois on May of 2004. 

Insurance is vital for preserving the investment you’ve made in your house, furnishing and personal property. If you have questions, talk to your agent, or check out the insurance information website the state of Illinois provides.

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 
Featured Champaign Properties 
Champaign Condominiums 
Selling Your Champaign Home
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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy tlindenbaum/flickr.com

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