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Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 27

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.

Tips for Buying a Home in Champaign/Urbana IL

by Rose Price

It's spring and you're ready to find the Champaign/Urbana IL Home for Sale.....for YOU!  So I've put together some tips to help make your Champaign/Urbana IL Home Search go smoothly:

1. Find the Right Real Estate Professional. This is such an important step and will truly make the difference in the home you buy, your stress level and the money you ultimately spend.

2. Make sure you are Pre-Approved for a Mortgage. You've heard it said before, but it's true, you need to know how much you can afford. Unless you are buying in cash you'll need a financing source and you'll need to know how much that source is willing to finance.

3. Create a 'Must Have" List. This is your list of non-negotiable's and allows your agent to select only listings that meet the qualifications of this list, so that you're not looking at every home on the market and wasting valuable time.

 4. Open yourself up to Suggestions. Share your "must have" list with your Real Estate Agent. They will be able to make suggestions that you may not have considered about the style or type of home/neighborhood you are looking at and could ultimately change your requirements or amenities list.

5. Make sure to check out the Neighborhood. Now that you've found your home, walk the neighborhood at different times of the day, and even at night. Talk to neighbors to find out about the people, what they like, dislike, recommendations etc. Make sure it will be a good fit for you and your family.

6. The Home Needs to be Inspected! You'll need to make sure that YOU walk through the Home and do a total checklist of your own. But you aren't a professional inspector so make sure you hire one to go through the Home, once that has been done make sure you follow through on all of their recommendations.

7. Submitting a Reasonable Offer. This is another reason why you need to work with a local Real Estate agent. Understanding the local housing market, the inventory of condos, home values and if a condo may get multiple bids is all information that goes into the offer YOU will make.                                                                                                                                                        

8. Understand the Process & the Paperwork. Your agent should have gone through all of this with you in the beginning of your search, but don't hesitate to ask questions along the way. This can be an overwhelming process at times. Once you have found a home you will be advised to seek an Attorney to handle the legal aspects of the sale of the home.

9. Stick to Your Pre-determined Price. It's always tough to have your heart set on a Home and lose it in a bidding war, but it is much worse to go above what you can afford! It is better to find a second Home that you like "almost as much" as the first so that you have something to lean back on if the situation arises.                                                                                  

10. Don't expect the Sellers to make too many Improvements.Things like worn carpeting and countertops are figured into the sales price of the home upfront, so trying to get the homeowner to make more adjustments at the end can be difficult. Rely on your agent to know what is permissible and what isn't. 

For more Champaign/Urbana IL Home Buying Tips check out my website at www.champaignrose.com. I've lived and worked in the Champaign IL  area for 20+ years and would be happy to give you a tour of the area and all the great homes for sale. Give me a call any time!

Selling Your Champaign/Urbana IL Home

by Rose Price

It's spring and you've always been told that this is the perfect time to put your Champaign/Urbana IL Home on the market. That's TRUE, but what else should you focus on to insure that your home sells quickly; at the highest possible price? Here are a few things to consider when you're looking objectively at your Champaign/Urbana IL Home:

You know you have an incredible house that you've put your loving touch into, but what else can you let potential Buyer's know?

 1. Are you living in an area with spectacular views of wooded lands, water, historical significance?

 2. What is your neighborhood like? Is it extra friendly where neighbor helps neighbor when someone's in need?

 3. Your local schools....what are they like, can you highlight something specific with the teachers, teaching philosophy, awards?

 4. Do you have outdoor living space? Great patio or deck, outside stove for cooking summer meals, plenty of space for entertaining?

5. Is your yard exceptionally large or beautifully landscaped?

6. Do you have a corner lot?

 7. Have you recently put on a new roof, siding, shingles, windows?

Then look inside your home and do the same.

1. Do you have a fireplace and hearth that is different than many they may see in other homes?

 2. What about your kitchen, the heart of your home? Granite or Marble Countertops? Designed by a Home Interior Professional? Center island with vegetable sink?

 3. Is your home friendly to the environment? Have you used energy efficient windows & doors, do you have solar panels, is the flooring bamboo or cork?

 4. What about storage space, mud rooms, bonus rooms?

 5. Are there beautiful hardwood floors under your carpets?

                      

The graph above shows the percentage of home buyers that felt these "Hidden Gems" were worth every penny they cost in the overall sales price of a home.

 These are all things that you want to highlight about your home, that shows the buyer the difference and special "gems" in your home versus other ones they may look at... and why your home is the only one they'll want to buy. At ChampaignRose, I look at all these special selling points with you to develop a marketing strategy that optimizes these features and in turn highlights them for potential buyers.

 If you plan to put your Champaign/Urbana IL home on the market  this spring, NOW IS THE TIME. Give me a call and I'll be happy to come to your home and evaluate all these points with you, and will share up to date market conditions here in Champaign/Urbana. Buying & Selling homes in the Champaign/Urbana IL area is what I do best! I've lived her my entire life, and participate in many community projects and events. I also am a consistent Top 1% Producer in the Champaign/Urbana area. That means I have exceptional local knowledge, most current real estate information  which will give your home the exposure and fast sale you deserve.

Champaign Illinois Housing Facts for Today's Marketplace

by Rose Price

Champaign/Urbana IL.....Snow, Snow and ........More Snow!

by Rose Price

                                                               

It's pretty amazing looking at all the snow the Champaign/Urbana IL area has gotten this year. Even though we are not at record totals for year to date, the combination of snow accumulation mixed with the extensive number of days with frigid wind chills makes this a record year already.

All we can do is get out and enjoy what mother nature has blessed us with, and hope that the chirping sounds of spring will be here soon.  In the meantime, get out and enjoy some of the greatest sledding hills around!  Here are the Top 5 for the Champaign/Urbana IL area:

Homer Lake Forest Preserve

* Crystal Lake Park                                                                      

* Morrissey Park

* Orchard Downs

* Centennial Park

I'm personally yearning for the sailing season to begin.....but in the meantime......I'll be heading for the hills and outdoor fun with my friends!

How to Throw a Great Super Bowl Party

by Rose Price

Although the Super Bowl is not going to be as much fun this year, with our beloved Chicago Bears out of contention, we are still going to "whoop it up" and have a great time.  Like always, we are going to decorate, and make lots of great food....but we are also adding a great dimension by having our own CHAMPAIGNROSE SUPER BOWL PARTY CONTEST!  What does that entail, you ask?  Not a whole lot, I came up with the set of questions below to have all our family, friends and acquaintances answer and post their answers to our Facebook Page by Saturday, February 1 at 5:00 pm. Make sure to LIKE ME ON FACEBOOK when you're there!

                                     We challenge all of you to have the most correct answers!

                                                

THE QUESTIONS:

1.Which team will win, and what will be the final score of game?

2. Who will be the Super Bowl MVP?

3. Who will be ahead at half time, and what will the score be?

4. Which Team will have the most rushing yards? How many?

5. Which QB will throw the most touchdown passes, and how many will he throw?

                                               

THE FOOD:

We all have our favorite party foods, but let's face it....if you serve this....you'll go down in Super Bowl Food history!!  Add in a few other appetizers, sweets and a fabulous, signature Super Bowl cocktail, and you'll be on your way to having the Best Super Bowl party ever!!

   

THE DECORATIONS:

Let's face it...you've got a ton of choices here, so we went with some of the basics.  But get creative, and have some fun!

 

What are your predictions for the game???

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.

 

How Home Buying Habits Have Changed

by Rose Price

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 27

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