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Displaying blog entries 41-50 of 60

What are the Benefits of House Hunting During the Holidays?

by Rose Price

When you're writing out the holiday shopping list, maybe it's time to put your name on it and a home as the gift. If you've been considering buying a home, here are a few reasons why shopping for one during the holiday season can benefit you.

Yes, it may involve you really prioritizing your time; the holiday season is a busy time. But if you can make time to house-hunt and you have already been pre-approved so you know how much home you can afford, then this could be a very good experience. And it may lead you to a new home in time for Christmas!

 

Like many businesses, the holiday season can cause things to slow way down. That's often the case for real estate. However, that doesn't mean you won't find eager sellers hoping you'll make an offer on their homes. Even though there are parties, kids' social activities and end-of-the-year work commitments, real estate sellers are still ready to let you step inside their homes to see if you'll find one is a good fit.

When real estate slows down, that means mortgages slow down. So this is a good time to get a mortgage. There's a chance your loan will move through the process faster. That doesn't mean you will have lax guidelines, rather it means that if there are fewer loans to process, yours can move along faster.

Some say that you have fewer options because inventory drops during the holiday season. While that may be true, it doesn't mean that every seller takes their home off the market. Sellers with their homes on the market during the end-of-the-year months are typically serious sellers. There may be tax reasons motivating a seller to sell before the end of the year which could create greater opportunities for negotiation. There's likely a sense of urgency on the seller's side.

Often home prices are lower in December than in other months. If you wait until the spring, you're likely to wish you'd, at least, done some house-hunting. Industry reporting services often show home appreciation slows in the fourth quarter, making homes more affordable.

Since it is a busy time of year, you may find that there aren't many buyers shopping for homes, which is exactly why this may be a good time to house-hunt. Fewer buyers could mean a great opportunity for you to make an offer and negotiate a favorable price. However, fewer homes to choose from could mean you have more difficulty finding precisely what you're looking for. But too many homes can also create a no-win situation by confusing and overwhelming you.

Shop smart by making a list of the "must-have" and the "really-would-like" items. Carry the list with you or use a home-buyers' app to keep it on your smartphone. It's much like a holiday gift shopping list - better to know who you're buying for, how much you want to spend, and, at least, an idea of what you'd like to get that person. Same goes for a home.

Simplify the house-hunting process by having some written notes about what you intend to buy. Of course, things do change, so be open to discovering that dream home that has something on your list you never knew you needed or wanted. Your list will just help you evaluate and prioritize which things in a home are most important to you. Then instead of unwrapping this holiday season, you might be wrapping up and packing up your belongings!

Written by - Realty Times

Champaign IL - Great Advice for Seniors During Showings

by Rose Price

If there is one that frustrates real estate agents the most, it is when homeowners decide to stay home for showings!

So, how do you get a senior homeowner to leave when their home is being shown?

First, let’s consider why they are choosing to stay there in the first place.

Even though it may feel like they are just trying to make our lives difficult, there may be in their minds very good reasons for staying put.

Ask yourself these questions... Is it possible they:

§ Don’t drive (or shouldn’t) - especially near dusk or after dark?

§ Have a pet that requires attention and taking them in the car is unsafe?

§ Need to stay near a bathroom?

§ Have scheduled in-home care at certain times during the day?

§ Cannot go out due to inclement weather?

Or, it’s entirely possible that they...

§ Want to meet potential buyers to see if they appreciate their home like they do

§ Are lonely and enjoy the conversation that showings bring

§ Believe it is their role to point out features of the home if their agent isn’t there

§ Are concerned about theft or having others look through their belongings

§ Have some prejudices about who is a good fit for their home (generationally common)

Regardless of their rationale or reason for wanting to stay home for showings, it is our job as agents to get to the bottom of it and provide potential solutions for making showings productive.

This requires a conversation -- a very intentional conversation.

While most of the time and with most clients, we can merely say, “Be sure to leave the house during showings,” and they do, you may need to have a more thorough discussion with senior home sellers and provide your procedure and rationale in writing.

Revisiting this conversation is not a bad idea either, putting them at ease regarding concerns, fears, or questions.

Provide alternatives.

If you are serving an older adult, especially a frail older adult, who doesn’t have family support nearby, you may need to go above and beyond what you normally do relative to showings.

This little bit of extra effort is not only beneficial to the home sale process, but it can also be an amazing gift and value add setting you apart from the average agent.

Information courtesy of KCMBLOG & Nikki Buckelew.

Landscaping and the Fall Selling Season

by Rose Price

Now that Fall has begun in the Champaign area, and the selling season is off to a terrific start, it's important to be mindful of the first impression a potential buyer has of your home.  Many interested buyers will drive by a home and neighborhood to get a feel for what living there would be like.  So you need to make sure that you've put your best foot forward and that means making sure the front of your home and it's landscaping are up to par and says "Welcome to our Home".

Although this is usually the last place you look to "tidy up", prospective buyers can be very particular about the landscaping of the home and may not even get  to the inside if they don't like what they see outside.  Therefore, it is important to make sure your landscape say's "this homeowner pay's attention to details and has kept up all the maintenance of this home".

First place to start...your lawn! Buyers love to see pretty green grass, regardless of season, so make sure you have kept the grass cut to a low manicured level- usually 3 inches, and have used seasonal seeding in areas that are sparse. Watering may be necessary with seeding or to perk it up, so water a few times if needed.  A few brown spots are bound to happen, and aren't the end of the world, you'll just make sure that the focal point is elsewhere.

Second, make sure you've edged your sidewalks and driveways, and taken care of any weeds that are lurking in and behind bushes and shrubs.  Using a Round Up type weed killer will save your knees , and will make sure you've gotten even the most stubborn weeds out of the way. It is also the season for those lovely Fall leaves to cover the ground, so be sure to rake on a consistent basis and bag the leaves as you go.

Third, make sure your shrubs and bushes are nicely trimmed, and pruned, if necessary. Nothing is worse that driving up to a home with bushes and shrubs that are overgrown. If you have wood chips or stones around these areas, you may want to add a few bags just to freshen them up. A little effort goes a long way with landscaping basics, and you'll be surprised how beautiful it will look.

Lastly, add a "pop" of color! Although we have beautiful colors in the trees, once leaves are on the ground they look pretty dingy, so look for some Fall flowers that will give you a nice spot of color and emphasize the entrance to the home. Chrysanthemums, Mums, Sunflowers , and Astors are all hearty Fall flowers and take minimum effort to keep them looking great.

Stage Your Champaign Home For Sale

by Rose Price

Extreme Home Staging 

Today's post is the first post in a new series that will address the power of "Staging" your Champaign - Urbana  home for sale. Staging your home is a proven strategy to help sell your Champaign Area home more quickly, and for a higher price.

What is Home Staging? 
Home staging is an applied art, for strategically presenting your Chesire home so that it appeals to the most Cheshire CT home buyers. A home staging strategy typically will include, but is not limited to: enhancing curb appeal, beautifying landscaping, improving entry ways, presenting key rooms,  rearranging furniture, adding or removing accessories. 
Excellent home staging, requires a unique staging plan for each home based on the potential buyer for the demographics of that Cheshire Area home's price range,  location, and style. An experienced, professional Cheshire Real Estate Agent, knows what Chehire, CT  home buyers want and can advise you on how to strategically highlight your home's best features. 
10 Home Staging Ideas To Sell Your Cheshire Home
Clutter MUST GO! The most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. 
Furniture Arrangements There's a common belief that rooms will feel larger and be easier to use if all the furniture is pushed against the walls, but that isn't the case. Instead, furnish your space by floating furniture away from walls. 
Move it around Give yourself permission to move furniture, artwork and accessories among rooms on a whim. 
Transform Whole Rooms If you have a room that serves only to gather junk, repurpose it into something that will add to the value of your home. 
Lighting One of the things that make staged homes look so warm and welcoming is great lighting. 
Bigger is Better To make a room appear to be bigger than it is, paint it the same color as the adjacent room. 
Neutral and Appealing Painting a living room a fresh neutral color helps tone down any dated finishes in the space.
Experiment with Paint Color Don't be afraid to use dark paint in a powder room, dining room or bedroom. A deep tone on the walls can make the space more intimate, dramatic and cozy. 
Rearrange Pictures and Wall Hangings If your home is like most, the art is hung in a high line encircling each room. 
Rearrange, Add or Remove Accesories Mixing the right accessories can make a room more inviting. 
Add Fresh Flowers Staged homes are almost always graced with fresh flowers and pricey orchid arrangements, but you can get a similar effect simply by raiding your yard. 

What is Home Staging? 

Home staging is an applied art, for strategically presenting your Champaign home so that it appeals to the most Champaign IL and Urbana IL home buyers. A home staging strategy will typically include, but is not limited to: enhancing curb appeal, beautifying landscaping, improving entry ways, presenting key rooms, rearranging furniture, adding or removing accessories and more. Excellent home staging, requires a unique staging plan for each home based on the potential buyer, for a specific Champaign Area demographic, price range, location, style and floor plan.

An experienced, Professional Champaign Real Estate Expert, knows the Champaign, IL real estate market; what Champaign, IL  home buyers want, and can advise you on how to strategically highlight your home's best features. 

10 Home Staging Ideas To Sell Your Champaign, IL Home:

  1. Clutter MUST GO!   Removing all your clutter is the first thing you need to do!
  2. Furniture Arrangements Some people believe rooms will feel larger and easier to use if all the furniture is pushed against the walls, but that's not the case.  
  3. Transform Whole Rooms If you have a room that's gathered junk, change it and make it functional, to add value of your home. 
  4. Lighting Matters Lighting updates can make staged homes feel comfortable and welcoming. 
  5. Bigger is Better  Paint rooms the same color as an adjacent room, to create the feeling that the room is bigger.
  6. Neutral and Appealing  Tone down outdated finishes or paint by painting a living room a new, bright neutral color.
  7. Experiment with Paint Color  Deeper wall tones will make some areas more intimate & cozy. So it's OK to use dark paint in bathrooms, dining rooms or bedrooms. 
  8. Rearrange Pictures and Wall Hangings If your home is like most, the art is hung in a high line encircling each room. 
  9. Rearrange, Add or Remove Accessories Mixing the right accessories can make a room more inviting. 
  10. Add Fresh Flowers  Fresh flower arrangements, from a florist or your own yard make your home more appealing. 

In the coming weeks, I'll post detailed thoughts and ideas to help you use each of the categories on the list. 

 

Current Mortgage Statistics

by Rose Price

Real Estate Industry Facts

by Rose Price

5 Hot Trends in Landscaping!

by Rose Price

Five Tips to Enhance Curb Appeal

by Rose Price

It's important for sellers to do what they can to get their home to stand out. Here are five quick tips to generate some excitement for your home in today's market.

  • Use Paint:  A new coat of paint can go a long way to make your home look up to date. Neutral colors work best because they appeal to the most people.
  • Mow the Lawn: Take the time to mow the lawn and clean the yard. Rake leaves and grass and put away any tools that may be lying around. Don't turn buyers off with a messy yard. If they like what they see on the outside, you'll improve your chances of getting them to look inside.
  • Plant Flowers: Seasonal or perennials can bring a splash of color to your home and brighten the view from the street. Flowers throughout the house will please the senses and make your house feel like a home.
  • Spruce Up Your Walkway: Dressing up your walkway with bricks or paving stones will lead people to your front door. Inexpensive solar lighting can further enhance your entry.
  • Window Treatments: Keep your home from looking plain or boring with some decorative shutters. Windows are very important to the overall appeal of your home. Add planter boxes underneath for an immediate improvement that doesn't cost a lot of money!

By following these tips, you will be able to capture the hearts and minds of today's buyers, as well as improve your chances for a quick sale at the best price possible.

When you are ready, contact me today for a personal market value analysis of your home. No hassles or obligation - just honest advice on how to get top dollar for your home!

5 Ways To Prep Your Home For An Open House

by Rose Price

Preparing your home for an open house can be a little like getting ready for a blind date. You don’t know what you may be facing but it is important to look your best. Open houses can often be stressful for homeowners because they know that strangers will be tromping through the door evaluating every last detail. You know the home needs to be as clean as possible but here are a few other things to keep in mind as you prepare.

Depersonalize as much as you can: You don’t want strangers seeing all your personal stuff and that’s reason enough to put photos, awards and sentimental objects elsewhere but there’s another reason as well. All that stuff is distracting and your potential home buyer could spend more time looking at what is in the home than actually seeing their lives taking place there. Your goal is to have your home appear as a blank slate, just waiting for a new buyer to make their mark. Pets should be out of the home not just for the day but ideally for a few days in order to allow any lingering odors to dissipate.

Don’t shove it all in the closet: You’ve got clutter, you need to get it out of sight, at least temporarily. The first instinct might be to move it all out to the garage, put it up in the attic, stack it in the basement, or fill up the closets. But remember your potential buyer probably has a fair amount of clutter too. They will be looking at all those storage spaces and the more available room they see, the more it will look like your home has all the space they need. Ask relatives or friends if you can temporarily store some items with them. You can also rent a storage space. The important thing is to make your home appear spacious and inviting.

Warm it up: The old trick of baking bread or cookies works to appeal to clients because it makes the home feel warm and lived in. Scented candles can work a similar magic. Fresh flowers or plants are also a nice touch and one that stagers often use. Another trick from stagers is to use colorful pillows and softly draped throws to provide a bit of color in bedrooms and living spaces. The home needs to be depersonalized but it still needs to look lived in and so a stack of plates left on the counter, fruit in the fruit bowl, towels in the bathroom, all go toward showing that the home is a great place to live.

Keep it bright: Light sells homes. Windows should be freshly cleaned on both the inside and the outside for maximum sunlight potential. Also go around and check to make sure all your light bulbs are working and that they are bright enough to really show off the rooms to their best advantage. Open all curtains and shades and take down any heavy curtains that might block some of the light streaming in.

Make a day of it: You know you shouldn’t be hovering around your open house but instead of going down to the local coffee shop and waiting until it’s over, reward yourself with a real mini vacation. Even the happiest of moves are stressful, so defuse some of that by taking yourself and your family out for a little reward. Put some distance between you and the home by going on a small day trip. Then later you can reconnect with your Realtor after he or she has had time to gather up all the impressions about the home.

Remember, you may not get an offer on the first day but an open house can lead to future showings and an eventual sale.

 

What Life Stage Is Your House?

by Rose Price

Family Portrait

I’m not asking how old your house is or what era of construction it is. Instead, I want to know, who is the ideal family to live in your house? Think about the family structure you can picture making a life in your home. 

First-time Home Buyers

First-timers want lower maintenance to ease into homeowner responsibilities. So, a newer home that doesn’t require much work, or a townhouse with some of the exterior maintenance included would be perfect. First-timers often don’t need much space, and a quick-turnover neighborhood works well as the family starts to grow out of the starter house.

Young Family

Let’s face it. Small children take over every square inch that isn’t dedicated space for something else. That’s why playroom space is nice to have to contain toys and games. Young families like yard space for kids to run, lots of storage space, and easy childproofing ability.

Mature Family 

Families with older children gravitate toward homes with plenty of room for teens to have their own space. Many families need garage space for multiple drivers, and a place for teens to have friends over that won’t disturb Mom and Dad.  

Empty Nester

Functionality is key for the retiring family. Empty nesters like a single floor, main-floor laundry, a low-maintenance yard, a quiet neighborhood, minimal upkeep and an atmosphere of relaxation.

Investor

A real estate investor, or “flipper,” buys up houses in good markets that are priced low and need some simple upgrades. As we would expect, they want to turn a profit.

If you’re not sure what life stage your house is, I can help you figure that out. I’ve heard lots of feedback from lots of buyers and I know what people are looking for. We should talk about why you bought the house in the first place. What was your family situation? What features really worked for you? Just email me some of the key features of your house, and I can let you know who to target!

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

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Rose Price
Landmark Real Estate
One East Main Street, Suite 200
Champaign IL 61820
217-202-8843
217-352-1933
Fax: 217-378-1281