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BUYERS

LAST MINUTE IS OK

If you get a call that a buyer wants to see your house in 15 minutes, then for God’s sake, no, for your sake, let them see the house!…yes, even if it’s a bit messy. 

Last-minute types are known to make impulsive decisions, and as such might decide to buy a house that day.  As a general rule, if someone wants to see your house, let them! Whenever it is. 

 

 NO PLUG IN AIR FRESHENERS 

You know those Plug-in air fresheners, well, not too many people like those.  They are actually a turnoff to a lot of people. 

So if you want your house to smell good, bake cookies right before a showing. This will hit em twice, because you can then offer them a delicious treat while they look at your house.  Now, we don’t want to get too psychological on this one, BUT the pleasure of eating a tasty treat is now associated with your home, which is now a more pleasurable memory than say, if they saw a house without cookies!  Pretty sly eh? 

DON'T SKIP THE FINAL WALK THROUGH

It's absolutely imperative!!! Don’t skip the final walk-through.

DO NOT SKIP THE FINAL WALK THROUGH!!!

It’s your very last chance to confirm all repairs were done properly, that the owner’s personal items have been removed, and that the items you agreed should stay are still there. It’s not uncommon for these things to mysteriously grow legs!  So, do the final walk through!  

NEIGHBORHOOD KNOWLEDGE

Your agent should be familiar with the neighborhood. One of the number one complaints from buyers is that their real-estate agent didn’t know, or didn’t warn them about, key issues in a new neighborhood.  While your agent can’t share the economic standing or predominant ethnic background of the people in the area or the local crime rate (as it violates fair housing laws, they can provide you with resources where you can find out this kind of info for yourself.  They should also be able to tell you if there is a bus stop or train near-by, that goes past every 20 minutes.  Your agent should take you around the neighborhood in the morning, afternoon and night, in order to get a real sense of what the area is like.  

BIDDING WARS

Multiple offers, which are common in hot real-estate markets, are a sellers dream, however many qualified buyers are left in the dust. BUT someone has to win the war.  How do you ensure it’s you?  

Well, again, it comes down to your agent. An agent who is well acquainted with other agents in the area and is a skilled negotiator is are two important traits.  Someone whose read Sun Tzu’s “Art Of War” is an even better bet.   You just want your agent ready to go into battle, fully prepared for the fight ahead.  Someone whose been around the block a few times.  Tell your agent what your absolute highest bid would be, this will ensure there is no confusion once the bullets start flying.  This information will give your agent a powerful advantage when working with the seller’s agent, especially when other Agent’s don’t know this information for their clients. 

Now, this requires something from you too, buyers.  You need to be honest with yourselves.  There is a notorious saying in the Real Estate Industry: “Buyers are Liars.”  Buyers will often say things like: “This is as high as I’m willing to go”…then weeks later, change their mind.  This is especially true when losing a bid.  Buyers will say “Oh, I would have gone up  more!”.  This hurts you.  You need to know your absolute highest bid and let your agent know from the start.  The Real Estate Market today moves way too fast, and those who aren’t prepared, lose.  So, be honest from the get go.  

How it works to your advantage:  Once you as a buyer have set a ceiling, your agent can start strategizing.  They can settle on a price and then throw in extras like, covering closing costs, and title insurance, or waiving appraisal fees and other contingencies, all while staying under your ceiling.  It’s not just the home price that matters, it’s often these extra little bits that seal the deal.  

SELLERS

CHOOSE YOUR AGENT WISELY

Beware of Agents who overestimate your home’s selling price. 

Every agent is hoping you’ll choose them over other agents, so, some Agents will say whatever makes you happy in order to secure you as a client, and since homeowners love hearing that their house is worth a lot of money, some agents will price too high, setting unreal expectations for their Sellers.  They in other words “buy your listing”.  AVOID THIS.  It will hurt you in the long run and only guarantees your home will sit on the market for a very long time, and after that long time, Sellers will have no choice but to lower the asking price….which presents a whole bunch of unwanted perceptions of the home.   

On the flip side:

Some Agent’s undercut the price in-order to generate a quick sale and a commission for themselves, even though it may not be the best price for the seller.  

So, it’s extremely important to choose an experienced Agent with a proven track record.  Someone who knows the market, prices your home right, and sells quickly, without sacrificing any money in your pocket.  How do you secure one of these unicorn Agents? Start by googling them, see if they pop-up, then check the listing agent’s references, request a detailed marketing plan, and then meet personally to discuss what the agent can and cannot do for you, during this meeting ask how many transactions they’ve completed this year.  This will tell you right away if it’s someone you want to work with.    

A savvy agent can also put more money in your pocket in non-conventional ways, ways only an experienced agent can do, like:Subtracting furniture, appliances and other personal property from the total price, then having the buyer write a personal check for those items.  This revised home value means a lower transfer tax for the Seller, and a lower property tax for the Buyer.  Not too shabby. 

Simple Things Go A Long Way:

CLEAR COUNTERS

We’re Americans, and for whatever reason we absolutely love vast, wide-open counter space.  So, just clear your counters!   It's that simple. 

STAGE YOUR HOME!  BUT DON'T BE TACKY!

Yes, staging your home by getting rid of clutter and bringing in furniture or accessories can help it sell. 

...But music, champagne glasses next to the bed and fake pies on the countertop? That's a little much, and it will turn some buyers off.

HELP YOURSELF! YOUR NEIGHBORS WON'T.

If your house is for sale and the lawn next door is starting to look overgrown, just go cut the grass for your neighbors. Especially if you have an open house coming up!  It’s a small thing, but it can make a huge difference.

YOUNG BUYERS DON'T WANT OLD HOUSES.

Surveys of home buyers show that many people have a preference for environmentally friendly, technologically up-to-date dwellings that require no more than superficial repairs.

This is especially true of Millennials, now in their 20s and early 30s. According to a study by market researcher GfK Roper Reports, Millennials will bail on a house immediately, if the house is old, tacky and well, uncool.  Millennials want a fun house!  They want the Whirlpool bath, a game room, large walk in closets, a swimming pool; these are all dream home amenities for Millennials. After all, what do you expect from a generation who grew up watching MTV Cribs.  The survey showed High-tech entertainment centers and a sauna/steam room also make their fantasy list, while State-of-the-art kitchens,were less of a priority.

A Better Homes and Garden Real Estate‚Äč Survey of 18-35 year olds, conducted by Wakefield Research, found that 64% of respondents said they would not consider living in a home that lacks the latest technology. Even more, 84% of Millennials surveyed said technology is an “absolute essential” for their homes.

More than Millennials, more and more people are looking for Move-In ready homes.  It's just the world we live in today.  People have the money, just not the time to make repairs or upgrades.  

However, if your home isn't techy-fresh! Don't feel glum.  There are simple things like a fresh coat of paint, window treatments, refinished hardwood floors and new carpeting, that can make all the difference. These things will breathe new life into old homes and are relatively affordable.  If it is beautiful and you price it well, it will sell! 

If you want more expert Home Buying OR Selling Tips, give the Rose Price Team a Call!  We love what we do and can make it work for you! If you're not quite ready to chat, use our Buyers and Sellers resources on the website.  They're Completely FREE!

Preparing for Down Payment and Closing Costs

by Rose Price
 

Now that you've found the Champaign Illinois home that meets your needs. It time to start making offers and getting ready for closing.

A generation ago, it used to be the norm to put 20 percent down, but with the real estate market in its current state of flux, many first-time homebuyers are finding ways to pay just 3 to 5 percent of the total cost upfront. Federal Housing Act (FHA) loans increasingly have become a popular option for first-time buyers, says Greg Herb, regional vice president of the National Association of Realtors. These competitively low-interest loans are ideal for buyers with less than perfect credit, and because the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) minimizes the risk of default for lenders on these loans, borrowers are only required to put down 3.5 percent of the cost--a far cry from the traditional 20 percent down payment.

Still, there are advantages to paying more at the start. A larger down payment ultimately means smaller monthly bills down the line. Also, if you purchase a conventional loan (i.e.: one that is not backed by a federal agency), paying 20 percent or more upfront will eliminate the need to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) charges. PMI is insurance for your lender that can be paid upfront or in monthly installments, and is designed to offset your lender's risk in the case that you've paid less than 20 percent on your home. It can cost around $55 a month per $100,000 financed. While it's important to note that FHA loans also carry mortgage insurance with a down payment of under 20 percent, their low barriers to own still make them a good choice for first-time buyers.

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

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