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10 Tips To Get Your Champaign/Urbana Home Ready To Sell!

by Rose Price

As I already reported, if you're thinking of selling your CHAMPAIGN/URBANA home this spring, don't wait on preparing it to be ready!

With Housing Inventories still at their lowest levels in recent years, it's driving up demand and setting the market up for a very competitive spring season. What that means to you is this: the sooner you get your home on the market the LESS competition you will have in getting YOUR HOME SOLD! With that said, preparing your home NOW is critical. Below are 10 Tips to help you get your home in tip top shape and on the market quickly:

FIRST IMPRESSION Make your Front Door & Entry Way inviting. A splash of color in the form of potted plants on the porch, a beautiful wreath on the door, or a nice display in the foyer. Each of these can and will say "Hello, welcome" to your potential buyers. Remember, you only get 1 chance to make a great first impression and it sets the tone for the viewing of the rest of the home.

MUST BE FRESH & CLEAN Your home must be "White Glove Clean", but it also must be free of all overpowering scents and smells. If you have pets, pay close attention to pet odor's. Also be sure to clean your refrigerator regularly.

KEEP IT NEUTRAL While you may be great with color & color palettes, your potential buyer may not. Best Bet: Keep it neutral throughout the house. Stay away from ANY extreme colors or themes anywhere in your Cheshire Home.

CLOSETS & STORAGE AREAS It's very important not to overstuff storage areas of any kind. When this is done it gives the illusion that your home is not "big enough" or does not have ample storage space. Make sure closets, drawers and storage area's are all Clutter-Free!

MAKE IT UN-PERSONAL All our houses are personalized...that's what makes them our homes! But when we are putting them on the market to sell it is important to take the "personalization" out of them. Why? So that your potential buyer can "visualize" the space as "THEIR own space", and that is very hard to do with all YOUR personal belongings inside.

REPAIRS Make all the small repairs around the home that are necessary. Replacing light bulbs, cracked faceplates, broken window screens, loose door handles, etc.

LESS IS DEFINITELY MORE If possible, remove some of your furniture to make your rooms more spacious. This is where a great Staging Home Specialist can come into play! Contact our office for some referrals in this area.

DETAILS Replacing things like outdated hardware on cabinets can give you a nice boost on the home sale as well as replacing outlet covers for a new update look. Small changes, paying attention to the smaller details, can pay-off in big ways!

CURB APPEAL First impressions are VITAL! Make sure your lawn is maintained, pathways are manicured and you give a boost of color (especially when spring is still just starting to bloom!

SURPRISE! You will most likely get unannounced, interested buyers from time to time when they see a For Sale Sign in your yard. Make sure your home is Clean at all times for these Surprise Guests!

Set yourself up for the BEST success possible! Make sure your home is ready, you have the BEST Real Estate Agent on your side, your house has the BEST pricing and you'll be set to have your home SOLD in the BEST time possible!

If you are interested in more information about the benefits of home ownership in CHAMPAIGN/URBANA, please contact me. I'd be happy to come and meet with you and show you around our wonderful community!

Champaign/Urbana Real Estate Property Expert

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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Why should 2015’s financial trends impact on the Housing Market be any different today than the years before it?  Good question....it would certainly seem like we’ve seen worse. But, you wouldn’t be comparing apples to apples, because you couldn’t. ALL the trends that exist today didn’t exist then....not even last year!  So, let’s take a look:

IN: IMPULSE SPENDING

OUT: SAVING

I don't think this one needs too much explaining, however we do need to understand the #1 reason 2015 is so much stronger for impulse spending than other years. It begins with the addition of APPLE PAY gliding onto the scene of an already "incredibly easy" spending marketplace which then becomes "a genie in a bottle".  It is now so easy for you to buy anything from the convenience of your phone...not even your computer...that your bank account is never going to be the same. Unless we all put some self-restraint and budgets into place, saving money in general will be impossible and saving for your down payment and home maintenance will be a hurdle that first time home buyers will never be able to jump.

IN: LUXURY HOME BUYERS

OUT: FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS? (Not so fast!)

With rent rising at an astronomical rate across the country and student loan debt at an all time high, saving for a down payment has thus far, seemed impossible for most first time buyers and is looking very bleak for 2015.  In fact, first time home buyers are at the lowest level they have been in nearly 3 decades, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). What is driving the market? The more stable of the group....Luxury Home Buyers! With higher incomes, job security and more equity they are able to get the loans they want/need with the most desirable terms....even if they are the ones who probably need it the least. However, with rent rising at such a significant pace many would be renters may look to buy a home which will force builders to focus on building more entry level homes versus the luxury homes that have taken focus on the past several years. Rents in most states have consistently moved upward making it MORE ADVANTAGEOUS to buy than keep renting and throwing away that high dollar amount monthly/annually. The next several months will tell the tale of First Time Home Buyers for 2015....but we definitely see more FIRST TIME BUYERS entering the housing market! 

IN: FREELANCERS

OUT: TRADITIONAL EMPLOYEES 

Confused or Amazed? For some ....both! But these numbers will astound you. At present, 34% or 53 Million Americans currently work as Fixed-term Contract Workers or Freelancers!! And more and more companies are looking to move in that direction. This makes it difficult for many individuals who are applying for mortgages since many times this is NOT a stable income stream. What they need to do is make sure to document ALL work and all corresponding payments from ALL sources so that it can be turned over to the mortgage companies to be verified at the time it needs to be done.   On the other hand, this has made it very easy for a family that has chosen to have a parent stay home with children, to now have an option to work from home, with flexible hours, and still produce a great second income. Or for the older person who may have retired from a career position but now has an option of doing a “hobby” type job from their home for extra income...on their own terms. So, is it good or bad? Really depends on whom you are talking with and what side they are on.

IN: LIVING IN PLACE

OUT: AGING IN PLACE

Baby Boomers are redefining what it means to grow old!  They want to keep their homes, take in the arts, seek out new health and wellness activities and participate in all aspects of their family & friends lives....on their own terms. This means that there is a whole new need for HOME REMODELING. They want to keep the unique parts of their homes, but upgrade to include the safety and security features they need as they have grown older. Curbless Showers, Higher Toilets, and Grab Bars but still not give up the Gourmet Kitchens and Master Suites of today and don't forget technology!

With all these trends in place, and the incredible swing of the Housing Market from 2014 moving back in the right direction, the Champaign/Urbana market is looking FANTASTIC  for 2015. We are looking at a consistent upward trend with existing home sales and New Home Construction to start building again. In fact I am extremely excited to share with you this extraordinary opportunity to build your DREAM HOME in this one of a kind subdivision in MT ZION IL!  This newly created subdivision is just being marketed and I will be announcing information on my social media in the coming weeks.

If you are looking to put your Champaign/Urbana home on the market, you picked the PERFECT time! Competition is at it's lowest right now, but you must take advantage of this exclusive time frame. Give me a call today at 217-202-8843 or check out my website at CHAMPAIGNROSE.COM.  You can also get a FREE HOME VALUATION by following this link: FREE CHAMPAIGN/URBANA HOME VALUATION

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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.

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.

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.

Selling Your Champaign/Urbana IL Home in The Winter

by Rose Price

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.

 

5 Reasons Why You Need To Close On A Home Before Years End!

by Rose Price

Are you debating  whether or not to make an offer on a home before the New Year begins?  Well....STOP deliberating and get out there and submit the offer!  Between changing lender rules, mortgage rate hikes and the 2013 tax benefits;   closing before the end of the year can mean significant financial benefits.  

Here are five ways you WILL benefit by closing on a home before the end of the year.

1)  New Year means new lending rules.  Lending rules are changing on Jan 1st, and that means it could become more difficult to get a loan. The new rules will allow you to borrow less, at your same income level!  The current 2013 mortgage borrowing rules allow for a 45% total debt-to-income ratio.  This ratio does go down to 43% in 2014,  meaning you will have to make or reduce your debt in order to buy the same house you are currently living in.

2) Avoid rising interest rates. Although mortgage interest rates are still pretty attractive, they are up 1-2% over last year during the same time period.  The Mortgage Banker's Association is predicting that mortgage rates will rise to around 5% in 2014.  If you decide to buy now and the rates drop...you can always refinance, but if you wait...you are stuck.

3) Maximize tax deductions.  Although this is the most commonly thought reason for closing on a home before years end, it is also a very important one.  You can start deducting mortgage interest and building equity immediately.  Also, because some closing costs and points are deductible, you can start deducting them the year you purchase the home,  so they can be included in your 2013 tax return!  If you wait even 3 days into the new year you will not be able to take any deductions until years end of 2014.

4)  Easier financing.  Are you waiting for home prices to decrease?  Don't!  It is quite possible that the mortgage rule changes for 2014 will make it more difficult to get financing.  So if you are waiting to "save" a few bucks waiting for home prices to decrease, you may put your ability to purchase a home in jeopardy,  if you cannot secure a mortgage at all!

5) Lower Sales could mean higher inventory.  Look at it this way...it's the "After Christmas" sale...before Christmas!  Even though 2013's theme was low inventory and higher home prices, the fourth quarter has always seen a slowing down of the housing market, and 2013 is no exception.  Housing sales have declined since September, so the inventory has increased, but the constrained inventory still means double digit year-over-year gains.  What does that mean to you...you may secure a GREAT DEAL IN DECEMBER!

At ChampaignRose, I are here to answer any and all of your real estate questions, help you find the home of your dreams or get your home ready to be put on the market.


Source:  RISMedia

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