Is It Worth Making Your Home A Smart Home Before You Sell

Smart homes seem to be all the rage. Thermostats and lights controlled by your smart phone. Refrigerators that send you a grocery list to your phone.

There is so much more that you can have to make your home automated and running from an app or apps on your phone. So is it worth it to make your home a smart home before you sell? Probably not.

Unexpected

With the exception of “techy towns” like Niwot and Boulder, or some types of executive homes, most buyers, even high end buyers, won’t expect to find smart homes. They may not even have a need or desire for a smart homes or they may not want the level of it you have installed.

As with other improvements to your home, you need to weigh the cost against the expected return

Having your home wired to be a smart home, buying the equipment, updating to smart appliances and all that entails, including fixing walls that will need to be cut into for wiring and new plugs and such, will run you thousands of dollars. The return on that isn’t going to be thousands of dollars.

Ask your Realtor

If you aren’t sure whether to do it or how far to go, ask your Realtor. They know the market, who will be looking at your home and how much they will be willing to pay to have those kinds of updates. Remember, a million dollar home may benefit from it, but a hundred thousand dollar home probably won’t.

A trap

Don’t fall into a trap of spending money for a return you won’t see. Talk to your Realtor and see what will help sell your home and spend it there.

What Do You “Have” To Leave When You Sell Your Home

You are selling your home and are wondering what you can and can’t take with you. Should you be able to take all the things you added to your home? The answer is no. There are certain things that you need to leave behind, or replace, when selling your home and they are referred to as fixtures.

Fixtures

What Do You "Have" To Leave When You Sell Your HomeIn real estate law fixtures are pieces of personal property that have been attached to the property so that they become thought of as part of the property.

Typical examples of this are heating and air conditioning systems, built-ins, flooring, tubs, sinks, etc. The basic rule of thumb is will taking this out of the home damage it.

Sounds straightforward, right?

What about wall hung tvs?

Well, not so fast. Some buyers expect that short of furniture, everything is a fixture and conveys with the property. That means all appliances, curtains, lighting, ceiling fans, and even televisions that are attached to the wall. Now you know that some of these things aren’t for sale with the home, but does the rule of “removal causes damage” mean you have to leave your 55-inch flat screen behind? Or that family heirloom bookcase that you have screwed to the wall in the study?

The answer is yes and no

You should plan to leave curtains, ceiling fans and light fixtures behind. As for that heirloom bookcase, remove it and replace it with something you can leave behind before you put the home on the market.

Specify in your listing what appliances are staying or not, and if possible replace them with others that you will leave behind. Typically, kitchen appliances are expected to stay, others can be negotiated.

Fix any damage

As for your flat screen, be unequivocal that it is going, remove it and fix any wall damage prior to the final walk through. Be completely up front with the buyer about items that are staying or not, be willing to fix any damage and you will be set to settle without any drama!

5 Tips For First Time Homebuyers

5 Tips For First Time HomebuyersYou’ve decided that it’s time to stop renting and jump into home ownership but there are a few things that you should do before making that leap. Some of these things need to be done well before you start traipsing through house after house.

The very first thing you should do is check your credit

Not just your credit score, but your credit reports. The “big 3”: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, will give you a complete overview of your credit situation. If there are discrepancies, get them cleared up. This can take weeks or months. If your credit score is low, you may need months or even a year to raise it. Having a good credit score can make a huge difference in how much interest you pay on your mortgage, so it will be worth putting off looking at homes until you are ready and able to buy.

Next, save, save, save

Having a decent or better down payment can mean the difference between getting the house you want or not. 20% is a good figure to shoot for, if you can save more, it will give you a cushion in case you need to fix things in the home or pay any extra fees. Plus it helps raise that credit score too!

Get preapproved for your mortgage

Getting preapproved can and will give you a leg up over other people making offers on the same home as you are. A seller who knows that you can get financing and settle more quickly will favor you over another buyer who doesn’t. It will also mean that you stick to your budget. If you are preapproved for a mortgage that will be comfortable for you to pay each month you will be less likely to be talked into a home that is above your price range.

No large purchases until after settlement

Don’t shop for furniture, cars or make other big purchases until after you have settled on your home and the money has been paid out to all parties. If you make any large, expensive purchases, especially on credit, prior to settlement you may end up without a mortgage when you are ready to settle.

Lastly, find a reputable Realtor to help you find that new home!

Definitely pick one that loves working with first time homebuyers and who will answer all your questions! A great Realtor will help you to get through the whole process safely and find a great fir home!

In This Day And Age Are Real Estate Agents Really Necessary?

With all of the online tools, websites and advice for home sellers and buyers, is it really necessary to hire a Realtor?

The short answer to that question is a resounding yes. The internet can only tell you so much and it certainly can’t show your home, take you to homes to see and In This Day And Age Are Real Estate Agents Really Necessary?facilitate settlement when you sell or buy your home.

As it’s been said, when the going gets tough, hire an expert… or something like that. But really, why would you undertake such a huge financial and legal undertaking without being educated in the ins and outs of such things?

A Realtor knows the local market

They know how to negotiate at all phases of the process. They know how to value a home beyond number of beds, baths and square footage. They understand most types of mortgages and home financing, or know someone who is reliable that can help you should you need that type of assistance.

Now let’s talk time

Do you have the time, over and above your day job, family responsibilities and so on, to stage your home, list it with MLS and other websites like Zillow or Realtor.com, take all the phone calls, schedule showings, read/understand/respond to offers, schedule inspections, schedule settlement and all the paperwork a settlement entails, do the walk-through and finally hand over the keys?

Do you have the time to search the internet for homes to see, call the listing agents, schedule showings, write up an offer, read over the inspection report, renegotiate repairs, review the title report and all of the settlement papers?

Experience Matters

One last thing to think about! In your lifetime you may buy and sell 5-10 houses (maybe a few less, maybe a few more). For some of us, that top end is a really slow YEAR!

Realtors spend all of our time negotiating, researching, talking on the phone and getting educated about real estate. The business of buying and selling homes is our life and when you hire a Realtor, you get some of that dedication and determination just for your home!

Selling Your Home – Be Sure To Pick A Salesman Not A Consultant!

Have you heard the idea that your Realtor needs to be your consultant? Not a good idea. You need your Realtor to be a salesperson. Consulting with you is one thing, but being in consulting mode when you really need a salesperson to represent your interests isn’t a good thing.

A good Realtor

Selling Your Home – Be Sure To Pick A Salesman Not A Consultant!A good Realtor needs to be a good salesperson. Not just to sell your home either. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Yes, they need to be ready to sell, hard sell if necessary, to find the best buyer and get them ready to buy.

From open houses when you have to sell the merits of your home to other agents, to showing your home to prospective buyers, they need to be able to handle questions, handle objections, make them need your home, not just want it.

Once they make an offer the salesperson needs to stay and handle the negotiations. What is a good offer to take and when you should push back for more.

As a buyer you need a strong salesperson as well

Your consultant will listen and then start looking for the best home for you, but then the salesperson must go to work.

They need to help you offer the best price and then push back when the counter offer is too high. They need to push for concessions and get the best deal for you.

After the contract is signed, the salesperson isn’t finished. He or she needs to make sure that they can sell the appraiser the bank sends that the home is worth at least what you offered, if not more. They need to sell the home inspector on the merits and if there is anything found, sell the seller’s agent on the need for more concessions because of the report.

So don’t look for a consultant in your Realtor, find a salesperson!