Although the real estate market is showing signs of recovery, and inventory levels are low mimicking the levels of 2004 and 2005, selling your home still takes focus on doing things right from the beginning. One of the most important things a seller can do is consult with a competent and skilled Realtor.
One of the most important things a seller can do other than price the home right from the beginning is get your house in show condition, and keep it that way during the listing period. Here is a list of things that are sure to turn off a home buyer from the first visit. Please try to avoid these Home Selling “taboos.”
- Dirty clothes – no dirty clothes on the floor, on the back of a chair, or in the bottom of a closet please.
- Dirty bathrooms – especially dirty toilets (yikes!). And for that matter, all toilet seats and lids should be closed/down.
- Dirty kitchens – no dirty dishes in the sink, no messy stoves or appliances with fingerprints or smear marks. Clean countertops (Windex etc.) and floors too.
- Pet odors and pet items are trouble – if you have inside pets, please make sure that you are extra careful to hide their beds, bowls, litter box, toys etc. prior to showing appointments. Often pet owners are “desensitized” to the odors from their animals so ask a friend to give you a “sniff” test to see if they detect strong pet smells.
- Dirty carpet – unless your carpet is almost new, you should have it cleaned prior to listing your home. Fresh carpet is a MUST.
- Cigarette smoke is a deal killer…period.
- Do not burn strongly scented candles, incense, or use strong air fresheners etc. Fresh and clean odors are the way to go…anything else will be considered as a means to cover up undesirable smells like dampness, pets, cooking odors etc. YOUR HOME CAN NOT BE TOO CLEAN!!
- Put away all the shampoo bottles and toiletries in your bathroom. Clear bathroom vanities, shower shelves and tub sides of all clutter. Keep them in a plastic bin that you can easily hide and retrieve when necessary.
- Religious items including books, statuary, etc. should be placed out of sight during showings. Also items related to your political beliefs or anything that is overtly sexy should be hidden as well.
- Child proof locks, gates, etc. should be kept at a minimum. Buyers and their agents find that too many “contraptions” intended to keep children from accessing cabinets, doors, toilets, stairs etc. are frustrating and often “adult proof” as well. It also lends itself to an overall feeling of caution and makes for a less than relaxing experience.
If you like these ideas about getting your property in show condition or you and want to discuss any of these tips, Buckhead Real Estate or other real estate dynamics, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on my cell at 404-754-8000. I’d love to hear from you and to share my time, expertise and experience with you! You can also read more about tips to sell your home on these great resources:
As the end of the year approaches, local real estate agents are making a vigilant push to finalize short sale transactions for their clients. That’s because on December 31, the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act is set to expire, which would leave home owners left holding the bag on massive debt from selling their homes for less than what they owe in a short sale transaction.
In recent years, the United States government has set aside the IRS rule that the forgiveness of debt is considered income for tax purposes. But as the country is facing such threats to the housing market as the looming “Fiscal Cliff,” which will retire many tax breaks including the forgiveness of any taxes from doing a short sale, many have faced the fact that doing a short sale next year might not be a good idea, and are therefore scrambling to get them done in 2012.
With the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act‘s expiration date nearing, short sale transactions have increased 22 percent since Sept. 30, as compared to a year ago according to RealtyTrac. Because of the reality that the market isn’t going to rebound completely in terms of value and pricing in the near future, it has led to many home owners making the decision to get out from under their large mortgage payments on a home that doesn’t support the value of those payments.
As the deadline for the MDFA nears, the number of short sales is expected to climb even higher in the coming weeks, unless lawmakers choose to extend the act. If they do not opt for an extension, the IRS will consider any unpaid mortgage debt as taxable income for sellers who sell their homes under what they owe on their mortgages. This could potentially mean hundreds of thousands of dollars for some homeowners in the luxury home market.
For example, if you bought a home in 2006 with a $2,000,000 dollar mortgage and the home is now worth $1,200,000, and you do a short sale, the $800,000 dollars in forgiveness of debt taxed at the current 28% leaves the home owner a tax bill of $224,000. So it’s no surprise that most Realtors are working hard for their clients stuck in this situation to sell their homes fast before the tax break expires.
If you’d like to discuss your options with regard to your current position in your home in Sandy Springs or Buckhead Atlanta, please feel free to give me a call at (404) 754-8000, or visit my website at www.teambuckhead.com.
You know the old adage that history repeats itself. According to a recent article by Amy Hoak of MarketWatch.com, there has been a resurgence of 1950s-style one-floor ranch homes when it comes to new home construction in recent months. In the article, Hoak states that the reason for this resurgence is consumers’ craving for a simpler, more practical standard of living.
In today’s time of retiring baby boomers and the aging of our population, older ranch homes are also growing in popularity on the housing market. This is good news locally for older neighborhoods in well located areas around Atlanta, including Sandy Springs and Buckhead.
New retirees and young families that don’t want to have to go up and down stairs are looking for single-story ranch style homes to buy and remodel. These ranch homes that were ever popular in the 1950-60s provide a great alternative to condo living which has led to an increased demand for ranches, and is one of the housing segments leading the way to a market recovery.
According to Hoak’s article that cited the National Association of Home Builders, only 43 percent of new home construction was of the one-story variety, however that percentage was up to 46 percent in 2011. This is still a far cry from the 67 percent of new home construction in 1973.
Boomers and homeowners who want to stay in their home forever (about 90 percent of them) want a one-story floorplan. Homebuilders and remodelers are taking notice of this trend as the home building industry claws its way back from the housing market crash.
Ranches that are new-home construction are being built now with today’s modern amenities with open living spaces and new technologies and custom finishes such as window blinds and shutters, new carpet, etc., that make growing old in a one-story home a more pleasant experience. As far as the more popular two-story homes, more and more of the new construction homes are constructing the master suite on the main level rather than the second floor. This gives 50+ and retirees additional space that they might not need on a daily basis but might if they have a college student coming home for the summer or for hosting at the holidays, all while maintaining the simple one-floor living space they covet.
Affordability is also a consideration for why ranch homes are making a comeback, as they tend to be less expensive than the standard two-story home.
Atlanta features some wonderful one-story ranch homes and bungalow style homes in-town in neighborhoods such as Argonne Forest and Arden Habersham. You can also find an inventory of these homes in the Sandy Springs area.
No matter what your interest is in a one-story ranch home or any other floor plan that fits your needs in the Atlanta area, you can search homes for sale on my website or you can reach out and contact me directly on my cell at 404-754-8000. No matter if you’re buying or selling, I offer a free, no-obligation consultation to help you achieve your real estate objectives in Atlanta. I’d love to hear from you!
About the Author
Heather Sullivan-Steiner is a founding partner of the Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty group in Buckhead. Heather has been serving metro Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhoods as a professional realtor for over 17 years. Please feel free to connect with Heather on Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook!
A recent Realtor.com mixed survey of agents (21.3%) and home owners (78.7%) found that home owners understand (most of the time) the importance of home improvements that increase the value of their homes and drive higher sales prices.
Because of the state of today’s real estate market, homeowners need to make sure that their property is in the absolute best condition possible before it is ready to appraise.
According to the Realtor.com study, close to 90 percent of Realtors believe that investing in home improvements by way of remodeling projects and maintenance can accelerate a home sale. Of those surveyed, 75 percent stated that investing in improvements for the home can increase the final sale price of the home, provided the investment is spent in the right places and that home owners often undervalue the impact that home improvements (especially standard maintenance and repairs) can have on the selling process.
The problem, according to 70 percent of agents polled is that homeowners aren’t making the right decisions on where to spend their money on improvements as it pertains to their local market, and 60 percent of the agents believed that homeowners made improvements to suit their own personal tastes rather than improvements that might appeal more to a buyer. This common mistake can cost the homeowner thousands of dollars that they many never recoup.
With these statistics in mind, there are several common home improvements that are highly recommended by real estate agents to their selling clients:
- repairing any household items that are damaged or broken before listing the home (100 percent)
- making upgrades to the kitchen (50 percent)
- making upgrades to the bathrooms (60 percent)
One of the best pieces of advice an agent can give their client is to have a home inspection done before putting the home on the market. Find out what needs to be repaired and make sure all those items are done first. A well maintained home that is not 100% updated will always sell faster than a fully updated home which is so customized that no one likes it!
Once the maintenance is done, if the homeowner still has the budget to improve kitchens and baths, which are always buyer hot buttons, do so, but be sure to keep color schemes neutral and do not “customize” these improvements to seller’s tastes.
About the Author
Heather Sullivan-Steiner is a Buckhead Atlanta Realtor from Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, with over 17 years of experience helping buyers and sellers of residential and luxury real estate. If you, your family or friends would like to discuss your current options with regard to your next purchase or the current position of your home in the Buckhead, Atlanta, GA market, please contact Heather at 404-754-8000 or email@example.com.
Feel Free to Connect with Heather on Google+