How to Sell Your Home

How to Sell Your Home

  Through the years as a Nashville Realtor, I have worked with people at various levels in their knowledge of the home selling process. One thing that rings true is that, unless you do it every day, you don’t know or understand it all. I will take you through an overview. Certainly there are nuances and each circumstance can cause the process to change a bit. Also, make sure you consult with your local Realtor because some of this may be different based on what state you live in. There are also details that I am leaving out in order to not put you to sleep so make sure to get all the information and trust the person you are working with. 1. Listing Consultation – If you are using a real estate agent or a Realtor (yes, they’re different – if you want to know how, read this), you will likely meet at their office or at the property you would like to sell. This is where you will discuss and sign the listing agreement with their company that outlines what they will do, what you will do, and how much you will pay them. You will discuss the comparable properties in your area, average days on the market, and the list price of your property. 2. Prepare Home for Market – If you haven’t done so yet, get to work on making your property sparkle and shine. First and foremost, make sure it is clean. Do necessary repairs, paint, clean carpets, pressure wash, landscaping, get a storage unit, etc.  It’s good to have your Realtor give you suggestions as to what is necessary. You and/or your Realtor may also find it helpful to use the services of a professional stager. If you are living in the home, they can help decide what to pare down and how to arrange the furnishings to best showcase the home. If the property is vacant, it is sometimes advantageous to use a staging company that can provide furnishings and accessories to help buyers envision the home being lived in. 3. Professional Photography/Videography & Measuring – One thing that is a MUST HAVE in most markets is professional photos. It amazes me how many photos I see that actually hurt the sale of a home. Your Realtor should cover the cost and your job is to have the house looking like a model home before the photographer gets there. There are exceptions here as well. If the property is an investment property that is currently being rented, there may be no way around having unnecessary items in the photos and it may not necessarily be in model home condition. In these instances, it...

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Uh Oh, It’s Magic

Uh Oh, It’s Magic

If you know me well, you know I love magicians. It fascinates me to watch good ones perform and stun their audience. Some seem to read your mind. Others seem to predict the future. I love to be freaked out and wonder, HOW DO THEY DO IT??? You will ask yourself the same thing when you work with a great Realtor. They make it look easy. They get things done. My job is to work behind the scenes to fix all the things that go wrong when selling or buying a home. What, you don’t think anything went wrong when you bought or sold your house? That’s probably because you had a great Realtor on your side. Things always go wrong. They are not always big things that can cause deals to be delayed or to fall through but, trust me, there is always something. Lenders get the wrong document signed, they somehow have the wrong close date or purchase price. Title companies find undisclosed tax liens on the property that is supposed to close in 5 days. A Seller takes a refrigerator that they were supposed to leave. An appraisal comes back low. A Buyer forgets to mention a bankruptcy. The list goes on and on. Some things can’t be fixed, but most can. Don’t give up. I have been able to get a major home builder to pay closing costs, and replace items they initially said they would not. Lenders have jumped through hoops. Title companies have gone to bat for clients and other agents have worked with their clients to come to amicable solutions. In the end, everyone wants the same thing. We all want the house to sell. Sellers want to sell it, Buyers want to buy it, and all the vendors want to be paid. Most Realtors don’t get paid until closing, therefore, they should do everything they can to find solutions for issues that arise. I have been asked if I can move a house to a different location. I actually do know people that can do that! Bottom line is, make sure you have realistic expectations of the magic that can be performed. Also, though, be satisfied that your real estate agent is working hard for you and if you’re not, get another...

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New Construction Inspections

New Construction Inspections

  “I am buying a new construction home, I don’t need a home inspection.” STOP!! Let’s take a step back and think about this before “saving” $500. I have heard this argument from more than one Buyer. The builder may be great. They may have great people working for them. However, even great people make mistakes. What if they had to use a new vendor or subcontractor? What if the material was defective? What if someone was rushing to beat the rain and missed something? Many inspectors will do multiple inspections throughout the building process. There are generally 3 phases of inspection. Framing Mechanical Insulation Doing phase inspections enables inspectors to check the footers and look for any variance in framing measurements. They can view the electrical and plumbing prior to the drywall being installed as well as making sure insulation is in walls, around windows and everywhere else it should be. Home inspectors see some unfortunate things in new construction homes. Houses that passed the Codes inspection with glaring defects. Plumbers have come in after framing and cut joists for piping and not properly supported the joists that were cut. This could cause structural issues, not to mention, perhaps void possible warranties. Entire sections of walls have been missing insulation. People sue builders over poor building standards and defects all the time. From my experience, most of those lawsuits happen when a home was already complete and the Buyer didn’t or wasn’t able to do phase inspections. A lot of builders and developers are just out to make money and don’t put as much emphasis on quality control and customer service as we might expect. I don’t want to seem mistrusting, however, with a purchase as large as a house, you need to feel as comfortable as possible that your brand new home is going to last, hold and even grow its value over the years. That brings me to the final point. Don’t fret if you found the house further along in the building process and you have not had phase inspections. A home inspector can still find things, and most likely WILL find things. It doesn’t matter how old a house is, a good inspector will find items that got missed. And don’t be fooled that “It wouldn’t have passed the Codes inspection if it wasn’t done correctly.” Again, humans make mistakes. My best suggestion is that you have a home inspection any time you buy anything someone will live in. If you need a recommendation for a good home inspector, most Realtors can give you a list of inspectors they or their clients have used or you can look online. www.Ashi.org is also a good...

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3 Outdoor Projects for Summer

3 Outdoor Projects for Summer

  The weather is warm, the flowers are blooming, convertibles are out in full force, and it’s time for some outdoor projects. Here are some ideas for outdoor projects that can either add value to your home, be something you will enjoy for years to come – or both! Outdoor fire pit/fireplace. Sometimes even in the summer, the nights can be cool. What better way to enjoy the outdoors than sitting around a fireplace or fire pit? A seating area, chairs and a couch with cushions complete with rug is a cozy way to be outdoors well into the Fall. I have seen plenty of nice sets online in community groups. I have even seen people selling brand new sets that didn’t fit their space. Their mistake can be your gain if you keep your eye out. Get out the marshmallows and invite your friends over! Landscape beds with sprinklers or drips. I enjoy digging in the dirt and it is so nice to see all the colors of plants and flowers. What’s not so fun is having to water them constantly in the heat of Summer. Why not think about installing a sprinkler system under your landscaping beds? Or, if you have pots and planters, you can install a drip system to keep your plants and flowers looking great all season. You can have fun with different sizes, styles and colors. If you want to go all out, place a fountain in the landscape bed and create a peaceful space that is both inviting and relaxing. Go all out with a pool. If you really want to make the most of your Summer days, get a pool. Pools range from small above-ground pools to elaborate in-ground pools with waterfalls. The space, ground, building restrictions, and cost are all a factor with this one. Also, something to consider is that you won’t typically get your money back out of pools when you sell so don’t do this to add value. Do this because you plan on staying a while or you really want a pool! Consider maintenance costs as well. You may find it better to join the local swim club. But if you do decide to install a pool, chances are, you will find you have friends you never knew about – so let me know when it’s open for the season and I’ll bring my...

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Low Inventory Real Estate Market

Low Inventory Real Estate Market

  If you are like me, you live in a real estate market with very low inventory. What happens when you need more room, your kitchen is outdated, or you really want a swimming pool and you can’t find a house on the market that fits your needs? Or, maybe with the rising interest rates you found a great house but now the higher interest rates put it out of reach. If you currently own your home and your market has appreciated since you purchased, chances are you have equity. A great option is a home equity loan. There are many things you can do to improve your home or remodel to fit your current needs or desires. You might want to add a patio to give you more outdoor living space. You may want to add that swimming pool you’ve always wanted. Or you just might need a new roof. You may have heard about a home equity loan, but another option is a home renovation loan. There are FHA, VA, and conventional products. In a nutshell, these loans will allow you to renovate your home by lending on the improved value, not the current value. They can be a bit more complicated but if you have a loan officer and mortgage company that knows how to navigate the process, it can be a wonderful solution. Home renovation loans are great for those larger projects where you may be gutting kitchens and bathrooms or adding square footage. Of course, as a Realtor, I would hope we could find a house for you to buy that would fit your needs and be within budget, but it is not always possible, especially in a price range that is very popular. I have great vendors I work with that I recommend to clients for both types of loans. In fact, most of them can handle loans out of state so feel free to reach out if you can’t find your dream home but think you could make your current home work for a few more years with a little love. I am happy to refer you to professionals that can give you the hard facts about these loans and how they may work for...

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