Does Your Home Live Up To Its Price Tag?

There is still a great divide in the some phases of real estate. One of the worst is the division of expectation between a buyer and a seller.

A buyer who is willing to pay for a home in a certain prices range let us say over $500,000 for example has the expectation that a home should have certain amenities at that level:

• An upscale kitchen including mid to upper level stainless appliances and granite counter tops.
• Bathrooms that have been updated with tile, new faucets and vanities.

• Flooring of hardwood, tile, or upscale carpeting.
• Professional landscaping

In short the amenities need to fit the expectation at that price level.

A seller needs to understand that when you set a price at that level, buyers expect to be able to move in and have nothing to do but unpack and place their things. Rooms should be neutral so that the new homeowner doesn’t have to undo your taste. They basically are willing to pay a premium for convenience.

If as a seller you are not willing to spend the time, money and effort to bring your home up to the level of expectation, the solution is simple. Keep your price point in line with current competition at that echelon. Just as a savvy shopper would be able to see through a Wal-Mart product with a Sak’s Fifth Avenue price sticker on top, so do real estate buyers know the difference. The quality, sophistication, and style make the difference and it all comes down to price as justification.

Comparative Market Analysis – Did you price your Real Estate right?

Comparing Sales of Existing Homes and How Those Comparables Affect The Real Estate Offer Price

Home pricing is the most important factor to consider in order to sell your home quickly and easily.

The usual mistake made by the seller is that their asking price is way too high. You cannot fool the market. It is best to price your home right because if you overprice it and it stays in the market for a long time, buyers will lose interest, thinking that it has not sold because something is wrong with it, or other homes in your area similar to yours may be selling at a more realistic price. Pricing your home correctly will save you a lot of time and frustration. Generally, most of the best and highest offers come during the first few weeks when the most potential buyers view a home.

It is best to talk to your agent. He will be able to give you a reasonable asking price through Comparative Market Analysis for free. Also known as CMA, Comparative Market Analysis is a listing of recent home sales, pending sales, and current listings of similar properties in a given area, used as a basis for determining the fair market value of a property.

A seller can research this himself by checking public records through the local recorder or assessor’s office, through private real estate information, or the Internet. It can also be done by a real estate agent for free. A number of factors are taken into consideration when preparing a CMA – square footage, age, number of bedrooms and baths, condition, location, and amenities.

The real estate agent will make a marketing plan for your property based on other information about the current market, recent sales in the area, how many homes have been sold in that area, how long they were in the market before they sold, and selling time. After this has been done, the agent and the seller can decide on an appropriate price for the property. Keep in mind: IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU PRICE YOUR HOME RIGHT.

Prevent your home from becoming an expired listing. A Comparative Market Analysis will give you a realistic pricing decision and the odds are you will sell your home fast and in the price range you are asking.

Source:  Joe Lane, The Lane Real Estate Team, Washington

Staging your home for curb appeal!

 Curb Appeal in real estate terms used to mean how appealing your home is to potential buyers when they view the home’s exterior. It was the first time they were seeing your home, and it sets the stage for the rest of your home. But this has changed with the use of Web sites such as, Facebook, and the local and national real estate agency Web site that is listing the house for sale.

The appeal of your home comes long before a buyer even gets to your front door — it starts online. And it is not just your front door that sets the stage, it is your entire house that the buyer can see, long before ever getting to your house. So the first item of business: Make sure your photos are capturing your listing from the very best angle!

The photographs real estate agents use for a home on the Web are crucial. It is best to use a professional photographer who specializes in taking photos of homes for sale but if you can’t afford one, there are several things to consider. Real Estate Blogger Web site recently released an article listing the Top 10 Tips of Photographing Your Home for Sale.

Among the blog’s tips:

  • Try a tripod. It will not only help you keep the camera steady, but it will also allow you to concentrate on more important things—like getting that perfect picture.
  •  Watch your lighting. Don’t turn on all of the lighting in the room and close the drapes, you’ll get “halos” around the room’s lamps. Use the camera’s flash to get an even photo. Also, take photos of the outside gardens in the shade—it’ll look better than when taken in the bright sun.
  •  Haul the clutter away. Take down the personal photos, too.

Remember: The photographs are your calling card. So if the photos aren’t representative of your home’s appeal than the buyer will never get to your front door. There’s always another house just a mouse click away!

Once potential buyers are lured by your photos, you’ll want to make sure the home’s curb appeal doesn’t let them down when they’re there in person.

Take these steps:

  • Make sure your porch has adequate lighting and is clean and has easy access. Sweep the porch, remove the cobwebs, wipe off the finger marks from the doorframe, and polish the hardware. If the paint is chipped or cracked, make sure to touch it up.
  •  Make it clutter free. Just like the inside of your home, your outside needs to be clutter free too.
  •  Tend to the landscaping. Remove any overgrowth of landscaping that makes it hard to reach your front door.
  • Take an unbiased look. I actually have the sellers walk out to their curb to look at their home from the buyer’s perspective. It allows everyone to understand what needs to be done.
  •  Add some flowers. Every season has blooming plants. Even if your landscaping isn’t close to your front door, you can always add a pot with blooming plants — whether a few or just one.

I like to use terra cotta pots, which is the most neutral and flattering style pot for any season. In the freezing climates it may be more difficult to place fresh blooming plants outside. So if you can’t, make sure there are fresh flowers greeting buyers once they walk in the door.

Also, when selling a house in the winter (and the holidays have past), I use spring blooming flowers rather than winter blooming plants — this helps to build anticipation and joy for spring.

So before that For Sale sign ever goes up outside your home, prepare your home online. Then your total curb appeal will be ready to draw in buyers!

Source – Joe Lane, The Lane Real Estate Team, WA