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Jan. 3, 2019

5 HARMFUL HOMEOWNER HABITS TO BREAK

Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:

 

1. Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.

 

2. Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.

 

3. “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.

 

4. Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate.

 

5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy.

 

Dec. 14, 2018

Staging Tips to Help Your Home Sell

In real estate, staging a home and selling a home often go hand in hand. Though the process can be involved, the results are indisputable. Need some help executing an effective home staging? Browse this list of resources to help you dazzle prospective buyers and increase your chances of a quick home sale.

Clear Clutter 
Not only will decluttering your property make moving day easier, but clearing space also gives viewers room to visualize themselves living in your space. Some items you can sell or donate outright. What about the housewares or sentimental objects you want to hold on to but need to remove to optimize showings? Give them a temporary home in a storage unit or portable moving container.

Set Up Your Space 
Focus on staging the rooms that see the most action: the living room, kitchen and master bedroom. If reinventing multiple rooms in your home is too expensive, you do have the option of renting furniture and accessories. It's a quick way to supply art for the walls, lamps to improve lighting or even an entire suite of furniture. Just be sure to sign with a furniture rental company that offers delivery and pickup as part of their packages. When you're getting ready to move, the last thing you want is to ferry furniture between multiple locations.

Hire Help
Some homeowners aren't up to the task of a full home staging, and that's OK. Some selling agents offer the service as part of their contract, or you can hire an independent home stager to complete the job. The latter provide a valuable service, though it's important to carefully assess their qualifications before bringing them on. Review their certifications, testimonials and portfolio to ensure they can help you achieve the aesthetic your home needs for a faster sale.

Dec. 7, 2018

Tips for Home Salability

You are a Key Player on the Home Selling Team

 

                                             

 

The following steps can enhance the saleability of your property by providing peace of mind to prospective buyers:

  • Consider a Home Warranty
  • Provide Written Disclosure
  • Professional Home Inspections

 

Additional ways you can help contribute to a successful sale:

  • Maintain the property in ready-to-show condition.
  • Be flexible in the scheduling of
    showings and if possible, leave the property.
  • Let me know how you can be reached in case an offer is received.
  • Do not allow unescorted buyers into the property. Have them contact me.
  • Securely pen up pets or take them with you.
  • Collect cards of agents who show your home and pass them on to me.
  • Inform me of any change in the property’s condition.
  • Be available to review with me the list price and condition of your property if it has not sold in a reasonable time.

 

These are just some tips that can help you sell your home.

Let us help and guide you through the home selling process.

Posted in Home Selling
Dec. 3, 2018

Common For Sale By Owner mistakes

Selling your home on your own as a “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO) can be tempting. With real estate commissions amounting to a percentage of the sales price, many owners consider selling their homes on their own to save money. Selling as a FSBO is more complicated than it might seem, but if you can avoid the most common mistakes, you will have a better chance at a good outcome.

Not Pricing the Home Properly – Doing market research on your own is tough. Too often a FSBO is not priced correctly.

Not Advertising Properly – Marketing a home is more than an ad in the local newspaper. Online sites are where people go to look. Will you have a video or virtual tour? Professional photography? Staging?

Saying Too Much To Buyers – Homeowners are rightly proud of their homes, but telling buyers everything they know about the home, good or bad, can turn off a potential buyer.

• Not understanding the contract, deadlines or contingencies – All of these can derail a transaction easily

Not having connections to mortgage lenders or title companies – how do you know which is reputable?

Not Disclosing Problems or Defects – Just because the home is being sold by the seller, it doesn’t mean they are not subject to the laws governing seller disclosures.

Not Negotiating Terms – Not only the price, but the terms are negotiable. These can be very unfamiliar to a FSBO.

Selling a home without an agent is possible. However, without doing the proper research ahead of time, it may actually end up costing more in the long run. In addition, you will expend a lot of time and effort.

 

Let a professional handle it and go on with your life!

 

 

Nov. 26, 2018

TOP TIPS FOR STAGING YOUR HOME

 

A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors® revealed that 77 percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home makes it easier for potential buyers to visual it as their own. That’s why here at Breakthrough Broker, we believe staging is not to be overlooked! Here are our top tips.

 

1. Dress up your yard. First impressions count, and the first one your home gives comes from the exterior. Mow the lawn, clean up shrubbery, rake any leaves, clean the walkway and driveway, plant in-season flowers, and pull up any unsightly weeds.

2. Reduce personal items. Make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves making your house their home by removing personal photos and knick-knacks from shelves, walls, and counters. Instead replace them with clean, simple décor, such as abstract paintings, nature images, vases, plants, and more.

3. Organize your storage areas. Storage is a huge selling point. Tidy up and clear out the accessible closets and cupboards in the home and make sure to point them out during an open house or showing.

4. Appeal to the senses. Consider ways you can appeal to potential homebuyers’ other senses. During a viewing or open house, bake some fresh cookies or burn delicious smelling candles and play light, relaxing music in the background.

5. Consider turning to an expert. With their knowledge of current trends and great eye for design, professionally certified stagers can transform a home in a variety of ways and have a keen sense of what homebuyers want and expect in a home. Investing in hiring a pro may pay off in dividends.

Oct. 30, 2018

IDEAS FOR ACCENT WALLS

 

An accent wall can totally transform a room, taking it from boring and drab to bold and exciting. Accent walls create a new focal point for your space, add liveliness and contrast, and are typically a very inexpensive DIY project.

 

The starter accent wall

You can easily add an accent wall to your room in one afternoon by applying a new paint color. Deep blues and bright oranges are common choices for accent walls, but choose a color that will complement your existing decor and overall design aesthetic.

 

Interesting textures

Bright, contrasting paint is a good starting point, but there are other options for accent walls that are even more eye-catching and distinct. Floor-to-ceiling wood planks can make your home seem both rustic and modern all at once and provide a natural, outdoors-inspired feel. It’s more work than simply painting a wall, but it’s still relatively inexpensive. You can source the wood from pallets on Craigslist and stain it yourself before attaching it to your wall. It takes a little extra elbow grease, but it’s worth the effort.

 

Patterns, murals, and more

Paint and wood are bold enough on their own to transform a room, but they’re still pretty subtle compared to other accent wall options. A chalk paint accent wall is a creative idea for any room and makes for some fun moments when you’re entertaining. There are also endless options for wallpaper and stenciling if you want some patterns or you can get really bold with a mural or oversized art print.

 

Posted in Home Tips
Oct. 23, 2018

Tips for Planning a Bathroom Update

Do you want to improve the aesthetics of your bathroom? Before you disrupt your household with the hassle of a remodel, make sure you're prepared. Familiarize yourself with this cost and ROI overview to help guide the planning process.

What Does This Type of Remodel Cost? 
The first step to organizing a bathroom remodeling project is setting a budget. Understanding the potential costs involved can help you decide whether you're working on a complete overhaul or focusing your resources on a few select changes.

Homeowners who make bathroom updates usually hope to recover at least a portion of their investment. An upscale bathroom remodel is among the projects that see the largest percentages of value increase year over year. But a high-end revamp can cost tens of thousands. If you're working with a more modest budget, going with simple changes like updates to light fixtures, sinks, toilets and the like can refresh your space for significantly less.

What Should You Change?
When planning bathroom renovations, it's always smart to fix what's broken first, especially since replacement projects see larger returns (74 percent) than remodeling ones (63.7 percent).

Once you've tackled any necessary replacements, make investment-savvy design selections that add value for you and your family. Trade out the garden tub for an expansive shower, add granite countertops or upgrade the vanity, ventilation or lighting. Finding what most benefits your family can lead to greater satisfaction years after the project's completion.

With budgeting sense and some design know-how, you'll have the confidence you need to initiate a successful bathroom remodel.

Oct. 1, 2018

HOW TO CHECK YOUR HOME FOR AIR LEAKS

 

We’re well into the fall season and winter is right around the corner. This is the time of year when it’s especially important to make sure your home is properly sealed. Air leaks can make it difficult to keep your home properly heated and can lead to high utility bills. Here’s quick guide to checking your home for air leaks.

 

Do an air pressure test. You can quickly check for air leaks with a simple test using household items. Seal your home by completely closing all doors, windows, and vents and turning off exhaust fans. Then pass a burning incense stick along the edges of all doors, windows, and other openings to the outside. If the smoke is forced into or away from an opening, you’ve found a leak.

 

Inspect doors and windows. To check for leaks near your windows, attempt to rattle the frame. This will reveal whether there are gaps along the edges. Also check for cracks in the frame, loose screws in locks, or gaps anywhere in the window.

 

Door hinges and thresholds are common places for air leaks. Deteriorated weather stripping can also lead to leaks and the door itself can develop cracks that allow air to pass through.

 

Skylights are a little trickier to test and examine, but you can still do it yourself. Check for water stains near your skylights, which is a dead giveaway of a leak. If you suspect there is one, you’ll have to get on the roof for a closer inspection. Look for loose shingles, cracked roofing cement, and debris.

 

 

 

Posted in Home Tips
Sept. 10, 2018

MUST-HAVE TOOLS FOR HOMEOWNERS

 

 

When you own your home, things are going to break and, unless you want to spend your money on visits from a neighborhood handyman, you’re going to need to fix them yourself. Luckily, you don’t need an arsenal of tools to handle most home maintenance fixes. These five tools will cover most of your basic projects.

 

  • Cordless drill. A cordless drill is a must-have for installing cabinets, drawer pulls, hinges, picture frames, shelves and hooks, and more. Whether it’s for do-it-yourself projects or repairs, you’ll use your cordless drill just about every month.

 

  • Drain cleaners. Shower and bathroom sink drains are susceptible to clogs because of the daily buildup of hair and whisker clippings. You can use chemical clog removers like Drano, but they’re expensive and the lingering chemical scent is unpleasant. Instead, buy some plastic drain cleaners that can reach into the drain to pull out the clog of hair and gunk. You can purchase them on Amazon or at a local hardware store for a low price.

 

  • Shop-vac. No matter how careful you are, spills and accidents will happen and there are some tasks that just can’t be handled with paper towels or a standard vacuum, like pet messes or broken glass.

 

  • Loppers. Even the minimum amount of care for your landscaping will require some loppers to remove damaged branches, vines, thick weeds, and any other unruly plants in your yard.

 

  • Flashlight. You’re going to want something a little more powerful than your iPhone flashlight when you’re in the crawlspace!

 

Posted in Home Tips
Aug. 24, 2018

Hire an Agent When Building a House

 

 

Many homebuyers think they don't need to hire an agent when building a new home. After all, you're buying directly from the builder and they already have contractors, lenders and inspectors. Why should someone else be brought into the mix? 

The truth is, buying any home without an agent can be a costly mistake. It can mean paying more than you should, missed opportunities for upgrades, contract errors that aren't in your favor or a delayed closing.

Thinking of buying a new construction home? Here are three reasons to have an agent on your side before visiting the sales office:

1. Expert Negotiation: While their advertising would have you believe otherwise, builder's prices aren't always set in stone. Agents are skilled negotiators who can likely get the price dropped slightly or have a few upgrades thrown in.

2. Preferred Vendors: Your builder might have an affiliate mortgage lenderor title company, but chances are they aren't going to offer the best deal. It's important to shop around, and what's better than a vendor your agent already knows and trusts?

3. Guidance and Support: The homebuying process can be complicated, with lots of twists, turns and steps along the way. When buying new construction, you also have design reviews, electrical work and other construction needs. An agent can guide you through all of these, making sure your purchase stays on track, on time and on budget from start to finish. 

It's important to note that while you may be working with an agent or representative from the builder, they may not have your best interests at heart. Enlisting your own trusted agent can give you an advocate from the very first meeting to closing day.

Are you interested in buying a new construction home? Get in touch today for more info about builders in the area.