Maryl Delzell's Blog
The bad news about selling your home is that there are dozens of mistakes you might make that could result in a lost sale, unnecessary price reductions, and delays in finding a buyer.
The good news is that the vast majority of seller mistakes are completely avoidable -- especially when you have an experienced real estate agent guiding you through the process and providing you with ongoing advice and marketing assistance.
Pricing and Perception
Setting too high of a price for your home is a common mistake -- one that's often difficult to recover from. Since "the clock is ticking" from the moment your home officially goes on the market, it's important to make the most of those first few weeks.
House hunters are often strongly attracted to homes that are advertised as being "just on the market." Those words can be very compelling because they imply newness, a limited opportunity, and scarcity. As the advertising industry has known for generations, consumers are drawn to products and services that are new, fresh, and in demand. However, just like yesterday's news or day-old bread, the longer a house is on the market, the less appealing it becomes.
According to a Zillow study, homes for sale priced around or slightly below market value are almost 50 percent more likely to sell within 60 days than those priced 12 percent or more above market value.
Working with a knowledgeable real estate professional can help make sure you don't lose that initial out-of-the-gate momentum by pricing yourself out of the market. They'll base their recommendations on a number of factors, including a comparative analysis of recently sold homes in your neighborhood .
Here's a house-selling mistake that most people probably don't know about: You might be losing potential buyers because you've chosen an "odd selling price." The National Association of Realtors points out that listings may sometimes be excluded from Internet search results if the asking price is just a few thousand dollars above a typical pricing range. "Buyers search real estate websites for price ranges, such as 'homes between $250,000- $300,000.' If you set an odd price to make your listing stand out, say $302,499, you may miss some of your best potential customers."
If you realize after a few weeks that you've incorrectly priced your house, it not only becomes necessary to lower the price, but you also have to contend with a lower perceived value among prospective buyers.
A few other words and phrases that tend to whet the appetites of prospects searching for their next home include "move-in condition," "landscaped," and "updated." Many people also like the sound of granite countertops, maple hardwood floors, and gourmet kitchens.
While it pays to know a little about pricing, home staging, and buyer psychology, getting advice and guidance from a seasoned real estate agent is usually your best bet for producing the fastest and most satisfying results in selling your house.
If you’ve recently purchased a new home, congratulations! The hardest part and most stressful part of the process is behind you. But moving day can still be difficult, especially if you’re moving with kids, pets, or over a long distance.
Today, we’re going to provide you with a moving day checklist in hope that you’ll personalize it to your own needs, making your moving day as smooth a process as possible.
Not all of the items on the list will apply to everyone, but we can guarantee that if you follow most of our guidelines you’ll be able to sleep more soundly the night before your move and rest assured once you’re in your new home that everything has been taken care of.
Before the big day
The weeks leading up to moving day are an important time to iron out all of the details of your move. It includes making arrangements for pets, setting and confirming appointments with movers, and making sure your all of your belongings are accounted for. Consider this your pre-moving day checklist:
Meet with your family and make your master schedule and to-do list. This could include things like sending change-of-address forms, calling your doctors to update your address, setting up an appointment with cable and internet companies, and so on. Doing all of these things before the move will make moving day much simpler.
Hire your movers early. Don’t wait until a week before the move as some may already be booked for the day. A day or two before the move, call to confirm your appointment and double check to see if the movers require anything else from you before the move. Confirm your current and future addresses with them, as well as routes if it’s a long distance move.
Also for long distance moves, plan an itinerary for things like driving and fuel breaks, hotels, food, etc.
Clean house. Have a yard sale, donate used items to charity, and put unwanted items in your front yard for free. You don’t want to move more than you need and leaving junk at your old home isn’t polite and might be a violation of your contract.
In the weeks leading up to your move, use or discard old pantry items or frozen food. You don’t want to be moving a lot of groceries to the new house, especially perishables.
If you have pets who aren’t used to leaving home, get them used to the new house if possible and have them stay with a friend or pet care facility on moving day to avoid them getting lost or in trouble.
On moving day
Once moving day is here, if you’ve followed the items above, everything should run somewhat smoothly. Here are some checklist items for moving day.
Pack a bag with items you’ll need the first day of your move that can be easily accessible. This includes toothbrushes, deodorant, soap, toilet paper, etc.
Do inventory for your boxes. Odds are you won’t forget any, but having a correct count at your new home will set your mind at ease.
Bring nutritious snacks like granola bars (moving is hard work).
Don’t lift heavy items alone.
Use sliders to move big items to avoid scratching your floors.
Show your helpers they’re appreciated (pizza is always a good “thank you”).
- Cedar is 2 1/2 times more expensive than than vinyl
- Vinyl siding never needs to be painted
- Easy to install
- The material is versatile
- The color will outlast paint
- Water resistant
- Helps to prevent damage from rain and snow
- There’s no time frame of how long vinyl siding will last
- The durability of vinyl siding depends upon how the material itself
- Vinyl siding is often installed over old siding, so existing problems could still remain
- It’s flammable, so grills and other items could pose a hazard
- It may be hard to find a replacement piece in a matching color when you need it
- The siding could increase your home’s chances of developing mold on the outside
- Susceptible to cracks
- Seasonal maintenance is required
Bring new life to your bedroom without completely redirecting. When we are tired of our existing decor it can feel like we need to start completely from scratch to obtain a whole new look. But before you begin hauling off your bed frame to the second-hand shop consider these small changes first:
Add a variety of textures via linens, upholstery, accents. Look for soft items made up of furs, textured weaves, linens, and velvet. Add interestingly woven baskets, stone, glass and polished wood. This mix will work together to create a visually interesting dynamic no matter the color palette of your room.
Install a different style of window treatments. Let more light into a room with sheer panels. Whites and creams always make for a classic look. However, if you are looking to really shake things look to other colors either as a solid or in patterns. A popular trend at the moment is upgraded solid panels. From patterns to bamboo and even embellishments you will have plenty of options to create unique-to-you treatments.
Create a statement wall without making a commitment with removable wallpaper. Since they are peel and stick they are easier to install than traditional wallpaper. They also give you the freedom to go bold with your pattern or color of choice. So why not reach for the more daring print?
If you want to add a bold print but wallpaper isn’t for you find a pattern you love on a duvet cover. They are easy to swap out as much as you’d like and can also be a great way to add more texture to your space. For example, you could add a pintucked satin or an inviting quilt with a pattern sewn throughout. It will certainly take center stage and make a statement as the focal point of the room.
Create more light in your space by installing a large mirror. Hung or leaning against a wall it helps to open up the room and allow light reach more of the room. If you have several closet doors consider installing mirrors as paneling for a chic, new look. Or create ambiance with paper lanterns. They create a soft, calming light that is perfect to read by at the end of the day.
Since these changes are so easy to make, some a matter of a few minutes, you can create subtle changes throughout each season. Swap out decorative pillows and throws, for example, for patterns and hues that still match your existing decor but better suit the mood of the season. Darker hues paired with creams and beiges create a cozy space in winter with creams or beige. And brighter cheery hues against a crisp white pop and bring energy into the room for Summer.
It’s common knowledge that a 20% down payment is key when you buy a home, but is it absolutely necessary? With average home prices continuing to rise, it’s hard to actually save up that sizable of an amount of money. Thinking bout the numbers, buying a home may seem impossible.
There’s good news: The 20% down requirement is actually a myth. If you put less than 20% down, you can still get a mortgage with most banks. There’s a reason why you hear that you need to put 20% down to buy a home. If you don’t put 20% down, you need to get either private mortgage insurance (PMI) or government insurance from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). These types of mortgage insurance protect the lender if you don’t make your payments and the home is foreclosed on.
Do PMI Payments Go On Forever?
When your loan-to-value ratio reaches 80 percent, you’re able to ask your lender to cancel the insurance. Once the loan-to-value ratio reaches 78 percent, the lender has a requirement to cancel the PMI. This type of insurance can be costly, averaging at least a few hundred dollars a month.
Alternatives To 20 Percent Down
Look at financing before you find a house. There’s a few programs that can help you to buy a home without 20% down. There’s different ways to qualify for these programs, so your best bet is to talk to a lender well before you start your home search.
Government programs through places like the US Department of Agriculture and the Federal Housing Administration help people to buy a home with very little down- anywhere from 0-3.5%. Some of these programs can prove to be costly on the backend, due to extra insurance requirements, but they do provide an alternative path to home ownership.
There’s also an option to actually finance the down payment with what's called a subordinate loan. his may make sense for some, however, you are taking out a loan in order to pay for another loan. The process may be counterintuitive for you and your financial situation.
Different Paths To Homeownership
While there’s many different paths to owning a home, there’s no one right answer. Since everyone chooses different properties and has different financial situations, there’s a way for you. Even if saving up a 20% down payment is seemingly impossible, there’s way to get around it. Start with talking to your bank and other lenders to see what types of programs are available to you and discover what your path to homeownership is.