• CHANGE RESULTS VIEW
  • SORT BY

Home Seller Tips

Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.




rss logo RSS Feed
Home Buyer Tips | 63 Posts
Home Seller Tips | 73 Posts
Homeowner Tips | 55 Posts
Moving Tips | 3 Posts
Press Release | 13 Posts
Shreveport, LA | 5 Posts
Uncategorized | 1 Posts
December
5

5 Things to Do Before Your First Showing

You work hard to get potential buyers into your home. Whether you've scheduled a last-minute viewing or a daylong open house, your home should be ready when they arrive.

Every room should be neat, clean, aired out, comfortable, and bright. Your entire home should be a silent invitation to buy. It's important to hide the stuff that sends a different message.

  • Your Identity
    When a potential buyer looks at your home, they want to consider what it would be like if they lived there. Your presence during a viewing would make it difficult, which is why you're not invited. Things in your home that present the same dilemma should be hidden.

    - Family photos may tell potential buyers, "this is their"
    - Cultural or ethnic mementos can send a divisive message.
    - Guns and political mementos are controversial and may inspire anger.
    - An odd smell can be the only thing a potential buyer remembers about your home.

  • Pets and Pet Evidence
    Potential home buyers see dogs and cats as smelly little creatures that leave behind a permanent odor. You're not likely to get rid of your beloved pet just to sell your home. However, you should eliminate tell-tale pet evidence before each showing.

    - Make pet odor and hair removal an ongoing project.
    - Take litter boxes, animal habitats, and food and water dishes with you.
    - Get a pet carrier for quick getaways.
    - Light a mildly scented candle to cover left-behind odors.

  • Clutter
    Your clutter might be irreplaceable knick-knacks, beautiful collectibles, or a must-have shoe collection. Still, these things make your home look less roomy, less neat, and less desirable than its decluttered version.

    Remember:
    - Clear your stuff from every surface unless it serves a specific purpose.
    - Clean out and organize your closets.
    - Remove belongings stored under a bed. It gives the impression of too little storage space.
    - Clear kitchen counters except for high-end appliances.
    - Remove throw rugs. They're clutter-ish and also a trip and fall hazard.
    - Store removed items away from your residence.

  • Valuables
    You have no idea who is in your home during an open house. It's impossible for your real estate agent to watch everyone every moment, so it's best to be cautious. Take your jewelry and other valuables with you, or consider storing them in a safe deposit box.

  • Toys
    Toys are often hard to manage because they're everywhere, and children aren't big fans of decluttering. If you're tidying up your home to put it on the market, now is a good time to establish a donate-toys-to-charity habit with your kids.

    Your children's generosity will make it easier to keep your rooms neat during the marketing process.

Keep these tips in mind when prepping for your first showing, and you're sure to attract the attention of promising buyers.

November
28

The Ultimate To-Do List For Home Sellers

Selling your home involves a lot of details — some you probably haven't even thought about. There are a few main areas most of these fall under, and having a list can help you plan and prepare effectively.

The Planning Stages

You've made the decision to sell your home, and now it's time to work out all the details.

  • Determine your timeline. How fast do you need to sell? Do you need to find another home first? How much time will you need to prepare your home?
  • Make a list of all repair or upgrade projects. Big and small inside and outside. Estimate completion time and cost.
  • Have an idea about pricing. You probably don't want to decide on the final figure without talking to your agent first, but do some research and think about a range that takes into account any major repairs or upgrades.

Work on Curb Appeal

The first thing buyers notice about your house is the outside, so start here. Walk toward the street and look at your house to see what kind of first impression buyers are getting. What can be improved? 

  • Remove clutter. Branches and debris, trash cans, bikes, tools, and toys should all be removed or put away.
  • Mow and edge the lawn.
  • Trim trees and shrubs. Make sure they aren't blocking windows or the view of the house.
  • Add flowers or plants and mulch.
  • Repair or add a walkway.
  • Paint. You may not need to paint the entire house. A fresh coat or color change on the trim, shutters, front door or garage door may be enough.
  • Update a curbside mailbox.
  • Replace, relocate or repaint house numbers.
  • Repair, replace or add exterior lighting.
  • Add or refresh porch furniture.

Getting the Inside Ready

You'll want the inside of your home to look just as amazing as the outside. Consider hiring a professional home stager. Having someone who doesn't have an emotional attachment to anything in the home can be helpful.

Here are some other things you can do.

  • Declutter. Dispose of, donate or store unnecessary items. Remember, buyers will look everywhere. The less you have to hide or reorganize, the better. 
  • Remove your personal touches. Flashy décor and artwork, family photos, and collections should be removed. It's hard for buyers to envision themselves in the home when your belongings are visible.
  • Detail clean. Wash walls and baseboards and molding to remove scuff marks and fingerprints. Clean inside cabinets, corners, and window tracks. Every house has those areas that get passed over. Now is the time to make sure they're clean.
  • Paint. Freshening up the color or repainting in a neutral color can give your home wider appeal.
  • Make small repairs. Potential buyers see burned-out light bulbs, loose handles and doorknobs, and dripping faucets and wonder what else may have been neglected.
  • Take a sniff. Weird smells are a major turn-off. Clean, sanitize, or get rid of the source.
  • Lock up or relocate valuables.
  • Wash windows.
  • Redo caulking in the bathroom and clean the grout. 

Meet with Your Real Estate Agent

It's a good idea to use a real estate agent when selling your home. An agent will list your home, publicize it, and schedule tours. They can also advise you on pricing. 

There are a lot of details involved in selling your home. Being well organized and planning ahead can save time and help you get the price you're looking for.

November
23

You Just Might Have Seller's Remorse

No matter how much you're looking forward to turning over your house keys to a new owner, selling your home can lead to deep soul-searching.

Did I get a good price? Will the new owners love my home the way I do? Did I really want to sell in the first place? If you're asking yourself these questions, you just might have a case of seller's remorse.

When you walk away from a place you love, it can feel like abandoning an old friend. Fortunately, the emotional attachments will likely fade with time. The financial regrets that settle in after closing can be even more difficult, but you'll have to let them go as well. Those wordy closing documents you signed are contracts. They're difficult to break, no matter how much remorse you feel.

The best time to manage seller's remorse is before you put your home on the market. Begin the process by asking yourself these questions:

Am I listing for the right reason?

Empty nest? Divorce? Financial gain? Impulse? Exactly why are you selling your home? If you received a big job offer with a deadline to relocate to a new city, selling your home can feel like lifting a weight off your shoulders. If you list your home because Uncle Bob said you could make a ton of money, you might not realize it's a bad idea until the deal is done. 

Only you can decide if selling your home is the right decision for you. 

Am I listing for the right price?

Pricing your home can be tricky. It's not an exact science, but your real estate agent can help. Review recent home sales and research comparables — homes similar to yours in similar neighborhoods. Also, when calculating the potential net return on your sale, don't ignore these and other before-sale and after-sale costs.

  • Home repairs and upgrades
  • Cleaning and landscaping
  • Staging and photography
  • Commissions
  • Relocation costs

Your price should include enough wiggle room to negotiate with a serious buyer. If your price is too high, you'll attract few potential buyers. If you price your home too low, you may lose money on the deal. That's a sure trigger for seller's remorse.

Have I found my next home?

Whatever the cause of your seller's remorse, it will likely fade with time. The healing process may take longer to begin if you sign the closing documents on your old home but don't have a new home to go to.

Sellers do that sometimes when a buyer's purchase is contingent on a quick closing. You can do it too. But if you don't have a backup plan, the sensation of temporary "homelessness" can leave you with an acute case of remorse. It's important to think before you list:

  • Find a home before you put your home on the market.
  • Consider what you'll do if your home sells quickly.
  • Locate movers and storage facilities that require little notice.
  • Research temporary housing options.
  • Offer the buyer incentives in exchange for a delayed closing.

Seller's remorse happens

The sense of having made the wrong choice can happen any time you make a decision with long-range consequences. That's why it's important to work with a real estate professional when you decide to sell your home. Your real estate agent can work with you from pre-listing through closing. You'll gain confidence in the home-selling process, and that will minimize your chances of succumbing to seller's remorse.

November
22

Savvy Ways to Increase Your Home's Value

Whether you plan to be in your home for just a few more months or many more years, there are plenty of efficient ways to maximize your space and increase its value. This type of investment needn't require a loan, nor does it have to span any great length of time. From green living to greenery in your yard, here are a few impactful and straightforward means of boosting your home's value and appeal over the short or long term.

A Smart Move

Green is the new black. Any form of energy efficiencies and conservation in your home will inevitably be a fiscal gain. Whether you install energy-saving window treatments or solar panels, both options can reduce utility expenses for you and any future inhabitants. When it comes time to replace appliances, a prudent decision would be to select a "smart" model of said item, which can significantly lower long-term energy costs.

While on the topic of efficiency, a wise investment would be installing "smart" devices throughout your property. Think digital features such as automated blinds or shades, security cameras, door locks, security lighting and thermostats. When you're ready to sell, the smart tech will appeal to buyers with a penchant for the added value of convenience and connectivity.

Wide Open Spaces

Create visual space in rooms by keeping them clutter-free and organized, which can be solved by simply installing a stylish shelving unit to keep extraneous items out of sight. Seek the help of a professional organizer who will be bursting with innovative ideas to optimize the storage areas in your dwelling.

Another way to increase square footage without a renovation is to let the sunshine in! Avoid heavy drapes and instead, use modern window treatments that add height such as roller, Roman or cellular shades. Similarly, you can position a decorative floor-to-ceiling mirror in any room to visually double your space.

From the Bottom Up

Explore the possibility of replacing the flooring in a few key spaces. A unique, beautiful and buzzworthy material is cork, which is also known to have antibacterial properties. If you opt for new surfaces under your feet, consider installing radiant heating simultaneously. These systems not only add optimum comfort, but are also aesthetically pleasing and energy efficient.

Make an impact through your lighting choices. Utilize contemporary or dramatic fixtures to complement each room. Whether you choose minimal or eye-catching designs – the right piece in the optimal locale can add intrigue and substance to your residence.

Kick It Up a Notch

Significant updates to your kitchen and bathroom are sure to boost value. Modern appliances and updated décor increase appeal to buyers, so consider a new backsplash or that roomy farmhouse-style sink you've been eyeing. Think one step further and install a water filtration system to add practicality and luxury to your dwelling. Additional elements like stylish sconces, a new vanity or a vintage mirror can elevate functionality and increase allure.

It's Only Natural

Consider your front and backyard. If there is an area that would benefit from some striking landscaping or creative plantings, explore your options or consult with a professional landscape architect or designer. Executed well, a garden or other natural elements in your yard can become lovely extensions of your home's indoor atmosphere.

When you look around, there are many ways to enhance the comfort and appeal of your property that will serve you well as a resident – and add value one day when you're ready to sell.

 

November
15

6 Tips For A Stress-Free Home Closing

Whether you're buying or selling a home, closing day can be a stressful part of the process. The closing day is when everything related to your real estate transaction becomes finalized. Luckily, closing often goes smoothly — especially when you have a great real estate agent working with you throughout the process.

Once the sale is final, there are often still a few things you need to do. None of these steps are as big or as complex as what you've already been through but making sure they are taken care of will go a long way toward protecting you from last-minute hiccups.

Let's review some of the most important considerations you shouldn't forget:

  1. Take Utilities Out of Your Name – Fast!
    Remove your name from all utilities as soon as possible after closing. Contact every utility and service provider, preferably on the day closing takes place. It could be much more difficult to get this done once you move out. Don't forget about insurance: You may be eligible for a refund of any prepaid premium on your old homeowner's policy.

  2. Change Your Address
    Change your address with the post office about two to four weeks before your closing date. If you forget or decide to wait until things are really final, don't forget you can file your change of address with the USPS online. The IRS also offers an address change procedure. Check in with your local DMV to ensure your license will have the correct address, too.

  3. Make Moving Out Easier
    Take a close look at any moving company estimate, especially before a long-distance move. Most movers will only insure what they pack themselves, so consider supplemental insurance for anything else. Be present during packing to ensure a higher quality of service. Excessive packing material can raise the weight of your items, leading to heftier charges.

  4. Double-Check Your Settlement
    Even in a detail-oriented situation like closing on a home, mistakes do happen. To be certain everything is accurate, get out a copy of your closing disclosure and compare it to your loan estimate. You might save hundreds or even more if you happen to spot a discrepancy. The best time to do this is right away, so you can report any problems within 24 hours of the closing day.

  5. Your Closing Documentation
    The worst-case scenario is this: A tiny typo leads to a situation where mortgages that should be paid off aren't. Reread all closing docs to ensure mortgages are fully paid and payoff amounts are correct. Also, keep your eyes peeled for any additional fees added by the title company. As closing approaches, fees become easier to estimate and should be disclosed well in advance.

  6. Empty the Escrow Account
    Don't forget: Unused funds that you placed in escrow belong to you. There are two situations where this can cause headaches. More commonly, the title company fails to release escrow-held funds in a timely manner so you can access them. Occasionally, sellers make the mistake of leaving sales proceeds in a new escrow account, leading to complications down the line.

Closing day is a huge milestone for anyone — it marks true success in selling your home. To maximize your profits and minimize frustration, plan on two extra days to manage these last six issues. You'll be glad you did!

November
9

7 Factors to Consider When You're Selling Your Home

When you've made the decision on selling your home, the fun really starts!


Selling your home involves a lot of different moving parts. When you take things one step at a time, however, it all gets easier. Going into the selling process with a clear idea of what you need to do will reduce your stress and prevent you from overlooking key details.


Here are seven things you need to consider while selling your home:

  1. You Need a Real Estate Agent
    First and foremost, you'll need a terrific real estate agent to help make your goals a reality. A local real estate expert will help you manage and accelerate the process: Pricing the home right, finding motivated buyers, and getting you to closing without a hitch. By contrast, sellers who try to go it alone often spend many extra months on a sale and get a much lower final price.
  2. Gather Your Paperwork Early
    You'll need a ton of paperwork to make sure your sale goes forward on schedule. That includes lots of things you may not think much about: Warranty paperwork for your roof and major home systems, instruction manuals, details of home improvement projects, permits and certificates of compliance, mortgage information, and more. Get started early to get it all together.
  3. Get a Professional Inspection
    A pre-sale inspection will save you time in the long run and put you in a superior negotiating position. An inspection is intended to help you uncover problems with the home. Things like the roof, septic, and electrical issues can make potential buyers wary. Having the information in front of you, however, allows you to work on repairs or adjust your approach to selling.
  4. You'll Need to Prepare the Home
    When you're finally ready to sell a home, you can't simply open the doors. Cleaning it from top to bottom is imperative. That should include steam cleaning carpets and drapes and remove about half of the items from closets. Sometimes, it's also a good idea to remove certain furnishings and to make lighting a bit brighter. This can make the space seem larger and more inviting.
  5. "Price it Right" from the Very Start
    Pricing a home correctly is one of the most challenging things for a homeowner to do. When you try to price a property after living there, your own feelings inevitably play a role. A real estate pro will produce a research-based price after looking at recent sales in the area and other factors. This is the best way to ensure you reach your goals on the timeline you want.
  6. Perform Staging Before Showings
    Staging isn't the only aspect of selling a home, but it is very important. Your real estate agent should be versed in staging techniques or use an expert stager at no additional cost to you. The purpose of staging is to make your home show better, and there are hundreds of little ways to do this: From simple things like opening the blinds to more complex tactics like baking cookies.
  7. Yes – Hold Weekly Open Houses
    Forget about any "controversy" you might've heard: Holding open houses is the most effective way to meet motivated buyers fast. Yes, your real estate agent should still be marketing your home proactively online, and yes, a vacant home is more challenging to show than one that's still occupied. Even so, the time and effort of weekly open houses are almost always well spent.

Selling your home starts with a firm decision. Once you've made that choice, give yourself every advantage you can by reaching out to a local real estate agent you can trust.

November
7

Are You The Reason Your Home Isn't Selling?

If you thought your home would sell quickly, but you haven't had a single offer so far, could you be the reason?

That's a hard reality to consider, but it's important if you're serious about selling your home. You should examine everything you did or did not do before and after your listing went live. Sometimes a single change can make a big difference.

When you've lived in your home for a long time, it's easy to miss conditions that might be obvious to a home buyer. That's why it's important to seek other opinions when re-evaluating your home. Sometimes you simply need a second pair of unbiased eyes to pinpoint obvious issues. Other times you may require professional input. Use this list of questions as a guide.  

Did you price your home unrealistically?

The selling price is a primary consideration for most home buyers. If your asking price is unreasonably high, buyers may just move on to the next listing. You can still recover from high pricing expectations.

  • Adjust your asking price. 
  • Be more flexible in negotiating a deal. 

Is your home ready for the market? 

If your home lacks the curb appeal that draws buyers to your door, do something. When you're selling your home, do whatever you must to make it a home buyer's magnet.

  • Re-Landscape: Have a professional redo your DIY landscaping.
  • Repair: Fix exterior and interior areas in need of attention.
  • Repaint: Brighten interior rooms with lighter walls.
  • Declutter: Remove unnecessary stuff for a less junky look.
  • De-personalize: Remove personal photos, artwork, and mementos so homebuyers can visualize themselves in your home.
  • Restage: Consider hiring a professional to rework your interior spaces.  

Is your home not quite clean enough?

When you're giving home buyers free rein, they'll find whatever you missed in your spotless home. Before putting your home on the market, have a professional do a deep cleaning. It will cost you, but they will eliminate problems you might not have noticed.

  • Lingering odors: You might be "nose blind" to smells like mildew, pets, and garbage.
  • Dust: Soil accumulates on surfaces high and low.
  • Windows: Dirty windows keep natural light from entering.   
  • Pet problems: Little Fluffy's litter scatterings and carpet stains may disgust a potential buyer.

Are your listing photos a turn-off?

Buyers respond to great photos. If your home has curb appeal, beautiful landscaping, and bright, spacious interiors, your listing photos must show it. It's worth the cost to have them done professionally.

Do you have bad Open House etiquette?

If you've scheduled only a few private showings and had no feedback from your open houses, eliminate yourself as a cause.

  • Be available: Say yes to all private showings, even on short notice. Tidy up, leave, and let your real estate agent handle it.
  • Open up your home: Establish an Open House schedule. Publicize your events to buyers outside your neighborhood.
  • Ge out!: With you hovering and watching, potential buyers will feel more like trespassers than future owners. 

Your Real Estate Agent Matters

Most of your problems wouldn't be problems if you'd vetted your real estate professional. When selling your home, you need a real estate agent who will work with you throughout the process.

  • Inspect your home
  • Make recommendations
  • Recommend stagers and photographers
  • List your home only when it's ready
  • Market traditionally and on social media
  • Work with buyers and their representatives
  • Execute bid, buy, and closing documents

While no real estate agent can make magic happen, a professional will work hard to minimize problems so you can sell your home.

November
2

5 Decluttering Hacks to Get Your Home Buyer-Ready

If you're thinking about selling your home, the next few months may be a great time to do it.

Selling a house requires presenting it in the best possible light. For some, that means spending time, money, and effort on cleanup and repairs. For others, the project starts with decluttering. Don't cringe... decluttering your home doesn't have to be a headache. These cleaning hacks will get you well on your way to a home that anyone would be happy to call their own.

  1. Work on one room at a time. If you try to clean your entire house at once, you're likely to wind up feeling overwhelmed and defeated. It's much better to break it up into manageable chunks. Tackle one room per day until your whole house sparkles. If you don't have time to polish every square inch to a high shine, focus the bulk of your efforts on the most important areas – kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and entryways.

  2. Focus on horizontal surfaces. One shortcut to making your home immediately feel less cluttered is to zero in on horizontal surfaces like counters, shelves, tabletops, kitchen islands, mantels, and dresser tops. Clear off these surfaces, leaving only a few basic decorative items. You'll be amazed at how much more open your house feels after performing this one simple trick.

  3. Look with a buyer's eye. It's hard to emotionally disconnect yourself from a place that has been home to you for years, but it's important to do so. Look at your house dispassionately, and ask yourself, as a potential buyer, what do you see? Chances are, you'll notice little things to clean or fix that had gone unnoticed for ages but would jump right out at someone who had never been in your house before.

  4. Clear out personal items. Sellers often leave lots of family photos and other personal items on display, with the idea that they make the place look more lived-in and homey. Unfortunately, that's not usually a good tactic. Your house should appear to the buyer as a blank slate for their future life. Hard as it may be to pack up all your personal belongings, remember that the buyer should be able to envision their family photos on the walls and their kids' drawings on the refrigerator, not yours.

  5. Don't forget the yard. The first thing a potential buyer sees isn't your clean kitchen or your perfectly organized entryway. It's your front yard. So it pays to make sure the outside portion of your house is just as thoroughly decluttered as the inside. Make sure the porch is clear, put kids' toys away, and stow all your garden tools in the garage. A clean front yard makes a lasting first impression.

When the time comes to sell your house, remember that presentation counts. Making repairs and improvements can definitely increase your home's resale value, but these simple decluttering tricks will go a long way toward presenting your home in the best way possible.

November
1

The Price is Right...Until It's Not

Of all the choices you have to make when it's time to sell your house, none are more important than setting the right asking price.

Unfortunately, zeroing in on that magic number can be tricky.

Set the price too high, and your home could languish on the market for months, or worse — maybe not sell at all. Set the price too low, and you could be cheating yourself out of thousands of dollars. Here's what you need to know about setting the perfect price for your home. 

  1. Forget What You Paid for Your Home
    It's easy to recall what you paid for your home and think of that number as a rule by which to measure your asking price. But taking the price you paid and adding a little extra doesn't always add up to the right number. Some homes appreciate in value more than might be expected, and some appreciate less. The best thing you can do is not even think about what your home was worth when you bought it.

  2. Look at Other Homes in Your Area
    Consider what other homes on your street and in the surrounding neighborhood typically sell for. If there are any other homes on the market now, that's a good starting point, but also look at the sale prices of homes similar to yours in the past months and even years to gain an understanding of market values in your neck of the woods.

  3. Be Unemotional
    Letting go of a place that has been your home for many years is difficult, and you might be tempted to overestimate the financial value of your home based on what it's worth to you on an emotional level. But for better or worse, you can't put a price tag on memories, so it's best to approach pricing your home with as little emotional attachment as possible.

  4. Leave Room for Negotiation
    Buyers love to negotiate, and that's something you should factor into your pricing. It pays to price your home with just enough wiggle room that a buyer can "talk you down" to a price that's fair to both of you. This can be tricky, as you can overshoot and end up with a high price that buyers balk at. That said, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to start out by asking a rock-bottom price.

  5. Keep Online Shoppers in Mind
    Once you've settled on a ballpark price range, you can fine-tune the number. This is when it pays to consider how your home will be listed on the internet. Many potential buyers browse online listings by price range. That means that if they search for homes in the $250,000 to $300,000 price range, for example, and your home is listed at $305,000, they won't even see it.

  6. Talk With Your Real Estate Agent
    A real estate agent's experience can be invaluable when it comes to setting the price for your home. A good agent has in-depth knowledge of the local real estate market and years of experience selling homes in your area. Ask your agent to run a comparative market analysis to zero in on the right asking price.

As with so many things, first impressions are everything when it comes to selling a house. The longer your home stays on the market, the less likely it is to sell. Setting the right price is the key to selling your home quickly and making sure you get the amount for it that you deserve.

October
25

What to do Now If You Plan on Selling Your Home in 2023

You might have pumpkin spice on your mind, but we're thinking about SPRING today! Why? Because if you want to sell your home during the next spring market, it's time to get to work!

Here are 5 things to do NOW in order to set yourself up for success in 2023.

PREP FOR SUCCESS.
Clean, donate, declutter and organize your closets and cabinets. And sell any furniture you plan to replace when you move into your new home. The more you do now, the less stressful the prep will be for showings.

MAKE A PLAN.
Once you sell, where will you go? What will you do if your home sells before you find a new one? Do you know what to do in a multiple offer situation? (Pssst: I do!)

HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER.
Homes present much better in photographs and video when skies are blue and trees are full. (Pro tip: wait to put up seasonal decor! You don't want to market your home with a pumpkin on the front steps in February).

CONSIDER A PRE-INSPECTION.
Especially if your home is older and needs repairs. A knowledgeable inspector can help identify the red flags buyers will be on the lookout for so you can get them fixed prior to showings.

MEET WITH YOUR AGENT.
We can talk through your goals, priorities, and develop a good strategy to help get it done. If you're ready for a consultation, reach out to one of our agents today to set up a time to chat! They will be happy to answer all of your real estate questions.

Bossier City Office 318.747.5411  Shreveport Office 318.861.2461

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder