7 Pricing Myths to Stop Believing If You Ever Hope to Sell Your House

Pricing your own home is hard. Of course, you want to make a profit. Of course, all that money you spent installing a swimming pool or a half-bath will be recouped, because you’re leaving your digs in better shape than when you bought it, right?

Well, not necessarily. Too many home sellers fall prey to myths about home pricing that seem to make sense at first, but don’t jive with the reality of real estate markets today. To make sure you haven’t bought into any of this—since the buyers you’re trying to woo sure haven’t—here are some common pricing myths you’ll want to rinse from your brain so you kick off your home-selling venture with realistic expectations.

Tips-on-Pricing-your-House-to-Sell

1. You always make money when you sell a home

Sure, real estate tends to appreciate over time: Home prices increased by approximately 5% by the end of 2017 and continue rising 3.5% in 2018. But selling your home for more than you paid is by no means a given, and your return on investment can vary greatly based on where you live.

2. Price your house high to make big bucks

We know what you’re thinking: “Hey, it’s worth a shot!” But if you start with some sky-high asking price, you’ll soon come back to Earth when you realize that an overpriced home just won’t sell.

While the payday might sound appealing, you’re actually sacrificing your best marketing time in exchange for the remote possibility that someone will overpay for your home.

RELATED: Home Won’t Sell? Check The Price

While certain buyers might be suckered in, this becomes far less likely if they’re working with a buyer’s agent who will know all too well when a home is overpriced, and advise their client to steer clear. And this can lead to problems down the road (as our next myth indicates).

3. If your home’s overpriced, it’s no big deal to lower it later

Sorry, but overpricing your home isn’t easily fixed just by lowering it later on. The reason: Homes that have lingered on the market for months make buyers presume that something must be wrong. As such, they might still steer clear, or offer even less than the price you’re now asking.

Bottom line: Price your home appropriately from the beginning for your best shot at having a quick and easy sale.

RELATED: The Importance of Proper Pricing

4. Pricing your home low means you won’t make as much money

Similarly, sellers are often leery of pricing their home on the low end. But as counterintuitive as this seems, this strategy can often pay off big-time. Here’s why: Low-priced homes drum up tons of interest, which could result in a bidding war that could drive your home’s price past your wildest dreams.

5. You can add the cost of any renovations you’ve made

Let’s say you overhauled your kitchen or added a deck. It stands to reason that whatever money you paid for these improvements will be recouped in full once you sell—after all, your home’s new owners are inheriting all your hard work.

RELATED: Home Renovations That Yield The Greatest Return On Investment

The reality: While your renovations might see some return on investment, you’ll rarely recoup the whole amount. On average, you can expect to get back 64% of every dollar you spend on home improvements. Plus that profit can vary greatly based on which renovation you do.

6. A past appraisal will help you pinpoint the right price

If you have an appraisal in hand, from when you bought or refinanced your house, you might think that’s a logical place to start to price your home. It’s not!

An appraisal assigns your home a value based on market conditions at a specific date, so it becomes old news very quickly. In fact, lenders typically won’t accept appraisals that are more than 60 days old because lenders know markets can change quickly.

7. Your agent might overprice the house to make a bigger commission

Don’t even go there.

While it’s true that an agent’s commission is based on the selling price of a house, the disparity will end up being negligible. For example, the difference in commission between a $300,000 house and one that’s $310,000 is about $150.

No real estate agent is going to lose a sale for the sake of a couple hundred dollars.

YOUR TURN

Do you have any home selling myths to add to our list? Sound off on The Patrick Parker Realty Facebook Page or our Twitter feeds. And don’t forget to subscribe to our monthly HOME ADVICEtm email newsletter for articles like this delivered straight to your inbox. You may unsubscribe at any time.

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Economists’ Top Tips for Selling a Home in 2016

If you’re planning to sell your house this year, well, you’re in luck.

“The 2016 housing market is forecasted to be mainly a seller’s market, filled with increasing home prices, relatively low inventory, and fierce competition between buyers,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com®.

But you could still make missteps on the way to the bank. Yes, your house will likely sell, but when?

It’s truly about understanding the ins and outs of the local market so you can optimize the price of your home and close quickly.

sell-my-home-new-jersey

Here is an analysis of market trends of top tips for homeowners looking to sell in 2016:

1. Price your home to the market
The most important factor in selling your home quickly is getting the price right. And getting the price right the first time. Consulting with an Agent and getting a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is the absolute first step to take.

Sellers who work with a local Realtor to optimize the price of their home based on its unique features and surrounding neighborhood are often able to receive the highest price for their market and sell more quickly.

RELATED: Get a Free Comparative Market Analysis Online Now!

In 2016, prices are expected to increase nationally 3% year over year. Local price changes are anticipated to be more dramatic but it is important to understand what is true of your own neighborhood. This is why a CMA is so important.

Making the error of going for a price that’s well above the market price is a recipe for being let down and potentially not selling the home. A home that sits on the market eventually will turn off buyers, who will suspect that something is wrong with it.

Tips for selling your home

RELATED: The Importance of Proper Pricing When Selling Your Home

2. List during peak season
Unlike buyers, who want to minimize competition, sellers benefit from demand. Prime home-buying season begins in April and reaches its peak in June. Sellers who list their home during the prime spring and summer months benefit from a larger population of buyers and potential bidding wars, which often result in higher prices and faster closings.

FREE DOWNLOAD: The Ultimate Home Sellers Guide for 2016

3. Offer incentives
This one seems counter-intuitive, given what we’ve said about a seller’s market, but… last year – the best for U.S. home sales in nearly a decade – 37% of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers.

The nature of this market is that you’re going to have more first-time buyers, who are more dependent on financing. Getting a loan is one thing; coming up with a chunk of cash for closing costs, on top of the down payment, is another.

If you’re a seller and you’re able to offer some money toward closing costs, you’re actually making it easier on that buyer, and they might be more willing to give you the full asking price or more! You could end up with a faster sale and bigger profit.

RELATED: Speak to a Patrick Parker Realty Expert About Incentives When Selling

YOUR TURN

Are you preparing to sell? Which of the above tips excite you most?

RELATED: Get a Free Comparative Market Analysis Online Now!

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the monthly Patrick Parker Realty email newsletter for articles like these delivered straight to your inbox!

 

The Advantages of a Smart House

Smart homes take advantage of today’s most popular automation technology and modern conveniences to give homeowners a new level of control. There is no doubt with the popularity of smart devices today and smart home technologies that easily sync to such hand-held mobile devices that smart home technology is on the rise.

smart-home-benefits-apple-iphone-tabletNot only is a Smart House a benefit to a Home Owner as small investments will lead to big savings down the road – think electric bill, heating bill, security systems – but such features are particularly popular among home buyers. Now that Millennials make up the largest share of the home buying market, you may want to consider the importance the technology they’ve grown up on will have on them when it comes time for decision-making.

Here are 5 key Advantages to Smart Homes:

1. Convenience
Smart Home technology allows users remote access to systems including heating and cooling systems, intercoms, music and multimedia devices throughout the home. Integrated hard drives allow homeowners to watch video or listen to audio in any room; video intercoms make it easy to communicate with others in the home or visitors at the door. All of these smart home technologies streamline common tasks.

2. Security
Smart home technology can include advanced security systems with cameras, motion sensors and a link to the local police station or a private security company. Smart homes may also use key cards or fingerprint identification in place of conventional locks, making it harder for someone to break in.

3. Accessibility
For elderly or disabled residents, a smart home may feature accessibility technologies. Voice-command systems can do things like control lights, lock doors, operate a telephone or use a computer. Home automation allows an individual to set a schedule for automatic tasks like watering the lawn, removing the need to perform these labor-intensive tasks on a regular basis.

4. Efficiency
Smart homes offer enhanced energy-efficiency. Lights can shut off automatically when no one is in a room, and the thermostat can be set to let the indoor temperature drop during the day before returning it to a more comfortable level just before residents arrive in the evening. All of these automated tasks, along with modern, energy-efficient appliances, combine to save on electricity, water and natural gas, thereby reducing the strain on natural resources.

5. Resale
When it comes time to sell a smart home, sellers will have an abundance of effective selling points. Whichever advantage of a smart home appeals to a given buyer, your Agent can explain the system and discuss how it makes life easier.

TIP: Homes with automated systems have the potential to sell for much more than comparable homes with conventional technologies. Automating a home can be a worthwhile investment in increasing its market value and attracting possible buyers in the future.

Your Turn

Whether you’re thinking about selling your home, or are interested in sprucing up your home, we’re hoping you’ll find all the content being shared this month useful. Join the conversation throughout Staging Month by engaging with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the monthly Patrick Parker Realty email newsletter for articles like these delivered straight to your inbox!

 

18 Expert Home Staging Tips To Make A Small House Feel Bigger

Here’s a list of 18 tips for making a small home feel bigger. You can use these tips whether you are staging a home to sell or if you are planning to stay, but just need some help dealing with smaller rooms.

1. Pare down the furniture to the essentials.
Do you really need a chair in the bedroom? Will the room appear larger with just the bed, the nightstands and maybe a dresser?

2. Clutter makes a room feel smaller.
Lots of smaller items, like a Hummel collection or bowling trophies displayed on every horizontal surface, eat up visual space. Only display 3-5 items at a time. Store, sell or pre-pack the rest. You’re selling a home, not a collection of “treasures”.

jersey-sell-home-make-room-look-bigger3. Use fewer pieces of furniture.
It’s better to have one larger dresser than 2 smaller ones.

4. Use appropriately sized furniture.
Having a too big sofa in a small den will call attention to how small the room really is.

5. Pull furniture away from the wall.
That little bit of breathing room will give a sense of greater space. Create a cozy sitting area in front of the fireplace, with room to move around the back of the furniture.

6. Cooler colors recede.
Painting an interior room a neutral shade of pale blue, green or gray will make it feel larger.

7. Choose the right exterior paint.
Houses appear larger on the outside when painted a lighter color.

8. Keep walkways and sight-lines clear.
Don’t place furniture so that you are walking into the back of the sofa, or other large piece of furniture, when you walk into the room.

9. Bedrooms feel larger if there is ample space to walk on either side of the bed.
Not enough space? Consider getting a smaller bed while you home is on the market. Downsize from a king to a queen or from a queen to a double, if necessary. Some budget-friendly options are plentiful in box stores; a simple fold-able frame and a mattress in a box. And you’ll be pleasantly surprised how comfortable they are!

10. Place the bed on the wall furthest from the door, if possible.
The room will feel instantly larger.

11. Show more hardwood.
The larger the expanse of hardwood floor, the larger the room will appear. Do you really need that area rug? If the hardwood floors are hidden by wall to wall carpet, remove the carpet. The home will feel much more spacious.

12. Try using one larger area rug instead of several smaller rugs.
Or if the room looks OK without it, don’t use any area rugs.

13. Patterned upholstery and drapes make a room feel smaller.
Use fewer patterns on upholstery and bedding. Use a solid color blanket or bedspread on a bed in a small bedroom to make the room feel larger.

14. Strategically placed mirrors make a room feel larger.
Reflect a window or outdoor view, if possible. You can visually expand a space by putting a large mirror over a sofa.

15. A well lit room feels larger.
Get rid of those dark corners. Make sure every overhead light and table lamp is lit before open houses and showings.

16. Minimize window treatments. The simpler the better.
Shutters, blinds or simple drapes (no flounces, ruffles, strong patterns or complicated valences) take up less “visual space”.

17. Strive for cabinets and closets to be half-full.
You will appear to have more closet and cabinet space. There is no such thing as a closet that is too empty when selling your home.

18. Clean houses feel larger.
Make sure every surface including your floors are shiny clean. Clean your windows and screens so they let in maximum light and sparkle.

Your Turn

Whether you’re thinking about selling your home, or are interested in sprucing up your home, we’re hoping you’ll find all the content being shared this month useful. Join the conversation throughout Staging Month by engaging with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the monthly Patrick Parker Realty email newsletter for articles like these delivered straight to your inbox!

 

Other Articles in the Home Selling Season Prep Blog Series:

The Difference Between Staging and Decorating
The Best First Impression with Best-in-Class Curbside Appeal
Home Remodeling Projects That Add Value to Your Home
Why Consider “Smart Home” Updates
A Quick ‘Cover Your Bases’ Home Prep Checklist
Test Your Home Staging Savvy

Trust Us: You Need an Open House Safe Word

safe-wordIt could be anything from “cornucopia” to “tarpaulin” — just make sure it’s memorable (and that your real estate agent is in on the plan).

Open houses are totally fun. You get to walk around in someone else’s place and pretend it’s your own. You’re not thinking about mortgage payments or roof repairs. You’re there in the moment — dreaming of the possibilities and just loving the current owner’s choice of decor.

However, it’s not always all floating bookshelves and Eames rockers. What do you do if you show up and the house is a hellscape of living nightmares? As much as you’d like to, you can’t just say, “Forget this noise,” hop in your muscle car, and spin doughnuts in the yard on the way out of there.

No, you need something subtle and elegant: a safe word.

Better safe word than sorry

A safe word is a single word (or phrase) that you and your agent agree to drop when you see a deal breaker and need to hit the eject button. The word can’t be “bedroom,” “fireplace,” “pied-à-terre,” or anything you might normally say when walking through an open house. Instead, think unusual or even exotic, like “cornucopia” or “tarpaulin.”

Here’s how it works: When you see something you don’t like, just toss your safe word into casual conversation and your agent will know it’s time to get out. It doesn’t matter if what you don’t like is decor, layout, smells, or even vibes. Your reason is your own.

The important part is that your agent will hear you and then start the fancy footwork needed to make a quick escape. Once you’re safely in your car making your getaway, you can talk over the whys and wherefores.

Make it memorable — and unmistakable

“Say, is that a tarpaulin I see tucked under the deck?” or “This living room layout really presents a cornucopia of options.” These are unique and unmistakable ways to make your safe-word plan of action beforehand, your agent will hear the word and execute the escape.

That short statement can get you out of all kinds of undesirable house dismays and you’ll be glad to have it in your arsenal. The desire to put your time to good use is pretty universal, but never is it more important than in the pressure-packed, time-sensitive world of house hunting.

Ultimately, the seller doesn’t want you wasting time in their house any more than you want to be wasting time in a house you’re definitely not going to buy. A safe word is an easy way to maximize your limited house-hunting time — without hurting a single feeling.

So grab a dictionary, a thesaurus, or maybe the random article button on Wikipedia and start scouring. You’re going to want a good one.

YOUR TURN

What creative safe words can you come up with? Use it in a sentence.  Sound off in Comments, on the Patrick Parker Realty Facebook or Twitter pages and don’t forget to sign up for the monthly Patrick Parker Realty eNewsletter for more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

5 Neighborhood Features That Boost Resale Value

Woman-Buying-Flowers-11-11When you’re in the market to buy a home certain factors are on the top of your list — be they large walk-in closets, a gourmet kitchen, or a private backyard. But beyond the details of the house itself, your potential new abode’s neighborhood will most likely be high on your list (location, location, location!).

Maybe it’s the community pool, the nearby biking trails, or walkability to the elementary school and grocery store. Or maybe it’s the overall curb appeal of the neighborhood… Who wouldn’t like a tree-lined street or a neighborhood bursting with inviting, colorful flowers and shrubs?

Here’s a list of the neighborhood features that not only satisfy your home-buying checklist but also boost your resale and property value in the future:

1. Walkability
Yes, it seems as if we drive or take public transportation everywhere these days. But the truth is, there’s something about being able to walk out your front door and head down the street to the grocery store or local coffee shop that not only appeals to potential buyers but also boosts your resale value significantly. Look for “close to all” in listing details… and scope out the neighborhood to see exactly what that means.

2. Amenities
Homeowners love neighborhood amenities. Typically, new-home communities offer pools, fitness facilities, parks and play areas. Amenities such as tennis courts, walking and biking trails, and dog parks do incredible things to boost a home’s resale value — especially for families looking to buy.

RELATED: How to Choose the Perfect Neighborhood for Your Family

3. Historic charm
The historic character of a neighborhood tends to help resale value, as it is a feature that is difficult to replicate. Many times, historically designated districts will aim to maintain a certain level of uniformity and have community commissions to help preserve the neighborhood aesthetic, which in turn will help preserve values.

RELATED: From the Victorian-era Ocean Grove to the small-town classic feel of Allenhurst, Patrick Parker Realty loves the many markets we serve that boast such charm

4. Unique homes
Not everyone wants to choose from the four models a builder offers — and only those four models — which is why neighborhoods that offer you the choice of semicustom or custom homes sometimes have a better resale value than ones that don’t.

Areas with custom and semicustom homes, compared to cookie-cutter production homes, tend to show larger increases in value over time. More astute buyers prefer unique homes with character that add to the charm of the neighborhood and are more likely to own for longer periods of time, creating less turnover in the neighborhood and higher value.

5. Schools
It almost goes without saying that if a neighborhood is located in a great school district, it immediately boosts a home’s resale value. If a home is in a quality school district, those communities tend to not only retain their value, but appreciate as well. There will always be parents who want their children attending great schools.

YOUR TURN

What neighborhood feature attracted you to your home?  Sound off in Comments, on the Patrick Parker Realty Facebook or Twitter pages and don’t forget to sign up for the monthly Patrick Parker Realty eNewsletter for more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.


3 Immediate Ways To Dramatically Increase Your Home’s Worth

increase-your-homes-valueEvery homeowner wants to increase the value of their home. Whether you’re planning to sell your home tomorrow or five years from now, making the most out of your investment is always a financially prudent move.

Here are 3 tried and true techniques to help you get the most out of your home quickly:

Update your front door
A front door is instant equity. It sets the tone for buyers because it’s one of the first things a buyer sees. Good first impressions go a long way. According to Remodling Magazine changing your door is the number one upgrade based on return on investment. Even if you’re not up for splurging on a new solid steel door, painting the door a new en-vogue color can do wonders. Tony Soliz, an appraiser at 911 Resoration says, that small fixes such as these to enhance curb appeal is the best bets for home-sellers to increase value. “A new coat of paint will create a huge uplift in the value of a home, and a better first impression. “I’ve seen tear-downs that increased in value with a simple paint job right before they got demolished,” notes Soliz.

RELATED: Popular Front Door Paint Colors

Hire a seller’s agent with the best list-to-close success
There is a science and an art to pricing homes. And whether its ending your price with a ‘9’ or pricing just under market for multiple bids, a seasoned agent knows the right strategy suitable for your market. Part of determining the effectiveness of your listing agent is comparing their history of sales to the total number of homes they’ve listed. This ‘list to close’ ratio tells you how many homes they’ve successfully sold, meaning they’ve priced them correctly and didn’t get ‘fired’ by their client before the home sold.

RELATED: Sell Your House for Top Dollar Quickly

Make aesthetic tweaks to your bathroom
Rather than tackling your kitchen, make updates to your bathroom. It’s smaller, and likely will require less work and money out of pocket. To really maximize your dollar, focus on small aesthetic changes – upgrade the light fixture, the vanity mirror, perhaps paint that out-of-date green tile with a fresh new white. Dani Perea of BrightNest notes, that bathroom renovations average a 62% ROI, and even just “re-glazing a tub, rather than getting a brand new one will also save you money and upgrade the look of your bathroom.”

With a few important but quick changes and a great listing agent, you could see a 10% – 20% increase in your home’s sales value.

YOUR TURN

What techniques have you used to increase your homes worth? Sound off in on the Patrick Parker Realty Facebook or Twitter pages and don’t forget to sign up for the monthly Patrick Parker Realty eNewsletter for more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

6 Tips for A Successful Home Search 

new-jersey-home-searchYou know those movies where the two lovers look into each other’s eyes and the music tells you that volumes are being spoken without any words? Yeah, well, that ain’t the way it works when you’re house hunting. Words — lots of them — are your friends, so start talking with your agent early and often.

So what’s the best way to communicate with your real estate team to ensure home-seeking success?

These steps will ensure you are keeping the lines open and the info flowing during your house hunt:

1. Sit down with your agent NOW

You do have an agent, right?

Especially in competitive markets, you’ll find yourself at a disadvantage if you don’t have someone watching the market and working your case every single day.

This person is your adviser and advocate throughout the process. Make sure “good communication skills” is one of the criteria you bring to bear on your choice of agent.

Meet face to face as soon as possible to form a bond, to lay out your needs and budget, and to learn about the many steps involved in a successful real estate purchase. These are things you don’t want to be hearing about on the fly.

2. Get your expectations set early

Whether you’re buying or renting, tell your agent to give you the facts of the market right between the eyes. This isn’t the time to sugarcoat realities.

Ask her for recent data on list price-to-sale ratios to prepare yourself to make over-asking offers if necessary. Ask about ways to compete on things other than price — doing a pre-offer inspection, for example, so as to waive the inspection contingency. Learn about the need for speed, if any.

Sometimes with rentals, it can be a game of hours. Sometimes you should go in ready to sign.

3. Don’t be shy, be honest

Your agent can’t do her job without accurate information about you.

Don’t hold back on your likes and dislikes, your financial situation (clarified by early contact with your banker or mortgage broker), and your reactions to the properties you see.

Create boards on Trulia and add properties you like and don’t like (even if they’re out of your price range) and invite your agent to collaborate. Everyone talks about personal style in a unique way, so it can be helpful to show, not tell, when it comes to what you want.

This is no time to be polite, so say what you think at open houses and private showings (though privately to your agent, not within earshot of other buyers, listing agents, or sellers).

Each opinion and observation that you voice tightens the focus of your search and offers clarity into what you’re after.

4. Establish a foolproof way to connect

When properties move quickly, every minute can count.

Tell your agent in order of preference the way you want to be reached (email, text, call), and whether you should be hit by all means at once if there is a hot property.

And ask your agent how they are most quickly reached.  Tell them you want their “bat phone.”

5. Be systematic

Avoid flailing about. Make sure your agent and you have a search methodology in place so that forward motion can occur.

Try the “benchmark” approach: At the end of every showing, rank the property against others you’ve seen, always searching for the one place that’s come closest to “right.” Share your approach and rankings with your agent.  Remember, the more they know about your preferences, the better they are able to serve you.

Properties will topple properties, a certain discipline is brought to bear, and your search will develop a rigor and logic of your own making.

6. You are not a loser

If you’re continually seeing properties at your price point that just don’t satisfy, don’t feel like you’ve somehow failed.

The market is the market, and sometimes you have to adjust your sights. Compromise comes along the four vectors of real estate: size, condition, location, and price.

If price can’t change, talk candidly to your agent about adjusting one (or more) of the three others.

Looking to buy on the Jersey Shore? Explore just some of the communities we serve…

 


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