Rochester Real Estate and Community News

Dec. 26, 2019

Love It or List It?

Despite what real estate reality shows might have led you to believe, the decision to sell your home isn’t simple — and it definitely isn’t a decision that you can reach in 30 minutes. This is true even if you never really loved your property in the first place, or it’s become a daily cause of stress. Maybe the commute is awful, your neighbors live to find new ways to annoy you, or the “fixer upper” kitchen is still an avocado-colored nightmare.

That’s because parting with a home falls into the “major life change” category. Cue the second-guessing, polling all friends and family for opinions, obsessive list-making and mentally running through all scenarios as soon as your head hits the pillow. If you feel like this describes how you feel about parting with your home, it’s time to take a deep breath and consider the signs life has been throwing your way. Here’s how to know if it’s time to sell, refinance, or just stay put.

The Scenario:

You're Paying PMI

It’s A Sign To… Refinance or Do Nothing

If your down payment was less than 20%, your loan likely came with private mortgage insurance that has added a little extra to your monthly payment. If you now have at least 20% equity in your home, you can refinance your loan in order to remove the PMI. If you don’t have at least 20% equity yet, it might be worth waiting a little bit longer.

The Scenario:

You’ve Suddenly Noticed 100 Things You Dislike About Your Home

It’s A Sign To… Stay Put and Update or Sell

After the honeymoon phase with your home is over, you may grow to dislike certain features about it that you once loved. However, who is to say that the pattern won’t repeat with a different property? If you’ve only just settled in a short while ago, you haven’t yet learned to live with the home you have. Fight that FOMO (fear of missing out) by making improvements like upgrading the kitchen or bath, fixing up the exterior for a little curb appeal, or even just trying simple fixes like repainting the rooms or adding new furniture. 

The Scenario: 

You’ve Just Made A Big Investment

It’s A Sign To… Stay Put

Whether you’ve put a lot of money into your home through renovations or upgrades, or you made another big investment in your life (you started a business, went back to school, bought a boat, etc.), you could be stretched a little too thin to sell your home right now. While renovations often add to the value of a home, they don’t guarantee a higher sales price and shouldn’t be the sole motivation for selling. This is especially true if you made highly personal choices in your improvements, like going for fire engine red kitchen cabinetry. Instead, enjoy the new scenery. 

The Scenario: 

You’ve Got Debt (But Also Equity)

It’s A Sign To… Refinance

Sure, you might profit from the sale of your home, which could help you pay off lingering loans, credit card balances and other types of debt. But that’s not a guarantee. Plus, in order to get the highest offers, you could end up having to invest in making repairs and upgrades. If you’ve built equity, you can refinance to a lower interest rate and a lower monthly payment, thus freeing up more money in your budget. Another option to consider is a cash-out refinance to consolidate your debt. This pays off the balances up front, then you’d make fixed payments on the refinanced loan. 

The Scenario: 

You Really Can’t Stand Your Neighborhood Anymore

It’s A Sign To… Sell

What was once a quiet suburban road became a popular cut-through for speeding traffic. Your neighbors really leaned into urban farming and now you can’t even enjoy your backyard without constant noise and smells. There isn’t any parking, ever, so you have to walk a mile just to get to your front door. While there are many things you can do to improve your home’s interior and exterior, you can’t change the location. If the idea of heading home makes you miserable, it’s time to find new surroundings. Here’s an extra tip: Make sure to visit potential neighborhoods on weekdays during rush hour and weekend nights to get a true sense of the lifestyle. 

The Scenario: 

You’ve Run Out Of Space

It’s A Sign To… Sell

Maybe your family has expanded since you bought your one-bedroom, or you decluttered repeatedly but you’d need to become a minimalist to make your space work. Instead of drastically changing your lifestyle, change your home. If budget is a concern, prioritize space over other items on your real estate wish list like a specific neighborhood, high-end amenities, new construction or a newly-updated home.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Dec. 26, 2019

7 Easy Upgrades to Transform Your Kitchen

When dreaming of your perfect kitchen, it can be hard to decide what changes need to happen in order to make it the perfect space. The kitchen is the most visited space in the house, so make sure you are prepared before embarking on this remodeling journey.

There are several changes you can make when the time comes, so we created a list to help you get started. Here are 7 easy upgrades to consider to bring your dream kitchen to fruition!

Renovating Cabinets

Rather than installing completely new cabinets, painting tarnished or scuffed cabinetry is a cost-effective way to brighten the room. Make sure to scrub the cabinets before you sand, prime, then paint. Taking your time to do these proper steps will ensure that the final product is beautiful. 

Protip: Lighter colored paints can make your kitchen appear larger!

New Shiny Faucet

There is more to your sink than simply washing dishes and running water. A beautiful faucet can take you one step closer to your dream kitchen. Rather than replacing the entire sink, try updating spouts, valves, finishes, and handles to improve the appearance of your sink without breaking the bank. 

Protip: Choose one of the most popular faucets from 2018 and your kitchen will start to sparkle like new.

 

 

Knob Revamp

Replace knobs and drawer pulls with classic finishes such as brushed nickel or stainless steel for a “brand new” look. Even if you aren't handy, knobs are easy to replace with very little difficulty or risk. Hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe's carry a variety of all sorts.  

Protip: Make sure to do this step last if you plan to repaint your cabinets.

 

Store Efficiently

An out of the box idea that will make your kitchen more efficient is switching up how you store your food, pots, pans, and appliances. Pots and pans have long handles that fit perfectly into tall cabinets and pantries or hung on overhead racks. Store your food in the pullable deep drawers for easy access while cooking. 

Protip: Storing kitchen items efficiently will declutter the room and is a simple way to give the room a "new" feel.

 

Fresh Paint

Fresh paint is a must-do if you're looking to transform your kitchen. Why stop at just the cabinets? Create a focal point in the kitchen by painting the island siding a contrasting color. While the clean, white look of kitchens continues in popularity, soft shades of gray are also on the rise. 

Protip: Hire a professional to ensure perfection in the finest details. It's cheaper than you probably think and can be well worth it!

 

Backsplash Upgrade

If you haven’t replaced your backsplash in more than a decade, chances are it’s outdated. A kitchen backsplash can compliment the counters and make a bold statement. If yours is outdated, it’s fairly simple to replace with a little DIY know-how. From classic tile to mosaics or even wood, easy peel-and-stick options are available.

Protip: Searching Pinterest for "kitchen backsplash ideas" will provide a plethora of options to inspire you.

 

Improved Lighting

Lighting is a key feature in creating an open and inviting space that future buyers will love. If you have pendant lights or lamps, make sure they’re still in style. If not, invest in modern lighting fixtures that will have appeal in today’s housing market. Adding under cabinet lighting is another quick fix that makes a huge difference. It’s relatively inexpensive and will brighten up your counter space. 

Protip: Invest in smart bulbs which are internet-capable LED light bulbs that allow lighting to be customized, scheduled and controlled remotely.

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
Dec. 24, 2019

How To Find The Right Neighborhood For You

Let's face it, your neighborhood is just as important as your house. If you are not happy with your neighborhood it will eventually lead to you not being satisfied with your home. Do your research to determine what a neighborhood has to offer you. This article will explain the things that you should be looking at in a neighborhood during the buying process.

Location

Location is everything. Imagine living in an amazing area, but you work over 50 miles away. This will not leave you with much time to enjoy everything that your neighborhood has to offer considering you will be 

spending most of your time commuting to work. Even though there may be a great neighborhood 

available 50 miles away from work, that does not mean you need to consider that home unless you are able to work from home. Commuting can be overwhelming and will create a dissatisfaction to the home you purchased.

Location plays a huge factor when it comes to the 

community and its amenities. If you live in a rural area, you will most likely not find any gyms, retail stores, or things to do. However, if you enjoy the seclusiveness of a rural area, this may work for you. Drive around the surrounding area to see everything that is in proximity. 

Pro Tip: Drive or walk around the areas you are researching.  Make sure to take note of distances and time that it takes to get to some of the places you may be going to often.

Interview The Locals

Asking the locals in an area is a great way to see if you would enjoy it there. Locals will know the area best and can make you aware of the perks and issues. Most people love chatting about their neighborhood and where they live.

How can you get involved without physically going to every business or community center?  

  • Facebook. 

Join the local Facebook community group to get a vibe of the neighborhood. You can even ask questions to get real feedback. Asking questions like:

  1. I'm moving to the area and was curious to hear what some of you love about living here?
  2. I'm curious to hear what some of the changes you are hoping for in the near future?                 
  3. What is something that you would only know if you lived here?

Pro Tip: You can also Google: How is living in (Neighborhood). This will reveal many other forums or blogs that give local insight.  

Schools

Finding a good school system to purchase a home in is a smart idea (no pun intended) for anyone. The home values in highly rated school districts often see the biggest gain in value and have steadier markets.  

Pro Tip: There are many online resources such as GreatSchools.org where you can look up the schools in your area and their rating. Once you have decided on a school that you believe will be best for your family, visit the school. 

 

 

Property Values

The value of a property plays a huge role in choosing a neighborhood. If your desired neighborhood has high-value homes this means higher taxes to provide services in the area. If a home has a declining property value, it can directly impact the value of the entire neighborhood. An area that once was a great looking place to live can slowly turn into a rundown location in need of some tender, love, and care.  

In terms of choosing a home in each respective neighborhood, I recommend subscribing to the old adage of not choosing the most expensive home in the neighborhood.  

 

Pro Tip: Don't go for the most expensive home in the neighborhood if the home value is above the average. It may appreciate slower or take longer to sell than those closer in value to the average.

Property Taxes

Taxes will vary by neighborhoods, so you should definitely consider them when buying a home. Like we stated above with property values, areas that are appreciating in value are also going to have larger taxes. Many cities have specific times of the year where they reassess home values to ensure the local government is getting the proper amount of tax revenue to provide the city with services. Purchasing at the top of your budget can make the excitement of purchasing a home become a nightmare when all your other expenses roll in.

This is why it is important to make sure you consider all the expenses that come with owning a home. We can always help you with any questions you have, so don't hesitate to give us a call. 

Pro Tip: Don't purchase a home at the top of your price range if you are buying in a neighborhood with increasing values because the taxes you pay will go up in cost as well.

Safety

You can look at the local police reports to see what mischief goes on in a specific area. You can even use online resources like crime maps to get an idea of the crime rate in certain areas.

*Realtors cannot discuss criminal activity with clients

Pro Tip: Ring has a Downloadable App called neighbors that shows you the local incidents in a given area. 

Posted in Buying a Home
Dec. 2, 2019

The Emotional Side of Home Selling

The decision to sell your home isn’t an easy one. In fact, research has ranked selling a home as second to relationship breakups for the most stressful experience in a person’s life. The same survey said Americans are more stressed out about selling their home than planning a wedding, getting fired or even becoming a parent.

In other words, it’s perfectly normal to have strong emotions. The good news? Though the experience can feel overwhelming and inspire doubts, it doesn’t have to get in the way of a successful home sale, and there's always a bright side. Here are three stories from homeowners that prove it.

The Story: Last Minute Memories 

Nostalgia seems to unexpectedly hit many sellers like a ton of bricks once they see their home empty and ready for its next owner. Getting caught up in the chaos of moving can only keep your mind busy for so long before you realize what you are about to leave behind. Oftentimes sellers feel the rush towards the end of the process. That’s exactly what happened to Erin, author of The Sunny Side Up Blog. She says, “I walked around room to room. I could see my baby girls running around in dress-ups. I could see our evening routine – giving them a bath and putting them in matching PJs. I could see so many sweet moments between my kids and how fast they grew right in front of my eyes in that house."

"It’s not hard to say good-bye to a house. It’s hard to say good-bye to special memories and to the end of an era. A really happy era that I will tuck away and treasure in my heart forever."

The Bright Side ☀️

“We feel so blessed to be in our new home, we are definitely going through a bit of a transition.  I know it will just take time. I also know that someday, much sooner than I can imagine, I will be walking through the rooms of our new house feeling the exact same way.”

The Story: An Empty-Nester’s Adult Kid Confronts The End of An Era

In a story from The Atlantic on navigating how empty-nesters navigated the sale of a family home, the story of Alene Bouranova stands out. Bouranova grew up in Kirkland, Washington. She was at school in Boston, Massachusetts when she got the news that her parents had sold her childhood home. 

“I started crying in the dining hall, just crying all over my plate of pasta,” Bouranova says. “I was not pleased at all. That was my home.”

The Bright Side ☀️

Although Bouranova was initially emotional about the sale of her childhood home, she came to terms with the decision and understood the reason behind her parent’s decision. 

 “It’s my parents, and as sad as I was originally, it’s their lives and they can do what they want,” Bouranova says. “I just want them to be happy.”

The Story: Moments Of Doubt

Despite being a Realtor who has guided many clients through the home-selling process, Nancy Perkins was surprised by how emotional she felt when selling her family’s home of 19 years. In an essay for The Alexandria Times, she writes how she and her husband began to doubt themselves throughout the process after realizing the attachment they had not just to the home itself but to the neighbors and neighborhood. 

“We started to doubt ourselves. Why did we need to make any changes when this house worked well for us? While we were ready for a new house, we were attached to our home, to our garden and to our neighbors.”

The Bright Side ☀️

“Like many of my clients, these thoughts kept me up at night. My fears were alleviated, however, with multiple offers, happy buyers and a quick sale, thanks to smart renovations, good staging and fair pricing.”

The Bottom Line

There’s no doubt that you won’t ever forget the memories you made in your home, but looking forward to the new memories you’ll create in the future and getting excited for what’s to come can put your mind at ease. 

No matter if you’ve lived there a couple years or many decades, selling your home can inspire a deep emotional response.

Selling your home is hard.

Selling without an agent is even harder.

Even if you’re not planning on selling soon,

preparing you (and your home) to sell will help with the

stress and anxiety that are sure to come.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Sept. 26, 2019

7 Accounts You Should Follow On Instagram If You Love HGTV

We ❤ HGTV.

We at Slusser Realty Group also love Instagram. Instead of binge-watching House Hunters all day, we found inspiration on Instagram that will make your feed instantly better.

Below are 7 accounts we follow on Instagram that you should follow if you love HGTV.

1. Sherwin Williams | @sherwinwilliams

Looking for inspiration to redo a room in your home? Sherwin William's Instagram feed is all you need. They take paint to the next level, making it easy to envision your future home design.

2. Lonny | @lonnymag

There's something wildly satisfying about Lonny's Instagram feed. Whether it's the minimalism, muted colors, or the gorgeous homes, Lonny showcases nothing but beautiful design. They also have a book, blog, and magazine if you need more!

 

View this post on Instagram

We need it ALL. 👀👏🏽🎨 // A beautiful blend by @reserve_home.

A post shared by Lonny (@lonnymag) on

3. The Cabin Chronicles | @thecabinchronicles

Longing for a getaway but now just isn't the right time? Just one look at The Cabin Chronicles feed will satisfy your travel bug. Modern minimalism is clean, but a little rustic cabin can make all the difference if your home needs more coziness. Lose yourself in the lush woods, mountain views, and waterfront oasis from all over the world.

View this post on Instagram

What's your dream hideaway? This looks pretty good to us! 📷: @kylefinndempsey | Maine ▪︎ #thecabinchronicles

A post shared by The Cabin Chronicles™ (@thecabinchronicles) on

4. The Jungalow | @thejungalow

The Jungalow is an award-winning design blog and online shop (with it's own app!) founded by Justina Blakeney. All of your wildest bohemian dreams will come true with her eccentric patterns, lush plants, and bold colors. You might even be inspired to bring a few plants into your home after looking at this feed!

5. Like To Know It Home | @liketoknow.it.home

This account is more interactive than most. They showcase home designs from other Instagram users that you can actually purchase through their app. Simply download the LIKEtoKNOW.it app in the app store, open it and enter your Instagram information, and you're ready to go! If you like any post from their feed, they will send you an email with all of the products in the photo.

Posted in Community News
Sept. 16, 2019

How Long You Should Live In Your Home Before You Sell It

Whether you just moved in or have lived in your home for 50 years, it's common to wonder how long you should stay in your home before you sell it. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, ten years is the average amount of time that a homeowner will stay in their home before deciding to sell it. 

 

If you're under ten years and itching to sell, many experts say you should follow the “five-year rule” and stay in the same home for at least five years before selling. 

 

This may sound like a long time and you may think you are ready to sell now, but before you make any rash decisions, we put together a few of the most important factors that you should be aware of.

1. Your Mortgage

One of the first and foremost factors you must consider when you decide to sell your home is your mortgage payment. If you want to make money when you sell your home, then your sale price must be greater than what’s left of your mortgage. When you first buy your home and begin to pay your mortgage, the first few years will go towards interest rather than the principal amount. This typically means that it’s more difficult to make money off your sale under 5 years. However, if you put a larger downpayment on your house, then your interest rate and mortgage will probably be smaller, making it possible to make money in a shorter amount of time.

2. Equity

Building home equity is important. You’ll want to have a lot of equity built up when you decide to sell. The amount of home equity you’ve obtained depends on any remodeling or renovations you’ve made, as well as your mortgage. If the home you bought was already in tip-top shape, then it may be difficult to build equity. If you’ve remodeled the kitchen, bathroom, redone the flooring, or made other renovations around the house, then you have most likely gained home equity. You can also increase your home equity by paying off more of the principal on your mortgage. 

3. Market Conditions 

One of the more common reasons you’re eager to sell your home is to make money on your property. There are a few things to look out for when deciding if it’s a seller's market and whether or not it's time to make your move. If you notice the price per square foot in your area is increasing, chances are that homes stay on the market for a shorter time. You should also take note of homes near you that are selling. It might seem time-consuming, but don't worry! We always keep track of recent home sales in the area and can send you over an up-to-date market report.

4. You're Out Of Space

Maybe this was the first house you bought when you were expecting your first child and there were only three of you, but now with three kids and two dogs, there isn't much space. Although it may be sad to move out of the home where you started your family, the happiness of your family may be greater than the cost of selling your home and buying a new one.

Other life situations like divorce, illness, or even the need to downsize may also lead you to sell sooner than you originally planned.

5. Capital Gains Tax

If you don’t qualify to avoid paying capital gains taxes on the sale of your home, you may not want to sell your home yet. To avoid capital gains taxes, you should make an effort to stay in your home for at least two to five years. Making a sale before two years could be a huge mistake, and could ultimately leave you without much equity, especially if you have to pay capital gains tax.

6. Closing Costs

Closing costs are often overlooked but play an important part when it comes to selling your home. On average, real estate agents have a commission rate of 6% when you sell your home. You are also likely to pay a closing cost when buying a home, which can be between 3%-6% of the purchase price of the home. Keeping closing costs in mind before you sell allows you to budget this into your expenses and avoid surprises when it comes to closing.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Aug. 14, 2019

5 Things You’ll Wish You Knew Before Buying Your First Home

We know that the home buying process is daunting, and it might seem like you have a million tasks on your plate. Everyone is giving you advice, but what should you really spend your time worrying about? We asked a recent first-time homebuyer what she wishes she knew before she bought her home. Here are the 5 pieces of advice she thought were worth sharing.

Take Your Time With Mortgage Lenders

It’s no easy decision when debating over the many home lender options. First-time home buyers typically do the research themselves or use a loan officer, often referred by their real estate agent. Whichever route you decide works best for you, don’t be too hasty. Reading the fine print of every offer you receive is a must.

If you take the time to consider various lenders, you may find yourself in a position to negotiate the terms of your mortgage. A major first-time buyer consideration is that of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). If your down payment is less than 20% of the home sale price, then there is a very high chance most lenders will require a monthly PMI fee. By taking the time to shop around, you may have the opportunity to arrange a more favorable long-term agreement. 

Pro tip: you can quickly compare different rates and lenders using Bankrate.com

Another type of loan to look out for are loans that recast. This means that your interest rate and loan term remain the same, but your monthly mortgage payment is reduced to reflect your actual current loan balance. Typically with these types of loans, lenders need an additional lump sum payment in order for recasting to work. 

Everyone’s situation is unique. There are pros and cons to every loan. We aren’t financial advisors and you should always supplement our advice with a professional.

Budget For Unexpected Costs

This may sound obvious, but plenty of first-time buyers do not fully comprehend the amount of money that is spent before getting the keys to their future homes. While it’s essential to determine your future mortgage allowances, it is equally imperative to save an emergency fund. If your current living situation does not allow a month to month lease agreement or you find the home you can’t live without prior to your planned moving timeline, you will need a financial buffer. More often than not, buyers find themselves stuck between their current living expenses and those of their new mortgage agreement. Moving costs and the possible use of a storage facility can become very costly even over a relatively short period. Buyers will also be responsible for paying all inspection fees for each home they intend to make an offer on. For direction on how much to set aside for these extra costs, speak with an experienced local real estate agent.

There Is No Such Thing As The “Perfect Home”

According to real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, “Buyers decide in the first eight seconds of seeing a home if they’re interested in buying it.” While following your gut is important, too often new buyers tend to make rash judgments. Before starting your home search, brainstorm a very detailed list of deal breakers. Is having a large yard a must? Are you only interested in homes with updated interior features? Do you require a minimum of 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms? Now narrow that list of must-haves down to the most important 3-4 features. This may take some serious flexibility. If you have the time and freedom to look at every available option, do it. We know this sounds daunting, but your earlier expectations may change during the house hunt. Sometimes it’s tough to find the home that has everything you ever dreamed of -- in the ideal price point -- in the perfect area of town.

It might be impossible to find a home that checks off all of the boxes upfront. But as time goes on, you can check the rest of the boxes off.

Always Consider Return On Investment

It’s relatively easy to factor which type of home and location suits your current lifestyle needs. A townhouse or an apartment may offer a cheaper mortgage upfront… it might even within walking distance to your favorite coffee shop or gym! While these are all things to consider, do not lose sight of the long-term investment. If and when you decide to rent or sell your first home, it is extremely valuable to consider your future buyer. One key factor to consider is the area’s school district. Would your home be attractive to a family? If the answer is yes, there is a good chance you’ll have a more successful selling experience when the time comes.  

Pay Close Attention To The Home Inspection

Once you’ve chosen the home you want to make an offer on, and the seller has agreed to terms, you will need to hire a licensed home inspector (or sometimes multiple home inspectors) to evaluate the home's condition. Keep this in mind: no home, no matter the age, is in perfect condition.

A good inspector will point out all the issues about the four main inspection points: HVAC, electrical wiring/panels, plumbing, and roofing. These four areas of concern will directly affect your home insurance coverage and more costly short and long-term repairs. The status of the inspection report will also play a role in the negotiation process between the buyer and seller. An experienced realtor will know exactly how to advise your next steps. 

While not every scenario is highlighted here we are happy to answer any questions you have during your home buying experience. We even have a well-rounded list of vendors if you are in need of a referral. 

Posted in Buying a Home
June 20, 2019

Summertime is house selling time.

This month marks the true beginning of summer. Traditionally this is a great time for house sales. However, the Greater Rochester Area, Monroe and surrounding counties as well as the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions are currently experiencing what the rest of the nation is, a lower than normal volume of home sales. But don’t fret, continue reading.

Why is this happening? Is this good or bad?

The why is varied. Many factors go into the local housing market, from jobs, employment rate, mortgage rates, etc. We are not economists, so the answer it out of the realm of our expertise. What we do know is this is a good thing if you are looking to sell!

The median home sale price went up to $138,000 in quarter 1 of this year, according to Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS®. A very significant increase from last year’s price of $130,000 for Monroe County. This is great news for sellers. Combine that with the lower average of houses on the local market, and you have the potential to get more for your house than in previous years.

So what should you do now?

Well if you are looking to sell, the first thing you should do is contact us. We have the experience and knowledge to guide you through this type of real estate market space. We will also provide you with the necessary steps to make sure your house has the curb appeal to help ensure a higher than average sale price. As well as many other insights on the whole selling process. We are here to help you sell as quick and profitable as possible.

If you are looking to buy, contacting us is he first step in owing your first or next home. The current real estate market makes it hard for home buyers to go it alone. Having a dedicated Buyer’s Agent at your side to help you navigate the ins and outs of buying a home in this particular market is what our Buyer’s Agents do best. One of our agents  can provide you with information, knowledge, and direction to help make your dream of new home ownership or your next home a reality.

And don’t forget to enjoy the wonderful weather. As we all know it doesn’t last long here in Western NY, so soak up the sun and have some fun!

Posted in Selling Your Home
May 31, 2019

Is Selling Your Home Right Now A Mistake?

Ask any real estate agent how the market is and you’re almost sure to get the same answer: “Great!”

Even if the market is great, it still may not be a great time for you to sell. Many real estate agents will tell you that NOW is the right time to sell your home when in reality, they can’t know that without knowing the specifics of your situation. Before going down a long and stressful journey, let’s first decide if selling your home right now is a mistake.

What’s true about relationships is also true about selling your home: When it’s time to make a big decision, go with your gut feeling. But like anyone who has ever put off a breakup, it’s amazing how easy it is to talk yourself out of what you really want to do. You’ll say you’ll get around to addressing the ‘80s curb appeal, that you can live with your shoebox-sized closets, and you don’t mind that the location limits your job opportunities. Really, you’re fine.

Yet, you still can’t shake the feeling that it’s time to go. Though there are many ways to justify staying put, some of the most common doubts can be particularly persistent — and some may even masquerade as logical reasons. 

Here’s how to identify these hang-ups so you can finally move on and own the home you truly want:

“What if my home ends up being worth more a year after I sell it?”

Markets are about timing — yours could be on an upswing and selling could mean you’re missing out on receiving more for your home later. However, markets can also just as dramatically swing the other way, just like they did in 2008. The lesson? You can’t really time the market. Instead, focus on easy (and inexpensive) tasks in your control that can help your home sell for more whenever the time is right. Decluttering, painting your rooms neutral colors and even cleaning up your yard can sometimes bring a home’s value up regardless of what the market is doing.

 

“I don’t qualify for a different home.”

If your credit has gotten worse, you’ve spent all your savings on the home you’re currently in, or your financial situation is just tight overall, it might be a mistake to sell your home right now.

This is one of the trickiest thoughts about selling because it seems reasonable. You know your budget and you’ve probably even looked up what homes have been selling for in your neighborhood. But after researching, you honestly know you just don’t qualify for a new mortgage right now and would have to go back to renting if you did sell. 

“My friend who’s a real estate agent told me I should sell now.”

Working with close friends and family may not be the best decision. At first thought, it seems like a great idea because they know you,  your current situation, and you can (in most cases) trust them. But imagine what it will feel like five months from now when your home is still on the market with zero offers...

Take time to think hard about who you’re hiring to sell your home. If your friend or family member feels like the best decision for you, go for it. Working with the right real estate agent can take the stress out of the selling process. That said, treat this decision like you would for anyone else who would provide a service for you and take the time to interview other prospective agents.

This can help you screen the ones that may not be the best fit for your personality or even your home (especially if you have a unique property such as a vintage home). Focus your questions on their past experiences selling in your area, how long they’ve worked in your market, how well they know your neighborhood, and if they have worked with sellers who have similarly valued homes to yours. From speaking with several real estate agents (some you already knew and some you didn’t), you’ll also get a sense of how they communicate and if you’ll “click” during what can be a stressful process no matter who helps you. 

"Working with the right real estate agent can take the stress out of the selling process. That said, treat this decision like you would for anyone else who would provide a service for you and take the time to interview other prospective agents."

“I have to make a lot of costly repairs before I can sell my home for as much as I would like.”

Depending on the age of your property, your agent may suggest making a few repairs in order to command the highest price. The extent of repairs needed often has to do with the comparable homes in your area for sale. For example, if there’s a home exactly like yours on the market, but that one has a brand new roof, the agent may suggest replacing yours. But, you don’t necessarily have to make expensive repairs if you don’t want to — you could sell your home as-is. Some buyers like the idea of updating and customizing a property to exactly suit their needs. Others do not want to incur costly repairs on day one.

“I’m afraid to start over in a new location.”

This is often the underlying fear when you have doubts about selling and moving to a new location. Even if you’re staying in the same town, your block will be different, your proximity to places like the grocery store or gym will change, and you’ll have to go through the process of getting to know new neighbors. 

Is it a change? Yes. But, it’s not one you wouldn’t get used to. If you’re moving to a new city, the transition is obviously a bigger one. Look at it as an adventure. It’s a chance to start fresh, meet new people, find new favorite restaurants, and maybe even start a new career.

Whenever you are ready to sell your home, I would love a chance to earn your business and hope you found our honest approach to advising our clients refreshing.

Posted in Selling Your Home
May 16, 2019

Game of Thrones Castles

Each Fit For A Royal Family

https://www.slusserrealty.com/red-keep

Posted in Buying a Home