April 19, 2021

8 Tips for Negotiating Your Offer

 

Many sellers accept the best offer they receive, and for a variety of reasons.

But sellers are also known to reject offers for a variety of reasons. Or make counteroffers. This is especially likely if you bid low, or when you’re up against multiple competing offers.

Here are eight tips every buyer should know before you start negotiating:

1. Act Fast

When you receive a counteroffer, you should respond quickly — ideally within 24 hours. The longer you wait, the more space you leave for another buyer to swoop in and nab the property. 

2. Raise Your Price (Reasonably)

While you don’t want to overpay for a house, you may have to up the ante — especially if you initially made a lowball offer. Lean on your agent’s expertise to determine how much money you should add to make it more enticing to the seller.

3. Increase Your Earnest Money Deposit

Increasing your earnest money deposit (EMD) is another way to show the seller you have more skin in the game. A standard EMD is typically 1% to 3% of the sales price of the home. Making a counteroffer with a 3% to 4% deposit could be what you need to persuade the seller to side with you.

4. Demonstrate Patience About Taking Possession

If the seller wants to stay in the home for a few days after closing, try offering a later possession date. You could also draw up a “rent-back” agreement, meaning the seller pays you to rent for staying in the home for a set period after the closing date.

5. Let Go of a Few Contingencies 

Reduce the number of contingencies you’re asking for. It’s your way of saying, “Hey, look, I have fewer ways to back out,” which gives the seller more reassurance that the deal will close.

6. Ask for Fewer Concessions

When making an initial offer, you have the option to ask the seller for concessions — a settlement paid in cash to help you offset your share of the closing costs. However, this move is less feasible if you’re going up against multiple offers.

7. Pick Up the Cost of the Home Warranty

A basic home warranty costs about $300 to $600 a year, according to Angie’s List. If it seems like waiving the home warranty can sweeten negotiations, but you still want the peace of mind of having one, tell the seller they don’t need to cover it — then buy it yourself.

8. Know When to Walk

When negotiating with a seller, trust your gut — and your realtor. If he or she says a deal is bad for you: Listen. And if you don’t want to make any more trade-offs — and the seller won’t budge — it’s smart to walk.

That can be a tough decision to make, and rightfully so! Negotiating is tough. It’s draining. And losing something you’ve worked hard to get can be disappointing. But don’t worry. There’s a better deal for you out there.

If you need help, send me a message here and I will be happy to guide you.  

 

April 15, 2021

6 Mistakes To Avoid When Upsizing to a New Home

6 Mistakes To Avoid When Upsizing to a New Home

 

Tired of having your already cramped room? It might be time to upsize. While getting more space may seem enticing, upsizing can hold pitfalls for unwary home buyers.

Here are some mistakes to avoid when upsizing to a larger home:

1. Rushing to buy a bigger home
Have a reality check. You don't want to ditch your current dwelling without understanding the market and thinking things through. Don't get suckered into paying for any conveniences you don't need, such as expediting certain services. Give yourself time to get those things done.

2. Miscalculating your space needs
It’s important to be realistic about how much space you need. And once you move into that bigger space, live in it for a while, without buying extra furniture, to assess what pieces you need.

3. Ignoring long-term factors
When making any major purchase, try to picture how your life might change in the coming years. Make sure to have a realistic projection of how long you plan to stay in the new home, how your family’s needs might change in that time, and whether the home would continue to meet your requirements.

4. Disregarding financing
Make sure to do your homework on financing, and don't go in blind when trying to buy a bigger home.

5. Neglecting your current home
Don't set aside the maintenance of your current home in your rush to upsize.

6. Spending too much on items for the new home
Feel your new house. Check a little while what you really need. Do not overspend because you feel like doing so for your new house. 

The current real estate market creates motivation to move as quickly as possible. However, it is important to be diligent and careful in your decision process. 

If you have further real estate-related questions, click here to send me a message. 

 

April 13, 2021

10 Effective Cleaning Hacks this 2021 Spring

10 Effective DIY Cleaning Hacks this 2021 Spring

 

A good spring clean-up is a tradition that not only promotes wellness by keeping your environment clean and organized, it also helps carry the fresh-start feeling brought on by a new year well into the summer.

So before you start with your spring cleaning, here are some of the best DIY spring cleaning tips to make it sparkle all year round.

1. Use old socks as dusting mitts
Cotton is a great fabric for trapping dust particles.

2.Use a butter knife to clean air vents
Use a butter knife to reach those tough get places between and behind your vents. Simply wrap the knife in a rag and wipe between the slats.

3. Use a dustpan to help fill a large mop bucket
If your bucket is too large, try using a dustpan as a spout by placing it flat on your sink to transfer water to the bucket.

4. Use a window squeegee to scrape pet hair from your carpet or rug
The rubber edge of the squeegee is a great tool for gripping and removing pet hair from your rug. 

5. Use cream of tartar to clean toasters and tea kettles
Combine 1 tsp of cream of tartar with just enough water to create a milky paste. Rub the solution onto your stainless steel appliances and wipe away to reveal their original shine.

6. Clean your grill with an onion
First, heat it and spray some white vinegar onto the grates to help loosen the residue. Then, scrub the area firmly using half an onion. The acid from the onion will rid your grill of any leftover remnants.

7. Use newspaper to clean dirty windows and mirrors
Mix ¼ cup of white vinegar, 2 cups of water, and 2 teaspoons of liquid soap into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the glass and scrub with newspaper for a streak-free window or mirror. The ink acts as a mild abrasive and allows you to make use of old newspapers

8. Clean stainless steel sinks with baking soda
Simply wet your sink and faucet, sprinkle baking soda, and scrub with a sponge. If you need more heavy-duty scrubbing power, add salt to the baking soda.

9. Remove water stains with lemon for a natural faucet fix
Make faucets clean and sparkly by rubbing a lemon half on the water stains. The citric acid helps remove hard watermarks. 

10. Clean your microwave by heating lemon juice and rinds in water
Cut a lemon into halves, squeeze the juice into 1/2 cup of water and drop the rinds into the mixture. Microwave for three minutes and let it stand for five minutes without opening the door. The trapped steam will loosen the grime, so you can wipe the microwave clean with less elbow grease.

Whether you’re doing your annual spring clean-up or a weekly home cleaning, the above tips and hacks will surely make your life easier.

Send me a message and I will give you more real estate related tips. 
Posted in Real Estate Tips
April 11, 2021

5 Upgrades That Don't Add Value to Your Home

5 Upgrades That Don't Add Value to Your Home

 

If you're planning to sell your house, you might be tempted to go overboard with updates and upgrades to help you fetch the highest price at the closing table. While some home projects add value to your home, others offer little opportunity to recover the costs when it's time to sell. Here are six upgrades you may think add value to your home but don't.

1. Swimming Pool
You and your family might enjoy a swimming pool, but it's an expensive investment that might not offer any return.  In certain situations, a pool can add value to your home, but not necessarily by an amount that makes it worth the cost.

2. Overbuilding for the Neighborhood
At some point, you may need more room but don't want the hassle of moving. Some improvements may unintentionally make your home fall outside the norm for the neighborhood. A large, expensive remodel may make the home more appealing. But it won't add significantly to the resale value if the rest of the neighborhood has small, one-story homes. Homebuyers generally don't want to pay $500,000 for a home in a neighborhood where the average sales price is much lower.

3. Inconsistent High-End Upgrades
Updates and upgrades should be consistent throughout the home. A home with a beautifully remodeled kitchen might be viewed as a work in progress if the bathrooms haven't been updated. And that means the remodel might not fetch as high a return unless the rest of the home is brought up to the same level.

4. Invisible Improvements
Invisible improvements are pricey projects that you know make your house a better place to live in, but that nobody else will notice or likely care about. You might need a new plumbing system or HVAC unit, but don't expect to recover the costs when it comes time to sell.

5. Wall-to-wall Carpeting
While real estate listings may still feature new carpeting throughout as a selling point, homebuyers may cringe at the idea of having wall-to-wall carpeting. More people are turning away from carpeting because of the chemicals used to process it, not to mention its potential for trapping allergens—a serious concern for families with children.

Some home improvements increase your home's value, but others don't. When in doubt, compare features of comparable homes in your neighborhood, research real estate trends in your area, and consult with experts, including home designers, real estate professionals, and contractors, who can help ensure you make a good decision.

April 10, 2021

How Covid-19 Changed Our Homes?

How Covid-19 Changed Our Homes?

 

The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of our home lives, from how we choose to decorate to how we can safely connect with new neighbors.

These are the five changes that we noticed. 

1. Floor plans
Families with multiple members working or learning from home, in particular, are benefiting from the privacy and even acoustics provided by segmented rooms.

2. Multi-use furniture
If you rent, live in a small space, or otherwise can’t commit to something as permanent as an altered floor plan, you’ve likely observed similar, albeit smaller, shifts within your space. As a result, attractive but functional pieces, from secretary desks to storage ottomans, will continue to characterize interiors in our new reality (HGTV).

3. Health and wellness
With an increased emphasis on health and safety, materials and finishes that promote cleanliness have become essential.

4. Livability
While spending more time at home, perhaps with additional family members, many owners have realized that livability wasn’t exactly prioritized in the past.

5. Natural influence
Of course, as interaction with the outside world remains limited, outdoor spaces and other natural influences reign supreme. From pleasing views to natural light, incorporating some organic elements can provide, quite literally, a breath of fresh air.

Which of these changes have you seen in your home this past year? Let's talk more about it.
April 8, 2021

What Are the Benefits of a 20% Down Payment?

What Are the Benefits of a 20% Down Payment?

 

If you’re thinking of buying a home this year, you may be wondering how much money you need to come up with for your down payment. Many people may think it’s 20% of the loan to secure a mortgage. 

The truth is, there are many programs available that allow you to put down as little as 3.5%, which can be a huge benefit to those who want to purchase a home sooner rather than later. 

Here are four reasons why putting 20% down is a good plan if you can afford it.

1. Your interest rate may be lower.
A 20% down payment vs. a 3-5% down payment shows your lender you’re more financially stable and not a large credit risk. The more confident your lender is in your credit score and your ability to pay your loan, the lower the mortgage interest rate they’ll likely be willing to give you.

2. You’ll end up paying less for your home.
The larger your down payment, the smaller your loan amount will be for your mortgage. If you’re able to pay 20% of the cost of your new home at the start of the transaction, you’ll only pay interest on the remaining 80%. If you put down 5%, the additional 15% will be added to your loan and will accrue interest over time. This will end up costing you more over the lifetime of your home loan.

3. Your offer will stand out in a competitive market.
In a market where many buyers are competing for the same home, sellers like to see offers come in with 20% or larger down payments. The seller gains the same confidence as the lender in this scenario. You are seen as a stronger buyer with financing that’s more likely to be approved. Therefore, the deal will be more likely to go through.

4. You won’t have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
As mentioned earlier, when you put down less than 20% when buying a home, your lender will see your loan as having more risk. PMI helps them recover their investment in you if you’re unable to pay your loan. This insurance isn’t required if you’re able to put down 20% or more.

If you’re looking to buy your first home, you’ll want to consider the benefits of 20% down versus a smaller down payment option. Also, reach out to a trusted real estate professional who can help you decide what fits best with your long-term plans.

 

April 6, 2021

3 Landscaping Ideas That Will Boost Home Value

3 Landscaping Ideas That Will Boost Home Value

Spring is said to be a perfect season to do landscaping. Since spring is here, it's time to look at what you can do to increase the appeal of your home's exterior.

Landscape design can boost the resale value of your home by up to 20%. It can also raise property value by 12%, increase ROI by over 50% and decrease the length of the period during which your home is on the market.

Some of the best hardscape landscape renovations are lighting, fencing, garden pathways, fire pits, and decks.  You may also do renovations like the installation of plants, shrubs, and trees. 

It is best to consult with a landscaper so you don’t end up destroying everything in the process or spending too much money on the wrong projects. Get professional help especially with the following.

1. Adding or Designing Your Landscape Around Trees
Some of the most worthwhile ways to allocate funds for landscape design center around trees. You can plant trees that will grow over time and provide protection from the sunlight. Some of the best trees to consider planting are sugar maple, Colorado blue spruce, northern red oak, and eastern red cedar. But remember, if you decide to plant a tree, there will be additional costs for maintenance.

2. Patios and Ponds
There are various outdoor hardscapes you can add to increase the appeal of your home, but the most common are decks and patios. A landscaped patio can increase your home’s value by almost 12%.  You can also erect a deck that easily blends into the natural landscape or a water feature like a small pond, swimming pool, or hot tub. It’s all about comfort and how well everything harmonizes with the natural landscape.

3. Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting can greatly increase the appeal of your home exterior and landscape without requiring you to spend a fortune. It can help accent the beauty of trees, as well as your garden and lawn. You can also increase the security of your lawn by lighting a pathway from the driveway to your door. While it might not seem as helpful during the day, night lighting could be a crucial selling point for potential buyers.

Landscaping could be the crucial selling point for your home, it’s important to choose which spot you want to invest in and make sure it is thoughtfully designed to cater to a variety of lifestyles. Whether it's Luxury Homes or Single Family Homes.

If you need more information about this, click here and let's talk about it.



March 30, 2021

5 Signs That You Will Love A Career In Luxury Real Estate

5 Signs That You Will Love A Career In Luxury Real Estate 

If you’re thinking about a new career in luxury real estate, the good news is that there’s plenty of opportunity and plenty of other real estate agents who are happy they made the switch.  

Both brand new and experienced real estate professionals can create their own real estate success stories in the luxury real estate market. Often, it’s the smartest choice for those looking for a bigger return on their time spent in the field. 

If you’re on the fence about changing your career, here are five signs you’d love a new career in luxury real estate: 

1.) You Like to Problem Solve

Every client is different — especially in the luxury real estate market. Affluent clients have unique financial situations, work, and travel often, and have teams of people helping them with everything from caring for their children to helping them with real estate transactions.

That means things like scheduling, negotiating, and even working around privacy concerns require strong problem-solving skills. 

2.) You’re Passionate About Unique Homes

A new career in real estate is fun, but a new career in luxury real estate earns you an exciting opportunity to gush over some of the most unique homes on the market. You will love luxury real estate if you’re just looking for a new career in real estate because you love learning about architecture, amenities, and even art.

3.) You Love to Learn

Truth is, many luxury real estate clients are real estate savvy themselves. Many of them have made their money investing in real estate, and know almost as much as the professionals they hire.

That means a luxury real estate professional’s job is always to stay a few steps ahead — always learning and growing professionally as a result. Otherwise, you simply can’t offer the type of expertise these clients are looking for.

4.) You Want to Make More Money

Notice this is not the first sign on the list. There’s no question that luxury real estate professionals receive a higher return on their investment, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Luxury real estate does require a bit more legwork at times (again, for a bigger payoff), and money alone isn’t always the best motivator.

5.) You Enjoy Marketing and Understand It

Marketing a luxury home is different than marketing a traditional home — as you may have guessed. Luxury real estate clients are driven more by “desire” than “need,” and marketing in this industry reflects that. Similarly, marketing unique homes also often require a higher marketing budget.

A career in luxury real estate is exciting and challenging at the same time. Working with these kinds of clients is highly rewarding, but the unique needs and demands of these more discerning clients call for a professional who not only can solve problems, but also likes to solve problems. So if you're up for the challenge, just be consistent and passionate and you will grow in this industry. 

Click here for more real estate-related tips.
March 23, 2021

5 Reasons to Sell Your House This Spring

 

When selling a house, most homeowners hope for a quick and profitable transaction. If you’re waiting for the best time to win as a seller, the market is calling your name this spring. Here are five reasons why this is the perfect time to sell your house if you’re ready.

1. There’s a high demand from homebuyers.

Buyer demand is strong right now, and buyers are active in the market.

When your house is positioned to get a ton of attention from competitive buyers, you’re in the best spot possible as the seller.

2. There aren’t enough houses for sale.

Purchaser demand is so high, the market is running out of available houses for sale.  It’s this imbalance between high buyer demand and a low supply of houses for sale that gives sellers such an advantage. A seller will always negotiate the best deal when demand is high and supply is low. That’s exactly what’s happening in the real estate market today.

3. You have a lot of leverage in today’s market.

Many more people are interested in buying than selling this spring, creating the ultimate sellers’ market. When this happens, homeowners in a position to sell have the upper hand in negotiations. Click here to read more reasons to sell!

4. It’s a great way to use your home equity.

Equity is a type of forced savings that grows during your time as a homeowner and can be put toward bigger goals like buying your next dream home.

5. It’s a chance to find a home that meets your needs.

So much has changed over the past year, including what many of us need in a home. Whether it’s a house that has the features suited to working remotely, space for virtual or hybrid schooling, a home gym or theater, or something else, selling this spring gives you a chance to make a move and find the home of your dreams. Click here to see the most exclusive dream homes in Naples!

Today’s housing market belongs to the sellers. If you’ve considered making a move but have been waiting for the right market conditions, your wait may be over. Click here to contact me today. You’ll be positioned to win when you sell your house this spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 23, 2021

10 Best Tips To Sell A Vacant Home

 

Most buyers aren’t visionaries, which makes selling a vacant home harder. 

On average, a vacant home will sell less and sit on the market six more days than the average sale. 

Here are the expert tips and advice to make selling your vacant home easier.

1. Give your curb appeal extra love

With an empty or unstaged home, the first impression of curb appeal matters even more than usual. Here’s how to maintain curb appeal: 

  • Here’s how to maintain curb appeal
  • Trim back hedges
  • Paint the front door
  • Lay down mulch

2. Work with a dedicated real estate agent, like me

A great real estate agent can be a godsend when you’re selling a house from a distance. When interviewing agents, ask about their experience selling vacant homes, or if they offer staging or house cleaning services with their listings. Click here to discuss your real estate needs.

3. Stage your home, prioritizing keyspaces

That includes the living room, dining room, and kitchen.

4. Pay close attention when staging the bed and couch

Not all buyers have the ability to envision items in a vacant space. Make the bed a focal point and space the couch to make the living room look bigger

5. Remove stray items to avoid the ‘abandoned’ look

Leaving small items behind, like an errant lamp or single frame on the wall, can make the space look haphazard as if the sellers fled in the middle of the night.

6. Schedule for regular cleanings through closing

When selling a vacant home, your biggest enemy will be dust and grime. If the house is dirty, buyers will just get a bad feeling touring the property.

7. Manage the thermostat remotely

Put buyers at ease with the ideal home temperature.

8. Set up security

The for-sale sign signals an opportunity for burglars.  The for-sale sign signals an opportunity for burglars:

  • Alert the neighbors
  • Invest in smart home tech
  • Motion-activated floodlights

9. Use lamps and lighting to warm up stark spaces

Buyers will feel turned off touring a dark, empty property after sunset. Make the space feel warm and welcoming before they even open the door with smart light bulbs and timers.

10. Lighting is everything

Buyers will feel turned off touring a dark, empty property after sunset. Make the space feel warm and welcoming before they even open the door with smart light bulbs and timers.

Click here to ask me anything about real estate.