Selling Your Home? Here’s Why You’ll Want to Invest in Professional Photography

Selling Your Home This Summer? Here's Why You'll Want to Invest in Professional PhotographyWith all of the time and money that can go into moving, spending money on one more thing can seem like a bank account drain. However, when it comes to selling your home, investing in a professional photographer can mean the difference between getting a buyer and making a sale you’ll be proud of. If you want to get the deal your house deserves, you might want to consider the skills of a professional who will make your house look like someone’s dream home.

“Lighting” Up Your House

If you’ve ever noticed how dull a room can look when it’s cloudy outside, you’ll quickly realize how important the right lighting can be in complimenting the appearance of your house. A professional photographer will be able to determine what hours and what types of flash will work to highlight the rooms in your house the best. Not only that, they will go above and beyond what your smart phone can do to correct the issues that can impact a potentially perfect picture.

Capturing The Perfect Panorama

In the right light, it’s possible that you’ll be able to get some great pictures of your house on your own, but a photographer will be able to go beyond that. It’s a proven fact that people are most often lured in by façade photos when searching for homes online, and it’s these the right photographer will be able to perfect. By using a professional who understands what size of lens to use to compliment your home, your photos will easily optimize the way your home looks.

Diving Into The Details With Expertise

Beyond the panorama shots that might convince a potential buyer into considering your house for their next home, a professional photographer may be able to hone in on details that differentiate your house from the rest. With their keen, curious eye, they’ll not only notice intricate details, they’ll be able to highlight them in a way that makes them look interesting, expert and one-of-a-kind. They’ll also be able to beautifully capture the special features that you love about your home!

It can be tempting to be cost effective when it comes to showcasing your home, but just like wedding photographs, you don’t want to skimp on real estate images. If you’re interested in learning more about positive ways you can highlight your home, you should contact your local real estate professional for more information.

The Top 5 Home Features That Buyers Are Hunting For This Fall

The Top 5 Home Features That Buyers Are Hunting for this AutumnWhether you’re getting prepared to buy a new home or just curious about upcoming trends in housing, there are a bevy of features gaining momentum on the real estate market. From top to bottom and room to room, here are five popular features that homebuyers will be sure to notice this fall.

Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better

There was a time when a bigger home meant a better home, but with the cost of maintenance and heating, bigger homes are experiencing a decline in popularity. Instead of sizeable mansions that look the part, buyers are becoming more interested in houses that are more economical to maintain and possess a warmer, cozier vibe.

A Modern, Up-To-Date Kitchen

Where a living room and a bedroom can often be fixed up with a layer of paint, the costs that can go into updating an old kitchen can be quite prohibitive for a new buyer. Instead of a space they’ll just have to renovate, buyers are interested in a sleek, modern looking kitchen with stainless steel appliances that offer modern conveniences.

Energy Efficient And Environmentally Friendly

While older homes can offer character and the history that goes along with them, new homes are winning when it comes to energy efficiency. With people becoming more conscientious of the environment and their impact, energy efficiency in a home is not only popular right now, but will come to be a necessity in the next few years.

Options For A Smart Home

Technology has become so ubiquitous these days that it makes more sense for buyers to invest in homes with smart features. From thermostats that can be adjusted with mobile devices to doors opened via Bluetooth, smart features are a huge part of what makes a modern home.

A Burst Of Bright Color

Muted tones can often be the best for allowing a potential buyer to envision a home as their own, but color here and there can definitely draw in the younger crowd. With bright color making a design comeback, a brilliantly bold sink or appliance can be the type of risk that pays off and has the potential to sway the right kind of home seeker.

The features that grab a potential buyer can change all the time, but certain popular trends will not be going out of style anytime soon. If you’re curious about trends that will be hitting the market in your area, contact your trusted real estate professional for some inside tips.

From Big to Small: How to Downsize from a Large House to a Smaller, More Efficient Home

From Big to Small: How to Downsize from a Large House to a Smaller, More Efficient HomeIf you’re moving from a large home into a smaller house or condo, you’re probably looking forward to enjoying a lower utility bill and not having to do as much cleaning. But before you move, you’ll want to take certain precautions to ensure that you’re not overwhelmed.

A smaller home won’t have as much room for your belongings, which means you may need to get creative. Here’s how you can downsize without losing your mind.

Decide What You’re Going To Keep

Before you do anything else, choose which of your belongings are coming with you. Unless you’ve habitually been getting rid of things you no longer need over the years, chances are you have a large stash of things you’ll never use again. That’s the kind of clutter you’ll need to eliminate before moving into a smaller home.

The obvious exceptions would be anything of significant sentimental or monetary value, but you’ll want to get rid of lots of your everyday objects – for instance, there’s no reason why you need three soup ladles. Having trouble deciding what to throw out? Here’s a simple rule of thumb: If you can’t remember the last time you used it, you probably don’t need it.

Have Anything In Storage? Find A Storage Solution Now

Most homeowners nowadays have the luxury of large storage spaces like basements or attics – but if you’re moving into a condo or a small starter home, storage will be at a premium. And that means anything stored in your basement, garage, or attic will probably need to find a new home. You’ll want to look for a storage solution earlier rather than later.

Perhaps you could rent a storage locker in your neighborhood, or let children or relatives hold onto your belongings until you decide what to do with them.

On Your Moving Day: Move Large Items First, And Put Away Stored Items Before Anything Else

When the day comes for you to move into your new home, you’ll want to try to find the best configuration for the space right away – before your new home is filled with boxes stacked six feet high. Before you do anything else, move your furniture and other large items into the space first, and get them set up so they’re out of the way.

Once all of your boxes are in your new home, put storage items away before anything else – it’ll help you avoid unnecessary stress and sorting later.

Downsizing can be stressful, but with a solid plan and a great real estate agent, you can find a smaller home and move in without issues. Call your trusted real estate professional for more great tips on streamlining the moving process.

Marketing to Millennials: How to Stage Your Home to Attract One of the Hottest Buyer Groups

Marketing to Millennials: How to Stage Your Home to Attract One of the Hottest Buyer GroupsMillennials are finally starting to enter the real estate market, but as is expected with a generation as different as Gen Y, they’re buying homes in a completely different way. Millennial buyers intend to own for shorter periods of time and want to live in metropolitan areas, and they’re also actively interested in real estate as an investment.

If you want to sell your home to a Millennial, you’ll need to change the way you stage and market the house in order to make the sale. Here’s how you can make your home more attractive to Millennial buyers without having to plan a massive renovation.

Millennials Want Investment Properties, Not Storybook Homes

One of the major characteristics that defines the Millennial generation is that they are nomads. Millennials don’t want to hear about how a property is the perfect place for them to live out their Happily Ever After. For a Millennial, marriage and kids and the white picket fence are still a long ways off – and that’s if they’re in the picture at all.

Instead, present your home as the ideal investment property – something they can easily renovate and flip for a nice, tidy profit, or something they can rent out to help pay their student loans. Millennials are entrepreneurial by nature, so appeal to that entrepreneurial zeal.

Convert An Unused Room Into A Home Office

Millennials are also very career-minded and tend to be passionate about side projects. Millennials are leading the charge in the work-from-home movement, and the more easily they can see themselves working out of your home, the more likely they are to buy it.

If there’s a room in your home that you aren’t using, converting it into a home office will help you show Millennials that they can run their online business in a great environment.

Ditch The Carpets And Opt For Hardwood Instead

Millennials want their homes to look modern, and carpets will simply make them think of every 1970s stereotype there is. If you want to reach a Millennial buyer, an easy way to make them see your home as more desirable – and more valuable – is to tear out your carpets and replace them with hardwood flooring. Hardwood is also easier to clean, which will appeal to Millennials’ desire for a low maintenance home.

Millennials have traditionally been difficult to understand, but an experienced real estate agent can help you navigate the Millennial market’s demands and stage your home in an appealing way. Contact a trusted real estate professional near you to learn how you can turn your home into something no Millennial can resist.

3 Handy Tips That Will Prevent Serious Stress when Buying and Selling a Home at the Same Time

3 Handy Tips That Will Prevent Serious Stress when Buying and Selling a Home at the Same TimeIf you’re in the process of simultaneously buying and selling a home, you may be in for the most stressful experience of your life. One UK-based real estate survey of over two thousand people found that buying and selling a house is more stressful than divorce, bankruptcy, a death in the family, becoming a parent for the first time, and even planning a wedding!

It’s not easy, but staying calm will help you to plan for your upcoming home purchase and sale and make the process easier. So how can you avoid the stress? Here are three strategies that will keep you calm, no matter what may happen.

Have A Thorough Plan In Place…

Much of the stress that you’ll experience will probably be the result of poor planning. You may feel stressed if you don’t have enough time to move or if you have to pay mortgages on two homes because your old home isn’t selling fast enough.

Before you get too far into the buying and selling process, talk with a real estate agent and ensure you have a solid plan in place for how you’ll manage buying and selling at the same time. Leave a time and expense buffer for unexpected complications – even if nothing goes wrong, it’s still nice to know you have some room to work with.

…But Be Ready To Improvise If Things Go Sideways

There are a number of ways that buying and selling at the same time might result in complications. Poor timing might mean you need to move out before you have a home to move into, or it might mean you don’t have the money for your new home if your old home hasn’t sold. Be prepared to rent a hotel room, take out a short-term loan, or move your belongings into storage if the sale doesn’t go according to plan.

Talk Out Your Problems With Loved Ones

In times of stress, it’s helpful to turn to friends and family for a helping hand. Studies have shown that having a strong social support network can mitigate the effects of stress, and even the Mayo Clinic suggests reaching out to loved ones when you feel overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends for emotional support, and whenever you have an opportunity to socialize, take it – you’ll find it easier to handle stress after a fun night out with friends.

Buying and selling a home at the same time is bound to be stressful, but an experienced real estate agent can minimize the agony. Call a real estate agent near you to learn how you can successfully buy and sell a home at the same time.

Staging Tips: How to Make Your Bedrooms One of Your Home’s Best Selling Features

Staging Tips: How to Make Your Bedrooms One of Your Home’s Best Selling FeaturesTo potential homebuyers, a bedroom is more than just a place to lay your head at night. It’s a place to relax, retreat, and recover, a place where the demands of the busy world are locked out. And with a properly staged bedroom, you can tap into potential buyers’ desire for relaxation and make your home their number one pick.

So how can you stage your bedroom in a way that buyers will love? Here are three strategies you can use to make your bedroom look like a modern oasis – without spending a fortune.

Position The Bed In The Right Place

One easy-to-change yet often overlooked detail in staging the perfect bedroom is the location of the bed. The bed is the focal point of the room, so position it accordingly. If your bedroom has French doors or a large window, positioning your bed directly opposite that amenity will create balance.

Ideally, your bed should have space to walk around it on both sides. If that’s not possible, place it against the longest wall in the room.

Use Neutral Colors And Ample Lighting To Boost Appeal

As a highly personal and intimate space, the bedroom is one area of the home where potential buyers are likely to try to imagine themselves in the space. If your bedroom incorporates loud colors, unique patterns, or poor lighting, it’ll be harder for potential buyers to envision themselves there. What you want is a neutral color and lighting scheme.

Take out any dark curtains and heavy drapes, as they can make the room seem dirty. Swap out your bed sheets with white duvets and covers, and use some solid-colored throw pillows for contrast. Add a lamp to give the room a cozy feel.

Remove Everything That Screams “You”

The point of staging a home is to help potential buyers see themselves living in it – if you can get buyers to picture themselves actually living in your home, they’ll form an emotional connection to it and will be more likely not just to buy, but to bid at or above asking price.

But in order to help buyers see themselves living in your home, you have to make it look as if you were never there. That means the family photographs, books on the nightstand, and exercise equipment has to go.

Home staging is a highly effective way to make your home sell faster – and for more money. And although it may seem like quite the undertaking, an experience real estate agent can make it a breeze. Contact your trusted real estate professional today to learn more about home staging.

Real Estate Terminology 101: What Exactly Is A “Buyer’s Market”?

Real Estate Terminology 101: What Exactly Is A If you’ve been following the real estate industry for any length of time, you’ve probably heard the phrase “buyer’s market” at some point. And although the meaning may seem apparent, it takes some study to understand what actually constitutes a buyer’s market.

Who decides whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market? What’s the threshold for deciding between the two? Here’s what you need to know.

Supply And Demand: Economic Factors That Govern…Everything

If you studied economics in school, you’ll probably remember an early lesson on supply and demand. Essentially, supply and demand are the two factors that influence what a commodity is objectively “worth” in a free market. They’re also a great way of characterizing whether a market is hot or cold, and whether or not it’s a good idea to invest at any particular moment in time.

In a nutshell, supply is the amount of something that is available for purchase, while demand is the amount of that same thing that people want to buy. When supply goes up while demand stays the same, buyers have more choice with respect to whom they want to buy from – and that means the price goes down because the commodity is freely available. When demand increases while supply stays the same, we see the opposite effect – the value (and price) increases because there’s not enough of the supply to go around.

The Buyer’s Market: What You Need To Know

A buyer’s market is a real estate market where the supply of homes available is greater than the demand for housing – it’s a market where there are more homes for sale than there are people willing to buy. This is a great situation for buyers, because their freedom of choice gives them a significant amount of power when negotiating prices. In a buyer’s market, sellers may have to accept a lower price in order to make the sale.

How To Navigate The Buyer’s Market

For buyers, the buyer’s market means lower prices and fewer bidding wars. But there are still some basic principles that savvy buyers ought to follow. Don’t lowball too far below the asking price, even if it is a buyer’s market – if homes in an area have recently been selling for $400,000 and the asking price is $450,000, offering $350,000 will only insult the buyers.

A buyer’s market means you can find your dream home at an affordable price, but there are certain nuances you’ll want to pay attention to. A professional real estate agent can help you to read and navigate the market, which means you’ll have an easier time finding your ideal home. Contact your local real estate professional to learn more.

Thinking About Selling Your Home Without A Real Estate Agent? Don’t – Here’s Why

Thinking About Selling Your Home Without A Real Estate Agent Dont Here is WhyIf you’re considering selling your home in the near future, you may be tempted to simply cut out the middleman and opt for an FSBO sale. However, selling a home is a major undertaking, and most “For Sale By Owner” home sales run into obstacles.

So why is an FSBO sale such a problem for most homeowners? Here are three reasons why you’ll want an agent to represent you instead of going it alone.

An FSBO Puts You At Risk Of A Lawsuit

Selling a home involves mountains of paperwork, and in order to make the transfer of ownership legal and above board, there is a large amount of minutiae that need to be considered. For instance, as a seller, you are legally obligated to disclose certain facts about the property: Some jurisdictions require you to disclose whether a death occurred in the home, for example, or if the home is located in a historical district.

Even one seemingly minor mistake could open you up to legal action. An experienced real estate agent already knows everything that needs to be disclosed, and although agents can make mistakes, they have errors and omissions insurance to protect them. Most homeowners don’t have that protection in place.

Buyers’ Agents May Discourage Buyers From Viewing Your Home

When it comes to FSBO deals, most buyers’ agents anticipate the deal being a challenge at best. Buyers’ agents typically only show FSBO properties in one of two cases: Either the price is extremely low or there aren’t any other homes available.

But according to Atlanta real estate agent Bruce Ailion, most experienced agents have had an FSBO transaction go poorly at some point and are now wary of them. Without a real estate agent to represent you, sellers’ agents will be hesitant to deal with you – and you won’t get as many offers on your home as you’d like.

You’ll Need To Discern Qualified Buyers From Dreamers

One thing that most homeowners don’t know is that not everyone who views your home is actively interested in buying it in the near future. Showing your home may mean taking time off work or away from activities you care about, and if the prospect doesn’t end up buying, you’ve wasted your time.

A real estate agent knows what questions to ask in order to weed out the merely curious and find motivated buyers, so you’ll sell your home much faster.

FSBO sales don’t always end in disaster, but they’re considerably difficult to do well. An experienced real estate agent can help you sell your home faster and for more money than you can on your own. Contact your local real estate professional today to learn more.

Dealing with the Emotional Stress of Selling Your Childhood Home

Dealing with the Emotional Stress of Selling Your Childhood HomeSelling a childhood home can be emotionally stressful and even traumatizing. This is more than a house; it is a home where years and even decades of memories have been made and where lives have been lived. While selling a childhood home may be difficult to do, there are a few steps that can be taken to reduce the emotional turmoil that may be felt during this process.

Create A Final Memory

When a family has lived in a home for many years, it may feel almost as though the home has become a part of the family in a way. One way to deal with the emotional stress of saying goodbye to the home is to create a final memory with family in the home. This may be to host a family dinner that enables everyone to walk through the home one final time and to reminisce together about the past.

Take Pictures Of The Space

Whether a final family get-together is planned for the home or not, taking pictures of the home before vacating it can be beneficial. These pictures can help to preserve the memories of the space itself, and close-up pictures of special features of the home that hold significance can be taken. Creating an album of these pictures may be ideal in some cases.

Preserve Memories Of The Home

With a childhood home, there is a good chance that there are hundreds of pictures that have been taken inside the home and in the yard, and there may also be videos of home movies. While some will want to take new pictures of the home before leaving, another idea is to preserve the images of the home that have been taken over the years. This can celebrate the historical significance that the home played with the family over time.

Bring Traditions Into A New Home

While it is important to make final memories and to preserve memories, it is also important to move on. Letting go of one home means that it is time to start new traditions in a new home, and families can begin doing this with a special get-together. After all, while a home is important for a family, it is the family that truly makes the property a home.

It doesn’t matter if a family lived in the home for a few years or for several decades, saying goodbye to a childhood home is rarely easy to do. Contact a real estate professional to begin the selling process.

Last-minute Home Showing? Here’s How to Stage Your Home in Just a Few Minutes

Last-minute Home Showing? Here's How to Stage Your Home in Just a Few Minutes In an ideal situation, a seller will have ample time to prepare a home to list for sale. This may include time to make necessary repairs, to thoroughly clean the home from top to bottom and to properly stage it. However, in those cases when time is not available to complete all of these steps, there are a few necessary steps that should be followed to get the home in show-ready condition in a very short period of time.

De-Clutter As Much As Possible

De-cluttering the home is an important step in staging, and this is because it can make the home look cleaner and can show off the square footage in the home. When time for staging is limited, it may be necessary to simply hide items away in closets, cabinets and drawers. Ideally, however, these items will be boxed up, and this is because some home buyers will open closet doors and cabinets to view these areas, and it is not ideal to have them appear to be cluttered and chaotic.

Remove All Personal Effects From The Property

A key step in staging a home relates to removing all of the family’s personal items and making the home seem neutral, and the purpose for this is so that a buyer can see himself or herself living in the home. Ideally, all personal effects, including your family pictures, will be removed from the property.   When it is not possible to remove everything from the property, these personal items should be boxed up at the minimum or stored in an out-of-sight location in the home.

Focus On The Kitchen And Bathrooms

When time is truly limited, it may not be possible to thoroughly clean the home as well as de-clutter and de-personalize the home. Therefore, in a crunch, it is best to focus on cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms thoroughly and giving the other areas of the home a once-over cleaning. If more time is available, focusing on cleaning baseboards, ceiling fans and other features that may not be cleaned on a regular basis but that are visible to buyers can be helpful.

Many sellers will have several weeks to stage a home before listing it, but this is not always the case. In a situation with limited time to stage the home, the seller often must make critical decisions about what absolutely must be done and what is less important, and this can vary from homeowner to homeowner. Those who have questions about staging their home can reach out to their trusted real estate professional for assistance.