home selling tips

Helpful Hints for Holiday Home Sales

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During the winter people are often preoccupied with family, gift buying and avoiding the cold, which can make selling a home during the holidays difficult. Since purchasing a home is often not at the forefront of most people’s minds during the month of December, it is all the more important to market your home appropriately.  Although home buying is often in the decline during the holiday months, keep your spirits bright with these holiday home selling tips!

  1. Hire a photographer to take impressive photos of your home.  Most buyers will start their search for a home on the web, year-round. But this rings even more true during the winter months, as buyers are trying to avoid the cold weather. Give a great first impression of your home with photos that will entice buyers to come visit your home in person.
  2. Decorate for the holidays, but don’t overdo it. Keeping decorations simple will help avoid looking tacky.  Avoid offending potential buyers by displaying general winter decorations, rather than those that pertain to a specific religion. Outdoor wreaths are a nice way to welcome people into your home.
  3. Provide welcoming treats for guests. Help guests feel cozy in your home by providing treats like cookies, coffee or hot chocolate when they enter from the cold. Homebuyers who can picture themselves in a home are more likely to make an offer.
  4. Market to motivated buyers. Those buying a home in the winter typically have a reason to be doing so – job relocation or military placement, those looking to purchase before the tax deadline or college students/staff. Even though traffic may be lighter, the buyers are likely more motivated.
  5. Price your home competitively. With fewer buyers looking to buy home during the winter months, it’s likely that there will be more buyers than sellers. Price your home competitively to help keep your home at the top of customer’s minds.

Need help selling your home? We’ve got agents around the country who can help you with buying or selling your home. Contact us to get started.

Seven Easy Ways to Prepare for an Open House

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    Is your home ready to sell?

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As the busy selling season winds down, it’s important that real estate agents and home sellers are taking advantage of every opportunity to sell properties before winter – including open houses. More than cookies and cleaning – there are several things you can do to ensure that your house presents at its best.

Organize Everything – Storage space is a vital selling point for any property. Cluttered closets and cabinets make it appear that the home doesn’t have enough storage – even if there is ample. Combat this misconception by making sure everything is well organized. You’re guaranteed that the buyer is going to be inspecting every nook and cranny.

Make Small Repairs – Potential buyers won’t overlook anything, from scuffed paint to leaky faucets you’ll want to make sure everything is in tip-top shape before holding an open house. Ideally, you would start this process one month out and have an agent guide you in the most important changes.

Update Your Interior – When you home is staged with nice décor and you’ve made simple updates, buyers will more easily be able to visualize themselves in your home. It’s often inexpensive to give your home a more modern look.  If you are in the process of moving out, a few strategically placed pieces of furniture can do wonders.

Door Hangers – Old school door hangers tend to work. Neighbors are likely interested in the listing – so let them know about it. Instead of lamenting on the fact that the only traffic is ‘nosy neighbors’ embrace the fact that neighbors can help sell a home. Share the home with adjoining neighborhoods as well. Lots of people want their friends and family to live nearby.

Declutter – Experts recommend eliminating up to half of your home’s clutter, either by renting a storage unit or a portable pod. You might even have a friend or family member who would help out with storing items. Keep aesthetics minimal and see what you can do to depersonalize the house. Buyers want to see themselves living there – not you.

Be Invisible – If possible, try to avoid being around the house. If the owner is absent, buyers will feel more comfortable asking questions to the realtor and discussing the benefits and drawbacks of the home.

Collect Contact Information – Make it easy for visitors to sign into the open house. This is a helpful safety measure and it also allows you to grow your database of interested buyers. Registrations can be done simply with a piece of paper and a clipboard or an iPad.

This just skims the top of the list of things to do before an open house. If you are looking to sell your house and need expert advice, contact us. We’re happy to help.

Kitchen Remodeling a Lucrative Selling Point for Sellers

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For many home buyers, the kitchen is one of the most important deciding factors in whether or not to purchase a home. If you’re thinking of selling in the near future, doing some kitchen remodeling is a must.

Use the following tips to help you figure out how to spruce up your kitchen:

  • Invest in high-quality countertops. A lot of buyers like granite countertops, but you don’t have to get those if they’re not within your budget. Consider other materials that are just as appealing, such as quartz. Ideally, your countertops should be durable and easy to maintain.
  • Open up your kitchen. Having an open kitchen with a free flow to it is one of the best changes to make. Many buyers appreciate being able to cook and chat with others at the same time. This can be a costly project, though, depending on your current layout, so make sure you can afford it.
  • Update your cabinets. Paint your cabinets white, especially if yours are dark wood cabinets. This is an easy fix that goes a long way toward appealing to buyers.

Want additional help preparing your home for sellingCall United Real Estate, and stop by our Facebook page.

Home Staging Boosts Higher Prices and Quicker Sales

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As a seller, you’re probably hoping to get as much money as you can for your home and sell it quickly. You can boost your chances of doing this by staging your home.

Here are a few things you should know about home staging for prospective buyers:

  • Staging your home means making it look as appealing as possible to buyers. In order to do this, you might have to paint the walls, rearrange the furniture, keep personal items to a minimum and invest in more neutral decor items that the majority of buyers will like.
  • You should expect to spend some money on staging your home, but don’t go overboard. If you stay within your budget, you’ll make that money back in the form of a higher selling price. Your real estate agent can assist you with getting your home ready for staging at a cost-effective price.
  • You can test whether staging is worth it for you by having buyers look at your home before preparing it for staging. If you’re not getting high enough offers, then it’s time to give staging a try.

Need help selling your home? Contact United Real Estate and visit us on Facebook.

Thinking of Listing Your House? Selling in the Spring 2014

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Spring tends to be the busiest time of year for sellers. If you’re debating whether or not to put your home on the market, there are some factors to consider.

Here are a few reasons for selling in spring 2014:

  • Beating the competition. Selling earlier in the year means you should have an easier time selling and getting more money for your home.
  • Upsizing or downsizing. Save yourself unnecessary stress by finding the right size home, whether you need a bigger family home or a smaller one.
  • Avoiding maintenance issues. If you’re in an older home, you can expect to shell out considerable money for repairs. If you can’t afford this, consider moving to a newer home.

These are a few reasons for staying put:

  • Boosting your home’s value. If you have enough for repairs, consider fixing up your home to increase its value.
  • Being in a good spot. If you’re happy with where your home is, you might want to think twice about selling now.
  • Getting higher equity. You’re better off not selling if your home’s equity will be rising.

Leaning toward selling your homeCall United Real Estate for help, and follow our Facebook page.

Backyard Appeal: Considering the 360-Degree Look of Your Home

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Making sure your home has curb appeal is essential when selling it, but what about the rest of your home’s exterior? While you’re getting your home ready for the market, don’t forget about backyard appeal.

The way the sides and back of your home and property look are just as important as the way the front looks. Having an impressive front yard and entry way won’t go far if buyers are put off by the rest of your property’s appearance. In addition to keeping your backyard mowed and making sure all sides of your home’s exterior are in top condition, you can also make the following improvements:

  • Choose one type of siding: Instead of having brick or stone on the lower part of your home or just on the front, use it all the way up and on all sides.
  • Add windows: Have a couple more windows installed on the sides of your home, if possible, or have a row of windows or a large picture window installed on the back.
  • Build a covered porch: This extra porch will give your home’s backyard more appeal.

Need more help selling your homeContact United Real Estate, and follow us on Facebook.

Modernizing Your Home: Top Five Paint Colors for 2014

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Looking for just the right color or colors to spruce up your home before putting it on the market? There are several great hues to choose from if you’re modernizing your home for sale.

These are some of the hottest colors of 2014 to consider:

  • Emerald: This rich shade of green adds a vibrant yet tasteful touch of color to any room. It’s also a calming and elegant color, making it a great one to use on your walls.
  • Peacock: This shade of blue is a cheerful color that’s slightly darker than teal. You can use it with neutral shades, like gray or white, to brighten up a room.
  • French gray: This warm shade of gray is perfect for giving rooms a cozy feel without having to go too dark. It works well in bedrooms.
  • Deep purple: This shade looks good on accent walls, where it adds an eye-catching contrast to lighter colors or neutrals.
  • Gold: Soft shades of gold are becoming more popular on the exterior of homes. They make any house look brighter without looking too colorful.

Getting ready to start the selling process? Visit United Real Estate to find an agent, and stop by our Facebook page.

Selling 101: Maximizing Small Spaces With Big Colors

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The bathroom is one of the biggest selling points in a home. If yours is a smaller one, it’s important to make it seem as roomy as possible. This will help you attract buyers and get a good price for your home.

Maximizing small spaces can be done with simple changes versus a total renovation. One of the most effective and easiest ways to make your bathroom look larger is by redoing it in a bold color. Choose something like a striking shade of red or a vivid blue tone to focus on. Paint the walls that color, then add accessories, such as hand towels and a toothbrush holder, in the same tone or in complementing colors. If your bathroom has a window, put up curtains that match as well. When choosing a big color, try out a sample of it on your wall first to see if you like it. If not, you can cover it up and try a different color.

Ready to start the selling process? Visit United Real Estate to find a local office, and stop by our Facebook page for more advice and tips on selling a home.

Beautiful Landscaping Can Do More Than Boost Curb Appeal

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    house, large

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Using landscaping to boost curb appeal is a smart move when you’re planning on selling your home. It’s not the only reason to fix up your front yard though. Landscaping can help you get more enjoyment out of your home as well.

These are the essentials you should focus on when doing landscaping:

  • Trees: Trees provide several benefits in addition to making your property look more appealing. They can keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter, which lowers your energy bills. They also reduce carbon dioxide and help keep local waterways free of pollutants.
  • Native plants: Native flora is easier to care for, since these plants, bushes and trees were made to grow in your area. That means you’ll spend less time and money growing and maintaining them.
  • Outdoor lights: Having lighting on the exterior of your house and in your yard adds visual appeal to your home at night. It also reduces your chance of falling and helps discourage intruders.

Need more advice on how to boost curb appealVisit United Real Estate to find a local agent to help you sell your home. Stop by our Facebook page to learn more about us too!

Planning on Selling in 2015? Start Investing in Landscaping Now

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If your 2015 plans include selling your home, it’s time to start getting it ready. This might seem a bit early, but it’s actually a good time for investing in landscaping.

Having some shade trees, shrubs, bushes and flowers around gives your home’s value a major boost. Since some of these, especially trees, take a long time to fully grow, it’s best to plant them as soon as possible. A landscaper can provide advice on which types of greenery to include. Having impressive landscaping improves your home’s curb appeal and gives it some functional value as well, such as providing more shade.

Investing in landscaping isn’t the only thing you should do to get your house ready to sell. Here are a couple more tips:

  • Minor kitchen renovations, such as putting a new finish on your cabinets, increase your home’s value. You’ll also recoup most of the cost.
  • Keeping your lawn healthy goes hand in hand with having beautiful landscaping. Mow and water it regularly, and consider laying down new sod or seed if your lawn’s in bad shape.

Need more advice on boosting your home’s resale value? Stop by United Real Estate and visit our Facebook page.