Lisa Scungio's Blog
Let's face it – selling a home may prove to be a long, arduous process, particularly for those who are listing a residence for the first time. Fortunately, we're here to help you simplify the home selling journey and ensure you can enjoy a pleasant home selling experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to make the home selling process quick and easy.
1. Evaluate Housing Market Data
The housing market frequently changes, and a seller's market today may transform into a buyer's market tomorrow. However, if you analyze housing market data, you can understand real estate segment trends and map out your home selling journey accordingly.
Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. This information can help you differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market.
Also, evaluate the prices of local houses that are similar to your own. This data will show you how your residence stacks up against the competition.
2. Hire a Home Appraiser
Although you might have received a great price for your house a few years ago, the value of your home likely has changed. As such, you should conduct a home appraisal to receive an accurate property valuation.
A home appraiser will look at your house's exterior and interior, along with assorted housing market data. Then, this appraiser can provide you with a valuation of your property. And once you have a property valuation in hand, you can determine how to price your house.
In addition, it often helps to complete a home inspection prior to listing your residence. Because if you perform a home inspection today, you can identify and correct any home problems that otherwise may slow down the home selling process.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you're unsure about where to find housing market data or how to hire a home appraiser, there's no need to worry. Real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals will do whatever it takes to help you sell your house.
A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is available to assist you in any way possible. For instance, if you need help pricing your house, a real estate agent can make it easy to establish a competitive initial asking price. Or, if you are debating whether to accept or reject a buyer's proposal, a real estate agent can help you make an informed decision.
Let's not forget about the comprehensive support that a real estate agent provides in the days and weeks after you accept an offer, either. This housing market professional will keep you up to date about a home purchase agreement as closing day approaches. And if you ever have home selling concerns or questions, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.
Ready to list your residence? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can increase the likelihood of a fast, simple home selling journey.
Are you considering buying a home with a Home Owner's Association (HOA)? Living in an HOA community can be very rewarding. But if you're accustomed to living without one, it can bring some challenges.
Know in advance what to expect with HOA living. Checking out the biggest pros and cons HOA homeowners face.
Pro & Con: Lawn Maintenance
Some HOAs may pool HOA money together to cover landscaping costs for the neighborhood. Not only does this mean you never have to do yard work again. It also provides a consistent aesthetic throughout the community that you'll come to appreciate.
This can be a con as well. You'll have less say about the flowers you can plant. And some HOAs don't handle landscaping but give you basic landscaping rules you must follow.
Pro: Access to Amenities
An HOA may maintain a community swimming pool, clubhouse, golf course, or mini-gym. As a member of the HOA, you'd have access to these shared spaces.
Pro: Fewer Worries about Unruly Neighbors
Is your neighbor throwing loud parties at all hours? Are they letting their dog run around and relieve itself in your yard? In a non-HOA, these are neighbor disputes. But in an HOA, these are community issues.
When you join, you each agree to by-laws. If someone is out of line, they may face penalties. But beware, if you're the unruly neighbor, you might face the same.
Pro: You May have Automatic Friends
If you've moved across the country and don't know anyone, you'll appreciate the organized social events most HOAs host.
Con: Fees Can be Expensive
If you get a lot of amenities, you'll be paying for it through the HOA. It's much cheaper than if you paid for all of it separately. But it's essential to move into an HOA with amenities you'll use to get your money's worth.
You owe these fees regardless of changes in financial status. The by-laws may give the HOA the right to put a lien on your home that will have to be paid before you can sell or refinance.
Con: You Can't Paint your House
The HOA will typically choose one or more colors for your exterior. You have little say.
Are you a rebel? This level of control over your life may take some adjustment.
Con: The HOA Organization
Not all HOA's are run well, try to gain insight into how the Association's governing board functions. Before joining one--which is automatic when you buy a house there--we recommend that you talk with your future neighbors and the HOA to get a feel for things. Also, walk through the neighborhood to see how well yards, roofs, and other outdoor features are maintained.
The Pros & Cons of HOAs
Every HOA is different. So consider what you're looking for. Speak with your real estate agent about your desires and expectations. And for more tips on finding the home you'll love, follow our blog.
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When you’re shopping for a home, one of the most important things is that you feel comfortable in the home. Sure, you can look at the listing and visit the property, but you’ll never know what it’s like to sleep in a home until you move in. While there aren’t many homeowners that offer overnights in order for you to feel out their property listing, there are ways that you can test a home out subtly.
Check Out The Neighborhood
You can learn a lot about a neighborhood just by observing the area. See how many people are out walking around. What is the age group of the people you see? This can give you a great idea of the neighborhood that your potential home is in. You could do this investigating several times at different hours of the day to get a full picture of the area.
Getting out and taking a stroll around the neighborhood is also a great idea to see what potentially living in your new home will be like. Check out public transportation options and local establishments like restaurants and coffee shops. Another great place to check out is local parks and recreation centers. This will allow you to see both the quality and the quantity of the options available to you.
Test The Plumbing
If you have a chance as you’re walking through a home, touring it, be sure to check out the plumbing. Turn on the faucets. See how the water pressure from the shower is. It seems like kind of a strange thing to think of testing, but it’s important. You don’t want to move into a house only to find out the water pressure is unlivable and the hot water isn’t so hot!
Check Out How The Windows Work
A home with a breeze is always nice. See if any windows get stuck or are leaking out cold air when shut. This is a subtle way to do your own home inspection of an important aspect of your potential future home. Paying attention to the windows can also help you to hear the noise factor that you might face in the home. Can you hear a lot of traffic? Is the neighborhood quiet? Discovering these things will be very important in your decision to purchase a home.
How Is The Storage Space?
Look around the homes that you’re considering and see how much storage space you’ll have. Is there a basement or an attic or both? How easy are these spaces to access? If a home lacks adequate closet space for storing things like towels, cleaners, clothing, etc, you may find yourself scrambling for ways to keep all of your things in the home once you move in. Make sure the storage space you see is enough for you and your family’s lifestyle.
If you’re a homeowner considering selling your home as an investment property, timing is important. From a financial perspective, just as you probably bought strategically, you want to sell strategically too. The trick is knowing when the right time arrives. Here are four common metrics people use to determine when it's time to sell their property.
Amount of Equity in the House
A primary factor to look at is how much equity is in the home. Ideally, to sell a home as an investment, the seller can make a tidy sum. If mortgage payments are still owed, this may negate any potential profit made, but not necessarily. If you're looking to broaden your investment portfolio, be certain you can sell your house for enough money to pay off your debt with a sufficient amount left over to re-invest. If you don’t have enough equity to do this, you’re better holding off.
Market Conditions Are Good
Many owners who bought low and can sell high find this to be a strong motivator to put their property on the market. Since market conditions eventually shift to a buyer’s market, it’s a smart strategy to sell when the housing market favors the seller. Owners who have held their property for a long time or purchased as the housing bubble burst between 2007-2012, are likely going to make a better profit than investors who purchased when prices were at their peak.
Tax Code Advantages
Buyers are often motivated to sell if there are tax code advantages. For instance, the IRS currently offers a tax-deferred advantage to investors looking to sell one property to buy another. Under tax IRC Section 1031, sellers are required to find another property to purchase within 45 days and then buy it within 135 (180 days total).
By selling and making a similar real estate investment, investors can defer paying their federal and state capital gain taxes. It’s a good strategy to use if you want to leverage real estate and broaden your portfolio.
Taxes Are Going Up
If local taxes are going up, often buyers find this to be an incentive to sell. For instance, if a town severely limits commercial activity, the tax burden falls to homeowners. Over time, the tax bill may become too exorbitant. If you own enough equity in your property and the housing market is in your favor, high taxes might be your tipping point.