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Here you will find various postings on Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter events, real estate news, and community sales with statistical information.

Nov. 3, 2020

Best Dog Parks in Jupiter Florida

Taking your dog for a walk around the neighborhood is an easy way to get exercise for both you and your dog. But being able to go out to a dog park is a great way to let your furry friend get exercise while meeting new friends. So here are some of the best dog parks in Jupiter Florida.

Dog parks in Jupiter

F.I.N.D Dog Park:

This is one of the top dog parks in the city. There are two fenced in areas that are off-leash so pups can run and play. One of the areas is for larger breeds and the other is for smaller dogs to ensure the safety of the dogs. For hot days there are hoses to fill up bowls and puppy pools so your dog can take a quick dip if they get too hot. And there are places to sit for the pet parents and shady spots to keep cool. If you want to take your pooch for a walk, there is a walking trail and access to the beach for more play time, but those areas are not off leash so make sure to keep a hold of your pooch.

Dog Beach:

Looking to have some fun in the sun, sand, and surf? Then head on over to this dog park. Dog Beach is one of the few beaches in Florida that allows for off-leash dogs. The dogs are allowed to roam free throughout a section of the beach but are asked to stay out of the lifeguarded areas and away from bathrooms. Parking is available near the beach and there is no fee to use it. Owners should supervise their pets at all times to make sure that they are not disturbing anyone. The park is also not segregated by breed size so owners should keep close eyes on their pets. Owners are also asked to pick up after their dogs so that the beach remains clean for other people to use.

 

There are plenty of things to do in Jupiter Florida with your pups. From dog parks to off-leash beaches, and even doggy surf lessons there is something for everyone here. 

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Posted in Jupiter
Oct. 27, 2020

Not Every Realtor Likes to Sell New Homes

But this is why you need an agent that does.....!Why Realtors are scared of new construction

 With the real estate boom going on in many places around the country, new homes and new construction is on the rise. However, many real estate agents don't even like selling new construction but it really comes down to knowledge, experience and information. Most homebuyers don't know a lot about new construction so they need to go with an agent that is very familiar with the home buying process of new construction, home inspections, and the sometimes unique situations the new construction and new homes can bring.

When it comes to buying new construction, buyers have the satisfaction of knowing they will be the only one to have lived in the home so far. This fresh approach to home living is a exciting experience but unless you have a buyers agent that is very familiar with new construction, homebuyers could find themselves frustrated with the builder, aggravated with the inspection and overall disappointed with the purchase.

New construction should not be this way.

This is why you need a qualified, experienced and knowledgeable buyers agent when it comes to purchasing new construction. Many real estate agent simply stay away from new construction for a variety of reasons including:

  • The simply don't know how to find new homes
  • They don't know how to add value to the service and negotiate price with developers
  • They may have a fear of not being paid if they take their buyer to the sales office
  • They don't know what to expect from the on-site agent
  • They don't understand how to qualify their buyers for these new homes
  • There unfamiliar with the on-site agent and how to negotiate their commission and treat the agent professionally.

This is why it is so extremely important to go with a real estate agent that understands new homes, new construction and can deal with the on-site developers, real estate agents and builders.

The Palm Beach Gardens in Jupiter Florida area has numerous new construction communities popping up including Alton and Sonoma Isles. These two brand-new communities are currently building out and if buyers go with the on-site agent they may be pressured into negotiations, terms and pricing that they're not comfortable with.

Going with an unbiased buyers agent that does not work specifically with the developer of the community means that your needs, terms and price are confidential and at the top of our priority list. When you need to buy new construction contact an agent that is familiar with all the details that surround new home purchases.

Contact me today to learn more about these two new home communities or other similar new construction properties throughout Palm Beach County.

Posted in Alton, Sonoma Isles
Oct. 14, 2020

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Before You Retire?

Our specialty is helping those over 50 years old, retirees, or those looking for an active adult community find a home they need, help with refinancing, and help set a mortgage that works with their lifestyle and their current budget. With that in mind, Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Before You Retire and what happens if you can't?

Most of us feel that when we retire we shouldn't have a mortgage. We've been paying mortgages for decades and now that we're entering our retirement years, not having to worry about a mortgage and just paying the taxes and homeowners insurance is a huge load off the budget. But is a mortgage-free retirement the best option?

More: What to Know About Living in a Florida HOAShould You Pay Off Your Mortgage Before You Retire?

Mortgage interest is technically tax-deductible but with a lot of the new changes with the Trump administration, the standard deductible may cover any and all itemized deductibles making the tax-deductible benefit to a mortgage nonexistent. Only about 14 million households will benefit from the mortgage interest deduction compared to over 30 million just a few years ago. That's not necessarily a bad thing since Congress has doubled the standard deduction in the last few years. But even before this tax reform, those approaching retirement age got fewer benefits from their mortgages over time because they've been paying for so long. Most of these borrowers have switched from paying mostly interest to now paying mostly principal.

In order to cover any mortgage payments, retirees may have to withdraw more from the retirement fund than they would have if the mortgage was paid off. But are there any benefits to keeping a mortgage?

More: 5 Questions to Ask When Buying a Fixer Upper

You may be able to earn a better rate on investments instead of paying your mortgage. It also depends on how much you have saved for retirement, cash flow, and how investment accounts are doing. When does it make sense to continue making mortgage payments during retirement years?

You certainly don't want to use your savings to pay off your mortgage and then be unable to cope with any other expenses in the future. If you pay off your mortgage but don't have any money set aside for emergencies, you may have to get another loan or home equity line of credit for major items such as a new car or a roof. Using your retirement savings to make your mortgage payment could also trigger taxes. If you withdraw more from your Ira to pay your mortgage you may end up with less after taxes. This is a question for your financial advisor and whether it makes sense to continue on paying your mortgage with savings or so security benefits.

Are you making an emotional decision rather than a financial one? The whole idea of paying off a mortgage gives you peace of mind in retirement but some people may want to pay down their mortgage even if the rates are low and their portfolio is earning more. Understand the difference between emotional components and mathematical components. There's no right or wrong answer as this benefits each individual person differently. It's important to have an action plan that fits your unique circumstances.

It really comes down to how much money you have on a monthly basis, your interest rates, and whether paying off your mortgage makes sense before retirement.

For more information on finding a home that fits within your mortgage payment or buying a home with cash contact my office today.

More Tips for Retirees

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Can and should you buy a house after retirement?

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Posted in News
Sept. 21, 2020

5 Questions to Ask When Buying a Fixer Upper

5 Questions to Ask When Buying a Fixer Upper

There are so many great homes in the Indianapolis area that just need a little bit of love and restructuring to make them truly shine to their best potential. Taking on a fixer-upper can be a good way to take advantage of a great deal on a home and build some equity, but in some cases, it can be too much to handle.

Here are some questions to ask and help buyers determine if taking on a home that needs work is right for them.

Good Questions to Ask Real Estate Agents

What are the neighborhood stats for the home? This is a very important aspect of purchasing a fixer because you can easily go into upgrading and turning a home around believing the equity will rise greatly only to be a little disappointed that the values are not where you expected because the neighborhood is holding the value back. Is the home in a historic district? Fixing up an old home with a unique character sounds like a picture book adventure, but properties deemed historic or in historic neighborhoods are subject to more approval standards than other homes. In many cases, this means a stricter set of parameters for what and how you can improve a home. Sometimes this can be a pricier renovation.

Good Questions for the Inspector

Are there any signs of “hidden” issues? These would be things like water damage pointing to leaks, an unfinished basement having code issues if you were hoping to finish it as livable space if there is anything that may need to be further investigated by a special inspection. What are repairs and costs that most homeowners don’t see or realize? What conditions are the home’s major systems in? There is obvious cosmetic work to be done and an inspector will let you know their thoughts on that, make sure you thoroughly understand the state of major systems like the plumbing and HVAC as well as electrical these things can add up quickly.

A Question for the Contractor

What do you see the total cost of renovations being? After talking with the inspector and forming a plan of what you would like to accomplish in the home, sit down with a contractor (or two) and discuss all of the options. They can talk over what you are hoping the budget could be and how realistic that is and what can be done for that price as well as their total project estimate. They can help you decide on options for getting certain parts of the work done now and others later if you would like to have more time to pay for repairs.

Some Questions to Ask Yourself

Do you like the layout of this home or are you looking to gut rooms and completely change them? When you start looking to remove structural walls, reconfigure plumbing, move air ducts, etc. The renovations start to get very pricey. Do I really want to commit the time, energy, patience, and flexibility to this project? There are many things that are not set in stone with renovating a home and two of the biggest factors are time and money. Even the smallest of remodeling projects can take much longer than projected at the start and have a high possibility of costing more money.

There are so many unknowns just looking at a project versus beginning the work and actually doing it. All construction takes quite a bit of flexibility and patience for the unknowns. Fixer-uppers do help buyers to build more equity and make a home into what they truly want it to be, but it is not a venture to go into lightly thinking there will be little to no hiccups. Yes, do go with a positive mindset, but don’t rule out that the worst is possible. For help finding the right home in Palm Beach Gardens, contact me anytime.

Looking for a great community in Palm Beach County? Check out the top communities in our area.

For all area real estate check out: Jupiter Homes for Sale North Palm Beach  Singler Island  Juno Beach Homes

More: Top Things Most Buyers Want to Know

How to Look up the History of a Home

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Posted in Real Estate
Aug. 24, 2020

We Are in Hurricane Season. Here's How You Can Be Prepared

Hurricane preparedness week is May 6 through the 12th and since hurricane season starts on June 1, here are some things you can do now to be prepared and aware of the upcoming season. While nobody likes to plan for the worse being prepared can give you a sense of security and peace knowing everyone in the family knows what to do. Here are some tips from the National Weather Service on how to prepare your home, your family, your pets, and your neighborhood in case of a hurricane.Prepare for the hurricane season

On average, about 12 tropical storms, six of which become hurricanes over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or the Gulf of Mexico developed during the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year. Most hurricane hazards include storm surge, which is the abnormal rise of seawater, and it can travel several miles inland along bays, rivers, and estuaries. Flooding from heavy rains can be possible and of course, winds, which can destroy buildings, homes, roofing material and other items left outside. Tornadoes can accompany a landfall tropical cyclone but it is rare. Dangerous ways can produce a tropical cyclone and waves can cause deadly rip currents, beach erosion, and damage to structures along the coastline. The two biggest issues usually include storm surge and storm tide, so let's talk about safety issues with these two situations.

RELATED: Emergency Numbers and Contact Information All Homeowners Should Have

Storm Surge

Water goes where it wants to and it can breach levees, pound dams into rubble, and overtake seawalls. While it might seem impossible, there are things homeowners can do to minimize the impact of flooding. You can protect your home's foundation with sandbags. Place the sandbags not only around the foundation but also near in events or openings. Aluminum or glass flood panels around vents can also help.

Water will always travel to the lowest available point. Basements are usually the easiest and fastest places that flood and actually, basements were meant to flood in order to protect the rest of the house. If your neighborhood is prone to flooding of any type, it's important to elevate the furnace, water heater, and electrical panel. Seal basement walls with waterproof compounds and install backflow plugs and valves to prevent water from getting to the rest of the home. These devices can also stop toilets, baths, and seeks from becoming geysers of water. It's also important to know how to turn off the electricity and other utilities.

Consider Buying Flood Insurance.

Check with your homeowner's insurance policy. Most do not cover flooding. You may or may not be able to even get flood insurance if you are in a floodplain so check with your insurance company and find out about protecting your home in other ways than tangible.

Storm Tide

This is where the water level rises during a storm due to the combination of storm surge and the astronomical tide.

Evacuate.

If you receive an evacuation order because of a hurricane storm tide or storm surge, it's a good idea to get your most important belongings and get out sooner rather than later. Surges can even begin to rise a day before the actual storm hits, cutting off valuable escape routes. Don't risk it. It's simply not worth it.

The weather department will be monitoring the storm tides using four approaches for measuring the timing, magnitude, and duration of hurricane storm surge dynamics. They have real-time monitoring, rapid deployment gauges for temporary monitoring, and storm surge sensors. A storm tide sensor collects the water level and barometric pressure every 30 seconds for most sites. There are located on beaches with record wave height every two seconds. The sensors are strapped to bridge piers, power and light poles and other structures along the coastline. The data is able to study the surge flooding including wave height and visualize its interaction with coastal features.

Read On About How to Protect Your Home in a Hurricane

Posted in News
July 25, 2020

What to Know About Living in a Florida HOA?

What to Know About Living in a Florida HOA?

Living in a Florida HOA has many benefits. And that is one of the reasons why you should bother about giving this piece your attention. However, different locations have their Home Owner's Association. Perhaps you don't know what an HOA is, it means Home Owner's Association. It takes care of the affairs in any particular community that chooses to have it.

Where there is a Home Owner's Association, they own the land and everything outside your home.

How is a Home Owner's Association formed?

Any community that feels there is a need for one can make one. If the community is in unison for the idea, then they can form an HOA. Volunteering Homeowners will make up the HOA board. The Board oversees the administration and organization of the community.

How can you benefit from an HOA?

An assumption by common sense is that living in a community is easier when everyone is involved in the maintenance of the environment. And that's the aim of the association everywhere including Florida. This makes living in the community more comfortable. There are regulations agreed by the community, which every home must abide by. Otherwise, fines will be implemented. In extreme cases where fines are not paid, the association has the right to possess the defaulter's property.

More: 10 Important Things to Know Before Buying a House

Are you wondering how popular HOA's are?

In 2019, the United States had 347,000 HOA communities. This amounts to approximately 70 million residents at that time. As a matter of fact, the largest of these communities is ‘The Association of Poinciana Villages.’

Do I have to pay dues in Florida HOA?

Most associations pay dues. One of the vital functions of the HOA is to keep the environment in good order. Hence, there is a need to pay dues for maintenance to be a success.

Can I opt-out of an HOA?

No — You have no power over an existing association. However, you can refuse the formation of one where there is none.

Common Regulations in a Florida

In the best interest of the community and in accordance with their responsibility the association has some rules that guide how the community is run.

Pets

The Home Owners Association has a say in the breed of pets that occupants can keep. Aggressive dog breeds are usually not allowed. City regulations can also have an effect on the pet restrictions that the board enforces.

Home Exterior

You already know that the association owns the exterior of your home. So, if they choose to decide what your exterior looks like, you have to key in. In Florida, you need to seek the approval of the association before changing the exterior of your house.

Fence

The association decides the material used for your physical boundaries. They also determine the height, style, and color of your fence.

Related: How do I know how healthy an HOA is?

Parking

When it comes to how to park your vehicles, safety, security, and beauty are paramount, and the board makes the best decision possible.

Sports Equipment and Playgrounds

Many associations forbid playgrounds and sports equipment. The reason is that the equipment can easily become rusty and deface the community environment.

In summary, there are various HOA's in different communities in Florida. Also, HOA only acts in the best interest of the community while having absolute control over the issues around the home exteriors.

Looking for a great community in Palm Beach County? Check out the top communities in our area.

More: Top Things Most Buyers Want to Know

Posted in News
July 23, 2020

Essential Skills All Home Buyers Should Have in 2020

Essential Skills All Home Buyers Should Have in 2016

It's an interesting real estate market these days. Home prices have bounced back after the COVID dip in March and April, new developments are on the rise and home sellers are getting more for their home than ever before. However, it is a unique environment in that lenders are still pretty strict, competition is high and homebuyers don't want to overpay for a property.

2020 is actually a great time to buy a property as values are increasing yet rates remain historically low. If you're planning on refinancing or buying a new home, you can get a great rate and by more home for less money.

If you're considering buying a home in Palm Beach County in 2020 here are some important skills to have in order to get the home you want at the price you need.

#1. Million-dollar true value validation.

Million-dollar homes are everywhere these days, depending on the market. In the Palm Beach County market, a million-dollar home is no big deal. These types of prices are commonplace and a lot of developments and gated communities throughout Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter. However, it's important that buyers know that this price increase has not been earned by home improvements or construction quality; it truly is simply the market. "Paying more for less is the really significant aspect of the price inflation trend." [Source] Buyers need to be impressed by true value such as location, quality of materials, and construction. The more the buyers understand that a million-dollar valuation isn't necessarily all it's cracked up to be, they can make a better-informed decision on the right home.

#2. Educated decision-making.

Understanding "days on the market", taxes, insurance, and all the details that go into buying a property help buyers be more educated and understand what they're buying and how much the really be paying each month. Talk to your real estate agent about the logistics of a particular property. Has the home been listed for a long time? Has the home come off the market and then relisted three months later? Has there been price increases or decreases? How long has the seller owned the property? Why are they selling? Is it truly a good value or is it the most expensive home in the neighborhood? All of these are valuable details to know before making an informed decision and a well-thought-out offer.

#3. Go beyond the price and look at value.

Just as we discussed in the first skill, understanding true validation, it's important for buyers to understand that the purchase price is only one feature of an offer in order to purchase the property. Closing dates, conditions, contingency and financial ability to close all play into a tight offer and a well-thought-out transaction. Understand what the most important factors are when it comes to the seller including their emotions and their ability to sell. Make your offer stand out by understanding the seller better and speaking to your real estate agent about options and incentives in order to get the home you really want.

If you didn't already figure it out education is really the ongoing theme of today's homebuying skills. Understanding the seller, the market, the neighborhood, and the valuation of each individual property will help you make a better decision so that you don't overpay for the wrong home.

In order to get started contact my office today, we could talk about preapproval, closing dates, or sign up to schedule a showing or consultation for any home on the market.

how much is your home worth

More Tips for Home Buyers Right Now:

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Strategies Southern Florida Home Buyers Should Adopt

Are you losing your mind when building a house?

5 Reasons millennials should stop paying rent

How to Compete with Other Cash Buyers

Posted in Real Estate
June 30, 2020

Top 10 Things Home Buyers Want to Know

We can fill in all the fluff we want with legal descriptions and flowery words but really, buyers just want to know these 10 simple things. The better we present them, the clearer it is.

#1. Location and Neighborhood.Top 10 Things Home Buyers Want to Know

Where is the house? Is it a safe neighborhood? What about the schools? Distance to shops and markets? This is what the people want to know.

#2. Price

Obviously, they want to know the price. Some homes come in a price range and that's okay, but they need to know.

#3. Appearance

We want to know how it looks. Is it attractive, a fixer-upper, move-in ready? People obviously want to know what it looks like.

#4. Layout and floor plan.

This doesn't need to be an actual floor plan of the property but several pictures should give you an idea of how the floor plan operates. Is there a bathroom off the kitchen? Is there an additional room with a closet that would be perfect for a den or office space? People want to know the general layout and what to expect.

#5. Total number of rooms.

People basically just want to know how many bedrooms and bathrooms the home has. In many newer homes, 3+ bathrooms are common, but homes in the 1950s really only had one or maybe one and a half bathrooms.

#6. Lot size.

While many people can't visualize the square footage of a lot, saying the lot is a half-acre or quarter-acre may give them some idea as to how big the lot is.

#7. Square footage of the house.

Same with square footage, unless you are familiar with how big a thousand square feet is, people may not be able to visualize how big a home is by the square footage, however, saying that it has a large square footage of over 3000 ft.², does give some comparison.

#8. Community details.

This could go with the neighborhood, but it's important to talk about homeowner association fees and if the community is gated or has its own amenities such as a swimming pool or tennis courts.

#9. Additional features.

If the home has a swimming pool, hot tub or maybe the wine cellar, those additional features are definitely something buyers want to know about.

#10. Contact information for more details.

We can give everybody all the details in the world but if there's no way to schedule a showing of the property for a phone number to be able to answer more questions, it's pointless. Make sure contact information, phone number or email address is front and center. [Adapted by RealtorMag]

 

For more information on homes for sale in Palm Beach County communities, contact my office at any time.

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Posted in Real Estate
June 24, 2020

Should Real Estate Agents Use Drones?

There are a lot of rules and regulations when it comes to drone technology especially in the use of a business. Most real estate agents find it beneficial to use tools and technology that many of their coworkers are simply not using yet. There are pros and cons to the use of drone technology but the pros enough to outweigh the cons?Should Real Estate Agents Use Drones?

The drawbacks of using a drone is that they are not cheap. A good drone that will take pictures or video of an area typically will cost at least $1000 and if you hire a professional drone operator you're looking at several hundred dollars. Does this benefit the client? It depends. If we're talking about a million-dollar home here, using $1000 drone might be very beneficial as the seller expects this type of technology and you should get it back in a commission.

It's also beneficial to get an operator test before flying your own drone. The last thing you want is for it to get stuck in a tree on the roof of the house. The test is not hard and if you hire out the drone technology then you won't even have to take the test yourself. However, if you do hire an operator you want to make sure that they have their certification.

The downside is that the registration process can take several months. So this is something to plan for way in advance. The registration might be inexpensive, but this is likely to go up as more and more drone operators hit the skies.

The FAA commercial drone rules that real estate agency to be aware of. After registering, the drone must have a specific ID number that traces back to the owner. The drone cannot weigh more than 55 pounds and it must have at least one pilot. Other regulations include the drone being flown by an English-speaking pilot at least 16 years of age or older. The drone have to be flown from a stationary point of view and not from under a roof or in a moving the. The drone must be in sight of the pilot at all times and the FAA requires inspection of the drone before flying it. Drones can only be flown during daylight hours and must maintain a height of 400 feet or less.

All these regulations are very reasonable and most homes are far below 400 feet, unless we are talking about a high-rise condominium complex but even then, 400 feet is quite dramatic. Drones also cannot exceed 100 miles per hour.

So you can see the dilemma; there are a lot of rules, regulations, registration and inspections that need to take place before you can even use the drone. And then, are you impeding on someone else's property or privacy by flying over backyards and houses, even if it is innocently taking a good screenshot of the surrounding neighborhood?

Drones might be a great idea but really only in the luxury real estate market and also in an area that benefits from drone technology. If the neighborhood leaves much to be desired most real estate agents are not going to focus or feature the rest of the neighborhood in a flyover video.

It might be a fad right now but it might also be a fact that carries on for some time. The point is to use them responsibly and keep yourself and others as safe as possible.

Need to market your Palm Beach County home? Give me a call! I specialize in Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Singer Island, Juno Beach and North Palm Beach.

Image adapted from Andrew Turner Flickr

Posted in News
June 17, 2020

The Ultimate Home Sellers Guide

If you simply throw a sign up in the front yard without any preparation or research you might get a few lookee loo's but probably not a serious offer. If you do get a serious offer you would probably get hung up in inspection issues, repairs and replacement if not flat out contradictions on price. I want my sellers to be as prepared as possible and that means taking some responsibility in preparing your home for listing. Probably one of the first things you can do is simply to have a listing presentation. If you're unsure of what to change, fix, repair or replace this would be an ideal first step. I can come to your home and offer tips, suggestions and run the numbers or do the research on what your home is currently worth. I can also run the numbers on what your home could be worse should you make some improvements. Certain items such as location and layout are difficult if not impossible to change but other items such as updates, upgrades, renovations, replacements or major and minor repairs can work wonders when it comes to increasing your homes value.

Before we begin: Is it worth it to sell it yourself?

Ways to increase your home’s valueWhy use a Realtor

Want the Most From your Home Sale? Here’s How

Every home seller wants to get the very most from the profits of their home although not every seller is willing to do what it takes in order to get those profits. In buyers markets, sellers are competing with foreclosures and short sales that may be drastically underpriced. Because of this, many sellers may find themselves underwater, meaning that they owe more on the home than they could sell it for. If you're on the fence wondering if you can get enough for your home there are some things to increase your chances on gaining more of a profit when it comes time to selling. Here are five ways to sell your property for a higher price than your competition.

#1. Correct anything that a buyer would address.

And you may not know exactly what these things are. The best way to know what you need to fix, repair or replace is either have your agent or a trusted friend walk through your home making notes, tips and suggestions. Living in a home for a long time can make us blind to defects and faults in the house. Simple items such as worn door frames, squeaky drawers and leaky faucets can often go overlooked. But, buyers will certainly pinpoint all of these issues and once everything is corrected and fixed, buyers will feel more comfortable purchasing a home at full price.

#2. Lived-in is not livable.

Buyers know that you live in the home but they don't want to see it.  Now is the time to make it look less lived-in. Buyers want to start over in a new home and if they have to fix things, paint walls, replace items, or if the entire home looks too cluttered, buyers see nothing but work ahead of them. Buyers also cannot always see the potential of the house so you have to create the perfect setting for them. Perhaps your couch is old and tattered; maybe your coffee table has too many nicks or scratches in it, or you’re trying to hide that gouge out over in the wall; whatever it is, buyers cannot see past these items so it may be time to completely revamp your furniture and decor. If you can afford it it would be best to hire a stager during the time your home is on the market. Yes, this can get expensive but sellers can usually get several thousand dollars more out of the home simply by having it staged.

Read more: Staging your Home in Palm Beach Gardens

#3. Less is more. 

Since you will be packing all of your items anyway, start now by getting rid of at least half of the items in closets, drawers, cupboards and pantries. Also, don't stack these items in boxes in the garage because buyers will figure out that all of these items came from the house. Rent a storage facility or a pod that can be moved to your new home. Buyers want to see plenty of space, open and free-flowing rooms, and a neat and orderly layout. Also, having less furniture means potential homebuyers have a clear pathway through the property.

#4. Smells can make or break a sale.

Just as we get immune to defects we can also get immune to smells. Our particular odor and smell in our house has become so accustomed to us that we can't smell it anymore, but, home buyers certainly can, especially if you have pets, you smoke, or the home has mildew or mold. This is where having a trusted friend or your agent will come in handy again. Listen to their honest advice about the smell of your home. If you have pets, make sure you remove the litter box and any evidence of cats or dogs during showings. Keep cages and litter boxes clean during the time your homes on the market. Be careful of what you cook the day of a showing. Many foods have very strong smells such as fried foods, eggs, and heavily spiced dishes. Good smell such as baking cookies or cake can add a pleasant smell to the home but make sure that it's not overpowering.

48 Ways to Speed a House Sale#5. Don't neglect to the outside.

Now that the inside smells amazing, everything is fixed, and the home is free and clear of any clutter, don't neglect the outside because this is usually the first impression buyers have about a home. Make sure the cross is nice and green by giving it a good dose of nitrogen, keep bushes and trees well trimmed and patios and stairs free and clear of any weeds or overgrowth. It might also be a good idea to hire a professional landscaper during the time the homes on the market just to keep the outside perfectly cared for.

 

Read more: How to Increase the Profit on Your Home

Choosing the Right Agent

Once you’ve made appropriate adjustments, repairs or a replacement, now’s the time to consider the right real estate agent. Not all agents prefer to help sellers; many prefer just to represent homebuyers. While any real estate agent can handle both sides of the transaction it's best to work with an agent that specializes in helping sellers specifically.  Even though you can use any agent to market and list your home on the local MLS it pays to have someone that understands the process, is proficient in listing and selling property and has the experience and references to back it. This is not the time to use your cousins, best friends husband just because they're trying to get started in the real estate world. Listing agents need to be dedicated, consistent, proficient and experienced when it comes to negotiating terms and price for their seller. Here are some questions to ask your real estate agent:

#1. How will you come up with the asking price?How to choose a realtor

he agent needs to know the neighborhood, the current market, and today's buyers, this is why it is so important to have a listing agent that has also helped buyers so they know what buyers are looking for and what they're willing to pay.

Related: Ready to Price and Sell Your Mirasol Home

#2. How long does it take you to sell a property?

If the agent has only listed one or two properties a year and those properties are still on the market, this may not be the best agent for your needs. Agents that can sell properties within 60 to 90 days or so and can do that with several properties throughout the year are usually a good bet.

#3. How will you market my home?

Some amateur agents simply think that you can list the home on the local MLS and buyers will flock to it. This is simply not the case. Agents need to market the home not only on the local MLS but to potential buyers and their agents. Because I have numerous contacts with potential buyers and their agents I can get your home in front of numerous if not hundreds of buyers within the first week on the market.

#4. How will you communicate with me?

If your real estate agent list your property and then completely drops off the face of the earth it can be very difficult to communicate when or if you get an offer. Ask how the real estate agent will communicate with you either by text, email, phone, in person or all of the above.

Showings and Offer

Once your home is on the market you will get numerous buyers touring your home. It's best to leave the property while buyers and their agents browse your home so they don't feel pressured or uncomfortable with the seller lingering around them. Yes, you may want to answer certain questions they have but that's what your listing agent and their buyers agent is for. We are the mediators between buyer and seller for any questions or negotiations. It's best to have your home in a show ready state within about 30 minutes. This means you should pack up about half of the items in your home, store them neatly either in the garage or a storage space and be ready to show the home within 30 minutes of a phone call. This can be difficult with kids but not impossible. Remember to put things away after use and clean up any messes right away. You might even consider hiring a professional housecleaner while your home is on the market at least once a week. This can help with the deep cleaning and keep things nice and tidy.

Important: Should I Listen to Feedback?

When an offer does come in your listing agent will call you with the terms and price. You have the ultimate authority to accept, reject or negotiate the offer. The longer a home sits on the market the lower the offer might be. This is why it is so crucial to get the right listing price right out of the gate. You'll get the right buyers and the most profit by pricing it correctly from the beginning. Your listing agent will go over all of the terms of the offer and then it's up to you whether you want to counter offer, reject or accept the offer.

sold home, closingTry not to feel emotional or insulted by a lowball offer; buyers are always hoping to get the best deal so you never know by being unemotional, you can negotiate across the board with the right buyer. Counter offers and negotiations can go on for several days or even weeks, especially if were dealing with a bank or a short sale situation.

Try not to get frustrated but understand that this is a very large investment purchase and it can take time. Once both buyer and seller have mutually agreed upon the listing price and terms the contract is now in place and buyers will have an inspection completed.

Try not to get too nervous during the inspection time as the buyers just want to verify their investment. This is also a negotiation time as buyers may come back with specifics on repairs or replacements. You may either agree, reject, or negotiate these requirements and tell mutual acceptance has happened on both sides again.

Once the inspection contingency is satisfied the process moves on to closing. Buyers will finalize any financing and this is a great time to finish packing up for the big move. Your closing agent, which could be title, escrow or even your brokerage, will call you for final signing. Be sure to ask any questions during this time so you feel confident about what you are signing and understand everything involved. If something seems amiss be sure to question it.

Conclusion

Selling a home can be stressful but without much knowledge and understanding of the process and your responsibility in all of it, it can be easier and as stress-free as possible. But, again, it all comes down to choosing the right agent to help you facilitate the transaction, set the right price from the beginning, and help you close on time. Feel free to call if you have any other questions.

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