To List or Not to List

Categories: Home Selling Tips Seasonal Preparations

 

 


 

If you’re thinking of selling your home this season, here are some suggestions about selling in the winter to help guide you through the decision-making process.


1.       Inventory is Low = List Now.  Residential real estate is driven by supply and demand.  When supply is low, as it is now, Sellers have less competition for buyers.  When two or more buyers are competing for the same property, the price is going up.

2.    Inventory of Comparable Properties = Need More Data.  While inventory is low across the entire market, we must look at specifics.  What are inventory levels in your price range and in your neighborhood?  Your Realtor will drill down to only the areas and  price ranges, which are considered comparable.  We do have excess inventory in some categories, so you should be well informed before making the final call.

3.       Pool or outdoor amenity is an essential selling feature = Wait until Spring.   If your swimming pool or outdoor living feature is an essential reason for anyone to buy your home, you should wait until it is looking its best.   If waiting is not an option, I highly recommend providing photos which show just how lovely it looks.

4.       High lot value/possible tear down = List Now.   New home inventory is low and builders are anxiously scouring the market for good lots in good locations.  If your home could be a tear down, take advantage of current conditions and list now.

5.       Condo or Villa = List Now.  Currently, demand is strong for condos, villas and lifestyle communities.

6.       People buy homes every season of the year = List Now.  Remember, people will buy homes in every season.  Job transfers, promotions, marriages, changes in family situation happen all year.  A desirable, well priced home will sell any and every day of the year.


At Janet McAfee, our experienced real estate agents are available and ready to help you year-round. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your house or simply in search of some more information, our agents know that real estate can involve life-changing decisions, and we pride ourselves on our commitment to intensive personal service, with your needs as our top priority.

 

For more information, you can call us at (314) 997-4800 or visit our website!

9 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent When Listing Your Home

Categories: Home Selling Tips Selling You Home


From a new job to a newborn, there may be a number of potential drivers behind your decision to sell and seek out that new home of your dreams. And while it can certainly be a time full of excitement, the change can also result in its fair share of stress and worry. Luckily, having the right real estate agent by your side throughout the process is a surefire way to curb anxieties from the get-go.


With all of the realtor options available, how do you even begin to decide upon the right real estate agent for you? Conducting interviews with relevant candidates in the area is a great place to start. Here are nine questions to ask your real estate agent when listing your home.

What’s your experience when it comes to listing homes?

Representing a buyer versus a seller certainly falls within the same wheelhouse, but there are differences in approach when it comes to finding success with each. Because of this, it’s important to gauge any potential agent’s experience for each. This is not to say that more experience in one over the other should be the sole driver of your decision, but having someone that can thoroughly speak to the process from experience has its advantages.

How do you determine my listing price?

A good agent will be able to walk you through their thought process when it comes to the listing price of your home. Price it too high, and you risk turning off potential buyers. Price it too low, and that’s less money in your pocket. Since listing price will be heavily influenced by the state of the market, you’ll want an agent with a good grasp on how it impacts your bottom line.

Do you work with buyers in the same range as my listing price point?

The answer to this question may be a good indicator of how knowledgeable an agent is about your potential buyers. In turn, this will influence the ways in which they market to them and eventually approach negotiations.

Are you familiar with this community?

Working with a real estate agent that’s familiar with your particular neighborhood can be an advantage when it comes to your home’s marketability. When building out your listing, they’ll be better equipped to develop relevant local messaging and comment on schools, new developments, and any other areas of community interest surrounding your home.

How do you plan to market my home?

A home for sale without any kind of marketing plan behind it certainly has an uphill battle ahead. From the right staging and quality photography to online virtual tours, there are a number of ways to enhance the online presence of your listing in order to extend its reach beyond just those who may see that ‘For Sale’ sign in the yard.

How do you track online activity for listings?

Traffic to your online listing will inevitably ebb and flow depending on both the market and marketability of your home. Most of that traffic will flow in during those initial weeks, but it’s important to keep tabs on how it may fluctuate throughout. This will allow you to make smarter decisions as a seller from beginning to end.

How should I get my house ready?

If your real estate agent has had experience selling homes in the past, they should have a solid list of to-dos for you to follow when preparing your house for market. They’ll also likely be able to help organize and/or provide references for relevant expertise in home staging and contracting.


Getting your home ready to sell is as much about the positioning of your furniture as it is having the right real estate agent to represent you. Put your trust in someone who knows the industry inside and out. Contact our team at Janet McAfee for more tips on how to list your home to sell.



Staging Your Home to Sell: Physical vs. Virtual

Categories: Home Selling Tips Selling Your Home Staging Your Home



We live in a visual world where seeing is believing and believing is seeing imagery that excites each person’s individual tastes. Nowhere more is this true than with the staging of a home to sell.


In fact, 81 percent of buyers argue that staging a house helps in visualizing a property as a future home. The keyword there is home. A place that looks polished but lived in, laughed in and loved.


Staging plays a vital role in prepping a house for market. While the practice can be time consuming and costly to sellers, virtual staging has changed that by transforming how buyers can envision the home of their dreams. Let’s take a look at some key differences between physical and virtual staging.

Cost

The physical staging of a home will typically involve the clearing of clutter, furniture rearrangement and occasionally, replacement. If a home is completely empty to begin with, a design expert will sometimes be hired to gauge the feel of the house with decor to match. All in all, this process can be extremely costly to the seller, ranging anywhere from $350 per room on the low end to over $200,000 for luxury homes.


However, virtual staging is a fraction of the cost. Most rooms can be fully furnished—virtually, that is—for about $100 per room.

Time and Flexibility

The coordination it takes to physically stage a home far outweighs that of a virtual stage based on the convenience factor alone. For a physical stage, clients must consult with a designer, clear out and move decor around accordingly, have new items moved in and then capture the look with a photography session.


Virtual staging, on the other hand, is done without much contact at all between consultant and seller. With the exchange of some photos and guided direction, stagers are able to arrange and rearrange virtual furniture throughout a room many times over within a matter of a few short hours.


Seeing is Believing

It can certainly be argued that seeing is believing, and when a potential buyers view images online that don’t sync with the views in real life, it can be a bit jolting. On the other hand, walking into a completely empty space (or one with opposite design taste aesthetics) can be difficult to imagine as anything other than that. As Danielle Schlisser of the Corcoran Group in New York City says, “In an empty space, people can’t really understand how big a couch or bed is… They’ll come in and think they’ll never fit their furniture in there because they really don’t have an understanding of scale.”


Whether looking to cut costs or re-envision your home decor with ease, virtual staging has opened the door to new possibilities for sellers and buyers alike. Choosing the best option comes down to understanding what works best for your goals, timeline and overall asking price.

 

Need help deciding on whether to opt for physical or virtual staging when it comes to selling your home? Contact Janet McAfee Real Estate today for three decades worth of home buying and selling insights you can count on.

What is your home’s best-selling feature?

Categories: General Home Selling Tips Selling Your Home St. Louis Luxury Homes

The marketing strategy for promoting a listing should address your home’s best features.  Each and every selling feature of your home adds value and justifies the asking price to the buyer.  As a listing broker, our job is to communicate your value proposition in order to achieve the highest possible purchase price.  Here’s a couple of thoughts on how your marketing strategy can support your home’s best features.

1.       If acreage or land is one of your homes best features ….

Areal or drone photography is a great way to showcase your home’s manicured lawns, expansive lot size and exterior amenities, like swimming pools, lakes, pool houses and out buildings.

 

2.       If outdoor amenities create an unbeatable lifestyle…. 

A swimming pool, loggia with outdoor fireplace and lush gardens should be displayed to buyers at their peak.  Time your market launch to coincide with opening your pool and spring leaf greening.

 

3.       If your home’s architectural lines are captivating ….

Twilight photography might just be the ticket to transform your house into a magical English manor.

 

Please contact your Janet McAfee Realtor for more ways to customize your marketing plan to promote your home’s best features.

7 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a Spring Market

Categories: Home Selling Tips Seasonal Preparations Selling You Home

Spring is right around the corner, and if you’re planning on putting your house on the market this season, it’s certainly not too early to be giving some thought to preparing your home for buyers. Spring is the optimum time to sell your home. Regardless of whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market, there is almost always a rise in demand during the months of April, May and June. Of course, increased demand also means increased competition, so chances are you’ll need to do some sprucing up to stay in the running. Read on for seven helpful tips on how to prepare your home for a spring showing.    

1. Stage Your Home

“Home staging” refers to arranging furniture so as to maximize feelings of space and light with an aesthetic eye as to how each room should flow into another. Yes, this means stowing away your pile of magazines or unpaid bills in the hopes of presenting a fantasy version of your home for buyers. If your personal decor isn’t cutting it, you can transfer your belongings into storage and rent furniture and artwork from a home staging company on a monthly basis.

2. Wash Windows & Mirrors

When cleaning your home, remember the phrase “sparkle sells.” A potential buyer may not realize why your home seems so inviting, but if your windows are spotless inside and out and your mirrors clearly reflect the sun, they’ll want to stay all afternoon! So let in the spring sunshine with the help of a bottle of Windex to impress home buyers.

3. Eliminate Odors

As much as we may not like to admit it, we all have unpleasant odors that plague our home from time to time, and nothing will make a potential buyer want to walk out the door than a bad smell in the kitchen, bathroom or living room. However, don’t take the easy way out and simply mask odors with air fresheners, which can be overwhelming and cause allergies. Rather include fresh flowers throughout your home, spice up the kitchen with the scent of boiled cinnamon, or freshen up the bathroom with some eucalyptus.

4. Paint Your Walls

While you may be in love with your seafoam green walls in the kitchen and bathroom, chances are it may be too specific for today’s buyer. The truth is that most buyers prefer to see a blank canvas where they can inject their own personality. Why not select a neutral base color and extend it to all rooms on the same floor? You are making your home appeal to the largest possible audience.

5. Clean or Replace Flooring

Damage to floors and carpeting over the years is unavoidable, and those stains, scratches and cracks will be apparent to potential buyers. Prevent this by cleaning or replacing flooring throughout your home. Carpets should be shampooed and treated for stains, while hardwoods should be swept and mopped until sparkling clean. Any flooring permanently stained or damaged should be replaced, or at the very least refinished.

6. Yardwork

Prepping your home for buyers means cleaning both inside and out. Rake up dead leaves and other debris in your yard, and don’t let overground vegetation block windows or a pathway to the entrance. Trimming bushes and trees will allow more sunlight to shine into your home, and artfully cut lawns will tell buyers to pay attention to small details inside. Remember, the exterior of your home is the first impression buyers will have.

7. Snacks and Drinks

Touring homes all day makes buyers hungry. What better way to make a positive impression than by providing snacks and drinks for guests? Set out crackers and cheese or a plate of your homemade cookies, then place a couple dozen water bottles in the sink filled with ice. Giving refreshments for guests will allow them to spend more time in your kitchen, and marvel at how beautiful it is!

Selling your home can be a stressful process for buyers and sellers alike. Deep cleaning your home will inevitably force you to adapt your aesthetic preferences to sell to a wider audience and sacrifice personal touches you’ve included over the years, but it’s important to keep the bigger picture in mind. Follow the above tips to get your home looking amazing for spring showings and watch your listing sell quickly and at a great price!

Need help with listing your home for sale? Contact Janet McAfee Real Estate today for over three decades of buying and selling experience!

 

 

Do You DECK THE HALLS a little or a lot?

Categories: General Home Selling Tips Selling Your Home

'Tis the season for holiday decorating!  For my own home, I say "the more the merrier."  I love coming home to a house twinkling with lights, wreaths on every window and planters stuffed with mixed evergreen branches.  There’s nothing more pleasing than the aroma of fresh cut pine, fir or cedar meandering through the home.   Oh, how I love garlands of holly, ivy, magnolia and mistletoe on my mantel and dining table.

However, when I put on my Realtor hat, I remind myself "Less is More."  Too much of a good thing is distracting and confusing to buyers.  Nothing turns off a buyer more than cramped halls, obstructed entry ways and rooms overstuffed with holiday tchotchke.   So, if your house is for sale this holiday season, DO decorate and DO practice a little restraint.  Instead of using every color of the rainbow, choose one or two predominant colors and maintain consistency throughout your house.  My personal favorite is green with gold or green with silver.  It’s fresh and there is so much variety in evergreen cultivars that you you’ll never get tired of it.  I also think red is festive and appropriate for light filled homes with white walls and neutral furniture.

What do you think, a lot of holiday décor or a little?

Janet Horlacher

Principal, Janet McAfee Real Estate

4 Holiday Home Selling Myths You Can Ignore

Categories: Home Selling Tips Seasonal Preparations Selling Your Home

It may surprise you to learn that the holidays are a good time to sell a home.  Popular opinion tells us buyers are too caught up with travel, social engagements and gift exchanges to look for homes.  The truth is … we sell homes every season of the year.  Holiday buyers are enthusiastic and emotional; they are serious buyers, less distracted by busy work schedules.  Often, they are more motivated to achieve house buying goals during this season of homecoming.     

Myth #1   No one is looking

The reality is that when work commitments slow down around the holidays, buyers look online.  Corporate transferees schedule home buying trips over the holidays.  Holiday buyers have a sense of urgency to write an acceptable offer before the end of the year.     

Myth #2   Holiday decorations deter sales. 

There is nothing like an abundance of lights, a fire in the hearth, the smell of fresh pine and a festive atmosphere to make a home look its best.  As long as it’s not overdone, holiday décor makes a house warm and inviting, which appeals to buyer emotions.

Myth  #3   Spring market brings higher prices.

The fact is prices are more a function of supply and demand (market dynamics) and less a function of the season.  Inventory is lower over the holidays; sellers face less competition; and serious buyers are quicker to make a strong offer.   We don’t have a crystal ball to predict Spring prices, but we do know that 2017 has been strong year and there are qualified buyers actively looking now.

Myth #4   Holiday showings are just for “sightseers”

A person who devotes time and energy to view properties during the busiest time of the year is a serious buyer. Sightseers or people just seeking decorating tips are more apt to tour when nothing else is going on.  Serious buyers are out looking during the holidays.

Janet Horlacher, Janet McAfee Real Estate

 

6 Steps for a Smooth Appraisal

Categories: Home Selling Tips Selling Your Home

We have an expression in real estate “you need to sell your home twice; first to the home buyer and second to the appraiser.”  These days, most sale contracts contain a finance contingency or an appraisal contingency or both.  If the home doesn’t appraise for the contract price, the seller may be in a position of lowering the price or letting the deal die.  Both are painful alternatives, especially after a willing, able and qualified buyer has been procured.

 

Here are steps your Realtor can take to make sure the appraisal process goes smoothly:

 

1.       Treat the Appraiser’s Appointment like a Property Viewing  – Turn on all the lights, play classical music on the home’s internal audio system, play a movie on mute in the home theatre and have the pool fountains flowing.  Treat the appraiser’s visit like a showing; present the home in its best possible light with all amenities in full viewing.

 

2.       Provide Access to All Rooms – The appraiser needs to view all floors and measure the home.  A locked room prevents the appraiser from doing his/her job and will likely necessitate a return trip.

 

3.       Provide a Special Features Sheet and Improvements List – The appraiser is comparing the home to “comparable sales,” but there may be additions, updates, improvements and other amenities which make the home more valuable than the others.  Those upgrades may not be visible upon a cursory view, so it’s important to put them in writing and provide the list to the appraiser.

 

4.       Give your CMA to the Appraiser – More information is helpful to the appraiser.  Provide the comparable sales analysis which was used to price the home.  Inform the appraiser if you received competitive offers and if they had escalation clauses.  The appraiser will consider all relevant information.

 

5.       Complete All Repairs Prior to Appraiser’s Visit – If the sale contract calls for repairs to be made, complete them prior to the appointment.  They can impact the value of the home and necessitate a return visit by the appraiser.

 

6.       Keep Pets Away – Man’s best friend is not a friend to the appraiser, even if he/she is a pet lover.  The pet can be a distraction or an annoyance.  You don’t want your appraiser to leave the premises early because they are afraid of your pets.

 

Janet Horlacher

 

Principal, Janet McAfee Real Estate