Hiring the right agent is an essential part of getting your home sold. Yet, finding the right agent can be a difficult process, particularly if you have never worked with a real estate agent in the past. Whether dealing with Austin real estate or a home in Fishers, asking the right questions is essential to ensure you get the right agent to meet your needs. To that end, here is a look at some of the most important questions you should ask when interviewing potential real estate agents.
How Many Years Have You Worked as a Real Estate Agent?
While a new real estate agent could potentially serve you very well, you will generally enjoy better results if you hire someone who has several years of experience. Even better, the agent should have experience buying...
With the surplus inventory of homes available in the average price range for most any city or town in Metro Indianapolis, how do you make your property stand out?
Today's home buyer is online, checking out your home. Times have changed and very few home buyers drive around to look at homes or attend open houses. They can find much of the information they need online. Once they have the information, they will drive by neighborhoods or contact a real estate agent.
The #1 request I receive from online visitors, besides scheduling showings is for more pictures. We live in a society where time is valued and people just won’t drive by your house if there are not pictures online,...
For some homeowners who are trying to sell their homes, the process is far more stressful and time consuming than it needs to be. No matter whether they may be offering Denver luxury condos or a starter home in Indianapolis, for those homeowners who are stressed out and having difficulty selling their homes, the troubles can be traced back to making at least one of the three biggest mistakes that home sellers make.
Mistake #1: Setting the Wrong Price
Perhaps the single biggest mistake that homeowners make when selling a home is setting the wrong asking price. Despite the advice they are given by their agents, some sellers choose to set a price that is much higher than the market value of the home. By doing this, the seller...
A common question I receive from homeowners who want to list their home this time of year is, 'Do homes sell in Indianapolis in the winter'? My answer is yes, they do.
Are there fewer home sales in the winter? Yes, there are.
Still, people do buy homes in every season. I have fallen into many snowbank (with my clients right behind me) and have even fallen on my backside getting out of car on icy driveways. All in a day's work, showing buyers homes during an Indianapolis winter.
There are two distinct advantages to market your home in the winter.
- 1. There is less competition
- 2. Buyers are generally more serious.
What is the difference in the number of sales in the winter compared to the rest of the year? I ran the numbers for the past year. These are the dates the homes actually closed.
Selling a home can be tricky, particularly during a time when the market is saturated with low-cost homes. As such, it is essential to take a few steps in order to increase your chances of getting your home sold quickly and at a reasonable price.
By making these five simple repairs, you can go a long way toward getting your home sold - irrespective of whether your offering Indianapolis or Montgomery County real estate.
Repair #1: Repair the Floor If your home has hardwood floors, you should seriously consider removing your carpeting and getting the floors refinished. If your sub-floor is plywood, on the other hand, transforming it into a hardwood floor will be far too costly. Rather, replace the carpeting with a neutral...
A New Camera for Real Estate Listings
I bought a new camera today for wide angle pictures. My current camera doesn't shoot wide enough for me to get an entire small room. Of course, like any kid with a new toy, I've been playing around with it. I can now shoot the height and width of a room without cutting off areas.
I was actually quite impressed with the ability to get an entire room in the photo without distortion. Of course you can see things that are out of place and wouldn't be in a picture online of one of my listings.
Pictures and Black Pants
Photos are like wearing black pants. Every bit of lint, hair or dust shows up on black pants. You just can't hide it. Same thing with photos. Every out of place item shows up. Photos of homes on...
Defining Real vs. Personal Property
It's so tempting for a seller to take something from their home when they pack up and move. Recently, one of our buyers walked in the door of their new home to find the light which was once hanging above a pool table had been removed by the sellers. I can almost see the logic; it was a billiard's light, quite nice and definitely looked good with the pool table. Problem is, it was attached to the home and the buyer expected it to be there, not an empty spot where it once hung.
What was once personal property became real property the moment it was attached to the home. Detach it, put it back in the box and it is once again personal property. We always recommend our sellers think about things they may not want to sell with the home. Lighting fixtures of sentimental value are one such item. I prefer they be taken down and replaced before the home is listed for sale, so there is no doubt in the buyers mind what fixtures they will be buying. Just saying it is...
Price is the subject most homeowners approach with trepidation. Almost everyone I meet with wants to try to price a little high so they have room to negotiate. I can not stress enough the dangers of pricing high and holding. Price is the number one reason homes expire without selling.
The longer a home is on the market, it becomes “old news” and buyers believe there must be something wrong with the home, or the seller is desperate, which results in lower offers and more seller concessions.
I have written about this subject before, so won’t bore you with the same old news about pricing.
Here’s a few places you can find info about pricing your home:
Whether you’re the competitive type or not, competition plays a huge role in the sale of a home. I’m not sure why, but it seems when one person puts their home on the market in a neighborhood, a few more do the same. In some areas around Indianapolis, there are simply, too many homes available.
There’s usually some distinguishing factors why a buyer will ultimately choose one home over another.
Evaluating what other homes in the market offer compared to your home is the first place to start. There are the obvious differences:
- Square Footage
- Number of Bedrooms
- Location Within the Neighborhood
- Garage Size
- Single Level or Two Story
There’s also the differences in amenities which can make a home more attractive to buyers in the market.
This is my continuing series about selling your home after it has expired. In the Real Estate community, a home which didn’t sell during the time it was listed, is called an Expired Listing. I have been participating in a mastermind group with other Realtors around the country.
The subject of our meetings is expired listings, what happens which causes a home to expire without selling and how to overcome the obstacles to prevent the frustration for home sellers whose home does not sell. In this follow up to my initial article about Indianapolis homes that didn’t sell, lets take a look at preparation.
When home sellers first think about selling their home, they instinctively start packing up and cleaning, which is an excellent place to start. The more small items you can get packed and put away ahead of time, the better. What are some of the items you...
You have prepared your home for sale, completing every project you could think of (and afford) to get your home ready for the market. You’ve hired a real estate agent and as the sign is placed in your front yard, you have high hopes of a quick sale so you can move on with your future plans.
In the first few weeks Realtors call to show your home and you’re sure, each time, this will be the one. The buyer who absolutely loves your home as much as you do!
Certainly, you will soon get the call from your agent, saying you have an offer. Instead, all you get is feedback:
- The kitchen is too small
- Buyer didn’t like the yard
- Home is...
What Are Your Fees?
In a real estate market where home owners have less equity than ever, a reasonable question is, 'How much will it cost me to sell my home?' Many times the home owner is simply asking about the real estate commission involved in selling. Sorry - you won't get a 'pat' answer from me. My answer is, if you are talking about commissions only, it depends. Apart from commission, there are several factors involved in the cost of selling a home.
This is an important cost many sellers don't take into consideration when they think about selling their home. Since Indiana property taxes are paid in arrears, the buyer will expect the seller to credit them the tax amount until the day of closing. Depending on the month you close, this cost will equal between 12 and 18 months taxes. With the current tax situation, it could equal...
Could swapping homes be the next wave of creative selling techniques? I’m not convinced, but if you’re lucky enough to be one of the few who is able to make it work for you; I say “go for it”.
It’s not a swap as in let’s swap – I’ll pay yours and you pay mine. Each home owner qualifies for a new loan on the others home. You would have to settle the equity difference, since it’s highly unlikely the equity would be equal in each home.
I read about this in a local Indiana newspaper online and while I believe it is a true story, with seller’s named Peek and Bou; I’m cautiously recommending the article for those who may benefit from the happenstance of finding a home to swap. Check out the article here – Swap Your Home
Are you selling your Indianapolis home without a REALTOR® or legal representation? Remember to protect yourself! This weekend, I received a call from a homeseller who had his home advertised as a lease option. Instead, he found a buyer, then realized he didn't know what to do next. He wanted to know if I could facilitate the contract for him.
Of course I can! We negotiated compensation and I sent him the contracts and addendums I believe he needs to protect himself, as well as those required by law. Many people who sell their homes themselves do not realize they are subject to certain laws regardless of whether they are represented by a REALTOR®.
Indiana Code (IC 32-21-5) requires all sellers to provide a ...
While packing and cleaning today, working around the movers, a couple of men knocked on the door. I opened the door, expecting it to be the new buyer for his inspection.
Instead, they were unrepresented homebuyers (no agent) who wanted to know if they could come in and view my home.
Of course you can't! I wasn't rude, I just wasn't going to allow two complete strangers into my home to look around. Regardless of whether my home is sold or not, they were not getting pass the threshold.
I wanted to take a minute to remind all home sellers; please do not let anyone into your home unless they have an appointment. I mean, really, who walks up to someones home and expects an open invitation?
I am assuming it is not your normal person and you certainly don't want an abnormal person waltzing through your home.
As a matter of preference, I recommend my home sellers don’t hang around when the buyer is performing a final walk-through. A final walk through is the buyers opportunity to ensure all requested repairs were completed and the home is in the same condition as it was when they wrote the offer.
Because of circumstances beyond my control (movers, moving trucks and the day the buyer chose), I had to be home when the buyers came through for their final inspection of my home. My REALTOR® did ask if I wanted them to come by, but…..Hey, I’m a big girl and besides that, I’m a REALTOR®; I know to just stay out of the way, give them the receipts for the repairs and let them inspect.
Well, not so fast there – I still have an emotional connection to this place I have called home and I know the work we have put into it. If they want to know how the pool works or what day the trash gets picked up, well, I can...
Not Like Any Other Day
Today was an early morning as I got my youngest daughter on a plane and now I sit here at the Indianpolis International Airport, waiting for my flight to join my daughter in Phoenix. It is a vacation of sorts. My son will fly in for the weekend, as we have one last hooray at our Phoenix home. If you remember, we were supposed to have that last blast back in January, but time got away and we didn’t put the house on the market until June.
A Home Sold
I intended to chronicle the details along the way – but somehow time passed and the specifics don’t seem quite as important. Yes, my husband and I had differences of opinion about the price, when to reduce the price and how to respond to the offer, once we received it. It was not all that exciting to me, being a REALTOR,...
Put it 'in' the Market
Really, I mean that! Probably not the way you think I do, though! See, there’s a huge difference between putting your home on the market and placing it “in” the market. I’ve written before, not too long ago, actually, about pricing your Indianapolis home to sell. I honestly admit I do allow my clients to test the market “for a time”, especially if there are not enough comparable sales in their neighborhood or if they have an outstanding or unique home. I also let them know we must be ready to adjust the price based on activty, feedback and lack of offers. It rarely earns me bonus points, but I prefer honesty above all else and have walked away from listings I knew I had no chance of selling when the homeowner is stuck on their price.
A Current Example
So, why do I write this again? I have to tell this story; it is exactly the...
This is a common question from home sellers I speak to. What they really want to know is what I am going to do to market their home. I have a very extensive online and offline marketing program designed to optimize exposure to my client’s home to buyers and their agents. My offline marketing does not include print advertising as it relates to newspaper ads and home books. This may confound some home sellers, but most understand times have changed and most buyers are online.
Recent statistics indicate abut 84% of home buyers start their search online. RE/Max of Indiana does have a home book and all our listings are there. I have recieved exactly one call directly attributed to that book in the last year. Not the type of advertising which pays off for my seller. Truth is, it costs me very little to add my clients home to the book. My online presence through the IndyStar has produced a hundred times more phone calls, emails and direct contact with home buyers.
I hear other agents...
A well-known 'Sell Your Home Quickly' tips is to clean and de-clutter. A home with visual 'space' appears more roomy to potential buyers. Another way to create openness is with bright lighting throughout your home. This home selling tip is especially important here in Indianapolis, when we have gray days accompanied by rain. There are two simple and very inexpensive ways to brighten your home for a showing:
- For daytime showings, open all drapes and blinds so the maximum amount of sunlight comes into your home
- For evening showings, turn on every light in every room in the house
A well-lit home not only brightens the mood of potential buyers, but it helps your home to make a strong first impression as well. And if you've ever felt gloomy on a rainy day, or exceptionally happy on a bright and sunny day, you understand the psychological power of light on a person's mood. So, after cleaning your home to make it showing-ready, replace your light bulbs, turn on...