What are the “ick” items in houses that we don’t see as homeowners?

January 4th, 2016

I was asked the other day but a potential home seller, “What are the “ick” items in houses that we don’t see as homeowners?” Being in my position as a Realtor I get the opportunity to walk though hundreds of lived-in homes every year and I have come across some interesting stuff.
1-The being the smell of your home. We all tend to do it, have you ever been on vacation and come home to your house and found it smelled a little off? That is what it can be like to walk into a home that I’ve never been in before. Or as the Febreeze commercials say, we’ve become nose blind to the smells in our home. A nice neutral smell like vanilla or spice can go a long way. Have a friend who will be honest with you, and whose smelling skills are noted, come into your home for a quick smell test.  This will help you know where to start in fixing possible issues.
2-I see is worn out carpet. There seems to be a large misunderstanding with buyers on what new carpet would cost. So if we walk into a home that has bad carpet that will need to be replaced the buyer almost always wants to knock off $10,000 in their purchase price to cover the expense of putting in new carpet. Even if you, as the seller, have discounted your list price to cover the cost of new carpet. If it is possible I would recommend replacing the carpet before you list your home for sale or if funds are tight offer a carpet allowance for the new buyer so they can pick out their new carpet.
3-The last thing I want to cover on the “ick” items is fairly small but makes a big impact. When there is a burned out light bulb, beeping smoke alarm or other little maintenance issue, it makes the buyer start to wonder what other larger issues in your home may have been ignored.  It’s better to take a quick walk of your home with fresh eyes to see what little items you’ve over-looked, that may make a big difference.
For my sellers as part of my services, I walk the home to give them an idea of what we can change to help their home show at its best and  to make sure there aren’t any “ick” items that will turn off  buyers.

The Four best things to do before selling your home?

December 28th, 2015
In real estate I get the opportunity to tour hundreds of homes every year. Along with seeing these homes myself I’m also with a buyer looking to buy a home. I’m able to get feedback on what buyers really like in homes and what turns them off.
4 Best Things To Do Before Selling Your Home
In real estate I get the opportunity to tour hundreds of homes every year. Along with seeing these homes myself I’m also with a buyer looking to buy a home. I’m able to get feedback on what buyers really like in homes and what turns them off.
1-First impressions mean a lot when someone is looking at your home. With that, the curb appeal is very important. I always recommend to my sellers that they freshen up the front of the home. Did you know statistically replacing your front door will get you the best bang for your buck on resale?
2-When a buyer walks into your home the first thing they notice is the smell. This is an item that is most often over looked and it makes a big difference. The simplest fix is a few glad plug-ins that set off a nice fresh smell but not to over powering, as if you’re trying to hide something. On the other side make sure your cleaning products don’t have an overtly bleachy smell that may make buyers nervous.
3-If you have pets, even if they are nice, not having them home during showings is best. You want the potential buyer to see the home as their own and having a barking dog home can really detract from the experience and make them want to leave sooner, the more time they spend looking at your home the better.
4-I love seeing a home that has been staged, even if just by the home owner. We forget that living in a home and showing are not the same. If your closet is cramped full of all your clothing, what a buyer sees is that there isn’t enough closet space. Sometimes I walk into a home and see a very large sectional that makes the otherwise large living room look small, you can guess what the buyer sees. This would be easily fixed by removing a few sections of the couch.
There are more small things I see when walking though homes, but these are the few I see the most often that make the biggest impact.

Should I have my home staged before I list it for sale?

November 8th, 2015
Look though the pictures and see which one draws your eye the most? Buyers like to see how the room will look with furniture. They might not be able to envision how their queen sized bed will fit in the room. Looking at the staged picture below, they will know it fits just fine.
Staging
The goal is to sell your home for top dollar right? Having great pictures of a staged home will get more buyers offline and into your home. The more showings you get the better the chances are that you will get offers (as long as it’s priced correctly)
So should you stage your home?
I would recommend some type of staging. Even if that’s just a pair of fresh eyes walking though and moving your existing furniture for a better flow (which I offer with all my listings) or hiring a professional home staging company.
Staging Staging

Professional pictures for my home I want to sale, is it worth it?

November 2nd, 2015

Professional pictures for my home I want to sale, is it worth it? 

Professional Pictures Professional Pictures Professional Pictures

In this case I think a picture is worth one thousand words so let me show you a few thousand words. All three of these pictures are of a home that I sold last year. The “A” pictures where from when my seller bought the home four years prior. The “B” pictures where taken by Spotlight Home Tours a Utah company that I hire for my listings. As you can see below it’s worth my marketing dollars to show the home in it’s best light.
Which “home” would you want to go look at?
I love the difference between the two different pictures. I also helped this home owner stage the home with items he had around. That is a post for another day…..Staging your home: Is it worth it?

How can you win in a multiple-offer situation without overpaying?

October 12th, 2015

 

Home prices are on the rise.

We are currently in a seller’s market; what does that mean for you as a buyer? It means there are more buyers than homes available for sale. Because of this, I’ve seen a lot of multiple-offer situations. Why, as a buyer, would you want to still buy in a seller’s market? Because interest rates are still amazing and over the life of your loan, the lower interest rate will save you more than a higher price point.

It’s still worth it to buy a home, but how do you win in a multiple-offer situation without overpaying?
I had some first time buyers who where looking for a home that they could do a little rehab work on to get some equity in a very competitive price point. Because of this, I was checking the multiple listing services many times a day, hoping to find a home that would be perfect for my buyers. I did one last check before I went to bed and found a great home listed just a few hours earlier. It was undervalued because a family estate wanted the home sold quickly. I sent it to my buyers and told them that if they wanted this home, we would have to see it as soon as possible the next day. The next day, I called the agent to make and appointment for 1:00 and she told me she already had an offer and planned on responding it by 3:00 that day.  So, I helped my buyers write an offer  with an escalation clause that said we would beat any offer by $1,000, up to a certain price.
We saw the home and they loved it, but there were already an additional two offers on it by then. I was grateful we had already written and signed an offer so that my buyers had a real chance. And you know what? They got the house.
There was a lot that helped my buyers win this multiple offer situation.
1. They were already qualified for a loan with their lender and had an approval letter before they went house shopping.
2. They where willing to be aggressive when it came to writing an offer quickly.
3. The escalation clause helped them win without spending their top dollar.

We Buy Houses Cash – Any Condition

September 28th, 2015
Have you seen these signs around town? Ever wonder what they are all about but don’t really want to call them. Let me tell you a story of a home seller who worked with one.
WE-BUY-HOUSES
I have a friend who was building a new home and needed to sell his existing home. He reached out to me and a few other Realtors to price his home to see what price he could sell his property for in the current market. We all met and gave him our marketing plans and what the value of his home would be. My friend also decided to call a “we buy your house for cash” investor who came and gave his value of the home as well. The difference is that the investor plans to buy your home and they take the normal fees of selling your home, paying the listing agent, buyers agent, title insurance, any closing costs and what the home will need in repairs out of the price they will pay.
The house in question was great, just ten years old and had about half the basement finished. There were a few things my friend would need to do to get his home ready for market to get top dollar and as quickly as possible. The only problem is that my friend didn’t want to move twice, which with the timing of selling and building is always a little stressful and I couldn’t guarantee he wouldn’t have to move twice.
Because pricing is never an exact science there were a few different value opinions. The range of what his home would sell for was from $415,000-$435,000, so as you may have expected The investor said your home is worth $415,000  and I will buy it once your new build is done for $370,000. Not wanting to move twice, this was what my friend decided to do.
The investor bought the home and spent probably $5k in cleaning and adding plumbing for a future second kitchen and put it on the market. Any guess on what the home sold for? $427,900 However it took this investor 5 months to sell the home because he over priced the home in the beginning.
The best way to describe what “We buy houses for cash” investors do is  that they solve a problem for you. It might be to save the stress of selling and building, It might be so that you don’t have to deal with showing your home or even just that you want to be done with one house and so you can move to the next. You just need to decide if the amount of money lost will be worth solving that problem.
My friend could have made $22,947 more on the sale of his home with a conventional realtor, but the stress of the unknown and the desire to be saved from the second move, as well as having to keep his home show ready wasn’t worth it.
When it was all said and done I think overall my friend was a happy with how the process went for him. If this is a route your interested in going I have two recommendations. Make sure you do your research into the companies you contact to make sure they are honest and ethical. The second is just like my friend did, make sure you know the value of your home before you ever make that first phone call to protect yourself in that transaction.

Solar Panels: Do They Add Value?

September 14th, 2015

Well the solar panel salesmen must be out in full force for the last few weeks of summer. I’ve had a few clients and friends call me about Solar Panelsadding solar panels to their homes and how much value it would add to their home so I thought this might be a good topic to cover.

 

I love to be a resource to all my friends and clients if you have questions regarding the value of your home or adding value so please if you ever curious feel free to call me!!
Will adding solar panels to your home add value? The very short answer is no. However let’s talk about this before you decided to push the salesman off your porch.
It is true I can not take a home that is the same size, condition and location and say because it has solar panels I can sell it for X amount more than your neighbor. Why you ask?
First we don’t have enough track able date to prove this here is Utah. Solar panels are new enough that many people have not bought them and resold their home to prove there is a higher resale value for that one item.
Now to the right buyer the solar panels could be the thing that pushes the buyer to write a full price offer on your home because you have something they really want and it’s hard to find in other homes.
Another thing to think about is are your renting or buying the solar panels. Companies are offering different options but if your renting them you might have to try and get the new buyer of your home to take over your rent on the solar panel making them less appealing.
What I recommend is if your want solar panels for the write offs, becoming more “off the grid” and saving on your utilities then I say go for it. But do not buy them thinking they will add a tangible dollar amount to your home’s value. What will add value to your home? That is a blog post for another day.

Custom Highland Utah Home For Sale

September 8th, 2015

Today we have a special guest writing on the blog!! Introducing Barbra Moe she wrote this blog post to tell us all about her wonderful home that we have for sell in Highland Utah. I find there is no one better than the current home owner to tell you the wonderful things about this home.

Costume Highland Utah Home

This house was custom built for our family 20 years ago.  We sold to my parents and then moved back in with them a year later so it has been our home for 19 years.   We love our home, we love our neighbors, and we love the ward.  The only reason we are selling this home is because we lost a business and we need to sell the home to pay off a debt. Since we only have one child left at home, we can downsize and pay off the debt.   We have raised 8 amazing children here and I am mindful that our good neighbors made a huge impact on how well they have turned out.    The Highland 6th ward is an amazing ward.  I know of two families who loved the ward so much that they would only move to a new house “within the ward”.   The ward is full of good and strong people who are actively involved.  We have very few neighbors who do not participate fully.   The ward has a perfect mix of older, middle-aged and young so that all of the auxiliaries are fairly equal in size.  The primary is perfect with just one nursery and about 80 kids.  The YM/YW has always been strong and have produced Eagles Scouts, Personal Progress and full-time missionaries.  Just last year, we had 22 missionaries out at the same time.   In our ward, we have homes that are 30 years old, 15-20 years old and 0-5 years old so there is a mix of young, middle aged and old.   Hardly anyone moves so it is a very stable area.   The Elementary and Junior High schools are very close and highly rated.  No buses needed until the kids go to Lone Peak Highs school.  The value of our home is raised by the great neighborhood and ward in which we reside.

Loan Peak High School Highland Utah

The home itself is also wonderful and we are finding it difficult to leave.  We remodeled the kitchen and master bath, put in a new bathroom downstairs and tiled the 2nd bathroom downstairs.  There is new paint and carpet throughout the house and it all feels like new.  I adore our new kitchen.  We hired a custom cabinet man and he did a wonderful job.   I love the “hidden” dishwasher (with cabinet face), I love the 36 inch cook-top and hood, the marble counter-tops and the two-tone look.  I have always adored our great room and how the windows look out onto our beautiful backyard with it’s deck, gazebo and white fencing.    We put in a circular sidewalk that meanders around the backyard so that the little ones could ride bikes without worry about cars and streets!    I love our formal office with the beautiful paneling.  I love the living room because it is large enough for seating and musical instruments!   We have used the fireplace in the master bedroom so often; it makes the room warm and cozy!  I love our master bathroom because it has all the amenities without too much floor space to clean.   I adore my project room, hidden behind the kitchen.  I have sewn, scrap-booked, and done plenty of computer work in that room.  We included half doors so I could see and hear the children but so that their little hands weren’t in my projects!   We had intended on putting “locker” cabinets in the mudroom someday but I came to love our hooks and the closet  because there was much less “piling” of stuff than I have seen in those lockers in other homes)  I love the cubbies in the laundry room that have places for dirty laundry and clean laundry. Each of the kids had a cubby where I put their clean clothes and then they put them away.    The best thing about his house is that there is so much storage space!   There are built-ins and closets everywhere.  One of our most valuable closets is just off the family room with plenty of room for games, educational items, toys, etc!    The window seats have been wonderful for entertaining and storage of all of our blankets!   I had them covered by a professional upholsterer to match our former décor.  I didn’t recover them for the new décor so that the new owners could cover them to match their own.   We looked ahead when we built the house and made sure the basement had tall ceilings and no overhangs for the heating ducts.  We placed the heating ducts in the cement floor and it has been wonderful.  The basement has so much space that it feels like it just goes on and on with five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a family room, a playhouse under the stairs, a food storage room, a future theater room and an area that is currently used for storage that could be a kitchenette.   There is even a cold storage area that was built to receive a vault door.

 

Double sinks, Soak-er Tub, Separate Shower

Double sinks, Soak-er Tub, Separate Shower

Great-Room

 

 

One of the things I love most about our house is the little things like:  a switch in the house for Christmas lights and outlets along the eaves of the house for the Christmas lights; usher lights along the hallway, down the stairs, and in the upstairs bathrooms so you don’t need to turn on any lights when you get up at night; and decorative shelving above the family room, the master bath and in some bedrooms for treasures to be displayed.

 

We also looked to the future:  The house is wired for security and sound systems, central vacuum, and a gas fireplace in the family room if future owners want to install any of those upgrades.

 

We have treasured our 20 years in this home and it is currently in the best shape of its life for the family that will make it their home.  It has been the perfect place to raise our family and we are excited for the family that comes and takes our place.  What a blessing to live in this home and in this neighborhood.

 

To see all pictures of home Go Here or feel free to call me at 801-885-6551. If the link doesn’t work it means the home is no longer available. 

There are no schools near by this property.

 

 

Why I really really want you to use my preferred lender

August 31st, 2015

First I’ll get this out of the way, It is against the law for a lender to say, “If you send me clients I will give you (anything of value)”

 So if I get no gain why would I personally care what lender you use? Have you ever heard the saying, “You know who your friends are when times get tough” I don’t want to scare you but financing is the hardest part of buying a home and it is often thought of very last. You really want a lender who is in the trenches with you and has your back the whole time especially when it gets rough.
I’ve been though so many transactions where the lender has promised to get something done by a certain date and that date comes and they can’t get it done. I know there are times when things are out of their hands (pretty much most of underwriting) however a little communication goes a long way because can you guess who gets yelled at by the client when the earnest money is lost because the lender didn’t communicate that there was a problem with the loan in time to get an extension to protect your earnest money. Yep that would be me your Realtor. I watch deadlines as much as possible but it’s nice to work with a lender who has a track record of working hard for my clients as well.
Will your cousins best friend be an awesome lender? Maybe but I’ve never worked with him and when the times get rough I sure hope he can pull though but the choice is ultimately up to you!

Car Shopping and Real Estate

August 24th, 2015

I went car shopping the other day, I know your thinking what does this have to do with real estate? I’ll get to it…

So car shopping, this has been a very long process for us, why? Well my husband and I can not agree on what car would be best for our family. I tend to be more of the frugal type that buys cars more for function than form and he is almost the complete opposite he wants it all, form, function and style. We’ve found once you add style to the car it adds to the bottom line which I’m not a fan of. So six months into car shopping we find the perfect car! It fits exactly what we want seven seats for the expanding family, leather and a DVD player for the kids, low on miles and although at the top of my “budget” it’s with in range. We’ve read all the online consumer reviews on the dealer and the car everything is perfect.
We go to buy said vehicle but before we commit to the loan we decided to take the car to our local mechanic. That’s when we find out the full truth of this car, as it looks super nice and hits all of our check points but it has a bad history when it comes to sensors breaking, expensive engine repairs and so on.  Just to think we were minuets away ( I’d already purchased it in my head) from buying something that we thought was perfect.
Now back to my original thought how does this relate to real estate? When shopping for a home online you can find almost anything sometime you can find just what you want without a Realtor. However when it comes to the actual purchase all the online research and consumer reviews can not make up for having a professional on your side protecting your best interest. Yes my mechanic could have said, “That is a great car go ahead and buy it.” He would have even made some money off of me from the repairs the vehicle would have needed. However he would have lost a client after realizing he let me make a bad choice without attempting to help me understand what a mess I was getting into.
As a Realtor it’s my job to advise my clients on the home buying process from start to finish. I always try and think of long term past the close on your home to if you will be happy with the service I’ve given you. I want all my clients to feel like friends and come life time clients that feel comfortable referring my services to friends and family. That is how I’ve built my business!