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Suns out. Buyers out. Is your home ready for them?

10 things to cross off your list before putting your home on the market

They say you’ve got to make hay while the sun shines. If you want to make some hay selling your home, that means getting it ready for all the buyers who will be out this summer.

Let’s say you’ve used some of your recent downtime to do a thorough job of spring cleaning. Now let’s take care of some of those larger household projects before the serious buyers jump back into the market to make their moves this summer. Check these 10 items off your to-do list so your house is ready to view while buying is hot:

  1. Gutters: Spring rains and runoff bring lots of debris off your roof. Remove it from your gutters and fix any leaks.
  2. Siding: Spring rains also splash dirt on your exterior walls. Power wash your siding and refresh the paint as needed. Is it time for all new paint?
  3. Windows and Screens: To let the sunshine in, wash all windows inside and out. And replace damaged screens to keep the bugs out.
  4. Hot Water Heater: Don’t forget about this important appliance. Lubricate the circulating pump and motor.
  5. Roof: How did your roof survive the winter? Replace any missing, loose or damaged shingles.
  6. Deck or Porch: Winter can do a number on these too. Now’s the time to stabilize the railings and re-stain the surfaces.
  7. Irrigation System: Adjust the timer and system to make sure everything is green, but not too green. Replace any broken sprinkler heads or damaged valves.
  8. Landscape: Trim overgrown plants and add flowers for a touch of color.
  9. Foundation: Fix floors and walls that are showing any cracks or deterioration.
  10. Bathrooms: Replace caulking in and around all showers, tubs and sinks. Make sure all drains are running free and clear.

If any of these projects are too challenging for you to do yourself, now’s the time to hire a specialist or a handyman to take care of them. For specific tips on preparing your home for the sizzling summer market, reach out to a Duke Warner Realty experienced real estate agent, today.

 

 

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Topics to Address With Your Realtor

We understand that finding a realtor that understands exactly what you’re looking for in a property can be a challenge. Make sure you schedule a meeting and sit down with your broker, so that you do understand each other. It’s important to make a list of the features of a home that you can’t live without, that you would prefer, and things that you don’t want in your ideal home. Take the time to sit down and go over what they should know and what your top priorities are. If your broker understands your needs, wants and dislikes, they’re much more likely to find the perfect property for you, and not waste time showing listings that you’re not interested in.

Location, Location, Location

It can be easy to forget when house hunting, but where you buy a house in most areas determines where your kids go to school. If you have a preference over the schools in the area that you’re looking to buy in, it’s important to tell your broker that. Even if you don’t currently have kids, it’s still something important to consider.

If having easy access to amenities, like grocery stores, theaters, shopping, restaurants, etc. is important to you, your broker needs to know that. It’s important for your broker to understand whether you want to be within walking or driving distance from cultural centers like this. If this is a like, but not a requirement it could influence the listings your broker wants to show.

How is it Heated?

Something that can easily be forgotten when house hunting is how a home is heated. If the way a home is heated is something that truly matters, let your broker know. This may make a difference if you’re looking for properties in a colder or warmer climate. If you have a preferred method of heating, especially if it’s a deal breaker, tell your broker.  Be sure to check the heating system in place before you make an offer, or you could wind up with an expensive home to heat.

Design Layout for Ease & Comfort

Design and layout are important for many people when they are house hunting. If layout is a top priority, whether you have a specific need or you just prefer certain styles, your broker needs to know. They need to know if you want to look at split level homes, or if you only want to see single level homes. If you want an open floor plan, a formal dining room, etc. your broker can show you properties that pertain to your wants and needs, if they know what they are.

Sitting down with your agent and mapping out specifics will save you a lot of time. For example, if you only want to view urban homes, or stick to rural areas that fit your family’s needs, if a pool is a must, your agent needs to know. Consider your lifestyle, imagine yourself and your family in your day to day and decide what part of town works to best support the way you live. Giving your agent these insights will help narrow down your search and hone in on the perfect property to fit your needs.

Things to Consider

When discussing your price range with your agent, let them know which things you’re willing to pay more for and which things you are willing to sacrifice. If your budget doesn’t have any wiggle room, they should know this from the start. If they find you a home with everything that you want, but it’s out of your price range, your broker needs to know where you draw the line. Make a list of your wants, needs and ideals, so your broker understands what your goals and limits are for your home search. Reach out to the Duke Warner broker you trust most, and discuss what you want in a dream property or home. Feel free to give us a call at 541.382.8262 or check us out online at https://www.dukewarner.com/.

 

 

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Busting the Most Common Home-Selling Myths

Selling a home is no easy feat. In fact, it can easily become one of the most stressful experiences you will ever have to endure. So why are there so many myths and misleadings facts out there about how to best sell a home? In the era of “alternative facts,” it can be difficult to discern sound advice from shoddy suggestions, so the key is to have a foundational knowledge of what’s true and what isn’t. Below, we’ve listed the three most common myths to look out for when selling your next home.

You Must Sell in the Spring or Summer

Much like the undying myth that chewing gum takes seven years to digest, homeowners continue to think that homes can only be sold in warmer seasons. While it’s true that the spring and summer are optimal times to put your home on the market, failure isn’t inevitable if you sell during the fall or winter. In fact, there are some hidden benefits to selling your home in the fall and winter.

Competition can be stiff in the warmer months and it’s easy for your home to get lost in the dozens and dozens of listings that pop up in Central Oregon. If you sell your home in the fall or winter, there is less competition that allows your home more opportunity to shine and provides you with more negotiating power. Additionally, homebuyers are more willing to make a deal and close quickly in colder months, thereby reducing the amount of time your home sits on the market.

It’s Just Like Reality TV

Anyone that’s watched HGTV — or similar reality TV — knows how easy selling a home can be made to look. The entire process is cut down into an episode that’s 40 minutes or less and much of it is often scripted, so viewers aren’t provided a real look at the length or complexity of the selling process.

In reality, the selling process is much more than just a showing and a few phone calls. According to Zillow, the average American home sits on the market for 65 to 93 days, so things move much slower than portrayed in the media. Additionally, the closing process can sometimes even last more than a month. Speaking with a licensed real estate agent can circumvent this issue, as you can prepare a more realistic timeline of how events will play out.

It’s Cheaper to Sell Without an Agent

While it’s true that real estate agents come attached with commission fees, it’s misleading to think that they make the selling process more expensive. Real estate agents oversee a number of responsibilities, from legal negotiators to professional marketers, all which are best approached with experience. An assessment recently performed by the National Association of Realtors even found that the average FSBO home price was $185k while homes sold by realtors had an average prices of $245k. Commission fees may exist, but a quality real estate agent will more than make up for the cost with a higher selling price.

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How to Decorate for the Holidays, When Your Home is for Sale

When the Holiday season arrives, it can be hard to wait to decorate. Some of us have decorations up right after Halloween, and some wait until after Thanksgiving. If you are one such individual, it can be hard to tone down your holiday decorations, if your home is for sale. It’s important to consider what potential buyers might want to see, so sometimes it’s best to keep the decorations to a minimum. Here are our tips for keeping it festive, but showing appropriate this holiday season.

Holiday Lights

It’s a joy to drive through local neighborhoods this time of year and see that various styles of lighting people put up. If your house is the brightest one on the block, you might want to reconsider how festive you are this year. When you’re trying to sell your home, a ton of decoration might take away from how great your property is in the first place. Prospective buyers might also be critical of how lights are hung and displayed. Did you put decorations and lights up with nails, staples, easy-to-remove hooks, or more?

Front Yard

It can be fun to find light up or blow up decorations, but if you’re trying to sell your home, it might be best to hold off this year on those. It’s important to remember that when someone shows up for a viewing of your home, the front yard is the first thing they see. If all they notice is the bright decorations, they might miss the character of your property, or the cute front porch. Too many decorations can distract from the great features of the property, so try to keep them to a minimum.

Holiday Decorations

It’s always cozy to spend time in a home that’s decorated for the holidays, but inside you want to follow the trend from outside. Keep your decorating to a minimum. You want potential buyers to see the space, and be able to envision it as their own. So if lots of decorations are distracting them, they might miss out on the great features inside.

Try to keep your decorations tasteful and simple. People will appreciate the effort, while they’re able to take in what your property offers. Keep it simple with scented candles, and a few holiday figurines. Try to limit covering every counter-top and mantle and banister in decorations. It can make the inside of your home seem cluttered, and therefore smaller. If you’re looking for decorating ideas, use fresh plants, or seasonal fruit, like oranges and pomegranates, to add a simple festive feel to your home.

If you’re looking for advice on how much is too much, call your Bend Realtor and ask. Chances are they know what buyers are looking for, and what they aren’t. It’s the holidays, so be festive, just don’t clutter your house or front yard, and detract from what your property has to offer.

 

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Selling Your Home: What Happens After I Accept an Offer?

Any homebuyer knows that buying a home is a process that involves many steps. For first time homebuyers or sellers, these steps can seem overwhelming and often intimidating. We understand the process and want to help you navigate the details. Our Duke Warner brokers have decades of experience, selling and buying properties, and anytime you have questions, we are available to help. The following tips can help in the process;

Home Inspection

Once you’ve accepted the offer, what happens next? The home inspection will be scheduled by the buyers, and this inspection will be done by a private home inspector. Typically, the home inspection is conducted 7 business days after the offer has been accepted. From there, the normal timeline for a buyer response is between 48-72 hours after they’ve received the home inspection report.

Repairs

The next step depends on the buyer’s response to the home inspection. If the report dictates that the home is in good condition and doesn’t need any repairs, the seller isn’t responsible to do anything at this stage. If the inspection report calls out specific repairs, then the buyer and the seller will begin negotiations based on the situations of the repairs. Once the negotiations conclude, the repairs are made. Several options can be negotiated, including but not limited to the following scenarios;

  • The buyer asks the seller to do the repairs
  • The seller pays for the repairs and leaves the home price as is
  • The selling price can be dropped to accommodate the repairs costs
  • Both the seller and the buyer discuss the selling price and find a happy medium
  • The buyer decides to pull out of the sale
  • The seller decides to pull out of the purchase

Home Appraisal & Packing

The next step is the home appraisal. The buyer’s lender conducts this appraisal and it typically takes about two weeks to execute. Generally, this is a smooth process, unless there is an issue within the appraisal report. For the seller, the next step is to pack up the contents of the home and vacate the property. The real estate contract should have a specific date listed for the transfer date, where the keys will be handed over to the buyer. The seller can plan around that date, for initiating the packing.

Utilities Final Readings & Transfers of Name

As soon as the offer has been accepted and the real estate deal is final and closed, the buyer needs to get the utilities transferred into their name. The seller will need to contact the city water department and ask for a final reading of the water meter five days before the closing date, otherwise the escrow money will be held until the next water bill is issued. This is an important step that often gets lost in translation because it seems like a minor detail. However, once the deal is closed, the seller will be anxious to receive the money, and it’s unfortunate if it gets held up on a utility technicality.

Clear to Close

The final closing signing will depend on when the lender issues a clear to close letter. More often than not, if the lender is a bank, they will wait until the last possible minute to send the letter. It usually comes one to two days before the closing date. Once the letter is received and the closing is scheduled, both the buyer and the seller will need to be available to sign closing documents. Both parties will need to bring their driver’s license to the signing. Conventional loans usually take a couple of months, so the closing date should be based on that timeline. The closing date are usually determined at the beginning of the contract negotiations.

Celebrate!

For buyers and sellers, this can be a wonderful experience. It’s an exciting time for everyone and with the right agents, the process can be executed with the proper organization and communication desired. At Duke Warner Realty, our brokers will share their experience, knowledge and excitement while they work for you. We know how to price properties according to the market trends and current housing competition. Give us a call or check us out online at www.dukewarner.com.