Selling a Lake Minnetonka house can be quite a challenge. Since the competition in the real estate market can be tough, you have to prepare your property to make it more appealing to buyers. Minor touch-ups can do wonders, but the most important thing to do is highlight the best features of the property and fix whatever issues it may have. You may also want to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes to figure out the enhancements you can do to boost the value of your home. This way, you can hook buyers’ attention easier. Continue reading…
If you’re selling your home or contemplating doing so, there are some Lake Minnetonka home selling issues to consider. While to ultimate goal of any real estate transaction is for complete satisfaction for every party involved – from the buyer to the agent to the seller to the lender – sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. What happens if – prior to the close of the sale – somebody gets cold feet, buyer’s remorse, or the seller has second thoughts? As the seller, how can you get out of the sales transaction without making too many waves? Can you?
More often than not, deals that progress to the contract stage usually close without a major hitch. However, sometimes there are Lake Minnetonka home selling issues that can kill the deal or put a bad enough taste in the mouth of the seller that he changes his mind. And, you can back out of the transaction as long as you have the proper contract contingencies along with ample communication with your real estate agent – but you need to be vigilant and don’t wait too long.
One key to backing out of the contract is to work with an experienced real estate professional. Make sure you and your agent are both on the same page when it comes to issues like the sales price, closing date, contingencies and negotiable items such as who’s paying closing costs or other seller concessions.
By keeping the lines of communication open with your real estate agent and consulting with him or her during every part of the home selling process, sellers are more informed – and better equipped, perhaps – to anticipate items that may arise regarding their home and what prospective buyers may want to negotiate.
If you’re readying your house for the market, or if it’s early in the home-selling process, an open and honest discussion with your real estate professional may save you time and trouble. Sit down with your agent and explain that you’re not ready, you’re having second thoughts, or you want to put the process on the back burner temporarily. A good, experienced agent will usually be very receptive as to how you feel – honestly, nobody wants to go through the agony of trying to sell a home only to have the seller change his mind down the road. Bring up any Lake Minnetonka home selling issues now and avoid the awkward and painful repercussions that may occur at a later date.
If you’re a little farther into the process or if you’ve already signed the contract to sell your home, backing out of that deal can be a little more involved, but not impossible. Let’s look at your best available options for escaping the contract without creating too much damage:
Issues with the Appraisal or Home Inspection
Normally, sales contracts carry with them a contingency whereby the prospective purchaser (as well as the mortgage lender) be satisfied with the appraisal of the home and the findings of the home inspection report. Depending on the results of either, further negotiations could result between the buyer and the seller.
In the current "seller's market" situation, it’s not unusual for an appraisal to come back lower than the agreed-upon sales price. In that case, additional negotiations and discussions must occur between each party to remedy the situation. Usually, its pretty simple: Either the seller agrees to lower his price or the buyer agrees to pay more money than what the appraisal was. Of course, a third alternative is that both parties walk away from the contract based on the contingency mentioned above.
The same situation can occur with a home inspection – another of the Lake Minnetonka home selling issues that could arise threatening a deal to fall apart. If certain problems were discovered during the routine inspection, the buyer may be more concerned – especially if the seller isn’t willing to pay to make the necessary repairs prior to the closing of the sale. The end result is that both parties – again, due to the contingency – will agree to back out of the contract.
The “Kick-Out” Stipulation
As with the contingencies mentioned above, it’s also normal for a typical contract of sale to include a contingency that says if the potential buyer can’t sell his current home, he’s not obligated to close on the new home. Some contracts may also include a contingency whereby the seller finds a new home by a certain date to ensure he has a place to move. If either scenario doesn’t occur, then either party can exercise the “kick-out” clause in the contract – enabling them to back out of the contract based on the contingency not being met.
Back Out as Early as Possible
As soon as you are made aware of Lake Minnetonka home selling issues that may trigger your desire to back out of the contract – act fast. Real estate experts say the worst thing you can do is wait. Typically, the buyer has more options when it comes to backing out of the contract than does the seller. When the seller wants to back out, the sooner he acts, the better off he will be. Waiting too long could mean you’re setting yourself up for a breach of contract – especially if there’s a third party involved who’s entered into a contract with the buyer or the seller for an additional purchase or sale.
See more articles pertaining to Lake Minnetonka home selling issues in the two sections of articles on Lake Minnetonka Home Selling Tips and Lake Minnetonka Homes for Sale just below Lake Minnetonka Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.
Homeowners in the Lake Minnetonka real estate market are often motivated by the merging of two age-old cliches: “Jumping on the bandwagon” and “Strike while the iron is hot.” Homeowners thinking about selling a Lake Minnetonka home have seen prices continuously climb during the last year as a result of a number of factors – most notably a higher demand created by a lower than usual supply of home inventory. However, one question homeowners should ask themselves if they're contemplating selling is, “Am I making the right decision.” Yes, No, Maybe?
When thinking about selling a Lake Minnetonka home, the market is comprised of many “ups and downs.” The “ups” are the higher prices many sellers can command for their homes. The “downs” are, again, the higher prices many sellers can command for their homes. Simply put, if you sell your home for top dollar you’ll probably have to pay top dollar for a new place to live, too. We suggest consulting with real estate professionals before you test the waters.
One of the biggest challenges in your individual housing market is the difficulty for the average homeowner to know whether or not it’s at its peak. If you base your decision to sell on the perception that other homes in your market are selling, it could give you a sense of urgency. That impulsive need to act quickly or “Strike while the iron is hot” may often be popular, but not always prudent. Let’s take a look at a few tips that may give you more insight if you're considering selling a Lake Minnetonka home.
Long Term Considerations
Because real estate transactions are in large measure emotional investments, you should carefully assess the reasons you're contemplating selling. Is it purely for financial gain? If so, as mentioned above, will you end up paying more for your next home? Do you really want or need to sell? If not, consider making your home a rental property – especially if you’re thinking of downsizing. As an alternative, if you can afford it, you can give your home to your children – what a wonderful gift for a growing family! Just don't get caught up in a market feeding frenzy and allow it to push you into making a bad decision. Just because there may be an opportunity to sell your home, that doesn't mean it’s the best decision to make right now.
The Past is Just That – the Past
One thing to remember, perhaps above all else, is what worked before when it comes to selling a Lake Minnetonka home, doesn’t necessarily work today. The homeownership playing field and the environment in which housing operates is vastly different to what it was just 20 years ago. With employment markets having been negatively impacted and wage growth relatively stalled, it’s often a challenge for prospective purchasers to afford their mortgage. The concept of being able to “grow into a mortgage” is foreign in today’s economic climate. That – combined with the additional challenge of saving for a down payment – is one reason “Millennials” aren’t buying homes in the numbers their predecessors once did. As a result, the homeownership rate in the U.S. is at the lowest level in over 50 years. So, if you do decide to sell, remember you may be in a neighborhood that would be ideal for first-time homebuyers – but fewer, at least for now, are buying.
Don’t Rush Things
Take your time. Nothing or nobody should be able to unduly influence your decision to sell or not to sell. You likely didn’t rush into the transaction when you purchased your home, so there’s little need to rush to sell, either. Get the opinion and advice from different sources. Consult a real estate professional. Call your accountant, tax advisor or financial planner. They could be invaluable in providing information you may not have considered. Remember, because of their nature and the resulting “domino effect” they usually create, home sales aren't easily undone. So before you decide to sign the sales contract, take your time, be confident in your decision and don’t look back. If you have any hesitancy, take it as a sign you should step back and regroup. As with most things – especially emotional decisions like selling your home – let your conscience be your guide. Chances are, your instincts will tell you what’s best for you and your family.
Don’t Look Back
After you’ve given due consideration to these and other tips pertaining to selling a Lake Minnetonka home and still decide you’re ready to sell, go for it. Shift into high gear, hire a sales professional, list your home at the most attractive price possible for a comfortable, manageable closing date – and don’t look back! As humans, we’re all guilty of second-guessing ourselves. However, if you’ve gone through the thought-provoking exercise, consulted with the right people, and feel selling is the best thing to do, you’ve done your due diligence. No second-guessing required. Own your decision and press forward.
The proverbial bottom line is this. A decision of this magnitude should be made by you and you alone. Others can provide their opinions, their expertise and their advice, but when the dust settles, you’re still the one who has to make the final decision. Once you feel confident in your research, information gathering, processing and mulling things over you may just find that the agonizing decision you wrestled with at one time now seems obvious – one way or the other.
See more articles pertaining to selling a Lake Minnetonka home in the Lake Minnetonka Home Selling Tips section of our site below Lake Minnetonka Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.
Remember, we also post tips daily and would love it if you Follow us on Twitter and Find us on Facebook, too.
So, you entered the Lake Minnetonka home selling market. And, so far your house is still unsold. There could be several reasons your home hasn't sold yet. Perhaps the economy isn't right for your prospective purchaser. Maybe your home doesn't have enough curb appeal. Maybe it's just plain bad luck that the right buyer hasn't seen your home yet. Whatever the reason – or excuse –, your home is still on the market. Let's take a look at five mistakes some homeowners make when they are selling their house.
The asking price is too high.
Naturally, everybody wants to sell their home for as much money as possible. However, if your home is not priced competitively and comparably to other homes in your neighborhood or market, you better be prepared for it to remain on the market for longer than you hoped.
Furthermore, unless you’re delusional and are expecting a multi-millionaire to pay cash without blinking an eye, most purchasers will need to obtain a mortgage loan. In that case, your home still needs to appraise at an amount sufficient enough for the lending institution to make the loan. Simply put, a lender won't approve a loan for, say, $300,000 on a house that’s appraised at $275,000. While it's certainly possible to find a buyer willing to pay cash, most smart buyers aren't going to overpay for a house. After all, they didn't get in a position to pay cash because they make poor investment decisions.
Your home contains too much of your personality.
Let's say you love rabbits. Throughout your home you've assembled a collection of rabbit knick-knacks from all over the country. Ceramic rabbits, brass rabbits, wooden rabbits – everywhere you and your prospective purchasers look. You see cuddly, cute bunnies. You buyers see rodents that are a nuisance and steal food from bird feeders. Say your husband is an avid hunter who proudly displays his deer and duck mounts on the den wall – six of them at last count. What he may see as the results of successful hunts, some buyers – especially females – may not be able to relate to. They see poor, defenseless, dead animals. In either instance, it's not likely your home will get a second visit, Pack up the rabbit statuettes and store the hunting trophies. And get them out of sight.
All too often, homeowners make this mistake in the Lake Minnetonka home selling market by not removing the clutter, photos and memorabilia from their homes as they should. Remember, a prospective buyer wants to be able to picture themselves and their belongings in the house, not those of the current owner
Do not conduct tours of your home.
Most real estate agents agree – conducting a home tour is a job best left to the professionals in the Lake Minnetonka home selling market. The reason? Simply because most buyers are very uncomfortable when the seller is present for a home showing. Prospective purchasers don't feel relaxed or able to freely explore the house if the owner is there. As one real estate agent put it, it's similar to shopping in a retail store where an over-enthusiastic sales clerk follows your every move. If that's ever happened to you, you probably didn't stay in the store very long. Moreover, you probably didn't return – much less buy anything. Leave the home tour to the professionals. Allow them to give the prospective buyers enough time to take a thorough look at your home without you looking over their shoulders.
Do not let your pets take over your house.
This can be challenging, at best. If you're a pet lover, no doubt you feel like your pet is part of the family and belongs in your house. However, your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible. The experts recommend finding a temporary place for your pet while you're trying to sell. It's also a good idea to do whatever is necessary to make prospective buyers forget that you even own a pet. In other words, when you clean your home of your clutter, don't forget about your pet’s clutter too. That includes dog beds, litter boxes, various chew toys, scratching posts and other pet reminders. Keep in mind that buyers may recognize pet odors that you have become used to. Those odors can be a huge turn off – especially to buyers who don't have or don't want pets.
Restricting or limiting when buyers can see your home.
Until your home sells, your job is to try to sell your home to anyone willing to pay the asking price, or as close to it as possible. If you're serious about selling, you'll want to make it as easy as you can for potential buyers to visit and view your home. Most real estate agents agree that putting restrictions or time constraints for when prospective buyers can visit is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in the Lake Minnetonka home selling market.
While it can certainly be an inconvenience – even an invasion of privacy – remember, you're in the business of selling your home. As such, it’s incumbent upon you as a serious seller to be prepared to make your home available for a showing whenever possible. You never know when the right buyer will come along, so be prepared. Again, your goal is to sell your home. Be willing to make time and convenience concessions if requested – that's considerably cheaper than making huge reductions on the selling price!
See more articles pertaining to selling a home in Lake Minnetonka in the Lake Minnetonka Home Selling Tips section of our site below Lake Minnetonka Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.
Remember, we also post tips daily and would love it if you Follow us on Twitter and Find us on Facebook too.
Among the various Lake Minnetonka home selling tips are the usual recommendations such as decluttering your home, cleaning the carpets, sprucing up the landscaping and perhaps doing a little painting. While those are certainly good suggestions designed to maximize the curb appeal and presentation of your home to prospective buyers, here’s another important “to do” to add to the list.
Vital Statistics – Lake Minnetonka Home Selling Tips
There is one thing we recommend you do before you sell your home: Check your home’s vital statistics. Consult your local government’s resources to ensure it has accurate information regarding your home.
You’ll find your local municipality has information on your home – regardless of its age, size or location. Your town’s building department and assessor’s office will both have records about your home. The reason to check those records prior to listing your home for sale is simple – often the information contained therein could be erroneous. If the records don’t match your home’s reality, any resulting issues that are unresolved could delay the sale or even squash it completely. For example, let’s say you’ve always been told your home contains 2,759 square feet. Armed with that information – without verification – you list your home at an asking price based on comparably-sized homes. When a buyer signs a contract to purchase your home he assumes, as you did, that the square footage is correct. However, at some point prior to the loan closing – either during the appraisal process or some other routine event – it was discovered the correct square footage is actually 2,579. A transposition error caused you to assume your home had 180 more square feet than it actually does. While 180 square feet isn’t a huge difference, if the sales prices was calculated at, say, $90 per square foot such a mistake could potentially mean a difference of $16,200. That’s enough to make the mortgage lender alter the amount they would be willing to finance and it could substantially change your prospective purchaser’s interest level in paying a higher than market asking price.
So, remember this one of many Lake Minnetonka home selling tips: Consulting your municipality’s building department could have avoided the above-referenced discrepancy. The town or municipality keeps records of every construction permit issued and all buildings built. In addition, the building department is responsible for making sure that if any changes are made to the building they meet the current codes in force, and that the work is performed by licensed contractors. The primary concerns of the building department are home health and safety issues. Therefore, when an application is made for a new construction or home improvement permit, a building inspector from the code enforcement office must physically visit the property to review, approve and give written permission that the work done by the contractor, electrician or plumber is approved and meets the local codes.
When a purchaser agrees to buy your home and signs the contract, often they (or their representative) may go to the building department to perform due diligence. In the event there’s an open permit – a permit that was applied for, but never signed off on for final approval – that could raise a red flag. Even worse is if no record exists in the building department of work performed that should have been inspected and approved.
Sometimes home sellers discover a mistake was made. For example, permits weren’t approved or closed properly, but the seller assumed they were. The mistake could have been made by the building department, the former owner or the building contractor. In addition, it’s not unusual for homeowners to mistakenly assume that any type of renovation was performed as the building code requires, only to find out it wasn’t. Such a mistake can potentially present a problem when a seller tries to sell his home. The reason is that once the title to the property transfers to the new owner, he assumes responsibility of any illegal work not meeting the code requirements. That’s a liability few, if any, buyers want to inherit.
In addition to the building department, the town or county assessor maintains records on the local real estate market to ensure the assessed value of your home is correct and comparable to what the market reflects. The assessed value, of course, affects the real estate property taxes.
Before you put your property on the market for sale, add this to your list of Lake Minnetonka home selling tips: Go to the town hall or county courthouse (the source varies from state to state) and check the property records. You’ll find that many times solving issues such as open construction permits or errors on a piece of real estate can be fairly easy. Remember, it’s better to tackle a potential problem ahead of time before it could jeopardize the sale of your home – especially if it causes delays and the proverbial “domino effect,” creating additional problems down the line.
If there’s a larger issue or more complex problem, real estate experts suggest holding off listing your home for sale until it can be cleared up. For example, lowering your property assessment may take time to appeal and plead your case to the property authorities. Because of that, it may be best to get the assessment lowered first, then put your home on the market. A lower tax bill will, no doubt, be an advantage to your prospective buyers.
See more Lake Minnetonka Home Selling Tips in the section of our site below Lake Minnetonka Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.
Remember, we also post tips daily and would love it if you Follow us on Twitter and Find us on Facebook too.
Lake Minnetonka home selling can often take time and try a homeowner’s patience. To successfully accomplish the goal of selling your home, planning ahead is vitally important. One of the best plans a prospective seller can have is to hire the right real estate agent.
Lake Minnetonka Home Selling – Ask an Agent
It’s important to select a real estate agent who’s able to gain your trust and confidence, inform and educate you as a homeowner, and effectively promote your home for sale. A good agent will be expected to be responsible for all aspects of selling your home – from hosting open houses to working with potential buyers and/or their agents.
Prior to hiring an agent, we suggest asking the following five questions to make sure you make the best choice.
What is your experience and local market expertise?
While experience doesn’t necessarily equate to skill, most real estate agents with years of experience, impressive recommendations and a good education will likely be very qualified. Don’t be bashful in your interview. Ask your prospective agent if they work full time or part time. Find out how many homes they’ve sold in the past year, two years and three years. Ask how many other sellers they are currently representing.
Are you a member of a real estate agent organization?
Agents who are members of a professional organization usually have pledged to conduct themselves according to the organization’s bylaws and code of ethics. In addition, find out what additional training or certifications they may have that could give them an advantage over others in the Lake Minnetonka home selling market. As an example, an agent designated as a "Certified Residential Specialist" has attended a series of training classes in residential real estate. Additionally, many agents in recent years have become certified in short sales, foreclosures, and other specialties.
What is your marketing plan to sell my home?
A knowledgeable agent knows that a combination of effective marketing efforts is necessary in today’s market to successfully sell a home. Because online marketing is so important in the Lake Minnetonka home selling arena, ask your prospective agent how many photos of your home will be taken. Will they be taken by a professional real estate photographer? Because it’s such a popular feature on the Internet and social media channels, will the sales efforts include video? Ask your potential agent about additional marketing materials, other advertising, home staging, open houses and listing your home on various real estate websites such as Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com and more.
In today’s real estate marketplace, a larger number of home shoppers than ever start their search online. Therefore, professional photography, videography and home staging can give your home the Internet equivalent of “curb appeal” before prospects actually visit it in person.
Discuss your prospective agent’s plans and strategy. Listen for concise, comprehensive and aggressive ideas.
Do you have any recommended service providers we should work with?
Seasoned, experienced Lake Minnetonka home selling experts are usually well known in their community and they have a network of sources within the real estate industry. So, when you conduct an interview with a prospective agent, inquire about other professionals such as mortgage lenders, home inspectors, or contractors. Using the resources your agent may be able to bring to the table will give you an advantage in the long run. It will not only save time, but once you're satisfied with the agent you select, you should have an equally high degree of confidence in the third parties he/she may recommend for various aspects of your home sale.
Can you provide me with three previous client references?
It’s not unusual, of course, for a prospective employer to ask for references as part of a job interview. In much the same way, since you’re considering “hiring” a real estate agent, don’t hesitate to ask them for client references. Contact the references by phone or email and ask them to share their experiences in working with the prospective agent. In addition, ask your potential agent about customer reviews and client testimonials.
After you’ve conducted interviews and asked these questions of your prospective real estate agents, you'll have a pretty good idea about who to select and why. Choose the agent that best meets the criteria you expect from a Lake Minnetonka home selling expert. Remember, the “partnership” you form with your real estate professional is vitally important to its success. Make sure you and your real estate agent are on the same page in every aspect of the sales process – from the listing to the closing table.
Most importantly, make sure you understand the comparable sales in your neighborhood when it comes time to discuss your home’s listing price. If you’re far apart from each other, that’s probably an early sign of potential problems down the road. However, keep in mind – no matter what emotional or personal connection you have to your home – your agent is the expert. They can recommend the best sales price to ask for your home. More importantly, the price will be based on what the current real estate market will bear. A good listing agent wants to sell your home for as much money as the market can support. Anything more and your home may stay on the market longer than you want. Anything less and you may end up leaving money on the proverbial table.
See more articles pertaining to selling a home in Lake Minnetonka in the Lake Minnetonka Home Selling Tips section of our site below Lake Minnetonka Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.
Remember, we also post tips daily and would love it if you Follow us on Twitter and Find us on Facebook too.
Lake Minnetonka home selling tips are a valuable commodity. Knowing what will help sell your home faster and for the best price gives you a distinct advantage over sellers who don't pay attention to market indicators. Sellers who allow themselves to get caught up in the emotional value of their homes while ignoring the real value based on recent comparable sales are likely not to sell as quickly – if at all.
In today's environmentally-conscious society, one of the more popular topics among home sellers is how their home's "green" features affect their ability to sell. Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons.
Lake Minnetonka Home Selling – Will Green Make More Green?
Regardless of whether they are active environmentalists, a greater number of home buyers are familiar with and appreciate energy efficient homes. They've read about Energy Star-rated appliances, LEED certification and sustainable homes. They've heard about solar panels, home geothermal systems and smart home technology.
Builders of homes with energy efficient features in the Lake Minnetonka home selling market usually go to great lengths to make their prospects aware of what green homes offer. Simply put, they've invested a large amount of money installing the features in hopes of recouping their costs when they sell. However, the big questions are, "Do most buyers really care?" "Will they pay a higher sales price for green features?" "Does 'going green' help sell a home?" The answer – as is the case with most subjective topics – is, it depends.
Features, fixtures and finishes are fickle.
Home buyers are attracted to and are likely to pay more for features they can actually touch and feel. Tangible features that increase the home owning experience may include extras like a spa-like or whirlpool bath tub, a media room, a chef's kitchen, or an exercise room. They are less likely to pay more for improvements to the home they can't see like the roof, new plumbing, new electrical, or a new heating and air conditioning system.
Energy efficient homes with green features rank somewhere in the middle of the tangibles versus intangibles. Younger buyers may be more attracted to the "hip factor" provided by rooftop solar panels or energy saving smart home technology that can be controlled from their smartphone or tablet. Often the hip factor is enough for a home buyer to pay more, but not always.
So, what about my wallet?
Chances are, environmentally friendly features won't motivate a buyer enough to pay more than a home is worth. However, if a green home includes money-saving features from which the buyer may benefit, his interest may be piqued.
In the Lake Minnetonka home selling market, it's even more difficult for sellers to recoup the costs they paid for solar panels, a high-tech thermostat or other energy efficient features. While the expense to buy and install the green features are usually included in the home's sales price, it's less likely the sellers will recover the costs, dollar-for-dollar. A remodeled kitchen with new appliances stands a better chance of producing a return on the seller's time, money and effort.
New construction: to green or not to green?
When it comes to new home construction, home buyers are the ones that ultimately decide the cost versus benefit. For example, a successful single family home builder in New York recently built a variety of similarly sized homes to sell. They were able to sell many of the homes on the strength of the floor plans and other features, then added custom-built features based on each buyer's individual needs and tastes.
The home builder gave buyers the option of installing a complete home geothermal heating and cooling system. While the cost was roughly $50,000 extra, the buyers were given an immediate $30,000 federal government tax credit. In addition, the cost of the system was already built into the mortgage, requiring no additional outlay of cash by the buyer.
The program was set up whereby the buyers would realize the savings through lower energy bills of several hundred dollars a month. It was projected to pay for itself in roughly five years. As attractive as the prospect of recouping their investment in just five years was, only half the buyers chose the system. The other half just didn't want it or feel the need to "pay" for it.
So why are some home buyers more interested in green features and their benefits than others? It all boils down to two factors: personal preference and financial wherewithal. If a buyer doesn't plan to stay in a home longer than a few years, they're less likely to have time to benefit from the additional cost. In addition, when they're ready to enter the Lake Minnetonka home selling arena their future buyer probably won't be motivated to pay more – especially if the market has become depressed. Therefore, home buyers who plan to own the home for a longer time period, or those with a personal commitment to protecting the environment are definitely the target audience.
The market's small, but growing.
There is a small but increasing segment of today's home buying market that's genuinely concerned about the environment. These people want sustainable homes. They want to contribute to improving our surroundings and saving energy. They are less concerned about the costs of green home features. They will pay more for those features – regardless of the hip factor. The cost savings they enjoy is a plus, but it's not the most important issue in their decision-making process.
One thing's for sure: green features and energy efficiency is here to stay. More consumers will see them and learn about them in the Lake Minnetonka home selling market. So, it may not be a big consideration for buyers or sellers today, but that will change in the near future.
See more articles pertaining to Lake Minnetonka home selling in the Lake Minnetonka Home Selling Tips section of our site below Lake Minnetonka Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.
Remember, we also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook. Check us out there too.
The Lake Minnetonka home selling market continues to improve and, as prices steadily rise more homeowners are considering selling their homes. Informed sellers are aware there are a number of considerations prior to putting their homes on the market. Let's examine a few factors to consider if you're planning to sell.
Lake Minnetonka Home Selling: Timely Tips
Naturally, the first question you need to answer is where you will live or move to next. If you're contemplating purchasing another home, consider entering into a contract contingent on the sale of your existing home. If you're among the fortunate few Americans that don't have to rely on the proceeds from the sale of your home to be able to purchase a new home, timing will not be a major factor. However, you'll still want to be aware of the timetable of closing the sale of your existing home, moving into a temporary residence while you decide to buy or build, or – if you're moving out of the area – searching for a home to purchase in your new location.
In addition, it's important to know the tax implications of selling your primary residence. You may have to pay capital gains taxes if your profit exceeds $250,000 for individual sellers or $500,000 for married couples. To be sure, we recommend checking out IRS Publication 523, "Selling Your Home" for any questions about rules and for a worksheet. Lastly, if you're planning to downsize after the sale of your home, performing a little research may save time, money and future frustration. Often retirees who want to downsize experience "sticker shock" when they price smaller, more recently built homes or condos with many of today's desirable and expected amenities. Having to pay more than expected for a smaller home may put a sizable dent in your budget – and your downsizing plans.
Once you've decided to enter the Lake Minnetonka home selling arena, probably the most vital piece of the puzzle is putting the correct sales price on your home. Real estate agents say the first three weeks a home is on the market are the most important in creating a "buzz," generating buyer interest and attracting potential buyers. A good agent would agree potential buyers often ignore a listing that's been on the market awhile. The perception – and the reality – is the "bloom is off the rose" and it's obvious there's a reason the home hasn't sold. The longer the house stays on the Lake Minnetonka home selling market the higher the probability the sales price will suffer. Simply put, if your home hasn't had a serious inquiry for, say, four weeks, it may be time to reduce the asking price.
When it comes to setting the proper sales price and knowing if and when to reduce it, we strongly suggest enlisting the help of an experienced real estate professional. The selection process of choosing a qualified agent is similar to hiring an employee to work for your business. Make sure the agent has your best interest at the forefront of their desire to sell your home for the best possible price. A good agent should know your neighborhood and be familiar with what similar properties have recently sold for. Don't hesitate to ask for a written marketing plan describing what avenues your prospective agent plans to utilize to sell your home. Give your would-be agent higher marks for their digital and online expertise. Potential buyers shopping in the Lake Minnetonka home selling market use the Internet to see listings, take virtual tours and make comparisons as they shop for the home they want.
After you choose the real estate agent you feel can best serve your needs, it's time to prepare your home for sale. A good agent will identify any items that may need improvement to help your home "show" better. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression, so if there are items that may hamper buyer interest in your home, replace them, repair them, or get rid of them. To prepare for a successful open house, consider sprucing up with a fresh coat of paint – on the exterior if needed – and in the interior to give favorite rooms new life. In addition, clean or replace old carpets, mow the lawn and trim the shrubbery. Don't ignore the seemingly small things. Make sure all the lightbulbs are working, replace any that have dimmed or yellowed. Remove the clutter from laundry rooms, bookcases, the garage or a home office. Make your home as presentable as possible by making a great and memorable first impression.
If you're not up to the task of readying your home with its best foot forward, consider hiring a professional staging company. Home staging experts say giving each room of your home a purpose is an excellent way to create interest and intrigue among buying prospects. If you have a spare bedroom, stage it to be a bedroom – regardless of whether you currently use it for a sewing room, home office or all-purpose room. Staging is a proven technique that helps buyers imagine your home's potential, and envision it the way they want it to fit their lifestyle. Remember, stage your home as if it was an investment opportunity designed to appeal to the general public. Detach yourself from the emotional connection you've no doubt created over the years.
Some Lake Minnetonka home selling participants, especially those selling older homes, often elect to arrange for a home inspection for their own benefit. That enables them to identify any potential shortcomings or problems early in the selling process. The sooner you become aware of an issue that may affect the sale of your home, the sooner you can correct it.
Lastly, as your home begins to pick up buyer traffic and interest, make it as easy and convenient for them and their real estate agents to see your house – more than once if needed. Sellers who are difficult to get in touch with or who put too many restrictions on showing times and appointments run the risk of losing potential buyers to other properties.
With advance planning and careful, thoughtful preparation these Lake Minnetonka home selling tips will assist you in selling your home quickly, efficiently and at the highest price available in the market.
Lake Minnetonka home selling tips are plentiful in today's housing market. No matter how many homes are on the market at any given time, those that make the best first impression are the ones that buyers remember most and are more likely to buy. In the often complex world of real estate, a home's ability to create a good first impression is called "curb appeal." Let's take a look into what comprises curb appeal and how to improve it when you're preparing to sell.
Lake Minnetonka Home Selling Tips
For the vast majority of home buying prospects a home's first impression is how it looks from the street – either walking by or passing by in a car. For decades that was pretty much what a potential home buyer saw and based an initial decision on, until they had the opportunity to take a personal tour of the home. Today, of course, with the advent of smartphones, tablets and digital correspondence such as text messaging and emails, house hunters have much more information available to them than ever. Yet, one thing has remained constant – the first impression is still what the home looks like from the "curb," whether it's in a photograph on a real estate website or a picture taken by a smartphone and texted to one spouse from another.
Chances are, if a home has good curb appeal, the seller invested a good amount of time making sure his home "shows" well from the street. A nice, well-manicured lawn always makes for an attractive first impression and usually entices a prospective buyer to want to see more. An inviting walkway or freshly-painted front door may mean the difference in encouraging prospects to visit an open house or keep on looking.
Simply put, most real estate professionals agree, for years curb appeal was always the most important factor in a home's viewing popularity. Consider these tasks as part of your Lake Minnetonka home selling preparation:
Clean, clean and clean some more.
A well-kept yard is often a sign of a well-kept home on the inside, too. An unkempt lawn or garden may signal the exact opposite, and scare off potential buyers. If your yard needs mowing and raking, do it now. Replace dead or struggling plants, flowers or shrubs. Clear up any unsightly woodpiles or areas where weeds have taken over such as corners near property lines, areas near outbuildings and fences, or other tight spots near trees.
Use a power washer to pressure wash your driveway, walkway, fence or other areas that need attention. Clean your windows – inside and out – you'll be amazed at the difference it makes in your home's appearance. While you're at it, inspect the window trim and consider cleaning, repairing, painting or replacing if necessary.
Use your green thumb.
Potential home buyers appreciate a home with splashes of color in their lawns and gardens. Consider these tips for making and helping plants and flowers grow better:
• Trim the shrubbery
• Weed the garden area and plant seasonal blooming flowers
• Use attractive, clean mulch
• Plant a low-maintenance ground cover to improve large, bare spots
• Use patches of sod to improve parts of the lawn that may have died
The addition of window boxes is a popular choice for providing colorful, attractive curb appeal. Don't forget to use potted plants in highly visible, high-traffic areas such as porches, walkways or entryways. A healthy, eye-catching plant or two can be a big addition to your home's entrance.
Remember, less is more.
It's been said that if you can look at the home you're selling through the eyes of the potential buyers it will help prepare it for a faster sale. Allow your prospects the opportunity to use their imagination by "seeing" their furnishings and accessories in your home's rooms. To effectively do this, it's important to store or remove excess furniture, exercise equipment, magazines, and personal items like framed photos, trophies, etc. The less clutter your prospect has to remove in their mind's eye, the better your chances of them imagining your house being theirs.
Don't forget the cosmetics.
It's always a good idea to consider making minor cosmetic improvements when preparing your house for sale. Because kitchens and bathrooms are popular selling points, give them the attention they deserve. Clean the grout and shine up the fixtures and hardware. Consider a fresh coat of paint, if needed, in some areas.
In today's Lake Minnetonka home selling market, curb appeal is still very important. Yet, its importance is now measured sightly differently. Today's technological world allows almost every potential buyer the opportunity to form their first impression from an online photo – usually from a real estate website. Instead of spending endless hours driving through neighborhoods, today's buyers are able to scroll through dozens of interior and exterior photos of homes they are interested in. If they like what they see, of course, they may include those homes on the short list of ones they'd like to see in person. If they aren't impressed by a home's online photos, it's a pretty safe bet that home won't make the cut.
This new way of home shopping creates a new opportunity – and a new challenge – for home sellers. The home's exterior no longer is the only enticing feature that may sway a prospect from visiting. Now it's just as important to highlight your home's interior. In the digital age, web appeal has become the new curb appeal. The challenge is to photograph your home in its best condition. If the photos aren't of good quality and professionally produced, most buyers will keep on moving – or scrolling – until they find what appeals to them.
So, what should you do if you're planning to sell? Real estate experts offer this Lake Minnetonka home selling tip: spend the time necessary to have your home's interior ready to photograph in order to put its best foot forward. That will increase your "web appeal" which, in turn, will increase the chances that your home will stand out enough to make a prospect's "must see" list. While it may require a greater investment of time from most dedicated sellers, in a competitive market full of real estate websites and online information it could mean the difference in selling faster – or not at all.
The Lake Minnetonka home selling arena can be an unsavory and downright scary place sometimes. Especially if you discover your home has issues that could have been avoided before you bought it. While most home sellers and their agents are respectable and above-board, there are those who aren't. Here are four problems some sellers often try to hide from unsuspecting buyers.
Hidden Problems in Lake Minnetonka Home Selling
Judging a book by its cover is often dangerous. Sometimes a house which appears to be well-maintained can be hiding pests such as carpenter ants, cockroaches and termites that can do damage –– extensive damage. Experts say damages to a home by these and other wood-boring insects can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. One pest control company reports a home that cost $1 million to repair. To head off the headache and heartache, it's best to have a pest inspection before you close on your home. While it's possible a homeowner offering his house in the Lake Minnetonka home selling arena may not be aware the problem exists, it's unlikely. So, get an inspection by a reputable pest control firm for peace of mind.
Water or structural damage
A leaky roof or a problem with a home's foundation can lead to a large outlay of cash to repair. Prior to making an offer on a home you want to buy, do your own personal inspection. Walk through the property and be on the lookout for abnormal foundation cracks, undue settlement issues, unsightly mold or musty odors. Inspect the walls and ceilings for dark spots, damages or recently repaired or repainted areas. That could be a sign there's a problem and the seller tried to repair or otherwise cover it up. Naturally, should you decide to make an offer on the home, you should have a thorough home inspection performed by a licensed home inspector.
Depending on where you live, sellers aren't required by law to disclose "emotional defects" associated with their home. Emotional defects are events that may have occurred in the house or on the property such as a murder, a death, a suicide or an alleged haunting. If that's important to you and if your state doesn't require disclosure, visit a website such as DiedinHouse.com to search the home's history. It may answer questions about houses on the Lake Minnetonka home selling market.
Aging, energy inefficient home systems
Often the seller may not know the age of the home's HVAC systems or water heater. If that's the case, just ask your home inspection company for assistance. If the seller is trying to hide the age of the systems — or any problems that may accompany them, a home inspector will probably be able to determine the truth.
Lastly, common sense dictates that if you want more information on a home, just inquire about it from the neighbors. They usually have knowledge that may be informative and helpful, especially if you suspect any issues with a house in the Lake Minnetonka home selling marketplace.
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