Len and Leslie Marma's Blog
While it's not always possible for conditions to be "perfect" when a real estate agent is showing a home for sale, things usually go more smoothly when homeowners are not present.
There are several reasons for this, including the fact that the family's presence at a real estate showing may make the prospect feel self conscious and uncomfortable.
Among other things, the potential buyer may feel like they're intruding and being an imposition. Some buyers also find it harder to concentrate on the many details they need to focus on to evaluate the home.
The ideal scenario happens when house hunters are able to picture themselves as the future owners of your home -- perhaps imagining what it would feel like to cook dinner in your kitchen, entertain guests in your living room, and relax on the back porch. However, when you and your family are there, it makes it more difficult for them to conjure up those images in their mind. So, to the extent that it's possible, it's often a good idea to take the kids out for ice cream or go on a short trip to the mall when a showing of your home is scheduled.
Granted, it may be a little inconvenient -- especially if the visit was set up at the last minute -- but you don't want to unintentionally dissuade someone from making an offer on your house. You never know what might "upset the apple cart!" There's a lot at stake and every prospect is a potential buyer.
Ideally, prospects should feel unpressured, unhurried, and free to express their opinions about what they're seeing. If they feel like they have to weigh their words carefully and be discreet about every reaction, then their discomfort may spill over into their feelings about the house, itself. Since buying a home is often an emotional decision, any negative feelings in the prospect could potentially derail the chances of a purchase offer being made.
Real estate agents not only serve as knowledgeable "tour guides" and objective sources of information for house hunters, but they're also there to accentuate the positive and minimize the negative aspects of a property. One of their main objectives is to put prospects at ease and help them appreciate all the desirable aspects of your home.
There are dozens of details, property features, unique attributes, and flaws that potential buyers are trying to assimilate and remember, so the fewer distractions there are, the better! That's why it makes sense to keep the atmosphere as uncomplicated as possible. It can be a bit of a delicate balance for real estate agents to maintain, but most have the training, experience, and finesse to keep things on an even keel and moving forward!
When you have a small yard, you may feel like there’s not much you can do with your landscaping scheme. The good news is that there is plenty that you can do to perk up your yard and give it some character. Read on for tips for your small yard.
A Yard With A View
First, you should create a focal point in your yard. You want a place that your eyes are drawn to each time you enter your yard. This focal point could be a fountain, a pergola, a tree, or even some outdoor artwork.
Create An Intimate Spot
Even though your backyard might be small, having a spot for intimate conversation and entertaining can be a nice touch to your yard. When there is a space that exists for reading, relaxing, eating, or whatever you like to do outside, it becomes more inviting. This is landscaping with a purpose.
Use Color To Your Advantage
Make bold colors pop in your yard. Attention will be detracted from the size of your yard and the focus will switch to the beautiful blends and colors that are in the space. Placing bright colors strategically will even make your yard appear larger.
By creating a focal point and allowing your yard to form in long, clean lines, the perspective of the outdoor space will change from small to just right. One trick is to use fences to define your yard. If you have a garden, you can use a small fence to define this area. Define the boundaries of your backyard with a fence as well. Repeating rows of flowers or bushes is another way to create those straight, defining lines.
Use Vertical Features
When space is limited, just as you would in the inside of your house, don’t be afraid to go up! You can plant things that grow on a vine and can be tamed with a trellis or pergola. This creates and elegant effect in your home.
No Lawn No Problem
If your yard is small enough that you may not even have much grass, don’t fret. Any kind of greenery can help you to enjoy nature. Whether you live in a rural area or a large cityscape, there’s always room for plant life and green natural accents.
Don’t Forget To Add What You Love
If you have an admiration for sitting by the fire, you certainly should install a fire pit. If you want a fountain, you should install it. No matter what the size of your yard, it’s a place that you love and should serve you and your needs. No yard is too small for enjoyment. The key is that your outdoor space allows you to bask in the glory of your own little piece of natural heaven.
Is a two-car garage a luxury or an essential feature of a home? While it may not always be a top priority for first-time buyers, many seasoned homeowners consider it a "must have" item. In a lot of cases, it all boils down to expectations and what people have grown accustomed to.
Climate also plays a key role in how important a two-car garage is to you and your family. However, even if your winters are mild and your snowfall amounts are slim to nil, there are other weather conditions that a garage can shield you (and your cars) from.
Being able to park your vehicles in a protected, enclosed area is especially welcome when you have an armful of groceries, inclement weather outside, small children in tow, or an elderly parent to care for. Once you start adding up the advantages of having a two-car garage, it makes you wonder how you ever got along without one!
- Crime deterrent: No matter where you live, if your cars are parked in your driveway or on the street overnight, they're going to be much more vulnerable to vandalism, car theft, and break-ins. From a personal safety standpoint, it can also be safer to drive into your garage, close the automatic door behind you, and go directly into your house. Even if you live in a low-crime neighborhood, safety habits are a good thing to cultivate, especially if you sometimes arrive home late at night.
- Valuable storage space: As you acquire more possessions and your family grows, storage space becomes more of a precious commodity. In addition to protecting your vehicles from the elements, spacious garages are also great for housing lawn mowers, bicycles, barbecue grills, golf clubs, yard maintenance equipment, spare tires, gardening supplies, firewood, tools, and lawn chairs. If you don't have a backyard shed, then garage storage space is indispensable.
- Protection From The Elements: Besides wind and rain and dark of night, other elements your cars don't need to be subjected to include the hot, baking sun, bird droppings, and air pollution. And speaking of the hot, baking sun: Keeping your cars in a cool, shady place during the hot summer months can help spare you the discomfort of having to sit down in a sweltering vehicle! For those who live in chillier climates, garages can make your morning commute just a little less bone chilling!
- Privacy: There are a lot of benefits to being sociable with your neighbors, but it's also nice to be able to pick and choose when those social interactions takes place! Parking in your garage can provide you with an extra measure of privacy when you don't have the time (or inclination) to stop and chat.
Congratulations on your recent home sale! Now, you just need to figure out how to tell family members, friends and other loved ones that you'll be packing up and moving out of your current residence.
Informing loved ones about a home sale may seem challenging at first. Fortunately, we're here to help you keep your cool as you tell loved ones that you've sold your house.
Here are three tips to ensure you can avoid the stress and headaches sometimes associated with informing loved ones about your decision to sell your home.
1. Get Ready for Questions
Loved ones have your best interests in mind, and as such, likely will have many questions about why you sold your residence.
What prompted you to sell your home now? How much did you receive for your home? And where do you plan to live in the future? These are just some of the questions that you should be ready to face from family members, friends and other loved ones.
Moreover, answer loved ones' questions as best you can. And if you are uncertain or uncomfortable about answering a question, you can politely decline to respond.
2. Keep an Open Mind
Things will move quickly after you sell your home. Although you may have plans to buy a new residence or relocate out of state at some point, you might still need time to finalize your next move.
Oftentimes, loved ones may pressure you to move in a certain direction following your home sale. But it is essential to keep the best interests of yourself and your family in mind at all times.
If family members or friends pressure you to make a move that makes you feel uncomfortable, let them know. Remember, your loved ones want you to be happy, and they should be willing to listen to your concerns after you share the news that you have sold your residence.
3. Operate Fearlessly
After you accept a homebuyer's offer for your residence, the toughest part of the home selling journey is over. At this point, you can finalize your home sale and move forward with the next stage of your life.
It takes a lot of courage to sell a house, and you should maintain this confidence as you tell loved ones about your home selling decision.
Regardless of how a loved one feels about your decision to sell your house, what's most important is how you feel about your choice. If you believe you made the best decision possible, you should feel good, even if family members or friends disagree.
When it comes to telling loved ones about your home selling decision, don't forget to reach out to your real estate for assistance. This real estate professional understands the challenges of informing family members and friends about a home selling decision and may be able to offer expert guidance. That way, you can remain poised and confident as you share your home selling news with others.
Want to list your house? Ultimately, you'll want to work with an expert listing agent, i.e. a housing market professional who knows what it takes to get the best price for a residence.
Let's face it – hiring a listing agent can be tough, particularly for a first-time home seller. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline your search for the perfect listing agent.
Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to find the right listing agent for your house.
1. Learn About a Listing Agent's Background
Evaluating a listing agent's background often serves as a great first step in the home selling process. It allows you to better understand how long a listing agent has worked in the real estate sector and learn about his or her industry expertise.
In most cases, you should have no trouble finding information about a listing agent online. Or, you can always call a listing agent's office for more information.
Allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about listing agent's background. That way, you can understand this housing market professional's experience, education, networking skills and much more and plan accordingly.
2. Conduct a Face-to-Face Meeting with a Listing Agent
If a listing agent looks good on paper, invite him or her to meet with you. By doing so, you can gain first-hand insights from this housing market professional and find out what separates him or her from other listing agents.
Prepare a list of interview questions before a face-to-face meeting with a listing agent. This will enable you to get the insights you need to make an informed decision.
Also, evaluate a listing agent's communication skills and personality. If you feel comfortable with a listing agent after a face-to-face meeting, don't hesitate to hire this individual to help you sell your residence.
3. Get Client Referrals
How has a listing agent helped past home sellers optimize the value of their properties? Request client referrals from a listing agent, and you can receive additional insights into how this real estate professional has supported home sellers over the years.
A top-notch listing agent should be able to provide you with multiple client referrals. Meanwhile, it only takes a few minutes to reach out to a listing agent's past clients and learn about their home selling experiences.
Client referrals can help you accelerate the process of finding the right listing agent. Moreover, they can provide insights into what it is like to work with a listing agent throughout the home selling cycle.
Lastly, be sure to ask past clients how a listing agent approached challenges throughout the home selling process. If a listing agent went above and beyond the call of duty to help past clients overcome myriad home selling challenges, he or she probably will be able to help you do the same.
Selecting the right listing agent may seem impossible at first. But with the aforementioned tips, you can choose a listing agent that will promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers consistently.