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3 Tips That Will Help You Sell Your Home in 60 Days or Less
By Peta-Gay
October 5, 2016

It doesn't matter where you live, what kind of home you have or what time of year it is. If you're looking to sell your home quickly, you'll need to do a better job than other local homeowners who are competing against you. Try these top three tips to secure a sale within 60 days.

1) Enhance Its Appearance

When it comes to selling your home, looks are everything.  If the appearance of your home is impressive, it will be more inviting to potential buyers.  Remove any items that make the home distinctly yours, such as family photos, kids' toys, or personal items.  Ensure that every space is meticulously clean and clutter free to demonstrate that it is a well-kept property. 

It is also extremely beneficial to neutralize the design of your home.  Maybe you love the red walls in your living room or the fluffy pink area rug in your bedroom, but this doesn't leave much room for others' imagination.  Make your home a blank canvas upon which buyers can project their own idea of a dream home.

2) Price Wisely

While everyone would love to sell their property for more than market value, inflating your asking price could delay a sale.  Research the asking prices of comparable properties in your neighborhood and consult a reputable real estate professional for advice. 

There are several other strategies you can use to price your home for a quick sell.  Psychologically, certain prices are more attractive to buyers even if there's marginal difference; a home priced at $599,000 is more attractive than a home that's priced at $600,000.  Although there's marginal difference between these two prices, the home that's priced just under the century mark will likely sell quicker.

3) Go The Extra Mile

One of the best ways to make your home stand out from the competition is to offer something that no one else is.  Whether it's high quality photos or a video tour of your home, your listing can provide viewers with a unique look at your property that encourages them to become attached to it right away.

Several other incentives can be offered to help you close quickly, such as including home appliances and transferring your warranties over to the buyer.  You can also offer to cover their closing costs, either partially or fully, which is another financial perk that will set your home apart from the rest.  Everyone likes a gift-with-purchase, but few sellers offer them.

Need more advice on how to sell your home within 60 days?  Speak to a trusted real estate professional today to learn more about custom solutions for selling your home.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

Buying a Home This Fall? Use These Four Tips to Uncover Hidden Flaws and Issues
By Peta-Gay
October 6, 2016

In a hot market it's easy to be blinded by the competition and succumb to the pressure to make an offer on a home before you've adequately assessed it.  If you're looking to buy a home this fall, use these four tips to uncover hidden flaws before you put your offer in.

Hire A Pro

One of the most reliable ways to identify potential and existing problems within a property is to hire a professional home inspector to evaluate it.  Home inspectors are trained to find issues that the average person may overlook, which can save you from putting in an offer on a money pit.

2) Do It Yourself

If you can't afford to hire a home inspector, conduct a thorough home evaluation yourself.  Ensure that the roof doesn't have any significant damage or leaks, check window caulking for holes, and scan the basement thoroughly for asbestos and black mold.

Within the house, pay special attention to the bathrooms for leaks around the tubs, showers, and toilets, as this may indicate leaky pipes which can be a costly fix.  Likewise, check underneath the kitchen sink and around appliances for leaks, which may also be a sign of a more expensive fix. 

Even if you've hired a home inspector, always inspect the home yourself to the best of your ability.  The more sets of eyes that look over the property the better, and you may find small problems that aren't considered huge deficiencies to an inspector but may be deal breakers for you, such as peeling paint or cracked tile.

3) Seek Strata Minutes

If the home you are looking at is a condo, ask for copies of the strata minutes.  Strata minutes serve as a record of any past issues that the building has had and will include notes on any upcoming costs that are already identified.  Take these into consideration when estimating your condo fees and the value of the property. 

4) Hire Help

Real estate agents can not only take a lot off of your plate when it comes to buying a home, but they also possess specialized knowledge and experience in uncovering flaws in homes.  They know what to look for!

A real estate agent will take care of the property research for you, sifting through past strata notes or pointing out any deficiencies that they can identify when you are considering a home.  With a trained professional on your team, you are more likely to find issues that could devalue the property. 

Ready to find a home that's fit for you?  Get in contact with a trusted real estate agent today.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

Pocket the Profits: The Secrets to Selling Your Home Above the Asking Price
By Peta-Gay
October 12, 2016

We all want to sell our homes at above asking price, but what is it that makes a seller succeed at this? Here's our expert advice on how you can sell your home above the asking price. 

Ask For Less

You may be surprised, but pricing your home lower than market value can have an extremely positive effect on the offers you receive.  This is because a low-priced listing will stand out and will draw more attention, which boosts your chance of a bidding war. 

By attracting more buyers to come and look at your home, you will find more buyers who are willing to make an offer on your property.  When they view your home they will see its true market value, and are then more likely to make a higher offer in hopes of outbidding others.  It's all about creating hype, and a low asking price will do just that.

Wait It Out

While it may be tempting to accept the first offer that comes along, it is usually better to wait and see what other offers come in.  If you accept the first offer on your property you have closed the door to competition, and competing offers are what spark bidding wars which, ultimately, are what will lead you to receive more than asking.

Consider Who You're Selling To

Is your home better suited towards traditional buyers, or is it a valuable property for investors?  If your home could easily be renovated and flipped, has high potential as an income property, or is in an up-and-coming neighborhood, it may be better marketed as an incredible investment property. 

Investors expect a return on the money that they spend so are often more willing to make a higher offer - they know those funds will come right back to them.

Rock Your Renos

There are several simple renovations that can add a huge amount of value to your home.  The return on investment for a few small upgrades is often very worthwhile when your goal is to receive more than asking price.

Make sure the flooring, kitchen, and bathrooms in your home are updated and appealing, and if not, consider upgrading these areas first.  If you're targeting investors, adding an income suite to your property may be the best investment you can make.  Consider which kind of buyer you're targeting and what areas of your home need the most TLC, and choose accordingly.

Speak with a trusted real estate agent today to learn more techniques to successfully sell your home for above the asking price.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

Real Estate Investing: How to Find Great Deals on Undeveloped Lots with Big Potential
By Peta-Gay
October 13, 2016

Purchasing a plot of land can be one of the best investments to make. A landowner has great (but not unlimited) freedom in how to develop their plot, and land never expires so its potential is essentially infinite. That said, buying undeveloped or vacant land can be risky business, so read on to find tips on purchasing a plot.

Do Your Homework: Before You Get Onto The Land

Before anything else happens, figure out your priorities. Decide what you want the land for, what amenities and what location you want, what you're looking for in terms of neighbors or local government, and, of course, know your budget. More specific questions will arise around taxes, fees and permits for building, available utilities/water access – but, first, just start with your ideal land plot and work backwards (and into reality) from there.

Do Your Due Diligence: On The Land Itself

Once you find a plot that fits your needs on paper, get out onto it. Walk the land with an eye on the topography (any unexpected hills or valleys? Is the ground solid/fertile/arable, depending on what you need?), neighboring properties, size and shape of the plot, and any other element that the walk brings to your senses (smell and hearing as well as sight). Ideally, do this walk in the fall, so there is no foliage hiding your view of the property and what's around it.

Don't Despair: It's Costly, But There Are Deals Out There

Remember that developing the land will incur costs too. Budget for as many foreseeable costs as you can, including: a land survey, well/utility installation, legal fees, land-clearing, landscaping, road construction and others. That said there are places you can look at for deals on the initial land purchase, including property lots for sale (which are cheaper the farther they are from major cities, road access and already-connected utilities) or bank-owned plots. For those, you can talk to your real estate agent about asking local banks for lists of their foreclosed properties, which tend to be cheaper as banks look to sell them off.

Don't Be Afraid To Ask: Reaching Out To Experts

Finally, talk to people. Ask locals about the neighborhood, previous uses of the land, potential surprises (like calm paths that turn into snowmobile trails in the winter). Connect with professionals in the local health department, zoning and building departments, accountancy and other areas of development for in-depth answers to your municipal questions.

But remember: while you will need to talk with many professionals in your due diligence, let your trusted real estate agent be your first point of contact.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her 

Selling Your Home? Here's Why You'll Want to Keep Your Emotions out of It
By Peta-Gay
October 14, 2016

Selling your home can be an extremely emotional process, but it's important that you don't let your emotions get the best of you.  Learn which common mistakes emotional sellers make when selling their home so that you can identify them during your own sale and overcome them before it's too late.

Price Paralysis

You love your home, you know the value it provides to its owner, and you think it's special compared to other houses on the market... and that it should be priced as such!

Be wary of this thought pattern though, as sellers who are emotionally attached to their home tend to overprice their listing, ignore market data, and be stubborn in negotiations. 

It is perfectly normal for your emotions to cloud your judgement when first listing, but it is important that you listen to your real estate agent's advice and stick to reason, or you may find your home failing to close.

Pricing Based On Need

Your home has a market value, and you can't ignore that.  It's fact. 

When moving to a new property, it is essential that you understand that you cannot price your current home based on the amount of money you need to purchase your desired next home.  This mindset is unrealistic, and can drag out your home sale.

If the purchase of a new home is contingent upon how much you make from selling your current home, be sure that you do not celebrate too early.  Wait until you have closed the deal before gauging what you can afford to buy next, or stick to a property that is definitely within your budget.

Maintain An Open Mind

While you may love the way your personal items and interior design pieces make your home feel, it is best to stage your home very impersonally for showings.  This may require re-painting rooms to more neutral tones, taking down your favorite family photos, and using professional staging furniture rather than your own.  Doing so isn't admitting that you have bad taste, but rather accepting that buyers have a wide variety of taste themselves, and you want to appeal to them all.

You should also keep an open mind when it comes to who you sell your home to.  You may have an idea of what you consider to be the perfect buyer, but ultimately the goal is to sell your home.  What the buyer does with it after the fact is up to them.

To avoid these emotional home-seller mistakes, work with a trusted real estate professional who can guide you through the process and keep you on the right track.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com