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LUXURY. ART. LIFESTYLE.

by AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate

Additional Resources

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

What Are Seller Concessions?

There are many different costs and fees involved in buying a home. If a buyer is not careful, they can really start to mount up. Therefore, smart prospective buyers will often ask for concessions from the person selling the home in order to keep down expenses. Closing costs in particular can really become overwhelming. They are rarely budgeted for when eager buyers scrape together their down payment. Rather than let a good buyer walk away from the table at the last minute, sellers might be willing to offer the concession of paying some or all of the most common fees involved in finalizing the sale. Various Concessions There is a large amount of paperwork involved in selling a home. In some cases, it might be cheaper for the seller to do it than the buyer, and this will also generate goodwill. Seller concessions might also include little perks around the house that won’t cost too much, but can move the sale along for a great price. Replacing the old appliances, or taking up the old carpeting and putting in wood flooring would be good examples. Concession Restrictions Concessions can sweeten the deal, but there are limits as to the number of perks allowed in relation to the type of mortgage the buyer is taking out. A conventional mortgage allows from 2% to 9% in seller concessions. A VA mortgage permits up to 4%. FHA and USDA loans allow up to 6% percent in seller concessions. These concessions mean the expenses are all being rolled into the mortgage so the buyer does not need to pay in cash. Certain concessions will also add to the value of the house, making the final appraisal and sale a lot easier.

When Is the Best Time to Sell My Home?

Many factors come into play when putting your home on the market, but a study conducted by Zillow in 2016 has revealed that May is the best month to try to sell your home - and in particular, early May. The Statistics The Zillow research discovered that homes listed between May 1 through May 15 sold around 18.5 days faster than homes that weren’t listed during that time frame. They also found that homes sold in that time frame were also purchased for about 1% more than the average listing, which translates to a bonus of around $1,700. The Joys of Spring A lot of people want to buy a new house in order to make a fresh start. It’s the ultimate in spring cleaning. In recent years, the number of homes available for purchase has been down, while the number of sales has been up, leading to a shortage of viable homes and creating more of a seller’s market. The housing market starts to perk up a little in December, and the spring selling season starts to get into full swing by the end of February. However, if prospective buyers spend all those weeks looking, but have nothing to show for it, they start to get very eager. This means that by May, they are pretty desperate. Many families want to be in their new home and settled by the time the school year starts, so will be more open to purchasing, and even willing to pay more, in order to get a house.

How Does the Inspection Phase Work?

The inspection phase of a home will vary from county to county, but in general, all inspections will involve evaluating certain aspects of the home before a seller can sell their home to a prospective buyer. Health and safety are important considerations. Basic amenities expected of a modern building should also be in place and functioning properly. Inspections are crucial to help arrive at a final sale price as well. If there are any serious issues, the bank may determine the seller needs to fix them before the sale can go ahead. In some cases, the prospective buyer might agree to make the repairs, but would also expect to get the house for a lower price in consideration for the work and money they will be putting in. The Required Areas of Inspection The usual areas of inspection are: * Structure * Exterior * Roofing system * Plumbing system * Electrical system * Heating system * Air conditioning system * Interior * Insulation * Ventilation * Fireplaces They will also look for problems like radon gas, carbon monoxide, asbestos, termites and more. Inspection Standards The American Society of Home Inspectors, ASHI, has "Standards of Practice" which stipulate what must be inspected, and how far home inspectors need to go to report those findings. Sellers who want to get a clear idea of the state of their home and what needs to be attended to urgently can hire their own inspector, who will then give them an evaluation of all that needs to be done. Inspections usually take 2 to 3 hours depending on the size of the house. Hiring an inspector will cost money, but it can also prevent your sale from falling through further down the road because "deal breakers" have been discovered.

How Long Does the Realtor Listing Agreement Last, and Are the Commissions Negotiable?

A realtor listing agreement is a written, binding legal document between you as the seller of your property and a real estate agent who will help handle the sale of your home and earn a commission from it once the sale is made. The realtor earns their commission through marketing your home in a range of ways and handling a lot of the important paperwork involved. It is up to you to decide how long you would like to list your home with that particular realtor. You can negotiate with the realtor in terms of duration and payment of commissions. For example, they may list it for you, but you might be the person who finds the buyer in the end - in which case, they would not get the commission. The Average Duration The average duration of most contracts is six months. If the house does not sell by then, you can list it with another realtor. The term should be no less than three months, because that gives the realtor the chance to get to know your property and market it effectively. They can build up momentum in order to make a good sale and thus earn a good commission. Commission Clauses The average commission on a home is 6% of the final closing price of the property. However, you might be able to go lower if the house is in good repair and in high demand due to its location and desirability as a property.

What Are Closing Expenses and Am I Responsible for Paying Them?

Closing expenses, or closing costs, are part of the process of finalizing the sale of a house. In some cases, the closing costs might be paid by the seller, and in other cases by the buyer. It will depend on the nature of the fees, and how good a deal the parties negotiate with one another. Seller Closing Costs If you have used a realtor, one of your biggest expenses will be the commission on the final price of the property. This will usually be 5% or more of the value of the home. The other fees vary depending on where you live, but anticipate 6% to 10% of additional costs. Other charges will be itemized on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, for both sellers and buyers. (https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/what-is-a-hud-1-settlement-statement-en-178/) These fees will not have to be paid in cash, but rather, out of the price of the house. However, it is important to factor them in from the outset so you don’t end up with a much smaller profit on the sale of your house than you had hoped for.

What is a Sales Contingency?

A home sale contingency is one type of contingency clause which is often included in a real estate sales contract or an offer to purchase real estate. The clause states that the transaction is dependent (or contingent upon) certain circumstances - usually the sale of the buyer’s home. Many people start looking for their ideal home before their own has sold. If they find their dream house, they will usually make an offer on it so it doesn’t slip away. However, they will be depending on the money they get from selling their home in order to buy the new home. With a sale contingency clause, they would stipulate a date by which they would be able to sell their own home, so the sale would move forward. If the house does not sell by that date, the contract will be terminated and the seller will be free to sell to another party. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when writing contingency clauses. The first is that there are two types of home sale contingencies. Sale and Settlement Contingency A sale contingency is dependent upon the buyer selling an existing home and getting the money to then pay for the new home they are interested in. This clause is appropriate if the buyer has not yet received an offer on their existing home, or has not yet accepted it. This type of contingency clause will usually allow a seller to continue to market the home to other potential buyers. The prospective buyer would then have a certain period of time, such as one or two business days, to either move forward with the sale or terminate the contingency clause so the seller could proceed with the sale with another buyer. The buyer would then get their earnest money back and they would no longer have the option to buy the house. A settlement contingency is used if the buyer has already marketed their property, found a buyer, and has a scheduled settlement date by which the sale will be closed. However, things can go wrong at the last minute when it comes to buying and selling a house. This clause protects the buyer if the sale falls through for any reason, because it prohibits the seller from accepting other offers on the house for a certain period of time. If the settlement does not occur on the specified date, then the contract would come to an end.

What Should I Disclose to Potential Buyers?

Disclosures are a key part of selling your home. The prospective buyer should have some reasonable assurance that the home they are getting is a valuable one, with no ticking time bombs lurking that will land them with a lot of expensive repairs. Honesty Is the Best Policy Most smart sellers will spruce up their home with a fresh coat of paint and perform any minor repairs before they put their home on the market. However, some unscrupulous people will make cosmetic changes with a view to hiding something more serious, in the hope of making the sale and tricking the buyer. This is short-sighted, because the house will need to be appraised, and any decent real estate appraiser knows all the tricks. The sale will fall through, and you as a seller will have your reputation dented in the eyes of the realtor trying to work with you to sell your home. Therefore, it’s best to disclose and work out who will repair what, rather than trying to run a scam. Real Estate Disclosures Real estate disclosure statements are the buyer’s opportunity to learn as much as they can about the property and the seller’s chance to give an idea of what it will be like to live in that house. Potential seller disclosures range from knowledge of dry rot or leaky windows, to work done without a permit, to information about a major construction project nearby that might affect the price of housing and the quality of living in that area. Disclosure documents inform buyers and also protect sellers from future legal action. Disclosures are the chance for the seller to reveal anything that can negatively affect the value, usefulness or enjoyment of the home.

What Should I Do to Prepare My Home for Showings?

There are a number of things you can do to prepare your property for showings that can help you create a great impression and drum up interest in your valuable home. Some of these things will be external, while others will be internal. Exterior This is your chance to make a great first impression. * The lawn - It should be well-kept. * The garden - It should be well-tended. Consider adding a few colorful plants to cheer things up. Prune trees and shrubs, and get rid of old leaves. * Fencing - All the fencing around the property should be in good repair and freshly painted. * Fresh-looking blacktop - Your driveway should look well-tended and not be stained. * A great garage - Declutter your garage so people get a sense of spaciousness. Consider donating, selling or storing items you rarely use. Ask the neighbors if they will be willing to stow things for you to help make things less cluttered. Also, consider investing in a stand-alone tool shed. * A fresh paint job - The entire house should be painted a bright, clean color like white. * A fresh front door - Consider painting the front door, or replacing it. * New numbers - Add bright and shiny new door numbers for your address. * Check any siding - Make sure your siding is in good repair. * Roofing - Replace all broken roof tiles. Be sure to also clean the guttering of leaves and other debris. * A new welcome mat - Put out a new welcome mat to make your place look more inviting.

Why Am I Being Asked to Make Repairs?

Most people eager to sell their home want to do so as is, with as little effort involved as possible. However, if you are in any way handy with home repairs, or have a family member or a good local handyman, making repairs could mean the difference between your house selling right away or staying on the market for months, and between a high sale price and a low one. Making repairs might also be a legal requirement before the sale of the house goes through. The mortgage lender will want to make sure the house is a valuable property with as few problems as possible. Here are a few of the main areas to fix up so you can cash in. Exterior The exterior, garden, driveway and garage will all be the first things people see when they come to view your home. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Paint the exterior a neutral, clean color like white. Freshen up fascia boards and soffits. Clean out all the guttering. Replace any broken roof tiles. Get someone in to give the garden the professional touch. The driveway should look clean and well-kept, not covered in oil. The garage should not be crammed to the rafters. In fact, you should be able to fit your car in it. If you are struggling with stuff, declutter, donate to charity, or stick things in storage. Interior * Throughout the house - Paint is one of the easiest ways to make your home look fresh and clean. It can also help you remove any of the more extreme decorating you might have done in the time you’ve been in the house, like terracotta walls. A few coats of white should soon make even the darkest rooms dazzling. * Remove wallpaper - Wallpaper is a matter of personal taste and preference, but it seems a bit old-fashioned compared to the sleek lines of a painted room. Remove the old paper, smooth the walls to get rid of any pitting, and apply a couple of coats of paint. * Modern flooring - A lot of people have allergies these days, and are aware of the fact that carpeting can be pretty unhealthy, collecting mold, mildew, pet odors and dirt, and more. Consider removing all the carpets and installing hardwood flooring, or vinyl hardwood. * Update the kitchen - Everyone is looking for the latest stainless steel appliances, even if they can barely boil water, so plan on replacing them before you show the house. Consider how old the cabinets look. There may be ways to modernize and refurbish them without having to gut the entire kitchen. Check out countertop options, including granite. Make sure the sink and the faucets look modern. Everything should be immaculately clean. * Update the bathroom - A clean bathroom is also a must. It should be exceptionally clean, with everything in good working order, faucets, sink traps, the toilet handle, and more. Replace the toilet seat and hang new towels. Check the grout to make sure it is white and there are no gaps in it. Tend to these areas and you will find your house easier to sell.

Why is the Assessed Value Different Than What the Realtor Says My Home is Worth?

Assessing the value of a home when putting it on the market with a realtor is affected by a number of factors. There are two numbers to consider when selling your home: assessed value versus market value. In some cases, assessed value and market value may be similar. But in general, the assessed value will be lower than the market value. Each of these two numbers will be used in different ways throughout the course of the selling process. Knowing the difference can help you get a great deal. Assessed Value Understanding assessed value starts with understanding who is assessing the property and why. Counties employ assessors to place a value on a home in order to levy property taxes on it. The assessor looks at what similar properties in the area are selling for. They also assess the value of any recent improvements, any income you may be making from the property (such as renting out rooms), and the replacement cost of the property if it were to burn down in a fire. An assessor is usually a real estate professional, so they are fully aware of the many aspects that go into the sale of a home. Once the assessor comes up with a number, they will multiply that number by an "assessment rate" - a certain percentage in that tax jurisdiction. The percentage is usually 80% to 90%. So for example, if the assessor determines the market value of your home at $500,000 and your local assessment rate is 90%, then the assessed value of your home will be $450,000. That sum will then be used by your local government to calculate your property taxes. The higher your home's assessed value, the more you'll pay in taxes. To get a ballpark figure, go to https://publicrecords.netronline.com/ and search by zip code. Market Value The market value of a home is based on market conditions - that is, what buyers are willing to pay for a home, and what a seller is willing to accept. Websites like Trulia and Zillow will help give you an idea of how your home compares to others that have been sold recently. Other factors will also go into determining market value. The main one is location. How desirable is the area? Are there lots of schools and amenities in the area? In terms of the house itself, factors will include the exterior condition of the home, style, availability of public utilities and so on. It will also include the number of rooms and their sizes, appliances, heating systems, energy efficiency and so on. Supply and demand will also drive up market value. If there is a seller’s market, anyone seeing your house as their dream home might be willing to offer more. The market value will be used in your listings as a fair asking price for your home. This is also a ballpark figure that the prospective buyer and their agent can use to estimate the value of the home, make sure they have enough financing in place, and so on. Everyone would like to get a great deal and ensure the transaction goes as smoothly as possible, so no one wastes any time.

Here’s What You Should Expect for 2023

Are you curious about what the future of the housing market holds for 2023? It’s safe to say that the past year has been an absolute whirlwind for buyers and sellers. The 2022 housing market was evidently a Seller’s Market, and buyers faced adversaries like a low housing inventory, competitive bidding wars and increasing mortgage rates. On the other spectrum, sellers were experiencing quick sales and an influx of over-asking sold prices in the beginning of the year, only for existing home sales to decrease drastically by the end. As we approach the new year, the days of a Seller’s Market are far behind us as we advance toward a more balanced market, or essentially a stalemate. Read on for our take on the housing forecast for 2023. The biggest concern of 2023, and the reason why it won’t be solely a Buyer’s Market yet, is affordability. Inflation, rising mortgage rates, high demand for houses and low housing inventory are all contributing factors that will drive up home prices. The rising costs of rent, the disruption of global supply chains, and increasing prices are all preventing potential homebuyers from having the surplus to save for a down payment. In addition to that, the rising mortgage rates make credit more unaffordable and it’s expected that mortgage lenders will approve fewer applicants, according to Norada Real Estate Investments. Furthermore, the housing inventory still hasn’t caught up to buyer demand. With the houses being scarce, it allows for the home prices to increase, which results in pricing out the majority of potential buyers. To recap, affordability seems out of reach for a lot of potential homebuyers, and it’s causing the demand to decrease slightly. With a cooling housing market, comes a slowing price growth. In 2022, we have seen the housing prices skyrocket due to the low supply of houses available to meet demand. Evidently, we witnessed the median national listing price reach a peak growth rate of 18.2% in June of this year. With limited active listings, homebuyers were willing...

Additional Resources

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

When Is the Best Time to Sell My Home?

Many factors come into play when putting your home on the market, but a study conducted by Zillow in 2016 has revealed that May is the best month to try to sell your home - and in particular, early May. The Statistics The Zillow research discovered that homes listed between May 1 through May 15 sold around 18.5 days faster than homes that weren’t listed during that time frame. They also found that homes sold in that time frame were also purchased for about 1% more than the average listing, which translates to a bonus of around $1,700. The Joys of Spring A lot of people want to buy a new house in order to make a fresh start. It’s the ultimate in spring cleaning. In recent years, the number of homes available for purchase has been down, while the number of sales has been up, leading to a shortage of viable homes and creating more of a seller’s market. The housing market starts to perk up a little in December, and the spring selling season starts to get into full swing by the end of February. However, if prospective buyers spend all those weeks looking, but have nothing to show for it, they start to get very eager. This means that by May, they are pretty desperate. Many families want to be in their new home and settled by the time the school year starts, so will be more open to purchasing, and even willing to pay more, in order to get a house.

How Does the Inspection Phase Work?

The inspection phase of a home will vary from county to county, but in general, all inspections will involve evaluating certain aspects of the home before a seller can sell their home to a prospective buyer. Health and safety are important considerations. Basic amenities expected of a modern building should also be in place and functioning properly. Inspections are crucial to help arrive at a final sale price as well. If there are any serious issues, the bank may determine the seller needs to fix them before the sale can go ahead. In some cases, the prospective buyer might agree to make the repairs, but would also expect to get the house for a lower price in consideration for the work and money they will be putting in. The Required Areas of Inspection The usual areas of inspection are: * Structure * Exterior * Roofing system * Plumbing system * Electrical system * Heating system * Air conditioning system * Interior * Insulation * Ventilation * Fireplaces They will also look for problems like radon gas, carbon monoxide, asbestos, termites and more. Inspection Standards The American Society of Home Inspectors, ASHI, has "Standards of Practice" which stipulate what must be inspected, and how far home inspectors need to go to report those findings. Sellers who want to get a clear idea of the state of their home and what needs to be attended to urgently can hire their own inspector, who will then give them an evaluation of all that needs to be done. Inspections usually take 2 to 3 hours depending on the size of the house. Hiring an inspector will cost money, but it can also prevent your sale from falling through further down the road because "deal breakers" have been discovered.

How Long Does the Realtor Listing Agreement Last, and Are the Commissions Negotiable?

A realtor listing agreement is a written, binding legal document between you as the seller of your property and a real estate agent who will help handle the sale of your home and earn a commission from it once the sale is made. The realtor earns their commission through marketing your home in a range of ways and handling a lot of the important paperwork involved. It is up to you to decide how long you would like to list your home with that particular realtor. You can negotiate with the realtor in terms of duration and payment of commissions. For example, they may list it for you, but you might be the person who finds the buyer in the end - in which case, they would not get the commission. The Average Duration The average duration of most contracts is six months. If the house does not sell by then, you can list it with another realtor. The term should be no less than three months, because that gives the realtor the chance to get to know your property and market it effectively. They can build up momentum in order to make a good sale and thus earn a good commission. Commission Clauses The average commission on a home is 6% of the final closing price of the property. However, you might be able to go lower if the house is in good repair and in high demand due to its location and desirability as a property.

What Are Closing Expenses and Am I Responsible for Paying Them?

Closing expenses, or closing costs, are part of the process of finalizing the sale of a house. In some cases, the closing costs might be paid by the seller, and in other cases by the buyer. It will depend on the nature of the fees, and how good a deal the parties negotiate with one another. Seller Closing Costs If you have used a realtor, one of your biggest expenses will be the commission on the final price of the property. This will usually be 5% or more of the value of the home. The other fees vary depending on where you live, but anticipate 6% to 10% of additional costs. Other charges will be itemized on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, for both sellers and buyers. (https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/what-is-a-hud-1-settlement-statement-en-178/) These fees will not have to be paid in cash, but rather, out of the price of the house. However, it is important to factor them in from the outset so you don’t end up with a much smaller profit on the sale of your house than you had hoped for.

What Are Seller Concessions?

There are many different costs and fees involved in buying a home. If a buyer is not careful, they can really start to mount up. Therefore, smart prospective buyers will often ask for concessions from the person selling the home in order to keep down expenses. Closing costs in particular can really become overwhelming. They are rarely budgeted for when eager buyers scrape together their down payment. Rather than let a good buyer walk away from the table at the last minute, sellers might be willing to offer the concession of paying some or all of the most common fees involved in finalizing the sale. Various Concessions There is a large amount of paperwork involved in selling a home. In some cases, it might be cheaper for the seller to do it than the buyer, and this will also generate goodwill. Seller concessions might also include little perks around the house that won’t cost too much, but can move the sale along for a great price. Replacing the old appliances, or taking up the old carpeting and putting in wood flooring would be good examples. Concession Restrictions Concessions can sweeten the deal, but there are limits as to the number of perks allowed in relation to the type of mortgage the buyer is taking out. A conventional mortgage allows from 2% to 9% in seller concessions. A VA mortgage permits up to 4%. FHA and USDA loans allow up to 6% percent in seller concessions. These concessions mean the expenses are all being rolled into the mortgage so the buyer does not need to pay in cash. Certain concessions will also add to the value of the house, making the final appraisal and sale a lot easier.

What is a Sales Contingency?

A home sale contingency is one type of contingency clause which is often included in a real estate sales contract or an offer to purchase real estate. The clause states that the transaction is dependent (or contingent upon) certain circumstances - usually the sale of the buyer’s home. Many people start looking for their ideal home before their own has sold. If they find their dream house, they will usually make an offer on it so it doesn’t slip away. However, they will be depending on the money they get from selling their home in order to buy the new home. With a sale contingency clause, they would stipulate a date by which they would be able to sell their own home, so the sale would move forward. If the house does not sell by that date, the contract will be terminated and the seller will be free to sell to another party. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when writing contingency clauses. The first is that there are two types of home sale contingencies. Sale and Settlement Contingency A sale contingency is dependent upon the buyer selling an existing home and getting the money to then pay for the new home they are interested in. This clause is appropriate if the buyer has not yet received an offer on their existing home, or has not yet accepted it. This type of contingency clause will usually allow a seller to continue to market the home to other potential buyers. The prospective buyer would then have a certain period of time, such as one or two business days, to either move forward with the sale or terminate the contingency clause so the seller could proceed with the sale with another buyer. The buyer would then get their earnest money back and they would no longer have the option to buy the house. A settlement contingency is used if the buyer has already marketed their property, found a buyer, and has a scheduled settlement date by which the sale will be closed. However, things can go wrong at the last minute when it comes to buying and selling a house. This clause protects the buyer if the sale falls through for any reason, because it prohibits the seller from accepting other offers on the house for a certain period of time. If the settlement does not occur on the specified date, then the contract would come to an end.

What Should I Disclose to Potential Buyers?

Disclosures are a key part of selling your home. The prospective buyer should have some reasonable assurance that the home they are getting is a valuable one, with no ticking time bombs lurking that will land them with a lot of expensive repairs. Honesty Is the Best Policy Most smart sellers will spruce up their home with a fresh coat of paint and perform any minor repairs before they put their home on the market. However, some unscrupulous people will make cosmetic changes with a view to hiding something more serious, in the hope of making the sale and tricking the buyer. This is short-sighted, because the house will need to be appraised, and any decent real estate appraiser knows all the tricks. The sale will fall through, and you as a seller will have your reputation dented in the eyes of the realtor trying to work with you to sell your home. Therefore, it’s best to disclose and work out who will repair what, rather than trying to run a scam. Real Estate Disclosures Real estate disclosure statements are the buyer’s opportunity to learn as much as they can about the property and the seller’s chance to give an idea of what it will be like to live in that house. Potential seller disclosures range from knowledge of dry rot or leaky windows, to work done without a permit, to information about a major construction project nearby that might affect the price of housing and the quality of living in that area. Disclosure documents inform buyers and also protect sellers from future legal action. Disclosures are the chance for the seller to reveal anything that can negatively affect the value, usefulness or enjoyment of the home.

What Should I Do to Prepare My Home for Showings?

There are a number of things you can do to prepare your property for showings that can help you create a great impression and drum up interest in your valuable home. Some of these things will be external, while others will be internal. Exterior This is your chance to make a great first impression. * The lawn - It should be well-kept. * The garden - It should be well-tended. Consider adding a few colorful plants to cheer things up. Prune trees and shrubs, and get rid of old leaves. * Fencing - All the fencing around the property should be in good repair and freshly painted. * Fresh-looking blacktop - Your driveway should look well-tended and not be stained. * A great garage - Declutter your garage so people get a sense of spaciousness. Consider donating, selling or storing items you rarely use. Ask the neighbors if they will be willing to stow things for you to help make things less cluttered. Also, consider investing in a stand-alone tool shed. * A fresh paint job - The entire house should be painted a bright, clean color like white. * A fresh front door - Consider painting the front door, or replacing it. * New numbers - Add bright and shiny new door numbers for your address. * Check any siding - Make sure your siding is in good repair. * Roofing - Replace all broken roof tiles. Be sure to also clean the guttering of leaves and other debris. * A new welcome mat - Put out a new welcome mat to make your place look more inviting.

Why Am I Being Asked to Make Repairs?

Most people eager to sell their home want to do so as is, with as little effort involved as possible. However, if you are in any way handy with home repairs, or have a family member or a good local handyman, making repairs could mean the difference between your house selling right away or staying on the market for months, and between a high sale price and a low one. Making repairs might also be a legal requirement before the sale of the house goes through. The mortgage lender will want to make sure the house is a valuable property with as few problems as possible. Here are a few of the main areas to fix up so you can cash in. Exterior The exterior, garden, driveway and garage will all be the first things people see when they come to view your home. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Paint the exterior a neutral, clean color like white. Freshen up fascia boards and soffits. Clean out all the guttering. Replace any broken roof tiles. Get someone in to give the garden the professional touch. The driveway should look clean and well-kept, not covered in oil. The garage should not be crammed to the rafters. In fact, you should be able to fit your car in it. If you are struggling with stuff, declutter, donate to charity, or stick things in storage. Interior * Throughout the house - Paint is one of the easiest ways to make your home look fresh and clean. It can also help you remove any of the more extreme decorating you might have done in the time you’ve been in the house, like terracotta walls. A few coats of white should soon make even the darkest rooms dazzling. * Remove wallpaper - Wallpaper is a matter of personal taste and preference, but it seems a bit old-fashioned compared to the sleek lines of a painted room. Remove the old paper, smooth the walls to get rid of any pitting, and apply a couple of coats of paint. * Modern flooring - A lot of people have allergies these days, and are aware of the fact that carpeting can be pretty unhealthy, collecting mold, mildew, pet odors and dirt, and more. Consider removing all the carpets and installing hardwood flooring, or vinyl hardwood. * Update the kitchen - Everyone is looking for the latest stainless steel appliances, even if they can barely boil water, so plan on replacing them before you show the house. Consider how old the cabinets look. There may be ways to modernize and refurbish them without having to gut the entire kitchen. Check out countertop options, including granite. Make sure the sink and the faucets look modern. Everything should be immaculately clean. * Update the bathroom - A clean bathroom is also a must. It should be exceptionally clean, with everything in good working order, faucets, sink traps, the toilet handle, and more. Replace the toilet seat and hang new towels. Check the grout to make sure it is white and there are no gaps in it. Tend to these areas and you will find your house easier to sell.

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