Thinking about buying a home? You're in the right place! Here's an easy overview of the steps that you need to take.
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to see videos posted every Wednesday! Here's a short video I made to talk about credit repair & how to fix it!
If you've spent any amount of time window shopping for homes then you know that there are a lot of homes that are listed with TERRIBLE photos. It's so common that there are multiple websites dedicated to this topic (here, here, & here). I often wonder if home owners just don't look at the photos that have been taken of their property??
It's easy to make light of it but when it comes to your home there are a few things that you need to make sure that you understand & discuss with your Realtor. If you click on the links above you'll see photos that are very over the top & it's easy to assume that it's not really a problem. But the photos below were easy to find & are from properties that are currently listed in RI right now: I spent LITERALLY three minutes in a search & found these examples of terrible photos:
Any day of the week I can skim through MLS & find examples that are identical to these photos. This is primarily true for listings priced under $200,000 but at the same time I can find other listings in that price range with photos that have been taken by a professional photographer & there is a stark difference. Likewise, there's a difference in quality between professionals---an agent needs to know what he/she is doing & have the best resources available to you. I have a current listing in Rehoboth & the first set of professional photos just didn't cut it for me so I hired a different company--yes, that meant that I had to pay for a second set of photos but I have an extremely high standard that I simply will not lower.
Here's my two cents:
All Realtors should offer free, professional photography. Period. Certainly some agents have taken courses & have learned how to take photos that would be considered professional quality, but Sellers should look at previous examples and decide if they are high quality.
It is a Realtor's job to help a Seller understand the current condition of the home & the impact that will have on the listing price. This takes experience & first-hand knowledge.
Photos should be an accurate representation of the home-- you do not want photos that "make the house look bigger" or gloss over an obvious issue. I recently showed a house to a client & the kitchen was under construction but that was not shown in the photos or in the listing remarks/details about the house. And when I say "under construction" I mean that it's obvious the work was started months (or years) ago & that's as far as the work was going to go....No one likes to walk into a house & feel like someone isn't being forth-right, it makes people wonder what else is being hidden or not disclosed. Fish-eye lenses or wide angle lenses, for example, should not be used.
Your Realtor should have industry partners that can assist you to maximize the value of your home.
Your Realtor is your home selling partner not a Wizard! There's work that Sellers must do to get their home ready if they want to maximize the value. I have a Pre-Shoot Checklist that I offer all of my Listing partners so that they have a plan in place to help get ready for great listing photos. Send me a message, I'd be happy to share it with you!
Being proactive is something that both Buyers & Sellers should consider. My advice is to create a plan to Buy or Sell six months to a year in advance. Why? It’s the proactive homeowner who ends up having the smoothest home sale and, typically, makes the most money. And it's the proactive Buyer who understands the market, where they want to live (as in area/neighborhood), what their loan options are, & understands the number$. For the sake of this post, I'm focusing on what sellers can do to Get Your House Ready to Sell.
If you start now, you’ll have plenty of time to prepare your home (and yourself) for the Spring market and be among those success stories of quick & painless home sales. It's all about working with a Realtor to help you to create a strategy to maximize the value of your home. Here are some Action Steps that will help you to prepare.
Current Market Value:
What is the current market value of your home? Let’s get a market analysis done now so that we have at least a rough idea of your home’s current market value.
Will you be buying a home when this one sells? If yes, that market analysis will be important so that you can work with a lender to figure out what loans you would qualify for once your home sells. One of the worst things you can do is sell your home before being pre-approved for a loan for your next home. You also need to understand the moving parts of Selling to Buy options, it's a process with a lot of moving parts.
Have a pre-sale Home Inspection:
Rarely do Sellers take this advice although I think it's incredibly important & useful. Having your home professionally inspected before putting it on the market is the epitome of proactivity!! After all, one of the most common home sale deal-breakers is the home inspection report--if the report is too long buyers often become overwhelmed and get "cold feet", especially first time home buyers. Often there are items that could be easily addressed & handled. Let’s get in front of those objections & find out now what an inspector will learn with a thorough home inspection. I can help you to decide which concerns absolutely must be remedied and which don’t. And, since we’re starting so early, you’ll have time to get the work done before the home hits the MLS in Spring. A few hundred dollar fixes could easily save you Thousands. Please read that again....It's not over-stated. Additionally, if buyers know that an inspection has already been completed this information may build trust with potential buyers--win!
Curb Appeal matters:
Again, this tip is all about making a plan. Our New England Spring can be somewhat elusive but once the Forsythia blooms (right around my sons birthday on April 15) the grass begins to green and the flowering trees begin to bloom. Even though your landscaping isn't in full on IMPRESS mode, there are things that you can do to increase your curb appeal:
Staging for SOLD:
Now is the perfect time to construct a home staging plan and I can help you to look through the eyes of a buyer. Pre-staging will help you to identify personal items that should be removed, rooms and areas that need deep cleaning and furniture rearranging (or removal), areas that need a fresh coat of paint, and items that can be purged from closets, drawers, cabinets etc. These tasks will be far less overwhelming if you identify what needs to be done & create a plan with plenty of time to accomplish them!
The Spring real estate market will be here before you know it. Ensuring that you have a plan in place so that you have time to prepare will make the process much less stressful & far more successful! I'm happy to meet with you to help you create your plan!
Apples, Pumpkins, Corn Mazes! Oh and don't forget the Apple Cider Donuts! Here are some of my favorite Rhode Island farms to check out over the next several weekends. There are so many Fall Festival's so be sure to click on the websites for more info! Have Fun!
Barden Orchard: Great apple picking! 56 Elmdale Rd.North Scituate, RI
Carpenters Farm: South Kingstown, RI
Clark Farms: Safari Corn Maze, Corn Cannon, Hay Rides, Zip lines & More!!
2984 Comm. O.H. Perry hwy. Wakefield, RI
Confreda's: Don't miss this maze!! 2150 Scitaute Ave, Hope RI 02831
Dame Farm: 91-B Brown Ave. Johnston, RI
Elwood Orchard: Certified Organic Apple Picking 58 Snake Hill Rd. North Scituate, RI
Escobar Farm: For the most Epic corn maze!!!
255 Middle Road Portsmouth, RI
Jaswell's Farm; Cider Donuts! Cider Donuts!!!! 50 Swan Rd. Smithfield, RI
Salisbury Farm: 11 Peck Hill Rd. Johnston, RI
Spring Hill Sugar House: Fall Fest 2019
522 Gardner Rd. Richmond, RI
In my personal and professional life, I'm committed to building community and connections. To this end, I've planned an event for Thursday, Feb 28 from 6-8pm at White Buffalo in Providence, along with my friend and real estate partner, Kristin Walcott-Matthews. This will be a casual evening of networking, info sharing, & support with other home buyers--past, present, & future!
With our past & current clients in mind, we're offering the opportunity to share stories, resources, & tips about the home buying adventure.
For current home owners, we'll provide you with our updated resource list--Looking for a new plumber or electrician? Perhaps a handyman for a new light fixture? Need to get those gutters or windows cleaned this Spring--we've got you!
Tired of renting & thinking about buying a house but not sure where to start? We'll kick start your plan & provide you with our Home Buyer Packet.
Of course there will be wine + light fare! Don't be shy--swing by & say hello! All are welcome regardless of home buying experience or ambitions.
About White Buffalo:
Specializing in locally made gifts, home goods and curiosities, White Buffalo is an awesome, female owned store located on Broadway in the West End of Providence! The store is across from Columbus Theatre & has something for everyone!
According to the National Association of Realtors, more than 80% of home searches start online. I'd guess that estimate is on the low end. The Zillow/Trulia/RedFin's have made the home buying search seem so easy! But it's also a rabbit hole of frustration that you can get sucked into! As your Realtor I can make the home search easier by setting up a customized search for you that is fed directly from MLS--this is where all of the home listings come from! Click on the image below to see an interactive example of a broad home search limited only to 3+ bedrooms and priced $150-$199k.. Ask me how I can create a customized search for you!
Rhode Island’s housing market continued to gain strength in 2017 according to the latest report from the Rhode Island Association of Realtors and its subsidiary, State-Wide Multiple Listing Service. For the fifth consecutive year, the number of single-family homes sold rose year-over-year, eclipsing previous records. The data reveals that 11,282 single-family homes were sold in the Ocean State last year, up from 11,066 in 2016. The median price of those sales climbed 6.3 percent to $255,000.
Condominium sales saw a significant increase last year, rising 12.4 percent from the prior year. The median sales price of condominiums sold in 2017 rose 7.6 percent to $215,000.
Sales in the multifamily home market rose nearly 15 percent in volume and median price, indicating that housing has regained a reputation as a favorable investment. The 2017 median multifamily home sales price was the highest since 2007 when it reached $255,000. At $209,000, last year’s median price was 132 percent above the low seen during the crux of the housing downturn in 2009 of $90,000.