Tag Archives: Home Selling

Tips for Writing a Listing That Sells

House and neighborhood characteristics can positively influence the sale of your home, but what about the words used in the listing? The right turn of phrase could help your property sell quickly, but choose less descriptive terms and you may find it on the market indefinitely. Write an effective listing with the following tips:

Choose Your Words Wisely
One analytics firm reviewed the word choices of a million listings that closed in 2016. Phrases like “open concept” and “natural light” closed more quickly, while listings with “ceramic tile” and “two story” stayed on the market longer. Analysts also found that four word pairs associated with quick closings included “fence” references, indicating that privacy may be a top priority for buyers.

Tell Stories With Emotion
Capture potential buyers’ senses with your words, and try to paint a picture of what it would be like to live in the home. A claw-foot tub becomes a place of solace from the daily grind, and a large yard transforms into a buyer’s new outdoor respite. Need help? Consider enlisting a professional who is familiar with what’s selling to help write your listing.

Highlight Brand Names
Don’t focus solely on basics such as square footage and the number of bathrooms. Instead, identify brands that will stand out from the competition. Everything’s fair game — from appliances to fixtures to interior designers or architects who helped with your last renovation. You can feel comfortable name-dropping here.

Create Longer Listings
The 2015 book “Zillow Talk” found that listings as long as 250 words tend to sell at higher prices. And to help grab a potential buyer’s eye, give particular attention to the first 10 words.

Before putting your home on the market, take some time to craft a well-worded listing. A sale may hinge on it.


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Featured Image Credit: “DSC00227” by Andrew_Writer © 2010 (CC BY 2.0)

Preparing for a Spring Home Sale or Purchase

Spring has sprung, which means the housing market is in full bloom. Each year, roughly 40 percent of real estate transactions occur between the months of May and August. If you’re feeling inspired to buy or sell a home soon, make sure you’re prepared. Use these checklists to catch anything you may have missed.

When You’re Ready to Buy a Home
Purchasing a house is one of the biggest transactions you’ll ever make. Whether it’s your first time or the fifth, tackle the following prep work:

  • Calculate what you can afford. Use a home affordability calculator to make sure you’re ready for the mortgage payments.
  • Check your credit score, and fix any inaccuracies you discover ASAP. Errors can impact your ability to get a good interest rate.
  • Save up for a down payment. Most lenders require 5 to 20 percent, and larger down payments can lower the amount you pay each month.
  • Be ready for additional closing costs. Plan to have approximately 4 percent of the home’s purchase price on hand to cover taxes, fees and other necessary charges.
  • Re-evaluate your insurance coverage and update all of your policies, including life and car insurance.

When It’s Time to Sell
Putting your home on the market is a process that can take months. Before you do, complete this home seller to-do list:

  • Declutter, clean and get your home ready to show. You only have one chance to make a first impression.
  • Take inventory of what needs to be fixed and make a schedule to complete any updates, such as roof work, new paint or landscaping.
  • Decide on an appropriate selling price. Pulling comps in your area can give you a better idea of your home’s value. Or click here to request a free, personalized home value report!

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Featured Image Credit: “Home For Sale Sign” by Guy Kilroy © 2014 (CC BY-SA 2.0; Edited)

6 Ways Real Estate Agents Add Value in a Home Sale

Just because you can buy and sell property on your own, it doesn’t mean you should. Real estate agents remain essential when making these pivotal financial transactions.

There are many ways agents add value during the purchase or sale of a home:

  • Handle the technical nuances — Whether you’re the buyer or the seller, a home sale includes a dizzying amount of paperwork. Skilled agents know how to fill out what documents and when, saving you time and helping you avoid mistakes.
  • Speak the lingo — The industry uses an astonishing number of acronyms. Working with a real estate agent gives you the opportunity to better understand the conversation.
  • Can negotiate without emotion — It’s easy to get triggered when a potential buyer picks apart your home. Let the agent handle criticisms or requests that could set you off or scare away an interested party.
  • Help you look beyond the property’s walls — Agents have expertise beyond the sale, including insight on everything from utilities to neighborhoods to quality schools.
  • Are well connected — It takes a village to complete a home sale. Whether you need a trustworthy home inspector, an efficient mortgage broker or a creative interior designer, turn to your agent for credible recommendations.
  • Keep up with the most recent laws and regulations — You may only complete a few real estate deals in your lifetime, whereas an agent often signs off on several each year. Experienced real estate agents know as soon as something in the industry changes and can save you from a liability headache.

Whether your aim is to net money from the sale of your home or spend wisely on a new one, a real estate agent has your best interests in mind and can make the process as seamless as possible.


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6 Tips for Choosing the Best Offer for Your Home

By: G. M. Filisko

Have a plan for reviewing purchase offers so you don’t let the best slip through your fingers.

You’ve worked hard to get your home ready for sale and to price it properly. With any luck, offers will come quickly. You’ll need to review each carefully to determine its strengths and drawbacks and pick one to accept. Here’s a plan for evaluating offers.

1. Understand the process.

All offers are negotiable, as your agent will tell you. When you receive an offer, you can accept it, reject it, or respond by asking that terms be modified, which is called making a counteroffer.

2. Set baselines.

Decide in advance what terms are most important to you. For instance, if price is most important, you may need to be flexible on your closing date. Or if you want certainty that the transaction won’t fall apart because the buyer can’t get a mortgage, require a prequalified or cash buyer.

3. Create an offer review process.

If you think your home will receive multiple offers, work with your agent to establish a time frame during which buyers must submit offers. That gives your agent time to market your home to as many potential buyers as possible, and you time to review all the offers you receive.

4. Don’t take offers personally.

Selling your home can be emotional. But it’s simply a business transaction, and you should treat it that way. If your agent tells you a buyer complained that your kitchen is horribly outdated, justifying a lowball offer, don’t be offended. Consider it a sign the buyer is interested and understand that those comments are a negotiating tactic. Negotiate in kind.

5. Review every term.

Carefully evaluate all the terms of each offer. Price is important, but so are other terms. Is the buyer asking for property or fixtures – such as appliances, furniture, or window treatments – to be included in the sale that you plan to take with you?

Is the amount of earnest money the buyer proposes to deposit toward the down payment sufficient? The lower the earnest money, the less painful it will be for the buyer to forfeit those funds by walking away from the purchase if problems arise.

Have the buyers attached a prequalification or pre-approval letter, which means they’ve already been approved for financing? Or does the offer include a financing or other contingency? If so, the buyers can walk away from the deal if they can’t get a mortgage, and they’ll take their earnest money back, too. Are you comfortable with that uncertainty?

Is the buyer asking you to make concessions, like covering some closing costs? Are you willing, and can you afford to do that? Does the buyer’s proposed closing date mesh with your timeline?

With each factor, ask yourself: Is this a deal breaker, or can I compromise to achieve my ultimate goal of closing the sale?

6. Be creative.

If you’ve received an unacceptable offer through your agent, ask questions to determine what’s most important to the buyer and see if you can meet that need. You may learn the buyer has to move quickly. That may allow you to stand firm on price but offer to close quickly. The key to successfully negotiating the sale is to remain flexible.


G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who has survived several closings. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

Source: HouseLogic (Published: February 10, 2010) Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Tips for Choosing the Right House Color

Choosing a new house color can be quite tricky. It takes some thinking and observation.  We’ve gathered some pointers that can hopefully help along the way to choosing the perfect color for your dream house.

1. Accentuate

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Photo by: Andersen Windows / Flickr: Creative Commons

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Photo by: Andersen Windows / Flickr: Creative Commons

That’s right. Accentuate architectural details like window trim in a contrasting color, which in return will add character and charm. It’s always a good idea to emphasize your entryway.

2. Trends

Unlike fashion or sporty car models, color houses seem to stay in style for years. For that reason, what you choose today most likely will still be trending the following day, or even year. Take a walk around your neighborhood, or other neighborhoods that have caught your eye and observe the colors other use. You might get new color ideas, and find they work perfect for your house.

3. Dark vs. Light

Photo by: John / Flickr: Creative Commons

Photo by: John / Flickr: Creative Commons

Consider that darker lights in the lower portion of a house can suggest permanence and stability. Lighter colors make a house appear larger in size and more inviting. Know what you want your house to portray and go from there. It is after all, a reflection of you.

4. Don’t accentuate the wrong things

If you have air conditioning units or gutters, you might want to work them into the house. Don’t work around them, make them work for you. Don’t accentuate them in anyway, just the opposite , try to drive the eye to the better assets your house has. Again, emphasizing on the entryway is always a must.

5. Don’t ignore the neighbors.

Photo by: Daniel R. Blume / Flickr: Creative Commons

Photo by: Daniel R. Blume / Flickr: Creative Commons

Be creative. If you’re one to always stand out, do so. However, when choosing a color don’t choose one that will clash with your neighbor’s. When you take a stroll around the neighborhood, look at the other colors the neighbors use and try to find that median, where you find a color you’ll be happy with, yet also mesh well with the neighborhood’s colors.

6. Don’t ignore the landscaping

Take into account everything that’s around your house. The color you choose might help bring out those beautiful flowers you work so hard to grow. Compare and contrast earth tones if you have a lot of greens growing around you.

7. Do not wing it

Photo by: Erik Söderström / Flickr: Creative Commons

Photo by: Erik Söderström / Flickr: Creative Commons

This is something that not only you’ll have to live with everyday but, also other people. Plan it out at the best of your abilities, and don’t be scared to paint a small portion of the house with the colors you’re considering. At the end, you’ll be sure you got the right one.

 

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Photo by: Loren Kerns / Flickr: Creative Commons

 

Well dear readers, this is where we end our post. Do let us know if any of these tips helped you out at all. Feel free to comment below the steps you took before choosing your house color, and why you decided on that color? We’d love to know!

 

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Roseville, MN

Nestled between the Mississippi and the Minnesota Rivers, Roseville was first home to the Dakota and Ojibway.  Because of its prime location between two rivers, the Dakota believed “it was immediately over the center of the earth and beneath the center of heaven.” Today, it still remains a central location as it is one of two Twin Cities suburbs that is adjacent to both Saint Paul and Minneapolis. With a ten-minute commute to either downtown area, it offers residents a mix of suburban and urban lifestyles.

Roseville002     Golf Carts at Midland Hills Country Club

Additionally, Roseville offers an abundance of recreational activities including shopping, skating and a variety of outdoor activities. For example, playing a round of Golf at Cedarholm Golf Course or Midland Hills Country Club is a popular activity for a sunny afternoon.

Rosedale Center Mall in Roseville, MN

Or, with the mega mall Rosedale Center as well as six other shopping centers it’s easy to shop ’til you drop! Fun Fact: the first Target was built in Roseville in 1962. How awesome is that?! But if shopping isn’t your thing, lucky for you the AMC Rosedale 14 is adjacent to the Rosedale Center. There, it’s easy to sit back and relax with an icy cold drink and hot buttery popcorn while you check out the latest Hollywood flicks.

On the other hand, bibliophiles – aka book lovers – will delight in the Ramsey County Library- Roseville. Impressively, it is the largest library in Ramsey County and busiest library in Minnesota. With more than 340,000 volumes in its collection, nearly three times that of any other branch in the county, it is no wonder why!

Roseville Skating Center and John Rose Oval

Another popular attraction is The Roseville Skating Center, which is sure to accommodate all your skating needs both on and off the ice. It features an indoor arena, banquet center as well as an outdoor skate park for skateboarding and inline skating. The Roseville Ice Arena is a year-round ice arena used for hockey, figure skating, skating lessons and general public skating. Included in the Roseville Skating Center is the John Rose Minnesota Oval. The Oval, an outdoor ice rink features a 400 meter speed skating track that surrounds an infield ice area used for hockey or bandy.

Roseville030

Roseville offers nature lovers the beautiful Harriet Alexander Nature Center, a beautiful place for your next reception or special event as well as 34 other spectacular parks.

Children playing soccer in Roseville, MN

With a staggering 19 K-12 public schools and 7 private schools there certainly no shortage of options for parents when it comes to finding a nearby school. While Roseville is divided between two school districts, Mounds View School District 621 and Roseville Area School District 623, they are both consistently ranked among the best in the state.

Interior of La Casita Mexican Restaurant in Roseville, MN.

In terms of restaurants, Roseville certainly isn’t lacking. Two of our favorites are La Casita and Grumpy’s Bar and Grill. La Casita serves authentic Mexican food made with only the freshest ingredients. Be sure to check out the Twin Cities’ best frozen margarita or the happy hour appetizer bar with free chili con Queso, bean dip and salsa (with a minimum $4.95 purchase).

Sign outside of Grumpys in Roseville Grumpy's Bar and Grill Patio

Grumpy’s Bar & Grill is another spot not to pass up. It features a dining room, patio and separate bar. Plus they offer everything from bingo to karaoke so it is sure to please your entire crew.

Roseville Home

Moving on, more than half the homes in Roseville are single family homes at moderate prices, making this an ideal spot for younger families. Additionally, Roseville boasts that their taxes are consistently among the lowest in the Twin Cities area.

Overall, Roseville provides a unique blend of suburban and urban lifestyles to its residents. It encompasses both vibrant residential and retail areas, making it an ideal place to raise a family or start a business. Additionally, the safe neighborhoods, spectacular parks, friendly business environment and prime location make this Ramsey County suburb hard not to love.

 

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

Concordia Academy (Private HS) Advent Lutheran Church
King of Kings Lutheran School (K-8) Bethany Baptist Church
North Heights Christian Academy (K-8) Calvary Baptist Church
St. Rose of Lima Catholic School (pre-K-8) Christ Temple Apostolic Church
Mounds View School District 621 Centennial United Methodist Church
Roseville Area School District 623 Church of Christ Roseville
Corpus Christi Catholic Church

Public Parks

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Acorn Park Galilee Lutheran Church
Central Park Dale East Grace Church of Roseville
Lexington Park King of Kings Lutheran Church
Reservoir Woods Off Leash Dog Park Lutheran Church of the Resurrection
Tamarack Park North Como Presbyterian Church
Villa Park North Heights Lutheran Church
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

Local Restaurants

Rose Hill Alliance
The Good Earth Real Life Church
Grumpy’s Bar & Grill Roseville Baptist Church
Maverick’s Real Roast Beef Restaurant Roseville Covenant Church
Snuffy’s Malt Shop Roseville Lutheran Church
Aurelio’s Pizza St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church
Digby’s St. Michael’s Lutheran Church
J. Arthur’s Coffee Saint Rose of Lima
D’Amico and Sons Vietnamese Buddhist Association

 

 

 

Top 5 Celebrity Home Listings in July

Celebrities are taking advantage of the fact that it’s a seller’s market and listing their homes for top dollar. Read on to find out more about the top five most expensive, all-star transactions during the month of July.

Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat. Photo Credit: Keith Allison © 2011 (CC BY-S.A. 2.0)

Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat. Photo Credit: Keith Allison © 2011 (CC BY-S.A. 2.0)

5. Chris Bosh recently decided to stay with the Miami Heat, so he and his wife have little need for their Pacific Palisades abode. The NBA star put the palatial pad on the market, and is asking $14.5 million for the 6 bedroom, 8 bathroom West Coast winner. Click here for photos or here to see listing information.

4. B. Makowsky might not be a household name, but the QVC businessman won’t let that stop him from listing his Beverly Hills mansion for top dollar. He’s currently offering his 8 bedroom, 10 bath stunner in the coveted locale for $25 million. Read about the property here and find listing info here.

TV star and acclaimed film director, Ron Howard. Photo Credit: David Shankbone © 2011 (CC BY 2.0)

TV star and acclaimed film director, Ron Howard. Photo Credit: David Shankbone © 2011 (CC BY 2.0)

3. Ron Howard, former teen star and current mega-director, recently sold his cherished family home for $27.5 million. The 32-acre plot that straddles the New York/Connecticut border was the Howard family’s escape from the Hollywood Life, and after making many memories in the mansion, the family is ready to have “Happy Days” somewhere else. See more of the home’s history here.

2. Bruce Cahill, chairman and CEO of the Centaur Corporation, is selling his Italian-style villa in Laguna Beach, Calif. for $39 million. The luxurious three-acre estate features 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms and a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean. View jealousy-inducing photos of the property here, and learn more about the listing here.

Ellen DeGeneres, dancing comedienne and expert house flipper. Photo Credit: Disney | ABC Television Group (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Ellen DeGeneres, dancing comedienne and expert house flipper. Photo Credit: Disney | ABC Television Group (CC BY-ND 2.0)

1. At the beginning of the month, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi sold their Beverly Hills home to Napster co-founder Sean Parker for a whopping $55 million. With 6 bedrooms, 9.5 bathrooms and more than 13,000 square feet – not to mention a coveted zip code – it’s easy to see why they were able to flip the house for such a large profit (DeGeneres and de Rossi purchased it for $40 million less than a year ago). Read more about how the funny ladies danced away with the deal of the year here.

Which of these celeb homes do you wish you could afford? Let us know in the comments!

Minneapolis Real Estate Market Conditions Heading Into Summer 2014

Minneapolis Real Estate Market Conditions Heading Into Summer 2014 (via PRWeb)

Minneapolis real estate market conditions heading into summer, while mixed, offer a positive outlook for prospective home buyers and seller, according to MAAR’s summary of May’s housing data. Home Destination, a Twin Cities residential Realtor with…

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Summer Cleaning Tips for Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

SCT2You’re not the only one who needs to get in your best shape for summer – so does your house! Along with the season’s lovely, bright days of sunlight and warmth, comes the prime opportunity to sell your home. But similar to how you exercise, eat more veggies, and slather on some instant bronzer before slipping into your bikinis or board shorts, your house also needs preparation (staging, cleaning, etc.) to be shown in its best light to clients. These simple actions yield major results for the sales potential of a property. The following tips will help have your home swept off the market in no time.

1. De-Cluttering

First, get rid of any unnecessary items around your home, such as paperwork, children’s toys, or any other personal items that could distract buyers from the space itself.  Like the old adage says, “you only get one chance to make a first impression,” and you don’t want that impression to be an eyesore for critical, would-be buyers. Plus, clutter often makes a home feel less spacious, which is almost never a good thing. Begin by focusing on low-traffic areas such as the basement, attic and garage where you have your things in deep storage. Give them away to a charity, a local thrift store, throw them away or put them in self-storage. You can also organize a yard sale; summer’s the perfect time to have one! Whatever you choose, just avoid leaving extra belongings lying around the house, where they will only be in the way.

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2. General Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning, your primary focus should be the areas that buyers will frequent, such as the kitchen, living room, bathroom(s) and dining room. Check the areas that immediately catch the eye – countertops/tables, sofas, sinks, bathtubs/showers, etc. – and clean them as thoroughly as you can. Be diligent when you’re cleaning your bathroom and kitchen, since these are generally the rooms that most highly influence a buyer’s decision (because of their high renovation costs, buyers prefer them to already be in move-in condition). Yet these areas are also usually the hardest to clean and tend to collect the most germs. For example, your kitchen sink may have unsightly grease and food bits. The best way to get rid of them would be to use abrasive cleaners as they provide the extra power needed to clean tough spots. Use gel and liquid cleaners on sensitive surfaces and spray cleaners for most other areas. Avoid using powdery cleaners since they often leave a residue behind that requires even more cleaning.

3. Eliminating Mold

Something else that needs your attention is mildew and mold. Use bleach or other specific fungicides to vanquish unpleasant mold as soon as possible, as it is a huge turn-off to potential buyers. Depending on where you live, the differences between summer daylight and nighttime coolness can create condensation, which in time will allow mold to thrive. To lessen the chance of mildew problems, make sure bathrooms and any room where there is moisture are properly ventilated and have good air circulation.

4. Shining Glass

Start by vacuuming rooms before you wash your windows and glass so dust doesn’t end up sticking to them. Next, make sure you use a high-quality product specifically made for cleaning glass so it won’t leave streaks on your windows, mirrors, glass tabletops, etc. Also, be sure to use a good squeegee, which will further help prevent streaking. The shinier and more streak-free your glass is, the brighter a room will feel – perfect for capitalizing on all that summer sunshine!

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Hopefully, by following these guidelines your home will be in tip-top shape to be sold in no time!

A guest post by: House Clearance Bayswater

About the Author: Cora Carter is a professional writer. She lives in England with her husband and children. She wants to share her experience with her audience. She has many published articles on various topics such as home and garden, real estate, cleaning etc.