February 2013 Blogs

4 Ways to Hater-Proof Your Home, Before You List It:

In my experience, there’s one fundamental truth about haters:  you can never fully escape them. The only way to live a 100% hater-free life is to never stick your neck out, and never do anything because, as the saying goes, you simply cannot please all of the people all of the time.

And this is particularly true with real estate and putting your home on the market - because homes, locations, aesthetics and such are so much a matter of personal preference, some people will find something to criticize about even the most perfectly staged, priciest properties on the market.

As a home seller, your job is not to try to make your home be all things to all people.  That said, you don’t want to be the house that nearly every buyer and broker sees, rolls their eyes and utters the same few, predictable deal-killing criticisms. Fortunately, what is predictable is avoidable. Let’s explore the most common things buyers hate about listings they see. In the process, you’ll get equipped to sidestep those issues and, in large part, hater-proof your own home.

House Hater Complaint #1:  Odors.  Some of you might think I’m beating a dead horse, here. But as long as house hunters keep emailing me to ask why, in the name of all that is sacred, they keep seeing homes that smell like all sorts of madness and mayhem, I’m going to keep repeating this message.

Viewing a home sounds like it’s all about the visual of the experience. And visuals are critical - your home should be in its Sunday best, so to speak, when it’s being shown, in terms of being spruced, staged and clutter-free. But when a buyer comes to see your home, they don’t turn off the rest of their senses. And there is nothing that can turn a buyer off from a home, they’d otherwise like, quicker than a powerfully bad odor - in particular, cigarette and pet odors in a house that seems to have been well-cleaned create the concern that they might be permanent and that the buyer might not be able to get rid of them without dropping some serious cash on cleaning or even removing wall, window and floor coverings.

If you are a seller and you know that someone has been habitually smoking in your home or that you have had a “challenge,” let’s say, with pet accidents, do not ignore the problem. And do not think that because you had the carpet shampooed or the drapes cleaned, or because YOU can’t smell anything, that the problem is gone.  The fact is that the human sense of smell very quickly gets used to smells that it lives with or is surrounded with on a regular basis.  So it’s critical to get your agent, stager or even your friends and family members - who don’t live with you and love you enough to be honest! - to help you detect bad smells and odors, and make sure they are eradicated by any means necessary, before you place your home on the market.

House Hater Complaint #2:  Glaringly extreme overpricing.  There’s the kind of overpricing that makes a buyer say, “Hmmm - seems a bit high. Let’s go see it, but we might have to offer a little less than the asking price if we like it.”  Then there’s the kind of overpricing that makes buyer say “I’ll wait until a price reduction” or worse, hold their sides from laughing.

When overpricing is glaring, many buyers and buyer’s brokers will comment on it or inquire about it. What they are less likely to do is actually come out and see the place - especially if they weed it out online after comparing its specs to all the other homes in the area and the price range.  Often, homes this severely overpriced simply don’t sell, or not until after they’ve had some serious price cuts or have been on the market so long buyers begin to feel confident about making lowball offers.

In fact, the goal is the opposite - you want your home to stand out as a property that is not dirt cheap, but does present a good value for the money - that’s what motivates buyers to get out of their chairs and into the property for a viewing.

Here’s how to hater-proof your home’s listing against this issue: fixate on the comps. Smart sellers deactivate their emotional attachment and very human tendency to overvalue their precious homes by poring over the sales prices (not list prices) of similar, nearby homes that have recently sold. Your agent will be happy to help you walk through this data and will almost certainly recommend a list price, but ultimately you make the decision about the price point to list your home at.

Also, consider using your broker’s first Open House as an additional hater-proof measure: if the agents overwhelmingly comment that they think the home is significantly overpriced, listen.

House Hater Complaint #3:  Dirt and messes.  Possibly the single largest source of House Hater Complaints I’ve ever heard are the dirt, messes, piles and personal belongings that buyers find so distracting, when they walk into a home for a viewing or Open House. Obviously, homes that are filthy from floor to ceiling are fertile fodder for haters, but often those homes are bank-owned or otherwise distressed so that the sellers aren’t likely to do much.  What is underestimated is how often even savvy home buyers are distracted (and disgusted) by relatively clean homes that just have a few outstanding messes, like piles of dirty dishes in the sink, piles of dog poo in the yard or even piles of papers, mail, books or clothes lying out in plain view.

Will one or two such items ruin the sale of your home? Perhaps not. But a few of them (or more) can certainly distract a buyer enough that they fixate on your messes and, in the process, fail to see what is so great about your property.  And as I see it, cleaning up, meticulously, before every single showing is free - so it makes no sense to even run the risk of turning off a prospective buyer by letting messes get in the way of their ability to visualize themselves and their families flourishing in your home.

House Hater Complaint #4:  Lots of little malfunctions.  All of us tend to think our homes are in fantastic condition.  After all, you have the furnace maintained regularly, you’ve got granite and dual paned windows - maybe you even had the floors refinished or the walls painted in preparation for putting your place on the market.

That’s all fantastic - all the non-cosmetic work you’ve done to maintain and improve your home should be trumpeted in your marketing materials, and the cosmetic items will (or should) speak for themselves. But here’s the thing: buyers who visit your home won’t be running your dishwasher or testing the furnace (at least not until inspections).  What they will do - almost unconsciously - is:

•  flick light and fan switches

•  open or close window coverings, closet, room and entry doors,

•  open and close drawers, cupboards, gates and fences and

•  hold the handrails as they walk up and down the stairs.

They will hear leaky faucets and point out water spots from long-ago repaired leaks, and they will notice (or potentially trip on) uneven exterior tiles, paths and walkways. And even though these items might be vastly less expensive to fix than the roof or sewer line you had replaced, they are much more visible and noticeable to a buyer.  In fact, buyers don’t always even know that the little malfunctions and repairs that need doing are little or inexpensive. And when they notice a bunch of these sorts of things in a single property, they can jump to the conclusion that the whole place is rickety.

Since these little fixes are inexpensive to make, have them completed before you list, if at all possible. You might even ask your agent to walk through the property with you and to give you a handyperson reference for someone they know works efficiently.

5 Signs the Market is Recovering Fast:

Confession: I cyber stalk real estate agents. I watch your Facebook statuses. I read your tweets, likes and shares. And, from time-to-time I even scan your Spotify feeds to figure out what new artists I should check out. Why? Well, not because agents have the best taste in music (though I have seen some pretty good tracks on your playlists…) The truth is, over time I’ve found that if you really want to know what’s going on in the real estate market, all you have to do is watch the conversations agents are having. Recently, my cyber observations have made me feel like we’re in the dead heat of a market turnaround. It seems like agents are feeling better, doing more business, and generally positive about the market prospects in the year ahead. But, I had to ask: is this anecdotal recovery I’m feeling real? And if so, where are the signs? The following are five signs the market is recovering fast:

1.  Both asking price and rents jumped 5 percent from last year.  Trulia’s latest Price and Rent Monitors showed a big boost in asking prices across the U.S. – up 5.1 percent year-over-year. This a drastic change from the double digit declines of previous years.

The relevant news for your buyer and seller prospects isn’t just that home prices are climbing, but that renting is getting more expensive as well. The statistics showed rents are up 5.2 percent year-over-year.

If you understand supply and demand, it’s obvious that these two facts point toward more real estate moves happening, and that consumers have gotten over the angst of previous years and shifted into the “recovery mindset.”

2.  Mortgage rules got a renovation.  Predatory lending practices linger near the top of many economists’ blame lists for the most recent market decline.  And, after years of fallout from bad mortgages, capable buyers have been, understandably, slow to purchase.

For those buyers who’ve been anxious about the mortgage process and skeptical of the predatory lending, this Thursday brought great news and a sure “go” sign for them to jump into the market.

Thursday the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released it’s new mortgage guidelines which are “a set of standards that protects consumers from bad loans” according to David Stevens, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The new guidelines show that banks and the government are working out their differences to create a safer, more secure environment for homeowner hopefuls. In addition, the new guidelines give those buyers access to mortgage best practices upfront to help them ensure they’re ready for application and ownership from the start.

For a great summary of the new guidelines, check out CNN’s article “New Rules Aim to Make Mortgages Safer”.

3.  Delinquency & foreclosures are at record lows.  Declining delinquencies aren’t just fluffed headlines, the numbers support what it seems many agents are feeling.

Delinquencies are down. According to Trulia’s Chief Economist, Jed Kolko, “ In November, 10.63% of mortgages were delinquent or in foreclosure, down a hair from 10.64% in October. The combined delinquency + foreclosure rate is at its lowest level in four years and is 41% back to normal.”

These stats are good news for buyer’s agents whose clients and prospects need a boost of confidence.

4.  93% of Millenials plan to buy.  Last quarter Trulia’s American Dream Survey was released and one of the top facts from the study showed that 93 percent of current millennial renters plan to buy.

This is good news for an industry that’s suffered from years of skittish home shoppers and a lot of talk about home buying no longer being a part of the American Dream.

5.  Investors rush in.  Another sign that we’re on the way to a high-paced recovery is that investors are making major moves to capitalize on today’s opportunity.

A recent story from Bloomberg covered how Blackstone Group, the largest U.S. private real estate owners, sped up it’s purchases of homes to try to beat out fast rising prices.

This is a sign for on the fence buyers to start their hunt before the weather heats up and they face more competition than they can handle. These are some of the national signs that show the recovery is well under way. Comment below and tell us what you’re seeing, reading, and witnessing in your local market.




CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO THE HOME PAGE

MLSLincolnWestonRealty

BUYING ADVANTAGES

  • Approximately 45,000 Mass. Listings!
  • Prompt Online Showing Requests
  • Most Professional Buyer Representation
  • Top-Notch Agents to Serve You
  • Over 30 Years Experience
  • Easy Click for Showing
  • Virtual Drive Around the Neighborhood
  • Spectacular Map Search
  • View All Property Listing Specs!

MLSLincolnWestonRealty

SELLING ADVANTAGES

  • Professional, Experienced Sales Force!
  • World-Wide, On-Line Exposure
  • Expert Real Estate Resources
  • Unmatched Property Valuation Methods
  • Specialized High-End Property Services
  • NO FEES unless we are successful
  • State-of-the-Art Marketing Strategies
  • We have the Most Important Selling Tips
  • We Respect your needs: Timing and Price

FEATURED INFORMATION

MLSLincolnWestonRealty BLOGS Provide the Best Real Estate Information & Advice Anywhere!

Homes for Sale In Lincoln MA

With previous property ownership and devel- opment experience in Lincoln, Mass., MLSLincolnWestonRealty possesses the direct knowledge and skills to help you thoroughly understand the real estate climate in Lincoln, MA, make the right decisions, and buy or sell a home with confidence. Our buyer or seller representation is unsurpassed anywhere in the State. With a limited inven- tory of homes for sale in Lincoln, MA, you need the best advice possible. Please contact us during our extended hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. seven days a week.

Boston and Vicinity

Whether it's homes for sale in Lincoln, Mass., homes for sale Weston, Mass. or anywhere else in the Boston, Massachusetts area, MLSLincolnWestonRealty is devoted to being the best real estate brokerage firm anywhere in Massachusetts. Our techno- logical sophistication and innovations, over thirty years experience in sales, property management, development, renting and leas- ing in both residential and commercial/ industrial real estate are just some of the reasons you simply must give us a try. You'll be very glad you did!  CALL US TODAY!

Homes for Sale In Weston MA

In this dynamic and exclusive market MLSLincolnWestonRealty offers the most powerful tools, professional service and invaluable expertise to find the right home for you if you are shopping for houses for sale in Weston, MA. Our extensive experience within the Weston, Mass. real estate market makes us the best choice for marketing your house for sale in Weston, Massachusetts Our extended hours and passion for our work are only some of the reasons we will do a better job for you than any other real estate broker out there.

Scope of Services

MLSLincolnWestonRealty provides expert real estate and relocation services for residential real estate, single-family homes, high-end luxury homes, condominiums, multi-family homes, rental properties, mobile homes, commercial/industrial real estate, land, business opportunities, and much more with special emphasis in Weston, Lincoln, Brookline, Newton, Wellesley, Lexington, Wayland, Sudbury, Concord, Cambridge, Boston, Belmont, Sherborn, Dover, Needham, Lynnfield, Marblehead and all other surrounding greater Boston communities. MLSLincolnWestonRealty can also assist buyers and sellers with their specific real estate needs throughout the entire State of Massachusetts. We are the premier luxury residential real estate brokerage firm.

With an Exclusive Buyer Agency relationship, MLSLincolnWestonRealty provides our loyal and dedicated home buyers with the absolute best tools, resources, services, skills and expertise to provide them with tremendous savings and great satisfaction with their real estate purchases. Finding the right home and making the right home purchase are not always easy, but with MLSLincolnWestonRealty at your side every step of the way your chances of success with buying the right home in Massachusetts will increase exponentially.

As a highly skilled listing real estate agency, MLSLincolnWestonRealty provides our home sellers and other clientele with unparalleled knowledge, marketing programs and hard work to succeed with the sale of real estate in Massachusetts. This turn-key real estate power-house will enable you, the seller, to obtain a premium market price for the sale of your real property in the least time possible.
OUR SERVICES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING TOPICS and AREAS: Homes for sale in Lincoln MASS., Homes for sale in Weston MASS., Weston MASS. Homes for Sale, Lincoln MASS. Homes for Sale, Boston Mass. Homes for Sale, Weston MASS. Real Estate, Lincoln MASS. real estate, Boston Mass. Real Estate, Massachusetts real estate listings, Massachusetts Real Estate Agent, Boston, Mass. Real Estate, MLSLincolnWestonRealty, MLS, Lincoln MASS., Concord MASS., open houses, school and community info, agents, offices, realtors, MLS listings, properties, home search, residential, land, adult community, mortgage, pre-approval, interest rates, relocation, moving, MA, Online Home Search, Find Homes Online, Mass Real Estate, Boston Homes, Cambridge, Mass. Real Estate, Massachusetts Real Estate, Massachusetts Homes PETER GOTTLIEB, BROKER/AGENT
(781) 272-4777