Things to Know Before You Decide to Sell Your Home and Buy Another One

When you decide to sell your home, the next decision is where you will live. If you decide to buy another home, you must consider how you will make the transition. Three things will impact your choices and make the process either more difficult or easier when handled correctly. Know Your Budget You must know how much money you have to put on a new place to live. If you’re currently paying a mortgage, do you have money to take on a second payment? Many lenders won’t approve you for a loan unless your income has increased substantially or your current payment is low.   Know the Market If you’re counting on the sale of your home to pay the down payment of a new home, you’re going to need to have a pretty good idea how much your property is worth. Will the purchase price pay off the mortgage with enough left-over to pay down on a new home? You also have to know the lowest price point you’re willing to take if the buyer doesn’t offer full asking price. When considering the market, you want to know how it is in the area where you’re selling and the area where you want to buy. A buyer’s market will benefit you where you want to buy, but you want a seller’s market in your current neighborhood. The type of market for the area will impact how much negotiation room you have and how fast homes will sell. Know Your Options  Choosing to sell one home and buy another isn’t a straightforward process. You have multiple options for how...

…What Is a Smart Home? It’s 2016: You Should Know by Now.

  The Future is Coming Sooner than Expected.   It’s 2016.  The new year means a lot of different things for real estate professionals:  it’s a time to send out all your “happy new year” emails, brush up on market trends and stats, and check predictions for the new year.  One thing we didn’t expect:  It’s a time to brush up on real estate tech. Imagine waking up in bed and hitting the alarm.  After peaking out your window, it’s looking a little gloomy outside.  You yell out loud “Amy, is it going to rain today?” A voice replies “Yes, rain is expected in your city today; average temperature in your area will be 61 degrees.”  Pretty informative:  but “Amy” isn’t the name of your wife or daughter; it’s the name (which you can change) you’ve given your smart house, a Siri-like technology built into your ceilings and walls, created to streamline how we live at home. Coldwell Banker Real Estate polled 4,000+ Americans last year, revealing that just about half of Americans plan to purchase some form of smart home technology in 2016, or own smart home tech already.  The survey also showed that if they were planning on selling their homes, more than 50% of Americans would purchase and install smart home tech in their home if they thought it would help them sell faster.     What Do Smart Homes Do?   The term “smart home” covers a variety of technologies.  Smart home entertainment systems, like speakers and televisions, are usually voice activated throughout your home.  By simply saying aloud “Amy, play christmas music”, your home would...
How to Take Listing Photos The Right Way

How to Take Listing Photos The Right Way

Putting time and money into taking proper real estate listing photos may seem like a waste- after all, technology has reached a point where most current cell phone cameras are far superior to any camera you would buy from the store 5 years ago.  Snapping a few quick pictures on a  stroll across the property may seem sufficient- after all, the house should speak for itself right?  Wrong.  Even the nicest of properties can turn away potential buyers if the listing photos don’t properly highlight it’s features.  As real estate appraisers, we sort through hundreds of listing photos every day.  Having seen some of the best- and plenty of the worst- we can honestly say that the quality of the listing photos is definitely reflected in the days on market of a home.  Better photos attract more buyers, get more offers, and sell faster- but what do I need to do to really take a good listing photo?   1. Include a shot from the curb.  Everyone’s heard the term “curb appeal” before, and if your home has any, this one should be a no brainer.  Be careful to always take photos parallel with the roof line– or else, you can create “landslide” effect, making it look like the property is on a tilt or needs some landscaping when in reality it’s perfectly flat.    2. Keep people and pets out of the photos (including the photographer in mirrors) Mirrors may help light a room, but buyers don’t want to picture anyone in this house other than themselves- that’s why their thinking about buying it.  Also, not everyone is a dog or...