Posted by Betsy Graziano on 3/5/2018

There are countless reasons a homeowner might want to sell their home and buy another. Some want to move for a change of scenery or to relocate for work. Others are parents with a recently empty nest who want to downsize to something more affordable that meets their needs.

The good news for second time homebuyers is that you already have an idea of what to expect when buying a home. The research, paperwork, disappointments, and delays that come with buying a home can all be prepared for. However, if you have the burden of selling your old home, finding a temporary place to live, and then moving into a new one, your responsibilities can be doubled or tripled.

In this guide, we’ll go over how to prepare for selling your old home and moving into the new one. We’ll cover some common mistakes and offer some advice to keep you sane throughout this daunting (but exciting!) process.

Buying or selling first

For most homeowners, selling first makes the most sense financially. Holding onto a second house often means having to make two mortgage payments at once. Similarly, selling first will give you a much clearer idea of your budget for your new home.

Depending on market conditions, your home may or may not sell for as much as you were hoping. It’s important to keep this in mind before signing onto a new mortgage.

Moving logistics

Once you sell your home, you’ll have to work out living and storage arrangements until you are ready to move into your new home. It may seem easy at first--just rent for a couple months until your move-in date, right? It isn’t always that simple, however, as deals can sometimes fall through and you can find yourself with a move-out date from your own home without having finalized a deal on your new home. Because of this, many homeowners elect to may their current mortgage for an extra month or two until they can move in to their new home. 

Research your options for short-term living and storage in your area. See if you can work with moving companies who will give you a discount for helping you move twice; once to the storage facility and again to your new home.

One way around this is to time your move out and move-in dates so that you don’t have to worry about storage. Some homebuyers will even move into the new home before officially closing on the home (i.e., take possession before closing). While this may be convenient, it can also be dangerous for the buyer and the seller.

Plan meticulously

One of the best piece of advice we can give is to stick to your schedule and keep good records during your buying and selling processes. Make sure whoever buys your home is aware of your plans for moving out and that anything that could delay those plans (inspection issues, moving logistics) are taken care of.  

Keeping track of all this information can be difficult, so don’t be afraid to keep a daily list or planner of the things you need to take care of, and never be afraid to reach out to your real estate agent who will often be able to advise you on the best way to make your move as smooth a process as possible.





Posted by Betsy Graziano on 2/5/2018

Selling your home is a major decision, and as such, you likely will need to allocate significant time and resources to determine whether now is the right time to add your residence to the real estate market.

Ultimately, there are many signs that may prove now is the ideal time to list your home, including:

1. Your house feels too big or too small.

Does your home feel cramped? Or, do you feel like you have too much space at your disposal? In either scenario, listing your home may enable you to relocate to a house that better suits your lifestyle than your current residence.

Working with a real estate agent will enable you to determine the right price for your home and generate plenty of interest in your residence. Plus, your real estate agent will help you narrow your search for a new home, ensuring that you can discover a new residence that suits you perfectly.

2. Your financial situation has changed.

Land a high-paying new job? Or, are you looking to cut expenses to save for a baby who is on the way? If your financial situation has changed dramatically, you may want to consider selling your home.

Furthermore, collaborating with a real estate agent may enable you to maximize the value of your residence in any housing market, at any time. Your real estate agent will set up home showings, provide tips and recommendations to help you bolster your house's curb appeal and much more. By doing so, your real estate agent will make it easy for you to drive interest in your home.

Let's not forget about the personalized support that a real estate agent can provide, either. Your real estate agent will be able to respond to any of your home selling concerns and queries. Thus, your real estate agent can play an important role in your ability to sell your home and optimize its value.

3. You're ready for a change.

Tired of dealing with New England winters? Or, do you want to enjoy the warm, sunny California weather day after day? If you're ready for a change in your life, you may want to sell your house sooner rather than later.

After you sell your home, you can relocate to any location you choose. Meanwhile, selling your home may open up new opportunities for you, as you'll be able to establish a new life in a new location at your convenience.

If you're ready for a change, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This real estate professional will help you add your home to the real estate market and offer plenty of housing market data to ensure that you can price your house competitively. In addition, your real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you get the best home selling results.

Don't wait to make a change in your life. Instead, meet with a real estate agent, and you can explore your home selling options today.





Posted by Betsy Graziano on 11/13/2017

Want to boost your home's value? Completing home improvement projects enables you to do just that, as you can perform these tasks regularly to maximize the value of your residence. So which home improvement projects should you prioritize? Here's a closer look at three important home improvement tasks that every home seller should consider: 1. Painting the walls. Picking up a can of paint and various paint supplies ensures you can revitalize the walls in any room of your home instantly. Over an extended period of time, the paint on your home's walls may start to chip or peel. However, adding a fresh coat or paint (or two) to your residence's walls serves as an inexpensive way to transform bland, unattractive walls into visually appealing ones. Devoting even a few hours to paint the walls of your home can help you boost your home's value. And ultimately, your new paint job may allow you to receive multiple offers at or above your asking price, too. 2. Installing a water filtration system. Does your kitchen have a water filtration system? If not, you could be missing out on a golden opportunity to increase your residence's value. A water filtration system offers multiple benefits, as it ensures a homebuyer won't necessarily have to worry about buying bottled water if he or she purchases your residence. Plus, this system is one of many features that may help differentiate your home from others in a highly competitive real estate market, thus making your residence that much more appealing to homebuyers. Installing a water filtration usually is fast and easy as well. Furthermore, you won't have to worry about breaking your home improvement budget to complete this project. 3. Cleaning up the front lawn. High grass and weeds will damage your home's curb appeal and may significantly reduce your chances of a quick sale. On the other hand, spending some time mowing the lawn, raking leaves and performing other essential front lawn care tasks can deliver long-lasting benefits. A clean front lawn likely is one of the first things a homebuyer will notice about your home. And home sellers who are committed to maintaining a pristine front lawn can improve their home's value and their chances of a quick sale. Also, maintaining your front lawn can be easy if you spend even an hour per day performing yard work. Or for those who want to avoid lawn work altogether, professional landscapers typically are available that can keep your front lawn in great shape until your home sells. As a home seller, you'll want to take the necessary steps to up your home's value before you add your home to the real estate market. And with any of the aforementioned home improvement projects, you'll be better equipped to boost the value of your home quickly and efficiently. Stay focused on increasing your home's value consistently and keeping your residence in excellent shape. By doing so, you'll be able to keep your eyes on the prize – maximizing your home's value and selling your residence to the highest bidder.





Posted by Betsy Graziano on 6/12/2017

For first-time home sellers, promoting a residence to the right groups of homebuyers may prove to be a major challenge. Lucky for you, we're here to help first-time home sellers streamline the process of showcasing a house to prospective buyers and accelerating the property selling journey.

What does it take to promote a house effectively? Here are three tips to help first-time home sellers do just that.

1. Understand Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

A first-time home seller should evaluate a house's interior and exterior closely. By doing so, this property seller can identify any potential problem areas and work to address such issues accordingly.

Typically, a home appraisal offers a great starting point for home sellers. This appraisal ensures a property inspector can assess a house both inside and out and offer expert insights into a residence's strengths and weaknesses.

After a home appraisal is completed, a home seller can use the appraisal report findings to prioritize assorted home improvements. That way, a home seller can commit the necessary time and resources to transform various home weaknesses into strengths.

2. Improve Your House's Curb Appeal

It is paramount for a first-time home seller to consider the homebuyer's perspective. In fact, doing so may make it easy for a home seller to uncover ways to bolster a residence's curb appeal.

Consider what homebuyers will see when they view a house for the first time. This will enable a home seller to identify potential issues and work to resolve such problems without delay.

For example, a home with long, uncut grass or chipped paint on the exterior may be an eye sore. As a result, homebuyers might shy away from this residence after they see it for the first time.

On the other hand, a house with a pristine front lawn and a dazzling exterior may make a great first impression on homebuyers. This means a homebuyer probably will view this house in a positive light – something that may lead a property buyer to submit an offer.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to promoting a house, there may be no better option than hiring a real estate agent. Together, a real estate agent and a first-time home seller should have no trouble promoting a residence to the right homebuyers, at the right time, every time.

A real estate agent will teach a home seller about the housing market and help him or her plan ahead for any potential home selling pitfalls. Plus, this housing market professional will provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations to ensure a home seller can maximize the value of his or her residence.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will assist a home seller in any way possible. And if a home seller ever has housing market questions, a real estate agent will respond to these queries immediately.

Take the guesswork out of promoting your residence to homebuyers – use these tips, and a first-time home seller can stir up interest in his or her residence as soon as it becomes available.




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Posted by Betsy Graziano on 6/27/2016

home fireplaceOdds are if you're reading this you have at least one camera within your vicinity. Whether it's on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet cameras are built into many of our daily-use electronics. The temptation is there, for someone selling a home, to just take out their phone and snap some photos to easily upload to listings. However, there's a lot more to taking great real estate photographs that will catch the eye of potential buyers and set you apart from the competition. Follow these tips to create professional looking photographs without spending hundreds on a professional photographer.

Step 1: Do your research

Photography is an art. Even an untrained eye can tell the difference between photos taken by a professional and those taken by the layperson. But that doesn't mean you can't take photos that will stand out--with a little practice. The first step is to hit the books, or better: the internet. Find some real estate photos that look great to try and emulate. Notice the angles they're taken from and the lighting they use. You'll notice that many photos give a wide view of a room. That's because they're probably taken with a wide-angle or fixed lens. Notice the room setup as well. This will come in handy later when we talk about room staging.

a well-positioned, knowledgeable photographer with an iPhone can take a better shot than an amateur with all the equipment in the world.

Step 2: Know your equipment

Equipment for real estate photography often includes multiple cameras, lenses, lighting fixtures, a tripod, and so on. But a well-positioned, knowledgable photographer with an iPhone can take a better shot than an amateur with all the equipment in the world. In fact, much of real estate photography includes combining images to get the perfect amount of highlights and shadows in the room (this is called HDR photography). If you own an iPhone 6, you'll be happy to learn that it boasts a built-in HDR feature that takes great photos.

Step 3: Room staging matters

Have you ever moved something in a room, say a coffee table or couch, and noticed that the room looked entirely different afterward? The arrangement of objects in a room can make it look breathable and spacious or claustrophobic and stuffy. Staging a room allows you to highlight the best features of the home. If there's something you want buyers to notice first, such as a fireplace, make sure there are no objects in front of it and put it close to the center of the photo. Another important tip for staging a room: remove personal items. You don't want your photos to look like you just happened to walk through someone's home with their children's portraits on the wall and magnets on the refrigerator. These are distracting and can make buyers feel like they're spying rather than envisioning themselves owning the home. Removing picture frames is also an easy way to make a room appear more spacious.

Step 4: Take many photos

Have you ever been to a wedding where it seems like the photographer is in several places at once, snapping what appears to be an endless amount of photos? This is something you should emulate with your real estate photography, especially as a beginner. The more photos you take, the more you learn. Plus you'll have a better chance at having a few gems to show off if you take hundreds of pictures. Remember, you're shooting digital, you don't have to worry about wasting film. Just carry an extra SD card for your DSLR camera or upload your photos to a site like Flickr if you're on a smartphone. Taking hundreds of photos isn't an excuse to take poor or unplanned photos. Every time you hold your camera up you should be thinking about framing, lighting, and what you want to show off with that photo. Follow these steps to start taking great photos. And don't forget to share them with us!