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8 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Selling Your Home

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on February 20, 2019  /  in Uncategorized  /  No Comments
Selling a home can be either an exciting or a stressful time, depending on how much you have considered before deciding to sell. Before setting your heart on a move, be sure to consider the following questions that will help clarify whether or not selling at this time will benefit you based on your goals, expectations, and financial status.

1.) What do I hope to accomplish with the sale?

Before beginning to answer the remaining questions – you should first keep in mind why the idea to sell your home came to be. Are you relocating for work? Are you expanding your family and in search of more space? Do you desire lower payments or less maintenance? Identifying these goals will help you to examine the remaining questions with a more transparent lens and eventually determine whether or not selling your home at this time is right for you.

2.) How much do I owe on my primary mortgage?

Even though not every home sale results in a profit for the seller, you’ll generally want to make money through the deal. The first thing you should look at is the current estimated market value of your home. If the market value of your home is MORE than what you owe on your mortgage, you’re much more likely to see a favorable financial outcome when selling. If you owe MORE on your mortgage than your home is currently worth, you are taking more of a financial risk putting the home on the market.

3.) Have I taken out any home equity loans that have a current balance?

If in regards to question #2, you determined that your home is worth MORE than you currently owe on your mortgage – you’re in good shape. However, you also need to add any home equity loans that you have taken out against your home to your debt total before making this determination. You’ll be required by the loaning bank to repay both of these (primary mortgage and home equity loans) when you sell so take the time to get your home appraised and make this calculation carefully.

4.) Should I hire an agent?

Unless you are a real estate professional experienced in selling homes, it’s often best to leave the work of selling your home to a licensed agent. Not only will they work to sell your home for the highest price and in the shortest amount of time, but they will handle many legal aspects of the sale including offers and contracts, aspects that can make or break your home selling process.  Also, they will take away the home-showing stress as much as possible, market your home effectively, and assist you in determining the market value of your home and what you can expect to make on the sale.

5.) How much do I need to spend on home repair and improvements before selling my home?

If you choose to work with a real estate agent, they can recommend the most appropriate repairs and improvement. Homeowners often assume their home needs to be in pristine move-in ready condition before they can negotiate the price they want, but the value of some repairs and improvements impact the value of your home more significantly than others. You will want to work with your agent to determine which projects will be worth the investment in the end so you can prioritize them and allocate your money and resources as effectively as possible.

6.) Is the timing right to sell my home?

While the real estate market ebbs and flows on a longer term scale based on interest rates and buyer demand, there are also certain seasons and times of year where selling your home could have a more favorable outcome than others. Generally speaking, April, May, and June see a peak in home sales, but if you’re looking to sell outside of that window, don’t fret. Your agent will help you determine the best marketing tactics to use regardless of when you put your home on the market. For example, if you’re selling in the early fall season, buyers may want to be reminded how nice it will be to host winter holidays in their new space or ring in the New Year with a fresh start.

7.) Where will I be moving to?

Assuming you will be purchasing a new home as a part of the moving process, you will want to work especially closely with your realtor to determine the logistics of selling and purchasing a home simultaneously. If you are relocating to a new home in the same area, it should be relatively easy to both ready your home for showings and also attend open houses in search of your new space. However, if your move will require travel, you’ll want to work with your agent to determine a schedule for showings that coordinates with your search. Another aspect to consider is what your real estate agent should write into your contract to protect yourself as well as the sale. For example, will the purchase of your new home be contingent on the sale of your current home? Or, can you afford both mortgages should you find your new home before selling your current one? These questions will often impact the offer decision, so consider them carefully.

8.) What will I need to leave behind in the house after it’s sold?

To prevent any misunderstandings in the contract phase of your house, consider what you will leave behind in your current home for its new occupants. Sellers are expected to leave any fixtures, meaning anything physically attached to your home like landscaping, ceiling fans, and countertops. However, things like appliances, decor, and furniture are open for negotiation and may impact the price you can ask for your home. Be sure to determine early what you’re willing to part with so that if it comes up, you’re able to respond quickly and not delay an offer.

Hopefully, these questions have shed some light on the considerations that must be made before placing that “for sale” sign on the lawn and have given you a clearer picture of what you can expect from the home sale process.

Remember, everyone’s situation is unique. Working with an agent will help paint an even clearer picture based on your set of circumstances. If you’re ready to get your home on the market, contact one of the amazing listing agents at Nestlewood Realty.

 

4 Easy (And Cheap!) Ways to Improve Your Landscaping

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on February 10, 2019  /  in Blog, House Remodeling, Selling Your Home, Selling Your Home, Uncategorized  /  No Comments

Is your property looking drab during these winter months? It may be time to update your home’s landscaping!

Your landscape is more than just a way to increase the curb appeal of your home when you’re ready to sell. A welcoming landscape is a perfect way to turn your property into an inviting outdoor space for family and friends. Regardless of the motivation, there are several quick fixes that can be done in a weekend (or less!) to make your yard instantly more attractive, without breaking the bank.

1.) Power Clean

It may sound basic, but if you haven’t spruced up your yard in a bit, the first thing you need to do is clean. This means taking the time to rake, prune and pull as much as you can in your yard. Start with one area to tackle first– probably your front yard, and deep clean. Remove leaf debris from the ground, dead buds in your planters and trim neglected, overgrown bushes that have lost their shape. This also includes scrubbing or power washing your walkway and driveway.

Have a high-traffic area that’s constantly in need of cleaning? Consider adding walkways between doors and storage areas or from the driveway to the front porch, as needed.

2.) Use Ground Cover

When you imagine a lush front lawn, you likely don’t see the financial burden of keeping your grass green. Many homeowners deal with dry, patchy, and weeded lawns simply by re-sodding the yard, but this can cost several thousand dollars– especially if professionally installed. Grass also requires a hefty amount of water and may need fertilizer and weed treatments as well, all of which will significantly impact your bottom line.

To combat these costs, use an easy-maintenance ground cover like thyme, bishop’s weed or lamium over the sections you want to hide. Not only will you save money on ground cover, but the maintenance is also easier and less costly over time.

3.) Keep it Evergreen

If you live in an area where winter months mean sparse trees and brown plantlife, opt for evergreens. Your front yard will shine all year long if you fill it with a collection of evergreens like boxwood shrubs, holly, juniper, and spindle tree. Choose varieties with different shapes, colors, and textures to create a glowing garden with little effort (and replanting).

4.) Add Small Touches of Color and Fun

The simplest addition of small pots of flowers, whimsical decor, and water features or the use of rocks in your landscaping can add personality to your yard. Plant colorful flowers that you love and that will draw attention to your home. Consider adding a flower bed border (a simple stone edge and mulch to pretty up your flower bed) to clean up your curb appeal.

Remember, if you select annual flowers that die every year, you’re going to wind up spending a lot of cash on replanting. Instead, buy perennials like alstroemeria, catmint, and coreopsis that will return each year with just as beautiful colorful leaves and flowers.

Don’t be afraid to incorporate elements of your personal aesthetic into your landscape design to add to the comfort and warmth of your home, even if you plan on selling soon. Buyers will be happy to move to a property that’s been well groomed and taken care of.

Interested in preparing your property for a sale? Our diverse team is ready to meet your needs. Contact a Nestlewood agent today at [email protected] or by calling 704.302.4464.

10 Home Improvements with a Huge ROI

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on January 21, 2019  /  in Uncategorized  /  Comments off

Before you sell your home, ask yourself this: Is your property one step above the others in your neighborhood? If the answer is no, or you simply want to make upgrades to your home that will yield a high return on your investment, consider these home improvements that will pay off.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

If your kitchen needs a cosmetic update, consider a small kitchen overhaul. The average minor kitchen remodel costs about $14,913 and recoups about $14,691– a 98.5% return. A small kitchen remodel may include refacing cabinets and drawers, installing new countertops, sinks, and fixtures, and updating your appliances with energy-efficient models.

Minor Bathroom Remodel

Instead of making your toilet the star of the bathroom, consider updating its design. It costs about $10,500 to replace a tub, tile, floor, toilet, sink, and fixtures, and you’ll get an average of $10,700 back at resale. (A 102% return!) Modern faucets and hardware will make your home feel up to date and are easy enough to install yourself. You can also save money on your remodel by simply re-glazing and re-caulking your old tub instead of installing something new.

Backyard Seating

With owning a house comes owning private property, so capitalize on it! Nothing embraces a backyard like a wood deck and patio with outdoor seating. The average cost of a 16 x 20-foot deck and treatments is $10,950 and resells for about $9,000, earning you about 82% back. Make sure to include safe railings, decorative planters, and inviting lighting in your build. You can also use this opportunity to cover any unattractive units in the rear of your house.

Paint Walls and Refurbish Floors

The easiest way to give value to your home is to updates its colors and freshness. For as little as $25, you can freshen the walls of a room with a light, neutral color. Brightening trim shouldn’t be overlooked, either. Do the job yourself for about $100 in material costs or pay a professional $1,000 or so, which should cover multiple rooms, and earn an average 40% return. Quality hardwood flooring can be expensive but yields a similar return. Already have hardwood? Save money by hiring a professional to sand your floors and stain them yourself.

Landscaping and Curb Appeal

An overall landscape upgrade tops the list for outdoor projects that provide the greatest value to a home. Simple lawn maintenance landscaping improvements can cost you $1,500-$4,000 and earn you an estimated 105% return on investment. Decor and design trends can go out of style, but well-maintained greens grow fuller and more attractive as time goes by. Don’t forget to add to your curb appeal by paying attention to outdoor lighting and porch cleanliness and decor.

Some of the home improvements that will provide the greatest ROI in your home, like a major kitchen and bathroom renovation or major floor plan rework, can be quite expensive. If you don’t have the budget for a huge remodel before you sell, remember that you can still derive value from less expensive projects.

Updates like replacing lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, door handles, and hinges, and other details may not necessarily make your home worth more money, but it will increase the perceived value of your house. There is also value in putting an updated home on the market simply because it will sell more quickly.

Provide some serious boost to your home’s value with cleanliness, modernization and simplified organization, which can pay off bigger than you imagine. When you’re ready to sell, give us a call at 704.302.4464.

 

Understanding the Key Parts of a Real Estate Purchasing Contract

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on January 10, 2019  /  in Blog, Questions and Answers  /  Comments off

A real estate purchase contract, also known as a “contract to purchase real estate” or a “residential purchase agreement,” is a binding, bilateral agreement between two or more parties. The purchase contract is the key to your real estate transaction. Not only does it make your purchase or sale official, but it also protects both the buyer and the seller, ensuring that all expectations are clear.

Purchase agreements can vary from one state to the next but generally contain the same key elements. In some regions, agreements are concise and serve primarily to open the negotiation process, while in other regions, the purchase agreement may be an in-depth, legally binding contract.

The U.S. Statute of Frauds requires that all real estate contracts must be in writing or they’re not enforceable, and must be signed by both the buyer and the seller. (Handshakes are a thing of the past!) An experienced real estate lawyer or agent will be able to help you put this together, but a real estate purchase contract should also include the following:

Identification of the parties

And a description of their role

 

A description of the property

Including the address, condition, and legal description

 

Price accepted by the seller

And means by which it will be paid

 

Deposit amount

And means by which it will be paid

 

Closing dates and costs

And who is responsible for costs

 

Itemized additional costs and who is responsible for paying

Including inspections, appraisals, etc.

 

Contingencies that must be met before the sale can go through

Might include problems with the inspection, appraisal, financing or title

 

Fixtures and appliances that are included

And what moves with the seller

 

Required disclosures

Like termite damage, lead paint, etc.

 

Delivery, acceptance and expiration dates

Exactly when the purchase agreement will expire if not accepted

 

Default

Terms by which either party can back out of the agreement

 

The signatures of each party

Acceptance of the terms must be communicated. At this point, the offer becomes a legally binding contract


Having competent lawyers and agents in your corner who can draft a solid legal contract can help to prevent a good deal from going bad, but it’s still important to understand the elements of your real estate purchase and sale agreement.

As with any legal document, it’s essential to review a contract thoroughly. If anything is unclear, ask your Nestlewood agent and attorney. And even if you don’t see any red flags, ask questions anyway. You want to be especially careful when considering contingencies, disclosing information about the property, and deciding on deadlines.

 

5 Steps to Improving Your Home’s Appraisal Value

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on December 27, 2018  /  in Blog  /  Comments off

Whether you’re refinancing or looking for a fair price for your home, you’ll need an appraisal before you take your home to market. An appraisal is primarily based on recent sales prices of comparable properties, but in thriving markets, those sales prices might not be high enough to support the newest deals. (They can even drive down the price of your home!)

Even though the appraisal process is supposed to be objective, there are actually a number ways you can boost your home’s value. Appraisers look at factors like your home’s square footage, features, and condition, and compare them to other comparable homes in your area. While you may not be able to change your property’s size, you can follow these easy adjustments that will improve your home’s appraisal value.

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The True Cost of Moving

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on December 21, 2018  /  in Uncategorized  /  Comments off

What You Can Really Expect When You Decide to Move Out of a Home

The decision to sell your home is the launch of an exciting ride, but the dollars and cents that go into moving can put a damper on the whole process. The cost of moving can even become an important factor in whether or not you choose to sell your home in the first place.

However, when it comes down to it, the nitty gritty costs that go into moving can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, such as changes in cost of living, whether or not you’ll be balancing two mortgages during the transition, and the cost of actually getting all your belongings from one point to the next.

To help you get a better idea of what your cost of moving may look like, here is some information about average moving expenses in America, and tips for how you can limit the cost (and stress level) of your move. . .

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Step into the Mindset of a Buyer

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on December 20, 2018  /  in Blog, House Remodeling, Questions and Answers  /  Comments off

What do Home Buyers Really Want in a House?

Don’t let the “small stuff” sabotage your sale.

As a home seller, you probably hear this advice a lot– and that’s for a good reason. Investing time and money on the turn-offs in your home can alleviate potential buyer hesitations and lead to a quicker, higher priced sale. So what qualifies as the “small stuff?” What details are home buyers really looking for in a house?

When you’re preparing to sell, take a second to step into the mindset of the buyer. They are probably looking for a home that fits their spatial needs, design preferences and ideal budget. Here are some selling points you can highlight in your home to capitalize on a home buyer’s wants and needs.

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4 Features That Will Help You Get a Higher Price On Your House

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on December 19, 2018  /  in Blog, House Remodeling  /  Comments off

These Features Will Help You Get a Higher Price on Your House

In order to know how much your home is really worth, you have to know what affects its value. The real market value of your home includes more than just your home’s size and amenities; it also includes perks of the location itself. Don’t sell your home short by forgetting to advertise all of its best features.

Can’t find any obvious attention-grabbers in your house? Create them. Here are several renovations and updates you can do in your home to bump its value.

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The Ultimate Home Seller’s Holiday Wish List

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on December 17, 2018  /  in Uncategorized  /  Comments off

The time to make your Christmas list is finally here. But if you’re selling a home this season, what you really want is something to make your move a little easier. (Not more junk you’ll have to pack and drag to your new home!)

Tell your friends and family to skip the socks and mugs, and let them know that these 7 items are what home sellers really want under their tree this year…

 

Storage Bins

One of the most daunting tasks in the moving process is packing. Not only do you have to find or buy cardboard boxes, but you have to worry about them being sturdy enough, the right size for your items, and able to withstand the wear that comes with moving. Instead, opt for storage bins. This way, items that you don’t need immediately are safely tucked away for future use. Try these clear bins for easy identification, or these sturdy bins for durability.

 

Label Maker

The last thing you want to do once you’ve moved into your new home is to wonder where your favorite item is buried, except maybe to open a box and find that item was shattered during the move. Ensure the safety of fragile items and unpack quickly by labeling all your boxes. Here is an easy label maker available online.

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4 ways to take “close to home” to heart this season.

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on December 10, 2018  /  in Blog  /  Comments off

Giving Back Close to Home During the Holidays

In the midst of the season of giving, we often wonder what we have to offer our community and those in need. Most people immediately think of donating money or goods during the holidays or may offer their time at a local organization. But have you considered that your biggest asset– your home — is one of the easiest and best ways to give back? Here are four ways you can take “close to home” to heart this season.

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