Selling Your Home

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When Do I Move? 5 Signs That It’s Time to Sell Your Home

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on August 13, 2019  /  in Blog, Selling Your Home, Selling Your Home  /  Comments off

Is it time to sell my house? If you’ve been asking yourself this question lately, you may be closer to an answer than you think!

Once you begin to float around the idea of selling your home, you probably have one foot out the door. But before you make the decision, consider these 5 economic and emotional signs that it’s the right time to sell your home.

  1. The seller’s market is on fire and you want in.

This one is easy and probably the most obvious reason to sell. It’s time to sell if you’re eager to make a profit on your property.

Gauge the key indicators of a strong real estate market before deciding on this one. A few signals: The price per square foot for real estate in your area is increasing, the number of time properties stays on the market is decreasing, or you’ve noticed an uptick in brokerage activity in your neighborhood. If any of these are true in your area, it could be time to sell up. Here in Charlotte, home prices have skyrocketed in recent years, gaining almost a full third of their current average value since 2012.

  1. You’ve grown out of your home.

The starter home you moved into with your first child or that you bought when you nailed your first big job isn’t necessarily the house you need now. It’s terrible to give up the memories you’ve made in your home, but if your living quarters are causing you stress, it’s time to take a chance on a new home.

  1. Your neighbors just scored big for their home.

If real estate listings in your neighborhood with the same bedroom/bathroom count as yours are selling for a price that you’d be satisfied with, it might be time to move on. Pay attention to the “recently sold” flyers in your mailbox to keep track of comparable home prices in your area.

Another sign of a “hot home” sales market is the relationship of asking prices to sale prices. When homebuyers are making offers fast, it indicates a seller’s market. A buyer may offer you a sales price you can’t refuse, too, if you take the leap.

  1. You’re done with your “high maintenance” home.

The average homeowner pays out over $2,000 a year for maintenance services. And this doesn’t include repairs, just scheduled services like landscaping, snow removal, septic service, private trash and recycling, and professional house cleaning.

Instead of watching those payments drip from your account, you could sell and buy some lower-maintenance real estate like a condo or a new-build property. You may even want to try renting and let a landlord worry about leaky pipes and other property hassles.

  1. You’ve put at least 5 years into the relationship.

Be careful not to pull the plug too quickly. If you sell too soon, assuming you have a mortgage, you haven’t built up any equity in the home beyond the down payment. In the beginning, your mortgage payments are almost completely interest payments.

Unless the housing market is seriously booming, you might actually lose money on your home when you sell. Remember: Selling isn’t free. Stay put for at least five years, unless you have an urgent need to move. In addition to everything else, moving too quickly sends potential buyers a bad message.

In general, beware of snap decisions when it comes to selling OR buying a home. There are no promises that selling will be better for you in the long run. Take your time deciding if you should sell, and then study the local home sales market, with the help of your real estate agent, before you price your home. If you underprice your home, a buyer may snatch it up too cheaply. 

Thinking about selling your home? Not sure if it’s the right decision? Consult with one of our experienced seller’s agents. We can’t wait to chat with you!

What is the Home Selling Process Really Like?

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on July 18, 2019  /  in Blog, Questions and Answers, Selling Your Home, Selling Your Home, Uncategorized  /  Comments off

So you’ve decided to sell your house… But what is the home selling process really like? 

You’ll likely begin your seller’s journey by hiring a real estate agent. While the Internet has made it easier to sell your home all on your own, about 93% of home sales are still closed with a real estate agent. A good realtor understands the complex procedure and paperwork involved in selling a home and their experience will save you time and energy, and get you a better deal on your home in the long run.

After selecting your agent,  it’s time to price your home. He or she will help you determine how much your home is worth using comparative market analysis reports, broker price opinions or by hiring an appraiser. Appraisers and brokers will likely be able to also provide you with suggestions for where your home could use repairs before going to market.

Prepare your home for showings by making small (or big!) home improvements as necessary. Replace cracked floor or countertops and patch any holes in the walls. Fix leaky faucets and doors that don’t close properly, and kitchen drawers that jam. Painting your walls neutral colors. Replace burned-out light bulbs and add additional light fixtures wherever possible.

Now onto the next step in the home selling process… After necessary improvements have been made, it’s time to make your home sparkle. Clean your home beyond what your usual weekly or day-to-day cleaning jobs would be. Remove all clutter and personal items and open up the space as much as possible. Remember, this is your one shot to make a good first impression on buyers.

Once your home is ready to show off to the public, you or your agent will photograph (or have your home photographed) and list it online. A listing agreement will likely be signed before your home is advertised for sale by a realtor. (Make sure to keep a copy of those documents in a safe place in case you ever need them.) Your home should then be marketed all over the internet, showing off its best sides. You’ll also begin to show your home to interested parties and hold open houses. If your home doesn’t receive an offer right away, use these opportunities to ask for buyer feedback and adjust price or marketing accordingly. 

When an offer (or multiple offers) have been made, it’s time to choose, negotiate, and/or accept. Negotiating the sale that leaves you in the best possible position is one of the most complex parts of selling a home. (That’s why it’s good to have an experienced realtor by your side!) You may end up with multiple counteroffers until a deal is reached, or you may accept an offer on the first round. Either way, once all parties agree to all of the terms in writing, you’ve got a contract. Now it’s time to focus on the legal jargon.

After the contract has been signed, you enter the “due diligence period.” Due Diligence is simply the period immediately after the acceptance of a Purchase and Sale contract to buy a home, typically ranging from 7-14 days. During this time, the buyer of the home will investigate the property for termites, mold, structural damage, plumbing problems, and the condition of the property. The buyer may request repairs be made for issues discovered during the inspections, which can result in another round of negotiations for repairs or price reductions. If an agreement is made to both parties’ satisfaction, the due diligence period will end and you will move one step closer to closing.

Charlotte Home for Sale

If a buyer is seeking a loan to purchase your home, they’ll likely need time to secure the financing and have an appraisal performed. (Your process will go much quicker if your buyer has been preapproved for a loan.) An appraisal at this point is the bank’s verification that the property is worth what they’re lending towards, and helps them prevent mortgage fraud. As the seller, you want the property to appraise for at least the contract price or more. A low appraisal can cost a seller tens of thousands of dollars, and disputing them can be very difficult. This is another reason it’s important to price your home correctly the first time. 

After the lender has conditionally approved the buyer for the loan and can provide a commitment letter, things look good to close. But keep in mind, things have been known to go wrong right up to the closing, so it’s never a 100% guarantee the sale is done until you sign the papers at closing.

Depending on where you’re located, you might sign escrow documents shortly after opening escrow or you’ll sign them nearer to closing. Escrow refers to a third-party service that’s usually mandatory in a home purchase. Until the final exchange is completed, both the buyer’s deposit and the seller’s property are said to be in escrow. Consult with your lawyer and/or agent for more information.

Once everything’s been completed, it’s time to finalize the sale. On the day of closing, your job as the seller is much easier since you’ve already done your part. (Phew!) The buyer will be signing the bulk of the documents, so you can sit back and relax knowing the stress of selling your home is finally over. 

After you’ve handed over all the keys and necessary documents and moved out of the house– it’s time to celebrate! Say “goodbye” to your home and “hello” to your new adventure, whatever that may be.

Do you still have questions about the steps in the home selling process? Connect with a Nestlewood agent today.

5 Staging Tips that DO NOT Matter For Home Sellers

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on June 20, 2019  /  in Blog, Luxury Home, Questions and Answers, Realtors, Selling Your Home, Selling Your Home  /  Comments off

Staging your home for sale is both an art and a science. There is plenty of information out there that will tell you exactly how to stage your home for an open house, but most of it is just fluff! Here are the 5 staging misconceptions the internet won’t tell you that expert realtors know too well.

#1. “Bake cookies right before your open house.”

It’s true that our sense of smell is powerful. Walking into a bad smelling home can turn buyers off instantly, but that doesn’t mean you should flood your home with just any smell. Think of it this way: Our sense of smell is very closely related to our sense of memory. For some people, the smell of freshly baked cookies may bring back fantastic memories of days past. But for others, the smell of freshly baked cookies makes them nauseous! Your house should actually smell like NOTHING when it is being shown.

Scented homes lead to one of two reactions:

  • Buyers who are chemically sensitive get headaches, irritated eyes, or nausea and want to leave immediately, OR
  • Buyers wonder what you are trying to cover up.

#2. “My house won’t sell unless it has plants in it.”

Live plants or flowers in a vacant house tend to become dead plants very fast. Unless you are dedicated to checking on these plants regularly, you need to skip them, because nothing stops a house from going pending like dead plants. And fake plants are just that, fake.

#3. “I can just lightly stage this room and it will work.”

Light staging or rearranging items in a room like a chair and a rug in a bedroom, does NOT help sell houses. It actually slows the process down! Random objects in a room only draw attention away from the house. Either stage the room completely or don’t stage it at all.

#4. “We should make everybody take off their shoes before they enter.”

Taking off your shoes in public is uncomfortable. So why in the world would you ask people to be uncomfortable in their new home? With any luck, the floor will be theirs soon. Worry about cleaning up after!

And finally, #5. “Staging can fix anything.”

Wouldn’t it be great if this were true? Unfortunately, it is not. Staging can liven, brighten, and beautify your space. But sometimes, things are just bad! They need to be fixed, remodeled, or overhauled prior to or instead of staging. Think of it this way: If your entire house is painted in rainbow tie-dye, no amount of staging will help you.

In the end, bad staging does nothing to help your sale and could actually hurt you in the long run! You need a competent staging professional and realtor if you want top dollar for your house.

Selling a home? Don’t go at it alone. Get in touch with one of Charlotte’s expert real estate agents here at Nestlewood Realty!

How to Prep a Room to Paint

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on May 06, 2019  /  in Blog, Home Buyers, House Remodeling, Selling Your Home, Selling Your Home  /  Comments off

With summer right around the corner, now is the time that most of us find ourselves with a list of projects to get done. One of the most exciting projects is getting to repaint parts of your home. An important but overlooked step in painting is preparing your room and wall

If skipped you may end up with paint splatters on your flooring and light fixtures, or paint on your ceiling. Though when done correctly, it will make the entire process smoother and will leave your walls looking amazing! Whether you are thinking about selling your home or are just putting on a fresh coat, here are some of our top tips for prepping your room to paint like a pro.

1) Clear the Room

Take everything out of the room. This includes all of your furniture, curtains, blinds, art, electrical outlet switch plates, shelving, rugs, etc. You don’t want to accidentally get paint on any of your home furnishings so try to move everything into a different area of your home.

2) Cover the Flooring and Fixtures

Lay down a tarp or drop cloth on top any of the furniture that you were unable to move out of the room and lay the tarp on top of all of your flooring to protect it from any drops of paint. Cover lighting fixtures with plastic or tarp and wrap plastic bags around doorknobs and hooks using rubber bands.

3) Clean the Walls

You may not realize how much dust, dirt, and pet hair accumulates on your walls. Use a sponge and a mild soap to clean all of the walls that you are painting. During this step, you also want to check for any cracks or holes that need to be filled with caulk or spackle and be sure to sand the area down to create a smooth surface for applying paint.

4) Apply Painter’s Tape

Using painters tape will ensure that you get clean, straight lines when painting and will help stop drops of paint getting on any molding. First, you want to clean your moldings to get rid of any dust buildup. Otherwise, the tape will not stick well and will become a hassle to keep in place. Next, lay the painters tape on top of your molding and cover the entire base of the wall you are painting. You will also want to tape around window frames, vents, and along the ceiling line. Once you lay down the painter’s tape you want to go back over the edge of the tape that is against the wall and press it down to ensure there are no air bubbles and it is as tight as can be.

5) Prime & Paint

You are now ready to begin priming your walls and painting!



Top 10 Actions to Take During Your Deep Clean

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on April 19, 2019  /  in Blog, House Remodeling, Luxury Home, Selling Your Home, Uncategorized  /  Comments off

Spring has sprung! Now is the perfect time to deep clean your home.

Cleaning your home makes it feels fresher and more open. Whether you’re preparing for a sale or clearing the cobwebs of winter, this means going further than your regular tidying and making time to dive into the seldom-touched areas of your home. Here is a list of the top 10 actions to take during your deep clean: 

1. Hitting the Baseboards

You probably loathe dusting the baseboards of your home, but the immediate feeling of gratification makes it worth it. Simply take a soft towel, spray with your favorite all-purpose cleaner and wipe away the build-up of dust and dirt. This will leave your home sparkling and your wood moisturized for the coming months.

2. Dusting the Blinds

Blinds are an area of your home that get used a lot, but get little cleaning attention. Take your soft towel and your favorite all-purpose cleaner and wipe off the dust build-up on your blinds. If you have wood blinds, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions on how best to treat the wood.

3. Vacuuming Couch Cushions

This step can (and should!) be done more frequently than just during your Spring-cleaning. If you ever eat on your couch, like most people do, this is especially important. Take every cushion off your couch, vacuum the front and back of each and hit the couch base. This is also a great time to clean the floor under your couch. Pull the couch out so that you can get to the rest of the crumbs, forgotten pens, and cat toys!

4. Climbing Up to the Light Fixtures

Your light fixtures gather a lot of dust and pet hair. Grab a ladder or step stool and gently wipe down the fixtures. Depending on the materials of your fixture this can be done with a light cleaning spray or water and soap.

5. Washing Pet Toys

Pet beds and toys are often forgotten about when we clean. Depending on your pet’s bed and toys, you may even be able to throw them your washing machine. If you are not able to, use the hose on your vacuum to get the build-up of pet hair and dust/dirt that has accumulated. If your pet has especially fine hair (like cats!), use a brush to run through their beds.

6. Clearing the Vents

Air vents both on the floor and on your ceilings need a good wipe-down. They accumulate dirt and dust which is then put back into your home when they are pushing out heat and cool air! Use a comfortable and light duster, making sure that it has an extendable arm for those hard-to-reach places. You can also use your vacuum hose to get any loose dirt or animal hair that’s stuck in the vent.

7. Fine-tuning Windows and Doors

Like baseboard cleaning, wiping around windows and doors is tedious, but satisfying! You may need your step stool or ladder to reach these. The tops of doors and windows accumulate a lot of dust, especially if you open your windows during the day. Once again, take your soft towel and all-purpose cleaner and wipe down these areas. This is also an excellent time to get both sides of your doors, especially if they have carved out details that have built up dust accumulated.

8. Wiping Down Bookshelves

Since most people tend to dust around objects on shelves and bookcases during a “regular” clean, now is the time when you should take the items of your shelves and dust behind them. Often times you will find dust built up and pet hair behind your books and vases. Depending on the materials of your shelves, take your soft towel and light cleaning spray and wipe down the entire shelf, both the top and bottom sides.

9. Emptying the Cabinets

Similar to shelves, you probably aren’t able to get behind the items in your cabinets and wipe them down during a quick clean. This step will take a decent amount of time depending on the number of your kitchen cabinets, buffet cabinets, and media console cabinets. Take everything out of these cabinets and wipe down all four sides of the cabinet. (And get rid of the items you no longer use!) Make sure to finish by wiping down the front and back of cabinet doors.

10. Disinfecting Door Handles

Door handles and knobs are frequently overlooked during cleaning. Take the time to go around to all of your doors and wipe down the handles and knobs. You should do this on your hooks, railings, and cabinet knobs. Make sure you are using an appropriate spray for the materials of your knobs, hooks, and handles. This is also a good time to buff them so they look brand new once again! 

Of course, there are many other areas of your home that rarely see a deep cleaning, but we hope this list helps you get started and leaves your home feeling fresh and clean for summer!

Cleaning your home for an upcoming sale? Let one of our agents guide you through the process…

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  /  Comments off

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.