How to sell a house in the fall

The “Why” and “How” to Sell Your House in the Fall – Part 2

2 Main Points: Why you should sell your house in the fall, and How to sell your house in the fall.

This is part 2! In our last article we shared with you the reasons why you should put your house on the market this fall. Now that we’ve convinced you, here are some helpful tips on how to prepare your house to sell this fall!

Fall House Selling Tip #1 – Turn On The Lights Everywhere

Above all, bring in the light. When days get shorter, the sun sets lower in the horizon and casts wider shadows. Pull up the blinds, open the shutters, push back the drapes on every window. Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights. Brighten darker rooms with few windows by placing spotlights on the floor behind furniture, and for goodness sakes, turn off the TV.

Fall House Selling Tip #2 – Set The Mood For Fall Real Estate Musically

When thinking of autumn music, beyond “See You in September” and “California Dreamin’,” polka music and accordions come to mind. German beer fests are always held in October. But that doesn’t seem appropriate for autumn home selling unless you’re entertaining a frat house. A home seller is better off with Enya’s “The First of Autumn” or George Winston’s new age piano album “Autumn.”

Fall House Selling Tip #3 – Clean Up The Yard

Rake dead leaves and debris in your lawn. Don’t let overgrown vegetation block the windows or path to the entrance. Cutting bushes and tree limbs will let the sun inside and showcase the exterior of your home. Cut away summer vines and cut down dead flowers. Make the most of the autumn weather in the fall real estate market.

Fall House Selling Tip #4 – Create Autumn Curb Appeal

The most popular autumn flowers are chrysanthemums (or mums), and they bloom for a long time. I am also partial to marigolds for fall. Both mums and marigolds are available in yellow, which is my number one home selling color. Plant them in pots. Place pots on the steps and along the sidewalk. Accent with pumpkins or other types of squash.

Fall House Selling Tip #5 – Dress The Windows

Rain and wind from over the summer months can make your windows dusty and streaked by autumn. You might not notice smudges, but buyers will, if only on a subconscious level. To sell a home, your windows need to sparkle. Even though I am not selling my home, my cats routinely rub their little noses on the inside glass while walking along window ledges, so I need to wash my windows inside and out every autumn. Remove screens and spray them down.

Fall House Selling Tip #6 – Check The HVAC

You want the air inside your home to smell fresh. When was the last time you changed your furnace filter? You can buy 90-day furnace filters. Have the HVAC system checked before you need to turn on the heat. Besides, the buyer will ask a home inspector to look at your HVAC. If you discover problems with your furnace, it’s better to fix them before your home goes on the market.

Fall House Selling Tip #7 – Clean Out the Fireplace for the Fall Real Estate Market

Ah, nothing smells like autumn than smoke from a wood-burning fireplace. However, in some parts of the country, burning wood indoors or outdoors is outlawed. In Sacramento, we have certain days when we are not allowed to burn wood in the fireplace. If you have a gas fireplace, light it when buyers come through. If the fireplace is filled with cobwebs because it hasn’t been used for months, vacuum it out and wash it down. Some ​home stagers arrange knickknacks in the fireplace in place of wood logs.

Fall House Selling Tip #8 – Prepare Autumn Edibles

Speaking of autumn scents, you might set out freshly baked pumpkin cupcakes or simmer hot apple cider on the stove. Put a tray of cinnamon sticks on the counter, dotted with whole cloves. Prop open a cookbook to an autumn stew. Fill a bowl with crisp red apples.

Fall House Selling Tip #9 – Utilize Autumn Accent Colors

You don’t need to dump a lifeless sofa when you can accessorize its dullness with bright red, orange and/or golden yellow pillows. Toss a quilt or autumn-colored throw over a chair. After you’ve cleared away the clutter and depersonalized each room, bring a little bit of autumn hues to each room by placing bold-colored accent pieces in odd groupings such as 3’s and 5’s. Create an autumn centerpiece for the dining room table by arranging pine cones and nuts around orange candles, stick in a few leaves from the yard.

Fall House Selling Tip #10 – Offer Parting Treats to Potential Buyers

I like to leave a guest book by the door for people to leave comments about the home. Gathering buyer feedback can be crucial. And buyers will feel more compelled to leave you a note if you give them something in return, like tiny packets of candy corn or those snack-sized candy bars. Or you can go all-out and leave a tray of individually wrapped caramelized apples, tied with a curling ribbon.

Now that you know “why” and “how” to get things ready for your house to sell this fall, give us a call to get your house listed on the market!

Do you know how much your house is worth? Click Here to find out!

How to sell a house in the fall

The “Why” and “How” to Sell Your House in the Fall – Part 1

2 Main Points: Why you should sell your house in the fall, and How to sell your house in the fall.

In part one let’s discuss why the fall is an important opportunity to get your house on the market. We will follow this article up with part 2, and share some of the best tips to capitalize on the fall home selling market.

Reason #1 To Sell Your House In The Fall – More Flexibility For Improvements

Depending on where you live, spring and summer can be a much-needed break from a harsh winter, and your house could probably use a little TLC. So give yourself those warmer months for some home improvements.

Reason #2 To Sell Your House In The Fall – A More Serious Buyer Pool

Yes, the spring housing market is sure to bring out buyers, but plenty of folks may hold off on making an offer. With more homes to choose from, they can afford to be picky, and that could extend their search by months. Come September, though, serious buyers will be feeling the pressure to make their move before the holiday season or bad weather hits. That’s where you come in.

Reason #3 To Sell Your House In The Fall – Less Competition

Post-summer home buyers not only have the stress of the holiday season looming overhead, but their options are shrinking. Many sellers rush to close by September, so fortunately you’ll be competing in a much smaller market. That can be a powerful bargaining chip to help you close before the end of the year.

Reason #4 To Sell Your House In The Fall – Different Buyer Demographics

While families are more likely to make their move in the spring, millennials and empty-nesters usually swoop in a bit later in the year. They’re not the only ones, either: to avoid higher “on season” real estate rates, employers who need to relocate their workers often wait for the fall, when the market tends to cool down. These out-of-towners will probably need to get through the process quickly, too, which could mean a relatively speedy closing.

So now you understand the “why” behind selling in the fall, come back and read part 2 of this article and learn the “how”!

Need to save money with home improvements? Click Here and learn how!

Rent vs Buy for College Students or Recent Grads

Rent vs Buy for College Students or Recent Grads

SHOULD A COLLEGE STUDENT OR RECENT GRAD BUY A HOUSE?

Getting a student ready for college or the real world after graduation can be quite stressful. Housing is always a major factor to consider. Should they buy or rent? We know that coming back home to live with parents is not what anyone wants!  There are many factors to consider and there isn’t a simple black or white answer that fits for everyone. There are too many variables for that. It’s best to make a list of Pros and Cons and weigh out the balance for you to decide. Here are some facts about both Buying and Renting to help!

The Benefits Of Renting

  1. Renting doesn’t need much equity, since all you have to do is identify an apartment that suits your needs, contact the agent and move in once you’ve paid your deposit and signed the papers. This is cost-effective, especially if you’re in college and don’t have access to large amounts of money.
  2. Renting also gives you the peace of mind in knowing that should anything happen to your apartment, you’ll have the freedom to up and leave. If you buy a house and have it destroyed due to a hurricane or fire, you may have to start from scratch, something that’s not so easy if you’re young and in college.
  3. Renting saves you a lot of money in the form of maintenance and repairs. This is because it’s the landlord’s responsibility to fix that broken pipe or make sure that the grass is cut every so often. If you decide to buy a house, the amount you will spend maintaining your property will add up over the years. This could’ve been money you could’ve used for other types of investments or put down as part of your retirement fund.
  4. Renting may also help if you don’t want to be tied down at a particular location for extended periods of time. If, for instance, you have a 1-year lease and decide to move to Costa Rica once it expires, nobody can stop you. Buying a house will mean that you won’t have this kind of flexibility since you’ll be stuck in one place, forced to keep making payments as well as take care of the house for extended periods of time.

Now lets look at buying

The Benefits of Buying a House

  1. Buying would make more sense in case you’re looking to start a family. You’ll have the stability that comes with knowing that you own your home as well as a sense of community especially if you buy in a family-orientated estate or county.
  2. Buying a home will eventually free you from making mortgage payments. This basically means that you’ll be home free after a certain amount of time has elapsed compared to renting which will have you making checks out to your landlord for an indefinite amount of time.
  3. Owning a house is a good idea if you want to have more autonomy and control when it comes to home improvement projects. You’ll be free to decorate whichever way you see fit, and you can make as many changes as you’d like. In fact, the value of your home will increase over the years provided your home improvement projects are done well and add more quality and comfort to its occupants.
  4. You can also rent to roommates that live with you, which could offset some or all of the mortgage and other expenses. Some of the millionaires we’ve interviewed followed this strategy to get a leg up in college.
  5. Even if you decide not to stay in your home for long periods of time, you can still make money off it to help pay for the mortgage. For instance, if you don’t want to be tied down to a home and want to travel for a couple of years first, you can opt to rent it out at a price that’s slightly higher than your mortgage amount. This way, you’ll have an income stream as well as be able to pay off your mortgage in a convenient way.
  6. Buying will also give you access to tax credits which can offset the cost of buying your home. All you have to do is make sure to itemize property-related expenses when filling in your tax return.
  7. Buying a house gives you security that renting can’t provide. Should your income remain the same over a long period of time, you can automate your mortgage payments, giving you stability and the confidence in knowing that you’ve got accommodation sorted for the better part of the future.

Here at Metro First Realty, we hope that these facts have been helpful. Please reach out to us if you still need help making plans for your student or grad.

Is it best to buy a home after school starts? Click here to find out!

 

Buy A Home After School Starts

3 Reasons To Buy A Home After School Starts

Should you wait until school starts to buy a new house?!

It’s been said time and time again that the best time to put a house up for sale is around early spring. While that may be true for sellers, it’s the exact opposite for buyers! Here are some quick points to consider when looking to buy this fall.

1. Time On The Market

One issue that works against sellers (but favors buyers) is the length of time a home has been on the market. The longer a home sits unsold, the more bargaining power a buyer has, Smoke says. Also, inventory tends to increase from summer to fall because homes aren’t selling as quickly. Active listings on Realtor.com remained for a median of 65 days in May and June. But in August, that number was projected to increase to 72 days. That shouldn’t dissuade potential buyers from considering a home, Smoke says.

“If the home and location seem to fit, don’t cross it off your list just because of the time of the year or the time on market,” Smoke says. “There will always be sellers who need to put their home on the market.” Also, the services related to buying — moving, buying furniture, signing up for cable — tend to be discounted toward the end of the year and during winter, Smoke notes.

2. Less Competition

Once school starts, there are fewer buyers to compete with on your offer. Most families prefer to move before their darlings head back to school. Also, cooler weather drives down demand. In fact, from now until February, buyers have more leverage than during the rest of the year because there’s still a large amount of inventory relative to the time of year, says Jonathan Smoke, Realtor.com’s chief economist.

In 2015, sales of existing single-family homes nationwide declined 3.7%, from 4.86 million in July to 4.68 million in October, according to the National Association of Realtors. Granted, if you live in a market with a tight inventory and brisk sales (such as San Francisco and Seattle), you still might face stiff competition. But in markets like Indianapolis or St. Louis, you’ll see a lot less gladiator-style jostling and more chances to negotiate with sellers when you buy a home.

3. Prices Match Market Value

If homes listed during the busy summer months didn’t sell, chances are that they were overpriced. That means homebuyers will see prices fall more in line with market value, says Mark Goldman, a real estate instructor at San Diego State University and a loan officer with C2 Financial Corp.

For example, in 2015, the U.S. median sale price dropped 5.5%, from $233,400 in July to $220,600 in October, according to NAR.

Working with a real estate agent who can assess asking prices can help you avoid overpaying, Goldman says. If you want to buy a home that’s priced higher than what your agent estimates to be appropriate, submit an offer that’s in line with market value and with comparable sales data attached to back it up.

If you are looking to buy a house this late summer/fall, please reach out to one of our agents or contact us by calling or the website. We look forward to helping you find your new home!

Do you know how much your home is worth? Read up here!

Save money with the simple

One of the most frustrating things is having to call a service company. Then, their repair takes 5 minutes, but you pay $130? They tell you, ” Oh, it was a simple fix.” In this article we will look at some simple money-saving repairs you can make at home.

Save money with the simple

  • Running toilet – Most plumbing companies will charge a service fee between $80 and up to $130 just to come to your house! Nine times out of ten, a toilet that will randomly turn on and then turn off, has a faulty flapper. The flapper is the rubber seal that lifts when you flush, emptying the tank into the bowl. When the flapper isn’t sealing properly, water will leak from the tank into the bowl. As it falls below the fill level, it will trip the fill valve float, turning on the water to fill back up again. A standard flapper is around $5 and takes about 2 minuets to install, saving you lots of money!
  • Garbage Disposal – Most disposals come with a disposal wrench that fits into the bottom to manually turn it when it jambs. If your disposal is humming, this is likely your problem. If it does nothing or the chamber spins freely, check the red reset button underneath before calling a plumber.
  • Lock Trouble – Is the deadbolt hard to move with the key? Try to spray the lock and key with some WD40. Work the key back and forth in the lock and it should loosen right up!

These are just a few simple tips that you can help you to save big bucks on your home, weather you are selling, a new homeowner, or you’ve been there a while.

How to avoid a money pit

Unless you’re in the business of flipping houses, you don’t want to buy a money pit! In this article, we will look at some of the major issues of  a house to consider before your purchase.

How to avoid a money pit

The worst thing in the world is to buy something, only to find that it will cost you much more money than you’ve already spent. In this article we are going to look at a few of the major cost issues of a house to be aware of before your purchase.

  • Age – Was it built before JFK was president? The older the home, the more the upkeep and maintenance costs. Remember, when you’re excited about those “antique” fixtures and charm, that just means they are old! The older it is, the closer to replacement.
  • Plumbing – Be mindful of the plumbing condition. Are the drain pipes cast iron, do you see signs of leaking, how old is the water heater? Did you know the life expectancy of a solder joint in a copper water line is at least 50 years with good water condition?
  • Heating and Cooling – Replacing a furnace or A/C unit will cost thousands of dollars! If you are old enough to buy a home and they are older than you, it’s time to replace them.
  • Electrical – Electrical code has changed a lot since the 1970s! If  you notice an old breaker box, or the house is full of two prong, ungrounded outlets, an update is needed.
  • Foundational – Cracks in the foundation can lead to structural issues and even water damage. This is a major cost, and one to consider when purchasing a home.

Buying a house is a huge decision! Make sure you are armed with enough information so you don’t get caught in a money pit!

OKC Realtors

OKC Realtors: Gardening for Curb Appeal

OKC Realtors: Getting your garden in shape

As realtors the first thing OKC Realtors notice about a home is its curb appeal, how does the house look from the road? One of the easiest things you can do to boost the curb appeal of your home is to plant a small garden. People love not just flowers, but trees and shrubs. Here’s our spring time tips for increasing the curb appeal of your home with a garden, especially if your starting from scratch

1.Clearing Room for your new garden the OKC Realtor way

If you don’t already have a flower bed that means you’ll have to clear a portion of your lawn of grass and weeds. You may have to use a technique called layer where you spread news paper to smother the grass. It’s a technique used by many gardeners when they start a new garden.

2. Learn the enemy

Weeds can be a garden’s worst enemy, taking up space and resources that you want going to the plant you put there on purpose. But sometimes it’s not as easy as just pulling up the offending weed. Learning the different kinds of weeds and how best to deal with them will help you grow a beautiful garden.

3. Know your soil

We don’t think about dirt very often but if your going to grow your garden you’ll have to learn about getting nutrients into your garden. You garden will draw it’s nutrients from the soil so making sure it’s full of nitrates and food for you plants is imperative. OKC Realtors recommend that you provide nutrients to your garden through composting, it’s cost effective and will reduce the waste you throw away. Once you’ve gone to all the trouble to get rid of all your weeds you can use a landscape fabric to prevent them from coming back.

 

OKC Realtors: How Much is Your home Worth?

OKC Realtors: Pricing a home accurately

If you’re trying to price a home accurately, whether your preparing your house for sale or if you’re getting ready to put an offer down on one it can be challenging. Even if you’ve done your home work a home price can change substantially from the first time you make your estimate. OKC Realtors do all the work to make sure that the home you want to buy or sell has been properly valued, making the process much less stressful.  But here are 4 point that you’ll want to look at when evaluating the cost of a home.

1.The Historical Sale price of the home

When your OKC Realtors run a calculation for the price of the home they will look at the prices that home has sold for in the past. The price during the last few years will help establish a baseline for the price you will pay.

2. The Neighborhood

The house is important but a good neighborhood can elevate or devalue a house based on what’s in it. In addition to running the sale price for your home your OKC Realtors will see what other houses in your area have sold for. Factors like school quality and home prices are strongly correlated.

3. The Current Housing Market

The market is either a buyer’s or a seller’s market, and fluctuates between those based on the time of year, interest rates, and general economic factors.  These changes will require you to strike while the iron is hot or wait for a better time if you want to get the best price for a home.

4. Home size and curb appeal

A homes size is a large part of its value, many home buyers will look at the price per square foot as the major factor in their decision to purchase. The appeal of the house will lie in whether it’s modern, traditional, or just the over all features of the house.

OKC Realtors: Tips for first time home buyers

OKC Realtors: Handy tips for the first time home buyer

Buying a home can be a lengthy process. Some even find it scary. It takes a large amount of money and resources to buy a home and getting a bad deal can leave you stuck in bad way for years, even decades. OKC Realtors has some tips for the first time home buyer to make sure you get the best deal possible.

Save for a down payment early: The common rule for a down payment on a house is 20%. But most lenders will let you buy a house with a down payment with a little as 3% down. But these smaller down payments often mean larger higher costs overall and having to buy private mortgage insurance. Start saving early so you can keep your options on the down payment open.

Check your Credit (But not too much): When your getting approved for a loan, your credit will be one of the key factors in determining if your approved or not. It also helps determine interest rates on these loans. So be sure to check it before applying for a loan. Dispute any errors in your credit report and see if you can raise your score by paying off outstanding debts. It’s important to not obsessively check your credit score though, as multiple checks can lower your credit score. Once or twice shouldn’t hurt though.

Pause any new Credit activity: Any time you open a new account, whether it be for a new car loan or a credit card, the lender will check your credit score. This can actually temporarily lower your credit score. So be sure to stop any new credit activity before you start looking for a house.

If your looking for a new home, let the experienced realtors at Metro First Realty, OKC Realtors, help you find the perfect home.

Realtor OKC

OKC Realtors: Does your lawn affect your home value?

OKC Realtors: How does your lawn affect your property value?

If you’re looking to sell your home, you might know to update the appliances, fix the fence, and touch up the paint job among other things. But have you ever considered your lawn? Have a look at your lawn now, how is it? Is it clean cut or wild? Are there weeds you haven’t gotten around to exterminating yet? Are there any flowers in your garden? If your lawn is a mess it can actually affect the value of the home it’s in front of. OKC Realtors explains how.

Keeping your lawn in top shape will help you with one of the most important aspects of a home, the first impression. If someone is looking at homes a nice, well-kept lawn will help differentiate you from the other homes the buyer is looking at. If two homes have equal value, the one with the nicer lawn will leave a nicer first impression. In many cases, a well-kept lawn can actually raise the dollar value of your home!

Similarly, leaving a good first impression also does wonders to set expectations for the buyer. This plays of what psychologists call The Halo Effect, where characteristic influences a person’s opinion of all other characteristics related to it. If you’ve got a well-kept lawn, a potential buyer will think more highly of your home because of the halo effect. If your lawn is on the wild side though, the opposite will be true regardless if your house is spotless and up to date.

The lawn is an important part of the home even though it exists outside it. Taking the time to care for and groom your lawn can pay massive dividends when you decide to sell. If you are looking to sell, let Metro First Realty, OKC Realtors, help you find the perfect home.