Karen Adelson - Barrett Sotheby's International Realty


Making an offer on a home you’d love to buy is arguably the most stressful part of the buying process. You’ll be worrying about making the right offer, whether you’ve presented yourself in the best possible light, and just how much competition you’re up against.

Today we’re going to help you alleviate that anxiety by giving you the most common real estate offer mistakes to avoid, and show you how you can increase your chances of getting the perfect home for you.

1. Do your research on the house

You have a lot of research to do before making an offer on a home. You’ll want to know the price the home formerly sold for and improvements that have been made and that will need to be made if you move in.

It also helps to know the seller’s situation. Are they on a deadline and moving out-of-state? If so, they might be tempted to take one of the earlier offers they receive.

2. Know your own financial limits

Before you ever make an offer you’ll need to know how much you can spend. This isn’t just a matter of offering the maximum amount you’re preapproved for. You’ll have to factor in moving expenses, final payments on your last rent or mortgage, changes in utility costs, and more.

3. Don’t offer your full preapproval amount

Sellers who know that you’ve offered your maximum preapproval amount may be wary of selling since they know you lack room to negotiate your budget and therefore might have a higher chance of backing out of the offer. They might favor other buyers who have room to negotiate and account for unexpected changes in their budget or of rising interest rates.

4. Avoid aggressive negotiation

We know the stakes are high for everyone involved in making a real estate deal. However, sellers are more likely to accept the offer of someone they trust and like over someone who seems to be trying to gain leverage.

Always be cordial with your offers and support them with numbers--explain to the seller why you chose the number you did, so that they can understand your reasoning.

5. Don’t attempt to gain leverage by waiving a home inspection

By law, you are allowed to have a home professionally inspected before purchase. Waiving this right is sometimes misconstrued as a way to tell a seller that you trust them and don’t want to cause them any unnecessary headaches.

The reality of the matter is that if you truly do want to own their home, sellers understand that you want to know what you’re buying.

6. This isn’t the only house you can be happy in

Hunting for a home is hard work. Once you find one that seems perfect for you or your family, it can seem like everything depends on your offer being accepted.

However, the fact is there are endless houses on the market, and next week a new one could be put up for sale that is even better than the home you’re hoping for now.

If your offer isn’t accepted and you don’t feel comfortable committing to a higher price, move on to the next house knowing that you made the best decision under the circumstances.


When you’re buying a home, it’s important to offer a good price to be able to land the property of your dreams. You also don’t want to overpay for the house you’re buying. If you want to know for sure that you’re paying a good price for a home, you’re going to need to do some price comparisons. Take a look at recently sold homes in your neighborhood of choice and see what the going rate is. If all of the homes are similar in the area, it will be easy to find out how much the home you’re buying is worth. There are a few ways that you can do comparisons to make it easier for you to determine the right price for the home you want to buy. 


Take A Look At The Neighborhood


There are certain features that attract nearly everyone to certain neighborhoods. From the safety and friendliness of an area to the schools that are nearby, to the stores, and public transportation access, people are attracted to what makes their lives easier and more enjoyable. The bottom line is the more desirable the neighborhood, the higher the price of the homes in it. 



Check Out Public Records


With the Internet, it’s pretty easy to access public records these days. You can take a look at what properties have been bought and sold for in recent times int the area of the homes that you’re looking at. You can even take a peek at some historic information to help you see if the area is up-and-coming.


Is The Neighborhood Going To Become Trendy?


Sometimes, you can find a great property for less in a neighborhood that hasn’t quite reached it’s full potential yet. If there’s a slot of new construction going on, that’s a good sign that the neighborhood is moving on up! Especially attractive features in a neighborhood are new schools, new shopping centers, or new parks.                


There Is A Tipping Point To Growth


If it seems that a neighborhood is growing a bit too much, it may actually decrease the value of your home. Huge commercial developments can actually be detrimental to the value of a property. Where there’s a lot of people, there’s also a lot of noise and traffic. That’s usually not a desirable factor in a neighborhood.    


Meet In The Middle


When you’re looking at the price of properties, the best bet is to meet somewhere in the middle for what is reasonable. While you don’t want to buy the highest priced home in the neighborhood, you probably don’t want to lowest price for that neighborhood either. Working with a more average number is a good option because your home helps any home lower priced than yours, while any higher priced homes help to increase the value of your home. It’s a win-win situation when you choose a property based on price and keep this strategy in mind.    


As you get ready to add your house to the real estate market, you likely will consider high and low initial asking prices. However, it is important to remember that no two residences are exactly alike. And much in the same vein, the initial asking price for your home may vary from that of a similar residence based on your house's condition, age and other factors.

Ultimately, a diligent home seller will allocate the necessary time and resources to determine a competitive initial asking price for his or her residence. This seller will be able to establish an initial home asking price that hits the mark with buyers, and as a result, stir up plenty of interest in his or her house.

Determining the ideal initial home asking price may seem tough at first. Fortunately, we're here to help you set a competitive price for your residence, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you establish the ideal initial asking price for your residence.

1. Assess Your Home

The present condition of your house may have a major impact on its value. Thus, you should perform a home inspection before you list your house to identify any underlying problems and address such issues.

A home inspection is generally requested by a buyer after a seller accepts an offer on a residence. Conversely, a seller who wants to go above and beyond the call of duty may perform an inspection to take a proactive approach to home improvement projects. This approach may help a seller mitigate potential home problems before they are discovered later in the home selling process.

Thanks to a home inspection, a seller can establish home improvement priorities. Then, this seller can perform myriad home improvements and move closer to maximizing the value of his or her residence.

2. Evaluate the Housing Market

Operating in a seller's market is far different from selling a house in a buyer's market. If you review the real estate market, you can gain the insights you need to establish a competitive price for your home.

Take a look at the prices of houses in your area that are similar to your own residence. This information will enable you to understand the price range for comparable houses in your city or town.

Also, evaluate the prices of recently sold residences in your area. This housing sector data will allow you to determine whether you are operating in a buyer's or seller's market.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent knows the ins and outs of selling a home in any housing market. He or she can offer a wide assortment of housing market data. Perhaps most important, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to establish a competitive price for your residence and reap the benefits of a fast, profitable home selling experience.

Want to add your house to the real estate market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble setting a competitive initial asking price for your house.


Here are five things you need to put in check before putting your house out for sale:

Curb appeal and Entrance

The saying "don't judge a book by its cover" does not apply to real estate. Both the front and back of the home should be eye-catching. Making sure to mow the lawn, plant flowers, ensure paint is fresh, and the door is free from cobwebs or dirt, check that screens aren't sagging or broken and that the porch is clean and free from debris.

Paint

Applying a new coat of paint will make your house look fresh, clean and updated. It's like a bit of skincare for your walls and will cover all the cracks, chips, and the occasional dent. Before you paint, cover any holes with putty and sand them smooth, and for more significant damage, spray texture to make it look less noticeable. Also, don't forget to look up; if your ceiling looks old, give it a fresh coat of paint as well.

Floors

Flooring gets the most wear of all the parts of your house. If your flooring is begging for some personal care, consider doing so before you put your house on the market. Carpets should be free from stains or damage; tile and hardwood should be clean and free from cracks. Make certain linoleum is clean and free from holes or gouges. Replacing the flooring in the entire house is not advisable unless necessary. Do replace flooring in high traffic areas. If you are in the market to put a new floor in, hardwood is the gold standard for what buyers want most of the time, and there are a variety of cost options for most budgets. 

Roof

Buyers aren't just in the market for a roof over their head; they are looking for a roof that doesn't leak, sag, or need a ton of repairs. If your roof doesn't need a complete overhaul, make sure that there aren't any shingles that need replacing. While you are up there, it is also a great time to clean out those gutters and caulk them.

Windows

New windows are expensive, but nothing takes an older home up a few notches above average than new windows. If you can't afford to put new windows in, make sure that they are cleaned inside and out by a professional to help them look their best. Look at the sills and if they are cracked or yellowing, paint them. Lastly, make sure that the blinds are clean and in good condition. If they aren't, consider replacing the window coverings to make them look top-notch. 

To get a good profit off your home after selling it, you have to ensure a proper and thorough refurbishing. Speak to a real estate agent in your neighborhood on how to get the best value for your home.



 

Have you ever walked into a room and wondered, "What is that smell?” Perhaps it's the kitchen trash, or maybe a clogged drain or the moldy-smelling washing machine. No matter what might be giving off that foul odor, there are tricks that you can use to bring a halt to it.

Here are simple tricks to seek and remove any awful smells coming from your home.

1. Track it down

When it comes to smells, the sources could be numerous. The first step would be to find out where the stench is coming from, and bring it to an end. Check the places the smell could be emanating from such as your kitchen sink, the trashcan, the bathroom or even an accent rug. It could also be mold or mildew in the crevice of the tub or the lip of the fridge, or an animal carcass in the dryer vent or chimney. Once you have located the source, determine if you'll need to disinfect the area or if you'll simply need to throw away the cause of the smell.


2. Sewer smells

Sewer smells in the basement is one of the worst and concerning smells that could infiltrate your home. Is it a result of trapped water under a floor drain, or perhaps a clogged drain or a cracked sewer line? No matter the cause, it is imperative to find the source of the odor as soon as possible as leaving it unchecked could result in loss of your home's value. As soon as you discover what the problem is, fix it immediately to avoid any potential property value decreases or possible health issues that could arise from any substance residing within the sewage or trapped water.Some circumstances may require the assistance of a professional plumber or cleaner to take care of the issue. Be sure to get the appropriate estimates needed to correct the problem and clean away residue from areas that may have been affected.


3. Carpet and rug odors

Most of the time, homeowners keep looking for the source of that annoying house smell, forgetting to pay attention to the very thing beneath them – the carpet or rug. But often times, a simple cleaning will correct the issue of an over-trafficked carpet or rug. While vacuuming may get rid of the immediate dirt, you may need to delve a little deeper and steam or wash it. You could clean with a mixture of one part white vinegar and three parts water to remove the smell. You may opt to put it in your carpet cleaner and deep clean the rugs or simply spot treat a particular area. Either way, a homemade mixture or store-bought one can do wonders for your home's scent.


4. Food smell

Most of the time, cooking smells can get trapped in your kitchen, especially if you have a diverse menu of heavily spiced produce and proteins. A great way to remove the smell of these dishes from your kitchen and home is to wipe down the cabinets, interior and exterior, to get rid of any food residue or scents that may be trapped on or inside the cabinets. You may also want to consider removing any food waste after enjoying the dishes or if there are any raw components left over once you're done cooking.

Perhaps you may be worried that you might be too accustomed to possible weird smells in your home to know when one creeps up. Ask your real estate agent or staging professional to do a walkthrough of your home and get a second opinion. Once you’ve solved any deterring smell issues, create good scents to entice your buyers. Your agent will know what works best for buyers in your area, from cedar to baking bread.