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Check out This Great List of Seller Home Prep Tips


If you are thinking of selling your home, now is the time to prepare your home for the market. It may seem overwhelming, but luckily, I found a great list of items home sellers should focus on before you list your property.

Buying a home? Click here to search all homes for sale.
Selling your home? Click here for a free home value report.

This list takes you room by room and tells you exactly what to do. I’ll go over a few of my favorite tips for you today.

First, you should always start with the front yard. Curb appeal is incredibly important, and you never get a second chance at a first impression. Prune back bushes and plants so they look neat and healthy. Weed your garden, keep the lawn freshly mowed, and put down fresh mulch. If you need to, add a few flowers for a splash of color. Painting the front door is a great way to make your home look more inviting.

As for the inside of your home, cleaning, packing up, and decluttering should be your top priorities. Whether your home is 25 years old or 5 years old, you want to make it look as new as you possibly can.

Clean things you don’t usually pay attention to. For instance, clean or replace light switch covers, blinds, and AC or heater vents. If you’re not comfortable cleaning the fireplace on your own, hire a professional. Deep clean your carpets and wipe down the walls.

 

You want your home to be as neutral as possible so that the buyer can picture themselves living in your home.

 

You also need to dust everything. Prospective buyers will be much more critical of your home than they are of their own. Most people don’t dust every week, but you need to keep your home show-ready if you want your home to sell.

When it comes to decluttering, go through each room and clear off any surfaces. In the living room, take personal photos off of the coffee table and pack up any toys, books, or other knickknacks that you and your family can do without for awhile. Keep your dining room table clear except for one nice centerpiece. Take everything off of your kitchen counters. Take personal photographs down, too. You want your home to be as neutral as possible so that the buyer can picture themselves living in your home. If there is too much of your stuff laying around, buyers will feel like they are intruding on someone else’s space.

Pay special attention to kitchens and bathrooms, as they are two of the most important rooms to prospective buyers. Clean all of the tile grout; you can bleach it if you need to. Empty the trash before each showing and scrub the sink and shower to make them look new again. Remove all unnecessary items from your kitchen and bathroom. If you want to keep those items, go ahead and pack them up now.

As I mentioned, there are many details to take care of before you put your home on the market. To see the complete list, click here. In the meantime, if you have any other questions about the home selling process or if you would like to know what your home is worth, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

Important Factors to Consider When Pricing Your Home


Pricing your home is one of the most important aspects of your real estate transaction. How can you be sure your home is priced to sell for the most money possible?

Buying a home? Click here to search all homes for sale.
Selling your home? Click here for a free home value report.

How much is your home really worth? This is a hot topic in our market right now.

There is an old sales adage that any product or service is worth whatever a buyer is willing to pay and that the seller is willing to accept. I know you’ve probably heard that, but there really is a science to pricing property.

In 2012 I was asked to collaborate with other top agents across the country on a book called “Cracking the Real Estate Code” which became a bestseller right out of the gate, and all proceeds went to charity. You can get a copy at DeniseSwick.com.

So what is important about pricing?

Many of my clients that had previously been with other agents and who failed to sell their home have said that the agent asked them what they wanted. We’d all like to get everything we want in life, but wouldn’t you agree that it is completely unrealistic? When this happens, run.

 

If your doctor asked you what prescription you wanted, you’d find a new doctor!

 

You hire an agent to help you market, service, and price your home to get the highest current value that the market will bear. If you went to your doctor and they asked you what prescription you want to take to fix your need or ailment, how would you feel? You’d hire a new doctor!

These are the four most important things to look for when pricing:

  1. Make sure the comparable homes the agent uses are within the last 90 to 120 days (there may be a few exceptions to go back farther, yet very few).
  2. Make sure the comparable homes are comparable. It doesn’t make sense to use two-story homes to price a ranch home.
  3. Make sure the location, neighborhood, and size are very similar in nature. Even neighborhoods touching one another can have very different prices.
  4. Make sure the agent has confidence in the price they recommend to you. Looking for an agent with a track record of success and experience is a great way to start.

If you have any other questions about pricing your home or you’re thinking about buying a new one, give me a call or send me an email soon. I’d be happy to help!

You Are the President and CEO of Your Home Sale


You are the president and CEO of your home sale. Here’s how.

Buying a home? Click here to search all homes for sale.
Selling your home? Click here for a free home value report.

The Dayton real estate market is very productive right now for sellers. The 2016 real estate market was hot, with a 14% increase in sales from 2015. Still, it’s a very competitive market and sellers have to be ready when the time comes. One of the keys to being ready is understanding that you are the president and CEO of your transaction.

You own the home, so you make the decisions and you are responsible for those decisions. You might be wondering, “Well, isn’t that what a Realtor is for?” The answer is yes and no.

While a Realtor can advise you and offer their expertise to help you make a sound decision, the truth is that you hold all the cards. You are also responsible for the Realtor you choose. You want to find someone with experience, knowhow, and an aggressive marketing plan with a documented listing plan of action. If an agent has all of these things, you can bet you’re in safe hands.

 

You don’t get a second impression with buyers.

 

The price you set is just as important as the agent you choose. You want your agent to be able to document and show you what similar homes are selling for in your market. Remember that although the market is on an upward trend overall, not all areas are on this same trend. Being overpriced by even 5% over market value will cause your home not to sell in this market.

You never get a second chance at a first impression with buyers. A lot of times, qualified buyers in this market won’t make a second pass of homes. If your home isn’t available when they want to see it, they will just skip over it. Always be ready to show it.

Not all offers are created the same. Financing terms, down payment amounts, inspection time frames, and appraisal contingencies and conditions can all play an important role in whether or not you get to the closing table.

Remember, you have all the power as a seller. Use these tips to help you make smart and informed decisions. If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We are always here to help and we look forward to hearing from you soon!

7 Ways to Cut Stress from Your Big Move

 

Moving can be exciting, and it doesn’t always have to be so stressful. Moving for a new opportunity like a better job or a chance to live in your dream home is the exciting part, but packing up your stuff and lugging it to the new place is a lot less glamorous.

I wanted to share seven tips that will help you avoid the stresses of moving.

  1. Purge. Clutter creates stress, so organize the things you no longer need into three groups: sell, donate, or toss. Put the valuable items in the sell group, enjoy a tax deduction with donations to Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity, and throw out items that have little or no use left.
  2. Clear your calendar. Block off a chunk of time to focus exclusively on packing, request a day off from work, and find a babysitter to watch your kids. You could also plan a whole weekend. You’ll get more done packing continuously for several hours than you will by packing in short spurts.
  3. Accumulate boxes. Start collecting boxes and newspapers several weeks before the big move; grocery and retail stores are a good place to start. You can also buy boxes from shipping stores or hardware stores.
  4. Plan. Don’t start without a strategy! One of the most efficient ways to pack is to methodically move from room to room clearly labeling each box based on where it was in your old home.
  5. Protect your valuables. Don’t have that nagging concern of not being able to find your wedding ring or passport. Pack one suitcase as if you’re going on vacation with all those items you’ll need to access immediately. Add valuables and important documents so you know exactly where they are.
  6. Give ample time in deadlines. Nothing is more stressful than when you can’t start moving into your new home until 8 a.m. but you need to be out of your current home by noon the same day. Be sure to negotiate important deadlines up front; your Realtor should be your guide. After you move in, promise yourself that you’ll pack one room per day, or you’ll unpack for two hours per night, for example.
  7. Delegate. One of the best ways to reduce stress is by outsourcing and delegating. Cash in favors from family and friends, and buy a lot of pizza and beverages!

I hope these tips were helpful to you, no matter when your next move will be. If you have any questions about making the moving process smoother, or you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in Dayton, give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!

Easy Ways to Boost Curb Appeal When Selling

 

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation 
Call us at (937) 432-2644 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

I recently came across an article on Zillow about amping up your curb appeal that I really liked. It discussed simple changes and upgrades you can make to boost your curb appeal without too much investment.

The first was simply cleaning up. Any Realtor will tell you this is the first step, so set aside a weekend to deep clean your property inside and out. Consider renting a power washer or hiring a local cleaning service.

Next, add some shutters. This not only makes windows look better, it makes them pop and adds pizzazz to a bland wall. When it comes to painting, paint the accent areas to accentuate them rather than painting the whole house.

Also pay attention to the front door. After all, it is the buyer’s first impression! Think about painting your door instead of replacing it, or adding moulding for a decorating frame. Also take a look at your home numbers. You might want to move them to a place where you can incorporate them into your home’s presentation.

Upgrade your outdoor lighting and consider new, affordable fixtures as well. A fresh finish might also do the trick. Similarly, address your patio furniture. It should resonate with the inside of the home, but limit it and be deliberate with your choices.

Finally, some simple upgrades simply include upgrading your mailbox, planting trees or shrubs, building a tree bench, installing flower boxes or beds, and hiding eyesores like big green power boxes.

These are all small investments that will help your home’s value without too much spending on your part. I want to help you earn every possible dollar on your home. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home, I’d love the chance to help you out. Give me a call or visit my website for more info. Let’s talk soon!

Why Do You Need to Avoid Overpricing Your Home?

One of the biggest mistakes home sellers make is what I like to call the overpricing issue.

While it’s tempting to put a high price on your home and either negotiate down with a buyer or test the market, you really want to avoid doing so.

Overpricing your home will deter buyers from coming to view your home and has the potential to overexpose it to the market as well. Luckily, there are some cures to help you get through the overpricing process so that you can get the top value for your home:

  • Check the Comps: Comps are real estate lingo for comparable sales. You want to look at homes that are very similar to yours and see what they’re selling for.
  • Get inside the minds of the buyers: Buyers look for homes online that fall in a very specific price range, so if your home is priced above its actual value, you won’t get the right buyers to look at it!
  • Visit competing open houses: Go to homes that are fresh on the market. The homes that have been lingering on the market for a very long time are not worth what the sellers are asking for either, which is why they’re still available.
  • Get your home inspected: A home inspection gives buyers peace of mind that you have done your due diligence and that you really care about your property. It also helps possibly get things fixed for even less than what a buyer’s inspector might estimate.

As you can see, overpricing your home won’t do you any favors when selling. If you would like help putting the right price on your home, don’t hesitate to give me a call or shoot me an email. I would love to assist you!

Getting Your Home Ready for Sale: Staging

When you want to sell your home, you want to do everything you can to get it sold if you’re motivated. A lot of people look into getting their home staged so that people can more easily picture what a room would look like furnished. While staging is great for your home, there are plenty of amazingly staged home out there, whether professionally or by the owner themselves, that still aren’t selling. Homes sell because they are priced correctly not necessarily because they are staged. So what do I recommend you do?

Staging a home is still a good idea, I’m not saying it isn’t. However, there are drawbacks to it. First, it can be very expensive to stage your home well. I have seen costs in the range of $350 all the way up to $1200, which I think is not going to bring the return. Secondly, like I said above, just because a home is staged doesn’t mean it is going to sell. Like I always tell clients, the home will sell because they are motivated and the home is priced correctly. If the home isn’t getting any showings, the house is upwards of 10% off price and if you are getting low showings with no offers, you could be off by around 5%. If the home is priced correctly you will have plenty of showings and even competitive offers.

Because of these two things, I have come up with a 75 point check list for clients that will help the home show well without having to spend money on staging if you don’t want to. The goal of this check list is so that we present a clean, spacious and clutter free home. It is to make your home show like a home you would want to buy yourself! People are more frequently looking at properties online. Online, they only have the pictures and descriptions to look at. If they don’t like what they see in the pictures, chances are they won’t even give your home a second glance.

On our checklist, we cover just about anything you could think of and that a potential buyer would want to look at. Also as I have tried to keep emphasizing in my blogs, painting, flooring, kitchens and bathrooms are the best returns for your investments, so keep those in mind as well. Here are just some examples of things on our checklist:

Curb Appeal

  • Mow lawn and trim shrubs
  • Clean and Repair patio and deck areas
  • Add a new front door mat and consider seasonal decorations

General Interior Tips

  • Add a fresh coat of interior paint
  • Repair easy fixes: loose doorknobs, cracked molding, leaky taps and toilets, etc.

Kitchen

  • Make sure appliances are spotless inside and out
  • Keep counters clean and empty as possible;

Basement

  • Sell, giveaway, or throw out all unnecessary items
  • Provide strong overhead lighting

These are just a few things from our list. The whole list covers individual rooms in your house from the living room to dining room to the master bedroom. There is even a section of things to do when it does come time to show your house. To see what is on the rest of our list feel free to reach out at (937)619-7447. As always feel free to view our current listings online at Dayton Real Estate Online 24/7. When you’re ready to sell your home and are ready to hire the right agent, give me a call! Happy home hunting Dayton!

Erroneous Zestimates

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search 

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation 

Call us at (937) 432-2644 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

The truth has finally come out. What truth? The truth about Zillow!

Unfortunately, in the past, most people who got their home valuations from Zillow took them as absolute fact, which creates a problem with buyers and sellers because often times these values are significantly off.


The CEO of Zillow was recently interviewed on CBS, and when asked about the accuracy of Zillow’s home valuations, he stated, “It’s a good starting point. The error of margin for Zillow is on average 8%.” Denise Swick pullquote 4.23

We don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of money in this market when being overpriced by even 5% will stop your home from selling. Often times when people are looking to buy or sell, they are taking those inaccurate Zillow values, when what they really need is a professional to guide them.

We are in a typical spring market right now where homes are coming on the market and selling. However, in this market, you need to be priced right to drive the price up on your home and make sure you get the most money possible. So, if there’s anything we can do to help you purchase or sell a home, give us a call or send us an email, and we would be glad to help!

How to Get Your House Ready for Fall!

Autumn in the Dayton area is what living in the Midwest is all about! The warm temperatures start to cool down, the leaves begin to change colors, and suddenly we are surrounded by reds, oranges, browns, and chilly nights being spent around a campfire. Fall is also the beginning of the beloved Holiday season, and that means it’s time to get your house in shape!

Okay, so don’t go unraveling that pile of Christmas lights (that you didn’t take down until February) just yet, and please, save your inflatable snow globe until December. The Holiday season includes more than just Christmas! Halloween and Thanksgiving are the perfect middle points to bring your festive side out of hibernation just before the snow begins to fall (hopefully).

Historically, it has been commonplace to display ghosts, witches, and turkeys inside of your home when the leaves begin to change, but what about the outside? How do you subtly transition your curb appeal from cold and dead to bright and cheery? Here are a few tips to get your house ready for fall.

Start with a door hanger.

Door hangers are subtle, yet festive. They provide a nice homey touch that shows your appreciation for the season. My advice: create something yourself to highlight leaves, pumpkins, or candy corn and use either your last name or a nice fall greeting. If you need some visual help, check out these ideas on Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1rjf9aQ.

Utilize your light post.

How many times have you actually used your light post? If you ask me, its main purpose is to serve as a scarecrow. When it comes time for Halloween, you can poke a few eyes in a sheet and drape it over to stay current with a ghostly look. If you’re looking for something a little more elegant, there are plenty of fall flowers that would look great sitting beneath, or next to, your light post. Flowers also provide a touch of life to your yard while your lawn slowly goes dormant for the winter.

Carve a pumpkin!

Don’t be the only house on the block without a jack-o’-lantern on your front porch. Head over to Meijer and pick out a cheap pumpkin to bring home, gut, and carve. If your carving is good enough, you could bypass all other decorations because the pumpkin is the main attraction.

Here’s a hint: get online and find a cool design you want to carve and then stretch it out on Microsoft Word to fit your pumpkin, then print it out. Tape it to the face of the pumpkin, and use a tooth pick to poke holes around the design. Then, use a carving knife to “connect-the-dots” and there you have it! It’s really simple, and you don’t have to go buy one of those kits that are way too expensive. Someone in the office carved the KISS legend (see above) a few years ago, and he’s no Picasso.

Okay, maybe a few lights.

It seems like every year, people are putting out lights earlier and earlier. Putting some orange lights around your garage, front door, or topiaries are perfectly fine for Halloween. Especially on Beggars’ Night, I would encourage you to go the extra mile: some fake headstones, a couple skeletons, or even a fog machine to really set the mood. While we’re on that topic, here is a list of when Beggars’ Night is for all cities in the Dayton area: http://bit.ly/1wufq01. You still have time to prepare!

It’s perfectly natural to overdo it.

I bet you didn’t see that coming now, did you? Everyone has their favorite holiday and it’s okay to go crazy for it. Most people choose to wait until Christmas to perfect their exterior illumination, but there are still plenty of homes in the Dayton area that will look like full blown haunted houses by Halloween. Pick your holiday and have at it. If you are currently trying to buy or sell a home, then make sure your home fits in the well-groomed neighborhood with plenty of culture: you can still decorate, but keep it classy.

What are you waiting for? Get out and start decorating! Hopefully you can take advantage of a few of these tips and join in the festivities of autumn! Many people think they should not decorate their homes if they are trying to buy or sell, but your house is meant to be lived in! Whether you are buying or selling during the holidays, people want to see a nice home they can picture themselves in and a few seasonal decorations won’t hurt anyone. To check out some current homes for sale, visit www.DaytonRealEstateOnline.com and click the “Contact” button above if you want some perspective on selling your own home! Enjoy what’s left of the fall season and Happy Halloween!

Has the Real Estate Market Recovered?

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Looking to buy or sell a home in Dayton, Ohio? Click here to perform a full home search, or if you’re thinking of selling your home, click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today’s market. You may also call us at (937) 432-2644 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

 

There are two key factors real estate professionals look at to determine what kind of market we’re in: absorption rates and mortgage applications. So, what’s the Dayton market looking like?

  • Homes for sale: 9,000 homes
  • Homes sold: 1,300 a month on average
  • Inventory: 7 month supply (price declining market)

What do these numbers mean for you? Well, our market is still struggling a bit, but it is improving. For example, just a few years ago we had a 12- to 14-month supply in just about every market we were in. When looking at it that way, we have seen a huge improvement overall.

The bad news is we’ve seen mortgage applications decline over the past few months. We think this might have something to do with the rise of interest rates or low buyer confidence. Either way, it’s not something we like to see.

Regardless of current conditions, there is never a bad time to buy or sell. It all comes down to working with an agent who knows how to make things happen. There are still extremely motivated buyers out there and sellers now have less competition to deal with, so things are looking up for both sides.

If you have any questions about how you can make a profitable move in our current market, give us a call or shoot us an email. We would love to help you maximize your real estate transaction!

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