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Norma Mirsky - Top 10 Real Estate Tips For 2015

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2015 has proven a year of strong economic growth, improved employment and a housing demand for most sellers, particularly in the Farm Belt and energy-producing states, in addition to urban areas such as Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the single-family home sector in 2015 is set to outperform the previous year. So if you want to take full advantage of this market, here are some tips that I recently came across in an article, outlining the top 10 real estate tips of 2015 for both buyers and sellers:

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Norma Mirsky - Top 10 Real Estate Tips For 2015

  1. 1. 10 Real Estate Tips For 2015 By Norma Mirsky
  2. 2. 1. Tidy up Little touches go a long way in the buyer’s eye, especially with the entry. Therefore, you should trim bushes, wash walkways and get good-looking welcome mats. Remove odors inside with candles and counter sprays, clean up your closets and rooms. Hide any labor tools, making the house look as nice and fancy as possible.
  3. 3. 2. Take notes In a whirlwind house-hunting tour of several properties, it’s beneficial for buyers to keep a pro-and-con checklist of each home that they visit. Otherwise, the features of several homes will end up blending together in a tired brain. It also helps to create a rating scale of 1 to 10, in addition to carrying a checklist of specific features that you’re looking for in your ideal home.
  4. 4. 3. Sell by season Although spring is optimal, home-selling happens year- round, so use seasonal decorations to make buyers stay longer, but make sure they’re not too obnoxious. In the winter, it’s also a good idea to show photos of your home a season ahead, so buyers can see what it looks like when the snow’s melted.
  5. 5. 4. Do your research Buyers are advised to scope out the block of a potential home at varying hours, but you can also look yourself to see how your neighborhood is doing. If a major local employer is struggling or moving away, adjacent neighborhoods are turning into rentals and there are numerous homes lingering on the market, then those are all bad signs. But if schools are in high demand, younger families are moving in, older couples are staying and commercial properties are getting redeveloped and leased, then these are all excellent signs.
  6. 6. 5. Tap into “big data” Although local knowledge and old-school networking are always available, the latest technology offers agents a lot more. Some agencies offer “livability” ratings by ranking and contrasting neighborhoods by air quality, traffic choke points and specific data on a home’s energy efficiency.
  7. 7. 6. Transparency Buyers will most likely enlist inspectors to look over your home, so in anticipation of this, offer your own presale inspection. It’s much better to know about a house’s issues early than later. Provide the buyer a copy of the inspection, along with any repair receipts, and explain if or how you’ve adjusted your price in response. The buyers will appreciate your honesty.
  8. 8. 7. Watch out for ego More often than not, buyers tend to get caught up in a win-no- matter-what style of negotiation. Nonetheless, don’t let stubbornness ruin your chances of selling your home.
  9. 9. 8. Retain mineral rights With so many giant natural-gas fields in play across the US, and with many more pending, homeowners should exercise their seller’s market advantage to retain mineral rights. While this doesn’t need to be mentioned in the sales contract, it’s always safe to note it so long as the buyer doesn’t protest. Avoid this scenario by conveying those rights to a trustworthy family member or an energy company buying them before putting the house on the block.
  10. 10. 9. Refrain from buying This goes without saying, but if you’re about to make any big-capital purchase, you might want to hold out on it. Such purchases will raise your debt-to-income ratio, which lenders examine when determining the mortgage amount you can afford. You should also avoid moving large sums of money around, changing banks, changing jobs and becoming self-employed before you choose to buy a home.
  11. 11. 10. The price is right Accurate home pricing from the get-go never goes out of style. Every agent will tell you something different; some advise sellers to overprice because inventory is low, while others say go below market to spur a bidding war, but don’t get caught up in pricing games. Activity in the first month of a listing is always the best, so don’t risk wasting it with whacky prices. Therefore, you should hire the right agent.

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