What to Do If Your Appraisal Comes in Low

Various market conditions can negatively affect the appraisal of a home you’re selling, making the appraised value lower than the sales price you agreed on with a buyer. In a seller’s market, appreciating home prices often make low appraisals a non-issue, but in a buyer’s market, falling prices can lead to your appraisal coming in lower than your agreed upon sales price.

This can be a problem because lenders will only lend on the appraised value. If your appraised value is lower than the agreed upon sales price, you’ll have to make up the difference in cash, or cancel the deal. There’s no reason to panic if your appraisal comes in lower than you expect it to, though. There are several steps you can take that may keep your deal from falling through. Read on to find out what options you have in the event of a low appraisal. [Read more…]

Staging Equals Success

When you go to an interview, you dress for the occasion—a nice suit, a sharp haircut, an appealing color palate. You do this because you know that first impressions matter. And they matter a lot. They matter so much, in fact, that most people will assess their like or dislike of a new acquaintance in a matter of a few seconds to a few minutes. BAM! Even though we know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, many (most of us, really) totally do. This principle is equally as important in real estate when your home’s first impression tends to be its lasting impression on a potential buyer.

Home staging is a growing business type with multiple firms all over the United States. Though many home sellers think they can dress up their own home sufficiently for it to sell, a home stager can potentially decorate your home to sell faster and at a higher price than you could. Though they can’t guarantee success 100% of the time, following are a few very good reasons to consider hiring a home staging company when selling your next home. [Read more…]

Sell in the Winter

We’ve all heard it—“sell in the spring”—right? The market is generally better for home buying and selling in the spring/summer months because, hey, who wants to move in the cold fall and winter?

Weather aside, selling in the fall and winter might not be the easiest feat to accomplish, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t doable. Think about it. Because the market slows down there are fewer homes to contend with and the buyers tend to be more earnest due to job changes and the like. Those who are looking to buy in these months are serious in their offers because they really need to move. So don’t let the coming snow get you down—follow some of these tips to get your house ready to sell during the holiday season.

1. Year Round Photos

When you list, make sure to include tidy photos of your home in the spring or summer. This showcases the year-around appeal of your home. The buyers will see the house themselves in the fall or winter, so you want to give a sense of what those backyard barbecues on a warm summer night could be like.

While professional photos are always best for a listing, even some of your own shots might work for this if you didn’t have time to take pictures before the leaves start to fall.

2. Decorations

Not really into decorating for the holidays? Maybe you should rethink that. Decorating will add to the charm of the home and will make visitors feel welcome in the house as they imagine how they would decorate if it were theirs. Put a few tasteful decorations on the outside—and make sure the outside is well-lit in case they visit in the waning hours (remember, the days are shorter!).

Don’t overwhelm the interior of the home with decorations, but do make sure to include some seasonal spirit. Open spaces are good to make buyers feel the breadth of the house, but decorations can really make a space feel homey. And if you’re doing a scheduled open house with refreshments, think warm soups, breads, or other winter-themed treats. Yum…I’m hungry already.

3. Winter Safety

Shovel like crazy. Your walkway should be immaculate every day the home is on the market so potential buyers aren’t thinking about possibly slipping and falling as they walk up the drive. Remove any clutter from the walkway and decks—like bikes or swings—and make sure any fallen twigs or low hanging branches have been taken care of to create a clean appearance, and to ensure the safety of your guests.

4. Keep Your Chin Up

If you price aggressively, know your local market, and act professionally you’ll have an advantage in the slowing market as well. Your REALTOR will have other wonderful suggestions as to spruce up your listing and make it as warm, cozy, and inviting as a log fire burning in the hearth.

Although it’s a bit harder to sell in the fall and winter, the slowing market doesn’t have to mean defeat for you. The above tips, as well as a great attitude, should help make your house stand out from the crowd.

Sellers and Buyers: Take Advantage of An Assumable FHA Mortgage

It doesn’t matter whether you are selling your house, or trying to buy a new one, you want to have an advantage. For sellers, you want something that sets your house apart from the rest on the market. For buyers, you want to be able to qualify for the mortgage you want and get the best deal possible. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was something that could give sellers and buyers this advantage at the same time?

Surprisingly enough, the FHA mortgage might just be this golden goose. FHA mortgages are assumable, which means that a qualified buyer can take over, or assume, the mortgage currently held by the seller. Why would you want to assume someone else’s mortgage? Because when you assume the seller’s FHA mortgage, you assume their interest rate. Let’s talk about how the assumable FHA mortgage creates an advantage for both sellers and buyers.

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