Thursday, March 19, 2009

4 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Real Estate Agent

After you get your home appraised and have a good idea of how much you can expect to receive for the sell of your home, it is time for you to start deciding how you are going to go about selling the home. Of course, you might decide that you want to represent yourself in the sell of your home. But, if you prefer to hire a real estate agent to help you through the process, there are several key questions you should be sure to ask. This way, you can be certain to get the right agent for the job and to achieve the best possible results. To that end, here is a look at a few of the key questions you should be sure to ask when interviewing potential real estate agents.

How Long Have You Been in the Real Estate Business?

Ideally, you want to work with a real estate agent who either has many years of experience in the field or who has a mentor with a great deal of experience in the business. One benefit to working with a newer agent is that they tend to provide their clients with a great deal of attention. Just make certain the agent has a competent mentor that he or she can contact if problems should arise.

What Strategies Will You Use to Sell My Home?

Your real estate agent should have a solid plan in place for successfully marketing your home to potential buyers. This may include implementing a direct mail campaign, creating flyers and using the Internet to advertise your home. Ask the agent to explain the methods that he or she plans to use and why using these strategies should be an effective method for selling your home.

What Makes You Better Than Other Real Estate Agents?

In addition to helping you learn more about what you can expect from the agent, asking this question also helps you can gain a better understanding of the qualities and characteristics the real estate agent thinks are important. Obviously, you will need to pick an agent who exhibits the characteristics you find to be most important as well. For example, is it more important for the agent to be an excellent negotiator or are you looking for someone who is friendly and easy to reach by phone or email? Choose the agent who best suits your personal needs.

What is Your List Price to Sales Price Ratio?

The agent’s list price to sales price ratio represents the difference between the price you are asking for the home compared to the price at which the agent sells the home. As a seller, you are looking for a real estate agent with a high list price to sales price ratio, as this indicates the agent does a good job selling properties at the price the owner is asking.

About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for http://www.electronicappraiser.com/, which is a leading provider of on-line home appraisals and offers a nationwide personalized instant informational report about home appraisal. For more information, please visit .
http://www.electronicappraiser.com.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Deciding How Long to List Your Home

Are you considering hiring an agent to help you with getting your home sold? If so, there are many things you will need to take into consideration when negotiating the services you would like the agent to provide. One of these is how long you want your home to be listed. Remember, it is up to you to determine the listing length of your home. Therefore, it is important for you to have an idea of the pros and cons of various listing lengths so you can determine which length is best for you.

The 30 Day Listing

If your home is in a hot market where most other properties are selling in less than 30 days, a 30-day listing may be your best option. This way, if your agent fails to sell the home within those 30 days, you can hire the services of another agent who can get the job done more quickly. Before giving your agent the boot, however, you should take a closer look at your property and what you are asking for it. It is possible that you are asking for more than the property is actually worth, which could be the reason why it has failed to sell in such a short time period.

The 90 Day Listing

The 90 day listing is one of the most common in the housing market. Nonetheless, you should have a pretty good idea of whether or not the property is priced right within the first 30 days. With a 90 day listing, however, you can get an idea of whether or not your property is priced right and then you can work with your agent to determine what changes might need to be made in order to make your home more desirable to potential buyers.

The 180 Day Listing

The 180 day listing makes more sense when dealing with a buyer’s market, such as what most markets are currently facing. If you go with a 90 day listing within a buyer’s market, the listing might expire while it is still in escrow. If this happens, you may need to extend the listing anyway. Therefore, it is often easier to simply start off with a 180 day listing when in a buyer’s market. When agreeing to a 180 day listing, however, it is a good idea to ask the agent to provide you with a written guarantee that you can cancel the listing after 90 days if you are not happy with the service. If the agent refuses to provide a guarantee, you are better off hiring someone who will.

The One Year Listing

If you live in a more remote area or in a market where homes move slowly, a one year listing contract may be your best option. The same is true if you are selling an unusually large or unique property, vacation homes and private islands as these homes tend to take longer to sell because there are less potential buyers for these homes.

About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for http://www.electronicappraiser.com/, which is a leading provider of on-line home appraisals and offers a nationwide personalized instant informational report about home appraisal. For more information, please visit .
http://www.electronicappraiser.com.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

What Impacts the Value of Your Home?

Did you know that there are more things involved in determining the value of your home that its most basic features? The reality is that there are several features and characteristics that homeowners are looking for when purchasing a new place to live. Here is a look at just a few of those things.

The Street

The street and the location of the property on that street will be important to your buyers. If your home is located on a busy street, for example, you will probably have to knock thousands of dollars off of your price. This is because houses on busy streets tend to be noisier and, if the buyer has children or plans to have children, a busy street is a safety hazard. The same is true of houses with corner lots. While these homes generally have larger lots than other homes on the street, they do have more problems with traffic noise and trespassing than homes that are not on corner lots. If your home is in a cul de sac, on the other hand, buyers with children will be far more attracted to your home.

School Districts

Although school districts are technically subject to change, they often are pretty static. Therefore, if your home is located in an area with a top-notch school system, you will find it easier to sell your home to buyers with families.

Special Amenities

Those little "extras" in your home may help make it more attractive to potential buyers, though some buyers won't be willing to pay extra for certain added perks. Therefore, you generally don't want to add extra amenities in order to increase your chances for a sale. If you already have extras such as a spa, a pool or a fireplace, however, it may help you get a little extra or your home.

Availability of Utilities

The availability of utilities such as satellite service, DSL service and access to public utilities such as water and sewage will also impact your sale. Most buyers are looking for a home that allows them to enjoy these modern conveniences, which means you may have a harder time making a sale if these amenities are not available in your home.

Condition of Electrical, Plumbing and Heating and Cooling Units

The condition of items such as your electrical, plumbing and heating and cooling units will also impact the value of your property to potential buyers. After all, no one wants to purchase a new home and have to replace these items within the first couple of years. Therefore, if your electrical, plumbing or heating and cooling units are outdated or in need of repair, you should either replace them or expect to knock down the price your are asking for your home.

About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for http://www.electronicappraiser.com/, which is a leading provider of on-line home appraisals and offers a nationwide personalized instant informational report about home appraisal. For more information, please visit .
http://www.electronicappraiser.com.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Does Your Home Have a Bad Layout?

When it comes to appraising the value of your home, one thing that many appraisers do not take into consideration is the layout of the home. Although the layout may not be factored in when valuing the home, it is certainly a factor that potential buyers will consider when deciding whether or not they want to make a purchase. Unfortunately, there are many bad layout designs that can decrease your chances of selling your home. Here's a look at some of the most common layouts that potential buyers find unattractive.

A Stairway or Hallway that Faces the Entrance

In some homes, you are immediately greeted by a stairway when you enter the home. This can have a negative impact on the first impression a person has when entering the home. The same is true when the entrance leads immediately into a long or dark hallway. Remember, buyers generally make their first impression of a home within 6 seconds after entering, so you want to make certain this first impression is a good one.

The Center Dining Room

Having a dining room in the center of the home is also a turn-off to many buyers, as it requires walking through the dining room and around the table in order to enter most other rooms. This layout is considered inconvenient by most people because it does not provide easy access to the other rooms in the house.

Bedrooms That are Connected

Connected bedrooms can be unattractive to buyers because of the lack of privacy it creates. In fact, in some parts of the country, an appraiser will consider adjoining bedrooms to be just one room.

Bedrooms Accessed through the Dining Room or Living Room

Many people do not care for a home with bedrooms that have to be accessed through the dining room or living room because this also reduces privacy. In addition, a bedroom that is connected to a dining room or living room will be more susceptible to being disturbed by the activity that takes place in these rooms.

Oddly Placed Guest Bathrooms

The location of the guest bathroom can also be a turn-off to potential buyers. In some older homes, for example, a long hallway may end with a bathroom, which provides for an unattractive and uninviting view down the hallway. Similarly, most potential buyers will not care for a bathroom that can only be accessed after walking through a bedroom or a utility room either.

Lack of a Good View

Homes seem to be larger when you can sit in one room and see other rooms. Therefore, open space and doorways will help create this feeling of spaciousness, which will appeal to a larger number of potential buyers.



About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for http://www.electronicappraiser.com/, which is a leading provider of on-line home appraisals and offers a nationwide personalized instant informational report about home appraisal. For more information, please visit .
http://www.electronicappraiser.com.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Three Major No-Nos to Avoid When Selling a Home

Are you looking for a way to make your home more attractive to potential buyers? While an appraiser may only consider the basics of your home when developing an appraisal, such as the number of rooms in the home and its total square footage, there are some factors that can significantly decrease the value of your home and the likelihood of making a sale and you may not even realize it! In fact, there are many things that homeowners innocently do with their homes without realizing the potentially negative affect things factors have on the overall value of their homes. Here's a look at just a few.

Getting Attacked by Pets

While the dog may be a man's best friend, it can be the worse enemy of the homeowner who is trying to make a sale. Whether you have hired a Realtor to show your home or you are planning to make the sale on your own, keep your pooch away while the property is being shown to prospective buyers. Some potential buyers may actually be frightened if they are greeted by your dog in the driveway or at the front door - even if your dog is the friendliest pet an owner could ever hope to have. Others may be simply irritated by your pet or possibly even allergic. So, do yourself a favor and take your pet to a friend's house or to a boarder while your house is being shown.

The Seller Who Can't Leave

Just as it can be bothersome to have a pet hang around while the house is being shown, so can it be if you stick around while the house is being shown. Obviously, you will need to be at the house showing if you are selling the home yourself. If you have hired a Realtor to help get the job done, however, it is best for you to leave during the showing. If you stick around, potential buyers may feel uncomfortable about looking through closets and really getting a good look at the home. After all, it will make them feel as if they are invading your personal privacy. In order to get the house sold, you need to make certain the potential buyer is as comfortable as possible. If you absolutely must be present while the house is being shown, make certain to give the potential buyer some space and not to hover.

Watching Out for Wallpaper

If at all possible, you should also limit the amount of wallpaper on the walls in your home. Many potential buyers are not major fans of wallpaper and those who do like wallpaper probably won't like the colors and patterns you have selected. So, do yourself a favor and remove the wallpaper and apply a fresh coat of paint instead. This way, you will be able to appeal to a larger group of potential buyers and will be more likely to get your house sold in a short period of time.



About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for http://www.electronicappraiser.com/, which is a leading provider of on-line home appraisals and offers a nationwide personalized instant informational report about home appraisal. For more information, please visit .
http://www.electronicappraiser.com.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

5 Inexpensive Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

Are you looking for some easy steps that you can take to increase the value of your home while also improving its overall curb appeal? If you hope to sell your property quickly and to get top dollar from it, it is important for you to take a few simple steps to help it look its best. With these simple tips, you will be able to increase the value and appeal of your property without having to make a large investment.

Tip #1: Work on the Lawn

Your lawn is one of the first things potential buyers will notice when they see your home, so make certain it makes a good impression. Do everything you can to make your lawn look healthy and green. If you will be selling soon, you may want to consider laying down new sod so you can get an instant improvement. If you have time, on the other hand, weed and fertilize your lawn regularly until it is looking great and be sure to add edging in order to create that well manicured look.

Tip #2: Improve Your Landscaping

After noticing your lawn, prospective buyers will also notice your landscaping. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars to give your landscaping a complete overhaul. Rather, planting a few annuals near your house or around your trees will really spruce up the look of your yard. You should also consider adding some bushes or plants around your foundation in order to create a more welcoming look.

Tip #3: Focus on the Door

After getting past their initial impression from the lawn, your potential buyers will enter your home through your front door. Therefore, you want to be certain the door is as attractive and inviting as possible. To that end, you should paint the door or possibly even replace it if necessary.

Tip #4: Keep it Fresh

If you want to lure people into buying your home, it should look fresh and attractive both inside and out. Therefore, be certain to clean up any dirt and clutter and to take steps to make the outside, the walls and the windows look fresh and crisp. You may need to apply a fresh coat of paint certain areas and cleaning your windows may take a little extra elbow grease, but the payoff will be well worth the effort.

Tip #5: Make Upgrades

If certain parts of your home are getting rundown or are simply outdated, you may want to make a few upgrades before you put your home on the market. Replacing countertops, cabinet hardware and doors, toilet seats and faucets are all relatively inexpensive facelifts that can really spruce up your kitchen and bathroom and make your home more attractive to potential buyers.


About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for http://www.electronicappraiser.com/, which is a leading provider of on-line home appraisals and offers a nationwide personalized instant informational report about home appraisal. For more information, please visit .
http://www.electronicappraiser.com.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Top 5 Ways to Turn Off Potential Homebuyers

If you are trying to sell your home, its appraised value is irrelevant if you no one is interested in your home. For that reason, it is important for you to take steps to make your home as attractive to potential buyers as possible. But, did you know that there are certain things you can do with your home that will actually make them not want to buy it? Here is a look at the top 5 ways to lose out on a sell.

Unappealing Smells

One of the first things a potential buyer will notice when stepping into your home is the way it smells. Pet smells and cigarette odors are the top two turn-offs, but potential buyers will also be turned away if they smell mildew, old food smells or other odors. Therefore, be certain to do everything you can to make the home smell fresh and clean. Keep in mind that it is easy to become used to the smells in your own home, so ask someone with a fresh sniffer to smell the inside of your home and give you some feedback on how it smells.

Lack of Lighting

Lighting is essential when it comes to making a room feel warm and inviting. In addition, proper lighting will help make the space look larger and more appealing. Therefore, you should be certain to replace any dim light fixtures while also removing heavy drapes and cutting tree limbs that may be shadowing your house. You may even want to consider installing additional light fixtures or skylights in order to increase the amount of light entering your home. Cleaning your windows and repainting your rooms with a color that reflects light will also help make the inside of your home appear brighter.

Overgrown Gutters

Gutters with plants growing inside are a big turn off to potential buyers, as they will view this as a job they will have to tend to right away. In addition, it makes it look as if the home is not properly cared for and maintained. So, be certain to clean your gutters before putting your home on the market.

Excessive Dampness

Dampness in the basement is a major concern for buyers, as it is a sign that there is a leak in the foundation. While this isn’t necessarily the cause of your dampness, just the potential of a leaky foundation is enough to turn most homebuyers away. If you are getting moisture in your basement, look for other potential causes and try to rectify the situation. Some places to look include underground drains that may be clogged, a lack of rain gutters along the roofline or downspouts that are facing the wrong way.

Scummy Bathrooms

No matter where it is found, dirt is a major turn off to potential buyers. Nonetheless, you should pay particular attention to your bathroom. Having a bathroom that is bright and shiny is a sign that you take great care of your home, so repaint it, purchase a new curtain and scrub it down in order to make it look as good as you possibly can.


About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for http://www.electronicappraiser.com/, which is a leading provider of on-line home appraisals and offers a nationwide personalized instant informational report about home appraisal. For more information, please visit .
http://www.electronicappraiser.com.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Understanding the Difference Between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent

If you are looking for a real estate agent, you may be surprised to learn that there is a difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor. Although many people use the term "Realtor" as a general term to describe a person that helps individuals buy and sell homes, a Realtor is actually a specialized type of real estate agent that has met certain criteria in order to earn that title.

What is a Realtor?

In order to be designated as a Realtor, a real estate agent must be a member of the National Association of Realtors. Therefore, any real estate agent claiming to be a Realtor who does not belong to this organization is purposely misrepresenting his or her licensing. You can identify a real estate agent who is a Realtor by looking for the Realtor logo on the agent's business card, sales literature or other marketing documents.

How is a Realtor Different from a Real Estate Agent?

In order to become a member of the National Association of Realtors, a real estate agent must adhere to a strict code of ethics. For example, a Realtor may not deliberately mislead a homeowner regarding the market value of the property and is required to subjectively submit offers and counter-offers as quickly as possible. In essence, the code of ethics requires Realtors to treat buyers and sellers fairly and honestly.

Realtors are also required to maintain a certain level of knowledge regarding the buying and selling process. This way, you can make certain the Realtor is knowledgeable and up-to-date when it comes to real estate transactions.

What Can a Realtor Do for Me?

While you can certainly bypass the Realtor and buy or sell a home without the help of one of these professionals, there are many benefits that come with working with a Realtor. These include:

Getting help with finding the right lender
Providing you with information about properties that are not actively being advertised on the market
Assisting you with obtaining information about the neighborhood, including zoning information, school information and utility information
Providing you with negotiating power to help you get the best price
Assisting you with finding experts to conduct necessary inspections, including dry rot, termite, roof condition, termite and septic tank inspections
Providing you with information about your various financing options
Guiding you through the closing process
Providing you with up-to-date information about current market trends
Knowing where and how to advertise your property effectively
Helping you evaluate the proposals of potential buyers

Obviously, the most important consideration when selecting an agent is to find someone you can trust and who has a solid reputation. Nonetheless, you might want to first consider hiring someone who is a licensed Realtor in order to get the added peace of mind that hiring one of these professionals provides.



About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for http://www.electronicappraiser.com/, which is a leading provider of on-line home appraisals and offers a nationwide personalized instant informational report about home appraisal. For more information, please visit .
http://www.electronicappraiser.com.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What You Need to Know About Your Home's Appraisal

If you are planning to sell your home or if you wish to apply for a home equity loan, getting your home appraised is a critical step in the process. By determining the value of your home, lenders can better determine how much they are willing to loan to you for an equity loan or home much they are willing to lend to a potential buyer. Nonetheless, many homeowners know little about the appraisal process or what it entails. While you certainly aren't expected to be an expert in home appraisal, it is good to know a few basics before you hire someone to provide a professional appraisal of your home.

Understanding the Appraisal Report

After the appraiser has walked through your home and made all of the necessary assessments, he or she will create an appraisal report. Generally, these reports are about two to three pages long, though it is possible or an appraisal to be more than a hundred pages long as well. Information that is typically included in these reports include:

Details about your home
A description of your neighborhood
Side-by-side comparison information of your home and other similar properties
An evaluation of the real estate market in the area
Information regarding any major problems with the property

By using all of this information, the appraiser is then able to provide an estimated value of the property as well as an estimate of how long it will take to sell the property.

Developing the Appraisal Report

In order to develop the appraisal report, the appraiser will primarily compare your home to the amount that similar homes have recently sold for. It is important to keep in mind that an appraisal is not the same as a home inspection, which is intended to determine whether or no the home is structurally sound. Rather, the appraiser is simply looking to identify any distinguishing characteristics of your home that can help select other recently sold homes that can serve as a point of comparison.

Obtaining an Appraisal Report

If you have recently purchased a home, you can obtain a copy of the appraisal report from your lender. Whether you realized it or not, you paid for an appraisal when you purchased your home and federal law gives you the right to obtain a copy of that report. If you purchased your home more than a year ago, however, you probably should obtain a new appraisal report in order to properly reflect changes in the market as well as any changes you may have made to the home.

Using Your Appraisal Report

Once you receive your appraisal report, you can use it to help improve the value of your home. Focus on any items that gave your home's value a negative adjustment and make any necessary updates or changes. This way, you can increase the value of your home and sell it at a higher price or receive a larger home equity loan if necessary.

About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for http://www.electronicappraiser.com/, which is a leading provider of on-line home appraisals and offers a nationwide personalized instant informational report about home appraisal. For more information, please visit .
http://www.electronicappraiser.com.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Saving Money on Your Homeowner's Insurance

As a homeowner, you want to be certain your property is properly insured. After all, your home is the single biggest investment you will likely ever make. As such, you want to make certain it is protected against damage, vandalism or thievery. At the same time, you don't want to spend more than necessary to insure your home. Therefore, in order to save the most on your home insurance cost, you might want to follow these simple tips.

Tip #1: Get Your Home Appraised

Before you start searching for a home insurance policy, you need to have a good idea of the value of your home. This way, you know how much coverage you need to have in place in order to replace your home if it becomes completely damaged.

Tip #2: Shop Around

It is also important for you to take the time to shop around and to compare the policies and rates of various insurance companies. Ideally, you should get at least three different quotes to compare. Be certain the policy terms are the same with each of the companies you compare. That way, you can be certain you are fairly comparing what each company has to offer.

Tip #3: Increase Your Deductible

Increasing the deductible on your home insurance policy is one of the quickest ways to decrease your premium payments. In fact, simply raising your deductible from $500 to $1000 can save you as much as 25% on your premiums. Of course, before you make this change, make certain you would be financially capable of meeting the deductible if a disaster should occur.

Tip #4: Look for Combo Deals

In many cases, you can save money on your insurance policy if you purchase your homeowner's insurance and your automobile insurance from the same company. In fact, some companies will reduce your premium payments by as much as 15% if you carry both types of policies. So, be sure to keep this in mind when shopping around and comparing the rates of different companies.

Tip #5: Make Some Changes to Your Home

Making a few simple changes to your home can sometimes result in a decrease in insurance costs. For example, installing shatter-proof glass, adding storm shutters and modernizing your plumbing, heating and electrical systems can all help reduce the costs of your insurance. Similarly, adding security features such as burglar alarms, smoke detectors and dead-bolt locks can also bring down your rates. Discuss these items with your agent and find out which additions to your home can help you bring the cost of your insurance premiums down. In some cases, you may need to install certain brands or follow specific guidelines in order to receive the discounts offered by your insurance company.


About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for http://www.electronicappraiser.com/, which is a leading provider of home appraisals that offers a nationwide personalized instant informational report about house values. For more information, please visit www.electronicappraiser.com .

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Making Money with a Fixer-Upper

If you are looking for a way to make a little extra cash, you may be considering purchasing a “fixer upper” and then making some renovations before putting the home on the market. In the industry, purchasing a home with the intention of selling it shortly after is referred to as “flipping,” and, while flipping can certainly be profitable, there are many things you should take into consideration before you purchase a fixer-upper and start making some changes to it.

Consider the Location
No matter what you do to a home, you won’t be able to make a profit on it if you purchase a home in a bad location. In fact, fixing up the home may actually make it nicer than the other homes in the neighborhood, which will make it even harder to sell. After all, who wants to purchase a nice home that is surrounded by run down houses? So, before you invest in a fixer-upper, make certain the entire neighborhood isn’t also in need of fixing.

Watch the Expenses
Before you purchase a fixer upper, you need to determine the extent of the damages. If the home is in need of major repairs, you likely won’t be able to recoup the cost of the repairs. If the home just needs cosmetic repairs, such as a new paint job or new flooring, you may be able to invest very little for a great return. Therefore, you need to be certain to inspect the home thoroughly and to have a clear idea of how much it will cost to fix it up before you make a purchase.

Assess Your Skills
You also need to be honest with yourself about your level of skill. While painting the walls may not be a problem, you may run into problems when it comes to changing plumbing or installing cabinetry. If you cannot do it yourself, you will need to hire a professional to get the work done. This, of course, can be quite costly. Similarly, if you do the work yourself and you do it poorly, the renovations will do little to improve the value of the home. In fact, it could cause the value to depreciate further.

Think About the Customer
When making renovations to a home with the intent to sell, you always need to keep the potential buyer in mind. Therefore, while you may love the idea of converting a bedroom into an office, most homebuyers are looking for homes with plenty of bedroom space. If they decide to convert a room, they can do that later. In order to attract the largest group of buyers, however, you should focus on providing a living room area, a dining room, and as many bedrooms as possible.

About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for http://www.electronicappraiser.com/, which is a leading provider of home appraisals that offers a nationwide personalized instant informational report about house values. For more information, please visit www.electronicappraiser.com .

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How Does Your Backyard Affect the Value of Your Home?

Have you ever thought about how the sunlight may affect the value of your home? Many people have heard that having a backyard that faces the south is a positive attribute when selling a home. While this may be true, whether or not a south-facing backyard is a benefit will largely depend upon the person looking at buying your home. In the end, however, it is unlikely that having a south-facing yard will add any value to your home.

The Benefits of Having a South-Facing Backyard

There are many potential benefits to having a south-facing backyard and, depending upon the person looking at buying your home, these benefits can really help with closing a sale. For example, having a south-facing backyard means that the home will receive plenty of sunlight. If the person is an avid gardener, having this extra sunlight is definitely a benefit. After all, most perennial flowers and vegetable plants need plenty of sunlight in order to thrive.

Having a south-facing backyard is also beneficial to those that suffer from seasonal depression. Although it won’t serve as a “cure all” for depression, the extra sun can go a long way toward helping a person with seasonal depression feel better in the winter months. In addition, the extra sunlight can help prevent moss from forming on the roof of the home. Not only is moss on the roof unattractive, it can be quite damaging as well. Therefore, this can definitely be a selling feature for the home.

The Down Side to Having a South-Facing Backyard

Although there are many benefits associated with having a south-facing backyard, there are downsides to this feature as well. Namely, if the home doesn’t have air conditioning, having a south-facing backyard means the house will likely get quite hot during the summer. If it does have an air conditioner, the cost of running the conditioner may be higher because of the extra heat.

Whether or not a south-facing backyard is an attribute really depends upon the person buying the house. In addition, there are likely to be other factors that will draw the attention of potential buyers more than the location of the backyard. For example, if there is a great view to the south, many homebuyers may prefer a home that faces in that direction instead. Similarly, if a potential buyer enjoys gardening, it may still be possible to successfully maintain a garden even if the backyard faces the north. For these reasons, an appraiser isn’t likely to value your home any higher than he or she would value a home on the other side of the street. On the other hand, if you happen to have a home that is on a corner, your home is likely to get appraised at a higher value because it offers more versatility.


About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for http://www.electronicappraiser.com/, which is a leading provider of on-line home appraisals and offers a nationwide personalized instant informational report about home appraisal. For more information, please visit .
www.electronicappraiser.com .

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Should You Renovate Your Kitchen Or Bathroom Before Putting Your Home on the Market?

Many people think that renovating their kitchens and their bathrooms is the best way to add resale value to their homes. While these renovations can certainly help bulk up your home’s value, there are some things you should keep in mind before you start tearing out walls and cabinetry in either of these two rooms.

How Much Can I Get Back From a Renovation?

The amount of value you add to your home when you renovate your kitchen or bathroom will really depend on the status of the room before you got started and the types of renovations you made. For the most part, however, you can expect to get anywhere from 75 to 100% of the money you put into your renovation project back when you sell your home.

Although making these renovations won’t necessarily help you make more money than what you put in, they can help you sell make the home more attractive to buyers. As a result, you may be able to sell the home more quickly. In addition, if you do the work yourself, you may see a much greater return. Just be certain the work is of high-quality, or you may actually decrease the value of your home rather than bring its value up.

What Should I Consider Before Making a Renovation?

When making a renovation in your kitchen or bathroom, your goal should be to modernize the space without making it too personal in terms of taste. In other words, while you might like the thought of having bright red cabinets in your kitchen, many of your potential buyers may not like this color scheme. So, update your room without going over the top with colors and other design elements.

You should also consider the other home in your neighborhood before you start your renovations. If other homes in your neighborhood are mid-market houses and you add the highest-end finishes, you won’t get as much back on your return and you may actually have difficult selling your home. After all, most buyers don’t want to spend a great deal of money on a very nice home that is surrounded by less attractive houses. You should aim to keep the home on the same level as the surrounding homes in the neighborhood in order to get the greatest return.

Completing a bathroom or a kitchen renovation can certainly help to boost the value of your home, but plan out your renovations carefully in order to make certain every dollar you put into your home will come back to you in resale value. Ideally, your renovations should help you earn more than what you have put in, so talk with a real estate agent and ask for feedback and guidance before you start making your changes.


About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for http://www.electronicappraiser.com/, which is a leading provider of on-line home appraisals and offers a nationwide personalized instant informational report about home appraisal. For more information, please visit .
www.electronicappraiser.com .

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Estimating Your Home’s Value

While the best way to get an estimate of your home’s value is to consult with a professional appraiser, it is possible to get a ballpark figure on your own. By coming up with your own estimate, you can better determine if you are ready to contact an appraiser and put your home on the market. In general, there are two things to consider when trying to estimate the value of your home: How does your home compare to similar homes in the area have recently sold for and how much do you adjust to compensate for superior or inferior features of your home.

Considering Comps

When trying to develop an estimated value of your home, you will first need to compare your home to other similar homes that have sold in the area. The homes you use for comparison purposes are referred to as “comps or comparables.” It is important to note that market activity can change dramatically in just a few months’ time. Therefore, it will do you little good to compare your home to a home that sold over a year ago if there are homes that have sold recently. Rather, you should only consider those homes that have sold in the last six months or less. In actuality, however, it is best to only look back at the past three months.

If your home is in a market that is not particularly active, it may be difficult to find comps in your area. Similarly, if your home has special features that are not regularly found in homes in your area, you may not be able to find a reasonable comp to use for comparison purposes. Significant international and national events, such as war and elections, can also cause sudden changes in housing prices.

Amenities and Other Considerations

In addition to comparing your home to other similar homes in your area, there are several other factors that need to be considered when estimating the value of your home. These include:

• Age of the home
• Amenities
• Location
• Size
• Condition

In general, you should compare your home to a home that is of similar age to your home. Homes of a similar age and location typically also have similar amenities. Of course, this isn’t always the case, as your home may include other special amenities such as a pool, a bonus room, a great view, or a particularly large garage.

Ideally, you should compare your home to other homes that are in the same area as yours. If there has been no recent activity in your area, however, you might need to compare your home to other homes in neighborhoods that are similar to yours. In order to find a neighborhood similar to yours, look for one with homes that were built around the same time as yours and that are of comparable size.

The size of your home is another important consideration. The total square footage of your home, the number of rooms in your home, and even the size of your garage will all have an impact on the value of your home.

Since so many factors are involved with determining the value of a home, it can be difficult for a homeowner to develop a precise estimate of its value. Therefore, in order to get a more accurate appraisal of your home, it is best to enlist in the services of a professional appraisal service, a local real estate agent and or a on-line valuation company.


About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for http://www.electronicappraiser.com/, which is a leading provider of on-line home appraisals and offers a nationwide personalized instant informational report about home appraisal. For more information, please visit .
www.electronicappraiser.com .

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