Tips to sell your home fast!

Differentiate From the Neighbors
In order to attract attention and to make your home more memorable, consider custom designs or additions, such as landscaping, high-grade windows or a new roof. This can help improve the home's aesthetics, while potentially adding value to the home. Any improvements should be practical and use colors and designs that will appeal to the widest audience. In addition, they should complement the home and its other amenities, such as building a deck or patio adjacent to an outdoor swimming pool. However, while it can pay to spice up your home, don't over-improve it. According to a 2013 article in Realtor Magazine, some renovations, such as adding a bathroom or putting new shingles on a roof, might not always pay. The data suggests that the nationwide average amount recouped for a bathroom remodel is about 58%. For a new roof, it's even less. If you're going to invest in home improvements, do your research and be sure to put your money into the things that are likely to get you the best return. In addition, if you have added any custom features that you think buyers will be interested in, make sure they are included in the home's listing information. More than ever, in a down market you should take every small edge you can get.
Clean the Clutter
It is imperative to remove all clutter from the home before showing it to potential buyers because buyers need to be able to picture themselves in the space. This might include removing some furniture to make rooms look bigger, and putting away family photographs and personal items. You may even want to hire a stager to help you make better use of the space. Staging costs can range from a couple hundred dollars for a basic consultation to several thousand dollars, particularly if you rent modern, neutral furniture for showing your home. Many people feel that stagers can make a home more salable, so hiring one deserves some consideration.
Sweeten the Deal
Another way to make the home and deal more attractive to buyers is to offer things or terms that might sweeten the pot. For example, sellers that offer the buyer a couple of thousand dollars credit toward closing costs, or offer to pay closing costs entirely will in some cases receive more attention from house hunters looking at similar homes. In a down market, buyers are looking for a deal, so do your best to make them feel they're getting one.Another tip is to offer a transferable home warranty, which can cost $300 to $400 for a one-year policy and will cover appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, that fail. Depending on the policy, other appliances and house gadgets may be covered as well. A potential buyer may feel more at ease knowing that he or she will be covered against such problems, which could make your home more attractive than a competing home.Finally, it's important to note that some buyers are motivated by the option to close in a short amount of time. If it is possible for you to close on the home within 30 to 60 days, this may set your deal apart and get you a contract.
Improve Curb Appeal
Sellers often overlook the importance of their home's curb appeal. The first thing a buyer sees is a home's external appearance and the way it fits into the surrounding neighborhood. Try to make certain that the exterior has a fresh coat of paint, and that the bushes and lawn are well manicured. In real estate, appearances mean a lot. What better way to set your home apart than to make it attractive at first glance?
Get Your Home in "Move In" Condition
Aesthetics are important, but it's also important that doors, appliances and electrical and plumbing fixtures be in compliance with current building codes and in working order. Again, the idea is to have the home in move in condition and to give potential buyers the impression that they will be able to move right in and start enjoying their new home, rather than spending time and money fixing it up.
Pricing It Right
Regardless of how well you renovate and stage your home, it is still important to price the home appropriately. Consult with K&J Property Services read the newspapers and go to online real estate sites to see what comparable homes are going for in your area.It's not always imperative to be the lowest priced home on the block, particularly when aesthetic and other significant improvements have been made. However, it is important that the listing price is not out of line with other comparable homes in the market. Try to put yourself in the buyer's shoes and then determine what a fair price might be. Have friends, neighbors and K&J Property Services tour the home and weigh in as well.
The Bottom Line
Selling a home in a down market requires a little extra work. Do everything you can to get the home in excellent shape and be prepared to make some small concessions at closing. These tips, coupled with an attractive price, will increase the odds of getting your home sold.

Real Estate tips for everyone!

  1. First-time homebuyers: Get that starter home now And we mean now!
    More than half of the home sales (52 percent) in 2017 are expected to be to first-time buyers, and mostly to the millennial set (19 to 34 years old), many moving from urban rentals, research by the National Association of Realtors shows. That means competition - and bidding wars - could become fierce through the rest of the year for such "starters" in desirable areas. While there'll be less inventory this winter, there'll also be less competition per unit and a higher percent of motivated sellers. Before you shop for homes, check out our best mortgage options.
  2. Buyers: There's more loan money out there
    Those who couldn't get mortgages during the downturn because they didn't have 20 percent to put down can find affordable financing again. Borrowers with FICO scores as low as 690 are now getting conforming mortgage loans (those under $417,000). One telling sign: About two-thirds of mortgage refinancers were getting approved in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to just one-half of those at the end of 2014. However, borrowers without a 20 percent down payment will still pay private mortgage insurance, or PMI, until they hit the 20 percent to 25 percent equity mark. The best rates go to those with 800-plus credit scores, though 750-plussers are getting virtually the same terms. Check your credit score for free at myBankrate. Unfortunately, those seductive interest-only loans are also on the menu again. Avoid them. They're affordable at first since you're not paying principal, but then years later, well... see the Great Recession of 2008.
  3. Sellers: It may be a seller's market but...
    Home sellers can do several simple things to enhance appearance, increase buyer interest and boost their home's profile:
    • Renew selectively: Instead of wholesale renovations from which sellers recoup maybe 60 percent on investment, do light makeovers everywhere, with an eye on the kitchen and bathrooms. They're far more cost-effective.
    • Clean, clean and clean some more: It's hard for buyers to picture themselves living in a dirty house. Scrub floors, baths, kitchens, windows and walls, and be sure to clean, vacuum and deodorize rugs. This is simple but effective.
    • Depersonalize, declutter: Show the space, not the contents. Box up family photos, kids' school papers and excess art, and store bulky and worn furniture. Organize your closets to make them look half empty.
    • Illuminate: Think bright and cheery. Open drapes and add brighter light bulbs in dark areas. Repaint where needed but use neutral colors.

  4. Renters: It might be time to buy
    In many cases, rents are rising faster than home values, yet mortgage rates remain low. That, and the fact that renters now account for 37 percent of households (the highest level in 50 years), seem to indicate an imminent coming-out party for renters-turned-buyers, especially if they plan to stay put for five to 10 years after buying. Check out a buy-versus-rent calculator like Bankrate's to compare affordability. Looking to stay in your house and not sell? Find the best refi rates now.
  5. If you're a buyer, don't believe the house is yours
    Don't bank on a done deal or other verbal promises from listing agents until you sign a contract. In heated markets across the country, sales agents are giving buyers false hope and using their offers to bid up the price for preferred buyers who they think can pay more and close faster. Have other homes in mind. Strategies such as preapproval (versus prequalification), proof of funding, closing flexibility and the always-risky practice of waiving inspection and repair contingencies can help sway buyers. For added clout, tell sellers you're willing to "escalate," or exceed all offers to a certain limit. Some agents even advise buyers to write so-called "love letters" to sellers, telling them how much the home will mean to their families.
  6. Sellers: The grass is always greener...
    ... in yards with a "sold" sign. Major presale upgrades typically aren't needed, but a little greening outdoors is a must. Surveys show that strong curb appeal can increase prices by 10 percent or more. Greener grass, whether derived from new sod or fertilizer and water, is a must. New shrubs, plantings and flowers also project a welcoming feel. Sellers typically enjoy a 100 percent return on the money they put into curb appeal. Another form of green, sustainable landscaping has become a value-add for buyers. Native plants, native grasses and perennials that require less water and attention fill that bill. Do some local research or ask your local home-and-garden pro for simple "greening" tips.
  7. Sellers and buyers: Know the state of your market
    A balanced housing market is defined as one with an average inventory of 6.5 months, according to Texas A&M University Real Estate Center research. When inventory remains below equilibrium, sellers enjoy more control over prices and terms, and the area becomes a seller's market. When inventory lingers well above stasis, you have a buyer's market where sellers must get more serious about price reductions, credits and throw-ins. Of course, these averages don't necessarily reflect demand in certain desirable and undesirable submarkets. Go to for such market home sales data by state or to a local agent, business journal and daily newspaper you can read online. In 2016, the U.S. housing inventory average was under five months.
  8. Sellers: House going on sale in the spring?
    Do some prep work now. First, grab your camera or smartphone and do an exterior autumn photo shoot, with the leaves changing colors. It's a much better way to showcase your home than to wait until late winter when everything is still dead and brown and mucky. Also take some landscape shots after the first snow, ideally on a sunny day, to show how cozy your place looks in winter. Take a preliminary inventory, too. Look through your attic, closets, basement and garage to see what stored items you'll want to keep, give away or sell in the spring. This will help you determine whether you'll need a storage unit when your home is on the market and if there are any problem areas that need repairs or attention. It's also a good time to start discussing financing options with a local lender and interview prospective listing agents who also might provide additional preparation tips.
  9. Buyers: Relocating near a waterfront?
    You'd best consider weather and insurance realities. Major hurricanes and floods of the past dozen years have pushed the National Flood Insurance Program into a $23 billion hole, forcing flood-insurance rates to spiral. FEMA flood-map changes are aggressively expanding flood zones, especially along the East Coast and Gulf Coast, forcing hundreds of thousands of homeowners to buy flood insurance for the first time and others to pay thousands more annually. Parts of Florida saw 20 percent increases in 2016 and will likely see similar hikes through the end of 2017. Insurers also are imposing coverage caps so there's no guarantee you'll be made whole post-catastrophe. Some home sellers and their agents are conveniently not disclosing these realities, so buyers will have to ask pointed questions and do their own research. Go to for more info.
  10. Renters: It might be time to buy
    In many cases, rents are rising faster than home values, yet mortgage rates remain low. That, and the fact that renters now account for 37 percent of households (the highest level in 50 years), seem to indicate an imminent coming-out party for renters-turned-buyers, especially if they plan to stay put for five to 10 years after buying. Check out a buy-versus-rent calculator like Bankrate's to compare affordability. Looking to stay in your house and not sell? Find the best refi rates now.