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Expert Tips for Home Buyers & Sellers

Our mission at The Home Gallery Team is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

What Do You Do With Family Photos During Home Showings?

One important aspect of home staging is removing your family photos. Why? We’ll explore a few reasons why family photos can cause home buyers to pass on your property.

You have probably heard about the importance of staging your home before you put it on the market. Today, I want to focus on one specific aspect of staging: removing your family photos.

Everybody sets up their homes to be attractive and comfortable to live in, but the way we live in a home and the way we sell a home are very different. Of course, you love your family and take pride in your family photos. However, in the eyes of a buyer, family photos are actually a territory marker. 

Like cave paintings, family photos send a subtle message to people. To buyers, that message is, “If you don’t see yourself in these photos, then you don’t belong here.”

It’s very interesting to go through a home with buyers when family photos are out. At the beginning of the showing, everyone is excited and chatting in their normal voices. As we go through the house more and more, they start to bring their voices down and whisper. Why? They feel like they’re in someone else’s den.

Buyers need to be able to envision themselves in your home.

That is not what you want when you are trying to sell your home. You want potential buyers to feel welcome, but family photos make them feel “other.” That is the anthropological psychology behind family photos.

So, box up your family photos before home showings. If you have photos that are hanging up and you think you still need a picture on the wall, here’s a quick tip: slide some kind of neutral magazine clipping or landscape between the glass and the family photo, and then you can leave the frame on the wall.

If you have any other questions about staging your home in order to sell for top dollar, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

What’s Happening in the Fall Market?

In our current market, inventory is down and prices are up. As the weather turns colder, we’ll probably see this trend intensify.

What’s going on right now in the fall market? Let’s take a look at the numbers from the month of September and see how they stack up against September of last year:

  • Inventory has decreased from 2,587 homes to 2,450. 
  • Inventory accumulation—the number of months it would take to sell through the existing inventory—has also decreased from 5.6 months to 4.9 months.
  • The number of settled properties has increased from 524 to 538. 
  • The median sales price has increased from $220,000 to $224,000. 
  • The sales-to-list price ratio has decreased from 94.6% to 94%.

Overall, this information indicates that there is currently more demand than supply. Why is the sales-to-list price ratio going down? Sellers are starting to realize that the market is favoring them, and they’re increasing their asking prices accordingly; however, they may be getting too aggressive, resulting in them giving a little bit more away in negotiations than what they may have originally thought.

The market is favoring sellers.

As we start to enter the colder weather months and we lose time off the daylight clock, you’ll start to see the majority of the home searching activity shift over to the weekends. You should also see fewer homes on the market, which could mean an increase in prices due to the low inventory.

If you have any questions about what’s going on in the market right now, please feel free to email me or give me a call. I look forward to hearing from you!

How to Determine if an Agent Is Right for You

If you’re planning on selling your house, it’s important that you find the right agent to help you sell it.

If you’re selling your house and an agent is trying to buy your listing, they’re simply over-guaranteeing on the sale price in order to convince you to list with them.

This typically happens when multiple agents are competing for the same listing. Sellers have every right to interview multiple agents, but keep in mind that one single agent can’t make the market move. A house will sell for what it’s going to sell for. What’s more, agents who become aware that there is competition for the listing also have a tendency to slant the figures and promise you more of a net payout on the house than what can actually be obtained. They do this knowing that they can always talk you into a price reduction later on.

Don’t listen to the agent’s promises—look at the results.

The question then becomes, how do you avoid this scenario when interviewing multiple agents?

The easiest way is to look at the results. It’s simple enough to look up an agent’s track record and their customer reviews on a site like Zillow. Once you’ve done your research and have begun the interviewing process, be wary of them telling you what you want to hear and trying to buy your listing. Remember—overpriced houses don’t sell.

You can also just choose to withhold the fact that you’re interviewing multiple agents from the agents you’re interviewing. What they don’t know won’t hurt them, and it won’t hurt you, either.

If you have any questions or topics in mind you’d me to address, don’t hesitate to give me a call or shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!