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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.

Don't Underestimate Your Front Door

While the agent opens the lock box, buyers have plenty of time to take in every detail of your entryway.

Statistics show that your front door is actually one of the few places in your home where you can spend money on an update and get a positive return on your cash when you sell. Why is this?

Most homeowners don't even use their front door, preferring the garage door or a side door that's closest to where you park. It's there for show, but it actually gets less attention thanks to how little most homeowners use them. Bugs get into the lamps by your entryway and the glass gets dirty from fingerprints.

When you sell your house though, the agent will usually bring buyers through the front door. Why? Most homes being shown have an electronic lock box on their front door so that these buyers can enter the home in the most picturesque way. They come in the front door that might open to a foyer with the light flowing in and a view to the kitchen.

It's just the best way to enter a home.

While the agent opens the lock box, buyers have plenty of time to take in every detail of your entryway.

Keep in mind that that lock box takes a moment to access. That means the buyer will just be standing there waiting for the Realtor to open the lock box, giving them plenty of time to look at the whole entryway. They'll see all the dead bugs piled up in your lights, the cobwebs around the door, and the dog's nose prints on the glass next to the door. 

You want buyers to come in through the front of the house and form a great first impression, and the best way to do that is by making the entryway look brand new.

If you have any other questions about preparing your home for the market, don't hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I'd be glad to help.

How to Juggle A Home Sale and a Home Purchase

Buying and selling a home at the same time can get tricky. Here’s how you can make the situation easier.

A lot of people have been asking lately how they can buy and sell a home at the same time. How can you get those two transactions to hook together?

Inventory is low right now, so there isn’t much to choose from on the market. This is good news for sellers, but they are still hesitant to put their homes on the market because they aren't sure what they will do when their home sells more quickly than they can buy. There are a few different ways you can manage it.

The first option is buying a home with no contingency. This involves either paying for two mortgages at once, paying cash for your new home, or taking out a home equity line of credit to buy. If you make an offer that isn’t contingent on the sale of your home, those are the offers that sellers will take most seriously.

If that option isn’t feasible for you, the second best option is to have your home already under contract by the time you make an offer. This way, the seller knows that you are a serious buyer, and you already have a buyer for your home. Then you need to develop a plan B.

It could be finding a flexible seller who will allow you to take your time selling your own home. It could also be finding a flexible buyer who will wait for you to make a purchase or let you out of the sale if you can’t. Either way, you should have a temporarily living plan in place as well. Whether it’s living with a family member or in a furnished apartment, it’s good to have a backup situation for every possible scenario.

You always need a plan B.

Another option is to assume you will use temporary living and go into it right away as soon as your house is sold. This will let you buy on your own time and you’ll also be able to buy without that pesky home sale contingency. You can shop at your leisure and there aren't as many logistical concerns.

As a last ditch effort, you could attempt to find a seller who is willing to work with you and be patient. There aren’t many of those in this market, however, because most buyers aren’t asking sellers to do this.

If you don’t fit into any of these scenarios, it will be tough for you to balance things. At the very least, you should get your home on the market before you start looking at homes to buy so you can show sellers that you are serious. Remember, you can always say no to a deal that doesn’t work for you, but you can’t always get a seller to work with you if you don’t have a definite timeline to sell your home.

If you have any questions for us or want us to help you work through the logistics of buying and selling a home, give us a call or send us an email and we would be glad to help. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

How Can Sellers Time Our Spring/Summer Market?

Every year, our spring/summer market goes through two rushes of buyer activity. 

When exactly does the spring/summer market start? When is the best time to enter the spring/summer market?

Houses sell all year long, but what happens in the spring and summer is a large influx of buyers come from a specific demographic: folks who have school-age children. This subsection of buyers produces two rushes of market activity. 

The first rush starts about 45 days before school is out for the summer. Why 45 days? It takes the average buyer about 45 days to get through the underwriting cycle because that’s how long banks usually take to approve a loan. Buyers who want to get their kids settled in at the start of summer will start their home search around mid-April or early May.

The second rush happens 45 days before the first day of school.

The second rush starts about 45 days before school gets back in session. This rush comes from folks who want to spend one last summer in their current home and settle into a new home by the time their kids get back in school.

The spring rush started a couple weeks ago, so we’re still in it right now, and it should climb all the way into July. Other categories of buyers will be here all year long, though, so don’t make the assumption that houses only sell during spring and summer.

If you have any questions about timing the market or are looking to buy or sell a home, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to help.