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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.

Why Is the Negotiation Gap So Important In Pricing Your Home?


When pricing your home, it’s important that you stay within the negotiation gap. If you don’t, you could lose out on a lot of money.


What effect does low inventory and high demand have on pricing in our market? The short answer is it allows you to get a higher sale price for your house than you would’ve been able to last year.

There’s something I want to caution you about, though. Every single time I sit down with a homeowner and ask how much they want to pad the price of their house to leave room for negotiation, I get the same answer—10%. In this market, the reality is that you only need to pad the price by a little less than 3%. 

If you overshoot your home’s market value by 10% and your margin of error is 3%, that means you’re 7% over the mark. 3% goes into 7% a little more than two times, meaning you’re more than twice your allowable margin of error. If you remember your grade school math when it comes to calculating percentages, you’ll know that twice of what you need translates to 200%.

In other words, you’re more than 200% in excess of your margin of error, or what I call “the negotiation gap.”

If you price your home over the negotiation gap, you’ll likely lose money on its sale.

When you come in with numbers this high, it drives your home’s time on the market way up because you have to keep reducing the price until it’s back within that 3% margin. On top of that, buyers will assume there’s something wrong with your house because it’s been on the market for so long, so you’re bound to get less money for it than if you priced it within the 3% margin to begin with.

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, you won’t be able to draw the competition for your house you need to get a good price if you’re 200% over the margin of error. Even if your house looks like a million bucks, it’ll be too far outside of what buyers expect in terms of price.

You can save yourself this trouble by working with an agent who can figure out the numbers and help you step into the market intelligently. If you’d like to know the math on your home, don’t hesitate to give me a call. I’d be happy to help you.

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.