Tag Archives: selling a home

Making Your Move Light by Rightsizing Your Stuff

Where will we put all of our stuff?”

This is one of the foremost questions on homeowners’ minds when they’re making a move. Whether it’s a relocation from a suburban to a city environment, or downsizing for a more comfortable retirement, “stuff” can cast a big shadow. To lighten the burden before the big day, it can be helpful to “rightsize” for your move far in advance. Not only will rightsizing save you time, money, and energy as you transition to a new home, it can also help you learn how to evaluate what you really need versus what you’ve been hanging onto for no good reason.

If you’ve compared your current floor plan to your new one, you’ve probably already made the determination that some things must go. But how do you winnow the pile? Here’s a set of criteria you can use to rightsize your possessions:

1. Is this right for the weather? If you’ve lived in places with severe winters ansnowballbbq1d you’re heading for a zero-snow climate, recognize what doesn’t fit and let it go.

2. Is this right for the lifestyle? Your massive outdoor grill and patio furniture may be a waste if you’re settling into a city high-rise. The same might even be said of a second car or recreational vehicle.

3. Is this expensive to move? Some items cost more to move than replace. This is especially true if the item forces you to upgrade the size of your moving truck.

4. Is this something I really use? If you’re in a storage space looking at stuff you haven’t touched in six months or a year, you probably don’t need to transport it to your new space. 

5. Is this going to look out of place? Sometimes a new house will make old furnishings and objects seem tacky or trashy. Imagine where you’re going to move it and see if you can do without.mismatched furniture

Once you’ve decided something should go, it’s a simple matter of deciding if it’s a “sell,” “donate,” or “ditch” item. While the income from selling items may be appealing, be sensitive to how much time you have before the move. If time’s short, gifting items to friends, charity, or even the dump is a reasonable way to go.

Ready to look for your rightsized home? Let us help: Barbara & Gregg, The Nicholas Team of RE/MAX VILLAGE SQUARE REALTORS  973-509-2222 ext. 1126   RealEstate@TheNicholasTeEam.com

Undertanding Your Home’s Equity

home equityThe dream of home ownership is about more than just a stable place to live, exempt from the whims and decisions of landlords. For many, home ownership is a piece of the wealth building picture, essential to a future retirement or financial independence. The idea is pretty basic: You purchase a home and pay it down while hoping the value of the home increases over time. Generally speaking, this is what happens over a long enough period of time. (Remember, real estate is meant to be a long term investment.) As you go, you build what’s called “equity.”

 Equity is defined as “the market value of a homeowner’s unencumbered interest in their real property—that is, the sum of the home’s fair market value and the outstanding balance of all liens on the property.” If you were to sell your home and pay off the balance of the mortgage (and any other debts, such as home equity credit lines or liens), the cash you would have leftover is your equity. Your “equity position” changes over time due to a variety of factors.

 As you’ve probably noted, the biggest variable in your home equity position is the home’s true market value. A variety of factors can influence your home’s value, including: Market demand for homes in your area, local amenities, schools, your home’s particular features, upgrades you’ve made, condition issues, and quite a bit more. So how can you tell your equity position?

 First, you need to know what you owe on your home. This is as simple as checking home equity 2your mortgage statement to see what your principle balance is on the loan. This number can differ slightly from your actual payoff amount due to closing dates, interest, and other issues determined during the sale, but generally speaking your principle balance is the number you need to know. If you have any other debt on the home, you need to add the value of this debt to the principle balance. This might include credit lines, liens, or second mortgages, for example.

 Next, you need to know the value of your home. While there are sites such as Zillow and Trulia out there which will tell you what your home’s value is, these “automated valuation models” are generally not very accurate when it comes to your home’s value, as they exclude many crucial factors. Often they come in quite a bit higher. They can, however, give you an idea of general changing trends in your market over time.  Learn more about market values and prices here.

Hiring an appraiser is one way to determine your home’s value from a more bank-like perspective. While an actual sale may be above the appraisal, this thorough, conservative option is a good way to go. The downside? You may have to pay up to $500 for the appraisal.

 Of course, We’re happy to help you get a handle on your home’s current value with a comparative market analysis (CMA). Just get in touch today: THE NICHOLAS TEAM, Barbara & Gregg, realestate@thenicholasteam.com  Office: 973-509-2222 ext. 1126

2016 WINTER BUYING AND SELLING GUIDES AVAILABLE

BuyerSellerGuideSpring2015CoverSpread

The process of buying a home can be overwhelming at times, but you don’t need to go through it alone.

You may be wondering if now is a good time to buy a home…or if interest rates are projected to rise or fall. The free eGuide  for BUYERS or SELLERS will answer many of your questions and likely bring up a few things you didn’t even know you should consider when buying a home.

Don’t Hesitate to Inspect a Home Yourself- Follow Your Inspector, Ask Questions…

Home inspection professionals are trained to spot problems and evaluate a home’s overall condition. While they have a reputation for being ethical and thorough, they are also still human. Sometimes details escape their attention. Its always a good idea to follow the inspector, take notes, ask questions – its a LOT of information to take in…

House_1

If you’re making a major investment in a home, there’s no reason you have to leave 100% of the inspection up to someone else. There are definitely areas you can review for yourself visually; it is best to hire a professional- make sure they are licensed and ask for references. 

 

Before you sign off on a house, don’t neglect to review these commonly overlooked areas:

 

  1. roof8Roof: Yes, inspectors will consider the roof condition, but they probably won’t be on top of the roof when they do it. This is one area where hiring a roofing contractor to take a look can be a major benefit during negotiations.
  1. Fences: You might not think there’s much to inspect here, but replacing a fence is expensive. What looks sturdy on a sunny day can turn into a giant repair after the first storm of the season. This is especially true of wooden fences.
  1. Drains: Fill up tubs and sinks and see how long it takes them to drain. If they’re slow, you’ll want to know why. It could be something as simple as a clog, but what if it’s more?
  1. masonry_inspection_serviceFireplaces: Home inspectors will often give these the once-over, but they sure aren’t going to light a fire. If you can, make sure these operate as expected. It’s also a good idea to find out when the chimney was last cleaned and who the owner uses to maintain it.
  1. Heating/Cooling: The time of year might impact how thorough an inspector is with the heating and cooling system. After all, who’s likely to really run the A/C in the winter or the heat in the summer? With such a big ticket item, you want to be certain it performs as expected.

Pricing is directly tied to a home’s condition, so don’t overlook the opportunity to protect yourself from repair bills. Problems present you with leverage in negotiations.

Ready to hunt for a home in great shape? Let us help you with your search. There are all kinds of properties available right now: Barbara & Gregg, THE NICHOLAS TEAM   realestate@thenicholasteam.com   973-509-2222 ext.1126

Crucial Questions for Seller’s Agents

Odds are the day will come when you need to speak to a real estate agent to help you sell your home. When that day comes, you want to be absolutely sure you have the knowledge you need to choose someone who has the background and skills to represent your interests.

First, you’ll want to work with an agent who represents sellers as the majority of their business. You’ll find that many agents have experience on both the buying and selling side of the situation, but it’s optimal to work with an agent who has dedicated the majority of their time working with sellers.

While rapport is important, it is far from the most important factor. Yes, it is ideal to work with someone you like and someone who will communicate well with you, but there is a much more effective way to sort the amateurs and the pros: The numbers.

But which numbers? Here are some direct questions which will help you compare agent experience and performance:

  1. How many continuous years have you been in real estate?
  1. How many homes did you sell last year working as the seller’s agent?
  1. Of the homes you’ve sold in the past year, what was the average number of days the home was on the market from initial listing date until the final, accepted offer?
  1. Looking at your past 12 months of closed sales, what percentage has the final selling price been compared to the initial listing price?
  1. How much will you charge me to sell my home? What sort of marketing efforts does this cover?
  1. Do you have an assistant to help you sell homes? Are you part of a team?
  1. Are you considered by your company’s owner to be one of the top producers in your office?

These questions may seem somewhat blunt, but full-time agents with a career built on selling homes shouldn’t have a problem answering you to the best of their ability. In fact, I’d be happy to answer them if you’re serious about listing. Contact me today: The Nicholas Team, Barbara P. Hughes and Gregg Nicholas  RE/MAX Village Square REALTORS  realestate@thenicholasteam.com