Getting a Fair Home Appraisal

The home appraisal. It’s why so many homebuyer’s sweat bullets during the buying or selling process. The last thing a person wants is to lose a mortgage because of a low appraisal when buying or selling a home. Here are some steps to take for getting a fair appraisal.

While automated valuation websites like Zillow, HomeGain and Trulia are a convenient and quick way of getting a ballpark figure of the worth of homes in certain areas, they shouldn’t be used when you’re buying or selling a home. Websites like these can only give an estimate because the figures are based on a limited amount of information. It’s okay to use websites like these when you’re at the beginning of your home search but turn to professionals when things turn more serious.Continue reading

Attracting Buyers: Increasing Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Spring is the busiest real estate buying season and if your home is on the market you might be a little stressed wanting your home and your “curb appeal” to look amazing. With so much rain and cooler temperatures in the Midwest, it may be tempting to let the outside appearance of your home slide until the warmer and dryer weather comes. Here are some ways for attracting buyers and increasing your homes curb appeal despite the weather.Continue reading

Tips for Showing Your Home to Buyers

Good news. Your real estate agent just called with a buyer who would like to see your house. Trouble is, there’s only so much your real estate agent can do and it’s up to you to make your home as presentable and attractive as possible, with the goal of engaging the buyer emotionally. Here are some tips for showing your home.Continue reading

Getting Ready for Home Appraisal – Part Two

In “Getting Ready for Home Appraisal – Part I” we explored the importance of having the right mindset and having your paperwork in order when it comes to preparing for your home’s appraisal. This week we’ll examine other important ways you can get ready for your home’s appraisal.

A big part of preparing for a home appraisal is having your home in order and the time to have any corrections and repairs made to your home is beforehand. Even if you intend to have repairs made but haven’t had time to complete them, having proof of an estimate or scheduled repair to show the appraiser can work to your advantage. Though you and your family may have lived for months with a leaky faucet, damaged window screens, dead smoke detectors or in rooms with poor paint jobs, leaving these maintenance jobs undone can dent the appraisal value of your home. And don’t underestimate the power of curb appeal. A tidy lawn and clean landscape may be the first impression an appraiser has of your home.Continue reading

Getting Ready for a Home Appraisal – Part One

When the time comes to get ready for a home appraisal it’s important to keep in mind there are factors you can and cannot control. While you can’t control the location of your neighborhood and the value of other homes on your block, you can control what the appraiser sees when he walks up to the front door. Like many things in life, good preparation, careful attention to detail and a dose of fortunate circumstances all play a role in successful home appraisals and there’s a lot you as a homeowner can do to give yourself the best chance for a favorable appraisal. Here are some tips.Continue reading

Increasing Your Home’s Value and Equity

With home values and home equity taking a beating the last five years, many homeowners are left wondering if there is anything they can do to increase the value of their home and their home equity. While there are some ways to increase your home’s value, many cost more than what you’ll gain, especially if you contract out the work. However, if you’re willing and able to do the work yourself, your “sweat equity” can boost the value of your home and increase your home’s equity. Despite the current economy, now is a good time to do home improvements since interest rates are at historic lows and contractors are scrambling for work. Provided you plan to stay in your home for a number of years and you do the right home improvements, you could enhance your home’s value when home prices recover.
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Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

You put your home on the market several months ago but your neighbor’s home sold faster than yours. Why? Because they followed their realtor’s advice, making their home “sparkle.” Realtors know that it takes a lot more than a new roof for buyers to feel comfortable buying a home. When buyers see a well-cared for home, they are often correct that what they can’t see is most likely maintained too. So how do you as a homeowner make your home sparkle? Here are some tips for getting your house ready to sell.
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3 Most Common Mistakes When Selling Your Home

Home is the stage for many of life’s most treasured memories. The front porch is where your husband carried you over the threshold. The living room floor is where your son took his first steps. The weeping willow tree in the back yard is where your daughter posed on her graduation day. Put it all together and it’s easy to see how our homes are literally a member of the family. And when it comes to downsizing, it’s also easy to see how emotionally attached we’ve grown to our homes. Selling our homes is like putting our hearts on a plate and crushing it, especially when potential buyers criticize. But it’s all part of the game. The game of buying and selling houses that is. Buyers want to get the lowest price and sellers want to get the highest price, leaving real estate agents the challenge of getting both parties to meet somewhere in the middle. Emotions can get in the way and prevent home sellers from making good financial decisions. Here are some tips to help home sellers from making costly emotional mistakes.
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