Steve Warren, Realtor®'s Blog
Believe it or not, a home listing may make or break your ability to sell your residence. If your initial home listing fails to stir up interest from property buyers, there is no need to stress. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to bolster a house listing.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you transform an ordinary home listing into an exceptional one.
1. Include High-Quality Home Images
High-quality images that showcase your home's kitchen, bathrooms and other areas could help you differentiate your residence from other available properties. Perhaps most important, these images may make it easy for property buyers to fall in love with your house – something that could lead to many home showings in the near future.
If you plan to take photographs for a home listing, it is important to clean your residence and remove clutter in advance. That way, you can use images to showcase the true size and beauty of your house.
Also, if you need help with photographing your house, you may want to hire a real estate photographer. This professional can help you capture top-notch images of your home that you can instantly incorporate into your house listing.
2. Provide Accurate Information About Your Home
A home is a major investment, and as such, you should strive to provide buyers with as much information as possible about your residence. By doing so, you can make it simple for a buyer to determine whether your residence is the right choice.
Oftentimes, it helps to include room measurements, information about recent home upgrades and other relevant details about your residence in a property listing. Consider the buyer's perspective, and you may be better equipped than ever before to include home details that could help you differentiate your residence from the competition.
3. Be Honest with Property Buyers
There is no need to stretch the truth in a home listing, and doing so may do more harm than good as you try to sell your house. Instead, be honest, and you can craft an effective house listing that hits the mark with the right groups of buyers.
Lastly, as you search for ways to improve your home listing, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional will help you navigate all stages of the property selling journey and ensure you can achieve your desired home selling results.
A real estate agent will learn about you and your home and help you put together an engaging and informative house listing. Then, he or she will host home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you review this proposal and determine the best course of action.
Eliminate the guesswork associated with preparing an effective home listing and other property selling tasks – hire a real estate agent today, and you can get the help you need to streamline the home selling journey.
There are basically three types of clutter that tend to emerge in most homes, and it usually gets worse as time goes on.
Homeowners often get so used to their own clutter, that it becomes virtually invisible to them.
That's one of the reasons it can be extremely helpful to work with a real estate agent when preparing your home for sale. Not only can an experienced agent provide an objective point of view, but most agents have a trained eye that can spot unsightly clutter "a mile away"!
There are several reasons household clutter is an issue when trying to stage a home for sale. First of all, it's an eyesore. It makes your home look less inviting to prospect buyers, and, in many cases, in makes rooms look smaller. Clutter also makes it more difficult to keep surfaces and floors clean, which is one of the cardinal rules of effectively staging a home.
Three Types of Clutter to Target
There's a delicate balance between having just enough --or too many -- items on countertops and tables. In most cases, it's too much! You're usually better off "erring on the side of sparseness," rather than the other way around. Unless something serves either a decorative or functional purpose (preferably both), it probably should be stored away in a drawer or cabinet. If it weren't for the fact that buyers typically look in closets when touring a home, then that would be an obvious place to hide clutter. However, that's sure to make a bad impression.
When you think of the word "clutter," what's the first thing that comes to mind? A typical mental image is that of a room crowded with too much furniture. That's a common problem with improperly staged homes, and it's a surefire way to send prospective buyers scurrying -- ones who might have otherwise made an offer. Cluttered rooms look smaller, messy, disorganized, and -- in some cases -- chaotic. None of those characteristics are going to create a good feeling in people's minds, which is a primary objective when showing a home to potential buyers.
The third type of clutter, which is also pretty typical, is wall clutter -- specifically: too many paintings, photos, art prints, posters, wall clocks, and other miscellaneous objects which make the walls look "too busy"! For some home sellers, this can be the most difficult aspect of visual clutter to fix because there's an emotional connection to family photographs, children's drawings, and so on.
If you're torn between what to display and what to hide, your real estate agent can be the best source of objective, unbiased advice. In many cases, "less is more," but it pays to get a professional opinion!
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Paying off a mortgage early is a dream of many homeowners. By making larger payments on your home loan, you can cut years off of your loan term and save thousands of dollars in interest payments that you can use toward savings or investments. But in an economy that has seen decades of wage stagnation and increasing costs of living, it can often seem like an unattainable goal.
With some planning and initiative, however, there are ways to pay off your home loan before your term limit.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about three of the ways you can start paying off your mortgage early to avoid high interest payments and save yourself money along the way.
1. Refinance your mortgage
If you’re considering making larger payments on your mortgage, it might make sense to look at refinancing options. Most Americans take out 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages.
If you can afford to significantly increase your mortgage payments each month, you could refinance to a 15-year mortgage. This will save you on the number of interest payments you’ll have to make over the years. But, it will also help you secure a lower interest rate since shorter term mortgages typically come with lower interest rates.
This option isn’t for everyone. First, refinancing comes with fees you’ll have to pay for upfront. You’ll have to apply for refinancing, get an appraisal of your home, and wait for the decision to be made.
But, you’ll also have to ensure that you can keep up with your higher monthly payments. If your income is variable or undependable, it might not be the safest option to refinance to a shorter term mortgage.
2. Make extra payments
An option that entails less risk than refinancing is to simply increase your monthly payments. If you recently got a raise or are just reallocating funds to try and tackle your mortgage, this is an excellent option.
Depending on your mortgage lender, you may be able to simple increase your auto-pay amounts each month, streamlining the process. Otherwise, it’s possible to set up bill-pay with most banks to automatically transfer funds to your lender.
3. Bi-weekly payments or one extra payment per year
Making bi-weekly instead of monthly payments is an option that many homeowners use to pay off their mortgages early. Bi-weekly payments work by paying half of your monthly payment once every two weeks.
The vast majority of homeowners make 12 monthly payments per year. But by switching to 26 bi-weekly payments, you can effectively make 13 full monthly payments in a year without seeing too much of a difference in your daily budget.
This doesn’t seem like much savings in the short term, but let’s take a look at how much you could save over the term of a 30-year mortgage.
On a 30-year fixed mortgage of $200,000 with a 4.03 annual interest rate, you would make a monthly payment of $958.00 and a bi-weekly payment of $479.
Over 30 years of an extra monthly payment, you could save nearly $20,000 on the total interest amount and pay off your mortgage almost 5 years early.