4 Reasons Homes Sell During the Holidays

by Chuck Roper 17. December 2018 04:33

It may surprise you to learn that the holidays are a good time to sell a home.  Holiday buyers are enthusiastic and emotional; they are serious buyers, less distracted by busy work schedules.  We find that buyers are motivated by the prospect of beginning a new year in a new home.  Consider these reasons:

 

#1. Year-end corporate transfers 

Corporate transferees schedule home buying trips over the holidays.  

 

#2   Buyers have time off work  

The reality is that when work commitments slow down around the holidays, buyers look online.  Holiday buyers have a sense of urgency to write an acceptable offer before the end of the year.    

 

#3   Homes look their best 

There is nothing like an abundance of lights, a fire in the hearth, the smell of fresh pine and a festive atmosphere to make a home look its best.  As long as it’s not overdone, holiday décor makes a house warm and inviting, which appeals to buyer emotions.

 

#4   Less Competition

Inventory is lower over the holidays; sellers face less competition; and serious buyers are quicker to make a strong offer.   

How to Sell a Historic Home

by Chuck Roper 29. November 2018 00:31


For some unique luxury buyers and sellers, the history of a house or property plays an important role in their home search. But, finding a real estate agent who knows how to navigate the historic housing market can be equally as important—if not more. Experienced Janet McAfee luxury real estate agent, Kevin Hurley, shares his advice about how best to sell an historic luxury home.


Is there anything luxury sellers should do before deciding to list?

I think the key for anyone selling a home, and especially an historic home, is to make sure the house is in great condition. Luxury buyers are critical buyers and expect a certain level of condition and presentation.


In the end, luxury homes are significantly different from most listings in that you must make a significant time investment to document the heritage, detail amenities and updates, and address lifestyle considerations.


What are luxury buyers looking for in historic homes?

I mostly list historic homes in the Central West End near Forest Park. There, buyers looking at one-hundred-year-old homes or older are generally looking for architectural integrity. They're looking for homes that have been well-maintained, updated to a certain degree and also enjoy a good location.


The West End that has a limited amount of these unique homes which are impossible to replicate. So, it's a very special buyer—one who likes history but enjoys today’s modern amenities.


What kind of updates are luxury buyers looking for in the Central West End?

Kitchens and bathrooms. More specifically, an updated master bath is typically the first thing on the list. But for the most part, they just want a home that’s in good condition because they’re buying these homes for the historic details and often have the resources to customize the updates.


Tell us about a recent luxury sale that you have made. How did it sell?

First of all, you have to have professional photography because that's how a home is first presented to a potential buyer. Then, it’s important to have good marketing materials, brochures, etc., especially because these are very complicated, extensive listings.


Luckily, I've lived in an historic house in the West End. I’m well-aware of both what people's concerns are and what attracts people in the area. It’s important to counsel potential buyers about those considerations.


Is there anything unique about the way homes in your area sell? How do your clients find you?

I've lived in the West End for 40 years.  I have a network of agents who regularly call to ask questions about my listed homes and see if there is anything else coming up. I place print advertising in the West End Word, I promote my listings on social media and I send out postcards of newly-listed and just sold properties. This helps solidify my reputation in an area.


I have former neighbors who refer me to clients with interests in the area. I am lucky because I've been in that specific area for quite some time which helps because I can keep my eye out and reach out to people when I know something’s coming up.



Are you looking to buy or sell a luxury home? At, Janet McAfee our real estate agents are seasoned experts in selling luxury homes. From how to research the value and market your home to helping stage for specific buyers, our luxury clients truly reap the rewards of working with a Janet McAfee agent—and you can, too!

Is the Market Heating Up?

by Chuck Roper 25. June 2018 06:54

Is the real estate market as HOT as our temperatures have been?  Every month, we monitor key statistics for all homes in our MLS as well as specific geographies.  Here’s a snapshot of all homes in the MLS this year through May 31, 2018 compared to last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closed Sales Dollar Volume          Up 6.5% 

Average Sold Price                       Up 4.3%

 

Average Days on Market               Down 3.6%

% List Price to Sale Price              Up .4%

 

New Listings                                Up 1.2%

Available Listings                         Down 3.6%

 

Our collection of fine listings has never been better. 

 

Janet Horlacher

7 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a Spring Market

by Chuck Roper 8. February 2018 03:25

Spring is right around the corner, and if you’re planning on putting your house on the market this season, it’s certainly not too early to be giving some thought to preparing your home for buyers. Spring is the optimum time to sell your home. Regardless of whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market, there is almost always a rise in demand during the months of April, May and June. Of course, increased demand also means increased competition, so chances are you’ll need to do some sprucing up to stay in the running. Read on for seven helpful tips on how to prepare your home for a spring showing.    

1. Stage Your Home

“Home staging” refers to arranging furniture so as to maximize feelings of space and light with an aesthetic eye as to how each room should flow into another. Yes, this means stowing away your pile of magazines or unpaid bills in the hopes of presenting a fantasy version of your home for buyers. If your personal decor isn’t cutting it, you can transfer your belongings into storage and rent furniture and artwork from a home staging company on a monthly basis.

2. Wash Windows & Mirrors

When cleaning your home, remember the phrase “sparkle sells.” A potential buyer may not realize why your home seems so inviting, but if your windows are spotless inside and out and your mirrors clearly reflect the sun, they’ll want to stay all afternoon! So let in the spring sunshine with the help of a bottle of Windex to impress home buyers.

3. Eliminate Odors

As much as we may not like to admit it, we all have unpleasant odors that plague our home from time to time, and nothing will make a potential buyer want to walk out the door than a bad smell in the kitchen, bathroom or living room. However, don’t take the easy way out and simply mask odors with air fresheners, which can be overwhelming and cause allergies. Rather include fresh flowers throughout your home, spice up the kitchen with the scent of boiled cinnamon, or freshen up the bathroom with some eucalyptus.

4. Paint Your Walls

While you may be in love with your seafoam green walls in the kitchen and bathroom, chances are it may be too specific for today’s buyer. The truth is that most buyers prefer to see a blank canvas where they can inject their own personality. Why not select a neutral base color and extend it to all rooms on the same floor? You are making your home appeal to the largest possible audience.

5. Clean or Replace Flooring

Damage to floors and carpeting over the years is unavoidable, and those stains, scratches and cracks will be apparent to potential buyers. Prevent this by cleaning or replacing flooring throughout your home. Carpets should be shampooed and treated for stains, while hardwoods should be swept and mopped until sparkling clean. Any flooring permanently stained or damaged should be replaced, or at the very least refinished.

6. Yardwork

Prepping your home for buyers means cleaning both inside and out. Rake up dead leaves and other debris in your yard, and don’t let overground vegetation block windows or a pathway to the entrance. Trimming bushes and trees will allow more sunlight to shine into your home, and artfully cut lawns will tell buyers to pay attention to small details inside. Remember, the exterior of your home is the first impression buyers will have.

7. Snacks and Drinks

Touring homes all day makes buyers hungry. What better way to make a positive impression than by providing snacks and drinks for guests? Set out crackers and cheese or a plate of your homemade cookies, then place a couple dozen water bottles in the sink filled with ice. Giving refreshments for guests will allow them to spend more time in your kitchen, and marvel at how beautiful it is!

Selling your home can be a stressful process for buyers and sellers alike. Deep cleaning your home will inevitably force you to adapt your aesthetic preferences to sell to a wider audience and sacrifice personal touches you’ve included over the years, but it’s important to keep the bigger picture in mind. Follow the above tips to get your home looking amazing for spring showings and watch your listing sell quickly and at a great price!

Need help with listing your home for sale? Contact Janet McAfee Real Estate today for over three decades of buying and selling experience!

 

 

6 Steps for a Smooth Appraisal

by Chuck Roper 23. August 2017 10:09

We have an expression in real estate “you need to sell your home twice; first to the home buyer and second to the appraiser.”  These days, most sale contracts contain a finance contingency or an appraisal contingency or both.  If the home doesn’t appraise for the contract price, the seller may be in a position of lowering the price or letting the deal die.  Both are painful alternatives, especially after a willing, able and qualified buyer has been procured.

 

Here are steps your Realtor can take to make sure the appraisal process goes smoothly:

 

1.       Treat the Appraiser’s Appointment like a Property Viewing  – Turn on all the lights, play classical music on the home’s internal audio system, play a movie on mute in the home theatre and have the pool fountains flowing.  Treat the appraiser’s visit like a showing; present the home in its best possible light with all amenities in full viewing.

 

2.       Provide Access to All Rooms – The appraiser needs to view all floors and measure the home.  A locked room prevents the appraiser from doing his/her job and will likely necessitate a return trip.

 

3.       Provide a Special Features Sheet and Improvements List – The appraiser is comparing the home to “comparable sales,” but there may be additions, updates, improvements and other amenities which make the home more valuable than the others.  Those upgrades may not be visible upon a cursory view, so it’s important to put them in writing and provide the list to the appraiser.

 

4.       Give your CMA to the Appraiser – More information is helpful to the appraiser.  Provide the comparable sales analysis which was used to price the home.  Inform the appraiser if you received competitive offers and if they had escalation clauses.  The appraiser will consider all relevant information.

 

5.       Complete All Repairs Prior to Appraiser’s Visit – If the sale contract calls for repairs to be made, complete them prior to the appointment.  They can impact the value of the home and necessitate a return visit by the appraiser.

 

6.       Keep Pets Away – Man’s best friend is not a friend to the appraiser, even if he/she is a pet lover.  The pet can be a distraction or an annoyance.  You don’t want your appraiser to leave the premises early because they are afraid of your pets.

 

Janet Horlacher

 

Principal, Janet McAfee Real Estate

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Home Selling Tips | Selling Your Home

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