Don’t Deal with Unrepresented Homebuyers

To some people, the idea of paying third parties to find you a home, close the sale, and later, help you sell your home, seems like a formality they can live without. But there are many more jobs your agent performs for you, and the most important is your protection.

When your home is listed with your real estate professional, it’s marketed worldwide, including to other real estate professionals.  The first place it’s listed is in the multiple listing service, which has compensation rules that allow other licensed professionals to bring their qualified homebuyers to see your home. If your home sells under contract, they’re compensated by your real estate professional.

The reason this system has worked so well for decades is that the only homebuyers who will see your home are motivated, understand the process, are willing to take the appropriate steps, and are ready to buy.

Unrepresented homebuyers may come to your door and ask to see your home, but beware. They think your listed home is an open invitation to look around. Other buyers simply aren’t quite ready to buy, or they’d have their own real estate professional. Whatever their reasons, they’re strangers who haven’t been vetted and shouldn’t cross your threshold.

It’s best not to discuss your home, your reasons for selling, or provide other information to unrepresented buyers. Instead, direct them to your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kansas City Realty professional. They’re trained to help both buyers and sellers.

For more home tips, follow us on Facebook. Looking for a new home in the Kansas City area? Visit us at BHHSKCRealty.com!

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It’s Okay to Buy and Sell Around the Holidays

Homes for the Holidays - Banner

Once upon a time, real estate was thought to slow down as the new year approached, giving way to hot cocoa and flurries of snow. These days, we know better, and when winter comes around, it’s also the time to buy or sell your house. So, grab your mug, sit down by a fire and find out why now is the season of homes for the holidays:

1. Twinkling with holiday lights, your house will shine bright to eager buyers looking for their perfect home.

2. Temperature isn’t the only thing dropping this winter; mortgage rates are near historic lows.

3. Homes are new beginnings for buyers and sellers. When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, sellers will want to start fresh and buyers will want to be all settled into their new home.

4. Tax benefits are the ultimate holiday gifts for both buyers and sellers who close before the end of the year. (See your tax advisor for more details and the best advice to take advantage of a transaction that takes place before December 31.)

5.Serious buyers are out. Your home won’t be subject to casual window shoppers, (they’re too busy at the mall or on their computer searching for holiday gifts).

6. Buyers have extra time off from work, which means more hours in their day to search for a home.

7. January is typically the month when employees are transferred to new positions. To capture these buyers, your home must be on the market now because they often can’t wait until spring.

Contact us to learn more! Or, print this information to share with a friend.

For more home tips, follow us on Facebook. Looking for a new home in the Kansas City area? Visit us at BHHSKCRealty.com!

How to handle the holidays

The holidays are here and you’re in the middle of trying to sell your home. Your family is still expecting a big holiday season, so how are you going to sell your home while you do all the extra shopping, cooking, decorating and entertaining?

Remember: No one should expect you to take on so much, so it’s OK to handle what you can and delegate or eliminate what you don’t want to do.

Here’s how you can use the holidays to your advantage:

Decorate just a dot. Put out a few family favorites to show how lovely your home can be for the holidays but box up the remaining decorations for the movers. If you get an offer on your home, you’ll only have a few festive things to take down and pack up.

Delegate the dinner. Someone else can host the big family dinner while you bring a dish instead. You’ll have more time for decluttering and packing and keeping your home tidy for showings.

Dash to a destination. This is the year to take the kids to see their grandparents, go on a ski vacation, or head to the beach for the holidays. Have fun and leave the home selling to your BHHS KC Realty agent.

As you strive to keep everyone happy during the holiday season, take time for yourself, too. Your only job should be to make showings easy for professionals to sell your home. It’s a bonus if you’ve made the holidays easier for your family, too.

For more home tips, follow us on Facebook. Looking for a new home in the Kansas City area? Visit us at BHHSKCRealty.com!

Does Your Home Have An Odor?

You’ve worked hard to get your home ready to sell. You’ve cleaned, decluttered and painted. But there’s still one more thing you need to do – make certain your home smells great for every showing.

Here are four things to keep in mind to ensure your house smells fresh and clean for potential buyers:

Stuffiness. Energy-efficient homes lock in odors. Open the windows and air out stale, musty rooms. Steam clean carpets and curtains, wash all bedding, and store stinky athletic gear and out-of-season clothing and shoes away.

Pets. From goldfish to iguanas to cats and dogs, all pets produce odors. Dogs need baths, and most need brushing. Cat boxes need daily scooping. Animal cages need constant cleaning. Steam clean all fabric surfaces where pets sleep and play with their toys.

Food odors.  If you love foods like garlic, cabbage and fish, your kitchen holds odors, too. Clean your oven, burners, sink drains, and any other equipment that may carry odors. Grind up a lemon in the disposal and let the water flow. Clean out the refrigerator.

Mold and mildew. If you can smell moisture, it will soon turn worse. Check pipes and floors for leaks. Toxic mold can grow anywhere that contains cellulose, poor light, and low air circulation. Replace cloudy shower curtains and wash towels frequently. Replace cleaning and dish sponges with fresh scrubbing tools.

To keep your home showing-ready, wash dirty clothes and bed linens frequently. Take baby diapers and other disposables to the outside trash every day.

A good rule of thumb is – if you can’t remember when you cleaned it last, clean it now.

For more home tips, follow us on Facebook. Looking for a new home in the Kansas City area? Visit us at BHHSKCRealty.com!

Are You Really Ready to Sell?

If you find yourself saying any of the following to your BHHS KCRealty agent, you may be hurting your chances of selling your home quickly and for the most money possible.

“I’m not making any repairs.” According to the 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report from the National Association of REALTORS®, 47 percent of buyers under the age of 37 purchased new homes to avoid renovations and problems. If many buyers don’t have the will, skill or time to make repairs, you’re eliminating a number of buyers who would otherwise love your home.

“My home has to be worth more than that.” You may believe your home should be worth more than you paid for it and provide you with enough equity to move. Your listing agent will supply you with tools to understand current market value. The comparable market analysis shows what homes have recently sold for and what other sellers are asking for similar homes as yours, as well as price and sales trends.

“Let’s price it higher and see what happens.” Pricing above comparable homes is a real risk. You’ll outprice buyers who would want your home. Buyers who can afford your home will quickly find that your home doesn’t compare to others.

In any of these cases, you’ll be looking at a price adjustment, and have lost valuable marketing time. Realistically, your home is only worth what the most qualified buyer is willing to pay for your home.

For more home tips, follow us on Facebook. Looking for a new home in the Kansas City area? Visit us at BHHSKCRealty.com!

Market Conditions Matter

3676131.largeMarket conditions are like a weather report; they show you what to expect so you can make plans, pick your listing price and decide on your marketing strategy.

One thing is certain: Markets are either going up or they’re going down, so as conditions change, you need to know the long and short-term trends. If the market is heating up, you can ask a little more for your home. If it’s cooling off, you may need to lower your price to attract buyers.

So, how are buyers behaving? Are they making multiple offers and paying over list price? Or are they sitting on the sidelines, looking but not making offers? The answers tell you if you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market.

seller’s market is characterized by confident buyers, rising prices, short “days on market”, supply levels of less than six months on hand, and offers close to full price, at full price or above list price offers.

buyer’s market is characterized by fearful buyers, longer “days on market,” inventory supply levels of six months or more, and low offers. To get buyers to come in from out of the storm, sellers must offer incentives such as seller-paid closing costs or throw in the refrigerator, washer, and dryer.

To find out where your market stands, go over the Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) that your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices professional provides you. Using this knowledge, you can price your home to sell quickly, and for the most money possible.

All About Contingencies

As you browse listings on BHHSKCRealty.com, you may find homes you like that appear to be unavailable, due to some kind of contingency. If you find the perfect home, but it’s labeled Contingent, should you pursue it or forget it?

The reality is that contracts fall through sometimes. If you have a back-up contract, you can buy the home should it come “Back on Market” or “BOM.”

Contingency
Nearly all offers-to-buy have contingencies. Typical contingencies include provisions that the home must meet the appraised value by the mortgage lender’s third-party appraiser, or it must pass a professional third-party home inspection to the buyer’s satisfaction. The buyer may make the contract contingent upon the lender funding the purchase.

Option period
Option periods give the buyer time to get financing and complete home inspections and the appraisal. Unless the buyer acts on a contingency, the home is considered out of option but it can still fall out of escrow.

To learn more, contact your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional.

For more home tips, follow us on Facebook. Looking for a new home in the Kansas City area? Visit us at BHHSKCRealty.com!