Take Me Out to the Ball Game….

I know it’s hard to believe with all of the snow on the ground and freezing temperatures but baseball season littleleagueplayeris right around the corner.  In fact the registration days for Pendleton Jr baseball and softball are Feb 9th and 19th from 9 am-5 pm at the Falls Park Community Building.  You can pay with cash, check, or credit card.  This is a great way to get involved in the community, keep your kids and family active, and enjoy all the ball park has to offer.  I can’t think of a better way to spend some of my evening than sitting watching my kids play baseball, eating nacho’s, and enjoying a nice summer night.  Remember kids must be at least 5 by 4/30/13 (exceptions will be made for 4 year olds entering kindergarten.)  So don’t miss this years registration and an opportunity to get involved! Play Ball!!!

Spring home market 2013…are you ready???

The buzz right now is that is spring housing market is going to be dynamic one! 2013 is predicted to be the best year for sellers since 2005. With historically low borrowing rates and a relatively stable economy it seems like a pretty good time to sell.  Here are some thoughts to consider before you put your home on the market, which I’m hoping will help in the planning and timeline of your home selling process:

Hire a trusted, experienced Realtor. (Full disclosure: I am one.). A great agent is worth the commission, which, after all, is built into the market pricing and can be viewed as paid for half by buyers and half by sellers. Good agents know how to market and price a house, have been in most of the comparables, know the other agents in and around Pendleton, and should be able to offer valuable insider information. You should plan to interview at least three candidates. Don’t make decisions based purely on what listing price suggestions they give you. Hire a straight shooter. Ask to see references and their sales data. Pay close attention to the ratio between the original list prices and sale prices of their listings, as well as the average days on the market for their listing history. Don’t be quick to blame the agent for one or two overpriced houses, as the prices are ultimately set by the sellers. The market data will tell them and you where the house should be priced. Whoever you hire should be guiding you through the preparation process, including most of the below suggestions.

Hire an agent that uses a professional photographer. Look at their marketing materials for other houses. Are the photos good enough to be in a magazine? They should be pretty close to it. Don’t let them go for quantity over quality. Lighting and staging is so important. You may need to hide or store some of your furnishings. Less is more! Buyers need to visualize themselves living in your space. Make sure the rooms are neutral/de-personalized.

Does the agent write decent marketing copy? Are their materials clean and professional, or are they cheesy and fluffy? For example, are their head shots more prominent than photos of your house? Marketing copy is vital to positioning your home above the competition.

Listen to your agent when they give suggestions on how to prepare your house for the market. Try as hard as you can to look at your house with objective eyes, I know this can be hard for some. Go see other houses on the market in the price range that you will be competing with. Try to look at them as a buyer with “X” amount of dollars to spend. Don’t justify a premium on your house; instead try to figure out why a buyer might look for reasons not to buy your house versus the others. Your agent should be tactful and honest. You are hiring the agent as an impartial set of eyes and a trusted adviser to SELL your house.

Your agent is your marketing team & head of sales. Your agent is there to get you the highest possible price, with the best conditions, in the shortest amount of time. Your house is now a new product being launched. Your agent is the marketing team and the head of sales. The rest of the agents in the market place are the sales force. My job, as your agent is to educate and motivate the sales force. It’s my job to feed the sales force the positives of the house and the great price vs. the competition.

Prep your home so that it’s the best bang for the buck! You have to put your best foot forward. This could mean as little as dusting off your high-end furniture. But more likely you will need to at least de-personalize, de-clutter, clean, put extra stuff in storage, and do some touch-up painting. It’s typical to spend a few hundred or thousand dollars to do some more major painting. It is the best money spent, hands down. Paint hides age, it refreshes, it modernizes, cleans.

Boost your curb appeal. Weed, manicure, rip out overgrown shrubs, and lay down some dark mulch for a finished, landscaped look. Make sure there is no peeling paint or crumbled masonry around the entrance. The small over looked maintenance items on the outside of the home can actually detour a buyer from scheduling a showing or even entering the home after an appt is set. The exterior condition portrays to a buyer the overall upkeep and showmanship of the home. Make the outside look its best!

Pre-marketing/pre-listing home inspection. I encourage all my sellers to invest a few hundred dollars up front to have their homes professionally inspected BEFORE listing it. This gives homeowners the opportunity to make the repairs before buyers tour it. It’s a great marketing tool, as buyers love the peace of mind knowing the home has been given a “clean bill of health” and there will be no future worries during the pending to close process. If you have been lax about maintenance, and chose to sell the home AS IS, by not making recommended repairs any issues discovered before or during the listing period must be disclosed to prospective buyers. Be prepared to price the house accordingly (below market value) or prepare yourself to have re-negotiate price when the buyer’s inspector uncovers problems.

Sunday Benefit for Van the Man

Aside

Sometimes courage comes in the smallest of packages and there is no better example than the amazing Van vanthemanGreen.  For those of you who don’t know he is a four year old little boy here in town who is battling brain cancer.  His smile is contagious and his energy is infectious.  He has truly been an inspiration for not only his parents, friends, and family but for other sick children he has met throughout his treatment.  Unfortunately these life saving treatments don’t come cheap and the financial strain is mounting for his supportive parents.  There has been a benefit organized to help raise money and in turn hopefully spirits for all of those effected. The benefit will be this Sunday at the Bridge Church located behind Mounds Mall. For only $7.00 you will get a chicken noodle dinner as well as a concert after the dinner. Van’s dad Lukas will be performing in the concert as well! The dinner starts at 4:00 with the concert at 6. Even if you can’t make the benefit stop in at Clip Zone in Anderson to buy a Van the Man t-shirt! Every little bit helps! This is a perfect way to give back to a very deserving family and have a great family friendly fun day!

Looking to Buy A New House: Read This First

Before you buy a home there are a few tips that can end up saving you time, headache, and Imageespecially money in the long run.  Chances are you are looking at the number of bedrooms, the neighborhood, the overall condition that the house appears to be in, etc.  but there are some other things that you and your realtor should be keen on observing. 

One of the first things I would suggest doing while looking through a home is to  flush all of the toilets and run water through the drains.  This way you can possibly detect plumbing issues. This applies to all appliances that are included in the sale as well.  You will also want to be on the lookout for dampness in a basement.  If there is a foundation problem it can be one of the more expensive repairs down the road. 

It is also interesting to note that while new houses certainly come with their own perks they also run about 20% higher in cost than older homes do. It would be a good idea to talk to the neighbors or do a bit of research to see if there is potential construction, sewer pipes, businesses or any other non-desirable activities moving near the house.  The last thing you would want is to buy a home only to find out that there is a big construction project starting soon.

The key is to work closely with your realtor and pay attention to the details that could spell trouble for you in the future. 

Want a Chance to Win $50,000?

It’s quick and easy…just download the free Keller Williams mobile app to your smart phone!

mobile app

Be sure you enter my agent code KW2GG5QRP and you’ll be entered to win $50,000!

This contest runs now through March 31, 2014. This app is a handy tool for all of your home buying needs! It’s so easy to use…you can find all the details on home listings, open houses and more. You can contact even me to schedule a showing directly from the app.

So, download the app and get started today…and you’ll be entered to win $50,000!

A Sunny House on Evening Drive!

eveningdrThe housing market is certainly booming in Pendleton and they are selling nearly as quickly as they are put on the market and I’m sure this one will be no different! This move in ready 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bathroom home located in the Summerlake addition has the perfect modern touches with a spacious yet inviting layout.  Not only does it have a large user friendly kitchen but it also has an attached breakfast nook that you can walk out from to eveningdr2your wooden deck overlooking the pond! What a great place to drink your coffee in the morning or entertain dinner guests in the evening.  With a laundry room, 2 car garage, and access to the neighborhoods park, pool, and playground it is bursting at the seems with possibilities! But remember these wonderful homes are going fast so call now to set up your own personal tour!

Listing courtesy of Keller Williams Realty