5 Home-Selling Tips Everyone Hears and May Want To Ignore

a15b18aec3b1e388baf2fe361bc9d778w-c0xd-w685_h860_q80.jpgOne of the hardest parts of selling your home is all the unknowns: Who will buy your place, and for how much? How long will it take? That uncertainty might make you particularly eager to soak up advice from just about anyone who’s willing to share. Problem is, just because your sister or co-worker swear by certain rules that worked for them, it doesn’t mean they’ll be a magic solution for you, too.

Fact is, a lot of the real estate advice circulating out there is outdated, region-specific, or just plain wrong. As proof, check out this list of tips that many home sellers hear … then learn how these words of wisdom don’t always hold water. Let this serve as a reminder that when selling a home, you should take everything you hear with a huge grain of salt.

‘You should always list your home in the spring’

Common knowledge says home-buying season starts in the spring and goes through the fall. Not true, says Melisa Aponte, a real estate agent with the Keyes Group in Miami, FL.

“January is a great listing month,” she points out. “People are back from the holidays and ready to start looking.”

Well, at least in places that don’t have a nasty winter, like Miami. Which makes a larger point about real estate advice in general, Aponte says: Every market is different, and what’s great advice in one area can be terrible advice in another.

Besides, when it comes to deciding when to list a home, there are two sides to the coin. Busier times mean more buyers, but also more sellers and more competition. Listing your home when inventory is low could snag the right buyer quickly. Life is unpredictable, and there will always be buyers looking in the “off season,” too.

‘You’ll find your buyer at an open house’

Open houses are exciting, akin to a debutante ball where your home makes its fresh-faced appearance to scads of suitors all at once. And that’s fine, but don’t expect this to be the venue where you find “the one” who makes an offer. While that can occur, open houses are more like parties, filled with swains who aren’t ready to settle down, says Anita Clark, a real estate agent in Warner Robins, GA. Serious home buyers will more often request a private one-on-one showing instead.

Of course, you don’t want to skip the open house entirely. It’s a great way for people to browse, and hey, you never know. Maybe your looky-loo neighbor has a family member who would love to buy your place after all. But it’s time to let go of the idea that an open house is a key step on the road to your ultimate buyer.

‘You can save money by paying less in commission’

Reluctant to fork over the 6% commission that real estate agents typically request to sell your home? Sure, that may seem like a lot of money, but what you might not realize is just how much work an agent does behind the scenes.

“A lot of people don’t understand that an agent’s job is more than just listing the home on the MLS,” says Aponte. Agents’ commissions pay for their time and for marketing materials. Posters, flyers, broker open houses, and yard signs all come from the money you pay your agent.

But beyond that, “it gives your agent the power to offer money to other agents who have qualified buyers,” she explains. That’s because the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent split the commission.

Though in an ideal world, buyers’ agents would show them every property in their price range, regardless of commission, unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way, says Aponte.

“So if there are a lot of properties on the market and you’re only offering 2% commission, there are agents who won’t show that property,” she says.

Ultimately, you get what you pay for, and a higher commission can often justify itself in the sense that you can reel in tons of buyers, and (hopefully) spark a bidding war that’ll fetch top dollar.

‘Price your home high—and hold out for a buyer who’ll pay it’

Of course you want to get the most you can for your property. Still, pricing it sky-high and hoping a gullible buyer will fall for this aspirational sum? Not a great plan.

“I want to sell your property for a million dollars too, but I would be doing you a disservice to price it that way if the comps are saying $500,000,” says Aponte. Home buyers are highly sensitive to overpaying, and will quickly steer clear. And the longer your house sits on the market, the more buyers will begin to think something’s wrong with it … and lob you a lowball offer.

The best way to avoid this debacle is to price a house right from the start—not too high, not too low—and then seriously consider any offers that roll in, even if they aren’t as great as you’d hoped. To start things off, you can enter your address in a home value estimator to get a ballpark figure of how much your home is worth, then fine-tune that number with an agent’s help.

‘Here’s what the market is going to look like next year…’

Sure, it makes sense that real estate professionals will make educated guesses to help guide buyers’ and sellers’ decision-making. The operative word here is “educated.” Fact is, nobody really knows what the market is going to do; if they did, the housing crash of 2008 would have looked a lot different!

“Beware of ‘future’ predictions that don’t come from a reputable source,” says Dillar Schwartz, a real estate agent in Austin, TX. Sure, your brother-in-law or best friend might be trying to help, but keep in mind that their armchair philosophizing about the future of real estate is just an opinion—nothing more.

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6 Must-Haves For Entertaining at Home, Picked by Realtors

When most buyers search for a new house, one of the things they take into consideration is if they could imagine entertaining their friends and family in the home. Whether it’s a formal dinner party in the dining room, a casual get together in the kitchen, or party on the patio, your home is an important part of your social life. With New Years Eve around the corner, we asked our agents for their must-haves for entertaining at home!

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Cheese:

Cheese is a classic appetizer at any party. Simply pair it with crackers, bread, or figs and let the cheese do the rest. Venissimo Cheese is one of our favorite local spots to score gourmet cheese from around the world!

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Chips & Guacamole:

Get any party started with chips and guacamole. If you aren’t in the mood to make it yourself, head to El Napolito or El Indio to pick some up. You won’t be disappointed!

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Wine:

No better way to stimulate conversation than with wine. Pick up a bottle locally at  Hacienda de las Rosas or Caruth Cellars!

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Champagne:

A New Years Eve essential! South Coast Winery in Temecula makes their own champagne!

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Dessert:

Whether it’s chocolates to nibble on, a celebratory cake, or a variety of sweets, no dessert is ever unwelcome at a party! Some of our local favorites include Extraordinary Desserts, The Cravory, The Village Mill Bread Co, and Dallmann Fine Chocolates.

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Music:

Music sets the mood at any party! Browse Pandora‘s top stations to get your guests in the party mood!

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Good Company:

People truly do make the party! You can’t go wrong when you surround yourself with friends and family that you love.

We hope you have a wonderful New Years Eve celebration! We are looking forward to a fabulous 2017!

 

 

 

7 Best Kitchen Gadgets, Picked by Realtors

Realtors know a lot about homes, from the doors and windows down to the kitchen and all of its contents. We polled our Realtors to discover their favorite kitchen gadgets!

Vitamix

The Vitamix machine is a quality investment because it is made with you in mind! It’s easy-to-use functionality, durability, and power have made it a well-known name, even with its hefty price tag. Although the Vitamix is commonly used for it’s shake and smoothie capabilities, the machines also have the ability to create food such as soups, purees, nut butters, flours, marinades, and so much more just with the touch of a button.

“I love our Vitamix for shakes and smoothies, but also great for making hummus and salsa too.” -Ryan Main, Realtor

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Buy your Vitamix here! 

Crock Pot

The crock pot has been around since our grandmother’s time, and is the reason for some of the best home-cooked meals. As well as it’s ability to produce gourmet meals, the slow cooker also saves time, reduces energy use, and is easy to clean up.

“I like the crock pot because it tricks people into thinking I know how to cook.” -Jason Meyers, Realtor

crock pot

Purchase your Crock Pot here! 

Nespresso Machine 

If you want to wake up and make an espresso in a matter of minutes with no fuss or clean up, the Nespresso machine is for you! Although pricey ($199-$599), the espresso machine provides quality coffee with little to no effort.

“I love my Nespresso machine, it gets me going in the morning!” -Jeanne Kayne, Realtor

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Purchase your Nespresso here! 

Spiralizer

This inexpensive tool has the ability to spiralize fresh veggies into healthy noodles! A common product of a spiralizer is zucchini noodles, known as “zoodles,” which provides a nourishing base to any meal.

“I love my spiralizer! It’s great for making zucchini noodles, spiralizing potatoes, and anything else I want! It also grates and juliennes.” -Shannon Fox, Realtor

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Purchase your spiralizer here!

Cutco Knives

Cutco knives have continued to impress people for 65+ years with their quality products, amazing customer service, and lifetime guarantee. One of our favorite knives to use is the traditional cheese knife, which has perforations in the blade to prevent soft cheeses from sticking together.

“My favorite kitchen gadget will always be my cutco knives!” -Amy Green, Realtor and Co-Owner of Coastal Premier Properties

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Purchase your cheese knife here!

Electric Wine Bottle Opener 

This wine opener is perfect for any wine-o! It effortlessly opens up a bottle of wine in 3 seconds, and never gives you the risk of breaking the cork.

“My favorite kitchen gadget is an electric wine opener!” -Amy Ryan, Realtor

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Purchase your wine opener here!

Zeroll Ice Cream Scoop

Scoop ice cream with ease while using the Zeroll ice cream scoop! The heat conductive fluid inside the handle uses the warmth of your hand to plump out perfect ice cream scoops with little to no effort.

“I love using my fancy ice cream scoop, the ice cream never freezes!” -Beth Van Boxtel, Realtor

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Purchase your Zeroll here!

 

What are some of your favorite kitchen gadgets? Leave us a comment below!

 

17 Awesome Colors for Your Home, Picked by Realtors

No home is complete until your walls are painted with the color that you love. Colors posses an important role in setting the atmosphere and nature of a room and each unique color setting can greatly affect an individual’s mood. Whether it is the calming appearance of white, or the serene hues of grey, it must perfectly fit your visual taste. Here are some of our fellow agent’s favorite colors.

Dunn Edwards: Foggy Day

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Dunn Edwards: Crisp Muslin

Crisp Muslin

Dunn Edwards: Stucco Tan

Stuco Tan

Dunn Edwards: Desert Suede

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Dunn Edwards: Looking Glass

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Dunn Edwards: Lace Veil

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Sherwin Williams: Pale Oak

Pale Oak

Sherwin Williams: Trusty Tan

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Sherwin Williams: Realist Beige

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Sherwin Williams: Iron Ore

Iron Ore

Sherwin Williams: Accessible Beige

Accessible Beige

Sherwin Williams: March Wind

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Sherwin Williams: Edgecomb Grey

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Frazee Paint: Silver Lining

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Frazee Paint: Excalibur

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Frazee Paint: White Shadow

White Shadow

Benjamin Moore: Collingwood

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