Janet Cramb & Company/LAER Realty Partners



Posted by Janet Cramb on 2/13/2019

Yes, prepping your home for sale seems like a lot of work, but its definitely worth it! Selling your home "as-is" can increase the time on the market and decrease the sale price. Depending on how much you can to invest, its possible to go all-out with the exterior design process but you can make great strides with just a few dollars in your pocket and a weekend to work on it.

Your real estate professional can give you specific suggestions after viewing your property, but here are a few that help just about everyone:

Start with the Garden

First things first, clean up your yard and garden. Getting rid of those fall leaves you've neglected to pick up, and dead branches hanging on your trees and bushes makes a big difference. If you have a lawn, make certain itís mown down to a practical level so that it always looks clean and cared for. If you have a xeriscape, make sure your ground coverings are spread evenly. Mulch, gravel, and rubber are all easy to rake back into place with standard gardening tools. A cared for landscape will draw in buyers, helping them fall in love with the vibe of your home.

Add Some Color

Adding some window boxes or planters with seasonal flowers can brighten up your home and make it more appealing to potential buyers. Be careful not to over-water them and clean up any old blooms to keep them looking fresh. Worried about the upkeep? You can simplify your gardening efforts by adding a drip-irrigation system. Not only are they automatic, but the EPA also says they save water and are more efficient than sprinkler systems.

Be Visible

A lot of buyers drive around their favorite neighborhoods looking for just the right home. Want to make sure they can find your property? Check to see just how visible your house number is. The easier it is for a home seeker to find you, the faster your property is likely to sell. If you have existing door numbers, try a metal polish to clean up brass or steel numbers or a new coat of paint for wooden or even plastic ones. If your home is missing digits, or they are hard to see from the street, check out your local home improvement and craft stores for larger or more decorative options.

Do Some Painting (but just a little)

It can be expensive to repaint your entire home, and that's not in every budget. It's okay! Start by just cleaning off your existing paint. Use a proper hose attachment or rent a power sprayer from your local home improvement store and see just how much brighter and more inviting your home is when the paint is clean. To add that extra something, consider repainting your door and window shutters with a matching or contrasting color. Just that little bit of fresh paint at the focal points can make your home much more inviting. Make sure you do a clean job though, paint on door handles and windows won't help your cause.

Make it Bright

If you have existing outdoor lighting, now's the time for some elbow grease. Make sure all your lights are clean of dust and grime, so they show at their best. Get some bright new bulbs for them to ensure none are burnt out. Need some extra appeal? Try adding lights along your driveway, walkway or to accent a specific part of your landscape like a tree, statue or fountain. Landscaping lights can be easy to set up, just look for solar-powered LED lights. Available in a variety of colors, with no batteries or cords required, just stick them where you want for a dramatic evening look.

Your property may benefit from a couple weekends spent in the yard. Ask your real estate professional for specific advice about how to best show off your home.




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Posted by Janet Cramb on 2/6/2019

If you receive a "lowball" offer to purchase your house, your first reaction may be to respond with an immediate "No." However, it is important to evaluate any offer to purchase your house closely. Because if you weigh the pros and cons of rejecting an offer to purchase your home, you'll be better equipped than ever before to make an informed decision about any homebuying proposal you receive.

Now, let's take a look at three factors to consider before you reject an offer to purchase your residence.

1. Your Home's Price

What you may consider to be a lowball offer to purchase your home may actually be a competitive homebuying proposal Ė it all depends on the current state of the housing market. Thus, if you analyze the housing market, you can find out how your home's price stacks up against the prices of comparable houses and review an offer to purchase accordingly.

If you find your home's price falls in line with similar houses in your city or town, you likely have a competitive initial asking price in place. And if a buyer's offer to purchase your home falls short of your house's initial asking price, you may want to decline the proposal.

On the other hand, if your home is priced much higher than comparable residences in your area, you may want to adjust your home selling expectations. In this instance, you may find a lowball offer to purchase turns out to be a competitive homebuying proposal. As a result, you may be more inclined to accept the proposal based on the current housing market's conditions.

2. Your Home's Condition

Oftentimes, buyers will account for potential home repairs or upgrades they will need to complete if they acquire a house. This means a buyer may submit an offer to purchase below a seller's initial asking price due to the fact that a house may require assorted repairs or upgrades in the near future.

Take a look at the condition of your home Ė you'll be glad you did. If you find your home is in need of significant repairs or upgrades, you may want to consider these projects before you reject a buyer's offer to purchase your house.

3. Your Home Selling Goals

It generally is a good idea to start the home selling journey with goals in hand. That way, if an offer to purchase your house allows you to achieve your home selling goals, you can accept the proposal. Or, if an offer to purchase your house moves you further away from accomplishing your home selling goals, you can reject the proposal.

As you get set to complete the home selling journey, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can help you assess any offers to purchase your house, at any time. By doing so, a real estate agent can help you determine how to proceed with an offer to purchase and ensure you can make the best-possible decision.





Posted by Janet Cramb on 1/30/2019

Whether you plan on selling your house in the next few years, or if you just want to make some much needed updates to your home, renovations can be a great way to increase the value of your property.

However, not all updates will pay for themselves. Some upgrades that we want for personal reasons, such as building an addition for more space, could come back to haunt you if it isnít to the taste of potential homebuyers in the future.

So, in this article, weíre going to talk about five simple updates to your home that have the best chance of increasing its selling price. That way, when you do finally decide to move on from your home, you can sell for the price you know your home is worth.

Improve your lighting

You donít have to be a carpenter to increase the value of your home. When a potential buyer enters your home for the first time, two of the first things theyíll notice are the lighting and the spaciousness of the room.

Since lighting is an essential part of creating spaciousness, increasing the former will also increase the latter.

So, what are some ways you can increase lighting?

  • Add recessed lights to the ceilings of your home. It will open up space in the ceiling and allow for a greater number of lights overall.

  • Add lighting under the cabinets in your kitchen

  • Use large mirrors for decoration to increase lighting and create the illusion of spaciousness in smaller rooms

Painting for the modern homeowner

Home decor trends come and go. Not long ago, wallpaper was the go-to choice. However, the surest way to increase the value of your home is to use bright and neutral colors since, statistically, these appeal to the largest number of people.

Fresh paint and good lighting work together to make your home seem more polished and modern. And, for just a few hundred dollars, you can paint your whole home.

Remember, however, that it is easy to scuff up the walls in your home. So, itís a good idea to paint closer to the date you think youíll be trying to sell.

Low maintenance landscaping

While there are people who enjoy mowing the lawn on Saturday morning, those people tend to be few and far between. One thing potential buyers will consider when viewing your home is how difficult it will be to take care of the yard.

Adding an irrigation system, removing unnecessary obstacles, and planting hardy bushes and plants will woo potential buyers.

Upgrade the most outdated room in your home

If your home is in need of serious upgrades, itís best to start with the room that needs it the most, especially if that room is a bathroom or kitchen. Replacing an old vanity or putting new tile down can be simple ways to spruce up a bathroom thatís looking dated.

Fix the little things

If you have a couple of years before you plan to sell, that gives you time to fix the small issues that youíve noticed and will continue to notice. Maintaining your home now will give you less to worry about when the time comes to sell, and you donít want to be dealing with leaking faucets when that day arrives.





Posted by Janet Cramb on 1/23/2019

There is no set amount of time that you will need to allocate to sell your residence. In certain instances, a seller can generate lots of interest in his or her house and receive an offer to purchase within one day of listing a home. On the other hand, a seller sometimes requires many weeks or months to stir up interest in his or her home.

Ultimately, you should strive to commit as much time as you can to sell your home. If you do everything possible to promote your residence to potential buyers, you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable house selling experience.

There are many things that a seller can do to ensure a seamless home selling experience, and these include:

1. Improve Your Home Both Inside and Outside

Remove clutter from inside your home Ė you'll be happy you did. In addition to making it easy to show off the true size and beauty of your home, eliminating clutter could help buyers envision what life may be like if they purchase your house.

Meanwhile, your home's curb appeal can make a world of difference during the property selling journey. If your house boasts a stunning front lawn and other exceptional home exterior features, your home may be better equipped than ever before to make a positive first impression on prospective buyers.

2. Establish an Aggressive Initial Home Asking Price

Take a look at the prices of comparable houses in your city or town. In addition, evaluate the prices of recently sold houses in your area that are similar to your own. This housing market data may help you establish an initial home asking price that falls in line with the current housing market's conditions.

Furthermore, it may be beneficial to conduct a house appraisal. With an appraisal report in hand, you'll have a property valuation that you can use to establish an aggressive initial asking price for your residence.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is an expert guide for selling homes. He or she can help you list your residence, promote it to prospective buyers and much more.

Of course, let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides at each stage of the property selling journey, either. A real estate agent will help you create a house selling strategy and put this plan into action. He or she will be ready to respond to any of your home selling concerns or questions too. And if you're unsure about how to proceed at any point during the house selling journey, a real estate agent can provide property selling recommendations and suggestions.

For those who want to add a house to the real estate market and streamline the home selling journey, it may be a good idea to hire a real estate agent. By collaborating with a real estate agent, you can get the support you need to quickly navigate the home selling journey.




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Posted by Janet Cramb on 1/16/2019

Do you ever wish that they taught a class in high school called, ďThings Youíll Actually Need to Know In Life?Ē Youíd learn how to prepare your taxes, what investing is, and how to buy a home.

Unfortunately, all of these important life lessons tend to be self-taught; you pick them up along the way and learn from your mistakes.

However, it neednít be that way. Our goal today is to give you an accurate idea of what to expect when youíre buying your first home. Weíll go over a typically home buying timeline and discuss how long each step can take. This will give you a better idea of how long it will take to close on your first home.

Step 1: Build credit and save for a down payment

Estimated time: 2+ years

The first step of buying a home is to make sure youíre financially secure enough to do so. While there are ways to purchase a home with low or no down payments (See FHA, USDA, and VA loans), generally itís wiser to wait until you have a sizable down payment saved. This will save you money in interest and mortgage insurance in the long run.

Next, youíll need to start working on your credit. If your credit score took some hits due to late payments when you were younger, now is the time to start fixing those mistakes by making on-time payments and paying off outstanding balances.

Step 2: Have a plan for the next phase of your life

Estimated time 6+ months

One of the most important, and least talked about, parts of buying a home is understanding what it means to own a home. If you have a spouse, partner, or family, youíll need to be in agreement that youíre prepared to stay in one place for the next 5 or more years.

Buying a home is expensive and you wonít want to go through the process of closing on a home if you arenít sure youíll stay. This means making sure your career wonít bring you elsewhere in the near future.

Step 3: Get prequalified and preapproved

Estimated time 1-3 days (depending on how much initiative you take)

Getting prequalified for a mortgage takes minutes. You simply fill out an online form and the lender will give you an idea of the type and size loan you could qualify for. Be forewarned: theyíll also use this information to call and bother you about getting a mortgage from them.

Once youíre prequalified, itís just a matter of working with the lender to provide the correct documentation for pre-approval.

Getting preapproved takes a bit longer (1-3 days), since it requires a credit check and some work on your part--namely, gathering and sending income verification.

Once youíre preapproved, you can safely start shopping for homes without worrying that youíre wasting time looking at homes that are overbudget.

Step 4: House Hunting

Estimated time: 30+ days

Itís a sellerís market. So, if youíre buying a home right now there is competition out there. Youíll need to dedicate a substantial amount of time to researching homes online, contacting sellersí agents, and following up on calls. Like before, the amount of effort you put into this process determines how quickly and smoothly youíll get through it.

Step 5: Making an offer and closing

Estimated time: ~50 days

Average closing times for buying a home has grown to 50 days according to a recent study. However, by securing financing ahead of time and acting quickly, you can drastically cut down the time of these process to as little as two weeks.




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