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Kara Schug - Albuquerque Real Estate Agent
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When is the best time to sell?
The marketplace tends to be more active in the summer because parents want to enroll children in classes at the beginning of the school year (usually August). The summer is also typically when most homes are likely to be available.

Generally speaking, markets tend to have some balance between buyers and sellers year-round. In a given community, for example, there may be fewer buyers in late December, but there are also likely to be fewer homes available for purchase. So, home prices tend to rise or fall because of general demand patterns rather than the time of the year.

Sellers often wonder whether or not they should take their homes off the market for the holidays. Generally speaking, you'll have the best results if your house is available to show to prospective buyers continuously until it sells. After all, the holiday season is a wonderful time to show your home while it's filled with the sights and smells of the season.

Sellers are encouraged to sell when their property is ready for sale, there is a need or desire to sell. Your Real Estate Agent will help you in determining the best time to sell based upon your local current market conditions.

To assist you in deciding exactly when to sell your home, take these things into consideration:

Sell your home before you buy a new home.

  • PRO - You'll know exactly how much you have to spend on your new home because you'll already have the earnings from selling your present home.
  • CON - The home of your dreams may not be on the market right now and you could be forced to a move several times and or rent for some time. Buy a home before you sell your home. Buy a home before you sell your home.
  • PRO - You'll have found your perfect home, and you can put your existing house up for sale.
  • CON - You won't know exactly what your net proceeds are until you sell your home. You also won't know how long it will take to sell your home. Make sure your agent assists you by pricing your home competitively. You'll also need to discuss with your agent the special financing options available to you if you wait to sell your home. Buy a home contingent upon the sale of your home. Buy a home contingent upon the sale of your home.
  • PRO - In this scenario, you are not obligated to buy the house you've found unless you sell your house.
  • CON - You are never certain whether that dream home is really yours until your have an acceptable offer on your existing home AND it is closed. Also, you tend to lose your negotiating power as a buyer in this scenario.

Are you ready?
The home-selling process typically starts several months before a property is made available for sale. It's necessary to look at a home through the eyes of a prospective buyer and determine what needs to be cleaned, painted, repaired and tossed out.

Ask yourself: If you were buying this home what would you want to see? The goal is to show a home which looks good, maximizes space and attracts as many buyers - and as much demand - as possible.

While part of the "getting ready" phase relates to repairs, painting and other home improvements, this is also a good time to ask why you really want to sell.

Selling a home is an important matter and there should be a good reason to sell - perhaps a job change to a new community or the need for more space. Your reason for selling can impact the negotiating process so it's important to discuss your needs and wants in private with me. I assure you, I always have my client’s best interest at heart. Drop me a note, and I set up a time to come see your place. I’ll be happy to give you a free comparative market analysis.

Preparing to Sell
When first impressions count the most
There's no need to spend a ton of money remodeling your home before you sell. A few key improvements could significantly increase your selling price and make for a faster home sale.

What key improvements could increase your selling price?
The general rule in real estate is that buyers seek the least expensive home in the best neighborhood they can afford. In terms of improvements, this means you want a home that fits in the neighborhood but is not over-improved. For example, if most homes in your neighborhood have three bedrooms, two baths and 2,500 sq. ft. of finished space, a property with five bedrooms, more baths and far more space would likely be priced much higher and likely be more difficult to sell.

Improvements should be made so that the property shows well, is consistent with the neighborhood and does not involve capital investments, the cost of which cannot be recovered from the sale. Furthermore, improvements should reflect community preferences.

Cosmetic improvements - paint, wallpaper and landscaping - help a home "show" better and often are good investments. Mechanical repairs - to ensure that all systems and appliances are in good working condition - are required to get a top price.

Ideally, you want to be sure that your property is competitive with other homes available in the community. I have seen numerous homes, and can provide suggestions that are consistent with our marketplace.

Below is a concise punch list with key items that could significantly increase your selling price and make for a faster home sale:

Curb Appeal
• Keep your front entrance well-maintained
• Repaint your front door
• Repaint or replace door hardware
• Repaint or replace house numbers to make them easy to see
• Repaint the mailbox
• Make sure the doorbell works
• Repaint or replace stair railings
• Do a little landscaping
• Garden beds need to be well defined and freshly mulched
• Keep the lawn edged, cut and watered regularly
• Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees
• Add a few showy annuals, perhaps in pots, near the front entrance
• Take care of other exterior features
• Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling
• Inspect doors and windows for peeling paint; keep the windows clean and free of spider webs and vines
• Clean, align and secure the gutters
• Inspect and clean the chimney
• Keep shutters in good condition, freshly painted and hung straight
• Repair or replace loose or damaged roof shingles
• Repair or repaint loose siding and caulking
• Keep the garage door closed

Walk into Something Wonderful
• Give every room in the house a thorough cleaning. Wash the windows inside and out, clean the carpets and wash the walls.
• If the walls and carpet are especially dingy or brightly colored, repaint or re-carpet with a neutral shade, such as off-white or beige.
• Get rid of the clutter and make your house appear bigger and brighter.
• Rent a storage unit
• Have a garage sale!
• Donate your excess "stuff" to charity
• Repair cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint and tiles
• Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork
• Inspect and repair the plumbing, heating, cooling, and alarm systems
• Repair dripping faucets and showerheads
• Re-caulk bathroom shower or tub if necessary
• Spruce up a kitchen or bathroom with new cabinet knobs, curtains and towels
• Repair anything that could be construed as dry rot
• Repair a leaking roof or wet basement
• Make sure every electrical outlet and light switch is in working order
• Replace all light bulbs with the maximum wattage bulb permissible. Light sells!

 
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