Selling a Home: Your Home’s First Impression

home stagingWhen it comes to selling your home, there is more to it than simply connecting with a licensed Mississippi real estate agent and popping a For Sale sign in your front yard.  If you want to compete with other houses and draw in prospective homebuyers, then you need to up your curb appeal and home staging game.

Remember how your mom used to tell you about how important it is to make a good first impression?  Well, this is one of those times!  You will only get one shot to impress and draw-in homebuyers, so make sure you’re putting your home’s best foot forward.

Sell a Home: Curb Appeal

Your home’s first impression is its curb appeal — you want your home to be inviting and welcoming from the moment a potential buyer pulls up to the curb.  Remember, you only get one shot to engage with them enough that they’ll want to come in and take a tour, so make sure you put your best foot forward.

Here are a few great ways to create engaging curb appeal:

  • Step one is to tidy up the yard.  Rake up any leaves or branches, remove dead or dying plants from the beds and replace them with fresh seasonal flowers, and mow the yard.
  • Remove excess clutter from the front porch, but leave elements that give a warm and inviting appearances like chairs for sitting, a small table, and a couple of potted plants.
  • The next step is to spruce up the exterior of the house.  By that, we mean the siding, paint, and gutters.  Replace or repair broken pieces and patch openings.
  • Finally, give your windows a good cleaning on both the exterior and interior of your house.

Sell a Home: Home Staging

To give potential buyers that ‘ahhhhhhhh’ moment when they walk through the door, make sure your home staging is on point!  Follow these tips to create the perfect setting:

  • Clear out the clutter by packing away any items that could detract from a potential homebuyer imagining the home as their own — we’re talking pictures, kid’s toys and artwork.  You might also consider decluttering shelves, stashing jewelry and toiletry items in drawers, and ensuring that your bathroom is pristine.
  • You want to make each room appear as spacious as you can, so start by removing and storing furniture that isn’t a necessity.  Another trick to making a room appear bigger is to roll up area rugs and rearrange the furniture that is left to create a more intimate, cozy setting.
  • The next step to perfect home staging is to stay as neutral as possible — and of course, we’re talking paint colors.  Painting is a quick fix that will freshen up the appearance of your home’s interior. Keeping things neutral, like a soft grey or beige color, will help support the buyer’s imagination of what the house could look like if they purchase it.  Plus, the fresh coat of paint gives the appearance of being move-in ready!
  • And finally, create a sense of home and tranquility by setting the mood.  Leaving a plate of warm cookies (without nuts in case of food allergies) and a note will envoke a feeling of love and happiness, enhancing the buyer’s emotional connection to your home.  You can also play calming music in the background.

Have more questions on how to stage your home like a pro?  Contact me and I’ll help you create the perfect first impression!


How to Search for a Home

When house-hunting fever strikes, it’s easy to let it take over and just download the latest real estate app and immediately hit the streets to tour homes on your own.  If you want to be successful though, there are a few tips and questions you should prepare for first.

To help you find the best possible home for you and your family, here are my best tips on how to search for a new home the right way.

Do Your Research First

Yes, your real estate agent is the expert, but as with anything in life, you want to come to the table prepared.  Do your homework and be proactive!

Check out the neighborhoods you like online and drive around the area on the weekends and in the evenings, so you can get a feel for your potential neighbors, the activity and vibe of the area, the schools, and the overall community.

Understand the Terminology and Process

Purchasing a home is unlike any other purchase you’ll ever make.  It’s both exciting and overwhelming, so you want to be as prepared as possible before you begin the process.

If this is your first home purchase, take time to understand the real estate process and basic terminology.

Home Search Tips

  • Avoid searching for homes that are over your budget.  Establish your parameters before you start your home search, stay within your budget, and allow some wiggle room for negotiating.
  • Always take your realtor with you when you tour a home.  Their extra set of expert eyes will spot things you might otherwise overlook.  Also, if they let you, snap a few photos and takes notes so you can remember the details about the house later.
  • Before you make an offer, walk through the home twice.  You might be surprised by what you notice the second time through.
  • Speaking of touring a home, open all doors, windows, and cabinets.  You want to know as much as you can about the house before you consider making an offer.
  • If it’s your second walkthrough, bring your tape measure and make sure the house will fit your furniture.  Also, take a moment to just sit quietly in the living and the master bedroom to find out how much outside noise you can hear.  If possible, tour the home first on a weekday and the second time on a weekend so you’ll get a full idea of what the neighborhood is like.

Work with a Realtor

In today’s digital age, with so much information available at your fingertips, many people wonder if they really need to work with a realtor or if they can buy and/or sell a home on their own.

While there are some people who are able to do this successfully, trying to buy or sell a home on your own is risky business and not something most of us should attempt.  The experience and expertise a realtor brings to the table can save you time and money.

A realtor will also make the overall search process easier by doing the legwork for you — they will pull together a list of houses that meet your wants and needs and call to schedule the showings on your behalf.

Ready to get started? Contact me now!

Home Value: Estimate Before You Sell

Are you considering selling your home?  Before you start the process of putting your home on the market, do a quick home value estimate first.  A quick estimate will give you an idea of whether or not selling will give you a good enough return on your investment to make now the right time to sell.

Home value estimators also provide a great guide for bidding on a potential home you are interested in.  The estimator will give you an idea of what homes of similar value go for in the same area.  While your realtor will provide you with more information to use in your final offer, an estimator is a great first-line of reference during the process.

Here are two home value estimators I recommend:

Home Value Estimator by NerdWallet

Home Value Estimator by Chase

Once you have your home value estimate, contact me and let’s discuss optimal pricing and get started on the process of getting your home on the market!


Tips for Selling a House in Today’s Market

How to Sell a HouseWe are currently in a “seller’s market” where buyers are demanding homes, which makes now a great time to sell your home.  However, there is a lot more to selling a home than simply sticking a For Sale sign in your front yard.

The good news is that in this type of market, things move quickly.  The bad news is that in this type of market, things move quickly…so you must be prepared before you start fielding offers.

Here are a few tips to help get you ready to sell your home quickly in today’s housing market.

  1. Price Your Home to Move:  Traditional wisdom says to price your house with lots of extra wiggle room for haggling; however, in today’s market, this could price you out of consideration.  Homes are priced to move, so to prevent your house from being left behind to sit on the market indefinitely, price it to sell.
  2. Market Your Home: A sign out front isn’t enough.  Make sure you work with a real estate agent that will market your home.  Help get the message out yourself by sharing information on your own social media pages, like Facebook or Pinterest.  Also, give your realtor plenty of opportunities to show your home (in other words, don’t just consider one open house good enough to catch the attention of the right buyers in today’s marketplace).
  3. Set the Stage: Don’t cut corners when it comes to staging.  You might consider hiring someone to stage your house for you.  A professional stager knows how to create a mood that grabs buyers and sells homes quickly, making this splurge one that could make your home stand out and put you ahead of the other house options in the area.
  4. Make a Plan with Your Realtor: Sit down with your realtor and discuss how you plan on handling multiple offers before the process starts.  Determine what’s most important to you and advise your realtor on the types of offers you will most seriously consider.  This will allow your DeSoto County Realtor to prioritize offers and streamline the process.

Ready to start the process of selling your home?  Contact me and let’s get you sold!

Why Work with a Realtor

work with a realtorIn today’s digital age, with so much information available at your fingertips, many people wonder if they really need to work with a realtor or if they can buy and/or sell a home on their own.  While there are some people who are able to do this successfully, trying to buy or sell a home on your own is risky business and not something most of us should attempt.

For those of you who have ever wondered what are the advantages come with working with a licensed realtor, here are five good reasons for you to consider:

  • A Realtor Will Have the Education, Experience, and Expertise: Instead of trying to become an expert yourself, why wouldn’t you hire someone who has spent years in the industry, who knows the ins and outs, and who understands how to avoid the potential pitfalls that come with inexperienced buying and selling of property?  A licensed realtor knows the laws and industry requirements and can guide you through the entire process.  With an experienced realtor in your corner, just think of all the time you can save researching how to do it yourself and how much more time you can spend doing things you love instead…like watching cat videos!
  • A Realtor Will Have Your Back: Throughout the course of the process, your realtor will have your back fielding calls and questions from the buyer’s agents, handling general inquiries, and managing showing appointments on your behalf.  A realtor will also be able to filter calls and emails, ensuring you only have to respond to qualified offers, which will save you time and keep your stress level down.
  • A Realtor Knows the Neighborhood and How to Price for Success: Realtors are entrenched in the areas they serve, so they have the knowledge about your neighborhood and surrounding areas.  As such, they are familiar with growth prediction trends, pricing stats and comps, and selling cycles.  They will know how to price and sell your house quickly based on market conditions and will your advisor, guiding you through the purchase process, ensuring you don’t overpay for your area or it’s expected future growth.
  • A Realtor is a Skilled Negotiator and Can Handle the Paperwork:  An experienced, top producing realtor will be able to negotiate far better than the average buyer or seller — partly because of their years of experience and partly because they are emotionally removed from the transaction.  They are trained to present a client’s best interest and are skilled in the art of negotiation.  A seasoned realtor is also able to quickly balance and process all of the required paperwork, ensuring that you’ll never miss a deadline or incur excessive fees for misfilings or late filings.
  • A Realtor Forms a Long-term Relationship:  When you work with a realtor, you will form a long-term relationship, one that will last long after closing.  As a trusted advisor, they will be available for calls and consultation for years to come.  As with most relationships, it will grow over time and you’ll discover extra benefits, like those that come with referrals, both to and from your realtor, and their availability and willingness to support you in a future real estate transaction.

Ready to get started selling your current house or buying your dream home?  Contact me and let me help guide you through the entire process!