Doorsteps blog posts

Blog entry by Doorsteps

Is Owner Financing a Good Idea?

There many prospective buyers who soon realize that their credit is so poor they will not qualify for a loan or if they do it will be very high interest. It isn’t unusual for them to ask if the owner is interested in offering owner financing for the purchase of a home. Obviously, if you have had multiple offers on your home this won’t even be an option you are considering but what if your home has been sitting and the market is stagnant? Should you agree to finance the buyers to move your home off of the market? Consider some of the following before making your decision.

Should You Offer Owner Financing? Answer These Questions First

  • Why can’t the buyer get a loan? The fact that someone looking at homes to buy can’t get the proper financing should throw up some large red flags. Why can’t they get a traditional mortgage loan on their own? Something has to have occurred in their credit past like a foreclosure or repossessed vehicle or multiple misuses of credit cards for financing to be unavailable to them. If they have not been responsible with their credit in the past they will more than likely not be responsible with you.
  • Do you want to continue paying on two mortgages? The home you are selling is more than likely still part of its own mortgage agreement. The payments your buyers are making to you will be making that payment but it is still in your name. Will having an extra mortgage loan prevent you from gaining another to purchase your new home? What if the buyer’s don’t make a payment? Can you afford to make both mortgage payments in the event that they back out of your financing agreement?
  • What happens if they stop making payments? This is where it will get messy for you. If they stop making payments you will still have to make them on your mortgage. If you have an owner financing contract and have turned over the deed you will need to get legal help to solve the problem.

In this day and age, it is not a great choice to offer owner financing. If you have paid off the home you are selling and are comfortable with financing for buyers then by all means give it a try. Just be sure to have the contracts and legalities worked out by professionals. For more help selling your home and the best options for you, contact Doorsteps today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

3 Things You Should Love About a House Before Committing to Buy

You’ve decided you are ready to buy a home for the first time, or maybe a job relocation has made it necessary to start home shopping. Whatever the reason for looking at homes, it is important to take some time and really check out a house before choosing the one for you. In fact, you really need to fall in love with certain aspects of a house and then make the move to buy. Some people just get a “feeling” about homes when they are looking to buy and while the vibe of a house may feel right, there are specific things you need to be sure you love before making an offer. We have some suggestions as to what you should be completely happy with about a house when you are looking.

1 – The design and size. Certain cosmetic changes that are easy and inexpensive should never be a deal breaker when deciding to buy. Paint, landscaping, carpet, and the like are normal personal touches that most people change when moving into a new home. What you need to be in love with, or at least seriously like, is the layout of the rooms and the square footage. If you aren’t completely happy with these, changing them would be a major remodel and very costly. Don’t settle for a house that doesn’t meet your expectations for size and design.

2 – The neighbourhood. If you are looking for a quiet neighbourhood to raise kids, making an offer on a home in a busy downtown area doesn’t make sense. Think about what kind of neighbourhood you are looking to settle in, and don’t compromise just because the price might be right. In the end, if the area isn’t what you were looking for, you won’t be happy and will suffer from buyer’s remorse.

3 – The price. Getting yourself in too deep with the price can lead to financial problems later. Don’t pay too much for a home even if everything else is perfect. The key to being in love with your home is finding a house with a price tag you can live with. Set a budget before you begin looking for a new home to purchase.

Contact Doorsteps when you are ready to start looking for a new home. We can guide you through the entire process from looking, bidding, and finalising the sale. Sign on with Doorsteps to make this an easy and effortless experience.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Make Moving Day Smooth and Easy

Once you have sold your home, the next phase begins with packing up and moving out. Moving day can be chaotic and stressful if you haven’t planned and organised beforehand. We have all experienced or heard of less than happy moving days when people showed up to help and nothing was packed in boxes or furniture was too big to move. It is best to start planning your move at least two months in advance if at all possible. Doorsteps have a few easy and helpful tips to make sure moving day goes quickly and according to plan.

Start packing early. As soon as you decide to list your home and know there is a possibility you will be moving, start packing up non-essentials and items you don’t have to have in everyday life. Start with seasonal items or other belongings that are usually stored away. If you have a junk or throw room start throwing things away and packing up what you know for sure you would like to move.

Throw away what you don’t use. Packing and unpacking necessities is a difficult task without adding items that you probably won’t use once you have moved to a new home. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t seen it or used it in years then donate it or throw it away completely.

Get Organised. Label boxes for appropriate rooms such as “kitchen” or “office” to make unpacking easier once you have reached your destination. If you have asked friends or family to help you move out and load a moving vehicle make sure you are packed up and ready to go. If you want help packing as well be specific and say so.

Set a date to move. If you need to enlist the aid of a moving truck/service or your close friends and family to help you move it is absolutely necessary to set a date and do your best to stick to it. Planning ahead gives those close to you the chance to keep the date clear for helping load up your moving truck and getting you on the way to your new home. To reserve a moving vehicle or schedule a service to move you call in advance to make sure you get them on the day you need them.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Top Reasons to Choose a Professional Estate Agent

DIY, or Do It Yourself, projects are all the rage right now. Turn on the telly, and you will see hundreds of shows devoted to showing you how to do everything from baking a pastry to remodelling a bathroom all on your own. The trouble with these programs is that the people claiming you can “do it yourself” are experts in these areas. They make everything look easy because they are skilled, have money as well as connections to get these projects completed successfully. There is no surprise that money homeowners  have tried to sell their home without the help of a realtor and lived to regret their decision. Estate agents are experts with showing homes as well as the legal aspects and paperwork. Before deciding to sell your home without help check out these top reasons for the experts at Doorsteps.

Understand the regulations. With all of the regulations and legality that comes with selling a home it is best to rely on experts like the agents at Doorsteps. An agent’s job is to stay current with new laws that govern the sale of houses including mandatory inspections, time spans for paperwork to be signed, and even taxing information. Don’t try to wade through and figure out the paperwork on your own. Trust a Doorstep Agent to take care of the contracts for you.

Property searches and pricing. Our agents want to do the legwork for you. Why spend all of your time and energy searching for homes that meet your criteria when a realtor already knows what is listed in that area? On the flipside, as a seller, you don’t have to spend your own time and money listing your home. Let us do the hard work for you so you can focus on other things in your life.

Estate agents are bound by law to be truthful. If they aren’t they can lose their license. Choosing a reputable company like Doorsteps to get you through this process is safe and easy. Without question, we are the best and most reliable estate company you could choose.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Get on the Fast Track to Selling Your Home

Your life can change within seconds for a number of reasons, and sometimes those changes lead you to relocation. Realistically, most professional salaries cannot support two mortgages. If you find yourself in a spot with a new job or other life change, look to the expert help from Doorsteps. We have the expertise and tools to help sell your house fast and release you from the burden of paying off two home loans while your old home sits vacant. Even in the worst selling market there are still some great tips for advertising your home and getting it off the market fast.

  • Make your exterior beautiful. There are some different schools of thought when it comes to showing a home’s inside but it is universally agreed upon that the curb appeal of a property can make or break your sale. Spruce up the landscaping by keeping the grass cut and trimming or pruning your greenery like bushes and trees. Get rid of any odds and ends that need thrown away or look old and out of place. If the outside looks gorgeous, you will attract more offers.
  • Don’t set your price too high. Some sellers start too high on purpose so buyers can negotiate and a good amount of money can still made. Unfortunately, setting your price too high can deter buyers from making an offer. The first month of a home listing is when a house will see the most traffic. Pricing too high could potentially turn off buyers leaving your house for sale for an extended amount of time.
  • Stage the interior. Contrary to what some believe, showing an empty house is not the best way to sell your home quickly. Staging rooms in an attractive and non personalised way is a great way to let buyers see what the home could look like with furnishings. Giving them an image of the amount of furniture and how it can be arranged is similar to dressing mannequins in a department store. A well done staging has even been known to lead to buyers asking for furniture and appliances to stay with the house.
  • Open House. Have a well advertised open house to give buyers an opportunity to look at your house without having to schedule a specific time. Your agents know how important a quick sale and know how a successful open house can drive a quick sale. To learn more about selling your house quickly contact us today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Marketing Your Unique Property Features for a Faster Sale

No two properties are the same, and some are even more unique than others. If your home boasts a unique quality or other uncommon extras, it pays to  trust your Doorsteps to market your property’s uniqueness to sellers. We understand that not everyone is interested in taking on the responsibility of a pool or guest house. We can aggressively seek out sellers looking for these added extras and market them as unique bonuses to your home and property. For extra help improving interest in your home, you may need to update and repair some features to motivate buyers and encourage offers. We can offer a few more helpful tips to help market your home for a faster sale.

Tone it down. If your property is wildly unique or just plain weird, it may be near impossible to market it to potential buyers. If at all possible, try a conservative makeover such as neutral paint colours and understated furnishings. For example, if your home is actually a remodelled and renovated old church or store playing down the setting is your best bet. Try to make the interior look as much like a regular home as possible to increase interest from buyers.

Make it safe. Pools and spas may seem like a selling point, but in reality they can be hard on insurance premiums and deemed unsafe by families with small children. Go the extra mile by building a fence around waterscapes like pools and hot tubs. Making the features safe and child friendly will help to market your home to a larger group. Adding extra safety precautions can also help with insurance costs. Definitely make sure these water spots are well maintained and cleaned before allowing a real estate agent to show your home.

Find comparable properties. It’s hard for assessors and lenders to properly place a value on homes that don’t have similar counterparts. If at all possible, find homes with similar attributes to place a value and listing price on your own unique property. Lenders feel more confident loaning money for homes that have a solid value.

Find the right niche of buyers. In some circles, unique or eccentric properties are in high demand. Unfortunately, they may not be searching out properties in your area. Utilising an experienced estate agent like Doorsteps can help connect you with buyers looking for interesting homes with fascinating and one of a kind features. We have multiple connections and avenues for listing homes including those that aren’t considered traditional.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

5 Things You Probably Didn’t Think About Before Listing Your Home

Getting your home ready to sell can be a stressful time. Not only are you in the process of moving or purchasing a new house but now you must use the best strategies to get your property sold quickly and at a good price. There are some tips for getting your home ready to sell that some homeowners aren’t aware of or dismiss. Following these 5 pieces of advice can make your home a popular choice among buyers and could even have them competing with offers to buy. For more tips on the best ways to get ready to sell before listing your home, call us. We are the UK’s most successful online real estate agents.

  1. Don’t get too ambitious. While some updates are recommended like fresh paint and fixing small maintenance problems, don’t go overboard. Installing new siding, for example, could cost a lot without adding an equal value to your home. Keep your DIY projects simple in preparation for selling your home.
  1. Find temporary homes for pets. We all love our 4 legged family members, but potential buyers do not. It’s difficult to get rid of the smell of an animal and to eliminate all of the hair. The best bet is to relocate them to a friend or family members while your home is being shown.
  1. Focus on your kitchen. The quality and look of a kitchen has the ability to make or break your home sale. This is the one room where some remodeling or upgrading will actually pay off when it comes time to sell your home. If you can’t afford to put much money into your kitchen then at least give it a deep clean and focus on staging your countertops or eat-in dining area.
  1. You only get one chance at a showing. The showing of your home is the one chance you have to wow a buyer. Be ready to show your home at anytime remaining flexible. Keep your house clean and tidy and ready for a showing even if none have been scheduled that day. Putting of a showing is a great way to help a buyer lose interest in your home.

Keep up outer appearances. It does not matter how amazing your home looks on the inside if the outside has no curb appeal. Keep the exterior of your home tidy and nice to give the appearance of an attractive dwelling inside and out.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Make the Most of Your Open House

You’ve decided to put your home on the market and are employing every strategy you can read about to get your house sold for the best price. A popular choice for showing your home is to schedule an all day or evening open house. This allows multiple prospective home buyers to tour your home. So how can you make the most of this one day open house to optimise the appeal of your home leading to offers and a successful sale? Follow some of these tried and true methods for a great open house.

  1. Utilise social media and online real estate listing sites. The internet is a powerful tool for networking and exposure. Sharing your listing and open house dates on social media such as Facebook and Instagram will help to spread the word and potentially reach buyers that may not have been aware your house was for sale. Announcing your open house with your listing on sites like Zoopla can increase your attendance rates and lead to a promising sale.
  2. Prep your home. An open house is a great opportunity to showcase the character and beauty of your home. Consider staging your home in a way that anyone can see themselves living there. Take down personal photos and clean every corner and closet. Potential buyers will want to look at every space within your home so cleanliness and de-personalised decor are absolutely necessary. Keep the scents neutral as well. Most people have a favorite candle or wall scent they enjoy. Not everyone has the same taste so keeping the scent neutral will prevent turning away potential buyers.
  3. Signage matters. Properly displayed “Open House” signs can make a huge difference in your turnout. Consider putting open house signs in your yard at least a week before the event to let neighbours and buyers in on your show day. Interested buyers can plan out the day making sure to take the time to stop in if they know in advance when it is to take place.
  4. Don’t hang around. It is best for the homeowner to be absent during the open house. Buyers may feel uncomfortable asking questions and really looking at things if they know the homeowner is close by. Avoid any conflict of interest by planning on being gone for the amount of time the open house is to occur.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Can the Internet Really Help Sell Your Home?

The internet can be a phenomenal selling tool when it comes to advertising and listing your house for sale. Not only does your realtor have listings on their website such as ours but there are multiple websites that allow you to list your home complete with photos with little to no money. What are the benefits to utilising the internet? The added exposure offers those not in your general area the opportunity to look in your home and garner interest from those who may not drive past your For Sale sign in the yard. The days of paper ads and word of mouth are gone and it is time to allow the internet to widen your groups of interested parties to help sell your home.

Consider the fact that other home listings can help you with research before choosing your agent and deciding on a list price. Checking out agent reviews and learning more about other properties similar to yours can help you make good decisions about updates, pricing, and other motivations to get buyers excited about purchasing your house. Our agents are skilled and ready to help you tackle the job of listing your home online with carefully staged photos and other information that will lead a buyer straight to your open house or other showings.

Other benefits to listing on the internet include the ability to list on multiple online real estate sites. If possible have professional photos taken of your home or take photos with a high megapixel good quality camera. Have your agent give you tips for the best angles and stage shots to show off your home and property on these online forums.

Post your home on social media sites as well such as Instagram or Facebook. Ask your friends to share your listing. Social media has quickly become a fantastic and successful way to promote products you’re selling so why not include your house on your media sites for extra exposure. Hashtags on Instagram or Twitter are other great ways to get buyers from other areas to look at your home. Hashtag specific elements such as #2story, #3bedroom, #finishedbasement for those that are actually looking for these characteristics while touring real estate online.

We’re confident that using internet services a powerful ways to help increase interest in your home as well as safe. We know that selling your home can be difficult. Don’t try to go it alone. Check us out now.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

What Should You Repair and Upgrade for a Quick Home Sale?

It is unlikely, unless you have just recently remodeled, that your home does not need a little upgrading or repair before listing it for sale. Most homes could use a little paint and need that loose step mended to get it in tip top shape. What exactly are the best upgrades to make for the least amount that will get your home sold and off the market quickly? While a coat of paint won’t fix structural damage it can freshen up an older home and give it a more modern feel. There are, of course, some repairs that are absolutely necessary to make or buyers won’t give your home a second thought. Read on to learn more about the top upgrades to make when you’re looking for a quick home sale.

  1. Paint is far and away the best type of upgrade to do before listing your home. If rooms have been painted bright colors or infused with accent walls and textures, it is best to give them a new coat with neutral shades. Your paint personality may not suit the tastes of potential buyers. Neutral shades are like a blank canvas which will help sell your home. Don’t forget the exterior as well. A trim and clean outside appearance is just as important as the inside walls. If your walls are already neutral, consider a fresh topcoat to cover up any chips or scratches. Also, consider removing wallpaper including wallpaper borders.
  2. Clean up your yard. A yard full of garden tools, toys, and other miscellaneous with no landscaping is a huge mistake when selling your home. It is important not to underestimate the effect curb appeal has for a potential buyer. What they see is a lot of work waiting for them, and an unkempt exterior is the quickest way to run off a sale. Clean any junk from your porch and yard, cut the grass and even invest in some potted flowers or plants to spruce up a drab home exterior.
  3. Repair leaks and faulty lighting. You don’t have to install a whole new kitchen or bath to sell your home, but it is vital to fix leaks in the plumbing and repair any electrical problems your home may have. If your fixtures are decades out of date it will be worth the investment to update them and have them installed correctly. Most buyers are not looking for a home to remodel or fix once they move in. Staying on top of these small problems can lead to a quick home sale for a higher price.
For more tips to help sell your home, contact Doorsteps.

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