Doorsteps blog posts

Blog entry by Doorsteps

What is Your Home Really Worth?

Sometimes it is a buyer’s market, and when that happens, you have to up your game to sell your house quickly. You may have sentimental attachment, think your neighbourhood is a major selling point, or other ideas that are making you estimate your home at a much higher value than it will sell for right now. You may need an unbiased opinion to help you realise the value of your home. So, what is your home really worth? To keep your property competitively on the market, take some of these steps to list your house at a price that will have buyers making offers immediately.

  • Use available comps. Comps, or comparables, are what appraisers use when assessing the value of your home. Many real estate websites all you to check out similar in homes in your neighborhood or those like it to compare what price they have recently sold for. These numbers can give you an idea for how much money to list your home.
  • Try the “99” philosophy. It may seem ridiculous but some home sellers will swear by the idea that any price ending in “99” will seem more appealing. For example, a price of £399,000 may appear more reasonable than £400,000. Price your home using an odd number as opposed to even and chances are you’ll have an offer soon.
  • Don’t ask for the top value. Your home may have appraised high and be in a much sought after neighbourhood, but if you price too high it may intimidate potential buyers. When a property is listed at the high end some may think a lower offer will automatically be refused. To prevent scaring off buyers price your home somewhere in between the lowest you would take and the highest value.
  • Listen to your agent. Your agent is constantly monitoring the market and knows what homes are selling for. If your home has been listed for some time and you have been unwilling to compromise it may be time to seek out an agent’s advice for adjusting your asking price. Sometimes even a subtle price drop is enough to motivate a buyer to make an offer.
  • Pay for an appraisal. While you may not want to spend the extra money an appraisal can give you an idea of what a mortgage lender would approve for your home. If you have your home appraised you will know exactly where to start pricing your home for an aggressive sale.

For more information on pricing your home, contact Doorsteps today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Could a Professional Inspection Kill Your Home Sale?

Your home has been listed and tours have been taken. The moment has finally arrived when a buyer made an offer and the selling process and paperwork is underway. The home inspection could stand between you and the sale. Unfortunately, many sellers feel they are home free by this point, but in reality, these home inspections, paid for by the buyer, can be a deal breaker and make the selling contract null and void. As a seller, it is important to be aware that any repairs that are found necessary during this inspection can lead to a potential negotiating of price or asking you to do the repairs before the home sale moves forward.  So how can you know that your home will pass the inspection with flying colors?

  • Look for water stains and determine if there are leaks. Ceiling stains are generally caused by some kind of water damage. If you notice these stains check out the bathroom or roof above for any leaks or structural/gutter problems. Having these repaired and covered before an inspection will prevent your sale from falling through.
  • Check corners of walls, under trim, and in bathroom/kitchen areas to be sure there is no sign of mold growing. Warm and moist areas of the house are the most susceptible to mold growth. Taking care of a mold problem before the inspection protects you from any surprises when the home inspector comes to complete his or her job.
  • Exterior wood. If a porch, deck, or wood siding on home is rotted or deteriorating in any way, it is best to replace it and get it fixed before a home inspection takes place. If you do not want to spend the money to fix rotted wood issues, then be prepared to come down on your price when the buyer submits an offer much lower than your asking price.
  • Pest control. Have a pest professional check your home for rodents and insects before the home inspection occurs. Many home contracts have fallen through because there was evidence of termite damage and other pest issues during the buyer’s home inspections. Getting it controlled before the sale is the best way to make sure the contract stays intact and the home sale goes through.
  • If you have no desire to pay for the improvements and repairs need for the home inspection, you can always put your disclosure in the selling contract. For example, you know there are foundation issues but do not wish to spend the money to repair, disclose before the inspection with the understanding you may have to sell for a lower price.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

When is it Time to Drop the Price of Your Home?

Every seller wants the best price for a home they have listed on the market. If your home has not generated much interest or has not enticed a single offer from a potential buyer, it may be time to reconsider the asking price of your home. It is a difficult decision for many homeowners to have to make, and you want to make sure that you don’t end up upside down as far as owing money even after the sale has been closed. So how do you know when it is time to drop the price of your home? Look for the following signs and consult with your agent for help with the pricing and sale of your home and property.

  1. How fast do you need your house to sell? The number one reason to drop the price of your house could come down to what kind of time frame you are working in. Did you have to relocate for your job and now you are straddled with two mortgages? If your finances won’t stretch it is time to drop the price to generate more interest and get your home off the market.
  1. How long has it been listed? Has your house been on the market for a few weeks, months, almost a year? The longer your house is on the market the more likely buyers are to question what is wrong with your property. It is likely your home is overpriced for the market and it is time to consider dropping your asking price.
  1. Have you had a lot of online hits and some physical offers? If there appears to be a lot of interest in your home complete with showings and even offers that you have refused it may be that your expectations for price are too high. As long as there is interest in your home you may only need to drop the price a little to get buyers motivated and get your house sold.

The amount to drop in price is a decision to discuss with your agent. They are genuinely working for you and want to see you get a successful sale. Your agent can help you decide the best price drop based on time of year, repairs that need to be made, neighbourhood, and a host of other deciding factors.  Depending on your asking price a relatively small drop of a few thousand pounds could be just the push need to motivate buyers and get your selling contracts signed. For help on pricing and other home selling tips, contact us today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

3 Reasons to List Your Home With an Agent

Once you have decided to list your home, it is best to contact an estate agent to help with the legalities and best practices for moving your home off the market quickly. It can be a tricky road to navigate if you aren’t sure what you are doing. Knowing how much to ask and what to negotiate are all best left up to professionals like those at Doorsteps. Before deciding to list your home as “For Sale By Owner” consider some of these aspects that make deciding to list with an agent a no-brainer.

  1. Market Value. The real estate market is an ever changing entity, and it would be a difficult task to assess your home’s value without the knowledge of an agent. Remember that they list multiple homes on any given day in many neighbourhoods. An agent like those at Doorstep Agents can best help assess your home’s value based on these factors as well as the market value getting you the best price for your home. Going it alone can lead to overpricing, scaring off potential buyers or low-balling leading lookers to think they may be underlying issues you aren’t disclosing.
  2. It’s All About the Timing. You may not be aware that listing your home successfully can be affected by factors such as the time of year and even the time of day. For most areas, the best time to list a home is during winter months. Your realtor knows when the busy season is for your area and can help you decide the best time to list to get the most looks and highest selling price. Sometimes a successful listing can even come down to the time of day or even day of the week you first decide to list your house for sale.
  3. Appeal to the Buyer’s Market. Your realtor knows what buyers are looking for and can make suggestions to help you boost your home’s appeal for a quicker sale at a great price. Realtors represent buyers and sellers, and their experience with buyers could save you a lot of time and headache by getting your home sold and off the market. Assuming your home is fine the way it is could prolong the listing time and prevent you from making the sale. The longer a home sits on the market the harder they seem to be to sell.
For more advice on listing your home contact Doorsteps today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

3 Reasons to List Your Home With an Agent

Once you have decided to list your home, it is best to contact an estate agent to help with the legalities and best practices for moving your home off the market quickly. It can be a tricky road to navigate if you aren’t sure what you are doing. Knowing how much to ask and what to negotiate are all best left up to professionals like those at Doorsteps. Before deciding to list your home as “For Sale By Owner” consider some of these aspects that make deciding to list with an agent a no-brainer.

  1. Market Value. The real estate market is an ever changing entity, and it would be a difficult task to assess your home’s value without the knowledge of an agent. Remember that they list multiple homes on any given day in many neighbourhoods. An agent like those at Doorstep Agents can best help assess your home’s value based on these factors as well as the market value getting you the best price for your home. Going it alone can lead to overpricing, scaring off potential buyers or low-balling leading lookers to think they may be underlying issues you aren’t disclosing.
  2. It’s All About the Timing. You may not be aware that listing your home successfully can be affected by factors such as the time of year and even the time of day. For most areas, the best time to list a home is during winter months. Your realtor knows when the busy season is for your area and can help you decide the best time to list to get the most looks and highest selling price. Sometimes a successful listing can even come down to the time of day or even day of the week you first decide to list your house for sale.
  3. Appeal to the Buyer’s Market. Your realtor knows what buyers are looking for and can make suggestions to help you boost your home’s appeal for a quicker sale at a great price. Realtors represent buyers and sellers, and their experience with buyers could save you a lot of time and headache by getting your home sold and off the market. Assuming your home is fine the way it is could prolong the listing time and prevent you from making the sale. The longer a home sits on the market the harder they seem to be to sell.
For more advice on listing your home contact Doorsteps today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Online Pictures Make a Great Sale

Posting your home online is a fantastic way to give buyers the opportunity to see your home at its best. The decision to actually see your home in person is likely made based on your photos and how they make your home look. Using a few camera angles and following some advice for making your home look its best can help get lookers online to an open house or inside for a scheduled visit. Take a look at some of the best advice for photographing your home and be sure to get the help of the experts at Doorsteps.

  1. More is better. Buyers are more likely to ask about your home if there are a wide variety of photos. Limiting your photos to one bedroom and bath and the kitchen/living area may not be enough to satisfy the curiosity of online viewers. Taking a wide variety of photos helps online viewers get an idea for the actual size of the house and rooms as well as the layout of the house overall.
  1. Use a hi-res camera. Low quality pics don’t give an accurate perspective of your home and what’s inside. If you cell phone camera isn’t equipped with at least an 8 mp camera, use a camera that is. You could move one step forward, too, and hire a professional photographer to capture the beauty of your house. They have the experience necessary with the lighting and angles that will show off each room and make it look its best.
  1. Pay attention to detail. Too many house photos are taken in haste without really looking at what is in the shot. Are the toilet seats down? Are there dishes in the sinks? What’s on the table when the photo is taken? While you may not think questions like these matter, paying attention to these small details can be a selling point for your home. If the photos make your home look cluttered or uncared for, buyers may question how your home has been maintained over the years.
  1. Use natural light. Taking photos, especially exterior photos, in natural sunlight is the best way to show off your home. Be careful to use angles that don’t allow glares from the light and that lessen imperfections. Finding angles that give the appearance of roominess and space are all great ways to showcase your home drawing in potential buyers leading to a successful sale.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Getting What You Want Through Negotiations

The process of selling a home should be a personalised experience as there is no “one-size-fits-all” plan for getting what you want. Every seller has a slightly different objective, so it is important to have an agent who understands what your needs are when it comes to selling your home. Doorsteps understands that the process for selling your home may be different than that of their other sellers. We work with you to ensure that the process of negotiations goes as smoothly as possible getting you the result you are after.

What are your goals?

First, decide what is really important to you for making your sale? Is buying a new house contingent on selling this one? Is your asking price firmly set? Do you simply want to sell it quickly no matter what? Having a plan before listing your home and getting offers can help you and your agent when it is time to begin the negotiations that will actually sell your home.

What are you willing to compromise?

In some cases, a buyer will offer your asking price or close to it if the seller agrees to pay part or all of the mortgage related charges. Others may want you to throw in appliances or furniture. Discuss with your agent the pros and cons of these compromises and decide immediately if you are willing to meet your buyers’ requests or if they are out of your realm of comfort. Remember, you can always refuse an offer or give a counter-offer to find a middle ground that works well for both parties.

How do you know what to counter-offer?

Chances are your agent has a good idea what the buyer is reaching for and can help you come up with the best counter-offer to keep the buyer satisfied and you happy. Price isn’t the only aspect to include in a counter-offer. For example, say the buyer is in a hurry to take possession, you could counter-offer a higher price but offer possession of home at closing. Be prepared to counter-offer a couple of times before coming to an agreement.

Your agent is in the process with you and knows how frustrating selling a home can be. We can help streamline the process so you don’t feel like you have to jump on the first offer you receive. Our sellers are our priority, and we look forward to serving you and getting you the best deal for your home.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Make Buying Your Home Easier

Buying your home is a big decision especially if you will be a first-time home owner. It can seem overwhelming and quite daunting to go the process alone. For starters, where do you begin looking for properties that are for sale? How do you get a hold of sellers to view the homes? What is the best loan option for you, and how will you pay the arrangement and legal fees? If you feel yourself starting to hyperventilate, take a deep breath and relax. Just give us a call. We are here to assist you with all of your needs when looking to buy a new home. Keep in mind some of the following to help get you through the process.

Start by visiting with one of our experienced agents to begin the process of looking for a new home. Discuss your needs, dislikes, preferred neighbourhoods, and price range. An agent can begin the process of showing you homes that meet your needs and preferences. Many homes will have scheduled open houses on weekend afternoons or evenings so you can tour potential properties and narrow down your search. Looking at a home in person is a great way to get a feel for the structure and see any potential problems you want to avoid.

The next step is for an agent to walk you through the process of obtaining a loan. They can recommend lenders as well as explain the other expenses involved in the buying process. Some of the expenses that come with purchasing a home include arrangement fees to the lender for drawing up papers, house inspection fees, misc. legal fees, and some taxes such as Stamp Duty Land Tax depending on the value and price of the property. Our experienced agents can keep you informed and make sure you aren’t surprised with unplanned expenses.

Once the negotiations and final sale price have been agreed upon, you can be sure that our agents will make the contracts and final signing process effortless and smooth. Buying a home can be difficult and stressful but it certainly doesn’t have to be. Keep in mind that this process can take as little as a few weeks to several months. Knowing what to expect ahead of time can put your mind at ease. Don’t go it alone. Trust Dooresteps to make the buying or selling process of your home and trouble free experience.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

3 Ways to Create Better Curb Appeal Now

“Curb Appeal.” You’ll hear it from estate agents like those at Doorsteps, but truly understanding the concept can be a bit difficult. It’s also an absolute must, as better curb appeal spells a better price for your home in the long run.

What is Curb Appeal?

The term itself simply considers the attractiveness of a property from the street. It factors in only a few aspects including landscaping, the front entrance, and the look of the exterior of the home (like the siding, stucco, or other exterior coating).

How Do I Increase My Home’s Curb Appeal?

Creating better curb appeal isn’t necessarily a simple process, but at Doorsteps, we’ve seen the process again and again –  an attractive exterior can make or break the sale of your home. It can also decrease the time it spends on the market. Wondering how to make sure your home is where it needs to be? These tips can help.

Evaluate Your Home Like a Buyer Might

Spend some time walking around your home’s exterior with a critical frame of mind. Grab a notepad and a pen. Anything that doesn’t look quite right, makes your home look like it might not make the cover of a magazine, or needs to be replaced, repaired or cleaned should go on your “To Do” list. You’ll want to do this both by the light of day and in the evening when the street lamps shine on your home to get the best possible view of what buyers might see. In addition you may even want to enlist the help of friends to get an outside opinion.

Add Some Plants

Unless you’re selling during the winter, there are always some kinds of annual plants in bloom that you can add around your landscaping. Consider containers, window boxes, or garden flower beds to add some colour. It will automatically create a beautiful look to the outside of your home.

Consider Lighting

If your home has poor outdoor lighting, you may want to spruce that up a bit too. Solar light fixtures are easily installed around your front walk or flower beds, and they’re fairly inexpensive. They’ll give your home a touch of luxury you didn’t initially expect.

Many buyers are far more willing to book a showing with your estate agent if they see something they like, so create a snapshot of an amazing properties outdoors. Doorsteps is ready to help. Contact us today to learn more.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Help for First-Time Sellers

The first time you sell a home can be just as complicated as the first time you bought a home. Understanding the legal aspects and what is expected of both you and the buyer can be tricky waters to navigate. The best advice for first-time sellers is to enlist the aid of qualified and experienced agents like the experts at Doorsteps. We know all of the ins and outs of selling a house, and we’ll be here for you every step of the way. To get you started, there are a few tips you should know.

Setting your price. Consult with your agent to help decide your starting listing price. Professional agents know the best way to price your home according to value, neighbourhood, and motivation to sell. Your Doorsteps knows how to get the best price for your home.

Choose the best time to list your home. You may not realize it, but the time of year can affect the sale of your house. Summer is notoriously slow for the housing market while spring tends to be the best time to list your home on the market. If the season isn’t right, though, you can still sell your home. We’ll be happy to guide you in the right direction.

Prepare your home for showings. Now is the time to listen to your agent about any upgrades that can increase the value of your home or simple landscaping tips that can add to the curb appeal. Get in the habit of keeping your home picked up and tidy every day. It also helps to take down anything personal like photos to keep a neutral looking space potential buyers can see themselves living in.

Stay in the background. It really is best to stay out of the way as your agent shows your home and works with buyers. Try to set emotional attachment aside as people start to look at your home and suggest changes they could make. It is important to remember they will make your home into the living space they desire after the sale.

Be Flexible. Buyers may want to look at your home at any point in time depending on their schedules. You have to stay flexible and be open to these impromptu visits. It’s also necessary to discuss possible negations and realtor’s fees before you get too serious about selling to make sure you and your agent are on the same page.

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