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  • The Real Estate market is heating up! Now's the time to sell, as home values have increased and home equity has returned. It's a great time to take advantage of selling in a Hot Market, and making thatmove upto your Dream Home.

    You own a great home that you are proud of. You love the interior with it's open floor plan, your kids love the fabulous school they go to, and the neighborhood is safe. You have an idea on what you feel your home is worth, based on how much you love your home. A price that would return everything you have put into it, over the years.

    Caution - This is where trouble begins. A seller who prices his home based on "Emotional Value", may not be realistic with the true current "Market Value" of the home.

    What are the Dangers of The Overpriced Listing?

    An overpriced home will NOT lure buyers. In fact, it will limit the amount of buyers who will even consider your home for purchase. When a home is first listed, it generates a very high level of interest from prospective buyers. The first 2 weeks of the listing time period, is the most crucial. It is SO important to be priced correctly from the beginning.


    Price it in line with the current market. As a good rule of thumb - The Longer you are on the market, the lower the price reduction of the offers you will receive. If you are priced correctly, you should receive good offers at or above your list price - This Should Be Your GOAL!

    Let's Test The Market and Price it High - NOT A GOOD IDEA!

    Overpricing your home in the belief that you can reduce the price back later, is a strategy that can backfire badly. For example, by the time you reduce your price, you may have missed out on a surge of buyers interested in the properties like yours. Also, if prices are lowered, buyers may wonder if there's something wrong with the property that kept other buyers away. So to avoid selling your property below market value and wasting valuable time, don't fall into the overpricing trap.

    How do you determine the currentMarket Valueof your home? How to you avoid the pit falls of becoming an over priced listing, which stays on the market for more than 30 days and becomes stale and undesirable?

    Here are a few factors to help you determine the true value of your home.

    What did Your Neighbor's Home Recently "Sell" For?

    This is a great place to start in determining the current market value of your property. Sales within a mile of your home, with like-kind features, will give you an idea of what buyers are willing to pay, at this current time. When setting a price for your home, the listing level must strike a balance between your need to achieve the best-possible return and the buyer's need to get a good value. The market value of your home is determined exactly like any other commodity - What a buyer is willing to pay for it in today's market. Despite the price you paid originally, or the value of any improvements you may have made, the value is determined by the market forces.

    Buyers look at a about a dozen properties on average before making an offer on a property. As a result, they have a good overview of the market and will compare your home against the competition. If it's not in line with similar homes on the market, buyer's will not consider it a good value for their money.

    Where is Your Home Located?

    You know the old saying"Location, Location, Location". Well it's true! Take a look at your neighborhood. Consider everything from curb appeal, to your school district, to the local crime rates. How close is the nearest grocery store, shopping mall, or entertainment? I know these factors are out of your control, but unfortunately they still play a role in how much you can ask for your home.

    Another Real Estate saying is"Buy the least expensive home, in the nicest neighborhood", which allows for an increase in your home's market value. When you have the nicest home in a neighborhood that is less in quality, the reverse happens - you may have a hard time making all of your money back in the resale. Adjusting your list price accordingly, may be necessary.

    Have You Made Updates to Your Home?

    Buyers, now a days, are looking for turn-key, move-in-ready properties. They want the most bang for their buck, with the least amount of work to be done, to meet their standards of living. If you have not updated your home, you may want to consider doing so prior to listing. You will find that even the most minor updates will add value. Items such as updating light fixtures and ceiling fans, flooring, and paint. Renovated kitchens and bathrooms hold the highest rate of return on your investments. This would include updated counter tops, cabinets, and appliances.

    Pricing According to What You Owe on Your Home - NOT a Good Idea!

    Your home can be your nest egg and every homeowner wants to make a profit when selling. After all, it should be the biggest and best investment you've ever made. But the truth in the matter is, if the market is not performing in your favor you may have to adjust in your asking price. If you solely base your list price on how much you still owe on your mortgage, you more than likely will be overpricing your home. Watch out for this temptation....

    Hire a Trustworthy Agent

    Some Real Estate agents will tell you exactly what you want to hear, when it comes to the value of your home. They will do this to secure your listing. However, the truth is that they will not be able to sell you home at the overpriced, price you had in mind. You will receive low-ball offers, if you're lucky, and will be encouraged to accept one, causing you to be discouraged and disappointed.

    Work with a Realtor who has the experience, expertise, and integrity to get your home SOLD quickly and at the highest price through proven marketing strategies. By pricing your home properly from the beginning, you will have multiple buyers, flocking to your open house, willing to make an offers and sometimes OVER the properly priced, list price!

    Nothing better than multiple offers on a properly priced Home! It can happen to YOU!


  • What would you do if you won the lottery? Pay off your mortgage? Certainly that would be a wonderful thing to happen to many! However, non-winners will continue to have to pay monthly mortages.

    But do you have to be stuck with that 30 year mortgage you signed? Not necessarily. There are a couple of things you can do to shorten the loan term for your home.

    1. Make extra monthly payments. For example, making your regular loan payment, but add and extra $100 dollars or more toward your principle. Make sure you designate that extra payment as the principle payment only, as the mortgage company will just apply it to your regular monthly payment.

    2. Use monthly/yearly bonus checks.Apply your bonus checks to extra principle payments.

    3. Make an extra house payment each quarter.

    4. Round up your payments so that your paying a few extra dollars each month.

    Making extra payments according to your budget can help knock a few years off your loan term. Use anextra payment calculatorto see your savings.

    Contact Sheri Jones today for all your real estate needs!!



    #PayingOffYourMortgage #RealEstate #HomesBySheri

  • Between applying for a home loan and the close of escrow comes a most crucial step: the home appraisal. Since the transaction that got you to this point is one in which a buyer and seller agreed on a price, the appraisal is more likely than not to match the purchase price.

    In fluctuating markets however, especially those heading up after being down for some time, low appraisals occur frequently. For instance, as the nation climbed out from under the explosion in distressed sales, it took some time for home appraisals to even out. It is understandable, given that appraisers were basing market value on homes that had foreclosed or sold via a short sale.

    Although there is nothing a homeowner can do about nearby houses that bring down market values in the area, there are things he or she can do to help achieve a higher appraisal.

    1. Arm the appraiser with accurate information

    The reality is that the appraiser is only there for 30 minutes at most, Brian Coester, chief executive of CoesterVMS, an appraisal management company, tells CNBC.COM. Thirty minutes to make a good first impression when the appraiser is distracted with appraisal duties is a tall order.

    Put together an information packet that the appraiser can take with her when she heads back to her office to crunch the numbers. Here are some items to include in the packet:

    The facts ~ Make a list of the facts about your home, including the street address, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and the year it was built. Yes, the appraiser has access to these details, but verification from you cant hurt.A list of recent sales ~ The appraiser has access to area home sale prices but there is always a possibility of an error or two creeping in. Ask your real estate agent to print out a list of comparable homes in the area that have recently sold for prices that help justify your price.Inside information ~ In addition, any information you may have that the appraiser can't possibly be aware of such as the fact that your next door neighbor sold his home at a drastically reduced price to be able to quickly relocate to his new job out of town should be included as well.Improvements ~ Let the appraiser know about improvements youve made to the home, the date they were made and the contact information for the contractor who performed the work. Include information about new floors, windows, countertops and a new roof. If you finished the basement, list that. Any work on or replacement of major systems should go on the list.

    2. Spiff it up

    While you dont need to stage your home for the visit from the appraiser, you do want the home to appear as if its been maintained.

    Things like overgrown landscaping, soiled carpeting, marks on walls those do affect value and are part of the propertys overall condition rating, Dean Zibas, of Zibas Appraisal in San Clemente, Calif. tells the Wall Street Journal.

    Certified residential appraiser Ralph J. Vaccari, of Marblehead, Mass. agrees. Its important to realize, though, that a dirty or unkempt home can increase its appearance of wear and tear beyond normal, and that condition can, in fact, affect value.

    So get busy cleaning up the landscaping and spiffing up the interior of the home in advance of the appraisers visit.

    3. Make repairs

    The appraiser will assign an effective age to the home which is based on the condition of the home and any updating performed.

    Say you have a cracked window, thread-bare carpet, some tiles falling off the shower surround, vinyl torn in the laundry room, and the dog ate the corner of the fireplace hearth, these items could still add up to an overall average condition rating as the home is still habitable, however your effective age will be higher resulting in comparables being utilized which will have the same effective age and resulting lower value, Doreen Zimmerman, an appraiser in Paradise, Calif. tells the Wall Street Journal.

    Make the repairs that, if not made, will age the home in the eyes of the appraiser. Some of these may be as simple as replacing torn window screens, others may be more substantial.

    While the sales prices of comparable properties are relied upon heavily to ascertain a subject propertys value, appraisers do not solely rely on them. All pertinent data, including intangible aspects, help determine the closest estimate of the value of a property. These are the aspects of the appraisal process that you can affect. Thinking of Selling your property? Click on this link for a Free Market Value Report.