Claire Rainville, Broker Associate, REMAX


The home selling journey sometimes is filled with hurdles that make it tough for an individual to optimize his or her property sale earnings. Fortunately, there are several shortcuts that a home seller can take to boost the likelihood of enjoying a profitable property selling experience. These shortcuts include:

1. Hire a Home Cleaning Company

A home cleaning company can help you transform your house's interior from drab to fab. That way, this company can help you clean your home from top to bottom and ensure buyers can fall in love with your residence as soon as they walk through the front door.

Of course, not all home cleaning companies are created equal, so you'll want to research local options. If you allocate time and resources to assess the home cleaning companies in your area, you can find a business that provides quality services at a budget-friendly price.

2. Employ a Professional Landscaper

If your lawn is filled with high grass and weeds, it may be tough to alleviate these issues on your own. Thankfully, professional landscapers are available in cities and towns nationwide. With a professional landscaper at your side, you can get the help you need to bolster your house's curb appeal.

Remember, your home only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on prospective buyers. If you hire a professional landscaper to mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks, you can quickly and effortlessly improve your residence's curb appeal. And as a result, your home will make a distinct impression on prospective buyers, which may lead to a fast, profitable home sale down the line.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a home and is happy to share his or her housing market expertise with you. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you enjoy a seamless property selling experience.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about you and your home selling goals and craft a personalized property selling strategy for you. A real estate agent next will promote your residence to buyers, along with host home showings and open house events. Then, if a buyer submits an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent will help you analyze this proposal and determine how to proceed.

Let's not forget about the comprehensive support that a real estate agent provides throughout the home selling journey, either. If you ever have concerns at any point during the home selling journey, a real estate agent is available to respond to them. He or she will help you make informed home selling decisions, and ultimately, achieve your desired results.

For home sellers who want to remove the guesswork commonly associated with the property selling journey, there is no need to worry. By using the aforementioned shortcuts, a home seller can streamline the process of selling his or her house.


If you are on the fence about whether to accept or reject a homebuying proposal, it is important to remember that a third option is available: countering the offer.

By countering a home offer, you can set the stage for a negotiation with an interested buyer. If a buyer accepts your counter-proposal, you and the buyer can move forward with a purchase agreement. Or, if a buyer rejects your counter-offer, you can always continue to seek out proposals from other potential buyers.

Before you counter a home offer, it is important to know what to expect after you make this decision. That way, you can feel confident about your decision to counter a homebuyer's proposal, even in a high-pressure situation.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you analyze a home offer and determine whether to counter it.

1. Assess the Housing Market

The housing market ultimately may play a key role in how a home seller approaches an offer. Because if a seller examines the real estate sector closely, he or she may gain actionable insights that can be used to differentiate a "fair" proposal from a "lowball" offer.

Look at the prices of comparable houses in your city or town, as well as the prices of recently sold residences in your area that are similar to your own. Then, you can use this information to take a data-driven approach to analyze an offer. And if you decide to counter an offer, you can rest assured that your decision is backed by relevant real estate insights.

2. Review Your Home's Pros and Cons

Oftentimes, it is beneficial to consider your house's age and condition as you review an offer. This will enable you to account for any potential home repairs and the costs associated with them – something a buyer also may do before he or she submits an offer on your home.

Don't forget to consider the strengths of your home as well. If you recently performed a series of home upgrades, you probably accounted for these house improvements when you set the initial asking price for your home. Thus, you should have no regrets about countering a home offer if it fails to match your expectations.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Hiring a real estate agent is crucial, particularly for a home seller who is uncertain about how to proceed with a home offer. A real estate agent can help you evaluate all aspects of a home offer and make it easy to submit a counter-proposal as needed.

Typically, a real estate agent will offer expert home selling recommendations. He or she also will respond to your home selling concerns and questions and ensure you can make an informed decision about any offer, at any time.

Ready to review an offer on your house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble deciding whether to counter a homebuying proposal.



 

Taking good pictures of a house up for sale can be challenging, especially when trying to make your home standout against all the other homes on the market. A good picture portrays your home in a great light and tends to make your house look attractive to prospective buyers. Some home sellers hire a professional photographer to take high-resolution pictures; others may opt to take the photos themselves. Whether you're a professional or a novice, utilizing the following tips will help you capture the best photos for your real estate listing:


Use a High-Resolution Camera

Your camera is the most important tool in your arsenal. No matter the technique or angle of the shot, without the resolution-backing power of a high-quality camera your images may fall short. DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras are relatively inexpensive and provide a large range of operating options to suit your photography prowess, no matter what it may be.


Rearrange and Organize

Before beginning your home photo shoot, you may want to make sure the aesthetic is pleasing to the eye. Tidying up a room by putting items away, making sure the surfaces are properly dusted and cleaned, and even rearranging a few things to fit into a geometric space with plenty of negative space (space without any items) may aid in making your home more appealing.


Use Good Lighting

Lighting can often make or break a picture. If you opt to use natural lighting, make sure the weather is favorable to avoid any unwanted flares or shadows. Consider starting your photo shoot in the morning or early evening when the sun is not overbearing but still provides an adequate amount of natural light. This way, your property is not directly under the sun. If you decide to use artificial lighting, look at the colors in your home and decide if you'd like a warmer atmosphere or more radiant one. Soft white light will give your home a more homey feel, whereas bold white lights will highlight everything underneath them.


Stabilize Your Photos

Blurry images distort what prospective buyers see when they look at your house. A way to avoid blurry photos is to use a stand specifically designed for the camera you've opted to use. You may also use a table or steady your arms across a larger piece of furniture, depending on what you're snapping at the time. Many cameras also have a stabilization feature that allows them to remove or minimize the movement of the operator.


Pictures speak thousands of words. Get the right images for your home listing by following these tips or hiring a professional real estate photographer to give your home the best, glowing, visual reference on the market.


If you’re in the market to buy a home, you want to find the perfect place for you and your family. In a seller’s market, the competition can be fierce. As a buyer, you may be under the impression that you need to make the highest offer in order to secure the home of your dreams. The problem is, you may never know what price other people have offered for the same home.


Know Your Budget


First, you should know what kind of a budget you have to work with to buy a home. You probably have done an online search to see what’s out there and what price range the homes you like fall into. You’ll want to go beyond the online search and actually see some of your favorite houses in person because pictures can be deceiving. 


Next, you’ll want to do is speak with a lender. This can help you before you even hit the ground running on your home search. A lender can pre-qualify you then work you through the process of pre-approval. This will give you a definitive number to work with when searching for a home. With this number, you’ll know how much you can offer comfortably when you find that house you fall in love with.


Make A List Of Priorities


Finding the “perfect” house usually requires that you make a few compromises along the way. It’s very unlikely that you’ll find one house that gives you everything you want in one place without a bit of imagination. Jot down all of the things about a home that are the most important to you. These items could include:


  • The neighborhood
  • Big backyard
  • Open floor plan
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Hardwood floors
  • The size of the rooms
  • Style of the house
  • Granite countertops


Whatever is important to you should be on the list. Next, go through the list and see what can be compromised on. There are probably a few luxuries on the list that you could stand to give up in lieu of something else.  


The Offer


Once you find that home you know that you absolutely want to live in, you’re going to want to make an offer. Let your realtor know immediately that you’re interested in the home and they can get to work. Your realtor can help you to make an offer that’s reasonable based on the asking price and your budget. Your offer doesn’t have to be thousands of dollars over the asking price for you to win the bid. There are a couple of strategies that can help you to land the right home even if you’re not stretching your budget to the max.


Showing You’re Serious


Taking steps like being pre-approved and having all of your finances in order can help to give you the upper hand in the house hunt. Sellers don’t want to deal with a buyer who is ultimately going to have issues where the deal will fall through.


The Offer Letter


Writing a letter along with your offer is a great personal touch to help you land the home of your dreams. If a seller knows that the home they have lived in and loved will go to another owner who is going to appreciate and take the same great care of the home, they will be more likely to go with you as a buyer. First, tell the seller a bit about yourself and why you love the home so much. Compliment the landscaping. Tell the seller just how much your kids are going to appreciate living in the home. Don’t be afraid to get too personal when it comes to writing an offer letter to the sellers. They will appreciate honesty and a candid approach in the sometimes all too serious matter of buying a home.


Buying a house is a life-changing decision. As such, you should perform extensive home evaluations before you make your final purchase decision.

There are many questions to consider as you review houses, and these questions include:

1. Does a home match my expectations?

Entering the housing market with homebuying criteria usually is a good idea. If you know what you want to find in your dream house, you can tailor your home search accordingly. As a result, you can speed up the homebuying journey.

When it comes to establishing homebuying criteria, it helps to consider your short- and long-term goals. For example, if you want a house that is close to your current office in the city, you can search for residences in towns and cities near your workplace. Or, if you are willing to upgrade a house on your own, you may want to focus on "fixer-upper" properties.

2. Can I afford a house?

Home prices vary based on many factors. Fortunately, if you create a homebuying budget, you can narrow your house search and review properties that fall within your price range.

Oftentimes, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Banks and credit unions are happy to provide you with a wide assortment of mortgage options. Once you assess the different types of mortgages, you can choose one that will ensure you can acquire your dream home in no time at all.

3. Will a home require in-depth repairs in the near future?

How a home looks today may not match how this residence looks in the years to come. As you evaluate residences, it may be beneficial to consider potential repairs.

For instance, if a house likely will require a new roof in the next few years, you may need to budget for this expense. Conversely, if a home is brand new or recently has been upgraded, you may be able to avoid costly, time-consuming repairs in the foreseeable future.

If you want to streamline your home search, you can hire a real estate agent too. In fact, if you employ a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive support throughout the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent has a simple goal: to help you find a great house at a budget-friendly price. To accomplish this goal, a real estate agent will learn about you and your homebuying criteria and craft a personalized homebuying strategy. Plus, a real estate agent will set up home showings, offer expert homebuying recommendations and help you submit an offer to purchase your dream residence. And if you have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is available to respond to them at your convenience.

Lastly, be careful as you evaluate available homes in your preferred cities and towns. Keep in mind that no house is perfect, and any residence you buy may increase or decrease in value over time. And if you find a home that you want to buy, prepare a competitive offer, and you can boost the likelihood of receiving an instant "Yes" from a property seller.