May 4, 2017

How to stage your home to sell

When selling your home the last thing you’re going to want to do is to make it look perfect after all of the stress of paperwork and decision making. To make this process a little easier here is a complete guide on how to stage your home from curb appeal to storage spaces.

The very first thing that will catch a potential buyer’s eye is curb appeal. The way your home appears from the street is what either attracts buyers or turns them away. A few simple measures you can take to attract buyers from a first glance is power washing siding and walkways, planting fresh greenery and blooming flowers, washing glass on windows and staining the wood on front porches.

Then once you get buyers to come in, the first room that will likely be viewed when walking through your home is the living room. It is important to stage the living room to feel cozy and clean because this room is a place where the entire family spends a lot of time. The first step you can take to stage your living room is to remove clutter, a room can feel very small when there is too much furniture, remove any furniture that is out of place or doesn’t fit the aesthetic of the room. When accessorizing a living room always follow the rule of three. When it comes to pleasing the eye, threes are prime. For the best effect use one unifying element between the accessories such as color, shape or texture. Nothing can make a living space look more fresh than a new coat of paint, it is a cheap and easy way to bring a whole new feel to an old space. Don’t be afraid to experiment out of your comfort zone with colors, especially darker tones of color, which can surprisingly make a room feel especially intimate.

The next room that is a selling point for buyers is the kitchen, new versus old kitchen appliances can make or break a sale. However there is a trick to bringing up the value of your home through the kitchen without spending a lot of money on new appliances. Instead of going out and buying a new dishwasher for example, try only buying a new front panel for it, this fix is inexpensive but gives appliances a modern, new look. Lighting in a kitchen is also very important, buyers are going to be looking for a well lit area to fit their cooking needs. Changing light bulbs is an easy and affordable fix, when choosing lighting follow the rule of 100 watts for every 50 square feet of space.

Bedrooms are another very crucial space to stage well when trying to sell your home, as far as the master bedroom goes you want to create a gender-neutral space. Using things like crisp linens and tasteful artwork will help a master bedroom appeal to everyone. When it comes to staging children’s bedrooms it is smart to clean up all of the toys and clutter. If your home has more than a couple bedrooms it is likely that families with children will be walking through, it may sway these buyers to see a beautifully organized children’s room. For bedrooms it is key to find a balance between clean and lived in, get rid of clutter but make sure you’re not making bedrooms too bare, you want buyers to be able to picture themselves living in these rooms.

Finally the most underrated yet still equally important spaces in your home are those used for storage. Open up closets, buyers will definitely want to take a peek inside of these spaces and this can be a major selling point. Often only 20-30% of open space in closets and storage spaces will create the illusion that the area is very spacious. Make sure to transform spaces so that each and every room has a purpose, this will bring up the overall value of your home.

Hopefully after these few tips the process of staging your home will be simpler and more enjoyable. Who knew by replacing light bulbs or adding a fresh coat of paint the value of your home could increase substantially and potentially sell faster, this is why the staging process is so important.

 
March 7, 2017

Is it better to buy or rent a home?

I just wanted to briefly cover a conversation I had with someone today about buying and renting, someone who now I can call a client because of the conversation.

 

Now, for those of you who know me personally, know I’m not a pushy, salesy type of agent, but someone who like’s to think of himself as a consultant or someone who genuinely just wants to help people.  So, this topic just came up through casual conversation, but ended up turning into a very valuable lesson for both of us.

 

So, it started with him saying that he couldn’t afford to buy a home because it was too expensive. So, just out of curiosity, I asked him how much he paid in rent each month. He told me $1,000 a month, plus utilities.  After a little back and forth, I soon realized that he just didn’t know very much about the home buying process and what the perks and benefits are of owning a home and how possible it really is. 

 

He had no idea about the loan programs out there that require very little money down.  He thought you had to have a minimum of 20% down in order to qualify for a loan, which is ideal so you can avoid paying private mortgage insurance, but far from necessary.  He also didn’t know about the tax breaks you receive from paying the interest on your mortgage. He didn’t know about several other benefits , like money down grant program for first time home buyers, and how low the interest rates actually are compared to historical norms and so much more. We were able to talk through these things and he began to see that it wasn’t as unaffordable as he had previously thought.

 

I think the one question that I finally asked that really got him thinking was how long he was planning on paying his landlords mortgage and building equity for him, instead of his own? He knew that was what he had been doing all along but when asked the question it made him stop and think about how this was not benefitting him.

 

Needless to say, we now have an appointment set so we can get down to the details and see how we can get him in a place where he will start seeing benefits from the $1000 a month he is paying.

 

If any of you, or anyone you know have any questions at all about buying or selling a home, please give me a call or message me.  I would be more than happy to sit down with you or simply answer a few questions if it helps you make a more informed decision.

 

 

Posted in Home Buying Advice
Feb. 26, 2017

How to price your home correctly from the start

 


Often times when first time home sellers, or any home seller goes to sell their home, they over price due to how special the home is to them. It can be very hard to let something go that you have spent so much time with. However the reality of the situation is that this could be costing the homeseller big time.

When a house is overpriced it will sit on the market for a very long time, and the only offers received will feel like an insult. Over time the seller will continue to keep bringing the price down until finally someone buys it. Cutting the price and a house on the market for too long can make buyers think that there might be something wrong with the house.

On the contrary, if the house is priced at exactly what it is worth, it will be off the market quickly and often for a higher price. When people see a good deal on a house it draws them in, this can create a bidding war where multiple people want the house. If a bidding war does happen this could bring the price up to what the homeowner really wanted to begin with or even higher.

 

So how do you price your home correctly?

Here are a few tips:

 1. Use valuation tools

2. Analyze market reports in your area

3. Find the perfect price in the market

4. Think about it as if you’re the buyer

 The use of valuation tools are very helpful because they take aggregate data from the area and the home, and put it together to find the right area to price it. To use an valuation tool, click here.  

Market reports can be very helpful once you have a number in mind to price the home at. Using market reports you can see what has sold, how long things have been on the market, and get a feel for where the home should be priced for the market. When looking to price the home in the market it is important to find the niche. If there are 8 homes priced between $274,000 and $278,000, and the home is worth $270,000 and $280,000 then it may be best to price it at $270,000 or $280,000 to bring the most attention. When buyers are performing home searches they search on a price range, let’s say $250,000 to $300,000. If the home is priced at $302,000 then it will be missed by the majority of people who have the budget for it. If it is priced at 299,999 then it will fall into those searches. To view market reports, click here.

When pricing a home take a step back and think about what it would be like if you were in the market for a home right now in your neighborhood. What would catch your eye when performing home searches?

 

Posted in Utah living
Feb. 9, 2017

Why Utah is the best state to live in

 



Utah’s four season climate is just the beginning to why it is the best place in the world to live. With Utah there is a lot more than what meets the eye. Utah is not only one of the world’s best places for outdoor enthusiasts. It is also one of the world’s happiest, safest, and most fun places to live in the world.

Throughout the entire state of Utah there are big beautiful mountains, and huge amounts of open space. This opens up the opportunity for any and all outdoor activities. Throughout the whole year it is enjoyable to go hiking, camping, biking, along with many other activities. In the winter you can enjoy some of the world’s best skiing. From Salt Lake City, UT alone there are 11 world class ski resorts within an hours drive. This is why in 2002 Salt Lake City hosted the winter Olympics, and it is still known as the best Winter Olympic venue.

Utah is also home to five national parks. Each and everyone brings is different feel of wonder and inspiration.

Zion national park is world renown with its famous attractions being ‘angels landing’ and ‘narrows’.

Arches national park is like being in another world due to its large red rock arches that almost don’t look real. Capitol reef national park offers one of the most scenic and iconic drives in the entire United States.

Bryce Canyon national park has tall pointy looking rock formations that make you feel like you are at the center of a castle on mars. Canyonlands national park is like a combination of Bryce Canyon, Arches, and the Grand Canyon. All of these parks are within a 3-5 hour drive from the popular cities of Ogden, Salt Lake City, and Provo.

Utah and it’s cities have been ranked by many different survey polls time and time again as the ‘the best state to live in’, ‘highest well being of metropolitan areas’, and ‘happiest state to live in’. A lot goes into these ratings, including economy, and culture.

Utah has an outstanding economy that brings in a lot of business. Some of the world’s most important technology companies call Utah home, such as eBay, Legend Solar, Adobe, and Bluehost. On top of just technology, Utah is home to 86 of the fastest growing companies in the world. This is why Utah has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world at around 3.4% and is continually dropping.

Utah’s culture is known for being very clean, respectful, and creative. Utah has some of the lowest crime rates in all of the United States, and has been ranked in the top 10 for safest state to live in every year since 2003. The reason being is that there is a sense of community in Utah, neighbors know neighbors and they look out for each other. This is also why Utah is consistently ranked the most generous state in the United States. People that live in Utah give the most time and money to charity than any other state in the country.

Utah has 6 colleges with division 1 sports, which means in the fall/winter there is always good football, basketball and an array of other sports. Most notably the Utah Utes, BYU Cougars, and Utah State Aggies have the best football and basketball teams. The most famous football game in Utah happens every few years when University of Utah and BYU square off, it is known as the Holy War.

The renown rivalry of the two teams is felt all throughout the country as the game is so important it is often nationally televised. Salt Lake City, UT has two major league professional sports teams, the Utah Jazz, and Real Salt Lake. The Utah Jazz is a basketball team in the NBA that is often a playoff contender. Real Salt Lake is a soccer team that has won one MLS cup in 2009 and is considered one of the best teams in the league.

Utah truly is the best state to live in, it has everything to offer. No matter if you have an interest in the outdoors, sports, or just want a safe beautiful community, you will find it in Utah.

Posted in Utah living