Michiana Home seller mistakes in South Bend

11 Major Mistakes Made by Michiana Home Sellers

Major mistakes made by sellers

From incorrect financing to lack of preparation, there are countless mistakes that a seller can make when putting their house on the market. This report covers some of the most common mistakes made by sellers during the property selling process.

If you’re serious about selling your house, it’s important that you know the facts. It seems like a simple prospect – just put your house on the market, show it to a few buyers, and make the sale – but as many sellers find out, selling a home can be a difficult, expensive and long prospect. By knowing some valuable information about the real estate industry, as well as some tips and tricks about selling your property, you’ll be able to more effectively tackle today’s real estate market. This report will tell you how you can:

  • Avoid making mistakes when selling your home
  • Make you aware of the most common mistakes home sellers make

Selling your home can be a difficult job, especially since you’re competing against hundreds of other properties. It’s vital that you be aware of what works and doesn’t work when it comes to home selling. Consider the following list of the most common mistakes made by home sellers:

Mistake 1: Setting the wrong price for your home

Experience shows the right price sells a house faster than any other factor. When the listing price is more than 5% over market value, the price alone discourages buyers. That’s because an overpriced house scares away potential buyers who think they can’t even afford to look. Buyers who do look at an overpriced house know they can get more house for their money elsewhere.

Mistake 2: Selling your home in ‘As-Is’ condition

In today’s competitive market, most buyers will not even consider a house that needs fix ups. In contrast, a sparkling showcase home gets top dollar when it comes to the bottom line. What most buyers are looking for is an inviting home in move-in condition, one that looks as good as a model home. Buyers who are willing to tackle the repairs after moving in automatically subtract the cost of needed fix-ups from the price they offer. Either way, you save nothing by putting off fix-ups and likely slow the sale of your house.

Mistake 3: Selling your home with a dull interior

A clean, bright decor is what buyers want. Probably the best dollar-for-dollar investment for selling your home fast is fresh paint. Neutral colors are best. Next to fresh paint, new carpeting–replaced for either condition or color–makes a big difference. Elbow grease can be as effective as spending cash to brighten your home. Start by ruthlessly getting rid of the junk you’ve accumulated. Clean each room top to bottom. Dare to make your home look better than you’ve ever had it looking before. Focus on the three rooms most inspected – kitchen, master bedroom and garage (if you’ve got one). Forget those and you may as well forget the buyer, too. In the kitchen, clear off counters and organize cupboards. Keep in mind, some prospects will judge the whole house by the cleanliness of the oven or refrigerator. In the master bedroom, move or remove furniture to create spaciousness. The ideal garage stores only cars and perhaps an orderly display of garden tools, so throw out your junk to show off room for theirs.

Mistake 4: No ‘Curb Appeal’

Your house gets only one chance to make a good first impression. That’s why “curb appeal” is one of the most critical points in selling. Buyers are apt to fall in love at first sight – or not at all. If your home lacks curb appeal, chances are the first impression will not be counteracted by the most perfect floor plan or the most tasteful interior. Spruce up the view of the house from the street, including lawn, shrubs, shutters, windows, front door, mailbox. Add potted flowers out front, a wreath on the door, brass outdoor lighting fixtures – whatever will enhance your home’s “buy me” look.

Mistake 5: Over-improving your home

While it’s important to fix whatever needs fixing to get your home ready for sale, undertaking a major project could cost more money than you would recover from the sale. Spending too much on remodeling projects just drains money out of your pocket. If your improvements will push your home’s value more than 20% over the average neighboring home values, don’t expect to recoup the entire cost. (Some major projects, however, like replacing a roof, should be done if they are needed.)

Mistake 6: Financing Incentives

The more buyers you appeal to in terms of financing, the greater your chances of selling faster. Be flexible, consider paying closing costs or points, providing a decorator’s allowance or other irresistible buyer incentives.

Mistake 7: Stretching out buyer negotiations

One of the most important moves you can make is to reply immediately to an offer. When buyers make an offer they are, right then, in the mood to buy. Moods, as you know, change, and you don’t want to lose a sale because you stall in replying.

Mistake 8: Being Adversarial during negotiations

No one wins if you enter negotiations with boxing gloves on. Instead, approach negotiations in a positive frame of mind, not as an adversary of the buyer. After all, you both want the same thing–a sale. Leave most of the discussion of price, terms, possession and other conditions up to your agent. We’ll make it our business to get you the best deal.

Mistake 9: Not having a presentable house

The presence of your family can make prospective buyers feel like intruders. If you’re at home when your home is being shown, be your usual friendly–but low-key–self and keep children and pets out from underfoot. It’s the agent’s job to show buyers what they need to see. Buyers can better focus on your home’s advantages by viewing them than by socializing. If an open house is scheduled, plan to be away from home, but let us know how to reach you quickly. When you’re not at home at other times, agents accompanying prospects will leave their business card. Please alert us afterward so we can follow up.

Mistake 10: Selling without a professional

Going it alone like General Custer could invite disaster. Without a professional adviser, you probably won’t sell. Even if you do sell, surveys show self-sellers often net less from the sale than sellers who use a real estate agent. Selling a house is a team effort between you and the listing agent. You’ll find agents do a lot more than most people know–from bringing qualified buyers to keeping things on track to settlement.

Mistake 11: Not consulting with John Tiffany first

My team at Integra Real Estate of Michiana, SouthBendInvest.com, or I are available to help homeowners and investors sell their porpoerty(ies).

Passing the St. Joseph County Home Inspection

Passing the Home Inspection – What Buyers Are Looking For

When you put your home up for sale you place it directly under the scrutiny of buyers. Superficial changes, such as new paint and resurfaced floors can do a lot to enhance your home’s appeal, but when it comes to an offer, most serious buyers will seek the assistance of a professional home inspector to ensure that the house is sound beneath the surface.

During most home inspections there are over forty problem areas that will be examined for correct function and condition. It is important that you are aware of what areas buyers will examine, and what you can do to ensure that these are in proper working order. In most cases you’ll be able to conduct a reasonable inspection yourself, if you know what to look for. This report will elaborate on some of the more important home inspection points, and will include information on:

  • Home Inspection areas and what to look for
  • How to make sure your home is as good beneath the surface as it is above

Home Inspection

Selling your home can be a difficult job, especially since you’re competing against hundreds of other properties. It’s important that you ensure that your home is in top condition, and doing a pre-inspection in anticipation of buyers doing the same is extremely important. Below are some areas that you should inspect:

Plumbing

Plumbing is of high priority when it comes to home inspections. Defective plumbing is classified in three ways namely leaking, clogging, and corrosion. A visual inspection will detect leaks and corrosion on pipes. Turning on all faucets in the highest bathroom and then flushing the toilet can gauge water pressure. The sound of water flowing through your pipes often indicates that the pipes are undersized. Additionally, if water coming from the pipes is dirty or contains debris, then the pipes are most likely rusting. The home inspector will evaluate all of these.

Damp or Wet Basement

The basement or crawl space is often the most revealing area in the building and usually provides a general picture of how the building works.

An inspector will check your walls for a powdery white mineral deposit a few inches off the floor, and will look to see if things you store right on your basement floor have suffered any moisture-related damage. Mildew odors are also a red flag for home inspectors. Difficult to eliminate, and indicative of other problems, an inspector will certainly be conscious of them.

Depending on severity and location it could cost you between $400 and $1,100 to seal a crack in your basement foundation. Another option is to add a sump pump and pit, which could cost around $750-$1,000. Finally complete waterproofing of an average 3-bedroom home could cost between $5,000 and $15,000. It’s important to factor these costs into the calculation of what you want to net on the sale of you home.

Damp Attic Spaces

Just as detrimental to a home seller as basement dampness are mold and mildew problems in the attic. Improper ventilation, insulation and vapour barriers can cause water and moisture to accumulate in the attic. This moisture and associated mold and mildew can lead to premature wear of the roof, structure and building materials. Oftentimes costs associated with fixing this damage can be in excess of $2,500.

Roofing Problems

The major problem associated with roofing problems is leakage, which can occur for a variety of reasons. Physical deterioration of asphalt shingles, mechanical damage from a windstorm or ice build-up as a result of poor drainage are all common causes of roofing issues. Leaky gutters and downspouts can also damage siding and exterior walls. Remember that it is only a matter of time before external damage becomes an internal problem.

Rotting Wood

Rotting wood, an issue particularly prevalent in older homes, can occur in many places such as door or window frames, trim, siding, decks and fences. Building inspectors will oftentimes probe the wood to check its integrity – and are particularly skeptical of woodwork that has been freshly painted.

Masonry Work

Brickwork commonly succumbs to water damage, minor ground and foundation settling and a host of other time-related changes. Redoing brickwork can be expensive, but when left unattended can sag, warp or even collapse. It’s particularly important to inspect your chimney for signs of moisture damage and structural integrity as problems in this area can lead to falling bricks and collapsing roof stacks.

Inadequate Wiring and Electrical Systems

Inadequate wiring can occur in many forms. Home inspectors will look at octopus plugs and extension cables as indications of inadequate circuits and potential fire hazards. Also your home should have a minimum of 100 amps service, and this should be clearly marked. All wiring should be copper or aluminum.

Unsafe or Over Fused Electrical Circuits

Unsafe electrical conditions are created when more amperage is drawn from a circuit than is intended. 15 Amp circuits are the most common in typical homes, although larger circuits are used for appliances such as stoves and dryers.

Older homes will also contain fuse panels rather than circuit breakers. Replacing a fuse panel with a circuit panel can often cost hundreds of dollars, but will be a factor that the home inspector will examine.

Poor Heating and Cooling Systems

A home inspector will scrutinize heating and cooling systems for efficiency and performance.

Insufficient insulation, and an inadequate or poorly functioning heating system, are the most common causes of poor heating. A home inspector will check the age of your furnace to see if it exceeds the typical life span of 15-25 years. Additionally, in a forced air gas system, the inspector will place the heat exchanger under particular scrutiny examining for cracks and damage as a potential source of carbon monoxide in your home. If the heat exchanger is damaged it must be replaced as it cannot be repaired.

Cooling systems are of equal importance. A home inspector will examine your air conditioning unit to evaluate size, installation, noisiness, dehumidification and cooling ability. A home inspector will pay particular attention to the exterior compressor/condenser units to make sure they are free of debris and have sufficient room in which to operate.

Adequate Security Features

A home inspector will examine your home for proper locks on windows and patio doors, dead bolts on the doors, smoke and even carbon monoxide detectors in every bedroom and on every level. Installing these components can add to your costs, but will demonstrate an adherence to basic security standards in your home. A purchased security system will also be examined.

Structural/Foundation Problems

An inspector will most definitely examine the underlying footing and foundation of your home. A cracked foundation or unstable footing can cost thousands in your home’s value.

Major Mistakes Made by Michiana Home Sellers

Major mistakes made by sellers

From incorrect financing to lack of preparation, there are countless mistakes that a seller can make when putting their house on the market. This report covers some of the most common mistakes made by sellers during the property selling process.

If you’re serious about selling your house, it’s important that you know the facts. It seems like a simple prospect – just put your house on the market, show it to a few buyers, and make the sale – but as many sellers find out, selling a home can be a difficult, expensive and long prospect. By knowing some valuable information about the real estate industry, as well as some tips and tricks about selling your property, you’ll be able to more effectively tackle today’s real estate market. This report will tell you how you can:

  • Avoid making mistakes when selling your home
  • Make you aware of the most common mistakes home sellers make

Selling your home can be a difficult job, especially since you’re competing against hundreds of other properties. It’s vital that you be aware of what works and doesn’t work when it comes to home selling. Consider the following list of the most common mistakes made by home sellers:

Mistake 1: Setting the wrong price for your home

Experience shows the right price sells a house faster than any other factor. When the listing price is more than 5% over market value, the price alone discourages buyers. That’s because an overpriced house scares away potential buyers who think they can’t even afford to look. Buyers who do look at an overpriced house know they can get more house for their money elsewhere.

Mistake 2: Selling your home in ‘As-Is’ condition

In today’s competitive market, most buyers will not even consider a house that needs fix ups. In contrast, a sparkling showcase home gets top dollar when it comes to the bottom line. What most buyers are looking for is an inviting home in move-in condition, one that looks as good as a model home. Buyers who are willing to tackle the repairs after moving in automatically subtract the cost of needed fix-ups from the price they offer. Either way, you save nothing by putting off fix-ups and likely slow the sale of your house.

Mistake 3: Selling your home with a dull interior

A clean, bright decor is what buyers want. Probably the best dollar-for-dollar investment for selling your home fast is fresh paint. Neutral colors are best. Next to fresh paint, new carpeting–replaced for either condition or color–makes a big difference. Elbow grease can be as effective as spending cash to brighten your home. Start by ruthlessly getting rid of the junk you’ve accumulated. Clean each room top to bottom. Dare to make your home look better than you’ve ever had it looking before. Focus on the three rooms most inspected – kitchen, master bedroom and garage (if you’ve got one). Forget those and you may as well forget the buyer, too. In the kitchen, clear off counters and organize cupboards. Keep in mind, some prospects will judge the whole house by the cleanliness of the oven or refrigerator. In the master bedroom, move or remove furniture to create spaciousness. The ideal garage stores only cars and perhaps an orderly display of garden tools, so throw out your junk to show off room for theirs.

Mistake 4: No ‘Curb Appeal’

Your house gets only one chance to make a good first impression. That’s why “curb appeal” is one of the most critical points in selling. Buyers are apt to fall in love at first sight – or not at all. If your home lacks curb appeal, chances are the first impression will not be counteracted by the most perfect floor plan or the most tasteful interior. Spruce up the view of the house from the street, including lawn, shrubs, shutters, windows, front door, mailbox. Add potted flowers out front, a wreath on the door, brass outdoor lighting fixtures – whatever will enhance your home’s “buy me” look.

Mistake 5: Over-improving your home

While it’s important to fix whatever needs fixing to get your home ready for sale, undertaking a major project could cost more money than you would recover from the sale. Spending too much on remodeling projects just drains money out of your pocket. If your improvements will push your home’s value more than 20% over the average neighboring home values, don’t expect to recoup the entire cost. (Some major projects, however, like replacing a roof, should be done if they are needed.)

Mistake 6: Financing Incentives

The more buyers you appeal to in terms of financing, the greater your chances of selling faster. Be flexible, consider paying closing costs or points, providing a decorator’s allowance or other irresistible buyer incentives.

Mistake 7: Stretching out buyer negotiations

One of the most important moves you can make is to reply immediately to an offer. When buyers make an offer they are, right then, in the mood to buy. Moods, as you know, change, and you don’t want to lose a sale because you stall in replying.

Mistake 8: Being Adversarial during negotiations

No one wins if you enter negotiations with boxing gloves on. Instead, approach negotiations in a positive frame of mind, not as an adversary of the buyer. After all, you both want the same thing–a sale. Leave most of the discussion of price, terms, possession and other conditions up to your agent. We’ll make it our business to get you the best deal.

Mistake 9: Not having a presentable house

The presence of your family can make prospective buyers feel like intruders. If you’re at home when your home is being shown, be your usual friendly–but low-key–self and keep children and pets out from underfoot. It’s the agent’s job to show buyers what they need to see. Buyers can better focus on your home’s advantages by viewing them than by socializing. If an open house is scheduled, plan to be away from home, but let us know how to reach you quickly. When you’re not at home at other times, agents accompanying prospects will leave their business card. Please alert us afterward so we can follow up.

Mistake 10: Selling without a professional

Going it alone like General Custer could invite disaster. Without a professional adviser, you probably won’t sell. Even if you do sell, surveys show self-sellers often net less from the sale than sellers who use a real estate agent. Selling a house is a team effort between you and the listing agent. You’ll find agents do a lot more than most people know–from bringing qualified buyers to keeping things on track to settlement.

Mistake 11: Not contact my team

Of course, I had to throw this in there.

How Much Should I Expect to Pay On Closing Costs?

How Much Should I Expect to Pay on Closing Costs?

Whether you’re looking to buy your first home, or trading up to a larger one, there are many costs – on top of the purchase price – that you must figure into your calculation of affordability. These extra fees, such as taxes and other additional costs, could surprise you with an unwanted financial nightmare on closing day if you’re not informed and prepared.

Some of these costs are one-time fixed payments, while others represent an ongoing monthly or yearly commitment. Not all of these costs will apply in every situation, however it’s better to know about them ahead of time so you can budget properly.

Remember that buying a home is a major milestone. Whether it’s your first, second or tenth home, there are many important details to address during the process. The last thing you need are non-budgeted financial obligations cropping up hours before you take possession of your new home.

Read through the following checklist to make sure you’re budgeting properly for your next move.

Appraisal Fee

Your lending institution may request an appraisal of the property, which would be your responsibility to pay for. Appraisals can vary in price from approximately $175 -$300.

Property Taxes

Depending on your down payment, your lending institution may decide to include your property taxes in your monthly mortgage payments. If your property taxes are not added to your monthly payments, your lending institution may require annual proof that your taxes have been paid.

Survey Fee

When the home you purchase is a resale (vs. a new home), your lending institution may ask for an updated property survey. The cost for this survey can vary between $700- $1,000.

Property Insurance

Home insurance covers the replacement value of your home (structure and contents). Your lending institution will request proof that you are insured as it protects their investment on the loan.

Service Charges

Any new utility that services your hook up, such as telephone or cable, may require an installation fee.

Legal Fees

Even the simplest of home purchases should have a lawyer involved to review all paperwork. Shop around, as rates vary greatly depending on the complexity of the issues and the experience of the lawyer.

Mortgage Loan Insurance Fee

Depending upon the equity in your home, some mortgages require mortgage loan insurance. This type of insurance will cost you between 0.5% -3.5% of the total amount of the mortgage. Usually payments are made monthly in addition to your mortgage and tax payment.

Mortgage Brokers Fee

A mortgage broker is entitled to charge you a fee in order to source a lender and organize the financing. However, it pays to shop around because many mortgage brokers will provide their services free to you by having the lending institution absorb the cost.

Moving Costs

The cost for a professional mover can cost you in the range of:

$50-$100/hour for a van and 3 movers, and

10-20% higher during peak demand seasons.

Maintenance Fees

Condos charge monthly fees for common area maintenance such as grounds keeping and carpet cleaning in hallways. Costs will vary depending on the building.

Water Quality and Quality Certification

If the home you purchased is serviced by a well, you should consider having your water checked by your local experts. Depending upon where you live, determines whether or not a fee is charged, to certify the quantity and quality of the water.

Local Improvements

If the town you live in has made local improvements (such as the addition of sewers or sidewalks), this could impact a property’s taxes by thousands of dollars.

Land Transfer Tax

This tax is applied whenever property changes hands and the amount that is applied can vary.