Home Buying and Selling Tips for Fall

HGTV’s real estate site Front Door says the weeks between now and the end-of-the year holidays are the best ones to find a bargain. Here are some of their tips for fall buyers and sellers:

Fall Sellers:
· Replace faded summer plants with fall-blooming flowers and add autumn decorations to the home.
· Expect low-ball offers and be prepared with higher counter offers.
· Freshen up listing photos by shooting pictures that make it less obvious that the seasons have changed.
· Price the home to sell. A price that is a little lower than the competition may be a winning move.
· Be willing to show the property and hold open houses whenever potential buyers are ready.

Fall Buyers:
· Look for motivated sellers who have a reason to move on by the end of the year.
· Explore new constructions. Builders are often particularly interested in selling before the new tax year.
· Beware of fall maintenance issues. Consider overflowing gutters and leaf-covered lawns warning signs.
· Shape offers carefully. Even in this market it is possible to turn sellers off with a too-low bid.

Source: FrontDoor.com (09/16/2010)

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Frugal Tips for Making a Home More Appealing

Homeowners who want to sell but don’t have a lot of cash to spruce up their properties might consider these tips from Bankrate.com for upgrading a property without spending a fortune.

Polish up the kitchen. Add new cabinet door handles, replace lighting and update the faucet set. Unless the cabinets are mica, give them a fresh coat of paint. Order new doors for kitchen appliances.

Tidy up the bath. Replace the toilet seat. Clean up the floor with vinyl tiles or sheet vinyl applied over the old floor. Re-grout the tub and, if the tub is dingy, add a new prefabricated tub and shower surround.

Paint the walls.

Add closet systems to all the bedrooms, pantry, and entry closets.

Hire a plumber and an electrician to fix anything that is loose or that leaks.

Clean the carpets or, if they are worn, cover them with area rugs.

Replace ceiling lights with inexpensive but attractive fixtures.

Refinish or repaint the front door and replace the hardware.

Mow the lawn, edge the sidewalks, mulch all the beds and put two big planters at either side of the front door.

Source: Bankrate.com (07/14/2010)

Front Gate Properties, We’re selling the BEST Real Estate in Aiken, SC.

Get Your Listings Out of the Winter Blues

With the market heating up early this year because of expiring tax credits, more practitioners will find themselves showing—and selling—properties in the cold.

Here are some suggestions for bringing a little warmth to the sale:

* Keep safe. Make sure the walkways and the driveways are shoveled, sanded, and sprinkled with snowmelt or salt on them.
* Go shoeless. Ask potential buyers to remove their boots so they don’t track mush through the house or slip on a puddle. Offer them a pair of disposable slippers instead.
* Hide the shovel. Leaving snow-removal equipment in plain sight is an unnecessary reminder that there is work involved in homeownership.
* Light a fire in the fireplace. Nothing makes a house seem cozier than a warm fire on a cold day.
* Turn up the heat. If the house is cold, it will feel dank and it may smell that way too.
* Show the home in summer. An album of photos of the yard in bloom will help buyers envision themselves living there.

Source: Newsday, Laura Koss-Feder (01/29/2010)

Front Gate Properties, We’re selling the BEST Real Estate in Aiken, SC.

Sellers Should List Homes Early

Selling a home in the dead of winter might seem ill-advised, particularly considering the state of the economy, but some experts think that making the decision to wait until spring to list the property could be a mistake.

Government incentives will likely have a big impact in 2010, with many buyers determined to sign a contract before the April 30 tax credit deadline.

“This year, we’re anticipating sales will peak earlier,” says Nicole Hall, editor in chief of Lendingtree.com, an online mortgage comparison service. “The best time to get your house on the market will be February or early March, and maybe even earlier if you want to avoid competition.”

Traffic on real estate Web sites begins to rise right after the New Year, says Ken Shuman, spokesman for real estate Web site Trulia.com.

Source: Forbes.com, Francesca Levy (12/24/2009)

Front Gate Properties, We’re selling the BEST Real Estate in Aiken, SC.