How To Sell Your Home In 2017

It’s 2017. Now what? Yes, the new year is typically a time for hope and renewal and for those who are looking to sell – and simultaneously buy – a home, it can represent a fresh start. But this year, political and social realities are giving some would-be home sellers pause.

Thankfully, the real estate market continues to show real strength, with many housing experts projecting home sales prices and inventory to rise in 2017, replacing doubts with consumer confidence.

“Housing prices rose nationally by around 6% in 2016, but the expected increase in 2017 ranges from 3% to 5%,” said 24/7 Wall St. “With inventory of existing homes at historic lows and a rise in interest rates thanks to the Federal Reserve, housing inventory for 2017 is almost certain to rise. For prospective sellers that means that if you were planning to sell your home this year, it’s time to get cracking.”

If you’re thinking about selling this year, these tips will help.

Be patient

Sales have been swift in many parts of the country for several years now. That can make sellers who don’t get offers on day one feel antsy. Despite some ultra-competitive markets where multiple offers and offer-asking-price sales skew the national numbers, across the country, the average days on market of a home for sale is 50.

Price it right

You may be tempted to price your home at the top of the market – or set a new top if you’re in an especially desirable area and if inventory is low. But overpriced homes don’t sell, which is probably why your real estate agent is recommending a lower listing price.


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If you’re insistent about your price, don’t be surprised if you get zero bites or the nibbles you do get are far below what you’re asking. Your agent’s pricing strategy will be based on market conditions and designed to get you the most money in the least amount of time. What it won’t be based on: What you owe on the home, what you think it’s worth based on your own estimation, or what you need to get out of it to buy your dream home.

Don’t be afraid to loan shop

If you’re selling your home to buy another, like most people, you might be concerned about rising mortgage rates. Rates are still near historic lows despite The Fed raising interest rates at the end of 2016 and indicating that further increases are in store for this year.

“Because the mortgage rate makes a big difference in how much you’ll pay for your home, it makes financial sense to shop around for the lowest rate you can qualify for,” said Investopedia. But many people don’t look beyond the first offer. According to a mortgage borrowers survey, “Almost half of borrowers seriously consider only a single lender or broker before deciding where to apply,” and “Seventy-seven percent of borrowers only end up applying with a single lender or broker, instead of filling out applications with multiple lenders or brokers to see which can offer the best deal,” said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Asking your real estate agent for a few different trusted referrals could make a big difference. “Getting an interest rate of 4.0% instead of 4.5% translates into approximately $60 savings per month,” they said. “Over the first five years, you would save about $3,500 in mortgage payments. In addition, the lower interest rate means that you’d pay off an additional $1,400 in principal in the first five years, even while making lower payments.”


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Make sure your home is clean and lean

It’s more important than ever to make sure your home is as close to perfect as possible before you put it on the market. Unless your agent is planning to market the home as a “project,” it needs to be spotless. You’d be surprised how much better your home can look just by applying some simple staging secrets.

Listen to your agent’s advice

Staging may only be the beginning of what your home requires to get it sold, and your agent’s advice will be critical to getting it where it needs to be. “Sure, you no doubt know more about your home than anyone else. But your real estate agent knows more about how to sell it,” said Realtor.com. “And your agent may make some suggestions you might not like to hear. It’s tempting to take offense or just ignore this advice, but if you do, you could risk seeing your house sit on the market and grow stale.”

Be careful of over improvements

Getting your home in great shape may mean making some improvements, updates, and upgrades. But be careful not to go too far.

“Dying to install new kitchen cabinets or retile your master bath? Home sellers often assume any upgrades they make to their home will pay them back in full once they sell, but that’s rarely the case,” said Realtor.com. “On average you will recoup just about 64% of the money you spend on renovations once you sell—and certain improvements can actually work against you if they’re unusual or undesirable in your market, Jason Shepherd, co-founder of Atlas Real Estate Group, told them.

WRITTEN BY JAYMI NACIRI

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Trying to Sell Your Home but Have an Ant Problem?

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When you put your home on the market, you want buyers strolling in but sometimes, during the hot weather, you find the ants come marching in too and that certainly doesn’t help a potential sale. It may not seem like much of a problem but if you’ve had ants then you know what a headache this can be especially if you have buyers coming into your home daily.

“First of all you have to understand why the ants go on the march, says Steven Coy, President of Happy Pest Control. He explains that ants view your home as a place of refuge. “Inside it’s cooler and the ants associate coolness with a greater probability that there’s moisture there. They don’t understand how we build houses though; we build them to stay dry. So even when it’s air conditioned and freezing it’s still dry as a bone unless you wander into the bathroom or the kitchen where there are sinks,” says Coy.

Coy says, for the ants, the home is like a desert – it’s very dry. So they scout out looking for things to bring back to the colony. “They’re walking across the walls, ceilings, windows, mirrors, carpets looking for food or water,” says Coy. He says when the scout finds it, the ant’s body releases a pheromone which trails back an odor to the workers enabling them to come out and bring back whatever is needed for the colony “whether it’s protein, carbohydrate, or fat.” It’s important to understand the way ants operate in order to rid your home of them. Coy says “There are different companies that make ant bait. They used to just have one kind of bait. Now, they typically have a bait station that will have something sweet in it for carbohydrate, something that has protein like peanut butter, and something that has fat or oil in it,” says Coy.

“I’ve noticed that one day the ants will go right by the sugar and go for the protein and another day they’ll go right by the protein and go for the fat,” says Coy.

According to the Ant Institute, ants are the number one nuisance pest in the U.S. They drive homeowners to seek all kinds of remedies – many do-it-yourself strategies may work but can be less effective than expert treatment. While ant treatment isn’t quite as costly as termite treatment, (estimated at more than $5 billion every year for treatment and repairs) it can still be a lengthy process to eradicate the problem.

A good cleaning can help. “If you’re selling the house and you can scrub everything down and have no food residue anywhere in the house, that’s helpful. That still doesn’t prevent ants from coming in just to look for water and there’s no way you can remove all the water because at the bottom of every single sink is a P-trap (that’s to keep the sewer gasses from coming into your house)… so there’s always water in that,” says Coy. Of course, the shower drain and the toilet also attract the ants. But Coy says the more you can limit water and food sources the less likely you’ll have an ant invasion. Aside from leaving the home like a model home with no food in it, Coy says, you can take some preventative measures before you put your home on the market. “[Sellers] might want to hire somebody to do a thorough exterior service which can be anything from a band just 10 feet wide around the perimeter of the whole house to something more extensive,” says Coy.

Coy says he typically sprays the entire yard using a low-toxicity insecticide with lots of water; it acts as a good repellent. Indoor treatments can be really beneficial as well. The problem with do-it-yourself ant baits placed inside the home is that they attract more ants to come – exactly what you don’t want.

Of course, not treating an ant problem not only creates an unsightly look in the home, but also, can weaken the structure. For instance, carpenter ants can nest in dead tree limbs, weaken them and cause their eventual death.

When you put your home on the market, you want buyers strolling in but sometimes, during the hot weather, you find the ants come marching in too and that certainly doesn’t help a potential sale. It may not seem like much of a problem but if you’ve had ants then you know what a headache this can be especially if you have buyers coming into your home daily.

“First of all you have to understand why the ants go on the march, says Steven Coy, President of Happy Pest Control. He explains that ants view your home as a place of refuge. “Inside it’s cooler and the ants associate coolness with a greater probability that there’s moisture there. They don’t understand how we build houses though; we build them to stay dry. So even when it’s air conditioned and freezing it’s still dry as a bone unless you wander into the bathroom or the kitchen where there are sinks,” says Coy.

Coy says, for the ants, the home is like a desert – it’s very dry. So they scout out looking for things to bring back to the colony. “They’re walking across the walls, ceilings, windows, mirrors, carpets looking for food or water,” says Coy. He says when the scout finds it, the ant’s body releases a pheromone which trails back an odor to the workers enabling them to come out and bring back whatever is needed for the colony “whether it’s protein, carbohydrate, or fat.” It’s important to understand the way ants operate in order to rid your home of them. Coy says “There are different companies that make ant bait. They used to just have one kind of bait. Now, they typically have a bait station that will have something sweet in it for carbohydrate, something that has protein like peanut butter, and something that has fat or oil in it,” says Coy.

“I’ve noticed that one day the ants will go right by the sugar and go for the protein and another day they’ll go right by the protein and go for the fat,” says Coy.

According to the Ant Institute, ants are the number one nuisance pest in the U.S. They drive homeowners to seek all kinds of remedies – many do-it-yourself strategies may work but can be less effective than expert treatment. While ant treatment isn’t quite as costly as termite treatment, (estimated at more than $5 billion every year for treatment and repairs) it can still be a lengthy process to eradicate the problem.

A good cleaning can help. “If you’re selling the house and you can scrub everything down and have no food residue anywhere in the house, that’s helpful. That still doesn’t prevent ants from coming in just to look for water and there’s no way you can remove all the water because at the bottom of every single sink is a P-trap (that’s to keep the sewer gasses from coming into your house)… so there’s always water in that,” says Coy. Of course, the shower drain and the toilet also attract the ants. But Coy says the more you can limit water and food sources the less likely you’ll have an ant invasion. Aside from leaving the home like a model home with no food in it, Coy says, you can take some preventative measures before you put your home on the market. “[Sellers] might want to hire somebody to do a thorough exterior service which can be anything from a band just 10 feet wide around the perimeter of the whole house to something more extensive,” says Coy.

Coy says he typically sprays the entire yard using a low-toxicity insecticide with lots of water; it acts as a good repellent. Indoor treatments can be really beneficial as well. The problem with do-it-yourself ant baits placed inside the home is that they attract more ants to come – exactly what you don’t want.

Of course, not treating an ant problem not only creates an unsightly look in the home, but also, can weaken the structure. For instance, carpenter ants can nest in dead tree limbs, weaken them and cause their eventual death.

Written by Phoebe Chongchua