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What Is My House Worth?

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

How often have you wondered "What is my house worth?"  This is a common question for every homeowner.  Whether your house is a real Victorian mansion or a little cottage, everyone wants to know "What is my house worth?"

There are a few things you can control to enhance the value of your house. 

  1. The curb appeal, does it look good from the street?
  2. Is the lawn neat and trimmed, the paint fresh?
  3. Inside, is the house clean and uncluttered?  Clutter costs you cash.
  4. Are the windows clean?
  5. Are there pet odors, or smoker odors?  These odors will eliminate lots of buyers.
  6. Are the carpets clean.
  7. Is the roof in good condition?
  8. Does the air conditioner perform efficiently and quietly?
  9. Staging.  This is all about presenting your house in the best possible light for the buyer.  Remember, once the seller has made the decision to sell the house, it is now a commodity and must be presented in the best light for sale at the best possible price.

A couple of things you and your Realtor cannot control when wondering what is my house worth.

  1. Location - you really can't say the house would be worth more or less in a different location, it is where it is.
  2. Price.  Some Realtors will tell you they can set the price.  Quite simply, they can't.  The marketplace will set the price.  Some sellers, and some Realtors, won't like it, however, the market will give you the answer to your question, what is my house worth.

So, when pricing your hose, be sure to keep it real, don't ask for more than the market value, don't try to sell memories - buyers want to make their own memories and won't pay a premium for yours.

And most important of all, do everything you can to enjoy the entire experience.

 

Selling Your Home.

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Are you selling your home by yourself, or do you have a professional Realtor working for you?

A common question from many home sellers is "Why is my home not selling?"  If you are selling your home, either as a For Sale by Owner, or with the professional help of a Realtor, here are a few possible reasons the house is not selling.  These are all a part of the home staging process.

1.  It is priced too high.  Regardless of what you "want" to get for your house, the market is only going to pay what it is worth, in the marketplace.  You can see what the marketplace is doing by checking out our Market Insider feature.  The fantasy of finding that "one cash buyer who will pay my price" is just that, a fantasy.  Cash buyers have cash because they are smart with their money.

2.  People may not know it is for sale.  A For Sale by Owner is not really helping himself and as a rule makes about 12-16% less money than using a professional Realtor, who has access to many, many more sales and marketing outlets than a For Sale by Owner.

3.  Is there one little nagging issue that keeps popping up when buyers go through the house.  If you get a common thread from buyers that seems to indicate something wrong with the house, do not take the comments as personal insults, act on it.  Not everyone likes pink carpets, or avocado appliances, or that purple flowery wallpaper in the guest room.  If it is a regular comment, it could be stopping buyers from making an offer, even if unconscious.

4.  The house does not show well.  Are the lights one, the curtains open so there is plenty of light?  Is there the back of a couch blocking the way as soon as people enter the house?  The placement may be great for watching the TV, but it could give the appearance of a tiny living room.  Sometimes subtle items can kill enthusiasm for a house that otherwise would be perfect.  Simple home staging can make a huge difference in the presentation of your home.

5.  The buyer can never see themselves in this house.  Is the house cluttered?  Do you have too many personal photos on every inch of wall space?  Can people see the beautiful stainless refrigerator, or is every piece of art your child ever drew stuck on it?  Remove the clutter, it is costing money.

6.  How is the curb appeal?  Does the lawn need to be mowed?  Are the flower beds or shrubs overgrown, dead, or just plain neglected?  Does the front door need a fresh coat of paint?  Trim the grass and shrubs, it might make a difference that sells the house.

If you want to get an idea of what the market value of a particular home is, take a look at our free and automated market value estimator of any property you want to consider.

Try taking to heart these little home staging tips for selling your home.  It just might mean more money in your pocket quicker than if you do nothing.  And you probably should consider hiring a professional Realtor, in almost every case this will net you more money faster.

To Stage or Not to Stage - It's a No Brainer

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

In today's real estate market, every advantage counts.  When selling your home, the most important factor is, of course, price.  If a house is priced above the market value, even by just a few thousand dollars, it is very possible that the best buyer for that house will not even look at it because there are so many properties available in so many price ranges.  One of the very best seller advanatages you can use, and it is not very costly, is to have your house staged by a professional stager. 

As an example, in Clearwater, FL in Pinellas County, in the $200,000 to $25,000 price range there are 86 houses for sale.  According to the statistics published by the Pinellas Realtor Organization, in this price range county wide the absorption rate is 7.5%.  This means that for Clearwater, of the 86 houses for sale, 7 will sell in the next 30 days.  If you assume that the house is priced right, one of the next best advantages is to have the house staged by a professional stager.  Some interesting statistics, from houses in the greater Tampa Bay area, show that of 9 properties that recently sold, the average days on market was 150.  Of these, 6 were not staged for over 100 or more days.  Three were listed and staged at the outset.  The three that were staged from the beginning sold in 29, 3 and 28 days.  All told, the 9 houses averaged 150+ days on market, however the time to contract after each was staged by a professional stager was 20 days on market.  Even one house that had been on the market for 9 months went under contract in 21 days after being staged.

The bottom line is price your house right for the market and then to have an almost unfair advantage, have it staged by a professional stager.

To Stage or Not to Stage

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

So you think that everyone who comes to your home will just adore your decorating style.  Well, the fact of the matter is that they probably won't.  This is where home staging comes into play.  If you are into antiques, lace curtains, with lots and lots of things all over your home, no matter how expensive or even tasteful, you run the risk of turning off far too many potential buyers.  Whether they like the neighborhood, the location, or even the floor plan of your home, if you have too many personal items on display, the focus becomes on the things on display and NOT on your home.  And the home is what you are trying to sell, not the things on display.

So let your realtor provide you advice on the best way to showcase your home.  Or better yet, invest the money to hire a professional home stager.  The professional home stager will consult and provide you excellent advice on how to have your home shine.  For a vacant home, having it well staged gives you, the seller, a definite advantage in the market place, since too many buyers have a difficult time envisioning how an empty room might be used.

To start, take as many personal photos off the wall as you can.  If you have a specific hobby, whether it is hunting, race cars, martial arts, or knitting, put these items away and out of sight.  When someone is coming to look at your home, turn on the lights and make the room temperature as comfortable as you can.  Sweep the floors.  Put your pets away, or better yet, take them out for a walk when a buyer is coming to preview your home.  Make the home smell fresh and clean, or simmer a pleasant spice on the stovetop, such as cinnamon, to give your home a welcoming aroma.  Take your personal hygiene items off the bathroom counters and out of sight.   Keep the house neat and tidy with as little clutter as possible.  It may help to rearrange the furniture to make the rooms look more spacious.  Here in the Tampa Bay area it is alright to have some emphasis on the wonderful beach lifestyle, but be sure not to go overboard.

Your goal is to have the house speak for itself by being clean and airy with lots of open space, and showing its maximum appeal.  Don't let clutter, your hobbies or family photos take away from all the advantages of your home.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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Photo of Gwen and  Doug Campbell - Sun Bay Realty Group Real Estate
Gwen and Doug Campbell - Sun Bay Realty Group
at Keller Williams Realty
30522 US Hwy 19N, Suite 107 S
Palm Harbor FL 34684
Doug's Cell 727-741-4189
Gwen's Cell 727-741-7260
Fax: 888-447-7908