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Things to Hide When Selling Your Home

by The Hat Team

 

If you are currently trying to sell your home, you need to make sure you are doing all that you can do to make the sale a priority.  There are many things that people tend to leave out during a home showing that should definitely not ever be seen by a prospective buyer.  Below is a list of a few things you should totally hide when in the process of selling your home

  1. Taxidermy is awesome to avid hunters and their wives but when someone is coming to view your home, you don’t want to leave it out.  Dead animals hanging on the walls of your home are not what folks typically have in mind when coming to look at a potential home.  You don’t have to get rid of your taxidermy obviously but perhaps take it off of your walls and gently place them in the closet until after the showing.
  2. Another thing that you should likely hide when folks come over to your home to take a tour of it in the hopes of buying it from you is your shotguns and other weapons that you may use.  This type of thing being displayed throughout the house is likely to scare any potential buyers away in a hurry.  Do your part by placing these items out of sight during a showing. 
  3. If you collect dolls or anything that can be seen as creepy in any way, put them away until after the showing.  Better yet, put them away until after your house sells.  Collections may not only be creepy to others but they tend to collect dust as well and don’t look nice during a showing. 
  4. If you have political signs in your yard, especially right now and you want to sell your house, by all means take them down!  This election was a big one and folks have very big opinions about who should be elected.  Seeing a sign in your yard for the opposite candidate that your potential buyer wants may actually lose you an offer even before the folks make in inside of your house to look around. 
  5. If you have a ton of family photos around your house, you may want to hide them during a showing as well if selling your house is your top priority.   Folks want to picture themselves in your house and having your family pictures all over the place can make that task more difficult.  

 

Courtesy of Montgomery AL Real Estate Expert Sandra Nickel.   

What to Renovate When Selling Your Home

by The Hat Team

Renovate your home to sell.

It can be hard to set a budget and stick to it when it comes to renovating your home. If you are planning on selling your home soon, you should go ahead and do a few renovations that may need to be done but do the ones that don’t cost a lot of money. Of course if your home has some issues and you feel you can get a lot more money out of your home if you make those renovations now, you may want to go ahead and do so. Below are a few tips on what exactly you should consider when renovating your home to prepare it for sale.

  • One of the best ways to prepare your home to sell is by renovating your walls and floors.  You can add paint to the walls of your home for a quick “pick me up” that will help your home appear newer than it is.  Refinishing hardwood floors or pulling up carpet to reveal hardwoods is also a great way to spruce things up around your home.  Be sure if you are painting to do so with neutral colors that will be pleasing to everyone’s pallet.  Likewise if you are putting down carpet, be sure to choose a neutral color.  If you are refinishing hardwoods, be sure to stay away from any dark stains that may turn some buyers away.  Stick with the natural light wood floors that seem to be so popular these days. ‚Äč
     
  • Doors are another place you may want to consider during your home renovations.  Replacing your front door with a steel door adds a great deal of value to your home.  Adding some new garage doors may help to add value as well.   Keep in mind you don’t have to spend a ton on these types of things, just replacing old with new will likely be enough.
     
  • If you don’t have the money to redo your entire kitchen, try upgrading by replacing old worn out drawer pulls or cabinet knobs.  You may also want to put a little paint on your old cabinets to lighten and brighten things up a bit.  Keep in mind if money is not an issue that kitchen renovations  can sometimes make or break the sale of your home.  If you need to” bling it out” and you have the funds to do it, go for it. 

Any and all renovations you do to your home in an effort to get more money out if it during a potential sale is a good thing.  Don’t go crazy spending a lot of money for cosmetic fixes but ‘DO’ do your best to make your home look like a shiny new penny!

Courtesy of Montgomery AL Real Estate Expert Sandra Nickel.

5 Tips for Selling Your Home This Spring

by The Hat Team

Selling your home can be as easy as one, two, three!  Here we are going to give you a few tips and ideas to make selling your home a bit easier this spring.  If you are willing to take these tips and tricks to heart and do your part to do them to the best of your ability, you will likely reap the rewards of doing so.  Get ready to sell your home this year and move on to your dream home!

  1. sold signMake sure that you have done your part to make the outside of your home look nice.   A fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference in the curb appeal of your home.   You can do this yourself or you can hire a professional painter to speed the painting process along. Choose a color that will make your home stand out but also be sure that you choose a color that is neutral and that most people are going to like. 
     
  2. Take the plunge and purchase new carpet for your house. If selling your home is important to you, you are going to do what it takes to get it sold for the price you want sold for.  If you are blessed enough to live in an older home that has beautiful hardwoods under the old carpet, you might be able to just pull the old carpet up and expose the nice hardwoods.  It may take a bit of work to get the hardwoods up to par, but this kind of flooring can be a huge plus towards selling your home if you happen to already have it under your carpet.
     
  3. Wallpaper is outdated so keep that in mind when you are getting ready to sell your home.  Go ahead and take down all the wallpaper so that you can paint with a nice neutral color that will be pleasing to anyone’s eye. 
     
  4. If you have pets in your home, do your best to remove all of their belongings before a showing.  People do not want to see the home as yours, they want to see and envision themselves living in the house and having your pet’s belongings all over the house will not help them to achieve that goal.   If your buyer can see themselves living in your house they are more likely to purchase it.
     
  5. Replace all of your lights with high wattage bulbs.  The brighter the better when you are trying to sell your home!  You want your home to pop and grab folk’s attention and this little trick will do just that for you! 

As I said, if you are willing to put forth a bit of extra effort with the above tips and ideas when it comes to selling your house, you will soon find that your house may sell before all the others in your neighborhood! 

Information courtesy of Montgomery Realtor Sandra Nickel.

6 Tips For a Quick Home Sale

by The Hat Team

If you're looking to sell your Montgomery AL home in today’s real estate market, you have most likely already read numerous articles advising you to set a realistic price, pay attention to curb appeal, thoroughly clean and de-clutter, remove large pieces of furniture, repaint in neutral colors, remove personal mementos, and the like.  All of this information is valid and useful, but there are other, less-publicized ways to appeal to potential buyers.  Read on for some creative tips on how to generate interest and get the best price possible.

  1. house soldArrange for a pre-listing home inspection.  In addition to facilitating the sale of your home by reassuring potential buyers, an inspection helps you comply with full-disclosure real estate laws.  You can also have a termite inspection done.
     
  2. Use online venues and your personal networks to market your house.  Put an ad on Craigslist, use sites like Zillow.com or Trulia.com, get your own URL with the house’s address, promote the house through social media like Facebook and Twitter, and send out a copy of your listing to people on your email list.  Sometimes word of mouth is one of the best ways to market a house.
     
  3. Replace all brass fixtures.  Today’s buyers dislike this “cheap” look that may have been fashionable a couple of decades ago, but it has to go if it’s in your home today.  Switch out each light fixture, switch plate, door hinge, knob, and faucet with for ones with a modern oil-rubbed bronze or nickel finish.
     
  4. Add power outlets with USB ports in rooms that lack them, especially in the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms where they’re most needed.  Also, find a place for a wireless router for use with the Internet and flat-screen TVs.
     
  5. Offer more unusual incentives.  Paying a buyer’s closing costs, taking care of HOA fees for the first year,  giving a “redecorating” credit, or providing a home warranty for a set time period have become almost expected perks, but you can consider landscaping services, personalized gift certificates (home supply store or a plant nursery, e.g.) or a flexible closing date.
     
  6. For equally effective, but more expensive buyer magnets, look into outfitting closets for extra storage (top contenders are an entry closet, a kitchen pantry, and a linen closet) or removing much-maligned “popcorn” ceilings.  Click here for DIY instructions or get estimates from a professional.

Selling this spring? Click here for Questions To Ask Before Listing!

Sandra Nickel and the Hat Team have distinguished themselves as leaders in the Montgomery AL real estate market. Sandra assists buyers looking for Montgomery real estate for sale and aggressively markets Montgomery AL homes for sale. Sandra is also an expert in helping families avoid foreclosure through short sales and is committed to helping families in financial hardship find options. For more information you can visit AvoidForeclosureMontgomery.com.

Interested in buying a bank-owned home? Get bank-owned listings alerts FREE!

You can reach Sandra by filling out the online contact form below or give her a call anytime.

 

Natural Ways to Deodorize When Selling Your Montgomery AL Home!

by The Hat Team

Every article, video, and home-themed television show which deals with selling your Montgomery AL home will contain oodles of information/suggestions/tips/hints/advice on how best to achieve your goal in a short period of time.  You already know that in a buyer’s market, potential purchasers can afford to be picky and that sometimes even a small “defect” can become a deal breaker, so you dutifully heed instructions to de-clutter, de-personalize, and de-emphasize anything that could be perceived as a negative.  You even bake cookies before an open house to provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere!

clean houseBut….are you aware of the importance of eliminating, not just masking, all interior odors?  No, the answer is not to spray tropical-scented commercial products all around your Montgomery AL home, for that is only a temporary fix and may even provoke an allergic reaction from a potential buyer.  There are, however, natural solutions to persistent smells of all types.  Making your house smell spring-fresh is a great way to invoke the buying mood this year.

Besides opening windows and letting fresh air flow freely throughout your Montgomery AL home, there are many steps you can take to identify odor-prone areas and do away with the stench.  Read on:

  • Use fabric softener sheets in linen closets, vacuum bags, and pillowcases.
  • Take advantage of the fact that baking soda, unused coffee grounds, imitation vanilla, houseplants, tea tree oil, vinegar, cat litter, and a boiling of cinnamon and cloves absorb odors.
  • Understand that potential buyers will open drawers and closets, inspect the freezer and refrigerator, tour the basement, look carefully at bathroom and kitchen fixtures and appliances, and check out washers and dryers.
  • Treat your garbage disposal to rinds of citrus fruits every so often.
  • Fight the smell of tobacco smoke smell with gusto!   Place small bowls of pine-sol or baking soda in the affected areas to absorb the odor. Often a heavy duty cleaning and wall washing will be required to stop the odor once and for all.
  • Recognize the fact that erasing all pet odors is mandatory.  These are stubborn smells resulting from dander, bedding, and accidents, and they require diligence and sometimes even detective skills to find the source.  Click here for an effective (and eco-friendly) homemade urine stain and odor removal solution and procedure.

Rest assured that your fresh-smelling interior will appeal to potential buyers and hasten the sale of your Montgomery AL home!

Search all Montgomery AL Real Estate And Homes For Sale.

Sandra Nickel and the Hat Team have distinguished themselves as leaders in the Montgomery AL real estate market. Sandra assists buyers looking for Montgomery real estate for sale and aggressively markets Montgomery AL homes for sale. Sandra is also an expert in helping families avoid foreclosure through short sales and is committed to helping families in financial hardship find options. For more information you can visit AvoidForeclosureMontgomery.com.

Interested in buying a bank-owned home? Get bank-owned listings alerts FREE!

You can reach Sandra by filling out the online contact form below or give her a call anytime.

 

Setting a Selling Price for Your Montgomery AL Home

by The Hat Team

dollar sign and question markUnfortunately, selling your Montgomery AL home in the current real estate market can be both difficult and frustrating.  As much value as you may feel your home has, the current conditions might say differently. In this buyer’s market, accurate pricing of your home is imperative in getting your property sold quickly and for the best price possible. While this might sound simple enough, correctly pricing your property is far from easy and is a decision which requires time and effort on your part.  The following tips should help make the pricing process a smooth and beneficial one for you.

  1. Do your research: It’s important to know http://www.montgomeryhomeinfo.com/what other homes in your area are selling for right now in order to get an idea of a price point for your own property, but you shouldn’t rely on that alone. An Automated Valuation Model, better known as an AVM, is a web-based technology that immediately generates home values based on data analysis of recent area comparable sales, tax assessments and price trends.
  2. Find the right Realtor: Hiring the listing agent who quotes you the highest price isn’t always wise.  Interview at least 3 Realtors familiar with the area around your Montgomery AL home and choose the agent who supports a suggested price with comparative market data. It is the job of your Realtor to know the current market and market trends inside and out, to be closely connected to the real estate market at large, and to be aware of other properties currently for sale in your particular neighborhood..
  3. Cast emotions aside:   It’s important to remain as realistic and objective as possible when pricing your property. Although your home will most likely be invaluable to you, focus on the statistics from your research and on the advice given to you by your real estate agent for a satisfactory sale.
  4. Avoid overpricing at the outset.  Because your property has the best chance of selling within its first seven weeks on the market, the longer it stays on the market, the less it will ultimately sell for.  In addition, you will lose out on savvy potential buyers who won’t even come by to look, and fewer knowledgeable Realtors will preview your Montgomery AL home.  Lowering your price later will only result in delays and suspicions that something is wrong with the property.

Search all Montgomery AL Real Estate And Homes For Sale.

Sandra Nickel and the Hat Team have distinguished themselves as leaders in the Montgomery AL real estate market. Sandra assists buyers looking for Montgomery real estate for sale and aggressively markets Montgomery AL homes for sale. Sandra is also an expert in helping families avoid foreclosure through short sales and is committed to helping families in financial hardship find options. For more information you can visit AvoidForeclosureMontgomery.com

You can reach Sandra by filling out the online contact form below or give her a call anytime.

How To Make Your Montgomery Home Inviting To Buyers

by The Hat Team

Although the interior of your home may be lovely, you can’t use that fact to your advantage if potential buyers don’t come inside to see it. The majority of house shoppers are influenced by first impressions, and, according to the National Association of Realtors, nearly 50% of them make their decision about your Montgomery home before stepping through the door. Ensuring that prospective buyers will want to see more doesn’t have to be time-consuming or cost-prohibitive; there are numerous ways to strengthen your home’s curb appeal, to capture the interest of buyers, and most likely increase the selling value.

montgomery homeWhen selling your Montgomery home, appearances are important. The exterior of the house should be attractive and in good condition, and the well-maintained grounds should be pleasing to the eye. The first thing to do is to look at the exterior objectively. Assess the color scheme (siding, trim, brick, roof) and determine if the architectural features of your house are in keeping with the rest of the neighborhood.

  • Perhaps the easiest way to boost curb appeal is to clean. Pressure wash to remove mold and mildew from siding, decks, walkways, and driveways. Make sure that your windows sparkle and remember to wash the screens. Gutters, too, may need cleaning--or replacing. Investigate snap-fit vinyl systems, decorative rain chains, or even a copper system for a high quality look.
  • Another way to generate interest in your Montgomery home is to pay attention to the grounds. Remove weeds, keep lawns mowed, and trim shrubs and trees. Add color by planting flowers and mulching (now available in a variety of colors) around plants and bushes. Prune areas which may appear overgrown or obscure architectural features which should be showcased and look at your landscaping design with a discerning eye.
  • Consider adding more trees--for three reasons. In addition to making the grounds more attractive, tree cover can also result in lower utility and water bills and increase your home’s selling value. Shop for trees which grow well in Montgomery, provide variety in color and texture (fruit trees, Japanese maple and birch trees, for example), and are water efficient. Most area nurseries will gladly offer expert advice in selecting trees to improve your landscape plan.
  • An inviting entrance will also impress buyers. Your front door may need repainting or replacing since it should be an attractive focal point of your property. Think about color and design as well as hardware when making improvements. Polish or replace knobs, knockers, doorbells, and kick plates. Purchase a distinctive welcome mat and investigate the need for outdoor lighting. Porch, garden, and walkway lights not only enhance the landscape’s appearance, they also help to provide safety and security (a good selling point!).
  • And finally, spruce up the front porch or landing. Brightly colored plant/flower containers and hanging baskets add pizazz, as do a freshly painted porch floor and outdoor furniture. An eye-catching entranceway certainly helps ensure that buyers will gladly accept your invitation to come inside your Montgomery home.

What's your Montgomery home worth?

Will You Owe Capital Gains When Selling Your Montgomery Home

by The Hat Team

Something to consider when selling your home is the Capital Gains ramifications. Will you owe Uncle Sam money after the sale of your Montgomery home? Capital Gains are calculated as the difference between what you paid for your property and what you sell it for. Here is how you calculate your Capital Gains.

Calculating Capital Gains

(+) PURCHASE PRICE - Price paid for property

(+) COST OF PURCHASE - Transfer fees, attorney fees, inspections

(+) COST OF SALE - Repairs, commissions, attorney fees, inspections

(+) COST OF IMPROVEMENT - Room additions, deck, for example, though not replacing existing

(=) ADJUSTED COST BASIS OF YOUR HOME

(-) AMOUNT YOU SELL YOUR HOME

(=) CAPITAL GAIN

A Special Real Estate Exemption for Capital Gains

Even though the above calculation may indicate you owe Capital Gains, there is a special real estate exemption. Since 1997, up to $250,000 in capital gains ($500,000 for a married couple) on the sale of a Montgomery home is exempt from taxation if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have lived in the home as your principal residence for two out of the last five years.
  • You have not sold or exchanged another home during the two years preceding the sale.

NOTE: As of 2003, you may also qualify for this exemption if you meet what the IRS calls "unforeseen circumstances" such as job loss, divorce, or family medical emergency.

Learn more about selling your Montgomery home by visiting HatTeam.com.

What's your Montgomery home worth?

Always consult a tax attorney regarding current tax laws.

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