Gene Mullen - CENTURY 21 Commonwealth



Posted by Gene Mullen on 12/12/2017

The number one factor that affects the length of time a house remains on the market is curb appeal. That's the consensus of real estate professionals across the country, and was documented in a recent study by a well-known real estate website.

So if it's such a high priority, then why do a lot of homeowners skimp on that aspect of preparing their home for a fast sale? Sometimes it's a lack of awareness; other times it may be a lack of money. In extreme cases, it can be quite pricey to transform a home from "shabby" to "exquisite!" That's an unusual scenario, though, and in most cases the cost of enhancing your home's curb appeal should be both affordable and cost effective.

Where to Begin

The ideal visual (and visceral) effect you want to achieve can be summed up in ten words: fresh, well cared for, aesthetically pleasing, manicured, meticulous, updated, and clean. Perhaps a more concise way to describe the image you want to project to potential buyers is "pride of ownership." Once you're conveying that impression, people are going to make positive assumptions about the value and condition of your home. While it's not necessary that the front of your property and home look perfect in every imaginable way, it is important to pay attention to small details and overall impressions.

Some homeowners will see this goal as an overwhelming challenge, but it doesn't have to be. The first hurdle is to take care of the basics, such as making sure your lawn always looks freshly mowed and that there's no signs of peeling or faded paint on your home and garage. Pulling weeds, placing a few colorful hanging flower baskets in strategic locations, and trimming overgrown bushes and trees are also effective ways to make your property look more desirable.

An advantage of working with a seasoned real estate agent is that they can quickly size up the outside appearance of your home, and make cost-effective suggestions of ways to improve curb appeal and increase the attractiveness of your property. When it comes to selling your house in the shortest period of time, first impressions are vitally important.

One helpful tactic for getting your house noticed by house hunters and real estate agents is to take a walk (or drive) in your neighborhood to see how your curb appeal stacks up to other homes for sale in the area. Ideally, you want your home to look at least as good, if not better, than other nearby properties. Since potential buyers may be focusing their search on specific neighborhoods, such as yours, you'll be giving yourself more of an "inside track" in the real estate market by making sure your home compares favorably to others in the immediate area -- both inside and out.





Posted by Gene Mullen on 8/15/2017

Putting your home up for sale can elicit a myriad of emotions from you and your spouse -- everything from excitement and anticipation to fear and sadness. It's only natural to feel a mixture of emotions, especially if your home represents years of memories, countless milestones, and stages of family growth.

A cautionary note to keep in mind is that it's easy to get caught up in emotion-based decisions that could derail your chances for making a fast sale.

A primary example would be pricing your home higher than it might actually be worth. Despite the fact that you've experienced great family memories there and spent tens of thousands of dollars to maintain, upgrade, and beautify your home, those factors usually do not translate into a sale price that exceeds the property's appraised value. Your perspective, which may be based on subjective criteria, such as all the "blood, sweat, and tears" you put into your house -- not to mention the "TLC" that went into it -- does not hold water in the minds of would-be buyers.

What Does Determine a Home's Value?

The unvarnished truth is that the value of your home is mostly based on prevailing market conditions, the price at which comparable homes in your neighborhood recently sold, and what the market will bear. Effectively setting a price that will bring in the most money without driving away qualified and otherwise-interested buyers is a delicate balance. The homeowner rarely has the objectivity or the specialized knowledge to accurately set the right price. That's where real estate agents comes in, and why it's advisable to sell your home through a licensed agent, rather than attempting a "For Sale By Owner" approach.

Minimizing Bumps in the Road

A good real estate agent will work on your behalf to effectively market your home, collaborate with other agents in the area to schedule showings and spread the word about your listing, and advise you on ways to improve both the curb appeal of your home and its interior appearance. Your agent can also provide indispensable negotiating help, as well as guidance about seller disclosure requirements and other government regulations.

The bottom line is that real estate agents are well-versed in the intricate process of listing, marketing, and selling residential property. Since there are a lot of forms to sign, deadlines to meet, agreements to reach, and formalities to handle, those are among the many sound reasons to enlist the help of a professional.

Although the process of selling a residential property often involves delays, setbacks, and obstacles, most real estate agents are quite adept at solving problems and getting past difficulties. In addition to the marketing, networking, and strategizing they're doing on your behalf, a good agent can also be counted on to provide you with regular progress reports and boost your spirits when you're feeling discouraged.





Posted by Gene Mullen on 12/27/2016

Who says your ordinary residence can't become a "smart" home? Now, there are many state-of-the-art smart home technologies you can deploy to transform a standard house into one that will capture homebuyers' attention in a competitive real estate market. Some of the top smart home technologies for today's home sellers include: 1. Thermostats Remember the old days when you had to set your thermostat manually? Thanks to high-quality smart thermostats, you can program your thermostat to ensure your home maintains an optimal temperature at all times. Whether you want your home to be warm in winter or cool in summer, a smart thermostat empowers you to maintain the ideal temperature consistently. Also, a smart thermostat may help you cut down on your heating and cooling bills significantly. And if you're able to highlight this energy savings to prospective homebuyers, you may be able to differentiate your residence from others in today's real estate market. 2. Smoke Detectors Imagine what it would be like if you were notified on your smartphone or tablet in the event of an emergency at your home. With top-of-the-line smart smoke detectors, you now can transform this dream into a reality instantly. A smart smoke detector typically is inexpensive but can make a world of difference for homeowners. This device often is simple to set up and guarantees you'll be alerted if your smoke alert goes off. Installing smart smoke detectors throughout your residence is a great way to enhance the quality of your residence. Remember, homebuyers will notice all the small things during a home showing, and the addition of smart smoke detectors could be a positive influence on a homebuyer's decision to purchase your residence. 3. Light Bulbs New smart light bulbs are available that are embedded with deluxe motion sensors. That way, these bulbs can detect when you are in a particular room and illuminate the area accordingly. In addition, smart light bulbs usually are energy efficient, providing you with yet another way to cut down on your energy bills. Implementing smart light bulbs throughout your home may seem costly, but it actually may help you save money over an extended period of time. Furthermore, home sellers who install smart light bulbs can add another distinct feature to their residence, and ultimately, may make their home that much more appealing to prospective homebuyers. Smart home technologies are changing the way homeowners manage their residences, and new devices and tools likely will become available that empower property owners to enhance the quality of their homes as well. However, today's home sellers should take advantage of smart home technologies as much as possible. By doing so, home sellers can work toward improving their residences and maximizing the value of their homes. When it comes to selling your home, you should be prepared to think outside the box. And with smart home technologies, you'll be better equipped to ensure your home makes a memorable impression on homebuyers. Incorporate smart home technologies into your residence today, and you'll be able to improve your residence quickly and effortlessly.