Secrets to Getting Multiple Offers on a Home

stacks of coins  green and red...
ShutterstockDon’t assume your home will get multiple offers.

By Brendon DiSimone

Homeowners hear that the real estate market has finally turned a corner and assume that means multiple offers and bidding wars are back. Even if your town is buzzing with real estate activity and sales are picking up, it doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed multiple offers, or even one offer for that matter. For a seller to get lots of activity on their listing, there are three must-haves: location, price and presentation.

Must have a good location: One thing is common among all properties that receive multiple offers these days: the home is in a good location. Location is nearly always what drives homebuyers in their search. Before considering price, number of bedrooms or size of

Pricing isn’t an exact science, and it’s nearly impossible to pin a precise number to a home until buyer and seller sign a contract and close.

home, a buyer looks for location.

If your home is on a busy street, not in the best school district or near a freeway on/off ramp, chances are you won’t receive the kind of activity that a well-located home would. In that case, work closely with your agent to price the home correctly.

Must be priced right: Buyers in any market look for perceived value. Homes priced 10 percent (or more) over their market value won’t get noticed. Pricing isn’t an exact science, and it’s nearly impossible to pin a precise number to a home until buyer and seller sign a contract and close. Then, the price officially becomes the home’s market value. Until that time, agents can provide sellers with a value range. Have a good location? Does your home show well? Are you in a strong sellers’ market? Price your home on the bottom of that price range and you’ll be sure to attract buyers — and possibly multiple offers.

Must show well: A generation ago, sellers simply did some deep cleaning and maybe some de-cluttering before their first open house. Presentation wasn’t as important then as it is today, given online listings. More buyers today develop an emotional connection to a home. They want to imagine themselves in your home and not feel like they’re a guest. What does that mean? Appeal to the masses. If you have a good location and you plan to price your home realistically, then you need to make sure you give buyers what they want. If you can afford it, make cosmetic upgrades;

If you’re not in a strong sellers’ market or you spend a fortune on last-minute upgrades, you could be in for a giant surprise.

invest in some staging and work to turn your home into a “product.” Emotionally disconnect from your home and try to see it more objectively.

Plan on having the home in perfect condition for the photo shoot. A buyer’s first impression of your home likely will be via the Internet or an email from their agent. Make them want to step inside. The more buyers you attract to your home, the more activity.

Know your market: Don’t assume that national trends apply to your region, city or neighborhood. If you’re not in a strong sellers’ market or you spend a fortune on last-minute upgrades, you could be in for a giant surprise. Just because you hear about bidding wars and multiple offers on the national news doesn’t mean that applies to your market. For example, while properties in San Francisco may receive multiple offers, a town like Port Chester, NY, still sees short sales and homes often spend many days on the market.

Work with a good local agent. A local agent has likely toured all the nearby homes for sale as well as ones that have sold over the past six months to a year. Knowing those homes, having walked inside and personally knowing the agents who have sold them matters. This is market data that an outsider just doesn’t have access to. This knowledge empowers good local agents to educate their sellers.

More from Zillow about home selling:
Tips for Sellers in a Buyer’s Market
5 Types of People Who Attend Open Houses
Are Open Houses Still Necessary?

More on AOL Real Estate:
Find out how to
calculate mortgage payments.
Find
homes for sale in your area.
Find
foreclosures in your area.
Find homes for rent in your area.

Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

Brendon’s practical real estate advice has appeared on FOX News, CNBC, USA Today, Bloomberg, FOX Business and Forbes. A licensed Realtor and an active investor himself, Brendon owns real estate around the U.S. and abroad and is licensed to sell in California and New York.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow or AOL.

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How to Know If You Should Keep Renting Instead of Buying

borrower commitment concept
ShutterstockHomebuyers have to be ready to commit their time and money.

By AJ Smith

One question I heard frequently throughout my 20s was, “When are you going to buy a house?” Some believed I was already missing out on the benefits of homeownership while others thought with my career constantly taking me to new cities, I was better off renting forever.

Many people grapple with the decision of whether to buy or rent a home. While there are pros and cons to each and the decision is ultimately personal, here are some signs you should keep renting.

1. No Savings: Sometimes it’s tempting when you hear of low down payment options for buying a home. But if you don’t have an emergency fund yet or if purchasing a home would drain all of your savings, you probably aren’t ready. Homeownership comes with expenses — you never know when a hot water heater will need replacing — so you want to make sure you have money set aside for

If the thought of buying a home makes you so nervous that you are making yourself sick or having trouble sleeping, you need to explore the reasons before you move forward.

home repairs on top of the usual living expenses.

2. Uncertain Future: Signing a mortgage means you are agreeing to pay money every month to own that home. If you have a stable job that you love, this can be great. But if you are unsure whether you will have your job for the next few years, you may want to wait. Even if you’ve just gotten a new job and you are very excited, it may be wise to get a feel for the company before you jump into homeownership. You’ll want to know whether the company is hiring or laying people off and what its financial outlook is to determine your own job security.

I kept renting throughout my 20s because I wasn’t sure where I was going to be living. My career had me moving around the country with very little notice. I stayed in one state for nine months and another for only six months. I wanted to be able to accept new assignments and opportunities that came my way without worrying about selling a home. If you aren’t certain where you will be in a few years, or perhaps even months, you might want to keep renting for now.

3. No Research: Buying a home is a big decision. You’ll want to learn what you can about the local housing market, including the pricing trends, the school district and the property taxes. Another thing to consider is how well you know the home itself. Sure, that roof looks good, but an expert may tell you it needs to be replaced soon. That’s not the kind of surprise you want after you’ve spent a lot on a down payment.

Don’t rush into homeownership without doing your research. Think about how much you regret that impulse buy at the mall and multiply it by … a lot!

4. Fear: Yes, you have to face your fears. But if the thought of buying a home makes you so nervous that you are making yourself sick or having trouble sleeping, you need to explore the reasons before you move forward. Perhaps you aren’t sure this is the right time or the right house. Maybe you don’t want to take on a long-term loan like a mortgage or you worry about being tied to one location. Before you take on a mortgage, it might be best to determine what is truly bothering you.

More about renting and homeowning from Credit.com:



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Sellers, the Real FSBO Deal Demands Preparation

Economy Home Sales
The Associated PressIt’s common home sellers to wonder if they can go at it alone.

By Brendon DiSimone

Many sellers entertain the idea of selling their home without an agent. They always have. Particularly today, with so much information online, many believe that the Internet weakened the role of the agent; that the agent’s value is not what it used to be. However, when it comes time to sell a home, it’s common for many people to wonder if they can go at it alone and save the 6 percent commission. Going the FSBO route, as in “For Sale By Owner,” seems easy enough.

By researching online, you can check out comparable sales, learn your local market, and determine a good price for your home. Take some photos with your smartphone camera, write compelling marketing copy, and make a few cosmetic enhancements if needed. When you’re ready, list your home online for buyers to find and explore. In some cases, it truly can be easy,

If you go it alone, you aren’t necessarily saving 6 percent of the home’s sales price by not hiring an agent.

but not for everyone. There are a few considerations and some reasons why many sellers end up going down the traditional path of being represented by a licensed real estate agent.

When the Stakes Are High, Doubt Creeps In: Selling your home isn’t like selling a used car or a flat-screen TV online. It’s just not that cut-and-dried. It’s likely a place where you’ve made memories and have some serious emotional attachments. The sale of a home generally comes at a time of life change; a new job, new baby, retirement, death or divorce. Emotionally detaching means that you may not be as objective as possible. And as a result, there could be negative financial ramifications. Putting a a third party in between you and the sale can be comforting. There are practical considerations as well. Prices can vary by block and there are a variety of elements for a homeowner to consider: the local market, pricing, disclosures and property access, among other things. When it comes time to go FSBO, a little bit of doubt may creep in. Is my timing right? Is my pricing right? Is there something I’m missing? Am I ready to sell? Sellers don’t know what they don’t know. When it comes time to go live, and expose themselves to the market, they sometimes get cold feet.

You’ll Probably Still Pay an Agent’s Commission: If you go it alone, you aren’t necessarily saving 6 percent of the home’s sales price by not hiring an agent. Most likely, you’re only saving 3 percent. When a home is sold, the seller ordinarily pays the 6 percent commission. The seller’s agent then splits the commission with the buyer’s agent. If you want to get traffic to your listing, you need to offer that commission to the buyer’s agent to incentivize them to show your home. Additionally, few buyers feel comfortable negotiating directly with an unrepresented seller. Buyers want guidance from their agent and appreciate their feedback. If you don’t offer that buyer’s side commission you risk losing eyeballs and therefore market share. If you lose a chunk of the market, you risk not getting top dollar.

It Becomes a Part-Time Job: Selling a home takes an immense amount of preparation time, not to mention the time and energy to show the home once it’s listed for sale. You’ll have to field

Search and research as much as possible, not only local listings but how to best present your home to the market.

calls, emails and questions from buyers and agents. Plus you’ll need to be prepared to show it at a moment’s notice. It could easily begin to feel as if you’ve taken on a part-time job. And, not everyone is cut out for the additional workload and stress. In many cases, you’ll be doing all this while also focusing on where you’re moving. Are you selling in order to move to another city or town, or because of a change in your career or life? Any of those situations can be stressful enough on their own. When you add selling your own home to your plate, it can quickly be overwhelming.

There are certain people that can absolutely do it. It’s been done successfully over and over through the years. If you’re convinced that you can overcome the doubts and fears associated with being unrepresented, have the time and energy to make it happen, then give it a shot. Start by doing your homework, going to open houses and learning as much as you can about how your market works. Be prepared to set aside a good chunk of time for the months before and during the sale. Search and research as much as possible, not only local listings but how to best present your home to the market. Because you don’t sell homes for a living, you could be caught off-guard or overlook something important.

Once you go “live,” the days on market — the DOM — starts to tick. That number of days is the buyer’s way of knowing how your home fares in the market. If the DOM approaches 90 and you are still active, buyers will see it and know it. If you are unsuccessful and end up listing it the traditional way, that buyer will know about the previous attempt to sell FSBO. They may use it against you when making their offer. So put your best foot forward. If you’re not there yet, don’t go FSBO. Take the time you need to and reevaluate your plans. The last thing you want to do is rush into the market when you’re not ready.

More from Zillow about selling a home:
How to Get Multiple Offers on Your Home
Are Open Houses Still Necessary?
Tips for Sellers in a Buyer’s Market

More on AOL Real Estate:
Find out how to
calculate mortgage payments.
Find
homes for sale in your area.
Find
foreclosures in your area.
Find homes for rent in your area.

Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

For more insights into the important changes happening in real estate, read DiSimone’s new book “Next Generation Real Estate.” Brendon’s practical real estate advice has appeared on FOX News, CNBC, USA Today, Bloomberg, FOX Business and Forbes. A licensed Realtor and an active investor himself, Brendon owns real estate around the U.S. and abroad and is licensed to sell in California and New York.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow or AOL.



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Do not depend too much on Appraisals

Do not depend too much on Appraisals

An appraisal is an assessment of a property by an unbiased appraiser. The appraiser does an assessment of the home, views the home in comparison to others of comparable form and so on. Once finished, the appraiser then issues a written appraisal value of the home. Many homebuyers make the assumption the appraisal is the true value of the home both now and in the future. This can be a risky presumption.

First, appraisals are confined by something known as a moment in time. The appraisal done today, may not be completely relevant a month or two later. If a property has been on the market for a few months, the appraisal may not indicate a slowing market. This, in turn, means the appraised value is actually higher than the current market will support. Homebuyers run into issues when this happens because they put too much value on the appraisal. A seller will often list the home below the appraised amount and homebuyers will think they are getting a deal. In fact, they are not and may actually be paying more than a new appraisal would support. The older the appraisal, the less value you should put into it.

Most homebuyers think an appraiser inspects the home for defects and discounts the value of the home accordingly. This is not really the case. An appraiser is not really doing a crucial home inspection. In fact, the appraiser contract and/or report typically contains a long disclaimer whereby the appraiser covers his derriere by noting he assumes the property is in good condition and isn’t liable if it is not. Obviously, that should frighten you. This, of course, is why you should insist on a home inspection for any property you make an offer on.

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8720 Falkstone Ln Alexandria VA Home for Sale

8720 Falkstone Ln Alexandria VA Home for Sale

This home for sale in 8720 Falkstone Ln Alexandria VA is brought to you by Dan and Traci & Consultants with Keller Williams Realty. We are one of the top Real Estate Broker in Alexandria, VA, and our team of experienced sales associates have an established record of providing exceptional customer service to clients.. We offer the most powerful buyer and seller representation available, and we will work hard each and every day to guarantee your home purchase or sale is significantly successful.

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We encourage you to visit GreetingsVirginia.com to be your point of contact with Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC MLS listings which you discover while utilizing this online resource that we have provided.

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