Making Your Condo Stand Out From the Rest

Stand Out From the CrowdOne of the most interesting things about showing property in Mammoth Lakes is I can show several different condos in the same complex and get drastically different feedback from the same potential buyers.

This past weekend was a good example. I took my client to see three different condos in the same complex. He wanted to see for himself why the price was so different when the floor plans and views were exactly the same.

The answer boiled down to four key areas:

1. Carpet: It is nice if the carpet is new but if it is not new, is it at least clean? Even though it is easy to clean, a dirty carpet leaves a nasty first impression.

2. Paint: When you enter the front door are the walls scuffed and paint chipped? If you are going to paint before selling, consider a neutral clean palette. The first 30 seconds in the property is important — paint can help make a good first impression.

3. Clutter: Should go without saying but buyers want to visualize the place as their own. All the ski gear, knick-knacks and items you will be taking when you sell, should be out of sight. Since most places are sold furnished in Mammoth Lakes, buyers can get a real sense of what it will be like for them when all the clutter is gone.

4. Kitchen: This is a costlier issue than paint, carpet and clutter but a necessary fix if someone really wants to sell. A total remodel is not necessary. Something as inexpensive as new kitchen cabinet hardware and light fixtures all the way to costlier new appliances will help you sell your property. Even a dated formica kitchen with dark wood cabinets looks better with new hardware. Consider a new faucet, painting the cabinets and upgrading appliances for a real boost.

Granted there are some buyers who want a “fixer” but most want a turn-key property. They want to buy it and enjoy it.

Ask your real estate agent for input. Better yet, ask them to show you a property similar to yours that has made some of these improvements so you can get some fresh ideas m

For previous articles visit http://www.SonjaBush.com

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What is Strategic Default in Real Estate?

strategic defaultConsciously or knowingly ceasing to make mortgage payments is called strategic default. There are many people that knowingly stop paying the mortgage because they cannot afford to continue to do so, and there are others that opt to stop because they believe that this might accelerate their short sale or their loan modification.

Borrowers need to understand the consequences of their actions. Late mortgage payments impact your credit score and thus, they also impact your future ability to borrow.

The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program has specific guidelines, which often allow for a short sale when the borrower is current on the mortgage. Additionally, short sales can be completed for short sale sellers that have not missed a single mortgage payment. For more information on the HAFA program, visit www.MakingHomeAffordable.com

Some homeowners also stop making their Home Owners Association (HOA) payments. This can often be a short sale deal killer. Short sale lenders do not like to pay the seller’s unpaid HOA balance and often will only allocate a small amount of money for HOA document and transfer fees. Most experts advise short sale sellers to continue to pay the HOA dues whenever possible.

Whether to continue to make the mortgage payments or HOA dues is a personal decision that can only be made by the borrower. Understanding the consequences of the late payments can often help to make a more informed decision.

Source: http://www.ShortSaleExpeditor.com
For previous articles, visit www.SonjaBush.com

Tips for Buying a Home

Helpful tipsBuying a home can be confusing and overwhelming.  Being educated about the real estate market and staying informed on the latest trends and tips for buying a home are some of the most important factors when looking for a home. A little research can go a long way toward getting you in the door with a minimum amount of stress.

  • Check your credit score – before you start searching for a home, make sure the facts are correct and fix any problems you discover.
  • Determine your budget.
  • Shop around for the best deals on loan/mortgage rates.
  • Take the time to search for a home that suits you and meets your personal/financial needs
  • Learn as much as possible about the real estate market you’re interested in.
  • Get a home inspection – when making the decision to not invest in a home inspection, you’re risking incurring extra expenses and possibly hidden defects in your house. Being educated about the current condition of your home is worth the low up-front fees.
  • Make sure a home protection plan is included in the sales transaction.
  • Get professional help – find an agent you can trust and who’ll help you with the process.  Agents can quickly target your buying interests and you reap the bulk of the benefits from their services as the buyer.
  • Find the right time to buy – you don’t want to make an offer in haste before you’ve thoroughly researched the market
  • Stay within a real estate market you can afford. Don’t out-price yourself.
  • Don’t assume you can’t negotiate closing costs when parties decide the final asking price of the home. You might be paying extra fees you could’ve saved by simply asking the sellers to include them in the home price.
  • Be careful when examining homes that need to be fixed up. You might end up pouring more money and time into it in the long run than you think.
  • When deciding between multiple properties make sure you are comparing apples to apples. This is especially true in condos in Mammoth Lakes where the monthly Home Owners Association dues vary greatly.  What is/is not included?

Source:  American Home Shield

For previous articles, visit www.SonjaBush.com