Preparing For Sale, Selling Tips, The Selling Process

Smoke Detectors

Smoke Dectors, Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Fire Extinguishers will be the subject of a certification the Seller of a home will need prior to closing.  In 2018, State Fire Marshalls have upped their inspections when an agent goes online to verify the existence of the proper equipment and location, prior to them handing over the certification.

 

State Fire Codes have been updated as of 1/1/19 to the following:

 

Per the fire code, Ten year sealed battery-powered single station smoke alarms shall be installed and shall be listed in accordance with ANSI/UL 217, incorporated herein by reference.  However, A/C powered single or multiple-station smoke alarms installed as part of the original construction or rehabilitation project shall not be replaced with battery-powered smoke alarms.

 

 

Choosing An Agent, Preparing For Sale, Preparing to Sell, Selling Tips, The Listing Process, The Selling Process, Tips During the Listing

Did You Have A Failed Listing?

  • Why do you think your home didn’t sell?​
  • If you got feedback, what was it?​
  • How was your home marketed?​
  • Were any showings refused?​
  • Did you receive or refuse any offers?​
  • Was the price adjusted? If no, why not?​
  • Did you receive regular progress reports?​
  • Were there any public and/or broker opens?​
  • Did you have a professional photographer?​
  • Did you have a video walk through done?​
  • Are you still committed to selling the property?​
  • Have you made recent updates?​
  • What is the debt against the property? ​

Choosing An Agent, Preparing For Sale, Preparing to Sell, Selling Tips, The Listing Process

Top 13 Questions For Before You List

  • What drew you to this home when you bought it?​
  • What is your favorite/least favorite thing about this house?​
  • What is your favorite/least favorite thing about this neighborhood?​
  • What sets your home apart from others ?​
  • Why are you looking to sell?​
  • How soon do you need to move?​
  • Which is more important—price or timing?​
  • What challenges do you see in selling your home?​
  • Who do you think is the ideal buyer for this home?​
  • What is your plan if your home doesn’t sell in the time period you indicated?​
  • What qualities do you want in your agent?​
  • Do you have a ballpark price in mind? ​
  • Tell me about your home – how long you’ve lived here, what you like best about it and whether you’ve performed any renovations or major repairs.​

Choosing An Agent, Preparing For Sale, Preparing to Sell, Selling Tips, The Listing Process

The Role Of A Sellers Agent

The role of an agent is to guide and advise you through the process. We’re a team, working together! ​

  • Help you determine the highest possible selling price for your home ​
  • Present a list of suggested repairs or presentation tips, if necessary ​
  • Recommend reputable repair companies, if necessary​
  • Take professional pictures and video for marketing purposes ​
  • Share your home with our extensive global network ​
  • Enter your home in the local listing services​
  • Advertise your home to ensure the greatest exposure to buyers​
  • Arrange showings​
  • Gather and present feedback from showings​
  • Present and negotiate offers on your behalf​
  • Guide you through the contract and attorney review process​
  • Guide you through the home inspection & appraisal​
  • Guide you through township and state requirements​
  • Assist the attorney & title company in closing needs-iemonitor buyer’s loan and progress​
  • Assist you on the purchase of your next home, if necessary​
  • Be present at closing to ensure a successful transaction & to CELEBRATE!​

Buying Tips, First Time Buyer, Preparing to Sell, Selling Tips, The Buying Process, The Selling Process, Tips During the Listing, Tips For the Buyer

Should I Hire An Attorney

  • To protect your interests, it is advised to conduct your real estate transaction with a NJ Real Estate Attorney.  The attorney will:​
    • Review your contract of sale agreement within your 3 day right of review period.​
    • Assist in negotiations of the conditions of the sale.​
    • Revise the contract of sale agreement to protect you and your money.​
    • Assist in inspections reports and negotiations.​
    • Ensure the contract of sale is followed and satisfied per all deadlines and that all conditions are met.​
    • Assist the Title company and real estate agent with closing proceedings.​
    • Attend the closing to represent your interests.​
Preparing For Sale, Preparing to Sell, Selling Tips

Preparing Your Home For Sale- Exterior

Improve Curb Appeal

  • The first view (and first impression) of your home comes when potential buyers drive by your home.
  • Keep the lawn manicured and edged.
  • Add a little fertilizer to turn your lawn a healthy green color.
  • Trim bushes so that they don’t cover your windows
  • Plant some flowers
  • Repair any cracks in the driveway
  • Repair and paint the fence
  • Freshly paint or touch up any bad paint areas.
  • Clean the gutters
  • Remove leaves

 

Reduce Any Outside Clutter

  • Consider moving any unused vehicles, campers or boats
  • Store trash cans inside the garage
  • Put children’s bikes & toys neatly into the garage or another storage area.
  • Remove old lawn decorations
  • Check bushes for hidden newspapers and ads
  • Clean out the garage.  Have a pre-moving garage sale!

 

Home Exterior Touch Ups

  • Check to make sure all railings, steps, gutters and antennas are secured.
  • Check house numbers to make sure they are visible from the street.
  • Check your mailbox for rust
  • Look for wear or fading on your front door
  • Wash the windows – inside and out
  • Polish any outside brass
  • Replace or repair your screens
  • Insure that the doorbell and outside lights work
  • Buy a new welcome mat!

Garage:

  • Now is a great time to clear away items you kept “just in case” you ever needed them!  If you haven’t used them/ needed them by now, you  may never will!
  • Is your garage a storage area for everything that doesn’t fit in the trash? Throw it away!
  • Old boxes / broken items / forgotten items?  Throw it away!
  • Give away or sell what you don’t need!
  • Sweep / wash the floor!
  • Dust everything standing still
  • Lawn equipment, bikes, toys and boxes should be tidy and well organized


Backyard:

  • Think of your backyard as an extension of your living space.
  • Nice weather? Display freshly scrubbed /newly painted patio furniture outside.  Place them in conversational grouping.
  • Flowering shrubs? Roses?  Accentuate them! Have outside furniture overlook them or other areas of interest.
  • Garden? Remove weeds / trim overgrowth.  Pull dead plants.

 

 

Preparing For Sale, Uncategorized

Decision: I Need to Buy A Larger Home in NJ

Since you purchased your home that you live in, situations have changed.  It was you and your fiance when you moved in, now it is you, your husband/wife and 3 kids.  The 3 bedroom home you are living in just isn’t cutting it.  The kids are sharing a room to sleep, the toys have overrun your home, the yard isn’t large enough for them to play with their toys.

Now that is a very common scenario.  You’ve decided to upsize.  Congratulations!  You are about to embark on a selling and buying journey.  So now that you’ve said that’s it, we are moving, what’s next?

Well, the first thing I would do is contact a professional real estate agent in your town.  Do a google search, ask a friend perhaps, and see who is the best Realtor in your town to assist you in the selling and buying process.  A top Realtor will be able to set you up with a finance member to assist you in establishing some boundaries and steps to take.  A top Realtor will also be able to guide you every step of the way from the first appointment to the closing table where keys to your larger home are in hand.

When choosing a Realtor, go on more than just the biggest name you recognize though.  Interview a few, don’t just settle on one.  You are on a journey together, so ensure you are comfortable in your decision.  Good luck and check out my tips and advice for buying and selling your NJ home from articles and blog posts right here on http://www.melissachristopherrealtor.com.

 

Buying Tips, Preparing For Sale, The Selling Process, Tips During the Listing

Yikes! What If Your Home Inspector Missed Something Huge?

Your offer has been accepted, and there’s just one more obstacle between you and your new home: the inspection. It can be a stressful event for both buyers and sellers as they wait for the report, hoping no major issues will surface that could sideline the deal.

But what if you make it through that day, let out a big sigh of relief, seal the deal, and then a few weeks or months later find an issue in your new home—a bat infestation, a leaky roof, a CDC-level mold problem—that the home inspector didn’t catch? Just how much peace of mind does a home inspection really buy you?

 

Find out how you can protect yourself.

 

Start by finding the right home inspector

Sadly, there’s no insurance home buyers can take out to protect themselves from a faulty inspection. As such, the most important step home buyers can take to prevent that scenario is to select a reputable inspection company.

Make sure you choose a firm that has been in the residential inspection business for a while and has a strong reputation (real estate agents and lenders often have recommendations).

But most important, your home inspector should have adequate insurance.

Keith Balsiger, president of Balsiger Insurance in Las Vegas, says buyers should ask for a current certificate of insurance that shows the inspection company has both general liability insurance and professional liability insurance (also known as errors and omissions insurance). This is what would potentially cover you as a buyer if there was a major “miss” on the part of the inspection.

If you want to be extra safe, you can call the insurance agency of the inspection company to confirm the coverage on the certificate is still valid.

You also want to closely examine the terms of the liability insurance. David Reiss, professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, says some contracts will state that the company is liable only for the cost of the inspection, which won’t be much solace if you find yourself on the hook for repairs that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Ideally, you would not want there to be any limit on the inspector’s liability in case he or she was negligent in doing the inspection,” says Reiss. At the very least, make sure the limit exceeds the cost of the inspection alone.

Why buyers should attend the home inspection

As an added safeguard, buyers should be physically present during the inspection. If an inspector balks at this idea, that’s a red flag. Make sure to find out what is covered by the inspection, and if there’s anything you want the inspector to scrutinize in particular (say, you know the boiler is old or the basement has water stains, suggesting flooding issues), state that upfront.

“It’s a buyer’s job to make the most of the home inspection,” says Bryant Dunivan Jr., a real estate and consumer protection attorney in Brandon, FL. Here are some things to watch for during the inspection:

  • The inspector is working off a checklist of items that was in the contract.

  • Major systems (air conditioning, heating, water, etc.) are tested.

  • The inspector actually enters attic and crawl spaces.

  • A report complete with pictures is provided.

What to look out for in a home inspection

Robert Pellegrini Jr., president of PK Boston, a real estate law firm based in Boston, says a typical red flag disclaimer on the inspection report is a statement that there was a problem with “access” to roofs, eaves, and areas behind locked or blocked doors or crawl spaces.

“That serves to absolve the inspector of any liability,” Pellegrini says.

Urge the home seller to remove all barriers that might prevent an inspector from doing a thorough job. Some home buyers even take the process into their own hands and hire drones or robots to view inaccessible areas.

Uh-oh! You’ve closed, but there’s a problem

No matter how many precautions you take, the nightmare scenario does happen: You move in and then discover a problem. A big one. Can you bring it up with the seller? After all, sellers are required to disclose any known issues about the home.

Well, here’s the rub: Proving the seller knew about something after the fact is nearly impossible, and the legal cost involved in trying to prove it is often too steep to make an attempt.

Which brings us back to the home inspector. If you encounter a problem, bring it up with your inspector. As long as you used one with decent liability insurance that covers more than just the cost of the inspection, odds are decent you’ll be compensated for any damages. Again, you’ll have to prove it. For example, if the inspector said the roof was in good condition, but there was a leak months later during a big storm, you would have to prove that nothing happened in the intervening time that damaged the roof.

“Bottom line: You would probably need pretty clear facts on your side to win,” Reiss says.

Problems and repairs are just par for the course when you become a homeowner, but hopefully you won’t have to deal with them the minute you step in the door of your new home.

 

Julie Ryan Evans is an editor and writer who has covered everything from politics to pop culture and beyond. She loves running, reading, cold wine, and hot weather.

Follow @julieryanevans

http://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/home-inspector-missed-something/

The Selling Process, Tips During the Listing, Uncategorized

Things to Never Show When Staging Your Home

 

Selling a home is all about presentation, which is why home staging is such a big deal. A vase of flowers, a bowl of fruit—such details can really draw buyers in. And yet on the flip side, certain items lying around your home can kill any potential for a sale.

While you might think common sense would prevail and prompt people to hide this stuff, we think it’s worth reminding y’all, just in case. Before showing off your home to buyers (or any guests for that matter), make sure to stash these 10 things out of sight.

Drug paraphernalia

Let’s state the obvious, shall we? Even if it’s legal in some states, not everyone approves of marijuana. Get your 3-foot bong off the coffee table and into storage, clean out the ashtrays, and stash the rolling papers. Now is also a good time to remove the “Yes we cannabis!” posters and your stack of “High Times” in the bathroom, too.

Weed isn’t everyone’s thing, so keep evidence of it out of sight.

Mousetraps and roach motels

There’s no better way to say “This place is crawling with critters!” than to display these sure signs of aggressive pest control. Just tuck those items underneath the fridge, and pray the things they’re trying to catch don’t scuttle out when prospective buyers walk through the door.

Evidence of pest control equals this in buyers’ brains.

Cameras by the bed

If you and your partner like to make your own private videos, more power to you. Just remember to move the camera.

Any kind of sex stuff, honestly

Personal massagers, oils, condoms—pack ’em up in a box and stick it deep in your nightstand or closet. Yes, it may sound obvious, but we’ve all stumbled across these items in someone’s home at some point. Awk-waard!

Taxidermy

We understand hunting is a hobby, and we’re not here to judge you (not much anyway). But multiple animal heads on the wall and an upright stuffed badger chillin’ in the parlor can give an otherwise great-looking room a creepy or foreboding vibe.

For buyers, a new home often means the start of a new life, or an infusion of new possibilities. Dead animals, well, they can impose a feeling of dread that can linger throughout the entire showing (and perhaps long after). And those buyers who straight-up hate hunters may make a snap judgment not to deal with you. So even if you stuffed the beloved family pet, just keep it out of sight.

Firearms and other combat weapons

If you’re a gun aficionado, make sure your rifles are tucked away in a safe. For other weapons—like combat knives, throwing stars, swords, great axes, spears—try and clear them from view, or at least put them behind glass. Preferably in a cabinet that locks.

Creepy collections

Rooms stuffed with porcelain dolls, celebrity shrines, human skulls, a vast collection of disturbing cinema—these are things that could put buyers off. Way off! You want them to envision their own lives and family in the house; showcasing a collection of something that could be in a museum of medical oddities will only make people think of “Silence of the Lambs.”

Anything political

With a particularly contentious political season in full swing, you should get rid of any kind of party affiliation or presidential endorsement. The last thing you want to do is bring politics into a home sale, or have that topic come up at closing. Do a political purge, and get rid of any party signage.

You

You’re great, really. But when you’re showing your home, you need to make yourself scarce. Seriously. It’s something real estate agents really hate.

 

The departed

Not the movie—we’re referring to your loved ones. An urn carrying ashes of the deceased framed by family photos is a touching tribute, but unfortunately not something a lot of buyers want to see. You don’t have to sweep your loved one under the rug, but you may want to temporarily relocate them when home buyers come around.

http://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/things-to-never-show-when-staging-your-home/

After reading this article, Melissa Christopher, Ocean County, NJ Realtor has the following insight:

When people come to tour your home, interested buyers are going to not only see what is on display, but potentially what isn’t out in the open as well.  For example, cabinets, closets and the likes to check out what storage space they will acquire if they buy your home.