The local real estate market has been very competitive this summer.  Many homes have been selling within the first few days of being on the market and Seller’s have had multiple offers to choose from!  This can be frustrating for Buyer’s looking to obtain their dream home.  As always, the best solution is to have a solid strategy to compete in this hot selling market.

Proper Preparation Prevents Pain!  Things move very quickly when offers are coming in, it is best to spend time crafting the best offer than scrambling for all your supporting documents.  Make sure you have at the ready the following items:

    • Checkbook and Initial Deposit:  You will need to submit a deposit of typically $1,000 with your offer

    • A “Love Letter” This is a letter from you to the seller introducing yourself and what you are looking for in a home.  You can quickly personalize this letter to fit with what you love about the home you are putting the offer on, this can help to put a face to all the formalities of the sale process.

    • Pre-Approval Letter: Make sure a qualified bank or Mortgage Company has already pre-approved you for a loan that will cover the cost of the home.

    • Flexibility: Sometimes the winning bid goes to the person who can move quickly or can meet the sellers preferred closing date. 

    • Down Payment: The more the better.  Sometimes a seller will not go with the highest offer but with the most financially sound offer insuring that the buyer will make it to the closing table. 

    • Home Inspection VS “As-Is”:  This can always be a little tricky but can be very powerful if worked correctly.  A savvy buyer’s agent would rarely advise against dropping the Home Inspection Contingency, however there are several ways to make one look more attractive to the Seller.  For example consider purchasing the home “As-Is” with a home inspection for informational purposes only; or you will conduct a home inspection AND if a major or structural problem is detected you can consider not moving forward, however you understand that you are buying the home in its current condition.  Many items found in a home inspection can be easily fixed and although they may require extra money from you to fix, you may have to make this concession in order obtain a “hot” property.

Ultimately the best tool in your home buying kit is a Professional Buyer’s Agent, their experience can help to navigate even the toughest negotiations.  If you are looking to jump into the home buying process contact me today so we can start to strategize the best approach in obtaining your dream home!

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Getting ready to move? Perhaps thinking of downsizing and need to purge some household items?  A Yard Sale is a great way to pare down and make a little money. The success of your yard sale will depend on proper planning and having a well thought out game plan.  Here are some tips to consider when planning your Yard Sale.

  • Contact your local government:  Make sure you do not need a permit for your Yard Sale.  In Shrewsbury, you do not need one however these rules vary by town. 
  • Contact your Neighbors: You can partner with a neighbor and make it a block event which can attract more customers.
  • Plan Ahead:  Starting about 6 weeks prior to your Yard Sale, go through each room of your home one by one and start clearing out the clutter.  Separate items that are broken and not functional from those you can sell. As you move through your home place all items into like categories.
  • Schedule your Sale: Set your time and start early.
  • Advertise:  Place an ad in your local paper with items that will be available.  If you have big ticket items make sure you mention it.   Additionally, advertise online at sights such as Craig’s List, or pay for an ad on Facebook targeting your town and area. On the evening prior hang all your signs.  Use bright bold colors and make all your signs the same.  Make sure you have checked with your local government for rules on where you can and cannot hang signs.  
  • Plan for items that will not sell:  Do not bring items back into your house, this will defeat clearing out your clutter. Contact your local Goodwill and either arrange a drop off or schedule a pickup
  • Have Extra Bags on Hand: A few weeks prior to your sale stock up on all your grocery bags.  Many bargain hunters will want to bag up the smaller items such as DVD, books. Etc.
  • Set your Yard Sale up like a store:  Make sure you have all your items set up on tables and separated by categories.  Hang all clothes on hangers and organized by size. Organize DVD’s by Title and Books by type (Cookbook, Fiction, Non-Fiction etc.)  Place BIG TICKET items near the front to attract people driving by. Play music in the background.  Setup a lemonade stand for refreshment, especially if it is a warm day
  • Set the Price:  Make sure you have all items clearly marked with the price on a removable sticker.  Many shoppers can be too shy to ask the price and may move on. Additionally, be open to barter, many seasoned bargain hunters will take the price as a suggestion and then barter.  Do not be afraid to negotiate, remember your goal is to unload and make a little money. 
  • Make Change:  Make sure you have plenty of small bills on hand and feel free to keep everything rounded to $0.25 so you only need quarters for small change.  Many shoppers will come directly from an ATM which is only going to distribute twenties.
  • Have a Power Cord on Hand: Selling electronics?  Many shoppers will want to insure that the item works prior to purchasing, having an extension cord nearby will allow them to try it out.
  • Have a Yard Walker: While you may be manning the cashier area have a friend walk around helping shopper find items, demonstrate how they work and assist them with getting heavier items into their vehicle.

Many people find that decluttering is a great way to relieve stress by providing a sense of control and accomplishment not to mention gain a little extra space in your home.  Why not make a little money in the process!!! With proper planning and preparation you can make the most out of your yard sale and earn a little extra spending money for fun summer activities ahead!




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