Selling a Home
How do you prepare a house to sell?
Doing whatever you can to put your house's best face forward is very important if you want to get close to your asking price or sell as quickly as possible. Short of spending a lot of money, here are several ideas for making your home show better:
* Sweep the sidewalk, mow the lawn, prune the bushes, weed the garden and clean debris from the yard.
* Clean the windows (both inside and out) and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking. And speaking of paint, if your home was built before 1978, new federal law gives a buyer the right to request a lead inspection. If you think you might have some problems, do the inspection yourself beforehand and make any fixes you can.
* Be sure that the doorbell works.
* Clean and spruce up all rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings. It's especially important that the bathroom and kitchen are spotless.
* Organize closets.
* Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work. Get rid of leaky faucets and frayed cords.
* Make sure the house smells good: from an apple pie, cookies baking or spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. Hide the kitty litter.
* Put vases of fresh flowers throughout the house.
* Having pleasant background music playing in the background also will help set your stage.
*In the winter, make sure your driveway is plowed and walkways are shoveled.
Pricing Your Home to Sell
Pricing your home correctly is crucial to selling your home in a timely manner at the highest price possible. Current market conditions determine the value. Pricing too high or too low can cost you time and money.
Factors affecting the price
- Condition of your home
- Age of your home
- Current market conditions
What you paid for your home has nothing to do with its present value.
The value some agents put on your property is not always accurate. Do not go with a particular agent just because they have given you a higher value, make sure you are competitive with similar homes on the market.
Homes you think are the same as yours may in fact be very different.
Ultimately, the buyer determines the value of your home based on comparisons they make to other houses currently on the market.
CENTURY 21 Select Group. has access to the latest technology to get you the most current market data available.
Our experienced agents can help you price your home correctly so that it sells for the highest price possible in the shortest amount of time.
Twenty-One Reasons Why You'll Feel at Home When you Buy or Sell With Us
1. Thousands of Success Stories Each Day
CENTURY 21® offices help people buy and sell thousands of properties every day - more than any other real estate sales organization in the world
2. Our Image Works For You
Thanks to over $40 million in advertising every year, 9 out of 10 American homeowners recognize the CENTURY 21 name - a name they've come to trust
3. We Attract More Buyers
The CENTURY 21 worldwide network of approximately 6,000 offices gives you access to buyers throughout the world.
4. The Right Pricing Makes Sales
Our real estate professionals have the expertise to help you price your home so that you can close the sale.
5. The Sign You Trust
Our CENTURY 21 sign is the best local advertising of available properties. A sale can occur as a result of someone recognizing our familiar name on the front lawn and knowing it's a name they can trust.
6. Referral System Works For You
With the CENTURY 21 VIP® Referral system, you have the nation's largest network or real estate professionals.
7. Local Advertising Targets prime Prospects
Once our national advertising attracts consumers to CENTURY 21 offices, our local advertising brings them to you. Neighborhood newspapers, directory and classified ads go to work for you.
8. Financing Expertise Makes the Difference
Financing for your home is critical. CENTURY 21 real estate professionals can help answer important questions, such as how much down payment you needs, and how and where to go for financing - questions important to buyers and sellers.
9. We Have the Marketing Tools That Make a Difference
Our CENTURY 21 office has an array of marketing tools designed to bring buyers and sellers together to allow you to be competitive in the real estate marketplace.
10. Professional Training Keeps Us On Top
On-going training opportunities give CENTURY 21 professionals access to the latest marketing techniques and the newest financial tools.
11. The CENTURY 21 Name Means Results
Independent CENTURY 21 offices across the nation have helped sell millions of homes. Your CENTURY 21 professional is ready to go to work for you.
12. We'll Handle the Details
Your CENTURY 21 sales associate has the contacts to take care of the many details associated with the sale or purchase of your home - from title insurance to termite reports. We'll save you time.
13. Corporate Relocation
The CENTURY 21® System is actively involved in corporate relocation - working nationwide with major companies who transfer employees. If your home is on the market, it could be just the place for one of these transferring employees.
14. Skilled Negotiations Close the Sale
A skilled negotiator is a critical element in a real estate transaction. CENTURY 21 professionals make things move smoothly, negotiating to help you get the right terms and the right price for your property.
15. We Can Help With Other Services
Need help finding insurance coverage for your new home? Or a moving company? We can help. The CENTURY 21® System has business relationships with companies who can service your needs.
16. We Can Take Care of the Paperwork
CENTURY 21 professionals have the knowledge and experience to arrange documents associated with your sale or purchase. We handle the busy work so you can start packing.
17. Teamwork For You
When you work with a CENTURY 21 office you have access to other CENTURY 21 professionals - locally, from surrounding areas, and even from across the world. We're here to help you make your real estate dreams a reality.
18. We Keep You Up-To-Date
CENTURY 21 professionals know how important it is to keep you informed. We make it a point to let you know what's happening at every stage of the buying or selling process.
19. We offer Proven Success
Many homeowners who try selling their own homes fail. Your CENTURY 21 professional can help you avoid the myriad of pitfalls you face in marketing your own home, including the disappointment of selling your property for less than its worth.
20. You Have Our Promise
We don't just tell you what we're going to do - we give you our word on it. Our CENTURY 21 SELLER SERVICE PLEDGE® Certificate and CENTURY 21 BUYER SERVICE PLEDGE® Certificate put our promise to you in writing.
21. We Care
Our clients are our most important asset. When you work with a CENTURY 21 sales associate, you'll receive the quality of service you want and deserve.
Glossary of Real Estate Terms
ARM - Adjustable-Rate-Mortgage - A loan that allows the interest rate to be changed periodically.
Agency - A legal relationship in which an owner-principal engages a broker-agent in the sale of property or buyer-principal engages a broker-agent in the purchase of property.
APR - Annual Percentage Rate - The total finance charge (interest, loan fees, points) expressed as a percentage of the loan amount.
Amortization - The gradual repayment of a mortgage by periodic installments.
Appraisal - An estimate of the value of a property.
Assessed Value - The valuation placed on property by a public tax assessor as the basis of property taxes.
Assumption of Mortgage - Agreement by the buyer to assume responsibility for a mortgage owned by the seller; the seller remains liable to the lender unless the lender agrees to release hem or her.
Balloon Mortgage - A mortgage that has a substantial amount of the principal due at the maturity of the note.
Broker - A person licensed by a state real estate commission to act independently in conduction a real estate brokerage business. Although the requirements for a broker's license vary from state to state, an individual usually must have one or more years of experience in the industry and pass an examination.
Buydown - A payment to the lender from the seller, buyer, or third party, causing the lender to reduce the interest rate during the early years of the loan.
Cap - A maximum amount of interest that can be charged.
Closing - The final step in transferring ownership of a property from seller to buyer.
Closing Costs - Fees and expenses, not including the price of the home, payable by the seller and the buyer at the time of closing (e.g., brokerage commissions, title insurance premiums, inspections, and appraisal fees.)
Condominium - Ownership which involves a separation of property into individual ownership elements and common ownership elements.
Contingency - A condition that must be satisfied before a contract is binding.
Conventional Loan - A fixed-rate, fixed-term loan that is made without government insurance.
Co-op - A buyer purchases shares in a co-op corporation, made up of the resident in the co-op property. The buyer owns shares rather than owning the real property. In exchange, the buyer has the right to occupy a co-op unit.
Deed - A legal document conveying title to a property.
Earnest Money - A payment given to the seller by a potential buyer indicating the buyer's intent to complete the purchase of the property.
Equity - The owner's value or interest in a property.
Escrow - The placement of money or documents with a third party for safekeeping pending the fulfillment or performance of a specific act or condition.
FHA Mortgage - A mortgage loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration, permitting lenders to offer better terms.
Fixed-Rate-Mortgage - A loan that has only one stated interest rate.
HUD - Housing and Urban Development - A U.S. government agency established to implement certain federal housing and community development programs.
Lien - A legal claim against a property that must be paid when a property is sold.
Loan Origination Fee - The charge you must pay to the lender for processing your mortgage.
Market Value - The highest price a ready, willing and able buyer will pay and the lowest price a seller will accept.
Mortgage - A lien on real estate given by the buyer as security for money borrowed from a lender.
Mortgage Insurance - A policy that provides protection for the lender in case of default and guarantees repayment of the loan in the event of death or disability of the borrower.
MLS - Multiple Listing Service
Points - A dollar amount, expressed as a percentage of the mortgage amount, which is paid to a lender as a consideration for making a loan. A point is 1% of the amount of the mortgage loan; also called discount points.
P&I - Principal & Interest Payment - A periodic (usually monthly) payment that includes the interest charges for the period plus an amount applied to amortization of the principal balance.
PITI - Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance Payment - The periodic payment that includes the principal and interest payment plus a contribution to the escrow account set up by the lender to pay insurance premiums and property taxes on the mortgage property.
REALTOR - and REALTOR ASSOCIATE - Registered collective membership marks that identify real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.
Title - A document that is evidence of ownership.
Title Insurance - Protection for lenders and homeowners against financial loss resulting from legal defects in the title.
Title Search - A check of the title records to identify liens, encumbrances, and ownership rights to the property.
VA Mortgage - A mortgage loan guaranteed by the Veterans Administration, an agency of the federal government that provides services for eligible veterans.
Tips for relocating with children
- Set aside time each day during the relocation to sit down and read or play with their children.
- Contact your CENTURY 21 Relocation Professional for information about child care options, schools, recreation department activities, library services, and other activities that will help children adjust to the new area.
- Tell your relocation professional about your childs interests and hobbies so they can send information directly to each child about possible activities relating to their interests in the new location. Have the information geared to the childs age group.
- If possible, include the children in the home finding trip. Many children will respond favorably if they are involved in the decision of which house to buy. Letting the child pick out their own room in the new house can help them in the process as well.
- Include the children in a preview trip. It is important for kids to be able to see the new neighborhood and schools they will be attending.
- Remember older high school students may no longer meet in-state tuition requirements for their choice of college.
- Visits to college campuses may be incorporated into preview or homefinding trips.
- It is important for relocating children to meet local children in the first few days of the move. These first contacts may not turn out to be their best friends, but it will start the process. The children of neighbors and co-workers are a good place to start.
- Allow children to maintain contact with special friends after the move. This can include having friends from the old neighborhood come visit if distances are short, or allowing the child to call friends in the old location periodically.
- Encourage them to write or e-mail their friends as well.
- Allow your relocation professional to provide your children with pen pals in the new location in the months prior to the move. This will help the children to learn about the new location and will give them a chance to make a new friend before they move to the area. Pen pals can come from company families or from the local schools.