5 Myths About Selling a Home Right Now

Are you curious about the state of the housing market? Like many homeowners, especially potential sellers, you may be hesitant to make a move because there’s a lot of uncertainty and speculation these days. 

But you don’t want to let false assumptions keep you from reaching your goals, now or in the future. 

Let’s clear up some common myths about what’s happening in real estate right now and what we’re likely to expect going forward.

  • Myth: Buyers are waiting to enter the market. 

    Record-low mortgage rates mean it’s a great time to purchase a home, and buyers are actively engaging in the market.

  • Myth: Fall is the wrong season to sell. 

    You’ve probably heard that it’s better to list in the spring or summer. But this fall is a seller’s market — and a highly active one at that.

  • Myth: Home prices are decreasing. 

    Nearly every metro region saw price growth this year, with trends outpacing expectations. In fact, historically low mortgage rates could allow people to afford higher-priced homes, encouraging them to buy now.

  • Myth: You won’t be able to show your home. 

    You can show your home safely by following the recommended precautions. Virtual home tours and private showings are also options. 

  • Myth: The real estate market is going to crash. 

    It’s a common concern, but what’s happening today is different from the financial crisis of 2008. Experts are optimistic, as the economy remains fundamentally strong. The housing market looks solid for the foreseeable future, and there is no reason to abandon your plans. 

It’s easy for the truth about selling to get lost in the shuffle. If you’re curious about what else is happening in real estate, especially our local market, reach out today. 


Posted on November 10, 2020 at 4:28 pm
Elisabeth Lugar | Posted in Selling |

Is the highest bid the best bid?

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An offer on your home moves you one step closer to the finish line in the selling process. And if you’re lucky, you’ll receive multiple offers from a range of bidders. 

The highest bid is the obvious choice, right? Not necessarily. Here’s what to consider before moving forward on an offer:

Focus on your priorities. Take this step early, before any offers roll in. Make a list of what’s most important to you in the sale of your home, like a tight moving deadline or your financial needs. Are there any requests that would make an offer a deal breaker for you? 

Review the contingencies. Now that you’ve established your top priorities, determine your bidders’ conditions for the sale. Common contingencies for potential buyers include a property appraisal and a home inspection. 

Compare earnest money amounts. People who are interested in purchasing your home need to show you that their offer is made in good faith. An earnest money deposit proves the buyer is serious about the transaction. The more money they put into the deposit, the more likely they are to be able to back it up with financing.

Be aware of unusual requests. A bidder could ask you to make unnecessary repairs or leave all your appliances in the home for them. Their offer might be high, but if something unusual interferes with your top priorities, it might be best to move on to another option. Together, we’ll carefully read over their requests and discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

Are you ready to get a great offer on your home? Get in touch today.


Posted on August 25, 2020 at 1:00 pm
Elisabeth Lugar | Posted in Selling |

What to Know About Home Inspections

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Whether you’re buying or selling a house, getting a home inspection can be nerve-wracking.

If you’re selling, you’ll want to make sure there aren’t any hidden issues in the home. And if you’re buying, you’ll want everything to be in great shape so you can move in quickly.

But how much do you really know about the home inspection process? You can start by asking yourself four questions:

Is a home inspection always necessary?

A home inspection isn’t required — but it’s highly recommended. A house could look perfect on the outside but have underlying issues on the inside — like water damage or a faulty foundation. A home inspection is crucial because it can bring problems to light that otherwise would have worsened over time.

What does an inspector do?

An inspector thoroughly checks the safety and proper function of the property. This includes the heating and cooling systems, gas and water, electrical system, foundation, roof and other features both inside and outside of the home.

Who pays for a home inspection?

Typically, the buyer pays for the inspection because it’s for their benefit. If you’re a seller who would like to do a pre-listing home inspection, you would pay for it. The cost depends on the home’s value and size.

Do I have to be there?

It’s recommended if you’re a homebuyer. But as a safety precaution, you may be asked to step outside or follow social distancing guidelines during the inspection. You can also tour the home virtually or talk over the phone with the inspector to discuss any questions you may have.

Do you have other questions about home inspections? Reach out today.


Posted on July 28, 2020 at 1:08 pm
Elisabeth Lugar | Posted in Buying, Selling |

5 Ways to Prepare to Buy or Sell Later

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Summer is usually the perfect time to buy or sell a home. And for some people, it still is. After all, there are few things more welcoming than warm weather and fresh flowers blooming in the front yard.

But maybe you’re waiting to enter the market. That’s okay too. There are plenty of ways you can use this time to your advantage.

If you’re considering buying or selling later this year or next, here are five things you can do in the meantime.

Get your finances in order. Take stock of your accounts, assets and debts, and pull your free credit report. Make sure you’re in good standing to qualify for a loan and make a down payment.

Watch the market. Keep an eye on local home sales where you’re considering buying. This can give you an idea of what you might spend on a home — or how you should price yours when you list it.

Save up for moving expenses. Moving isn’t cheap — especially if you’re going a far distance. Start saving for your movers, trucks, packing supplies and more.

Talk to a mortgage lender. Start zeroing in on which lender you might want to go with, and make sure you understand the requirements you’ll need to meet to get a loan. You may also want to get preapproved before beginning your home search.

Prioritize your needs. If spending more time at home has made you reconsider your living space, take the time to figure out exactly what you’re looking for in a new home. Then we can discuss your options together. 

For more ways to prepare for buying or selling a home, get in touch today.


Posted on June 23, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Elisabeth Lugar | Posted in Buying, Selling |

Curb Appeal Upgrades That Can Add Value

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As a homeowner, you shouldn’t ignore curb appeal.

Keep it in great condition, and you’ll likely see high property values and serious marketability when it comes time to sell. Let it slide, and the opposite could happen. 

Even if you’re not planning to sell anytime soon, refreshing your home’s exterior can add value or give you a head start if you choose to sell later.

It just takes a little effort and a touch of creativity.

Here are four ways to up your curb appeal:

Plant a garden.

A pop of color goes a long way, so plant a few flowers or a flowering bush in front of your home. Opt for perennials, which can last more than two years.

Upgrade your mailbox.

Forget the standard old mailbox that came with the house. Try a brick model — or revamp your existing one with a fresh coat of paint or a new post.

Make your front porch more inviting.

If you’re looking for an easy project with a big impact, add some charm to your porch. Get some potted or hanging plants, a brand-new welcome mat and a couple of cozy chairs.

Freshen up your door.

Give it a new coat of paint, add some new fixtures and a kickplate, and maybe update your address numbers, too. They might seem like small fixes, but they can make a big difference in your home’s overall appearance.

Curb appeal matters — especially if you’re considering selling your home soon.

Looking for more tips on boosting the value of your home? Get in touch today.


Posted on May 26, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Elisabeth Lugar | Posted in Home Features, Selling |

How Tech Helps You Buy or Sell a Home

With much of the country mostly staying home, it’s not your typical spring homebuying season. 

You might think social distancing has made it difficult to meet with lenders, view properties and sign paperwork, but fortunately that’s not the case. 

In fact, prospective buyers and sellers continue to move forward with their housing needs and doing so with safety in mind.

While the process may look a little different, modern technology is making it possible and, in some ways, more convenient.

So how does it work?

  • Virtual Open Houses and Showings: Facebook Live, FaceTime and Zoom are all being used to show properties. And many listings include a prerecorded tour of the home.
  • 3D Floor Plans and Interactive Walk-Throughs: Online tools make it easy to create interactive 3D walk-throughs and even allow for decor and furniture placement to give buyers a more lifelike feel of the space.
  • Electronic Signatures and Deed Filings: E-signing technology means there’s no need to meet in person to sign offers, contracts or any other paperwork needed in the process. 
  • Desktop and Drive-By Appraisals: If sellers are hesitant to have an appraiser visit their property in person, desktop and drive-by appraisals are a good alternative. These use city data, prior appraisals and comparable sales information to assess a home’s value. Homeowners can video chat with the appraiser to show them the interior and exterior elements of the property.

The way we buy and sell homes may have changed for now, but it’s still an active and essential market. If you have any questions about making a move, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Posted on April 28, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Elisabeth Lugar | Posted in Buying, Selling |

3 Reasons to Sell Your Home in Winter

You’ve probably been told you should wait for spring or summer to sell your home. That’s when there’s a bigger pool of buyers, and your landscaping and foliage are at the top of their game, right?

Well, wait just a minute. There are actually some compelling reasons to go ahead and sell now.

Here’s a look at three ways selling in the off-season can work in your favor:

Less Competition

There’s typically lower inventory in winter. The basic economics of supply and demand now work for you, the seller. When there are a ton of properties for sale, even a great home can look common. But when there are fewer options on the market and a listing is in good condition, it suddenly gains an edge it may not have in the summer.

More Serious Buyers 

People who are buying in the off-season are not your typical summertime browsers. These buyers are often more serious and motivated to make a move — and do it quickly. Maybe they had a sudden career or lifestyle change. Whatever it is, they typically need a new home now. If yours is ready and waiting, it can have added appeal.

Stress-Free Summers 

Who wants to spend all summer packing and planning a move? Some buyers want to move before the school year ends to have summer free for travel and relaxation. When your home sale is already sorted during winter, it’s smooth sailing for summer fun.

Are you ready to sell? Get in touch today for a comprehensive review of your current home.


Posted on January 14, 2020 at 7:13 pm
Elisabeth Lugar | Posted in Selling |

The Do’s and Don’ts of Selling Your Home

Many homeowners will tell you how emotional it was to buy their first home, but you rarely hear about their experience selling it. It’s only natural to grow attached after creating so many wonderful memories, which can make selling a challenging process. 

Fortunately, you’re not in it alone. Together, we can simplify the process and make sure you get top dollar when selling your home.

Let’s get started with some simple do’s and don’ts for selling your first home: 

What should you do?

  • Get your home ready for the market. We’ll collaborate on strategic repairs and updates, home staging, photography and more options to attract buyers. 
  • Plan for your next move. We’ll work together to make sure that you’ve got your next home lined up when your current home sells. 
  • Be aware of your timeline. While our goal is to sell your house fast, you never know what hiccups a buyer might encounter along the way. Being aware of your timeline is essential.
  • Prepare to negotiate. After the home inspection, the buyer may ask for repairs or concessions. That’s why it’s always best for you to have a local real estate expert represent you when selling.

What shouldn’t you do?

  • Don’t assume you have to sell in the spring. Homes are sold every day. In fact, it can often be in your best interest to avoid selling in the spring because you’ll have less competition. Ultimately, the right time to sell is when you’re ready. 
  • Don’t price based on your emotions. You value your beloved home, but if it’s priced beyond its worth, it will sit on the market. We’ll review local comps and discuss your home’s market value together.
  • Don’t forget to plan for the closing. To seal the deal, be fully prepared for settlement. Bring your ID and be prepared to review and sign paperwork.

Have you been thinking about selling your home? Or are you just curious about what it’s worth in today’s market? Reach out today for a comprehensive review.


Posted on October 29, 2019 at 7:07 pm
Elisabeth Lugar | Posted in Selling |

3 Ways an Inspection Helps You Sell

Like many homeowners, you might be hoping to capitalize on the hot summer homebuying season to sell your house for a pretty penny. Who knows, maybe you’ll even make enough for the beach house you’ve been eyeing or for a long summer getaway.

But first, you’ll need to get your home ready to sell. And getting a home inspection may be one of the best ways to do that.

Inspections can shed light on potential issues and help you make necessary repairs before listing your home. It might even help you fetch a higher asking price if the inspection shows that your home is in better condition than others in the area. 

All in all, an inspection can:

1. Alert You to Issues Before Going Under Contract
A home inspection can highlight issues that might concern potential buyers. 

Pro tip: You should fix any issues that pose a safety hazard. And your inspection report can serve as a repair guide before listing.

2. Gauge Your Pricing Expectations
Inspections help you get a handle on what condition your home is in and what price it might fetch. 

Pro tip: A clean inspection report, or proof of recent repairs, can help buyers feel more confident in making an offer.

3. Prevent Closing Delays
If issues crop up during the buyer’s inspection, it could delay closing due to repairs or prolonged negotiations. The buyer could even pull their offer altogether.

Pro tip: Fixing issues before listing the home can improve the outcome of your buyer’s inspection. And that could mean less negotiation on the whole.

Keep in mind that inspections come with an upfront fee, and you’ll be legally required to disclose any issues the inspector finds. However, we can discuss the inspection report to see how repairs could affect your home’s market value

Are you considering selling your home this year? Want to know what it’s worth or what you can expect in today’s market? Reach out today for a free local market report and see how your house measures up.


Posted on July 23, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Elisabeth Lugar | Posted in Selling |

Don’t Get Blindsided by Closing Costs

Have you ever decided to buy something, only to find out about additional costs at the end? The last thing you want is to be surprised by unexpected fees – especially at your closing. 

You’ve made your financial calculations. Extra charges at the eleventh hour could make all your plans go bust. 

But you can’t just skip the closing – that’s when the legal ownership is transferred. 

Want to avoid being blindsided at your closing? Here’s how to plan ahead for closing fees: 

What’s the deal with closing costs?
Closing costs typically run about 2% to 5% of the purchase price and are paid to lenders, attorneys and other third parties. Buyers often have more closing costs than sellers because most fees are related to the new mortgage loan. 

Common closing costs for buyers:

  • Loan processing fees
  • Home appraisal and inspection fees
  • Property taxes 

Common closing costs for sellers:

  • Mortgage payoff fees 
  • Title transfer fees
  • Attorney fees for handling the closing

How can you lower the costs?
After applying for a mortgage, you’ll receive a Loan Estimate from the lender. It summarizes the loan terms, such as the loan amount, interest rate and all closing costs. Comparing Loan Estimates from different lenders is important. 

Page 2 of the Loan Estimate also details the services you can shop around for, such as surveys, appraisals and title searches. 

Are closing costs ever negotiable?
Yes. A seller or buyer sometimes agrees to pay part or all of the other party’s closing costs. This is something we can negotiate into the purchase agreement.

As for paying the closing costs? Some lenders will allow you to roll the cost into your mortgage. However, you’ll pay interest on it for the life of the loan. Paying cash upfront is a smarter option if you have the funds available. 

Have more questions about closing on a home? Or are you ready to get your home search started? Reach out today.


Posted on June 11, 2019 at 6:56 pm
Elisabeth Lugar | Posted in Buying, Selling, The Real Estate Business |