Taking the Right Steps to Sell Your Home

Even though making the decision to sell your home isn’t easy, the real work – actually selling it – has just begun. Fortunately, expert help is available from your local real estate agent.

You need to become familiar with your competition and establish a selling price that’s consistent with comparable homes in your area. You can do online research and visit open houses yourself, but at this stage, consider hiring an experienced agent.

Your agent can provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) which details what other homes like yours have sold for. When you visit open houses, notice features that make positive or negative impressions on you. Now ask your agent to suggest ideas to ensure your home makes a positive impression, and make suggested repairs and/or consider staging. At this point, you and your agent will come up with a realistic selling price.

The most critical task of any agent is negotiating the sale of your home. For this, you need one who has been in the business for a while. There is a difference. By selecting an experienced agent, you’ll be helping ensure a satisfactory outcome.

Through the negotiating process, your agent will work hard to help you and the buyer come to an agreement that you both can live with. Your agent should always show respect for the other party and set a positive tone for the negotiation.

Remember, everything is negotiable. If the buyer won’t increase the offer to your price, you can negotiate other things such as upgrades or repairs, or inclusions and services such as appraisals or home inspections. You can also offer to sell the house as is, without doing any repairs, at a lower price.

Be involved. The more both parties are involved in the process, the more likely you are to come to a good agreement – one which is wise and efficient and provides a good outcome for both parties.

Extreme Weather is the New Housing Crisis: Prepare Now

The National Geographic channel has coined the phrase “Disaster Doesn’t Wait” to promote its TV show entitled, Doomsday Preppers. The show features families preparing for economic, political and natural disasters, and as the phrase suggests, they’re preparing because disasters can happen…and they don’t wait until we’re ready for them.

Thousands across North America have had more than a passing acquaintanceship with natural disasters this year, as hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes and fire storms have wreaked havoc from coast to coast.

The results have been catastrophic for many – loss of friends and relatives, loss of homes and possessions and financial losses, as some insurance policies didn’t cover all damages. In one instance, the affected homeowners had hurricane insurance, but not flood insurance, and therefore weren’t protected from the flood caused by last year’s Hurricane Sandy.

It has been a year of extreme weather: Insurance companies are reporting huge losses and the media are calling it “the new housing crisis.” Statistical forecasts indicate that many cities are at risk should this extreme weather pattern continue, and experts are debating how to respond.

Many cities are examining or revising flood plain maps to ensure they are up-to-date, and discussions are underway on measures that will make our concrete urban spaces more weather resistant, and our homeowners better prepared for flooding around their homes.

One thing you can do now: Ensure your insurance policy is in order by checking with your provider to be sure you’re prepared for more extreme weather. Disaster Doesn’t Wait.