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Let me add a note of caution on the MLS’s days-on-market statistic. A home that’s been on the market for two or three months doesn’t mean that it’s been sitting there with no action. Failed sales owing to a buyer’s not qualifying, a questionable inspection result, poor appraisal, and so on can add to the days-on-market odometer. (more…)

home insurance1 How to insure your home against Christmas theft Insuring a home against theft during the holiday season is important for anyone who owns a home. The Christmas season is one of the most popular times for thefts and other crimes involving personal property. In fact, police forces across the United States report that this is a time when they receive an above average number of reports of theft and vandalism. (more…)

Seller weighing 300x211 How to Determine the Best Offer to the SellerThe thrill of knowing that all your efforts have finally paid off, and that you’ve finally found the house you’ve been looking for, can quickly turn into a high-wire balancing act between making an offer fast and getting the lowest price possible.

If you take too long to submit your offer, another buyer with similar tastes to yours is liable to come along and submit an offer. In fact, many experienced agents can relate instances when homes have sat on the market for weeks with no activity, and then suddenly several offers were made on the same day. It’s almost spooky! (more…)

To add to the pricing confusion, many sellers get an inflated drive-by appraisal from a lender for a home equity line of credit or a real estate agent quotes them a high price in an effort to get the listing. And sometimes sellers just refuse to believe that the home they have lived in all those years is not worth more than its market value, leading to months of market buffeting and buyer rejection before reality sinks in. In truth, the nicest homes in the best areas rarely experience a slow market. (more…)

What did this frame cottage-style house have that others didn’t? First, it had more curb appeal than other homes in the neighborhood. Outside, the owner had installed white vinyl siding with green shutters along with a new roof, and he kept the lawn and flower beds in top shape. White birch trees framed the house and contrasted with the dark green, well-manicured lawn. (more…)

As you walk through the homes on your list of prospects, be sure to use the Home Inspection Checklist. You’ll find it useful in focusing your attention on vital things you need to be looking for.

What Is a House Really Worth? What a home is worth is a complex question, because no two homes are exactly alike. Appraisers compare recent sales of similar properties and then add or subtract value to compensate for differences and amenities to arrive at an approximate value. While that approach can put you in the ballpark, it usually ignores important market and emotional factors that can influence what a home will ultimately sell for. (more…)