From techniques to make listing photos pop to methods for staging small spaces, these were the design crazes that made the biggest difference in home sales. We strived to offer both news and practical advice in our home and design section throughout the year, but we also kept an eye on forthcoming trends. As you can see, our roundup of 2018 design trends—which was published only this month—quickly became our most popular design article of the year.
What’s Hot: Trends in the Pipeline for 2018
The housing trends on tap next year center around integrating technology and creating healthy and connected living environments. Here are the need-to-know products and services promising to transform homes and your clients’ lifestyles over the next year or so.
Staging for a Cozy, Minimalist Look
Real estate agents often have to work with either barren rooms or sloppy, overstuffed spaces. But what’s truly attracting the most buyers is a deft balance of tidy austerity and a comfortable, lived-in feel. Here are five recommendations to strike the right tone.
How to Make a Big Statement With a Small Yard
Not everyone dreams of a lush and sprawling backyard, so playing down diminutive outdoor space in your listing could be a missed opportunity to connect with a buyer who sees a postage-stamp lawn as a plus. Here’s how to make a splash with the most compact outdoor spaces.
4 Surefire Tips for Better Listing Photos
Interior shots pose a variety of photographic challenges that are difficult for amateur photographers. Real estate pros shouldn’t be expected to transform overnight into professional camera wielders, but you can benefit from a few tricks and some decent equipment.
These Doors Can Modernize Your Listing’s Look
The front door has always had a starring role in a home’s curb appeal. But lately, the doors inside a home are getting a closer look for their ability to add style and address design challenges. Consider these simple yet elegant options for dividing a space while earning design points.
—REALTOR® Magazine/DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS
It’s so easy really…Price It Right And It Will Sell. Seven little words, but many homeowners can’t or don’t want to listen.
Case in point, let’s talk about homeowner “Bob”. Bob is a young professional who purchased his home at the top of the market. Unfortunate as that is, no one had a crystal ball, his house is worth less than when he purchased it.
Bob has a good job, he’s single, he doesn’t “have to sell”, but nevertheless, he would like to move to a different area. We know what he spent for the house, we sold it to him, and we know what it’s worth in today’s market. Bob considered all our advice, but wanted to list his house slightly higher than what he paid for it. We told him it would be a waste of his time, and although he trusts our judgment, knowledge and experience, he insisted on his listing price.
Although we do not like to take an over-priced listing, and have actually walked away from them, we felt that Bob was a previous loyal client and decided to take his listing, with the understanding that he will keep it at this price only for a short while, and then we’ll talk again.
Many homeowners are still a little slow to accept the concept that pricing is key to getting a house sold. If a house does not sell quickly, it will probably have multiple price reductions before it does sell.
Bottom Line Is…Price It Right And It Will Sell!
Selling One Home, Buying Another
In a perfect world, you sell your old home and buy the new one on the same day. Given that things rarely turn out perfectly, here are some things to keep in mind as you negotiate the sale of one house with the purchase of another.
Time it right
Fall and spring are the best times for homes to move and you want to consider the season of the year when buying and selling. And if the closing dates aren’t going to coincide, a gap – rather than two mortgages – is the better. It’s easier and usually cheaper to find temporary housing than juggle two mortgages.
Selling your home before buying a new one minimizes financial hazards. Even if you have to find temporary housing, it’s generally cheaper than two mortgages.
Get an appraisal first thing off the bat. That way you’ll have a good idea how the sale of your home will effect your purchasing power on the new one. This will help keep you from over extending your mortgage abilities.
Get pre-approved on a loan for the new home.
Until most of your contingencies have been met, wait to put an offer on a new house. You don’t want to be left holding the bag, or in this case, the house.
If you’re ready to accept an offer on your home, but haven’t found the right new home, negotiate a long escrow or a sale/lease back. This will give you more time to look for the new home. Otherwise, look for temporary housing.
It happens. You’re only thinking of buying, and suddenly the right home shows up. Now you have to sell your old home quickly. Here are some tips on making things work in your favor:
Negotiating a long escrow on this side of the sale works, too. You can also make the purchase contingent on your house selling. This will work better in a slow market, but it’s worth a try in any market. You never know what may also work best for the seller of your new home.
Try and schedule the closing date of your current home prior to the closing on your new home. Temporary housing is generally a better situation than two mortgages.
Take a close look at what price you’re going to ask for your home. Make sure it’s realistic in the current market.
When you get an acceptable offer, check the buyer’s credit history. You don’t want any surprises that are going to delay things. If you’ve closed on the new home, but haven’t sold the old one, consider renting it out, or taking it off the market until the next season (or until the market improves).
Same Market or Across Country
Generally, if you’re buying and selling in the same market, you can negotiate closing dates to work for you. But when you’re dealing with a cross country move, it’s a lot harder. A real estate professional really comes in handy at this point. Legal documents can be faxed or sent via overnight courier and your focus won’t be stretched to the limit. You may end up renting one home or the other, or have to consider a bridge loan. But with someone local in the market on your side, it will hopefully be less stressful.
Show Me the Money
Make sure you have a tight hold on, and a clear understanding of, your financial situation. Cash reserves are always helpful, but never more so than during the purchase of a home. Two to three months is the recommended reserve, but if you don’t have it, this is where the bridge loan comes in handy. Some lenders are more inclined to make a loan if it’s for the purchase of a home. If you’re a smart shopper/seller, you’ll accept an offer from someone who’s flexible about move-in dates. It can save you money in the long run. Too many moves with storage costs can quickly eat up any profit you may have made in the transaction.