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When Your Home Is Not Selling

As the real estate market returns to a normal pattern of buying and selling, some sellers are easily frustrated. If your home is not selling, here are a few practical tips.

When Your Home Isn’t Selling

Selling a home is similar to a job interview or a first date. Presentation tends to go a long way in determining the outcome. That might sound a bit shallow, but it is simply a fact of life in many endeavors including real estate. To this end, sellers have developed bad habits when it comes selling their home out of the recent hot seller’s market. A few basic tips can get you back on track. 

Most real estate comes with a garage. If you have lived in the property for any amount of time, you have undoubtedly stored numerous things in your garage. I have! When the time comes to sell your property, however, you need to give your garage the once over. Items you consider priceless heirlooms might be considered junk by buyers. A messy garage is also a negative. Remember, buyers expect you to have the home in pristine condition. Anything that does not reflect that will hurt you in the eyes of these individuals.

Undoubtedly, your home has some amazing interior features. Instead of just assuming the potential buyer understands the value of them, you should highlight the features. The best method for doing this is lighting. Make sure you have sufficient lighting in the relevant area by opening drapes or going with more powerful light bulbs. If you have beautiful marble flooring and counters in your kitchen, make sure there is sufficient lighting to make them stand out. 

Your lawn is the first thing a potential buyer is going to see when they pull up to the property. Keep it trimmed and cut back any jungles. Give some thought to the walkway to the front door. Planting flowers and such can go along way. 

Make sure the entrance is a positive aspect of your home, not a negative. Make sure the front door is in perfect shape. The entry area should also be focused on. Add plants, rugs and what have you to make a good impression. Next, walk in through the front door and take in the view. Is there anything that gives you pause and can be improved? If so, do it!

The real estate market has cooled to the extent that homes are not selling in three days anymore. Return to the basic fundamentals of selling a home is the key to getting the offer you need.

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Miami Real Estate

Sunny Miami Florida is without a doubt one of the hottest real estate markets in the world.  Over the years, Miami has noticed a lot of changes in it’s real estate market.  Miami Florida has always been known for it’s pristine beaches and activities, making it perfect for a vacation home or a permanent home for anyone wanting to live close to one of the best cities in the world.

In the past, Southern Florida was known to be a realtor’s dream of a real estate market with extremely explosive growth potential.  During the beginning of the year 2000, Florida noticed some high rises in real estate.  In most areas, including Sunny Isle Beach, the prices of real estate went up as much as 250% in some areas.  This was a drastic change in price, making real estate in Florida very hard to afford.

This change in price let the world know that Florida was very sought after for real estate.  Although the prices were very high, this also changed the entire economic structure throughout Florida, resulting in more businesses, work opportunities, and a lot more income.  Even though it brought more opportunities, the economic growth also helped to make Florida a very expensive city to reside in.

Miami Florida is the second largest city in the state, making it a great choice for real estate.  These days, the homes here aren’t very expensive.  If you are interested in renting a home or apartment here, you may find it to be moderate to high-priced.  Miami has long been known for sunshine and fun, which is one of the reasons why so many people decide to purchase real estate there.

Although the past has noticed a lot of interest in real estate for Miami, the future will always be in question.  Homes and housing units will always be built here, although real estate agents have found it increasingly difficult to sell homes.  Even though some homes will sell a lot faster than others, there are some homes that remain on the market for months and months at a time.

As you may have guessed, Miami Florida has noticed a bit of a drop in real estate price and transactions over the years.  Although past years have noticed Miami real estate to skyrocket in both price and appeal, the future makes many wonder.  A lot of areas here are harder to sell now days, with many sellers having to lower their prices just to make a sell.

In the future, Miami real estate will continue to be popular, although the trend of high and low will always be there.  Miami is still one of the best cities in the world to live in, no matter how much the real estate trend fluctuates. 

Facebook: A Popular Social Networking Website

Individuals, of all different ages, enjoy meeting and communicating with other internet users.  Despite the fact that individuals of all ages use the internet to socialize, there are certain groups of individuals that do more than others. Those groups of individuals include students, both high school students and college students. For that reason, it is only fitting that there should be a social networking website that has a focus on these particular individuals. That networking website is known as Facebook.

Facebook may not be as well-known as other popular social networking websites, such as Yahoo! 360 or MySpace, but it is still popular.  That popularity is mostly among high school students and college students, mostly because Facebook focuses on these individuals in particular.  With Facebook, you are required to register for a specific network. That network can either include the high school or college which you attended or are currently attending.  Once you have joined the website, you should easily be able to make contact with others who are in the same network. 

The network in which you join can be considered an advantage of Facebook, as well as a disadvantage.  See, Facebook does not work like most other social networking websites.  Instead of being able to communicate with all site members, you are limited to contact with those that are in your particular network, the high school or college you that selected.  The creators of Facebook state that this is for your own safety.  Although it is safer for your profile and personal information to be viewed by a small number of individuals, you may not necessity want it to be that way. 

Although a large amount of focus is placed on high school students and college students, Facebook has added another popular feature to their website. That feature is workplace networks. By joining a specific workplace network, you will be granted access to other community members who work for the same company as you. This feature is nice, especially since many companies have become large corporations or expanded across the country.  You may be able to make contact and become friends with a long-distance coworker that you never knew you had.

Another aspect of Facebook that you may find inconvenient is their lack of available information, before you decide to become a community member.  When viewing their online website, which can be found at www.facebook.com, it is hard to tell whether or not the site is free to use.  Most online social networking sites will make this known right upfront, but Facebook does not.  Aside from the price, you should easily be able to obtain additional information on Facebook, before making the decision to become a member. This additional information may include how Facebook works, why you should become a member, how the invite process works, and general rules and restrictions that are in place.

If you are interested in joining the Facebook community, you should do what you should do with all other social networking websites, research.  By taking the time to research and examine everything that Facebook has to offer, you should be able to decide whether or not this popular networking community is what you were looking for.  There is a good chance that it will be, but if not, do not worry. There are literally an unlimited number of other social networking websites that you can join.

Using an Agent to Sell your Home

Using a real estate agent to sell your home is something that you will most definitely want to consider. Your only other option is to sell your home by owner, and in most cases this is very hard to do. So when it comes down to it, hiring a real estate agent is the best way to go for the majority of people who are looking to sell their home. If you do not know anything about hiring a real estate agent there is nothing to worry about. Even if you have never gone through this process before you should not have a hard time getting started.

 

The first step to hiring a real estate agent is to get in touch with the company that you are interested in doing business with. They will then be able to direct you to a real estate agent in your area, who can in turn tell you everything you need to know about selling your home. While you are talking to the real estate agent let them know what you are looking for out of your home, and what type of time frame you have in mind. Of course, there are no guarantees but an agent will at least be able to give you some advice.

 

When you finally hire a real estate agent it is their job to do whatever they can to sell your home. They will do everything from listing your home in the newspaper to holding open houses. The fact of the matter is that a real estate agent does not get paid unless they sell your home. So if you are worried that a real estate agent may be slacking off you can put that out of your mind. They know that if they do not sell any homes that they do not make any money. This is motivation enough for every real estate agent to work hard on selling each home that they list.

 

As you can see there are many reasons why you should use a real estate agent to sell your home. Instead of taking on this job on your own, you would be much better off using a real estate agent. Not only do they know the market, but it can also help to cut a lot of the stress out of your life. And when moving from one home to the next, cutting out stress is something that is of utmost importance.

Finding The Best Realtor For Your Real Estate Needs

Finding the appropriate time to leave behind the unforgettable moments that you experienced in your home is sometimes stressful, but it’s always the time to move forward to get a new investment. Statistics in SW Florida real estate show that the average family is ready to jump into a new home almost every 5-7 years, so how you interview the best candidate is going to help you to sell your most valuable asset and move to the next step of finding your next “dream home.” Here is some advice for you:

Find an agent with a marketing plan that is designed to incorporate all the resources, tools, and systems accomplishing your goals and needs as the seller of a real state property.

Look for somebody who is going to get you the most amount of money in the least amount of time and the least amount of inconvenience.

Sometimes looking around and interviewing so many candidates can make you confused because everyone uses different strategies to get you sold. It is important that you get focused and express all your concerns and necessities to the candidates that you interview.

Pay attention to the different marketing plans they offer to you. Ask questions all the time about the different steps that happen through the transaction process. Make sure you understand everything they say and take notes. This way, in the end of your process to find a Las Vegas Realtor®, you have specific notes about the agent you are going to hire and all the promises and commitments this person is going to do for you to get you through the process of selling your home or buying a new one.

Select the agent that looks professional, acts professional, and most importantly, shows you that he or she knows what they are doing. This is why it is important to see if the agent uses current technologies, advertising, and all other marketing strategies available to get your home exposed everywhere in the real estate market.

Ask for the seller service pledge. What this includes, is all the strategies and services that this agent is willing to provide for you. Especially, it is important your agent provides excellent customer service for you and the possible buyers interested in your home. Ask to review all the offers and acquire feedback from all the Realtors and buyers that visit your home. This way, you will get different opinions from people referring to your home, which will help you to get the right price or maybe fix a couple of things that will improve your home’s appeal to the next possible buyers.

The most important suggestion is not to base your decision on who gives you the best price for their services, but to find the agent that is most qualified based on their qualities, abilities, and array of services. Sometimes when you spend less, will cost you more in the end, because your agent matters.

And remember, don’t be nervous to leave the beautiful moments that you have in your own home, because changes always bring the best.

Is Re-Financing Always Worthwhile?

This is a very important question which all homeowners should ask themselves both at the start and towards the end of the process of re-financing. The answer to this question can spur the homeowner to investigate re-financing further or convince the homeowner to table the thoughts of re-financing for the moment and concentrate on other aspect of owning a home.

Establish Financial Goals

This should be the first step in the process of determining whether or not re-financing is worthwhile. Without this step, a homeowner cannot accurate answer the question of the worth of re-financing because the homeowner may not fully understand his own financial goals. While financial goals may run the gamut from one extreme to another the most basic question to ask is whether the more significant goal is long-term savings or increased monthly cash flow. This is important because re-financing can usually achieve these two goals.

Do You Want to Save Money in the Long Run?

Homeowners who establish a goal of saving money in the long run should consider re-financing options such as lower interest rates or shorter loan terms. Both of these options can considerably lower the amount of interest the homeowner is paying on the loan. This is significant because paying less interest will result in a greater cost savings.

Consider an example where a homeowner has an existing debt of $100,000, an interest rate of 6.25% and a loan term of 30 years. Just by reducing the loan term to 15 years the homeowner can significantly decrease the amount which is paid in interest during the course of the loan. However, this option will also result in an increase in the monthly payments made by the homeowner. Therefore this type of re-financing option may only be available to those who have enough cash flow to compensate for the increase in monthly payments.   Do You Want to Increase Your Monthly Cash Flow?

Some homeowners may have a chosen goal of increasing their monthly cash flow. For these homeowners the overall cost savings may not be as important as having more money available to them each month. These homeowners might consider a re-financing option in which they are able to extend their loan terms. This means they will be repaying the existing debt over a longer period of time. The homeowner will pay more in interest in the long run but will achieve their goal of lower monthly payments and an increased cash flow.

How Will Re-Financing Affect Tax Deductions?

This is another serious consideration for homeowners who are interested in investigating the possibility of re-financing. The interest paid on a home loan is often tax-deductible. A homeowner who re-finances in a manner which results in less interest being paid annually may adversely affect their tax strategy. The implications of this type of chance can be amplified for homeowners who were previously just below a significant tax break line. A significant decrease in the amount of interest paid will mean a significant decrease in the deduction the homeowner is allowed to take. This reduced deduction can put the homeowner in an entirely different tax bracket and could end up costing the homeowner money in the long run. For this reason, homeowners who are considering re-financing should have a tax preparation professional determine the ramifications re-financing will have on their tax return before a decision is made.

Selling Your Computer Looking At Alternatives

At some point, your needs are going to outgrow the capabilities of your computer. You may find yourself in need of more hard drive space for all those videos and mp3s that you download, for example. Or maybe that cool new programming language you’ve been dying to try requires more memory than what your computer currently has. Unless the activities on your computer are restricted to pure textual output (plain text files), your computer is going to get filled with a lot of “stuff” – stuff that can overfill a PC’s capacity too much for the computer to function well.

The problem is that while upgrading a computer is always an option, technology advances so fast that newer products (such as memory chips, new drives, etc.) aren’t always compatible with the machines that we own. This is a common occurrence when newer pieces of hardware require the programming of a newer operating system. Sure, one could upgrade the operating system to accommodate the demands of a new piece of hardware, but trouble starts when that new operating system requires new hardware in return. If we’re not careful, we could end up replacing almost every hard and soft part of a computer that we own – all in an effort to upgrade! Upgrading in this fashion is not only silly to do so, it’s also costly – more costly than simply buying a new computer.

But once the decision to buy a computer is set in stone, what can be done with the old one? There are alternatives to selling a computer and this article is going to introduce a few of them.

1. Give it to the kids. This is of course, assuming the kids are too young to whine about not having enough SDRAM or less than a 160GB hard drive. Today’s “older” computers are perfectly capable of accommodating the needs of young PC users, and they’re excellent machines for playing educational CDs, small multimedia files, or games downloaded from the Internet. And don’t forget the most important role they play in a child’s homework-clad life: A simple encyclopedia CD on a used computer makes excellent research tool (not to mention a rather fancy calculator!).

2. Donate it to a less-fortunate or less-literate family member. We often joke around the office about the “grandma” who refuses to use a computer until she can afford the “latest” one. Chances are, Grandma isn’t ever going to shell out the bucks to buy the latest computer on the market, nor is she going to know how to use it once she gets it. What Grandma doesn’t realize however is that a used computer is an excellent training tool that she can use to prepare herself for something “better” in the future. We always say, “‘Tis better to screw up something on an old, used machine than to screw up everything on a brand new one!” A couple of errors on an old, used machine are easier to fix because someone is going to have the experience and knowledge to fix it. Errors on a new machine however can be a beast to fix because we’re all knocking at Microsoft’s door looking for answers.

3. Convert the machine into a storage area. As another alternative to selling that machine, we suggest that people disconnect it from the Internet and use it to store personal documents, records, or files. This way, personal data (such as bank statements, store receipts, health records, etc.) is protected from prying viruses or hackers, while the newer machine is used to surf the net.

As you can see, old computers still serve a purpose either for you or for someone else. And although selling an old computer is always an option, there are a number of things that you can do with an old computer. All that’s required is a little “out of the box” thinking and a grateful recipient.

Home Prep Needed For Great Sales

If you are considering putting your home on the market, realize that it will take some preparation to get your home up to show quality. Experience is proving that when a home is staged, it can bring in up to many thousands of dollars more than the asking price. Also, staging helps in all types of markets. When there are a glut of homes for sale in an area, what they call a buyer’s market, the home that’s staged is more noticeable to buyers, and the price for it can’t be low-balled the same as a house that doesn’t look as good. Alternatively, in what they call a seller’s market, when there are few homes for sale and real estate is in high demand, staged homes again stand out, often attracting numerous offers. In this way, the price can get driven up as buyers compete with each other for the home. Either way, the homeowner who took the time to stage comes out the winner.

Home staging can mean different things. Everything from just de-cluttering a home, or a rearrangement of furniture, up to making minor repairs, or even completely emptying the house and renting new furniture, are all considered efforts to stage a home. It appears that the more effort, and money, one puts into staging the home, the more they are re-paid for their efforts when the home sells. Not only that, staged homes tend to sell much more quickly than as-is homes.

While many people these days are choosing to hire a professional home stager, and whether or not you can afford that is up to you. Professionals certainly have good ideas, and the experience to know what works and what doesn’t. However, there’s no reason you can’t do the prep work yourself, with a bit of research and applied effort.

Their area few key elements to home staging that tend to be universal. First and foremost, getting rid of excess furniture and knick knacks seems to be key. A cluttered house becomes invisible to a viewer, blanketed under the accoutrements of someone elses life. If necessary, rent storage for all your extra stuff. If you have a storage room, empty it, or set it up to look like an office or weight room, to highlight features you don’t use, but someone else might love. Sometimes all that’s needed is an objective rearranging of your things to create more space and order.

Another key area is repairs. Don’t launch into major renovations, but do fix up really obvious minor flaws, especially around the front door. First impressions are key. Keep in mind that people viewing your home will likely open cupboards and closets. Repair squeaks and sticks so they don’t notice a problem. Since doorways have a tendency to get worn, consider new paint.

If you’re planning to sell your home, you might want to do a little research online to help with your staging ideas, or even look into hiring a professional in your area. No doubt you’ll be glad you did.

Termite Damage And Real Estate

Termite damage, no matter how small it may be, is never good for a home.  During a real estate inspection, if any termite damage is found, it will affect the outcome of the home.  In most cases, the buyer is told that the seller will fix the problem.  Although this may sound good to some buyers that the seller will treat for termites, other buyers often wonder.

Of course it’s nice that the seller will pay to have the termite problem treated, which will normally cost around $1,000 or so.  Even though the termites will be gone, you have to wonder about the damage to the structure.  In the more severe cases, damage to the structure can cost up to 50 times the cost of the treatment.  The last thing you want is to move into a home that you know has been treated for termites, only to find the structure to be in very bad shape.

If any type of damage was done to the wooden structure of the home, you may need to get immediate repairs.  While some damage may be visible, there are other types of damage that may seem invisible to the naked eye.  To find out just how bad the damage is, carpets and rugs will need to be lifted, furniture and appliances moved, walls and ceilings will need to be opened, and even some types of excavation may be needed.  This is the only way to tell the extent of the damages, especially in cases of termites.  If you don’t inspect every area of the home, you could be moving into a home that has severe structural damage – which can cost you thousands to repair.

There could also be latent damage present as well.  To determine this, you’ll need to have invasive and destructive testing performed on your home, which will performed by qualified contractors and specialists.  This will help to determine the extent of the damage and the cost of any needed repairs.  This can be very costly however, although it’s the only way to find and repair any latent damage.

Destructive and invasive testing can cost you an arm and a leg, although you’ll need to have it done if you suspect termites or know for a fact that the home was treated for them.  To protect yourself, you should always get a treatment and repair history before you purchase the home.  If you are renting the home, you’ll need get written documentation from the specialist that details the damage to the home and cost of repairs.

Before you buy a home, you should always have it checked for termites.  There are a lot of termite inspection companies out there, many of which go above and beyond to check the home for any type of termite damage.  You don’t want to buy a home only to find out that it has been infested with termites.  If you have the proper inspections performed before you make the purchase, you’ll know for a fact that you don’t have to worry about termites or termite damage.

If the inspector or contractor doesn’t find any termite damage, you should always have it documented.  This way, if termite damage does exist, you’ll have the documentation to back you up.  Termites can be very destructive to your home, especially if you are looking towards a log home.  Termites can destroy wood in little to no time at all, which is why you should always do what you can to have your home treated as soon as you suspect any type of damage.  If you know a home has been infested with termites before – you should really make sure that the structure isn’t damaged and the termites are gone before you commit to buying.