6 Surprising Things that Can Make Your Home Harder to Sell

houseYou’re ready to sell…but how long will it take?

Everyone’s heard horror stories about a friend or family member’s house sitting, sitting, sitting on the market for months and years at a time. But how can you predict whether or not your home will take a long time to sell? There are certain factors that may cause your home to languish on the market longer than you want because some features take a special buyer to appreciate! What can you do? Keep these factors in mind when buying your home and when it’s time to sell, make sure you work with a Realtor with lots of experience selling homes in your area.

1. Train Tracks too Close to the House.

Maybe you find train horns soothing, or maybe you didn’t even notice the tracks a block away when you were swooning over the granite countertops. While some buyers won’t mind the noise (or possibly even a traffic-hampering railroad crossing) your house may sit on the market for a while waiting for that special buyer.

pool2. The Pool.

Who doesn’t want a pool!? Well, as it turns out, many buyers aren’t all that interested with the monthly maintenance, the safety ramifications, or the costs that come with a pool, particularly in moderate to cool parts of the country. Many buyers immediately discount a home with a pool if they’ve got young kids or don’t want to spend the $10,000+ to remove it (permit required!)

3. Your 80s Sense of Style.

You’ve heard before that buyers have a hard time looking past design (i.e. paint colors, wallpaper, teal carpeting, etc.) but what you may not realize is what they’re inferring based on your outdated taste. Your old appliances, 80s era stereo set, and old-school box air conditioners might be implying you don’t keep up with your home’s maintenance requirements, or worse.

4. Rental Properties Near By.

Particularly if you live in a popular, walkable neighborhood, you’re likely to have some renters nearby. That may not seem like a big deal to you (especially if the renters are quiet!) but some potential buyers might worry about the potential for peace and quiet, whether or not the landlords will keep up their properties, and how the neighborhood will hold its values.

5. You Don’t Have a Laundry Room.

Maybe you don’t mind bringing in the clothes from downstairs or from the garage. But many buyers turn their wants into musts once they actually start looking. Same goes for things like a garage, lots of closet space, and a patio.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA6. Your Neighbor’s Yard.

Even if you spend ever weekend creating a meticulous oasis in your own yard, buyers are going to notice your neighbors’ yards too. It speaks volumes about your neighborhood if your neighbors aren’t maintaining their properties. Even if it means you have to mow their yard yourself (ask first, of course!) do what you can to spruce up your street before you go on the market.

Is your house taking longer to sell than you anticipated? Maybe it’s time to reconsider your listing price, make some updates, or even find a broker better suited to your needs.

Talk to On the Move Charlotte today about selling your home!

Thinking of Selling? You’re Not Alone.

Who’s thinking about selling their home?
Everyone.

Well, not everyone, but our friends at Fairway Mortgage passed along a recent Lending Tree survey that showed some surprising data.

They found that 71% of people who took the survey were considering selling their home in 2014.
That’s more than 2 out of every 3 homeowners.

Other statistics support an upswing for sellers, too…January’s new home sales hit a five-year high and existing home sales numbers are up, too. What does it all mean? Now is the time to sell. As the market sees more and more homes for sale, sellers will enjoy less benefits from a low inventory market. Essentially, the longer you wait to sell your home, the more competition you’re likely to have.

springIf you’re considering selling your home, don’t wait. Spring is the BEST time to sell your home (Did you know that over 60% of all moves take place during the summer?) Tax refund checks spur home buyers and many families hope to relocate while the kids are out of school to avoid disruption.

When you’re ready to talk more about what it means to sell your home, call Charlotte’s listing specialists, Leigh Bryant and Michelle Duyck.

 

 

Can You Sell Your Home in 2 Days in This Market? (Answer: Yes.)

red lion 3It’s absolutely essential to put your best foot forward.

We fully intended to show off our new listing at 7013 Red Lion when it went active last week…but two days later it was under contract! It’s a fabulous house to begin with but the owners went above and beyond to make their home more marketable and the effort paid off.

Want to sell your house in a matter of days, not months? Here are a few tips from On the Move Charlotte for making the best impression right off the bat.

red lion 1Tip 1: Stage Your Home

If your home’s not currently occupied like Red Lion you should absolutely stage. Spending a little money to show potential buyers how to use the space goes a long way, particularly if you have rooms or a floor plan that are somewhat ambiguous. If your home’s already got furniture, pare it down! Think clean lines and simple, sparse stuff so buyers can see the bones of your home.

Tip 2: Select a Good Pricing Plan

All to many sellers want to put their home on the market at a price they know is likely unattainable. Their hope is that an interested buyer will “make an offer” and negotiations will ensue but in reality, an incorrect pricing structure may turn off potential buyers before they ever even get a chance to fall in love with your home. It’s crucial to listen to your broker’s advice about pricing your home – they know best what the market will bear and their end goal is the same as yours…to sell your home fast!

red lion 2Tip 3: Professional Photos Are a Must

One of the best things you can do for your home before you put it on the market is to work with your Realtor to have professional photos taken. They’ll present your home in its best light (literally and figuratively), show off the space, and generally make things look clean and organized. Your listing photos are the only first impression you’ll ever get to make!

Tip 4: Plan Thoughtfully

Before your home ever hits the market it’s important to have a plan. It all starts with finding the right listing agent then letting them take the reigns in terms of open houses, your online presences, and how showings and pricing will go. It’s important to have a plan for the long run as well as the short term and stick to it in case emotions or concerns pop up.

 

Leigh Bryant, Realtor®

 

 

Want more tips on how to sell your home quickly? Contact Leigh Bryant, listing specialist at On the Move Charlotte, to talk about your house.

How Does Closet Space Affect the Marketability of Your Home?

closet 1Everyone wants a walk-in. But is closet space a dealbreaker?

Last week, Keller Williams put out an informational piece on the things to think about when you’re preparing to add closet space to your home. If you’ve got the space and the funds, adding more closet space to your home may be a great decision from a buyer’s perspective, as long as you don’t take precious square footage from an area of the home that needs it more.

Some statistics show that over 60% of home buyers say they’d be willing to pay more for a walk-in closet in the master bedroom. That’s valuable information! In fact, walk-in closets are #2 on the list of amenities home buyers wanted n 2013. On average, buyers say they’ll spend over $1,300 more for a home with a walk-in closet – add that to the intangible appeal more storage space adds to your home and you’re on your way to selling fast.

So, what should you do if you don’t have a lot of storage in your home?

Here are some great tips for maximizing the closet space you do have without adding an addition to your home…

  • Go ahead and consider the idea of adding to the master closet. If the room is big enough to sacrifice a few feet to the closet you may see a return on investment in the long run. Talk to a contractor about what’s involved and get a detailed quote, and remember, you’re going for marketability, not an exact return on investment.
  • WP_20131212_002If adding on isn’t an option, work with what you’ve got. The first and most important step is to clean out your existing closets! It may seem counter-intuitive but it’s smart to end up with closets that look about 1/3 empty, even if that means packing up clothes in the basement for the time being. Buyers will see the empty space and see that there’s room to grow within the current storage arrangement.
  • Invest in some closet organization systems ASAP. For a couple hundred dollars at a local hardware store you can buy all kinds of shelves, hooks, and drawers that will turn your closet from a disheveled room into a storage system. Buyers love the idea that everything has a place and, bonus, it’ll be easier to live with your newly-organized closet in the meantime!
  • Next, organize. Pick up everything off the floor (even your shoes!) Neatly fold the clothing on shelves and take the time to arrange everything by color. The more organized your closet appears at first glance, the more space buyers will assume you have to put things where they’re supposed to be.
  • Maximize the storage space you have outside the closets in your home. Install shelving and pin-boards in the garage to neatly arrange all the outside equipment and consider having a contractor build in a hinge to the seat of your breakfast banquet to store things underneath. Show buyers there are other places to store items than in your closets and you can win back some good will.

WP_20131212_001

 

Not having a lot of closet space can be a deal breaker for some buyers.

Charlotte, in particular, has a lot of great historic homes chock full of charm…but lacking in closets. The trick isn’t necessarily to create additional closet space but to show buyers how they can live in your home without feeling like they’re overflowing at the gills. Minimizing your junk is just an added benefit!

 

11 Things to do Before Putting Your Home on the Market

for sale signThinking of selling your home?

If you’re wondering if now’s the right time to put your home on the market, just look at these stats.
And these stats.
And these.

Convinced yet? The Charlotte seller’s market is hot and still heating up, so if you’ve been thinking of selling, make sure you do the following 11 things before you hold that open house.

landscaping

11. Start With Landscaping

The earlier you start landscaping, the better it’ll look come open house day. Spend a weekend or have a professional come in to prune the bushes, plant flowers, and spread some new grass seed if necessary.

10. Dig Up Paperwork

Do you know where the deed to your home is? How about all your mortgage docs? Spend some time getting all your files in order that you’ll need comes sales-time to save yourself the hassle when packing.

9. Small Renovations

Read: Small. Now’s a good time to fix that broken gutter and maybe even get a new dishwasher. Just before you want to sell is NOT the right time to put in a pool or add on that sun room you’ve always wanted.

faucet8. Modernize

There are a few small changes you can make that can really un-1990s your home. Change out cabinet knobs, plumbing fixtures, or even just the furniture to make your home feel bright and fresh again.

 

7. Do Some Spying

On your neighbors, of course! Attend a few open houses in your area to see what you’ll be competing against. Take note how other people’s homes show and what you like and don’t like through the eyes of a “buyer.”

6. Consider Price

Of course, you’ll want to rely on your broker for expert advice on the market value of your home, but spend a few hours talking and thinking about what the reasonable value for your home really is. That way, when you’re asked about pricing, you’ll have a starting point.

painting

5. Paint Everything

Now’s the time to turn your daughter’s room from magenta to beige, and take that bathroom wallpaper down a notch. In general, neutralizing your home will help make it more appealing to buyers.

4. Declutter

Along the same vein as neutralizing, you need to depersonalize your home as well. Remove family photos, clean up closets, and generally do your best to make it look like a model home. When in doubt, remove five things from every room.

3. Deep Clean

Whether you hire a cleaning service or do it yourself, just before you hit the market you want to deep clean everything. From the carpets to the baseboards to the windows, make sure your house looks as sparkly as possible, and smells great, too.

2. Make Arrangements

Whether you’re going to rent a house until you find “the one” or you’ve got your eye on a move-up neighborhood nearby you definitely want to buy in, have a plan for where you’ll go if (and when!) your house sells quickly.

group favorite1. Call a Realtor

Sure, it can seem temping to try and sell your home yourself, but you need professional advice, guidance, and connections to get your property sold fast for the best price possible. Contact On the Move Charlotte today to talk to Leigh Bryant about why now’s the right time to sell your home.

 

How to Know When You’re Ready to Downsize

family homeDownsizing is the new American dream.

The kids are off at college or maybe even starting families of their own and the house seems…empty. There’s no surefire way to know it’s time to downsize but many of our clients tell us they had hints long before they decided to take the leap to a smaller place.

If you’re experiencing any of the following signs or simply want to talk to us about what downsizing really means for you, call On the Move Charlotte today for some helpful guidance.

Rooms Are Just Gathering Dust

Do you have rooms (or even a whole floor?) that’s sole purpose seems to be raising your AC bill and getting dusty? Whether its a rec room, a full-basement, or simply too much outdoor space, when your home’s too big for your needs it can feel overwhelming to keep it good shape. If you feel like you spend more time taking care of your home than actually enjoying it, you may be ready to downsize.

travel

You Spend a Lot of Time on the Road

Maybe your kids live in different states or perhaps you and your spouse just love to travel now that work is winding down. If you’re having a hard time justifying such a big home when you’re out of town most of the time it may be the right moment to consider a smaller, less expensive place.

The Mortgage is Paid Off

Perhaps you’re one of those rare people who paid off their mortgage before it was due, or maybe you’ve lived in your home for decades! Whatever the case, if your home is mortgage-free you may co
nsider downsizing to something worth less to have some extra cash on hand for travel, the grandkids’ college fund, or maybe that boat you’ve always wanted.

downtown

You Want to be Closer to the Action

Maybe your family home is in the suburbs and you’ve got your heart set on a small condo closer to town. Downsizing doesn’t necessarily mean a less expensive home but it can mean a smaller place in a more-desirable location. If your needs and wants have changed greatly in the last few years, maybe it’s time to downsize.

You’re in a Seller’s Market

Many neighborhoods in Charlotte are experiencing an extreme seller’s market right now due to incredibly low inventory. If you’re thinking of selling your home in the next few years, even if it needs work, you’re likely to get a better price for it now than if you wait. Downsizing is all the more appealing when it makes financial sense.

 

A few more things to consider when you’re talking about downsizing:
Do you want to sell your furniture with your home?
Do you want to buy more than one smaller property, maybe in different cities?
What do you love now that you can’t live without?

final-logo

 

 

Talk to a Realtor about what downsizing may actually mean for you. Now’s a great time to be thinking smaller in the Charlotte market and it’s also the perfect time to sell!

Inside the Mind of a Seller

frontWe’re holding an open house at
6534 Ciscayne Place THIS Sunday, October 27th from 2:00-4:00pm.

The fabulous home was recently reduced to $289,900 – you won’t find a better deal in the Stonehaven/Medearis area. 6534 Ciscayne with 4 BR/2.5 BA has all a growing family could want including a sitting porch, an all-new kitchen, and a half-acre lot with lots of privacy.

We took some time to talk to the sellers of 6534 Ciscayne Place…

Q: What made you most excited about your home when you purchased it? 
The front porch.  We pictured ourselves after the kids were grown sitting out on the front porch sipping lemonade.

Q: What will you miss most about your home?  
The thing I will miss most is working in the kitchen and looking out the window into the backyard to see the kids playing on the playset, exploring in the “forest” or riding their bikes on the driveway.

Deck

Q: What is something nearby that you enjoyed the most?  
Our neighbors, the swim club, Boyce Park.  There is a great sense of community in the neighborhood.

Q: Anything special to share with the family who purchases it?
We hope the next family loves this house as much as we did.  It always felt like home to us and we will have a hard time finding another house that feels the same way.  (Great, now you’ve got me crying!)

Leigh Bryant, Realtor®

It’s not hard to see why the current sellers fell in love with this home. Come visit us on Sunday to find out what this wonderful home has to offer your family!

Featured Neighborhood: Sedgefield

sedgefield sign

Sedgefield is one of Charlotte’s fastest-growing neighborhoods.

Located just south of historic Dilworth, the Sedgefield neighborhood is truly on the move. A popular spot for young professionals and families, Sedgefield is mostly comprised of ranch-style homes, craftsman houses, and traditional brick homes. There’s a lot of renovation going on in this area and it’s a hot place to score a deal on a property that’s ripe for upgrades. Close to Park Road, I-77, and all the restaurants and shops of Dilworth and Southend, Sedgefield is Charlotte’s next big neighborhood.

A few of the best features of the Sedgefield neighborhood include…

 

park road shopping centerShops and Restaurants:

Sedgefield is sandwiched between Park Road and South Boulevard, both teeming with retail and restaurants. From Park Road Shopping Center (which has tons of eateries and even a movie theater!) to the ethnic restaurants and big-box home stores of South Boulevard, there are few things homeowners could need that aren’t a short drive from Sedgefield.

Access to Highways:

Many commuters choose to live in Sedgefield whether they work in Uptown or South Charlotte. Just minutes from several entrances to I-77 and just a few miles from Independence Boulevard. Sedgefield’s far enough from the highways to avoid major traffic issues but close enough for a short commute. The light rail is also walkable from some parts of Sedgefield.

sedgefield parkNearby Parks:

Freedom Park, Charlotte’s flagship outdoor space, is less than a mile from most parts of Sedgefield. Additionally, the neighborhood has its own 5-acre park, the aptly-named Sedgefield Park, as well as E.B. Moore Park. The streets of Sedgefield are wide and tree-lined and most have sidewalks which make it a perfect place for avid runners, walkers, or young families to stroll.

Community Atmosphere:

People are always out and about in Sedgefield. With a 20-year old neighborhood association, the neighborhood has a real sense of community and often features street clean ups, block parties, and neighborhood fundraisers. The Sedgefield public school district is a plus for many families, too. If you’re looking for subdivision-style living without all the hassle of an organized political system within the community, Sedgefield may be the place.

frontHome Buyer Options:

One of the best things about Sedgefield is the variety of home styles available here. No matter what kind of budget you’re working with you can usually find something in the area that works for you – but you may have to be willing to do some renovating! Plenty of homes here have been lovingly restored and maintained and Sedgefield is truly a neighborhood you can buy a first home in, raise a family in, and retire in.

 

final-logo

No one knows Sedgefield better than On the Move Charlotte.

Want to learn more about buying or selling in Sedgefield? Contact Leigh Bryant and Michelle Duyck at 704.516.3318 today to talk about your options.

Numbers You Should Know in the Charlotte Real Estate Market

There are a lot of big changes going on in Charlotte’s real estate market. Not only is inventory increasing steadily, homes are selling higher than they were at this point last year.

If you still doubt the real estate market is making a comeback, you’ve got to see the numbers below.
Now’s the time to sell AND buy, a rarity in real estate – contact On the Move today to get started!

 

33

 

From July 2012 to July 2013, the number of closed sales in the CLT market has risen 33%, from 2,651 closes to 3,527 closes.That’s incredible growth.

 

 

8.9

                                                                During that same period, the median sales price of homes in the Charlotte area rose by nearly 9%.

 

 

17.6

In the last year, the number of days homes stayed on the market in Charlotte until they were sold went down by 17.6%. That’s the difference between 12 weeks and 15 weeks on the market until a sale.

 

 

20.7

 

There were 20.7% more listings on the Charlotte market in July 2013 than there were in July 2012. Inventory is on the rise which is creating a current sweet spot for sellers.

 

 

2.4

2.4% is more substantial that it seems. It’s how much more houses are now closing for in Charlotte relative to their asking price than they were in July 2012. The average sale in Charlotte right now gets 94.7% of its listing price.

 

 

 

All this data means that now is the time to sell. There have been few times in Charlotte’s history when it’s been a better market for sellers, but with inventory on the rise a buyer’s market isn’t far behind. If you’ve been considering selling your home, now is the time.

Call On the Move Charlotte today to get started listing your house!