Real Estate Blog

Ways to Make Your Home Stand Out in the Fall

Fall is a great time of year to sell your home. While springtime may be the most popular season to put a house up on the market, there is no reason to wait, people are ready to buy homes any time of year.

The benefit to selling your home in the fall is, there will likely be fewer homes on the market during this time of year, meaning a well-positioned home can sell fast if you draw in the right buyer.

Below are a few great tips to draw in that right buyer:

Spruce up your lawn. No matter what season you are selling your home, curb appeal is very important. With the fall season, comes a few challenges to the seller; you must keep the falling leaves cleaned up as they do create a bit of a mess. After your lawn is looking its best, spice it up with some color. As your summer plants start to regress, replace them with some vibrant mums!

Keep the exterior clean. When fall arrives and leaves begin falling, the exterior of the house is exposed and in plain sight. Pressure wash the exterior and clean the windows. Inspect the exterior paint and make repairs as needed.

Keep gutters cleaned out of leaves and debris. This will protect your home from water damage and shows potential buyers that the house has been well maintained.

Accent the front door. Making your front door the focal point is always a good idea. During the Fall a simple wreath with fall foliage and flowers can add just the right touch of gorgeous color. If the door could use a fresh coat of paint, please do so. This will create an inviting entrance to your home.

Add some outdoor lighting. With the days getting shorter it is imperative that you provide potential buys a safe path to the front door. Use decorative lights to enhance walkways and entrance ways.

Use discretion with your decorations. Keep it simple may be the best approach. Going over board will distract from the home itself. A simple door wreath is inviting, but all those spooky and scary Halloween decorations can be saved for next year!

Real Estate Sales Are Rising:

The Improving Real Estate housing market

MLS Search Cincinnati Ohio

It was nice to read in the Cincinnati Enquirer this week that April home sales rose substantially compared to April last year. What was especially nice about this development is that April was really the first decent month this year in terms of weather. Home sales got off to a slow start this year, but that has been widely attributed to the extremely cold weather we had this winter. Now that the weather has relented, the underlying trend has revealed itself, and that trend is up!

In it's May 22nd article, "Warmer weather helps lift region home sales," the Enquirer reported that

  • In both Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, real estate sales of existing homes rose more that 4 percent from April 2013.
  • New listings rose more than 8 percent from March to April, according to Ken Parchman, the president of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors.

That second statistic is quite significant. As I've stated several times in this blog over the winter months, local real estate agents have been complaining about the lack of homes on the market. There have been more potential buyers than sellers.

Sellers, I believe, kept their homes off the market, waiting for the traditional strong market that starts in the Spring and continues through the summer. This year it wasn't necessary to wait because of strong buyer demand, but it's hard to go against traditional wisdom, especially when selling such a major asset as a home.

It's going to be interesting to see how much the market improves during the year. My guess is that sales will be strong.

By the way the Enquirer has put together a fascinating database that shows home sales and median prices by neighborhood. You just select the county and neighborhood, hit the Search button, and the related data displays on the screen. For example, the record for Madeira shows that in 2013, 193 homes were sold, sales increased 27 percent from 2012 to 2013, and that the 2013 median price of a home was $221,500.

Looking to buy or sell a home this season? Visit Gregg's MLS Search

How Much Income Do I Need?

No one wants to be turned down for a home loan, so make sure you know how much home you can afford before you go shopping for a mortgage lender.

home loan

You may be the most reliable, righteous and responsible person the world has ever seen, but money lenders see you as a big financial risk on two legs. After all, if you bite off more debt than you can chew and end up defaulting on the loan, they lose money.  As you can imagine, lenders don’t like to lose money, so the purpose of your loan application is to prove them wrong.

The first thing to note is how serious the home loan application process is. A home is the largest purchase you will likely ever make, and your mortgage is the biggest personal debt you will likely ever incur.
Lenders are looking for a sure thing, an open and shut case. They just want to see that you have sufficient income to cover your mortgage payments and debt obligations, with enough left over to live comfortably. They’re not looking for the drama and suspense of debtors who can barely keep afloat.

That said, now is not the time to start fudging about your finances. A mortgage loan application opens up your bank accounts, credit history, personal income and investment portfolio to close scrutiny. You need all the proof a banker asks for, and you need to be completely honest. 

Remember, if any of your figures are questionable or unsubstantiated, you will either get saddled with a higher interest rate, or you will be shown the door.

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