Making a move is a task that many of us undertake in our lives. The thought of moving may seem like a difficult and emotional process, but it’s something that you will always remember as a transition from one part of your life to the next. You can make this time of you life a lot less stressful when you know the mistakes you should avoid. With everything that goes into getting ready for a move, it’s easy to have a misstep or two. But, we’re going to give you a heads-up of the mistakes to sidestep on your move.
Taking EVERYTHING with You: Before you move, you need to have a thorough look at what you’re actually going to take with you. This means going through all of your belongings and figuring out what you don’t use anymore. You’re going to need as much room in the movers’ truck as possible, so having any space taken up by stuff you don’t need is going to be a waste. Moving all of those unneeded possessions, only to toss them away when you get to your new house, is not going to be a good use of your time. Get rid of your unwanted items through a yard sale, donations, or simply discarding them if you know nobody will get any use out of them, and then focus on bringing only the stuff you know will be used in your new home.
“One of the best things you can do is purge all of your unwanted junk that’s collected in your house over the years,” said Yvonne Regan, Relocation Director for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty. “I would recommend you do this a few months in advance of the pack and load date. Most experts will say if something hasn’t been used in about a year and it’s not sentimental, get rid of it. This clean-out can be very liberating and cost effective. Your household-goods weight load will be less, saving you money with the movers, and of course, less items will mean less boxes and packing supplies. And, if you were to hold a yard sale and possibly sell these items, you can even make some money to help defray some of the cost of moving.”
Using Old Boxes: As you’re packing your stuff away, it’s understandable you’ll want to use some boxes you have around the house, instead of spending money on new ones. However, it would be in your best interest to forgo boxes you’ve stored around the house and purchase unused ones. Any boxes you have around the house are probably dusty and not as strong after having other possessions stored in them. You don’t want to be carrying a box packed with your belongings, only to have them fall through the bottom and possibly break the items or hurt yourself. For any items that are very breakable, make sure to have enough bubble wrap in which to encase them before you place them in a box. With multiple items in any box, you don’t want them hitting against each other and causing damage. After the bubble wrap serves its purpose, you can embrace your inner child and pop the bubbles!
Choosing a Moving Company at the Last Minute: When preparing yourself for a move, you have to take into consideration that the late spring and summer are typically the busy season for moving, especially because you have families with children who want to move to their new home before the start of the next school year. A lot of the best moving companies get filled up with appointments early, so as soon as you know the date, call the moving company to book your move. If you wait until the last minute, you run the risk of not getting an appointment when you need it, and then you’ll probably have to resort to a lesser company.
“Moving companies get extremely busy at certain points of the year,” said Regan. “The moving season really heats up in the summer from May through Labor Day, and the moving companies can be booked solid. You have corporate transferees and families moving to settle in before the school year starts, as well as government and military personnel moves. I recommend you book with the moving company way in advance. Or, if you’re moving on your own, reserve your rental truck as soon as possible. Targeting mid-week or in the middle of the month may be best in terms of availability. If there are any delays or changes in your moving date, contact the company right away.”
Forgetting to Ask for an Estimate: Before you choose the moving company you would like to work with, it’s important you first receive an estimate, especially because there are two kinds that are offered: binding and non-binding. A non-binding estimate provides you with an idea of how much the move is going to cost, based on how far you’re moving and the mover’s estimates of your contents and the size of your house. The estimate is given in writing, and you can only be charged 10 percent more than the original estimate. With a binding estimate, you have a legal document that explains all of the charges, which can’t be changed unless you ask for add-on services, such as the movers having to climb multiple flights of stairs they didn’t have previous knowledge about. Prior to making your final decision, it’s recommended you receive at least three estimates, and also ask about any hidden fees. If you’re already spending money on the move, you certainly don’t want to be hit with any unexpected expenses. But, don’t be afraid to spend extra money on a reputable mover because if you find a moving company that charges significantly less than others, it’s probably safe to say they don’t offer top service.
Not Asking Your Moving Company If They Have Insurance: You also can’t forget to check that your moving company has insurance. Once you get to your new house, you don’t want to have any problems arise when you’re so close to finally settling in, so if a mover accidentally damages any valuable items upon the move, you want to make sure the company will be able to pay for them. If your moving company has insurance, I guarantee it will allow you to relax more. After you look into the insurance details of your movers, review your home insurance to make sure it covers your possessions as they move from one residence to another. If you need it, moving companies provide customers with deals on any extra insurance you may want. Lastly, you should inquire if your mover has insurance for workers’ compensation. If you have a small moving company helping you out, which typically has less than five employees, there’s a chance they won’t offer this, which means you’ll have to pay for an injury if a mover gets hurt. In the end, find out as much as you can about the moving company’s insurance, and use that as one of the deciding factors as to which company you choose.
Not Checking Out the School District: If you have children, you’ll want to see if the area to which you’re moving has a school district you approve of. Then, if you like it, you have to make sure it has openings, as you don’t want to move to a new neighborhood and have your children be without a school. Once you pick a district you prefer, keep in contact with them to make sure everything is in order for your child to attend come September. A school may be one of the last things on your child’s mind (I should know, as I was young once), but it should be one of the first things on yours. You want your child to have a bright future, and that begins with finding the right school.
Thinking Your Belongings Will Arrive When You Do: This is a mistake to avoid if you’re moving to a whole other part of the country. Don’t assume the movers will be at your doorstep waiting for you when you get there. If you’re relocating a long distance away from your old home and you arrive at your new home well before the movers, it’s best to have an emergency kit on hand that has enough essentials to get you through a few days. You should include toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, extra clothes, and anything else you think you may need to tide you over until the rest of your belongings arrive. It’s an inconvenience to have to wear the same outfit two days in a row, so imagine what it will be like having to do so for longer than that.
Packing Your Tools and Work Gloves Where You Can’t Get to Them: During your move, make sure you have your work gloves and tools easily accessible, instead of having them buried in a box. You won’t only need them for opening boxes, but you may have to remove a door from it’s hinges if you need to get a sizable piece of furniture through. When you arrive to your new home, you want to get all of your belongings inside as quickly as possible, so you don’t want to waste time searching for your tools if they are buried beneath everything else. Having them at the ready will allow you to quickly and efficiently unhinge any doors if necessary.
Not Hiring a Real-Estate Agent: One last mistake to avoid is not using an agent. Having the help of an agent will make the moving process a lot simpler. They have been through hundreds of these cases before, so they will be able to provide you with the information you will need in order to make sure everything goes according to plan during your move. With everything you have to think about when planning a move, it wouldn’t hurt to have some professional help at your side to give you advice. It will help you relax and will give you more assurance that everything will work out.
There’s a lot that goes into planning and making a move, and we know there’s much to remember. But, if you keep a clear head and an optimistic attitude, this task will be easier than anticipated. It’s all about time management, and the more time you allow yourself to prepare, the more focused and less worried you will be about not getting everything done. This is a part of your life that will lead to an exciting change in your life, so despite all of the work that goes into this endeavor, enjoy it!
Whether you’re a homeowner looking to sell your home, or a new buyer looking for that place to call home, odds are you have come in contact with your share of real-estate myths. In fact, you may have wished there was a “Myth Busters” type of show that dealt with real estate, to help you separate fact from fiction. While we’re waiting for a show like that to be created, we want to bust some real estate myths based on over 30 years of our experience in the New York and New Jersey real estate industry.
The Late Agent
Movies and television often propagate the myth that real-estate agents tend to be late for meetings, but this is simply not true. No matter what your profession is, there isn’t any excuse to be late for appointments. If something has come up and an agent knows they may be behind schedule, they will contact you right away to give you a heads-up. Being on time is a sign you take your career seriously, and an agent will convey that to their clients. Agents are committed to giving you the best real-estate experience possible, but if you sense anything different, it might be time to find a new agent.
Try to Get as Much as You Can Upfront
When you’re selling a house, you may have heard you should aim to price your home higher than its market value. In short, this will not work. Not only will this deter potential buyers, but this will undoubtedly force you to reduce your price at some point to get it in line with reality. If you price your home to the market at first, you will get an interested buyer much faster, and your house won’t have to spend more time on the market than it has to. There may still be some negotiating involved, but at least you’ll start engaging with potential buyers earlier and more frequently.
Renovate Before Selling
Some say there are two rooms in your home that you should renovate before selling, and they are the kitchen and bathroom. While that may seem like an enticing idea at first, the truth is you don’t know what kind of tastes your potential buyers may have. They may walk into your house and dislike the changes you have made, and they may not want to spend money on big renovations to make the kitchen and bathroom fit their vision. In that case, you have just wasted money on renovations that don’t attract to buyers. If your kitchen and baths work, leave them alone and let the potential buyer have the option to fix it up as they see fit.
Modernized and Luxury Homes Don’t Need to Be Staged
Even if your home is in a nice neighborhood and has an eye-pleasing appearance, that doesn’t mean you can forgo staging it. Staging a home is one of the most important things to do when you place your home on the market. A potential buyer is not just going to look at the exterior; they’ll want to walk through the house and envision themselves in those surroundings. If you don’t stage the house to make it look its best, potential buyers won’t be able to get a proper feel for that environment. Take some time to look around your house to see if there’s anything to clean or improve upon before your agent photographs the house. You want buyers to experience the best your home has to offer.
Just like ghost stories told around a campfire, you shouldn’t believe in real-estate myths. The real-estate industry is complex enough to understand without having these fallacies thrown in. What you should do is talk to your agent when searching for the truth about the current real-estate market. Doing so will keep you knowledgeable during the buying and selling processes and will save you a great deal of annoyance. Consider these myths “busted”!
It’s hard to believe 2015 is already at a close. But it’s happening, and everyone’s getting ready for the new year and preparing their resolutions. In the real-estate industry, we’re excited for the trends that are predicted to take place in the coming year. This is a business that’s used to big and rapid changes, so we’re looking forward to what the new year has in store for us.
As we enter the new year, there are plenty of agents out there who want to help you with any real estate to-dos you may have.
“2016 looks to be a very lucrative year for real estate,” said Frank DiCocco, manager of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty’s office in Closter/Alpine, New Jersey. “There is plenty of business out there for our agents. Agents need to hone their skills, and put themselves out there. The years of sellers and buyers falling in our lap are over. It’s the presence, so let’s make one!”
There is also going to be a potential increase in affordable single-family housing. Before 2016, builders were working more on higher-priced homes, which didn’t meet the financial criteria of entry-level buyers. However, with a decrease in new-home prices and improving credit access, builders will be focusing more on constructing homes that are more affordable for new homebuyers. If you have a family, this news couldn’t be better, so if you’re looking for a new home in 2016, keep searching for low home prices throughout the year to see if any fit your financial requirements.
One source’s prediction says home prices may start to decrease, which will influence potential buyers to revisit the market and see if there are any properties they will be able to afford. A lowered price is the best thing a buyer could be given, so 2016 is a year where you’ll want to take advantage of the lowered prices and search for your dream home. With this, you must keep an eye on the market, and also consult with your agent about their views on the industry. Once you have a better idea of the market’s current state, it will be time to dive in.
Although some people believe home prices will lower in 2016, Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty’s third-quarter market report details that home prices will rise in the new year, therefore creating a seller’s market. Because of these increased prices, this will cause more home sellers to list their properties. Home sellers will want to receive as much money as possible from their property, so they will be eager to place their homes on the market.
The real estate industry is more technological than it has ever been before. With smartphones, tablets, computers, and social media, we are given countless options when it comes to exploring potential real-estate investments. It has become difficult to think how we would have managed this in the past without the availability of these digital-age tools. However, despite the tremendous help modern technology provides for those searching for real estate, you can’t forget it’s the human touch that has been in the real-estate industry since the beginning. After all, you’ll be dealing with an agent the entire time, so it’s important to establish a friendly connection with them as you traverse through the ever-changing real estate market. Having someone to speak with who can provide firsthand knowledge of the real estate market is a wonderful service when buying or selling, so you should value the human factor as much as the technological one.
Parking has been an important factor for real-estate clients for decades. After all, who wants to buy a house without a proper place to park their car? However, it may be surprising to know parking will be seen as less of a concern among homebuyers in the new year. Lately, it has appeared an increasing number of buyers are forgoing cars and are instead using public transportation, cycling, and ride-sharing apps, such as Über. This is especially understandable for those looking to live in the city, seeing as parking normally costs extra and is rather difficult to find.
We will also see a greater solidification of generational buying trends. It has been evident lately that millennials make up a significant portion of current homebuyers, and that doesn’t show any sign of stopping. Nearly two million sales in 2015 involved millennial consumers, which equals about one-third of homebuyers. Despite the attention millennials are receiving in regard to the housing market, it should be noted there are two other demographics that will make an impact in the 2016 housing market: Generation Xers recovering from the financial crisis, and retiring baby-boomers who are looking to downsize. With these three very different generations looking for homes in the new year, we will see a surge in both the buying and selling markets, which will surely make for an interesting and lucrative year in the real estate industry.
A new year includes new beginnings, so whether you’re planning on buying or selling a home, these are a few trends you’ll want to keep track of. The start of a new year is a perfect time to be optimistic, so let that optimism carry you throughout the year as you work to accomplish any real estate goals you may have. With that being said, I wish you all a wonderful and prosperous 2016!
Sometimes, if people try to sell their home, they may have trouble attracting a buyer. If you’re one of these people, you’re probably wondering what you’re going to do about it. Maybe you plan on consulting a realtor to change around the marketing, or maybe you’ll choose to take your home off the market for a bit. But, have you ever thought about putting your house up for rent? If you don’t have any interested buyers at the moment, renting out your home can be the next best step. It’s worth a try, so here are some tips on how to prep your home for renters.
When trying to estimate a rental price, you have to realize the market is what establishes it. If you set the price too high, you’ll discourage potential renter from approaching you and expressing interest in the property. Determining the rental price isn’t an arduous task because all you have to do is talk with your realtor and conduct some research on the market, which will show you what prices other rental homes are asking for in your area. If you wish to find a renter in a timely fashion, it’s important to have a fair market price, not a price reflecting how much you think your home is worth. In order to have success when attracting renters, this is something you must remember.
You must also realize, as a landlord, you’re going to have many responsibilities with the property. Although you have the benefits of an occupied home warding off vandals and earning some income from the renters, there are many things you’ll have to focus on in order for your property to stay in the best condition. Maintenance is key to not only keeping your renters pleased with the property, but also to make sure your property remains in top condition for when you finally attract an interested buyer.
It’s important to walk through your home and check for any issues you may have to fix before you have any potential renters look at it. Just as if you’re getting your home ready for a buyer, you have to do the exact same thing for a renter. Check the plumbing, the heating, the electricity, and other amenities the renters will need during their rental period. If you aren’t able to sell the house, renters are the next best option, so you don’t want to drive them away with problems that should have been fixed before advertising your rental property to the public.
When you go through your home to prepare for the renters, make a list of the furnishings you would like to take for yourself and which ones you don’t mind leaving with the renters. Even if the renters are responsible people, you never know if an accident might occur with a favorite furnishing of yours that is left in the house, so if you want that piece of furniture for your new home, you should definitely take it with you before the renters move in. After you pick out the furnishings you want, hire a moving company to take what you want for your new home.
Take some time to find the best tenants. You have to make sure you rent out your property to people you know will take care of and respect your home. When you think you have found a possible tenant, your realtor will put them through a screening process and ask them to complete an application listing their name, employers, past landlords, and references. Once your agent gets in touch with the renter’s contacts, you will have a better idea of who the renter is and if you would like to approve their application. If you rent out your house to the wrong person, this be will pose a risk to your home suffering damage and will have you pulling out your hair with stress. With the hard work it comes from being a landlord, stress is something you don’t need.
If you’re having trouble selling your home, don’t fret over this bump in the road; you still have the option to rent it out. However, you have to remember there’s a considerable amount of preparation you must take to prepare for the renters to move in, just as if you were selling your home to a buyer. At least if you have people renting out your home, there will be less time the house is unoccupied. If you have a responsible individual renting out your home, you will know your home is in good hands until the right buyer comes along.
Establishing a price is one of the most important aspects of the home-selling process. You want to receive as much money as you can for your property, but if you price it too high, you run the risk of driving buyers away. When setting a price, it would be wise to seek advice from a real estate agent, someone who knows the market and can gauge what would be an appropriate price. Although you’ll be using a professional, you’ll probably feel like having some input regarding the price, so here are some tips on how to successfully price your house.
“Setting the right price is like a perfect balancing act between the seller and the prospective buyers,” said Elizabeth Whiston, real estate salesperson for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty’s office in New Windsor, NY. “Hopefully, the price is acceptable. But, if the seller would like to start at a higher point and it is not totally unreasonable, I would list their property at the higher price. I would have an open house the first weekend after taking the listing with the understanding that if no one shows up for the open house and no one has called about the property, the price should be adjusted.”
Before you settle on a price, it’s important to study the housing market, which will tell you what you need to know about current real estate trends. A working knowledge of the market is one of the best tools you can use when determining an acceptable price. Of course, your agent will have a lot of information to offer regarding the market, due to their considerable experience in the real estate industry. Because of the kaleidoscopic nature of the housing market, it’s recommended you seek the help of an agent to assist you with pricing because they will always be on top of the present changes within the industry.
In terms of agents, it would be more beneficial to use one who’s local. That way, you will be working with someone who is familiar with your neighborhood and those around it, and they will be able to compare the prices from other properties on sale and gauge what some buyers are currently paying. A local agent will have an extensive knowledge of what houses typically sell for in a given area, so they will be able to provide you with a price range that may be attractive to local buyers.
It will also help to be patient. After all, it’s a virtue. Don’t rush your house to the market with the highest price you think the property is worth. If you use a high price first, buyers will feel apprehensive about considering your house. This will cause your property to stay on the market longer. The trick is to wait until you and your agent have figured out an appropriate price for your house, and then place it on the market. There’s always room for your agent to negotiate if a potential buyer thinks the asking price is still a little high, but at least it will look better if you establish a realistic price right at the beginning, instead of trying your luck first with a price that won’t be appealing to buyers.
Setting a price for your house isn’t just important, but it can also be fairly tricky. You may be split between pricing the house for however much you think it’s worth and how much it’s actually worth. The price you set for your house is going to either make or break the success of the sale, so by using your and your agent’s combined knowledge of the real estate market, you can figure out the best possible price for your house. Like a fish to a worm, once you hook the potential buyers with an attractive price, you’ll start reeling them in!
Selling a house is one of the biggest undertakings you can face in your life, which is something I’ve been saying a lot, lately. But, it’s one of those things you really need to realize when you’re about to list your home. As you’re getting ready to do so, you also have to think about contacting an agent. An agent will be a tremendous help during the selling process, so here are some reasons why you should hire a real estate professional.
When you hire an agent, you won’t need to worry about having your time consumed by the responsibility of being available when a potential buyer wishes to see your house. With an agent, you’ll have a lot of assistance because they will be showing the house for you. Besides personal showings, agents will be able to host open houses where buyers and other agents are invited to tour your house. This way, you’ll be able to get multiple potential buyers in your house at one time and obtain a better idea of how much interest your house is generating throughout the community.
When you have an agent on your team, they will be able to gather feedback from the potential buyers about your home. Normally, the buyers will provide their opinions to their agent, who will relay that information to your agent, who will then bring that information to you. This way, any awkwardness is left on the sidelines, and you will be able to receive honest opinions from the buyers because they won’t have the pressure of having to give their feedback directly to you.
Marketing your home properly is extremely important. By having an agent on your team, they will be able to attract attention to your house through their list of contacts and marketing capabilities. As with any line of business, contacts are everything, so if you want to have the best chance at selling your house, hiring an agent with many contacts will give you a shot at meeting the results you’re looking for, and in a timely manner as well. With the technology we have today, the ability to reach hundreds of people is at our fingertips, and an agent will use that digital advantage to notify consumers that your house is on the market and waiting for an offer. Given how most people today use the Internet as their main tool for researching real estate, it’s a no-brainer your agent will work to attract buyers through computers, mobile phones, tablets, and other devices. With online tools, such as MLS websites and social media, your agent is likely to find a wealth of interested buyers. But, although we’re living in a world that’s becoming increasing electronic, additional marketing tools, such as flyers, brochures, and newspaper advertisements still hold power in the real estate industry.
Determining your house’s selling price should be left up to an experienced professional. You will most likely harbor great memories of your house and price it to what you believe the value is based on your emotional attachment. The seller’s agent will come with comps of similar houses in your area, which will show the length of time these homes have been on the market, how much they are listed for, and how much they sold for. All of this will help when determining a realistic market price. Additionally, when you have an agent working with you, they will be able to add positivity to any negative feedback potential buyers may have about the property, and will possibly help with a resolve on a situation.
Real estate agents are professionals, so they know what they’re doing and won’t steer you wrong. They are at your service and will assist you however they can. When selling something as significant as a house, placing it in the care of a real estate professional is the first step to a successful process. If you want to have the best experience you can when selling your house, do yourself a huge favor and hire an agent.