MISTAKE # 1- WAITING TO SELL-FOR WHATEVER REASON!

We are certainly in an incredible market right now. It is crazy with homes selling within hours and owners receiving multiple offers, where each bidder offers higher and higher to try to win.
The real estate market changes on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. It cycles up and down. It can be so fast paced that a realtor cannot keep up with all the demands of the Sellers and Buyers, and then in what seems like a moment…it will slow down and we feel like we are twiddling our thumbs. Then to add to the confusion of this fast paced market, some homes will sell in hours…while others may take several months.
So what does this have to do with why you should not wait to sell? Because as you can see you cannot predict the real estate market anymore than you can predict the stock market. Your need to sell cannot always be timed just right to get you the absolute maximum amount of money. If you are waiting for the market to hit it’s all time high…you will not know it has hit it’s all time high until it begins to drop off. And by then, you missed the peak and it may be heading downward again. There is always a trade off when buying and selling property. If you sell at the peak of the market and maximize your equity getting the most you can get, and you also need to buy you will again be buying at the peak of the market. But realize you maximized the most amount of money you could currently get for your home.
It is the same with buying at the bottom of the market. If you sell your home for less money because market prices are down, you will most likely be able to capture the savings buying back in since prices are down.
The moral of the story is this…base your need to sell on what best suits your needs at the time. Homebuying is an emotional decision…this is your HOME! You may need to downsize because the “stairs” are killing you, you may need to upsize with the growth of your family, you may need to relocate for a better job opportunity or a better neighborhood for your children. So whatever the reason is, make a smart decision based on your needs and a sound reason for making a move.

Mistake #2 NOT ASKING YOUR REALTOR-HOW WILL YOU FIND A BUYER FOR MY HOME

There are of course many important questions to ask your prospective Realtor when interviewing them to sell your home and “HOW WILL YOU FIND A BUYER FOR MY HOME” may not be one that pops into your mind at first. It really is a simple question for an experienced, full time Real Estate agent to answer. We will procure a buyer for your home by way of our marketing strategy. It is multi faceted using different venues such as For Sale signs, call capture/text rider signs, mobile friendly websites featuring your home, and syndication through the MLS (Multiple Listing Service- a system where all listings are placed). From there all the public sites such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc pull to update their sites. We will also use Open Houses, direct mail and our Facebook fan page as well as other web partners to attract the buyers. These marketing strategies are all important to the success of finding just the right buyer for your home. Don’t be fooled by the Realtor who simply relies on the use of the 3 P’s to sell your home, “Put a sign in the yard”, “Place it in MLS” and “Pray”. It takes a lot more than that! So ask a lot of questions and hire a competent Realtor who knows where to look for and find the buyer for your home!

MISTAKE #3 NOT PREPARING YOUR HOME TO SELL!

We know for a fact that the very BEST homes sell the fastest and for the most money! Think of your home in a beauty contest. The prettiest, most well maintained, and well presented to the public come up the winner every time!
So your asking how do I out-class the other homes for sale. I have the answer and some tips to prepare your home to sell.
1. The first thing a potential buyers sees when they drive up is the front of your home. The landscaping should be clean and manicured, front door freshly painted and door handles in great shape or new.
2. The entry is the gateway to your home and should feel welcoming, clean and smell wonderful upon entering.
3. The rest of your home should be impeccably clean, staged, and updated to maximize your profit.
I believe if you are financially able, you should spend money on some simple updates that make a lot of difference to your bottom line. An example of that would be new lighting fixtures, bathroom and kitchen faucets, door handles replaced, cabinet hardware, carpet if worn and stained and painting rooms to freshen or update colors. Take down heavy out of date draperies, wall hangings and pictures that are out of style. It really does not cost a fortune but makes such a difference to the eye of the discriminating buyer. A clean, fresh, new look is better than a cluttered one and today, less is more for showing a home.
Bring in a stager or organizer to help you de-clutter and make your home look like a model out of a magazine. It is possible with help from a great Realtor and her team of experts to expedite the tasks you need accomplished. Result: You win the beauty contest and bring in the big prize…quick sale and the most money!!

MISTAKE # 4-PICKING THE WRONG REALTOR TO SELL YOUR HOME

Selecting the RIGHT Realtor to sell you home will make the selling experience a happy one with the least amount of hassles and the most amount of money.
So you ask…How do I go about finding the right realtor to team up with and sell my home? Here is the answer in 5 easy steps:
1. Asking friends, family or business associates is a good place to start. Getting a referral from someone you trust about a Realtor or Realtors they had a great experience with is a very good way to find that perfect one. From there you can go to their websites and it check out to see if it is user friendly and up to date.
2. Look for an agent who works locally in your market or area. An agent that knows the area will have a big advantage over the ones who don’t. If they have really worked these areas, they are familiar with what homes are selling for and how long typically it will take your home to sell. They will have a pretty good handle on where the buyer will come from or where they will go to attract that buyer for your home.
3. In your interview, look for signs that they a relatable to your wants and needs. Ask if they are available to talk to you when you need an answer or assurance. Some agents only have you work through their assistants once they have taken the listing. If that is ok with you, then at least you will know how you will be communicating with them. And speaking of communication, ask the Realtor if most of their transactions go smoothly and how they accomplish that. No one is perfect and there will be transactions with challenges so you want an agent that communicates, negotiates and handles objections with professionalism and finesse.
4. Ask about the agent’s track record for sales ie, how many homes sold per year, days on the market and list to sales ratio numbers. (They should know this information and convey it easily.)
5.The agent should provide you with an actual written or computerized market analysis of your property. These will be facts about pricing and how long it will take to sell your home featuring comparable listings in and around your neighborhood.
.
There are a lot of Realtors out there and having the best of the best is important! After all this is most likely the largest investment you own and you want a competent Real Estate agent to handle all the fine details and represent your interests!

MISTAKE #5 NOT FINDING OUT WHAT YOUR HOME IS REALLY WORTH!

Analyzing your home’s value is not always an easy task but it is extremely critical to having a successful sale. Determining factors to value are statistics using comparable homes within 2 miles that have sold within the last 6 months to a year and market conditions at the time you decide to sell. Market conditions in this case means, how many homes are currently for sale, how many days have they been on the market and how many sales are pending. Specific updates you may or may not have done in Kitchens and baths and throughout your home will make a difference in what your home is worth. (Studies show that upgrading kitchens and baths give Sellers their biggest return on investment).
Unfortunately, factors like, I paid this much 10 years ago….or I added $50k worth of Landscaping may not always translate into return on your investment.
Find a Realtor that knows where to gather and how to analyze pertinent information by using not only MLS data, but other sources privy to the Realtor community. Believe me, Public websites will not contain all the information and the experience of a professional needed to determine value.
So, while discovering this very important step in the home selling process, take an objective view, try not to get too emotional, look at your home through the buyer’s eyes, and soak in all the factual information your Realtor presents to you using a clear and concise Market analysis. Knowing the real value of your home and acting on the advice of a “trusted” Realtor will always bring you the most money possible!

SIX MISTAKES YOU DON’T WANT TO MAKE WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME

It is the time of year that people start thinking about a change. Spring is on it’s way and you may be pondering a new home but you must first sell your current one. This is a big decision and it is important to have the right people on your team to make it go smoothly.
This is the first of a series of six common mistakes “would be” Sellers can make if they do not receive the right advice and guidance to sell their home!
MISTAKE #1: NOT ASKING YOUR CURRENT REALTOR OR REALTORS YOU ARE INTERVIEWING- HOW WILL I GET THE MOST MONEY FOR MY HOME?
ANSWER: I believe there are only a few factors that will really impact getting you the most money from the sale of your home and they are:
A. ECONOMIC AND MARKET CONDITIONS AT THE TIME- If you bought your home at the top of the market and you are currently in a deflationary period or a recession, you may be upside down, which means you owe more on your home than it can be sold for. The best practice is to hang in there until the market recovers. If that is not possible and you must sell and lose money, the good news is that if the market is down..it is down to buy as well and getting a bargain will be most probable.
B. THE CONDITION OF YOUR HOME-UPDATES AND UPGRADES- It is an excellent idea to continue to improve your home over the years. You can do small, relatively inexpensive things like keep paint colors up with what is trending, replace lighting, fixtures and flooring, keep your home very well maintained, landscaped and always looking well cared for. It is a Beauty Contest out there when you are selling your home and you want to WIN! One word of caution- don’t upgrade your home to the point of over-value for your neighborhood. Before contemplating a major renovation, consult a qualified Realtor to do a Market Evaluation for you so you know what other like-homes are selling for and you can do cost analysis from there.
C. THE LOCATION OF YOUR HOME- Living in a well cared for neighborhood, or one that is highly sought after by buyers is such an asset to getting the maximum amount of money from your home. However if your neighborhood is not highly sought after but you have taken good care of your home and kept it updated, you will still realize the maximum amount of value that can be gained for that area.
D. PRICING- Pricing your home correctly by using MLS data is crucial to your success. The facts don’t lie and MLS and other data services available to your Realtor will give you the most accurate assessment of it’s value. I believe that pricing your home right the first time is 85% of the marketing that sells your home fast and for the most money!
So as you can see asking the right questions from your agent will give you the right answers and a good understanding of what it takes to get the most money from the sale of your home!

9 Important Terms Every First Time Buyer Should Know!!

It’s a brand new year and people are dreaming about Spring and buying a new home. If this is your first time buying you are most likely going to hear a lot of “terms” you never heard before. Buying your first home is a wonderful and exciting experience BUT a really important decision. Below is an explanation of 9 common terms to help you better understand the home buying process.

1. RATES- Adjustable/Fixed Rates-
These terms describe the type of interest rate you will be getting with your new loan. An adjustable rate means exactly what is says. It can adjust over a certain period of time. So for instance, you start out with a lower percentage interest rate and after 5 years it adjusts based on the prime rate at that time. It can go up or down. This is not something I would suggest you do unless you are well versed and have an ultimate plan in mind that would make this a good fit. A detailed discussion with your lender on the adjustable rate would be highly suggested.
A fixed rate is the opposite of an adjustable rate and is determined at the time you apply for the loan. If you purchase within the time frame given by the lender for your interest rate, it will not change over the life of the loan. This seems to be the safest interest rate for a first time buyer since the payment amount for the loan will not change. Taxes and insurance can and will affect the mortgage payment over time, however.

2. PRE-QUALIFICATION- This is really just a preliminary look at your credit and income and can be done over the phone with a loan officer. This, however does not constitute a commitment by the bank to give you a loan.

3. PRE-APPROVAL- A much better way to go, giving you confidence that as long as you do not fudge things up by buying a house full of furniture or a new car during the loan process, since this will impact your credit score, the bank will provide the loan for you. The pre-approval process requires extensive documentation that you will need to provide, such as work history, income history and credit history, tax returns, etc.

4.CONVENTIONAL LOAN- You will need good credit and most times more money down. Conventional loans do not have stringent appraisal requirements like an FHA loan. Talk to your lender as to what is your best fit.

5. FHA LOANS- This loan type is great for persons with a little higher risk to borrow and and lower credit scores. Your Realtor will need the information on which loan type when writing the offer to purchase contract.

6. APPRAISAL- In order for the bank to give you a loan they must be assured that the home is worth what you are paying for it. The appraisal is done to determine the value. If the appraiser cannot find the agreed upon purchase price through his research of the current homes sold in the area, in most cases, a re-negotiation will need to take place between you and the seller to come to an agreement. This can be a sticky situation but a good realtor will help you through this process.

7. PMI- Premium Mortgage Insurance- This is Insurance required by your lender if you do not have 20% to put as a down payment for the purchase of your home. It can be paid upfront as part of the closing costs, or can be paid as monthly installments as part of your mortgage payment.

8. CLOSING COSTS- These are the costs associated with obtaining a mortgage. The lender or bank charges fees to process the paperwork and initiate the loan. The title company charges to research the title to make sure it is free of liens and do the actual closing. There is the appraisal fee and miscellaneous recording and other fees as well. Many times a first time buyer will negotiate with the seller to pay closing costs in their offer. The sellers are not required to pay your closing costs but if it can be negotiated into the price, it can be a win/win for both buyer and seller.

9. ESCROW- I have noticed that in other states, Realtors use this word in different contexts. Locally, the escrow pertains to an escrow account where the earnest money or any monies that needed to be held until closing is held. Either the real estate company or a title company have accounts set up to hold theses funds until such time as you close. At closing, the money is released as part of the down payment made by the buyer.

BONUS TERM- COMPETENT REAL ESTATE AGENT- Education of this process is important to your understanding, but lets face it, you cannot learn everything about how to buy a home on the internet in 3 hours. There are just too many details and processes that have to occur to make it happen! So hire a professional Realtor that cares about your experience and knows the ins and outs of what it takes to expedite a smooth and easy transaction for you. A competent Realtor will communicate with you, fully explain the contract and guide you in each phase of the transaction so your are well informed but not overwhelmed and most important get you the home of your Dreams!!!!

FALL IS A GREAT TIME TO BUY AND SELL!

A very common question that people ask is, what is the best time to sell my home? I know it sounds a bit “salesy” but actually ANYTIME is a great time to SELL or buy a home. If you happen to have your home for sale right now you may be realizing that you don’t get to pick the buyer for your home, making the time for you to then turn around and “buy”, an unknown. It may be hours or it may be months before you sell. This leads me to the fact that a home can sell any day of the year no matter where you live! It depends on not only the 3 most important aspects of selling a home; location, price and condition, but most importantly, whether the buyer falls in love with your home. Since buying and selling Real Estate is a local event, depending on where you live, you might experience seasonal activity. For instance, here in Kansas City, Spring is our busiest time because winter is over and folks have cabin fever, birds sing and squirrels scamper, the grass turns green and the flowers bloom, getting people in the mood to start anew. They busily prepare to place their homes on the market which creates a flutter of activity with new homes available for the anxious avalanche of buyers eager to buy a home.
However, again since we never know when our buyer will walk through our door, it may be fall or winter before that Spring inventory of homes sell, making it necessary for those sellers to become buyers in the fall and winter months. I will say that the only time weather really impacts real estate is when the weather is very bad ie; unusually cold, or unusually hot.
Just don’t let the weather determine your need or desire to place your home on the market. Even Christmas time can be effective marketing time if an out of town buyer has come in over the Holidays to look for property in preparation for a job start after the new year! So, whether it is Fall or any other time of the year, people will always be looking for a home that will best suite their needs when they need to buy! Your home just needs to be on the market to capture that just right buyer!

Come to Castle Homes in Arborwalk

Why would I love living in Brookside at Arborwalk? You have got to visit the “castle” style homes that Bellah Homes has designed and built in this Lee’s Summit community. These are the most unique homes currently being built that the Kansas City home market has seen in years. Troy Bellah of Bellah Homes spent 5 years dedicated to the research of building styles and designs in and around the Brookside area of Kansas city. He also studied old world architectural designs of homes built in England and Europe to develop the many different looks that eventually transformed into Brookside at Arborwalk. You will never see the same front elevation on any of the Bellah Homes castles. However, you will see that each home has the Bellah signature classic arched top front door with speakeasy. It is very cool and a conversation piece whenever anyone visits our model homes! Speaking of that, come by anytime to view our model at 1268 SW Wysteria Drive and see the our ranch and 2 story models. If you are in the mood to custom build your dream home, Troy Bellah is your man. He has over 35 years experience designing and building and wants to make your home-building experience one you will enjoy for years to come. Call today for more information 816-600-7355!

VIEW MORE BELLAH HOMES HERE: http://bellahhomes.com/gallery/

The Thriving Community at Lakewood

Why has Lakewood continued to be a thriving and growing community throughout the years? I think it is because of the care and attention the residents give their community by keeping it updated and looking good. As you drive around you will see yards immaculately landscaped, mature trees, beautiful waterfront homes, fountains and ponds that enhance the ambiance of Lakewood.

Also consider the many amenities which provide endless amounts of activities such as, boating, swimming, walking and jogging trails, a championship golf course, fishing (see our Facebook post on the giant walleye my client caught), restaurants like the Argyle that offers lunch and dinner, live bands as well local events and neighborhood get-togethers. The marina makes a big splash, no pun intended with, the availability to rent boats for an afternoon or weekend outing and really….. so much more!

Lakewood is one of the few communities in Lee’s Summit that provide 24/7 security for it’s residents. Schools are key to sustained property values and Lakewood offers AAA rated schools including both Lees Summit and Blue Springs. And while we are on that subject, Lakewood properties are some of the most expensive and beautiful homes in Lee’s Summit and with good reason, people want to live here!!

So if you have not checked us out, come see the friendly agents at Cynda Sells Realty group on Saturday and Sundays from 1-4 pm to experience the newest of our Lakewood model homes at 3828 Cimarron, Lee’s Summit. This newest addition of Villa homes is yet another reason to come and stay in Lakewood!