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Archives: June 2020

Keep Your Home Ready to Show with These 4 Tips

As a seller, you have to be able to get your home looking fantastic at the drop of a dime if an interested buyer schedules a tour. And unless you have the time to constantly clean, keeping your space prepped for showings might seem like an endless (and stressful!) ordeal. Luckily, we have a few tips that can help you avoid any pre-showing panicking.

The Easiest Ways to Stay Ready for Showings

The biggest secret to keeping your home ready for buyers is to do most of the work ahead of time. It might be tempting to put off cleaning or wait until the last minute to add your finishing touches, but all that procrastinating can easily backfire right before a showing! Here are some easy ways to keep your home looking spotless at all times…without any added headaches.

Declutter and reorganize

Decluttering a living room

Before you even think about listing, take some time to declutter and reorganize your belongings. This can help decrease the amount of stuff you have to put away before a showing, as well as reduce how much you’ll pack when you inevitably move. Remember, you want buyers to focus on the best parts of your home, not your clutter.

Not sure where to start? Try sorting your possessions in “keep,” “donate,” and “throw away” piles so you can narrow down what you really need. And if you have items that don’t get used every day that you’d like to keep, you can always rent a storage unit until you move into your new place.

Do an initial deep clean

Cleaning a kitchen

After you’ve thoroughly decluttered, you’ll want to do a thorough cleaning of every single room in your home, including your closets. It might seem like a lot of work at first, but it’ll be worth it when you don’t have to completely scrub down your house each time a buyer comes knocking on your door. Don’t shy away from getting into every nook and cranny—you want everything to look perfect!

Many professionals recommend using the top-to-bottom and left-to-right rule. That means starting by cleaning things up high, such as ceiling fans and bookshelves, and ending with your floors and carpets. Going from left to right can also keep you on task and make the entire process go by much faster.

Have a routine for tidying up

Making a bed

Let’s be honest—if you have kids, pets, or actually live in your home, it’s not easy to keep it looking like a showroom at all times. Establishing a regular tidying routine can help you maintain that initial deep clean you did before listing. Assigning tasks—like making beds or vacuuming the floors—to everyone in your household also allows you to divide and conquer! 

To minimize the amount of cleaning you have to do, consider keeping some rooms that you don’t use off limits. You can even designate a certain area, such as an ottoman or a storage bin under a bed, for everyday clutter that needs to be hidden right before a showing.

Create an escape plan

Family on a walk

Keeping your home ready for showings is only half of the battle—you also need to know where you and your household will be going before the buyers show up! Not every tour is conveniently timed, so you’ll want to have a few options in place for different times and days of the week. If you have kids or pets, don’t forget to make arrangements to accommodate their needs, too.

Don’t know where to go? Try using your time to run errands or plan some fun (and practical) outings with your kids, like an outdoor study session or afternoon at the pool. Your furry friend can also be included in the fun—just head to a pet-friendly park for a little sunshine and fresh air!

Want to Get Top Dollar and Sell Fast?

Selling your home might seem difficult, but working with the right agent can make all the difference! We’re ready to help you navigate every step of the selling process, so just give us a call to see what we can do for you.

5 Things First-Time Home Buyers Should Do Before Searching

Buying your first home is exciting! Finding a place to call your own, investing in your financial future, finding a niche in a community… There are so many perks to homeownership. But it’s a little intimidating, too; a mortgage is no small loan, and there are a lot of big decisions, confusing legal terms, and professional people involved with the process.

But before you start feeling overwhelmed, take a breath and learn more about our tips for starting the home buying experience.

5 Tips to Get Started as a First-Time Home Buyer

first-time home buyers search homes

Before you jump into the search process, there are a few things you might want to learn, know, or consider about buying a home. Here are some tips for first-time home buyers to get you started.

Talk to some mortgage lenders first

talking to lenders about mortgages

You might think the home search process starts with, well, a home search, or at least a real estate agent. But ideally, you should begin the process by talking to lenders. There are a couple of advantages to doing this. First and foremost, you get a professional in the industry to review your financial situation to determine how much loan you might qualify for—or whether you qualify at all.

Secondly, talking to lenders can help you to better understand your mortgage options. Contrary to common belief, there isn’t just one type of loan—there might be a few different options that apply to you, each with its own pros and cons. Your lender might even be able to recommend loans specifically for first-time home buyers.

While you’re talking to these lenders about your finances, they’ll also likely review their own particular charges, rates, and discounts, which you can compare between lenders.

Get prequalified for a loan

first-time home buyers getting prequalified for a loan

As your lender discusses loan options and asks you questions about your goals and financial situation, they may also urge you to get prequalified. Getting prequalified is definitely something you want to do if you’re serious about buying a home—for a few reasons.

Simply put, prequalification will show you exactly how much a particular lender is willing to loan you, and it’s an important step in the buying process. In fact, some agents won’t show homes to or even work with buyers who aren’t prequalified! An official prequalification letter from your lender also helps to show sellers you’re serious, and definitely makes your offer more appealing than an offer from a buyer who’s not prequalified.

Interview several agents

talking to a real estate agent

Picking the right real estate agent is always pretty important, but it’s especially important for first-time home buyers unfamiliar to the real estate experience. Not only do experienced agents know the details and nuances of the transaction inside and out, but a really good agent can also provide useful advice and recommendations. That might mean helping you narrow down your favorite neighborhoods, determine which home features are most important to you, or find local vendors, like inspectors, appraisers, contractors, or even lenders.

Because your agent is so vitally important, you want to do your research carefully. Ask for recommendations. Read Google, Facebook, or Zillow reviews. And of course, talk to the agents themselves to see how well they communicate and what they have to offer.

Know what you want in a home

listing out home preferences

It’s almost time to get searching, but before you let yourself fall in love with granite counters or a luxurious soaking tub, take some time to think about the features you actually need in a home. Understand, there are a lot of homes out there, and odds are, most of them aren’t the right fit. Rather than burn yourself out looking through homes that aren’t right, or worse, to fall in love with a home that doesn’t fit your needs, do yourself a favor and make a list.

List out the features you absolutely need, the features you really want, and features that are more like icing on the cake. Then, when it comes time to search, you can rule out any homes that don’t fit ALL of your needs and at least a few of your stronger wants!

Explore the area a bit

a park in albuquerque

The most important aspect of any home—in determining both its market value and its value to you—is its location. The perfect home in the wrong location will quickly grow irritating or inconvenient, and unlike an old kitchen or bathroom, a home’s location cannot be changed.

When choosing a location for your home, you want to think about what’s most important to you. Do you want to be close to work, or to shopping and attractions? Do you want a larger yard or more space? Is price a big factor? Are schools? Your agent can prove an invaluable resource in helping you find the right location for your home.

Ready to Buy Your First Home in Albuquerque?

If you’re thinking of buying a home in Albuquerque, NM, we’d love to help! Contact the Feils today to learn more about how we help first-time home buyers like you find the perfect home in just the right spot.

Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter: Which Home Buying Season Is Best?

You’ve probably heard that spring and summer are the best seasons for home buying. After all, there’s more inventory on the market, and the warm weather is ideal for showings. However, the ongoing global health crisis has shattered the idea of the “peak home buying season” and left many potential buyers wondering if now is still the right time to make a move.

The Merits (and Downsides) of Buying a Home During Each Season

Most real estate markets fluctuate from month to month, as do prices and inventory. Before you decide when to buy, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each season and ask a local agent about trends in your area. Here are a few benefits of buying during every season…as well as a few drawbacks.  

Spring: Gorgeous homes, but higher prices

House with landscaping

Traditionally, spring is one of the hottest seasons for home buying, and it’s easy to see why. As temperatures thaw out in March, April, and May, the number of new listings seems to multiply every day. Homes also tend to look their best during spring—after all, who doesn’t love blossoming flowers or lush landscaping after a long winter?

Although you’ll have more inventory to choose from during these warmer months, you won’t be the only one searching for a home. Spring buyers usually have to face more competition, which can result in inflated prices and bidding wars. If you’re getting ready to buy during spring, be prepared to make a quick offer and don’t expect many concessions from sellers.

Summer: Lots of listings, but more competition

Aerial shot of a neighborhood

Summer is another extremely popular home buying season, especially for households with children. Many sellers also decide to list during June, July, or August, which means you’ll benefit from an even broader selection of houses. To top it all off, you can even schedule evening showings as the days get longer.

Unfortunately, summer home buying often comes with problems similar to spring: tons of buyers, higher prices, more bidding wars, and less time to make a decision. And if you wait until July or August, you could actually see a dip in inventory as sellers go on vacation!

Fall: Motivated sellers, but inventory could dwindle

House in autumn

There’s so much to love about autumn: the falling leaves, the cooler temperatures…and the fantastic home prices. Fall is easily one of the most underrated times to buy a house, since you can take advantage of strong inventory, less competition, and lower prices. Many sellers will also be more motivated to make a deal, particularly if they weren’t able to attract buyers during the summer. 

As you plan your autumnal move, it’s crucial to time it just right. It’s not uncommon to see a slight dip in inventory at the beginning of a new school year, which is usually around late August or early September. If you wait until late October or November, sellers might also start pulling their homes from the market due to the impending holidays. 

Winter: Less competition, but fewer choices

Houses in winter

Historically, winter is the slowest season for real estate—but that shouldn’t deter you from starting your home search in December, January, or February. The most obvious benefit of winter buying is decreased competition, which often leads to some of the lowest prices of the year. Real estate agents will also have fewer clients during the colder months, so they can spend much more time helping you. 

Of course, buying in the middle of winter also comes with some challenges. It can be difficult to plan a closing around everyone’s schedules during the busy holiday season. Diminished inventory also means there are fewer listings to choose from, so your search may take a bit longer than expected.

Need Help Planning Your Move?

Whether you choose to move in spring, summer, fall, or winter, you can trust us to help you navigate every aspect of the buying process! Just give us a call today to learn more about our home buying resources, and let us know when you’re ready to take your next steps.