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Selling a Home Due to Divorce

by Melissa Thompson

Moving is one of the top five most stressful life events. Divorce ranks in the top five as well.   Put those two together and you have a meltdown in the making.  If you and your spouse own a home together and you are divorcing, you are going to have to figure out what you’re going to do about the house.  This can be challenging under the most amicable of situations, and can be devastating when there is bitterness and fighting.

Since your home is likely the greatest asset that you share, selling it is often necessary when parting ways.  Sentimental value may entice one or the other of you to want to keep the home, but financial implications may keep you from doing so.  Understanding how divorce affects the sale of a home is crucial.  The emotional aspect of splitting up your family can sometimes impair your judgement, but making a poor decision regarding your home can have lasting ramifications, long after the divorce is finalized. 

Whether one spouse wants to buy out the other and keep the home or both want to sell and split the equity, selling a house while getting divorced is a rocky road that needs to be navigated intelligently.  When two people are willing to deal with each other in a peaceful, respectful way, it certainly makes the whole process easier. But often this is not the case in these situations.  Division of a home is not simple. 

When each spouse contributed to purchase the home - even if one paid more than the other - you are both going to want your fair share out of it.  Ideally, you will be able to work with an attorney or mediator to come to an agreement out of court, but if you can’t, a judge will decide for you.  This can be a very unpleasant experience for all parties involved.  If both your incomes were factored in the purchase of the house, chances are when you split that in half, neither of you can afford it on your own. If that is the case, the best solution is to sell the home and divide the assets.  There are also Tax Implications  that should be considered when you are trying to decide if you should sell before you divorce or after.

Should one of you decide to stay in the home, there are a couple of different ways to make that happen.  First, if you have the financial means to do so, you can take over the mortgage by refinancing.  This means you must qualify for the loan and be able to make the monthly payments on your own.  Your ex-spouse will be completely out of the picture.  Another way is to continue co-owning the property.  Perhaps you have children and want to keep them in their home. While this is the least disruptive option, it is precarious and requires a lot of trust.  It would have to be a very civil and friendly divorce for this to work because both parties will be responsible for the mortgage and upkeep of the house.  The bottom line is that if you plan to stay in the home, you better be sure you can afford it.  It would be prudent to work out a budget before you make the decision.

With all the financial and emotional issues that get wrapped up in the sale of a home during divorce, it’s crucial that you know what you want prior to meeting with your Realtor. It is best for you to meet with your attorneys for them to guide you through the process of deciding how to split the equity. Once you have that done, seek out an experienced Realtor like Melissa Thompson, who will gently guide you through the process with as little stress as possible.

Photo Credit: movingforwardthroughdivorce.com

Buying or Selling in 2018? 5 Reasons to Resolve to Hire a Pro

by Melissa Thompson

Some Highlights:

 - As we usher in the new year, one thing is for certain… if you plan to buy or sell a house this year, you need a real estate professional on your team!

 - There are many benefits to using a local professional!

 - Pick a professional who knows your local market and can help you achieve your dreams!

Contact your local expert’s at The Melissa Thompson Team 901-729-9526 or [email protected] for all your Real Estate needs!

By: KCM Crew

Selling Your House at Christmas

by Melissa Thompson

The idea of putting your home on the market during the holiday season may seem overwhelming at first, but it turns out there are several good reasons to do so. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to get your house sold before the end of the year!

 - If people are looking for a home during the holiday season, chances are they are serious buyers.

 - Serious buyers have fewer properties to look at during this time of year, which means less competition and more money for you!

 - Since the number of listings will increase dramatically in January, that means more competition and less money for you.

 - Who doesn’t love a home delightfully decorated for the holidays?  Homes show better when festively dressed up!

 - Buyers may have more time to look at houses during their holiday breaks.

 - Some people want to buy before the end of the year for tax reasons.

 - If you sell now, it may provide an opportunity for you to be a non-contingent buyer during the Spring, when many more houses are on the market for less money. This will allow you to sell high and buy low.

Staging Your House for the Holidays     

If you would like to talk more about selling your home, give me a call at 901-756-8900 or visit my website to discover your new home!

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/New-Beginnings-Starting-Traditions-in-Your-New-Home

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Dont-Let-the-Holidays-Stress-You-Out

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Packing-101-Getting-Ready-for-a-Move

Selling Your House in Autumn

by Melissa Thompson

With autumn fast approaching, you may think that you should wait until next spring or summer to sell your house.  While it is true that the warmer months are popular for home sales, that doesn’t mean autumn is a bad time to sell.  Some buyers, such as empty nesters and millennials, prefer shopping for a home when there is less competition from people trying to move before the beginning of the school year.  So, if you would like to sell your house before winter, here are some tips for making it attractive to buyers during autumn:

1. Keep the exterior of your home neat and clean.  Curb appeal matters…a lot. It doesn’t matter how pristine the interior is if prospective buyers never walk through the front door.  The first impression is made when they first see the property and if it doesn’t look good on the outside, they may not want to look inside.  There are unique challenges to keeping your yard looking nice when the weather is cooler and the days shorter. If you have a lot of trees dropping leaves, raking will be a full-time job.  You want buyers to see your grass!  Any dead or dying plants and flowers need to be removed or cut back.  Use a fall maintenance checklist to make sure you have your property in the best shape possible.  And if you really want to impress, plant some fall flowers in bold hues to add pops of color to your yard.

2. Stage your house for the season, but don’t go overboard.  There are holidays to look forward to during the autumn season.  Potential buyers will enjoy seeing your home decorated accordingly. It will help them picture celebrating the holidays with their own families there. Keep it simple though, because you don’t want to take the focus away from the home itself.  You risk having your house look cluttered if you have too many decorations.  Embrace autumn and the warmth and coziness it exudes.  The smell of a freshly baked apple pie, the crackle of a fire in the fireplace and tasteful autumn décor might be all it takes to seal the deal on a sale!

3. Make sure lighting is sufficient.  There will be prospective buyers who want to see your house after work and with the days being shorter, it might be dark outside when they get there.  You are not going to want them walking into a dark, unlit home.  Turn on the lights inside and out. Exterior walkways and entertainment areas, such as patios and decks, should be well lit.  If you know your house is going to be shown, leave lights on in every room.

4. Price your house appropriately.  It’s important to know what homes are selling for in your area and to price yours accordingly.  Utilize the current market analysis to determine the value of your home.  A professional Realtor can help you set the right price for your home taking into account the season and market in which you are selling.  You don’t want to scare buyers away by overpricing your house.

Contact Melissa Thompson at Your Key to Memphis and she can help you get your house on the market and sold this autumn!

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/America-Needs-Your-House

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Home-Maintenance-Projects-You-Should-Start-Now

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Fall-Curb-Appeal

75% of Homeowners Think Now is a Good Time to Sell!

by Melissa Thompson

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released the findings of their Q2 Homeownership Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey. The report covers core topics like, “if now is a good time to buy or sell a home, the perception of home price changes, perceived ability to qualify for a mortgage, and [an] outlook on the U.S. economy.”

The survey revealed that 75% of homeowners think now is a good time to sell, compared to 70% last quarter. This is a considerable increase from more than a year ago when 66% agreed.

Even though homeowners believe that now is a good time to sell, many have not taken the step to list their homes, as inventory shortages still exist across the country. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, had this to say:

"There are just not enough homeowners deciding to sell because they’re either content where they are, holding off until they build more equity, or hesitant seeing as it will be difficult to find an affordable home to buy...

As a result, inventory conditions have worsened and are restricting sales from breaking out while contributing to price appreciation that remains far above income growth.”

Bottom Line

If you are wondering if now is a good time to sell your house, let’s get together to discuss the opportunities available in our market. 901.729.9526 or [email protected] 

By: KCM Crew

Tips for Showing Your Home to Potential Buyers

by Melissa Thompson

When potential buyers come to look at your home, it’s vital that they feel like it could be theirs.  Here are some tips for showing your house that will help engage buyers emotionally and leave them feeling like they have found their future home.

  1. Make them feel WELCOME!

The buyer may be a guest in your home, but don’t make them feel like an intruder.  The idea is for them to be able to imagine it as their own.  Leave the house while they are looking so that they can speak freely and comfortably about what they are seeing.  Let them take their time. If they feel rushed they won’t have a positive experience.  Leave a bowl of candy or small treats near the front door with a short note thanking them for coming to see your home.

  1. Check the temperature.

If it is hot outside, turn on the AC. Set the temperature a couple of degrees cooler than usual so that it runs consistently and isn’t kicking on and off while people are looking.  Sometimes HVAC systems can be loud.  The same applies with heat when it is cold outside (set temp a couple of degrees warmer than usual).  You want them to be comfortable in your house so that they will linger as long as possible.

  1. Create a mood.

You want potential buyers to get good vibes from your house the minute they walk through the door.  When weather appropriate, light a fire in the fireplace.  Set your dining table in a way that is appealing.  Have soft music playing.  Create and ambiance that is irresistible!

  1. Be careful with scents.

Some people are very sensitive to certain smells, so don’t spray the air or use plug in deodorizers.  Avoid burning strongly scented candles for the same reason.  If weather permits, open the windows (unless it is too noisy outdoors).  Most people enjoy the smell of freshly baked cookies, but if you are going to bake, make sure you leave some treats out for the visitors so they aren’t disappointed!

  1. Make it visually pleasing.

Open window coverings to let in natural light.  Display appealing seasonal photos in prominent places. If your yard isn’t looking so fabulous, keep window blinds partially closed so that buyers aren’t distracted by what’s outside while looking at the interior of the home.

  1. Light it up!

Turn on every light in the house…even the closet lights. Brighten dark rooms with extra lighting.  A spot light on the floor behind a piece of furniture is a great idea for brightening up a room with few windows. 

  1. Encourage touching.

Drape lush fabrics such as velvet or silk throws over chair arms.  Leave doors slightly ajar so that visitors feel welcome but must open the door to enter the room.  If a room is carpeted, vacuum it in one direction.

  1.  Finish off with food.

Encourage buyers to stick around and notice even more details about your home by offering them food.  You don’t need to have a catered lunch; finger sandwiches, cookies, tea, water and desserts will all suffice. Be sure to have serving utensils, plates, cups and silverware available along with a waste basket in plain sight.

  1. Encourage feedback.

Have a guestbook or a short-pre-printed questionnaire and some pens next to the food.  Feeding the buyers will allow them time to give you some feedback.  This will provide invaluable information to you. Allow buyer anonymity.

Visit our Video Blog for more tips on buying and selling Memphis Real Estate. Contact Melissa Thompson today for assistance in selling your home!

3 Charts That Shout, ‘List Your Home Today!’

by Melissa Thompson

3 Charts That Shout, ‘List Your Home Today!’ | Keeping Current Matters

In school, we all learned the theory of supply and demand. When the demand for an item is greater than the supply of that item, the price will surely rise.

SUPPLY

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the inventory of homes for sale stands at a 3.8-month supply. This is considerably lower than the 6-month supply necessary for a normal market.

3 Charts That Shout, ‘List Your Home Today!’ | Keeping Current Matters

DEMAND

Every month NAR reports on the number of buyers out in the market looking for homes, which is also known as buyer traffic. As seen on the map below, buyer demand in March was strong or very strong in 45 out of 50 states nationwide, and Washington, DC.

3 Charts That Shout, ‘List Your Home Today!’ | Keeping Current Matters

Many buyers are being confronted with a very competitive market in which they must compete with other buyers for their dream homes (if they are even able to find a home they wish to purchase).

Listing your house for sale now will allow you to capitalize on the shortage of homes for sale in the market, which will translate into a better pricing situation.

HOME EQUITY

Many homeowners underestimate the amount of equity they currently have in their homes. According to a recent Fannie Mae study, 37% of homeowners believe that they have more than 20% equity in their homes. In reality, CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report tells us that 78.9% actually do!

3 Charts That Shout, ‘List Your Home Today!’ | Keeping Current Matters

Many homeowners who are undervaluing the equity they have in their homes may feel trapped, which may be contributing to the lack of inventory in the market.

Bottom Line

If you are debating selling your home this year, let The Melissa Thompson Team evaluate the equity you have in your home, as well as the opportunities available in your market. 901.729.9526 or [email protected]  

by 

What Is a Home Warranty? Peace of Mind for Home Buyers and Sellers

by Melissa Thompson

Lots of things you buy come with a warranty in case they break down, from cars to smartphones. But what about homes? It turns out you can get a home warranty, too.

So what the heck is a home warranty, anyway? In a nutshell, it’s a policy you pay for that covers the cost of repairing many of your home appliances if they break down.

“Home warranties provide financial protection for homeowners who might be faced with unexpected problems with their appliances,” explains Shawna Bell of Landmark Home Warranty.

Many people buy a home warranty right when they close on a home, since such protections can provide some much-needed peace of mind that you won’t get hit with unexpected expenses soon after moving in. Imagine what a bummer it would be, after all, to wake up one morning to a broken boiler or leaking, malfunctioning fridge in your brand-new home. A home warranty can lessen those worries, which for many is worth every penny.

What does a home warranty cover?

Don’t mistake a home warranty for homeowners insurance, which covers your home’s structure and belongings in the event of a fire, storm, flood, or other accident. A home warranty, in comparison, will cover repairs and replacements on systems and appliances due to normal wear and tear—no calamities required.

A home warranty generally covers these items:

  • Electrical systems
  • Plumbing systems
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Washer and dryer
  • Kitchen appliances such as the oven, range, and garbage disposal

How much does a home warranty cost?

While home buyers are often required to get homeowners insurance along with their mortgage, home warranties are a fully optional purchase. Basic coverage starts at about $300 and goes up to $600 for more comprehensive plans, says Bell. A homeowner can add extras if needed, such as coverage for a swimming pool or an external well.

Although many companies offer home warranties to homeowners at any point, the best deals can often be snagged if purchased at the same time you buy the home.

“The warranty plans offered at the time of the real estate transaction typically offer the most comprehensive coverage and price points, so that’s why it’s the ideal time to lock it in,” Bell says. At the end of the first year, you usually have the option to renew your plan or bail.

Benefits for home buyers and sellers:

A home warranty benefits home buyers by providing reassurance that they can move in without worrying about shelling out even more for surprise repairs.

A home warranty can also benefit home sellers (if they don’t have it already), since it can cover these elements during the listing period; some companies even offer free seller’s coverage during this time with the hopes that the buyer will decide to continue the coverage. Oftentimes, home sellers will offer to pay for the first year of a buyer’s home warranty to entice buyers to bite.

But not everyone thinks home warranties are worth the cost. Typically they aren’t necessary with new homes, since most of the appliances are already covered under manufacturers’ warranties. But in general, the older your home, the greater the odds are that something’s bound to break, and the wiser it is to get a home warranty. Best of all? Many companies don’t differentiate between newer and older homes in terms of cost, making a warranty an especially cost-effective option if you are purchasing an older home.

What to do if something breaks

If something covered under your home warranty breaks, you just call your provider and it will connect you with a qualified contractor in your area. One thing to remember is that a home warranty does not mean you’re off scot-free; typically you’ll have to pay for a service call or a certain amount of the bill up to your deductible first.

While not everyone will think a home warranty is worth it, it is a good idea for people who lean toward the “better safe than sorry” approach when buying a home.

 

Learn more about buying or selling Memphis Real Estate at yourkeytomemphis.com. 901.729.9526 or [email protected]

 

By , Realtor.com

 

Thinking of Selling? Why Now is the Time

by Melissa Thompson

Thinking of Selling? Why Now is the Time | Keeping Current Matters

It is common knowledge that a large number of homes sell during the spring-buying season. For that reason, many homeowners hold off on putting their homes on the market until then. The question is whether or not that will be a good strategy this year.

The other listings that do come out in the spring will represent increased competition to any seller. Do a greater number of homes actually come to the market in the spring, as compared to the rest of the year? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed the months in which most people listed their homes for sale in 2016. Here is a graphic showing the results:

Thinking of Selling? Why Now is the Time | Keeping Current Matters

The three months in the second quarter of the year (represented in red) are consistently the most popular months for sellers to list their homes on the market. Last year, the number of homes available for sale in January was 1,820,000.

That number spiked to 2,140,000 by May!

What does this mean to you?

With the national job situation improving, and mortgage interest rates projected to rise later in the year, buyers are not waiting until the spring; they are out looking for a home right now. If you are looking to sell this year, waiting until the spring to list your home means you will have the greatest competition for a buyer.

Bottom Line

It may make sense to beat the rush of housing inventory that will enter the market in the spring and list your home today with The Melissa Thompson Team! 901.729.9526 or [email protected] 

by 

How to Sell to Millennial Homebuyers

by Melissa Thompson

Millennials (or Generation Y) have recently emerged as a preeminent force in the housing market.  Per the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 study of generational housing trends, millennials (those born between 1980-2000) make up the largest portion of the buyer market at 35%. This is more than Generation X (26%) which is comprised of people born between 1965-1979.

That being said, when selling your home, it would be wise to think about the wants and needs of millennials as potential buyers.  Here are 11 must-haves for selling a home to millennials:

  • Updated kitchens and baths – Young homebuyers seek out updated kitchens and baths because they are on a budget.  Most of their money will go toward down payments and furnishings, and kitchens and baths are the most expensive spaces to update, so millennials will want a home that requires little to no work in these rooms.  As a seller, you want to find ways to update your bathrooms and kitchen as inexpensively as possible. While these updated rooms will attract younger buyers, you want to avoid losing the money that you put into them.
  • Big kitchen, open floor plan – There was a time when a formal dining room was on every buyer’s wish list. But this generation of buyers would rather eat and hang out in the kitchen, along with the family room. And because of how younger homeowners entertain, they prefer an open floor plan for easier flow throughout the house.
  • Home office – per recent US Census data, over 13 million Americans are working from home and it is a trend that is expected to continue.  Even if a room is currently staged as a bedroom, a real estate agent can point it out as a potential office space.  And it’s not just for those who work full-time from home. With ever growing technology making us increasingly mobile, a home office is a dedicated space for making phone calls, skyping or face-timing clients or even just paying bills.
  • Good location -  Millennial buyers, faced with high gas prices and traffic, seek out locations with easy access to public transportation and a good walk score
  • Low maintenance – young buyers want low maintenance homes.  Things like wood floors and granite countertops appeal to them because they are both attractive and easy to take care of.  They also like smaller yards. They want to spend their weekends doing activities that don’t include mowing the lawn or doing housework.
  • Technology – internet and cell phone service matter a lot to this generation.  Many millennials don’t even use a landline.  You may not be able to control the strength of cell service at your home, but you can be sure that young buyers will be asking about it.
  • Energy efficiency – With a growing interest in protecting the environment, younger buyers look to buy homes that are green.  While energy efficiency is not the top reason to purchase a house, it can certainly be an advantage when dealing with millennial buyers.
  • The reality TV effect – Real estate reality shows on channels such as TLC and HGTV have had an impact on how buyers view homes.   Staging has become a crucial part of the selling process. It is not unusual to hear a younger buyer speak about a room being staged or not staged.
  • Low HOA costs – when considering a property, younger buyers sometimes find that while the price is within their budget, homeowners association fees or condo fees make it unaffordable.  They seek homes in neighborhoods with low, or preferably, NO monthly assessments.
  • Online photos – Technology strikes again!  If you are serious about attracting young buyers, you need to consider how your home shows online. Millennials start their home searches online and if the photos don’t look good, they will likely scroll on by without ever stepping foot in the house.

Selling a home or Buying a home is an important investment. As a Top Real Estate Agent in the Memphis, Collierville, Germantown and the surrounding areas including Arlington, Lakeland, Eads, Cordova, Bartlett and Millington, I have the experience, expertise & track record you are looking for. Contact me, Melissa Thompson by phone (901) 729-9526 or email [email protected], and discover the difference I can make during your family’s next move.

 

Additional Reading

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Whats-Happening-in-the-Real-Estate-Market

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Memphis-Makes-the-Top-10-List

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 42

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Melissa Thompson
Crye-Leike Realtors
6525 N Quail Hollow Road
Memphis TN 38120
(901) 729-9526
(901) 756-8900
Fax: (901) 435-0620