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Home Sellers - How to Set the Right Price for Your Home

by Melissa Thompson


When you decide to sell your house it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the details you need to think about.  The best thing to do is take things one step at a time. One thing that you will have to do is set a price for you home.  Deciding how much you want to ask for your home is complicated.  As the owner, the value you place on your home may be different that the value a potential buyer places on it.  You not only have a financial investment in it, but also and emotional one.  But when buyers think of value, they are thinking primarily about price.  The asking price for your property can attract buyers, or it can turn them off completely. A home that is not priced right can sit on the market for a long time, which can lead potential buyers to think there is something wrong with it.  The first step toward determining the right price for your home is to hire an experienced, professional Realtor who can use their expertise and knowledge of the market to assist you.

Working with your Realtor is crucial.  But it is also vital that you have a clear understanding of what your home is worth.  Learning about your home’s fair market value will help you evaluate the price your Realtor recommends.  Remember that you and your Realtor are a team and together you can decide on a price that will be profitable for everyone.

The first thing to do when trying to determine the right price for your home is to do some research. You can use an online  Estimating Tool  to plug in your address and find approximately how much your house is worth. They base their estimates on your home’s square footage and real estate data they have collected, such as recent home sales in your local market. But it’s important to remember that these results are very general and do not speak to your specific situation.  If the online estimate does not align with your Realtor’s advice, lean toward your Realtor’s suggested price. 

Another important aspect to consider when pricing your home is how it compares to other similar homes in the area.  Your Realtor will likely run the average sales prices of at least three Comps to assess your home’s value.  There are several factors that go into choosing “comps”. They are: age, location, square footage, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Your Realtor will look at the difference between each comp’s listing price, and the price at which it sold. Then there will be research into price reductions and why they happened, if relevant.  Meanwhile, your Realtor will also rely on their own knowledge of the local market.  When selecting comps, your Realtor will generally look for properties that sold in the previous three months, within a one-mile radius of your home. In addition, you will want to figure out what your competition is. So, your Realtor will check out properties that are currently for sale in your area to find out how your home compares to them. 

Understanding the current real estate market in your area will also have a large impact on your pricing strategy.   If you’re in a Seller's Market, that means demand from buyers is high and the number of homes on the market is low. In this market, you may be able to price your home slightly higher than market value. However, if it’s a Buyer's Market, buyers are at an advantage and you might have to price your home slightly below the market value to entice buyers. Your Realtor can help you navigate the current market in your area so that you price your home right.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Memphis area, contact professional Realtor, Melissa Thompson, and let her help you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call at 901-729-9526 today!

Affordable Home Staging Hacks

by Melissa Thompson

Chances are, if you are getting ready to sell your home, you are also preparing to purchase a new home. So, the last thing you want to do is spend more money on your current property.  However, you certainly want to get the best price possible when selling it, and per the National Association of Realtors, for every $100 invested in staging, the potential return is $400. As you can see, it will pay off in the end to stage your home to entice potential buyers.

Some people will hire a certified staging professional to get the job done. (Home Staging and Hiring a Stager) While it might seem easier than doing it yourself, it is not the only way to get that SOLD sign planted in your front yard.  There are some simple, yet effective home-staging hacks that you can do that won’t break your budget:

  • Roll Out a Welcome Mat - Sounds simple, right?  It is!  First impressions mean everything when selling your home.  Also, prospective buyers tend to linger by the front door before the real estate agent opens the home for viewing, so an inviting entrance is crucial. A new welcome mat can cost as little as $15.  Purchase a modern mat that compliments the style of your home.  To further enhance the entryway, add a little green with some fresh plants.  An enticing entrance will make buyers want to see more!
     
  • Mount Mirrors in Strategic Spots - Every home has spaces like a dim hallway or small space that lacks natural light.  To spruce up these areas, hang a few mirrors.  They add extra light to rooms that look dark, and create an illusion of space. They will pack an extra punch if placed next to or directly across from a window because they will pull in more sun.  For a more decorative look, create a collage of several mini mirrors in different shapes and sizes rather than just slapping one large mirror on the wall. You can find inexpensive mirrors at craft stores and discount home stores. How to Use Mirrors to Create More Space
     
  • Set Tables and Serving Areas for Entertaining - A home filled with friends, food and laughter is a happy one!  Paint a picture of what entertaining in your home will be like for potential buyers.  Keep it simple, but aesthetically pleasing. Lay out cloth napkins, wine glasses and solid plates in the dining room. Use matching mugs and bowls in the kitchen to produce the feel of family meals.
     
  • Replace Personal Photos with Art Work - Over the years, you have turned your house into a home by decorating with family portraits and personal mementos.  But potential buyers are going to want to be able to envision themselves living there and that is hard to do with your family members present in the form of pictures in every room.  So, get a head start on packing up your house by putting your pictures away and replacing them with art work that compliments the style of the home.  You can find inexpensive art at discount stores or you can print beautiful landscape photos to put in frames.
     
  • Make the Bathroom Look Elegant with White Linens - Spruce up your bathroom with crisp, fresh, all-white linens.  White towels, bath mats, and shower curtains give the room an instant update.  They inspire the feeling of a luxury spa without spending a lot of money.  Take it a step further by including some "spa like" displays. Simple additions like an orchid, candles and special soaps will go a long way. 7 Easy Updates to Make Your Bathroom Feel Like a Spa
     
  • Arrange Decorative Scenes - Decorative displays can give a cozy, lived-in ambience to a house.  Assembling classy vignettes of colorful vases, lanterns, books, plants, baskets, and other items atop dressers, counters and bookshelves will make a house feel more like a home. Group items in odd numbers and in varying heights and shapes while keeping them in the same color family. You will be amazed at what you can find to use in your house, but if you need to buy some things, you can mix in inexpensive pieces from craft and discount stores.  Done properly, these displays will have people feeling like they are looking at rooms right out of home décor magazines…and that definitely appeals to prospective buyers.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Memphis area, contact professional Realtor, Melissa Thompson and let her help you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call at 901-729-9526 today!

Photo Credit: houzz.com

Preparing to Sell Your House - Kid-Friendly Chores

by Melissa Thompson

There is a lot of work involved in Getting Your Home Ready to be Listed for sale. You want it to be in the best condition possible.  It can be overwhelming and stressful, but it must be done to get the best possible price for it when you sell.  If you have children, they can help!  Don’t underestimate their ability and desire to be a part of the process. Here is a list of kid-friendly chores that will allow your children to assist in getting your home ready to sell:

  1. Putting Toys Away - Have your children gather toys from all over the house.  The last thing you want is a potential buyer tripping over a Lego or matchbox car.  Once they have gathered all their toys in one place, have them go through them to decide if there are any they are willing to part with.  This will help with clearing out spaces.
  2. Depersonalizing - Give your children the mission of finding all the family photos in the home and taking them down.  It’s important that potential buyers are able to envision your home as their own and that’s challenging when they are looking at pictures of your family on every wall.
  3. Painting Exterior Fence - Do you have a wood fence surrounding your property?  Has it seen better days?  Giving it a makeover is a great way to spruce up your Curb Appeal. Depending on their age, children can do a great job giving the fence a fresh coat of paint.
  4. Dusting & Vacuuming - When your house needs to be sparkling clean for showings, you are going to want to vacuum and dust daily.  Little ones love to dust…give them a feather duster and let them go nuts!  Assign vacuuming duty to older children.  If they are tall enough to handle the vacuum, they are capable of helping keep the floors clean!
  5. Cleaning Up the Yard - First impressions are important!  Potential buyers may not even want to go in to look at your house if they outside is a mess. Have your kids help by removing debris such as sticks, branches, and leaves from the yard and flower beds.  If there are any toys outside, have them pick them up and store them appropriately.  Older kids can help with mowing and edging to keep your yard looking nice.
  6. Planting Flowers - Little ones love digging in the dirt!  If you’re going to plant some flowers to enhance your curb appeal, allowing your children to help will make it less of a task and more an activity you can enjoy together!

While you might think that you just want your kids to stay out of the way while you are preparing your house for sale, you might be surprised at how much they are capable of if given the opportunity.  A lot children thrive when given the chance to help their parents. You can kill two birds with one stone by not only keeping your children busy, but also getting things done quicker so you can have your house ready to list and show as soon as possible!

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Memphis area, contact professional Realtor, Melissa Thompson and let her help you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call at 901-729-9526 today!

Photo Credit: aptparenting.com

Holding an Open House - Worth it or Not?

by Melissa Thompson

Home owners and Realtors often debate whether having an open house is beneficial or not.  Some sellers will insist that having an open house is the best way to sell their home, while others will want nothing to do with having potential buyers traipse through their home.  Real estate professionals have different views on this topic as well.  Some swear by open houses and feel they are critical to sales, while others never hold them and some just have them occasionally.

So, the question remains…if you are selling your home, should you hold an open house?  Here is a list of pros and cons to help you make that decision:

Pros to holding an open house:

  • Attract buyers who may not know how to start the home buying process. Purchasing a home is a process that many people are not familiar with, especially first-time home buyers. People new to home buying will need a significant amount of guidance and advice.  A positive that may result from having an open house is the possibility of a buyer who doesn’t know where to start coming to see your home.  You may also get the attention of potential buyers who just happen to drive by and see the sign for the open house. 
  • Additional exposure.  One of the most important jobs of a  Realtor representing sellers, is making sure their clients’ home is getting ample exposure.  Open houses can give extra exposure through promotional advertising such as street signs, newspaper ads and internet ads.
  • Allows buyers to look at house without feeling pressured.   With the laid-back atmosphere of an open house, prospective buyers will feel more comfortable looking around with little to no pressure from the Realtor or seller.  An interested buyer might want time to analyze the home in detail without someone looking over their shoulder.  It also provides the buyer time to look at specific details of the home that will help them decide if it is the right house for them.

Cons to holding an open house:

  • Slim chance of a sale.  The truth is that a very small percentage of homes sell as a direct result of an open house.  Honestly, the person that benefits most is the Realtor.  Open houses provide the Realtor with potential clients.  Private showings of your home are much more likely to result in a buyer than open houses.
  • Unqualified buyers.  One of the first steps in the home buying process is obtaining a Mortgage Pre-Approval .  Getting a mortgage pre-approval is essential for knowing what you can afford when buying a home.  At an open house, you may find many people walking through your home who can’t afford it.  It is a waste of time for you and your realtor to have people looking at your home when they cannot afford to possibly purchase it.
  • Nosy neighbors and “Looky Loos”. Open houses often attract inquisitive neighbors who simply want to see your house and compare it to their own.  They also might just want to see how you have your home decorated.  “Looky loos” are people who go to open houses with no intention of buying a home.  They just like to look!

The pros and cons of having an open house should be carefully considered before deciding whether to have one. With today’s technology and social media, there are a lot of other ways for people to see your home, but with the right Realtor holding the open house, it can still be the best way to impress potential buyers.

If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, contact Melissa Thompson and let her explain how an open house can be beneficial for you.  Call her today at (901) 729-9526 or (901) 756-8900.

Photo Credit:sehatcoy.com

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

2 Ways to Get the Most Money from The Sale of Your Home

by Melissa Thompson

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house?

Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW 

This may seem counterintuitive, but let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly under priced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would make more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

study by Collateral Analytics, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save any money, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.

In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”

The results of the study showed that the differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%. Sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the price you get for your house.

Let’s get together and find out how much your house is worth!  901-729-9526 or [email protected]

By: KCM Crew

YOUR HOME SEARCH STARTS HERE            FIND OUT WHAT YOUR HOME IS WORTH  

Time on the Market Drops to New Low in 2017

by Melissa Thompson

According to recently released data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median amount of time a home spent on the market hit an all-time low of only three weeks in 2017.

Strong buyer demand, a good economy, and a low inventory of new and existing homes for sale created the perfect storm to accelerate the time between listing and signing a contract. The time needed to sell a home has dropped substantially since its highest mark of 11 weeks in 2012.

The chart below shows the median weeks on the market from 1987 to today.

Time on the Market Drops to New Low in 2017 | MyKCM

Bottom Line
If you are a homeowner who is debating whether or not to list your home for sale, know that national market conditions are primed for a quick turnaround! Let’s get together to discuss exactly what’s going on in our area, today! 901-729-9526 or [email protected]

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

4 Reasons to Sell This Fall

by Melissa Thompson

Some Highlights:

  • Buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale! Buyers are often competing with one another for the listings that are available!
  • Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market.
  • Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

​​Contact Melissa Thompson at Your Key to Memphis and she can help you get your house on the market and sold this autumn!  901-729-9526 or [email protected] 

By: KCM Crew

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Packing 101: Getting Ready for a Move

by Melissa Thompson

Congratulations!  You have successfully sold your home!  What a relief, right?  Now comes the hard part. Moving.  Moving is one of the top five stressors in life along with job loss, death of a loved one, divorce and major illness. Sounds fun, huh?  That’s why it is important to go about moving in a thoughtful and organized manner.  The more prepared you are, the less stress.  Packing up your house can be overwhelming, but you can make it easier by spreading it out over several weeks rather than trying to do it all right before you move.  Here is a general timeline for packing that you can use as a guide:

FOUR WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY: PRE-PACKING - Hopefully when you sell your house, you won’t have to immediately vacate.  About a month before moving you can begin to pre-pack items that you won’t need or use before you move.  Out of season clothing, tools and small appliances, and collectibles/knick knacks are items that you won’t miss. Hint: if your house is still on the market you can take this step as well, and it will help with staging your home for prospective buyers.

THREE WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY: NON-ESSENTIALS - Among the items that you didn’t pre-pack, choose those that you know you likely won’t need before moving.  Books, extra linens, and kitchen items can be packed up because you likely won’t be doing much reading, and you only need enough linens, plates, and utensils for the number of people living in the home.  CDs and DVDs can go as well.

TWO WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY: THE SERIOUS PACKING BEGINS - Yes…now it is time to start paring down the amount of “stuff” still in your home. If you have children,  allow them to choose a few toys/games to keep out, and box up the rest. If you have a home office, clean it out and pack what you plan to take with you.  Any jewelry and shoes that you don’t wear daily can go as well.  You may feel that two weeks is a long time to go without these items, but trust me, before you know it you will be unpacking them in your new abode!

ONE WEEK BEFORE MOVING DAY: SEVEN DAYS AND COUNTING: Now it is time to pack up all but the few things you will need to get through the last few days at your current home.  The rest of your clothes and kitchen items can go (leaving yourself what you will need until the move, of course).  Go through your medicine cabinet and toss any expired medications. Pack the rest except for the ones you take daily.

TWO DAYS BEFORE MOVING DAY: IT’S GETTING REAL YA’LL: At this point your stress level may be peaking, but if you have been following the time-line and packing a bit each week, you should be almost finished!  Box up your electronics (in their original packaging when possible), bathroom items, and any miscellaneous items that are left.  Keep a box for essential items that you will keep with you as you are moving.

MOVING DAY: IT’S HERE! All that should be left is furniture and appliances.  Whether you have hired movers to load the large items or you are doing it yourself, it will be so much more manageable with everything else already boxed up and ready to go.

IMPORTANT TIP: Label every box.  You can either write what is in the box or what room the box should go to.  Or both.  You will be glad you did when you are unpacking!

Remember that this is simply a general guideline.  You should do what is right for you and your family when it comes to packing and moving. But hopefully this will make what can be a trying and overwhelming time a little less stressful.

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Selling-Your-House-in-Autumn

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Hey-Millennial-Homeowners-It-May-Be-Time-to-Sell

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Hey-Millennial-Homeowners-It-May-Be-Time-to-Sell

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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