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Hope Cudd

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How Sellers Can Handle Multiple Offers!

12/30/2015

 

Sellers: How to Decide Between Multiple Offers
What a splendid dilemma! You’ve received several offers on your property. Which one should you choose? It’s not always the highest one.

Here are just some of the areas Hope Cudd could ask you to pay particularly close attention to as you're weighing the options.

1. Do the math.
This goes beyond simply calculating the dollar difference between the various offer prices. Before you do that, be sure to do all the math. Subtract things like closing costs, fees and potential repairs to determine the net proceeds of each offer.

2. Consider the financing.
Can the buyer provide proof from the bank that there are funds to back the offer? Your agent can help verify this – and help you understand the terms of the buyer's financing.

3. Motivation.
Do the buyers have a baby-sitting parent in the neighborhood? A new job just around the corner? Buyers with extra motivation to purchase your home are less likely to press for concessions and more likely to work harder to close the deal. Some buyers even include a personal letter with their offer to explain why they want the home. These letters can be particularly helpful in multiple-offer situations.

4. Timeline.
Note the closing date each offer proposes. You'll want a closing date that best meets your needs. You can always counter a closing date, too, if the best offer doesn't quite meet your timeline.

Weighing the pros and cons of each offer can be tricky. An experienced agent can help you clarify, calculate and secure the very best deal for you. Call Hope Cudd today and let's talk about how we can get multiple offers on your property.

List in Winter or Spring?

11/10/2015

Why It Pays to List Your Home in Winter 

If you're listing your home now, use these ideas to make a great cold-weather impression.

 Spring may still be peak home-shopping season, since most families want to move when the kids are out of school. Yet it actually pays to list in the winter, when buyers tend to have more urgency: A study by online brokerage Redfin found that average sellers net more above asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than they do from June through November, even in cold-weather cities like Boston and Chicago. And homes listed in winter sold faster than those posted in spring.

Should you put your home on the market now? Unless you need to sell (say, you’ve purchased your next home or are relocating for a job), “timing always depends on supply and demand,” says RE/MAX First real estate agent Hope Cudd.

To understand your local climate, check the number of days on the market for current and recently sold listings. If most are sitting for more than 60 days, it’s safer to wait until spring, when more buyers will emerge. Yet “if properties are selling quickly, take that as a green light to list,” says real estate broker, Jamey Hood of RE/MAX First.

If you do move forward, these strategies will help make your home a hot seller this winter.

Price It Right

The quieter winter market brings special pricing considerations. Unlike in spring, when there are more shoppers—and it may make sense to price low to try to generate a bidding war—you’re less likely to receive multiple offers.

Winter is also a bad time to test the market and list high. If the house doesn’t sell, you may need to drop below market value to nab a buyer before new properties appear in spring and make yours look stale by comparison.

The upshot: Take a conservative approach and price at market value, Yee advises. Check closing prices of comparable properties sold in the past 30 days, then eye current list prices to make sure your home won’t look overpriced.

Are You A First Time Buyer?

10/28/2015

4 Resources for First-Time Homebuyers

4 Resources for First-Time Homebuyers

 

Surveys show that first-time buyers aren’t aware of how much they need to save for a down payment. Many people believe that buying a home requires they put down at least 20 percent of the purchase price, but down payments aren’t as big of an obstacle as people think. For example, a loan through the Federal Housing Administration could require a down payment as low as 3.5 percent; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have similarly low requirements.

If you qualify for a loan with a low down payment but still have trouble coming up with the cash, here are a few of the many programs out there that can help. Do some research to find out what’s available in your area.

1. Help getting down
The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gives community development block grants to states and local governments across the country to help revitalize certain areas. HUD’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) is one such program. States often have their own programs for down payment assistance, too.

2. Opening up options for closing
The Federal National Mortgage Association, a.k.a. Fannie Mae, designed the HomePath Ready Buyer program to attract new homebuyers to the market. Through the program, qualifying first-time homebuyers can get assistance of up to 3 percent of closing costs after they pass an online homeownership course.

3. Making ownership less taxing
Some state governments provide first-time buyers with a tax credit to boost homeownership.

4. Helping heroes
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loan Guaranty Service helps veterans or surviving spouses obtain better terms for their mortgage by guaranteeing a portion of the loan. Some VA mortgages require no down payment.

Check the National Council of State Housing Agencies for more opportunities available in your state.

Hope Cudd will be able to help you find the programs that operate in our Maryville area and are appropriate to your financial situation. Give me a call at (865) 809-9300 and let's talk today!

Happy Halloween!

10/28/2015
New to the ‘Hood? Top Tips to Welcome Trick-or-Treaters

New to the ‘Hood? Top Tips to Welcome Trick-or-Treaters

As you prepare to welcome little vampires, witches —and no shortage of Princess Elsa’s— to your doorstep, here are a few reminders for a great night of trick-or-treating!

Turn on the porch light. It’s the traditional sign that your home is passing out goodies. If you choose not to partake in trick-or-treating, leaving your light off signals to families to move to the next house.

Stock up. Trick-or-treat traffic can vary between neighborhoods. Talk to your neighbors if you’re new and unsure how many children you can expect. Purchase candy accordingly.

Check the time. The fun occurs most commonly between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m., but can be different for each community. The official time can usually be found on local government websites.

Join the fun! Create a spooky-fun atmosphere for the kids by decking out your porch with spider webs, purple twinkle lights or decorative ghosts swaying in your trees. Of course, a unique Jack-O’-Lantern is always a crowd pleaser.

9 Reasons a Great Realtor Is Vital To a Seller

5/28/2015
 

Selling your home without hiring a real estate agent might be tempting, especially if you're in an area where buyers are clamoring for properties. It's not uncommon for sellers to think (even for a split-second) "How hard can it be to sell on my own?" But there are probably some challenges they're not considering.

Here are some key ways a real estate agent – more specifically a licensed Realtor – proves to be indispensible during the selling process.

1. They offer wide exposure. Find an agent with the education, experience and know-how – along with the backing from a brokerage and powerful brand – to increase exposure of your house to potential buyers. Your agent can devise a marketing plan that stresses showing your property to other agents as well as to the public.

2. They bring objectivity. You probably love your home even with all its faults, but a prospective buyer might not be so dazzled. A solid real estate agent can give you helpful tips on things that need to be fixed and ways to improve your home’s appearance and curb appeal. Your agent can also evaluate and focus on features that might set your house apart from the competition.

3. They know the market. Agents can access current market data about pending and recent sales, and they can use that information to help you establish an appropriate asking price for your home. Homeowners often expect unrealistically high prices for their homes, which can turn off buyers who are seeing homes with more competitive prices. A house that is priced accurately from the get-go will sell more quickly and for a higher price than those that are priced too high right out of the gate.

4. They take care of all showings. You may not be available to show your home to prospective buyers, or you may have already moved out, but your agent can show your house even when you aren’t there. Agents can answer visitors’ questions and take note of their feedback. Further, prospective buyers usually feel more comfortable touring a house when the owner isn’t present. They might want to comment on a house’s drawbacks.

5. They take security seriously. Real estate agents can vet all potential buyers, including verifying they're preapproved for a home loan and weeding out the “looky-loos” who aren't serious buyers. They also can provide security by pre-screening visitors and accompanying them while they're in the house.

6. They're prepared to negotiate. Agents will negotiate contracts on your behalf. FSBO sellers generally negotiate with a professional representing the buyer's interests. Your agent, on the other hand, can help you negotiate with the buyer’s agent to secure a contract that gets you the best price for your house.

7. They help you avoid legal trouble. Your agent knows the requirements for disclosures in your state. The seller is required to disclose any problems that could affect the value of the property. In most states, it’s against the law to hide physical problems such as flood hazards and prior damage. Some states require a seller to search for such problems even if they aren’t obvious. An agent helps prepare necessary disclosure documents.

8. They're with you to the end – and beyond. Getting to the closing table is a complicated process, filled with paperwork, and mistakes can sidetrack the deal. Good real estate agents have safeguards in place to avoid them. Your real estate agent will work with you every step of the way to closing, and can even be a resource for you as you consider your next move.

9. They follow a strict Code of Ethics. Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and they are required to complete a two-and-a-half hour Code of Ethics course every four years. The repeat training ensures that agents are familiar with the code’s newest provisions and that its key guidelines are reinforced: protecting clients, protecting communities and protecting the industry.

12/23/2013

12/23/2013

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