Phone: 303-442-2448

Stellar Properties

Stellar Properties blog

Taking the time to thoroughly clean and organize your space is not only good for your home; itís also good for your health. In fact, it helps avoid allergy symptoms, makes you feel happier and increases your productivity.

Owning a home has long been a quintessential symbol of achievement. It is a dream shared by many and tops the list of everyone’s bucket list.

Buying a house is a big financial step. Since things like this doesn’t happen often enough, a lot of buyers end up committing mistakes. As a result, they get stuck with the consequences for a long time or find themselves in a financial nightmare.

Before you unlock the door to homeownership, you might want to read this blog post first. Here, we have compiled some of the most common mistakes first-time home buyers make, along with some suggestions on how to avoid them.

Failing to consider additional expenses

A lot of people think that they are ready to buy a house just because they were able to save enough money for the down payment. But if you are gearing up to buy your first home, you also need to take into account additional expenses such as home inspection fees, closing cost, insurance, property tax, moving cost and others.

Not thinking long-term

When buying a house, you need to ask yourself how long are you planning to stay in the house. While it’s hard to tell the exact amount of time, you need to make sure that you’re going to stay put for at least 5 years. Otherwise, you won’t be able to recoup your investment.

If you aren’t certain that you’re going to stay that long, you might want to re-think your plans of buying a house.

Looking for the perfect home

Every buyer wants the perfect home – a house that is located in a good neighborhood, has all the features they want in a home, free from issues, and sold at an affordable price. We hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as a perfect home.

In search for the perfect home, a lot of buyers make the mistake of passing up on the properties they like, thinking there’s always a better deal just around the corner. Before you go out there and start looking at house, we recommend that you do some research, determine your budget, the value of properties in the area you’re interested in and list down your must have features. After all, every buyer’s goal is to find a lovely house at a price that they can afford.

Skipping home inspection

Considering the cost of buying a home, you may be looking for ways to save money elsewhere. More often than not, home buyers choose to skip the home inspection thinking it’s not really necessary. Sure, it’s an optional step, but it provides critical information about the condition of the house. Hence, providing you an option to negotiate for a lower price, ask the seller to fix the problem or back out of the sale. Don’t skip the home inspection.

What’s on the inside may be important, but studies suggest that your property’s appearance or attractiveness from the street matters when selling your home. Prospective buyers browse through online listings or drive by properties they’re interested into narrow down their options. They will determine in seconds whether or not your home is a prospect.

Spending time and money on the interior is important, but don’t neglect the outside of your property. Here are 3 reasons why curb appeal matters when selling your home.

First impression

Most sellers make certain improvements on their home’s interior. They would paint the walls, deep clean and stage the house, update the kitchen and refinish the floors in the hopes of attracting potential buyers. Keep in mind, though, that buyers form an opinion on whether or not they like your house before they even walk in.

First impressions matter when selling your home. If potential buyers drive by your home and see that the grass is old or you have old, drying shrubs near the front entrance, they won’t be interested in coming indoors. Little things like mowing the grass, cleaning the driveway and planting flowers in the garden will give your property a wow factor.

Maximize your property’s value

Buyers are going to look at every detail of your home. They are going to notice every small detail like old gutters, patchy lawn, soiled siding or chipping paint on the wall. These problems may drive down the perceived value of your home. These may defer buyers and may decide to look for a comparably priced house with a nicer facade.

If your home doesn’t have curb appeal, don’t expect to make a huge profit out of it. Because of the distressed appearance of the exterior, buyers may be tempted to use this as a basis for negotiating down the asking price.

Easier to sell

It is an established fact that the more attractive your home looks from the outside, the easier it would be to sell it. Putting an effort into making sure that your home’s exterior is appealing will help sell your home faster and for more money.

The exterior of your home says a lot about how well you maintain your property. If the lawn is manicured and the exterior of the home looks well maintained, this is an indication that the house has been taken care of. Because of this, buyers will feel more confident knowing that the property is in good condition; hence, making it easier to sell.

So, you’re planning to buy a home. That’s great! Buying your first home signifies an exciting new beginning. We know how excited you are to take on the next chapter of your adult life. But before you start looking at houses, there are some things you need to know to make the buying process easier.

Here are some smart moves to make as you begin to enter the housing market.

Make a list of your non-negotiables

It’s easy to get caught up with certain features such hardwood flooring, granite countertops and stainless steel kitchen appliances. If you are planning to buy a house, then you need to sit down with your partner and discuss what features you are looking for in a home. Bring your wish list with you when you look at houses, so as to serve as a reminder of the thing you really need.

Know how much you can afford

Before you begin to house shop, you first need to know how much you can afford. There are a lot of beautiful homes on the market. If you liked a particular property and then realize later on that it’s out of your budget, then you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. As such, you need to start off by getting a pre-approval.

A pre-approval is crucial to your home search. This will help you focus on homes that are within your budget and will help you acquire the home of your dreams. Sellers consider buyers with pre-approval as serious buyers. They are more likely to accept your offer than those who don’t have one.

Hire a real estate agent

Buying your first home isn’t easy. With a huge amount of money at stake, plus the fact that real estate transactions can be quite complicated, a lot of buyers feel stressed and anxious. But with the help of a real estate agent, the buying process can be less bumpy and less stressful.

A real estate agent will help you find a house that matches your needs and fits your budget. They can also negotiate on your behalf and will guide throughout the entire process.

Think long-term

This house may not be your forever home, but you need to think long-term when buying a house. If you are planning to have kids, then it might be best to invest in a bigger home. Plus, look for a property that is located in a good school district. You also need to consider the crime rate for the safety and security of your family.

If you buy a house in a bad school district or along a very busy street, you might have a hard time selling your home in the future. Of course, you want to recoup your investment when it comes the time that you need to sell the house. Think long-term and think re-sale.

After several months of searching for the perfect house, you have finally found a property that ticks all the boxes. Considering that this will be one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make, it pays to dig deeper and find out everything you can about the property you’re interested in.

When it comes to real estate, knowledge is power. Asking questions will help you make smart decisions and make you feel more confident, knowing that you’re making the right move on the right house.

Here are 4 important questions you must ask before buying a house.

Why is the house for sale?

This is the key question every buyer should ask. While you may not always get a truthful answer, knowing the reason behind the sale will give you more insight into the property. Plus, it will help you determine how much room there is for negotiation.

What is the condition of the house?

A house is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make. As such, you want to make sure that the house you’re interested in is in good condition. Ask the agent or the seller if the house has been inspected prior to listing. If so, ask for a copy of the inspection report. If not, have the house inspected.

A home inspection reveals issues within the property. Knowing the condition of the property will help you come to a realistic offer. Plus, it will also help you decide whether or not you should push through with the transaction.

What is the neighborhood’s crime rate?

The safety of your neighborhood affects everything from your home’s resale value to your happiness and sense of security. Before you sign on the dotted line, it is important to be proactive about your safety.

Research the exact neighborhood you’re planning to move to. If possible, drive around the area at different times of the day to determine whether it looks like a safe place or not. Another option is to call the local police department or you can check the neighborhood crime statistics on the internet.

How long has the property been on the market?

When a property lingers on the market, most buyers assume that there is something wrong with the house. If the house has been on the market for a few months, you might be able to negotiate a lower price. But don’t expect the seller to strike a bargain with you if it’s a new listing.

The process of selling a home seems mysterious to many novices. Because of this, they tend to seek advice from family, friends and other people who have already been through this process. The problem is that, most of them tend to give advices that are based on faulty thinking or understanding.

Over the years, I have come to realize that these myths area actually very widespread. A lot of sellers believe in these lies, which could hurt their chances from getting the best deal possible.

Here are 3 home selling myths you need to stop believing.

Spring is the best time to sell

Spring is the busiest time of the year for the real estate industry. Most owners decide to put their homes on the market in spring because their home will look better when the sun is out for longer and the flowers are coming into bloom. Plus, people are no longer busy with Christmas celebrations or aren’t away for summer holidays. Also, buyers are on the lookout for new homes because they want to move into their new home before the school year starts. But with everyone trying to sell their home in spring, there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to sell fast during this busy season.

The best time to sell your home is when you’re ready. Regardless of the time of the year, you can easily sell your home if it’s in great condition, priced appropriately and well advertised.

My home is special, so it’s okay to price it high

We understand that your home is one of your most prized possessions. You have made a lot of great memories in that house and put in so much time, effort and money to beautify it, but that doesn’t mean that your home is more valuable than other properties in your neighborhood.

If you want to sell your home fast, it is important that you set a reasonable price. A real estate agent can help you with this task. Ask your agent for a CMA and use this to set the best price for your home.

You need to hire a real estate agent when

It is possible to sell your home without being represented by a real estate agent. Truth be told, 25% of Americans go FSBO in the hopes of saving on commission costs. Keep in mind, though, that there’s more to selling a house than putting a “for sale” sign on your front yard. If you decide to go FSBO, then you’ll have to do all the heavy lifting – marketing, staging, showing, negotiating etc. A real estate agent can help you get the highest price for your home with the least amount of inconvenience.

Selling your house can be exhausting and frustrating at the same time. If you’ve ever tried selling your house before, you know how frustrating it can be to wait for buyers to contact you and pray that one of them would make a great offer.

Keep these things in mind if you want to sell your house fast and for top dollar. With these simple tips, you can expect an offer in no time.

Get real about pricing

Potential buyers will look at dozens and dozens of houses before deciding which one to buy. Because of this, many of them already have an idea about the average sales price of similar properties in the area. The problem is that, most sellers believe that their house is more special than the others. As a result, they jack up the price by about 5 - 10%.

Sure, setting a high asking price could mean you can get more money out of your property. But your home may also end up languishing on the market if the asking price is too high. To make your home more competitive, ask your real estate agent to provide a comparative market analysis. Use this as a guide when setting a price for your home.

Stage the exterior, too

Curb appeal matters when it comes to selling your house. Most buyers decide whether or not they’re interested in your house just by looking at your home’s exterior. If the house looks dirty and unkempt form the outside, buyers will think that the seller failed to keep up with maintenance and that the house is in bad shape.

Most sellers put so much time and effort in beautifying the interiors that they fail to improve curb appeal. Spruce up your home’s exterior by applying a fresh coat of paint, planting bright-colored flowers and keeping the walkway and driveway clean. This will make your home attractive to potential buyers.

Always be ready to show

When buyers walk into your home, they’ll inspect every aspect of your home. They’ll walk into every room, look in the closet, drawers and cabinets and even check out the bathroom. That said, it is important to keep your home clean and organized at all times. You’ll never know when a buyer is going to walk through the door.

Light a fire

If you are selling your home during the winter, make sure your home feels warm and inviting. If you have a fireplace, go ahead and light a fire. If not, then just crank up the heat to keep your guests warm and toasty. This will give potential buyers a reason to stay a little bit longer and really look at your house.

Curb appeal is one of the most important factors to consider when selling your home. Potential buyers will make their initial judgment based on your home’s curb appeal. It can make or break your home sale.

If your home looks cluttered, untidy or poorly maintained, you may scare potential buyers away. Your home may linger on the market for an extended period of time and your sales price may suffer as a result.

Here are 4 curb appeal mistakes that can sabotage your home sale.

Dying plants and flowers

Colorful plants and flowers will add visual interest to a shady yard and add instant curb appeal to your home. But if those once beautiful flowers have turned brown, they’re going to have quite the opposite effect.

Get rid of dead plants, leaves, and flowers. Spruce up your yard and make sure it looks its very best.

Poorly lit walkway

We bet you know your yard like the back of your hand, but potential buyers don’t. Some buyers choose to drive by the house they’re interested in after office hours. Since it gets dark early during this time of the year, potential buyers will have to walk in the dark if you fail to turn on the light.

A poorly lit exterior will not only create a negative impression; accidents and injuries may also happen when seller fail to keep their premises adequately lit.

Cheesy yard decorations

When you’re preparing your home for sale, it is important to decorate your home to appeal to a wide range of buyers. Just because you think your collection of pink flamingos look pretty, doesn’t mean everyone else will like it too.

Even if your home might be bargain priced, you may see buyers squealing their tires away from your home because of those cheesy decorations. Do yourself a favor and get rid of those.

Ignoring the little details

Tending to your lawn and a fresh coat of paint may go a long way in improving your curb appeal, but what about the little details? The tattered awnings, rutted wood shutters and rusted out carport may not seem like a big deal, but buyers are definitely going to notice it. Don’t ignore the little details.

Christmas is just around the corner. It is a time of the year when family, close friends or even our extended families gather together in one place to eat, drink and be merry. But if you are selling your home during the holiday seasons, you may have other things on your mind right now.

Oftentimes, homeowners who choose to sell during the holidays find themselves rushing to decorate their homes to impress potential buyers. According to studies, houses tend to show better during the holiday season when decorated. But that doesn’t mean that you should transform your home into a holiday haven this season.

Here are 4 decorating tips for home sellers during the holidays.

Don’t over decorate the house

A few decorations can stir the holiday spirit, but sellers should be careful not to overdo the decor. Look for a few tasteful decorations such as simple snowflakes, gold ornamental balls, clear lights and holiday-themed welcome mat. Keep the decorations to a minimum. Remember, you want buyers to envision themselves in your home; not to invite them to your Christmas party.

Let the light in

Most homeowners would install figurines or candles on the windowsill, affix decorations directly to the windows or place brightly lighted trees in front of the windows. Although, this does look good and captures the attention of those who are driving by your house, they may block the natural light. Do mind the light when putting up holiday decorations.

Dress up the front door

Greet guests and add curb appeal to your home by hanging a beautiful wreath on your front door. This year, you might want to skip the tradition evergreen and try making an ornament wreath instead.

Glue together colorful ornaments. Stack them on top of each other until the wreath base is entirely covered. You can also use ornaments of different sizes and colors. Feel free to combine different colors. After all, when it comes to colors the more the merrier. This is a simple holiday project that won’t wipe out your holiday budget. Plus, the finished wreath makes a festive statement.

Decorate strategically

If you want to sell your home fast this holiday season, then it pays to learn how to highlight your home’s best feature and downplay its weaknesses. If you have a beautiful curved staircase, you might want to wrap a tasteful garland around it.

Also, make sure that your decors match your home’s color scheme and theme to avoid distractions. If you have a traditional home, we suggest that you stick with vintage decorations.

Anyone can hold an open house, but not everyone can hold a successful one. Orchestrating a great event can be quite a challenge. It requires a lot of work, careful planning a positive attitude.

It pays to know a few tricks to make the event a success. Here are some tips for hosting a successful open house.

Stage your home

You only have one chance to make a good impression, so make sure your house is ready before you open your home to potential buyers.

When buyers walk into your home, they’ll scrutinize every single aspect of your home. Make sure you pay attention to every little detail. Clean the house, get rid of clutter and arrange the furniture. Also, keep the decor neutral. You want buyers to envision themselves in that house, so make sure your home looks its best. If you have enough budget, consider hiring a professional stager to help you with this task.

Let the world know

So you have decided to hold an open house and show your home to potential buyers. You have already put out some signs on the street and told your friends about it. Now, all you have to do is to bake some cookies and wait for people to come, right? Wrong!

If you want to generate interest and get lots of traffic, you’ll need to do more than just place signs on the street. You want to spread awareness of the upcoming showing - give out flyers, post about it on social media, advertise on newspapers and tell your neighbors about the open house. Don’t expect people to come to the open house if you don’t put much effort into it.

Timing is crucial

Before choosing a date for your open house, we recommend that you check the schedule of local events. Make sure there are no happenings in the area. Otherwise, you may end up wasting your time and effort.

If you want more people to come into your home, we suggest that you schedule your open house on weekends or the same day with other open houses. Make sure yours start or end 1 hour earlier or later than the others to give your listing undivided attention. If most agents schedule their open house from 1 to 3 pm, hold yours from 12nn to 3pm or 1pm to 4pm.