Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Carpe Diem- Thought leadership & April Real Estate Newsletter from your trusted advisor

April 2015
Carpe Diem! My motto in life and business.
*I represent buyers and sellers as a thought leader and trusted advisor
*I specialize in residential and commercial properties of distinction
*I leverage BHHS global  and local marketing and extensive social media strategies in selling your property.
*I have 20 year of professional sales in real estate throughout Chicago and now Tampa/St/ Pete/Sarasota
*A consistent multi-million dollar producer
*Honored as a BHHS President's Circle Recipient- Top 4% in nation
Ron Goldstein   |   Luxury Broker Associate   |   3127717190
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Avoid the 8 Staging Mistakes.
You may love your home, but that doesn’t mean that everyone coming through the door will feel the same way. What may be “charming” to the seller may seem off-putting to a prospective buyer. Many sellers attempt to stage their home themselves. In doing so, they make mistakes that can sidetrack the sale. Here are some of the biggest staging mistakes, according to professional home stagers:
  • Don’t get too personal: Staging is all about de-personalizing the space, and creating a model home look that will appeal to most everyone. Don’t create a look that appeals to just you.
  • Avoid dark colors: Choose neutral or warm colors. A few coats of fresh paint will make a huge difference.
  • Take advantage of natural light: Blocking off light with heavy curtains or furniture can hurt your sale—especially if the home has attractive views.
  • Don’t think more is better: Scale down your furniture. The size of furniture needs to be in balance with the scale of the room. Furniture should define the purpose of the room.
  • Don’t leave pets at home: Remove all traces of animals from the house. Make sure Fido is away during showings. A pet could kill a sale before a potential buyer even steps into the house.
  • Don’t neglect the outside: Outside is as important as the inside. Add flowers, mow the lawn, tidy up and add kid-friendly accessories.
  • Don’t just deal with “main” rooms: Don’t forget the garage, basement and closets.
  • Don’t forget fixtures: It’s important that all lights are burning and all fixtures are working.
Staging a home means showcasing features, not concealing flaws. Make sure your house is in good condition and use staging to cast the home in its best light.
Thinking About Co-ownership
with a Friend?
Friends often share holidays, vacations and important moments in life. Why not buy a home together? Joint ownership makes sense, especially for those unable to afford a home on their own. Each can enjoy a real estate investment, and can even strengthen the friendship.
The opposite could happen as well. Friends can feud over the most trivial of things, placing the long-term housing investment at risk. Here are some tips for surviving co-ownership with a friend:
  • Disclose financial information: Know what you’re getting into. Agree upon the type of home and location, and are comfortable with living with one another.
  • Consult with an attorney: A contract is vital, as is listing each person’s name on the deed and the mortgage papers. The percentage of ownership must be clearly stated in the contract, including details of each person’s share of the down payment and the way in which mortgage payments are to be divided. This sets the stage for deciding each one’s share upon sale.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage: Odds are those buying a home will need to jointly qualify as co-borrowers on a single mortgage in order to purchase a property held in tenancy in common or joint tenancy.
  • Understand wants and needs: Options and terms will be contingent on each individual’s credit history, financial health and obligations—as well as what you’re both looking for in a house. Discuss all of this ahead of time.
  • Have an exit strategy: Job changes or unexpected romances could evolve where marriage will soon be in the picture. What happens then? This should be agreed upon before the house is bought.
Finding the perfect home for two can be a challenge. Just make sure that when buying any real estate with friends, you don’t let the friendship cloud your judgment.
Dealing with the Down Payment.
Ever dream of owning a home but don't think you can because you lack the down payment and closing costs? Here are a few tips:
  • Borrow from your retirement account: A 401(k) or traditional IRA may allow a first-time homebuyers to borrow up to $10,000 for their down payment without incurring a penalty. If you’re self-employed or your employer allows it, you may also be able to borrow up to $50,000 from your current 401(k) and pay yourself back over five years at a reasonable interest rate.
  • Ask family: If you are able to get help from a family member, the lender may ask you to sign a gift-letter form, attesting to the relationship. They may also require your relatives to explain where they got the money and prove that they are financially able to make such a gift.
  • Look for down payment assistance grants: Down payment assistance and community redevelopment programs offer affordable housing opportunities to first-time homebuyers, low-income and moderate-income individuals and families who wish to own a home.
  • Come to a lease/purchase agreement: Homeowners who can’t sell their homes may consider a lease/purchase agreement, where you rent the home you want to buy and a percentage of your rent is applied to the down payment. Make sure you get a contract outlining all the details so both parties are protected.
  • Add it to the wedding registry: Some mortgage companies allow those getting married to set up a down payment registry.
  • Cut back and save: If nothing else, there’s always the old-fashioned “saving for a rainy day.” Try putting aside 10% of each paycheck and eating at home instead of eating out. If you’re married, save the money you would spend on birthday, anniversary and Christmas presents and put it toward your house. You also may need to forget that vacation this year.
These sacrifices may seem significant but they will be worth it once you’re inside your own home.
Going green: A smart idea.
Today’s homebuyers are seeking green features in the homes they consider. That’s why it’s smart to create an eco-friendly atmosphere for the buyer, and that doesn’t always mean costly fixes.
It begins when showing or marketing your home:
  • Instead of using bottled water, offer a chilled pitcher of filtered tap water at the ready.
  • Add some organic fruits or vegetables and eliminate excess packaging.
  • Use washable glassware and small ceramic plates instead of plastic, paper or Styrofoam.
  • Consider recycled paper and ink for all your marketing materials (include the recycled logo).
  • Advertising online.
And it can continue with eco-friendly upgrades to the home:
  • Replace all the light bulbs in your home with CFLs or LEDs.
  • Seal, upgrade and insulate (it can reduce your annual heating bill by $100 according to Department of Energy figures).
  • Consider upgrading to energy-efficient appliances.
  • Tankless water heaters are known for energy efficiency and water conservation.
  • Update your yard with hearty, drought-tolerant greenery that can save many gallons of water each month.
Employing any of these tips will paint a desirable picture for prospective, eco-conscious buyers.
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