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Buy a Home | 2 Posts
Home Improvement | 12 Posts
Homeowners | 2 Posts
Sell a House | 4 Posts
Tuscaloosa, AL | 18 Posts
May
16

Make Your Home Appraisal Ready With These Tips

Ready to sell your home? Here's how you can prepare for your home's appraisal.

Are you thinking about getting your home appraised? Maybe you're thinking of listing it and want to know how much your home is worth. Or, maybe someone is interested in buying your home and wants an appraisal to take to a lender — in which case, you want your home shipshape, so the lender will know your home is worth what you're asking for it.

While you don't necessarily need to get an appraisal before you list your home among Tuscaloosa homes for sale, you might want to learn a bit about how to prepare for an appraisal before you go for the real deal.

Here are some of the things our real estate agents recommend you do when prepping for an appraisal.

  1. Declutter and clean.
    Chances are, you can go through your house and find plenty to get rid of, either by donating to charity, selling on Facebook Marketplace or Poshmark, or just sending stuff out to the recycle pile. Once you've cleared some clutter, you're ready to clean. Go room by room, cleaning walls, fixtures, baseboards, doorknobs, light switch covers, and blinds (shades or drapes). We presume you're going to stage the home with a minimum of your possessions, so do make sure whatever stays in the home is free of dust and is sparkling clean.

  2. Spruce up the landscape.
    Beyond a good mowing, edging, and trimming of shrubbery, perform a painstaking cleanup of the property. Take out dead trees; have ragged, broken limbs trimmed and hauled away; rake up and bag dead leaves. Cut back weeds or perennial stalks left from previous years. Check the driveways and walkways; sweep them clean and get rid of any trash. Add mulch in flowerbeds and around trees and shrubs so it will look neat. Remove toys or any clutter; you can leave lawn furniture but it should be clean and in good repair.

  3. Repair damage.
    Walk around your home and assess everything with a critical eye. Repair cracks in walls, broken floor tiles, stained carpet, leaks in the ceiling, or damaged gutters. Your home should be in good repair prior to the appraisal.

  4. Safety equipment should be working properly.
    This includes fire and smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and home security alarms. Smoke and CO alarms are inexpensive to install but if you don't have a home security system, it may be a bit of an investment. However, you can probably find a reasonably priced (under $1000) system with sensors and cameras that will boost your appraisal.

  5. Replace dated materials.
    Some materials in your home may look like yesteryear's trend. Replace flooring with snazzy laminate or tile; redo the countertop with natural stone, granite, or quartz. Aim for a modern look with neutral, sedate materials.

  6. Make a list of improvements you've done.
    List any improvements you've made to your home so you can inform your appraiser. Include such redos and additions as gutters, siding, new roof, new appliances, and the like. Improvements will have a positive impact on your appraisal.

A word of caution here: most appraisals are for a buyer's lender. The lender will want to know if the home is worth the asking price. Chances are, that lender will not be interested in an appraisal done by the seller, who of course has every reason to get the highest appraisal possible. So don't dash out and get an appraisal with the notion that a potential buyer will heed the results. In fact, it's usually the buyer who orders the appraisal, and it is likely to come farther along in the negotiations.

Want to know more about appraisals? Contact us today.

April
18

Proven Strategies For Selling Your Home At A Great Price

Hoping to get the best price from your home sale? Here are some tips that never fail.

Everyone wants to sell their home for a great price, so what steps can you take to make your property stand out from the competition? Fortunately, there's plenty that you can do to make sure that your home catches the eye of buyers for all of the right reasons and ultimately maximize the offers that you receive for your listing. Our real estate agents are experts on selling homes, and we've got some proven strategies to help you sell your home at a great price.

  • Start by Cleaning and Decluttering
    If you want your home to stand out from other Tuscaloosa homes for sale, start by making sure that it looks its absolute best. Before you welcome any potential buyers, invest some elbow grease or hire a professional cleaning service to clean your home from top to bottom. Just as importantly, take this opportunity to clear out clutter, which will boost your home's appeal and has the added advantage of lightening your load when it's time to move.

  • Present a Blank Canvas for Buyers
    One of the reasons that it's important to clear out clutter is that you want to present a relatively blank canvas to buyers so they can imagine what their own lives would be like in the home. You can add to this effect by depersonalizing the home and removing things like photos and other personal items. Last but not least, consider a professional staging service to make the home look as inviting as possible.

  • Consider Curb Appeal
    You want buyers to be impressed before they even walk in the door, which is why curb appeal is such an important consideration when selling your home. Make sure your yard is clean, your lawn is in good shape, and the area around your front door is looking its best. Give your curb appeal a boost with some fresh landscaping, or by planting some colorful, attractive new plants in your garden.

  • Be Proactive About Maintenance Issues
    It may seem tempting to leave any little maintenance issues with the home for the next owner to handle, but this can actually be counterproductive when it comes to getting the best price for your home. Proactively addressing any issues gives buyers one less reason to negotiate for a lower price.

  • Choose the Right Real Estate Agent
    Your choice of real estate agent is one of the most important decisions that you'll make when selling your home. Make sure that you choose an agent who knows your market and how to promote your property to generate maximum interest from buyers. Do your research, and choose an agent who aligns with your needs.

  • Be Smart When Setting a Price
    Pricing is a huge factor, both in terms of generating interest and ensuring that you ultimately get the best possible offers from buyers. This is one area where your real estate agent can really help, and setting the right price can go a long way toward achieving your goals when selling your home.

  • Maintain Perspective Throughout the Process
    There's no doubt that selling a home can be an emotional process, but sometimes emotion can get in the way of getting a great price. Try to maintain perspective, be objective, and lean on your real estate agent for advice throughout the process.

Searching for the right real estate agent to help you sell your home? Our experienced, local team is here to help with all of your real estate needs. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Tuscaloosa, AL area.

May
18

6 Apps for Your Next Home Improvement Project

Home Improvement Apps

If you plan to add your home to the list of Tuscaloosa homes for sale, there might be a few projects that will help you prepare your property for sale. Home improvement projects can be overwhelming for many homeowners; not only do you need to figure out exactly what you want or need to do, but you need to procure materials and schedule labor for the job. Here are a few apps that will help you plan, manage, and execute your home improvement projects. 

  1. Wikihow
    Should you decide to tackle your project on your own, Wikihow will give you the knowledge you need to get the job done. This app is filled with thousands of useful how-to guides for projects of varying complexity levels. Many include diagrams and videos to increase your understanding. You can even use the bookmark feature to save guides that you plan to use later.
  2. IFixIt
    IFixIt is a fantastic resource if your project includes a lot of repairs. Find an applicable guide to assist with diagnosing the problem, gathering the necessary parts, and then completing the repairs. It's easy to search for guides by using the name of the item you're fixing or by searching for the device type. You can even use the IFixIt online store to purchase replacement parts. 
  3. iHandy Carpenter
    iHandy Carpenter transforms your smart device into a set of tools. This app makes it possible for you to use your phone as a ruler, bubble level, surface level, plumb bob, and protractor. Most homeowners keep their phones within reach throughout the day; this app ensures you have the tools you need for your project.
  4. TapPainter
    Our real estate agents find that a fresh coat of paint makes a huge difference in the look of your home. TapPainter allows you to take a photo of your room and upload it to the app. The app will then use the room's light and layout to see how various paint colors look in your room. This app offers shades from many of the most popular paint brands, making it easy for you to locate and buy your preferred color. 
  5. Pinterest
    Pinterest is a valuable resource for planning and managing your home improvement project. Create your own project-specific Pinterest board to keep track of all your ideas. You can search on Pinterest for potential projects and ideas, or you may add links that you find on the internet to your project board. The Pinterest app is full of project hacks, decor ideas, and useful tutorials. 
  6. Porch
    Need to bring in a professional for your project? Use Porch to search for insured home improvement pros you can hire for the job. Not sure what kind of pro you need? Schedule a consultation with a Porch representative to help you figure out what kind of professional is right for the job. Professionals are available in every type of home improvement category, including handymen, plumbers, electricians, roofers, and HVAC professionals. 

Want to know what projects will offer the best return for your money? Contact us today for help preparing your home to sell. 

March
16

Where You Should Put Your Remodeling Dollars?

Remodeling Dollars

Many sellers ask our real estate agents how to make their homes stand out from other Tuscaloosa homes for sale. If you're selling soon, a little remodeling can go a long way. You'll want to concentrate on remodeling projects that buyers want but still offer you a decent boost in resale value. These tips will help you make the most of your remodeling dollar.

  • Go for inexpensive and mid-range projects.
    They can still make a big difference, and you'll get more of your costs back on these. Because some big remodeling projects can be so expensive, you won't make your money back on them in the short term. Those kinds of projects aren't good candidates if you're going to remodel simply to help sell your home.
  • Make the kitchen and bathrooms top priority.
    These are the rooms buyers pay attention to, so making them look at least reasonably updated and inviting is essential. Buyers also know full remodels in these areas can be costly. If buyers see they can at least live with what's there, and they won't need to remodel immediately, that can give you an edge.
  • A surface remodel can be a better option.
    If most of the house is fine, but one area is likely to make buyers run, try a surface remodel. Do some less expensive swaps to save money instead of a full scale remodel project. For example, refinish a bathtub instead of replacing it, opt for vinyl plank instead of wood plank flooring, or paint a vanity and replace the hardware to get an updated look without gutting the entire space.  
  • Spend the money where buyers can see it.
    Paint and flooring take up the most space in a room, so updating here is always worth the money. And updating something major that's still working safely, such as a water heater or furnace, will cost way more and you'll recoup much less.
  • Refresh cabinets instead of replacing them.
    This can easily become a big chunk of the remodeling budget. If the cabinets are structurally sound, there are a few different and less expensive ways to update them. Paint or stain, refacing, swapping a solid door for one with a glass insert, and updating the hardware can change the look for less money.
  • Update hardware and light fixtures throughout the home.
    It may not sound like much, but all those door handles, hinges, drawer pulls, and builder-grade light fixtures throughout your home may be making a bad impression. Because they're everywhere in your home, this little change can make a big difference.
  • Update with buyers' tastes in mind.
    That doesn't necessarily mean everything has to be the latest trend, but it should offer wide appeal. Get rid of anything that is dated or likely to evoke strong dislike among buyers.

Updating your house before you sell is sure to turn the heads of potential buyers. Making good use of your remodeling dollars can help your house sell faster and for the right price. Contact us today to get started.

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