Wendy Johnson - RE/MAX Professional Associates



Posted by Wendy Johnson on 2/10/2021

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Image by Jo Ann Snover from Shutterstock

There are many ways you can make your house attractive to prospective buyers. Curb appeal goes a long way when it comes to first impressions. Your yard is one indication of the amount of time you’ve spent caring for your property in general. Buyers are undoubtedly attracted to homes that have been properly maintained so if you plan to sell your property, don’t neglect your landscaping. Just like washing the dishes and vacuuming floors positively impacts the look of your interior spaces, regular yard maintenance will do the same for your exterior spaces. 

The following tips can help give you a good head start:

  • Plan to mow your lawn at least once a week. Use a weed wacker or edger to clean up around fences or play yards where your lawnmower might not reach. 

  • Remove weeds, leaves and clippings from walkways and patios. After you mow the lawn, use a leaf blower or broom to remove lawn clippings from walkways. If you have a brick or stone pathway, pull the weeds that may grow between the pavers.

  • Create clean edges between your grass and planting areas. You don’t need to install special materials to achieve this look. Use a straight-edge shovel to create or refresh an existing edge then add a fresh layer of mulch or stone to complete the transition.

  • Overgrown plants can be hard for homebuyers to overlook. Neglected shrubs and bushes may block the view of your house, they may interfere with walkways, doors, or other plantings and often just look untidy. Invest in a pair of loppers or hand pruners that can handle the plantings on your property. If you are not familiar with how to approach trimming the shrubs or trees you have, be sure to do some research before you start cutting. A local nursery or landscaper can provide advice on how and during which season you should prune your plantings. 

A smart way to attract prospective buyers is to improve the landscaping around your home. Consult with your real estate agent for more ways to improve your curb appeal and for local landscaping resources.





Posted by Wendy Johnson on 7/29/2020

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Whether it is a seller's market or you just have an appealing home, you could end up with multiple offers -- how can you decide which offer is best? Your agent is an excellent source of information and can help widdle through unqualified buyers, but if you still have to choose between multiple offers, here's what to consider. 

Understand fair market value: You should know what to expect and what a fair offer looks like -- your agent can help you discover what the fair market value is for your home. If there are any mitigating factors (you have been relocated at work or you need to move quickly) they could impact the decision-making process more than price.

Preapprovals in place: If you have multiple offers, the buyer with a preapproval in place has an edge. This signals that not only is the buyer interested in the home, but they are able to pay for it. It also indicates that the closing can move swiftly, since this key element is in place. A higher offer without preapproval could end up falling through if the buyer is unable to secure a mortgage. 

Payment method: In many cases, the type of mortgage the buyer is getting won't matter -- you'll get the funds at closing either way. If you are in a hurry, though, a cash buyer can move more swiftly than one with a conventional mortgage. Buyers using non-conventional mortgages like USDA loans may also encounter delays, as these can take more time to process. 

Timeline: What do the buyers propose as a closing date? Too soon and you'll have to rush to get your own things moved out -- and may end up under pressure to move. Too late and you'll feel like you are waiting forever and living between two homes -- your next, new home and the one you need to sell. 

Contingencies: A contingency for financing, appraisal or inspection is common, but too many contingencies or unusual requests could mean you're in for a problematic closing process. Consider any contingencies the buyer is demanding before deciding which offer is right for you to avoid surprises later in the process. 

Special requests: Are there any unusual requests, or does one buyer want more than others? A buyer who wants you to leave kitchen appliances is reasonable (and most expect these to convey). One who wants your heirloom furniture or outdoor equipment may be asking for more than you want to sell. You should be aware of and consider any special requests when you review offers for your home. 

Having to choose between more than one offer puts you in a great position, but it can still be nerve wracking. Working with an experienced seller's agent to vet the offers and determining which factors matter most to you can help you make the right decision for your home sale. 




Tags: home seller   seller tips   offer  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Wendy Johnson on 4/29/2020

Photo by Billion Photos via Shutterstock

When homeowners start thinking about selling, the first thing they want to know is, “How much can I sell my house for?” Your real estate agent's task is determining the fair market value with a range of prices from low to high. The spread between the two values typical is not large and only leaves a little wiggle room for the seller to negotiate. 

Determining the Value

The challenge is that there is no one value for a home on the resale market. Several values go into determining the number. These can include the assessed value (what the local government taxes it on), the appraised value (what a certified and licensed appraiser determines it's worth), the market value (this can go up or down depending on supply and demand) and what the owner needs from it in order to move to the next place. Even among appraisers, the same house might have several different values depending on what that appraiser noted; although, they’re usually fairly close.

The Homeowner’s Price

When a homeowner has a price in mind that they’ll sell for, it may come from several factors:

  • How much they owe on the first mortgage
  • Whether or not it has a second mortgage or HELOC (home equity line of credit)
  • How much they originally paid in the down payment and closing
  • What they’ve spent in renovations and upgrades

How Your Agent Determines a Price

A professional real estate agent may give you an estimate of the market value of your home within a range. These numbers come from comparable residences in similar condition, homes that sold recently and the prices of homes on the agent’s MLS. Additionally, if the agent knows that a bidding war might happen, they’ll factor that into the suggested price too. 

How Overpricing Could Hinder a Sale

There are several reasons that overpricing your home might hinder a sale. Here are the main ones:

  • Your price puts your listing outside the search parameters of potential buyers. Even if you’re willing to negotiate and come down a ways, a buyer won’t know to ask because your home is not on their radar.
  • If your home does come up in a search, it will be because the buyer is looking for homes in that price range. But if yours fails to match similar homes in their price point, yours will drop to be the last one they look at.
  • An overpriced home can spend longer sitting on the market, languishing there as the MLS adds numbers to the “days on the market” category. Often, buyers assume a home sits unsold on the market because there is something wrong with the property or the seller is difficult to work with.

If you need to sell your home quickly, and for top dollar, trust your real estate professional to guide you in setting the price.




Tags: appraisal   home seller   pricing  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Wendy Johnson on 3/11/2020

Photo by Mohamed Hassan via Pixabay

You’ve decided to sell your home to upgrade or even downsize, but you don’t know whether you should start looking and buy first or wait to sell first. The best-case scenario is to do both, but that takes a lot of planning. If you are sure your credit is good enough to get the loan you want, you can find a home and you have a buyer for your home all at the same time, the process could be quite smooth. Working with an excellent real estate agent goes a long way to making this scenario go smoothly.

Buying First

If you decide to buy a new house before you sell, and then put your home on the market, or choose to put your home on the market and buy a new home, even if your home doesn’t sell quickly, you will most likely have a place to move to—and can take your time moving. This plan has two hitches, and they’re not necessarily bad:

  • Your house sells quicker than you expected. If it does and you haven’t found a home, or you did, but you haven’t closed yet, you may have to move to temporary housing until your deal closes. On the other hand, if the seller is not in any hurry, you could rent your home back until your deal closes and you get moved.

  • You will have to pay two mortgages. If your current home is not paid off, you will have to pay two mortgages. Depending on your income, you may not be able to close the loan on the new home until you sell your current home. If your debt-to-income ratio has room for two mortgages, this is not a problem.

Selling First

Selling first is probably the safest way to go about moving. Once your house sells, put most of your possessions into storage and find a short-term rental. This allows you to take your time finding your dream home and getting the financing for the new house. Since you have all the time in the world, you’ll be able to shop around for the best mortgage without feeling pressured to take something because you need to close quickly.

Making the Decision

Before you decide on whether to buy or sell first or do both at the same time, determine which is best for your situation.

  • Check your credit score. The better your credit, the lower your new interest rate will be. Lenders will be more willing to work with you.

  • Start browsing for homes for sale to see if there is anything you are interested in.

  • Know how much mortgage you will qualify for. Speak to several lenders about the different available loan programs.

  • Contact a real estate agent to discuss listing your home. Ask about the listing contract and the cost of listing. Some real estate agents give you a discount on their commission if you use them to buy and sell.

  • Know the market. If buyers are flooding the market, it may be easier to sell your home. If sellers are flooding the market, it may take longer to sell your home because there are many homes for people to choose from.

The answers to these questions will let you know if it is better to buy or sell first.




Tags: home seller   buying   selling   Homebuyer  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Wendy Johnson on 11/6/2019

When you move into a home that you worked so hard to buy, it’s an exciting and overwhelming time. The biggest problem with a new place is that you don’t know your surroundings very well. Even if you have just moved down the street, there’s a lot of new things to be discovered from new neighbors to new places to explore. 


One thing that many new homeowners overlook is the way in which their new home functions. Do you know where the circuit breakers are? What about that switch in the corner of the living room that doesn’t seem to do anything? While the seller's disclosure and your home inspector will give you a wealth of information, you can gain a lot of knowledge just by asking questions. 


Sellers may not be eager to answer too many questions at first for fear that their answers could jeopardize the sale of their home. You can safely ask a lot of questions at the final walk-through or at closing since the seller will know that they’re secure in the transaction.         



What’s Strange About This House?


While you wouldn’t word a question to a seller in this exact way, you do want to know if there’s anything unique or anything that you should anticipate about the home. Remember that you should be subtle, yet curious in your question asking. 


What Type Of Repairs Have Been Made?


While you expect that most repairs will be on the disclosure statement, anything that has been done in the past is noteworthy as well. It’s helpful to know what’s been done in the house in the past so you have an idea of what to keep an eye out for.


Where Are The Important Utility Boxes In The Home?


Not all home inspectors are created equal. Your inspector may not be great at educating you as to where things are in the home like the circuit box, the water switches, the pump, or the controls for the furnace. The seller can often show you the location of these items in the house. This will prevent you from a lot of confusion starting at the time you move into the home. 


Have You Enjoyed Living In This Neighborhood?


You can discover a lot about a neighborhood if you just start a conversation about the seller’s own experiences. You can learn a lot through this simple question. Are there any crazy dogs in the neighborhood? Where are the best places to eat in the area? While you may not ask these questions directly, you can gain some powerful information just by being curious and conversational.

Gaining a good rapport with your seller can get you places. You’ll know a bit more about the home and the seller will even feel more friendly towards you. The seller could even leave some cool stuff behind that they don’t need like a microwave, a piece of furniture, or a patio set. All you need to do is be friendly and curious and you’ll be off to a great start in your new home.




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