Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 13

Why You Should Hire A Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

by The Linda Frierdich Group - Century 21 Advantage

 

Why You Should Hire A Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

 

The prospect of selling your home can start a lot of wheels turning in your brain... Especially the wheels that think about your finances and budget.  At first glance, it may seem like a good idea to sell your home without the help of a real estate agent... Cutting commission costs should put a little extra money in your pocket, right? And, really, though, what exactly is the real estate agent doing that you can't do yourself?  Well, for starters...

 

 

Paperwork

 

 

There is a lot of paperwork involved in selling a home, and real estate agents not only know what paperwork needs to be filled out, they also know the rules and regulations that must be followed with the filling out of the paperwork.

 

Experience

 


A seasoned agent has likely experienced any number of complications surrounding  real estate transaction, and they can help you along with the entire process.  Although there are plenty of life experiences that are impossible to predict, an experienced agent can help anticipate problems before they occur.

 

Negotiations

 

 

A home is our most emotional possession.  The memories associated with a home can often make the sale a very difficult process for homeowners.  A real estate agent, though empathetic, does not have the same emotional connection to a home that an owner does, and, therefore, they are able to remove themselves from the emotional aspect of a sale, which can be integral in negotiating a deal.

 

Pricing

 

 

Your local real estate professional has an extensive knowledge of the local market, and they can recommend a price range at which to list your home.  A seller is always free to list their home at whatever price they choose, but a real estate professional can help a seller understand what a reasonable expectation can be.

 

Current market conditions

 

 

The real estate market is ever-changing, and it varies from community to community.  Because an agent’s livelihood is based upon a thorough understanding of the market, they can prove to be extremely helpful in determining the state of the market for your home’s price range, availability, and demand.

 

Recommendations

 

 

Because seasoned real estate agents have years of experience in the field, they are familiar with local professionals related to the selling of real estate, including inspectors, handymen, painters, appraisers, and more.  They can recommend a few of their favorites, should you find yourself in need of a service.

 

Advertising

 

 

Agents not only have access to the many websites that buyers use to find homes; they also have access to the Multiple Listing Service in your area, which allows every local agent to find your home quickly and easily. 

 

Staging

 

 

Staging is only one of the many aspects of a listing that help a home sell, but with the help of an experienced agent, you can make sure that your home is easily seen by potential buyers as “their home.”

 

Scheduling

 

 

Scheduling showings is another way that a seller’s life is made easier by a real estate agent.  Showings, inspections, appraisals, and more will need to be scheduled during the time your home is on the market. An agent works as the middle man between all these people and the seller, often making it as easy as the click of a button to confirm or decline an appointment. 

 

Answering Questions After Closing

 

 

An agent does not cease being a resource for sellers after closing day.  Agents work hard and generate much of their future business through referrals.  Because their business relies so much on recommendations from past clients, a good agent will always be available to answer any questions you may have, no matter how long it is after they were actively representing you.

 

 

Overall, there are a LOT of confusing aspects of a home sale, and knowing that you have an experienced ally in your corner through it all can make a HUGE difference to not only your mindset as the deal moves forward; it can also help you be sure that you are getting the best deal possible.



How to Hire the Best Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

by The Linda Frierdich Group - Century 21 Advantage


How to Hire the Best Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home


Selling a home is an overwhelming task, and one thing any seller shouldn't worry about is whether or not their agent is qualified to sell their home.




Use the Internet!


Narrow the list of potential agents in your area by simply doing a bit of online research into their online marketing.  In today's digital world, in which most people are using their phones to look at homes, it's of the utmost importance that the agent you hire focuses on quality photography and social media marketing.  You will be able to significantly narrow your list of potential agents just by dismissing all of them who don't utilize professional photography and social media marketing, making your search for an agent that much easier.


Ask to See Their Credentials


There are plenty of designations and credentials beyond the required education that a person must acquire to become a real estate agent.  An agent who has these credentials, such as Realtor® (member of The National Association of Realtors®) or ABR (Accredited Buyer's Representative), has displayed a genuine committment to their industry and education.  You should strive to hire an agent who has at least a few of these designations, because their having acquired those titles indicates a level of commitment and professionalism within their industry.


Work with a Full-Time Agent


When individuals are first breaking into the real estate industry, they often can only work part-time as an agent to still have a steady source of income as they establish themselves in their new career.  Hiring a full-time agent usually means that you are working with a committed and experienced agent who has only one career to focus on.  This allows them to dedicate more of their time to their career, meaning that they are dedicated to achieving success (which includes selling your home)!


Even if you have found who you consider to be the perfect agent, it's always encouraged that you meet with a few of the other front-runners, because you never know how you will click with someone.  Even if you meet the best agent in the area, you might end up not liking his or her personality.  In case that happens, make appointments with a few agents and see who you like the most, and weigh that with the different professional practices they use to maximize your listing's chances of selling quickly and for the most money.


2017 St. Louis Housing Forecast

by The Linda Frierdich Group - Century 21 Advantage

 

2017 St. Louis Real Estate Forecast

 

2016 was a great year for real estate, and, as we look ahead to 2017, there are general predictions that can be made, both nationally and locally.  While national trends always have an effect on local markets, that doesn’t mean that what happens nationally will apply to anyone’s local market across the board.  However, to better understand and expect what’s to come in your local market, it’s important to keep in mind what’s happening nationally.

 

 

Realtor.com® has presented a comprehensive list of expectations for the 2017 national housing market.  In this forecast, they have indicated some important trends.  Over the last few years, the real estate market has been growing rapidly.  This trend is expected to slow in 2017, but, although that seems alarming to the state of the housing market, it actually indicates that the market is finally stabilizing.  The national real estate market is expected to slow in 2017, but it is also expected to maintain moderate growth.  Nationally, home prices are expected to increase 3.9%, and existing home sales are expected to increase 1.9%.  These are both great announcements for sellers, because it translates to the fact that sellers will be, generally, getting more money for their homes in the coming year.  For buyers, there may be indications that the time to Buy in the US is earlier in the year, because interest rates are expected to reach 4.5% this year.  Realtor.com® is also forecasting that home ownership rates will stabilize at 63.5% after bottoming out at 63.9% in 2016.  They are also forecasting that new home sales are expected to grow 10%

 

There are certain trends that are driving the 2017 market predictions.  For instance, there will be a surge in buyers, leading to a seller’s market, due to the fact that many people will be looking to Buy homes this year.  There are two major demographics expecting to drive the market, Millennials and Baby Boomers.  Millennials have reached an age where they are thinking about marriage and children, leading them to desire home ownership over rental.  Baby Boomers, on the other hand, are thinking about downsizing, now that they are looking toward retirement and their kids have grown and left their homes.  These two huge groups will comprise the majority of the market this year.  Also predicted by Realtor.com® is that there are expected to be fewer homes on the market, leading to fast-moving markets.

The above information, predictions, and statistics all provided by Realtor.com® (http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/top-real-estate-trends-2017/)

 

Looking forward to 2017 on a local level is best done by looking back to the numbers for the end of 2016 by St. Louis REALTORS®.  Anyone close to the housing market can tell you that November is historically a slower month in home sales, but that was far from the truth for November 2016, when home sales jumped an incredible 31%.  Comparatively, 1,438 homes sold in November 2016, while in 2015, 1,094 homes sold.  Even with strong sales, home prices remained affordable at $164,500, despite a slight increase from the previous November, when the median sales price was $150,000.  The amount of time that homes were on the market also decreased from 172 to 117 in November 2016 from November 2015.

 

According to John Gormley, St. Louis REALTORS® CEO, there are two trends that drove this jump in sales for November 2016.  St. Louis is maintaining a level of affordable housing, and buyers are also concerned about rising interest rates, driving them to take the plunge and enter the market.  “Those two drivers served as the underpinnings of our whopping double-digit home sales growth in November.  We’ve discussed the remarkable housing affordability in St. Louis throughout 2016.  Obviously, buyers have been listening and paying attention to the Federal Reserve’s public comments about raising interest rates,” says Gormley. (http://www.stlrealtors.com/wp-content/uploads/November2016HousingReportpressrelease.pdf).  As indicated by the national predictions, it is likely that these circumstances will continue driving trends for 2017, as well.

 

As for the 2017 outlook, it looks strong, but if there’s anything that November 2017 taught us, it’s that sometimes the best predictions can be wrong.  “It’s true no one knows exactly what interest rates will do in the coming year, but there’s a good bet they won’t be going down.  So, if you’ve been waiting to Buy a home, it’s time to jump off the fence as mortgage rates are expected to increase at least two or three times next year,” Gormley continues.  “What that means for buyers in St. Louis is that it’s time to engage a St. Louis REALTOR® to find your home and lock in the best rate now, so you can Buy the home you want at a price you can afford.” (http://www.stlrealtors.com/wp-content/uploads/November2016HousingReportpressrelease.pdf).

The above information, predictions, and statistics all provided by St. Louis REALTORS® (http://www.stlrealtors.com/wp-content/uploads/November2016HousingReportpressrelease.pdf)

 

 

Southern Illinois' 2017 Housing Forecast

by The Linda Frierdich Group - Century 21 Advantage

 

Southern Illinois Housing Market Forecasts for 2017

 

2016 was a good year for real estate, and the trends tracked in that year are giving housing market and financial forecasters a lot of good information regarding the trends that will come with this new year.

 

By looking at the trends that were happening in 2016, we can get a better idea of what will happen in 2017.

 

 

Buyers in Illinois were extremely motivated in November, and because of that, sellers benefitted.  To start out 2017, the trend seems to be indicating an increase in Illinois home sales.  Home sales in Illinois during November 2016 gained momentum, as indicated by double-digit increases in annual home sales.  Statewide home sales are up 14.8% in November 2016 in comparison to November 2015.  Also rising are the gains in median home prices, meaning that there aren’t just more homes selling as of lately, but that the price at which those homes are selling is increasing, as well.  Statewide, median home sale prices are up 7.9% from November 2015 to November 2016.

 

Also trending in an exciting way is the time that a home spends on the market.  In November of 2015,  the average amount of time that a home spent on the market before selling was 68 days in Illinois.  In November of 2016, however, homes only spent an average of 62 days on the market before selling. 

 

From 2015 to 2016, available housing decreased 14.7% in Southern Illinois.  While at a glance, this number may seem like a bad thing for the housing industry, all that it means is that the market is great for sellers.  There are a number of reasons for this, from the demand increasing due to an increased amount of Millennials purchasing homes, an increased number of Baby Boomers buying smaller homes, the largest wage increase going to people ages 35-34, and an infinite number of other reasons.  This trend, in particular, is a driving force of the other trends happening in the market.  Where there is a discrepancy in supply and demand, there is always a group benefitting from that difference. 

The above information, predictions, and statistics all provided by Illinois Realtor® (http://www.illinoisrealtor.org/node/4142) and Realtor.com® (http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/top-real-estate-trends-2017/)

 

On an extremely local level, it’s worth noting that St. Clair and Randolph counties are reporting record numbers of year-to-date home sales in November.  In fact, these two counties have seen more homes sold in November 2016 than the total of the previous five Novembers

 

As far as the amount of time that a home is on the market before it sells, St. Clair County saw a 26% decrease during November 2016 from November 2015.  As for Monroe County, there was an incredible 53.8% decrease in the days on market!

The above information, predictions, and statistics all provided by the Realtor® Association of Southwestern Illinois (http://www.618realtor.com/local-news-and-resources/metro-east-housing-stats/)

 

Although this information may seem frightening for those looking to Buy a home this year, this information should be taken with consideration.  The market may be benefitting the sellers a bit more than the buyers, but that doesn’t mean that buyers are seeing negative consequences of the market.  It simply means that currently, there’s a seller’s market in local real estate.  As the President of the REALTOR® Association of Southwestern Illinois, Mike Gross puts it, “Now is a great time to take advantage of the unique opportunities of the Metro-East Housing Market… Interest rates are anticipated to inch higher, median home prices are stable, and homes are selling at a faster pace than years past, and sellers are seeing the benefits.  At the same time, buyers are still able to purchase homes at affordable and stable prices.  The Metro-East offers so many great opportunities to build a future.” (Realtor® Association of Southwestern Illinois, “Metro East Housing Stats” http://www.618realtor.com/local-news-and-resources/metro-east-housing-stats/)

 

According to Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economic Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois, the median price of homes sold in Illinois is expected to increase any level from 2.1 to 6.9 percent this year.  The National Association of Realtors® expects home sales in the US to grow modestly in 2017, which would be indicative of the market stabilizing, a great sign for the housing industry.  Although local market trends are so much more important than national ones in regards to what home buyers or sellers should be worried about, there is often a slight correlation, if not with all trends, then with some.  From the way sales nationally and locally went in the real estate industry for 2016, 2017 seems like it’s on the right track.

The above information, predictions, and statistics all provided by the Realtor® Association of Southwestern Illinois (http://www.618realtor.com/local-news-and-resources/metro-east-housing-stats/)

 

2017 really does seem like the right time to Buy or sell in Southern Illinois!

Contact The Linda Frierdich Group of Century 21 Advantage today to discuss your real estate needs!

618.719.3134 IL | 314.649.0221 MO

YOURHOMERESOURCE.COM

goteamlinda@gmail.com

17 Tips to Make Moving Day a Breeze

by The Linda Frierdich Group - Century 21 Advantage

 

17 of Tips to Make Moving Day a Breeze

 

No one, I repeat, no one, enjoys moving.  Sure, there are some great things that come along with a move.  The excitement of getting a new home, new neighbors, and new opportunities can be amazing to experience.  The prospect of packing up and subsequently unpacking your entire life, however, is a daunting task.  There are some things that you can do to make the whole process easier on yourself, and we have compiled a list of our best ideas.

 

 

 


Make a List


Make a list of everything that needs to get done in the weeks ahead of the move.  Make this checklist 2 months before the move, so that you feel more confident and organized as moving day approaches.  It’s easy to think that you will be able to keep all the tasks straight in your mind, but the fact of the matter is that you will forget some of the things you need to do.  Furthermore, making the list often helps you remember things that you forgot to put on the list as moving day approaches.

 

 


Packing Made Easier

 

This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but failure to do this one tip can cause a lot more frustration, time lost, and feelings that you are going into a move unorganized.  Keep all your packing supplies in a laundry basket, so that you can easily carry it from room to room when the desire to pack strikes you.  This basket should contain:  zippered plastic baggies, sharpies, labels, colored markers (if you are color coordinating your boxes), plastic shopping bags and newspapers for cushioning, boxes of a variety of sizes, and any other supplies you have found to be helpful in packing.

 

 

 

Pack and Label the Essentials

 

It can be tough to pack up your entire home and feel like you are doing so in any manner that is remotely organized or planned.  Most often, homeowners get to their new house and become overwhelmed with a feeling that can be summed up with the phrase, “Where do I begin?”  (The same can often be said for those homeowners who are preparing for a move).  To see a list that we have compiled of all the things you should be thinking about having easily accessible on your first day in the new house, click here.

 


 

Mark Boxes Well

 

Obviously, you should be writing the contents on the outside of every box you seal.  You should also be labeling boxes with what room the contents will belong in, so that you can get a handle on some organization even when you are carrying boxes into your new home and stacking them where there’s space.  Also consider these possible labels:  Fragile, First-Night, Do Not Load, and Load Last.  These specific labels help minimize the risk of things getting broken, misplaced, or crammed in the back of the truck when you really need the box’s contents right when you get to the new house.

 

 

Moving Electronics

 

Take a picture of the back of your electronics before you begin unplugging all those cords.  This will make setting it back up so much easier when you get to your new place!

 

Keep cords and hardware for electronics all together.  For cords and cables, toilet paper tubes standing up in a shoebox often work great to keep your cords organized and untangled.  The box then simply gets labeled with the name of the electronic equipment it belongs to.  For other kinds of hardware, consider using plastic baggies with zippers.  They help keep everything together, and can be clearly labeled so they don’t get confused with other objects.

 

 


Heavy Items

 

For your heavy items, such as books, consider using your rolling luggage to move these items.  For one thing, using the bags you already have can save work, space, and money, since they have to be moved anyways.  Utilize their space and ability to be transferred by rolling rather than carrying.  Your back will thank you for this trick.

 

 

General Tips for Moving that we have found to be SUPER helpful…

 

Be sure that you drain any lawn or home equipment that holds oil or gas before you attempt to move those pieces.

Thaw your refrigerator two days before the move if you are taking it with you when you go. 

 

Use Styrofoam plates in between your nice set of plates to keep them from breaking

 

Brown paper bags can work just as well as newspaper for glassware and other fragile items

 

Wine boxes work extremely well for moving glassware in a safe and organized way

 

Connect necklaces and bracelets through toilet paper or paper towel rolls to keep them from tangling during the move.

 

Use labeled zippered plastic baggies for any hardware that has to come out of furniture or other objects for the items to make it through the move.   This will keep them from getting lost or mixed up with other objects’ hardware.

 

Cover toiletries in plastic wrap and then screw their lids on.  Do this regardless of how tightly they seem like they are on.  It hardly takes any time, and the hassle it could save from an accident is totally worth the extra time and effort.

 

Use a slow cooker to store spices in to keep them safe and to utilize the space.  Double win!

 

Cover drawers in plastic wrap (tightly) so that you don’t have to unload and pack up every drawers contents.  You just have to remove the plastic wrap and put the drawers back in the furniture in their new location!

 

Keep any hanging clothes on their hangers, just fold them into a trash bag, cinch it at the hanger tops, and carry them by the hangers.  This will make unpacking the bedroom and closets so much easier.

 

This list may not contain every great moving hack, but these are the ones we found most effective... And we hope you will, too!

The Sellers' Guide to Hosting an Open House

by The Linda Frierdich Group - Century 21 Advantage

 

Open House: The Sellers’ Guide

 

Open houses increase both foot traffic inside a home and online activity on that home (assuming your real estate agent is marketing properly and effectively).  There are many who would argue that open houses are less than effective for selling a home, but they, at the very least, spread the word that your home is for sale.  There are a few things you can do to make sure that, after your open house, attendees are talking about it.

 

 

 

 

Curb Appeal: Impress Immediately



You want to be sure that the first impression that those coming to your Open House have is a solid and positive one.  The best way to do that is to make sure that your home has great curb appeal.  “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression” is a cliché that certainly rings true here.  Clean siding, tidy and trim lawn and landscaping, no clutter, simple decorations, upkeep, and some accents of chic style and color can do a world of good.  In the warmer months, focus on healthy, neat, and bright landscaping to draw eyes to your home; during the colder months, ensure that your home’s exterior is lit extremely well, keep your pathways clear, and clean the outside of your home and landscaping before the treacherous weather of winter hits.  To see a more definitive list of ways to boost your home’s curb appeal, click here.

 

 

Lock Your Valuables

 

We’d all like to expect the best of people, but that doesn’t mean that bad things don’t happen.  Be sure that any valuables you have are safely locked away before your open house.  Any money, important documents, banking information, jewelry, guns, and anything else dangerous or of value should be in a secure location before you vacate the home for an open house.  This is the most important thing you should do for a successful open house, because finding an interested Buyer won’t seem quite as important if some of your valuables have come up missing since that day.

 

 

Light it Right

 

 

This is something that sellers should be doing every time there is a showing at their home, as well as when their marketing photographs are taken.  Turn on all the lights in the house.  Well-lit homes appear bigger and leave a more positive, lasting impression on visitors.  No one enjoys picturing themselves living in a dark or poorly-lit home.  This is important to be done at all times of the year, but becomes especially true in the colder months of the year when the days are shorter and there is less natural light flowing into the home than during the summer months.  Be sure that the exterior of your home is well-lit as well, as that will impact the first impression visitors get from your home.

 

Installing brighter lightbulbs can go quite a long way in how well your home is lit.  This is a fairly cheap project to take on prior to an open house, and it could prove to be incredibly effective in how people feel walking through your home.

 

Clean all windows and change dark window treatments, because you should be trying to let in every bit of natural light that you possibly can.  Sheers are fine, because they filter out very little of the natural light, but any heavier curtains should be taken down and replaced with sheers.  If you can’t replace them with sheers, the best thing to do is take them down all together, rather than let them block the light from entering your home.

  


De-Clutter

 


 

If you are planning on living in your home at the same time that your home will be listed for sale, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider consolidating some of your belongings, and possibly even renting a storage unit.  Too much furniture or clutter in a home doesn’t just make your rooms appear smaller, it also distracts the potential buyers, and they will end up focusing more on the stuff than the home itself.  That is something that should be avoided at all costs.  Here are some specific things you can do to help simplify your home before listing it or hosting an open house:

 

Take everything off your refrigerator:  Take all pictures and magnets off of your refrigerator and give the outside (and inside- some buyers DO look!) a good cleaning!

 

Simplify your decorations:  Opt for decorating that is simple and chic, despite whether that fits into your style or not.  Too many decorations are distracting to potential buyers, but a simplified decorating style can help suggest the decorating potential of the home to buyers who may lack the vision to see the home has to offer.

 

Remove any unnecessary furniture from your home:  Consider putting your excess furniture in a storage unit so that your rooms appear larger.

 

Tuck away garbage cans:  Garbage containers can clutter a room since they often sit in the middle of a room.  If their presence in the room during the open house is unnecessary, consider tucking them away under a cabinet or in a pantry.

 

Clean and organize all closets:  Closet space is incredibly important to many buyers, and you can help yours look more spacious by cleaning them out and organizing them.  Consider packing away unnecessary clothes, purchasing closet organizers, and purging closet contents prior to your open house.  Space utilization can make a small space a lot more appealing to buyers.

 

Consider storing area rugs:  While area rugs can be so beautiful, they can actually make a room look smaller.  Furthermore, if they are laid over wood flooring, you’d be much better off letting the hardwood show instead.  This is an important talking point for almost all buyers, so showing off your hardwood can be a really great idea!

 

 

Air It Out

 


 

This may seem like a silly thing to suggest, especially during the winter months, but it is, nevertheless, an effective suggestion.  Homeowners tend to get used to the smells in their homes, but visitors can immediately smell them.  Even if you don’t own pets, you should open the windows in your home for at least thirty minutes the morning of your Open House, but make sure that you leave enough time for your home to warm back up.  And, while on the topic of the temperature in your home, there is an ideal temperature for showings and open houses.  During the winter, 70-72 are the proper temperatures, and during the summer, 70 is appropriate.

 

 

Remove Personal Items from Your Home

 


 

Before your open house, remove the pictures and portraits of your family and friends, and other personal items that may be distracting or speak more to your personality than others.  For instance, sports teams decorations, family portraits, and anything that could be considered offensive or inappropriate to others.  This also goes along with the idea of simplifying your decorations, and as a suggested replacement for some of those decorations that you take down, consider installing mirrors instead.  Mirrors give the illusion of expansion, making your room feel bigger than it is, and they also reflect light, making your rooms brighter.

 


Kitchen and Bathrooms Should Shine!

 

 

The two rooms that, above all others, should be sparkling clean and fresh are the kitchen and bathrooms.  Other rooms in your home get messy and dusty, but the kitchen and bathrooms get dirty.  They need the most attention from you, for two main reasons.  For one, a Buyer wants to feel like they are buying a home with a kitchen or bathroom that has never been used.  There should be no trace of past residents left over in ether room, because that means that there is germy evidence of your stay in that home.  For another, these rooms get more dirty than other rooms in the house, and that is in the back of every buyer’s mind who comes to your open house.  Counter that notion with a sparkling clean space that will make them feel like, if they Buy your home, they will be coming into a seemingly brand new place.  Be sure that all countertops are clear in the kitchen and the bathrooms.  Put everything in a drawer, cabinet, or tuck them away in a storage basket out of sight.  Remember to close the toilet lids before your open house, as well!

 

 

Set the Table

 


 

For the dining area in your home, consider setting the table with simple and chic place settings.  This helps buyers see themselves entertaining or even sitting down to dinner by themselves.  A fork and knife, linen napkin, and even one dinner plate per place would suffice.  Top off your staged dining room with a bundle of fresh flowers in a vase on the table for a really beautiful setting.

 

 

Deep Clean

 

 

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it still needs to be mentioned: Clean your home very well before your open house.  Dust, sweep, mop, vacuum, de-clutter, wash windows and mirrors, and attend to anything that needs attention.  Steam cleaning your carpets is never a bad idea, but it is especially suggested if you have kids or pets.

 

If you find stains or marks on any of your walls as you are cleaning, a great tool to help remedy them is the Magic Eraser.  A little bit of water and a magic eraser can work wonders on stained walls!  Don’t underestimate the effect small messes, like wall stains, can have on the impression buyers get from your home.

 

 

Make Yourself Scarce

 


 

Having the homeowners present at an open house (or any showing, for that matter) can make buyers feel awkward and pressured.  It’s important that you vacate your home during an open house, so that buyers can walk through without feeling like there is something to be expected of them, allowing them to get a clear and precise impression of your home.

 

 

Remove Pet Supplies

 

 

Just as the owners should vacate the home for the open house, so should their pets.  Not everyone likes pets, and no matter how often you wash your pets, there is still a strong chance that someone who is not used to the smell of pets in their home will be able to smell pet odor.  This is even more likely if your pets are still in the home!  Be sure that you tuck away any pet toys, beds, and accessories before your open house as well.

 

 

Finish Any Projects You’ve Begun

 


 

If you have started any projects around your house and left them unfinished, be sure that they are finished before your open house.  Seeing half-finished work at an open house is a red flag to some buyers that your home will have repairs that were done with shoddy workmanship.  This will also be a talking point of your home after they leave, and wouldn’t you rather them be talking about some of the good things about your home?

 

 

Do Your Share of Marketing

 


 

Your real estate agent, if you’ve picked a good one, will be advertising your open house on social media before the event takes place.  If you aren’t already doing so, follow their page, so that you may see the posts they make pertaining to your listing.  When you come across their open house advertisement for your home, share it to your own page, and don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family to share it, as well.  This can get the advertisement out to hundreds or thousands more people, increasing the probability that you will have a good turn-out for your open house.  You never know, one of those family members or friends may just know someone who is looking for a house, and it could be a match!

 


There are many things to consider before hosting an open house in your home.  The most important thing to consider is what you would want to see if you were looking for a home.  If you keep that in mind, everything should fall into place.  If you’d like to see further references for selling or showing your home, check out The Linda Frierdich Group’s Pinterest page, Go Team Linda, and be sure to follow the board “Help for Sellers.”

 

Tips for Showing Your Home During the Holidays

by The Linda Frierdich Group - Century 21 Advantage

 

Tips for Showing Your Home During the Holidays

 

This time of year is often regarded as a terrible time to sell your home, because the housing market slows during the holidays.   However, this is not necessarily true.  There are a number of things you can do to help your home stand out during the rest, giving you an advantage despite the less saturated market.  In fact, if you play your cards right, there is even some evidence that sellers actually get better results during the Winter months 


There may be less buyers in the winter months, but that means that there are also less buyers.  You can make this work in your favor.  Hire an experienced real estate agent, and price your home right.  Remember, also, that many of the buyers looking for homes in the winter are doing so because they have a specific reason for moving.  Whether it be divorce, job transfer, or any number of reasons, buyers are motivated.  If you are a motivated seller, this can work in your favor in a major way.  Here are some tips to give you an idea of what works (and what doesn’t) for staging your home for sale during the holidays.

 

 

Decorating

 

First things first, decorating your home for the holidays.  There are two schools of thought on whether or not sellers should decorate their home for the holidays when they will be opening the home for showings.  On one hand, it would be awful to overwhelm a Buyer with personal decorations, because for many buyers, it can be difficult to picture themselves in a home that is so personal to the sellers.  Furthermore, many times, holiday decorations can get excessive and make the home look cluttered, which in turn makes the home look smaller and certainly doesn’t leave a good feeling in the buyers’ minds after a showing.  It’s also important to note that not everyone celebrates the same holidays as you do, and some people don’t celebrate the holidays at all.  Decorating your home heavily for the holiday you celebrate might alienate your home from some potential buyers who follow a different belief system than you.


However, there are some really great things that can happen if you decorate your home properly.  A home decorated for the holidays feels warmer, cozier, and more inviting.  Since light is such an important factor in your home’s appeal to potential buyers, including indoor lights into your holiday decorating can be a great way to decorate for the holidays, while helping to illuminate your rooms fully.  Simplicity is key, so when you are digging out the decorations, even if you usually go all-out for the holidays in your home, it’d be a good choice to tone it down this year and think, “simple and chic.”  Steer clear of the kitsch, and perhaps consider leaving many items packed away, at least for this year. 

 

Holiday Lights

 

Just like interior decorations, there are two schools of thought on putting up holiday decorations.  Some people will advise you to steer clear of decorating all together, and the other group will tell you that decorating your home can actually help potential buyers picture themselves in your home.  Keeping it simple is definitely the way to go, should you decide to decorate your home for the holidays.  Don’t go overboard with outside decorations, and sticking to the classics can be a great philosophy.  Steer clear of large lawn decorations, and keep it chic and simple with the lights strung on your home.  Given that it will often be dark when potential buyers are coming to your home, being one of the only homes on your street without lights can make your home look uninviting and cold.  The lights will help illuminate the outside of your home so that those coming to your home for a showing can easily find their way. 

 

The Usual Rules Apply

 

Just like in any other season, the tips for holiday selling also include the ones typically given for home staging.  De-clutter, de-personalize, deep clean, and illuminate well.  Be sure that the interior of your home looks tidy, bright, and maximize the utilization of your space as best you can. 

For more information on general staging tips, click here.

 

Light, Light, Light

 

Winter is often a tough time for many people because of the lack of sunshine and shorter days.  Any real estate agent who knows their stuff will tell you that lighting your home properly goes SUCH a long way on making your home appealing to buyers.  Some homes are designed to let in more natural light than others, and some have better lighting on the interior than others.  Knowing how to play up the light that your home does have is key.  In the winter, days are shorter, and because of that, there will be no natural light flowing into your home during the hours that most showings are scheduled.  Before showings, be sure that you turn on all the lights in your home. 

 

Keep the Outside Clean


Be sure that your home looks clean going into the colder months, because the winter weather can cause damage and dirt to build up on and around your home.  Despite the dripping, sloppy snow, make sure that your home is as clean as can be, so that your home looks neat and tidy despite the weather happening around it.  Keep your porches, walkways, and driveway clear of ice and snow, always.   You never want to turn away a showing, and you certainly don’t want to be liable for anyone getting hurt on your property.  Not to mention, if it is hard to get into, your home will seem less inviting, right off the bat.  


If your home is being listed during the holidays, meaning that your interior photos will be done during the holidays for the advertising of your listing, it is recommended that you either get the photos done before you begin decorating or that you hold off on decorating until after your photos are taken.  The holidays will soon be over, but if your home is still on the market, the images people will be seeing will be dated to the holidays and no longer be appealing in the same way they would be during the holidays.  


All in all, selling a home during the holidays can prove to be a tricky endeavor, but it can also pay off for the sellers, if they utilize the knowledge and tools that are available.  

Questions Every Seller Should Ask Potential Real Estate Agents

by The Linda Frierdich Real Estate Group

Questions Every Seller Should Ask

Potential Real Estate Agents

 

So you've decided to list your home, and you're ready to begin the process.  You know that the first step is to hire a GREAT real estate agent, but you want to make sure that you make this listing count, because this is not only the biggest investment of your life, but you also understand the importance of choosing the right real estate agent to help you along with this process.  From experience to marketing strategies, there are so many things to consider when you are looking to hire someone to help you with this endeavor.  It is so important that you give yourself options during this time.  Be sure that you do some research into the real estate agents in your area, and also know that it's a great advantage to interview more than one agent.  By interviewing a few agents, you can get a good idea of what is working in your market, as well as what isn't working.  The trouble is, it can be difficult to know what to ask, because there are certain things that you wouldn't know about unless you were very educated on the housing market.  Here is a list of questions that you should be asking every agent you meet with, so that you may better understand who would work best for your needs.

 

 


 

  • How long have you worked in Real Estate?
    • This question is general but so important.  A fresh face has a lot of advantages in most cases, but in the real estate market, you're much better off to be working with someone who has been in the industry for a long time.  Those "seasoned" agents have seen the market fluctuate over the years, and they have learned to be successful during all kinds of housing market circumstances.  Furthermore, their experience with all aspects of the buying and selling processes can be such a huge advantage for you, the seller.  They will be able to recommend the best of the best of any service providers you may need, from inspectors to electricians to lendors to movers.  





  • Do you have any advanced real estate designations or education?
    • This particular question is essential in your interview process.  In the ever-changing real estate marketplace, you want to be sure that you choose someone to represent you who works dilligently to keep up with the trends and technologies.  As quickly as technology changes and develops, the best ways to market in real estate change along with it.  Talk with the agents with whom you interview to make sure that they are committed to keeping up with their trade to be more effective.  Ask them how often they attend conventions, and ask them how they plan on continuing to keep up with technology and the changing marketing landscape.  It's hard to know what any of the acronyms they will mention mean, or which ones to look out for, so to help you get an idea, you can find a list of common real estate designations and their definitions here.




  • How much real estate have you sold in your career?
    • This question is in the same realm as, "How long have you worked in real estate," except that the answer to this question gives more insight into effectiveness.  If your agent has been working for many years in real estate, but he or she hasn't sold nearly as much as another agent who has been in the business for a comparable amount of time, you may reconsider choosing the agent.  An agent can work very hard, but if they are not producing the results they should be or could be, they probably aren't the person you want to hire.




  • Where do you rank in market share statistics?
    • This question is important, because these answers will give you more insight into what agent is the best in your area.  By asking to see their market share rankings, you are making sure that you are presented with concrete evidence of their ability to deliver great results.  Talk to them about other realtors who compete with them, and ask what they think is responsible for their ranking as compared to the rankings of others.  Remember, it may seem like an agent has the upper hand in an interview process, because they come in with plenty of information and experience, but you are interviewing them.  If they're good at what they do, they'll be able to answer all your questions with ease, and this question is such an important one.




  • How long have you worked in the area?
    • Hiring an agent that has experience in the area where you are selling is so very important.  Real estate markets can vary substantially from town to town, county to county, state to state.  Not to mention, the demographics of certain areas react differently to different homes and marketing strategies.  You want to make sure that you are hiring an agent who knows your area well, as well as the people who live there or would be interested in buying a home in the area. 




  • How many referrals do you receive?
    • Any real estate agent who really does a good job will be more than happy to show you an extensive list of referrals from past clients.  Reading at least a dozen of these is important, because it will give you a great insight into what the agent focuses on, what their strengths are, and how well they communicate and work with their clients.




  • Do you work weekends?
    • So much of the activity that happens regarding a listed home happens during the weekend.  Those who can't make it to view homes during the week schedule their showings for the weekend.  Also, any Open Houses that take place at your home will be occuring during a weekend.  Ask any potential agents you interview how often they work weekends, because this can often give you insight into how committed they are to the success of their listings being sold.  If the agent you are interviewing works with a team, it's a good idea to ask about the members of their team and how often they work weekends, as well.



  • Can you give me an outline for how you will represent me?
    • To move forward with hiring an agent, you want to feel comfortable with them and confident in them.  A big part of how well they do their job is how well they explain the process to you, because the process of selling a home can be complex and extensive.  You are hiring them to take a lot of that stress and pressure off of you, so it's a very good idea to see how they explain the process to you, as well as whether or not they give you a physical outline of what to expect.  This step shows a level of professionalism that is essential to a successful and smooth real estate transaction.



  • Do you have a marketing program?
    • A marketing program that is intensive and comprehensive is essential in today's real estate market.  You should be listening for an answer that involves your listing being featured on many listing sites, especially the Multiple Listing Service. You also want to be sure that your listing will get plenty of attention on a variety of social media platforms, because the public is visiting these sites more and more to get details and the latest news on listings.  The importance of online listing management and social media promotion is growing, and it is showing no signs of slowing down.  You want to be sure that you are hiring an agent that takes that importance seriously and is committed to staying active, dilligent, and relevant in the online marketplace.  

Overall, the choice of a real estate agent is ultimately up to the confidence you have in them and how well you connected with them as a person.  However, there are many things you can do to make the interviewing experience better, starting with getting great responses out of them when you ask these questions.  A great agent will be able to offer you everything you have asked for, as well as more.  

6 Steps to a Sale-Ready Home

by The Linda Frierdich Real Estate Group

 

6 EASY Steps to Make Your Home Ready for Sale


It's no secret that the majority of activity on a listed home happens right when the listing goes live.  There are many things that can take that flurry of activity and turn it into a quick home sale, from the right price to the photos to the staging of the home.  It's so important that the potential buyers looking at your home, whether through pictures or through a showing, see a home that they can picture as their own.  Here are six easy steps you can take to ensure that those initial interested parties aren't deterred by issues that could have been resolved before your home was listed.

 

 1.  De-Personalize

 

  • Remove Photos and Personal Items
    • Seeing personal items, such as photos, monogrammed decorations, etc. make a huge difference in how easily a potential Buyer pictures your home as their home.
  • Put Away Every-Day Essentials
    • Your toothbrush, makeup, and hair accessories cause distraction from the home and put a block between your personal home and the viewers' potential home.
  • Remove or Replace Items You Are Taking with You
    • For one thing, those items you are planning on taking with you probably have a distinct look that directly correlates with your style, but may not correlate with the style of the potential buyers.  It'd be terrible for a Buyer to fall in love with an intricate light fixture you have, only to find it gone when they go to close on the home.  The best route to take is to just avoid this issue all together and take any items you are planning on taking with you out of the home before you list it.
2.  Get Rid of Clutter

  • Donate What You Don't Need
    • Sift through those cluttered areas of your home and remove any items that you don't need.  Moving can be a great motivation to purge your home of things that you have been hanging on to for far too long.  After all, no one wants to move more items than they have to.
  • Clear Surfaces
    • Clear off nightstands, end tables, and kitchen counters to ensure that your home doesn't seem cluttered.  Some nice options for where to go with those items that usually sit out include organizational baskets with lids and mason jars for those kitchen utensils that you usually leave out.
  • Rent a Storage Unit
    • There are bound to be items in your home that you don't need access to until after the move, but that may lead to clutter or take up a lot of space in your home.  It might be a good idea to rent a storage unit and store those items while your home is on the market.  It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it could make the difference in how quickly your home sells.

4.  Organize

  • "Face" Items
    • Have you ever noticed how all the products in the supermarket have the label facing forward?  This doesn't happen by chance; the store pays its employees to ensure that all items look neat and easily recognizable on their shelves.  Applying the same kind of logic to your cabinets at home will have a similar effect.  Potential buyers will want to open up the cabinets in your home to get a good look at the state of teh interior as well as the space they offer.  The more organized your items are, the better and more spacious the cabinets will look.
  • Organize Everything
    • Rearrange your spice rack and alphabetize your movie and music collections.  If you ahve an area of your home that lacks good organization, consider investing in some organizational containers.  An organized home leaves a more positive effect on visitors than a cluttered home, and you want potential buyers to leave your home feeling that they had a positive experience.
  • Maximize Your Closet Space
    • The more organized your closets are, the bigger they look.  Clothes packed in too tight, shoes that are overflowing their rack, and items crammed onto shelves are all issues that lead to your closets looking smaller than they actually are.  Closet space is a great talking point of a home, and you want to make sure that yours looks the best it can.
4. Repair & Re-Think

  • Re-think paint choices
    • The loud color choices you made in your home may have worked for you, but they also may not work for the potential Buyer.  Re-paint those rooms with a nice neutral color.  A neutral color also seems a lot less personal than a loud color, and your goal is to make your home de-personalized to leave room for personalization in the minds of your potential buyers.
  • Fix Any Problems You Can
    • Whether it be a leaky faucet, a clogged drain, or some nail holes in the walls, repair them!  There are plenty of homes on the market that are completely repaired and ready to sell.  Don't assume that a Buyer will see the repairs in your home and accept them just because they are easy enough to do.  If a buyer has a choice between your home, that is in need of repairs, and another home, that is not; chances are, they will choose the other home.
5.  Clean

  • Dust Everything
    • Dust everything you see that needs dusted.  Don't forget to look at light fixtures, window sills, woodwork, and door frames, in addition to the furniture you have in your home.  No one likes the idea of moving into a home and living in other people's filth.  The more deeply you clean, the better your house looks.
  • Focus on Floors
    • Wax wooden floors, steam clean all of your carpets, and vacuum daily.  This step is especially important for any pet owners looking to sell their homes.  Dogs and cats leave floors a mess from dandruff and shed fur.  Animals in a home can be a deterrent for certain home buyers, so it is important that you minimize the effect pet ownership has on a home.  Remove the animal smell through washing, steaming, and vacuuming.
  • Consider Hiring a Professional
    • Hiring a professional cleaning service may be the right choice for getting your home listing-ready in a hurry.  A professional knows the areas that need to be focused on, and they can help you get your home in a state where all you need to do is keep up on it as your home is shown and on the market.
6.  Boost Your Curb Appeal

 

  • Pressure Wash
    • Pressure washing your home's exterior can be a great way to make the outside of your home look more fresh and tidy.  The first impression a potential Buyer will get of your home will be from the curb appeal as they are walking up, so you want to be sure that the first impression is a good one.
  • Keep Up on Your Lawn
    • A tidy and trim lawn also makes a huge difference in your home's curb appeal.  Be sure to keep up on the mowing and trimming, both before your home is photographed and while it is on the market.  Many potential buyers will drive by your home before they book an actual showing, so you want to be sure that your home is looking great even when there are no showings scheduled.
  • Plant Flowers
    • Flowers not only give your yard more curb appeal by adding a pop of color, they also make your home seem prettier and more appealing.  A home with flowers outside feels more like a home than one without flowers out front.

Moving Day Check List

by The Linda Frierdich Real Estate Group

 

Moving Day Check List

 A list of important items that you definitely want to have accessible for that first night in the new house

Pack a "Moving Box" full of these essential items for Moving Day!

 



Over-Night Bag

Pack yourself a bag filled with all the items you would bring with you if you were staying overnight somewhere.  Fill it with any items you would need in an overnight situation, such as: toothbrush/toothpaste, hair brush, clothes to sleep in, clothes to wear the following day, clean socks and shoes, and any medications you may need.

Toiletry Bag

Fill a bag with those items that are used on a daily basis or an almost daily basis, such as contact lens solution, make up, shower supplies, hair accessories, etc.

Plastic-Ware

Whether you're planning on packing some bread and deli meats for dinner or you have plans to order take-out, plastic-ware is a must.  You'll want to be able to comfortably eat whatever food you have, and chances are, you'll have been so busy moving that you won't have the kitchen unpacked yet.  Take a bit of the stress off your shoulders and pack some plates, bowls, and utensils. Don't forget the paper towels, either!

Pet Food & Bowls

If you are moving with a pet, make sure that you plan for his or her dinner as well as your own.  Pack a few plastic baggies with one meal's portion of food, and have those dog bowls easily accessible.  

Towels

Moving can be quite the dirty job.  Prepare for how badly you are going to want to wash your hands before you eat and shower before you go to sleep by packing bath towels, wash rags, and hand towels in your first night box.

Shower Curtain Liner

This is one that often gets forgotten.  If you are moving into a home that does not have a shower door and instead utilizes a shower curtain, make sure you pack a waterproof shower curtain so that you can actually take the shower you will definitely be desiring after moving day is done... Without getting water all over your new bathroom floor.

Lightbulbs

The previous homeowner typically leaves lightbulbs that are in the house, but just in case the house is dimly lit, or you'd like to use one of the lamps you brought as the night is winding down, bring along a few lightbulbs so that you can do so.

Coffee, Coffee Maker, & Coffee Filters

If you are a coffee drinker, you will definitely be struggling when the first morning after the move comes around, and if your coffee maker and supplies are packed away, it's certainly not going to help the situation.  Don't forget the coffee mugs, either!

Dish Soap

It won't be long before you will be wanting to do some dishes in your new home.  Whether you just want to get the coffee dishes out of the way after that first morning, or you are ready to start unpacking the kitchen and want to wash moving dust off of your dishes before you put them away, you'll be needing the dishsoap.

Bedding & Pillows

Make sure you have your bedding and pillows easily accessible, because, when you're in a new place, nothing feels better than getting to lay down in your own bed.  Not to mention, you'll be exhausted from the move...

Door Mat

This item, though it doesn't seem very high-priority, should be packed so accessibly that it's one of the first things you pull out of the truck.  Minimize the amount of grass, dust, or raindrops get into your home through the many trips back and forth by laying down a door mat first thing.

Rags & Cleaning Supplies

Even if you came in to the house for a cleaning day prior to move-in day, chances are, you are going to find places in the house that could use a cleaning.  Whether you skipped over them while cleaning ahead of time or you made a mess while moving, have your favorite, most-used cleaning products at the ready so that you can pull them out when the situation (inevitably) arises.

Pack a Cooler

Have a "moving cooler" ready to go on moving day to enable easy access to waterbottles, snacks, and everyone's favorite drinks.  Hydration is key!

Pack a Snack Bag

Be ready for the hunger that will certainly set in: ahead of time, pack some of everyone's favorite snacks in a bag and have them accessible.

Toilet Paper

As anyone can understand, this is something you definitely do NOT want to forget to pack in your moving box.  Have a few rolls at the ready, just to be on the safe side!

Hand Soap

Make sure you will be able to wash off that dirt and grime left by handling all those moving boxes by packing hand soap in your moving box.

Scissors

Because scissors come in handy in SO MANY situations, it's always a good idea to have a pair handy.

Utility Knife

Make cutting all that packing tape a little bit easier by packing a utility knife for unpacking.

Phone Charger

While it is unlikely that someone, in today's world, would pack away their phone chargers without realizing that they might need to access them before that box gets opened, it is nonetheless an important item to put on the list.

Garbage bags

Unpacking from a move creates an awful lot of waste.  Have garbage bags packed so that you can put all your recyclables (like newspapers and cardboard) in one, and your trash in another.

Tool Kit

One of the most important items on this list, because it is only when you need access to your tools that you realize just how important those items are.  Moving often requires breaking down of pieces of furniture, and at times, the bumpy moving ride can break down some of our furniture unintentionally.  Remember, you won't be able to start putting items away in those pieces of furniture until you have all the hardware installed and the furniture secured again.


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 13

Share This Page

Contact Information

Photo of The Linda Frierdich Real Estate Group Real Estate
The Linda Frierdich Real Estate Group
Century 21 Advantage
103 S Main St
Columbia IL 62236
IL: 618.281.7621

138 Concord Plaza Dr
Saint Louis MO 63128
MO: 314.649.0221
Fax: 618.281.4311

Linda Frierdich is the area's premier real estate professional, offering services in St Louis, Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Crestwood, Ballwin, Arnold, Fenton, Oakville, Columbia, Waterloo, Millstadt, Valmeyer, Dupo, Belleville, O'Fallon, Mascoutah, Fairview Heights, Smithton, Ruma, Hecker, New Athens, Edwardsville, Collinsville, Caseyville, Shiloh, Swansea, Monroe County, Madison County, St Clair County, and Randolph County.  Her team focuses on resale homes, new construction, first time home buyers, condos, farms, land sales, subdivisions, lot sales, single family, multi-family, commercial, foreclosures, bank owned property, military relocation, and building. This site offers options to search real estate in Columbia Illinois and other areas. We offer buyer and sellers services second to none!

Listing Alerts

Be the first to know what's coming up for sale in your real estate market with our New Property Listing Alerts!

Just tell us what you're looking for and we'll email a daily update of all homes listed for sale since your last update. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact Us

Our offices are located at:
103 South Main, Columbia, IL 62236
- or -
138 Concord Plaza Dr, Saint Louis, MO 63128

618.444.4255
FAX: 618.281.4311