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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.



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

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goteamlinda@gmail.com

Tips for Preventing Water Damage to Your Home's Foundation

by The Linda Frierdich Group - Century 21 Advantage


Tips for Preventing Water Damage to Your Home’s Foundation

 

Winter is coming, bringing with it many dangers to your home and property.  The cold temperatures, fallen leaves, and dreaded winter precipitation can become a combination to wreak havoc on your property. 

 

It’s so important to make sure that your home is equipped with a proper drainage system.  Keeping up on your home’s drainage systems can help you avoid major damage to your home’s foundation.  Here are some tasks you can complete to help make sure that water is properly draining from your home and prevent any future damage.



 

Locate your water shut-off valve

 

The least you can do to avoid any potential water damage that may be happening to your home is to know where your water shut-off valve is, so that if something catastrophic happens, such as a pipe bursting, you can quickly prevent any further damage.  It’s important for all members of your household to know where the shut-off valve is and how to use it.  It’s always better to be prepared for the worst than to have to deal with the consequences of your unpreparedness.


Clear and clean your gutters

 

Clogged gutters can mean a lot of water is making its way to parts of your yard and home that should not be exposed to very much water at all.  It is so important that you don’t wait until spring to clean out your gutters, because winter brings snow, ice, and rain, which mean a lot of water around your home.  The best way to make sure that your gutters are functioning optimally is to first clear dirt and debris from the gutters, then rinse them with a hose, and finally spray the hose through all the downspouts to make sure that they’re clear.  You also should be checking for any damage to your gutters or leaks that are evident, so that you can get those issues fixed before the winter weather arrives.  Ensure that your splashpans divert water at least three feet away from your home and that the water is on a slope such that it will flow away from your house.

 

Check the soil around your home

 

Keep an eye out around your home for signs of soil erosion or areas that remain wet for extended periods of time.  Finding an area like that near your house can mean that your gutters aren’t functioning properly or that your yard is not draining properly.  If this water is near your foundation, your home is becoming increasingly more vulnerable to water damage. 

 

Vegetation

 

Vegetation around your home is a bit like a double-edged sword.  For one thing, the vegetation can do a lot of good for preventing excess water around your home, sucking up any excess moisture that may otherwise find its way into your foundation.  On the flip side of that, however, having any plant too close to your home can lead to extra pressure on your foundation from the roots of that plant wanting to spread.  A good rule of thumb is to plant the vegetation the same distance away from your home as the plant will grow tall.  For instance, if you are planting a shrub that can grow up to three feet tall, plant the shrub no closer than three feet from your home. 

 

Check your roof for signs of damage

 

It is important that, before the snow starts Building up on top of your home, you check your roof for signs of damage.  If you see any damaged or missing shingles, it is imperative that you get them fixed as soon as possible, especially when they are located in the valleys that connect the different slopes of the roof.  Water can seep into your home through those damaged shingles, and, although the damage it will cause will not be to your foundation, it will still do damage.  Also, be sure to check the metal flashing around chimneys, vent pipes, and roof joints for any signs of damage or evidence that the flashing is beginning to pull away from the house. 

 

Check wood siding for signs of damage and rot

 

The minimum amount of space you should have between wood siding and the ground is 8 inches.  This is because any less space can risk moisture from the ground reaching the wood, leading to mold, mildew, and rot.  If damage occurs to the wood siding, you now have openings where water can penetrate, which can drip down toward your foundation and grow mold inside your home.  It’s also important to clear the leaves and sticks that fell before the winter arrives, because that debris will hold moisture and inch closer and closer to the siding on your home, risking water penetration.  Be sure to also check to make sure that your home’s siding and vulnerable areas are properly painted or sealed, since that can be your best defense for prevention.

 

 

GREAT Tips for Selling Your Home

by The Linda Frierdich Real Estate Group

 

GREAT Tips for Selling Your Home

 

Hire a Great Real Estate Agent

This is definitely the most important tip on this list.  Hiring an excellent agent is the best thing you can possibly do to get your home sold quickly.  Furthermore, the right real estate agent will be able to help you with all of the things yet to come on this list.

Pricing Your Home Correctly

Often, sellers believe that they can price their homes competitively and accurately without the help of an agent.  Remember, though, that if you were receiving another kind of service, you would seek the advice of a professional in that field, because you would want to benefit from their years of experience.  This is SO true when looking for a real estate agent to sell your home.  Take in every tip that your agent gives you about how to price your home.  If you do your homework and hire someone with a lot of experience in the market and in the area, chances are, you will be quite happy with the results.

Online Presence

The way homes are marketed has drastically changed in recent years.  The role of online services and social media in home marketing has only grown.  When choosing your realtor, be sure that you ask them about their marketing strategies, because you want to be sure that your home is getting maximum exposure on all possible platforms, from the Multiple Listing Service that your agent will list your house in, to Facebook and other social media platforms where your home will be showcased.

Put a Sign Up

It's true that home marketing has been taking a turn to the digital side, but that's not to say that the old ways are obsolete.  A sign placed in the front yard of your home still does a lot to attract eyes and inform those who drive by that the home is for sale and where they can look to find it.  It also helps people who are out house-hunting find your home as they are coming for a showing or perhaps just driving and prospecting potential houses.  

The Photos are EVERYTHING

This is another big thing to consider when choosing a realtor, because great photos can make or break a listing.  Be sure to look into some of the photos of listings that are currently posted and being marketed by the realtor you are looking into.  An experienced photographer can make your home look airy, spacious, warm, cozy, and well-lit.  Almost all people interested in your home will see it in photos online before they see it in person.  Make sure that first impression counts by making sure that the agent you are choosing has the capability to present your home in its best way possible.  


 

Boost Your Curb Appeal

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression, so make sure that first impression counts by doing some simple landscaping to your home.  Many times, a prospective Buyer will drive by your home before actually booking an appointment to see your home.  By maintaining your landscaping, planting flowers, and possibly making a few simple improvements to the front of your home, you can ensure that more buyers will drive by and actually book that appointment to see the home.  To see a complete comprehensive list of small improvements that boost curb appeal, click here.


 

Keep Your Home Clean and Tidy

The Deep Clean is as Important as the Daily Clean

Everyone can agree that it takes a lot of work to keep up on daily housekeeping tasks.  When selling your home, it is so very important that you keep up on those tasks, because you want your house to be show-ready at any time if an agent wants to show your house to prospective buyers.  Be sure you give your home a good deep cleaning before you list it.  Those tasks that only get done a few times a year often get over-looked, but you want your house to look nice and tidy to all who walk through it.  Prospective buyers may even look in those "Spring Cleaning" spots as they look at the home, such as under the sink (to check for leaks or plumbing issues) or in the windowsills (to check for any evidence of a bug problem).  Make sure you address those issues before you start showing your home.  Once you do, all you will have to worry about are the day-to-day tasks.

De-Cluttering and De-Personalizing 

It is so important that you address any cluttering that happens in your home.  Clutter not only makes your home look smaller, but it can cloud a prospective Buyer's ability to see your home as their own.  This leads into another great home-selling tip... While de-cluttering, consider removing some of your more personal home decorations.  Family portraits are lovely, but, again, they can damage the ability of prospective buyers to see the home as their own.  If you have a lot of decorations on your walls and sitting around, consider packing some of them up and opting for a more minimal decorating look while you are selling.  The less on your walls, the better reaction you will get from people being shown your home, and you will also make your rooms appear bigger.  For tips on de-cluttering, look here.


 

Make Sure Your Home is Well-Lit

Lighting is Everything!

A well-lit home is more inviting, appears more spacious, and tends to give a much better impression than a dully-lit home.  Before every showing, open the blinds, turn on all the lights in the home, and pull back the curtains.  No one wants to move into a dark and dreary home, so make your home seem more appealing by letting all the light in that you possibly can.


 

Address Any Odors in Your Home

Whether the odor is coming from last night's dinner, the dirty laundry, or your pet, make sure that you are doing everything you can to address those odors.  Before a showing, open the windows to let some fresh air in, light a candle or put a new scent in your wax melter!  

A fresh coat of paint is often recommended while selling your home.  Soft neutrals tend to be a lot more appealing than bright or bold colors, and stains or discolorations can be an issue for many people looking to possibly purchase your home.  Freshly painted walls have another benefit for those looking to sell their homes, as well.  Painting your walls can cut down on the amount of odors in your home.  Smells seep into a home after a long time, and by putting a fresh barrier over that old paint can make your home smell fresher when someone walks in.

If you are a pet owner, it is always a good idea to send your dogs or cats to a neighbor's or friend's house during showings.  As hard as it is for animal-people to understand, not everyone likes pets.  In fact, a pet in a home can be a detractor for some.  To make sure your home doesn't get overlooked because of your pets, make sure you are vacuuming often, using odor-neutralizing sprays, send the fur-babies on a short vacation to a friend's, and put away their beds, bowls, and toys while your home is being shown.  


 

Repairs & Improvements

There are certain improvements that can make a huge difference in how often your home is considered by prospective buyers.  For instance, freshly painting over the stain on your ceiling from a plumbing issue that has since been resolved or laying in new flooring in your kitchen since yours is considerably damaged.  Many improvements don't add a whole lot of value to the home, but they can often make a huge difference to how quickly your home sells and how often it is under consideration by buyers.  

Bathroom & Kitchen

The bathroom and kitchen are the two most important rooms in the house.  When you are having visitors, the two rooms you want to make sure look their best are the kitchen and the bathroom, because no one wants friends or family that those two rooms are dirty.  Those rooms are also important because they get so much use from those who live in the home as well as those who visit the home.  Simple improvements such as re-finishing cabinetry, updating light fixtures, and updating hardware, can make a huge difference on the impression buyers have on those rooms.  In addition, these two rooms are probably the most important for keeping tidy and de-cluttered.  Consider keeping an empty mason jar on your counter, so that when your house is going to be shown, you can put clutter and random kitchen utensils in it to keep the counters clear for the showing.

The more appealing a kitchen is, the better impression your home will have on prospective buyers.  It is likely the room that gets visited the most, and buyers want to see ample space, a clean and tidy space, and plenty of cabinets.  If you can play that up on your own kitchen, you will have more success with making your home a contender in others' home searches.

 

All in all, the most important things you can remember are to keep up on keeping your home inviting and tidy.  Keep that grass trimmed, open those curtains and windows, water your flowers, don't let dirty dishes sit around.  While this list gives some insight, when struggling with what tasks or improvements to make your home a top contender, it's always a good idea to ask yourself the question, "What do I look for in a home?" or "What detracts me from some homes?" and try to avoid those mistakes on your own part. 

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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!

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