By The Numbers: Working with a Real Estate Professional

It’s no secret that the current real estate market is competitive and constantly evolving and changing in response to unprecedented circumstances over the last couple of years. While the purchase or sale of a home has always been among the most intricate and largest financial transactions most people will ever make, the complications that can often arise during the process can be especially challenging in this market.

That’s why, now more than ever, the most important tool you can have for a successful real estate transaction is an experienced and knowledgeable real estate professional. An increasing number of buyers and sellers are trusting real estate professionals to handle their real estate transactions instead of facing the market on their own. Take a look at some of the statistics from the 2021 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers that show these percentages*:

  • 87% of buyers recently purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker
  • 90% of home sellers worked with a real estate agent to sell their homes.
  • Only 7% of recent home sales were FSBO sales [in 2021]

In this competitive market, working with a real estate professional and taking advantage of their access to cutting-edge sales and marketing tools, along with their in-depth knowledge of the current landscape, will be invaluable to you as you pursue your dreams of homeownership.

If you’re looking to sell, per additional statistics from the NAR, the involvement of a real estate professional can also potentially help increase your final home sale price*:

  • FSBO homes sold at a median of $260,000 last year, significantly lower than the median of agent-assisted homes at $318,000.

When navigating today’s real estate market, make sure you use all the resources at your disposal to ensure a smooth buying or selling experience, including working with a real estate sales professional. Contact one of our HUNT Real Estate sales professionals today to get started on your homeownership journey!

Copyright ©2022 “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.” NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Tips for a Low-Stress Home Sale in Today’s Real Estate Market

brown and tan home with green front lawn and blue sky

Making the decision to sell your home is never easy. There are a ton of factors to weigh, including the current state of the real estate market in your area and what you’re looking for in your next home. And although you may have sold another home in the past, today’s market differs greatly from previous years. It can be challenging as a home seller to navigate this new process on your own. Here are a few things you can do to make your experience go a little smoother.

Hire a real estate professional.

A real estate professional is a valuable asset in today’s market. We’ve mentioned before that agents help sellers get more for their homes. The average for sale by owner home sold for $80,000 less than homes sold through an agent in 2019.

But it’s not just financially beneficial to have an agent. There are now new regulations to consider in the wake of COVID-19. A real estate professional will make sure you have all the required paperwork and disclosures and follow proper procedures for your area. They’ll field all inquiries and set up appointments with serious, qualified homebuyers. What’s more, if you get multiple offers on your home (we’ve had an agent receive 16 offers on one home during this time!) your agent will be there to guide you through the details.

Decide if you want to allow in-person showings. 

Not everyone is comfortable with allowing in-person showings at their home. You can elect to allow virtual showings only if you don’t wish to have a large number of buyers entering your home. Your agent can even hold a virtual open house so that potential buyers can ask questions and get a full tour. 

Stage your home.

We’ve already mentioned how important staging your home is. Now pictures and video are even more important than they’ve ever been. Many buyers will take a critical look at your property’s  photos. They may even make their decision from only your home’s images and virtual walkthroughs. Your agent can give you advice on how to set up your rooms to showcase them in the best light online.

Price your home correctly.

It’s very true that it’s a hot market right now. But that doesn’t mean you should overprice your home. Homes priced too high will still sit on the market! Your agent will have the tools to create a proper pricing strategy for your market area.

Disinfect Often.

If you’re comfortable with allowing in-person showings, you’ll want to make sure your home is sanitized. Do your best to disinfect both before and after in-person showings happen. Wipe down door handles, countertops, faucets, and light switches. Switch on all lights in your home so buyers can avoid touching light switches entirely.

The current real estate market today can be challenging. A real estate professional can be an important partner when you’re selling your home. They can guide you through the selling process and take a lot of stress off of your shoulders while ensuring the most money on the sale of your home.

Pets and Selling Your Home

woman on couch with white fluffy dog  and coffee table with candles We love our pets, and want them to feel welcome in our home. However, when you’re in the process of selling your home, there’s no denying that they can add stress and challenges. Many pet owners can have anxiety over how to handle their furry friends while trying to maintain a clean, presentable environment. We’ve compiled a few tips to help ease stress for both you and your pet during the selling process.

Tips for Staging

Keeping a clean house is important. Some home buyers may not have pets (just about 40% of American households do not have a pet), and some could even have animal allergies.

  • Try to remove as many toys and food dishes as possible, and sweep floors to get rid of hair.
  • Pet fur and dander can collect in vents and filter, so make sure you have a clean filter and consider getting your vents cleaned.
  • Repair any damage that your pet has done. Check your baseboards, carpets, and floors, as these are common areas that show pet damage.
  • If you pet is allowed to roam your backyard freely, you’ll want to make sure there are no walking hazads. Clean up after them every time they are out, and check for any holes that may have been dug.
  • For cat owners, leaving a litter box out isn’t awful but make sure that it’s pristine before anyone views the home.

You may also want to consider hiring a professional cleaning service that can give the home a deep clean to remove any smells and allergens, like pet dander. Our HUNT Homeowners Club offers a list of approved vendors that can assist you in cleaning your home.

Tips for Showing

brown dog on leash near lakeNow that your home is clean and readt to be viewed by buyers, you’ll have to figure out what your plan is for your pets while buyers are viewing your home.

  • Make sure you’re prepared to keep more energetic pets from running around the house and bumping into guests.
  • A member of the family should be responsible for taking a dog out for a long walk, or you may want to find a local pet daycare center to make sure they are comfortable during the viewing.
  • In a pinch, keeping your dog in a kennel crate can help, if that is comfortable for your pet.

Owning a pet won’t prevent you from selling your home, but it will add a few considerations when preparing your home from sale. If you need expert advice on how to get your home ready for any potential buyer, trust the real estate experts at HUNT Real Estate ERA. Our experienced agents will provide the tips and recommendations you need to present your home and close the sale.

Why You Should Sell Your Home in the “Off-Season”

winter home on lake with snow on roof at twilight

Technology has changed real estate and how buyers find their homes. According to NAR, the most popular information source for homebuyers was an online website at 89%. After searching for a home online, a majority of people will then walk through the homes they like. Buyers can now look at homes online year-round, so factors like snow don’t deter buyers as much as they used to before the internet.

While it is true that there will be less inventory in the market during these months, this is not a negative either. Your home will have less competition, and buyers who are active are traditionally motivated buyers. What’s more, buyers who have been searching for a home over the summer won’t just stop looking at houses because summer is over. If they were unable to find one during the spring or summer, they’ll still likely keep tabs on homes in their priced range. So in reality, your buyer pool won’t drastically shrink, even though your competition will. 

If you’re ready to sell during the fall or winter markets, here are a few tips to help you prepare your home for sale.

  • Have all-season photos on hand. Once the snow falls, it can be difficult for buyers to visualize your outdoor space. If you’ve got a great backyard, make sure you have pictures from spring/summer to show its potential to buyers.
  • Make sure everything is ready to go. If you can, get your home in the best shape possible and make any major repairs. Homebuyers are less likely to want to put in work during the colder months. 
  • Maximize your curb appeal. Keep up with raking leaves and shoveling snow. Do your best to keep your pathways clear and salted during the winter months to prevent a slip or fall. 
  • Let there be light. With the colder months come less sunlight, so make sure that your home is well-lit both inside and out. Replace old or dead bulbs with bright and energy-efficient ones. 
  • Style your home for the season. Let your home reflect the season. If you’re looking for tips on how to style your home for a holiday sale, check out our blog here.
  • Use a real estate professional. If you’re ready to list in the off-season, a top-notch sales professional will help your home get in front of the right audience. Our real estate sales professionals are experts who have revolutionary marketing tools at their fingertips. Make sure you reach out to one of our sales professionals today!

Don’t fall for the common misconception that listing your home for sale outside of the busiest months is a bad thing. There are plenty of benefits to listing outside the traditional peak season.

Are you a First-Time Home Seller? Here’s Why You Should Always Use an Agent

Selling your home can be stressful for anyone. According to Zillow’s 2019 Consumer Housing Trends report, 95% of home sellers believe that at least one aspect of the home selling process was stressful. More than half of sellers polled were first-time sellers; so if you’re a first-time home seller, what can you stressors can you expect when selling your home? How can you ease those concerns?

Home Sellers

Zillow‘s Consumer Housing Trend Report looked at 3,000 home sellers, with first-time home sellers making up about half of the respondents. Most home sellers were in their home for 10+ years (62% of respondents), and 64% of those sellers were also buying a new home at the same time.

First-Time Sellers Stress

Zillow reports that first-time sellers were more likely to say that most aspects of selling were stressful to them or their families. The number one concern from first-time home sellers was uncertainty about whether their home will sell when they want it to (56%). Concern that an offer will fall through came in a close second (52%). And once a home has offers in, most sellers have an average of 2 offers to decide between, which can add to the stress of selling.

Finance Concerns

Finances are another concern for those selling their home for the first time. 41% of first-time sellers worry about finding a competitive interest rate on a home they’re buying while also selling. 45% were also concerned about the unexpected aspects of the overall selling process. Even making the decision to sell can be stressful for a first-time home seller: 39% admit deciding whether to sell was difficult because of the low interest rate they have on their current mortgage.

How a Trained Sales Professional Can Help

While it is reasonable to have concerns when selling your home for the first time, a real estate sales professional will guide you through selling can reduce that stress. Your sales professional has the tools to market your home and price it correctly for the market. HUNT’s groundbreaking marketing can help get your home sold faster. Once you have your offers, your sales professional will be there to help again to review each one.

When finances are a concern, HUNT Mortgage is a great resource. Their knowledgeable team can assist you with your home buying needs and get you pre-qualified for your mortgage so you’ll be ready to find your next home.

When you’re ready to sell your home for the first time, make sure you call a real estate professional to help ease your stress.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself if You’re Ready to Sell Your Home

Ready to sell your home? Here are 5 questions you should ask yourself before you sell:

Couple meeting with agent in office

Are my finances in order?

Make sure you know how much you owe on your mortgage and take into account what you owe on any home equity loans. If you owe more than your home could be worth (check out our Buyside tool to find out an estimate), it may be in your best interest to get your finances in order before selling. 

Does my house need updates or repairs?

Make sure you finish any incomplete projects around the house. Consider painting if your home needs it, and patch up holes or cracked plaster. You should repair or replace chipped tiles and/or damaged flooring. Make sure you deep clean the home to remove any pet or cigar/cigarette odor. 

What items should stay with the house? 

Do you love your kitchen appliances? Potential buyers may too. It may be in your best interest to leave items with your home that could add value. Your real estate sales professional can be a great resource to inform you what you should leave and what you should take with you.

What should I get rid of?

Depersonalization and decluttering are important when you’re ready to list your home for sale. Consider a storage space to store items that aren’t necessary for your everyday life to help showcase your home in the best way possible. This is also a great opportunity to get rid of items you don’t want to move with you. 

Should I hire a real estate professional to list my home? 

A real estate sales professional is a major help when you are listing your home. What does a good real estate sales professional do to help you get your home sold? They offer advice on how to stage your home, can price your home competitively, market your home, negotiate on your behalf, just to name a few.

If you decide that you are ready to list your home for sale, make sure you reach out to a HUNT Real Estate ERA sales professional.

4 Questions to Ask Your Listing Agent when Selling Your Home

Agent meeting indoors on a couch with man and woman and pointing at a contract

Finding the right real estate professional to help you with selling your home can be a difficult task. This is the person who will negotiate on your behalf and will influence your overall home selling experience.

If you’re looking for your real estate sales professional, ask them a few questions to understand how they operate. You want to make sure they’re compatible with your goals and personality. Here is a list of 4 questions you can ask your real estate sales professional when deciding to list your home:

Q: How long have you been in real estate?

Your agent should be happy to share information about their experience in real estate and their qualifications.

Q: Have you sold any other homes in the area?

You want an agent familiar with the neighborhood that your home is in. Communities can vary, and what helps sell homes in one neighborhood may not be the same in another. If your agent is familiar with the area, they can help sell its perks to potential homebuyers.

Q: Will I be working directly with you or will I be working with a team?

Some agents are members of a team. This means you may not be working with only one agent, but a team of agents and administrative professionals. This is not a negative! It can allow a large pool of professionals to assist in the sale of your home. Just be sure you’re comfortable with this and get to meet all the professionals you’ll be working with during the process.

Q: What is your preferred method of contact?

Some agents love email, others love texting, others love phone calls. It all depends on the individual. Make sure you have someone who prefers your form of communication.

When you’re ready to sell your home, HUNT Real Estate has the best trained real estate sales professionals. Reach out to one of our sales professionals in your area to find out how we can help you sell your home.

First-Time Home Seller FAQ

If this is your first time selling your home, you may have a few questions. Here are a few common FAQs to help give you some insight into what you can expect when selling your first home:

How much work should I put into my home before I sell?

Try not to place too much money into repairs. If there are major items, like HVAC work or basement work, you may want to consider repairing these items. A fresh coat of paint and a good decluttering can also be a cost effective way to create a welcoming environment for buyers.

How much is my home worth?

If you’re interested in what your home is worth, check out our Buyside tool. It gives you three free estimates on your home’s value. While this is a great starting point, the best way to determine what your home is worth is to reach out to a real estate professional. Your real estate sales professional can help you determine what your home is worth.

How long will it take to sell my home?

While there’s no exact number, according to NAR, the average home was on the market for 3 weeks in 2018.

Should I stage my home?

Staging your home is a great way to help your home appear its best to your potential buyers. In fact, according to NAR, 48% of buyers’ agents said home staging had an effect on most buyers’ view of the home. 83% said it helps their buyers visualize the property as a future home. ¼ of buyer’s agents even said staging a home increased the dollar value offered on a home between 1-5%, compared to homes that weren’t staged.

Check out these blogs for more information on staging:

Should I be around for viewings/open house?

If possible, try not to be at your home when it is being viewed. Being present at showings can make buyers feel uneasy and prevent them from discussing their likes and dislikes. This could prevent certain buyers from placing a bid on your house.

If you have more questions about selling your home, contact a HUNT Real Estate sales professional today who can help you through every step of the selling process!

Setting the Stage: The Bedrooms

We’ve covered almost every room in the house in our setting the stage blogs. The last areas that you could consider staging are the bedrooms. While bedrooms are more easily staged than most rooms, there are still many things to consider when setting up these rooms for potential homebuyers.

Remove clutter – Closet space is an important selling feature for bedrooms. The bigger the closet looks, the better. Put clothing or other items that you store in your closet into storage. Clear books, papers and other items off dressers and desks as well.

Enhance the room with attractive linens – Make your room more inviting by throwing a blanket across the end of the bed or adding decorative pillows. You may also want to consider changing out your curtains if they are heavy and drag down the appearance of the room.

Keep it neutral – If the rooms are painted in bright colors, you may want to consider repainting. Avoid using wallpaper decorated in prints and bright colors.

According to NAR, “1/4 of buyers’ agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between one and five percent, compared to other similar homes on the market that were not staged.” So make sure you make your home look its best! If you need assistance, reach out to a HUNT sales professional today!

Setting the Stage: The Bathroom

Bathroom improvements can enhance the asking price for your home. If you have already updated your bathrooms, it is important to maximize their appearance to make the best impression possible.

Evaluate the vanity – If the vanity is dated, you may be able to simply paint it white and put new hardware on the doors to update its appearance. However, it may be more advantageous to replace it with a new vanity.

Evaluate the faucets – Faucets are an important feature in the bathroom. Simply changing the faucet set on the sink and bathtub can make a difference.

Check the condition of your flooring – The condition of your flooring will make a difference to the potential homebuyer. If your flooring is cracked or scratched, consider replacing the flawed tiles. If your flooring is dated, consider replacing the floor with updated vinyl flooring.

Clean and declutter – Make every effort to clean your bathroom before each showing. Clear off all clutter, including make-up, toothbrushes, etc.

Enhance the room with decorative linens – Decorate your bathrooms with your best towels and washcloths. Warm up the room by laying down a rug.

These simple tips should help to enhance the look of your home and present it in the best way for your potential buyers. If you’re not sure where to start, be sure to ask your HUNT Real Estate sales professional their opinion.