When is the Best time to buy a house?

That is the question I get asked the most lately. The answer depends on what the person asking the question needs.   If the question is asked because someone wants to buy a house at a real steal, then I have to let them know that no one will know when the market bottoms out until the prices start going up again. In some areas, that is already happening. The second factor dealing with that question deals with where the person wants to buy a house. In certain areas house prices are higher than you would think. Also, some types of housing are selling faster than others. It also depends on the price range. First time home buyers are still getting good deals but the houses they are buying are for the most part, selling like hot cakes. So if you were to ask me in general when is the best time to buy a house, actually, most of the time, my answer will turn out to be, all things considered, with interest rates low and prices low,  the time to buy is NOW!

When will the ice be off Lake Minnetonka? Ice melting off a lake means spring and melts away spring fever.

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Everyone is anxious for the ice to be off the lake. We live in an area where we get cabin fever at this time of the year and we just can’t wait for one of the first signs of spring; the ice totally melting off the lake. istock_000005379973small1istock_000001025366small

Many people try to predict the exact date, people have “Ice Off” parties, and the winter blaas just seem to melt away along with the ice!

It is tax time. Deductions, exclusions, rebates, expenses, can I just get an extension?

I'm over my head. It's tax time!
I’m over my head. It’s tax time!

So I’m starting my taxes and it’s a little overwhelming. When you have your own business, and when you are your own business, it seems to take a long time to go through all the paperwork to get your taxes to the accountant. I think I will just go take a nap!

Do you want to move off the lake…

If you want to move off the lake, it is easier to just move yourself, not your house too!If you are moving off the lake, just move yourself, not the house. It's too much work!

VirginiaThe Phone is Starting to Ring!

The phone is starting to ring again

The phone is starting to ring again

The phone is starting to ring again. For a few months, I felt like the Matag repair man. I couldn’t figure out why my phone wasn’t ringing. Were there no sellers or buyers out there that needed my help? I just couldn’t figure it out. Then, last month, my phone started to ring again. Sellers were talking about wanting to listen to me about price. Buyers were thinking the bottom was here, or at least near, and they wanted in. I am “back in the saddle again.” Yea!! Spring has indeed Sprung!!

www.VirginiaLord.com

To Stage Or Not To Stage Your House, That Is The Question

If you are thinking of putting your house on the market you are probably thinking about how much time it will take to clean out the closets, get the carpet cleaned and clear out the garage. In this market you need to add something else to your list. With almost every house that has recently sold there was a difficult conversation initiated by the seller’s real estate agent.

The conversation probably went like this; the real estate agent says; “I can tell you have loved living in your house. It certainly is a great home. But any buyer needs to see it in a totally different way. Once we put the for sell sign up it no longer is your house. It now belongs to a future buyer. That buyer needs to be able to walk into your house and feel like it could be theirs at any given moment. If they walk in and see all these wonderful pictures of your family, they are going to think they are in your home, not theirs. They will feel like they are an uninvited guest in a strangers house. It is an uncomfortable feeling for them, to tell you the truth. They will walk in and then quickly walk out.  They will also compare your house to the one down the street which was professionally staged. In that house, the carpet was cleaned, some of the walls were painted, and the stagers brought in a few pieces of furniture, and many accent pieces to make the house look like a model home. People walk into that house and as soon as they are in the door, they say “WOW.”  Every room has been purged of clutter in that house. A storage unit was rented and many boxes containing their treasures are kept there. So, I have shown you all the many ways I am going to market your house, how many open houses we will have, how many days on average it will take to sell your house, and I strongly suggest you stage your house. Staging may shorten the time it is on the market, and it certaintly will help sell the house.”

The seller says; “Do we have to stage our house? You don’t understand, we have loved living here, just the way it was built, totally untouched, for the last twenty years!” The realtor says, “I think you just helped make my case. Buyers today want a house that has a more updated look than a house built twenty years ago without anything done to it. Painting, cleaning the carpets, decluttering and staging will certainly help.”  The seller says; “O.K.”

Virginia Lord
Raising the Bar in Real Esate
612.799.1700

Listen to me!

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What do you do when you think your house is worth more than what the Realtor tells you? What should you do? The answer is, listen, discuss, and then realize the comparable solds your realtor has shown you will dictate how much your house will sell for. Most people in today’s market think their house is worth more than any other simular house in the area. The market statistics are always right. So listen to your realtor, please. They will inform you of a very acurate range within which your house will sell.  Besides, the buyer’s mortgage company will conduct an appraisal. If the property doesn’t appraise at least at the agreed upon price, there are a couple options for the buyers, one of which is to take a walk! You may as well listen to the Realtor to begin with.

So what have you learned so far about selling a house?

1. Stage it, and perhaps put some money into a few improvements.

2. Price it right. Don’t overprice in this market, or your house won’t sell.

Virginia Lord

Raising the Bar in Real Estate

612.799.1700