Jeffrey Rochford | Phoenix Real Estate, Scottsdale Real Estate, Paradise Valley Real Estate


As you get ready to add your house to the real estate market, you likely will consider high and low initial asking prices. However, it is important to remember that no two residences are exactly alike. And much in the same vein, the initial asking price for your home may vary from that of a similar residence based on your house's condition, age and other factors.

Ultimately, a diligent home seller will allocate the necessary time and resources to determine a competitive initial asking price for his or her residence. This seller will be able to establish an initial home asking price that hits the mark with buyers, and as a result, stir up plenty of interest in his or her house.

Determining the ideal initial home asking price may seem tough at first. Fortunately, we're here to help you set a competitive price for your residence, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you establish the ideal initial asking price for your residence.

1. Assess Your Home

The present condition of your house may have a major impact on its value. Thus, you should perform a home inspection before you list your house to identify any underlying problems and address such issues.

A home inspection is generally requested by a buyer after a seller accepts an offer on a residence. Conversely, a seller who wants to go above and beyond the call of duty may perform an inspection to take a proactive approach to home improvement projects. This approach may help a seller mitigate potential home problems before they are discovered later in the home selling process.

Thanks to a home inspection, a seller can establish home improvement priorities. Then, this seller can perform myriad home improvements and move closer to maximizing the value of his or her residence.

2. Evaluate the Housing Market

Operating in a seller's market is far different from selling a house in a buyer's market. If you review the real estate market, you can gain the insights you need to establish a competitive price for your home.

Take a look at the prices of houses in your area that are similar to your own residence. This information will enable you to understand the price range for comparable houses in your city or town.

Also, evaluate the prices of recently sold residences in your area. This housing sector data will allow you to determine whether you are operating in a buyer's or seller's market.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent knows the ins and outs of selling a home in any housing market. He or she can offer a wide assortment of housing market data. Perhaps most important, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to establish a competitive price for your residence and reap the benefits of a fast, profitable home selling experience.

Want to add your house to the real estate market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble setting a competitive initial asking price for your house.


When you’re looking to sell your home for a great price, there are a few things that you can do to give the sale an edge. All of the ideas you’ll find below are inexpensive yet effective for sprucing your home up fast.


Hide And Brighten What You Can


Do you have an old, lumpy sofa, an old, unsightly lamp, or a scratch on the wall? You can easily cover these things up without making any major changes. Use a slip cover, some touch-up paint, or even new bedding to help brighten any room or furnishing. You could even consider adding new window treatments or additional lighting to assist in giving your home a refreshed look. As a rule of thumb: If it looks old and you can’t remember when you last replaced the item, you should probably replace it.    



Use Paint Strategically


With the right paint, you can accentuate or downplay the features of a room including fireplaces and windows. Portions of the room that would otherwise be lost can be highlighted with the right use of color. 


Make The Room Seem Larger


Do you have low ceilings or small rooms? You can make the room seem larger just by making use of vertical lines or using the higher spaces in the rooms of your home. Easily mount shelves on your walls in order to store things to give the room the illusion of having more space.


Deep Clean


Your home can look like a new place when you take the time to deep clean the area. Don’t miss out on any part of any room. Use a little elbow grease and pay attention to neglected areas like the pantry, laundry room, and refrigerator. Get rid of any odors in the home. Potential buyers will definitely notice if things don’t smell right upon entering the house. You can use natural cleaners made of baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice in order to freshen up everything from rugs to toilets. This stage of the makeover process may take you some time, but it’s definitely worth it. 


Don’t Forget The Little Touches


Adding in little things before an open house can also make a big difference. Put some fresh flowers on the table. Light some candles. Fluff the pillows. Take the time to remove unnecessary items from the counters and tables as well. The less cluttered the home looks, the better. Buyers like open spaces, but they also like to be able to see themselves in the space and you can help them to do just that.              

    



No homeowner wants to borrow more money. However, if you’re experiencing hard financial times or looking for a way to fund a home improvement project, there are ways to borrow money with your home as collateral.

In this article, we’re going to talk about home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOC). We’ll explain how they differ and break down their benefits and risks.

Before the bubble

Before the financial crisis of 2007-2008, many homeowners were borrowing readily based on the equity of their home. Interest rates were low on home equity loans, encouraging homeowners to leverage their portion of homeownership.

During the recession, however, all of that changed. People owed more money on their mortgages than their homes were worth, and banks became reluctant to lend.

In recent, years, however, house prices have been creeping back up, and banks and homeowners alike have gained confidence in the equity of their home.

As a result, a growing number of homeowners are turning back to home equity loans and lines of credit as a source of low-interest financing.

So, what exactly are these loans and credit lines?

The difference between a home equity loan and a line of credit

A home equity loan is a lump sum of money that you borrow which is secured by the value of your home. Typically, home equity loans are borrowed at a fixed rate. Lenders take into consideration the amount of equity you have in your home, your credit history, and your verifiable income.

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a bit different. Like a credit card, you are able to borrow money as you need it via a credit card or checks. HELOCs often have variable interest rates, which means even if you’re approved for an initial low rate it could be increased. As a result, HELOCs are better suited for borrowers who can withstand a higher leverage of risk and variation each month.

Is now a good time to borrow?

If you’re a homeowner, there’s an understandable temptation to use the equity you’ve built over the years to your advantage. In some cases, home equity loans and HELOCs can earn you better interest rates than other forms of borrowing.

However, as with other loan types, it’s important for homeowners to realize that HELOCs and home equity loans are not the same as having cash in your savings account.

Another danger that borrowers face is the potential for foreclosure if things go badly. While most lenders won’t seek foreclosure after a few missed payments, your home has been put up as collateral for repaying the loan. Most lenders will choose to sell a defaulted loan to a collections company rather than seek foreclosure.

Ultimately, the best course of action is to avoid borrowing unless it will help you out financially in the long term. However, for those with high home equity who may, for one reason or another, need to borrow, a home equity loan or line of credit might be the best choice.


Creating curb appeal is an essential ingredient to attracting potential buyers to a house for sale. Similar to the concept of "dressing for success," when you make a strong first impression, your chances for producing positive results are greatly enhanced.

Looking good from the outside is the first step to capturing people's interest, but that's only the first of several hurdles that you have to clear. The last thing you want to do as a home seller is disappoint prospective buyers when they start looking around inside. That's why it's important to start strong and finish strong! While that may be easier said than done, it's a principle of success you can't afford to ignore.

Once you put your house on the market, there are two factors that could potentially work against you: the elements of time and competition.

  • Time is of the essence: Time can either be your friend or your adversary, depending on how long your house has been on the market. When house hunters see the words "just listed," it creates a feeling of excitement and urgency. For many eager home buyers, those two words mean there's a fresh opportunity to discover the house of their dreams... or at least a reasonable facsimile! It's especially enticing to frustrated buyers who have already looked at a lot of homes, without having found the right one yet. When a new house is listed and put on the market, couples will be thinking and saying "Maybe this house will be the one!" Your challenge as a home seller is to do everything possible and cost-effective to live up to their expectations! An important factor to keep in mind is that the longer a house is on the market, the less appealing it generally is to prospective buyers. Once a house has been languishing on the market for more than a couple months or so, it also puts the sellers at a negotiating disadvantage.
  • Competition is a fact of life: Buying a house is weighty decision. No one takes it lightly, and few buyers are going to make an offer on a house if they haven't looked at several others, too. Well-organized house hunters will have wish lists, "must have" requirements, and detailed notes and recollections about how each house stacks up. So it's important to work with your real estate agent to present your home in its best possible light. When your home compares favorably to other similar properties on market, your chances of getting it sold within a reasonable period of time are greatly improved.
Maintaining an appealing exterior will help give you an inside track in the competitive real estate market, but making sure your property is in good shape from top to bottom will often be the deciding factor in how soon you get to the finish line!

One very important, yet often overlooked aspect of setting up a home is that of lighting. We often take lighting for granted. We turn on a light in order to see something better, but there’s so much more to a well-lit room than placing a light anywhere in the space. Lighting should be done in layers. These layers include:


  • Ambient lighting
  • Accent lighting
  • Task lighting
  • Decorative lighting


For well-balanced lighting in a room, you should mix and match the types of lighting from these layers. Let’s break down the different layers of lighting:


Ambient


This kind of lighting includes natural light sources such as windows and doors. Ambient lighting would also include pendant lighting and overhead light fixtures like a combination light/ ceiling fan.


Task


Task lighting is exactly as the name denotes. You use this type of lighting when you want to complete some kind of task. These fixtures could include under the counter lighting, desk lamps, and reading lamps. 


Accent 


Accent lighting provides additional brightness to a room. These fixtures include adjustable lights and recessed lighting features. 


Decorative


Decorative lighting accents a room in a different way. These types of fixtures would be something like chandeliers, different colored light bulbs, and other lights that can be used for decoration.      


Highlights


The great thing about the right kind of lighting is that it will feature the best parts of a room. Do you have a painting that you love? Use lighting to bring it out. Is there a statue that you want to make stand out? Use a soft spotlight. You can even highlight your crown molding and ceiling features with some mounted sconces or rope lights along the edge of your ceiling for an added effect. 


Spread It Out


One of the worst mistakes that people make when lighting a room is forgetting to spread out their light sources. All of the light in the room is concentrated in one spot, leaving dark patches in the space. This can be a decorator’s nightmare. This is why the layering method works so well. The lighting is spread out around the room and even. There won’t be any spots in the room where the lighting is overwhelming or on the flip side, not enough.


Use Your Windows


One of the other big mistakes in lighting is that people often forget to make use of the natural daylight. While you may need some lighting in a room that’s used often at night, there should be some great resources coming from right outside your windows. Don’t block this light! Use creative ways to direct the light accordingly like curtains and blinds. Don’t be afraid to leave some window space open as well to let the light shine in. While you don’t want to sacrifice your privacy, you do not want to live with your windows darkened all day, every day!