Kevin Durkin's Blog
The home selling trends for 2020 are predicted to skew toward the millennial generation given the most recent statistics of age demographics. While the exact definition of millennial varies, the term usually refers to anyone born between 1980 and 2000 (give or take a few years in either direction).
Given the relatively large time span of this generation, there's a fairly wide gap when it comes to how they search for homes. We'll give you more information on how home sellers can capitalize on this trend rather than fall victim to it.
Prioritize Your Listing
Millennials aren't usually wandering around their dream neighborhoods just hoping to catch a glimpse of an Open House sign. In fact, chances are they're doing a lot of research online before they even consider hiring a real estate agent.
When more than 80% find their home on a mobile device and nearly 100% find their home through an internet search, you need to have an online listing that really speaks to them. Your photos need to be impeccable and your descriptions need to be chockful of the most popular keywords. You may even want to take some high-quality video footage of the inside and outside of the home.
Bigger Isn't Always Better
Millennials do care about how big the home is, but they may be more interested in how close the home is to a good school system (especially the older millennials). They may be looking for reassurance as to the quality of the neighborhood or how long the standard rush hour will delay them.
If you're planning on doing a little renovating before you put the home up for sale, concentrate on the design flow of the home. For most sellers, it's recommended you put an emphasis on the home's patio, pantry, and garage space as a way to attract more buyers. It's the functionality that millennials are concerned with, which would explain why things like laundry rooms are more exciting to them than a huge master bedroom.
You may also want to invest a little money in your exterior lighting, as it can be a good way to improve both the look and safety of the home. And if you want to keep your price tag down, millennials are besotted with Style on a Budget decorating, giving you a chance to flex your creativity without having to buy spend too much money.
Home sellers can talk with a real estate agent to find out if their home is likely to be coveted by millennials or not. It just helps to know what they're looking for before you start inviting people on the property.
With a mortgage, a buyer is applying for financing to purchase the property in its entirety. They're relying on their credit and assets for approval before assuming responsibility of the full property. In a land contract, you're cutting out the need for a formal lender and relying on the seller to approve or deny your application.
The seeming simplicity of the transaction may make some people discount the importance of negotiation. However, there are a few things to keep in mind so both the buyer and seller are comfortable with the terms of the agreement.
Talk to the Seller
With a land contract, you may be more beholden to the seller than you would be to a lender in a traditional mortgage. If the seller thinks of you as a tenant rather than an owner of the place, you'll need to discuss their exact involvement over the course of the contract.
Because the seller won't receive the full value of the property upon sale, their financial insecurity is entirely understandable. They may want to check up with you over the phone, in-person, or through a third-party. If you're uncomfortable with the level of oversight, you may need to speak up or find a different property.
Make sure you understand your obligations during this time. Some buyers are treated as a renter of the property — until it comes time to make significant and costly repairs. If you're responsible for all upkeep, you may be able to negotiate more freedom in exchange for the additional expense.
Think Through the Finances
One of the starkest differences between a traditionally financed home and a land contract is the speed of repayments. Even if you do find a seller willing to extend the contract, it can still be a major strain on your finances. As you factor in your current assets and credit score, you should also consider the future.
If the final payment is large enough, it may still require a substantial loan. If your credit hasn't improved enough by the time the contract nears the end, it could be a significant blow to your savings. And if you can't meet the terms of the contract, the seller will get to keep the money you've already paid them (as well as the property).
Negotiating a land contract means thinking through the repercussions of each clause. While the terms may seem looser than a standard mortgage, there may be strings attached that aren't as obvious at first glance. Ensure that you understand your financial and practical responsibilities before signing on the dotted line.
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As a home seller, it sometimes can be tough to balance short- and long-term goals. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline your house selling efforts and ensure you can maintain your focus as you proceed along the property selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you stay on course after you list your residence.
1. Establish a Home Selling Timeline
A home selling timeline can help you take the guesswork out of selling your residence. This timeline enables you to determine what tasks you will need to complete as you navigate the property selling journey. Plus, it can help you get a good idea about how much time you will need to sell your residence.
Be flexible with your home selling timeline. Remember, unexpected problems may arise at any point during the home selling journey, and these issues may slow you down. But if you maintain flexibility, you can address any potential home selling hurdles and finish the home selling journey as quickly as possible.
2. Create Home Selling Goals
With home selling goals in place, you can achieve many milestones throughout the property selling journey. These goals can help you stay focused as you complete each step of the home selling process. They also enable you to enjoy a sense of accomplishment as you finish a wide range of tasks when you sell your home.
You can create as many or as few home selling goals as you'd like. As you set up goals, you should consider the steps that you'll need to complete as well. This may allow you to further accelerate the home selling journey.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
If you are unsure about what to expect during the home selling journey, you may want to find a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to maintain your focus throughout the property selling journey.
A real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to sell a home in any real estate market, at any time. First, he or she will help you establish a home selling strategy. This housing market professional next will promote your residence to potential buyers and help you review any offers to purchase your home. And if you accept an offer to purchase, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to complete the final steps of the property selling journey.
Let's not forget about the expert guidance that a real estate agent provides, either. A real estate agent is happy to respond to a home seller's concerns and questions. As a result, a real estate agent will help a home seller make informed decisions as the property selling journey progresses.
Maintain your focus as you sell your home – use the aforementioned tips, and you can remain on track throughout the house selling journey.
Science fiction has long reveled in the concept of autonomous homes and transportation. But it wasn’t until very recently that these dreams started to edge their way into reality. With semi-autonomous vehicles on the manufacturing line and “home assistants” like Google Home flying off the shelves, today’s average homeowner now has options.
The growing number of home automation technologies is encouraging even more innovation in a burgeoning market. But, the newness of these devices and the confusion around what they actually do can make it difficult to decide which one to bring into your home.
In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to some of today’s most handy smart home devices to burden the workload of homeownership and give you some tips on which of the best technologies are yet to come.
One of the first smart home devices to hit the shelves was arguably the home assistant. They look like small Bluetooth speakers but have the ability to respond to your voice commands. So far, the front runners are the Google Home and Amazon Echo, but there are a number of other brands in the running as well.
Many of the tasks you use a smartphone for can also be easily accomplished with a home assistant. Tell it to set or turn off your alarms, look up things on Google, ask about the weather, play music, and so on. The Amazon Echo functions similarly but also integrates with other smart home systems so you can control things like your lights and coffee maker just by asking.
Many home automation manufacturers have taken to selling kits that enable you to automate your home one outlet or device at a time. You can then control these devices with your smartphone, whether you’re at home or at the office. (Ever get worried you left the iron on? No more!)
The best part of these devices is how customizable they are and the fact that many integrate with assistants like Amazon Echo. However, some systems, like Samsung’s SmartThings, has its own central “hub” that connects your devices.
Smart home security
Security companies were one of the earliest adopters of automation. Today, many of the biggest home security companies (think ADT and Vivint) aren’t just making your home safer, they’re also making your life easier.
Common among these smart home security systems are things like cameras you can control with your smartphone from work, alerts from smoke and CO detectors, and door and window sensors to alert you if someone enters, or attempts to enter, your home.
These technologies are still evolving. That means each year newer, better devices will hit the market. However, this process of innovation will also drive down prices, which is good news for you as a homeowner and consumer. So, think about what your specific needs are and choose the products that fit them. And, if you’re not sure about any of the products on the market, don’t be afraid to hold off--the next best thing is right around the corner.