4 Reasons To Buy A Home This Winter

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insight report revealed that home prices have appreciated by 5.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.7% over the next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase 

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have hovered around 4.8%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase in 2019.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You are Paying a Mortgage

There are some renters who have not yet purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person building that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Source: Keeping Current Matters

Contact us to start your home search today!

304.645.2255 Our team of professional REALTORS can help you find your next home!

www.greenbrierrealestateservice.com
Gregory Allman, Broker


Upcoming Events:
January 24th- Free Movie “The Last Waltz” at The Lewis Theatre 7:30 p.m.

January 26th- Support Our Local Farmers Market Saturdays 8:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.  located at the Gus R. Douglass Annex, State Fairgrounds

January 26th- WV Winter Music Festival Events begin at 2 p.m. Complete schedule at www.wvmusicfestival.org or on their Facebook page!

 

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Advice for People Putting a Home on the Market in the Winter

christmas home house light
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The internet is rife with real estate advice, some of it true and a lot of it false. One idea that tends to pop up is that summer is the best time of year to list a home for sale. This is largely based on data collected by online real estate database company Zillow from 24 large real estate markets in the United States, and while that is a decent representation, it’s not at all definitive. The truth is, there is no “best time” to sell a property — there are pros and cons to every season. While putting your home on the market in the winter may present some challenges, with the right preparations you can sell your house faster and for more money.

Price it Right
You don’t have to price your home lower just because it’s the off-season, but also don’t go crazy with that asking price. It’s easier than ever for people to research real estate market trends, so potential home buyers know if you’re overpricing. If you want to sell your house quickly in the winter, educate yourself on trends and home prices in your area to find reasonable asking price that won’t necessitate too much haggling to settle.

Be Hospitable
One of the cons of selling a home in winter is that traffic tends to be a bit slower. Fewer people are out looking at properties because they’re either distracted by the holidays or prefer to stick to the indoors because the weather is bad. However, the people who are browsing homes this time of year are more likely to feel a sense of urgency to make a decision on where they will live, as it is the time for first-quarter job transfers and there is less inventory on the market. Because of this, it is important to be very hospitable to anyone who comes through that door. A good first impression and a warm welcome can make a positive association in their mind, which improves your chances of getting a serious offer.

Here are some helpful tips when showing your house:
● Light a fire. Not only does it create a cozy atmosphere, but it also smells divine.
● Play soft music.
● Turn on all the lights in the house and open up drape and curtains.
● Run a humidifier to make your home’s air less dry (just make sure to change filters
regularly).
● Don’t pressure or hurry the potential buyer.
● Provide light refreshments.
● Leave note cards that detail vital information about home features.
● In the end, supply them with pens and a stack of questionnaire cards for feedback.

Stage with the Season in Mind
Staging your home to sell in the winter isn’t too different from other parts of the year. You want it to be clean and decluttered while highlighting the property’s best features. However, there are a few differences. For one, the home’s curb appeal may not be as eye-catching as the plants and grasses in your yard may be dormant. Laying down mulch in the front yard can help with this problem. Not only does it help your yard look more polished, but it also insulates the soil that protects plant roots from the winter chill. Furthermore, a layer of mulch is an effective barrier that keeps mud off your shoes and by proxy your floors.

Putting your home on the market in winter may mean less traffic, but people who are shopping during this time of year are more serious about making a purchase in a timely manner. Accurately pricing your home so there isn’t a need to haggle makes it more likely that you’ll snag a serious buyer. Be hospitable with everyone who walks through your door — the right first impression can lead to a sale. And while home staging in the winter isn’t really that different than summer, your curb appeal may suffer due to the season. Making adjustments like laying mulch in the front yard can make up for a lack of vegetation in the chillier months.


Article by Suzie Wilson ⎸info@happierhome.net  ⎸Happier Home

While you may not think that listing a home in the winter is a great idea, with proper guidance from your trust real estate agent- it can be successful. Contact us if you are thinking about selling your home 304.645.2255
www.greenbrierrealestateservice.com

Gregory Allman, Broker

Top 10 Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays

The holiday season from November through January is often considered the worst time to put a home on the market. While the thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages: holiday buyers tend to be more serious and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed. First, decide if you really need to sell. Really. Once you’ve committed to the challenge, don your gay apparel and follow these tips from FrontDoor.

  1. Deck the halls, but don’t go overboard.
    Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers. Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes.
  2. Hire a reliable real estate agent.
    That means someone who will work hard for you and won’t disappear during Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s. Contact our team of professionals, we are ready with snow boots and shovels to list and sell during this time! This will ease your stress and give you more time to enjoy the season.
  3. Seek out motivated buyers.
    Anyone house hunting during the holidays must have a good reason for doing so. Work with your agent to target buyers on a deadline, including people relocating for jobs in your area, investors on tax deadlines, college students and staff, and military personnel, if you live near a military base.
  4. Price it to sell.
    No matter what time of year, a home that’s priced low for the market will make buyers feel merry. Rather than gradually making small price reductions, many real estate agents advise sellers to slash their prices before putting a home on the market.
  5. Make curb appeal a top priority.
    When autumn rolls around and the trees start to lose their leaves, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Bare trees equal a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Keep buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice and leaves.
  6. Take top-notch real estate photos.
    When the weather outside is frightful, home buyers are likely to start their house hunt from the comfort of their homes by browsing listings on the Internet. Make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have a summer or spring photo of your home available so buyers can see how it looks year-round.
  7. Create a video tour for the Web.
    You’ll get less foot traffic during the holidays thanks to inclement weather and vacation plans. But shooting a video tour and posting it on the Web may attract house hunters who don’t have time to physically see your home or would rather not drive in a snowstorm.
  8. Give house hunters a place to escape from the cold.
    Make your home feel cozy and inviting during showings by cranking up the heat, playing soft classical music and offering homemade holiday treats. When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to admire its best features.
  9. Offer holiday cheer in the form of financing.
    Bah, humbug! Lenders are scrooges these days, but if you’ve got the means, then why not offer a home loan to a serious buyer? You could get a good rate of return on your money.
  10. Relax — the new year is just around the corner.
    The holidays are stressful enough with gifts to buy, dinners to prepare and relatives to entertain. Take a moment to remind yourself that if you don’t sell now, there’s always next year, which, luckily, is only a few days away.


    As always, our team at Greenbrier Real Estate Service is always ready to help you with your real estate needs. We always offer FREE consultations, contact us today if you may be ready to sell your home. 304.645.2255

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20 Cold Hard Facts in Real Estate Home Selling

 

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20 Cold Hard facts about selling your home…read on through the list to see if there might be something that you could help you get your home sold!

  1. Know your local Real Estate Market –  What’s moving the market? If you don’t know, we can help. Real Estate will always be local and to be able to sell your home, it’s critical to know what the local trends are for your neighborhood.
  2. A clean, uncluttered home sells – A dirty home knocks thousands of dollars off of your profit.  It’s true, a big chunk of money can be lost for not putting in a little elbow grease.  Perhaps one of the greatest payoffs to home selling will be the time you spend cleaning and decluttering your home. 

  1. Homes priced right sell – Price your home to sell. From the very first day that you list your home for sale, you will attract the most qualified and most interested Buyers. The first few weeks of a new home listing shines brightest.  A fresh new listing draws the attention of Buyers waiting for a new home to hit the market and those Buyers who just started looking will see your home priced right, and will break down your front door to take a closer look.  A listing that stagnates on the market for weeks and months on end becomes stale and often stigmatized as to why has the home hasn’t sold.  Avoid the discounts, price it right, and increase your chances of having multiple interested Buyers. 

  1. Selling a home is inconvenient – Knowing up front that you’re going to be inconvenienced once you’ve decided to sell your home, will make the home selling process a lot easier to handle. You’re going to have to get your home ready to sell, you’re going to have to do some packing and you’re normal everyday living schedules will likely be interrupted by visiting prospective Buyers.  When you’re able to anticipate this, it can make the process a lot less painful.  Anticipate to be inconvenienced. 

  1. Repairs left undone will cost you more money than the repair itself – Repairs that you’ve been meaning to do will be a lot less expensive to complete if you do them BEFORE you sell your home.  Once the needed repair is evident to a Buyer, they’re going to pad the actual cost to repair as they’re adding a layer of emotion to the cost. What do I mean by this? When they see a simple repair that could have been fixed they wonder what else is in need of repair and they’ll wonder did you really maintain the home properly.  They’ll wonder what may be lurking beneath the surface, hidden and not visual to the naked eye.  They get a bit frightened in the unknown and will want a little bit more of a reduction, just in case something else pops up once they were to buy your home. 

  1. Overpricing your home helps to sell your neighbors home – It’s true!  Picture this. Buyers are qualified to buy a certain price range so they’re looking at homes that they can afford; your competition, your neighbors.  If your home is priced too high, they’ll never see it as it will not come up in the home search.  Your home will be coming up in a higher price range; likely homes that are larger with nicer features and more appealing.  This price range of home Buyers will look at your home but will skip over your home because they can buy a larger home with the same features for the same amount of money; why would anyone pay more for less space? 

  1. Buyers love to negotiate the home sales price after the home inspection – Oh yes, the time to nickle and dime for all the needed repairs. In an inspection there will always be a hundred of little things and hopefully, you aren’t blind-sighted with an unknown major needed repair.  If you have any needed major repairs, this should be known ahead of time and disclosed to any prospective Buyers prior to the presentation of their offer. This way you know the offer reflects the defect.  As discussed above, fix your repairs so as not to give a Buyer a reason to want a discount.  The inspection period will always welcome a skilled negotiator.

  1. Buyers love to grill Sellers present at home showings – When a Buyer has scheduled a visit to view your home, it’s important for you to leave for more reasons than one.  First of all, you want the Buyers to be able to stroll through your home and feel comfortable without you breathing down their necks, as you want them to envision themselves living in your home. Picturing themselves in your Kitchen around the dinner table, or relaxing in the family room listening to their favorite music or watching TV and also imagining your home to be the perfect spot to entertain friends and family.  And, even more important is that you don’t want them to try and wiggle out any details from you regarding why you’re moving that could give them a reason to offer you less money for your home.  A favorite tactic for Buyer’s Agents and Buyers is to try and find out valuable details that indicate you “need” to move. 

  1. Smelly homes sell for less money – Nothing is worse than a smelly home from pets, smoking or even cooking.  Sure we love our pets but they can leave behind those not so pleasant smells.  If you’re a smoker, you need to plan well in advance to take your smokes outside to freshen up your home’s interior. Perhaps you adore foods with very pungent spices, these favorite dishes that you cook should be put on hold until after you sell your home and get moved out. A thorough cleaning of your home, along with the fabrics, rugs and carpets will go along way in removing pet, smoking and food odors.  If you have carpeting where pets had accidents, replacing carpeting would be advisable. 

  1. Cash is not always King – Cash does not always rule the roost. When financing Buyers have to compete with Cash Buyers, they can make their offer look very appealing in a number of ways that can beat out the Cash Buyer. First, by making sure they’ve presented their offer without any errors, making sure it is accurate and complete. Next, they’ll want to make sure their Pre Approval letter indicates their strong ability to secure the mortgage to buy the Seller’s home. In addition, a Real Estate purchase contract has many different time frames, the Buyers can make sure that they’re going to be quick in adhering to speedy time frames and also, you’d be surprised how many Buyers and their stories of how they’d live in the Seller’s home can pull out a Seller’s heart strings, particularly if the Seller holds a lot of favorable memories from the home. 

  1. Well maintained homes sell for more money – A well maintain home provides a sense of well being to any prospective Buyer as they imagine that the home having been well cared for and likely will not provide them with too many worries down the road after they’ve bought the home.  Red flags are virtually non-existent with a well maintained home as compared to a home that appears to not have been maintained.  This peace of mind comes with a price tag that results in the Buyers willingness to pay more for a well maintained home. 

  1. Lollygagging and ignoring communication jeopardizes home sales – Once the decision has been made to sell your home, it’s critical for your communications to be prompt and timely.  Don’t ignore your Realtors requests for answers to questions that the prospective Buyer may have or to delay signing/initialing a contract update. This type of lollygagging can irritate all parties to the sale of your home.  Be available, prompt and courteous when selling a home. 

  1. Buyers must envision themselves living in your home – This involves taking the “you” out of your home. When you’ve decided to sell your home, it is now important to realize that your home now needs to read like it could welcome anybody to suit their family.  Begin your packing before you get your home listed for sale and remove all the memories on display and all the things that say “you” live there.  Neutrality must now be present in your home.  This is because too many Buyers can’t look beyond the “youness” of your home to picture themselves there, so it’s best if you make it easy for them, so it will be easy for them to buy your home. 

  1. Photographs and Videos can sell homes – When you had your home listed for sale and you didn’t get any Buyers, did you know that Buyers skipped over your listing due to limited photos or poor quality photos? Yes, photographs do matter. Over 90% of Buyers start their home search online and they want to “see” homes and not read about homes; they want to see high quality photos and videos. Poor quality photographed homes will have Buyers snubbing their noses at your home. 

  1. Trying to hide a defect will haunt you – You never want to get a call from an Attorney, indicating that the Buyers that bought your home are now suing you for not disclosing that home structural issue that you were aware about, yet thought you’d keep it to yourself so you can sell your home for more money. Being slapped with a lawsuit is never welcome news to a home seller.  Speak the truth. 

  1. Cooperation continues to be the name of the game – When an exchange occurs such as does with a home sale, a little bit of cooperation will go along way and quite often, ending with a favorable outcome for a home Seller.  Don’t fight the Buyer tooth and nail, as they’ll immediately withdraw to put on their boxing gloves and in this scenario everyone loses.  A little give and take, more times than not, results in superior results. 

  1. What you love isn’t what a prospective Buyer loves – neutralize your home of your purple passion, your bold reds, your mounted hunting treasures or your Woodstock beads. Some can look past these things, but most cannot.  Do not give a Buyer a reason to find distaste in what you desire. When you sell a home it is not the time to show the world what makes you tick, you want to show how Buyers can fill your home with what makes them tick. 

  1. Closing date is move out date – It’s important to understand that when the closing date comes around, all of your belongings must be packed up and moved out, leaving behind a clean home ready for the Buyers to move in once they’re given the key at the closing table.  Unfortunately, you won’t be able to stay a few days after closing to finish a few things you just never got to it. 

  1. Requiring that a Buyer meets financing eligibility increases your likelihood of selling your home – Make sure the Real Estate Agent that you hire, scrutinizes any incoming Buyer’s offer for their ability to actually be able to pay for your home. 

  1. Experience sells – Hiring a skilled, trusted, Real Estate professional gets homes sold in the shortest amount of time for the most amount of money. Your choice of a Real Estate Agent matters- take time to contact us and let’s get you on the right track to selling your home.

Contact us! 304.645.2255 For all your real estate needs!

Article adapted from Lynn Pineda-Imagine Your House

7 Super-Easy Cleaning Recipes for the Most Awesome-Smelling Home

Essential oils are the key to these sweet-smelling (and highly effective!) homemade cleaners.

“What’s that smell?” That question could go either way when potential buyers enter a home for a home tour. If you’re trying to sell your home, you most definitely don’t want a foul odor to turn away a buyer. Take a look at some of these great all natural ways to clean your home and fill it with soothing smells rather than harsh chemical smells as you clean for your next showing or open house!

If you get light-headed just reading the ingredients on your cleaning products, take heart: There’s another way.

These make-in-minutes, super-cheap recipes create potions that use sweet-smelling essential oils that won’t fumigate your home, while having superpowers to fight grime and bacteria.

And much like a food recipe you may try, you can modify the oils to suit your own olfactory senses.

Citrusy All-Purpose Cleaner

tray of orange fruits

  • 15 drops of essential oil of lemon
  • 5 drops essential oil of sweet orange
  • 5 drops essential oil of rosemary
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1-1/2 cups filtered water

Funnel all these ingredients into a spray bottle, seal, and gently shake. There’ll be a battle of odors here, with the acidic vinegar likely winning out against the sweet-smelling oils, but don’t let this deter you.

The vinegar scent disappears quickly, but that citrusy, herby zing lingers on. And these oils aren’t just there for their scent alone. Lemon oil is a natural disinfectant, orange oil busts grease, and rosemary oil has some antibacterial and antiseptic qualities.

Lemon-Scented Window Cleaner

  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 10 drops essential oil of lemon

Mix all these ingredients in dark glass spray bottle (it’ll protect the oils from breaking down).

Spray on any glass surface and polish in with a microfiber cloth. You’ll have sparkling panes and mirrors in no time, and that wondrous essential oil of lemon will kill off the bacteria left behind by mucky fingerprints.

Eucalyptus Toilet Bowl Cleaner

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  • 25 drops essential oil of eucalyptus
  • 1/3 cup Castile soap
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1-1/3 cups baking soda

Fill a squeeze bottle with the water, baking soda, and eucalyptus oil.

Seal the bottle and shake. Next, add the Castile soap. Shake again. Squeeze around the bowl. Leave for 15 minutes, then scrub with a toilet brush, flush, and you’re done.

Aside from having a deliciously fresh aroma, eucalyptus is a natural germicide.

Lavender-Thyme Dish Cleaner

  • 20 drops essential oil of lavender
  • 10 drops essential oil of thyme
  • 5 drops of essential oil of tea tree
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup liquid Castile soap
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda

This one does require some stovetop time: Bring the water to a boil, then mix in the oils. (Thyme and tea tree goes to war on salmonella while emitting a pleasant aroma along with lavender.) Add the rest of the ingredients slowly. After that, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Once cooled, pour into a squeeze bottle. Shake gently before using.

Peppermint-Lavender Floor Cleaner

tray on coffee table

  • 5 drops essential oil of peppermint
  • 5 drops essential oil of lavender
  • 5 drops of essential oil of tea tree
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

Pour the vinegar into a bucket, fill that bucket up with hot water and add the oils.

Works on stone, tile, and wooden floors. Not only is peppermint oil anti-bacterial, many believe it can deter mice and other pests.

Tea tree oil is antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal. Not only is lavender oil antibacterial, too, but its aroma also has soothing properties that can calm your whole household.

Lavender Linen Spray

white textile

  • 6 drops of essential oil of lavender
  • 2 tablespoons witch hazel
  • Filtered water

Fill a spray bottle with the witch hazel and lavender. Shake, top off with water, shake again, and then spray away.

 

Cinnamon and Sandalwood Air Freshener

  • 10 drops essential oil of cinnamon
  • 10 drops oil of sandalwood
  • 1 cup filtered water

A spritz of this subtle-but-effective scent erases stinks in seconds. Fill a spray bottle with the water and the oils. Cinnamon scent boosts brain power and sandalwood is calming — perfect for a hardworking, stressed out home!

Essential oils do mix, so if any of the scents in these recipes don’t appeal, play around with other oils. Just keep the quantities the same. For example, if you switched sandalwood for orange oil in this air freshener, stick to the 10 drops specified in the recipe.

Article adapted from HouseLogic-Anna Tobin


Greenbrier Valley Upcoming Events

September 8, 2018 10a.m. – 4 p.m. White Sulphur Springs own Freshwater Folk Festival
The Freshwater Folk Festival is a celebration of our nation’s fish, wildlife, and natural resources. The 2018 festival will feature great music, food, dance, crafts, fun and educational activities.


Contact us for any real estate needs in Lewisburg, WV and ALL surrounding areas!
304.645.2255