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First published on USNews.com.  There’s still time to sell your home this year!  Here are a few tips to help you sell your home quickly over the holidays.

It’s tempting for many sellers to take a step back over the holiday season and wait to list their home until after the New Year.  Some sellers may even pull their homes off the market temporarily to re-list once the holidays are safely behind them.  This strategy works well for sellers who may have other obligations and can’t be as committed to the sale of their home during the holidays. Admittedly, there are many distractions – holiday parties, family obligations, and an endless to-do list; but if you’re motivated to sell, staying focused during the holidays can really pay off.

The end of the year is typically a slower time of year for the real estate market. For motivated sellers, that means less competition. Once the New Year hits, there will likely be a flood of inventory from all those sellers who were holding off on listing their homes. Take advantage of the lack of inventory during this season to make your home stand out and attract your ideal buyer. The holiday season can present some unique opportunities to get your home sold quickly if you take the appropriate steps.

Price Competitively:

One sure way to make your home stand out against the competition is to price appropriately.  The market is incredibly price sensitive. Even slightly over-pricing a home can result in lost momentum and extra days on the market.  If your goal is to sell quickly, then over-pricing is not an option. There may be less buyers actively looking on the market during the holiday, but more of these buyers will be serious prospects who are also making their home search a priority. Work with your listing agent to develop an appropriate pricing strategy that works for you and that will also catch the attention of potential buyers.

Make Your Home Shine:

Make sure your home is showing at its best!  This is the golden rule no matter what time of year you’re listing your home but it can be especially difficult over the holiday season.  Out of town guests, holiday decorations, and winter weather can all be challenges to getting your home in showing condition. Holiday lighting, a fire crackling in the hearth, and festive decorations can make a home feel inviting and appealing but only if it’s been executed correctly.  Think classic and minimal. Going overboard with holiday lawn ornaments, chotchkies, or flashing multi-colored lights could be a major distraction for buyers. Less is more. Decorate strategically, get organized, and make a plan so that you can easily and painlessly get your home ready for a last minute showing request.

And if you are just putting your home on the market for the first time, you may want to hold off on the holiday decorations altogether, or remove them temporarily for the photo shoot.  Second to price, excellent photography is one of the most important ways to make your home shine and to catch the eye of potential buyers. A few extra pieces on the fireplace mantel or garland on the banister can probably be overlooked in person; but it could stand out like a sore thumb in your property photos and distract buyers from noticing your home’s most impressive selling points.

Be Flexible:

The best way to sell your home during the holidays is to be flexible and make your home easy and available to show.  This can be easier said than done, but it’s important to keep your end-goals in mind.  You’ve already gone through the work of getting your home ready to sell over the holidays; but if you don’t make your schedule flexible enough to get buyers in to see it, it will all be wasted efforts.  Buyers who are looking during the holiday season are often more serious and more motivated to buy and close quickly.  Both buyers and sellers alike may take advantage of tax incentives for closing before the end of the year.  Although, you should speak with your tax advisor regarding your individual tax situation. Selling during the holidays also allows you reach of out of town buyers who may only be in town for a short time house hunting during their vacation or in-between visiting family.  Scheduling during the holidays can be difficult so, the more flexible you can be to get buyers in the door, the better the chance of a successful sale.

For serious sellers, listing your home over the holidays has its definite advantages.  Less inventory means less competition and buyers who are searching over the holidays tend to be more motivated and willing to close fast.  Set yourself up for success to sell your home quickly over this holiday season.  Price competitively to attract buyers, make your home shine (less is more), be flexible about scheduling so you can get potential buyers through the door, and stay focused. Because, ultimately, what better way to start the New Year than with a fresh start and the successful sale of your home!

 

3 Design Tricks That Will Make Your Small Space Feel Big

by U-Own-It Realty

3 Design Tricks That Will Make Your Small Space Feel Big

BY ERICA SOOTER ON 15 AUG 2017


With tiny homes and personal decluttering trends taking the world by storm, many people are learning to do more with less.

Do you have a small space in your home that you’re unsure what to do with? Or is your cramped apartment forcing you to be creative in your living arrangements? You’re not alone.

Make your small room or living area fit your needs with clever solutions that will streamline your life and maximize your space.

Paint can work wonders

Choosing the right paint color for your small room can instantly give the impression of more space or emphasize its cozy feel. Traditional neutrals like white, cream and light gray are great choices because they provide a clean and streamlined look, while making the room feel brighter and more expansive.

Painting the ceiling white to draw the eye upward is an easy way to create visual openness overhead. You’ll have an airy and inviting space in no time.

Courtesy of Orlando Soria.

On the other hand, if you want to play up the small space vibe even more, go bold with dark colors. It’s a fun and unique design choice to emphasize the smallness of a room by making a cozy den-like atmosphere with colors like black, dark gray and navy.

paint it black
Courtesy of Allison Lind.

Whether you decide to go light or dark, adding paint to your small space will help you get the effect you are going for in a quick and budget-friendly way.

Savvy storage

With tight spaces, there isn’t always room for all the storage needed for belongings, clothing, office supplies and more. By incorporating creative and flexible storage solutions, you can easily keep clutter out of sight, while still keeping everything you need handy.

For example, the kitchen is a great place to implement clever storage. Roll-away islands and pantries create an adjustable cooking area to fit your needs.

kitchen storage
Courtesy of Sandra Bird.

Add storage by using the space beneath your cabinets for hanging spices or wine glasses, and attaching holders to the backs of cabinet doors to keep foil and cleaning supplies neatly out of sight.

Don’t forget about uncommon spaces like ceilings for hanging items like bicycles out of the way, or adding shelving high up in closets for rarely used items.

Multi-tasking furniture

When you have limited floor space, it’s important to make your furniture work double duty. Choose pieces that have hidden storage and multiple functions, or can be compacted and stored when not in use.

Photo from Zillow listing.

If you can’t fit a dresser in your bedroom, try using drawers or crates under the bed for clothing and extra linens. A pouf or leather ottoman can easily transition from a seat to a footrest or side table.

Add function to your entryway by employing a bench with storage inside to hide extra shoes, gloves, and scarves. And if you have wall space to spare, hang a fold-down dining table.

folding table
Photo from Zillow listing.

Using modular pieces that can serve different purposes or fold out of the way frees up room to make your space comfortable and livable for you and your guests.

Limited square footage doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice function and style. Small space living is a great way to lead a simplified and streamlined life. With creative thinking, you can go from a cluttered, cramped mess to an organized and inviting space with room for all.

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Javier Cantu

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall down the road, while others are convinced that home prices will go up.

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have fluctuated, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, a one point rise in interest rates could cost tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates while they are still available.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

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U-Own-It Realty
16607 Blanco Rd. Suite # 1506
San Antonio TX 78232
(844) 486-9648
Fax: (844) 486-9648