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Phill Stables
Sales Representative

StreetCity Realty Inc., Brokerage

office:519-649-6900
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Here is how to know if you are ready to sell your home.
Posted on Wed, 27 Jun 2018, 01:55:00 PM  in Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies, etc.
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I love to sell homes. It’s a privilege and an honor to be a part of the process. I get great satisfaction from making my living helping people move on to the next phase of their life, whether it’s upsizing, downsizing, or simply relocating to a new neighborhood.

 

But there is one sort of home seller I can’t really help: The seller who’s not really ready to sell.

 

If you’re thinking about selling your home, don’t enter into the process lightly. It’s a big deal. There’s some stress and there’s a great opportunity for joy. There’s a big investment at stake. This, along with a lot of other reasons large and small, is why you want to be 100% sure you’re ready to sell your home. If you think you’re ready to sell, but it turns out you’re not, you waste a lot of time and energy (and sometimes money).

 

So how do you know if you’re really ready to sell your home?

 

  1. You’re fine with the process. You must have no problem with the idea of a stranger poking around your house, talking about renovating it, or treating it like a used car. If you’ve lived in your house a long time, it’s natural to have emotional attachments. So if the process of selling the house makes you feel protective or defensive, you may not be ready.

 

  1. You are flexible on the right price. Motivated sellers understand selling a home involves negotiation and competitive market pricing. If you have a number “you must get” in order to sell, then you might want to think again. Also, if all of the agents who price your home come back too low for your standards, take a breather and ask yourself if it’s go time or not.

 

  1. You know where you’re going next. Prepared sellers have plans, even if those plans aren’t 100% firm. They’re anticipating the move and they are probably even shopping for houses, if only casually at the moment. If you can’t clearly answer the question, “Where would you like to live after you sell?” then you’re not quite there yet.

 

If you’re iffy on any of these, take a step back and consider how you feel. While some markets favor sellers more than others, a home can sell in any market for the right price. Don’t jump into something before you’re ready.

 

However, when you’re ready, I’d be happy to help. Give me a call when the time is right: 519-649-6900

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7 Ways Downsizing Saves Money
Posted on Thu, 05 Apr 2018, 11:35:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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Downsizing is hardly a dirty word these days, especially as Baby Boomers begin to question the size of their home, and more Millennials are finally making their way into the world. Home ownership is a good investment at any size, and if you’ve ever wanted to free up some cash for the rest of life’s joys (travel? new hobbies? investing?), downsizing can be a great way to rightsize your budget. Here are seven ways downsizing can foster a little more financial freedom:

 

  1. Utility costs. If your gas and electric bills have been climbing year over year, consider the pleasant surprise of heating and cooling 1,200 sq. ft. instead of 3,500. Controlling the climate in empty spare bedrooms is pointless when you don’t need the room. What’s more, you can count on fewer houseguests with less space, and this, in turn, can decrease utility costs.

 

  1. Maintenance costs. How big is that lawn? How many rooms need to be refreshed with a coat of paint? How many windows do you need to wash, and what about the size of that driveway that must be repaired and sealed?

 

  1. Insurance. Your insurance bill is based in large part on your appraisal, and if your new home is smaller, your insurance bill should shrink as well. (This can vary based on location and levels of coverage, of course, but you would be hard pressed to insure less for more!)

 

  1. Property taxes. Much like insurance, tax rates tend to be based on a percentage of assessed value. Here’s a few more dollars back into your wallet.

 

  1. Repairs. How many toilets do you need to have fixed? Appliances? Light fixtures to keep lit? The smaller home has fewer leaking faucets and a smaller roof to replace. Your overall spend on maintenance goes down when you have less home to maintain.

 

  1. Furniture. Downsizing is a perfect opportunity to sell excess furniture and find keep only those pieces well-loved or essential for your new smaller space.

 

  1. Hosting and entertaining. When you’ve got that sprawling home, your place is ground zero for out-of-town guests, relatives, and holiday parties. As your space shrinks, so does your annual hosting and entertaining budget. Besides, if you really want to throw a shin-dig, you can take some of that downsizing cash and pick a perfect venue.

 

Looking to downsize and redirect that extra cash? Get in touch: Cell 519-670-6324 or stables@rogers.com

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Surprising Spring Cleaning Tips
Posted on Wed, 28 Mar 2018, 11:50:00 AM  in Marketing strategies,  My services, etc.
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Not all seasonal celebrations are holidays. In spring we have an opportunity to throw open our windows and doors and refresh our homes after long winter months. Spring cleaning is one of those rituals which can invigorate our senses and deliver a deep sense of satisfaction.

 

There are lots of good resources out there for spring cleaning. Consider “Spring Cleaning: A Complete Checklist” (https://www.thespruce.com/spring-cleaning-a-complete-checklist-1900106) for a comprehensive look at the tasks you can tackle. There’s also “Expert Advice: Editors’ Top 23 Cleaning Tips” (https://www.remodelista.com/posts/expert-advice-editors-secret-cleaning-tips/) which gives you the practical ins-and-outs of using all-natural cleaning solutions.

 

But there are also areas frequently ignored or overlooked by homeowners, and these are some of the most germ-laden places you’ll find. Before you finish your spring cleaning, be sure to consider these areas:

 

  1. Doorknobs: When was the last time you disinfected your doorknobs? The interior bathroom doorknob is an especially grave offender. When people are sick, have been cooking, or return home from the world, they’re going to be grabbing the knob. Disinfect these the same way you would any high-risk surface, like a countertop or toilet.

 

  1. Pillows: Can you even remember the last time you washed your pillows? Think about this before you plow face down for a night’s rest. Most pillows are perfectly fine to run through a gentle cycle in the washer and even a low tumble in the dryer. Naturally, you don’t want to become obsessive about this or you’ll destroy the pillow, but do take the time to wash or replace your pillows. A pillow case can only filter so much.

 

  1. Personal Devices: The screen of your smartphone is one of the most touched objects in your universe. Have you taken the time lately to disinfect it? There’s a good guide to the process in Greenbot (https://www.greenbot.com/article/3027577/mobile/how-to-properly-clean-and-de-germify-your-smartphone.html). The same goes for your computer or laptop keyboard! Check out this piece from Popular Science (https://www.popsci.com/clean-your-keyboard-without-breaking-it).

 

  1. Remote Controls: This is a special category of nasty, because everyone in the house uses remote controls, and they often do so while snacking on sugary or salty food. Here’s a primer to guide you (http://www.howtocleanstuff.net/how-to-clean-a-remote-control/).

 

Keep it clean and healthy this spring! Questions or comments? stables@rogers.com 519-670-6324

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The Most Dangerous Home Maintenance Tasks
Posted on Tue, 28 Nov 2017, 03:10:00 PM  in Marketing strategies,  My services, etc.
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There’s something very satisfying in tackling home maintenance and repair work by yourself. Aside from the money saved, there’s the good feeling you get from working hands-on with your home, getting to know its ins and outs, and learning from projects along the way.

 

But there are jobs around the house which can be more trouble than they’re worth. Some tasks are just plain hazardous. While you may feel able to handle these projects yourself, try to be honest about weighing the benefits against the possible high costs of a hospital stay or serious (maybe even fatal) injury. Here are the top most dangerous home maintenance tasks:

 

  1. Chainsaw & heavy tree work: Every year tens of thousands of people suffer chainsaw injuries. Even those who are familiar with their saws find themselves victims of sudden kick-backs, debris injuries, and even burns. Heavy tree work in general is a no-no for homeowners who are safety conscious. Professionals know what it takes to remove trees and how to trim them and bring them down safely.

 

  1. Roofing and gutter cleaning: Ladder work is hazardous work. If you’re up on your roof nailing in shingles, the likelihood that a tumble off the edge will be a disaster is high. One slip can put you out of commission for a long time, or even leave you paralyzed.

 

  1. Gas and electrical line repair: A leaking gas line is a 9-1-1 emergency. Repairing them yourself, even if you think you have a handle on the problem can result in the accidental asphyxiation of yourself or loved ones. A similar situation goes for electrical work. Is it worth risking a fire or electrocution? Shell out for your safety!

 

  1. Wall demolition: Are you sure that wall you want to take out isn’t a load-bearing wall? If it isn’t you could find yourself in a collapse.

 

  1. Asbestos and mold abatement: Hazardous materials can create lifelong health issues when removed improperly. Containment is key in these jobs, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could release a chronic contaminant in your home.

 

  1. Pest control with poison: Most people fail to realize all the other ways poisons destined for pests can find their way into food, water, and the mouths of children. Don’t risk it!

 

Repairing your home can be a pleasure, but be sensible about how you do it. After all, you want to be around to enjoy it!

 

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Halloween Safety Tips
Posted on Mon, 30 Oct 2017, 12:45:00 PM  in My services,  Your Home, etc.
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Halloween is a lot of fun for adults and kids, but nothing ruins the ghoulish night like a trip to the emergency room or a lawsuit. (This is also a good time to make sure your homeowner’s insurance is current!) In that “spirit,” I thought I’d share 11 tips to help you balance spooky and safe this year:

 

  1. Survey all approaches to your home, beginning from the property line. Keep an eye out for hazards, including loose bricks/stones, or holes in the yard.

 

  1. Resist using open flames inside or outside. Use electric light effects, glow sticks, or electric candles instead.

 

  1. Check your smoke alarms and make sure all exits to the house are clear of clutter.

 

  1. Before dark, check for exposed extension cords and make sure cords avoid wet areas.

 

  1. Determine how much darkness you really want. Lighted pathways and porches are both inviting and safer for your guests.

 

  1. Make sure children can see in their costumes! Obstructed vision from masks can keep them from noticing cars, hazards, or other excited kids.

 

  1. Also make sure children can be seen by others. Glow sticks are fun “high visibility” items, especially when costumes are dark (also: reflective velcro bicycling bands around ankles or wrists can be a good idea).

 

  1. Never let a child trick-or-treat alone. If they’re going out unsupervised, make sure they stay in a group.

 

  1. Don’t let pets run loose! Halloween is a scary time for pets and they may become aggressive in protecting your home or themselves.

 

  1. Be allergy-sensitive and skip treats with nuts or peanut butter (or offer allergen free alternatives).

 

  1. Do a “treat check” before letting kids dive in, chucking anything questionable either for safety concerns or spoilage.

 

Have a ghoulishly safe Halloween this year!

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Tips for Adding a Bathroom to Your Home
Posted on Fri, 20 Oct 2017, 11:20:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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Have you been living with a single-bathroom home? Is the time here to consider adding an extra full-bathroom or “water closet” to your existing layout? First, know that of all the renovations you can make to a single-bathroom home, adding an extra bathroom is one of the soundest investments you can make. With rare exception, the money you put into a second bathroom should pay handsomely when you list your house in the future. The bathroom is one of the most-used rooms in your home and it can have a profound impact on how prospective buyers see your home in the future once you’re ready to move on. If you’ve been curious about the process or want to make the leap two a two-bathroom home without relocating, you’ll want to keep some tips in mind about this special renovation project. 

 

  1. Think about where you can add a bathroom versus where you think it’s ideal. You’ll want to identify where your existing water and waste lines are in the home. Adding a bathroom across the house ups the complexity and expense.

 

  1. Single-story homes with crawl spaces have a bit more flexibility for adding a bathroom since crawl spaces provide easy access for running plumbing lines. If you have a two-story house, aligning your new bathroom (either upstairs or down) with your existing one can ease plumbing challenges.

 

  1. Adding a tub can add value, especially if you suspect future buyers might have children.

 

  1. Natural light and ventilation are a big plus. While fans are common and should be installed, being able to draw in sunlight or air out a bathroom via an exterior wall can really upgrade the luxury feel.

 

  1. Always get the proper permits for work and only collaborate with licensed and bonded contractors. You want to make sure you’re covered in the event of any problems and you’ll definitely want to be able to show future buyers that your work is legit and up to code.

 

  1. Choose high-end design fixtures where possible, especially if the bathroom is small. Innovative luxury options can make the room feel larger and really add that “wow” factor. Some nice-to-have options include a towel warmer and separating the toilet from the rest of the room via a “water closet” partitioning. Go with neutral palettes and classic tiles for a timeless effect. You can always jazz up the space with rugs, towels, or other bath accessories.

 

If adding a bathroom sounds like more hassle than it’s worth, you might want to consider your next move! I’d be happy to help you find a home with your dream bathroom already included! Give me a call at 519-649-6900 or stables@rogers.com

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Selling Your House? Price It Right Up Front
Posted on Fri, 29 Sep 2017, 10:35:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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Selling Your House? Price It Right Up Front

Selling Your House? Price it Right Up Front

In today’s market, where demand is outpacing supply in many regions of the country, pricing a house is one of the biggest challenges real estate professionals face. Sellers often want to price their home higher than recommended, and many agents go along with the idea to keep their clients happy. However, the best agents realize that telling the homeowner the truth is more important than getting the seller to like them.

There is no “later.”

Sellers sometimes think, “If the home doesn’t sell for this price, I can always lower it later.” However, research proves that homes that experience a listing price reduction sit on the market longer, ultimately selling for less than similar homes.

John Knight, recipient of the University Distinguished Faculty Award from the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of the Pacific, actually did research on the cost (in both time and money) to a seller who priced high at the beginning and then lowered the their price. In his article, Listing Price, Time on Market and Ultimate Selling Price published in Real Estate Economics revealed:

“Homes that underwent a price revision sold for less, and the greater the revision, the lower the selling price. Also, the longer the home remains on the market, the lower its ultimate selling price.”

Additionally, the “I’ll lower the price later” approach can paint a negative image in buyers’ minds. Each time a price reduction occurs, buyers can naturally think, “Something must be wrong with that house.” Then when a buyer does make an offer, they low-ball the price because they see the seller as “highly motivated.” Pricing it right from the start eliminates these challenges.

Don’t build “negotiation room” into the price.

Many sellers say that they want to price their home high in order to have “negotiation room.” But, what this actually does is lower the number of potential buyers that see the house. And we know that limiting demand like this will negatively impact the sales price of the house.

Not sure about this? Think of it this way: when a buyer is looking for a home online (as they are doing more and more often), they put in their desired price range. If your seller is looking to sell their house for $400,000, but lists it at $425,000 to build in “negotiation room,” any potential buyers that search in the $350k-$400k range won’t even know your listing is available, let alone come see it!

A better strategy would be to price it properly from the beginning and bring in multiple offers. This forces these buyers to compete against each other for the “right” to purchase your house.

Look at it this way: if you only receive one offer, you are set up in an adversarial position against the prospective buyer. If, however, you have multiple offers, you have two or more buyers fighting to please you. Which will result in a better selling situation?

The Price is Right

Great pricing comes down to truly understanding the real estate dynamics in your neighborhood. Look for an agent that will take the time to simply and effectively explain what is happening in the housing market and how it applies to your home. You need an agent that will tell you what you need to know rather than what you want to hear. This will put you in the best possible position.


 

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Happily Ever Homeowner
Posted on Wed, 13 Sep 2017, 11:15:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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Happily Ever Homeowner

Happily Ever Homeowner | Keeping Current Matters

Married couples once again dominated the first-time homebuyer statistics last year at 66% of all buyers, according to the most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. It is no surprise that having two incomes to save for down payments and contribute to monthly housing costs makes buying a home more attainable.

Many couples are deciding to use what would otherwise be their wedding fund as a down payment on their first home, as unmarried couples made up 8% of all first-time buyers last year. If you’re single, don’t fret; you can still buy your dream home! Single women made up 17% of first-time buyers in 2016, while single men accounted for 7% of buyers.

According to a survey by the Wedding Report, the average cost of a wedding in the United States at the start of the year was $25,961, which equates to a 10% down payment on a median priced home.

A recent article from the New York Times found that many singles are now asking their parents to allow them to use the money they’ve saved up for their wedding day to instead buy a home.

In the case of Carrie Graham, a Protestant minister from Austin, TX, her parents had saved a ‘five-figure sum’ for her wedding and were more than willing to give her that money as a down payment on her dream home. Graham told The New York Times,

“Buying the home wasn’t me saying, ‘I’m never going to get married’ or I am going to get married.’ My own home had way more than equity benefits. It was a real gift to have a home in an extremely desirable neighborhood in a city that I love. It’s brought me joy.”

Bottom Line

More and more first-time homebuyers are finding a way to purchase their dream homes, even if that means delaying their dream weddings.

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What is a Lipstick Flip?
Posted on Fri, 01 Sep 2017, 10:50:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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When inventory is tight and newly renovated homes are wooing prospective buyers, you need to take a step back and remember that the home you’re hunting for is a long-term investment. While futuristic appliances and gleaming hardwood floors may seduce you into making a quick offer, understand that there’s much more to a home than what lies on the surface.

 

Investors who renovate homes want to maximize their profit as quickly as possible. While many are upstanding folks, there are those out there who will cut corners in order to boost their return. Sometimes when a home is renovated, an investor will do a “lipstick flip.” Basically this means fixing up what’s cosmetic and leaving the rest as-is. Paint, flooring, appliances, fixtures… all may get a tune-up. But this doesn’t necessarily take into account foundation issues, leaks, plumbing problems, and work performed without permits.

 

Once buyers close on a home, they’re responsible for the home. This includes issues which may be costly to repair or remain simply unsafe for habitation. This is why it’s vitally important you take the necessary steps to protect yourself before signing off. Here are some tips to prevent the headache and heartache of a bad “lipstick flip” home:

 

  • Do not waive the inspection. In addition to the usual areas, have inspections for exposed wiring in the attic and mold. Include a termite inspection.

 

  • Ask for a complete list of all work done with receipts for the work.

 

  • For all work done, make sure the seller used a licensed contractor.

 

  • Ensure the work on the home passed inspection and is up to code. Request a copy of the certificate of occupancy.

 

  • Ask the seller for a current disclosure statement, as required by law.

 

If the seller balks at these requests, it may be necessary to pass on the home. If issues come up during inspection, you may change your mind about the home, or you may negotiate for repairs or closing credits, depending on your agent’s advice.

 

Don’t worry, not all flipped homes are money pits. But as a trusted real estate advisor, I like to be certain my clients don’t get burned! Looking for a home? Let’s connect!

 Call or text me at 519-670-6324 or email stables@rogers.com

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