Great Tips On How To Sell Your Home Fast

Sometimes, when a house is put on the market, the sellers need to sell fast. There could be a variety of reasons why, but it doesn’t really matter. The good news is that there are some things that you can do to help your home to sell quickly.

This is true even if it is a buyer’s market. One of the best ways to sell your home quickly is to work with an experienced realtor. Ideally, the realtor would have quite a few years of experience, a number of community contacts, and a reputation for selling homes quickly.

Such a person can also give you a bunch of tips on selling your home as fast as possible. Another way to sell your home quickly, is to work with an interior designer. The truth is, that the colors, the decor and the ambiance in your home, can all help or hinder you in your efforts to sell your home. If, for example, your dining room is bright orange or your living room carpeting is a gaudy purple color, this may actually hinder your efforts.

The key is to paint your home using tasteful neutrals. While a home painted completely in white, can also turn off prospective buyers, research shows that earth tones and other neutral colors can actually help to sell your home. Perhaps this is because such colors will blend easily with a number of different colors. In other words, prospective buyers won’t have to re-paint or re-carpet once they buy the house.

If your home is in mint condition, it is also more likely to sell quickly. Fixing the „small things“ like that leaky faucet or the nail holes in the kitchen walls, can actually help to sell your home as well. For this reason, it is a wise idea to make a list of things that need to be repaired or replaced, before putting your home up for sale. Then, fix the items on the list or hire a handyman to fix or replace the items.

A fresh coat of paint can also work miracles. Curb appeal can also help when selling your home. When you decide to place your home on the market, keep your lawn neatly trimmed or hire a lawn service if you can not properly maintain the lawn yourself. Make sure that the lawn edges are trimmed and that any shrubbery around the foundation of the home is trimmed.

Outside lighting should be properly maintained as well as mailboxes and other items on the lawn. Keep the flower beds weeded and add a layer of fresh mulch around the foundation if necessary. Promptly rake leaves in the fall and shovel the snow in the winter time.

If you are trying to sell your home in the spring or summer, consider planting colorful annuals around your property to attract interest. Remember to keep children’s toys picked up from the yard and stacked neatly as well.

Inside the home, consider putting an arrangement of fresh flowers on the table or burning candles to create a pleasant atmosphere. Many people will bake something like bread or cookies, prior to a viewing, to scent the air and make the home seem comfy and warm.

Cut down on the clutter wherever you can. If you are like most homeowners, you have a considerable amount of clutter in your closets or around your home. Experts advise that homeowners with such a situation, sometimes will rent a storage facility to hide their excess items until the home is sold.

Clear out the garage and other storage areas as much as possible, this will give the illusion that your closets and other storage areas are bigger than what they actually are.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

7 Ways To Find Cheap Houses For Sale

Even if the real estate market is low, it’s not easy to look for the best deal. But that does not mean that you should stop looking for the best deals. Many established companies purchase houses to ensure that the owners make purchases at the right price. Apart from this, they can make the entire process of selling the house a lot simpler. In this article, we are going to look at a few tips that can help you look for cheap houses for sale. Read on to find out more.

1. Find Out How Long a House has been Listed

It is important to keep in mind that the house may have been listed once again after the expiry of the first MLS contract. What this means is that the protected property may have been on the market for quite some time. If a property has been on the market for several months, chances are there that the seller may accept a lower price.

2. Ask Around

You may ask around to find out if any neighbors are looking to sell their house. If you come to know that a neighbor is going to put their house on the market, you may contact them to work out a deal without involving any agent. So, it is better that you ask around as it will make it easier for you to get the right house.

3. Knock

You need to build your courage for this approach. All you need to do is knock on the door of the house that needs a lot of repairs. You may ask the owner of the house if they are interested in selling their property.

4. Look at Less Expensive Options

If you have a limited budget, and you want to live out of town, we suggest that you consider a mobile home. The good thing is that this type of home can be as good as your regular home. Plus, they can prove a great investment as they can offer as much rent money as a regular home.

5. Consider Fixer-Uppers

Generally, homes that are in need of repairs come with lower price tags. Therefore, if you are not afraid of dealing with contractors or DIY work, we suggest that you consider a fixer-upper. Therefore, you may want to overcome your fear and check out these options as well.

6. Check out Properties in Surrounding Cities

You can save thousands of dollars if you choose to buy a house that is located just 30 minutes outside the main city. Apart from this, you may consider areas where the prices of properties dropped due to the housing crash 12 years ago. You can get great bargains in some of these cities.

7. Look at Foreclosures

Some homeowners trash properties before leaving but not all of them tend to do so. Often, banks have a lot of foreclosed properties that they want to sell as soon as possible. The good thing is that you can buy these properties at a much lower price.

Long story short, these are just some of the tips that can help you find cheap houses for sale. Your search will become a lot easier if you follow these steps.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Why Each Home Owner Needs A Property Tax Doctor

Because each home owner who protest their assessments, with a knowledge of how the property tax assessment system works, often receive $500 to $1000 tax savings, if not more annually on their property tax bill. Simply stated the property tax bill is calculated by multiplying the homeowner’s assessment times the local property tax rate and subtracting any tax deductions for which the individual home owner is eligible.

The property tax doctor can show you how to lower your assessment and thereby reduced your property tax bill! The property tax doctor is a former tax assessor who knows first hand how difficult it is for the average person to penetrate the tax assessor’s bureaucratic jungle comprised of arcane terms and practices. No government document does this for the home owner.

Just like going to a medical doctor’s office the first thing that you need to do is to gather the necessary information with which to do the paperwork. The primary sources for that information is the homeowner’s property record card obtained at the assessor’s office and comparable home sales. Most homeowners armed with one or both of these information items get their assessment reduced the majority of the time without going beyond their local tax assessor’s office.

Just as you ask your medical doctor informed questions to get some pain relief, so also you must ask your tax assessor (with the help of the property tax doctor) some informed questions in order to win some property tax relief. The best advice the property tax doctor can offer is to go to your local tax assessor’s office and check your property record card for mistakes of fact! Clerical errors and plain mistakes do occur during the valuation process. Here is a partial list of common mistakes you should check up on.

1. The dimensions of your home or the dimensions of your land are wrong.

2. Failure to note depreciation on adverse-onsite conditions or no depreciation or minimal deprecation shown for an older home.

3. The dimensions of your land are wrong.

4. Check all computations, whether or not you understand where the factors came from.

5. Failure to note depreciating off-site influences — a factory or landfill producing toxic fumes.

6. The quality of improvements are wrong — you have a stone not a macadam driveway, or — you have the low priced whirlpool tub not the big name expensive whirlpool tub.

7 Finished areas are listed incorrectly — basement is shown as finished and it is not.

8. The age of the home is listed incorrectly or the number of stories is wrong.

My father would not let the local tax assessor, who was also his best friend, go past the kitchen table at our farmhouse. My father was afraid he would see certain interior home improvements and he would increase our assessment. My father mistakenly believed that improvements he had made inside the farmhouse like a new bathroom sink, plaster repairs, wallpapering, new ceilings, new light fixtures would add to our assessed value. Likewise he put off making outside repairs until after the next revaluation because of fear of an increased assessment. Surprisingly, he was wrong. Outside repairs like roof replacement, repairing masonry, repair of porch, steps, stairs, etc. do not increase the homeowner’s assessment. Neither does replacing garage doors, or sheds, sidewalks, etc

Often establishing the proper combined property value for your home and the land under it is the key to your property tax appeal. To win your appeal the homeowner must establish his or her property’s value at a level lower than the one the assessor used.

To establish market value the homeowner can go to the web site http://www.zillow.com to get a rough estimate of the value of his home. The site uses some basic variables like square footage, number of baths, acreage and number of bedrooms to calculate a market value for the home based on a formula that is driven by other home sales in the neighborhood. Where zillow has the sales data this is a good first step to see if your home is assessed way too high.

In years after the revaluation year the homeowner should find out what the assessment to sales ratio for his or her taxing district is in New Jersey. This ratio is announced each year and is available from the local tax assessor’s office. It represents the average at which the assessed value for all properties that sold in the past year was compared to their sales value in the municipality. Why is it important? It may provides a key factor in proving that you have received an unequal assessment and are entitled to file a discrimination challenge to your property assessment to win a tax reduction.

An unequal assessment is one made at a higher proportion of market value than an average of the other parcels on the roll. A year or so after a revaluation housing inflation often makes the assessment your tax assessor placed on your home look low compared to sales prices of comparable sold homes in your neighborhood. But watch out!

A low assessment to sale ratio in a municipality can fool some taxpayers into thinking that they are being assessed below market value and are therefore getting a break. However, if all assessments are set below market value then the tax rate must be increased in order to collect the necessary amount of tax revenue. The same amount of tax is collected, but the taxpayers are fooled into thinking they’ve gotten a break and do not search for malassessments.

Now, do not forget that the assessment to sales ratio (or common level ratio) is a key factor in getting you property tax relief. Let me explain. An important test for fairness of your assessment is not just its relationship to market value. It is also whether or not it is fair in relation to assessments on other properties in your town. For example, if you have a home with a market value of $800,000, but it is assessed at $600,000, you may think you are getting off cheaply. However, if your neighbor’s house which is comparable to yours is assessed at only $200,000, you are paying three times as much real property tax as you should!

When your property is under appeal the County Board of Taxation can adjust your home’s value to the common level. The taxpayer should know the average ratio in the municipality where the property under appeal is located before filing a tax appeal. Remember the ratio changes annually on October 1, for use in the subsequent tax year. Also, remember this adjustment to the common level is not used in the year of revaluation or reassessment when all properties have been brought to 100% of market value.

Once the County Tax Board determines the true market value of a property they are required to automatically compare that true market value to its assessment value. If the ratio of the assessment to the true value exceeds the average ratio by 15%, then the assessment is automatically reduced to the common level. The homeowner gets his property tax relief. But watch out! If the assessment to true value ratio falls below the common level, the County Tax Board is obligated to increase the assessment to the common level. The homeowner would then get his property tax increased. If the assessment falls within the common level range no adjustment is made.

Each year on October 1 of the pre-tax year the assessor establishes a value for each of the properties in the municipality for the following tax year. The annual assessment value is considered tentative during the period of public inspection of the new tax list from January 1 to January 10th. The purposes of the inspection period is to enable the taxpayer to ascertain what assessments have been made against him or her and to confer informally with the assessor as to the correctness of the assessments.

At this point your approach can be informal and will not require a formal, written appeal. Taxpayers have an opportunity only once each year to file a formal property tax appeal. Get your tax form for property tax appeal purposes from your County Board of Taxation web site. Generally, it must be received by the County Board of Taxation on or before April 1 of the tax year. If the taxpayer misses the deadline for filing a formal appeal the taxpayer must wait until the following year to make a challenge for any tax relief.

The Property Tax Doctor can help the average homeowner win his rightful property tax relief. Under the common level adjustment, described above, the New Jersey’s statutory standard for an acceptable property tax assessment margin of error in its calculation is 15%. In New Jersey where the average homeowner in 2006 paid about $5,000 per year in property taxes that amounts to an acceptable error of $750 in the propertytax bill. If we administered our Federal Tax bill with that 15% margin of error we would have a taxpayer revolt.

Gerald Dowgin © 2006

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Set Your Home Apart From The Rest

With so many homes on the market, you need to make sure that yours stands out for buyers. When selling your property, there are some important steps that if taken, will make your home the most appealing and desirable in any crowd of competitors. Follow the suggestions below and your home will sell faster and for the highest possible price!

Separate from the Home

I am going to start with what is probably the hardest thing to do for most sellers: getting into the right mindset. Before you can sell your home or condo, you need to truly let go of the property, and look to the future. Remind yourself of the reasons you are selling, and that the property is simply a business deal. Doing this will make the process much easier.

Remember, despite what you may think, your home is not perfect. It is not the most wonderful house on the market in that price range. Buyer’s all have different taste. Don’t be upset if one buyer doesn’t like a certain part of your home. Just keep reminding yourself it is just a house.

Curb Appeal

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Keep the exterior of your property trim, tidy, and inviting. There are many simple ways to improve the exterior of your home:

1. Mow the lawn, trim the bushes, weed, and edge.

2. Make sure that the shrubs and trees are full of life. Do this by watering them regularly, and possibly replacing them with more colorful and vibrant plants.

3. Pressure wash the sidewalks, driveway, curb, and exterior of the property.

4. Make sure the front door is clean and easy to open. The last thing you want is a buyer’s agent standing outside with their client fighting to open a dirty door (trust me this happens all the time).

Clean Your House

Sounds obvious, I know. However, everyone’s idea of clean is very different. One thing many people overlook is an odor that them and their family are used to. This could be very distracting to buyers and can turn them off to the property immediately.

1. Vacuum carpets and clean hardwood & tile floors. Have your carpet professionally cleaned if it needs it..

2. Make sure the entire house smells fresh. Odor is a major turn off to potential buyers.

3. The kitchen and all bathrooms need to be cleaned thoroughly, including toilets, tubs, showers, floors, and mirrors.

4. Clean windows inside and out, make sure you get both the glass and the frames.

5. Dust EVERYTHING. Including the baseboards, ceiling fans, lighting fixtures, shelves, and blinds.

6. Make the beds everyday.

7. Pick up clothing, shoes, etc.

8. Hang up fresh towels in each bathroom and the kitchen.

De-clutter the House

The easiest way to do this is to start packing! Don’t let too much clutter block the buyer from seeing what they should be buying. Simplifying spaces within the house allows the buyer to visualize their furniture, their paint colors, etc. Also, by removing excess clutter, regular cleaning and keeping everything tidy becomes a breeze! You may need to rent a storage unit. In the end it will be well worth it when the house sells faster and at a higher price.

1. If you don’t need it, pack it up, sell it, or throw it away! Any items that you do not use on a regular basis need to be removed.

2. Remove all unnecessary items from countertops, tables, and floors. These items make the house feel cluttered and also appear smaller.

3. Clean out closets. Buyers WILL look into your closets, so remove unwanted clothing and shoes. Organize everything that is left so the closet looks as large and spacious as possible.

4. Remove personal items such as photos, books, magazines, and knick knacks.

5. Remove any furniture that may be blocking or hampering walkways. Open areas that flow nicely are much more appealing to buyers than cramped or awkward spaces.

Make Minor Repairs

Eliminate drawbacks before a potential buyer even sees them. Any small items that take little effort to fix. Even the smallest thing may effect how much a buyer offers on a property.

1. Replace cracked floor tiles or counter tiles.

2. Patch and paint holes in walls.

3. Fix leaking faucets.

4. Fix all doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that don’t function as they should.

5. Replace burned-out light bulbs.

Paint & Wallpaper

Give buyers a clean canvas for them to see all they can do to make your house their home. Pay special attention to bathrooms and the kitchen.. These are the rooms that really sell a house! Make sure that they are desirable to people with all kinds of taste!

Paint

1. Paint with neutral colors. Don’t give buyers any reason to remember your home as „the house with the purple kitchen.“

2. Remove busy or outdated wallpaper, and repaint walls that are not clean. You don’t want buyers referring to your house as the one with the NASCAR wallpaper any more than the house with the purple kitchen.

Lighting

A bright and airy home is an inviting home that will welcome buyers much more than a dark and dreary home. More light makes a room to feel larger as well. So be sure to follow these tips:

1. Turn on all lights and open all the blinds anytime your home is being shown.

2. Update fixtures if necessary. Old or outdated fixtures can add more to the mental list of work buyers will have to do if they buy, which will negatively affect the amount of their offer.

Garage & Attic Space

Your garage is for your car, not for storing all of your junk! Box up unused items and put them in your attic or storage space. Straighten shelves, organize bins, paint the walls, and sweep the floor. Let the buyer see how much room there is for their car, and all their stuff!

Stage Your Home

Organize the furniture in each room to create as much space as possible. Also, every room needs to be staged for its intended use. It is not good to have the buyer wondering what rooms are supposed to be used for. If you have trouble doing this, hire a professional.

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If you want to sell your home quickly and for the highest possible price, follow the steps above. I can assure you that one of your neighbors is – and their home will sell before yours and at a higher price. If you commit to completing the steps above you will allow yourself an easier, much quicker, more profitable, and less stressful selling process!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How Your Real Estate Agent EARNS Your Trust?

For most of us, the value of our family home, represents our single – biggest, financial asset! Therefore, wouldn’t it, make sense, to hire, someone, who might make the biggest difference, in your results, from easing the process, to getting the deal, transacted? However, since, many find this period, stressful, etc, quality teamwork, and mutual trust, are essential (what is often called, being, on the same – page)! Before hiring someone, ask yourself, why do you (or don’t you) trust that individual, and what is needed, for a real estate agent, so he EARNS that vital bond! With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means and represents, and why it matters.

1. Empathy; emphasis; efforts; excellence; endurance: It’s wise to thoroughly, interview potential representatives, before deciding, who, to hire, as your real estate professional/ agent! During this process, consider, whether the individual, is ready, willing, and able to effectively, listen, far more than he speaks! Does he seem to be able to customize his discussion, or, does it seem, like he is using some sort of script? Only, when you hire someone with genuine empathy, will he proceed with the understanding of your, specific needs, and priorities, and place his emphasis, accordingly! Are you convinced, he will place his efforts, on proceeding, with quality, and excellence, instead of the same – old, same – old? Since, there are often, obstacles, and challenges, you should seek, someone, with the endurance, persistence, etc, to make a difference, for you!

2. Attitude; aptitude; articulate; attention; actions: Great agents possess a positive, can – do, attitude, combined with a well – developed, aptitude, and skill – set, to serve their clients! Paying keen attention to details, articulating a message, which inspires potential buyers, to seriously consider, and bid, on your house, and proceeding with the best strategic and action plans, and, proactively, taking the actions, which produce results, are essential, to earning trust, and respect!

3. Responsive; region; relevant; reliable; responsible: To earn your trust, an agent must be responsive to your specific situation, etc, and produce, reliable, responsible approaches, to achieve, the finest possibilities, and results! To do so, he must know you region/ area, in – detail, and proceed, forward, in the most relevant way!

4. Needs; neighborhood: No two people, are exactly, alike, and, thus, it’s important to address the specific client’s needs, and priorities! In addition, he should be a neighborhood – expert, so he provides the best combination of knowledge, marketing, and input!

5. System; solution; service: Examine an agent’s suggested system, and consider if it addresses, and produces a quality, viable solution, to serve your best interests! The finest agents, consistently, provide the best service, etc!

Before hiring a real estate agent, do all you can, to ensure, he EARNS your trust! That’s the best way, to protect, your enormous investment, in your house!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Tips for Adding Pleasant Smells to Any Home Staging

Not only should your home look appealing sporting every nice aspect through visual presentations, it should also engage other senses specifically the nose. And there is no better way to engage the nose than by letting it smell as good and pleasing as possible. Don’t let your prospects find their ways out of the house. Instead, let them find comfort by treating their noses with respect. Here are some tips to have a home scent that will take you closer to signing a deal with the buyer.

  • Clean the house as clean as you can. Cleaning the house doesn’t mean you only have to sweep or vacuum the floor or run the mop. To make it as clean as possible means you have to go beyond the usual tasks. If you need to shampoo the carpets, then do it. If you need to move huge furniture and appliances, you have to. Professional cleaners who go beyond the ordinary cleaning ways can help you in the cleanliness tasks.
  • Infuse the house with aroma of real fruits, specifically citrus. According to a study in which several homes were infused with scents of real foods, that which had the scent of real citrus was highly favored by potential home buyers. The scent was chosen over baked goodies and chicken. One precaution though is to avoid the use of chemical-based citrus such as air fresheners. It may create the notion that something is being covered up because the air is chemically infused.
  • Lit up few aromatic candles. Give your house the warmth and comforting scent of aromatic candles. They never fail to relax the mind and soothe the senses. They also send message to potential buyers how relaxing a stay in the house can be.
  • Invoke neutral scents of cleanliness. While some buyers will go for scents, some will just opt for the simple smell of cleanliness. Aligned with the first tip, the use of baking soda and other non-scent products will give off the image of simplicity. This is in contrast with the complex scent that potpourri and fresheners emit.

Scents condition the brain and affects the mood of people. Imagine how your potential buyers would be turned off when there is bad smell circulating inside the house that you are selling. Imagine how they will be tempted to give you offers if your house is appealing, inviting, and nice-smelling.

For other real estate concerns, always approach your local real estate agent.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Chandler AZ School Districts Are Among Top in The State

Chandler AZ School Districts continue to earn A+ Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) rankings.

As a homebuyer you will want to know where the top schools in Arizona are located. Whether you have children in school or not, a top tier school district increases home values in the market area and ensures an easy resale.

According to the Arizona Department of Education’s school rankings, most of those school districts are located in Chandler AZ.

The Arizona Department of Education released school grades based on results of the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test taken by students each spring.

Schools receive a number of points based on test scores, how many students they reclassify from English Language Learning, dropout rates, graduation rates and how much students improve each year or growth points.

Based on those points, many of the schools are located in the Chandler Unified School District and are among the top 10 in the state.

Chandler AZ charter schools also performed extremely well in the AIMS test. Legacy Traditional School in Chandler AZ is in the top 10 for charter school excellence with a A+ ranking.

Chandler’s Hamilton High School, the largest school in the state, is also one of the top 10 point grabbers.

Several East Valley districts earned A+ rankings, including Chandler Unified, Queen Creek Unified, Higley Unified, Gilbert Unified, Tempe Union High and Kyrene Elementary District.

In fact, among the top 15 rankings in the state are Chandler, Queen Creek and Higley unified. They are also much larger than some of the other districts in that top tier which is equally impressive in its own right.

Mesa Unified, Tempe Elementary and J.O. Combs earned Bs, while Apache Junction Unified came in last with an earned AIMS ranking of C.

Chandler Unified School District maintains an A+ ranking year after year and reinforces the value that purchasing a home within the Chandler AZ school district remains a wise investment, both short and long term.

If you would like more information on the Chandler AZ top tier school district rankings; or, more information on buying or selling a home in Chandler AZ Ask Jay.

For more information on why investing in real estate is a smart choice in today’s volatile real estate market Ask Jay at 480-868-3814, and yes, he picks up his phone!

Or, read more at: http://www.jaymecray.com/chandler-az-school-districts-are-among-top-in-the-state/

– Ask Jay, Your Personal Real Estate Expert in Chandler Arizona

480-868-3814

JMecray@gmail.com

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Penny Stock Billionaire – The Story of John Templeton

Can you invest $200 in penny stocks or what you call microcaps and make that investment grow into something like $100K or even $1M in the next few years? Many people don’t take microcaps as serious investments. There is some element of truth in that. But do you know a guy who turned $1K into $1M in just 1 month with penny stocks in just 38 trades! Or do you know the person famously known as the Penny Stock Billionaire?

So why microcaps? There are thousands of stocks in markets like technology, agriculture, health, commodities, energy and more. But what makes penny stocks different from the normal stocks is that they are dirt cheap. Most of these microcaps get traded for as little as $0.1 per share.

Imagine, discovering a stock costing $0.1 per share skyrocketing into $10 per share in a matter of let’s say a few weeks. That is a gain of 10,000%. So with microcaps, you have the potential of an explosive gain and with the price as low as a few cents to a few dollars, small investors can also play with them.

Now the problem with most stocks is that they take too long a time to show a capital gain. For a stock to go from $50 per share to $100 per share can take a few years. But a stock priced $1 per share can easily double overnight. Hey, it’s only one dollar.

So with penny stocks, you can get rich at lightening speed and also get poor with the same speed if you don’t invest in them prudently. The best way to invest in penny stocks is to just start with $200.Grow that $200 into $1000! That $1000 into $10,000. That $10,000 into $100,000. You got the picture.

Over the last few decades, penny stocks have regularly outperformed regular stocks by huge margins. In 1939, John Templeton bought 100 shares of every company trading under $1 per share. Over the next few years, his investment multiplied by many times even though many of the companies that he had invested in went bankrupt.

This shows that profitability of penny stocks. John Templeton eventually retired as a billionaire and passed the rest of his days in sunny carefree Bahamas. John Templeton had graduated from Yale and he was a pioneer of investing in globally diversified mutual funds. But his success had started from his plan to buy 100 shares of every company trading before $1 per share.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Personal Finance: Sound Money Habits To Start Now

„I just got my tax refund, it’s time to go on a vacation!“ I can’t tell you how many times I heard this growing up and now see daily on social media. I recognized early in life that the way I managed money was very different than most people I knew. It has always puzzled me because I never quite understood how people could spend money without ever giving a second thought to saving or retirement. Following are some basic habits you can start now to help secure your financial security in the future:

1. Saving for retirement as early as possible is the most beneficial thing you can do. Even if it is just $50 per month, which is the minimum for most plans, you could be setting yourself up with thousands upon thousands of dollars at retirement. The earlier the better. For example, a 25 year-old who saves $200 a month until age 65 and earns exactly 6% on saved funds annually would have accumulated around $400,000. But a 40 year old contributing the same amount each month at the same earnings rate would have accumulated only $139,600 by age 65.

2. Never carry a balance on a credit card with an interest rate. This is one of the fastest ways to build an amount of debt that could burden you for the rest of your life. When you do need to use credit and you’re unable to pay in full each month, seek out a 0% interest card. Many promotions are from six moths up to a year or more. If used responsibly, they are essentially a free loan. Just be certain to pay their entire balance before then end of the term or you’ll end up with retroactive interest that could add hundreds of dollars (if not more) to your obligation.

3. Instead of buying a new car or a lease, try to save up and buy a good used car for cash. What you save between interest, depreciation, taxes, plates and insurance will save you thousands. According to Edmunds.com, buying a car that is two years old is your best bet because you avoid the biggest depreciation drop. Owning it for three years and then selling will also benefit you because you see another large drop after year five due to long-term maintenance that is generally required at that point. If you cannot afford a two-year old car without having to borrow, then getting one a little older with the long term maintenance repairs done (and low miles if possible) is your best bet.

4. Avoid eating out if you can. The average American eats out 4-5 times per week spending on average $232 per month or about $2,700 per year. If you skipped eating out for two years you would have actually saved enough to buy a good used car like point three above.

5. The last thing, and arguably the most important, is thinking long-term. The worst way to justify spending is doing so on an individual basis versus the monthly or yearly aggregate. Take eating out for example: while it might only cost you $10 a meal, don’t fail to consider that if you did this three times per week for a year, you would have spent more than $1,400. This same logic can be applied to virtually anything-clothes, vacations, furniture, coffee, expedited shipping etc. Anytime you’re about to spend money think to yourself, okay, how much will this end up costing me each year.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Home Sellers! Are You Guilty of the 7 Sins of Home Selling?

Greed: This one is a biggie. It was easy in a seller’s market to get in touch with your greedy side. Feeling like Midas, anything you asked for from a buyer turned to gold in your hands. Drunk with that kind of power, buyers were often left feeling helpless to comply if they wanted your home. In a balanced market, or even in a buyer’s market, many sellers have not kicked the greed habit. Ironically, greed is costing those sellers money. Ask any real estate agent and they will tell you stories of deals that were blown because of a $300.00 item that could not be agreed upon. No longer with the advantage, many sellers are refusing to make any concessions if it means less money in their pockets, but now the buyer’s are free to move along to the next house on their list. A seller may balk at fixing a $500.00 item in the house, or providing an inexpensive home warranty, but when the buyer moves along to an accommodating seller, the greedy seller is left to wait for another buyer – all the while making mortgage payments on the house they can’t sell. Bad move.

Unrealistic Expectations: Anyone who has sold a home in a seller’s market is going to have a hard time grasping a buyer’s market. If you want to sell your house, you have to forget everything you remember about selling your house in the past. Odds are that your home will not sell in a week, nor will you receive multiple offers. Unrealistic expectations are the foundation of blame and resentment, and they keep you from selling your home. The first few weeks of having your home on the market is filled with hope, anxiety, and irrational exuberance. It’s completely normal to believe that your home is somehow more special than the others on the market, and yours will be the exception to the tough market. Once it becomes clear that the bidding war has not materialized, and your home still sits along with the others, a home seller with unrealistic expectations is crushed. Stay positive about your home, but don’t blind yourself to what selling it will entail. A home seller with a realistic view of what it takes to sell a house in a balanced or buyer’s market, can easily adapt to changing market conditions, use constructive feedback to improve their home, and in return sell their home faster.

Pride: If you really want to sell your home, make the promise right now that you will never utter the following phrase: „I’m going to send that buyer a message.“ If you enjoy sending messages, then perhaps you could raise carrier pigeons. If you want to sell your home, drop that phrase from your vocabulary. The message that sellers send, when they respond to buyers that way is „I don’t want to sell my house to you. You have insulted me.“ In the end, all you are left with is your pride, and that house that just will not sell. As an active Ebayer, I have never witnessed a transaction in which the seller of an item got indignant at the lowest bidder. It’s all business. Divorce your emotions from the home selling process, and you have an advantage over the angry sellers in your area, because the buyers that they turn way with their „messages“, are going to buy a home – just not theirs! The message to send to a buyer should be in the form of a counter-offer. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Impatience: You want this home sold. Now! The impatient seller can’t understand why their home hasn’t sold in the first week. By the third week on the market, the impatient home seller is fuming, and wondering how to get out of the listing agreement. Are you an impatient home seller? If you’ve chosen your real estate agent carefully, and believed when you signed the listing agreement that they are up to the job, then sit back and let the market work. The impatient seller calls their agent more than once a day for updates, even if there has been no activity on the house. The question, „why isn’t it selling?“ is regularly pleaded over the phone. Are you, the impatient seller, doing everything you need to do to get your home sold? Have you done the things your agent suggested to get your home in selling condition? Did you really listen to the comparable pricing data your agent provided you? Or did you have a set price in your mind and refused to move from it when listing the home? The impatient seller can create an enormous amount of stress for everyone involved in selling the home, and it’s totally avoidable. In the end, the timing of the sale of your home will be a combination of price, condition, and luck. No amount of impatience is going to change that.

Ignoring the market: Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is disaster for a home seller. Yes, we know that your neighbor sold their home for the same price you want for your home, but that was four months ago. The residential real estate market is more fluid than ever now. Educate yourself about current market conditions, not last year’s market, not even last month’s market. A home seller who ignores the market will interview a few real estate agents, read the data provided by the agent, then ignore the data and list with the agent that gives them the least argument about pricing their home unrealistically. Real estate agents do not price homes, sellers do. The agents will provide valuable information and input to help a seller choose a price. Some agents will refuse to take a listing if they feel the seller is unrealistic about pricing, but many others will take the listing with the caveat that the seller be open to reducing the price later. With so many other properties on the market, an overpriced home will sit there like a deli tray at a gathering of vegetarians. Then, the seller will be chasing the market by lowering the price after watching the prices around them fall. Eventually, the house may sell, but the price will be determined by the market, as it always is. If you are guilty of ignoring the market, you can save yourself a lot of time and headache by scheduling a meeting with your real estate agent to go over the current sales data for your home, and setting a realistic price, now.

Stubbornness: When selling your home it’s best to imagine yourself as a supple tree gently swaying with the wind, instead of a donkey with its heels dug solidly into the dirt resisting all attempts to be budged. Stubbornness can show up in many situations. When you are contacted to schedule a showing, do you leave the house? Though it’s a fact that your home has a better chance of selling if you are not there for the showing, do you refuse to be inconvenienced by having to leave? You may tell yourself that the buyers can work around your schedule. They won’t. The chance for a sale often vanishes because a buyer feels uncomfortable with the homeowner in the house, and cannot freely assess the house. Expect to be inconvenienced when you sell your home. It’s part of the process.

Being Uncooperative: Are you a partner with your real estate agent when it comes to getting your home sold? Do you resist all suggestions by your real estate agent to make changes to your home that will help it sell faster? I’ve had this conversation with home sellers many times. Is it fair that people judge your home based on the things that are not going to be in it when you move out? No, probably not. Do buyers judge your home based on those things? Absolutely. I’ve seen buyers lose their enthusiasm for a home based on a decorating theme that didn’t suit them. No matter how many times their real estate agent might remind them that they can decorate in their own style, it’s too late. The home is now referred to as the „duck home“, or the „doll home“, or the „pink home.“ Every house gets a nickname when buyers are shopping. Don’t let your refusal to cooperate stop your home from being the „perfect home.“

The sale of your home requires the cooperation of countless people, many of whom you’ll never meet. The key word here is „cooperation.“ We, as home sellers, expect those that are working to complete our sales transaction to be cooperative. What about you, the home seller? Are you willing to meet the buyer halfway in negations? Are you willing to work within someone else’s schedule to get something signed? Remember, you may be selling a property, but in the end, real estate is about humans. Be a good one.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg