Preparing for an Appraisal Before Selling a Home

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If you are preparing to move to a new home, one essential step is a successful transaction to sell your current home. Not only do you need an appraisal before selling a home, but you also need to consider home staging, cleaning, repairs, renovations, and more. An experienced real estate team, like DUFFY Realty, can walk you through the most effective strategy to ensure you maximize equity and find a good buyer.

Appraisal: What it is and Why You Need it

The true market value of a home can be obtained by hiring an unbiased appraiser to assess the property. If a buyer is planning to borrow money from a lender or mortgage broker, then an appraisal will be required. This step is a way for the lender to protect their interests by avoiding overfunding (loaning more money than the property is worth).

Did you know that the bank appraisal is a common reason why a real estate deal fails? If a buyer depends on a mortgage to cover the cost of the purchase, then an appraiser will need to come into the property to evaluate the value. Sometimes, it is discovered that the appraised price is less than the offer price, which means that the buyer will not be able to get the full financing needed for the purchase.

Are You Ready for an Appraisal Before Selling a Home?

You can bring in an appraiser to determine the value of your home before listing it on the real estate market. Before you spend the money, it is smart to do a thorough walk-through to look at the property with a critical perspective.

Identify potential areas that need to be repaired or renovated. For example, broken tiles, damaged siding, roofing problems, and other issues should be addressed. Not only should you think about repairing current damage, but it might also be beneficial to invest in home improvements that will boost the value of your home. Make sure to consider aspects such as curb appeal, clearing out clutter inside, eliminating pet odor, deep cleaning, and more.

Consider providing a list of improvements for the appraiser to see, which brings attention to the investments that have been made on the property. Sometimes, the appraiser doesn’t know to look for specific improvements because they aren’t aware of the work that has been completed. This step is especially important if you are selling a high-priced, luxury home.

Finding a Real Estate Team to Help with Your Home Purchase

If you want a smooth, easy transaction when selling your home, then you must enlist the help of an experienced real estate team. DUFFY Realty is here to help! We offer many years of experience in the real estate industry. Our goal is to help you maximize your equity. Not only can we help you find the right buyer, but we offer a competitive commission structure that is the fraction of the cost compared to other real estate agents. Call to learn more about the quality real estate services that are available for your family: (678) 318-1700

Answers to the Most Common Questions from Home Sellers

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What questions are racing through your mind when you decide that it’s time to sell your home? Home sellers often have questions about the best ways to maximize equity and find the right buyer. It can be hard to find the answers to these questions if you don’t have an experienced real estate team to assist with the transaction.

Here at DUFFY Realty, we work with both home sellers and home buyers. Here are a few answers to some of your common questions:

  • Is it a good time to sell my home? There’s no question that the real estate market fluctuates with time. This common question doesn’t have a simple answer, because many factors affect your personal needs and the right timing for your family. The best thing that you can do is discuss your circumstances with a real estate agent to determine the timing that will fit your real estate strategy.
  • How much is my home worth? Again, we can’t provide a generalized answer to this question because home values change from one year to the next. We will determine the right pricing structure for your home by evaluating comparable properties in the area. Our experienced real estate team is here to assist as you are determining the market value and offer a “Comparative Market Analysis” (CMA) for your property.
  • How can I prepare my home before it’s listed? First impressions play a huge role in the process of selling a home. If you want to sell the home quickly, then you need to be sure that your home is designed to attract the right buyers. Present the property in the best possible light by reducing clutter, repairing any visible issues around the house, and ensuring that every room is spotless.
  • Do I need to disclose issues to potential buyers? If there are problems with the property, then you need to disclose these issues with potential buyers. For example, if you know that there are defects with the appliances, then it is important that you share this information. Being honest about the quality of the property helps you avoid potential issues with the inspections and closing of the real estate deal. Some of these defects can be corrected before you list the property. Or, you can adjust the pricing of the home if the buyer will need to invest substantial cash into the repair work.
  • What is the difference between the listing price and the sale price? You determine the price you would like to show on the real estate listing. Then you need to wait for offers to come through from potential buyers. The sale price is the final number reached after negotiations, which is the price that will be used when you are ready to close the deal.

The most important thing you can do is hire a good real estate team to assist with the process of selling your home. If you have questions, then DUFFY Realty is here to assist. Home sellers can reach us by calling: (678) 318-1700

Selling a Home? Protect Your Money on the Sale

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Owning a home gives you peace of mind in knowing that your family has a safe place to live and build memories together. It is nice to have a family home that can be designed and shaped based on your family culture and the needs of your loved one. Additionally, this property is a great investment to help you build wealth over the years.

Building Equity in Your Family Home

As a homeowner, your ongoing mortgage payments help to build equity in the property over time. This long-term investment creates wealth over the years, eventually allowing you to own the home “free and clear.” Not only do your monthly payments help to reduce the size of the loan, but a strong real estate market means that the value of the property increases with time.

Keep in mind that equity isn’t guaranteed because there is always a risk with investments. But homeownership is a safe choice. You need a place to live, and you might as well enjoy the financial benefits over the years.

Tips for Protecting Equity

The more equity you can build in your home, the more money you will have in your pocket when it is time to sell. What will you do with the extra cash? Many families choose to roll the equity into the purchase of another home, helping to reduce the cost of the new mortgage. Or, you can use the extra cash to buy furniture, work on home renovations, buy a car, or even take your family on vacation.

A few simple strategies can help to protect your home equity:

  • Choose a Good Real Estate Agent: The right agent will use certain strategies to increase the selling price of your home. The higher the price, the more money you will have when the property sells. Your real estate agent should help you find the “sweet spot” so that you can maximize the price of your property while ensuring a fast transaction as well.
  • Flat Fee Real Estate Commissions: When you are selecting your real estate agent, it is important to discuss the commissions and fees that will be charged on the transaction. Many real estate agents charge 3%, which is a significant amount of your home price. Instead, choose our team at DUFFY Realty… our clients save an average of $9,000 due to our low commission structure.
  • Invest in Renovations: As you are preparing to sell, it is smart to invest in a few renovations for the property. Even though you will be spending a little money, it adds up to boost home value. Talk to your real estate agent to identify the best “bang for your buck” when it comes to home improvement projects.

At DUFFY Realty, we understand the importance of protecting your equity to support your financial goals. Our team has many years of experience in the Atlanta real estate industry, and we are here to help you in maximizing the value of your home. Call to learn more: (678) 318-1700

6 Reasons Why Atlanta FSBO is a Bad Idea

6 Reasons Why Atlanta FSBO is a Bad Idea

6 Reasons Why Atlanta For Sale By Owner is a Bad Idea When DUFFY Realty Exists

When you are trying to save money, sticking a “For Sale By Owner” sign in the yard might seem like a simple solution. Atlanta real estate agents charge thousands of dollars in commissions, so it is easy to see why some homeowners are attempting a DIY transaction.

Before you rush into this decision, you need to understand the potential issues that often arise with FSBO real estate. In fact, selling a home without the representation of a real estate agent might be the biggest mistake that you could make. Here are the main reasons why FSBO transactions fail:

  1. Lack of Preparation: If you aren’t familiar with the real estate market, then it’s likely that you will overlook a few important things that need to be addressed before the home goes on the market. Good preparation plays an integral role in ensuring that your home catches the attention of the right buyers. Your real estate agent will help with the pre-listing tasks, such as small repairs and renovations, decluttering, staging, curb appeal, and more.
  2. Screening Buyers: Just because someone indicates interest in your home, doesn’t mean that you should jump at the opportunity to work with them. Many times, FSBOs waste hours and hours because of unqualified buyers who want to see the home. Instead, you can streamline the process when your real estate agent makes sure that the buyers are pre-qualified or pre-approved.
  3. Managing Inquiries: It is assumed that a real estate agent lists the property and then sits around until the home sells. The truth is that your agent will be working hard answering questions and guiding the conversation when people inquire about the listing. If you don’t have the time or expertise to field these calls, then it is best to skip the FSBO and work with an Atlanta real estate agent instead.
  4. Poor Negotiation: Real-world experience with real estate negotiation is essential to ensure the best deal for your family. With a FSBO, it is common for the seller to have limited knowledge of real estate contracts. As a result, they often get the short end of the stick in the final negotiations.
  5. Home Inspections: Another thing that you need hands-on experience with is working through the inspection findings. The home inspection phase can be stressful and costly if you don’t have a good real estate agent to assist with the work. It is likely that your inspector will find something wrong, which is why you need a pro to guide the conversation and negotiations.
  6. Paying the Buyers Agent: Even if you choose to forgo the services of a sellers real estate agent, you still need to be willing to pay the commission for the buyer’s agent. The chances are slim that you will connect with a buyer who is working without a real estate agent. So, refusing to pay any real estate commissions means that you will eliminate most of the potential buyers.

For Sale By Owner in Atlanta isn’t the only way to save money when selling your home. Instead of taking a risk with FSBO, we invite you to learn more about the affordable real estate commissions that are offered through our team at DUFFY Realty of Atlanta. Call today: (678) 318-1700

Easy Solutions to Make Your Home Appealing to Buyers

Easy Solutions to Make Your Home Appealing to Buyers


Slapping a few cell phone photos onto an online home listing won’t be good enough to sell your property in this real estate market. Your real estate listing is an opportunity to capture the attention of potential buyers and encourage them to schedule a time to visit your home.

If you want to maximize your home value and ensure that it sells quickly, then there are a few things that need to happen before the property is listed on the real estate market. It’s a seller’s market, which means that you can get your desired price if you are willing to put in a little bit of work.

Easy Home Improvement Projects

It might not be necessary to tackle massive home renovation projects before you are ready to sell. Instead, look for the small, simple techniques that will upgrade the appearance of the property and appeal to potential buyers. Here are a few tips to help:

  • Clean and Declutter: The first thing a potential buyer will notice is the cleanliness of the home. Pull out the rags and mop and spend the time to deep clean every room. Scrub the kitchen and bathrooms, have the carpets professionally cleaned, and clear the piled-up clutter in the closets.
  • Fresh Paint: A new coat of paint is helpful to cover up any aesthetic blemishes and create a neutral theme. Research the latest paint trends and stick with basic colors such as white, gray, tan, and more.
  • Cosmetic Upgrades: You don’t have to remodel the entire bathroom and kitchen. But a few cosmetic upgrades will update the appearance of these rooms. For example, add new hardware on the cabinets and replace the faucets to match. Decorate with new, fluffy towels and shower curtains to make the room look cozy and welcoming.
  • Add Lighting: A bright home creates feelings of comfort and beauty. Change out the lightbulbs, bring in a few more lamps, and make sure that all of the curtains are open when a potential buyer is touring the property. Don’t forget to evaluate the outdoor light bulbs to ensure that everything is lit when the buyers walk to the door.
  • Energy Efficiency: Not only do home buyers want to save money on utilities, but they also want to be proactive in protecting the environment. Add energy efficient upgrades by installing a smart thermostat, Energy Star rated appliances, and energy efficient light bulbs. Also, evaluate the insulation and weatherstripping around the doors and windows.

One of the most effective steps to ensure that your home sells quickly and easily is choosing an experienced real estate team in the area. You can learn more about your options to by talking to our experts at DUFFY Realty. Call to schedule a consultation so that you can learn more about the recommendations to prepare your home for the real estate market: (678) 318-1700

Essential Low-Cost Improvements Before Listing Your Property for Sale

Essential Low-Cost Improvements Before Listing Your Property for Sale

Essential Low-Cost Improvements Before Listing Your Property for Sale

Is your home ready to be listed on the real estate market? If you are thinking about selling your home and you have been living there for a while, then there’s a pretty good chance that you need to invest in a few renovations before putting the listing up on the market. These projects can help you attract potential buyers and maximize your equity at the same time.

Don’t assume that you need to jump into a massive renovation project by remodeling the kitchen or adding another bedroom. Instead, talk to your Atlanta real estate agent about a few small changes that can improve your home in a big way.

Spruce Up the Yard

The quality of your landscaping will have the biggest impact on the buyer’s first impression. It’s amazing to see how basic landscaping projects can upgrade the external appearance of your property:

  • Pull the weeds
  • Fertilize the lawn
  • Add color with flowers and shrubs
  • Edge and mow the lawn
  • Clean up toys and miscellaneous items in the yard

Improve the Lighting

A dark home feels uninviting, small, and closed off. If you have dull lighting in your home, then it’s worth the investment to upgrade the light fixtures and bulbs. Also, bring in other lighting features such as tread lighting, accent lighting, bedside lamps, free-standing lamps, desk lamps, and lighting under the cabinets.

When a home showing is scheduled, turn on all of the lights in the home, even during the daytime hours. Open the blinds and curtains to bring in the sunshine and brighten the rooms.

Clean Up the Walls

Sometimes, a good cleaning will be sufficient to make the walls look as good as new. Wash off the handprints, scuff marks, and anything else that might be distracting.

If the walls are damaged, or the paint is outdated, then it might be worth a fresh paint job. Choose light, neutral colors, such as pale gray or blue to match the current trends. Often, a full paint job is needed in the kitchen, bathrooms, children’s bedrooms, and family rooms.

Depersonalize the Rooms

Even though you love having family photos up on the walls, it is best to remove these items to give the potential buyers the opportunity to envision their lives in your property. Take down photographs, religious or political décor, artwork, and anything else that might not fit with the general trends in the industry. If you need help with a new décor theme, then it is worth a consultation with a staging or interior décor expert for personal recommendations.

An experienced real estate agent can offer suggestions to improve your home before the real estate photographer comes for the listing photos. For more information, talk to our team at DUFFY Realty of Atlanta. We are here to help you maximize your property value and sell your home in a short, efficient manner: (678) 318-1700

How to Market Your Home to Millennials

How to Market Your Home to Millennials

Millennials have taken a different approach with homeownership compared to older generations. Many millennials delay the decision to purchase a home because they value the freedom and flexibility that comes from renting.

But, this generation is reaching an age where they are ready to settle down and create a stable home life for their families. So, many millennials are stepping to the real estate market as first-time home buyers. This generation is filled with smart, career-focused people who have strong incomes and prioritize lifestyle. As a result, they are selective about the homes they are willing to buy. Since millennials are entering the market as buyers, home sellers need to be sure that their properties are positioned to attract these buyers.

What Millennials are Looking for in a Home

Here are some of the most important features millennials want when they’re buying a house:

  • Large Kitchens: The kitchen should be designed to flow with the rest of the home. Often, millennials want a living space connected to the kitchen to form a great room. Stylish décor and new appliances are important.
  • Updated Bathrooms: Since millennial buyers are usually on a budget, they don’t want the stress or expense of updating an old bathroom. A few changes in the bathroom can make a big difference, especially when you follow the current bathroom design trends.
  • Office or Workspace: The “work from home” trend is growing. Many millennials prioritize career opportunities that allow them to work from home, either through a corporate job or freelancing position. Stage one of the spare bedrooms as an office or set up a workspace in a quiet area in the home to help potential buyers envision their workday in that space.
  • Smart Technology: This generation lives in the digital age, so smart technology is a big benefit. These technology features might include a smart thermostat, garage door opener, or voice controlled appliances and lighting systems.
  • Energy Efficiency: Global warming is a big concern for the millennial generation, so they are often looking for homes with energy efficiency upgrades. These “green” features might include new efficient windows, LED lighting, or a programmable thermostat. Solar panels aren’t always the right solution, but could be a selling point for some buyers.
  • Storage: Efficient, spacious storage is important for this generation. Storage options might include walk-in closets in the bedrooms, a butler’s pantry, spacious garage, or linen closets.
  • Minimal Maintenace: Since millennials are focused on their careers and families, they don’t want their time to be focused on home maintenance tasks. Instead, they want to spend their weekends on enjoyable activities or relaxing with their loved ones. Look for options to minimize repairs and tasks, such as installing a new roof, upgrading the siding, or replacing the flooring.

DUFFY Realty is the leading real estate team in the Atlanta market. We’re here to help with the upgrades that are needed for your home, helping you appeal to the buyers in the area. Call to learn more about our services: (678) 318-1700

How to Build Home Equity Quickly

How to Build Home Equity Quickly

Real estate prices are continuing to increase, which means that it is the perfect time to build home equity. Your investment in a real estate property is a great way to protect your finances while offering a comfortable, beautiful home to share with your family. But, there are a few things that you need to do proactively if you want to avoid the common mistakes that might impact property value.

As a homeowner, you should follow these tips to build your equity:

Pay Attention to Market Trends

Let your home appreciate by riding the trends in the market. Since the prices are increasing right now, it means that you are gaining appreciation over time. Owning a home is an excellent choice so that you can take advantage of the rising industry pricings over the years. Many times, it’s like buying stock and watching the value increase with time. So, if you don’t already own a home, then it makes sense to buy as soon as possible.

Increase Your Down Payment

When you are buying the property, the amount that you put down for the financing will impact the financing. Talk to your lender to see how the numbers work out with your down payment options. A larger amount down will decrease the loan size, which in turn decreases the overall amount of interest that is paid. You can pay off the home quickly by minimizing the interest expenses. Then, the extra amount will be pure equity when it comes time to sell.

Pay Down Your Mortgage

After you move into the home, look for opportunities to pay down the mortgage balance whenever possible. Use financial increases to pay towards the mortgage and decrease interest expenses. For example, tax returns, family gifts, and work bonuses are all examples of unexpected financial windfalls that can be used to improve your home equity. Sometimes, lenders can adjust your monthly payments if you pay large lump sums towards the mortgage.

Increase the Frequency of Payments

Instead of assuming that you should make 12 monthly payments a year, look at options to speed up the payment schedule. Adding one extra mortgage payment per year can reduce your payoff calendar by as much as five or six years. Biweekly payments speed up the payment cycle even more, making it possible to pay off a 30-year mortgage in just 15 years.

Improve the Quality of the Property

Consider the option to invest in home renovations so that your property is move-in ready when it is time to sell. The best solution is to talk to an experienced real estate agent about comparable properties in the area. Then, you can choose the home features that need to be updated, helping to maximize the value of your property. Make sure that you understand the potential ROI (Return On Investment) before putting money into these renovations.

If you need helping maximizing your property value, then it is time to talk to the leading real estate team in the greater Atlanta area: DUFFY Realty. We offer excellent results and a fast turnaround time when you are ready to sell your home: (678) 318-1700

If you enjoyed this article on how to build home equity quickly, read this article on How To Save Money on Moving Costs.

Is Pod Storage a Good Idea When Selling Your Home?

Is Pod Storage a Good Idea When Selling Your Home

When you are preparing to list your home on the real estate market, there is one common piece of advice that you will hear from your real estate agent: clear the clutter in the home. Even if you don’t feel like you have a lot of stuff, it is important to make the rooms look spacious and comfortable. Decreasing furniture, décor, and items in the closets can make a big difference to help your home look appealing to potential buyers.

If you are preparing to upgrade your living space, then you probably don’t want to get rid of furniture and personal items. So, what should you do with these things when you are prepping for the real estate listing? Even if you have storage areas in your home, you need to be sure that the shelves are open and free of clutter. The best solution is to move the items out of your home so that they don’t distract potential buyers.

Is a POD the Right Answer?

One solution that you might consider is using a POD as a temporary storage unit. These large, metal containers are delivered to your property. Then, you can load your furniture and boxes inside at your convenience. PODs make it possible to eliminate the need for a moving company because you have the freedom to load a few things at a time without stressing about the workers on the clock. Plus, the storage container is at ground level, which is easier than loading a moving truck.

The drawback is that you need a place to store the container for a few days while you are loading it. If you live on a busy road without a driveway, then city ordinances might prohibit the use of these storage systems. Make sure that you check local rules before the POD is dropped off.

PODs create a perfect solution to clear the clutter, without getting rid of the items that you will want in the new home. But, you need to keep in mind that it could potentially drag down your curb appeal to have a large metal container in the driveway.

So, there’s a solution that you need to consider: a POD storage facility. The container can be left at your home for a few days to give you the time that is needed to load everything inside. Then, the POD crew will pick up the container and take it to a storage facility. Your personal items will be accessible to you during the storage time. Then, the POD will be delivered to your new home when you are ready to settle in again.

At DUFFY Realty, we’ve found the perfect solutions to help with the home buying and selling process. If you are preparing to list your home on the real estate market, then you need to call us right away to learn about the services that we provide: (678) 318-1700

How Holiday Decor Will Impact Your Home Listing

How Holiday Decor Will Impact Your Home Listing

Is it a good idea to pull out the holiday decorations if you are trying to sell your home?Is it a good idea to pull out the holiday decorations if you are trying to sell your home?