How to Sell Your Home: Take the First Steps

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Now that the prime selling season is upon us, it is time for you to take action. Whether you are selling your first home or you are a veteran in the home-selling game, there are some things that you need to keep in mind before and during your listing.

Start from the inside-out.

You should make sure that your home is in the best possible condition before selling. To prepare your home properly, you need to begin by clearing out all clutter. Throw away or donate old clothes and trinkets, and eliminate or file away papers in your office or on your counters. Once you’ve effectively de-cluttered your home, you can tackle small jobs around your home to ensure that it will pass inspection. Stick to the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Fix major issues like leaky faucets or broken down, old, or outdated appliances. Don’t waste time renovating if you are hoping to make a quick sell this summer, though. Your buyers can always make aesthetic changes to the home when they move in. But if you want to make small aesthetic edits to your home, try a new coat of paint. Once you’ve made your fixes inside, move outside to improve your curb appeal. Keep your lawn and flower beds tidy and trimmed back. You may even want to plant some colorful, eye-grabbing flowers and shrubs to really stand out from the crowd.

Be picture perfect.

Take photos that feature the best characteristics of your home. Try not to take pictures of works of art or of furniture in your home, since these are all things that will be going with you to your new home anyway. Take multiple photos that will reel buyers in. The majority of buyers start their home-buying process online, so photos can be a big part of selling your home. Make sure they are of the best quality possible and that they showcase your home in a way that persuades buyers to see it in person.

Be accessible.

Allow for buyers to access your property as easily as possible. Add your contact number to your listing and answer all calls that come so that you can open your property for all agents and prospective buyers. On your counters or dining table, leave some fliers or information for buyers and agents to look through. You can include in this information your contact information, seller’s disclosure statement, and information about the property and community.

Overall, be proactive and ready for anything on this journey. Whether you sell your home sells in two weeks or two months, be aware of ways that you can improve the marketing of your home and boost traffic so that you can get your home sold.

Schools Can Make the Grade for Your Home

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A good school district when buying or selling a home is a huge asset. If you are a seller, you should use the school district to your advantage and market it as a part of the package that a buyer gets when buying your home. If you are a buyer, research the best school districts in the Atlanta area and consider the benefits of buying in that area. You’d be surprised how much a successful school district can help you in the home buying or selling process.

Do your research.

There are many different resources you can use to research the caliber of schools in an area. You can start at the Georgia Department of Education website to research important statistics like teacher to student ratios, enrollment information, and graduation rates. You can even look into the performance on each school on tests and assessments. Another avenue to explore is the actual district website, where they have more specific information about the schools in their area, or you can visit the websites of the schools in your area to see exact information about the community that surrounds individual schools, as well as the courses and services they offer. Keep in mind, sellers: any stellar information you find about a district or school should be a part of your marketing plan. Report information about the schools in your area to buyers so they can see what kind of benefits they will be getting from your property. Buyers, if the seller does not provide this information for you, do some research for yourself to see what kind of investment you’d be making by buying in a particular school district. Another great way to find out more about the school is by talking to parents of students at the school. During a showing or open house, ask the seller or neighbors what they think of the schools in the area, especially the public schools. You may even want to visit the schools in the area to see what the atmosphere is like and meet some of the administrators. If the property is located near high-scoring private schools, it would be wise to also research those schools, their performance, and obviously, their costs.

High-performing schools increase home value.

Even if you don’t have children who will be attending the excellent schools in your area, keep in mind that those schools increase the value of your home. High-scoring schools can increase home value by $205,000 in the surrounding neighborhoods. Buyers should keep this in mind when buying, since this will greatly improve their investment. And sellers should keep in mind that some buyers may actively avoid areas that are in low-scoring school districts. In those cases, you should market your home in different ways.

Overall, never discount the importance of the school district in which a property is located. Even if you don’t have children who will attend the school, consider the effects of living in a particular school district.

Duffy Realty Buyer Testimonial from Battles

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Here are what some of our happy homeowners have to say about Duffy Realty’s Buyer Agent Team:

I wanted to personally thank you for the hard work in helping us find our dream home. The Duffy team, with their “can do” attitudes and straight forward approach, made this process stress free. We are extremely happy and would recommend Duffy Realty to our friends and family. Thank you Duffy Realty for making our dream home a reality!” F. Hardy – Stockbridge

My experience with Duffy Realty was fantastic from start to finish. Both Josh and Terrell were available at the drop of a hat to help us, and they walked us through the procedure from day one. I would highly recommend Duffy Realty to everyone!” M. McConnell – Roswell

Justin was a fantastic realtor and the experience was wonderful. We were able to schedule showings of homes around our crazy schedules, which was a huge bonus and we were also able to get all the advice and support we needed throughout the process with just a simple text/call/email. If we had to do it all again I would use Duffy Realty, no question. We love our new home and can’t wait to make many great memories here!” J. Battles – Kennesaw

Be sure to visit the Choose Your Buyer Agent page to browse through our fantastic team!

Buying a Fixer-Upper? Prepare Yourself!

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Buying a fixer-upper can be daunting, but it can also be the exact right thing to do when considering the area that it’s in. If you happen to find an older home with some need of TLC in your dream neighborhood, buying a fixer-upper can give you the chance to renovate and decorate to your exact specifications to create your dream home. Plus, you have the added benefit of a somewhat discounted home so that you can put the money you saved from buying an outdated home towards your desired renovations. Before doing this, though, you need to consider all of the angles.

Get ready for an ongoing project.

Updating and renovating a fixer-upper will force you to take on a myriad of projects to achieve the exact look and feel you imagined. This can take a lot of time and money. Even if you are an avid DIY-er, you will have to prepare yourself for some grueling projects that will require much of your time. Life can get in the way sometimes, too, so be sure that you are ready for your home to be in all kinds of disrepair while you are in the process of working through your new home. The most efficient way to work through the projects on your home is to focus on one to two projects at a time. Finish those before moving on to the next task. The worst thing you can do is start a bunch of projects at once and then never finish them, since this might leave your home worse off than when you found it.

You will have to pay a pretty penny.

Before budgeting for what projects you know you want to accomplish in your new home, put aside some money first for one big unforeseen project. With older homes, sometimes something will end up breaking down in the first year of owning the home, and you should be prepared to fix it in a pinch. So, it is important to keep in mind that while your fixer-upper may have passed inspection, it is not a guarantee of complete working order. If, after the first year of living in the home, nothing needs repair, then you have extra money to put towards more of your cosmetic projects. Once you have budgeted for this possible unforeseen project, then you can consider how much money you have to put towards the rest of your planned renovations. If you aren’t the DIY-er you wish you were, you will have to hire some contractors, which means shopping around for the best deal for the best job done. Add some wiggle room in this budget since most contractors will come in for a job you want done, but will then suggest a mini side project that they can do while completing the task you hired them for. For example, a contractor updating the floors in your bathroom might also suggest updating the vanity while they’re at it.

Remodeling: Should You Embark On This Endeavor Prior to Selling?

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Many sellers think that they must make all sorts of repairs and renovations to their homes before even listing. This endeavor can be a daunting one, but sometimes it can give sellers just the edge they need. Before taking on this task, consider all of the angles.

What are the benefits of renovating and what updates should be made?

If you feel like your home won’t be up to the task of competing with newer, more recently updated homes, then renovations can definitely help sell your home faster than it would if you tried to sell it as-is. This is especially true with older homes with out-of-style interiors. One way to bring your home up to scratch is to update counters and flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms, update the cabinetry, and install new appliances. Take a look online to see current trends or visit homes in your area in the same price range to see what kind of updates others have made or to see what renovations are necessary for your home to be competitive in the market. Don’t feel pressured to rip out your entire kitchen or bathroom to renovate, though. Small improvements can be made that will make a big impact. Be mindful to update within your time constraints as well. For example, don’t start multiple projects all at once. Get one project done first before beginning another, in case you decide to go ahead and list after completing one project. Sometimes you’ll find that only having to do one big update is all you need to do to vastly improve your home’s appeal in the competitive market.

What might be the downsides of updating and renovating?

These kinds of renovations can cost a lot of money and time. Depending on the project, you might have to spend a pretty penny and postpone putting your home on the market for a while during the renovations. Remodeling any part of your home can be stressful on top of everything else you are doing to prepare for selling your home and buying and moving into a new home. Sometimes it is best to simply sell your home as-is to get the home off of your hands and put your money towards your new home. Plus, selling your home as-is will give buyers a chance to remodel the home on their own to their tastes. It isn’t necessary for you to go overboard with a ton of different remodeling projects that might not even be right for some of your buyers’ own personal styles. So the best way to get by without renovating is to clean, depersonalize, and simply fix things that are no longer functioning or need repairs.

If you aren’t sure about whether or not to remodel features of your home, discuss it with your agent. They will have sage advice for you during the process of listing and selling your home.

Listing Your Home for the Spring Season!

Need some tips for listing your home this spring?  Rhonda Duffy was interviewed by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and gives you all the advice you need to get your home sold!

 

Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for more awesome videos from Duffy Realty of Atlanta!

Duffy Realty Buyer Testimonial from Elkins

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Here are what some of our happy homeowners have to say about Duffy Realty’s Buyer Agent Team:

Randall helped us look for our first home together. We narrowed down our search to a handful of homes that we were interested in. Randall was patient with us while we looked for the perfect house for us. He answered his phone and responded to emails in a quick manner. His real estate knowledge was helpful and on point. He was flexible and available whenever we wanted to see properties.” L. Lynch – Cumming

I was very fortunate to have met Jan Huchteman at Duffy Realty to look for my new home. Her knowledge & patience is the reason we found the condo I wanted. Everyday, she sent new condos for review to my website, which was a huge convenience I also did not expect to have to deal w/ so many changes but Jan had a solution for every problem.” P. Felton – Atlanta

Duffy Realty made our home buying experience extremely easy. What started with driving through neighborhoods, searching for options for our upcoming move, we stumbled upon Tynecastle Way and your sign. Joshua Thomas of Duffy Realty was the listing agent and actually answered the phone on Easter Sunday – we had an appointment with him to see the house the next day. Joshua and his team were extremely helpful, walking us through the whole process. Duffy Realtys team met us at the property whenever we requested to bring in various contractors as we priced and inspected the home. All in all it was a seamless process we couldn’t be more happy about.” G. Elkins – Sandy Springs

Be sure to visit the Choose Your Buyer Agent page to browse through our fantastic team!

 

Duffy Realty Buyer Testimonial from S Harding

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Here are some of what our happy homeowners have to say about Duffy Realty’s Buyer Agent Team:

“Deniesha was really pleasant to work with. She was very organized when scheduling our appointments. After, we selected our home, she was able to answer our questions and keep us abreast of any information we needed in a timely manner.” K. Creel – Monroe

“We would like to give a hardy thank you to the entire staff at Duffy Realty for their courtesy, patience, and professionalism in our recent purchase of a new home. It has been very comforting to know that someone was going to bat for us, the entire time, in every facet of this very detailed negotiation. From the very beginning to a successful completion Duffy Realty has truly taken a lot of the stress out of a very trying time. We do thank you all, but specifically Michael Brooks for his countless hours spent in the pursuit of finding us the “perfect” home for some very specific needs. Michael tirelessly researched every question we had for him and got us an answer quickly. He is very knowledgeable of every aspect of real estate and provided us with tremendously useful information, gently guiding us to make the best decisions. Michael adeptly set up every procedure and inspection needed and never tired of our sometimes needless worries and constant inquiries, which is greatly appreciated. So once again, our hats are off to everyone at Duffy Realty and Michael Brooks specifically. Thank you! We are now looking forward to listing our current home with Duffy Realty, and feel very reassured that this experience will be equally gratifying.” S. Harding – Woodstock

Be sure to visit the Choose Your Buyer Agent page to browse through our fantastic team!

 

Get in the Market to Buy Your Home NOW!

Need to know the steps to get into the market to buy your dream home?

Watch this video featuring Scott Slade from “Atlanta’s Morning News” as he gives the advice of his trusted real estate agent, Rhonda Duffy.

For more information, visit our YouTube Channel and our Choose Your Buyer Agent Page!

Duffy Realty Buyer Testimonial from Real Buyers

 

 

Here are what some of our happy homeowners have to say about Duffy Realty’s Buyer Agent Team:

“Five months ago, I saw a house which I wanted. But there were some issues going on because the house was on short sale and the bank did not approve the price. So later on, we failed to buy the house but Alania Billingsley found different route to buy the same home. Her persistent effort made the house interaction carry the process conveniently. She responded to my questions instantly when I text her and was will to help me. Now she made us breath fresh air refreshingly.” J. Jung – Buford

“The McCarty Team held our hands throughout a long distance home purchase. Jennifer was always available to answer questions and get information to/from the sellers. Her patience and knowledge made it a great experience. The 8 Step Buyer Timeline was a useful guide.” T. Grondal – Johns Creek

“I have always put aside and brushed off previous realtors that has called me in my quest for a home search and I believe it was only because destiny led me to Deanna when the timing was just right. Deanna has been an amazing realtor and coach throughout this entire process and made my home search a pleasing experience. As a first time buyer, she made me feel very comfortable with any questions I may have had. She walked me through each step and explained everything which made it so easy for me to understand. It was almost as if I was being positively coached and guided by a big sister and the rapport that we build was just like that. Her information was always accurate and right on target with what steps were next. She was always very accommodating with my hectic work schedule. I anticipated an emotional roller coaster as a young, single, first time buyer, but Deanna was so well-versed in her real estate knowledge that I couldn’t ask for a better realtor. I have been raving about her and this experience as much as I have been raving about the home. She was very transparent and I do not have any regrets with any info given to me. She will definitely be my only referral to any one who is on their home search as well.” T. Amey – Loganville

Be sure to visit the Choose Your Buyer Agent page to browse through our fantastic team!