Dorothea Feffer - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Dorothea Feffer on 7/16/2018

Your home represents a dazzling choice in any housing market. However, real estate market conditions can change rapidly, which means you'll want to do everything you can to ensure your house stands out from other residences in any housing sector, at any time.

What does it take to guarantee your residence will stand out from the competition consistently? Here are three tips to ensure you can improve your chances of differentiating your residence from similar homes in your area.

1. Offer a Competitive Price.

If you'd like to sell your home as quickly as possible, you may want to offer an attractive price. That way, you're sure to improve your house's chances of garnering plenty of interest as soon as it hits the real estate market.

Although setting a competitive price may allow you to generate interest from many homebuyers, it is important to note that you should review all of your home offers closely before you accept a bid. Ensure that any offer you accept matches your expectations. And of course, don't be afraid to decline an offer or make a counter-proposal if an initial bid fails to meet your needs.

2. Promote Your Home to the Right Homebuyers.

Regardless of whether you own a one-bedroom, one-bathroom residence in the city or a four-bedroom, three-bathroom townhouse outside the city, you'll want to ensure you promote your house to the right audience at the right time, every time. This will enable you to garner interest from homebuyers who may be serious about your residence and could submit an offer for your home quickly.

Consider the homebuyer's perspective before you list your residence on the housing market. By doing so, you'll be able to determine your target audience and market your house to this group accordingly.

There are many wonderful online platforms that you can use to promote your house to the right homebuyers as well. Facebook remains a top option, as it enables you to share photos, videos and details about your home with ease. Also, don't forget to use YouTube to put together a video tour of your home, or email your home listing to friends and family members so they can share it with homebuyers who may be interested in your residence.

3. Employ an Experienced Real Estate Agent.

Your real estate agent will devote the necessary time and resources to help your residence stand out from similar houses in your city or town. This professional understands the local and national housing markets and will do whatever it takes to market your residence accordingly. Plus, your real estate agent can offer tips and guidance to ensure you can improve your residence's curb appeal, revamp your home's interior and exterior and more.

An experienced real estate agent will be able to provide you with ongoing guidance throughout the home selling process too. And if you ever have concerns or questions as you sell your home, your real estate agent will be glad to address your queries at all times.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can help you house stand out in a crowded real estate market.




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Posted by Dorothea Feffer on 7/9/2018

Purchasing your first home will be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling parts of your life. It’s an important milestone on the way to financial independence and to starting a family for millions of Americans.

It also comes with a lot of responsibilities and unforeseen expenses.

A Reddit user asked the online community what items ended up being useful to them that they didn’t think about beforehand. The result was a ton of great advice for new or soon-to-be homeowners.

In today’s post, I’ve broken down the most useful items from all of their responses. So, if you’re going to be a

1. Information about past purchases

One user found that the most useful thing the previous owner left behind were a number of receipts for appliances that would be left in the house. In addition, they also left a list of model numbers for important parts like faucets, and list of all of the paint colors used in the house.

In addition, the previous homeowners even left a binder full of menus for local restaurants. While the seller of your next home might not think to leave behind all of this useful info for you, it doesn’t hurt to ask in case they have some of that information saved that they’ll no longer need.

2. Ten thousand dollars

While this comment may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, it does illustrate an important fact for new homeowners: expect to spend some money. As the poster pointed out, there isn’t necessarily one thing that you’ll need. More likely, you’ll find yourself running to the hardware store often for a number of small purchases.

Setting aside some money for these initial expenses is a good idea so that you can get the most out of your home in the first few months living in it without worrying about how or when you’re going to replace some of the many small, but annoying, fixes you’ll experience in your new house.

3. A steel hand cart

From day one and onward, you’ll be moving a lot of things around your home. Heavy objects like dressers, drawers, refrigerators, and other furniture and appliances will often require two people to move. Well, if you live alone or you and your spouse work different hours, it isn’t always possible to have two people around to help lift and move something. To save time and prevent injury, having a dolly (A.K.A. a steel hard cart) on hand will make things easier.

4. Check your cell phone signal before moving day

In spite of the claims of the major cellular carriers, there are still many areas of the U.S. that have little or no reception. This can come as a shock on moving day if you haven’t planned ahead.

Fortunately, you can purchase a device called a microcell to boost the cellular signal in your home, preventing dropped calls.

5. A Carbon monoxide and smoke detector, and fresh batteries

As much as you may trust the previous owners, there’s no way to be certain that there aren’t any fire or CO hazards in the home that you’re unaware of. Getting new detectors, batteries, and installing them immediately will help you rest easy on your first night.




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Posted by Dorothea Feffer on 7/2/2018

Home staging is one of the most tried-and-true methods of selling your home faster. It can also help you increase the purchase price of your home by between one and five percent.

However, working with a professional home stager--while a good investment--is not always in everyone’s budget.

The good news is, there are a lot of simple and inexpensive ways to stage your home that will give visitors a good first impression, make for great photos for your online listing, and hopefully help speed up your home sale.

In today’s post, we’re going to break down six of the most effective and inexpensive home staging tips to help you sell your home faster.

1. Declutter everything

Cleaning out your home is one of the best ways to make it appear more spacious and welcoming. It gives you the chance to start packing items you won’t need until you move into your new home, and it opens up space to use a few choice decorations around the home.

For things like cabinets and closets, remove all of the items you won’t need until you move. A closet that is half-full will look much larger for guests viewing your home.

2. Clean carpets and polish wooden furniture

Carpets, flooring, and furniture make up a large percent of the visible space in your home. Leaving these items dirty or worn when selling your home is missing out on a huge opportunity to make your home look up-to-date and well-maintained.

You can rent a carpet cleaner for as little as $20, and a gallon of wood polish costs around $15, making these two items a solid investment for staging your home.

3. Paint with bright colors

When we paint our homes we usually choose colors that we like, rather than ones that appeal to the largest number of people. And although that’s a great thing while you own a home, it can be detrimental when it comes time to sell. Repainting dark walls in bright, neutral tones will make the room feel larger and well-lit.

4. Paint the front door while you’re at it

A freshly painted, bright colored front door can be the secret weapon when it comes to making your home stand out amongst your neighbors. It is a cheap way to quickly freshen up the exterior of your home and increase curb appeal.

5. Purchase a new welcome mat and mailbox

Welcome mats tend to get a lot of use and wear down. Similarly, mailboxes often get dented and faded over the years.

These two items can be excellent accents to improve the curb appeal of your home. Choose colors that match the overall color scheme of your home to establish a sense of continuity.

6.  Rearrange furniture to allow foot traffic

When someone comes to view your home, you’ll want to sure they have ease of access to each part of the house. Rearrange the furniture in your kitchen, dining room, and bedrooms to make it easy to tour the home.




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Posted by Dorothea Feffer on 6/25/2018

Putting your home up for sale can elicit a myriad of emotions from you and your spouse -- everything from excitement and anticipation to fear and sadness. It's only natural to feel a mixture of emotions, especially if your home represents years of memories, countless milestones, and stages of family growth.

A cautionary note to keep in mind is that it's easy to get caught up in emotion-based decisions that could derail your chances for making a fast sale.

A primary example would be pricing your home higher than it might actually be worth. Despite the fact that you've experienced great family memories there and spent tens of thousands of dollars to maintain, upgrade, and beautify your home, those factors usually do not translate into a sale price that exceeds the property's appraised value. Your perspective, which may be based on subjective criteria, such as all the "blood, sweat, and tears" you put into your house -- not to mention the "TLC" that went into it -- does not hold water in the minds of would-be buyers.

What Does Determine a Home's Value?

The unvarnished truth is that the value of your home is mostly based on prevailing market conditions, the price at which comparable homes in your neighborhood recently sold, and what the market will bear. Effectively setting a price that will bring in the most money without driving away qualified and otherwise-interested buyers is a delicate balance. The homeowner rarely has the objectivity or the specialized knowledge to accurately set the right price. That's where real estate agents comes in, and why it's advisable to sell your home through a licensed agent, rather than attempting a "For Sale By Owner" approach.

Minimizing Bumps in the Road

A good real estate agent will work on your behalf to effectively market your home, collaborate with other agents in the area to schedule showings and spread the word about your listing, and advise you on ways to improve both the curb appeal of your home and its interior appearance. Your agent can also provide indispensable negotiating help, as well as guidance about seller disclosure requirements and other government regulations.

The bottom line is that real estate agents are well-versed in the intricate process of listing, marketing, and selling residential property. Since there are a lot of forms to sign, deadlines to meet, agreements to reach, and formalities to handle, those are among the many sound reasons to enlist the help of a professional.

Although the process of selling a residential property often involves delays, setbacks, and obstacles, most real estate agents are quite adept at solving problems and getting past difficulties. In addition to the marketing, networking, and strategizing they're doing on your behalf, a good agent can also be counted on to provide you with regular progress reports and boost your spirits when you're feeling discouraged.





Posted by Dorothea Feffer on 6/18/2018

We all know that buying a home is a significant decision that comes with a great deal of financial planning and preparation. However, few of us are taught the ins and outs of actually obtaining a mortgage to make your dream of homeownership come true.

Mortgages are a complicated business that is always changing, both with fluctuations in market rates and with policy decisions.

But, if you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future, it’s important to understand all of your options when it comes to mortgages.

In today’s post, we’re going to address the 20% down payment myth, where that number comes from, and what your options are when it comes to applying for a mortgage.

Where does the 20% down payment number come from?

For most people, 20% of a house is a serious amount of money that would take years to save up. If you’re a first-time homebuyer and don’t have any equity to use from selling another house, 20% may seem like an impossible amount to save within the time you want to buy a home. Fortunately, there are several ways to buy a home without having 20% in cash saved up.

But first, let’s understand where that number comes from.

Most mortgage lenders will want to ensure that lending to you is a safe investment of their money. They want to know that they’ll earn back what they’re spending. To do this, they use several methods.

First, they’ll check your credit history to see how often you pay your bills in time. Then, they’ll want proof if your income and financial stability. Finally, they’ll ask for either a down payment or a guarantee that you will pay them back. Here’s where that 20% comes in.

If you don’t have 20% of the mortgage amount saved for a down payment, you will typically have to pay something called private mortgage insurance. This is an extra monthly fee, on top of your mortgage payments with interest, that you pay to ensure the lender that they’re seeing a return on their investment.

Most homeowners put much less than 20% down

If you’re feeling bad about the amount of money you have saved for a down payment, don’t be! In fact, most first-time homebuyers put, on average, just 6% down on their first home.

Since first-time homeowners don’t have the benefit of equity they’ve accumulated by making payments on their previous mortgage, they often have to come up with down payments out of pocket.

Other options besides a 20% down payment

There are several ways to secure a mortgage without putting 20% down on the home. First, check to see if you are eligible for any loans that are guaranteed by the government. These can come from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), or the USDA single-family home program.

The third option is to take on private mortgage insurance until you’ve paid 20% of your mortgage payment.

Private mortgage insurance can be paid to an insurance company or to the federal government in the case of FHA loans, you can put down as low as 3.5%.


Between these three options, you should be able to find a mortgage that you can afford and one that will give you the best possible financial stability in the long-term.







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