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Selling a home and getting the price you want takes a lot of skill and nuance. Here's how you can ensure you end up on top.

Pricing your home right is a difficult decision. Too high and it won't sell; too low and you could be missing out on money you could have had otherwise. Not to mention there is so much that comes down to how you present your house. Does it look like it's worth what you've priced it at?

If you're trying to ensure your home sells for the right price, here are a few things our real estate agents recommend doing.

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Seller Etiquette - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

Everyone wants their home sale to go smoothly, but sometimes that's easier said than done. Our real estate agents have put together five important tips for how you can sail past the rough patches and ensure everything goes well on your end.

  • Make Yourself Scarce During Tours
    Prospective buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living in your home, so it's important to remove as much of you from the premises as possible. This means more than just leaving during tours of your home, however. It also means getting the pets out of the house, so that agents and their clients don't have to worry about not letting a cat or dog outside that's not supposed to get out, or worse, being ambushed by an unfriendly animal who doesn't understand why there are strangers in the house. And even before that, you'll need to wipe yourself from the clutter and decor. Staging the house means decorating it in a welcoming but fairly impersonal fashion, so that prospective buyers are free to imagine themselves living there.

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Highlight Square Footage - Sell a Home - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

Our real estate agents have seen many home trends come and go, but one thing that's always high up on buyers' lists when they're looking at South Bend homes for sale is getting as much square footage as their budget allows. There are lots of reasons buyers are looking for all that extra space, so make sure to highlight all your home has to offer.

  • More space for family. One of the biggest reasons people decide to start looking for a house in the first place is because their family is growing. New babies, growing children, and blended families all can mean a need for more space.

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Reasons to List - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

Our real estate agents are hard at work helping clients like you across our South Bend community. It's an unusual time in real estate, but important for prospective sellers to know buyers and sellers are jumping back into the market!

Now is a terrific time for South Bend homes for sale to get listed.

With mortgage rates reaching historic lows – no exaggeration – buyers are revisiting their plans. Many buyers who were waiting for a more favorable market are now on board. But that doesn't mean South Bend home prices are plummeting.

On the contrary, South Bend home prices are standing strong and in many cases, even rising. But buyers are attracted to the potential to get a great deal on a home financing package. That makes them more likely to aggressively seek out a home they truly love. That alone is a great reason to get excited about selling in South Bend.

But, yes, there are even more advantages to selling your home right now. Here's what you need to know.

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Easy Kitchen Reno - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

If you're preparing to put your house on the market among other St. Joseph homes for sale, you know the kitchen is a vital part of daily living. From preparing meals, entertaining, or helping with homework, your kitchen sees a lot of traffic. If your kitchen cabinets desperately need a makeover, but your budget is tight, renovate to provide an instant lift.  

Easy Ways to Renovate Your Outdated Kitchen

Every homeowner has a personal vision for every room in the house. New kitchen cabinets, upgraded appliances, and a complete makeover can cost thousands of dollars. When you cannot afford your dream kitchen, implement easy, low-cost changes to refresh and upgrade the area. Small changes can make a significant impact on your kitchen's overall appearance.

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Low-Cost Home Improvements - Home Sellers - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

If you're planning on adding your house to the inventory of South Bend homes for sale, you can benefit from sprucing things up a little bit. Potential buyers will appreciate the updates, and you can enjoy the improvements while your home is on the market. Here are a few of our favorite inexpensive home improvement updates that you can easily do right now.

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Curb Appeal Projects - Sell a Home - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

Warmer weather will be here before you know it, making now the perfect time to start planning your springtime home improvement projects. Whether you're thinking about adding your home to the list of South Bend homes for sale or you just want to spruce things up, boosting your curb appeal is always a good idea. 

The good news is, you don't have to take on a major project to make a huge difference. Here are five small, but effective projects that you can easily tackle over the weekend. 

  1. Paint Your Front Door
    When our real estate agents visit a seller's home, one of the first things they tell them is to pay attention to the entryway. Potential buyers have an emotional reaction when they walk into a home for the first time, and you want it to be a positive one.

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Open House Prep - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

With your open house right around the corner, it's natural to focus on tidying, organizing, and staging the main areas of your home, like the living room, kitchen, and master suite. However, you should also spend some time on the other rooms in your home, like the laundry room, mudroom, pantry, and hallways. If you need advice for staging these minor areas, our real estate agents can help you figure out what changes will make your home more attractive to prospective buyers. 

  • Hallways
    Even though you traverse your hallways every day, it's easy to overlook them when preparing your home to sell. Start by making sure that the walls are clean and bright. If your hallways currently have a dark hue, swap it for a fresh coat of neutral paint that will appeal to a larger percentage of buyers. Check that your light fixtures have working light bulbs with high wattages so that buyers can easily observe their surroundings.

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Living Room Staging - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

Selling your home means you want to display everything at its best. You'll want to highlight your best features both inside and out, creating an inviting and welcoming space ready for the next owner. That task can be difficult in winter when so much feels less inviting than sunnier months. During winter focusing on important parts of your home interior can help, and one of the most noticeable features is the main living room of your home. Staging this living room could definitely help you to sell your home, which is why our real estate agents are here to help. 

Here are three reasons why staging your living room is the right choice.

First Impressions Matter

In many home designs, the living room marks the entry to the home area or the initial walkthrough to other parts of the house. When touring a home, the living room is the first impression of the interior. If you give your buyer a bad first impression, it may color the entire tour experience limiting your offers and final sale.

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Holiday Home Sale - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

For many buyers and sellers, the Holiday Season is generally a time for friends, family, and gathering together with one another, and often times buying or selling a home is not high on your priority list. However, savvy buyers know that they can find deals during the Holiday real estate "offseason", and our real estate agents know how to sell a home during the holidays. 

There are great ways to sell homes during the holidays, but it requires a certain bit of preparation, some smart marketing, and some consideration about pricing. Let's take a look at how you can sell a home during the holidays.

Prep for Winter, Show for Spring

The winter months in much of the United States bring cold temperatures, dormant foliage, and generally yucky conditions for home shopping, but there are some ways you can make your home much more appealing to prospective buyers.

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House Features Millennials Want - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

Successfully marketing your South Bend homes for sale to millennials requires understanding what features they want to see in your listing. When you want your home to stand out in the marketplace, the following are features that are most appealing to millennial homebuyers. 

  • Sustainable Design
    Eco-friendly is more than a watchword for millennial buyers; it's a way of life. The core tenet of sustainable design is the use of renewable and recycled materials such as bamboo, fast-growing woods, Timbercrete, Ferrock, plastic, etc. If you plan to remodel your home, it's a wise investment to include these materials in your design plans.

  • Low-Maintenance Landscaping
    The 21st-century workplace is fast-paced and that leaves little time for trimming trees and pruning bushes. Millennials want beautiful, low-maintenance landscapes to tend to at home. Landscapes that feature xeriscaping, low-water plants, shrubs, etc. are attractive and easy to maintain.

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Bridge Loans - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

There may be a point when you're faced with a sudden transition and have to purchase a new property even before you sell your old one. In this scenario, you might wonder if you should apply for a bridge loan to span the gap between the sale and purchase. Our real estate agents explain how bridge loans can ease the transition from one house to another.

What Are Bridge Loans?

Also known as "gap financing," bridge loans are temporary loans used in residential and commercial real estate. They provide a lifeline for buyers who are eager to buy a new home before they've sold their current one. Unless you have enough cash for the down payment, it can be hard to qualify for a loan to finance a new home while you're still saddled with mortgage payments on your current home.

With a bridge loan, you'll use the loan amount as the down payment for your new home, which makes the process go more smoothly. And like home equity loans, HELOCs, and mortgages, your current home will serve as collateral. You can then move into your new home and start focusing on selling the old one.

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Fall Maintenance for Homesellers - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

Fall is a time for change and selling your home is one of the biggest changes you can make. If you're eyeing an upcoming date to list your home, you want to make sure the entire property is ready for prospective buyers to view. Hopefully, you've been diligent with your seasonal maintenance tasks. As one of the most important responsibilities that come with homeownership, neglecting the many interior, exterior, and landscaping tasks around your property can lead to inconvenient and expensive problems down the road.

However, even if you have remained on-schedule with your monthly maintenance responsibilities, there are a few others you may want to focus on if you're hoping to list your home for sale in autumn. Our real estate agents share tips to help get your home ready.

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Smart Home Upgrades for Home Sellers - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

You've remodeled the bathrooms, upgraded the kitchen and put up a fresh coat of paint on every wall. Your landscape is lush, your garage door is brand new and your home's curb appeal is enough to catch the eye of any passerby. What more could a prospective buyer ask for when looking at South Bend homes for sale?

Although the traditional advice for home sellers preparing to list their property has always revolved around updating the kitchen, bathrooms, and exterior, today's real estate market is full of buyers who crave a contemporary upgrade that requires much more than new windows and doors.

Technology from Wall to Wall

Technology has been integrated into nearly every aspect of our lives, including our homes. Products small and large now come with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities. Appliances and devices are designed with complex computer systems that enable us to control these resources by voice, with a single touch, or even remotely from miles away. These innovations dramatically change the way we engage and interact with our homes.

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Storage Units for Homesellers - Cressy & Everett Real Estate

It's difficult if not impossible to sell a cluttered home. When looking for South Bend homes for sale, a disorganized home can turn off prospective buyers. Many are unable to see past the surface clutter to the infinite possibilities of the space.

That's why most South Bend real estate agents recommend that before homeowners list their properties, they first declutter their living spaces and consider renting a storage unit to hold some of their household goods.

Decluttering to Sell

Everyone has different levels of tolerance for the amount of clutter they can live with, so it's important that you defer to your agent's expertise in this assessment. He or she has a vested interest in moving your property quickly and for the highest selling price, so if the agent suggests decluttering and storing household items, heed their advice.

Homes without clutter appear larger. Most industry leaders suggest that when staging a home for sale, about 30 percent of the furnishings and contents should disappear. Because family photos and pet items are so owner-specific, it's better to (temporarily) part with these so potential buyers can more easily picture themselves and their belongings in the home.

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Exterior Home Features-Cressy & Everett Real Estate

If your home will soon be listed among South Bend homes for sale, you've probably already been busy updating its interior to make it appealing to home buyers. While making the interior of your home shine is certainly essential, your home's exterior needs some attention too, and overlooking it can be an expensive mistake. Getting your home sold quickly and at the right price means presenting a complete package to potential buyers, a home that is attractive and functional inside and out. So what can you do to make your home's exterior more appealing to buyers? Here are the 5 exterior features buyers want:

  • Exterior lighting – Outdoor lighting is the top exterior feature buyers look for as they shop for a new home. Exterior lighting is attractive, increasing curb appeal, and it's also a key feature for home security purposes. Lighting to consider includes walkway lights, spotlights to highlight landscape features, and soft pendant lighting for porches or patios.

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Home-selling tips

When the deal is nearly done, you're ready to move, and it's time to start packing, the last thing you want is a conflict with the buyer over what is included in the purchase of the home. Understanding what to keep and what to leave behind will make your life easier when it's time to move while helping to avoid last-minute conflicts with your buyer. Our real estate agents are here to help you prepare, with a guide to what says, what goes, and how to make sure the buyer knows exactly what they're getting. 

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Benefits of a Pre-Listing Inspection
Wouldn't it be nice to list your home for sale without worrying about having some hidden, unforeseen maintenance issue derail a deal late in the process? The good news is that you don't have to wait for the buyer's inspection to take a closer look at the state of your home. A pre-listing inspection is a great way to get ahead of any potential maintenance issues, and a clean inspection is also a powerful marketing tool that can help get your home sold. Our real estate agents have five reasons why a pre-listing inspection is a great idea for sellers.

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Good Impression Home Buyers
Prospective home buyers are influenced by what they first think about property for sale. Some buyers decide whether they are interested in a house in a matter of seconds. As a seller, you need to make a good first impression on potential buyers by voiding your home of any visually unappealing characteristics and potential drawbacks. 

Your home's first impression sets a buyer's tone for the entire experience. If they get a negative vibe, they will probably be looking out for anything else that they may not like. In the process, they miss the things they do like. Staging a property can be tough, especially if you are an inexperienced seller. That is why working with real estate pros like our REALTORS® at Cressy and Everett Real Estate is a good idea. Consider these three tips about how to make a good first impression on buyers:

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Like so many homeownership issues, your decision to downsize your home is very personal. Downsizing means moving away from a neighborhood where you've created years of memories. The emotional disruption can be a challenge, but the financial benefits will likely outweigh the emotional costs. 

Our real estate agents have helped many homeowners through transitional phases in their lives. Ultimately, the decision to move or not to move is yours to make. When you're ready, agents at our offices throughout Northern Indiana and Southwestern Michigan will be there to assist you. In the meantime, here are 5 Signs It Might Be Time to Downsize Your Home.

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Spring Home Improvement
The countdown to Spring 2018 is officially on! While you're dreaming of lazy days spent enjoying warmer weather, there are things you can do now to start getting your home ready. Spring is a time of growth and rebirth, making it a perfect time to freshen up your home--both inside and out. This is especially important if you're getting ready to sell your home this spring.

Here are a few things you can do this weekend to start getting your home ready for spring. 

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Sell Your Home for the Most Money
Are you preparing to sell your house, and looking to maximize your return? There are so many things, big and small, that you can do to make sure you're getting the best possible sale price for your home. Knowing what buyers want is half the battle, and being prepared to put in some work is what will get you across the finish line. Our REALTORS® are here to help, with a guide to maximizing your return when selling your house.

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Sell Your Home This WinterAre you ready to sell your home, but waiting out the winter before you decide to put it on the market? You may have heard that winter isn't the best time to sell a home, but there are actually some significant advantages to putting your home on the market during the cold-weather months. Some of the most committed buyers on the market will still be shopping hard during the winter, and a slightly slower market gives your home a better chance to stand out from the pack. Still need convincing? Our REALTORS® have five reasons why winter can be a great time to sell your house.

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