Selling Your Home

Questions You Should Ask in Agent Interviews

Four great questions to ask when you’re interviewing listing agents.


If you’re interviewing agents to sell your home, what questions should you ask? Of course, you want to ask about what’s important to you in an agent, but there are a few ideas you might not have considered.

One of the most important questions is, “How many homes have you sold personally?” New agents are trained to say how many homes the office has sold instead of their personal count. You want to figure out whether you’re working with an experienced agent or not.

Another great question is, “What’s your average list-to-sales price ratio?” If someone has a low ratio, that means they’re listing your property too high and selling it for too little. The average list-to-sales price ratio is 97.4%, so if they have a ratio of 95%, for example, that means their pricing strategy is less than ideal.

"Experienced agents will always get you more money."

You should also ask, “What type of marketing will you do to sell my home?” Most agents just put your home on Zillow or social media, but understand that these methods are pretty basic. You’re looking for someone who will do more to help drive people to your home.

Don’t forget to ask, “Who will I communicate with?” You won’t always connect with the person you’re hiring, and you might not always communicate as often or in the way you would like....

Are You Looking To Sell This Spring?

Here are a few ways you can prepare your home to sell this spring. 

Are you thinking about selling a home this spring? If so, now is the time to prepare. Today I want to go over a few things to consider to get your house ready to sell this spring.

First, consider the exterior maintenance of your home. Every year, someone calls my team in April wanting to sell, but we have to wait for the weather to break so that they can do the necessary outside maintenance. What does this maintenance look like? You should seal your driveway, paint if you need to, seal your windows, and tidy up your landscaping.

Once you get the outside taken care of, it’s time to start thinking about the interior. This means it’s finally time to declutter. Create separate piles labeled donate, trash, give away, and keep. There’s no sense in hauling around something you don’t want or use, so the sooner you do this the better.

Finally, talk with an agent so that you know exactly what you need to do to sell your home. If you’d like someone on the Kite Team to be that agent for you, give us a call or send us an email. We’d love to talk with you!

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Should You Sell Your Home During the Holidays?


It’s still a good idea to sell your home this holiday season.


Every holiday season, clients ask us if it’s still a good time to sell their homes. Most people know the market tends to slow down this time of year, so what should you do?

The truth is, it depends. There are a few key factors to keep in mind. First, we need to look at your home, and then we need to look at how it compares to the rest of the market. There are plenty of buyers out there, so if you have a great home, it can still sell for top dollar.

If you decide to sell your home, keep holiday decorations in mind. Make sure your home is undecorated when photographs are taken, but after that, decorations could be a positive. Some people love the cozy vibe that decorations give a home, so good holiday cheer could give you a leg up in the market.

"Whether or not to sell your homes during the holidays depends on a few things"

An issue you might run into if you’re looking to sell during the holidays is that some agents take a lot of time off during this time of the year. We understand wanting to relax during the season, but we are always available to help no matter what. Just give us a call or shoot us an email; we look forward to talking with you.

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The Challenges of Leaving Your Long-Time Home


When you’ve lived in your home a long time, moving can be hard.

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Selling a home that you’ve lived in for multiple decades can be very difficult. Sometimes, it’s the fear of not knowing where you’re going to move, not knowing what to do with all the possessions you’ve accumulated, or it could be the emotional fact that the house is tied to so many memories.

But sometimes people find that they need to move out of their long-term home. Here are a couple of the most common reasons why people come to this conclusion:

- They can no longer take care of the property. We’ve seen old properties with mold in them or holes in the roof. Severe issues like these are safety concerns.

- They need to downsize due to having too much stuff. This can often be challenging for people since their possessions are linked to memories. The reality is that some memories can be kept in our hearts and minds, as opposed to in material things, which can take up a lot of space. Having too much stuff in your home can also be...

Should You Do a Pre-Listing Inspection?


I’ve found that pre-listing inspections are not worth it. Here’s why.

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“Should I do a pre-listing inspection?” That’s a question I often get asked. My advice is not to do it. I could put 10 inspectors in a house and get 10 different lists of things to repair.

"You don't want to waste time, energy, and money doing a pre-inspection."

The reality is that most buyers will do their own inspection. The pre-inspection is going to give you one list of around 10 items, and when the buyer comes in, they're going to pay to have another inspector who’ll give you a different list. If you had a pre-inspection list, you might be frustrated because now you’d have another list of items to repair.

I've had situations where inspectors have said that X needs to be fixed, then other inspectors come in and say that it doesn't. You need to be careful because you don't want to waste time, energy, and money doing a pre-listing inspection when the only inspection that matters is the one that the buyer is going to do. That's the one you need to deal with. However, if you have a major issue, chances are that you're going to have to fix it no matter...

Why Your Home May Not Be Selling


Our market is changing, so your home may not be getting as much activity.

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Lately, we’ve had some sellers ask why they aren’t seeing multiple offers or getting as many showings as anticipated. Every property is unique, and some receive more activity than others. The more unique your property is, the less activity you may get. The real estate market has shifted over the past few months, so people aren’t getting as many offers as they were.

Staging or decluttering might help, and if your price isn’t appropriate, you won’t get multiple offers either. When you price correctly, you receive multiple offers that drive the price up, but if you price too high, you won’t get multiple offers—you may get one, then sell for less. Buyers are smart and will see that your home is overpriced and make an offer on another house; if you price too high, you’re helping someone else sell. We’re starting to see more inventory, so if your real estate agent is talking about reducing your property’s price, you want to listen to them and seriously consider it.

The market has slowed down in Illinois, and we’ll likely see a point here in July where it slows even more. Though we’re technically still in...

The Importance of Real Estate Attorneys


Here’s a quick explanation of the crucial role real estate attorneys play.

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A real estate attorney completes necessary tasks in every real estate transaction. They are going to order title, plan a survey, schedule well and septic inspections, and more. They charge a flat fee, usually around $500.

Sometimes there will be a postcard in the mail when you’re selling that advertises a real estate attorney for $199. You need to be careful about who you’re hiring. You want a real estate attorney, not somebody who is going to end up in court. The people who send these types of mailings usually aren’t true real estate attorneys, and they tend to cut corners.

"Your real estate attorney is there to protect you."

A true real estate attorney will maximize the money in your pocket. They can provide you with opportunities to save money on title, help the inspections to come out in a better place, and their knowledge of city/village requirements is paramount.

The most important thing is that your real estate attorney is there to protect you. Take this situation we had last week: Someone hired an attorney who spends time in court. The property did not close on time and is not closing,...

4 Market Misconceptions That People Often Believe


I’m revealing the truth behind these widely-held misconceptions about our market.

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We have a hot seller’s market, but there are four common misconceptions about it that I want to clear up:

1. You need to know where you’re going before you can sell. The problem with that is that home sellers are not accepting contingencies in today’s market. They’d rather sell to a buyer without any contingencies, of which there are many. To get around this, you want to negotiate favorable terms when selling your current home. You may be able to negotiate a leaseback agreement or an extended closing to give you time to find and close on your new home.

2. Your home’s condition doesn’t matter. You may be able to get away with a little more today, but you will get more money for a home in better condition. Go through your home with a trusted professional and see where it makes sense to spend a few bucks to get a few bucks more back.

3. You can price above the market. Appraisal issues are going to get in the way. Pricing above the market may result in buyers staying away. If you do price above the market, your home’s just going to sit there.

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Should You Sell Now or Keep Renting?


Here’s my advice to home sellers who are worried about becoming buyers.

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In a hot market like this where home values keep rising and rising, a lot of homeowners are asking if they should still sell today even if they won’t be able to find a new home right away because of how low the inventory is.

In my opinion, right now is a great time to sell even if it means you have to rent for a while before you’re able to find your new home. I recommend having an agent come out to your home, assess its value in today’s market, and give you an insight into what might happen if you wait versus if you were to sell now.

If you want to sell at the height of the market, the time might be right now. If you have any questions about your specific situation or real estate in general, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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What Should You Do With Your Home?


If it’s time for a move but you’re unsure what to do with your home, today’s message is for you.

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Sometimes I’m in appointments with people who are struggling to figure out what to do with their home. They’re unsure whether they should sell, rent, or stay in their house. I like going over each option with them. What does it mean if you rent it, what are you going to get in rent, does that cover the mortgage, is there any extra money there? What does it mean if you’re going to sell it, how much money are you getting out of it, where are you going to move?

Occasionally people are in a position where they owe more than they can sell it for and they have to consider a short sale. We do many short sales, and I love helping people who are in a difficult situation and don’t know what they want to do. We lay out all your options and hopefully help you gauge what’s best. You don’t have to figure out your next step alone.

If you or anyone you know needs some guidance about your options, we’d be glad to assist you. Please give us a call or send us an email. Also, contact us if you have any questions about real estate. We’re happy to help.

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What You Should Know About Extra Fees From Agents


When you’re looking to hire a Realtor to help you sell your home,
it’s important to know the total cost beforehand. Here’s what I mean.

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Some agents charge fees on top of their commission. I’ve heard of agents charging transaction fees, cancellation fees, and even fees for photos. Before you decide who the best agent is, you need to know what you’re going to be charged.

Like our team, some agents simply charge you a commission with no additional fees. Because we aren’t charging you these fees, we don’t get paid until you sell your property.


I don’t agree with charging extra fees.


I don’t agree with charging extra fees...

Homes Are Selling Quickly [INFOGRAPHIC]

Homes Are Selling Quickly [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Homes Are Selling Quickly [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • The National Association of REALTORS® surveyed their members for the release of their Confidence Index.
  • The REALTORS® Confidence Index is a key indicator of housing market strength based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate practitioners. Practitioners are asked about their expectations for home sales, prices, and market conditions.
  • Homes across the country are selling quickly, in an average of just 31 days.
  • 49% of homes sold in less than a month.
...

Existing-Home Sales Report Indicates Now Is a Great Time to Sell

Existing-Home Sales Report Indicates Now Is a Great Time to Sell | MyKCM

The best time to sell anything is when demand for that item is high and the supply of that item is limited. The latest Existing-Home Sales Report released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), reveals that demand for housing continues to be strong, but the supply is struggling to keep pace. With this trend likely continuing throughout 2020, now is a great time to sell your house.

THE EXISTING-HOME SALES REPORT

The most important data revealed in this report was not actually sales. In reality, it was the inventory of homes for sale (supply). The report explained:

  • Total housing inventory at the end of August decreased 2.6% to 1.86 million homes available for sale.
  • Unsold inventory is lower than the 4.3-month figure recorded in August 2018.
  • This represents a 4.1-month supply at the current sales pace.

According to...

How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand?

How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand? | MyKCM
The price of any item is determined by supply, as well as the market’s demand for the item. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their monthly REALTORS Confidence Index.

Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between seller traffic (supply) and buyer traffic (demand).

Buyer Demand

The map below was created after asking the question: “How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?”How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand? | MyKCMThe darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes...

Should You Fix Your House Up or Sell Now?

Should You Fix Your House Up or Sell Now? | MyKCM
With the fall season upon us, change is in the air. For many families, children are growing up and moving out of the house, maybe leaving for college or taking a jump into the working world. Parents are finding themselves as empty nesters for the first time. The question inevitably arises: is it finally time to downsize?

If you’re pondering that thought, you may also be wondering if you should fix-up your house before you sell it, or go straight to the market as-is, allowing a potential buyer to do the updates and remodeling. If you’re one of the many homeowners this camp, here are a few tips to help you decide which way to go.

1. Analyze Your Market

A real estate professional can help you to understand your market and the potential level of buyer interest and demand for your home. Are you in a seller’s market or a buyer’s market? This can change based on the price range of your home, too. A professional can also give you some insight on what you can ...

Is Your House “Priced to Sell Immediately”?

Is Your House “Priced to Sell Immediately”? | MyKCM
In today’s real estate market, more houses are coming to market every day. Eager buyers are searching for their dream homes, so setting the right price for your house is one of the most important things you can do.

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, home values have risen at over 6% a year over the past two years, but have started to slow to 3.6% over the last 12 months. By this time next year, CoreLogic predicts home values will be 5.4% higher.

With prices slowing from their previous pace, homeowners must realize that pricing their homes a little over market value to leave room for negotiation will actually dramatically decrease the number of buyers who will see their listing (see the chart below).Is Your House “Priced to Sell Immediately”? | MyKCMInstead of the...

4 Reasons to Sell This Fall [INFOGRAPHIC]

4 Reasons to Sell This Fall [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCMSome Highlights:

  • Buyers are active in the market and often competing with one another for available listings.
  • Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply found in a normal housing market.
  • Homes are still selling relatively quickly, averaging 31 days on the market.
...

What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink?

What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink?| MyKCM
With the current uncertainty about the economy triggered by a potential trade war, some people are waiting to purchase their first home or move-up to their dream house because they think or hope home prices will drop over the next few years. However, the experts disagree with this perspective.

Here is a table showing the predicted levels of appreciation from six major housing sources:What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink?| MyKCMAs we can see, every source believes home prices will continue to appreciate (albeit at lower levels than we have seen over the last several years). But, not one source is calling for residential real estate values to depreciate.

Additionally, ARCH Mortgage Insurance Company in their current Housing and Mortgage Market Review revealed their latest ARCH Risk Index, which estimates the probability of home prices being...

The Role Access Plays in Getting Your House Sold

The Role Access Plays in Getting Your House Sold | MyKCM
So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you with the entire process and you’ve been asked what level of access you want to provide to potential buyers.

There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is Access, followed by Condition, Financing, and Price. There are many levels of access you can provide to your agent to be able to show your home.

Here are five levels of access you can provide to a buyer, each with a brief description:

  • Lockbox on the Door – This allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
  • Providing a Key to the Home – Although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
  • Open Access with a Phone Call – The seller allows showing with just a phone call’s notice.
  • By Appointment Only – Example: 48-hour notice. Many buyers...

Home Sales Expected to Continue Increasing In 2020

Home Sales Expected to Continue Increasing In 2020 | MyKCM
Freddie MacFannie Maeand the Mortgage Bankers Association are all projecting home sales will increase nicely in 2020.

Below is a chart depicting the projections of each entity for 2019, as well as for 2020.Home Sales Expected to Continue Increasing In 2020 | MyKCMAs we can see, Freddie MacFannie Mae, and the Mortgage Bankers Association all believe homes sales will increase...