The Truth about Selling Your Home to a Family Member

Selling your home to a family member can be a more straightforward process compared to selling to a stranger. Or it can be a living nightmare. However, it’s still important to approach the transaction with care and professionalism. Here are some steps to consider when selling your home to a family member:

  • First and foremost, be sure to use the services of a professional Realtor to represent you as the seller. Even though you’re selling to a family member, it’s always advisable to hire a professional that you know, like and trust. You need someone who will guide you through the legal and financial steps of the sale. This alone will help keep the family relationship intact.
  • Next, determine the fair market value of your home. You and the buyer can both conduct research to determine the current market prices for similar properties in your area. Your Realtor can provide you with comparables and offer their opinion of what your house should sell for. If you and the buyer can’t agree on a price, you could get an independent appraisal. This can help prevent potential disputes or disagreements about the home’s value.
  • Once you and the buyer agree on a price, the buyer should meet with a mortgage lender. That step will start the pre-qualification process. This will inform the buyer on how much money he will need to purchase your home. A pre-qualification letter will show you proof that he is qualified to purchase the home.

Next Steps to Selling Your Home to a Family Member

  • Your Realtor can draft the sales contract once the buyer is pre-qualified. That contract will outline the terms and conditions of the agreement. It will include the agreed-upon sales price, payment terms, any contingencies and a closing date for completing the transaction. Also included will be other necessary paperwork such as property disclosures, and Realtor related forms needed to complete the sale and keep everyone compliant with the transaction.
  • The next steps would be for the buyer to hire professional inspectors for any inspections he wants to have. This includes an overall whole house inspection and a termite inspection. Also to be considered would be any specialty inspections such as chimney, septic, sewer line, etc. Any repairs would be negotiated after the inspections are completed. The process of things could be different of course, depending on what part of the country you live in and how real estate works where you are.
  • Once you’ve negotiated your repairs and come to an agreement, the lender will typically order the appraisal. This will actually determine the actual value of your home. Hopefully the house appraises and you can move on to completing the sale and the closing process. Closing typically involves signing the necessary documents, transferring ownership and transferring funds.

In Conclusion

Buying and selling a house involve a million other little steps. For that reason, while selling your home to a family member can be more comfortable to you in some ways, it’s absolutely crucial to approach the transaction professionally.

The right Realtor will:

  • guide you through the sale as a business deal
  • handle any issues that may arise
  • move the transaction along toward a successful closing and
  • have everything documented in writing so there are no misunderstandings.

As a result, you should be able to maintain a healthy relationship and avoid any potential conflicts within the family.

If you are considering selling your home to a family member, I would love to talk to you about how I can protect you in the process and save you time, money and frustration along the way.

If you’re curious about your home’s current value, here’s an easy way to find out what’s going with prices in your neighborhood. Click here and enter your address and a report from our local Heartland MLS will be sent directly to your email!

Check out today’s new listings either below or in the sidebar. Call or text me at (913) 515-3250 to see inside one of these homes. I AM NEVER TOO BUSY to show you a house. Real estate is my main hustle after 35 years! Everything else I do is bells and whistles to enhance your experience!

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The State of the 2023 Real Estate Market

The current and predicted state of the 2023 real estate market certainly looks different than it did a year ago. Unfortunately, sellers want to sell like it’s 2022 and buyers want to buy like it’s 2008.

As everyone knows, mortgage interest rates have skyrocketed and are double what they were last year. There are mortgage companies that are closing their doors, sellers who can’t get their homes sold, and buyers who are disappointed that their dream home they didn’t get last year now seems like it will never happen.

Life happens and people move

Many homeowners who have a lower interest rate may choose to stay put for now. But there are also plenty of sellers who may need to downsize, move out of town for family reasons, or relocate due to a new employment opportunity.

Without knowing where interest rates will end up and what that will do to our economy and inflation overall, we have to take real estate a step at a time. And we will! No matter what you may hear or read, the sky is not falling.

One thing about real estate is true. People will always be moving. Real estate happens because life happens. I recently sold a house for a family who moved to Colorado, another past client who got married and moved into his house, as well as a family who moved to California to be closer to family members.

Baby boomers are still going to downsize

I work primarily with baby boomers that are in the process of downsizing. The reasons for their downsizing are many but add a possible recession into the mix and that gets them thinking and moving even faster. Many of my boomers that are on a current 5 Year Plan, have indicated to me they want to move things up and do something by the end of 2023. Some of them are going to get serious about getting rid of their stuff – sooner than later!

Regardless of the current economy or inflation, we have to deal with it is what it is. In other words, I bought my first house in the early 80s when interest rates were 16.75%. I was pregnant with my daughter and we were renting a small 2-bedroom house. I wanted to get situated for the new addition to our family. Had we waited for rates to come down, it could have taken years. We made the necessary adjustments and made it happen.

How to adjust to an uncertain real estate market

First of all, set aside everything else for a minute. Before anything, you need to decide what’s important to you. What are the alternatives if you sell your house in 2023 or don’t? If you’re selling your home, why are you doing that? Do you have the time and the health to wait until the real estate market corrects? And will it ever?

If you’re buying, how important is it to you to become a homeowner? Why are you doing that? If you decide to forge ahead, you need to know that there are many great programs and options out there to get into a mortgage interest rate that works for you.

I’ve been selling real estate for over 35 years and rates had never been at 3- 4% until recently. So live your life and quit trying to predict what’s going to happen. Do what matters to you. Quit listening to others.

The predicted state of the 2023 real estate market – 3 things I know for sure

Rates will remain higher than in 2022

At this time, I would imagine rates will probably end up around 6% or a little bit lower. What can you do about that? Absolutely nothing. I don’t like the price of a dozen eggs either but I can’t change it.

If you’re buying your first home, rates may be higher than you want but your rent will continue to go up as well. Are you going to continue to move every year to save a few bucks on your apartment rent because a new complex offers you a deal?

Home prices will decline

Will home prices decline or readjust? Home prices must re-correct every few years to get the market leveled off. It tends to happen every ten years or so. Trouble is, if you have to sell that house you overpaid for in 2021 or 2022, it’s not worth what you paid for it then so it becomes a real problem when the market shifts.

Home sales will decrease

It’s only natural that people tend to want to hunker down when the going gets tough. If you want to sell in 2023, be a smart seller and understand what it’s going to take to be the best house to choose from. There is no runner-up in the game of real estate. You either win or you lose.

So, if you’re selling, sell smart and do it now because as home sales drop, you’ll have more opportunities. Pick the best agent who has experience in navigating a challenging market. Home staging is more important now than ever. If you are still living in your home, hire the best stager to create that model home look that every buyer wants and will pay more money to get.

And if you’re buying, you’re going to have to lower your expectations a bit. It’s ok. Rates may drop a little later in the year but be smart and buy now while other buyers are waiting for the rates to drop. You’ll be in a better buying position with less competition and won’t be overpaying for a home like your friends did. Don’t despair, you’ll make the home that’s currently affordable for you into your dream home in no time. The state of the 2023 real estate market is not your opportunity for trying to keep up with The Joneses.

In conclusion

We have no idea what might happen with real estate or anything for that matter. Keep your blinders on and focused on what’s important to you. The last few years have proven to be unimaginable in so many different respects. What I know for sure, is once you decide something, do it and do it now. We never know how long we have or what the country is going to experience that could affect our destiny even more. In all actuality, real estate changes with the times, the same as your life!

I want to be your Realtor!

Check out today’s new listings either below or in the sidebar. Call or text me at (913) 515-3250 to see inside one of these homes. I AM NEVER TOO BUSY to show you a house. Real estate is my main hustle after 35 years! Everything else I do is bells and whistles to enhance your experience!

Remember…the Realtor you choose determines the results you get. Choose carefully!

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Selling Your Home with St Joseph

I hadn’t thought about selling your home with St Joseph for a while. But with the latest real estate statistics that just came out, I think we might have a resurgence in St Joseph statue sales. The Overland Park real estate market has drastically changed and you’d better take notice if you’re thinking of selling!

What is a St Joseph statue?

  • It’s a little plastic statue that you bury in your yard
  • Rumor has it that it will make your home sell faster
  • But do you bury it in the front yard or back yard?
  • Should it face away from or toward the house?
  • With the cloth or without the cloth?
  • Do you leave it there once the house sells or dig it up?

Seems like too much voodoo to me. Home sellers ask me all the time if this will work to sell their house. Is this a custom in the Overland Park real estate market? My answer? “Don’t waste your time!”

Selling your home with St Joseph

While I’m all about doing everything you can do to sell your home faster, selling your home with St Joseph has never been anything I suggest. If you’ve ever used one of these statues and swear by them, then your house was probably on the market for some time and you probably finally got the price right. But the folk custom came to be that sellers should bury the statue as a sign of prayer asking to find a buyer.

I actually decided to team up with St. Joseph when I asked my seller, Melanie Dillon, if she buried one in her yard. Her response was they didn’t need to because they had St Melinda. Yes, St. Melinda sold their Overland Park house the first day on the market YEARS AGO (it’s what I’ve always done) – when there was actually some inventory to sell.

No matter what the inventory is, there are only 3 reasons your house will sell…

  1. It’s priced right
  2. It looks spectacular
  3. You have the right agent

There really are no gimmicks when it comes to selling real estate. Never have been. Even praying doesn’t work. Me teaming up with St Joseph is a gimmick – and I don’t need him. Too many agents focus on things that don’t really matter.

Here’s my secret sauce

If you start with the price and create a product worth that price, you’ll get more money every time. That’s exactly why I learned the art of home staging 16 years ago. Houses that were for sale didn’t show well. Many of them still don’t show well because sellers and their agents don’t understand what home staging really is and how it works.

The right price and a great look will boost a price every time. But even in today’s market, savvy buyers will not buy a house that’s overpriced. They will however pay you more for a house that’s priced right and that they can see themselves living in. They’ve got to get emotional about your house and if they don’t, they’re not going to buy it. My job, as your home stager, creates that emotion.

Bottom line

If you’re set on selling your house with St Joseph buried in your yard – you need to rethink things. Obviously, your agent hasn’t sold your house. Is there something they aren’t telling you or are you not listening? Which is it?

In life, you either make excuses or get results but you don’t get both. If you want to sell your house, quit making excuses, make the changes necessary and you’ll get results.

There are buyers out there but you’ve got to give them what they want. If your house is on the market and not selling, look at the pictures online. Does it compare to the house you want to buy? If not, get a new price, new look, or new agent.

I get calls from people around the country who can’t sell their house. When I see their photos, I understand why their house hasn’t sold. The time spent selling your home with St Joseph could be time better spent on figuring out why your house hasn’t sold and making necessary changes.

If your house hasn’t sold and you need help understanding why, ask St. Melinda at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here. Time is of the essence in real estate and every day your house is on the market is costing you thousands of dollars!

Check out today’s new listings either below or in the sidebar. Call or text me at (913) 515-3250 to see inside one of these homes. I AM NEVER TOO BUSY to show you a house. Real estate is my main hustle after 35 years! Everything else I do is bells and whistles to enhance your experience!

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Pricing Your Home to Sell

The real estate market may be changing but if you’re not pricing your home to sell, you could be in for a huge surprise. There are still lots of buyers who are ready, willing, and able to buy your home for top dollar. But that doesn’t mean you can overprice your home and expect them to come running.

Today’s home buyers are savvy. They have done their research. They have spent hours looking at homes in person and online. After all, there are so many places to check out…Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc. And they always think one website will have a house and different information than another.

Home buyers that I work with typically know way more about a house I am going to show them than I know about it. They have looked at it online from every possible angle, taken every tour, and know its history. In addition, they know when you bought it, how much you paid for it and they are comparing it to others they’ve seen. They have probably driven by and will rule it out if it’s new to the market and they think it’s overpriced.

You see, it’s about them – your buyers and the experience they will have buying your home. By overpricing your home, it will make them leery. Buyers already think they are overpaying for a home. And then when you inflate the price, they will not trust you or the transaction. Nothing I do or say will change their minds. But price your home right and stage it so they fall in love, they will line up to bid the price up because it’s what they want to do.

Pricing your home to sell

Pricing your home to sell starts with being realistic, looking at the comparable homes that have sold, and trusting your agent. Unfortunately, there are lots of agents who will tell you what you want to hear. Believe me, in over 35 years of selling real estate, many agents are still using the same tired old tactics to get another listing. Overprice it, tell the sellers what they want to hear, and beat them up to lower their price later. That’s the 3P Marketing Plan of the ’90s:

  • Put the sign in the yard
  • Put it in MLS and
  • Pray

What else can you do when you’ve overpriced a home?

The only 3 reasons a house sells are:

  1. The right price
  2. The right staging and
  3. The right Realtor

Which comes first? Any house will sell if it is priced right. The agents who are good at pricing a home to sell are ahead of the rest. But unfortunately, they are few and far between.

The right home staging is important but even I will admit, some attempt at home staging is better than no staging at all. The difference is homes that are styled and staged to look drop-dead gorgeous get you more money – that’s all. It’s your money you’re either making or losing.

But making it all happen is having the right Realtor who can help you understand how real estate works. Selling your home is simple, but it’s not easy. The Realtor you choose will determine the results you get. Make sure the process starts with pricing your home to sell. After all, it’s your money. And the faster your house sells, the more money you will get!

If you’re thinking of selling a home in or around Overland Park and want to know what I do to help you sell faster and for thousands over the asking price, text or call me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.

Check out today’s new listings either below or in the sidebar. Call or text me at (913) 515-3250 to see inside one of these homes. I AM NEVER TOO BUSY to show you a house. Real estate is my main hustle after 35 years! Everything else I do is bells and whistles to enhance your experience!

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Will the House Appraise?

When your house sells with multiple offers and for $35,000 over asking price, everybody wants to know…will the house appraise? Before accepting that very attractive offer, you need to ask yourself lots of questions.

First of all, waiting to look at all offers after being on the market for 3 days is probably going to be your first problem. Don’t be greedy. You know what your house is worth…if you sell it for $20,000 over asking price, will the house appraise? Probably not. Don’t blame the appraiser. He’s just doing his job. Don’t expect him to put some unrealistic value on your house when it doesn’t exist. He’s working for the buyer and the lender. He’s going to say, “Show me the comps you used to arrive at this price.” Do they exist?

Appraisers need proof. In order to complete their paperwork and assign a value to your home, they need to be able to show 3 other comparable properties that have sold for your selling price in the last 3 months. There again, ask yourself…will the house appraise?

I sold Rick and Karen’s house by the end of the first day on the market to a cash buyer and for $15,000 over asking – with no appraisal. Cash buyers don’t require appraisals because there is no lender involved.

In that same transaction, we had one offer of $23,000 over asking that was going to be financed. As an experienced Realtor, I thought that one was going to be a problem and shared my concerns with my sellers.

How important is the appraisal?

Your appraisal is going to be done very late in the game…maybe a couple of weeks before closing. If this is the case, you still need to do everything you can to make your house look its best. Impressing the appraiser is especially important if your house sold for over asking price.

The foremost thing on your mind should always be will the house appraise? While the appraiser is still going to compare apples to apples, I’ve had them tell me, “That house sure does show well.” BINGO! That will usually raise the price to an extent. That’s where home staging comes into play. The showings may be over, but next to your showings to nab the perfect buyer, the appraiser’s opinion of your home is the next most important showing there is. Get this one wrong and it could not only botch your sale, it could make a big difference in your next purchase.

Understanding the home selling process

Have a plan with your agent before your house comes on the market. IFTTT, is what I call it. If this, then that. Work through some scenarios of what might happen. If you have a brand new agent, they may not have enough experience of what will happen. But an experienced agent should be able to walk you through what to expect when your house sells with multiple offers, without multiple offers or with offers less than asking price.

Have that discussion before you come on the market and definitely before you’re running high on emotion and you’re unable to make a good decision based on facts. My average house sells the first day on the market because I set it up to happen that way. It’s part of my marketing plan so I pretty much know what’s going to happen, I expect it and share how it’s going to happen with my sellers. So, the details may change but my sellers are never surprised because we already had that conversation.

What are your expectations when selling your home?

It always surprises me when sellers have no clue what’s going to happen when they sell their home. It’s not your fault…you might be a first time seller or repeat seller. It doesn’t matter. Real estate changes constantly and your agent should inform you of what to expect when your home comes on the market.

Having a game plan is a big part of will the house appraise? You should always think things through before you make some potential huge mistakes. If your house doesn’t appraise for the price it sold for, be ready for that as well. Don’t make your next transaction dependent on every dime you’re expecting to receive on your house. You might not get what you thought and could end up not having enough money to close on your next home. I hear horror stories other agents tell. The job of your agent is to guide you through a successful transaction. Remember, the results you get will be because of the agent you choose. Choose carefully!

If you are selling your home, want a smooth transaction, a house that appraises, and more money in your pocket, call me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.

Click here for your home’s real value versus the Zillow Zestimate. It’s fast, easy, accurate and FREE.

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Also, be sure to check out the latest, newest houses for sale in Overland Park below. When you see one you’re dying to see inside, call or text me at (913) 515-3250 and I’ll get an appointment and meet you there!

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How to Sell Your Home in Overland Park

There is always a lot of discussion around how to sell your home in Overland Park. Several years ago, Fortune Magazine, published an article about the only 3 things that mattered when selling your home.

Only 3 things? There are so many things to consider when selling your home. But at the end of the day, they all fit into 3 categories and the only 3 things that matter are:

1. The list price

2. The way your home looks

3. The Realtor you choose

These are the only 3 things that matter when it comes down to how to sell your home in Overland Park. Everything else is in the details.

Pricing Your Home to Sell

The list price – above all else, you’ve got to price your home correctly. I don’t care whether it’s a seller’s market, buyer’s market or balanced market. The right price is going to get buyers into your home and get it sold if you follow the next 2 steps.

Staging Your Home to Attract the Most Buyers

The way your home looks is huge. Your home for sale has to look amazing. After all, selling your home starts with proper preparation and ends with a fabulous presentation of the finished result. Great home staging in my book often raises the price by a good $5,000 -$10,000. But don’t expect more money if your home doesn’t look fabulous. A great looking house gets buyers more emotional, makes them fall in love and willingly pay you more money for it. That’s when you can negotiate your price way up!

The way you live in your home and the way you sell your house are two very different ways. Having your house on the market is not the time to slack off. You must be on your very best game 24/7 before and during all showings. Buyers are looking for the Goldilocks Effect in the house they are going to buy. Don’t be the reason they won’t be generous with their offer – if they make one. The right look will always get you the right offer.

Choosing the Right Realtor

Your Realtor controls the entire process of how to sell your home in Overland Park. They are the most important person in the equation. It’s their decision what happens and when. From the right price to the right look, your Realtor is running the show. Be sure to ask lots of questions. Choose someone who is getting the results you want. Don’t choose them because they have the biggest team of agents. It only takes one agent to sell your home…the one who is paying attention and making it happen. Your results will be determined by the Realtor you choose. Choose carefully! Your Realtor will make you thousands or cost you thousands. You decide.

How to Sell Your Home in Overland Park

Selling your home in Overland Park is pretty basic and straight-forward. When you’re selling your home and understand that buyers expect a price that’s based on fair market value and a fabulous looking house, you’ll be on your way to multiple offers and more money in your pocket. Cha-ching!

If you want to sell your home faster, easier and end up with more money, text or call us direct at (913) 515-3250 or contact us here. Let’s have a short conversation about your home selling goals, how we sell our average staged home in 3 days or less and how we get you more money!

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