Moises Cosme's Blog
When homeowners start thinking about selling, the first thing they want to know is, “How much can I sell my house for?” Your real estate agent's task is determining the fair market value with a range of prices from low to high. The spread between the two values typical is not large and only leaves a little wiggle room for the seller to negotiate.
Determining the Value
The challenge is that there is no one value for a home on the resale market. Several values go into determining the number. These can include the assessed value (what the local government taxes it on), the appraised value (what a certified and licensed appraiser determines it's worth), the market value (this can go up or down depending on supply and demand) and what the owner needs from it in order to move to the next place. Even among appraisers, the same house might have several different values depending on what that appraiser noted; although, they’re usually fairly close.
The Homeowner’s Price
When a homeowner has a price in mind that they’ll sell for, it may come from several factors:
- How much they owe on the first mortgage
- Whether or not it has a second mortgage or HELOC (home equity line of credit)
- How much they originally paid in the down payment and closing
- What they’ve spent in renovations and upgrades
How Your Agent Determines a Price
A professional real estate agent may give you an estimate of the market value of your home within a range. These numbers come from comparable residences in similar condition, homes that sold recently and the prices of homes on the agent’s MLS. Additionally, if the agent knows that a bidding war might happen, they’ll factor that into the suggested price too.
How Overpricing Could Hinder a Sale
There are several reasons that overpricing your home might hinder a sale. Here are the main ones:
- Your price puts your listing outside the search parameters of potential buyers. Even if you’re willing to negotiate and come down a ways, a buyer won’t know to ask because your home is not on their radar.
- If your home does come up in a search, it will be because the buyer is looking for homes in that price range. But if yours fails to match similar homes in their price point, yours will drop to be the last one they look at.
- An overpriced home can spend longer sitting on the market, languishing there as the MLS adds numbers to the “days on the market” category. Often, buyers assume a home sits unsold on the market because there is something wrong with the property or the seller is difficult to work with.
If you need to sell your home quickly, and for top dollar, trust your real estate professional to guide you in setting the price.
Do you love the idea of having fresh herbs available all year round but don't live in an area where it's possible to grow them outdoors in all seasons? You don't have to give up cooking with fresh herbs just because the weather outside is frightful — and you also don't have to install a complicated growing setup with special lights. If you've got a sunny windowsill, you can have fresh herbs even in the dead of winter. Following are just five of the many culinary herbs that you can have at your fingertips all year round with just a few indoor pots, some indoor potting soil, a sunny spot, and a little water.
Mint is a fragrant, prolific grower that thrives indoors when situated where it gets plenty of bright natural light. Use it in teas, cocktails, and as an aromatic garnish.
A pinch of thyme makes almost any meal better, from egg dishes to soups and stews to roasts and grilled seafood. Grow it on a windowsill where it gets plenty of sun, and you'll be rewarded with an extra layer of deliciousness in nearly everything you place on the dinner table.
Parsley is another easy-to-grow herb that fits just right on a bright kitchen windowsill. Use it in soups, stews, egg dishes, and, of course, its traditional use as a garnish to dress up plates with an added bit of greenery.
As a member of the mint family, oregano is as tough as it is aromatic. Always have fresh oregano on hand for Mediterranean-based cuisine will make all the difference between fair and fabulous.
Adding sage bumps up the flavor profile of any savory dish, but it goes especially well with roasted meats such as pork beef, and poultry. It's also a classic herb to use in stuffing when seasonal feasting is on the menu.
Culinary herbs are meant to be used, so don't be afraid of using yours every chance you get. Use a sharp pair of scissors to remove the part you want to use just below the node on the stem — this encourages new growth and helps ensure that you've got plenty of fresh culinary herbs in future weeks and months. For low-growing herbs such as thyme, you can just pinch off however much you need.
Always keep in mind that even though the flowers of many herbs have a diminutive, whimsical aesthetic, resist the urge to allow your windowsill sill herbs to flower unless you want to collect the seeds. Leaves tend to taste bitter after herb plants flower, and except for woody herbs such as rosemary and lavender, most herb plants are biologically programmed to end their lifecycle once they've finished setting seed.
Please feel free to reach out for more information on enjoying your home to the fullest.
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Few things are more exciting than buying a house and making it your home. Knowing when it’s the right time to buy derives from your personal circumstances, but some external elements and market realities affect when it’s right to buy too.
Here are some of the things that can affect your decision to purchase a home, and the timing to do it.
- Interest rates. Right now, interest rates are low, making housing affordable. Keeping an eye on rates can save you money. You can get pre-approval for a mortgage that locks in a low rate, so check out the programs offered by various lenders to see which one has the most useful option for you.
- Inventory levels. Listed homes in your area that fit your budget, and your criteria, ebb and flow. Develop a relationship with a qualified real estate market specialist to keep tabs on inventory levels, so you know when to buy.
- Increased prices. Supply and demand drive up prices, so if prices begin to increase it may be time to step into the market. Again, your real estate agent can keep you apprised of price fluctuations in the market.
- Income levels. You might simply be waiting for a promised raise or that bonus to plump up your down-payment cache. When that’s the case, notify your agent of your expectation and the timing so that they begin looking for you just ahead of when you’re ready to make the purchase.
- Income tax refunds. Although using the IRS as a savings account is a poor financial strategy, sometimes, you end up with a bigger refund than you’d anticipated. When that happens, and you receive the extra funds, it might be time to make homeownership a reality.
- Investments. When an investment gives you an unexpected return, it might be time to reinvest it into a home.
If any of these are true, you may be financially ready. When making any financial decision—especially huge ones such as buying a home—it's essential to contemplate the reason behind your decision. What do you believe a home provides you? How does it fit into your future goals? Are you willing to tie up your funds in a non-liquid investment? Are you prepared to handle the maintenance? Do you have time for upkeep?
When you feel positive about your answers, reach out to your agent for advice, and to start looking for your new home.