Dave Tedoni | St. Louis Real Estate, Maryland Heights Real Estate, Ballwin Real Estate


When you’re showing your home, you need to stage the home properly to impress buyers. Buyers need to be able to get an idea of what it would be like to live in the home. No matter what your own lifestyle is, or what problems you have had in the home, there are certain things that you probably don’t want to share with anyone who could be a potential buyer on a walk through. 


Any Kind Of Taxidermy


Although you may enjoy hunting and taxidermy, there are few things that creep out potential buyers more than seeing animals that were formerly alive hanging on your wall. It’s been shown that taxidermy often gives buyers a sense of dread and can creep them out. Yes, that bear rug may be comfy and quite the accomplishment, but not everyone will share the same sentiment as you. Be sure to get all of these animal displays out of your home when you’re getting ready to sell it and show the property.


Personal Collections That May Be A Bit On The Strange Side


It’s really cool if you want to collect dolls, clowns, or have some kind of a celebrity shrine in your home. It’s cool for you, that is. Keep these items to yourself, especially when the home is going to be shown. Any room that could be considered too full of any one kind of item should be redecorated slightly before a home showing. 


Weapons


Weapons are on the same spectrum as taxidermy. Many people may have differing opinions with you on the subject and it could creep some buyers out. If you have any kinds of guns or knives displayed in your home, you should put them away for showings. These items can make buyers feel very uncomfortable and leave them turned off by your home.       



Political Items


If you like to get political, know that many people who are potentially going to buy your home probably don’t share your views or interests. Keep any politically charged signs and organizational symbols out of view for the showing of your home. Buyers may not be able to relate, and in turn, end up being turned off by your home.     


Bug Traps Or Mouse Traps


We all have experienced bugs or mice in our homes at one time or another. When the house goes up for sale, you don’t want to advertise this by keeping any kinds of traps in view of buyers. People will get creeped out easily by the thought that pests have infested the home at some point. Although the home inspection will probably note that there was some type of a pest problem in the home, you don’t want to lose potential buyers because a mouse trap was in view.


An informed homebuyer may be better equipped than others to enjoy a successful property buying experience. In fact, an informed homebuyer likely will understand the ins and outs of the local housing market – something that could make it simple for this individual to discover a great residence at a budget-friendly price.

Ultimately, it helps to review the local real estate market closely before you embark on the homebuying journey. Lucky for you, there are many things you can do to analyze the local real estate market and gain the homebuying insights you need to succeed.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you study the local housing sector so you can navigate the homebuying journey with poise and confidence.

1. Assess the Prices of Recently Sold Houses

Oftentimes, it is a good idea to review the prices of recently sold houses in cities or towns where you plan to search for your dream residence. If you understand how much home sellers are receiving for their residences, you can narrow your house search to properties that fall in line with your budget.

It is important to remember that city houses may be more expensive than comparable residences in small towns, too. Thus, you should budget accordingly based on where you choose to search for a home.

2. Find Out If Homes Are Selling Quickly

Take a look at how quickly homes are selling in cities and towns where you want to live. With this housing market data in hand, you can determine whether a buyer's or seller's market is in place.

In a buyer's market, there may be an abundance of available houses. Or, in a seller's market, homes may sell within days of being listed.

If you are operating in a buyer's market, you may be able to take your time to find your ideal house. Comparatively, in a seller's market, you should be prepared to act quickly to acquire your dream residence.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can teach you everything you need to know about the housing sector. That way, a real estate agent can help you become an informed homebuyer in no time at all.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about you and your homebuying goals. He or she next will provide insights into the housing market in your preferred cities and towns and help you hone your house search. Then, a real estate agent will help you search for your dream residence. And once you find a house you want to purchase, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this home.

As you prepare for the homebuying journey, it may be beneficial to learn about the local real estate sector. By doing so, you can gain comprehensive housing market insights that you can use to streamline your home search. As a result, you could speed up the process of finding and purchasing your ideal house.


“Curb appeal” is a term that worries many sellers who are concerned that their house doesn’t have what it takes to woo buyers when they pull up to your driveway. Some aspects of curb appeal aren’t always in your control, such as the neighborhood your house is in, the state of sidewalks and roads, and eyesores like outdated power lines.

However, there are many things you can do to make your house stand out amongst the rest in a positive way. Better yet, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to achieve curb appeal.

In this article, we’re going to give you 6 inexpensive ways to increase the curb appeal of your home to woo potential buyers.

1. Match your landscaping to your home architecture

We all have our own preferences when it comes to bushes, trees, and plants in our yard. However, some landscaping decisions work more fluidly and naturally with the architecture of your home.

A good way to achieve this is by planting things that are native to your area and avoiding expensive trees that are in fashion one year and out of style the next.

2. Paint your trim, shutters, and front door

Sprucing up these accent items will improve the appearance of the entire exterior of your home. Don’t be afraid to choose bright and bold colors, so long as they match the color and style of the rest of your home.

3. Buy a new mailbox and house numbers

For less than $40 you can buy a new mailbox and house numbers that will give your home a sense of newness. Like with the other items on the list, go with options that match the style of your home.

4. Upgrade the lighting

Although the lights might not be on when people come to view your home, they will certainly notice old lighting. Make sure walkway lights are standing straight, equidistant from one another, and clean.

Installing or updating your porch light is also a good way to up the curb appeal when potential buyers get to your doorway.

5. Photograph the home at the best time

Since most home buyers begin their house hunting online, your first opportunity to show off your home’s curb appeal is in your listing photos.

While there is no set rule to the best time of day to photograph your home, you’ll want to avoid harsh glares or extremely overcast days. Try shooting after sunrise, sometime before noon, in the late afternoon, and just before sunset (the golden hour). Then review your photos and find the ones that show off your home the best.

6. Wash or pressure wash your home

Before spending hundreds on landscaping, take some time to wash the exterior of your home. Viewers will look at your house first and foremost, and dirty siding won’t win over any hearts.

You can use soapy water and a long-handled brush, or you can rent a pressure washer for as little as $30.


Selling a house is no small feat, particularly in a competitive real estate market. As such, home sellers may be prone to make mistakes if they don't plan ahead for potential pitfalls.

Common home selling mistakes include:

1. Listing a Home Without Performing Housing Market Research

Let's face it – selling a house can be stressful. In many instances, home sellers will want to speed through the home selling journey – something that may lead these sellers to list residences without evaluating the real estate market in advance.

Spending even a few minutes looking at the prices of homes in your city or town may make a world of difference. Ultimately, the more housing market research that you perform, the more likely it becomes that you'll be able to optimize the value of your house.

Take a look at the prices of available homes in your city or town that are similar to your own. Also, evaluate the prices of recently sold houses in your area. With this housing market data at your disposal, you'll be better equipped than ever before to price your residence competitively and boost your chances of a profitable home sale.

2. Accepting an Initial Offer on a Residence

The first offer that you receive on a residence may prove to be the best offer. However, in some cases, the initial offer may fall short of your expectations.

Immediately accepting the initial offer on a residence may prove to be costly. Fortunately, a home seller who understands the housing market can take a data-driven approach to determine how to proceed with any offer, at any time.

Performing a home appraisal before you list your residence can provide valuable insights into a property's value. Then, you can list your house for a competitive price, one that helps generate substantial interest in your house and may lead to offers at, near or above your initial asking price.

In addition, don't forget to consult with a real estate agent. If you receive a home offer and are unsure about whether to accept, reject or counter it, a real estate agent can provide expert advice to help you make an informed decision.

3. Ignoring a Real Estate Agent's Recommendations

A seller's agent is committed to helping you optimize the value of your residence, and this housing market professional will offer recommendations as you sell your house to ensure you that can get the best results possible.

If you ignore a real estate agent's recommendations, you may miss out on a golden opportunity to sell your house. A real estate agent provides housing market analysis and insights, along with honest, unbiased recommendations about how to overcome a wide range of home selling hurdles.

Furthermore, a real estate agent always has a home seller's best interests in mind. This housing market professional also is available to respond to a home seller's questions, guaranteeing that a home seller is fully supported at each stage of the home selling journey.

Ready to sell your house? Collaborate with a real estate agent, and you should have no trouble achieving your desired results.


If you have just purchased a home, you have the option to refinance your home soon. Just because you can refinance your home doesn’t mean that you should. How long you should wait to refinance your home depends on a few things including:


  • Your refinancing goals
  • The rules of your lender
  • If your mortgage has a pre-payment penalty clause

Goals


Your goals for refinancing are among the most important things when considering whether to refinance. Lenders typically won’t refinance a loan that you have secured in the last 120-180 days, so if you’re looking to lower your monthly payments, you may have to shop for a new lender.    


The Type Of Loan You Have


If your financial situation has changed, it may be smart to change the type of loan that you have. Oftentimes, changing the rate and the terms of the loan can give you the extra freedom that you need for your loan and your life. 


Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster


If you do a cash-in refinance, this could be a smart way for you to build equity for your financial future and help you to secure a lower rate for your mortgage. Keep in mind that FHA loans are a bit different when it comes to paying down your mortgage. The FHA streamline program requires that you wait a minimum of 6 months before you refinance. 


Pre-payment Penalties


 Before you refinance your home, you’ll need to double-check to ensure that your mortgage doesn’t have a pre-payment penalty. If you do have one of these clauses included in your loan agreement, you should consult your lender to make sure that refinancing is a smart move for you.


Lender’s Rules


Every lender has different rules as to how quickly you can refinance your mortgage. You may also need to meet certain qualifications in order to go ahead with the refinancing. 


As tempting as it can be to try and get a lower mortgage rate, you may want to hold off on refinancing for a variety of reasons. Remember that every time you refinance your home, you’ll need to pay closing costs and other fees. While it may be a savings in the long term, it could cost you some up front cash. 


The best course of action is ideally to shop for  a lender and a mortgage rate that will suit your needs from the beginning. While no one can completely predict a changing market, you can shop around and find the right rate and loan for you at the time.