The House That Sold For $25,000+ Over Asking Price

Have you heard the incredible story behind the home on Warren Road?

When we first interviewed this couple when we were listing the home, their genuine love and care for this house was felt and embedded in every detail. We are thankful to have captured this beautiful story as they turned to a new chapter in life. We are honored that they trusted us as their Real Estate Agent and Team to help them make a huge move and sell their home.
Fast forward to now…their home SOLD for $25,000 OVER asking price!
We are even more excited to share their testimony video with you. Make sure to stay tuned!

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5 Things Home Sellers Commonly Forget

When you’re selling your home, you’ve got so much to do! Minor repairs and updates, clearing closets and cabinets of clutter, staging, choosing a Realtor, deciding on as asking price, and, of course, dreaming of getting your “big check.”

So in the midst of all of that, it’s understandable that some things just get overlooked. If you’re thinking of selling your home soon, don’t forget to do these five important things … and of course No. 6, which is to call us!

1. Give your home the Yelp treatment

You’d be amazed at the small things that can turn a buyer off. A doorbell that doesn’t work, a garage door that squeaks, missing window screens – all of these are minor problems, but they can leave a bad taste in the mouth of prospective buyers. Go through your home and imagine it as a hotel you’re staying in. How would you rate it on Yelp? Better yet, get a friend to come over and do it for you. They’ll notice things that you overlook because you see them every day.

2. Clean inside everything

Prospective buyers are going to open your cabinets and closets and cabinet drawers. While potential buyers generally understand that you’re still living in your home (& therefore the junk drawer STILL exists!), having dirty or exploding drawers and closets can be a turn-off. Make sure everything is as inviting on the inside as it is on the outside. Yes, even your silverware drawer needs to be organized. Yes, you need to vacuum INSIDE your closets. Clean your aquarium. Hide the embarrassing stuff under your bathroom counter. People who visit your home are looking to make one of the biggest purchases of their lives. While everything doesn’t have to be spotless, don’t let your home’s hidden areas send your home shoppers running for the door.

3. Google your address

90% of all buyers look for homes online, so it’s a good idea to make sure all the information you can find about your home online is correct. Websites like Zillow can give an estimate of your home’s value, but if the details about your home are wrong, the estimate will be, too. Also, the Google street view of your home may miss recent upgrades. If so, you’ll want to mention that in your home listings so potential buyers will know ahead of time that what they see on Google is different from what they’d see in real life.

4. Make a list of everything that does not convey

Most every purchase agreement says that anything that is attached to the house (wall, ceiling, outside, etc.) is sold with the house unless stated otherwise in the contract. So if you want to

keep the flat-screen TV that’s mounted in the living room, your grandmother’s antique chandelier, or those handmade towel rods, you’d better make a list of exclusions now so you don’t end up in an argument (or court) later.

5. List all the improvements you’ve made to the home

Buyers love to know that they won’t have to worry about costly repairs for a while if they buy your home. That’s why you should go through your house and write down every improvement you’ve made. A new furnace, roof, plumbing, and other big-ticket items are especially tempting to prospective buyers. Plus, showing that you’ve invested time, money, work and love shows that you truly care about the home (and therefore have probably taken great care of it).

6. Call a great Realtor (like us!) who will walk you through all of the above steps

You want the advice of a seasoned Real Estate professional to maximize your home sale profit. Call us today and we’ll do our very best to earn your business. You’ll be surprised to learn about all we have to offer.

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5 Mistakes First-Time Homebuyers Will Want To Avoid

Thinking of buying your first home? Congratulations! It’s a big step in the right direction toward a stable financial future, and a place to make your most precious memories. However, there are some common first-time homebuyer mistakes that can potentially derail your plans, cost you more money, and significantly raise frustration in the home-buying process. Here are 5 common first-time homebuyer mistakes you definitely want to avoid.

Putting off saving for your down payment

The down payment is typically just a small percentage of the overall price of a home, but that doesn’t mean you should take saving for it lightly. You’re not going to be able to get that kind of cash out of your couch cushions. (& if you are able to, invite us over for movie night!)

The ideal amount to put down on your home is 20% of the purchase price, because at 20% you won’t be required to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI typically costs about 0.5%-1% of the loan amount annually. For instance, on a $200,000 mortgage, avoiding PMI by putting down 20% or more might result in savings of over $80-$160 a month for the first 2-5 years of the loan!

It’s worth the time and effort to save as much as you can for your down payment. Start now, even if you don’t plan to buy a home for 5 or 10 years. A 20% down payment on a $200,000 home is $40,000.

Can’t hit that mark? Don’t panic, you’re not alone, and that shouldn’t discourage you from buying a house. Since 1991, the average annual increase of home values is around 3.5%, which means you’re still making gains despite the cost of PMI, and PMI doesn’t stay around forever. There are loan options out there for first-time home buyers than will allow as little as 3% down. Still have questions about mortgages? Click here to learn more, or give us a call! (734) 707-7992

Not knowing your credit status

Nothing is worse than getting excited about a house but then finding out your credit isn’t good enough to get a mortgage. Meet with a trusted lender to discuss mortgage pre-approval (which includes a credit check), just so you know where you stand. If there are errors you need to take care of, this will give you time to get things in order before you fall in love with a home. That leads us to our next avoidable mistake…

Forgetting to get a pre-approval letter

A pre-approval letter shows the seller that you have been vetted by a mortgage company and are likely to be able to get a mortgage. Most sellers will not accept an offer without a pre-approval letter.

It’s relatively easy to get a pre-approval letter. Just contact a lender and tell them that you need to be pre-approved. You’ll have to furnish documents proving your income and debt, and they’ll run a credit report. Once everything is delivered and checks out, you’ll get a letter you can use whenever you put in an offer on a house.

Not budgeting for end-of-sale expenses

When you think of buying a home, you probably think of the down payment and your mortgage payments, right? That’s certainly the biggest chunk of money, but that’s not everything you’ll need to budget for.

Closing costs, moving expenses, repairs, home inspection, homeowners insurance … there are lots of small expenses to consider that happen at the end of the process. Having a buffer of cash will make your life much easier. Keep in mind that closing costs alone tend to be between 2-5% of your loan amount.

Hiring the wrong buyer’s agent

As a first time homebuyer, you need guidance from a professional that’s empathetic to your needs. You want to look for a buyers agent that’s willing to act as a teacher, mentor and guide – educating you every step of the way and eliminating any confusion.

The best way to find the right buyer’s agent is to start reading reviews online, and then interview your candidate in-person. Always choose someone that’s not only well-reviewed and recommended, but also that you get along with well.

We want to be here to guide you through this process, so if you’re looking for more first time home buyer tips, advice or support, we’re here to listen! Schedule a no-obligation consultation with us today.

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Home Staging Blog Q&A

What is Home Staging?

Home Staging is a professional service which prepares homes for sale prior to being listed on the market. Staging is a marketing tool that homeowners utilize to sell their home more quickly and often for a higher price. It helps to create a warm, inviting and appealing space that immediately attracts potential buyers. It also helps to identify and highlight the best features of your home, so that when buyers walk in they notice all of the positive aspects of the home. Home staging is a proactive approach to marketing your home, and is typically done prior to having photos taken and prior to being listed on the market. Many homeowners are seeing the huge advantage of staging their homes and are requesting the services of a Home Stager.

What does a Home Stager do?

A Home Staging professional is someone who is trained and certified in Home Staging. They will begin the staging process with a thorough staging consultation of your home. During the consultation they will recommend home repairs, paint colors, updates to fixtures, décor updates, furniture placement and more. This will assist the homeowner in making decisions on budget and time frame for preparing the home to sell. A Home Stager will then create a design plan for your home and choose furniture and accessories that will appeal to perspective buyers. They will install the furniture and accessories throughout the home creating a warm, comfortable and inviting atmosphere.

Who can benefit from Home Staging and what are the benefits?

Homeowners who are planning on selling their home benefit greatly from Home Staging. When buyers are looking at two similar homes on the MLS, and one is staged and the other isn’t, they will most often choose to see the home that has been staged. Because of the greater volume of people looking at the home, this often leads to a quicker offer. Staging statistics have also shown that most staged homes sell for a higher value than similar non-staged homes. Home builders and investors also benefit greatly from staging a vacant home. Buyers often have difficulty visualizing their belongings in a vacant home, so Home Staging is a great tool which shows buyers how they can arrange their furniture in the home.

What is the difference between Occupied Staging vs. Vacant Staging?

Occupied home staging is when the homeowner and their family will be living in the home throughout the selling process and they have the large furniture items already in the home, but they need items such as art, accessories, rugs and lamps to compliment the décor in their home. The way we live in our homes is often very different than how we sell our house. Homeowners have to “detail” their homes in a similar way as they would if selling their car. This usually requires packing up “taste specific” items, unused items, non-seasonal clothing and personal items. Once the home is de-personalized and items that are not used frequently have been packed and stored, then the Home Stager brings in art, accessories, pillows and small furniture items to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Vacant home staging is when the homeowner and their family are no longer living in the home and all of the belongings have been removed. With vacant home staging, the Home Stager brings in all of the furniture, art, rugs, lamps and accessories to give the home a cozy, lived in feeling. If the home is left empty, buyers tend to focus on the dated aspects of the home or the deferred maintenance of the property. Vacant staging helps buyers visualize how they can live in the home comfortably.

Who is the Home Staging Coordinator for The Packer Group?

Jami Natale, ASP specializes in home staging and assists The Packer Group realtors and home owners in preparing their homes to sell quickly and for top dollar. As the Accredited Staging Professional for TPG Staging, her specialty is staging residential properties for Real Estate Sale. Jami is currently an active member of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP) and Real Estate Staging Association (RESA). Jami understands the impact of a great first impression, and strives to achieve that for every home. Her attention to detail and keen eye for beautiful design has fueled her passion to work in this industry. Jami’s priority is to build a rapport with her clients, to communicate with them effectively and to provide outstanding customer service.

If I decide to stage my house before selling, what do I need to do to be prepared?

The first step in the staging process is the Home Staging Consultation. Once the Home Stager comes to your home and gives you suggestions for repairs, remodeling and de-personalizing the home, the next step would be to begin executing this plan. Storage units or PODS are often a great solution for homeowners who need to store items while their home is on the market. The Home Stager will offer a list of contractors that homeowners can use if remodeling (such as paint, carpet, carpet cleaning, house cleaning, etc.) is needed. Once the home is de-personalized, items have been stored, and repairs have been made, the next step would be to have the home thoroughly, professionally cleaned. Buyers can often overlook outdated items in the home if the home is sparkling clean. After this, the home is ready for staging! The Home Stager will bring the furniture and accessories to stage the home and then the photographer will take photos of the home once staging is complete.

What is the cost of staging my home?

The cost of staging a home varies depending on the square footage of the home, weather it is an occupied or a vacant stage, and how many rooms will be staged. The Home Stager will bring a pricing list to the consultation, which will provide the homeowner with an estimated cost to stage their home. The cost of staging your home is an investment in marketing the home in such a way that often leads to quicker offers and a higher sale price.

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Why Working with a Realtor beats FSBO

Thinking about selling your home FSBO – For Sale By Owner? It can seem tempting – not paying Realtor fees – especially if you’re the type of person that likes to do things yourself. But like anything else, for every benefit, there is a cost. And when it comes to trying to FSBO your home, the cost can get tremendous.

Bias Alert – YES, we are Realtors, so of course we want you to let us help you sell your home. But this blog is to INFORM YOU about the nightmare that doing FSBO can be, not to get us more business. What you’ll learn here is based on our YEARS of swooping in to rescue FSBO-ers who had come to their wits end. We get lots of clients who start out trying to sell their own homes, so we see what a mess it can be … because we have to pick up the pieces. Friends don’t let friends FSBO!

Here are 5 Reasons using a Realtor is better than FSBO

  1. FSBOs spend more time on the market – Homes sold by owner typically spend more than two months longer on the market than homes sold by a Realtor. In those extra months, the seller is still paying payments, utilities, insurance, the website that hosts their MLS listing, and more. When you sell your home with a Realtor from The Packer Group, you’re more likely to sell faster and save those months of expenses.
  2. Realtor-sold homes sell for more – According to the 2016 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the typical FSBO home sells for $185,000, compared to $240,000 for agent-assisted sales.
  3. FSBO paperwork is a nightmare – Do not underestimate the amount of paperwork you’ll have to deal with if you’re lucky enough to get a buyer for your FSBO home. Inspections, contracts, negotiations, easements, etc. … the list goes on and on. When you sell with a Realtor, your Realtor – who has dealt with all this paperwork lots of times before, handles everything. And when it comes to paperwork, there is a LOT to handle.
  4. Realtors protect you – There are lots of things that can go wrong in a home sale. Buyers might not actually have the funding they promised. They might try to pull out at the last minute. They may filibuster your deal, demanding repairs that aren’t necessary or even legal. While yes, you can hire a lawyer to come to your aid should any of these things happen, that’s both expensive and time consuming.

Using a licensed Realtor with a top-notch team behind them like The Packer Group gives you the upfront protection of working with someone who knows how to protect your interests in the first place. Plus, if the stuff hits the fan, your Realtor will have resources readily available if something does go wrong.

  1. You still have to pay Realtor fees – Many make the argument that selling their home themselves saves them from paying Even if you choose not to list your house with a Realtor, if your buyer is working with a Realtor, you’re still going to have to pay their fee when you sell. In general, you’ll have to pay 3% of the sale price for them bringing you a buyer. If you choose not to offer that commission, Realtors may choose to not commit their time showing a home they would not get paid for.

If you’re going to pay the buyer’s Realtor fees anyway, why not go ahead and get the professional service, protection, and benefits of having a Realtor on YOUR side, not just the buyers’? Multiple studies have shown that homes sold with the help of a Realtor sell for a higher average price than those by the owner alone. This helps to either greatly offset the extra 3% to the seller’s agent or to come out ahead financially, all with the above benefits of using a Realtor.

Don’t FSBO – Sell with The Packer Group!

We’d love to help you sell your home fast, stress-free, and for top dollar. Get started now by giving us a call at 734-707-7992.

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The Packer Group Marketing: 360-degree solutions that get your home sold

Selling your home isn’t like selling an old bike – it requires expertise in marketing your home for sale. Sure, you can put up a “for sale” sign and an MLS listing, but unless you just get lucky, probably not a lot is going to happen … except sitting endlessly on the market.

At The Packer Group, we take luck out of the equation, and replace it with science, research, knowledge, and hard work. Our marketing team follows a long list of steps and procedures to make sure your home is marketed 100% from the moment it hits the market. No “photos coming soon” for your listing.

Here are some of the ways EVERY house we list gets the TPG Marketing Treatment:

  • Market Research – We tirelessly study market trends so we can offer you the most up-to-date advice and apply the most effective marketing tactics to your sale.
  • Professional Staging – You’ll start with an appointment with our professional stager, who will take photos of every room in your house and give you a free report (our gift to you) offering suggestions on decluttering, organizing, and updates and repairs that may be needed. If you don’t want to do the staging work yourself, you can hire our professional stager to take care of all the work for you.
  • Trusted Contractors – If you need work done on your home, we’re worked diligently to curate a list of trusted contractors that do excellent work at reasonable prices. You can see this list here.
  • Visual Marketing – We live in a visual world, one where consumers need to SEE a home’s potential. We cater all of our advice and recommendations to you with that in mind.
  • In-House Photographer – Our in-house real estate photographer, who only works for our clients, will send you a pre-photo shoot checklist to help you get your home ready for pictures. Then, he will take photos that showcase your home’s best features. Depending on the size of your home and property, we may also employ drone photography and videography.
  • Digital Showing – We know that your first “showing” of your home will be online, so we make sure all your visual assets – photos and videos – are professional-grade, simply stunning, and produced to showcase your home in its most positive light. These photos and videos are the first way potential buyers start building an emotional connection with your home.
  • Real Humans – Our phone number is unique in that, when someone calls, the call rings on all of our office phones and someone always picks up. People interested in your home get a warm first impression of a real human, not an impersonal automated system.
  • Pre-Marketing to Agents – We pre-market your home to other agents before it even goes lives on the MLS. We can see a list of agents that have recently showed other homes like yours, in your area and price range. By pre-marketing to these agents, we get your home in front of a ton of buyers right away who are looking for exactly what you’re selling.
  • Direct Marketing to Agents – Once your home hits the market, we can see which agents have set a property search that matches the characteristics of your home, and we reach out to them directly with your listing.
  • Thursday Listing – We strategically list our homes on a Thursday so we can condense as much showing activity as possible into that first weekend. If we can cause enough overlapping interest in your home, it creates a sense of urgency among buyers because they can see that lots of other buyers are also viewing your home. And urgency speeds up buyers’ decision-making progress big time.
  • Sunday Open House – We suggest hosting an open house on the Sunday after your home is first listed to show buyers how popular your home is and incite them to take action before it’s too late.
  • Accurate Pricing – We will warn against overpricing your home because it can scare off qualified buyers or kill the momentum of your home when it is first listed. Buyers that price their homes too high end up dropping the price by a greater percentage than those who accurately price their home from the beginning. Plus, accurate pricing can lead to multiple offers, which has several meaningful benefits to you.

Experience ThePacker Group Marketing Treatment yourself!

We’d love to sell your home with expert marketing, advice, and guidance that gives you a stress-free sale. Give us a call today at 734-707-7992.

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