Now is a great time for both Buyers and Sellers and here’s why:
Interest rates are still relatively low. The rates are projected to go up and are higher than they were this time last year so now is the time to lock in a rate you can be happy with. Still, rates are a lot lower than they have been in the past and have been the lowest since 1971. Before you start looking, meet with your banker or mortgage company to get pre-qualified for a loan. Then you will know exactly how much you can afford and you won’t be wasting your time or spinning your wheels in the wrong price range. You may be surprised at how much you can afford. Then, call your REALTOR and start looking. I would love to be your REALTOR so check out my profile online and on Facebook.
Why Wait???? Typically, inventory builds in March and if you wait until then you’ll have a lot more competition. Right now we have both an inventory shortage and a sudden uptick of buyers in Oxford and surrounding areas. The political season is over, the Dow is at a record high and there is market confidence. Wouldn’t it be great to get it sold quicker? Make sure your house and yard are in great condition because curb appeal sells and so does a house that is move-in-ready. It is proven that sellers who utilize real estate professionals get their houses sold faster and for more money.. If this is something you want, schedule an appointment with me for more information.
I hope these guides can help you. Enjoy! And, best wishes.
Eileen Saunders, SRES, REALTOR Tommy Morgan Realtors 2092 Old Taylor Road Oxford MS 38655 662-404-0816 | 662-234-5344 Equal Housing
Have you heard?
Millions and millions of Americans are planning to move after the up-coming election. This news is all over the internet: Facebook, Twitter, blogs. And, if it’s on the internet it must be true.
I’ve read that some people will move overseas. Some will go to Canada or South America or Europe. Some will stay in the U.S. but just want to go somewhere to “get away from it all.”
So I’m here to help.
First of all, if you plan to stay in the U.S. and haven’t decided where to go yet, consider Oxford, MS. Oxford is a wonderful, college town with a retirement community. There are plenty of things to do: arts, culture, sports, dining, outdoor activities. Oxford has great schools in both the county and city limits, is a designated bike-friendly community, has a world-class food scene, ranked #1 Smartest Place to retire, is home to the #1 bookstore in the country, ranked #2 of the top ten small towns in America and has literary charm. There are literally over 100 fun things to do in Oxford and if you don’t believe me, request my quarterly list of 100 Things To Do In Oxford MS.
So if Oxford seems like the place you want to move to, please call me and I’ll help you find your dream home. I am a REALTOR and work with Tommy Morgan Realtors in the Oxford office. We are a full service brokerage and can assist you through the entire process of buying a home here.
Now, if you are one of the people leaving Oxford, know that we will miss you and wish you well. Again, please call me and I will help you sell your house. I am quite experienced with sellers that relocate due to jobs, mostly, and will take great care to keep your house watched over until it sells. Don’t worry about the paperwork; we can send it to you and most forms you can e-sign or sign before a notary or local attorney. With all of these people moving around I just might have a buyer for your house in the very near future.
Moving? Time is of Essence
Well, let’s get down to the business of all of this moving that is about to happen. There is much to do so it is wise to start preparing now. With the election just a few weeks away, you’ll have to be quick.
- Update or get your passport if you plan to move out of the country. With all of these people moving, you won’t have to stand in line if you do it now. Get up to date on those necessary shots, too.
- If you are a renter, get your notice in that you are leaving so you don’t get charged that extra month. You may have to pay to break your lease if it does not end for a while, but that’s ok. Add the extra cost to your moving budget so you won’t have any financial surprises at the end.
If you are a homeowner, get your house on the market fast while there is little competition. You’ll want your house to be the first to sell. Of course, if the house and yard are in disrepair it may take longer to sell than a spiffy new building with hardwood floors and the latest appliances and counter tops. But that’s ok; since you have no place to go yet you will have time to make some repairs and upgrades. I have a list of local contractors and handymen that you could pick through to hire to help you, but do it fast to schedule them or you may be put on a waiting list…or DIY.
- Regardless of whether you rent or own, since you are moving, start packing. There might be a run on supplies and that would be horrible if you move but cannot pack your things. Boxes, tape and packing materials are expensive; add it to your budget. This is a good time to purge your belongings, too. I mean, really, if you’re one of the millions heading overseas, it will be so much cheaper for you to get rid of all that you have and lighten your load. Go shopping once you find a new hometown.
I have also read many times on the internet that many kind people will help you move. Specifically, I saw one woman’s Facebook post about her friend that wanted to leave the country after the election and she was offering to help her pack. How sweet and neighborly. So my point is, if you need help, there seem to be a lot of people that will give you a hand. And if you decide to purge your belongings, maybe those helpers would like them, too.
- Make arrangements for a truck. There are only so many to go around and if all of those people move at the same time, it will be difficult to get a truck when you need it, so make your truck reservations now. You could, in fact, order a storage container for the short term. The company you choose can bring the container to you, you pack it up and they’ll store that unit until you need it. When you find a new home just call them to deliver it. Remember that extra storage time and long-distance travel will cost you, so make note of that in your budget.
- Cancel your utilities, lawn care service, pest control, your daughter’s ballet lessons, pet walking service, and any upcoming doctor appointments. Empty your aquarium and give away the fish. Reptiles that you aren’t taking with you should go to a pet rescue service or a good friend. Have your mail held if you do not know your new address yet; have it forwarded if you do. Magazines don’t get forwarded so be sure to call them each about your move. Students will need to fill out the necessary paperwork to withdraw from school (sorry but tuition is non-refundable at most schools by this time of year). Notify your bank and other financial institutions, credit card companies, safe deposit box and credit monitoring subscriptions. These might put a hold on your accounts if they see unusual movement. You can’t move without money so make sure they know you are moving. Schedule car maintenance asap so you can get where you want to go in a safe car, even if it is just to the airport. Make sure your tags and ID cards are current. Of course if you are a homeowner, keep the utilities on so the house doesn’t mold over while it sits vacant waiting for a buyer. You can switch the utilities to the new owners. Get your children’s school records, doctor records, and stock up on prescriptions. Call your insurance company to let them know you are moving. They can advise you on keeping your stuff safe during the move.
- Empty out the refrigerator and pantry. Eat down your inventory and have friends handy on moving day to take the stuff you couldn’t eat. If you are using a moving company, drink all of your liquor now! They won’t pack or move liquids.
- Pack your bags for as many days as you’ll need until your stuff arrives at your new home or until you can get to the nearest shopping district in your new hometown. Keep valuable items with you at all times.
- Consider what to do with Fido or Miss Kitty. Make arrangements now.
- Hire a cleaning service to come in after you so you leave your place the way you originally found it.
Whew! Are you sure you want to do this?
Just remember, I’m here to help whether you want to move away from or move to this great little town of Oxford, MS.
Eileen Saunders is a Realtor® with Tommy Morgan Realtors in Oxford, MS. She is an expert at moving, having moved 15 times in 23 years, buying, selling, and renting houses along the way. Her soon-to-be published book, tentatively titled “Moving,” chronicles her family’s adventures over the past years and includes tips to make your moves smoother and less stressful. You can reach Eileen at her office, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655 or by phone: 662-234-5344 or 662-404-0816. Eileen is a certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist® and believes in Equal Housing for all.
The living room is usually the first room a person sees when they enter a house. Your living room needs to be in top shape when you are selling your house. A cluttered entryway and a cluttered living room sets the stage for the rest of the house. Since people spend most of their time in the living room, that is the first place a buyer will start visualizing their stuff. Is there enough room for the furniture? Is the fireplace in an appropriate place for their furniture to configure around? What about wall space for art? Are there built-in bookcases? If so, will they work for the buyer’s needs?
Minimize your stuff to maximize the room. Declutter, repurpose space to its original intent, show off the walls, organize the room to flow. Here are some tips:
- Pack away most or all of your CDs, LPs and books. You are moving, so start packing now. You couldn’t possibly listen to all 1200 LPs before you move so crate them away safely to enjoy later. Otherwise your livingroom will be remembered as the music room and the buyers will lose their own style.
- Stage the built-ins. Show off how much space the shelves provide with a few things on each rather than stuffing them full.
- Remove the family photos. It won’t be your room much longer so let the buyers envision it as theirs without your family members staring out from beautiful frames.
- Clean the carpet or polish the floors
- Out of place furniture, even if it is the comfy old seat, should be removed. Old, large furniture tends to overtake the space.
- Clean the fireplace, including the brickwork around it and the mantel. Make it fresh for the new owners.
- If your furniture is old and ruined by wear, consider storing it (or tossing it) and renting fresh furniture for staging.
- Remove what I call “dust collectors”; knick-knacks that will make you work hard to keep the house dust free. You are moving so start packing.
- Dust the ceiling fan and any hanging lamps. Change light bulbs to a brighter type.
- When showing your house, turn on ALL lights and open ALL binds and drapes. Letting the natural light indoors, combined with bright lamps will make the rooms look larger.
Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors 2092 Old Taylor Road Oxford MS 38655, 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344
Your pet is part of the family and usually lives quite comfortably inside your house with you. But, when you are getting ready to sell the house you need to consider the pet with each step of the process.
Getting your house ready to sell, when you have a pet, means you need to look carefully at how your pet affects the house. Does it shed leaving tumbleweed sized hair balls to float around the floor? Is there a pet smell? You may want to ask your REALTOR or a true friend about the smell. You and other family members may not notice it but strangers will. A pet odor may be in the duct work, the carpet, drapes and more so get a reliable opinion on this issue. Has your pet damaged any part of your house?
These things need to be considered to get the house ready to sell. And, since your pet will be living in the house with you, you need to pay attention to cleaning up each day so buyers don’t turn around and leave before really seeing the house.
Here are some tips for getting the house ready to sell and for caring for your dog when the house is showing.
- Clean all the doors and windows of pet-nose dirt.
- Repair and paint doors where your dog has scratched. Keep the paint on hand for when you move out and need to make last minute touch-ups.
- Keep pet toys picked up.
- Clean bird cages, litter boxes, hamster and reptile cages more often to keep fresher.
- Decide if the aquarium is moving with you. If not, now is the time to give the fish away and take down the system. Long distance moves are difficult with fish and reptiles. Research how to do it and make plans now.
- Invest in a robot-style vacuum cleaner that runs all day to keep the pet hair cleaned up.
- Fill in holes in the back yard where Spot digs.
- Repair fence damage caused by the pet. If you’ve had to fill in holes around the fence with concrete blocks and other barriers, find a way to restore the look of the original fence and keep Spot inside the yard at the same time. An altered fence will not only look junked up but will signal a “project” for the new owners. Most buyers want move-in ready.
- Repair chewed wood inside the house. While you’re at it, look at all other wood repairs on doors, windows and frames that need touch up.
- Pick up pet food bowls after each meal to keep the floor clean and clear.
- Repair damaged flooring.
- Replace pet-stained carpet for a healthy and fresh environment. A builder’s grade carpet in a neutral color makes it move-in ready and shouldn’t bust the bank account.
Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344 Equal Housing
Photo: eileensaunders (c) 2016 all rights reserved
If you work at home you might be lucky to have a dedicated office or library room to use for an office. If not, your home office might take over a spare bedroom, one of the dining areas in the house or share space in the bonus room with the kid’s entertainment center.
Either way, if you are selling your house, you need to keep your office space clean and as free of clutter as possible. Buyers snoop, so take that into consideration when planning your home staging. If you keep confidential information in your office, don’t leave it where others can spy with the corner of their eye.
Here are some tips to keeping your home office active while selling your house:
- Store files and paperwork that you don’t need to everyday operations. If you have things that can go into storage or packed into the garage, put them there to declutter the office space.
- Remove furniture that makes the room look too small. If you have large office furniture in a bedroom, the buyers cannot fully visualize how a bed might fit in there.
- Clean your desk and put back only what you need for day to day operations. Paper weights, photos, and other things that aren’t necessary should get packed away. You are moving, and will have to pack them eventually.
- Store all personal and confidential/client information where people can’t see them.
- If you share space in a bonus room or bedroom or dining area, make sure your office does not overpower the purpose of the room.
- Your town may have locations for shared office space that you can rent while your house is on the market.
Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655, 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344 Equal Housing
We all spend a lot of time in our bedrooms. We don’t just sleep there, we read, hang out with the kids, watch TV, relax.
As comfy as the bedroom can seem, it is usually the first place in the house to get cluttered. What do you do when guests come over? Hide clutter in the bedrooms. We pile our dirty clothes on the floor or a chair or drape clothes to be worn again, over a chair or other piece of furniture. Shoes don’t quite make it to the closet. Books can pile up, dust can pile up. Kids often use their rooms for school work, electronic entertainment and regular toy playing.
This room, all of the bedrooms in the house need tending to and kept clean and uncluttered during the selling process. Remember it’s only temporary, until you move, and you may even teach yourself some new habits in the process.
Here are a few tips:
- Buyers love to snoop and that includes inside closets. Remove what you won’t need until the move. Put these things in a temporary storage unit. Make the closet look spacious.
- Clear off the tops of furniture. Declutter.
- Sure, you aren’t likely to be selling your furniture but if you clear out our drawers you’ll have emergency storage for showing days.
- Make your beds daily. Perhaps a new bedspread can freshen up the room. Remember the buyer wants to visualize each room as theirs and a fresh room is inviting.
- Put away stacks of books on the nightstand. If you have drawers, put them inside and keep the tops of the nightstands clutter free.
- Remove excess art and family photos from the walls.
- Clear the walls in the bedroom hallways of art to make the hallway appear larger.
- Remove all items hanging on the backs of doors. Even in the closet, extra items hanging on the doors can make the closet appear too small.
- Kids rooms: remove all excess posters. If you do not intend on painting the walls, a cluster of posters will signal to the buyers that there is wall or paint damage they’ll have to fix. If there is wall or paint damage, roll on a fresh coat of paint.
- Neutralize any brightly painted bedrooms. The buyers will want to visualize the room for what it is and bright pink or green or purple may be a turn off.
- Pack away excess kids’ toys. Pull them out after the move.
- Tidy the electronics areas.
Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655, 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344 Equal Housing