What's my home worth?

  • Pricing Properly

    “… price is your most important sales tool in real estate…”

    Let’s say your terms are competitive: your timing’s clearly set. Now, what about your asking price? Without question, price is your most important sales tool in real estate. Here’s why:

    The period of best opportunity for selling a home at a reasonable price is the first four weeks after it is put on the market. Buyers who have seen most available listings are waiting for just the right house to come on the market. If your house is priced right from the beginning, you are in the best position to attract the maximum number of buyers able to pay the price your home is worth – and to sell your home within your timetable.

  • How a Market Analysis Helps Price it Right

    Only a professional market analysis can give you the accurate, reliable foundation you need to price your home right. When you ask me to make a fair-market analysis of your home, here is what I do:

    Evaluate your home’s location and lot size; your home’s age, size and condition; the number of bedrooms, baths, total rooms; the kinds of extra feature you have (such as improvements, built-ins, garage, tool shed, spa)

    Examine the condition and appearance of your home’s exterior and interior. I can help you determine what repairs or refurbishing may be needed to sell your home at its best price.

    Review the assessed value of your home, its previous sale prices, your maintenance and utility costs and your local taxes.

    Compare your home with similar area properties currently for sale or recently sold. Only a licensed REALTOR® like myself has access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which gives me all the information needed to accurately and thoroughly compare your home to similar area properties.
    Note current real estate market conditions with a practiced eye; also fill you in on current interest rates and lenders’ criteria

  • Your House Didn’t Sell – Now What?

    You put your home up for sale and it simply didn’t sell. Perhaps you already bought another home.  Maybe you needed this home sold because of a job change. Regardless of the reason, it is certainly a burden! 

    What Should You Do?

    The first thing to do is to take a step back and analyze the situation.  Try to assess what factors led to your home not selling.  Below are the top five reasons why homes tend to languish on the market:

    1.    Is The Property Overpriced?

    Overpricing your property is usually the number one reason it did not sell.  Assuming your neighborhood or area has homes with similar features (number of bedrooms and baths, lot size, etc.) on the market for a lower price, buyers will naturally buy those properties first.  The price of your property should be competitively priced with these other homes.  That means if you want to sell your home, price the home at or slightly below the comparables.  Doing so correctly and accurately will require an experienced real estate agent, who will help you establish the best price based on the competition.  Again, pricing your property above comparable properties can easily cause it to languish.

    Another problem with pricing higher than competitive properties is the price reductions. Most homeowners will reduce the price once they realize their home is priced higher than the competition. When your real estate agent enters the price reduction in the MLS® System, the property is probably at or near where it should have been priced in the first place. The problem now is you missed a lot of the buyers the first round that bought comparable homes for the same price you have just reduced your home to.

    To overcome this situation, you are going to have to make sure your new, reduced price is extremely competitive.  If your price reduction still leaves the asking price of your home higher than any comparables, your home will probably continue to languish. I will help you assess the competition and help you establish an asking price that will get the home sold.

    2.    Condition Of The Property

    All of the cosmetic things, such as paint, landscaping, window coverings and flooring should be in good shape.  The house should be close to spotlessly clean inside and out!  It is always amazing to me how most buyers refuse to see “through” superficial, cosmetic shortcomings.  To illustrate this point, most buyers can walk into a “perfect” home that is priced below market.  However, if the house is cluttered, the carpet is worn, or the house has a strong pet odor, they move on to look at the next house.  And making these cosmetic improvements costs little… mostly your time!  To get the house sold, make a small investment in:

    Landscaping: Make sure lawn is in good shape and trees and shrubs neat and trimmed. Make sure gutters are clear. If you don’t have the time to do it, pay someone.
    Exterior of home: Make sure there is no chipping paint, dirty windows, or clutter in the yard. Most importantly, remember that most buyers will notice the condition of the front door when they walk in.

    Interior: Make sure the carpets are clean and attractive, the walls painted (if it needs it) and clean (no smudges!), the kitchen clutter-free and the windows are spotless. Also, remove excess furniture (rule of thumb is put half the furniture in storage or the basement). Excess furniture makes rooms appear much smaller. Make sure all clothes are off the floor and organized in closets. And finally, make sure the smell of the home is appealing. Vanilla scent works very well with most buyers.
    As your real estate agent, it would be my pleasure to assist you with staging your home for a quick sale at the best possible price.  I also will be able to advise you on the best, most cost-effective repairs and updates you can make to give you the most “bang for your buck!”

    3.    Was Your Property Aggressively Marketed?

    Another primary reason for homes languishing on the market is a simple lack of exposure. In a very hot market, a listing in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) alone should generate an adequate number of buyers. However, if your market is anything less than red-hot, the amount of inventory will increase and your home needs aggressive marketing.

    Most buyers work with real estate agents. A good real estate agent will make sure your property is exposed to the active real estate agents in your areas by presenting your property to many of the area offices. Also, most active real estate agents have a strong network of other agents, and they’re usually on the phone pushing the property to the other agent’s buyers.

    Well over 85% of buyers use the Internet to look for homes!  Make sure your property is advertised in heavily trafficked web sites like REALTOR.com, where I enhance all of my seller’s listings for MAXIMUM exposure.  Also, averaging more than 4 million customer hits per month, remax.com remained the most-visited U.S. real estate franchise website in 2012.  In listing with me, your home will be showcased on remax.com, offering maximum exposure to the highest number of active buyers on the internet.

    What is your real estate agent doing to aggressively market your home?  I would love to share with you my detailed marketing plan that will be the driving force behind getting your home sold quickly and at the best possible price.

    4.    Pictures

    As mentioned above, the majority of home buyers are searching on the internet.  When they are looking around and browsing, what do they see?  What makes the quickest and largest impression?  PICTURES!  Pictures alone will not sell your home–but they will sure get buyers in the door.

    5. Finally, and Most Importantly, Did You Hire The “Right” Real Estate Agent?

    Like any profession, there are very effective and ineffective agents. Many agents work hard and employ strong marketing techniques. Many agents have a strong network and access to buyers. Many agents work hard to get your home sold. However, many do not. Did your agent simply place the house in the Multiple Listing Service? Or, did she or he inform their network of buyers about your property? Did your agent take the time to prepare an impressive listing package for prospective buyers – including professional quality photos of your home and detailed sales descriptions of the major selling points to your home?  How about presenting your property at sales meetings both at her or his office and other company offices? Did she or he promote your property at the local real estate board meeting, where many agents gather to share inventory? Did she or he use aggressive advertising, including the heavily trafficked internet web sites noted above?

    Ask yourself, was your agent passionate about selling your property?  If not, now is the time to find the agent who will get your home sold.

  • Major Mistakes Made by Sellers

    If you’re serious about selling your house, it’s important that you know the facts. It seems like a simple process – just put your house on the market, show it to a few buyers, and make the sale – but as many sellers find out, selling a home can be a difficult, expensive and long process. By knowing some valuable information about the real estate industry, as well as some tips and tricks about selling your property, you’ll be able to more effectively tackle today’s real estate market. This report will tell you how you can:

    Avoid making mistakes when selling your home
    Make you aware of the most common mistakes home sellers make
    Selling your home can be a difficult job, especially since you’re competing against hundreds of other properties. It’s vital that you be aware of what works and doesn’t work when it comes to home selling. Consider the following list of the most common mistakes made by home sellers:

    Mistake 1: Setting the wrong price for your home

    Experience shows us that the right price sells a house faster than any other factor. When the listing price is more than 5% over market value, the price alone discourages buyers. That’s because an overpriced house scares away potential buyers who think they can’t even afford to look. Buyers who do look at an overpriced house know they can get more house for their money elsewhere.


    Mistake 2: Selling your home in ‘AS-IS’ condition

    In today’s competitive market, most buyers will not even consider a house that needs extensive fix ups. In contrast, a sparkling showcase home gets top dollar when it comes to the bottom line. What most buyers are looking for is an inviting home in move-in condition, one that looks as good as a model home. Buyers who are willing to tackle the repairs after moving in automatically subtract the cost of needed fix-ups from the price they offer. Either way, you save nothing by putting off fix-ups and likely slow the sale of your house.


    Mistake 3: Selling your home with a dull or cluttered interior
    A clean, bright decor is what buyers want. Probably the best dollar-for-dollar investment for selling your home fast is fresh paint. Neutral colors are best. Next to fresh paint, new flooring–replaced for either condition or color–makes a big difference. Elbow grease can be as effective as spending cash to brighten your home. Start by ruthlessly getting rid of the junk you’ve accumulated. Clean each room top to bottom. Dare to make your home look better than you’ve ever had it looking before. Focus on the three rooms most inspected – kitchen, master bedroom and garage (if you’ve got one). Forget those and you may as well forget the buyer, too. In the kitchen, clear off counters and organize cupboards. Keep in mind, some prospects will judge the whole house by the cleanliness of the oven or refrigerator. In the master bedroom, move or remove furniture to create spaciousness. The ideal garage stores only cars and perhaps an orderly display of garden tools, so throw out your junk to show off room for theirs.


    Mistake 4: No ‘Curb Appeal’

    Your house gets only one chance to make a good first impression. That’s why “curb appeal” is one of the most critical points in selling. Buyers are apt to fall in love at first sight – or not at all. If your home lacks curb appeal, chances are the first impression will not be counteracted by the most perfect floor plan or the most tasteful interior. Spruce up the view of the house from the street, including lawn, shrubs, shutters, windows, front door, mailbox. Add potted flowers out front, a wreath on the door, brass outdoor lighting fixtures – whatever will enhance your home’s “buy me” look.


    Mistake 5: Over-improving your home

    While it’s important to fix whatever needs fixing to get your home ready for sale, undertaking a major project could cost more money than you would recover from the sale. Spending too much on remodeling projects just drains money out of your pocket. If your improvements will push your home’s value more than 20% over the average neighboring home values, don’t expect to recoup the entire cost. (Some major projects, however, like replacing a roof, should be done if they are needed.)


    Mistake 6: Financing Incentives

    The more buyers you appeal to in terms of financing, the greater your chances of selling faster. Be flexible, consider paying closing costs or points, providing a decorator’s allowance or other irresistible and creative buyer incentives.


    Mistake 7: Stretching out buyer negotiations

    One of the most important moves you can make is to reply immediately to an offer. When buyers make an offer they are, right then, in the mood to buy. Moods, as you know, change, and you don’t want to lose a sale because you stall in replying.


    Mistake 8: Being Adversarial during negotiations

    No one wins if you enter negotiations with boxing gloves on. Instead, approach negotiations in a positive frame of mind, not as an adversary of the buyer. After all, you both want the same thing–a sale. Leave most of the discussion of price, terms, possession and other conditions up

    to your agent. I will make it my business and top priority to get you the best deal, so leave the negotiation to me!


    Mistake 9: Not having a presentable house

    The presence of your family can make prospective buyers feel like intruders. If you’re at home when your home is being shown, be your usual friendly–but low-key–self and keep children and pets out from underfoot. It’s the agent’s job to show buyers what they need to see. Buyers can better focus on your home’s advantages by viewing them than by socializing. If an open house is scheduled, plan to be away from home, but let me know how to reach you quickly. When you’re not at home at other times, agents accompanying prospects will leave their business card. Please alert me afterward so that I can follow up. I will ask the right questions to find out what their buyer thought of your home: if they didn’t love it – why and if they did love it – how we can close the sale!



    Mistake 10: Selling without a professional

    Going at it alone like General Custer could invite disaster. Without a professional adviser, you probably won’t sell and your will be left frustrated and disappointed. Even if you do sell, surveys show self-sellers often net less from the sale than sellers who use a real estate agent, even after paying the commission. Selling a house is a team effort between you and the listing agent. You’ll find that great agents, like myself, do a lot more than most people know–from educating you on what it takes to sell a home to bringing qualified buyers to keeping things on track to settlement.

  • The Importance of Great Pictures

    This is no joke. The majority of home buyers are searching on the internet–approximately 85% to be exact. When these buyers are browsing on the internet, what do they see? What makes the quickest and largest impression? PICTURES. Pictures alone will not sell your home–but they will sure get buyers in the door.
    A listing with NO pictures?
    Sadly, I see way too many listings that have one of the following major problems:
    No pictures (completely unacceptable in my honest opinion)
    One picture only, usually of the exterior of the home
    Terrible pictures (terrible quality, low lighting, small focus–see below for proof)
    All of these problems do nothing to furiously grab a buyer’s attention as they are browsing hundreds of homes online in a matter of minutes. If you are currently working with a real estate agent or have in the past, what did they do to visually showcase and advertise your home? How many pictures and videos did they take and where did they market them?

  • What can I do differently?

    I have a passion for photography and the right equipment for a professional quality photo shoot of your home–including still images, panoramic views and video. Either during or immediately following our first meeting, I will set up a time for a staging session and professional photo shoot of your home’s interior and exterior.
    What will I do with these great photos? First, these are the photos that will be showcased on the MLS® for viewing by all licensed REALTORS® and prospective buyers. Secondly, I will use these photos in any print advertising. Lastly, these photos will be marketed through the internet (sites such as realtor.com, zillow.com, remax.com) and social media (Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest).
    Again, it will take more than great pictures to sell your home–but this is one of the most often overlooked and underestimated steps of the process. For some reason, most REALTORS® do not recognize the importance of great pictures in marketing your home.

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