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Winning a Bidding War

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

Receiving multiple offers on a home is something that every home seller delights in and every home buyer dreads. When there is a lot of competition in the local real estate market, buyers must be prepared to bid against other buyers, even when they place their bids the first day that a home goes on the market. While the prospect of bidding can seem overwhelming, there are a few simple tips that will help you win a bidding war and secure the home of your dreams.

Be Prepared to Buy Right Away

You should have a pre-approval ready before you start looking at homes. If your financial situation is unstable or you can't guarantee a prompt time line for closing the sale, a seller with multiple offers will put your offer at the bottom of the list. As it can take a while to receive approval for a loan, get started with this process as soon as you're thinking about buying.

Don't Lowball

When you enter a bidding war for a house, you can't afford to making a lowball offer. Present your best offer right from the start and then negotiate from there. If the home simply isn't in your price range, you'll have to keep looking because it will be in the right range for another buyer.

Demonstrate Flexibility

While money is a key incentive in the buying process, it's not the only incentive that you can give a seller. You may be able to make your offer stand out from the competition by offering other perks, such as a willingness to negotiate on the moving out or closing date or letting minor home inspection fixes slide on the final contract.

Be Ready for a Counteroffer

Buying a home can be a give and take process with both parties making multiple offers before they can reach an agreement. Be honest with yourself about the terms that are acceptable. For example, maybe your finances allow you to take on a slightly higher monthly payment but you can't bend on any of the home inspection fixes.

If you have any questions about negotiating with a seller or any other aspect of bidding on a home, talk to your real estate agent. Reputable agents can provide valuable information about the local market, the chances of multiple offers on a given house, and any other details that may help you secure the property.

Add Value to Your Home with These Improvements

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

The time has come for you to place your home on the market and you are wondering if the value to your home will increase if you make certain improvements.  The answer is yes, and here are some recommended improvements that experts have suggested can enhance your selling price.

  • Minor kitchen remodeling provides an average 98.5 percent return at resale.  Consider laminating your countertops, and re-facing the drawers and cabinets.  Purchase new sink and fixtures. In addition a new wall oven will add more attractiveness to your home's resale price.  Brighten your kitchen by replacing the window molding, drapes and window treatments.
     
  • Minor bathroom remodeling can net you a 102 percent recoup rate at resale time.  You may need to replace the floor, toilet, vanity and fixtures as well as the tub and the tile surround.  If for some reason your tub is unable to fit through your doorway you can give the tub a brand new look by re-glazing it.
     
  • Exterior improvements are typically the most noticeable when it comes to curb appeal. The average return of these improvements can net you a 95.5 percent return on investment.  Update your front entry by painting and adding vinyl siding. Old awnings can make your home appear dated so remove them from your doors and windows. Instead of guessing what color combination to use on your windows, doors and siding use paint color cards.  Lastly, if your wrought iron railings are damaged replace them with real wood supports.
     
  • Landscaping is an important home improvement and it can add a 100 percent return as well.  Purchase sod to improve the appearance of your lawn. Speak with experts at your local garden center for advice on what to purchase.  Adding colorful plants to the front of your home will certainly catch the eye of buyers. If you have the budget for a new walkway and fountain it will be a charming addition to the resale value of your home.
     
  • Attic bedroom conversions usually provide a 93.5 percent average resale return depending upon where you live.  If you live in the West you can get a 105 percent recoup rate while Midwest homeowners normally only realize an 82 percent rate. To lower the utility bills in the attic bedroom add insulation. To understand the correct level of insulation for your area, consult the U.S. Department of Energy web site.

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Tami Rapaport
Tami Rapaport
130 Dean Drive
Tenafly NJ 07670
201-227-2045