5 Ways to Prep Your Home to Sell

Ready to move? Selling your home is a big decision that can often be stressful. The goal for most sellers is to find the right buyer quickly. So, if you are looking to get your home prepared to sell, we have a few tips that will help expedite the process.

#1 Home Improvements & Inspections

Although you will be selling your Rhode Island property, it doesn’t mean you can’t make a few home improvements. One way to stay ahead of issues during the sale of your home is by having your own inspection completed in advance. By doing so you will know exactly which items need attention and can decide to either have them fixed, or have them taken off the table when it comes to negotiating a price.

Another item to consider when selling your home, are cosmetic issues. Many cosmetic fixes cost very little and will help your property sell. Buyers typically like to see a home that doesn’t need tons of work. So, if you are willing to put in a little extra time to make your property look the best it can, it will pay off down the road.

#2 Curb Appeal

If you have ever driven up to a home with overgrown trees and peeling front doors, it can turn you off immediately. The solution is to offer buyers something we like to call, curb appeal. If your door looks faded or beaten down, consider adding some new paint to give it a fresh look.

Landscaping is another way you can add curb appeal to your property. By trimming bushes, trees and adding a few plants to the front of your house, you can truly transform its’ look. Although this may seem like a minor factor, it will give buyers a positive first impression that will carry on through their home tour.

#3 Find the Right Rhode Island Realtor

Hiring a realtor will not only make the home selling process simpler, but will help your property gain more exposure. An experienced realtor will have contacts, a website and marketing platforms to help get your property in front of interested buyers. This is crucial, and will be worth what you pay out.

In addition to increased exposure for your property, an experienced realtor will handle all contracts and negotiations with potential buyers. Contracts can be hard to handle and negotiations can take up a substantial amount of time. All can be avoided by hiring a local realtor that is knowledgeable, will help execute the right contracts and is well versed in the art of negotiating a sale in order to get you top dollar.

#4 List for the Right Price

Your list price can make or break a fast sale. This is another reason why you need a trusted realtor on your side. Their knowledge of the local market will be essential when determining your list price. It is very easy to come up with a number, but if you are serious about getting your Rhode Island property sold, a local realtor will be your best bet.

#5 Declutter & Stage

Before your first showing you will need to declutter, depersonalize and stage. Potential buyers will want to be able to envision your home as their own, which is why you should consider removing any personal items throughout your home. In addition to depersonalizing your property, you will need to remove all clutter. A clean and organized space will be much more appealing, and will help buyers see the room without distraction.

The last item you may want to consider is staging. It is an added expense, but can often help potential buyers see your space in a new light. Alternatively, if you do not want to hire a stager for your open house, you can always add a few touches of your own to make your property seem inviting.

Selling your property doesn’t have to be a stressful time. By following our simple guide, you can prep your home for sale without having to break the bank.

At Keller Williams Next Move Realty, our experience is your advantage. We welcome you to comment below with any questions you have about your Rhode Island property!

5 Ways to Prep Your Home to Sell

HUD Announces Change to FHA Condo Policies

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — This evening, Federal Housing Administration Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ed Golding joined National Association of Realtors® President Chris Polychron on stage before a packed ballroom of Realtors® and industry experts to announce changes to FHA condominium policies.

NAR has long advocated for broad improvements to FHA’s condo rules, arguing that existing policy is overly restrictive and keeps many consumers from buying and selling a home

To address these concerns, Golding announced at the conference’s kick-off event that FHA will make changes to its condo policies in line with those requested by NAR. Those include changes to the lengthy and complex recertification process in place today, burdensome owner-occupancy requirements, and limits on the types of property insurance that are considered acceptable coverage under FHA’s rules.

NAR has worked closely with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to push for changes to FHA condo policy, and NAR President Chris Polychron recently testified before Capitol Hill to bring attention to potential changes, including those related to recertification and owner-occupancy requirements. Golding told Realtors® at the event that changes related to insurance and recertification would take place immediately as part of a Mortgagee Letter to be released on Friday, Nov. 13. He added that policy changes related to owner occupancy, commercial space percentage, FHA concentration and spot approvals would be addressed in a formal rulemaking in the near future.

Polychron issued the following statement about FHA’s announcement:

“Realtors® and consumers got a welcome piece of news today with HUD’s commitment to fix FHA’s condo policies and broaden opportunities for families to find a home.

“Condos are often the most affordable option for homebuyers, especially first-time buyers, and making sure FHA financing is an option is important to supporting homeownership.

“This is a win and a tremendous step in the right direction. NAR applauds HUD Secretary Julian Castro and FHA Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Edward Golding for taking action to improve access to credit for condos. We look forward to working with them again in the future to help more Americans achieve the dream of homeownership.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

HUD Announces Change to FHA Condo Policies

Flipping Real Estate

There has been a lot written about “flipping”. Real estate these last two years – Much of it is more fiction than fact. Some say it’s great way to make money fast. Some say it’s very difficult. Some even claim it’s illegal. So, just what’s the truth?

Let’s take care of the “illegal” claims, first. Flipping, if done the way it was meant to be done, is completely legal. But it becomes illegal when unscrupulous investors, working with unscrupulous appraisers or lenders, conspire to defraud either buyers or lenders. This is done when an investor gets an appraiser or lender to over-value a property for the purpose of selling for a higher-than-market value. For the purposes of getting a bigger mortgage so the investor can pocket more cash. In short, it’s not the flipping that’s illegal —. Rather, it’s the fraud that sometimes accompanies it that’s in violation of the law.

Such fraud isn’t necessary. You can use any legitimate method of flipping. If you remain within the law and act in an ethical manner, you’ll profit immensely. Earn yourself a solid reputation as a good person to do business with. In the long run, as you gain a reputation for fairness and sound ethics, you’ll actually profit more than if you were to defraud anyone.

Now, as for it being difficult. Some so-called “gurus”. Claim that in order to flip, the investor must first buy the property and only then find a buyer to resell to. Let’s put that falsehood to rest right now —. You can buy and resell at the same closing (called a double escrow. Simultaneous closing) without ever having to finance a single penny, because the buyer’s money funds both transactions. Under the law, neither transaction takes place first or last in a double escrow, regardless of which one actually is completed first. Therefore, the transaction with your buyer can take place first, providing you with the funds to pay off your seller. In such a transaction, the only requirements are a) you contract to buy a property from the seller at one price, then b) contract to sell that same property to another buyer at a higher price. For both contracts to call for closing at the same time and place. Both agreements are placed into the same escrow. The key, of course, is to buy at below market value. Sell at no more than market value, to avoid any possibility of fraud.

The reality is that there are a number of ways to flip properties, the double escrow is only one method. Some methods require financing –. Others don’t. Some methods don’t require cash or credit. And most methods are quite simple to do. In addition to the double escrow, the investor may also flip by way of “assigning”. In this technique, a property is put under contract. Then, instead of reselling the property (double escrow), the investor sells (assigns) the contract to another buyer. The buyer pays an assignment fee —. Usually $3000-$5000 —. To the investor at the time the contract is assigned. The investor doesn’t have to participate in any closing —. He’s out of the deal. A few thousand dollars richer.

That said let us look at claims that it’s very difficult and time-consuming. Since the most difficult part is finding a suitable property, the rest of the transaction consists of negotiating the deal (no different from any other transaction), find a new buyer (also no different from any other sale), then wait until closing when the closing agent takes care of everything else. Personally, I’ve never found laying on the beach waiting for a closing to be all that time-consuming or stressful. And I’ve been using these methods for over 35 years.

Then there are the unfounded fears that for some unknown reason, your seller and/or your buyer will revolt at closing when they “discover”. you’re making a profit.

We can only assume that the investors who have this fear feel it’s necessary to keep it a secret that they’re an investor. I don’t advocate that. I stress ethical conduct. Simply make sure your seller and your buyer are fully aware that you’re an investor –. it’s nothing to be ashamed of! If they know this, they’ll obviously know, up front, that you must make a profit –. you’d not be in the deal, otherwise. At closing there will be no anger because they weren’t deceived. In all my years of doing this, I’ve not seen one case where closing didn’t complete because of such problems, because the problems never arose in the first place.

Yes, flipping is a great way to make a lot of money in a short period of time. And it, like any other endeavor, can be stressful at times. it’s not as easy as many “gurus”. Would’ve you believe. it’s not all that difficult, either. The secret lies in 1) knowing which properties lend themselves to flipping , 2) being honest and up front. 3) using the right contracts, specially designed for flipping.

So, now you know that “flipping” is legal, relatively simple and requires no cash or credit. So, what’re you waiting for? There is a lot of excitement in making money in this fashion!


Flipping Real Estate

Something for Everyone in Lincoln!

Biliouris Lincoln, RI Image

If you’re looking for a nice place to live in Rhode Island, Lincoln just may be the spot. Located in the northeastern section of the state, just north of Providence, it is ideal for many lifestyles. The climate is typical for New England, of course, so life is exciting here in all seasons.

Lincoln is populated with people in all walks of life. You’ll meet people from a variety of ethnic groups, including Italian, French, African-American, French Canadian, English and Portuguese. The area boasts a high level of professionals, with a preponderance of white collar workers. In fact, a whopping 87.46% of people here list their profession as administration, sales, management or other white collar occupation.

Naturally, with that sort of demographic, you would also expect a high level of education and you wouldn’t be disappointed. Almost forty percent of the people in Lincoln have a bachelor’s or advanced degree of some kind. The people working in the math/computer occupations number more than 95 percent of the national average. That’s pretty hefty stuff, wouldn’t you say?

Nonetheless, there is plenty to do in Lincoln that takes you away from the computer screen or the office. The center of outdoor activity is the beautiful Lincoln Woods State Park. Hit the freshwater beach for swimming, as well as boating. The trails for biking, hiking and horseback riding are top notch. You can also go rock climbing. Picnic facilities abound. In the winter, ice skating, ice fishing and snowmobiling are popular.

If you prefer less physical activity, you’ll be delighted to know Lincoln can accommodate you nicely. Theatres and museums are both in the town and in surrounding areas. Casinos and family arcades are in the area. There’s also a wide array of arts to enjoy, including ballet, art galleries and folk art venues. Concerts are scheduled regularly in the area, too. Since Lincoln is near Providence, it’s convenient to get to some city activities.

All in all, Lincoln, Rhode Island is a great place to settle. If you are interested in viewing or listing a property in the Lincoln area, please contact me, Alex Biliouris, at (401) 769-4333. You can check my website to discover the many ways we can serve you. We can satisfy all your real estate needs!

Something for Everyone in Lincoln!

North Smithfield Keeps History Alive!

Biliouris North Smithfield, RI Image

When you look at the neighborhoods in North Smithfield, Rhode Island you see homes that retain their value, and a high percentage of safe, secure areas. That makes the population of 12,000 plus people appreciate living there.

This picturesque town, nestled in the north of the state, is an ideal place to raise a family. The schools are ranked very high compared to the rest of the state, and of the nation. Education is taken very seriously by the population with just over 21% of residents having at least a bachelor’s degree.

History buffs will love the fact that a lot of America’s history began in North Smithfield. They will also relish the amount of historic preservation maintained in the area. Some of the structures date back to the eighteenth century, or even older.

Since so much of the area is historic, there isn’t a lot of what you would call urban sprawl. If you want some of the kinds of entertainment and culture that go with a big town or city, you are within a nice drive of Providence to the south, and of course, Boston is to the northeast.

North Smithfield, a part of the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage, which is the oldest Industrial region in the United States, includes an original woolen company, Beroco Yarns. This was first established in 1809 by Daniel Day.

You’ll find a lot of that type of historic property in North Smithfield. You’ll also discover that there is a rich French, and French Canadian strain among the population. You might find a way to sharpen language skills along with your children.

Slatersville is fascinating. Samuel Slater, and his brother John, built a textile mill and developed the first planned industrial mill village in the colonies. It’s difficult to believe that so much history is preserved in this small section of the Smallest State in the union.

Let us not forget that the shore is near, since Rhode Island is also named The Ocean State. If you would like to purchase or list a property in this picturesque part of New England, please contact me, Alex Biliouris, at (401) 769-4333. You can check my website to discover the many ways we can serve you. We can satisfy all your real estate needs!

North Smithfield Keeps History Alive!

Cumberland, RI – A Great Place to Live

Biliouris Cumberland, RI Image

If you are considering a relocation to the New England area, you really must consider making the move to Cumberland, Rhode Island. The reasons to choose this area are almost too numerous to list in this small space. Let’s just look at some of the highlights of living in Cumberland.

One of the wonderful aspects of living in Cumberland is the fact that you can meet people from every walk of life. The population of just over 34,000 is a wonderful blend of professions. No one occupation dominates the spectrum of people in administration, sales people, office workers and laborers. Cumberland also has more than its fair share of computer and math whizzes. This blend makes the per capita income very favorable, compared to the rest of the state and the nation.

If you have children, you will love the family friendly environs of Cumberland, where the schools are considered top notch, and a large percentage of the population is college educated. Close knit neighborhoods where the crime rate is low and the value of homes remains high are the norm. While English, naturally, is the main language, your children will be exposed to people who also speak a rich variety of their ancestral languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, and French.

The only difficulty you may have is choosing your favorite activities in Cumberland. Culture is strongly supported, and you’ll discover  a variety of museums, theaters, galleries, and dance schools. Does your family prefer the outdoors? You’ll love the fact that Cumberland is so convenient to such things as horseback riding, kayaking, bike trails, and boulder/rock climbing.

Fitness buffs will be satisfied, as well, with access to everything from martial arts training to Pilates! Bowlers, golfers, and tennis buffs won’t be disappointed, either.

Add all this to the fact that Cumberland is a short distance from the lush shoreline of “The Ocean State”, and you have a perfect place for a new home! If you are interested in purchasing or listing a home in the Cumberland, Rhode Island area, please contact me, Alex Biliouris, at (401) 769-4333. Check my website to see the many ways we can serve you. We can satisfy all your real estate needs!

Cumberland, RI – A Great Place to Live