Best Real Estate Articles for December 2019

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There has been some fantastic real estate content that has been written and shared by top real estate bloggers across the country. As we approach the end of 2019, we want to share the BEST real estate articles for December 2019. Please let us know which articles you like the best.

Best Home Staging Tips

Eric Jeanette has put together a round-up from top real estate bloggers about the Best Home Staging Tips. has put together an excellent round-up of the best home staging tip from top real estate professionals across the country. In the article, you will find information about staging the exterior, interior, depersonalizing and much more.  Most Realtors will agree that a properly staged home will likely help that home to sell faster and at a higher price. Additionally, staged homes show better with the listing photos and present better online.

Difference Between Contingent vs Pending Status

The five most common types of statuses you will see in the MLS and third party sites include active, back-up, contingent, pending and sold.  Michelle Gibson has written an excellent article about the difference between contingent/under contract and pending status. Active means that the home is available without any offers.  Contingent or under contract means the seller has an accepted offer, but there are contingencies that need to be removed. Pending is defined as the contingencies have been removed. She discusses that buyers can still make offers on a contingent home because the first buyer may not perform.

11 Ways to Increase a Property's Value

Real estate values and rents are based on what buyers and renters perceive the value to be. Brian Davis has written a detailed article about the Ways to Increase a Property's Value. In the article, he discusses that homes may not have rooms, but cannot be classified as a bedroom without a closet. He discusses the importance of adding a closet to create a new bedroom. Other ways to improve the value of a home including changing out bathroom and kitchen hardware. Ensuring the home has a great first impression whether you are renting or selling, so it is imperative to address the curb appeal. Be sure to check out this great article on tips to improve the value of your home.

Tips on Buying a Foreclosure

If you are considering buying a foreclosure, it is important to perform your due diligence before you make an offer on a property.  Buyers may think that foreclosures are a great deal, however not always. Bill Gassett has written a detailed post about Tips on Buying a Foreclosure. In the article, you will find information about pre-foreclosures, short sales, and bank-owned properties. There is information about buying a home at an auction, as often times the lender will utilize this platform to liquidate the property. Other factors include banks that are rarely negotiable with repairs. Many times the buyers will need to be cash buyers because the home has to be habitable in order to get a loan.

What to Expect when Selling For Sale by Owner

You may think selling your home on your own is a good plan to save you the money you would pay to a real estate agent to sell your home.  You may just think put a for sale by owner sign in front of the home, and list it online. There are sites who do take for sale by owner listings  There are many reasons that a for sale by owner fails.  When selling your home for sale by owner, there are considerations to take into account which include qualifying the buyers, and whether or not you are going to cooperate with the commission with a buyers agent.  Another important consideration includes the marketing of the home as more needs to be done than just putting a sign in the ground. Did you know certain cities have sign ordinances? You are better off hiring a Realtor who will help you to price the home and get it sold!

Should You Buy or Should You Rent a Home?

Are you considering buying and are just not sure? Then be sure to check out Jeff Nelson's post about Whether or Not to Purchase or Rent a Home. In this post, you will find information about the criteria needed for purchasing which includes little to no debt, stable finances, and it's a buyer's market. Other factors include you should have an emergency fund. You should consider renting if you move around a lot, have a low credit score and your finances need work. This is an excellent article about buying versus renting. If your credit score and finances need work, then work on improving those if your ultimate goal is purchasing a home.

Things that Can Void Your Homeowner's Insurance

There are some things to take into account in order to ensure that your homeowner's insurance remains in full force. Danny Margagliano has written an excellent post about Things that May Void Your Homeowner's Insurance. Some of these items include taking too many holiday selfies. There is a correlation between the number of selfies and burglaries. Don't announce to the world you are out of town!  Other factors that may impact your insurance include leaving the property vacant for too long and installing a doggie door. The doggie door may allow easy access to your home! Check out this detailed article about factors that may impact your homeowner's insurance.

VA Loan Changes for 2020

VA home loans will undergo some changes in 2020. The biggest news is the elimination of the long-standing loan limit.  Another change will be the increase in the VA funding fee. Joe Boylan has written a detailed post about the VA Loan Change for 2020 over at Realty Biz News. As of January 1st, 2020 loan limits for VA loans will end. That means that veterans will no longer be restricted to the amount they can borrow without putting down a down payment of 25% or more.  The VA funding fee is a fee that is applied to every VA loan and goes directly to the Department of Veterans Affairs.  The cost will increase to 2.3% for first time buyers, and 3.6% for repeat buyers.

Tips for Selling Your Home As-Is

If you are wanting to sell your home and you don't have the funds to fix it up, then you may need to sell as-is. Paul Sian has shared some great insight about Tips for Selling Your Home As-Is.  In the article, he discusses the importance of pricing and ensuring that it reflects the condition of the home. It is also important to fix what you can. You may not need a professional for everything, and there are some minor fixes such as painting which can be done by the homeowner. Another important factor is to disclose everything, you want the buyer to be aware of all material facts about the home. It is important to work with a real estate agent, and there are some agents who specialize in working with homes in need of repair. This is an excellent guide to selling your home as-is.

Things You Should Never Say in Your Real Estate Listing

Kevin Vitali has put together a detailed post Things You Should Never Say in Your Real Estate Listing.  In the article, he discusses where the information comes from which is the seller, public information and the listing agent. One of the most important factors is using bad real estate photography. If the photos are bad online, it is unlikely a buyer will want to come and view the home. In the listing description, if you state the home is in as-is condition, then you are taking a chance the buyers will have a bad perception of the home. Additionally, stating that the asking price is firm is a great way to turn off potential buyers. They will not think are you reasonable, and will be unlikely to close escrow. Check out this great resource on what not to do when selling your home.

Final Thoughts

As we begin the start of a new year in 2020, we want to thank our readers and to those who share our content. Please let us know which articles you like best, and let us know what content you would like to see covered in the new year! Happy New Year!

About the Author

The above real estate article “Best Real Estate Articles for December 2019 was written by Sharon Paxson at Newport Beach Real Estate. We have experience since 2005 representing sellers, buyers, and landlords with their real estate transactions and we welcome the opportunity to share our expertise and guide you through the home buying or selling process.

We service the following Orange County CA areas: Corona del Mar, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Orange, Santa Ana, Sunset Beach, Tustin and more! If you are considering selling your home, we welcome the opportunity to work with you and list your home with a top Newport Beach CA Realtor.

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Sharon Paxson REALTOR®
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Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Great work putting this roundup together Sharon Paxson 

Jan 07, 2020 10:31 AM #1
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Sharon- this is a very good collection. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Jan 07, 2020 11:32 AM #2
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Those are definitely some great articles and it is good to see you in the Rain, I rarely see you these days.

Jan 08, 2020 06:21 AM #3
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Newport Beach Real Estate
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