Category Archives: Seller Resources

Preparing your Home for Sale

Preparing your home for sale can seem like a big task, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Our handy checklist can ensure that your home stands apart from the crowd. A home that has been properly prepared for sale can sell quicker and for more money, and that’s something that every seller can get behind.

Before your home goes on the market is a great time to declutter, deep clean, and depersonalize a bit. This can be an opportunity to get a jumpstart on packing and make your move a little easier. Present your home as clean, well cared for, and a space where potential buyers can imagine themselves living and with the right agent you’ll have an offer before you know it.

Now let’s get your home ready for sale:

Store or pack personal mementos
Clean closets and storage spaces
Store off season decorations off site if possible

Deep clean carpets
Store laundry in a covered hamper out of site
Put away children’s toys

Mow lawn
Store all trash in cans
Repair and paint fences

Before you leave:
Turn on lights
Open drapes
Wipe counters
Remove dishes from the sink
Leave the house

What’s the Right Listing Price for My House?

Choosing the right listing price for your home is a little art and a little science. Bill from Venture Home Real Estate discusses how our agents in Columbiana County find just the right listing price for your property.

Curious about what your home might be worth? Our Home Valuation Tool can give you a good starting point, but our agents can give provide you with a more in depth analysis. Feel free to give us a call to discuss your home’s value, it could be worth more than you think!

Understanding the Mortgage Pre-Approval Process

Understanding the mortgage pre-approval process

mortgage pre-approval

Pre-Qualification is NOT Pre-Approval
To get an idea of how much a bank will loan you for the purchase of your new home – it is smart to approach a bank or credit union for pre-qualification.  This process is usually done over the phone and does not involve a credit check. The loan officer will ask about your income and assets, determine how much of a down payment you can afford, and calculate what kind of loan you’d likely qualify for.  This does not guarantee you will qualify for a loan at that amount but gives you a fair starting point.

This step is much more involved and will require an appointment with a loan officer at a bank or credit union.  In this step the loan officer will get all of your income information (i.e W-2s, tax returns, bank statements, etc.) and will check your credit history.  Based on a calculation of this data, you will be approved for a “good faith estimate”. This estimate does not guarantee you will have final approval for the loan;  it spells out the likely terms of the loan, including the interest rate, loan type and closing costs.  With pre-approval you are approved to get your loan, unless there is a problem with the underwriting.

Shop Around
It is important to meet with multiple banks about the pre-approval process. A good realtor will be able to help you select reputable lenders with good track records. Although the process is basically the same with each lender, interest rates can vary and other costs like private mortgage insurance and closing costs can be different.  Meet with at least three different banks and compare the results of those meetings before selecting the right mortgage company for you.

Make offers with confidence
Once you have your pre-approval letter – you can make offers with confidence and negotiate on price within your budget.  Some sellers prefer to restrict showings of their homes to those with a pre- approval letter from a bank. Knowing what your budget also allows you to use your time wisely, only shopping for homes within your means. not waste time looking at homes you means, making the process a lot easier.

Do you really need a Realtor?


With the increased ability to search for homes online or place your home for sale on a popular website you may be wondering if you still need a realtor. The short answer: “Yes”, the long answer: “Yes, absolutely!”. Here’s why:

Access to the MLS 

You can take a spin through any number of real estate sites and come up with a list of homes you’d like to tour. You can rely on word of mouth in many of the tight knit communities we serve, to let you know who is selling a home in East Palestine or get the word out about the beautiful piece of land you’re selling in the Beaver Local School District. What you can’t do is find homes listed for sale but not advertised or marketed. A buyers agent has access to the local MLS where they are able to see every home listed for sale with an agent in the area, regardless of how it is advertised. If you’re thinking of selling your home without an agent, keep in mind that only an agent can list your home on the MLS, and that’s where every buyers agent is gathering homes to show their client.

Real Estate Agents are Trained Negotiators

Realtors are trained negotiators, which means they can help work out sticky contract issues and help a sale continue forward, as long as it’s in your best interest. They also know how to spot trouble before it’s too late – from title issue that can pop up to anticipating delays with financing, an agent can see the warning signs that could postpone the closing or derail the sale all together, and more importantly, help you correct them. 

Their Network

Buying or selling a home requires a lot of moving parts. A real estate agent knows the right people to help make it happen. Need a home inspector in Calcutta, a mortgage brokers in Wellsville, or a home stager in Cranberry Township? They know the people to help your purchase or sale go smoothly. Selecting the best people in the business isn’t just luck of the draw, it is their business.  

They’re Nearly Always Available

Realtors know that things can come up anytime of the day so they’re available when you need them. If you’re feeling anxious about that offer you just put in, your agent is there to talk you through it. Confused about which offer to accept on your home, you’re agent will be there. Do you have a burst pipe in a home you just purchased and don’t know what to do – you’re agent will have you covered with a great plumber and a little piece of mind.

Objective Opinions 

Buying and selling a home can be an emotional experience. A realtor has an objective eye to make suggestions about what could be improved in your current home to increase the chances of a sale, or where to bend on negotiations for a new home, all while keeping your best interest at the forefront.

If you think working with a realtor on your next home sale or purchase might be the right choice for you, we’ve got a few to recommend.

Top 5 Home Improvements to Increase Your Home’s Value

Your home is likely the largest investment you’ll make in your lifetime, so of course you want to make the most of it. That’s why it’s important to choose wisely when selecting home improvement projects. Although all of these projects can improve the way you live in your home, some have a much greater return on investment than others. Whether you’re planning to tackle a remodel as a weekend DIY project, or hiring a professional to do the work for you, we want to help you make the best decision for your home. Let’s take a look at some home improvements that are predicted to have the best return this year.

1. Upgraded Garage Door – It may not be the the first project that comes to mind when you think “home improvement” but it should be on the top of the list when you think “return on investment”. Upgrading your home’s garage door can significantly improve your home’s curb appeal, which can translate to your home selling faster and for more money. The average garage door replacement recoups over 98% of the cost when you sell your home.

Upgraded garage doors

2. Front Door Replacement – Replacing your existing front door with a new steel entry door can both improve your homes curb appeal and help you save on energy costs. Just like upgrading your garage door this improvement in curb appeal can add to your home’s curb appeal and lead to it selling quicker and for a greater profit. This easy update usually returns over 90% of your investment.

3. New Siding – Updating your faded or damaged siding can also do wonders to boost your curb appeal, choosing vinyl siding with a fade resistant finish will provide you with a beautiful home for the years you choose to live there and appeal to buyers when you’re ready to sell. Be sure to choose a neutral color pallet that can attract a large number of buyers to recoup the largest portion of your investment, about 83% according to the Cost vs Value Report. If you need help selecting a color a local realtor can advise on what buyers in the area are looking for.

siding upgrade

4. Landscaping Upgrades – A beautiful yard draws in buyers when you are ready to sell and creates a relaxing retreat during the time you own your home. The welcoming oasis of a well landscaped yard increases interest in your listed house, leading to a faster and more competitive sale. In addition to the usual trees and flowers, another landscaping upgrade which is increasing in popularity is outdoor living spaces. A 2017 survey conducted by The American Institute of Architects, has shown a 38 percent increase in demand for outdoor living spaces. Adding one to your home could set your listing apart from the competition.

Landscaping upgrade

5. Increasing Livable Square Footage – When comparing homes for purchase many buyers look at the cost per square foot. The current list price in Ohio as of Mar 31, 2018 is $99 per square foot. Therefore with every square foot of livable square footage you add you could conservatively expect the value of your home to increase a similar value.

Whether you’re looking to make improvements in your home in order to sell quickly and for top dollar, or just want to be sure you’re getting the most out of your investment when you decide to sell selecting one of these improvements is a great way to get the job done.

price per square foot ohio

If you’re curious as to what your home may be worth one of our agents is glad to help with a no obligation home valuation.