Innovative Realty
Blaine, MN
763-767-4400
email: irofmn@aol.com
Although many seem to have forgotten about our seniors & those in the military that have given so much for us, Innovative Realty has not.  We have a Military & Senior Discount Program for these sellers.  Contact Tom @ Innovative Realty for more information.
 
At Innovative Realty, we work to ensure that your home sells quickly and for a price that is consistent with the current market. Pricing your property is one of the most important decisions you will make when selling your home. A home priced too high will often sit on the market without any interest, and a home priced too low can result in huge losses to the seller. Receive your free CMA (comparative market analysis) before you decide to sell your home.

Would this be a good time to sell my home, or should I wait for the housing market to rebound? What dollar amount would (or is) my home to be valued at in today's market? These are just some of the questions all prospective home sellers ask themselves. When you are thinking of putting your home up for sale, Innovative Realty will perform a comprehensive, free market analysis and discuss with you how much your home could sell for in the current market. To determine an appropriate selling price, we take into consideration several factors including: location; comparable area properties; as well as the condition and appearance of the home. In order to ensure the highest level of accuracy, free comparative marketing analyses (CMA's) done for prospective seller's are completed by a licensed real estate appraiser.
 
When it comes down to getting you (the client) the most money in the sale of your home, you will want and need to hire an experienced Realtor ---someone who knows and is familiar with the current market and understands your needs and situation. Selling the most important asset in your life is DEFINITELY NOT SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE LEFT TO JUST ANYONE!!! Your home should be priced in order for you to receive the maximum value. An experienced Realtor will help determine how the home should be marketed in today's market to sell in the shortest amount of time. The longer a seller's home remains on the market-it will become less attractive to potential buyer's.

We also offer the option of variable sales fee commission program for our clients who choose not to go with our standard fee.

VARIABLE COMMISSIONS
• 1% if YOU find a buyer not represented by any other agent
• 3.5% if Innovative Realty finds the buyer not represented by any other agent/Real
  estate company
• 5.5% if any other agent/real estate company finds the buyer for your property


Many Realtors will provide only the standard services to home sellers. Included in these standard services are the listing of your property within the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), providing you
with yard signs and conducting showings to potential buyers.


When you work with Innovative Realty, you will also have the advantages of web-based marketing, where your property will be on display 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Plus, you will have the added benefits of our list of potential buyers, good working relationships with other realtors throughout the region and an understanding of your local market trends.

Innovative Realty understands what it takes to sell your home, but we also know and realize that there are special circumstances related to every sale. We have handled virtually every circumstance, from a family's attachment to their home to the specific needs of personal requirements, timing of the sale, possession dates, etc. and guided our clients to a successful transaction and helped them transition from one home to another.

The first step in reaching the goal of selling your home is to obtain a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that will clearly present you with the information and statistics that are necessary for you to make an informed decision about the pricing and selling of your home. All Innovative Realty CMA's are performed by a licensed appraiser.

You can use the form located in our Contact Us section to request your FREE CMA.


Does Moving Up Make Sense?

Answering these questions will help you decide whether moving up makes sense or is even the right move for you.

How much equity do you have in your home? Look at your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out. Usually, you don't build up much equity in the first few years of paying a mortgage, but if you've owned your home for a number of years, you may have significant unrealized gains.


Has your income increased enough to cover the extra mortgage costs and the costs of moving?

Does your neighborhood still meet your needs? For example, if you have had children, the quality of the schools may be more of a concern now than when you first purchased your home.

Can you add on or remodel? If you have a large yard, there might be room to expand your home. If not, your options may be limited. Also, will you want to undertake the headaches of remodeling?


How is the current housing market? If it's good, you may get top dollar for your home.

How are interest rates? A low rate not only helps you buy more of a home, but also makes it easier to find a buyer.


Selling Your Home Before Buying Another Home
Good Reasons to Sell Before You Buy


Homeowners will often wrestle with this question: "Should we sell our home before we buy another?" You will find plenty of agents advising you to buy before you sell, but that is rarely in your best interest. It is in the agent's best interest because if you buy, you will need to sell, and the agent will be guaranteed two sales, regardless of how much it will cost you to do it this way.

If you decide to buy another home first before selling yours and your home does not sell or it attracts very low offers that you do not want to accept----you may end being saddled with two house payments or losing the earnest monies put down on the new property, if it becomes necessary for you to cancel. At this point, the agent will then get nothing. Commissions are only paid after the closing of a property that is bought or sold. For most sellers and buyers, the smart thing to do is to sell before you buy.

By selling first, you will have the luxury of time. You do not have to take the first offer that comes along because you already have a place to live.

Sellers who are not under pressure to sell often obtain higher sales prices because buyers realize the sellers are not desperate. Nothing yells "discount your offer" like a listing that reads: "seller is motivated, bought another."


By making the sale of your home contingent on closing concurrently with your new purchase, you have basically said to the buyer, "If I cannot find the home I want to buy, I am under no obligation to sell to you. "You do not have to name the property address. You can simply state: "This sale contingent on closing concurrently with the purchase of seller's replacement home."

A smart buyer's agent will not let a buyer sign a contract with a contingency clause like that; however, it can be done because few agents understand its implication.

Suppose the buyer's agent does strike a concurrent closing clause from the contract. The next best thing to ask for is a time period during which you are free to look for a replacement home. A contingency period will give you the right to cancel the contract during that time. This period, could range, from 7 to 21 days.

Some sellers who want to take their time to find that “perfect home” will often opt to rent after closing. If the buyer doesn't require immediate occupancy, the seller might rent back their own home for the amount of the buyer's new mortgage payment, or the seller might move out, put their belongings into storage and rent a furnished, short-term apartment.


When the number of buyers are many and a specific inventory is reduced, homes generally sell within days of hitting the market. In this instance, there is little risk in buying first and selling second. However, few sellers will accept a contingent offer. Since these sellers will not accept a sale-contingent offer, you could be stuck owning two residences until your home sells. On top of that, you will pay top dollar for your new home, especially if you end up bidding in a multiple offer situation.

Sometimes, regardless of the marketplace, a home will come on the market at a price that is too good to pass up. Perhaps the sellers are getting divorced, need to pay medical bills, or they have debts to pay; the point is the sellers are extremely motivated to sell. Before word spreads across town or the area, you might want to be the first offer on the table.

In this instance, it makes sense to buy before you sell because the money you make walking into the deal is worth making double payments until your home sells. When the deal is that good you may choose to take advantage of the situation.

This is an emotional decision. As much as many buyers might want to be logical and analytical, people who let their hearts rule are not. Real estate is an emotional business anyway, so those who fixate on owning a certain type of home may as well buy it when they first spot it. For some, money is no object. Fortunately, these types of buyers rarely look back, but keep their sights set on the horizon, on moving forward, and they don't regret making emotional decisions. They want what they want, and they get what they want.
 

You Might Want to Do These Things Before You Sell Your Home

1. Get estimates from a reliable repair person on items that need to be replaced soon
   (such as a roof or worn carpeting). In this way, buyers will have a better sense of
   how much these needed repairs will affect their costs.
2. Have a termite inspection to prove to buyers that the property is not infested.
3. Get a pre-sale home inspection so you'll be able to make repairs before buyers become
   concerned and cancel a contract.
4. Gather together warranties and guarantees on the furnace, appliances, and other items
   that will remain with the house.
5. Fill out a disclosure form provided by your sales associate. Take the time to be sure
   that you don't forget that problems. however minor, might create liability for you
   after the sale.


Quick fixes before selling a home will always pay off, but which repairs bring you the biggest return? Specific answers to this frequently asked question largely depend on a variety of factors such as:
• Time of year
• Location of the home
• Market temperature
• Competing inventory

There is no hard and fast rule. But there are general guidelines that apply to most homes. For
example, the National Association of Realtors publishes each year the Cost vs. Value Report with Remodeling Magazine, which features various home project costs and returns in four regions, including a national average.


Flooring Fixes

In many older neighborhoods, many of the homes were built in the late 1940s, which means the floors are original, hardwood oak. Wood floors are a hot item today, but preferences over the years have changed. Carpeting became popular -- like with lots of consumer products -- after somebody figured out how to get the government to pay for it. When vets returned home from WWII, housing was at a shortage. Homes were sold with newly installed carpeting because the cost for the carpeting could be rolled into government-insured (VA) loans.

Then, carpeting became vogue in the 1960s. Some homes today, unfortunately, still sport shag carpeting of the '60's. The final movement away from hardwood happened when installing hardwood floors became too expensive. Plywood was easier to obtain and faster to install. Plus, the choices in carpeting were plenty. It is still relatively inexpensive to install carpeting.


Hardwood Floors

If your home has hardwood floors, that's what many buyers want, it would pay to have the carpeting removed and the floors refinished.


Carpeting

If your sub-floor is plywood, you could replace the carpeting with a light tan. Neutral carpeting is your best bet for resale.


Ceramic
Replace chipped or cracked tiles. Clean or replace the grout. But, don't install ceramic (it's too expensive) unless it's for aesthetic reasons in an entry way.
 

Paint Ceilings & Walls

Buyers spend more time than you would think staring at ceilings. They are looking for signs of a leaky roof, but what you do not want them to see are stains from grease or smoke and ceiling cracks. The same is true for walls. Nothing says freshness like new paint, and it's the most cost effective improvement. Use fiberglass tape on large cracks, cover with joint compound and sand. Paint a neutral color such as light tan or off-white.

You might also consider removing:
Wallpaper

It is not that all buyers hate wallpaper. They may hate your wallpaper - because it's your personal choice, not theirs. Plus, they hate all dated wallpaper. Remove it. The easiest way is to steam it off by using an inexpensive wallpaper remover steamer.


Wood paneling

Even if your wood paneling is not real wood but composite, you can paint it. Dated paneling should go. Older wood paneling's such as walnut, mahogany, cedar and pine, have gone out of style. Paint it a neutral and soft color after priming it.


Textured ceilings

Older popcorn ceilings with the "sparkles" often contain asbestos and if disturbed are health hazards. Say goodbye to them. But even recently sprayed ceilings may turn off buyers. It is not expensive, but it is time consuming to remove. Lay down drop cloths and scrape it off. You will definitely need to repaint.


Kitchen Improvements

Appliances and cabinets are typically the most expensive items to replace in a kitchen. If you don't have to replace them, you'll save a ton of money. However, if your cabinets are dated and beat-up, your house might not sell if the cabinets are not replaced, resurfaced, or painted.

Kitchen remodels return nearly 100%. According to Remodeling Magazine, the high-end kitchens don't return as much as the mid-range or minor kitchen remodels. Most buyers won't pay extra for a built-in Sub Zero refrigerator, professional 8-burner stove, under mount sink or custom floors. If you live in the Midwest, your return will be less than for those who live in other parts of the country.


Cabinets

Resurfacing/refinishing is your best option. This involves attaching a thin veneer to the surface of the cabinets and replacing the doors and hardware. If your cabinets are painted, add a fresh coat of paint and new hardware.


Counter tops, sinks & faucets

Granite counters are not necessary. Simple laminates, newer faucets and sparkling sinks sell. Buyers don't want leaky faucets or stained sinks.


Bathrooms

The national average of recouped cost is more than 100% for bathrooms. New flooring, fixtures and lights payoff.


Roofs & Exterior

If your home needs a new roof, bite the bullet and just do it. Even though most roofing tear-off jobs take one to two days, buyers shy away from buying a home if the roof needs to be replaced.

• Patch cement cracks in sidewalks

• Resurface asphalt driveways
• Plant flowers
• Caulk windows and doors
• Replace doorknobs and locks
• Fix or paint fences


Overall, buyers want to buy a home that has no deferred maintenance, newer appliances, updated plumbing, electrical and heating (including a/c), modern conveniences and is ready to occupy.

Tips for Making Your House More Attractive to Buyers:

1. Get rid of the clutter. Throw out or file stacks of newspapers and magazines. Pack
   away most of your small decorative items. Store all out-of-season clothing to make
   closets seem roomier. Clean out the garage.
2. Wash your windows and screens to let more light into the interior.
3. Keep everything extra clean. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates. Mop and wax
   floors. Clean the stove and refrigerator. A clean house makes a better first
   impression and convinces buyers that the home has been well cared for.
4. Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and
   pet smells. Open the windows.
5. Put higher wattage bulbs in light sockets to make rooms seem brighter especially
   basements and other dark rooms). Replace any burnt-out bulbs.
6. Make the minor repairs that can create a bad impression. Small problems, such as
   sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet, may seem trivial,
   but they will give buyers the impression that the house is not well maintained.
7. Keep your yard tidy. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, trim the bushes, and edge the
   walks. Putting a pot or two of bright flowers near the entryway does not hurt.
8. Patch holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.
9. Clean your gutters.
10.Polish your front doorknob and door numbers.


Inexpensive Ways to Help Make Your Home more Appealing
Make your home more appealing for potential buyers with these quick and easy tips.


 1. Trim your bushes so they don't block windows and cut down on light.
 2. Buy a new doormat.
 3. Place a pot of bright flowers (or a small evergreen in winter) on your porch.
 4. Put new doorknobs on your doors.
 5. Put a fresh coating on your driveway.
 6. Edge the grass around walks and trees.
 7. Keep your garden tools out of sight.
 8. Be sure kids put away their toys.
 9. Buy a new mailbox.
10. Upgrade the outside lighting.
11. Using warm, incandescent light bulbs makes for a "homey" feel.
12. Polish or replace your house numbers.
13. Clean your gutters.
14. Use potpourri or burn scented candles.
15. Buy new pillows for the sofa.
16. Buy a flowering plant and put it in a window you pass by frequently.
17. Create a centerpiece for your table with fruit or artificial flowers.
18. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let will in more light.
19. Buy and display new towels.
20. Place a seasonal wreath on your door.


Home Improvements Proven to add Appeal & Value

• Fresh Paint
• New Carpet
• Vinyl Siding
• Counter tops
• New Cabinet Hardware
• New Faucets
• Lighting
• Caulking
• Second Bath
• Fireplace
• New Appliances
• New Front Door
• Landscaping
• Wallpaper Removal
• Air Conditioning
• New Windows
• Storage/Shelving
• Paint Exterior Trim
• Decks/Patios


These Simple Steps Will Make Your Home Both Memorable & Irresistible at an Open House!

• Place fresh or silk flowers in principal rooms for a touch of color.
• Add a new shower curtain, fresh towels, and new guest soaps to every bath.
• Place potpourri or fresh baked goods out for a "homey" smell.
• Set the table with pretty dishes and candles.

• Buy a fresh doormat with a clever saying.
• Remove one or two major pieces of furniture out of every room to create a sense of
  spaciousness.
• Put away kitchen appliances and personal bathroom items to give the illusion of more
  counter space.
• Start a fire in the fireplace or place a basket of flowers there if the fireplace is
  not in use.
• Depersonalize rooms by putting away family photos, mementos, and distinctive artwork.
• Turn on the sprinklers for 30 minutes to make your lawn sparkle.
 


Selling a Home with Pet(s)
 
Almost everybody loves pets--except the home buyer who is buying your house. Don't ask why, but that is often how it works out. Home sellers who adore their pets have a hard time imagining the negative attitudes others harbor against pets. So, while this might be a bitter pill to swallow, if you want to get top dollar for your house, pay attention to how much you might lose with a dog or cat in residence.

Why Don't Home Buyers Like Your Pet?

Nervousness. Pets make some people very uncomfortable. Not everybody grew up with a family pet or enjoys outings at the zoo. Fur and four legs is not for everyone.
Fear. Real and irrational. It's not only dogs that instill fear in people. All kinds of silly wives' tales and superstitions involve cats.
Inexperience. Pets are not always predictable. Your pets aren't their pets. They imagine yours bite, jump, vomit, claw, spit-up hairballs or are just plain hyper and bad.

#1 Preferred Pet Solution


The best thing to do to ensure top price for your home is to relocate your pets while your home is on the market. Putting them in the back yard, in the garage or in another room that you keep locked is insufficient, and it's not fair to them. You need to remove them from the house.

• Let a friend or relative care for Fluffy and Spike.
• Board them at a kennel.
• Send them on vacation.

Overcoming Negatives Associated with Your Pets
If you shrug off all professional advice and absolutely refuse to move your pets out of the house, then at least minimize the objections and nuisance factors, real or otherwise:

Cat Litter Boxes & Dog Potty Pads
Keep them out of sight and impeccably clean. Nothing turns off buyers faster than opening the door to the laundry room and being greeted by a full or stinky cat box.

Carpet & Floor Pet Stains
Hire professionals to remove the stains. Buyers will spot them and form unfavorable opinions about the rest of the house. If the stains can't be removed, then remove the floor covering and replace it.

Pet Odors and Smells
1. Cat urine is among the worst offenders.
2. Do not use air fresheners. People with allergies will react.
3. Try enzyme cleaners or call a professional ozone company.

Remove Signs of a Pet
You may be required by state law to disclose that pets have lived in your home, but you don't need to advertise that pets live at your house. Removing signs that you have a pet is simply smart practice. Why turn off a buyer at the get-go? It's those first impressions that are so all-fired important.

• Do not put photos online showing your cat asleep on the bed
• Seal up doggie doors
• Put away food and water bowls when not in use
• Vacuum religiously, every day, sometimes twice a day
• Pick up pet toys and put them away
• Pack up cat trees and other signs of cat paraphernalia
• Remove photos of pets from refrigerator, walls and table tops
• Pack up all cages, carriers and other tell-tale signs

Showing Your House

Put your pets into a carrier and attach a note warning buyers not to disturb them. The last thing you need is somebody sticking their hand inside the carrier and getting bit or scratched. You can't predict how your pet will react when locked up and alone.

One homeowner learned the hard way by letting a cat run loose during a showing. This homeowner was outside talking to a neighbor while the selling agent showed the home. They heard loud knocking and looked up to see the agent rapping on an upstairs window. The homeowner thought the agent was showing the buyer dual panes. It didn't dawn on the homeowner that the agent was panicking and couldn't figure out how to open the window. When the rapping continued, the homeowner went inside. Turned out the cat had cornered the agent and the buyer, and was growling at them.

Needless to say, that buyer didn't buy the house.


Selling Your Home During the Holidays
Will Holiday Decorations Help You Sell?

If you ask a real estate agent, "Should I keep my home on the market over the holidays?" an agent will tell you, "Yes, absolutely, because then you know buyers are serious." In our opinion, that is just not so. If you don't have to sell between Thanksgiving and New Year's, take your home off of the market.
 


Why Your Home Should Be Off the Market During the Holidays

Potential buyers will think you are desperate.

It is very inconvenient to always be ready to show at a moment's notice.

The offers you receive will likely be for less than list price.

You will be appealing to a much smaller inventory of buyers who have very specific needs that your home might not match.

It is almost impossible to close a transaction in December if the offer is received mid-month. Buyers who want to close in January make offers in January.

If you remove your home from the market, it can go back as a new listing in January, thereby drawing more traffic because it's fresh.

Your agent might be on vacation in December and unavailable.


Some sellers will insist on leaving their homes on the market, regardless. The deciding factors depend on local custom, on what neighbors are doing and how real estate activity is viewed by others during the holiday season in your array. Every area is different. There are neighborhoods in California where, if you didn't see plastic Santa Clauses tied to palm trees, you might never know it was Christmas.

Still, less inventory/homes on the market over the holidays means less competition. However, when the pool of buyers drops, the remaining balance of inventory might not make much difference. In parts of the country where it snows, buyers think twice about bundling up in heavy coats, boots and gloves to trudge through snow banks and look at property when they would rather be out shopping or staying at home in front of the fireplace.

 

If You Do Leave Your Home on the Market

Should you put out those blue and white candles and prominently display your menorah? What about hanging a wreath on your door or showcasing a Christmas tree in front of a window? What's overdoing it? What's not?

People carry biases and prejudices with them. Why give them more information than they need to know about you? By not decorating, you are protecting your privacy during home showings. You are also making your home feel more spacious without blocking pathways. When buyers enter your home, you want them to imagine putting their own furniture in each room, making it theirs, and they can't do that if your holiday decorations dominate the stage.

For more information, please contact us.