Lynn D'Avolio
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 7/8/2014

Did you know that home sellers that use a real estate professional on average get 16% more in the sale of their home? In rare instances, some people are able to sell their own homes without the services of a real estate agent but for most it is tricky business. Here are a few reasons why you can't sell your own home. 1. A home for sale needs to be in the MLS (multiple listing service). You need to be a licensed real estate broker or  agent to be able to put a home in the MLS. Not having your home in the MLS is problematic, it will be difficult to advertise your home on many home search engines and websites. 2. Many real estate agents won't show homes that are for sale by owner. For a real estate agent it can be difficult to deal directly with a home seller. Agents are used to receiving a commission on the sale and without a written agreement there is no guarantee that the buyer's agent will be compensated for his or her services. Not having the cooperation of local agents significantly limits the pool of potential buyers. 3. Many buyers do not want to deal directly with the seller. Potential buyers usually feel uncomfortable looking at a home if the owner is present.  They will also be less likely to make an offer if they have to negotiate directly with the seller. Real estate agents create a much needed buffer between the seller and the buyer. 4. A real estate transaction is not always easy. Many times there are potential liability issues. Sellers would need to be well schooled in the real estate laws especially surrounding escrow and disclosure requirements.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 4/29/2014

Independent studies have confirmed that deploying particular scents in a home for sale can dramatically increase the home's appeal to a potential buyer.  With that being said, what is the best way to go about changing your home's "scentmosphere"? 1. - The Friend Test - Often times, we get used to particular scents in our home, so much so that we don't even notice that they're there.  Litter boxes, old couches, bathrooms, and bedrooms can all breed their own "scentmosphere", and some can be more noticeable and offensive than others.  Have a friend come over and, well.....Smell your home.    Your friend doesn't live in your home.  They can pick up on things that you may not be able to, like the smell of dirty laundry, a musty-smelling finished basement, or a well-lived-in bedroom.  These "other person" smells can turn off a buyer in a heartbeat.  If you are a smoker, then stop smoking inside while your house is on the market.  Keep children's rooms tidy and clean-smelling. 2. - Kitchen Comfort - There are many scents that can be utilized in the kitchen to make it more appealing.  Candles, lemon wedges chopped up into a garbage disposal, cinnamon sticks in the oven, and fresh-cut flowers can be utilized for this purpose. Some people swear by citrus scents, others by baked goods, but it really boils down to personal preference.  Lavender has been shown to produce a calming effect, and fruit scents like apples and peaches can carry classier undertones. 3. - Subtlety is key.  You want a noticeable "scentmosphere", but not one that is overpowering.  Pick your scents accordingly.  If you overdo it, people may think you're trying too hard to cover something up.  Remember that because we breathe, we smell things constantly.  Each individual smell shouldn't be strong enough to cover multiple rooms in your house.  You don't want your entire downstairs to smell like the cinnamon you have in the kitchen.  Likewise, a fresh lemon scent all over the entire house can make it seem like there are smells that will creep into the "scentmosphere" once the lemon scents wear off.  Less is more.  





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 4/15/2014

Is your house a listing loser? Have you been on and off the market for years? There are many factors that influence whether a house sells or not. While most people will point directly to price, that may not be the only reason why a home sits on the multiple listing service without showings or offers and ends up on the expired list. Here are just a few of the reasons why homes don't sell: 1. Price The most common reason and usually the biggest factor is price.  Often a home is priced too high because sellers have unrealistic ideas about what their home is worth. Other sellers insist on basing the price of their home on their own personal financial situation and not the market. Even if a seller is willing to adjust the price of a home after listing it too high, it is the original asking price that matters. Pricing a home competitively will ultimately yield a higher sale price. 2. Location, location, location It is true location matters. Even the nicest house cannot always overcome a bad location. Homes that are on busy roads, close to high tension wires, power plants, waste-treatment facilities or other objectionable locations will struggle to sell. The only way properties in undesirable locations sell is when the seller understands that the asking price is significantly lower than similar homes in prime locations. 3. Having the nicest home in the neighborhood It may feel good to have the largest or nicest home in the neighborhood but buyers won't appreciate that. Buyers are not only paying for the home but also what is around it. If your home offers much more than other homes in your neighborhood you will have a tough sale. 4. The decor A home should appeal to almost everyone. So if your home has loud wallpaper, brightly colored walls, or an outdated kitchen it will be a turn-off. Most buyers won't be able to look beyond the 1970s kitchen and see the good qualities a home has to offer. 5. A dysfunctional floor plan The addition you added on may be your pride and joy but when the buyer looks at it they see it as a barrier to a sale. Many homeowners add additions or change the floor plan of their home to suit them. They were not thinking that it might not be okay for a future buyer to walk though a bedroom to get to the family room addition. This sometimes applies to older homes as well, smaller rooms and lack of storage does not top a buyer's wish lists. 6. Too many repairs If the home needs a lot of repairs, the buyer sees a money pit. Today's buyer is much more reluctant to take on a lot of renovations. 7. Bad Marketing This can be the agent's fault as much as the seller's fault. Are there agents who could do a better job marketing a home? Of course there is. Often times, the agent is limited by the seller's willingness to help. Agents that are forced to show photos of messy, outdated homes on MLS are not starting off on the best foot. There is only a small percentage of buyers who are able to see past the mess and cosmetic issues. 8. Unavailability Sellers sometimes do not make their home available for showings and this can hurt the sale of the home. Buyers have tight schedules and often want to view homes at inconvenient times. Sellers must try to accommodate as many showings as possible. You never know who the buyer will be or when they will want to look at the home.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 4/1/2014

Did you know that pets can significantly reduce your home's value?  Homebuyers are hesitant to buy a home with pets because they are weary of odors and damage. If you are a pet owner here are some tips to ensure you get the highest final sale price for your home: 1. Start outside. The outside of your home is the first impression, it is the first thing a potential buyer sees. Fill and holes in the yard that have been dug by pets. Make sure to walk the yard and pick up any pet waste. 2. Check the woodwork. Pets have a habit of chewing. Go through your home and look for any damage. Check the floor trim, the threshold of your doors, and the corners of doors and cabinets. Also don't forget to check carpet, window ledges and screens, especially if you have cats. Hardwood floors can also get scratched by pets too. You may need refinish your floors if they have pet scratches. 3. Check the carpet. Carpets are usually best replaced rather than repaired. It is almost impossible to remove pet odor from carpet. If the carpet has been chewed or frayed from scratching it can likely be stretched and re-tacked by a professional. 4. Look for stains. There can be stains on carpet, flooring, drywall, and trim. Make sure to repair or replace any items that are stained before a buyer sees them. 5. Address odors. You may not even notice pet odors in your home but they will be very obvious to buyers. Ask someone else to give you an honest opinion of pet odors in your home.  Make sure to vacuum daily and open windows if you can. It's not just accidents that cause bad odors. Your pet's hair, dander and sweat also create odors. 6. Clean your furniture. Even though the buyer is looking at the house, if your furniture is stained or ruined buyers will still devalue your home. 7. Keep the pets away. If possible remove pets from your home when showing it. You could board them, or have a friend keep your pets while you're showing your home. If that is not possible make sure to buy pet crates to keep them locked up and out of the way.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 8/27/2013

One of the worst things that can happen to a would-be home seller is when the home never sells and expires from the multiple listing service. Waiting week after week or month after month for an offer is frustrating. Selling a home can be a stressful and emotional experience and when it doesn't sell there are a number of questions to ask before making the next move. Here are just a few to consider:

  • Should you renew an expired listing with the same broker?
  • Should you list with a new broker?
  • Should you relist the home for sale at all?
Before placing blame consider why the home didn't sell. Here are some questions to ask:
  • Were you motivated to sell?
  • Did you follow the recommendations of the broker?
  • What was the marketing plan to sell your home?
  • Ask the broker why the home didn't sell.
  • Was the home priced properly?
  • Was it available to show to potential buyers?
  • What was buyer's feedback about your home?
After honestly reviewing these questions consider if there is something you as the seller could have done differently. If you feel it was the broker who did not fulfill their promises than it may be time to find a new broker. If your broker did their job and worked diligently to sell your home then it is probably you that needs to make some changes. Before you relist and make another potential mistake visit other active properties for sale to determine how your home compares to the competition. Consider if you may need a price adjustment. Ask for another comparative market analysis to determine if your home is priced to beat out the competition. You may also need to do some repairs before selling. Staging your home for sale is also always a good idea.