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Amy Hoak’s Home Economics
Dec. 27, 2010, 12:01 a.m. EST
Resolutions for home sellers in 2011
Planning to sell your home next year? Start getting ready now.
By Amy Hoak, MarketWatch
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — If your New Year’s resolution involves selling a home in 2011, you’ve got some work to do: There’s lots of inventory out there and in a buyer’s market like this one, getting an offer on a home can be challenging.
Still, for the committed seller willing to do some prep work and come to terms with the current value of his or her home, locking in a buyer isn’t impossible.
Where to Invest in 2011
Russell Pearlman of SmartMoney discusses where to invest in 2011.
By listing in early January, you might be able to catch some of those early birds who start browsing in the winter so that they can find a new home before school starts in the fall, said Louis Cammarosano, general manager of HomeGain.com, a real-estate website. In fact, many buyers tend to start their searches online right after Christmas, and continue throughout January and February, he said.
“If you hit the ground running and you’re a fresh listing that has done everything right, you’ve got the best shot,” said Cammarosano.
Consider the following tips to give your home the best chance to get noticed — and sold — in 2011.
Price it right from the start
Many sellers suffer from attachment bias, said Tara-Nicholle Nelson, consumer educator for real-estate website Trulia.com. They believe that their home is worth more than they’d pay for it in another context. While it’s always a bad idea to overprice a home, it’s especially dangerous in times like this because there is so much competing inventory in many local markets.
Nelson’s advice: Give yourself a reality check by looking inside comparable homes during open houses. That can help you get a clearer idea of your home’s value.
You might even consider interviewing a few real-estate agents to get more than one take on how the home should be priced, Cammarosano said.
The longer something sits on the market, the more price reductions you might have to make and the more potential buyers will assume that there’s something wrong with the home, he said. So more often than not, it’s best not to try testing the waters with a higher price, he adds.
Don’t be afraid to advertise in the listing and marketing materials that it’s not a foreclosure or short sale, Nelson said. In markets where distressed sales are plentiful, there are buyers who simply don’t want to deal with the extra hassle and uncertainty of a short sale or bank-owned property, she said.
Get the house ready
Most sellers know they need to declutter, paint in neutral colors and generally stage the home as best as they can to help buyers envision themselves in the home. Often, this is done on the advice of a real-estate agent or professional stager.
The closer you can get your home looking like a photo from a Pottery Barn catalog, the better off you will be, said Beth Jaworski, a real-estate agent in the Milwaukee area.
And make sure that your cabinets and refrigerators are cleaned out and decluttered, too. “You want to have a minimum of ‘stuff’ in the house. The less stuff you have, the larger the closets, basement and garage will look,” she said.
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^JR50 Things To Do With Kids Around Detroit Before They Grow Up
10by Melissa Summers
I saw this great list of “100 things to do in New York with your kids before they grow up” at Mommy Poppins. It inspired me to come up with a list of 50 things you should do with your kids if you live in the Detroit area before they grow up.
Michigan is full of great museums, parks and amusement parks, but I tried to keep my list to destinations within an hours drive. If you’re in the Detroit area, please leave your own ideas in the comments.
1. Eat a meal (or just dessert) the Coach Insignia at the top of the Renaissance Center and enjoy the view.
2. Visit the Day Of The Dead Festival in Mexican Town, grab a bag of Tamales at Evie’s.
3. Rent a Canoe at Gallup Park. Bring a picnic lunch for the halfway point.
4. See how cider is made at Yates Cider Mill
5. Pick your own blueberries in Howell. Read Blueberries For Sal before you go.
6. See the Detroit Fireworks, hopefully you have a friend with a rooftop view downtown.
7. Attend the Thanksgiving Day Parade, pray it isn’t freezing.
8. Visit The Henry Ford to see an amazing collection of artifacts, including the chair Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated and trains up close in person.
9. Visit the zoo on Animal Enrichment Days to see how zookeepers keep the animals happy and challenged with different toys, treats and games.
10. Detroit Science Center
11. See a game at Comerica Park. Ride the Ferris Wheel and the Carousel all before viewing a single inning.
12. Visit The African American History Museum
13. Visit the newly remodeled Detroit Institute Of Arts. Make sure you attend one of the evening kid’s concerts in the main hall surrounded by suits of armor.
14. Cranbrook Science Museum. Make sure you view the giant T Rex model, the Wooly Mammoth and best of all the Bat Zone.
16. See the Bassett Hounds Waddle through Birmingham in May.
17. Just an hour away, the Toledo Museum of Art has a wonderful Family Center.
18. After the museum, visit Tony Pacos for dinner before your drive back. The kids will love all the autographed hot dog buns lining the walls.
19. Visit the Cobblestone Farm
20. See the toy trains and old time streetscape at the Detroit Historical Museum.
21. Take the train from Royal Oak to Ann Arbor
22. Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum. Bring lots of quarters and make sure to use the photo booth before you leave.
23. Spend a few hours on Detroit’s River Walk. Ride the carousel and play in the water fountain, preferably while in clothes. It’s a lot more fun that way.
24. Visit The Ann Arbor Hands On Museum.
25. Visit the Museum of Natural History at University of Michigan. Ever since Night At The Museum my kids have been dying for a visit to New York, this will have to fill in for now.
26. Watch blocks of ice become amazing sculptures at The International Ice Sculpture Spectacular in Plymouth.
27. You can’t be in the Motor City without developing at least a little interest in the history of cars. The Walter P Chrysler Museum is a small exhibit, perfect for short attention spans.
28. Red Oaks Water Park offers hours of fun.
29. Pack a picnic for the summer concert series at the Detroit Zoo.
30. Visit Greenfield Village at Christmas time or during any of their special events. Visit the Eagle Tavern to warm up, have hot cider (with a historically authentic hollow noodle as a straw) for the kids and spiked hot cider for the grown ups.
31. Hike Through Cranbrook, watch for sculptures, wildlife and beautiful gardens. If you can find the Greek Theater your kids will feel like real archaeologists.
32. Dally In The Alley is a great street fair in Detroit. It hasn’t been over-run by corporate tents and a lemonade doesn’t cost $15.
33. See The Nutcracker at The Detroit Opera House
34. Yale Bologna Festival. Yes, it’s really a thing. I’m not sure the kids will love it, but I really want to see the Bologna Queen.
Gary Keller’s December To-Do List! Click on Gary to watch: http://bit.ly/cf4RJG #kw
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