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January is Radon Action Month!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

 

 

Keep your family safe in your North Iowa home during National Radon Action Month. Check out all of the EPA’s helpful information and home owner resources regarding radon HERE. For information related specifically for our state, including help finding certified radon mitigation professionals, use these links:

 

 

 

Find more great home safety and home improvement tips on our Website or by following us on Facebook!

Buying And Selling Tips For The New Year!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

We know a lot goes in to selling or buying your home. The process can undoubtedly feel overwhelming. But, when you boil it down to the basics, it can be less stressful for you. Just try to keep it simple! Follow these easy but helpful tips for sellers and buyers to help you succeed in the Mason City area housing market in the new year!


 

Selling Tips!

The first step sellers should take is knowing Your Home's Value. This allows you to list your home at a correct price that fits with the current market trends. In addition, you need to make your home stand out from the other competition. This can be done by improving curb appeal, staging, and finishing those home improvement projects. Finally, consider making some updates that will provide you with a great return on investment. Experienced Realtors in the Mason City area can help you throughout all of these steps and the rest of the selling process.  



Buying Tips!

As a buyer, you need to have a good understanding of the Mason City housing market by knowing what options are out there as well as current prices. Working with a Knowledgeable Real Estate Team can help you with this from the very start. Before you actually start looking for homes, have your Home Financing in order. This allows you to know exactly what your budget is. Once you find your dream home, realize that there might be competition from other buyers in the market. There are ways to make you stand out from the crowd when there are multiple offers on the table. First, try to remain flexible with some of your conditions such as closing date. Next, write a personal letter to the seller expressing why you fell in love with the home and how it fits your's and your family’s needs. This can really help you ensure that the house becomes yours.



Ready to buy or sell your Mason City home in the year? Give Jane Fischer & Associates Team a call today or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.

What To Expect For The New Year's Housing Market!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

A Very Happy Holidays From Our Team!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

 

 

The Christmas Season is our favorite time of year! With all of the incredibly festive events taking place throughout Mason City and Clear Lake, it is impossible not to be filled with good cheer and fall even more in love with living in this area. With Christmas here, we would to extend a very warm THANK YOU to all of our past and current clients for giving us the opportunity to assist you with all of your North Iowa real estate needs! It has truly been a joy to serve you this year!

 

We hope your North Iowa home is filled with laughter and love as you celebrate Christmas!

 

The new year often brings new goals. If real estate goals are on your 2019 list, our team is here to help you achieve them! Whether you are a Home Buyer or Home Seller, we can assist you every step of the way! Through our years of experience, we love sharing our knowledge of our communities and helping people find their dream home in our area. Work with North Iowa's best real estate team in 2019! Contact us today so we can help you in every way that we can. We look forward to meeting with you!



Jane Fischer & Associates Team Wishes You A Very Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year!


 

Buying And Selling Tips For Today And Into The New Year!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Close out 2018 or kick start 2019 by entering the housing market! Whether you are looking to buy or sell your Mason City IA home this time of year, there are a couple of things you should do to prepare. Follow these 5 Tips for Home Buyers and 5 Tips for Home Sellers!

 

Buyers Tips

  1. Stay flexible. Use our Wants vs. Needs Checklist to help you determine what amenities and features you must have in your new home and what you are willing to sacrifice. Homes are going to move fast so it is best to focus on the essentials. Always have a Plan B and prepare yourself for potential deals that fall through.

  2. Budget realistically. Set your budget ahead of time and stick with it. Examine your own individual finances and how you spend your money in order to determine what you can actually afford. This will assist you before you meet with a lender and will also help you narrow your home search down to just those properties within your budgeted range.

  3. Set up financing early. Use our handy Loan Analysis Tool to help you start looking for available loans. Meet with several different lenders ahead of time so that you can receive competitive offers and find the best mortgage for you. Getting pre-approval for a loan before starting your search can help you stand out from the other buyers in the market since it shows sellers that you are serious and financially ready to buy.

  4. Work with a top agent. A real estate agent with a winning record can greatly help you throughout the home buying process. They are experts in the local market and well versed in negotiation skills. For your North Iowa home buying needs, work with Jane Fischer & Associates Real Estate Consultants. For 20+ years, we have dedicated ourselves to helping buyers find and move into their dream homes throughout our beautiful communities.

  5. Keep communication open. Your realtor is your main ally throughout the buying process. Stay in frequent communication with them throughout the process. Let them know whether you prefer to be contacted by phone or email so that communication lines stay open.

Sellers Tips

  1. Start today. Find out Your Home's Value so that you can price it correctly for the market. And, then prep your house for selling! Make sure you put the necessary time into your home in order to sell it quickly and for top dollar once it is listed.

  2. Work with Experienced Agent. Although you might want to sell your home on your own, research has shown that sellers receive more money and sell their home quicker by working with a realtor from the very beginning of the selling process.

  3. Think about your online presence. Most home buyers start their home search online. Help insure that your home stands apart from the competition by having a strong online listing. Talk to your realtor about video or drone footage as well as professional photos in order to determine what is the best course of action for your listing.

  4. Consider home improvements. While the thought of putting more money into the home you are leaving might seem silly, sellers usually receive higher than list value prices by making improvements before selling. There are many improvements that can be a worthwhile and offer you a great return on investment. Sign up for our Total Access for some great improvement ideas.

  5. Try, try again. There might not be as many buyers during the fall. Do not get discouraged if your home sits on the market for a few weeks or a deal falls through. Continue to work with your realtor to figure out the best option for you to be successful this season.

If you are ready to enter the housing market this season, work with the Top Realtor Mason City IA! We can help you find the perfect property to fit your needs within the North Iowa Homes for Sale and/or help sell your home for top dollar! Give our experienced Team a call today at 641-425-4900 or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.

Tis The Season For Holiday Cheer...and Selling!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

The holiday season is upon us. You and your family are busy wrapping presents and preparing for guests. Even though it might not seem like the ideal time, it is actually the perfect time to sell your Mason City home! Whether your home has been on the market for a while or you have been putting off listing it, now is the season to sell! Not convinced? Here are the top reasons why it is the season for holiday cheer AND home selling!


1. Less Homes On The Market!

The majority of sellers will take their homes off the market during the holiday season. This means less competition in the market. With fewer listings, your home is more likely to rise to the top when buyers search for properties.

2. Closing Moves Quicker!

When the housing market heats up in the spring, lenders get busy. That means buyers have to wait longer for their loans to be processed and approved. The slow down in December means lenders can move the process along faster which means faster closing on your deal!

3. Time To Make Adjustments!

At this point of the year, it's possible that your home has been sitting on the market for a while. With everything slowed down, this season affords you the time to leave your listing up while you make adjustments for the home to be more attractive to buyers. This could mean improvements to your home or changing your listing price.

4. Festive Ambiance!

Is your home ever as cozy as it is during the holiday season? The fireplace is going, the smell of homebaked goods fills the air, and your rooms are filled with beautiful greenery. Important elements of staging are already done for you, creating a homey feel for all buyers who enter. To be as effective as possible, limit how many decorations, especially personal ones, you use while your home is on the market. You want to showcase the features of your home without excess clutter and give buyers the opportunity to envision themselves within the home.

5. Serious Buyers!

Any buyer that is still looking during the holiday season is serious about buying! Either they are still looking for that home that meets everything on their wish list and/or they need to buy fast. These buyers will be highly motivated which means an easier negotiation process for you as a seller.

6. Families Have A Limited Time Frame!

This reason goes hand in hand with the previous ones. Buyers with children utilize breaks from school to find the perfect home. This includes the winter break. These buyers will want to settled in their new home before school resumes in the fall so it is the perfect time to show off yours!



Ready to Sell Your North Iowa Home This Holiday Season, give Jane Fischer & Associates a call today or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.



Information Source: Realtor.com®

Tips To Make Your Online Listing Pop!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

An online listing is almost always the first time a buyer is exposed to your home. It can have a dramatic effect on whether or not they are interested in viewing your home. Make sure that your home attracts buyers by capturing the best photos you can. Although hiring a professional can help ensure that you have the best quality images, there are some simple ways that you can make your photos look less amateur. Follow these great photography tips to have your Mason City IA looking its very best in all your online images!

 

Use a Tripod.

Always use a tripod for your photos. A tripod helps ensure that your photos are never crooked (which can be jarring) by keeping the camera straight and helps keep the image sharp and reduces bluriness by eliminating camera shake.

 



Pay Attention to the Sun.

The first image buyers usually see online is of the front exterior of the home. Think about the best time of day to capture this shot. The position of the sun at different times of the day can have a dramatic effect on the image. Always shoot this image when the sun is shining directly onto the front exterior of your home. This will ensure that your home is well lit and eliminates shadows. Also, consider the height from which you are shooting the photo. By shooting from an elevated position, you can capture an image that includes the home and part of the yard.


Don't Use Your Smartphone.

The cameras on today's smartphones are technically advance but they still do not compare to a DSLR camera. The main issue with smartphones are their inability to handle low-light settings. Shoot with a DSLR camera and external flash to make sure your image is well-lit. Always have the room's lights turned on and the curtains open to utilize natural lighting. You want your image to reveal how bright your home is.

 


Capture the Outdoors Even When Inside.

The outdoor views from the interior of your home are just as important as what is inside. You want to make sure that both are in focus. This can be difficult to capture since focusing on the interior in the forefront can blur the view from the window and vice versa. Using a deep depth of focus can ensure that all is in focus. Professionals also utilize HDR imaging in order to layer multiple exposures within the room so the image shows both the inside and outside.


Think Wide.

You want to convey as much of the space as possible within your image. Use a wide-angle lens in order to capture more of an interior room. Standard lenses are great for revealing detail within tigher shots but you can convey more information (including the floor, ceiling, and walls) about the space in one wide-angle photo.

 



Always Look for the Best Angle.

Your position when you take the photo greatly affects how big the room appears in the image. Always look for the angle that makes the space appear larger. This often means shooting from the side of furniture instead of from behind (which can create distractions and make rooms feel cramped). A good rule of thumb is to frame your photo in a way that allows you to capture three walls within the room. This helps balance your photo and make rooms appear larger.

 


If you are ready to sell your home, work with the Top Realtor Mason City IA! We can help you sell your home for top dollar and quickly! Give our experienced Team a call today at 641-425-4900 or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.

 

The Price Is Right (For Your Home)

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Determining the price you are going to list your home at is the first big decision you will make after deciding to sell your home. It is just as important as the initial decision to list your home. If you price your home to high, you risk the chance that home buyers will not be interested. If you price your home to low, you risk not receiving the full amount that your house is worth. Making sure the price is correct from the very beginning will help avoid either of these scenarios. In order to ensure that your home is priced correctly from the start, work with a knowledgeable and experienced Real Estate Team as soon as you are ready to put your home on the market and avoid these common types of home pricing mistakes!

 

Mistakes Based on Emotion and the Past

Your house has become a home from your years living in it. It is always an emotional process when you decide to move. The personal memories that have become attached to your home can cause you to value the property more than it is actually worth. While we fully realize that this is easier said than done, you need to remove your emotions from the pricing process. Buyers are not going to pay more based on your emotional attachment. You need to price it based on what is physically in front of the buyers. Along the same vein, you cannot base your current selling price based on what you paid. The housing market at this very moment in time is different than it was when you purchased the home (even if it was in the recent past). Buyers want the best deal on the home based on the current market in the North Iowa area.



Mistakes Based on the Competition

Understanding what homes are selling for in your neighborhood is an important aspect of the pricing process. However, it can also lead to many mistakes made by sellers who do not understand how to properly utilize this information. When you research what similar homes are being sold for, be sure to take into account all the amenities and features of the home. Just because your home has the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms as another home on the market doesn’t mean that it should be priced exactly the same. You need to know if there are any renovations or additional amenities that have been added that need to be taken into account for the selling price. You also need to recognize that other comparable homes might be priced incorrectly. This is where working with an experienced real estate team comes in handy because they can accurately assess the competition. You should also consider how quickly a home might be needing to sell. Other sellers might be pricing their homes lower in order to stand out from the competition and speed the process along. In the end, be diligent in your research. This will allow you to have a profitable and successful sale of your home.



Mistakes Based on the Process

Price negotiations between you and potential buyers is an inevitable part of the process. Today’s buyers are much more informed on the value of homes on the market. You need to make sure you are just as informed. This will allow you to price the home appropriately and attract the kind of home buyers that is perfect for your home right from the start. Another common mistake made by sellers occurs if the home has been sitting on the market for a while. If it has, you have priced the home to high and you need to make an adjustment. Instead of making several, small price cuts, you should make a larger cut (typically $10,000+) to show buyers that you are serious about selling your home.  


 

For more Home Selling Tips, give our experienced Team a call, visit our website, or visit our Facebook Page. We are here to help if you're considering Buying, Selling, or Investing in Real Estate in the North Iowa. Contact us today at 641-425-4900 or http://www.janefischer.com/.

Time To Downsize? Help is Here!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Although you love your current Mason City IA home, it no longer fits your lifestyle needs. Whether all your children have moved out, you recently retired, or want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, there are multiple reasons why homeowners choose to downsize. You may be moving into a smaller space but there are large considerations that need to be had when you start thinking about this move.

 

Downsizing your North Iowa Home

Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering Downsizing


1. Does size matter? What will I miss about a larger home?

We often equate size with status...after all "bigger is better". Consider how much this matters to you and whether you can readjust this conventional thinking based on your new needs. Also consider what you like about your current home. Weigh out the features and amenities you enjoy about your current home with the benefits of owning a smaller home (i.e. less time spent cleaning).


2. How will a smaller home affect other life events?

Life can be unpredictable. Although your children might have moved out, you never know what circurmstances might arise that could cause them to need a place to stay for a while. Consider whether a smaller home can fit any potential situations that might occur now and into the future. Your new, small home should fit all of your emotional, financial, and physical needs.

 

3. What will the cost be for me?

Logically, a smaller home will cost you less than a larger one. However, you should consider the costs related to downsizing. Fewer rooms means less space for your stuff. There will be some costs accured for replacing furniture, since downsizing your home means also downsizing your furniture. Also, consider whether there are costs to getting rid of items and possessions that won't fit in the new space. Finally, make sure that the price you get for selling your current home will help cover the costs of buying a new home.

 

Finding the Right Home

If after asking yourself those questions above you know that downsizing is the right move for you, then you are ready to start searching for a home. There are many things to consider when downsizing. The first has to do with the style of home. If you want something low maintenance, consider a townhouse or condo. Just make sure you consider the HOA fees when figuring out our budget. For those that prefer a single family home, consider the layout of the home and make sure it will fit your physical needs now and in the years to come. Avoid older homes that might require renovations or continual upkeep. Be sure to understand how small you are willing to go and begin to make adjustments to ensure your lifestyle needs will be met in a smaller space. Along with the home itself, you want to consider the neighborhood. You should determine whether you want your smaller home to be in a pedestrian friendly area, close to all necessarily amenities. Consider whether you want to live in a tight knit community with other residents at the same life stages as you. Work with an experienced North Iowa realtor to help you find the perfect home in the perfect location for you.

 


If you are ready to downsize your home, work with the Top Realtor Mason City IA! We can help you find the perfect property to fit your needs within the North Iowa Homes for Sale. Give our experienced Team a call today at 641-425-4900 or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.

Stage Your North Iowa Home to Sell!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Many home sellers wonder whether staging is truly a necessary step when listing their property. Well help is here! If you are interested in selling your North Iowa home, learn more about why you should stage your home in order to receive top value for your property!

 

Home Staging and its benefits to your home sale

 

What is Home Staging?

Home staging is the process of getting a home ready to sell on the market. Its goal is to make the home appealing to the largest number of potential homebuyers. Staging helps create the best possible first impression of the home. It turns it into a welcoming site that highlights the property’s features. Professional home stagers eliminate clutter, arrange and eliminate furniture, extentuate the flow of the house, and add decor to broaden the appeal of the property. Staging allows buyers to visualize themselves in the home and imagine how they would utilize the space if they were to live there. As such, staging helps homes sell more quickly and at higher values.

 

Is Staging a Good Investment?

Home staging does require some capital to do it effectively. Hiring a professional stager is always a wise choice. They are incredibly experienced in the art of staging and know the best ways to highlight your home. If you would prefer to stage your home yourself, you will still likely incur some costs, such as general maintenance and cleaning costs, upgrades, and storage fees for items you want to remove. Although you might not want to put more money into your home right before selling, the Return on Investment (ROI) for staging is well worth it! Any money you spend now, you will see returned to you as your home increases its value through the staging process!

 

What are the Benefits of Home Staging?

There are many benefits that can come from staging your home. Need some hard facts to convince you? The National Association of REALTORS® recently released their 2017 Profile of Home Staging. Their collected data shows the benefits from the points of view of both sellers and buyers of home staging.

 

Buyers’ Agent Perspective

  • 49% of buyers’ agents found staging to have a positive effect on the buyer’s view of the home

  • 77% of buyers’ agents found buyers had an easier time visualizing the home as their own through staging

  • 40% of buyers were willing to see online listings that were staged

  • ⅓ of buyer’s agents found staged homes had an increase offered dollar value of 1% to 5%

Sellers’ Agent Perspective

  • 29% of sellers’ agents saw a 1% to 5% increase in the dollar value offered by buyers for staged homes

  • 21% of sellers' agents saw an even greater increase of dollar value at home 6% to 10%

  • 39% of sellers’ agents found staged homes has less days on the market (DOM)

 

These numbers highlight that the greatest benefits of staging your home are an increase in offered dollar value for your home, increased competition amongst buyers, and less DOM. Home staging truly is a win-win!

 

Is Home Staging a Good Investment for your North Iowa Home?

What are some Key Tips for Home Staging?

While far from being an exhaustive list, here are some simple steps you can take to stage your home to sell. Start with paint! Adding a fresh coat of paint throughout the home gives it an instant face lift. Choose a light, neutral color that will appeal to a broad array of people and make the rooms in your home look larger. The next step is to do a deep cleaning. Make sure that dirt has been removed from every nook and cranny and everything is looking shiny and new. Complete any lingering home maintenance projects that you have been putting off. Now, you need to go through your home and declutter and depersonalize. It is imperative that homebuyers can visualize themselves in the space. This can be difficult to do if there are a lot of your personal items and memorabilia throughout. Create clean, open spaces by removing all unnecessary items from counter and table tops. At the same time, pare down the amount of furniture to only those pieces that help showcase the size of the living space. Put furniture in areas that help highlight the flow of your home or accentuate architectural features. Your final step is to make the space homey. Place flowers and candles in rooms throughout the house to create a cozy, inviting atmosphere during showings. The most important rooms to stage, as found in the NAR 2017 Profile of Home Staging, were the kitchen, living room, dining room, and master bedroom.

 

What Should I Do if I am Interested in Staging My Home to Sell?

 

Still have staging questions? That is where we come in! Call our experienced team at Jane Fischer and Associates Team  to answer any questions you have. We are more than happy to come look at your home and give you some helpful staging advice before listing your property. We can also put you in contact with the professional stagers in the area that we trust to get the job done right. We are looking forward to hearing from you today!


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Jane Fischer
Real Estate Consultants
641-424-HOME (4663)

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