Nov. 22, 2022

The top 5 things that will make your home sell fast

If you're looking to sell your home fast, you'll want to make sure that it's in good condition and that it's staged well. In addition, here are the top 5 things that will help make your home sell quickly:

1) Price it right – don't ask for too much or too little money.

pricing your home right is essential to getting top dollar when you sell. But how do you know what price is right? There are a few factors to consider when pricing your home for sale. First, look at recent sales of similar homes in your area. This will give you an idea of what buyers are willing to pay for a home like yours. Second, evaluate the condition of your home. If your home needs significant repairs, it will likely sell for less than a comparable home that is in move-in condition. Finally, consider your motivation for selling. If you need to sell quickly, you may have to accept a lower offer than if you can be patient and wait for the right buyer. By taking all of these factors into account, you can arrive at a fair price for your home that will attract buyers and help you get the best possible return on your investment.

2) Clean and declutter – make sure your home is clean and free of clutter before showing it to potential buyers.

If you're preparing your home for sale, there are a few things you should do to make it as appealing as possible to potential buyers. One of the most important things is to make sure it's clean and decluttered. A clean house will show better in photos and in person, and decluttering will make the space seem more spacious and inviting. You may not think that these things would make much of a difference, but first impressions are important when selling a home. So take the time to tidy up your home before putting it on the market.

 

3) Stage it – showcase your home's best features by staging it appropriately.

Home staging is the process of preparing a home for sale. This usually involves making cosmetic changes to the home in order to make it more appealing to potential buyers. For example, home stagers might repaint walls, arrange furniture in a more pleasing way, or add decorative accents. While some home sellers choose to stage their own homes, others hire professional home stagers. either way, staging a home can help it sell more quickly and for a higher price. With that said, it's important to keep in mind that not all homes need to be staged before they're put on the market. In some cases, simply decluttering and doing a deep cleaning can be enough to make a home more appealing to buyers.

 

4) Fix up any problems – take care of any necessary repairs before putting your home on the market.

Before putting your home on the market, it's important to make sure that any necessary repairs are taken care of. Not only will this help to ensure a higher sale price, but it will also make the process of selling your home much simpler and less stressful. By taking care of repairs before listing your home, you can avoid the hassle of dealing with them during the negotiation process. Additionally, repairing any damage or defects will give potential buyers a better impression of your home, making it more likely that they will make an offer. Whether you plan to sell your home soon or further down the road, repairing any issues now will pay off in the end.

Here are some of the most common home repairs that should be carried out before selling: 

 

- repairing any cracks in the walls or ceilings

- repairing any leaks in the plumbing

- repairing any damaged electrical fixtures and exposed wiring

- repairing any damage to the floors (e.g., loose tiles, creaky boards)

- repairing any damaged or missing shingles on the roof

 

By taking care of these repairs before putting your home on the market, you can increase its appeal and its value.

 

5) Use good quality photos – good quality photos will help generate interest in your home.

When you're putting your home on the market, it's important to have good quality photos of your home for sale. This is because potential buyers will often use these photos to help them make their decision about whether or not to view your home. If your photos are of poor quality, it could deter buyers from even considering your home. 

 

There are a few things you can do to ensure that your home for sale photos are of good quality. First, make sure that the photos are well-lit and show off the best features of your home. Second, hire a professional photographer if possible - they will know how to take flattering photos that will make your home look its best. Finally, avoid using filters or editing the photos too much, as this can give buyers the wrong impression of what your home looks like in person. 

 

If you take the time to ensure that your home for sale photos are of good quality, it will pay off in the long run - you're more likely to attract buyers and sell your home quickly.

 

Conclusion

If you are thinking of selling your home, it is important to understand the role that preparing your home will play in how quickly it sells and for how much. By taking the time to properly stage and prepare your home before placing it on the market, you can help ensure a quicker sale at a higher price. If you need help getting your home ready for sale, our team of experts would be happy to assist you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you sell your home faster and for more money.

 

 

 

Thank you for considering our services! We look forward to helping you prepare your home for sale and get the best deal possible. Call us today at 864-722-5558 to get started. Good luck on the journey of selling your home!

 

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Posted in Home for Sale
Oct. 27, 2022

Fall Fun Around Clemson

Here are some fun things to do this weekend around Clemson.  Including places to go, dining, and entertainment, you may also enter to win $100 in a free Halloween home decoration. 

 

The Best Small Town in South Carolina for a Weekend Getaway

South Carolina is a state that's full of charm. From the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean to sprawling state parks and some of the most attractive small towns in the country, if you're looking to plan an incredible weekend adventure South Carolina has a lot of options. Greenville should be on your shortlist, to-do around Greenville: 

More To-Do around Clemson

 

Flea Market - From Idea to Reality

A visit to a flea market in Mexico by D. C. Bryson and Richard McClellion sparked the idea to create the Anderson Jockey Lot and Farmers' Market. D.C. decided to build a flea market, but his flea market would have plenty of parking and clean restrooms. He succeeded on both counts. The Jockey Lot opened in November 1974 on 65 acres right of HWY 29 between Anderson and Greenville SC, and has grown ever since. More than likely, any item you may be looking for can be found from one of the hundreds of dealers who offer their wares for sale....or you may even want to have the yard sale you have been talking about.
Click for a printable Map of the Jockey Lot (Size 1200x1700 pixel, 18x11 print, 270 kB). Today, the Jockey Lot has grown to cover more than 65 acres with more than 2,150 spaces. The average daily attendance is 30,000 to 60,000 people Halloween Contest

 

2nd Annual Halloween Horror Home Contest

Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card from JW Martin Homes for simply posting a picture of your Halloween home decoration on their FACEBOOK PAGE.  This 2nd annual event is fun, and the winner will enjoy a generous gift from the local real estate agency.  

 

 

JW Martin Real Estate is a locally owned and operated agency that partners in the community for a better Clemson.  If you have any news, or updates or need assistance with real-estate activities, please contact us at 864-722-5558

Oct. 16, 2022

The Best Halloween Decoration Ideas for Your Home

Halloween Decorations and Costumes

 

It's Halloween, Witches!

The nights are getting colder, there is a mist in the air and all is quiet in the run-up to All Hallow's Eve. But who wants to do quiet?

If you got it, haunt it! It's time to get those decorations up, brew the pumpkin punch, and let the ghoul times roll. If you want to step up your decorating game this year, you're gonna need some great new ideas though.

Read on for the best Halloween decoration ideas to get the spookiest house on the block.

It's a Boo-tiful Night for Halloween: But What Is It?

Halloween is a holiday we Americans love and it's celebrated on October 31 each year. The tradition comes from Samhain, an ancient Celtic festival. People would wear costumes and gather around bonfires to ward away evil spirits.

In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III set November 1 as a time to honor all saints, though some of those pagan traditions persisted. The evening before became known as All Hallows Eve then later morphed into Halloween as we know it.

Over time, Halloween is less about honoring saints and more about honoring our sense of fun. Children go trick-or-treating dressed up in the scariest costumes they can find. It's a time to gather and throw parties, carve jack-o-lanterns and play games.

Creepin’ It Real with These Great Halloween Decorations

Halloween home decorations

So, now that you know what Halloween is, it's time to embrace the spooky season. It's an important time for American households who like to go all out and light up the neighborhood. Here's how you can get involved, or up your decorating game.

A Pumpkin a Day Keeps the Goblins at Bay

If you want a Halloween decoration that won't look out of place all Fall, we have a treat for you. Go for classing over chilling with a set of glass pumpkins.

They come in a set of 3 different, distinct shapes with timed LED lights inside for a spooky glow. Set them to cut out in the middle of the party, plunging everyone into darkness for some screams.

Outside of Halloween, they give off a warm glow, offering the perfect comfort Fall brings. They are a very versatile home decoration to get your house ready for fall.

Eat, Drink & Be Scary

This home decoration for Halloween is practical as well as spooktastic. These snack bowls shaped like witches' hats will stand out in any snack graveyard.

A tabletop broom sits on a stand, where it holds up these bowls for all to see. With the option of 3 hats or 5, they're perfect for any size party.

I've Got a Bone to Pick With You

If you want to spook your guests right as they walk in, Lowe's 7-foot Skeleton doorman will do the trick. He's dressed in a dapper striped suit, with a top hat and Oxford shoes to boot. His eyes light up with glee as he utters one of 5 sayings to whoever has the misfortune of walking through your door.

Zombies Are So Overrated

Halloween Kid's Costumes

When it comes to decorating for Halloween, why have a zombie when you can have a zombie unicorn? For all the My Little Pony lovers out there, add a touch of magic with this 8-foot inflatable.

It comes with built-in bright lights and a fan to blow it up. There are ropes that come with it too so it won't go prancing off on its own magical adventure into the night.

Pick Your Poison

Whether you're hosting an adult-only party or want to make a spooky punch for the kids, wine glasses are a must. They're one of the best Halloween decorations because they offer practicality, too.

And Pottery Barn has the perfect decoration with their skeleton drinkware. The range includes:

  • A double traditional glass
  • A champagne flute
  • A stemmed wine glass
  • A stemless wine glass

They're the perfect, classy touch to complete any adult's Halloween party ... whatever your poison of choice is. There's something for everyone.

"Life's No Fun Without a Good Scare"

Nightmare Before Christmas was a film that merged two of our favorite holiday themes. So, there's no decorating a home without the iconic Jack Skellington. In this inflatable decoration, he's sitting on top of a purple Spiral-Hill.

At 9 feet tall, it'll make an impact on all those guests and trick-or-treaters visiting your home. Inside are energy efficient lighting, to make it pop even more against the dark night sky.

The inflatable is self-inflating and the kit comes with tethers and stakes to keep it in place. But this easy-to-set-up decoration is versatile as it's designed for both indoor and outdoor use.

I'm Watching You

Next up is an eyeball doorbell that will have the hairs standing up on the back of your neck. It's a great way to get some jump scares out of the trick-or-treaters on October 31.

The haunting eye opens and lights up when you press the bell and it'll make a range of spooky sounds. Then is a ghoulish voice, it will murmur welcome to all those who dare to enter.

If you're not expecting it, it'll cause quite the fright. All you need is 3 AAA batteries to get going. These aren't included in the package.

You Won't Suck the Life Out of This Party

For those decorating a house ready for Halloween parties, don't neglect the drinks. You'll want to make sure you keep them cold for guests to enjoy.

This inflatable coffin cooler can help you do that in a way that's sure to draw some creeped-out smiles. Who wouldn't want to pick their drink out of an open coffin, after all?

This cooler is 3.5 feet in length, so it'll have plenty of room for drinks and ice. Whether you're partying on the deck or inside the home, it's durable enough for both indoor and outdoor use.

Home Is Where the Haunt Is: Halloween Decoration Ideas to Die For

Halloween decoration ideas are a chance to get creative and push for those scares. But with technology advancing, it allows decorations to add a little practical magic, too. When people see what's up your sleeve this All Hallow's Eve, they're sure to be in for a spooktacular time.

And if you're looking for the perfect haunted house to decorate, check out our property search. At JW Martin, a haunting we will go in our dedicated search to find your dream property.

 

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Sept. 29, 2022

Pumpkin Spice: 7 Fall Home Decoration Ideas

Have you fallen in love with Fall home decor?

It's that time of year again when the nights get longer, and the leaves start to change. As the temperature cools, you'll begin to retreat into your home more.

They're a safe space and a sanctuary, so it's only natural that you'll want to decorate your home for the cozy season. But when you're not an interior design expert, it can be difficult to know where to start.

That's where we can help! Keep reading for these seven home decoration ideas to get your home Fall ready.

1. Hocus Pocus Focus on the Fireplace

No fall season decoration guide could start without mentioning the fireplace. As we said, the cold will start to bite now, and your fireplace will become a focal point. This makes it the perfect starting point for your fall decoration efforts.

First, make sure you've had your chimney inspected and cleaned, ready for use. Especially if it's open and working. You can add candle holders and wooden photo frames for a rustic feel. If it's not an open fireplace, you can stack a few pumpkins and pinecones inside and around it for a pop of color.

 

Consider a garland too. Decorating for the season is great fun, so get all the family involved with a DIY pumpkin garland. Give each person a strip of orange paper and ask them to write why they love each other member of the family. Use these to create the pumpkins that will string together on your garland, showing off your love.

2. Magic Up a Monogram Pumpkin

fall sencils

The next of our fall decorating ideas take the pumpkin theme further. A monogram pumpkin makes the perfect decoration for a fireplace display.
In fact, it'll look good anywhere in the home, from the dining table to the porch. Get yourself:

  • Some stencils (florals and leaves are a good fall choice)
  • A roll of painter's tape
  • A foam pouncer
  • Crafting paint (orange, white, browns, and greens work for fall)
  • Pumpkins (real or fake it's up to you)

Paint on a think block capital letter on each pumpkin. You could use the first initial of each family member. Or, you could spell out a fall-related word or phrase.

A pumpkin "Welcome" on the front porch would be a delight for trick-or-treaters, for example. Or even a spooky message.

Line the letters with the painter's tape and then tape the stencils over them. Use your pouncer to then dab on the paint colors of your choice to fill in the stencil shapes. Leave this to dry, then carefully remove the stencils and tape holding them.

3. Fall Into the Season with a Throw Blanket (or Six!)

Another perfect decoration for the fall season is a fall blanket (or a selection of them). Warm-toned throw blankets will keep you cozy as you sip your hot chocolate and watch the stars outside.

Taupe, sage, cream, and orange make the perfect color palette for fall. You don't need to have phrases or pumpkins here, in fact, a nice texture or mix of colors will go further.

Less is more, in some cases, especially if you have pumpkins and phrases elsewhere already. You can also layer up different rugs to create an even cozier, nest-like look to snuggle up in.

4. It's Alive! Bring Pumpkins Back to Life with Succulents

Pumpkins are a versatile vegetable; you can do more with them than just carving faces. Use smaller variants to create planters for some fall succulents. They're moist inside and will help the soil keep its own moisture and give the roots what they need.

Succulents don't need much watering, so these are low-maintenance seasonal decor items. If you already have a lot of house maintenance to do, this is a good way to get into the fall spirit without adding too much to your checklist.

You don't have to stop there though! If you want something larger, to add more variety, you can use butternut squash as planters too. It's also a good choice for those who want a seasonal feel without a direct link to Halloween.

5. Channel Your Inner Kitchen Witch By Adding Greenery

Whether as a Halloween decoration or a full-style choice, cauldron-shaped pots are a great touch. You can get them with little sayings on them like "herbs for spells." These are brilliant for growing your own herbs in your kitchen while adding some fall decor.

You can also add herb and garlic wreaths on outside doors or hanging from doorways. You could even weave them around the railings of your porch and hang them from the rafters.

Use some pine cones, weaved twigs, firs, and other evergreens to decorate for a natural look. After all, fall is a season that's all about nature and its changes.

6. Cast a Spell with Creative Wheat Displays

Nothing spells fall seasonal decor better than wheat sheaves. Tie a bunch together arranged in various heights and bind it with a fall-colored ribbon.

Place them inside bell jars (vary the size of these too for more effect) and use them for table decorations. You could also place them in the hallway or foyer on a side table, on shelves and bookcases, and in many other places too.

Add in pine cones, weaving sticks, and evergreens to get a genuinely unique autumn decoration. It's sure to cast a spell over anyone who sees it who will be dying to have their own!

7. Have a Howlin' Good Time With Pumpkin Puppies

Lastly, decorating for fall should involve the whole family, so this one is for the kids. After all, they do say teamwork makes the scream work! And any deck, porch, hallway, or fireplace needs some pumpkin puppies and squash hounds ready for the festive fall season.

Get the kids to pick out some tall pumpkins and butternut squash from the shop. Then recreate the "long face" look with strips of burlap and fall-themed fabric. Stick on some buttons for the eyes and complete the look with some floppy, droopy fabric ears.

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice About Fall Home Decoration Ideas

With cool nights and the promise of Halloween around the corner, fall is an exciting time. Of all the seasons, it's the one that probably inspires our imaginations the most and takes us back to nature. These home decoration ideas will help capture that imagination and inspire creations of your own.

And if you're looking for inspiration for a new home to decorate, then check out our property search. Whatever you're looking for, we can help you find the perfect home to add a little magic to your life.

Sept. 11, 2022

Home Maintenance Tips

home maintenance care

 

Is home maintenance becoming a home nightmare?

Part of the responsibility of home ownership is keeping it well maintained. But with so many tasks to do, it soon can start feeling like an overwhelming, never-ending journey.

That's where we can help! Keep reading for these 14 top home maintenance tips to help you maintain your home an its value.

Seasonal Maintenance Tips

First, let's start with breaking down the year by the seasons. We'll go through some tips that you should do in spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Spring

Spring is a good time to look at the year ahead and work out what you need to get your home through it.

1. Service the HVAC Unit: Home repairs soon spiral so preventative maintenance is key. Call out a professional HVAC technician to service your unit ready for summer. You should also follow instructions on how to change the air filters and keep them clean (AC filters should be changed every 30 days for best results. Additionally, you should consider having an AC Technician inspect your cooling system and coils for cleanliness and efficiency.

2. Drain Your Hot Water Heater: Another of the property repairs that can add up is a broken hot water heater. Debris and sediment will build up so you need to drain the water out to clean it out. Clean out that sediment and you'll help your water heater last longer and work more efficiently. 

NOTE: a conventional tank type water heater will consume the most energy in your home hence, its the most expensive on your utility bill.  If its time to replace your old water heater consider a tankless unit.  

3. Check the Windows and Doors: A good property maintenance tip is to check the windows and doors. In spring, replace or repair weather stripping. Check the locks and latches still work and that no panes or windows need replacing.

4. Check the Kitchen Appliances: Make sure your stove and range are working as they should. Clean the gas range ignition, or if it's electric, the range burner prongs. Give the microwave and oven a thorough clean too. Cleaning will make your home nicer to live in and can even boost its value

Summer

In summer the weather is often much drier and warmer so it's time to make use of it to get some jobs done.

5. Check the Plumbing: As part of your summer home upkeep, look around for leaks in the house. Check pipes under sinks, look for stains on walls and ceilings and test toilets work as they should.

You also want to check that shower heads and faucets aren't dripping or leaking. Clean the aerators inside them to remove any mineral build-up. Inspect sink, bath, and shower caulk and replace it where necessary. 

Last of all check the temperature pressure relief valve inside the water heater. If anything goes wrong, it should be cheaper to find a water heating repair service in summer than in winter.

You can find more plumbing maintenance tips here

6. Clean Out Chimneys and Fireplaces: You should have a professional inspect your chimneys. If you find chimney swifts have made a next, you'll have to wait until fall to clean out your chimneys.

7. Wash the Doors and Windows: You can do it in spring, but it'll be warmer in summer to power wash your home. Take a window cleaning solution to go over the windows and doors too. Or you can hire a regular window cleaner to do it for you.

8. Clean Up the Garden: Weed, aerate, mow and water your grass, plants, and yard. Power wash and sweep any decks and patios to have them looking their best. In the summer months, you'll likely want to sit outside more, and that's much nicer in a healthy, tidy yard.

Fall

The leaves are starting to all and the evenings are starting to bite. Winter won't be far off so it's time to start preparing.

9. Remove Fallen Leaves: While it's beautiful to look at, falling leaves can be a nuisance. For basement window wells, you may need to clear them every month. You also want to check gutters and keep them clear of leaves and debris too.

10. Test the Detectors in the House: Test each smoke and carbon monoxide detector. You the very least, you need to do this each quarter but it might be worth doing it monthly to keep on top of it.

11. Check the Garbage Disposal: This is a must on any good home maintenance checklist. Measure out 1/2 cup of baking soda then pour into the drain. Leave it for 3-5 minutes.

As you wait, mix 1 cup of vinegar with 1 cup of hot water and pour it down the drain when it's time. You can cover the drain with a plug and leave it for 10-15 minutes.

To flush it through, use a pot of boiling water. Make sure you then check the fixtures and make sure they're screwed in place. If not, tighten things up as needed.

Winter

The cold weather will start coming in hard and fast now. It's one of the harshest seasons for your home, so be extra vigilant during these frigid months.

12. Protect Against Frozen Pipes: If you're going away for the holidays, frozen pipes are a worry. To prevent this, you want to set the faucets to run at a steady drip. You should also keep the thermostat at a constant 55°F or higher.

13. Keep an Eye on Your Basement: Look for any leaking or damp patches forming in your basement. If you see anything suspicious get it looked at right away and repaired. If you have a dehumidifier, clean it, if you don't then consider getting one.

14. Check Your Home's Exterior: Rake and remove any leaves remaining from the fall. Keep snow shoveled and look at the gutters. Make sure they're clean and water can flow, you don't want any water backups. This can cause the gutters to freeze and burst, or form dangerous icicles.

Home Maintenance Tips You Won't Want to Miss

These home maintenance tips are there to show you that home upkeep doesn't have to be daunting. You can do them over 1-2 days, or you can break it up over a week, whatever works for you. All that matters is you get inspired and take pride in the home you love.

If you haven't found that home to be proud of yet, contact us today. At J W Martin, we've made it our mission to help get you into the home of your dreams.

Posted in home Care
Aug. 30, 2022

What Will Increase Your Home Value

Many people make expensive mistakes with their home improvements. Some home improvements increase home valuation much more than others. In fact, you can spend a lot of money on projects than will have no impact on your home's value.

On the other hand, there are some highly efficient and inexpensive ways to improve your home value with a minimum investment. Read on to learn all about the most efficient ways to increase the value of your home!

Cleaning Can Increase Your Home Valuation

One of the main reasons that people make so many mistakes when investing in increasing home value is that they are too rational. If people assess the value of a home in a rational way, they should not care much about how clean and tidy the home is when they are consider buying it.

However, people are not always rational. To make the most of strategies to increase your home value it is important to focus on what works, not on what makes sense. Cleaning and tidying are some of the most efficient ways to increase your home value.

If you think about it, it is easy to imagine how a perfectly clean and tidy home might seem worth more to people who are looking at it. In practice, cleaning and tidying is extremely inexpensive and will have a larger effect on home valuation.

Improve Your Curb Appeal With Fresh Paint

If you ask the professionals about increasing your home value, there is a good chance they will talk a lot about curb appeal. People don't think of their home just as a place for them to enjoy living in. Instead, they place a lot of value on how their home looks to other people, even if those people only see their home from the curb.

On top of that, first impressions make a big difference. The impression that people have of your home necessarily comes from how it looks from the curb first.

That is why investing in fresh paint can provide such excellent returns. A little extra work now can increase the value of your home by thousands of dollars!

Place Special Emphasis on Your Exterior Doors

As people start to enter your home, they may actually touch and interact with your front door. That makes it the perfect thing to emphasize to maximize appeal.

Make sure your door looks as good as possible, consider repainting or buying a new one. Make sure the door knob and hinges are clean, not loose and turn smoothly without squeaking. 

Invest in Other Kinds of Curb Appeal

Fresh paint is only the beginning when it comes to curb appeal. Have potted plant arrangement around the front door or on the walkway leading to it. Clean, paint or purchase a new mailbox.

Just as cleaning and tightening your home can make a huge difference, so can mowing the lawn and trimming the trees and hedges.

Stand at the curb and notice whatever seems a little bit off about your home, you can find the same things that will bother potential home buyers. Resolve them to make a good impression and improve your home's value.

Increasing Home Value With Energy Efficiency

More and more people are interested in energy efficiency, a smart and green home. As solar panel technology progresses, more people are attracted to the benefits that it provides.

That goes double right now since people are dealing with inflation That means the investments you make in energy efficiency will provide even bigger returns than they usually would. Of course, investing in energy efficiency does not mean you have to install solar panels. There are much simpler and more affordable ways to make your home more efficient in little ways. But those little ways can make a huge difference in the minds of potential buyers of your home.

Improve Your Home Value Without Spending Lots Of Money 

You can improve the value of your home without spending lots of money.  There are cheap projects that will have large impact on your home's valuation. Most people fail to appreciate what it can mean to them to increase a home valuation by just 10%. A 10% improvement to your home value will dwarf huge improvements in almost any other transaction you deal with.

To learn more about how to increase your home value, reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!

Aug. 15, 2022

How to Choose a Realtor When Buying or Selling a Home

How to Choose a Realtor When Buying or Selling a Home

 

In June of 2022, the annual rate of price appreciation in the US housing market was reported to have dropped from 19.3 percent to 17.3 percent. While house appreciation has dropped, there are still many great deals out there, but how can a realtor help when buying or selling a home? 

Buying and selling a home can be a busy time, particularly with all of the opportunities that are available in the real estate market. However, it can also be a big task, which is why you must hire a realtor to help you.

The reality is that the real estate market is constantly fluctuating, and it can be difficult to stay up to date with everything that's going on. This is where realtors come in, as they can help you to choose the right property and also get the right price if you are selling.

If you would like to learn the key things you should consider when choosing a realtor, then keep reading.

How to Find the Best Realtor When Buying or Selling a Home

Having someone to help you with buying or selling a home can be a big responsibility. Particularly if you don't have the time to look for a home yourself.

You need to choose a realtor who understands all of your different needs and takes these into account when they are helping you with your home.

The thing is that most people don't know where to find the best realtors, and this can cause problems because they may hire a realtor who isn't very good.

To make sure that this doesn't happen to you, you have to compare realtors to find the best one. There are two main ways to do this.

One way is to look in your local area for a residential realtor who you can use. The good thing about using this method is that you can find out who offers a good service in your area quite quickly. 

You can also ask people who have previously used their service how they found it and what realtors they would recommend.

The second way to find a good realtor is by searching online for a 'realtor near me.' Looking online can help you by bringing up a long list of the best realtors without having to travel to find them. 

Compare Prices

When comparing prices, you should first specify what your budget is to hire a realtor. Unfortunately, many people skip this step and it often ends up costing them more money in the long run.

Not only this, but it can also cost buyers and sellers a lot of time and energy, and in some cases, they may end up paying a lot for poor service. 

One of the advantages of using a realtor is that there is a wide range of price options for realtors, so you can choose the best one for your budget.

Find Out What's Included in the Service

When you are looking for prices, you should consider all of the different services that each realtor offers. For example, some realtors will charge less for certain services than others.

You should also find out whether the realtors charge by the hour or whether they charge by the overall cost of the service. 

It's important that you check that the prices the realtor offers are legitimate. This is because there are realtors out there who will add hidden costs, and you should avoid this type of realtor.

Consider Reputation 

JW Martin Real Estate

Another thing that you should consider when finding a realtor is what kind of reputation they have. A realtor's reputation can tell you a lot about the type of service that they offer. 

Unfortunately, some realtors don't always help their customers in the way that they advertise, and they end up providing a bad service. 

Below we've covered a few different things that you should look at when you are trying to find out if a realtor has a good reputation or not.

Reviews

Before you choose a realtor, you should look at the types of reviews that they have. One of the benefits of using a realtor online is that you will find a long list of reviews about their service.

If they have good reviews, then this is a good indicator that they offer their clients a good service. However, if they have bad reviews, then this is a sign that they may not provide a good service.

Ratings 

Another thing that you can look at is their ratings and rankings on search engines like Google. You should aim to choose the most popular realtors and the ones that have the most five-star ratings.

The great thing about looking at ratings is that it quickly lets you see which realtors are most popular in your area and which ones have the lowest ratings.

Contact a Realtor Today 

Selling a home can seem like a stressful time; however, it doesn't have to be a difficult task. If you find the right realtor, then they can take care of a lot of the work for you.

Not only this, but they can also work to find you a great price for your property.

At JW Martin Homes, we pride ourselves on guiding our clients in a pleasurable way through the process of buying a home or selling.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, simply view our Clemson homes for sale.    

July 28, 2022

How to Get Your Home Ready for Sale

The time has come, and you've finally decided to make one of the biggest choices you'll make in your life. You're going to sell your home.

If you're among the over six-million people that decided to sell their home this past year, you understand selling your home takes more than just putting a "For Sale" sign in the front yard. If you truly want to garner the best possible price for your home, despite the market, you need to set aside time, a little bit of money, and a lot of energy. 

Once you've put in the time and energy and paid the money for the necessary improvements, you won't regret it. By the time you've finished reading this article, you will understand how preparing your home for sale will help you score the premium price and put more money in your pocket than you imagined. 

Clean Up

 

Begin by cleaning up your home. If this feels a bit overwhelming to you, you can clean your home in stages. Recruit the help of friends and family one day at a time to complete this task and start with decluttering. Or, hire a professional cleanup service that has the resources and knowledge.

DeClutter

Begin by getting rid of any clutter that is taking up space in your home. Start with just one room, and make three piles. Create a "sell," "give away," and "throw" pile. Then start your sorting. 

If you're especially attached to items in your home, this is where you may need to ask a friend or relative to help you make the hard choices. You can even hire a professional organizer to help you. 

A third party will help you make difficult decisions more objectively. They may even have a method or litmus test for you to follow. For example, some professionals recommend you get rid of anything you haven't used within the last year. 

A professional organizer will cost you a bit of money. Some charge thousands of dollars to declutter an entire home. But you will gain back the money on the final price of your home. 

This type of test works well for items like clothing but not as well for seasonal items like decoration or items that may have sentimental value. Regardless, you cannot effectively move into the other parts of preparing your home until you've removed the excess clutter that is taking up space in all the nooks and crannies of your home. 

Deep-Clean

home deep cleaning crew

Once you've decluttered your home, you can begin the process of deep cleaning. This type of cleaning may also require some professional help. Here are a few basic deep cleaning tasks: 

  • Clean light fixtures
  • Wash walls
  • Wash and iron curtains
  • Scrub kitchen and bathroom cupboards
  • Have carpets deep cleaned by a professional

Not only will you need to deep clean your home, but you will need to keep it clean. This is one of the more difficult parts of selling your home is making it look like no one lives there. You will need to establish a few new routines, especially if you have children, to assist with selling your home

Organize Your Closets

In your process of cleaning the house, do not neglect your closets. Would-be home buyers like to look in every nook and cranny of a home when they're taking a tour. If you have a cluttered, filthy closet, they'll wonder what you're hiding and move on to the next house. 

Also, when you have an organized closet, you show the homeowner how you maximized the space, making the home even more attractive. 

Use a Realtor 

 

Many a homeowner has tried to sell their home on their own. They clean the house as directed above and then plant a "for sale by owner" sign in their front yard. While they may indeed sell it, they are more likely to get their top price if they use a professional realtor. 

Use a realtor if you want to sell your home right. Here are a few reasons why. 

They Understand Pricing

When you list your home with a realtor, the realtor will first visit your house. They will conduct a walk-through and note any areas of the home that you should modify or fix before you list them. The changes are usually simple such as painting a room or replacing a broken doorknob. 

Most importantly, though, a realtor will give you a ballpark figure on what they believe you can get for your home. They best understand the market in your area and know what other homes like yours sell for. 

If you want to sell your home quickly, you'll need a competitive price. The realtor will know that number. Many realtors will give you a free comparative market analysis. 

Use a Top-Rated Realtor

A bad realtor can ruin the sale of your house. You will end up receiving less than the house is worth, and the realtor may even mess up the paperwork, causing you to lose money and time. 

A good realtor will monitor the market and be able to appraise your home accurately. They will spend time watching the Multiple Listing Service or MLS. This allows them to understand what properties are currently going on the market as well as comparable homes in your community. 

Great realtors will also be able to give you housing market tips and advice. They'll know how best to prepare your particular property for sale. 

Hire a Professional Photographer

We no longer live in a solely face-to-face world. The first time most buyers will see your home will be online. So, you want the pictures to attract them to come to visit your home. A professional photographer will know best how to showcase your home. 

Often, we think the best smartphone out there can capture the photos we need. While a smartphone has much more capability than cell phone cameras of the past, the operator makes difference with pictures. A professional photographer will understand how to capture angles that make your rooms look at spacious and attractive as possible. 

More importantly, a professional photographer will know which pictures will best sell your home. You will sell your home more quickly and attract competitive buyers if you spend some money on a professional photographer. 

Neutralize and Brighten Your Home

Once you've sold your home, it won't be your home anymore. So, you need to neutralize it, giving the buyer a chance to see a home they can picture themselves living in. 

Remove all personal items. Take the family pictures off the wall and replace them with attractive artwork. Take down the trophies and kid's art and create wide, blank spaces. 

The less personal your space, the more potential a buyer can imagine themselves living in the house. You don't have to throw your things away, but rather store them. Rent a storage unit for a short time for your extra personal items if necessary. 

Remove Potentially Controversial Items

In addition to personal items, remove any polarizing memorabilia. This includes religious and political items that could stir up feelings in your buyers. Many individuals harbor strong feelings about politics and religion and such paraphernalia will turn them away from buying a home. 

Brighten Your Home

Eliminate the dark corners of your home by turning on the lights. Do anything you can to eliminate these dark spaces including adding more light. 

You can also brighten the outside of your home by painting accents and the mailbox. Then turn to your kitchen cabinets and give them a good scrub and polish to make them shine. Replace low wattage bulbs with higher wattage bulbs, and install sheers in your windows instead of heavy drapes to let more light in. 

Light-filled rooms will energize your potential buyers and allow them to see the life of your home. 

Stage Your Home

Home staging means you're preparing the home for the buyer or setting the stage so they can picture themselves in the home. This includes doing all of the things mentioned in this article and more. 

Home staging matters. Recent surveys indicate that 82% of buyer's agents state prospective buyers can best visualize the property when the seller takes the time to stage it. 

While you want unnecessary clutter gone, you don't want a blank canvas. You need to put furniture in key rooms like the dining room, living room, master bath, master bedroom, and half bath. If you've already moved out and taken your furniture with you, you may have to rent furniture. 

Virtual Staging

You don't necessarily have to rent furniture if you want to stage your home. Some firms will offer virtual staging when they digitally add furniture to the photographs of your rooms online. This service costs a little bit of money but not as much as renting real furniture. 

It also lets you furnish a space in a way that you wouldn't normally do when you stage the space traditionally. For example, you can put a ping-pong table in the rec room, even if you don't own one. 

Prepare a Home for Sale Today

Preparing a home for sale takes time and effort, but all of the time and effort pay off in a higher price and quicker sale. Take time to declutter, clean, and stage your home. Then hire a great real estate agent who can help you find the best price. 

Do you want to sell your house for even more than it's worth? Take a look at our organization and contact us today. We specialize in real estate marketing and can help you prepare your home for sale, scoring you the best price possible. 

 

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July 5, 2022

Housing Market Prediction

2022 Housing Prediction Report

If you're stressed out about a potential housing crash, you are not alone.

Google searches for "will the housing market crash" are up over 1,000% since January 2020.

Experts agree that the housing market is in for a cool-off. But the good news is that this decline won't be anything close to as bad as the crash in 2008.

What else can you expect from the South Carolina real estate market in 2022 and beyond? We're bringing you this guide to answer that question and more.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about experts' housing market predictions.

Housing Market Prediction

So, will real estate crash in 2022 or 2023? Most likely not. Luckily, the safeguards implemented after the 2008 recession have prevented the market from becoming overleveraged today.

For example, the 2008 recession resulted, in part, from a slackening of underwriting standards on home loans known as adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs).

In 2007, 36% of all mortgages were ARMs. Today, these home loans only represent 8% of all active mortgages. For this reason and more, it's highly unlikely that we'll experience a significant real estate crash.

So, the better question is: will the current housing market boom continue for the next few years? The answer to this question is also probably no.

As we'll discuss later, inventory is on track to recover to pre-COVID levels. This increase in supply should help lessen the record-breaking price increases you've seen across the country.

South Carolina Housing Market

Now that we've outlined the state of the overall housing market, let's narrow in on South Carolina. Specifically, we'll compare South Carolina to the US in terms of home prices, incomes, and mortgage delinquencies.

South Carolina is currently an extremely hot market for real estate. This fact is due to the state's relatively low cost of living, healthy job market, and beauty.

The US as a whole saw a home price increase of nearly 21% year over year. Compare that to the state of South Carolina, which saw home sale increases of a whopping 24.56%. Here's how home prices break down by region:

  • Charleston: 21.55% year over year increase
  • Columbia: 19.05% year over year increase
  • Greenville: 19.81% year over year increase

South Carolina home sale prices are slightly higher than the national average. But when you narrow in on individual markets, the price hikes don't look so bad compared to the US as a whole.

However, incomes are also up compared to home prices. In the US as a whole, personal incomes are up 1.61% year over year. South Carolina, on the other hand, has seen income increases of nearly twice as much at 2.45%.

Finally, South Carolina mortgage delinquencies (2.09% in Q1 '22) are slightly higher than the national average (1.86% in Q1 '22). However, ARM delinquencies are slightly lower than the national average of 2.34% at 2.04% in Q1 '22.

The relatively low rate of ARMs is one reason why the current market has such high prices and reduced inventory. We'll talk about these factors and more next. 

Current Housing Market

The following three factors characterize the current South Carolina housing market:

  • Low inventory
  • High demand (especially in the suburbs)
  • Appreciating home values

In South Carolina, permits for new homes are down 7.79% from last month. That is only slightly higher than the national average of 7.34%. When you look at new home permits market by market, though, the numbers look a bit better.

For example, in the Columbia area, new housing permits increased 61.86% from May to June. Charleston and Sumter also saw double-digit gains of 25.75% and 33.33%, respectively.

Low foreclosure rates have further exacerbated supply issues. Currently, the foreclosure rate in South Carolina is only 0.9%.

Rising interest rates have recently impacted demand. Home sales were down 4.8% in April compared to earlier this year. Yet, that's very modest compared to the 16.6% decline in national real estate sales during the same period.

These stats show that, though demand has declined from its record-highs after the pandemic, it's still high. Individual markets have seen even smaller home sales decreases, with Columbia coming in at a negative 4.3%.

Finally, home values will continue to appreciate in 2022. The median home sale price in 2022 is $204,820. This price is up 20.96% year over year in Charleston, but it's actually a 0.85% decrease from the last three months of 2021.

Columbia and Greenville have also seen recent slow-downs in home sale prices. The median home sale price in Columbia declined 20.51% since June 2021 but only 2.17% from the last three months of 2021. In Greenville, the median home price dropped 25.96% in a year but only 3.14% from Q4 '21.

Housing Market Prediction

We don't have a crystal ball to help us predict exactly what will happen in the South Carolina real estate market going forward. But the above statistics do hint at what's to come.

First of all, interest rate hikes will have a negative impact on demand. Homebuyers who can't afford to pay the higher interest rates will be sidelined. Unfortunately, first-time homebuyers are part of the group that rising mortgage rates will impact the most.

At the same time, incomes are on the rise, and unemployment is declining nationally and in South Carolina. Also, the majority of millennials (the largest generation) are now adults and of homebuying age. Both of these factors could push demand right back up.

We've already mentioned that home values are appreciating in South Carolina. However, home price growth has already begun to slow. Reports show that national home prices are up over 70%, signaling that the real estate market is overvalued.

As demand continues to slow and supply increases, you can expect to see lower home sale prices compared to the last 12 months. But they won't be as low as pre-COVID prices.

Why? Because in 2021, over 8% of US residents moved to a new home, 20% of which moved to a home in a completely different state. South Carolina was the tenth most-popular state that these migrants moved to.

This positive migration rate has led to changes in income demographics in South Carolina. And this fact will force the real estate market value up. According to real estate analyst CoreLogic, you can expect a 5.6% increase in home prices by April 2023.

South Carolina Housing Market Trends

If you've been paying attention to our report, you've probably noticed some market trends so far. Inventory in some markets will recover, first-time homebuyers will continue to struggle, and more people will choose to rent.

Inventory Recovery

Home inventory hit an all-time low in 2021. But we can expect an increasing number of homes to hit the market in the coming months.

Rising interest rates will deter investors from buying properties en masse. Plus, the increase in home permits means we can expect new construction houses to hit the market in the next year.

People who wanted to sell their homes but were sidelined due to an inability to find a new home will also contribute to the rising supply. Former homeowners who did sell their homes and had to rent until more properties came on the market could reduce this effect.

The bad news is that inventory recovery won't happen everywhere. Supply issues will likely still persist in high-demand areas like suburban markets as homebuyers look for more space to accommodate their remote work lifestyle.

First-Time Homebuyers Will Struggle

70% of all US homes sold for above listing price at the beginning of 2022. This fact has made it difficult for first-time buyers to find an affordable home.

Further exacerbating the issue, mortgage rates and home sale prices are at the highest they've been in two years. Both of these factors will affect the affordability of entry-level homes.

When it comes to demand, there is good news. Investors have all but left local markets because of the rising cost of borrowing cash. Their departure will free up lower-level homes with the opportunity to put in sweat equity for first-time buyers.

However, don't expect a less-competitive market. Homes will likely go for much lower over asking than they have over the past few years. But there will still be buyers like yourself who have been sidelined and all enter the market at once.

Increasing Rental Rates

Home supply is limited. Many first-time and veteran buyers alike are struggling to afford a new home. And these factors have led to an increase in renting, which has further resulted in an extremely low rental vacancy rate.

If you know anything about rentals, communities with lower vacancy rates can charge more per unit. This is why you may have recently seen a significant spike in the price to rent.

Why should rental prices matter to you as a potential homebuyer? Because if rental prices keep increasing as they're projected to, some renters may take a chance on buying. And if too many renters try to purchase homes, it could further drive up real estate prices.

How Homebuyers and Home Sellers Can Prepare for the Future Housing Market

2022 and 2023 are looking good for both homebuyers and homeowners who are ready to list. Homebuyers will enjoy more options, while homeowners can get a lot of value for their homes.

However, these groups will also face challenges. For homebuyers, the market will be just as competitive as it has been over the last few years. And with rising interest rates, monthly payments will be higher than they would have been a few years ago.

Homeowners will face the challenge of finding a new home. If you're searching for a new home after selling your current one, you'll face the same challenges as other prospective homebuyers.

How Homebuyers Can Prepare for the Housing Market

There isn't much you can do about home prices. The majority of homes are going for above asking and receive multiple offers. So, trying to lowball isn't a good strategy in this market.

Since you can't control the price, focus on what you can control when buying a home. First, you can double- and triple-check your budget to determine what type of home you can afford. This will prevent you from wasting time on homes that are outside your budget.

Another suggestion is to act fast. Homes have been and will continue to sell rapidly. If you really want a home, you may not have time to dwell on your decision because someone else will scoop it up from under you.

How Home Sellers Can Prepare for the Housing Market

Homeowners are in a somewhat better place than prospective homebuyers. Home values are at a record high, and if your home is in good condition and priced right, you'll have no problem making a sale.

At the same time, your ability to sell your home will hinge on finding a new home to move into. This is why owners looking to sell secondary homes or vacation properties have an advantage over regular sellers.

Investors looking to sell investment properties are also in a good position going forward. You should have no problem making a good ROI. But considering the projected rental gains in the near future, you may actually consider marketing your home as a rental property instead.

Let JW Martin Help You Buy or Sell Your Home

The housing market likely won't crash anytime soon. But you can expect to see somewhat slower appreciation, increased inventory, and more competition in 2022 and 2023. We hope these tips will help you prepare for what's to come with South Carolina real estate.

Are you looking to buy or sell your home in South Carolina? Call JW Martin Homes today to find out how our expert agents can help you buy or sell your home in Clemson.

 

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June 26, 2022

Buying a New Construction Home vs. Existing Home: What you need to know!

new home constructed near Cleamson, SC,

Whenever people think about buying a home, they imagine it as a brand new property full of potential. After all, no one likes to think about the fact that a different family has lived in the space you now call your own. However, building a brand new home is significantly more expensive and time-consuming. What most people end up doing is settling for one that was made years ago. So, which is the best option for your situation? In this article, you will learn the differences between building a new construction house and buying an existing home, these will help you make a better decision on which option is best for your next home buying.

Buying New Construction vs Existing Homes

The price point is usually the big factor that people use when choosing between a new home construction and an older one. But what if you find an older home that's close to your intended design?

A new build would allow you to get exactly what you want, but it'll take time to complete. Meanwhile, an existing house could have problems lurking under the surface.

Benefits of New Construction Home

Is buying a new construction home better, and what are the benefits of investing in one?

First of all, home developers can help you construct a home in an area that normal realtors may not have access to. Instead, most ordinary realtors deal specifically with existing homes other people are selling. Building a house in an up-and-coming neighborhood can mean access to newer schools, shops, and parks.

You have the advantage of selecting whatever floor plan you desire, as well as finishes, appliances, and more. Personalize it however you want, within your budget.

New homes are generally lower-maintenance and can be made energy-efficient. The building materials used will be higher quality and brand new.

And if you decide to sell your home in the future, expect higher returns than if you were to sell an older house.

Cons of New Construction Purchase

Building a new house isn't for everyone, especially if you want to move into it as soon as possible. The cost of building homes is another factor.

First of all, construction loans have higher rates than traditional mortgage loan rates. Most lenders require a minimum 20% down payment to even qualify.

Then there's the issue of time. It can take about a month to authorize a new construction. After that, it could take up to another eight months or so before the house is completed.

Of course, there are variables such as pre-fab houses and the like. However, it's much quicker to simply buy an existing home.

Additionally, you may find an existing home in a community you want to live in. For many people, finding a community that you feel safe and accepted in is much more important than the property itself. You can't always get that when you want a fully customized home built on new land.

Benefits of Buying an Existing Home

Buying existing homes isn't as risky as people expect. You can always get a home inspection well in advance before finalizing a purchase, and any problems open up opportunities to make changes or renovate.

One of the main benefits of buying an existing home is that all the work is done for you. You don't have to worry about planning or construction. That also means that you can move in much quicker than if you built one.

On average, it only takes about half a year to shop around for a home and close on a deal. In that time, you can focus on saving up money instead of spending it on building materials and labor.

There's the added benefit of pre-existing landscaping. Already existing homes are often surrounded by trees that would otherwise take years to grow.

Cons of Buying an Existing Home

A major drawback to buying an existing home is that it may come with a lot of baggage.

Cheaping out on a home inspection could mean buying a property with poor roof conditions or mechanical problems. Even if you intend to renovate, it's important to know what to expect in terms of damages.

There may also be problems with the property itself, such as construction restrictions. Always get a current survey of the property if you intend to make good use of it.

Should I Buy or Build a House?

When deciding between building a house vs buying existing property, consider how much time you have and how much you care about personalizing it before you move in. Those two things will be the deciding factors.

If you decide to buy an existing house, you'll need to find a real estate agent. A good one can help you find something closely matching your specifications, but you may have to expand your search radius. Alternatively, they can focus on the type of community you desire, if that's more important.

When building a new house, you'll have complete control over its construction. That means you can install some must-have accommodations like smart-home technology, a cool and insulated roof, and a high-performance air conditioning system. 

Even if designing a home isn't your forte, you can still find design services that can help.

Cost of Renovations

There's always the option to renovate an existing home if you don't want to build a new one.

An important part of the home buying process is seeing where improvements can be made and what your limitations are. For example, some lakefront properties limit what kind of additions you can make.

One reason you may choose to renovate is that the renovation costs can be spread out over time. Work on fixing up your kitchen in the first half of the year and then do your bathroom later. Meanwhile, you can still live comfortably inside the house while doing the renovations.

Buying a Home You Love

The home buying process isn't always easy. If you're planning to build, then you also need to buy land. Buying a home is much simpler, but you have less control.

Either plan requires looking at real estate listings. That's where JW Martin comes in. Our local real estate agents can help you find the perfect community in the Clemson area as well as Upstate, SC.

Check out our listings online and contact us if you have any questions.

 

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