Company News

realtor ofallon il

Pros and Cons of Buying A Home in the Winter Months


realtor ofallon il


If you ask your real estate agent for advice on the best time to sell a house, you are likely to hear them say, “sell in the spring and the summer months.” The St. Louis area real estate market doubles its sales volume from winter to summer. The sales volume at different times of the year is vastly different.

In most cities, summer tends to see more homes being sold than winter. Some people believe that summer is the best season to sell or buy, but this is not always true. A townhouse downtown may sell easily in winter while a property with five acres with horses might have difficulty selling. It all depends on the particular circumstances of each deal.

This article is not meant to convince you to buy a winter home or to suggest that this is a good time to buy. It’s meant to help you evaluate your situation and decide what is best for you. Be objective as we discuss the pros and cons to buying a winter home. We want you to truly understand the benefits and costs.

This information may change depending on where you live, but for those of us in the Midwest, we experience all of the seasons. You will notice a significant decrease in winter sales volume if you live in an area with heavy snowfall. States like Florida, which receive little snow in winter months, may experience a rise in home sales during the winter months. Our market in St. Louis sells half the homes during Winter.


The Pros:realtor ofallon il


Most Realtors recommend that you wait until spring to sell your house. If the seller is listing in Winter, it’s possible that they need to sell their home soon.

Negotiations can be easier when you buy a Winter house. This doesn’t mean that you can offer the lowest price, but it does mean that you have more leverage if the seller has not acquired multiple offers.



It’s less likely that buyers will be looking at homes in winter so you won’t have to compete as hard during the winter months. There is less pressure to view a property on the day it goes on the market.

You may be able to take your time, and not rush to make an offer.



Real estate professionals often have slower times in Winter because there are fewer buyers. Real estate agents are often overwhelmed by house hunting inquiries during the peak season. It can be difficult to get the best service from a Realtor who is busy in the middle of summer.

Winter months are easier for real estate professionals. This means that you will likely get more attention and one on one advising.



Higher prices are a result of increased competition. At the peak of the summer market, bidding wars and multiple contracts are common. If there is less competition, you may pay less to buy a winter home.



Many homeowners who purchase older homes intend to remodel them. You will need to hire an aggressive contractor if you want to remodel your home before you move in. Contractors can be difficult to find, especially in the St. Louis region.


You’ll have a better chance of buying a house and remodeling it during the winter months, when contractors are less busy. Winter may be a good time to remodel your home.



The real estate market can get crazy with the increase in homes on sale from winter to spring. Buyers might decide to sign appraisal clauses and inspection contingencies that waive their rights.

Buyers need to be able to move quickly when the market is moving fast. Buyers may have to give up the luxury of a home inspection. It can feel chaotic and out of control when the process moves too quickly. This is why some buyers wait until winter to purchase a home.


The Cons:

realtor ofallon il



The number one problem with buying a winter home is the difficulty of inspecting the exterior. It’s almost impossible to assess the roof’s condition if there’s been a snowstorm.

Because of the hail damage caused by hail storms, roof repairs are the most common item inspectors find in St. Louis. Air Conditioning Inspectors are unable to test and run the outside units in cold conditions, so it is hard to inspect the air conditioning unit.



Winter has half the number of homes for sale than summer. Winter is a less popular time to find a unique home.

If you have specific search criteria that are difficult to meet, it’s twice as likely that you will find the unique property you want when the listing inventory doubles during the summer months.



Moving in winter is hard enough, let’s face the facts! It can be difficult to move in the winter, especially in snow storms or when it is poor weather.

It’s very difficult to have movers move boxes into and out of your home when it’s freezing outside. The snow will eventually get into everything and melt inside the house.

Some people prefer to wait for spring because of the hassle involved in moving and dealing with snow, especially in snowy regions.


If your last house was purchased in November. The landscaping was still barren during the winter months.  When Spring comes you may be surprised at the quality of the landscaping.

Also, trees that looked dormant during the winter may actually be dead when spring arrives. When you’re deep in winter, it is almost impossible to predict what landscaping will look like around your home in summer.



The St. Louis area begins to get dark after the fall daylight savings time change. This happens around 5:30 p.m. It is much more difficult to view homes at night because of this challenge.

It will be light in the summer months until about 9:00 p.m. In winter, the lack of daylight can cause problems with your schedule.



Moving schools halfway through the school year can cause major disruptions for families with children. This is why there are more summer homes that are sold when children are not in school.

The school year schedule has a significant impact on the real estate market in the United States. It also significantly increases summer sales.

Last Thoughts


Finding a realtor that you trust and feel comfortable with is the best advice I can give to any home buyer. The Ellerbrake Group will work with you to understand your needs and help you create a plan of action.

A great Realtor will help you understand all of your options and advocate for your best interests.

roofing Belleville IL,roof repair Belleville IL,Belleville roofer,roofing company Belleville IL,Sax Construction

5 Common Problems Found During Home Inspections

roofing Belleville IL,roof repair Belleville IL,Belleville roofer,roofing company Belleville IL,Sax Construction

1.  Roof Damage

The roof is one of the most important components that an inspector will inspect during a home inspection. It’s also one of the most essential parts of your house. A list of potential problems that could arise from a roof leak can cause buyers to pull out of a deal. This can lead to costly repairs.

Your roof’s condition will depend on many factors. Your roof will need more attention if you live in harsher climates than those in milder areas.

These are the things that an inspector will be looking for when inspecting a roof:

  1. Sagging – When the joists in your home become weak and are unable to hold the roof in its place, this is called sagging. Poor drainage or large amounts of snow can worsen this problem.
  2. The overall condition of the roof sheathing, especially in areas surrounding chimneys or other roof penetrations.  Leakage can be identified by looking deeper into your attic.

Two ways an inspector can assess your roof are available. The inspector will inspect your roof if it is possible and if it is safe to do so, they will take a walk on the roof in order to assess its condition.

They will then enter your attic. They can inspect the attic to find any leaks that may have occurred in the past or present. You will also notice signs of roof sagging, spreading, or twisting of the wood framing in the rafters.

Feel free to call The Ellerbrake Group for a list of trusted contractors that can perform these detailed inspections.

2.  Electrical Issues

electrician belleville il

Electrical wiring issues are responsible for many home fires every year. The electrical system is an important component of home inspection. Newly built homes will have very few electrical problems. Older homes that have faulty wiring are more susceptible to fire.

These are some of the most common issues that an inspector will discover with electrical wiring:

Fraying and exposed wiring

Overheating can be caused by painted outlets. These are common in properties that were once rented.

Reversed Polarity – This means that the hot, neutral and ground slots of plugs have somehow been mixed.

Aluminum wiring – Aluminum wiring was more economical than copper wiring in late ’60s or early ’70s. However, it can also contribute to the possibility of a fire in your house.

Incorrect modification of electrical panels can lead to flickering lights, or switches and outlets not functioning correctly.

Missing knockouts or missing rectangular shapes in a panel

An inspector will inspect your home for any problems with your outlets and electrical panels, as well as your light fixtures and the wiring. They will also include suggestions for updating the system if they feel it is necessary. If they feel that a particular area needs to be addressed prior to move-in they will indicate it.

Some electrical repairs will not cost much. It can cost as much as $30,000 to rewire your entire house in some areas.

3. HVAC Service

hvac Edwardsville IL,ac repair Edwardsville IL,furnace repair Edwardsville IL,Metro East HVAC

The HVAC system in your home consumes almost half the energy used in your home. Your HVAC system works hard each year to maintain your home’s climate control. It will eventually need to be serviced on a routine schedule. Many people neglect to service their HVAC systems annually, which can lead to problems during a home inspection.

An average home inspector won’t do a thorough inspection of the furnace or AC. It is a good idea to hire an HVAC specialist to inspect your HVAC system if it is more than ten years old. This will allow you to determine the remaining lifespan of the unit as well as project future repair costs.

Here are some common HVAC problems:

Most common problem: Dirty filters

Unlevel Pad

Improper Flue Installation

Dirty Coils

Broken Condenser

Cracked Heat Exchange

4.  Plumbing Problems

plumbing Edwardsville IL,plumbers Edwardsville IL,focused plumbing

Home inspection reports often include plumbing issues. Plumbing problems can be very common in a home and quite costly. Most plumbing problems are not apparent to homeowners until they are inspected.

Usually, an inspector will inspect your plumbing for the following:

How water flows from your taps efficiently

How well your drains function

And whether your toilets flush.

Although a home inspector won’t be as thorough as a professional plumber, they can give you a general overview of any issues that may need to be addressed when you move in, if any.

They may recommend professional plumbing inspections if they feel there is a greater problem. You can rest assured that most plumbing problems found in a home inspection are minor.

5.  Water Damage

Water damage is difficult to spot. This issue can be difficult to identify, but inspectors have the training and experience to resolve it.

The roof is often the first place where water leaks and it will move downwards. When inspecting for water damage, inspectors will typically start at the roof. Here are some signs that water damage has occurred:

  1. Cracks, holes – Water can easily enter your home through cracks or holes in exterior walls.
  2. Damp floors and carpets
  3. Stain on walls and ceilings– Inspectors will still look for mold growth, even if there is an old leak that has been fixed.
  4. Peeling wallpaper – This could indicate a leak behind your walls.
  5. Musty odors This can indicate mold buildup and is often caused by water leaks.

Water intrusion can be caused by small leaks. However, your inspection report will detail the extent of the problem. It will also explain what steps you should take to remedy the situation, if necessary.

Another common source of water damage could be due to the sump pump backing up or the sewer line backing up.  The Sump Pump is important to test and make sure that it is functioning properly.  If there is an access point to the sewer line, it may not be a bad idea to have a licensed professional plumber come out and put a camera down the sewer line in order to identify possible issues that could cause water to back up.

There are many issues that can pop up during a home inspection report, so be prepared to contact service specific contractors if you are selling your home so that the proper work can be completed before any inspections even need to be completed.  Many of these service base businesses exist in the area, but feel free to give The Ellerbrake Group a call if you are interested in working with someone we have used frequently in the past.

kitchen remodeling near me

7 Upgrades That Add Value To Your Home

Buyers are searching for homes with a modern, sleek aesthetic and lots of natural light. These are some of the requirements for many older homes.

It is important to reduce costs and avoid major renovations that will have a low rate of return. It is important to be functional, not extravagant in the kitchen or bathroom.

It is important to remember that the more you invest in renovating an area, the less it will return on your ROI depending on the type of materials used.

Here are 7 options for improving the value of your home:

1. Remodel Your Bathroom

To add value to your house, a bathroom remodel does not have to be extensive. You can make your bathroom more functional by updating the flooring, fixtures, toilet and lighting. This will allow you to get back most of what you have spent.

Many master bedrooms include en-suite bathrooms. The master bathroom is the most return-friendly of all the bathrooms. You may want to remodel your master bathroom if it is not connected to your master bedroom. This will instantly increase the value of your home.

You can increase the value of your home by replacing old light fixtures, countertops and cabinets. Bathrooms are second in return on investment after kitchens.

To increase your home’s value, upgrade it.

2. Modernizing The Kitchen

kitchen remodeling near me

Your kitchen is one of the most important home renovations. Before they visit a house, buyers often first look at the kitchen. Buyers want a kitchen that has been updated before they move in so that they don’t need to remodel.

A small kitchen remodel can bring in a good portion of your investment, but a larger remodel might only make up half the difference. When replacing your kitchen, be strategic.

Remodeling a kitchen is possible in many ways. It doesn’t matter if you are focusing on changing the light fixtures or adding a new layer of paint. Be careful when installing granite countertops and new cabinets, these can be the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel.

A minor kitchen remodel will typically recoup more than major renovations. You can make some of the most important updates to your kitchen by replacing the flooring and installing a new faucet and stainless steel sink. If you have solid wood cabinets, you may consider refinishing them instead of installing new ones.

3. Replace Your Old Carpet

Old and stained carpet can be a problem for home buyers. It is easy to have your home look new by replacing the carpet.

Hardwood flooring is more expensive than carpet. Although carpet isn’t as durable as hardwood, it is easier to replace. We recommend that you replace carpet that is older than three to four years.

4. Refinishing or Installing Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are a very popular choice. Wood flooring is a popular choice for homes that have been around for many years. It continues to add value to homes.

Hardwood flooring is a great investment for pets, if the current carpeting is a bit stained or shabby. Hardwood floors can be refinished for a fraction of the cost to completely replace them.

5. Use a neutral paint for your walls

It is easy to increase the value of your home by painting rooms. Paint is an inexpensive upgrade that homeowners can do themselves.

Choose lighter and more neutral colors that appeal to a wider range of buyers. This allows buyers to easily imagine bringing their belongings and furniture into the home, without them clashing.

The addition of paint to a room can make it feel brighter and more open. If you have walls that are painted in neutral colors, assess if your moldings, trim, and windows require a new coat of paint as well.

6. Create An Open Floor Plan

Many older homes have closed floor plans which compartmentalize space. This design was very popular in the past, but it is now a rare trend.

A home will feel larger and more spacious if unnecessary interior walls are removed. Extra support pillars and beams may be required for load-bearing walls, but the many interior walls can be moved or removed.

Open floor plans are more flexible in design and decoration. Open floor plans allow for more natural light to enter. Designers favor open-plan designs, such as the living and dining rooms, kitchens, and living spaces.

Remember that your home needs structural support. You could have a cracked ceiling or sagging ceiling if you choose the wrong wall. Before you start hammering away with a sledgehammer, consult a professional. Understanding the structural integrity of your house is essential before you attempt to remove walls.  Give The Ellerbrake Group a call if you need any suggestions for good home remodeling professionals.

This type of project is difficult to value because results will vary depending on the layout of your home. This is a great way to instantly add value to your home.

7. Finish the Basement

basement remodeling near me

Unfinished basements can be finished to increase the square footage and value of your house. A finished basement can provide a decent return on your investment depending on how expensive the materials are.

A basement remodel in St Louis MO can turn an unused area into a home theater, an additional living space, or even an office. These improvements can make your home more expensive than it would be without the extra square footage.

basement remodel near me

Before you start to remodel your basement, there are many things you should consider. This type of project often involves flooring, drywall, painting, and adding light fixtures.

Before you decide what to do in your basement, consider where the light comes from. Natural light should be allowed to enter rooms as often as possible.

Because of lingering dampness, basements can be a natural breeding ground for mold. It is important to think about how to best allow airflow and prevent moisture buildup in isolated areas.

Many of these home improvement options can help to improve the marketability of your home.  You have to determine what steps will yield the best return on investment for you and your family.  We suggest that you set aside a budget for upgrades, cleaning, and improvements and start with the easier tasks that you can take care of on your own.

cleaning service belleville il

Reasons to Hire A Cleaning Service to Help Sell Your Home

cleaning service belleville il

When you are showing a house to potential buyers, first impressions matter the most. It is difficult to get a client’s house ready to sell. It is important to make the house look new and attractive enough to attract potential buyers. If you are looking to sell your home quickly and for top dollar, a thorough cleaning is essential.

The importance of cleaning, painting, and fixing things can not be overlooked when looking to sell a house. Cleaning the home is an inexpensive and essential step to prepare the house for sale. It is more than just a matter of removing all the dirt and dust from your home. Professionals spend more time and energy cleaning homes, paying greater attention to details. No matter how many times homeowners clean up their homes, a house on the market will require more thorough and intensive cleaning to make it shine.

Professional cleaning services make it easy to make your home shine.

The cleaning services ensure that the home is clean and free of dirt, dust, or other unpleasant odors. They will also inspect homes for discolored surfaces, stained carpets and smudged appliances to ensure they are ready for extreme inspection.

cleaning service belleville il

Agents have seen the value of professional cleaning services in real estate. Here are some reasons The Ellerbrake Group recommends a professional cleaning service before you put your home up for sale:

  1. A professional cleaning service can help you make a good first impression. This is a great way to present the best image of your home so we can better market your property to potential buyers.It is important not to place anything that distracts or stands out from the potential of the home. It’s much easier to convince clients that this is the right home once they feel at ease in the space.Buyers who can’t visualize living in a home will not be able to pull the trigger on purchasing it. Clients often visualize themselves living in the home before they buy it.Agents can also help to ease the stress associated with buying a house.You can offer a deep cleaning for free to new homeowners as an incentive, but it is more beneficial to clean the house before you put it up for sale.Clients are more likely to avoid homes that look dirty compared to ones that look shiny and new. Experienced agents know this, and can recommend professional cleaning services to help them sell their home for a higher price.
  2. You shouldn’t waste your time cleaning up a house yourself when you could be marketing it. Professional cleaning services can help you focus your efforts on marketing and less on the property’s appearance.A cleaning service can also save you time so that you can focus on other aspects of the sale, such as arranging viewings and open houses or talking with your agent.It is important to focus your efforts on achieving results and not trying to cut corners.For example, Let’s say you live in Belleville IL and decide to clean your house yourself, but the house down the street decides to hire a professional cleaning service in Belleville IL.  The professional cleaning crew knows the business better than your average home owner, and they will find things that you may miss.  No matter how many times a client cleans, there will always still be things that need fixing or changing out in order to prepare a home.  Set your home above the rest by ensuring that you avoid cutting corners!With a buyer’s eye, walk through the house. Note upgrades, defects, and areas for improvement. Sometimes we give our clients a list of things to do to make their home “show-ready”.

    It is worth the effort, despite its time-consuming nature. Agents come in to take professional photos of a property once it is ready. Bad images can deter many potential buyers.

  3. The world is now facing the effects of the novel coronavirus. This has led to a greater need for cleanliness. Clients, agents, and future homeowners will feel at ease if they hire a professional cleaner to do a deep clean before showing.It is now more important than ever to clean your home.Because of the pandemic many showings can now be done online. Small dirt particles might not be easy to spot if buyers are looking at a screen. Agents can help buyers feel confident that all surfaces have been cleaned and wiped clean with the appropriate chemicals by service belleville il


Many homeowners feel tempted to save money and clean their own homes. While this may sound like a great idea, once the cleaning begins, it will most likely be a time consuming process, and you may wish that you went with a professional soon after starting.

Agents agree that it can be stressful to prepare a home. They often suggest clients to leave the work to professionals so that they can have a better experience selling their home.

It is important to make a good first impression. A crack in the wall or stained carpet can turn a buyer away, even if they are assured that everything will be fine before they move in.

Every market’s real estate agents agree that thorough cleaning is more important than ever, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. Professionals should clean the surfaces so potential buyers feel comfortable when they first enter the house. In this business, first impressions are more important than you might think. Don’t risk losing a buyer. Before potential buyers see the house, hire a professional cleaner.


realtor O'Fallon IL

What are The Benefits of Paying 20% Down

realtor O'Fallon IL

You may be curious about how much money you will need for your down payment if you are thinking of purchasing a home in the next year. It could be 20% of the mortgage loan. Qualified buyers can choose to pay 20% or less, but it is important to know that a higher down payment can also have many benefits.

There are many programs that will allow you to make a down payment as low as 3.5%. This can be huge for those who want to buy a home sooner than expected. Veterans who have served their country may be eligible for a Veterans Affairs Home Loan (VA), which may not require a down payment. Many potential buyers have been able to save more time and start building their family wealth earlier thanks to these programs.

These are the top four reasons 20% down can be a great plan, if you have the funds.

1. The interest rate you receive may be lower.

Your lender will appreciate a 20% down payment instead of a 3-5% down payment. This shows that you are financially more stable and less risky. Your lender will likely offer a lower mortgage interest rate if they are more confident in your credit score, and your ability to repay the loan.

2. Your home will cost you less.

Your mortgage loan amount will be smaller if you have a larger down payment. You will only be charged interest on the amount you finance.  If you can pay 20% at the beginning of the transaction you will only have to finance 80% of the new home’s cost. If you decide to only put down 5% at the beginning, the additional 15%, which you will pay interest on over time, will be added to the loan if you deposit 5%. This will increase the cost of your home loan over its lifetime.

3. Your offer will be noticed in a highly competitive marketplace.

Sellers like offers that include 20% down payment in a market with many potential buyers. In this situation, the seller is given the same level of confidence as the lender. With financing that is more likely to be approved, you are perceived as a stronger buyer. The deal is more likely to close.

4. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), which you need for down payments less than 20%, is not required.

What is PMI? According to Investopedia:

“PMI is a type of mortgage insurance that buyers are typically required to pay for a conventional loan when they make a down payment that is less than 20% of the home’s purchase price. Many lenders offer low down payment programs, allowing you to put down as little as 3%. The cost of that flexibility is PMI, which protects the lender’s investment in case you fail to repay your mortgage, known as default. In other words, PMI insures the lender, not you.”

Your lender will consider your loan more risky if you pay less than 20% down when you buy a home. PMI is a protection that helps your lender recover their investment in the event you are unable to repay your loan. If you can put down 20% or more, this insurance is not required.

Home sellers who want to buy a bigger or more expensive house are often able to use the equity from their sale to purchase 20% of the next property. It is possible to use the equity that homeowners have today to save 20% on your down payment for a new home.

Consider the advantages of 20% down when you are looking to purchase your first home.

Bottom line

Reach out to trusted professionals if you are thinking about buying a house and have already saved for your down payment. They can help you determine what is most compatible with your long-term goals.



Realtor O'Fallon IL

How Today’s Mortgage Rates Effect Your Home Purchase

Realtor O'Fallon IL


If you’re planning to buy a home, it’s critical to understand the relationship between mortgage rates and your purchasing power. Purchasing power is the amount of money for a home you can afford to buy that’s within your financial reach. Mortgage rates directly impact the monthly payment you’ll have on the home you purchase by increasing the interest you pay on the house every month. So, when rates rise, so does the monthly payment you’re able to lock in on your home loan. In a rising-rate environment like we’re in today, that could limit your future purchasing power.

Today as of May 9th 2022, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is above 5%, and in the near term, experts say that’ll likely go up in the months ahead. You have the opportunity to get ahead of that increase if you buy now before that impacts your purchasing power.

For example, if you decide to purchase a home for $360,000 and you lock in an interest rate at 5%, your estimated monthly payment (principal and interest) will be $1,933.  If that percentage rises to 6%,  your monthly payment is now $2,158.  That 1% increase has now cost you an extra $225 per month.  For this reason, we recommend that you lock in a mortgage interest rate as soon as you can to avoid a possible increase.  If you are interested in learning more about lenders in our area, be sure to give The Ellerbrake Group a call soon!

Craft A Plan With Your Realtor and Lender

You’re more likely to exceed your target payment range as mortgage rates increase unless you pursue a lower home loan amount. If you’re ready to buy a home, use this as your motivation to purchase now so you can get ahead of rising interest rates before you have to make the decision to decrease what you borrow in order to stay comfortably within your budget.  If you have to go with a smaller house, you can avoid having to pay the extra interest, but then you will have to settle for something other than what you are interested in.  

Work with a local lender to establish a good budget you are comfortable with, and they will help you determine what your max home price needs to be.  Your lender will provide you with a recommended home purchase price so we can then look for houses in your price range.

Housing Demand Is Still Strong

No matter what, the best plan of attack is to work with your real estate advisor and a trusted lender to create a strategy that takes rising mortgage rates into consideration. Together, you can look at your budget based on where rates are today and craft a plan so you’re ready to adjust as rates change.

Even with the recent rise in mortgage rates, demand for real estate is remaining strong.  Housing prices are also still holding strong, so if you are looking to sell, now might be the best time given that property is continuing to move and sell quickly.    

Homes for sale Belleville, IL, The Ellerbrake Group

Here are some easy tips to help buyers remain on top of the market today.


Home buyers can experience this kind of market exhausting. It requires patience to wait for the right bid to be placed on the house. For over 30 years I’ve ran an agency in O’Fallon IL. I’ve heard numerous stories from agents on the impact of the market on their clients. I’ve reviewed hundreds of contracts for sales, and I am familiar with the most popular strategies employed by Realtors to make offers accepted.

Today, I’ll share some suggestions to aid buyers to compete in the current market.

1. Pre-approve.

You don’t have the time nor patience to find the ideal home and to visit the banks for pre-approval. To prove that you’re committed to buying the house you must be pre-approved. Discuss with your lender the monthly payments that you feel comfortable with.

Agents who list houses will receive offers from buyers and then verify the lender’s pre-approval letters. Agents who list their properties and are highly efficient will have a good understanding of numerous local lenders. Certain lenders are notorious for their sabotage of deals. The agent who is listing the property may provide information about you if you work with one of these lenders.

Contact a knowledgeable agent for suggestions on the most suitable lenders to assist you in getting the offer approved. This is particularly important in cities that are smaller. Smaller cities have real estate agents tend to be more inclined to meet one another. The experience and reputation of your Realtor and Mortgage Broker could significantly impact the quality of your contract.

2. Make sure you’re prepared.

To make the seller aware that you’re in the know.  Your Realtor will request earnest money in advance. Find out the best closing date for the seller, or other details that can sweeten the deal.

Every seller could have their own reasons for selling. A seller could be selling their home through a relocation firm, and another could be selling an investment property. Every seller will have conditions that they like.

It’s recommended to speak with your Realtor prior to submitting your offer if you’re looking to buy a home in a highly competitive marketplace. Your agent should ask the agent for the seller what they’re seeking in the contract. This will enable you to customize your offer to meet the needs of the seller. It will guarantee that your offer is on top of the list.

3. Find a reputable Realtor.

I ensure that my clients are prepared before we meet. In addition to looking through the internet for listings, we also investigate properties off the market to assist our customers. This provides buyers with an advantage.

4. Make sure to include an Escalation Clause.

An escalation clause is a clause that buyers add to a contract.  This says that they will raise their offer above the highest bidding price. The price of the contract for the buyer will be automatically increased without having to sign an additional contract or amend the existing contract. The clause usually has an upper limit on the amount of escalation. This strategy is employed to ensure that your bid is at the top of the list during the bidding war.

Here’s an example.

  • Homebuyer A was willing to pay $500,000 for the home valued at $490,000. The contract included an escalation clause that was $3,000 greater than the highest price.
  • The house has 30 other offers. The highest bid of Buyer B is $550,000.
  • In this instance the price of the contract of the buyer A is automatically raised to $553,000.

This is among the most well-known ways to beat your competitors in extremely competitive markets.

An escalation clause is only used when you can raise your bid significantly over the list price. A escalation clause instantly puts your offer at the highest. They may be utilized by the agent listing your bid to force you to pay more than the contract price.

An escalation clause permits the agent of the seller to contact buyers to request the buyers to sign an agreement to escalate. Once they’ve reached the maximum price, you’ll be required to pay a specific dollar amount.

In the year 2018, escalation clauses became widely used and are now an increasingly common element in real property markets. If they’re not properly structured they could be difficult to understand. Before you implement this strategy, be sure that your Realtor is well-versed in the idea.

Remember these points

It is essential to be flexible in order to meet the unique requirements as a buyer in a highly competitive market. Every seller has their particular requirements. You’ll be able to beat your competition by being able to react quickly and satisfy the needs of the seller.

You might need to think outside the box if you are looking to sell your home prior to buying a new property. Sellers with multiple offers on their home won’t sign contract that is contingent on the sale of a house. Sellers would like to stay clear of as many delay and contingencies as they can. We can assist you to quickly locate buyers in this highly competitive market.

If you want to give yourself more flexibility, you might consider the possibility of selling your home and renting the property on AirBnB (or temporary rental). While this could be risky since there’s not a lot of available inventory, it can provide you with the advantage you require to persuade that the seller to sign the contract. It is possible to get more cash to make the sale go through faster.

Certain companies will purchase your home after you have found another , however it typically comes with a cost. Since the demand for homes increases each year, lenders and realtors are becoming innovative. When you are ready to sell your house make sure you research companies that could assist you in purchasing a new home.

Do not hesitate to contact me via phone, email or email if you’re interested in selling or buying. I’m looking forward to getting in touch with you.

realtor o'fallon il

These are the Top 8 Enhancements to Increase Curb Appeal

realtor o'fallon il

Curb appeal is a phrase that a majority of people have heard of if they’ve read anything about home ownership or renovations. Curb appeal is the appearance of your home when seen from the street.

Since it’s the first impression that will be created about your house, curb appeal is one of the most effective places to earn a profit. It establishes the tone for the inside.  The Ellerbrake Group can help you find the right contractors to help improve your curb appeal.

There are numerous ways to enhance the curb appeal of your home.

1. Design and landscape the Front Yard

The most well-known landscaping method is to plant a garden. It’s the best method to boost curb appeal. The majority of agents believe that curb appeal is an important element in increasing your property’s value and making it easier to sell your home quickly. This is especially true for landscaping. Buyers will be impressed by the fact that your home is well-maintained.

Landscaping your property requires maintaining it neat pruning trees and shrubs as well as mulching and planting annuals or perennials. Be cautious not to remove too much of the vegetation.

A lot of homeowners don’t want to spend long hours maintaining their gardens. This can make it difficult for potential buyers to purchase your garden if they require maintenance every week.

It is recommended to choose plants and shrubs that are simple to care for. Zero-scaping is a good option in climates that are dry, in which water is in short supply. The plants that require minimal maintenance and are easy to cultivate every year are the most effective. It is important to select the right clothes for the area you live in.

One important aspect to consider when it comes to landscaping is to think about the year-round interest. It is important to choose plants that look vibrant all through the year. The plants that thrive during spring and summer may however look like dead twigs in winter and fall and will leave your garden looking bare.

2. Garage Door Replacement

You can recover the bulk of the garage door replacement costs by changing it to a more modern model. This is particularly applicable to homes with older garage doors. Modern garage doors can make a home appear years newer.

It is important to look for sturdy materials when you are shopping for garage door replacement. These include steel, aluminum and wood composites. If you choose, you may add insulation as well as an energy-efficient glaze if your garage is connected to the house.

A designer might assist you to choose the best door. Simple options can be more effective and bold choices can be distracting. Designers will complement the style of your home with distinctive garage doors that stand out and add to the curb appeal.

3. Stone Veneer On Exterior

A stone veneer will help your home’s exterior walls look more attractive. It can provide an excellent return on your investment. Stone homes are superior exterior design options than stucco siding.

The veneer is of high-quality and looks like real stone, however it is less to set up. It can be cut by using molds, and is man made. It is very simple to work with. It is an excellent way to make an old house appear better.

For a higher cost-to-value ratio, you don’t have to build a stone structure for the whole house. It is easy to add stone to smaller areas and get an impressive return on your investment. Stone can be erected on the beams that support your porch’s front. It is possible to install stones to the lower portion of your vinyl siding , instead of the entire wall.

This project can allow you to restore the spirit to an old-fashioned exterior.

4. Steel-Entry Front Doors

The replacement of the front door is an excellent method to boost your property’s value while saving money. When you walk into a home, the front door is usually the first thing that you will see. It’s the first thing you will touch upon entering a house.

It’s an excellent idea to choose an eye-catching, bright color to stand out from the exterior. Red is the most sought-after color for front doors on new homes.

Doors made of steel are sought-after because they offer significant benefits in terms of security as well as energy efficiency. They are perfect to keep cold temperatures out when you live in a more temperate climate.

5. Install a porch or a deck

A deck or patio adds value to your home and makes it more attractive. The porch in front is the place where memories are created. It can also help to increase the appeal to the house.

A contractor should be able to construct an outdoor deck or porch that is free of wood decay. Composite decking is the best choice in the majority of cases because it isn’t susceptible to rot and doesn’t need staining or painting.

Stamped concrete is an excellent alternative if you plan to build an outdoor patio. Stamped concrete can be used to add decorative finishing to your patio to replicate the look of tile or stone. Stamped concrete, a modern method of finishing, gives a stunning appearance that is extremely popular with homeowners.

6. Update or install new windows

It is possible to change windows that appear old or are beginning to degrade due to water damage. This is particularly true in homes that are located near areas of high traffic. The noise from outside will be reduced through the installation of new windows. This will make your home appear more spacious and help with sound reduction.

Vinyl windows are inexpensive and offer great energy efficiency for people with limited funds. Some people select windows that do not match with the siding they have. This can cause your remodeling to be a disaster and turn off prospective buyers. To get the best results you should consult a window expert.

Older homes are less insulated and have fewer windows. To allow more sunlight into your home, you could consider installing larger windows. While it may be more costly, it can make your home appear brighter and boost the value of your home.

7. Refresh Exterior Paint

Contrary to what many people believe, there is no need to completely redecorate your home to look new.

It is possible to focus on areas with more chipping and flaking paint if you’re on a tight budget. These areas can be cleaned with pressure prior to painting. This removes any dust or mold.

After you’ve cleaned and removed any old paint from the outside, choose the color that is similar to the current shade. You can also apply a coat of paint to any rough areas. Paint the trim and doors to the front. It can instantly change the appearance and feel of your home without much effort.

8. Plant a Tree

It is possible to plant trees if you’ve completed your landscaping , and your front yard is getting enough sun.  This is a good long-term investment for those who plan to remain in your house for a long time before selling.

It can take time for trees that provide shade to grow.  Once they have matured, they will cut cooling costs by as much as 35%.

Shade trees are beneficial to the natural environment. They provide habitat for native wildlife. The beautiful songbirds’ songs will be heard , and the curb appeal of your property will improve.

Meet Our Team