Cell: 678.457.1155 | Office: 678.494.0644|RisCowan@tds.net
Selling a Home in Northwest Georgia2019-09-13T13:31:25-04:00

Home Selling Tips & F.A.Q.

Top dollar for your home is the goal when selling your home, right? It is also the best time to take personal preferences out of the equation because less personalization equals more cash in your pocket. Take the time to step back and view the property not as a personal home, but as a listed property. Cowan & Associates offers you a valuable perspective. What will the buyer expect?

A ready to sell home has meticulous landscaping, mulch laid, grass trimmed and trees pruned properly. The outside of the home should reflect the home’s clean interior, and not be an eyesore that diminishes the neighborhood. Fresh paint, gutters in place, with no drainage issues, is expected. A welcoming front door makes an impression to guests and visitors so be sure to inspect it thoroughly. Rusty handles, broken knobs and filthy windows all detract from the first impression. Sweep the steps, fix a loose railing and put out a planter with seasonal flowers nearby all help to show pride in ownership.

Inside, homes with no noticeable scent are best, although many agents suggest a fresh smelling candle may be lit for open houses. A ready to sell home is neat, tidy, with all personal photos and detracting clutter removed. The big cosmetic items such as worn carpets, refinished hardwood floors, repainting walls to neutral colors, repairing a loose handle or leaky faucet are already complete. An open house is not the time you want to put off potential buyers with mysterious patterns of black mold in your basement or cracked tiles in your shower.

Closets look more spacious by removing half the contents and putting it away at an off-site storage facility. Unfinished basements can be handled the same way. If the boxes are still unopened from your last move over a year ago, it is probably safe to assume you won’t need them. Remove toasters, storage canisters, water pitchers and other bulky kitchen items to make counters appear larger. Barking dogs are best removed completely from the home, although safely crated away can work in a pinch. Many buyers have allergies to pets, so disclosing that pets are in the home is helpful. Be sure to clean up thoroughly after your pets, both indoors and outside.

Talk to the Cowan & Associates Agents today for more details on how to make a great first impression, including the latest market conditions for your neighborhood.

Improving your homes’ value depends on what things you can do before listing the property. If you put yourself into the buyer’s shoes, would you prefer a home that has everything done already or one that still “needs updating”. As your premier listing agent, we can tell you that homes requiring updating have a lower listing price. A freshly painted, updated and clean home will fetch a higher price than one that needs new carpet, paint, appliances and other issues. In some cases, new carpet and paint will suffice to woo buyers into making offers. In older homes, for those with serious issues or in need of repair, the price cannot help but be affected.

Basics for improving your homes’ value include:

  • Replace worn out roofs, windows, and siding. They are not fun items to replace, but few buyers will want to deal with the extra hassle and costs.
  • Replace old carpeting, refinish the hardwood floors or update vinyl floors. The life expectancy of a carpet is less than 10 years, even less with pets or children. Hardwood floors can be made like new again with a sanding and re-staining. Vinyl and linoleum may be easy to clean and cheap to install but it buckles unlike a tile floor, which will last far longer.
  • Update appliances in the kitchen. These items can be more affordable when purchased together, such as a stove, refrigerator and microwave.
  • Replace outdated kitchen cabinets and countertops. Often times simply re-staining or repainting the fronts of solid cabinets can work just as well instead of spending a lump sum on a big remodel for a kitchen. New drawer handles and matching pulls are a great detail to add. Can’t afford granite counters? Companies today also offer a ¼ inch granite overlay that goes over the top of the existing counters. Even a new laminate counter can spruce up a dated kitchen.
  • Update an old bathroom using fresh paint, a new sink and vanity plus a shower curtain will put your dollars to work for you. A complete remodel might not be needed if you can cover the damaged tile with a shower surround. New towel bars and lights always help to showcase a bathroom to new buyers.
  • Install a new energy efficient furnace and A/C unit.

Most of these costs will be recouped upon the sale of the home, often as much as 80-90%. If a new furnace costs $1,000 to put in, that money will be put back in your pocket when you sell the home, of up to $800-$900.

Having a home show beautifully on the internet is very easy. First, you’ll prepare the home by de-personalizing (removing photos and family pictures) and de-cluttering (sweep the countertops of bulky items, paper piles, toothbrushes and other messes). Next, you’ll want to accent the positives, such as sky lights, transom windows or a sun filled custom deck.

When a photographer or videographer comes to your home, be sure to have cleared the clutter out of the kitchen, office and bathrooms. These professionals will want to have wide shots of the rooms, not up close details like the knick-knacks on the mantel. Videographers typically shoot enough footage for a 60 second video, although some may go up to 2 minutes. The idea is to offer viewers what they want to see, showing them the home’s best attributes, updates or upgrades, clean and accessible, not dark and dingy. Photos showing bright windows, spacious closets and inviting kitchens always set the stage for more views. Jarring images of a homeowner’s china doll collection or rows of fantasy football league trophies are not going to have buyers anxious to put in an offer. Outside photography should include manicured lawns, trimmed shrubbery and pruned back trees. Pools should be sparkling clean and inviting.

Remember, great photos start with a great subject and making your home sparkle is the best way to have great views. More online views mean more buyers are interested in the property. The more interested the buyers are, the more showings a property will have. Although over 80% of home searches are started on line, in person viewings are vital to selling a home. It is essential to have great looking video and photos of your property available.

One of the listing agent’s best tools, internet videos and photos never rest, are online and available 24/7, so even when you’re sound asleep, your home is still viewable. This is an important piece of advertising that your Cowan & Associate agent will go over with you in greater detail.

Shopping for a home today means over 90% of buyers start their search online, according to Google and the National Association of Realtors. If you’re looking for the most up-to-the-minute listings, homebuyers need to check the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) provided by Cowan & Associates. Not only are the home listings loaded into Georgia’s two largest MLS databases, Cowan & Associates also allows for further syndication of the listing. This means all the other big home search sites (over 20,000) pick up our listings and spread them across third party websites. Cowan & Associates’ home search database offers the latest information, plus the widest possible exposure for sellers who list with us. When you list your home with us, more buyers will find your property and be able to set showing appointments with a click of a button. More showings of your property through our database will help to sell it faster and for top dollar.

Want the newest listings for your neighborhood? It won’t be found on Zillow or Trulia. Try Cowan & Associates home search for current homes for sale. Want to know the agents remarks or specific listing details? You won’t find those on any other site, but Cowan & Associates has that too. Pending sales or under contract properties are usually left as “Active” on the third party sites, and don’t show up as “Closed” for months afterward. But your Cowan & Associates exclusive buyer’s agent has the up-to-the-minute, latest information at their fingertips. Don’t hesitate to call, click or connect with Cowan & Associates when you have questions on the local northern county of Georgia.

The internet offers the widest and best opportunity for home buyers to view properties in a specific neighborhood. When you’re ready to view a home, let your buyer’s agent give you the details today.

Morning, noon, or night, virtual visitors that are house hunting are checking the listings as soon as they are posted. These online viewers want to see your home and be impressed with the spacious kitchen, remodeled bathrooms, cheerful breakfast nook and sparkling pool. When they take your home out for a virtual spin, using the video, they can envision themselves lounging by the pool, or sipping a latte on the breakfast bar. The more a home shows neutral overtones with professional staging, the more welcoming and appealing it is to viewers. Potential home buyers apply their own personal flourishes without worry of extra labor.

More showing appointments are set when 12 or more photographs are posted. Even more appointments are made when a combined virtual tour + photos are set up for the listing. As noted above, virtual visitors want to be drawn into a home, to see inside the rooms for the quality of lifestyle that can be enjoyed. Move up buyers look for upgraded features, like master baths or upgraded kitchens. Empty nesters seek convenience and ease of use to enjoy an active lifestyle. First time home buyers want to see huge closets, extra bathrooms and plenty of parking, especially if they are moving out of an apartment.

When buyers are convinced they’ve found the perfect home, the next move is to call a Realtor and set up a showing. Having already made a wonderful first impression online, the showing appointment should really confirm what they already saw. They’ll want to see that it looks just as good in person as it did online, so be sure to maintain the high level of de-personalization and de-cluttering that the photos represent. Open houses are also a great way for visitors to check out the home. All these details and much more will be covered in full with a marketing analysis with Cowan & Associates.

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Why Let Us List Your Home?

Are you selling a home in Northwest Georgia?  Welcome to the Northwest Georgia home seller’s section for Cowan and Associates. Cowan and Associates buys and sells homes with clients across the towns of Acworth, Canton, Woodstock, Marietta, Alpharetta, Kennesaw and Dallas in Northern Georgia. We are the Cherokee, Cobb and Paulding county wide residential housing experts who will make sure to walk you through the entire home selling process, even if you’ve done it before.

We can save you time and money because we know the market trends and how to best position your home. Whether it is time for a quick sale to relocate, or if you have plenty of time to see what bids come in, we have the skills to negotiate any and all offers.

We understand what a good offer looks like, how to counter an offer, how to handle multiple offers and even predict the best time to list your property for the highest and best price. We can offer up the minute market pricing data, how to take the emotions out of the selling process, how to showcase your home beautifully as well as explaining full disclosure. Let us help you avoid the legal traps, paperwork pitfalls and lost hours of sleep trying to organize your home’s sale.

You wouldn’t let your dentist argue your case in court, so why not let the licensed practitioner of real estate step up to sell your home?

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Customer Reviews

We absolutely loved working with Carol! She was easy to work with, protected our interests well, helped us make great decisions and in the end both sold our home (four showings, four offers!) and ushered us into a new (to us) home that still makes us comment almost daily, “Gosh, we love this house!”
Karen S.- Acworth, GA
Carol Cowan, helped me out with several investment properties, from showing to closing. Carol was always available to answer any questions and she went over and beyond her normal duties to help with any issues. She is an outstanding realtor in my opinion.
Richard B. Dallas, GA
This was my first home purchase and Carol was very patient and helpful in helping me find the house that I wanted. I flew in from Colorado for the weekend and she dedicated the entire Saturday to view 10 properties. In the end we had competing bids and following her advice I was able to close on the house I wanted. I would definitely recommend her if you are searching for a house. Excellent service.
Val S – Acworth, GA
Our home buying experience could not have been better or gone smoother! We came in from out of state and bought a home before the weekend was over. Great experience!
Bill W – Roswell GA
My wife and I tried to sell our Woodstock home for 3 years with no success.We hired Carol and within 4 days we started seeing results. Through her diligence and hsrd work we sold our house in a matter of days. Her work did not end there as she found out perfect new home. Through Carols hard work we achieved all of our real estate goals,.
M Wright – Woodstock, GA
I worked with Ris, Carol’s husband and was delighted with the service provided. Ris stayed on top of things and was very thorough in explaining anything that I did not fully understand. He went above and beyond to negotiate not only the best price for me, but also to negotiate all needed repairs that I overlooked so that the house was move-in-ready for my fiance and I. A huge plus for me was the fact that Ris went out of his way to consistently drop by the home once it was in contract to make sure everything was kept up with and all needed repairs were sufficient and on schedule. Very happy with my first home and the overall experience, due in large part to Ris and Carol. Would highly recommend. Thank you guys!!
Cody F.- Acworth, GA
Having knowledgeable real estate agents make such a big difference on the stressful home buying experience. Ris made us feel comfortable the first time we met. He helped us out every step of the way and responded immediately to any of our concerns or questions. We are very happy with the end result. Thank you both!
Jeff E. - Acworth, GA
I lived 4.5 hours away from where I bought my home. Carol was great to work with. I even was told by my mortgage broker that Carol was on top of things and that not all agents are. Both I and my mortgage broker give her the highest review possible. I call her based on website info. I was so glad I chose her.
Anita A – Acworth, GA
Carol was extremely warm and honest as we went through the process of both buying and selling. I appreciated her experience and knowledge. For instance she told us when a home had blue pipe and that it would be an issue long term. I would recommend her to anyone!
Holly P – Acworth, GA
Carol and Ris were our real estate agents when my wife and I searched for our first house. They were patient, pleasant to work with, and consistently available. They went the extra mile to make sure we were well informed about this process, which was completely new to us. In the end, we had a very pleasant home purchase experience. I highly recommend Carol and Ris to anyone who is in the market for a home.
Enrica D. - Acworth, GA
We loved Carol! She was always quick to respond to use and very patient with all of our questions. She was always quick to show us a house when we wanted to see one and would even show us a listing later into the evening if we needed! We loved working with Carol!
Lauren L. – Cartersville, GA
As first time homebuyers, we had a ton of questions. Carol was always willing to explain the process and what we could expect. She worked around our schedules to show homes, and was very receptive to our “wants” or dislikes about a particular home. She worked quickly to get a backup offer in place on a short sale that we had our hearts set on, and again when the original offer fell through and we were able close on the home we thought had gotten away. We are very happy with Carol’s services, and would recommend her to anyone without hesitation.
Jeremy H – Canton, GA
My wife and I have been looking for a new home for our expanding family for a long time. On a whim, I sent an email from Zillow to Carol about a property. She was very quick to respond and while that property and many others turned out not to be the “one” for us, she never gave up looking for our perfect place. We looked at several homes over a year, and learned a lot from our agent about the home buying process. Anytime of the day, any day of the week, we could get a quick response about any concerns we had. We when finally found our home, she negotiated an incredible deal for us. I would highly recommend Carol Cowan for any of your real estate needs.
Jonathan F – White GA
Carol helped my wife and I purchase our first home. She made the experience enjoyable and was a good source of knowledge for a first time homebuyer. She worked to find out just what qualities were most important to us in a home and found us a house that met all of our “must haves”! Carol was pleasant to work with and was very low pressure about making a sale. Her focus was always to make sure we were going to be happy with our decision, no matter how long or how many houses we needed to look at. I
would definitely recommend her for first time home buyers like us!
Ryan C – Canton, GA
Carol stayed on top of our frustrating and long-term transaction. She explained the processes necessary in a foreclosure transaction and helped find answers when the processes didn’t seem to follow the anticipated route. She was very professional and encouraging to help us get into a great home that is perfect for us!
Dennis W – Acworth, GA
If you are looking for someone who is attentive to every detail, then Carol Cowan is the realtor for you. We just closed on our new home in Jasper GA and this being our 13th home purchase, she was by far the most wonderful professional throughout the process. She was very knowledgeable about and responsive to the many humps that were a part of this process for us. Her positive attitude and encouraging words got us through the hard times, like the seller being so stubborn about sooooo many things. We were so happy with having Carol as our realtor and the professional manner in which she handle every challenge, it was so fun to have dinner with her and her hubby tonight to thank her for her dedication and service. The whole experience was so worth it, but Carol made it a joy. We ended up with the house we wanted and new friends. I take pleasure in recommending Carol as your realtor and wish her many years of great success!
Lynne B – Jasper, GA
Carol is the ultimate professional. She not only was attentive to our needs, but very flexible, available, courteous, knowledgeable, encouraging and let the property sell itself. She was never pushy but made us feel very comfortable throughout the entire transaction. Carol had our vision in mind prior, during and after the sale. We were very satisfied with her skill set and have recommended her to other business and personal friends. Carol is the best.
Patsy M – Woodstock, GA
Carol is awesome! Moving up here from south of Atlanta we really needed someone with the local knowledge to steer us towards our dream house (and away from the chicken houses). It took us a while to find that “perfect” combination of house and land, but she was great. She showed us so many properties and was always upbeat and encouraging. When we finally found the one, she negotiated the price down to an AMAZING price. Needless to say, we were ecstatic! We are now happily ensconced up here in the beautiful mountains and just love it!
Lisa C – Jasper, GA
Carol is a wonderful real estate agent with very good knowledge of the industry and area we were looking in. We highly recommend her services to anyone looking to purchase a new home in the Atlanta and North Ga. area’s and will definitely be recommending her to all our friends and family.
Tommy S - Cartersville
We chose Ris and Carol for selling our home and we went under contract within 3 weeks of listing. Choosing Ris and Carol was one of the best decisions we made. I was very impressed with their responsiveness even while they were on vacation. They amazed us at every step during the selling process. I sincerely recommenced them to all of you to take the benefit of their service.
npm2001 via Zillow
Carol is everything you would want your real estate agent to be! It was a pleasure dealing with her and our special needs as we are out of town and purchasing this property in GA. A great go-between, between locations. We are still in touch with regard to little piddily things and she is still eager to help even tho the deal is done and over-with.
tuckerhill2 via Zillow

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“Extremely warm and honest. I would recommend them to anyone!”

– Holly P.

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