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Read the Latest Utah Real Estate News and Market Information

Nov. 3, 2023

Home Selling Costs: What to Expect and How to Save Money

Room packed up with boxes to move


There’s a lot to consider when you’re planning on selling your home, and a big part of that is how much money you need to plan on spending. Will you need to pay the tax on selling a home? Can you save money? 


Here, we’ll explore the costs of selling your home, what you can expect to spend, and where you can potentially save some money in the process.


Real Estate Commissions


One of the costs you can expect when selling a home is paying your realtor their commission. As a seller, one of your expectations is to pay a certain percentage of your home’s selling price to your agent and the buyer’s agent, which can be around 6 percent total (3 percent to each agent). 


You can sometimes negotiate fees down, as each agent has their own preferred commission. Some home sellers will try to sell their home without an agent to save on costs, but it could be costly in the end without an expert there to guide you away from any expensive mistakes.


Transfer Taxes and Fees


Depending on where you live, the tax on selling a home and transfer fees will vary. 


Here are some possible taxes:


  • Property taxes: If your property taxes are close to being due, you could end up owing hundreds or thousands of dollars. However, if you’ve recently paid your taxes or you pay them throughout the year, this number could be quite low and save on the amount of money you need to pay upfront during a home sale.

  • HOA Fees: If you live within an HOA fee, you may need to pay the transfer fee. This could potentially be paid by the buyer if you’ve agreed to that in your contract.

  • Transfer Tax: In some states, a tax is paid when the title of a home is transferred. However, Utah doesn’t have a transfer tax, so you don’t need to worry if you’re a Utahn!

  • Capital Gains Tax: In Utah, the capital gains tax is taxed using the same rate as your income no matter how much you made selling your home. In 2023, that flat rate was 4.95 percent.

Title Insurance

The exterior of a suburban home

Title insurance is almost always the responsibility of the seller. Title insurance protects both the seller and buyer from any sort of legal problem with the ownership of the home, such as third-party claims, property border disputes, documentation mistakes, etc. 


There are two types of title insurance: one that is mandatory and protects your mortgage lender (Lender’s Title Insurance) and one that protects the homebuyer that is paid to the title company (Owner’s Title Insurance). 


Some sellers may be tempted to skip out on purchasing owner’s title insurance to save money, but it can end up costing thousands more in the long run. Without purchasing title insurance, many buyers will be wary of entering into a contract they don’t feel secure in, making it more difficult to sell your home. And if any sort of dispute arises, homebuyers run the risk of spending more than the home is worth to settle any legal disputes. 


Purchasing title insurance is generally expected of home sellers and is considered risky if you don’t.


Home Inspection Repairs

After a buyer comes under contract with you and a home inspection is done, a seller is responsible for any repairs that may need to be done. It’s smart to have some money budgeted for these last-minute repairs. To potentially save more money and more stress, try to have everything repaired and in working condition before an inspection ever happens so you don’t have to pay for an immediate repair.

Buyer Enticements

If it’s a bit difficult to sell your home at the time, including some extra perks for home buyers can really help sell the home more quickly and for more money. These perks can include paying money towards closing costs, a home warranty, or even staging your home so it looks more appealing. These are all optional costs that can feel like extra money upfront, but you may end up getting a return on your investment with a higher selling price and less time on the market.

An Agent Can Make All the Difference

A home interior

Knowing when to invest and where to save can be tricky. A good real estate agent who can help guide you through the process is key to a positive experience. Not only are you likely to sell your home for more money, but you will also be a lot less stressed. 


Harvest Park Group is Utah’s expert on home buying and selling. Whether you are ready to sell your home or are just looking at a potential move, trust a local expert to guide you. See what your home could sell for today, and get in contact with us to start your home selling process.

Posted in Education, selling
Nov. 1, 2023

What to Do if Your Home Isn’t Selling

A red “Home For Sale” sign for a family selling a home in Utah

It’s every homeowner’s nightmare: You’ve put your home on the market hoping for a quick sale, but your home doesn’t sell. The weeks go on and on without any offers, and you wonder if you’re ever going to sell your home. Luckily, we have tips on how to sell your home. You can take some steps to make your home more attractive to potential buyers so that you aren’t wasting your time and money.

Here are our top home-selling tips when you aren’t getting any offers:

Give Your Home Some TLC

Sometimes, all your home may need is just a bit of love and upgrading. Are there some repairs that are possibly scaring buyers away? Are your wall colors a little too bold? There may be some quick and inexpensive fixes to help refresh your home and give you the edge you need with home buyers. A neutral coat of paint, updated cabinet fixtures, some simple landscaping, or even a deep cleaning may be all it needs. Don’t forget about non-cosmetic maintenance, such as a recently tuned furnace or roof repairs.

Update Your Listing

If your home has been listed for a while, it may be time to liven up your listing a bit. This could be double-checking to ensure that you have all the correct information listed, all your home’s amenities are mentioned, and it could even mean updating your photos to a brighter and higher quality, especially if you made any repairs. Your listing is a potential buyer’s first impression, so make sure you give your home its chance to shine.

Change Your Marketing

A clean, modern living room

Is your home unique? You may need to find your particular target market to advertise toward. Your real estate agent can help you market your unique situation to legitimate and interested buyers, rather than hoping someone comes across your listing. This will take some extra work, and potentially some extra time, but this home selling tip is worth it to find the right buyer.

Check Your Price

It’s common for a home not to sell because it’s not priced correctly. Although you and your agent’s goal will be to sell your home for as high a price as possible, a home priced too high will repel any potential buyers from even coming to see your home in the first place. There’s a strategy to pricing and negotiating the sale of your home, so make sure you consult with your agent on where your home’s sweet spot is.

Sell Later

Although it’s not ideal, sometimes it just isn’t a seller’s market and it may be best to wait on selling your home, if possible. If you can ride out the dip in the housing market, you’ll be able to sell your home quicker and for a higher price, which can ultimately be worth the wait. This doesn’t always mean a loss of income, though. Many homeowners will rent out their previous homes and then sell once the housing market has improved.

Ask Your Real Estate Agent

Selling a home in Utah with a brick exterior and green landscaping

Every home, every seller, and every home market is unique, which means there isn’t always a one-size-fits-all checklist for how to sell your home. Make sure you have a licensed and experienced real estate agent to help you through this process. They will know both the ins and outs of your local market as well as the circumstances of your particular home, and they can offer suggestions on how to make your home more desirable, or if it may be best to wait. Selling a home can already be stressful, but that stress increases when you have difficulty selling it.

Harvest Park Group has local, experienced real estate agents who are experts in selling a home in Utah. Contact us for a free home valuation as well as personalized tips on how to sell your home.

Posted in Education
Oct. 11, 2023

How to Attract Utah Homebuyers: Marketing Your Property

A staged living room and kitchen

You’ve put in the money and time to repair, update, and stage your home to get the best offer possible. But what good is all that effort if no one can see what you’ve done, or even know that your home is for sale to begin with? You can’t sell a home without any interest, and you can’t get it for the price you want without a good marketing strategy.

From our years of experience in the real estate business, here’s what it takes to market your property.

Hire a Professional Photographer

To show off all of the hard work you’ve put into staging, improving, and decluttering your home, hire a professional photographer. The pictures of your property are going to be the first impression of your home to potential buyers, and first impressions, whether good or bad, can be hard to overcome. If a picture is worth a thousand words, pictures of your home can be worth thousands of dollars. Don’t underestimate what quality pictures can do for marketing your home!

Write an Enticing Home Description

Your home’s pictures go hand in hand with your home’s description to make a good first impression. Write descriptively and with keywords that potential buyers may be searching for when looking for a home. Make sure to also mention any sort of cost-saving features, such as energy-efficient appliances or systems or any new improvements that have been made that can save the buyer money in the future.

Create a Virtual Home Tour

In addition to your pictures and description, a 3D home tour or video tour can go a long way in appealing to buyers. Although pictures are essential, they can’t always convey how a home is laid out, its flow, or how some of the spaces feel. A virtual tour allows potential buyers to get a feel for the home before they even come to view it, which can help you highlight your home’s best selling points, and weed out casual viewers.

Host Open Houses

A staged black-and-white kitchen

Even with a virtual tour, most home buyers will still want to view a home in person before making an offer to make sure that what they see online matches up with reality. Host multiple open houses and multiple times, so that buyers with different schedules can have the chance to see your home. Choose common convenient times, like Saturday mornings or weekday evenings after work to make it as accommodating as possible. Your real estate agent can also be there during the open houses to field any questions and make a personal connection with buyers.

Post on Websites and Social Media

MLS sites are how both buyers AND real estate agents look for homes. Make sure that your home listings are up to date and on multiple sites to reach as many people as possible. Along with MLS listings, don’t underestimate the power of social media and your own outreach. Posting your listing and asking friends to share is a great way to make a connection with a buyer, as buyers are often more trusting of a friend or friend of a friend rather than a total stranger.

Consult a Real Estate Agent

As always, your real estate agent will know your home and market best. They can help you remedy any weaknesses they may see in your marketing or listing, help you post to multiple MLS sites, write your listing, and hire any professionals for your pictures or virtual tours. They will also help you list your home for a competitive price, helping to bring in even more buyers and offers.

Making your home ready to sell is only half the battle. Marketing your home is the way you get the right buyer for your home. Don’t leave your home up to chance. Harvest Park Group boasts years of experience selling homes in Utah for the best price. Get a free online home evaluation, and contact us today to see how we can help you sell your home!

Posted in Education
Sept. 20, 2023

Why You Should Consider Buying Real Estate in Utah

An aerial view of a Utah neighborhood at the foot of a mountain

With as big of an investment as real estate is, it’s important to have all the facts before purchasing so you can make sure you’re making a smart choice. Utah’s real estate has its ups and downs like any market but has become increasingly in demand in the last few years.

With that demand and the current housing market climate, is it smart to buy a house in Utah right now? Before we can answer that question, let’s tackle some of the common concerns homebuyers have when looking into Utah real estate.

How Much Money Do You Need To Buy a House in Utah?

As of May 2023, the average price of a home sold in Utah was close to $530,000. This means that after a down payment and closing costs, you could spend anywhere from $40,000 to $150,000 to initially buy a home, depending on how much money you put down and what sorts of loans and grants you may qualify for.

However, if you are a first-time home buyer and are looking to build a new home, you can check out Utah’s legislature’s new first-time home buyer assistance program. This program allows a loan of up to $20,000 that can be used to either add to your down payment, pay for closing costs, or buy down your mortgage rate. This loan comes without any interest and will only need to be paid back when you sell the home or refinance. If you think you’re eligible for this assistance, make sure to talk to your real estate agent about applying.

Why Are House Prices So High in Utah?

Housing prices anywhere are subject to supply and demand. If an area is highly sought after, prices will reflect that. Utah’s population is booming because of its strong and growing economy, low unemployment rates, family-friendly atmosphere, and low taxes. We not only see people from out of state flocking to Utah, but more Utahns not moving away as well. Although high demand can mean higher prices, this can also mean greater safety in your real estate investment. Because Utah is becoming so popular, and demand continues, your home’s value will increase, or at the very least, stay stable.

Is Utah Real Estate in a Bubble?

An aerial view of Salt Lake City at dusk

A lot of critics like to forecast a housing recession and attribute high prices to a housing bubble rather than the economics of supply and demand. Luckily for new home buyers, Utah’s housing prices have decreased a bit in the past few months, coming off from a high in the last few years. However, dips in the market are significantly different than a bubble bursting.

The factors that caused the housing market crash in 2008, such as unregulated markets and lenders loaning more money than homeowners could afford aren’t happening right now. What is more likely to happen is that housing prices will dip a little (as we see now) but continue their upward trend, as there is still a shortage of homes on the Utah market.

Is It Smart to Buy a House in Utah Right Now?

In reality, there is always going to be some sort of challenge when it comes to investing in real estate. Your personal financial standing is the greatest determinant of whether or not your home purchase is a smart choice to make. As far as the Utah housing market is concerned, our experts are confident that it is still a good time to invest in real estate. Housing prices are high, but they are expected to climb even higher, which not only will help your resale value but makes it dangerous to try to wait out the market—something that could cost you thousands of dollars later.

With the right agent, you can still find the right home for you for a competitive price that will be a smart investment now and in the future.

Contact Our Team of Experts at Harvest Park Group

Our Harvest Park Group team are resident experts in Utah’s real estate market and help make the home-buying process as smooth as possible. Contact us today to see if buying a home in Utah is right for you.

Posted in Education
June 28, 2023

Top Interior Decorators in Utah County

A modern staircase in a house


Interior decorators are more than just for your favorite HGTV show—they really can help you in both the home buying and selling process.


Although today’s technology allows designers to work with you remotely throughout the country, it’s always a good idea to look for someone local. If you meet them in person, they can often show you things like fabrics and tiles in person rather than relying on digital images, and some of them even have local showrooms to inspire your project if you’re not sure what you want yet. 


Why Do You Need an Interior Decorator?

Selling a Home

When it comes to selling a house, staging it correctly cannot be overstated. A well-decorated home can make or break a sale and has the potential to impact the offers you receive by thousands of dollars. First impressions matter and bad ones are hard to overcome. But decorating your home can be an overwhelming creative endeavor, and not everyone is up to that task. To make your home stand out above the crowd, turn to the seasoned professionals that the locals have learned to love and trust. 

Instead of scouring social media for ideas on how to decorate your house, try turning it over to the professionals!


Buying a Home

If you’re just bought a home, it may feel hard to get cozy in a new place with furniture and decor you previously purchased for a different space. Instead of spending months of your own time trying to figure out what layout will fit best and which furniture and accessories will work with your style, consider hiring an interior decorator who can make the process go a lot more smoothly. 


Not only can a decorator help you nail down exactly what your style is, but they can help you incorporate design functionally into your home. Now let’s look at the official top interior decorators in Utah County.


1. Osmond Designs

A kitchen and living room designed by Osmond Designs

Osmond Designs is a well-known name throughout Utah County. Heather Osmond owns Osmond Designs. 


The company has two store locations, one in Lehi and one in Orem. They offer already-designed furniture as well as a design center that allows you to custom-make your own furniture. As a title sponsor of the Utah Valley Parade of Homes, they also boast of being the official design sponsor of the Salt Lake Parade of Homes


Heather is also one of the hosts of KSL’s radio Home Show, where she offers her expert advice on how to decorate like a pro. Their website also offers a Room Planner application where you can digitally decorate your intended room to make it just right before you purchase anything. 


Osmond Designs has won Best of State for Interior Design and Furniture Selection multiple years in a row and have also won two Best of Houzz awards in design and service.


Why we love Osmond Designs:

  • Their Room Planner feature
  • Homeowners can purchase furniture that fits their needs and taste
  • High quality for a price customers love

2. Stage 7 Design

A bedroom designed by Stage 7 Design

Stage 7 Design is where you should go if you are looking specifically to hire a team to stage your home or even design a remodel. 


If you are selling, Studio 7 Design can draw from its own collection of thousands of items to stage your home during the showing and selling process. After a consultation on what rooms you’d like staged, they can set up your home in one day and leave the staging as long as necessary for your home to sell. 


If you’re looking to create your dream home, set up a consultation with Studio 7 to discuss your goals and the aesthetic you’re hoping for. After creating 3D renderings, Studio 7 will make the purchases and take over the moving-in process so you can sit back and relax. 


Stage 7 Design has won first place in Interior Design in the Salt Lake Parade of Homes and has won seven Best of Houzz Design and Service awards over the years. 


Why we love Stage 7 Design:

  • Home staging and interior design services for homes and businesses
  • 3D renderings and mood boards
  • Light and airy feel

3. Gatehouse

A living room and kitchen designed by Gatehouse, an interior design firm

Gatehouse was founded in 1979. They own a 10,000 sq. ft. decor showroom and an interior design studio located in Orem.  Although you’re welcome to visit and get design inspo on your own, Gatehouse design services help you to define a room’s purpose and guide you through space planning. They help you choose details like fabric and nailhead finishes, and then they deliver and install your new furniture and decor. 


Design services start at $800, but that fee is credited toward your purchases of furniture and accessories, meaning that the design fees end up getting waived after your purchases. 


Gatehouse is now an icon among Utah interior designers and decor enthusiasts alike. They host exclusive live events and participate in Utah Valley’s Parade of Homes annually. 


Why we love Gatehouse:

  • 10,000 sq. ft. showroom 
  • Custom furniture
  • Sells all household essentials 


4. Remedy

A kitchen designed by Remedy Design

Remedy is a great choice for personalized consultations and design services. Remedy was founded in 2015 and offers a “white-glove” home-design experience. 


Although Remedy certainly helps you decorate your home, they primarily help with the actual design of your home, if you are looking to build. As a full-service design firm, they can handle a whole home design, from the foundation to the throw pillows, and take remodels on a case-by-case basis. 


If you’re looking for just decor, their store Elements by Remedy has trained home stylists to help you with furniture styling and layouts as well as styling accessories. 


Why we love Remedy:

  • Modern, neutral style
  • Full-service design firm (including architectural phase)
  • Elements by Remedy

5. Glass House Collective

A kitchen designed by Glass House Collective

Glass House Collective is another full-service design firm that serves Utah County and the surrounding areas. While they can handle a whole home construction project, Glass House Collective also offers packages for remodeling, a two-hour in-home consultation to help guide you through a specific project, digital designing for those wanting to design things online, and a Designer For A Day package that gives you a six-hour time block to design your space with an expert as they guide you through the ins, outs, and specifics of your project. 


Glass House Collective is relatively affordable and accessible, with their in-home consultation priced only at $350. 


Whether it’s staging to sell, or decorating your new purchase, a well-decorated home can make a difference in the overall feeling of your house. Turning to professionals can help an otherwise overwhelming process be a smooth, stress-free, and high-quality experience. 


Why we love Glass House Collective:

Sell or Buy With Harvest Park Group

Utah County is home to some of the most talented interior designers who have made a significant impact on the region's aesthetic landscape. From modern minimalism to classic elegance, these designers have an eye for creating stunning spaces that are both functional and beautiful. 


Whether you're looking to update your current home or purchase a new one, it's important to work with professionals who can help you achieve your goals. That's where Harvest Park Group comes in. Our team of experienced realtors has a deep understanding of the local market and can guide you through the buying or selling process with ease. Plus, with our unique design services, we can help you transform any property into the home of your dreams. 


So, why wait? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your real estate goals.

Posted in Education
March 28, 2023

Which Upgrades Are Worth the Cost in 2023?

painting supplies like a ladder, paint roller, and paint can next to a wall prepped to be painted

If you’re planning on selling your home, whether in a few months or years from now, it’s worth knowing what home projects and upgrades will give you the best return on your investment. Although a fancy jacuzzi may seem nice to you, it may not be enough for a buyer to offer more for your house when you are eventually ready to sell. 


Here are some home upgrades that will actually increase your home’s value. 

Fresh Paint

Painting is relatively inexpensive, easy to do yourself, and it immediately makes your home feel fresher, newer, and more inviting. This simple improvement is enough to affect a buyer’s first impression. Stick with neutrals and light colors, as adding murals or bold colors may feel like extra work for a potential buyer to change.


Kitchen Remodel

While any kitchen remodel will yield a return, you don’t have to go all out to increase your home’s value. A minor remodel usually gets a higher ROI than a complete overhaul of your kitchen. Upgrading to fancy appliances probably won’t do much for your resale value, but if you spend a couple thousand replacing the countertops, your kitchen can feel years newer and more appealing. 


If you’d like to update more, you can also refinish or paint your cabinets rather than ripping them out to save money while still getting a good ROI.


Finish a Basement or Attic 

Finishing an unusable living space increases your home’s value dramatically. Not only is it increasing the livable square footage of your home, but buyers often see these upgrades as a blank canvas for their own custom needs. These remodels sometimes allow you to add an extra bedroom and/or bathroom, immediately increasing your home’s value and opening your home to more potential buyers who’d need the extra space.


Minor Bathroom Remodel 

A man placing subway tiles on a wall

A bathroom refresh may be just what your home needs to catch a buyer’s eye. Although you likely won’t make your money back on luxury upgrades, an updated vanity, neutral subway tile, paint, and a decent showerhead are sure to keep buyers interested. Stay away from overly trendy designs, and go for a clean look that could cater to multiple design styles.


 Replacing Windows

Replacing your windows might not seem as fun as some other home improvement projects, but when you and future owners can save money on their utility bills, buyers take notice. If you live in an older house, you should definitely consider this upgrade.



While lavish and expensive landscaping will just seem like extra maintenance to future buyers, simple landscaping can land the attention, and competition, of many buyers when you are looking to sell your home. Skip the water feature and the koi pond, and invest in some good shade trees and perennial plants that you and future owners can enjoy for years to come.


Outdoor Living Space

Building a deck or updating an existing patio can also be seen as extra livable space for future buyers. Installing new pavers, re-staining the wood, and adding some new plants or vines can liven up the extra space without costing much. While it may not technically add to your square footage, this extra entertaining/relaxing space can make a difference in the overall feel of a home. 


 Confidently Sell Your Home with Harvest Park Group


The costs of selling a home can add up and feel stressful when you’re spending your own hard-earned money to make updates you hope will make a difference. With these home-selling tips, we hope you can feel more confident as you choose what to update on your home. Want to know what your home is already worth? Get a free estimate today!

Posted in selling
March 7, 2023

Top 9 Resources for Home Sellers

A beautiful well-kept home


There seem to be a lot of resources for those hoping to buy a home, but what about people who are selling? When selling, you are often doing both: trying to sell and buy a home all at about the same time. Cue the stress.


To help you fully focus on finding the next home, here are some of our favorite resources to help make the selling process a breeze.



1. Home Valuation Tool

Finding out what your home’s real value is can be one of the most important things you do when selling your home. You can often get a free estimate to give you an idea of what your home could sell for or how to price your home. You can also hire a professional appraiser for your home to give you an official value, although this step will often be completed anyway during the due diligence period once your home is under contract. A home value estimate can start you off on the right foot with realistic expectations.


2. Market Reports

A market report can give you a snapshot of your local real estate market. It often includes new listings of homes in your area and their prices, as well as homes that have recently sold, how long they were on the market, and what they ultimately sold for. 


These reports give as much of a direct comparison as possible and help you set an expectation for what your home selling timeline may look like. These market reports will also help you in pricing your home in the sweet spot of not too little, but not too much to scare off potential buyers. These market reports are often shown to buyers who see your home, so they can see how your home compares to others in the neighborhood.


3. An Inspector

An inspector can come and look at the bones of your home. While we aren’t worried too much about the aesthetics that will help sell your home, an inspector can ensure everything is in working order and can disclose any renovations or fixes that need to be made.


You will need to make some of these fixes, but you can opt to let the new homeowners take care of other issues for a discount on your home’s price. Similar to a home appraisal, you or the ultimate homebuyer will handle this step at some point during the process. Who pays for it often depends on the market and what you have written in your contract.



4. A Home Consultation Professional

A home consultation can be a valuable tool in helping you get the best price for your home as possible. What usually happens is a realtor or other professional comes and can guide you on what to improve, update, or fix to increase your home’s value. They may also give you tips on how to present your home when the time comes for open houses and showings. These consultations can help you see which investments you would make your money back (and more) for, and which investments wouldn’t be worth it, which can potentially save or earn you thousands.



5. A Landscaper

A landscaper can go hand in hand with a home consultation. If you or your home consultant noticed any curb appeal that could be updated or improved upon, a landscaper may be someone you want to hire. 


Try to have fresh and clean landscaping with neatly manicured grass, shrubs, and mature colorful flowers to make a good first impression when buyers come. Although you could do this all yourself, sometimes hiring out is worth the cost during the chaos of moving and trying to sell a home. 



6. A Home Stager

A home staged with furniture and decor that makes it appealing to buyers

Similar to a landscaper, a stager can come to help your home show its best side. A home stager can help arrange the furniture and decor in the home—or even redecorate altogether! They can suggest different paint colors, help arrange closets and storage spaces to look bigger, and they can even help with cleaning your home. 


Ultimately, they are there to put your home’s best foot forward and present it in the best possible way. This often leads to less time on the market and higher offers from buyers when they see a clean and aesthetically pleasing house.



7. An MLS 

An MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is a large database where realtors from all different companies and firms list their clients’ homes as well as look for future homes for their clients looking to buy. 


Getting your home’s listing to shine out above the others is what will help drive traffic to your home. All the previous resources culminate together to help your listing stand out, with a good market price, valuable upgrades, and clean fresh staging. Before buyers come to your home, this listing will be their first impression—so make it count!



8. A Real Estate Contract

The contract you write up with your real estate agent is what protects your interests and prevents major headaches further down the home-selling line. You can include contingencies, the terms of the sale, and your specific closing date and costs. Some of these options can be negotiable when a buyer makes an offer, but this is ultimately created to help keep you safe.



9. An Experienced Realtor

Speaking of writing up a contract, you will need a real estate professional to help you navigate writing one up and suggesting any sort of clauses or contingencies they think will be in your best interest. Not only can a realtor help you with your contract, but they can ultimately help you with all the resources mentioned above: finding your home’s value, analyzing market reports for you, finding professional stagers and inspectors, and listing your home once you’re ready.


Realtors are valuable as you get your home ready to sell, but they become an essential asset when you start receiving offers. They will help you navigate the negotiation process to ensure you are getting the best deal for you and your home. 


Although selling your home can still be a big process, using these resources and finding professionals can help you be confident and successful as you prepare to sell your home.

Posted in selling
March 7, 2023

Utah’s Best-Kept Secrets When It Comes to Selling Real Estate

a person handing over keys to another person in front of a “Home For Sale” sign

Selling your home is a big undertaking! Not only are you focused on the sale of your own home, but you’re likely actively looking for your next home at the same time. Finding the quickest way to sell your home while still getting top dollar for it is a hard balance to find. 


As experts in Utah’s real estate, we know the stress that comes with it. From our years of experience, here are our secrets to selling your home efficiently and for the best price.



Make a Selling Plan

If you are ready to sell, make sure you have everything in order first before you go right to listing your home. Are you financially ready this very day to cover any additional costs that come along with selling? Is your home ready for showings? 


Even the time of year you list your home can affect how much you are offered. A recent study from Redfin shows that homes in Utah sell the quickest between April and July, with April and May being the best months to list. However, in 2022, that time came earlier in the year, with sales picking up in March. 


Coming up with a selling strategy can help you with your timeline of selling your home. An experienced realtor can help walk you through the process and help you price your home in a way to maximize the ultimate sale price. 


Clean, Clean, Clean

Clean like your home depends on it—because it does! A dirty home feels unkept and leaves buyers wondering if more important aspects of the home haven’t been taken care of as well. Buyers will snoop, so make sure you are cleaning under and inside cabinets, your window tracks, the laundry room, your oven hood, baseboards, air vents, and the garage to name just a few. If needed, hire a professional cleaning company. Both the money and time you spend to clean your home will pay off immensely



Depersonalize and Declutter

Buyers need to be able to visualize themselves in the home, and that’s often difficult to do when pictures of your family are hanging on the walls surrounded by your own sentimental items. Remove those personalizations, and downsize the clutter as much as you can while still making the room feel comfy. One of our favorite tricks is leaving closets half empty so buyers can see how much storage your home actually has.



Use a Professional Photographer

Professional photo of an office space inside a home

Photos from a professional are necessary for making your listing stand out. These photos will give a buyer their first impression, and will even determine whether someone takes the time to visit your home. Allow your home to show its best side by taking down heavy curtains and letting in natural light as your photographer works their magic.



Upgrade Appropriately

Simple upgrades can make a world of difference in selling your home. In addition to making sure your home is in good repair, fresh coats of neutral paint and painting over scuffs on baseboards can make your home feel brand new. But, be careful not to over-upgrade certain areas of your home at risk of not making your money back. Getting new hardware for your cabinets, painting, and cleaning your grout will pay off while a luxurious bathroom makeover likely won’t. 



Don’t Forget The Yard

Aside from your listing photos, your curb appeal creates an initial impression for a buyer that can be hard to shake off. A whole makeover isn’t usually necessary, but choosing some bright flowers and shrubs to place around your entry is sure to help. You can easily make a good first impression with a clean front door and nicely swept porch.



Be Ready and Flexible

Keeping your home in tip-top shape for showings can be a stressful period, but it will be worth it. Try to be flexible about showing periods. If you only show your home for a couple of hours on the weekend, you’ll likely get fewer offers and your home may stay on the market a lot longer. Trying to allow for more home showings often means you’ll have to maintain a show-ready home for less time.



Find a Good Realtor

Our best tip is to find a knowledgeable realtor. They can offer advice on how to stage your home or make it more sellable. They also know how to price your home competitively and can handle negotiations when offers come in to get you the best price possible. Navigating the home selling process is already difficult, don’t make it more stressful without an expert to help guide and negotiate for you. At Harvest Park Group, we are experts in Utah’s local markets, which gives you the home advantage and helps your home-selling process go as smoothly as possible. 

Posted in selling
Feb. 8, 2023

Downsizing Your Home

an elderly couple on a swing in front of a house

Have you felt overwhelmed with your home space? Does most of your space go unused? Are you looking to move closer to family or get away from the city after retiring? 


Downsizing your home can be quite a task, but it can be very rewarding if it’s the right decision for you physically, mentally, and financially.



Is Downsizing Right For You?

Downsizing isn’t the right choice for everyone, but it can come with some major benefits if you are ready for it. Your current stage of life, how much you can afford, and how much effort you want to put into maintaining your home can all contribute to whether or not you’re ready to sell your home and prepare to downsize.


Lower Maintenance

When moving to a home with less square footage, there’s simply less to clean and maintain to keep your home running smoothly. When downsizing for retirement, it’s important to think about how much you can manage as you grow older. 


Another thing to consider is that downsizing can often lead you to a smaller home in a community setting, such as an apartment complex or a townhome where a Homeowner’s Association takes care of a lot of the maintenance work.


Lower Cost

A major factor that goes into deciding whether or not you want to downsize is the cost of living in a smaller home. If your current home is too much to afford, or if you’d like to start saving a bit more money, selling your larger home for a profit and buying something smaller could really help you put quite a bit into your savings. Smaller homes usually have lower property taxes, lower home insurance premiums, and use less in utilities, so you would be saving monthly on your mortgage and on all your other home-related bills.


A New Place For Your New Chapter

Another reason to downsize your home would be to also move locations at the same time. As you enter a new stage of life, your priorities, schedules, and home dynamics change. Where you’re living may not reflect where you want to be anymore. You may want to consider moving closer to family and closer (or further away) from city life when looking for a new home.



Preparing to Downsize

Once you’ve decided to downsize, you need to prepare your home and your finances and find an agent to help you sell your home and find you the perfect smaller house.


What Should I Do To Prepare?

When downsizing your home, you’ll need to downsize the amount of stuff you can fit in your home as well. To not overwhelm yourself, go room by room and try to declutter decor, closets, and anything else you can get away with. It may be good to get a feel for how much space you’ll need to fill in your new home by deciding how much space you’ll be looking for in your new purchase. Then trim down your furniture accordingly. To help declutter, you can donate or sell unwanted items, pass down sentimental items, and have a limit on the number of things you want to keep for yourself.


When Should I Sell My House?

Selling your home is one of the most important factors when downsizing. Selling at the right time will help you get into the new home you want, with potentially some leftover money for you to use how you need. Selling is tricky to time, so it’s best to work with your agent to know when is best for you. If you’re curious about what your home is worth right now, you can check out our home valuation tool to give you an estimate.


Buying and selling a home is a big process anytime you do it, especially when downsizing. However, the unexpected benefits of downsizing your home can make it all worth it, whether you are downsizing for retirement or just looking to have a more manageable space. Find what your current home is worth and talk with an experienced agent to have a smooth and stress-free experience from start to finish.

Posted in Buying, selling
Feb. 2, 2023

Navigating the 2023 Housing Market: Trends and Insights

A beautiful grey home with a lush green lawn in front

Behind the Scenes of the Housing Market

When pandemic-related conditions impacted the global economy in 2020-2021, home sales surged as homeowners sought to acquire additional space to accommodate remote work conditions and to take advantage of record-low interest rates and affordable home prices


As a result, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, home prices skyrocketed by 45% between January 2020 and June 2022. Rents also rose as a result of a shift toward independent living among young people rather than living with roommates.


As The Federal Reserve seeks to manage inflation, interest rates have increased, which has made it more difficult than ever to buy a home.


Utah's Housing Market: An Example to Look to

The ongoing pandemic has not hindered the upward trajectory of Utah's housing market. There has been a notable influx of out-of-state buyers, particularly from California, New York, and Texas, who are drawn to the state's robust job market and desirable housing options. 


According to Norada Real Estate Investments, “Utah's employment landscape is also one of the most impressive in the country. It has had the most rapidly growing job market in the country for the past decade. Utah's population grew by 18.4% over the past decade, making it the fastest-growing state. It's now the 30th most populated state, with nearly 3.28 million people, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.” 


The Utah housing market has been experiencing significant demand for homes, however, the supply has been unable to keep pace. This has led to a shortage of available homes and a subsequent increase in home prices across a wide range of counties throughout the state. This trend is expected to continue as more and more people are attracted to the state's job opportunities, quality of life, and the natural beauty of the region. 


Other Real Estate Markets to Consider

According to Fortune Builders, other great real estate markets that found their way at the top in 2022 include:

  • Austin, TX
  • Nashville, TN
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Phoenix, AZ

If you are planning to engage in real estate transactions in 2023, researching and considering certain states as potential locations for buying or selling property may be beneficial for you. These states may offer attractive market conditions, such as strong economic growth, desirable housing options, and robust job opportunities, which could make them ideal places to invest in real estate. 


Additionally, it's also important to consider the current trends and market conditions of the location you are considering, such as supply and demand, median home prices, and growth prospects. 


By conducting thorough research and understanding the real estate market in the state you are considering, you can make an informed decision and potentially find a profitable opportunity in the real estate market in 2023.


What to Expect in the Future

2023 Predictions 

The Wall Street Journal has compiled an extensive array of predictions for the year 2023 from a diverse range of industry experts. These forecasts provide valuable insight into the potential future trajectory of the market, offering a glimpse into the potential opportunities and challenges that may lie ahead:


“KPMG LLP, an audit and consulting firm, is calling for prices to fall 20% next year, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecasts a 7.5% drop. The National Association of Realtors, meanwhile, is forecasting a 1.2% increase in existing-home prices, and the Mortgage Bankers Association sees prices up 0.7% next year.”



Is 2023 a Good Time to BUY a Home?

brown home on a great piece of land

Purchasing a home is a significant decision that requires careful consideration of various factors, including your budget, needs, and preferences. Instead of waiting for prices to drop, base your decision on your current needs and long-term plans, rather than solely on the price. When evaluating potential homes, it is important to consider whether the property aligns with your needs, is located in an area you are comfortable with and is within your budget. If all of these factors align, it could be considered a suitable option for you. 


However, according to Forbes, “If you make too many sacrifices to buy a home, you may end up with buyer's remorse,” and may eventually be forced to sell it. It's crucial to remember that buying a home is an investment in your future, so it's essential to choose a property that aligns with your lifestyle and financial goals. Moreover, considering the current market scenario, the supply of homes is limited and home prices are on the rise, it's important to act soon if you find a property that aligns with your needs.


Is 2023 a Good Time to SELL Your Home?

As a housing market crash could be on the horizon, it’s never been smarter to sell real estate. The most significant reason is the potential for a significant loss in the value of the house. In the event of a housing market crash, such as the one that occurred in 2008, property values can drop significantly. By selling before the crash, homeowners can avoid losing a large portion of their investment in the property. 


Additionally, if a homeowner needs to sell, selling before a market crash may be better. There will be fewer buyers during the crash and it will be harder to sell the property. In summary, selling a house before a housing market crash can help homeowners avoid significant financial losses and also help them sell the property before it becomes much harder to do so during a crash.


Final Thoughts

the front porch of a red house with a closed blue door


The current housing market downturn is complex and multifaceted, making it challenging to forecast its duration and severity. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that market fluctuations are a natural occurrence and that the present downturn may present opportunities for both buyers and renters. It is also important to note that now more than ever may be the best time to sell one’s home. 


Posted in Market Updates