Paula Glazebrook's Blog
Already a homeowner? Planning to sell in a few years? Sometimes the most sensible investment on the table is the property you already own.
Why Invest In Your Own Property?
Some investors think of each residence as a sort of long-term flip: buy a home, live in it for a couple of years to avoid capital gains tax, improve it as they have the capital and inclination, and turn it around for a profit when they're ready, usually 3-4 years later. And for a huge number of millennials, moving every few years has become de rigeur: occupy a home for a few years, then follow the job market wherever it takes them. Today's young professionals are often on the move.
Whether the long-term flip lifestyle appeals to you or not, it makes sense to improve your home's value as much as possible while living there--especially if you're looking to sell in the next few years.
Fix What's Broken
Step 1 is the least appealing item on our list, but it's probably the most important. Before you renovate the kitchen, install crown molding or hire a landscaper to work their magic on the yard, you need to fix what's broken.
Hit it all in this step--both large things and small. Make sure your electrical systems are up to code. Non-GFCI outlets in the kitchen or bathrooms? Replace them now. Gutters falling apart? Take care of it. Water heater has just about the same capacity as your kitchen sink? Replace it. Basement drainage issues? Fix them. Make a checklist of known issues, both big and small, and work through them. Your family will thank you, and your future self will thank you.
This is where it comes in handy to have a home inspector on your Christmas card list, but it's not necessary. If you live in an older home and/or don't have much experience with home repairs, consider paying a home inspector to come in to do a walk-through and give you advice on things that need to be addressed.
A home inspector will be able to tell you what could become an issue during the inspection process once you have an offer on your home. You might not choose to address everything on their list, but you'll have an idea of a place to start--and an idea of the most pressing issues you're dealing with.
Before pouring your money into upgrades, make sure you know that cap rate for the homes in your neighborhood. There's a point where upgrades just stop paying off, and you don't want to exceed it. Instead, look at comparable homes on the market on your street or in your neighborhood. Go to a few open houses, even. Get a feel for the minimum standards that these homes meets.
Hit the Minimum Standards for Your Area
In some neighborhoods, a dirt yard is totally normal and not necessarily worth improving (unless you just want to). In other neighborhoods, you'll be expected to have sleek new stainless steel appliances at a minimum. This is a great starting point. Bring your home up to or just above minimum standards, because that's what buyers will expect.
Kitchens, Bathrooms, Flooring & Paint
As you've probably heard, investing in the kitchen and bathrooms almost always pays off. It probably goes without saying, but if you're planning to sell soon, don't invest in personal-preference renos--like rearranging the kitchen (unless it's a major dysfunctional problem) or building in a new fireplace. Instead, update/upgrade what's already there. Upgrades that can make a huge difference include:
- Having cabinets painted/refinished and hardware updated
- Reglazing kitchen or bathroom tile to bring its look into the present century
- Replacing flooring with the standard for your neighborhood
- Finishing a partially-finished basement or loft space
Throughout the upgrade process, keep the style neutral to appeal to the widest variety of homebuyers. Love bold wall colors? That's fine, but unless you live in a remarkably artsy, hipster neighborhood, plan to paint a toned-down gray or beige before you put your home on the market.
If you're on the fence about paint and flooring, those are projects that can be put off until right before you move out. They're also the two most powerful ways to transform your home's aesthetic.
Obviously the changes you make will have everything to do with the projected sale price--and the caps for your neighborhood. All improvements should take this into consideration, and you'll be off to the races when you decide it's time to put your home on the market.
If you have hired a realtor to help you sell your home, you have already taken care of a good amount of the job that needs to be done to get the home sold at the right price. There is one important thing that you need to tend to as a seller- that’s getting your home ready to be shown. Once the home is on the market, your realtor will work with you to schedule open houses and times for the home to be shown privately. Whether you only have a few hours or a day or two to prepare for a home showing, there are a few certain areas that you need to tend to in order to help your home appear clean and tidy to impress buyers.
It doesn’t take very long to sweep down your hardwood and tile floors. After you do this, run over the floors with a mop to remove any stains that may be present on the floor.
The Dust Rag Is Your Friend
If you have time, you can do a deep clean of your home. It also doesn’t take a long time to go over the surfaces of your home with a duster. Getting up the dust will not only make your home smell fresher, but it will appear cleaner as well.
Make The Beds
Your mother told you for years that you need to make your bed in the mornings. She was right. Beds that have been made look much more presentable and homey than rooms with bedding strewn around. If your bedding is looking less than inviting and you have some time before your showing, you may want to pick up some new bedding. The small details are so important when it comes to selling your home, and making the home look inviting is one of them.
Clear The Clutter Out
Whether it’s piles of clothes on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink, or papers on the counters, clean it up! While you want to give prospective home buyers an idea of what it’s like to live in a place, the home doesn’t need to look “lived in.” Try and get rid of the personal traces that you leave behind as you prepare to sell your home. As a bonus, you should also make sure the trash is empty and fresh.
Vacuum The Rugs
Running a vacuum over your rugs can really help to freshen the home. If you have pets, this will help remove the odor that animals leave behind. It will also provide a fresh surface for anyone who is touring your home to walk on.
Turn On The Lights
When you leave the house for a showing or open house, definitely make sure that all of the shades are open and the lights are on. A bright home is an inviting home.
If you plan to sell your home, you should consider how you can stir up interest in your residence. Because if you know how to promote your house to buyers, there may be no shortage of home showing requests as soon as your residence becomes available.
Ultimately, it is important to give buyers lots of reasons to view your home. If you promote your residence to the right groups of buyers, you could reap the benefits of a quick, profitable house selling experience.
To better understand how to achieve the best-possible home selling results, let's take a look at three tips to help you showcase your residence to buyers.
1. Focus on Curb Appeal
Your home only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on buyers. Fortunately, if you allocate time and resources to improve your house's curb appeal, you may be able to differentiate your home from other available residences in your city or town. And as a result, you may receive lots of requests to view your home.
To enhance your house's curb appeal, you can mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks. Don't forget to repair or replace any damaged home siding as well.
Remember, the better your home looks to buyers, the more likely it becomes that buyers will want to check out your house in-person. If you prioritize your home's curb appeal, you could make your house an attractive option to dozens of buyers.
2. Craft an Engaging Home Listing
A home listing often represents a great starting point for buyers to learn about your home. Thus, if you craft an engaging home listing, you may be able to transform your house into a must-see residence for buyers.
As you create a home listing, consider your house's features. Include relevant information about any distinct house features in your listing, and you may be able to help your home stand out from other available residences in your city or town.
Provide accurate information in your home listing, too. If you make it simple for buyers to use a listing to learn about your house, you can help these individuals determine if your residence matches their expectations.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
For those who want expert assistance as they promote a home to buyers, it generally is a good idea to hire a real estate agent. In fact, if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can seamlessly navigate the house selling journey.
A real estate agent understands how to generate interest in a house. He or she will help you promote your residence to the right groups of buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events, ensuring you likely won't have to wait long before you receive an offer to purchase your residence.
Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can make it easy for buyers to fall in love with your home.
Many sellers rely on agents to help them to deal with the task of selling their home. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, a real estate agent isn’t required. There are many advantages and disadvantages to selling your home as a “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO). Read on to discover the good and bad of selling your home on your own.
Avoid Paying Commission
Real estate commission is the main reason that many sellers choose to go it alone. You’ll pay about 6% commission on the sale of your home between buyers and sellers agents. When figuring out the asking price for your property, this number that you’ll pay for a commission is included. This sale price also should be enough to pay off the remaining balance on the property. If you don’t have a lot of equity in your home, an FSBO may be your only option if you can’t afford the commission. Another option is to wait to sell your home until you have built up enough equity for the transaction to make sense for you.
You Can Find Other Resources To Help You Sell The Property
There are so many resources available to FSBOs in today’s market. Yards signs aren’t the only thing that sellers can use to get people interested in their property. Many websites and resources assist people taking the FSBO approach. You still may not be able to get your property listed everywhere if you’re not a real estate agent.
You Won’t Be Able To List The Property Fully
Only licensed real estate agents have access to the MLS, where buyers' agents and other websites pull available properties. Not having access to this can be a deterrent to the marketing of your home. You could miss out on getting many home showings that you otherwise would if your house was listed on the MLS.
There’s No One To Help You With Paperwork And Negotiations
Real estate agents certainly earn their commission. There is a lot of work in both selling and buying a home. If you hire an agent, he’ll be taking phone calls, sending off forms, and dealing with the negotiations on the property. An agent will also coordinate home showings and have the ability to show your property when you’re unavailable. If you go it alone, you won’t have that assistance and may be a bit overwhelmed during the selling process.
A real estate agent also understands the lingo better than someone who has been outside of the business. There are many advantages to paying his fee if you decide to hire him for the sale of your home.