Our Real Estate Blog
Although your real estate agent will do the lion's share of the work involved in selling your home, there are several things you, the homeowner, can do to help move things along.
By making sure your home is always ready to be shown at a moments notice to prospective buyers, you will be helping to "tip the scales" in the direction of a faster sale. Since making a great first impression is crucial to the sales process, it's important that your home always looks its best -- both inside and out. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you decide to put your home on the market.
Order versus chaos: Every time your real estate agent sets up a showing of your house, it's an opportunity to attract and engage potential buyers. When your house and property look organized, clean, and well cared for, it sends a series of positive messages to prospects.
Admittedly, it can be a little bit of a hassle to keep your house looking (and smelling) immaculate all the time, but doing so can definitely work in your favor when it comes to making a great impression and getting your house sold faster.
To the extent that it's possible, try to eliminate or significantly reduce anything that could be described as "clutter." Clutter can include anything from excessive furniture and wall hangings to knick-knacks on your shelves and too many containers on kitchen countertops.
The ultimate effect you want to achieve is one of spaciousness, tastefulness, and organization. Anything which detracts from those desirable qualities could potentially work against you. As the classic 1980s TV commercial for a well-known dandruff shampoo reminds us: "You never get a second chance to make a first impression!"
Remember curb appeal: Actually the real first impression happens before prospective buyers even enter your home or step on your property. In many cases, it occurs before they even get out of their cars!
Making sure your house and property look as impeccable as possible from the street can help attract potential buyers and put them in a more receptive state of mind. Maintaining a manicured, clutter-free lawn, highlighted by a few splashes of floral color, can be an effective way to create eye-appeal and make a positive first impression.
One thing home sellers are either unaware of or forget about is the fact that prospective buyers sometimes do a preliminary "drive by" before picking up the phone and calling your (or their) real estate agent to schedule a showing. If they do not like what they see from their car, they probably are not going to take the next step and arrange a full tour of your home.
When you come to the realization that every person who drives by or visits your home is a potential buyer, you'll be more motivated to take care of the many details that either attract of send away prospective buyers.
When you're considering buying real estate as an investment, it's a good idea to weigh the pros and cons. That's especially important with "subject-to" real estate, because there can be risks and rewards with this type of property that are different from traditional purchases. Here's what you should be considering, before you decide on this investment strategy.
The Pros of "Subject-To" Real Estate
On the "pro" side of buying "subject-to" real estate is the way you can acquire multiple properties for your portfolio. Additional benefits include:
The Cons of "Subject-To" Real Estate
With any real estate transaction or investment of any kind, there are cons that come along with the pros. When you weigh them carefully, here's what you should be thinking about:
Why Choose This Type of Real Estate Investment?
If you don't have the money or credit to buy investment properties, buying "subject-to" can be a good choice if you understand and mitigate the risks. You may also want to choose this option if you're trying to acquire a lot of properties quickly, and you want to save money over traditional purchasing options. For people who buy "subject-to", there can be big opportunities to buy quality properties they might not be able to afford under typical circumstances.
But it's very important that you're aware of the risks and legalities. Getting an attorney to help you with the first few properties, and to collect and make the mortgage payments on all the properties you buy, can be one of the ways you can make this type of transaction safer and better for you and the seller.
Promoting a house to potential buyers sometimes can be difficult. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to stir up interest in your residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you promote your residence to buyers.
1. Upgrade Your Home's Curb Appeal
Amazing curb appeal is essential, particularly for a seller who wants to differentiate his or her house from other available residences. If your house boasts outstanding curb appeal, it is likely to make a positive first impression on buyers. And as a result, buyers may be more likely to request showings to view your home in comparison to other available houses in your city or town.
To upgrade your house's curb appeal, you should mow the lawn, trim the hedges and remove dirt and debris from exterior walkways. Also, devote time and resources to repair any damaged home siding.
If you require assistance with home exterior enhancements, you can reach out to local contractors as well. In fact, these professionals can help you transform your home's exterior from drab to fab in no time at all.
2. Create an Engaging Home Listing
An engaging home listing makes it easy for buyers to learn about your home. It is clear and concise, and as such, enables buyers to determine if your home matches their expectations.
To craft an engaging home listing, it often helps to make a list of your home's features. If you include relevant information about your house in your listing, you can teach buyers about your residence.
In addition, you may want to include high-resolution images of your home in your listing. With high-resolution images, you can show off the true beauty of your house to potential buyers.
3. Use Social Media to Your Advantage
If you create a home listing, you can share this listing on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. By doing so, you can make it simple for buyers to learn about your residence.
Don't forget to share your home listing with family members and friends as well. If loved ones can access your home listing, they can share it with others and help you promote your residence to as many potential buyers as possible.
For a seller who is worried about generating interest in his or her home, you may want to hire a real estate agent. If you employ a real estate agent, you can receive expert assistance as you navigate the house selling cycle.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to promote a house to buyers in any housing market, at any time. He or she will develop an in-depth plan to showcase your residence to prospective buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will help you analyze any offers to purchase your home and ensure you can optimize your house sale earnings.
Use the aforementioned tips, and you can promote your residence to potential buyers and speed up the home selling journey.
You may be thinking that your best investments are inside the home: a snazzy new kitchen, a spa-like bathroom or new wood floors, but you can actually get a high return on investment (ROI) if you focus on your home's curb appeal.
The first impression potential buyers have of your home is the outside. If you had to guess, what's the best purchase? If you guessed a garage door, you'd be right! Studies show that the recouped cost of a new garage door is usually around 97%, which means you basically get the whole amount back in home value.
Fixing Up the Outside
Before you go investing $4,000 in a new garage door, though, start by fixing up the existing features of your home. That means repairing or replacing vinyl siding, powering washing the outside and giving it a new paint job if necessary. Make sure windows and shutters are clean and without cracks or dings. Most importantly, if your roof is nearing the end of its warranty, or if you have known problems like leaks, now is the time to fix it. While the ROI on a new roof is only about 60%, roof problems can be a huge turn off for buyers, causing your home to sit on the market for longer and costing you more in the long run.
Start on your landscaping plan by cleaning up your yard. Get rid of the trash and yard debris so the yard stays presentable. If you have a green lawn, now is the time to review it. If your grass is growing well and covering the dirt, great! Keep it mowed and you are good to go. If your lawn is having problems, you may want to consider mixing it with other ground covering like gravel, recycled rubber or wood pellets. They are all much easier to maintain, especially in dryer climates not as well suited for grass. If you have empty or dying flower beds, now is the time to fill them up with seasonal flowers and bushes. These give you great color and make your home seem more welcoming to buyers.
Before you start shelling out big money for upgrades, have your real estate agent review your home. They can suggest the best options for your market and price range, as well as provide accurate feedback about your home’s curb appeal. They may even have ideas for professional help to get your home in perfect selling shape.
Zombie properties are homes that have been visibly abandoned but actual ownership has not. The term became popular in the housing industry during the 2007-08 housing crisis when people being unable to make their mortgage payments reached a catastrophic point.
According to ATTOM Data Solutions, a firm that tracks different types of real estate data, zombie properties made up about 3% of all foreclosures in the U.S. in October 2019. These homes can be a good buy, but there are some challenges you should be aware of before signing on the dotted line.
How Does a Property Become Classified as a Zombie Property?
A zombie property occurs when a homeowner is told they are being foreclosed upon, and they leave their home believing they must immediately vacate. The zombie scenario arises when a bank either abandons or inadvertently never completes the foreclosure process, and the house is left in limbo with no one caring for the property.
Zombie properties can be very lucrative investments because they are often able to be purchased at rock-bottom rates. The problem is there are some risks involved with buying this type of property because they’ve essentially been abandoned for often long periods of time which sets the condition for many unfortunate events to occur.
Homes Have Been Trashed
In many foreclosure situations, a home is already left in poor condition. In many cases, the homeowner couldn’t financially keep up with upkeep, or they’ve purposely destroyed the home before they left. Any of these problems or others are further exasperated in zombie situations because there is a high probability more destruction has been heaped up upon the original neglect or damage.
Squatters May Have Created Uninhabitable Conditions
Once a house is recognized as a zombie property, squatters or vandals often decide the property is fair game. They might simply come inside to be destructive, or they may use it for their own purposes.
Additionally, if vandals or squatters leave doors or windows open, animals, including feral cats might have taken up residence.
Locating The Title Holder
Once a homeowner has abandoned a property, they can be difficult to locate. Some may have gone off the grid or others have no clue they are still listed on the property deed. The name of the previous occupant who owned the home will need to be removed from the title so this will be a legal detail to address before a purchase can move forward.
Purchasing a zombie property can be a very lucrative investment, but it’s essential to carefully evaluate the condition of the property before deciding to buy it. You might find the effort and expense involved in bringing it up to be habitable might be more than it’s worth.