Home Selling Tips

house for sale

A lot of people find it harder to sell their homes during winter than in summer. Experts though see a lot of advantages when you try to sell your house during the colder months. One, the market’s buying frenzy during the spring is over and sellers have more time to think of the different offers. The competition is also less with fewer homes up for grabs.

Below are some real estate tips if you are planning to sell your home during winter:

Spruce up the Exterior

Just like what you need to do any time of the year, you need to make your house look well-maintained and well taken care of. You cannot do paintwork in winter but you can wash paintwork and your siding with some soapy water. Make sure your windows are also clean and clear.

Decorate the Entryway

You must have a very welcoming entryway so highlight it with some lights, garlands, and other ornaments. You can also place some festive greenery to give your front porch more life and make it more inviting.

Clear all Obstructions

Trim down the bushes, shrubs, and branches and make sure they do not obstruct entrances or walkways. Make sure your walkway has been shoveled and free of ice before showcasing your house. This will also make sure that no untoward incident, like people slipping on your walkway, happens for which you will be liable for.

Light Some Candles

Improve the ambiance indoors by lighting some candles. Some scented candles and some potpourri will tickle the romantic side of prospective buyers. You can also have some soup on the stove or some cookies baking in the oven.

Protect Your Floors

Put some rubber mats by your door so the buyers can clear their boots of snow. You can also buy some comfy slippers from a discount store which you can offer everyone before touring your home.

Flipping Houses – Here are Tips to Sell Flip Houses Faster and Earn More Money

flipping houses no-nos

House flipping is not always turning huge profits, sometimes it can get you into trouble – you buy a house, renovate, spend all your money and then nothing. You cannot sell it but have to pay a lot of money on taxes, mortgage (if you didn’t pay for it in cash) etc. This is a clear recipe to disaster.

Ideally, you should have cash at hand. Even if you don’t pay for the house in full, having enough money to last you during repairs and until you can resell is gonna help you go through any possible bad times.

Don’t Over-Improve On It

I know you’d like to make it perfect, but, if similar houses in the area sell at a price, there’s little chance to sell it way over that price. Say you’d like to get $400,000 for a house in an area where most houses sell for about $200,000 … not gonna happen too easily.

So, instead of over-investing on all kinds of expensive features and finishing, make sure the house looks good and keep your money for another flip.

Invest in a nice kitchen/bathroom (nice, not overly expensive) and make sure everything else works flawlessly – anything that’s gonna be checked during the Homeowner’s Inspection.

Know your target market well and renovate with them in mind.

If you are selling to single people, you’ll need to provide some improvements, if your target market is families with children, think about what these people need the most.

Being able to provide your target customer with the exact features they’ll appreciate the most is a sure way of selling your flip house faster and get bigger profits.

Market Yourself

Don’t just presume people will line up at your door to buy your houses.

If you are seriously into this, invest a bit of money on a website, run a real estate blog and promote via social media. With as little as few hundred bucks you can get a promotional system in place that will get you more business leads.

The more people you can get to be interested in what you sell, the easier it will become to grow your house flipping business.

Don’t Overprice Your Property

So you got the initial house, made it gorgeous and are now looking to get the money rolling in.

If you price it lower at the beginning, you’ll attract way more potential clients. The more showings you have, the bigger chances are to get a few clients who are very interested in the property and are willing to bid for it.

Make a Great First Impression

We all know it’s not OK to judge a book by its cover, but we’re all (secretly) doing so. Why would it be different in the real estate world?

Make sure that the first impression a potential buyer gets is a good one.

Garbage, unkempt bushes and dirty yards make a bad first impression and can drive away a good customer (or drive the price down).

If all flip houses look the same, it’s more difficult to get a buyer for them, since they are boring. Why not try a new more beautiful color in the living-room? Maybe a new type of tiles in the kitchen. A nice door in the front of the house?

This doesn’t have to cost you extra, there’s a lot you can do within your budget but give your house a ‘wow factor’. Something that makes it really stand out.

It’s not a flip since we plan on moving there when we retire and spend most of our weekends in until then, but most rules apply here as well.

We have done some of the wall painting ourselves, I am becoming increasingly good with working on reclaimed wood (we have some delightful one-century old beams I have personally revamped, now we’re working on an old door etc.) and husband is doing a lot of the work needed for the house.

And yet we have a professional do all our plumbing and another one who’s done an amazing job with plasterboard.

In order to cut some of the costs, you might be tempted to try and do ALL the work yourself. But it can turn into an expensive disaster: you can ruin something or it will take way too much time to be worth the hassle.

Choose Cash Over Finance

If you get 2 similar offers and one is a cash offer while the other one a finance offer, it’s not a bad idea to go for the cash.

Even if you ‘lose’ a little, this is money you can get hold off IMMEDIATELY and use for the next flip, while a finance option, even if it seems a better deal, will take effect later.

Of course, if you already have a good cash cushion and can enter the next deal immediately, you can wait for the finance offer to take effect.

Flipping a house shouldn’t take too long. Make sure you can start work on it as soon as possible and try to finish the repairs and improvements in a timely manner.

Any additional time you waste with the property means more taxes to be paid, more work to be done on it, maintenance costs going up.

The faster you can flip it, the faster you cash in your profits and can move to the next deal.

How to Find a Great Real Estate Agent

realtor

One year ago we decided to get a house in a rural area in our county. We found some listings on a free ad website and called the owners.

Since the houses were very decrepit and the price was small, they didn’t hire a real estate agent, since the commission would have been way too small.

We were very pleased with the outcome, we dealt directly with the owners, visited the house when we were all available for this and both parties were happy at the end with the agreed price and outcome.

Unfortunately in most cases, when dealing with bigger properties, a real estate agent is a necessary evil.

Let’s see how we can turn this relationship into a great one.

Ask your friends and neighbors who they’ve worked with in the past. While not all friend recommendations might be 100% reliable, you can find a lot of great details about the real estate agents they have employed in the past.

Were they pleased with the agents’ performance? How did they work together? Anything you should avoid?

You can also pick few names and then see if they are suitable for the job.

Real estate agents rely on print ads to promote the properties they are currently selling and also their own business.

This is a good way to single out few realtors you’d like to work with.

There’s no better way to see an agent in action than at an open house. Do you like how the real estate agent presents the home? Does this person seem knowledgeable? Professional? Pleasant?

The way a real estate agent is presenting an existing client can give you a great insight on how your own listing will be managed. Or how your business relationship will look like.

Check with your state’s regulatory body and see if your prospective agent has a license and if there have been any complaints or issues in the past.

You’ll want to deal with experienced real estate agents (ideally at least 5 years in the business) and people who have a spotless ‘record’.

As soon as you got your eye on a real estate agent, checked his credentials and are ready to move forward, look at the current properties he’s listing.

Too few properties indicate a not so healthy business, while too many might mean said agent won’t be too careful representing you since he’s way over his head.

Do the properties get listed properly? Are the images enticing? Are the details correct? For many properties that are in your area, you can do a little checkup yourself and see how well the agent is representing his clients’ real estate. This is a clear indicator of how your own business will be handled.

You’ll need to know how long they’ve been in the business (ideally over 5 years, otherwise they’re learning on you), what other properties they have in the area etc.

Is there a good chemistry between the two of you? Selling or buying real estate is serious business, ideally, you should work only with people you are comfortable with.

What real estate agents to avoid:

  • real estate agents without too much experience – while new real estate agents go into business and do a great job from the start, most of the time you should look for agents who are already experienced
  • real estate agents who don’t have properties in your area – it’s not just about the houses and prices. You’ll need someone who knows the neighborhood, all transportation options, good schools, parks, and hospitals.
  • part-time real estate agents – someone who is doing this full time is more invested in his business and will most likely do a way better job.

Tips on How to Take a Good Photo of Your Property

photographing your home

A picture of your house can seal the deal. A good image on your property listing is very important. Remember that even if you have an amazing house to sell, no one will even open your listing if your photos are not good enough. So how do you take great photos of the real estate property you are trying to sell? Read on for our simple to follow tips:

Make Sure Everything is Neat and Clean

The photos of your property will be the preview of potential buyers. Thus, the impression they will make is very crucial to catch the interest of buyers. You need to clean the outside of your house. Make sure your driveway and lawn look great. Make sure you move your car from the driveway before clicking that camera.

The interior should be free from any clutter, dirty clothes, unfixed beds, and any other eyesore. Polish the furniture and make sure the windows are very clean. Make everything look spacious so you need to re-arrange your furniture if needed. Stage every room properly and you will see immediate results of your listing.

No Pets

Your dogs, rabbits, mice, snakes, dinosaurs, and dragons should not be included in the shot. You do not want them to distract the potential buyers from checking out your home. Be the pets tidy or not, you want the buyers to focus on seeing the best features of your home.

Lighting

The best way to light the room is by opening every curtain or blinds. This way you can avoid uneven lighting and unnecessary shadows.

Take lots of Shots

Go to every area of your home and take as many shots as you want. From there you can pick the best ones that you will feature on your property listing.

4 Things to Know About Investing in International Real Estate

investing in real estate

Real estate is a tricky game – you must become very knowledgeable about your target markets and your competitors in order to become successful. That’s true in North America, as well as anywhere else in the world.

But when you start to branch outside of the U.S. real estate market, that’s when things can really start to get complicated. The rules are different, and mistakes can be costly.

Here are a few things you need to know if you’re considering investing in the international real estate.

You Need To Know What Stage Your Market Is In

There are roughly five stages to every emerging market. If you don’t know what stage that market is in, you could get taken to the cleaners. The first stage is usually reserved for locals only. This means that locals are using the land for their own purpose, like agriculture and business.

An outside party can bring that land to the second stage, which means that large swathes of land are bought for the purpose of developing them at a later date (or hanging onto them indefinitely).

These large swatches are eventually broken up into smaller parcels, becoming further developed and moving into stage three of the real estate market stages. These parcels can become small enough that homebuyers can actually come in and purchase, as well as speculators.

The land switches to a mainstream homebuyer market in stage four when restaurants, hotels, and other consumer-driven developments arrive. This then becomes a full-fledged city at stage five, with all the infrastructure and civil services that come with it.

Each stage has its own advantages and challenges. For the risk-averse, the early stages are the riskiest – but do provide the highest beta. This means that with a higher risk, comes a higher reward.

You Must Have A Plan

Without a plan, you’ll never have a clear vision of what to do with your new investment. Knowing if you are planning on renting the house, living in it, or just holding onto the property until property values rise are important questions to ask yourself before diving into real estate.

You Won’t Get Rich Quick

Real estate investing is a long-term investment. There’s no way around that – while people in distinct markets may have sped up this timeline, the fact of the matter is that real estate is hard work, and may not pay off in the end if you don’t do your research beforehand.

You Must Study Up

Becoming a successful international real estate investor means knowing everything you possibly can about the situation you are putting yourself in: the local market, the neighborhood, and even the property itself. If you don’t know what your cash flows will be, like how long it usually takes to rent a property in your market, you may have too much overhead to cover each month. Know before you buy!

Final Tips

As a final word of wisdom, becoming a real estate tycoon is hard work, and isn’t for everyone. If you take on something that is a little too far over your head, you run the risk of damaging your livelihood, your family, and your future. Know yourself before buying any property, and understand the risks and time commitment involved.