With spring selling season around the corner, it’s time to give your home the boost it needs to meet today’s buyer expectations. Sarah Lee gives us some ways to freshen up after a long winter.
With the early spring selling season kicking off shortly after the new year, it’s time to give your home the boost it needs to meet today’s buyers’ expectations. Take advantage of being inside during the cold winter months with these quick fixes that will help your property stand out from the competition, boost its value and sell quickly.
Declutter & Organize
Start tackling one room at a time by packing up anything that will distract buyers from seeing the unique features of your property such as personal collections, family photos, newspapers, books and magazines. Rearrange and remove excessive furniture to simplify and make the room appear larger.
Make Basic Repairs & Updates
Make sure everything is in good working condition. Repair and replace broken light switches, bulbs, ceiling fans, door knobs, leaky faucets, shower heads, windows, thermostats, etc. Update lighting fixtures with contemporary styles and consider replacing older kitchen appliances with sleek, eco-friendly models to capture young buyer interest.
Refresh and Brighten With Paint
Remove wallpaper and cover bold wall colors with a fresh coat of neutral paint to set the perfect backdrop for simple, updated styling. Give older style kitchen cabinets or wood vanities an instant facelift by covering with bright white or dark espresso paint. Then pair with knobs and drawer handles in brushed nickel or satin brass for an elegant finishing touch.
There is nothing that dates a room more that worn, soiled carpeting. Remove and/or replace carpeting to reveal hardwood flooring underneath to instantly brighten and make the room feel more spacious. There are also many budget-friendly, easy to install options on the market now for replacing damaged flooring such as laminate and vinyl that look and feel just like wood.
Add Storage Options
Today’s buyers are looking for plenty of storage. Added storage solutions such as built-in bookshelves, window seats with storage underneath, entry storage units, and extra closet hooks and rods are a practical way to attract immediate buyer attention.
Partner With a Pro
Consult with a professional stager who will have an objective eye and knowledge of what appeals to today’s sophisticated buyers. They will provide a range of solutions for enhancing your home showings by recommending everything from furniture placement to wall color to complementary modern accessories to add clean, welcoming style.
For more examples of interior decorating and home staging, visit www.pjstagingdecorating.com.
Patti Stern, principal, interior decorator and professional stager of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating, has been decorating and staging homes since 2005. She and her team provide turnkey, full service home staging and interior decorating to clients across Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. Her company has received Houzz 2015, 2016 and 2017 Awards for Customer Service.
Patti has been featured in Connecticut Magazine, the Hartford Courant, Danbury News-Times and on NBC Connecticut and FOX TV. She is a regular contributor to the National Association of Realtor’s Blog, “Style, Staged and Sold.”
Guest post by Patti Stern
If you’re looking for more reasons to fall in love with fall at home, check out this round-up of our favorite Blue Matter highlights for this fabulous season
Fall at home is all about cozy nights around the dinner table, afternoons of playing in the fallen leaves, and mornings taking in the crisp autumn air. If you’re looking for more reasons to fall in love with fall at home, check out this round-up of our favorite Blue Matter highlights for this fabulous season.
Did you know there was a right way to rake leaves? Now you do.
Thinking about listing your home in October? Why the Fall Selling Season is Better than You Think
Heating bills. Halloween candy. Fallen leaves! 25 Thoughts Homeowners Have During Fall
We could go on forever, but here are 7 Reasons to be Happy it’s Fall.
How to Use your Senses to Transition your Home from Summer to Fall.
Don’t cry because summer’s over. Instead, turn your summer place into an autumn oasis.
What if there was a gutter cleaning robot?
Call today for your free market analysis.
Coldwell Banker Tomlinson
Jessica Riffle Edwards with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage answers this age old question.
When is the right time to sell your home? Is it in the spring? Is it in the summer? Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage agent Jessica Riffle Edwards sheds a little light on this age old question. Watch the video below for her expert take on the subject.
If you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell I would be happy to help them in anyway I can.
Judy Higgins, CRS
Certified Residential Specialist
208-750-5839 call or text
Coldwell Banker Tomlinson~ 325 Main St, Lewiston, ID 83501
~Licensed in Idaho and Washington
Unsure if you should rent or sell the home you are moving out of? Here are six factors that can lead you to a smart decision.
You’re moving away from your current home and you’re not sure whether you should sell your current home or hang onto the property as a rental. There are pros and cons to both approaches.
If you hold onto your home, you can enjoy residual rental income as well as any positive home value appreciation. You’ll also have the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing that you could move back, if circumstances allow.
If you sell your home, you may have cash from the sale that can help you purchase another home in your new location. You also won’t need to worry about renting and maintaining your former home.
It’s a tough decision and there’s no “right” or “wrong” answer. But don’t worry, we’ve come up with six critical questions you should ask yourself when you’re trying to decide whether to rent or sell your current home.
1. What Are the Current Market Conditions?
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) publishes national, regional and metro-market-level statistics about real estate forecasts. If your home is located in a major metropolitan area that’s covered by NAR data, you can view their current forecasts about your housing market conditions.
But remember, real estate trends are hyper-local, which means the data that applies to your overall state or metropolitan area may not necessarily apply to your neighborhood. For specific local information, talk to a real estate agent who specializes in your location.
Ask a real estate agent to conduct a comparative market analysis look at both the recent sales and recent rental history of your neighborhood. You can also check out home pricing reports to compare the value of homes in your area. Again, it’s important to talk to an agent who has experience with your specific neighborhood because the market trends may vary in different areas
2. What is the Long-Term Outlook for the Neighborhood?
Ask your agent if there are indicators that your neighborhood may have a positive outlook for the next several years.
If home prices are slated to rise, it could be beneficial to hold on to the property and allow time for appreciation. If you’re holding onto your former home, then you may want to rent it out so that you can cover mortgage, repair and maintenance costs during your holding period. If, however, values are on a decline, selling your home may be a better option for you.
Of course, nobody can predict the future. But looking at indicators like job growth, population growth and housing inventory can lead to a smarter decision.
3. Will You Have Trouble Finding a Buyer or Renter?
Every local housing market caters to different sets of people. If you want to be able to find a tenant or buyer, you need to understand who your housing market attracts.
If your neighborhood tends to attract first-time homebuyers, and you live in a high-priced luxury home, it’s possible that you may have better luck finding a renter. On the other hand, if your residence is a duplex and your neighborhood is popular with investors, you may have excellent luck selling your property.
Likewise, take a look at how popular your neighborhood is with renters. Ask a real estate agent to pull data about the percentage of homes in your area that are owner-occupied vs. renter-occupied.
In addition, ask the agent to tell you the average length of time that homes sit on the market before selling. This will give you an indication of the demand in your neighborhood.
4. What Are Your Monthly Holding Expenses?
Estimate the monthly rental income for your property. Subtract an estimate for expected vacancy rates as well as an estimate for property management fees. This is the gross revenue you can expect to collect from the property.
Vacancy rates vary depending on neighborhood. Talk to an agent to find the average vacancy rates in your area. You can also call a few property managers who service your area to inquire about rates. Expect to hear estimates around 10% of the gross rent monthly, plus one months’ rent as a placement fee for new residents.
Next, calculate your total monthly expenses for the property, including the mortgage payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance), condo or homeowner’s association (HOA) fees if applicable, and an estimate for annual repair and maintenance costs. These are your holding costs for the property.
Not sure how to estimate these costs? As a broad rule-of-thumb, repairs and maintenance will cost about 1% of the property value, or $83 per month for every $100,000 worth of home. This is a long-term average that includes major capital expenditures like replacing the HVAC, water heater and roof.
Subtract your holding costs from your gross revenue (after deducting for vacancy and management). How much is left over?
This monthly total will play a big role in your decision to either rent or sell.
5. Do You Have an Emergency Fund?
You’ll need adequate funds to prepare for vacancies and major capital expenditures. Do you have an emergency fund to cover the mortgage payment for those months when the property may not be occupied? Can your cash reserves cover the cost of a major emergency repair, like a broken water heater?
If you don’t have the money to make your payments on time, then your credit score will suffer, and eventually, you could even face foreclosure. Make sure you have sufficient cash reserves before you start renting out your property.
6. Can You Buy Another Home Without Recouping the Down Payment?
Can you buy another home without selling your existing home? Or do you need to sell your current home in order to recoup the equity, so that you can make a down payment on your next home?
If any offer that you make on a future home will be contingent on the sale of your current home, then you may want to think about listing your existing home for sale.
On the other hand, if you can hold onto your current home and also buy another one, and the rental income on your current home – even after vacancies, repairs, maintenance and management – exceeds the holding costs, then there might be an argument for using your current home as a rental.
Whether you should rent or sell your current home is a difficult question to answer. But if you carefully examine the specifics of your neighborhood, home prices, rental demand, cash reserves, and financial abilities, you’ll be able to come up with a smart decision.
Article by Roy Rasmussen
Effective online marketing has become essential for successful REALTORS®. Eighty-six percent of homebuyers see websites as a useful information source, making this the most popular resource for homebuyers, the latest National Association of Realtors® data shows. Forty-four percent of homebuyers look online before taking any other steps. Fifty-one percent of all buyers ultimately find the home they purchase on the internet. If you don’t have an effective online marketing strategy for showcasing your real estate clients’ properties, you’re potentially passing up at least half of your prospective buyers.
One way to improve your online sales strategy is by using virtual tours to showcase your clients’ properties to buyers who are shopping online. Virtual technology can also let you give tours of properties that are not physically accessible to buyers for reasons such as distance or scheduling. Here are some steps you can take to showcase your clients’ properties with a virtual open house.
Shoot 3-D Footage of Your Property
Your virtual tour will create the best impression if you shoot some live footage in ultra-high definition using a smartphone with a 4K camera such as the iPhone 6s Plus. For an even greater sense of three-dimensional realism, you can attach accessories to your smartphone camera that provide a 360-degree view of your subject by using dual fisheye lenses.
For the most impressive footage, include some aerial shots by using a camera drone. Camera drones can be used to provide a dramatic aerial view of your property, including the garage and backyard, giving a fuller sense of what the property includes. You can also use drone views to provide an aerial view of the neighborhood and local highlights, such as nearby schools or parks.
Another way to use drones to heighten the sense of realism is to film a simulation of what it feels like to walk up to the property door. You can continue your drone tour indoors and walk your audience through the house. You can also use drone footage to take bird’s eye view of individual rooms and highlight features that might not be as evident from a ground’s eye view. This can be especially effective for properties that have high ceilings or stairway views overlooking lower floors.
Create a Virtual Model
For viewers with access to a virtual reality (VR) headset, you can further enhance the realism of your virtual tour by creating a virtual model of your client’s property. Companies such as Matterport and Floored create 3-D models of properties that can be combined with a VR headset to immerse the viewer in the environment of your client’s property. The headset allows the viewer to turn their head in sync with their virtual camera view, giving prospective buyers a realistic sense of what it’s like to walk through the rooms of a property and view their surroundings.
You can further enhance the impact of your virtual tour with augmented reality (AR), which combines your buyer’s view with on-screen overlays that provide information about what they’re looking at. For instance, when they look at an AR map of your property, they can see captions summarizing information and highlights of the surrounding neighborhood. When they look at a view of your property’s exterior, they can see it alongside a summary of the property’s features and price. When they look at interior features, they can see information about rooms or appliances, or about possible ways to take advantage of room features. You can even depict what a room would look like with furniture or family members in it.
Promote Your Virtual Tour Through Social Media
To get the most leverage out of your virtual tour, use social media to promote it. RE/MAX One Group REALTOR® Jesse Peters turns his virtual tours into social events by broadcasting them through Facebook Live. During the event, Peters lets viewers submit questions through Facebook, and he provides answers in real time. This lets him reach a larger number of potential buyers at one time while giving buyers a convenient preview of the property he’s showing. It also allows him to promote himself as a real estate agent by demonstrating his ability to present properties.
You can also use your blog to help promote your tours. You can create blog posts in advance of your upcoming tours so you can share them with your social media followers and invite them to attend. You can also embed videos of your tours on your blog so viewers can see them at any times. Apps such as Realync make it easier to embed virtual tours on your blog.
By using social media to promote high-quality videos and virtual models of property listings, you can provide prospective buyers with a realistic sense of what it’s like to tour a property, even when they’re not physically present. This can be used to set the stage for a physical tour, or even to sell the home without an in-person tour. Use virtual tours to improve the effectiveness of your selling technique, increase the number of prospective buyers you’re able to reach online and boost the success of your real estate business.
If you need any assistance with buying or selling I am here for you.
If you are thinking of selling and want to know the current value of your real estate investment give me a call at 750-5839
Click on the link below for a video update!
Are you thinking of listing your home this spring? You may be wondering what you can do to make your home more attractive and allow it to stand out from other similar homes in your market.
This month, I’m sending information about the seven features that may help your home sell faster. From energy-efficient windows and appliances to hardwood floors, these are the most popular features buyers look for when searching for homes. The second page outlines other features that help your home stand out, from updated kitchens and bathrooms to home offices.
If your home has these features, we’ll be sure to highlight them if you decide to list. If not, and you want to renovate to add them, give me a call and I’ll connect you with a great contractor in my network. Also, if you’re thinking of listing your home in the coming months, I’d love to discuss the market with you. Give me a call and I’ll give you a free market analysis of your home and answer any questions you may have.
7 Features That May Sell Your Home Faster.
Click on picture to enlarge.