Tag Archives: real estate

house painting

5 Ways to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Preparing a home for sale can be stressful and costly, but it doesn’t have to be. First, it’s important to change your mindset. Try to think about the house as a product rather than your home, like a realtor would. That way, you will be able to look at it more objectively. It is important to make your home look attractive to someone seeing it for the first time. A potential buyer’s first impression is critical, so make it count. Here are five inexpensive insider tricks that will help you get the best price you can when selling your home. 

1. Remove Clutter

Selling your home means moving, so this is a great time for you to donate, sell, or throw away anything you don’t need. And removing clutter will make your home look larger. Potential buyers look for useable space. Clearing away clutter will make it easier for potential buyers to imagine their family living happily in your home.

People coming to see the house will undoubtedly look into your closets and cupboards, so make sure everything is well organized. Remove books from bookshelves. Keep kitchen counters clean and put away small appliances. Put away family photos to depersonalize the home. Remove extra leaves from your dining table to make your dining area feel more spacious.

2. Think About Renting a Storage Unit

Make the most of the space you’ve got. Store extra chairs, bookcases, filing cabinets, and anything else that you don’t need right now. Items like treadmills and things in your garage are also good choices for a storage unit. 

3. Add a Coat of Fresh Paint

Nothing says fresh and clean like a new coat of paint. Since painting is usually a do-it-yourself project, it is one of the least expensive changes that will give you the highest return. Make sure to choose neutral colors.

4. Update Kitchen and Bathrooms

The most noticed rooms in the house are the kitchen and bathrooms, and they can be deal breakers. Even with a limited budget, you can give them an updated look. Along with a fresh coat of paint, new hardware can go a long way toward giving dated cupboards and cabinets a new look.

Clean cabinets and cupboards with a wood surface cleaner. Replace worn-out caulking to give your rooms a cared-for appearance. Keep bathroom counters clean and clutter-free.

5. Make Floors as Good as New

The condition of the floors can wind up as a negotiating point for home buyers. Worn-out, stained carpet should be replaced if professional cleaning doesn’t do the job. Carpet is relatively easy on the budget, and new carpet can be a good selling point for your realtor.

Selling your home is a big step. With some reasonably painless projects, you will be able to get the full value of your house. Remember to look at your home as objectively as possible. In fact, during the process of getting it ready to sell, drive up and go in as if y a potential buyer. What is your first impression? Would you want to buy it? If the answer is “yes,” you’ve done a good job getting your house ready to sell.

More Ways Than One

These 5 things aren't the only option. You can sell your home as-is for a quick cash offer! Learn more about our solutions for individuals AND for realtors.

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What To Fix When Selling a Home

When preparing a home for sale, you may not have a lot of money to make renovations. There are, however, some inexpensive repairs that will make your home and property more attractive to potential buyers. The first step in knowing what to fix when selling a home is knowing what to fix that will not break your budget.

Stick to the Basics

When a potential buyer looks at a home, they are looking for some very basic things. Two things they want to know is whether the roof leaks and if there are any issues with the gutters and downspouts. While you may not be able to afford to replace an entire roof, all leaks should be repaired—and that includes fixing any water damage that may have occurred to your ceilings. Your gutters should be cleared of any debris and rehung if needed to ensure proper drainage to the downspouts.

If your carpets are a mess but you have hardwood floors underneath, you might want to rip up the carpeting. With some sanding and maybe some stain, you can bring back the beauty of the flooring. If you don’t have hardwood flooring underneath, replacing the carpet or installing inexpensive laminate flooring can be the next best thing.

Focus on the walls, especially if you smoke. You might not notice that your walls look dingy because you see them all the time, but a potential buyer will. Give your walls a good scrubbing and repair any holes in the sheetrock or plaster. A coat of paint will help freshen up the look of any room in your home, but stick to light, neutral colors.

Make sure that your furnace and air conditioner are in working condition. Have an HVAC contractor perform routine maintenance and assess the condition of your heating and cooling system so there are no surprises if a potential buyer wants to have a home inspector check it out.

If you have a basement, make sure it is dry and free of mold and mildew. Caulk any cracks where water may seep in. It is also a good idea to cover the brick with a few coats of drylock paint to seal it and prevent water from seeping through the foundation walls.

Think Curb Appeal

Knowing what to fix when selling a home also includes the outside. It doesn’t cost much to clean up your property. The outside appearance of your house can make or break a buyer’s first impression. You may not be able to afford to re-side or paint the exterior of your house, but there are a few things you can do to make a better impression.

  • If you cannot afford to upgrade your front door, repaint it.
  • Make sure your yard is clear of garbage such as old patio furniture or outdoor toys.
  • Keep your lawn maintained by making sure it is watered, weed free, and mowed.
  • Trim your shrubs and plant flowers around the yard to make it more attractive.

Knowing what to fix when selling a home can help you save money by focusing on things buyers look for first. It will also help improve your chances of selling your home at your asking price within a reasonable time frame. 

Maximize Your Home's Potential

For even more tips, check out this post on Budget Friendly Ways to Improve Curb Appeal.

Flipping a Home: Before and After Feature

Flipping a home can be a legitimate way to make a hefty profit. There are people who make flipping houses their livelihood, not only because they can make good money but also because they enjoy the process.

Finding a home at a good price, making key improvements, and then reselling it for a profit isn’t easy, but it is satisfying and many people enjoy the challenge.

How Do You Choose Which Homes to Flip?

Ideally, choose a home that is perhaps a bit dated or needs some work but offers good features and doesn’t have any major problems. There are great houses that just lack cosmetic appeal and need a little work.

Flipping a home means taking a risk and maybe putting in a lot of work and time, but the results can be well worth it. A house that makes a good investment may have:

  • A large yard
  • Fireplaces or other charming extras
  • A large kitchen and/or ample storage areas
  • Good-sized bedrooms

Another thing to consider is location. Is the house in a good, safe neighborhood? Is it perfectly situated for commuters or near good schools? These factors make a big difference.

How Do You Improve a House for Flipping?

There are some fairly easy improvements that make a house more desirable and increase its value. Ripping up outdated carpet and replacing it with laminate or tile floors and giving the interior a fresh coat of paint can go a long way toward making the home more attractive.

New entry doors, a new garage door, and some outdoor maintenance work enhance curb appeal.

In the kitchen and bathrooms, refinishing cabinets and installing new flooring is a good idea, as is replacing faucets and other outmoded fixtures.

In some cases, you may need to replace the roof and the heating and air-conditioning system. While these improvements are pretty big expenses, they can drastically increase the value of a home.

The Benefits of Buying a Flipped Home

You may have heard cautionary tales advising you to steer clear of flipped homes, but that’s not necessary. After all, many of the upgrades and repairs made to the home were things you were going to have to do anyway. It’s a good idea to do your homework, though, and make sure that repairs or improvements were done by reputable contractors.

Overall, flipping a home is a great way to invest and build income. If you are the do-it-yourself type, you can also have a lot of fun turning homes from outdated, boring houses to beautiful homes that make you a tidy profit.

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Are you looking to get into real estate? Help us find homes to flip and get paid without putting up investment cash or swinging a hammer.

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Hidden Costs of Selling your Home

If you list your home for sale with a real estate broker, the broker’s fees will be your most obvious expense. However, from the moment you start cleaning up the property until you’re haggling over the buyer’s final fees, most home sales involve thousands of dollars of unexpected expenses.

When estimating the cost of selling your home, you can be certain there will be plenty of nickel-and-dime costs but also be prepared for major unforseen expenses such as necessary repairs. A cash sale takes care of everything at once, but the real estate market can be very unsettling. Here are some of the hidden costs that sellers often report.

Various Closing Costs

Closing costs are not a simple lump-sum payment that you have to make. This catch-all term can include not only the cost of completing the paperwork involved in the actual sale but also hundreds of dollars in the form of various taxes and fees.

Cleaning and Storage

If you’re going to realize anything close to the market price of your house, you may need to spend a small fortune—and countless hours—cleaning, throwing things away, and organizing. A few trash bags might sound like a small expense, but what if you need to buy loads of supplies and containers or maybe even a storage unit?

Temporary Housing Solutions

Before you find your next house, you may need to stay for a while in a hotel or a rental home. You can cut down on this expense by staying with a friend or in an affordable motel that offers a weekly rate. But these additional expenses can easily add up to thousands of dollars.

If you sell your house for cash, you have more control over the date you move out, allowing you to carefully plan how and when you settle into your next home.

Staging for Showings

Staging a home, or preparing it for viewing, can be quite expensive. Landscaping, small furnishings like new throw pillows for the sofa, and other decorative touches can benefit the sale but do have upfront costs.

And don’t forget: kids and pets cannot be present during a showing. So you’ll need to take them somewhere—out to eat or to a movie or to a kennel (the pets, obviously)—which means further demands on your wallet.

Demanded Buyer Concessions

Buyers tend to ask for concessions—things here and there that they want you to throw in for free. These are yet additional costs of selling your home.

Deductions for Repairs

Expect buyers to nitpick while searching for flaws in your house. Naturally, they want to avoid buying a lemon, but this process often results in requests for repairs that can hit your wallet hard or even threaten to shut down the transaction. If you can’t pay for the repairs upfront, the buyer will likely knock down his or her offering price.

You can list your home “as is,” but “as is” homes tend to attract low-ball offers and endless haggling. If your goal is to sell the house for cash and move on, don’t even consider listing it on the market “as is.”

The Invisible Cost of Time

Hard to measure but perhaps most valuable of all is the cost of the hundreds of hours of your time that might be spent selling your house. From missed work to babysitters, consider all these indirect financial losses as further hidden costs.

If your priority is selling your home with minimal hassle and no out-of-pocket costs, a cash sale is a good alternative to playing the real estate game.

Show Me the Money

Would you like to avoid these extra costs? Contact us about a fast cash sale.

distressed home exterior

How to Identify Distressed Properties

Distressed properties are properties that are being sold under distressing circumstances. The circumstances may vary, but one common denominator is that distressed properties typically sell for 30-60% lower than their current market value. In some cases the percentage is even much lower. The bottom line is, distressed properties represent huge profit potential for real estate investors. Here are some tips on how to identify distressed properties.

What Circumstances Create Distressed Properties?

There are lots of different circumstances that can lead to a distressed property. Here are a few of them:

  • Financial trouble. A homeowner has lost a job or their income and is unable to keep up with the mortgage payments. They’ve defaulted on their mortgage loan and are getting deeper and deeper into financial trouble.
  • Disability. A homeowner has become disabled emotionally or physically and has lost the ability to maintain their house. The property has come into despair.
  • Crime. A home has been seized by federal agents for criminal reasons and is now empty.
  • Damage. A house has undergone severe damage from a natural disaster such as flood or fire and the homeowner is unable to restore it.

Where Can Distressed Properties be Found

Distressed properties can be found anywhere. You might encounter one distressed house in a row of expensive homes with manicured lawns. You might find a slew of distressed homes encompassing an entire neighborhood. Wherever you live, whether it’s a small town or a big city, there will always be some kind of distressed property.

What to Look For When Seeking Distressed Properties

Here are some common physical signs of distressed properties that you can easily notice just by driving or walking by:

  • Sheets on the windows instead of curtains
  • Decayed driveway asphalt
  • Lights off at night even if people are home
  • Broken or cracked windows
  • Fencing in disrepair
  • Newspapers or flyers piled up on porch or in mailbox
  • Fading or peeling paint
  • Yards overgrown with weeds
  • Yard or front porch piled with junk
  • General absence of activity

If you notice any of these signs, chances are it’s a distressed property.

Other Ways to Find Distressed Property

Distressed properties can also be found through other means. Here are some other resources for locating distressed properties:

  • Federal auction websites – When the government seizes a property due to criminal activity, they post the property for auction online.
  • FSBO websites – Desperate homeowners with distressed properties will sometimes attempt to sell their house by listing it on a “for sale by owner” site.
  • Private auction – Local auction houses sometimes auction off local distressed homes on behalf of desperate owners.
  • Foreclosure listings – Foreclosures have to be announced in a publication by law. These listings are a good source of distressed properties.
  • Bank auctions – When homeowners default on their mortgage, banks seize the property and auction it off themselves.
  • Dedicated distressed property websites – There are sites online that can help connect you with a list of distressed properties in your area.

What Conditions Exist in Distressed Properties?

Distressed properties can be in any condition on the inside. They may be in excellent condition, or they may be nearly gutted inside. You might find anything from crumbling fireplace masonry to kitchens where the appliances have been ripped from the walls. You might also find a house that is turn key and ready to move in.

Once you’ve learned these tips for finding distressed properties, you’ll be able to find some on your own. You just have to know where to look.

Invest In Yourself

Are you looking to get into real estate investing? Find out how you can make money without having to swing a hammer or put up your own cash.