SELLERS: HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS THAT PAY OFF

When considering home improvements it’s important to remember that bigger does not always mean better. There are a number of high-cost projects that can help you sell your home, but there are also a number of budget-friendly projects that can go a long way. Keep in mind, the goal is not to focus on luxury updates, but rather home functionality updates. Below is our list of home projects that have a direct correlation with resale value.

High Cost, High Payoff Projects

  • Windows – these can be expensive to replace, but buyers expect windows to be in good condition. If your windows are old and in rough shape consider replacing. However, if your windows are in good condition, replacing them will not dramatically increase the value of your home.
  • Roof – like windows, this is an expensive replacement. Use the same mentality, if your roof is in good shape no need to replace.
  • Kitchen updates – depending on the upgrade, these can also come with a hefty price tag; although, these types of updates also tend to have a big payoff. Readers frequently see mentions of kitchen upgrades in listings for a reason, these types of upgrades are selling points.
  • Bathroom updates – like the kitchen, consumers prefer to see a modernized bathroom. Update this room to ensure a better selling price.

Low Cost Projects

  • Add curb appeal – this can be as simple as cleaning up the yard; get rid of weeds and ensure lawn is nice and green. Go the extra mile by adding a fresh coat of paint to the door, trim and exterior. If money permits, consider adding some landscaping to the yard.
  • Interior color – painting a room can completely change the look and feel. If you have a room that is need of an upgrade start by adding a fresh coat of paint. Take a look at your kitchen as well, if your cabinets are looking a bit drab add paint or stain.
  • Update lighting fixtures – Modernizing lighting fixtures can help to make a room feel more current and updated.
  • Update hardware – replacing faucets and cabinet handles can create a totally new appearance in the kitchen or bathroom. If replacing is unnecessary or out of your budget, make sure to polish these pieces.
  • Efficiency upgrade – add storm windows and ceiling fans. Many buyers appreciate homes that offer energy efficient renovations.

Source:  BHHS

5 STEPS TO PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR SALE

Whether it’s your first or the fifth home you’re selling, if you’ve recently made the decision to sell, you have a lot on your plate. In real estate, first impressions are everything. The more attractive your home appears, the greater likelihood you’ll have of receiving a comfortable offer in record time – the ideal situation for anyone selling their home. Although you can’t predict the market, there are several things you can do to get your home ready for sale and poised to do well against the competition.

  1. Start outside. What are your first impressions? Try to keep in mind what the prospective buyer will be looking for. Make sure your lawn is well manicured. Keep the lawn cut and watered regularly. Be sure to trim any hedges, prune trees and weed your flowerbeds. Next, check your walkways and steps for cracks – reseal if possible. Inspect your gutters and be sure to repair any loose or damaged shingles.
  2. Once you’ve conquered the great outdoors, it’s time to move inside. This is a daunting task, so make a goal and complete one room at a time. Begin by picking up any clutter and organizing. This can include neatly arranging dishes, sorting laundry, packing up knickknacks and creating a filing system for loose paper.
  3. Once you’ve got your home de-cluttered and organized, take a deep breath because it’s time to clean. You’ll need to do a bit more than dust, sweep and vacuum – also polish door handles, patch walls, paint doors and rooms as needed, clean tables and surfaces and wash mirrors and windows. While you’re doing all these less-than fun projects, think about what you would want in a home you’re buying.
  4. You’re getting closer! Don’t give up yet, now it’s time to go the extra mile. Next you’ll want to optimize each space. In kitchens and bathrooms take a look at your lighting. These rooms should be well lit. If needed, buy new bulbs and use lamps to light dark spaces. Open drapes to let as much natural light in each space as possible. If you have a pet be sure you’ve tidied up their area and consider an air fresher to eliminate any associated odors. While you may be a pet lover, the next home owner may take a different stance. You don’t need to go crazy with candles or incense, instead open windows to let a fresh breeze flow through your home.
  5. Congratulations, you’ve put your best foot forward and now it’s time to sell the house! However, it can be easy to recreate the messes you’ve just cleaned up and eliminated, after all life happens. Make it a daily or weekly routine to organize and de-clutter. Enlist the help of family members to ensure the house stays in top condition. Your hard work will pay off!

Source:  BHHS

IS A LETTER BETTER WHEN SUBMITTING AN OFFER?

As is evident over the last few years, the real estate market ebbs and flows. Sometimes it’s a buyer’s market (many homes for sale, few buyers) and sometimes it’s a seller’s market (many buyers, few homes for sale). The market climate can make a big difference in relation to how much a buyer has to “do” in order to secure their dream home. In Southern California we’ve seen ups and downs, but premiere properties are typically highly sought after, as is the coveted paradise living environment, which makes the real estate climate here more of a seller’s market.

When looking for homes you’ll be competing with others out there who have fallen in love with your dream home. A home-offer letter is written by the buyer in an effort to convince the seller why they should sell their home to the buyer. These letters can be highly effective if executed correctly. However make no mistake, a home-offer letter does not replace a lender’s letter, which is required by many sellers.

A home-offer letter is supplemental information that you can provide to the seller. In your letter you want to demonstrate why you stand out. Answer the question “why should I sell to you?” Don’t be shy when it comes to your emotions. You want to include these in your letter in order to develop a bond with the seller. Avoid turning your letter into a negative or sad story, try to keep any unfortunate situations, events or struggles somewhat upbeat. In order for your letter to have maximum impact you’ll also want to keep it brief. After all, the seller is much more likely to read a one-page letter instead of a five-page letter.

Think of your home-offer letter as your elevator pitch or your time to court the owner. If you’re in a seller’s market or looking to buy during the peak sales months, a home-offer letter can be a great supplement to your home offer and may just help you secure the home of your dreams!

Consult your agent for more information, tips and further advice on how to proceed with specific properties you’re interested in.

SOURCE: BHHS

TIME TO BREAK-UP? HOW TO SWITCH REAL ESTATE AGENTS

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, your relationship with your real estate agent is more than just a business relationship. Its foundation should be built on trust and confidence. Sometimes the relationship might not be working as you expected, and you and your agent just aren’t a good match. It’s OK to terminate the relationship if you believe you could be better served elsewhere.

As a buyer, you should only be working with one real estate agent. Although you may not have signed a contract, real estate agents put in long hours, often based on good faith. If you are working with more than one agent, you should break off ties and only work with one. The newer a relationship is, the easier it will be to end. If you’ve been with an agent for a long time but don’t think things are going well, start by being honest with that person. Give your agent feedback about what is and isn’t working for you. If the agent can work to remedy the situation, let him or her know. However, if you are ready to move on, make that clear to the agent.

As a seller, ending the relationship with your agent is a bit more complicated. You are likely involved in a contractual agreement. Start by voicing your concerns. Your agent might let you out of the agreement or hold you to the length of your contact. If your conversation does not go the way you hoped, consider talking to the agent’s manager. Some companies will keep your listing but assign another agent who can better service your needs and still offer the benefits that originally drew you to that company.

When you’ve finalized the breakup, make sure you have the agreement in writing. This will protect you from any unnecessary charges after you’ve moved on. As you begin to look for a new agent, consider recommendations from family and friends first. A personal referral is often the best way to find the right agent. You also can request to interview agents before you begin a relationship. This can help you determine if they’re the right fit for you. Don’t hesitate to ask an agent for referrals. This can be a great way to discover the agent’s strong points and qualities.

SOURCE: BHHS