Best-Kept Secrets to Selling a House Fast in Any Market

Spring is just around the corner. As the weather starts to warm, some of you are probably preparing to put your home on the market.

Selling a house is no walk in the park. But there are some things you can do to ensure that your property is sold faster. Here are some best-kept secrets to selling a house fast in any market.

Enhance your home’s curb appeal

Go outside and take a look at your home on a buyer’s perspective. If you were a buyer looking for a lovely house, will you be interested to buy it? If you answered yes, then that’s great! If you answered no, then you need to take steps to enhance your home’s curb appeal.

Most buyers will judge your home based on what they see from the outside. If the house is clean and well-maintained, buyers will think that the house looks clean and organized on the inside as well. If it’s cluttered and messy, buyers may think that the owners failed to take care of the house, and that there may be a lot of issues.

Repainting the front door, power washing the exterior, and planting some colorful flowers can go a long way towards improving your home’s curb appeal. Not only will it help attract potential buyers, it will also boost the value of your home.

Stage the house

When staging your house, you want to make sure that it looks its best. That said, you should highlight the best features and downplay its weakness. Clean the house thoroughly and get rid of clutter. Re-arrange the furnitures. Accessorize. Stage your house in such a way that potential buyers can envision themselves living there. Strike a balance between clean and lived-in.

In order to sell your house fast, you need to make sure that it appeals to a wider audience. Violet may be the color of the year, but some buyers may cringe upon seeing a violet-themed living room or bedroom. Paint the walls a neutral color and give potential buyers a chance to decorate the house to their liking.

Price right from the start

Most sellers make the mistake of pricing their house above the market value in the hopes of getting the most money out of their property. Unfortunately, this is a big mistake that will cost you big later on. You see, new listings get the most attention. Since most buyers are already on the hunt for their dream house for months, many of them are on the lookout for new listings. If you don’t get to sell your house in a month or two, people are likely to think that there is something wrong with the house.

Given that selling a house is time-consuming and stress-inducing, some sellers are forced to lower the price of their house just for the sake of selling it. Some buyers would take advantage of the situation and may lowball their offer, thinking that the seller is desperate to sell. As a result, you lose a big chunk of money in the end. If you want to sell your house fast and for top dollar, make sure that you price it right from the start.

 

Property Management Tips for Landlords

Managing a rental property is not an easy endeavor. This is especially true if you are new to the rental real estate business.

To help you on your path to stress-free property management, we have put together some tips that will help you become a better property manager.

Here are some property management tips for landlords.

Inspect the property regularly

One of the most important aspects of managing a rental property is to prevent problems before they occur. Not only will it save you from stress and headache, it will also help you save money – lots of it.

To avoid legal issues, we highly recommend that you inspect the property on a regular basis. This will help you catch small problems early on. Remember, it is your duty as a landlord to maintain a rental unit that is fit for occupancy. You will be held responsible if a tenant sustains injury on the property.

Fix issues immediately

Living a busy life, it can be easy to put off minor issues. However, if you fail to address problems early on, it can lead to a more complicated issue that will cause costly repairs.

Leaky faucets, for instance, are a minor problem that most people ignore. Not only is it annoying, it will also waste a lot of water. Overtime, it can also lead to mold growth. Mold may start growing on your floor, ceilings, and walls. If there is constant drip, drip, drip in the bathroom or kitchen sink, have it fixed immediately.

Exterminate monthly

Monthly extermination can cost you money. But it is important to do this at least once a month, even if you do not currently have an insect or rodent problem. This will prevent such problems from preventing. Plus, it will prevent you from losing tenants due to pest problem.

Some of you might be tempted to buy exterminating supplies in an attempt to save money, but this should be left in the hands of a professional.

Screen tenants

Finding a good tenant starts with having a great screening process. You need a tenant who will pay rent on time and will take care of your investment property.

Tenant screening process should start over the phone. Ask some questions to make sure that this person isn’t going to waste your time. Also, find out how many persons will be living in the apartment. You may also want to reach out to your tenant’s employer and prior landlord. Find out if he or she caused damage or missed any rent payment.

Home Staging Tips Every Seller Should Know

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Successful staging is the key to selling your home quickly and at the best price. As a seller, it should be in your best interest to impress every potential buyer that walks through your front door. Unfortunately, hiring a professional could cost you anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour. The good news is, you can make your home look appealing and welcoming even without the help of a professional stager.

Increase your home’s appeal with these easy to accomplish home staging ideas.

Maximize curb appeal

If you want to sell your home fast, you need to make sure that your home’s exterior attracts potential buyers inside. Mind you, most people will do a quick drive-by first before touring your home. If they don’t like what they see outside, then they’ll keep on driving.

Repaint your front door, power wash sidings and walkways, mow lawn and plant flowers in bloom. Do all these, and you’ll have buyers swarming to your front door.

Get the house sparkling

No one wants to look at a dirty home. That said, you need to clean every corner of the house. From clean counters and gleaming windows to shining floors, every surface should sparkle. If you can’t handle everything on your own, consider hiring a professional cleaning company.

Choose a neutral color palette

Pink may be your favorite color, but it does not appeal to buyers of both sexes. Buyers should envision themselves in the home, and it may be difficult to do that with a pink bedroom wall.

Paint the walls a neutral color and create a sophisticated backdrop that makes everything look more pulled together.

Take a good look at the floor

Your flooring can increase the value of your home. Unfortunately, many sellers do not realize this and tries to conceal the damage by placing a carpet on the floor.

Buyers will be looking for flaws and use it to negotiate their offer. If your hardwood floors are in poor shape, it might be best to have it refinished. Also, don’t forget to give your floors a thorough cleaning.

Selling Points Buyers Love and Sellers Fail to Mention

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It’s pretty easy to market your house if it’s located in one of the most prestigious neighborhood and is adorned with gorgeous European appliances. But if your house is situated in a middle-range neighborhood, it might be quite difficult to outshine your competition.

Oftentimes, sellers would renovate and repair their house just to match the expectations of potential buyers. But sometimes, all it takes is to highlight certain property features that buyers absolutely love in your listings. Unfortunately, most sellers fail to mention them.

If you want to sell your house faster, here are 3 things you and your agent should point out in your listing.

Proximity

Always keep in mind that not every buyer is familiar with your neighborhood. This is especially true for a relocating buyer.

People may have found your listing based on where the property is located, but most of them may not have realized that your hidden gem of a neighborhood is within half a mile of a major university, dining districts, local park, subway station or recreational facilities.

Storage

When selling a house, your primary goal is to highlight certain features that would motivate potential buyers to make an offer. That said, you need to focus on what buyer’s need.

If you are selling your starting home, then you are more likely to sell your home to a first-time home buyer. Being a renter for so long, they know that frustration of having a cluttered life due to lack of storage space.

These people will definitely be looking for a house with lots of storage. So, don’t forget to point out your garage space, basement, closet, attic and as much usable space you can offer.

Child and senior-friendly

More often than not, home buyers are looking to buy a house where they could live in for the rest of their lives. Houses with single story layouts tend to have a massive audience as it appeals to buyers who are just starting their family. This is also beneficial for families with older relatives who are moving in with them. If you have a 2-story home, bedrooms located on the ground floor is a definite plus.

Questions to Ask During an Open House

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When you walk into an open house, you don’t just walk around the house, check each room and leave. You won’t be able to tell if this house fits your wants and needs just by looking. You need to speak up.

Attending an open house gives potential buyers an opportunity to communicate directly with the seller’s real estate agent. Being prepared with the right questions gives you the chance to find out certain things about the house and strengthen your position come offer time.

Why do the sellers want to move?

This is one of the most important questions you need to ask during an open house. This simple question will allow you to learn more about the home.

While some listing agent won’t tell you the reason why the owners are selling, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Some would answer vey candidly; while some may be hesitant to divulge the reason. Either way, it’s not always easy to get an honest answer. So be sure to read between the lines.

What issues does the house come with?

As a potential buyer, it is your right to know if the house comes with structural problems or code violations. After all, this is a huge purchase. So you can’t afford to make mistakes.

Are there any offers on the table?

This question gives you an idea how much competition there is for the said property.

If they have already received an offer, the agent will most likely be eager to share it with you in the hopes of enticing you to bid to drive up the price.

If the seller has turned down an offer, try to find out why. This can help you write a better offer that could meet their approval.

How long has the house been on the market?

This may be a tough question to ask as the agent may think that you are fishing for an opportunity to make a low offer. Remember, the longer a home has been on the market, the more it loses value.

If the house has been for sale for a few months now, the seller might be willing to accept a low offer. This can be helpful when deciding to make an offer.

 

Tips for Childproofing Your Home

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Childproofing your home is essential to keep you babies safe. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2.3 million children are injured every year and about 2,500 are killed. Unintentional injury is said to be the major cause of children’s death in the United States. This can be avoided by childproofing your home.

Now that your 2-year is old is leaving babyhood behind, you might be tempted to ease some of the precautions. Big mistake! In order to stay one step ahead of your active toddler, you actually need to add some features to your childproof list.

Follow these tips to keep your babies out of harm’s way.

Use safety gates

For keeping toddlers away from anything they shouldn’t be exposed to, installing a safety gate is an absolute must.

Use safety gates to keep children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers. Don’t forget to place one as well at the top of the stairs to prevent falls.

Kitchen safey

The kitchen can become a dangerous place for your little ones. These days, a lot of kids are mesmerized by the cooking process. Suddenly those little hands can reach higher than expected – the cabinets, refrigerator, stove, frying pan etc.

Keep appliances and kitchenware out of reach and away from the edge of tables and counters. Also, keep chairs and stools away from the stove and the counter.

Cabinet and drawer locks

Install safety latches and locks on all drawers and cabinets since they are often used to store cleaning products and other hazardous materials.

Use outlet covers and outlet plates

Install plastic protectors into all sockets that are within reach of young children. These can protect your children from possible electrocution and electrical shock. Be sure to choose one that is big enough so that the children cannot choke on them. Also, be sure that the outlet covers cannot be easily removed by children.

 

Reasons Why Pricing Your Home Right is Important

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So, you have decided to sell your home. Maybe you’re upgrading to a bigger house or moving to a new state. Whatever the reason is, there are a lot of things to do and decisions to make as you put your house in the market. Setting an initial selling price is one of them.

Pricing your house correctly is the single most important factor in selling your house. Here’s why.

Selling price affects how long your house will sit on the market

If you wish to sell your house fast, then you have to make it appealing in the eyes of potential buyers.

Aside from its physical appearance, a property that is priced competitively will attract several aspiring homeowners. Wanting to get the most out of their money, these people will be shopping for similar homes. By pricing it right, homebuyers are more likely to consider your house.

If you price it too high, chances are, your house will sit on the market for a while. After 3 weeks, demand and interest wane. Left unsold for a few months, you will then be forced to lower the selling price, which is not good since buyers see it as a sign of desperation.

High price will scare potential buyers off

Some sellers think that it’s better to price their house high in the beginning. Keep in mind, though, that your goal is to attract as much buyers in the first few days or weeks after placing your house on the market. You don’t want to set a high price as potential buyers are less likely to be interested in your home if it comes with a premium price tag.

It is better to set a fair price in the beginning since you can always refuse offers that you think are too low.

Pricing too low means leaving money on the table

While a low price can help you sell your house fast, it also comes with a disadvantage. The problem with setting a low price is that you’ll be receiving several offers at a time that you may end up leaving some of your home equity on the table.

Insurance Tips for Homeowners

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Most people associate insurance with bad occurrences – emergency home repairs, car accidents, medical problems etc. Yes, it may sound pessimistic to dwell on what could happen, but it would be best to protect ourselves and our properties from some of life’s biggest surprises.

Homeowners insurance protects what is likely your biggest asset, your home. It’s not just about protecting your home from theft or structural damage. Rather, it’s about having a peace of mind that you are safe where you live.

Here are a few tips in buying homeowners insurance that will help you save time and money.

Shop around

In order to get the best bang for your buck, it would be a good idea to shop around before buying. Contact your state insurance department, check the yellow pages or ask your friends for referrals.

You can also go online and check online insurance quote services, insurance agents and company guides. This will give you an idea of the price ranges and will help you determine which company offers the lowest rate.

Don’t just settle for the price alone. Choose an insurance company that offers a fair price matched with excellent services. A low price is no bargain if takes forever for an insurance company to service your claim.

Improve your home security

Homeowners who guard against accidents, thefts and other losses usually get policy discounts and lower insurance rates. Some insurance companies offer to cut your premium by 5% for installing dead-bolt locks, burglar alarm or smoke detector.

Aside from slashing a portion from your annual premiums, these could save your life in cases of emergency.

Purchase multiple policies

Some companies that sell liability, auto and homeowner’s coverage will offer 5-15% discount if you choose to buy multiple policies from them.

Before buying a home insurance, consider obtaining a quote for other types of insurance from the same company. You might be able to save on 2 annual policy premiums.

 

 

How to Sell Your House Quickly and For More Money

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In a competitive market, sellers need to exert as much effort as they can to ensure that their property stands out from the rest and sell for more money. If you have ever sold a house before, then you probably know that you’ll have to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars to make it happen.

In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to set your home apart and get the maximum price for your property.

Set a competitive asking price

Your home is a big investment, and you want to make the most out of it. But it is also important to set a competitive asking price so you don’t have to drop the price later on.

According to studies, online listing often receives four times more visit during the first week than it does a month later. So, even if you decide to reduce your asking price later, your listing won’t get the same attention as it did on the first week.

Look the part

Certain renovations can add value to your home, but they don’t have to be major overhaul. Home improvement projects like maintaining the yard, adding a fresh coat of paint and replacing your front door are simple and cheap projects that can make a great first impression to potential buyers. Deep cleaning and de-cluttering is also very important.

Get high quality home photos

Web appeal is the new curb appeal. So once your home is looking its best, then it’s time to hire a photographer to take the listing photos. Upload high quality photos and sell your house faster and for more money.

Choose a good agent

The biggest chunk of money that comes out of the seller’s pocket is the real estate agent commission. That said, it is not surprising why a lot of sellers choose to sell on their own and keep the commission all to themselves. However, most people fail to realize that they’re leaving more money on the table by opting out of a pro.

An experienced agent will guide you through the entire process and give you professional and reliable advice. They will also help you set the right price, handle any issues that may arise and help you understand what to expect during the negotiation process. Most importantly, you’ll get instant access to thousands of potential buyers through the Multiple Listing Service.

Tips for Selling an Unusual Home

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When they decided to decorate or remodel their house, most homeowners think that they’re just adding personal touches to their home. But what they fail to realize is that these personal touches can ruin their chances of resale.

Weird homes do not sell fast. Marketing and pricing can be a challenge, too. Plus, there’s a limited pool of buyers who are interested in buying an unusual home.

So, how do you attract a unique buyer to a unique house? Follow these tips and sell your home to the right buyer.

Have a serious pricing and marketing discussion with your agent

A unique property calls for a unique pricing strategy and marketing plan. Since unusual homes appeal to different audience of buyers, it would be best to advertise outside the mainstream circle since there’s a good chance that your target buyer may not live in your local market.

With real estate television shows, blogging and online home listings, unusual homes get more exposure and stand out than the rest.  The more you get this out there, the better your chances of finding the right buyer.

Don’t assume that everyone will love your home

Just because you love your home, do not assume that potential buyers will have the same feeling about your home.

Since they fell head over heels with the house a long time ago, sellers often assume that there’s another buyer out there who would feel the same. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Having a unique property, you may get lots of showings. But don’t get too excited. Most of these people may simply be curious buyers who are interested to see what’s inside that unusual home.

Analyze the competition

When selling your home, potential buyers are more likely to judge your home as part of a larger inventory. Is it cheaper, bigger, prettier or better located than the other houses on the market? Well, you won’t know the answer to this unless go out and see what else is out there. If you have an agent, you can ask him to do this for you.

Lay out 3 other properties that are most competitive with yours and see how these properties differ from yours. This will also give you an idea if you have priced your house appropriately.