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Putting your home on the market can be a stressful time as you’re transitioning to move out and also preparing your house for showing. We’ve got your back with these 10 affordable tweaks that you can DIY in just a few hours or a few days and are bound to be investment well spent.
Nothing says a house has been neglected for quite some time than dirty looking exteriors and overgrown plants. It gives the impression that the home itself may be in need of expensive repairs. You won’t believe how much better your home can look like after spending a few dollars for a quick hose down, perhaps new hardware, a freshly painted garage door, and newly-replaced downspouts and gutters. The total for all these can be as little as just around $100 but can look like you spent thousands!
Prospective buyers will come through your front door so simply making sure that the doorbell is working plus fixing cracking or peeling paint goes a long way in making a sale.
Doors often make such a huge impact that how the knobs and hinges look like can make or break a sale. You can update all your doors for just a hundred dollars (or a couple of hundreds) so this is a tweak that is definitely worth looking into. Sometimes a hardware change may be all that you need.
Fixing stained carpets and scratched floors is pretty easy. You can rent carpet steam cleaners and floor polishers for a reasonable rate at a nearby home depot in most cities.
Quite a growing number of people have serious scent allergies so it might be best to lay off synthetic scents. Some buyers will also think that you’re trying to mask something if you use odour eliminators and air fresheners. It might be best to simply clean the home, air it out, and maybe bake fresh bread or cookies a few hours before showing. We bet no one has an allergy to fresh cookies!
Scruff marks, streaks, and dirt on the walls can age your house, plus make it look uncared for. When preparing a home for a sale, paint the walls in a neutral light colour and make sure to fill any nail holes. Your walls will look brand new!
Having a place for everything makes your house look a lot roomier than it really is. You might also want to look into putting some of your things at a storage facility to make the home clutter-free.
Drawers that won’t slide out and cabinet doors that are falling off the hinges are a turn-off, no matter how pretty a home is. Potential buyers always check the kitchen so simply oiling the tracks, tightening screws, plus replacing hinges and hardware can do so much to make your house more desirable.
Any appliance that will be a part of the sale should look like they belong in the kitchen and not the dump. Old but clean appliances can draw in the offers more than new but sad looking ones. This ‘upgrade’ costs next to nothing too!
Replacing bathroom elements such as faucets, towel racks, toilet paper holders, and showerheads can significantly brighten bathrooms. A new towel curtain, a new mat, and fresh folded towels can update the look of a bathroom with minimal effort.
The Annual Meeting of Nottacare Condominium convenes. The Agenda shows the standard items including Review Minutes, Financial Report, President’s Report and Election of Directors. As usual, only 20% of the 95 members show up. But the board has been proactive in getting proxies from the rest so having a quorum is not a problem. The president proceeds systematically down the distributed Agenda. After approving last year’s minutes and a year to date financial overview, she moves towards elections in hopes of wrapping up business early so the wine tasting and potluck can begin. But wait! Millie, a longtime resident, rises to her feet and says "Madam President, I’d like to propose a motion to amend the governing documents to eliminate renters. I’m sick and tired of all the coming and going and lack of regard for us owners."
The President responds, "Millie, I’ve had the same concerns. Do I hear a second?" A second comes from the back of the room and soon a lively discussion ensues about the pros and cons of renters. Bill comments "This all seems a bit hasty and aren’t there federal Fair Housing regulations to consider?" Mary, who rents her unit out, says "I just signed a one year lease with my tenant. What do you expect me do now? Besides, I bought the unit so I could rent it out. There were no restrictions against it." Joe jumps to his feet, "Who cares? We need to get rid of those people. Let’s change the rules and move’em out!" After much haranguing and gnashing of teeth, a vote is called for and a majority of 10 of the 19 present plus another 40 proxies held by the Board President vote to eliminate rentals.
Many believe that the Annual Meeting is a place that the members can be heard and the system changed. While that’s true to an extent, certain aspects of it must be handled to protect the rights of all members, particularly the ones that aren’t present. For that reason, no motions can be entertained that are not on the Agenda which has been distributed with the Annual Meeting Notice to all members. If HOA amendments or policy is to be voted on, all members must be informed ahead of time so they can participate in the discussion. Allowing someone to make spontaneous motions disenfranchises members that aren't at the meeting. It's up to the Board President to call such motions "out of order".
The easiest way to head off such spontaneity is to advise all members prior to the meeting when the Annual Meeting Agenda is being compiled and ask for any proposed amendments or policy changes by such and such a deadline. Add further that no motions can be entertained at the meeting itself unless they are on the Agenda and explained in enough detail so that all members understand what they are and the implications. Proposed amendments should always be reviewed by the attorney prior to enactment.
Restricting motions does not mean that members are not allowed to speak their mind. That is one of the purposes of the Annual Meeting. Free speech helps the members to winnow through issues and come to either an agreement or an agreement to disagree. Encouraging this kind of discussion is good.
But in the case of Millie’s Motion, the proper response from the Chair should have been "Thank you for your suggestion Millie. Why don’t you circulate a petition to all the members to see if there is strong support for restricting rentals? Have the supporters sign your petition and if there are enough, we can either hold a special meeting or vote on it at the next Annual Meeting. Does anyone else have anything they want to discuss before we move on to elections?"
Amending the governing documents or policy should never be done on the spur of the moment. There are few issues that are so urgent that can’t wait for proper review and feedback by all members. If confronted by a Millie’s Motion situation, help guide the process to a thoughtful conclusion.
More home shoppers today will consider a new home. Is that a surprise? Is it true? Does this mean that more home shoppers are going to buy new construction than resales? But it does prompt one to realize how important it is to understand the market and know what to do about it. Does it not?
Here are some results from a study conducted by arguably the most credible new home marketing company in the United States.
According to their study:
1. 65 percent of current home shoppers will consider a new home. 2. 53 percent preferred a new home.
What does “consider” mean? To me, it means they may prefer a presale but they will be new construction. What does this say to you? These numbers say that if agents don’t learn to qualify for new homes in this internet-driven world, they will lose thousands of dollars in commissions.
Why are more agents qualifying home shoppers for new homes? My guess: because they don’t know what to do if the resale shopper wants to see new construction.
Of the 53 percent, 44 percent purchase a “prebuild’, 33 percent would buy a completed inventory home, and 23 percent would buy partially complete. What does it say to you? To me, it says that by adding new home inventory to your business, you would be adding three different types of homes to your resale inventory offering, not just ‘new homes.’.
What makes this worth remembering is that Builder Digital Experience (BDX) published in May 2019 the study results, 2018 Home Shopper Insights and Builder Brand Study – Wave 5. BDX provides digital marketing and technology solutions for home builders and has been helping companies in the homebuilding industry connect for over 20 years.
How To Determine If Your Resale Shopper Will Consider a New Home?
As a realtor, it is essential to get a feel for your client; it may be that they are asking for one thing but what they want is another. I will give you two ways; one you can speak. The other you will have to do something.
The first and best way to find out if your resale shopper is interested in a new home is to ask this question: Are you considering a new home during your resale search? How does asking that question make you feel? If you got a touch of angst, you need to address the reason why they are nervous about you showing them new construction. That’s a costly reason to lose thousands of commission dollars.
How To Help Resale Clients Make A Confident Decision.
Here is the second way, which we teach in our three-hour online course. Show new homes at the top of your showing schedule.
“But they said they did not want a new home.” I know. But on the other hand, you don’t want to spend weeks with them as they shop bids for renovation prices if they purchase unsellable homes you are forced to show at times because resale inventory is so tight.
Let’s put it this way:
Your home shopper says they want to spend $500,000 on a resale.
Here’s your script:
“My most important concern, Mr. Prospect, is in this crazy market you clearly understand what you can get for $500,000. MLS is good. I can show you comps and we can look at homes on the internet. The best and frankly the only way I know how you can absolutely for sure know how you can live for $500,000 is to visit a $500,000 home with a $500,000 base price. The only way I know to do this is to show you a new home. It makes no difference to me whether you purchase a resale or a new home. What makes a difference is that you understand what you can get for the money you want to spend, Do you see any disadvantage to you in taking this approach to understand the market?”
Think about it. Once they see the home, no matter where it is located, they will compare what they saw to the asking price of the resales. They are in a perfect position to make offers with confidence and you have reduced the odds of them shopping new home without you. Try it. Many will return and purchase the new home. Others will purchase a resale. Either way, you could be picking up a commission check you might have lost.
The real secret is not a secret. It’s a little-known truth. There are only three things you need to learn to do to become a huge success working with new home shoppers. 1. Learn how to find the right new homes inventory fast. 2. Learn how to help new homes find you on social media 3 Learn how to build a preferred builder network and work with onsite agents that want to work with you.
If you’re curious to learn more about us and how we can help you, visit our website HERE.
If you’re in the market for a new home, you might think a pool sounds like a great idea. Pools are in high demand right now—so much so that pool contractors have waiting lists and there’s a shortage of maintenance items like chlorine.
Is pool ownership all it’s cracked up to be? It can be, but you need to be prepared.
We’ll cover some of the perks of a home with a pool before getting into the downsides.
A pool can be a lot of fun, and having one at home can improve your quality of life. You might use it for exercising, and it gives you a good excuse to get outside more and take in vitamin D and fresh air.
Many families with pools find that they enjoy time together, and you might be able to build your social life around having it.
When you buy a home with a pool, it might be something you enjoy aesthetically. It’s a lot of fun to look outside and see your pool or have a view of the water from your deck. For many people, the view of water in any form, including a pool, is relaxing.
There are a lot of instances where having a pool can increase the value of your home. This is especially true if you live somewhere with a warm climate. In places like Arizona and Florida, having a pool is practically seen as a necessity.
If you have a pool and your neighbors don’t and you ever want to sell, your property might be more in-demand or get more money than a nearby home without one.
Even if you’re excited about the potential of having a pool at home, there are some possible downsides you need to be well aware of.
Some people actually like cleaning and maintaining their pool, but if you don’t think you’re going to be one of those people, rethink buying a home with one. It can take several hours a week if you’re going to maintain your pool yourself.
If you hire a pool service company, plan to spend anywhere from $50 to $150 a week.
Along with the work required to clean and maintain a pool, you also have to pay for the supplies.
If you buy a house with a pool, you have to make sure it meets existing codes and safety requirements. You might end up having to install a new fence or alarm.
If you have children or pets, you also want to think about safety and how having a pool could affect your family in that regard.
Your homeowner’s insurance will usually cover a pool as part of “other structures” in your policy. However, you could be held liable if someone is injured in a situation relating to your pool. Sometimes, because of that, a pool is referred to as an “attractive nuisance” in an insurance policy. That means you’ll need liability coverage, and this could increase your insurance rates.
Another consideration is the fact that a pool might not always be a plus in the eyes of prospective buyers. It could actually end up limiting you if you wanted to sell your home.
Finally, what condition is the pool in if you’re buying an existing home? Is there a chance that when you move in, you might have to pay for major repairs or upgrades?
Whether or not a pool is right for you is a personal decision, and it’s one you need to think about strategically rather than emotionally.
A lot has been made about crowdfunding lately. It’s a way for individual investors or buyers to pool funds with others in order to finance whatever it is they want to finance. With real estate, it’s also an opportunity to pool funds and financing together to invest with the assistance of others instead of flying solo on a particular project.
When buying and financing a property individually, the buyer assumes every single bit of risk associated with the purchase. The buyer must vet a potential renter by performing basic background checks. Tenants must provide copies of recent paycheck stubs and contact information for their employer.
Certainly, determining whether or not the potential tenants can afford the rent payments is an essential task. Bank statements should be reviewed to make sure what the prospect says he or she makes is reflected as deposits in a bank statement. Credit is reviewed. Rent is collected each and every month. Late payments must be tracked down. There are maintenance issues involved. When the hot water heater goes out, it’s the owner of the property that must stop and take care of the issue.
And, as it relates to financing the purchase, the buyer must qualify for a rental loan. If it’s the first rental being purchased, the buyer must qualify without the benefit of the rental income generated from the unit. There’s certainly a lot to consider before making such a move. But when buying with others, the risk is associated with all parties on the note. It can also mean making a larger purchase instead of a three bedroom single family home. Apartment buildings come to mind.
When pooling investment funds together with others, lenders will treat everyone involved the very same. Everyone’s income must be verified. That’s relatively easy to accomplish but instead of reviewing one paycheck stub and one suite of bank statements, everyone involved must provide the same amount of paperwork. This will be a bit more complicated when there are four investors buying together instead of just one. It’s relatively easy to add up the income but there is also the situation of reviewing everyone’s monthly credit obligations. All income and all bills are lumped together to arrive at a single set of debt ratios.
Further, credit must be reviewed individually. In such a situation, if four people are buying together, it takes just one of the buyers to have less than stellar credit scores. For instance, three buyers have credit scores of 745, 776 and 750. But the fourth buyer has a representative credit score of 590. Guess which score the lender will use when reviewing the application? That’s right, the 590. The higher credit scores of the other three can’t overcome the 590 and no, they’re not averaged together. In this situation if the transaction is to move forward, the fourth buyer will have to be removed from the contract.
When buying together and financing will be sought, all parties must be prepared to show to everyone their income, asset and credit histories so there won’t be any surprises. Buying with others increases leverage, but care should be taken that everyone involved is financially stable to take on the new project.