Homeowners can use renovations to improve their quality of living, but not all improvements will provide the same return on investment at sale, according to USA Today.
Often, the best returns will come from bringing a substandard home in line with other homes in the area rather than making further improvements to ones that are already the biggest and best.
Basic projects like attic insulation can recoup 116 percent of the cost and more expensive ones like installing a new HVAC, water heater, or windows could be strong choices as well. Importantly, current homeowners will also enjoy the benefits of lower heating and cooling bills before selling the house.
Refreshing the exterior of a home is one of the best ways to improve the curb appeal for a potential buyer. Inexpensive pressure washing and painting projects can remove the aging effects of dirt and mold and make focal areas like the front door shine.
Landscaping, meanwhile, carries over 100 percent return on its cost and can include planting seasonal flowers as well as trimming shrubs and mulching beds. Adding stone veneer or replacing the garage door will both demand over 90 percent return as well.
Inside the home, painting is one of the best bang-for-your-buck improvements that a home seller can make with an estimated 109 percent return. Choose neutral colors that will go with anything, such as gray, to appeal to a broader group of prospective buyers.
Minor updates to bathrooms can have a 102 percent return and can be as simple as regrouting tile, replacing toilets, updating sinks and fixtures, and recaulking the shower. These projects are often simple enough to do without professionals for an even more significant return.
Go ahead! Sell your home during the holidays
Conventional wisdom tells us to list our homes for sale during the spring and that nobody is buying in the dead of winter — especially during the holidays.
But that’s flat-out incorrect. While it’s true that there are fewer sales overall, that doesn’t mean your house can’t or won’t sell quickly, and at a good price. In November 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales actually rose 1.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.32 million units.
That’s a lot of properties. In fact, there are a number of solid reasons to sell during the holidays:
* Less competition. With less inventory available, you have a better chance at holding your price. There was an average 4-month supply of inventory in November 2018 compared with a 4.4-month supply in June 2019.
* Buyers are more serious. People who are buying a home during the holiday season often need to move or are simply much more serious about their search (or they simply didn’t get involved in the holiday excitement).
* Closings can happen faster. A slower season can be to your advantage when it comes to paperwork. With fewer closings in the queue, yours can take place faster than it might in the hectic spring and summer seasons.
* Company bonuses and relocations. Again, a buyer with intent. Most corporate relocations happen in January and February. These folks are serious about moving and aren’t wasting a lot of time window-shopping.
* Houses look and smell great during the holidays. We tend to worry about making our properties sparkle for showings, but it’s just as important to show that this is a home. And what’s better than warm cookies or some well-placed decorations (don’t overdo it) to invite people in?
Why you should sell in the fall
If you’re entering the housing market in the fall, don’t worry about it being too late to make a sale. In fact, here are four reasons why listing in autumn might turn out to be a savvy selling strategy.
A different buyer pool
There are three types of buyers who tend to prefer less saturated markets: millennials, empty nesters and employers who need to relocate new hires. These buyers typically swoop in late to avoid high season real estate rates — you might even get a quick sale from employers needing to settle their hires fast.
Buyers are more serious
Spring buyers can afford to be picky because of the sheer number of houses for sale. It might be months before they decide to make an offer. But by the time September rolls around, you’re left with only serious buyers who know they don’t have much time before winter hits.
There’s less competition
Selling in the fall means competing in a much smaller market. Combined with the impending arrival of harsh weather and the holiday season, this is a strong bargaining chip that can help you close quickly.
It’s easier to make improvements
Selling in the fall means you can take advantage of the warm weather preceding the season to make improvements. When you’re ready to sell, your house will be too.
Though conventional wisdom recommends selling in the spring or summer, selling in the fall has a number of advantages and may prove to be the more lucrative time to list your home.
Warren County Real Estate Market Report – October 2019
Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for October 2019. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!
In general summary:
- New Listings were up 20.3% last month (Sept 2019). This month we are DOWN -14.8%.
- Closed sales are still up at 6.8% but nothing like the 74% increase last month.
- Average Median Sold $230,000.
- Average Days on Market 53.
*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resource: 2019 Market Stats by ShowingTime
MRIS: Statistics calculated November 2019
Jennifer Avery, Realtor
“Your Happy Home Expert”
BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
email@example.com | 540-683-0790
CRUM REALTY, INC | 318 S Loudoun St., Winchester, VA 22601 | 540-662-0400
Are sellers eavesdropping on homebuyers’ private conversations?
In the hustle and bustle of today’s real estate market, sellers are often absent during showings, and buyers are increasingly talkative when visiting their homes. However, the growing popularity of affordable home security devices should give buyers pause. In fact, the availability of surveillance equipment such as Wi-Fi enabled cameras and microphones means their conversations may not remain private.
Most people don’t expect to be under surveillance when visiting a house, but if the house is equipped with a surveillance system, owners can obtain sensitive information. For instance, a buyer may let slip that they’re willing to pay a lot more than asking price for the house.
A complicated issue
In most places, there’s no legal requirement to disclose the presence of a surveillance system. Nevertheless, in some states making an audio recording requires the consent of at least one of the recorded parties. Making a video recording, however, would be entirely legal in most cases. The best thing for buyers to do is to act as if the owner is present during all home showings.
Most reported cases of sellers obtaining information they can leverage have been accidental. While realtors report their customers didn’t use this knowledge to their advantage, there’s no way to know for sure.
A practical guide to downsizing
Any move can be challenging, but downsizing in particular can be tricky. Here’s a guide to help you navigate the process.
1. Choosing a new home
The first thing to do when downsizing is to choose where you’ll live. This decision will help determine which belongings you should hold on to, and how many of them you can bring along.
Keep in mind that moving to a smaller house or a condo doesn’t come with the same limitations as moving in with family, an assisted living facility or retirement community. It’s therefore a good idea to weigh your options carefully.
When choosing your next residence, consider your current needs and how they might change as you age. Open and honest communication between you and family members is the key to ensuring that you get the support you need and that your new accommodations meet your requirements.
2. Planning for the move
Start planning your move well before you put your house up for sale or give notice at your rental. Write out a detailed plan and make a list of the tasks that need to be completed. Assign those tasks to everyone involved in the move. If you need to hire professionals to assist you, be sure to do so ahead of time. Being organized is the best way to ensure that your move goes smoothly.
3. Decluttering and sorting belongings
This step can be trying, both on a practical level and on an emotional one. However, the simplest way to approach it is to deal with one room at a time.
Separate your belongings into five categories: keep, give away, donate, sell and throw out. To assess where a particular item should go, here are some helpful questions to ask:
• How necessary is it?
• How often is it used?
• Will it fit in the new space?
• Does it have sentimental value?
• Does it have monetary value?
• Are there multiples?
Don’t worry if the sorting process needs to be repeated. Give yourself the time and space to go through items at a pace that’s comfortable to you.
Finally, if you feel overwhelmed or need more help, know that some companies specialize in helping seniors downsize.
4 things realtors might not tell you
Most realtors act with integrity and are honest and upright. However, here are four things they might not tell you.
1. Commissions are negotiable
Commissions vary, but keep in mind that “standard” rates needn’t be mandatory. Not only can you negotiate a commission up-front, but it’s also possible to ask agents to lower it to ensure that a deal goes through. For instance, if you and the buyer are $4,000 apart, you can ask the agents to lower their respective commissions by $2,000.
2. They may be too busy for you
When signing with a brokerage, always ask them what you’re paying for. This is especially true in the case of well-known realtors who trade on their reputation. Find out whether they’ll be the ones handling the legwork, answering your calls and dealing with other agents on your behalf. Some of them might pass you off to a junior agent after you sign.
3. You can look them up
You probably already know that you should always deal with licensed realtors, but you may not be aware that in most cases you have access to records kept by regulatory agencies. Before signing with a realtor, look them up through the relevant organization.
4. Your house isn’t worth that much
“Buying your listing” is an industry term that refers to overestimating the value of a house to motivate a seller to sign with an agent. The agent gets the listing and you get a house that’ll sit on the market for a long time. Shop around for a good agent who understands current market conditions and uses that knowledge to price your home realistically.
Though they aren’t exactly trade secrets, knowing these four things will definitely give you an edge when shopping for a good realtor.