Selling or Buying Real Estate – Things To Know
Selling Your Property
Step #1: Find a good realtor, I don’t say this because I am one but to have a professional working for you who is familiar with the market is extremely important, not only will they handle the paperwork, booking showings, open houses, negotiations, marketing but they will be able to price your home according to the market value, that sweet spot not to high or low which will bring to most buyers and get you the most value. No need to look to far an agent you have found one…me:)
Step 2#: After you find an agent they will set up a listing appointment with you and view your home, this will give them a better idea of your perfect market value. Usually your realtor will give you staging tips but if not here you go…
Staging your home is an affordable and important step in selling your home quickly and for the best price. If you are on a tight budget, there are many simple ways to stage your home at little or no cost without the expense of hiring a professional staging expert. A survey completed by the website HomeGain concluded the average sales price of staged homes increased by $1,780, a 586% return on investment! Now do I have your attention? Here are 8 tips to staging your home if you have little or no money to spend.
START PACKING– You have to do this anyway if you are moving. Pack away everything non-essential to your day-to-day routine. If you have not used something in several months it is a non-essential. Pack it and get it out of the house. This includes closet space. Pack away the clothes that are out of season. Closets should only be half full. Either rent a storage building or put things away in the attic. It is time to remove all your personal photos as well.
2. DECLUTTER – Remove items from kitchen and bathroom counters. By doing so, your counter space will feel much larger. This includes toaster ovens, blenders, toiletries, etc. For toiletries used ever day, buy a small basket you can store under the sink or even use an old shoe box. Then, simply pull it out when you need it and store it away when you leave.
3.CLEAN & DEODORIZE – You may want to spend a little money here and have your house professionally cleaned or you can just do this yourself and save money. A home that feels clean is a home that appears as if it has been cared for. Then purchase the convenient cleaning supplies such as disinfectant wipes and furniture polishing wipes for an easy wipe-down prior to showings. You also want to rid your home of any funky smells. Click on the picture below to learn how to get rid of odors.
4. ARRANGE FURNITURE – Remember that rooms need to appear spacious. Ensure easy traffic-flow and do not block off any of the home’s features. Remove the table leaf if the dining room is small. Rooms need to have a purpose. The catch-all room needs to be a defined space. If a room does not have furniture, a simple blow-up mattress on a frame with some nice bed linens and pillows will help define an empty room.
5. BRIGHT LIGHTING– Rooms should be bright with plenty of lighting. Use the maximum wattage allowable in lamps and light fixtures. Bright bathroom lights make an impact. You may be used to the dim lighting, but potential home buyers want to see what they are purchasing. Also, bright feels bigger and that is what you are going for.
6. CURB APPEAL– The outside of your home is the first impression of your home. Keep your yard mowed and edged. Clean out flower beds and put down some fresh mulch. Typically you will pay about $3 a bag for mulch. Such a little cost for such a huge impact. Check out this article for more great curb appeal tips on a budget.
7. A WELCOME ENTRANCE– Keep the front porch swept and tidy. Eliminate any clutter and purchase a welcome mat if you don’t have one. Several colorful planters with greenery or flowers make a nice statement. For examples of front entrance staging, click here.
8. FRESH PAINT– If your paint is dingy or very bold, it would be a great idea to paint with fresh neutral colors. Painting, especially if you do it yourself brings in a large return on investment. Here are some great tips to help you in your painting endeavor.
I know it’s obvious but I am going to say this anyway, fix all the minor problems in your home, this could be from a hole in the drywall, leaky faucet and even keeping your lawn mowed. People do not want to move in a fix things, these thing could possibly come up during the inspection and you may be asked to fix them anyway.
Step 3 #: Showings and Open Houses – When your REALTOR is booking showings you need to be flexible and allow them to get in when they need, remember the people wanting to view are on a schedule too, and you never know they could be the ones to write an offer. Also you want a good first impression so make sure home is clean and shows well, same goes for open houses.
Step 4 #: Your Offer – When You get an offer its exciting, generally the REALTORS or REALTOR will act as a middleman between the buyers and sellers negotiating on your behalf, it constant communication with their respective parties. This is widely considered the most stressful part of a real estate deal for a REALTOR and their clients, but honestly it’s my favorite part:)
Cost associated with your transaction
• Realtor Fees: In are area the standard commission structure is 7/3.5%. Remember a REALTORS job is to get you the best value for your home, and we do a lot of work to get it sold. Also trying to sell it yourself you may undervalue your property and get way less than you should have gotten, so then are you really saving money? Nope. Or you could overprice it and never sell at all. You only have to pay a commission if your home sells.
• Legal Fees: This cost is unavoidable, and each party(buyer and seller) will need their own lawyer, no getting around this, need lawyers for every real estate deal. The cost differs in different areas and deals but expect $500-$1500.
• Paying the Bank: unless your house is fully paid off, you will have to pay a fee as much as $270 to discharge your mortgage. If you have a closed mortgage your bank may also ding you for prepayment charges- equalling several months worth of mortgage payments.
• Paying utilities and property taxes: You have to pay your share until the deal closes. For example, if it closes in the middle of the month, you have to pay for the first half.
• Paying the government: if its your primary residence your in luck and you don’t have to pay capital gains tax. If its an income property however, you have to pay tax at your marginal income tax rate on half the gains:(
This Guide is very brief and there is a lot more to a real estate transaction than this, but that’s why you hire a professional, it is my hope that you gain some insight from this guide.
Keep reading for some information about the buying process….
When buying a home it makes the most sense to use a REALTOR, the reason begging it’s free, a REALTORS commission is paid through the sale of a property so generally a buyer pays no fee, so why not have a profession Real Estate agent do all the work for you?
Also a good agent will protect you in many ways, the most important is making sure you don’t overpay for a home, a market evaluation on your selected home purchase is a good practice, at least that’s what I do for my clients.
When you find a home and your REALTOR is doing up the offer, here is another obvious piece of information for you that some people overlook, always do an inspection! Shell out the $300-700 hundred dollars and hire a home inspector, such a big purchase such as buying a home it is worth it to know of any issues with the home.
RED FLAGS – TOP 10 THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN BUYING A HOME.
1. POTENTIAL FOUNDATION/STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS – One of the most costly repairs to a home is correcting foundation problems. The foundation of a home is arguably the most important part of a home.
2. PEST AND OR INSECT PROBLEMS – Many pests, especially wood destroying pests, can cause damage to a home that can cost thousands of dollars to rectify.
3. RANDOM FRESH PAINT – Why would a seller only paint a small part of the ceiling? Or only one wall? It’s possible the seller is trying to cover up a problem.
4. AMATUR WORKMANSHIP AND REPAIRS – Some of the most common amateur workmanship jobs to keep an eye out for when looking at homes include plumbing, carpentry, and electrical work.
5. ODORS – It’s obvious that a foul odor is something that can scare away a potential buyer in less than a minute, but, why is a pleasant odor a possible red flag? If a home has a plug in air freshener in every outlet, a candle lit in every room, and air fresheners hanging in every room, it’s possible the homeowner is attempting to cover up a foul odor. While this isn’t always the case, it’s always something that buyers need to be aware of when looking at homes.
6. POOR OVERALL NEIGHBORHOOD CONDITION – Most buyers don’t think about how the neighborhood will impact the resale value of the home, since they don’t own the property yet.
7. STAINS ON WALL AND/OR CEILINGS – Are the stains a result from a leak in the roof? Are the stains a result from ice damming? Are the stains a result of a plumbing issue?
8. ELECTRICAL SYSTEM ISSUES- It’s understood most home buyers are not professional electricians, however, simple things such as turning on light switches, checking for flickering lights, and checking outlets are all good ways to tell if the electrical seems to be working properly.
9. POOR DRAINAGE/GRADING – Poor drainage is something that isn’t always easily detected. An obvious sign of poor drainage is pooling water. If the yard of a home has mini lakes, it likely has poor drainage, which can lead to water problems inside the home.
10. MOLD – Mold remediation can be completed on a home, however, it can be costly. Like many of these red flags, most home inspectors can help discover mold problems in a home. The most common areas for mold in a home are basements and attics.
FINAL THOUGHT – Buying a home is a huge event in anyone’s life, whether it’s a first time home buyer or an experienced home buyer. It’s critical that when buying a home, buyers are on the look out for these red flags. While many of these red flags may not be found while viewing a home, many of these red flags are likely to be found during a home inspection.
That’s it for my guide on the buying and selling process, again I know this guide was brief but if I were to write down every single step of a standard real estate transaction it would be like writing a short novel. I hope you have gained some value out of this, thanks for reading.
Royal LePage Cascade Realty – Dawson Creek BC