Real Estate Information
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A lot of sellers don't listen to their real estate agents, so we'll tell you what your agent wants to say, but can't say to you and this is it - your agent can't get you the price you want unless your home is in pristine move-in condition.
That means no sticking drawers in the kitchen. No leaning fences. No rust-stained plumbing fixtures. We could go on, but maybe we need to make it clear. If you have even one of following "turn-offs," your home won't sell.
Buyers can get instantly turned off. Here are their five biggest turn-offs according to a recent article in The Realty Times by Blance Evans:
1. Overpricing for the market
4. Deferred maintenance
5. Dark, dated decor
Overpricing your home
Overpricing your home is like trying to crash the country club without a membership. You'll be found out and escorted out.
If you ignored your agent's advice and listed at a higher price than recommended, you're going to get some negative feedback from buyers. The worst feedback, of course, is silence. That could include no showings and no offers.
The problem with overpricing your home is that the buyers who are qualified to buy your home won't see it because they're shopping in a lower price range. The buyers who do it will quickly realize that there are other homes in the same price range that offer more value.
Smells can come from a number of sources - pets, lack of cleanliness, stale air, water damage, and much more. You may not even notice it, but your real estate agent may have hinted to you that something needs to be done.
There's not a buyer in the world that will buy a home that smells unless they're investors looking for a bargain. Even so, they'll get a forensic inspection to find out the source of the smells. If they find anything like undisclosed water damage, or pet urine under the "new" carpet, then they will either severely discount their offer or walk away.
If your tables are full to the edges with photos, figurines, mail, and drinking glasses, buyers' attention is going to more focused on running the gauntlet of your living room without breaking any Hummels than in considering your home for purchase.
Too much furniture confuses the eye - it makes it really difficult for buyers to see the proportions of rooms. If they can't see what they need to know, they move on to the next home.
Deferred maintenance is a polite euphemism for letting your home fall apart. Just like people age due to the effects of the sun, wind and gravity, so do structures like your home. Things wear out, break and weather, and it's your job as a homeowner to keep your home repaired.
Your buyers really want a home that's been well-maintained. They don't want to wonder what needs to fixed next or how much it will cost.
The reason people are looking at your home instead of buying brand new is because of cost and location. They want your neighborhood, but that doesn't mean they want a dated-looking home. Just like they want a home in good repair, they want a home that looks updated, even if it's from a different era.
Harvest gold and avocado green from the seventies; soft blues and mauves from the eighties, jewel tones from the nineties, and onyx and pewter from the oughts are all colorways that can date your home. Textures like popcorn ceilings, shag or berber carpet, and flocked wallpaper can also date your home.
When you're behind the times, buyers don't want to join you. They want to be perceived as savvy and cool.
In conclusion, the market is a brutal mirror. if you're guilty of not putting money into your home because you believe it's an investment that others should pay you to profit, you're in for a rude awakening. You'll be stuck with an asset that isn't selling.
For more tips on how to get top-dollar for your home, please contact Aaron Novello of The Novello Group today!
These are the home improvements experts say will return more of their cost when you sell:
1. New exterior siding. Upscale fiber cement siding pays back an average 78% of its cost. Foam-backed insulated vinyl siding and standard vinyl siding pay back almost 70% of their cost.
2. New entry door. A midrange 20-gauge steel door pays back 73% of its cost and boosts curb appeal.
3. Attic bedroom. Pop out a dormer, add a 5' X 7' bathroom with shower, insulate and finish walls and ceiling, and bring in heat, a/c, and wiring. You'll get almost 73% back on your money and an attic remodel is the least expensive way to add living space and a bathroom.
4. A simple kitchen remodel. Keep this under $20,000 and you'll get back an average 72% of your investment. Include upgrades like new sinks, faucets, appliances, and laminate countertops. Keep the floor but reface the cabinets with new hardware.
5. New garage door(s). Believe it or not, garage door replacements pay back over 71% of their cost if you install a mid-range or high-end product. They also instantly up your curb appeal.
6. New wood deck. This earns back over 70% of its cost at resale.
7. Upscale vinyl replacement windows. Change out your old windows with ones with low-emissivity glass and insulation and you'll enjoy a payback of over 69% of the cost.
8 HEALTH HAZARDS TO AVOID IN YOUR HOME
1. Bed linens. These can hold germs, grime, and allergens. Wash at least once a week using the hottest washer and dryer settings. It takes extreme heat to kill most bacteria.
2. Pet toys. These can be a source of staph, as well as coli forms, yeast, and mold. Hard toys should be cleaned once a month with hot soapy water, rinsed, disinfected with a mild bleach solution, then rinsed again. Sanitize soft toys with laundry on the hot water cycle.
3. Refrigerator ice and water dispensers. A recent study found these can be loaded with yeast and mold. Clean the ice dispenser monthly. Turn off and wash the bin with dish detergent and warm water, then dry with a clean towel. Every six months, pour 3-4 cups of distilled white vinegar into the water supply tube and let it run through to sanitize. Wipe water spout once a week with cotton swab and a dry cloth.
4. HVAC ducts. In a year, a 1500 square foot home's duckt work can collect 40 pounds of dust containing allergens, bacteria, dirt, fungi, mold, and about 40,000 dust mites per ounce. When you turn on the system, all this circulates, causing fatigue, sinus problems, and asthma. Have a NADCA-certified company clean ducts every 2 years.
5. Sponges. Unless disinfected, a sponge is a prime place for germs to grow, and then spread around the kitchen. Clean a nonmetallic sponge by completely wetting it and placing it in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. Throw out sponges after two weeks. Better options are towels, dishcloths, and rags you can sanitize with bleach in your washing machine's hot water cycle.
6. Ceiling fan blades. These are home to dust mites which the fan then circulates. Put a pillowcase on each blade and pull it off while wiping the dust into it. Empty it outside, and then launder the case inside out on your hottest washer and dryer settings.
7. The dishwasher. Mold can form here when moisture lingers after the heat cycle ends. Run your dishwasher only when you can empty it soon after it stops.
8. The washing machine. Mold and staph can grow here. Once a month, use the self-clean cycle or put a cup of bleach in an empty machine and run on the hottest setting. Leave the door or lid open when not in use.
When you're ready to upgrade, downsize, or buy your first home, please contact Aaron Novello of The Novello Group today!
Buying a home is a huge decision. Picking the right home is just about the biggest single financial decision most will make in their lives. Chase recently conducted a survey of new homeowners and asked what they would do differently if they could have a “do-over” with their home purchase. While most reported being happy with their final decision, there were four general areas that many new homeowners would handle differently if given the chance.
1. They would understand their mortgage and financing options better.
Ninety percent of those surveyed said that while they believed they understood their financing options pretty well at the time of purchase, in hindsight they would have been better off to understand the entire process more thoroughly. They commonly reported wishing they understood the entire closing process better, wishing they understood their financing options and their mortgage better, and wishing they had more experience in how to make or negotiate an offer.
2. They would evaluate the size of their new home more carefully.
Many in the survey suggested they would buy either a larger or smaller home if given the chance. Sometimes people don’t realize how much “stuff” they have until they try to fit it into their new space and realize it won’t fit. Some also said they would choose a different neighborhood if given the chance.
3. They would purchase a home at a different price point.
Thirty-nine percent of homebuyers said they would likely purchase a home with a different size or price. Many realize after the initial honeymoon period wears off that they simply paid too much for the house.
4. They would not expect a speedy process.
Around 40 percent of home buyers believed it would take less time than it did to go through the entire process, from looking at potential homes to going through the closing process. These homebuyers said they would not expect such speed in a future move.
5. They would get clear about the costs of maintenance and moving.
Four of five in the survey believed their new home was move-in ready, but quickly realized that repairs or renovations were needed. Just over half also reported being unpleasantly surprised by the costs of maintaining their new home. These buyers said that in the future, they would work to have a better understanding of these costs before purchasing a new home.
Did you have any regrets on your home purchase?
Spring is here, so it's a great time to tackle some projects that have been putt off all winter. Here are some things that you can do to maximize the value of your property.
1. Purge, purge, purge! Remove unwanted or unused items. You can donate, recycle or throw them away.
2. Power wash exterior walls, porches, decks, driveways and sidewalks.
3. Clean outdoor furniture, lights, gutters and fixtures.
4. Clean out the refrigerator and make sure to vacuum the grill and coils.
5. Vacuum baseboards, walls, ceilings and wipe down the walls.
6. Steam clean carpets, area rugs and upholstery.
7. Re-seal natural stone surfaces (travertine, etc.).
8. Re-seal and repair grout in bathtubs and showers.
9. Clean window treatments, dust blinds and clean shutters.
10. Remove all items from shelves and clean.
11. Oil hinges.
Once your done, please Aaron Novello of The Novello Group a call to get a free estimate of your home's value. We look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you so much to our friends, family and past clients that helped us break our record and sell 120 properties in 2013. We appreciate all of your support and could not have done it without you!
We are looking to 2014 to be another breakthrough year. Not only is the market improving, but we have the staff and efficiency in place to help even more clients this year. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are looking to buy or sell in this ever-improving South Florida real estate market.
We are committed to your success!
With rising home prices in the South Florida market, we are recognizing the importance of an accurate appraisal that reflects the current market values. In a late 2012 survey by the National Association of Realtors, 11 percent of sales professionals said a sales contract was canceled because an appraised value came in below the negotiated price, 9 percent reported a contract had been delayed and 15 percent reported a contract had been renegotiated to a lower sales price.
These were some of the problems reported in the survey:
- Using lower priced foreclosures as comparables.
- Not adjusting values to reflect changing market conditions, such as rising prices or low inventory.
- Using inexperienced or out-of-town appraisers.
- Long turnaround times by both appraisers and lenders, delaying closings.
What can your professional do to help you in this situation? According to Florida Realtor magazine, real estate professionals can be valued sources of information for appraisers. Providing them with what they need early in the process is important because it can be difficult to challenge a completed appraisal. If an agent wants to request a change, he or she can contact the lender with a written request for the appraiser to reconsider his or her opinion.
In that request, your agent can ask the appraiser to do one of three things.
1. Consider additional, appropriate property information, including the consideration of additional comparable properties.
2. Provide further details or explanation of the appraiser's value conclusion.
3. Correct errors in the appraisal report.
Looking to the future, according to Florida Realtor magazine, discussions are under way on the national level to establish a formal procedure for evaluating an appraisal and requesting a reconsideration of value.
For more information regarding appraisals or the South Florida real estate market, please contact Aaron Novello of The Novello Group today!