Increasing Your House Value
Are you preparing to sell and looking to increase your house value? There are many things to think through but the most important is the return on investment (ROI). If you are considering upgrading your vanity bathroom cabinets for example, you should rethink that approach. The return on investment is only 66%. That is nowhere near as lucrative as simply cleaning and decluttering.
8 Improvements to Add House Value
- The return on investment for yard improvement is 303% according to NAR (or 400% according to This Old House). You are only going to attract bargain hunters if your yard is full of weeds.
- Repair (electrical, plumbing, etc.). The return is 299%. Homes that need essential repairs are not going to get top dollar in the marketplace.
- Declutter and Clean. Return 403%. This simple thing with an average cost of $400 is one of the most value adding improvements a seller can make. If you get professional assistance it will likely increase the ROI even higher.
- The HomeGain website states the ROI for new carpet ($671) is 160%. If the carpet in your home is clean and in good condition money is likely put to better use elsewhere.
- The ROI here is 196%. Professional stagers can help to draw attention from parts of the home that are too expensive to revamp.
- Brighten and Lighten. Boost the light by cleaning windows or giving a fresh lighter coat of paint to a dark room. You can even choose higher wattage lamps. While all the return figures for increasing your house value are different depending on what you do, they are all going in the positive direction.
- Improve appliances. While entire kitchen remodels are far too expensive to have a good return on investment to increase your house value, minor kitchen remodels have an ROI of 79%. Replacing old kitchen appliances is also a great way to increase your house value.
- Declutter and Clean. Yes, it is that important and that valuable!
If you are looking to sell and in need of some advice about what your home may need in the way of improvements to get top dollar, give us a call today! We would love to help you with this and all other facets of selling your home.
When to Sell Your Home
When deciding to sell your home, you may question when the best time is to do so. There are two different ways of thinking about this issue. One way opens an ongoing debate that will not be resolved anytime soon.
Many real estate experts believe that the best time to sell your home is in the spring and summer seasons. This is the “peak selling season” in the real estate world. Statistics back up this theory. Most homes are sold during the longer, warmer days of the year.
This way of thinking is controversial. When you try to sell your home during peak season you are competing with many other sellers. People who consider this a great time to sell point out that there are also more buyers this time of year. Those who disagree about selling during peak season state that people looking to buy during the off season are more serious and more likely to follow through. This debate could go on and on. It is not going to be settled today.
The other option for when to sell your home is much less controversial. Here we are looking at the seller’s personal calendar, not the time of year. Does your home no longer work for you and your family? Then this is the information you should pay attention to. If you are financially situated to sell, then go for it no matter what time of year. The financial picture is always the most important point to consider when looking to sell your home.
When you are sure you can pay for a new home and you have dealt with your debt it may be the time to move forward. The only other timeline to consider is how long it will take to get your home ready to show to prospective buyers. When you are ready to take that next step do not hesitate to give us a call for a consultation. We are here to help!
Concepts for a Bigger Kitchen
We all know the important role a kitchen plays in any home. It is a gathering place for the entire family. If you are in a small uninviting space while preparing food, it affects your quality of experience. Are you looking to make improvements to your kitchen without spending a ton of money? How about giving the illusion of a bigger kitchen without breaking the bank? How about making it a place your entire family enjoys spending time in?
Recently author Brad Miller gave some tips on achieving a bigger kitchen on a budget in an article for Realty Times. He offered some ways to increase the value of your kitchen, make it appear larger, and do it all in an economical fashion. Below are some of his ideas:
- Light the cabinets (reducing shadows will make a kitchen “feel roomier”. There are so many options including my favorite, glass-doored cabinets lit from the inside).
- Purchase a narrow refrigerator (a tall, slim 28 inch model stores quite a lot of food).
- Purchase a compact dishwasher (especially suitable for a condo).
- Get rid of the double sinks (one single big sink is a real space saver; makes washing certain dishes easier; gives you more counter space).
- Do away with some of the hardware (to give a less chaotic and more spacious look utilize press activated drawers and cabinet doors).
Included in the Realty times article was an impressive array of photographs showing his bigger kitchen ideas. They really do make a kitchen look bigger on a budget.
Are you looking to sell your home? Consider pinpointing the cheapest improvements that can add value to your home. I can help you to identify any needed improvements. Please call today!
Selling Your House? What to Do First
In advance of selling your house, there is one not often thought of step to consider. It will make the process more financially worthwhile. This step is not exactly obvious. However, when you consider the larger financial picture, it is extremely wise.
This often-ignored step concerns your credit. You may not think your credit is important when selling your home. Rather, you feel certain it is only the home buyers’ credit that is relevant.
Selling Your House Is Just The Beginning
That is not quite the reality. Remember selling your home is only the first step. Step two is buying your next home. If your financial picture is good, it will likely become more so after the profits of selling your home. It’s a fact that a higher credit score will get you lower mortgage interest rates when purchasing your next home. Even a tiny percentage point gain can lead to a large difference in “cash out” in the long term.
You may be thinking what can I do to improve my credit. Apart from the well-known advice like paying credit cards in a timely fashion, another step might be to take out a personal loan. You should consider doing this even if you do not need a loan.
However, it is important to always ask your CPA or other financial advisor about any piece of financial advice. Still, as J.M. Simon and Brady Porche report, if you desire a high FICO score that will get you the best rates and highest limits you are “going to have to mix it up a bit.” You must construct a credit profile that shows you use different kinds of credit responsibly. Varieties of credit used is one of the five factors lenders look at. It influences around 10% of your FICO score.
Getting a personal loan or using some other previously unused type of credit can better your score. Remember to plan ahead, these types of credit can take some time to register.
Selling your house is a huge high point for any family. It must be planned and implemented well. Just give us a call. We can make sure it happens!
Real Estate Sales: Consider All the Senses!
When thinking of conventional real estate sales circumstances, we first consider the photos that lead the MLS listing and the details given about the property. After that, if our thoughts about the property are positive, we would then seek to view the home in person to get a feel for the curb appeal.
Every step considering the property up to the next point has been solely taken in by the eyes. Actually, I think most real estate sales prospects think in mainly visual ways. Why? Because most of what appeals to possible home buyers comes to them through their visual sense.
But, wait! While the eyes are important; sight is only one of the five senses. When preparing their homes for sale, homeowners can also think about how to utilize the other four senses to impress prospective buyers. Although it may be a different way to think about real estate selling, it can be extremely useful.
SOUND: does your front door squeak? Do the stair rails groan or does the air conditioner screech? This all leads to a less than satisfactory impression. However, playing pleasant music softly in the background can gain a favorable response from perspective buyers.
SMELL: pets! Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and other rooms can gain from candles and other air fresheners. And a bouquet of flowers can add more than the obvious visual element.
TOUCH: if a possible house buyer grasps a rickety door handle it sends an immediate message about the quality of the home. A heavy, solid door sends a completely different message than a light and flimsy door. In fact, consumeraffairs.com puts front door replacement at the top of its list for return on investment fixes. Consider repairing anything from dirty light switches to stubborn sliding glass doors.
TASTE: yes, this sense is not as important as the others. But after a full schedule of viewing homes, the sight of a tray of homemade brownies is most welcome.
When selling your home, it is a good idea to take into account all the senses when preparing your home for visitors. For this and all other real estate sales concerns, please give us a call!
Pricing Your House is an Art
Pricing your house is not a science.
Scientific findings must be verified experimentally. To prove a quality of gravity, Galileo dropped a feather and a lead weight from the Tower of Pisa. This experiment can be repeated by others. If the results are recurring, then it is a matter of science.
Pricing your house is more art than science. No pricing experiment can be replicated because no two houses are identical. Also, even if you attempt to sell the same home more than once, the collection of interested buyers is continuously changing. So many external factors affect the sales picture, even the daily news.
We also must consider the attachment many of us feel for our homes. Even the most unemotional homeowner knows there are two different ways to place a price on their home. There is the amount the home can be listed for, and there is the value the home has to their family. With any luck they are not completely dissimilar. Regardless, it is always going to be the value the home can be sold for that reigns supreme.
Three Tactics In Pricing Your Home
Now that we know no pricing approach can be scientifically based, the most effective plan it to adhere to some widely accepted standards. We guide our clients to tackle the pricing dilemma in the following ways.
- Research the market as potential buyers would. Find similar properties and see what the asking prices are and what they sold for. This is where our research can be most useful.
- After you have determined the range where your house sits, find “holes” in that span. Often there will be an obvious break in asking prices. One excellent tactic is to price your home in that gap.
- After you have decided on an asking price, another approach is to change it to the next ”99” number. If you are sitting at a $305,000 asking price, think about lowering it to $299,999. Although everyone knows this maneuver, its use is so commonplace no one feels duped. People will always respond to that lower price as though it were a much steeper discount.
Pricing your house correctly is one of the multiple steps that go into a winning marketing strategy. Give us a call today for a no cost, no obligation meeting.
Prepping Your Home For Sale
Home sellers can find the process of home prepping to be a trial or a joy. This is likely determined by the amount of care they have given the home in recent years. Either way, first and foremost they must take a complete survey of the home to determine what improvements are needed.
When the curb appeal evaluation assesses as a “C” or less, it is sure to be echoed in the attention of potential buyers. This will be especially evident in the offers they make. Landscaping, a new roof, a paint job for the exterior might be needed. At the end of the day their cost will be a bargain compared with the loss of buyer excitement.
The Three Rules of Home Prepping
Prepping the interior of the home also calls for the identical amount of straightforward consideration and judgement. Yes, a major remodeling job rarely makes back it’s expense, but the three essential rules of house prepping are completely worth their cost in money and labor.
- Do a thorough deep cleaning in every space.
- Remove clutter.
Making Them Welcome
What is next after the majority of work has been done? A beneficial last step is simple. The word “welcome.” That is demonstrated by one of the most often observed recommendations for prepping a home. It is also the easiest piece of advice to accomplish: “replace the welcome mat.”
“Replacing the front door”-as well as “changing the front door hardware” and “replacing the address numbers” are other costlier recommendations. Meeting potential buyers with a ship shape and welcoming first impression is very valuable. It shows that a great amount of care has been taken to welcome the visitor. It shows respect. In fact, adding those finishing touches and making those specifics as nice as they can paves the way for a good response for the following event.
We can assist you with all the parts of home prepping. There is never any obligation. Call for a professional’s opinion today!
Preparing To Sell Your Home? – Choose The Right Improvements!
Which Upgrade Will Make You The Most Money When You Sell?
A major question we encounter with homeowners thinking to sell their homes lately revolve around which projects they should undertake prior to putting their home on the market for sale.
There is almost always some level of consternation regarding how much time, money and effort will be required and to what extent the projects should be completed.
There’s always the obvious punch list to take care of the areas where the home shows wear and tear. The questions arise when discussing the more ambitious projects.
Fresh paint and steam cleaned carpets only begin to scratch the surface on the “can do” projects to prepare a home for sale.
Unfortunately it’s the gray areas that present the largest challenge. The costly improvements that may or may not result in a quicker sale, an offer for more money – or both. I call the areas gray because even the best real estate schools don’t train us to use a crystal ball, so we cannot see into the future and advise with that ever so helpful hindsight. So there will be no guaranteed rate of return on investment.
A simple Google search for “home repair cost-recoup” will reap some invaluable data. While perusing the data keep in mind these are national averages, unless you can find local information. Don’t dismiss these numbers all together though, they at least give some level of indication on each named project and they certainly can assist in your decision making process. Below is a chart of repairs and what they return on average borrowed from the National Association of Realtors® from mid-range homes.
When deciding which repairs will make the most sense the first thing to do is decide on a budget. If you don’t have $62,000 available, you likely won’t be doing a major kitchen remodel—even if your kitchen looks like a scene directly out of “The Brady Bunch”.
Before making a decision on repairs or upgrades before you sell contact us at The Miranda Team. We can walk you through the best repairs to make within your budget to ensure you get the highest return on investment. As you can see from the chart above, not all repairs are created equal, and it doesn’t always make sense to do some repairs. While others make total sense. Let us be your Sherpa guide when navigating through the mountains of data for your repairs. We’re ready to make you as much money as possible, and spending as little money possible. You’re success is our goal.
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Sage Advice From a Real Estate Team
The Best Advice When Hiring a Realtor®
Real estate agents may be one of the only professions in a double nature type of profession.
Take for example a family practice medical doctor. He doesn’t practice family medicine by day and switch to being a surgeon by night.
No more than an attorney representing the plaintiff will turn around and become the prosecuting attorney in a later case.
In contrast, a real estate agent can start the day showing houses and negotiating on a buyer’s behalf. Then switch over in the second part of the day review purchase offers for a listing they represent and negotiate on the seller’s behalf. Luckily this isn’t a split personality disorder. In fact, for a Realtor, it’s all in a day’s work.
The new real estate business model is teams. A basic real estate team will consist of a buyer’s agent, a listing (seller’s) agent and an administrative assistant. Real estate teams can get more complex from there, but this is the where a team starts. That being said, there is no difference between the classes a listing agent has to pass as compared to the classes a buyer’s agent has to pass. They’re all the same. One agent could do it all. But why would they want to? Like the African Proverb says: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with a team.
Which begs the question, with all of the moving parts in one transaction why would one agent want to do it all? And how can they be effective in managing multiple transactions all in different stages? The answer: It’s very difficult.
When you bring in a real estate team you have real estate “specialists”, not “generalists”. For example us, The Miranda Team. Our listing agent only works with sellers, and our buyer’s agent only works with buyers. This allows each of our agents to focus all of their attention on doing what they’re hired to do. When we get a property under contract with our client we pass the file to our administrator to handle all of the paperwork from contract to closing. We still go to inspections, appraisals etc and handle all of the negotiations, but our admin does all of the office work. Likewise our Inside Sales Agent handles all of the phone calls letting everyone know the property is available for sale and proactively searching for buyers. And each agent’s continuing education is geared specifically towards their specialty.
The subject of real estate double nature came up when we came across an article earlier this week discussing The 3 Things you shouldn’t talk about with a listing agent (for a buyer when out looking at homes with their real estate agent). The 3 things the author listed are: How much you like or dislike a house; what’s your purchase budget; and let your agent do all of the talking – which seems more like “don’t say anything” as opposed to what not to say.
As a team we certainly agree with all three. Keep in mind the same advice goes for sellers also. Your agent is there to use their knowledge and experience to gather the necessary information and prevent you from divulging too much and placing yourself in a weaker position during negotiations – and doing all of this with a smile. These are all situations where experience is key.
Bottom line, when hiring an agent there is no difference between the education requirements of a listing agent or a buyer’s agent. But every agent has different levels of experience. And every agent has strengths and weaknesses. After all, we are all human. Wouldn’t you want an agent that specializes in transactions similar to yours? When purchasing, wouldn’t you prefer an agent that only works and negotiates on behalf of buyers? Or when selling, working with an agent that works and negotiates only on behalf of sellers? A good buyer’s agent will have a different personality than a good listing agent. Working with a team allows each agent to specialize in their profession and allows us to place the right agent with the right job.
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Coral Springs or anywhere in Broward County, The Miranda Team has an agent for you. English and Spanish speaking. Buyer’s agent, Seller’s agent and inside sales agent. And our administrator is ready to hold the office together. Take our advie and give us a call so we can talk about how we will make your next real estate experience better with our 6 Star ****** Guarantee. Most agents are OK with 5 stars, we promise 6 stars.
Or if you have a friend, family member or co-worker we can help, please pass our information along.
The World Series is Over, But Your Home Selling Negotiations Are Not
Make Sure to Avoid Fouls in Your Home Selling Negotiations
When it comes to starting negotiations, the home seller is the ultimate decision maker.
A great real estate agent, like every great coach of the past will be there to offer the guidance and counsel needed for a winning game plan.
It’s not always easy to develop the appropriate response to offers on your home.
If this is your first time selling a home, or it’s been more than a decade, it’s time well spent to familiarize yourself with practical pointers in home selling negotiations.
Not only is Realtor.com the best website to search for homes, home sellers around the country can also find valuable resources and insights to help them on the road to their home closing. This month’s World Series finale no doubt inspired one of Realtor.com’s title for a list of home selling negotiating pitfalls. The article I’m referring to was published on the morning of Houston’s Game 7 victory. The premise of the article deals with errors in negotiating a home sale. You can find it here, titled “Hardball Fouls: 6 Home-Selling Negotiation Strategies That Can Backfire.”
Even though the first foul mentioned is “starting a bidding war”, after reading we find that was a slight overstatement. Clearly, a bidding war is more than ideal for home sellers in Coral Springs, or anywhere in our beautiful country. What was mentioned was how a multiple offer circumstance could be botched. One common mistake is setting your offer deadline too far into the future. Buyers pressed for time simply won’t be willing to wait. An additional foul ball mentioned was passing up on a strong offer that may not re-appear if you miss out. Don’t leave money on the table during these multiple offer situations by sticking too hard to your own rules. After all, you only get one shot at making the most amount of money possible in this sale.
They also mentioned in the article about being too tough responding to the home buyer’s request for home repairs. They stopped short of saying “stop being so gosh darn stubborn”! On the same note, don’t be so stubborn about your closing date, how closing costs are paid and arguing over your favorite light fixture you want to take with you. If every other part of the deal is going smooth, don’t mess it up over these seemingly small items.
The next one could misfire in a big way: “threatening to put the property back on the market”. Now first of all, your agent should walk you off the ledge from this potentially deal killing move. Keep in mind, it’s not only the stigma that may be attached to your “back on the market” property. It’s also the fact that all of those other home buyers that were once interested in your house may have already moved on to other homes, never to return to the prospect of buying your house.
These invaluable negotiation techniques underlie all of the Realtor.com’s examples as guiding principles we know to be legitimate deal breaking techniques. When you’re in the final inning and coming down the home stretch, be sure you’re evaluating every aspect of the deal as part of the transaction as a whole. Individually, every detail that may seem important will tend to lose their influence when viewed in relation to the entire transaction. In baseball terms, keep your eye on the ball.
Regardless of how thrilling any World Series Game 7 may be, remember, it’s only a game. However, when it comes to selling your home, whether in Coral Springs, Broward County, or anywhere in The United States, it’s a much more serious endeavor. When selling your home, every decision matters, and every decision may have consequences for years to come. These are details we at The Miranda Team keep in mind when we’re working with our clients and negotiating the best deal for them. From listing prep to closing day, we ensure you have a winning plan when it’s time to sell. Please call us anytime to discuss how we can help you put more money in your bank account with our game winning negation strategies.