Simple Improvements to Help Sell Your Home – DIY Addition

Most homeowners today have at least some experience with DIY projects around the house.  There are a lot of little things that happen around the house, inside or outside, and if you had to call a handy man every time a light bulb or air filter improvements to help sell a homeneeded to be changed you would be spending a lot of extra money that you could save if you did it yourself.  If you are a homeowner and don’t feel comfortable doing any project at all I would strongly reconsidering the attempt of a DIY project especially if you are making the improvements to sell your home.  There are many simple improvements that can be completed before you sell your home.  The following information will get you started on the most impacting items, there is a huge amount to consider when you are making these upgrades but you have to make sure you don’t get carried away and don’t bite off more than you can chew!

First things first would be to consider new paint.  Even if you just painted within the last couple of years it would be smart to consider a quick re-coat on the exterior and interior walls. After you finish there will be a huge improvement.  Another aspect to painting is the finish and color choice.  When you are painting main living areas and other bedrooms it is important (when selling) to have colors that are not out of the ordinary.  The kid’s bedrooms that are ninja turtle green and princess pink are not always going to have the same appeal to the potential buyers.  The idea behind the color choice is allowing the buyer to see a “clean slate”, this doesn’t mean you have to paint everything plain white but rather natural colors are ideal.  Additionally, the finish choice of the paint should be taken into consideration depending on the rooms the scale for finish typically includes flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and gloss and goes from most fragile and reflects no light to most durable and reflects a lot of light.  Which brings me to the next DIY project, interior lighting.

Without getting into the physics behind how electrons move in a wire and how light particles flow through a room, we will keep this simple.  Lighting in a house is very important, in fact most of the time you can tell when a house was built by the kind of lighting and how much was installed.  I would recommend before completing any electrical work it is important to have the breaker shut off to whatever you are working on.

There are many fixtures or even bulbs that could be replaced very easily to improve the aesthetics of your home.  Many bulb types and power requirements all have a new and improved bulbs and a “cleaner” whiter light.  Moving onto the fixtures I would concentrate on the main living areas, kitchen and bathrooms.  Many times surface mounted fixtures and ceiling fan light kits are very easy to upgrade with one mounting bracket and just a couple of wires.  Again these updates can be very cost effective, allow a new look, offer a higher quality and better distribution of light.

The last item I would ask you to consider is the flooring. When trying to sell your home the most beneficial type of flooring to replace is linoleum or carpet, the nice thing is that these types of floors are SUPER easy to remove.  The carpet will consist of padding and tack strips (that holds the carpet to the edge).  The linoleum is usually just stuck down and can be peeled up to be thrown away.  The options I would recommend as a DIY project would be wood floors, tile, or believe it or not more linoleum. They make really nice and high quality linoleum these days and if it is a small laundry room it may be a good application. Installing wood floors may scare you but they make new laminate wood floor systems that are very easy to to put in, its just a matter of snapping the boards together!  Some may say that if it’s not “real” wood then it’s not worth it, but actually this new engineered wood holds up better than real hardwood.  When it comes to not being sensitive to water, scratch resistant, low maintenance and cost effective the laminate wood flooring is the best choice.  My thought is that the people who love the “real” hardwood floors have never cleaned, sanded and refinished them before or money is not a concern and they have no issue forking out tons of money for upkeep and maintenance.

I say for the average homeowner there may be a lot we can’t do but keep in mind we aren’t replacing a roof, windows or pouring a new driveway.  A little paint, an eye for good lighting, and a day of snapping in some new flooring goes a long way when trying to sell your home.

If you happen to be in the market for a new home make sure to check out the MoveMap on to research potential homes, neighborhoods, and their surrounding communities so you can make the best choice when making your home buying decision!

Is Selling Your Home FSBO Right For You?

If you can do something yourself why would you ever pay someone thousands of dollars to do it for you?  Okay so most people can’t climb on their house and start replacing their roof or even go out and purchase a new air conditioner to be selling a home for sale by ownerreplaced.  Others feel like painting, setting up garage sales, cleaning and other tasks are just not worth paying for.  On the other hand maybe there is a happy medium of what you feel comfortable and knowledgeable enough to do yourself and what you don’t.  Typically it all comes back to $$$$ money and when you draw the line of how much you are willing to spend.

Selling your house for sale by owner (FSBO) is much like playing the part of a real estate agent and broker.  For a ball park estimate of cost, we will say in the majority of areas will range from 4%-6% of the sale price of the home.  For easy mathematics on a $200,000 sale price of a house that is $8,000-$12,000 right off of the top.  If the home loan is right-side-up you won’t see any of that money because that would just be less money you get back in the end, if you owe money that would be paid directly to the agents.  The following information will give you an idea of how difficult it would be to sell your house FSBO so you can be the judge.

According to the National Association of Realtors they report that the majority of the FSBO properties end up ultimately listing with a relator, reasons why are because most buyers are represented by an agent and the majority of FSBO sellers price their homes too high which scare off potential buyers.  If those are the biggest issues it seems like there is an easy fix and plenty of information available to people.  Current homeowners looking to sell have a ton of resources which include proper pricing, how to hold open houses, making counter offers, escrow, inspections and other legal advice.

The biggest upper hand that the real estate company listing your home would have besides their previous knowledge would be their branding and advertisement.  Their ability to get your home on and off the market maybe better than anything you could pull off.  On the other hand if the home is priced right it may not even matter, just remember it only takes one person to buy it.  Not having the legal knowledge could be very scary to most homeowners that do not want to become a victim but with a little due diligence it would be very possible to find the right information.

Even if you don’t have a large real estate name behind you, getting your property out and seen is still very feasible.  Setting up plans for proper signage and advertisement online along with having your home readily available to be shown and visited is most important.  Of course a relator may know how to take the best pictures and properly stage your house but this can all be done on your own.  A fresh coat of paint, nicely trimmed yard and de-cluttering of rooms like the garage and living areas cab go a long ways when you are presenting your home to buyers.  Just remember the relator isn’t going to clean and paint your house for you, they will just be telling you what they need you to complete so ultimately you are doing the work anyways.

Overall on a scale of 1-10, one being posting an ad on Craigslist and ten being you trying to sell snow cones to an Eskimo I would say with a little effort I would rate this at a seven just because of the legal part.  As far as I am concerned any house can sell in any market depending on your listing price.  Some areas sell houses at the asking prices in a few days, if this took you a little longer would it be worth the potential $10,000 savings?  Just remember you could actually get the buyer lined up and ready to go while just opting for the legal and financial portion of the transaction.  Either way if you are going to buy, buy in Florida and when you do be sure to research your home-to-be using

When is the Best Time to Buy, Sell or List a Home?

What goes up must come down, or maybe it doesn’t?  Trying to speculate what will happen in the future is impossible because if you could the 2008 downturn wouldn’t have affected anyone and the Superbowl game wouldn’t be worth watching.  best time to buy a home - best time to sell a homeKnowing the best time to sell your home is just as important as knowing how much to sell it for.  The following will give you an insight on when the best times would be to buy, sell or list your home.

Besides the different times of the year it is important to understand what a “buyers” market is and what a “sellers” market is.  The definition is self-serving in that one is better for the buyer and the other is better for the seller.  Ultimately these markets fluctuate primarily depending on whether the industry has an influx in houses for sale or not, it’s simple supply and demand.  On the other hand depending on the economic status with loan rates, stock market status and other indicators it may not even matter if there is an exorbitant amount of homes on the market or not.  There is nothing that can be planned for so just understand “it is what it is” and some areas are affected more or less by these indicators.

The majority of sellers look to prepare for listing in the spring because that is when the buyers begin to look.  The weather has a big impact on home buying and moving because the majority of people would rather not move during the dead of winter, even in Florida!  Another good time would be the summer, this is a time when the school year is coming to a close making it a good opportunity to relocate or change school districts.

As far as buying a home the most logical time frame would be when sellers have broken into the market.  According to the National Association of Realtors the months between April and July are when the most sales take place.  On the other hand if you did wait until the “off-season” or were forced to buy during an odd time of the year you will need to take into consideration that there would be less available BUT the prices may be lower.  There are times when the market isn’t running like a well-oiled machine and the housing prices are more competitive because the seller knows the time of the year isn’t right.  It would be like going into a car dealership that has very little sales, you end up being their number one (and only) customer and are able to have your pick of the litter.

No matter when you are looking to buy and sell it is important to do your research and be aware of the market.  Be sure and hire a good real estate professional to guide you and help you complete the transaction.  Last but not least when buying or selling a home use as a carfax for your home and community, it will give you that edge when researching your potential new home and its surrounding neighborhoods.