Buying a house can be terrifying. Selling a house can be equally as difficult. The entire process is stressful, but the end result is often worth every second of the struggle. Bob Schwab, a mortgage lender in our office, often shares great information, and points out this is because investing in real estate is a solid decision!
For the fifth year in a row, a Gallup poll showed that real estate is the best long-term investment out there. This year, 34 percent of Americans chose real estate as the best long-term investment, followed by stocks (26 percent). You can see the chart, stolen from Bob’s blog, below:
I found this graphic from HomeAdvisor and the California Association of Realtors pretty funny. It says:
“More than half of couples who complete a remodeling project with a spouse or domestic partner admit to arguing during the process, and 3% even considered separation or divorce!”
While reaching that conclusion may be a little extreme (and maybe indicative of larger problems…), remodeling really is difficult on yourself and your relationship. Even just picking an agreeable paint color for the walls can be tricky.
As the graphic states, communicate more with whoever you’re doing the remodeling project with, and you’re bound to be better off. I know firsthand how difficult the buying, selling, remodeling, etc. processes can be, and the only way to survive them (even the easy ones!) is to be open and honest about everything you want to do.
Take my word for it, so you don’t end up looking like the characters in this little graphic! You can always call on a friendly realtor like myself for advice on how to best survive this daunting task.
As I’ve expressed here before, my best moments as a realtor come when a client buys their dream home with my help. That happened recently, and the backstory is almost as cool as the moment they shared getting the keys!
I met Wilbur and Aimee through NorCal Weim Rescue, where I got my dog Bodie and occasionally foster dogs for them. At the time, Wilbur was renting and had two Weimaraner puppies (Roxie & Daisy), but the landlord just landscaped the backyard and did not want two big dogs in addition to their small one.
So he surrendered them to NorCal Weim Rescue, who did not want to split the dogs up and I fostered them – see pics below. Roxie was very dominant over her sister and even when they were at a trial run at another home she would growl at the husband, so that didn’t work. Then Wilbur’s landlord said he could have one dog back, he got Roxie the light Weimaraner pictured here and Daisy found her fur-ever home in Bishop. And they later got Jax, the Blue Weim
They knew I was an agent and I said if you ever decide to buy, let me know. A few years later, their landlord wanted to sell his house and called me up! They realized they couldn’t buy the house they were renting, so off we went looking in Livermore. After being in contract and finding the HOA only allowed two dogs, we were back in the hunt. Three offers later, lots of conversations with the lender, and perseverance by all is when Aimee and Wilbur landed a wonderful home and a great place for their fur babies!
Now, Wilbur, Aimee and Roxie (dog) (as well as Jax (dog #2) and Duke (dog #3 smallest with the biggest name) can happily call their Aspenwood house in Livermore home for many years to come!
Don’t get me wrong – the right house for you won’t just magically appear out of thin air! People like me do a lot of work to find you your dream home and get it all properly situated. But there is a lesson in real estate that I believe is valuable: The universe always provides the right house in the end.
You can always look back with regrets, but there are reasons for everything. Even reasons for why getting your dream house took so long or why you didn’t get the first house you loved. The right one always comes along! Check out this graphic from the California Association of Realtors.
As you can see above, most homeowners didn’t find their home for at least 3 months. Whether it was price, location, aesthetics and amenities, or simply just being outbid, it is very common to not get the first house you offer.
That’s why you have me! I’ll be the one to help you attain your dream home by walking you through the process, preaching how important patience is, and making sure the whole, stressful process runs smoothly. In the end, the universe always brings you the right home!
RIS Media shared a story from Charles Muotoh giving 11 reasons your home may not be selling. I found the piece very interesting and have summarized the points below, and added some commentary. Let me know what you think!
You overvalued your property: Overpriced homes will not sell. Simple as that. If you have an experienced real estate agent, they can give you an accurate value of your home.
Your listing is poor: You can’t poorly write the description of your home without any images. It will be skipped. Work with your realtor to make the listing attractive and interesting.
You’re always present at showings: Do not get in your agent’s way at showings. Let them do what they are experts at. Buyers don’t want you hovering over them the whole time anyway.
You’re too attached: If you are too stubborn to refuse to negotiate your price down, then there’s a good chance that you’ve become too attached to your home. That will make selling difficult.
You haven’t had your home professionally cleaned: What kind of buyer in their right mind will want a dirty house? Ask your realtor to recommend a professional cleaner for the carpets and windows before showing your home.
You haven’t staged your home: Never show an empty house, because it’ll make it hard for buyers to picture living in it. Always have it staged. Your realtor should have a stager on speed dial!
You kept up all of your personal décor: If you keep your home personal (with pictures, etc.), buyers will feel uncomfortable in your house. Take those down before showing the home!
Your home improvements are too personalized: If you tailored your kids’ rooms to their specific obsessions, that’s great…until you need to sell the home. Those little touches could scare off buyers.
Your home is too cluttered: Clutter can still be an issue in a clean home. Don’t keep too much furniture in the rooms – it will make your house feel smaller than it is!
Your home is in need of too many repairs: If a buyer knows he or she has to do a bunch of repairs, they are less likely to want to make a move. That’s a lot of extra effort and cost on their parts, even if the repairs are minor.
You choose the wrong real estate agent: You may have noticed a theme throughout many of these previous points. Choosing the right real estate agent is absolutely essential to the selling process. We can make all the difference in selling your home for the right price, in a reasonable amount of time!
I want to offer my sincerest congratulations to Amanda and Siubhan on their recent closings!
Amanda, a past client of mine, decided she wanted to pursue her dream of having land, horses, chickens and a big garden. When a piece of land became available in Vacaville, she decided to make an offer and it was accepted! We then rushed to get her Concord home ready over the Thanksgiving holiday and were in contract by December 9th. Whew!
Siubhan is another past client who had bought a condo in Antioch four years ago, but had not been living in it for the last year or so and could not rent it out due to rental restrictions. She felt now was the right time to sell. Twelve offers and $26,000 over asking price later, Siubhan is excited to take a trip back to Scotland to visit family.
I would love to know your story and help you accomplish your dreams, reach out to me or visit my website: www.kristinlanham.com.
When you sell your home, it’s all about adding value before it goes on the market. There are some small tweaks you can make around the house to make sure you get top dollar for your house. Here is a whittled-down version of the top 10 tips from Houzz.com on how you can increase that value:
1. Add square footage: Move furniture around to fit the room better and make it feel larger. Perception is powerful, even if that true square footage won’t budge. You want prospective buyers to see a lot of space, and therefore, a lot of potential.
2. Traditional sells too: You don’t have to buy a bunch of new stuff to show off your home. Every buyer has his or her own style, so staying honest to the home’s roots can pay off.
3. Master bedroom closet upgrade: Add custom closets to the master bedroom. A large, walk-in closet will add value to any home and excites buyers. Finding an affordable way to do it isn’t terribly difficult with a little research.
4. Kitchen is king: If you do spend money on your home before it hits the market, put it towards your kitchen. Even updated light fixtures will add value to a space used for eating, drinking, gathering and storage by even the worst cooks.
5. Storage, storage, storage: There is no such thing as too much storage. It’s important to provide ample storage space, so utilize it as much as possible when selling!
6. Fresh paint is magical: Painting is the most cost-effective way to freshen up a space. Freshly painted rooms feel updated, clean and crisp and won’t break the bank. Try to avoid colors that are too bold and might scare off buyers. Traditional, neutral choices can do wonders!
7. Try to be energy-efficient: Buying a home involves closing costs, moving fees, energy bills and more on top of just the sale price. If you offer buyers energy-efficient options (CFL or LED lightbulbs, solar panels, etc.), they may find that long-term cost savings attractive.
8. Bathroom updates help: Behind the kitchen, bathrooms are going to be the most important part of your home to get updates in when selling. A little bit can go a long way in most bathrooms; replace outdated features or change light fixtures to start.
9. Hire a professional organizer: Don’t try to do everything yourself. This process is stressful enough! A professional organizer can help you de-clutter your home and help open up manageable space. That organization will impress buyers.
10. Add curb appeal: You only get one chance to make a first impression, right? Make sure your front yard is tidy and well-groomed. Don’t let peeling paint or cracks in the walls scare off buyers before they even make it in the door.
It is unlikely the Federal Reserve will be increasing interest rates this month after a weak May job report (only 38,000 jobs created, 117,000 less than expected and the worst month for job creation in nearly six years). According to experts, the likelihood of a rate hike is down to a measly 4 percent, and that trend may carry over into July.
Thus, this summer could prove to be the hot time to buy or sell a home. In California – specifically the East Bay – selling season tends to be in the spring. Once we move into the middle of May, buyers and sellers become distracted with graduations, weddings, etc.
And once school is out everyone moves into vacation mode through mid-August, before families start getting ready for going back to school. Usually, we see an uptick in the number of homes that are on the market in the summer compared to the the spring. With continued low rates, this summer might buck that trend with buyers out to purchase.
To prepare, buyers should be pre-qualified for a mortgage before they start shopping and, ideally, desktop underwritten. It is best if buyers don’t make an offer contingent on the sale of their own home. For sellers, they should be ready to make themselves and their homes available for show. At minimum, have a staging consult done. Try to have your home staged before a showing.
Statistics show clean and pristine homes that are staged properly sell faster and for more money than ones that are not. Necessary improvements, such as new painting, replaced fixtures and refreshed house plants are huge for staging.
It is about getting it show and picture-worthy and keeping it neutral, not spending a lot of money on upgrades. As is the case with personal preferences, “What you think is a nice improvement is another man’s gold shag carpeting.”