Sellers Tips:

 If you’re considering selling your home, most likely you’ve heard some of the crucial elements to a successful sale: proper staging, proper pricing, and curb appeal can add instant value to your home. Here are 5 additional things that add instant value to your home:

  1. Landscaping. Bring in a professional or DIY. However, avoid going overboard. “While a nice looking yard will add value, a high maintenance garden may put off any potential buyers who lack a green thumb.”
  2. A usable garage. You might assume it’s okay to leave the junk in your garage when showing your home. It is, after all, a garage. However, cleaning out your garage and highlighting it as a fully usable space (for cars, storage, or a workshop) is an asset to buyers. “Allow them to imagine how they will use the space themselves – don’t show them where last season’s lawn furniture is hibernating.”
  3. Add more closets. If you have a small renovation budget, add extra closets and storage spaces wherever possible. Can you find room for a walk-in closet in the master bedroom? That’s a huge draw for many buyers.
  4. Create outdoor living spaces. “Whether it’s just a nook you’ve carved in the garden or a full-on patio with a pool, outdoor living spaces are always popular.” If you’re on a budget, you don’t have to go overboard. Simply cluster together with some lawn furniture, set up a table by the grill, and you have a great space for summer entertaining.
  5. Refinish the basement. The more usable living space, the better. If your basement is unfinished, and you have the budget, making it a livable space can be a huge bonus when it comes to listing your home. “You can do it minimally, by finishing the flooring and painting the walls, or go all out and create a game room or even an in-law suite.” A home office or an extra bedroom is always a boon for your listing.

Open House or Not?

Has your agent had an open house for you yet? This is often an area of conflict for a real estate agent and their seller. Some agents believe wholeheartedly in open houses while others think they are a big waste of time. Actually, both positions can be true. In some areas (and for some types of properties) open houses simply don’t work. For instance, if you have a home that is way out in a rural area, an open house probably won’t result in much activity. However, if you have a condo in a big city, an open house could be the key to finding a buyer. Ask your agent what their thoughts are on an open house. Make sure that you understand what their reasoning is behind doing or not doing one. Sometimes, agents may even choose to do an online virtual open house or virtual tour in place of a regular one. By the way, do you know how to get ready for an open house the right way? I do! Drop me an email and I will email you a list of what to do to prepare for an open house.

If you’re planning an upcoming home revamp, you may be wondering about the permit process. While it varies from state to state, here are a few need-to-knows about building permits. Here are3 things to know about building permits:

  1. When Do You Need One? “Small cosmetic fixes—say, a new paint job or landscaping—generally do not require a permit. Structural modifications or any changes that add footage to your house, however, typically require you to pull a permit. If unsure whether or not your project requires a permit, ask a professional in your area.
  2. Why Do You Need One? For starters, building without a permit is illegal, and if you don’t obtain one, you could be forced to take down your renovation later on. A building permit does a variety of things; it ensures your project is up to code, which keeps your contractors honest, and your project safe. “A permit also makes it easier for you to sell your home later, as an unpermitted home is a serious real estate hassle.”
  3.  How Do You Get One? If you’re working with a contractor, they can pull the permit for you. However, if you’re going the DIY route, you will need a detailed outline of your project, including plans and blueprints, which you will submit to your local building department. “Keep in mind that it can take some time for your plans to be approved and your permit to be issued, so submit your plans well in advance of your construction start date to ensure the permitting process doesn’t slow you down. For more information on obtaining a building permit, please contact me.

Think like a buyer to sell your home:

While we are on the subject of offers, it worth pointing out that certain things have no bearing on the value of your home. In a previous email, we talked about how “upgrades” are not always an upgrade. However, some sellers think other factors matter in the overall offer process. For instance, the buyer does not care if you need a certain amount of money out of your home. Would you be willing to pay extra for a home that wasn’t worth the price just because the seller needed the money? The buyer also is not concerned that you are moving into a higher-priced home and need more for your down payment. They don’t care that you paid too much for the home to begin with either. These are all things that sellers often think matter when it comes to negotiating the price of a home. Unfortunately, the comps are what they are. You have to be objective when it comes to pricing your home to sell.

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