What to Consider When Pricing Your House

There are dozens of factors that go into the final selling price of a home, which could include things like your home’s location, the condition, the features of your home and the current market conditions.  If you are looking to sell your house quickly, here is what to consider when pricing your house.  These can help you sell your home in the shortest period of time for the best possible price.

An Analysis of Comps

The market is arguably the most important factor when figuring out how to price your home for a quick sale.  A comprehensive market analysis done by a realtor can show you the selling prices in your neighborhood of comparable homes or “comps”.  Bear in mind that listing and selling prices are two very different numbers, in a buyer’s market houses will sell below asking and the reverse in a seller’s market.  Find the average selling price of home as close to yours in features and within the same area.

Knowing the Local Market

Despite what is happening in the real estate market across the country, your local market is what’s important to your selling price.  Are you in a up and coming neighborhood or a neighborhood in decline.  What amenities are you close to, such as schools and shopping districts?  Your agent should understand the neighborhood and how to best price for that neighborhood.

Carrying Costs

Whether you live in your home or not you still are responsible for mortgage payments, utilities, taxes and insurance.  The longer your home sits on the market the more you will have to spend on carrying costs.  You may get an offer that’s slightly below the price you would like, bear in mind that if you turn down that offer you could be stuck with carrying costs until you get another offer.  In a slow market or a situation where you need to sell quickly you may be better off accepting a lower offer.

Marketing

Proper marketing can make a huge difference in the final price you get.  Getting the house in front of the widest array of buyers and doing things like staging your home to appeal to buyers can encourage more and higher offers.  The right marketing strategies is what sets realtors apart from people trying to sell their homes on their own.  A realtor understands what it takes to get the best possible price, it is far more than just putting a for sale sign on the property.

Tips for the First Time Home Buyer

Buying your first home is a huge milestone for most people, more than any other purchase that you make you need to be prepared with as much knowledge as you can get. Here are some tips for the first time home buyer so the transaction can go smoothly.

1. Meet with a mortgage broker: The first thing you want to do is assess your financial situation and to see how much of a mortgage you can qualify for, then start house hunting.

2. Monthly Payments: Your monthly mortgage payments should never exceed 30% of your income. There will be other expenses that you have to meet and you need to make sure you can afford all of your obligations.

3. Decide the Features You Want: Start making a list of everything that you would love to have and then divide it up into what you must have versus what is a luxury. The number of bedrooms might fall into the “must have” category whereas a fireplace is a want.

4. Where do You Want to Live: What do you need to be close to, work, schools or do you want to live in the heart of the city? Do you want to spend the foreseeable future driving an hour back and forth to work? What about schools? You may not have children now but are they part of your future plans. Location is probably the most important feature in buying a home.

5. The Neighborhood: Is the neighborhood itself quiet or noisy? Are there a lot of kids around, are you close to nightclubs, highways or anything else that will disturb your peace and quiet.

6. Be Aware of Closing Costs: The purchase price is not the only thing you need to pay there are also costs associated with buying a house. Find out your closing costs before you sign on the dotted line.

7. Moving Costs: This is more than just hiring a moving van it is also all of the other expenses you are going to have. Are the appliances included or will you have to purchase those as well? There will be window treatments, shower curtains and lots of other miscellaneous things that go with moving into a house. Don’t forget that your monthly expenses are going to go up as well, now you will have to pay taxes, homeowner fees, insurance, maintenance and utilities. There will also inevitably be things that need to be fixed, it may be something as minor as a dripping tap but now the responsibility of fixing it is all yours.

Staging Your Home without Spending a Fortune

When the time comes to sell your house you need to make it appeal to as many buyers as possible.  That is where staging comes in, it allows you to show off the best qualities of your home and allows buyers to envision themselves in your house.  If money is tight don’t worry, staging your home without spending a fortune is entirely possible.  Let us show you how.

Clear Out and De-personalize

In order for the buyer to envision themselves in your home is by you not being there.  That means that all of your personal items need to go.  Take down the kids’ photos and the wedding pictures they are just distracting.  You also need to clear the clutter out of your home, it makes your home look larger and neater.  If you have lots of extra stuff then consider getting a storage locker until you move.

Clean, Clean and Clean Some More

Your home needs to be spotless, it should definitely pass the white glove test.  Nobody likes looking at dust bunnies and sinks full of dishes.  Be prepared to scrub down walls and baseboards, those dusty ceiling fans and the windows as well.

Update the Fixtures

Unless your home is fairly new or just been renovated then it can use a little updating.  If a buyer thinks your house looks old their offer will reflect that.  You can make some pretty easy changes like changing the hardware on the cupboards for chrome or brushed nickel.  You can do the same with the towel bars in the bathroom.  Here is how to update the fixtures cheaply.

Paint

Never underestimate just what a fresh coat of paint can do for your home.  If you have decorated with a lot of bright colors then you are better off changing them to neutral colors.

Open Up Your Closets

Cleaning out your closet is the least fun thing ever but it needs to be done.  You want to have as much open storage space as possible so it’s time to get rid of the clutter.  When it comes to your clothes closet go and get some matching hangars.  Get rid of all the old clothes that don’t fit and organize as much as possible.

The Bedrooms

Bedrooms should be gender neutral so anyone can picture themselves living there.  Get rid of the puffy pink bed spread and choose something more neutral.  You want to have the broadest appeal possible in the room.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms need to be immaculately clean.  Remove all of your personal items and add fresh clean towels.  Add a candle to make the room smell better.

Why You Should Buy a Multifamily Property

You are getting ready to buy your first home and you are undecided between a single family home or buying a multifamily property.  Both are good long term investments, but the difference between them is huge.  Let’s have a look at the pros and cons and why you should buy a multifamily property rather than a single family home.

The Pros

Affordable Prices:  Real estate prices are vastly different across the country and even across states.  In New York City you can spend well over a million dollars for a two family home if you can even find one.  Go upstate to Syracuse and you can buy something with the same square footage for less than $200,000.  However if you compare a multifamily to a single family the cost is not that different and you have the rental income to offset your costs.

In terms of a duplex or a triplex your upfront cost and financing is far easier than trying to purchase an apartment build.  This makes it viable for first time homeowners to dip their toe into the real estate investment market.

Easy to Maintain:  Multifamily homes only have a couple of rental units and there is far less to maintain.  Often you can handle many of the repairs yourself and when things go wrong, like furnaces or hot water tanks it is cheaper to fix.

The Cons

The Condition:  Anytime someone is selling investment property you have to wonder why.  Is it something simple like they are moving or are the repair bills getting too high?  It cannot be stressed enough how important the inspection process is when buying a new property.  When determining if a property is worth buying or not you need to take into account maintenance and repairs.

Cost of Utilities:  The cost of heating and keeping the lights on also needs to be taken into account.  Are the units separately metered?  Who is paying the heat and utilities, you or the tenant?  In large buildings it’s almost always the tenant who pays but in multifamily units it can vary.  You may find that the building was wired for the utilities to be shared.  If you don’t factor in the costs you can end up losing money every month and that you don’t want.

When it comes to buying a multifamily property it is a great idea, as long as you take the time to crunch your numbers.  Don’t get emotionally attached to a house, walking away from a bad deal is in your best interest.