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Top tips for housing and real estate

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Guide To Selling Your Real Estate (and importance of Insurance)

One of the things that are most searched by Googlers is how to sell their house quickly.

Despite how many homeowners there are in Houston, when it comes to buying and selling real estate, there is so much people don't know.

So, let's take a look at some of the most common (and uncommon) tips to getting your house sold quickly.

Repairs and Maintenance increase value, but they don't have to be done all at once

This one is common:

Repair some of the things in your home to increase its value and get it prepared for sale.

And while this is totally true, it just sucks that every homeowner has to go through the same exact process right when they want to sell their home.

But what if you aren't able to make those repairs?

You lose out on all the equity you may have built with your home and the buyers essentially have massive leverage when trying to negotiate with your home.

So, how do you prevent this from happening?

You go with a homeowners insurance and home warranty.

Yea, I know what you're thinking, but hear me out...

Homeowners insurance can prevent a situation where you've got to pay out of pocket to repair damage to your house's structure.

For example, this home insurance in Pearland (right outside of Houston), is known for being on of the top that have actually saved some home owners from losing everything.

Home warranties can keep you from having to pay out of pocket for appliances that break down in the home. 

This is insanely valuable when you're trying to sell a house and suddenly that a/c breaks down.

Believe me, I've had that happen and it's not fun shelling out an additional $2,500 right when you're trying to make the sale.

Additionally, your potential buyers are going to feel more confident in the home when you show them that it's been covered and repaired as soon as any issues had come up throughout the life of the home where you owned it.

AND you're going to be removing some major negotiating power from the buyers which gives you a much higher chance of getting market value for your home.

Now, what everyone recommends, making sure your home has curb appeal

Look, there's really no doubt about it:

Curb appeal is massively important to your home's value.

And here's why...

Curb appeal is marketing, and marketing is all about human psychology. 

Whether you're meeting someone for the first time, looking at a new restaurant dish, or seeing a home, your brain makes a judgement about it before you even consciously realize it, within a fraction of a second.

When someone rolls up to your home, they have already decided if they like it or not from that first impression before they even have a chance to logically think about it.

This is why curb appeal is so immensely important.

Get a fresh coat of paint on the exterior, do some basic landscaping and make sure the lawns are clean, get some pressure washing done on the driveway, walkway, siding, and front door, among other things.

Curb appeal will essentially make the sale for you. 

If your home looks the best it can as soon as someone pulls into your driveway, then you're going to pre-frame the potential buyer into thinking the home looks great before they even step foot inside.

Negotiations can make a deal go quickly

Negotiating is something that is just going to be expected in any real estate deal.

Generally what happens is that the buyer wants to feel like they got a good deal and the seller wants to feel like they got a good deal.

As a seller, you likely have a price point in mind that you're targeting.

There are two things to do as the seller to help push negotiations along and also feel like you didn't get screwed out of the deal.

The first is try to set your price slightly higher than your target number, just because you are going to give yourself room to drop it and let the buyer feel like they got a better deal.

The second is to make sure you're not expecting to get top-dollar at supposed market value. 

That expectation is a great way to make sure you end up disappointed. 

In most cases, if your home is appraised at a certain value, you're not going to get that much for it simply because of the negotiation process.

The buyer is almost always going to find some way to either get you to drop the price (so they feel like they got a good deal), or they're simply just going to find something else that will satisfy that requirement.

This is the most common thing that prevents a house from being sold quickly.

When you really need to sell quickly, listing it through the traditional process may not be the best option

As we discussed on our page about foreclosure, sometimes the regular sales process is simply too slow.

In times when you need to get a home sold quickly, one of the best options is to not deal with listing agents, buyer showings, and negotiations with them.

One of the best options will actually be to find a home investor that's willing to pay cash for your house.

These investors are there to make profit on homes, so they're going to give you an offer that's low compared to market value.

But they are going to be paying all costs and fees associated with the property and you don't have to make any repairs on the home.

Additionally, you're not going to lose 6% on commissions or wait 2 months to get it sold.

In some cases, selling to an investor actually isn't that much less than a traditional sale because of the fees you pay for closing, repairs, negotiation drops, and commissions.

Sacrificing a little more value to get it done quickly is often something that homeowners opt in for.

While there are other tips, these are the most important

Hopefully you've found some useful tips here. 

We're going to continue adding more in future posts related to getting your home sold and maximizing the value for it.

But the most important thing is to think like a buyer --

What would you be looking for if you're the buyer?

What would turn you on or off from the home?

If you can get these questions answered while being in their shoes, then you can handle all those issues before you get buyers looking at the home.

And if all else fails or you're on a tight timeline, talk to home buyer company to get your home sold quickly.

 

Learn more about houston's housing market and tips over on our homepage! (http://houstonhousingtips.bravesites.com)

5 Easy Ways To Increase Home Value

We all want our home to be worth the highest value possible, and when it comes to getting it ready for sale, some of the easiest things to do are what brings our home its highest value.

Here, we'll show you 5 easy ways to increase home value before you put your home on the market so you can get top dollar.

Check it out:

1. Calculate Cost Vs Sale Price Benefit

This might seem obvious, but sometimes people can go overboard with repairs and renovations. It's really easy to get caught up on thinking that certain replacements can bring in a lot of home value when it in fact will not. The best way to figure out if an update or upgrade will pay off in the end with your sales price is to check out the homes around you. This is generally called comps, which means you're finding comparable homes to yours that have sold recently. You'll want to make sure the size, number of rooms, and style of home match yours, as well as it's location (as nearby as you can get), then check out the rooms or specific areas that you're looking to upgrade in your home. If they didn't put too much money into that particular part of the home, but it looks new and recently sold, then chances are that's about the max you're going to get for it. That means, if they had a standard oven, you should probably not go for the super high-end oven that goes to a million degrees.

2. Upgrade The Kitchen

The kitchen is arguably the absolute most important part of the home to a buyer. If your kitchen has some old or malfunctioning appliances, you will do better to have those appliances replaced. You want to prevent simple things like that from becoming leverage for a buyer's negotiation tactics. This is super common and real estate agents love it because they can try to negotiate the price down to make their clients happy. A very slight reduction in their commission is a small price to pay for repeat or referral business for them.

3. Small Repairs Can Make Big Differences

Patch work, paint jobs, molding and corner repairs, and replaced doors will all affect your home's value. Among the most common repairs, the absolute biggest change would be your exterior's look. 

Consider this:

We are all affected by first impressions. That's simply human nature. So when you pull up to a house that has dirty exterior, faded or outdated paint, or some work to be done on the gutters or shutters, you've already made a quick judgement about what you expect of the house. Putting on a fresh coat of paint and pressure washing the driveway and sides of the house can help you prevent the potential buyer's mind from changing the value of the home to something less than it's worth.

4. Landscaping

As an extension of the last point, landscaping can make a huge difference. While the exterior of your home shows it's health, the landscaping shows its current upkeep as well as its future potential. When a potential buyer can see what the home can really look like because of a little effort you put into the front yard, the property becomes more valuable in their mind. They're less likely to balk at a price when, to them, it feels like a million bucks.

5. Stage The Home - Clean it Up

When you're listing your house on the market, you're going to get some people checking it out. If you're still living in the home, make sure that you clean up. The same "mental frame" from the previous points still applies here. If the home is dirty, they're going to value it less in their minds. If things are totally clean, they're going to leave with a much better impression. 

If you are not currently living in the home, leave or move some temporary furniture into it. Stage the home! It'll help buyers see what it can potentially become, and with just the right amount of furnishings and personal touch, they'll fall completely in love with it. Staging with a pro can definitely help you sell a house much more quickly than if it were just empty rooms. 

 

It's the simple things that really matter

While these aren't things that you'd think would raise your home by thousands of dollars, when you consider the minds of buyers, it's all psychology. You want to enhance the curb appeal, make the interior really stand out to them, and have them leaving with such an impression that every other house dulls in comparison. That's how you get your home sold quickly and get people bidding on it against each other. You would just have to sit back and let them fight it out while you get the top-dollar deal.

Check back for more tips and tricks at http://houstonhousingtips.bravesites.com.

What To Do In Tough Times

If you're a homeowner in Houston and you've fallen on some financial times due to loss of income or medical issues, then don't worry, there are options!

Working With Your Mortgage

A lot of lenders can be surprisingly accommodating when it comes to being late on mortgages. Although Texas has some laws that can allow mortgages to move quickly against you, sometimes they are willing to work with you because they stand to lose a lot more if they go through with auctioning the property. One of the blocks that homeowners tend to have is actually calling and talking with the mortgage. Don't ignore the calls from them. You're not the first or only person to go through this, meaning they have a process for helping homeowners stay in their good graces. Aside from that, they may be able to work with you and find a way to help you get back on track.

Listing The Home For Sale

If there aren't any other options for working with the mortgage company or generating additional income to cover the past due balance, then you may seriously want to consider selling the property. The challenge here is getting a good amount for the property in time before foreclosure. You'll want to list the property on an MLS to get top-dollar only if the property is ready to be sold. This can be a dangerous move if the house is not in good shape and requires repairs. For a home that is not quite move-in ready, that not only means that you're going to be going through negotiation phases, which are time consuming, you may not get a buyer very quickly. Getting under a contract with a real estate agent when your home is not really sale-ready could be like signing your foreclosure early. If you're under contract with an agent and they won't release you, the home can't be sold to an investor should you want that option. 

Working With A Real Estate Investor

An investor can help get you out from under the bridge with the mortgage company by paying you cash for the home as-is. You don't need to make any repairs, list the property anywhere, or wait weeks or months for the home to close. An investor covers ALL expenses and can close in as little as 7 days. The downside is that you're not going to get as high of an offer as you would if you'd listed and sold with an agent. Although with closing costs, fees, and commissions, you may not be making that much more in some cases, an investor is looking at the deal not only to help you but to also make some money from it. That means they're going to start with a low-ball offer, but the negotiations can move pretty quickly until you both reach an agreement that works. Your main goal should be to cover the remaining amount of the mortgage and have some cash left over to at least get you settled on your next move. In foreclosure, you may still be liable for some of the debt, and you definitely won't have any cash left over to show for the equity you'd already put in. So, definitely consider this option if things are starting to look bleak.

Bankruptcy

If you're thinking about filing for bankruptcy, there are some options here that may help keep your home from being foreclosed. While bankruptcy allows you to keep one home, it will only block foreclosure temporarily, but that may be enough time to get things back in order to keep the property. It's worth it to know that if you're going to file for bankruptcy, do it before your home forecloses so you can get additional time to figure it out.

 

What ever you do, make sure you don't lose the home to foreclosure! It severely hurts your credit, leaves you with nothing, takes your roof, and is very emotionally taxing. Worst case scenario, get in touch with a local investor company. You can learn more about what a Houston real estate investor can do for you. Find out more tips and information that can help you as a homeowner on our homepage (http://houstonhousingtips.bravesites.com).

 

Thanks to Dallas Carpet Cleaning Blog on their special about Houston's real estate market and the effects of investors on the community.