Many analysts expect that 2016 will be a strong market for real estate, so it makes sense to take advantage of that and make this year the year that you sell. These tips for real estate sellers will help you to get the most out of your properties.
Single-family homes are expected to be in demand in 2016, and median sale prices could increase by as much as five percent. This is tempered to some extent by rising mortgage rates – which is cutting into the number of first-time buyers, but on balance we can expect to see the housing market remain a seller’s one for the next year or so.
There has been an increase in the number of properties being built, but home inventories are still low, and it is not uncommon for sellers to see multiple offers. These tips for real estate sellers will help you to make sure that you are one of those sellers that enjoys buyers competing to give you money.
Don’t Overplay Your Strength
Unless your home really is far, far nicer than the other properties in your area, you should tread carefully with pricing. Set your price about five or at most ten percent above the market, and you can expect that you will get an offer that is close to what the property is really worse. Price the house any higher, and you will find that the listing will go stale.
There is no need to pay the closing costs, or offer any other benefits to the buyer. It is acceptable for you to make a sale that is contingent on the buyer selling their home – but not unless you put a kick-out clause in to allow you to continue marketing the property, so you aren’t stuck with a property you can’t sell and a buyer that can’t complete.
Traditionally, agents would ask for six percent commission, but in the current market few sellers are really paying that. Many agents will accept less, but you need to think carefully about the negotiation. If the co-op fee that your agent is offering to the buyer’s agent is low, then the buyers’ agent might be less enthusiastic about showing the property, and that could mean that your property sits on the market for a long time. If you are in a rush to sell, then bigger commissions could work out better. If money is your motive and you are willing to wait, then it may be OK to negotiate more aggressively.
Stage The Property Well
If you are involved in property flipping, then you need to think carefully about how much you invest in each room. Upgrades do not often pay for themselves – but there are some exceptions. The kitchen and the master bathroom are two rooms that will make a huge difference to any sale. Kitchens are becoming the modern family’s living room, for example, and bathrooms are something that buyers look at closely.
When you are staging the property, make sure that the walls and the sink are clean and nicely decorated, and that the countertops are clean and un-marked. Take any chintzy magnets off the fridge, and invest in some new hardware for the faucet and the cabinets. Hide the toaster and blender, and make the room look spacious and clutter free.
Clean the bathtub and toilet, and make sure that everything looks neat and new. Make sure that the bathroom smells fresh, and put away any personal grooming items and frayed looking toothbrushes. Make the bathroom look like one you would visit in a hotel, not one that belongs to you, your spouse and two kids. The same goes for the rest of the house – buyers don’t like the ‘lived in’ look.
Opt Out of The Bubble Game
A lot of people agonize over whether they should sell now, or wait a year or so in the hopes that they’ll sign, and then be able to buy when the market has headed down. Don’t worry about maximising your property’s profit like that – the chances of their being a catastrophic market crash this time are slim. The concerns in the market now are about supply and demand, rather than about excessive lending and a weak economy, so we can’t really expect a burst bubble of the kind that just happened.
Know the Area
If you are looking to sell a lot of properties and make it into a business, then you will need to research your purchases carefully. You can’t just swoop in and buy properties cheap and sell them for a profit, especially if you don’t know the area well. Often, those under-priced properties are cheap for a reason – perhaps the area is high crime, on flood plane, too far from important amenities, or has some other issue that locals would know about.
If you’re going to invest in real estate, you need to take that sort of thing into account – start with investments in your area, and move on to other parts of your city – or even further afield, when you have more money to play with and more experience at assessing whether something will make a good addition to your portfolio.
Find a Good Agent
The real estate market can be a risky and complicated one, but with some thought and research it is possible to make money. You will most likely want to work with a good agent, rather than trying to sell the property by yourself – because there is a huge amount of legwork involved in selling properties. If you decide to go it alone, you will need a significant bankroll to cover surveyor’s fees, legal fees and other costs – things that the agent will usually pay up front and then take out of your commission. The agent assumes the risk of the sale falling through, something that could be quite crippling if you are trying to sell a property on a small budget.