Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Selling Your Melbourne, Florida Home - Preparing Your Home For The Market

An unprepared home can result in a seller leaving money on the table.  Smart buyers can see the opportunity often buried beneath layers of dirt and clutter!

Preparing your home for the market is work.   But it will be rewarded when done properly!

The challenge for sellers - especially in a market that favors sellers already - is to view their home through the eyes of complete strangers.

And even more challenging is prospective sellers being critical of what they see.  But this is critical as prospective buyers will be critical for sure.

If you are a motivated seller I suggest you start your preparation outside at the curb and then focus inward.  After all, first impressions matter - especially when selling your home.

Consider things like... 
  • Landscaping Your yard needs to look appealing because as you heard as a child, first impressions matter!  
  • Exterior paint.    At a minimum look at your front door.  If the paint is recent make sure it is clean.  If not, a new coat of paint is an easy fix.   
  • Lighting.   When will your home be seen?   Lighting is critical,e specially during the winter when it gets darker earlier.  Light and bright is good.  Dark and gloomy, not so good. 
  • Interior Paint.   This goes hand in hand with the lighting recommendation.  Light, neutral, non high personalized paint is best.    
  • Clutter.   This can be thought of as just too much stuff including furniture.   Extra furnishings as well as over-sized furniture can detract from a homes usable space.  And this goes for the kitchen counters as well.  Put away mall appliances and things that take up counter space.   
  • Cleanliness.    Sometimes sellers do not have the funds to spend on new paint or whatever.  But cleanliness costs little more than effort.  The nose is key.   Jokingly I like to say "if you can smell it, you can't sell it."  Furthermore, once showings start refrain from cooking things that leave a smell for days.  
  • De-personalize.    While this is sort of "clutter" related it deserves its own bullet point.  By this I mean to take the "you" out of the house. Portraits, artwork, diplomas, collections/hobby items, pictures off the refrigerator, etc.  Have buyers focus on the house not the occupants.  
  • Safety and Security.    Think about risk management as well.  Consider any trip hazards, security issues like personal weapons.  Think about removing personal papers and medications.  Remember, most real estate agents do not know their customers very well.  This is especially critical if your real estate agent holds an open house where all sorts of complete strangers show up.
The last preparation item I urge sellers to consider is the pre listing inspection If a house is more than five years old there may be hidden issues.   A pre-listing inspection can bring to light issues that can be fixed or addressed in the marketing/pricing process.

Properly preparing a house for the market takes time.   Sometimes sellers make the mistake of rushing a house to the market and doing preparation concurrently.  While this may be necessary due to circumstances, avoid it if possible.   Sellers usually only get one chance to impress prospective buyers.  Make it count!

If you are ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home, call or text me at 321-693-3850 for your free market analysis.


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Should You Buy Your Next Home From a For Sale By Owner (FSBO)?

An alternative title to this article should be "Why would you buy your next home from a For Sale By Owner?"

All buyers want the best price possible whether buying a house or a car.  Whether shopping for a car or a house many believe avoiding the marketplace and dealing with a private seller will result in the best price possible.

All sellers want the best price possible when selling their house or condo.

Although a car can be an expensive purchase these days it is nowhere near the financial obligation of a home purchase. 

More importantly, an automobile purchase is not nearly as complicated.

I just read an article where a real estate agent working with a seller was pondering the best way to tell them they got took by the last seller.  In this case the current seller had previously purchased from a FSBO with no appraisals or nothing.

As a general rule - always have an appraisal - even with cash purchases.

I also just read an article where the FSBO seller and the appraiser did not see eye to eye.  In this case the buyer and the FSBO split the difference.  There are solutions when home appraisals come in low although saving the real estate commission is not a guarantee of getting the best price possible.

A recent survey by NeighborWorks America found 70% of Americans are either very or somewhat likely to look to a real estate professional for information about homeownership.   Consumers see the value of real estate professionals as a resource.

So, should you buy your next home from a for sale by owner?  It depends.  

Consider your skill set. 
  • What is your knowledge of the Florida home buying process?  
  • Are you comfortable with the market (this is a lot different than some value of a mega website)?   
  • Are you comfortable with performing your due diligence?  Due diligence is a buyer responsibility.  Remember sellers disclose, buyers verify.

If you are considering buying a home in Viera, Florida from a for sale by owner, call me for advice before you approach the FSBO seller.  I will gladly contact them, discuss the property and even provide you with my opinion of the market....with obligation.