Talking Real Estate - July 2018

SELLERS’ ADVICE

Best Outdoor Projects for Selling Your Home

As you look at your outdoor living spaces with an eye for upgrades, where will your time and money be best spent? Fresh landscaping? Sprinklers? A new fence? A firepit?

Fortunately, 2018 Remodeling Report: Outdoor Features, co-produced by the National Association of REALTORS® and National Association of Landscape Professionals, offers some ideas. First, there are two ways to look at your improvements:

  1. Curb appeal to make your home more attractive to buyers when you’re ready to sell.
  2. Personal enjoyment while you live in the home.

If you’re thinking strictly of return on investment, regular lawn care, landscape maintenance and tree care and trimming each restore 100 percent or more of the costs, says the survey. Regular attention to watering and drainage will prevent unsightly dead spots in your yard. Removing dead tree branches or limbs growing too close to the house prevents storm damage. Keeping bushes trimmed prevents overgrowth that obscures your home’s features.

But money isn’t everything. What about personal enjoyment, convenience and satisfaction? Tied for first place on the “Joy” Score with a perfect 10 are an irrigation system and a fire feature. The next most appealing projects were a new wood deck (Joy Score - 9.8), a water feature (9.8), statement landscaping (9.7), and an overall landscape upgrade (9.6).

The report validates what real estate professionals have been saying all along – curb appeal matters, and landscape improvement is money well spent. You’re adding beauty and convenience to your home, which future homebuyers will appreciate.

BUYERS’ ADVICE

Should You Buy a Home With A Swimming Pool?

It’s the heat of the summer, and you want a home with a swimming pool but before you go off the deep end, make sure the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Swimming pools are a strong part of the outdoor living trend. They’re fun for all ages, they promote fitness, and they give you a great place to entertain family and friends. They also add costs, increased liability and ongoing maintenance. So, to help you decide if it’s worth it, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you and your family members swim now? Would you swim more in a pool of your own?

Are pools popular in your area? Do you have a long, hot swimming season?

Does the pool complement the home? Or did the pool replace an amenity you might need such as a play-yard?

How old is the pool? Do any mechanical components need to be replaced? Are there any visible cracks, broken tiles, or cloudy water that could mean large expenses coming?

Where will people change their clothes and use the restroom? Will they leave tracks through the house?

Ask the seller for any maintenance and repair records they might have for the pool, and include the pool in the home inspection. Obtain recent prices from local pool companies on similar pools and see if you are overpaying for the seller’s pool, especially if it needs updating. Most pool companies are happy to oblige in order to get the maintenance, repair, or redesign business from the new owner.

SELLERS’ ADVICE

Three Things Sellers Should Never Do

Selling your home is one of the largest transactions you’ll ever make, so you want to make sure you sell your home quickly, for the most money and for the best terms possible you don’t want to start off on the wrong foot. Here are three things sellers should never do.

  1. Sell it yourself. A real estate professional has the resources and experience to help you price, show, sell your home and safely navigate it to closing. He or she can provide numerous marketing and showing services to help sell your home quickly and with as few hurdles as possible.
  2. Pick the wrong sales professional. Interview several real estate professionals to learn how they plan to market your home, what services they provide, and what you need to do to get the highest and best offer for your home. Choose the one who is straight with you about your home’s assets and drawbacks, and who explains current market conditions so you’ll know how to price your home successfully.
  3. Ignore your sales professional’s advice. Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional is trained to help you present your home at its best. Staging, updates, and repairs will help, but what’s most important is price. Your home’s price, location and condition should be supported by comparable homes in the area. You’ll attract the most interest if you price slightly below comparable homes, allowing room for buyers to bid up the price.

Remember, every market is different and can change quickly, so be prepared.

HOMEOWNERS’ / BUYERS’ ADVICE

Homeowners, Buyers: It’s Either a Teardown or A Remodel

Older homes that served our grandparents and parents well may appear poorly planned for today’s families. They tend to be smaller with narrow lots, closed-off kitchens, and fewer bathrooms and bedrooms. On the other hand, older homes tend to offer character and quality craftsmanship that is unmatched today. So, should you tear down an older home or remodel it? 

First, choose the neighborhood. You’re buying the location, so it should meet as many of your household’s needs as possible - schools, transportation, entertainment and enrichment, medical care and shopping. It should have plenty of homes similar to the one you have in mind, including remodels and scrapped homes replaced by new construction.

Homes offered at “lot value” means that the structure offers no further value. This is a great candidate for a total remodel or teardown. If the lot is large enough, it can hold added square footage or a complete new home. But if the home has plaster moldings, stained-glass windows, all-wood stairs, and other artisan features, know that those things can’t be easily replaced today. You may want to preserve those unique elements and consider remodeling to complement the home’s original design.

Take your general contractor with you to see what needs to be brought up to date and if it’s more practical to remodel or rebuild. Like homes in like neighborhoods help determine and improve value, so don’t over-build or over-improve without similar comparable homes nearby to support your home’s value.

2018 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Information not verified or guaranteed. If your property is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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