Whether you are an interior designer or you are a first time seller, staging your home can make or break the sale, and can enhance or increase the value and appeal to potential buyers. Here are some hacks and tips for staging yours, or any home, which will help save money, time and that will help make the process as efficient as possible:
- Stage the most focal areas; if you are short on time, cash, or both, make sure to focus on the areas which are the most visible, focal and ultimately crucial to buyers. The rooms known to be the most appealing and focused on for buyers include the living room, master bedroom and the kitchen.
- Make the space relatable but not overly personal; it is essential that buyers can see, visualise and picture themselves living in the home. From cooking dinners to watching movies to a cosy bedroom, a buyer has to be able to imagine their lives in the space. This means removing traces of your own life, including family photos, etc. You can easily use things such as ikea couch covers to help make the space more open, de-personal, yet still inviting.
- De-clutter; get rid of clutter which doesn’t add value or appeal to a room. This doesn’t necessarily mean throwing away your belongings, but perhaps packing up nick nacks, toys, extra décor, and games, etc. Space looks bigger and more open with less stuff in it. If you have a garage, try putting extra things in there, or use it as an opportunity to purge your belongings.
- Tidiness does not equal cleanliness; make sure to grab your bleach and all your favourite cleaning products, and make the house sparkle and shine. Tidying is no replacement for cleaning; there is no substitute for walking into a genuinely clean home. This means the tasks you may have been putting off for a while, such as cleaning the fridge, vents, or curtains, etc. Investing in a professional can take the guesswork and effort out of it.
- Neutral is better; if you are investing in furniture, or décor, etc. for the sole purpose of staging, go with neutral colours such as black, beige, or grey, etc. Pick colour schemes and shades which go well together. These pieces can also be easier to use in different or multiple spaces, generating a better return on investment, or sold if you no longer need the furniture after staging your home.
- Practice a walkthrough; have a friend or family member come and walk through and give you a fresh set of eyes. This can provide you with valuable insight and feedback to help with last-minute touches. This can also help when you are so far invested that you may not be able to remove yourself and see the space objectively.
Renovating your house is like breathing a new life into it. It serves to rekindle that excitement spark, which usually goes away as a result boredom that comes with a prolonged stay in a familiar environment. Yes, a long stay in one environment is enough to make even a paradise lose its charm. Besides the charm it brings, renovation upgrades increase the value of your property, making it easy to sell it at a premium, if you want to. As a property owner or manager, here are some renovation ideas you could invest in to turn your home into a perfect haven.
Spruce Up the Garden
Do you see an outdoor space with a garden around your house? That is a nice place to read a novel, a newspaper, or even relax and unwind after a hectic day. Thus, you will need to spruce up the garden to make your outdoor space more appealing. This is especially important in spring as it eliminates any signs of winter damage. You could start by cleaning up the entire garden to get rid of all dried leaves, flowers, twigs, branches, and any other winter leftovers. You can then prepare the soil and plant your crop, which could be your favorable vegetables.
Renovate the Patio
Your patio will definitely lose its appeal if it is not renovated. Being an outdoor space, the patio is so vulnerable as it takes the hit from destructive elements, such as sun rays, rainfall, and wind. Flowers and plants are what forms your patio’s life; hence, they will need special attention. Sweet flower scents create serenity in the area, making the space perfect for relieving stress and unwinding. Adding a water feature such as a bird bath will help entice the birds into the patio, adding beauty and life to it. The addition of a canopy, a rug, and some matching colorful cushions makes the patio even more appealing. You could go a notch higher and decorate your patio with an embarrassment of tiki torches, drum tables, sculptures, and Chinese jars. Ensure that the chairs and tables are well repaired or replaced as needed.
Renovate the Garage
Perhaps, your garage has sustained some serious beating from the stored junk and needs renovation. Putting it in order could be a tiresome task, but it will be worth all the hassle. Of course, the clutter-filled space can be used for other purposes. You will first need to remove all the junk from the space. Check the garage floor for any cracks and repair them as needed. Repaint the walls to give them a new look and install proper lighting for good ambiance. Check every part of the garage to ensure it is up to the mark.
Real estate is big business; it seems as though just anyone can succeed in this market. However, those who venture into it will tell you that it is not an easy business. It is an industry which requires a lot of keenness and attention to detail. One has to have their ear to the ground for the latest trends that property buyers are looking for.
Here are some of the critical issues you should have in mind when looking to develop a property.
Access to Major Road Networks
Roads are the most popular means of transport used to get around in most parts of the world. Road convenience, thus, becomes a significant factor which people looking for real estate property consider. A real estate location should be situated either close to main roads or with good feeder roads. While this is not a problem in most parts of the UK, distance should be given thought too. People want to avoid tiring journeys, especially when they have to commute every day.
Security and Safety
It goes without saying that people will always be concerned about their safety. Safety is a general term which comprises of several aspects. Threats of terrorism may be a considerable concern, but people also care about smaller crimes such as break-ins and robberies.
Places with a lousy history of neighbourhood relationships will often be avoided by buyers. Child molestation claims are also a sure factor in chasing people away. Developers should dig up such statistics before deciding to invest in a particular area.
The internet is no longer a luxury. People place it high on the list of facilities they want to have in a property they are buying. In the current age, people often work from home and need an internet connection to do so.
The internet is also a great security feature and can be used in medical emergencies too. With a good signal, people can contact health experts on livi.co.uk from their phones if they need immediate help. The GP comes to life through an internet-connected app and can help save a dire situation.
Developers should thus invest in areas with robust internet services, and where buyers can have several providers to choose from.
Access to Amenities
Within a residential area, people want to be able to access basic amenities such as water, electricity and shopping centres with ease. They also want their children to be in a position to find good schools. Over and above that, there are recreational facilities such as swimming pools and parks, which can be high selling points too. Real estate developers need to look beyond the necessary amenities and invest where there are recreational facilities also.
Not everyone can start and run a successful real estate wholesaling business. The business demands a lot in terms of patience, time, and commitment. It is important to enter the business knowing that success won’t come easy; you will need to pay the price. Since you will be dealing with clients, you will also need to have excellent marketing and communication skills.
Perhaps the first key to success in property wholesaling is locating the right property. Distressed property owners who want to sell their property as quickly as possible are the best prospects. Those kinds of properties are definitely attractive to investors as they fetch huge profits, especially if they are located in desirable areas and have desirable amenities. Before making an offer for any property, you will want to know the level of repair needed so that you can factor it in the offer.
Knowing how to make an offer is crucial in wholesaling. If you’re making an offer that is too low, potential sellers may get scared. On the other hand, making a too high offer will reduce the profitability of your business.
When it comes to real estate wholesaling, distressed properties are no doubt the best as it is possible to sale them under the market value. Distressed properties are those properties whose owners want to sell quickly or those under foreclosure. As a real estate wholesaler, getting a distressed property enables you to sell it at a far much higher value than what you bought it for. Another reason why wholesaling real estate is so appealing is the fact that it has low capital requirements. Typically, real estate wholesalers, especially starters, use free or inexpensive ways of locating distressed properties. Seasoned wholesalers, on the other hand, tend to use sources such as online real estate websites, real estate investment groups, real estate wholesale groups, and even property finders, in locating distressed properties for wholesale.
The internet is a great source of distressed properties, but you will need to know the best sites to check. Of course, you don’t want to waste your time browsing a site only to meet property owners who are not motivated to sell. Some of the most reliable sites where motivated sellers can be found include HomesByOwner.com, FSBO, and Craigslist. These sites are easy to use as each offers a search bar where you can type a keyword that you’re searching for. Keywords are a great way of conducting searches as they make it possible to narrow down the search. Some commonly used keywords in searching for distressed properties include distressed property, fixer upper, motivated seller, estate sale, must sell, and sold as is.
Real Estate Investment Groups and Wholesale Groups
Real estate investment groups and real estate wholesale groups give real estate wholesalers the opportunity to network. These groups bring together real estate investors, real estate professionals, appraisers, contractors, title companies, real estate agents, and other people who have an interest in real estate. Here, meeting lead sources, mentors, and even partners won’t come as a surprise.
Hiring a property finder is just another popular yet affordable way of locating a distressed property for wholesale. A property finder is a person or organization that specializes in finding properties that are up for sale; so, they are experts in the game. Whether it means cold calling, moving door to door, or scouring neighborhoods, a property finder will use every means possible to locate distressed properties.
One good thing with property finders is that you don’t need to pay them upfront. Instead, they will do the work first and demand payment when you will be purchasing the property. It is little wonder this people are sometimes called bird dogs. They save wholesalers a great deal of time, which can be utilized elsewhere, including connecting with other real estate investors and finding property buyers.
While locating a suitable real estate property for wholesale is a milestone, it is quite another thing to convince the owner to sign a contract with you. Having the property owner sign the contract is important because it gives you confidence to go ahead and sell the property at a profit.
Approaching the Owner
You will need to book an appointment with the property owner so that you can have good time to discuss about the business, and you will want to go about this in a delicate way. Remember, as a wholesaler, you may not be a traditional real estate professional; hence, gaining the trust of the property owner will play an integral role in moving forward. You will need to keep time for the meeting and be courteous and professional.
Negotiating the Deal
When negotiating with the property owner, it is important to discuss the benefits the owner will get if they sold the property to you. You could focus on things like ensuring that the property owner does not default on the mortgage they are servicing. You may also want to focus on how you will handle processes such as appraisal, inspection, and the contract drafting. Show the property owner that you’re going to take care of these processes so that they won’t have to go through the trouble. Most owners prefer not to incur any upfront costs. If there are any repairs that need to be done on the property, it is important to let the owner know that they will be taken care of since the cost of any repairs will justify your offer to the property owner.
Signing the Contract
Getting the home owner to sign your contract will give you the all-clear to go ahead and wholesale the property based on the contract terms. You could involve a real estate agent or a local attorney in drafting the contract (though most wholesalers do it on their own).
In most cases, property wholesalers tell owners that the buyer is their partner. This is meant to prevent the owner from knowing that the wholesaler is reselling the property at a profit. Although there is no crime in so doing, it is not recommended as it looks deceitful.
Mistakes are part of life, and we all know that, but some mistakes can be very costly. A mistake on your property could mean spending money and time pursuing tenants or even dealing with lawsuits filed against yourself. Here are five property management mistakes you must avoid to cushion yourself against these headaches.
Failure to Appoint a Property Manager
Property managers are the masters in the game. They understand every aspect of property management, right from vacancy marketing to drafting tenancy agreements to maintenance. They also know how to handle tenants professionally – it is uncommon to find a property manager engaging in a heated altercation with tenants. Unfortunately, many landlords decide to manage their property on their own for fear of paying a property manager. With a property manager, you will likely get everything right from the word go.
Forming Friendship with Tenants
While friendship is important, it can ruin your business. What will you do if your tenant-cum-friend requests for a time extension for paying rent because he had a funeral just the other day? Your relationship with tenants should be purely professional and courteous.
Failure to Screen Tenants Properly
You have built some nice rental apartments, but they have been vacant for six months now. A potential tenant comes knocking and you’re quick to rent out. Wait a minute, you could be wrong. You don’t have to be desperate for tenants as this could lead into getting a bad deal. You will need to vet the tenant thoroughly to ensure they have the ability to pay rent. What is the point of renting out to someone who cannot pay rent?
Property managers are human beings, and as such, they have their own limitations. In fact, there is no guarantee that you will get a property manager who will be a perfect fit for your property. However, there are certain qualities that a good property manager must embody. Here some of them:
Forget about educational knowledge learned in class; experience is perhaps the most important attribute to look at when hiring a property manager. You can know the property manager’s level of experience by looking at the number of properties they have previously managed and the number of years they have been in the business. An experienced property manager will have local real estate regulations and laws at their fingertips.
It doesn’t matter how experienced a property manager is, their job can turn stressful at times, just like any other job. Just imagine how stressful it can get dealing with unruly tenants and behind-the-schedule contractors! This is where the manager’s patience will be put to test.
Exceptional Communication Skills
A property manager deals with different people, including tenants, investors, landlords, etc. As such, proper communication skills is very important.
Other important qualities for a property manager include tech savvy, ingenuity, professionalism, and organizational skills.
Being a real estate agent means wearing many hats. You need good selling and communication skills, and you have to be a people person, on the least. Now these are obvious hats any real estate agent wears. However, there is one hat that may not be as obvious, yet it is very important: marketing. Yes, you don’t need a masters degree in marketing, but you will need to be on the grips with what marketing entails if you must succeed in your business as a real estate agent. Most agents tend to fare well with mentorship and online resources, such as this article, but they still make certain mistakes, which should be avoided at all cost.
Failure to Use Social Media
Social media does not exist only for purposes of sharing videos and photos of your vacations or for uploading some funny memes. It is a platform for almost everything, precious leads included. You can start social media pages for your real estate marketing that could turn your followers into a solid lead generator for your business.
Use of Self-Made Website
Professionalism is key when it comes to marketing real estate. A Self-made website could limit your lead generation, especially if you don’t have certain technical expertise; most self-made websites have very slim changes of ranking high in search engines. As such, it is important that you hire an expert to complete the job for you.
Poorly Described Listings
Do you know that the language you use to describe your listings has the power to attract prospective buyers or at least keep them interested? Unfortunately, most agents ignore this important aspect. If you don’t provide a proper description of your listing, you may be losing out on lots of leads. Be thorough in your description and give every important detail about the property you’re listing.
Technology has brought a lot of welcome drama in the real estate realm, just as it has done to other realms. While there are those who have complained of bold-faced unfairness, lead theft, and even fraud perpetuated by third-party listing sites, the majority of players in real estate claim that these sites are not all bad. With the right strategy, real estate agents can sell even more homes and generate quality leads thanks to these websites. Those who use third-party sites for listing and are satisfied have cited the following advantages:
More Exposure to Buyers
Third-party sites enable you to reach a wider audience than you would do without them. The sites have millions of visitors every month, and the bulk of these visitors are real estate investors or home buyers.
Most third-party listing sites allows real estate agents or property owners to list properties free of charge. Who does not like free things?
Find Buyers Quickly
With the internet having almost everything anyone would want in this world; it is the go-to for many buyers. Hence, listing websites helps to get buyers faster.