Beyond Curb Appeal

If you’re working with a real estate agent to sell your home, he or she has probably mentioned how you have to have great curb appeal.  This means when potential buyers pull up to your home, they have to be wowed by their first look.  But that first look only goes so far.  Great curb appeal won’t guarantee you a sale if the inside of your home doesn’t have just as much of a wow factor.

Lose the Clutter

Decluttering Your HomeOne of the biggest issues sellers who are still living in the home is clutter.  It’s hard to live your normal life while trying to keep your home in pristine condition to show it off to potential buyers.  The difficulty is that potential buyers need to be able to see themselves in the home.  They need to be able to walk into a house and imagine their sofa in the living room, their bed in the bedroom, and their dishes in the kitchen cabinets.  That’s difficult when all they see is your stuff everywhere, especially if you’ve left out a lot of your trinkets or have a lot of clutter lying around.

Don’t be Unconsciously Offensive

People’s turn-offs can be very odd.  A potential buyer may see something that gives away your political leanings or your feelings on a polarizing subject.  Even if they love the house, this could be enough to push them away, even if they don’t consciously realize it.  For that reason, you want to make your home as neutral as possible.  This isn’t always easy, of course.  You can’t control what people dislike, and you can’t remove everything.  Do your best, however, to remove obvious things someone might find issue with.

Think About Renting a Storage Space

If you have a lot of clutter and can’t show off your home effectively, it may be time to rent a storage space for use between now and when you move into your new home.  Even though it’s another expense, it does two things for you.  First, it helps de-clutter your home, making it appeal to more potential buyers, which in turn helps sell it more quickly.  Second, it means you’ve already packed up a lot of your knick-knacks and other things you don’t use on a daily basis, so you’re ahead on the moving front!

Donate or Have a Garage Sale

Of course, you’re going to find things that you don’t need or don’t want to move.  Here’s another chance to get ahead of the game by donating these items or having a garage sale to get rid of them.

Should I get my real estate license before buying a home?

There is no doubt that getting a real estate license will take a large portion of time, devotion, energy and, of course, money… all of which will be done to ultimately “Earn you a commission” (that may be a question). My other question to you would be, “If you put this much time, devotion, energy and investment into furthering your own career, what would the payoff be?”

It seems focusing on your career, and working with an expert in the real estate business pays off in two separate ways;

  1. When working with a professional buyer or sellers agent that is experienced in real estate, your chances of costly mistakes are minimal and your chances for an expert negotiation on your purchase or sale are enhanced.
  2. Putting this type of commitment into your own profession should earn you an annual raise equal to a commission, which you will collect every year for the rest of your working life.

I’d also like to point out that the real estate industry has experienced such complication over the past few years, that it’s hard to imagine anyone would be interested in such a fiasco.

You should seriously consider the amount of time, dedication, energy and money it will take to obtain your Real Estate license. The decision is yours whether you think it’s worth it or not, but, as far as I’m concerned, I would not be willing to go through that entire process in order to buy or sell one house. It is normally a better idea to leave it up to someone who is highly qualified, experienced and does this every day.

It certainly may be worth your time, however, if you’re retired, unemployed, underemployed, and were planning to purchase a home strictly for the sake of fixing it up and re-selling for a profit ~ Or even better if you plan to buy multiples houses.

Real estate license requirements vary depending on which state you reside in. In addition to licensing and testing there are requirements for insurance, continuing annual education, and don’t forget as a new agent you’ll be required to hang you licensed under an employing broker, which of course will want a piece of every commission you earn.

Every state has its own specific requirements and restrictions for individuals who are seeking a Real Estate License: There is a broad variety of regulations among all the United States.

The best suggestion I can offer is that you take a blank piece of paper and make a basic pros and cons list… for each item that is listed (as a pro/con) assign a number between 1 and 3 which will represent the importance of that particular pro/con. Once you have completed your list, add up the importance value numbers for each column. This should be a simple process for discovering the better solution for your specific situation.

Additionally, there is certainly an extraordinary amount of resources throughout the internet and also specialists who you can refer to for advice, so this would be a good idea as well.

Being a real estate agent is a great career ~ if you’d like to make a career of it, move forward with this knowledge… otherwise, continue doing what you do best.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of ~ Free Instant Access to the Nation’s Top Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast-to-Coast.

Should we Remodel our Home or Sell “As Is”?

This question is a common headache for many homeowners visiting Gay Real Estate when considering placing their home on the market.  On one hand, a remodel could create a diamond in the rough, and possibly even encourage a faster sale.  On another, selling as-is in a competitive market could save months of listing time if priced right.


When You Should Remodel

Analyzing your competition can be a great way to gain insight into what buyers are looking for in your market.  It’s easy to assume a feature or amenity should immediately increase the value of your home.  In some cases it will, but many times a remodel will only bring your home to the market readiness of other similar homes in your neighborhood.

You should consider remodeling a room in your home if any of the following applies:

1) When analyzing sold history and currently active homes on the market, you find that this particular remodel is commonly found.

2) The room is in dire need of attention and a simple clean up won’t suffice to get it market-ready.

3) When analyzing sold history, a predominant higher price is offered for homes with this particular remodel.

You’re likely to never recoup the entire cost of a remodel, but getting your home up to par may be necessary to get your home sold in a reasonable amount of time.


When You Should Sell As-Is

If your home can be considered a “benchmark” home, or a home that is already loaded with amenities not commonly found in your market, you should consider selling as-is.  While a pricey remodel will certainly make your home shine during an open house, it usually costs more than it’s worth.  

You should consider selling your home as-is if your home meets any of the following criteria:

1) The average price per square foot in your market is deteriorating (down market).

2) Your home can be considered a “benchmark” home, or a home that has more features and amenities than the competition.

3) Your home is already on par with other active properties in the area.


The Rule of Thumb

First, ensure that your home meets the standard set by the competition currently for sale in your market.  If your home is not up to par, you should consider remodeling. 

If your home shares the same features and amenities as its competition, then you should consider selling as-is to avoid leaving any money on the table.  A remodel is always a nice selling feature, but many times it does not make financial sense and is simply a waste of time.

Take the time to get with your real estate agent to analyze your competition, and base your decision on what buyers are demanding in your particular real estate market.

Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of ~ Instant Free Access to the Nation’s Top Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast-to-Coast.