Often, we get the question “What can I do to increase my home’s value?”. A few simple things can make the world of difference.
First Impressions Matter
Curb appeal is important. It is the first impression that buyers will get of your home. Making sure that the yard is clean, manicured, and the screens and shutters are free from disrepair goes a long way. Power washing the facade and the driveway, and adding a little color with some seasonal flowers and mulch goes a little further.
Make sure your home is clean. Really clean. Messy homes bring forth images of potential maintenance problems. If you never change your AC filters, the units won’t have as much life left on them as they should. Dirty dishes in the sink, and overflowing garbage left out for extended periods of time indicate a potential pest problem. Essentially, if you don’t take care of what can be seen, one can only imagine how neglected the items that can’t be seen are. Hire a professional service to make your home shine and have everyone pitch in to keep it that way.
De-clutter your home
Less is more. People need to be able to see themselves in your home as their home. Photos of your family are what makes your house yours, but detract from the Buyer’s ability to see themselves there. The same is true for overly personalized items. Collections, trophies, and personal keepsakes should be packed away until you find the perfect spot in your new home.
This is an area where a little can go a long way. Tastes differ, so neutralizing bold and dramatic colors will serve...
You have started to think about buying a home. Wonderful! Buying a home is a big investment. Before you jump into home ownership, make sure you are ready with these seven important things to know before buying a home.
1. Improve Your Credit Health
No one has perfect credit. Whether you have great credit or bad credit, we all have room for improvement. Having responsible credit habits will go a long way towards building your credit health.
Lenders like to see that you pay back your debts so it is extremely important to pay your bills on time, not just credit cards, but all your monthly bills such as cell phone bills, rent and utilities. Lenders also like to see that your credit utilization ratio is below 30 percent. Credit utilization ratio is the amount of outstanding balances on your credit cards divided by the sum of each card’s limit. A low ratio suggests that you are using credit responsibly which in turn adds to your credit health.
Be careful to not open too many new credit accounts. A hard inquiry, or hard pull, takes place every time you apply for a loan, credit card or mortgage. It can lower your credit score by a few points. It may not seem so bad but when a lender sees multiple hard inquiries within a short timeframe you may be considered a high risk customer that is short on cash with a lot more debt coming.
While not opening new credit card accounts is important, it is significantly more important to keep your old credit card accounts open even if you no longer use them. Not only does it affect your overall age of your credit history but it could also increase your credit utilization ratio.
So you tried to sell your home in Houston and it didn't work out - you hired an agent who listed your home on the MLS and then ... crickets. You are rightfully concerned and might be wondering why. There are 7 probable reasons why your Houston home didn't sell:
Your Home Was Priced Incorrectly
There's a good reason why your home's price is first on this list. When you price your home above its true market value, the chances of a sale are severely impacted. No matter how pretty or how masterfully marketed, an overpriced home will struggle to sell. Or worse, it will help sell the competition because in comparison other homes will look like a good value. Don't misunderstand my point: If your home's upgrades are nicer than average, you should try to maximize the sales price within the range of prices in the area. However, what you shouldn't do is price it above that level.
Prospective Buyers can't Access Your Home
All the greatest marketing in the world can do is to get a prospective buyer interested in looking at your home. But until they get to see it, there’s no hope for an offer. Lose lengthy prior notice requests, restricting showings to weekends only etc. Make your home as easy to access as possible and maximize your selling chances.
Your Home Doesn't Show Well
The way your home is presented to prospective buyers during showings is crucial in getting that offer. Lose the clutter, give every room a purpose and arrange the furniture to allow for pluses in your home to show and shine. Or you can hire a staging pro and have them do it for you. Staged homes sell faster and for more money. Presentation is all about giving Buyers a glimpse of what their life in the home might be like.
Your Home has Been Overcustomized...
The season you sell your home can have an impact on how much you get for your home and how quickly it sells. The season that has the most success in selling homes is spring. This is a good time of year for families moving to new school districts and is also more convenient weather for moving. Because of this trend, most people will recommend waiting to list your home until after the winter is over. Avoiding the winter is a huge misconception in the housing industry and can cause homeowners to miss out on opportunities.
Selling in the winter can give you a few advantages. There will be fewer houses on the market since most people assume winter is a bad time to sell. This gives your home more attention. Potential buyers are always looking no matter the time of year. Keeping your house on the market in the winter might bring the right buyer to your door. Real estate agents also tend to be less busy during these months and commit more time to getting your home sold.
Studies have shown winter buyers are buying because they need to move right away either for a relocation or personal situation. They will want to close quickly and allow for a much smoother sale.
If you need to sell your home right away, or have some time but want to see what is out there, consider listing in the winter. Most homeowners who are going to sell will list their home in the spring, making for a competitive market. The winter allows buyers who are in a hurry to move consider your home and sell for more money than you would have in the spring.