Real Estate

Pictures are worth a thousand words

I believe in todays market that having good pictures on the web advertising a listing can cause people to look at a house, while not having good pictures could cause some people to not  look at a house. The Oklahoma City multi listing services allows a realtor to put 20 pictures on it. So many times I see a listing with only one or two pictures or just pictures of the outside. It often makes me wonder what is wrong with the house. Does it need work or updating. These pictures should be of good quality, not fuzzy or blurry. They should show you the house from various angles and give you a feeling of being inside. I personally take pictures of the backyard as well as the front so buyers can see the size of the backyard and if it has any extra features like a covered patio or pool.

It is sometimes hard in a small house to find 20 different angles to photograph especially of a 2 bedroom, 1 bath house. In that case, I still take multi angles of the living room, kitchen and bathroom. I may take pictures of the central heat and air unit to show age and condition.

In an extremely large house, I may find that I need more than the 20 photos allowed to show all the rooms especially if I want multiple angles.  Fortunately, there is software that will allow me to stitch photos together so I can get more than the 20 photos on the MLS.  I did this with a home that had a safe room as a pantry. I wanted to show the safe room all the way open and then with the door partially closed. It gave buyers an insightful view on the house. safe room

When I am marketing a house for sale, I am going to list as much information as I can that will cause it to sell. This includes large room dimensions, amenities, school information, and photos with descriptions.  If you are interested in learning more about how I get houses sold, please feel free to contact me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website. http://www.sandiwalker.com

Real Estate

Maybe I should just rent it

In my last post I talked about pricing a home right to sell even if it means bringing money to the table. While there is nothing illegal or immoral about a seller bringing money to the table to clear the note and sell a property, it just seems wrong to many people. This is an investment and as an investment, it ought to make you money or at least cause you to break even.
So sometimes people think that the alternative is to rent the property. The renter can pay down the mortgage and then they can sell the property without bringing money to the table. That is understandable. However there are some things you will need to consider if you chose this path.
1. Either study the landlord tenant act and know it or hire a property manager. You need to know the law and follow it.
2. Make sure you have a separate bank account for the rental property and the escrow.
3. Have some savings for repairs. While you may be ok living with a broken a/c or garage door opener until you have the funds to fix it, your tenants will not.
4. Have some savings for times of vacancies or when your tenant is late paying or doesn’t pay at all. You still need to make the mortgage payment.
5. If you are going to manage your property yourself make sure you know how to properly screen a tenant. Just because they have the deposit and first month’s rent doesn’t mean they will have the next month’s rent.
6. Drive by your property and check on the inside occasionally. Your lease should give you authority to inspect with notice.
7. If you are moving out of town or state, hire a property manager. It will cost but it will be worth it.
8. Plan on painting and making some repairs when the tenant moves out. The security deposit may not cover all of it.
These are the basics considerations when considering whether you should rent out your property rather than selling it. There is also emotions that will come into play. This may have been your first home or one your fixed up. It is heartbreaking to see others not taking care of your house the same way you might. So decide if you are willing to do all these things or if it might be better to just sell it and move on. I personally have rental property. My very first rental property was one that my husband and I bought in Omaha, NE and then learned a year later we were getting transferred to Oklahoma City. We didn’t have the money to sell the house and decided to rent it. And of course we did it ourselves out of state. So I have been there. It was a learning experience. The education cost me some money. I will never personally have a rental that is not within a 20 mile radius of me. But that is me.
If you are thinking of selling and would like an experienced Realtor to help you with the transaction, please contact me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website at http://www.sandiwalker.com

Uncategorized

Showing in the dark

It is winter time and therefore the sun sets earlier than in the summer time. Because buyers have jobs often during the day, Realtors show after 5 or 6pm a lot. By this time the sun is setting and it is getting dark. Often times it is cold and I am fumbling with my keys, lockbox mechanism, papers on the house and my business card all while trying to say hi to my clients. The house is dark, the sellers have left so we can have a look at the property and the lockbox is not opening on the first try.  So in an attempt to help me the clients have their phones out turning on the flashlights so I can see what I am doing.  Just a note: this is the first impression of the seller’s house.  Next the key is not cut correctly and is hard to get the door open after which the key gets stuck in the dead bolt.  Entering the property we find the light switch. The seller has low wattage bulbs in many fixtures and several lights are out. The buyer comments that the rooms look small. Actually it is hard to tell in the light.

Sellers if you want to help sell your house, please help me to get into the door and make a good first impression.

1. Leave the lights on–especially the porch light.  It isn’t going to change the bill that much but it will help the showing realtor.

2. Change out low voltage bulbs for at least 75 watt bulbs. If you are using the bulbs that take a little bit to warm up (CFLs) then please leave them on for us so they look bright when the realtor shows.

3.Please make sure the key works easily in the door. Often times sellers will have a key made and it is not cut correctly so it is sticking.  Do you really want to have gone to all the trouble to clean and prepare and not have a buyer be able to see your house or wonder why the door is tricky.  This is a frustration and sometimes a turn off.

4. If you have a storm door and the lockbox is between it and the front door, make sure the storm door is unlocked.

Making the home easy to access for showings will definately help you to get the house sold. Remember first impressions are important.  If you are thinking of selling your house and would like my help or know someone who does please contact me at 405-213-2992 or visit me website at www.sandiwalker.net

 

Real Estate

Paint is cheap

Sprucing up the paint in your house with a nurtral color can help it to sell faster and for more money. 

Owner occupant buyers looking for homes generally fall into two catagories–those wanting a a deal and are willing to paint, carpet, and make some repairs and those wanting a move in ready home.  Most sellers want the maximum value for their home but also want to outlay the minimum cost, which is understandable. Generally, the buyers looking for a move in ready home are willing to pay a little more than those willing to do some repairs and updating.

In order to get the maximum value for the house, it should be clean and decluttered. Freshly painted homes look cleaner and fresher. In addition, sellers will want to take personal pictures off their walls and minimize the number of art work on the wall. In doing so, sellers need to pull nails and picture hangers, putty the holes, and touch up the paint as needed. If it has been awhile since the walls were painted the touch up paint will most likely not match. You don’t want the wall to look spotchy. So go ahead and paint the wall.

Wild colors of paint can make buyers cringe thinking of the number of coats of paint it is going to take to cover the purple or red rooms. In addition, white walls show all types of dirt and imperfections that otherwise might not be seen. White walls are also cold and feel like you are in a rent house.  I suggest that sellers paint a taupe or beige color. This way it is nuetral for the next buyer and yet makes the room warm and inviting.

A gallon of paint is about $25 and is well worth buying if you are trying to sell your house.  For other tips and questions, please feel free to contact me at 405-213-229 or visit my websit www.sandiwalker.net.

 

 

Real Estate

I am giving my house away

The other day I was talking with a seller about his house. It had been on the market for a few months and he had only a few showings. He wanted the house sold which makes sense since he had listed for sale with a licensed Realtor.   According to the comps in the neighborhood, the house appeared to be priced at the top end of the pricing for the neighborhood. The house was completely redone with fresh paint and new flooring. He had installed new granite counter tops and appliances in the kitchen and the bathrooms had been updated.  The MLS had the house highlighted with 20 pictures, the max, and it had been emailed to many agents and buyers alike.  The Realtor had had a broker’s open and open houses but there were simply no offers. He was frustrated and was considering renting the house until the market improved.

Currently, we have a low level of inventory with low interest rates.  Many people consider us in a sellers’ market so I am assuming what he met to say is that he wants to wait until the property has appreciated to a higher value. Because while the market is good, we are still not making crazy speculative buys that have no merit.

I informed him that if the property was not showing and it was being marketed, which it was, that the price was too high. To which he responded, “Well anyone can give a property away.”  Regardless of what the area comparable show the market is rejecting the price of the home.  As I reviewed the other properties in the area, it appeared that the homes in the addition that were for sale may not have been updated to the same level as this gentleman’s property. And while the seller and Realtor could justify the list price, the buying public was choosing something else. If the property is not priced correctly, buyers will not waste their time looking at it, believing the seller is unreasonably.

I personally do not believe that you list a house too low. If you do, the buyers will know and multiple offers will force the price of the property back up to fair market value. I have personally witnessed this several times especially with foreclosed homes that are listed below value.

If you have questions regarding real estate, please feel free to contact me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website  http://www.sandiwalker.net

Real Estate

Selling your home “as is”

I get calls from sellers who want to sell their home “as is”, sometimes. Maybe it needs more work than they want to put into it or they think “I live here and it all seems to work” or they don’t have the money to make repairs. I can understand all of those reasons.
But when selling a home we need to think about the person who is going to buy the house. I always say, “If you don’t know who is going to buy your house, how are you going to find them.” Meaning== are you Mr or Ms.. Seller, looking for a first time buyer, move up buyer or investor.
Most first time home buyers do not have the resources or the expertise or desire to make repairs to their first home. They are looking for a move in ready home. They are more likely to want the seller to make repairs that the home inspector suggests. As such, they may forego buying a listing that refuses to make repairs.
A move up buyer may be in a position to make repairs and may be willing to overlook some outdated items in the home or be willing to replace the carpet, but they will most likely take those repairs into consideration when making an offer.
If the property needs major repairs and the seller does not have the ability or resources to make the repairs but has equity in the property, then the best idea may be to sell the house “as is” and discount the property where a buyer would be willing to make the repairs. A buyer is not normally going to be willing to pay retail for a home that they are going to have to update or repair.
Keep in mind that depending upon the repairs the house may or may not be financeable. If the house is not financeable then the pool of buyers has just dwindled to cash buyers. And if I know anything about buyers, a cash buyer looking at a dilapidated property is looking for a deal.
It may be more beneficial for a seller to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, clean or replace the carpets and do some touch ups before listing the property. And then be willing to make some repairs to the property. Regardless of whether you are selling the property or not a buyer has the right to inspect the property and if they find major deficiencies, they are most likely going to want adjust the price accordingly or they will walk away without buying it. In addition, the seller needs to disclose any property defects to potential buyers.
If you have questions about real estate, please feel free to call me at- 405-213-2992 or http://www.sandiwalker.net

Real Estate

Is the market rejecting you?

Sometimes sellers want to list a property based upon what they need in order to pay off the property or for some amount that they need to move. However the value of a property is only worth what an educated buyer is willing to pay for it. Buyers today have lots of electronic information to help them get the best deal possible. They are looking to pay fair market value or to get a deal.
If your home is listed on the open market and you are not getting any showings, I am positive your home is over priced for the market. I believe that you need a certain number of showings in a week to get the property sold. This number will change based on your selling price.
If you are getting showings but you are not getting offers, then there is something wrong with the property. The buyers are finding something else that meets their needs with more amenities or is cleaner or perhaps is more updated. Feedback in this instance is critical. If the seller can fix the items that causing buyers to buy something else, then the property will sell. If they cannot fix the items that buyers are stating as reasons for not purchasing the property; i.e. room size, layout, or location; then the seller will need to lower the price to compensate for these items.
Everything will sell provided it is priced correctly and marketed effectively. And while advertising a property so people know it is available is crucial, pricing is probably the most important part of marketing. If a home is not priced correctly, it will just sit on the market and help other properties around it to sell.

If you enjoyed this post, please follow my blog. If you have questions, regarding real estate, please feel free to contact me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website at http://www.sandiwalker.net