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7 home fixes you must complete before selling

Home Improvement (City Bank)

Prioritize the projects that will bring the most value

By Cara Ameer

July 17

The process of getting a property ready to put on the market can seem daunting enough. There’s clearing the clutter, endless amounts of cleaning, organizing and scrutinizing your property with a fine-tooth comb. What needs attention and what can you leave alone?

Welcome to the new world of “fixing to sell.” Gone are the days of throwing it on the market and seeing what happens. Prepping for sale is a highly choreographed dance of repair along with a bit of renovation and presentation.

Don’t ignore these seven areas.

1. Structural and mechanical

It might not be glamorous, but buyers are looking at big-ticket items like the age and condition of the roof, air conditioning and heating systems, water heater, electrical panel and pipes.

Now, I’m not saying all have to be replaced, but if any of these components are on their last leg, you might seriously need to consider replacing them as these items could factor into the kind of financing the buyer is able to obtain as well as insurability of the property.

Appraisers are notorious for requiring a roof to be replaced, for example, as a condition of a loan when it comes to FHA and VA financing.

Replacing a roof that is at the end of its life before putting your home on the market will go a long way to solidifying buyer confidence in deciding to make an offer.

The buyer (and you) won’t have to sweat what an inspector says, deal with a potential renegotiation before closing or face a price reduction. The last thing you want to be doing is putting on a new roof in the midst of trying to pack.

If you lack the budget to replace these items, get estimates on the cost involved to replace. You can always offer to contribute to the replacement cost in the form of a credit to the buyer’s closing costs and offer a home warranty that can provide some coverage should something fail or need repair.

2. Exterior

How does the exterior of your home look? Is there any wood rot? When was the last time it was painted? Are there any stucco cracks that need attention?

First impressions start from the outside, and the exterior will show up in photos across a multitude of websites, etc. This is definitely an area worth spending the money.

3. Landscaping

Speaking of the exterior, how does your landscaping look? Are the plantings overgrown, worn and wilted? What about the ground cover?

Are the planting beds in need of some fresh mulch, pine straw, rock, etc.? Are there any overgrown tree limbs hanging over the house or blocking the home’s view? For a relatively inexpensive investment, you can transform how your exterior looks by trimming back and freshening things up with new plants and landscaping.

4. Cosmetic

Let’s face it: buyers buy with their eyes, so now is the time to go through the interior in detail. Are there dents and dings on the walls, scratched moldings or worn paint? Now is the time to spruce up the inside with a fresh coat of paint.

Pick light, neutral and on-trend colors. Choose a neutral palette that will transition well with any buyer’s furniture.

Buyers buy with their eyes, so now is the time to go through the interior in detail.

Look at your light fixtures, ceiling fans and light switches — these are relatively inexpensive things to update and replace, yet they go a long way toward creating value.

The front door? This is critical! Does it need a fresh coat of paint or new hardware? Consider adding a glass panel to create light that evokes a sunny and warm space.

5. Kitchen

This area is always huge with buyers. Even if the buyers barely know how to boil water, they always envision themselves in the kitchen cooking and entertaining or perhaps auditioning to be the next Food Network TV star surrounded by sleek appliances and cabinetry.

Here’s where you need to give them the look for less. Think new hardware on cabinets, adding or changing out a dated tile backsplash and updating appliances. Also, consider changing out counters — you might be able to find a reasonably price remnant of a granite slab.

6. Bathrooms

Simple and clean rules the day. Sprucing up your bathrooms to sell can be as simple as having the grout on the existing tile steam cleaned or regrouting where needed. Caulking, new plumbing and light fixtures along with mirrors can create value.

7. Flooring

What you walk on creates value. If you can only afford to make the investment in one significant part of your home, consider updating the flooring. There are a ton of low-cost options to choose from that include wood plank tiles and highly upgraded laminate flooring — think wide plank, light colored or hand-scraped styles.

New flooring can totally transform the look of your space and give it the “wow” factor that buyers desire.

In undertaking for sale preparation, strike a delicate balance between what to fix and what to leave alone, but in the end, make the right improvements that will result in a faster sale for top dollar.

Cara Ameer is a broker associate and Realtor with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Article first published on Inman.

Email Cara Ameer.

Article image credited to Anne Kitzman / Shutterstock.com

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Homes with this color bathroom sell for $5,400 more: Zillow

Study shows blues and grays are the way to go for interiors and doors, ‘greige’ for exteriors

By Marian McPherson

A $50 gallon of blue paint can result in a huge return on investment for homeowners, according to Zillow‘s 2017 Paint Color Analysis study.

Homes with bathrooms painted in a powder blue or periwinkle shade sold for an average of $5,400 more — the highest sales premium of all colors analyzed.

When it comes to a home’s exterior, neutral tones, such as ‘greige,’ sold for $3,496 more than comparable homes in a different color.

Furthermore, homes with front doors painted in shades of dark navy blue to slate gray sold for an extra $1,514.

On the other hand, buyers seem to be put off by style-specific features such as terracotta walls, which resulted in a $2,031 dip in sales prices. But even more than that, prospective owners seem to hate white walls: Homes that had no color whatsoever sold for an average of $4,035 less. Ouch!

“Color can be a powerful tool for attracting buyers to a home, especially in listing photos and videos,” said Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell. “Painting walls in fresh, natural-looking colors, particularly in shades of blue and pale gray not only make a home feel larger, but also are neutral enough to help future buyers envision themselves living in the space.
“Incorporating light blue in kitchens and bathrooms may pay off especially well as the color complements white countertops and cabinets, a growing trend in both rooms,” she added.

If a seller is adamant about keeping color in the home, have them consider a pop of color on an accent wall using Pantone’s Color of The Year, Greenery, or have them incorporate jewel-toned decor pieces throughout the home.

Email Marian McPherson.

Article image credited to Gelpi JM / Shutterstock.com

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Bay Area 2017 Housing Market Report

Thinking of moving to the Bay Area this year? We don’t blame you! The Bay Area is a beautiful place to live. According to The Pacific Union(1), the Bay Area’s housing market is currently one of the hottest in the USA! Consisting of major metropolitan areas such as San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland, and other smaller rural and urban areas, it is no wonder that the Bay Area is considered one of the most beautiful places to live.

The Pacific Union and consulting firm John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC)(2) have joined forces to create a housing market report that examines the future of the California Bay Area’s economy and residential real estate market.

Highlights From The Housing Report

  • Real estate prices may be high now, but the rate of annual price appreciation in some Bay Area regions will eventually slow down from its current rate of 8% to approximately 1-4% over the next couple of years.
  • The Bay Area’s housing market may be in high demand, but prices are close to peaking.
  • Currently, job growth is exceeding faster than population growth across the Bay Area – particularly in San Francisco and San Jose – which is ultimately driving up demand in real estate.
  • Silicon Valley has one of the highest median incomes in the USA and these incomes are only projected to rise.
  • While the demand for housing in California is high, there is a limited number of new houses being built in this area.

Bay Area homes are continuing to slowly rise and gain value over time because demand is high without there being enough supply. This means that even though the annual appreciation will eventually slow down, if you are thinking about selling your home in the California Bay Area, you can expect a large return on your investment.

Madeline Schnapp, a Trukee-based firm’s director of economic research states(3), “Prices can continue to skate higher for awhile but at some point you run out of people willing to pay, and prices adjust.”  While sales in real estate may be a bit sluggish for now, it is expected that the price appreciation should decelerate later in 2017. According to Schnapp, it is predicted that the California Bay Area will continue to see slower sales and higher prices until prices adjust and coincide with supply and demand or if new houses enter into the market.

At Pacific Realty Partners, our goal is to help you achieve yours! If you’re looking to sell or purchase a home in the California Bay Area, make sure to contact PRP, your real estate experts!

 

Sources

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Top Tips for Staging Your Home

Are you getting ready to sell your home in the California Bay area? An open house is a great way to showcase your home to allow potential buyers to view it before making an official offer. Although not all sellers decide to stage their homes, doing so will definitely put your home at an competitive advantage!

 

Why Home Staging is Important

According to HGTV’S Designed to Sell, 98% of houses staged have sold for over asking price. In addition, the Real Estate Staging Association suggests that professionally listed staged properties not only look better, they also spend 73% less time on the market, typically sell for more, and buyer’s tend to view the home as “well- maintained.” Although staging is optional, those who choose to stage their homes find it to be very beneficial. Selling your home is a big financial transaction, so why not maximize your return? In a 2013 study, over 170 staged properties were valued between $300,000 to $499,000! Staging is an opportunity to showcase your home to entice a higher selling price and will surely get your house off the market quickly!

However, before opening up your home to others, make sure you follow these easy tips to really impress potential homebuyers!

Curb Appeal

Your home’s curb appeal makes the ultimate first impression for prospective buyers. The front of your home is the first thing people tend to notice. Make sure to clear the exterior of your home of branches, debris, and litter. Think about incorporating décor into your porch or walkway – something as little as colorful flowers and a little bench can significantly improve the look of the outside of your home.

Odor

Smell is one of our strongest senses. Each house has a unique scent and fragrance. We highly recommend neutralizing the odor of your home before an open house. Bad odors that linger in your home can turn-off potential buyers. Think about baking a batch of cookies and leaving them out, lighting a candle, or using light air fresheners to create inviting scents.

Entry

Your home’s entry is the first insight to the interior of your home.  Make sure it’s clear of shoes, apparel, and any other clutter. Clean windows, glass, and mirrored objects of fingerprints and splatter marks to keep your house looking in tip-top shape.

Bathrooms

Next, the bathroom is one of the most personal spaces of your home. Ensure that you tuck away any combs, razors, toothbrushes, and any other personal care items during your open house. Keep your bathroom looking as sanitary as possible by making sure that your toilets, showers, and sinks are clean and sparkling.

Ambiance

Ambiance is key when it comes to open houses. According to The Home Staging Report 2015, over 81% of buyers find it “easier to visualize the property as their future home” when it is staged. Laying out fresh flowers or a bowl of fruit is a great way to set the tone. Pops of colors are a great way to create a “wow” effect to make your home stand out from other listings. Moreover, prospective buyers want a home that they can envision as their own. Put away any family photos and make your home as neutral looking as possible!

Repairs

Lastly, buyers enter your home looking for imperfections. Replace any broken or damaged things in your home – such as doorknobs and hinges. Change any light bulbs and redo any chipped paint spots. If repair is not your forte, think about hiring a professional to do some quick touch ups to your home before the big day!

 

According to the most recent statistics released by the Real Estate Staging Association, homes staged before listing sell 90% faster than homes listed on the MLS that are not staged. A nice, polished looking home can trigger an emotional response which can lead to an offer. Just like accessories finalize an outfit, staging is the final touch to make a nice property a beautiful home. At PRP, we have helped sell thousands of beautiful homes in the California Bay Area. Let our Bay Area real estate experts help you get your home off the market fast! If you want your house to sparkle and be sold quickly, contact Pacific Realty Partners today and we’ll help you get started!

 

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Why California is Officially One of the Best Places to Live in

California is known by many as the land of Hollywood, the Golden State and of course for its relaxed lifestyle. Turns out California dreamin’ really is the way to live. California is one of the most beautiful and livable places to reside today. With its warm weather, diverse population, why not choose to live on the West Coast?

Cities in California have taken over 12 of the 20 spots on the WalletHub’s 2017 rankings of the happiest places to live. This ranking is based on 3 categories:

  • Emotional and Physical Well-Being. This includes depression rate, physical health, life expectancy and sufficient sleep rate.
  • Income and Employment. This includes poverty rate, number of work hours, job satisfaction and income- growth rate.
  • Community and Environment. This includes leisure time, acres of parkland, volunteer rate and divorce rate.

Beyond this, there are many other reasons why California is one of the happiest places to live in.

Weather

Some think the main influence on happiness is as simple as the weather. With the mix of constant sunlight and vitamin D, the warm rays boost serotonin which makes you feel alert, energized and happy. With weather being a factor, the overall “Cali” vibe is very laid back making the lifestyle stress free, easy and livable.

Moving to California

Besides California being one of the happiest places to live in, more and more people are finding themselves moving and buying homes there. One reason is its sheer size. It has a lot more towns and cities, compared with other states. 2016 was a great year for real estate sales in California, and one should keep in mind that as of 2017 only 30% of Californians own a home. This means there is great opportunity for new sales, particularly for first time buyers.

Newark

Looking at specific cities in California, Newark is a great place to live in.  Newark is a medium sized coastal city located in the state of California, with a large community and a thriving economy, the housing costs run on a slightly higher scale, but don’t compare to real estate prices in the most expensive communities in California.

 

West coast living in the way to go! If the beautiful weather, happiness and overall livability don’t speak to you, then we don’t know what will. If you’re looking or planning on buying or selling your home in California, contact Pacific Realty Partners. They will help you achieve your goal in the best, and affordable way!

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Real Estate Roundup!

May new home sales gain 2.2% from April

Sales of new single-family houses in May 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000, which is up 2.2% from April, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. — From Housing Wire

3 ways to tame student loan debt and afford a mortgage

It’s no secret that student loans can make buying a home a challenge. But what exactly is the problem, and how can buyers overcome it? The problem is that student loans can be included in the buyer’s debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. — From Bankrate

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We’re ready for the TRID rules!

At 5 p.m. EST June 17, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a statement that the effective date for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules would be pushed back to Oct. 1, 2015.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a prepared statement: “The CFPB will be issuing a proposed amendment to delay the effective date of the Know Before You Owe rule until Oct. 1, 2015. We made this decision to correct an administrative error that we just discovered in meeting the requirements under federal law, which would have delayed the effective date of the rule by two weeks. We further believe that the additional time included in the proposed effective date would better accommodate the interests of the many consumers and providers whose families will be busy with the transition to the new school year at that time.”

Rainier Title has been working towards the TRID implementation for over a year and felt prepared for August 1st. However, with the proposed delay we will be taking this opportunity to continue our education and training of TRID. While we believe that we have been proactive and ready for this change, there are still so many unknowns that will have to be addressed at the time of implementation. The industry should still prepare for 45-60 days for transaction to close due to the new timing parameters of the forms.

We’re working hard to be ready for all changes!

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Real Estate Roundup

Active Home-Building Industry Will Lead to More Demand for Warehouse Space

Strong consumer spending and the rise in housing construction activity are currently the prime factors for the incredible rebound of the U.S. industrial real estate sector, and experts say as home buying continues to increase, so will demand for warehouse space. — From NRE Online

To Buy or Not to Buy: That Is the Developer’s Question

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