Tag Archives: investment portfolios

fsbo

So You’ve Decided To Sell FSBO

Selling your house can be an exciting and somewhat stressful time, but there has been a pattern emerging for the last decade in going it alone and selling your home all by yourself, FSBO. (For Sale By Owner)

Obviously, we as realtors have seen many sides of this sale model and with any level of service we have come to understand what works and what doesn’t work as well. This is of course not saying that FSBO isn’t a model that doesn’t work well; there are many homes and more individuals selling their property through FSBO than ever before and the market is constantly growing.

But today, we wanted to discuss with you the process of selling FSBO and understanding what you as a seller need to do to make your property stand out, and importantly, sell.

Selling a house, whether it is FSBO or with a realtor requires the following basic principles;

Pricing your house correctly
Qualifying your buyer
Advertising your property
Knowing the laws and regulations to a house sale

Pricing your house correctly
This is one of the most important, if not, most important aspects of selling your home. Too low and you undervalue your house and your potential sale value after all the expenses paid out. Too high, and you may not even attract viewers, and when you do, you will get some offers that can completely undervalue your home.

If you’re looking to sell your house fast, undervaluing your property is the quickest way to attract viewers, but you need to understand if they are serious about your house sale, or if it is window shopping. (More on that in qualifying your buyer).

Are you aware of the property market that you are in? Do you know the local area well enough when it comes to the property market? Have you looked at house value prices? Have you seen what the expected market values might attract over the next coming period?

These are important considerations, especially when you are selling your house. One of the apparent advantages of selling your own home is that you get to dictate a little more the conditions, but this is what the market will decide, so you need to understand how the market is behaving before you can price your own home.

Qualifying your buyer
There is the famous scene in Glengarry Glenross where the sales staff are taught the rules of selling, ABC. Always Be Closing. It’s vicious, crude and downright antagonistic! But this is one of the things you need to be able to do when it comes to selling your home.
This is about understanding the person and their interest in buying. People are prone to window shopping, seeing what they could buy if they had money, or what type of property might be available for them in 12 months time.

These are the kinds of viewers you want to qualify early. A realtor will do this over the phone, they will ask questions where the intentions are clear and sometimes, this can stop people from even viewing the property and wasting your time; when you go FSBO you will need to gather the acumen to do this as well as the ABC rule of sales.

Advertising your property
You will see that there are sites where they offer advertising for your FSBO, however, do you know what market range they have? Do they place your property in the paper? Are they proactive with you and your property? Are they doing everything to get your house sold?

The answer is more than likely not. There is little in it for them other than an advertising fee, so then you need to take charge. You need to get your property MARKETED! Yes, there is difference between advertised and marketed, especially in a FSBO sale.

You need to take charge of the advertising, driving attention and money to getting the best deal possible for your house to be seen by as many people in the area and beyond to get your house sold. Realtors, good realtors, like ourselves, look after that.

Do you have access to a portfolio of buyers? Do you have access to a portfolio of international investors? Do you have the time to chase these leads as well as generate new ones?

Knowing the laws and regulations of selling your property
Legal documents are no joke when it comes to selling your home. The last thing you want to be doing is creating more work, spending more money and getting nowhere, fast because you don’t have the paperwork to get this area of your home sale organised.

If you don’t have the skills to write binding contracts, you will either risk your house sale completely or have to hire someone last second to get this completed at a great cost to you and your personal finances.

How much do you know about, buyer’s contingencies, seller disclosure laws, lead based paint issues, financing options, title and deed requirements? Any of these things can lead to post sale legal disputes and you want to avoid these at all costs.

The easiest thing to remember with anything legal… be prepared. Get your documents in order. Go and speak to a realtor about the kinds of contracts you need to put in place, speak to a solicitor about handling the paperwork, do whatever is necessary to make your house sale worth the time and investment by going it alone and not having to think about legal repercussions afterwards.

In conclusion
Selling your home through FSBO is achievable, but there are hidden perils and you need to be fully aware of these before you decide that you want to sell your home this way.

There are many different things to consider as well as the list from above.

We haven’t touched upon scams, home safety, negotiation or the other myriad of things that are essential to a home sale. Most FSBO sales are performed through some sort of realtor service anyway, so you need to be aware of a 3% charge (in some cases 6%) without having any of the benefits associated with a realtor looking after your home sale.

Selling your home can be stressful and if you were to get any of the above wrong, it could add to that stress greatly. Be prepared to learn day to day, learn how to market and get your house sale on track when you go through FSBO.

kitchen main

How To Sell Your House Fast: Kitchen Remodelling

If there is one room which new buyers or investors in your property look at more than any other it is the kitchen. It is the glory room when it comes to selling a home; a great looking kitchen can psychologically impact on the value that a home will have to a potential buyer, and a bad one, even more.

But should you spend a lot of money on remodelling the heart of the home just so you can sell it and what is the complete value that a new kitchen will have to a home sale? The figures may surprise you.

We conducted a study earlier this year which highlighted different rooms for prioritising for a house sale and the kitchen was third and not first like some can think. The highest cost for a kitchen remodel, as reported in the year, 2015 was $49,000 and the average came in at $20,474!

So do you need to spend that much or are there alternatives and if you were to spend your money, what should go for? Here is our quick guide to selling your house fast with a kitchen remodelling.

Choose the right colour
One of the things that gets most outdated in a kitchen is the colour scheme. Not only is it a case of being outdated, but the wear and tear of day to day life, cooking grease and oil, and other factors (possibly young children) can make the appearance look outdated.

yellow kitchen

So a quick, inexpensive way to smarten up your living space is a fresh coat of paint. But what colour you go for can also have a massive influence. Light yellow or even very light green can have a positive effect on your overall sale value, whilst dark grey’s or eggshell not only aren’t appealing but could have a negative influence on your home value.

Cost? Around $300 for paint, $90 for materials. 2 days average time.

Countertops
Your countertops are one of the biggest cosmetic changes you can make to a kitchen, and one of the most cost effective solutions as well. And there are loads of materials that you can choose from, as well as colours, finishes and overall final look to your kitchen area.

wooden kitchen

If you have a white kitchen, you could go with dark tops, or wooden finishes. Laminate is a cost effective, highly visual material and fulfils everything you need for a kitchen remodel. Also, if you have measurements, you can get trade stores and merchants to do a lot of the cuts for you and all you need to do is just the installation.

Cost? Anywhere around $400 – $500 for material (laminate). Installation could be outsourced for $150 – $200.

New Doors
If your kitchen has sustained the test of time, the cabinets are in good working order, then you have a cost effective solution to your kitchen remodelling; new doors. In Florida/America, it’s not common to see handleless doors, but across Europe they are more common and are sure to be set as a new design feature for 2017.

new door_kitchen

If however you went for a more traditional look, then you can’t go wrong with just a simple colour, white or dark grey (which is no longer a fad) and a set of new handles. You can really transform the look and feel of a kitchen with a small knob or a chunky handle.

Cost? Budget $20-$30 a door on average $500. Fitting, one day.

With these three changes, you can radically transform your living space area into a buyers paradise. Keep the costs low and have a budget to mind. You don’t need to overspend to give you the dream kitchen that someone may want to have.

What would be your tips for a kitchen remodel? We’d love to know.

5 Best Homes From Christmas Movies

With Thanksgiving just gone, and Christmas not too far away, the time to sit down, enjoy the festive break and spend time with loved ones will be on everyone’s mind. But there will come a time in the holiday season when you will want to sit down and just watch a good old family Christmas movie. Christmas movies have a few things in common. There is snow, there are arguments and there are beautifully decorated homes that we all wish we could own!

So, here are our, 5 Best Houses from Christmas Movies, enjoy!

1) The McAllister’s – Home Alone
They left their child whilst they went on holiday to Paris. The first question that springs to mind is, what did the dad for a living. (Apparently, he was a successful businessman) But this beautiful home, the exterior shots filmed in Chicago, is quite a delight. Floor plans on the internet point to it having, 3 floors, 4 bedrooms, 2 en-suites, 5 bathrooms, a spacious lounge and downstairs area and a basement.

Home Alone_Movie

2) Susan’s House – Miracle on 34th Street
The 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street introduced a new generation of children to the beautiful story of Father Christmas and hope; played by Sir Richard Attenborough this film is the spirit of Christmas in one showing. But what about the house that Susan gets at the end? Located in Lake Forest, Illinois, it has a beautiful mahogany study, gorgeous living and dining room, 6 or 7 bedrooms (we have no confirmation), a pool, a pool house with lodgings, and is surrounded by glorious countryside.

34th Street Movie

3) The Bailey’s – It’s a Wonderful Life
George and Mary Bailey are the All American couple trying to get through life, one room at a time! They had to put their honeymoon on hold, and they end up in this drafty old house which they then renovate for their future family. Aside from having to keep the evil business tycoon, Mr Potter away, George Bailey is trying to do the best he can, and on this house, George, we applaud you!

Bailey's Movies

4) The Griswolds – National Lampoon’s Family Vacation
When it comes to vacations, the Griswolds were the family of a generation that grew to love films and, Chevy Chase. But the lighting that was used on this beautiful home could have powered villages across the country. The set which also featured in the TV show, Bewitched, has also featured in other hit movies such as Moonlight, Pleasantville, Small Soldiers and American Beauty.

griswolds movies

5) The Stone Family – The Family Stone
A tale of bringing the family together for Christmas mixed with unresolved issues, a new girlfriend and trying to make everyone seem normal; if you’re nodding your head, so are we! But the wonderful home that was used for the film can be found in Greenwich, Connecticut it covers 3,500 acres of land and was built in 1840. It last sold for $4million according to Zillow.

Stone_movies

How To Improve Your Homes Curb Appeal

Selling your home can be one of the hardest things you can do. From picking the realtor to then playing the patience game with viewers and when you eventually get to sell your home, the paperwork required to get you over the finishing line. Of course, the most important thing in any home sale is actually selling your home. The first thing to selling any home is understanding what curb appeal is and how to get it!

What is curb appeal?
Wikipedia defines curb appeal as “the attractiveness of the exterior of a residential or commercial property, as viewed from the street. The term was extensively used in the United States during the housing boom and continues to be used as an indicator of the initial appeal of a property to prospective buyers.”

curb appeal


OK, curb appeal is how attractive your home looks to any potential buyer. But why is this important and how will it affect your home sale?

“Curb appeal is the first thing that any potential buyer will use to make a decision on your property. If it doesn’t look the part, then you will have a horrible situation where you can’t even get people to view, let alone make an offer.” Paul Russo from our Florida office continued with, “there are many different things you can take to make your home stand out and get that all important curb appeal; it’s a case of priorities and taking the road best travelled sometimes.”

5 tips for improving curb appeal

1) Focus on the photos
88% of all home searches in the US start online. If you never considered how important it was to get your property photos right, then now is the time. “Pick the right time of the day for pictures, preferably with good sunlight behind you. Don’t crowd your shot with things that may put buyers off like bikes on the lawn or dirty dishes in the sink!”

curb appeal photo

2) Be a buyer for a day
Imagine you were buying a home and take the time to spend a day looking at properties for sale. Which ones appealed to you and why? “Use this first hand experience to guide you through your own home sale. Drive past your house several times at different points of the day. What works and what doesn’t? That’s what you need to focus on.”

curb appeal buying
3) Prioritise repairs
Home repairs are a given for any seller, especially if you have lived in a property long enough to damage it. “Scuffs on doors, chipped paint and even that floorboard you’ve been meaning to repair are important but are they more important than let’s say, a new roof? Raised flags on your porch? Broken windows? Prioritise your repairs and don’t skimp on a good tradesman. Smaller things are usually accepted by buyers, but the big ticket stuff will have an impact on your home value.”


hammer_curb appeal

4) A bit of landscaping
The big thing about curb appeal is what your house looks like from the road/the curb. That said, what people will take a first, deciding look at is, your garden. “Green fingered sellers attract a lot of potential buyers because the lawn is well kept and the colours of plants and shrubs are appealing. Sometimes, the inside of the home isn’t so. But you don’t need to go overboard. Cut the lawn, mend any fence panels and for added colour, you can pick up bright plants and shrubs cheaply. Show these off in pots or planted in the soil that borders your lawn.”

curb appeal plants

5) Let there be light!

Finally one the best tips for improving curb appeal is, adding light. “Whether that is to your garden, your entrance or your home living spaces, great light gives people a welcoming feel. Outside lights illuminate darker spaces. Internal lights can make living areas more homely; and that’s important for buyers.”

lighting_outdoor

INVESTMENT

5 Reasons Florida Is Perfect For Investors

So you’re looking at investing in the Florida property market and you’re wondering if it is the right location for you? You need to consider important things like, return of investment, maintenance costs, ease of access and tax laws etc.

Well, that’s a given for any major investment, like stocks or shares, purchasing vineyards or placing a hedged bet on classic cars, investments can go up or down depending on the economy and what is in fashion. Property is though a little different, and since the lows of 2011, Florida has seen some real growth and opportunity for investment potential.

Instead of going through the usual stuff you can find in a brochure or google search, why not let us help you with some more fun reasons of why Florida is perfect for your financial investment.

Food
Florida has some of the best outlets when it comes to food. With a rich history of hispanic, French and Italian immigration, as well the traditions of neighbouring states such as Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, Florida has some rich and beautiful creations that any visitor, and resident gets to enjoy.

There is the cubano sandwich, made famous in the film, Chef; a traditional cuban street food that has found fame and much favoured taste in the state. The key lime pie is also, a world famous dessert, and only available in Florida.

cuabno sandwich
Courtesy of TasteMedia


Seafood lovers can enjoy beautiful pink shrimp, juicy crab and wonderful sea caught fish make all the difference in this wonderful state.Finally, for those that love their drinks, don’t forget, Florida is the state of the Margarita; who doesn’t love a cocktail or two by the pool?

College Football
Well, the NFL has three teams in Florida, but what about college football? It’s arguably more exciting, the rivalries more intense and the games easier to watch and see from many a sports bar, or satellite dish.

There are three main college teams in Florida; The Florida Gators, Florida State and the Miami Hurricanes. All three teams have bred their fair share of NFL champions and even film stars from the sport. Think Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Ray Lewis, Jim Kelly and so many more. If you want to understand the game of Football, you can’t go wrong with college football, and you can’t go wrong with the college game in Florida.

Weather
With an average of 246 of sunshine, little to no snowfall and a sub tropical climate in the warmer summer months, Florida is a great location for those that want the warmer, all year summer time climate.

There’s a reason why there is the winter migration from northern states to Florida; the weather, and the local communities buzz with this. It’s not just the elderly though that migrate in the winter months. Spring break in locations like Fort Lauderdale and Miami beach are the havana of spring time.

Economy
With aeronautics, finance, e-commerce, leisure, travel and sport entertainment based economy, Florida as a state has a wealth of diversity that makes the difference to property types of investment.

A strong economy breeds consumer confidence and provides benefits in terms of infrastructure, development opportunities and general growth in the area. As the nation’s fourth largest state economy, Florida is a strong investment opportunity.

Beaches
With over 1,000 kilometers of beaches, nearly 2,000 kilometers of shoreline and a mixture of golden to beach white sands, great surf and water sport conditions, Florida really does have the spoils as a location with beaches.

Florida Beach
Beaches are of course perfect locations for parties, get togethers, weddings and investment opportunities. With nearly 40% of the economy based on leisure and tourism, Florida’s beaches are well maintained to keep the appeal and living standards high in such a wonderful part of the country.