Should You Sell Your Home As Is Or Fix It Up?

The following blog post Should You Sell Your Home As Is Or Fix It Up? is available on BlueCollarAgents.com Real Estate Blog

We are already into the 2nd quarter of 2018 and the housing market isn’t showing any signs of slowing down all across the county. It is a “Sellers” market right now. The question a lot of sellers are faced with is whether or not they should try and sell their house just the way it is, or should they fix it up.

Should You Sell “As Is” Or Make Repairs?

So here is the answer you are waiting on… Depends! There are a few things that you have to consider yourself. One is do you have the money to make the repairs? Another is will you recoup the money you spend on the repairs? Another is what kind of condition are the houses in your local market in? Lastly (and there are more, but we will stop here) is are you trying to get top dollar for your property?

Let’s tackle the last question first, are you trying to get top dollar. Here is some insight –

If sellers have the time, money and the inclination, they’ll come out way ahead by fixing any problems before listing their house for sale. If your house is in move-in condition it will appeal to a wider group of prospective home buyers. For example, first-time home buyers, and buyers with busy lifestyles, often won’t even consider buying a home that needs a lot of work. That’s because they don’t have the time or the experience to deal with the problems.

Continue reading “Should sellers make home repairs before they sell?

So if you are trying to get top dollar, yes you have to make ALL repairs. With the way the market is in most of the country this will more than likely start a bidding war, which could in fact get you even more than your asking price!

Next you have to stop and find out if you will get your money back by making repairs or more importantly –  updates. Here is some great advice from The Balance:

Before deciding to make specific repairs before resale, take an afternoon off to tour other homes in the neighborhood of sale with your agent.

Note the condition and amenities in those homes. Compare these homes to yours. If, for example, most of the homes on the market have upgraded kitchens, you should concentrate on fixing the kitchen.

This doesn’t mean you need to buy designer appliances and tear out the cabinets. But a minor kitchen remodel might be a good investment. Sometimes, simply painting oak cabinets a darker color and installing updated hardware can give your kitchen an all-new look.

Continue reading “Should I Fix Up My Home or Try to Sell As Is?

The kitchens and bathrooms of the comparable homes are important aspects to consider, especially kitchens. You would be surprised how a fresh coat of paint on the cabinets and new hardware can brighten the room. For the most part you should be able to have a minor kitchen remodel from $10,000 to $15,000. Bathrooms may be a little trickier, but you may be able to find a new vanity and paint the walls and get it done for under $1,000, depending on the vanity you choose.

Now what if you don’t have the money to make repairs? If your house is in need of a new roof, you may have a bit of a problem on your hands. Clearly in this situation you will not be able to get top dollar, and will more than likely have to get involved in some serious negotiations. Your pool of buyers will also greatly be affected.

But let’s say that your house just needs updating, like the kitchens and bathrooms and maybe some new carpet. Again, the amount of buyers lining up to buy your house will be shorter. But, there are people out there that will be willing to buy it, you may just have to wait a little longer for the right one to come along. Here is a little advice from Jack Guttentag

When it Pays to Sell As Is: I sold my house as is because I had already committed to a new one and wanted detachment from the old one as soon as possible. Furthermore, the buyer who fell in love with my old house had the financial capacity to pay for all needed improvements. She didn’t need the larger mortgage that would have been obtainable if I had made the improvements. In addition, one of the required improvements to my old house was to a deck, which could be done in a variety of ways based on individual taste, and it made no sense to do it according to my taste.

Continue reading “Fix Up a Home Before Selling It, or Not?

In Jack’s case it worked out well for him selling his house as is. It’s probably worth noting that it doesn’t seem like his house was in need of major repairs, like a roof or had structural issues.

Lastly, we want to leave you with some great advice from Ilyce Glink about repairs that you should make no matter what when selling your house –

So there you have it. It really does depend on your situation. Depending on the amount of repairs that need to be made will determine how long you have to wait before you are able to put your house on the market. The good news is that once all of the repairs are made and your house is in tip top shape, you will probably have a buyer in no time, and maybe even a bidding war with people competing to buy your house!

Looking for more home selling tips? Check out some of my favorite sources –

Home Selling Tips
Styled, Staged & Sold
How To Sell Your Home Fast
Helpful Home Selling Tips

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How To Avoid Getting Scammed When Selling To A We Buy Houses Company

The following post How To Avoid Getting Scammed When Selling To A We Buy Houses Company was first seen on bluecollaragents.com Blog

A lot of people need to sell their house fast. Many times they see the signs on the sides of the road that say “we buy houses”. The problem is there are may of these companies that are trying to scam you. So how do you know your are dealing with a real company and one that isn’t trying to take advantage of you? Keep reading to learn how.

Finding A Legitimate We Buy Houses Company

You may be tempted to call one of those signs on the side of the road. This may be a red flag right off the bat. In many cities these signs which are called “bandit signs” are illegal. So what does that say about the company itself. Also, this may also be someone that is fresh out of some guru’s seminar that is trying to get into real estate investing. Almost all of these guru’s tell people to start putting out these signs to start getting leads.

We found an interesting article on Blogger that has more to say on these bandit signs:

You have probably seen all of the signs on the side of the road “We Buy Houses”. But how do you know if that company is really legit? The first thing – is it a hand written sign? If so, if they don’t have the money to pay for a nice custom sign do they really have the money to buy your house??

Do An Internet Search

Can you easily find them on the web? After you call one of those we buy houses signs and get their information, do yourself a favor and Google them. Do they have a website? Can you find who the owners are of the company? If not, you may want to think twice about using them.

Continue reading “Finding A Reputable Company That Buys Houses

They make a good point about the hand written signs as well as performing and internet search for the company. Searching them out on the web and finding reviews about the company is probably one of the best things you can do to find out if you are dealing with a legitimate company or not.

Knowing A Legitimate Company

So how do you know if you are actually dealing with a legitimate company and aren’t being scammed? Besides researching them on the internet, here are some additional good tips:

Check Out the Buyer

If you have any concerns about the buyer, don’t hesitate to check them out. Contact your state Attorney General’s office, your state’s Real Estate Commission, or your District Attorney’s Consumer Fraud Unit. If they are an established business, also check out the Better Business Bureau.

Always Understand What You’re Signing

Not asking questions because you are afraid of looking stupid could end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars or more if you end up in a deal that wasn’t what you thought it was. A lawyer or even your mortgage company can help you if you want professional advice from a third party. Never, ever sign a contract that you don’t understand.

Get All Agreements in Writing

If a disagreement arises about a verbal agreement, the issue becomes your word against theirs and often must go to a court of law to be settled. Don’t risk that. Insist that all terms be in writing, and don’t agree to anything that isn’t.

Continue reading “How To Avoid We Buy Houses Scams

Knowing what you are signing as well as making sure that you have a written agreement is important. Under no circumstances should you ever just accept any verbal offers without something written down. Without a written contract your house really isn’t sold. You may want to have an attorney look over the document as well if you are in a state that does not require closing with an attorney.

Conclusion

If you have to sell your home now and don’t have time to wait for a buyer, there are legitimate we buy houses companies out there. Do your homework and research the company online, make sure you have a written contract and have your attorney review the document and you should be able to avoid being scammed.

Learn More & Recommended Reading:

Cover story: Quick cash for homes: Solution or scam?

How to Avoid a Real Estate Scam

Things to Watch When Selling a House for Cash

Don’t Give Up On Your Real Estate Investment Business

The following blog post Don’t Give Up On Your Real Estate Investment Business was originally published on Blue Collar Agents Real Estate

Sometimes it can be, and seem like you are doing nothing but spinning your tires and climbing up hill when trying to find good real estate investment deals. However, there is hope. As long as you stay focused and don’t give up, sooner or later you will get your first or next real estate investment. Just how to go about this and make it easier is what I will touch on here and hopefully keep you motivated.

Don't give up on your real estate investing business

Don’t Give Up On Your Marketing

I’ve been in the same place that you are right now, “when will I find a deal”?  It can really run you down and almost enough to make you loose hope and wonder if you need to find another occupation. I’m here to tell you though that if you give up, more than likely your next deal was just right around the corner.

Paul Esajian from Fortune Builders (one of my favorite blogs for real estate investing) has some really good tips and thoughts on this:

2. Give Your Marketing a Chance

It can be frustrating, when trying to get your real estate investing career off the ground, to endure the many stops-and-starts that come from marketing for real estate deals. Though we’d love to able to predict with absolute certainty what the results of our marketing will be, it’s not always a quid pro quo — do “this” and “that” will happen — situation. This requires we approach our marketing with patience, focus and more than a little innovation.

Key things to keep in mind include:

Not giving up too early: Just because those 10 bandit signs you put up over the weekend or those 50 direct mail postcards you sent out last month didn’t yield any instant leads, doesn’t mean that the entire campaign should be scrapped. It’s important to give each form of your marketing — whether Facebook Ads or Craigslist posts — a chance to work its magic.

Know what’s working: Again, it’s all about the numbers. What’s your conversion rate? What’s your cost per lead? Which marketing sources create the best, most profitable leads, and which provide very little return on investment (ROI)? Many times what you don’t do is just as important as what you do do when it comes to marketing.

Always be testing: Unfortunately, there is very little “set it and forget it” when it comes to marketing. You must always be attentive to how a marketing campaign is doing, and whether there is any way that you can improve it, even on a small scale. Will a change in copy (or color scheme or subject line) make a difference? Change one thing at a time and track your results. This can often reduce marketing cost, and make the slightest difference between profit and loss.

Finish Reading Paul’s Article Here

Good advice from the Pro’s. One thing I want you to take away from that is the amount of bandit signs and direct mailings he mentioned – 10 and 50. Those numbers aren’t very big at all. I suggest that you should be doing at least 25 bandit signs and a few hundred mailers. This will greatly increase your odds of finding a deal.

If you have the time put out 20 to 40 bandit signs. This can be more of a time commitment than with mailers. The reason for that is because in most cities now you have to put out your signs on Friday night, then pick them up Sunday evening because of code enforcement. Most municipalities will not allow you to have bandit signs out during the week and will fine you. So because you have to pick them up, it’s much more time consuming.

However with mailers you should be able to do a lot more than 50. If you are purchasing lists, more than likely it’s bigger than 50. Go ahead and hit the entire list to increase your odds of finding a deal.

Have You Tried Wholesalers?

Network With A Real Estate Wholesaler

This is sometimes overlooked by investors. Why not connect and network with wholesalers? I know, some people don’t want to pay any extra than they have too. But if you find a good real estate wholesaler, then there will be plenty of meat left on the bone for you. That means that even after you pay them their markup there is still plenty of money for you to make after repairing and selling a property.

There are lots of ways to connect with other wholesalers. First, look for bandit signs and contact them, see if they have a deal for you. Next your local real estate investor association. All of the major cities have multiple associations that you can attend and just network the room and let other investors know you are looking for good deals for yourself. And of course, don’t forget the internet. Just do a search for “wholesale real estate deals” and you will find a few. Just don’t forget to do your due diligence before purchasing any investment property.

Summing It Up

Whatever you do – don’t give up! There are deals out there, even with the market as strong as it is. Take Paul’s advice and also network with other investors and you will be sure to come up with a deal before you know it.

Recommended

Find Investment Properties For Sale

The Secret To Finding Real Estate Deals In A Hot Market

5 Tips Real Estate Investors Need to Know to Find Good Deals

 

Are You Using The Power Of Social Media?

The blog post Are You Using The Power Of Social Media? Read more on: BlueCollarAgents.com Real Estate Blog

Now days people spend way more time on their computers and mobile phones than they do watching regular TV. Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that if you have a real estate business that you should have a website to bring in new customers and clients. If you are buying or selling your primary residence, then your Realtor (if you are using one) is probably marketing on the web. But are you using what is probably becoming the most powerful form of advertising on the web now – SOCIAL MEDIA?!

There are so many platforms out there it can make your head spin. And it seems like there are new platforms coming out almost everyday! The thing about social media is that – it’s SOCIAL. People tend to share things with their friends and family, therefore giving you an advantage over your competition.

Let’s look at this from a couple of different perspectives. First, let’s look at it form the perspective of a person that is trying to sell their home on their own – or what is known as FSBO – For Sale By Owner.

Social Media can bring in way more potential buyers for you, especially facebook. Facebook is probably the best place for a homeowner to “list” their house that they are wanting to sell. One thing you can do is to go ahead and make a post that you are trying to sell your house. Then you can ask your friends to share that post with their friends. Before you know it, thousands of people will have seen your property that you are trying to sell. With facebook you can also create ads fairly inexpensively to get even more eyes on your house you are wanting to sell.

Now lets look at Social Media for Real Estate Professionals, whether you are an investor, realtor, hard money lender, etc.

There are lots of different social media platforms out there, but in my experience probably the best platforms for advertising are;

  1. FaceBook
  2. Twitter
  3. YouTube
  4. LinkedIn

Yes, there are other platforms out there, but these are what I have seen with the greatest ROI. Also, if you try and do to many different platforms more than likely it will be to much for you to handle and you won’t be able to post on each of them frequently enough.

With facebook you can do the same things that a home owner can do to attract more clients and customers. However you wouldn’t want to be making posts about your business on your personal profile, but create a Company Page on facebook.

Twitter is also another fantastic place to get results. Twitter is a platform where you can only post 140 characters, which doesn’t seem like a lot. If you spend a couple of minutes on what you want to say, you can get your message across with those few characters, and drive traffic to your website if you want.

YouTube – this platform is getting bigger all the time, and now it looks like facebook is trying to get in on how popular youtube is by having their own platform for videos. Youtube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world! It only comes in second to Google, and a few years ago Google purchased Youtube.

Youtube videos are a fantastic way to engage with your customers and clients. People are watching more and more videos every year. I have actually read where some experts predict that video will take over the web by the year 2020.

One thing that we have noticed is that sometimes our videos also appear in the search engines. This is great because not only is our company website on Page 1 of Google search, but also our video. By having Google analytic’s on our channel, we are able to see that there are more people watching our video first before going to our website.

Lastly, LinkedIn. A lot of people only look at LinkedIn as a place to post their resume. Boy are they dead wrong. I have made some fantastic connections or LinkedIn that have turned out to be very lucrative.

When you are first starting out, I recommend that you only start with 2 different platforms at first. The reason being that you don’t want to get overwhelmed and not post frequently enough. You need to engage with other people on a regular basis to get the most out of these profiles.

Another thing you need to do is that when you are creating your profiles you need to optimize them properly for your profession. What I mean by that is that you put in your description or about section a few keywords for your field of expertise. Don’t over do it though as it will look spammy and the search engines won’t like it. Use several different keywords and don’t repeat the same keywords over and over.

Social media is only going to get stronger and more important for the person performing a FSBO and for real estate businesses in general. If you aren’t using these platforms, you need to be. As I stated above, these 4 are just my favorites, there are many more out there. Go ahead and experiment and think outside of the box and try using some of the others. Just make sure to have some way to track your results so that you can make sure you are getting a good ROI on your efforts.

There are tons of blogs and articles out there to help you with your social media endeavors, and here are a few of my favorite places that I learn from that you can too. Even though most things you find concerning social media and internet marketing for the real estate profession will be geared towards realtors, you can also apply them to your real estate business.

An In-Depth Look At Real Estate Marketing Ideas for Social

Using Social Media For Real Estate Professionals

Social Media Tips For Real Estate Agents

 

 

Predictions for the 2016 Housing Market

The Fed has raised interest rates, millennials are getting older…so what does next year’s housing market look like?
More
There’s a Dire Shortage of Workers In This Growing Industry
Millennials Can’t Afford to Buy a Home in These Cities
Housing Comes Roaring Back to Life

No housing expert has a crystal ball, but Svenja Gudell, recently appointed chief economist for the housing site Zillow.com, has looked at enough data to make a pretty good guess.

She examines vast amounts of housing market statistics—everything from about where people are going to want to live to what areas will be hot to what the future could hold for renters—on a daily basis.Ride-Along With A Realtor As U.S. Housing Market Looks To Rebound in 2015

Reuters asked Gudell to share her insights on what she thinks the 2016 housing market will be like.

Reuters: What markets do you think will be places to watch in 2016?

Gudell: Next year, the combination of unemployment, population growth and the home value growth will make markets like Boise, Idaho, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Omaha, Nebraska, stand out.

Denver, Seattle, Dallas/Fort Worth and Portland, where inventory has been declining in the last year and demand continues to rise, will also be hot locations in 2016.

For this article: http://time.com/money/4162714/predictions-for-the-2016-housing-market

For more information on Housing Trends: https://helenchong.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/real-estate-trends-to-watch-in-2016