Are You Planning to Buy or Sell?

In light of recent natural disasters and the tragedy in Las Vegas, we are sending somber October greetings and hope your loved ones are well wherever they are. We are now entering the last quarter of 2017.  We hope you have had a productive 2017 so far.  It’s been another busy year in real estate but we are seeing the seasonal slowdown.  Are you planning to buy or sell a home at the end of 2017 or in 2018?  We have some early tips for you!

For Sellers:

     1.  Professional Consultation:  It is always helpful to give us a call first.  We can evaluate your home and go over items below with you.  We can provide pricing guidance so you can make more informed plans.  We can also provide resources to help you prepare and get the work done.
     2.  Repairs and Replacement:  This is the time to catch up on “deferred maintenance”.  If your exterior walls show color deterioration, visible mortar lines, or feel chalky to the touch, it is time to repaint them.  If your carpet is old and worn, you may want to replace them.  Basically, to achieve the highest price for your home, you want it to appear well maintained and move-in ready.  Anything you don’t want to be bothered to fix, will be fixed by the buyers of your home eventually.  But it will be reflected in the sale price.  Our experience indicates that buyers frequently deduct 2-3 times the actual cost of many repairs to account for the unexpected.
     3.  Home Improvements:  Do you have unusual paint colors?  This is the time to neutralize them.  Do you have outdated features or fixtures?  If they are inexpensive we may recommend that you update them.  For example, the older round bulbs in bathrooms, aka “Hollywood lights” can be inexpensively replaced with modern light fixtures.  Sometimes, more expensive upgrades may be worthwhile before putting your home on the market.  For example, if you have outdated Formica kitchen/bathroom countertops, you may get full return or more for your investment, if you upgrade to granite, or other more popular countertops.
     4.  Purge and Declutter:  There are probably furniture and items in your home you are tired of.   There is no reason to move them to a new home.  Get rid of them now.  Also pack up as many personal items as you can.  Less is more.  We will help you with this.
     5.  Spruce Up Landscaping:  Overgrown landscaping, it’s time to trim them back.  Dead patches of lawn?  You have time to bring them back.  You can save the re-mulching until right before listing your home.
     6.  Close Out Permits:  We can help you look up the permit records for your home.  If there are open or expired permits, you can work on closing them out so they will not cause issues or delays when you sell your home.
For Buyers:
     1.  Organize Your Finances: This is the most important step.  You can’t buy a home if you cannot qualify for a loan.  We can recommend reputable local lenders that will provide the right guidance.  You may need to save more money.  You may need to increase your credit score, you may need to improve your debt-to-income ratio.  Do not make large purchases at this time. Be proactive about this, have a plan and goal before you start looking at homes.
     2.  Review Your Current Lease:  If you are currently renting, make sure you understand your rental lease.  Know when it ends so you can try to time your purchase properly.  If you need to break your lease early, make sure you have a clear agreement with the landlord first and know how much it will cost.
     3.  Prioritize What You Want:  In the current low-inventory market, you may not get everything you are looking for in a home.  We will explore areas and home features with you based on your needs, budget, and preferences.  But it’s good to think about your priorities in a home.  This means knowing what you are willing to sacrifice if 100% match isn’t available. This is personal and different for every buyer.  For some, the location is paramount.  For others, certain home features, such as a pool, is a must.  Knowing the priorities allows flexibility in your home search and may help you achieve success earlier!

We will stop here.  Please feel free to reach out to us if you have more questions.

Until next time, please take care!
– Yien and The Yao Team

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