Kwee Huset's Blog
House hunting can be time-consuming. With so many houses currently on the market and so little time to spend visiting homes, it’s important to narrow down your search as much as possible before attending a showing.
Fortunately, in today’s digital world, it’s possible to learn a great deal of important information right from your phone or computer.
In today’s post, I’m going to give you some advice on researching the homes you’re thinking about making an offer on. We’ll talk about researching the neighborhood, and--of course--the house itself.
Putting together all the stats on the home
Let’s start with, arguably, the most important thing to research: the house itself. When you want to learn about a home, the best place to look is usually the real estate listing. Since most of us discover homes through listings, odds are you’re already on this page. However, there’s a lot of information in a listing, so take the time to go through it and gleam whatever you can from the home’s description.
Next, Google the house address and click on listings from other real estate sites. Oftentimes, a house that has been sold before will have multiple listings across the internet with different data.
Once you’ve scoured the listings, head over to the county assessor’s website to look at records of the home’s ownership. This will tell you who bought and sold the home and when. There’s much you can learn from this data, especially if a home is being sold frequently. You can also use this information to contact previous owners to ask them questions about the home that the current owner might not know the answer to.
Snooping around the neighborhood
If the house is nearby, simply driving through the neighborhood can tell you a lot. You can visit the neighborhood during rush hour to see what the traffic is like, for example.
However, it isn’t always practical to take the time to visit a house that you aren’t sure you’re interested in. So, what’s the next best thing? Google Maps.
Visit the neighborhood on Google Maps to see what’s in the area. Are there a lot of closed businesses? That could be a sign of a neighborhood in decline. Check for nearby things like parks, grocery stores, and other amenities that could influence your buying decision.
Next, use Google’s “street view” feature and explore the neighborhood. You can see what kind of shape the other homes are in, and find out the condition of infrastructure like roads and sidewalks.
Note addresses of comparable homes in the neighborhood and look up their purchase prices. This will give you an idea of whether the home is being priced appropriately.
If you’re having trouble finding information on a home, such as sale records, try contacting the local assessor. They should be able to point you to a database that will help you in your search.
When it comes to adding your residence to the real estate market, it is always better to err on the side of diligence.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to become a diligent home seller, including:
1. You can price your house competitively from the get-go.
For those who want to become diligent home sellers, it is paramount to set a competitive price from the get-go. By doing so, a diligent home seller can stir up plenty of interest in his or her house and boost the chances of a quick home sale.
A diligent home seller will allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about the real estate market. As such, this home seller will have no trouble establishing a competitive price for his or her residence from day one.
In addition, a diligent home seller will examine the prices of available houses that are similar to his or her own. With this housing market data in hand, a diligent home seller can establish a price range for his or her residence.
2. You can identify home improvement opportunities.
A diligent home seller likely understands that his or her residence has various pros and cons. At the same time, this property seller recognizes home improvement opportunities.
To learn about home improvement opportunities, a diligent home seller usually will conduct a home appraisal. This appraisal enables a property inspector to evaluate a residence and provide the home seller with an in-depth report about the house's condition. Then, the home seller can use these property insights to streamline his or her home improvement efforts.
Completing a series of home improvements can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers. In fact, a diligent home seller will prioritize home improvement projects and finish assorted home interior and exterior tasks to transform an ordinary residence into a stellar one.
3. You can keep your cool in stressful negotiations with a homebuyer.
Let's face it – no home seller wants to worry about stressful negotiations with a property buyer. Fortunately, a diligent home seller will know what it takes to remain calm, cool and collected as home selling negotiations proceed.
A diligent home seller will understand the true value of his or her house. Thus, this home seller can enter negotiations with actionable data to help him or her make informed decisions.
Plus, a diligent home seller will maintain an open approach throughout negotiations. This approach will enable a home seller to listen to what a homebuyer has to say at all times. And if a home seller maintains an open approach, he or she increases the likelihood that all parties involved in negotiations will get the best possible results.
If you ever need extra assistance as you prepare to list your residence, you can always reach out to a real estate agent too.
Even a diligent home seller will collaborate with a real estate agent to get home selling guidance. That way, a diligent home seller can move one step closer to optimizing the value of his or her residence.
Let's face it – your home's exterior needs a serious makeover. Lucky for you, there are many quick, easy ways to transform your home's exterior before you add your residence to the real estate market.
Here are three tips to help home sellers revamp their home's exterior.
1. Choose the Right Color.
Painting your home's exterior serves as a fast, affordable way to enhance your house's curb appeal. However, you'll want to determine the right paint color before you embark on an exterior renovation project. By doing so, you can find a color that is both attractive and practical.
Your home's exterior should help your residence stand out for all the right reasons. Thus, you should try to find a color that complements your home's style. This will enable you to select a color that will draw homebuyers' interest immediately.
For example, using neon pink paint for the exterior of a mid-century modern ranch house may prove to be too dramatic. On the other hand, selecting warm or cool hues may boost your home's visual appeal and improve your chances of generating interest from a wide range of homebuyers.
2. Consider the Benefits of Using Multiple Paint Shades.
Your home's exterior will consist of three color components: the field color, accent color and trim color. Together, these colors can help you transform your ordinary residence into a stunning one, especially if you understand how to use multiple paint shades in conjunction with one another.
Selecting multiple shades from the same color palette may give your home a streamlined look and feel. Or, if you want to go bold with your home's exterior, you can always select vibrant colors for your home's trim or accent color.
Be careful not to choose contrasting shades as you evaluate your home exterior options. If you select colors that fail to complement one another, your home's exterior may become an eyesore. And in this scenario, your home's exterior could do more harm than good as you try to garner attention from homebuyers.
3. Select the Right Kind of Paint.
When it comes to painting your home's exterior, you'll need to choose between oil and latex varieties. Both oil and latex paints offer various advantages and disadvantages, so you'll want to conduct an in-depth evaluation of each type of paint to make the right selection for your home's exterior.
Oil paint typically provides exceptional durability and stain resistance, making it a great long-term option. Comparatively, latex paint usually dries faster than its oil counterpart and is easy to clean up with soap and water. If you devote the necessary time and resources to compare and contrast both types of paint, you're sure to make a great choice for your home's exterior.
Painting your home's exterior can be difficult, particularly for those who have never completed this task in the past. Therefore, if you ever have concerns or questions about painting your home's exterior, be sure to consult with a professional painter.
Spend some time revamping your home's exterior, and you can improve your chances of a quick home sale.
Getting your house ready to be sold can seem like an overwhelming undertaking. Like any large project, though, if you take it one step at a time, you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish!
The ideal scenario involves having everyone in the family pitch in to keep your house looking its best for each showing. When you divide the labor and work as a team, things get done a lot faster and more efficiently.
Keeping your lawn mowed, bushes trimmed, and house clean on a consistent basis are among the many challenges of always being ready for the next showing. Another common necessity involves applying a fresh coat of paint to walls and other surfaces. That relatively inexpensive step can help make your home look dramatically brighter, vibrant, and more appealing to prospective buyers.
One thing to keep in mind when preparing to put your home on the market is that you (the owner) are probably "too close to the trees to see the forest." In other words, you may be overly accustomed to the appearance, the imperfections, and the décor of your home to be able to identify what needs to be upgraded, fixed, or changed. An experienced real estate agent can help you develop a cost-effective plan for staging your home, enhancing curb appeal, and making necessary improvements to maximize your home's appeal and marketability.
There are dozens of inexpensive things you can do that often have a major impact on the impression you make on potential buyers. Having your carpets, upholstered furniture, and draperies professionally steam-cleaned, for example, can make a world of difference! So can adding a few colorful flower arrangements, inside and out. Lots of light -- both natural and artificial -- also helps make your home look more cheerful and inviting. Keeping your windows crystal clear is another way to make a positive impression, as well as cleaning out your closets to avoid a cluttered, unkempt look.
A few other critical things homeowners sometimes forget to do is clean up dog droppings in the yard, fix squeaky hinges, and remove visible mouse traps from the basement and garage -- especially if there are mice in them! The cleanliness of your cat's litter box is another major priority that can easily be overlooked.
Even the most meticulous, conscientious home sellers can forget to clean, prepare, or organize important things before potential house buyers come to visit, so it's useful to create checklists and routines to get ready for scheduled house showings.
While some homes pose more of a challenge than others when it comes to getting ready for real estate showings, the goal is to make the most of what you have, and do so within your available budget and timeframe.