How to Sell an ‘Unsellable’ Home

How to Sell an ‘Unsellable’ Home
2019-11-20 15:20:08

You just have to find the right buyer. This is not a slight-of-hand answer. This is a core truth.

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Shift your mindset. In sales and marketing, we have a motto: “You have to meet your audience where they are.”

This is an extremely powerful fact to imprint on your selling consciousness. It reminds you that your audience is not always someone like you.

You Are Not Your Customer

It is very common to craft a sales plan, look at it, and think, “Yeah, I’d buy that!”

But to reach your strongest selling position, you need to understand your product from your target buyer’s point of view. This may differ a little or a lot from your own point of view. When you are selling, you need to get out of your own head. You need to think like your potential buyer, who might be—and very likely is—nothing like you.

So, if you think the house is “unsellable,” that tells you that you are looking at it from your personal point of view—the angle of why you would not choose to buy it. And if you only focus on pitching the sale to an audience of buyers who think, act, shop, and buy like you, then you are absolutely right, it WOULD be “unsellable” to someone like you.

Don’t pitch the sale to you. Find the buyers who would want that house. Position the product you are selling, in this case a house, to the buyers who would value what that product offers.

hoarder property filled with junk

Shift Your Mindset

To do this, you have to step away from the limitations you placed on that house. Change your mindset so you begin seeing it as a highly sellable house. Think outside the box and brainstorm who might want the property with the “flaws” you perceive it has—or better yet who would not even consider those things “flaws” and might even perceive them as strengths.

Now, I am not speaking about issues of pricing here. You can always change a price. So, if you are judging a house to be “unsellable” solely based on the issue of pricing, that fix simply requires altering your mindset about what kind of profit or loss you are willing to accept.

I am addressing broader issues about a property that can cause it to seem undesirable or to be seen as a potential liability (for reasons of location, condition, rehab-gone-wrong, etc.).

Let’s talk about how perception of a property affects its value, negotiations, equity, and success. At the same time, I’ll give you a little twist on the idea of “unsellable” and how that works differently depending on how you pivot the concept.

The Story of the Forgotten Carriage House

An investor I know, Tim, found a property that had been on the market for about 12 years. (Yes, you did read “12 years.”) If you saw the property, you would understand why it was on the market for that length of time.

It had originally been a carriage house, a term coined to describe buildings where literal carriages were stored in prior centuries (essentially a garage for horse-drawn carriages). Often there was a living area above it that was occupied by the coachman. The horses themselves were usually housed in a separate barn building.

Nowadays, the term is used to describe buildings on a property that were used as additional quarters for various purposes.

This particular carriage house had once belonged to a much larger estate. Over the years, parcels of the estate had been acquired by different developers and multiple neighborhoods had gone up on that land. But this carriage house had been left out of the mix.

So, it sat for decades, a deteriorating eyesore outside all these lovely neighborhoods of various ages.

Related: How to Think Like a Buyer When Getting Your Property Ready to Sell

Eventually whoever last owned it passed away, and no one inherited the property. It reverted to being city-owned, where it sat on the books for a very long time. At a certain point, the city decided they should get on with selling the property. They listed it for sale on a city-maintained website. That is where it sat for 12 years.

During this time, the property had fallen into a state of complete disrepair. Tim drove by the house frequently over the years, each time thinking of the unique ways this building could be refurbished.

But his curiosity about the house and his search for the owner led him to the city’s website. He submitted a bid.

Now, here is the original stance on the mindset of “unsellable.”

As the listing had been sitting on the city-maintained website for 12 years, the city had come to view the property as “unsellable.” In truth, however, they were not thinking creatively about how to market it to attract an appropriate buyer. So, with each passing year, it actually became more and more difficult to sell. A vicious cycle, their perception that it was “unsellable” caused them to shut down their creativity and with it any unique possibilities.

How a Buyer Can Use “Unsellable” to Their Advantage

Because the city had come to perceive the carriage house as “unsellable,” Tim was able to use their own negative perception of the property in his negotiations. Hence, Tim negotiated the purchase of the property for less than 5 percent of the asking price.

Tim did not view the property as “unsellable.” He viewed it as having “incredible potential.”

Tim was correct. He bought it for $1,800.

At that price—and with a solid plan for the building—it was easy to get financing for a complete rehab. He brought in a partner. They made changes to the existing house, turning it into a thriving multi-unit short-term rental property in the heart of the city.

The equity value is currently 244 times what Tim paid for the property. The carriage house is now valued at $440,000.

In addition, as a short-term rental, the house is currently turning more than a $100K a year in profit.

All this from an “unsellable” property.

reputable-wholesaler

Learning from the City’s Errors

What the example of the city’s experience teaches us is that, once you place a label on something, you will respond and act upon it with the label you have assigned to it. Don’t make the same mistakes the city made.

Once they assigned the label of “unsellable” to the carriage house, the city began to believe and act on that perception, causing them to commit the following errors in judgment:

  • They relied on limiting assumptions about how to value the property
  • This blinded them to the potential value of the property
  • Thereby, this caused them to judge the property to be “worthless”
  • This eliminated any attempt they might have made to market the property effectively
  • Which, in turn, allowed an investor to pick it up for a song

The “unsellable” label they assigned the property limited their vision and therefore their potential for profits.

Kicking “Unsellable” to the Curb

What the example of Tim’s experience teaches us is to look at the property with fresh eyes. Make a very detailed list of all the pros and cons of the house and the surrounding yard.

Be objective. Be specific. Be alert. The more detailed you are, the greater your chance of finding the hidden marketing gems you might otherwise miss.

Also, be willing to step outside yourself and your own perceptions. Call in a friend, mentor, or colleague who you know can always find the good in everything. (By the way, if you don’t have anyone like that in your life, start cultivating those relationships.) Positive thinkers and outside-the-box thinkers will spark creativity.

Walk the property with them. Get out of your own way. Listen to what they say.

If they say they like some aspect of the property, whether the yard or the house, don’t bring up objections! Ask them why they like that item or feature. Delve into what benefit or value that detail adds to the property for them.

Next, let go of the idea of “problems.” Every problem is an opportunity.

So, look carefully at the “cons” or the negatives on your list. This is when your true creative power switch gets turned on. Open your mind and come up with a positive slant for EVERY “con” on your list. I mean it.

And if any one of those “cons” really stumps you, pull in that positive-thinking friend again—maybe even make them a partner.

No matter the reason(s) for perceiving a house as “unsellable”—whether you think your property is in an undesirable location, someone died in the house, there are condition issues (deferred maintenance, pet smells, water damage, mold, lead), there’s a lack of amenities, it’s inconvenient architecture, has outdated appliances or decor, or any other “unsellable” feature—let go of viewing it as a limitation. Shift your viewpoint.

Related: How to Save Your House Flips When They Don’t Sell

It’s Your Choice

Stop assuming a challenge is a barrier when it is only a hurdle. Jump over it, go around it, go under it, maybe just smash through it. But look for the opportunity.

As we say in marketing, find the hook. Find the take. Find the slant.

In other words, find the opportunity.

Keep your eyes open and your creativity flowing. This is the beauty of real estate investing: One person’s shanty is another person’s castle. It is all in the perception.

Change your attitude and you change your options!

Do you agree or disagree with my points about perception? Can you think of an instance in the past in which you could’ve benefited from adjusting your viewpoint? 

Weigh in with a comment below.

Selling vs Remodeling
Buying & Selling Houses

Want to Sell Your Home Smoothly, Quickly & for More Money? This Book is for You!

Want to Sell Your Home Smoothly, Quickly & for More Money? This Book is for You!
2019-10-02 14:35:53

Selling a house is a process—and if you’ve never done it before, you’ll have no idea what’s involved. From pre-listing preparation to choosing an agent to problems that may arise with inspection, appraisal and lending, knowing what’s ahead can make your entire process smoother—and more profitable. If you have never sold a house before, you NEED to buy this book!

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Do you need to sell your home? Maybe you’ve been investing for a few years and have decided to take advantage of this amazing market, sell some of those underperforming dogs you bought before you discovered the right way to invest, or even move to a different property class altogether.

Perhaps you want to sell your personal residence and use that built-up equity to upgrade to a bigger house, better neighborhood, or even move in the opposite direction and downsize now that the kids are gone.

You may be thinking, “I’ll just put a ‘for sale’ sign in the front yard. Then I’m done, right?” Well, technically, yes. But you may have just cost yourself thousands of dollars by using the wrong (or no) agent, listing at the wrong price, or accepting the wrong offer.

BiggerPockets Community Manager Mindy Jensen, a licensed real estate agent and investor with almost 20 years of experience, takes the guesswork out of your home sale. She’s been through it—both as an agent representing the seller AND as the seller herself.

How to Sell Your Home, The Essential Guide to a Fast, Stress-Free, and Profitable Sale is filled with practical tips and tricks from her real-life experiences, both as an agent and as a seller. Mindy shares:

  • How to choose an agent: 9 questions to ask to make sure you’re using the agent who is right for you
  • How to get your home ready to list and show—even if you have a tight budget
  • The right (and wrong) way to market your house
  • The differences between using an agent and trying to sell it yourself
  • What to do during a showing
  • How to handle inspection and appraisal
  • The different types of loans commonly used—and why one loan may be better for your situation than another
  • The common scam you should be watching for
  • What to do if your home doesn’t sell
  • And so much more!

sell-property

One Wrong Step Can Cost You BIG

Selling a house isn’t hard, but it IS a process. One mistake can cost you money, make your life absolutely miserable, and even jeopardize the entire sale of your home.

Do you know how much your home is worth? Do you know what other homes are selling for in your area? How much preparation can you afford to do to get your home ready to sell? How much should you do?

What if you hit a roadblock and your house does not sell? Do you have a plan B?

This book also explains many terms common to the selling process but probably unfamiliar to you. She’ll teach you about common contingencies in real estate contracts and share when it’s a good idea to accept those contingencies and when it’s OK to just say no.

Pick up Mindy’s book to learn what title insurance is, why you need it, and how to choose the right insurer. Mindy also reviews the different types of deed available and explains the best way to fill out the disclosure statement so that your interests are protected, both now and in the future!

She’ll also clarify what to expect at the closing table and whether you even need to attend closing!

But wait, there’s more!

Exclusive Special During the Launch

How to Sell Your Home is available at BiggerPockets.com/store TODAY! If you buy before January 25, 2018, you will get access to a special webinar class held by Mindy Jensen and David Meyer! Learn all the best tips, tricks, and tactics to sell your next investment property or home for top dollar. In addition to the webinar, you will also get:

  • Bonus Ebook: Selling Your Investment Property. Do you own a lot of rental properties but aren’t sure how to handle selling them? Get all of your questions answered and learn some insider tips on selling for top dollar from Mindy!
  • Bonus Video: The Absolute #1 Top Tip for Selling Your Home. Common sense isn’t so common, and this tip will make your home stand out from the rest.
  • Video Interviews with Industry Experts: Mindy asks industry experts, including a home inspector and real estate investors/agents with tons of experience selling homes, the questions you need to know!
  • Real Estate Agent Questionnaire: Mindy shares top questions for interviewing real estate agents in her book. This questionnaire will make sure you don’t forget one—and will give you a format to easily compare each agent when you’ve finished your interviews.

Are you selling your property? Then you NEED this book. Click here to learn how to sell your home.

Any questions about the book? Will you be adding this to your reading list?

Comment below!

Selling vs Remodeling
Buying & Selling Houses

I Checked Out a Drug House So You Don’t Have To (With Pictures!)

I Checked Out a Drug House So You Don’t Have To (With Pictures!)
2019-09-26 12:01:05

In real estate, you often have be flexible, and that sometimes this means buying homes that you would normally never ever consider. This is especially true right now in the Dallas Fort Worth market, as inventory months of supply is less than 3 months.

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I once had a colleague who was a former marine deployed in Iraq & Afghanistan tell me there have been house appointments where he had felt more unsafe than in a red zone with snipers. Now, I wasn’t sure how serious about this comment he was at the time and brushed it off, but after this appointment, I think there may have been some truth to that statement.

Related: How to Keep Your Tenants from ‘Breaking Bad’ in Your Properties

Setting the Stage

Let me mentally paint a picture to try and describe how rough of an area this was.

As I started to get within 15 minutes of the property, right away I knew I was in a tough area. Many of the commercial buildings were boarded up, some of which looked abandoned and vandalized. Meanwhile, dilapidated homes lined the streets with wavy roofs, exterior paint peeling, boarded windows and pitbulls in the backyard.

This is not the type of area where you want to get out of your car if you have any choice in the matter.

How I Found This Property

This particular lead was a referral from my website. She described the situation, fairly typical of a probate scenario, where there were several siblings, and they were not getting along with each other on how to settle the estate.

One more thing — the house was at one point a high traffic drug house. You know, the typical stuff.

This type of property was definitely far and away from what I would consider in my “wheelhouse;” right from the get go, I was thinking WHOLESALE for the exit strategy. For this probate property, one of the brothers had been living in the property, but had really let himself as well as the property go. One day, while he was getting high, his “friends” stole practically everything from home, ranging from refrigerators to the AC system. In addition, they gutted the copper wire and even some fixtures like ceiling fans.

Despite the seller trying to warn me of how much work the house would need and how rough the area was, I was still ill prepared for what I would see on the actual appointment.

On the phone she described the house as “a black hole that absorbed light even during daytime hours.” She recommended bringing a flashlight or two. I researched the area a bit more and found it was even more of a war zone than I previously anticipated, located in a very rough area of Dallas.

The seller was so apprehensive about visiting this property that we contacted the Dallas Police to set an escort for the day — in addition to her brother accompanying her for the appointment.

The Appointment

When I arrived at the property, as I typically do, I drove the comps and tried to get a rough idea of what ARV was before even stepping foot on the property.

As I was tallying up the repair costs in my head, all sorts of red flags started to go off. And I quickly realized that the numbers would not make any sense for most buyers. To give you an idea, the Tax Assessed value of the property was only about 37k.

The inside of the property solidified the decision for me. It was just not something that fell within my buying criteria. Take a look for yourself:

realtor fort worth house snap 01realtor snap 02  fort worth

Finding a Buyer

Lucky for me, I have a handful of colleagues who buy very unique homes just like this. Remember, not every investor operates on the same margins or has the same type of exit strategy. You can sell anything anywhere if the price is right.

Related: 7 Signs You’re Entering Into a House Flipping Disaster

This particular property was sold to an investor who frequently bought in that area. He would buy these properties, clean them out just a little bit, do a very basic rehab (just barely livable) and would then sell the houses via owner finance. The seller would then finish the repairs on the homes themselves.

The Moral of the Story

Stay safe. Make sure you always at least text or call a loved one to let them know where you are going to be.

In addition, I share my Google Document Calendar with my wife that lets her know exactly where I will be throughout the day in case of an emergency.

What’s the roughest property you’ve considered investing in? What do you do to ensure your safety when visiting homes?

I’d love to hear your stories — please comment below!

Selling vs Remodeling
Buying & Selling Houses

How To Unload A SUPER Ugly House!

How To Unload A SUPER Ugly House!
2019-09-26 11:58:05

In September of 2012, I officially moved from Australia to the US in pursuit of my dream of becoming a successful full time property investor.

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I touched down in Missouri and over the course of the next six months I was very busy exploring the different opportunities that the Kansas City market had to offer. This was the same time that I fell in love with a particular block on College Ave.

The Block I Wanted to Buy

The block consisted of 25 two bedroom, one bathroom homes. These simple properties were obviously constructed by the same builder and the only thing that set them apart from one another was the exterior paint. The houses sitting on the west side of College Ave.

had the back of their lots facing a park that included a bike trail as well as a basketball court. Although the street was not located in the best part of Kansas City, I still considered it very manageable and rated it as a C class neighborhood.

I pictured myself buying and holding the entire block of these cookie-cutter homes and going door to door on the 1st of the each month to collect the rents, all in one clean sweep.

Related: Why Making Big Goals Will Make You More Successful

Although I was very busy working on other projects and had most of my personal funds tied up elsewhere. The opportunity to purchase my first property on College Ave came when a local wholesaler presented the deal to me.

My First House There

I decided that it was worth the shot and reached out to my good friend and fellow investor from Europe. I offered him a joint venture as I knew that he always wanted to enter the US Real Estate market.

The wholesale property was very run down and needed a complete internal and external overhaul. The only two things in decent condition on this home where the roof and the foundation.

The property was offered at $15,000, which in my opinion was a reasonable price for the area and the condition it was in, yet wanting to make sure that there was a large enough margin of safety, I decided to test the waters with a low ball offer of $5,000. As you can imagine– the offer was not accepted.

After a few weeks, the wholesalers closing date was approaching and he was under pressure to perform and offload the deal. We exchanged two phone calls with me advising him that the best I can do is throw another $500 towards the property.

To my surprise he came back and said, “We have a deal, if you can close tomorrow”.

I closed the next day and had full intentions of completing the renovation within a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, this did not come to fruition as I had higher priority commitments on other projects that I was a partner in. I also considered it to be unfair and selfish to take the renovation crews from these deals and send them to work on my personal investment.

A lengthy three months had gone by and the “Ugly House” was still sitting vacant and un-renovated. My friend and joint venture partner had another potential deal in the works and inquired if I could sell the property.

I agreed, as my circumstances had also changed and I had bigger dreams in mind other than owning the block on College Ave. We mutually decided that the best way to move forward would be to sell the property for whatever we can get as long as it was above the price we paid.

What Ended Up Happening

I have never in my Real Estate career attempted to sell an un-renovated property, and this was definitely the first.

At the same time I wanted to sell this property, all of the marketing efforts conducted by our group were targeted only for investors that were interested in buying renovated turnkey rentals. By listing the property through our usual marketing channels and offering to existing investors, would be contradicting our brand and company values.

In my opinion, Real Estate is a numbers game and I strongly believe that if you work those numbers everyday, doors will open and you will eventually get what you want. My personal assistant and myself had no other choice but to relentlessly list this “Ugly House” on Craigslist, Postlets, Facebook groups, LinkedIn, and…. We even tried selling it to my Mum (haha).

Related: Real Estate Investing: a Numbers Game

After six weeks of being ridiculed and laughed at by other investors for advertising such an “Ugly House” and after reducing the initial listing price of $12,000. We received a call from a gentleman responding to one of our Craigslist ads, saying that he knows the area well and has seen the price reduction. He wanted to know if someone could meet him at the property right away, as he called us while standing right in front of the house.

At first I was very skeptical as ten days prior, I had a gentleman’s agreement with an individual that guaranteed to close on the property immediately, but to my misfortune, he proved to be non genuine and the deal fell through.

I decided to question the prospect buyer if he indeed was genuine and how quickly could he perform. He told me that he grew up in a street around the corner, and that his mothers long term wish was for him to become a full time Real Estate investor.

You can’t go against a mothers will I guess ?

I drove to the property and let him in, after a brief two minute walk through… He said, “I’ll take it!”.

As the saying goes “One man’s trash is another man’s gold”.

I tried to respond but was lost for words. It took me a good ten seconds to recall my trusted title companies name and contact details. After providing the details to the buyer, he immediately called the title company and arranged a time for closing the very next day at 10 a.m. Once again, to my surprise the investor showed up at closing with a certified check for $10,000 and the deal was done within ten minutes.

This was by far the most unusual buyer/deal that I have ever been involved in. But on the flip side ended up being one of my most smoothest and quickest transactions.

Conclusion:

Put your head down, and don’t pay to much attention to the negativity that others throw your way. Work hard, work smart and be persistent when committing to the numbers.

Your time will come.

Selling vs Remodeling
Buying & Selling Houses

How to Boost Profits (& Reduce Hassle) When Selling Your Investment Property

How to Boost Profits (& Reduce Hassle) When Selling Your Investment Property
2019-09-26 11:49:05

In this red-hot market most of America is currently experiencing, it can be tempting to cash out your investments, take that (in some cases) extreme appreciation, and move it to another investment. Perhaps you’re tired of tenants and toilets and would like to investigate notes instead. Maybe you’d like to explore larger properties or even participate in syndication deals.

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While it is tempting to just list the property and be done with it, a bit of planning can save you time and money!

Selling Rental Properties

As market conditions have become more favorable, it’s time to evaluate your portfolio and sell off some of those dogs. The properties that do not perform as you thought they would, the ones that are difficult to rent for whatever reason, or those just plain weird ones. Sometimes, a property just doesn’t work out, no matter how good those numbers looked when you analyzed it.

If your market has taken a turn for the better, now is an awesome time to sell. But do you sell with the tenant in place or do you wait until it’s empty?

Occupied vs. Vacant

Both ways have pros and cons. Selling an occupied property means someone is there to foot the bills while you list, go under contract, and close on the property—far less cash out of your pocket. If you’re selling to another landlord, they have one less thing to do after closing. A great tenant—complete with on-time rent payment records—can go a long way to getting a sale.

However, when someone is looking for a home for themselves to live in, an occupied property is not ideal. A property with a lease that ends in the next month can still be put on the market with the hopes of attracting an owner-occupant buyer, but generally, you will be marketing to the investor crowd when trying to sell an occupied property. This isn’t all bad. Investors understand tenants. But investors also want a deal.

Related: 5 Essential Items to Consider Before You Sell Your Rental

Consider these things when selling an occupied rental.

  1. You can’t kick out your tenants before their lease is up. The lease runs with the property, not the owner. You can’t deliver the property vacant at closing if there’s still six months left on the lease and the tenants want to stay. You can offer to buy out the tenant – but if they say no, you’re out of luck.
  2. Work with your tenants. Trying to sell a property with tenants in place means your tenants, not you, are the ones who are inconvenienced. They are also the ones in the driver’s seat. If they don’t clean their unit before a showing, you’re going to be getting much lower offers. If they make it difficult to show the property, you may not get any offers. Consider offering rent discounts for showings or coordinating a weekend showing to minimize their inconvenience. Ask what times they’d prefer to have people view the property, and only accept showings during these times.
  3. Sweeten the deal with great records. Landlords care about the bottom line. Telling someone that rent is $1,000 a month is great, but being able to back up that statement with written proof is even better. Have your tenants fill out an estoppel statement, which shows how much the tenant is paying in rent and the amount of their security deposit. You should be keeping good records as a landlord anyway, so show potential buyers the payment history of the tenants, along with any expense and repair records.

A vacant property is a lot easier to sell, but you pay for everything until you close. All utilities and any exterior maintenance that may have been paid by tenants now rest on your wallet. You also have to secure the property—with no one living there it can be an easy target for copper thieves and squatters.

However, when it’s vacant, you can accept showings at any time of day or night and you know it’s clean because there’s no one and nothing there to make it dirty.

Decide what works best for your selling time frame.

Legally Avoiding Taxes

At the time this is written (late 2017), you have two ways you can legally avoid paying taxes when you sell your property. Both look to be headed for alterations in the new tax bill, but have not yet been changed. Definitely check with your CPA for up-to-date tax information; there is no set time for this to change.

Section 121 Exclusion

The Section 121 Exclusion, more commonly called the “two out of five rule,” comes from the 1997 Taxpayer Relief Act. Prior to the Act, you had to buy a more expensive home in order to defer capital gains taxes. But Section 121 now eliminates capital gains taxes up to $250,000 for single homeowners and up to $500,000 for married homeowners.

But, there’s a catch. (It’s a government program—OF COURSE there’s a catch!)

  1. This is ONLY available for your primary residence. You MUST have lived in and owned the property for two of the last five years. You can still use this to sell a rental property, but only if you meet the two out of five years’ residency requirement.
  2. You can only do this once every two years. Those two years do not have to be consecutive. You can break them up; the time lived in the property just has to be equal to two years.

If you meet these requirements, you can save yourself a ton of money. If you are just shy of the requirements, it can be well worth it to move back into the property to make sure you hit them all.

You should absolutely consult with your CPA before trying to claim this exemption, especially if there is any question if you meet the requirements.

1031 Exchange

What you are far more likely to qualify for when selling your investment property is a 1031 exchange. While this does not exempt you from capital gains taxes like the Section 121 Exclusion, it defers them, essentially kicking the tax-can down the road.

Again, since it’s a government program, there are rules. A LOT of rules. Forget to dot just one “i” or cross just one “t,” and you can blow the entire thing out of the water, owing capital gains taxes you could have avoided. And the rules aren’t “common sense” rules, either. Nope, it’s a government program, complete with government red tape, seemingly pulled out of thin air for no logical reason whatsoever.

First off, you need a qualified intermediary to facilitate the transaction. If you’re planning on doing a 1031 exchange, start looking for a QI right now. Ask for recommendations in the BiggerPockets forums for a reputable QI. Once you’ve decided on the QI, follow their every direction—and ask as many questions as you need to understand the process.

There are hard and fast dates you must follow, forms to fill out, and documents to file. Your QI must be included in the sale transaction BEFORE it closes and must also be included in the purchase.

The requirements get really complicated, so do NOT take this overview as gospel. You need a QI involved in the sale and subsequent purchase anyway. Make sure to follow their instructions. However, here is a brief overview:

  1. You have to buy an equal or more expensive property.
  2. You must use all of your net proceeds from the sale for the new purchase.
  3. You must identify your new property within 45 calendar days of the close of the current property.
  4. You must close on the new property within 180 calendar days of the close of the previous property.
  5. You must have owned the previous property as an investment property.
  6. You must purchase the new property as an investment property.

There are many more rules to follow, and your QI will be able to guide you through the process. But you MUST get your QI involved in the sale of the current property in order to take advantage of any of the 1031 exchange benefits. Don’t sell an investment property without consulting a CPA and a qualified intermediary.

sell-or-rent-house

Selling a Fix and Flip

There is such a sense of satisfaction in taking an ugly house and turning it into a beautiful, modern dwelling. There is also a nice, fat paycheck at the end if you do it right. This is my preferred method of investing, and I combine it with the Section 121 Exclusion to eliminate capital gains taxes. But this is a plan that I implement from the time I purchase the property. If you have not lived in the home for two years, you cannot eliminate capital gains taxes.

You can still move into it, live there for two years, and then sell. The clock starts ticking when you actually move in, not when you bought the home, so you’ll be adding two years to your selling timeline. Not everyone’s timeline will have two years in it.

Related: Here’s Who You Need to Enlist In Order To Sell a Property FAST

I think it goes without saying that you should not cut corners or do shoddy work. Of course, every time I say, “It goes without saying,” I find an instance where it needs to be said. Don’t do bad work, and don’t let your contractors get away with sloppy work, either.

There’s a debate whether you should start marketing the property before you’ve completed the remodel. While there is only a minimal cost to planting a sign in the front yard that says “coming soon,” buyers have zero imagination, and seeing what a home looks like mid-rehab can be too much for some people.

I don’t advertise my flips until I’m finished. I’ve had too many bad responses from potential buyers who didn’t understand the process.

Here are tips for selling a flipped home after the rehab is complete:

  1. Stage the property. Most people can figure out what to do with a master bedroom or living room, but those weird spaces or odd nooks can be confusing. Buyers have absolutely no imagination, and anything you can do to help them visualize these spots that aren’t obvious can help get your home sold faster.
  2. Make a binder about the home. In this binder, put every appliance manual (with a notation when it was installed if available), all warranty information, the name of any contractors you used, and any other pertinent information about the property.
  3. List (almost) everything you’ve done. Not all improvements are obvious, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. New doorknobs and light switch covers aren’t something anyone is going to care about or notice. On the other hand, new electric service or plumbing work isn’t visible, but super important to note. Go through the home, room by room, and note everything you’ve done, especially those repairs that aren’t apparent. When you’ve recently purchased the home and are asking a significantly higher amount than you paid for it, you want to make it abundantly clear why you’re asking so much more for the house. Put a copy in the binder and print one out, frame it, and leave it in a very obvious place in the home during showings.

Timing the Market

For every investor who sells right at the very peak of the market, there are 12 billion who miss that peak on either side. OK, that’s a made-up statistic, but I’m trying to prove a point. You cannot time the market. Trying to do so is an exercise in futility.

Someone is always going to sell a house for a higher price than you, just a short time after yours closes.

Someone will always sell a property right before you do, for more money than you are able to get.

Sell because you are happy with your returns. Sell because you want to own something different. Sell because you need to cash out, but sell because it is time to sell, not because you’re trying to time the market.

Selling your home can be overwhelming. There is so much you need to do, know, and all those dreaded forms you have to fill out. In her new book How to Sell Your Home, agent and investor Mindy Jensen takes you step by step through the process, from preparing your house to sell and choosing an agent that’s right for you, all the way through the closing procedures and beyond.

Slated for release January 11, 2018, this book can be pre-ordered now!

What tips would you add on this topic?

Comment below!

Selling vs Remodeling
Buying & Selling Houses

4 Reasons Renting & Investing Beats Buying & Owning, Hands Down

4 Reasons Renting & Investing Beats Buying & Owning, Hands Down
2019-09-25 14:52:06

G’day, everyone.

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On a daily basis, I speak to people who are caught up in living the “American Dream.” The story line goes something like this:

  1. Finish college
  2. Find a well paying 9-5 job
  3. Get married
  4. Buy a highly leveraged house
  5. Have kids
  6. Find a better paying 9-5 job
  7. Up-size to a bigger house and bigger mortgage
  8. Send kids to college
  9. Down-size to a smaller property
  10. Hopefully live and enjoy life for another 20 years without having a mortgage forcing you to get out bed every morning

Does this sound like you and your future plans?

In today’s article I would like to challenge the above status quo.

Let’s get started.

Food, clothing and shelter are the three basic requirements of human beings. After food and clothing have been looked after, most of you start looking for a house to call your own. There’s no question that buying a house makes sense for some people, but it’s certainly not for everyone. Owning a house gives you stability. That’s what people say, at least.

So, when you’re looking for a place to live, a lot of people will tell you about the many reasons why you should buy your own house. However, some people would say that home ownership as a path to wealth generation is nothing but a marketing ploy of the real estate industry. And they do have a pretty good case. With that thought in mind, renting habits have changed in the last few years, as many people consider this as a viable option. Financially speaking, owning a house is not always the best bet. I’d go even further and tell you that if you’re looking to make money, buying a house to live in is a terrible waste.

Let’s look at the 4 best reasons about why renting is better than owning a property.

4 Reasons Renting & Investing Beats Buying & Owning, Hands Down

1. You don’t have to get a mortgage.

This one is the most obvious one, but often misunderstood. Although some people are able to just buy a property with savings they have ready to spend, for most, a mortgage is considered as the only way to buy a home. Most people don’t have all that money just laying around, and getting a mortgage is the best way to attain it. So, even when a property is more than what the buyer has in his bank account, they can still spend it on a home of their own. It’s easy to think of a mortgage as a safe option to consider since it gives people the ability to spread that huge cost over a period of say, 25 years.

And that makes it easy, right? All you have to do is make a monthly payment and pay the bank a little extra on top of the original cost and you’re done.

That small percentage you have to pay in addition to the original sum adds up to a pretty huge amount over this long period in spite of a mortgage interest deduction. Taking the interest into account, and it’s easy to have payed twice the amount of the original purchase after 25 years. But all that is pretty well understood. There’s one thing that’s always forgotten, though. A mortgage is a debt.

So what? You’re making your monthly payments, and they’re possibly even lower than what you would be paying for rent. But rent is an expense and not a debt. And that’s the one thing that makes all the difference. Buying a house against a mortgage will only increase the debt to the income ratio you already have. This has one major consequence: If you need to borrow money for other essential things like, say, a study loan or a car loan, you’ll find it way harder to get one.

Related: Debunking the Buying a House is a Bad Idea Myth

This means that all that money you had access to for your home is just sitting there and costing you more money. There’s nothing you can do with that money, and you definitely can’t use it to invest and earn more money. Owning a home will usually cost you more per month than renting anyway. To this day, I still rent and use all of my personal funds for investment purposes. I like to joke around by calling my personal funds “little soldiers.” They are always out fighting and making me more money instead of being stuck in a bunker (mortgage) and not able to move anywhere.

2. People borrow more than they can afford.

When you’re out to buy something, you simply look at the price attached to it and depending on how much you can spend, you’ll buy it or you won’t. What you can spend in this case is usually whatever you have in your wallet or on your bank account. However, when you’re getting ready to buy your own house, things change. By getting a mortgage, a slight increase in monthly cost can get you a tremendous increase in budget. It’s easy to go too far and get lured into paying more than what you should.

Many folks who are associated with getting you across the line with purchasing a property, like your real estate agent and mortgage broker, can play on your emotions and get you to commit to something that you really shouldn’t. And in any case, you think it’s a good investment, right? Well, reality presents a different picture. Currently more than 10 million homeowners in the US are under mortgages worth more than the actual values of their houses. And they continue repaying these mortgages for years and years. I’m guessing these people no longer think they made a good investment.

With renting, you know what you’ll be paying next month, and you don’t have to worry about paying too much for a property. If for whatever reason you can’t afford to pay the rent anymore, you can find another property with cheaper rent as soon as your lease is up. Another benefit is that the lease is fixed as long as the lease is still active, and if a landlord decides to increase the rent, they’ll have to give you notice. So, no surprises and no headaches.

3. You’re no longer mobile.

With globalization, people have become more mobile. But even when you’re not leaving the country, people shift jobs a lot more than in the past. This is even more the case for the latest generation that has hit the workforce. With all these people switching jobs comes a whole lot of relocating. Many people choose a specific area simply because of how close it is to either the workplace or to the children’s school. If you’re one of those people, it makes a lot of sense to remain flexible with where you live. If you buy a home, that mobility is gone.

This is certainly not the case when you rent. You’re almost as mobile as you want and that has its advantages, probably more so for the younger generations. When you want to make the most out of your life, you need to be able to seize every opportunity you can. When you’re tied down to a home you own, you’ll have to pass on a lot of possibilities. When you’re renting, a whole world of opportunities just lies there for the taking. Look at me, for example. I packed my bags and left Sydney, Australia to move to Kansas City. All this happened within two weeks after making a few minor arrangements.

Related: Are Extra Mortgage Payments Worth It? A Look at the Numbers

4. Houses have operating costs and maintenance.

While the value of a house increases over a certain time period, the life of the equipment present in the house does not. Since properties are valuable assets, the owners try their best to keep their houses well-maintained. That means that owners will spend money on repair, modification, redecoration or annual common service fees in order to keep that property value up. The cost of ownership is usually something that is overlooked, but it adds up to a considerable sum. A leaky roof, frozen pipes, a pool to take care of or just simple home improvements are some of the expenses that are always on the homeowner’s mind. Apart from this, owners also have to pay annual property taxes and a variety of other miscellaneous expenses.

Now, don’t forget that if you become a landlord and put your little soldiers (money) to good use, you will still get hit with all kinds of expenses, but in this scenario, the properties you own will be tenanted and should be producing large sums of cash flow. In return, paying for expenses shouldn’t have a direct effect on you, as they will be covered by the rent you have received from your tenants.

Despite all this, it is still very common for people to push you to buy instead of rent. Here’s a good way of looking at it. If you’re planning to stay where you are right now and if you’re not looking for financial growth and more freedom, then buying a house might be for you. Everyone else should really reconsider—because owning a home might be costing you way more than your monthly mortgage payment.

And don’t forget about those little green soldiers marching and fighting day and night for you.

We’re republishing this article to help out our newer readers.

Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

Selling vs Remodeling
Buying & Selling Houses

Want to Sell Your Home Fast—for the Most Money? Do This

Want to Sell Your Home Fast—for the Most Money? Do This
2019-09-25 14:42:05

I’m a licensed agent in Colorado, who’s been buying and selling houses since Brandon Turner was a baby.

Let’s talk about selling your home.

THE prime real estate selling season is just around the corner. While investors are always on the lookout for a great deal, these next few months are when the most owner-occupant buyers are out looking for their next home. It’s also when the most houses are on the market and the most sales are made.

In fact, May is the best month to sell a home, according to a new ATTOM Data Solutions analysis of home sales from 2011 to 2017. Homeowners selling in May realized the biggest premiums above estimated market value of any month—5.9 percent on average!

And the best day of the year to sell a home is June 28, with an average seller premium of 9.1 percent, according to the analysis.

Now, what does this mean to you? It means now is the time for you to get your house ready to list in order to capitalize on the best time of year to sell.

Maybe you want to take advantage of the appreciation you’ve realized in recent years. Maybe you’ve looked over your portfolio and want to get rid of the “dogs.”

Whatever your reason, you definitely want to get top dollar for your property, right?

I’m going to help you get there.

Related: Want to Sell Your Home Smoothly, Quickly & for More Money? This Book is for You!

Condition Matters—A Lot

First off, what type of property are you trying to sell? Is this a primary residence or a rental?

The sales process is pretty much the same for both types. In order to get top dollar, you need to present a modern home that’s clean, staged, and ready to move in.

But just because your property may not fit into all those categories doesn’t mean you can’t still sell it—or get top dollar for the condition it is in.

A little upfront work can make a HUGE difference in your bottom line. I can’t tell you how many absolutely disgusting properties I’ve been inside as an agent and investor.

When I was a kid, my mother trained me to take my shoes off when entering a home. It’s a habit I’ve had since I was 12. But only a few short months of viewing houses as a new agent broke me of that habit after I stepped into some unidentifiable goo. Gross!

Don’t be that seller. Unless you’re selling a 500-unit apartment building, you’re going to have potential buyers walking through your property before they buy it. If it’s your own personal home, there is absolutely no excuse for filth and clutter.

Give yourself a few weeks to pack up extra stuff before you list your home. You’re moving anyway, so if you start now, you’ll be ahead of the game once you get an offer.

Go through every cabinet, every closet, every bathroom, every bedroom. Pull out your best Marie Kondo impersonation, and toss out anything that doesn’t spark joy.

Pack up everything you’re not going to need in the next three months. Aim for a sparse aesthetic of minimalism. The more stuff in the property, the smaller it looks.

Girl packing books into a box in a brightly lit living room

Can You Smell That?

After you’ve decluttered and packed, have a good friend come over and smell your house. This sounds weird—but hear me out!

Every house has a smell. Conveniently, if you live in that house, you can’t smell it. But potential buyers can, and if it’s unpleasant, they will walk out and never come back.

So, bring in a good friend who will tell you honestly what your house smells like.

I know that at some point in your life, you’ve walked into a house where cats live. And most likely, you knew—immediately—that cats lived there.

Why? Because it smelled like cat. Which, despite what you may think, is not a pretty smell.

I’m not anti cat. Don’t write me hate mail. But I am anti-cat-smelling houses. And you know who else feels the same? Most buyers.

Come to think of it, most buyers are anti-anything-smelling houses. So, get your friends to come over and give you an honest assessment of what your house smells like to them.

If they describe it as smelling anything other than fresh or amazing, do something about it. And don’t just cover it up with sprays!

Clean your air with an ozonator. You can rent them at your local home improvement store.

You may also want to have your HVAC system cleaned out, as smells linger there, too.

No Pets Allowed

While we’re on the subject of pets, start thinking about what you’re going to do with your pets during showings. Having a trusted neighbor or pet sitter come get them beforehand and keeping them away from the home during the entire visit is the best choice. Buyers don’t want to be uncomfortable; they’ll just leave the house.

Don’t give them any reasons to leave.

I once walked into a house that had five GIANT black labs. Actually, scratch that. I opened the door, saw them, then fled.

I was an unknown person to these dogs, walking into their space without their owner. No way was I sticking around to find out if they were friendly.

And with so many houses on the market, we never went back to that one.

Guess what else buyers do not want to see? Your reptiles.

Again, don’t send me hate mail. But if you’ve got a 12-foot python in a cage at your house (and please, for the love of all that is holy, have your 12-foot python in a cage) buyers will not be impressed. They will be freaked out, and they will leave.

To reiterate, don’t give your buyers reasons to leave! The whole point of you listing your home to sell is to sell it. Make your buyers want to stay. Show them how they can fit seamlessly into your home by presenting a clean, fresh-smelling property with no animals to distract them from the house itself.

Selling An Investment Property

OK, those tips are great for selling an owner-occupied property—and they’re just as valid when you’re selling an investment property. However, you have less control over your property’s appearance if tenants are living in it when you’re trying to sell.

Take a hard look at your tenants and what condition they keep your property in. If they’re great and the property looks nice, consider listing before their lease is up.

Also, consider offering incentives for accepting showings, which are a disruption to their lives—not as much to yours. Rent credits for each showing are a great idea, as are gift cards to local restaurants or a movie theater.

In addition, offer to send a cleaning crew to make the property really shine before the listing pictures are taken.

However, if your tenants are slobs, it may be better to wait until their lease expires and they move out.

You can’t change a leopard’s spots, so if you have the ability to wait to sell, I highly recommend it. Sloppy tenants make the property look worse, and subsequently, you sell for less.

Now, I know I spent a lot of time on the condition of the home. I did so because that is what’s important: looks.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. If you’re selling a single-family home, a condo, or a townhouse, there’s a good chance that your buyer is looking to live in the property after closing.

Even a small multifamily can be appealing to an owner-occupant.

In fact, that’s another good reason to wait to list until the tenant is out: it opens up your property to owner-occupant buyers, as well as investor buyers.

The bottom line is choosing to sell a tenanted property is a decision you’ll need to make on your own, based on the specific circumstances surrounding your tenants. 

Related: 4 Things You Should Never Tell Your Tenants When Selling Income Property

Improvements? Write It Down!

Next, let’s look at any improvements you’ve made to the property. If you’re listing a property significantly higher than the amount you paid for it—especially if you purchased it recently—you are going to want to make a list of all the improvements you’ve made. This is extra important if those improvements aren’t visible. 

Things like upgraded plumbing and increased electrical service are valuable to potential buyers, but they’re not sexy like a brand new kitchen. And they’re certainly not as noticeable.

Make sure your buyers are wowed with your upgrades! Make a list, print it out on a nice piece of paper, and put it in a picture frame in the kitchen so buyers see it (but don’t take it with them).

OK, now here’s a piece of advice that goes counter to what most agents say. Give your potential buyer every reason to say no to your house before they make a listing appointment.

Most agents tell you to get as many people through the door as possible, but yes, I’m actually telling you the opposite. Why? Because a showing, particularly when you have a property with tenants, is a big hassle.

You only want people coming to your house who are interested in that property. How do you do that? Two ways:

  1. Make sure you have accurate pictures on your listing. Include every room, warts and all. And have those pictures reflect the property in its current condition. I once viewed a house where the photographer used fancy lenses and probably laid on his stomach to make the room under the stairs look as big as a bedroom. It had three-and-a-half foot ceilings and was about four feet wide, but the listing pictures made it look like an additional bedroom. Don’t do this. You won’t sell the home based on pictures. You sell based on what the house actually looks like.
  2. Once your listing is in the MLS, read it carefully for accuracy. Check for number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, price, inclusions and exclusions, HOA info if applicable, location on the map, driving directions, and number of garage spaces. Literally everything on the listing, you should be reviewing. Ask your agent if there is a section for “Broker’s Remarks,” a place hidden from general view where your agent can convey information to other agents. If so, make sure to read that over, too. Agents are human and make mistakes. You just don’t want to pay the price for their mistakes.

One last note about your listing. Ask your agent if your property is being listed on the closest MLS to the property. I live in Colorado, and Northern Colorado has its own MLS, separate from Denver.

A property in my city that typically would be covered by the Northern Colorado MLS was listed on the Denver MLS last September. It sat, and sat, and sat.

The seller even dropped the price by $50,000, and it still sat. Not listing a property on the system that covers the city in which it is located can end up costing a seller tens of thousands of dollars—maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I did a little research, and the property I mentioned, while a bit run down, is in an excellent location and probably could have been listed and sold for at least $100,000 more than they started off asking.

real estate agent giving a home tour to clients

Stage It Well

Buyers have no imagination. When selling to an investor, it’s less of an issue. But keep in mind that you are trying to appeal to the widest group possible (and that includes owner-occupants).

Owner-occupant buyers cannot see what isn’t there. If your property has weird spaces, show your buyers how those spaces can be used. 

Got an odd corner? Adding a chair, table, and a few books turns it into a reading nook.

Teeny bedroom? A crib, rocking chair, and a few toys make that space perfect for a baby. Or a set of small shelves, a small desk, and a chair turn it into an office or study.

Search Pinterest for home staging ideas to make your unique spaces shine!

Disclosures

This is the part that no one wants to talk about: disclosing known issues with the house.

“I won’t be able to get top dollar if I tell everyone what’s wrong with the property, right?”

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Here’s the thing, the disclosure actually protects you down the road.

First off, you are required to disclose any material defects. A quick way to think of a material defect is one that costs a lot of money to repair or affects the structural integrity or habitability of the home. Mold, meth, foundation issues, things like that are material defects.

If a buyer discovers that you knew about these issues and did not disclose, that can have pretty big financial consequences for you. But the law doesn’t stop there. Not only are you on the hook for things you know about, you’re also on the hook for things you should have known.

Even if it’s not a material defect, if you know, you should disclose. When you’re selling an investment property, you don’t always know about the issues with the home, especially if you’ve never lived there.

But anything you are aware of should be disclosed in writing. This way, the buyers are informed. So, if they choose to still buy the home and experience any issues down the road, they have little recourse against you.

Plus, it’s the right thing to do. You wouldn’t want to buy a house without all the available information, would you?

The Offer

Let’s talk about the offer now. You’ve listed it on the MLS, you’ve staged it, and now you’ve received an offer. Hopefully your agent has sent an email or called all other agents who have shown the house to let them know there is an offer and to see if they’d like to make a competing offer. More offers means a potential bidding war, which benefits you, the seller.

It’s a good idea to double check with your agent to make sure they did this. If they haven’t, encourage them to do so.

Read the offer very carefully. Don’t just focus on the dollar amount offered; read through the entire offer and decipher what they’re truly offering.

If the buyer is asking you to pay closing costs, give concessions, or otherwise foot bills that aren’t your responsibility, work with your agent to deduct these costs from the offer price to get a true idea of the amount you’re actually being offered. Some costs are traditionally seller-paid, like the previous year’s taxes. If you’re not an experienced seller, you won’t know when the buyer asks you to pay for things that aren’t your responsibility.

This is especially important when you receive more than one offer. Don’t get distracted by a higher offer price that ends up netting you less because of concessions.

More Selling Tips and Tricks

When selling your home, you want to get the highest price. And there’s so much more to it than I can cover here. That’s why I wrote a book called How to Sell Your Home: The Essential Guide to a Fast, Stress-Free and Profitable Sale.

In the book are topics I didn’t cover today, such as how to find a real estate agent, different listing options, contingencies, and more.

BiggerPockets is offering 30% off the Physical or Ultimate package. Use the code LIVESELLYOURHOME to take advantage of this special pricing. The Ultimate package includes the physical book, a digital copy, the audio version, and tons of bonus content, including:

  1. E-Book: Boost Your Profits by Mindy Jensen
  2. Video: Straight Talk: My Absolute #1 Top Tip For Selling Your Home!
  3. Video: Investors Share Top Investment Property Selling Tips with Anson Young, David Greene, and Brandon Turner
  4. Video: Home Inspections: Why You Shouldn’t Hire Just Anyone with Rick Jacquemard
  5. Video:Sewer Inspections: Why EVERY Home (including yours!) Needs One with Geoff Kostelecky
  6. Video: DIY Painting: Tools & Tips to Spend Less Money and Make Painting a Breeze with Mindy Jensen
  7. Form: Real Estate Agent Questionnaire

Do you have tips and tricks for selling to add? 

Share in a comment below!

Selling vs Remodeling
Buying & Selling Houses

Sell Your House Faster With These Curb Appeal Tips

Sell Your House Faster With These Curb Appeal Tips
2019-09-25 14:35:04

Let’s talk about curb appeal tips that can make your property sell quicker.

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OK, guys. Common sense is not always a common thing. So, I’m going to be very plain and simple. What I’m about to tell you is probably Real Estate 101. We’re really going down to the basics.

How to Improve a Property’s Curb Appeal

1. Paint the exterior

The first tip is you have to paint the bloody property. Make sure that property is pressure cleaned and scraped and you’re using a paint color that is not going to stand out from other homes on the street. What I mean by that is don’t do any crazy colors like bright yellow, orange, or pink. Unless that’s what other homes on the street look like.

I say that because here in Toledo, there are homes in the historic district that have a lot of funky colors. So, if you went with a plain color, it might look a little too simple. You always want to stick to a color that is similar to the other homes on the street. But paint, guys, can go a very long way.

Related: How to Sell Your House: 100 Tips to Sell Faster and For More Money

One of the first things that I learned about renovations and rehab when I was in Australia is that you can actually paint a lot of things. You can paint the exterior. You can paint the interior. You can paint kitchen cabinets. You can paint a vanity, and you can even re-enamel a bathtub. So, you can get away with painting a lot of things where you can add more value.

A good rule of thumb is this: If you’re spending one dollar on that specific renovation item, you want to get three dollars back. In other words, let’s say it’s going to cost you $10,000 to paint your house. Without painting it, you can sell it for $200,000; by painting it, you can sell it for $230,000. This means it’s a good investment on your money to paint.

4 Helpful Tax Tips for Overwhelmed Landlords

2. Improve the landscape

The second way to improve curb appeal is landscaping. I don’t want you guys having overgrown yards, crappy-looking flowers, no mulch, and a driveway that looks like crap. These are some very simple things that a lot of prospective buyers would want to see as they drive by or as they inspect a home. Don’t forget guys, the first impression is every impression.

If you can offer that “wow” factor from the beginning to that prospective buyer, I think everything is going to run much smoother when they get inside the home. A lot of folks will just drive by, and if they don’t like the property based on the way it looks from the street, they won’t even schedule to see the inside. Make sure the property has the wow factor.

Related: Landscaping: 4 Tips to Instantly Improve Your Yard’s Curb Appeal

Paint is a big one. Landscaping and tidying up the front yard and driveway is another. And here’s a quick little side tip. I’ve seen a lot of real estate brokerages coming out with solar panel yard signs. To me, this indicates that there might be a demand from prospective buyers to see what it looks like and if it’s a safe area at night. So, another thing you may want to do is add some feature lights to give the property a glow or pop in the evening. I’ve always liked to see homes with feature lighting.

That’s a tip from me on top of the two things you should do. It’s all very simple and common sense stuff.

What other tips would you give someone looking to improve their property’s curb appeal?

Comment below. 

Selling vs Remodeling
Buying & Selling Houses