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Should I Sell As-Is?

by Melissa Dierks

22 July, 2014

Should I Sell As-Is?As one of the most difficult decisions in real estate marketing, the idea of selling “as-is” (without making any repairs, renovations, or upgrades) appeals to homeowners needing to sell quickly or that are cash strapped.

Can you do it? Yes.

Should you do it? Well…that depends on your market and how badly your home needs fixing, how much you owe on it and how much you need from it.

Buyers that lean toward purchasing a fixer typically fall into three main categories:

  • Flippers – a flipper is a real estate investor that purchases property with the intent to generate revenue quickly. Often, they are willing to purchase a fixer or distressed property with good “bones” (structure, foundation, etc.), fix it up quickly for resale or rental.
  • Fixers – a fixer purchases distressed property to fix up, but they tend to live in the property while they fix it with the goal of eventually selling or renting when they invest in a new property to fix. Different from flippers, they look to own the home longer term, so may be more willing to purchase a home that needs more work.
  • First-timers – a first-time buyer is either someone that has never owned a home, or someone that has not held title to a home for more than three years so they are not rolling the proceeds from a previous property into the new one. First timers that have never owned a home, but have some skill in the DIY area may look for lower cost, as-is properties for the low entry cost. This category includes former property owners that may have lost their home during a financial crisis or bankruptcy and are now in a position to buy again.
  • One final category is investors purchasing a home for the land and location, intending to demolish the home and build new. If your property is on the verge of a rezoned business area, is transitioning to multi-family dwellings, hotels or some other type of property, an investor may purchase your home for its location rather than for its amenities.

In each of these cases, you might benefit from a quick sale, freeing up cash for yourself. Just know that the buyer expects a discounted price that reflects the additional amount they will have to invest to make the property livable. Seeking these types of buyers in a hot market is more likely than in a slow market area.

Note: FHA has specific minimum property standards (MPS) required, so selling “as is” may reduce your buying pool by those wanting FHA loans if your property does not meet those standards.

What are the minimal fixes?

Fixing up your property, at least by bringing it up to code, will increase its value and bring you nearer to fair market value for your home. If you owe money on your home, this is an important consideration. Unless the investment to fix it up will cost more than the amount you might still owe if it sells low, you should figure out a way to fix it up. We can help you determine which items are important to fix, which can be concessions in your contract and which you can ignore.

Here is a short list of items to consider fixing if you can:

  • Patch cracks in ceilings and walls
  • Remove peeling paint
  • Paint walls with a neutral color
  • Replace broken windows
  • Fix code violations
  • Repair leaky or broken pipes
  • Repair the roof if there are leaks
  • Remove and replace moldy drywall
  • Trim overgrown vegetation
  • Remove anything dangerous that could make you liable for injuries to potential buyers visiting your home.

If you need to sell your home quickly, let your real estate agent know immediately so that they can best advise you on which items to repair, which to ignore, and which to offer concessions for.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Choose the Right Paint

by Melissa Dierks

22 July, 2014

Choose the Right PaintWhether you’re preparing your home to move in, or preparing it to sell, choosing the right paint from the myriad choices available to day can be daunting. Paints come in up to six different finishes, so even if you’ve chosen the colors, you still have to decide on the finish for your application.

On a gradient from matte or flat to high gloss, there are both textural and visual differences in paint finishes. In texture, the gradient moves from a “dryer” feel to a “slicker” feel, but visually, it moves from less light reflective to more light reflective.

 

  • Matte Finish: Called either Flat Finish or Wall Paint, this basic paint type has a chalkier feel and is not light reflective. It also hides imperfections, cracks and bumps because light does not bounce off them. This finish works well on interior walls such as living rooms and bedrooms, but can be more difficult to clean and may mark easily. Because it absorbs rather than reflects light, a darker matte-finish paint color is perfect for a media room.
  • Flat Enamel Finish: The addition of the enameling elements combines some of the advantages of flat paint with a more durable finish that holds up to periodic cleaning. This is a good choice for interior walls in homes with children. Sometimes this is called “Kids Room Paint.”
  • Eggshell Finish: Slightly more durable and light reflective than matte or flat, eggshell has just a minimal amount of gloss added to it, and a deeper color saturation. It holds up to cleaning better and often works well for living rooms and dining rooms where more light-reflection is desirable but a glossier finish is not necessary.
  • Satin Finish: Often used for window and door trim, or ceilings needing a more reflective finish such as a the bath area or a workroom, satin finish holds up to cleaning and resists stains, marks and smudges better than matte, flat enamel or eggshell.
  • Semi-gloss Finish: Used for trim, doors, cabinets and railings, semi-gloss resists most stains and marks while cleaning more easily. It reflects and refracts light, so it magnifies imperfections or textures in the surface. When using semi-gloss, care with surface preparation is vital to the finished product. Semi-gloss can work well in bath areas too, where a more reflective surface is helpful to make the room lighter and brighter.
  • Glossy Finish: When applied properly, glossy or high gloss paints have a reflective surface similar to enamel, and creates a smooth finish for furniture and cabinetry. Because of its light-reflective quality, a glossy finish reveals and amplifies imperfections, but is the easiest surface to clean. When using high-gloss paints, carefully follow preparation instructions to get the best results.

 

Compliments of Virtual Results

What to Know about Summer Lawn Care

by Melissa Dierks

11 July, 2014

What to Know about Summer Lawn CareLush greens and rolling verdant fairways stoke homeowner dreams of the perfect lawn. In most areas, July starts the season with the highest demand on the water supply. So maintaining those lavish landscapes takes knowledge and a plan.

Planting

Not all grasses are equal. When designing your lawn, be sure to use a grass that tolerates your climate. If you spent your childhood in one part of the country and have visions of a deep dark thick-bladed St. Augustine as your ideal lawn, but now live in a more drought prone area, where a Bermuda may be the optimal choice. The wrong grass species can increase watering and feeding requirements and reduce your enjoyment of your lawn.

Consult a local turf expert before you order seed or sod and end up with a lawn-care nightmare.

Watering

Drought or wet conditions in your location determine how often your lawn needs watering. With drought conditions being widespread, however, you may only have one or two days per week that you’re allowed to water, so it is important to maximize your results.

  • When to water: If walking across your lawn leaves visible depressions in the grass and blades don’t pop back up immediately, your grass needs water.
  • Water summer grasses once every three days (or as allowed by your city’s watering plan).
  • Use sprinklers designed to deliver larger droplets nearer to ground. Mist and small drops evaporate more quickly than large drops. For more information on sprinkler systems, read the section below.

Irrigation Tips

Install sprinklers based on your property’s topographic needs. Consult and expert for your area even if you plan to install the system yourself. Most manufacturers can help you develop a plan and offer custom-designed systems for you.

Once installed, check your sprinkler heads often. Adjust sprinklers to water only your lawn sidewalks or the side of the house. If water runs down the street, both your frequency and spray may need adjusting.

  • Only apply water as fast as the soil absorbs it.
  • If you have water runoff, divide watering times into shorter periods.
  • Adjust your watering schedule each month to match seasonal conditions and landscape requirements.
  • Have your system checked yearly for leaks and broken parts.

Water Saving Tips

Periodically aerating your lawn allows water to seep to the roots rather than run off the surface. A pattern of holes every six inches provides excellent root access for most lawns.

Avoid cutting lawn too low. When you cut to a height lower than 1.5 to 2 inches, grass blades can no longer shade the soil, allowing water to evaporate more quickly. When you mow, leave the clippings on the lawn to further protect the soil and hold in moisture.

We can help you find a property with the lawn of your dreams, so give us a call today.

Compliments of Virtual Results.

Three Home Safety Features You Should Keep Up To Date

by Melissa Dierks

11 July, 2014

Three Home Safety Features You Should Keep Up To DateIn the midst of all the summer activities, there are a few things you should add to your to-do list to keep you and your family safe in your home. Here are three:

Fire Extinguishers

If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, you should get one. Install one in the kitchen and other areas prone to fire. Once installed, however, we tend to forget them, but even if you have not used it, a fire extinguisher may depressurize and you won’t know it until you need it unless you check it. Your owner’s manual should have a maintenance schedule. If not, contact the manufacturer to get one.

When checking it, make sure:

  • Nothing blocks it so that you can quickly access it in an emergency. If installed in a cupboard, place it at the front or mount it inside the door.
  • Check the pressure. Most extinguishers have a gauge, so make sure the pressure is in the safe zone.
  • Make sure the pin and tamper seal are intact, the nozzle and hose are not cracked and there is no corrosion on the tank.

The last thing you want is to learn that your extinguisher is inoperative during an emergency. Have your extinguisher serviced or replaced every five to ten years.

Smoke Detectors

Check your smoke detector at least once a month, and according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, replace batteries at least twice a year. Check them more often when:

  • Frequent cooking smoke activates it. Constant activation can wear it out.
  • It gives false alarms.
  • The alarm regularly emits short beeps.

Never put old batteries in a battery-powered smoke detector. Even if powered by your home’s electrical system, be sure to check the back-up batteries to be sure it will function during power outages.

Electrical Panel

Many of us never think about our electrical panel unless we blow a breaker or the power goes out. Preventative maintenance to this vital home system is far more economical than repairs once it fails. Breakers and wires age and can cause arching and overheating. Have your panel and electrical system checked by a certified electrician every three years, and more often if you

  •        Often have to reset a breaker.
  •        Have frequent power outages.
  •        Have medical or other equipment reliant on electricity.
  •        See sparks, flame or smoke when flipping a switch or plugging into an outlet.
  •        Have a very old home with an old electrical system.

We can help you find home safety specialists to inspect your home’s systems, so contact us today.

Compliments of Virtual Results.

Creating Summer Buyer Attraction

by Melissa Dierks

7 July, 2014

Creating Summer Buyer AttractionSummer is a great time to invest in outdoor upgrades and indoor options that make your home appealing to buyers. After months indoors, homebuyers respond quickly to outdoor amenities when scoping out homes to buy. Creating outdoor living areas and highlighting outdoor views give potential new owners the impression of both expanded space and bright, fresh access to nature.

Establish an inviting entry

Make sure your entry is bright and enticing. Set flowerpots to either side of the entryway. Make sure the door itself is clean of fingerprints and grime, or freshly painted a cheery color. Provide a doormat so guests do not track debris into your home.

Bring the outdoors in

In the winter, homeowners often cover windows with heavy drapes to keep out the chill air and drafts. When showing your home in the summer, remove heavy draperies so potential buyers can clearly see the outdoor views. Clean off fingerprints and smudges from windows and window frames and dust vertical or horizontal blinds and set them to allow both light and views.

Add colorful summer-weight throw cushions to living areas and beds, and add flowers to both your bed and bath areas. A bowl of bright seasonal fruits completes a summery look to your kitchen table.

Store away quilts and afghans. Clean ashes from your fireplace and clean the soot from fireplace glass to remove the last vestiges of winter. Set a floral arrangement or plant on the hearth. Use light, fresh scented beads or reed diffusers instead of candles. Use the same scent throughout the house to avoid competing odors.

Keep your home cool but not cold. If you have air-conditioning, make sure to set it to cool your home in plenty of time before your potential buyers arrive. If you use fans to move your home’s air, make sure they are dust free and running quietly. Be sure attic fans and other cooling devices operate correctly.

Extend the living area

Showing your home in the summer means potential buyers will check out the outdoors much more thoroughly than in the winter months. Set up seating areas, hammocks, picnic tables, or other patio furnishings to display the full range of your property. Add planters and box gardens with bright, colorful flowers. Keep the lawn and landscaping trimmed and neat. Take care of pests like wasps and ants that might scare a potential buyer away. Take care to trim bushes away from windows and doorways.

Make sure the exterior of the house is clean and fresh. Clean mold off vinyl siding and moss off brick and stone exteriors. Clear gutters and downspouts and make sure they attach to the structure correctly. Wash windows and screens, and touch up paint on doors, window frames, and trim.

Make sure to organize tools, hoses, and other yard and garden clutter. Protect visitors to your home from tripping over lawn toys or the garden hoe. Remember that buyers want to check out every nook and cranny, so keep garden sheds and storage areas accessible and organized.

Summer buyers want to know they can use the entire property for their own summer fun. If you need more suggestions on how to prepare your property for a summer sale, contact us today.

Compliments of Virtual Results

9 Ways to Celebrate Independence in Your New Home

by Melissa Dierks

7 July, 2014

9 Ways to Celebrate Independence in Your New Home No matter when you close on your new home, there’s probably a holiday just around the corner giving you the perfect opportunity to host a party in your new digs. With Independence Day coming up, here are some ideas for celebrating your independence from landlords and rent, while showcasing your new place.

  • Hang a Flag
    There’s no better way to celebrate the nation’s independence than hanging a flag. Take care to follow the correct instructions for displaying the flat. You can find complete instructions for hanging the flag here. If you plan to install a flagpole, contact your neighborhood association or community clerk’s office so that you follow any regulations, rules, or ordinances regarding pole location, height, and other considerations.
  • Combine colored flowers
    Fill your planters and container gardens with mixtures of red, white, and blue flowers. Create a mixture of blue ageratum or lobelia, white alyssum, petunias or heliotrope and red salvia, geraniums or snapdragons.
  • Door decorations
    Create a wreath of miniature flags to grace your entryway. Hang bunting or create a bow of red and white striped or blue-starred fabric and add colorful wooden start, flower picks, or garlands.
  • Centerpieces
    Set up picnic or card tables on the patio and cover them with patriotic colors. Make a centerpiece of a small red or white painted bucket filled with blue floral stones and small flags, sparklers (if allowed in your location), and pinwheels.Alternatively, if your party extends into the evening, place lanterns with red, white, and blue candles on each table. You can hang lanterns from planter poles or on chains from trees too. If mosquitos are a problem in your area, use citronella candles in patriotic holders to keep the pests away from your visitors and provide a pleasant scent and candlelight ambience.
  • Slake your thirst
    If you’re ambitious, create red, white, and blue-layered drinks for the kids and try these patriotic cocktails for your more mature guests. Create frozen treats or sorbet from pureed strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, or put guests to work churning old-fashioned ice cream.
  • Stay cool
    Make sure to provide shade for your guests. If you don’t have a covered porch, set up umbrellas or a gazebo, and give everyone a celebratory hand fan to keep cool.For the kids, consider setting up a mister. Children love to play in them and parents don’t need to worry about accidental drowning. In addition, a mister can cool the surrounding temperature by several degrees.
  • Yard games
    What’s a patriotic celebration without a little friendly competition? Yard games such as lawn darts, horseshoes, croquet, corn hole, bocce, and badminton are easy to set up and fun for all ages.
  • Simplify your menu
    Sometimes we forget that the cook wants to celebrate too. So simplify your menu to items you can make ahead, serve finger foods, or pre-smoke the ribs and them throw them on the barbecue for a quick reheat just before serving time. Cupcakes in ice cream cones, layered Jell-O, fruit skewers, or individual strawberry-blueberry trifle make dessert time easy.
  • Set tour schedules
    Your guests are going to want to see your new home. Remember that you cannot keep an eye on the grill and give a tour at the same time. So, set specific tour times when you can easily leave the yard and inform your guests that you’ll happily show them around at those times. Remember to provide towels or doormats if your guests might be wet (from playing games or keeping cool), keep your tour quick, and move everyone back outside when you’re ready to move to the other activities.

We can help you get into your new home to celebrate the next big holiday, so give us a call today.

Compliments of Virtual Results

July 2014 Newsletter – Simply Sizzlin’

by Melissa Dierks

5 July, 2014

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Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Contact Information

Photo of The Regal Team Real Estate
Melissa Dierks
The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals
7111 W Bell Road, Suite 101,
Glendale AZ 85308
Direct: (623)229-0154
Office: (623)643-1092
Fax: (623)201-7562

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