Archive for June, 2014

Bloomberg TV Housing Summary

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by John Burns

I co-hosted Bloomberg Surveillance on Tuesday. Here is a clip of the five minutes we spent on housing, covering:

  • California housing
  • Investor activity
  • BRIC millionaires parking money in US real estate
  • Coastal markets versus inland markets
  • Phoenix versus California as the leading indicator
  • Rents
  • Young families

Please cut me some slack on the cuss word, as it was 6am in New York and I had just flown in from California.

The highlight of my week in New York was the growing thesis that rates could stay low for some time. It is something I am thinking about a lot, but I am hoping to find five credible bond investors who tell me they are investing as if that will be the case. That will convince me.

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5 Tips To Sell Your Rehabbed House Quickly So That You Can Put More Money In Your Pocket

This post is from my super awesome wife, Melissa.

I handle the marketing, buying and rehabbing. She handles EVERYTHING else regarding the business… which includes the most important thing, selling the houses after they are fixed up.

She wanted to share some of her best tips in the getting our houses sold super fast and for at or above our asking price. Enjoy. :)

5 Tips to Sell Your House FAST!

So you’ve bought your investment property and completed the rehab. Now to reap the rewards for all of your hard work–it’s time to list the property for sale! Over the years we have sold many houses, and I’d like to think that all of this experience has taught me a few things about how to do this quickly and effectively.

By using the following tips, we have had multiple offers on our rehabbed properties within the first two days of listing, for up to $10K OVER our original asking price! Here is how you can do it too…..

1. PRICE

This is probably the most important thing. The home MUST be priced to sell. Double check comps in the neighborhood and make sure what you are asking is realistic. If you are buying the properties at the right price, then you can afford to do a bang up job rehabbing and still sell for plenty of profit.

Everyone wins-the buyer gets a beautifully remodeled home for a great deal, and you are able to unload the property fast, for profit, allowing you to move on to the next deal.

2. DO A FINAL WALK THROUGH

Every time the contractor says the job is done, I show up at the property with my pen and notebook to do a final walk through inspection. I’m sure he hates this, but it’s a necessity! I make notes on every single thing that needs to be done.

Ensure that there are light bulbs in all of the fixtures and that all of the switches are working. Check for any leaking fixtures, faucets, and toilets. Make sure the dishwasher, garbage disposal, and garage doors are in working order. Run the HVAC and make sure the filters have been replaced. Make sure all of the doors close properly.

Put yourself in a potential buyer’s shoes as you walk through the house and look for the little things that sometimes get overlooked. One of my pet peeves is sloppy paint work on trim and baseboards. In addition to any repairs, have the house cleaned from top to bottom by a professional. Potential buyers LOVE walking in to a clean, fresh smelling house.

Also make sure you have all of the windows cleaned, inside and out. Open up those blinds for showings and open houses and let plenty of natural light into the home.

3. SET THE STAGE

I can not emphasize how important it is to do some sort of home staging, no matter how minimal. I wrote an entire “how to” post on this here. I have invested in a few critical pieces of staging furniture that I move from house to house.

I typically furnish the living area, dining and/or breakfast rooms, and the master bedroom. I found that these are the easiest to do, and make the biggest impact. My main bedroom set came from Salvation Army. I scored a living room set from Big Lots. Same for my breakfast room set. I use our old dining room table in some of the houses.

My biggest score lately came from a house we bought where the owner didn’t want to bother moving everything out–I gained a complete leather living room set with tables, another breakfast room set, and another bedroom set. I’m telling you this because you don’t have to go out and buy super fancy stuff. Find something with a clean design and fix it up. Use nice bedding.

Fill in any scratches with furniture paint pens, or if you are talented and have the time you can paint furniture to make it look new. You can check out my Pinterest Board for lots of staging ideas. Hang some fluffy towels in the bathroom. Set the table. Hang shower curtains. Use wall art. All of these little touches make the house feel more like a home.

People want to feel comfortable when they walk in. They want to envision themselves and their families making memories there.

4. CURB APPEAL

I have learned that spending a little bit extra on the yard can also make a huge difference. Before we didn’t do much to the yard other than mowing. The houses looked great on the inside, but the outside was left looking a wee bit blah.

No matter how great your exterior, if the yard looks funky you’re going to have a problem. These days I always make sure to meet with our landscaper and make some sort of plan, even if it’s nothing too fancy, for the yard.

My plan usually includes trimming any trees (especially ones rubbing on the roof), and creating at least one large flower bed. And for heaven’s sake–stay away from the red mulch!!! Dark brown mulch makes a much better contrast in a flower bed and goes with pretty much any color you would imagine on a house.

5. WOW FACTOR

Look at your rehab. Is there one (or maybe two) things that really stand out about your house? Be honest. When we finally stopped making all of our houses look like every other rehab, we found that our DOM dramatically decreased. The houses would always look fine, but they were so boring! All of that beige and brown and neutral paint.

No wonder it was taking longer to sell houses. This is the biggest thing we have embraced over the past couple of years and has made the most difference. When we quit painting cabinets white and stopped using Navajo White on the walls, things got so much more fun (ok, for me at least since I am the “artsy” one haha).

Don’t be afraid to use a little color. I’ve chosen a really nice gray-blue paint that has worked beautifully in our kitchens. We use more modern and interesting tiles for backsplashes and tub surrounds. These things don’t cost any extra, but by doing something different, you achieve better results. Buyers will come in after seeing ten other homes that look the same, and remember yours.

You want your property to be the one that stands out!!

I hope that you found these tips to be helpful, and will consider them when getting ready to put your next rehab on the market. I’d also love to hear any other suggestions that you may have (please share them in the comments below).

Melissa

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