Monday, November 1, 2010

Staying on Top of Trends in Your Local Housing Market

If you have decided to sell your own home, it is vital that you stay on top of the trends in your local housing market. Realtors do this on a constant basis so that they know how to market each individual property they represent. Since you are taking your property on your own shoulders, you’ll need to spend a little time doing some research. Here’s how to get started.

1. First, start in your own neighborhood. Look for houses that are for sale and then cross reference them with ads in the local paper. See how much they are asking and what kind of features each home has. Start making a list of these properties and track how long it takes for them to sell. You can then begin to see what buyers are looking for in your own area.

2. Start widening your search a little bit to include nearby neighborhoods. You’ll be doing the same thing here, but you’ll also be noting what makes these listings different from yours. You’ll need to be completely honest with yourself when evaluating these properties as compared to your own. What are they doing that you could implement with your own listing.

3. Read through the real estate listings in your paper every day, paying special attention to the Sunday edition. Start tracking which homes are selling and which ones are on the market the longest. Research both to see what makes the homes more or less desirable.

4. Now that you have all of this information, you’ll need to keep an eye on the local listings in your area and continue to monitor them until your own home sells. Tweak your listings if necessary to showcase elements of your property that have been successfully sold with other properties.

You can also use some tools online to help you determine what your local property market is doing. While these may not be 100% accurate you can still get a very good idea of what is selling in your neighborhood as well as the overall prices. is a great place to compare property values and track depreciation as well as any rises in property value. You can adjust your sales price after a few weeks of watching these trends.

Although it is time consuming, it is very beneficial to keep an eye on local properties. Your realtor would be doing this for you, so it is a task that you should take on. Although you will need to devote a few hours a week to this, it can make a big difference in the final asking price for your home. Since you’re not paying a commission, you can look at the extra money you’ll be getting as a salary for all of your hard work during this process.

Never get complacent when you are selling your home. By staying on top of trends, you’ll have a much better chance of selling your home as quickly as possible.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Low Cost Alternatives to Making Your Home Saleable

When you are trying to sell your own home and you are on a limited budget, it can be difficult to try to fix it up to draw the interest of buyers. However, there are numerous low cost solutions that you can use that will increase the perceived value of your home and help you make that sale.

1. Try to do as much on your own as possible. If you are handy with tools, then feel free to start improving your house. Little things such as cleaning out all the clutter can really make a difference in how your home is perceived. Just remember, if you are not good at fixing things, now is not the time to start. Know your strengths and know when to hire a professional.

2. Focus on the things that you can change. For example, if your home could really use a coat of paint but you can’t afford to go that route, you can make it look a lot nicer simply by power washing it. If you can afford a simple gallon or two of paint, you can paint the trim to draw attention away from areas that you’d like to hide.

Let’s say that you have an aging bathroom that could really use some renovation. If you can’t afford to replace everything, you can afford to make some small changes that will make it look better. Try painting the walls or other surfaces that need a refresher. Place small candles around the room as well as some nice towels and soaps. This will make any bathroom look better and it’s a lot cheaper than getting a new tub installed. The same techniques will also work for an aging kitchen.

3. If you can’t afford to have expensive landscaping done on your home to increase its curb appeal, there are a few projects you can tackle on your own cheaply. For example, if you would like to add some trees, find a few potted ones at your local nursery. Get some relatively inexpensive pots and put them around the door. This instantly makes your home look better and it’s relatively cheap. You can also keep your lawn neat and trimmed and make sure that the yard is free of clutter.

4. Redecorate don’t renovate. If your rooms are a little small or there are some outdated features that could be replaced, you can fix this on the cheap with a little redecoration. Take out all of the clutter in a room and consider painting it if you have the money. Remove some of the furniture to make the room look larger and shampoo the carpets if necessary. A simple throw rug can work wonders to bring a lot class into a room. Add little things to improve the overall “feel” of a room.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your house saleable. You just need to know where to focus the funds that you do have to spend.