It is important that homeowners keep in mind that they might eventually want to sell their house, and how they treat it now will directly affect its value down the road.
During his years as a licensed real estate broker and the owner of Leatherman Homes, Kevin Leatherman has seen his fair share of seller slip-ups, but there’s nothing he says that can’t be remedied. Here are some of his tips.
KNOW THE MARKET
Despite being at historically low inventory levels, overpriced homes will collect dust on the market. It’s essential to consider the condition and location of the house before determining a price — otherwise, you can end up spending the difference in the costs of keeping up the home.
“This is what I call ‘aspirational’ or ‘overly aggressive’ pricing,” Leatherman said. “Of course, our goal as a listing broker is to get our clients the highest price for their property with the best terms and conditions, but we have to set realistic expectations based on market conditions and available comparables needed when the buyer is financing subject to a satisfactory appraisal.”
KNOW YOUR BUYER
As a seller, you also have to understand that everyone has different tastes in decor and architecture, and buyer pools can be limited due to the location of a home, its style, or things such as whether or not it has flood insurance. Understanding how the buyer pool impacts pricing is crucial to the number of offers that you’ll receive.
“Not everyone wants to live by the water. Not everyone likes attached housing,” Leatherman said. “It is important to be realistic with your expectations and understand the market.”
UPKEEP IS IMPORTANT
When you cut corners on taking care of your residence you’re also cutting the value of your home. It’s good to keep in mind that when fixing problems such as termites or dealing with upkeep issues such as saltwater corrosion or dock and bulkhead maintenance, it’s best to do the job right the first time.
“Smaller ticket items can turn into big-ticket items if they are not taken care of,” Leatherman said. “Going the cheaper route can end up costing big bucks in the long run if it is not done right.”
RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Having the most modern or up-to-date features on a house won’t always make or break your sale. In fact, some updates may limit your buyer pool because not everyone will find those additions attractive.
Likewise, filing the proper paperwork when doing home improvements or additions is imperative. Many homeowners may not even realize that they are missing paperwork or permits until they try to make a sale. Waiting until you get a potential buyer requests an inspector to find out you need to shell out a hefty stack to get things back in order is not ideal.
“In a post-Hurricane Sandy world and as a broker whose majority of business is on the south shore of Long Island, this is an important issue that I go over with sellers,” Leatherman said. “Making sure the certificate of occupancies and permits are up to date and signed off on your property makes for a smoother sale and avoids long delays and the added costs of legalizing the changes you made after the fact.”