ORLANDO, Fla. – Every living situation has something that bothers the homeowner, and those issues often prompt them to look for a new place to call home. A recent survey from mortgage data research firm HSH.com polled more than 1,000 Americans on what upset them about their homes, their neighbors and their neighborhood. Op4G conducted the survey.Read More »
ORLANDO, Fla. – What do potential buyers notice first when they visit a home? The exterior, which makes a home’s curb appeal crucial, according to the 2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Exterior projects were among the most valuable home improvement projects cited.
“Deciding what remodeling projects to undertake can be difficult for homeowners because there are so many things to consider, including costs and time involved in the project,” says 2014 Florida Realtors® President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and The Villages. “Realtors know what home features are important to buyers in their area, but a home’s curb appeal is always important since it’s the first impression for buyers.”
Exterior replacement projects offer the greatest bang for the buck, the report found. Projects such as entry door, siding and window replacements can recoup homeowners more than 78 percent of costs upon resale. In fact, eight of the top 10 most cost-effective projects nationally, in terms of value recouped, are exterior projects.
A steel entry door replacement is expected to return the most money, with about 96.6 percent of costs recouped upon resale, according to the report’s findings. The steel entry door replacement is consistently the least expensive project in the annual Cost vs. Value Report, costing little more than $1,100 on average.
A wood deck addition came in second with about 87.4 percent of costs recouped upon resale. Two different siding replacement projects also landed in the top 10, including fiber-cement siding, expected to return 87 percent of costs, and vinyl siding, expected to return 78.2 percent of costs.
Two garage door replacements were also in the top 10; a midrange garage door replacement is expected to return 83.7 percent while an upscale garage door replacement follows closely at 82.9 percent of costs recouped. Rounding out the top exterior remodeling projects were two window replacements: A wood window replacement is estimated to recoup 79.3 percent of costs and a vinyl window replacement is estimated to recoup 78.7 percent of costs.
Turning to the inside of the house, two interior remodeling projects in particular can recoup substantial value at resale, according to the report.
An attic bedroom is ranked fourth and is expected to return 84.3 percent of costs; nationally, the average cost for the project is just above $49,000. The second interior remodeling project in the top 10 is the minor kitchen remodel. The project landed at No. 7 and is estimated to recoup 82.7 percent of costs. Nationally, the average cost for the project is just under $19,000. The improvement project likely to return the least is the home office remodel, estimated to recoup 48.9 percent.
For the second year in a row, Cost vs. Value data shows that the value of remodeling is up for all 35 projects included in the survey. To read the full project descriptions and access national and regional project data, visit www.costvsvalue.com.
ORLANDO, Fla. – Setting the stage for a sale may offer a number of benefits to home sellers, from boosting the interest of buyers who tour the property to increasing the final selling price, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) 2015 Profile of Home Staging.Read More »
ORLANDO, Fla. – Homeowners often consider remodeling projects as a way to add value to their homes, but some projects add more value and a better return on investment than others, according to the 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, compiled by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and Hanley Wood’s Remodeling Magazine.Read More »
ORLANDO, Fla. – In recent years, the Hispanic population has become a catalyst for the U.S. housing market, and new data indicates that Hispanic women are key to unlocking this buying power.Read More »
ORLANDO, Fla. — When prospective buyers tour a home, they like to look at all the details and “test drive” the features. Of course, if there’s one faucet that doesn’t work, that’s the one they’ll turn. If there’s one torn screen, that’s the one they’ll notice.
“Perception is reality. If someone sees a crooked chandelier or a light bulb that’s out, they may think it’s broken and cannot be repaired. This can taint the overall image of the property,” says Realtor® Mark Palace, founder and CEO of Palace Properties International Inc. in Satellite Beach, Fla.
Making a checklist is the easiest way to make sure your home is in top condition and ready to be inspected by buyers. Here is a list of 40 things that Palace and other Florida real estate experts suggest you review and fix before putting your home on the market.
- Keys work easily in locks
- Dead-bolt locks are aligned correctly so they are easy to open and close
- Home security system
- Security pad
- Garage door openers operate, both handhelds and built-ins
- Screens and window frames are clean
- Windows open easily
- Interior and exterior doors open and close quietly, without squeaking
- Pocket doors and sliding doors move easily in their tracks
- All interior light bulbs, switches and fixtures
- Porch lights, carriage lights, security lights
- Pool, spa and patio lights
- Oven light and timer
- Oven clock shows correct time
- Built-in microwave shows correct time and operates
- Garbage disposal operates and smells fresh
- Trash compactor
- Range hood light and exhaust fan
- Bottom of oven is clean
- Oven racks are clean and broiler works
- Dishwasher operates, silverware basket in place
- Refrigerator door light
- Gaskets on refrigerator and freezer
- Smoke detectors
- Air-conditioner/furnace/heater/heater thermostat, operation, coolant leakage, condensation, duct leaks
- Ceiling fans operate smoothly and quietly
- Bathroom vent fans
- All faucets operate easily
- Leaking faucets (an inexpensive washer could fix a leak)
- Toilets flush smoothly, fully
- Drainage in sinks, showers and tubs
- Pool pump and filter
- Pool vacuum
- Underwater jets in pool/spa
- Outdoor faucets/hose connections
- Indoor intercoms
- Patio/outdoor intercoms, speakers
- Carpet and flooring is clean and crack-free
Your Realtor® can help you prepare this checklist and make suggestions for any repairs. Some fixes are easy and you can do them yourself. Others may require a professional. Either way, that attention to detail can make a real difference in the sale of your home.
ORLANDO, Fla. – Home improvement projects can give a house a new look, provide increased efficiency and cost savings, update outmoded trends, plus enhance value and resale potential.Read More »
ORLANDO, Fla. — You’ve decided it’s time to redecorate. The next step is making choices that will please you over the long run, whether you’ll be selling your home in a few months or staying for a few years. After all, your home is a major investment and you want to be sure you add to its value.
Homeowners who are thinking about redecorating and plan to sell their home in the next five years, should generally focus on the traditional rather than the trendy, according to Realtor® Lynn Savits, with Coldwell Banker Residential in Aventura. “A real estate professional can help you determine what makes the most sense for your home,” she adds.
Here are some simple tips suggested by Florida Realtors® to update and freshen your home without spending an excessive amount of time and money.
- Light Matters — Enhance your home’s brightness by opening shades/drapes. Replace older, dull window treatments with contemporary ones that let the light in. Also consider replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient fluorescent bulbs to brighten your home and save money on your electric bill.
- Keep It Simple — Select white, off-white or neutral colors for large areas like walls and expensive items like carpet or appliances. You can add color with pieces that will move with you when you sell, such as furnishings, throw rugs, curtains, pillows, art objects and wall hangings.
- Kitchens Rule — Repaint the kitchen, being careful to choose conservative colors. Replace out-of-date or worn flooring. If new cabinets are beyond your budget, you can replace or refinish the doors or just the cabinet or drawer pulls. Likewise, tiling or refinishing counter tops may be a cost-effective option to replacement. At a minimum, clean or replace any grouting on floor or countertops.
- Think Frugal — If you expect to move during the next five years, buy reasonably priced carpet or flooring in neutral shades. Invest enough to get a fresh, attractive look that you will enjoy, but don’t spend so much that you won’t recover all or most of the cost when you sell your home.
- Call a Realtor —If you have a specific problem, or are torn between decorating alternatives, you should consider calling a Realtor in your area. “This is the perfect person to help you decide which redecorating choices will be attractive to buyers – regardless of price range,” says Savits.
By following these suggestions, you can enjoy the fruits of your redecorating. Make changes that you will enjoy, but remember to think about what also might appeal to a buyer when it’s time to sell your home in the future.
ORLANDO, Fla. – With its beautiful beaches, sunny climate and world-renowned attractions, Florida is one of the top destinations for international homebuyers.Read More »
ORLANDO, Fla. – Thinking of selling your current home, but don’t know where to start? A Realtor® in Florida can help you attract buyers from around the corner – or from another continent – so you’ll be able to close the transaction and move ahead with your life.
“Florida Realtors® provide sellers with the benefits of their training, experience and market knowledge,” says 2012 Florida Realtors President-Elect Dean Asher, owner, Dan Asher and Associates in Orlando. “They know how to get results for sellers in our state’s constantly changing real estate market.”
Asher says sellers today are faced with many questions: Is now the right time to sell my home or condominium? Can I make my residence more appealing to buyers? How can I get the best possible price and complete the sale?
By drawing on their knowledge of the local market, marketing and negotiation skills, Florida Realtors help sellers avoid potentially costly mistakes and keep the complex process running smoothly, adds Asher. “Selling a home is a major decision, both personally and financially,” he says. “A Realtor will provide knowledgeable guidance and help manage the process, saving time, money and headaches.”
A survey from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) found that 88 percent of U.S. sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home. According to NAR’s 2010 “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers,” 83 percent of sellers would definitely (63 percent) or probably (20 percent) use the Realtor again or recommend the agent to others.
“Marketing and selling a home is a complex process,” says Asher. “To do so, Florida’s Realtors use a wide array of tools, from social networking and online video tours to Multiple Listing Service (MLS) postings, newspaper ads and even knocking on doors in the neighborhood.”
In addition to getting the best sales price and guiding a seller through the maze of paperwork and procedures involved in selling a home, a Realtor can provide other services, including:
- Gathering information about the home – such as square footage, type of heating and cooling systems, proximity to schools and other features – to prepare it for sale.
- Analyzing comparable home sales in the area, then using that information to better estimate a property’s value, so it can be priced right to sell.
- Designing an effective strategy to market the home. That can include posting photos and information about the home on high-volume websites, emailing open house invitations, placing advertisements in local publications and putting a traditional for-sale sign in front of the residence.
- Listing the home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which all Realtors – locally, nationally and internationally – can access as they seek a home for their buyers.
- Bringing qualified buyers to preview the home.
- Writing offers, placing the buyer’s deposit in escrow and taking care of other necessary paperwork.
- Guiding the seller through all aspects of the sales contract and dealing with the buyer on any items that may need to be negotiated.
- Helping the buyer find financing, arranging for a home inspection and appraisal, and completing other details in preparation for closing the deal.
- Serving as the seller’s representative at the closing table.
“Working with a Realtor can give sellers peace of mind,” says Asher. “A Realtor in Florida is more than a licensed professional with training and experience in real estate – he or she voluntarily agrees to abide by a Code of Ethics and promises to provide honest treatment to both sellers and buyers.”