Andy Weiser Fort Lauderdale Realtor Blog

Tips For Selling A Vacant Property

Most buyers that tour homes for sale don’t have the true vision to see a home’s potential. This is why selling a home that is vacant can be more challenging. For some, they may have difficulty figuring out just how to set up rooms while most may have trouble figuring out just how much furniture would fit in each room. This is why staging a home correctly right at the beginning of the marketing process is best. There have been many studies that show a staged home sells faster and in many cases for more money. Here are some helpful tips if you are selling a vacant property.

Curb Appeal

Whether you live in the home or not, curb appeal is key. As the first and last thing every buyer will see you will want to make a good and lasting impression. Especially in the warmer months grass will grow quick so make sure you have regular care in place to keep things looking well maintained. Also make sure beds are lined with new mulch, hedges are trimmed and complete everything with a front door that is clean or freshly painted.

Stage Key Rooms 

While it is most ideal to stage the entire property, that is not always feasible. Start with your key common rooms like the living, dining and kitchen as most important. Next if possible, start down this list in order of priority: master bedroom, office/bonus room, other bedrooms. When you are arranging the furniture pay special attention to beds and couches as they are the key items that buyers will be looking to see how they fit. Choose items that are suitable for the size of the room. For smaller bedrooms go with a full size bed instead of that king for example. 

Remove Single Items

There is nothing worse than partially staging a room or leaving a stray item behind. While you may not be able to stage every room, don’t leave an item or two in any of the rooms. This will make the home look disheveled or almost like you were moving out during the middle of the night. Remove any single items like a lamp or personal belonging from any of the rooms.

Clean Regularly

Most homes these days are not staying on the market that long, but if your property remains on the market past a month then you will want to make sure it gets cleaned regularly. Keep buyer traffic dirt under control along with dust etc. so all will have a good clean impression of the home.

Temperature Control

Keep the home the right temperature so buyers are comfortable when touring the home. You can either control it remotely with a smart thermostat or at the least make sure the temperature is appropriate for when most showings are conducted during the days. Let buyers know your systems are working properly.

Lighting

Same concept applies to lighting as it does to temperature. Other than the right ambient temperature you will want ambient lighting. Make sure no rooms are left super dark by either installing a smartbulb or using an old fashioned timer. 

 

The Perfect Landscape Addition – A Screen

Adding a landscape screen to your yard can provide both function and design. Give your home an exciting look with different styles and placement without needing to do other more costly additions. There are a variety of kinds of landscape screens that range from being practical to decorative or a combination of the two. Here is a closer look at more details and benefits of landscape screens. 

Privacy

One of the most popular reasons to add a landscape screen is to provide privacy to your yard. For anyone whose home is either on a busier street or closer to neighbors a screen can work wonders. Perhaps you have a pool or hot tub where you wish to make it less visible by passersby.

Change a view

This is similar to privacy only the other way around. For those who may have a less than desirable view from their yard a landscape screen can be the perfect solution. Once you select a nice design and install your screen, make it come to life by adding some greenery. You can line the screen with some containers with plants that will grow up in front of it with your screen as the perfect backdrop for a winning combo. 

Shield from the elements

It is not always a person you may want to shield yourself from, it may be Mother Nature sometimes. Especially here in Fort Lauderdale you may want to create your outdoor oasis but with a location that offers reprieve from the sun. The right landscape screen can help mitigate the hot beaming sun with just enough shade to make the perfect outdoor atmosphere.

Define a space

Finally, it may not be privacy or blocking the elements that you may need. It could be that you wish to section off areas of your yard as you create more definition of stations. You may find that you want to section off your outdoor kitchen from your pool area and a landscape screen can help you do just that. Think of the design less like a fence and more like an outdoor wall. Now let your design and creative mind go wild! 

 

5 Ways To Boost Your Home’s Value

Aside from anyone’s goals when it comes time to sell their home the one thing most wish to accomplish is to get the highest selling price. Even though the current market is yielding some record selling prices, it can be hard to forecast how quickly and for how much your home will sell for. However, one thing you can control is to make some smart improvements so that you can do your part with enhancing your home’s value. Here are some helpful tips.

Stage Your Home

Many studies and experienced agents will agree that staging your home will not only help with how fast your home can sell but also for how much. The good news is that this can cost little to no money out of pocket. Tend to your core rooms like the living room, kitchen, master and dining rooms. Arrange them for flow and to showcase space, not necessarily how you like them for your everyday lifestyle. Keep only the essentials on kitchen counters to show off space and do little touches like set the dining table for the home to look inviting. 

Showcase Space

Adding more space is always desirable as more square footage typically means a higher price point. However, doing a full renovation can get expensive so only consider it if it will reap financial rewards. Examples of smaller jobs that you can do include taking down a wall to open up a kitchen or the like. Otherwise, while decluttering and organizing won’t add square footage they will certainly make the home appear more accommodating in space. Clean out your closets, storage areas and minimize belongings in each room. Consider renting a storage unit if necessary just while you market the home for sale. 

Enhance Energy Efficiency

It may not look or sound as exciting, but many buyers will be thrilled with a home that is efficient and less expensive to run. The best way to tackle this is if you need to do improvements to the home for selling it. For example if you need to do some landscaping, do a design that is self sustaining. Perhaps you may decide that replacing the HVAC system with a new, energy efficient one may help with the sale if yours is extremely old.

Update Systems/Appliances

Just like energy efficiency, take a look at the appliances and systems in your home. If you have a very old water heater, dishwasher or similar appliance it may make sense to replace it with an energy efficient one as it will certainly be pointed out in a home inspection. Items that you replace you will want to highlight in your marketing efforts and have supporting paperwork available so that buyers can rest assured that they won’t have to worry about replacement or repairs. 

Leverage Technology

Finally, some gadgets that make a home more secure and convenient will be attractive to all. These perks can also be relatively cheap to add which is fantastic news. Items such as smart thermostats, locks and security systems all make for safety and convenience in everyone’s lives. 

When considering any of these improvements you may want to reach out to your real estate agent to discuss which are best for your particular home. I am happy to help with any questions!

Should You Renovate Before Selling?

Home preparation is important during any market when it comes time to list your home for sale. Some basics will never change such as the important decluttering, cleaning and staging. However, should you renovate that kitchen or bathroom before listing right now? In this market things could be different and here are some things to consider. 

Lack of Competition

When we are amidst a “normal” real estate market then we should have about 6 months of inventory of available homes. These days per a recent report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) there is only a 1.9 month supply so buyer competition is very high. 

While some dire repairs may be best to make, not all improvements may be worth your while in this market. The best way to decide what should be done is to do a home tour with your Realtor to get the best advice. Nowadays many buyers are willing to do some work just to be able to get the home they are after. Letting the future buyers renovate a bathroom may be best as many more are prepared to do so. Spend your time and energy making sure that your bathroom is fresh and clean instead by maybe painting, getting a new shower curtain and adding some colorful hand towels. Dated can be acceptable but clean is a must. 

Focus on ROI Dollars

A home tour with your real estate agent is always best to decide on which updates need to be done for your particular home during the current market. You may be surprised how well your home could be perceived in today’s seller’s market. A recent statement from Hanley Wood Remodelers said “The 2020 Cost vs. Value report shows a predictable increase in costs for all 22 remodeling projects but a consistent dip in the perceived value of those projects at the time of home sale, as estimated by real-estate professionals in more than 100 metro areas across the U.S. This results in a slight downturn on the return on investment for nearly all projects relative to the trends we saw in last year’s report.”

With this news, you should definitely scrutinize your home to see what is absolutely essential. Contact me today if you would like me to visit your Fort Lauderdale area home to discuss your home selling plans. 

Outdoor Kitchen Design Considerations

Everyone loves the outdoors and especially here in the beautiful Fort Lauderdale area. Spending more time outdoors is why we all live here and what better to dine outdoors than to cook outdoors. An outdoor kitchen offers another gathering space, just like how your primary kitchen often tends to be the spot where everyone convenes for your family and guests alike. Before you go making plans for adding one to your home, consider these helpful tips. 

Who You Need To Hire

Usually you will want to hire a general contractor for this type of job as they can make necessary arrangements for important things like plumbing and electrical work. Sometimes companies that sell outdoor appliances will even have names of resources. However, if you are adding a kitchen that is integrated into your landscaping, you may want to reach out to a landscape architect.

The Location

If you want to get the most out of it, you need to pick a location where it will be easy to use. Typically this will be near the most used exit of your home so that it is easily accessed. Aside from this, locating it near any focal point or area that offers lounging or seating may be a good runner up. 

The Design

The look and feel of the kitchen should be consistent with your landscaping and home’s style. If you add a pizza oven and cover with a tiki bar grass roof, make sure you tie everything together perhaps with a matching granite counter that is complementary. 

Appliances

The appliances can really dictate just how much of a full kitchen that you are looking to do. Some opt for more of a cooking station that offers a built in grill and counter space while others build theirs out plumbed for a sink and add an under counter refrigerator making beverages simple for serving. Take it one step further and consider what you will need for storage for your pots, pans and utensils.

Other Considerations

Once you have planned for all of the basic needs, now it is time to tie it all together. Other niceties that can help is adding fans to either posts or ceilings nearby for cooling. Additionally, make sure you factor in necessary lighting. Evening barbeques are great but you want to be sure you can see what you are serving!

The Updates That Buyers Want These Days

Getting the highest price is a common goal that most sellers will aim for other than wanting a quick and clean sale when selling their home. Getting your home in excellent condition but with the most desired upgrades will help pave your path for success. Here are some of the best home improvements that have a higher return on investment.  

Home Exterior Upgrades

Stone masonry – Basic or dated, stamped siding can be upgraded with adding some real stone work to really increase the elegance factor of your home’s facade. 

Front door – Among one of the most important features that makes a great first impression is your front door. Upgrade it to something that is architecturally pleasing and then paint it an eye-catching color for a winning look.

Garage doors – Just like your front entry door, garage doors can have a significant influence on your home’s look. Neutral colors and styles that match your home’s design are the way to go to make your home look more classy. 

Home Interior Upgrades 

Kitchen upgrade – Before you think about a full gut job, you may not need to completely redo it. Try focusing on updating the essential elements that may be outdated including cabinets, counters, appliances and giving it a fresh coat of paint. 

Bathroom upgrade – A good idea for a bathroom upgrade is to install a walk-in shower. A shower that is level with the floor will give a luxurious look but is also easy to access and handicapped accessible. Additional upgrades to consider include taller toilets and support bars. 

Windows – Most buyers nowadays are concerned with aesthetics but also desire efficiency. The quality of your windows is paramount for conserving energy, controlling monthly costs and of course lowering insurance costs if they are high impact. New windows are among a top investment that yields a great return when it comes time to sell. 

Finally, if you are not in a position where you have the time or money to invest in your home before selling then you can consider some very low cost upgrades to your decor. You can do things like adding ample lighting and illuminating dark rooms with floor lamps or add some interest to your living room with a new area rug and throw pillows on the seating areas.