Posted in Best Time to Sell, Home Selling Tips, Selling Your Home

Best Outdoor ROI Tip for 2018!

architecture-facade-house-259600

Who Knew? A Home Improvement with a 267% ROI!!

If someone said you could give them a dollar and they’d return and give you $267 a day later plus they’d do work for you…. We’d be clamoring to sign up, right? You may be surprised to learn that the home improvements paying the best return on investment (ROI) aren’t what you think!

It is likely you know a great kitchen and master suite make a home much more sale-able and both have a pretty high ROI when updated. You may even know that a new front door is about the highest on the list in terms of best places to put your money when putting up a home for sale. What you may not have guessed is professional standard lawn service, yes lawn service, recovers an estimated 267% of your investment! So not only do you get to sit back and watch someone else do your work, but when you’re selling – it is like having it done free and then some!

It seems there are several outdoor features that make your home both appeal to buyers and add value to your home.  You may want to consider going a step beyond standard lawn care and have some landscape maintenance done too! That ranks #2 on the list and includes such things as tree/shrub pruning, removal of small trees, new mulch, etc.  If your deck has seen better days or you’ve been thinking of putting in a new patio – hop to it. Not only do both of those upgrades make in the top 5 for appeal and added value but they add to the *Joy Factor as well. What is Joy Factor? That’s the positive feeling that makes you desire to spend more time at home.

Joy Factor comes in to play in almost all the top 13 outdoor home improvements. Whether you’re planning to sell or not, you may find justifying the expense of an update easier by looking at these statistics. Not only will mom and dad be more pleased to sit out on the back deck sipping a drink, but kids come into play here too. Despite the bad rap one particular outdoor expenditure has had in regard to ROI, this outdoor feature ranks the absolute highest on the Joy Factor. Any idea what it might be? A pool of course! So if you’re a parent who would like to be sure your kids have a great time at home instead of spending time at someone else’s; the biggest pull is to put in a pool. That’s a great tidbit to be sure your Realtor knows when selling a home with a pool. Marketing the Joy Factor could make a big difference.

We may be nearing the end of summer right now but there’s still plenty of time to make your yard and landscaping look great! And there’s nothing like pulling in the driveway at the end of a long day of work, or after a vacation and seeing your yard looking fabulous.

If you have any further questions about Outdoor or Indoor Residential Features topping the ROI charts, reach out to me and I’ll be happy to get you more information.

Posted in Best Time to Sell, Home Selling Tips, Selling Your Home

Enjoy Now – Get Paid Later

Sounds like a double bonus doesn’t it? Strange as it may be, it is often true in the world of keeping your home updated. As we pass the 10 year anniversary of when the market crashed here in Mid-Michigan (a bit later than many parts of the U.S.) I have seen a number of homes going on the market that were purchased right before that bubble burst. Even though our average home sales are again about the same as just before that burst, many of the homes I’m doing markets on are just not on par with the figure they bought them for.  What do these particular homes have in common? They all lack updates.
For whatever reason, it seems many of the homes I’ve been doing markets on were built in the 1990’s or early 2000’s, when I walk in – I’m pretty much seeing exactly what I would have seen 20 years ago, except now the stuff is 20 years old! Sure, some folks have put in a few rooms of carpet (though many haven’t) but for the most part things are the same. We have old laminate or tile counter tops, out of date appliances, mis-matched fixtures, 90’s wallpaper, etc.  I have sold enough homes (averaging 1/week) to say that people in general want to purchase a home that is updated, investors excluded. A clean updated home will sell so much faster and for a higher price than an outdated one every time!
Maybe it is because it has economically been a rough ten years for our community that there’s an abundance of outdated inventory. Or maybe people just don’t realize the value of keeping their home updated.  I would suggest you make small updates to your home annually; besides raising the sales price for the future – you get to enjoy it now! I recently went on a market analysis in what would be considered a luxury price point. Fabulous floor plan and amenities. However, it was a 1998 kitchen that was not only not-functional but there was laminate in a $400K price point – not possible.  I proceeded to give my prospective clients three values: $289,000 as-is, $369,000 re-doing the kitchen and master bath, or $425,000 with a complete remodel. We ripped apart the kitchen, opened it up and put in new tile backsplashes and granite counter tops. Looks like a whole new place, and we spent about $10,000 but brought the value up a ton.  The sellers – well, they’re not so sure they want to move anymore! They love it! It got me thinking, why are so many waiting to update until the time they’re ready to sell? Why not do a little bit every year and enjoy those updates now AND reap the benefits later.  Financially, it is a lot easier to do a project every year than something great big when you’re getting ready to move.
Surely I’m not saying that you will get your money back for every single update you do.  There are of course wise ways to increase your home’s value and other ways that, though they may make your home more enjoyable for your family, don’t necessarily get your money back. If you’re not sure what the best updates to do are – you can always ask me. Free advice. But generally speaking; kitchens, master suites, and baths are a great bet – as well as an attractive entrance. So lift your spirits a little and grab a can of paint, pick out some new floors or take a sledgehammer to those pink tiled walls in your old bathroom! Have fun, love the home you’re in, and invest for your future!
Posted in Best Time to Sell, Home Selling Tips, real estate, Selling Homes, Selling Your Home

Top Tips to Sell Your Home Faster

We’ve all seen it – on our drive in to work a For Sale sign pops up in the lawn of a home and gee, months and months go by and it is still there. After several months you may even start to wonder, “What’s wrong with that house?” There must be something wrong, right? Not necessarily. Most likely either seller or their agent made a decision up front that cost them a quick sale.  Granted, there are areas and price brackets in every market that move much slower than others. You can’t change that – but you may be able to change whether or not it is the one that does sell.

Aside from hiring an agent with experience and a great marketing plan there are several other factors that will make your home stand out against the competition.

  1. Price – you need to price it to move.  Gone is the day where a home lists way over value and people still flock to it with negotiating on their minds.  Buyers have too much knowledge at their fingertips these days; they know values. Price it at market value and negotiate firm. Listen to your agent and look at the comparables. Unfortunately what you wish your value to be isn’t usually what reality is. Pricing slightly below market value is shown to bring a stampede of buyers in the door.  This can result in a bidding war which is good news.
  2. First Impression – there’s only 1! You know the old saying that there’s never a 2nd chance to make a good 1st impression. It doesn’t just apply to people, but your home as well.  What are the best ways to make a good impression?
    1. Create curb appeal.  Landscaping is shown to have the highest ROI there is in real estate. Make your entry awesome. Is your doorframe cracked or peeling? Are there cobwebs? Bushes not trimmed? Get it done! Whether you hire a professional or make it a DIY project, it is super important to a good 1st impression.
    2. Get Rid of Your Junk. Walk around your home with your cell and snap pics – look at them and what do you notice? If you see your “stuff” instead of the features of your home; get a storage unit and get rid of it. If you don’t need it on a daily basis and it isn’t enhancing your home just pack it up. A storage unit is a super cheap way to enhance your home’s value and 1st impression.
    3. Smell Stinks! Not much worse than opening a front door and being greeted by dog or dirty laundry smell. For that matter, the same goes for potpourri.  Take the time to eliminate the source of your odors. Be sure any automatic air fresheners are a natural clean scent. Don’t use something strong that makes the buyer take notice.
  3. Update Wisely.  Don’t go spending a huge amount on updating your home and think you’re going to get it all back. Ask your agent. Do your research but pay attention to what market you’re researching.  Just because you find an article that says spending $30K in kitchen updates is a great idea – it doesn’t mean it applies to Mid-Michigan! Kitchen and baths, aside from entrances are the best places to see a good ROI. A good can of neutral paint and new hardware on your cabinetry can do a whole lot to update your look.  Have an old nasty appliance? Replace it with a new stainless one.  Doesn’t mean you have to replace all – people tend to see one and forget the others.

There are a lot of variables in making your home sell.  There’s no one perfect solution.  Your best bet is to ask your agent what their ideas would be (assuming you have a good agent). You might also want to invite some friends over and have them look at the house with fresh eyes and tell you what they think.  It isn’t a time to be defensive, but open to suggestions.  When we get a home ready for the market the idea is to make it look in such a way to be appealing to the highest number of people possible.  Sometimes that means making room for people to have their own ideas and not be pre-occupied with all of your personal effects /decor.  Neutral with a touch of flair attracts the widest range of buyers and that is what we’re looking for.

Time to list? Feel free to call/text/email me any time.  989-475-2958 mdvgilbert@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in bay city, Bay City Michigan, Best Time to Sell, Buying Homes, community, Finding a great Realtor, Home Buyers, midland, Midland Michigan, Midland Saginaw Real Estate, real estate, Real Estate Bay Midland Saginaw, Realtor, saginaw, Selling Homes

…Giving Your Character That Ravishing Red…

Dear Friends:

Fall has been beautiful thus far and soon the festivities of Thanksgiving shall begin. We shall see gourds, pumpkins, shocks of corn, cornucopias, and turkeys galore. Though I personally am not much looking forward to the wintry mix that is sure to soon follow; Thanksgiving is definitely my favorite day of the year.

It is a time I am able to take just a very short break and surround myself with family, my extended family. All five of my siblings, their children, and grandchildren gather at my parents for a day or two of full tabletops, glorious wafting smells arising from the oven, mixed with laughter of children and adults alike. We have pillow fights, card games, leaf wars, football, and more.  I am blessed to have a family who loves to share these types of days together. I am blessed also that we have a wonderful home to gather in and enough in the bank to put whatever we’d like in the oven and on that table.

I encourage you, even if you aren’t a Thanksgiving Day “celebrator”, to take this opportunity to inventory those things in which you can be thankful.  As we watch the leaves turn from their bright greens to ravishing reds, glorious golds, and soft yellows we can turn our thoughts to the changes in our own lives from the past year. Maybe it wasn’t an easy year – those struggles leaving you stronger in the end, giving your character that ravishing red. Maybe there were wonderful celebrations providing you with glorious golden memories, and those little moments to cherish like the soft yellow leaves twirling down in the fall winds.  Whatever has transpired this year; we all have things to be thankful for.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, & change ordinary opportunities into blessings” – William Arthur Ward

Blessings to you and yours,

Monique Gilbert

Posted in Best Time to Sell, Buying Homes, community, Home Buyers, home ownership, Home Selling Tips, real estate, Real Estate Market Statistics, Realtor, saginaw, Selling Homes, Selling Your Home, Tips for selling your home faster

It Is NOT Too Late!

Spring, spring! It’s gotta be Spring or it’s too late! That’s what sellers often think of in regard to home sales. Reality says, it isn’t so. Sure, the highest peak months might be May and June, but looking at the graphs you will most likely be surprised that the only two really low months for closed sales are January and February.

Sales in Saginaw & Midland Counties are up in general this year (yay!) Looking at the graphic below; you can see two things. First you’ll see the difference between the 5 year average and 2016.  Most importantly if you’re thinking of selling, you will see there is not a huge drop-off. Homes are being sold EVERY month.

There is always a market for good inventory.  I would love to give you a free market analysis on your home if you’re thinking of selling or be your buyer agent for those of you looking for that new home of your dreams. Call me today! 989-475-2958!

Graph

Posted in Best Time to Sell, Buying Homes, Real Estate Bay Midland Saginaw, Selling Homes

Best Time to Sell? Is it too late?

Spring, Spring, Spring!!! That’s what people think about when you mention the best time to sell real estate. Is it true? If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, should you wait til spring? Well, my response to people in the past has always been that if April is the month with the highest number of closings, then people are obviously looking in February and putting offers in during March in order to close in April or May. I’ve looked at our Mid-Michigan stats before, but I thought recently that I’d study them a bit closer in regard to when people are most likely to buy. The truth is – it’s not Spring! At least not here in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

According to the closing stats, each of our three counties vary slightly. Midland County has a highest number of closings in June, with May & August tied in second and September coming in slightly after them. Saginaw County #1 closing month is August, with June being second and September & May being tied for third.  Bay county is almost the same as Saginaw, with August being 1st, May being 2nd and June & September tie for 3rd.

The biggest margin between the 1st and 4th most popular month is only 9 sales. So, in reality there are several great months to sell. Tis true that January is markedly the slowest month in all three counties, but things still sell. So what would my advice be to sellers? Get it on the market now! You can’t sell a house that’s not on the market. Your biggest asset is going to be your agent and their marketing plan, not the month. And for buyers, go on out and keep looking. Inventory is good. Been listing like hotcakes. Truth is; whenever you’re ready to buy or sell – that’s the BEST time to do it!

Remember, if you’d like a free market analysis I’m only a call/text/email away. And if you’re ready to find your next perfect home – same applies to you! 🙂 I would love to assist you.

Until next week – Monique, Your Real Estate Matchmaker; Connecting buyers and sellers for a perfect match.