Part of real-estate investing is to have a viable exit strategy. Actually, multiple. There are numerous factors that can come into play that will make selling the best, if not only option for your investment. Anything from a prolonged vacancy to owner relocation may require the tough but prudent decision to sell. Hopefully, you will have enough lead time to make the succession of subsequent decisions that follow the option to sell, but sometimes life or business needs don’t allow. That being the case, part of your font of knowledge should always be how to not only attract renters, but what will attract buyers.
A good thing to keep in mind is what attracted you to the property. Also, the things that you saw and thought should’ve been changed before the previous owner put the property on the market. If you’ve listened to the experts, here at Carod Properties, any improvements that you made were not too personal or exclusive. Your leasing agreement should have also excluded drastic changes by tenants. Even given those two things, there are a few things that require your attention before your property goes on the market. Making the right improvements will make your home sell faster and for more cash. Better still, some of them require very little work.
Pivotal “Must-Dos” are:
- Landscaping. Sprucing up your property’s ground is a cheap easy trick that can add up to 28% to your home’s value. Real-estate is very much a book that can gets read by its cover. Even if you can’t do a top to bottom overhaul, make your lawn green, replace the welcome mat, exterior paint and door.
- Flooring. Carpet is a no-no. There are those that like it, but those that don’t…hate it. If your home currently has carpet—that you usually just shampoo for each new tenant—for purposes of selling, hardwood is the way to go. An economical way to address this flooring issue is a high-quality, but far less cost prohibitive laminate.
- Fix Windows and Doors. Whether your property is older or a new one, windows and doors need regular updating. Besides the aesthetic value to be had, outdated and/or improperly functioning doors and windows are an energy drain on a property that no buyer wants to take on in a “new” (to them) home.
- Paint (& Wash) Walls. Many landlords allow painting and just factor in repainting into the cost to flip for a new tenant. If you allowed painting, definitely repaint…and in a neutral color. It’s easier for a prospective buyer to imagine themselves in an unobtrusive space (ie, staged and with no garish or buyer-specific colors). And, dirty walls are a definite no-no. The smallest patch of wear and tear on a wall can be perceived as a minor bit of deferred maintenance. Imagine someone viewing the home saying, “If they didn’t even think to clean the walls, what else did they not do?”
- Clean Cabinets. Yes, clean (wipe down) your cabinets. But, also, clean out. You may not see it on the real-estate shows where realtors are showing homes, but you’d be surprised by how brazen buyers can be. Yes, they look around, but some dig. If there’s anything left from a previous tenant or you’ve used the property for storage in the interim, make sure everything is cleaned out and in “ready-to-sell” order. Don’t assume you can clean out cabinets later, and just close the doors. They will dig, and they will find and be put off.
- Update the Lighting. Questions you should ask yourself, when it comes to lighting, are: Is it dated? Does it serve the space properly? Is it functioning? Lighting can go out of style, like hairstyles. Why take a chance with a buyer walking away because lighting can be too expensive, when you can give yourself time to shop around or capitalize on the relationships you’ve formed and get a great deal?
Make your decision to sell a positive one. You can do this by making informed, tried and true decisions that will get you the bang for your buck that you deserve. Walking away from the investment does not need to be a negative experience. By making the right decisions, in every aspect, you will be able to walk away with the motivation to buy again.