The more varied the opinions of economic experts, the more we are required to do our own homework when making real estate decisions for the future. This is especially true when there are varying degrees of optimism and pessimism about the nation’s economy. Many homeowners use interest rates to measure the health and viability of real estate. But the national economic outlook is not the only relevant factor in the health of the real estate market in your area.
Educated real estate investors look beyond the macro economic outlook to local factors that impact their investment. For example, the stability of local employment and consumer spending has a direct impact on the supply and demand for homes and condominiums and therefore their prices. New housing developments in a local market also impact the supply, creating “buyer’s markets”.
As you evaluate the value of your investment or try to predict the future value of a potential purchase, be sure to understand both the national economic environment and the specific factors of your local community.
Remember when you found your current home? You walked in and got the feeling it was a great fit for you and your family. Now that you’re selling your house, you need to make that same impression on the next potential buyer. Here’s how to do it.
- Clean and de-clutter
Make sure your kitchen, bathrooms, and floors sparkle. Use old-fashioned elbow grease or call in professional cleaners to get the job done. Can you walk into your walk-in closet? Does your car barely fit into your garage? Start packing early and put your seasonal and personal things into storage. Make your rooms and cupboards look spacious.
- Repair the little things
Put on your home inspector‘s hat and walk through your house. Make a list of the items that need attention and arrange for repairs. Focus on your entry-way, drywall, paint, sticky/squeaky doors, leaky faucets, flooring and countertops.
- Help buyers see themselves in your house
Remove your family photos and personal mementos. If you’re a collector, pack up your collection. Buyers have difficulty picturing themselves in your house when your personal items are on display.
- Let the light in
Bright homes often have a higher resale value. Get your windows cleaned, inside and out. (Consider hiring a professional.) Pull back blinds and draperies to let natural light in. If you still have some dark spots, add floor or table lamps to the area.
- Groom your yard
You wouldn’t go to a job interview without being well groomed, so make sure your yard is groomed for viewings. Trim your hedges and shrubs. Cut the grass. Pull weeds and cut back any greenery that covers walkways.