5 Ways to Improve Home Value in a Bad Neighborhood

5 Ways to Improve Home Value in a Bad Neighborhood

Having the nicest house in the neighborhood may seem like something to take pride in, and in some ways it is- but when it comes to selling your home, it’s the last thing you want.  The value of a house is partially based the value of others in the neighborhood, meaning that if you’re at the top of the list, then there’s nowhere else to go… but down.   If you’re in a similar situation, it’s not the end of the world- there are still things you can do to squeeze as much value as possible out of your home.       1. Show Your House at the Right Time of Day Some neighborhoods look better at certain times of the day than others- it’s important to keep this in mind when you schedule times to show your home.  If your home is on a busy street, try to avoid early morning and evening showings when the neighborhood traffic would be most noticeable.  If some of the other properties in the area have negative curb appeal- but traffic and safety aren’t a concern, try to schedule showings in the evening.  If you’re unsure when the area looks best, step outside during different times during the day and try to make an educated decision.  2. Pick the Correct Agent Some people thing agents are like soul-mates- there’s an agent for every home out there somewhere.  There are agents out there who specialize in complicated or hard to sell properties.  While it’s safe to assume that every agent will always try to the best of their abilities, it’s worth looking for one...
Landscaping- Is it REALLY Worth it?

Landscaping- Is it REALLY Worth it?

It’s common knowledge that when trying to sell, most people put at least a little money into some improvements or repairs before putting a house up on the market.  When you’re working with limited funds, exactly how and where to spend that money to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck can be puzzling. If you ask any real estate professional for advice on this, there’s no doubt they’d recommend you spend at least a little money trying to improve your property curb or drive-by appeal.  It goes without saying that better-looking homes attract more buyers and tend to sell faster than ugly ones.  It also goes without saying that nothing screams curb appeal like a well-kept lawn.   According to Lawn and Landscape Magazine, a well maintained and landscaped lawn can increase the value of a property between 5 and 25% when compared to other homes in the area.  When most people think of landscaping, images of bulldozers and hardhats come to mind.  In actuality, there are a few easy ways that some simple landscaping can improve the curb appeal and value of your home:     Adding Native Plants.  Adding native flowers or plants to your yard can do a lot to improve the curb appeal of your home, and being native to the area will help them thrive with little to no maintenance.  Michigan State University estimates that well maintained local plants and landscaping can improve the value of your home by up to 11%. Planting Trees.  Trees can do a lot for a house: they provide shade in the summer or break...
How to Sell on a Busy Street: 5 Tips that are Proven to Work

How to Sell on a Busy Street: 5 Tips that are Proven to Work

Trying to sell a property on a busy steet certainly comes with it’s roadblocks.     Almost every home buyer has to compromise on something they want when buying their first home.  It might be a 3rd bedroom bedroom.  It might be a large back yard. When living near a road with high traffic, the compromise is usually peace and quiet.  Homes near busy roads can sell for upwards of 15% less than nearby similar ones- they attract far fewer buyers than those in the rest of the neighborhood.  To buyers who don’t mind, this is great news-  there are always solutions to dealing with the sound of the street.       Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when dealing with with homes near traffic:   1.  You Can Make the Inside Quieter. Even something as simple as a blowing fan can make the sounds of traffic less noticeable.  Playing soft music around the house can help distract buyers from the outside noise- especially in rooms with windows.  A nice pair of heavy drapes can help some, but the most important thing is to make sure windows are sealed correctly with caulk and weather strips.  The more expensive triple-pane or noise reducing windows will really do the trick if it’s a serious problem.   2. Make That “For Sale” Sign Pop.  This is one of the few advantages of living near a busy road.  With more people passing by, your street sign will get more exposure.  To attract more buyers, try to include more information about the house by putting more information in the sign:  RENOVATED! POOL! 3 BEDROOM! and so...
Home Staging- Is It REALLY Worth It? [Video]

Home Staging- Is It REALLY Worth It? [Video]

  Short Answer: Yes It Is.  Long Answer: It Really Depends.   So you’ve decided to sell, and are getting ready to put your home up on the market- fantastic news.  You’ve found an agent, made all the necessary repairs… but there’s just one problem: the house is empty. Is that actually a problem?  That really depends.  As real estate appraisers, we look at a wide variety of homes every day- some completely furnished, some completely empty.  We were curious as to how staged houses– or vacant homes on the market that have been made-up to look like they’re currently lived in- fare on the market in comparison to empty homes, regardless of their age or condition. We spent some time searching for recent sales of both staged and non-staged homes, and were a little bit surprised by our results:         When it comes down to it, a fully staged home will sell for around the same price as one with similar features in the same market area- but it will certainly sell faster.         Jonathan Montgomery Founder and President of the The Real Estate Appraisal Group.  He has been a real estate professional since 1998. He’s been a broker, and investor, and now serves as an appraiser.  He currently works as an appraiser, doing real estate appraisals in Washington D.C., Southern Maryland, and Northern Virginia. #treagroup...
How Technology is Changing Real Estate: Don’t Be Left Behind

How Technology is Changing Real Estate: Don’t Be Left Behind

Technology changes everything, and real estate is no exception.   Since the dawn of the 21st century, the real estate world has been making huge strides in embracing the potential convenience that modern-day electronics have to offer.  What previously took a calculator and a half-hour’s worth of work can now be taken care of with a single click, along with so much more.  Things like reading the newspaper for real estate listings or searching a neighborhood for “for sale” sign are almost entirely a thing of the past (although you still might find that one great deal that wasn’t listed online). Here are a few of the biggest technological game-changers in the real estate world:     It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  No, it’s neither.  Since late 2014, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been becoming more and more lenient on commercial-use of remote controlled unmanned aircraft, or aerial drones.  While it’s not yet outright legal to use drones for commercial use,  differnet states have been granting permissions to different businesses all over the country to take to the skies. Amazon has been working on delivering packages, Dominos has been working on delivering pizzas, and the real estate world has been working on taking high-quality aerial photographs and videos of properties headed for the market.  For rural or farmland properties with lots of acreage, the ability to tour a 4-acre property at your finger tips is a huge gamechanger.   Soon enough, this will become the industry standard for showing off larger properties with ease. Higher-end models of these drones able to fly stable enough for video at the proper distance...
7 Ways to Get Your House Ready For The Autumn Market

7 Ways to Get Your House Ready For The Autumn Market

  Autumn truly is a beautiful season.  The changing leaves paint a beautiful picture across the treetops; and lots of people go on walks or drives in their neighborhood specifically to enjoy the gorgeous blend of colors.  Eventually though, these leaves will start to fall- leaving the trees barren and every house in the neighborhood with both gutters and a yard full of leaves. Fall and winter problems don’t end there- to truly prepare a home for the dropping temperatures and the lead-in to winter, there are a lot of home maintenance tasks to take care of that can prevent serious problems down the road.   Here are a few essential tips to truly keep a home market-worthy as the leaves start to fall:       Keep the yard raked.  This one is obvious.  Leaves covering the surface of your lawn over time will keep what little daylight is left from reaching your yard, resulting in brown grass earlier than you would expect.  Autumn is also a great time to aerate your lawn to get more moisture into your roots.  If you want nicer grass outside, this is your last chance before the winter.     It’s important to keep downspouts and gutters unblocked by debris.   It is tedious, but it’s time to break out the ladder and gloves and get your hands dirty.  If your property rests under a larger canopy of trees, installing a gutter guard may be a valid option.     Take a good long look at the roof.  Shingles may need to be replaced if they are curling or crackling- and if there is...